DIY Hanging Cookbook | Practical Paper

 

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A few years ago, I was trying to decide on a gift for my mom for mother’s day. Ever have the issue of finding a present for someone who doesn’t really need anything?

When it comes to gifts, I like finding something personal. I love making something personal.

I ended up deciding to make my mom a cookbook and came up with a simple design. My major issue with cookbooks in general is that they are clunky and annoying to drag around to the different areas of the kitchen.

There are certainly worse things than hopping from your cookbook over to your spice rack and back again… but why let something be annoying when you can fix it?

You will need: 

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  1. white cardstock
  2. colorful craft paper
  3. a paper cutter or scissors
  4. laminating sheets
  5. a metal ring
  6. a ruler
  7. a pencil
  8. a hole puncher

 

Let’s get started

The trickiest part of this project is typing out and formatting all of the recipes. After you finish with that, everything else will fly by.

To format my recipes, I used Microsoft Word. I drew a text box, 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches, and copied/pasted it until I had about twenty squares, two per page.

You can format your text in whatever way makes the most sense for you. I put a title at the top, prep/cook time under that, then bullet-listed the ingredients and numbered the instructions.

I also designed a “title card” for different categories of recipes. I did Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Basics/Essentials, and Skillets.

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Print & Cut 

After you’ve endured the trying process of typing out your recipes (it took me about an hour and a half), you can print your recipes.

I chose a heavy white cardstock for this step of the process. I bought a 50-sheet pack at Michaels for $2.

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After all of your recipes have printed, it’s time to cut. For ease, I used a Fiskars paper cutter. You can find the paper cutter pictured at Michaels for $20. I used a 40% off coupon to bring the price down to $12.

You can also use scissors for this step, but I highly recommend a paper cutter for more precise straight lines.

After cutting the recipe cards, it is time to cut the colorful backing paper. With my cards, I meant to create a border of 1/2 inch but accidentally cut a 1/4 inch border.

To create a 1/2 inch border, you will need to cut the colorful paper into 5.5 x 5.5 squares.

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Organize 

When your paper is cut, it is helpful to organize the recipe cards into the sections and order you want them in. This will help you avoid repeating colors too often and will create a nice balance.

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Fasten

After all of your paper is cut and organized, it’s time to fasten the recipe card to the backing. You can use glue, double-sided tape… I’m not discriminatory when it comes to fastening methods.

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I started out using a gluestick, but elmers isn’t what it used to be. I ended up using tape, and that worked just fine for this step.

Laminate 

In order to protect your recipe book from messy fingers and water, it is helpful to laminate each card. 

I used a roll of laminating adhesive. You can find it at Michaels for $6, but there isn’t very much. You can order a larger pack from amazon for $11.

Cut 6 x 6 squares of laminating sheet and attach them to the front of each card. You can attach them to the backs as well, for added protection and sturdiness.

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Attach it carefully and be sure to smooth out extra bubbles.

Punch

When all of your recipe cards are laminated, you can punch a hole with a circular hole punch and begin placing them on the metal ring.

To make sure you punch the holes in the same place on each card, measure halfway (on a 5.5 inch card, halfway is 2.75 inches. From the top of the card, measure 1/4 inch down. Draw a dot and punch the hole.

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And there you go! A simple hanging recipe book with all of your favorite recipes.

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Hang it on a knob in your kitchen, on a cabinet door or a drawer, for easy access during hectic cooking.

Get crafting!

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Patrick Rothfuss’s “The Name of the Wind”

Buy it here (not an affiliate link, I just need everyone to read this book)

A friend of a friend recommended this book to me.

After only a few chapters, I had no idea what the rest of the book would hold, but I could already tell that it would be the best book I’d read in a while.

I finished the first book in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle this morning and I can say with absolute certainty that this book changed my life.

It may seem like a silly to say such a thing about a fantasy novel, but as an English major whose love for reading was extinguished by soul-sucking homework and academia, this is a huge milestone.

I’m falling back in love with reading.

Before college, reading was a HUGE part of my life. (It continued to be in college, but it ceased being part of my identity and started being part of my misery.) I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember.

One of my earliest book-based memories is in 1st grade… I remember being so determined to read that instead of playing with the other kids during recess, I made the leap and read Dr. Suess’s entire 1 Fish Blue Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. And that’s a big feat for such a little kid.

I had that drive for reading through elementary school, middle school, and high school, which is why I decided to persue a degree in English. I’m not bashing on the major at all, it just ended up not being for me. Endless reading would have seemed amazing to me, had it not been so stressful. There were impossible standards at my school and I only enjoyed a handful of my classes.

I graduated early in December of 2015, and I’m starting to feel it come back. That irrevocable, uncontrollable, inexplainable passion for reading that I didn’t realize I missed so much.

And Patrick Rothfuss brought it back to me.

The Name of the Wind is a masterful example of storytelling. His framing is superb, his characters are excellent. I actually like the protagonist, which doesn’t happen for me often.

Rothfuss weaves his mythology so seamlessly into his story. He goes back and forth between time periods without any awkward pauses. His story is fast-paced, gripping, and amazingly detailed.

I had to consciously try to read slowly, only giving myself a bit of reading time every day, because I didn’t want to finish the book too quickly.

Even still, after reading for two weeks, I feel heartbroken that the first book is already over.

If you’re interested, the universe Rothfuss has created is in a medieval time period, rife with magic. Our protagonist, Kvothe, is an amazing character who has endured horrific suffering and heartbreak, but still manages to pursue life with a vengeance.

Within the first few chapters, I physically laughed and cried.

When I realized I was on the last chapter, I nearly cried again.

There are so many amazing elements involved in the book, I can’t possibly list them all. But I’ll at least try to list a few…

  • Kvothe’s hearbreaking backstory. Giving a character something so difficult to endure, triumph over, and drive his success.
  • The interesting inclusion of Auri, a girl who lives in the pipes under the university. Quirky interactions, great details.
  • True friendship.
  • A different, thorough, interesting explanation of magic that involves actual science. Called “sympathy” because of magical sympathetic links made by the performer.
  • An evil character you can really really hate.
  • Getting that evil character’s backstory early on so you hate him a little but less, but you still do hate him.
  • Bringing music into a book extremely successfully.
  • Framing the story–Kvothe is telling his story to a scribe. VERY well-done.
  • A love interest who isn’t your typical girl, and a relationship which is convincingly awkward and slow-paced.
  • Demons with specific weaknesses

 

I’ve tried not to spoil anything, and I hope that someone will read this short review of The Name of the Wind, buy it, and have their mind blown by how awesome it is.

I’ve just bought the next book on my kindle, and I can’t wait to start it! Hopefully it will last forever, because the last book in the series doesn’t have a release date yet.

Join me in falling in love with reading!

Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer.

 

My mind was learning to work in different ways, becoming stronger. It felt the same way your body feels after a day of splitting wood, or swimming, or sex. You feel exhausted, languorous, and almost Godlike. This feeling was very similar, except it was my intellect that was weary and expanded, languid and latently powerful. I could feel my mind starting to awaken.

10 Ways to Convince Yourself to Write

 

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I started this blog exactly 18 days ago, and I’ve only written one post. One post about not being about to write more than one post. Ooops.

Like I said, sticking to it is hard.

As I was trying to convince myself to write (why is it so HARD to follow your dreams?!), I started to think of some ways to motivate myself.

Why not share?

Maybe some of these tips will help someone else out there (or maybe not). Either way, the brainstorming is getting me to write, and my writing is all that matters in this world. Right?

…Right? Ha.

Keep in mind that I don’t follow most of these yet. They’re just ideas to get my motivation waterfall going.

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Here is the list I’ve come up with, including some insight from the beginning chapters of Bell’s Plot & Structure. 

1.) Write a purpose statement

Bell says,

I remember the exact date I decided I was going to be a writer. I jotted this in my journal: “Today I resolve to take writing seriously, to keep going and never stop, to learn everything I can and make it as a writer.”

Why don’t you do the same? Write a statement of purpose, one that gets you excited, and print it. Put it on your wall where you can see it every day.

So come up with something that inspires you, a short little tidbit of “YES I CAN!” and tape that to your forehead.

Here’s mine:

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Be the one who brings them on a hiding-under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight, up WAY past bedtime, back hurts but can’t stop reading… ADVENTURE.

I want to write novels for kids, to foster their imagination and bring them on a grand journey.

2.) Buy some “How-To-Write” books

Honestly, having the three books that I have now is one of the main things motivating me right now. Not only are they awesomely informative, but the fact they’re close to me, glaring at me, guilts me into reading them.

In a good way.

I actually didn’t buy them for myself, though. They were my Christmas gift from my boyfriend, which makes them even more of a guilt-trip when I’m lacking the motivation.

Knowing that he put in the time and effort to care about my writing dreams makes me want to read them and makes me want to really pursue writing.

3.) Word vomit

Turn off that judgmental SOB who looks over your shoulder when you’re writing.

You know what I’m talking about. That little voice inside your head that questions every stroke of your pen.

There’s nothing like staring at a blank page, writing a sentence, and immediately deleting it because “that’s leading nowhere.”

Just let yourself run wild.

Write without really thinking. Word vomit on the page. Do some stream-of-consciousness writing.

Tentam te dizer como ser, cagam regras ao teu corpo, mas você é linda! Você é perfeita exatamente da maneira que é!:

Look up some free-writing and brainstorming exercises. Set aside ten minutes, twenty minutes, an hour to write whatever comes to mind. Here are a few (summarized) from Bell:

  • come up with random titles and a basic plot to go with it
  • steal a basic idea from a classic and bend it to your will (Shakespeare was never original, he just always put his own spin on it)
  • start with the sentence, “what I really want to write about is…” and write whatever comes to mind
  • create a character with a random obsession and see what they do
  • come up with a “wow” ending and then think about what would have led to it

Even if that voice in your head is whispering that what your writing doesn’t make any sense (and it might not), don’t let that stop your inner word whore.

Let it aaaalllll hang loose.

Because, guess what? Even word vomit is better than a blank page. Your spew of nonsense is something. It gives you something to edit, something to work off of. If you constantly let yourself quit, you’ll never get anywhere.

4.) Set specific goals

James Scott Bell says to make a word goal rather than a time goal–since if you write nothing in 3 hours, that’s not really helping you.

I’d suggest using some kind of organizational tool, like a calendar or a journal, to come up with a goal plan that works for you.

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Source

Hey, that’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll do that… *winky face*

5.) Get someone on board 

I wouldn’t have nearly the motivation I have now if my boyfriend weren’t so supportive.

Having someone who really believes in me is a good way for me to be accountable. He loves me, believes in my dreams, and wants me to achieve them.

Having a person to say, “Keep on writing” makes all the difference.

6.) Write something REALLY boring 

How can you get creative?

Do the opposite of what you want to be doing.

Take a short amount of time to come up with a boring idea–OR, if you’re lucky, you have a paper for school or a deadline for work due!

Put on those nerdy glasses…

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Write an academic essay, a memo for work. Do a fake piece of technical writing (write a set of directions for something random and mundane.)

Today, while I was writing boring copy for a blog post for work, I got a sudden burst of motivation (which led to this post).

Writing anything–even random boring junk–can help smash that writer’s block.

 

7.) Make it official

Label yourself.

Admitting, “I am a writer” is a key part of being a writer.

Do it visually, with something you’ll see every day. Label something with “writer,” give yourself that identity, and own it.

 

You can do this with virtually anything, but I decided to steal Bell’s idea and make a mug.

 

8.) Get a comfy chair

Get a chair so outrageously comfortable that you will ALWAYS want to be writing…

Source – PB Teen

…just so can sit in it.

9.) Read (or watch, or listen to) whatever inspires you

I was watching an episode of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” last night. It just so happens that Jane is an aspiring romance novelist, and the episode was (half) about writer’s block and random bursts of inspiration.

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Watching that episode, and Jane overcoming her writer’s block (but not her own romance issues…) was a huge inspiration.

Reading’s also super helpful (is that obvious?). I like to read…what I want to write.

In my case, that’s YA novels. Every time I pick up one of these books, I can visualize my own book in the hands of a reader. Not only that, but reading in the genre I want to write gives me some general ideas to work off of and “steal.”

And let’s not forget music, one of the most inspiring things on earth. I’m listening to some Irish Rock (Flogging Molly, if anyone’s interested) as I write this. And oh does it give me confidence and mojo. Oh yes.

(I also like listening to the soundtracks from Lord of the Rings, the Narnia movies, and other such epic music while I’m working and writing. Puts me in the mood for aaadventure!!)

10.) Write… everyday.

It might sound counter-intuitive to use writing as a way to motivate yourself to write.

But writing is something that takes practice. If you make a habit of writing everyday, your writing will inevitably improve.

Is that motivation in itself? Maybe, maybe not.

 

Make a ritual out of your writing and motivation techniques, set aside time every day to reach your goals, and stay positive.

 

The End.

If you have any more ideas, please let me know! I need ALL the help I can get…

 

 

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The Trouble With Sticking

I’ve probably started more than five blogs, but I’ve never been able to make them stick. It might have something to do with a lack of focus, a lack of inspiration. Why was I writing the blog? What did I want to say? Yeah, I had no idea. I just wanted to be cool and have a blog and be insightful.

I’d write my first post with zeal, and then forget about it after a few weeks (knock on wood).

Why couldn’t I make it stick? Why didn’t I have the motivation, the magic inspiration to write more than that first post?

I think I never had a purpose. I wanted to write about everything, and ended up writing about nothing. I wanted to interest and connect with people, but I ended up not even connecting with myself. I wanted to be insightful and deep, but I was shallow and insecure.

Now, I think I have a purpose. I ferociously want to write–so that’s what I’m going to do. So now, I think I’ll write about writing. I’m going to chronicle my adventure. There will be brambles, there will be quicksand, their will be failure, and there will be disappointment. But maybe, just maybe, that will all lead to something beautiful. I won’t try to pander to people, I won’t try to be deep, I’ll just write from my heart and hope that in that, I can stick to it and find joy.

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I’ve wanted to be a writer for years–but I’ve never been able to make it stick. It was always partly a “me” problem, but there was also the learning curve. I knew what I wanted to do (write fiction) but I didn’t know how to do it. Where do you even start? I would have a small idea, write a paragraph, and give up for a few months. I had no clue what writing really was.

When I started writing in college, it was all analytical. But it was not at all what I wanted to do with my life. And yet, that writing came easy. By my second semester, I could analyze literature like nobody’s business. I could highlight that character’s traits, connect them to the themes, and blend it all together with a static-sounding thesis. I learned the formula and I stuck to it.

But it wasn’t what I wanted to do. At all.

I wanted to tell a story. I wanted to make someone fall into my world, to lose themselves as I had many times before. I wanted to give young people the joy I’ve felt while reading. I wanted them to hide under their covers with a flashlight. I wanted them to get a crick in their neck but be unable to stop. I wanted them to look at the cloak and whisper, “just one more chapter.”

And let’s just say, my term paper for Victorian Lit (Peace in Death: Freedom, Slavery, and God in Victorian Literature) would not keep you reading in the wee hours of the morning. I got an A on that paper, but I knew that I couldn’t write like that forever. I was not an academic–I wouldn’t find true joy in researching and analyzing serious literature.

In the fall of 2015, my last semester of college, I took the plunge (in a sense). I enrolled in a creative writing course. Split in half between short stories and poetry, the course wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it completely blew my mind.

Creative writing is so different from what I’d thought. It isn’t a random draw of pure talent. It isn’t some elusive mist. It’s something you can actually learn. It is a process. 

As I started reading the book for the course and doing writing exercises, I felt my confidence grow. I thought, “Hey, maybe I can do this.” I wrote my first short story, only three pages, and it took me forever. It seems obvious now, that it wouldn’t have come right away. My first draft is like chicken scrawl, a confusing mess of “what.”

It’s no fun writing that first draft, thinking oh what am I doing, this is so confusing and weird. That’s the part I couldn’t get past before the class. I thought that first “what” was it–that if it didn’t make sense, if it wasn’t inspired right off the bat–then you couldn’t write.

But you have to write that first draft. You have to let yourself go, write all the cliches, make mistakes, and make the “what” face. Even if you feel those pangs of doubt–which I felt not twenty minutes after writing this post (oh man, I must sound so contrived and forced. What am I doing.)–you just have to keep trying and learning.

Because when that mess of a first draft is over, you get to read it and you get to fix it.

I’m starting to realize that creative writing is a lot like painting. When you look at a book, at the finished product, you see the words and imagine them coming so easily to the author. You bow in awe at their amazingness, at their genius. Yet, like a painting, those words came in layers.

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First, the author sketches. They imagine their world, their characters, their setting. Then they plop some paint on the canvas, add some basic shapes and colors, and step back. When they have the shadow of their story, they can add details upon details, perfecting their strokes along the way.

Nobody just smacks out their finished product. It takes time, it takes layers.

So, hopefully this time, I can make those layers stick. Like Bob Ross says, everyone can paint once they learn how.