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LIFE

  • DIY LIFE

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I’m a HUGE fan of thrift stores. I could spend hours looking through clothes, books, furniture, knick knacks, etc. Most people don’t like thrift stores because it’s time-consuming and you really have to dig to find the good stuff, but honestly that’s kind of what I love about it. There’s always incredible things hidden within the junk!

    I have a ton of DIY projects that I want to share, but before I get into the crazier stuff (like the chameleon habitat I made out of an old glass curio cabinet), I want to start with something a little simpler! Something that even thrift store newbies can follow along to.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    So I found these two wood things (so descriptive, great writing) and immediately loved them. One is a mail holder, and one is a small shelf unit. They were both pretty beat up and made of this horribly ugly wood, but I knew I could make them into something awesome.

    Here’s what I used:

    • my lovely thrift store finds
    • sandpaper
    • spray paint (and acrylic paint in the same color, optional)

    Step 1. Sanding. Sanding down the wood removes a lot of the marks and scratches, and it also provides a smooth surface for the paint. Once they were sanded, I wiped them down with a damp towel and let them dry outside.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Step 2. Painting. Once the shelves were totally dry, I laid them out on a big tarp and spray painted both of them with 2 coats of paint each (make sure to let the first coat dry before you apply the second coat). I used Rust-oleum Paint & Primer In One (one of my favorite spray paints for DIY projects) in the color Black Gloss.

    Step 3. Once the spray paint was dry, I went back through with black acrylic paint and touched up any small areas that didn’t get hit with the spray paint. If you’re awesome at spray painting, you can skip this step but I am not, so I won’t.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Step 4. There is no step 4, there’s literally only 3 steps. Told you it’s easy!

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    We hung the mail holder right by the front door, and it fits perfectly. Plus I love that it has key rings along the bottom.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    And the second one is hanging in our bedroom, and holds a ton of my crap knick knacks: sunglasses, chokers, random mushroom ornament I’ve had for years, tiny otter, rose ring holder, and my favorite gift I’ve ever received (crocheted Penguin Drama made by one of Mike’s clients).

    Thanks for reading! ♡

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  • Animals & Veganism LIFE

    Adopt, Don’t Shop! – Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    This post is sponsored by KitNipBox.

    If you know anything about me, you know that I am a huuuge advocate for “Adopt, Don’t Shop”, which is the mentality that if you want a pet, try to adopt from a shelter before you buy from a breeder.
    I truly believe that rescue animals make some of the most loving and loyal pets. Whenever I’m thinking about getting a new pet, I always check shelters first, and I always end up falling in love and adopting.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions:

    Adopting a pet means you’re saving a life (technically, more than one!).
    Millions of unadopted animals are euthanized every year. By adopting, you’re helping to clear out shelters and make room for more animals that need help!

    Rehabilitating an animal is so rewarding.
    Cassie was really badly abused before I rescued her, and it still shows. She’s been my pet for almost 8 years now, and she still flinches when I move too quickly. But after learning little tricks to make her feel safe, like making sure she always has an escape route and doesn’t feel trapped, she’s learned to trust me. I literally tear up when I think about how far she’s come, and how I’m giving her a good life to make up for her awful past.

    Adopting a pet is cost-effective.
    Animal shelters sell pets at a very cheap price (sometimes you can even get one for free!), plus all pets get their shots, vaccinations, and spayed/neutered before they’re sent home with you.

    Rescue animals are just as healthy as regular animals.
    Animals brought into a shelter always undergo a full medical examination and get treated for any illnesses they may have (many shelters have a vet on staff 24/7), whereas animals from a puppy mill can carry all types of diseases without ever being treated. Rescue animals have a bad reputation of being old and sick, but most are perfectly healthy animals that have just been left behind or abandoned.

    They only want love.
    All Cassie wants is love. She’s so content just laying next to me while I’m on the computer, or sitting next to my feet while I’m baking. I try to spend as much time with her as I can, even if it’s just something small like brushing her or throwing her mouse toy around. But this month, I wanted to do something special, so I got her a KitNipBox, which is a monthly subscription box just for cats! I love this company for two main reasons: you get so much stuff for a great price, and every month they donate to different animal welfare causes.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Truth be told, Cassie tends to be a little picky when it comes to toys and treats. But as soon as I set the box down, she went crazy pulling toys out and throwing them all over the house. This month’s box was Rock n’ Roll-themed, and included a bag of catnip, Wellness Kittles Chicken & Cranberry Treats, and 5 toys: a keyboard, a microphone, a catnip-stuffed t-shirt, a red crinkle pillow, and a leopard-print wand. She’s especially fond of the crinkle pillow!

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Please go check them out, they’re an awesome company and I know your cat is going to love it.
    Aaand I always have people ask about Cassie’s adoption, so here it is!

    Cassie’s Adoption Story:

    I was in LA going to culinary school, and since I was living alone, I wanted a pet to keep me company. I came home one weekend to visit my parents, hoping to adopt a cat and bring it with me back up to LA. I started looking through cats on the humane society website, and immediately fell in love with “Sasha”, this sad-looking cat with a huge stripe down her face. My dad started joking around and said her face looked like a Picasso painting.

    The next day, we went to the shelter, and I noticed a tiny little face poking out of a cat tower cubby. I asked the girl helping us, and her exact words were, “Oh you don’t want that one”. I snapped, “Don’t tell me which cat I want, I asked you to tell me about that one” (PS, if you work in the humane society, WHY ON EARTH would you tell someone not to adopt an animal? It still baffles me to this day).

    She finally told me about this little stripe-faced weirdo, who happened to be the exact cat I had been obsessed with the previous day. Sasha was a stray they found wandering with her four kittens, clearly abused and very dirty. They brought her in, cleaned her up, and got her healthy, and all of her kittens got adopted (which is adorable). She had been in the shelter for over a year: no one wanted her because she was super skittish, anxious, and “ugly”. Immediately, I was like “That one. I want her. Give her to me, now”, and she’s been my best little buddy ever since!

    PS my dad named her Pablo Picatso, but it’s Cassie for short.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Thank you guys so much for reading! If you have a rescue animal, tell me in the comments! ♡

    Thank you to KitNipBox for sponsoring this post!
    (All opinions are 100% my own. I only partner with brands that I use in my everyday life.)

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

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  • DIY LIFE

    DIY Recipe Binder (aka how I organized my huge mess of recipes for less than $10)

    Hello friends. I’m here today to help you.
    Recipe collections can get out of hand SO quickly. You cut a recipe out of a magazine and set it aside, and all of a sudden your cabinets are overflowing with random cutouts and little scraps of paper, which is my worst nightmare. But never fear, even the biggest recipe collections can be tackled with ease, and I’m here to help you. Ready?

    DIY Recipe Binder

    I’m not going to lie to you, my recipe collection isn’t falling out of my cabinets. My recipes are all in binders, on a shelf, in my office (it’s my OCD, I need everything to be in order, always, at all times). But even though my recipes are physically in binders, the binders don’t make sense (half of my bread recipes are in my Cake Binder and half are in my Dinner Binder, ugh these first world problems of mine) and it drives me crazy, and it’s a project that I’ve never wanted to start because it’s so overwhelming.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Here’s half of my recipe binders.
    Sooooo. Let’s get to organizing!
    First things first, I went to Staples (not spon) and got all my pages printed out on really nice cardstock. This whole project only cost $10 (including the binder)!

    DIY Recipe Binder

    PS, this entire recipe binder set is available in my Etsy shop in tons of different colors and patterns, so head over there and grab one for yourself! All the Recipe Binder Printables include a cover page, category dividers, and fun pages like a weekly meal plan, kitchen conversion chart, and grocery staples list! And it includes blank category dividers and recipe tabs, so you can add your own font and organize your recipes however works best for you!

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Before anything else, I emptied all the recipes out of the binders and organized them. There were a ton of recipes that I didn’t want anymore, and some of them were honestly just illegible. I decided to make this binder my Dessert Binder, since I have more dessert recipes than anything.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Making the tabs! I added my own font onto the category tags, printed them, cut them out, folded them in half, and used washi tape to attach them to the category pages. If you want it to look extra professional, you could laminate the tags before you attach them, but I didn’t do that because I’m no professional.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    After I put the category dividers in page protectors and added the tabs, I started adding the recipes. I decided to hole punch everything and add it in rather than add everything in page protectors. Pages might get ruined (and food-stained) quicker, but I like it so much more without recipes in individual page protectors.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    So that’s a stack (you can’t tell how big it is, but it’s taller than the 3″ binder) of papers that I needed to hole punch, but I just did it while watching Pretty Little Liars, which is the worst show I’ve ever seen but somehow kind of addicting? I don’t understand anything that’s going on (how many times are they going to flip flop who’s evil and who’s not??) but all I know is that I love Caleb more than anyone.
    And yes, that’s a page of my favorite bread recipes from Pioneer Woman, and my handwriting from 10 years ago that was just awful.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    I’m so happy with how this turned out. I have a section right up front for Recipes to Try (like these Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker), and I included a section in the back for recipes from my own website. This project is so easy and so customizable, I loved organizing the binder to fit my own needs.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Thank you guys so much for reading, and let me know if you try this project!

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  • LIFE Some Things on a Sunday

    Some Things on a Sunday, 7

    Welcome to my series, Some Things on a Sunday!
    Every Sunday, I like to share my random thoughts & cool things I’ve found, along with a weekly recap and some photos from the week. Enjoy!
    This post may contain affiliate links.


    • First of all, happy new year and I hope everyone had a great holiday season!
    • Let’s start off with a clip from my favorite show: Don’t Stop Letting People Not Help.
    • I made (a vegan version of) this spicy sausage, kale, potato, and kale soup this week and it was SO GOOD.
    • 2017 was not a great year, but at least a little good came out of it.: veganism is skyrocketing! The demand for vegan food has increased over 980%, and people in the UK are eating 50% less beef. I know a lot of people are plant-based for their health (which is awesome!), but if you’re plant-based because of animals (like me), this is so exciting.
    • Still obsessed with this DIY Terrarium Coffee Table from A Beautiful Mess.
    • This skirt is perfect.
    • These croissant rolls look AMAZING.
    • I LOOOVE DIY cake stands, and these gold geometric cake stands look awesome.
    • I just got over the worst sickness of my entire life (not an exaggeration). I don’t know if I had what everyone else has, but it was BAD. And while I was bedridden, I started watching Black Mirror and HOLY COW that show is great!
    • Also, I always made fun of people who are like, “Black Mirror is the future, man, that’s where society is headed”. But now that I’ve seen it, I’m like, “Yeah, no, that’s definitely where society is headed”. Hahah.
    • Mike and I are also binge-watching the new Planet Earth. Call me a nerd, but man I love that show.
    • Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls? Yes please.
    • I have been shutting down all my old social media this week and it feels so. good.
    • Speaking of change: 12 Things to Cut out of Your Life in 2018.
    • One more video… just because I love them so much.
    • I’m feeling so energized and excited about the new year. In 2018, I’m hoping to grow my blog & my Twitch channel, eat healthier/exercise every day, help animals in any way I can, learn to stress less, and buy a house. What about you, what are your new years resolutions?

    Posts from this week:
    Top Recipes of 2017
    9 Tips for Easy Vegan Living
    Chocolate Turtle Popcorn

    You can follow me here:

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    I hope everyone has a great week! ♡

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  • Animals & Veganism LIFE

    9 Tips for Easy Vegan Living

    Happy 2018!
    Starting a new year always fills me with hope. I know you don’t magically become a new person overnight, and 90% of new years resolutions are abandoned within 6 weeks, but there’s still something about January 1st that makes me feel like I can do anything, or like I have the strength to change anything I want to.

    9 Tips for Easy Vegan LivingImage Source

    I know a ton of people are planning on going plant-based for 2018, which is super exciting. Veganism has been skyrocketing this year (plant-based eating has increased 600% in just a few years!), and vegan products are becoming more available and more affordable. However, I know a lot of people don’t know where to start with transitioning their diet. The two things I always hear from people are “I could never give up (meat, cheese, etc.)” and “I’m afraid I’ll slip up”, which is totally understandable! I’ve been vegan for over four years and still slip up on occasion (never with meat, but with dairy). But being vegan is not nearly as hard as people make it out to be. Yes, it requires a bit of planning and a bit of adjusting, and yes there will be times where you feel like you’re missing out a little bit (just being honest). But after a month or so, your body will feel better, your mind will be clearer, and you’ll adjust, I promise.

    To celebrate the new year, I’ve compiled a list of my personal tips for transitioning into a vegan lifestyle:
    1. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.
      Whether you’re doing it for health reasons or because you love animals, any type of veganism is still a lifestyle change. Yes, you will feel healthier and yes, you will probably lose weight, but not always. It’s not a cure-all or a quick solution, it’s a lifestyle shift that will take some getting used to.
    2. Do what works best for you.
      Some people find it easiest to quit overnight, some people find it easier to cut things out of their diet over a few months. Find what works best for you, because then you’ll be more willing to stick with it.
    3. Slipping up is ok as long as you’re still trying.
      Don’t give up! I know it can be discouraging if you slip up, but it’s ok, just keep going. It can be really hard to change your diet when you’ve been eating a certain way your whole life.
    4. Some change is better than no change.
      There are people who will argue with me on this one, but I firmly believe that some change is better than no change. It doesn’t matter if you are vegan, vegetarian, or just do Meatless Mondays; educating yourself and changing a little is better than no change at all.
    5. Set yourself up for success.
      Take an hour to cut up a bunch of vegetables to cook throughout the week. Or if you have the time, try meal prepping. Stock your fridge with healthy ready-to-grab vegan snacks. Stock your freezer with frozen fruits and veggies. A lot of people fail due to hunger or laziness, and it’s easy to grab junk food out of habit. But set yourself up for success by preparing snacks and meals ahead of time, or at least halfway preparing them so they’re easy to throw together.
    6. There are vegan substitutes for everything.
      If you find yourself missing a certain food or ingredient, chances are they already have a vegan substitute for it. This is a controversial topic, because a lot of vegans hate ‘meat substitutes’, and carnivores hate that vegans buy ‘meat substitutes’ (I’ve literally had people confront me while looking at vegan burger patties and be like “IF YOU’RE GOING TO BUY THAT YOU SHOULD JUST EAT A COW HAHA”… idiots). But to be honest, I’m all about vegan substitutes and they definitely make a plant-based diet a little easier. It means when my family is barbecuing, I can enjoy a cheeseburger with them, and that’s awesome. Obviously you shouldn’t depend on substitutes, because a lot of the time they’re not very healthy. But a little vegan sour cream on a baked potato, or some vegan parmesan on your pasta? It’s nice to enjoy something familiar without feeling like you’re sacrificing anything. And honestly, some substitutes are almost indistinguishable from the real thing; try Follow Your Heart cheese or Beyond Meat!
    7. Make sure you’re eating correctly.
      With all the vegan substitutes available, it’s easy to sink into the habit of making a quesadilla or grilled cheese every night (trust me, I’ve been there). But you still need to make sure you’re eating correctly (and eating enough!). Fill up on leafy vegetables and snack on fruit. Plants contain more than enough protein, vitamins, and minerals to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle (even though we are led to believe differently, plants actually contain more protein than meat). When in doubt, have a smoothie or a juice. It’s an easy way to get your daily boost of vitamins and greens.
    8. Try, try, try.
      Try new recipes (pssst, I’ve got a TON of great recipes over on the recipe index), or simply substitute plant-based ingredients in your current favorite recipes. Try new ingredients, even if they seem foreign (like jackfruit, a fruit that tastes like freakin’ pulled pork, NO JOKE). Try new restaurants, or try getting vegan dishes at your current favorite restaurant. Just try, try, try until you find things you like. Make veganism work for you.
    9. Remind yourself why you’re going vegan.
      Watch a documentary, read articles, educate yourself on the meat and dairy industry and remind yourself why you’re going vegan. Educated minds are more likely to make a change, even if they don’t go full vegan. When you find yourself craving meat, remind yourself that you’ll be healthier and happier without it. It only gets easier!

    If you guys ever want to read my personal vegan journey, need any guides or vegan resources, or have any other questions about a plant-based diet, please let me know! I’m always happy to help.
    And be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what delicious vegan foods I’m making this week!

    ♡ What’s your best tip for sticking with a vegan diet?
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