Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Food Passport May 13, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:42 pm
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After I moved in September, Dave and I started checking out all the restaurants we’ve never been to before in my new town.  He mentioned it might be cool to keep a list of where we’ve gone so we could make sure to hit all the possibilities.  Not too long ago I was perusing Pinterest and found a Pin for a ‘Food Passport.’  The site it came from (thespottedfox.com) apparently doesn’t work anymore, otherwise I would link it for you.  It was exactly what Dave had been talking about but in a little book format!  I went to Michaels and found a little pocket notebook that was in their dollar bin.  {By the way if you didn’t realize that Michael’s has a dollar bin, you really should check it out sometime.  Some of stuff is cheesy, but I usually find something useful in there and it’s of course only a dollar!} passport Moving along with my story…I got the notebook and then proceeded to look on my town’s website.  Luckily they have an alphabetized list of restaurants which made my job even easier!  I drew a horizontal line right across the middle of each page and proceeded to put the name and address of each restaurant, along with a box to check off where we have been.  I also wanted a rating system, so I am going to use star stickers to mark between 1 and 5 stars.  This should be fun because we have visited quite a few of these already so we will get to do a few ratings right away!  It will also encourage us not to go to the same places over and over and try new things.

4 pages


Mini Me March 6, 2013

Because of the wedding Matt and I are on a budget. So for Valentine’s Day we set a $15 present limit. My present to Matt was a well executed inside joke. Matt however, got very creative and found the website Foldable.Me.

He ordered two mini me’s. One of him and one of me. I think he did a pretty good job. What do you think? Here’s what the mini me’s look like when you first get them.


Our Foldable’s!

This weekend we finally put them together. Sitting down at the dining room table we got to work and were done in no time. The foldables don’t need any glue or scissors. They come with a perforated edge that make’s it simple to punch out the pieces. The pieces also come ready with scored edges to help you fit the pieces together.


Almost done!

And here is the final product. I definitely think they turned out great. Maybe a potential wedding cake topper? Who knows! If you’re looking for a creative gift, I’d recommend Foldable.Me!


The final product!


August Project: Earring Organization August 21, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:19 pm
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Denise’s lovely earring organizer

I pinned it for a possible project in the future, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Probably because it doesn’t just look nice, but would be very helpful to me and my current random pile of earrings:

Pile of earring circled in red

If you want to know how my day started just take a look at my ears.   If I had a good morning I’ll have on a pair of earrings that go with my outfit.  If my morning was rough I’ll have bare ears.  It is an extra good day if I also have on matching accessories.  It’s unfortunate, but when I’m in a rush these are the things that come last.  With my earrings organized I’ll be able to wear earrings even on a rushed morning!  Haha, well even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you it is clearly one to me because I just finished making my very own earring organizer!  The thing I liked most about this project was I was able to use only items in my house.  I did not have to go out and purchase ANYTHING!  Amazing.

Items you’ll need:

  • Shallow box to fit the space you have available
  • Styrofoam- perhaps you have an old box with packing still in it?
  • Fabric- any type is workable though I’d stay away from slinky or silky because it will shift easily
  • Knife- only if you need to cut the Styrofoam
  • Scissors- for the fabric
  • Tape or your preferred method of adhesive

The blog I originally got this idea from (click on the 1st picture to be connected) is in another language (I think Dutch with a French name?) so I pretty much just came up with my own way to create it with some help from Denise’s pictures.

Step 1- Cut the Styrofoam you have to fit inside the box you have chosen. I made sure to use a sawing motion and kept it pointed away from me at all times! Be Careful and maybe have a vacuum handy?

Step 2- Once I had the correct size of foam to place in my box I picked out an old shirt and started snipping! Basically it just needs to be a big enough piece of fabric to wrap around the foam.

Step 3- Wrap the fabric around your foam and tape it up just like you would a present. I almost used a hot glue gun instead, but realized it might melt the foam and this way I can always switch out the fabric if I want another color.

Step 4- Place the fabric wrapped foam in the box and start sorting through all your earrings to pair all your studs together.

Ta Da! Here is my finished product placed snug inside my jewelry drawer.

I tried my best to organize my earrings my category: colored stones, sparkly, metals and pearls, and randoms.  I am so excited for getting ready in the morning!  Now I can actually see what earrings I have available.  There is only one problem!  The box looks sad and unfinished.  I need to fill in the rest of that box!






Buttons for Babies August 9, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 5:43 pm
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Babies Galore! That is a recent title of one of my photo albums. For the longest time…25 years to be exact, my mom’s side of the family hasn’t had any babies. We are pretty small on that side and it’s just my sister and I plus three cousins (they’re all siblings). In 2010, all three of them announced they were having their first child! It was a blessing and a major shock to the balance we have held over the years. Our youngest was my sister at 25 and all of a sudden we had newborns amongst us. Besides my cousin’s babies, two friend’s my age have had babies recently. With new little ones have come: Baby Showers, Baptisms, Christmas, and Birthdays. I was so excited to get a chance to purchase gifts for these events, but what to choose?

For a shower there is of course the registry and I’m a big believer in following that. I mean the parents asked for those things because they need them. I might as well help them out and make sure they have what they need. For the other occasions there is always clothes as a good standby. They are so much fun to shop for. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same way but stores make THE cutest baby clothes. When I go searching I usually find way too much stuff that I like! The hard thing about clothes is that babies grow out of clothes very quickly. I have done a few clothes items as gifts, but I decided to do a homemade gift for baptisms: a framed button initial/ monogram. My sister actually found me the inspiration on Pinterest and knew I usually craft with buttons so it was a perfect fit for me.

It’s very easy to do:

  1. Choose a color scheme, including a frame, background paper, and any buttons or embellishments you’ll be using for the initial or monogrammed letter.
  1. Find an example of the letter you are looking to monogram or you could sketch it on your own. If you find it elsewhere, trace it onto the paper you’ll be using.
  1. Arrange all the buttons and/or embellishments in order to fit them within the traced or sketched monogram letter. *I found the initial looks cuter when there is more than one color and many different kind of buttons included*
  1. Turn on your hot glue gun.
  1. Leaving all the pieces in place, start picking each one up and gluing it down until everything is glued down. *After gluing the arrangement might differ a bit from what you originally planned, but as long as the overall picture still looks like the letter you are creating it is okay*
  1. Now go back and erase the pencil marks from around the letter’s perimeter.
  1. Look for any left over glue strings and try to remove as much as possible.
  1. Write a cute note on the back of the background paper and place in the frame.

It’s really pretty simple. The only downside is that it’s a bit time consuming, but once you’ve done a few of them it gets easier and faster. Here are a few of the initials I’ve created:

Aiden’s A

Averie’s A

Michael’s M


Buffalo Bites and Homemade Wine Charms February 12, 2012

….I know I know, they don’t really go together.  But I’ve made both since last week’s post, and love them equally so thought I’d make them go together for the sake of this week’s post!

Last weekend being the Superbowl, of course buffalo wings were on my mind.  We were heading over to some friends’ house and said we’d bring something to contribute to the spread.  I kept seeing this link for amazing buffalo chicken recipes with a twist floating around Facebook.  They all looked delightful, and my friend Chris was enthusiastic about all the buffalo possibilities, so I decided to choose a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Bites from the site.  To be honest, there were only 2 recipes on the site that I wasn’t sure about….buffalo chicken waffle sandwiches and buffalo chicken cupcakes (I’m the cupcake queen, but these just looked a little too whacky for my liking).  After trying these Buffalo Chicken Bites and discovering how delicious they were, I’m anxious to try more of these creations!  If you’re ever looking for a party snack or contribution, I would highly recommend trying these:

First, cook your chicken (you'll need about 1 cup once cooked and diced)

Next, dice your chicken and add 1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce, 1/2 cup blue cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 4 tbsp. butter, and stir! Set this aside to use as your filling.


Once you've made your dough, roll it out into 12-inch long strips, put your filling in and close up your dough piece to make a roll. Slice into bites. (Hint: you can use pre-made crescent dough if you want, but I went for the bread recipe so I could finally use the dough hook attachment on my stand mixer. Homemade dough will take you about 2 hours longer)

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees. I chose to serve ours with some blue cheese salad dressing as an optional dipping sauce

Last weekend when I was hanging out with my friend Krista, we got the inevitable urge to craft (this happens to us frequently when we’re together).  So we headed off to Hobby Lobby and spent about an hour and a half carefully selecting beads with which to create homemade wine charms.  Krista’s future mother-in-law gave her this easy idea, and I thought I’d pass it on to you Uncharted readers, because I think it’s an adorable way to make wine charms that are your own personal taste, or to craft some cute gifts for friends and family.

All you need is round earring hardware from a craft store and some beads to craft your charms. (Hint: be sure to choose beads with holes big enough to be strung onto the earring hardware)


I bought us some pretty brown tinted glass bubbled champagne flutes from a quirky home store in Wisconsin, and thought these would be a pretty fit

I was excited to find some really different beads in shapes and materials that might make some original gifts!




A Very Homemade Holiday January 7, 2012

I wish I could have posted this earlier…but to be honest, this is one of the reasons I haven’t posted in a few weeks!  I was doing all this intense crafting and home-making of things for the holidays, but couldn’t show them to you yet, because I hate ruining good surprises, and many of them were gifts I was giving to some of my co-authors or some of our readers.

Moving out to Denver this year has been a wonderful experience, but returning home to Chicago for the holidays is now much more pricey than it used to be when I could just hop in my car and drive 30 minutes to the suburbs.  But if you’ve ever met me (and let’s be honest, even if you haven’t but have read this blog a few times) you know that 2 things I can’t give up are making others happy and crafting!  So since my purse strings were a little tight this year when it came to presents, I decided that I would do my best to create pretty and useful homemade gifts.

First on the list was when my friend Krista and I had a ‘throw-back craft night.’  It consisted of making all kinds of crafts we used to make when we were younger: fuse beads, loop weaving looms, friendship bracelets and, shown below, shrinky dinks.  Now obviously some of these crafts were more for our own entertainment than to actually gift people, but we did use a model I had seen at a little Denver boutique to create earrings out of shrinky dinks and also turn our creations into some hand crafted gift tags.  Until then, I had forgotten how much fun I had as a child crafting with my friends at sleepovers…I felt like I was 13 again haha.

Shrinky dink tags and earrings in progress

Next on my list was creating something original for some family members.  I knew I wanted to use my new sewing machine for something exceptional, so I came up with holiday throw pillows.  It’s a nice decorative item that you can bring out for the Christmas season that not everyone has and I felt like (with my thus rather limited sewing skill set) I could create in a way that would look Crate & Barrel-bought.  I made the pillows as gifts for my parents, Jonathan’s grandparents, and a special Indiana University for my brother to take back to his college apartment with him.

Pillows in the making!

The finished products

Finally, 2 days before Christmas, my brother Sam and I completed our annual cookie-baking extravaganza.  We bake my great-grandmother’s 5 traditional holiday recipes every year: butter, peanut butter, crescent, toffee squares, and oatmeal chocolate chip, place them in fun tins, and give them as Christmas gifts to friends and family.  Everyone seems to love them, particularly the people who knew GG and had the pleasure of experiencing her phenomenal baking!

GG's famous holiday cookies

I’d say I was able to give everyone on my list a good Christmas on a budget.  And the gift-giving experience was much more fun for me this year, since every present I gave had a little love in it.


Herbage. July 13, 2011

I know that’s not a real word, but it describes what I’ve been projecting lately.  On Sunday, Jonathan and I decided to explore the Pearl Street Farmers Market to see what it had to offer.  Let me just say, we will certainly be returning, since the variety and cutesy-ness of it all was almost too much to handle.  We started at the far end of the market for a quick brunch at the Pajama Baking Company, where the brunch was not only delectable, but surprisingly affordable {always a plus for me}. 

Inside Pajama Baking Company, a repurposed garage


We browsed the market, finding everything from handmade soaps and shampoos to your typical home-grown produce to homemade pestos and sauces.  One of the most unique things we saw at the market was the ‘truck garden,’ there to promote growing your own herbs, fruits, and veggies…even if you don’t have a backyard!  That got Jonathan and I thinking, we should start growing some herbs to use while cooking.  We have really deep windowsills in our apartment, and the bedrooms get an unreal amount of sunlight, so we knew we could make it work. 

We started by picking up some herbs we knew we wanted to grow…basil, garlic chives, and rosemary.  We thought we would want to add dill later {they didn’t have it at the market}, but I later found from my neighborhood greenhouse owner that most of Colorado doesn’t even try to grow {much less sell} dill because it’s too ‘delicate’ and herb to survive the lack of oxygen and water that most parts of Colorado experience.  So instead, a unique ‘hot and spicy oregano’ joined the mix. 

Our entire collection of goodies from the day

Then we got a plain wooden expandable planter {I was pulling for this particular planter to be our winner, since I knew it would be easily customizable to our space}, and took everything home.  I painted the planter a simple beige, adding some spice with white polka dots…we went with neutrals so we can move the planter when we feel it’s necessary so our herbs can get all the right sunlight,  but it won’t clash with the decor in any room.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Once we had purchased our final addition, the oregano plant, I went to getting my hands dirty and putting our little herb babies in the planter together.  I hope they grow, and I can’t wait to use them in many recipes!

Our complete mini herb garden!


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