Explore Cleveland: Fire Truck Pizza Company

I love the concept of food trucks. I watch people eating at them on TV Shows, see pictures on Twitter or Instagram of the people I follow visiting them, or read about a new one that opened in my area. I had never had the opportunity to eat at one myself…until today!

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The weather was beautiful (which is a shocker for North East Ohio) and my boyfriend, Pat, made the suggestion to go to the Hessler Street Fair in Uptown Cleveland. As we were walking into the enterence, there it was…Fire Truck Pizza Company!

It is quite literally a fire truck that was converted to a food truck, complete with wood burning oven where they wood fire your pizza in 2-3 minutes! Pat and I enjoyed the traditional pepperoni, and our friend Mike had the bacon honey white pizza.

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I am extremely satisfied with my first ever food truck experience (who doesn’t like pizza??) I can’t wait to find and try some more!

What was your first food truck experience?

Talk Soon,
Jennifer

Blog Update #8

Hey Everyone!

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So, it’s been a while. Like a while…

I’m not going to make one of those boring posts of why I haven’t been here. I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on myself these past few weeks.

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I’m going to take a short hiatus for the month of April. I have become a little off track with my planning over the past few weeks. I need to take some time, regroup, and get back to you!

Don’t miss me too much! I may pop back once a week. No promises!

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Talk Soon,
Jennifer

Painted Days: We Can Make A Run For It

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I talked a month or so ago about how I got back into painting after being burnt out for a really long time. Slowly, I’ve been sharing my paintings again.

Sometimes it’s hard to gather inspiration, other times it’s not. I draw a lot of my inspiration from my music.

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I was listening to a lot of Hit the Lights in January.
One of my favorite songs is “We Can Make a Run for It.”

We’ve got this down to a science, baby!

Don’t be afraid…

…be very afraid!

So good!!

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I LOVE drawing inspiration from music. I have a running list of quotes from songs that I want to paint!

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What about you? Where do you draw inspiration from?

Talk Soon,
Jennifer

Recycled: Reuse Old Light Bulbs

Don’t throw them away! Reuse them!

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I have seen SO MANY projects that reuses old light bulbs. Either I am cursed to constantly buy light bulbs or destined to make a project with them because light bulbs do not last very long in my apartment. Here are few ways to recycle those burned out bulbs.

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Here is what you will need:
Old light bulbs
Glass Paint
Glitter
Elmer’s glue or Modge Podge

Project Time: in an afternoon
Project Difficulty: Easy Peasy

Project budget: around $5

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Option One: Painted.

This one is pretty simple. Just use glass paint to add a pop of color to the bulbs. It took me three coats to make a solid color. I wrapped a piece of tin foil around the bottom of the bulb to stand it up when drying.

Option Two: Glitter

I used a similar technique on clothes pins on this project. Cover the bulb with glue or modge podge, then roll in glitter. Let dry. Cover the glitter with another layer of glue or podge to set in place. Let dry.

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I think these would make great holiday ornaments, but there are other ways to display them as well. I will admit, it was sort of a Pinterest fail for me. I LOVED the way the bulbs turned out….however….the display that I made with them was less than satisfying. I ended up tossing it out, but that’s okay! I still have the curse and have already collect more bulbs to repeat this project!!

What projects have you seen with recycled bulbs? I would love to know (so I can try them of course!!)

Talk soon,
Jennifer

Make Your Own Photo Backdrop!

One of the challenges I have while blogging is my limited space to take photos. I rent a decent sized two bedroom apartment, but space is still very limited. I have to get creative when I’m taking photos of the projects I share. Here is one of my secrets to mixing up the backgrounds to my photos (well not really a secret, you can find it all over Pinterest).

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Here is what you will need:
Rolled Poster Paper
Paint and Paint Brushes
Scotch Tape

Project Time: less than an hour
Project Difficulty: Easy Peasy

Project budget: around $10

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Roll out two long sheets of the poster paper and use washi tape to adhere the seam together (you can use scotch tape if you want). I suggest hanging the paper where you intent to take the photos because it could easily ripe if you try and transport it (trust me…).

Next, just paint whatever pattern you want! I just used Xs, Os and hearts to decorate mine.

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Once the paint is dry, have fun taking your photos! Like I said. I used this as a backdrop for my project photos, but you can also make one for a photo booth at a party!

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What do you like to use for a backdrop for your photos?

Talk soon,
Jennifer

Scrapbooking Saturday: My January Mini Album

Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Last week I decided to dive into a new adventure: scrapbooking mini albums! It started last Sunday morning when I bought an E-Course from the A Beautiful Mess Shop on sale. I’ve always wanted to document my life more. It was on my list of 24 things before 25, and had a little success with it. I vowed to myself that 2016 would be my year, and have been documenting it as much as I can! What a better way to re-live the great moments than making an album for each of the monthly highlights!

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I have to admit, similar to my Instagram calendar, it was hard to choose my favorite photos. Luckily, my photo choice was not limited to 12 and I can pick as many as I can fit in the album!

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I had a lot of fun making this album, and cannot wait to make the next coming months! Here is a look at all my pages:

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I’m excited to read and re-read some my E-courses that I’ve purchased to incorporate some new techniques! I may even have to look through some of my past art journals! At some point, I will be caught up on the months and can release my post in conjunction with the end of the month.

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What about you? What is your favorite way to document some of your favorite life moments??

Talk soon,
Jennifer

Explore Ohio: A Weekend in Colombus

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I got the travel bug a few weeks ago! It’s hard at my job because we are forced to pick our vacation for the entire year at the beginning of the year. This limits your impulse trips to the weekend.

I am VERY lucky to (what I think) live in a really awesome area with a million weekend road trips waiting at my finger tips!

Valentine’s Day weekend, my boyfriend, Patrick, and I decided to take a weekend trip to Columbus, Ohio. For those of you who don’t know, this is Ohio’s capital city. From where I live, it is a short two hour drive south!

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Disclaimer: Car was in park when this photo was taken. No one was injured in this selfie.

I agreed to drive because I love driving! I was a bit nervous because the weather started off a little crappy. Once we got onto 76 South, it cleared up and was smooth sailing moving forward. For those of you coming from the Cleveland/Akron area – I suggest stopping at Grandpa’s Cheese Barn. We decided to continue south straight to the city.

We stayed at the Renaissance in downtown on North Third. To be honest, this was my first time staying in a hotel in Columbus. Columbus is close enough to be a day trip, and when I decide to stay overnight I usually stay with family. It was nice to stay in a hotel though, our room was recently renovated. We also had a NEAT-O view!

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After we checked into our hotel, we took a short drive to north to Gahanna, where we went to Easton Mall. I ALWAYS make a stop here when I am in town. They have an awesome theater, TONS of food and places to grab drinks, great shopping, and the container store!!! This time, we grabbed drinks at World of Beer. I usually stop here when I am in town too. They have a great beer selection, and everyone can find a beer they like.

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Our next stop was a place called Arcade Super Awesome. It’s an arcade bar above the Yellow Brick Pizza on Oak Street. A little hard to find, but well worth it! They had a TON of fun pinball games!

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They also had a game called “Killer Queen.” In my opinion, the best game that was there! It’s a fast-paced 5v5 game. It took a little bit for me to catch on, but once I did I had a lot of fun! This is a must stop place if you are in the area!

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Plus it’s fun to take selfies there!

After the arcade we headed back to the hotel for the night.

The next day we woke up and had to go to Tim Horton’s. We don’t have these in Cleveland. Decent coffee, better bakery!

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We spent the rest of our trip in German Village. We went to the Book Loft. Set aside easily an hour and half of your time, this place is HUGE! It’s so big they give you a map when you walk in, well they don’t give it to you, you can take one if you want. We spent much of the afternoon there. I snapped this awesome photo when we were leaving of the coffee shop next door.

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So true.

We are lunch at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus.

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!!!!! (Yes, I just started my sentence with five exclamation marks) It was so good! This restaurant has been featured on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. I had the buffet, which feature every side they offer, every sausage they make, and an endless salad bar.

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Some of the best food I have every eaten. I STRONGLY suggest to have lunch here when you are in town. We only waited 25 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, and the bar is first come first serve.

After Schmidt’s and our tiny food comas, we made the drive home. All in all, I had an amazing weekend!

Have you ever been to Columbus, Ohio? Where should I go next time??

Talk soon,
Jennifer

Accordion Photo Book

Here is an easy way to make use of all those cell phone photos!

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March is a special month for me. This marks one year of adopting my bestest friend in the world: JayJay! He came to me at a time in my life when I really needed a friend. You can read the full story of how we came together here. As I look over the past year, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to adopt him.

I thought it would be fun to “commemorate” our friendship with all my favorite photos from the past year. I found this idea on Pinterest for an accordion photo book and though it would be a perfect project for this idea!

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Here is what you will need:
Four or Five different Scrapbooking pages
Various embellishments
10-15 of your favorite photos
Scissors, Adhesive, and Markers

Project Time: in an afternoon
Project Difficulty: Easy Peasy

Project budget: around $10 (unless you use your stash)

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First, fold the scrapbooking paper in half. Then adhere the back of one page to the front of another. Continue this until you have glued all the pages together to create one long page.

Print off all the photos that you want to use and cut them to size. Now, just go crazy!

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I had so much fun decorating. I looked at it as almost a timeline of all the fun things JayJay and I have done together over the last year. You can make a theme throughout the book or make each page stand alone. Add text, draw pictures, glitter, whatever you want!

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When I was all done decorating, I added a ribbon to tie it closed.

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Have fun with it!

What kind of projects do you like to do to celebrate your friendships?

Talk soon,
Jennifer

…thoughts on leading a positive lifestyle

I don’t often share lengthy, thought based posts, but I just wanted share why I take the time to blog. It really is a second job, with hours and hours of work and (for me) no return income. I don’t blog to become “well known” or one-day be a household name, I do it for YOU. I enjoy sharing my life, my experiences, in the hopes to inspire others to lead a positive lifestyle, even if it’s just one or two people.

But I also want you to know I’m human. I make mistakes. I can catch the flu. I don’t want you to think my life is happy-go-lucky all the time, but I try to lead as positive as a life as I can. I want to inspire you to do the same.

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The focus of my blog is always shifting. I started of with no purpose, then when I tried to build readership I began to focus on D.I.Y. and homemade projects. After thinking a lot about it, I felt like I was pigeon-holing myself. As much as I love sharing my projects, the purpose was not to create tutorials in the hopes that readers follow them step-by-step, but rather inspire others to take my idea and make it their own. Inspiring and teaching has always been my passion in my life.

I went through a lot of ups and downs in my personal life in the last two years. I’ve always tried to look on the positive side of everything, but sometimes it was really hard. There was a lot of self reflection and mental walkabouts, I kept telling “myself every happens for a reason, you just may not know why right now.” This is when I feel like my blog became really boring. (I’ll admit it, I thought my blog was not a fun read…hopefully it’s enjoyable to read now…)

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Shortly after I got a place of my own, I had my friend over for girls night. We had a long discussion about how I never think about myself and always put others needs first (which is very true). That’s when I decided I was going to focus on myself, do what I wanted to do, make myself happy. It was a struggle at first, I kept thinking how selfish it was to only think about myself. I hit a few bumps those first couple of months, but it was a learning experience and I still was much happier. I would look to the blogs I followed for advise and insight on how to be happy without being completely selfish.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of the blogs that I read share post after post about all the fun events happening in their life. I can’t help but paint a euphoric image of the author’s lives, and I’ll admit I get a little jealous, lusting over their carefree life full of happiness and laughter.

I feel like I’m making this post all about myself. (Sorry) Here’s the point I’m trying to make: it IS possible to lead a positive lifestyle that you read on your favorite blogs. Don’t get me wrong, there are always going to be those one-off days, but the point is you can’t let them get you down.

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I know what you’re thinking, “OK, Chris Treyger, whatever you say,” but it’s true! Positivity (I think I’m making up this word) is contagious. I wish I had the magic formula or the guide book on how to lead a positive life (I’m sure there is one out there), but I don’t. I won’t even try and make up a list of “5 ways to lead a positive lifestyle” because what works for me, may not work for you!

Here’s what I can tell you: keep your chin up. Ask my friends, I am the one in the group that is always saying “everything is going to be okay!” Even in the middle of a big crying session, I am always the one to crack a joke to lighten the mood.

I love smiling. I love laughing. I love fuzzy blankets.
I enjoy Netflix marathons, hours of crafting, coffee talks, music events, drinks with friends, family nights, my dingo, and traveling to unusual places.

Work hard, play hard. Leave work at work. Enjoy the happy moments. Celebrate the small stuff. All these things I live and breathe.

Final thoughts: I still get mad, I still get stressed, I still get frustrated. I’m human. The key is I don’t let it get to me. Hit the showers, shake it off and move on. Don’t dwell on things you can’t control. Smile once a day.

End soap box.

Now it’s your turn: what helps you stay positive?

Talk soon,
Jennifer