Little Makeovers: Vintage Swing Lamp

Posted on Jan 26, 2014
Little Makeovers: Vintage Swing Lamp
We are very slowly making small home improvements here and there as we have time and resources. The Dining room used to have a very long table, almost like a boardroom table, that seated about 10. As a wedding gift, Dylan’s aunts gifted us this great Mid Century table and chairs! We finally went and picked it up the other day and I was tickled pink! I love them! We are making efforts to make that room seem more open and spacious
We changed out the light fixture in the kitchen. Our friend Al had this Vintage Brass Swing Lamp that he let us have.  We are all about reusing and repurposing. We decided to paint it black to make it stand out a little bit. We also chose to keep the base in the same location as the old light (which was centered in the room) and draped the chain to the new location of the table on the far wall. Plus it saved us from drilling new holes and running new electric.
We were inspired by some images I have come across on blogs and pinned to my Pinterest. I really like the exposed wires, some think it looks messy but I think it adds a little more detail to an otherwise boring ceiling.

 
 
We went to Lowes picked up a few things we were going to need. New LED Lightbulbs (they’re awesome), black chain, lamp wire, and a finial (that actually didn’t work out) ceiling hooks (not pictured) and flat black spray paint (also not pictured).
This is where having a handy husband comes in well… handy. We removed our old light fixture and got to work. We painted the brass, attached the wire and threaded the chain. We measured out our placement and hung the light. Dylan worked out all the electrical part of it, I’m so glad I married a guy that loves projeccts as much as I do, actually more than I do.
Ignore the primered walls and giant yellow circle on the ceiling. Still working on painting that room.

Total project cost was about $60. We bought LED lights which are a bit more pricey but will save us money in the long run. We also didn’t use all the materials so we have left overs for another project!

What do you think? We’re kind of in love with it! The room is much more open and the placement of the table allows a much smoother flow to the room. I can’t wait to start sharing before and after pictures of finished rooms! 
-Zon

A Little Giveaway – CLOSED

Posted on Jan 24, 2014
A Little Giveaway – CLOSED
I’m doing a little giveaway for a Chunky 100% wool infinity scarf, handmade by me.
Mustard yellow – no acrylic – super warm
Two ways to enter:
1. Follow and Repost on Instagram with @amberZon and  #amberZongiveaway
or
2. Like on Facebook and share.
Or do both to increase your chances!
Winner will be announced Tuesday, February 28th.

Here I am modeling it. I know front camera, bad picture quality, ya ya ya, I literally take all my photos with my iphone. Sorry!

Enjoy!

-Zon

*** The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all those who entered! I am excited for the next one! 

Coping with a Gluten Sensitivity and 6 tips on how to do it.

Posted on Jan 22, 2014
Coping with a Gluten Sensitivity and 6 tips on how to do it.

I shared a while back about how I had discovered I had a gluten sensitivity. It has been about 6 months since I talked about it and close to a year since I have come to the realization. I thought I would give a little update since I get asked on occasion how it is coming along.

It sucks.
Seriously. 
If you don’t have to do it, don’t do it. I’m still adjusting, a year later. I keep telling myself it will get better and it has in some ways, but in other ways the craving and anger for wanting something I shouldn’t have seems to intensify. 
I have understood that most of it is a retraining of my mind. Teaching myself that I don’t need the food I am craving. That I can use this as an opportunity to get creative, or make my own version of them. The other day I told myself that it was just a tiny bit, It won’t affect me that much…
Wrong!
I was not myself within about 3 hours. I was bummed and irritable with Dylan and then it hit me at dinner time that night. I’ve been glutened! It got me! Every now and then it slips into something I’ve eaten and I feel foggy. Every time it happens I feel like it just reinforces how bad it is for me.

This book, sorry if the title offends you, has been the best thing for me since finding out about my gluten sensitivity.

While we were in Chicago we went to a cute little shop and I came across this book, read a few excerpts and was dying laughing in the store. We bought it and I read it during the rest of our trip. Dylan was laughing right along with me. It is such an encouraging book. It was like someone climbed inside my head, narrated/commentated most of my frustrations and experiences I have had with all of this.

Amy Peveteaux is a freaking riot! Her sarcasm makes is all worth it. I would recommend this book to anyone, gluten free or not, it is hilarious by itself but even more hilarious if you have experienced some of the same frustrations. Her blog is written in a similar fashion and I just think it is great.

So a year in here is my advice:
1. Stick with it, your bowels, loved ones and self will thank you for it.
2. Find a few encouraging people to surround yourself with. Dylan constantly encourages me and also eats/cooks to my sensitivity. Our close friend group (that we potluck with) is mostly vegetarian and they have kindly made gf dishes. Our church has also kindly taken the need of vegetarians and gf people into consideration with the Sunday meals. I can’t stress how important this one is. Understanding friends make the struggle a lot easier.
3. Retrain your brain. Maybe this comes easier for some folks but for me I don’t like hearing that I can’t do something, it just makes me want to do it all the more. Call it rebellious or call it what you want but I hate it. I have to remember that I like to craft and create so I need to look at food like a craft project. We went on a big grocery run last weekend and Dylan left me for a couple days, it was like he had bought me a bunch of new art supplies, so many possibilities!
4. Buy yourself a couple new gluten free cookbooks or discover a new blog. My friend Maggie bought us Gluten-Free on a Shoestring and it has been a great one to have. Simple recipes trying to focus on not spending a lot and using what you have around the kitchen already.  Amy’s book and blog is great as well.
5. Buy yourself some good all purpose gluten free flour. This suggestion is in many of the books and blogs I have perused and they are right! Trader Joe’s has a decent one that I use, Cup 4 Cup is also an excellent/pricey choice but very nice to have on hand (it has the xantham gum already in the flour).
6. Eat more fruits and veggies! We’re all supposed to anyway right? Having a healthier lifestyle does help you to not crave those snack cakes as much. 
I don’t know if any of these helped anyone out there in internet land but this is what I have discovered after a year of this journey, it may be a totally different story in another year. Who knows? Until then I will keep sharing recipes for my fellow gf comrades.
Hannah made this beautiful Decadent Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and I have shared a few gluten free recipes
-Zon

Gluten Free Tuna Casserole

Posted on Jan 22, 2014
Gluten Free Tuna Casserole
I won’t lie, I like myself a good tuna mac. I used to make a large pot of it over a weekend and take it for work lunches that week. I would make it with 2 boxes of mac and cheese, 2 cans of tuna and 1 can of cream of mushroom. Easy.
Now that I have to eat gluten free I haven’t had it in a while. Gluten free mac and cheese can be a bit pricey and canned cream of mushroom is pricey as well. I know that the original “glutened” recipe is loaded with a lot of foreign crap so I decided to remedy that this past weekend.
This recipe was super simple and is easy to get creative and add more or other ingredients.
You will need:
a bag of your choice gluten free noodles
2 tbs gluten free all purpose flour
2 tbs butter
a small can of organic mushrooms drained
2 cans of tuna drained
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
Boil your noodles till soft in a large pot. While noodles are boiling make a roux in a separate sauce pan using your butter and flour, add cheese and milk slowly stirring while you go, make sure your roux is smooth and well blended then add mushrooms. 
Drain noodles, add roux and stir till noodles are fully covered in your roux.
Salt and pepper to taste.
I don’t feel like it took any longer than it would have making the old recipe plus I feel a little better knowing what is going into it (and my body) and not something I can’t pronounce.
What would you add?
-Zon

DIY Wedding Flower Crowns – Bride and Flower Girl.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014
DIY Wedding Flower Crowns – Bride and Flower Girl.
I took a little break from sharing wedding photos and I figured I would keep sharing them.
I really like the look of floral crowns and had wanted to try my hand at one for awhile. I made a practice one here. It wasn’t perfect but I was happy I made it and it was a fun learning experience.
if I had to change one tip to give about my crown on the wedding day it was that I used too big of roses and should’ve just kept to smaller ranunculus because I have a smaller head. There are loads of tutorials out there for how to make a crown but when it came do to it I just had to make it up as I went trouble shoot problems later. The moms actually saved the day at the last minute and helped put the finishing touches on the crowns. We used wild long stems of vining plants to finish out he crown.

To read about my handmade wedding dress go here.
I made one for our sweet flower girl. I actually liked hers more. Simple with three ranunculus. 

If you have any questions fire away, I would be more than happy to help in any way I can!
All photos by the talented Sugar and Spice Wedding photography.
-Zon

Young the Giant – My Body

Posted on Jan 11, 2014

This song is so darn catchy. I love it!
Young the Giant: My body
You’re welcome to dance now.

-Zon

“How’s married life?” and Nesting

Posted on Jan 11, 2014
“How’s married life?” and Nesting
Settling into our house and making it feel like ours has been a unique balance. I have always had housemates, or lived alone, and although we have graciously shared items together we always took our belongings when we moved out. This time I am married to that housemate and we make big decisions together. We make decisions about keeping or donating items (although Dylan might think this a little lopsided since he has been great donor to Goodwill as of late haha) and how to decorate. It has been fun and it has been interesting.

Three months of marriage thus far and the question we get asked the most is “How’s married life?”

Its good, we have had a few bumps but we have immensely enjoyed spending so much time together. A few have asked what the biggest challenge has been so far. I have jokingly said our “creative differences” but it’s more the truth than a joke. Dylan is a very talented artist and I am so proud of what he can do and does on a regular basis. I would consider myself mildly creative, not an artist by any means, but colors, shapes and balance definitely interest me. So what happens when a strong-willed, mildly creative girl marries a quick-acting, talented artist boy?
C r e a t i v e  D i f f e r e n c e s .
Through the 5 years we have been together we continue to learn to appreciate the other ones style and what they bring to the table and we continue to find balance (as I am sure we will for the rest of our lives together.)

Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty in common and these differences are minor. The things we have in common get us really excited about the various home improvements we have going on. The things we differ on cause us to take a bit of time to mull it over and either agree together or come up with a compromise. Our home is becoming just that, “our home.”  I am excited! Just like our wedding seemed to exhibit both of our personalities our home is now taking on those characteristics.
If you follow me on pinterest you might have noticed I have been gathering a lot of inspiration for different house projects as of late.

Ignore the primer coat in the photo above, we are painting this week! I am anxious to see how some of the rooms come together!
I like to organize things till I think I have it how I like it. I have done this a couple times to a couple different places in the house and I’m still getting there. It is actually very calming and almost therapeutic to me to clean and organize.  Am I crazy? Or am I just a major nester?
My nightstand: I might actually graduate to a real one some day but until then I am sticking with this old crate I found on the side of the road. Also a glass of sweet tea is always within reach.

Scout had a little operation this week so there will be no more little Scouts running about someday. When we brought her home from Animal Rescue League she was plum tuckered out. Emma spent the evening being so tender with her. She seemed to know that Scout needed to rest and she just quietly watched over her for the couple days following. It was the sweetest!

Best buds nap together right?
-Zon

Friendcation!

Posted on Jan 8, 2014
Friendcation!

I am blessed with an amazing, hilarious and irreverent group of friends. We eat and play games together at least once a week. Last year we went to this cabin down on the Yough river for New Years weekend and we returned for a second year. Friendcation! It has snowed a decent amount both years making everything look like a freakin Currier and Ives post card. Our 4 days together are spent mostly in pajama pants, reading books, playing games, telling stories and eating amazing food. Love this bunch!
-Zon

A Little Holiday Travels

Posted on Jan 7, 2014
A Little Holiday Travels
We went back to Missouri for Christmas. It was our first married Christmas and actually our first actual Christmas together. Dylan got to observe and be a part of all the little traditions and my funny family times. It was a fun and happy trip!

So proud to be from such an awesome community. I am Joplin. Check out the time lapse video here, and check out and be inspired by the awesome Art Feeds movement. Love those friends!

Hit up a few of my old favorite thrift stores. Snagged a couple treasures and passed on some crazy awesome denim overalls. I think all denim should be that wash or maybe just more.

Its official, Scout likes being with Emma and snugging with her more than me.  Not gonna lie, my feelings are a little hurt but this is also what I wanted, for them to be best buds, so I guess I can’t be too upset. She did sneak up and sleep on my chest a time or two so that was kind of redeeming.
Traveling with a a dog and a cat actually wasn’t that bad. Emma is a champ at road trips and loves them. This will most likely be Scout’s only road trip, but she did great.
A handsome husband, a beautiful pup, a rascal kitten, good health, a roof over our heads and food to eat. I would say I am pretty blessed. 2013 was good to me. So happy for 2014 adventures and challenges. 
-Zon

Kitty Spam

Posted on Jan 6, 2014
Kitty Spam
This is what most of my mornings used to look like. Cuddling and snugging with my two red heads.  Emma is the best buddy ever and is super loving but she is still a pup and I always feel like she needs a buddy. I have hinted on an occasion or two to Dylan that she could use a “friend.”
Some friends of ours found a stray kitten in their backyard and I became a little attached. I texted Dylan with a few kitten pictures (while he was out hunting haha) and we decided to “foster” the kitten for the weekend to see how it went and most of all how Emma and the kitten responded to each other. 
Dylan kinda fell in love as well. He said he was “doomed from the start.” haha Everytime the kitten would do something cute he would say I was “evil” for this. I am pretty sure all three of us were smitten could never say no. So she became ours and we named her Scout!

Scout enjoys cuddling with Emma and chasing her Darth Vader toy around, sleeping on shoulders or curling up on our chest in the middle of the night.  She is extremely adventurous and a little ornery but we are so happy about how sweetly she rounds out our little family.
-Zon