DIY cork coasters

We had a stocking stuffer party back in December that was tons of fun - we had 3 different projects for people to do, and a huge sale from one of our favorite jewelry artists, Vinca. One of the free projects we had for people were these awesome cork coasters.

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We started off with huge sheets of cork that we cut into 4inch x 4inch square pieces. (here's a link to something similar to what we bought, but ours was flat//not a roll)

We then cut and painted them to have cute designs. We traced our shapes and designs with pencil, which worked best for us rather than free-handing everything, as we could erase as needed :). We attempted using paint pens but found that just a thin paint brush and white paint worked beautifully.

Cut ideas: circles, squares, triangles, hexagons, pentagons, state shapes, hearts, etc.

Paint ideas: polka dots, zig zags, simple lines, a simple little heart where your city is in the state, etc.

Tie 4 or 5 together and they make a super cute housewarming gift!

Resolutions for 2014:

2013 has been a very busy year! I'm sure we'll do a "wrapping up 2013" post, but for now, here's our resolutions for 2014:

-Buy local
-Buy handmade

(for the shop, we already strictly buy handmade, but we're working on buying more LOCAL!)

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And this is the latest chalkboard sign in the window - trying to inspire others to also buy local & handmade!

Use velcro to keep rugs/mats from sliding

Our two stinky kitties LOVE to play on our rugs... and run on our rugs.... and roll around on our rugs.... and therefore they always get rumpled! It drives me crazy to fix them everyday.

Well - we've figured out a solution:

Use velcro to keep rugs & mats from sliding

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Simply get some adhesive velcro from the fabric/craft/hardware/office supply store. (Ours was actually called "hook-and-loop" - apparently velcro is the brand!) Then you wanna make sure that the adhesive ISN'T going to hurt your flooring when you want to take it off later. We have a laminate tile in our kitchen, and then super sweet old wood floors that already have a nice "aged" look :)

Then just stick one part on the rug, and then one part on the ground. I'd suggest doing this on both sides of your rug.

You could even get hardcore about it and sew the velcro onto the rug if you want it to really stay on there. Then you can stick it in the wash when it needs it!

Another option - doing this with your car rugs! Ours always slide all over the place.

.......sorry kitties - the rugs are no longer for funsies. 

Buy velcro online:

Stocking Stuffer Party

We're throwing a stocking stuffer party!

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As you can see in the graphic above, there are many reasons to come! -3 FREE & awesome DIY projects (2 instructed by The Confetti Committee, and one by us.) -a huge Vinca sale (she makes amazing jewelry. come grab $5 earrings and $1 rings!) -FREE milk and cookies! (and white russians & wine for those of age!)

It should be a fun time. RSVP on facebook so we know how many to expect!

meeeeeeooow

chocolate = salad

chocolate = cocoa
cocoa = tree
tree = plant
therefore... chocolate = salad

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it's only logical! so eat your salad every day, kids! (this is the latest chalkboard window display at the shoppy)

nutella coconut tapioca

Sometimes great food combos just come to you.

And sometimes it's a process. This one formed over multiple events - me loving coconut milk bubble tea but hating paying $3.50 for it, chatting with Susan from Knitting Night telling me to cook tapioca in coconut milk, reading the tapioca box's instructions and ignoring them, and then finally seeing my treasured tub of nutella.

I present you with: Nutella Coconut Tapioca

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This warm dessert is perfect for the cold weather! & it's the easiest recipe - - because I wouldn't have it any other way. 3 ingredients, 3 steps, and then EAT.

Ingredients:
-2 tsp nutella
(or to taste)
-2 cups coconut milk (I'm obsessed with this boxed kind! You can also just use milk! Or almond or soy or hemp milk)
-2 tablespoons minute tapioca 

Steps:
1. Combine everything in a sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Stir constantly until it's at a full boil.
3. Turn off the heat and let it cool town. After 10-20 minutes (or longer), eat!

The tapioca will continue to expand the longer you let it sit - - and the flavors will blend more and be more delicious! We really enjoy it heated up the next day when the tapiocas DOUBLE in size! But if you eat it 10 minutes later, it'll still be delicious.

As with any recipe, do this to your taste. If you do it equal parts milk/tapioca, it'll be thick like pudding and you'll need a spoon to eat (especially the next day when the tapiocas expand - you might need to add in more milk when you reheat!)  If you add in a lot more milk in the beginning, it'll be more like a delicious drink - no spoon necessary! See what you prefer. And feel free to add LOTS of nutella if you're an addict.

Some people like tapioca cold too! I, however, do not. But I won't judge you if you eat it cold the next day. (gross, you sicko!)

Hope you love it!

Poppy and Fern necklace - a giveaway!

We've been carrying Poppy and Fern necklaces for a couple of months now - - and everybody always ooohs and aaaaahs over them! We just recently put some in our online shop, which we're super excited about. Rachel puts tons of hours of love hand-embroidering each piece and it shows - they are beautiful! And we have some great news for our readers - - we've teamed up with her and are giving away a Poppy and Fern necklace!!!

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There's 6 lovely necklaces above - and the winner gets to pick which one of the six they will receive!(I'd pick Mr. Raccoon or Ampersand because... well.... they are adorable, obviously. Can I pick myself as the winner?)

There are 8 super simple ways to enter the giveaway (some of which you probably have already done!). Facebook, instagram, commenting, and more.

Use the "rafflecopter" widget below to enter! and do all 8 entries to increase your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(and yes, we will check to make sure that the winner ACTUALLY does the entries! So be good!) 

christmas light storage

This life hack dealy is one that my mom has been doing FOREVER. Moms are so smart. And it just occurred to me that some people might not know about this sweet and super simple tip.... (as I see people post comical photos of their headache-worthy tangly mess of Christmas lights.... or talk about putting up lights and THEN realizing half the strand is out!)

Wrap your Christmas lights on cardboard for tangle-free storage! 

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While you're taking them off the tree or outside or wherever, just wrap them around a 7x9ish piece of cardboard. You can even keep multiple strands stuck together (there's 2 in the photo above).

Make sure you leave the plug accessible - - but you might wanna tuck it into the lights a little so it doesn't unravel - - and then next year you can test them before you place them nicely all around the tree and realize that the whole strand is out or half the lights don't work or it's those crazy bright LED ones and the rest of your tree has the nice soothing golden lights.....

For extra measure, my mom always writes "TEST FIRST!" on the cardboard just so she remembers to test them.

I know this post is a little early and would be better timed come January, but I figured if I posted it in January, some people would be like "oh man, I just put away my lights and could've used this tip!" SO - - - pin it now on pinterest///remember this sucker for post-holidays :). (or maybe you've gotta put away some Halloween lights in a couple of weeks!) 

It's a.....

It's a..... girl!

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Josiah and I went to the doctor yesterday and found out we're having a girl!

And she was doing a perfect "Rosie the Riveter" pose so I figured pairing the two would be the perfect little announcement. We're so excited!

store headphones in a mint container

If this lil' idea helps no one but myself, that's ok. Josiah thought I was kinda a freak for being excited about it. But every time I travel, I just shove my headphones in my backpack or purse, and they end up getting smushed at the bottom and a huge tangly mess. (yes, I know there's life hacks out there for keeping your headphones tangle free. This isn't about that. This is just concerning WHERE my headphones stay!)

I had this cool container from ginger mints that I absolutely loved and was holding onto because it was a pretty orange.

Why not.... keep my headphones in there??!

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Now if they end up at the bottom of my purse, I don't have to worry about them getting squashed. They'll be safe in their little box - and they are less likely to get tangly because they are all snug!

If you already have your own way of storing your headphones - awesome. If not, keep the container next time you buy mints! (and if this helps you, then yay, my blog post was a success!)

giveaway - 3 soy candles (the scents of your choosing!)

Ahhh, the weather is finally getting somewhat cooler. And by cooler, I mean the high is only 92 today and it's October 3rd. Hooray. BUT HEY - that "cold front" we're getting means we can start shipping our candles again! Since our candles are made of soy, they would just melt in the mail if we shipped them in the summertime. Then you'd get a liquid candle arrived to you, which would be hilarious and really messy. So we stopped shipped them from April until October. Now you may get your candle fix again.

To celebrate, we're doing a giveaway for THREE soy candles! And the winner gets to pick what scents they will receive.

Pick from scents like unicorn puke, crazy cat lady, wino, butt naked, pumpkin addict, and many other ridiculous options.

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We're trying out a different system for entering our giveaways - hopefully it's easier on both you and us! You have SIX different ways to enter - all super easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and the giveaway is over! Congrats to our winner Mary!

Age is of no importance...

Age is of no importance unless you are cheese or wine

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That's the latest chalkboard sign in our window at the shop.... it makes us laugh. Hopefully it makes ya laugh too.

(but really, it's of no importance! We've had items in the shop from a 9 year old artist - and also an 80 year old artist. We just love all things handmade! well, high quality :) )

how to keep your shower curtain liner clean

Every few months, places in my shower/bath tub start to look kinda yellow/orange and gunky. It's not pleasant. I've heard whisperings about 2 simple ways to fix that yucky soap buildup and watery mildew that's on the shower curtain liner - and so I did both to my shower curtain liner this morning!

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quick fix #1 to an always clean shower curtain liner:

Trim off the bottom couple of inches. If the liner is too long, then it will bunch together in your tub and contain all that moisture and soap. You want it to be light and airy.

quick fix #2 to an always clean shower curtain liner:

Trim it in a zig-zag (the easiest way to do this is with pinking shears! Literally took 10 seconds.) Supposedly the water will drip off of the uneven edge more quickly - thus making your shower curtain dry faster - and no more yucky grime stuff.

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(sorry for the terrible photo of the zigzag cut - I sadly do not have a bathroom with amazing lighting. cry cry)

or quick fix #3 - have a kitty watch you the whole time wondering what you're doing. kitties fix everything!

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If you've already tried one of these, let me know how they work for you! I'm hoping for an easy, clean bathroom!

life without coffee.... depresso

Life without coffee..... depresso

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This is the latest chalkboard window display at the shop. And it's actually pretty ironic because Josiah and I both don't really drink coffee that much - and if I do, I get it decaf. Caffeine makes me shaky (and super grumpy - Josiah could attest to that, but we'll just take his word for it). We usually just stick to little bits of tea here and there.

That being said, the lovely coffee trailer "Beware Coffee" that was in The Burlap Bag's front yard here in Austin has moved. Sad face/depresso. BUT - they are only one block away - now in Spiderhouse's patio thing. So I can still go get my iced chai fix all the time. Because they have the world's best iced chai. And soon we're getting a food trailer back in the yard - and this time someone who makes mochi ice cream! YUM! But sniff sniff, we miss you Beware.

20 second hair twist - a tutorial

ahh- finally another tutorial! and this one is a hair tutorial! (sorry gentlemen... unless you're of the long-haired kind, and then the kind who like to twist it....) I learned this from my friend Sunee a couple of months ago --- I've been doing my hair like this a couple of times a week ever since. Every time my hair is in the twist, ladies always stop me and ask how I make it stay in a twist....hairspray? unicorn tears? magic? Because if you ever attempted to just twist 2 pieces together when you were younger, you know it DOES NOT STAY. SO - I'm sharing the trick here today.

20 second hair twist

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As you know, I'm all about simplicity and NOT spending tons of time on things. I've got too many other things I'd rather be doing! Don't worry - this follows that completely. (duh Lauren, it's called the 20 second hair twist, it better be easy!)

Step 1:

Separate your hair into two pieces and twist both pieces the same direction. Clockwise is fine, or both counterclockwise - just do the same twisting direction!

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Step 2: 

Twist those two sections TOGETHER now in opposite directions. If this confuses you, hold one piece stationary and wind the other piece around it. Or if that confuses you, hold the two pieces in your hands and just interchange them between your hands in a clockwise motion. And if you're still confused - you're outta luck, my friend.

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Keep twisting them together until you're at the bottom. Then just put a hair tie around them and you're set! You might need to pull it a little at the top to make it even, but it's suuuuuuper simple and easy. If it looks messy in a couple hours - just redo it in 20 seconds! No hairspray, no bobby pins, no unicorn tears sadly, although I'm sure that would also help.

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go impress your friends with your twistin' skills. & this is great for doing at night time and waking up to fun curls!

also - ignore my really really damaged blonde hairs. they need to all be cut off but i'm too attached to it for now. and you're getting the smallest sampling of the smallest lil baby bump! still looks like a food baby :)

The Burlap Bag's 2nd Birthday!!

Wow. We've had the Burlap Bag open for TWO years almost! It's one of those weird things where I can't believe it's been that long, but I also can't imagine NOT doing this as our job! We're incredibly thankful for all the love and support we've received these past two years as we ventured into the world of retail and the world of blogging. We're almost to 9,000 facebook fans, which is crazy!

To celebrate 2 whole years, we're throwing a big dessert extravaganza - and we'd love it if you came to help us celebrate.

Sunday September 8th from 7-8:30pm.

facebook details & rsvp here!

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