Category Archives: DIY

Came & went

November 23, 2015

wine tassels

My girlfriend and I were inspired to make these wine tassels from this DIY for Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts.  How cute are they?  Surprisingly an addictive DIY the more practice and sparkling rosé we had.

Happy Thanksgiving week!

xo

A bridal fiesta

November 12, 2015

I promised this post over a week ago, but I’m finally getting it perfect.  Thanks for waiting.

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When Kelly and I talked about her bridal shower, I was hoping she’d say fiesta.  I had this vision.

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Sophisticated Mexicana / girly fiesta / whites & neutrals with pops of cobalt / everything we’d dreamed of growing up with a mature flair and the edginess of matrimony.

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So my mom, sister and I set out to give Kelly the shower of her dreams.  We planned an afternoon affair, as to avoid the traditional-ness of a brunch, on a day we could sip cocktails and celebrate the bride to be, then have the men meet us at the house for the after party.

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My number one goal was fun.  If anyone knows my best friend, its me, and I wanted to give her something memorable and classic while staying true to her style.   DSC_0540

We showered the bride with gifts, laughs, tears and love, and the fiesta went off without a hinge.  I hope it was a day she will forever remember, as it was a day I will surely never forget.

Decor

My mom and I didn’t hold back when it came to the details of this shower.  My parents couldn’t have a prettier backyard for the setting, so it was an easy backdrop to come in and dress up.  From the beginning I had this vision of a traditional fiesta theme with a rustic, feminine feel.  In the end, I think we were able to execute the vision.  The colors consisted of whites and neutrals with a primary pop of cobalt blue and a secondary pop of magenta.  I was adamant about having vintage blue goblets on the table for water, and then the terracotta cups for margs.  You would not believe how many hours I spent scouring the Internet and thrift stores to build a substantial collection of blue gobs.  But then again, maybe you would.

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Instead of traditional seating, and given the time of the shower, we decided to use picnic tables for our seating.  We ended up borrowing a table and buying three more.  With the help of my dad, brother and boyfriend, we were able to stain and assemble the three, and they were perfect.

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I gathered Bougainvillea from pretty much all over San Diego.  Its been in bloom, so it was the perfect time for a scavenger hunt.  It doesn’t last long outside of water, which I quickly learned, but we made do.

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For place settings we used round white dishes layered with a bamboo fan, vintage linens and a sprig of Bougainvillea, then filled the table with blue and crystal goblets and beautiful floral centerpieces.  Here are the details:

  • Watercolor Dipped Place Cards – This was probably my biggest regret.  One of the things my mom was most excited for were the paper/written details throughout the shower.  After designing the invitation, I wanted to create something personalized for guests to bring home.  Though we spent countless hours on these beauties, we decided we didn’t want to orchestrate where people sat, and day-of it was so windy they would have blown away on the tables.  Ultimately, they didn’t get used and I’m still not over it.  DIY to follow, potentially.

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  • Papel Picado – I knew from day 1 I wanted to somehow incorporate these white, traditional paper banners.  Because it rained the night before, we weren’t able to hang the papel picado early.  We ended up hanging the banners from the arbor where we sat, even though I had originally bought enough to line the cafe lights that stretch most of the yard.  They added such a delicate touch.

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  • Paper Stars – These stars remind me of the type of decor we had when we were younger.  I ordered three different colors from the Paper Lantern Store; they always have really great deals.

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  • Kelly and I saw these terracotta cups at a restaurant in the Mission in San Francisco, and I knew I had to have them for the shower.  The ONLY place I’ve been able to find them ended up being locally based, which made me love MexGrocer.com even more.  Naturally, they were the talk of the party.

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  • My parents still have tons of barn wood scraps from their bedroom wall makeover, so we used a few pieces to paint signs for the party.  We wanted this one to look like The Giving Tree.

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Food

We wanted the food to be delicious and easy.  We had the best recommendation for a taco vendor, and he did not disappoint.  But my favorite food element was the beautiful cake my talented friend Kaitlynn made.  To note: She’s the head designer at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co, and also made Erik’s 30th bday cake.   We just topped it with fresh flowers and decorated with donuts holes.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a party if Kelly’s mom, Kit, didn’t bring her fabulous tasting and adorably decorated sugar cookies.  We also had two signature margaritas, a Skinny and a Hibiscus.  When I ordered the terracotta cups I stumbled upon a bag of Flor de Jamaica, which became the inspiration for the Hibiscus Margs.  I found this recipe, and they turned out to be delicious.

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Activities

Along with the tradition of gift opening and a game (I only insisted on the ‘Fiance Questions’ game, and for those Kelly answered incorrectly, she took a small shot of Rumchata in lieu of a piece of bubble gum), Kelly had the best idea.  She requested that in the invitation we ask guests to bring a photo from their own wedding day to share with the rest of the group.  We displayed them on a wooden frame and hung with clothespins and it definitely added to the charm.  Also, we staged a photo booth by hanging a large drop cloth and strands of white and coffee-dyed linen.  I feel like they’re so necessary these days.  With the cutest props and a lot of Polaroids, it turned into the after party hit.

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Tips & Recommendations

When it’s all said and done, no one wants to dwell on the weak points, especially when you put so much effort into such an event.  But, showers are a huge production so I wanted to offer a few tips and suggestions from what we learned.

  • Know your audience – At some point during the planning I became so concerned with Kelly having the best time, I forgot about the rest of the guests.  I so adamantly wanted to stay away from a ‘stuffy shower’ that I now realize maybe some of the women wouldn’t have minded that as much as I thought.  We planned to have cocktails, a photo booth, and plenty of time to unwind.  What I didn’t realize is, all the guests hadn’t spent months preparing for the shower, and didn’t need to savor every moment the way that I needed to.  I think there were parts of the shower that could have moved faster had we been more aware of the succession of events throughout the day.
  • Don’t stress about the details, too much – I know this one sounds obvious, but I’m a details girl.  One of the overwhelming reasons I love to throw parties is because of the details.  I dream up an idea and I make it come to life.  In this case, I wanted every detail to be perfect.  I wanted to find 40 unique, vintage cobalt goblets to twinkle on the table.  I wanted the yard to be filled with papel picado, stretching from one end to the other.  As mentioned earlier, we spent hours making place cards that we didn’t end up using.  Stick to a few key details that you know you can’t live without, and don’t let yourself go beyond those.  The details are important, but the party goes on, with or without them.
  • Get help – If your party is big enough (30+), it might make sense for you to hire someone (or if you have a very generous & willing friend) to help with the transitioning of the party.  ie. clearing plates, putting away the food, starting the coffee when dessert is being served, refilling water and drinks, etc.  It’s obviously not necessary to have a full staff on hand, but even an extra body will surely relieve the pressure.  That way, you’re able to keep the party smoothly transitioning without long pauses or in-between time.

But those are just details, and I’m proud of what we created.  Celebrating my beautiful best friend with family and loved ones was unforgettable.  Her generous soul and gracious heart made all the honor ours to be able to host such a special day ♥

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The beautiful bride

Came & went

June 9, 2015

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Finished some projects around the house this weekend, like hanging the antlers my dad mounted and I stained/added a flower to, and placed in the center of a velvet frame.  I’ve always had a thing for empty frames (my room is filled with them) but I thought this one deserved a little love.

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Now its a necklace holder for my daintier strands.

In wedding news, we celebrated the marriage of my baby cousin, and it was a sweet affair.  One of the sweetest parts being the donut & milk bar they crafted; it was such a treat.  I’ve never seen that before, but I might be stealing it in the future (possibly for a bridal shower I’m hosting).  Happy week!  Countdown til I get to see my bestie on Friday in San Franciscooo!  ♥

DIY: hanging copper shelf

February 11, 2015

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Inspired by a boutique in Portland, the land of creatives, I came home and instantly wanted to build a hanging shelf to hold my new lunar calendar.  I mean I knew it’d be easy, but not this easy.

Literally ALL you need is copper pipe, fishing line and magnets.  It’s so easy it hurts.  Getting the materials is probably the hardest part, since not everyone has a dad they can steal fishing line from, but everything else you can get at Home Depot, and they’ll even cut the pipe for you.

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String the line through the pipe first, tie in a knot and leave a little length to hang, then attach the magnets.  The trick here is adding one magnet to the inside of the pipe and one on the outside.  They are strong enough and easily slide along the pipe together.

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Then add a cute print, cutout or photo and voilà!  DSC_0526
Get the Lunar Phase Calendar here!

You can even use it as a mood or inspo board since its so easily interchangeable.  xx

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(Pre) spring cleaning

January 30, 2015

Having such a small closet at my current apartment has forced me to be extremely selective with what I can and cannot store – let alone hang (I’ve been known to steal my boyfriend’s hangers).  At least twice a year, or when my closet feels like it’s about to burst, I completely purge.  I’ve written about this before, but this time I wanted to really encourage you to do the same with some helpful tips & a plan of action.  Trust me, it will leave you, and your clothes, feeling wonderful.

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Dissect every rack, drawer and box.  If you’re going to make it count, you should completely scour every last inch – after all, you’re only doing it once or twice a year.  Pull out the things you know are ugly, you’ll never wear again or haven’t worn in years.  Pull out the things that just don’t fit right, even if they’re cute but unsalvageable.  Theres a difference between a pair of pants you’ve never hemmed and a dress that just doesn’t flatter you.  Let it go!  A good rule of thumb is to purge anything you haven’t worn in a year.  Some people might have a different rule of thumb, but I think a year is long enough to get through every season, knowing what you wore and probably will never wear again, and whats forever out of style.  My admission is that, I’ve been known to have a few select items in my closets, tags still in tact, that I’ve never worn, but were have-to-have purchases.  I will not, and have not, given these away, because they’re items too special to let go of but I just haven’t had the right event for em, yet.  These prized possessions, like a couple pairs of Jeffrey Campbells or my Minnie Mouse tee I begged my dad to buy me (recently), will one day be worn; the moment always comes to me.  But if you don’t have these weird tendencies, let em go – you won’t miss em.

And then comb through it again.  Whether its directly after the first round or even the next day, give your closet another go to really make sure you’re purging everything you can possibly stand to part with.  The first time always feels harder, but the second time through you’re over the fight and more willing to let go.  Trust me, its worth the extra effort.

Random things to hang onto:

  • Anything vintage that you know your future daughter might appreciate.
  • Your moment of truth pants, that fit like butter when you’re at your ideal weight and keep you in check no matter how long you’ve had them.  I have a pair of Hollister jeans I’ve kept since high school, to glare at me during my ‘party puff’ phase and to feel better about myself when I was finally able to get back into them.  Just sayin.
  • Your super flare bells, if you have em – because whoever thought overalls would be back in style?

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Make two piles = direct giveaway + try to sell.  It’s a little easier to let go of something you know you might get some money for.  Direct giveaway is anything and everything that’s taking up space in your room that you have no need for, and neither do your friends, but you know someone in the world could use it.  Your selling pile might consist of the things you’re a little hesitant about tossing, but know they just don’t fit right or you probably haven’t worn for a reason.  If it’s still in good condition, in season or sorta trending, throw it into your selling pile and into the hands of someone who can rock it.  Be strategic about the two piles.

Trash

Bag it up in trash bags.  I used to throw my clothes in shopping bags and now I only use trash bags.  Reason is two-fold – you won’t be able to see the items you’re tossing (purgers remorse) and its such an easier way to transport.  No broken handles, bottoms falling out or clothes spillage in your trunk.  Plus, there’s less bags to carry.

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Take your selling pile to your local resale shop and see what happens.  Remember, they’re always looking for current trends and recognizable brands, so if you have some potentials, why not.  Don’t take it personally if they don’t take anything – you didn’t want them either.  But there is always the chance they will take some of your loot, and offer your store credit or cash (for a lesser value, but hey).  This last time I purged my closet I made about $75 (after the $18 skirt I had to have) but sometimes I’ve walked away with over $100.  Just depends on the season, condition, and if the buyer is having a good day.  Maybe I’m weird, but I always try to look cute when I sell too, so even if my clothes aren’t cute, they still think I have decent style, which gives my clothes a little more credibility.  Also, if I have an abnormally big pile of stuff, I try my luck selling at two places, then donate.  Every time, the second store takes something the first store didn’t.

Places I sell to:

  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Flashbacks (google your local store)
  • Home (Encinitas or North Park)
  • Ebay (only for the really select stuff I know will be worth the transaction fees & process, like my Stone Cold Fox Stardust Jumpsuit or other hot commodities)
  • Poshmark (I’ve never used this, but I just signed up and I’m intrigued)

donate

Once you’ve attempted to sell, either donate to the store or a local Goodwill drop-off and don’t look back.  You have a little more cash in that wallet and a hell of a lot more empty hangers in that closet.

Happy purging!  xx