Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Day 79: Let The Tour Commence…{How I Decorate Series}

In Blogging, Blogs, Books, DIY, Home Decor on February 27, 2013 at 4:16 am

I was waiting to finish decorating my rental {I figure by the time I come close to finishing we’ll be moving to a new place}.

I was waiting to get my “real” camera charged.

Well, I’m waiting no longer.

I’ve decided to commence my “How I Decorate” Series.

For this first set, I am featuring my pre-existing built-in bookshelf {sometimes rentals have cool things like this, sometimes}, now if only I could get those “used saves” stickers off–

I think I’ve just discovered a great 7 year-old chore, bwhahahaha. Turns out interior design isn’t my only strong suit. smiles.

For my bookcase, I decided to integrate the old, the new, and of course, accents of nature which is a central theme throughout my home.


Bookends are a great way to modernize through bringing in a hint of the past. I found my chrome horse bookend, or rather it found me, pairless, and thus 5$ at Homegoods. You can make your own though, probably for less than what I paid–or pretty darn close.


{photo courtesy of houseofearnest.com}

For my shelf I focused on bringing a little sparkly in with the vintage.  The Nester does a lot of this, it lends to a real coherent look because the outlandish stuff is off-set by the antique colors, and thus my chrome coral. I found the owl for 5$ at Homegoods because he is missing an ear {a little tilt and it’s all gone} the bust was a thrift store find.  I got the painted silver coral and old world sand timer at Homegoods too. Since I am an English scholar, I have to make mention of the books, both are great, Lolita and China Men. Oh, and of course my IKEA/thrifted map of Paris, although I am thinking this might be a cool idea now that I am traveling more.



a whit.

Daily Cupcakes: Blogs I Love

In Blogging, Blogs, DIY, Home Decor, Humanity on February 26, 2013 at 1:45 am
{image brought to you by lovely cupcake}

{image brought to you by lovely cupcake}

Today’s featured Daily CupCake: Blogs I Love is about making all things Lovely Indeed.

Not only does this blogger have tons of great DIY ideas within her files, she also has a great, comprehensive list of some fabulous, daily reads.

Lovely Indeed is truly lovely because it’s all about a girl who loves to DIY but that isn’t all her blog is about–and I like that.  It’s great to have a niche, a way to attract readers, but people are dynamic and no blogger does one thing all the time.  I sometimes wonder if bloggers brought more of themselves, the nitty gritty, into their niche, if they would create something even greater.  I wonder if they’d find a missing piece to their blogging puzzle, the one that’s been holding them back from, not so much a better blog, but a blog where the words feel like home.  That’s what a blog should be, you.

So, be a writer, but don’t forget to be a blog of creative output, craziness, and even a tinge of the ugly.

a whit.

Daily Cupcake: Blogs I Love

In Blogging, Blogs, DIY, Home Decor, Teaching on February 24, 2013 at 4:44 am

{image brought to you by www.greenweddingshoes.com}

{image brought to you by http://www.greenweddingshoes.com}

Today’s Blogs I Love cupcake is brought to you by craftgawker {if you haven’t checked it out you should} where I found Crafty Scrappy Happy. Jaime, has created a wonderful site for all you fellow DIYs out there [myself included].

I was particularly drawn to her blog by THIS project, but when I clicked on House Tour and read these words I fell in love:

Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.

Right now, I am living in a rental–sometimes I feel like I can’t create the way I want to and my expression is inhibited.  Yet, we have what we have–and learning to make that beautiful is all part of the journey.  Plus, The Nester lives in a rental and her home was just featured in Better Homes. Anything is possible.

a whit.

Daily Cupcake: Blogs I Love

In Blogging, Blogs, Decorating, DIY, Home Decor on February 21, 2013 at 8:03 am


I’ve dropped off on the daily cupcakes for a bit here, so I am determined to get on top of it.

For the next 30 days I will be dedicating the cupcakes to {blogs I love}.

Kristen Jackson’s blog THE HUNTED INTERIOR has some wonderful decorating tips with lots of DIY and thrift decor.  My favorites are her chevron curtains {do I dare?} and her cinder block garden table.

I am working on getting pictures up of my house, a work in progress.

an interior decor whit.

Day 78: Monavie…and more

In Decorating, DIY, life, Love, Monavie on February 17, 2013 at 6:03 am

While in the UK, my boyfriend’s sister introduced me to Monavie, I had heard of the product previously while living in Utah.  However, I had never tried it.

After drinking this product daily, a warmed up 2 oz shot glass amount, I noticed a profound difference in my energy level and skin appearance.  Typically I experience hormonal skin issues (cystic acne) on my face; however, with this product I had no breakouts and my skin felt great.  I also noticed my energy level reappeared and I had motivation to do things again (like exercise–I kid, but really).

I do think this is a great product and differs from traditional acai drinks that can be purchased at the grocery store (which I have also tried).  If interested in giving this product a try please visit my website. I’m not one to sell things, but I have been in a profound grad student rut for awhile now, and I just felt so much better while drinking this.

Speaking of things I believe in–doterra–I absolutely love their melaleuca/oregano/On Guard essential oils.  These rubbed on the bottom of your feet (where it absorbs best) are ultra calming and clear infections wonderfully.  The smells produced by these particular oils are wonderful.  The best.  I’m not selling doterra, but my friend Kelly is…you can read her story here (it’s an amazing, and heartbreaking, story). Kelly was the best esthetician in Utah, hands down, she did my eyebrows for about 4 years while I was living there.  I remember, at the time, she was battling infertility so when I found her again, through her story on another friend’s blog, I was shocked and thrilled to see she had entered the world of motherhood.  It’s funny how friends can come in and out of our lives–I am certainly thankful for the blogging world that has connected/reconnected me with so many wonderful people over the years.

On another note, I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with my love who bought me a very lovely bracelet and lotion (which I returned and bought a cow hide industrial magazine stool instead).  We just joke that he spent hours picking it out, haha, but it truly does look lovely in our home and matches our decor perfectly.  If you’re ever in the Sacramento area, you should really try to visit this store.  If not for anything else, then just to browse and soak in the ideas.  I love it.

More to come on my decorating adventures…I’ve got lots to share.

a whit.

Day 75: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Birthdays…

In Anthropologie, Birthday, DIY, Family, Happiness on January 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

I finally decided to open up an etsy shop.  thought it might be fun. more items to come on there.

In other news, we celebrated my mom’s birthday just yesterday, had lots of fun, and I think I’ve been deemed the family “birthday coordinator.” {lucky me, wink}

photo-96 photo-98

Birthdays have been a hot button issue for me over the last few years.  There have been some year’s of fun-filled, special-feeling ones, and then a few crappers.  I remember one year I only received one facebook “happy birthday” and that really sent me spiraling downward, “did everyone forget about me?” Imagine that, judging a birthday by its social network significance.

The recipe, it seems, to a perfect birthday involves love and happiness.  It’s not about presents {although they are nice} but rather that someone {or lots} would remember you on your special day–because everyone knows you can’t make your own day special [no fun].

This year I came home to balloons and a gift on my back doorstep from my lovely sister. I got several birthday calls and spent a wonderful weekend away with my konk in the heart of wine country. It was a remembering birthday–I’ll never forget it because it reminded me how important it is to have that kind of day.

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special this year [a little late, I know].

better late than never.

a whit.

Vintage Photos: DIY August

In Anthropologie, Children, Christmas Pictures, DIY, DIY August, Home Decor, Kids, life, Love, Photography on August 11, 2012 at 5:30 am

I  am not a photographer.

Back when I was married I paid this lady $500 to do a full 1 year-old photo shoot of little e. I value photos, and she did a wonderful job, so I have no regrets and I think every penny spent was worth it.  They are beautiful.

But then I got divorced and we resorted to the crappy Picture People alternative–not my favorite but my kid is just so cute and photogenic he even looked good in these. 😉

Though, I did long for those eclectic photos that I had paid so much money for (back when I had money).  So, I needed to figure out an alternative. Lucky for me, my sister had just purchased her boyfriend a 3k Canon.  Gracefully she agreed to let me borrow it (although I had no idea how to use–still don’t–I just pretend like I know what I’m doing).

Now with camera in tow, I needed to figure out a location for my shoot, hm. I knew I wanted it to be indoors…

I thought, I love the window ‘scenes’ and decorations at anthropologie so why not there?

I dressed e in some cute winter gigs and we headed to our local store.

I took lots of photos, with e and ini (my goal was to use these specifically for our 2010 Christmas Cards). A little photoshop and here we go, $500 saved.

Book Folding Wall Art: DIY August

In Blogs, DIY, DIY August, Home Decor on August 7, 2012 at 2:31 am

I found the idea of bookfolding on Pinterest. I had an old Atlas sitting around, so it worked out for a perfect DIY. I opted for a very simple one fold design; however, there are some very extravagant patterns out there. Fab Diaries has the most comprehensive list I’ve found on the web.

Voila…great, free wall art.



I Do Free: DIY August

In Couponing, DIY, Family, Money, Money Management, Mother on August 6, 2012 at 7:02 am

DIY is well on it’s way. Pardon my cynicism.

Anyway, today’s cupcake is dedicated to DIY: HOW I DO FREE.

My friends all make fun of me, laugh really, when I tell them how much I love coupons and how devoted I am to cash register ring-ups totaling less than 50 cents. Some may call me cheap, I say what my Mom’s friend once told her, “why pay for things you don’t have to pay for? That’s just plain stupid.” She’s right.

Over my past year of couponing, I’ve realized a few things:

Krazy Coupon Lady really is the most organized and comprehensive couponing site on the web {and always my go-to}

Always wash your hands AFTER jumping through the dumpsters for coupons–I seem to contract colds when I forget this very important step. Puzzling.

Because I eat mostly organic, I tend to enjoy couponing household goods (versus food).  HOWEVER, you can coupon organic and definitely Whole Foods–I do it all the time.

People will not laugh at you when you coupon, they won’t, they’ll just stare on jealously.  Or give you a mental high five.

I started couponing to save money, in reality though, I coupon now for fun. It’s a game (between me and the retailers of America), and my goal is to always win.

Almost all retail chains (I use this term here to refer to clothing stores) have coupons and a quick google search will show you the money.

Most importantly,

Couponing the right way does not yield a bunch of useless shit you don’t need. The trick is, get what you need (and a few extras of what you need) while it’s on sale, with a coupon, and have enough product to sustain you until it goes on sale again (all items sale cycle by a few months).  No, you don’t have to have thousands of bottles of Pert Plus under your bed, just 3-4 bottles will do because that’s how long it will take to go to rock bottom price again.

So, my DIY Couponing for the week:

I spent  52 cents at Victoria Secret

total: 30$

{tip for this retailer: sign up for their mailers and also make sure to print their online coupons}

Ace Hardware (I like to paint furniture, remember?):

I spent 0.00$

total: 25$

{tip for this retailer: Ace does free paint weeks every couple months–watch their mailer}

Target (school supplies trip):

I spent 32 cents on my first trip and 3$ on my second, for all my son’s school supplies (markers, paints, crayons, glue sticks, Purell-2, erasers, pencils, pens). Oddly, we ran into another mom from our class and she rang up in front of me–I felt bad for her lack of knowledge–everything that she bought could have been free w/ almost no effort.

total: ~25$

{tip: Target is my go-to couponing store because it’s super easy to ‘stack’ coupons here. Just use a target coupon with a manufacturer coupon w/ an item that is on sale or clearance…voila free}

Shutterfly: free address labels till Sunday. {thinking ahead for xmas cards}

Cardstore.com: free greeting cards till tonight. {customize w/ photos too}

Last trick.

get your coupons from old people. honestly, they don’t use them, and old ladies love to help out younger ones. if you’re truly desperate (and unwilling to dumpster dive like me) buy your Sunday paper at dollar store.

There you have it. Couponing DIY whit-style.

DIY August: A gift for a far away lover {or military husband}

In Dating, DIY, Happiness, Love, Men, Women on August 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

{image compliments bakeitinacake.com}

Since Holstee June/July/August is finally over, its time to find a new home for the August cupcakes. Since I seem to be in a DIY mode, I’ve decided to dedicate this month’s sweets to my innumerable projects much of them brought to you by Pinterest.

I scoured the Internet, quite literally, looking to find what I would label as {see my actual google searches below}

gift for lover that works away

gift for boyfriend that works away

correct that

romantic gift for lover that works far away


romantic gift for military partner (this doesn’t actually apply to me)

romantic gift for military husband (neither does this, but I was getting creative)

The closest I got to any sort of gift that would be appropriate for my endeavor was this.

I’ll explain.

I was looking for a gift idea for someone special who works away {far away}. I wanted it to be romantic, personal, and I knew food items would not make it past airport security (even though men typically find food to satisfy all of the aforementioned. So this is what I came up with.

First I found an old box. This one just happened to say Romeo and Juliet which worked out perfectly.


Then I wrote out several tiny folded cards with special things on them. Some quotes, some personal messages, all well-thought out. I needed 42 of them since that’s how many days my someone would be gone.



Then I wrote out my cards, explaining the the game, and I housed them in labeled envelopes.

“open just one paper a day, don’t cheat, open the other envelope before you return home. missing you already.”


And there you have it, a wonderful, romantic way to stay in touch with someone you care about that is far away.

Some ideas for placement in your box–

write me a letter
check your pant pocket (house a love note there)
set up a “dear Sophie” email account and give them the password–send pictures/videos/letters to this account
romantic quotes
reveal details about yourself
get creative

A way to provide a romantic gift for a lover or military husband far away. It’s thoughtful, portable, and lasting.

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