One of my favorite treats (especially on a cold day) is Molly Yeh's Dark Chocolate and Marzipan Scone Loaf. A friend of mine recommended using mini chocolate chips instead of chunks and I agree it is a good move. I hope you enjoy - happy baking (and eating)!
Nothing beats this Caitlin Wilson rug - she has my heart. But sometimes a $2,000 rug just isn't in the budget. The one on the right has a similar feel for just a fraction of the cost. Check out the links below if you are interested in adding one of these lucky guys to your home.
Find this beauty: Caitlin Wilson Rug
A budget friendly version: Knock-off Rug
When designing a space every element contributes to the bigger picture. Tiles are an opportunity to integrate pattern, character, color and movement. With so many options out there, it can sometimes get overwhelming. So to help, we've rounded up of some of our favorite tiles on the market. They have the versatility to be used on floors and walls and with the majority coming in under $10, you can't go wrong.
When I was younger my nana used to tell me how much the two of us were alike – that we both loved to entertain – and she was right. While some people can’t stand the idea of hosting a party, I love it. I love thinking about the details - the colors, sounds, smells and tastes and how they all work together to make something bigger than itself. It’s a personal process that I pour myself into, so while I may not be an Italian grandmother showing her love through platefuls of pasta, I hope my guests can feel the love through the details.
Unfortunately, as old homes shift and move, some pieces just don’t fit together as they should. And as the kids have gotten older, the desire to have bedroom and bathroom doors that shut and remain shut has moved higher to the top of the priority list. We now have new doors that fully shut but I was unable to bring myself to get rid of our original doors. So with 13 stripped doors in the basement, I told my husband that I was going to use them to build our tables for the night. I found amazing mid-century hairpin legs that would hold the weight of the door. With a quick drill to each corner, we now had two long and narrow tables. I left the original door plates on them, because why not - in my opinion, it is just more character.
We recently celebrated my daughter’s fifth birthday in an all out painting party. I have grown up surrounded by a family of talented artists and art has always been a passion of mine so when she told me she wanted an art party, I of course loved the idea.
Before I got started I took a quick peek at Pinterest to gain some inspiration. There are so many great ideas out there, but what I love best is taking those ideas and making them your own - even if it is just making a few little tweaks. My Pinterest search turned up plenty of painting parties, and while I can appreciate a good rainbow, nearly everything I saw was centered around those 6 magic colors. I knew immediately that I wanted to go in a different direction and my first step was to pick a color scheme. I hopped over to Paper Source and perused their goods...and there are so many. When I spotted their brushstrokes paper, I knew I had found just what I was looking for. I grabbed several rolls knowing it would play a key part in helping tie everything together.
With paper in hand, my first step was to work on the invitation. I designed something simple on my computer tying in pink and teal. I used the brushstrokes paper as a liner for the envelopes and hand wrote names in a simple font on the front.
Next, I pulled cupcake liners, straws, tissue paper pom poms, my nana’s pink tablecloth and a few other goodies to help create a cohesive look.
Once the back end of the details were set, it was time to focus on the events of the day. Instead of painting on canvases I knew right away that I wanted to do something that I loved as a child and paint ceramics. When I was a little girl, we had a small neighborhood place called the Snoop Shop. It was a childs dream - a messy room filled with hundreds of ceramic pieces begging to be painted, a table full of paints, old orange juice concentrate cans filled with water and men's dress shirts to be used as smocks. On top of that, Mimi the owner was like everyone's favorite grandma, ready to help you roll up your sleeves and paint! It’s not terribly easy to come across sizeable ceramic pieces for kids to paint without paying a fortune, so I did a little searching and came across some ceramic molds. The price was right and all it would require from me was a little time and and a 10 lb. tub of plaster of paris.
Knowing that kids finish things at different times, I also created a few smaller pieces and had some other small crafts that they could do on their own once they were done.
Lunch was simple: pizza, fruit and veggies with some lemonade. For dessert each child was served a cupcake on a palette filled with sprinkles that they could decorate in any style they chose. After lunch we played a few rounds of art bingo using boards I created to go with the theme until it was time to go.
Their take home favors were personalized smocks I created, using the same icon from the invitation. They used them during the party and they will hopefully get some good use out of them in the future. I also made painter’s palette sugar cookies that they could take home along with their painted piece. In the end, I think it was a total success. The kids had a great time and we managed to not spill too much paint!
Here are the dinosaur valentines I made. There is a small heart icon at the bottom of each card so you can sign your name. If you don't own a spool of baker's twine, you should definitely grab some. Red twine is my favorite because it can be used in so many ways and goes well with a ton of color schemes. I found a bag of the dinosaur erasers in the dollar bin. If you can't track down an eraser a small dinosaur figure would work as well. Have a great Valentine's Day!
As promised, here the valentines I created for my son's class.
On a quick shopping trip to grab some ink for my printer I spotted these lollipop erasers for 10 cents a pop in a clearance bin at Office Depot. At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but realized that the worst case scenario was that I would be out $1.80. With a bag of lollipops in tow, I made a quick card with four different trims on my computer and placed a small heart icon on the bottom of each card where my son could sign his name. After cutting out each card, I used a small hole puncher and baker's twine to fasten the card to the lollipop. Feel free to use the PDF attachment below for your personal use. If you don't stumble across the eraser version of a lollipop (although I am sure Amazon would have you covered), I think the edible version would be equally great. Happy Valentine's Day!
My husband and I have lived in our home for 3 years now. We knew when we bought it that this was never our “forever home”. We were on a 3-5 year plan. That being said, there of course were elements of it that I wanted to change to make it feel more like home - a better representation of our style. The first thing we did a few months after purchasing our home was paint the kitchen cabinets. (For a brief moment I thought that I would tackle that project on my own, but then I realized that our time would be better spent if we outsourced it. And I was right! We have A LOT of cabinets!) I’m fortunate because we have a very large kitchen which we spend most of our time in, and the cabinet refacing is just what was needed to instantly brighten the room. But - something was still not settling well with me. Just off the kitchen is our laundry room. Like many people, the laundry room is also our command center. It’s where I have bins to store our incoming mail and our family calendar so I can easily glance over as I’m cooking dinner to see what’s going on for the given day, week and month. But, interrupting the space was this (insert sarcasm) nice, long 40” metal electrical box (see photo below). Beautiful, right?
I searched high and low for some decorative, functional cork board, whiteboard or chalkboard that would cover this original piece of art, but I could never find anything that was long enough. So it was time to take matters into my own hands. What I envisioned was a chalkboard large enough to cover the majority of the exposed wall. On this chalkboard I would display our weekly meal plan along with shopping lists and an inspirational quote to start the week right. Yes, I use my iPhone to store lists and have apps specific to these exact things, but I’m also a very visual person and the idea of incorporating this into my “command center” where I can easily see it as I’m working in the kitchen was very exciting to me. And I mean - VERY exciting! So I took my measurements, did my research and headed out to Home Depot with my supply list in hand. Luckily they had all of the supplies in stock (you can check the inventory for your local store on the website before you head out) so I was ready to begin assembling as soon as I got home just after the one trip. As a side note, I will say that everyone I encounter at my Home Depot is very friendly and always willing to help out when needed! Admittedly, it can be an intimidating space when you’re shopping amongst contractors in all their gear, but don’t let it deter you - keep pushing on! You’ll be glad you did!
I started out with two chalkboards (24” x 48” each). I could have done two separate designs, but my vision was for one large piece (48” x 48”). In order to get the two boards to stay together I also picked up a piece of plywood that measured 24”x 48” (this was in the same section as the chalkboard). I simply put the two chalkboards face down on the floor, placed the plywood centered between the 2 and used wood glue to adhere the plywood to the chalkboards. I used a few heavy books to apply pressure and left this here for a few hours so that I could be sure it set.
As that was setting I moved over to the trim pieces. I had my guy at Home Depot cut my trim for me so I didn’t have to worry about doing this at home (this is a free service that they offer - be sure to utilize them!). The trim is beautiful but I wanted to add some color. I’m a huge fan of chalk paint as you’ll soon realize once I share more projects with you. For these pieces I used my Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint. Since the trim originally was white I did one layer of French Linen and then used 100 grit medium sand paper to softly sand the edges to bring out some of the white to leave an antique finish.
Once the trim was dry I flipped the chalkboards over and adhered the trim pieces with wood glue. I applied pressure to these with some additional weight (books, soup cans, whatever you have around the house). I actually let this set overnight. You may want to also use finishing nails to further secure the chalkboards to the trim. Once trim is set in place with the wood glue, flip entire piece over so the back side is facing up and hammer the finishing nails in through the back.
Lastly, attach two large sawtooth picture hangers. Before you do this you’ll want to measure the wall where you’ll be hanging this beautiful piece, specifically locating the studs in the wall. Nailing this into the studs will provide extra reinforcement. Mark the wall now so you remember where to go when you’re ready to hang. Once you do that, nail the sawtooth picture hangers onto the back of your board using the measurements from the studs (example: if your studs are 16” apart you’ll want to attach your picture hangers 16” apart. Make sense?). Make sure they are even so you won’t have an uneven board! TIP: the nails that were provided with the sawtooth hangers I purchased kept coming out of the board so we had to use a bigger nail to get it to stay. It worked perfectly!
This completes your beautiful, new, one-of-a-kind, custom chalkboard! You’re now ready to get this baby on the wall! Locate those stud markings, get out your drill and hang this precious piece of work!
Not that I want to remember how it looked, but here's a look at the "before". So happy I no longer have to stare at this!
A few side notes:
I hope you’re in love with yours as much as I am mine!
2 - 24” x 48” Chalkboards
1 - 24” x 48” Plywood
1 - Wood Glue
4 - Pieces of trim, 48”
2 - Sawtooth Picture Hangers
Paint or Stain if desired for trim
This piece came out to be less than $50.