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color = much more fun

i really need a new pair of brown ballet flats. i should totally insert a picture of my current pair. yowch!

... but let's face it, folks:

and what's even more fun? shoes that are for a good cause.

{top} lina woven ballet flats from toms - $79 // currently on backorder.
with every pair of toms you purchase, toms will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

{bottom} reef tropic ballet flats from reef (via piperlime) - $54
reef is partnering w/ artisans in developing countries throughout the world. they have designated a portion of it's spring 2012 line to the we heart collection. these lovelies support the small guatemalan community of san antonio palopo.

a little tip: sign up for piperlime's email list and get 15% off the reef tropic ballet flats. yup - i know from experience. yay for march fun money! can't wait to get these little lovelies.

feeling hot, hot, hot

i was feeling pretty wild this weekend and decided to shop outside the box. that's right ... i purchased a bit o' color. this adorable hot pink striped tshirt from mossimo (via target) now has a home inside my closet.

i'm loving neon this spring. baby steps, people! first i dared to paint my toe nails hot pink! then i stepped it up and painted my fingernails too. i'm not gonna lie to you - i constantly wish i was a bit more bold w/ color. in both my wardrobe and our decor. talk about a ginormous leap into color - have you seen the designs from the divine chair?

wow - talk about transforming old, forgotten furniture into the star of any room! talk about loads and loads of pinning inspiration. must learn to reupholster.

gfree baking: cinnamon cake donuts

on friday i mentioned that i was determined to make donuts over the weekend. since going gluten free, i really don't miss bread. most days, i'm fine w/o pasta ... but i long for donuts! and so i was left w/ one last decisions. the great debate - cake donuts or yeast donuts?

what's the difference, you ask?
- cake donuts: use baking powder to rise. heavier/denser - like a cake.
- yeast donuts: use yeast (surprise, surprise!). softer/fluffier - like a bread.

i decided to start out w/ a baked cake doughnut. 1 // i already had a mini bundt pan on hand. (they sell donut specific pans - but i was much too impatient to wait for an amazon order to come in. and the bundt pans added pretty little detail to my donuts.) 2// the hot oil from a deep fryer necessary for yeast donuts intimidates me big time. don't worry there will be a round 2  w/ yeast donuts!

w/out further ado ...

gluten-free cake donuts

preheat over to 350º F.

1 c oat flour
1/2 c sweet rice flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
2 Tbsp sorghum flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 c shortening
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/4 c milk
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract

in large mixing bowl, sift together your flours + xanthan gum. add the remaining dry ingredients. add the shortening and mix to distribute evenly. add the remaining wet ingredients (yogurt, milk, eggs + vanilla). the dough will be pretty sticky! using xtra sweet rice flour, powder your hands and roll dough into golf ball sized sections. i suggest rolling all of the balls now - so that you can clean your hands afterwards. roll each ball w/ your fingers into 5" logs. place 1 log in each donut cavity of your pan. slightly overlap the ends and gently smooth the overlap. bake for 15m until firm to the touch. remove the pan from the over and transfer to a wire rack or parchment paper as soon as cool enough to handle.

i dipped each warm donuts in a simple milk + honey glaze:

milk + honey icing: 
1 c powdered sugar 
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp honey

oh yum! too yum not to take an immediate bite out of one ...

a few little notes:
- these donuts are cinnamon-y. they tasted a lot like a really yummy cinnamon roll. remember those cinnamon raisin biscuits from hardee's? yah they taste a LOT like them. (i might just use the dough in the future to make some of those as well!) 
- i'm still craving a shipley's-esque doughnut. conclusion - i miss yeast donuts not just donuts. time to invest in a deep fryer ...

my week: 3 random things

1 // we're still running a whole lot. today a group met @ the donut den in town. the plan: run an easy 3m & then eat donuts! well all except me. :( the ONLY thing i really miss since going gfree is definitely donuts. so this weekend, i'm determined to make my own! lots and lots of inspiration online:

{clockwise from left}

i'm pretty determined to create my own little recipe - including all my favorite gfree flours: sweet rice, tapioca and of course oat flour. will share!

2 // confession: i've fallen behind on the "31 days to a better photo" challenge. i promise to catch up over the weekend. then we'll link up again on monday! want to know what's been wasting my time? my new iphone. totally addicted to the nerdiest app ever - the ancestry.com app.

seriously though! so far i've found out that my great great great grandpa francis m. hardway had 8 sisters and 7 brothers ... oh and possibly an illegitimate daughter. oh and my great great great great great grandpa jurge hartweg was born in germany. he changed the name to hardway upon settling in virginia. yup i'm totally addicted!

3 // i went ahead and made a printable 8x10 of my grandpa's saying. i printed a copy for myself yesterday and will definitely share as soon as i find the perfect place for it in the apartment. in the meantime, enjoy (family!):

{click above to download}

hope to be back to my normal blogging self by next week! :)
have a great one, friends.

february 23rd ...

last night w + i rented moneyball - a film about the oakland athletics and general manager billy beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players. today would have been my grandpa's 89th birthday. i can't help but think how much he would have loved that movie.

wade once said to me, "i wish i had met your grandpa. it's evident what a solid man he was by how much he still is present when your family gets together."  he loved baseball. he loved his old leather recliner. he loved the walk to check his po box every day. he loved bobby kennedy + the rest of the democratic party. and most of all he loved his family.

a few other things that would have made my grandpa, haven hammond smile ...

(clockwise from upper left)

1 // grandpa was full of silly sayings. this was one of my favorites.

2 // grandpa was the biggest chicago cubs fan around. and we were raised to be the same. someday i hope my dad can take our little ones to wrigley to watch a game just like i did w/ grandpa. in the meantime, i think i need this vintage inspired tshirt by adidas.

3 // aren't these po box piggy banks via appalachian craftsmen on etsy cool? grandpa was the postmaster in martinsville, il for many years. and after he retired, my grandparents sold brookfield uniforms. i still have a brookfield pencil & notepad or two around the apartment.

4 // not gonna lie, my grandpa sang this song "he'll have to go" even prettier than jim reeves. okay, i might be biased. but he had a beautiful voice.

5 // yes - that's pert plus! :) i can't remember if it was christmas or his birthday, but one year that's all he asked for! he loved his pretty soft hair!

6 // grandpa was a member of the us navy where he served along w/ his good friend bobby kennedy. i'll have to find the picture of their class together. wouldn't this wool sailor's cap via dusty attic treasures on etsy be fun to have.

snow days!

not in nashville, of course. where we apparently no longer have seasons! um - please don't be teasing me, spring. 65º and sunny in february!

w + i spent the weekend w/ 20 rowdy kids from calvin house ministries. we enjoyed a day of skiing and 3 days retreating @ lake junaluska, nc. needless to say - today i'm pooped! i hit my snooze alarm a whopping 10x this morning. that has to be a record.

{my small group girls + raven}

hopefully i can muster up a little energy tonight to unpack. :)
until then - hope you had a great weekend.

want to help send my girls to camp? we're running a half marathon to raise money for camp scholarships. email me {click here} for details!

my valentine: part 2

 part 2 - at last. yesterday was a ridiculously busy day. a ton of work deadlines. car was back at the shop. a late lunch w/ one of my high school girls. followed by more work deadlines and an after work run. but before valentine's day is too far behind us, one more post!

each of us bought the other person flowers: 

and planned a little something handmade:

for my love ... if you know me personally (or heck blog-ally) for very long, you'll know that i'm a budget stickler. and it's annoying at times ... ask wade. so i made him a set of word picture date coupons. if he could guess them - he got to keep them! ... and best - the dates are OFF THE BUDGET!

any guesses?

bell + cork - k + t =                 p + buckets - b =
a date to the belcourt, a day trip to leiper's fork, tn
the indie theatre in our neighborhood lunch @ pucket's grocery store
from my love ... wade wrote me a poem! and he agreed to me sharing it w/ you all.

adventures with hippopotamuses

   i stood by cedars on an old gravel road,
   at first light, in tennessee, when the livestock stuttered
   above the dewy grass.

   i fell in with them; they were all i knew,
   a bucolic world across a broken fence.

   beyond a horizon thistles grew.

   my eyes were opening.

   share with me adventures.

   from your porch stoop in illinois,
   a place defining, sublime.

   two children tearing off wild,
   laughing mad,
   through a world of dancing stars and hippopotamuses.

   find us a place of wildness.
   let us wonder where we went. 

i love it! and once again - can't wait to surprise you all with some fun adventure news in a few weeks. until then ... hippopotamuses?!? ;)

my valentine: part 1

hello lovelies. i read somewhere that the average person spent $140 on their valentine yesterday. w+i pride ourselves on being well below average. ;) if you remember last year we started a munday family tradition of making each other gifts (click here). this year, we continued the tradition.

it has been said "the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach". so true!

wade treated me to a scrumptious dinner ... chicken tikka masala! it was unbelievable. being the best husband ever, he googled "gluten free chicken tikka masala" and found this fantastic recipe via no gluten, no problem. we might have argued a bit over who got to take the leftover to work today.

and i made dessert. must work on my chocolate dipping skills. they didn't end up quite as pretty as i had hoped. BUT they were yummy as well. it has to be that amazing gfree sugar cookie recipe i mentioned last week (here).

so as promised, here's my gfree sugar cookie recipe:

preheat oven: 350º f

3/4 cup sweet rice flour                           1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oat flour                                        1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup potato starch                               1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour                                1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum                                2 egg whites

cream sugar + butter. add egg + vanilla or almond extract. sift together dry ingredients (sweet rice flour, oat flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt). add to wet ingredients little by little. refrigerate 1hr. separate into 2 halves. roll out to 1/4" thick and cut w/ cookie cutters. bake on non-stick for 10-12m. ENJOY!

last but not least ... one of my new year's resolutions was to take more pictures of wade and i and to be included in more pics (the problem w/ being the person behind the camera). my sweet husband agreed even if that meant he had to be a bit patient w/ my photography skills - a major work in progress.

happy valentine's day:

and of course, a hilarious blooper while i set up the camera. i asked him to put his hand out so that i could focus on it. "brick wall!" (remember that saying?) love him!

okay - tomorrow i share a little bit more about our valentine's festivities. until then ...

tues-DIY: my funny valentine ...

i participated in a super cute blog valentine swap via blogger friend charlotte. each participant was given the name + address of another. then w/ only the direction to "create a valentine. make it pretty", we each made and mailed a special valentine to our partner.

so how do you create a valentine for someone you don't know personally!?! well you blog stalk, of course. :) my partner was jaclyn journey a wedding/event planner from louisville, kentucky. check out her beautiful work - here.

state pride is the thang right now! i wanted to give a gift that keeps on giving ... so i created a stationary set for jaclyn to spread a little kentucky love:

follow along to make your own:

* cardboard/cardstock
* add'l scrapbook paper
* scissors
* glue

for the cards:

1 // cut your cardboard or cardstock to size. my cards were 7" h x 5" w folded in half to be 3.5"h x 5" w.

2 // cut out your states. rather than trace or free hand the state of kentucky, i opened this free vector map in illustrator and resized the state to fit. note to self: if you're tracing on the reverse side of your cardstock, be sure to trace your state w/ wrong side out - or you'll end up with a backwards state! :)

3 // cut out your hearts.

4 // glue your states + hearts to your cards. press to dry. easy-peasy!

for the envelopes:

1 // i cheat! find another envelope that fits your cards.

2 //  open it along glued seams.

3 // trace and cut on your decorative cardstock. glue along seams! that's it.

of course ... i couldn't just send stationary - i wrote jaclyn a special little kentucky poem:

thankfully she has a sense of humor! ;)

happy valentine's day, lovelies. xo.

i'm back!

well - mostly!

new paint - √
new carpet - √
rerouted wires - √
window - okay okay ... i get it. the request was a bit out of the budget. ha.

i'm loving the new color. happy place! would you believe i picked the boldest color in the office!?! corporate people are sooo boring! ;)

currently, my cabinet doors are MIA (showing how completely disorganized i really am at the office) and i need to decide which projects to display, but we're getting there!  i'm 99% sure i want to paint the black angled portion of my built-in w/ black chalkboard paint. what do you think, should i commit?

tomorrow i'm excited to share a little valentine project i participated in. see you soon!

my week: 3 random things

i dropped by the office just now and there's paint on the walls! :) hooray. i am pretty excited to see it finished. they've promised me that i'll be back in the office monday morning. until then - i leave you with another 3 random things for this week:

1 // the super bowl was almost a full week ago and i never shared my cookies! i found then modified the yummiest gfree sugar cookie recipe. i'll make valentine's cookies and share the recipe next week, promise! {i don't mean to be a tease, i just don't have the recipe on me at this time.} in my own opinion, the cookies turned out as adorable as they were yummy ...

{our failed attempt to put a helmet on chris}

2 // speaking of failed photography attempts ... how's everyone doing on the "31 days to a better photo" challenge? we're 10 days in (get it - it's february 10th) but you're not too late to catch up. link up your test shoots @ the bottom of this post! i've concluded 2 things: 1// i really want this 50mm lens. 2 // i need to find a model as my pics have been pretty lame thus far. of course, not too lame to share:

{larger aperture - f/3.5}

{smaller aperture - f/22}

3 // last but not least, remember that box my boots came in?

well ... it's no longer a box. a little chop chop here and there, a few jumbo paper clips and it's my fancy schmancy new fabric organizer:

though the rest of the closet needs a lot of prayer, one shelf down! here's the before and after:



share your "31 days" progress! 
link to your aperture experiment post specifically (not your entire blog!).

hello, friends

it's makeover week at the office. i was scheduled to be out of the office monday through wednesday. i had a photo shoot scheduled for both tuesday and wednesday and fittings all day monday - so the makeover schedule fit my schedule perfectly. of course, now it's thursday and they haven't even started on my office. womp womp. good things are worth the wait, right?

speaking of waiting ... i've been waiting patiently all week to get a new pair of boots in the mail. my old boots had sprung a leak and i'd found boots @ target - remember? they're awesome but super tough. i wanted something a bit feminine as well. i found these lovelies within my budget at UO:

ecote stallion leather boot - an urban outfitters exclusive
$89.99 online
{$59.99 if you find them in stores + they can order your size online!}

"boots with the spurs" (sung to the tune of flo-rida's "boots wit da fur"). aren't the cute? i bought the brown - but was so so so tempted to go back and buy them in grey/black as well. instead i will pray they continue to be available until i have replinished clothes funds in march.

on a side note: you know how there's the kid on christmas morning that enjoys the box more than the toy that came in it? i have pretty big plans for the box these lovelies came in as well. the DIY wheels are a turnin'.

i've missed you all this week! how's life? how's your "31 days to a better photo" challenge coming along? click here to send me your progress reports! :)

satur-DIY: love necklace

since i had extra wire left over from ispydiy's adorable heartbeat necklace diy earlier this week, i set out to find a few add'l wire-inspired projects. i happened upon the lovely thread-wrapped sentiment necklace available @ anthropologie:


and decided to make my own!

supplies: 20 gauge wire, chain, lobster clasp, 5 jump rings, 2 shades of embroidery thread,
round tip pliers, and wire cutters (+ a little mod podge or glue)

1 // starting at the beginning of your wire, use the tip of your needle nose pliers to bend the wire to create the word "love". make sure to make a loop at the top of your "l" and at the end of the tail of your "e". clip excess to finish.

2 // attach your embroidery thread inside the top loop of your "l" with a tight knot.

3 // wrap the embroidery thread around the wire tightly until you reach the end of the "e". this will take some time - and so rotating in your hand. i tucked the excess from my knot along the beginning of the "l" and wrapped the excess + wire together. for the left side of the "v", wrap the thread around both pieces of wire so that they are together. knot tightly at the end of the "e" and clip.

4 // use a little glue or mod podge, to secure the loose ends on the "e" and the double looped portion of the "v" if you'd like.

5 // with your additional color of embroidery thread. create a 1" loop around your finger. clip excess. use your needle nose pliers to wrap 1 of your jump rings around your loop.

6 // use additional thread to wrap around the top of the 1" loop near your jump ring to create your tassel. tie a tight knot - and clip excess. again you can use a little mod podge or glue to secure loose ends. clip the other end of the loop and separate the ends of the embroidery thread. tassel finished!

7 // measure your chain. the anthropoligie version comes w/ a 34" chain. i made mine shorter - bc i'm more likely to wear it layered w/ other short charm necklaces. once you have your chain measured use the wire cutters to cut the chain in half. add your lobster claw to the end of one piece of chain + a jump ring to the end of the other piece of chain. 

8 // attach each chain with a jump ring @ the beginning of your "l" and end of your "e". also attach your tassel to the end of the "l".

that's it!!! now wear and enjoy.

my week: 3 random things

1 // it's officially office makeover day! and it's been a heck of a week preparing for the big day. we are allowed to leave our computers, phones + furniture in our offices, but everything else must be out. a little spring cleaning - aka excellent opportunity to purge 7 years of collected junk. while i'm pretty excited about new carpet, new paint (i went w/ donnegal) + organized cabinets, i'm most excited to have the wires rerouted & no longer a tripping hazard across the middle of my floor! it's the little things. i might even ask them to install a window. okay - a girl can dream!

2 // have you signed up for february's 31 days to a better photo challenge? yesterday's challenge was to get cozy w/ your camera manual. that's a big ol' 1 day challenge ... i made it about 1/2 way through the book. pretty excited w/ all that i'm learning. not gonna lie - there was a highlighter involved. and this thing is thorough. ie. "when operating the diopter adjustment control with your eye to the viewfinder, be careful not to put your fingers or fingernails in your eye." why thank you, nikon.

2 // running has majorly taken a toll on my crafting ... which has majorly taken a toll on my blogging. i get home from a long day @ work, run ... and then CRASH! last night i found enough energy to recreate i spy diy's heartbeat necklace. easy peasy - and adorbs. in fact, i made a few add'l necklaces for my sisters/sister-in-laws. they're going to love them! isn't it fun getting unexpected presents in the mail?

 your turn - your week in 3 random things. go!

a blast from the past ...

apparently there's quite a bit of controversy over swedish artist sanna dullaway. sanna recently colorized some of the world's most iconic black + white images. while yes, there is no substitute for the images in their original form ... i wouldn't go so far as calling her work blasphemous. THE GIRL'S GOT TALENT. talk about a way to launch a business restoring and colorizing old photos. what's that saying? "any press is good press"!?!

v-j day in times square

abraham lincoln

mark twain
theodore roosevelt 

 {photo: 1 // alfred eisenstaedt, 2 // matthew brady, 3 // unknown, 4 // walter scott shinn}
{colorization: sanna dullaway}

of course, my illinois ♥ing self had to share honest abe. 
what do you think - blasphemy or talent? which is your absolute fav?

i can't promise we'll be retouching quite like sanna dullaway by the end of february. but there's still time ... sign up!
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