Monday, April 30, 2012

This Just Pinned: April Edition

Like my mother (and millions of others) I'm a bit of a Pinhead. I could waste hours on end pinning DIY projects, beautiful homes, fabulous fashions, mouth-watering recipes, and more.

But sometimes I pin so much per month that I worry that the ideas will get lost in the shuffle. Once or twice I've accidentally pinned things to find that they're already on my board from months earlier! So I decided to do a new series in which I'll highlight my favorite pins at the end of each month.

Here are the best of the best from April. Simply click on the image to be taken to my pin, or click the {via} below each to go directly to the original sites!



Mmmm. I'm getting hungry just looking at this Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken from Rock Recipes. I've tried my hand at breaded chicken many times and never managed to create such a delicious-looking crunchy crust. I hope that the recipe proves successful--I'll let you know!

DIY project:


This DIY stenciled candle holder from "Under the Table and Dreaming" is so chic and yet so simple to make! I'll definitely be on the lookout for cheap glass hurricanes during my next few thrifting trips so that I can recreate this project--I'm thinking I'll do it in a bold aqua or a classic oil-rubbed bronze.



I'm loving this cheery craft closet from Fancy Frugal Life. Chevron, blue + aqua, and tons of storage--what's not to like?!



I loved this menu board project so much that when I pinned it two weeks ago, I HAD to make one on the spot. (I was on a class retreat at the time, so I had to wait until I got back the next day to actually make it). Thanks to Megan of "The Homes I Have Made" for the fabulous idea! We've used our new meal planning board for the past few weeks and loved it! I'm going to share pictures of mine in a bit, because I'm finishing up a recipe binder project that goes along with it.

Party Plans:


I'm obsessed with this "Bun in the Oven" baby shower theme! TOO CUTE! Guests could buy baking inspired toys (Easy Bake Ovens or play food) or gifts for mama (kid-friendly cookbooks, bakeware, etc.), and the homemade spread of sweets & treats would be delicious :)



Belkin's Conserve Valet helps you save power (and thus $$) by powering down when all of your attached devices are fully charged! It's like a smart charging dock. At just $39.99, it's affordable, too! I plan on nabbing one and seeing whether it makes a difference in our monthly electric bill.



I have no idea if I'd actually be skilled enough to pull off this gold leaf manicure--I have unsteady hands and an impatient mind--but it sure looks awesome!

Just for Fun:

Hunger Games + Harry Potter + Mean Girls? Um, yes, awesome and hilarious!

What have you pinned lately?

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Fab Finds Friday: Dino-mite!

Yeah, sorry about that pun, y'all.

I'm back to share more of my recent fabulous finds with you, my fabulous readers!

I visited two thrift stores I've never been to before--both YWCA Secret Seconds stores here in Missoula. I always drive by one on the way to school, and I've wanted to stop in, so I finally did! Now I'm sorta kicking myself for not going in before, because I got some good stuff. I wonder what others scooped up in the many months that I never paid the store a visit...

Anyway, on to show what I DID get!

On this trip I had a special eye out for vintage Pyrex. I've recently started following the Pyrex Collective blogs (I, II, and III) and drooling over the adorable dishes that people find in their thrift I decided I wanted to collect some, too! Ironically, on my first look through I didn't see any, but then I double checked and these two bowls were just sitting on the shelf waiting for me. Don't know how I missed them the first time, but I'm glad I found them eventually! It just goes to show that you really should always do a double take like I suggested in my thrifty tips :)

They were pretty good deals--$2.50 for the smaller bowl (a 1 1/2 quart "Square Flowers" pattern mixing bowl, $17.21 on Ebay) and $3.50 for the large one (a 2 1/2 quart "Early American" pattern mixing bowl, $22.99 on Ebay). I love the cat and rooster on the larger bowl :)

Now that I've started my collection, I'm keeping an eye out for some other prints: Bluebird, Butterfly Gold, Butterprint, Bride's Pattern, Clover Berry, Friendship Dove, Mod Kitchen, and Stems! I used this pattern guide to figure out what I have and what I want next.

I also picked up some animal friends: a bunch of dinosaurs (hence the title of this post) and a brass duck. The dinos ranged from $0.49 to $1, and the duck was $2.

I plan to paint Mr. Ducky a fun color--maybe an aqua or a bright orange? Or just glossy white? And the dinos will befall a similar fate--I'm almost leaning toward gold, like this:

Or I may paint them a rainbow of colors and create succulent planters, like so:

Maybe I'll make succulent planters out of the ones with more space on their backs--the T-rex, raptor, and brontosaurus--and then paint the stegosaurus & triceratops gold.

Have you bought any fab finds lately? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shopping for Inspiration: Target

You may not believe it given my weekly Fab Finds Friday posts, but once in a while I go shopping and don't buy a thing. Rather than coming home with shopping bags brimming with goods, I simply return with a mind full of new DIY ideas. I like to call it shopping for inspiration!

I recently took one of those inspirational shopping trips to Target, and I thought I'd share some totally DIY-able projects based on some of their new summer inventory.

Now, don't be me wrong. I'd definitely buy these things if they were on sale. (In fact, I'll probably stalk Target until they go on sale). But they're all products that you could recreate with the right supplies. And if you DIY them, you can customize them to fit your color scheme!

First up: this lovely ombre tray. I'm on the lookout for a cheap tray so I can DIY this ASAP. To get the look, take a thrifted tray, spray paint it a glossy white, use a ruler and pencil to mark off lines, tape them off with painter's tape, paint the stripes in whatever shades you want, and finish the whole thing off with some lacquer spray!

Painted utensil projects have been hitting the blogosphere lately (see my post, as well as this one from Little Bit Funky or this one from A Pretty Cool Life), and retail buyers must have taken notice. These rainbow-handled salad sets are lovely, but totally DIYable!

I'm kind of a sucker for letters and numbers, so these coasters caught my eye right away. But with some vinyl or a stencil + tiles from any home improvement store, you could achieve the same look for less--plus you can use whatever numbers and font styles you desire!

And same goes for this number pillow. With some heat transfer paper or a freezer paper stencil you could customize the pillow with any letter or number you desire! Also check out the alphabet canvas to the right of the shelves. It highlights the vowels, which is cool, but you could also customize the colors of a DIY version so that it spells out a message or highlights your initials. Last year I created something similar on Word for Valentine's Day, printed it, and framed it! You could also grab a canvas, letter stencils, and paints to create your own.

Likewise, with some stencils or vinyl and some thrifted, stained stools, you could recreate these beauties:

Look! Michelle of {Primp} has already DIYed something similar:


And lastly, this "Etc." jar reminds me of the "Things & Such" jars on my crafty to-do list. Now I'm thinking I need to make 5 chalkboard jars--Things, Such, Odds, Ends, and Etc.


Have you spotted any totally DIY-able products in stores lately? Do tell! Share in the comments :)

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Monday, April 23, 2012

That's a Map!

Get it? Like "That's a Wrap!" (Not like someone exclaiming "That's a map!" in one of those "Duh, dude, I can see that" moments.)

I use this punny title not only because I bought an awesome giant map for $15 (see below), but also because said map has essentially completed our living room decor (minus the inevitable tiny tweaks like rearranged tchotchkes, holiday decor, etc.). So that's a wrap on that area in our apartment, all thanks to this guy:

I spotted this big framed beauty at a local thrift store last week and snatched it up. I've been keeping an eye out for a large map for a while, and I did some quick phone research to find that the very same map was retailing for $49.95 unframed! So I knew I had to buy it. To give you a big idea of how large the map is, I set it on our large futon:

After lusting after this living room from Restored Style, I knew I wanted to hang the map on our large living room wall:


I had previously hung three travel-themed prints on the same wall, but they looked a little dwarfed because the wall itself is so large.

So I just popped the map onto the existing middle nail, and voila! 

The map is actually a special edition in honor of the 100 year anniversary of National Geographic!

I had to take a few close-ups of my favorite states:

I just love how the Missouri River's headwaters are in Montana--it connects me to home!

You might notice that we already sort of had a travel theme in the room. My generous mother bought us these wonderful Missouri and Montana pillows from Uncommon Goods as well as a custom puzzle of our hometown--you can see one of the pillows on our ottoman below, and the puzzle to the left of the map.

I relocated the prints to our dining room, above our sideboard:

And then I moved the scrapbook papers that used to be our sideboard to above our entry bookshelf. One of the frames for the papers was actually glass-less, so I just didn't hang it. (Please ignore the bag of trash by our door, ha!)

I love the look of our new map, and I have a feeling that I'll be adding more map/travel-related decor once we get a larger place. We have a sort of tradition of buying prints when we're on trips (like this one from a February trip to Seattle, and the Missoula print below it), so it would be fun to display them in a gallery wall like so:


I also love the look of these map coasters--they'd be an easy DIY!


This Missouri art from Curiously Wrought is officially on my wishlist. I love it!


And this map art is a classic--I've seen it floating around on Pinterest a billion times. I might have to make one--a Missouri heart, a Montana heart, and maybe a Banff heart since we're honeymooning there?


Tonia from The Gunny Sack created a rolled map wreath, and it turned out lovely!


My bloggy friend Kristin from Our Washington Life has a self-professed map fetish, and I love her map gallery wall!


I also love the colors and mix of prints in this map gallery wall. I love this color scheme for a nursery (waaaay in the future!)


And Sherry and John from Young House Love have a wonderful map cork board to commemorate their trips together. Although, I must suggest that they visit Montana and Missouri, the two best states in the USA (ha!):


Any other map-lovers out there?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Mother Earth, that is.

I probably had you checking the calendar with that title. Yes, I am aware that actual Mother's Day isn't for another month! (I've already ordered your present, though, mom!) But today is Earth Day, so I figured I'd round up a few projects I’ve completed (and some I’ve pinned to do) that all have to do with preserving or celebrating nature!

First up is my recycling organization system and these FREE printable recycling labels I shared in this post—check it out for specific details on how I set up a recycling center in our small apartment:

Next up, how I used styrofroam, cardboard, and fabric to create a free bulletin board rather than throwing the Styrofoam away:

And how I used tin cans, gum containers, scrapbook paper, and stickers to create some kitchen storage:

Now here are the Earth-y projects I've pinned and would love to complete!

Color me OBSESSED with this pop bottle jewelry organizer created by Jen at Epbot. I will be doing this ASAP.


This plastic bag wreath is a chic way to use up all of those shopping sacks you may have accumulated over the years! 


I try to use canvas bags whenever I shop, but sometimes I forget them at home and have to accept plastic bags. I always save them to use as  small trash bags, plus Wal-Mart has a bag recycling program, but this project would be a cute way to use up some of the bags in my stash!

I also love the idea of bringing a little earth into my home by creating a lovely little terrarium in one of my blue mason jars, like so:


Lovely, right? I like the idea of switching the contents out for each season, too!

And another great recycling project which I just might have to complete: making bookmarks out of food boxes! 


We can't recycle paperboard in Missoula, and I always seem to be losing my bookmarks, so this DIY would kill two birds with one stone. (In true Earth Day fashion, no actual birds were harmed in the making of that metaphor). 

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Any DIYs up your sleeve?

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