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March 30, 2016

follow these | pinterest

We are about to break the 500 followers mark on Pinterest (whoo! Thanks friends!). In celebration, here are some of my favorite accounts to follow (& you should too). From left to right:
1. colossal | get your art fix on
2. maritza lisa | the prettiest paper products (also her blog is equally pretty)
3. bouffants & broken hearts | prints, patterns, & pizzaz
4. the homesteady | the pinterest queen, also winner of biggest "non-strapless wedding dresses" board
5. the crafted life | all of the most fun colors in the rainbow
6. francois et moi | local lover of all things indigo
7. room & board | this is a local furniture maker, but whoever is in charge of their social media is a pinterest boss
8. we can make anything | yeah, you should totally follow us

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Who to follow on Instagram.

March 28, 2016

budget-friendly wall art

Wall art for under $15!
Little by little our teeny apartment is coming together. We moved in with basically no furniture, & definitely no large-scale wall art (which is kind of pathetic for a couple with two art majors between them). One of the things that I immediately loved about this apartment were the high ceilings - and then shortly after moving in the high ceilings began to mock me with their gigantic negative space. SO MUCH SPACE, nothing to fill it with. After doing research, the internet spoke to me & said: engineering prints.
Engineering Prints are a great way to fill your walls with art
The hanging part required a bit of scheming. When Heather & I were at the craft store trying to figure out what we needed, we had thrown nearly $40 worth of materials into our cart before Heather noticed these wooden scroll frames. Ding ding! With a coupon thrown into the mix, these prints ended up being $14 apiece.

You'll need:
  • 24x36" engineering print* (we ordered ours from Staples)
  • Wooden scroll frame (9x27")
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • X-acto knife
  • Twine for hanging
  • A friend to help (this is not a one-person DIY!)
*Engineering prints are not recommended for printing photos. That being said, these photos turned out way better than I expected them to. Printing in black and white with some nice, crisp contrast will help avoid losing the shapes in the photo too much. You'll also want to use a photo file with a large resolution - ours was 300dpi, and was 7200 x 10800 pixels. I would not recommend going below 5000px wide. You will also need to start with a large photo file, rather than taking a small photo & resizing it. 
How to hang engineering prints cheaply & easily
The only parts of the scroll kit you'll need are the dowel rods that come with a split down the middle. If you have a jigsaw or some way to cut a dowel yourself - go for it! If you are like me & you don't have the convenience of power tools at your disposal, the scroll kit is a breeze. I feel a little bad about not using the other aspects of the kit, but stay tuned - I'll come up with a project to use them in.

Step 1 | First, insert the top of your print in between the two halves of a dowel, making sure your print is lined up evenly. Leave a small sliver of the print sticking out so you can ensure the print is even. 
Use a dowel rod to hang engineered prints
Step 2 | Clamp along the dowel to keep your print in place. With a friend, hold the dowel with the opening facing up (as seen above). Pour a thin line of wood glue along the seam, allowing gravity to pull the glue into the seam. Before the glue dries, clean the seam with a damp paper towel. Move the clamps around as needed as you glue. Glue along the entirety of the seam, including the ends of the dowel.

[Note: Once you have applied glue, DO NOT move the print. Moving the paper once it is damp from the glue will only stretch it, causing the paper to warp.]
How to display engineering prints using a dowel & twine
Step 3 | Leave the clamps on & let your print dry (an hour or two). Trim any excess paper on the seam with an x-acto knife. 

Step 4 | Repeat steps 1-3 for the bottom of your print. Tie twine on the top scroll to hang!
Cost-effective wall art - What are you waiting for?
I absolutely love these prints. Heather took both photographs, duh. They make the space feel so home-y.

If you've been thinking about decorating with engineering prints - do it. It's quick, the impact is big,  & it's totally affordable. What are you waiting for? Tell those big scary walls who's boss.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. One of these days we'll get around to photographing our living room as a whole, but in the meantime, here are the curtains we made & hung in the windows.

Affiliate links are used in this post. Staples is not affiliated in any way - just wanted to let you know where I got these bomb prints done!

March 25, 2016

life | links

Jammin' at MilkJam - Ice Cream & Donut Sandwiches
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Today I caught a passing glimpse at myself in the mirror, & it made me stop & go, "Oh my god!" I'm wearing my hair straight today, which was just enough to make me realize I look just like my mom. My mom's a great lady, so I don't mind at all. It was just so there all of a sudden - it cracked me up. Isn't it funny how we all end up like our parents?
This week's links:
xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Speaking of my mom, here's a flashback to some tables I refinished for her.

Non-sponsored affiliate links are used in this post.

March 23, 2016

five years

How to survive & thrive in a long-term relationship
Five years ago I was standing in Heather's kitchen, making a life-changing decision. It didn't feel like it at the time. The heavens didn't part. There were no trumpets. There wasn't even a soaring flock of doves (there were a lot of squirrels living in her yard, if that counts for anything). Heather was asking me, in short, to "go steady." I said yes. I'm so happy I said yes.

For the past five years I have been growing, changing, & “adult-ing” in ways I never thought I'd be capable of. Heather & I officially crossed the big five-year mark this past week. I’m still feeling the reverberations from reaching that milestone. Because the past half-decade has been all about communication & honesty, I'm going to be honest here with you, my favorite readers. 

These five years have taught me invaluable things about myself & what it actually takes to maintain a  long-term relationship. Newsflash: it’s not a walk in the park. It’s a lot of work to make it work. All of that effort makes it feel worth it, & that work that I've accomplished allows me a sense of strength in myself. I feel like I’m a more complete person after learning to communicate, be open, & adapt to change. I was so awful at doing any of those things before, & now with those skills at hand, I feel like I can do just about anything. 

Communication is the big one. I know I’m not alone in this (#introvertproblems). Frankly I never thought I’d ever be decent at communication. I’m not a boat-rocker, I don’t like to inconvenience others, & I really hate talking about my “fee-fees.” I had to throw all that aside when I started dating Heather. If I got upset, she wanted answers. If there was a decision to be made, she needed my vote. Communicating openly does not come naturally to me, but the more I shared, the more I felt things were working. Relationship-gurus say it all the time: “Communication is key,” & I’m going to have to agree with them.

Along with learning to communicate came learning to be open. Again, I’m not one to show my soft side. I am a master at shutting those pesky emotions down. Which, as I figured out, is impossible to do without shutting others out as well. It feels incredible to be in a place where I can be open about how I feel with someone else, even if those feelings seem small & silly to me. I hadn’t let my guard down enough to trust someone with the parts of me that are most vulnerable until now (or the goofy side of me if I’m being totally honest). Not being open to the world meant I wasn’t being honest with myself. I didn’t have a good sense of who I was before I entered this relationship, but after having to come to terms with myself I feel totally different. I feel great. It’s been weird getting to know myself. I’m not a pretty person through & through, but I’m definitely not as ugly as I had built myself up to be.

Communicating lead me to being more open about who I am. That trust with Heather meant trusting her on a lot of different fronts. There is always some compromising to do in a relationship, & the longer I’ve been in this relationship the more I know I want to be open to change. Change is great. Change is what got us here to a new city. Change is what put me in this relationship to begin with. As paradoxical as it seems, being open to change in a relationship allows me to feel more independent on my own. I feel more like myself because I've learned to adapt. Who knew?

I never thought I'd end up here, both happy with someone else & happy with being myself. While I don't believe in love at first sight, I do believe in a love that grows sight after sight. I believe in a love that builds up over time, that grows strong & intertwined, that bends in the breeze but doesn't break. I know I have that. I'm so happy I have that. Gah. 
Happy Five Year Anniversary
xoxo, 
-m.e.

March 21, 2016

mint chutney

Simple mint chutney recipe for mild mouths
I'll be the first to admit that I don't really like to cook. I'll bake all day 'till the cows come home, but cooking? Eh - I could take or leave it. I like cooking when I'm done cooking & have something delicious to devour. In spite of my general blasé attitude towards the kitchen, I keep finding myself back in there. Maybe it's the Top Chef marathon Heather & I are currently in the middle of (Hulu, god bless you). It could be the new adult-like meal planning we're doing (two weeks of meal planning in advance, guys. TWO WEEKS. I feel so grown up). Whatever it is that has me wanting to make n' bake, I'm trying new things in the kitchen. Like this mint chutney!

We eat a ton of Indian food, which does pose problems for two girls who don't like spicy. Issue resolved, this chutney is mild & magnificently flavorful.
Classic mint chutney dipping sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 2/3 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
Directions
  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for the water.
  • Blend until the mixture turns into a paste, & add water as necessary to thin to desired consistency.
  • Store in the fridge when not in use.
What can you eat with mint chutney? Basically anything. It's flavor is really bright & fresh, & it goes great with about any Indian dish. Mint chutney with samosas is the favorite around our house.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Why do I love baking? Because all the desserts are there.

March 18, 2016

life | links

Sweater on brick! Thumbs up!
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Hey y'all. This week has kicked my butt. Daylight Savings can suck it. This backwards weather can go back where it came from. Frankly the only thing I'm a fan of right now is my bed, my girlfriend, & coffee. Lots of coffee. Do you ever have a week like that? A week that's just "ew?" Yeah. It's been real, but I'm totally "bye Felicia-ing" this one.

I don't want to be totally negative about this week, because something really great did happen. This past Monday was our five year anniversary (!!). I'm still freaking out a little bit. Not that it's scary - if anything, it's the opposite of scary. More so that it's just unbelievable & I feel so lucky that Heather has stuck around. I'm so lucky. Seriously you guys. I'm still giddy about it.

This week's links:

xoxo,
-m.e.

March 14, 2016

simple clutch

How to make a simple & practical clutch
Oh simple clutch, I love you. Mainly because you were, as the name implies, simple to make. You are also simple in style, which is a plus because I'm really bad a fashion. But more so I love you because I didn't have to go buy any materials to make you (cha-ching). I'm trying to be mindful of my ever-growing stash of fabric, but it's difficult to find projects that use up extra scraps & don't require a bunch of yardage. This clutch, however, totally fits that bill (& I got to use more of this fabric that I'm still totally smitten with). Wham bam done - I may need to make a few of these.
Easy-breezy clutch tutorial
What you'll need to make a clutch:
  • A rectangular piece of vinyl, pleather, etc. for outer fabric
  • A matching rectangle of lining fabric, like cotton
  • Sewing machine & notions
  • A zipper as long as the shortest side of the fabric
  • Ribbon, cording, or extra fabric for strap
DIY it! How to make a convenient clutch
[Before you start sewing with vinyl, read this tip! It will make your life 10x less stressful.]
  1. Start by sewing your liner & outer fabrics together, wrong side out. Sew on three sides, leaving one of the shorter sides open. Turn fabrics right-side out. Then pin one side of your zipper to the narrowest side of the fabric, & sew in place.
  2. Fold the other narrow end up, then pin & sew the other half of the zipper in place (it helps to unzip the zipper at this point).
  3. Stitch up both sides of the bag, making sure both ends of the zipper end up inside the bag.
  4. Tie a strap through your zipper! I used a small piece of leftover vinyl that I simply folded in thirds & stitched up the middle of. 

DIY clutch tutorial
xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. I'm just now realizing this clutch is a giant version of this coin purse! Basically.

March 11, 2016

life | links

Missing the Minnesota winter.
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Minneapolis so does not look like this picture anymore. Spring has sprung, I think. It's so warm out, & everything is wet since all the snow has melted. I'm trying to be excited about the change of the season since it really is gorgeous outside (lots of walks with the pup!), but I'm kind of missing the winter. It felt really, really short, & we definitely got gypped on snow. Everyone's been telling me not to get too comfortable yet - apparently this happens every year & then some time around the end of March there's a last-minute snow storm. So fingers crossed for that!

This week's links:
xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Seasonally-appropriate iPhone wallpapers for you to download!

March 9, 2016

st. patrick's day iphone wallpapers

St. Patty's Day iPhone Wallpapers (download!)
I don't know much about Saint Patrick, his day, or why we celebrate. Neither does Heather, who actually is Irish. What I do know is that I don't much care for green beer or creepy-looking leprechauns. I do, however, enjoy reasons to drink good beer, & I like four-leaf clovers (even though after a bit of googling it turns out that St. Patrick was originally associated with the less fascinating three-leaf clover). I'm curious to see how my new city celebrates St. Patty's Day - my old college-town partied shamelessly (so much green beer, so many mistakes). Anyway, the holiday is right around the corner, so party safe!
To use these wallpapers, get on your phone & click the wallpaper or 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! 


xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. It's almost Easter, time to start thinking about decorating eggs!

March 7, 2016

vegan chicken salad

Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich
Lunch is the most forgettable meal for me. I don't really shop for it, other than grabbing a handful of frozen burritos once a week. Because I don't plan for it, I don't look forward to it (lets be honest, it's hard to look forward to frozen burritos). In trying to switch things up, I recreated an old favorite of mine & Heather's. We used to buy vegan "chicken" salad all the time at the co-op where we worked together. It's a treat that I've been missing, & turns out it's pretty simple to make. It's not necessarily healthy, but it's pretty dang delicious.
Quick & easy "chicken" salad recipe
Ingredients 

Directions
  • Combine shredded carrot, chopped scallions, & cut seitan in a bowl (even better, a bowl with a lid for storing the salad later!). Add veganaise, relish, mustard, salt, & pepper. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store in refrigerator. 
Vegan "Chicken" Salad recipe
I like to eat my vegan chicken salad (or VCS, as the cool kids say) on bread like a sandwich, but its also good on its own! Even though I'm not a vegan, this is one of those recipes that everyone loves, regardless of whether they eat meat or not.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Try this gingerbread apple pie - with a vegan-friendly alternative!

Non-sponsored affiliate links are used in this post.

March 4, 2016

life | links

Life | Links: Adventures at Boom Island Life | Links: Coffee @ Spyhouse
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Yay weekend! Any fun plans? It's mostly house-keeping things on our end, but its still nice to kind of restart & refresh, even if it just means restocking the pantry at the grocery store. Happy Friday, guys!

This weeks links:
xoxo,
-m.e.

March 2, 2016

follow these | instagram

Instagram accounts to follow
Hello, Instagram lovers (& other readers who should get on Instagram because it's the best social media platform like ever)! Today I'm sharing a couple of accounts that I love. Pretty people, pretty photos, pretty funny. From left to right:

1. @thedaintysquid | precious photos, even more precious kitty
2. @officegoth | color, sass, style
3. @finelittleday | gorgeous patterns, lots of cats on tables
4. @kittenhoods | beautiful berlin life
5. @aclotheshorse | her hair, ohmigod
6. @mollyyeh | my favorite food blogger
7. @jengotch | founder of bando, funniest c.e.o. ever
8. @wecanmakeanything | (that's us, duh)

xoxo, 
-m.e.

P.S. Are you guys surviving the winter okay?
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