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Tuesday, September 9, 2014
How to make a Custom Desk Pad (Part Two)

How to make a Custom Desk Pad (Part Two)

Once upon a time, I had a wonderful idea. My Custom Desk Pad. It was a beautiful thing and it worked so well with my coral and aqua home office. But alas, I have an issue. An issue that causes me to need to change things. And so I redecorated my home office. And so, obviously, I had to redo my custom desk pad. But, here's the thing... while I loved the look and the function of my old desk pad, I noticed that the spray adhesive I used seemed to wear off a little after a few months. So I made a version (this version) that is a little more durable.


It's your lucky day... I made a video!





Rather than spray adhesive, I used PVA, a book-binding adhesive. I found this at Paper Source but you can Order PVA HERE.




Spread adhesive with a foam brush. Lay the printed side of your wrapping paper over the adhesive and flatten. Don't worry too much about air bubbles. This adhesive is amazing at leveling things out.


Lightly (don't get aggressive or you will rip your paper) flatten. Flip over.


Continue to press the pad to the paper for several minutes.



Position some objects on the corners as it dries.


Cut out around the pad.


Add a little adhesive to the corners and the edges.


Make sure the corners are adhered really well.


Now, put it in your super cute office and make it even super cuter.


If you do this, make sure you let me know. I would love to see your project!!!



Monday, September 8, 2014
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies - 4 Ingredients (Cake Mix)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies - 4 Ingredients (Cake Mix)

You know I love me some cake mix cookies! Let's face it, cake mix makes my life easier... and I am all about easier. A while ago I posted about BEST CAKE MIX RECIPES and I have to say that this one should be included. I just want to warn you upfront... the cookie dough is pretty much amazing... so just be prepared. Also, try my CAKE MIX PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE!


All you need...
Cake Mix (this is the exact one I use but any chocolate cake mix is good)
1 Cup Peanut Butter (this is the kind I like )
Half a Cube of Butter
2 Eggs 

Optional: Mexican Vanilla

Combine all ingredients, scoop balls onto cookie sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Do not over bake.


Happy baking... your family will be so impressed and you will be like, "Yeah, no biggie."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
How to Create a Lovely Outdoor Space

How to Create a Lovely Outdoor Space

Sit back and let me tell you about the time being a brat got exactly what I wanted. I hated my back yard. Like, really hated it. Let's face it, it was super lame. Where we live some of the houses have ally-load driveways. Our garage is on the front of our house, but most of our neighbors have to get to theirs from behind their houses. NOT my fave thing in the world. This means that I have people (granted, not many) driving directly behind my backyard in the ally way between my yard and my backdoor neighbors yard. Super awesome, right?

For years I refused to go into our backyard. There was nothing out there. AND we had installed a short rod iron fence rather than a tall privacy fence so I felt like I might as well be hanging out in the middle of the road. I have always loved our front porch so we were constantly in the front yard.

One day my husband got mad when I said that I hated our backyard. His feelings were hurt. But then and there he decided to make it so I would love our back yard... and he's getting pretty close.


Long story short, if I can create a lovely outdoor space then so can you! Because believe me when I say... it used to really suck out here!


The first thing we did was actually build a few structures. My husband totally built these bad-boys from the ground up. I helped a little and he hired the help of a few neighborhood teens... but other than that it was all him. Now that's sexy. Just say'n.



Here are some close-ups of his handwork. Impressed much?


I probably should have followed him around with a camera while he built these. But honestly, there are so many pergola building tutorials on the web that I'm sure you won't have trouble finding one.


But you might want to know how we got the wood to be this pretty, beachy, color... we used Cabot Bleaching Oil. I totally recommend it. I just love how it turned out!


I really feel like it's important to make your out door space fun and a little unexpected. I found these two IKEA chairs in a Facebook yardsale group (do you have those?) for $10 each. I bought new covers for them and set them outside. Yes, they have gotten hammered out there, but I still love them and I will just store them for the Winter and buy new covers again next year.



I found this table, umbrella, benches, rug and chairs at, you guessed it, IKEA. I have been so super happy about how the table has held up. And the umbrella was such a great purchase!


I hung canvas IKEA curtains on the pergola. I am actually really surprised how well they have held up. I was planning to buy more next year but honestly I don't think I will need to. I just used some super cheep IKEA curtain rods to hang them. Are you seeing a trend? IKEA is my crack!


I hope this post has given you some ideas for your own outdoor spaces. And maybe even a little hope... if your backyard sucks as much as mine did!

Friday, August 29, 2014
My House is in a Book... Again!

My House is in a Book... Again!

I am so super excited about Decorating for Real Life my my dear friend, Wendy Hyde. You guys, Wendy is super talented, not to mention the most lovable person on the planet. I am honored that she asked to feature my home in her book. It's going to be epic you guys! And you can preorder yours right this very second!


The book is full of beautiful, family-friendly homes and DIY projects that are sure to inspire you!  Inside Decorating For Real Life Wendy shares spaces from wonderful interior designers, artists and some of my favorite bloggers like Shelley from House of Smiths, Michelle from 4 Men 1 Lady, Jen from Tatertots & Jello, Paige from Simple Thoughts, Aly from Entirely Eventful Day (that's me), Autumn from Design Dump and of course, Wendy from The Shabby Nest.


Thursday, July 17, 2014
Safe and Stylish in the Sun

Safe and Stylish in the Sun

I am a big believer in staying out of the sun. My super hot/awesome husband recently had skin cancer removed. Luckily, it wasn't the kind that will kill you... but still! His Nordic roots (and the genes that he gave our kids) have really made me more conscious of the sun and the damage it can do. One of my kids is one of the whitest people on earth (I'm pretty sure that's an actual fact) and so I have to be super careful about making sure he stays out of the sun as much as possible and that he has a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. I'm serious, this kid is WHITE.
Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion #mysisterstee


Let's face it. I'm getting on in years. I'm not going to tell you how old I am. But I will tell you that most people think I am 10 to 6 years younger than I actually am. Maybe that's because I look young, or maybe it's because I'm so mature. Either way, I have been noticing, for the first time, some sun damage on my face. Gasp! Time to visit the medical spa.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion #mysisterstee

So, I want to share with you some things I do to stay safe and stylish in the Summer time.

1. Wear scarves! I pretty, light-weight scarf is the perfect thing to have while lounging at the pool or the beach. Use it to block the sun. I like to wrap a scarf on my head to protect my part. I also like to get it wet and wrap it around my neck if it's super hot

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion #mysisterstee

2. Wear loose tees with sleeves! Of course I love this particular tee. It's the Ride on Girl Tee from my line of inspiring tee shirts for women, My Sister's Tee. I love it because it's not all up in my pits. Ha! But seriously though.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion #mysisterstee

3. Wear SPF! I am all about the SPF. It's in my moisturizer, it's in my makeup. It's all over my house! We are a serious SPF family. There are also many skin-care products that can help prevent damage as well as correct it.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion #mysisterstee

4. Get a Glow! I tan easily. So even with SPF I get color. My family isn't at all Nordic. In fact, people will actually come up to my mom and speak Spanish and my brothers look vaguely Middle Eastern/Spanish. I am by far the lightest in my family. I try to stay out of the sun as much as I can but I still want that glow. That's where self-tanners come in. They are seriously amazing these days. My recent favorite has sparkles.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion

5. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. So here's another look that I like to sport. This is actually my husband's hat. He looks super foxy in it, trust me. I think he got it at a home improvement store. In past years he has gotten the Quicksilver version. I love it. It's keeps the sun off my face, neck, and shoulders.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion

6. Get yourself a button down. I absolutely love to wear this chambray button down over my swim suit. It's the perfect thing to slip on when I feel like I've had enough sun. It's light weight and I can flip up the collar or roll down the sleeves if I want more coverage.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion

7. Skirt the issue... with a scarf. This is just an oversized scarf, worn as a skirt. Tada. I love it because I could seriously make a sun shade tent out of it if I needed to. I'm not going to lie... I have been known to do such a thing.

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion

8. Protect your hands. I mentioned earlier that I am definitely getting older (let's not talk about it). One of the places I have really noticed a difference is my hands! Think about it... your hands are constantly exposed to the sun. I don't know about you but I don't want spotty old hands. When I apply the sun block, I don't forget my hands!

Staying Safe and Stylish in the Sun. 8 Great tips for looking great... and still looking great when you get old ;) #summer #fashion

I hope y'all enjoy these tips and that you will be a little more conscious about the time you spend in the sun this Summer and for Summers to come!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
How to Throw a Magical Party

How to Throw a Magical Party

When it comes to throwing a magical party, it's all about the details. You have to really think ahead, play out all the possible scenarios in your mind. You must think of your guests first and foremost. Is Uncle Joe going to take out his dentures and put them on the table again? Are kids coming and if so, where are they going to play? I am going to share with you some tips, along with some stunning images of a swanky party my stone-cold-fox husband and I attended recently.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

Here we are. Don't we look like we are having the most fabulous time? I'm pretty sure this is right before the guy sitting next to me told me all about his exploits involving poker games with Nick Nolte (fascinating. Wink, wink).

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

The dress was Summer formal, and you know me, I always love an excuse to dress up.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

The night started with cocktail hour at a beautiful home on the lake. This event was celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Daybreak community in Salt Lake City. No, we weren't at the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake is nasty. This is a beautiful, meticulously maintained, 80-acre man-made lake.

Tip #1
Keep with a consistent color scheme. And don't forget to keep it simple. Choose a main color and an accent color or two. They chose chartreuse and gray accented with blue flowers for this party. It was lovely.



Of course there was a lovely ambiance. 

Tip #2
Think about ambiance. When considering your music think about the acoustics of the room. Will your play list be over-whelming if people are trying to have a conversation? I usually start a party with music because I don't want the first few guests to feel like they are arriving to a dead party. Then when the conversation and noise levels pick up I like to turn the music way down.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

I just loved the custom signage, which matched the custom invitations. I am a huge believer in custom graphics for your party! They are all over the internet, you just have to look!

Tip #3
Custom graphics! The internet is crawling with party printables. They are fairly easy to find and really easy to print. I love these little $1 frames from IKEA, I use them all the time for displaying graphics at parties.


How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

These bike taxis were such a fun surprise! They drove us from the cocktail party to the bridge for the dinner party and then to our cars afterwards. It was such an awesome detail. I know we all can't spring for a couple bike taxi guys in bow ties... but we can all think of little ways to surprise and delight our guests.

Tip #4
Surprise your guests. When planning your party try to think of at least one unexpected detail to add. It might be a funny party favor, an interesting napkin ring, it can be simple or extravagant. Just make it fun.


How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

And now for the table scape. I do love a good table scape. I also happen to love fresh flowers and trellis print so this was just perfect! Please note the personalized menus. I love that they served as both a menu and a place card. Oh and check out the darling copper sailboat cookie cutter party favor. I never met a party favor I didn't like.

Tip #4 
Give a favor. Party favors are just a way to tell your guests thank you. Not only is it good manners but a pretty party favor can really add to the event decor.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party


How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

If possible, hire an awesome crew of chefs to create your gourmet meal. Ha!

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

Which brings us to tip #5...
Work with what you have! It might be tempting to head out and purchase a whole new set of matching folding chairs for your party. Believe me, I've thought about it. But the best policy is to work with what you have... and to borrow from your friends to fill in the gaps. Collect party decor and other items bit by bit and before you know it, you will be hostess of the year!

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

How about a few more photos of this pretty party?

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

I really was so much fun to eat a delicious meal on this bridge.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

The chef was amazing. He made leg of duck over chick pea waffles... "Not your Grandma's Chicken and Waffles." I loved every bite!

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

Celebrity cook Kelsey Nixon spoke. She is just too cute.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

Live music!

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

And a gorgeous view.

How to Throw a Magical Party... 5 Awesome Tips! #parties #party

Just the perfect evening.

All photos by David Newkirk
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