Friday, November 20, 2015

Home Hack: Concealing Cords

I'm back again today with another home hack - how's that for fun?

One of the things in home decor I hate the most is cords. They are such an eyesore but in our technological world, they're a necessary evil. Wouldn't you agree?

In our living room we currently have a wall that is bare. After we switched the TV from that wall to the nook, it left us with an empty wall and an ugly black cord. The cord belongs to our router which is cleverly hiding behind our curtain panel on the right. The router has to stay because it's the wall where the Internet cable connects to the router. So until I decide on a decorating solution to fill the wall (and hide the cord), this ugly thing has been staring back at me for months.

Call me crazy (because I am) but it was driving me so crazy that I just had to do something about it to hold me over until I could throw a piece of furniture in front of it and call it a day.

My solution? White electrical tape!

Pretty ghetto fabulous if I do say so myself. But pretty ingenious too. 

The cord doesn't disappear entirely, but it's much less an eye sore with the white on white. It's totally a quick-fix that I can live with in the meantime. 

Do pesky cords bother you that much too? Tell me...on a scale of ghetto to fabulous - where do I rank? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Home Hack: Rug Pads

I'm really excited to share with you this awesome little home hack I just put to use a few weeks back. I have absolutely no clue if someone else has already discovered this and blogged all about it but I thought I was pretty bad-a$$ when I thought of this and wanted to share the awesomeness with you too!

It all started when my Mom took me to a fabric shop here in Orange County that was having a store closing sale. Not only did I walk out of the store with some great fabrics that I cant wait to do something with but I also walked away with a great vintage-looking rug. When I bought it, I didn't have any idea where it would end up in my house, but at $13 - who could pass it up? No one! That's who!

After bringing it home, I realized that it was the perfect fit for our guest bathroom. I've been wanting to switch things up in there and thought that adding an unexpected rug would take things up a notch in there. The only problem? The rug didn't have that rubberized non-slip backing typical of normal bath mats. The new rug (sans backing) and paired with a slick (and ugly) lineolum floor was a recipe for disaster.

I knew that in order to keep this rug from slipping and sliding all over the floor that it definately needed a rug pad. I went looking for rug pads and discovered that I'd have to purchase a $20 rug pad and cut it down to size to fit my odd size rug. It just seemed like a waste of money and rug pad when I quickly realized that the non-slip rug pads are the same product used to line drawers in a kitchen.

After a quick trip down the kitchen aisles, I left the store with a $5 roll of drawer liner. For my rug, it needed the entire length of drawer liner and required absolutely NO CUTTING! Plus I saved $15. Two thumbs up!

The drawer liner was the perfect substitution for a rug pad and has kept my pretty vintage-looking rug from slipping and sliding all over the place.

The dog tested it out for good measure too.

So maybe this little home hack is old news or maybe you're just discovering it too for the first time but now you know and what's that saying about knowledge is power?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall for $20

Although the calendar indicates that Fall is officially here and underway, Southern California hasn't gotten the memo. It's still hot around these parts (we're flirting with the 80's) but temps have been dropping and I hope they continue to do so. There's no time of year I love more than Fall.
I usually break out the Fall / Halloween décor by late September / early October to really get into the spirit of things that this time of year brings but with everything we've been through over the last few months, I just haven't gotten around to it.
With Halloween almost here and Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted a quick and simple project that would sprinkle our home with those warm and cozy fall feelings without having to drag our décor bins from the depths of the black hole garage.
Buffalo check is all the rage right now and what perfect timing because this bold take on a classic plaid print is so fitting for the season. Ive been oogling over these gorgeous pillows but when I spotted a similar fabric at Ikea for a fraction of the cost, I picked up a yard on a whim and decided to make my own low-budget version.

If I've said it once, I'll say it again - pillows are the easiest way to change up the look and feel of a room in an instant without much of an investment. So with my Ikea fabric, I made two pillow covers in about 30 minutes start to finish all in an effort of infusing a little fall coziness into our main living space.
I've done my fair share of sewing but usually just ask my super-sewer Mom to make my pillow covers for me instead of bothering to do it myself. But these ones? They're all me! Even someone with the most basic of sewing skills could whip these up, no problem!
With a little direction from my Mom, I made two super simple envelope style pillow covers out of 1 yard of fabric. The Internet (and Pinterest) is flooded with tutorials for this type of DIY so I won't bore you with another - just click here and use any one of these tutorials to make your own.
But how about a few helpful hints before you dive right in?
#1 - Always remember to make your cover smaller than your pillow insert. This may seem illogical but it's the most important thing I've learned and the key to getting the fullest pillows! A general rule of thumb is to make your cover 2" smaller than your pillow insert. For example: if your inserts measure 20" x 20", you'll want to make your pillow cover a finished size of 18" x 18". Be sure to account for your seams when cutting your fabric!
#2 - Reinforce the seams where the two back flaps of your cover overlap. When you're stuff your cover with the insert, that area will have the most stress put on it from all the pushing, pulling, and re-arranging your insert. Having a reinforced seam will make sure that your cover doesn't literally rip at the seams.
With those tips in mind, after my covers were sewn, I gave them a quick press with the iron just to iron out any wrinkles and to press the seams. But I didn't stop there. I decided to add a few yarn pom-poms to each corner of the pillow because nothing says fall like a good plaid and some cozy textures!
To make the over sized pom-poms you'll need:
  1. Yarn
  2. Scissors
  3. Steel yarn needle
I started by wrapping the yarn around 4 of my outstretched fingers like so:
I wrapped the yarn loosely around my fingers approximately 70 times until my bundle was pretty thick. The same technique can be used around less fingers or wrapped around fewer times to achieve a smaller pom-pom too.
There are several tools out there that you can buy to assist you in making pom-poms but I didn't have any of them so I improvised and used my fingers instead which seemed to work out just fine.
Once I wrapped the yarn around a sufficient amount of times, I carefully slid the bundle off my fingers and laid it in the center of a 12" piece of yarn that I had previously cut.
With the single piece of yarn, I tied a knot in the middle of my bundle and then flipped it over and tied a second knot.
With the tied bundle, I slid my scissors through the loops on either end and cut - careful not to cut the center tie.
After cutting all the loops on either end you can choose to trim your pom-pom for a more uniform look or leave it as is.
Once I had all my pom-poms made, I used a steel yarn needle threaded with a length of yarn and sewed each pom-pom to the corner of my covers. Easy-peasy!
Ready to see the final result?

How cozy are these pillows? And what a big difference they make! Not too shabby for $20, right?!

Gimme all the heart eye emojis...I think I'm in love! Are you too? Please tell me you agree!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Plant Pots and Paint Pens

Say that 10x fast!

As I mentioned at the end of this post, I’m slowly trying to ease my way back into the blog and chip away at all those projects we put on the back burner for a bit. While we’re still knee deep in the raw every day emotions of this new life we’re adjusting to, staying busy helps.

Outside of this blog I work a regular ol’ 9-5 except instead of 5 – 8 hour days, I work 4 – 10 hour days with every Monday off. Having Mondays off is great! While everyone else in the world is at work, I’m able to accomplish a whole lot of blog related stuff and tackle a few projects around the house unless I turn on the TV and get sucked into a Gilmore Girls marathon – then all productivity goes out the window. Over the last few months, that sorta became the norm as I wasn’t very mobile towards the end but I’m slowly redirecting my focus and I have to say that it feels good.

This last Monday was a very productive one after many, many unproductive ones. I worked on and/or completed 5 new projects – all of which I’ll be sharing here sooner or later. High fives for me!

This first one is more so a facelift than it is a project and takes zero skills whatsoever. One of the things I love most about decorating is incorporating live plants into every room. I think plants just brighten up the space and when you add any sort of natural element it just brings the room to life. Unfortunately for me, I totally suck at keeping anything alive. That’s why I always tend to gravitate towards low maintenance plants – usually of the succulent variety. But even I’ve managed to kill quite a few of those too. Most recently I killed a snake plant…or most of it…which is considered to be virtually indestructible. #GOme. I think I have a chronic case of over-watering but I’m working on it.

I woke up one morning to find that 95% of my snake plant was water logged and the stalks were falling over, so after feeling like such a failure, I removed the dying stalks and was left with a whopping 3 stalks. Sure made for a wimpy plant. So while I’m trying to bring it back to life, I went to Home Depot and brought home my next victim and plopped it in the pot that the previous one vacated.

Except the pot totally sucks. Just like my plant caring abilities. It was just a plain white ceramic pot I picked up from Ikea and thought that maybe…just maybe…if I jazzed up the pot a bit the plant would last longer. #Ainthappening. But I went ahead and did it anyways because that’s how my crazy mind works. I could use all the help I can get.

The ceramic pot already had some raised detailing so I just took a paint pen and enhanced the details. Looks like a totally different pot – and much more expensive too might I add! Don’t you agree?

Here's a side by side:

And the best part? You don’t have to have these pots with raised details from Ikea to achieve the same look. Any plain ceramic, or terra cotta pot too for that matter, can be transformed with a paint pen and free-handing a super simple pattern…think dots, crosshatch, grids – the options are endless!

So what do you say? Think this super cute pot will help keep my plant alive? Probably not but #Onecanhope.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

10 Recipes To Try this Thanksgiving

With Halloween behind us, it's full steam ahead into Thanksgiving and Christmas! Are you ready?

Before we know it, Thanksgiving will be here so I thought today would be the perfect day to round up some mouth watering recipes for you to enjoy around the Thanksgiving table this year. What better way to reflect upon all that we're grateful for than with a belly full of yummy eats?

Let's get this party started, shall we?!

Please pin all recipes from their original source! Thank you!

Every holiday party should start off a specialty cocktail - don't you agree?

Ditch those boring ol' dinner rolls in favor of this super-easy rosemary & garlic bread.

Because bacon makes everything better...

Here's an alternative to your classic green bean casserole...

Or ditch the green beans all together in favor of parmesan garlic asparagus! Yes, please!  

Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same with all the carbs! Bring on the mashed potatoes!

And what's Thanksgiving with a little gobble, gobble? Right?!

Or if you really want to change things up, surprise them all and make the other white meat!

And even if you don't have any room left, who can pass on the desert? No one, that's who! 

Because everyone loves pumpkin and I right?!

Well...are you hungry yet? I sure am! Bring on Thanksgiving and all the delicious food. Hopefully you'll try a few new recipes too!