Monday, December 10, 2018

My 40th Birthday/Christmas Dinner

 The BIG 4-0 😳. Actually, turning 40 isn't such a huge deal to me. Although I am very grateful to God that He has given me another year on this beautiful earth, I'm not all "boohoo" about being 40 years old or getting older in general. I guess because I can still function and have overall good health. Maybe I'll be singing a different tune when I'm so old I can't bend over to pull up my "Depends" adult diapers 😣 It's a good thing I have my offspring to take care of that for me in the future...

Anyway! So I had a 40th birthday dinner! YAY! I don't remember the last time I had a celebration for my birthday. I tend to shy away from the birthday boy spotlight and actually prefer celebrating my wife's birthday since the center of attention is not on me, LOL. But, since this year my birthday was a milestone I decided to put together an intimate dinner with the family. I was envisioning a quiet, candlelit get-together in my home with all my favorite home-cooked meals. Fortunately my parents, my wife and even my mother-in-law got together to make those birthday wishes come true and cooked everything for my dinner party. On the menu was Mexican pozole soup to start; followed by the main dish which was Chile Relleno and Enchiladas; and last but not least, my absolute favorite mexican dessert: Arroz con Leche.

All that amazing food was served fireside in the middle of my living room. I moved some of my living room furniture upstairs to make room to seat 14 (the perks of opened-floor plans). Having everyone dine in the living room created such a cozy atmosphere and it was exactly what I was envisioning.

I didn't go "all out" with my tablescape and opted instead for simple and inexpensive ways to make the table look festive because really, once you get all those people sitting at the table, all the decor seems to just disappear anyway! I figured that the living room created enough ambiance to get away with a more simple table. As long as there's candlelight and a decent tablecloth, you're good!

Since my birthday falls during the holiday season, I have to be very mindful as to how much I spend. That means that my shopping trips to find items for the tablescape consisted of trips to Dollar Tree, Party City and my own garage. Fortunately I was able to find everything I needed! The frosted votive holders, and the "cut crystal" style wine glasses (which I am so crazy about) were a buck from Dollar Tree. Those two items gave such a nice sparkle to the table. The foam snowflakes were 50 cents for the small ones and a dollar for the large ones so that was a major bargain too. I found those at Party City along with the white charger plates which were 12.99 for a pack of 10. Actually they aren't charger plates. They're white plastic plates but they're definitely big enough to be a charger plate if you ask me! The bottle brush trees were from last year's Christmas decor but I remember them being about 10 bucks for a pack of trees over at Hobby Lobby. The banquet tables were borrowed from my parents so that was free πŸ™Œ. The table cloths and chairs were rented through Eastlake Living Party Rentals. I've rented party items from there before and I love them because their prices are very reasonable, their stuff is always clean and they are local and overall have very good customer service. For my Chula Vista peeps, I definitely recommend you check them out for your next party needs.

For only spending a few bucks per table setting, I think the tablescape came out looking beautiful! The only thing that I kinda wish that I would have done was to have cloth napkins. I thought I was going to have enough cloth napkins in my stash of linens but a lot of them were either stained or didn't match. I reeeally didn't feel like going out to the store to not only purchase, but look for 14 new cloth napkins then come home and wash them...and then press them...and then find a place to store them... so I just used large green paper napkins that I already had LOL. Is that a decor faux pas? Yeah -actually it kind of is! Did my dinner guests care? I don't think they did! The food still tasted amazing, the laughter and conversations kept rolling in, the wine bottles kept pouring, the fire kept keeping us warm... all was fantastic! Just goes to show that you don't have to sweat the small things AND you don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time and to entertain your guests. All people need is good food, good drinks and good conversation πŸ’“

My home, my belly and my heart was full that day. It was the perfect birthday.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

An Icy Forest Christmas Tree

Monday, November 19, 2018

An Icy Winter Mantel

Last Christmas (2017) I fell in love with some beautiful acrylic snowflake ornaments that I used in my tree. The transparent, icy snowflakes glistened with the reflection of the Christmas lights making the tree look magical. I loved the snowflakes so much that I was inspired to have next year's holiday decor have an icy, winter theme.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

How To Get Your Halloween Spider Webs To Look More Realistic

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Simple Idea For Halloween Decor

This has got to be the simplest way to decorate for Halloween! Give your home that "abandoned" look and cover the furniture in old white sheets. When the sun goes down, the candlelit room casts an eerie glow on the white sheets making them almost look like ghostly figures. 

I'm a lover of deep, dark hues in home decor but I found myself gravitating towards using a lot of white for Halloween. I was surprised since I've been so into black lately you would think that I would continue to use black right into Halloween. But, I'm sort of a "expect the unexpected" type of person and sort of do things "backwards" so actually it's no surprise to me that I ditched most of the black for my creepy decor and opted for white. I think it makes sense actually, considering that mummies, ghosts and skeletons are usually white! I guess I'm dreaming of a whiiiitte... Halloween??? (I just realized my 2017 Christmas decor was black...and my Halloween decor white??? I told you I'm all sorts of backwards!)

IN LOVE with how these entomology cloches came out! Did you happen to catch my DIY Bug Cloche post ? I created them using dollar store toy bugs! Can you believe how beautiful they turned out? You can check out the details by clicking HEREπŸ•·

The design for my Halloween decor started with my DIY Skeleton Garland on the fireplace. I think the fireplace is my favorite part of this year's Halloween decor. Or...or is it the bugs..?

Oh, and just to let you know, I don't leave the sheets up during the whole month of October, LOL. I drape the sheets on the furniture the morning of Halloween and everything comes down and gets stored away the following day. I just wanted to show you what it will look like :) . The rest of the Halloween decor like the mantel and bugs do stay up for a few weeks in October since those are easy to live with and don't really get in the way.

find this skeleton bowl HERE
Can you believe how much "ambiance" you get with a bunch of skeletons, candles and some old wrinkly sheets? It's always the simplest things that can have the biggest impact ;)

-Till next time!

P.S. you want MORE HALLOWEEN IDEAS? CLICK HERE to see them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DIY Entomology Cloche with Dollar Store Bugs

Ever since I can remember, I've been fascinated with curiosities like bugs and other things displayed behind glass. There's something eerily beautiful and mysterious about these oddities and seeing them displayed in a beautiful way is really enchanting to me.


On a recent trip to IKEA I noticed that they carried a variety of cloches (or glass domes) and at very affordable prices. I decided to pick up a few and create a fun project for Halloween.

glass dome, about $12 at IKEA

I wanted to display creepy bugs inside my cloches so I visited my nearest Dollar store and picked up a few rubber bugs and some butterflies.  After spending just a few bucks at my nearest Dollar Tree, I was on my way home eager to start on this simple project!

Can't go wrong for a dollar!

The size of the bugs are pretty big!

Here is what you need to make a bug cloche:

-Cloche or Bell Jar
-Rubber Bugs
-Fake Butterflies
-Wooden Skewers
-White Spray Paint
-Hot Glue

The process for making these bug cloches is pretty simple. I mean, based on my pictures alone I'm pretty sure you can figure it out but I'll go ahead and explain it to you anyway in case you're not a visual learner ;)

  • Determine how high your bug should be standing inside the cloche and cut your wooden skewer according to that height. Attach the skewer to the underside of the bug using hot glue. 

This pic grosses me out

  • Take all your bugs outside and spray paint them with white spray paint

  • While you wait for the bugs to dry, cut some Styrofoam to fit on the base of your cloche and attach it with a little bit of hot glue and cover the Styrofoam with moss. Us a bit of hot glue to attach the moss too.

  • After a few hours your bugs should be dry. Stick the skewer right in the middle of the Styrofoam, put the glass dome over it and you're done!

*Note: The butterflies already come with wire attached to them so all you have to do is stick the wire into the Styrofoam. No skewer needed!

These beauties are currently adorning the desk in my living room. I'm going to add some webs and other creepy things to really make this vignette come alive for Halloween! Can't wait! I really love the way these bugs came out! I know they aren't realistic-looking because they are white, but I still love how stricking they are. Because the bugs are white, they almost look sculptural -like little works of art. I can totally envision a bunch of these bug cloches filling a mantel...OMG that would look AMAZING!

All that's left is to put up the webs! Actually, I already did put up the webs but I'm getting that post ready for you!  Stay tuned for some tips on getting your Halloween webs to look more realistic cuz nothing annoys me more than webs that look like SNOW!


Till' next time!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Spooky Skeleton Halloween Mantel

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Desk, Who "Dis?! Latest Secondhand Score

Monday, August 6, 2018

Styling My Unused Fireplace in the Summer

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

An Outdoor Makeover with THE MOST Versatile Patio Furniture EVER!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Late Spring Coffee Table Styling -An Open Book

So we all know how good a stack of books look on a coffee table, but how about actually opening up a  book to enjoy its illustrations and pictures?

Coffee table books are usually FILLED with beautiful pictures to look at. Each page can be a little work of art. The best part is you can flip the page whenever you feel like revealing a new little art piece for you to enjoy while relaxing on the couch. Combine your favorite book with a couple of decorative pieces and some fresh flowers to  complete the look.

I've put together some of my favorite coffee table books that are on my wish list. These beauties will immediately add interest to your coffee table.

This post is part of a monthly series that I call "What's On My Coffee Table" where I share tips to style that flat surface in the middle of your living room because let's face it, it can sometimes be challenging to arrange things just right, or to even come up with ideas. You can find more coffee table styling ideas from holiday themes to styling some orchids and its all on the blog! You can see all the posts by clicking HERE. Also, feel free to share your styling ideas on Instagram with the hashtag #whatsonmycoffeetable ! I looove seeing all your ideas and I always share my favorites and here is this months pick!

via @coastalhomelove on Instagram

This is such a great example of how much style a beautiful book adds to a coffee table. This simple setup by Jo from Coastal Home Love features 3 books, an interesting bowl, a small jar, a candle, and a potted plant. Nothing elaborate, right? But Jo's arrangement looks intentional and pulled together because she stuck with a color scheme. Nice job, Jo! Thanks for sharing on Instagram!

Thanks to all for reading! 'Till next time!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Rearranging your Furniture Makes Everything Feel New Again

Monday, April 16, 2018

Reading These Simple Tips Will Help You Choose The Right Rug

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Simple Spring Coffee Table

I'm definitely what someone would call a “seasonal decorator" which means that the decor in my home changes to reflect the current seasons. I usually start making those changes early so that once the season changes, my home is all set. Why do I bother, you ask? First of all I LOVE changing my surroundings and second, it helps me create content for this little blog of ours. (I say ours because the blog isn't for me, it's for US or maybe even more for YOU). 

Anyway, I'm a bit late with my spring decor because I recently started a new full-time job which has been taking a lot of my time, but in a good way; I'm definitely grateful. 

 My place had been feeling pretty stagnant since after Christmas and it was starting to take a toll on my confidence. To me, my surroundings are very important to me (obviously). The state of my surroundings affects my mood, my self-esteem and even my energy level. 

I didn't have the energy nor did I want to spend the money on making a bunch of changes so I decided I was just going to make a small change on the coffee table. I was hoping that adding some fresh flowers and a  plant would make my place feel a bit more “springy” and I think I was right 😊

Since I'm a sucker for torture, I decided to bring home a couple of potted plants knowing that I would eventually murder them after a few weeks but hey, they would at least last longer than picked flowers! Nothing says spring like ferns so I purchased two small maidenhair ferns and stuck them in my favorite planter. What I like about the ferns is that they're big and puffy so you get a lot of "look" for your buck. I also picked up this cute little potted flower called "Orange Star". It's an indoor plant so I assumed it wouldn't die right away.

Wish me luck with these!

The plants definitely freshened up my living room, but the coffee table still needed something decorative... 

I was rummaging through my garage looking for a vase when I ran into my collection of vintage paint brushes that were  gifted to me by Matt De Vaul , shop owner of MMD Antiques in Orange, CA. I've had those paint brushes for a while but haven't had the chance to use them. So glad I did because I think they look cool as heck! I arranged the brushes in a glass measuring cup and added them to the coffee table and I think they look super interesting! I love the way the paint brushes look in conjunction with the gallery wall paintings.

Now you know what to do with any old paintbrushes you have lying around in the house πŸ˜‰

In case you are interested in any product information, I have included affiliate links below.

Want to show off YOUR coffee table? Share it on Instagram and use the hashtag #whatsonmycoffeetable . I'll be sharing my faves on the blog and on Instagram! This months favorite was shared by @sixtyfifthavenue on Instagram!

My favorite flowers happen to be carnations and I love this casual, airy arrangement with the varied hues of red.

Thanks for reading! Hope you are inspired to add a little spring freshness to your place. For more ideas on decorating your coffee table, click HERE!

'Till next time!