CAKE POPS!

Today, my friend Chelsea and I decided to attempt to make cake pops for the first time. Although we messed up on a few minor things, we learned what to do differently next time! We decided to make them “Valentines Day” themed since it’s only a couple of weeks away! 

So if you’d like to try and make these tasty treats for your valentine, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Cake mix of your choice – we used red velvet and vanilla (mixed with sprinkles)
  • The ingredients required on your box of cake mix – eggs, water, oil 
  • Frosting of your choice – we used cream cheese frosting 
  • Dipping chocolate of your choice – we got chocolate and vanilla 
  • Cake pop sticks – we used straws, I wouldn’t reccomend it
  • Sprinkles and any other toppings you can think of 
  • Styrofoam – to stick them in while they dry

 


 

We added these valentine colored sprinkles hoping that it would come out like fun-fetti cake, but thats not quite what happened.
 
 
mixed em in…
 
 
baked the cakes…
 
 
crumbled the cakes into a mixing bowl

 
Now add 1/2 cup of cream cheese frosting 

  

and mix it up!

  
 A happy accident… We just added more sprinkles!

 

roll into balls and jam those sticks in half way.

Place them in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

 

while our first batch was cooling, we strted to make the red velvet mix and repeated the same steps

 
after 30 minutes, dip your pops in your chocolate and start decorating!
  

One of our minor mistakes was that we forgot to buy foam or something of the sort to stick the pops in after dipping and decorating them. We poked holes in a cardboard box instead, it worked but it was sketchy and not pretty. (Which is why I won’t post a picture of it)

Allow them to dry and either eat them or package them up to give to your Valentine! ❤️💕

 

DIY Floral Wreath 

As I took down all of my Christmas decor, I removed the wreath from my front door and it just looked naked and sad so I had to make a new wreath for it. 

I went back and forth in my mind trying to decide what type of wreath would be appropriate for the month of January. I looked up “January wreaths” and they all looked too Christmassy to me… with snowflakes and such. So I thought maybe I should make a pink wreath since Valentine’s Day is next month! 

I would have gone with pink but I didn’t think that the two manly men that I live with would really appreciate a pink wreath on their front door. So in conclusion I settled on a mixture of white, blue and purple flowers for my “valentines” wreath. 

This wreath should last till we move out of here since it’s very spring-like and we are only here till may.

Here’s how I made it!!!

   

I got a grapevine wreath and a bunch of fake flowers from Walmart. 

P.s. All of the flowers were 98¢ except the hydrangeas which were $3 but I had to get them because I love hydrangeas! 

I plugged in my hot glue gun and began to strip the flowers and leaves from their plastic stems. 

  
I proceeded to glue a mixture of flowers on the wreath (trying to not to bunch too many of the same ones together) and topped it off with a glittery bow! 

Easy peazy! Now go forth and clothe your naked doors with beautiful wreaths of your own creation. 

  

Modern gift-wrap 101 

In the past I have always loved searching for a cute roll of wrapping paper and some sparkly ribbon to top off my gifts with a gigantic bow. 

This year the trend for gift wrapping is keeping it simple. In other words, simplicity is key.

Although Blake and I weren’t planning on getting gifts for each other this year, I couldn’t help myself when I stepped foot into Target yesterday and saw all of the gift wrapping supplies. So I figured I might as well get a little something to put under our tree, especially since it’s a blogable topic 😉 

 If you have ever felt personally victimized by Target raise your hand.

 Everyone knows that you walk into Target excited to purchase a few things you need, and leave feeling violated and broke because you bought a ton of other stuff that you don’t need. To top it off, you probably forgot to buy whatever it was that you went there for in the first place. We all know the feeling. 

I walk in and immediately get distracted by ‘The $1.00 Spot’. I start looking through the pointless trinkets and think, “I could really use a pack of glow sticks! I mean they’re only $1.00″… Anyway, the dollar section is where I found the string that I used to wrap my presents.

I got a 2yd roll of a white and red string and a 20yd roll of black twine. 

Next I found a roll of brown Kraft paper type of wrapping. 

And finally, I plucked some leaves and little red berry looking things off of the bush just outside my apartment. 

   
   
Obviously the only other supplies that I needed were scissors and tape. 

After I finished wrapping each gift, I took a black Sharpie and wrote my “to’s and from’s” directly onto the wrapping paper. 

  
And yes, as you can see, I did purchase a gift for myself.. It’s just a book I got for the plane ride home.. which I wasn’t planning on wrapping but I figured why not! 

DIY Holiday cheese platter

You know how it goes, on big holidays it seems like everyone is just waiting the whole day to stuff their bellies full of food! This year I was lucky enough to sit back and relax while a bunch of men did the cooking. I still felt like I should contribute in some way so I decided to make a cheese platter. 

It was a good thing too, because everyone was starving while we waited for the guy who cooked the bird to arrive. 

I was determined to make the biggest and best cheese platter imaginable so I made sure to get all of the essentials for a good snack tray, unfortunately I forgot to put the salami on the platter but it was still beautiful! 

Here’s what I used:

  • Brie cheese
  • Garlic and herb spreadable cheese -President brand
  • Pepper medley spreadable cheese – President brand
  • A French baguette 
  • Breton original crackers
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries 
  • Roasted/salted almonds 
  • Greek mix of olives and feta cheese 
  • Salami (not pictured) 

  
Get creative and add whatever types of fruit you like. I also thought it would be a good idea to make a dessert version with chocolate dipped strawberries and apples slices with caramel dip.. but I’ll have to save that for next time. 

It turned out to be a big hit and kept everyone satisfied while they were waiting for dinner.   

  

DIY Christmas Ornaments

Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do! When I was working as a interior designers assistant at Farris Design Studio in Monrovia, I got to decorate a lot of beautiful homes for Christmas time and I’m pretty bummed that I won’t be able to do that this year. Shirley Farris taught me a lot of tips and tricks to give a home an elegant Christmas look. I learned at lot from her as well as my mom and grandma who are also great at decorating.

This year I decided to start early and decorate our apartment in the beginning of November rather than after Thanksgiving because Blake and I will be going home for Christmas. If we had waited until the end of November we would hardly have any time to enjoy our decorated home! I had to explain because I know there are people out there who are totally against decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving… which I really don’t understand by the way! Why it’s a bad thing to want to enjoy the beauty of Christmas while also giving thanks and eating delicious food during Thanksgiving? I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that doesn’t mean I have to agree though.

Until my mom came to visit and spoiled us with a bunch of Christmas decorations, I thought I would be on a tight budget when it came time to decorate this year. Luckily my mom hooked us up with some great stuff and now our apartment is filled with the essence of pure holiday joy. BUT when I was trying to figure out a cheap alternative to ornaments earlier this month I decided to make a few of my own and it was actually really fun.

Here are the two types of ornaments that I made for my tree this year:

Pine cones with bows

Bows can make anything look pretty! Making beautiful bows is one of the things I learned from Shirley and it is a skill that definitely comes in handy when decorating for Christmas. This is just a simple bow but I may try to blog about how to make more intricate bows soon too!

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These were simple to make and also really cute. I bought a bag of cinnamon scented pine cones but they weren’t doing a great job of making the apartment smell like cinnamon and I had no idea where to put them so I turned them into ornaments. All you have to do is hot glue a small piece of twine to the top of the pinecone and tie a bow to it. Super easy, and cheap!

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P.S. Almost every ornament in this picture (aside from the snowflake that says 2015 and the chalkboard ornament) were either purchased at the dollar tree or created by me. The one that says “merry& bright” is actually a gift tag, I got a pack of them from Target for a couple of dollars. If you’re on a budget but love to decorate, these are a few ideas to keep yourself from spending a ton of money on decor.

Twine Balls

These were a little more time consuming to make, but it was kind of fun and relaxing. I got a pack of foam balls from the dollar tree and a roll of twine from Michaels then used a hot glue gun to make sure the twine stayed in place as I wrapped it around the foam.

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I made the little loop at the top first then added a bit of glue around the loop and continued to add glue as I was wrapping the twine around the foam cylinder.

I hope this post has provided some inspiration for you. Now start decorating!

DIY Wall Art

As I browsed through our local arts & crafts store trying to find a DIY project to blog about, I saw that canvases were being sold in pairs for only $6 so I figured I would give painting a shot! I grabbed a couple of canvases along with a cheap pack of brushes and a few paints and left the store eager to create my very own wall art.

I had no idea where to start, but I knew that I wanted to including writing in my art. I soon regretted this decision when I realized how difficult it is to paint perfect letters. But it turned out alright…. I think.

The supplies:

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Paint, brushes, canvases, a paper plate, a cup of water and some paper towels.

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I squeezed the paint colors that I wanted to use onto a small paper plate and filled a plastic cup with water to clean the brushes.

I was trying to create sort of an abstract background before I painted the quotes, and I’ll admit that I had no idea what I was doing….. so it ended up looking like this.

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I used a burgundy color and a beige for the background and I couldn’t help but laugh because all I could see was bacon, or a scab or something. So in order to make it NOT look like a scab or bacon, I added some white and gold.
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The while and gold definitely helped make it look more artsy.

Although it turned out nothing like I had expected, I was still going to try and finish my piece by adding a quote.

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Obviously the writing is not very aligned but I was just happy that it was legible!

I’m no paint expert so I don’t know if its just the type of paint that I was using (Acrylic) that made it difficult or if painting just isn’t my forte. Anyway, I think with a little more practice I could probably make something that I would really be proud of but this was my first try so cut me some slack!

The best part of the activity was that Blake actually took a break from studying and painted with me. And much to my surprise, he created an adorable little piece of art. I mean, is there anything that guy can’t do?

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This is Blake’s little masterpiece, an owl on a tree.

Love Grows Here

My obsession with succulents began when I realized they were the only type of plant in the world that I could never kill.

These little succulent boxes were super easy to make! We bought about 6 different types of mini succulents from the nursery and I found these two small wooden boxes at Marshalls for $5 each. I thought I was being smart by lining the inside of the boxes with sandwich sized ziplock baggies before I put the plants in them, but unfortunately the baggies were not formfitting enough to keep the water from seeping through the bottom of the boxes. I would recommend using foil if you plan on keeping these indoors.
These little boxes were super easy to make! We bought about 6 different types of mini succulents from the nursery and I found these two small wooden boxes at Marshalls for $5 each. I thought I was being smart by lining the inside of the boxes with sandwich sized ziplock baggies before I put the plants in them, but unfortunately the baggies were not formfitting enough to keep the water from seeping through the bottom of the boxes. I would recommend using foil if you plan on keeping these indoors.
Here are a few reasons you should fall in love with succulents too:

They are low maintenance. Have you ever bought a plant and just sorta accidentally forgot about it for a few days and when you remembered that it existed you rushed over with a cup of water just to find it dead? Well you’re probably not the only one. Most plants require a lot of attention. Watering but not overwatering, making sure they’re in the sun or not in the sun depending on the type of plant. Succulents are the lazy persons plant. You forget to water them for a few days? No biggie! Going out of town for the weekend? Forget about paying the neighbor kid to water your plants. They can survive in almost any environment with minimal water. How efficient of them!

They are super cute! Have you ever seen a baby succulent?... well now you have. I bet you want one now don't you?
They are super cute! Have you ever seen a baby succulent?… well now you have. I bet you want one now don’t you? They’re like kittens… They start off small and cute and get bigger as you nurture them. Except they won’t scratch your furniture, it’s a win-win.
Little did I know when I first became fascinated with these little plants that there were so many different types! I love that they come in different hues of green and sometimes purplish colors. The wide variety is what makes succulents so fun, mixing and matching styles and colors makes for beautiful DIY projects.

When Blake and I finally own our own home, one of my first outdoor projects will be to create an ombre style succulent wall like this one!
When Blake and I finally own our own home, one of my first outdoor projects will be to create an ombre style succulent wall like this one!
Lastly, men are cool with them. Guys typically don’t care much for flowers and plants, because gardening is more of a women’s hobby but It makes me happy that Blake loves succulents just as much as I do. A few years ago, for my birthday, he helped me build a pallet plant holder. We had so much fun working on it together and that was when he first showed interest in them. It was cool to share a common interest and we had a lot of fun at the nursery picking out which succulents we wanted to include in our little project.

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DIY Autumn Wreath!

With the sudden drop in temperature, I had the urge to decorate for the upcoming season. Shopping around last week, I noticed there were already a lot of fall decorations displayed in the stores. Whilst trying to find a little something to spice up our new apartment, I couldn’t help but look at these small pointless pieces of decor and think that I could make something that looked better and costed less. The imitation flower aisle was filled with lots of beautiful autumn colors, different shades of orange. red and yellow. The flowers were basically screaming for me to turn them into a wreath, so I grabbed 4 small bundles of different flowers at 97 cents each and one large bouquet of mixed flowers for about $5. I got a small grapevine wreath, a mini hot glue gun and two different types of ribbon which I thought might match well with the flowers.

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make one of your own:

Wreath making supplies
1 grapevine wreath, 1 large wired ribbon, 1 small ribbon, 1 hot glue gun (and glue sticks) and a few bundles of the flowers of your choice.
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These were the flowers I chose for my wreath. The bundle on the right was the pre-made bouquet. The quality of the flowers were a little better and it had more variety so it made a big difference.
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After you plug in your glue gun, start by stripping flowers off of the stems. They will pop right off and you’ll be left with flowers that have small nubs on the back. This is where you will be placing the hot glue to stick the flowers in place.
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Next, you’ll start sticking flowers in one by one. Try to mix it up and make sure you’re not putting all the same flowers in one area. This photo shows what it looked like when I was half way done.

P.S. I wrapped my wreath with the ribbon before I started since I wasn’t sure if I would have enough flowers, but I ended up having more than enough so this was basically pointless other than the fact that it may help the flowers stay in place longer.

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After I made the bow, I attached it with a piece of the stem from the fake flowers. The easier option would be to buy some pipe cleaners and use one of those to tie it on, but I stuck it in with lot’s of hot glue for extra assurance.
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VIOLÀ! The finished product!

I hung the wreath with a 3M command brand damage free hanging hook so that I will be able to pull it off without damaging the door when we move out.

I hope this post will inspire someone to make a wreath of their own or at least get someone excited to start decorating for the holidays! If you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks for reading 🙂