Monday, May 28, 2012

Framed Wall Vase Tutorial + Bathroom Makeover

Although our new home is in excellent shape, the previous owners and I have slightly different ideas on decor. Blake and I don't want any major remodeling just a slightly different direction with the decor. I would compare the plans for our to getting a makeovers opposed to plastic surgery.

We're moving pretty slow, mainly because I have a hard time making up my mind about what I want to do in each room, but low and behold, we finally finished up our bathroom. 

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BEFORE
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AFTER
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BEFORE
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AFTER

What you can't see in the photos, but was probably the worst part of the old design was the wallpaper.  But this wasn't your average wallpaper; it was textured. The texture was similar to a corn husk. Here is a sample:


Creamy white is kind of a boring paint color, but because the existing tile is green (and there is quite a bit of it), I wanted to keep the top plain and simple. I was afraid that if I went with a color it might be too much.

Most of the decor came from storage. For example, on this shelf includes an old candle jar, two jars and an old vase covered with a tuna can.


Yes, I said a tuna can. I washed it out really well, covered the bottom with scrapbook paper and attached an old cabinet knob with super glue.


My favorite project of the makeover was the framed wall vase.

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I originally got the idea from Pinterest.



Here is how I made mine:

I purchase a frame, flowers and a glass milk jar, and I removed the hardware from the milk jar.


I remove the glass portion of the top and put the metal ring back on the milk jar.

Next, I arranged the flowers in the jar.

Following that, I hung the frame as well as the hook the vase would hang on.


I then took the metal ring from the top and hung it from the hook on the wall.


And just like that, I was done. I think it took less than 20 minutes.

Now that I'm done sharing, I'm off to the hardware store to get paint for our next project - a very plain bedroom! 
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Toddler Cooking Gift

When I got invited to my friend B's second birthday party, I went wandering around Amazon for some inspiration. I was so excited when a found a toddler cookbook for her. I paired the book with a simple wooden spoon and an apron (which I originally planned to share a tutorial for, but I messed up a couple of steps and had to kind of wing it). A measuring cup/bowl would be a great addition to this gift, I just ran out of time and wasn't able to pick one up.
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One of my earliest memories is helping my mom in the kitchen. It still is a relaxing, enjoyable thing for me to do, and the kitchen was a big priority for me when we were home shopping. I hope that this helps spread the joy of cooking to the next generation! You can learn more about the book on Amazon:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Old Sucks Birthday Gift

As many of my friends have turned 30 this year, I've come across the 30 Sucks gift ideas a lot, and I thought it would be perfect for a friend who's birthday party is this weekend.



The problem is that he isn't turning 30. I made a quick change from "30 Sucks" to "Getting Older Sucks," and we were good to go.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Ice Pop Recipe Book and Gift

My sister-in-law's birthday often falls on Memorial Day weekend, including this year. With the birthday landing of the kick off to summer, I felt a summery gift was appropriate. I bought some ice pop molds and put together a little popsicle recipe book.

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You can find a printable with all of the recipes below. To put the book together, trim out each recipe card. I also covered mine with contact paper (laminating them would work too). Next, punch a hole in the same position of each recipe card and drill a small hole in the middle of the popsicle stick about an inch from the top. Glue the popsicle stick to the back of the last recipe card, making sure to match the hole in the stick with the hole in the recipe card. Let it dry, and secure all of the cards together with a brad that goes through the hole in all cards and the stick.

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Place your recipe book with a set of ice pop molds, and you are all set with an easy, affordable and perfect-for-summer gift!

Ice Pop Recipe Book

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three Ways to Take Exercise Classes at Home for FREE

Did you know that May is National Fitness Month? I used to be pretty consistent with my exercise routine, then my final semester of graduate school started off a two-year string of excuses that ranged from planning my wedding and getting a new job to moving and shopping for a new house. I'm finally getting back into the exercise groove. After being out of the gym for so long, I was rather self conscious about returning, so I started out at home, and I thought I'd share three options that helped me benefit from exercise classes at home.

  1. Library
    Most local libraries have several exercise videos for you to check out.

  2. Hulu
    Hulu has tons of exercise videos, including everything from short toning videos to full cardio sessions. There are a few commercials thrown in, but I find that they are a nice chance to grab a drink of water. Here are a couple of examples:




  3. Apps
    Many companies offer free, or very affordable apps for your mobile device with exercise routines. A free options that I really like is Nike Training Club. There workouts pack a lot of punch into a small amount time and combine cardio and toning. They even work in a reward system! Here is an overview video:

Now, if I can get my eating habits into shape, I might start to actually lose some weight! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

80s Party Food and Decor

Want some great, easy ideas for an 80s party? Here they are! We had an end of the school year party for Blake with an 80s theme. Below is a rundown of simple decor and food options for an 80s party.

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Food

First up, lets talk about food. Turns out that the 80s is the decade we can blame for the advent of junk food! The 80s were all about TV dinners, candy, Mountain Dew, Doritos, etc. I didn't want my entire menu to consist of sugar, so I turned to Facebook. Thanks to some friends who were old enough to remember the hot items as potlucks and parties in the 80s, I came up with my menu.

Being the 80s were all about "creative" candy, I couldn't completely avoid it. I had Pop Rocks and Fun Dip.


Colored pasta was also a hit in the 80s, so I made a Greek pasta salad.


Also on my 80s menu was dirt cake and taco dip, which my informal Facebook research indicated made their rise to popularity in the 80s.



I also had some 80s classics when it came to beverages - wine coolers and of course, Mountain Dew.

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Decor

Alright, time to move on to decor. I wanted to keep it simple and cheap. I decided to purchase some 80s posters for an easy, cheap way to make a big impact in our party space.



I also splattered a black table cloth with bright colored paint and covered some cassette tapes with neon spray paint for decorations.

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My favorite decoration was the lighted cassette tape centerpieces I made. You can check out my tutorial in yesterday's post.


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

80s Lighted Cassette Tape Centerpiece

As promised, I'm sharing my tutorial for a great 80s centerpiece.


What you need
  • 8 cassette tapes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Frosted glass finish
  • Small holiday lights - I used 35 multi-colored LED lights that were battery operated that I found on Amazon.
How to do it
First, fast forward the tapes so the black ribbon isn't all on one side of the cassette. This was honestly the hardest part because let's face it, who has cassette players anymore? I eventually remembered Blake's old car has one!

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Next spray one side of the tapes with frosted glass finish.



Glue two of the tapes together - one tape on top of another. Do this until you have four panels.



Glue together the four panels to form a cube.



Place the lights inside and you're ready to go.

I usually do my crafting upstairs in my office, but this time around, I needed to use the utility room, which Blake uses for his "crafting." Needless to say, his area isn't quite as organized as mine.



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