An Easter Vlog

An Easter Vlog

The last couple of years I have become an YouTube convert. I watch more YouTube now than regular ol’ TV. I think the change happened when Nate gave me an iPad for Christmas. After training for a couple half marathons, you can run out of shows to watch on Netflix so YouTube began to fill more and more of my treadmill running time. And now a few years later, it’s one of my favorite escapes.

I know most people must think of YouTube as cat videos or parodies, but it’s just a wealth of other info.

Here’s a few of my current favorite channels that talk about food, fitness, life and beauty.

Recently, I’ve really warmed up to the idea of video blogging or vlogging. There a lot of great vloggers on YouTube who record their daily lives or certain parts of their lives. It’s fascinating and highly addicting.

I decided to try vlogging on Easter. As a naturally shy person, it’s definitely out of my comfort zone, but its also exciting to push the envelope a little.

Here’s what I came up with.

Boy is vlogging all day hard work. Half the day I forgot to record and the other I look a little like a fool. But that’s all okay, because I still have a bunch to learn.

Besides vlogging, I plan on doing some other videos about DIY projects, recipes and daily life. So if you’ve been bitten by the YouTube bug like me, please subscribe to my channel.

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

I found the perfect dish to take to a BBQ or summer potluck. It’s delicious, healthy and travels well. You can make it ahead of time and the flavors will only intensify.

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

I took it to Easter dinner because I thought it was a fun play on the bunny holiday, BUT it is so much more. I plan on making it a lot this summer when I can’t fathom cooking anything difficult. Did I mention it also makes great leftovers? (I’m enjoying the last bit for lunch today).

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick

Serves 8-10

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

Ingredients

  • 16-20 carrots
  • A bunch of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 limes
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

Directions

1. Peel and trim the carrots. I recently learned a great tip on how to correctly use a peeler. Who knew?

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

2. Shred the carrots. I used my food processor with its shredder disc, but use a hand grater if you don’t have one.

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

3. Make the dressing. Juice your limes well and mix with the olive oil. Coat the carrots with the dressing and taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

4. Prep the jalapeño and cilantro. Slice the pepper in half and run your knife against the inside to remove the core and seeds. (Make sure not to rub your eyes until you wash your hands!!) Chop the jalapeño finely. For the cilantro, I usually chop the leaves and steam together, but you can just use the leaves if you prefer. Add the jalapeño and cilantro to the carrots and mix well.

Shredded Carrot Salad with a kick // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-33H)

5. Finish the salad. Mix in the sunflower seeds and taste. Adjust accordingly. Cover the salad and stick it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

DIY: 40th Birthday Button (with a free download!)

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

Sometimes I forget I don’t have to make a project completely at home for it to be successful. I’m lucky I have a ton of supplies and gadgets around to use for most my projects, but how about if you don’t? Well the perfect example of this is these 40th birthday buttons I made for my pal Dean.

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

If you have ever looked into make custom buttons before, you would know that proper button makers (or badge machines) are ghastly expensive. $300 bucks is a serious investment for me. I would need to be making a whole lot of buttons to justify that price.

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

And that’s where online shops that specialize in this sort of thing come in. You create the artwork and have them make the button, t-shirt, phone case or whatever you are looking to make. It is as simple as that. For this particular project, I used Zazzle but there are tons out there specializing in this service. I recommend typing “custom BLANK” into the search bar of your internet browser to find the right vendor for you.

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

And now on to my button project… about eight months ago, my friend Dean told me he wanted a button for his 40th birthday that said “Lordy, Lordy, Dean is 40!” He was so specific with the wording that I typed it into an alert on my phone to remember later.  

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

As his birthday approached, my phone awesomely reminded me of the plan. I did a little research on my options and got started working out the details with his finance to surprise him at his Bday BBQ.

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

For the design, I created a gingham pattern to give the button a nice retro vibe reminiscent of Dean himself. Then I used a couple font Bebas and Bauhaus 93 to spell out Dean’s catchy jingle. When it was finished, I uploaded my design to Zazzle and a couple days later the buttons arrived on my doorstep. You gotta love the ease of this project! No printing, glue-sticks and fingers injured in this process.

Friends don’t turn forty everyday. I was so happy to add an extra sparkle to the birthday boy’s eye with these buttons. And believe he was super surprised and touched we remembered his request.

I had so much fun making this graphic, I thought I would to make it a free download for anyone to use. Read below if you are interested!

*****

Free Customizable Button Artwork

DIY: 40th Birthday Button // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31v)

Download my editable PDF that you can personalize. You will need Adobe Acrobat to edit the file which you can download here if you don’t have it on your computer.

Editable PDF Instructions

Download PDF

  1. Simply open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Type in a new name in the highlighted field.
  3. Save your file.
  4. Upload it to Zazzle or other custom button printer.

This file can print up to the 6″ button size on Zazzle. The file is sized at 1875 x 1875 pixels and 300 dpi. Note: colors may be slightly different from what you see on the screen and the font size cannot be changed.

Easy right? If you like this format, check back next week! I’m launching my new etsy shop of digital invites. I’m so excited!!

Extra Zazzle Info for Your Own Custom Work

As I mentioned earlier, I decided to order the buttons with Zazzle. I was not compensated for writing about their service or using them for this project. I’ve just used them before and have been happy with their products. I wanted to explain a little more about how custom artwork works on the site if you are nervous ordering through them.

For custom work, I always check out the image guidelines and recommended file sizes first so you are working with the right format. For more complicated designs, they also have guide files which you can use to as a template for your file.

I chose the 2 1/4″ standard button. According to the image guidelines, I needed at least a 450 x 450 pixel design for this size. I decided to size it 1200 x 1200 pixels so that it was high resolution. I would rather give the printer more than they need than less to make sure the artwork looks it’s best. (My pdf download is already sized for high resolution printing.)

Zazzle supports images in JPEG, PNG, PDF, and Adobe Illustrator (AI) formats.

I hope this all makes sense. Please leave any questions you have below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Happy Button Making!

*****

Party photos by Dagny Bruce.

March 2014 Recap

March 2014 Recap // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2Zj)

1. We had a lively night in SF for Josh’s 40th.
2. One of my favorite movies was quoted at the Oscars.
3. Loki received his new scratch post tower from Aunt Marga. He hasn’t left it since.
4. True Detective! If you didn’t see this amazing HBO series check it out as soon as you can!
5. We started a tradition with Nate’s mom and Aunt Debbie – cat poems after dinner.
6. Ever heard of KAIA Fit? It’s made me and Dagny almost morning people.
7. I participated in my first and probably last engagement photo ambush.
8. The garden is starting to take shape.
9. Nate and I like shirts with boats.