Archive for the ‘Craft projects’ Category

Thursday Things

Happy, happy day. Not only was I able to score a nice run with Oliver today (it’s finally in the 40s!), but our Florida vacay is coming up shortly (I won’t say exactly when for fear of stalkers, robbers, i.e. bad people), but I will make sure to post a recap when we get back.

Since we are going to the tropics (anything south of Tennessee sounds like the tropics at this point), I needed a swimsuit. Since I’ve been wearing the same suits since I was 17, I figured it was time to upgrade.

I ended up going to Kohl’s and choosing this colorblock suit from Chaps. I really wanted something strapless (i.e. no tan lines), and this suit spoke to me right away. I have a very classic style when it comes to clothes, partly so I can wear some of the same pieces for years and years. Here’s a pic of the model wearing it as a halter.

Chaps Colorblock Halter One-Piece Swimsuit


I’ve also been writing about food like it’s my job (which is why you haven’t seen too many recipes lately). Since I test all of the recipes I include in my articles, I haven’t had time (or enough meals in a day) to cook “me” food. Still, I’ve been making tons of delicious things. Check out this article I wrote on Passover and another I wrote on Egg Decorating. As part of the egg decorating article, I got to experiment with natural dyes and make these bedazzled eggs. Since you decorate them after they’re blown out, they last forever.

Source: JSOnline

Not bad if I do say so myself!

Question: Do you decorate for Easer? Also, what’s the longest you’ve owned a piece of clothing?

I’m not ashamed to say that the jeans I’m wearing now are at least 9 years old. At least they still fit!

Tristan’s Newspaper Debut + My New Craft Project

Today may be just any old Monday, but this one is extra special. It’s the fourth day of my running streak (running 4-5 miles a day). Even while training for the Fox Cities Half Marathon, I never ran more than two days in a row. I would always break my runs up with cross-training or weight lifting. I’ve never thought much about running streaks before, but I want to make it a whole week (only 3 more days to go!).

Yesterday something really exciting happened. My nephew Tristan made his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel debut! My Gatherings column was all about throwing a child’s first birthday party. I made Tristan a Cookie Monster cake which he gobbled up with a vengeance. Since this was a mock party for the paper, he’s getting two more birthday parties (one thrown by mom and the other by grandma). What a lucky kid! You can read the article here.

As most of you know, Brenton and I love to get crafty. This fall we made a crate coffee table via Pinterest.

Here’s our new project:

Yes, I’m actually going to try my hand at reupholstering this older-than-the-hills chair. I had to convince my mom to part with it, but she finally agreed. An no, we never sat on this chair. It had a throw on it, so none of us knew it was in this bad of condition. On a positive note, I can’t possibly make it look any worse! See, even Oliver didn’t want to go near it:

Don’t forget! You have until Wednesday to enter my ultimate Edgeware Grater and Zester giveaway!

Question: What’s your longest running streak? Have you ever refinished/reupholstered anything?

Race Medal and Bib Hanger + Giveaway Winner!

I’m back live! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! We spent time up in Appleton visiting Brenton’s family and down in Kenosha with my family. It was Tristan’s first Christmas, so we had a great time opening presents and playing with his new toys. With a few extra days off work, we also had time to work on some Pinterest projects.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to create something that holds my race medals and bibs for my half marathons.

Pinterest Inspiration:

race bib & medals display



My version:

This project was very easy. I got the wood from Hobby Lobby for $2.99. Then I painted the wood a slate blue and distressed it with steel wool. I also painted some clothes pins to hold the bibs. Finally, I bought the hangers for the medals at Menards for a buck or two. Voilà! For more race medal hanger ideas, see my running page on Pinterest.

The next project I did was completely girly and I love it! It’s a DIY necklace holder with knobs you would find at Anthrolpologie.

Pinterest Inspiration:

Jewelry holder. easy.



My Version:

Instead of spending $8-12 for Anthropologie knobs, I only spent $2 per knob at Hobby Lobby. This really saved me money on this project. I think the whole necklace hanger cost me about $13 (the wood was scrap but we bought a small container of paint to distress the wood).

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered by 2-year Blogiversary Giveaway for a set of William Bounds Salt and Pepper Mills! The winner is…

Congrats! Please send me your shipping information and phone number to and I’ll have this sent out to you asap!

Don’t forget! You still have a few days to enter my giveaway for a 1-lb box of Enstrom Toffee!

Question: How was your holiday?! What do you like to do when you have extra time?

Thursday Things

What I’m announcing:

I got a new job! I start on Monday and couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ll be a social media strategist at one of Milwaukee’s largest advertising agencies. This company has such a stellar reputation, and I feel privileged to say I work there. The whole transition will obviously be a challenge in itself; it’s always so hard starting a new job, learning new names, processes, your way to the bathroom…

What I’m looking at:

Our Pinterest DIY Wine Crate Coffee Table is now complete! It turned out even better than I expected. Two weekends ago, Brenton went up to Appleton to make the base and screw everything together with his dad. They also added wheels to make it easier to move. You can check out the original pin here.

Oliver is obviously thrilled as seen by his tongue sticking out. Surprisingly, he wasn’t too freaked out when Brenton brought this in the house (like he gets whenever be bring a large box, suitcase or anything else foreign into the apartment).

If you have any questions about making your own DIY Crate Coffee Table, email me at I didn’t know how many people would be interested in seeing the whole process.

What I’m wearing:

Boot candy a la Pinterest. I’ve been looking at these riding boot toppers for months. Since Brenton’s mom is an expert knitter, I asked if she would make me a pair. Check out the awesome job she did:

These are the original ones from Pinterest in case you’re wondering:

How to make boot socks, thigh high socks, leg warmers.

What I’m eating:

Trader Joe’s Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip. Last week we got a new TJ’s in Brookfield, which Brittney and I flocked to on opening day because we are total food nerds (check out her fun purchases here). Thanks to Carol, I still have 3/4 jar of Cookie Butter left, so I didn’t need to pick that up :)


What I’m entering:

This Fall Baking Giveaway from William Bounds (the awesome company who hosted my Sili Tea Ball Giveaway.) When you “like” their Facebook page, you can enter to win $70 in prizes — including a nutmeg twister and their Sili Gourmet server, brush and pie crust protector (everything you need to bake and serve the perfect pie). Hurry! Contest ends Nov. 19.

What I’m looking forward to:

Remember my trip to Blue’s Egg in Milwaukee last month? Well, I’m so excited to get together with Brittney and Laurie (and their respective hubby’s/hubby’s to be). They are troopers for agreeing to meet Brenton and I at 8 am on a Sunday, but Blue’s Egg is one of the hottest brunch spots in town and I’d rather get there early than wait an hour (patience is not one of my virtues!)

Question: What are your Thursday Things?

Quark, Cocktails and Crate Projects

Happy Monday! This weekend was packed with more activities than the entire rest of last week. Lots of friends and family time, DIY projects, cooking and getting my baby fix.

On Friday we headed over to Brittney and Ryan’s for an appetizer/dessert party. I probably ate my weight in jalapeno cheese dip and mini meatballs (which I am waiting patiently for the recipes!). If Brittney posts them I will definitely mention the links. I have never made meatballs before (shocking, I know), but I could totally see myself making those for a meatball sub sandwich or part of a pasta dish.

In addition to fabulous food, we also shared some fabulous drinks. My favorite of which featured Rum Chata, made right here in Wisconsin. For those of you who’ve never heard of this liqueur, it’s like drinking the milk from Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I first tried this as a shot at a wedding this summer, but I thought it was so good that I wanted a whole drink out of it.

I started playing barista in their kitchen and created this beauty.

Photo courtesy of Brittney


Needless to say, it was a longer night than what I am used to. I may or may not have fallen asleep on their couch in a dip coma or snapped at Brenton for shaking my leg. Opps.

Despite Friday’s events, I woke up early on Saturday refreshed and ready to tackle a bunch of to-dos. I made a cheesecake, did some crafting, went to the farm stand for squash and the apple orchard before going on a 6-mile run. All was well besides the runner’s knee that decided to come back, which means more PT exercises. Will I ever be rid of those?

After all that craziness, we headed to my parent’s house to sand and stain some crates to make our Pinterest Coffee Table (I first blogged about doing this DIY project here). We still have a lot to do, but we are making progress!

I also got a chance to hang out with this little blonde boy.

Tristan can officially crawl, and it is the cutest thing ever. He loves puppies, namely Oliver. I try to introduce them as much as possible because Oliver is skittish around kids. He didn’t seem too concerned that Tristan is now mobile, which is a good thing.

On Sunday, an article I wrote on quark was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (Quark is a German cheese that tastes like a cross between cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese. The only Wisconsin producer is Clock Shadow Creamery, a local urban cheese factory in Milwaukee.).

And according to Karis, it may be responsible for creating a shortage at Woodman’s.

Now that’s what I call an article success!

Question: Has anyone ever tried quark?

What was the best think you did this weekend?

Brunch at Blue’s Egg in Milwaukee (and other random events)

Good morning! I had good intentions to write this post yesterday, but somehow the day got away from me. “In Time” was on HBO, and even though I’ve seen that movie before, I got sucked right in.

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my William Bounds Sili Tea Ball giveaway! I chose a winner on and Laurie from Love, Laugh, Laurie! won. Congrats, lady! I will be emailing you soon.

On the writing front, one of my Gatherings columns was published on Sunday. Since we only have a month or two of nice weather in Wisconsin, we need to tailgate while we can. This menu features Portobello Pesto Burgers, Mexican Eight Layer Dip and Key Lime Bars. For the recipes and to see the article, go to

On Sunday I met up with some fabulous Milwaukee bloggers for brunch at Blue’s Egg in Milwaukee. It’s one of the most popular bunch spots in town, so Lisa and Karis arrived an hour early so we could get a table. They are open every day from 7am-2pm. I would recommend getting there as early as you can so you don’t have to wait as long.

Once you get a bite of your meal, it’s a no brainier to see why this place is packed. When we sat down, I ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Although I’ve yet to try Starbucks’ version, this one was pretty darn fantastic.

For my meal, I ordered the Smoked Salmon Crepe, which had caper cream cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and sour cream, along with a side of fresh fruit.

The crepe was delicate and fluffy. Although the chef could have gone a little lighter with the cream cheese, the ingredients paired unbelievably well together.

From Left to Right: Inger, Me, Erica, Lisa and Molly. Thanks, Karis for taking and sharing your photo!

Afterwards I headed to Michael’s for some crates. I get so much inspiration from Pinterest that Brenton and I are making this coffee table that we spotted on there:

I started searching antique shops for vintage crates but they are crazy expensive ($30-$50 EACH!) and it’s practically impossible to find 4 of the same kind. I’m hoping we can get this project completed within the next month. I’ll definitely post some pictures when I do!

Question: What types of things do you order during brunch?

Have you ever made anything that you saw on Pinterest?

Craft: DIY Button Monograms

Ever since I joined Pinterest a few months ago, I’ve quickly become obsessed. I’ve already adapted some decorating ideas and DIY projects into our apartment. My favorite so far have been my Button Monogram Initials on canvas. (Pssst, you can see the original pin of what I was going for here.) Now that Memorial Day, and the unofficial start of summer, is upon us, I love using some extra free time for crafting.

Here is a “T” I made for my nephew, Tristan – my sister hangs it above his changing table.

And the “A” I made for myself – it hangs in our half bathroom, which I have claimed as mine.

This is an “H” for my friend, Hillary. I still have yet to give it to her, so I hope she doesn’t read this post!

Here’s how I did it: I went to the fabric store and bought a few 9×9-inch blank canvases. Using a staple gun, I attached whatever fabric I wanted to the canvas (I love using the home decor fabrics because they are thicker).

Next, I found a font I liked (not too simple or complex) and blew it up on the computer. I printed it out and used the letter as a stencil and traced it onto the canvas with a pencil. Beforehand, I bought a ton of buttons and would place them on the canvas and arrange the shapes how I liked. Then I used a glue gun to keep them in place (much easier than sewing them if you ask me!). Once the buttons dried, I erased any lingering pencil marks. I then glued two strips of ribbon on the top of the back of the canvas to use as my hanging device. And ta da! Your very own button monogram on canvas.

Question: Have you actually made anything you’ve seen on Pinterest? Feel free to link up the pins you used as inspiration!

Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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