DIY Modern Kitty Bed

It's about time Pumpkin, our kitty, was on the blog.  I made him a modern, stylish kitty bed that I'm not embarrassed to have in my living room.  I'm taking this DIY back to the 90's and I'm splatter painting!!! Head over to Curbly today to see the full how-to tutorial.  Oh, and I made this bed for less the $10.


Fresh Fruit Art

This post is sponsored by Naked Juice, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

I'm really excited about today's post.  It's jam packed with all kinds of good stuff.  I've got a little treat for you and I've also got an easy way for you to do some good.  There is nothing prettier then the bright, vibrant colors of nature.  I took some of my favorite fruits and played with color and form to create 3 fresh phone wallpapers for you.  I chose 3 colors from my O+P Color Palette (Peach, Green and Grey) and challenged myself to create art pieces in those hues using fresh fruit.  

I definitely take for granted that I can go to a number of good grocery stores in my neighborhood and find pretty much any fruit or vegetable.  Did you know that there are food deserts in areas of our country, places where fresh produce is not accessible?  Naked Juice has teamed up with Wholesome Wave to bring to life the Drink Good. Do Good campaign to bring awareness and actual fresh fruits and veggies to these places.

Living in an agricultural hub, it seems totally unbelievable that there are food deserts in the cities just a couple hours North and South of us.  Here in California, both LA and San Francisco residents face food desert issues. Check out these stats:

Los Angeles: In a 30-square-mile area of South L.A., there are only 60 grocery stores. That's only one store for every 22,000 residents.

San Francisco: San Francisco has nearly 58,000 people in neighborhoods designated as food deserts, about 1 in every 14 San Franciscans.

This is such a cool program you guys, you can use your social media to do some good.  Here's how it works!

1. Take a photo of yourself holding a fruit or vegetable.
2. Share it on social media using the #DrinkGoodDoGood hashtag
3. Tag a friend to do the same!!!!

And get this, for every picture you post, Naked Juice will donate 10 lbs. of produce to Wholesome Wave!!!! Now that's pretty awesome.  I hope you'll join me, I'll be watching for your posts on Instagram.

You can download 1 or all 3 of these FREE phone wallpapers HERE! Right now I have the peachy hued image on my lock and home screen. Do you have a favorite?


Summer Spotlight Series - PJ of A Girl Named PJ

You know, Summer isn't officially over yet.  And it will certainly feel like Summer in Cali for a few more months.  So, I've got a few more friends that need to be introduced.  My Summer Spotlight Series is still alive.

I'm excited to introduce you to PJ of the very stylish blog, A Girl Named PJ.  I met PJ at Alt a few years ago and then we shared a bed in NYC when we attended a Better Homes and Gardens event a 2 years ago.  PJ is one of the most style savvy friends I have.  I'd love for her to pick my wardrobe. She's not afraid of a trend, but still has a classic and clean look.  She is one stylish mom on the go! And talk about cute kids - her boys are adorable!  PJ's blog is always a good read.  She has a beautiful writing style and tells stories so well. I appreciate her candid and honest conversations about being a mom and balancing it all.  PJ recently moved from Nebraska all the way to Washington DC.  She is living this cool big city life, that I'd love to experience someday.  She has a few great series that you should definitely check out.  I love her style posts and her fun coffee series.  She also has some great make up and nail tutorials, like this clever color block manicure below.  And she has me wanting to learn how to braid my own hair

So PJ, let's talk a little bit about your Summer.

What does a perfect Summer day look like to you?
Brunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio followed by a couple of hours at the pool. A late afternoon nap at home while the kids sleep and a backyard BBQ with friends in the evening.

How do you stay cool?
Air conditioning! I love summer, but I hate being hot. After spending time outside, I relish coming home to a cool house. In our old house, the living areas on the first floor were always freezing in order to keep the upstairs bedrooms comfortably cool. I'm talking cuddling-under-throw-blankets freezing, but I kind of loved it! 

What is your essential Summer item?
Besides air conditioning? Iced coffee! I need to learn how make the perfect cup of cold-brewed coffee.

Pool, Lake or Ocean?

Tan, Burn, or Freckle?

Flip Flops, Slip-ons, or Bare Feet?
Birkenstock sandals

What's on your Summer reading list?

What is one Summer activity you are looking forward to?
My husband and I have been talking about taking vacation (just the two of us!) this summer. I had a milestone birthday back in March, and this trip would be my belated birthday present! I've never been to Paris...

Do you have a goal or project for this Summer?
We moved mid-June, and I'd love to have the house unpacked, organized, and decorated by the end of the summer. 

Be sure to follow PJ on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.


Monthly Memory Verse - August

Well, it's about time I had a new printable Memory Verse.  As school starts and my kids are off to new schools and they face new adventures and challenges, I know they need this scripture.  And really, I need it as well. Denali just started High School and Dylan is now officially a Jr. Higher. Being a teenager is tough. I'm praying that my kids make good choices and find friends that will help make them better people.  I want them to be a light in their worlds, I want their friends to ask why they are at peace and have joy. I want their lives and actions to show what they believe is true.  

You can download this 8x10 print HERE.

If you'd like to have more printable memory verses for your home, be sure to check out all the other ones I've created.

This is intended for personal use only.  
(Note: The text at the bottom of the image may print, but it is not within the 8 X10 measurement. When you print, do not scale the image)


DIY Grid Patterned Pillows

I'm so in love with all things grid patterned.  I might have a pillow problem, but don't most women.
These new DIY Grid Patterned Pillows I made are my new favorites.  You'll be seeing a lot of them.
They kind of work well in every room in our house.  That's the beauty of black and white and a simple pattern like grid, it works with every style and color palette.

You only need to know how to sew a straight line to get these high end looking throw pillows.  Head over to Curbly to see the full how-to tutorial!  I promise, these really are cheap and easy to make!!!! 


DIY Modern Oil and Vinegar Bottles

In an effort to eat healthier, I am cutting out a lot of processed foods.  I'm going back the the basics, and dressing my salads with simply oil and vinegar is a good place to start.  I like to keep these ingredients on my counter, ready to be used.  But, if they are going to sit out on my counter, they gotta be cute.  So, I customized a couple simple bottles I picked up at Target for $4 each.  Simple letters in crisp white give these bottle a clean modern look and feel.

Here's what you'll need:

Start by making sure the surface of the bottle is clean.

Apply the stickers and masking tape to the bottom half of the bottle.

Using a foam brush, brush in one direction all the way around the bottle.  You will probably need to paint two coats.  I like the streaky finish of this paint, so I stopped at just two coats.

Allow the paint to dry completely.

Remove the stickers and tape.  If the paint leaked at all under the tape of sticker, you can simple scrape away any excess now.

Place the bottles in a cold over and turn the oven on and bring to up to 325F.  Bake for 30 mins and then turn off the oven and leave the dishes in the oven until they are cool.  This will cure the paint.

Fill with your favorite oil and vinegar and display.  Right now I'm all about good olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.

I love using this Chalky Finish for Glass paint.  Be sure to check out the DIY Custom Enamel Dishes I made using this same paint.  


Blackberry Ginger Cooler

I'm trying out a new series here, I'll be sharing some fun mocktail recipes from time to time.  It's all the fun flavors of a cocktail without the alcohol. These are fun drinks that whole family can enjoy. And the first mocktail I'm sharing is a refreshing Blackberry Ginger Cooler.  Last week we visited my parents in Northern Cali, so we picked a few blackberries.  There wasn't enough to make jam, but I did pick enough to make a couple batches of this yummy blackberry ginger syrup.  

Blackberry Ginger Syrup

2 cups of fresh blackberries
1 cup of water
3 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
another cup of water

In a pot, crush the blackberries with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon.  Add the first cup of water and the ginger.  Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 mins.  Remove from the heat and strain the berries through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour the liquid into a large measuring cup.  Add enough water (about 1 cup) to make 2 cups of liquid.  Pour the liquid back into a pot and add 1 cup of sugar.
Bring to a broil and boil for 5 mins.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

To make the coolers, mix about 1-2 oz. of syrup with either ginger ale or club soda in a glass with lots of ice and a couple whole blackberries.

Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple weeks.

I can't get enough of ginger, it's one of my favorite flavors.  It's bright, crisp and always refreshing. These pretty drinks could definitely be given a little grown-up kick with a splash of your favorite gin. I'm not stopping you. What are your favorite flavor combinations?  Is this a series you'd like to see more of?