DIY Ho Ho Ho Throw Pillows

The older I get, the more I realize what an overly-sentimental and nostalgic person I am.  There’s a quote from The Office that goes, “I wish there was a way to tell you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”  And sometimes that’s how I feel.

Lately, I’ve really been missing Christmas at our old house.  I LOVE our new house, but it just doesn’t feel the same.  Our old house was naturally Christmasy, with the fireplace, candles, banister and tree in the front window.  Christmas last year was an extra special time for me too as I really got to focus on getting Evelyn here safe and sound.  Everything was a lot more meaningful.  I wrote a personal blog post on our family blog about it here if you’re interested in reading my feelings.

Anyway, I decided it was up to me to make an effort to bring more holiday cheer into our home.  So I decided to stretch my creative muscles and do a SEWING project.  FYI, I DON’T SEW.

Since I didn’t want to dabble in zippers, I decided to sew envelope/pocket pillows.  The pillow forms were 20″.

JoAnn had their red linen on sale for $4 a yard, so that was my fabric of choice.  I cut 3 21″x21″ pieces, and 6 21″x15″ pieces.


Then I took my 6 smaller pieces and hemmed one of the 21″ sides.  I hemmed the width of the presser foot.


Pinning the pieces together is pretty simple.  Remember to lay the pieces inside out, in the following fashion:



Sew around all four edges.  Again, I did the width of the presser foot.

I wanted each pillow to say “ho,” so I made this template, and printed it off in an 8×10 size.

ho template

I cut it out, and traced it onto my glittery gold iron on paper.



Then it was just a matter of centering each ho and ironing it on (according to the iron instructions for whatever iron on paper you use).


Then stuff those pillow covers and you got yourself some ho pillows!  They will no longer be known as “throw pillows.”  Just ho pillows!


Are they perfect?  No.  Can I spot several mistakes?  Yes.  BUT, I love them.  They really do bring an element of happiness to our Christmas decor.  And, as a not-sewing-lady, I’m really proud of myself haha!

Also, a walking baby means the bottom third of the tree does not get decorated!



And as much as I loved this Christmas…

Easy Christmas Decor

I’m really grateful that this is where we’re at now.



I’m linking this project up with my friends doing dare to DIY over at Newly Woodwards.

dare to diy


Up-Cycled Vanity Light Fixture

If you’re late to the show, I painted my bathroom vanity.  And that made me viciously tear down some wall paper and re-tile my shower.  Natural cause and effect brings us to today.

A new bathroom vanity light fixture.

bathroom vanity light

We have absolutely no natural light in our bathroom.  As ugly as this fixture was, I really liked that it was a 6-bulb.  But new 6-bulbed light fixtures are really expensive.

Good thing the classified ad gods smile upon us.

I was able to pick up this dime for a few dollars.

bathroom vanity light

I liked the shiny chrome and brass look.  HATED the frosted glass.  I splurged by buying new shade covers from Lowe’s.  (I tried to find them on their website so I could share the link, but could not.)  They were around $9 a piece if I remember right.  That makes the whole fixture less than $100, which is a steal, if you ask me.

bathroom vanity light

I’m going to take this moment to toot my own horn.  I wired and hung that light all by myself while Aaron was at work!

bathroom vanity light

I hate this picture because I had to use the flash.  But it was the only way I could really capture the essence of the fixture.

bathroom vanity light

And that, my friends, is how you work the system when you need a newer prettier light fixture.


Easy Entryway Table

February was a hard month.  First, I had strep.  Then, someone crashed into Aaron on the freeway and totaled his car.  Our water heater broke, and we had to get a new one.  Then Evelyn came down with a nasty cold that had her in the hospital one night.  We’re all fine now, just trying to catch up on life.

I’m happy it’s March.  In like a lambion, for us.  Half rain, half sunshine.  I’ll take it.

We really needed an entryway table like JLaw needs to stop trippin.  I mean, it was adorable to just throw my keys and purse on the floor every time I walk in the door, but…  no.

I whipped this up in an afternoon with some stuff I had hanging around in the garage.  The messy messy messy garage.

For the top, I wanted to use the top of a trunk.  I have a few trunks sitting in the garage from when we cleaned out Aaron’s grandma’s garage; the very best kind of hand-me-downs!

Easy DIY Entry Table

I had some extra 4X4’s in the garage from Jumbo Jenga.  I decided to use those chunky babies for legs.  I used my miter saw to cut them all at 36″

Easy DIY Entry Table

The legs got a nice wash in stain.  I used Minwax Polystain in espresso.  It’s the same shade I stained the banister.

Easy DIY Entry Table

After the stain was dry, I used spax screws to secure the legs to the top.  And Evelyn slept the whole time (note the sleeping baby in the swing).

Easy DIY Entry Table

I probably should add cross pieces for support.  But honestly, it’s pretty sturdy as is.  So we’ll see 🙂

Easy DIY Entry Table

I decided to hang the mirror up while I was at it.  I wish I could have hung it a few inches lower, but due to the light switch placement, this was the lowest it could be hung.

Easy DIY Entry Table

Easy DIY Entry Table

Easy DIY Entry Table

And there you have it.  The easiest entry table that ever lived.

Russian Nesting Doll Mobile

One of the things I’ve been DYING to share with you guys is the Matryoshka Mobile for Evelyn’s nursery.  It’s been a quick minute since we’ve talked about the nursery, so to bring you up to speed here’s the reader’s digest version of what I’ve done:

made a wingback rocking chair
mood board and design concept
stenciled a gold scallop wall
messed up the light fixture and got a pretty new one
hung & altered curtains and laid flooring (all by my pregnant self!)
painted some IKEA Billy bookshelves
that’s where we left off, and here’s where we pick up today:

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile


This was actually a really simple project.  I’m not much of a sewer.  I wish I could be like Kim or Michelle and whip out quilts like it’s nobody’s bidniz.  I’m much like the miller’s daughter from Rumpelstiltskin who wishes she could spin straw to gold, but really, I just have to trade my soul to get it done.

Lucky for me, trading my soul is a little less dramatic… I just resort to Etsy.  I found some Matryoshka Christmas ornaments, and I knew they would be perfect for the mobile.

One of my favorite things about ordering on Etsy, is that you can chat with store owners.  If you have something custom in mind, it never hurts to ask.  I asked the shop owner if she could do the dolls in purple, and nix the hangers and bells.  She was more than happy to.  I told her I was planning on turning it into a mobile, and she was excited.  The shop I used is called Indigostitch in Liverpool.

Once I received my package of nesting dolls, I went to the hardware store and picked up a 1/2 inch dowel.  I cut it in half with the miter saw and sanded the rough edge.  It took about 2 seconds.

I spray painted the dowels gold so they wouldn’t contrast too much against the scallop wall.  I didn’t want it to be too busy.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Using a really skinny drill bit, I drilled holes in each end of the dowels.  (I’m a wretched blogger who didn’t pay attention to what bit size I used.  I just know it was skinny minny.)

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Using yarn I lashed the 2 dowel pieces together, then drilled the middle hole.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

I had a scrap of gray felt laying around, so I decided to cut out a few hearts to add to the mobile.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

I laid out how everything would go, before I connected them all together.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Connecting them was a piece of cake.  I went through the top/back of the dolls, then stitched up the heart, and through the hole on the dowel.  Tie a knot, and that’s it.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

I installed a hook in the ceiling according to the directions on the package, centered over the crib.  Which again, is so easy.  You don’t even need to trade your soul to Rumpelstiltskin to do it.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

At first I wasn’t quite sure of it.  (Which seems to be my trend lately.)

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

But of course, it grew on me so much.  It has so much natural movement.  I love the hand-made quality it has.  It’s a nice change from the “factory” look of the IKEA furniture surrounding it.

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

Russian Nesting Doll Nursery Mobile

An update on the pregnancy front:
I’m miserable.  Throwing up.  Inconsistently contracting.  A 3 and 80%.  Doctor is shocked I haven’t gone into labor.
Tried every wives tale in the book:  prenatal massage with pressure points hit, spicy food, pineapple, walking, bouncing on a yoga ball, fun adult times, drinking castor oil, drives up & down the mountain to change elevation, jumping jacks, and more… then repeat.

The amazing and talented Jadie Jo Photography was able to come over and take some maternity pictures at the house.  You should check out some of her work and like her on Facebook!  I’ll have a post with more pictures later, but for now, here’s a peek.

Maternity Photos

Rustic Stick Snowflake Wreath {& other Christmas Photos to Melt Your Heart}

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

Christmas has been pretty low-key around these parts.  I mean, I’m sure Evelyn is singing Jingle Bells at the top of her fetal lungs, but we have been so busy and wrapped up with getting ready.  This project was so fast, so easy, and most importantly FREE.

I walked around my back yard and gathered an armful of sticks, like a crafting  pioneer woman.  Except those poor ladies didn’t have hot glue.  How terribly unfortunate for them.  Nor did they have Netflix.  2 of the things I needed for this short little craft.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My good buddy Reggie suggested that I watch a documentary called Children Underground.  Sounded great.  Here’s the description:
“…a profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama about homeless children struggling for survival on the streets and in the subways of Bucharest, Romania”

A very eye-opening film, however, might I suggest not watching something that will make you cry whilst hot-gluing.  Because you will forget you have hot glue on your fingers… and you will wipe your eyes.  And then you will cry more, because HOT DANG, it burns.  But as suggested by Reggie: follow it up with this on Netflix to feel better.

Back to the wreath.  It was easy.  I drew out a snowflake on a piece of paper and laid out the sticks accordingly.  Some of them I broke or bent to make the shape.  Then I hot glued it, and wrapped the middle with some twine to hold it together extra good.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

When I finished gluing the stick snowflake wreath together, I actually thought it looked REALLY dumb.  Kinda like an elementary school Christmas craft.  It was uneven and just kind of janky looking.  It didn’t look AS bad when I hung it from the light to take pictures, but on the front door I was like “K, this CANNOT stay.  GET OUT!”  But newsflash: It stayed.  And it has grown on me.  And when people come over, they like it.  So I guess it doesn’t suck as much as I thought.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I think one of the things throwing me off about the door, is that the wreath is right over the window.  I dunno, it just is “off.”

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My very un-festive and small front porch.  One of these times I’ll paint the door, and put up a garland on the railing.  But not this time.  We’re just lucky to have a snowflake on the door this year.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I finished it just in time to match the weather.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

And since I’m so behind on blogging, I’m going to dump all our other Christmas photos into this post.  I don’t go crazy with holiday decor.  We put up a Christmas tree, a garland, and stockings.  But it’s enough to feel our home with Christmas cheer and warmth.

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Rustic Utah Design

I thought I’d do something a little different today.  We’ve been focused on the really big parts of our open concept renovation.  “Cabinets this daylay flooring like this paint all the wallsbuild a half wall…” etc.  But we haven’t really talked about the design of it.

What’s our flavor?

I feel like our house used to be a collage of different colors and designs all over the place.  Not much “flow.”  We’re trying to think of our house as a whole, and not each room individually.  But that has evolved into tying in the design to our surroundings.  Aka, what’s outside the door.

Wasatch Mountains

There are so many styles of design to love.  There’s Hollywood Lux, East Coast Beachy, Asian Zen, Tropical Bamboo, Southern Cottage, and so on.  I decided I really needed to tap into the inspiration all around me in Salt Lake City.  When I said “Rustic Utah” this horrific image flashed in everyone’s mind:

Rustic Utah

To everyone’s relief, I had some different, and more up-to-date ideas on how to incorporate some Utah Design into our lives.

The name of our granite counter tops is “Pebble Beach.”  Outside our front door are the most gorgeous Wasatch Mountains.  They are beautiful, and part of our every day lives.  If you are a Utahn, you have a weird attachment to the Wasatch Mountains.  There’s a granite quarry in these mountains 20 minutes from our house, where all the granite was pulled for the Salt Lake Temple, probably the most iconic building in Salt Lake.

Wasatch Mountains

Temple Quarry

Salt Lake Temple

We wanted our granite to be a color and pattern native to our area.  It’s pretty dead on!

To the West of our house, the view from our backyard is the Oquirrh Mountains.  They are a little smaller in height than the Wasatch, but they are home to the Copper Mine, the largest open pit mine in the world.  The Oquirrh Mountains inspired us to incorporate copper accents into the picture.

Oquirrh Mountains

The State Motto of Utah is “Industry,” so having industrial elements was a must.  Mixed metals, woods, and leather.  It needed just a sprinkle of tribal to touch on Utah’s Native American history.  And that’s how we came up with our Rustic Utah design!

Rustic Utah Mood Board


What do you think?  Is it tacky to decorate based on your surroundings?  Or do you think it helps tie the inside and the outside together?

2 Rugs, 2 Dogs, 2 Much Trouble

This one time, not at band camp, but online shopping, I found this rug from Urban Outfitters that I crushed on.  It brought out my inner hipster.  And I was mad hot that they didn’t have it in my living room’s size.  It was like shopping for a prom dress, and only finding it 2 sizes smaller.  Luckily, I thought of a solution that would work with rugs, and not so much prom dresses.  Buying two, and putting them up next to each other.

And it seemed to work.

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