DIY Basket Refresh

For the last six months I have searched for a basket trunk that could contain the ever growing toy collection that my sons’  have. We had an old metal trunk that was great looking, but not so great on little fingers if it were to fall on them. My son knew the rule: only an adult can get toys from the metal trunk. I was starting to feel a little paranoid, however, when my oldest son had friends over because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. So, I scoured the internet looking for a large enough basket that had the style I like and had a lid light enough that if slammed shut, would not hurt any kiddos.

To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything.

I searched the big retail stores: Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Ikea.


Then I searched thrift stores, Craigslist.


One night this last Summer, my little family decided to take a walk around the block to get some fresh air and to my surprise this was on the curb, ready for trash day:


The basket trunk of my dreams! (ok, well sorta, but who would have thought I would find it on the curb?! Life is funny.)

The homeowner was sitting on his porch when we walked by, so I quietly asked him if the trunk was trash (just to make sure). He said, “Yes.” They were purging at his house and if we wanted it we should take it home.

Well, okie dokie, thank you sir. We did. 🙂

As you can see in the picture, it was a little worn. I remembered a blog post a few years ago about how to refresh your baskets using this:


So, I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.



Now that I look at this photo, I realize I’ve missed a few spots. I’ve been a little sleep deprived lately, so projects happen quickly. (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve notice a new little human was added to our life. More on that next time.) 🙂


Love & Lace Bridal and Tailor: before and after

do you believe in coincidences?

i don’t. well, i guess sometimes it starts out that way, but most of the time i think things happen for a reason. there’s a path that is set out and as you are walking along it, you almost immediately can tell that it’s not a coincidence that you are on that path. the pieces of the puzzle start to unfold and you realize why you are there. why your path has wound around to this point.

that sort of happened to me last spring.

i got an order for a couple of my rulers and it turned out that they were bought by a woman that i went to high school with. she had asked me to drop them off at her family’s tailor shop in Orange. i had this strange feeling when she told me that, that i knew which tailor shop she was talking about. as it turned out, it was the one i had been using for years for any alterations i needed. (in the Vons shopping center off of Tustin/Lincoln for all of you locals.) 🙂

what a coincidence.

when i arrived at the family tailor shop to drop off the rulers, i met the woman’s sister, Ramona. we got to talking and i mentioned that i did some design work and she mentioned that she was following her dream of opening up a bridal/tailor shop in south county and needed some design help. we exchanged contact information and parted ways.

a month later, i got a call that she was ready for the help.

when i showed up to the commercial space that was destined to be the bridal/tailor shop, i was a little taken back.


(before construction)

i didn’t really picture such a big store. and in need of so much construction.


(before construction)

i’m not sure exactly what i was picturing, but as soon as i heard the words, “Irvine Company,” i knew it was a job too big for me. i did not want to be responsible for messing up anyones dream, so i referred the job to another designer, Lauren. as it turns out, Lauren went to high school with Ramona.

what a coincidence. 

so, for the last few months, the shop (or i think it’s supposed to be called salon? oh well, shop sounds more quaint to me) got a major overhaul.


when i saw it today for the first time in person, tears filled my eyes.


beside it being absolutely stunningly, beautiful, it fills me with joy to see a dream come true for someone.


to know that what was once, a thought of hope, is now something real.


what started out as a sale of a simple oversized ruler growth chart, led into something bigger.


that might be totally cheesy to some.


but, what i know for sure….


is that the path it took to get here,


is no coincidence.


so, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind wedding gown (or just need your jeans hemmed), head on over to Love & Lace.


and say hi to Ramona for me!


design 101: how to style a hutch

i am hardly a design expert.

i just play until i think it looks good and when it’s to my liking, i call it a day.

lately, i’ve had a few people ask me for help or advice on how to style shelves, layout a room, or pick paint colors, so it got me thinking…maybe it would be fun (and helpful?) to do a design series on the blog of some of these topics?

ya know, kinda like design diy.

we can pretend this is trading spaces circa 2001. and i’ll pretend i’m Paige Davis!

what do ya think?

okay…here it goes.

welcome, to design 101: how to style a hutch.

i, unfortunately, did not get a before picture. i’m quite bummed about it. truly, i am.  (i think i’m already fired from trading spaces. oops). however, imagine a built-in hutch, in a kitchen, filled with only crystal goblets. when my client called me for immediate help on how to make her hutch pretty for the holidays, i headed right over.

this is what we came up with:


first, we pulled everything out of her cabinets (the bottom cabinets, too! that’s where i found most of the dishes, platters, and pitchers.)

then we slowly worked from the bottom section and worked our way up.


i found her big platters and leaned them against the back wall of the cabinet. then, i stacked all of her plates to give the pitchers, teapots, and creamers some height.


we had to move the bottom glass shelf up to allow room for the big platters, which left us with a tiny shelf space.

that’s when i noticed her set of tea/coffee cups. the tiny shelf space allowed just enough space to showcase each cup.


on the next shelf, we added the leftover dinner and salad plates. i wanted each shelf to be a little symmetrical, but i tried to add some interest in the middle section by adding the teapot and creamer to offset the dishes a little.


we then added the crystal goblets to the top shelf from tallest to shortest to give it a little uniform. this also let the light from the cabinet shine through the crystal and on to the lower shelves.


and there you have it. styling a hutch never looked easier, right?! just remember height, layers, symmetry, with a bit of asymmetry thrown in, group like kinds and you’re good to go.

now, all you have to do is pull all of those plates out and serve up the pumpkin pie. 😉

wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! xo

diy burlap pillow cover

i remember when i was about seven and i gave my grandmother the cutest little green heart chotchkie you ever did see.

(side note: can we please pause on the word chotchkie. is it not the strangest yet most fun word to say? say it three times fast, chotchkie, chotchkie, chotchkie. wasn’t that fun? did i lose you? i had to google it to figure out how to spell it correctly and this is what google told me: a small worthless piece of crap. well, gee thanks, google. it did redeem itself by adding a side note. how fun that google also likes to use side notes. no wonder we are friends. anyway, google also said in its side note: chotchkies can be pretty. indeed some are. and some are, unfortunately, worthless pieces of crap.)

well, my grandmother loved her new little green heart and she decided, at the time, to hang it in her bathroom. the only problem was that her bathroom was not green. it was peach. with absolutely no green in sight.

this new no-green-in-the-peach-bathroom sparked a redecorating frenzy and my grandmother was soon replacing all of her rugs and towels and such to make the cutest little green heart chotchkie look like it belonged.

i’ll never forget my grandfather giving me a half smile and telling me that he was really glad i gave her that cute little green heart. his words, if i remember correctly, were, “ya know you start with a green heart and before you know it, everything else must be changed.”

you might be wondering why on earth i am telling you this story?

well, besides the obvious, that i really wanted to use the word chotchkie in a sentence, i also recently experienced how one little chotchkie can spark a snowball decorating frenzy.

enter my cute little owl i received from the garland exchange i signed up for.


isn’t he cute?

you know what’s not cute?

yup. that welcome burlap pillow that sits on our front porch bench. not so welcoming, if you ask me.

it was time for some redecorating.


so, i grabbed some supplies: a sharpie pen, scissors, bakers twine, pins, brown twine (that i decided not to use and instead use white thick string), measuring tape, and of course, burlap. oh and a large sewing needle (i forgot to add it for the picture).

i started by wrapping my pillow insert in the burlap (if you’re wanting it to be more precise, use the measuring tape…i like to wing it).


then pin the edges together, so you’ll know where to sew.

this is where i stopped taking pictures because i wasn’t so sure how it was going to turn out. just take your needle and string and weave in and out around the edge until two thirds of the sides are sewn. are you following that? i’m terrible at tutorials.

next, take the sharpie and write your word or saying onto the burlap.


then take the bakers twine and sew along the letters (after you’ve removed the pillow insert).


you could also cross-stitch to make it more interesting, but i only had an hour free during my son’s nap time, so i had to work fast.


once that’s done, slip your pillow insert in and tuck the last edge inward and sew together and you’re done.


put it next to the cute little owl that started it all and stand back and admire.


and then notice that your thrifted two dollar pillows need pom pom edging and your front porch bench needs to be reupholstered.

Ah, yes, this is what my grandfather must have been talking about when he said, “start with one thing and everything must be changed.”

i guess i have some projects lined up for the next couple of weeks.

that’s okay. i’m loving my pretty little worthless pieces of crap. i mean chotchkies. 😉

chotchkie, chotchkie, chotchkie! such a fun, strange word! 😉


diy: backyard chalkboard

remember the vintage sale i had a couple months ago?


well, i had a few things left over that didn’t sell and one of the items was this old door.


i was kinda glad it didn’t sell because i really liked it and thought it would be fun for something.

a few weeks ago, i was trying to convince my son to play in the backyard with me. he didn’t really want to and i can’t blame him. it’s hot, the grass is very dead, and there’s not a whole lot to do.

so, to tempt him in trying to play in the backyard, i made him this:


i think i might add some clips, so he can also use it as an easel and paint once in awhile.


it makes for the perfect spot to score our baseball games (mini baseball games that is. our backyard is tiny).


he was pretty excited about it for about a day and a half. he has now moved on. *sigh*

time to think of a new attraction for the backyard. i’ve got some ideas brewing.

happy Monday, friends. here’s to a new week ahead!

antler dream catcher

i can’t believe i actually have antlers in my house.

i’m sure there was a day that if you told me i would want antlers on my wall, i would have given you a raised eyebrow.

well, sometimes i fall into the trends (i resisted the chevron pattern, so i’m feeling okay about the antlers). 😉

i scored some antlers at the Long Beach Flea a few months back and  decided to paint them and make them into a dream catcher for my son’s room.


first I taped off the tips and painted them gold and then painted the rest of the antlers white. then i got a wood slice from Michaels to mount it and finished it off with a piece of burlap.


once that was completed, we sat down as a family (well, my son didn’t really sit down….more like did hand stands in our big chair) and we talked about what our dreams are for him.

we have many dreams for him: to see the world, to be happy, to be purposeful in what he does,


to be a caring person, and most importantly, a man of God.


our boy would throw out some dreams every so often: go on an airplane, or a helicopter, be a policeman.


one dream  of his that is huge (and verging obsessive) is to be a fireman, so that was added to his dream catcher.


it was a fun little project and i’m sure we’ll be adding more dreams on as time goes by.


hope all your dreams come true, sweet boy. mommy and daddy love you tons! xo

diy: under bed storage

is it just me or do toys seem to reproduce in the night?

seriously, i go to bed with a semi-clean house and wake up and there are legos and toy cars and puzzle pieces everywhere! i am constantly rearranging/reorganizing toys to better fit them into our small space.

when i made this project, i didn’t actually have my son’s room in mind. i was just thinking it would be a cool thing to sell at my vintage sale.


well, i had a few lookers, but it didn’t sell and i’m kind of glad because it fits perfect in my boy’s room.


here it is before:


i cleaned the inside and out and then painted the front with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ‘Old White’ because that’s what i had on hand. then i add some black and white wrapping paper to the inside and some casters to the bottom from our garage that were left over from a diy gone bad. considering, i got this piece from a free pile from a neighbor’s yard sale (it was pulled out of an old craftsman in the neighborhood), and i only bought the wrapping paper, i think it cost me a total of $5. not too shabby! although i might go back and change the knobs….someday.


it fits perfect and my son has all of his favorite toys right at his level.


which means he can also help me clean them up. (hee hee) 😉

have a blessed week friends!


house tour tuesday: before and after and a WINNER!

i’m going to kind of cheat today because i’m feelin’ a bit under the weather. i took some great shots of a new house in the neighborhood that happens to be on one of the most spectacular streets in Old Towne Orange (especially during Christmas), but i’ll have to share those next week. instead, i have some before and afters of the rental property of the big yellow (in case you missed it, here’s part 1, part 2, part 3).

and just for fun, here’s some randomness:

1.) my son started preschool today. i think i shed a few tears when i got home because i can’t believe he’s old enough to go to school and because i can’t remember the last time i had three hours all to myself. it was amazing to be able to answer emails, do the dishes, have a complete thought, and work on rulers (that i am behind by a month. oiy. i’m working hard to get them all done and in the mail and to restock the cute lil’ shop that carries them in the Orange circle, Eikon Home (shameless plug, i know).

2.) as i start to get caught up with stuff, i am realizing the stuff that i let go to the wayside. one being the July Giveaway. so, i did a random number generator thanks to my brilliant neighbor (thanks, Casey!) who suggested assigning numbers to everyone’s email, instead of inputting each email into the generator to save time, and viola! we have a winner: if your email starts with the letter “K” check your inbox!

3.) it is hotter than heck. not complaining, just saying, it is H-O-T. if you follow me on instagram, then you might have seen that we borrowed the fountain at the local college to cool off. 🙂

Alrighty, onto the before and after of our next door neighbor’s big yellow rental.

(living room rental before)


(living room rental after)


(stairs before)


(stairs after)


(guest room rental before)


(guest room rental after)


(master bedroom rental before)


(master bedroom rental after)


(kitchen rental before)


i wish i could say i have a great after photo of the kitchen, but the crew was working so hard to complete the space before the new renter moved in. so, i’ll i have is a little shot of the cabinets, which were painted white and some new hardware was added.

(kitchen rental after)


here’s what the pulls looked like before. i found a bag of pulls and hinges in a free pile at a garage sale a few weeks back. i couldn’t help but snatch them up. i new they were classic and that i could use them for something (or in this case, pass them along to someone who could use them). it worked out great, because my neighbor just happened to mention that she needed some hinges to replace some of the old ones that weren’t working. i just happened to have a whole bag full that matched them exactly!

(kitchen rental pulls before)


(kitchen rental pulls after)


my neighbor just cleaned them up a little to make sure the patina still showed through on the brass and then lightly coated them with poly. i love how they look next to the freshly painted white cabinets!

not too bad for a mini makeover. paint and fresh flooring can go along way!

have a good week friends! off to make some tea and fight this cold!


diy: artwork

i made some art the other day for our laundry room.


it’s simple and really does not warrant a tutorial (think ball point pen and a piece of paper).

i was inspired by the artwork in my new friend’s house.

plus, i had a couple of old frames on hand that my grandma gave me in my late teens. these silly frames have traveled with me through countless moves. i’m so glad they finally have a home and a cute lil message in them.



it’s not perfect. in fact, i think i forgot to dot an i. whoops. oh well. i like it and it works and the quote inspires me.



so, there you have it.

see you all tomorrow for the upstairs tour of the big yellow/big green house!

transformation thursday: diy cork board & recovered trunk

remember this beauty?


it now looks like this…


a good friend of mine just got married this last weekend and i got to transform this beauty into a cork board for their seating chart. the wedding was at a beautiful location in the hills of Brea, California. the decor was based around a classic vintage theme (think 1920’s glamour), so this frame fit perfect. i wish i had more pictures from the wedding and the after picture of the seating chart, but my camera died (bum!).

i now get the pleasure of using it as a jewelry cork board.

and incase, you are interested in making one of your own, here’s a supplies list that you’ll need:


1. cork
2. scissors
3. frog tape (to secure the cork board to the existing chalkboard. you could also glue it down, but i like the option of being able to convert it back to a chalkboard, if i change my mind. which, will probably happen because, well, that’s what i do). 😉
4. staple gun
5. fabric

directions: since i don’t have step-by-step instructions (diy fail) I’ll do my best to walk ya through it. just take the existing chalkboard, cut the cork to the size of the chalkboard, tape the cork to the board around the edges, lay the board flat on top of the fabric and pull the fabric tight as you staple gun it around the back, then pop it into your frame. you’re done. i think if i were to do it again, i might add two layers of cork to have a deeper cushion to push pins into. instead, i just pushed the pins down into the cork, not straight back (hopefully, that makes sense?).

another little fun re-do i got to do for the wedding was my old trunk (actually, it’s my husband’s from his childhood, but what’s that old saying….what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine?). 😉

here’s the before (with a little frog tape because i am an impatient diyer):


it was a little rough inside. i liked it, but it was way more rustic then what they were going for at the wedding. so, the beautiful bride and i got to go shopping for fabric and we found this gorgeous deep blue velvet (the couple’s colors for the wedding were colbalt blue with touches of gold…let me tell you, i was in Heaven because those are my favorite!). then i just used frog tape to put on top of the old paper inside and used a hot glue gun to attach the fabric into place.

and now the after:


the mr&mrs. used it on the welcoming table to collect gifts and cards as guests arrived.

i looooove it! it was a little more time consuming than i had thought, but well worth it! i had originally thought i would take the velvet off after the wedding was done, but i like it so much i think i’ll keep it on! in fact, a funny story (or funny to us) about this trunk is that the bride’s brother (who i grew up across the street from) came up to me and said, “i like your chest.” um. thanks? he was quite embarrassed when his wife informed him that it was called a, “trunk.” HA! it became a good laugh for the rest of the evening and we might still be laughing about it. it’s okay, M, i like my chest, too! 😉

hope you all had a fabulous thursday!