Summer Fest Finds

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?

Rustic Stuff of the South
Photo courtesy of rusticstuffofthesouth.com

Super easy, super cute baby shower decor

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.

Door Decor – Hoop Wreath

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.

Items Needed:
Embroidery Hoop
Floral Garland/Greenery
Floral Wire
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.

Hope you love it!

Door Decor

& just like that, I’m back!

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.

xo,
Laura

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Easter egg painting

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.

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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:

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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?!

DIY: Upgrade Office Storage Boxes

I’m really trying to upgrade our office space in the guest room, as originally, it was super cluttered and unorganized. All of our office things were stuffed into mismatched bins and baskets, so I finally decided to buy a shelf and figure out a way to make it look more put together. Slowly but surely, we are starting to make progress, but I’m not going to post before and after pictures until it’s complete.

I didn’t want to go overboard and spend hundreds of dollars on organization. I almost spent over $100 just on storage boxes from the Container Store, but then I decided I could spent that money elsewhere and instead upgrade some cheat storage boxes from Ikea. These boxes are $3-$5 each, depending on the size vs. the $11-$19 boxes I almost bought (nothing against the Container Store, because I really really love that store, but I just wanted another DIY project). Then I bought some gold tape and gold circle stickers off of Amazon.

The gold tape linked above is Japanese washi masking tape, which is perfect to use for crafts because it doesn’t wrinkle or get easily stuck together like other tape, but it also sticks to the surface that you put it on. I decided to go with a Kate Spade theme with black and gold stripes and then white and gold polka dots.

Additionally, on the mint green boxes I used the gold brackets for the corners to give them a fancier, more regal look. So far, so good! Any other suggestions on office organization?

Office Boxes

Weekend project: Upscale Crates

This weekend, I upgraded a few storage crates. These were a few cheap wooden crates that you can get from Walmart or Michaels or Amazon for $10-15.  I just stained them a darker color and added some corner brackets. Now I use the crates as storage bins for our living room blankets and for my boyfriend’s soccer scarves.

Before:

original-crate

 During:

crate-stain

Staining wood is super easy. I always use this brand because it dries quickly and the color always ends up perfect. To stain the crates, I recommend using an old rag or an old white t-shirt. Mix the stain, dip the rag into the stain and slowly brush the wood stain onto the crate. For these, I used two coats because I wanted them to be pretty dark. A few words of advice: definitely do this outside, as the smell can be strong. Make sure to put down plenty of paper because it’s easy for the wood stain to drip. If possible, wear disposable gloves! Wood stain will stain your hands for a few days.

After:

Crate 1.jpg

I love the way these turned out! As an added bonus, I used some corner brackets that I found off on Amazon to give these crates a more vintage feel.

crate-corner

What do you think? Any other wood staining tips?