Wednesday, January 30, 2013

We're moving to the Hill Country, Y'all!

Well, my "inciting incident" (read: motivation to get me out of my comfort zone and follow my heart) is actually happening! My husband just accepted a wonderful job in the Texas Hill Country this week. In February, he will take on a "community transformation" project, encouraging residents to take up healthy lifestyles. (Right up his alley.)

And for me...well, I feel so full of possibilities. I think this is just the catalyst I needed to get "unstuck" and find my place in this world. We will be close to the family ranch, a hop skip and jump away from the creative mecca of Austin, and the cool blue waters of the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers. In short, a perfect, inspiring place to be. 

Though it's bittersweet (I love my charming little town of Nacogdoches, as you can read here), the excitement is outweighing the risk and I think this will be such a positive change. So I'm embracing the change, praying for guidance and trusting that it's all part of God's plan.

 Here's a look around my new "home:"

The views (source)
The neighbors

The weeds

The mall
The backyard
The usual suspects (me and the girls in Austin, August 2011)
So CHEERS to the future, to change, to growth and to the new chapter in our lives!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mornings in the Ranch Workshop

You know that beautiful moment when work becomes play? When working with your hands feels so right and working hard at a labor of love makes you feel alive?

I had that wonderful feeling this weekend. As I was creating a tutorial for a local magazine, I asked my father-in-law to help me create some accessories in his workshop. Said workshop is an 1870's bright red barn with rusty tools and a cool breeze from the thousand Texas acres that surround it. You breath deeper, surrounded by peaceful hay fields, and it was the perfect inspiration for early-morning creating.

As I was hammering away at the metal, listening to old Hank Williams, I looked up at my father-in-law and said, "Man, I could do this all day." As he grinded down the metal, shaping it into my vision, he said "Me, too, Kayligirl."

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, dreaming about escaping the 9-5 and making a creative living. I so admire those who take that leap of faith and follow their bliss. The norm makes you believe you have to have the corner office, two cars, a mortgage and 2.5 kids to have that "American Dream." A "good" job is one that may seem glamorous, lucrative or prestigious, but every day that creative itch is quietly put aside for the sake of progress and a paycheck.

Later that night, my creative sister-in-law came down, telling me the progress of her first jewelry line that she started from the ground up. We talked for hours, and she encouraged me to do it now, and not to shut out that little voice telling me otherwise. Her story alone is inspiring. After having a great corporate job, she risked it all to design and fund the manufacture of a gorgeous jewelry line. She's a lot like me...sees things differently and has finally decided to pursue her true passion.

I think exploring that little spark that is the key to true happiness. Not money, or status, or material things. But that feeling of following your dream and the simple beauty of creating something from your heart.

I am at a crossroads. One where I can take the straight and narrow, stay with my steady job, make a decent living. Or one where I can take the road less travelled, following that inner compass, breaking away from "ordinary life" and making my own path. Big changes are brewing in my life, and I'm ready for an adventure. I want to live a story worth retelling. It's not going to be easy, but good stories rarely are predictable and often a challenge. And I'm OK with that.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DIY Raw Cotton Boll Boutonnieres

Hello, friends! I recently received a special delivery of fresh-picked raw cotton from outside of Lubbock, Texas. A sweet friend has entrusted me in creating some true-Texas boutonnieres for her big day. I was overjoyed to get that box full of rustic, rough and yet soft and sweet cotton, I tell you! 

So, some of you may know I got my start as a floral designer at the ripe age of 14, and made my first boutonniere while flirting with the cute boy next to me in horticulture class (funny what you remember). Luckily, I was (somewhat) paying attention, and have gone on to make thousands since. 

Today I'll share with you a few of my secrets!

DIY Raw Cotton Boll Boutonniere

Raw cotton bolls ( with at least a 1 inch stem)
Texas Tallow Berries ( See Save-on-Crafts for the cotton and berries)
Floral Tape
Hot glue
26 gauge floral wire (pictured is thick, but the thinner 26 gauge is preferred)


1. Choose a cotton boll with pretty compact cotton. If it is a bit loose, secure with a bit on hot glue in the center, and hide by fluffing the cotton around the hot glue. Wire together a piece of tallow berry and the cotton boll. Make a few loops and secure with hot glue. 


2. If you've never used floral tape, it takes some getting used to. Stretch it out and it becomes sticky. wrap the sticky part around your wire and keep stretching and wrapping about 1.5-2 inches down. Trim ends to about two inches. You don't want any wire to show. 

3. Tie one knot in the middle of the the stem and wrap downward. When you reach the bottom, wrap back up. This is a trick to hit that knot and keep it secure. 

4. When you reach the top, tie a knot or secure at the back with hot glue. 

And there you have it! The cotton pods also make really cute bouts if your cotton is too loose to use. 

Hope you love these, Julie! 

If you aren't the DIYer, I also carry these in my Etsy shop


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Followers to Friends Blog Hop {Co-Host}

Hello, Followers to Friends Blog-hoppers! I'm so happy to co-host today and welcome you all to Head Over Heels. My name is Kayli, and I'm a PR writer by day, crafty gal by night, and weekend garage sale and thrift store junkie! I'm new to the blog world, but have fallen in love with meeting new people and sharing our story.

Tell me a bit about yourself in the comment section, and I'd be happy to follow you back! Be sure to check out the rest of the lovely blogs listed and give them some love.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cucumber Citrus Cooler Recipe

Hey, friends. How are y'all doing on those New Year's Resolutions? I know they can be a struggle. One of mine was getting my health into balance by eating better foods and cutting back on my savory, indulgent diet (hellloo holiday cheescake!)

As I recently mentioned, I've been incorporating fresh-pressed juices into my diet and have had so much fun trying new recipes. I recently concocted this one, and it's so tasty it doesn't even seem good for you (but it sooo is!)

Enjoy this oh-so refreshing drink, and cheers to good health in 2013!

Cucumber-Citrus Cooler

2 large apples (preferably Honeycrisp) or 4 small apples (like Gala) halved and cored
3 "Cuties" oranges, peeled
4 stalks celery
1/2 large cucumber

Mix all together in a juicer on low, beginning with the apples. Drink, and say "ahhh."



Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Decor: Arrow Heart Art DIY

Good morning, friends! Today I'm sharing a sweet and simple Valentine's project for your home. I've been pretty smitten with arrows lately, and what better way to spread some cute Cupid charm than a little arrow wall hanging.

Valentine's Arrow Heart Art

6 felt hearts (I was lucky to find this heart garland at Dollar Tree...score!)
3 Bamboo skewers
1 sheet glitter scrapbook paper (LOVE this stuff!)
Fishing line
Hot glue gun
Old picture frame

Trace out 12 chevron-shaped "arrow tails" on the back of the glitter paper. Hot glue them back to back with the bamboo skewer between. Hot glue two of the felt hearts back to back on the pointed end of the skewer. Tie fishing line to the arrows and tape or tie the arrows to the inside of the frame. Hang with cute ribbon, and you're done!

Linking up here:
The DIY Dreamer
Nifty Thrifty Things

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Head Over Heels for...

Happy Wednesday!

Y'all, I'll be quite honest. My mind is in the clouds for an exciting (but top secret) opportunity that is in the wings for me and my little family. It's stinkin' all I can think about, so words are just not coming to me today.

SO, I'll let this little collection of things I'm "Head Over Heels For" do the talking instead!

1. Romantic Anchors: Something about anchors are so romantic to me. I especially love this image and the beautiful typography.  Swoon! Click the source for a great collection of romantic anchor images. I also have anchor jewelry designs in my Etsy shop.


2. The Great Gatsby: I am SO thrilled The Great Gatsby movie is coming out later this year. It was one of my all-time favorite novels from high school, so I'm re-reading it before the movie comes out. And... Leonardo DiCaprio? Man, am I dreaming? Perfection.


3. Martha Stewart for Avery:  Have you seen this adorable line of Martha Stewart paper products and office supplies at Staples? Clean, fresh, cute as can be. I especially love the Kraft paper labels (bottom right)


4. OPI's "Berlin There Done That": My go-to shade this fall & winter. Understated and perfect.

5. Roku: We recently kissed cable TV goodbye and never looked back thanks to Roku. Now our days are filled with Wonder Years reruns (I love Kevin Arnold, can't help it) and FREE Fitness TV! WOohoo!


What's on your love list this week?



Monday, January 14, 2013

DIY Valentine's Instagram Photo Wreath

Hello, friends! Love is in the air here at our house, and today I'm sharing with you a super-simple project for Valentine's Day to celebrate you and your sweetie!

Valentine's Instagram Photo Wreath

What you'll need:

-20 pictures of you and your honey from Instagram via the app Postal Pix (Such a cool little site that will print your favorite instagrams and deliver them to your door. I chose ones of me and my husband, but it could be made for any of your loved ones. OR you can use 4x4 prints.)
-Heart-shaped wire wreath

First, tie your ribbon in a loop with about 6 inches on each side and tie a knot. Position the wreath with the middle wire face down. 

 Position your pictures in a heart shape. Overlap when needed to fill the space. Just make sure the pictures at the top middle and bottom middle come to a point.

When you're happy with the look, lift the wreath and tape photos in place.

 When all photos are secure, turn over and add more tape to the wreath and to each other to secure. Hot glue a bow to the top of the ribbon, and hang on a door or wall.

And there you have it! Told you it was easy! Now you can be reminded of your love all month long.

Here is another round version I recently made for a sweet sixteen party:

So cute, simple and special! I'm in love.

Hope your week is full of love and laughter.

XOXO, Kayli

Linking up the these fabulous parties:

Nifty Thrifty Things
Homemaker on a Dime
Debbie Doo's Newbie Party
Project Inspire: Just Something I whipped up
I gotta try that
Its Overflowing
Sugar and Dots
DIY Dreamer

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happiness is a warm dog

Kolby...aka KoKo, Kobe, KokoBean, Stink

Lola...aka Lol, Lolo, Lo Bee

What's better than coming home after a long day and getting sloppy puppy kisses? Not much. These two furr babies fill our lives with joy. And the fact that they imperfect but oh so lovable rescues? Even better.

What else brings simple joy to my life? Well,

A big pot of chili on a cold day.

Mojitos in mason jars on patios. (Hello, Ozona Bar & Grill!)

Cross stitch. Something so homey and charming.

Vintage RVs. I love small spaces. I want to live in one. 

The thrill of the hunt when garage saling. Reminds me of going with my sweet Mema as a kid.

Forehead kisses from D. Best. Ever. 

Endearing things Derek does. Like singing Eagles songs in falsetto first thing in the morning. :)

Dive bars in strange cities. 

The sound of banjos. Not like in a Deliverance way, but like a folky way.

Letterpress paper.

Weathered wood.

Finding new music and sharing it with my ever-so-hip brother.

Street tacos and food trucks. 

Getting "ranch drunk" and slow dancing under cafe lights.

Old books with inscriptions.

Taking naps on mom's couch.

Yup, instant smile. I needed a happiness reminder as this afternoon will be a sad one for our community. We will say our final goodbyes to Derek's boss, Tim, today who passed away suddenly last Saturday. He was an advocate for health and family, and a strong supporter of my husband. He was just 49 and leaves behind three kids my age. 

Take a minute to count your small blessings. They add up to a really great life.


(p.s. Thanks to my sweet friend Robin for the puppy pics!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Om {Nom Nom} - Loving Yoga & Carrot Apple Orange Juice

Namaste, friends.

It's the beginning of making good on that health, wellness, body and soul balance goal for 2013. Which, for me means getting back into the yoga practice I abandoned after an ankle injury. Seven months ago. Oy. My body is feeling that.

For Christmas, my sweet boy got me a gift certificate for a month-long yoga foundations course at our precious local yoga studio, Morning Glory Yoga. It is such a treasure in our small town...a restored 1890's building with exposed brick, hardwood floors and the smell of lavender and eucalyptus in the air. Such a serene oasis to escape everyday worries and gain inner peace.

Source: Morning Glory Yoga Studio

This class covers the basic poses and Sanskrit language, and basically makes me want to pull an Eat, Pray, Love and practice at an ashram in India. It feels so good!

Along with ramping up my physical health, I've also recently invested in a juicer and Derek has been fixing me fresh-pressed juice every morning. (I think I'll keep him!) I decided to do this after watching the documentary about a juice fast called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. I swear, all those Netflix documentaries are scaring me into good health!

Well, glad I got a juicer, because this stuff is SO delicious! As many people will tell you, don't let the weird colors fool you. Every one of them tastes like apples or ginger.

I'm working my way down this list at Williams-Sonoma based on what we've got at the farmer's market each week. So far we've tried #17- Carrot and Kale and #22-Green Juice (I used half the ginger can be really overpowering). On Sunday nights, I'll prep all the fruits and veggies and store them in gallon-size baggies. Easy for morning zombies like me!

The good stuff!

Here is one that I threw together this morning:

Carrot-Apple-Orange Juice

4 large carrots
2 medium pink apples (Honeycrisp are my all-time favorite for this)
2 Cutie oranges, peeled
1/2 cucumber
1/2 lemon
4 celery sticks
small piece of ginger. (dime sized)

Each recipe makes enough for two servings, but be sure to drink them right away for the best taste.

Yum! Cheers to good health, and all those crazy concoctions I'll be mixing up!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

30 before 30

In the midst of all this holiday hustle and bustle, I turned the big 2-7 on Dec. 30. The 27th year has always stuck out in my mind as the year that rock stars die. Jimi, Janis, Kurt, Jim Morrison. My dad (in his hippie days) always thought he'd die at 27, a legend in his own mind.

Now, I don't live fast, and I'm not as much as a rock star as I used to be, but it got me thinking about all the things I want to do BEFORE I grow up. Before I have a kid, mostly. I still have a bunch of wild oats that need sowing, a lot of gypsy soul that needs quenching.

I've seen a few "30 before 30" lists out there, and, well, the clock is ticking for me! I best put it in writing and let someone (read: all of you) hold me accountable.

Drum roll please....

Here is my 30 before 30 list, in no particular order:

1. Add another passport stamp. (Preferably Germany, Sweden, Thailand, Costa Rica...but I'd go anywhere!)
2. Go on a Texas Wine Trail.
3. Become a craft show vendor.
4. Save $10,000.
5. Learn another language. (German!)
6. Get into the best shape of my life.
7. Take an art class.
8. Learn the harmonica and play it on stage (A hidden talent I discovered via a drunken river trip that I'd like to pursue!)
9. Hike a mountain.
10. Go to a concert at Red Rocks.
11. Start a new tradition.
12. Go to a music festival (Austin City Limits, SXSW or Coachella).
13. Learn to sew an outfit.
14. Start a garden.
15. Do work I'm passionate about.
16. Write an article for a travel magazine.
17. Have 1,000 blog followers.
18. Take a good old-fashioned road trip.
19. Go RVing.
20. Visit eight more states.
21. Knit a scarf.
22. Take a fishing trip with my dad.
23. Help someone accomplish a dream.
24. Do a meaningful service project.
25. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
26. Run a 5K.
27. Do a workaway trip.
28. Grow my business into a self-supporting income.
29. Build something.
30. Learn to SCUBA dive.

Wow, just writing those out makes me excited and anxious all at once. I better get busy! I'll be documenting my journey along the way, of course!

What do you want to do before you "grow up?"