{Today's Letters}

Monday, October 31, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, I knew it was going to be a good day when I found this under our giving tree. Extra jazz hands for creative use of origami. Dear Halloweekend, Tim and I celebrated you with a costume party, ping pong tourney, and caramel apples. You were spooktacular.  Dear New Dishwasher, you are still sitting in our living room because of plumbing that isn't up to code. Thanks for reminding us that good things are just around the corner. Dear Tim Tam, even though we had an hour and a half long conflict this weekend I'm thankful for the way it strengthened our marriage. Conflict can truly make us better, not bitter.

Happy Freakin Halloween, Homies! How was your weekend? In honor of today, go here to read my favorite Halloween joke. Argh, Argh, Argh ... Also, starting next Monday we'll be hosting several giveaways on the blog just to say Thank You to all of our faithful, loyal, and encouraging readers. Get ready for Christmas to come early!

{Pretzel, Hershey, and M&M Crack Snacks}

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I call these crack snacks because they're just. that. good. Some of you may have recently seen these on Pinterest, which is where I first stumbled across them. I promise, they're so tasty they'll make you wish you had pants with baggy pockets or footie pajamas for extra stashing. Here's what you'll need ...

1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 bag of M&M's
1 bag of small pretzels

1. Pre-heat oven to 275°
2. Lay out pretzels in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Unwrap Hershey Kisses and place on top of pretzels.
4. Bake for 3 minutes and remove.
5. Immediately press an M&M into each Hershey Kiss.
6. Place in refrigerator for 25 minutes or until chocolate is no longer soft.
7. Then stuff the face 'yo mama gave you.

Check out these Halloween and Christmas themed crack snacks. The possibilities are endless!

{Flightless Bird, American Mouth: Wedding Version by Iron & Wine and Marketa Irglova}

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For all of you Twilight fans out there, this song will be on the new Breaking Dawn - Part I soundtrack. Love this version which features two of my favorite artists. Release date: November 8th. Enjoy!

Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Single - Iron & Wine

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, October 28, 2011

To kick off this week's FPF photos we have Auburn students Katie, Emily, Hannah, Meagan, Jennifer, Ana Marie, Elizabeth, Mary Katherine, Anna, Anna Katherine, and Whitney. These chickies celebrated Ana Marie's 21st Birthday at the Irish Bread Pub in Opelika, AL!

Lastly, meet Cara and her college roommate Stephanie who threw fist pumps and leg kicks while hiking in Alaska. Bonus points for glaciers and reunions with dear friends!

Can you believe we only had 2 FPF photo submissions this week?! Ya'll must have been taking naps or studying for midterms. That said, I'm really looking forward to next week's FPF Challenge! Send in a photo of you and your homies throwing fist pumps and leg kicks in your Halloween costumes. Bonus points for creativity and glitter.

Happy Freakin Friday, Homies!

{Fingers to the Bone by Brown Bird}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

These guys are a whole bag of win.

Salt for Salt - Brown Bird

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, whenever you leave me the last piece of cake it makes me wanna make out. Just sayin. Dear Overalls, I've missed you. It's that time of year again when we get stuck on each other like Band-Aid's and Tim starts referring to me as Sissy Spacek. Dear Elderly Couple, seeing you ride your over sized tricycles after work each day makes me look forward to growing old. Bonus points for the orange caution flags taped to your seat that let people know you're coming. Dear Tim Tam, wanna speak at a leadership conference in Uganda this Spring? Promise to wear my overalls.

What's one thing you'd like to do when you're old? I can think of 100 places I'd like to visit while traveling the country in an Airstream. PS, have any of you ever been to Uganda? Let us know!

{Husband's Letters}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, each night we whisper to each other, "You're my best friend." I think this is the best way to end the day. Dear Epic Day of Sports, on Sunday the Cowboys and the Rangers played the Cardinals and the Rams. With wins from both local teams the spirits of the Texans were lifted high! Dear Chore List, sometimes I get overwhelmed when I look at you, but you're never as bad as I think you'll be. Thank you for teaching me about perseverance. Dear Emma, you make chalkboards out of little pumpkins. Where do you come up with these things?

What's your least favorite chore? I'm in charge of bathrooms & dusting while Em does the kitchen & vacuuming. There's nothing quite like having a teammate to divide the misery with!

{Today's Letters: Food Edition}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, I'm convinced that watching you fry a turkey is about as entertaining as seeing you open presents on Christmas morning. (Insert giddy 8 yr old boy here). Dear Friends Who Have Turned Into Family, my life is so much sweeter because of you. You're like falling into a gigantic easy chair made out of chocolate. Dear Southern Living, the Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake on the cover of this month's issue makes me wanna lick my magazine. Three points for being totally drool worthy. Dear Tim Tam, on Saturday I surprised you with tickets to help judge the 2nd annual Blues, Bandits & BBQ competition. Pretty sure eating wibs with you is one of my favorite things EVER! Over and out.

What's your favorite Fall pie? Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? Sweet Potato? I have to make one soon and would love your suggestions!

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, October 21, 2011

To kick off this week's FPF photos we have SMU Chi O juniors Hannah, Abby, Emily, Katherine, and Caroline. Pretty sure these girls deserve one gigantic "Hooooowdy, Folks!" with a side of funnel cake and lemonade.

Next, meet Megan W., Megan U., and Dawn after completing the Run for Life Half-Marathon in Madison, WI. You three are my heroes. Running 13.1 miles is kind of a big deal!

Our next photo is of Donna's lifelong friend's Celeste and Kathy who threw fist pumps while riding their bici's in Seagrove Beach, FL. Every October these cuties get together with 7 other friends for a girls weekend at the beach. This was their 15th trip!

Lastly, meet Auburn students Caitlin (sophomore) and Lindzi (junior) who threw fist pumps and leg kicks at the Alpha Chi Omega rollerskating party. Bonus points for leg warmers and for skating to N*SYNC, Mariah Carey, and Hanson!

A special thanks to all of you who sent in photos for FPF this week! To participate, email photos to em@todaysletters.com ... it's just that simple.

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, after leaving for class yesterday you noticed I had forgotten my iPhone. Thank you for driving it up to work and for the extra kiss you gave me on my forehead before you left. Dear Branch McKeaigg, you have gotten so big! Can't wait to hang out with you and your mama tomorrow. PS, you are most definitely #1. Dear Friends, a year ago we kicked off our foundation group with a fried turkey dinner. Tomorrow we will celebrate the closing of our group with another Thanksgiving feast. Here's to fire extinguishers and praying we don't blow up the Tyroch's garage. Dear Tim Tam (who always gets two letters), to the man who warms my side of the biscuit while I brush my teeth before getting ready for bed, I heart Thee.

Rangers or Cardinals?

{Today's Letters}

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday was our first cold morning of Fall. Thank you for calling and reminding me to wear my mittens! Dear October, this month you will have 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, and 5 Saturdays. This only happens once every 823 years. Reason #848 why you're the shiz. Dear SPIN Magazine, recently you listed U2's "Achtung Baby" as the #1 album of the past 25 years. Loerke survey says, "Agreed." Dear Nefertimmy, sometimes you like to take naps on the floor wrapped like a mummy. Is this because you're not wearing any clothes? Are afraid of creepy crawlies? Or do you just like violating Snuggie's copyright laws? Over and out.

When was the last time you took a nap? Casa de Loerke are big fans of the Saturday afternoon snoozer.

{Husband's Letters}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Husband's Letters: Dear Mrs. Loerke, this weekend we navigated our first corn maze at the Canton Pumpkin Patch. Thankfully our experience looked nothing like this. Dear Pre-Marrieds Class, tonight Em and I have the opportunity to speak about what it looks like to intentionally pursue your spouse. Looking forward to sharing with all 200 of you! Dear Boss, yesterday you asked me to saw the femur while doing a knee replacement. This made me feel like a trusted assistant. Thank you! Dear Emma, this Sunday I had to work in two emergency surgeries that lasted 8 hours. Throughout the day you sent me encouraging texts, completed part of my chores, and greeted me with a huge hug and a kiss when I cam home. Reason #969 why girl roommates are AWESOME.

Mr. Loerke

Have you ever done a corn maze before?

{Headboard Tutorial}

Monday, October 17, 2011

After being inspired by these photos on Pinterest, Tim and I knew we wanted to build a new headboard for our biscuit. Our plans were designed around our 8ft high ceilings and queen sized bed. Here's what you'll need from Home Depot:

* Three 1" x 6" x 8' whitewood boards to use for the frame (have these cut down to 1" x 6" x 90").

* Fifteen 1" x 6" x 8' whitewood boards to use for the headboard (have these cut down to 1" x 6" x 65").

* A box of 2 1/2" Wood Screws to use for securing the 3 frame boards to the wall.

* A box of 1 1/2" Wood Screws to use for securing the 15 horizontal boards to the frame.

* Stud finder, drill, & level.

* Sandpaper.

* Minwax Dark Walnut Stain & a couple of disposable foam brushes.

* A pair of Ikea Kramer Wall Spotlights.

* Two Chocolate Shakes & Animal Style Burgers from In-N-Out. Now you're ready to get started!

Before you do ANYTHING be sure and sand down any rough edges on the wood where it was cut. Trust me, there will be splinters! Then pre-stain the edges of your outer two frame boards, as well as the top horizontal board. This will prevent you from getting any stain on your walls. It's definitely a must if you're like us and like clean lines. 

Double check your plans before screwing any boards into the wall. You'll first want to start by finding the center of your wall. Measure 32 1/2" on either side of your center line. Since your headboard is 65" long this will mark the edge of your outer two pre-stained boards for your frame.

Once you have the outer two boards screwed into the wall (use your level to make sure they are straight), it's time to secure the middle board. It is important that this board be screwed into a stud (especially if your other two aren't), so it may or may not be centered. Don't worry if it isn't since no one will see it anyway. (Ours was slightly off to the left).

Next, double check your headboard plans. You'll screw 15 boards horizontally into the frame. This goes by pretty quickly once you get started.

Once you've reached the desired height for your lights you'll need to screw them into one of the horizontal boards. We screwed ours into the 7th board down from the top. (You will unscrew your lights later when it's time to stain).

Because of the 1" gap between the horizontal board and the wall you'll be able to hide your light cords behind the headboard. But first you'll need to create a notch for the cord using your drill bit.

It doesn't have to be a large notch, just something big enough for a french fry or cord to fit through.

Once you've finished screwing in all of your horizontal boards it's time to stain. Because you already pre-stained the edges of your frame boards staining the sides of your horizontal boards will be a piece of cake. No need to worry about getting stain on your walls!

The one mistake we made was not wiping off the stain with a rag after each coat. This didn't hurt the wood, it just took a little longer to dry.

Here's what our headboard looked like after 2 coats of stain.

And here's what it looks like dry! Tim and I couldn't be more pleased with how everything turned out. Our headboard isn't perfect but we love it, and the wall sconces have been great for reading at night. The overall cost was around $125.00 ... not too shabby for a custom headboard.

Feel free to email us or post comments below if you have any questions!
Em & Tim

{Last Call for November Sponsors!}

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Go HERE to received 15% off your purchase at Pleasantly Plump [Knits].

Our blog receives over 200,000 page views per month and is a great way to expand your online Etsy shop or business. Don't miss out on being featured as one of our holiday sponsors! Just contact us for a rate sheet!

{No Room for Doubt by Lianne La Havas ft. Willy Mason}

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Required Saturday morning listening. Lianne La Havas' voice is nothing short of M-A-G-I-C-A-L.

{Fist Pump Friday!}

Friday, October 14, 2011

To kick off this week's FPF photos we have Auburn students Morgan, Heidi, and Kelsey who welcomed Dana into the INCREDIBLE Alpha Omicron Pi family. Way to always represent in FPF Auburn Tigers!

Remember my sweet bff from growing up, Ashley? A year ago I posted a sonogram photo of her 2nd peanut. Now Emilia is 3 months old and throwing fist pumps like a rock star. Bonus points for el woobster!

Next meet Andrea and her husband Jason from Tulsa, OK who threw fist pumps in honor of their 5th wedding anniversary. Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment, littles. Here's to anniversary #6! 

Our next photo is of our sweet friends Bobby & Stacie who just celebrated the birth of their second bambino. Tim and I couldn't be more excited for these guys. Fist pumps and leg kicks for baby Miller!  

And can you believe we got to celebrate the birth of TWO babies this week? Most of you will recognize our dear friend's the Grubb's. They just had a little boy named Samuel. We heart him already!

Next, I'd like to introduce our first submission for this week's FPF challenge. Meet Jackie and her dog Ranger, named after her and her husband's favorite baseball team. Pretty sure Ranger deserves bonus points for rocking a red bandanny and for having parents who have great taste in sports teams!

Next meet Katie, a senior at Sam Houston State University. She threw fist pumps with her 12 yr old border collie, Kiltie, and tabby cat, Paprika. Bonus points for rocking sheet kickers with your furry friends!

Lastly, meet this week's FPF Challenge winners Matt & Caitlin Clyde. They threw fist pumps while camping in Arkansas with their 3 month old puppy, Scout. These turkeys get bonus points for making our Campfire Orange Cakes and for sleeping under the stars. Love you both!

A special thanks to all of you who sent in photos for FPF this week! To participate, email photos to em@todaysletters.com ... it's just that simple!

{Family Ties}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nikole Herriott and her father live on opposite coasts of Canada, but combine their talents to create beautiful works of art. Fist pumps for family farms in Nova Scotia, wood shops, and Papa's who wear  overalls. {You can visit their online shop here}.

{Today's Letters}

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's Letters: Dear Mr. Loerke, yesterday you drove me to work for my 6:30am class so I didn't have to walk in the rain. Reason #267 why {thoughtful} boy roommates are AWESOME. Dear Paperwhite Bulb, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that we need to "adopt the pace of nature." After watching you grow I have been reminded that I have much room for improvement in the area of patience. Dear Velvet Taco, just when I thought nothing could top a Torchy's baja shrimp taco you come into my life. Consider yourself my new favorite taco joint in Dallas. Dear Tim Tam, you and I go together like Andy and Brand with a side of sweatband and letter sweater. Over and out.

Happy Thursday, Homies! Halloween is just around the corner. What are you dressing up as?

{Our Treepod / Giving Tree}

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yesterday I received an email from a reader who wanted to know more about our Tree Pod / Giving Tree. Since the holidays are just around the corner I thought I'd share my response on the blog!

About five years ago I bought a vintage wooden tripod at one of my favorite flea markets. (I think I paid $6 for it). Originally I planned to use it for photo shoots, but after receiving an old camera as a gift I decided to set it up as a decorative piece in the corner of our living room.

Shortly after moving into out condo we found out that our HOA doesn't allow real Christmas for fire hazard reasons. This left us no choice but to come up with a creative solution for a tree. Hence, our Treepod was born and the rest was history!

After New Year's we decided to keep our Treepod up year round, but we transitioned into calling it our Giving Tree after one of our favorite books. Both Tim and I love surprises so leaving small gifts for each other throughout the year seemed like a creative way to express our love for one another.

Over the years we've left anything under our tree from cupcakes, secret messages, a trifecta of Magic Shell, bags of our favorite popcorn & chocolate bars, a package of Haynes v-neck shirts, skipping rocks, and flowers picked from our front yard.

Even Twinner now has a Giving Tree at her house in Berkeley! If you're limited to alternative solutions for real Christmas trees a Treepod is a great option. We think leaving it up year round is even better.

Only 73 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes, and 26 seconds until Christmas!
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