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September 16, 2016

life | links

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Hey gang. Guess what? It's Friday. I'm so tired pumped. I've got lots of projects I want to tackle this weekend, along with some adult-y chore type things, & drink dates with friends. What's on your docket?

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Pumpkin is back on the menu so I can make mini pumpkin cheesecakes without regret (yeah, I'm running full force into fall). The pup turned 10 yesterday, so we showered her with treats & a new toy which she immediately ripped to shreds with glee. Plus we got to see Heather's all-time favorite band Tegan & Sara perform this week! 

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

September 12, 2016

before & after | dining nook chairs

Before & After | Dining Nook Chairs
Short-backed dining chairs with contrasting buttons. See the before & after!
Happy Monday, internet friends!

If you're following me on Instagram you may have seen my Stories about this makeover project. There are two major things that I learned in the process of recovering these little cuties. #1: I learned how to remove & replace wood furniture plugs (more on that below). #2: I learned that under no circumstances should I ever try to operate a staple gun inside a two-bedroom apartment. Ever. It was raining the day I wanted to work on these chairs, & I got impatient so I tried to work inside. You guys - it was so loud. SO. LOUD. I'm really surprised my neighbors didn't call the cops because it sounded like a gun going off. Lesson learned. I also learned that if you have to work outside but don't have a yard or a balcony that you can use the back of your car. This whole project was truly a growing experience. 
Before and After - A pair of chairs gets revamped
Heather & I picked up these chairs at our favorite vintage furniture store while they were having a clear-out-the-warehouse sale. We've been keeping an eye out for little chairs to go with our little table that serves as our little dining area. I say "little" because our apartment is small & the only space to set up a dining nook was along a wall in our living room. These chairs were perfect, affordable, & adorable. The wood is in beautiful condition, but neither Heather nor I was feeling the worn black vinyl action happening on the cushions. 
When reupholstering furniture, use the old fabric to a pattern
Here's what we did:

The seats of the chairs were screwed to the frame, so we removed those. Then we pried all the old staples from the bottom of the seat cushion, cut new fabric to match the size of the old fabric, & re-stapled the new fabric in place (basically the exact same process we used when recovering Heather's desk chair). The cushions & the underlining fabric on these chairs were in really good shape, so we reused those materials. The seats were easy, it was the seat backs that required some finagling. They were screwed to the frame of the chair behind wood plugs.
How to remove wood plugs in furniture
Removing these plugs (or buttons as they're sometimes called) wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it'd be. Here's how we did it:
  1. Grab your power drill & use a drill bit that is smaller than the plug.
  2. Drill directly in the center of the wood plug until you hit the screw behind it.
  3. Reverse the direction of your power drill, pulling the wood plug out as you go. 
  4. If any remnants of the plug remain, you can pry them out with a flathead screwdriver, using a hammer at the backend of the screwdriver to chisel the pieces away. 
Before & after dining chairs
With the plugs removed, we were able to unscrew the seat backs from the frame & recover them like we did the seats. Rather than stain new plugs to match the original wood color, we're trying out the natural look. I kind of like how the wood buttons pop - it's funky.
Refinished chairs for our dining area
It's nice having a dining table in the home again, even if it is little. I think it's adorably tiny. Plus I feel way more adult not eating every single meal on the couch.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. See another before & after when this vinyl chair gets a new paint job!

Affiliate links are used in this post!

August 29, 2016

56 places to visit in minneapolis

56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis, MN
I moved to Minneapolis about a year ago, & while there are areas that are unfamiliar to me, it definitely feels like home here. My brother & his wife are coming to visit soon (yay!), & I'm extremely excited to "show off" the new stomping grounds. I still feel like a tourist in my own city, but over the past year Heather & I have tried to do lots of new things - not to mention eat lots of good food - so I feel like we can do a decent job taking the fam around town. If you're new to Minneapolis or planning on coming over for a visit, here's some places to check out. There are a handful of places on the list I haven't visited yet, but are definitely scribbled on a list that hangs on the fridge!
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Freewheel Bike, Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge, Midtown Greenway
| EXPLORE |

1. Go pedal boating on one of the many lakes
2. Visit Minnehaha falls (even better in the winter)
4. Rent a Nice Ride bike to tour the city
5. After sight-seeing, bike the Midtown Greenway
6. Visit the Stone Arch Bridge
7. Take a stroll in Loring Park (make sure to visit the Dandelion Sculpture)
9. See the city from atop the Foshay tower
10. Ice skate at the Depot (winter only)
12. Play skyline mini golf at the Walker Museum
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Chef Shack Ranch, Spoon & Stable, The Bachelor Farmer
| BRUNCH |

11. Aster Cafe (best quiche in town)
12. The Bachelor Farmer (adore)
13. Birchwood Cafe (vegetarian biscuits & gravy whaa?)
14. LUSH (because of the endless mimosas!)
15. The Local (Irish delish - also a bar)

| LUNCH & DINNER |

16. Chef Shack Ranch (also a food truck!)
17. World Street Kitchen (I have literally never had anything bad here)
18. Spoon & Stable ($$$, but so good)
19. Salsa a la Salsa (authentic Mexican food)
20. The Nicollet Diner (perfect if you're craving a milkshake at 3 in the morning)
21. Dancing Ganesha (hands down the best Indian food in the city)
22. Trieste Café (open during the week - right off the skyway. AMAZING FALAFEL)
23. The Hi-Lo Diner (haven't been yet, but Adele has, so it must be good. Right?)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Mill City Farmer's Parking, Loring Corners, North side of the river, Lake Harriet
| SHOPPING |

24. Crafty Planet (STILL have yet to visit this adorable craft store what is wrong with me?)
25. Mill City Farmer's Market (Saturdays!)
26. The Herbivorous Butcher (vegan butcher - no lie)
27. Freewheel Bike (a bike shop / lunch spot that is literally on the Midtown Greenway!)
28. Find Furnish (they always have super cute furniture)
29. I like you (nifty gifts)
30. Patina (also cute gifts / stuff I need want)
31. Pharmacie (home goods, pretty things)
32. Askov Finlayson (men's apparel - also want)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: The Bachelor Farmer Cafe, Peace Coffee, Spyhouse, One on One
| COFFEE HOUSES |

33. Spyhouse (potentially the hippest coffee houses in town)
34 . The Bachelor Farmer Cafe (home of the most adorable tile work)
35 . Dunn Bros. (a local company - try the iced caramel macchiato)
36. One on One Bike Shop (get your bike fixed & have one of the best mochas in town)
37. Peace Coffee (convenient if you're downtown - you don't even have to leave the skyway)
38. Common Roots Cafe (their cold press is the best press)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis, MN: Brit's Pub, The Local, Salsa a la Salsa, Spoon & Stable
| DRINKS |

39. Brit's Pub (very British, very chill)
40. Rosa Mexicano (margaritas & endless guac)
41. Up-Down (on our "yet to go" list - arcade games & beer!)
42. Prohibition Bar at the Foshay tower (a speakeasy with some of the best views in town)
43. Spoon & Stable (I know - this is their second appearance on the list. I almost put them in the "brunch" section too! They can do no wrong)
44. Marin (had drink that tasted straight up like licorice)
45. Butcher & the Boar (lovely beer garden - dog friendly Mondays!)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Path to the Walker, Mill City Museum, Cherry on a Spoon, Bob Dylan Mural
| ART |

46. Browse paintings at the MIA
47. See the Cherry Spoon at the Walker Sculpture Garden
48. Visit Walker on the first Saturday of the month & get in for free
49. View the Bob Dylan mural off Hennepin
50. See contemporary work at MCAD
51. Pose in front of the quintessential Minneapolis mural at 515 1st Avenue
56 Places to Visit in MPLS: Bread & Pickle, Bogart's Doughnut Co., Milk Jam Creamery, Izzy's Ice Cream
| SWEET TREATS |

52. Glam Doll Donuts (hands down the best donuts in town)
53. Milk Jam Creamery (ice cream & donut sandwiches whaaa?)
54. Bogart's Doughnut Co. (this is basically a list of donuts)
55. Angel Food (delish chocolate croissants)
56. Izzy's Ice Cream (yumm-o. They have mad waffle cone skills)

All the pictures are from Instagram, either the @wecanmakeanything feed, or Heather's account, @hbomb.mpls

xoxo,
-m.e.

August 26, 2016

life | links

Cold-brewed coffee
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

It's happening. I can feel it. It's in the air. The cold, cold air. Anything over 85º has vanished from the weather report. All the pumpkin flavors are creeping back. Soon enough I'll be able to retrieve all my sweaters from storage. My coworkers are bemoaning the return of fall, but I'm feeling this meme so hard right now. Let's go, fall. I'm so ready.

HAPPY THOUGHTS

I'm getting a haircut this weekend for the first time in almost a year. It's embarrassingly shaggy, & I'm so ready for that liberating post-haircut feeling. Plus, this weekend Heather & I will be finishing up some vintage chairs we're redoing that we bought a few weekends ago. If you follow me on Instagram, I'll probably be posting a sneak peek on my Story. Fair warning: I mostly post about my cat Donut on my Story. Isn't that what social media was made for anyways?

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. This chilly weather front has me itching to knit!

August 22, 2016

diy coffee caddy

DIY Coffee Caddy: Coffee date for two - to go!
On Sunday mornings Heather & I have this little routine. I'll get up a little early & take a walk down to our local coffee house, then stroll back with two chocolate croissants & two coffees. Mine is a mocha, hers a caramel macchiato. Then I'll crawl back under the covers & we'll sip & be lazy until one of us convinces the other that we should probably do something productive. It's like a weekly coffee date we have.
DIY reusable coffee holder for two
I've been trying to figure out how to make a coffee carrier for a couple of weeks. Mostly on my walks back with two coffees in my hand, then while I'm juggling with my keys trying to get back in the building. Also, let's face it: you can't catch Pokémon & carry two lattes at the same time. Priorities, people. 
DIY Coffee Caddy: What you'll need
Here's what you'll need to make this carrier:
  • Wood glue
  • Balsa wood sticks, 1/4 inch diameter
  • Basswood, 1/16 inch width (I used 3 pieces of 4x9" wood)
  • Masking tape
  • A saw
  • Sand paper
  • Foam (I'm actually using a drywall sponge)
  • Hot glue gun
  • A drill
  • Wood stain &/or paint 
  • Cord or straps
DIY Coffee Caddy: Cut the wood
To start, cut down your wood pieces. You'll need:
  • Three pieces of 8x4" basswood (two long sides & bottom)
  • Three pieces of 3.75x4" basswood (two short sides & middle divider)
  • Eight sticks of 3.5" balsa wood (braces for corners)
If you have a table saw to cut these pieces, that would be best. A handsaw also works. I am going to come clean about something here. I used scissors. Yep, you read that right. I used a pair of scissors that I don't really care about & cut both the basswood & the balsa wood. It worked really well, but definitely dulled my scissors. If you have a pair of junk scissors I'd recommend that, but a saw works just as well. Sand rough edges.
DIY Coffee Caddy: Assemble the box
Assemble the box by taping on the outside. Put it together one piece at a time. Once all pieces are in place (with the divider piece in the middle), apply wood glue to each corner on the inside of the box. In each corner place a 3-inch stick of balsa wood to act as a brace. Let dry completely (overnight recommended).
DIY Coffee Caddy: Drill holes for straps
Once dry, drill four holes, one on each top corner of the long side. This is where you'll thread the caddy's straps. Sand as needed.
DIY Coffee Caddy: Espresso stain
Paint or stain the box. I picked an espresso stain for the outside with white paint on the inside. Let dry completely. 
DIY Coffee Caddy: Add foam for cushioning
Okay, now to the foam (or in my case, a sponge). Cut the foam into small rectangles, then hot glue in place to each corner of the box. The point of the foam is to hold each cup in place. I painted my foam white too, just so it wouldn't stand out so much. 

Feed straps through the holes drilled earlier, tying a knot on the inside. These straps were made out of vinyl, folded in half & sewn down the sides. Done!
Coffee on the go in this DIY
Coffee vibes
I tested my new caddy this weekend. Worked like a breeze. Caught at least five pidgeys.

Did you notice this is the second coffee-themed post in a row? Am I that tired??

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. How to make your own reusable coffee sleeves like the ones peeking in this post!
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