DIY Lily Pulitzer Style Inspired Fabric Covered Frame


Lily Pulitzer’s colors and patterns are so full of life.  They are everywhere, especially since spring has sprung.  I even found some of her dresses when shopping in Marshall’s the other day. 

I really am inspired by the bright colors and patterned fabrics, but they aren’t really easily mixed in with the style of our home.  If it was up to me, there would be brighter colors and patterns, but I also live with a man, my husband, and compromise is a must in marriage.  So instead of totally passing over using some Spring’s brightest, I decided to make a small present for my niece’s fifth birthday.

My niece Cailyn will be turning five this June and is a total girly girl.  The bright pinks and greens that Lily Pulitzer has in her patterns are perfect for her bedroom.  Using green and pinks last year, I already quilled my other niece’s name using the steps in my custom initial quilling post so the palette was already in action in their room. When visiting my family in April, I took this adorable picture of her that is perfect for my frame idea.

This project is exactly the way I made the frames with custom fabric photo mats, but a bit brighter.  You need fabric that wil fit the dimensions of the frame mat, a frame, scissor, and a glue gun.  The frame was $14 and the fabric was less than $3 with a coupon from Joannes. Follow the steps in the custom fabric photo mat post and you'll have a totally new framed picture.

<3 mk


Make Your Own Cellulite Scrub


Last week I wrote about two shower body scrubs that you can easily make at home. I left you hanging with the third container in my pictures, but today Ill let you in on my secret.  The third scrub is used for something most women hate most in the world...cellulite.

Cellulite - Yes, that dreaded word that nobody likes to hear, but especially nobody likes to see.  It isn’t a problem for people who need to lose weight. Even skinny girls get it because it isn’t fat, its bands of collagen that crisscrosses over fat cells, which create a bumpy appearance.  Caffeine and circular strokes can reduce water retention to make fat cells lie smoother.

Instead of spending tons of money on that caffeine-laced cream, I went right to my Keurig, the k-cup coffee maker.   I used my k-cups and some cinnamon mixed together.  I have been rubbing the scrub in circles on my problem areas.  No, it doesn’t make it all go away, but I have noticed a positive appearance for only pennies.

Why cinnamon?  Cinnamon has been proven to melt cellulite and improve the look of your skin.  If you want more info, read this article.

Memorial Day has officially kicked off summer time and that means officially bathing suit season.  This past weekend, Jeff and I went on a get away to the beach where a bikini was a must.  I have to say that I was feeling a bit more comfortable since using this scrub.  A tan doesn't hurt either, but that will take some time to develop. Sorry folks, I refuse to show any pictures of the progress, just try it for yourself.

This cellulite scrub is a great help, but there are other areas to get yourself ready for the warmer weather. I recently read an article from Glamour that gave some great hints to getting your body ready for the beach without hitting the gym. I am a big advocate for frequent exercise, but I know it isn't for everyone.  The article focuses on getting the glowing legs, but they also talked about cellulite.

Happy scrubbing!

<3 mk


Make Your Own In-Shower Body Scrubs


There is nothing better than soft and shiny legs.   Now that the weather is warmer, you won't be hiding your legs in tights anymore.  It’s time to shave and exfoliate those gams.

Making an at home body scrub is really simple, there are tons of ways to make them, and many products to use.  I was about to add some products to my shopping list and decided to use what I already had at home.  With spring-cleaning, I realized how much extra beauty “stuff” I actually purchases and never used. 

Plastic containers bought especially to hold the scrubs - glass in the shower isn't safe.

Sugar, thats the main ingredient for leg exfoliate.  A cheap and easy ingredient you probably already have at home. Mix it with mineral oil, baby oil, Dove liquid soap, even other shower oils. The recipe is simple; for every cup of sugar, add in 3/4 of a cup of the oil.

My first scrub I mixed with mineral oil, brown/granulated sugar, and a teaspoon of cinnamon.  It smells delicious and is totally edible, but I wouldn't recommend licking your leg.   I used the mineral oil because baby oil really doesn't react with my skin well, but use what you have.  This stuff smelled delicious when scrubbing my legs in the shower.

The second scrub was granulated sugar and the Vaseline Shower Body Oil.  The smell is even better when the steam of the shower gets to it. The cocoa butter smell is my favorite.

The third container is a secret for now.  It is a body scrub that is also used for exfoliation but for a totally different purpose.  Check next week for all the info.

*Warning, the oils will stick to the sides of your tub.  After you are done with your shower/bath, rinse and do a spray or quick wipe with some cleaning product.  Nobody wants a brown ring around the tub.*

<3 mk


Cleaning Your Styling Tools


I have straight hair, pin straight hair.  To someone that has curly hair, they are envious, but to me, I want curly hair.  You always want what you don’t have!  In order to get what I want, I curl my hair about three to four times a week.   I always knew that I should use products to protect my hair from the curling iron, but did you know you should protect your styling tools too? Yeah, me neither.

A few months back I showed you how to clean your makeupbrushes, but in beauty, you need to keep everything clean, including your styling tools.  I use a curling iron,  flat iron, and a wand throughout the week, depending on the curl or wave I am trying to attain.  So much of the products that I use to protect my hair gets built up on the tools and will affect their productivity as well as their lifespan.

In order to clean these guys you really don’t need much.  About once a week, if you are a frequent user, spray some rubbing alcohol.  In a spray bottle, mix equal amounts of the (non drinkable!) alcohol and tap or distilled water.  Spray this on the styling tool when slightly warm and rub off with a cloth or makeup pad.  Do you see what I got off of one of my curling tools?  Ewwww

FYI - This frugal and effective cleaner can be used all over the house to replace the multiple types of cleaners you might be using.  The best part is that it's dirt cheap!   We used an empty larger spray bottle and use it to clean almost everything.

<3 mk


Deck Greenhouse Results


Remember the deck greenhouse I put together back in November?  Are you curious to see if my plants are still alive?  Well, the verdict is in…

Back in November, in an attempt to save my plants and herbs, I purchased an easy, build it yourself
4-tiered greenhouse.  I literally took my plastic deck planters and placed them directly into the greenhouse, then crossed my fingers.  I will admit that I forgot to water the herbs regularly, but it was so cold outside I didn't want to even step outside. My selfishness didn't blow up in my face because the herbs and plants lived to see the spring.

Disclaimer - not all herbs will last through a cold winter in the green house.  I had chives, parsley, rosemary, and creeping jenny in my planters. They didn't grow too much over the winter, but they were all still green and ready for the warmer weather when I took them out in April. I did try basil, but it was a total fail.  It isn't a hearty herb.

Parsley and Chives
The best part about this "experiment" was that I didn't have to start from scratch this Spring.  I literally took the planters out of the greenhouse, did some minor cleaning of the beds, then dropped them right back into the planter boxes that Jeff built.

<3 mk


DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - Part IV - The Finale


This is post is part of a multi-part series on how we demolished our master bathroom and re-built it ourselves with quality materials and great design.
  1. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Demolition
  2. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Build Up
  3. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Finishing Touches
  4. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Final Product

Welcome to Part IV in our Master Bathroom Renovation series.  Part I covered the nasty parts (demolition), Part II got pretty technical about the underlying structure pieces and Part III spoke of the costs and finishing touches.  If you haven't seen the "before" photos, check them out in the links above!

Finally, Part IV is the final product.  Here you can see how everything fits together, from the tile choices for the floor, the baseboard tiles which are also used as an accent piece behind the shower panel.  Though to be honest, we did not have enough tile for the walls and were short one piece.  It could only be purchased in bulk, not individually so we needed to get creative.  Hence the leftover baseboard and floor tile behind the shower.  The shower panel and vanity cabinets can be seen with the dual sinks, faucets and mirrors.

A few other touches include the dimable LED shower lights, bamboo accessories (to flow with the bedroom floor) and bathrobe and towel hangers from Amazon.

You'll notice some of the photos are more professional looking than the others.  That's because a professional took them!  More on that in later posts.

The Final Product

Shower panel with rain shower head

Close up of rain shower head

Shower panel misters in action

Dual sink vanity and mirrors

It's not a very large master bathroom, but we made the space work.  By going with a shallow double sink vanity, it really gives the illusion and additional physical space that the room is larger than it actually is.  The vanity has a depth of just over 19".  That's very common in Europe, but not in the US.

All in all, this is definitely something we would do again.  For the cost of materials and time, ending up with an extremely modern and well-built bathroom was completely worth it.  We know quality materials and the proper techniques were used and are super happy with the results.

<3 mk and jeff


Adding Some Color


Remember when I made this?  Well, I am totally in love with it, but it needed a little somethin'.  My very expensive inspirations all had some color background to them and I also wanted to add some, but I couldn’t just settle on one pattern so…I did four! 

Four?  How can you do four different patterns on a tray?  Easy.  Make them removable.

The best thing about this acrylic tray is that it is clear.  That means that you can see through it to the surface it is placed on.  Since I had already put the decal on the top of the tray, the only place left to add some color was underneath.

First, measure the bottom of the tray, exactly.  Cut some patterned or colored card stock to the measurements of the tray bottom. You probably will need to buy pieces of each to make the size fit the measurements. Michaels has a huge variety of patterned paper for under $2 each.  I was able to get polka dots, damask with green, navy stripes, and a wedding ring pattern in rusty orange.  I laminated each paper and then attached them to the bottom of the tray using double sided sticky dots.

If you do not have access to a laminator, you can get a pack of 10 self-adhesive sheets for about $8.  They work just as well as a machine.

I love the way this project turned out.  For a few more dollars, I was able to add some color to the personalized tray. My favorite was the polka dots. It's so Kate Spade.  The other patterned bottoms are equally awesome and they go so well with the colors in our living room. 

<3 mk


DIY Hanging Ivy Sphere


I got this idea from a pin on Pinterest and wanted to remake my own.  RaymentWire was selling this orb for about $85 US dollars.  I'm never interested in spending more than seems reasonable so the plan was to DIY.

Originally I thought that I would get a Chinese lantern and rip out the paper covering, but my hope for an inexpensive alternative was blown apart.  The lantern I purchased was very inexpensive and I should have realized that it was not held together with wire - the paper was the structure. As soon as I pulled the paper off, the entire thing crumbled.  What was a girl to do?

Honestly, I felt defeated and was about to give up, but realized that I had a hanging basket that had not been used this spring and was sitting underneath my deck.  I had purchased the hanging basket about five years ago and have been replacing the liners each season.  I did not have the time to plant these baskets yet and honestly wasn’t going to use them anyway.  These hanging baskets were perfect for repurposing.

This was really easy and it only took about 10 minutes.  For sure, it will take longer for the ivy to grow and cover the wired skeleton sphere.

First, buy three small ivy plants.  Transplant all three into one of the plastic containers so you have more plant to cover the orb.

Take the layered hanging planters and take off the metal hooks that are attached to the chains. 

Using an awl or sharp point to put four holes equally around the plastic container with the ivy.  Make sure you put the hole below the lip of the container so the zip ties won’t cut through the container.

Using four zip ties, put one through each of the holes in the container.  Do not connect the end yet. Invert the larger wire basket above the top of the ivy plant.  Loop the zip ties to the inverted wire basket.  Do not zip the zip ties too tight, you want the ivy to hang a bit.  Trim the excess ends of the zip ties.

Connect the smaller wire planter to the bottom of the larger planters with some more zip ties.  You will need another person to hold the top so that you can make sure the zip ties are connected in the same length.  Trim the zip tie end when done.

Take the ivy and loop it around the wire so that when it grows, it will cover the wire entirely.

Repurpose the metal chains by hanging them from the middle of the orb.  My metal chains had two hooks attached to each chain for both layers.  Attach the hooks to the bottom of each of the three chains. When attaching, hook one on each side of one of the wires, this way the chains won’t slide around.

Hang the ivy outside and wait for progress. Hopefully it will look like a big orb of ivy in a few weeks like the one above from RaymentWire.

This project was easy and only took about $15 to make.  The ivy cost around $5 and the hanging planter is only about $10.  I already had mine so it really was an inexpensive project.  Only time will tell if this repurposed project will be successful.  The weather has been warm and has been raining frequently so I know the ivy will be growing.  Try this out and I hope you will have success.  I'll update when progress is made.

<3 mk


DIY Wood Block Art


Inspiration for this DIY project came from a show on HGTV.  They did the project on a much larger scale - an entire wall, and it looked amazing.  I wanted to do this on a smaller scale and add some color and portability.  The project was relatively easy, but a little time consuming. 

Here are the steps I took to create this DIY art.

Base - decide on the size of the art you want to make.  Remember, you might want to hang this on the wall, so size is important.  I choose plywood cut at Lowes to 24”x 30“.

Color - This project can be natural wood or any color or colors you choose.  A bright red color was my choice.  I used Rust-oleum spray paint in Sunrise Red.  For the entire project I bought three cans. If you are going natural, you will want to buy wood that is nice quality but it will be a bit more expensive.

Wood Blocks - There are many different sizes of wood you can purchase.  The wood came in poplar sticks in varying sizes.  They should be located in the section with the moldings. I chose the 1x1 sticks.  Just make sure you do the math so the amount of blocks attached on the base wood will fit perfectly. I bought about 20 wooden sticks and hand just enough for the entire project.

Spray paint the base plywood using your choice of paint color.  Don’t forget to get the sides and some of the back.

Spray paint the wood sticks.  A few coats are needed to make sure good coverage is obtained.

Using an electric mitre or chop saw, cut the wood sticks to varying lengths.  Try not to go more than 2 inches long.  You don’t want the wood protruding too far out .  You can double up on cutting a few pieces at a time, but remember, that will create too many identical sized pieces and the goal is for variation.

Using the electric saw makes cutting the wood really easy, but some of the sides will splinter.  You will need to hand sand the sides of almost all the pieces unless the blade is appropriately sized for this type of wood.  Usually that will mean smaller teeth.  However, most electric saws do not come with blades that have small enough teeth to cut using this wood without needing to sand.  The sanding takes a lot of time, but will result in a clean look.

Place the wood blocks on the base to make sure the wood is not at the same heights.  The pieces also have different wood colors and you will want to put them in different places.  Try to do this in L-shapes (length and width).  Then, glue the pieces on with wood glue. 

When gluing each piece of wood, make sure the borders (length, width) don’t shift.  I had to adjust the sides numerous times until the glue dried. 

This project took me many days and working in random spurts.   I could only imagine the time it would take to do this on an entire wall.

To hang this wooden block art on the wall, I didn’t use just any hook and nail.  Jeff actually came up with the idea to use a small TV wall mount that came with a smaller flat screen TV.   

Project Cost-

Wood base- $9.97
Wood sticks 20 X $3.50 = $70
Spray paint 3 x $4.24 = $12.72
Wood glue - $3.97
Wall mount - free

Total- $96.66

I saw one recently on Etsy.com that was selling for $220.  A little expensive for my tastes, but if you aren’t in the mood to DIY then that would be the other alternative.

If you are interested in actually doing an entire wall similar to the art, LOWE'S has it as part of its creative ideas tutorial.  If you have a weekend, some cutting skills, the proper tools, and about $500 you can have one for yourself.  Maybe on my next home I will have my own wood block wall.

I love looking at this every time I walk up my stairs.  It looks different from every angle and it's so diverse depending on the lighting of the day.  I hope this inspired you to make one for your home that makes you equally happy.

<3 mk


Cornbread Casserole


There isn’t anything that goes better with a good pot of chili than corn bread.  Corn bread is really basic and can be done in many ways as this recipe shows.  This recipe is made with a simple box of cornbread mix, but spruced up with creamed corn, roasted green chilies, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

I've made this for my neighbor’s annual Halloween chili party last year and it was a big hit.  This time, I made it as a side dish for a staff luncheon at work.  Who wants regular old dry snooze-fest cornbread when you can mix it up with this moist and flavorful version in the same amount of time?  I know it isn't chili time of the year, but I do know that fresh corn would be delicious in this dish and perfect for a barbecue. 

Cornbread Casserole

½ cup melted butter
2 eggs beaten
2 boxes (8.5 ounces) dry cornbread mix
1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn; drained or thawed
1 can (14.75 ounces) creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1 can  (4 ounces) roasted diced green chilies
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x12 inch pan or a 12 inch cast iron skillet.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients above until well incorporated. Reserve some cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top.  Spoon the mixture into the greased pan. Sprinkle with the reserved cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown.

I made a full batch of this recipe and it turned out delicious. It does make a big batch so you might want to cut this recipe in half.  Or not, because it is so delicious you might want seconds, or thirds, or fourths.. You can use any brand of cornbread mix; I used Jiffy because it was available at my local food store.  You can make this a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator overnight.  It is best served warm to go along with the chili or any other favorite home-style meal.


<3 mk


Antipasto Kabobs


Any food that comes off a stick is usually good, especially meat.  These stick antipasto appetizers are a great idea for a get together or even as a dinner.  They fill you up and don’t require any utensils.  Even better, you can make them before hand and pull them right out of the fridge before company comes over.

This appetizer is very diverse.  I used ingredients that I prefer, but add any veggies, meat or cheese you prefer, as long as they stick onto the skewers.  Some items to be used include prosciutto, cooked cheese ravioli, artichokes, olives, etc. 

Antipasto Kabobs

Buffalo mozzarella balls
Sundried tomatoes (olive oil drained, save)
Grape tomatoes
Roasted pepper
Good quality salami
Balsamic vinegar

Gather all your ingredients.  Stick the meat, cheese, veggies, and basil on each skewer in a consistent pattern.  Don’t forget to make some vegetarian kabobs if you have non-meat eaters in your group.  To make them look fancy, wrap the basil around the cheese or the tomatoes. Drizzle the tops of each lightly with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.  You could even use a pre-made vinaigrette.

They can be made in advance, just cover tightly when storing in the fridge.


<3 mk


Car Door Bumpers for the Garage


Do you have a small garage?  Do you constantly bump the sides of your car door on the wall of your garage when getting out?  If the answer is yes, then you need a pool noodle.

No, you did not read that incorrectly.  A pool noodle is an inexpensive way to put in a bumper on your wall so you don’t ding your door every time you open the door. At about $3 per noodle, you can protect all of your doors.

This past weekend Jeff and I spent a lot of time cleaning, waxing, and touching up the paint on my Mini Cooper.  The girl isn’t as young as she used to be and needed a good facelift.  Most of the touch up paint went to the hood for the little chips caused by rocks, but the other paint touch up went to smaller door dings (thanks a lot people) as well as the sides of my doors that I most likely caused myself.  I had at least three spots on each side of the door that I most likely hit on the wall of my garage.

All you need to do is cut the noodle in half,  lengthwise.   First, I used measuring tape and dotted a straight-line length wise down both sides of the noodle.  This ensured I cut it so it was symmetrical and even on both sides.  I used a general-purpose sharp pocketknife and hand carved the noodle into two pieces.

Then, adhere the cut noodle with a few 2.5” screws that went into the wall of the garage on the stud every 16-24 inches.  It took only a few screws (3 each) and the project was done. I screwed them into the noodle just so the metal of the screw wasn’t sticking out.  The screw moves very easily through the plastic foam of the noodle so be careful.  Screw in just enough so it still is in the noodle and not just the wall stud.

Yes, you can purchase any materials that would cushion the door from hitting the walls of the garage, but not at $3. This project was a cheap and easy solution to my side door issues.  Now, I just need to figure something out for those other people that have been dinging up the side of my car. 

<3 mk

P.S.  If you can get past the veins in my hands, my nail polish is OPI gel in Thanks a Windmillion.

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