Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Decorating

HP_Winter
With a new year vastly approaching, and winter in full gear, there are still plenty of ways to add some style to your home this season!

Area Rugs

from bhg.com

Area rugs can add comfort and texture to any living room. Opt for a fluffy one for the colder months. It's even suggested to layer them for added visual appeal!

Branches

From hgtv.com

To bring minimal and modern characteristics to an area, you could add a glittered branch or two. Try placing one in a vase to bring together drapery and other similar styled decor.

Ready for Snow Vignette

From hgtv.com

This is a great idea to welcome anyone to the door! All you need are some lovely snow-related items, such as an old sled and snow skates. Pull it together by using an outdoor plant, and even add a "Let it Snow" plaque!

Simple Bedroom Additions

From hgtv.com

If you have windows in your bedroom, you could add some inexpensive snowflake decals to them, which will give that winter feel in a subtle way. Another simple idea is to frame some black and white images to bring the look together.

Don't let too much time go by, add some of these great ideas to your home this season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gift Wrapping Tips

Some of us will be doing a little (or a lot) of last-minute gift wrapping. There are a few things to keep in mind when you're cutting, folding, and taping!

1. Get some decent quality wrapping paper so the corners won't rip 

2. Always wrap on a flat surface

3. (Optional) Use double sided tape when folding the sides down to make things easier and make your gifts look cleaner

4. Always bear in mind who the receiver will be, and match it to their liking

5. Get creative!

Here's a quick tutorial video to help you learn the ways!
So that's basically it! Now all you have to do is... Presents

Friday, December 19, 2014

DIY Holiday Gifts

Hey everyone! You all like to get crafty from time to time right? Well, now is the best time! Here are a few DIY holiday gift ideas you can try for yourself!

Picture Monogram

From itsagingersnap.com
So here's what you need for a gift that a family member will love. Find a wooden letter, like the ones that you can find at Hobby Lobby or craftcuts.com. Also pick up some mod podge, which is an adhesive and a sealant, so it's very handy to have around for projects. The regular kind for sticking the pictures on, and the glossy type is recommended for finishing this project. You'll also need your pictures, scissors, an exacto knife, and black paint (optional). Lay the pictures out, cover them with adhesive, then stick them in place. Once dry, flip over the letter and use the exacto knife to trim off the edges of the pictures. Then apply two layers of the gloss coat (letting it dry in between), and you're done!

Chocolate Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups
from howsweeteats.com
Yes, something this good actually exists. Here's a preview of what's in this chocolatey-peanutbuttery deliciousness:
  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Once you've gathered up everything you need for these delectable morsels of goodness, simply follow the directions laid out on howsweeteats.com to make them! How could anyone not like these things??

Monogrammed Hand Towel

from marthastewart.com
This one is great because it can be personalized for anyone. Basically, you will need to get or create a stencil, so that you can lay it on top of the towel and then apply two coats of washable fabric paint with a medium sized brush, then let dry a couple of hours. Simple and elegant.

Coffee Candle

from popsugar.com
Nothing like the smell of coffee in the morning... or evening, or whenever!
  • Small paper coffee cup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons used coffee grounds
  • Paper towel
  • 1 cup wax candle remnants
  • Candle wick
  • Scissors
  • Small saucepan
  • Small metal or glass mixing bowl
Start by adding a cup of candle remnants to a small metal pan. You'll want to have a saucepan filled halfway with water, directly underneath to create a double boiler. It'll take about 5 minutes until the wax melts. Then, make sure the coffee cup is clean, and place the wick on the bottom, followed by covering the bottom with coffee grounds (after you've squeezed any moisture out of them). Pour about half of the melted wax, letting it dry for about 20 minutes. Distribute some more coffee grounds, followed by the rest of the re-melted wax. Let it dry for about an hour, and then cut away the cup to reveal the coffee candle!  

Hopefully you won't have too many last-minute gifts to give this year, but now you'll have a little bit of inspiration to make your own this weekend. And hey, who doesn't appreciate a hand-made gift?

Friday, December 12, 2014

12 Days of Christmas

It's time for that classic countdown! Here are 12 things you can do during the 12 days of Christmas to make it an awesome holiday.
12_Days_Xmas

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Food


From thevintagewife.com

Thanksgiving is just two days away! It's usually a time that involves family, fun, and football. Oh wait, and FOOD! So what is your favorite dish served at your Thanksgiving meal?

Poll: What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing/Dressing
Green Bean Casserole
Ham
Cranberry Sauce
Pie
Other
Poll Maker

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pre-Christmas Tunes

If you aren't ready to rock around the Christmas tree just yet, here are a few suggested songs by some select bands to listen to that might make the cold and snow seem a little more welcoming.

Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains

Fleet Foxes hail from Seattle. They formed in 2006 and have released two very successful albums. This song is very folk based, yet it sounds like it's being played in an old cathedral. If you like sweet harmonies and piano melodies accompanied by mandolin, check this one out. It's about perfect to listen to on a chilly walk to class.

Bon Iver - Calgary
Even if you haven't listened to Bon Iver, you've likely heard the name. Justin Vernon's falsetto voice might not be your initial cup of tea, but there's a good chance that it will grow on you. It's quite a dynamic song that is masterfully crafted to build up, and then slowly fade away.

John Mayer - Dear Marie
Everyone has heard of John Mayer. Maybe you only know him from his older, pop-style songs. Or maybe the last song you heard by him was Gravity (which is a great song). Whatever opinion you may have of him, his song "Dear Marie" deserves a listen for having straight-forward, honest lyrics, and a mellow style that anyone could dig.

The Middle East - Blood

This is another song that builds up to something greater than you think will happen. It's been featured in a variety of movies and commercials. Even though the lyrics are a bit sad, there's something about the song that makes it up-lifting.

AA Bondy - There's a Reason

Next, we have "There's a Reason". Some have described his lyrics as pure poetry, but one thing is certain, and that is AA Bondy's voice is awesome.

The Envy Corps - Med. Song 
Of course, this list would not be complete without a sweet live video from Ames, Iowa's own, The Envy Corps.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quick & Easy Thanksgiving Décor


Stuck between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving doesn’t receive as much attention. Shortly after putting away your costumes and taking down your Halloween decorations, Christmas music starts playing. If you’re not quite ready to start putting up your winter holiday decorations, and want some quick and easy Thanksgiving décor, then you are at the right spot!

Source: Martha Stewart


Flaming Foliage Candleholders 



Candles are always nice to have around for the holidays. They provide a nice feeling of warmth and can add a little bit of elegance. They can also be used as décor while providing some small light.

These Flaming Foliage Candleholders, found at Martha Stewart’s website, provide a fitting home to any candles you may have siting around. For this all you need is some spray adhesive, assorted dried leaves, glass candleholders, and candles. You can check out her site for directions and inspiration, or you can give it your own go!

These beautiful candleholders bring the colors of autumn in your home. While they may be easy to make, with the weather we’ve been having finding dry leaves may be a problem!


Source: SimplyVintageGirl

The Thankful Tree


The Thankful Tree, from Simply Vintage Girl, is a fun and nice looking piece of décor for Thanksgiving. Not only does it serve as a decoration, but guest, family, and kids can place a little note on it saying what they are thankful for.

In order to make this you’ll need twigs (they can be fake or real if you are able to find any), a mason jar, paper, a whole punch, and string or ribbon. For directions and inspiration, check out the full post!





Thanksgiving Fold

Source: SocialCouture

Folded napkins are always a nice touch, so why not fold your napkins into turkeys? In order to do this, you will need to do a few simple folds and a squash. The squash is used as the actual turkey while the napkin is used as the tail. Not only does it look nice, but it’s also edible! (The squash at least)

For more information and steps for the folds, check out the post at Social Couture.


Flowers


Source: Cebolla Fine Flowers
Flowers make a beautiful centerpiece at a dinner table and can make for colorful decoration as well. Inspired by the piece seen at Cebolla Fine Flowers, you can make your own centerpiece with a vase, flowers, and miniature pumpkins!

Making your own can be easy and relatively cheap depending on what you have available. If you’d like, you can make yours with real flowers and pumpkins, or you can find fake ones at Hobby Lobby or somewhere similar. With this your final piece can be as simple as a small mason jar filled with fake flowers, or a huge decorative vase filled with real flowers. It’s completely up to you!


So there you have it. If you find yourself hosting Thanksgiving this year and want some extra décor, you can use some of these simple ideas. Happy decorating!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Maps!

Do you know how to read a map, or do you rely on your smartphone or GPS for directions? That isn't the point of this post, however. Here are some nifty DIY ideas you can try out if you love traveling, or just like what a map can tell you about a place.

Lamp Revamp

Map Lampshade via Silver Boxes

This idea comes from Stephanie at Silver Boxes. It involves finding an old lamp/shade, and a map to cut out. You can optionally paint the lamp stand. Use some Mod Podge to decoupage the map to the lamp shade, and then adhere grosgrain ribbon to the edges, and there you go!

Coasters

Map Coasters via Martha Stewart Living

All you'll need for this one is some cork coasters, old maps, scissors/exacto knife, a pencil, a foam paintbrush, and glue sealant. Simply trace around the coasters on the maps, cut them out, and then glue the maps to the coasters. Now whenever you pick up your glass, you'll be reminded of where you've been and/or what you want to go!

Candle

Map Candle via The Inspired Housewife

Here's another easy one! Grab that Mod Podge from the lamp revamp, and adhere a map cutout to a candle!

Bow

Map bow via Entirely Smitten

With the holidays coming up, this will be sure to please your family/friends! Jillian at Entirely Smitten has an easy tutorial on how to make these!

There are plenty of cool things you can do with a map to bring life to any area of the home. You can also use maps in crafty ways to show off your DIY skills!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Things to do Before Fall Ends!

There's still time to enjoy the wonderful season of Autumn. Here's a short list of some things you can do before Winter knocks at the door! BeforeFallEnds

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Color Wheel: Orange

Orange


Orange:

With October now over I’m sure you have seen your fair share of orange. Some of you may be sick of it after seeing nothing but orange all month long, while some may start to miss it as less orange means more winter.  Regardless of your stance on the color, we are going to give you some facts and home décor inspiration for Orange! (Sorry for mentioning winter. Hopefully the orange leaves realize their importance and decide to stick around a while longer with some nice weather)

Orange can brighten any room in your home and is a great accent color. Blue is orange’s complementary color, but orange can go well with quite a few colors. If you are looking for color inspiration incorporating orange, look no further than nature! The sunset, the fruit, flowers, trees in autumn, and so much more can be used as inspiration.

Fun Orange Facts:

The name orange comes from the ripe appearance of the fruit orange. In the English language there was no word for orange until the late 15th century. Prior to Europe’s introduction to the orange tree from Asia via merchants, the word had been yellow-red. The name the merchants brought to Europe for this tree was “naranga,” which somehow became orange overtime. However not everyone picked up the name orange for the fruit, in some places throughout Europe and Russia the name for the fruit was, and in some cases still is, Chinese apple.

Orange has been a popular color throughout history. It was a primary color used in ancient Egyptian wall paintings, used in medieval manuscripts, and is a sacred color in some religions. The color is associated with fun, lightheartedness, and entertainment.

Orange does have words that rhyme with it; those who say otherwise are incorrect. Blorenge is a mountain in Wales; sporange is where spores are made, and door hinge (this one is kind of a stretch as it’s not one word, but still) all rhyme with orange!

So there you have it, the color orange in all of its glory. It’s a great color to have around this time of season and any other time of year. Orange you glad you read this post?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Best Disney Halloween Movies

Folks, it's time to bust out the popcorn! Find a comfy seat, and a pal or two to watch some of these classic Disney Halloween films from your childhood.

1) Hocus Pocus 1993
Most people know this one. It's about three witches who get resurrected by a kid named Max. Who doesn't love some cheesy 90s humor?



2) Under Wraps 1997

A mummy, appropriately named Harold, comes back to life when three kids discover him in a creepy house. They end up becoming friends even though Harold can't so much as utter anything more than "ugh". They find out that he needs to be brought back to his coffin by midnight on Halloween, or he will be gone forever!

From Wikipedia

3) Halloweentown 1998

Most have seen this movie as well. It's basically the standard when it comes to Disney Halloween movies. Marnie finds out that she is a witch from her kooky grandma, even though her mom has been trying to hide it because she wants her to just have a normal life. Marnie and her brother and sister follow her grandma on Halloween to a mysterious bus stop that takes them to Halloweentown, where ghouls, ghosts, and everything creepy are it's inhabitants. Fortunately, there are some nice ones out there! The caveat comes when the Mayor, Kalabar, is actually an evil warlock that tries to turn the town to stone. It's up to Marnie and her family to try and stop him! A must see.

From Wikipedia

4) Phantom of the Megaplex 2000

This one is about a kid named Pete Riley who loves his job at the movie theater. On a big movie premier night, he's feeling stressed. The owner of the megaplex is supposed to show up, and his manager is putting tons of pressure on him. He has to keep an eye on his younger brother and sister at the theater while his mom is out on a date. Things start going wrong, and it seems there's a strange masked man causing tons of problems, and even ruining movie reels while they are being played! The masked man is revealed at the end in a strange plot twist you've just got to see to believe.

From Wikipedia

5) Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire 2000

For the year 2000, this movie was ahead of it's time. Vampires interacting with normal people? Say whaat? This movie is about a single mom with three kids that meets a strange and mysterious man whom she ends up going on a date with. However, the youngest kid Taylor thinks that the man is actually a vampire. Long story short, the mom becomes entranced by the man and it's up to the kids, along with the help of a Van Helsing type of dude to help save her! Check it out!

From Wikipedia

Honorable mentions: The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Tower of Terror, The Poof Point.

So, that's it! Check to see if any of these movies are available through Hulu, Netflix, or something similar. Otherwise, your best bet is to find a DVD online [or vhs tape!?]. Or maybe even try a video rental store like Family Video, because that's still a thing you know.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Perfect October Snack

Halloween is just around the corner folks, and what better way to get in the spirit than with a sweet treat that's easy to make and will please just about anyone! What could this delicious delicacy possibly be? Black widow spider bites of course! Image from momontimeout.com

So, here's what you gotta do. Go to the store and pick up some Halloween Oreos (which, we all know taste way better than the regular kind). Also, grab some black licorice while you're at it. Personally, I'd substitute the licorice for pretzel sticks.

Next step is to simply and gracefully remove the top of the cookie. Then, insert the "legs" into the cream filling. Replace the top of the cookie by gingerly pressing it down.

Finally, take some red sparkle gel, and blot it on the top. And there you have the best tasting, easiest to make, and coolest looking October snack.
  Spider Bites
  Bonus: Dip the Oreos in peanut butter. You won't regret it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Simple and Clever DIY Halloween Costumes!

Have you guys ever seen some sweet Halloween costumes, and wonder where on earth you find something that awesome? Chances are, it wasn't store bought... it was made by someone! Here are some cool do-it-yourself costume ideas to give you that extra edge on your Halloween this year!

1) This is an easy one! Who doesn't love the classic Where's Waldo books?
From inhabitat.com

All it takes is a red and white striped sweater, nerdy glasses, pom beanie, and one of those ancient film cameras, and you'll be so hard to find amongst all the other characters of the night!

2) Silent Film Star

From popsugar.com

This is for those lovers of vintage! Go with some black attire (dress, suit), as well as black lipstick and eye shadow. The black eye shadow will be used as blush. White face powder can be used as well. I would also highly suggest a classic bowler, or fedora for the males! And why not throw in a mustache and cane to complete the Charlie Chaplin look?

3) Mario and/or Luigi! From brit.co

You don't even have to be a gamer to get into this costume! Just find some old overalls, a train conductor hat, then add felt! You can also find some white gloves and a fake mustache to top off the super fresh Italian plumber character look.

With these three simple ideas, you make your own custom costume, and even save a little money while you're at it! Have a great Halloween!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Take A Break With Our Netflix Recommendations

Source IMDB
It’s the weekend; you’ve had a long week and deserve a break. If you’re looking for some great shows  to watch in your free time, we got you covered. Below are some of our personal favorites that you should check out if you haven’t already!

Arrested Development: 

Originally airing in the early/mid 2000’s, this show was a gem hidden in the same time slots as American Idol and other popular shows. As a result it was ultimately canceled. However, the show was picked up for a 4th season by Netflix just recently, and has delivered another great season with more hopefully to come in the future.

This show is witty and hilarious. The writing and cast is top notch and the on going jokes are fantastic.  I highly recommended this show if you haven’t started watching already. And remember, there's always money in the banana stand.

Parks and Recreation: 

Originally intended to be a spin off of The Office (another great show on Netflix), Parks and Rec turned into something amazing. Ditching the idea of The Office spin off before production, the show turned into what it is today.

The show has a great cast with the main star being Amy Poehler. If you haven’t heard anything about this show or haven’t seen memes of Ron Swanson, then you are probably more productive than most people.

I would recommend this show to anyone looking for a funny show with some depth and a number of episodes to get lost in.

Sherlock: 

Source BBC
The name Sherlock Holmes is one that everyone is familiar with. The character, originally created by Sir Arthur Conan, has had many different adaptions over the years. The show Sherlock though is, in my opinion, the best adaption.

Airing on BBC and available on Netflix, Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, both outstanding actors. Cumberbatch’s character is unbelievably entertaining and he and Martin make an amazing duo.

Set in modern day London, the super observant and brilliant Sherlock solves some of the most interesting crimes the city has to offer. I would recommend this to those who love a good detective drama with a hint of humor. Plus, who doesn’t like telling their friends they watch a British show?

Documentaries: 


Netflix can be educational as well as entertaining. The service offers some fantastic documentaries that cover a variety of subjects and issues. Some that you should definitely check out are: Blackfish, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and Hoop Dreams. These are all fantastic documentaries with a strong message.

Check out their selection and find something that you are interested in. I have yet to be disappointed!


Netflix is a great way to take a break from your busy day and get lost in a good show or movie. Find something you enjoy, but be careful not to waste an entire day saying “just one more episode”. Unless you want to, because it happens and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Organization: Cables and Cords


Technology is amazing, we can store thousands of songs in our pocket, can connect with people in many ways, and so much more. The only thing not amazing about technology are the cords and wires that keep them running. They are everywhere and can be an eyesore. So until everything can run and charge wirelessly, we have three options:
 
            1) We can ignore the cords.
            2) We can clean up the cords and wires.
            3) We can just not use technology and live in the woods.
For this post we are fortunately (or unfortunately if you are pumped about living in the woods) talking about option number 2. We will take our home back from the cords!

Make It & Love It turned a lotion bottle into a cellphone-charging holder. Not only does it look great, but also hides your cellphone charging cord. You can check out their guide here.



If you have a lot of exposed cables from your desk or TV stand, you can use a cable concealer to hide the mess. This is essentially a plastic tube that runs all of your cables through it. It can be stuck to the backside or underneath a desk or placed along a wall to hide the mess of cords. This is also a great way to keep the cords organized.

Bred clips can be used to label yours cords, which is great as some look the same and you don’t want to risk unplugging something you didn’t intend to. You could also tie colored string or around cables to keep things color coordinated.  

Binder clips can be used to prevent cords from falling. A good example of this would be clipping one to the side of your desk and running your laptop charger through the loop. This way when you unplug your laptop the cord won’t fall behind your desk but rather stay in place. 

So there you have it! Some ways to hide those loose cables taking over your home. It can some take some time to untangle everything, but once you get everything organized you won’t have to worry about that in the future. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tiny House Style Spotlight

Clean and Simple. Source: onekindesign

Have any of you seen the documentary “Tiny” on Netflix? Neither have I, but I hear it’s good. It got me thinking, although it can seem really luxurious and amazing to have a huge place, why not try and embrace the idea of living minimalistically in a small space?


The idea behind the Tiny House Movement is to downsize the amount of space that we live in. After all, Americans spend ⅓ to ½ their income on their homes. As apartment dwellers, living in a smaller space is already done for you, and the next step is just to cut back on the amount of clutter that you have.


  • The first part of this is to reduce what you own. Go through your clothes, household items, furniture.. How much of it is truly necessary?
  • What you don’t need, either sell or donate! (The extra cash or good deed will feel good)


Now, after you do all that, staying a minimalist can be the hardest part of this whole process.


  • First, organize and categorize the things that you do need to keep.
  • Second, continue the process. The more you think about it, the more you may come to realize that some of the things that you still have are not necessary. If you come across those kinds of things, get rid of them!


Being a minimalist is an ongoing process that you can’t just do once and then forget about. Eventually, you will need to buy something or things will start to accumulate again. When that happens, you just go through this process again! The idea is that you are sort of constantly doing it, so that way you don’t end up with a ton of unnecessary items.


The most important part of this is that when you do go to buy something, it is important to really spend time thinking about the purchase. Do you really need it? How long are you going to use it for? Why do you want it? Is it really worth it?

Another thing you can focus on after having been a minimalist for awhile is the quality of the items that you buy. If you buy fewer things, then you will have more money to spend on higher quality items that will last you longer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Color Wheel: Teal

Teal




As fall is quickly approaching, we bring you back to the early days of summer with deep blue skies and dark green trees with the color teal. Although we can’t prevent summer from ending, we can bring some of those colors into our homes with this weeks color wheel post. 

Teal is the mix of blue and green and can range anywhere from a dark to medium blue or a dark green. The complimentary color of teal is coral, which we did a post about just a few months ago. So if our post encouraged you to add some coral to your home, then this post will compliment your great decision!

Some may be hesitant to bring teal into there homes, as a lot of people use it more as an accent color than a primary, but when done correctly teal can really make a room beautiful. Blue is a calming color and green is associated with good feelings, so the two combined create an equally wholesome feel.

I don’t expect anyone to go crazy with teal and completely redesign your home around it, but adding some color here and there is always nice and can look great.