5 Tips for Making Easter Baskets for Your Kids

I know, Easter was last Sunday but I made the girl’s baskets Saturday night so this post isn’t late when you think about it that way. Just pin it and dig it up next year when you’re scrambling for DIY basket ideas like I know you will. This was my second attempt but  I learned from my mistakes last year so these are keepers. I don’t think I’ll have to make baskets ever again. Here are 4 things to keep in mind when creating your own baskets.

Grab what you like then figure out how to make it work. I loved the flowers in the can but I didn’t know how exactly I wanted to incorporate them until I got started. They worked out perfectly with a little glue and dots from the lettering kit in the middle of each one.

Think function. These baskets weren’t Easter specific, just colored ones I found at Michael’s. Harper’s basket from last year was too small and the handle was so low that we couldn’t get books to fit inside. When they get older we’ll put shirts and other grown up goodies in there, I think the size of these baskets will work for that phase too. (Note: Post-’bunny’ we got baskets well until high school. It was just a fun tradition that I’ll do with my girls too.)

Bigger is better. The basket I made last year had lettering that was way too small so I grabbed these oversized ones and I’m so glad I did. They’re more sturdy and they stuck perfectly to the uneven texture of the basket.

Simple doesn’t mean plain. There are only two elements I used here- flowers and letters and they look great. Their function is to hold gifts and candies so they’ll look better once they’re filled anyway.

Down with glitter. I’m not a fan of glitter on things for kids anyway because it transfers onto their hands and always ends up in their eyes and mouths.

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Everything was found at Michael’s, the glue gun, paper flowers, and lettering.

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Their middle names are on the back with more flowers.

I’m not especially crafty (honestly, or else I’d already have a glue gun) and it only took me about 30 minutes to put them both together.  They’ll last a long time and will be used every year like Christmas stockings so for me, the extra effort was totally worth it.

Another DIY: How to Ombré A Dresser

Those sleepless/uncomfortable nights during this pregnancy meant lots of time on Pinterest. Instead of just pinning away and collecting photos of projects I’ll never do, I actually did a few things that I never imagined possible.

I debated for a long time whether or not to paint these dressers from Ikea once we decided to use them in the nursery. Both nurseries have white cribs and dressers because I didn’t like any of the wood options and black seemed too harsh for a girl’s room. This meant two similar looking rooms and the oppertunity to go a little more creative to try and make each unique.  I love the ombré painted furniture that’s so popular right now, and that look just seemed perfect in this room since I went big on color whereas my first daughter’s room has splashes here and there. Why not I figured?! The very worst thing that could happen is I’d just paint it white again.

It’s so easy and fast. Here’s what I did.

These are the dressers we used from Ikea which were originally intended to be nightstands for our room but turned out to be way too big. Because one was already put together when we discovered how massive they looked, I decided to re-purpose them in the new nursery instead of taking them back to Ikea to fight for a store credit. Harper’s dresser is never enough storage it seems and we already have these mostly filled so I’m glad this is what we went with instead of one smaller dresser.

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Here they are before the paint, just plain ol dressers. I went to Guiry’s and paid a few bucks for 3 of each color in sample sizes (pictured on the dresser) which was just enough to cover the drawers with 2 coats. Not shown is the priming step where I used this primer that we also used to stain our nightstands.

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Here are the colors I used. For the ombré look you just take any 3 colors in a row from a color swatch which will give you that progressive look. It’s that easy.

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I thought at first it was going to look too dark, but I love it. The darkest color is what’s used in the room for the curtains and accessories, so that’s what I matched to. More photos of the nursery to come (I’m thisclose to being done!!)

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I got the crystal pulls from Hobby Lobby which were $4 each and 50% off (I needed 12.) I didn’t want to add any more color so I think it worked out perfect.

How to Make Glitter Pumpkins

Seeing all of the pretty fall decorations on Pinterest inspired me to make glitter pumpkins for my fall mantle I put together every year at this time. It turned out to be so easy and I love the touch of sparkle they add to an otherwise dull palette. Here’s how I did it.

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All you need is craft glue, a brush, ultra fine glitter, and ‘funkins’ which is what the plastic kind is actually called. I found it all at Hobby Lobby.

Use the brush to spread the glue on the pumpkin then sprinkle on a good amount of glitter to really coat it. Do it over a paper towel so when you’re done with each one you can fold the paper towel and dump the excess glitter back into the jar. The final step I didn’t show was painting the tip of the pumpkin stem black. Not a must but I had the paint sitting around and thought it would add some pop.

It took no time at all and wasn’t the mess I thought it would be.

There are so many ways to display them, but I wanted them on or in something to contain any glitter fall-out. I put two of them on pine cones in large vases and the others on top of a baking dish I turned upside down. I like the varying heights in the display so it’s perfect.

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Be brave and try a little DIY for holiday decor. It’s not as hard as you’d think.

IKEA Rast Hack for a 2 Toned Contemporary Looking Nightstand

I knew when we started designing our bedroom that I didn’t want any matching furniture. I wanted a contemporary look with personal touches even if that meant we’d have to do some work ourselves. After combing through my fave app Houzz I saw a nightstand that I loved. A few days later on Pinterest I discovered the world of ‘Rast hacks’ (Google it!) and here we are. Check out our journey in making unfinished furniture into something really special and cool for our bedroom.

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This was my inspiration, an overpriced nightstand I saw on Houzz.

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And here’s the $35 Rast dresser (I don’t know why they call it that, it’s barely large enough to be called a nightstand) from IKEA.

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What we used. I read that BIN was the best primer for the job so it’s what I got. The middle can is a white Benjamin Moore Paint, and Danish Oil stain. The small can on top is the polyurethane that you use over the stain to seal it- not a step you want to skip.

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Mike put it all together before first  which you don’t have to do but we didn’t want to knick anything up after working so hard on it.

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Take the drawers out and face the fronts up so you can easily paint them.

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I used tape so I wouldn’t get primer and paint all over the inside. Don’t worry about painting in there, you’ll never notice it’s unfinished.

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All primed! The drawer fronts were the easy part, just one coat of primer and 2 of the white paint. I used a roller instead of a brush so I wouldn’t get brush streaks, but I ended up with small bubbles that made the surface look textured so I used a light grit sandpaper to smooth it out before the second coat and then I rolled slowly. Ask someone when you buy the paint what brush or roller would work best so you don’t get streaks or bubbles.

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Here’s Mike applying the first coat of the Danish Oil. He ended up using several more coats and then a different stain in a process that ended up taking a few weeks because we couldn’t get them as dark as we wanted.

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After a little Googling and a lot of help from the paint department at Home Depot, Mike bought a third stain. We ran the risk of the stain not penetrating because of over saturating so he sanded them down first before adding a Minwax stain that would end up being just perfect. We were thankful it worked and they dried in just a few days. The nightstand on the left is what we had after trying the two stains and on the right is the final color. It looks black but it’s not, it’s a rich chestnut that matches our dresser perfectly.

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Here it is! I haven’t finished accessorizing them yet (I’m focusing on the nursery.)

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The ring pulls were from Horton Brasses, they’re the 1 7/8 size with a satin nickel finish. Yes, pricey but you won’t find something that looks this nice at Lowe’s or Home Depot (believe me I tried!)

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Another look In our room.

A few takeaways:

These Rast nightstands are much shorter and more narrow than what we’ve had in the past. Measure what you already have in your room, then measure these to see how they size up. I didn’t mind the smaller size because they force me to de-clutter.

Because they’re so small, they aren’t terribly sturdy. Consider what you’ll be putting in them and if you have small children who climb all over things. Again, we haven’t had any problems but it’s something to think about.

If you aren’t getting the right color right away, go buy another stain because layering doesn’t increase the richness of the color by much.

Try the stain on just a small area instead of the whole thing. Doing that would’ve saved us a lot of time.

I’m so glad we took a chance with this project since we aren’t DIY people. They turned out perfect and gave us the confidence to do another project for the nursery that I’m so excited to share with you soon.

The Pic Collage App is Helping Me Decorate My House

For whatever reason I decided to rip the house apart a few months ago. What started as a simple bathroom remodel turned into a refresh that includes renovating 3 bathrooms, new furniture in our bedroom, the living room, God only knows what in the kitchen at this point, and of course a new nursery.Did I mention a whole house paint too? Yea, and I’m 7 months pregnant. It’s literally a race right now to see what I’ll finish up first.

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My addiction to all things Jeff Lewis has me wanting a more contemporary look with patterns and color. I’m sick of a brown/taupe/beige/neutral/blah house! I think designing Harper’s nursery gave me the confidence to try out some bolder colors throughout the rest of the house since that’s easily my favorite room now. The problem is, well, I’m not always good at choosing decorations and furniture. When I’ve done this in the past, I returned as many things as I kept. Colors look different in my head than in real life and sometimes I forget what’s already in the room or what I actually need or why I’m standing in the store. It’s so confusing! I’m really hoping my Pic Collage app will help me with this whole process since I’ll be able to see what I already have in the room for reference. It seems complicated but it’s not, I just take a screenshot of the things I have in the room (I use images from the company’s website but you can take photos too) then I add them to a board for each room. Just looking at everything together helped me to decide the what throw pillows to get (yay Etsy!) because I could see the patterns and colors together in the actual room. I’m hoping this will save me from trips back and forth to the store while also helping me ‘try on’ those bold colors I’d be too scared to buy.

I’ll post a complete board when I’m finished along with before and after photos of the actual room. Cross your fingers that the afters will be an actual improvement…

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What I have in my actual living room so far..

Earth Day Extravaganza!

For Earth week, I’ll feature beauty products that are free of all the nasty things we’re trying to use less of. In the meantime, here are a few Earth-friendly products I use every day that are as efficient as they are green.

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Boasting only 12 plant based ingredients, Ecover preserves your colors as well as your skin.

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This was probably the hardest find for me on my quest for protection sans aluminum chlorohydrate, I used so many brands that just didn’t cut it. So here’s the thing, there is no such thing as a ‘natural antiperspirant’ since they’re comprised of a chemical that clogs your sweat glands. Nature’s Gate Deodorant Stick is simply a deodorant meant to keep that bacteria away that is the actual cause of the odor. At first I found that I did sweat a little more, but my body quickly regulated itself and now I stay dry all day long.

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Getting used to a natural toothpaste is a little tricky, they taste so blah at first. Try it for a week and then go back to whatever you were using and it tastes so sickeningly sweet that you won’t return. Surprisingly, toothpaste has some of the nastiest stuff in it that you wouldn’t believe. I’ve tried most of the Tom’s line, but I really like the Whole Care Gel in Spearmint the best.

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Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Fabric Softener gets its softening power from canola. Another bonus for those with sensitized skin that tends to be red and itchy, using this softener completely free of dyes, fragrances and petroleum might actually send rough skin packing.