Monthly Archives: February 2012

Monogrammed Acrylic Tray Tutorial

I feel like I’m cheating on this one. Seriously. Could. Not. Be. Easier.

I have found like a zillion gorgeous lucite and acrylic trays around the Interwebs for crazy prices. Like this one from Jonathan Adler for $98! $98? Really?

{ via Pinterest }

{ 1 – via Pinterest | 2 – via Pinterest via Etsy }

Crazy, right?

Even these great DIY projects used $20-40 trays to start out with!

{ via Pinterest }

{ via Pinterest }

I decided I would figure out how to complete this project for less and $10 and I did!

I went to Hobby Lobby armed with my 40% off coupon and bought the biggest box frame they had- 11×14. Normally $6.99 I used my coupon and got it for around $4. I chose the largest size because of how I wanted to use it. But the smaller size frames could definitely be used to corral Q-tips and cotton balls in a bathroom, lose change and keys in an entry or perfume bottles on a shelf.

As for the print, I loved the design of Chelsea from Two Twenty-One so I used her as my inspiration. I went to my favorite source for awesome patterns and designs – Sprik Space. Aimee offers lots of free, downloadable patterns and printables – go check her out!

“I dropped it into an 11×14 Photoshop document and added my monogram. I then saved the document as an 11×17 and sent it to my local Office Max print center. The girls (Hi Sarah! – yes I know them all by name :)) printed it, cut the excess off and then laminated it for me. The total cost for the print: less than $4.

The print and lamination made the print slightly too big for the frame but that was easily remedied by cutting it down with a paper-cutter.

Next I took the cardboard backer out of the frame. Don’t through it away though! Upcoming project…

I added tape to the back of the print to make sure it stayed down in the tray. Feel free to use double-sided tape but I of course, could not find it. This house seems to be a tape and scissor vortex… Anywho!

Place the paper into the tray and press down to secure the tape. And please ignore my beat up hands and lack of manicure, mkay?

And there you have it! A gorgeous monogrammed tray for around $8! Now your tray is ready for you to add your favorite accessories!

And the best part – if I get tired of the print I can just make a new one. Or to really change the look do something like this:

{ via Pinterest }

Take out the print and using your Silhouette machine (see! I do need one!) to cut out your monogram from vinyl or even contact paper.

Having a party? Change the liner to match your theme. Seriously, this tray can be used anywhere. Coffee table. Bathroom counter. Nightstand or dresser top. Everywhere!

Anyway, as always I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you end up making one of these trays let me know. I’d love to see what others come up with!

Lots of Love,


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UPDATE: Oh my goodness! Beckie has honored me again by featuring my tray tutorial on her awesome site, Knock Off Decor! Thanks, Beckie!


Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Now, I’m not Julia Child but I love to bake. I am happiest when I get to watch someone enjoy something that I’ve made. And seriously, behind my family, my furbabies and maybe my camera my Kitchen Aid Mixer is my favorite thing.

I love to make these muffins in mini size because I have two littles and mini is the perfect size for them. And I add chocolate chips because we like it but you could substitute nuts, cranberries, whatever you want. Onto the recipe!

  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces of vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup regular white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (plus spill over if you’re me)
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt (I used kosher)
  • ½ a package of mini chocolate chips
  • mini muffin tins
  • PAM cooking spray for baking
  • mixer with paddle blade

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees and spray your mini muffin tin with PAM. I love PAM. I swear by PAM. I have tried pretty much every other cooking spray out there and have come to the conclusion that God sent us PAM cooking spray as a gift. It’s my second favorite one He’s sent us. 🙂

Gather all your ingredients and let’s get baking!

Peel your very ripe banana’s and mash them to oblivion with a fork. For me 2 medium-sized bananas gave me the cup I needed.

Now, crack your eggs (and fish out subsequent shells) and pour into the bowl of your beloved mixer. Also add the vanilla yogurt, oil, vanilla extract and bananas in mixer blow and blend at low-speed.

Add in sugars and blend until they are completely incorporated. Then add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined.

Now add the half of a package (or more!) of the mini chocolate chips and mix until blended.

Scoop the batter into the prepared mini muffin tin. I have found that my favorite tablespoon measuring spoon is just the right amount for my muffin tins but you can just eyeball it.

Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, allow to cool for no more than 10 minutes before turning the muffins out onto a cooling rack any longer and the cooking spray will act like glue and hold your muffins hostage inside the pan!

Finally, brew yourself some coffee, take a few muffins and enjoy!

This recipe made 54 mini muffins which is great because they freeze really well. I just toss them into a freezer bag in dozen batches and when we want them I take them out and let them defrost on the counter overnight.

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House of Hepworths

Lots of Love,

Wishful Thinking

Have you ever come across some product that made you want to drop everything and go play with it? Your dinner is boiling over on the stove, the phone is ringing off the hook and the dogs are howling at a very menacing stick in the yard but you are too mesmerized by the YouTube video showing all the tricks it can perform to look away.


Uhhhh… Me either.


{sheepish grin}


Moving on…

Have you seen the Silhouette machine? I heart it. I big ole pink puffy heart it. I loved the SD when it was out but now they have the Cameo – be still my heart!
Oh the things I could do with a Cameo…

It cuts fabric. Did you know that? No more spending hours cutting shapes out with my dull scissors. Mimi wants a turtle on her shirt and there’s only a half hour until our play date? No problem. Fabric, Wonder Under and Silhouette Cameo to the rescue!

And you KNOW I’d be whipping up some of these with a Cameo.

{ via Pinterest }

Did you know you can use it to bedazzle stuff?  I love me some glam and sparkles. Night on the town? Let’s add some rhinestones to that plain ole clutch. Not to mention the face that I may just need to have more kids so I can make them adorable onesies like this:

And probably my FAVORITE feature is the print and cut feature. So when I’m making labels or cupcake toppers for the kids’ birthday I can design them with the registration marks and the super smart Silhouette can cut them precisely where I need them!

Sigh. I love it. Maybe for my birthday in August? Honey, if you’re reading this: hint hint. 🙂

Lots of Love,


{ Pinterest Thursday: } Anthropologie Spark Light Bobbies

Ok. I know it’s Saturday but I am just too excited to hold onto this until Thursday. Let’s call it a bonus, mmmkay?

I was looking around on Anthropologie and saw this little hair clips. adorable, right? But $20 for two clips is a bit crazy in my opinion. So off to Hobby Lobby I went. I spent less than $5 and I made 6 clips with extra supplies left over. Here’s what I used.

I actually already had the hair clips but I know there are $3.99 so use one of Hobby Lobby’s famous 40% off coupons. You can also find these at a beauty supply shop. The ribbon I had on hand also. I bought a quarter yard of pink, blue and gold sequins trim. At less than $0.50 I should have bought every single color. These happen to be in the trim by the yard section but I also spotted sequins ribbon available on the roll for $4.99. So in total I spent a whopping $1.50 for 6 clips for me and my daughter!

OK. Here’s how I did it.

I used this tutorial from The Green Wife as a guide for how to make the ribbon wrapped clip. It’s really easy. Holding your clip open but a little dab of hot glue, put your ribbon on, go down one of the arms of the clip, glue, go up the other side of the arm, glue, over the sprint, glue, down the opposite arm, glue, then back up into the clip and finally glue. Hard to explain. She does it better. Promise. 🙂

I attached the sequins to the ribbon at the spring first. Just a small dab, hold it for a second and then continue on. I did this so the entire clip was sparkly. A girl can never have too much sparkles. 🙂

Then I put a bead of glue down the top of the clip and attached the sequins. Then I trimmed the sequins so that it was just slightly longer than the clip. I added a little hot glue and wrapped it into the open mouth of the clip to make sure the end was “sealed” and no sequins would come off looking like pink, sparkly dandruff. 🙂 Let the clip dry and pop that baby in your hair.

And now repeat the project for 5 more clips. It’s addicting! Picture overload ahead:

And now beauty shots for the gold and blue ones.

Work it, girl! 🙂

Cute and sassy at the same time.

Sorry for the crazy hair. 🙂

Now I know that Anthropolgie used gold and black but my hair is kind of too dark for the black and it would blend in. Plus I wanted to share these with my daughter and she loves pink. I can’t wait until ballet on Wednesday to see her in her fancy new clippies. So so cute!

Thanks for reading! I hope you like my tutorial!

;;;” target=”_blank”>The DIY Show Off

Lots of Love,


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Pillow Talk


We were supposed to have a showing today (they ended up cancelling due to the weather-boo) and last night I decided I needed to add a fun color to our room: yellow. I had bought this fabric from Joann Fabrics. I only bought half a yard and it was just enough to recover a pillow I already had. I used this tutorial from Take the Side Street.

I really liked the overlap so I actually kept it in the front. I wanted to add a little pizazz so I attached a fabric flower pin. I love it. Really makes the room seem brighter and happier… Even when there’s a blizzard outside. 🙂

{ Pinterest Thursday: } Anthropologie Inspired Inital Stand

I love Anthropolgie. I too have an eclectic and quirky style. But seriously, their prices are kinda crazy. When browsing their website I found this beyond gorgeous printers stand. Apparently lots of people shared my admiration for the stand because it’s popped in the background of pictures all over blogland. The picture below hails from one of my favorite blogs, The Pleated Poppy.

via Pinterest

I loved the simplicity of it and knew I could easily make it myself. Here’s what I did:

You notice I said I didn’t end up using the silver craft paint (more on that later). Instead I used Hammered Finish spray paint from Krylon. Also not pictured, wood glue.

Ok. First have your lovely husband (or if you’re brave enough you can do this yourself) cut the dowel the length that you want. Mine is approximately 9-inches long.

While he’s at it, have him find the centerpoint of the scrap wood and drill a hole in the wood. Repeat the process on the wooden plaque.

Next, fill the hole with wood glue and insert the dowel. Make sure that the dowel is straight and set aside to allow the glue to dry completely.

Now let’s talk about the craft paint and its epic fail. I painted the entire letter and the stand. Unfortunetly, the paint color matched the natural color of the chip board – a flat, bleh gray color and not metallic as I had hoped. Next I tried it on the dowel and plaque. I’m not sure if there was some sort of finish on them or what but the craft paint ended up very runny and watery even though I shook the paint really really well. Sigh.

Oh well. On to Plan B: Good ole spray paint! Don’t worry. The Little Caesars pizza box is totally optional. 😉

Since I wanted a more brushed look to my “metal” I used a foam brush to wipe away some of the paint leaving behind these really awesome brush marks. Then I let them all dry.

Next, I got out my stain and applied it to the scrap piece of wood. The stain i used was Rustoleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Dark Walnut. It is totally awesome. This was my first time using stain and I will definitely be using it again!

I used my foam brush to apply the stain and then immediately wiped the stain off. The wood I used is pine and according to my husband it really sucks up the stain. Not wanting my wood to be too dark I tried to be super fast in wiping it back off. I repeated this process on all the sides as well.

Once all is dry it’s time to put it all together. Literally. I used wood glue to first attach the silver letter.

Make sure the letter is centered on your wood and allow it to dry. More waiting for glue to dry…

Luckily, the glue doesn’t take long to dry and we can finish up our project! 🙂

I found that laying the project on it’s side to dry was easiest. I had my wood piece sitting on a Frosty lid to keep it all lined up (just keeping it real, people).

Let the glue dry completely and then enjoy your new favorite home accessory! I’ve tried mine all over the place so far. Can’t decide where I like it the most. Oh, decisions. Decisions. 🙂

The DIY Show Off



UPDATE: Oh my goodness! I am a lucky girl! I’m so honored my project was featured on Knock Off Decor! Thanks, Beckie!

Lots of Love,



Today I had a dentist appointment.  I got their early just like they asked and the dentist ended up running late with another patient.  No biggie.  I had my iPhone so I was looking around on Pinterest and daydreaming about what COULD be.

The truth is, I’m really frustrated.  As I mentioned previously, our house has been on the market for nearly a year.  Our first realtor, was a great guy but a really crappy realtor.  He did basically nothing. We had maybe 6 showings in the 6 months he had listed our house.  He was all about the Open House.  So almost every single Saturday for 6 months I would scrub my house hoping that a buyer would be walking in that door. Never happened.  He assured us it would happen so we let ourselves look (and fall in love with) a house.  I dreamed about that house every night.  Where my furniture would go, what colors I would paint the walls. I even had a PowerPoint presentation with a slide for ever room of the house with pictures and ideas of what I wanted that room to look and feel like.  Our contract ended with Realtor #1 and we were heartbroken and frustrated.  While we were waiting someone bought “our” house.

Come December after we had licked our wounds we decided to try again. This time with a new realtor.  We chose him because he had sold a house down the road from us fairly quickly and was known for his “get is sold” abilities. We’ve been on the market for 82 days now. Lots of showings but no offers. Our showing Saturday? Loved our house but ended up loving a house around the corner even better. Heart breaking.

I can only liken having your house being on the market to being on a blind date and having him never call you again.  Or more accurately having a one night stand with a potential buyer and they’re gone before you wake up in the morning.  My house is sort of like an injured bird that I nursed back to health (except now the pesky bird won’t leave me the #&% alone).  It was broken and dirty and ugly when we bought it but since then we have poured our blood, sweat and tears into it.  It went from cold dark shell to a home.  Our home.  And after 2 children and 2 dogs, it’s suddenly too small.

A friend from my MOMs group recently listed her house just around the corner and last night they received their first offer.  I won’t lie.  I cried myself to sleep.  So happy for them and hopefully their sale goes through but at the same time so so sad.  Another home sold before mine.  So while my little house sits here, racking up the Days on the Market and I scramble to get it showing ready every week I really just want to cry. We found a house.

We didn’t mean too and believe I tried to talk myself out of it but we found Her. She’s a 4-bedroom 1917 American Foursquare.  She has lovely wood trims, a gorgeous brick fireplace and after some TLC would be the house of my dreams. My husband laughs.  A big reason why we want to move is to reduce our mortgage payment allowing us to payoff our debts and then in a few years build.  That was the plan. But then I found Her.  And now he picks on me that if we bought Her we’re never leaving Her.  He might be right. But unless we sell our current house we’ll never even to see Her.  I’m superstitious and crazy and while I am *DYING*  to go inside and see past the terrible MLS pictures I am too scared to go.  What if we see it and I love Her more than I do now only to have someone buy it? I’ll be heart broken.  But on the other hand will the regret of not seeing Her eat at me? I could go and see it and have my rose colored glasses taken off by an off putting smell or something carefully cropped out of the realtors pictures. Sigh. Not sure what to do.

Her realtor emailed me.  She’s available for showings this week. When’s a good time for us.  Not sure what to say.  A big (and growing!) part of me wants to tell her to meet me with the keys in 5 minutes.  The more practical (and annoying) side of me says to wait until our house is sold. You can’t buy it, don’t torture yourself. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I hate waiting. There’s no iPhone of life to distract me as I sit here in the waiting room, wondering when’s my turn with the doctor.

Lots of Love,


Shelfish Ways

When we bought our house in 2006 it had an absolutely horrible kitchen.  The cabinets were cheap and half of the shelves were broken. We knew it had to go.  It took us about 3 years but we finally managed to complete the gut job right before my daughter was born.  I loved our new kitchen.

We purchased our kitchen cabinets from IKEA – they’re the ADEL,  completed assembly and installation ourselves with the help of my father-in-law.  Almost 3 years later they still look brand new (with the help of my bestie).  My one complaint, not enough shelves in the cabinets!  Each cabinet came with one or two shelves depending on the shelf so we had to stack things such as casserole dishes and coffee mugs. We had lots of those weird plastic covered wire riser things too but the handles of the casserole dishes would get caught and  it made making dinner a real pain in the bum.

This weekend I was laying in bed trying to figure out how to add more shelves without more of those wire riser thingies.  The shelves the cabinets came with were white melamine and I remembered seeing melamine shelves at Lowes when we were there for supplies for my Pinterest Thursday project (it’s a good one!).  I asked my husband to buy one and then cut it to size to fit in the cabinet.  Back to Lowes we went (I’ve been there 5 times this weekend – no joke). He made the shelves to fit my 3 of the cabinets that are the most full (coffee mugs, spices and casserole dishes cabinets). Since these three cabinets all happened to be 12″ wide and 12″ deep the cutting and measuring was a cinch! We went and got the shelf (less than $13 for 12×72″ I believe it was) and using an existing shelf from the cabinets as a template, Hubby cut the shelves.  He then used his router to cut little notches on the bottom for the little pegs the shelves sit on.

The whole project took maybe 30 minutes at the most and made my life a whole lot easier.

{Like my Eeyore mug?}

So for less than 30 minutes and under $13 bucks we have a way more functional kitchen. Woo hoo!

Lots of Love,


P.S. Want a sneak peek of Thursday’s project?

Get out your wood glue!

An Ode to My Magic Eraser

An Ode to My Magic Eraser
by Erin B.

My dearest Magic Eraser. Oh, how I love thee.
Finger prints, scuffs and weird dirty spots that grace these hollowed halls.
Are easily wiped away
With out much scrubbing at all.

When you are almost used up, in pieces and full of holes,
I roll you up and scrub some more
For the love I have for you, my dear Eraser, is deeper than any cleaning product love affair ever before.

For almost the last year our house has been on the market. So for almost the last year I have been using my Magic Erasers nearly daily to clean up the finger prints left on the walls by my 2 year old, the weird dirty spots that appear as of by magic on the bathroom door and the food splatters off my kitchen cabinets from my husband’s most recent culinary invention. I seriously might be single-handedly keeping Procter & Gamble in business.

Tomorrow is yet another showing and today I noticed that my newest beloved sponge was full of holes and in pieces so it was off to the store for 2 more boxes. Procter & Gamble if your reading this, send some more my way. I maybe your biggest fan!

Off to clean!

Lots of love,


{ Pinterest Thursday: } Doily Plate

When searching around Pinterest one day I saw this gorgeous little Doily-print plate.

via Pinterest

I loved it but didn’t want spend the time making the actual plate itself. I remembered a few months ago at our MOMs group that we used Mod Podge to stick fabric to a plastic bowl. The results were awesome. I decided to try to attach the doily to the plate using the Mod Podge. Here’s what I used:

First thing I did was make sure my plate was nice and clean. Next, I took my brush and put a bit of the Mod Podge on the plate. Be sure to think about where you want the doily on the plate. I used gloss Mod Podge because I wanted the entire plate to be a shiny.

My plate actually had weird little flecks of brown that had stained the plate. I took my doily and positioned it so that it covered the little weird stains. Good as new!

Then I carefully put my doily where I wanted it and made any adjustments. The Mod Podge doesn’t dry that quickly so I had some time to make sure it was all down on the plate without any raised areas.

Then I painted the Mod Podge over the entire doily.

I peeled the doily back a bit and made sure to get a good amount of Mod Podge on the edge so that the doily laid nice around the edge of the plate. I had originally planned to just carefully cut the doily and not wrap it around the bottom of the plate. But in the end I decided that I liked the doily wrapping over the edge.

As for the back, I just made the doily lay as flat as possible. I followed the same technique as on the front. Mod Podge on the plate, then laid the doily then Mod Podge on top.

Allow the doily to dry. I put mine on top on a bowl and let it dry for a while.

A few hours later, I had this beauty.

Sorry for the terrible lighting. Had to take this photo after the littles were in bed.

Hope you enjoyed my first tutorial!

Lots of Love,


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