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December 30, 2015

new years printable

Dreamin' in 2016 - Free printable for setting your awesome goals in '16!

2015, you've been quite a ride! Looking back, this year has been one of crazy new adventures, unforeseen challenges, & a total change of pace. I'm thrilled to see what 2016 has in store. Every year I try & make at least one resolution, but for me the whole resolution thing is less about wanting to change myself & more about dreaming big. If 2016 is shaping up to be all-you, print out this list template & start dreaming.

Get ready for 2016 with this downloadable print!

Last year I resolved to switch up my life & do something different. I consider moving & getting a new job different enough to tick that one off my list! This time around my goals will be less broad, I think. I'm planning on continuing to settle into my new home, & really learn to be a part of the city & not just live in it. I'm also resolving to learn how to drive in the snow, eek!

I've got big plans for the new year, both in my life & with the blog. You guys are so sweet for following along with us in our journey, & happy freaking new year!


P.S. Get organized for the new year with a DIY planner.

December 28, 2015

out & about | snow day

Snowfall in Loring Park, MN
Happy last Monday of 2015! Of course I hope you all had a fab holiday; our Christmas wish came a day late in the form of buckets of snow! We spent the day like a couple of kids traipsing through the puffy white piles & sliding across the ice.
Red cap on a white bridge
Chilly chilly brr brr!
Pine needles in the snowfall
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Literally chillin' at the park
Bridge over Hennepin in Minneapolis, MN
Sturdy pine in the snow
Being a cool kid & slipping on the ice
Winter ready.
MPLS city skyline from Loring Park

P.S. Time is flying, it feels like just yesterday the leaves changed colors!

December 25, 2015

have yourself a merry little day

Greetings from Minneapolis, & Happy Holidays!

From both of us, here's wishing you a merry little Christmas. Hope your hearts are bright & light.

Cheers to 2016!

-m.e. & Heather

December 22, 2015

last-minute diy gifts!

Last-Minute DIY Gifts: A handmade apron makes for a special & personalized gift!Last-Minute DIY Gifts: Stencil tea towels with your gift-receivers favorite song lyrics!
Last-Minute DIY Gifts: Quick tutorials that don't require much time or materialsLast-Minute DIY Gifts: This easy lip balm makes a perfect little stocking stuffer
Last-Minute DIY Gifts: Keep your loved ones snuggly warm in a knit-inspired cowlLast-Minute DIY Gifts: Keep 'em looking dapper with a simple handmade bow tie

For those of you who thrive under pressure, here are some last-minute gift ideas that are quick, easy, & don't require a lot of materials!

P.S. Take a break from wrapping presents & make a batch of Christmas sugar cookies.

December 18, 2015

life | links

Holiday tinsel, holiday cheer

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Winter is here for sure. It's windy all the time now. Patches of ice have turned my morning walk to work into an obstacle course of sorts. The trees are mostly gray & naked - a few with crumpled brown leaves fiercely hanging on. The air is thinner now, making all kinds of scents & smells come alive, which has the dog in a tizzy every time she goes for a walk. My hands don't warm up unless I'm doing the dishes. And hot cocoa has been on the after-dinner menu almost every night. As I'm writing, there are big, soft snowflakes falling outside, hopefully to stay until Christmas. It's feeling very merry & bright around here. 

This week's links:

P.S. If you're looking for a last-minute gift idea, make this easy knitted cap to keep your loved ones all warm & toasty!

December 16, 2015

two last-minute diy ornaments

Easy painted glass bulb - customize the color of your ornaments with this tutorial!

Woah woah wait a minute - wasn't it November yesterday? How is time flying by so freaking fast? My calendar is packed with little last minute tasks: bits of shopping, wrapping presents, & potentially baking cookies. I feel frazzled with festive activities. I did, however, manage to fill up the bare tree in our living room with some super quick-to-make ornaments. Thank goodness. I was worried we would end up with a minimalist tree this year, & by minimalist I mean naked.

DIY Ornaments

December 14, 2015

holiday iphone wallpapers

Free downloadable iPhone wallpapers - just in time for the holidays

'Tis the season for an over-abundance of holiday decor! Sure, the tree has been trimmed, the lights lit in the windows, & the wreath hung on the door, but why stop there? Throw a little more festivity in your life with these iPhone wallpapers! Can you tell I'm pumped about the holidays? 

To use these wallpapers, get on your phone & click the links below to open the wallpaper you want to use. Then press down on the image until you're prompted to save it. Save & set as wallpaper! 

P.S. More Christmas wallpapers!

December 7, 2015

frosted pinecone ornaments

Frosted pinecone ornaments tutorial

Happy Monday! Hopefully it was a restful, happy weekend! Heather & I finally got our tree on Saturday, & we've since been scheming ways to decorate it as we're starting from scratch. We're not done quite yet, but we have come up with a theme: Currently I am smitten with the winter weather (check back with me in late February), & Heather's right there with me as it's her first snow. Because we're crushing on the cold so much right now, we're decorating our Christmas tree all snowy! Well, sort of - mostly we're just sticking to a white color theme. I got a couple different kind of ornaments made this weekend, & my absolute favorite are these frosty pine cone ones.

DIY snowy pinecone ornaments

December 4, 2015

life | links

It's finally snowing in the mid-west!

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Before we packed up & moved, I went through a major purging stage. Some of the things around the house desperately needed to go (how in the world we managed to acquire so many mugs is the main mystery). Some things, though, I'm still scratching my head about why I tossed them. Namely, Christmas decorations! The other day Heather & I pulled a sad box labelled "xmas decor" from the closet & found nothing but a few pitiful strings of lights. So this weekend I'll be busy getting creative trying to conjure up some tree ornaments. Eek!

This week's links:

P.S. Maybe I'll just cover the tree in pom-poms.

December 2, 2015

holiday gift tags (+ free printable!)

Printable Black & White Holiday Gift Tags

Confession time: I have been secretly listening to Christmas music at my desk for almost two weeks now! Sorry not sorry, but I'm so ready to get festive. It's been snowing for the past two days (internal squealing), which has upped my feelings of coziness & glad tidings. 

Fun black & white printable gift tags for Christmas

I am getting a jumpstart on wrapping gifts since I have to ship most of them out to loved ones far away. Here are some simple gift tags that I've made available to print here! Once you've printed them, cut them out & fold in half. I used a little piece of double-sided tape to keep both halves together, then punched a hole up top. Since they're double thickness, it's not necessary to print them on card stock - a nice printer paper will do.

Ho ho ho! Downloadable gift tags!
Holiday gift tags (free printable!)

Now that I've whipped up some wrapping supplies, it is high time to whip up a batch of hot cocoa, like seriously. Speaking of hot cocoa & all the warm & fuzzy activities surrounding it, Heather & I are going to try our hand (feet?) at ice skating! It's been a hot minute since either of us have had skates on, & I imagine I'll be on my butt the whole time. Still excited. I have really missed winter. 


P.S. Join me in making boat-loads of delicious hot cocoa! This recipe has a kick of mint.

November 25, 2015

thank goodness for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving DIY round-up: Autumn iPhone wallpaper Thanksgiving DIY round-up: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
Thanksgiving DIY round-up: Graphics & recipes to get you in the Thanksgiving mood!Thanksgiving DIY round-up: "Life is Sweet" Thanksgiving printable
Thanksgiving DIY round-up: Thanksgiving iPhone screensThanksgiving DIY round-up: The "Poor Man's" Chocolate Croissant

What with the two of us getting sick, & the sun going down at 4:30... I must confess it has been difficult to whip up any good tutorials as of late. While I have been keeping my hands busy, I've been making Christmas presents, & for the sake of secrecy I can't share them here! I am really looking forward to the long Thanksgiving weekend, & I hope you are too. We'll be spending it cooking, eating, & inevitably watching some really terrible Christmas movies (c'mon Netflix, where are the classics?).

Here are a couple of recipes & graphics to get you in the thanksgiving mood!

As always, a big shout-out of gratitude to all of you guys, my wonderful readers. You're really the best.


November 18, 2015

what to do when you're sick

Things You Can Do When You're Sick

Why am I writing about being sick? Because I am sick, ugh. I put up a good fight & spent a lot of time in denial about the whole thing, but today I seceded & stayed home from work. To top off the overall "bleh" I'm experiencing, it's been raining for three days. The world outside looks as dreary as I feel.

Rather than be down in the dumps about my aching head & runny nose, I'm choosing to be positive. Here are some of the ways I'm passing the time as I reach for the tissues:
  • Drinking tea | Specifically, peppermint. Fluids are important in the recovery process, & the menthol-aspect of the mint make sinuses feel more open & breathing gets easier (I'm not ashamed to admit that sometimes I just make a cup of peppermint tea so I can sit over it & inhale). If you don't like tea, make sure you're still pounding back the liquids!
  • Eating EVERYTHING | Maybe I'm alone in this, but there's always a period when I'm sick that I get the urge to pig out. I figure it's not worth it to fight this feeling. Your body is working really hard to fight off infection, you should power up on vitamin-rich, high protein foods.
  • Watching familiar TV | Try not to strain your brain too much when you're sick. While lying on the couch feeling awful, I either watch shows/movies that I've seen before, or ones that don't have a very complicated plot. Think reality TV, cooking shows, comedies, etc. Oh, & I definitely stay away from sad movies that make me cry. I'm already sniffling enough as it is, no need to bring on more waterworks (i.e. absolutely no Extreme Makeover: Home Edition whatsoever). 
  • Letting go | When you get sick, your body forces you to take a break, & you might as well enjoy it. Curl up with a book, cuddle with the furry roommates, sleep in - don't fight it. Give your body time to rest so you can get back to being a badass. 

P.S. All this sneezing has me reaching for a very old-school DIY tissue box.

November 16, 2015

watercolor advent calendar

Watercolor Geometric Advent Calendar (with printable template)

It's not too early to start getting ready for the holidays, right? Nah. Besides, I feel like I have a good excuse reason to start prepping now since I like to DIY my Christmas. We're focusing on traditions around here, & the advent calendar is a total throw-back to my younger days. My family would always get the kind with the little cardboard doors that you pop through. Splitting that one piece of chocolate with my two brothers though, that was always a challenge. 

Make your own geometric count down to Christmas!

This advent calendar is a little less traditional than the drug store variety of my youth (but still filled with chocolate - very important!). I'm loving the geometric trend right now, & I'm thinking about making more of these to hang on our tree when we get one. If there were a mantel in our apartment, we would totally hang this advent calendar there. But we don't, so it's currently hanging from the bar in our living room. Donut thinks we set them up for her to play with (like little kitty piƱatas).

November 13, 2015

life | links

It may be dreary out, but at least there's coffee

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Oh my GOODNESS I am so excited it is the weekend. It feels like every weekend for the past two months has been spent on shopping trips. Heather & I have found ourselves vastly underprepared in the winter clothing department. We've had to pick up a coat here, some snow boots there, sweaters; I had no idea how unready I was for actual winter. My previous "flip-flops in February" Florida lifestyle is now just a distant memory. This weekend I'm really looking forward to not shopping though, & mostly doing things around the house instead. On the schedule: sleeping in, watching movies, making hot cocoa. 

This week's links:

P.S. I have been wearing the heck out of this cowl because my FACE IS GOING TO FREEZE OFF I'M SO NOT READY FOR WINTER.

November 11, 2015

"life is sweet" thanksgiving printable

Free downloadable printable for Thanksgiving

Every year at Thanksgiving, about half way through the big feast, my mom will ask rather matter-of-factly, "Okay, what are you guys thankful for this year?" Even though I know the question is coming, I'm always caught off guard, scrambling for more than a one word answer. I'll inevitably go with the standard "family," or "friends," which may be cliche but is totally true. 

This will be Heather's & my first major holiday away from family. We're trying our best not to get too homesick. Even though it's just the two of us, we're proactively fighting those homesick feelings by doing all the things we'd normally do during the holiday season (on a much smaller scale, obviously).  Since listing gratitude is part of my family's tradition, I've starting mulling over what I'm thankful for. 

Life is the sweetest - a Thanksgiving printable
This list is currently hanging up in the kitchen, with me & Heather jotting down our thoughts as they come to us. If you're hosting a big family gathering this Thanksgiving, the printable can alternatively be handed out at the dinner table!

Life is the sweetest because... fill in the blank with this downloadable Thanksgiving printable

Side note about Thanksgiving: it is going to be an endeavor/adventure trying to cook a traditional holiday meal for only two! I'm looking forward to the culinary challenge. Any tips?


November 9, 2015

cats, coffee, & cardigans cross stitch

Cats, Coffee, & Cardigans - an easy cross stitch pattern

The shorter days & colder weather has me wanting to hibernate like mad. Don't you just want to curl up with a hot cup of coffee & a fuzzy cat, wrapped in a cozy cardigan & do some cross stitching? That's all I can think about these days, anyway.

In the spirit of coziness, here's a minimal cross stitch pattern, celebrating all things comfy. 

Click here for the pattern! I used aida cloth & black embroidery floss (using only three of the six threads making up the floss).

These are a few of my favorite things - cats, coffee, & cardigans! Free cross stitch pattern.

I look some liberties with this piece - it's not really cross stitch. It's kind of an embroidery/cross stitch hybrid. To make your own, stitch along the grid of the aida cloth rather than the traditional "x" stitch.

Sorry not sorry for excessive alliteration!


November 2, 2015

out & about | autumn breeze

Dog days in Loring Park

Doing | There's finally a couch in our home, plus a snazzy dresser (photos to follow!), which means this place is finally beginning to feel less like a box & more like a home. It couldn't be better timing, because the weather is getting chilly & all I want to do is cuddle up & hibernate. I've been working on making the apartment feel homey & cohesive, plus a little more organized. Also can I just say how weird it is living without a couch? I've since blocked that part of my life out as I curl up on our cuddly sofa.
Watching | True to the Russell family tradition (that Heather has now been drafted into), we watched The Adams Family on Halloween night. It's the best spooky flick for sure.
Listening | Thanks to those who sent me podcast suggestions! Ira Glass on This American Life has been keeping me company on my walks to & from work. Next on the list - Serial!
Feeling | It definitely feels like it's time to plan for Christmas. I've been lightly Christmas shopping, picking up little things that remind me of different people, but I'm so ready to bunker down & start prepping. Even though we won't be able to go home for the holidays, it's actually going to be a white Christmas! Heather's first one - it's going to be freaking magical. I have no apologies for my love of the holidays.
Loving | Daylight Savings & getting a bonus hour of sleep!


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