Browsing Tag

i did that

DIY Time: (Count Your) Blessings Jar

May 22, 2013

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When I think back on all that God has brought me through and eagerly await all that He is going to do, I can’t help but remember that I’m blessed. Truly blessed. So I thought I’d start my own tradition of writing down all the instances of God’s favor and blessings on my life and stashing them away for safe keeping. On New Year’s Eve, I plan to open them up and count my blessings, if you will. (*Cues Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything”: “Momma always told me, [girl] count yo’ blessins’ (count ’em up!”)*)

This was a simple craft, which I found via a Buzzfeed DIY post. Basically, all I did was write the text on the jar using a dry erase marker first, to get a feel for the spacing and create an error-proof template. I then went over the dry erase marker a few times with a permanent marker. Next, I set my oven to 350 degrees and baked it for 30 minutes. The process permanently etched the words onto the container.

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By the way, I got this jar from The Salvation Army during its 40-percent-off sale. It originally was $5, but I walked out with this nice and sturdy ceramic piece for a measly $2. It had a few nicks, but I think they add character.

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I had some card stock lying around, so I just cut it into eighths and wrote down the myriads ways I’ve been blessed in 2013. I’ll keep adding to the pile a the year progresses. God has been so good!

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Speaking of blessings, this is my 100th post since launching Ashley ♥ Adores in February 2012!! Crazy, huh? To commemorate the occasion, I will be conducting a giveaway. Stay tuned for details, which will be revealed on Friday, May 24. Get excited about life.

Travel Log: The Bay Area, 3/15 – 3/17

March 18, 2013

A piece of my heart resides in the Bay Area. Her name is Yvette, and she’s the best friend a girl could ever ask for.

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I really don’t need an excuse to visit the Bay (I love it that much), but this past weekend we celebrated Yvette’s birthday, and it was nonstop fun from the moment I got off the airplane. Here are a few snapshots from the journey.

DAY ONE:

“Off the Grid” at the Oakland Museum of California. Run, don’t walk. It’s a one-stop wonderland where hipsters, well-dressed toddlers and food truck connoisseurs convene to mingle, converse, eat, dance to live music and explore the exhibits. I couldn’t have asked for better company than Sierra and Yvette (SAY Love Crew).

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Once inside the museum, we ran wild trying all the many interactive features the venue had to offer — my favorite being the “Foley” sound studio, where we provided the sound effects to black-and-white features from the 1940s using various props.

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“Fun” doesn’t even begin to convey how much we enjoyed the museum.

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Speed Dating

August 11, 2012

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Speed dating. I came, I saw, I conquered.

I’ve always wanted to try speed dating but the opportunity never presented itself. So when my church announced it was hosting its first speed dating event, my ears perked up. It’s a great idea: mix and mingle with other like-minded (saved) people, while also enjoying entertainment. As the days drew closer, I began to have second thoughts, but my friends reassured me that I should give it a whirl.

That entire day, my stomach was in knots. I ran into one of my friends in the parking lot, which was great, because we walked in together. It was pretty legit. We had to sign wavers because there were cameras filming, which didn’t do much to assuage my anxiety. But once the rotations began, there was no looking back. It’s like jumping into a pool. You know that the water’s going to be cold, but once you take the first leap of faith, your body will adjust to the water and it’ll be nothing but fun.

Due to the disproportionate ration of women to men, I only got to “date” four guys. Just when I was starting to get the hang of it, I had to get out of the rotation to give some of the other ladies a chance to make their rounds. It was definitely fun while it lasted. No, there weren’t any love connections made that night. However, it was a very memorable experience I’m glad I committed to trying. Yay for breaking out of comfort zones and trying new things!

DIY Time: Upcycled Chairs

March 10, 2012

Once upon a time, a princess was taking her dog on a quick potty break one mild summer evening, when she happened upon three dilapidated wooden chairs strewn in the alley way.

“Fix us, please! We need a new home,” the chairs begged.

But the princess didn’t know if the risk was quite worth it.

“What if someone sees me taking the chairs? I don’t want to be known as a low-brow trash digger. Also, that’s gonna take some effort to lug not one, not two, but three chairs up a flight of stairs,” the bourgeois little lady thought to herself. “Hmmm. Let me marinate on that.”

So she and her little dog went back inside of their cozy castle and got back to their evening of television and junk food. A few moments later, a car passed through the alley way and shined its headlights on the sad, neglected seats. The princess and the chairs locked eyes, but no words were exchanged. For she knew that she had to do the right thing and give those poor, defenseless creatures some TLC.

The following is a step-by-step account of how one man’s trash became a princess’ treasured household fixtures.

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As you can see, the chairs were in pretty bad shape.

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I was grossed out just thinking about all the potential diseases hidden within the cushion. Eeeek!

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After coming dangerously close to having a germaphobic meltdown, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. The first step was to remove the screws holding the cushions up to the wooden frames.

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I then put a thick layer of batting over the cushion, followed by new fabric. A snazzy burnt orange to liven up my dining space.

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Next, I stripped the paint finish from the wooden frames with sandpaper. This was the longest part of the process, as I took a weekend to sand the finish off all three chairs. It requires a whole lot of elbow grease, and I opted to take breaks so as not to over-exert myself.

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Once the chairs were all stripped of the old finish, I applied three coats of a newer finish. Again, this took about two days to ensure that the paint was fully dry before re-affixing the cushions to the chairs.

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Voila! I have three new additions to my dining space.

Lessons learned: Enlist the help of heavy-handed friends and/or loved ones to expedite the paint stripping and sanding process. Also, be sure to spray Scotch-guard or any other fabric protector over the new cushion fabric. The fabric I chose is very absorbent and already has a few water marks.