Category Archives: DIY

Chalkboard Pumpkin Signs

I love just about anything chalkboard.  And…I love just about anything pumpkin!  So, what two better things to combine??! 🙂

What you draw on them is totally up to you, AND…you can change it later!Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-1What you need

  • Pumpkins (any size or color!)
  • Chalkboard Paint (can be found at any hardware store)
  • Paint Brushes (I used the foam kind, so I could just throw it away afterwards)  Maya used little paint brushes we’ve gotten in water color kits)
  • Chalk Pen (got mine on Amazon)Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-2Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-6Having a cute little helper is nice too 🙂 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-3 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-4 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-5 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-7The best part is you can wipe these off and do a new face after a few days! Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-8 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-9 Wouldn’t these be fun for place cards at a wedding or party?  Guests could take them home as favors too!Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-10 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-11 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-12Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Pink Tulle for End of Summer

“Bear Hunts”, puddle jumping and running through the woods.. that’s what end of summer is all about! 🙂

So I’m working on a photo book that follows the theme of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt“. This is the kids’ favorite book right now, so much so that I know every word by heart. Even after the lights are out and I’m getting the kids settled, I will sometimes sing or narrate the story. Despite the somewhat wild dash at the end of the book, it settles them right down..

Anyway, we’ve been out and about enjoying the last days of summer doing our photoshoot and of course what better to wear than pink tulle for a Bear Hunt!?

Thanks to my very patient husband who took the pictures!

Bear Hunt (1)

Bear Hunt (2)

Bear Hunt (16)

Time for a snack!

Bear Hunt (8) Bear Hunt (20)

Bear Hunt (28)

Bear Hunt (51)

Bear Hunt (31)

Bear Hunt (40)

Love the early fall colors in the background!

 

Bear Hunt (41)

Trying not to fall off the log!

Bear Hunt (61)

Good thing we brought a change of clothes!

My obsession with tulle actually started a few years ago when I saw this beautiful pink tulle skirt on Pinterest. It was paired with a black knit turtle neck and I thought “Oh that looks totally gorgeous, totally easy, and I can totally make that..” It was NOT easy, but it IS doable! Tulle is actually somewhat forgiving when you’re working with it. I found this DIY Tulle Skirt pattern which is a great guide. Don’t want to make one? No problem.. do a search on Amazon or other online retailer – there are plenty of cheap options out there!

For some reason my tulle skirt turned out super poofy (at first) and I had to adjust the slip underneath to lay flatter by removing some fabric instead of doing a full circle.. I’ll call it a success though because even if I did not achieve the original look I was going for; it was fun, we had a lot of laughs and Ava was happy that we could have matching skirts. Plus, who doesn’t like a little pink tulle now and then.. perfect with rain boots and for a “bear hunt”! 🙂

On me

  • DIY tulle skirt DIY Tulle Skirt pattern
  • Dalmatian Boots from JCrew (5+ years old)
  • Gray shirt from Banana Republic (3+ years old)

On Ava

  • White knit sweater with fake pearl buttons (saved from my wardrobe, 30 years old)
  • T-shirt with lavender print flowers
  • Mini tulle skirt from Carter’s
  • Pink rubber boots

On Anders

  • Blue button down shirt
  • Cargo shorts
  • Rain boots

dit-elle-Esther

Summer White and the Lion Tote

I recently made this “Lion Tote”, a large faux fur purse for my sister because she loves everything fur. She picked the fabric, I cut two squares, sewed them together, added a faux leather panel for the bottom and a faux leather panel, lined with faux suede, for the strap. It took some wrestling with the very furry fabric and I almost broke my sewing machine.. but good news, the purse and I both came out each in one piece!

I rarely do fashion posts (I’m a little camera shy and it’s just so much easier to take food pics), but before I sent this piece off to my sis, I had to get some shots of it!

I thought the purse would pair well with a white cotton summer dress and sandals or boots, but it would go equally well with darker fall tones.

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On me..

  • Dress: Sheer cotton sleeveless dress from GAP (purchased a few years ago). If you love to thrift shop but don’t have much time to go and search in stores or you don’t have Lauren’s amazing good luck or thrifting super powers.. https://www.thredup.com is a great online thrift store that you can browse from the comfort of your home. 🙂
  • Jewelry: Stella & Dot

dit-elle-Esther

Floating Candles and Flowers – Easy Centerpiece!

Floating candles and flowers are my go to – super easy and elegant centerpiece. This takes <60 seconds to assemble. Pick fresh flowers, leaves or herbs if you have some and add to a decorative bowl with water. The flowers and lights will float. Shown here is the centerpiece for our recent Easter Brunch.. a piece of pink depression glass and I used rosemary flowers because that’s what happened to be in bloom at that moment in time! 🙂

There’s room for a lot of creativity here, but floating candles are beautiful day or night!

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dit-elle-Esther

Easter Egg Science Project

In preparation for Easter this weekend we did an Easter Egg science project! We used bright c

olored fruits and vegetables to dye hardboiled eggs. We tried onion skins, turmeric, blueberries, red cabbage and beets. Ava and Anders dipped and turned the eggs to make sure they were covered with liquid. They also decided when to take the eggs out or keep them in the dye if we thought they needed some more time! It was an awesome DIY kid project.. just make lots of hard boiled eggs because there were definitely some smashed eggs! 🙂

Ava showed up to the party in her usual preferred attire.. swimsuit. This girl is ready for summer.

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Ingredients

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Onion skins
  • Turmeric, you can use the fresh root or dried ground powder
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Red cabbage
  • White vinegar

Directions

  • I’m sure there’s more of a science behind this and there are a ton of resources online for naturally dyed Easter eggs, but for us this was more of an art than science.. here’s what we did.
  • I boiled some beets and saved the liquid – pretty pink!
  • Microwaved frozen blueberries with some water and mashed them with a fork – gorgeous robin egg blue
  • Boiled onion skins (just peel off the outer dry golden layer of skin) – golden yellow color
  • Boiled some grated fresh turmeric root – this yielded a beautiful orange
  • Boiled some red cabbage and saved the liquid – this was the faintest color – didn’t do much for our dyeing project.
  • We put each of the dyes on bowls and stirred in a tablespoon of vinegar
  • Then we submerged boiled eggs in the liquid and let it soak for between 2-10 minutes
  • We watched the eggs turning color and made observations on what the colors were.
  • Voila! Beautiful Easter eggs

dit-elle-Esther

The Mommy Manicure

I love having my nails painted!  For some reason, I feel like even if I haven’t showered, and have no make up on…painted nails signify that I tried haha.  Weird, I know, and most days…I don’t try 😉

However, I swear even after a professional manicure, I’m lucky to get one day out of it before it chips.  Plus, who has time for that??!  It’s an rare extravagance to go into a salon for me.  I did try the gel manicure for my friends wedding, and I LOVED how long it stayed on, but hated the removal process!

Then, I saw the Sally Hansens Miracle Gel polish at Target.  And because it wouldn’t be a trip to Target without me tossing a few random things in my cart, in it went!

It boasts-

  • 2 Steps (true!)
  • Up to 14 Days of Color & Shine (the most I’ve gotten is 5, but still…FIVE?!!  I wash my hands about 87 times a day, so total win in my book!)
  • Easy Removal (you can use regular nail polish remover!!  It takes a little longer than normal polish, but still SO much better than buffing and then soaking in acetone like salon gels)
  • No light needed (Meaning no magic lamp, but you do need to dry your nails in sunlight.  I did the first time, when I got the 5 day result.  My second attempt only lasted 2 days, but then I realized I had just let it dry inside the house with no sunlight.  So…I wouldn’t skip this step)

Oh, and if you are wondering.  You can’t just use the Miracle Gel top coat on regular polish and expect it to last as long.  I tried.  It didn’t work haha.

Below, I’m wearing “Wine Stock”, which is appropriate for most Moms 😉Blog Sally Hansen Miracle GelStill…most days, I don’t have time to do this.  Mainly it’s the dry time.  Just sitting and waiting for nail polish to dry…not happening.

SO, what I’ve been doing lately?  I call it my “mommy manicure”.  I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (this isn’t a sponsored post, I’ve just found both of these products work and they happen to both be by Sally Hansen :))  It dries in 60 seconds, and you only need one coat!  That means you can literally paint your nails and then run out the door, pick up your toddler, wash your hands, wash their hands, make everyone lunch, scarf lunch, or any of the other 100 things that you need to do during the day.  It usually chips a little after a day, but it comes off in about 60 seconds too because it’s only one coat!  So…for those days or nights when you want to add a little extra fun, you can do it!  Truth be told, I wear it for about 3 days haha.  I’m still waiting for the “chipped nails” to become totally fashionable.  Let’s all band together and make it happen, no?!  Who’s with me?!! 🙂

Below, I’m wearing “Grease Lightening”Blog Elliott Lauren Buffalo Plaid Jacket Zara Asymetrical Tee DL1961 Joy Flare Jeans Joan David Boots-1With the time I saved NOT doing my nails, I actually had time to do my hair for an impromptu date night last weekend.  Woo hoo!  Maya was still napping, so no shots of her 😦

This would be my “Oh, hi Mom and Dad!”  They just walked up to start Maya duty, so me and the Huz could go out. 🙂Blog Elliott Lauren Buffalo Plaid Jacket Zara Asymetrical Tee DL1961 Joy Flare Jeans Joan David Boots-2I’d love to hear if anyone else has any time saving beauty tips!  Mine usually are just…throw my hair in a bun and run, so I could use some help haha.

On Me

Jacket- Elliott Lauren (eBay for $2.80!!!!! similar here)
Watch- Michele (old, similar here)
Top- Zara (similar here)
Shoes- Circa Joan and David (thrifted, similar here)
( all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod 🙂 )

dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Jell-o Play-Doh { Non Candy Preschool Valentine }

I really wanted to give a non candy option out for Maya’s Valentine’s Day treat.  Yes, I’m that mom.  :{

I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make the homemade Play-Doh I’ve been meaning to make for ages.  Maya loves Play-doh (what kid doesn’t?!)  I found this really cool recipe online that uses Jell-O.  It dyes it, AND makes it smell yummy.  FUN!

I’ll be honest.  I’m marginally embarrassed by how much time I spent on these, but whatever… 😉Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-1What you need… (I doubled the recipe for each color, so mine will look bigger)

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil (I used Olive Oil)
  • 1 3 oz pack Jell-O

What you do…

  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan until smooth.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-2 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-3 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-4I’ll be honest.  I helped her 🙂 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-5
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough.  (about 10 minutes)Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-6
  • Once it has finished cooking, place the dough onto a floured cutting board and wait for it to cool (about 20-30 minutes).  While it’s cooling you can start making another batch with a different color/flavor Jell-O! 🙂Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-8We did Raspberry and Blueberry (Maya’s choice!).Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-9
  • Once it is cool, knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup).Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-10 Maya liked this part! Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-11 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-12hahaha 😉 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-13
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  It will keep for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator, with daily use.  If at any time it starts to be a little sticky, just add more flour.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-14Making it into a Valentine’s Day gift…
  • Get mini Glad containers
  • 3 Yards of Tulle
  • Ribbon
  • Hole Punch
  • Make a little card on card stock (I did mine in Photoshop, but handwritten would be super cute if you had an older child!  Or…if you have good handwriting-I do not ha ha)
  • You can write a little Valentine’s message.   I actually put the recipe on the cards in case other parents wanted to make some.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-15

Thank you so much Kaley Ann for the great Jell-o Play-Doh idea.  Go check out her blog for more great DIY ideas 🙂dit-elle-Lauren