Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

How to make an earth day banner

Earth Day is this Tuesday, April 22 and I really wanted to celebrate. I mean, this Earth place we live on is pretty amazing, don't you think? Head over to the Cricut blog to see how I made this beautiful banner with my kidlets.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIY Vertical Herb Garden

Fresh herbs. Yum. There's nothing better than fresh, home-grown basil in pasta or fresh cilantro in a batch of homemade salsa.

Maybe it's my body's desperate attempt to change the weather, but when that hint of Spring air blows through, all I want is to have fresh vegetables garnished with herbs for every meal. There are only so many times I can sprinkle dried basil in canned tomato soup before I NEED tomato, basil and mozzarella on a toasted ciabatta bun.

This year I decided I wanted to have as many fresh herbs at my fingertips as it was humanly possible. But because of my indecisive nature, I was unsure of how to incorporate a practical solution in a semi-permanent way.

That is, until I spotted this gorgeous window display by Anthropologie featuring a vertical garden. I knew I could translate the idea into my ideal DIY herb garden.

Vertical garden window display

Of course, I didn't want to hang my garden right on the side of my house - that's way too permanent for me - so I used the deck railing as my canvas instead.

Vertical herb garden for a backyard

I was able to achieve a similar effect in a cost-effective and semi-permanent manner.

DIY herb garden with rosemary

Materials Needed to Build a DIY herb garden: 6 ft fence posts, Saw, Hand sander, Drill, 3/8" drill bit, Screwdriver, 3/4" screws, Paint - I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint, Flower pots, Zip ties, Herbs and flowers

Step One: Buy fence posts from your local hardware store (about $1.64 each) and cut to size. My deck's railing measures 30 inches high so I cut my fence post into two 30-inch pieces. I bought six total fence posts which made 12 different canvases.

Hand sanding fence posts for a DIY outdoor herb garden

Step Two: Sand the heck out of the fence posts. They aren't pretty folks and need a major sanding. I sanded them with my hand sander using a coarse grit paper and then finished off with hand sanding with a light grit paper.

Step Three: Paint your boards or seal them in some way. I chose to use Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint without a wax sealant because I wanted my boards to look a little rustic. And over time, they will wear beautifully. I love Americana Decor paint's vibrant colors. All it took was one light coat to fully cover my fence posts.

Use chalk paint to refinish old wood

The new Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is now available at Home Depot and Michaels stores. It is also available for purchase online at

If you want your project to withstand the ages, use a soft-touch varnish or clear wax.

Step Four: Drill two holes in your pots, one at the top and one in the middle. Use a 3/8" drill bit to make a big enough hole for your 3/4" screws. Because I used this lacy pot from IKEA, I didn't have to drill a hole in the top.

Step Five: Screw the planter pot right onto the fence post. Start the screws with a screwdriver and then finish them off with a drill.

Step Six: Use gravity to your advantage and set the bottom of the fence post on a solid surface. Use zip ties to attach the fence posts to it's new home. You could use an actual fence, a trellis or a deck railing like I did. Just as long as it has something vertical to hang on. Trim excess zip tie material.

Step Seven: Plant flowers and herbs in your pots. I put a handful of rocks on the bottom of the planters to aid in drainage.

In every other pot I placed flowers to break up the herbs. The plants were the most expensive part of my outdoor herb garden. You could save money by starting seeds in your home before transplanting them outside.

plant English daisies in an herb garden

English daisies, pansies and pink ranunculuses make me so happy. The pops of pink really add to the fresh, outdoor ambiance.

DIY vertical herb garden

I can't wait to sit on my deck this summer, enjoy my view and smell the delicious scent of fresh herbs growing steps away from my kitchen. Come on over one night and I'll make you some yummy salsa :)

For more information on the Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint I used in this post, visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website

*I was sent sample products for a DecoArt campaign, all opinions and awesome project ideas are my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

William's Room - A Good Start

I've always struggled with decorating my baby boy's room. Remember my first confession and mood board when I found out I was having a boy?

I was totally freaked out by all things boy.

I pulled it together and (on a tight budget) had his room ready and waiting for him in our old house. I talk about it here.

Flash forward, two years later.

We have a new house, my tastes have somewhat changed from my original mood board and I work full-time. I know, #firstworldproblems.

I still favor the color palette though and wanted to keep some of the things I had already made for the room, like the paper mobile. So I ran with it and while I'm still working on William's room, I thought I'd share a quick sneak peek this morning.

Here's a picture of the room the day we moved in:

And here it is as of this weekend:

Simple and clean.

We painted the room the same shade of gray as the rest of the house. It is amazing how a new wall color can totally change the mood of a room.

Things to do:
Fancy up the pull-down shade
Transition to a toddler bed
Shelving for toys
More art
New base boards and casing

I still have a ways to go, but I'm so happy with how bright and cheery the room is turning out.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dollhouse Remodel with Scrapbook Paper

This project post is a part of a paid marketing campaign with Snap. Although this post is sponsored, the project idea and all opinions expressed are my own. 

A few weeks ago, I did a major happy dance when I went to my mailbox and found a package of goodies from Amy Tangerine

Bundles include: a basic kit, an embroidery kit, an embellishment kit and a stamping kit.
The Amy Tangerine Plus One paper craft collection sold out online and in stores the last time it was available, but fortunately, it is now for sale on HSN in bundles for just under $20 each. And right now, there is a free shipping code at!

Amy's new line of craft supplies and papers are trendy, with fun patterns and unlimited possibilities.  
The sold out Plus One Project Life Mini Kit will also be available at a discounted rate.

 When I opened up the large paper pack, I immediately knew what I wanted to use it for. You see, on a recent stop at DI, I found a little dollhouse for $5. 

Now, as these stories usually start, the dollhouse was very sad looking. It was ugly, for one, had scribbles all over it and the roof was taped together.

But I saw past all that. All I saw was how happy my little girl would be when I gave her a shiny new doll house.

 First things first, I washed it down with hot, soapy water.

When it was dry, I filled in the unfinished wood edges with white, 3M paintable wood filler. After the filler had dried, I sanded the edges down until they were smooth.

I removed the back panel and the roof (which didn’t fit very well anyway). I kept the back piece, but tossed the roof.

When the house was roofless, I painted it with Krylon Dual in white. 

This is where the Amy Tangerine scrapbook paper came into play. While the paint was drying, I measured the floors and the walls of each level and cut coordinating paper to size.

Mod podge people, it is your best friend. I coated the floors and walls with mod podge and adhered the paper to it. When they were dry, I applied a sealing coat on top.

For the roof, I used an unused book spine with a window that would mimic a skylight. I nailed one side of the book to the roof supports, but left the other side unattached so Emi can open up the roof.

 The attic floor is cork. with decorative wash tape.

The sides and back of the house, I covered in woodgrain scrapbook paper.

The second floor is another sheet of Amy Tangerine paper.

The bottom floor is a small piece of carpet remnant from our home remodel. 

I had Emiline draw a few pictures and made them into little art pieces to hang on the walls. 

She loves the finished dollhouse and that happy face I know and love made those $5 and a few hours of time totally worth it. 

Now for accessories! Anyone have good ideas for small pieces of furniture I should figure out how to make?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Emi's Big Girl Room

I officially signed my little girl up for kindergarten last week. It felt so surreal walking into the elementary school and thinking that my oldest would soon be a student there.

Am I old enough to have a kindergartener?

Her birthday is in a few months and will turn a whopping FIVE years old. And her room in our new house is definitely feeling geared to a five-year-old. I'm in love with it. Of course there are still some details I still need to add (cough, a headboard!) but E is happy with it, and that is all that matters.

Want to take a peak?

Every night before bed, E tells me in her "thankful prayers" how much she loves her flowers. 

If you'll recall, the first time I showed you this room, it looked like this:

We painted the walls Silver Lining by Kwal Paint, and added some kid-sized furniture and a giant bed. The bed is E's fave. Oh, and Hello Kitty.

I found this awesome-sauce drawer at a local antique mall and added it to Emi's room as a tiny shelf. She fills it with as many small objects as she can find. 

Her favorites are the Oliblocks and tiny, brass Nate Berkus elephants...and let's be honest, those are my favorites, too.

You can't see the quote in the frame on the nightstand, but it is one of my favorites:

"I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls."
-Audrey Hepburn

My handy husband hung the IKEA Dignitet curtain wire so E could hang her favorite drawings and special school projects.

It is a space that is loved and is (very) lived in. 
Which, in my humble opinion, is what a little kid's room is supposed to be. 

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