Rose: DIY Lantern

For the past several months, I’ve been revamping my dining room. The idea is to bring cohesion between the living room and dining room and make this a cute, fun space. One way to do this is through color and shapes. I settled upon blue and green — accent colors in the living room — and have been since adding more decor to this tiny corner space.

I started with a rug and wine rack. And now I’ve moved on to lighting. Since cost is an issue (paying for a wedding isn’t cheap!), I have been looking for some cool, DIY type of projects. Pinterest to the rescue! I did a bit of searching on paper lanterns and ended up finding this tutorial.

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The materials for this project are really simple:

  • One paper lantern (I bought this one for $10)
  • Cupcake liners (I chose these for $10)
  • One lighting kit (I went with this one for $12)
  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks

The instructions are also relatively simple:

  • Set up your paper lantern according to the instructions
  • Glue one cupcake liner at a time, working your way around the sphere
  • Handy tip: Keep the ball in a large salad bowl. This will ensure the liners do not get crushed.

All told, this took me about an hour to complete.

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Overall, I was really happy with the way this turned out. For now, we’re working on figuring out a good way to hang this lantern. We’re a bit limited since we live in an apartment — but we’ll think of something creative.

Oh, and in terms of money, you could probably do this project for even cheaper than $35. I just had a specific vision in mind for the color I wanted, and these giant cupcake liners worked best.

Stay tuned for a big reveal of the dining room! Coming soon.

Jenna: Food lately

Food lately has been hard for me. I’ve found myself justifying eating decisions like this:

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mmm bacon.

The working out part of the equation has been easy for me lately. I’ve enjoyed my workouts, mixed it up enough not to get bored, and I can see progress. However, eating has been a real struggle.

I was looking through posts from last year, and I think I was in the same spot. I think as the weather gets nicer, there are more natural temptations. My allergies also start to go crazy, and when I’m tired and run down I crave junk. I made a goal of tracking my food this week – that happened one day. ONE. Sigh. I have got to get this figured out. Now is the time I should be hunkering down, because after this weekend I don’t have a free/unscheduled Saturday until June 27th. Isn’t that insane?

OH, summer. I love it but it gets so booked and so crazy. Here is my game plan:

Focus on what I can control. The meals that I’m totally on my own and left to my own devices need to be proper portions and full of good nutrients. No excuses.

Limit eating out to social occasions where there is an invite. Or get together. No grabbing Chipotle on my own cause I’m lazy and tired. Limit these to 3 times a week, max.

Limit alcohol consumption to weekends only, and in moderation. 

Grocery shop with a list and plan each weekend. Often times when I have lots of travel I don’t grocery shop and just wing it, but that never leads to good behavior or choices.
I want to have a good summer. I don’t want to feel like crap because I’ve made silly food choices. Here’s hoping I can get it together!

Rose: Steadfast (Word of the Year)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my word of the year. In fact, it’s pretty hard to believe it’s April already. I know this is how time moves, and I’m used to the feeling. But I can never quite shake the feeling of how fast everything feels sometimes. I guess that’s why being steadfast is so important.

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At this point, I don’t *feel* as though I’ve been very steadfast these past few months. It’s been hard to recognize my steadfast qualities when life keeps throwing my curves. My dad’s surgery was definitely a low point of the year and all consuming (though now he is better than ever.) The engagement was obviously a high but with it has come loads of planning and tasks. That has pushed some of my regularly scheduled hobbies to the backseat, and I’m not complaining. It just makes me feel like I’m straying from being steadfast.

But maybe I’m just misinterpreting the phrase. To me, I see the word and think: “I need to be loyal to my goals.” Maybe instead it should be: “I remain loyal to myself.” That means doing what is right in a moment, saying “no” to things that don’t serve me, not signing on for more and sticking up for myself. Maybe it means just saying, “I’m not really feeling this” (i.e. running) or “It feels good to do this right now.” Maybe, in the end, being steadfast is just about being content and at peace in the moment.

If that is the case, then that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m focusing on this wonderful chapter in my life. I am trying to do what feels right, rather than what feels necessary. Granted, I’m still what I need to do, meeting my deadlines and the like. But I guess I’m being a lot less rigid about my hobbies and taking more time to relax.

More importantly, I am trying to be grateful for all that I have. Today, after I got our Save the Dates back and the font was way too small, I thought: “If this is the worst thing to happen to me today, I am pretty darn lucky.” It’s all about perspective.

So maybe I am loyal, dutiful, unwavering. But more so in attitude. And to me, that’s far more important.

Jenna: Yoga, Rest, Run

This past weekend was one of my first “free” ones in a while. I was feeling really run down at the end of last week thanks to stress, allergies, and some tough workouts. I decided to rest and was in bed by 9:30pm Friday night. Rock on. I wasn’t the only one that was sleepy.

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This rest had me ready to get out of the house. One of my favorite things about the warmer weather is all the outdoor (usually free!) workouts that happen around the city. I road my bike a little over 2 miles to the river and took part in a 9:30am yoga class.

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The views and sunshine were absolutely amazing. The Delaware River Waterfront offers these classes each day of the week. You can check out the schedule here. I was also so happy to see how popular it has gotten since last year.

After that, my roommate and I biked to a local coffee place and sat outside and chatted. It was such a lovely morning!

I decided to stay in and rest Saturday night too. This was hard. I was that terrible mix of bored and tired. I made the right decision, and ran my fastest 5k to date on Sunday.

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Boom! The rest of Sunday was spent with the boyfriends family. A restful and fitness focused weekend. As my allergies start to kick back up (if anyone has any natural remedies, PLEASE SHARE!!) I know I need to work more rest into my routine.

Rose: Hopewell Valley Vineyard

One of the best parts of living in New Jersey is its abundance of wineries. Tucked away off old dirt roads, these wineries provide the perfect escape after a busy week.

On Saturday evening, we headed to the Hopewell Valley Vineyard, which boasts a unique selection of vinos and weekly live music. We got there just as the sun was starting to set, purchased a bottle of sparkling red and just enjoyed the sound of silence.

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A few friends showed up a bit later, and we spent the night eating, talking and laughing. We even busted out a game of Marble Chase — a new favorite, thanks to my family. It was the perfect atmosphere for gathering, and I was so thankful to be close to such nature like this.

Evenings like these help me appreciate the goodness of my life. Being able to fully unwind, recharge and just spend time laughing is so good for my soul. In fact, I crave times like these, and having an open weekend — free of travel — gives me the opportunity to really relish in this life.

I’m looking forward to a summer full of nights like these — relaxing, peaceful and fun.