Conundrum & Co

A few weeks ago the owner of one of the local shops in my town reached out to me! She had read a few of my blog posts about my DIY crafts and she wanted to offer me a job teaching the occasional crafting class!!

She owns a business called Conundrum & Co. She holds Pinterest inspired crafting classes and workshops.  You also can have signs custom made for pickup.  I obviously was thrilled.

This month I have been training and learning how to run the classes.  The plan is to be teaching by October.  If you want to know more about Conundrum & Co check out their Facebook page! It is super cute and so much fun.

You can join us for public classes or you can plan private events. It’s the perfect girls night, birthday party, or group date!

Finally, check out this adorable sign I stained and painted last week for my kitchen! And let me know if you have any questions about how you can make one!!

// Overalls: American Eagle (See similar pair here)


DIY Gold Frames 

I really wanted some gold frames to match the accenting on our ADORABLE target lamp. It was surprisingly hard to find a matching shade of gold though! I didn’t want anything too shiny.  So we decided to try spray painting some IKEA frames we had bought a few years ago.

I put it off for a few weeks because I was extremely nervous about it. I have never spray painted anything before! But eventually we went down to Joanne’s and bought Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Antique Gold. We also picked up some sandpaper.

Michael was the true MVP of this product. He did most of the manual labor. First we opened the frames and took the matting and glass out. Then Michael sanded the frames down. I was worried because I thought they were plastic. It turns out they were wood with just a weird plastic paint on top! Perfect for spray painting after we finished sanding.

We then spread out newspaper and Michael sprayed the frames. (I tried and it ended up a little globby… ) They sat out to dry for literally twenty minutes. Then we put the glass back in, “windex”-ed it and then hung! It took like an hour, and they are perfect! I am so pleased with how they turned out. It was a great way to incorporate more gold into the living room without doing anything drastic.

Special shout out to my super talented husband who pretty much did all the work on this. I  love you!! Also, photos framed are by SwakPhotography.

We Put a Man on the Moon, but we Can’t…

There are some things in life that I just don’t understand. For example, why do paper towel dispensers 80% not work? I know that sounds like a quote on quote, first world problem. But seriously, think about it! When those situations arise I always find myself thinking “we can put man on the moon but we can’t…” followed by the ridiculous issue. (We can put man on the moon, but I can’t get a paper towel out of this plastic black box. You see what I mean?) 
So I have decided that I am going to start writing down the things that prompt those thoughts. In sort of a Jimmy-Fallon-Thank-You-Notes humor, I am going to have a biweekly recap of my “We can put man on the moon, but we can’t….” list. So cheers to my first “but we can’t” list! 

We put a man on a moon, but we can’t …..

  • get good cell phone reception inside of Target?
  • make an insect repellent that actually stops misquotes form biting me? 
  • get decent warning time from the GPS of my next turn? 
  • concoct a face wash that actually deals with my acne? 
  • grow a decent grapefruit year round?

Comment below with any of your “but we can’t” frustrations! Have a happy Friday. 

Chicken Enchilada Casorole 

Growing up one of my favorite meals was when my mom made chicken enchiladas. (I think they were my aunt Amy’s recipe). I decided to try and make them for Michael this weekend! They only take maybe twenty minutes to prepare and thirty to cook. It’s a super easy meal. Here is what you will need: 

  • 12 tortillas 
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 3 cups chicken 
  • 3/4 cup of water 
  • 1 can Ortega green chili peppers, diced (optional) 

First I start with the chicken. (I always make it a point to cut all the fat off.) Next I boil it until no longer pink. Then I separate the chicken into smaller pieces. It should be easy to do if you cooked it right! 

While the chicken is boiling I focus on the sauce. You literally pour the two cans of soup, the sour cream, the water, and about two cups of the cheese into a pan on the stovetop. I whisk it together on low heat. Once it’s warmed and the sauce is smooth I take it off the burner. 

Now you’re ready for the assembly. I take a tortilla and put a layer of chicken, then sauce, then a few sprinkles of cheese down the middle. Next you tuck the top and bottom and roll it like a burrito. You repeat until the pan is full with a nice row of beautiful, stuffed tortillas. Finally you pour the remaining sauce over top and then the last of the cheese. It should go into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes! Seriously so easy. 

 If you want, you can also pour the green chiles I got eh sauce mixture. Or you can opt to spread the drained green chiles over the top before the final cheese layer. That wa you can cater to the picky eaters (like me) by only spreading the chiles over half. (Michael loves them, I don’t). 

I hope y’all enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.

** also there is no final results picture because it smelt so good that we started eating as soon as it got out haha!

Middle State Coffee

Last May I blogged about my time in Boulder, Colorado. It was so much fun! One thing I got to do was go to the Alpine Modern Cafe with Gia. It’s located in Boulder pretty close to the base of some great trails. I didn’t realize it at first but it’s not only a coffee bar, but also an online shop! 

// picture by Gia 

The outside was cute, but the back bar was what grabbed my attention. It was all electric and the equipment was built into the white granite counter. I made a comment to the barista and he actually let me come behind the bar to look at everything. It was so beautiful! The barista was really sweet and I appreciated how friendly he was! 

 I decided to try the house made lemonade… Oh my gosh. Literally to die for. It was so good! I also ended up buying a bag of Kenya coffee to take home to Michael. It’s made by Middle State Coffee. Their website and product is labeled saying “Middle State Coffee is focused and commuted to sourcing, buying, and roasting the best coffee we can find. Beyond that we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We believe coffee is best served with a good sense of humor and a smile.” I love how they started with such a bold statement, but followed it with some humility. I also loved that the label included the elevation it was roasted at.

There were a few options, but I bought a pound of the Ndiaini/Kenya. The description says “Guaua, Juicy, Tart, Green Apple, Complex.” Michael was so thrilled when I gave it to him. However in the move it got forgotten about. We actually just ground the beans up this weekend. Michael reports that it is totally delicious! He loves how dark it is. He also said the flavor is amazing. 

I think it was a total win. I can’t wait to take Michael to that cafe next July! It’s going to be so fun. Totally check out the Alpine Modern Cafe’s Instagram here. And then check out Middle State Coffee’s Instagram here.


Sometimes We Fight

A few days ago I was talking to an acquaintance.  Somehow Michael got brought up and I made a comment about how great he is.  All of the sudden it felt like this acquaintance was on the attack! The acquaintance quickly snapped “well I’m sure everything isn’t as perfect as you make it seem on Facebook.”

That comment really caught me off guard. At first it hurt my feelings, I won’t lie. It felt so out of no where. I thought about it though, and then I felt really bad. I hope that I never mislead people into thinking Michael and I have some perfect relationship. I wish when I was first married that more people had told me that real couples argue. I had one friend who months into marriage swore they had never disagreed on anything yet. For her sake, I honestly hope that is true. However, for me, it would have been exponentially more beneficial to hear that yeah they argued… but then they laughed it off and made up.

When we first got married I panicked every time we fought about anything, no matter how small. I thought “was this a mistake? Did I hear God wrong? Why are we fighting? What am I doing badly?” Literally every (untrue) negative thought raced through my mind, making every situation more stressful mind you. My expectation was utter and complete honeymoon bliss. My expectations were that it would essentially be a sleepover and we would just be so giddy that we were married nothing would bother us. (Obviously I forgot who I am.) So I was so thankful when someone told me that it was normal. It was so freeing when I realized that every second doesn’t have to be filled with a thousand yellow daisies, and candles, and a horse.
I never want my younger sisters (by blood or by love) to be stuck in this small perfect box of what a marriage should be like! I don’t want anyone to feel like their marriage/relationship is less because you sometimes don’t agree. I would absolutely hate for this person to think that I judge her because she fights with her person. Even worse, I would hate for someone to feel like they couldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t relate to disagreeing with the hubs. 
I’m definitely not saying we should be breaking windows, screaming, and threatening. However, I don’t think it’s shameful if you have the occasional disagreement! I just never would want to mislead anyone into thinking that my marriage is perfect because I would hate for someone to be comparing their relationship to such a high, unrealistic standard. 
So I guess this is me, publicly announcing, that Michael and I fight. We argued last month because he shrunk my dress in the dryer. We argued this month because I was upset that he didn’t read my mind and bring home queso. We disagreed about if the cat should be allowed to sit on the counter and watch me cook. We debated over if we should put matting in the frames I hung in the living room. We bicker. We tease. Sometimes I even throw crackers at him. And you know what else? I’m grateful for it.
I’m grateful that when I’m ninety years old I will have my grouchy old man husband and we will still be arguing over whether I can have another kitten. I would’t trade it for anything.
// Photo by Sophie Davison Photography 

DIY Wooden Memo Board 

One of my biggest pet peeves is mail and other assorted papers laying around the house.  I hate how cluttered it looks!!! So I decided to make a little memo board that I could put the important mail on.

I started with a beautiful slab of wood from Lowes. I honestly didn’t even have it cut.  It seemed like a good size! The first thing I did when I got home was to completely sand it down. Then I wiped it with a wet rag and let it dry out in the sun.

Next I got out the stain I used to make my coffee station.  It’s a “dark walnut 2716.” I also grabbed some jute rope (a little thicker than twine), a staple gun, and a roll of tape.

Once the stain had plenty of time to dry I stood it upright. I started the jute rope by taping it on the backside of the board in the upper left corner. From there I just wrapped it around a few times, arranging it to lay as I wanted. I used tape as I wrapped down so that I knew it was wrapped tightly and in place.

Finally, I got a little staple happy. As I followed the string down I made sure it was still pulled tightly. I need it to be pulled enough that it will hold up a letter! The very last step was to attach size large picture hangers to the back. I put one in the top left and one in the top right corner. The final product is exactly what I wanted!! Check it out –