DIY Coffee Filter Letters

 

Yay! It’s finally time to share these suuuper easy DIY letters. This is not my original idea, I saw a project similar to this but on a much larger scale, somewhere on Instagram a while back. I’m sorry that I don’t know where I saw it!

My plan for this little corner was to make it a cozy coffee nook. I did some rearranging & moved the coffee cupboard to this wall & I had planned to get a big comfy chair to put next to it. That hasn’t happened yet, but we’ll be moving apartments in the next few months so I decided to wait. I came home from work one day and saw that Nick had hung my coffee print above the Keurig 😉 So sweet. And true, no?

I had a couple requests for the instructions on how to make these letters, and I almost wish they were harder to make so I didn’t feel like this post was so simple.

Anyway, they’re incredibly easy and you can make them say thing you want! I chose Relax because I’m a big advocate for making your home feel relaxing and having it be the place that you can escape to. It’s also a constant reminder for Nick and myself to slow down once in a while and just…relax.

Aaaaaanyway…now to the tutorial!

You’ll need:

–Wooden letters (you can find these any just about any craft store, I got mine from Joann’s)
–Coffee filters (I think I grabbed two 200 count bags and only ended up going through less than 1 bag; this totally depends on the word you’re spelling)
–Hot glue gun & glue sticks
–Beer
–The Netflix show you’re currently binge watching

Super simple & cheap; with all of the coupons for craft stores, you can get the wooden letters for a lot less than regular price. The beer and Netflix are optional, but suggested.

Now, just take one coffee filter & pinch the center of it, so it makes what looks like a little flower. Twist the center where you pinched it so the little flower doesn’t come undone.

Next, hot glue! It didn’t take me long to realize I should bend the paper where I twisted it, so all I had to do was dab some hot glue onto the base of the coffee filter and press it onto the wood. This way, more paper is meeting the wood and you’ll get a better hold.

Keep repeating this process until you’re satisfied with how fluffy the letter is. I only used about 2 coffee filters across the width of each letter, then fluffed the filter “flowers” out so it looked fuller.

Aaaand that’s pretty much it! A few episodes of The Killing & quite a few hot-glue-induced swear words later, they were done. The wood letters I bought didn’t come with any wall hanging hardware, so I had a couple hooks (they look like closed question marks..I have no idea what they’re called!) laying around that I twisted into the top & hung onto nails I put in the wall.

I think they came out pretty cool! I had some RIT dye in my supplies that I was tempted to mix with water and spritz onto the paper, but I liked the crispness of the pure white.

 

Ta-da! Now go make your own coffee filter letters & tag @alyssaleane on Instagram so I can see! :)

Tiny Living in Charleston

About one week ago Nick and I celebrated our one year Charleston anniversary! It’s so crazy how full this last year has been. We moved South, we got married, I found an amazing job, and we just moved-again!

We moved right onto King Street in downtown Charleston. If you told us a year ago we’d be living here, I would’ve laughed and said “HOW!” But, life is full of surprises! We moved into the heart of it all & I have to say, even after we signed the lease and moved our things in (on a busy Saturday of the Wine + Food weekend….oh boy), I was so terrified that we were going to regret our choice.

Change can be so difficult to get used to, especially when you don’t consider yourself to be a city girl but you move smack dab into downtown! We are still adjusting each day, but now that we have about 98% of our belongings put away, it’s feeling so much better. Real life: Star Wars pillows & a hoodie on the back of the couch.

If there’s anything I learned already from this move, it’s that we have too much crap. We have the most amazing friends who helped us move, while openly and very loudly judging/cursing us for all the stuff we have..hehe. But seriously, I vowed that this year will be the year that we get rid of the “excess” and only keep what has meaning or function. Okay, that sounds way too minimalist for me and this is going to be a hard process, but you get my idea.

We went from a 2 bedroom apartment with a full sized washer and dryer to a loft apartment (with a kick-ass spiral staircase!) with no dishwasher or washer and dryer. If that isn’t an adjustment, I don’t know what is haha.

 

By downsizing the amount of our belongings (including my closet…wah), I hope to gain a better sense of fulfillment by owning items and pieces that add value to our lives. Has anyone ever gone on a “mission” like this before? Although it’s not really a phase, it’s a lifestyle. My days of stopping at Target on my way home from work to “grab one thing” are over, for now. I haven’t driven my car in over a week (I can walk to work)…what is happening? I miss you, Target.

I’m pretty excited to harness the character of our apartment and really make it ours, while appreciating the value of a small space. Huge houses are beautiful, don’t get me wrong…but right now I definitely appreciate having less space to clean! We do, however, find joy in gawking around town at the big gorgeous houses and hoping that we run into Bill Murray.

What are your favorite Charleston hot spots?! We have so much exploring to do..I’ll probably never check everything off my list!

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Happy Thursday!

Today started out as any other Thursday, but as I type this I know that today actually turned out to be a pretty important Thursday in my life.

You know those days where you feel like you have to step away from the project you’re working on to take a breather? Up until today I haven’t really felt the need to leave what I’m working on and switch gears for a bit. It’s been pretty smooth sailing in my work-world so far, but today was different. Nothing went horribly wrong, no. But I feel that I had an awakening of the senses about what my goals are and where I’m headed and the perspective of life that I’m carrying along with me.

The other day at work I started working on a new project. It’s a pretty important project, actually. I won’t give too much away but it looks a little something like this….

When I got into work today, the perfectionist in me was so headstrong that I felt so overwhelmed with where my project was going. Certain aspects weren’t how I imagined them to be and it stressed me out big time. I know that my attention to detail can be killer sometimes and that I really need to work on letting things go. But because this is a pretty big project I wanted it to be perfect. An hour after I got to work I knew that today would be the day I left the shop during lunch to take that much needed breather.

Then a coworker told me what I keep telling myself all the time…”sometimes you just have to let things go.” It’s almost ironic that being a lover of handmade and DIY that I have such OCD perfectionist tendencies. If it’s not mass produced by a machine that means it’s made by a human….and as humans we are NOT perfect. Simple logic, I know. For some reason it’s taking forever to get through my head.

Anyway, that was lesson number 1 of the day. I truly need to start letting little things go. I am so hard on myself way too often and it translates to other aspects of my life outside of work.

My chain of thoughts from “nobody’s perfect” continued to “stop comparing yourself to other people.” I immediately thought of all the things in my life that I (way too often) find myself comparing to others…my body, my home, my fashion choices, my goals, the list goes on.

But comparing myself to other people is one of the worst things I can do for myself. It’s truly awful how habitual we have become as a people in comparing each other. Social media and a world of “filters” makes us think that the lives our friends lead are pristine, when in reality their lives are just as convoluted and confusing and stressful and messy as ours.

The perfectionist in me is in a constant battle with the laziness in me to fix this corner. It’s become the “catch all” for random crap on the table that we never use, the chest freezer that takes up way too much space, and there’s all the wall art that I have yet to hang since we’ve moved in.

My chain of thought after “nobody’s perfect” was “I am completely okay with my life and where it’s going.” It really hit me that it’s OKAY that I haven’t turned this corner into the cozy coffee/reading nook that I want to yet because I’m too much of a cheapskate to go buy a cozy chair and too lazy to take apart the table because we never use it.

It’s OKAY that sometimes I come home from work and DON’T do yoga or make a real dinner but instead eat stale girl scout cookies and gelato while drinking a Corona. (Ahem….that doesn’t happen frequently, I promise).

All of this went through my mind and I reached the understanding and peace that I’m not perfect & that perfection will never be attained. It’s all relative anyway…what’s perfect to you is a horrible disaster in someone else’s eyes.

My second lesson of the day came when my boss called a staff meeting and we listened to him tearfully tell us that a coworker (who has been out of work since before I got hired) has been given days to live because of his cancer. I have never met this man, but to know that he has been so influential to so many people makes me wish I had. I absolutely needed that lunch-break breather at this point!

Here’s my point. None of the things we worry about and compare ourselves to and stress over….none of it matters. I often become anxious when I realize that I have no future goals or aspirations that I feel would make my life complete once I achieve. But it hit me after I heard that heartbreaking news that literally none of it matters.

I am absolutely 100% content with living my life with no “finish line.” That’s how it should be…we should always be learning and living and taking adventures, saying what’s on our mind and being real with ourselves and everyone else. Certainly I have short term goals such as becoming healthier, maintaining a healthy marriage, friendships, and eventually raising a happy family. But when it comes to the bigger picture it’s SO incredibly important for us to stay grounded in the thought that the little tiny details just don’t matter.

When will I turn that cluttered messy corner into a cozy coffee nook? I have no freakin’ clue and I don’t even care. It’ll happen when I get the fire under my butt to find a thrifted chair, but until then…I’m just going with the flow. Life is so so so short and it’s way too short to be competing for the cutest apartment or best outfit or whatever we concern ourselves with anymore.

I look forward to focusing on letting those little things roll of my shoulders and not weigh me down anymore. I strongly encourage you to do the same. That being said, go open that bottle of wine you’ve been staring at but tell yourself you shouldn’t drink and eat those Cheetos because they’re soo delicious. Meanwhile I’m going to drink a glass of wine myself and not even stress over the fact that I rambled quite a bit through this post…but hey, nobody’s perfect.…

We Can Do This Hard Thing (AKA Spin Class)

I’m writing this blog post on my yoga mat, waiting for my body to realize the Hell I just put it through.

Spin. Class. I went to my first ever spin class tonight and…. Got. DAMN. These were my three thoughts throughout the whole 60 minute class:

1. “Who in their right minds finds this enjoyable????”

2. Kimmy Schmidt chanting “You can do anything for 10 seconds!”

3. I am dripping sweat, I didn’t bring a towel, this seat really hurts my ass, and I am not going to be able to walk tomorrow.

Alright that was more than three. But have you ever taken a spin class before? Then you understand.

I almost didn’t go…class started at 6:30 and at 6:13 I pulled my ass off the couch and told myself if I didn’t go I’d regret it. And if I did go, I’d still have plenty of time to watch Netflix and maybe definitely drink some wine. I threw on a loose tank (I don’t recommend this after I watched 2 drops of sweat fall onto the bike from my stomach. G-ross dude), grabbed a water bottle, and nervously walked to the gym. I found a bike against the window so I could people-watch as I killed myself slowly, and mentally prepped.

There is no mental preparation for a spin class.

However, one of my (many) life mantras is this: It only feels impossible until it’s done. And about 30 minutes, no, 5 minutes, into that class, I seriously considered how bad it would look if I said F this and got up and walked out. But considering I chose a bike on the far side of the room, that wasn’t happening. Quitting averted!

I didn’t keep up with everyone else. I didn’t ride “off the saddle” for a bajillion minutes in a row like everyone else could. I wanted to throw up a little and possibly even cry, but I didn’t.

I finished that damn spin class, and I freakin’ hated every minute of it. But it felt good to FINISH IT. And more than likely I’ll forget how much I hated it and I’ll go to another class.

 

But regardless, WE CAN DO HARD SHIT. That’s really my point with this whole story. Whether it’s a horrible day at work, school, spin class, anything, it’s all about perspective and FOLLOWING THROUGH. Push yourself. That might mean something completely different to you than it does to your neighbor, but don’t worry about your neighbor’s skills and abilities. (Unless your neighbor is really really good at baking, accounting, or juggling)

Now get out there and do the hard shit. Mic drop.…

Two Thousand Fifteen

Hello!
I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and that you’ve had a beautiful New Year so far.

2014 was such a HUGE year for me…here’s a bit of a recap:

–I started my blog in December 2013, so it’s a little over 1 year old now. For the following reasons, you’ll see why my first year of blogging was also probably the worst year I could have tried to keep up with blogging

–Nick and I moved out of our first apartment; I moved back in at home, he moved to South Carolina

–I finished my last semester of college; I graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Marketing

–I moved out of state for the first time, to South Carolina 

–I got married

–I started working at my dream job; I’m still convinced it was fate…ask me the story sometime! 

Ever since July, life has been just a whirlwind of adventure, full of both happy and sad tears. It’s been an unbelievable 6 months or so, but I’ve never felt better or more fulfilled by where I’m at in my life.
I started my blog with the intention of sharing my DIY projects, my wedding plans, my life changes…etc. But I fell pretty short on those goals. However, with so much going on & being a newbie blogger, I’ve since forgiven myself of my “failures”.

2014 was huge in that it captured many milestones in my life, so as 2015 approached I felt myself feeling a little overwhelmed at how….underwhelming..this year was looking. For a long time, I’ve found myself looking ahead so often that I didn’t spend enough time focusing on being PRESENT. Of course, with such exciting things as college graduation, moving South, getting married, starting a new job, it’s kind of hard to stay focused on the here-and-now. 2014 was easily one of the most stressful years of my life, but I’ve gone so many more places that I ever could have imagined. I’ve met so many wonderful people that I can’t picture my life without, I’ve pushed my own personal limits both mentally & emotionally (still working on that whole physical-limit-pushing thing…Ahem..).

But as 2015 unfolds, I’ve been realizing how important it is to not have life planned out sometimes and to not freak out when it isn’t. We’re all just learning as we go. Positive attitudes and a contagiously happy spirit can change your life.

I’m pretty damn excited to see what this next year holds, more so because I have no idea what this next year holds.
I suppose instead of stressing about the unknown, I’ll just finish my bottle glass of wine, eat my chips & salsa, and finish binge watching Parenthood. (Season 6…please never end.)…