DIY Cork Stamps

Happy Monday, y’all!! We were up bright and early this morning – me so I can blog this post & the hubs so he could finish some work for his teacher’s certification. Aaand I’ll probably need another cup of coffee by noon. The struggle is real, peeps. The struggle is real.

Any who, we had an eventful weekend! Our church hosts a volunteer appreciation dinner once a year for all of the serve teams in the church and each year, they somehow top the previous one. It’s always a wacky, crazy, belly laughs, fun night, full of ridiculousness. So that happened last night and boy howdy… what a night! It was medieval themed, complete with crowns and jousting. Yes, you read that correctly. Jousting. Oh! And our pastors made an epic music video remix of “What Does The Fox Say?”. Why, you ask? Because they’re awesome like that. I’ll post that video as soon as it’s up. And if you follow me on Instagram (_theculturedcavewoman), there’s a short clip of the hubs and I dueling it out in the jousting ring! I’d like to let the record state that I WON. I’d also like to believe it was fair and square, so let’s pretend, okay? Okay.

OH! And I got 2 of the most gorgeous chairs for our livingroom yesterday!! That’s a whole other post for another day, but here’s a sneak peek. Thank you, World Market, for fulfilling all of my heart’s desires. Gah, I would live in that store if I could.

LOVE at first sight!

LOVE at first sight!

And now, the REAL reason I wrote this blog post! Another Valentine’s Day craft!!! Yippee, right?! I’ve seen this craft all around Pinterest, so I decided to try it out myself. It was SO easy, only took 30 min and I didn’t even lose a finger. I’d call that a success! There are soo many possibilities with this craft – so dream big!

First, find some old corks (make sure they’re actual cork, not the foam corks!) & trace out your letters or symbols or whatever you’ve decided to do! And make sure you write the letters in a mirrored image. I didn’t on the “L” the first time and theeen realized it. Bah. ;)

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Using an exacto knife, CAREFULLY (I repeat, CAREFULLLLLLLLLY), trace your letter with the knife, then cut sideways into the cork, to make the two cuts meet. The excess cork should pop out pretty easily. Do that on the remaining letters. It took me about 30 min to draw the letters and cut them out. The first few cuts are kinda nerve wracking, but I promise, it gets easier!!

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Make sure your cuts are deep enough so the edges don’t smear ink everywhere! I went back later and trimmed mine down a bit more because of that very issue!

Alrighty, here’s how mine turned out! I LOVE them!! And now I want to make cork stamps of EVERYTHING!

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So, what do you think?? I’d love to hear from you!! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (search “theculturedcavewoman”) :)

Friday Finds!

Friiiday! Y’all. It’s been such a full, exciting week over here. So much has been accomplished, including:

1) We finally took our Christmas tree down! It was a momentous occasion, folks. Only took us 29 days after Christmas to make it happen. Cuz we’re go-getters like that. Don’t judge.

2) Our church community groups have launched! This is a weekly bible study (one of many at the church!) that we host in our home and we LOVE it. People gathering together to share a meal and grow and learn with each other and God – it’s amazing to be a part of! It’s also the reason we finally had to de-Christmas. Which is good, because otherwise it might’ve been June before it happened.

3) I spent yesterday afternoon doing a few baking experiments for an exciting project I’m working on! Hopefully I can share more with y’all about that soon – just know that I’m stoked! Creating recipes is seriously my happy place.

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Okay, now onto the good stuff! I’ve decided to redo part of our guest room to include a home office for myself (since my crafting/DIY goodies runneth over), so the hunt is on for pieces to make the vision I have come to life! I’ve also managed to wrangle my incredible husband into re-painting the guest room for me. The one we just repainted, oh, 4 months ago, you ask? Yes, that one. He is way too good to me! Thankful he puts up with my crazy ideas. So needless to say, this process definitely inspired some of my finds this week!

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Ranarp Work Lamp $39.99 @ IKEA

This lamp. I can’t even… I die. I love this light so much that I literally want to go out this second and buy 10 of them. Because that’s not impulsive. Or excessive. Right? But seriously!! SWOON!

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Boho Boutique Mika Shower Curtain (ON SALE) $22.49 @ Target (online only)

This shower curtain. Not for my office (obvs), but I do loveee it! It would bring such a fresh pop of color to a bathroom, guest or master! I love that there are 2 separate fabrics – a party for your eyes!

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Urban Industrial Open Bookcase – Antique Silver (ON SALE) $251.00 @ Home Decorator’s Collection

This bookshelf. I mean, COME ON! I am so obsessed with metal decor right now, it’s not even funny. This is just such a great neutral, simple piece of furniture that would add so much to a room. Like, an office. Cough cough.

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Matilda Relax Kidney Pillow $35.00 @ Home Decorator’s Collection

This pillow. This would look so great as a statement pillow in various rooms – a bedroom or on the couch in a livingroom. It’s bright, cheery & adds a nice homey touch.

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Stockholm Mirror $99.00 @ IKEA

This mirror. IKEA has done it again, y’all! This is one of their new mirrors and I am in luuuurve with it! Love this for an entry way, above a table, in a bathroom or even an office! Cough cough. ;)

I hope this week’s finds inspired you in some way and sparked a few ideas as you decorate YOUR home! Have a great weekend, my friends!!

P.S. I’d love to hear from you!! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (search: “theculturedcavewoman”)!

Paleo Spinach Orange Smoothie

It’s Hump Day, y’all! That means we’ve reached the halfway point of the week and we’re ALIVE. Praise the good Lord almighty ;) I’ve been busy this week, between work, getting ready for a friend’s baby shower this weekend, cleaning the house, trying to catch up on laundry & maintaining some semblance of a hairstyle. On that note – can I get a holla for the topknot?! Seriously, whoever made that an acceptable style is my hero!

Since I’m about to run to work, let’s get down to business: the smoothie. This was a random creation I threw together one night last week since we had almost nothing to eat at the house (wife fail!) and we were starving. My husband doubted my smoothie powers (“I really think this is going to be gross”), but little did he know I’m a wizard when it comes to smoothies. Okay, wizard might be pushing it but it WAS delicious! SO delicious, in fact, that he even requested it the next day. Booyah! That’s what I call #winning. Here ya go!

PALEO SPINACH ORANGE SMOOTHIE (makes 2 servings)

Yum!

Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 small oranges, peeled
  • 1 banana, ripe
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1-2 TBSP raw honey
  • Handful of spinach
  • 8-10 ice cubes

Put all the ingredients into a high-powered blender (we use our Vitamix & LOVE it!) and blend until smooth. Cuz it’s a smoothie.. see what I did there? ;)

ENJOY!!

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (search “theculturedcavewoman”).

DIY Valentine’s Banner

Happy Monday, y’all!! Matt & I had a great weekend – spent Saturday morning together, I got my hair done (which was so far overdue, it’s embarrassing) & then we relaxed the rest of the day, rented a movie & I ended up crafting this banner I’m about to share with you! Sunday was full of the same – church & then FOOTBALL! Duh. We always head to my in-laws house for football games & we love it!

Okay, about the banner! Valentine’s Day is less than a month away & it was time to get crackin’ on some décor. I decided to go with something that was Valentine-y without being too cheesy since I love simple pieces that make a statement. I started tossing around some ideas and this is what I came up with! It’s super easy to make and cost me less than $10 total! My gracious mother-in-law let me use her mantle for the display (since we don’t have a mantle yet – that’s a whole other story for another time!), so other than the bunting, the beautiful décor is hers! Thanks Momma B for putting up with all of our rearranging! ;)

DIY VALENTINE’S BANNER

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Supplies:

  • Twine (I used probably 6-8 yds)
  • 3 pieces red cardstock (I got all paper at Hobby Lobby)
  • 3 pieces white cardstock
  • 1 piece pink cardstock
  • 1 piece gray cardstock
  • Burlap (I used probably 2 ft)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Triangle puncher (I got mine with a coupon at Hobby Lobby for $6. Saved soo much time!)

(Disclaimer – sorry for the quality of the pictures here – I was crafting while I watched a movie & that’s just how it went down!)

First, cut out a buttload of triangles with your puncher from the red, white, pink and gray paper. Make sure you leave enough paper for the circles and letters, though! I was able to get at least 40 triangles from each sheet of paper.

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Next, I made a template for the burlap bunting and traced it onto the burlap with a sharpie. I cut the shapes out, trimmed the edges and set ’em aside. (PS These photos were taken in my husband’s classroom while I kept him company as he did lesson plans. Crafting on the go, y’all. It’s real.)

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I ended up just purchasing this stencil because I figured I’d use it for a bunch of stuff in the future, too. but you can absolutely just use a cup or some other circle form to trace your circles with!

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Once I cut everything out it was time to decide how exactly I wanted it to look. If you’re like me, this is the agonizing part. I am such a perfectionist and so indecisive (terrible combo, in case you were wondering), so it took foreverrr for me to finally nail down a pattern. I laid everything out on the floor, changed it multiple times & each time my gracious husband would pause his movie, look at what I’d done and give me an opinion every time I asked. He didn’t even really get annoyed (and I was annoyed with myself, which tells ya something!). My hero!

After I decided which direction to go, I started gluing things down. I used a line of glue at the bottom of each triangle and attached it to the twine. The great thing about hot glue is that it dries quickly, so I was able to get a lot of triangles on there in a short amount of time.

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I moved my way down the line, gluing in a pattern on this one, spacing out only reds on another string & then attaching the letters to the burlap on yet another.

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I didn’t manage to grab pics of the letter tracing & cutting process, so I’ll just quickly explain how I did it. If you have a Silhouette Cameo, it would prob make your life a lot easier, but I don’t have one (yet!), so for now, I just have to suffer through hand-cutting things out for my various projects. First world problems like you wouldn’t even believe.

I found a font I liked on Pinterest (just search free fonts) & downloaded it to my computer. I blew it up to about 400 size, traced it onto a piece of paper, cut the letters out & traced them backwards on the sheet of red paper I was using for the letters. I cut THOSE out (carefully!) and then glued them onto the white circles. I LOVE this font and I think it’s perfect for V-day!

After a couple of hours of crafting my little heart out, it was finally done. And I LOVE it! I hope you do too :) Yay for simple, easy and CHEAP crafts that brighten up a room & make my heart happy!

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I’d love to hear from you!! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest (search “The Cultured Cavewoman”) and Instagram (search “theculturedcavewoman”). Have a beautiful day, my friends!! :)

Friday Finds!

It’s Friday!!! Yippee!! The weekend always makes me an especially happy camper because I get to spend it with my man! Tonight will consist of me crafting & him studying for his teacher’s exam (party animals, right?!) and then tomorrow we have a DATE!!! Seriously, I love dating my husband. We don’t always have time to get away together but one of our goals this year is to MAKE time. Life gets so busy and it’s easy to let days slip by without really connecting or talking about things that matter; we have to consciously carve out moments to find each other. So excited to just sit and stare into each other’s eyes ;)

Anyways, Friday! This week I found some super awesome finds and I’m excited to share them with you! These
posts are some of my favorite to write because I have such a passion for making a home welcoming & inviting. I love when people come onto my house and immediately feel at ease and comfortable. My wish is to help provide you with pieces that help YOU make your home a haven, too! :) if you want that, that is. If you don’t want your home to be welcoming, then this is probably the wrong blog for you ;) haha let’s get started!

Knit Chevron Blanket - Tan and Cream $29.99 @ Target

Knit Chevron Blanket – Tan and Cream $29.99 @ Target

This blanket! I love blankets. I love chevron. I love neutral colors. All three of my favorite things in ONE item?! Hallelujah, the world rejoices! Or I do, at least. This would be perfect on the end of a bed or on a couch in the livingroom! This throw is a great way to add some texture to a room without it being obnoxious or taking away from any of your other décor.

 

Kramare Light $9.99 @ IKEA

Kramare Light $9.99 @ IKEA

This light! LOVE these! I love the simplicity of the design. These would look great on either side of your bed, over a nightstand or even in a hallway!

 

"Birds Greenery" by Fabrice De Villencuve $99.99 @ World Market

“Birds Greenery” by Fabrice De Villencuve $99.99 @ World Market

This painting! If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably know by now that I would live in World Market if I could. Seriously. I love their style – this painting is no different! The bright but subtle colors make this piece so versatile. It would look beautiful in an entry way with some vases styled around the bottom of it, or even in a bathroom! It feels soft and whimsical and I WANT IT. Haha.

Wildaster Callie Area Rug (ON SALE) $79.98 @ Kirklands

Wildaster Callie Area Rug (ON SALE) $79.98 @ Kirklands

This rug! This blue is one of my favorite colors at the moment. It speaks to me! This would look so good in a dining room or even an entry way. It seems like it would bring the right amount of color to any room you place it in!

 

 

Kitchen Cart - Natural $169.99 (online only) @ Target

Kitchen Cart – Natural $169.99 (online only) @ Target

This cart! I go gaga over pieces like these. I love the natural look and something like this is so useful for a kitchen. I know there are many times that I wish I could have a mobile cutting station or something of the like. This might just have to end up on one of my wish lists. Cough, cough. Honey, are you reading this?? ;)

Well, that’s it for this week! I hope something I posted caught your eye & you decide to add it to your home collection! I’d love to hear about it if it did! :) You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (username: __theculturedcavewoman__). Have a great weekend, y’all!!

Paleo Zucchini Lasagna

Y’all, I am so super excited to share this recipe with you! Because it’s delicious. And nutritious. But mostly because it’s delicious. Ya know, Paleo can be really overwhelming, especially in the beginning.. but the more you play with your food (yes, mom, I’m allowed to do that now), the easier it gets! I promise! This recipe was created from a deep craving for some good ol’ comfort food… and there wasn’t any around. Aren’t the best things usually born out of desperation??

Anywhoo, the recipe. It’s fairly easy & makes a huge quantity of lasagna. We ended up eating off of the pan for the entire week – it was so nice to have a quick, ready-made something in the fridge that we could heat at a moment’s notice. I love meals like that, where there’s enough to last for days – especially when you’re too tired to make dinner on a Wednesday night or lunch on a Sunday. Can I get an amen??

PALEO ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

The ingredients!

The ingredients!

  • 5 medium/large zucchinis
  • 1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (this one in the picture is sugar/preservative/additive free)
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cashews, raw and unsalted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

In a small saucepan, combine the cup of cashews and 1.5 cups of water and let soak for 20 minutes.

Rinse the zucchini under cold water & use a mandolin slicer to thinly slice the zucchini.

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Sprinkle salt on each of the slices of zucchini and layer them in a colander over the sink. The salt helps the zucchini “sweat” and removes all excess moisture so your recipe doesn’t end up soggy. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes.

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After the zucchini has “sweated”, lay them flat on some paper towels & dab until dry.

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After the cashews have soaked, use a food processor to grind the nuts into small pieces.

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Add the spinach to the cashews, along with garlic powder, salt & almond milk and blend until you reach a ricotta cheese consistency.

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In a nonstick pan, brown your ground turkey with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chopped onions and cook until meat is cooked through and onions are tender. Add the marinara sauce and mushrooms and stir until combined. Let cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and then remove from heat and set aside.

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Layer the zucchini on the bottom of your pan.

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Top with a layer of meat sauce, then add a few spoonfuls of the nut “cheese” and spread with a spatula (this took a gentle hand!)

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I finished with a layer of meat sauce & then baked at 350 for 25 minutes (or until heated through). Enjoy!!

The finished product!

The finished product!

I didn’t get a great “after” photo, but you get the idea!! This turned out delicious – the hubs took some to work & texted me after he ate saying, “It tastes just like REAL lasagna!!!” Which is quite possibly the best compliment in the entire WORLD! That’s what I want Paleo to be for you guys – super incredible tasting AND good for you!! I can’t wait for y’all to try this one! :)

PS: I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (username: __theculturedcavewoman__ or just search “itsbrenae” and it will pull up!)

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos (with Paleo Tortillas)!

I don’t know if you’re like me, but after a long day of work, the LAST thing I want to do is cook for 2 hours. Which is why I LUURVE my handy dandy Crockpot. Seriously, I could kiss the person who invented those things!! And this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made in mine. It literally takes 5 mins of prep work & then a few more for the tortillas and voila! Perfect dinner on the table. Wham bam thank you ma’am.

PS: For those wondering, my first day of work yesterday was amazing!! The people I work with are pretty fantastic & I can’t wait to see what I’ll gain from being there. I’m actually looking forward to going in today, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time. Yay new jobs!

PPS: This was a last minute toss-together meal, so I didn’t take very many pictures, especially of the tortillas! Okay, okay, I didn’t take ANY of the tortillas. Food blogger fail. Haha! I’ll post the recipe today though & hopefully get a separate post up soon with some darn photographic instructions!

CROCKPOT SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 2oz can diced green chiles (mild)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Add all of the above ingredients, starting with the chicken, to your crock pot.

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Stir together, set on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours, depending on how long you plan for. When the timer beeps, shred the chicken using a fork & enjoy!

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PALEO GUACAMOLE

  • 3 medium avocados
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • a few turns of coarse ground black pepper

Cut your avocados in half, starting at the top and moving your knife around the seed in the middle. Pull apart gently & remove the seed. Squeeze out the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the tomatoes and red onion & mix together.

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Squeeze the lemons directly into the bowl, making sure no seeds fall in! Add the spices & stir. The lemon juice should give it a nice smooth texture. Add more salt/garlic powder to taste, if you wish!

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PALEO TORTILLAS

Okay y’all, I warned you! No pictures for this one. So I’ll try to use beautiful words and paint a mental image instead ;)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 TBSP almond flour
  • 1 TBSP coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • sprinkle chili powder
  • sprinkle onion powder

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, making sure there are no clumps of batter. Spray a non-stick pan with some coconut oil & heat it over medium heat. Wait a minute or so for the pan to warm up, then pour about 1-2 TBSP of batter into the pan. Quickly swirl the pan around to spread the batter out – you want it to be pretty thin all around!

Cook for about 1 min on each side, or until you can flip it easily. I found the easiest tool to flip it with was a rubber spatula. My plastic spatula would tear the tortilla. Cook until golden brown on both sides, then remove & do the next one. Repeat until all of your batter is gone.

The finished product!

The finished product!

The finished product!

The finished product!

Y’all. These tacos HIT. THE. SPOT. Like fo real. You definitely have to be a little more gentle with the Paleo tortillas than normal ones, but when a craving strikes… these deliver. It was so nice to actually be able to HOLD my taco and take a bite. It didn’t fall apart. I didn’t have to wrap it in lettuce, which I do sometimes! It was just nice for a change of pace.

I hope you enjoy these & let me know how you like them!! :) You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (username: __theculturedcavewoman__)