Five for Friday: Catch-up edition

www.nestinthewest.comWell, that was a rather long and unintentional blog break! I’m going to chalk it up to summer – I’m out doing and enjoying my favourite season more than sitting writing about it. Right now, I’m smack-dab in the middle of a two week stay-cation and have been having lots of fun and a few getaways even before this. Here’s a quick catch-up before I resume regular posting next week!
Garrett Hayden on www.nestinthewest.comI took a day trip over to Vancouver to see my oldest nephew compete in his first body-building event. This is one of those experiences I’d never have if not for being an Aunty and I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. It was a blast! Loud pumping music, flashing lights, hooting, hollering and, of course, muscles! I’m ridiculously proud of Garrett for his discipline, hard work and absolute commitment. And wow, he took home first place……amazing!
www.nestinthewest.comThe following weekend was BC Day here and I took full advantage of the extra day off by scooting to Seattle – a city that’s near and dear to my heart. I stayed with my awesome cousin, who took such good care of me. In the course of the weekend we: had dinner at my fave restaurant (Scotch & Vine in Des Moines if you ever get there), took in a barbecue complete with Blue Angels air show with friends, had dinner with his daughters (also my cousins!), attended his youngest daughter’s wedding and spent a day boating on Lake Washington. So, so good. Cousins make the best friends!
www.nestinthewest.comI met a new favourite cocktail – the Moscow Mule. Do you know this one? I’ll admit that the special copper cup drew me in but this is also such a refreshing summer drink. Make your own with vodka, ginger beer and lime and hit up a patio now!
www.nestinthewest.comI’m ‘pumped’ about my current fitness routine. I’ve had such positive results with the 21 Day Fix program that I’m still doing it, usually early in the mornings before work. I’ve also added a second Beachbody program called Les Mills Pump to try to build more definition and tone. It’s a barbell based workout which is totally new to me and I’m loving it. It makes me feel strong! Along with this, Garrett is helping me keep my nutrition on track and it all feels like I’m on the right path!
www.nestinthewest.comHave you heard of the annual ‘mug swap’ on Instagram? The premise is simple: you sign up and are given a secret buddy to send a mug and optional additional goodies to. It’s a snail-mail-happy-kind-of-blessing thing with over 1000 participants! Well, I’m in and I’m having so much fun with it. My girl loves pink and reading, just like me, so it’s been easy to come up with goodies for her. Surprisingly, the mug was the hardest piece to choose. My parcel ships out today and I’m more excited for the giving than what I may receive.

Ok, we’re all up to date now! I truly hope you’re having your best summer ever and that you’ll check back in for more regular posts. Cheers to the weekend, and you!

Distressed canning jars DIY

Digressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comIs there anything better than combining two loves to make something even lovelier? I think not! I played around with canning jars and spray paint and couldn’t be happier with the results – distress painted canning jars! Use them as vases, craft storage or candle holders. Wanna make some? I had most of the supplies I needed at home so this was super cheap and easy. If you don’t have a stash on hand, consider doing these with a friend to cut costs. Here’s what you need:

  • Canning jars
  • Black spray paint
  • Craft paint
  • Foam or bristle brush
  • Sand paper, sanding sponge or even an emery board
  • Clear sealer spray paint (optional but recommended)

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.com1. Clean and dry your canning jars, then take them outside and give them an even light layer of black spray paint. Let dry completely.
2. Now, use your craft paint and brush to paint on top of the black paint. Don’t panic if your first coat is streaky and barely there. Let this dry then do a second and maybe third coat as needed. I did one coat up and down, the next coat around to get more even coverage.
3. When this is good and dry, very gently rub it with your sand paper on edges and raised design areas. This smooths off the colored paint revealing the black underneath. Kinda like magic, but easier!
4. If you choose to, and I hope you do, take them back outside and spray with a clear sealing spray paint. This will keep the paint in place and make them a bit more durable and cleanable.
Done!

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comA few notes on this little craft:

  • Did you notice that the color of my larger jar changed in the last photo? Bonus points if you did. Here’s why – I used Martha Stewart paint on it and it didn’t work! Sorry Martha, you know I love you. The satin finish really stuck to the spray paint and when I tried to sand it, the whole works peeled off right down to the glass! Lesson learned. I just washed it all off my jar and started over with a matte craft paint. The colors turned out a bit more similar than I’d hoped but I’m quite sure I’ll be doing more of these and can mix them up then.

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.com

  • Please don’t spend a fortune on jars! Most thrift shops have them for 10-25 cents a pop!
  • WalMart is my go-to for spray paint. They have a great selection of colors for the best price.
  • The hardest part for OCD me was the sanding. Random and uneven just don’t come naturally for me but you really can’t mess these up! If in doubt, go light and easy at first. You can always go back and sand more.
  • I prefer this decorating method over painting the inside of jars because you can still add water and use these for flowers. Do this carefully though and keep the water on the inside, not on the painted outside. The sealer helps but these are not waterproof by any means! Wipe them clean rather than soaking.

Distressed canning jar DIY www?nestinthewest.comSo there you have it. My latest mason jar obsession. A pink ombré set of three is in my near future. How about you? Are you up for a little distressing?

Sugar water hair & styling spray

Are you one of those girls that struggles with hair products? I totally am. The problems are that I have fine, baby hair and I’m cheap. At least I know my issues, right? Many months ago I started seeing a real hair stylist in a real salon that has their own line of great products. Instead of weighing down my hair down with mousse, gel or mud, my new girl suggested their Sugar Water spray. I tried it, I love it, I’m never buying it again!
DIY styling/hair spray www.nestinthewest.comI’m making it! It’s ridiculously easy and I’m so embarrassed that I paid over $20 for my first bottle – I did get a gorgeous reusable glass spray bottle though so maybe it was worth it. This spray can be used as a styling product or a soft hairspray…with no stickiness or chemicals.¬†Here’s how I made mine:

  • 1/2 cup warm, almost hot water
  • 1-2 tsp plain old white sugar (more sugar equals more hold. I use 1 tsp)
  • Spray bottle

DIY styling/hair spray www.nestinthewest.comHeat the water until it’s almost boiling. One minute in my microwave is perfect. Add in the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved and distributed. This isn’t like stirring sugar into your coffee…one, two three and done. Really stir it! Pour it into your spray bottle but leave the lid off to let it cool. Once it’s reached room temperature or less, it’s ready to use. It will be a bit cloudy, this is good! This ‘recipe’ makes 1/2 a cup of product which will last me for weeks. I know what you’re thinking….really? sugar in my hair? isn’t that just going to be a sticky mess? Honestly, truly, no!
DIY styling/hair spray www.nestinthewest.comHere are a couple of options for styling with it.
One: spritz a little puddle of the sugar water into the palm of your hand. Rub hands together and rake through hair paying particular attention to the roots. My stylist actually scrubs it into my roots! Dry as usual. If you need a quick refresh through the day, just rub your fingers into the roots to puff up any fallen volume.
Two: use this as a light hold hairspray! Use a fine misting spray bottle and spritz this on dry, styled hair.
DIY styling/hair spray www.nestinthewest.comFor my short cut with waves, this simple spray solves my hair issues! It adds soft volume and hold and costs just a few cents to make….boom! I can’t speak for how it works with longer straighter styles but it’s cheap and easy enough to try out, right? Give it a go for soft, summer hair.