Saturday, September 28, 2013

Louisville, KY

I just got back from Louisville yesterday.  One of my best friends and I made a Fall Break trip to the lovely city to get away from the monotony of our present lives, and it was amazing.  We met with one of our old youth leaders and she let us stay with her for the night and thanks to her, we saw Louisville in a new way that we had never seen before (Thanks for everything, Melanie!).

Now that we have tried out some new things in Louisville, here are some places I recommend to all of you who have never been, or have never seen these places before:


Wiltshire Pantry & Bakery
This place is one of the cutest breakfast/lunch/brunch places I've been too.  It has touches of vintage decor, mixed in with very modern pieces. With a higher end menu selection, it doesn't have the higher end prices you would expect. It was affordable and tasty. (Try the grilled chicken salad with the sweet, red wine vinaigrette dressing!)

Wick's Pizza
I can honestly say this place has some of the BEST pizza I've ever tasted. Seriously. It's a hip place with a mural covering the walls and it has awesome waiters. We got the cheese pizza...the crust will forever be a craving of mine.


Heine Brother's
I didn't know much about this place going in, but apparently their coffee comes from all over the world.  They specialize in espresso, and they definitely are good at this job.  If you're going to sit down, I wouldn't recommend this place, it's more of a grab and go coffee shop.  Their carmello latte is amazing.

Vint Coffee
Melanie took us here for some fall drinks.  I seriously loved this place.  I can't wait to go back to Louisville to get another chai tea.  They have a really open indoor seating area, there's so many places for people to sit, and even their outside seating is a perfect atmosphere for talking, reading, anything. I had the pumpkin chai tea.

Quill's Coffee
This was a really cool place.  I met one of the owner's and they were really nice and helpful when it came to deciding what to get, I finally settled on the Autumn spiced latte. I look forward to coming back here as well.

Shops (my favorite):

Urban Kitty 
If you love JCrew, Banana Republic, and GAP, this place is for you.  Urban Kitty is a consignment store with so many upscale brands that are sold for a fraction of a fraction of their original price. I loved it!

Hadley Pottery Co.
LOVE.  This was one of the cutest places I found while in Louisville.  I'm not sure the history behind it, but it is definitely a neat place to stop by.

These are only a few places we had the chance to visit on our two day trip but I hope to go back soon and see even more.  Louisville is known for their locally owned restaurants and local shops which contribute to its eclectic atmosphere that is sure to capture the hearts of many.  Go to Louisville, people!

Happy traveling,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Cleaning

We have all heard of Spring cleaning, and many of us embrace that time of the year, but I'm starting realize the importance of Fall cleaning.  Although I am not cleaning out my belonging, I am cleaning things that normally wouldn't be cleaned. Here are a couple of cleaning "recipes" for things that many don't have time for on a normal day to day basis!

Sink Drain Disinfectant/Unclogger 
3/4 C. Baking Soda
1/2 Vinegar
Old Rag
Boiling Water

Pour the 3/4 C. of Baking Soda down your sink drain and then pour the vinegar in after it, it will bubble up so use the old rag to keep the bubble in the drain.  Leave this there for 30 minutes or more, then boil water and pour down the drain to clean it out.

For a Fresh Smelling House
Herbs: Mint, Basil, etc.

Cut up the lemons and oranges and add all ingredients to a pot of water and let it boil for 5 minutes, then let it simmer throughout the day.  This will leave your home smelling fresh.

For a Fall Smell: Boil Cinnamon sticks and apple slices.

Smell Absorber
1/8 cup baking soda

Fill crock pot about 1/4 full of water, add baking soda and let it sit all day.  The baking soda will absorb the smells of your kitchen.

Drawer Refresher
Place dryer sheets in your drawers to keep your clothes smelling fresh.

White Vinegar
Essential Oil (optional)

Mix your essential oil and white vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. As you are washing your pillow cases, vacuum your actual pillow all over.  When you have finished vacuuming, spray with white vinegar and the essential oil mixture and let dry in the sun for a while.  Before putting the pillow cases back on, put the pillows in the dryer.  The white vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant which kills the bacteria that builds up on your pillows.

I have done all of these things to my home and I just feel fresher and cleaner already.  Although I will not be able to do these things once a week, I want to try and do them more often then just at a season change.

Enjoy your new fresh house,

Friday, September 20, 2013

5:45 AM

I woke up at 5:45 AM this morning.

I did laundry.

I read my Bible.

I did the dishes.

I swept the floors.

I made breakfast.

It was beautiful.

I need to do that more often.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quilting 101 #1

I love quilting. Theres something so exciting about piecing scraps of fabric together to make something so beautiful.  I have begun my third quilt this past week and instead of waiting and showing you all the end product, I wanted to take you guys step by step in the quilting process with me.  I will post a step by step post each time I finish the next step of this quilt and hopefully this will help those of you who are wanting to start a beautiful friendship with quilting!

This is the pattern I will be making!

When you're beginning a quilt the first huge step to take is finding a pattern you are in love with, as well as comfortable trying. From my experience, Pinterest has amazing quilt photos that are easy to
dissect and personalized. For those of you who have never done a quilt before, I would try something colorful with squares.  This is an easy way to experiment with quilting, especially the piecing together part of the process.

I chose Fall colors for this quilt.
Once you have your pattern chosen, find a local fabric shop and start shopping! This is one of my favorite parts of making a quilt.  There are so many options and colors to choose from, and that moment when you have finally chosen your colors is so exciting.  Just make sure you pick colors you love, you will be staring at these for a few months.

When buying fabric, I really encourage you all to go local.  When you go to a small, one person owned fabric shop, you are more likely to find the help you need in measurements and even a fun, memorable conversation with some amazing old ladies who have quilted their whole lives. For me, this is another very special part of th
is process. Since this is my third quilt, I have started to form friendships with the ladies who have helped me with previous quilts.  It's exciting to see them each time I start a new one and hearing their support and experienced stories helps get me excited for the project at hand.

Usually, quilting patterns have measurements but if not, there is an app that can help you out: The QuiltCalc.  If this still doesn't help you in the way you need, find someone pretty good at math and they should be able to break down the pattern for you.

Once you have purchased your fabric and have it home with you, wash and dry it before doing anything.  After it has been dried, iron the fabric so there is no question about the size you will eventually cut.

This is as far as I have gotten on my third quilt.  As I complete the steps, I will post step by step what I do for you all.

Enjoy the beginnings of quilting,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crocheted Infinity Scarf Pattern

I have started this little tradition with myself that every August/September I will crochet a scarf, or two, that I will wear throughout the Fall and Winter.  Last year I did the basic single crochet and made a plum scarf and a mustard yellow one as well.  This year I went for red as my first, I have yet to begin my second and below is the pattern I used for it!

What You'll Need:
-Yarn ( I chose a medium sized yarn)
-Size 6 crochet needle

1. Chain (ch) (ch 150 (Or however long you think it needs to be to wrap around your neck twice!)
2. Row 1: single crochet (sc)
3. Row 2: half double crochet (hdc)
4. Alternate/Repeat row 1 & 2 until you have reached your desired width.
5. Connect both ends by doing to the slip stitch (ss), this will make your       scarf into an infinity scarf.

You're done!

Scarves rock,

My GIVEAWAY is still happening!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Crafts #4 - Glass Jug Pumpkin

Today's Fall craft is something I had to brainstorm with.  I found this glass, 1 gallon milk jug at a local antique store for $5 and knew I had to do something with it.  So, after thinking and thinking, it finally hit me!

What You'll Need:
- A glass jug:  there are various sizes.
- Orange/Yellow Spray paint
-Paint brush
-Burlap ribbon
1. Clean and dry the jug.
2. Spray paint the jug thoroughly, making sure all space is covered.
3. When spray paint is dry, carefully trace (with a pencil) the design of your "pumpkin's" face and paint inside the lines with black paint.
4.  Let all paint dry and then tie the ribbon on the top of the jug.

There you have it, folks!

I put mine next to my TV stand and I really want to make a few more in different sizes and colors to place next to this one.  Enjoy your new Fall decor!

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trail Mix Recipe #2

Today I have another trail mix for you guys!

I purchased all of the ingredients at Kroger in their health food section where you can pour out what you need.  I love that section!

What You'll Need:
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Dried blueberries
Dried pineapples
Dried bananas

Add all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir until it's all evenly dispersed. Then, store this in mason jars for weeks to come!

Although this was a a super simple recipe, I think Fall is (at least for myself) about getting outside and go camping hiking, canoeing and running.  What better snack to have while in the outdoors than one that comes from nature?

Enjoy the trail mix,

I have a GIVEAWAY going on right now!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lily & Val Giveaway!

I have another awesome opportunity for you guys to win something that will make your home beautiful!  Today's giveaway was sponsored by LilyandVal, an artist whose medium is chalkboards.  I came across her shop and was amazed at her artwork: absolutely beautiful!  

Valerie expresses her desire to bring the nostalgic and vintage art back to life in a world where chalkboards are rarely ever used.  This art medium offers rustic and uniqueness to any word or saying.  Here are some examples of her work:


Valerie began selling these pieces, and many more like them, in 2012 and has grown her Etsy shop ever since. She does her work in her home in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her very supportive husband who has helped and encouraged  her in every step of the way.

Today Valerie wants one of you to win a piece of her art!  Because Fall is right around the corner, you are entering to win your choice of Fall or Halloween chalkboard art (a couple examples are shown to your left).  

1. You must follow me on Instagram: @meagankaypalmer
2.  You must join this site.(Click the blue button!)  Unfortunately, I am not able to see all who join when the selection of "Join Privately" is chosen, so please join publicly so you are entered!
3. Comment on this post so I know you are entered!

That is all you have to do to join this giveaway! I will announce the winner, or contact you when the giveaway is closed.  

Good luck!

Giveaway closes: September 23, 2013

Follow Valerie on Instagram: @valeriemckeehan
Check out her Etsy shop:  

Disclaimer:  All of her art is permanent.  None of this will wash off.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall Craft Series - #3: Barn Wood Sign

Check out #1 and #2 of this series:

Today I have a craft I know you all are going to LOVE!

It doesn't even need an intro, let's just get to this!

                            What you'll need:

- 1-2 pieces of barn wood (or if you do not have an old, rotting barn at your fingertips, get some 2x4s)
- 3-4 different colors of fabric (I recommend Fall colors...since it's almost)
-Modge Podge

Step 1:  Get onto your computer and go to Microsoft word.  Here, choose a font and select a size big enough to be noticeable on your wood. Type out "Autumn". Print! (Only print the "u" once) can free hand this! I free handed mine because I didn't have a printer nearby and I like how it turned out, but I also think the neater look would good too!

Step 2:  Cut out all the shapes of the letters that you just printed and then traced them onto the back of your fabric, alternating colors for each letter.

Step 3:  Place the letters of "Autumn" on the barn wood and align them how you like.

Step 4:  Paint Modge Podge over the letters and let dry.

Find a place to hang this beautiful sign (preferably a place where everyone can see) and enjoy another Fall touch to your home!

Enjoy crafting,

 PS:  I apologize for the bad pictures, I didn't have my camera so my iPhone took its job for the day!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Looking Forward To

Fall holds so many things that I'm looking forward to.  There are lists upon lists of my favorite things and they almost all take place in the Fall.  Here's a list of what I'm most excited about for Fall 2013:

Toasted Marshmellows
Tobacco Barns
Lifetime Movies
Corn mazes
Star Gazing
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Carving Pumpkins
Pumpkin Bread
Pecan Pie
Milky Way Cake
Wool Blankets
Hot Chocolate

The list could continue on and on, but I hope this lovely list of what I'm looking forward to about Fall gets you just as excited about it as I am!

Happy Almost Fall,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Trail Mix Bars/Balls

I've been spending so much money on campus lately buying snacks and lunch; the one common item I seem to be going back to is trail mix.  So, instead of continuing to buy this very simple to make item, I'm actually going to make some!

This is a very liberal recipe, you basically put every healthy thing that you like into this mix, here's what I put:

- Dried cranberries
- Granola
- M&Ms (Okay, you got me, this isn't healthy, but it makes this more appealing.)
- Rice cereal
- Almonds
- Peanut butter

If you are only wanting dry trail mix, skip the peanut butter, but if you'd like to make bars or balls the peanut butter is essential.

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Take out of the fridge and roll into balls or push into the bottom of a 8x8 baking pan.  If the balls/bars aren't staying together, add more peanut butter!  Cut the bars into your desired size and keep cool if you plan to take it out of the house.

I eat these before running or if I just need a snack and don't want to feel guilty about it.

Enjoy the mix,

Monday, September 2, 2013


My honeymoon was probably one of the best weeks of my life.  I'm lucky to have an amazing husband and I'm also lucky that each week since gets better and better.

We sat down a few days after getting engaged to talk about where we wanted to go for our honeymoon.  We took maybe five minutes deciding on the Smoky Mountains.  We both love hiking, outdoors, cabins, etc., so this was the perfect trip for us.

None of these pictures do these mountains justice. 

The End.