Monday, September 29, 2014

FREE Fall Printable Note Cards

A Simple Note

There's no better feeling then going to check the mail and finding a hand written card in the stack of bills and terrible advertisements. These note cards will send a sense of whimsy as well as warm any heart in the dropping temperatures of fall.

These note cards are formatted to print all four on one piece of paper. For best results use a medium to light-weight card stock and set printing options to fit with narrow margins for correct size. Once printed, cut on indicated lines and write message on back of card. This size will mail as a post card or will also fit in any standard "A Size" 5.75 x 4.375 envelope.

These charming but simple cards are a great way to spread some cheer before the holiday season kicks off. As always on Crafts and Chaos these cards are FREE to print and yours to use.

Click Here to Download FREE Fall Note Cards

I'm Nuts About You


Sweater Weather

Happy Fall

Have fun writing to your friends and family this autumn!

Write on and Stay Crafty!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIY: How to Clean Your Dishwasher

Washing Your Dishwasher?

It sounds like an odd concept needing to clean something that cleans but you would be surprised how much buildup and residue lurks in the corners and bottom of your dishwasher. I was unloading dishes and happened to look at the crease where the door shut and to my horror saw a gross amount of unidentified leftover nasty.

This was instantly added to my routine. It's easy to do and should be done once a month or at minimum once every 3 months. It keeps your drains fresh even with running hot water and keeps the smell pleasant inside your dishwasher.

You know the scent of opening your washing machine after a few days? It's usually fine but sometimes it has a musty smell. Now think of your dishwasher. How many times do you open to the door to let it air out? Almost never was my answer. It's the same idea but instead of wearing clothes your eating off that musty smell.

Yuck, let's get cleaning.

 Items Needed:
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Juice (optional) 

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda - Optional add in a fresh squeezed lemon

Two cups of Vinegar - One poured in the bottom and one in the cup on the top rack

  1. Run your dishwasher with a dirty load and unload when clean
  2. Wipe around the edges and bottom of your dishwasher with a towel dipped in vinegar
  3. Use toothbrush or cleaning sponge to get the seal around the dishwasher and any tough spots with vinegar
  4. Remove bottom rack and check for food (those pesky noodles always get stuck)
  5. Pour one cup of Vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher and add 1/2 cup of Baking Soda to the bottom as well
  6. Place the second cup of Vinegar in a glass bowl or measuring cup on the top rack making sure it's in a dishwasher safe container
  7. Run dishwasher on hottest setting with sanitize for best results
  8. When finished running open a few inches to let dry out
  9. (Optional - Add a fresh squeezed lemon to the bottom of the dishwasher with the vinegar to eliminate any musty smell)

To my horror I'm showing publicly the corners of my dishwasher. What is that?

Easy as that! I can't imagine what's in that brown residue but I do know I never want to see it again! I went on a meticulous cleaning spree after this. Up next: Sink drains!

Actually cleaning out your dishwasher doesn't take much time but running it empty does. Make sure to allow enough time for it to finish cleaning!

Stay Squeaky Clean and Crafty!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Let's Talk About Post Wedding Blues

From White To Blue

Post Wedding Blues defined as: A continual sadness or depression after becoming married based on the drop of elation and lack of detail focusing projects.

The breakdown: If you're a bride-to-be every spare moment of your thought process goes into planning for your wedding. For months or years while you're engaged you meet with vendors, friends, and family on a regular basis and get to describe hundreds of times either how you got engaged, what your plans are for the wedding, or details of your big day. This sense of delight in getting to divulge your plans is very real and brides get an actual high talking about it.

It becomes infectious. There are so many details to sort through and ideas to make come to life that a bride can feel completely overwhelmed by all of it but ecstatic about the attention, connection to the event, and excitement over the actual day.

It's a lot of build up and anticipation of one physical day. It's hard to wrap your head around the idea of "after the wedding" when you're so immersed inside the planning process. This is where a lot of brides see a problem once the day comes and goes.

The Next Day

Every moment spent talking about cakes, flowers, dresses, decor, venues, photographers, programs, money, time frames, and guest lists all comes together in one 24 hour period. When it's over, it's almost like hitting a wall. You feel the need to continue planning and sorting out details. You cling to the day going over everything a thousand times in your head and relive every moment you can through mementos and pictures. You talk about it constantly and call people asking a million questions like, "Wasn't it hilarious when Jessica tripped on her shoes?" or "Did you see what Dan did after the dollar dance?" You can't throw away old invitations or can't seem to stop reposting pictures of the day. You stop eating or start overeating. Your sleeping patterns start to get weird. You feel sad over everyday situations and feel bored of your life. You find yourself bringing your wedding up in every conversation you can. You start to get envious of other brides that are in the planning process. Your friends and family are sick of hearing about it but you can't seem to stop.

This happens to most brides but this is also called the Bridal Blues.

What's Happening To You?

There's so much pressure nowadays to have the perfect wedding. This pressure build has to snap at some point and it's usually comes post wedding not before like the "Bridezilla" show. It's normal and most brides see some form of the Bridal Blues after the wedding. There's no way around it other than to fill the time you spent planning with something else!

Your mind is still racing at the pace you set before the wedding. It needs a distraction to keep up with the momentum you built for yourself. If you find another place to push all that energy you'll have a stronger opportunity to not be as affected by it. It's a serious and real mental block that needs to be addressed.

Think of a car driving at full speed. You're the car cruising through the planning process of your wedding. You see a wall approaching, your wedding day, and have two choices - to hit the wall head on and be completely crushed by it or you can drive around the wall and continue forward.

This is the way you will have to look at it and decide for yourself that this is only one day and that the focus from here on out needs to be on your marriage and not on the wedding planning.

Put the planning book away!

Easier Said Than Done

Of course saying to move on is easier than actually doing it. I'm going to share my personal story and how I fought the wedding blues.

My husband and I were engaged for 16 months. That's a long time in wedding terms. He was in the military and we wanted to wait until he was done with active duty and could come home. So for part of our engagement I was planning and sorting through details on my own. He was a huge help when he could be but as any bride knows it's just easier to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself.

We were having a military wedding and had a lot of things unique to us. It was so exciting being able to talk about it with vendors who wanted to go beyond the normal for us because we were military. It was intoxicating to me. I had notebooks and separate planners all laid out in color coordinating systems of what was happening. I had massive idea books and couldn't get off of Pinterest to save my life.

Three of my bridesmaids were already married so we compared notes and ideas constantly. By the time my husband was home I had this whole thing worked up in my head. I had set enormous expectations and praise God that he brought me back down into reality.

We started talking through everything and I wanted to include him as much as I could. I started to feel more connected to the wedding now that his input was there and we had created this day together. He came with to meetings and helped coordinate the groomsmen. We were both so immersed in it by the end it felt like it was our only conversation.

We purchased our home 2 months before the wedding and left a lot of that on the back burner until the wedding was done. Our house was filled with wedding stuff from decor and samples to vendor info and extra invites. The day was inching closer and the anticipation was building.

Then I read an article about Wedding Blues. I identified my obsessiveness with the wedding with a lot of the women who were having major issues after their own wedding day. I was honest with myself and came to the conclusion that I needed to do something now in order to avoid going down the rabbit hole then.

So you are currently on my distraction. I decided to start a blog. I could use my time planning the wedding to plan out my posts. It was the exact medicine I needed to jump right over the threshold of our wedding day and into married life.

My husband and I had a blast creating projects together for the house then writing posts about how to do them. We focused our time on doing things together and for our home right after the wedding. We grew together instead of facing the Wedding Blues alone. I could see it when we got home from the honeymoon and completely understood how serious it is. But the moment I started to feel sadness my husband and I would talk it through and we would start planning the next project.

We're now into our 2nd year of marriage and happier then ever. If you have a personality like mine or are putting energy into planning in any form, take to heart these suggestions by other brides going through the same exact thing.

Move Your Energy

Always include your husband in how you're feeling. This marriage is about the two of you and facing challenges together! Here are some ideas from brides on how they combated the Bridal Blues!


You just got married and are waking up the next day to your new husband. Instead of jetting off on a honeymoon immediately give yourself a day to soak everything in. Open your gifts with family or friends who are still in town and enjoy being with everyone now that the focus is off you. Take this time to reminisce about your wedding while it's still fresh but let the conversations revolve around your families experience not yours.

Just One More Day

If you're leaving for a honeymoon right after the wedding or even if you're waiting a few weeks make sure to give yourself an extra day on the backside of coming home. You'll be shocked how much there is to come back to once the celebrating is done. Most of it is fun of course but it still takes time. You'll have to sort through all your new gifts, wash anything that is new (dishes, towels, bedding), return things you borrowed or rented from the wedding, start thank you notes, purchase new things with your wedding money (furniture, extra things from your registry you didn't receive, updates for the house) and even mundane things like getting fresh groceries since you were out of town and mowing the lawn. You will very seriously appreciate a day or two when coming home to settle into a norm.

Plan Another Event

If planning is where your heart and mind still sit then start planning another event right away to shift your energy into something smaller but still interesting. It can be something as simple as a BBQ that you will host a few weeks after coming home or a bonfire night just because. Even if it's a small thing having something on your calendar might help bridge the gap between wedding to the next event.

Plan Ahead

Choose something in the future that you will need to plan for. Maybe you're taking another vacation that you can look up details for and plan things out or even plan a project that you and your hubby will work on like painting a room a new color.

Make A Bucket List

This is a great way to have future events to look forward to that can keep the Wedding Blues at bay. Sit down with your hubs or even make one on the plane coming home from the honeymoon that will extend into the first year of your marriage. Pick things you both will enjoy to do! Example: explore 5 new restaurants in the city you live in, check out 3 new parks, go see a museum neither of you have been to. It's not outlandish huge things but it lets you plan for the future while giving you fun goals to complete!

Focus On Your New Home

You're starting your life with your new husband and the best way to feel connected is to nest. This means to do projects together that make your house feel like yours. Painting rooms is the easiest way to customize a place. Maybe you can find some new art or take a class together to create your own artwork. If you lived together before hand or are living with other people after marriage find a way to make your space fresh to your new life. A new color in a room always does the trick by using pillows or artwork. A new connection to an old place. Nesting is extremely important!

Go Through Your Wedding Pile

You most likely have an enormous pile of wedding leftovers that need to be addressed asap. This is a great way to cut ties with your Bridal Blues. Trust me when I say you won't need 30 extra invitations, you won't need all those leftover programs, you'll never use files on vendors you didn't go with, and you'll most certainly never will need a crate of unused party favors. This stuff is just making you crazy and the faster you clean it out the better you'll feel. Donate things that can be reused and toss anything that you're thinking to keep in a box "just in case." Put things you are keeping away or find a permanent home for them like your guest book, dried bouquet, photographs, gifts, and any momentous from the day. Once these have a forever home you'll feel the blues slip away.

Blog Or Join Wedding Sites

I personally did both of these. Of course I started my blog to help ease my racing mind but I also joined Project Wedding which has tons of boards full of questions from Brides looking for opinions, help, and tips. This is a great way to load off your now expert knowledge in the world of weddings and you'll get to chat with brides in the same boat as you. It feels great helping someone out and you're alleviating some of the woe in the process.

Find A Hobby With Your Husband

It sounds cheesy but it really is a great way to jump into marriage and scare away those blues! My husband and I took up hiking and have a bucket list tied in with it. We want to see all these different places and get the satisfaction of planning hikes, getting the exercise while completing some hard trails, spending time together, and checking things off our list! Other great options are joining a coed sports league, volunteering, get into a TV series, plant a garden or train for a run together (5k or 1/2 marathon).
My husband and I backpacking the Superior Hiking Trail
Talk To Your Husband

As simple as that. If you're feeling down or having a hard time letting go talk it out with your hubs. There's a chance he's feeling the same way since he probably helped with things as well. It's a great way to jump into life together by finding common ground and sorting your way through it.

Move Forward

You've got your whole life and marriage ahead. Make sure to focus on that BEFORE the wedding so that it's there in your mind once your big day comes and goes. Rejoice in the fact you've found someone to spend your life with and start living it, together.

Be Free

These are the moments that count! Make sure to live each one of them in the now not in the past.
If you're having serious problems kicking the Bridal Blues make sure to talk with your doctor that you haven't gone into depression. It's a serious manner so make sure you're taking steps to avoid it!

Happy Planning and Stay Crafty!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FREE Printable Fall Art

Freshen Up Those Old Frames

With the crisp morning air starting to show in the forecast it's easy to fall into fall with pumpkin spice on the menu and autumn decor available in stores. I went a little bananas last season in purchasing almost all new decor for our home. I really only wanted a few new things to brighten up the mantel and bookcases in our living room. Upon not finding something that works, I decided to create my own!

All of these designs are ready to print and will come out in an 8 x10 high resolution size. Simply cut off the white edges or cut to fit your frame by using the back of the frame as a size reference. 

These will brighten up any space while giving the touch of the season without spending any money!

Fall Harvest

This sign is great for a mantel or tabletop that needs a little fall color. These are my three favorite things about fall! Pumpkin bread, caramel apples, and late night hayrides = the perfect fall trio! 

 Click here to download Fall Harvest for FREE

Flavor Is Everything

Everyone knows that pumpkin spice is the best flavor for fall. If you're like me, you've already jumped in with both feet and kicked off the season with a pumpkin spice latte! Everyday is a pumpkin day!

 Click here to download Flavor Is Everything for FREE

Autumn Is In The Air

A little barn wood and a little color makes this the perfect fall themed frameable. This is currently on my desk at work giving me the inspiration to get to the weekend. Or maybe it's just fueling my pumpkin spice latte habit!  

 Click here to download Autumn Is In The Air for FREE

My printable pictures are always free and always yours to use. Follow the link to download the PDF from google docs. Comment below to show off your new framed art for fall!

Happy Fall and Stay Crafty!