Category Archives: Friends

DIY – Making My Map!

I dream of being a DIY house blogger. Please tell me you’re all reading Young House Love. They are amazing. Incredible. I adore them.

My catch? I’m really not very DIY myself. I love the idea – but in the past I haven’t had the time or the patience to start a project and finish.

With the exception of my map.

Photography is maybe not my thing. Also I live in the bat cave. Just know, this is huge and looks awesome in real life!

Photography is maybe not my thing. Also I live in the bat cave. Just know, this is huge and looks awesome in real life!

My beautiful, incredible, amazing map. And honestly, I think the reason I ever finished is that I told the guy I liked that I was doing it – and he kept asking about it – and I HAD to finish it. You know, to show him I’m awesome. Looks like it worked out for me… even though now he knows me better than that. But that’s another story!

It began with the thought that I needed at least one piece of artwork in my house. As I had none. No judging. And I love those maps with pins in them that show you everywhere you’ve been. I love to travel. But here’s the thing. I didn’t want an ugly map. I wanted a cute map. With buttons. Surely I could buy one… right? And so the great map search of 2011 began… and failed. Until I stumbled across the amazing A Girl’s Eye View blog. Scroll down a bit – because this girl MADE HER OWN. With scrapbook paper of her choosing. It was adorable. And I wanted it. Enough to be crazy and try it myself.

And just think – making it myself would save me money – right?

Silly Betsy.

But I didn’t want a dinky little map. I wanted a MASSIVE map. So I started by purchasing a massive map – a children’s toy foam puzzle map. Thank you Amazon Prime. You’ve saved me once again. And I picked a variety of shades of red (I’m a red girl – I can’t help it – I blame the Huskers) in scrapbook paper. 7 different papers – and then looked at the map and strategically picked with state would be in which paper. To make sure it was nice and spread out and all meshed well together. And then I started tracing. Keeping in mind that this is a children’s puzzle – my state lines may not have ended up the best. And don’t always fit together when I attempted to free hand around the puzzle parts.

What I really really really want you to know is, as the blogger suggested, YOU SHOULD LABEL THE STATES ON THE BACK. Why? Because although you think you’re the bees knees and you have all of your states down… you’re not that smart. Jumble those suckers up and how do you know what’s Colorado and what’s Wyoming? Not to mention – that although when you look at a map – you might be able to name all of the states – having to actually piece them together is incredibly difficult. Trust me. Especially when they don’t really fit. Which – don’t let it get you down – it’s part of the overall beauty of the finished art!

Luckily my mom had an extra-large massive canvas lying around (lucky me) so I painted that sucker – and then being super crafty, I tacked some linen fabric onto it (stick with the paint – the fabric collects hair and that’s just gross). Then I laid out the states and started to modge podge over them.

Heads up. You’re going to want to hot glue the middle of the states down before modge podging, so they stay in place. Because nothing makes you want to cry quite like getting all of the states in place and then disrupting them all with a sticky paint brush. Nothing. Okay, the legs of the table going out in the process and dumping the whole thing on the ground is a bit depressing too. Maybe don’t use a folding table either.

The buttons. Oh how I adore the buttons!

The buttons. Oh how I adore the buttons!

After getting everything STUCK DOWN (it may take you a few attempts, don’t let it depress you) I took out a hot glue gun and a real map and started gluing buttons to the places I’ve been. I had some gold buttons, some wooden buttons, some red ones – all of different shapes and sizes. Half the fun is getting to go through your button pile and find the right one for each state!

This map has been an INCREDIBLE conversation piece. People love to look at the buttons of where you’ve been, talk about their own traveling adventures and it absolutely accomplished it’s purpose of having SOMETHING on my walls. What it didn’t do – was come super inexpensively. The amount of time, the cost of bags of buttons, scrapbook paper, modge podge, fabric, brushes, hot glue and a glue gun… probably would have been easier to buy something from Gordmans. But – then there wouldn’t be the pride nor would it be half the conversation piece it turned into being.

DIY Project for the win.


You might be a drag queen if…


Whoa. Trust me. This is not our normal look.

You scared yet?

Knife Girl and I went to get our makeup done.

The results were a bit scary. Cakey and scary.

Glittery, cakey and scary.

So. Much. Foundation.

So very very much powder.

And don’t even get me started on the eye shadow.

It made for an excellent laugh and some fantastic friend bonding. Moral of the story: If anyone ever invites you to ‘some event’ and ‘this one place’ with a ‘stranger showing us new makeup’ – say yes. Or rather, check your schedule to make sure you don’t have any plans immediately following… and then say yes.

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I wanted to warn you in advance not to worry about me while you don’t hear from me in the next couple of days… But my BFF is in town. I have been so lucky and so fortunate to have so many wonderful visitors this month. Friends from college, friends from life, what a wonderful wonderful month full of new and old friends! But this weekend should be extra special – because the girl who traveled with me in the UHaul, the one that spent a free weekend unloading all of my furniture and making my apartment a home… that girl is in town. That’s right folks, Jillian Michaels is in the house! And the best part? She brought me a present:

Why yes, those are "Best" and "Friend" necklaces. Be jealous.

Why yes, those are “Best” and “Friend” necklaces. Be jealous.

We’ve got plans to explore the city, shop at the outlet mall and spend some quality time meeting my new friends.

It’s bound to be a great weekend.

But you’ll just have to wait and hear about it on Monday.

And yes, I will absolutely be wearing a ridiculous pink sparkle necklace with the work “friend” on it all weekend. I’m sure that’ll make every picture we take that much more ridiculous.

And awesome.


The Knife Set

Let me set the scene for you here.

I’m in the kitchen with four friends. We’re making meatloaf. There’s about 100 vegetables that go into the meatloaf that need to be diced. I have zero cutting boards and about two (maybe three?) knives that can be used to cut something. Neither is strong enough to accidentally cut off a finger nail while chopping (don’t lie – you’ve totally done that).

I hand the two semi-decent knives to two girls (who happen to be sisters – which is awesome). With two rounded (almost bowl like) plates for them to chop on. Both are perfectionists and both are laughing in hysterics at the near impossible cutting conditions.

All prevailed – and although I may have razzed them at the time for their slowness – the meal came together perfectly (as we saw a few posts ago).

Fast forward to yesterday when I sent out the email about our next Pinterest Challenge Dinner evening.

Here was my response from one of the cutting friends:

Fact: I have a present for you at my house.

 Spoiler: It’s cutting boards. Also the knife set I’m letting you borrow til you get a better one for your birthday.

First – how could we not immediately love her? She’s sweet, she’s generous and she speaks in a near identical tone to mine. We were meant to be friends.

Second – She is so kind as to give me her ENTIRE knife set. She lives in a house with two other girls who both have what’s she’s referring to as “far better” knives. But seriously, her knives are the sharpest and most amazing knives I have ever used. These suckers WILL cut off a finger nail. How’s that for new best friend status? I’d say pretty good.

Now on my counter resides my fancy pants loaner knife set and my new spice rack. It would appear to a stranger that would walk into my house (no, I don’t allow strangers to walk into my house – but let’s all just imagine in this situation that I did) I might be the type of person that would actually use the kitchen. Which, my friends, is a first and I am so excited about.

I’m also excited because we’ve got a cooking night tonight.

Who would have ever imagined that I might be excited about cooking? Whoa life change.

So thank you to my lovely friend for such a sweet and thoughtful gift. I’m tempted to call her Knife Girl, because of this fabulous gift, but that will seem weird in future posts as I’m sure I will talk about her more and more. But really, the more I think about it, the more I think she seems like the perfect Knife Girl…

Yup. Knife Girl it is. Sorry dear, sometimes you just can’t shake the perfect nickname…

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