Last Minute Christmas Gift: DIY Instagram Photo Ornament

Friday, December 18, 2015

I would like to pride myself on my Christmas shopping expertise, but truth be told my fingers are crossed behind my back. I'm holding out the hope that my late night, last minute Amazon shopping spree gifts come through and arrive before Christmas this year.

It's not that I don't care to Christmas shop for others, I just always want the gift to be thoughtful and exactly what they wanted. So I agonize over gifts and overwhelm myself with options, then panic because I haven't finished my Christmas shopping.

Here's to everyone else out there like me.

This makes a great last minute Christmas gift. What's even better is, the Instagram photos give it a personal touch.

  • Scissors
  • Thin wire/clear string
  • Tape
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Clear glass Christmas ornaments
Begin by printing a few photos from Instagram. My photos measure 1.5x1.5 inches, adjust yours based on the size of the ornaments you purchased.

Pick two photos and flip one over. Take a piece of tape and attach your string or wire, then set the other picture on top. Make sure your string is thick enough that it doesn't break on the sharp edge of the ornament.

Remove the top from the glass bulb.

Attach the wire by looping it through the top of the ornament.

Gently roll up the photo and press it inside the glass bulb. If your photo doesn't unroll all the way, use something long and thin, like a pen or small dowel to straighten the photo out.

Reattach the top of the ornament.

You can tell by this photo that my camera loves to pick up dust and reflections.

Trail of Lights in Austin

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yesterday we visited the Trail of Lights, which is basically the winter wonderland I've always dreamt of minus the snow, reindeer and subzero temperatures. It was really fun, but slightly confusing because we entered from the wrong side and had to walk against the flow of foot traffic, dodging baby strollers, small children, distracted people etc.

[Insert blurry Instagram photo]

Eventually we fought our way to the beginning of the trail and had a much nicer, less hectic walk back down the trail.

10 Inexpensive DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Monday, December 7, 2015

10 Inexpensive DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Custom Gilded Whiskey Tumblers | Freckle & Flair

Faux Agate Coasters | DIY JOY

Arm knit blanket | Simply Maggie

Urban Outfitters Inspired Banner | AW DIY

Simple Sharpie Journals | Lil Blue Boo 

 Jewelry Dish | AW DIY

Neon Crystal Necklace | Sarah Scoop

Alcohol Ink Glasses | Babble 

 DIY Marble Tray | The Happy Tulip

Picture Votive | Popsugar

Christmas 2015 Playlist

Friday, December 4, 2015

This playlist is long overdue. The last time I posted a playlist, I was predicting a new Adele album in the works.
Hope you enjoy this one!

What is your favorite Christmas album or song?


Thursday, December 3, 2015



DIY Halloween Pillow Cover

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Halloween is almost here and as you may know, I'm all about low key seasonal decor. I don't have a whole lot of time or the cash flow to deck out my space for the holiday, but I just had to decorate a little bit. This particular pillow cover DIY is so simple, fun and great for Halloween! With three drops of fabric glue, this project can easily become a no sew pillowcase DIY project.

  • Scissors
  • 1 yard of fabric
  • Iron
  • Fabric glue or thread and needle
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Painter's tape
  • Printer or Letter Stencils

Begin by measuring your fabric. This will differ based on the dimensions of your pillow. My pillow measured 10x14 to get the right fabric size you'll need to:
  • Double the width, add 3 inches
  • Double the length, add 5 inches
Basically, you just want a little bit of wiggle room outside of just doubling the measurements of the pillow.

Phase two of this spooky sweet DIY includes a lot of folding. Begin by folding the lengthwise edges of the fabric over the pillow.

Fold the width-wise edges like you're wrapping up a gift.

Use your iron to faux sew the edges and secure the creases. If you're going for a super crisp look, use some fabric glue to hold the edges down. Repeat the folding and ironing on the other side.

Make sure the edges match up evenly.

Sew or glue the edges together. I chose to sew the edges because it looks a little more Jack Skellington-esque, perfect for Halloween.

Now we paint! This part is pretty easy, for a step-by-step guide to how I print my stencils take a look at this post.

Not perfection, but pretty good. That's all there is to it!

Bonus bat.

Comment below and let me know if you liked this Halloween DIY project or tell me what kind of DIY projects you'd like to see in the future!

Mango Salsa Fresca Recipe

Saturday, October 10, 2015

When I'm hungry and throwing dinner together quickly, this mango salsa fresca or pico de gallo, you can call it what you want, is my go-to topping for chicken or fish. The flavor possibilities are endless when it comes to salsa. Experiment with different types of onions or leave out the Serrano pepper. The secret to a great mango salsa is to use fresh mangoes, not canned, not frozen.

Mango Salsa Fresca Recipe

  • 1 mango
  • 2 green onions
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes or 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 lime 
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded
1. Roughly chop mango, green onions, Serrano pepper and cherry tomatoes. Combine in a bowl.
2. Squeeze lime juice over the top and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

That's all there is to it.

What is your favorite type of salsa?

DIY: Quote Banner Wall Art

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fall is here, two months have passed and I still haven't decorated the walls of my new abode. Actually, since moving in, the walls have remained completely blank in most rooms. In the midst of unpacking boxes, going on weekend adventures, job hunting, and interviewing, I just have not found time for many do-it-yourself projects. However, I have been slightly proactive. I did make a trip to Ikea last month in search of decor, but left with only two succulent plants and some notebooks from the stationary section, no wall art. Slowly, but surely little things are starting to make this place feel like home. Maybe by Christmas I will have two pieces of DIY art hanging up around here.
Wall art brightens up a space and today's tutorial is a quick easy DIY that allows you to personalize your space. This wall art is inspired by all of the wall banners I've seen on Pinterest.

The distressed texture of the letters fits well with my space, but as per usual feel free to mix up the color/ painting technique. Beforehand, I knew this particular piece would end up hanging near to the space where I practice yoga so I chose the phrase la vie est belle remind myself to take a deep breath and remember that life is beautiful.

You'll need:
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Fabric 
  • Dowel rod
  • Fabric glue
  • String/ribbon
  • Printer or letter stencils
  • Scissors
Begin by measuring and cutting your fabric to the same width as the dowel rod. The length should be about 1 and a half widths. Note: Length measurements will vary based upon the font and quote you plan to use, so be sure to check that it fits before cutting.

Fold the lengthwise edges at about 3/4 of an inch in. Then iron over the edge and secure with fabric glue.

Next, locate the center of the bottom width-wise edge and make a cut that is about 1.5 inches long.

Next, fold the edge up and use an iron on the crease. Then use fabric glue to hold the edges down. Then fold the top piece of fabric over the dowel rod and secure with fabric glue. By the way, if your fabric is super wrinkled like mine was, now would be a great time to iron it!

Now for the fun part! You can use letter stencils you already have, or you can print your own. To make a stencil like I used: type your phrase in Microsoft Word (I used font Arial Black, size 165), print it out and cut out the letters. Use tape as needed to secure the paper.

This is the first time I tried this stencil method. It worked well and was easier than expected, although a little time consuming. I got the distressed look by pressing lightly and using paint sparingly.

Almost done! Affix your ribbon to both ends of the dowel rod so you can hang your creation.

This wall art really warmed up my blank wall. What DIY projects have you done to decorate your space? Leave a comment below.

I've recently added a DIY section to my blog where you can view all of my DIY projects.

For more DIY room decor projects take a look here and here.

September Favorites

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September has been a whirlwind month for me. This month brought, lots of new and exciting things, as well as some big challenges. I've finally had enough downtime that I have been able to write and schedule several posts for October. This month I've found a few new favorites to share.

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brushes
Who doesn't love a little bit of classy cheetah print? I recently upgraded from my old e.l.f. brushes to these beauties. They are incredibly soft and have minimal fallout. My favorite brush from the set is the eye shadow blending brush, it blends with minimal effort. This set is from Target and unfortunately they are limited edition. Also, I could not find this particular set on the Target website, but there are several similar sets available.

Yoga is a favorite every month, but I haven't yet found a studio here. In high school I used to use YouTube yoga videos at home all the time. YouTube now has so many more wonderful yoga channels, its an endless wealth of resources and this month I have found so many yoga YouTubers that are fantastic. Yoga With Adriene and Sarah Beth Yoga are two of my current favorites.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk
I would not consider myself a designer, but I loved this book. It breaks down the science of how people read, see, remember and think. It's a book anyone interested in design would enjoy, although it did take a while to get through simply because there is a lot of information thrown in there. I found myself wanting to take a break after a chapter or two in order to absorb and retain the information.

Ikea Notebooks
Did you know Ikea has a stationary/ paper goods section? This was totally news to me. Sorry if I'm so late on this discovery. When I spotted this section in Ikea I had to resist the urge to grab all of the washi tape and party decorations. Ikea's notebooks are inexpensive and great for writing down thoughts. All of the pages are perforated so unneeded pages can be removed without leaving behind a mess.

What are you looking forward to this month?

DIY Tea Tin Planter

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'm an avid tea drinker and teacup collector.  Someday, I'm going to throw a very awesome tea party. In March, my friends and relatives decided to host an amazing tea party themed bridal shower for me. It was adorable and a complete surprise.
Afterwards, I was left with a several tea tins. They were too cute to toss, so I decided to use them for plants. I chose a moon cactus and other succulents because I get along better with plants that don't require water often. I also chose to keep this cactus on my desk, but I know these planters would also be a great way to decorate a kitchen with herbs.

To make your own DIY tea tin planter, you'll need:
- Various tea tins
- A hammer
- One small nail
- Potting Soil
- Plants of your choice with small root systems (succulents or herbs)

Side note: If you're searching for the tea tin pictured above, it is from Target.

Drainage is so important! Use the hammer and nail to make a few holes for drainage in the bottom of the tin for drainage. Then transplant your favorite plant.

Do you plan to try this? Leave a comment below.

From Diamonds to Sand