2013: Oh what a Year it’s been!

Oh what a year its been!  We’ve made soooo many changes this year, its hard to believe it when I look back!  On one hand it feels like this year has just flown by but on the other when i think about where i was sitting in my life exactly 1 year ago today i’m baffled at how different it is!  This little blog of ours has seen some pretty fabulous times this year too!  Thank you so much for all your support and for continuing to come back!!  To finish out this crazy year, we decided to take a little trip down memory lane and share with you some of our favorites from good old 2013.  Enjoy (and catch you on the flip side!)

Favorite Side Dish

IMG_0126

This recipe for Parmesan & Caper Roasted Brussels Sprouts is sooo easy and so yummy.  It even impressed my NON-Brussels Sprout eating sister-in-law!

Best Outdoor Trek

DSCN4759

Brittany’s beautiful hike in Alaska makes me want to hop on a plane and go out there RIGHT NOW (well maybe when its not so cold…so lets call this a spring adventure)

Favorite natural remedy

bug spray ingredients

This yummy smelling all natural Bug spray keeps those buggies away without nasty chemicals and smells oh so good!

Best Shopping Trip

riffla-basket

We made it out alive and with some fabulous loot when we braved the crowds for this Ikea trip!

Favorite HSE Lady

Contributor Photo-Brittany

This pretty lady officially joined HSE this year as a contributor and we would not be going strong without her!! (Love her!)

Favorite Munchie

IMG_0175

This recipe for Not So Guilty Pimento Cheese puts a healthy twist on a Southern classic (and has become a favorite around our house!!)

Most Inspiring

photo-2

Has to be the weekly Monday Mantras…we get tons of feedback from readers that they love these…and it keeps me going on a tough Monday morning!

Favorite Pin-spiration Craft

Scarf Before and After

This easy to do scarf revamp from the lovely Brittany!

Favorite Sweet Tooth Satisfier

cookie

this recipe for the Easiest GF Cookie

Best “thrifty find” make-over

Fish Stand Finished

this fantastic dresser redo from the lovely Brittany

Busiest Blog Day (and most Fun Event ever!)

YHL-3

Getting to meet these lovely people (John & Sherry from Young House Love)!!

Favorite Design Inspiration Post

f1b56d9ef5398df928e222df65c21ac7

Sometimes all you need to spark your creativity is just a little inspiration, which is exactly what this Living Room Inspiration post was all about!

Cutest HSE Mascot

alys

layla

This one is a GIANT tie between my crazy little niece and my always adorable Doodle Girl.  Jury’s still out kids…this one is to hard to decide!

I hope you and yours have a Safe and Happy New Years!  Thank you for all of your support, wOh e can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2014…so stick around!!
Ya’ll come back now…you hear!

In JOY
~ Jillian

Advertisements

Monday Mantra: Worry

Happy Monday to ya!  Its almost 2014!!!!  Hope you all had an amazing Merry Merry Christmas and enjoyed some time with your loved ones.  We bounced around from place to place and spent the week filled with lots of love, crazy moments and tons and tons of Joy!  (and i’m now completely exhausted!!)  As we look forward to the new year, its time to pause and take a second to reflect on the crazy year that was 2013.  Here at Her Split Ends (and personally) there were great big giant ups and some hard to deal with downs, but overall it was a fabulous whirlwind of a year.  I am completely overwhelmed when I think about the blessings that have come our way and I can only hope that as life continues the love and joy around us just continues to grow!!  I pray that all of you have peace at the end of this year and look forward to a new year that is sure to be filled with wonderful things!  No matter what is in our future, have comfort in knowing that together we can overcome anything, achieve everything and bring a GIANT dose of Joy to those around us in the coming year.

“Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening,
it just stops you from enjoying the good!”

photo-3

Choose Joy!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: Ridiculous

Happy Monday and ALMOST Christmas!!  I feel like I have said this 1 million times in the past month, but…HOW is it already Christmas?? Now that it is here…we are embracing it and in full on celebration mood! Traveling to spend time with family, eating way too much yummy food, my house looks like a gift wrap bomb went off…you know the usual fun parts of this festive time of year!  We kicked off our happy times this past weekend and have non-stop celebrating thru the week!!  I can promise you we have LOTS of silliness and laughs ahead of us (which really is what spending time with family is all about…right?)  We are blessed to have such wonderful and fun loving family and are so thankful that we get to spend time with everyone this time of year!!  I hope you and your family have an amazing week and find JOY in every little thing around you.

“Sometimes its ok to take a step back and admit your being ridiculous”

photo

Merry Merry to all our readers.  Have a blessed and Joy filled week!!
~ Jillian

Amazing Advertisers: Silkway

We are SO excited to announce that we have partnered with the wonderful Etsy Shop, Silkway!!  You may remember these beautiful Ikat designs from a little giveaway we did last month…well we had so much wonderful feedback and had such a great time working with the lovely Jonali that we just had to have her as an advertiser on our little blog!!  Looking for some last minute holiday gifts??  Or even just time to spruce up your home sweet home…Check it out!  You will fall in love with…well…EVERYTHING about this great shop!

silkway

Here is a little about Jonali and the beautiful art she creates!!  Silkway is a fantastic ETSY shop, where you can buy unique Uzbekistan ikat items and vintage suzani!  Ikat is one of the most interesting parts of Central Asian Applied Arts, and the most prestigious and beautiful fabric.  Jonali creates the most beautiful pillow covers, scarves, runners and other textile goods with these amazing fabrics.  The fabrics used for these items are 100% handmade (not printed in a factory).  My personal favorite, the pillow covers, are fantastic quality.  They feature the beautiful fabric on both sides of the cover and a zipper closure!!  (I own SEVERAL of these myself!!)

Picture1

Features of Uzbek Ikats

  • They display a great variety of pattern
  • May be composed of several combinations of materials
  • May be woven in both simple and complex structures

All of these gorgeous fabrics go thru a very complex dyeing process which is undertaken before the individual elements are arranged on the loom. All ikat cloths have either their warps, their wefts, or, in rare cases, both warps and wefts dyed only in selective areas and only before those threads have been placed on the loom. The process of preventing the dyes from penetrating the entire warp or weft is known as ‘reserving’ or ‘resist dye’ and it produces the essential characteristics of ikat cloth. At the points where the reserved areas meet the dyed sections, carefully controlled amounts of color merge with one another randomly creating subtle, slightly blurred patterns. This dyeing technique ensures that each abr (cloud) of color is unique.  There are very many Uzbek handmade articles made of Ikat: clothes, pillow covers, variety of decorative handicrafts, bags, etc.
Picture2

Jonali gets her beautiful Ikats directly from Margilan, the region of Uzbekistan most known for creating these one of a kind pieces of art!!  So pop on over and check out her shop TODAY!  You will fall in love with her beautiful hand crafted pieces of art.  They make fantastic gifts for those special people on your Christmas list…or even a little gift for yourself to spruce up your home!!  Thank you so much to Jonali for joining the Her Split Ends family!  We could not be more excited!!

Happy shopping!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: fall

Good Morning and Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a lovely weekend and are staying warm (Its CHILLY here right now!!)  We had a busy weekend celebrating the holidays with friends and family!  This time of year can get so busy but is also such a great time to share with those you love most!  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying yourself (even if it is a little crazy!)

“Fall in love with your life”

love life

Choose Joy (and Merry Merry to all!)
~ Jillian

Yummo: Easiest GF cookie EVER

I have amazing family.  Seriously.  I don’t mean perfect; we all have our struggles.  But amazing, generous, caring, loving.  I’m one lucky girl.  Oh and did i mention…they can cook!!  A large portion of my family are currently eating a gluten-free diet which means many of those typical “thanksgiving” staples are out the window!  Over the last few years we have really gotten creative with recipes and introducing new yummies into our Turkey Day traditions!  One of the favorites from our celebration this year were my sister-in-laws yummy cookies (Ah Thank you Hanz)  They could not be any easier to make, are SO much easier on the waist line then your average cookie and are yum yum yummo!

cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Sunflower butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on ungreased, parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 9 mins.
  • That’s it…
  • time to enjoy…
  • No other directions..i just felt like we needed a few more bullets…

Done!  How much easier can we get here?!?!  Even if you aren’t going Gluten Free…give these a whirl, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Yumm-O
~ Jillian

Holiday House Warming: Card Display

It is so hard to believe that the Holiday Season is already here!!  Where did the time go??  Not only is it sneaking up on me way too fast but i’m in this new fabulous house…with NO idea how to decorate.  (I know…such terrible problems to have)  Its amazing how the amount of decorations we had for the townhouse we lived in before this, just doesn’t go very far here!!!  But how much fun is it to explore new areas to decorate!!!  So in my explorations…I needed a way to display all of the beautiful Christmas cards my friends and loved ones send us (for the record…ya’ll are so good…I am NOT good at sending out Christmas cards…so to all my peeps…I love you and Merry Christmas!!)  To the Pinterest I go for some card display inspiration, there are so many fabulous ideas out there!!

Tie them to a branch or twig (You know this Twiggy Girl has done that before!)

twig holder(source)

Holiday Tree(source)

In a glass dome (or under another type of fabulous see thru decorative item)

in a dome(source)

under glass table(source)

Tucked into your Christmas Tree (or even a little table top version)

in a tiny tree(source)

All of these are adorable and very easy to do Holiday card holders!!  I also found a ton of different versions of wall hanging card holders…which definitely fit the bill this year (we are short on furniture but HEAVY on available wall space!)  Enter SUPER easy hanging Holiday Card Holder:

title page

 

Supplies:

  • Ribbon (any ribbon will do, but a more “sturdy” thick ribbon will hold up better)
  • Baby clothes pins, paper clips or even a stapler
  • 3m removable adhesive hook
  • Fancy bead or other object that can be used to “weigh” down the ribbon at the bottom

Directions:

  • Determine location for card holder, and stick 3m removable hook to the surface (at the top of your desired location)
  • Tie ribbon around the hook and cut at desired length
  • Add decorative bow or other fancy HOliday decoration to cover the hook
  • Tie bead to the bottom of the ribbon to keep the ribbon straight
  • Clip on (or staple) your holiday cards!!

details

Could it GET any easier?!?!  I love this…we picked a spot that is visible from the living room & kitchen so every time i pass by it makes me smile!!  What kind of Holiday crafting have you gotten into?

Merry Merry!
~ Jillian

Posted in DIY

Unique Art Sources

Today, I’m sharing a few unique and affordable art sources.   These pieces of art are not only unusual, but a couple of them also tell a story…which I LOVE.

Litographs are pieces of art, taken right from the text of classic books.  Each illustration is formed using the text of the book.  From a distance, the posters illustrate a theme, character, or setting from each book.  As you move closer, the entire text of the book becomes fully legible.   Starting at $24 for an 18″x24″ print, this artwork is very affordable.  Larger sizes and canvas are also available.  Below are illustrations of Moby Dick and Around the World in 80 Days.

Litographs is a family-owned business, committed to promoting literacy.  For each print sold, Litographs sends a new book to a community in need.  So, as an added bonus, you can spread your love of a good book to others!

Litographs

Litographs

Voice Art Gallery turns the sound of your voice (or any other sounds) into a piece of art.  How cool is that?!  The company uses the frequency and vibrations unique to the sound of your voice to create a visual illustration on canvas.  Choose from a variety of sizes and color combinations.  Prices start at $75 for an 8″ x 10″ and go up to $455 for a 24″ x 72″ canvas.  The voice art would be a great gift for a birthday, anniversary or even a proposal.  My favorite idea was making a piece of art using the heartbeat from a baby’s ultrasound.

?????

The HubbleSite Gallery is an free online gallery of more 1,300 images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.  Images include stars clusters, individual planets, nebulae or entire galaxies.  The site provides both low and high-resolution images.  Simply download the preferred size and print the images at home or by a photo imaging store.

HubbleSite Pics

So, which one are you ordering?  I would love to have this print of text from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.  And, how great are those galaxy and star cluster images from the Hubble Telescope?!

– Brittany

Great Hikes: Rabbit Lake – Chugach State Park, Anchorage AK

During my first trip to Alaska (more about our adventures here and here), we spent a good amount of time hiking.  What better way to see the truly rugged and wild side of Alaska?!  The Rabbit Lake trail was a childhood favorite for my husband, making this hike a priority for our list of must-see places for my first visit.  After hiking to Rabbit Lake, I can see why it is his favorite!

DSCN4781

Rabbit Lake (via Rabbit Lake trailhead) – Chugach State Park, Anchorage, AK
Distance: 8.8 miles (out and back)
Elevation Gain:  1,200 ft
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Trail Features: Glacier-fed lakes (Rabbit Lake & McHugh Lake), long-range views of the ocean and Anchorage, flora, alpine meadows

The Rabbit Lake trail is located in Chugach State Park, on the eastern edge of Anchorage.  Chugach is the third largest state park in America, with more than 400,000 acres of mountains, trails and wildlife, flanked by Anchorage to the west and the 200 miles of coastline to the south.  Chugach State Park is easily accessible, due to its proximity to Anchorage.  The park contains 110 trails, which amounts to more than 500 miles of hiking!

From the trailhead, follow a gravel road up the hill.  The trail then opens up to a view of Rabbit Creek Valley.  During our visit, it was late summer and there were plenty of flowers blooming along the side of the trail.  We also saw a little bit of snow on either side of the valley.

DSCN4769

DSCN4759

Rabbit Lake Flora

DSCN4801

DSCN4771

The trail is relatively flat, with a total elevation gain of only 1,200 ft in 4.4 miles on the way to Rabbit Lake.  The gain is gradual, with rolling hills throughout the trail.  In fact, we encountered quite a few trail runners during our hike.   I rated this trail as moderate, due to the distance and weather conditions.   In my opinion, the biggest challenge was the change in temperature.  The trail is at a high elevation and hikers will have to endure strong cold winds coming down the mountain.  The wind is strongest as you approach Rabbit Lake.  Make sure to dress in layers!

After 4.4 miles, your efforts are rewarded with a picturesque view of Rabbit Lake.

DSCN4778

From this point, you can return to the Rabbit Lake trailhead through the valley.  Alternatively, you can head to the right to begin the McHugh Creek trail, which connects to the Rabbit Lake trail at the lake. The McHugh Creek trail is 6.4 miles from this point to down the mountain to the trailhead (and sea level), with a 2,900 ft elevation drop.  By combining both trails, the total distance amounts to 10.8 miles, one-way.

DSCN4791

We decided to head back the way we came, by returning through the valley.  The elevation of the trail offers a great view of Anchorage and the ocean, as you reach the trailhead.

DSCN4797

DSCN4765

As I mentioned, Chugach State Park offers more than 100 hiking trails.  There are plenty of opportunities to see all that Alaska has to offer for nature lovers.   I am eager to get back to Alaska and try a few more trails!

Given the recent chilly temperatures, I thought an Alaskan trail was quite appropriate for a Great Hikes post.  Read more of our other Great Hikes reviews here, here, and here.  Have you been on any great hikes recently?

– Brittany

Scarf anyone?

It wouldn’t be right for us to travel into this cold weather season without a few scarf tying tips from yours truly.  I’m a scarf girl (i may have mentioned that before…)  There is just something so snuggly and lovely about them.  They are quite possibly the perfect accessory!  A great way to complete an outfit, keep you warm on a chilly day and even add a pop of color to your world!  But with these lovely accessories comes some rather interesting challenges…how to tie them!  So in honor of my favorite little outfit add-on…here are a few options you may not have thought of…

The Bunny Ear

  • Drape the scarf over your shoulders
  • Wrap the scarf around your neck 2 times (creating 2 loops)
  • Pull one end thru the outer loop, and tie the ends together

the bunny ear

Modern Loop

  • Drape scarf around your neck; one end longer then the other
  • Loop the longer end around your neck once
  • Adjust the loop and ends to the desired length (the ends don’t have to be even)
modern loop

The Double Rainbow

  • You need a scarf with two different sides for this lovely tie
  • Wrap the scarf around your neck one time
  • Twist and wrap around a second time with the opposite color side showing

double rainbow

The Infinity

  • Drape the scarf over your shoulders and tie the ends into a knot
  • Loop over your head and adjust to hide the knot

the infinity

(All images from this fabulous scarf tying tutorial video)

Happy Scarfing

~ Jillian