I have TWO exciting things to share!
First, I’ll be offering a FREE Seven Day Self-Care Challenge for the first 100 people who follow my Facebook page here and complete the “Get Offer” directions pinned to the top of the page. Facebook actually shows you how many people have claimed the offer, so get it while it’s available for FREE. We’ll be working through some mindfulness, meditations, stillness exercises, journaling, and more. It’s going to be funnnn! And now, for my next exciting piece of news.
Well, husband and I have acquired a new family member. Her name is Willow and she’s a tiny baby Abyssinian guinea pig, and we are obsessed with her.
I know she looks big here, but she’s so tiny. She takes up like half my palm.
Here’s the story. Since husband and I worked through the questions in the free printable I posted about a few days ago (click here to see the post, but the printable offer is goooone. You can sign up here to claim for spot for all future exclusive content), our relationship has been a lot closer, more fulfilling, and more fun and active. We’ve been going on dates almost daily – mostly super cheap ones – getting coffee, exploring new parts of the city, stopping for takeout places we have gift cards to, going to the mall, watching shows together. He’s been helping me with blog projects and crafting. Generally, we’ve just been spending a lot more intentional time together.
He went to work early yesterday (5:45 am early) and was home by 2. He came home to find me furiously working on a blog post with a plate of dry purple sweet potato* and some overcooked brussels next to me – my lunch I wasn’t too thrilled about – and said, “Hey! Let’s drive around and find a lunch place.” I’m not the biggest restaurant fan, because they’re expensive and loud and crowded and eating out almost always makes me sick because I’m allergic to/sensitive to so many foods, but I agreed, and off we went. *By the way, Trader Joe’s is now out of purple sweet potatoes, so if you make my Sweet Potato Crust Quiche and can’t find purple ones, just use regular. (: Normally I love them, but I overcooked this one and it was dryyy.
We basically live in the middle of town and can walk to shopping centers, movie theaters, Chipotle, Panera, pet stores, and places like that. So it only took a two minute drive for us to find a Mexican food restaurant we wanted to try. They’re generally gluten-free and even paleo friendly, since you can get rice and corn tortillas (GF) and usually some salad with fajita fixings like grilled chicken, steak, onions, and peppers (paleo). If I’m going to eat out, I VERY MUCH prefer sitting outside, and this place had a super nice patio with heaters and fire. Even though it was raining pretty hard, we sat out there and were both pretty happy. Mexican is one of husband’s favorite foods. And being outside is one of my favorite things.
We had a lovely meal, chatted about our days, and talked about what we wanted to do that evening. He suggested we go to the pet store next door and get a new glass water bottle for our current guinea pigs. They have one glass and one plastic, and they don’t like drinking out of plastic. Girls after their mama’s heart (: Haha.
We can’t make a trip to the pet store without LOOKING at the guinea pigs, so of course, husband asked where they were and we went to see. We (read: I) have been talking/joking for a while about wanting a gray guinea pig to complete our collection haha. I even pulled up pictures the other day to show him what my dream gray pig would look like. (A sidenote: we were never really guinea pig people per say, but lived in a place that didn’t allow dogs/cats and was too small for them, anyway. But we are both animal lovers, and life didn’t feel complete without some furry babies in our lives, so that’s how we ended up with our two guinea pigs, Lily and Bella. Guinea pigs have such charming personalities, and they curl up on our laps and snuggle and watch TV with us. They’re really like little dogs). When the store employee took us over, she said they only had one guinea pig at the moment… a gray guinea pig baby girl. Her whole litter and family was adopted before Valentine’s day, and she was all alone in a terrible, small glass aquarium with nothing to do and no one to play with and pellets with artificial colors and she just looked so bored and sad. HOW COULD WE LEAVE HER THERE?!
I’m an empath, and I really deeply feel emotions, especially when it comes to animals and humans. Pet stores are my worst nightmare (and animal shelters), because I let myself get worked up and think about how those poor animals feel with no one to love them and how they didn’t do anything to deserve their situation. I’m actually almost crying typing this.
So we had to rescue her. We’re currently following a protocol of quarantining her in a separate (covered) cage to give her confidence to explore and settle in and to make sure she’s not sick, then taking the towel off for a while and setting her cage next to the girls’ cage so they can smell and talk to each other, introducing her to our current pigs in a neutral territory with lots of food distraction, etc. So far, it has gone really well and we know she’ll fit in perfectly.
Our current pig cage is a C and C we custom-built, and it’s about 7.5 feet by 2.5 feet, with a second story loft haha. We visited all the Home Depots and Lowes stores within 30 miles and ended up having to convince a sign-making shop to let us buy an 8ft sheet of coroplast they use for custom signs. The walls of the cage are those wire storage cubes linked below which are actually amazing… you can design them really however you’d like. All I’m trying to say is there’s plenty of room for her.
So while she’s settling in, I like to sit in bed and watch them play and make sure they’re all doing okay.
I made this Neon Coaster project after doing a couple other blog post projects, so I was feeling lazy and sick of standing. I brought everything to bed and used this “breakfast in bed” tray that I’m totally obsessed with – linked above. At our last place, we didn’t have room for a kitchen table, so we’re scrappy and used to eating on couches or beds. (; We have a kitchen table in our new place, but I haven’t broken the habit yet and prefer to just eat somewhere comfy, using this tray. Plus, the kitchen doesn’t have windows, so it’s a little dark in there. I use this tray for craft projects, drinks, food, reading, and so many other things.
By the way, do any of you have windowless kitchens and have tips for making them bright and inviting? Our appliances are all white, which is really helpful. I was thinking of stringing some indoor lights or something in there. I’m in the kitchen a lot, but it’s not a warm, bright place just yet. Plants? Mirrors?
So FINALLY I will tell you how to make these super cute coasters. Click on any of the following photos to see what products I used and to buy!
You Will Need:
-1.75lb Sculpey white oven-bake clay
-Variety pack of Sculpey clay colors
-Sculpey satin glaze
-Martha Stewart Gold Liquid Gilding
-Cookie cutter (or jar) the size of the coasters you want to make
- Open your white pack of clay and grab about 1/10th of it. Start rolling it between your hands so it becomes soft. Create two snakes of clay out of it that are about the length of your entire hand (wrist to fingertips). These will be your thickest “snakes.”
- Do the same with whatever two bright colors you’d like and one gray – one snake of each. These should be about half as thick as the white.
- Finally, make a small snake of black – half as thick as your bright colored snakes. Got that? You can play around with these proportions after you make one. See what you like and what works for you!
- Squish all the clays together and roll them between your hands so they’re in one snake. Now, twist them so the colors are swirling together like a spiral staircase or coil (:
- Roll the snake out, fold in half, and twist again. Keep mixing like this until you think your colors have combined enough (2-3 times). There’s not really a WRONG way to do it. You just want them to mix.
- Now, roll the clay into a ball. You want to see a lot of your colors on top here, so if you don’t, keep mixing them. You can also grab another small chunk of a bright color and mix it in just a bit.
- With a rolling pin or any similar surface, roll your clay out so it’s flat. This part is SUPER important because you want to make sure your glass will actually balance. You also want all your coasters to be the same thickness, so decide what thickness works best for your purposes. Just make sure it’s perfectly flat. You can also use your fingers to spread the clay a bit any places where you want the color to spread. This required some trial and error to get the marble looking how I wanted it to.
- Use your cookie cutter to cut your coaster. I actually had enough leftover that I was able to make two coasters from the same batch – just repeated the process with the excess.
- Repeat this as many times as you want for the amount of coasters you’d like to make. I think it looks nice to have a set of four, with two of one color scheme and two of another color scheme – if you’re giving as a gift.
- Turn your oven on and follow the instructions on your clay for baking. Mine was 275 for 15 minutes.
- Let the clay cool completely. Shake your liquid gilding, dip a paintbrush in, and trace around the edges to create a gold trim. You may have to go over it a few times.
- Let the gilding dry. Shake your glaze, dip a different paintbrush in, and cover the entire thing with the glaze. I think these last two steps really help give it a finished look.
- Let dry for 24 hours.
My super bright ones pictured above at the top of the photo only had one white snake instead of two.
There I am, drinking a chai again.
You can also repeat this same process to make bowls, pen cups, succulent planters, or a huge variety of other projects.
I have obviously been really into marbling lately, as you saw with my marbled stationary DIY tutorial. Don’t be surprised if you see some more marbling in the future. I actually just covered an old nightstand (the top surface) with gray marble contact paper and I think it looks AMAZING. I didn’t take any “before” photos, though.
What other marble projects can you think of? Marble cake? Marble soap? Hmm.
Lemme know if you make this project and how it turns out! I need to use the rest of my clay to make little bowls. Also, let me know what PETS you have. I love hearing about animals! Tell me about yours!
Also, my posts are SO LONG. This is 1900 words. That’s like 8 pages about guinea pigs and coasters. Comment if you made it all the way to the bottom (;