Creativity and Organization

Jordy’s Cactus-Themed Bridal Shower

My sister Janci is going to be the maid of honor in her best friend Jordy’s wedding, and last weekend she hosted a bridal shower for her. Janci and Jordy have been best friends for as long as I can remember (and they are almost 4 years younger than me), and on top of that, Jordy is marrying Patrick, whom they were also best friends with in high school. Jordy and Patrick are both so genuinely kind and fun, and I am so happy for them!

Jordy and Janci

I love designing invitations and it had been a while since I’ve had a creative project that wasn’t work related, so I was pumped when my sister asked me if I could help out. They chose a cactus theme and I had so much fun trying out different ideas. I downloaded the free original vector images here and then of course made some adjustments to the colors and structure to get the look I wanted.

Graphics Provided by Vecteezy

The shower was a brunch in my parents yard and they had a waffle bar!

The day was pretty busy (they had to account from some rain), but my sister did snag a few pictures for me to share. She did a wonderful job pulling it all together!

Jordy with her mom and mother-in-law to be. Both families are also family friends of ours. Both of Jordy’s parents are teachers that I had in school and Patrick’s parents are really involved in our county fair.

**********

I am pretty bummed that I won’t be able to make it home in September for the wedding. I love that as adults, your sibling’s friends can become your friends too 🙂 Thanks Jordy, for letting me share this on the blog! And congratulations to you and Patrick!

Jordy and I a few years ago celebrating her and Janci’s 21st birthday’s in Vegas!

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 20

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

These “So There’s That” posts really have become my favorite thing to blog and are essentially the core of what I share on here. I love that it allows me to properly journal what is going on in my life in a straightforward way and also share what’s making me laugh and influencing my life at the moment in various ways. Unfortunately, I went a little too long without posting one again… the goal is at least every 3 to 4 weeks. So I apologize if this post is a tad long, I’ve been busy since my last series post in mid-December!

**********

DIY New Patio Furniture

To know me is to know how much I hate the winter and being cold, and how much I LOVE sunshine and being outside. My family has always been all about creating spaces outside that are perfect for comfy evenings (or mornings) spent enjoying the weather and good company. All through college and afterward when I lived in Manhattan for 2 years I always had a porch/patio/balcony that allowed me to create that, but my first place in DC didn’t. I moved to my current place almost a year ago now, but by the time I found some extra time last summer it was almost too late to worry about furnishing my new balcony.

So fast forward to this spring, which I have been impatiently waiting for so I could tackle this right away. I did a lot of looking around to determine what I wanted to buy but finally decided that I wanted to go the difficult direction and make a project out of it.

This below was my inspiration from Pinterest. (Original link here.)

I used (14) 8x8x16 cinder blocks and (6) 4×4’s cut to 5.5 feet.

It was actually pretty easy to put all together. It was the loading onto the store cart, then into my car and then 9 trips from my parking garage and up into my condo (I did use a cart for the blocks) that really did me in. Eventually I will take it back apart to stain and seal the wood, and I might end up using nail glue on the top upright blocks.

I splurged a bit too much on the decorative pillows, but I couldn’t help it. Once I saw the crab pillow it all came together quickly! I do need to get rid of an extra coffee and end table set that I was stashing out on the balcony, but once those are gone I will do some planning for small table/rest of some sort and possibly some other decor and something to hold my plants that are currently inside on my window sill.

Soul Sisters

img_1288

I originally shared this picture a few months ago on Instagram, but I wanted to bring it back around because really, how cute and PERFECT are these mugs! They come as a set (obviously) and I gave Megan hers for Christmas. You can find them on Etsy from “The Sister Studio.” I love so many of her items!

FAIL

img_1241

This picture is also a few months old… You see I am always building on these posts so that they are supposed to be easier to pull together and edit once I’m ready to publish. Anyway, I couldn’t not share this photo. That drive way leads into my old apartment complex and I still can’t believe that a bus driver thought it could manage it.

Travel Journal

The biggest thing that has happened in 2017 so far is this little adventure I went on in February and have been busy posting just a few posts about….

Travel Journal: USW South Asia Board Team to Thailand and the Philippines

Travel Journal: Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Jim Thompson House in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Thai Cooking Class and Elephant Rides in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Koh Hong Island Excursion

Travel Journal: Karon Beach Sunset in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Candid in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand

Sister Act

These are all photos and videos with Jancz during my visit home in December. We love to send silly Snapchats back and forth to each other using the selfie filters, but doing them together ended up being really funny… well at least to us.

The Giving Keys

This is my original post from Facebook:

“I spent yesterday afternoon enjoying the DC weather in Georgetown and we stopped for some food and to watch the end of the Masters. A family of four walks up and asks if they can share the other two seats at our high top. Later as they are getting ready to leave the 8 (?) year old girl turns and hands me this necklace and says, “Thank you for being so nice, I want to give you my Giving Key.” Then she explains that you are supposed to wear and embrace your “word” and then pass it along to someone else when you feel ready or when you feel that someone else needs the message more than you. Dear sweet Luchina, thank you for making my day and the little lesson on love. Check out The Giving Keys movement my friends. We certainly need a bit more of this in our lives. #BeTheKey

Happy People

Currently obsessed with this tune. Really in my mind, Little Big Town can do no wrong.

Happy Thursday

Thursday’s are friends, fellowship and impromptu celebratory ice cream cakes.

Administrator of the Year

Back in January my Dad was recognized as Administrator of the Year for the Hermiston School District. I am proud to see him recognized for all of this hard work!

Read HERE —> http://hermiston.k12.or.us/blog/tom-spoo-2016-17-administrator-of-the-year/

Inauguration

Since I moved to the DC area one of the top things on my bucket list was to attend a presidential inauguration and was so thankful that my friend Logan signed us up to get tickets through Senator Moran. I did have a few people question and even shame me for wanting to go. I simply explained to them that 1.) You have no idea who I voted for, nor is it really any of your business to know or make guesses and 2.) I was definitely going to go REGARDLESS of who was being sworn in because I was there to experience a really cool and important part of history.

ANYWAY…
Aside from the 6(ish) hours that we stood in the misty weather, it really was a cool experience.

*Stole this picture from my friend was working the event up close.

Friends Are Part of the Glue

There are a couple of blogs that I read regularly, and one of those is a young teacher in Texas who mostly falls into the “mom blog” category. A while ago she had a friend pass away from cancer and shared this quote that I cut out of her Instagram comment. The quote resonated with me in so many ways that I immediately took a screenshot.

I didn’t want to share her whole personal post, so I sincerely apologize that I am not properly crediting it. You can find her blog here though: http://www.momfessionals.com/

AFA Alumni Spotlight

My best friend has a pretty unique job and I was so proud to see AFA, an organization I love so much, feature her in its spotlight! Go Megan!!

Read HERE —> www.agfuture.org/meganalumni


AFA Policy Institute

Speaking of AFA, the organization brought students to town for National Ag Day and I had the opportunity to join these fellow alumni for some round table discussions with the students about career paths and our own experiences. No matter what the event is, I always leave feeling refreshed and a bit more centered when I surrounded by the people brought together by AFA.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Girls Night Out = Korean BBQ and Karoke

img_1163

capture

img_1229

Snaps from Janci on the family farm are my favorite.

#Bromance

Last minute free tickets to Red Hot Chili Peppers? Why the heck not?!

Watched my Portland Trailblazers while they were in town to play DC. It was a pretty disappointing loss but great company!

My sleepy puppies back in Oregon.

Original caption from Facebook:

“Nicole and I always joke about how we practically have the same life story. Both Northeast Oregon girls with roots in the Oregon FFA Association who went to K-State Ag to study ag comm and had internships in the grain industry. And both of us ended up on the East Coast where I eventually hired her to do freelance work for my organization… which happens to be part of the grain industry. And that doesn’t even cover all of the other interests we have in common. But while we laugh about it when people ask us how we know each other, its actually the perfect example of how important it is to cultivate and invest in meaningful relationships, both personally and professionally, because you never know where that connection might lead you to or how that person might impact your life many years down the road.

On Sunday, we were able to share that together with Agriculture Future of America (AFA) students visiting DC for National Ag Day. We shared that we are better people and better ag communicators because we blend our personal and professional relationship. We support each other’s careers, the successes and DEFINITELY the challenges, but we are able to do that because of our friendship and respect for each other. And as a BONUS, it is just plain fun to have people to continue to share those life experiences, like #AgDay with.

This is year’s theme was “Food for Life” and I choose to think of that in terms of the relationships and my network in the agriculture industry, and how that fuels my life in every way. Without that network of people that makes me want to always strive to be better, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am in a job and industry that I absolutely love.”

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

img_1172

img_1170

14731283_1235416193174026_381418600574763698_n

Gilmore Girls  GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Wesley and Robin

Obviously I was long overdue for an update on my favorite two little kiddos who both celebrated their birthday’s in the last two months.

Robin: At Christmas time wearing her new bow from me!

Robin: A new one year old!

Wesley: Fortunately my trip home over Christmas meant I got to spend lots of time with him!

**********

So, There’s That.

Cheers!

Creativity and Organization

Christmas Crafting

I have never done much for Christmas decorations in my own home so far, and since moving into my new (and very small) apartment this year, finally getting a tree was still out of the question.

I do have a nice windowsill abobe my air unit where I normally display a few picture frames, and it has been way too long since I have had a creative project to work on, so I decided that I would utilize the space for a little decor.

img_1097

When I first moved in, I built a entertainment center/shelving unit out of 2×12’s (I think?) and cinder blocks, and had a few extra pieces left after the boards were cut for length

img_1098

I put two coats of regular acrylic paint on the board and let it dry.

Note to self: Do not try to FaceTime with your sister and work on a painting project, when you do not have the proper space to do the project in the first place. It is a miracle I did not get paint anywhere it was not supposed to be besides my arm.

img_1099

When I went to Michael’s for paint, I saw this flat wooden tree and broke my rule of only going in to get paint… luckily it was not too spendy. While the board dried, I painted this and alternated each row with red and bronze.

img_1101

This was the after photo for step one. I took the smaller brush that I used on the tree and did not clean it out so that there would still be some of the drying, clumpy red paint in it, which seemed to help with the uneven brush strokes. I used a dark grey that I already had and the same bronze paint. After I had made some of the bigger strokes I wiped the brush off and continued to dry brush back and forth over the color that I had just applied,

img_1102
While the board dried again I switched back over to the tree, which was now dry (after two coats) and applied these rhinestone stickers along the seam of each layer. The nice part was that the rhinestones were grouped together in strips, which is great because there is no way that I have the patience to apply each of those individually. I got them in the sticker section at Michael’s.

img_1103
Moving back over to the board, my next step was to take sandpaper to it. I varied the types of strokes I made and the pressure to get the look that I wanted.

img_1109
The final step for the tree was to wrap this garland from Michael’s around it. I tacked it with glue in about four spots to that I could get everything to hang just right. As you can see I could technically hang it on the wall somewhere but it is doing just fine propped up on the windowsill.

img_1108

The final part of the other project was to glue the ornaments to the board. I saw these ornaments at Target a few weeks ago and fell in love, which essentially inspired me to go ahead and do a little decorating. I just took all of their hangers off and used tacky glue to secure them on.

img_1110

And here is the final look! The two little ferns are from Trader Joe’s and Frosty came from my family’s store in Oregon a few years ago.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Amanda

show-and-tell-ig-graphic-2
Link up.

mor

Creativity and Organization

Office DĂ©cor for Spring and Summer

Friends, it is FINALLY spring!

I feel a bit silly saying that considering that we have had spring weather here for two weeks or so now and then had a cold front come through on the actual first of day of spring.
Thank you, Mother Nature.

Anyway, for as much as I loved my winter décor in my office, I have been anxious to finally change it out to bright colors for spring and summer. For a while, I considered splitting the seasons as I did for fall and winter, but these two seasons always running together and considering how much travel I will have over the next few months, it just made more sense.

IMG_3886

See my Fall decorations HERE.
And my Winter decorations HERE.

Fall is my favorite season overall, but my love for flowers, sunshine, summer nights and all things warm weather related knows no end. The first day that it was 70 degrees here, I was so happy, and if my mother didn’t already know that the change of the season make me a little loopy then she probably would have thought I was on something.

Once again, I was happy with how everything came together and turned out. My co-workers are still amused that I put so much effort into this, but I think they are starting to understand that I need my office space to be put together and cheery for me to feel comfortable and productive. And I’ve said it before, but creative projects like this is a therapy outlet for me. Now if only my wallet would feel the same way!

IMG_3888

IMG_3889

IMG_3887

This display sits on top of my bookshelf. The glass terrarium is the same one from Michael’s that I bought for my winter display. I was really struggling with how I could use it again for these seasons until I was actually back at the store in the aisle I had first found it and was reminded of what a terrarium actually is. After picking out the layers to fill it with I ended up planning the rest of the decorations and flowers for the wreath around the rich color scheme. The turquoise chalkboard sign was a find from the $3 dollar bins at the Target and the purple lantern was another random find at Michael’s that was just too cute not to add.

IMG_3890

IMG_3892

This display sits on one corner of my U-shaped desk. The flowers are all silks leftover from the one I used in the burlap wreath. The little tin is actually from my evergreen tree (or branch?) that I bought for my winter décor from Trader Joes. The “fleurs” basket and bottles were on my must-have list when I was planning my decorations out and I found them on a sale at Michaels! I am really excited for the wheat display and plan on keeping that out year-round. The wheat bouquet are just silks from Michaels, but the kernels are from our supplies here at the office and I layered each of the six U.S. wheat classes in the vase.

Happy Spring!

Cheers.

Creativity and Organization

Office Winter DĂ©cor

When I first moved into my own office and decorated for fall (see that post here), I really only did so because fall is my favorite season and I thought the decorations would go well with the burlap wreath I had just made. But then my co-workers asked if I planned on switching it out for each holiday or season, and I suddenly realized I had somewhat unintentionally committed .

I don’t mind though, I mean decorated and doing things like this are kind of in my blood. Plus, when people come off the elevator into our lobby they can see straight into my office so I like that they have something nice to see.

I decided though that planning to change things out for each holiday just wasn’t practical, so for the most part, I have settled on the seasons.

I STILL haven’t finished organizing my shelf or hanging up some of my regular stuff, but winter has officially arrived in my office!

To make my decorations last through February I tried to focus on the winter season instead of just the holidays. For being 25 years old I have a bit of an obsession with the character Olaf from Frozen. I would like to clarify though, that I did not buy him for myself. Last year before Christmas, I kept sending pictures to my Mom of all of the giant stuffed Olaf’s I saw in the store or mentioned on Facebook, and joked that it was too bad that I was WAY too old to have one. So, of course this more practical sized Olaf found his way to my stocking. Anyway, after brainstorming what kind of theme I wanted to go with for my decorations, snowmen, blues and golds just seemed like the perfect fit.

IMG_3273

This display sits on one corner of my U-shaped desk. The table top tree and the couple of snowmen ornaments are actually mine from when I was a kid. (Thanks for sending them Mom!) The ball ornaments that you see here, as well as in the picture below in the terrarium and the wreath are all from Target. The tree skirt is actually a  small table runner from, also from Target. I originally bought the gold sticks as ornaments, but they overwhelmed the little tree so I stole the mason jar that I stash my makeup brushes in at home, and problem solved!

I realize the tree is still more of a Christmas decoration so I’ll have to eventually decide if it is going to come down much sooner than everything else.

IMG_3274

This display sits on top of my bookshelf. The little evergreen “tree” is from Trader Joes (only $4!) and the sign is from Target (only $3!) The glass terrarium is from Michael’s, along with the smaller fillers. After growing up in a flower shop I should have known better than to buy so many things covered in glitter. I guess for some reason I didn’t think these silks would shed as much. But no, they did. MY OFFICE WAS COVERED. It’s a good thing I’m a pro at cleaning it up and that’s not something you typically get fired for.

Cheers.

Creativity and Organization

Office Fall DĂ©cor + Burlap Wreath

I spent the first six months at my new job sharing an office with one of my colleagues.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually didn’t mind that much and in many ways, since she had only started 4 months ahead of me, it was a great way to learn the job and get to know her.

But a few weeks ago we were able to shuffle around and now I have my own office, and I have to admit, I really missed having my own space. I’m a true believer that creating a space that supports your habits, personality and creativity is important for balance and staying motivated.

I’m not quite done hanging things up and getting my office in order, but the first thing I did was add a few touches of fall dĂ©cor, and I couldn’t wait to share.

IMG_2920

The silks, wooden pumpkin and tin vase are from Michaels and the other pumpkins are all from Target. Everything is new this year. I’m really disappointed that the closest Hobby Lobby is over an hour away from me, but Michaels’ always has things super marked down, which is great because I have trouble staying away.

IMG_2921

This is my other fall display sitting on top of my bookshelf. The pumpkin container I’ve had for a few years from a birthday flower arrangement my parents sent and the small wire pumpkins I found in the $3 bins that sit in the front of the store at Target. The DIY wreath is my favorite though! I have wanted to make one for quite a while now and was planning on it this past winter, until my big move happened.

To make it I used this tutorial:

The tutorial is pretty thorough, but I did have to re-watch a couple of times and re-did my first section a few times before I got the pattern of it down. The video said to use wire to first attach the burlap and that is what I had planned on using…until I forgot it in the shopping cart at the store. Even though I was going back the next day, I was impatient to get started and used safety pins to secure it instead and that seemed to work fine.

IMG_2874

I made mine on a 24-inch frame and used 4, 10-yard rolls of burlap that was 4 inches wide.

IMG_2881

IMG_2904

For decorations I used a fall garland, a few of the small pumpkins from Target and fall silk bouquet. This is also the part where I share, for people who don’t know me, that my family owns a flower shop and home dĂ©cor store, so I have an arsenal of random talents that only result in the constant itch to decorate things and spend way too much at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I will say though, my school projects growing up were always pretty awesome because I essentially lived in a craft store and have a LOT of really creative people in my family.

IMG_2906

I wanted everything to be attached to the wreath with wire because I want to option of changing the décor out with the season. So for the pumpkins, I hot-glued a few pieces of wire to them.

IMG_2907

One of my friends back in Oregon already has plans for me to make her one when I visit for Christmas and one of my co-workers wants to pay me to make one for his home’s entry way. He then proceeded to make sure that everyone in our office had stopped by my office to see it.

In my family’s group text the conversation went like this:

Grampy: “Where did you buy that?”
Me: “I made it.”
Grampy: “Really? Outstanding… you must have grown up in a flower shop.”
Me: “Yeah, I guess I learned a thing or two.”

Cheers!

**********

fall decor link up

I LOVE looking at other people’s dĂ©cor ideas, so I’m excited to link up with Rachel and Astleigh for their Halloween/Fall dĂ©cor link-up!