DIY Bleach-Painted Mantra Shirt

Sunday, September 23, 2012

As promised, I have a few Mantra projects up my sleeve that I'd like to share to bring your favorite mantra with you on your workouts. Having your goals and mantras in writing is powerful!

The first project is a bleaching painting project, adapted from this post at A Beautiful Mess.

I wanted to make a workout shirt that brought my favorite powerful words in front of me at the gym. Seeing the reflection in the mirrors provides an additional reminder to live my life with purpose. I, of course, used my personal tagline "Make it Happen."

Bleach Painting

*A dark cotton shirt/garment you'd like to bleach
*A couple tablespoons of bleach in a disposable cup
*A piece of cardboard


*Please take the necessary precautions when working with bleach.

1. Place cardboard between the layers of your shirt so the bleach doesn't bleed through.

Put cardboard between layers

2. Draw your words/design on the shirt in chalk first to get the placement correct.

Write your mantra in chalk

3. Dip Q-tips in bleach and follow along the chalk lines. Be careful that your Q-tips don't drip on the T-shirt while you're working. I worked outside right in the sun, which made the lines show up immediately, and really bright! Be careful though, because the bleach can eat right through the fabric if you let it sit too long or put too much on.

Follow chalk lines with Q-tip dipped in bleach

4. Once the design starts showing through, you can go back and fix any parts that need a fixin'.

5. You may need to handwash the shirt several times until the bleach is all washed out before putting it in your regular laundry.


That's it! Such a cool, simple way to make any ordinary shirt your own. It's an especially cool way to keep your workout mantra front and center.

*Participating in the following:
Skip To My Lou

Four Simple Goals

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Following in Elsie's footsteps, I decided to post four simple goals that I will be dedicating myself to for the remainder of the year.

1. Spruce A Space once a week: We are a typical family with typical "piles" in unsightly places and little non-beautiful messes. I would like to take time once a week to clean at least one little nook of dust and randomness. If I really want to impress myself, I might even add something beautiful in its place (a scented candle, a picture? We'll see). *Reward for finishing: one small Etsy print purchase

2. Find Balance (in my checkbook): This is a boring one, but one I constantly struggle with and wish to overcome. Because, you see, my wellbeing depends on a balanced checkbook. When I have handfuls of receipts poking out of nooks in my purse and have that uneasy feeling of not quite knowing where we're at, I feel unnerved. Even though its boring, this goal is dedicated to my personal happiness. I'll sleep better, believe me. *Reward for finishing: a new checkbook cover

3. MOVE: I have a desk job and I often find myself coming to the realization that I haven't moved from the time I punch in until lunchtime, except to take a bathroom break (oh, that sluggish feeling!). I need to get up at least once an hour to rest my eyes and move some blood around. This is a simple goal that I know I can do, I just need a silly written commitment like this to make it happen. *Reward for finishing: a new tea flavor

4. Art Journal Date: I signed up for Art Journal All Year, one of Elsie's classes, at the beginning of the year and have yet to finish more than, um, three pages. I don't want this to become a chore, so I'm changing the curriculum a little bit and making my art journal more of a dream journal where I make lists of things I want to accomplish and ways to bring them to fruition. The thing is, the process of journaling my dreams and making pretty pages is cathartic, stress-reducing, and productive. I also believe the process of dream planning leads to good things. It's funny how those things you love the most get pushed to the side first.
*Reward for finishing: a new roll of washi tape

I am not only posting these goals here and submitting them to A Beautiful Mess, but I am also tracking them on DailyFeats, along with a few other achievable goals. The site encourages you to make healthy habits stick by creating little goal "triggers" like "after I brush my teeth, I will drink one cup of water." They also offer a built-in rewards system for each feat that you accomplish every day/week. Tangible prizes like $5 off coupons make really good incentives to make your life a little better. Hopefully these rewards will coincide with the rewards listed above (i.e. a $5 coupon to buy a new checkbook cover).

I encourage you to take Elsie's challenge or just dedicate a little time to some "Daily Feats" that you'd like to accomplish. Being stagnant is suffocating. Taking action will transform your life.

I'll meet you back here to follow up as I achieve these goals.

Last Year's Christmas Money

There's something you need to know about me. I NEVER make impulse buys. I like to think on certain purchases for quite awhile before I hesitantly hand over my debit card. Even today, I told Hubster that I didn't appreciate being bullied into going out to eat. He said, "That's the only way I can even get you to go out." And he had to give me the weekend to contemplate changing internet/cable providers. I just like to weigh the importance of things and make sure I'm not making rash decisions.

So, remember when I told you Hubster and I had a laugh about how he'd be through his Christmas money before New Year's, and I'd have mine gone by June? Well, close... Mine was gone in August. Ha!

three-in-one record player, Crosley Record Player

But the wait was sooo worth it. Meet my new favorite "gadget," my 3-in-one Crosley CD player/record player/radio. I've been wanting a record player for years. I had a thrifted one in college, but a friend "borrowed" it for forever and returned it in "not working" condition. Forgive, forget, buy a new one. A beautiful one that totally goes with the antique chest it's displayed on.

Oh yes!

Peanut and Hubster even got a little involved. Hubster chose a few Dean Martin and Christmas records at a rummage sale and Peanut dances to Rolling Stones with me.

New record player, My new record player and collection

Oh, stash of dust-collecting vinyls, how I've missed you.

Records, My record collection

My other "Christmas" in August purchases? A Bon Iver record, Feist CD, Noah and the Whale CD, Exercise and Nutrition textbook (geek alert), pretty washi tape, and my very own copy of Born to Run. Could this get any better?

Do you still get "Christmas money?" And what do you usually buy with it? This is the only time I allow myself to buy superfluously. Of course there are always things around the house that take precedence, but special money doesn't count, right?

Perseid Picnic

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Since we seem to be having a tradition theme going on here, I thought I'd show you another one of our family's newest traditions, since this is the first year Peanut is old enough to get it.

We decided that our family should definitely have a Perseid Picnic each year. The timing is perfect. Every year, the Perseid meteor shower happens around August 21: right in the middle of summer break. It's also warm enough to have a nighttime picnic. What better reason to have a nighttime picnic than a magical meteor shower?

I packed up Peanut and his cousin and we headed to the county park. We found a really dark parking lot and shut off all the lights. The fact that it was dark made Peanut feel a little on edge, but we calmly talked about fun things to keep his mind off the dark shadows.

We lined the bed of our truck with two porch chair cushions and snuggled in under a shared blanket.

Midnight Picnic, 8/12/12 shooting star picnic

I'm pretty sure my nephew saw an actual shooting star (by his sudden energetic "there's one, THERE'S ONE!), but Peanut wasn't patient, still or unafraid enough to witness one.

The two adventurers had to bring their binoculars and flashlights, even though they're completely unnecessary for stargazing, because that's just what little Daniel Boons do, yo! We also had a few midnight snacks: unnecessary also, but part of the fun.

After we I saw about a half dozen meteors, I packed up my two sleepy little fellas and we headed home. A late night Perseid picnic is a good excuse to take off of work the next day, no? We even had a little sleepover to make the night extra memorable. We'll be back next year, for sure.

Nighttime Picnic, Watching Perseid Meteor Shower