Ikea Hack – The Cork Trivet & Jewelry UNITE!


Ever have one of those days where you weren’t planning any particular craft or project, and then *light bulb*, something you didn’t even know you needed to do, pops into your head? That was me today. Minding my own business, when I was just hit with an idea completely unrelated to the lingering dirty dishes taking up most of my thoughts.

“The dishes can wait, I need to hot glue cork to my closet walls.”

Okay, it didn’t go quite like that.

Maybe my subconscious was looking for anything to do but dishes. Either way, my jewelry is organized and my mind is resting easy from something I never pinned for later, OR had any intent on doing until today. Is this what they call ADD?

Let me go write “Glue cork to walls” on my To-Do list just so I can check it off, and then we can proceed.


So, I have always needed a simple solution to my jewelry mess. It was basically packed in tiny drawers made for elves, and instead of fighting the tangled mess, I had kept to a simple pair of hoops/studs and changing out my necklace once in a while.

It was getting old. I feel bad I never change my earrings much, or wear more of the jewelry I have.

I honestly never looked up inspiration for this. It was only after I planned to blog this did I google Ikea hacks, and find out others had done the same with these versatile little trivets!

I plucked my 5 year old, unused trivets from my tupperware drawer and decided to hot glue them to this place in my closet.. just a board installed to support our clothing rod.

IMG_4378[2]web As you can see, I used it to hang my scarves. I need a solution for them as well, and I’ve seen tons of great ideas… Another time, another post.

My closet is small, and the angles and placement of where the builders installed things was half-assed, but making the most of this small space, I knew I wanted to utilize this particular spot eventually.

Apparently today.

So this blank space turned into my little jewelry station. Everyone has a match, and every thing is in it’s place. I’m internally a crazy organized freak. But externally, I need motivation. So I relish in little victories like this cheery spot.

Yay, I can see you jewelry!
I’ve always hated the idea of displaying jewelry when it first became a huge trend. It felt too readily available for robbers (not that I have much of value), and impractical for moving. I still don’t care too much for it, but I like this for some reason. It’s more subtle than making a statement with the framed jewelry display using chicken wire. It’s me. :) That’s why I like it.

An angle shot from the door going into my closet.. It also gives you a peek at my Rast hack as well! I just did my Rast’s a few weeks ago while the hubs was away. I’ll be posting soon about them :)

“Lovelovelovelovelove” – Jim Carrey
That’s how I feel about my jewelry now. :)


Until next time,

Honorable Mention from Colorvale Actions!

It’s always so fun to be given a little love and notice with my photography, so when I was contacted a few days ago from Colorvale wanting to give me a quick honorable mention for my spring themed photo I submitted to their weekly Photo Challenge, I was super excited! It totally made my day. :)

This family of red finches nested right outside my back door, and I was lucky enough to watch them hatch, and grow, and just today they’re flapping their wings getting ready to leave the nest.
babybirds Click here to view their post!

Thanks Colorvale! Now I get the privilege of displaying this badge on my site. :)

Shutter Wall Art – Changing Seasons

Since I put up my DIY shutter art last year, I’ve been itching to do something with it to make it a little less plain. We all know I love taking pictures, so putting pictures on it was inevitable.

This is how it looked for a few months after I hung them up; plain jane.
You can view my post about the shutter art here.

During Christmas I wanted to hang up our Christmas cards from family and friends and display them. I’ve always loved the idea of using them as garland and hanging from a mantle. But since we don’t have a mantle, I thought stringing them up on the shutters would bring a little Christmas cheer to that corner. It balanced everything out in the living room wonderfully!
IMG_9648[2]web I left the Christmas cards up until yesterday(eek!), when I got my order of photos from Nations Photo Lab in the mail! They had an amazing sale last week, 50% off everything! I got around 100 4×6 prints, 10 5×7’s, 20 5×5’s (for my shutter collage), and 3 enlargements to update my gallery wall (8×10, 12×16, and a 16×20) for $57! I love my professional printing company. I am never disappointed!

So yesterday I took to it. Taking down the Christmas cards from last year, and putting up some of my favorite photos from our family trip to Florida. My sweet baby niece made 4 of the photos, which was 3 more than anyone else. I think I love her a little. :)
Simple, springy, and has some of my favorite people on it. Piofect!


IMG_9729[2]web Sweet punkin baby. I miss that little face. I got the adorable mini clothes pins on Amazon. They are perfect for cards and photos. Sometimes something so simple ends up being my favorite part of my decor.


I can change it whenever I feel like it, and if you know me at all, I’m always moving around my decor and finding better spots for things. So this is right up my alley!



I considered placing photos randomly in the slots of the shutters, but I decided that might be too busy.

Does anyone have any other ideas on how I could decorate my shutters? I’d love to hear them!

First Signs of Spring

Despite the fact that it was cloudy and looked like it was about to rain any second, today was a gorgeous spring day! My elderly neighbor is considered, in my book, the plant whisperer. Her yard in immaculate. She knows what to plant and how to keep it alive in this harsh Texas climate. I’m completely envious of her yard.

Last year she asked if she could pull my weeds because it was therapeutic for her.

I’m sad she’s moving. It’s not often you find a neighbor who wants to pull your weeds!

So today while I was enjoying this weather, I noticed her peach tree in the front had begun to bloom. It’s gorgeous.





According to her, it produces peaches better than Georgia peaches.

The blossoms are so beautiful. Spring is just starting to peek out! It wont be long before it’s summer and we’re up to our shins in weeds and ant hills. So with the windows open, and the breeze blowing by, I’m completely enjoying this perfect time of year.

It was the Golden Hour

Just for fun, Pete and I decided to head down to the river by our house. I really wanted to take some pictures with my new 85mm 1.8 lens he got me for Christmas. It was actually one of the nicer days we’ve had this “winter.” Warm with a cool breeze.

The lighting couldn’t have been more perfect. The only thing missing was someone to take pictures of! So I subbed in my hubby for a few.

This would be an amazing location for a more artsy meets high fashion shoot.





IMG_9445[2]web See, there he is. Checkin’ out the water… like a boy.

IMG_9450[2]web These rocks were so cool. They look like your average limestone rock prevalent in Texas. But up close, they had crystals growing on them!

IMG_9462[2]web I’ve never seen anything like this on limestone before.

IMG_9463[2]web How awesome is that?




IMG_9455[2]cloudsWEB Seriously gorgeous. 

Contact me if you want to have a shoot here!


My Top 3 Must Have Photo Editing Apps


I love taking photos with my cellphone. I equally love taking photos with my “big” camera, but sometimes my phone is the easier one to grab. Point at me and call it shameful, and I will shrug and say “eh, such is life.” 90% of the time I will double fist my phone and my camera. I love getting shots with both. I love to edit, so waiting until I can get to my computer, transfer my photos, then cull and edit, is like waiting for Christmas morning. This is where my photo apps step in.

I can’t help but notice the quality of cellphone photos has gotten extraordinarily better since the days of the Razr, or the first Blackberry. And with that, the amount of photo apps is overwhelming. Which is why I like to keep it simple, and have narrowed my photo apps down to 3.

I never post any of my photos to social media without some sort of edit. Even cell phone photos posted to my personal page always have an edit. I want my photos to look their best. Call it a quirk, call it the curse of the first-born. Perfectionism is in my blood, so sue me. lol. (please don’t sue me :) )

I’ve put together a quick review for each of my favorite FREE(I’m cheap) photo apps I use for my mobile editing. These are purely my apps of choice, and what works best for me! None of these reviews have been paid. I’m just in love with these apps!
*Click photos to view larger.*


So, let’s start with the app that everyone needs!

1. VCSO Cam. The best of the best for all your detailed editing! This is no lie. With all the photo editing apps I’ve gone through over the years, this one has everything I need within ONE app. With options like adjusting shadows, highlights, exposure, tint, temp, crop, rotate and more, you can pretty much fix any photo. Not to mention, enough customizable filters to make your photos look their best. Once you have this app, everything else is icing.

Here’s a shot of my niece I edited with VSCO. I was able to bring enough light back into her eyes on the B&W edit just by lightening the shadows.

Here’s a before and after shot of my neighbors kitty when we were babysitting. The intense back lighting was no match for the VSCO editing capabilities! With control over the highlights, I didn’t entirely lose the background when I lightened the image. I’m obsessed.
ranger I love this app so much. It can really make your mobile photos look like a million bucks if you tweak them just right.


2. White Balancer. Simplest app ever. Select your photo, and use the bar at the bottom to adjust your white balance. Done. A lot of my photos end up too warm when taken inside at night because of the lighting and surroundings in my home. This is the perfect app for getting the correct WB before putting your photo into your main editing app.

Here’s a shot of Ruby I took the other night. She is brown, my carpet and the dog bed are beige, and the energy efficient light bulbs we use cast a warm hue. Nightmare.
ruby I’m still amazed at how easy it is. 


3. Studio Design. For those who love to add beautiful text or shape overlays to photos, this is the app for you. Think of Instagram, but BETTER. It has your filters, and your square crop, and your ability to share to social media. But let’s dream bigger for a second. Add on the ability to add shapes, custom text, pre-made overlays, lines, borders, and you’ve got yourself a party! You can also “remix” other users photos by being able to take their overlays and apply them to your photos, and visa versa. danae I added my own text and slight filter to the first shot. I changed the second photo to B&W in app, and added a pre-made overlay. Oh, how I love simple.
Photography + Design = Love.


I realize Instagram isn’t on this list. Instagram is just not my thing. But I do love these above apps, and they’re the only ones I currently use. They do the trick for my perfectionist eye.

A few paid apps I’ve been eyeing… the pictapgo photo app from Totally Rad, which looks awesome! But I haven’t made that $1.99 commitment yet. Same with Afterlight. I’ve heard nothing but good things about these photo apps.

Share your favorite photo apps with me! Maybe I’m missing out on some greats?! I’m always up for new things.

Thrift Store Finds : October 2013

Here I am, home in Minnesota, celebrating the birth of the first grand baby in the family.

I’m an auntie!

I’m an auntie with a camera and a mission to get as many pictures of this precious little punkin before I have to leave.

Here’s just one shot of her before I get on with this post…


So today, my mom and I had to head to town to run TWO errands. Pick up my car from getting detailed, and get a few grocery deals at Target. Two stops turned into four as usual!

(Conveniently) There happened to be a Goodwill next door to the car detail place. So we popped in.. just for a peek..

…and hit my kind of jackpot!

Here’s our cart after a whole ten minutes..
Mom got a nice set of blue coffee cups as a gift, perfect for grandma. Then she found a Pyrex bowl identical to one she had that broke. She also took home a couple frames.

I’m a sucker for vintage/antique home decor items, and was super excited when I scored these little stamped wood baskets for around $3 a piece.
Along with the baskets, I found that piece of coral for $1.49, the wide neck milk glass vase for $2.99 (which I’ve been looking for!), two cute little frames for $1.49 total, and a brand new set of 4 wooden bowls for $3.49!

On our way home we decided to hit up the Salvation Army and see if we could get lucky again.

Mom found this sweet lamp base to give to my sister to use in her apartment… $4.50! All lamps were half off! With a new shade, and possibly a paint job(I personally like the wood), it’ll look awesome!
I found these 3 candle stick holders, and octagon mirror for $7 total!

I would have a serious problem on my hands if I ever found myself employed at a thrift store. Someone make sure that never happens please… my self control is weak.

I’m pretty excited about my finds! I spent $20.. can’t beat that! Excited to get them home.



It Makes Me Shutter – DIY Shutter Wall Art

A while back I was given a pair of shutters from one of my husbands work buddies. Of course I wanted to hang them in the house somewhere (the place where shutters truly belong :) ).

I’m completely in awe of this shutter wall over at Olive and Love.

My first reaction upon seeing this for the first time…
(Had to throw in a Dr. Who reference. No explanation needed.)

Yes. And I seriously considered doing the exact same thing. SOMEWHERE, in my house. But I had no idea where. They would make great wainscoting, am I right?!

Since I am impatient, and hadn’t found anymore shutters for free or cheap to fill a whole wall, I decided to just paint mine and hang them to create a big piece of art to fill an awkward space I have.

Here is that awkward wall.

I just feel uncomfortable looking at it.

This is what I had up there before…
Unmatted, unmatching frames. It really was too busy, and on the opposite wall, there were none of these colors. It was a good “for now” decor until I figured out what to do. It got old fast.

Excuse my mess. But as you can see, the wall is a tricky thing since the couch can’t be centered. The collage I had up there before threw the balance off. One clean piece of art was what it needed.

So I pulled these out of the attic, wiped them down, and again, got out my awesome Martha Stewart gold metallic paint(I swear I’m not paid to blog about it), and I painted the shutters.

Simple Simon.

My goal was just a thin coat. Sort of rustic meets shabby chic.

Then, I gave the second one a thin coat, and let them dry.

I took down those two white shelves, drilled some screws into studs, and hung those babies up!


I’m thinking of hanging a cute wreath in the middle, like this. I could also slip little snap shots in the shutters like this, but that may make it look too busy. I don’t want it to distract from my gallery wall focal point on the opposite wall.

No sooner do I finish a project, do I see something else that needs to be updated. Like that blue lamp. Love the lamp, hate the color. I’m wondering if I could paint it with some glass paint, but I don’t want it to lose it’s value. It’s an antique my grandma has had forever.

We will see!


DIY Chic Decor Accents with Wooden Craft Store Finds

I know I’m late, but I’m totally on the Emerald Green, color of the year, boat over here. It’s such a rich, bold color. I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it as an accent color in my living room.

I’ve also been loving on gold accents for the past year.

Put the two together, and you have a match made in heaven.

My home, has a lot of neutrals in it, with gold accents. I don’t know what it is, I’m drawn to the gold. Probably why my favorite color is sparkle & shiny, as my husband likes to tell me.

It just classes up the joint a bit more when used properly.

Enough about the gold, let’s get to the impromptu projects I did the other day.

I was out running some errands and couldn’t keep myself from stopping at Hobby Lobby and grabbing some of their plain wood crafts. I had been planning to stop for a few weeks already, and just never got around to it. I knew I wanted a plain box to decorate. Decorative boxes seem to be popular lately, and I just love them all to bits.

Like these ones you can get over at                 …or this awesome(cheap!) one from Target
Burke Decor (LOVE) …                                            (maybe painted a different color?!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 2.15.22 PM               14415257_130213203000 They are so graphic and beautiful. The solid colored ones with gold accents are what I was really interested in since I have quite a few patterns going on already.

I went for a more humble box. Hobby Lobby had a couple to pick from, so I grabbed one of the smaller ones to be my tester piece.

This is what I grabbed:
The bottom one is the one I got, it’s about 6×5″. I was looking for something more flat and book shaped, but this was only $1.99, so that was a no brainer.

Then I painted. I used a shimmery metallic emerald craft paint. It took about 3 coats before I was satisfied with the saturation. This unfinished wood is a sponge for paint.
I was so in the zone that I glued on my decorative touches without taking a progress picture. Hobby Lobby didn’t have the square gold jewels I was looking for… they actually didn’t have anything gold. So I kept it simple and monochromatic, and added a little sparkle with the flat emerald beads.

Once the jewels were glued on, I mod podged the whole thing with glossy mod podge to deepen the green and add a shine and protective coat.
Then I let her dry, and moved on to my next project.

An octogonal tray.
Love the shape.

I whipped out my Martha Stewart gold metallic paint from previous posts, painted the sides (inside and out) gold, and then I painted the bottom the same metallic green as the box.

Can you tell I like shimmery things?

It’s true.

I love the added dimension and depth it gives. And I like cheap, rich looking things. Shimmery can translate to rich before it becomes gaudy. There can be a fine line though.

Don’t step over it. I’m watching you.

I gave the gold and green two thick coats each, and then mod podged the green bottom to seal it.

I glued some mother of pearl beads, and big rhinestones to the handle sides, and called it good(not gaudy). And I love it!

These were way too fun to do. I’m going to go back and dig through more of the wood crafts, and see what I come up with.

As for the box, it’s living happily on my coffee table right now. Pulling together the gold lettering in the books and the brass antique votive with it’s cuteness. Oh yes, and my pillow cover on the right has gold sequins on it. $10 on clearance at West Elm.

I told you I love gold. It’s the perfect warm rich tone.

I also love West Elm. It’s like… they get me.


These were way too fun and easy to do.

Now I need to find myself some emerald pillows! Don’t tell my husband. He already thinks I’m enough of a pillow freak.