Sunday, 24 November 2013

DIY Christmas Wreath

I will admit it, I am obsessed with Christmas.  It is our first holiday in our very own house and I am so excited!   Anyway, I am slowly working through my project list of Christmas crafts.  Here is the latest:

What you will need:
Foam wreath form (I used an 18" form to fit our standard size door, but feel free to go bigger)
4 silk flower stems
Roll of burlap fabric (I used 4" wide burlap to get god cover over the foam)
Color Coordinated Ribbon (wired or unwired will work)
Your initial
Florist Wire

1.  Gather your supplies

2.  Wrap the wreath form with the burlap.

3.  Attach your initial

4.  Tie on long decorative burlap and ribbon tails.

5.  Prepare your flowers and leaves

6.  Attach flowers and leaves to the wreath using floral wire

You're done!  

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

With all of the beautiful snow we are getting here in Saskatchewan, I am in a very Christmas-y mood.  Two more weeks of school and we are out for Christmas break! Woohoo! I can't wait to put up our Christmas decorations this weekend.  I have been crocheting stars and snowflakes like a wild woman to put on our tree.  I haven't found many good patterns online, I get all of my patterns from my Baba.  The image below is three generations of the amazing ladies of our family.

Me, Baba and my Mom
What you'll need:
J & P Coats Crochet Cord (size 50)
Small metal crochet hook (size 12)
Clothes starch
Ornament Hooks

The Pattern:
1.  Chain (ch) 8, join with slip stitch (sl st) to form a ring
2.  Ch 7
3.  *Triple crochet, ch 3* repeat 7x in ring, join with sl st in 4th link of ch 7
4.  Ch 1, 5 single crochets in each ch 3 space, sl st in 1st single crochet
5.  Ch 8, skip 4 single crochets, single crochet in next single crochet
6.  In each loop, single crochet 5, ch 2 & single crochet 5
7.  Sl st in 1st single crochet and break off

Hope you understood those directions.  If you have any questions leave them in the comments section and I would be happy to answer them.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

DIY Chevron Infinity Scarf Tutorial!

Finally, I have constructed my first knitting/sewing tutorial!  This has been in the works for a while and I really hope you enjoy doing this as much as I did.  As it is getting pretty cold outside, I'm also really enjoying wearing this scarf.  This scarf is great for knitters/sewers of all skill levels, but if you have any questions post them in the comment section and I will be happy to answer them.

Lets get started!

What you will need:
2 balls of thick weight yarn
Appropriate knitting needle size for your yarn
1/2 yard of minky fabric to match your yarn color
Sewing thread to match your fabric
Hand sewing needles
Pins (I recommend ones with a large, visible head)
3 snaps
2 large decorative buttons

1.  Start by knitting the body of the scarf.  I found this base pattern on pinterest here, but changed it a bit.  I repeated the following pattern 31 times to achieve the necessary length, but you probably should measure it to be sure it is the necessary 29" long.
     The Pattern:
Row 1 - P4 K5 P5 K2 P5 K5 P4
Row 2 - K3 P5 K5 P4 K5 P5 K3
Row 3 - P2 K5 P5 K6 P5 K5 P2
Row 4 - K1 P5 K5 P8 K5 P5 K1
Row 5 - K5 P5 K10 P5 K5
*P = purl
*K = knit
This is the scarf by itself.

2.  Now gather all your supplies together, and cut your fabric.  The minky fabric isn't the nicest thing to work with, but it is worth it in the end.

3.  Pin the minky fabric to the scarf body.

4.  Sew the minky to the scarf.

5.  Now sew the snaps in to both ends of the scarf.

6.  Sew the decorative buttons to the side of the scarf that doesn't have the snaps (ie the outside "good" side).

Woohoo!  You're done!  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  I'd love to know how it went for you, let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

'Tis the Season... For Stressed Nursing Students

We all know that stress-y feeling of barely being able to keep your head above water.  Well, now is about that time for me (and I am guessing a lot of other students out there too).  Midterms may be over, but the stress of term papers and final projects is just setting in.  Add that to the upcoming stress of the looming holiday season and you've got a recipe for disaster.  So, the million dollar question is: how do we get through the stressful month of November unscathed?  This is my fourth year of university and I find myself wondering how the heck I've managed this for three years! 

Here is what I am doing to try make it through another November:

1.  Look forward to the small things.  I swear the only thing getting me through this week has been looking forward to my hair appointment on Saturday. 

It's been a while since my last cut and color, seems like all I can do now is put it in a bun and hope for the best.  I am definitely looking the part of the frazzled nursing student these days.
2.  Avoid procrastination.  I am pretty sure that this is every student’s arch nemesis (I at least hope that someone other than me struggles with this).  If you’re like me, you probably have about 5 assignments all due on the last week of November.  So, even though it is only the first week of the month, start working away at the assignments so that you don’t end up trying to get them all done the weekend before.

3.  Take it one assignment at a time.  One of my professors told me, while I was on the brink of a break down, “You can’t look at everything that is due, all at one time.  Just finish one assignment, then move on to the next one”.  Honestly, everything looks so much worse when its one big ball of due dates.

4.  Take an evening off.  I wouldn't class this as procrastinating, it’s more like self-preservation.  Too many late nights of doing homework will just cause you to get burned out and will decrease the quality of the work that you are able to do.

5.  Don’t ignore yourself.  When you take care of yourself, you feel better, and when you feel better you are better at everything else you are doing.  So, get enough sleep, eat healthy and if you have a usual workout routine, make sure you stick with it.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

How to Stay Sane Before the Wedding

Before I got engaged, I thought wedding planning would be super fun and not stressful at all.  Yep, I was a little naive.  Or a lot naive.  Don't get me wrong, the wedding planning process was fun, but it was also very stressful.  And what I didn't realize was that the rehearsal day was probably the worst part.  But, having survived the whole process I thought I would compile a list of my top five tips of how to survive and also have a little fun before the big day.

1.  Don't get too caught up in every Pinterest craft you see.  There are so many amazing ideas coming out of Pinterest, you just want to be able to do them all.  But, you also have to be realistic about the amount of time you have to put into wedding related crafts.  Try to pick two or three of your favorites, get those done and then reassess to see how much time and patience you have for the rest of them.

2.  Accept help from your fiance.  Admit from the beginning that you cannot possibly do everything by yourself.  Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking and if you go into it alone, you will get burned out fast and enjoy the process less.  So share the responsibilities with your fiance.  He will be happy to have a job and happy to see you less stressed out.

3.  Take time for date night.  Often when you're in the midst of wedding planning, that becomes the only thing you do in your free time.  But it is important to remember that you are having a wedding to celebrate your relationship and the commitment you are making to one another.  So, make time to cultivate your relationship.  Doing the things that you both love and going on dates will help relieve the pre-wedding stress and will remind you why you're going through the stress in the first place.

4.  Make a detailed schedule for the day of.  I cannot stress this enough.  We were on time, if not early, for our entire wedding because of our schedule.  Worrying about being late is probably one of the biggest things that makes a wedding day stressful for a bride.  If you give everyone in the wedding party a schedule, they know what's going on and you know that they know what's going on.
This was my - very detailed - wedding schedule.  I may or may not have gotten made fun of for how type A it seems, but it's definitely worth it.

5.  Get a hotel room the night before the wedding.  Yes, this is an extra expense, but I would say it is totally worth it.  For me, it was necessary because I don't live in the town that we were getting married.  But even if you do live in the same town as your wedding venue I suggest getting a hotel room.  There are endless chores and things to be done in your own house - and chores are really not what you need to be thinking about the night before your wedding.  I shared a room with my sister/maid of honor the night before and was able to totally relax and have an awesome sleep.
My sister Austin and I in our hotel robes the night before the wedding, having some quality sister time.
   Above all, take time to actually enjoy yourself on your wedding day!
Having an awesome time dancing with my handsome groom!
Do you have any great tips that got you through the pre-wedding stress? I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

30 Minutes to Homemade Pizza

This is my favorite pizza recipe.  It takes less time than it would to have a pizza delivered, and is so much healthier.

-1 thin crust pizza kit (this comes with the sauce and can be found at most major grocery stores)
-Approx. 7 slices of black forest ham (or meat of your choice)
-1 cup of chopped fresh mushrooms
-1 cup of shredded light cheese

Assemble the pizza and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.

Hope you enjoy this pizza as much as I do!