Etched Beer Glasses | #lisagracemade


My goal was to hand make every Christmas gift I gave for Christmas 2013. It was crazy. I usually hand make a few gifts, but I have a lot of family and making all of the gifts was a little over ambitious, I will admit.

I wanted to make gifts that everyone would enjoy and appreciate, but I also knew I needed to keep it simple. As in, not make custom gifts for everyone. So for all the boys on my side of the family, I made these etched beer glasses. These were so easy and fun, directions are below.

Just for fun I cut out a small “beer bottle” shape out of cardboard and stuck in a little cash for “beer money.” Had I been in Iowa, I would have bought beer to go along with the gift-but I don’t think shipping beer across the country would have been successful.



  • Beer Glasses (I found these on Amazon)
  • Contact Paper
  • Xacto Knife (I used a janky box cutter, can’t say I’d recommend)
  • Self healing cutting mat or something to protect your table top
  • Circular objects for tracing the circle
  • Etching Cream
  • Printer (with paper and ink, because I may or may not have bought some just so I could print out letters for this project)


  1. Find a font you like and print out letters in a couple different sizes.  Choose which size works best for the glass you’re working with.
  2. Lay contact paper over printed letters and carefully cut out letter.  You’ll be sticking the actual letter on the glass, so be sure not to cut through the letter itself.
  3. Cut a square or rectangle of contact paper (this doesn’t have to be exact), then carefully trace a circle and cut it out.  So you’ll have a square with a hole in it, does that make sense?
  4. Peel off the back of the contact paper and stick on the glass.  I put the circle cut out on first and then lined up the letter inside.
  5. Spread a thick, even coat of etching cream inside the circle, being careful not to move the contact paper – be gentle!
  6. Leave cream on for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water until all the cream is washed off.  This was a little weird at first, but just trust the running water.  The cream starts to “peel” off (for lack of a better word) after a little while.
  7. Peel off the contact paper and you’re finished!  I used my circle shape for several glasses, but after a few the stickiness started to wear off.

Happy crafting!

Christmas Letter 2013


Now that all the physical copies of this letter have gone out, I wanted to make sure I posted our Christmas letter on the blog.  Last years was really darn good if I do say so myself, so this year I had to lower everyone’s expectations a little.  It was a little more normal, but hopefully still a pleasure to read – which is always my goal. Enjoy!

It seems my stroke of inspiration for writing our annual Christmas letter comes later and later each year.  I may have had my address list updated in mid-November, but this Christmas letter will most likely get to you after Christmas this year.  I apologize for the tardiness, but you’re very welcome for the treasure that is this letter.  I have to say I’ve been a bit distracted this season as I’m attempting to hand make all of our Christmas gifts this year.  Don’t worry, I probably only have a mild case of carpal tunnel from all the feverish knitting I’ve been doing.

I’ll start this Christmas Letter off with an announcement: we became adults this year.

[Blog Add-In: how many readers were hoping the announcement was that I was pregnant?  (I’m not)  I know at least one…] 

We really made quite the adult move across the country for new job opportunities.  I mean, who moves for “job opportunities?!”  Adults, that’s who.  We’re just two adults living in the Greater Seattle Area now (and by greater, I mean GREATER…we’re about 22 miles south of the city, which basically means 40 minutes away with traffic).  Speaking of traffic, goodness gracious, TRAFFIC!  Who deals with traffic on a daily basis?!  Bryan and I both have an actual commute to work.  Every day.  I didn’t believe in commuting until I became an adult.

That’s right friends, we’re officially in our mid-twenties and the crankiness and gray hairs are upon us.  We live for routine and week nights and dessert binges.  I’m not lying to you (because adults don’t lie) when I confess that I listen to NPR on my commute now.  And I’m also not lying to you when I tell you that Bryan joined a gym.  That’s correct; we actually pay real dollars so that Bryan can stay fit.  Who says “stay fit?!”  Adults, that’s who.

Have you noticed the double spacing between sentences yet?  Yeah, I just learned that is a thing.  Adulthood, I tell you.

Bryan has a great start to his career here in the Seattle area; he’s able to service clients while working to build his own book of business.  Did you understand any of that?!  Was it too adult-y for you?  Yeah, I know – but seriously, it’s all real!  Bryan has a career!  And “building a book of business” is a real phrase!!!  I’m not even pulling your leg.  Get this, I am not allowed to wear jeans to work.  That’s how fancy my job is.  I’m now the proud owner of clothing items such as, “work dresses,” “hosiery” and “designer slacks.”  Who even says “slacks?!”  You guessed it – Adults.

Our TV is mounted to our wall, we now own a Keurig, we shop at Costco, and we wear white shirts.  Yep, it’s a pretty sure thing that we’re adults.

All in all, this year has been a happy, crazy year for us.  It has been a year full of adult decisions and plans.  It’s been a year of settling into a brand new place and making new friends and finding our way.  It’s been a fun adventure!  God has richly blessed me and Bryan and we continue to walk in His grace.  May you take time this season to reflect on the awesomeness that is Jesus coming to earth – He came for you and for me to wipe our sins away!  You don’t have to be an adult to understand that, or to get ridiculously excited about it.   Enjoy the season!   We are so blessed to have you in our lives, our friends and family near and far.

The Merriest of Christmases to you,


Bryan & Lisagrace

New Year



I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions this year.

I’m really good with that.

I’m really good right here, and I’m really good with the idea of moving forward, pushing myself, being better.

I love the fresh start of the New Year – starting over, clean slate, new budget sheets, new calendars.  It’s always kind of nice to push the last year behind you, shut it doors, and open the new year.  The New Year naturally causes me to reflect on the old one.  I spend a lot of time meditating on the things I’ve slowly and painstakingly learned in the last year.  These are the things that I usually don’t know I’m learning until after the fact.

The most profound thing I learned in 2013 was about time.  I really learned that I only have so much time to accomplish things I love, or things I want or things I need.  It’s kind of like when you always have more money than you need, you don’t fully understand budgeting.  You can pay your bills, buy whatever you need and then some.  That’s how my life has aligned with Time until this last year.  I just…always had enough.

But something changed this year, and I could no longer accomplish everything I wanted and I really felt it.  I wanted to blog more, but I read a lot more instead.  I wanted to cook more, but I crafted more instead.  I wanted to make new friends, but I FaceTimed with old ones instead.  I wanted to spend more time with people, but I worked, slept, crafted more instead.

2013 was the first year in my 25 years that I felt the give and take of time.  I started noticing that I wasn’t getting certain things done because I was actually doing other things – rather than just laziness.

This is a hard lesson to learn, because I don’t know what to do about it.  What can I do?  I’m in a place where no matter what, I have to give up something.  And I don’t want to give up anything. And I want to do more.  It’s interesting, I’ll tell you.

And some how this lesson has led me to having no resolutions for the new year.  I think I’m feeling a little capped out.  But I’m also feeling like resolving a whole year is just not practical for me right now.  I think instead I’ll resolve each day. To make the most of my time, doing things that I love, want and need to do.

God has contented my heart – I’m really content right now.  I’m really good with being right here, right now.  I think I’ll just stick with that.


[photo credit]

the secret of nesting



We are expecting our first visitor this week! I could not be more excited!!!!!!!!!!!! This morning, I woke up like it was the eve of Christmas Eve, when really it’s just two days before September 19th, when one of my dearest friends is coming to me!

Kaylee’s imminent and exciting arrival has sent me into a nesting flurry. If you’re friends with me on facebook, you may have noticed our extremely productive labor day weekend. Our little tiny home is coming together and I’m loving every little piece of the process and our home. (I know, I know, I really promise to post pictures soon!)

This has been my favorite little home of ours so far. We started from scratch after four years of collecting house stuff. Our new apartment here was an empty canvas of sorts, and having absolutely no furniture or decor or anything allowed us to slowly take our time deciding what we valued, what our aesthetic was, and what items/decor were both beautiful and functional to us.

I’m not great at decorating nor do I claim to have an eye for interior design. But I’ve read recently on several different design blogs something to the effect of, “Don’t worry about an item “matching” the rest of your decor, if it’s beautiful to you, it will go with your aesthetic.” Wow, am I right?! That mantra really gave me a lot of freedom and took away a lot of my usual stress about decorating. This idea completely defines how I created each and every space in our home. Some things in our home are beautiful to me because I handmade them, some are beautiful to me because they were $50 instead of $500 and some are beautiful to me because they just are.

The other major factor that defines the decor in our home was that I took my time. I’m notorious for rushing to make important decisions simply because I don’t like making them. But with this home, we didn’t have a couch for a month, or a kitchen table. The piece of plywood that has been sitting in our living room for two months? I just decided what to make of it. And I’ve been so okay with that, because the reality is, in the past two months, I’ve changed my mind three times about that particular art project, and I’m so excited about what I’ve finally decided to do.

I have some friends that are really wonderful at nesting and I’ve always been jealous of them. But I think I’m figuring out their secrets! Knowing myself, and knowing what’s beautiful to me has been the secret of making my apartment into my home. Can’t wait to show you pictures!

things i learned on the whole30…i mean whole20


Yeah, I know, you totally called it.  We only lasted 20 days.  The thing is, we wanted to enjoy pizza with our co-workers and support our new church building at a spaghetti fundraiser dinner, so it was a choice to give it up early.  But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an awesome, insane, and educational experience.  Here are some life-changing things I learned.

When you throw your grocery budget out the window, and have extremely limited options for ingredients, cooking isn’t actually that bad.  More and more as I grow up, I am learning that I cooking.  It’s in the same line as cleaning for me.  Necessary, but how necessary is it?  I can live in my own filth just about as long as I can survive on cheap fast food and pizza-it’s quite an impressive threshold.  But I actually enjoyed cooking on the Whole30, because I didn’t have to think about following recipes or even meal planning.  I didn’t really have to think about grocery shopping either because there were so few things I could actually buy, that I just bought everything we could eat.  We completely killed our grocery budget (we seriously spent almost twice as much as we normally do, sick!) but that was okay, too, because we planned on that.  So I would shop and buy whatever I knew we could eat, without worrying about money and then every evening I would look in my fridge and cupboards and make whatever I came up with.  I like cooking that way, and in some ways, I’ve adopted that into my daily routine.  Buy things that sound good and are natural and healthy and then make something up.

Food has a lot of crap in it.  We’re blessed to not have food allergies/intolerance so I’ve never really cared what was in the things I was buying.   But the Whole30 definitely opened my eyes to all the weird ingredients that companies put in food.  I’m learning to read the label and trying not to buy things that have ingredients I can’t pronounce.

Dairy makes me smelly.  It just does.  So I’ve sadly stopped drinking milk regularly and cook with a lot less cheese.  It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.  I’m not super strict about it, and I will not give up milk with cookies or a splash in my cereal.  But the new moderation definitely helps my gassy-ness.

Overall, we’ve changed.  The other day, I made a batch of cookies, and only made 8 cookies.  We could have eaten the whole batch ourselves, easily.  But I wrapped up the rest of the cookie dough and put in in the fridge for later.  WHAT?!  I barely even recognized myself.  Bryan was hilariously irritated when I told him he would be only be getting 4 cookies, but even he admitted that 4 was the perfect amount for one evening.

So, no, we didn’t make all 30 days.  And no, I don’t plan on eating paleo the rest of my life, by any means.  But my entire goal was to kick off a healthier lifestyle for us, and I would definitely say we succeeded in that regard.

Oh yeah, it’s also notable that Bryan lost at least 15 pounds in 20 days, and my muffin top was significantly reduced-so that was kind of fun too!



whole30 update


Terribly sorry, Bryan and Lisagrace are dead.  Cause of death is unknown, but it is suspected to be a lack of sugar.

J/k.  But seriously.  Okay, fine, it’s not that hard.  We’re halfway there!  Can you tell it’s an emotional roller coaster?

We’re still doing this thing.  All thirty days, even though Bryan conveniently thinks Whole20 sounds so much better from a marketing standpoint.

We’re at the point in which we’ve realized this really isn’t that hard, and we’re excited to be eating better foods.  So, now that we’ve learned these things, can we please have ice cream?  But, just yesterday I realized something – if we gave up on this thing early, it would be to succumb to a random craving.  And we’d eat like a gallon of ice cream and a stuffed crust pizza in one night.  BUT if we end it on our terms (at the end of the 30 days as planned), the likelihood of us going on an all out binge is far less likely.  It’s self-control against the cravings and I’m determined to beat the cravings.

On the up side, I’m actually craving things like strawberries.  So I’m pretty much a full-on health nut.

In even more good news, I realized I’m totally checking #17 off my 30 before 30 list by doing this.  Score!

I’m so thankful that we randomly decided to do this in the summer, when the Farmer’s Markets are bursting with life and fruits and veggies.  SO thankful!

Here are some things that have been super awesome on the Whole30:

 TJ Spice Mixes
[photo credit]

Trader Joe’s Spice Mixes

[photo credit]

Misto = spray-able olive oil, can’t go wrong!

[photo credit]

Stoneware, it makes everything taste delicious and keeps me from cooking over a stove 3 times a day

we live in seattle now, so we’re obviously turning into pretentious punks


A mere five months after moving to the pacific northwest, famed for its people who where hiking shoes every where, for it’s world famous farmer’s market and for comedy sketches like this one, we’ve caved.  We’re officially crazy people, crazy people who have cut out all forms of sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and a bunch of other stuff out of their diet for the last 7 days, and  will continue to do so until the end of the day on August 30th.

I know, I know.  You can stop reading this blog, because we’re too pretentious to even stand anymore.  I completely understand.  For those of you who are still reading, let me explain.

We’re doing a program called the Whole30.  We’re basically allowed to eat healthy animals, healthy fats, like nuts and avocados, certain vegetables, and certain fruit.  Let me put it this way, everything we can east fits on a single 8.5×11 page.  Yeah, it sucks.

So why are we doing it?

Because we are pretentious punks who think we’re better than you.

And because…we needed to push the reset button.  For the past few years our health living habits have gone down the tube.  We probably took years off our lives with all the McDonald’s and Burger King we’ve consumed.  And the pizza…let’s be real, we’ve been consuming pizza related food items at least three times a week since 2009.

Now that Bryan has gained “the marriage 40” and I’m as gassy as ever, we decided we should and could give this crazy idea a chance.

So we’re going for it and we’re seven days in.  I’ve honestly been pretty impressed with us, we’ve shown extreme self-control compared to our usual selves.  Right now, I’m in the “It’s fun to eat these good foods!” phase but I’m also having “nightmares” about accidentally getting myself a smoothie [it doesn’t sound bad, but according to the stupid people who wrote this program, I’m not supposed to “drink my calories” plus smoothies almost always have either added sugar or added dairy or both].

We can feel our bodies purging the crap we’ve formally put into and that manifests itself in feverish feelings, fatigue, grumpiness and other obvious “purging” activities.  My acne has also cleared up quite a bit already, which I was pleasantly surprised to see.  We feel exhausted by the end of the day, but we’ve been sleeping harder and waking up feeling awesome.

I’ll check in next week and let you know how we’re doing.  21 days to go.

jam jar pin cushion [with magnetic bottom!]



I’ve always hated my weird tomato pin cushion…why don’t more people sell/make cuter versions of pin cushions?! And, WHY is there NOT a magnet in every pin cushion so that you can suck up all the pins that didn’t make it back to the cushion when you’re in a sewing frenzy (any one else find pins all over the place after a sewing project?).

So, I’ve had this idea stuck in my head for a while. Sometimes, it takes me a while (or a push like a fun contest) to put my ideas to reality. As a crafter, I often think of ideas that would make my world (in craftland) better/more pretty/more practical. This fits the bill on all counts.  And here’s how to do it!

You’ll need:

  • 4 oz. canning jar
  • Small piece of cute fabric
  • Stuffing (I used some extra needle felting I had from another project)
  • Magnet Sheet



Use the inside of the canning lid to trace a circle on magnetic sheet.


Cut out the circle in the magnetic sheet.


The magnetic sheet had adhesive on one side, but I used a little hot glue to secure it in place. Super glue would work too.




Grab a handful of fluff…


Do you best to squish it in ball on top of the center insert of the canning lid.


Then cover with your fabric.



With the fluff and fabric on top, push the canning insert up into the lid, this is a little tricky.




Trim off the excess fabric from the bottom of the lid. I used a small pair of scissors to cut off most of it.


And then I used an exacto knife to get the rest until it looked like this.



Just screw the lid on the jar, and you have yourself an adorable, practical pin cushion!

And it sucks up all your rogue pins, too!

Considering Daniel


This week, I’m considering the life of Daniel.  Daniel is one of my all time favorite people written about in the Bible.  I’ve been challenged by his example of someone who had influence in powerful circles and yet he held fast to truth and his trust in God.  He was utterly unashamed of his God.

I love my co-workers.  They are so enjoyable and fun to work with.  They are just great, I feel so privileged to live life with these people.

So, I’ve been praying that I could be a Daniel.  I don’t exactly have influence in powerful circles, but I am an employee and I have a heart for my co-workers (peers and bosses) to know and love Jesus.  And I have influence, in one way or another.  I’m praying that God would make me a “trusted advisor” in my job, like Daniel was, and that His name would be glorified in my workplace.

Who are you inspired by this week?

use-me[photo credit]


washington life


We just became members of Mars Hill Church Federal Way. Bryan plays bass, we’re involved in our community group, and I’m going to a Women’s Bible Study. I hope to find a place to serve this fall. Mars Hill is truth-teaching, community-oriented, gospel-focused, growing church, which is exactly what it should be and what our standards are for a church. But it will definitely take a while for it to feel like home. We’re here, we’re committed, we’re investing our time and energy. I trust that God will take of the rest.


I’ve been growing my hair out since I cut all but one inch off a year and half ago and it’s growing quickly. I also started wearing make-up daily which is totally new for me.


We live next to a 7-Eleven (it’s like a gas station without the gas) which makes our “neighborhood” immeasurably more shady. But Bryan can get up to 6 different slurpee flavors (and he got a free one yesterday on 7/11!) and Shaq Soda there so we’re pretty happy about that.

Our neighbors are insanely friendly. One Saturday, we were invited to our downstairs neighbors game night (super nice guy named Nate) and invited to drink until daylight with our next door neighbor, Calvin. Can you guess which neighbor we hung out with?

Oh, and also, three nights ago, neighbor Nate MADE US A CAKE.  Like, it was specifically for us and he waited for us to get home from community group to give it to us.  WHAT?!

And the awesome couple that sold us our table?  They keep bringing us awesome things like plates and glasses and tupperware and canned food.  We feel pretty fortunate to have such a great apartment in such a great neighborhood.