DIY Berry Basket

DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog

Hi there and happy Friday!  It’s been a roller coaster of a week, so I’m glad the weekend is finally here.  Spring always takes forever to get here, but when it does finally arrive, it ignites with a fury and steamrolls into summer.  There is always so much to do and so much I WANT to do, and at the end of every day I end up saying “there just isn’t enough time.”  I have to say though, even after long days at the office I’ve been managing to stick to a basic workout routine during the week [big win for me!].  Working out even when I’m tired has dramatically increased my energy level [weird, I know] and has given me a much needed confidence boost.  And I need both energy and confidence in huge doses right now with the amount I need/want to accomplish!

By basic I mean I am still no fitness pro [or even close], but I’ve gotten to a point where I exercise at least 3 days a week.  On Tuesdays I join a small group that does Zumba together at work, after work, and interchange that with the Shirlington running club, also on Tuesdays, that I joined last fall.  I have also picked up barre classes with a friend who is training to become an instructor, and the classes are free which helps my bottom line [literally].  And then there’s my at-least-once-a-week visits to the industrial building in Springfield that hosts the largest dance party workout class I have ever experienced: Kazaxe.  Kazaxe has become my favorite part of my routine because it’s not only a great cardio workout [trust me, you sweat constantly] and endorphin booster, but it’s become a social gathering with some of my closest gal pals.  And what could better than getting your twerk on with your closest friends?!  One of those friends has recently started a fitness blog, which is amazing and you should follow along!

With all of this extra energy I have been pushing myself to keep my crafting going.  Something I had been really wanting to do is to create a berry basket from clay.  I already had extra Sculpey from my clay planter project, so I dedicated an afternoon a couple weeks ago to making one for my newly redecorated bathroom.  I followed the basic steps from the post from A Beautiful Mess, tweaked it a bit, and voila!  My very own berry basket.  It took me a bit longer than I expected (about 2 hours), so I ended up only making one.  I painted it black to match my sea glass and black decor in the bathroom and I think it feels right at home on the shelf.  They are perfect for any nick nacks or do dads you have lying around… I started with q-tips and it’s now it’s holding three nail clipper kits, previously without a home [don’t ask me why I have three].  I’d love to make another to have on my bedroom dresser, leave the white clay color, and then paint the bottom gold!

DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog DIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blogDIY Berry Basket - Jackietara blog


Fall To-Do List Update

I have had the craziest last couple of weeks.  Between work, friends, projects, quartet rehearsals, and family obligations, it’s hard to find a moment to slow down and reflect.  Saturday was the first day in a while that I was able to sit down and think about how I have been coming along on my fall to-do list, so cheers to the weekend!

Even though I have been incredibly busy, I have been happy.  I am the sort that gets a huge amount of gratification from accomplishing things, and that’s what fall has done for me.  Here’s what I have been up to lately:

1. Keeping up with appearances.  I am now into my second month of Birchbox, and loving it!  Since I’m not adventurous enough to buy a full-sized bottle of product to try, it’s nice to get a few samples to see what works.  I’m currently loving the Dr. Jart+ tinted moisturizer from the September box and still getting a feel for a few items in the October box.


2. Exercising.  I joined a running club in Shirlington and it has done wonders for my energy level.  It’s also a great way to release stress after a long day at work, and to socialize!  It’s hard for me to motivate myself to work out, but so much easier with a great group of friends.  My goal is to be able to run the entire 5K loop without stopping to walk, but I must say I am quite proud that I have even completed between 3.1 – 3.7 miles AND I am no longer a running hater!

3. Getty crafty.  After a realization that I need to channel my younger more crafty self, I decided to host a monthly craft night.  There’s nothing too much more relaxing and comforting than creating art, drinking, and laughing with friends.  Our first craft night featured one of my childhood favorite crafts: Sculpey.  In addition to some creative planters, we decided to make a few octopi friends for our rooms and offices.  DIY steps and photos to come!

4. Practicing. Strike Quartet is keeping me busy with rehearsals and preparing for our first performance on October 18th at the Fridge.  It has been awesome getting the group together to do something that we all love.  Our show at the Fridge was a great first gig (check out our mention in the Capitol Hill Corner blog!) and I’m looking forward to performing more and more.  And look at this awesome poster that my friend Dan made for us!


If you have any suggestions for crafty night projects or have great fall “to-do’s,” please share!


Fall To-Do List

Summer is the busiest season at work: fantastic performances and events that come with endless days running around and that leave you less than the desired time to spend on those extra things that make you happy.

So many activities on my “summer to-do list” were neglected, like pesky dust bunnies forgotten in the corner.  I never went to Jazz in the Garden, or took a walk along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, and goodness knows my body hasn’t seen the gym in far too long.

The craziness of summer is finally coming to a close and I am starting to be able to look at life with fresh eyes.  With fall comes endless possibilities – it’s  like preparing for all of your resolutions in the New Year, except with much better weather.

My list involves getting outdoors and active more, making time for friends, allowing time for creative outlets, and having some much needed “me” time:

1. Join a running club.  A friend has invited me to join her on Tuesdays for a little running [which I hate] after work.  Well, hate is a strong word, but I highly dislike running.  I’m hoping that this group activity will add some *positive* reinforcement to a dreaded form of exercise.  I think dinner and drinks afterwards won’t hurt either…


Photo via Teddy Wolff Photography

2. Sign up for Birchbox. Somehow, I have survived the last 10 years with the bare minimum of makeup and beauty products.  You could call me a “natural” gal, so give me a Physician’s Formula concealer and Neutrogena compact powder foundation from CVS and I’m good to go.  Although I could go on this way, I feel I at least owe it to myself to explore the world of beauty, and what better way is there for $10 to receive a box each month on your doorstep, teeming with new and exciting supplies?!

Photo via Birchbox

3. Play my little heart out. Playing the violin used to be my life.  Chamber group and symphony rehearsals, lessons, and hours of practice would make up my day in college.  Although exhausting, this much playing gave me a kind of satisfaction that I can’t get anywhere else.  I am excited to say that our quartet is back together, ready for weekly rehearsals and gigs around the DMV!  I will keep everyone updated with dates and locations.

4. Plan my fall/winter show lineup.  Fall and winter are for SHOWS!  Coming up this week on Friday is the Dirty Names, playing at Rock and Roll Hotel on H Street.  They are originally from Annapolis, so seeing them play will be especially fun! Also, if you haven’t heard of Charli XCX, check her out!  You most likely have heard her collaboration on the popular Icona Pop single, “I Love It,” but she has many more fantastic songs on her album True Romance that I can’t wait to hear live on November 16th at U Street Music Hall.  

5. Just say “yes.” It’s so easy to fall into a “I can’t,” “I don’t have time,” “I’m too tired” rut.  This season is for yes’s.  It’s time to plan ahead, get active, and stay positive!