You’re One in a Minion

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate this year, I made these little minions for the kiddos in my family.Image

It was really easy because I used this printable template of the hearts.

I just colored them in with crayon, outlined them with marker, and cut them out.

As for the head lamp, I cut thin strips of black card stock (they don’t have to be perfect), and used a hole punch for the blue-grey lamp part. I had some googly eyes in my craft bin, and couldn’t think of a better time to use them. I finished these guys off by using a sharpie to make the mouth.


You could switch up the look by printing the hearts on colored paper, or using white paper and a marker for the eye.

Even if you haven’t seen Despicable Me, this is still a super cute Valentine’s Day treat. Hurrah for the return of Twinkies, which made this project possible.


DIY Desk Re-Do

In my last guest room post for the week, I thought I’d share our desk rehab.

I wish I had a better before picture, but by the time I realized I didn’t have one, the desk was already disassembled.Image
You can kind of see the deep scratches and the poor condition of the stain. This guy was in rough shape, but I couldn’t get over how charming the carved wood looked when I laid eyes on it at a yard sale. There is even a hole for an inkwell if you pull the bottom drawer out!It was quite a piece.
Apparently, the lady selling it bought the desk years ago with the idea to refinish it, as her husband did this as a hobby. He never got around to it, so they decided the desk had to go. I actually looked at it for a while, and then walked away. We were still living at the apartment, and were in the process of packing, so I couldn’t quite justify bringing a new piece of furniture home.
We got back in the car, drove for a few blocks, and I immediately regretted not purchasing it. We didn’t have any cash on us, so we stopped at a bank and headed back to the yard sale. The lady saw us coming and said she knew we’d be back. After some haggling, we walked away with it for $7.
It sat unfinished for months, first in the spare room at the apartment and then in the way unfinished guest room at the house. We couldn’t quite figure out what we wanted to do to freshen it up. New stain? Paint?
Finally, we had some teal colored paint left over from another project, and I thought the desk would look great in such a deep blue color. Dan took the desk apart and we got to painting. It really didn’t take as long as I thought – just 2 coats of paint and 2 of sealer. It got a whole new lease on life.Image
I think my favorite part of the desk is our decision to use some leftover Martha Stewart brand gold paint for the carved wood parts and the other cut outs. It really makes the intricate wood work pop.Image
We liked the blue and gold mix so much that it became our inspiration colors for the whole room. I had already bought the blue rug, so we started leaning toward finding a yellow comforter to play off the gold in the desk. Same thing when we were debating what color to spray paint those frames – we kept coming back to gold.
I think the desk and the shelves create a cozy little corner in the room for a guest to get some work done on their laptop or just go online for a bit. I still want to get some cute paper to leave in the desk, and I definitely want to do something with that bentwood chair eventually, but I’m quite happy with it as it is right now.

Golden Painted Ladies

On this second day of guest room posts, I thought I’d share how we made this cute wall art.Image

This is what they looked like when we started:Image

Apologies for the camera phone photo.

What was with that weird oxidized gold on the frames? And, I’m sure some people like these boring drawings of some countryside, but I wanted something with a little more color, and perhaps some personal meaning. Still, I had to buy these when I saw them at the thrift shop for 50% off. They rang up a cool $1.45 a piece. I try to get most of my frames at the thrift store now. You can usually find good ones for pretty cheap, and most of the time, all they need is some Windex and a couple coats of spray paint to fix them right up. That’s what we did here.

I took the frames apart, gave them a good cleaning, and Dan sprayed 2 thin coats of gold spray paint on them. I’m loving the gold on the frames matches the other gold tones in the room.

As for the drawings, I just looked around on Pinterest until I found these cute little houses. They look like the painted ladies that Dan and I visited while in San Francisco for our 1 year wedding anniversary. Image

We thought they were a fun reminder of the trip, and drawings of other houses were cute for a guest room.

I like the way the stamping on the frames plays off the hexagon stamping of the candleholder on the nightstand.ImageImage

Total project cost: $4.35 for the frames, $0 for the drawings, and $0 for the gold spray paint (we had it already).

I’m telling you – hit the thrift store for frames. Worth it.

Snowflake Specimens

This is just about the easiest project you can make. I think it took me all of 15 minutes!


The key was having this handy dandy punch in the shape of a snowflake.


I’m not sure if it’s still available because I got it at Michael’s last year around the holidays. I didn’t get a chance to use it until now.

I started by cutting a piece of plain old electric blue scrapbook paper into an 8.5 x 11 piece. I taped it to the back of my framing mat.

Next, I punched out a bunch of snowflakes. I liked that the punch gave them each a little curl to make them more 3D.

Then, I just arranged the snowflakes until they looked nice. I went for straight rows and columns.

Finally, I glued each flake on by the middle, and fluffed each one up a bit.


What I got was a cute, cheap winter decoration that will stay up until it’s time to decorate for Valentine’s Day.

Good spot if you noticed those are the same hurricanes as from my Winter Brunch tablescape. I thought all the white looked great with the pop of blue.

Santa’s Coming Tonight!

It’s Christmas Eve!

All the good little children better be off to bed early tonight so that Santa can make his rounds.

In case you think Santa might need a little help finding your house, you can make him some glittering reindeer food to make sure he knows exactly where to stop.


This project is super easy, and I think little kids will really like it. I know I did as a kid.

All I did was take some old fashioned oats and mix them with any holiday baking sprinkles that you may have laying around the house. I used red, green, and white shimmer crystals.


Mix it all up, put it in a treat bag (or ziploc bag), and tie it up using this printable label to explain what to do with it.


On Christmas Eve (so, tonight), sprinkle the reindeer food out on your lawn. The shiny sugar will show Santa right where to stop, and the oats are food for the reindeer to snack on while Santa is delivering your presents.

A quick note. Some recipes call for glitter, but that could harm any little critters that eat the leftover oats that the reindeer couldn’t finish. The sugar is more eco-friendly, so that’s why I used it. Not sure why a large amount of sugar is OK, but that’s what I’ve read.

I made these for my two young nieces (and mother-in-law), and we’re looking forward to spreading the reindeer food out tonight to make sure Santa stops at our houses.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve full of magic and memories!

Hot Cocoa Bar with All the Fixings

My holiday party had so much going on that I had to split the post into two.

You were probably wondering what happened to dessert in my last post. Did I get so wrapped up in making the appetizers and putting together the wine tasting that I forgot about dessert?

Of course not!

Instead of making one big dessert, I decided to make several little desserts as part of a hot cocoa bar.


I always loved the idea of a hot coca bar and having a ton of different little mix ins to customize your hot chocolate. I think planning the hot cocoa bar was the part of party planning that I enjoyed the most.

I planned to make some hot chocolate from scratch with real milk and cocoa powder (no mixes!) and have cookies, chocolate chips, candy canes, marshmallows, and some booze to let everyone have exactly the cup of hot cocoa they wanted.

I pinterested and googled to see if I was missing anything. That’s when I came across this set of hot cocoa bar printables. I thought they were so cute, so I incorporated them into the decor.


I ended up deciding to bake cinnamon biscotti


and gingerbread cookies. The thing about the cookies – I bought this great cookie cutter from World Market that cut cookies that were able to hang on the edge of the cocoa mugs.


Aren’t they cute? Little hanging gingerbread stars.

I also was crazy enough to attempt to make homemade honey vanilla marshmallows. The honey really comes out in the warm cocoa.


I rounded out the bar with mini chocolate chips, cinnamon sticks, chocolate dipped candy canes, and frozen whipped cream dollops made at home from heavy whipping cream.
For alcohol, I had some peppermint schnapps and whipped cream vodka on hand.

I was so glad I put this hot chocolate bar together. People loved it and said it was a great addition to the party.

Perhaps you can try one before this holiday season is over.

Wreath Decorating Party

Last night I hosted a wreath decorating party for a few of my friends.


We bought some wreaths from Alive Rescue, as one of their fundraisers, and thought it would be fun to decorate the wreaths together. My friend Erin and I did this last year, and it was fun to add more people to the tradition this year.

I kept mine simple this year and created some silver glitter stars ahead of time to attach to my wreath.

Can you guess what the stars are made from?


A cereal box!

I used cookie cutters and free-handed a large star onto the cardboard and cut them out.

With a pencil, I drew lines from the center of each star to the points. Then, I traced over the lines with an exacto knife.

I did the same thing for the folds inward.

After some cardboard bending, I got some pretty cool looking 3D stars.


To get them sparkly silver, I had Dan spray paint them using some silver paint we had laying around. After they dried, I dabbed on  two coats of sparkle paint.

Not exactly the most difficult craft in the world, but I was very pleased with the result. They look like shiny metal stars, which was exactly the look I was going for.


All in all, a fun night of wine, more Elf, glue guns, and good friends.