I love festivals – music fests, beer fests, wine fests, summer fests, cheese fests (yes those exist!), and the list goes on. Recently we went to the Virginia Highland Summer Fest, which is one of those art tent fests with live music, beer stands, food trucks, and different art vendors. I love these because nothing is better than live music and a cold beer in my hand…and being able to walk around and see some local talent.
We fell in love with this one stand that had rustic artwork and just had to buy something, so we settled on this sign that fits perfectly in our living room. It replaced the “drinking scotch with Bill Murray” sign, which helps with our transition from his bachelor pad to our loving home.
The couple that makes these under the name Rustic Stuff of the South, also make these amazing outdoor cooler stands, and I really hope we purchase one of these for our porch in the near future. How awesome do these look?
I went to the cutest little baby shower last weekend and absolutely loved the decor. Everything looked super glam, but actually ended up being super easy evening DIY crafts. There were mason jars spray painted in gold metallic paint filled with cute pink and white faux flowers. There were books wrapped in gold metallic wrapping paper.
But my absolute favorite pieces of the baby shower decor were the kids zoo animal toys spray painted in gold. I honestly thought these were fancy trinkets/items you would buy to put on your office bookshelf to make it look more sophisticated but once I picked up the elephant I realized what it was. I love this idea! I honestly might just buy an elephant toy off amazon, spray paint it, and add it to my bookshelf. DIY at its finest.
Happy Friday! As graduation parties start to wind down (hopefully), there’s more time to just relax and enjoy the summer. Here’s a quick and easy weekend DIY project – the hoop wreath.
Faux Flowers (optional)
Cute wording or sign (optional)
I wanted to decorate our front door with something more unique than just another wreath, so I decided to make a hoop wreath, using the biggest sized embroidery hoop that they had at our Jo-Ann’s. For some reason, Michael’s didn’t have any embroidery hoops, but they did have 50% off all greenery. To make things easier for myself, I got one long summery garland and one bouquet of faux summery flowers. I had also found a $3 chalkboard sign at Target.
How to make a hoop wreath:
This is super simple, just like making a normal wreath. Start with one end of the garland, and cut about 10 to 12 inches of the floral wire; the wire needs to be long since embroidery hoops are pretty thick. Wrap the wire around the garland + the hoop so that it stays in place. Continue working your way around the hoop, wrapping 10 to 12 inch pieces of wire around the garland and hoop every 3 to 4 inches. This is easy, mindless activity so you can do this while watching TV.
I decided to cover my hoop all the way, but I’ve seen some super cute hoop wreaths where they only cover the bottom or 2/3 of the hoop with greenery. Cut the garland wherever you want it to end on your wreath, and wrap one last 10 to 12 inch piece of wire around.
If desired, use the same wire wrapping technique with a few pieces of flowers to add a splash of color. I also added my Target sign and tied it to the top of my wreath before hanging it on the door.
Swimsuit season is here, but more importantly, it is finally hot outside, so for dinner in the Georgia heat, I like to trade in my chunky chili and hearty pasta for some light, chilled and refreshing meals. And so begins the start of my Summer Salad Series.
This cucumber salad has the perfect mix of crunchy cucumber and juicy tomato with chickpeas and goat cheese. I add in a splash of apple cider vinegar so that it keeps its taste and gets better overnight and into the next few days. We ate this as a side next to our hotdogs and hamburgers on Memorial Day.
1 MEDIUM CUCUMBER, THINLY SLICED
1/2 CUP CHOPPED TOMATOES
1/2 CUP THINLY SLICED RED ONIONS
1 CAN OVEN BAKED CHICKPEAS
1/4 CUP CHOPPED CILANTRO
1/4 CUP CRUMBLED MEDITERRANEAN FETA CHEESE
1/2 LIME, JUICED
1/4 CUP EVOO
2 TSBP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
PINCH OF RED PEPPER FLAKES
PINCH OF SALT, PEPPER, CAYENNE POWDER
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, and cilantro. Slowly add in the lime juice, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar and then sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, spices, and feta cheese. Toss again gently. Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
Wow, it’s been awhile. I work for a Big 4 accounting firm, which to most people doesn’t mean anything, but essentially I have a “busy season” where I work crazy hours at work and don’t have much free time for anything. My busy season this year went from February through May, and by the end of it, I didn’t have a second of me time, I never saw my boyfriend, I hadn’t worked out in weeks, and I just didn’t know who I was anymore. I desperately needed a break – or a vacation. Which is the opposite of the essence of my blog, so I couldn’t bring myself to write/I honestly didn’t have time.
So after some much needed R&R (Miami –> LA and weddings and food/wine festivals) and a new project where I leave work at 5:30 every day, I finally feel like myself again. I’m back, and I have a lot that I want to write about — new door decor, my finished office space, new mini garden, summer salad series, Rocks Box review, Lipsense, new workout clothes, etc. Thanks for sticking around during my silent period, but I’m excited for some fun. In the meantime, check out my travel blog for my recent post on my trip to Asheville.
I’m heading into my second busy season — working until midnight during the week and then working on Saturdays & Sundays too — so I spent the last weekend doing a few Spring-time crafts, including painting Easter eggs and making new outdoor decor for our patio.
DIY: Painted Easter Eggs
Step 1: Hard boil the eggs — Place eggs in an even layer in a pot, and then add water about an inch above the top of the eggs. Place pot over the stove on high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.
Step 2: Place paint tape on the eggs based on your design — Once cool, you can start to decorate the eggs. I decided to go with a two and three toned design.
Step 3: Paint your first color — I used two coats of paint each.
Step 4: Re-tape and then paint your next color — It’s super important to be patient in between colors. The paint on the eggs actually dries faster than you’d think, but you still want to be careful that it has dried all the way before peeling off the tape. Using the same piece of tape, re-tape it on top of the painted side so you can start to paint your next color. I always try taping a tiny section first to make sure that the paint is dry enough to not peel off with the tape. If you’re doing three different colors, go ahead and add on another strip of paint to create your third section.
Step 5: Repeat until all sections are painted. Once done, you may have to carefully retouch a few areas.
Tip: I used the normal, blue paint tape that you can get a any hardware store, but I cut my pieces of tape length-wise in half to make it easier to tape around the egg.
Easy outdoor decor:
Michaels was having a 60% off all spring flower, garden and greenhouse items sale this weekend, so I grabbed a flower basket and arranged a few flowers and the painted eggs for a temporary festive display. How cute is this basket from Michaels?!
I recently came across Elephant Pants (literally theelephantpants.com) while scrolling through Instagram, and I am obsessed. Not only are these pants lightweight, super comfortable, totally cute cool and fun, but they also go towards saving elephants. Their story and their mission is amazing, and since they started in 2014, The Elephant Pants has donated over $127K to a variety of organizations that are dedicated to saving elephants. Did you know that elephants are pregnant for nearly two years? Talk about girl power. Click here and get 10% off your first order!
Oh, and to make it even sweeter, but not to take anything away from the elephants, The Elephant Pants have also started the Amur collection, which features leopard print products and for each purchase, $1 goes to the African Wildlife Foundation’s Big Cat Saver programs.