life with a side of awesome

A traveler and an ambassador of fun.

Give Thanks….

Y’all know I can’t stay away from my DIY projects for too long!  It’s been quite a while since I crafted and so I took some time tonight to complete a project…just in time for Thanksgiving too!

give thanks

Here’s my inspiration piece:

give thanks inspiration

I spotted this in Kirkland’s one day and thought it looked easy enough to make.  I mean really, how hard could it be?  ;) 

I basically printed out my inspiration pic, held up my burlap and shone a light behind it and then traced it with my black sharpie. 

My awesome hubby cut out the wood for me and then I painted it orange. 

I had the “jewels” and the burlap flower in my craft supplies. 

I cut the burlap to size, hot glued it to the wood, added the flower and the jewels and voila!  My version is complete!

give thanks my version

What do y’all think? 

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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Wool Dryer Balls…an update

Just so you know…not everything I try comes out as planned.

Back in March of this year I decided to make wool dryer balls.  Seemed like an easy enough endeavor and I *thought* they turned out fine.  Fast forward six months later and I’d like to share an update with y’all in case you were considering making the same. 

Here’s how they looked when we last visited.  You can check out my tutorial on it by clicking here.

wool dryer balls part 1

Now if I really had thought about this, instead of just being so excited to use them, I would have noticed that despite washing/drying for about four times they still hadn’t really felted.  I *thought* they had, but just looking at this pic I should have had some doubts that they were ready.

Here is how one of them looks today.

wool dryer ball part 2

Yeah….not so much. 

So I of course read up on this and why it was happening and most sites said I didn’t wash/dry them enough to felt properly.  A couple sites suggested using lightly spun yarn and apparently the kind I chose was a more tightly spun yarn. 

{{ sigh }}

I think I will try one more time after I find some *lightly spun yarn* to see if it will felt better. 

Have you tried to make these before and if so, do you have any suggestions?

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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Toilet Paper Rose Wreath….in progress

I am making a faux rose wreath out of empty toilet paper rolls and the project is nearing completion!  I’ll post a complete tutorial when I am finished but I wanted to give a little sneak peek into how it’s going so far. 

I gathered a ton of empty toilet paper rolls. 

toilet paper rolls 2

After cutting them into thirds and then into spirals I attached them to the wreath form.

taking shape 

I am now to the spray painting step but as you will see in this photo…the previously “invisible” glue strands are now visible after painting!  Aaacckkk!!!  I’ll have to clean that up but I am excited about how it’s taking shape!

glue strands 2  

I can’t wait to show you the finished piece! 

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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Wine Corks and the Letter H

We drink wine and many of the bottles come with corks.  Our last name begins with the letter “H”.  I had a wooden “H” that I recently purchased from JoAnns.  Naturally I thought….what could I make and quickly decided to make a monogram “H” using wine corks.  Genius! 

I gathered all the corks and we didn’t quite have enough. 

…I vowed to drink more wine.  ;)  

bowl of corks

I didn’t want to corks to stick out their entire length so I had my hubby cut them in half.  Of course that resulted in twice as many corks but still not quite enough so…

…I will have to keep my vow to drink more wine.  ;)

corks cut in half

The letter “H” was plain wood so I painted it white and started hot gluing the corks on.  I didn’t start with any pattern or anything but by the time I was nearly done I had this….   

cork project

Ehhhh….not so much.  The corks on the right are a little wonky and the corks on the left are lined up a little neater.  I also am not happy with the white that shows through.  Hmmmm…..

So I decided to paint the “H” brown to see if that helped.  I removed all the glued on corks, painted the “H” and then began gluing the corks back on.  I also am putting them four across instead of three. 

brown cork H

I think it’s looking better….what do you think?

You will have to stay tuned to see the finished project.  :) 

Stay awesome!! ~lisa




^ Get it??!!  Hay?? = Hey??!!  ;)  Okay – so I have random humor but let’s get to what this post is about. 


Well not that I have had thousands asking this….and let’s face it not even hundreds or ::cough:: ::cough:: not even dozens but I did have two awesome folks ask me, “Where have you been??”, so I thought I’d give an update!

I have been studying for my Texas Realtor license exam!  WooHoo!!!!  So in addition to my AF WingMom duties I will soon be helping folks with their realty needs and I’m pretty excited about it! 

I’ve also refocused on my eating (trying to do more “clean eating”) and started up my C25k running program!!  WooHoo for getting healthier!

And for those of y’all that follow my DIY adventures, more posts are coming very soon! 

So now you know how I’ve been spending all my free time….what have you been up to?

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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Plastic Tote Makeover – An Easy DIY Project

plastic tub makeover

If you follow my blog, you will know that I recently googled to see if you are able to spray paint plastic and guess what??….YOU CAN!!  WooHoo!!  I’m trying to make my office/craft closet look a little more orderly and the clear, see-through tubs were not helping.  Here’s how my closet looked before:

closet before
{Can you also see my cute little
lampshade makeover & light switch makeover?! I just <3 LOVE <3 them!!}

Okay – back to our project.  So all you need is something plastic.  For this project I painted not only a couple of my plastic totes (I had to test it first) but also a medicine bottle and a dip container.  Upcycling baby!!  You can also paint plastic patio furniture too.  If you buy just the primer you can then paint it whatever color you want.  I think I might do a design on these later, but for now they will be white.

tote and spray paint

Mr Awesome taped off the bottoms although I really could have painted those as well.

prepping the tub

Look at him…being all super neat and everything.

making it neat

Now it’s ready to paint!

ready to paint 

I used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint+Primer in white. 

Rust-oleum ultra cover paint & primer

Let the painting begin!

spray painting 

And here’s the finished product!  I think it turned out awesome and I’ve already started painting some more totes!

finished product 

Someone did ask, how will I know what is inside?  Labeling of course!  I just haven’t decided the details of that but just know it’s a future project on the horizon.

Have you tried any new projects lately?  Have you had any upcycling ideas? 

Stay awesome y’all! ~lisa

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High 5 Friday!!

It’s Friday again y’all and Friday ROCKS!!

Friday rocks

Before I begin sharing about my google searches I need to let y’all know that I am {{completely}} obsessed with the Egypt Valley Avenue blog.  It’s my friend Erin’s blog and she is so stinking creative and inspires me to want to do more….I’m obsessed!  ;)  Okay…now onto the awesome sauce.


I’m a big fan of SYTYCD and Jessica Richens is my favorite.  I pretty much wish I could dance like her. Want to see her audition video?  CLICK HERE!


I have a very good friend that is a film producer.  She posted on her page about the upcoming movie, The Theory of Everything, and shared this trailer: CLICK HERE


Looks interesting and I’m seriously thinking of going to see it when it comes out.  What movies have you seen lately?

me at the cosmos

At the beginning of July we visited the Cosmos Mystery Area and I was sharing with a friend about our experience.  I also wrote up a quick blog about it that you can read by CLICKING HERE.  It’s a fun place and if you are ever in South Dakota you should try to visit!  :) 

spray paint for plastic

I have clear plastic tubs in my office closet that hold my craft supplies.  I don’t like that you can see in them as I think it makes it look messy so I googled to see if I could paint them and guess what?  YOU CAN!!  WooHoo!!  Of course my hubby was happy to help me with this and they are turning out great.  Tutorial coming soon!! 

Another thing I absolutely <3 LOVE <3 is cookies and of course those of that love cookies love Cookie Monster!  I found this adorable crocheted little guy online and now I just need someone to make him for me!!  Isn’t he super cute?

{{ squeeeeeeee }}  I just think he is adorbs!!! 

Well that’s it for this week’s addition…sure would like to hear what y’all are up to!

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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Cosmos Mystery Area

We were recently in South Dakota and went to check out the Cosmos Mystery Area.  We’ve visited before but we had one of our granddaughters with us so we wanted her to be able to have the fun experience as well!

Here are some pics of the fun we had.  The tour lasts about 30 minutes and they have a pretty awesome gift shop with a lot of great souvenirs. 

One thing you’ll notice is all the bent trees around the Cosmos Mystery Area. 

bent trees

He’s obviously taller than I am…


To me he looks way taller in this shot!


Another mystery….

mystery 1

The water is flowing uphill!!

water running uphill

We all stood on the wall!

nick trying

kennadie trying

me trying it

Poppy trying to raise his legs.

poppy trying

Trying to move the weight…


Another Cosmos Mystery Area mystery…

Nick is taller

same height?

Here are the deets in case you want to check it out:

Pricing –

4 and younger FREE (when accompanied by their own parent)

5-11 years: $4 (when accompanied by their own parent. Applies to families, not groups.)

Adults 12 & above: $10

Tours are approximately 30 minutes long and consist of a slow paced walking tour that is about 100 yards in total length.

Season Dates:

8/1/14 – 8/23/14 8-7pm (weather permitting)

8/24/14 – 10/31/14 9-5pm (weather permitting)

Extended hours on Labor Day weekend – Sat. 8/31 & Sun.9/1 9am – 7pm

And they are open 7 days a week!  :)

Let me know if you go and how you liked it!  I know you will have a super fun time!! 

Stay awesome!! ~lisa


Crest® Be Toothpaste

I am a BzzAgent and I was excited to be selected for the Crest Be campaign. 

I wanted to like all of the Crest® Be toothpaste flavors.  I really did.  I wanted to Be Dynamic, Inspired and of course who wouldn’t want to be Adventurous, but I just couldn’t get past the taste. 

Maybe it’s because my mind has been conditioned to only accept and acknowledge a minty taste as be acceptable and an indicator that my teeth are clean.  I am not sure but whatever the case may be here’s my review of three new flavors of Crest® Be Toothpaste.

Crest Be toothpaste

I actually took these with me on vacation as they were travel sized and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try them.  So that right there tells you I had high hopes for the flavors.  That being said, I also am a realist and I brought a small tube of my regular toothpaste as well.  ;)

Crest Be Dynamic

The first one I tried was the Be Dynamic flavor which is supposed to be a lime spearmint zest.  It does smell like spearmint which immediately put my mind at ease.  There’s just a hint of lime to it.  It foams up just like regular toothpaste and does leave my mouth with a “minty” aftertaste so that was good.  Out of the three that I tried, this one was the closest to what I would actually purchase in the store.  Given a choice from my regular flavors versus this one, I would still choose the regular flavor.  Out of 5 stars I rated this 2 stars.

And just so you know, for scientific purposes I did eat some plain saltine crackers in between brushings to “cleanse my palate”.  ;)

Crest Be Inspired

Be Inspired was the next flavor that I loaded up onto my toothbrush.  I was definitely not digging the smell but it is supposed to be vanilla mint spark.  I can’t say that it smelled like vanilla or mint and it didn’t smell very “toothpaste-y” to me.  My preference of course is a stronger mint flavor.  The vanilla and mint blended well together and if I was ranking these in order of taste, it would be solidly in second place.  Out of 5 stars I rated this 1 star.

Crest Be Adventurous

The last flavor I tried was the Adventurous Mint Chocolate Trek.  I really wanted to like this one, but I couldn’t quite get there.  The overall taste was fine but I could just not get past the feeling that I was brushing my teeth with an Andes mint or something.  Perhaps because I am so used to a “minty fresh” taste, after brushing with the Mint Chocolate Trek I felt I needed to brush my teeth again so they would be clean.  For those that love chocolate mint this may be the toothpaste to try but for me, I’ll have to pass.  Out of 5 stars I rated this 1 star.

There you have it folks!  Let me know if you’ve tried any of the new flavors and check out my Facebook page, life with a side of awesome, for more updates!

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

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High 5 Friday!

WooHoo – it’s Friday again and time for another edition of High 5 Friday!!


First up is TREC aka the Texas Real Estate Commission.  I’ve recently decided to go for it and get my Realtor license!  WooHoo!!  Any advice from my Realtor friends out there?


This post seems to be heavily weighted towards DIY stuff but that’s okay because I love DIY!! 

We recently purchased a “new to us” front loading washer and dryer.  My hubby broke it all down, cleaned it up and when he went to put back together the washer he realized he was missing a critical tool.

spring expansion tool

This is called a spring expansion tool and this puppy ain’t cheap!  I googled it and it’s around $50-$60 and it’s basically a one-time use tool as he won’t be breaking down the washer again like that anytime soon.  We’ve asked friends but no one has the one we need so we may become the proud owners of a new spring expansion tool soon! 

And as a result of the “new to us” washer/dryer purchase I googled to find out if we could still use our homemade laundry soap (for the tutorial click HERE) that we made.  As it turns out, you can…woohoo!!!

homemade laundry soap

I had to google this because I was looking up something for a craft I am making.  Most everyone that knows me knows that I love to DIY and craft.  I have a friend that has an awesome blog and I am loving all of her DIY posts!  There is a super cute one of a little black and white striped ottoman that has inspired me to create my own version!  Of course, that post will be coming soon including all the deets.    

egypt valley ave

Y’all should definitely check out Erin at and let her know I sent you!  ;)  And if you have a blog you want me to check out, be sure and leave the link in the comments!

Last but certainly not least I bring you a Fiskar bypass tree pruner.  This is not a pic of ours but ours broke while my hubby was trimming the trees.  I had to look up how to submit a warranty claim so we could get a replacement part. 


That’s it for this week folks.  Be sure and check back often and like my facebook page, Life With A Side Of Awesome for updates!!

Stay awesome!! ~lisa



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