Monday, March 17, 2014

My Crafty Weekend

This weekend was the first weekend of my spring break. And as I browsed Pinterest and looked around the apartment, I knew it needed a few more pieces of decor. So I dragged the man to Michael's and the grocery store. We came out with silver spray paint, sticks, scrap book paper, teal and black acrylic paint, peacock feathers, modge podge, fake flowers and a crap ton of peanuts. I swear I have a vision!

So first, I started out by painting a piece of decor I already had, but wanted to make it stand out more in our new bookcase.
It was brown, but now it's a pretty blue!
Next, I put a bunch of peanuts in a box and spray painted them silver. Voila! Easy and cheap vase filler!
The show box was perfect for spray painting in.
See, it looks pretty!
I also spray painted a cheap glass vase I had silver. I might add a few more coats later, but I am loving it so far!
Much better than a plain glass vase.
I then took a picture frame from Goodwill and put the scrapbook paper in it. What a cute decorative tray! I think I'll add a votive candle or two to make it a little cuter.
Only $2.97 at Goodwill for this gorgeous vase!
Scrapbook paper from Michael' was under $2.00.
Now it's a unique tray!
Here's how it looks on the table. I might add a few votive candles later. 
Then I shoved the sticks and peacock feathers in this huge vase we got for our wedding but didn't know what to shove in it. And I LOVE peacock feathers!
I'm going to add some peanut vase fillers once they dry. And ignore the ripped up fluff
on the ground...Maisy did it ,
Lastly, I traced letters into a cardboard box and used the method mentioned here to make distressed-looking metal "metal" letters in our kitchen. This was the the most tedious of the projects I had, but it was cheap AND will add some much needed character in our kitchen.
I only had enough patience to finish the "E", but eventually I'll have "Eat & Drink" hanging in the kitchen.
So there you have it. While it's hard to decorate a small apartment that you can't paint in on a budget, it is doable. With pinterest, a few items, and some creativity, you can turn your apartment (or any space) into a little home.

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Sunday, March 16, 2014


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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why We Do "Meatless Mondays"

As I read that title, I should probably change it to "Why I Do Meatless Mondays and My Husband Remains Silent" because if it were up to him, I'd make steak every night. But since he likes me to cook for him, he just participates in whatever food challenge I give myself. Plus I make some yummy dishes, even without meat, so he doesn't have much to complain about in that department ;).

So here are the reasons why I decided to participate in Meatless Mondays:

1. I like food challenges. 
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love being creative, trying new flavors and ideas, and using food to make people happy. And by participating in Meatless Mondays, it is making me branch out to try some new foods and techniques in my little kitchen.
Food Challenge: Cooking with Tofu
Baked Barbecue Panko Tofu
Brad said "I don't like tofu...but I like how you make tofu like this."
Recipe found here
2. I want us to be healthier. 
While I love cooking fatty, creamy and sugary meals, I do like trying to make a majority of our meals healthy. And for me, Meatless Mondays have made me cook some healthier meals. Now you can easily make an unhealthy meatless meal. But for me, I am conscientious about the meals I look for on Meatless Mondays because I want them to have protein, veggies and some whole grains. And meats do tend to have more calories than other proteins substitutes, such as tofu or quinoa.  
Also, eating less meat can limit your cancer risk, reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, curb obesity and lengthen life. (As reported on Meatless Monday's website.)
Quinoa patties are one of my favorite meatless recipes!
I've made these before Meatless Mondays.
The man actually requests these.
Recipe found here
3. I want to help the environment. 
I am not a crazy "hippie-go-free-free" environmentalist by any means. I still have to remind myself to turn off all the lights when I leave the apartment. I sometimes leave the water running when I shouldn't. But I am working on it. And by eating less meat, you can affect the environment greatly.

Just to name a few ways it helps the environment, eating less eat will lessen water usage. For example, 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Tofu requires 220 gallons per found. Also, 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S., compared to 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of plant based protein.
Zucchini pizza bites
A snack/lunch I made before Meatless Mondays
Just cut up zucchini, rub it with oil and salt, broil it for a few,
add sauce and cheese, and broil it for a few more. 
So while I'm not turning vegetarian anytime soon, I am enjoying getting my toes wet in vegetarian cooking. Hopefully I'll be posting more of my meals soon!

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Why I Am Studying Social Work

As I am going through my junior year of college and starting the process of applying to internships, this question gets asked frequently. I also get asked this question in the "real world" as well. Because, as you know, social workers "don't make any money," "can't do anything without a master's degree" and are "just baby snatchers." (Let the eye rolling commence, all of you social workers and students. I'm sure you've heard these statements, and more, many times.)

Yes, this is not a career that is as lucrative as some. And while I would always love to have a higher salary, I do think that it is a safeguard to protect the profession against those who aren't passionate about the field. People don't go into social work for the money; they go into it to help people. And we do make well enough to live a very comfortable lifestyle.  

It all started with my want to help others. Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I would be in a "helping profession." I've wanted to do everything from be a doctor, nurse, teacher, counselor, and a nun (I think every Catholic school girl has considered becoming a nun at some point in their childhood. Or maybe I'm a weirdo..). So why did I choose Social Work over any of those?

I am becoming a Social Worker so that I can help people in many aspects of their lives. Yes, I want to talk to people about their problems and issues. But how much good is talking about someone's feelings when they can barely pay attention over the grumblings of a hungry stomach? How much good is tutoring a child going to do when they are severely neglected at home? I want to help people fill those basic needs so that they can fully work on bettering themselves as a whole. When you get a wound, you need to cover it up before you are able to go get it cleaned and stitched. I want to be part of helping with the band aids and the stitches of the world.  

I am becoming a Social Worker so I can advocate. I want to fight for people's rights. I want to work with people to get them connected to agencies and organizations to help them be the best them that they can be. I want to advocate on a micro level for each client, and on a macro level for the clients as whole. 

I am becoming a Social Worker because I think that everyone should have a cheerleader. Although it is very easy to judge someone for the situation they are in, whether it's out of their control or due to their own choices, maybe all someone needs is a person who believes in them. A person who knows that they can do it. And I want to be that cheerleader. 

Lastly, I am becoming a Social Worker because Social Workers tend to work with the most at-risk populations. We work with the impoverished, the disabled, the elderly, children, and others who have an even larger mountain to climb in society. The people who are less likely to have that person in their life to believe in them. The people who have less resources to work with. I want to be helper for those people. 

Yes, I know that this is a glorious picture of Social Work. Although I am very green to the field, and my lack of experience does give me a naive positive outlook, I am also realistic. I do realize that I will get clients who won't fight for themselves no matter how much I believe in them. I know that there are people who will not change. But even so, I want to be that cheerleader in success stories, even if they are far and few in between. And if my positive outlook makes me naive, then I hope I remain a naive Social Worker my whole career. 

Love and Blessings, 

Annmarie Jordan

P.S. This photo might give you an idea of what prompted this write up:

Basically, it's the messy hair, glasses, no make up and hoodie-wearing part of the semester. I'm losing my drive a little. But writing out why I'm doing this has pushed me a little harder to finish my biology homework :)