Reclaimed Wood Planter wall Art

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It is not quite Spring and I am longing for more greenery in the house! While on a chilly yet peaceful beach walk with my boys, we came across this piece of reclaimed wood. I immediately picked it up and just knew I had to turn it into something for our house.

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Materials:

  • Reclaimed wood (or any distressed piece of wood)
  • String
  • Wire
  • Small glass jar (i used an old spice jar)
  • Drill

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Step 1: Drill 2 holes into the top of the wood. These are the holes that you will use to hang the planter

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Step 2: Feed the string though the holes and tie the string into a knot (a few knots for reinforcement)

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Step 3: Drill two holes about half way down the piece of wood.

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Step 4: Insert the wire loops into the two holes leaving space to put the glass jar

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Step 5: Position the wire to that it catches on one of the indents around the jar and pull tight to the back of the wall hanging. Then twist the wiring as tight as you can. Now you are finished and just need to find somewhere to hang it!

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This is a great inexpensive way to bring natural elements into the house, Besides plants make my heart happy!

 

xo

 

 

 

Compassion

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

In the World we live in today, we could all use a little more compassion. Whether its with our children, spouse, friends or even just the people you pass on the street, kindness is key.  The Compassionate Instinct was such a great book on this topic.

“…make you think not only what it means to be happy and fulfilled but also what it means to lead an ethical and compassionate life”–  The Compassionate Instinct

Remember when your parents would say “put your feet in someone else’s shoes”? If we can see (and teach our children) other peoples perspectives, we have empathy and compassion for others. This sentence is so simple yet, I think sometimes we forget to really reinforce it with ourselves and our children.

Highlights from the book:

  • When people performed behaviors associated with compassion/love their bodies produced oxytocin (calming, low heart beat) This shows that compassion self perpetuates more compassion
  • When kind to others, physical change takes place: heart rate goes down
  • Compassion is not a trait you are born with, its something that we can learn and develop. Perfect because EVERYONE can learn to be compassionate
  • Parents who use induction and reasoning raise children who adjust better and help peers.

If nothing else, please let this post be an inspiration to you to go about your day with kindness! I also encourage you to read this book and let it be a reminder to all of us to have a little compassion for those around us.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.- Dalai Lama

XO

 

 

This post contains affiliated links, if you purchase anything through them, I will get a small referral fee and you will be supporting me and my blog at no cost to you, so thank you!
Resource: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/

 

Top 5 Friday Fun

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YAY! Its Friday y’all! I am so excited for a MUCH NEEDED long weekend with my family. How about you!? My family and I were recovering from surgery, flu and other issues this past week. I spent way more time then necessary reading so many different blogs and looking at activities/DIY projects for some great inspiration.  Check out the 5 links below for some fun filled inspiration!

  • Clean Food Crush has a tasty fruit and cheese platter idea. The food looks so yummy and vibrant! We will have to make this platter this weekend to celebrate love with some healthy food. What do you think?

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  • What is your morning routine? Apartment Therapy learned what some of the healthiest people do first thing in the morning. Check it out!

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  • Although we are supposed to get snow in MD this weekend, I am so ready for Spring Time! I found this wonderful sunflower micro greens greenhouse tutorial from Garden Therapy. It is a great up-cycle project that can be done as a family.

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  • Haley from Brewing Happiness has a pretty blog with lots of healthy recipes and tips. Check out her 9 healthy budget friendly eating tips.

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  • Elinor Cohen has a beautifully written article on Raspberry Magazine about being your own Guru and going for your dreams! If you are looking to kick start your own business and just need some ideas for a pick me up, it is a great essay for you!

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What has inspired you this week? Please comment with any blog posts or articles that you would like to share. We would love to hear from you! Have a great weekend!

XO

 

 

Guacamole

We love Mexican food in our house and avocados are a staple we keep regularly in our house.  I could easily fill up on chips, salsa, and guacamole!  Homemade guacamole is also the perfect addition to taco bowls, egg dishes, and even as a snack to serve up with veggies.  For picky kids or a quick sauce, I have also included my recipe for avocado sauce below.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

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© Eclectically K & L 2018
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© Eclectically K & L 2018
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Guacamole

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Ingredients

–  2 ripe Hass avocados
–  Juice of 1 lime (~ 3T)
–  1/4 C chopped tomato
–  1T minced onion, fresh
–  1/4 to 1/2 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed*
–  2T chopped cilantro
–  1/2t salt, more to taste
*Adjust jalapeño depending on the spice level you enjoy.

Directions

  1. Mash avocado and lime juice together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt to bowl.
  3. Mix together and add more salt if needed.

This next recipe is an alternative to my guacamole. When I am short on time, I make my avocado sauce instead and my 4 year old loves it.  That is saying a lot from a picky kiddo!

Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

-2 ripe Hass avocados
-Juice of 1 lime
-2T chopped cilantro
-3/4 t salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth and add more salt if needed
  3. Enjoy!

 

 

Wall Weaving

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Wall weavings look so beautiful and you can find them just about everywhere. At the beginning of this project, I will have to admit, I was a little intimidated. But once I got started I realized that weaving is therapeutic and such a free form art. I decided to learn the easiest weaving techniques and then just go with my heart. I am going to show you the techniques that I used below and encourage you to try this DIY. I PROMISE you won’t regret it.

Materials:

  • Yarn (different textures work well for dimension)
  • Scissors
  • Dinglehopper Fork
  • crochet hook or Embroidery needle
  • Picture frame or Loom
  • wooden rod (not pictured- to hold the strings apart)
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© Eclectically K & L 2018
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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 1: Tie a knot at the upper left corner of the frame with your string. Then loop the string over the frame and through the middle of the frame and back down over the opposite side of the frame. Be sure to leave a little space between each row. When you get to the end of the frame, pull snug and tie the string into a knot in the upper right corner.

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 2: Now comes the fun part!

Weave your wooden rod through your weaving being mindful to go every other string. This rod will keep your strings divided so, that the weaving is a little easier. While weaving, you will always work from bottom to top.

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Weaving Techniques:

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Every time you start a new string, you will want to knot the string you will be weaving around the right string on your loom (Picture frame in this case).

*I also placed a knot when I was finished with each string.

 

 

 

 

Technique #1Tabby Weaving

This is the most straight forward weaving technique. Going over one string, then under the next string, over, under, ect. When you reach the end of the row (moving left to right), go around the last loom string and move right to left back through the strings using the same over and under pattern.

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Technique #2Egyptian Knot

This technique is soothing and a lot of fun to play with. You first move from left to right with the string, circling each loom string. When you go as far as you would like or to the end, you will circle last loom string again. Then you move from right to left putting a loop around each loom string. As you do this you will notice that you are starting to make a pretty cool pattern.

 

Technique #3Fringe

For this technique you will need to cut your string into a desired length. I used a 3 inch piece of string. Whatever length you could like your fringe to hang down, double that. (3 inch length of string, my fringe will be 1 1/2 inches) Depending on how thick you want your fringe, you can use two or even three pieces of string at a time. It all depends on what look you are going for.

Take your piece of string and place it around the outside of the first two loom strings (to the outside). Then pull through to the middle of those two strings. Once you have pulled tight, pull the string down to where you would like your fringe to sit. This will also tighten the piece of string.

 

I hope with this weaving tutorial, I have inspired you to try weaving for yourself. It doesn’t have to cost much if you have an old picture frame and some yarn laying around. There are also dollar bins at the local craft store, which is where I picked up the multi colored yarn. Once you get the hang of the weaving patterns, this craft really is a soothing way to be creative.

xo

 

Self Care

Doesn’t life seem so busy at times that you feel like you can’t get ahead or that your days are flying by without getting all you wanted done?  Whether its a demanding job, house projects and chores that feel like they are never-ending, or taking care of others (your children, a sick family member) it can be easy to feel worn out and like there isn’t time for you.  When we aren’t able to personally recharge, it can reflect on everything else in our lives.  It is so important to nourish our whole bodies in order to give our best at whatever we are doing in life.
Having just celebrated my birthday, I am looking forward on what I want to see for this coming year.  A similar reflection that some may do at New Year’s, I have decided to do now.  My goal is to focus a little more on my overall health and wellness so that I can be the best version of myself which I believe will translate to my other relationships.  Some of this involves different levels of self care.

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
-Eleanor Brownn

 

Self care is so important in order to recharge emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  It doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on weekly massages.  Although wouldn’t that feel amazing?!  Self care can involve very small acts that bring ourselves some form of relaxation and happiness.  It also doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone.  We are all unique in what our needs are and  I think it is important to reflect on your own self and ask yourself some questions.  What makes you happy?  What would make you feel relaxed?  What is your favorite place to go to?  What kind of people do you like to be around?
When life is so busy it can be hard to figure out how you can fit anything else in your schedule, especially when it comes to taking care of ourselves.  It is up to you to look at your schedule to see where you can fit it in.  Maybe that means waking up 30 minutes early in the morning, taking some time before bed, or cutting out some activity that doesn’t serve you to be your best. For me nighttime seems to work best because I know that my little one is asleep.  However, my goal is to wake up earlier so I have a little time to myself to drink my coffee and journal before getting my day started.  Before I had my daughter, I would do this and my days felt so much more relaxed and less rushed.
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© Eclectically K & L 2018
Below are some examples of self care to inspire you.  Some are very small acts, others may require a little more effort and money.
  • Start your morning relaxed with a cup of coffee or your favorite tea
  • Meditate (there are some short guided meditation apps available such as 10% Happier or Calm)
  • Journal
  • Go visit your happy place
  • Exercise
  • Practice yoga
  • Declutter
  • Read a book
  • Avoid social media first thing in the morning.  There are so many posts that may not be uplifting and that in turn could put you in a bad mood first thing in the morning.
  •  Change the way you eat.  Making small changes can make it easier (eat more fruits and vegetables, cut back on sugar, drink more water)
  • Take a relaxing bath before bed
  • Take a 10-15 minute walk outside
  • Put your favorite music on and have a dance party
  • Choose a DIY project to tackle and take your time enjoying the process.  Lisa has a fun one coming up this week so stay tuned!
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Create a gratitude jar and look at something positive that happened daily
  • Slow down
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Call a friend
  • Catch up on your favorite show
  • Take a few minutes in the middle of the day to stretch
  • Listen to podcasts or affirmations
  • Look into ways to lower your work load
  • Some relationships in our lives can be very negative.  Sometimes setting boundaries with those people or cutting them out completely is so much better for you in the long run.
  • Hire a housekeeper
  • Save up for a class you have been wanting to try  (pottery, cooking, dance, etc)
  • Enjoy a day at the spa solo or with your favorite person
  • Make a long term plan if there is a large change you want to make like a big move or new job.  Work toward achieving those.
  • Create a vision board for daily inspiration
  • Start saving money and finally plan to take that trip you have been wanting to do.

 

I hope that some of these ideas will inspire you. What do you do to recharge to feel like your best self?

Magnesium Spray for Healthy Skin

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

There are many benefits to Magnesium. It is responsible for over many biochemical reactions in the body and impacts blood pressure, metabolism, and more. According to several sources, most adults are deficient in the mineral.

In addition, the best way to absorb Magnesium is through the skin. Your body will only take in as much as it needs and making your own is so easy!

Some symptoms of the deficiency are as follows:

– trouble sleeping

– muscle aches

– anxiety

– digestive issues and constipation

– restless leg syndrome

After starting a regular routine of Magnesium spray, my children tend to relax and fall asleep faster. I also feel less anxious or stressed.

Materials:

  • 1/3 C Magnesium flakes ( I use these)
  • 1/2 C Warm water

Step 1: Add the water to the flakes in a glass bowl

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 2: Whisk the flakes and water together until the flakes dissolve completely

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 3: Add the liquid to a 4 oz spray bottle and spray liberally after showers or before bed.

The first few times that you use the spray, you may have a tingling feeling. This is from being extremely low in magnesium. After regular use, this feeling will subside. A helpful little trick is to apply lotion after your spray and also rub that into your skin.

Magnesium spray is a great way to continue to improve your health and make sure that you are getting enough Magnesium. How do you get your magnesium?

XO

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Friday Fun

Happy Friday!  With Valentine’s Day coming up on Tuesday, this week’s Friday fun is all about LOVE.

  • Head on over to Delia Creates to find some adorable printables to go along with a plant Valentine perfect for anyone in your life: love of your life, friend, and even a wonderful neighbor!
  • Oh Joy! has a sweet DIY for kiddos.  These candy terrariums would be perfect for a kids party.
  • Kelle Hampton at Enjoying The Small Things has shared 6 ways to celebrate love.  We love her love theme bucket list!
  • Are you single and surrounded by some amazing friends.  Why not throw a Galentine’s Day Dinner Party?  Martha Stewart has some great tips for hosting the perfect night for you and your friends.
  • On A Beautiful Mess, Laura Gummerman has shared her favorite non-toxic makeup to create a shimmery Valentine’s Day look.

Tell us how you plan on celebrating love this Valentine’s Day in the comments!

XO

 

Vegan Aioli

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

We love aioli in our house! I enjoy whipping up a salad dressing with it. We spread aioli on our sandwiches and even as a veggie dip. My son’s favorite way to use the condiment is a sandwich with tomato, lettuce and my homemade aioli. Such a yummy lunch!

I try to use the purest ingredients that I can find (either organic or GMO free)

Vegan Aioli

Ingredients

-1 C Olive Oil

-1/2 C Almond Milk (or any other non dairy milk)

-2 tsp Apple Cider Vinager

-1 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard

– pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Add milk, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard and salt to the food processor.
  2. Place the lid on the processor and slowly add the olive oil though the top ( see picture below)
  3. Let processor run for about 3 minutes

That’s it!!

Transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Your aioli will last about a week.

Below are some other ideas in case you would like to use the condiment for a dip for veggies or chips.

Great add in for dips ideas

– scallions and garlic powder

– cilantro

– turmeric and pepper

– parsley

Enjoy!

XO

 

 

Repurposed Bird Feeder

One afternoon while I was trying to get some things done, my daughter was watching Nature Cat on PBS Kids.  She adores this show and has learned some fun things from it.  On this particular day they  were making bird feeders using repurposed materials.  After the show she asked if she could make one of her own.  I am always looking for ways to teach her the importance of caring for our planet and all the living things surrounding us so this was a great project for her.

In our homes we try to repurpose when possible to help minimize the amount of stuff that gets thrown away.  For example I reuse glass food jars for all kinds of storage: food, craft and office supplies, coins, and even my daughters jewelry.

We found the perfect can in our recycling box and got to work.  That can has now had two purposes and we have made some birds (and squirrels) very happy!

Supplies:

  • Can
  • Outdoor paint and brush, if desired.  We used Anita’s brand outdoor acrylic paint.
  • Stick
  • Glue
  • Twine
  • Bird seed

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Step 1:  Find a can and make sure it is clean and dry.

Step 2:  Paint the outside of the can if desired.  This step isn’t necessary, but helped add some color to our winter days!  A clear coat spray after the paint will dry will help seal the paint.

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© Eclectically K & L 2018
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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 3:  Once the paint is dry, take a foil lid and cut it down to glue on the bottom third of the can opening.  This helps to prevent all the bird seed from falling out.  A plastic lid cut in half would also serve the same purpose.

Step 4:  Poke a hole in the foil lid and push stick through.  We added some glue at the back of the can to further hold the stick in place.  This stick will act as a landing place for the birds.

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© Eclectically K & L 2018

Step 5:  Grab two pieces of twine.  Lay one across the can (from opening to backside).  Wrap the other around the can and tied ends together on the bottom of the can.  Tie the ends of the loose piece of twine that was lying across the can using a double knot.  This is will give you a loop to hang the bird feeder on a branch outside.

Step 6:  Fill your new bird feeder with bird seed and hang it outside!

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© Eclectically K & L 2018