Category Archives: diy

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus

December 15, 2015

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and EucalyptusGrowing up in a creative household, Christmastime meant handmade gifts and crafting holiday decorations. The weeks leading up to Christmas would be filled with art projects and a messy dining table covered in art supplies. Not much has changed since then, and each year I find myself in a virtual DIY Pinterest board for the month of December. This latest project is a spin on the tradition holiday wreath, using not only pine and winter berries, but adding eucalyptus for a modern twist. This wreath can be made in multiple sizes and can be hung on the front door or inside so enjoy the amazing scent of pine and eucalyptus!

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and EucalyptusMaterials:

Pine Tree Clippings (most places that sell Christmas trees will let you take their trimmings for free)

Winter Berry Branches (found at Trader Joe’s or any florist)

Eucalyptus bunch

Gold Macrame Ring (these come in various sizes, I used a 6″ and a 12″)

Ribbon

Scissors

Wire snips

Florist’s wire

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus

Directions:

Start with your pine sprigs trimmed at various lengths (about 6-10″ for bigger gold ring). With the stems all at one end, place a small bunch onto the ring and wrap floral wire around the stems until secure.

Repeat with another small bunch of sprigs, placing the stems in line with the first bunch, but facing the opposite direction. Continue until desired fullness of pine is reached.

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus Trim the eucalyptus into smaller sprigs and tuck the stems into the pine and securing with wire, building out from the original pine stems in two opposite directions.

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and EucalyptusNext, trim the winter berry branches into smaller springs and fill them in between the pine and eucalyptus, using wire to secure where needed.

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and EucalyptusCut a piece of ribbon at least 24″, or to desired length for hanging. Wrap around the top of the gold ring so your greens are at the bottom, and tie a knot or bow.

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and EucalyptusDIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus
Finally, hang wherever you’d like to enjoy your holiday wreath!

DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus DIY Holiday Wreath with Pine and Eucalyptus

DIY All Natural Hair Conditioner from “Skin Cleanse” by Adina Grigore

May 13, 2015

DIY All Natural Hair Conditioner from Skin CleanseWe recently shared our recent bookshelf addition,­ the amazing Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore, the S.W. Basics of Brooklyn founder (who also just shared her morning rituals with us!). Along with so many great tips and advice for natural beauty ­in her book, it is chock full of recipes you can easily make at home. One of the first ones I tried the DIY Hair Conditioner, hoping to help with my fine hair prone to tangles.­ I was curious how the natural recipe would work, so I cracked open a beer and begun! (yes, beer is a main ingredient!) After leaving the conditioner in for about 20 minutes and rinsing, combing through the hair wasn’t super easy and doubt creeped in. But once my hair dried completely, the volume I gained was incredible! I let it air dry naturally and the result was some major bounce for my otherwise normally flat hair. I am definitely going to try to do this once a week!

 

According to Grigore, it works so well due to the B vitamins in the beer, fatty acid content in the egg, plus the cleansing properties of apple cider vinegar. Here’s how to do it:

DIY All Natural Hair Conditioner from Skin CleanseIngredients:

1 egg

1⁄2 cup of beer

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

 

Directions:

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour over hair & wrap in towel.

Hang out for about 15­-20 minutes (and finish the rest of the beer!).

Rinse thoroughly. Tip: Use cool to warm water, too hot and you may fry an egg on your head!

 

Houseplant Happy // How to add some green to your home

April 15, 2015

As we mentioned in our spring post earlier this week, we are adding some houseplants to our home to refresh our place for spring. Houseplants are not only pretty to look at, but they are an affordable way to breathe life into your space – literally. Plants release fresh oxygen into the air and release water into the air, potentially raising the humidity in your house as well. Plants also are naturally detoxifying;

“Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint).” source.

The suggested plant to space ratio is 1 potted plant per 100 square feet of home. For those of us who do not have the greenest thumb, here are some plant species recommendations and tips for adding some green into your home this spring.

 

Some easy to care for species to look for:

 

snake palntSnake Plant – This tough plant thrives almost anywhere and can handle some neglect. Low to bright light is okay and looks cool anywhere with its striking upright appearance.

 

Christmas cactusChristmas Cactus – Our mom had one of this that lasted our whole childhood. Named for the pinkish red flowers that bloom in December, this easy plant looks great anywhere.

 

Aloe – An easy to care for succulent that also doubles as a moisturizer!

cactus

Cacti – Less is more with these spiky wonders. Shallow dishes work best for cactus as they don’t root deeply and water only once a month or so.

 jade

Jade – A symbol of good luck, water only when the top of soil is just dry to the touch.

 

Philodendron – Adaptable and easy to grow in low light areas, this plant looks great on shelves or as hanging plants as their leaves hang down.

air plant

Airplants – these amazing looking plants don’t even need soil to grow! Just soak the leaves (not the roots) every 2 weeks or so.

 succulent

Succulents – Need lots of sunlight so a window sill is best – be sure to put them in a pot that drains and not to over water. Try arranging a few succulents together in a larger pot for variety – check out our DIY here.

 Bromeliad

Bromeliads – This plant needs more attention than the others but is worth it! Here are the ones that are reccommended for indoors.

 

You can find most of these common house plants at home depot, your local nursery or even the grocery store. As for pots – we love antique stores, yard sales, flea markets for scoring cool used options – or getting the plain terracotta ones and painting them ourselves.

 

Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY

April 2, 2015

Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY I am all about the easy DIYs. I know I have found many DIY ‘pins’ with the promise of the perfect weekend project, but hours later and a bunch of money spent, I am still no where near the perfect looking picture. Well this weekend we got crafty – we repurposed a metal hanging fruit basket into a succulent party! This super easy DIY could be done with anything really – a cool tin, a basket, wire bowl. Just follow these easy steps to insure your pretty little plants will thrive.

Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY

You will need:

 

-various succulent clippings (try your local nursery or home depot has many options large and small for cheap)

 

-succulent/palm soil

 

-organic moss (since our wire basket had an open construction, we used this to line the basket before putting the soil down)

 

-spray bottle of water (helps to avoid over saturating your soil)

Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY

Directions:

 

Lay out the succulents you intend to use. Put a thin layer of moss along the bottom(s) and sides of your container if necessary. (note: if your container does not have any holes at all to drain water, you can still use it, just add rocks to bottom before soil to help with drainage and avoid molding) Add soil to desired level.

Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY hanging_succulent_planter_4

Arrange and place your succulents in the soil with adequate space between them so the roots have room to grow. Use spray bottle to thoroughly wet the soil and you are done! Spritz with water to keep soil moist for first week or so, but don’t overwater. After the first week, you can water once every 2 – 3 weeks as needed.Sweet Hanging Succulent DIY

 

Useful and Beautiful

January 19, 2015

declutter organize

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

—William Morris

I don’t know about you, but since the start of this year I have been working on starting the new year clean – I had big ambitions to get rid of the clutter, get my dresser drawers to close, rearrange the living room – and was trying to do it all the first week of the year. Quickly realizing this was a month long mission if I wanted to do it right, I relaxed a bit and am actually enjoying the steps of freshening up my living space.

 

The best tip I found that I put to use that made a huge difference – the genius outbox as described by Apartment Therapy that we mentioned back in this post. Pick a spot in your house or apartment that is not used daily, perhaps a corner, an extra closet or guest room and designate this your ‘outbox’. As you start cleaning, anything that you are unsure of its place, or whether you even want to keep, place in the outbox area. This way as you go, you don’t get slowed down with the “should I keep this? it doesn’t really fit my decor… or I love the way this looks on me, but I don’t think I have worn it in a year…” internal conversations. Leave the “maybe” stuff in the outbox, don’t worry about the chaos or mess that small designated area becomes, and let it be there for a week.

 

When you revisit after a week, spend 15 minutes putting a few things from the outbox in its place, the (maybe new) spot it belongs in, the donate pile, the recycling bin, or the giveaway bag. After rearranging the living room furniture in the with music blasting this weekend, I went through my outbox (the bed in the guest room) and donated most of the clothing to my boyfriend’s sisters clothing drive for her school, sold some to the local recycled fashion shop, and the rest to Goodwill. And I finally got my dresser drawers to actually close – victory!

 
 Image / via /
 

5 ways to be a great host

December 17, 2014

how_host_partySo the word ‘host’ to me sounds a little stuffy, but it does not mean that you have to be stuffy while hosting a party, a dinner, overnight guests – whatever it may be. Odds are, you may be required to be the host of something this holiday season. I hosted Thanksgiving with friends and now Christmas with the boyfriend’s fam – two totally different gatherings – but I have started to find some tried and true tricks that work for me no matter what the occasion is. I may be going a Martha Stewart here, but I just hope it may help anyone who is the same boat as me! What are some of your hosting tips and tricks?

 

Always plan on extra – An extra hour to get ready before people show up, extra toilet paper so guests don’t have to ask, extra bottle(s) of wine (duh!). I have found that simply having a buffer saves from having to rush, having to run to the store, or having your guest feel like they drank too much! While on the topic of serving guests wine, I love this post on wine etiquette.

 

Make a good go-to party playlist – or simply find one on Spotify and have it playing before people show up. It may sound trivial, but have you been in a store or somewhere and it is completely silent? Having music in the background helps distract people from whatever last minute things you are trying to wrap up in the kitchen or where ever. Bonus, if guests get there early, you can always ask them to put on their favorite music so they feel a part of creating a great get together.

 

Pick one thing and do it well – So Pinterest is great for ideas for cooking, baking, or decorating, but honestly it can create totally unrealistic goals. I would love to have all the time in the world to create an amazing, totally themed get-together ala Martha Stewart, but it is just not happening. So I just focus on one thing, the signature cocktail, the main meal, or the epic dessert, instead of wearing myself thin. Most likely, your guests will be remembering the conversations, not the tablescape that you foraged from the woods.

 

Do as many things ahead of time – Okay, so I am really not a planner, way more of a procrastinator, but doing as much as you can in the days leading up to the event can help so much in your stress levels when you realize you have only an hour left to cook/clean – oh and put real clothes on. Go shopping a couple days before and wash, chop, prep any foods. Spend 15 minutes cleaning one part of the house each day leading up and your whole house will magically be clean when you guests come. Put out all of the drinkware and set up your bar ahead of time. All of these little things done ahead of time make the whole hosting thing that much easier.

 

In the end, don’t sweat the small stuff – You guests are here to see you, hang out with others, and have a great time, so don’t take it too seriously. Not everything has to be perfect. Nobody really cares if you burn the main course (as I have), just order pizza, it always tastes good – especially in good company. Some of the best memories often come from the unplanned. And finally, remember to have fun at your own party too!

 

Image / via /

 

 

Holiday Spice Coffee

November 13, 2014

Hoilday Spice CoffeeIt is cold here in Colorado, not just a ‘I need a winter hat to go outside’ cold, more like ‘I need to cover every inch of exposed skin’ cold. Along with the cold came a foot of snow, both of which has had a profound side effect – I am officially in the holiday spirit! Bring on the egg nog and Christmas music! So now that I have been bitten by the bug, I wanted to share a recipe that is perfect for this time of year making each day a little more festive. This Holiday Spice Coffee is a great way to add a subtle spice to your everyday cup of coffee. It would also be a simple way to fancy-up coffee served with Thanksgiving pie or a Christmas brunch. Enjoy!

Hoilday Spice CoffeeHoliday Spice Coffee

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon cloves

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Add a  1/4 teaspoon of the spice mix per 1/8 cup coffee grounds before brewing or French pressing.

Brew as usual and enjoy!Hoilday Spice CoffeeHoilday Spice CoffeeHoilday Spice Coffee

Bourbon Cider Apple Chip Cocktail

October 29, 2014

Bourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_Cocktail_5Apple cider is the quintessential fall drink and while I love drinking it in its pure form, adding a little bourbon never hurt anyone. The result is a crisp, spiced cocktail that is sure to be a hit at your Halloween party (or any party, no holiday needed!) The baked bourbon soaked apple chips add that extra touch to turn the drink into a signature cocktail  – but it is still super easy to make! What is your favorite fall cocktail?

Bourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_CocktailBourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_Cocktail_2

Ingredients: 

6 small apples

your favorite bourbon

your favorite apple cider

club soda

cinnamon to garnish

 

Directions:

Apple chips:

Slice the apples thinly into circles ( you can core if you’d like, both work well) 

In a small baking dish, spread out your apple slices and pour the bourbon to just cover the apples. Soak for an hour.

Spread apple slices out on a baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 250 for  45 minutes, until browned and crispy.

 

Bourbon Cider Apple Chip Cocktail:

Mix 5 ounces of cider (about 2/3 of a rocks glass) with one shot of bourbon and a splash of club soda. Garnish with a few apple chips and enjoy!

*adapted from this recipe.

Bourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_Cocktail_4Bourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_Cocktail_6 Bourbon_Cider_Apple_Chip_Cocktail_3

Beauty food // Pumpkin Body Scrub

October 23, 2014

pumpkin_body_scrub_6This pumpkin body scrub combines 2 of our favorite things – using food as beauty products + pumpkin (yes, more pumpkin!). The super simple body scrub uses ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen plus the readily-available-everywhere-you-turn canned pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling!). Pumpkin is packed with vitamins A & C and antioxidants, making it the perfect skin food. This body scrub combines the pumpkin with coarse sugar or salt, honey, and coconut oil, and voila, a tasty fall treat for your skin!

pumpkin_body_scrub_5

Ingredients:

1 cup course raw sugar or salt

1/2 cup pure organic pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp honey

Directions:
Combine sugar, pumpkin, coconut oil, and honey in a small bowl until blended.

Keep in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

The scrub will last up to a week in a fridge. You can also cut the recipe in half for a single use batch.pumpkin_body_scrub_3 pumpkin_body_scrub_7 pumpkin_body_scrub_2

Guest Post // DIY succulent garden

October 21, 2014

Today we are featuring a great DIY from Kellie Mountain of Mountain Decor. Her spin on the typical succulent garden uses any repurposed item you may have laying around and turns it into a unique planter.

DIY succulent garden

Take any prized collected piece, or even something you have laying around the house that you thought you didn’t want anymore and turn it into a planter!

DIY succulent garden

Materials needed:

•Container of choice

•Cactus soil

•Bark (or rocks) for drainage

•Moss

•Succulents of choice- think variety of colors, heights, and textures

•Sticks — *optional (manzanita branches used here)

 

 

Step 1

Add a thin layer of bark for drainage.

DIY succulent garden

Step 2

Add your soil. Remember to leave some room at the top.

DIY succulent gardenStep 3

Start with your tallest plant in the back. Don’t feel you have to use all of the plant. I broke mine in half.

DIY succulent garden Step 4

Add any other “filler” plants.

 

Step 5

Add your shorter, focal plants towards front- known as the “thrillers”.

DIY succulent garden DIY succulent gardenStep 6

Put any “spiller” plants towards the front or off to the side.

DIY succulent gardenStep 7

Add moss. This helps stabilize the plants (if needed), keeps moisture in, and provides a finished look.

DIY succulent gardenStep 8

If your container of choice has a lid, try to incorporate it back into the planter.

DIY succulent gardenStep 9

Add sticks, if desired. In this case, the sticks provided a way to hold up and secure the lid in place. It’s also provides a nice texture and added dimension.

DIY succulent garden

Step 10

Water plants in. When working with such a small container, it is most important to not overwater your succulents. This is the #1 way to kill your plants. The best way to water them is with a spray bottle. All they need is a little mist. Especially when using containers that don’t drain (like the one I used here). You can also drill a hole in the bottom if you plan on keeping the planter outside. Depending on where you keep your planter, it will only need to be watered about every 2 weeks.

DIY succulent garden

Where to put your new succulent garden?

Something like this can thrive indoors or out. While succulents do like a lot of sun, they do best in a well lit room indoors (next to a sunny window is great) or part sun outdoors.

 

Kellie Mountain

Mountain Decor was born about 4 years ago. Kellie says “As early as I can remember I have been fascinated by home design and decor. I would rearrange my entire room about every other month or so starting at about age 7. I am constantly growing and changing in my style. Inspired by all things beautiful. Most recently flowers and nature seem to be the backbone of everything I do. I love things in their most natural, worn state. The services I offer range from home/ room re-design, landscape design, holiday decorating, and custom floral design based Southern California.”  You can contact Kellie via email at Mountaindecor[at]gmail.com and follow her on instagram @mountaindecor