inspire creativity, design great style, & create a better life

May Day Flower Baskets

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 in DIY & Crafts | 1 comment

One of the nice things about have a child is that I’m able to do some of the things I used to when I was a kid…May Day baskets being one of them.  Granted, Lauren is only 14 months old, but she gives me an excuse to do things and have them be from ‘her’.

I found some clearance Easter pails for 50 cents, spray painted them, and planted petunias (even if our neighbors don’t have green thumbs petunias seems to grow through anything).  Happy May Day!


Read More

Baked Brie with Kahlua & Pecans

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone eat this and not fall in love….it is sooo delicious.  I first ate this mouth watering appetizer at a friend’s place years ago (thanks Mrs. Taylor!) and have been making it ever since.  There are few ingredients, it’s quick & easy to make, and have I mentioned it’s delicious?

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 medium wheel of brie or 1/2 a large wheel
  • 1 cup Kahlua or any coffee liquor
  • 1 cup brown sugar – not packed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

1.  Preheat the oven to 410 degrees.  Lay some tin foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick

2. Lay out the puff pastry sheet

3. Cut the brie in half – horizontally.  This way you can layer the ingredients  (I like to scrape the white coating off the outside of the brie, but it’s not necessary)

4. Set 1 layer of brie in the pastry and top with 1/3 cup brown sugar,  1/3 cup pecans, and 1/3 cup Kahlua.

5. Place the other layer of brie on top and add the same amount of ingredients on top.

6. Wrap the puff pastry around the brie and top with another layer of the same amount of ingredients (maybe a little extra if you want).

***Greta is always by my side when I’m preparing food!

7.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and puffy.

8. Serve with crackers or bread.  Enjoy!!!


Read More

A handful of colors. We nailed it!….ok enough puns

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 in Home, Lifestyle | Comments Off

My friend Laura, who is always on trend and is an amazing hair stylist (if in the Denver area go see her at Grand Salon), keeps me updated on what’s hot.  We spent some time in Mexico last month and she showed up with a manicure that had a little flair.  Try it out!  Paint your ring finger a different color than the rest of your nails.

Some friends came over last weekend and we tried out a handful (there I go again) of color combinations.  Check out some ideas:

I love the glitter nails! 

We even got my friend’s daughter on trend.

Love the hot pink and orange

Read More

My New Chevron Wall!

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 in Design & Decorating | 7 comments

My favorite pattern of the moment (sorry damask) is chevron!  I love it and had to incorporate it into my home somehow.

*paint colors: Silver Sateen by Behr, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, Warm Yellow by Rustoleum

I wanted to do a gray and white chevron wall, but had to decide where to do it. Our guest room has been gray, yellow, and brown for a few years, so I chose that room.  I liked the brown walls, but thought it was time for a change.  I then had to decide which wall I wanted to create the pattern on.  Originally I was thinking the wall behind the bed, but then thought that it would be too busy (with the window breaking up the pattern, sconces, lamps, etc).  So I decided on the wall adjacent to the bed.  Wall before:

Wall is a custom color = email or comment for the color 'recipe'

**Basically, no matter what I have done or will do to this room is a vast improvement from what it was when we closed on our house (it was a destroyed foreclosure and I am creating a page with before and afters of the whole house, so check back soon!).  Here is the beast when we closed on the house back in September 2008:

This is me (behind) and my friend, Christina, in ’08 painting the ceilings of this room (can you BELIEVE I BOUGHT THIS PLACE?!!?!?)

I will take you through the adventure of how to create a chevron wall.  If you need assistance with figuring out which wall might work well in your home or calculating the measurements please comment on this post or reach out me on my ‘contact me’ page with your email and I will get back to you asap!

Here is what you’ll need:

  • a ruler (I like metal…nice sharp edges)
  • a yardstick or long perfectly straight stick, rod, etc
  • paints and painting supplies
  • painter’s tape (I spent a little more on the kind with ‘edge lock’ for this project…I wanted very clean and crisp lines on my chevron)
  • a razor blade

1. The first thing I did was calculate and plan out my chevron pattern.  I measured the width and height (from the top of the floor trim) of the wall.  I wanted to make sure that I had full sides of chevrons ending at the walls, so the pattern wasn’t cut off.  I wanted the pattern to be fairly large in scale, so it wasn’t too busy.  I decided I wanted 5 points going across and each row to be about 9 inches wide.

Refer to the below image that I color coded to hopefully make sense to you. The width of the main wall (not including area above the door)  is 103.5 inches.  I divided that by 5 (number of points) which meant that each chevron needed to be 20.7 (20 5/8) inches apart.  I divided this number by two and figured each diagonal section needs to be 10.35 (10 5/16) inches apart.

**Spending a little time before you get started will save you frustration and confusion.  I am visual, so I drew the layout of my pattern and referred to it throughout this project.

2. I removed outlet and switch covers, taped off the floor trim to protect it, & set plastic down. I painted the whole wall white.  I painted it the lighter color first, so when I later painted the darker gray I had good coverage.

3. This is where I felt overwhelmed.  I had to measure out all the dots that I was going to connect with tape to create the pattern.  I started at the top corner.  I measured 10 5/16 inches over and marked a dot.  Then I measured another 10 5/16″, etc, etc, etc until I had the top row of my chevron marked out.

4. After that I measured down 9 5/16 inches down from each dot to create my second row.  I repeated this until I had a bazzillion dots on my wall.  I made sure that my rows were staying straight by taking a yardstick every once in a while and lining up the dots.  If I thought they were starting to get a little off I would adjust my dots a bit.


5. Time for a drink.

6. I now had to connect the dots with painter’s tape to create the pattern.  I made sure that I was placing the tape so it would be on the outside of the rows that I was about to paint gray.

7. I then cut off the extra tape that overlapped into the rows that were to be painted gray.  I used my metal ruler to use as a guide to score the tape with a razor blade (you don’t need to cut really hard into your wall, just slice through the tape).

8. I painted the necessary sections gray with a small roller.  I did paint one row at a time and then removed the tape before painting a new row.  This prevented the paint from drying to the tape and then pulling up when I removed the tape.

*I think gray paint is the hardest to get right.  It can have so many different undertones and can look very different in various light.  Make sure you compare various grays between each other, against something gray that you like, and look at your paint samples in different lights before choosing one*

9. Finally it was done! I re-attached outlet and switch covers (and painted them gray, so my pattern wasn’t disrupted).

10. The last step was to get the room back in order, sit back, and feel proud of my new trendy wall!

Read More

Keep Your Cocktails Safe!

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

During parties I wonder if I spend more time talking to others or trying to figure out which glass is mine.  Here is a simple, cute, and cheap way to identify which glass is which….we certainly don’t want to mix up Mommy’s ‘grape juice’ with the kid’s.

I have a quart of chalkboard paint left over and have been painting all sorts of items (“20 things to do with chalkboard paint” will be coming soon!) Below I used clear plastic glasses, but you can do this same DIY project to any glassware you want….wine, martini, pint glasses, coffee cups, etc — making a set is a great gift idea!

Read More

A Medicine Cabinet Remodel…..a what?

Posted on Apr 12, 2012 in Home Projects | 5 comments

You look in it everyday.  It holds some of your most important daily items.  It’s neglected.

Our bathroom is very neutral in color, so I figured adding a little surprise splash of color in the medicine cabinet is a great way to sneak some in.  Color helps create energy and, Lord knows, I can use a little assistance with that in the morning!  I painted the inside of the door with chalkboard paint, so I can leave notes to my family and leave myself reminders of products we are running low on, if I took my vitamins, and anything else that pops into my head.  I used a ‘Tiffany Blue’ acrylic paint for the back of the cabinet and for the thin wood trim I used to frame in the chalkboard.  A few organizers from The Container Store tidied up my products and my mornings just got a little bit happier!

Here is the ordinary cabinet before:

Here it is after:

What you’ll need:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • A small amount of colored latex or acrylic (I just bought a small $2 bottle from the art store, so I didn’t have to pay for a full quart).  It doesn’t take much paint for this small project.
  • Thin wood trim.  I bought mine at the hobby store (in the section where tons of very thin and small strips of wood are sold to be used for architectural models).  The wood needs to be thin, so the cabinet door will shut all the way.  If you don’t want to deal with a wood frame you can simply paint a stripe around the chalkboard or not have any edging around it at all.
  • Paintbrush, tape, and glue (if you use a wood trim around the chalkboard)

Tape the edge of your cabinet to protect it and apply 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

If you make a wood frame: paint the trim first (so you don’t have to be careful once it’s installed), measure the size of your chalkboard and glue the pieces up (I taped them together on the back first, applied all the glue, and then adhered it in one piece.



Read More

April Give-A-Way!

Posted on Apr 11, 2012 in Home | Comments Off

The winners have been randomly drawn!  Congratulations to the following:

I xxx’d out part of your email for your privacy, but will email you personally to set up your prize!

Subscribe at the right sidebar of the home page

Read More

Starts your seeds off right

Posted on Apr 10, 2012 in Home Projects | 1 comment

Get fresh herbs and flowers off to a good start by planting them early and letting them sprout indoors.  Once they have grown a bit you can then transfer them into the ground or pots, but this is an easy and cheap way to get them going.  Use the egg cartons (styrofoam cartons need less watering)that you would have tossed out anyway, seeds of any kind, and a little soil…..too easy!

Make sure you mark what seeds are planted in which egg cartons.  I dipped popsicle sticks in chalkboard paint, so if I grow different plants next year I can reuse them.



Read More

Holy Great Guacamole

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 in Recipes | 2 comments

This is such an easy and delicious recipe…I’m talking 5 minutes prep time.  Guacamole is full of healthy fats and makes a colorful addition to your table.  Tis the season for margaritas & chips and guac!


What you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe avocados (if they aren’t ripe enough by the time you need to use them, you can microwave them for a little bit to soften them)
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes, without the juice and seeds, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime, for the juice
  1. Mince the garlic
  2. Finely chop up the tomatoes (to drain the juice and seeds, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the innards into the sink before chopping)
  3. Spoon the insides of the avocado out
  4. Add salt
  5. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a lime (this prevents the guacamole from turning brown)
  6. Mix all together and enjoy!  It’s best if eaten shortly after being made.  However, to store it put it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Read More

Create a swanky and romantic feel with a wall of candles

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 in Design & Decorating | 6 comments

I love the glow of color and warmth that candles create.  I don’t, however, have the luxury of placing many candles around my home (fire and 1 year olds don’t mix very well).   By placing them on the wall I am able to enjoy candlelight and create a focal point on a wall that was very plain before.  I have framed art and mirrors on the rest of the walls in my living room and wanted to have something different on this space, especially since there are quite a few objects on the sofa table a few feet in front of this wall.



I purchased these votive holders at CB2, which is a sister company of Crate & Barrel; it has a more modern approach and less expensive merchandise.  I bought a few extra of the glass votive holders, to replace any that may break.  The votives I get at JoAnn Fabrics, but you can find them fairly easily other places.  The key with this is to get votives that have clear plastic that holds the wax, instead of metal.  This gives a cleaner look and when the candles are lit and the wax melts clear it gives a great see-through effect.

And this is where you get to practice those math skills you never thought you would use!  Figure out how many rows of votives you want across and high.  Then calculate how much space you want in between the rows and add that up.   If you want the candle display centered, measure the distance of the whole wall and subtract the total width of the rows.  Divide that by 2 and that is how far in from 1 side of the wall you will want to start your candle display.  Figure out how far from the ceiling you want the top of your votives.

I used painter’s tape (I use it for everything, even to reclose food packaging…it’s my duct tape).  Tape around the perimeter of your planned candle display.  Then mark how far in between you want the rows and place the tape accordingly.

Figure out the distance where nail holes from one votive to the votive above or below it will be and mark the tape.  Use small finishing nails and make sure they are angled up – with the same angle and distance sticking out from the wall.

This makes a great look day:

….or night:

Read More