Watercolors, weavings & weights

Another week come and gone and so much crafting was had! I’ve been trying to stay focused on a handful of crafts and stick to those. This may not seem like a big deal but honestly, I have the shortest attention span when it comes to crafts. I have a grocery list on my phone and next to it is a craft supply list for all the projects I want to do and what I need to buy, is that just a me thing?? We need to move into a bigger place ASAP so I have more space to play with! Here’s what I liked this week:

  1. Watercolor cards – I’m fortunate to have some very incredible women in my life and it just so happens that a few of my closest girlfriends have birthdays in May! I’ve always been one to make cards for people and have joked for years that someday I’ll own a store and sell my homemade cards…you never know 🙂 Over the last year I’ve been dabbling in watercolors and found some awesome, on sale, watercolor pencils at Craft Warehouse. I tried them out for a bit and didn’t feel too inspired until this month. With Spring in the air, sunshine, flowers and so many vibrant colors, something finally clicked. I really enjoy using watercolor pencils because you have more control over the shapes and finer detail items that go into making floral designs. Take a look at the finished product featured in the above picture!

  2. 20160530_110445
    The finished product!

    Wall weaving – I’ve always been one to want to try doing it myself, anytime I see something on Instagram or Pinterest I want to try making it. Enter my attempts at creating wall weavings. Not only do I have a collection of yarn, roving, threads and twine but I’ve now started collecting sticks to hang my wall weavings from. While on the East side of the state visiting Tim’s family, I came across a wishbone-like stick in their front yard. It was love at first sight. I just knew I’d be able to create a kick-ass wall weaving around this stick. Well, almost 6 months later I finally decided to take it on. And I wanted to get funky. I incorporated the traditional yarn and roving but then I threw in some string I had, some embroidery floss and some beads. It’s my personal take on a diptych weaving inspired by this Eastern Oregon stick. Thanks to The Weaving Kind for their April/May challenge! P.S. that’s an awesome and inspiring Instagram account to follow if you’re interested in fiber art and artists and need a little nudge to start creating some wall weavings yourself.

  3. Kettlebell Tabatas – I am gradually falling in love with kettlebells. I would like to start off by saying you need to be incredibly careful with form and your movements – I’m no personal trainer! – when adding kettlebells to your workout but holy cow they’re fun to use. I’m currently using an 8 kg kettlebell which is just under 18 pounds. I don’t have a strong upper body and feel like the 8 kg weight is a good starting point for me. I also don’t have a lot of self discipline, can always find time to do something else and because I’m new to using kettlebells I don’t know what workouts to even do. That’s why kettlebell tabatas have become my new best friend. A quick, 25 minute work out that gets my heart rate up, my whole body engaged and mixes it up from the cardio heavy routine I have. I found this BodyFit by Amy video that not only showed me proper form, moves and tells me when to start and stop but she also packs it all in to 25 minutes!

  4. Smart Ass – We’re a board game household. Yahtzee, Cards Against Humanity, Farkle. We’re into it. However, our favorite board game has to be Smart Ass. It is by far the most fun, crowd pleasing, fast moving board game that we tend to bring out every time we have friends over. Your trivia minded friends may have a slight advantage to this game but it can be anyone’s game. A list of clues read off one at a time, everyone playing can only guess once per round, and the first thought that pops into your head may or may not be the right answer. Do you risk blurting it out? Or hold in your answer that you swear is right and then watch one of your friends steal the glory and say it first? So many conflicting emotions!!

  5. Veggie lasagna -There is something about veggie lasagna that I absolutely love. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat your standard, meat-filled lasagna anytime, but there is something about veggie lasagna that speaks to me. I found this recipe on Pinterest (surprise, surprise) and will continue to use it forever. The best part is that it’s open ended. What veggies do you have on hand? Great! Cut, shred, peel or whatever you need to do and throw them all in together because congratulations you just used up a bunch of random veggies you had in your crisper and they’re going to taste amazing together. I used some shredded zucchini, cauliflower and an orange bell pepper. Original recipe found here courtesy of Pinch of Yum (great recipe resource!).

Have a great week!

And so it begins…

Oh hello! I have a few weeks to play catch up on so there will be a couple of new posts for you to read right off the bat. The idea for Jess Likes has been in the back of my mind for a while but it didn’t really seem like a reality until a few things happened. I stopped making excuses. I decided that this was something I was doing for myself as a creative outlet. And finally, I read You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Which leads me to the number 1 thing I liked this week:

  1. You Are A Badass – She’s real. She’s honest. And she makes you feel like you’re sitting down at a coffee shop with your best friend that’s giving you the best pep talk of your life. Unapologetic, kick in your ass type of talk. As soon as I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down and I started talking about it with everyone. I asked myself, “Wait, why am I holding myself back?” Unhappy? Check. Feeling stuck? Check. Trying to find direction and feeling pressure to succeed? Check & check. Reading this book allowed me to start conversations with others at work, home and with friends. The biggest takeaway is that in some way we’re all struggling to find ourselves and that’s okay, but don’t hold yourself back anymore. What is that little idea that keeps resurfacing every time you’re feeling the most stuck? Maybe there’s something more to that little idea.

  2. Cape Lookout State Park – I don’t feel like I visit the Oregon coast nearly enough even though it’s a short hour or so drive away. Tim and I decided to take a risk and book a campsite for a Saturday in May. We lucked out! The weather was beautiful and the Cape Lookout Hike is 5 miles of lush, coastal hiking with some spectacular views. The out and back hike is a little steep at times but you’re soon rewarded with a view of the ocean that forces you to stop and take it all in (see featured picture above, amazing!). As you continue the hike you get a mix of shade from the towering Sitka Spruce trees and glimpses of the green-blue ocean water. Absolutely beautiful and a wonderful change from the Columbia River Gorge hikes we normally end up doing. For more information check out Oregon Hikers – Cape Lookout Hike.

  3. Pony Tail Falls
    Ponytail Falls

    Horsetail Falls – Oregon is to waterfalls like tortilla chips are to guacamole. They just go together. Tim and I hiked Horsetail Falls for the first time this week and couldn’t get over how incredibly beautiful the scenery is. It’s a fairly easy loop hike that starts with a view of Horsetail Falls. This is along the stretch of the Historic Highway east of Multnomah Falls so it can get very crowded with hikers going to Oneonta & Triple Falls as well. I highly recommend this hike because not only do you start with a waterfall but after less than a mile in you come to Ponytail falls where you get to walk behind the waterfall! At the end of the loop you do have to walk along the shoulder of the Historic Highway so be aware of cars passing by or parking. For more information check out Oregon Hikers – Horsetail Falls Hike.

  4. Meal Prepping – My feelings about meal prep: It’s too hard. Takes too much time. Isn’t it boring eating the same things all week? Variety is the spice of life! And every other excuse under the sun. And yet, here I am almost 2 months later in full on meal prep mode. Yes I’m a planner and enjoy making lists so this tends to fit my personality well. But what truly helped was A) Stopping the excuses and realizing that a healthier lifestyle wasn’t just going to happen to me without any effort on my end and B) I found supportive people to help keep me grounded. Plus, I use My Fitness Pal (this app is free and available for iOS and Android users) to help me stay organized and on track and during the week prior I’ll pick out 1-3 recipes that sound good and write them out on a calendar. This also helps keep you on track with grocery shopping! No getting sidetracked down the snack aisle when you know what you need for the week ahead. Once I have them all prepped, portioned out and ready for the week I now have no more excuses. If I know I have plans to meet up for happy hour or go to dinner with a friend then that’s okay! I make sure to pick out recipes with some flexibility in serving size. Eating healthier doesn’t mean shutting down your social life.

  5. Idealbars & Idealshakes – There’s no way in hell I could meal prep all of my breakfasts, lunches, dinners & two snacks throughout the day. So I did some research and found a few meal replacement options that worked for me. I found Idealshape and have been using their Idealbars and shakes for the past few months (they can be purchased here & here) and they have helped me immensely! I keep a few items like almond milk, Greek yogurt, bananas, PB2 or peanut butter on hand and then rotate through a few different recipes every morning to create a breakfast shake. The Idealbars are helpful when I want a snack that will fill me up and get me to that next meal without making me feel heavy. I’ve tried the chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and mocha shakes (chocolate is my favorite!) and all of the Idealbar flavors except the brand new Honey Roasted Almond flavor that just came out (Cinnamon Caramel Crunch and S’mores are my fave for these!).

Have a great week!