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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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