Author Archives: sarahmetraus

Lets go on an adventure.

fa7e564d76f79b510fc8def08c394f6c I’m in a place right now where I am really overhwlmed. Between juggling school, multiple jobs, searching for a full time job, and preparing for a summer trip overseas, I don’t have a lot of margin in my life. Sometimes I find myself discouraged. In these times the best thing anyone can say is, “Let’s go on an adventure!”

According to an article in Health Magazine getting fresh air and exercise can greatly improve your daily health. It’s beneficial to get our of my normal space and do something active and fun.  This actually helps my productivity instead of hurting it.

This weekend while buried under homework I was coxed by my roommate and her brother to join them on an adventure. We drove on icy roads down to the Global Market in Minneapolis and explored the colorful booths and food stands.  We even tried a delicious camel burger.

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Part of going on an adventure is uncertainty. You don’t know where you may end up. This is the exciting part. After we had our fill of camel burgers we drove around the cities, finally ending up by the Guthrie. We rode up and down the escalators and elevators, saw a beautiful view of the city, and almost saw the play showing that evening.

I mentioned that I had never crossed the Stone Arch Bridge before, so a few minutes later I found myself on the completely frozen bridge in ten degree temperature. Although none of us where dressed for the weather we had a great time sliding  our way across the bridge and down the other side. There was something special about not having a plan for the evening, just being able to appreciate what came our way, and finding joy in the friendship of adventuring together.

Like any perfect night, we ended with a good cup of coffee. What about you? Do you need to find some friends to adventure through life with.

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Fake Pearls and Colored Jeans

c4e34526e438b8699b2aa8770800d510Pinterest is full of pretty girls wearing the latest clothing and styles. Although this can be a great inspiration to creating outfits, it also can be a catalyst to simply want more clothes. I have never actually tried an outfit from Pinterest but I decided to put this one together using clothes I already have!

Even though my clothes look different than the ones in this picture, the outfit is still a similar style and it is inspired by this pin.

photo 52I chose yellow colored skinny jeans, a blue chambray shirt, a grey v neck sweater, blue flats, and a fake pearl necklace. It is a simple look but it has a bit of a dressier feel to it. I added a fake pearl bracelet and a fun watch as well.

It’s great to pin fun ideas on Pinterest but I also think it’s also important to see what we can create from things we already have. What do you think?  Would you try an outfit similar to this? Have you ever recreated an outfit from Pinterest?

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Lamp Lift

aadab2afd0a8e50dc6689d20c762630f  I gave my lamp a new look by trying this pin!  The concept is simple-spray paint the base of a lamp and recover the shade.  You will need; a lamp post, lamp shade, spray paint, and fabric.  I chose navy spray paint as my base, and cute blue and white fabric to cover the shade.

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Please forgive the backdrop of my pictures.  I had to make my craft in the laundry room!

Before you began your spray painting remember to tape portions of your lamp you don’t want painted.  I taped the cord and top of the lighting fixture.  The pin instructions recommend sanding down the post with some sandpaper.  I skipped this step but I did wipe it down well and make sure that there wasn’t any dust or rough edges.

After my first coat of spray paint I turned to the lampshade. The covering for this shade is really easy because it does not fit perfectly to the shade itself.  It has a drape effect which is easier to achieve!

photo 50photo 53Cut a rectangle swatch of fabric as long as the base of your lampshade.  Place a thin line of glue along the edge and adhere to the inside of the shade.  While letting that dry put another coat of paint on the post.

I did three coats of spray paint on my post and that covered everything well.

The top of the lampshade is a little trickier.  I folded my fabric over creating five little pleats around the shade.  I then carefully glued the fabric to the inside of the shade.

After everything was fully dried I put my lamp together! I really like the finished product.  The pin instructions were easy to follow and it only took me a half hour to make!  I would recommend using this pin to recover your lamps.

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Recover. Reuse.

TOMS-DIY-103_edit-470x260 America is a land of consumers.  When something is worn out we replace it instead of mending it.  Often, it doesn’t even seem worth it to re-purpose something when we can replace it so quickly.  However, I challenge you to reuse items you already have.

My pin for this post was pretty ambitious. I’m not extremely creative and recovering my Toms seemed like a pretty steep challenge.  After two years of wear and tear, these Toms were pretty worn out.  I took the leap and decided to re-cover them!

photo 31photo 32To begin you need; Toms (0r other shoes you want to recover), fabric glue, a good scissors, and fabric of your choice.  The basic concept of recovering is to follow the the natural fabric of the shoes.  Start in the front and work your way to the back.  I folded over the edge of the fabric into the shoes because I wanted to create a clean look. Making the slit for the elastic was a bit tricky. I eyeballed it and it turned out okay. photo 37photo 33

The hardest part of recovering the shoes is the back.  While you could cover the Toms logo, I wanted to leave mine on. I measured, cut around the logo and glued it on.  It didn’t turn out perfectly but the pin instructions didn’t give a better way to cover the back of the shoe.

photo 41photo 39I know you’ll want to wear your shoes right away but make sure you allow your shoes to dry for at leastphoto 45 24 hours after they are finished!

I was satisfied with the way my Toms turned out.  I took me about an hour to cover them both. The instructions didn’t have a good way to finish off the bottom so I am planning on putting ribbon around the fabric edge so that they have a more finished look.

I would recommend this pin!  It was inexpensive way for me to re-purpose my shoes. Would you try this?  How do you re-purpose your shoes and clothes to give them a new look?

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Frugal is Fun

7c5fd5db8bd10ec04c3155b9634d6295 According to an article found online at MSN.com  (http://goo.gl/HaoPvW) many Americans owe over 20,000$ in credit card debit.  While this may seem like a staggering amount, it is not unusual for Americans to be carrying both consumer and credit card debit.  Along with news media and financial planners, a new voice has risen up to tackle this issue.  Financial or “debt-free” living bloggers  have created communities to share ideas and encourage each other to live debt free lives.

One of my favorite blogs, And Then We Saved (andthenwesaved.com), follows the journey of one young woman as she digs herself out of over $24,000 dollars in debt. It is a collection of encouragement, updates on her own journey, and fun ideas for saving money.  This pin, a link from her blog, suggests 56 free things to do instead of spending money.

I have come back to this pin several times looking for things to do instead of spending my hard earned cash.  A few of her suggestions include; reading the archives of a favorite blog, making creative meals with food you already have in your kitchen, writing letters, organizing your closet, creating new outfits, and even making some of the things you’ve pined on Pinterest.

Over the last few weeks I have tried some of her suggestions.  I have Instagrammed a few of my adventures.  I made crafts I already had, created a pasta dish, wrote letters to friends, and finished a few books I had been wanting to read.  Saving money isn’t boring, with a little creativity and planning it can be really fun!

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What do you do to save money?  What are your favorite free or nearly free things to do?

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From Box to Board

490fe3b332c4416d6d1d259b074035a5 I remember the day I got my first jewelry box.  Excitedly I filled it with all of the costume jewelry I had; a necklace I had gotten from dad, clip on earrings from grandma, and a bracelet I made myself. I have long since graduated from the jewelry box and now most of my jewelry lies in a sad little pile on my dresser.  I pinned this jewelry board a few weeks ago because I thought it was cute and it looked relatively easy to make. Plus I really need a place to hang my jewelry

The premise of this craft is simple, you start with a cork board, paint the edges, and glue fabric in the middle.  I found a good-sized cork board for only four dollars at goodwill.  I was able to use spray paint and fabric glue that I had purchased for another project and I bought a half yard of fabric for two dollars. photo 16photo 17

I taped the edges of my cork board with painters tape and spray painted the back first and then the front.  I did two full coats and then went back and touched up spots that I missed. Make sure to let it dry for a good half an hour before you touch it! I grabbed mine after about 15 minutes and it was still wet.

photo 19photo 20Once the paint was fully dry I carefully cut my fabric to the exact size of the board.  This was a trial and error act.  I eyeballed it, but it would have been more accurate if I measured and then cut it. I ran a thin line of fabric glue along the edge of the board and carefully tucked my fabric into the frame of the board, making sure that it was securely glued.

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The final step in this project is simply using tacks as the “hooks” on the board.  I already had a box of clear tacks so I used those. The best part of using tacks is that you can adjust them as needed.

I believe this pin is worth making! Six dollars, 30 minutes and a little creativity is all it took to organize my jewelery.

What do you think?  Would you try this project?

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The Wild Rice Experiement

baa5f05b37ab8c0c68cbf0344fe72218Chicken Wild Rice Soup is my absolute favorite soup.  I could probably eat in on a daily basis.  I pinned this recipe a while back and finally had the time to try it this week!

The recipe claims that it is “quick and easy,” so I  put that claim to the test.  I am an amateur cook on a small budget and the reason I was drawn to this recipe was because it had only a few ingredients.

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots (I diced mine)
1 cup diced celery

photo 11This recipe is a crock pot recipe but you could easy cook in in a soup pot over low heat.  Place the two chicken breasts, package of rice and seasonings,  chopped carrots and celery, water, and chicken broth into the crock pot and let it cook on high for three hours.  The original recipe says to cook it for four hours but my chicken and veggies were cooked after three hours.

Once the chicken is cooked take it out and shred it with two forks. Return the chicken to the soup. Then melt the stick of butter in a small pot and gradually whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper mixture. Whisk in the cream a little bit at a time until totally incorporated and smooth.  Pour the whole mixture into the crock pot and stir well.

I let the soup cook for a half hour more and then I gave it a try!  It was a little bland, but overall yummy!

photo 13photo 14My favorite part of this recipe was that it was very easy.  I had most of the ingredients on hand already.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions on what spices would make this soup more interesting?

Purple and Gold

a9b43b5577f3769bf67841e1b2d4d1b8Confession. I love having my nails done but I am terrible at doing it myself.  In the last few years I have forced myself to paint my own nails just so that I could get more practice.   Now that I have mastered being able to get paint on my actual nails I decided to branch out and  try some more adventurous things

I love the look of this half and half gold nail and I decided to try it using my school’s colors- purple and gold.  I decided to do purple as my base color so I painted two coats of purple on my nails and let it dry well.

After the purple was completely dry came the tricky part.  In order to create the half and half look, I had to tape half of my nail using scotch tape.  I wanted the gold on the top half of my nails, so I did tape from the base of my nail up to the top.  This was a little tricky because I wanted to get exactly half of my nail covered and I was trying to get the tape in a straight line. However, I found that in the end it didn’t matter as much if exactly half my nail was covered as long as you could see the straight tape line.

photo 2     photo 3photo 4I decided to tape both of my nails at the same time.  That way I didn’t have to worry about taping one hand while I still had polish drying.  Doing the tape is definitely the hardest part.  Once the tape was on it was easy for me to do two quick coats of gold polish.

I waited until the gold was completely dry until I cautiously peeled off the tape. To my surprise my nails looked pretty good! None of the polish had peeled off.

photo 6I covered the whole nail with a top coat.  This is important because it helped secure the two layers of nail polish.

I was really happy with my end result.  It didn’t look exactly like the pin, but for my amateur nail skills I was pretty impressed. I would recommend this pin for anyone who wants to try something fun but doesn’t have a lot of time.

What do you think?  Is this something you would like to try?

Meet Sarah

My name is Sarah Metraus and I am a senior at the University of Northwestern –St. Paul, in Minnesota. I plan to graduate this upcoming May with a degree in Public Relations. I love college life, and I have spent the last two years of my college career working on the student Residence Life staff at UNW. I really enjoyed my job as a Resident Assistant and now as the Assistant Resident Director, and I am considering a degree in Student Development in the future.
A communicator by nature, I started talking when I was only seven months old. As the oldest of four children, I was never at a lack for someone to talk to growing up. I took my love of communication to the next level when I decided to major in Public Relations in college. No matter where I take my future career I want to invest in people, hear their story, and hopefully encourage them to become better communicators too.
I love drinking coffee, reading books, running outdoors, having deep conversations, and traveling. One of my greatest opportunities was spending three weeks in Nepal last summer. It is my dream to road trip across all 50 states and blog about my experience.
I hope this blog is a place where I get to explore my creative side, make some things I want to try, and improve my writing skills. I’m sure things will get a little messy along the way. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I hope my projects can inspire you and make you laugh.

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