Elevate Your Tablescape With These DIY Marble Dishes

Image Source: Lydi Out Loud

Image Source: Lydi Out Loud

Whether you’re serving up a three course meal or a buffet full of tasty appetizers, presentation is key at any event you’re throwing. Bringing some color into your tablescape isn’t difficult! You can incorporate pops of it through decor, fabric and florals, but that can get one-dimensional pretty fast. You want your tablescape to be as festive as the party you’re throwing, so mix it up with this simple but gorgeous DIY!

This affordable project first captured our attention on LydiOutLoud’s insta feed, but we’re seeing the paint pouring trend everywhere right now. Paint pouring, or “flow painting,” requires very little artistic experience or talent and only a few supplies, so it’s the perfect beginner DIY with a guaranteed flawless result. The marble look is so on trend at the moment, and so are bright pastel colors and rich, deep tones. Why not incorporate the two trends together with these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind marbleized plates?

Image Source: Mark Montano

Image Source: Mark Montano

Image Source: @pmqfortwo

Image Source: @pmqfortwo

The best part about this DIY is the low-end cost, but high-end results. You can go out and buy all new clear glass plates if you’re looking to make an entire set to store away at home (any Dollar Store is perfect for this), but you can also just thrift some old glass pieces, too! A vintage-turned-colorful marble charger would be the perfect staple to keep on your dining room table during the spring season. Go the classic black and white marble look for everyday decor, or you could even get super creative for a baby shower or gender reveal and paint pour some gorgeous pink and blue plates. We also love the look of adding in some metallic gold and white paint to your color scheme and complimenting the look with gold silverware - the end results are stunning!


ALL YOU NEED

Image Source: Maison Numen

Image Source: Maison Numen


HOW TO

  1.  Using a ratio of 1:1, mix each individual paint color with the Pouring Medium in their own separate cup.
  2. Layer each mixture in another cup, but don’t stir them together.
  3. Elevate the plates you’ll be decorating face down on a cup or stand so that any extra paint can drip off onto the surface below.
  4. If you want that extra pop of metallic paint, LydiOutLoud has an awesome suggestion: splatter some on before you pour your colors!
  5. Pour the cup of layered paint all over each dish as evenly as possible. Pick up the plate - and yes, this will get a little bit messy, so grab some gloves! - and tilt it so that the paint becomes more marbled and swirls together.
  6. Let the paint dry for 24 hours, then peel off any extra paint that got on the edges or serving side.
  7. Pour a layer of the Clear Pouring Top Coat evenly over the painted bottom for a high-quality and vibrant look. Dry this coat overnight, too!
  8. If you want to make sure your paint stays perfect over time, add two coats of Dishwasher Safe Decou-Page. This doesn’t make your new dishes dishwasher safe, but it does make sure that chipping is minimal, so it’s a great extra step to take!

DIY Easter Eggs Your Family Will Love

IMAGE SOURCE: BEST FRIENDS FOR FROSTING

IMAGE SOURCE: BEST FRIENDS FOR FROSTING

This Easter, skip the store-bought dye and kits and get creative with your Easter decorations! There are tons of unique ways to dye eggs beyond just the traditional kits most people use. Not only does it make a super entertaining activity to do with family or friends, but there are also adorable DIY designs that would be the perfect addition to any Easter tablescape!

* Note that most of these DIYs involve wooden eggs from the craft store, or real eggs that shouldn’t be eaten because of the materials used!


CONFETTI EGGS

For a festive approach, add some confetti to your Easter eggs. Whether you want to work with one single color palette or go for a vibrant, rainbow look, this technique is beyond easy and looks adorable on any Easter tablescape!

Supplies: eggs, food coloring, Mod Podge, foam brush, tissue paper, scissors

How To:

  1. Dye your eggs whatever color you want!
  2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on an egg with the foam brush.
  3. Cut tissue paper into small rectangles and pour it all into one bowl.
  4. Roll the egg around in the bowl. Smooth out the confetti pieces so they lay flat, and leave your eggs to dry!
IMAGE SOURCE: STUDIO DIY

IMAGE SOURCE: STUDIO DIY


MARBLED EGGS

The best part about this DIY is that this is one of the few that can actually be edible! The marbled look is also one of the more sophisticated egg-coloring DIYs out there, which makes it a great technique if you’re hosting Easter dinner this year.

Supplies: eggs, food coloring, Cool-Whip (or shaving cream if you don’t plan to eat the eggs!), toothpicks, baking sheet

How To:

  1. Coat the bottom of a baking sheet with no more than one inch of Cool-Whip or shaving cream.
  2. Randomly place different drops of food coloring throughout the Cool-Whip.
  3. Use a toothpick to swirl the colors together.
  4. Roll each egg through the Cool-Whip. Place the covered egg on a paper towel and let it dry for fifteen minutes or overnight if you want deeper colors.
  5. Take a paper towel to wipe off the excess Cool-Whip, and you’re done!
IMAGE SOURCE: MARTHA STEWART

IMAGE SOURCE: MARTHA STEWART


CHALKBOARD EGGS

One of the best parts about this technique is that it’s super easy to use again and change up next year - you don’t have to throw these ones away with changing decor. Just erase whatever you drew on them this season, store them away, and re-decorate next Easter.

Supplies: Paper Mache eggs from any craft store, chalkboard paint, chalk

How To:

  1. Paint the eggs with a layer of chalkboard paint.
  2. Decorate away with white or colored chalk!
IMAGE SOURCE: CYNTHIA SHAFFER

IMAGE SOURCE: CYNTHIA SHAFFER


WATERCOLOR EGGS

This is definitely one of the more advanced techniques on this list, but believe us, it pays off! Turn your egg-coloring experience into more of an art project with this super fun DIY.

Supplies: eggs, watercolor paint, paint brush, water

How To:

  1. Dip the egg you’re working on completely in water.
  2. Prop the egg up on a stand - you don’t want watercolor paint all over you, and it spreads really easily!
  3. Use the brush to concentrate a lot of paint in one area of the egg.
IMAGE SOURCE: ALYSSA AND CARLA

IMAGE SOURCE: ALYSSA AND CARLA


RUBBER CEMENT EGGS

This technique is similar to using wax or tape to create fun designs on the eggs. It’s kid friendly and nostalgic from your childhood!

Supplies: eggs, rubber cement, food coloring

How To:

  1. Randomly drizzle the rubber cement over each egg.
  2. Wait for the rubber cement to be fully dry!
  3. Color your eggs however you’d like.
  4. After the food coloring is completely dry, rub off all of the rubber cement with your hands, and you’ll be left with a gorgeous design!
IMAGE SOURCE: UNSOPHISTICOOK

IMAGE SOURCE: UNSOPHISTICOOK


If you’re looking to do something more kid-friendly but want to do something a little more exciting than the traditional egg-coloring route, try playing with unique designs. Cut up small strips of electrical tape for an adorable, springtime pinstriped look, do an adorable ombre, or add a pop of extra color by wrapping some thread around the egg!


Make Your Own Terrarium Party

Image Source: Brit & Co

Image Source: Brit & Co

We are SO ready for spring! With that being said, we love a good springtime DIY. Why not share the fun with your girls? Today, we’re going over how to throw a fun little “make your own terrarium” party! Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes and are really quite easy to maintain, no matter what skill level you have when it comes to plants, you can keep a terrarium going! To host a make your own terrarium party, you really only need a few things. These fun DIYs are easy to keep on the inexpensive side, while still looking great and giving each person a unique result.

Image Source: Home My Design

Image Source: Home My Design

Shopping List:

  • Various sized and shaped glass containers
  • Activated charcoal
  • Rocks or pebbles
  • Potting soil
  • Succulents

Image Source: Wit and Whistle

Image Source: Wit and Whistle

Instructions: (via Buzzfeed)

  1. Choose your container container.
  2. Cover the bottom with an inch-thick layer of pebbles or rocks to create a false drainage system for the plant roots.
  3. Add a thin layer of activated charcoal. This keeps the water fresh, and prevents mold and bacteria from building up.
  4. Add a layer of potting soil. (They also make a special mix if you choose to use cacti and succulents instead of moss and ferns.)
  5. Place plants in the terrarium, starting with the largest plant first.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful new decor!

Liven Up Your Home With These DIY Indoor Herb Gardens

IMAGE SOURCE: @JOANNAGAINES

IMAGE SOURCE: @JOANNAGAINES

If you love cooking like we do, you know the hardest part about cooking in the winter is a lack of fresh herbs. In the summer you can step onto your porch, or go to the garden, and pick all the fresh herbs you will need; however, in the winter herbs are harder to come by and the prices go up at the grocery store! To remedy this issue, we are going to show you ways in which you can bring an herb garden indoors, so get your green thumb and DIY skills ready! Click the photos for step-by-step instructions for each herb garden!


DIY INDOOR HERB GARDENS


HERB GROWING 101

All herbs require different amounts of light, water, and TLC. To ensure your indoor herb garden succeeds, refer to this herb growers cheat sheet for all the information you will need!

IMAGE SOURCE: ANGLIAN HOME

IMAGE SOURCE: ANGLIAN HOME


Declutter and Organize Your Home with These Easy Tips!

PHOTO: Simply Organized

PHOTO: Simply Organized

Today’s resolution is focused on decluttering! We all have clothes piling up in our closet or trinkets thrown in drawers to be forgotten about; meanwhile, we complain about how we need more space! Well, it is finally time to take control of our belongings and declutter and organize our homes! To help you let go of your belongings we are sharing our best tips to successfully declutter!


BEFORE YOU BEGIN...

Before you begin, you may be a little hesitant; you love your things and can’t image a world without them! In order to be successful in this resolution, try changing your perspective. Know that a tidy home is a tidy mind. It has been proven that people who live in organized homes are happier and healthier than those who live in clutter and disorganization, so why not give decluttering a try! Also, remember that most of your unused possessions can help out others in need, which is another great motivator!


TIPS TO SUCCESSFULLY DECLUTTER:

PHOTO: Martha Stewart

PHOTO: Martha Stewart

  • Give away one item each day.
  • Set a timer for 5-10 minutes every day devoted to decluttering.
  • Grab two large trash bags at the beginning of each month and fill one with trash and one with donations.
  • Make a list of areas in your home and focus on one area at a time.
  • Take the 12-12-12 challenge: throw away 12 items, donate 12 items, and return 12 items to their proper place.
  • Do the four box method: fill keep, donate, throw away/recycle, and relocate boxes for each area of the house.
  • Start by clearing/organizing all the flat surfaces in your home.
  • If you haven’t worn an article of clothing or a pair of shoes in the last two years you probably never will-let it go!
  • If unsure whether to keep that shirt you may or may not wear, try it on and see how it fits. If it fits and looks good keep it for another 3 months. If you don’t wear it by then donate it! If it doesn’t fit, or you have any hesitation to how you look, donate it now!
  • Money is motivation-set a goal to host a yard sale with all of your unused stuff.
  • Throw away all expired makeup.
  • Hold an item in your hand for 5 seconds, if it does not bring you happiness you don’t need it.
  • Don’t bring in any new items until your decluttering is complete.
  • Don’t forget the larger items in your home! If you have a table you never use or an old chair, rehome it!
  • Get rid of any mismatched Tupperware! It can always be replaced and you probably have more than you need anyways.
  • Tackle that junk drawer last! If there isn’t a place to put something throw it out! No more junk drawers!

TIPS TO SUCCESSFULLY ORGANIZE:

  • Make sure every item in your home has a designated place.
  • Invest in a filing cabinet or accordion folder to organize all the important papers you need to keep a hold of.
  • Invest in furniture with multiple purposes such as a storage bench.
  • When bringing in new furniture, the less drawers the better! It eliminates the habit of building up clutter!
  • Get rid of all the cardboard boxes in your pantry! Use clear and labeled storage containers! It will be easier to assess when you are low on rice and need to shop!
  • Take advantage or wasted space, such as the sides of cabinets and in insides of doors.
  • Buy drawer organizers for your office, kitchen, makeup, and anything you try to hide away.
  • When a space is successfully organized, it should not take you more than 3 seconds to find something.
  • Make your bed every morning. A made bed automatically makes the whole bedroom look more organized.
  • Clean out and organize your fridge every other month. No one wants a dirty fridge or expired dressing!
PHOTO: The Waves We Make

PHOTO: The Waves We Make

  • Keep only seasonal clothing in your closet. Store the rest in the attic or basement until it is time to change over your closet again. While changing over your closet, be mindful of items you did not wear and consider donating them.
  • If you don’t have storage space for non-seasonal clothing, put those towards the top or back of your closet.

Gift Wrapping Guide

FontCandy (7).png

Do you have that odd shaped gift you need to wrap but don’t know how, or do you simply want to step up your wrapping game to impress your in-laws? This year, we decided to tackle these dilemmas head on and share our tips with you to help ease your mounting holiday stress! We will cover everything from what wrapping paper to choose, to making your own gift tags, to adding that little extra something to make the recipient awed. So grab a glass of wine, clear a large working space, put on your creativity hat, and get wrapping!


WHEN TO WRAP VS. GIFT BAG
 

If your gift is in a nice rectangular box, wrapping it with paper is the most obvious and elegant choice; however, not all presents are packaged in neat boxes. Your first thought will be to put it in a gift bag, but you don’t have to! Just because the gift does not come in a box does not mean you can’t put it in a gift box! Gift boxes are readily available at craft and hobby stores during this time of year! They come in every shape, size and color you can think of If you are crafty or have extra time, opt for a plain gift box and decorate it with holiday stamps, stickers, or doodles. And remember, when purchasing the gift, never hesitate to ask if gift boxes are available! They usually are and will save you the trouble of having to purchase an extra one.

When your gift is heavy, slightly too large, cumbersome, or you can’t find a gift box, then it is then appropriate to use a gift bag! Use a festive bag and tissue paper or decorate your own bag (as seen below)!


WHAT KIND OF WRAPPING PAPER SHOULD I USE?

Wrapping paper should always be beautiful, festive, decorative, and fun! Here are seven kinds of paper and wrapping paper alternatives!

Kraft Paper

Kraft paper is a form of cardboard that is typically designed for packaging because of its high tear resistance. This paper is great for the crafty gift wrapper who wants to add her own designs! Since it is a blank canvas you can stamp it, draw on it, add stickers or adornments! It is also perfect for those who have to send gifts through the mail. Wrap your presents in kraft paper and place into a shipping box. It is less likely to rip in transit!

Gift Wrapping Paper

Gift wrapping paper is the wrapping paper we all know and love. It comes in millions of colors and designs to cater to the gift recipient. Choose gift wrapping paper if the gift is for kids (because of the bright and bold illustrations), you want a lot of color, you want to make a bold statement, or find a pattern you absolutely love. Make sure to buy at least two gift wrapping paper patterns if wrapping multiple gifts to add dimension under your tree!

Newspaper

For a sentimental look, use newspaper! The black and white colors look classy, and are a great juxtaposition for a bright bow. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly to recycle! Be sure to layer at least two pieces of paper together so you can’t see through to the gift.

Paper Grocery Bags

Paper grocery bags are a budget and environmentally friendly alternative for kraft paper! Use the same way you would kraft paper.

Old Maps

Have a bunch of old maps laying around or shoved into your glove box? Now you have a perfect way to recycle them! It is great for travel related gifts or gifts for your favorite adventurer!

Fabric

If you have some large fabric scraps you don’t know what to do with you now do! Fabric makes a great gift wrap for round presents; you can simply bundle the gift up in the wrap and tie with a ribbon. Or you can traditionally wrap a gift with fabric, it just takes a little finesse.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used as an alternative for any of the paper product wrapping papers, but it should be noted that it is easiest to use on box shaped gifts because it is so stiff. Wallpaper is an amazing wrapping paper option because it has fun textures you won’t find with any of these wrapping paper options!


WHEN TO USE TISSUE PAPER

Tissue paper is like the supporting actress, important for the project as a whole but not the starring role (that’s the wrapping paper or gift bag). It is especially fun to use for the holidays because of the holiday designs printed on it! Tissue paper can be used in two ways:

As Fluff for Gift Bags

A proper gift bag always has a bunch of tissue paper sticking out from the top. This fluff not only helps hide the gift inside, but also adds the supporting flair to the gift wrapping as a whole. A plain colored gift bag can become more intriguing with bright tissue paper flowing from the top! Or, simple colored paper can be used to highlight the amazing gift bag you chose!

As Protective Cushioning or an Extra Layer:

Tissue paper is also important for protecting fragile gifts. Wrap easily broken presents in a layer or two of tissue to ensure it is safe from chipping or cracking. Wrapping non fragile gifts in tissue paper can act as a barrier against any unknown elements, plus it is an extra fun unwrapping layer for the recipient! Also, use tissue paper to keep items from shifting around in a gift box!


HOW TO WRAP A GIFT OR FILL A GIFT BAG

Before you begin your wrapping adventure make sure to gather all supplies (paper, bag, tissue, tape, & scissors), clear a large working space, and allow yourself enough time to get it done! Once your gifts are wrapped you can begin working on the tags, ribbon, and any other decorations (we will explain how to decorate your wrapped gifts following this section). Note, if decorating a gift bag, decorate it before wrapping the gifts in it.

Wrapping with Paper or Paper Alternative

  1. Cut out a piece of paper large enough to wrap the entire gift and place design side down.
  2. Place gift, front side down, in the center of the cut out paper.
  3. Pull the two longest ends over the gift and tape down
  4. Working on an open end, push the sides of the paper inward to create 45° angle flaps and crease.
  5. Fold down the top flap, then fold up the bottom flap and tape. Repeat with the other end. Make sure you do not have too much excess paper during this step or else your flaps will not match up.

Filling a Gift Bag

  1. Place a layer of tissue paper on the bottom of the bag to keep gifts from shifting inside.
  2. Gently put gift(s) into the bag. If desired wrap gifts in tissue paper first.
  3. Take two layers of completely opened tissue paper, design side up, (here you can be creative and use two different patterns or colors) and pinch the center.
  4. Swiftly lift your hand up so the paper forms a cone shape. Repeat one to four more times depending on how large the gift bag is.
  5. Place the tissue paper into the sides or corners of the bag, pinch side on the bottom, so the gift inside is no longer visible.
  6. Gently fluff the paper to get a voluminous effect.

HOW TO CREATE GIFT NAME TAGS

Name tags are a must-have design aspect for your gift wrapping. This year, try to make your own, or buy a pretty tag to string onto your gift. To make your own you will need card stock, scissors, a hole punch, and markers. Just cut out a gift tag shape in the card stock, decorate with a festive design, and sign the recipients name to it! Punch a hole on the end so you can string ribbon or twine through! You can also decorate your tag with stamps, stickers, adornment, or whatever else your heart desires! If you do not have time or a creative bone in your body there are plenty of beautiful tags already made- you just have to add the name. Or print gorgeous free tags from Gather & Feast!


THAT EXTRA SOMETHING SPECIAL

Now that your gifts are wrapped they need some pizazz! We’ve created a list of ways to add a little extra to your gift, whether it is wrapped with paper or in a bag:

Ribbon or Twine

Ribbon or twine is a must for your gift. Wrap around your paper wrapped gift or tie the handles together on your gift bag. If using ribbon, make the length longer than needed so you can curl the extra on top. String the ribbon or twine through the gift name tag to secure it on the gift!

Bow

Create your own bow with ribbon or buy a big one from the store. Place in the center of where the ribbon is knotted or in the corner of your gift box/bag.

Adornments & Stickers

You can buy adornments and stickers at any craft shop or online. Tape or glue adornments, or place stickers, on to your gift to add texture, a pattern, or just that extra spark of design. Adornments and stickers are a great way to showcase the hard work and thought you put into wrapping the gift!

Stamps

If using kraft paper or a cardboard gift bag, stamps are the perfect way to create your own design. Keep it simple with black ink and one stamp, or go crazy and do multiple colors with multiple different stamps! Whatever you do it will be beautiful. This is also a way to get your kids involved with the wrapping process. Let them stamp a design onto the paper to give to your family!

Festive Items

Festive items such as holly, jingle bells, pine cones, candy canes, tree sprigs, etc. can be added to your gift! String them through the ribbon or twine or tape in place. It will definitely show your thought and consideration! Plus, it looks professional and stunning!


Winter Hair Care

Image Source: sheiseverythingallthetime TUMBLR

Image Source: sheiseverythingallthetime TUMBLR

Is the cool air drying out your hair? Is your blow dryer giving you split ends? It happens to all of us and easily ruins a good hair day. Lucky for you, we’ve found some great store bought and DIY products, as well as some simple advice, to help keep your hair and scalp hydrated and strong all winter long! Plus, most of our suggested products are available at Target, Amazon, or Sephora!


our advice.jpg

Hydration is key! Make sure you are using a leave in conditioner if you wash your hair on a daily basis. For thick, wavy, or curly hair try Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave in Conditioner, for fine hair try Carol's Daughter Mirabella Plum Leave-In Biotin Conditioner, for colored hair try Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioner Repair Cream, and for a multitude of hair troubles try FORM Multitask Leave-In Lotion.

You should also treat your hair to a once-weekly deep conditioning treatment to replenish moisture. We love Kératase Nutritve Masquintense Hair Mask for all hair types, Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Threat Deep Conditioner for thick and curly hair, and Alterna Haircare Caviar Repair Treatment Masque for highlighted and colored hair.

If you can skip wetting your hair, opt for dry shampoo and only wash three times a week. Try Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo or Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo (only $5!).

If your scalp is very dry, try using a scalp and hair oils such as Shea Moisture 100% Pure Monoi Oil or Living Proof's No Frizz Nourishing Oil.

Remember to use a heat protectant product if using heated styling tools. NEXXUS Nourishing Hair Oil and Joico K-Pak Protective Hairspray are our top picks!

If you can manage, trim your hair often to eliminate split dry ends, and avoid over-coloring as well! And invest in a humidifier! Your hair and skin will thank you!

Love wearing hats in the winter?! Try to find hats with silk or satin liners to deter frizz, or wrap your hair in a silk scarf before putting on your hat!


diy.jpg

If you want to save money, or have a spa night on your couch, try these DIY winter hair care products! They all promote healthy hair growth, shine, and hydration! Just mix all ingredients together until smooth, apply to the hair (especially the scalp and ends), comb through, put in a bun for 30 minutes (or cover with a shower cap if your hair is short), then rinse with shampoo and leave in conditioner! Feel free to add your favorite essential oils to any of these recipes!

  • Avocado Mask: 1 avocado, 2 tbsp. of coconut or olive oil, and 2 tbsp. of honey
  • Mayo Mask: ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. of honey,  juice from half a lemon, and 1 egg (optional)
  • Egg and Yogurt Mask: 1 egg, 1 tbsp. each of full fat yogurt, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil

Bouquet Obsession

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As we close out the summer season, we aren't quite ready to say goodbye to those beautiful field flower bouquets.  To create these types of bouquets, you need to create a mixture of bright colors and different textures, this helps capture all the beautiful elements of summer . 

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Here are some of our favorites from this bouquet!

  • Sunflower
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Hosta
  • Cosmos
  • Monarda
  • Sweet Peas
  • Golden Rod
  • Limonium
  • Sorbus Hupehensis
  • Canterbury Bells Flowers
  • Queen Annes Lace
 
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20170721_191219.jpg

Easy Seasonal Décor Changes

With every season that passes us by outside, it’s always fun to bring the seasons inside too; however, buying all new decorations and furniture to accommodate every season can get a bit pricey! Here are some easy décor changes to match any season!

image source: home bnc

image source: home bnc

Having a simple centerpiece filled with seasonal décor is a great way to bring the weather inside! Whether it be a bowl of seashells and bright fruit for summer, or autumn leaves and pumpkins for fall, it will be easy to save money during every season!

image source: society6

image source: society6

image source: little dekonings

image source: little dekonings

Another easy décor change is changing out the colors of your décor, such as with curtains and throw pillows. You and your guests will feel warm and cozy in the colder months with darker colors such as reds and browns, and cool and fresh in the summer months with light colors such as blues and whites!

image source: moms spark

image source: moms spark

image source: seasonal bounty

image source: seasonal bounty

Spend little to nothing by bringing nature inside your home! Whether it be a fresh vase of tulips in the spring, or frosted pine cones in the winter, it is the easiest and more affordable way to transform your house as the seasons change!

Summer Kick-Off BBQ

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

The warm summer sun, the sound of laughter from friends and family, and most importantly…the smell of fresh BBQ food! That’s right – it’s the summer kick-off BBQ! Nothing says “summer” like a fun BBQ cookout! Decorate your backyard with tables and stringed lights, make some fun cocktails, and dig in. Here are our favorite BBQ recipes for you to try this summer. Fire up the grill and enjoy!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

Ingredients:
6 whole jalapeño peppers
6 oz. cream cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ oz. shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon

Directions:
Cut off the jalapeño stems and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membranes.
Combine cream cheese, garlic powder, and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Stuff mixture into the jalapeño halves.
Wrap each jalapeño completely with bacon and secure with toothpicks.
Grill jalapeños cut side down until bacon is crisp (6 mins). Flip peppers over and cook an additional 10-12 mins. Serve and enjoy!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

Ingredients:
4 (6 oz.) boneless chicken breasts
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
8 oz. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
¼ cup basil, sliced
¼ cup balsamic reduction

Directions:
Marinate the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette overnight
Grill the chicken until cooked and slightly charred, 2-4 mins per side before topping with mozzarella and tomato (keep on grill until cheese starts to melt a little)
Serve topped with the basil and balsamic reduction

Father's Day Gift Ideas

image courtesy of: bird's cards

image courtesy of: bird's cards

With Father’s Day approaching, it’s sometimes difficult to find a gift perfect for your hardworking dad. Do you buy him another watch, wallet, or more clothes? We’ve sought out to create a list of gifts that are perfect for every dad out there!

For the dad who loves…

What better way to start the summer season than to set your dad up with the perfect grilling gifts? In addition to buying him new grilling utensils, bring out your creative side and try making this DIY grill set holder,

 
image courtesy of: porch

image courtesy of: porch

image courtesy of: lil' luna

image courtesy of: lil' luna

or make fun sauces with labels for all the delicious BBQ foods he makes!

For the dads who have a passion for fishing, reel in some awesome gifts that he will love! From cute keychains with the kids’ names, or another DIY project to hang fishing photos from, your dad will think these gifts are the best catch he can get!

 

image courtesy of: natasha aloha

image courtesy of: natasha aloha

image courtesy of: hometalk

image courtesy of: hometalk

image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

or bake him up some tasty hammer and tools cookies!

Does your dad love to design and build? If so, making him a custom toolbox filled with his favorite goodies is a great gift! Try making him this DIY toolbox filled with his favorite candies and drinks

image courtesy of: sweetopia

image courtesy of: sweetopia

DIY: Hair Masks

image courtesy of: kale and caramel

image courtesy of: kale and caramel

image courtesy of: hello glow

image courtesy of: hello glow

Just like taking care of your skin, it’s also very important to take care of your hair! Whether you have short hair or long hair, there’s plenty of deep conditioners and hair masks to bring your hair back to life. To save a little money, here are some of our favorite DIY hair masks!
For all masks, you can double the ingredients for longer hair.

 

1 Egg Yolk
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Honey
Combine ingredients in a blender or whisk ingredients together. Apply the mask evenly throughout damp hair, making sure to cover damaged ends. If you have long hair, tie it up. Then, cover hair with a shower cap or towel and let the mask sit for 30 minutes. Wash out the mask with shampoo and conditioner. For best results, apply the mask once weekly.

1 Sliced Banana
2 Tbsp. Plain Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Honey
Combine ingredients in a blender or mash the banana and whisk ingredients together until well-blended. Apply the mask evenly throughout damp hair. If you have long hair, tie it up. Then, cover hair with a shower cap or towel and let the mask sit for 30 minutes. Wash out the mask with shampoo and conditioner. For best results, apply the mask once weekly.

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Juiced Lemon
1 Tbsp. Honey
Double recipe for long hair. Combine ingredients in a blender or whisk together until well-blended. Apply the mask evenly throughout damp hair. If you have long hair, tie it up. Then, cover hair with a shower cap or towel and let the mask sit for 30 minutes. Wash out the mask with shampoo & conditioner. For best results, apply the mask once weekly.

image courtesy of: hairsea

image courtesy of: hairsea

Home Made Luxe: DIY Subscription Box

Looking to spruce up your home with some new DIY décor but don’t know where to start? That’s where Home Made Luxe comes in! Offering a monthly subscription box for a new DIY each month, you’ll always have a fun new project. The best part? Everything you need for the DIY is delivered right to your door! No more trying to gather the right materials to replicate that décor piece you saw on Pinterest.

IMAGE SOURCE: HOME MADE LUXE

IMAGE SOURCE: HOME MADE LUXE

We were lucky enough to try out the floral ampersand DIY box and had a blast! Not only did the box contain all the materials needed to make the ampersand, but it also had a bonus spring cleaning list and a trial sized cleaning product included. The directions were straightforward and easy to follow and also included a video link if you wanted to watch instead of read. The craft came together quickly and easily and now adds an extra pop to our office.

THEIRS

OURS

Interested in getting your own? Use the code EPICSALE for 50% off your first box!

New Year's Eve Party Inspiration

New Year's Eve is a night of celebrations. Whether you decide to have your wedding, have a dinner party or throw a count down, here are our favorite New Year's Eve designs. Wishing you loads of confetti and champagne this New Year's Eve.

Designer + Planner: Kelly McLeskey-Dolata,  A Savvy Event  / Photographer:  Scott Clark Photography  

Designer + Planner: Kelly McLeskey-Dolata, A Savvy Event / Photographer: Scott Clark Photography 

A wedding is a party, but a wedding on New Year's Eve is a big party! If you choose to have a New Year's Eve wedding you want to find a balance between your wedding details and the traditional New Year's Eve elements. You don't want to have one overwhelm the other.  We loved this inspiration from A Savy Event. Mixing silver and gold design elements showcases the glamour of the evening but also is an elegant wedding color palette!

 


Now this is a party! We love this rich and moody color palette designed by Beijos Events. Think geometric shapes, a bar cart filled with bubbly and confetti.  The richness of this look is accomplished by mixing deep jewel tones including pink, green and blue. Don't forget to add elements of gold to round out the look.

Photographer: Megan Welker / Design & Styling: Beijos Events


This look designed by Gray Harper Maker is everything you want for a beautiful and festive New Year's Eve dinner party. Ring in the New Year surrounded by a white and black tablescape, softened by pink and gold accents. Love this look? Be sure to check out our shopping list below!


Want to throw a bash for your besties? Sounds fabulous! We loved this girly, gilded and spunky design from Francine Ribeau Events. To capture this fun look layer different patterns, go for stripes and chevron. Use black accents as your base and glitter the room with golds and pinks!

Photography: Melissa Biador Photography | planning + design: Danielle from Francine Ribeau Events

Loving these looks? Us, too! We wanted to share our shopping list with you so you can design your own sophisticated New Year's Eve gathering. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!

Decorating as a Couple

Moving in together is just like wedding planning: an exciting time that can filled with stressful decisions. Find out how to combine styles and who to look for when you need inspiration!


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The first step in making your space a home that reflects you as a couple is to identify your couple's style. Odds are that each of you is bringing a different aesthetic, so just being able to articulate your style will prove helpful in the design process. This sounds easy but it can be difficult! To help in this process take this Style quiz by Lonny.

Here are the three main styles that are trendy right now.


Don't feel like you need to stick to one style! If you are bringing a modern style couch to the space, it doesn't mean the entire room needs to have a minimal modern feel.


To save you time, we have done our research and are excited to share our tips and top pieces of advice with you. Happy designing!

  1. Identify each of your styles- See our What's Our Style section.
  2. Take inventory- What are you bringing to the home? What is your partner bringing? This way you can quickly identify what major items you have duplicates of. Two couches but just need one? Our advice is to pick the one that is more neutral. Having your major pieces be neutral allows for more options. Once you have taken stock of your inventory, then you can create a shopping/wish list for decor items that will help bring in your new couple's style.
  3. Live in the space first- We suggest taking a few weeks to live in your new space. You need to have time to see how the space works for you, your style and your schedule. Pay particular attention to what your high traffic areas are and plan your design accordingly.
  4. Look for inspiration- While some times Pinterest can be overwhelming, when it comes to the home design process, it will be your most useful tool. Designing is a visual process and if you are not familiar with it, look to the experts! Use Pinterest not only for room design ideas but also for the small designs, like how to style your coffee table.

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