Sunday, November 15, 2015

DIY - Fabric Crosses

So I was perusing Pinterest lately, well everyday, but this particular day I came across this adorable fabric crosses on a piece of wood. Instantly I thought well I could do that, plus the $60 price tag was a little more than I wanted to spend on them.

So here is the step-by-step tutorial to make these adorable crosses. They can hang on a wall or even sit on a shelf or on an easel. My plan is to use this one for my holiday decorations!!!

1 - 2x8 board cut 13 inches long (my awesome hubby cut mine, if you don't have access to a saw ask the lumber yard to cut them for you)
Hand sander or sandpaper
Wood stain
Old Sock (or something to stain your board with)
Rubber gloves
Fabric of your choice
Fabric cutting mat
Cutting Wheel and Straight Edge
Staple gun
Hot glue gun
Fabric/burlap/metal flowers (I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby in the scrapbooking section in packs of 4 for $3.99)

Step 1: Cut the boards, if they are already cut then you can skip this step

Step 2: Sand the boards on all sides and ends, I used 60 grit sandpaper and my trusty little hand sander. You don't need to go crazy just smooth any rough spots and the cut edges.

Step 3: Wipe down the boards and stain them. I put on nitrile gloves use a sock because I can put it on my hand and rub it on and work it into the grain of the wood. This method works great for me, if you have a different method then please use that. Set the boards on a covered surface and let them fully dry.

Step 4: Cut the fabric. I love my cutting mat and cutting wheel...I should have a nice plastic guide but unfortunately I've not seen that since we moved so I used a trusty carpenter's square for my straight edge. Make sure that your right edge is clean and straight, if not make a cut there and then measure out anywhere from 3.5-5 inches and make a clean strip. Your strip needs to be at least 30 inches long. If you don't have a cutting mat you can use scissors, I'm just not that steady so I stick to my mat. Note: if you have a patter that includes straight edges or repeating items use that as a guide how wide to make your fabric.

Step 5: Once the boards are dry position the fabric below the board leaving at least 1 inch hanging over after you wrap it to the back on both the top and bottom. Starting with one end pull the fabric around the end and place three staples across the back, go to the other end and pull the fabric taut but not too tight and place three more staples.

Step 6: Flip the board over and gauge where you want your cross to be, start in the middle and fold the fabric over to gather it and place a staple, repeat the process on either side and again on either side if you want. You can gather the fabric as many times as you want. I tend to do 3 or 4.

Step 7: Prep another strip of fabric to go across about 1/3 of the way down from the top, staple across the back as you did in Step 5.

Step 8: Flip the board over and repeat step 6, keeping in mind to keep your staples need to stay close enough together that your flower covers them completely.

Step 9: Remove your flower from the package and cover the back with hot glue and adhere it to the fabric covering all the staples.

This makes a great gift. If you want to make it so it can be hung on the wall you can simply add a picture hanger to the back or give it with a pretty metal easel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Impromptu Dinner Guests

So last night my husband was meeting with a customer and offered up our home for him to stay which makes a lot of sense, we live a ways from any hotels and for sure have the space for guests so I was happy to have him stay with us. But that also meant that I was on the spot for dinner for our guest and a couple of friends whom one is also a co-worker of the hubby.

I was lucky enough to have thawed out a pre marinated beef tenderloin from Sam's Club on Sunday to use this week so I just needed to add some sides and we would have a full meal for the 5 of us. I purchased potatoes on Monday at the store which I rarely do because well I love potatoes and I love to eat potatoes so I don't buy said potatoes. But Monday for some reason they spoke to me, call it comfort foods of fall or maybe I knew I had a tenderloin thawing in the fridge but I bought them and I'm happy I did!

So I went straight to Pinterest (visit my Good Fixings board on Pinterest for this pin and many other yummy recipes) and found a great recipe called Melting Potatoes and thought it was worth a try, doesn't thyme, garlic and butter sound great on a potato to accompany a nice rarely grilled tenderloin. The Melting Potatoes were AMAZING!!! They do take some time to put together and you can't just put them in the oven and forget them but they are worth the effort and as my husband said we served a high end restaurant meal in our own home which is better than a restaurant any day any way!

To round out the meal I made red wine and butter poached mushrooms, roasted broccoli, rolls and apple turnovers using crescent roll dough with plenty of red wine (and Busch Light for the non-red wine fans) to go around.

Here is the recipe for the Melting Potatoes from the Spicy Southern Kitchen.

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled (I used red potatoes)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I used 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1¼ cups chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled

  1. Place oven rack in upper-middle position of oven and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Combine melted butter, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Square off ends of potatoes and cut into ¾ to 1-inch thick disks.
  4. Toss potato slices in butter mixture and arrange in a single layer in a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip potatoes over. Place back in oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove pans from oven and flip potatoes one more time. Add chicken broth and garlic. Place back in oven until potatoes are tender, about another 15 minutes.
  8. Baste potatoes with sauce and serve.
Be sure to use a metal baking pan. A glass baking dish can shatter in a very hot oven.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Back to blogging (and a FUN recipe)

I have missed blogging, but things have been crazy in our lives (you know like everyone else's lives, when did we all get soooo busy?) but I have missed blogging, the therapy of sitting down at a computer and knocking out some words that reflect how I feel, think, act or whatever at the time. I usually like to have a plan when I am 'back to blogging' but this time I'm keeping it free you have been forewarned that this will be an even more random blog that it has been since inception.

One thing that remains the same is there will be cooking. Here is a fun little recipe that I made last Saturday when we had some folks over to watch the Iowa/Wisconsin Game. Yes I said the Iowa game...I was wearing my Mizzou shirt and there was another Mizzou influence in the mix.

The recipe is super simple and works great in our donut pans we got as a wedding gift which makes me feel a little better about them since they are baked and not fried!

Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Cider Donuts

Even Truman approves!!! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Giide

Mother's Day is just a few days away,
but never fear procrastinators...there are still a lot of great ideas you can put together before Sunday! I'm not a mom, but I know a lot of moms and I'm pretty sure there is something on this list for every mom! 

Spa gift certificate - she can get a facial, massage, nails, etc. on her own time!

MAC Lip Stick - it is luxurious and wonderful and perfect for a mom who loves lipstick! I love Up the Amp for spring! 

Indie Lee Skin Care - love this stuff, I'm obsessed with her Squalane Facial Oil it is fast absorbing and both my mom (drier skin) and I (normal to oily) love it!

If all else fails, you can't go wrong with a Sephora or Ulta gift card!

Herb garden - buy a pretty pot and plant two to three of your mom's favorite herb to cook with, it is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Flowering plants:
If your mom already has the pits steal them and fill them with some beautiful flowering plants. I love to do tall grass in the back, a geranium or two and some wave petunias or sweet potato vine off the front.

Make her something: 
I'm not meaning a dry pasta necklace but maybe it is your own sugar scrub (easy...sugar, oil, essential oils in a cute mason jar, so very affordable). Or buy a wooden crate at a craft store, paint or stain it and put it on casters for portable storage great for a closet or pantry! Make
her muffins and pair them with some fruit in a basket (we all have them laying around) for easy breakfast so she can sleep in or relax. 

If all else fails, if your mom is on Pintetest go to her boards and find her something you know she will never buy for herself! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Work-from-Home Morning Beauty Routine

I work from home and thus people think that I must sleep until 9 and go to work in my PJ's. Well that is actually pretty far from the truth. When I started working from home I asked friends that worked from home how did they stay motivated and they all had the same general comment, have a routine. Sounded pretty simple and honestly it is.

I am lucky we have an extra smaller bedroom in the basement, where I am currently, that is my dedicated office so there isn't anything to distract me. Every day I wake up, work out, shower, get dressed and grab breakfast before heading into the 'office'. Even though I don't go into a physical office, and on most days don't see anyone except my husband I do have a simple beauty routine I follow. For me it is an important step so I feel like me and feel like I'm at work, guess it was 10+ years I worked in an office and needed to look presentable to the outside world.

Here is my daily, work-from-home, beauty routine.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm - I love this product because it isn't heavy like foundation but provides a very sheer light coverage plus a little sun protection AND moisturizer.

Benefit Fake Up - This concealer is amazing and works for when I need a little under eye pick-me-up.

Femme Couture Shimmer Stick - is a fantastic eye crayon I received from a Crystal Cattle Beauty Swap from Alison at Outside the Ag Room. The color is Moon Glow and it has a hint of purple with a hint of brown, I can swipe it on my lower lid and looks like I tried.

Eyelash Curler - I have had this Mary Kay eyelash curler for YEARS! I'm not saying it is the best curler around but it is the one I have.

Mascara - I got back and forth between the ULTA Plush Dramatic Volume Mascara and the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. Both are great but I probably tend to wear the Ulta on any given day and the Too Faced when I go out of the house.

Anyone else out there work from home or have a great quick product they love on the weekends?

Introducing Mrs. Rice...

.....yes that is me! I was fortunate enough to marry my one and only on March 28th!

Which explains why I was relatively radio silent for the last few months because I was not only planning a wedding while we continue to work on the homestead but the company I work for also was purchased so adjusting to a new company and planning a trip to Mexico for the new company for 600 of my favorite people...basically I had a lot going on...just like everyone else.

I will be sharing a couple of pictures from our big day in this post but I will be doing extended blogs about how to not let Pinterest ruin your wedding and how to be a chill bride (yes, for those of you who know me personally you are probably shocked to hear that everyone kept calling me such a relaxed and easy-going bride!).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grey Hair DO Care

Um, yea that statement is NOT correct, grey hair I care very much. Fact is that I have had grey hair since I was in my mid-20's. At this point I'm not sure how much grey I have, but I know it is enough and I don't know what my natural hair color is but that is why I have a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT colorist!

But if you are like me you can't always get to your awesome colorist on a timely basis and your hair color is a little far from your natural color so the regrowth doesn't always match well I was running out of creative ways to style my hair so I couldn't see the great regrowth line. Or maybe you want to extend the time between colors to save some money. But I have found an awesome temporary solution....let me introduce my new special little friend.

Looks like I'm preparing to shoot the camera! 

Rita Hazan Root Concealer, which I purchased from Sephora. This product is awesome and comes in 4 great shades, lucky for me the red is VERY close to the current color of my hair. The can is small with a very fine extended nozzle that allows for targeted application. It sprays on very lightly and easily covers your hair...and it stays very well as I only wash my hair every few days and as long as I don't change my part I don't have to worry about reapplying product. I will say that after a while the product does build up a little and you may have to wash your hair or using a baking soda wash every now and then to get it completely cleaned out. The only caution is that if you get the spray on your face it will stain unless wiped off pretty quickly so I hold a towel up to my face while I spray the product on.



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winter Travel Must-Haves

So I am currently on the road on day 5 of a 12 day work trip...and not it isn't even out of the country which is very disappointing, but at least I am in the Southeast where it is warmer than it is in Iowa...I didn't say warm I just said warmer!

I wanted to share with you all 4 of my winter travel must-haves. I have a lot of travel tips due to the fact that I travel so much, which I will continue to share with you, but this one is super important for any of you taking a trip during the cold winter months.

1. Ole Henrikson Brightening Facial Wipes - These are amazing, they have a nice scent, they are mild enough for dry winter skin, tough enough to remove your make up and also has vitamin C! I get these from Sephora. They are awesome.

2. Josie Marin Oil - I use this oil for a little big of everything on the road, smoothing fly aways, under eye serum at night, mix with my CC cream if my face is feeling dry, cracked heels (because I am way overdue for a pedicure), etc. You can get this at a lot of places, obviously Sephora.

3. Ocean Saline Spray - Hotel rooms are DRY and my nose hates that! I love this to help help keep the inside of my nose moist.

4. Blender Bottle - The ONLY way I can stay on track while I am on the road is if I eat my breakfast in my room. Having a shake is super simple and helps me get my day started right and reduces the temptations.

I would be remiss to exclude the GIANT bottle of water I have with me at all time, but it just didn't make it in the picture.

What are some of your favorite winter travel must-haves?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Nephew DIY Projects

I have been on the road quite a bit lately and it hasn't changed I am currently on a 12 day trip so I thought it was time to get back to my blog. Here are a couple of projects that I worked on before Christmas...but there is a story behind them.

SO I will learn someday to always take before pictures when I start these DIY projects, but since I didn't I'm going to have to show you a couple of after pictures, explain what I (and my helper elves) did and let you imagine how hideous the original pieces were. Or my friend Jennie can vouch for how ugly the pieces were because she was with me when I bought them as the Good Will people were giving us a dirty look at 8:45 on a Monday night with the constant reminder that they were closing at 9:00. Yep we get it...moving right along now.

LEGO Table

This was super duper easy...all you need is an old end table or bedside table with a drawer or two...mine came from Good Will...1970's style with a drawer and a shelf under neath. I took the hardware off the drawer and wiped it down good with a disinfectant and then used Chalkboard spray paint and gave it a couple of good coats. Then I purchased a couple of Lego plates from Amazon (big surprise) and used E6000 to glue them down. We took over sized Legos and replaced the drawer pulls.

My future sister-in-law will love this picture, but honestly RK it was the best one I had of the table!

Kids Card Table

This was very rough. I found it at Good Will the same night I got the Lego table. It looked like it was also from the 70's but it was in great shape and just needed a little TLC. So I paid $9 for it and purchased a $3 vinyl table cloth on sale at Wal-Mart and used a can of Espresso colored Spray Paint and went to town. For the top I removed the cardboard top and asked Jake and his sister (insert future sister-in-law from above picture) to help me put it together, how they did it I have no idea but I think it was a lot like putting fabric on a chair, etc. BUT it is so cute and the nephews had their own table at Thanksgiving and we can use it for a lot of functions and it cost less than $20!

Friday, January 2, 2015

#ccbeautyswap Anniversary Edition & Fiber Lash Winner Announced

I was so honored that Crystal asked me to co-host the anniversary beauty swap with her. I've participated in all the swaps so far and have loved every moment of meeting each person I've connected with and trying out my awesome new products...some of which have become a staple in my make-up bag on a daily basis.

This swap I was lucky enough to be paired with Crystal and I was so excited to get some awesome goodies from here and those of you who follow me on Instagram (@travelingcowgirl) know what I received already but I wanted to provide a little more detail below!

Josie Marin oil - YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH THIS...under your eyes for extra moisture, on your ends to smooth your hair, add a few drops to your CC cream for smoother application. This is the second time I've received this oil (and I was out when I got this one so bonus for me) and it is amazing...try

MAC Lipstick and eyeshadow - Before the swap I had never tried any MAC products and I have to say I am a pretty big fan...the lipsticks go on smooth as do the eye shadows and they have just enough shimmer without being overly sparkly. I'm quickly becoming a MAC fan.

Nivea Chap Stick is in my purse at all times now...I love it!

I've not had a chance to try the mask but hope to this weekend. If you want to see my other posts from my other swaps check them out here:

Swap with Taysha - can be found on my Instagram page
Swap with Nicole
Swap with Lauren
Swap with Erin

Sporting my new eyeshadow and lipstick!

And now for the big winner of the 3-D Fiber Lash Mascara...congratulations Carly Cummings! Please send me an email at with your address and I'll get your new Sassy Lashes in the mail early next week!