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Friday, November 30, 2012

my first blogiversary

It was one year ago today that I wrote my very first blog post.
I had spent the previous few months becoming more and more obsessed with Pinterest and perusing through so many amazing diy and lifestyle blogs, that I felt inspired to start my own.  Little did I know, this blog would become a huge part of my life.

Since then, I have posted 176 times, and have had a total of 12,042 pageviews.  That is an average of 14.67 posts, and 1,003.5 pageviews per month.  And that even includes the 3 posts total that I wrote in November and December last year, and the month of our wedding when I only posted 7 times.  It has been so incredible to see these numbers change and grow every month.

The biggest reason this blog has meant so much to me, is because it has done two things: 

1.) It's given me the hobby I never had.  I didn't play sports or anything when I was younger, and especially since I've been an adult, I have felt a lack of passion for a hobby. I love to write here, and to share what's going on in our house and our life.  And even more than that, I love the actual projects that we do.  Having a creative outlet is so much more important in my life than I could have imagined.

2.) It's given me the most amazing relationships.  Do you know how many people have told me/sent pictures of them buying scrub brushes because of this post? The amount of love and support I have received from not only my family and friends, but from people I've never met who comment on this blog, is incredible.  It is almost constant, and brings so much joy to my life.

Most of all, I want to thank you.  
Thank you for reading magenta and lime.  Whether you found me through Pinterest, or because Kat or Alisa told you about it, or perhaps you have subscribed by email, Thank You.    You make what I do even more enjoyable.  Your support means everything to me, and I can't thank you enough.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

greenery in the kitchen

Update: This greenery died faster than I can even explain, so I quickly moved it out and stuck with the fake stuff.  Bummer for sure, but at least I know now!

Christmas Decorating is continuing slowly this week, as we get closer to the Christmas Tree on Saturday!! If you follow me on Instagram (@erinacolburn) you may have seen this picture of Matt pushing our cart at Home Depot on Friday.
See that greenery at the end of the cart? That is 15 feet of fresh garland that I scored for $5! I didn't really know what I would do with it, and I've never used fresh garland before, but for 5 bucks, I was willing to take the risk.  It literally took me 30 seconds after walking in the house from our shopping trip to start putting it in the kitchen.
What do you think?  Here's where I need your help! What else should I put up here? Lights? Candles? Something else? Nothing else?  It's really pretty, but I feel like it's a little bare, and any suggestions you have would be wonderful!

Also, after I was done placing all of it, I had a ton of pieces of garland all over the place.
So I grabbed a jar that I had laying around, and scooped up the smallest bits and put them in the bottom, and then put a candle inside.
I added larger pieces of garland that had fallen, on the side, and got this super simple, not to mention FREE, decoration!
 And this one is just because I'm messing with my camera that I'm super excited about!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

diy christmas carol art

Have you started putting up your Christmas decorations yet?  We have a few things out, but we will put everything else out this weekend when we get our tree.  One of the very first things I did on the day after Thanksgiving was put garland on the mantel. It was rather plain looking, and we knew we needed something on the barn door we made a few months ago.  So, I made this Christmas carol art with supplies we already had at the house.  This project is similar to the anniversary pillows I made last Christmas.
Remember that the amount of fabric, and size of your frame will depend on how large the piece of art will be. To make your own, you need the following:

Linen fabric - $3.99/yd at Hobby Lobby 
Black Fabric Paint - $2 at Hobby Lobby
Large Picture, or canvas frame - Look at Thrift Stores/ReStore for a couple dollars

Then, choose which lyric you want to display.  O Holy Night is both Matt and my favorite Christmas hymn, so this was an easy choice for us.  We chose the font Tangerine, and typed up our words.  Now, if you have a printer that currently has ink (unlike us), you can just print out your words, and skip this next step.

But, if you are like us, and you either don't have a printer or just don't currently have ink, you can place a piece of paper on your computer screen and simply trace the letters.
Then, cut out each letter.  You are essentially creating a stencil.  I used the little scissors that come in a manicure kit, and they work really well for a project like this.  Once all of your words are cut,  place your frame on top of newspaper, your linen on the frame, your words on the linen, and tape in place.
 Starting with the top line of words, paint where you cut the letters.  You will need to try to keep the paper as close to the fabric as possible, but the lines come out pretty clean every time.  
 This paint needs only about 15 minutes to dry since you're not using much, and then you can staple the linen to the frame.  The whole process is simple, but it definitely takes some time to cut all those letters out, and to paint them on.  Plan on spending a few hours on this.
 This art is the perfect for above our mantel for Christmas.  Don't mind the other items for now, still working on what will stay up here for December...
Love it! And the best part is that I already had everything I needed for this project, so it cost zero dollars! That's the best feeling!

Check out some of the other DIY Christmas projects I've made this year:
  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

pinterest tricks i love

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!! Is everyone still recuperating from their long weekend, like I am? I am so stuffed of delicious food and time with my hubby, I really did not want "normal life" to pick back up yesterday.  After hosting an event like Thanksgiving, and right before the holidays, I thought it seemed fitting to test out some of the Pinterest cleaning tricks that we have all seen.

Since our sink was used A TON this past week, I wanted to give it a good cleaning.  I saw this tip from Mallorie over at Happy Home, and gave it a try.  Her directions are simple and easy to follow, and it worked so well for me.  Here was my sink before.  Not terrible looking, but in need of a good shine.
The first step is to spray down the entire sink with vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on top, and then let it sit for 10 minutes.  It makes an awesome sizzle sound when the vinegar and baking soda mix, too! #yayforscience
 While this is setting, boil some water and then when the time is up, rinse the sink with the boiling water.
Next, you spray more vinegar and scrub scrub scrub, then wipe it down with a paper towel. 
  The next step is the one I missed, which I wish I hadn't.  After you're done scrubbing, spray goo gone, and clean the whole sink with it.  I thought I didn't need this, but it makes life so much easier.  The goo gone will get rid of all of the gunk left from the baking soda. Once this is nice and clean, wipe out your sink again with a paper towel.

The final step is to buff the sink with olive oil and a rag.  This is the key to a great shine.  Check it out!
 Love it! And I plan to do this every few months to keep it looking great!

Next up is a trick I tried last week before our holiday guests arrived.  Since we got Roxy when she was a puppy, she had a few accidents on the carpet, and left two stains upstairs.  So, I stumbled upon this pin which actually takes you to eHow, and tested it out.
Now, I have not tested this on bright red Kool-Aid spots, just relatively light stains.  All you do is spray the spot with a vinegar and water mixture, and place a damp rag on top of it.  Then, with your iron on the steam setting, iron the spot for about 30 seconds.  Then repeat until the stain is gone.  I had to repeat about 2-3 times, but it was so worth it. Check out the before and after on this spot right next to our bed.
First you see it, then you don't! Like I said, I haven't tested this on bright stains, but it worked wonders on spots like this.

Next is a tip from Martha that I mentioned a few weeks ago when we were talking about bathrooms in the simpler home series.  It's an amazing tub scrub that worked so well, I just had to share twice! 

Since we just have a shower, not a full bath, I halved the recipe, and mixed 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap, and then just added small amounts of water until I had a paste.  The recipe also calls for essential oil, but I didn't think that was necessary.
Do you see that line!?! I had only scrubbed for about 5 minutes when this happened, and I was sold.  It was so easy, super cheap, and made our shower like new again.

After you're done with all that cleaning, you may want to help yourself to some pampering, so here's a non-cleaning tip for good measure.  I saw this pin from the Gluten Free Navy Wife, and it is...you guessed it...amazing!!  I apologize in advance if you are a man that does not shave his legs.  This tip is for the ladies... or swimmers, I guess.
Obviously, I didn't take any pictures, but it was awesome! You just make a mixture of 2.5 cups of sugar, 1 cup oil (I used Canola), and 5 tablespoons of citrus juice (I used lemon).  You need a razor to shave the hair off your legs, and then I also recommend having 1-2 more dollar store razors that you don't mind ruining.  Then, follow these steps on each leg:

1. Shave leg with good razor to remove hair.
2. Take a handful of the mixture and scrub on your leg, then rinse.
3. Take cheap razor, and shave your leg again.  This will remove all the dead skin.
4. Take another handful of the mixture and scrub your leg again, and rinse.

Not even kidding you, my legs have not been this soft ever.  It is perfect for the winter-time when everything gets all dry here in Colorado.

So there they are, folks! Four tips from Pinterest that actually worked for me and I highly recommend.  I'm working on some Christmas projects this week, as well as getting outdoor decorations up, so I will be sharing all of that very soon!

Friday, November 23, 2012

thanksgiving at our home

This year was the first year that Matthew and I got to host our first Thanksgiving!  We had my parents and brother over for the whole day, and it was so great! Full of relaxation, tons of food, and even more laughter.

I popped the bird into the oven around 9:15, and he was a big guy.  He was also my first turkey, so I was quite nervous at the beginning of the day.
We started out the morning with a huge breakfast.  Matthew made breakfast tacos, I "made" cinnamon rolls, and my parents brought a butter braid.
We watched the parade while eating, and checking on Mr. Bird every hour or so.  As soon as Santa Clause came down the lane in the parade to welcome in the Christmas season, we turned on the ipod with the Christmas music.  Oh it was joyous...how I love thee, Christmas music.

At about 2:30, the turkey was done, and Matt pulled it out of the oven.
 Look how heavy it was! Nah...my hubby's just a funny guy.
After said bird was out of the oven and cooling, Matt carved his first turkey.
We had a full feast, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, mashed yams, cranberry sauce, rolls and dressing.
I'm in need of a new camera, so unfortunately the family pictures we took did not turn out well, this is the best one we got.
We also ate pumpkin pie, cran-apple pie, and french silk pie! It was a ton of food, and we have a TON of leftovers.

To finish out the day, we played a game and then went shopping.  I said I wouldn't go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, but we found some really great deals on gifts, and didn't want to miss out.  So we headed out to Target and Wal-Mart, and actually found what we were looking for!  We plan to go out again today for some more deals on gifts, and hopefully we will be just as successful!

I hope you had a great, relaxing celebration with your family and friends, and have a very wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

so many reasons to be thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I hope you are getting together with family and friends to enjoy a delicious meal and enjoy each other's company today!  Thank you so much for reading this blog, I am so thankful for you.

What an incredible year 2012 has been so far.  It has been full of so many incredible milestones in my life.  I am so thankful to have been given the greatest gift, my wonderful husband.  He's such an incredible person, and no matter what, I know he is always going to be here.
I am thankful for the amazing wedding we had earlier this year.  And especially so thankful for everyone that was able to celebrate with us; even those who weren't able to physically be there, but were most definitely there with us in spirit.
I am thankful for this house that we bought at the beginning of the year.  Not only has it been so much fun to renovate and decorate, but just having a roof over our heads when so many in this world do not, is such a blessing.
I am thankful for our families.  It has been a great year of visits, and seeing so many of them at our wedding.  We love them very much.
I am thankful for the birth of a new cousin, Isaac William.  I just know that my aunt and uncle are going to be amazing parents, and I just love his cute little face so much!
I am thankful for an amazing church community that has brought so much joy to our life.  Working with the students, and being a part of something so much bigger than myself has been the most incredible experience.  It's so great to see how God really works through people.
I am thankful for the amazing friends we have, that are so supportive of us, and always there, no matter what.

I am thankful for this blog.  Magenta and Lime has been one of the greatest things to happen to me.  It has provided me with a "hobby" that I really enjoy, and allows me to share with others in such an amazing community.  I am looking forward to what the future holds for this.

And above all, I am thankful for God.  I am thankful that he is constant in my life, and that he gave his son to die for my sins.  I am thankful that I will never be alone, and through him, I can do anything.  He has blessed me with such an incredible life, and I hope to honor him with my life.
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