MacGyver Your Way to Save Water // Earth Day

easy ways on how you can save water - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-100

On being MacGyver while growing up in SoCal during the 80s/90s drought.

As a child growing up during the 80s/90s drought in Southern California, I remember my family and I would go the extremes to save water and then share our tips with our neighbors. We basically coined #watersavinghacks before hashtags were a thing. We’d MacGyver (or MacGruber) our own low-flow toilet by placing a couple filled water bottles in the water tank so it’d take less water to fill it. We’d also use the cleanly rinsed vegetable water collected in the sink bucket to water the backyard plants.

My parents instilled in me the importance of protecting our environment. Now that I’m a grown adult and married with our own place, Wayne and I take being water wise to heart. SoCal has been facing intense drought the past several years and although we recently had a blessed wet winter, we still need to continue our water-conserving efforts.

Here we share some easy ways to save water // #WaterSavingHacks

Seeing Delicious Living’s “5 Easy Ways to Save Water” infographic motivates us with practical tips to continue our water conservation efforts.

Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth.

This is a simple tip, yet there are some who forget this is an option. Turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth saves 200 gallons per month. Same goes for turning the water off while you’re washing your hands and face with soap. Tip: Place a “save water–turn it off during the in-betweens” reminder note on your mirror when you wash your face and brush your teeth.

If your shower takes a while to get warm…

If your shower is anything like ours, it takes a few minutes for warm water to come out. To avoid running the shower and wasting clean water, we have a bucket in the shower to catch all the clean water and save it to water the plants and fill the humidifier. We also turn on the dishwasher or washing machine a few minutes before showering. Yes, we try to time washing a full load of dishes or laundry around our shower times. That way our shower gets warm within seconds once we turn it on.

Take shorter showers; 4-minute showers to be exact.

Did you know you save 5,840 gallons of water per year by taking 4-minute showers instead of 10-minute showers? This is totally doable for those with short hair–AND with those with long hair–like me. See our next tip.

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DIY Walnut End-Grain Cutting Board Build

DIY Walnut End Grain Cutting Board via It's Jou Life https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Vs

Trying out new woodworking techniques is always a highlight. So when one of our friends mentioned that she was looking for a charcuterie board, we jumped at the opportunity to build one since we’ve never made one before. It gave us a chance to make something for our friends that will (hopefully) last a lifetime as well as try out new woodworking techniques.

Design

The three main considerations in cutting board design are shape, material, and grain orientation.

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DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 3

Bohnhoff Lumber

Bohnhoff Lumber

The first post in our DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build Series focused on the aesthetic and functional design aspects of the coffee table. In part two, we took a deeper look at the woodworking aspects of the design, focusing on the joinery techniques, and furniture hardware decisions. In part three, we finally get to start working with wood. We start by picking out lumber from the lumber yard, milling the lumber to our desired dimensions, and gluing up the panels for the coffee table.

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DIY Makeup Bag

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

the perfect diy makeup bag (mini boxy shape)

If I can make this DIY makeup bag, you can too. This makeup bag is inspired by wanting to give a handmade, practical, and stylish gift to my loved ones during the holidays. I customized the colored zippers with the gift recipient’s favorite color. Thanks, Say Yes, for this beautiful tutorial.

supplies

Two coordinating fabric (one is preferably upholstery weight), Zipper, Coordinating thread, Pins, Sewing Machine, Scissors, Ruler

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

  • STEP 1: Cut two pieces of each fabric choice. Each piece should be 5 1/2 x 9 1/2
  • STEP 2: Lay one of the outer fabrics face up on your table, and set the zipper on top, face down so the top edge meets the top edge of the fabric. Then lay one of your lining pieces right side down to meet the top edge as well.
  • STEP 3: Pin along that top edge so all three pieces are attached.
  • STEP 4: Baste with needle and thread and then sew with your zipper foot along that top edge. Move your outer fabric so it’s on the outside, right side up.
  • STEP 5: Now place the second lining fabric right side up on your table, then sandwich the pieces you just sewed in between, and finishing with the second outer piece right side down on top.
  • STEP 6: Pin, baste and sew with the zipper foot on the top edge like you did for the other side.
  • STEP 7:  After sewing, iron the outer pieces flat, and then fold them together so the outer pieces are right side together and lining pieces sandwiching them.
  • STEP 8: Pin at the opposite side of the zipper and sew along that bottom edge.
  • STEP 9. Move the zipper to the middle, unzip it halfway and sew along those two sides, through the zipper (pinch the zipper together when you’re sewing through it).
  • STEP 10: Pinch each edge in and measure with your ruler 2 1/2 inches across.
  • STEP 11: Mark with a pen that line and then pin next to the it. Sew along the line you drew and then snip off the triangle end. Do the same for all four sides.
  • STEP 12: Fold it inside out, so the outer pieces are on top and you’re done!

This DIY tutorial is from Say Yes, a crafty and stylish lifestyle blog. See her full instructional post here.

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 2

Coffee table parts and pieces

Coffee Table Parts and Pieces

The first post in our DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build Series focused on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the coffee table. In part two, we take a deeper look at the woodworking aspects of the design, focusing on the joinery techniques, and furniture hardware decisions.

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DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 1

Before // make-shift coffee table // itsjoulife.comDIY Walnut Coffee Table (almost finished) // itsjoulife.com

Ever since we moved in to our new condo three years ago, we’ve been using two small wooden shelves as a coffee table. Recently we decided it was time to get a real coffee table and our love of DIY lead to us designing and building our own walnut coffee table. Follow along as we detail the entire process, from initial design to purchasing lumber to building and finally to our finished coffee table.

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DIY / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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{ diy } succulent wedding centerpiece

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHWhat do you get when you mix an urban gardener with an DIY-enthusiast? DIY succulent terrarium centerpieces! We spent an hour of our Sunday to create a few of these lovely centerpieces for our upcoming wedding. We’re still having our florist make some floral centerpieces, but felt creating these additional DIY centerpieces is a beautiful way to add a personal touch and share our love for succulents with our guests. (It’s also friendly to our wedding budget!) I’ve learned floral centerpieces can cost from $75-$200. Materials to create these DIY succulent centerpieces cost about $15-$20 each.

A succulent terrarium isn’t only for weddings, it can also add the finishing touch to a coffee table, low-maintenance greenery to a desk or even a unique housewarming gift!

The Usual Suspects:
– Glass container with wide opening
– Succulents, assorted
– Cactus & Succulent soil mix
– Horticultural charcoal (optional)
– Decorative pebbles or river rocks
– A spoon, or little shovel

1. Place a 1-inch layer of pebbles/river rocks on the bottom of container; this provides drainage so the plants won’t rot in standing water. We used a mixture of large-size and small-size river rocks. We bought our glass containers from Michael’s craft store and succulents from our local garden nursery.

2. (Optional) Add a 1/2-inch of horticultural charcoal. The charcoal will help keep the terrarium smelling fresh. Smooth out this layer too. We read it helps to rinse the charcoal before to prevent a layer of black dust from collecting on the inside of the vase.

3. Place a layer of cactus mix soil, a fast-draining soil that retains little moisture. Use your little shovel or hand to level the cactus mix soil in your glass container.

4. Remove plants from pots. If you have multiple succulents in one pot, gently break them apart and use them separately. Scoop a little hole in the soil and place roots in soil. Gently add more soil around the edges of the container and around the base of the plants and pat around the roots. Sometimes the lanky, tall succulents have a difficult time standing up and tend to topple over. Pack more soil around them and strategically place some large-size river rocks around the base to create some stability. We used around 3-5 succulents per centerpiece.

5. Finish the look by adding more river rocks on the top layer. Done!

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bHDIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

DIY succulent centerpiece via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-bH

Care Tips:
1. Give the terrarium direct sunlight every day for at least five or six hours.
2. Water the terrarium every two weeks. Water lightly–don’t over water.
3. The water should lightly drain to the bottom. After watering, there should not be more than an inch of water visible in the gravel at the bottom.
4. Use your finger to touch the soil and check if it’s dry before watering.

We still have to make more and look forward to shopping for more succulent varieties at our local nurseries!

{ DIY } craft letters for engagement shoot

We had a craft attack last week. In preparation for our e-shoot we prepared decorative craft letters as props. We bought the paper mache craft alphabet letters from Paper Source. They sell the whole alphabet in capital and lower case letters (also ampersand)! They are lightweight and the perfect paper material to be creative. You can decorate with paint, glitter, paper–possibilities are endless!

diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7

Materials needed:

– Paper Mache Craft Alphabet Letters: We bought ours from Paper Source.

– Pattered Paper: We bought a beautiful patterned sheet of paper from Paper Source.

– Acrylic Paint: Colors that are similar to the paper you desire to wrap the letters in.

– Foam brushes

– Lead pencil & eraser

– Glue: We used a fabric glue that was strong and quick dry. All-purpose glue should be fine.

– Scissors & a Razor

Total time: If you’re a perfectionist, around 3-4 hours.

diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7The craft letters we bought from Paper Source only come in a natural brown cardboard color. We decided to wrap decorative Paper Source paper around our letters for a unique look. A good tip we read online is to prep the letters with colored paint that is similar colors to the decorate paper. We bought these super cheap Craft Smart Acrylic Paint from Michael’s craft store, along with the foam brushes. Prepping it with paint is a good idea in the case there are “gaps” near the seams. The like-colored paint will be more seamless where the would-be brown gaps are. We painted several coats of yellow, since the color was so light and translucent. No need to soak the foam brush in water, just start painting in full-strength. (Don’t mind the brown empty spots above, my fingers were holding those spots and had to wait until everything dried before completely covering the missing spots)

diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7This is the tricky part. We lightly traced a dotted line of the letter (with a lead pencil) onto the front decorative side of the paper. We also turned the letter to it’s side and traced the side with a solid line. Then cut at the solid line and folded at the dotted lines. This way, there are “flaps” and that are folded. The flaps should cover the sides of the letter to create a seamless look on the front side. We went back and lightly erased the dotted lines since it was slightly visible. Then glue the paper cut-out to the paper mache. Repeat on the flip side. The inside parts of the “W” had open spots, so strips that were measured to the width of the letter were cut and glued for a seamless effect. For paper that extends off the edges, use a razor to lightly slice it off.

Finished product!

diy craft letters via it's jou life blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-b7

manicure monday: a zoya jelly orange-red

So Wayne and I had our engagement shoot over the weekend and thought it’d be fun to add a pop of color to my nails. I went for a Zoya bright orangey-red color called Kate by The Small Things Blog. From the bottle to the nails, I love this vibrant color and jelly-licious finish.

Zoya color: Kate by The Small Things Blog via It's Jou Life Blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-aWManicure Usual Suspects via It's Jou Life Blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-aWBelow is my usual steps to ensure long-wearing and chip-free nails.

1. Revlon Colorstay Base Coat: Apply one thin coat and let dry. This bad boy is a must before applying any type of nail color. It creates a smooth base before applying polish and acts like a protectant barrier between the nail bed and color. This helps most in more saturated colors like deep reds  or dark colors from staining your nails. I like this Revlon brand because the dual brush covers more nail surface in one sweep. Easy and quick.

2. Color: Apply one thin coat and let dry. Repeat. Depending on the nail color, sometimes I repeat this step a third time with lighter, more translucent colors.

3. Sephora by OPI Top Coat: It’s important to make sure your color has thoroughly dried. Nothing is worse than applying top coat on semi-wet nails. Top coat is another must for me. It creates a seal for your color, shine, and protects it from chipping.

4. Sally Hansen Salong Manicure Quick & Dry Drops: This is a newly added product to my usual steps. I tried it for the first time over the weekend and really like it. This brilliant product dries polish in 60 seconds! These drying drops also help prevent smudges and dings. How it works: with just a couple drops, nails are dry to the touch in 60 seconds and completely dry in 5 minutes. Vitamin E and Jojoba formula helps hydrate and nourish dry cuticles.