i am so happy and honored to announce that i’ve been nominated in the best DIY blog category in the better homes and gardens blogger awards! i’m nominated among some incredible [+ big-time] bloggers that i totally admire, so i feel really great just to be included.
as you know, i don’t post photos of myself often, but i thought reminding you that i’m just a dork, who can’t seem to stand up straight or pose like a human, who really appreciates votes, might urge you to vote for me.
i wouldn’t continue with this blog if it weren’t for the amazingly positive vibes and feedback i get from you guys, and you always encourage me to try harder on my next DIY — because inspiring you guys to be creative is the only reason i do this. whenever i do a good DIY that gets a lot of love, i always worry i can’t top it and i peaked out. this happens all the time. but i can honestly say the more often you use your creative juices the stronger they get. so thanks for continually inspiring me to inspire you.
a few weeks ago i was roaming around my favorite craft store and i noticed they were selling raw crystals and minerals for like a buck each. so naturally i filled my basket with them and decided i could just scatter them on every table around the apartment. but when i got home, i decided i wanted to scatter them across my fridge too! so i made magnets. not the most inventive DIY, but these make the easiest inexpensive gifts and favors too!
all you have to do is buy some dope crystals like mine (i’ve seen them pretty cheap on ebay), and some magnets (fyi i saw pretty much the same magnets for $12 at the container store and $3 at home depot).
then you glue a magnet onto the flattest surface of your crystal. let dry for a few hours before magnetizing (not sure i’ve ever used the word magnetizing before).
i used a combo of hot glue and super glue to make the bond as secure as i could.
ps i love crystals.
my home office is in the same room as my cats litter box. so we all work really hard in this room. and while i thought i had retired using nag champa in high school, g brought it back to mask the scent of lingering cat poop and it really does work. we’ve been using an old tea tin for years, so i decided to make a simple little holder for our incense sticks – and hey, you can too!
- polymer clay
- rolling pin
- a clay blade
- acrylic paints
01. soften up the clay in your hands, roll a piece into a ball and roll it out flat.
02. use your blade to cut each side to form a triangle. using your incense stick, prick a hole in the center and wiggle it around just a little to give enough space for your incense. bake until hardened, let cool.
03. paint! i watered my acrylic paint to give it a watercolor look. if you mess up, you can use nail polish remover to fix your mistakes, although i’ve read it’s bad for the clay. also, don’t spill even a drop on your phone screen like i did. because it IS BAD i learned the hard way.
04. let dry! light incense! party!
+ if you’re wondering how messy this is versus using a “catch-all” for the incense ash, well my answer is that we are very frugal people and we’re also very sensitive to smells, so we only use a little of an incense stick at a time. ash may drop. but yolo.
a few of you have asked to see more of our wedding, well — i still can’t show you yet because i’m excited to say that it’ll be featured on my favorite wedding blog fairly soon! but for now, you’ve also asked to see our wedding invites / aka the bane of our existence / aka one of the best things g and i have ever done together.
we decided to design our invites to be like a brochure, we wanted to try to convey the palm springs vacation feel to them (to really entice people to come). we stuck with same kind of vibe as our save the dates, but while they go together, they’re pretty different.
it was a little difficult + a lot tedious to design the accordion layout, because we had to figure out what configuration worked best, which we changed multiple times. when our guests received them, they’d see the front, which was essentially the “invitation”. they then would open to reveal all of the info laid out, as well as a map gideon illustrated on the back of palm springs. we included our RSVP postcard within the brochure, so we had that perforated for easy removal, but made sure the invite had three additional panels to keep it still pretty once they’d RSVP’d. we were really into the idea of postcards for the RSVPs because it’s so much easier to just drop ‘em in the mail and we saved on additional envelopes. we went with smartpress for printing the invites, and they were super helpful every time i called to ask mundane questions about how to best design the layouts. (they were also super affordable)
because our wedding was pretty laid back, we made sure to use wording that still sounded like us. the most formal thing we did was including my parents name on the front, but we still made sure to keep that wording casual (by skipping their last names). i hand wrote the words and gid digitally painted the watercolor background. we also assembly-lined our envelopes with a marker that basically matched the invites. gid did the guests names and i did the addresses. that took forever.
i am so happy with how the invites turned out, it was a total labor of love + it was so fun for the two of us to collaborate on them together.
as i said two weeks ago – i love this super easy mussels recipe. now i realized i meant to post this BEFORE valentines day and time got away from me and i’m super sorry ok? but it’s ok because mussels are easy enough, you can make them WHENEVER. like for real — it takes 20 minutes and you got yourself a delish + romantic dinner.
adapted from potluck at midnight farm *, serves 2
( * a really good martha’s vineyard cookbook that i sadly don’t see for sale online )
1 LB MUSSELS (TRY TO BUY THEM DEBEARDED)
1 CUP WHITE WINE
1/4 CUP CHOPPED TOMATOES
1/4 CUP CHOPPED SHALLOTS
3/8 CUP COARSELY CHOPPED CILANTRO
1 TSP HOT SAUCE
1/4 CUP HEAVY CREAM
2 TB UNSALTED BUTTER
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
1 LOAF CRUSTY BREAD
01. scrub + debeard your mussels if necessary.
02. combine the wine, tomatoes, shallots, half of the cilantro, the hot sauce, and heavy cream in a large pot. bring the ingredients to a boil. cook and stir for 2 minutes.
03. add the mussels and turn the heat down to a simmer. cover the pot and cook for 5 – 10 minutes, until all the mussels have opened. remove the mussels from the pot with a slotted spoon.
04. simmer down the cooking liquid until it’s reduced by about a cup, this takes another 5 – 10 minutes. add the butter, stirring gently. turn off the heat and add pepper.
05. pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve asap.
ps. DO not forget the bread. you might wanna try letting an extra piece soak in the sauce while you eat the other bread because it’s sooooo good all soaked up in the sauce.
PHOTOS BY LILY GLASS
lately i am obsessed with all things ceramic and enamelware, but i really don’t have any money to spend on this love of mine. so while i wanted to incorporate that look onto my pretty new-ish coffee table, duh i decided to DIY it.
- some plain candles (mine were $2 at ikea)
- white spray paint
- white acrylic paint
- black acrylic paint
- a tiny brush
01. spray paint your candles upside down and let dry outside for at least 5 hours.
02. once your candles are dry and you peel them off the work surface, you’ll notice the top rim probably needs a little finesse. i lightly sanded my down and carefully painted with the white acrylic paint.
03. if you have a reference to use (like my enamelware camping mug), all the better. if you don’t, use mine or an image on google. the trick is to go VERY slowly and not to over think it. my first candle was pretty bad because i was completely over thinking it. so here’s my trick : relax and do a little at a time. so do tiny dots and spread them all over, don’t do one area at a time. then add medium sized dots. then add blotches to make it a little more natural rather than large dots, which end up looking kind of intentional. if it helps, do a little on one side, then turn it and do a little on the other side of the candle, then go back and forth. as long as you go at a slow relaxed pace, it won’t look too deliberate.
+ if you’re wondering if flammable spray paint and candles shouldn’t mix, it seems to be ok because the spray paint is only on the outside of the glass which doesn’t touch the flame whatsoever. but if my candles spontaneously combust, i’ll be sure to let you know.
you might be asking yourself why i didn’t use white wax candles, and that’s because i usually hate the scent of inexpensive white candles. like no thanks, i don’t want a baby powder or vanilla buttercream scent in my house. but maybe i’m just picky.
but i’m really loving the way these candles bring a little pattern to my coffee table – let me know if you try it!
hosting an oscar party? we decided to come up with a very festive menu to serve — best picture nominee themed dishes!
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING : the theory of everything bagel crackers
THE IMITATION GAME : the imitation crab dip (you can use real crab, but for the first time ever, say it’s imitation) (alt : crab ragoon, crab salad, california rolls)
AMERICAN SNIPER : american sliders
WHIPLASH : whiplashed sweet potatoes
BIRDMAN : buffalo birdwings (alt : you could also just pick up KFC)
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL : courtesan au chocolat (alt: just buy some french pastries)
SELMA : i have a dreamsicles
BOYHOOD : boyhoodsen berry spritzers (sub the blackberry for boysenberry) (alt : boysenberry crumble)
+ ps. don’t forget to download the printable ballots!