My Top Ten 2014 Favorite Things

Today I’m participating in a Favorite Things blog hop and what I really like about it is getting ideas from my blog friends for my own wish list. Since we have a lot in common, reading their top choices gives me ideas for things I might enjoy too. It goes without saying that family, friends, good health, etc. and a brand new sweet grandson…are at the top of my list!

my favorite things blog hop  

After taking a look back, here are some of my top favorite material items and purchases: (*This post includes a few affiliate links.)

2014 Favorite Things @diyshowoff

10. Wool Dryer Balls – with the addition to essential oils in our home, I’m now using these wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets. I love that I can control the type and amount of scent I want to add to our freshly laundered clothes and bed linens. 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

9. Lush Shampoo – it’s a splurge but I love this shampoo. I ordered back in March, use it about 4 times a month and am just now ready to place another order. I think I’m going to give one of the shampoo bars a try this time. 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

8. This Rifle Paper black & gold polka dot iPhone 5 case…love it! It has protected my phone during many a fall and it’s pretty! 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

7. Hooded knit poncho – I believe I got mine at TJMaxx but here is a similar one at Boscov’s (on sale too).  It’s my favorite sweater to grab for cooler weather. 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

6. Minnetonka double fringe ankle wedge boots (I found mine at Ross) – these are the footwear you’ll see me wearing this year. I love them and they’re my ‘go to’ boots every time I leave the house! Comfy!

my favorite things @diyshowoff

5. I always have a lot to carry around. I use this Lucky brand Covina tote bag as a purse. I’ve about worn it out so I’ll be on the hunt for something new. Any suggestions? What do you carry? (Ps. A Google search shows it’s available on eBay.)

my favorite things @diyshowoff

4. My daughter’s handmade jewelry at The Lunar Fae. I love this one: Red Jasper with Gun Metal Wire Wrap. Red Jasper brings problems to light and provides insight into difficult situations. An excellent worry stone, it calms the emotions when played with. It stimulates the base chakras while cleansing and stabilizing the aura, not to mention the sentimental value of having something special and handmade from someone I love.

my favorite things @diyshowoff

3. Aria Ultrasonic Diffuser – this was a gift to myself this year. Diffusing essential oils has become a routine part of our daily life and this beauty is amazing! It transforms my room into a spa by diffusing my favorite essential oils, has spa sounds (or I can plug in my iPhone and listen to iTunes with the speaker system. There are options for different colored lighting and a timer. It’s so soothing and pretty too. 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 / Mac (download) – I can’t believe I didn’t get this sooner. Game changer! A must have for blogging photography and now with a new little grandson in the family, I’m definitely getting even more good use of this awesome photo-editing software. 

my favorite things @diyshowoff

Here’s a sample photo that I’ve edited…because this little guy is one of my favorite things of 2014 too:

Aaro - 2 weeks old @diyshowoff

1. I am new to Young Living this year and essential oils have been life changing for our family. This is by far my #1 favorite thing. No regrets other than “why didn’t I get started sooner?!” No joke. My newest blogging partner: With what feels like a recent cancer epidemic in my family, I’m starting to make healthier, more natural choices for my family. I love creating a comfortable beautiful home … and now I’m working to provide a safe, poison/chemical-free environment for my family too. Young Living essential oils are the newest/main way I help boost our immune systems, alleviate a lot of our minor aches, pains, and injuries and promote a healthier lifestyle . Read more about them here. My Young Living essential oils are also my newest business venture and so popular/loved that they’re sponsoring my blog. Thank you, friends! What a blessing! Interested? You can enroll by clicking here or contact me to learn more. 

Young Living premium starter kit

Follow along and see what these blog friends loved most in 2014:

Chris – Just a Girl

Beckie – Infarrantly Creative

Beth – Home Stories A to Z

Brooke – All Things Thrifty

Rhoda – Southern Hospitality

Sarah – Thrifty Decor Chick

Stacy – Not Just a Housewife

my favorite things blog hop

Holiday Home Tour {part 2}

I’m done! Our home is ready for Christmas! Have you been following the Holiday Home tours this week? I’ve found following the tours motivates and inspires me to get things done. Take a little time, follow along and be inspired to dig out your decor and get started or rearrange what you have going on already for a fresh new look. 

holiday home tour @diyshowoff

Stopping by from the beautiful home of Jenna Sue Design? Welcome, friends! I love her fun style. What a pretty holiday home!

I didn’t decorate as much as previous years but I managed to juggle being a new grandma AND decorating our home for the holidays. Most of the time with a sweet little baby in my arms. If you’re a DIY Show Off reader, you’ve seen a bit of my Christmas decorating already but I’ve completed things and edited what I already had going on just a bit along with adding some new. 

DIYShowOff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff #holidayhome

Touches of Joy in the kitchen:

Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff

Dining Room (Succulents & Spruce dream tree challenge for an enchanted evergreen theme):

Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff

Christmas in the living room:

Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff    Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff   Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff

 

I added just a touch of Christmas to the nursery/guest room with a happy colorful mini-tree…

DIYShowOff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff #holidayhome DIYShowOff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff #holidayhome

See last year’s Christmas home tour here (I decorated for a real life holiday home tour).

Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff  

and Part 1 of this year’s holiday home tour here.  

For DIY gift ideas to holiday decor, visit my tutorial page for more inspiration. 

Christmas DIY @diyshowoff

Next up on the Christmas home tour is Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl and you’re in for a treat! This talented DIY friend surprises us with something pretty amazing each year. You won’t be disappointed!

Follow the entire holiday home tour:  #holidayhomes

Monday, December 8

Just a Girl
The Inspired Room
Kevin and Amanda
Home Stories A to Z
Décor Chick

Tuesday, December 9

Thrifty Décor Chick
Eleven Gables
Hi Sugarplum
Tidy Mom
Beneath My Heart

Wednesday, December 10

Sand and Sisal
Nesting Place
Ask Anna
Not Just a Housewife
My Blessed Life

Thursday, December 11

Tatertots and Jello
320 Sycamore
Jenna Sue Design
DIY Show Off
Pretty Handy Girl

Friday, December 12

The Hunted Interior
Four Generations One Roof
A Thoughtful Place
Southern Hospitality
Songbird

Looking for something to add to your holiday wish list? I recommend Young Living essential oils! More details (get a free holiday recipe e-book, Essential Oils Quick Reference Guide and $25 cash back for orders placed by the end of the week) here

holiday ebook

DIYShowOff Holiday Home Tour {part 1}

Greetings, friends! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

holiday housewalk DIYShowOff

Have been following the Annual Holiday Housewalk all week long organized by Jennifer Rizzo/sponsored by Balsam Hill? If not, then welcome…you have some catching up to do! Start with Day 1 and work your way through all of the gorgeous holiday eye candy from blog to blog. 

Grab a mug of cocoa and enjoy! Visiting from Number Fifty Three? I love Angela’s style (not to mention her gorgeous painted furniture and beautifully staged photos…so inspiring!). 

holiday housewalk Number Fifty Three

If you’re new to DIYShowOff, my tour started last month with a Michael’s Dream Tree Challenge. I always add a Christmas tree to our dining room and this year the theme is Succulents & Spruce {an enchanted evergreen} … 

Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge DIYShowOff Dream Tree Challenge Christmas Tree - succulents & spruce/enchanted evergreen #michaelsmakers Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge Christmas home tour @diyshowoff Christmas home tour @diyshowoff Christmas home tour @diyshowoff Christmas home tour @diyshowoff Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge Succulents & Spruce Christmas Tree @diyshowoff - #michaelsmaker dream tree challenge

Using a few pretty pieces from Balsam Hill (mixed evergreen pine lighted teardrop, wood tabletop reindeer set, brown glen plaid ribbon) and adding in a candle, I created a pretty centerpiece…

Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff

I rarely share photos of our living room but this year, I’m really in love with how it all came together…

Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff Holiday Housewalk @diyshowoff   DIYShowOff living room holiday home tour @diyshowoff living room at Christmas @diyshowoff red and gold Christmas tree @diyshowoff

Next up on the Holiday Housewalk is a surprise home tour. Pop over to see who it is! I love her. She’s so sweet and you’re going to love her home as much as I do, especially during the holidays. 

holiday housewalk Surprise

Part 2 of my holiday home tour!

DIYShowOff Holiday Home Tour @diyshowoff #holidayhome

Enjoy the holiday home tours! I’m so glad you stopped by. You’re invited to stop back to visit my DIY tutorial page for more holiday ideas.  Christmas DIY @diyshowoff

Reminder: Get a free holiday e-book filled with recipes when you sign up with a premium starter kit at Young Living using member #1836762! 

holiday ebook

DIY Essential Oil and Sea Salt Gift Set

December 1st is the official kick off for holiday prep in the DIYShowOff home. Today I’m excited to be participating in an Essential Oils blog hop – with lots of DIY gift ideas from several of my ‘oily’ friends. Is there a ‘loves-to-cook’ or foodie friend on your holiday gift giving list? Give one or more of these a try: 

Essential Oils + Sea Salt Gift Set

essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff

*I only recommend Young Living brand essential oils labeled safe for dietary use for this recipe.

What I used: (includes some affiliate links)

Measurements will depend on the size of your containers and preference.

What I did:

Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of sea salt in a dish and mix well. You may want to allow the mixture to dry for a couple of hours. 

essential oil and sea salt @diyshowoff essential oil and sea salt @diyshowoff essential oil and sea salt @diyshowoff

Mix in 1 tablespoon of dried herbs or spice. 

essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff

Add to glass jar or bottle and secure with cork lid. 

essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff

Add a label and ribbon. I also added a small spoon. 

chalkboard labels essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff

A perfect DIY gift for food lovers and cooks. 

essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff essential oil and sea salt gift idea @diyshowoff

Looking for more essential oil gift ideas? I recently shared more essential oil gift recipe ideas and free printables. 

Essential Oils Holiday Open House

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Follow and pin the entire Essential Oil Gift Idea Blog Hop for inspiration: 

Homemade Peppermint Bath Bombs at Making Lemonade

DIY Soaking Salts and Body Mist at The Lunar Fae

Peppermint Bark at Mama Teaches

Peppermint Twist Face & Body Scrub at Eat Sleep Be

Lemon and Lavender Sugar Cookies at O’Boy Organic

DIY Bath Salts at My Scraps

DIY Cleaning Wipes at Eco Incognito

Santa’s Helper Stress Away Scrub at Oily Oh My

What are Young Living essential oils? Still deciding if Young Living is right for you? 

Young Living at diyshowoff.com  

Get more information here and check out the incentives (free holiday gift e-book, free Essential Oils Quick Reference Guide and a $25 to put towards upgraded shipping or to add Christmas Spirit to you order) if you join THIS WEEK with the purchase of a Premium Starter Kit using member #1836762, while supplies last. 

holiday ebook 3 Starter Kits

Ideas for Hosting an Essential Oils Holiday Open House

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

I love holiday hosting, entertaining and getting together with friends! As you know, I love essential oils too. ;) I recently hosted an essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House for my team (along with their guests). We had a great time! Here are a few ideas for hosting: 

Invitation: 

Holiday Open House

As you can see, I charged $20 per person. Most guests supplied their own Young Living essential oils if they had them. I shared my own supply with a few guests not signed up. And one guest who didn’t have her kit yet created the recipes without essential oils (which she added at a later time). While $20 didn’t cover my cost of materials, snacks and prizes, it did help tremendously. My goal wasn’t to make money but to provide a ‘thank you’ and fun interactive learning environment for my team. Create the same on a smaller scale, balance cost with expense. Have a good time! {For out of town guests/those who are unable to attend, email recipes & ideas.}

Food…I added peppermint essential oil to gluten free brownies, cinnamon bark essential oil to pumpkin bread, had lime essential oil on hand with organic/non-gmo chips and salsa and tossed some popcorn with melted coconut oil, sea salt and a few drops of lime essential oil. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Drinks: I supplied a flavored water station with icy cold bottled water, citrus essential oils (tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and Citrus Fresh) with glass bottles and festive paper straws. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

As well as a hot chocolate bar with organic cocoa mix, peppermint essential oil, marshmallows and candy canes. 

Ideas for Hosting an Essential Oils Holiday Open House @diyishowoff

Door prizes: (Thieves hand sanitizer, essential oil bottle labels, lip balms) were drawn every half hour (winner had to be present for this). Entries included name, email, phone# and check boxes for hosting a class or interested in business building. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Raffles: I sold tickets for raffle prices. This was a huge hit and ticket sales covered the cost. I purchased a few Young Living holiday items in advance and set up a raffle. Winners were drawn at the end of the day. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Diffuse Young Living’s Christmas Spirit essential oil blend. Crank the Christmas music!

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Holiday DIY gift Make & Take: Each guest paid $20 to make 10 gifts. I supplied everything but the essential oils. Most (and most are organic) ingredients and ‘tasting spoons’ (good for mixing, cute tied to a jar) were purchased in bulk from Amazon. Containers (tins, bottles, jars) were purchased from the bridal favor section at Michaels. Trays are from Target. Bowls from the Dollar store. Spray bottles from AbundantHealth4U. Other supplies: measuring spoons, funnels, measuring cups, medicine droppers, paper towels, gift bags for guest to take home their treasures)

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Set up at the dining room table: 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff  

You may need to adjust ingredients to fit your container. Everyone had fun playing “chemist”. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

DIY essential oils sugar scrub recipe @diyshowoff

If you’d like non-watermarked higher resolution recipe graphics/etc., let me know via email at thediyshowoff at gmail dot com. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff There was a Decorating Station in the family room. Ribbon, labels, gift tags, washi tape, etc. for making gifts pretty!

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

It was a fun filled day of hearing testimonials, answering questions, reviewing the Essential Rewards program and business side of things. It was a great time getting to know local team members and getting excited about essential oils. 

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Happy Holidays, oily friends!

Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

I love my essential oils! I love my oily team! Want to join the fun (not to mention the movement for healthier living, natural options and a chemical free home)? Let’s talk!

Young Living at diyshowoff.com

holiday ebook Young Living essential oils Make & Take Holiday Open House ideas @diyshowoff

Thanksgiving Inspiration from That DIY Party

I love keeping up with your pretty and creative ideas linked up each week. Today I’m featuring some beautiful Thanksgiving inspiration from That DIY Party {in no particular order}. So many great ideas. So much talent. Visit the links for all of the details. Make some new friends!

That DIY Party Thanksgiving Highlights @diyshowoff

Simple Rustic Table Setting at Love Grows Wild

Holiday-Table-Setting @lovegrowswild

Thanksgiving table two ways at Frazzled Joy

Thanksgiving table @frazzledjoy blog

Glitter Indian Corn Place Cards at Oh My – Creative

Glitter-Indian-Corn-Place-Cards @ohmycreative  

Thankful tin can luminaries tutorial at Dwelling in Happiness

Thankful luminaries @dwellinginhappiness  

Thanksgiving Tablescape at Delineate Your Dwelling

and a Thanksgiving day clay banner

Thanksgiving-Table @delineateyourdwelling

Natural Leaf Charger at An Extraordinary Day

visit her beautiful Woodland Thanksgiving Tablescape too.

Tutorial-to-Create-a-Natural-Leaf-Charger @AnExtraordinaryDay

 Gilded Acorn Napkin Rings at Hello Little Home

DIY-gilded-acorn-napkin-rings @hellolittlehome

 

Wood Candle Holders at Love Create Celebrate

wood candleholders @lovecreatecelebrate

How to Expand a Dining Table at Tiny Sidekick

and glitter gold leaf garland tutorial

how-to-expand-a-dining-table @tinysidekick

 

Falling Leaves Art at Desert Willow Lane

falling leaves art work @desertwillowlane

 

Give Thanks Turkey Slat Sign at Home Made Interest

Give-Thanks-Turkey-Slat-Sign @homemadeinterest

Thankful Table at Lovely Livings

thankful table @lovelylivings blog

 

Natural Fall Tablescape at Restoration House Interiors

Natural Thanksgiving Tablescape @restorationhouseinteriors

 

Thanksgiving Place Card Napkin Wraps at Our Pinteresting Family

thanksgiving place card napkin wraps @ourpinterestingfamily

20 Thanksgiving Traditions at LouLou Girls

Thanksgiving Family traditions @loulougirls

Thanksgiving at Southern Seazons

Thanksgiving @southernseazons

 

DIY Harvest Sign at Decorating Cents

DIY harvest sign @decoratingcents

 

2 Thanksgiving Mantels at Patina Paradise

Thanksgiving mantel @patinaparadise

 

Gratitude Jar at Our Peaceful Planet

gratidude jar @ourpeacefulplanet

Thankful Sign at Clockwork Interiors

Thankful Sign @clockworkinteriors

Thanks so much for sharing your creativity, friends! xo You can link up at That DIY Party every Sunday through Friday here

That DIY Party - autumn

Remember to pin from the original source of visit the That DIY Party Highlights Pinterest board and re-pin from the original source there. Enjoy the day! 

That DIY Party Pinterest Board

Tips for Choosing A Sofa

One of the rooms in our home that is on the “to-do” list is our living room. My style changes often however, living room furniture is something we live with for 10+ years so here are some things I like to consider and some inspiration from Havertys (click the images below for information on each specific sofa):

  • Size and shape – Do I prefer a standard size and shape? Smaller? L-shaped? Sofa and love seat or sofa chairs?
  • Furniture placement – I frequently rearrange furniture for a fresh new look as well as take Christmas time into consideration. Furniture against the walls… or defined/separate seating areas?
  • Room’s function – Conversational? Relaxing/lounging? TV viewing?
  • Color - I prefer to keep large furniture purchases neutral since I like mixing things up and changing things out often. How about you?
  • Material – Leather? Upholstered/fabric?

  • Style – What style fits our home? Classy and chic? Eclectic? So many combinations and options.

Because I can guarantee that within that 10+ year time frame, our living room will go through different stages, different color trends and styles.

I may have mentioned my indecisiveness a time or two so coming up with a couple of different ideas makes the process a little easier. When looking at purchasing large furniture, I have a small list of “must haves”. Large furniture purchases must be:

  • of good quality
  • durable
  • neutral
  • affordable

How about you? What is your decision making process when purchasing large pieces of furniture? How do you stay on on track with decorating/redecorating your home?

Share your Havertys purchases on Instagram using the hashtag #HavertysInspired – Havertys will be responding to reader shares! Visit and follow Havertys to stay up to date with the latest events, sales and trends: Website, Mobile Site, Blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

Havertys helps you bring your vision to life. Visit Havertys.com to find a store near you, detailed product information and design tools to guide you in your home decor purchases.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Rustic Glam Woodland Centerpiece and a Mint Mocha Smoothie

My favorite time of the year is summer and I love spending my days outdoors when I don’t have to bundle up, the sun shining warm on my face, taking a few moments from the chaos on the patio swing to close my eyes while I ponder the day’s plans.

My woodland centerpiece is inspired by summer, talking walks in the woods. A good hike, re-connecting. Mood boosting!

Materials: moss runner, large wood slice, fresh flowers, feathers, white candles, twine, wooden spoons and gold spray painted toy animals.

a blend of natural elements with a little glam

Create a woodland themed vignette. Nature inspired. Peaceful and serene.

It’s a sweet centerpiece for the bistro table under our grape arbor gazebo, all set for some quiet time, counting blessings, healthy meditation and brainstorming up my next big DIY project. Remember to take a few quiet minutes for the sake of your health, to breathe, to think (or not think) and to just rest before tackling the rest of the day.

A shaded haven for catching up with my daughter. We sat there the other day, sipping mocha mint smoothies, talking and dreaming big.

Do you take the time to sit and soak up the good things? What inspires you to live a healthier lifestyle?

Mocha Mint Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients for 1 large serving or 2 small:

mocha mint smoothie

  • 3 cups of frozen chocolate Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of Silk Almond Coconut Blend (grab a coupon!)
  • Shaved organic chocolate
  • Fresh mint
  • 1 drop of peppermint essential oil

Check out the Silk products for yourself on the Silk Facebook page. Cool, refreshing and so good! I hope you get a few happy moments away from summer’s crazy schedule today. xo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

New Orleans Getaway

I just had the pleasure of spending a few days in New Orleans, you guys, and had the best time! Gina from the Shabby Creek Cottage and I celebrated our birthdays with a girls’ getaway weekend. And rather than staying in a hotel, we used Trip Advisor’s vacation rental property site, FlipKey, to find a beautiful home that would fit our needs.  

New Orleans rental studio apartment at diyshowoff.com

Our experience felt way more personal and special because of staying in a residential area, almost like we were one of the locals. Well, locals with cameras, no sense of direction in an unknown city, wide-eyed and excited to see the sights!

New Orleans mardi gras beads

There were so many options on Flipkey, with the ability to select the property features in any area (pretty much anywhere in the world). We found the cutest rental (here) in a beautiful historic mansion (but still close to everything) to spend our time. And wow!, were we ever happy with our decision (this location is said to be perfect for Jazz Fest!). New Orleans home

We chose a small studio apartment (beautifully decorated by the homeowner – with a few fun DIY accents too)! Take a look at how pretty and comfortable our little home away from home was – sweet decorative accents and smart ideas for small space living… New Orleans small space living LOVE pillow original photo by TG Herrington

Minimalistic small space living was a pleasant change and so motivating to make de-cluttering a part of spring cleaning this year.

eclectic entry area New Orleans studio apartment living room small space living console table mirror

The description: The flat is open, airy and just plain sexy. It features high ceilings, large windows, painted hardwood floors, central air, a queen sized bed, flat screen TV, petite couch, an Eames rocking chair and a few other things. The kitchen has all stainless steal appliances, microwave, washer/dryer and an expresso machine. It really feels like a suite in a boutique hotel, its about 500 sq ft. In addition, all linens and toiletries are provided.

New Orleans studio apartment kitchen Small? Yes. But still way roomier than a hotel room. kitchen shelves

The Mansion has some incredible history: it was built by the Storyville Madame Josie Arlington. Although it was her private residence, it was known that she entertained some of favorite client’s here. Josie’s once famed parlor is now a private flat on the west side of the estate with its own private entrance. The bathroom was small but made the best use of space.

small apartment bathroom

Modern, clean, full of charm and beautiful architectural detail. The homeowners were very genuine and friendly and even treated us with a sweet mid-morning snack. 

biscuits and jam

Knowing our obsessions with homes, the homeowners invited us to tour the main house and another rental they’re working on…that decorating and home improvement eye candy was a definite highlight for these DIY girls! Stunning! I guarantee you’ll see their home on the glossy pages of a home magazine one day in the future. And again, getting to know the property owners was way more fun and interesting than strictly polite business of hired hotel staff.

We kept the theme of our getaway schedule-free, stress-free and low key but still managed to eat amazing food, win $9 at the penny slots, walk the French Quarter,

French Market Place carriage tour Rue de Chartres

 sample beignets

hot chocolate and beignets

at Cafe du Monde,

cafe du monde

shop Magazine Street,

Magazine Street

take a cemetery tour (or two)

St. Louis Cemetery 3

and to drool over the history, beautiful trees and architecture in the Garden District, actually in the entire city to be honest. 

New Orleans Garden District New Orleans street car New Orleans historic home

If you haven’t been to NOLA, it’s definitely a spot you’ll want to add to your bucket list (if you need a travel buddy – let me know! I’m ready to go back!) and if you have visited, what was your favorite thing about the Big Easy? I’ll share a bit of what I loved most next week. 

Disclaimer: I was offered a free trial, in part, through FlipKey. As always, opinion is 100% my own.

Eclectic Guest Bedroom Ideas

When I shared our family room and kitchen in the What’s Your Style Series, one style those rooms (and all rooms in my home) share is “eclectic”.

Visiting from the beautiful bedroom at Shabby Love? Welcome, friends!

When you do what you love, specifically on a small budget; thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales, yard sales and Craigs List become favorite sources for unique, eclectic decor. Our guest bedroom is no exception. 

blue orange and gold eclectic guest bedroom at diyshowoff.com   blue orange and gold guest room bed at diyshowoff.com blue orange and gold guest room bed at diyshowoff.com guest bedroom at diyshowoff.com eclectic guest room at diyshowoff.com

and a mix of old and new.

mixing old and new - eclectic guest bedroom at diyshowoff.com

Small budget? Wrap a canvas you already own with pretty wrapping paper to freshen up old decor. 

wrapping paper canvas art at diyshowoff.com

Layer the bed with a folded top sheet topped with a throw blanket. Cat optional. 

eclectic guest bedroom at diyshowoff

Eclectic: mismatched furniture, a mix of pattern and colors, collected-over-time gallery wall, DIY accents, a painted floor and flea market finds. 

blue orange gold eclectic guest bedroom at diyshowoff.com mixed media gallery wall at diyshowoff.com guest bedroom redo at diyshowoff.com eclectic guest bedroom DIY cat window seat

I’m in the process of planning a re-do on our other guest room/dressing room. Our master bedroom is a disaster since the day we moved in but always seems to get pushed further down the priority list. What’s your style and favorite bedroom in your home?

Posts related to this room/DIY in this bedroom:

diy luggage rack

easy DIY cat window seat

chevron Shape Tape tray

painted dresser tutorial at diyshowoff.com

See more of my style in the DIY Show Off Home Tour.

Ready for some more bedroom inspiration? Check out these bedroom beauties in the What’s Your Style Series:

what's your style series

Ready for a little inspiration to get started on freshening up your bedroom? Check out the giveaway using the widget below to be entered to win a $100 gift card to Online Fabric Store. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bathroom Makeover

The other day I shared the before and after bathroom transformation. I’ve gone from sitting and staring all day long at our recently finished open pantry (makeover here) to wanting to sleep in my new peaceful bathroom. Since the bathroom had was a nightmare before, ANYTHING would look good after. This is what we got with this old farmhouse…

Before – yikes! bathroom makeover before

And this is the potential I saw. I’m in love with the soft peaceful ‘after’ results! Bathroom Makeover

Bathroom Makeover Details at DIYShowOff

Paint: Those walls! Believe me, I did a good scrubbing but is there any better way to really clean up walls than applying a fresh coat of paint? Love this color! Valspar Pale Linen: Depending on light, sometimes it has a soothing blue tint, sometimes more of a gray/white tone but definitely a tranquil light blue color.

Vanity: The gorgeous Huntshire vanity with marble countertop and Talia faucet set from Virtu USA is the luxurious center of attention! Check out the beautiful detail and gorgeous espresso color.

Virtu USA Huntshire vanity

Metallics: Mixing the silver finishes like the brushed nickel faucets, polished nickel sconces, polished nickel vanity knobs, satin nickel curtain rod add just the right amount of bling!

Virtu USA Talia faucet - DIYShowOff bathroom makeover

The vanity comes with beautiful antique gold hardware which I’ll re-use on another piece of furniture since I swapped them out for these beautiful polished nickel knobs.

polished nickel knobs

Pottery Barn Bevel Mirror: Go big or go home! {Heavy! Molly bolts included.} The mirror’s beveled mirror frame is the perfect glamorous accessory reflecting light and the illusion of more space into this small bathroom. 

bevel mirror

Lighting: Drool-worthy. ::sigh:: Thanks to LampsPlus for the stunning lighting! {Hudson Valley Monroe polished nickel adjustable wall lights} These are just the icing on the cake, aren’t they? Definitely my most favorite fixture in my home!

Lamps Plus Monroe Adjustable Arm Sconce

Floor: I did this all by myself! Would you believe they’re vinyl tiles? Easy to install and grout (use grout for vinyl) gives it a look so similar to real marble but without the maintenance or cost and installed in just a few hours! Check back for the tutorial.

grouted vinyl floor tiles - diyshowoff bathroom makeover

 The tub and shower will get a makeover later this year. In the meantime, I “framed” the bathtub nook/shower curtain with curtains (difficult to photograph that side of the room!)…

bathroom curtains

bathroom makeover diyshowoff

Storage to the left of the bathtub/shower:

bathroom storage

Built in storage cabinet to the right…

bathroom storage cupboard

 Floating shelves and baskets provide more storage options. 

DIYShowOff bathroom shelves

Because there is no such thing as too many photos:DIYShowOff Bathroom Makeover LampsPlus Monroe Adjustable Wall Sconce

Bathroom makeover - towel nook Farmhouse Wares soap gift set - diyshowoff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom accessories DIYShowOff bathroom lighting from LampsPlus Bathroom storage DIY bathroom makeover towel hooks - diyshowoff bathroom makeover bathroom makeover - diyshowoff

I’ve received a lot of questions about some of the accessories and fixtures shown above. Here’s a source list. Click the images for to be redirected. 

DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover bathroom makeover at diyshowoff.com DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover - Valspar Pale Linen DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover DIYShowOff bathroom makeover

Still have a question? Let me know in the comment section and I’ll get right back to you. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Don’t forget to swing by to enter to win the Virtu USA Dream Bathroom giveaway to get started on creating your dream bathroom makeover. Easy to enter, lots of prizes! 

Ready for some more bathroom makeover inspiration? Check out these awesome blog friends for more:

Linking up to: 

Thanksgiving and Fall Round Up

There’s nothing like the last minute {oops!} but I wanted to share some beautiful Thanksgiving and Fall inspiration from the That DIY Party links with you from some pretty amazing blog friends. Enjoy!

diy-wishbone-accent

diy-wishbone-accent

Need even more Thanksgiving inspiration?

Thanksgiving and Fall highlights

I’ve been pinning from the weekly link parties. See more Thanksgiving and Fall inspiration at the That DIY Party Pinterest board and to pin from the original source. 

thatdiyparty.pinboard

Cottage Living Room Before and After

Remember that cottage living room that I designed with Cassity for HGTV Home/Shaw Floors?

Eclectic, beach cottage, living room

how to get this eclectic beach cottage look

That room inspired reader, Wendy, to change previous owner’s hunting cabin style into a lighter lake cottage style. She apologizes for the cell phone quality pictures but like me, I knew you’d be able to see past that to the “wow!” 

“Trust me when I say the entire cabin, while in good shape structure-wise, was decorated in a super-kitchsy cabin/lodge/hunting style.  Lots of bear and moose decor.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I wanted to steer it in a lighter, lake retreat style.”

before

cottage living room makeover

“Before…every. single. wall.  Hunter green.  Blah.  All this furniture was left by the previous owner, so I used what I could to save money.  The sofa and one of the chairs, which I slip covered.”
 
after
 
“I had a fairly small room to work with, a minuscule budget, and a pretty ugly starting point.  Lots of paint, Craigslist finds, DIY and a few new purchases (thanks Pier One and Home Goods).  My only disappointment was not being able to incorporate that red chandelier of your room…the husband said The Ceiling Fan Must Stay!”
 
 
I love that our eclectic beach cottage design inspired Wendy’s own beautiful lake cottage version…
 
She also dressed up builder basic interior doors using a beadboard wallpaper….
 
before
after
 
Now I may be a little biased but didn’t she do a beautiful job with her version of the room? What do you think?

That DIY Party Highlights

Every week, every link shared at That DIY Party inspires and motivates me. I love visiting and pinning and featuring and being inspired. Thank YOU for sharing your DIY projects!

THAT DIY PARTY HIGHLIGHTS

Here are a few favorites…

Amazing kitchen makeover...

Amazing kitchen makeover...
Picture 1 of 8

Whoa! You have to see the 'before' and all of the gorgeous after photos of the kitchen reveal at Nest of Bliss. Every detail...delicious!

Got something to share? Come back Sunday at 9 a.m. EST to join THAT DIY PARTY!

That DIY Party

Or visit the links for inspiration for your next project. So.much.creativity! 

Follow along on Pinterest to see what’s being shared and to easily re-pin from the original source.

thatdiyparty.pinboard

DIY Highlights

Catching up on party links and DIY highlights. You all are so crafty, so talented and so inspiring! Thanks for joining the party each week. Here are some favorites I wanted to ‘show off’. Enjoy!

A huge applause to these ladies for sharing their creativity! Visiting your blogs, drooling over your amazing projects are my favorite way to pass the time.

DIY HIGHLIGHTS

Remember to pin from the original source. Head over to the Pinterest board for That DIY Party to easily re-pin the creative linked up ideas that I’ve been pinning from the weekly parties and to see MORE awesome DIY!

thatdiyparty.pinboard

DIY Highlights

I fell way behind in featuring some awesome THAT DIY PARTY highlights the last few weeks due to a busy schedule but I’m catching up! 

DIY Party Highlights

Here’s a shout out to some favorite do-it-yourself projects from some amazing blog friends: 

DIY HIGHLIGHTS

Kim shared a recent job and “wow”. Just “Wow!” Beautiful. See the process of this reclaimed beadboard installation at Living Vintage

Living-Vintage-our-completed-beadboard-project

Loving Stephanie’s eclectic bedroom makeover at The Styled Soul

bedroom makeover - The Styled Soul

Tracie did an awesome job with this gorgeous light fixture makeover at Cleverly Inspired

refinish-an-old-ceiling-light-cleverlyinspired

Andrea shares an inexpensive easy DIY – framed wrapping paper at Live Love Larson and I am drooling over her entire dining room…gorgeous!

framed wrapping paper at Live Love larson

When I grow up, I want to build like Jen at the House of Wood. Did you see the gorgeous DIY Pottery Barn inspired media console? Wow!

DIY media console at the House of Wood

Tanya proves that a pretty laundry room update doesn’t have to cost big bucks at Twelve O Eight.

laundry room update - Twelve O Eight

Rebecca’s DIY wreath bird feeder at the Garden Roof Coop is so pretty, isn’t it? 

bird feeder wreath - The Garden Roof Coop

Cristina shared her beautiful DIY chalkboard with tray tutorial at Remodelando la Casa. Not only do I want that chalkboard, but her laundry room is stunning! Love it!

DIY chalkboard with tray - Remodelando la Casa

Brandi’s fireplace makeover at Nest of Bliss – wow! Lovely!

FireplaceMakeover - Nest of Bliss

Remember to visit the links above to say “hi” and to pin from the original source or head over to the THAT DIY PARTY Pinterest board to easily re-pin these and more original DIY party links.

thatdiyparty.pinboard

Thanks to everyone for joining the party by sharing DIY! Surprise to the ladies featured above…I apologize for not having the time to leave you a note about showing off your awesome-ness. xo

Awesome That DIY Party Highlights

I love when my DIY friends are linking up their creativity to the weekly party. Show it off, friends! Today I’m “showing off” some awesome highlights. Be sure to visit the links for more details, pictures and to pin from the original source (or head over to the That DIY Party Pinterest board to easily repin your favorites from there). Here we go:

THAT DIY PARTY highlights

Manuela shared her DIY salvaged pallet potting bench at A Cultivated Nest. So pretty,  and rustic…how about that sink? Love it!

pallet potting bench - A Cultivated Nest  

Jessi revealed her tutorial for an awesome DIY desk at Practically Functional. Materials? Cubicle shelves and a door! Pop over to see why her door work space is such a clever idea! Jessi – I couldn’t leave a comment to tell you about featuring you. Surprise! :)  DIY-Built-In-Craft-Desk at Practically Functional  

Delia reveals the details and budget on her fun family room makeover at Confessions of a Semi-domesticated Mamabudget friendly family room makeover - Semidomesticated Mama

Awe. Did you see Kim’s sweet little boy’s bedroom reveal at Simply Living? Filled with lots of love and DIY.

little boy bedroom at Simply Living

I actually love every detail in this room but the star of the show is Lora’s DIY window seat at Craftivity Designs. Gorgeous!

DIY window seat at Craftivity Designs

You have to see this awesome DIY make believe station at Rambling Renovators. Jennifer is the coolest mom ever. It goes from hardware store to grocery store to bakery. You know you want to play too!  make_believe_station at Rambling Renovators

 

Lindsey shares her GORGEOUS budget friendly bathroom makeover at Todd & Lindsey. Wow! You won’t believe the transformation she achieved on the budget she had. Take note of that tile too – we have a few boxes stacked at our house for an upcoming project. (Loved seeing it installed, Lindsey!)

bathroom makeover at Todd & Lindsey

And if you haven’t oooh’d and aaah’d over Kim’s kitchen reveal at Living Vintage, prepare to drool.  Living-Vintage-kitchen-reveal

Inspiring! Have an awesome long holiday weekend! See ya at the next THAT DIY PARTY on Sunday! 

In the meantime, you can find me visiting two sweet bloggers today! I’d love for you to stop by. The more the merrier, right?! Learn a little more about me and take a mini home tour. Hope to see you here:

Show Off & Inspire at A Stroll Thru Life with Marty

Cedar Hill Ranch: On the Back Porch with Anita

That DIY Party Highlights

The party links are always so inspiring! Thank YOU all so much for linking up and sharing your hard work and creativity. Here are some highlights from the previous week…

THAT DIY PARTY HIGHLIGHTS

Cristina’s laundry room makeover at Remodelando La Casa is SUCH an inspiration with a laundry room makeover in our very near future. Dreamy!

Laundry Room Remodelando La Casa

I’ve been wanting my own little shed for years and now that I’ve seen Shayna’s beautiful shed makeover at The Wood Grain Cottage, I’ve added it to my Christmas wish list. I’ve been a good girl this year, right?

shed makeover The Wood Grain Cottage

Angelina shared some awesome fun kids’ DIY videos at Sew-Crafty Kids

kids crafty videos at Sew-CraftyKids.com

Here’s two:

I love Rebecca’s DIY travel map chalkboard at the Crafted Sparrow – such a cute way to track adventures! See it displayed in her awesome back to school mantel and back to school teacher gift (Adorable!) too. 

Travel Chalkboard Map The Crafted Sparrow

Barb’s DIY bedside floating shelves at Turtles and Tails is genius! 

floating bedside shelf at Turtles and Tails blog

and Leslie shares her tutorial for creating an extra large DIY wall clock at Paper Daisy Designs…great for filling up wall space!

extra large DIY wall clock at paper daisy designs

Remember to pin from the original source using the links above or head over to the Pinterest board for That DIY Party to re-pin these and more!

thatdiyparty.pinboard

 

Thanks to these super talented ladies for linking up and inspiring us in That DIY Party! Have something to share? Join me tomorrow by linking up your awesome DIY!

That DIY Party

Habitat for Humanity Before & After DIY Contest favorites and winner.

Last week I had the honor of co-hosting the OPC’s The Better Half’s annual Before & After DIY Contest supporting Habitat for Humanity.

H4Hbutton2013

What a pleasure visiting all of the links to so many outstanding DIY projects! But oh so hard to choose! Here are a few of my favorites:

Beautiful Bedroom Makeover at Our Prairie Home

Bedroom Makeover at Our Prairie Home

Awesome bathroom makeover at the Pin Junkie

bathroom makeover at thepinjunkie

Fun play kitchen at The Skocik Money Pit

play kitchen at The Skocik Money Pit

Awesome security box turned console DIY at Adventures in Decorating

DIY security box console at Adventures in Decorating

Wow! A plastic pretzel container turned nautical vase at 21 Rosemary Lane

plastic pretzel jar turned nautical vase at 21 Rosemary Lane Gorgeous charcoal gray dining room at Primitive and Proper

dining room at Primitive and Proper

Pretty bathroom reveal at Marty’s Musings

bathroom reveal at Marty's Musings

Beautiful DIY driftwood mirror at The Wood Grain Cottage

Driftwood-Main by The Wood Grain Cottage  

Awesome entryway makeover at Dwellings by Devore

entryway makeover at Dwellings by Devore

And the winner is

DIY bathroom makeover at Design Dreams by Anne

Bathroom Reno @ DesignDreams by Anne

I am so amazed that Anne tore apart her old bathroom and with just a budget of $2500, SHE did this all by herself…wow!

Bathroom makeover at Design Dreams by Anne

Stunning! Great job, Anne! Congratulations! You’ll be receiving an email from OPC’s The Better Half with winner details! Anne wins a $50 gift card to Home Depot, Lowe’s or Amazon (her choice) as well as has $100 donated to Habitat for Humanity in her name. She is also entered to win the grand prize! Voting begins September 26th.

BeforeAfterContest

Didn’t win? You have more chances! LINK UP AGAIN this week at The DIY Village on Thursday. Here’s the entire Before & After DIY contest schedule:

Contest Schedule and Co-Hosts:

June 20 Southern Hospitality
June 27 House of Hepworths
July 4 Beneath My Heart
July 11 Mom4Real
July 18 Fox Hollow Cottage
July 25 Tatertots & Jello
August 1 The Space Between
August 8 Unskinny Boppy
August 15 DIY Showoff
August 22 The DIY Village
August 29 Pretty Handy Girl
September 5 Shaken Together
September 12 My Blessed Life
September 19 Remodelaholic
September 26 Grand Prize Voting Begins!

 

THAT DIY PARTY Highlights

That DIY Party Highlights:

That DIY Party highlights

Every week I’m so inspired by your DIY projects. Here are some highlights from the previous week’s THAT DIY PARTY:

FUN DIY:

Amanda shares her awesome DIY collapsable teepee at Mommy is CooCoo! So fun, I’d like one and I don’t even have little ones running around. Seriously. It’s even “no sew”. I need one. 

DIY teepee - Mommy is CooCoo

DIY Accents

Nicki revealed her brown paper bag floors at Sweet Parrish Place and wow, are they gorgeous!

brown paper floor reveal - Sweet Parrish Place

Outdoor DIY

Taryn built this super cool DIY garden slat wall at Design Dining & Diapers. Brilliant for decorating, privacy or covering something less desirable. Love it!

DIY-Garden-Slat-Wall-by-@Design Dining and Diapers

 Susan’s DIY garden spiral at Oh My! Creative is such an inspiring garden idea for small spaces or a pretty accent. Wouldn’t it be pretty with flowers too? 

How-to-create-a-small-vegetable-garden-with-a-garden-spiral-OhMy-Creative  

Beautiful Rooms

Francine has a new subway tile backsplash at Ethereal + What I Love but really, I love her entire kitchen!

backsplash - ethereal plus what I love

Have you seen Marty’s bathroom makeover at Marty’s Musings? I’m not sure which element is my favorite, the entire reveal shows so many fun accents!

Small-Bathroom-Remodel-from-Martys-Musings

and along the same aqua and orange color scheme (aren’t those colors beautiful together?!), Jennifer revealed her sweet aqua, orange and grey nursery at Delightfully Noted…so much precious nursery eye candy too!

aqua orange nursery - Delightfully Noted

 

There’s one gorgeous sunroom makeover at This Girl’s Canon packed full of awesome DIY projects…

sun room makeover - This Girls Canon

Cool TIPS

See more great ideas linked up and pinned to That DIY Party pinterest board

thatdiyparty.pinboard

Do YOU have something DIY related to “show off”? Head over to this week’s THAT DIY PARTY and link up! Party runs Sunday through Friday evening!

That DIY Party