Friday, September 28, 2012

Etched Shot Glasses

Happy Crafty Friday!
I loved making my father his etched beer mug (found here) for Father’s Day so much, and I wanted to etch more.  I have made a dear friend of ours a beer mug, and I have now etched 36 shot glasses.  I sound like I have an alcohol problem, but don’t fear, none of these are for me to keep! 

My mother is soon to wed and I wanted to help throw her and her fiancĂ© a party the night before the wedding.  The theme:  “Liquor and Lace”.  A Liquor and Lace party may sound ‘skeezy’, but I promise you I am making this one fun and still classy!  To correlate with the theme of Liquor, I crafted each guest a 2oz. shot glass with the word ‘Love’ and a heart etched into it.
This process was simple. 
Pick out the Cricut pattern I wanted to use, cut that in vinyl, and place that over the shot glass.  (I first did this on scrap paper to get my sizes appropriate).
Once the vinyl is placed in the right position, slather on the etching cream (found at hobby stores).
I waited 2 minutes and then brushed off the excess etching cream.
Rinse.  Note:  Next time I will be doing this with my outside garden hose, not my sink, as I do not know what etching cream can do to the pipes.
Let Dry, and Enjoy!
Have a great weekend and let me know if you try etching something yourself!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Workout Wednesday with a Happy Hour Routine

Happy Workout Wednesday!

Today I challenge you to get moving once every hour and do 20 lunges and/or 20 push-ups each hour! I am going to do that through my work day. I will be working 10 hours today and doing both the lunges and push-ups. That means that I will have done 200 lunges and 200 push-ups by the end of my workday. That's not too bad!

This week has been extremely difficult for me to get into the gym or take time for a workout at home. I didn't work out at all on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Actually, I don't even think I worked out for an entire week!  That's sometimes normal for me. I don't work out every day. I am not the most consistent person when it comes to hitting the pavement or the gym. I have weeks where I work out every day, then I have weeks where I hardly move. I feel healthy, and that's what's most important to me right now.

I have been busy working 10+ hour days and preparing for this upcoming weekend, but I still managed to get a good workout in yesterday (see it here), and am going to take the hour challenge to do 20 push ups and 20 lunges every hour!
Getting a workout into your schedule may seem daunting when you are busy, but I promise you can take a few minutes every hour during your work day to fit in some exercise! It will keep your mind and body motivated throughout the day.

Are you taking the happy hour challenge?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When Does a Dreamer Become a Doer?

I am truly blessed.  I laughed, smiled and shared so much joy with 400 other 'Quitters' at Jon Acuff's Quitter Conference this past weekend in Nashville, TN. 
I am going to be completely honest with you, I went to the Quitter Conference because of my love for everything Dave Ramsey.  Jon Acuff joined the Dave Ramsey Team in 2010.  I had heard of him from the radio show, but hadn't listened enough to his story.  I am now engulfed in his story and his passion to help people find & pursue their passions!  He's helping turn dreamers into doers!

He signed my book (above) and we also were in that awkward friend side hug for 30 seconds because my phone camera wasn't cooperating.  I wanted to have something clever to say, but for fear of taking a bad picture, I just kept smiling:
I felt like these characters that displayed on the screen at the start of the conference when we were meeting people seated around us:
The two day event introduced me to people who are really making a difference in this world. Some of these people who pulled the most at my heart strings are:
  • Al Andrews, founder of the Improbable Philanthropy.  Al was a typical guy with a vision to turn a poem he once wrote into the source of funding for a philanthropy.  He just wanted to be a philanthropist, but didn't have the cash to do so.  With the money he has made from his children's book,"The Boy, The Kite, & The Wind, nutrition and medical assistance has been provided to children in need  Also, the proceeds have also gone towards fixing a utility elevator at Thistle Farms, supportive workplace where women who have struggled with addiction, prostitution & life on the streets acquire the skills to earn a living for themselves and their families.  I learned from him to never forget to dream.  A four year old sees a towel and a tube of wrapping paper as a cape and light saber, we shouldn't forget that, and "...the memory of the wind is stronger than the memory of the kite." 
  • Laura Wilson, the CEO and Artistic Director of Strings for Hope.  Laura was shocked to find that right down the road from her, one of her child's friends was only able to eat twice a day.  She realized she could do something about hunger when she saw broken guitar strings being thrown away.  Her and other designers upcycle used guitar strings to make jewelry sold at craft shows and music festivals.  All of the proceeds go towards curing hunger.  You will hear me talking more about this cause in the future as I am going to be trying my skills in designing some of the jewelry!
  • Jon Acuff, the man behind the conference.  He has opened my eyes to the possibilities of the future.  Without him, there would be no conference, and in my live there would still be dreaming, and no doing.

I am a dreamer sculpting the path I need so I may become a doer.  I have two dreams for which I am laying down stepping stones. 
  1. One of them I think I can accomplish by the end of this year is to open an Etsy shop.  I have had the desire to open a shop, and now I am almost ready to bring my designs to you!
  2. My second dream is one I would like to start next year.  I still have a lot of learning to do and people I need to bring onto my support team, but it's in an industry I have wanted to be a part of since 2008, the pet care industry. 
I can't wait to share my dreams with you and allow you to travel this path with me as I take the steps into pursuing these passions!

What are your dreams and how are you becoming a doer?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The First Menu Monday

This is the start of Menu Monday where I will be sharing with you the meals I plan on preparing for my husband and myself this week.  We normally plan about 4 meals for the work week, and we almost always make leftovers to enjoy on the 5th day or to take to work.  This week's menu will only consist of TWO meals prepared by me.  I know that's not much, but we only have 3 days we will be home this week.  We will be spending time with my mother and her fiancĂ© as they are going to be getting married!
(See the post on the cute invites we made her here)
Monday & Wednesday - Chicken Spectacular 
  • 4 Cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 box long grain wild rice, cooked
  • 1 can French style green beans, juice included
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 small can of pimentos
  • 1 medium diced onion 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a 13x9" pan. Cook 20-30 minutes.

before baking/stirring
after baking
Yes, it's that simple, and that yummy! If you have any suggestions on how to cut out the cream of soups, let me know and I would be interested in trying! I have considered switching the cream of chicken soup out with my favorite, neufenchel cheese, but that's probably not healthier either!
Tuesday - Salmon, sweet potato, and asparagus.
The original post on parmesan asparagus can be found here in my blog. I will post about how I cook the salmon the day I make it since I haven't decided yet on how I want to cook the meal.
Thursday - some sort of airport food!
Friday - Italian food by one of my mom's friends who owns an amazing Italian Restaurant in Miami, FL.

The Start of Something New

This week begins the start of new, more structured style at Lively Happenings.  I am going to being a routine of sorts on the blog by making 3 days out of the week more meaningful to you, my friends and readers.  During the 5 day work week, I am committing to you 3 posts:

  • Menu Monday
  • Workout Wednesday
  • Creativity Friday.

Menu Monday
As I have been doing in the past with Weekly Menu Wrap-Ups, I am going to post this week's menu plan for you.  I will occasionally update this post throughout the week with pictures or tips on cooking.  I will be posting recipes, tips, and links back to original posts for the meals I create.

Workout Wednesday
I love working out.  I have shared many of my favorites with you in the past and will continue to update you with any new routines or workouts.  I am going to give you tips on keeping your body safe while exercising as well as maintaining a healthy mind and soul.

Creativity Friday
The weekend will be here before you know it, and that means you have time to relax and try something new.  Creativity Friday will consist of crafts I am attempting, have completed, or have seen that intrigue me.  Although, crafts aren't the only topics on Creativity Friday, I will also be highlighting on topics that excite me about life by sharing with you my personal dreams & ambitions. 

What about the other days?
I did not forget about Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  Those days are significant too and I will post other items such as significant events and ideas that are on my mind, but these are my 'free' days for which I don't yet plan to designate a specific topic.  As is my life, this blog is a constant work in progress.  It will never be perfect, but it will always be truthful and deliberate.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Swirl Dipped Nails

Last night, I decided to try a nail polish technique I saw floating around on Pinterest.  It’s called Tie Dye Nails and the original post can be found here.
I didn’t want to go too crazy since I have a conference later today, but I still wanted to have fun with my nails.  Thus, I opted to go with pink, coral, and gold nail polish.  Not quite the 'tie-dye' effect, but rather a swirl of pretty colors!

I followed almost every step of the tutorial as is except I did not change out the container with my polish in between each nail, rather I changed out the polish/water mix in between each hand.  I found I had more than enough polish to do all 5 fingers decently this way.  I also used a base coat and top coat.  The top coat is Essie Good to Go and it will dry your nails almost instantly!  I am OBSESSED with Essie Good to Go!
Base coat and taped fingers (yes, that’s painters tape)

Drops of nail polish

Nail polish swirled (I used a kabob stick as I didn’t have a toothpick)

Fingers dipped

Top coat of Essie’s Good To Go put on and drying

Tape removed

Q-tips used to clean around the nails
Beauty! ...?
So is it epic, or an epic fail?  What nail polish techniques from Pinterest have you tried?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stuffed French Toast Breakfast Sandwich

Warmed, sweet, delicious, melty fruit filled French toast breakfast sandwich!

This Stuffed French Toast Breakfast Sandwich has become a favorite at our house!  It is something I can whip up in minutes, serve fresh, and eat within seconds!
The ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy!
Ingredients (to make one)

1 egg
Splash of milk
2 slices bread
1 T butter
1/3 c fresh fruit, cut
Cinnamon Cream Cheese:
1.5 T Neufchatel or Cream Cheese
1 t Cinnamon
½ t sugar
1.       Warm pan on medium heat. 

2.       In sandwich sized Tupperware mix egg and milk.  Dip bread.

3.       Melt ¼ T butter in the pan and place one slice of egg covered bread in pan, flip and cook as you would with French toast.  Do the same with your second slice and another ¼ T butter.

4.       Mix your cheese, cinnamon and sugar in a small container.  Spread mix onto both pieces of your French toast.  Put your fruit on one piece of the French Toast and put your other piece on top.

5.       Melt ½ T of butter in pan and place your sandwich in pan, flipping after 30-55 seconds (pending on how ‘crisp’ you want your breakfast sandwich.

6.       Cut and Enjoy!
It’s so delicious, you might want more than one!

What’s your favorite ‘special’ breakfast treat?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jewelry Making: Just a Hobby or a Form of Income?

I spent time this past weekend reading, enjoying a hike in the cool air that comes with fall, and making a lot of jewelry. I have been making earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets since I was a young girl. It started off with the big beads you get to play with at summer camps, then making leather bracelets at 4-H, earrings for my friends at Christmas, and now and entire shelf in my in shelf craft armoire is dedicated to this hobby.

A few weeks before our trip out to Jackson Hole, WY to Climb the Grand Teton, I made myself a simple little necklace. I can't remember where the idea came from to bead a variety of turquoise, onyx, and pearls and then attach the leather strand, but it just seemed right as I started to create. I wore this necklace on our flight and was complimented multiple times. Complete strangers asking me where I bought my necklace meant that I had done something right.

My friend had a birthday coming up and I wanted to make her something. I decided I would go off the same style of necklace I made myself, but in different color combinations. Again I used onyx & pearls, but added metallic tones with seed beads and gold plated beads. I talk to her weekly, and each time I do, she says I wore my necklace to _______ (insert place: school, the doctor, dinner...) and was asked where I got my jewelry. It's such a compliment! When I made her necklace my husband and I both agreed it was prettier than my turquoise one, so I knew I wanted to make one for myself as well. This past weekend, I finally did just that, and I even made matching earrings!

My final jewelry project this weekend wasn't fully my own design. I had bought a $60 necklace from boutique in Murfreesboro to benefit a friend who was going through a lot of struggles. She had a very bad car accident that left her in a back brace for months and shortly thereafter, her house burned down. It was tragic, but she kept it together so well! I wouldn't normally spend that kind of money on something for myself, but decided it was beneficial for not just me, but the money would go straight to my friend and her family. I went out with friends one night and wore my necklace. When I came home our dog, Walden, jumped on me and the necklace was snagged in his paw. It burst into about 15 different pieces. I was devastated as I looked at my new favorite necklace that was now demolished.

This weekend, I decided to reclaim that piece. I made a few changes to it so that I could not only make the necklace again, but could also make earrings. I think I actually like my end result better than what I had before.

I am sure you have a pastime that could fill your entire day or weekend. Jewelry making is just one of mine. What if you could make this more than a pastime? I have considered opening an etsy shop to sell some of my designs, but have never been ballsy enough to try.

At the end of this week, I am going to a onference by Jon Acuff.  It's called the Quitter Conference.  It's not about being a quitter and dropping everything to go after your 'passions', rather it's about making your passions work with the life you have now.  How can I fit my passion of jewelry making into my 40 hour work week and maybe even make profit from said passion?  That's something I am hoping to gain this coming Friday & Saturday at the Quitter Conference.

Have you found profit from a pastime or hobby?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Handmade Wedding Invites

I am very excited to share with you some fun DIY wedding invites!  My friend and I put together my mother's wedding invites.  She invited 75 guests and the entire invite, with envelope, stamp, and cute stringed hearts, cost us less than $160!

My friend is a very creative artist and I could not have done all of this without her support!  She hand drew portions of the invites while I decided on the wording, style, and intricate details that would put them all together. 

This was our final creation:
The font used was Tempus Sans

My mother & her fiance's wedding is in Disney's Epcot (SO cool, I know!) and we are calling it her 'pop-up' wedding.  There aren't going to be tons of guests, and as long as we don't make a 'scene', the park said they didn't care...I will let you know if we get in 'trouble' with Disney the day of ;)  I REALLY don't think I could handle getting kicked out of a Disney Park!

The twine from Divine Twine in Brown Sugar and the teal and coral cutout hearts (made on the Cricut) really pulled the invite together to make it extra sweet!

 Epcot is internationally themed, so we did our own take by making these invites the guests' 'Passports Around the World'.  What started off as a simple hot air balloon grew into an intimate image of the Bride and Groom floating whimsically around on their special day.

The guests also received a map of the day's festivities which was creatively drawn by my friend.  The wedding clock/map highlights the main festivities we will be enjoying the day of the wedding.

I got some really pretty envelopes from Paper Presentation (ordered online) and cute stamps.  At first we were going to go with airmail colors, but opted for the teal and coral instead, thus changing our twine choice

**For privacy sake, I have taken out personal information as well as changed the date of the event :)  so friends who are attending, do not be alarmed!

Make Your Own Invites Step-By-Step
  1. First, pick your envelope, that will help you determine the size of your invite
  2. Create the wording
  3. Pick a theme
  4. Pick a font
  5. Design your invite either with Microsoft Word or with a combination of your artistic abilities and Word
  6. Double, triple, quadruple check your invite details
  7. Save your finished design in a PDF file
  8. Find a local print shop (normally the smaller the mom and pop shop, the better the deals)
  9. Pick your paper at the print shop, ask for discontinued paper or discounted paper
  10. Have the printers print one copy for you to look over
  11. Finalize and have all remaining copies printed
  12. Add a cute detail like twine and hearts
  13. Mail!
Our Cost Breakdown
Product Amount Description
Paper Presentation  $        27.34 75 Envelopes from 
PayPal TwineTape  $         16.45 Brown sugar twine
Stamps  $        36.00 Stamps
Pen  $           2.99 Caligraphy Pen to address
Paper for Hearts  $          4.14 Coral & Team from Hobby Lobby
Invites  $         72.69 Invites Printed (ImageMatters in Knoxville)
TOTAL  $       159.61  

I hope you find yourself being creative in ways that might save you money by doing it yourself!
What's something you have created for your own, a friend's, or a family member's wedding?

Friday, September 7, 2012

September Workouts

September 1-8th
  • 1st, Saturday: Hiking for about 2 hours.  Covered 4-5 miles :) it was really fun!
  • 2nd, Sunday:  Triceps, biceps, and abs with Neal.  This was a killer.  We only did 5 different moves, but did each 5 times.  Increasing the weights or resistance.  First we did Bicep Cable Curls superseted with Overhead Cable Extensions.  Each move 5 times:  40 reps, 30 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps, & 10 reps again, increasing the weight/resistance as we went.  Then we did Barbell Curls superseted with Skull Crushers.  Each move 5 times:  10 reps, 10 reps, 20 reps, 30 reps, 40 reps.  decreasing the weight each time.  We finished with Hanging Leg Raises and did 5 sets each time until failure.  Let me tell you now, this was an AMAZING workout.  I was happy, rejuvenated, tired, and sore (a few days) afterward.
  • 3rd, Monday:  off
  • 4th, Tuesday:  P90X yoga
  • 5th, Wednesday:  2 walks with the dogs, one in the morning and one in the evening
  • 6th, Thursday:  off
  • 7th, Friday:  30 plyo lunges on the hour while I worked I worked 10 hours, so I did 300 lunges!
  • 8th, Saturday:  Off! (Unless you count walking in heels all day for a bachelorette party!)
September 9-15th
  • 9th, Sunday:  25 Minute run followed by 2 sets of my powerhouse supersets of weighted side arm balance (12 each side), kettelbell squats (20), and tornado abs (kinda like when you are doing leg lifts only you don't move your legs up in down, you move them in a circular movement slowly up and slowly down - did them 2 times).
  • 10th, Monday:  Off
  • 11th, Tuesday:  Just a dog walk :)
  • 12th, Wednesday:  Push mowed part of the yard (40 mins)
  • 13th, Thursday:  Turbo Jam! Kick, Punch & Crunch workout followed by a dog walk!
  • 14th, Friday:  Off
  • 15th, Saturday:  6ish mile hike with Meetup Group Lincoln State Park
September 16-22nd
  • 16th, Sunday:  Leg day! Supersets of Squats and Calf Raises (50 reps Squats, 40 Reps Calf Raises - then minus 10 and up the weight.  After 10 reps of both, you go back up the number and lessen the weights).  Finished off with 5 sets of decline sit ups.  See the workout here
  • 17th, Monday:  Off
  • 18th, Tuesday:  Tone it Up Fine Toning Arms found here.
  • 19th, Wednesday: off
  • 20th, Thursday:  off
  • 21st, Friday:  off
  • 22nd, Saturday:  off
September 23-29th
  • 23, Sunday:  off
  • 24, Monday:  off
  • 25, Tuesday:  Kris Gethin, chest and back workout.  See the original video here

Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5
Superset 1 Incline Dumbell Press 30 reps
15 lbs
20 reps
15 lbs
10 reps
20 lbs
5 reps
35 lbs
5 reps
40 lbs
Bent over Lat Row 30 reps
15 lbs
20 reps
15 lbs
10 reps
20 lbs
5 reps
25 lbs
5 reps
30 lbs
Superset 2 Flat Bench Dumbell Press 5 reps
40 lbs
10 reps
35 lbs
13 reps
35 lbs
20 reps
25 lbs
35 reps
20 lbs
Bent over Trap Row 5 reps
25 lbs
6 reps
35 lbs
10 reps
35 lbs
20 reps
20 lbs
30 reps
15 lbs
*note in my flat bench dumbell press after I started I realized that I didn't have high enough weights, so I did more reps 

    Kris Gethin has a DTP Program. I have not done the DTP program, my husband and his friend are doing it, but I have done a few of the workouts and I must say they are amazing. Kris' program combines higher reps with lighter weights and lower reps with higher weights. He does a pyramid, going either from high reps to the low rep on two superset moves. Then he typically goes in the opposite, lower reps to higher reps with two other superseted moves. Each combination, the first super set and the second superset, are done 5 times through (at least on the workouts I have attempted). This workout allows me to get in a mass amount of strength training in very little time. He posts a different video for every day of the program, and it's all FREE!

  • 26, Wednesday: Happy hour routine found HERE
  • 27, Thursday:  off
  • 28, Friday:  Another pyramid workout by Kris Gethin for biceps and triceps

  Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5
Superset 1 Bicep Cable Curls 30 reps 20 reps 10 reps 5 reps 5 reps
12.5 lbs 15 lbs 20 lbs 25 lbs 32.5 lbs
Over head triceps extensions on Cable Machine 30 reps 20 reps 10 reps 5 reps 5 reps
12.5 lbs 15 lbs 20 lbs 25 lbs 32.5 lbs
Superset 2 Dumbbell Curls 5 reps 10 reps 20 reps 30 reps n/a
20 lbs 15 lbs 15 lbs 10 lbs  
Bent over triceps extensions 5 reps 10 reps 20 reps 30 reps n/a
20 lbs 15 lbs 15 lbs 10 lbs  

  • 29th, Saturday:  Does walking around Epcot for about 10 hours count?  I think so!