Anthropologie Monogram Ornament Dupe

As soon as I saw Anthropologie’s Monogram Ornaments, I was instantly in love, instantly inspired to create my own twist. So here is my easy Anthro ornament dupe. (I mean, I’m not saying mine are cuter than Anthro’s but they’re still cute!)

Since this was pretty similar to a Pottery Barn place setting dupe I did a few Christmas’ ago, I had a pretty good game plan of recreating these monogram ornaments.

DIY Shopping List:
Plastic Large Ornaments
– Mini Trees (Gold or Silver)
Wooden Letters
– White Paint
– Cotton Balls
– Ribbon
– Hot Glue

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut an opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini Philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of ornaments you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!

2. Before you get this started, you can start painting your letter. Make sure to paint both sides – pick fun colors that will coordinate with your metallic bottle brush trees. The bottle brush trees I recommend are also a bit too tall, so you’ll have to pull the bass off, cut about a half-inch off, and then reattach the base with some hot glue!

3. Using thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace, and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

4. Once your letter is painted, and your tree is trimmed it’s time to hot glue your letter into your tree! You can try this out before committing with the glue, but just rest the letter in nicely. Then you can glue the tree to your base, pull apart a cotton ball and glue it down for your faux snow. Afterward, you can push this up into the ornament and glue it around the base at the seam.

5. With white paint, you can create a snow top, on your ornament – I needed to do about 3-4 coats of the white paint until it was thick and nice. You can then use pipe cleaner or ribbon to add a finishing touch around the base. Using ribbon and pom-poms you can dress your top however it works with your letter!

Gift to friends, family or trim your own tree with a fun keepsake ornament for the year! I may be making a few more of these – but for now, these are the finishing products.

Happy Holidaying!

DIY – Christmas Village Houses

Of course, I wanted to share this a week earlier – but I have been super behind on all things Christmas this year, we JUST got our tree and decorations up this past weekend. BUT – I have been crafting away and can’t wait to share my two latest Christmas crafts this week. The first one was inspired by social, and I just had to recreate my own – it’s using wooden birdhouses from Michaels and turning them into Christmas Village houses, the best part? Totally customizable to your Christmas decor and colors! Here is how I DIY’d a birdhouse in three different ways – because what started with a good normal idea, turned into some fun as the creative juices got flowing.

DIY Shopping List:
– Bird House of Your Choice:
Brownstown from Michaels
Corner Lot from Michaels
Craft Paint & Paint Brushes
Pipe Cleaners (I used Gold & Silver)
Glitter (I used the colors ‘Sugar’ & ‘Gold’)
Mini Trees (optional)
– Hot Glue & Modge Podge

Anything else that might be festive or ‘Christmas Village’ related could be used as a finishing touch to your Christmas birdhouse – I definitely got created and created my own pieces from what I had.

a Retro Christmas Birdhouse

I had the Corner Lot Birdhouse for some time, as I had big ambitions a few summers ago to do some birdhouse crafts – so when I was inspired to create, I was trying to work with the birdhouses I already had. I started somewhat bold with the color choice for my Corner Lot Birdhouse… and I quickly was regretting it and going to scrap it since I was able to secure two Brownstones. But, as I started to dig through my craft supplies, I found my silver pipe cleaners, had a mini silver bottle brush tree a silver, green and blue jingle bells. I was instantly inspired to create a retro Christmas birdhouse. And, oh my gosh I’m obsessed. The silver bottle brush tree also fit perfectly in the little corner behind the fence.

Painting Tip: For clean lines, I used tape to create a clear line between the fence and each house, the back houses as well. There are also a lot of nooks and crannies so take your time and be prepared to paint!

Glam Brownstone CHRISTMAS birdhouses

My original plan for the Brownstone Birdhouse was to go white and gold, which goes perfectly with all of my other Christmas decorations. Painting this white, was definitely tedious, but also relaxing – I did have to do multiple coats with the white colors, at least 3 or 4. Darker colors only took about 2-coats. As I worked through my Gold Brownstone, I still wanted to do something colorful, but not so bold as the retro house, and something that would still fit into our decor – that’s when I was inspired to create a pink and gold Barbie Brownstone to go with my Barbie tree (she is definitely my favorite!).

Creating garland and the wreath’s for finishing touches was also fun and used with pipe cleaners. I wrapped at least 3-4 pipe cleaners to create fuller wreaths to hang on each of the houses. The garland was created with at least 3 pipe cleaners woven together and then I added some clear beads along for added detail and to look like lights. To finish off the pipe cleaners also really added a pop along the base and roof lines to really give these a finished look – and the mini bottle brush trees were extra that I had, that were a perfect finishing touch.

The last detail is adding some sparkly snow to your rooflines, stairs and landing – with modge podge I just went glitter crazy and added as a fun pop!

Which birdhouse is your favorite? B loves the white and gold one… I’m a fan of the pink one but also really love the retro birdhouse, since I was about to give up on it early on.

Celebrating Four Years Married.

Today is our four year wedding anniversary! As if year three wasn’t weird enough – we had another year literally together practically every day working from home together. Since we conquered working from home together, we decided to try something else that was challenging, like conquer a major home renovation and make healthly lifestyle changes.

This year we grew a lot and went through a major health journey together – although it was primarily for me, B was an integral part in the success of my gut health journey and both of us getting back on track and into a healthier lifestyle. I don’t think I would’ve been as nearly as successful with it all, without him. He carried our team from grocery shopping to meal prep all the way to cooking. On top of the initial journey, we’ve been holding each other accountable ever since.

We also decided to take on a major home renovation that has definitely tested us. Dealing with contractors, having gigantic holes in your house, not having a kitchen for 6+ months, on top of spending a lot of money. We had our fair share of arguments, disagreements and also kismet moments. Our kitchen for the record, still is not finished – but hopefully we’re on the home stretch and just in the waiting game for cabinets, I think the contractors, headaches and major stresses are luckily behind us. What I cannot wait for is all the new memories that we are going to create in the new kitchen, all the parties were going to host and all the little moments we’ll have together there too.

Year Four – The Year of Seflies

I can’t believe we’re kicking off year five married together. Each year we continue to conquer new adventures, take on new challenges and grow together as a team. We are never short of having lots of big plans, from house projects, to more firsts and many, many more travel plans.

Gut-Healthy Halloween Charcuterie Board for Two

Are you ready for something Spookilicious? With Halloween weekend upon us, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to create a healthy and gut-friendly Halloween-themed charcuterie board for two! Especially with the forecast not looking so great, cozying up at home sounds like the perfect fix paired with some snacks and adult bevies.

Since our gut journey, we still enjoy snacks and sweets – we just look a little differently at what we pick out and snack on or opt to make things with fresh and healthier ingredients. We’ve been cutting back on processed snacks, but when we do, we’ve been really conscious at reading the ingredients and buying things without artificial flavors or hidden junk – the fewer ingredients listed…, the better!

Here are a few of my favorite treats for this board:
Flackers – flax seed crackers, we got the Sea Salt – but can’t wait to try other flavors
Simple Mills Cheddar Crackers (and anything Simple Mills)
– 3-ingredient dark chocolate peanut butter skulls
– Homemade Ranch Sauce: Greek Yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, and dried dill
– Deviled Eggs
– Fermented pickles
Skinny Dipped Peanut Butter Chocolate Almonds

My secret to creating the perfect charcuterie board is having an even mix of crunch, sweet, savory, veggies, and some fruit. Even if they’re good for you, having the perfect blend of all the right things can make for healthy snacking without the guilt. What’re your Halloween plans?

Looking for a unique concoction, try my Champagne Coven Cocktail!

House Tour: Basement Bar DIY

Ready for a fun reveal? As we’ve been in influx awaiting the official go ahead for our kitchen, we of course found another project to keep busy with. So why not build a wall in the basement and create a built in bar?

A few years ago, we created a ‘finished/unfinished’ space in our basement for an additional living space with a TV, $60 DIY shiplap wall and some deep couches. To help section this off from a storage area, we created a wall with a large drop cloth and piping, which worked great for an easy, temporary solution – but the plan was always to create an actual wall… eventually. Well, B had been itching to build the wall, and I told him I really wanted to add a built in bar and shared some inspiration, so together we worked to figure out the spacing and how we could pull it together – but not without a few disagreements of course.

To keep it somewhat simple, we bought prefab base kitchen cabinets from Lowe’s — we originally wanted to find something a bit more swallow, but everything was super expensive, so upon searching we found a taller wine fridge and compromised for deeper cabinets. From there we needed to figure out a counter top, all your typical counter tops at Lowe’s were either super basic and blah or a bit more than we wanted to spend, so upon doing some research B found this nicer plywood that we could stack, glue, stain and polyurethane to create our own counter top. It actually came out way better than expected.

Once we had our base all figured out, it was time for the fun part – decorating! We were able to utilize some left over gold handles from a previous project for our cabinets, that give it a modern and sleek look, pulling in the gold accents. I went with a simpler approach to two parallel photos vs. a gallery wall like I was initially thinking – it definitely keeps it cleaner with the two stacked shelves on the right side. We got the brackets off Amazon and then bought the shelves, that were a little more expensive but a nice sleek look that we were also able to stain and polyurethane. We also got the wine glass holder from Amazon, which fits perfectly and has ample counter space still underneath it.

A few other fun touches include the artwork, that B and I ended up hand painting ourselves – I did the fun Notorious B.I.G. quote and B did the champagne bottle! We also had to get oversized snack jars for some sweet and savory treats, although I can’t say they’ve been staying full. Moz also has her own filled with her favorite treats. Lastly, we finally have a place for the cocktail books we’ve received over the years – and the Fancy AF book inspired me to also make this an unofficial Bravo Books library – more to come as my collection grows! Some greenery and other fun bubble trinkets also helped finish off the space.

We are finishing up painting some french doors that will open and close also into our new basement space – which will make it perfect for any guests who may end up staying in the future. The space has seen a complete transformation – and we also now have an enclosed nice big storage closet on the opposite side of the wall too.

We can’t wait to host some friends, catch a football game and eat some snacks – because that counter is also big enough for plenty of food and we’re stocked with plenty of beverages!

Shop Our Look: Oversized Snack Jars | Gold Hand Pulls | Gold Shelf Brackets | Gold Wine Glass Rack | 4.6ft Artificial Palm Tree | Frigidaire 34-Bottle Wine Cooler | Larger Base Cabinet | Smaller Base Cabinet

Latest Obsessions 09.21 – Bubbly Fun Edition

National Prosecco Day was last month and I always first think holy sh** we’re half way through August and Summer is over… and then instantly like, oh but it’s National Prosecco Day. *pops open a bottle of bubbly* — I often joke that I try to live every day like it’s National Prosecco Day… but adulting and life sometimes interfere.

To commemorate a much delayed NPD, I’m sharing a few of my latest process-obsessions. We’re in the process of creating a built in bar in our basement to further complete our intimate basement space — and the best part about it all besides having a new space to decorate is the fact that we bought a champagne fridge! (I mean technically it’s a wine fridge, but we’ll be stocking up on the bubbles). So without further ado, here our my latest obsessions to help make our bar a bubbly sensation!

Prosecco Prints. I am playing around with a prosecco themed gallery wall – I love the idea of pulling in black and white to match our large painting we have in our basement. Fun illustrated bubbly bottle outlines, or even great champagne inspired quotes (ugh, there are so many good ones!) is what I keep coming back too – but can’t decide on.

Bubbly Quotes. OK, so there are like SO many good quotes about champagne (I know it’s NBD) and bubbles. And a lot of them are from the great F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Here are a few of my favorites:
– “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
– “Among the whispering and the champagne and the stars.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
– “Now we sip champagne when we thirsty.” – The Notorious B.I.G.
– “My only regret in life that I didn’t drink enough champagne.” – John Maynard Keynes

Champagne Fridge. We scored this fridge at almost 50% off – just by chance. We were going to do a bulk online order, and I just happen to just go into the store and saw it was discounted in store! Score – we just had to drive to another location that had the last one in stock. This Frigidaire 34-bottle wine fridge (is actually still discounted from $419 to $319) and fits better with the pre-fab cabinets we got as well. Even better, champagne bottles fit just as easily as the wine bottles. Now, we just need to keep it stocked!

DIY Cork Memories. Another fun little project I may tackle, is creating 3D art with champagne corks that we’ve saved and written on documenting special moments. We have one from our first Christmas married together and a few others – I think it’ll be a fun way to use those, while also creating a custom piece that is special and meaningful to us!

Life of course has been a little nuts, as I had full intensions on sharing this post a few weeks ago on National Prosecco Day, but that’s life! I cannot wait to share our DIY built in basement bar with all our fun bubbly pops and personal touches with you soon!

Our Favorite Gut Healthy Summer Dinner

OK – I’ll have to admit one of the reasons we’ve been able to be so successful with our gut healthy journey and change of lifestyle is there have been some amazingly delicious and super easy recipes – like our go-to grass-fed burgers (or bison) with an easy coleslaw, fermented pickles and avocado. Yum!

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS

Once you’ve had this, there will be no surprise why it’s quickly become one of our favorites. There is one ‘weird’ ingredient that you may not be used to eating or cooking with is fennel. We have never had fennel prior to our gut health journey — but there are a handful of recipes that’ve called for it like this one. And it does have a distinct taste, but it tastes good! Fennel is oddly shaped and a member of the carrot family, but it is not considered a root vegetable. A few other ‘gut healthy’ pointers when buying some of your ingredients:

Yogurt – Make sure to get greek yogurt that has live cultures with at least 1 million CFUs (colony-forming units). Also, when possible look for pasture-raised cows so that you don’t have any extra hidden evils in there.

Meat – It’s crucial to purchase and eat grass-fed beef or bison, this ensures you’re not eating any additional antibiotics and getting the freshest and safest meat. We are always stocked on grass-fed beef thanks to Meatboxlocal.

Ingredients:
– (4) carrots, peeled and shredded
– (1) fennel bulb, shredded
– 3-cups of sliced red cabbage
– Juice from one whole lemon,
– 1 teaspoon of celery seed
– 1-cup of 2% plain greek yogurt
– For Serving: avocado, fermented pickles, grass-fed beef or bison burgers.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Wash and prep your carrots, shred them with a cheese grater into a bowl — add your red cabbage.
2. Next, prep your fennel – wash and cut the greens off. Then shred overtop your carrots and cabbage. Next up shred half of your lemon peel and pour lemon juice over top.
3. Top with your 1-cup of greek yogurt and teaspoon of fennel seeds. Mix well, refrigerate until ready to serve!
4. Serving size is 1-cup of coleslaw, use as your base and stack burger, quarter avocado and a few pickle slices for your final meal!

Serving Size: (1 burger, 1 cup of slaw, quarter of an avocado, 3 sliced pickles) 284 calories, 31g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 9g total fat,

And that is really it! I promise you it’ll be a go-to and it’s so easy to pull together. The coleslaw recipe would be great on it’s own as a side and a healthy alternative to bring to your next backyard bbq or family gathering. We make this at least once a week and love every bit of it – you don’t even miss the burger buns because the flavor between the coleslaw, avocado and pickles paired with the burger is just soooo good!

Kitchen Reno – Demo & Mood Board

Welp! Demo has officially started on our kitchen reno, perhaps a little preemptively but after meeting with our contractor to talk him through the plan – we quickly realized there were a handful of hidden outliers that had B and I itching to uncover. So last Saturday, we just tried to rip up a few of the lament floor tiles to see if the hardwoods were wrecked or not… a few hours later – we had half the room ripped up and the floor was looking in pretty tip-top shape. Since then we’ve (mostly B) taken down the ceiling, layers of plaster walls to continue to uncover what we’re working with. I mean… we live in a 100+ year old home. So far, we’ve uncovered a ceiling leak (thanks rain) and a few other janky workings.

I say we preemptively started demo, because once we start something – we can’t stop (especially B) and also because, we don’t actually have any contractor confirmed for when work is going to get started. We have gotten a few different cabinet quotes and think we have that nailed down at least the company and general direction we want to move forward with. But now that demo has started – there is no way this kitchen isn’t happening this year. We’re hoping to get a few follow-ups from our slow contractor and then go from there. So until then, I’m working to finalize some of the design and details as we work through the demo — it’s funny, now that we’ve disrupted our currently living room and are starting to get a blank canvas, the design and finishing inspiration is finally coming to life for me.

So now what? We’re going to continue to move forward and get our kitchen cabinets and counter tops finalized – the company we’re most likely going to move forward with the in home field measurement and design consultation to make sure we’re optimizing the most out of our space. Yes, this is getting us more kitchen, but it’s still going to be relatively cozy (that’s the nice way of saying small) — compared to what we’d really want in a dream kitchen — and sadly that still includes moving walls to extend our footprint.

Having a design consultation will be exciting and then we’ll be able to make sure we’re closer to exact as we’ve learned a few hard ways how important accurate measurements are. For example, our first cabinet quote was through Home Depot, super fast, great way to get an initial price for cabinets — but we ended up having more space in one area than we actually do (we had guestimates of our measurements when we went to this apt.) — the reality is those couple inches significantly impacted the potential sink size (like 33″ down to 27″) and the corner cabinet solution, i.e. lazy susan or something a bit unconventional. Luckily, with this new company – it sounds like they have some fun solutions to get us space to have a larger sink while being able to best utilize that corner spot.

Now, with the demo and our kitchen footprint pretty open, we have been able to put a few pieces to “mock up” the spacing to get a better idea of our kitchen nook area and what we can fit comfortably in the space while still letting it feel big and open. I even sat and browsed for products while we had the nook set-up and it was perfect – I can’t wait to hang out and blog while B cooks dinner. I was even finally able to decide on a few design pieces. I might even be as far as to having an idea of the backsplash that will go counter to ceiling on either side of the kitchen above the stove and sink area. Here is a look at a few of the potential final picks, a bit of mood board for our kitchen – I’m still trying to find an affordable faucet!

Since I want to incorporate brass/gold – it’s going to be crucial to make sure the shades of everything match up closely. That is why I was excited to find the light fixtures as that look pretty similar in the brass color that they are. Our appliances – as of right now – are white and gold, so as long as the back order doesn’t lead us to cancelling, we’ll be having pops of white and gold! Here’s to making some actual progress towards getting this kitchen done!

Fourth Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

Ok, I have to admit the four year wedding anniversary gift is kinda weird and kinda of boring. Up until year four, the gifts have been fun and make you think outside of the box – but fruit or flowers? Yes, fruit or flowers is the traditional wedding gift for year four, which traditionally, is what B and I like to stick too. But ironically, the modern gift for year four is appliances. Ironic, because we’re in the process of a kitchen remodel and the only thing we’ve actually done is order our appliances, which are an upgrade and major splurge.

“Your relationship has fully bloomed by your fourth anniversary, making flowers or ripe fruit an appropriate gift.”

“A more practical gift, sure, but electrical appliances also embody how settled you feel in your relationship by the fourth year.”

The Knot
Photo Credit: Marina Claire Photography

TRADITIONAL: FRUIT OR FLOWERS

Fruit and Flowers just seem like every day normal things to me – which in my opinion make this ‘theme’ a little less-special, especially when celebrating something so special as a marriage and your commitment. I also do research when I’m putting this together to provide unique gifts and ideas for my readers, because otherwise what’s the point?! So here are some twists/turns on this oddly normal gift theme.

Lemon Tree. A fruit tree can be a clever way to give the gift of fruit (and flowers) without letting it be eaten up or temporary. A lemon tree can grow and produce lemons year after year — of course some research may need to be done based on your climate, and/or keeping this inside. But I personally, would love a lemon tree!

Hydrangea Bush. In the same vein, this is something that you can plant together AND it will come back each year as a perfect reminder of your marriage – and each year it’ll grow bigger and stronger just like your relationship does. Of course, any sort of flower bush or plant would be a great gift, so finding something that fits into your climate and landscape will definitely be the best bet and may require a bit of research!

Flower Inspired Jewelry. If you’re not really a plant person – get something that never dies! These birth month flower gold necklaces are simple, delicate and meaningful. Or this option is a little more bold and trendy (B, if you’re reading this, winky winky on this second link!). You could even get the flower of the month you were married to make it a little more special and tie it into your anniversary more! There are so many options to choose from on Etsy, plus then you’re also supporting a local business.

MODERN: APPLIANCES

I definitely don’t recommend surprisingly your spouse with a brand new expensive fridge, unless you’ve already consulted each other on the purchase. Otherwise my beef with appliances as a gift is, it feels sort of boring and generic and bad-Christmas gifty — unless that is your thing! But that’s why I dug deep for a few more price-friendly and unique “appliances” if you’re shopping for a modern fourth wedding anniversary gift. The key for thinking of a more personalized appliance, is what’re things you enjoy doing together? Here is some inspiration from B and I.

Adult-Level Toaster. First of all, if you don’t have a four slice toaster, get one! Also four sliced toaster for your four year anniversary… dare I say, genius? Now, upgrade to a nice looking toaster that has style and function. B and I always like making breakfast together – so this makes sense and is something we’ll both enjoy using. Also, if you ever host you’ll be able to toast four slices, instead of two.

Gourmet Coffee at Home. B and I love to drink coffee, we also love getting coffee. You too? Bring the barista to your home! Even if it’s just getting a single serve espresso maker – this can instantly up your at home coffee game, especially if it’s something you both enjoy together!

A Glammed Up Air Fryer. We haven’t jumped on the air fryer train, but Drew Barrymore’s Beautiful line, exclusive to Wal-Mart (ugh!) is SUPER cute and kinda of makes me want an air fryer. The color options are so fun and you can get a few other matching pieces or appliances that all match and will make your kitchen looking high-end but at a much nicer price tag!

Shop Links: Black Air Fryer | Teal Four Slot Toaster | White Nespresso Maker

Here’s hoping that the appliances we ordered in June actually get here and that we can make this kitchen renovation a reality this year! So, backorder pending – we have our four year anniversary gifts already picked out, but I know we will find another way and something small to celebrate and spoil each other come November.

Celebrating a different anniversary milestone? Read my Two Year Gift Guide & Three Year Gift Guide.