coffee date

My routine has been to pour a cup of coffee every morning, cream and sugar of course, and with the morning mayhem and three kiddos running around, I maybe finish half of it, microwave it a couple times…and when my hubby comes home at 6 pm it’s still in the microwave, half-full. But I’ve switched from coffee to espresso…and I’m addicted. So addicted that I actually finish my cup of joe! I absolutely love it. It reminds me of Italy and it’s just so good. So, this morning, join me for a coffee date…and add these must-haves to your list for your next coffee date.

Custom Wooden Drink Stirrer, Tulle & Twig

The perfect, better-for-you-than-sugar, sweetener, Agave Nectar

Custom Coffee Spoons, Milk and Honey Luxuries

Make The Best Blueberry Coffee Cake You’ll Ever Have by A Cup of Joe to accompany your coffee.

State Heart Mugs, Grey Skies Blue
{such a cute going-away gift, wedding gift and moving away gift}

Create a little ambiance with coffee filter flowers like A Pumpkin and A Princess did. So cute!

{images via Tulle & Twig, Milk and Honey Luxuries, A Pumpkin and A Princess, MadHava, A Cup of Joe, Grey Skies Blue}

coffee for 2

I wanted to spruce up a wedding gift for an upcoming shower with a cute prop to go along with the gift. I bought the bride a complete set of “Coffee” Mugs from Crate and Barrel, but instead of just giving her a wrapped package, I made a DIY Chalkboard tray for the couple so they could have coffee for two together…hopefully forever! Here’s how you can do it too…for a gift, or for yourself!

First I made coffee filter flowers.

You’ll Need
30-35 coffee filters
A stapler
Scotch tape or painters tape

How To
Stack 5-6 coffee filters on top of one another.
Fold the coffee filters in quarters, and then open again {you will just have ‘seams’ from the fold}.
Use your fingers to pinch the bottom of all the coffee filters so you have four seams, and then staple it on the bottom.


Then pull each filter up one at a time, and bunch it together.


Continue to do that, until you have gathered each coffee filter around the center, and you have a flower. From the gathering process, you will have a ‘stem’ on the bottom, so wrap a piece of tape around the ‘stem.’

Then, I made the tray.

You’ll Need:
A cookie sheet
Chalkboard Paint
Rope
A Drill
Chalk

First I primed the cookie sheet with a Primer, spray painted it with Chalkboard paint, glued handles on the sides and Voila, right? Nope, not the case for me.  An hour and a half before the party, the gold handles fell off {and I used Gorilla Glue}, along with some paint. So, when I saw rope on the garage floor, I got to work on Plan B {my dad came through like a super hero…despite his dislike for DIY projects}, and then I had to re-paint it. Honestly, it’s cuter than Plan A – it just stressed me out more than I intended…and made me late for the shower.

How To
Use an electric drill to drill 2 holes on each side of the cookie sheet. Thanks Dad!
If you have pieces of metal sticking out or the edges are rough, use a sand block or a hammer to smooth it out.
Cut pieces of rope for the handles.
Prime the cookie sheet with paint primer.
Spray paint the cookie sheet 2 times {allowing appropriate time in between each layer for it to dry}.

Wrap a piece of duct tape around one end of the rope so you can easily fit it into a hole. On the other end, tie a knot.
Insert the rope, duct tape end, from the bottom-up of one hole, insert it down in the other hole, tie a knot, and then remove the duct tape and cut the leftover rope.


Write “Coffee for 2” on the cookie sheet, or even a game of tic tac toe.

Fill each mug with coffee filter flowers {I used Scotch tape to keep the flowers in place in the mugs}.

Add the mugs, a package of coffee, an ‘I love you more than coffee’ tag {from Fleur de Lis} and you have yourself an adorable prop for your gift.

{images via Tutto Bella}

roller coaster of love

We’re about 2 months late posting this, but better late than never right? We made a special set of coasters for my mom and grandma this year for Mother’s Day, and today we are sharing our DIY with you. Custom tiles make for a lovely Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, or anniversary gift. And, if you have a loved one that loves photos like our mom does, he/she will really appreciate this gift.

I had extra paper and medium {{I ordered bulk transfer kits a year ago for another project} from Tilano, a photo transfer kit/products, that transfers photos from special paper to tile, and I bought 9 marble coasters from Home Depot for $4 – that was all I needed for this special gift.

I followed Tilano directions {for more thorough instructions, read them here}, and have outlined my steps below…

How To Make Custom Photo Coasters
Find images you want to use, and mirror the images. I used Picnik, an amazing photo editing tool, conveniently {and free} on Google+ to mirror the images.
Make sure each image is 4×4 {or the size of your tile} – I had Jenna at Fleur de Lis edit each image to a 4×4 size, and next to each other {so I didn’t waste paper} onto a PDF}
Make a laser copy of my images onto the shiny side of the Tilano Imaging Paper™ with a laser printer.
Do not cut each image yet…that will come after you apply a thin coat of medium.
Shake the Tilano Medium™ before use. Lightly brush a thin layer of medium onto the laser copy of your image. Use quick, even brush strokes and don’t apply medium to any part of the image more than once because it will smear. It is easy for the ink to smear.

Apply a thin coat of the medium onto the entire surface and edges of the tile too, and let each dry for 45 minutes.
Once it’s dry, cut the image.
Using the foam brush, apply 1 tablespoon of the Medium to the entire surface of the tile.

Immediately apply your image face down and use a spreader to flatten the image so there are no air bubbles. The easiest way to do this is to push firmly from the center of the images outwards. Wipe the spreader clean each time so no Medium gets on the back of the paper.

Place the coaster on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 15 minutes at 170 degrees, then let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Rinse the foam brush so all the Medium is removed.
Fill a cup with water, and apply water to the back of the paper with the foam brush until it becomes totally transparent {about 30 seconds}. If there is an area or spot that did not become transparent, add more water and rub until it becomes transparent.

Use your fingers to peel the paper off starting where the paper has lifted on a corner.


Let the coaster dry for 30 minutes.
Once dry, use sand paper to sand the edges of the photo to create a ‘vintage look.’
{left is not filed with sand paper below, but the right is…hopefully you can see the difference}

Dip the brush in the medium and apply a thick coat to the entire surface and edges of the tile using even strokes. Let the coaster dry for 45 minutes, then apply another coat. 3 coats will provide the greatest durability {I think I just did 2}.
Stack coasters, tie with twine and add to a tray with coffee or a cocktail and snacks, and bring to your loved one. Every time they drink, they can smiles and cheers to the beautiful faces on their custom coaster set.

For any questions or more info about the Tilano kits specifically, go to www.tilano.net for FAQs and downloadable templates.

{images via Tutto Bella}

tis wedding season…and gift giving

I love weddings, but I often stress about the gift. Should I get something unique, that stands out from the rest of the guests? Or just stick to the registry? Today we have some great gifts to buy for the mr. and mrs. not on a typical registry.

P.S. If you’re going to stray from the registry, that’s ok, but you must remember to think about the bride and groom’s interests, their house style or find something unique that ‘looks like them.’

Susabella’s Champagne Tub with ceramic plaque with couples monogram,{$58.99 on Etsy}

 Porcelain Typography Tray, Nordstrom {$10}
Buy the couple’s first initials and the ampersand…so cute!

Custom Set of 3 Serving Platters via In Her Words Ceramics on Etsy {$115}

Classic Candlestick, Tiffany and Co. {$70}
Everyone loves seeing the little turquoise box and white bow, plus this is something they will have forever. Give them 2 for a pair.

Stowe Tray, Jayson Home {$250}
I love this…saw it at my BFF’s house…and I love it in person even more!

{images via Susabella on Etsy, NordstromIn Her Own Words Ceramics, Tiffany and Co.,  Jayson Home}

ampersand

With Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s a lot of YOU & ME and ME & YOU talk. And, I can’t help but notice and LOVE the & in between it all. I’ve always loved the & symbol. I love the way it looks ~ against a wall, on an invite and on a piece of jewelry. So, today we’re all about the ampersand, &.

1. rustic gold leaf wood ampersand, Edie’s Lab via Etsy {$7}
2. ampersand wedding art print, between everything {$24}
3. ampersand bowl, pure home {$28}
4. ampersand brass letterpress necklace, Gwen Delicious Jewelry via Etsy {$37}
5. small ampersand cutting board, house industries {$90}
6. french style ampersand cushion, the wooden crate {$30}
7. ampersand coin purse, alphabet bags {$22.25}
8. galvanized ampersand single hook, the country porch {$7.95}
9. vintage ampersand marquee sign, saddle shoe signs {$35 to rent and $150 to purchase}
10. ceramic ampersand dish, iron accents {$7.95}
11. DIY mossy ampersand tutorial, two twenty one

{images via House Industries, Gwen Delicious Jewelry, alphabet bags, edie’s lab, the country porch, iron accents, the wooden crate, pure home, between everything, saddle shoe signs, and two twenty one}