08/29 Friday Links

Friday Finds

Friday Finds

It’s been a while since I last did one of these, and I just so happened to be feeling like doing something casual, so this works out quite nicely!  This also gives me a chance to just chat with you and say things like dang, we are already soon entering SEPTEMBER.

I’m sure you guys can relate when I say I’m guilty of chasing Fridays, crawling along all week with the impression that all will be at peace if I can just make it to Friday.  It’s a bad habit of almost wishing away the days, no?  So now it’s September, and I’m feeling like I should have been a lot nicer to all the past Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays…  I’m feeling the pressure to savor every day that’s left of 2014.

I’ll never stop looking forward to Fridays though, especially with it usually marking the start of a crafty, bloggy weekend for me, which is my favorite <3 so here’s a little weekend send-off of inspiration and fun stuff for us to enjoy together.

Ceiling wall and rug combo

Ok, check out this ceiling, wall, and rug combo.  What??  Isn’t it so amazingly unexpected?  From Tommy Chambers’ house tour.

diy outdoor artA lot of the things Anu from Nalle’s House creates are so amazing in their simplicity that it’s mind blowing.  Who knew something like hanging up fabric could look this beautiful?

Wit and Delight for Target

These Target collabs are major and always so fun to look forward to.  Wit and Delight for Target launches September 14th!

Layered living room rugsCaitlin from Desert Domicile layered rugs in her living room, and they are FANTASTIC.  If you aren’t familiar with this space, you can already tell she has killer style, right?  And you also see that blue velvet couch, which you already know how I feel about, right?  <3 <3 <3

5 Secrets to SuccessI pretty much love every single thing that A Beautiful Mess puts out there, and one of the many great things they do is share advice derived from their own stories of success with their blog and brand.  Out of these 5 secrets to success, #5 has probably been the biggest thing I’ve started to learn so far.  Equally as important as knowing what works is knowing what doesn’t work, identifying that quickly, and changing it stat.  I will always be striving to master this.

Industrial chic diningWendy’s Lookbook is one of the first blogs I ever started following, and Wendy just so happens to be one of my favorite fashion bloggers ever.  She shared a tour of her loft and it is just as gorgeous as she is.  I’m in LOVE with the exposed brick walls, and you’ve got to see her glam bed frame.

Get back to workJust a fun little quote that I adore and already printed and put up on the magnet board on my desk.   By Drew Ellis.  Dreams can only get you so far- you have to WORK for them!

You know what’s better than Fridays?  Three day weekends!  I’ve got a birthday party to go to and a friend in town, but other than that it should be a pretty relaxing weekend.  Have an amazing labor day weekend, everyone!  I’ve got something fun posting up here on Monday so see you then if you aren’t partying too hard that day.

08/25 DIY

DIY Decorated Notebooks with Labels- PBteen Stylehouse

DIY Decorated Notebooks with Labels

For this back to school season, I’m sharing how to make these really cute customizable notebooks with DIY labels over at the Pottery Barn Teen blog, The Stylehouse!  This is absolutely how I would be decorating my own notebooks if I was going back to school (or really for any occasion that I’d need a notebook for), and let’s be real… the best part about this time of year is back to school supplies.  That always got me excited for the new school year ;).

I wish this is what I did with my supplies back when I was in school, but unfortunately I did not!  I didn’t even THINK to do this, but I wish I had.  I’ve become a firm believer in surrounding yourself with things that inspire you or just make you feel GOOD, and if something as small as decorating your notebooks in a design you love can do that for you, I’d say that’s pretty amazing and well worth your time.  It’s easy, fun, and should put a smile on your face knowing that you made your own, one of a kind item :).

So back to school or not, make something unique that inspires you and gets you excited for what’s to come!

DIY Notebook LabelsObscure fact: I made sure to pick a south campus and north campus subject for the notebook labels (any fellow Bruins out there?)

DIY Customizable Notebooks with labelsStill here?  Thank you <3.  Check out the tutorial for these notebooks over at The Stylehouse!

08/18 DIY

DIY Abstract Black and White Art

DIY Abstract Black and White ArtProject art gallery wall begins!  If you didn’t see my Blog Hop post, I mentioned there that I’m working on putting up a gallery wall around our TV, and to help the process along (and have some fun) I’ll be making some of my own wall art.  So far I’m pretty decided on keeping the art abstract, bold, and geometric.

The great thing about abstract art is that it doesn’t have to look like anything, and what could be less restricting than that?  Sometimes though, I get it… it can be easier if there’s something you’re trying to make your art look like, some guidelines at least.  So while this is an original abstract piece, technically I had guidelines to help me make it.  I found those guidelines here:

DressInspiration really is everywhere, guys.  I loved the design on this dress so much that it didn’t take long for me to start thinking that I should recreate a similar look for wall art.  I also knew it would be really simple to do since the color palette is monochromatic, and the messier the brush strokes, the better it would look.

-photo frame
-poster board
-black acrylic paint
-flat head paint brush

Flat head paintbrushI went with a flat head brush to make thicker strokes, which is probably the only aspect of this project I can give the most definitive instructions on since the actual painting part really has no right or wrong way about it.  Because of that, this won’t make much of a tutorial, but let me try anyway!


I traced the photo frame insert onto some poster board and cut it out to be the “canvas”.  Then using black acrylic paint, I roughly recreated the same shapes that were on my dress, being careful not to overload the brush with too much paint so that the strokes would show more.

paint strokes

I also wasn’t afraid to go over strokes again to make them thicker as I pleased.  I tweaked strokes here and there until I was satisfied.

Black and White ArtI tell ya, anything can be art if you put it in a frame!  Truth, after I finished I was just like ok this is fine, but when I put it in a frame I was like oh ok this is NICE.

Abstract Black and White Art

I like it.  I like it a lot.  Really loving how it looks here on top of my book case, though it won’t be staying here…

Abstract Black and White Art CThere’s definitely going to be more black and white in the gallery, and probably some prints I’ve had my eyes on for a while and am spending some final moments asking myself if I’m sure that I really want them before pulling the trigger.  You know how that is.

So now I’d love to know… any favorite sources for art?  Etsy shops?  Artists?  I’ve been perusing so many different options and am still itching to browse even more.  I keep thinking I know what I want, then I see something else and totally want to change my plans.  This might be a while…

*psst* In case you were wondering about the floral monogram, you can find my tutorial here on how to make it!


08/14 DIY

Mini Succulent Garden

Mini Succulent GardenMoar.  Succulents.  I couldn’t help it, guys.   I was at the flea market when I came across multiple booths full of succulents and they were soooo cheap and sooooooo cute.  Maybe it was the hysteria of the people crowding around and packing cardboard boxes with their succulent choices that urged me to take advantage of the situation.  Next thing I knew I was grabbing a cardboard box myself and making my own selections.  I showed some restraint though by picking a small box to fill.

Being that the succulents I chose were mini, I kept in mind that I would probably be putting them all in the same container together to make a mini succulent garden.  Consolidation, alright!  So on the way home, we passed by a Goodwill and I thought hey we should drop in to see if there’s something I can plant my new baby succulents in.  Unlike most of my thrifting adventures, I found what I was looking for.

Pedestal bowl

Ok so I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but this bowl I came across was the perfect size and shape, and I LOVED the little pedestal at the bottom (so cute), and the 99 cent price tag said let’s do this.


First, I roughly figured out how I wanted to arrange my succulents for the mini garden.


Then I filled the bottom of the bowl with rocks.


Next I put in a layer of soil on top.

How to make a mini succulent garden

One at a time, I planted in each succulent, scooping and packing in cactus soil wherever needed and pushing everything in tightly.

DIY Mini Succulent Garden

Mini succulentsThis batch of succulents was all about picking ones I didn’t already have (minus the zebra).  I love every and all succulents, but I find myself drawn to the weirder looking ones, and that alien one in the front is the weirdest of them all.  The guy at the booth told me it’s called Baby Toes, and I said how freaking cute.  Maybe a little creepy, but I like that it’s so strange.  The pale blue color is so unique, too.  I think you already know it’s my favorite one.

Anyone know the name of the clustered one next to it?  That one is my second favorite.

08/11 DIY

DIY Fruit Magnets

DIY Fruit MagnetsI’m PRETTY excited about this being my first fruit DIY since I get to be joining in on this mega cute summer trend.  This was that “other” cement project I had mentioned being part of the inspiration for my ombre candle holders and much like that project, this one took me some time to suss out.  I’ll get to the details on that in a little bit, but let’s get started with what you’ll need to make these cuties.

-fruit ice trays (I used a pineapple ice tray and an assorted fruit ice tray)
-cement (I used Cement-All)
-acrylic paint
-paint brush
E6000 adhesive
magnets (These ones are super super super strong, which I like, but it made them difficult to work with.  If that’s a concern for you, go with weaker magnets.)

CementSo cement.  This was actually my first time using cement, before my ombre candle holders, and I learned a few things after failing this project TWICE.


1) Work quickly with the cement, especially if it’s a fast drying one like Cement-All.

2) Add a bit more water to the cement than what’s recommended in the instructions on the box, until it becomes a little thinner than pancake batter.  The thinner the cement, the better it will fill in all the little details in the ice trays.  Be careful though- it only takes a little bit of water to drastically change the consistency of the cement.

3) Mix out all the lumps in the cement but don’t do it TOO vigorously.  I did this the first time and it created so many air bubbles that after the cement dried, my fruit had tiny holes all over them :(

Learn from my fails, ok?

Cement filled ice traysSo it’s pretty simple, I just filled up the trays with cement and let them dry.

Gluing on magnetAfter popping out all the cement fruit from the molds, I glued on a magnet to the back of each fruit.

Painting fruit magnetsThen the funnest part- painting the fruit magnets.  Seriously, it’s meditation.

Fruit Magnets

Fruit magnets and photosYou guys, I love them soooooo much, to the point where I’d be thrilled if you loved them even half as much as I do.  What do you think of them?  Summer trend or not, I’ll be keeping these up on the fridge forever.

08/07 Travel

Around Town: Chicago

Cloud Gate

So this is what happened.  I brought my camera with me to Chicago and planned on taking it everywhere and capturing the best moments of my trip, but you know how they say that the best indicator of a good time is when you forget to take pictures?  Yea, I must’ve been having a pretty awesome time, because I didn’t take my camera anywhere!  I only took it out on the one day my boyfriend and I went out on a touristy date, which isn’t a bad thing at all, because man are the touristy sites in this city gorgeous.

I spent the first 18 years of my life here (more specifically in the suburbs) and a trip to “the city” was always exciting, and frequent.  Especially in my younger years, I followed my parents all the time to their flower shop in the city.  As I got older, the city became the destination for a lot of my greatest memories, including PROM, ha!  I’m still with the guy that took me ;)

I’ve seen these sights many times, and they will never get old.  The memories do have a hold on me, but even without them, Chicago has charm and beauty that’s unparalleled.  This is most evidently seen in the gorgeous architecture.  To take it all in, we went on an architectural boat tour, and the best part was yup, that it was educational.  Aside from the bipolar weather during the tour that tossed between sunny skies and rain, it was the perfect way to reunite with the city I love.

boats and kayaks By the way, you see those kayakers on the water?  I’ve been kayaking on the river before, and it’s fun for like 15 minutes until you see all the boats whizzing past you and you think yea we should’ve just gone on a boat.  It’s a great workout, though!

On the Chicago River Brunch on the water Talk about a fantastic spot for brunch… Slow down, life!


Carbide and Carbon Building

The Carbide and Carbon Building, according to the tour guide, was inspired in design by a champagne bottle.  Interesting!  Do you think the design was successful?

Sears Tower This is forever the Sears Tower in my book.  I remember feeling devastated when I first heard the news that the name would change to Willis Tower.  No.

Sears Tower buildings  Chicago skyline

Chicago skyline


After the boat tour, we hopped over to Millennium Park.

Head Sculpture Millennium Park

Jay Pritzker Pavillion

Cloud GateThe Cloud Gate.  And bird.

Cloud Gate

Crown Fountain

Millennium Park

I’ll be back soon.  We have family in Chicago, which always warrants a trip at least once a year.

Have you ever been to Chicago before?  It is a must that you visit at least once!