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Noam Temkin

5 DIY Summer Pool Party Decorations

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Have you checked the forecast lately? If your weather app is anything like ours, then you’re looking at a bunch of sunshine and warm weather for the foreseeable future. Swimming, laying out by the pool, and eating watermelon should be at the forefront of your mind! Summer is the best for multiple reasons – one of which is that it’s a great time to throw a pool party.

Summer parties are meant to be relaxed, so there’s no need to go overboard on lavish decorations. Which is why we’re recommending 5 easy DIY ways to dress up a very chill pool party.

  1. Banners

Kelly at The Sweetest Occasion has an awesome tutorial on making simple banners that can go along with any theme. Chances are you’d find the supplies for the project somewhere in your house, and making the banner is actually a lot of fun! Hint: We made the banner with StoneWrap, and it held up really well on a slightly breezy day.

  1. Spray-painted Centerpieces

A few cute centerpieces can go a long way in making a relaxed party feel special. The look of these spray-painted centerpieces from Tonya at Love of Family and Home is a perfect aesthetic for any summer pool party. Especially the light aqua color – absolutely love that!

  1. Triangle Topper

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Okay, this is honestly might be the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. It’s even better when you do it in person. Jamie Bartlett offers a super easy-to-follow tutorial on making these little flags. Make sure to scroll down on the page to find instructions for the cake topper (but those DIY party favors at the top of the page are also amazing). Once again, we tried this craft with StoneWrap, and it worked swimmingly (see what we did there?).

  1. Party Pineapple

This is one those DIY projects that looks hard to do, but it’s really not. Studio DIY has amazing tutorials, and this is certainly one of them. What’s especially cool about this DIY project is that your pineapple can stay hanging all summer long! You can even store it for late once summer is (sadly) over!

  1. Watermelon Tablecloth

This last DIY project is only for the truly dedicated. Sure, this project will take a little longer than others, but having a watermelon tablecloth that you made with your own two hands is pretty special. This tutorial from the I Love To Create Blog explains everything in a easy way, and before you know it, you’ll have a very cute tablecloth to use all season long.

What We Can Learn From An April Mood Board

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I know what you’re probably thinking, “April is just about over, why are we talking about the April mood board?” As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Every month new trends come and go, but the ultimate goal of trends is to help cultivate a sense of personal style. Certain aspects from trends can live on when incorporated successfully into a cohesive style.

For example, according to trend experts, the Serge Mouille-style lamp has been a dead trend for over a year.

Photo credit: Horne

Well, here to say who cares what trend experts are saying. If you like the look of that lamp, or that rug, or that mirror, or whatever it may be, then you should buy and display! Those pieces become part of your style, which is totally unique to you.

Style transcends trends, but trends help develop style. In other words, trends help us discover what we like and what we don’t like. An eclectic style comes from hand-picking particular elements from different trends and holding on to them. Besides, who in the world has the money to be constantly throwing out old trends and buying new? Cultivating a sense of personal style is not just more authentic, it’s also thriftier.

Which brings us the April mood board. Take a good look at the floral arrangements, furniture, and pleats that are in season. Do any of those pieces speak to you on a personal level? If so, incorporate it to your style! If nothing stands out, then the good news is that the May mood will be released shortly and there will be a whole new world of fashion, design, and décor trends to digest.

Maybe before clicking the link, look at the trend collage and see if anything pops. If so, follow the link and learn more about what could be the newest addition to your style!

Photo credit: Glitter Guide

5 Low-Maintenance Easy House Plants

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There’s nothing quite like plants when it comes to brightening up a home. Many design experts believe that what makes a home feel fresh is the integration of natural elements. Well, there’s nothing really more natural than literal plants growing in the confines of your home! Plants are meant to provide relaxing vibes to your home, which is why we recommend choosing the lowest maintenance plants possible.

Here are our five favorite easy house plants that look good, and are super easy to care for.

  1. Snake Plant

Photo credit: Gardening Know-How

Otherwise known as the “mother in law’s tongue,” the Snake Plant isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds. The Snake Plant comes from the succulent family, which might be the best family in the   flora kingdom. Like most succulents, all you need to do is stick the Snake Plant in a pot with some dirt, water it once every few weeks, and you’re golden. Perhaps the best thing about the Snake Plant is that it looks hard to care for, but isn’t.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a miracle plant. What did you reach for last time you got sunburnt? Probably Aloe Vera. And what plant is super easy to grow and keep in your home? Yes, Aloe Vera. It looks great, and has somewhat magical healing properties, so there’s really no downside here. Aim for watering this bad boy once every 2-3 weeks.

  1. Dieffenbachia

Photo Credit: Our House Plants

The name may be a mouthful, but the plant itself couldn’t be easier. What’s cool about the dieffenbachia is that it’s huge! If you have a random corner of your home you’d love to fill with something interesting, the dieffenbachia might be a perfect fit. You’ll want to occasionally prune your dieffenbachia to avoid droopy leaves and potential tripping hazards. Other than that, just water once every 2-3 weeks and enjoy!

  1. Rabbit’s Ear

Photo Credit: HGTV

You can probably guess why they call this plant Rabbit’s Ear. Imagine a bunch of fuzzy rabbit ears growing out of a pot, and chances are it will look just like this plant. In case you’re curious, the fuzzy leaves prevent water loss during evaporation, which is what makes these plants so low maintenance. Only worry about watering every 2-3 weeks.

  1. Spider Plant

Photo Credit: Mother Nature Network

Once again, another plant that sounds scary, but actually looks great and is easy to care for. Our favorite aspect to spider plants is the fact that you can grow several different spider plants! Spider plants produce small “pups” that can be rooted in planting soil and grow! You can start a whole family of spider plants in your home if you want. Once again, water every 2-3 weeks.

These plants will bring that natural vibe to your home, with minimal effort on your part. See how the mood changes in your home with the addition of these easy house plants!

Your Guide To Lining Drawers With Wrapping Paper

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We never think about it, but drawers are a constant part of our daily lives. Wake up in the morning, and we open our drawers to grab a fresh set of clothes. It’s time to eat breakfast, we open the kitchen drawers to grab some silverware. And that’s all within the first hour of your day! Well, there’s a super easy to way to include some excitement in your drawer-opening experience. You probably would never have put “exciting” and “drawers,” in the same sentence, but today we’re changing that. The answer is, you guessed it, wrapping paper.

Lining drawers with wrapping paperWhen lining drawers with wrapping paper, it’s imperative that you have quality wrapping paper. We really can’t stress this enough. Low-quality wrapping paper will rip and tear, and will honestly just look tacky. StoneWrap would certainly fit the bill, but feel free to look for any smooth wrapping material with a pattern you love.

Okay, let’s start the walkthrough for lining drawers with wrapping paper.

  1. First things first, measure the parameters of the drawer you want to line. Flipping the drawer upside down is an easy way to get an accurate measurement. Make sure to include an inch or two extra on your measurements to be safe.

  1. Now it’s time to cut. Take your measurements, mark them with a pencil, and start cutting. Take this part slow to ensure you get nice, smooth edges.

  1. With your wrapping paper good to go, gently lay it down on the base of the drawer. Smooth out any ruffles or uneven areas.

  1. Take a step back and enjoy your work!

See, that wasn’t that hard at all. You can follow the same steps for any drawer in your home! The nice thing about using wrapping paper to line drawers is that you can constantly change it out for something new! And, of course, you can use the excess paper for wrapping presents!

Five Wrapping Paper Crafts

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Limiting Gemma paper to just gift wrapping would be a real shame. The only limit is your imagination! There’s basically a limitless world of super cool crafts using gift wrapping paper. So, if you find yourself with an excess of gift wrapping, here are our 5 favorite wrapping paper crafts to get you started.

Craft Pretty Envelopes

Via Ruth Bleakley / Via poppytalk.com

Look how beautiful those envelopes look! Here’s a great tutorial that will walk you through how to make wrapping paper envelopes step by step. These little envelopes are perfect for thank you notes, party invitations, or even sending letters via snail mail. People will surely be impressed by your hand-made envelopes.

Make Bunting

Via centsationalgirl.com

Raise your hand if you’ve experienced flimsy, kind of lame, store bought bunting! Been there. Take matters into your own hands and make your own! Here’s another great tutorial that will show you how to make your own wrapping paper bunting.

Shred It Into Confetti

One Good Thing By Jillie / Via onegoodthingbyjillee.com

This one is so easy there is no tutorial required. The only catch is that you’ll need to track down a paper shredder (trust us, it will make your life much easier). Feed the paper through the shredder, and store the confetti in a bag. Save for a special occasion.

Fill Empty Frames

Via thoughtfullysimple.com

Filling frames is always harder than you think. You see an awesome frame on sale, and you always assume you’ll have a picture to fill it, and then you never do. An easy way to fill those frames is with seasonal wrapping paper! You’ll be surprised how good it looks.

Make New Placemats

Via oleanderandpalm.com

It can be very easy to get tired of the same old placemats every day. The nice thing about using wrapping paper for placemats is that you only use them once! Feel free to take risks with styles you wouldn’t normally go with. This is also a great idea for birthdays, seasonal parties, and other kinds of celebrations.

We are just scratching the surface with these suggestions. There are so many wrapping paper crafts out there, and we’ll do our best to keep you updated.

closet declutter for spring

Decluttering your closet for spring

By | Seasonal | No Comments

As of yesterday, spring has officially arrived, and it’s beautiful. The jacarandas are blooming, birds are chirping, and clouds are gathering for a light drizzle of rain. Meanwhile, our closets are a total mess. Cumbersome coats, scarves, and beanies take up closet space like nobody’s business. Clearing out your closet after winter doesn’t need to be another annoying box to check on your never-ending checklist. Instead, it can be a spiritual rebirth akin to what Mother Nature is experiencing in this very moment. Let’s freshen up and begin our closet declutter for spring.

Start With The Easy Stuff

Before we decide on that flannel top that can work for both winter and spring, let’s start with the easy stuff. Say goodbye to that massive jacket that takes up half your closet! You might be thinking, “Well, what if a crazy blizzard just appears tomorrow.” The chances of that happening are slim to none, so don’t let your fear of the weather hold you back from decluttering! All of those jackets, coats, and scarves that are much too heavy for pleasant spring days need to go into storage. Once that’s done, you’ll be shocked how big your closet actually is!

Make The Hard Choices

When it comes to deciding what goes into storage and what stays, rely on the venerable 80-20 rule. Most people (including yours truly) wear 20% of their clothing, 80% of the time. The remaining 80% of clothing are the freeloaders that clutter your closet. Sure, we all have those impulse buys, orphaned blouses, and one-size-too-small paraphernalia, and now it’s time to say goodbye. Sing to yourself “The Circle of Life” as you remove those articles of clothing and prepare them to be sold, donated, or tossed.

Clusterize

Yes, that is a new word, and it will be your mantra for the final stages of your closet declutter for spring. What you have before you in your closet are the winners. If this were an episode of the Bachelorette, these clothes are finalists. Fortunately, you can keep them all! Now, let’s clusterize. A cluster is a core group of 5-8 clothing pieces that all go together. For example, you can clusterize your red flannel top, a few pairs of jeans, a coordinating navy skirt, a camel blouse, a red T-shirt, etc. Make a few different clusters with coordinating clothes, and you won’t believe how easy it will be to get ready in the morning.

Once you finish, open your windows and take a deep breath! Be happy. Spring has arrived both in, and outside, your closet.

spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips

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The days are getting longer, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping! We both know what that means – it’s time to clean. Some people think that switching to daylight savings is the true indicator of winter coming to an end, but we would respectfully disagree. Nothing ushers in beautiful spring better than beautifying your home. There’s no better way to celebrate spring than with spring cleaning. Let’s talk about some spring cleaning tips.

All winter we’ve been cooped up in our homes. We’ve hunkered down and watched our favorite Netflix shows. But now it’s time for a spiritual rebirth.

Here are our 5 favorite spring cleaning tips:

Start with your doormats

spring cleaning

There’s something special about your doormat. It symbolizes new beginnings and introduces your home to visitors. They’re also your front-line defense against tracked-in dirt. So, shake ‘em, wash ‘em, swat ‘em with a broom, and start your spring cleaning off right.

Clean Carpet and Upholstery

spring cleaning

I know, this is probably the part about spring cleaning you’re dreading the most. This isn’t fact checked, but probably 40% (ish) of the cleanable surfaces of your house are carpet or upholstery. So, when we get this part done, we’ll be almost half way done! Fabrics absorb an entire winter’s worth of dirt, so consider shampooing your carpets and upholstery with a rented machine. Practice in a small space before moving on to the whole house. Make sure to open the windows when you’ve finished to speed up the drying process!

Wash walls, cabinets, baseboards, and woodwork

spring cleaning

This is especially true for those of us with white walls. Dirty walls and cabinets are something you can get used to and never clean, but let’s not allow that to happen. Use a dishwashing detergent combined with a sponge to wash the surfaces of every section. Continually ring out the sponge to avoid excess moisture, and wipe down with a clean cloth.

Vacuum with Wisdom

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Read this step before you start flipping over every piece of furniture in your home. For some reason, people tend to think that you need to clear an entire room for a vacuuming session. Well, that may work for some people, but it’s really more time consuming than necessary. Instead, move your furniture slightly to the left or right. Vacuum the area, and then move the furniture back into place. This will save you time, and keep down that back pain that seems to flare up during spring cleaning.

Make A Plan

spring cleaning

As with any worthwhile endeavor, you should make a plan and cross off the boxes. In this list we recommended places to focus on, but obviously there’s more to it than that. Here’s a great checklist from the Magnolia Market. Feel free to print it out, and let it act as a guide to make sure your home is ready to embrace the spring.