Make it Monday // Yummy Strawberry Cake

A favorite fruit shared between Zach & I is the strawberry.  Anytime we find an excuse to buy them we do & often eat the whole berry basket in a day.  Between stops at the fridge & turning them into yummy desserts, strawberries go as often as they come.  Food Lion lately has been having 2 two for $3 sale & when the strawberries look good I go ahead and buy two.

While out looking for something for dinner the other night I decided to pick up two baskets & cook up the strawberry cake mix Zach had left over.  We cut up a basket & threw it in with the cake the cut up the second basket & threw it on top.

This cake was so yummy! It's a perfect super easy idea for a get together, last minute dessert, or summer cook out staple.  I can't wait to make it again.

Happy Baking!


Sum up Sundays // An Empty Apartment

Zach's last day here in VA was Friday, he left on Saturday morning.  Which means today marks the end of the first 24 hours.  It took nearly everything I had not to break down at work through the past week.  Friday was the worst, but I got through it in part to reading this post about Long Distance Relationships (or LDRs).

I hope to document how things go for us on our journey through an LDR & hopefully find some fun Long Distance dates to go on.  We especially need to Skype & watch Stargate on Netflix since our after work activities generally consist of that.

We got together with a few of his friends for a Mongolian BBQ going away party.  I had a yummy drink & we sat for 3 hours talking.  And by we I mean that I had no idea what computer jargon they were spouting out & flipped through instagram.

I think one of the hardest parts I'll face when I decide when I am going to move to meet him is going to be making friends.  I always get nervous that I'll never be able to make friends.  When I was in college I thought the same thing & came out with some great friends.  I do know that I may be able to meet up with some up north blog friends (Kristin, I'm talking about you!).  I don't know what opportunities I'll have to make friends, I am really a home body type of person.  But if Zach has friends he's hanging out with, I'd like to have some too ya know.  

About mid stage in packing.  Man I thought we'd never get done.  I hate packing & moving so I tried my hardest not to whine and complain.  I did whine a bit on Wednesday but Thursday I just moved whatever needed to be moved.
Who would have thought old military undershirt things and PT shirts would be good packing material.  But we used those + grocery bags on all the plates & fragile things.

I packed away Zach's movies & games and came upon the movie that started it all.  The day he made me this lunch on our second date we watched Stargate afterwards.  This is also the first movie where we cuddled (awwww...)  Now we watch the episodes on his DVD collection & are up to season 9 of SG-1.

He found a few MREs when he was cleaning so we had a yummy & also incredibly gross dinner of military issue food.  We sat in the floor of the living room with boxes around us & ate.  It was as if I was in the DHARMA initiative.  I am going to have a little vlog/video up soon of our experience with it that I took on my phone for lack of anything to do in his empty apartment.

I took this photo while he was going over to turn in his keys.  I took the key off my key ring and gave it to him as he begging me not to cry.  He's begged me not to be sad this whole time & I just can't help it!

So now its the waiting game & I don't know what to do.  I've spent this weekend with my grandma & aunts.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory & had a yummy dinner and dessert.  Spent the night talking about pottery & watching NCIS.

I hope your weekend was a pleasant one!  What did you do?


Collections // My Favorite Animal

A few years ago, I decided that my favorite animal was the Hippopotamus.  Even better than hippos are baby hippos! I will look at baby hippo pictures until the hippos come home.

One day my sister texted me & said 'You can have a wedding at the zoo here.  Maybe you should do that, they might let you ride in on a hippo.' To which, I said 'yeah, carrying one as well.  Like Simba.'

This past year for Christmas my room mate adopted a hippo for me through the World Wildlife Foundation.  I got a lovely stuffed hippo in return.  Katie said that when she was wrapping it up, Cody decided it was his & gingerly grabbed it by the ear & started dragging it away.  When I opened it, all night Cody wanted to play with it.  He's sneak off & snatch it from the couch, under the tree, even when I was holding it!

These are two of my hippos.  I think I may frame the miniature one!

Every time I go to the zoo I hope to see a Hippo.  I know that our zoo here doesn't have any but I dont think I've ever been to a zoo where there are Hippos.  Hippos are crazy large, incredibly territorial, and just so damn cute when they are babies!

Are you an animal lover? Any specific animal you just love to death?


Fan Fridays // The Chevrons have it

Howdy guys! I hope this week has been treating you well.  If you've been following along on instagram (or even on here) you'll know that Zach is packing up and heading back to Michigan this weekend.  We already did the packing on Wednesday & Thursday and his POD should be picked up today sometime.  Tonight is his last night here.  We'll be apart for who knows how long.

Tonight we are going to drink a bottle of wine & just enjoy each others company.  It's going to be so hard to see him go.  Honestly, I don't know how I'll be tomorrow morning.

But for today I thought I'd share my love of chevrons with you.  You can find some of my own chevron inspired posts here & here, but check out this awesomeness: 

Andrea of Strawberry Chic shared this awesome potato stamp chevron wall art!  I need to cut up some potatoes & try this.  My love of strawberries & chevrons came together when I found this cute blog

Lindsey at LDC Designs share some freebie background images for readers as well.  There is even a psd file so you can choose your own color combo.  How cool!

I also found these awesome chevron DIY wedding invites on Wedding Chicks.  There are zillions (maybe not zillions, but still quite a lot) of color combos for you to choose.  Just type in your information & go!
I may or may not have played around with creating my own.  Wedding sites just get me so excited.  Someone get married so I have an excuse to find cute wedding things in your name!  Not only do they have these chevron ones but a whole slew of others as well.

I hope your Friday turns out to be a lovely one.  The weather is nice here & I hope it stays that way.  

Do you have any plans for the weekend?
let me know here or on twitter!


April Sponsor Interview // A Case of the Mundays

Today we have a lovely interview from Blair behind A Case of the Mundays! I fell in love with her blog as soon as I spotted it & was so happy to have her trade sponsor spots with me for April.  Peep the interview below for some awesome, awesomeness:
1. Why did you start blogging? blogging isn't my full-time job (unfortunately!). i'm the director of creative at an independent record label - a busy but entertaining 9-5 (or rather 9-7 or 8 most days). i found myself not making time to actually be creative away from the office. i started blogging to inspire myself. 

2. What is your favorite part about blogging & the blogging community? i love all the friendships that i've gained w/ other bloggers. there are so many supportive, creative people out there. :) it's so much fun collaborating w/ other bloggers!

3. What is the hardest part about blogging? 2 things: 1 // getting my husband to participate. he's a little camera shy. ;) he's a super good sport - don't get me wrong:
2 // i often wish i hadn't named my blog so specifically - a case of the mundays (munday being our last name). i day dream about teaming up with another creative person or 2. ;) any interested mundays out there!?!

5.  What is your favorite feature on your blog? What do have the most fun blogging about? of course i love sharing my gluten free baking adventures and sharing about our home! but i really really love blogging to make a difference. i've been blessed to be involved w/ several different causes, such as craft hope & the noonday collection. i also love sharing about our adventures. we're currently training for a marathon (well - i am running a half, and wade is running the full). we're running to raise money for barefoot ministries - a church camp focused on diversity. thanks to the scholarship money we'll raise, my small group of inner city high school girls will be able to attend camp this summer! and then in 6 weeks, we're heading to ethiopia to visit the awassa children's project. we're currently gathering bracelets and soccer balls to bring to the kiddos. i'd love for your readers to join in!

6.  Give us the best blogging advice you've ever received? i think the best blog advice has to be to blog what you enjoy. again blogging is my hobby! when it starts to become work - and i'm blogging about anything JUST to blog ... it loses the spark. :) i already have enough "work" on my plate! 

7.  Give us the best advice on life you've ever received? my mom recently reminded me that difficult people/situations are the perfect opportunity to refine yourself. i daily need a dose of the serenity prayer - "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and wisdom to know the difference." i think those two lessons go hand in hand.

Now for the fun ones:
8.  What is your favorite fruit? i love a good banana or apple ... w/ nutella of course. after my half marathon training is over - it's bye bye sugar and back to just apples and bananas.
7.  Are you an early bird or a night owl? neither!?! i WAS a night owl before my husband and i got married (a year and a half ago). but i try to go to bed when he goes to bed - unfortunately early - like 8.30 early. you'd think i'd become an early bird now that i'm getting more sleep at night - but not the case. ;) i average a good 10 hours. pathetic. my husband keeps telling me that early mornings are the best in our kitchen. i need to see for myself.

9.  What is your favorite color to wear? i own too too too much ivory. i'm always coming home w/ a new ivory (and usually lace) top only to remember that i already own something nearly identical.

Thanks Blair!  I am so glad you were able to share with us a little bit about your life, your journey, & your blog.  Pop on over to A Case of the Mundays & show some love.

Five Sixteenths has rearranged sponsorship starting in the month of May.  If you are interested in being a feature sponsor, please peep the sponsorship page here & shoot me an email!  Next Feature Spot is available for June 


Monthly Thrift Tip // Scrutinize

In April's Newsletter (be sure to sign up!), the second thrift tip was mentioned.  This post on Scrutinizing gives you some handy tips to keep in mind on your thrifting adventures.  Wanna contribute? Share your thrifty tips & finds with Five Sixteenths through a guest post!  Read the guidelines here & shoot me an email!

If you are an avid thrifter, putting things back after you've filled your cart may be hard for you.  It's hard for me to put down something that I know is awesome.

Lest we end up on an episode of hoarders, there's something we need to talk about: Do You Need It?

When I go through a thrift store, I look for the familiar things I like to collect.  This includes train cases & bags & suitcases, gnomes & other knick knacks, vintage bedding, clothes & shoes.  Those are pretty broad categories, right?  More than asking the crucial 'do I need it?' question, I ask myself these questions when looking at an item:

Is it unique? // If it's something I haven't seen before it gets automatically put in the I must buy it category.  For example, the suitcase set below has been something I've been searching for for a while.  I'd seen them on etsy & around the web but I'd never discovered a set myself.  I paid a bit more for the set, but I realized that my hunt for them was well worth the price tag.  They were super unique & something I'd never seen before in my thrifting trips.  If it's something that is super common & you may be able to find it cheaper you probably don't need it.

How much is it? // So it's unique but making sure the item is worth the price is important.  Consider how much you've paid for similar items before.  Those suitcases were $35 for the 3 (I guess that's a good price but it was a bit more than I wanted to pay).  Since they were unique & I hadn't seen them before in my own hunt I bought them.  I am also on the hunt for train cases because they can carry & store a load of things.  The first one I bought (the orange one below) was around $5.  The pink one was $9 while we were in Michigan.  I'd seen other unique colored ones for upwards of $15 and if you check out etsy you'll be guaranteed to pay a lot for a cool color.  (I am still on the hunt for a white one!)  Since I got a bright orange one for so cheap I wasn't too willing to go much higher on another one, so $9 was around the right price + the $9 one had a tray, something I'd been looking for in another case.  I'd also found a smaller overnight suitcase for around $3.  Unless this suitcase is crazy unique, I am not willing to pay too much more than I've paid before.

Quality Evaluation // Evaluate the smell, the condition, etc & compare it to the price.  So the set of sheets is lovely but the flat sheet has a horrible stain: probably a no go.  Are you using it as sheets or for fabric: maybe a go.  Make sure the price reflects the condition.  I usually use sheets for sheets although there has been the occasional curtain made, so I evaluate sheets on their intended purpose.  As for those suitcases above, the outer one is a bit more sun damaged & is missing a zipper pull, the inside suitcases were in good condition & honestly I'd probably use those more for weekend trips (see the next tip) so I thought the over all quality was good for the price (though I've never encountered a set before so I don't really know what a good price is..)

Will it be used? // Sometimes it would be cool just to have a whole bunch of things that are awesome!  Unfortunately usually we don't have room for all of these things.  When checking out those suitcases above, I evaluated the quality & then thought will I use these? Since I do like to go on little weekend trips to visit friends or family, the smaller better quality inside cases would get more use.  The same with train cases: I will probably use the one with the tray more & it doubles as a display piece.  The orange one can be used for decorative storage in a craft room I hope to eventually have!

After going through all of these questions, I then decide if it's the right piece for me.  I've learned that thrifting starts out as a past time but if you get serious about it you may end up under a pile of stuff.  Once you've refined your taste make sure you scrutinize & are picking up the best quality stuff for your collections.

These tips also go for things you are looking for.  Need a side table that you don't want to pay a gillion dollars for?  Keep an eye out on your thrifting adventures & evaluate it with the tips above.

check out more thrift tips here & don't forget about the newsletter!

What do you collect? How do you make sure you arrive home with quality pieces?


A Few of my Favorite Things

While leaving my apartment complex the other day with my car windows down,  I heard a car drive by slowly.  One of my favorite sounds is the sound of car tires driving about 30-40 mph on asphalt.  Just one car.  Not like traffic, just when one car goes by.

So here is a list of my favorite things:

The sound of car tires on asphalt // Senior year I lived in campus apartments overlooking Main St.  It was a small town with a tiny Main st but when spring came & I had the windows open my favorite sound in the was car tires on the asphalt in the middle of the night.  My favorite time to hear this sound? Right after the rain.  I dunno what it is but I love the sound of car tires on wet asphalt.  It makes me smile.

The sound of Zach's laugh // I've mentioned before that Zach is a serious dude.  He rarely laughs out of pure happiness & when he does it's amazing.  It's like something I've never heard before.  And here's a secret: he's been laughing more & more.  He's becoming a happy dude!

The smell of dog's skin after they've been laying in the sun // This is a weird one!  But when Cody or, my parent's dog, Rudy come in from out side its like heaven to smell their warm bodies.  They are all warm & cozy & playful....love it.

The smell of Honeysuckles // When you're driving in the summer with the windows down & that sweet scent catches your nose, just wonderful.  My elementary school was surrounded by a fence that had them all over the place.  When we were out for recess I'd just sit there surrounded by the fragrance.  I find that none of the Honeysuckle perfumes have the right scent for me but I'd love to find one.

Sleeping in late // It's just wonderful isn't it? You wake up to the sun peaking through your curtains.  Some how it's found you even though you have your head buried under your pillows, I dont' know how the sun does that...

Snoozing my alarm // This used to be a big past time for me.  I'd set an alarm on a day I didn't have to get up early, just so I could snooze forever.  I am also super picky about my alarm noises.  If it's not just right I'll get grumpy!

This week is going to be a hectic one, we've got to move Zach's house into a storage pod by Thursday, then he's gone.  Hopefully (and hopefully soon!) I can join him where ever he finds a job.  It's going to be hard for a while, but we gotta get through it!

What are your favorite things?


On Branding....

Since I've been on sort of a cohesive kick, I thought I'd share a little post on branding.  I am loving the way Five Sixteenths is coming together, honestly.  Everything seems to be very cohesive & looks oh so perfect.  But what do I do when I want to change it up a bit but have a look I'm going for? A lot of bloggers are able to keep their look fresh with out sacrificing a brand design they've already settled on.  It takes a lot to get your look together & I am not even sure if Five Sixteenths has a great look...but I like where it's going.

Hopefully I'll be able to figure out something along the same lines when I feel that my blog design is starting to get old.

I've been working on coming up with a few branding designs for the shop as well.  I know it's super hard getting started with blogging & a cohesive look so I hope that I offer some unique designs at an affordable price.  I started of by making a matching business card to the Wine & Dine food blog theme:

I am excited to start to offer complete design packages.  Pick a blog theme, custom button, custom color palette, & business card and you have branded your whole blog.  Eventually Five Sixteenths shop will have etsy designs as well.  I am not sure why I haven't gotten to them honestly!

I can't believe the amazing stuff I've been learning lately.  In fact, keep a look out for some free designs coming up on the blog.  I may even have a whole page dedicated to freebies!

I bring this whole branding thing up because I am thinking about adding more navigation bars to the top of my page.  I've got a lot of things I talk about out & I want to make sure that if you're interested in something you can find it!  I went away from a 3 column template because it was a bit cluttered so I don't want to have too many navigation links at the top.  It's also a bit hard to read.  Maybe I'll go through with a different one of my blog fonts, of course to keep it all cohesive!

Today I've spent working on free things for you, composing the newsletter, scheduling posts, & watching Stargate.  We've also been putting off packing up Zach's house since this is his last week.  I am so sad! Hopefully his job opportunities pan out & we can move onto another part in our lives.

No Make it Monday today, just my thoughts on branding.  Happy Monday!


Sum Up Sunday // First Sunburn of the Season

Today I had a wonderful surprise morning chat with Megan of Freckled Italian.  It's always great to talk to her because she is awesome! I think I need to make a trip to hang out with her soon, like for real.

On Saturday, Zach & I headed out to check out a TV he found on craigslist that he thought he could fix.  Unfortunately he couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, so we didn't buy it.  I've been thinking about reading the book that Kristin of Tales from the Nook has been reading about finances.  She tweeted the other day about selling things in their basement on craigslist.  While Zach & I don't have a basement full of junk, it got me thinking about Zach being able to fix TVs & computers & stuff.  If he can score something for a great price, fix it, & turn it around & sell it, that would be awesome! I think in this day & age everyone is looking for a little extra income.

Since that craigslist find was a bust, we decided to head to another antique mall & then to the beach.  I love living close to the water & couldn't imagine living too far from a body of water.

I also got my first sunburn of the season & finished my first Sonic Strawberry Limeaide.  I've been tempted to try the Ocean Water too.  I am actually surprised I haven't yet!

As for shop news, there are now some awesome pieces of pottery in there now.  A matching bowl set, some mismatched tumblers, etc.  I have a few mor things I need to add that will probably be up either by tonight or Monday.

As for other life things, I am thinking about doing a little blogging 101 ebook sort of thing.  I've loved doing the Boost your Blog series & want to share more, especially on how to get started.  It's a big leap & sometimes you just don't know what to do!  I want to share my experiences, what I've noticed, & the advice I've been given.  A basic step by step just to give you a little more reassurance.

Don't forget you can enter to win a scrapbooking software suite from MyMemories.com here.

Did you do anything cool this weekend?


Call For Sponsors

It is not that time of the month were I call for sponsors.  It's an awkward time but its a good time.

First let me tell you a bit about Five Sixteenths:

Five Sixteenths is an all around lifestyle blog focusing on art, fashion, inspiration, & blog development.  I try to blog about things I know & things I love.  Five Sixteenths is a place to share awesome ideas, submitted reader content, & a little bit about nail polish.

Some of my favorite columns to write on Five Sixteenths are Make it Monday, Boost your Blog, Style, & Fan Fridays.  You will find a ton of original content, a bit of inspiration, & an insight into the life of a post graduate gal.

Five Sixteenths has started sponsoring bigger & radder blogs in the hopes to drive more traffic to your site.  Check out the stats here on the sponsor page.

Learn more about Moe (that's me, the blogger) here & here.

Reserve your spot by shooting me an email here

Giveaway Time // My Memories Scrapbooking Software

While I was on our trip to Michigan, I was contacted by MyMemories.com about reviewing their scrapbooking software.  I've never been big on scrapbooking mainly because the papers & doo dads are too pretty to cut & use in such a permanent way! I did a bit of scrapbooking in middle school & that was the last time I'd played with it.

A digital option seemed like an awesome idea: I could use all the paper I wanted with out it running out, there was no permanent cutting & pasting, and I'd have a digital copy to email, make a video, or print.  Awesome right?  But then I thought 'Isn't digital scrapbooking for like moms who want to document their kids...I don't know about this...'  Boy was I wrong! The best part about a digital option is that you get choices! You can change, re design, & create your own layouts with a whole bunch of elements that match YOU!

Downloading the software means you get a lot of papers & elements initially.  But you can also purchase more sets or subscribe for $5.99 a month to their Design Club for access to sets.  I've been considering doing that since each set has an individual cost that varies.

Some of my fave parts + the basics:
I hate reading instructions! I try to figure things out on my own & this software is really easy for that.  Everything is pretty straight forward from adding photos to picking colors.  The left side bar holds the photos from the folder on your computer & the right side bar holds all the manipulations you can do.

You can create albums in standard sizes or your own custom size.  For my Michigan album I chose to create the standard square type of album.  As a separate free download you can turn your albums into movies to upload on to youtube! This would be great for wedding photos, travel photos, etc...even great for school projects, like an alternative to slideshows.
This is the color picker.  My fave options are the palette & the picker.  You can choose colors already existing in your album to create a cohesive look.  PIck from the background colors to colors in your photos.  Even from the decorative elements.  You can see in the top image here that my photos are in the left side bar.  The resource gallery also resides there.  It's almost a simpler version of a photo program.

It also took no time to create an album with my five pages.  If you have more it may take longer,  but I made a little video with more pages & it didn't take too long.

Choosing backgrounds was hard! I chose the vintage set that came with the software download because I loooooved the chevrons.  It also had an amazing layout that was sorta mod which was perfect for my Calder photos of La Grande Vitesse.  I put my album in a collage but you can see each page by page here

I also made a little video to share with my family.  So many ideas were running through my head about what this could be used for! Since the prospect of eventually moving to Michigan is looming, sharing our everyday life & our adventures with our families is going to be important.  This digital software is a great outlet! Imagine a video of family reunion pictures, wedding pictures, travel pictures, or even a year sum up video you can put on a DVD & send with your xmas cards.  Oh man, I'll have to save that one for this Christmas!

Now for the good part: you can win a copy of the My Memories Suite! Isn't that rad! I've also got another discount for you: check out their site & use the coupon code STMMMS31471 for $10 off the purchase of the software...but enter so you have a chance to win!  (if you do purchase, there is another $10 off coupon for the software store included!)

How to enter:
  1. Click read more below to enter through rafflecopter, then do the following
  2. Be a follower of Five Sixteenths through Google Friend connect over there in the side bar (mandatory)
  3. Head on over to MyMemories.com & tell me your favorite kit (mandatory) (did you know they have free kits? Super Awesome!)
Extra entries:
  1. Follow along on the My Memories blog through GFC
  2. Follow My Memories on Twitter
  3. Follow Five Sixteenths on Twitter
  4. Like My Memories on Facebook
  5. Subscribe to the Five Sixteenths Newsletter
  6. Tweet about the giveaway

Now do it! Click read more to enter through Rafflecopter


Currently // Zoo Visit + Outfit

On Monday between blog design & learning, Zach & I went to the zoo & saw The Hunger Games (finally!) Let me say this: I loooved the movie! I knew nothing about HG before I saw the promo for the movie.  I might actually read the books.......I should, right?!?! I need to!

Currently I am loving my faux purple geode necklace & this primitive design necklace, both from Icing, & this giant ring from they Honeybean.  I have been wearing these two necklaces like it's no body's business.  I think I wore them both all week last week & will probably wear then all this week!

|| Details ||
Shirt // Sears
this & this are similar but its like a combo between the two
Belt, Necklaces, Braclets // Icing & Claire's
Skirt // JC Penny
Sunnies // Jessica Simpson @ TJ Maxx
Shoes // no idea, forever ago!

The zoo has to be one of my top fave places to go.  Going with a date was much more fun.  I love seeing the animals & I feel like I learn something more every time I go.  Since the zoo is in my home town, I've gone nearly every year.  We'd go for field trips, summer outings, & just to have fun.  My fave part of the zoo (of any zoo) are the reptiles, amphibians, & nocturnal animals.  Here are some pictures of our day:

We headed then to the mall to walk around & get smoothies then had a crazy idea to finally see the Hunger Games.  I had no idea how AWESOME it was going to be.  It was so intense! There were times that I was grasping Zach's hand so tight, & boy did I cry when Rue died.  When Katniss volunteered, so much emotion.  When they got all dolled up in the capitol, crazy! When they went running from their pedestals, what a slaughter! That was a terrifying part! But my god was that chick an awesome actress.  I want to see the movie again!! I also feel like there was so great underlying imagery going on.  Pretty awesome I'd say.  

It's been great having these Mondays off with Zach.  Keep your fingers crossed we hear back from some jobs though!!