Monday, March 31, 2014

DIY Sharpie Mug

Monday already?!  

Mondays call for an even larger than normal dose of coffee, and this Monday morning I'm drinking my second favorite drink (wine wins!) out of a fab new coffee mug.

I've been seeing cool Sharpie mugs all over the place, and have been keeping my eye out for a cheap, white mug so that I could create one of my own.  

Not like white white mugs are hard to find, but I was being really cheap about it.  Even the $3 mugs at Walmart weren't making the cut.  

But last week, I stumbled across a few Starbucks Scales Mugs for the bargain price of $1.25, so I snatched those babies right up.  They are gorgeous as-is, so I certainly won't draw on all of them.  But the triangles seemed like they would make it easy for an artistic failure like myself to create a cool design.

Also, wouldn't they make a great vessel for a small gift for almost anyone?!  I can imagine a ton of cute gifts that could be given in this beautiful I bought a few extra for that purpose.

You can find the Starbucks Scales Mug here....but not for $1.25. Sorry.
(Affiliate link)

To create my mug, I just traced and colored in triangles using two different Sharpies--one black and the other gold.  Tracing the triangles wasn't quite as easy as I expected it to be, so the shapes took on a slightly hand-drawn, imperfect look.  Which I kind of dig. 

To make the design permanent and dishwasher safe  (Update-- My mug lasted only a few cycles in the dishwasher before the Sharpie began to wear away.  So if you want to preserve your artwork, hand washing is the way to go.  Me, I  keep putting it in the dishwasher and chalk the wear and tear up to be proof of how much I love my mug!), I baked the mug in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  When baking Sharpie designs on glass or ceramic, it is important to put the object in the oven while it is completely cool, and to allow the oven to cool off completely before removing it from the oven.  This prevents your mug or other object from cracking due to sudden temperature change.  

I found that my gold triangles became much more matte after being baked.  To be honest, I liked the mug better when the gold triangles were shiny...but it still looks good with the matte gold triangles, and there's not much that could be done to prevent that.   

So simple. So cute!
Have a great week!

Linking Up At

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Favs 36

Hooray for the weekend!  It's supposed to be pretty rainy around here, so it should be the perfect weekend for indoor projects, cooking, and blog reading!  Sounds amazing after a hectic work week.

Every now and then, I love to share some of my favorite blogs with you. And since you might be stuck inside this weekend too,  I'm back this week with a few more that you should definitely check out!  

Fav #1
Inspired by Charm. In a blogging world that seems to be dominated by women, Michael's fantastic blog (and style!) really stands out.  Just check out his dining room (which he put together after planning during a conversation with Nate Berkus!) It's gorgeous!  I love that he's a fellow small-town Pennsylvanian...proof that great style exists outside of city limits.

Fav #2
Homey Oh My!  Amy's penchant for using black, white and gold in her decor sucks me in every time.  I just can't get enough.  Her creative ideas are such a great source of inspiration!  My favorite?  This cool, black and white striped tray...I love her style!

Fav #3
Home Stories A to Z. Beth is kind of a rock star in the DIY/Home blogging world.  She's part of the team that puts the Haven Conference together, and I was so super-excited to realize that she basically lives in my backyard (OK...well like 30 miles from me...but close enough).  I have dream of bumping into her at Target and becoming friends as we roam the decor aisles together.  Not only is her blog (and home) gorgeous, but she also hosts Tutorials and Tips, a great weekly link party where I get a ton of inspiration!  

Want to see some fav blogs I've named in the past?  Here's a few more of my favorite decor blogs, as well as a random list of other blogs that I adore.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite blogs?  Leave links in the comments below....I love to discover new finds!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Put A Fork in It...

Hey guys!  

Last week I asked for some input on styling my console table...

... and boy did you guys have a lot of input to give!  Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with me!

Since so many of you were kind enough to share your thoughts with me, I wanted to share my final product with you :) final product for now.  You know how I like to switch things up!

One recurring comment was that my initial options had too many items on the table, so I pared it down for the final version.  

I went with the vase full of calla lillies because I like how it's height brings the table and the mirror above it together.

And I had to keep the basket, because I love the functionality of being able to stash my junk mail in there rather than on the kitchen island....which is where it piles up during the work week if I don't have a dedicated place to store it.  

And the other items made the cut for the pops of color they brought to the area.  Some of you asked where I bought some of these items, but unfortunately most of it is stuff that I've had for years.  The black and white frames are from Target (years ago), and the lime green vase was from TJ Maxx (also years ago).  The small white candle holder is relatively new (Marshall's), and I stuffed it with some green moss to bring another hit of color.  

Speaking of color....these pics really reaffirm my desire to paint the inside of our front door black.  Any thoughts??  

Hope you like the final product!

Linking Up At

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boar's Head Boldest Bracket Challenge

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar’s Head Brand for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You may have already figured this out from some of the recipes that I've shared, but Mr. M. and I like our food to have some FLAVOR.  Our condiment shelf and spice rack are packed because we love to add flavor (or flava, as I like to call it) to our meals.

Which is why Boar's Head Brand's BOLD line of products is right up our alley.  The spicy and savory premium meats and cheeses are so good.  In fact, I'll admit to having driven out of my way to the grocery store in the next town just to be able to buy Boar's Head in order to satisfy our daring palates.

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My current favorite product in the BOLD line is the Blackened Oven Roasted Turkey Breast.  The meat is of such good quality and the explosion of flavor is exactly what I love on a sandwich.  But I'm also really excited to try the new Horseradish Cheddar Cheese!  Bascially, they had me at horseradish.  Is there anything that could make cheese any better?  Yum, I can't wait to try it out!

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In conjuction with March Madness, and to celebrate their line of BOLD products, Boar's Head has put together the Boldest Bracket Challenge, which features bold and spicy flavor explosion sandwiches.  Each week, two bold recipes faceoff in a head to head challenge, and they want YOU to help pick the winners and potentially win some really great prizes!  Anyone who votes for this round's winner is entered to win a $100 Boar's Head gift card, and those who vote for the winner of the final round will be entered to win an I-Pad Air to stream all of the games and access Boar's Head Bold recipes AND $500 to cater your game-watching party with Boar's Head products!

This round's matchup features the Bold Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini vs. the Triple Chipotle Club. Both recipes are pin-worthy, but the Triple Chipotle Club won my vote with it's Boar's Head Bold Chipotle Chicken Breast, Fiery Chipotle Gourmaise, Chipotle Gouda Cheese and Imported Bacon.

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Sign. Me. Up.

Head over to Boar’s Head Boldest Bracket Challenge and Boar's Head Brand's Facebook page to vote for your favorite sandwich and be entered to win some amazing prizes. Be sure to share the contest with your family and friends!  If they win, hopefully they'll invite you over to partake in the Boar's Head Bold goodness!
Leave a comment below sharing which sandwich you voted for.  I think you should pick the Triple Chipotle Club...then we'll both be more likely to win!!

Visit Sponsor's Site
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Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Herringbone Art

Hey guys!  Welcome to all the new friends around here...I'm super thankful to Remodelaholic for sharing one of my posts on their Facebook page this weekend, and am hopeful that some of new visitors will stick around and follow along with the craziness!

As I mentioned in last week's Friday Favs, I've been working on some simple, cheap DIY art to fill some of the blank spaces on our walls.  My criteria for choosing an idea to try out was pretty had to be cheap, use materials that I had easy access to, and above all else, it had to be something abstract and not be intended to look like anything.

Because, when it comes to artistic talent....I have none.  

I've never taken an art class, my hand is not steady, I don't have the knowledge, tools or techniques of an artist.  I wish I did, but unfortunately my skills are limited to spray painting and using painter's tape or stencil to create cool designs.  

But somehow....this piece of inspiration seemed like something i could handle.  I pinned this Wild Herringbone print from Cozmania over a year ago, and I just love it! And while I knew my version wouldn't compete with the original, I decided to see if I could create something that resembled this cool painting.

Since this project was truly an experiment, my goal was to use supplies that I had on hand, rather than buying a bunch of paint and supplies.  That way, I knew I wouldn't feel too bad about it if my final product looked like crap.

So, the only things I purchased for the project were two canvases that I picked up in a buy one, get one free sale a few weeks ago. I used paint that we had on hand from painting various walls around the house.  The brown color is the same paint we used on the walls in our master bedroom and bathroom, the two shades of blue were used in the hall bathroom, (Remember how I hated the first color I painted that room?  I finally found a use for that bright blue!), and the gray paint was from a sample pot that I got for free using a coupon I pulled out of a magazine.

Using some foam paintbrushes that we had on hand, I painted a random abstract design on each canvas.  I would have liked to blend the colors a bit, but I didn't really know how to do that without having them turn some sort of strange shade (See?  No art skills whatsoever).  So I painted in stages, letting each color dry for a few minutes before coming back to add the next one.  

Those who follow along on Instagram got a sneak peek, along with some of my doubts about how things were going...

I let that dry overnight, and then it was time to create the herringbone effect.  I cut out many, many rectangles of painter's tape, and applied them to the canvas in a herringbone pattern.  

This took some practice, but it was pretty easy once I had the process down!  It was a nice, mindless task to accomplish while knocking out a few episodes of One Tree Hill.

The painter's tape did not want to stick firmly on the porous surface of the canvas.  I had to keep pressing it down, and it was a pain.  I'm not sure how that could be avoided, though. 

Once I had the entire canvas covered in tape, I randomly removed a few pieces of tape to add some visual interest...

...and then I painted over the spaces with two coats of white paint (leftover, of course). I was really worried about the paint leaking underneath the painter's tape, so I stopped to press the tape down several times throughout the process.  Once the first coat of paint was on, I didn't need to press it down any more, the paint sort of took care of that for me. 

  After letting the paint dry for 30 minutes or so, I removed all of the painter's tape to reveal a herringbone pattern!  

It's tough to photograph in there, but I'm really pleased with what it brings to our tiny master bathroom!  

Do you have any art skills?  Would you attempt creating your own art? 

I'm pretty sure that abstract is the only variety I stand a chance with...

Linking Up At
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favs 35

*Sorry I'm late today!  I accidentally chose the wrong date when setting the post to auto-publish.  Better late than never, right?*

Happy Friday!  Cheers to the freakin' weekend.  

Lately, I've been on a mission to get some art on the many blank walls of our house.  I've held off for so long because I've been waiting to find the perfect pieces...and it's just not happening.  I came close once at Homegoods, but I hesitated and some lady with fabulous taste stole the items I was pondering out from under me while I was still deciding if I wanted to buy them.  

Lesson learned.  Put stuff in my cart while I decide if I want it. 

 So now I'm sick of waiting, and the new mission is to create some DIY art to satisfy my urge to hang something, anything on the walls.  Turns out, there's a ton of fantastic DIY art ideas out there...even for people like me who are artistically challenged. DIY Art for Dummies, if you will. 

Which is the only kind of art I can create.

Here are some of my favorites...

Pretty fab ideas, right?!  I actually put one of these projects into practice last weekend.  Any guesses which one?!

Hope you have an amazing weekend!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pet Owner Must-Haves

If you've been around here for anything length of time (and most definitely if you follow me on Instagram), you've probably picked up on the fact that I love our cats.  

A lot.
 Look at them....what's not to love?!

Oh, I know! Cat hair.  It is the bane of my existence, my constant nemesis, a battle that I fight each and every day.

Oh, I do mind.  I mind a lot.

Luckily for me, I've found three products that I can't live without.  And I mean that.  If one of these suckers break...I'm replacing it the same day. Anything help me keep our floors cat hair free with very little time and effort is a necessity in my eyes.

First up is the Eureka Quick-Up Cordless.  This little stick vacuum is SOO handy for vacuuming touch-ups throughout the week.  And since it's cordless, doing a quick once-over on the floors takes less than five minutes, and picks up the majority of the  cat hair that the boys rip out of each other when the wrestle shed each day.  We keep it on a charging mount hung in the garage, so it's easily accessible and always ready when I need it.  I like to run it every day.

The only negative I've found is that they tend to die after a year or two (but remember, I run it almost every day).  At less than $35, I don't mind replacing it.

But, I'll admit that sometimes I do dream of upgrading to a Roomba. The thrill of coming home to an already-swept house is pretty tempting....

Plus, maybe this would happen.

Anyway, for my heavy-duty vacuuming, I'm in love with the Shark Navigator Professional.  I'll admit that this vacuum took some getting used to.  At first, I found it to be very heavy compared to my previous vacuum, but I fell in love once I got used to it.  I like that it has settings that can be used on our carpets, hard flooring, and furniture, so I can remove cat hair from every surface without swapping tools. 

The suction on this thing is actually grosses me out to see how much dirt, dust and hair (I'm as bad as the cats) it picks up.  I know that many people swear by and pay more than double for The Big D Vacuum (you know which one I mean).  Personally, I think they're nuts.  One could not possibly need more suction.  

Don't get me wrong....this thing isn't cheap.  But it's significantly less then it's closest competitor, and takes care of biznass.

And my final 'must-have' for keeping clean floors in spite of my hairy little monsters is the Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop.  Before I owned this thing, I dreaded mopping the floor.  It took forever and it was hard work!

No more.  All I have to do is push this around my house, letting the steam do all of the work for me.  It's insanely easy, and I love that the steam sanitizes my floors. Because let's face it: cats might be clean animals...but they're still animals running around the the floors need to be sanitized.

Here's my routine to keep the floors clean and the cat hair under control
-Run the cordless vacuum for about 5 minutes each day.
-Run the heavy-duty vacuum twice a week (I usually only bust out the furniture attachment once/week)
-Steam mop once a week, usually on the weekends.

Keep in mind....this is my ideal week.  There are plenty of days when I'm tired, or busy, so I skip the day's cordless vac job.  I'm not a slave to it, but this is the routine I try to keep.  It works for me, and generally keeps our floors looking like this...

....rather than like this...

What are your must-have cleaning products?? Do any of you fight the battle of home vs. pets?  

Totally worth it.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Console Table Styling Options

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!  Mr. M. and I met on this day 11 years ago.  Talk about a lucky day :)

 OMG.  How can anything remotely adult-like in my life have happened 11 years ago?  Aren't I still like,  22?

Anyway... few weeks ago, I mentioned having ordered a mirror to finish off the area above our 'faux foyer' area by the front door.  I knew that I wanted a black quatrefoil mirror, but most of the ones that I found online were well over $100.  

Umm, no.  Not in the budget.

So imagine how excited I was to find this one for less than $15!  Kid in a candy store excited, I tell you!  For some reason, I  couldn't have the item shipped to our local store, so I had to wait patiently for three whole days until Mr. M. remembered to stop by the store near his work to pick up the one I had delivered there.  

He just doesn't get what's important, sometimes.  
Totally kidding.  Although every day that he came home without it was killing me!

Once I got my mirror hung up, I decided to gather some accessories and experiment with styling options for the console table.  I love to play with styling options, mixing accessories to find combinations that work!  I'm hoping you guys can help me narrow down my options...

Option 1

I typically gravitate towards asymmetrical styling of tables and bookshelves, so this arrangement is well within my comfort zone. I particularly like having the basket on the bottom shelf to use for stashing junk mail pile up until I have the time to go through it.

Option 2
Next, I opted to try out a symmetrical look using a black faceted vase and artificial calla lillies as the focal point.  I stuffed some leftover moss into white ceramic votive holders to bring a little more green to the setup.

 Option 3
Then, I brought two lamps out from our bedroom to see if they would fit on either end of the table.  They did, and it was nice to bring some blue to the entryway.  If I were to keep this arrangement, I'd like to find something to put in the vase.  Perhaps some sparkly sticks or flowers that would pop off the wall color.....maybe some radiant orchid?? 

Option 4
As I was creating these little vignettes, I began to notice how many white accessories I have (and I shared some that I'd like to acquire in last week's Friday Favs).  I wanted to see how they would look grouped together, and I really liked the monochromatic look that it created!

Option 5
Finally, I decided to create a final asymmetrical vignette using some of the chartreuse items scattered throughout our dining room.  I'm such a fan of lime green.  It's such a fun, bright counterpoint to neutral gray, black and white!  While I know that you may be wondering why I put two vases in this arrangement, the cylinder with holes in it is actually a lamp that I borrowed from the living room. 

So, which styling option do you prefer? Perhaps a mixture of two vignettes?! I can't wait to hear your feedback!!

Update: See the final console table styling here.

Have a great week!

Linking Up At

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