Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Favorites: Homemade "Paper" Towels

I am going to go on record that I hate paper towels. Not in the hard fact that I despise the poor, unknowing towel, but I do not care for the principle of cutting down trees simply to make my life and mess easier to clean up.

I think the only reason and plausible use for paper towels is to drain bacon grease off freshly cooked bacon.

That being said, along with the bacon shortage of 2013 quickly approaching, I have quit using paper towels.

*Moment of silence for all the mornings without bacon in our near future.*

So, as I strive to be more earth-friendly and nature-conscientious, I decided to make my own "paper" towels.

I followed the tutorial found here: DIY Towels. I didn't follow the blog tutorial exactly to the letter, because it's just a great starting off point.

To make these, I bought a yard of cotton fabric and a yard of terry cloth. I made a 10 in. x 10 in. template and cut 12 squares of each fabric. Turning the cotton patterned cloth over, I pinned one square of cotton to one square of terry cloth. Then I simply sewed the two pieces together, leaving a 3 inch space open. I used that space to fold the "towel" in on itself so that the color side of the fabric is now showing. Then I finished by hand-stitching the last 3 inches. (I like invisible seams, so I didn't finish using the sewing machine. The original tutorial advises you sew again on the outside and down the middle, but I didn't like the aesthetics.)

As a very inexperienced sewer who can barely sew in a straight line, this was another perfect project for me. I got a dozen towels that look great in a cute basket on my kitchen counter! My husband even uses them! This will save us money and trees for the future. What's not to love???

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Life in California is moving right along. I am thoroughly loving being at stay-at-home wife (for now), but I am so ready to get back into my passion of social work. Until then, the Coastie will have the cleanest house and best food of his life.

So, this week, I am most thankful for:

Time with him.

Homemade pumpkin cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

Skype dates with the bestest.

Phone calls from family that feel like I'm just down the road and haven't missed a beat.

Encouraging words from a good friend.

New recipes and the old favorites.

My first interview in California (even if I don't get the job).

Sunshine when I get to see it.

Mums and pumpkins.

Hikes that totally kick my butt.

Good books.

Enjoy a few photos from our hike!

Bishop's Peak.

I survived!!! We made it to the top. I must say, I felt victorious after a virtually vertical climb in the desert sand, rocks, and no shade. 

Be thankful today!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Team Preston vs. Year One - WIN

Last week, we celebrated, rejoiced, and congratulated ourselves for reaching our first wedding anniversary. The Coastie decided to name the year and create a sports-like tag on it. So here it is:

Team Preston vs. Year One - WIN

We are Team Preston and we officially beat the first year of marriage - all the challenges, joys, adventures, moves, squabbles, and huuuge learning curves. We survived it and became better individuals and a better couple.

So, to celebrate, we went out to a fancy-schmancy dinner at the Madonna Inn.

It's a really old, really expensive hotel. But the restaurant is also famous for its giant, delicious cakes and incredible food and decorations.

The decor was intense... All pink and gold and flower and cherubs.

Poor Coastie... he was so overwhelmed by all the pink.

But he was a great sport and got all gussied up with me!

Yum! The Coastie said it was the "best steak I've ever had. Ever."

In all our finest!

One year later, the rings are still proudly on display.

Congrats to us! Take that, Year One!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Explorations of the Central Coast

Recently, my mother came to visit. Not only did she survive the cross-country flights, but she also brought our precious cat, Mr. McGee, to us. We had chosen to leave him in Tennessee while we took a week to drive cross-country. He is just not a good car traveler.

So, as soon as we had both my mom and Mr. McGee settled and recovered from their trip, we set out to explore the Central Coast. In just one week, we managed to see almost everything major between Los Angeles and Monterey. It was a blast!!! Here are just a handful of the photos:

Mom and the Rock

Mom and her friend Anne

My boys were tuckered out with all the adventure

Exploring Hearst Castle

Wine tasting

The Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro

We enjoyed every minute of Mom's visit! Come see us again soon and I promise we'll explore even more!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Favorites

It is the return of Friday's Favorites!

I know I haven't posted a post like this in a very long time, but as we near our first anniversary, you'll see why I was inspired to do this post.

This Friday, I am sharing one of our favorite wedding gifts: our pottery.

Most people register for fine china or really nice everyday plates when they are engaged. We went a different route. We already had the nice, everyday plates, but how could we supplement them? We aren't "fine china" kind of people. What's the point in having beautiful china you will use maybe three times in your life? Don't get me wrong, I have a beautiful china tea service for eight... but I have never, ever used it.

We wanted something we could enjoy every day, every occasion. We also needed something durable that could stand up to hard use and lots of moves around the country.

We settled on pottery from Smoky Mountain Pottery. We love it for several reasons: they customized the pottery to our color choices, it was affordable for our wedding guests and family, and we could always special order anything else we needed. We also really love using and promoting local vendors.

We have everything from a serving platter to a spoon rest to chili bowls to mugs to a syrup warmer!!! We have mixing bowls, pie plates, salt and pepper shakers, a brie dish, and a berry bowl. We have so much more than just "service for eight."

So, if you know any new brides, encourage them to think outside the china box and register for something that suits the new couples' needs and likes.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gardening Attempt #1

Today, I finally had the seeds and the energy to start my garden. I am taking it as a good sign from Mother Earth that today was a good day to plant because the fog was so thick overnight, it actually watered the ground a little bit! So, today, I started my garden!!! The house we are renting already had 2 long planter boxes built and filled. How lucky are we??? However, they aren't very wide, so I have limited space.

Here's what I chose to plant:

Broccoli - 3 rows

Carrots - 2 rows

Celery - 1 row (from a celery heart!!!)

Lettuce, romaine - 2 rows

Squash - 2 rows

Once my camera has batteries again, I will take photos of any and all progress. I have never attempted this before on my own, so I expected some mishaps or bad crops. But that's okay, because I'm willing to try again!!