From Meh to Magnificent: End Table Makeover


Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is back again for our Home Expert Series. This time she is going to show us how she quickly turned this "meh" end table into a magnificent mid-century modern statement piece.

You can see what I started with here. It was quite beat up and I tried my best to show the water rings and beat up Blonde finish on the old piece. Even though it was quite beat up I absolutely LOVED the design of the piece.

First, I cleaned the whole piece. It was pretty dirty and I knew I was going to be painting it so I gave it a good scrub down with some warm soap and water.

Since I wanted the piece to pop, decided to do a two-tone feature to accentuate its style. I decided to use the same General finishes Java Gel that I used in the faux woodgrain piece I did for I used this gel for the legs and the drawer front. It's a top coat gel stain so you don’t have to sand the piece before applying, just wipe it on and let it dry. Once it's dry you can go back and do another coat or you can seal it. I wanted mine to be dark so I did two coats and then just used a general finishes top coat to seal it.

For the table itself I chose American Paint companies Navy blue paint.

I gave the same two coats to the piece and sealed it with the same general finishes matte top coat. I could have waxed it but since it's an end table that means drinks may end up on it and I wanted a tougher finish to stand up to wear and tear.

Once everything was dry I put it together and put the pull back on the drawer front. I just love how it looks with my Italian mod folding chair.

What once was a boring and plain dirty table is now a fun and funky mod piece that would add a punch of fun to any home.

I hope you enjoyed this makeover and I look forward to next time. Have a Beautiful day!  

For more DIY tips, check out the DIY section of our blog or visit our Pinterest page!

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Blueberry Sponge Cake in a Mug


Pamela Reed, from Brooklyn Farm Girl, is showing us how to make a tasty blueberry sponge cake. This isn't just any cake though - it's made in a mug! So easy, so quick, and so delicious! Dig in.



I’m a dessert kinda girl.  I eat dinner, and then sit for about 15 minutes.  During those 15 minutes I try to act cool but my brain is in overdrive thinking about dessert. What should it be?  A few dark chocolate pieces?  A peanut butter cup?  An apple spice crumble bar? A brownie? The decisions!

Lately I’ve been craving cake but having a entire cake in my kitchen is putting me in the pure danger zone. Say goodbye to the food groups, now it’s just going to be cake.    There’s a easy way to solve this craving though - single serving cake!  Not only does this taste delicious, but it takes less than 2 minutes to make! 2 minutes for a delicious sugary soft piece of Blueberry Sponge Cake In A Mug? Yes, please!


Next time you have a sweet tooth and you want a piece of cake, but know having a full cake in your house isn’t a good move, reach for your mug and  make this single serving Blueberry Sponge Cake!

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter - softened
1/2 egg - beaten (or use 2 tablespoons apple sauce)
2 drops vanilla extract
2 tablespoons blueberries 

Mix all ingredients together in a mug,
being gentle not to crush the blueberries.
Put in microwave for 60-80 seconds,
checking to see when it becomes cake like.
Pour a little sugar on top.  
Eat directly out of mug.

Servings: 1 (just for you!)


Grab all your dry ingredients and put it in a mug.


Now add your wet ingredients. This recipe uses ½ of a egg.  I would highly suggest you only half of the egg, not the entire thing, as it will be too “egg spongy.” Now mix it up until it reaches a cake batter consistency. 


Gently add your blueberries and mix around.  You can use fresh or frozen berries. I always keep them in my freezer, they are great to add to your breakfast oatmeal too!


Now comes the easy baking party. Throw it in the microwave for 60-80 seconds. After 60 seconds, check in on it every 10 seconds until you see it has that bouncy cake quality.


Now add some sugar on top - regular or powdered sugar. You could also add some melted chocolate or frosting on top if you’d like.


Now take a bite and enjoy!


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How to Make a Chalkboard City Mural


Carmen Ordonez, from Viva Fashion, updated her son's playroom with a clever chalkboard cityscape mural. Read more to learn how to do it yourself!

I’ve been wanting to add a city mural to my son’s playroom for as long as I can remember. At first I thought about buying a wall decal, but after doing some researching on Pinterest, I fell in love with this DIY chalkboard city mural. It seemed easy enough (especially since I’m not that great at DIY projects)---and it completely was. All together, it took me about three hours to complete from start to finish. Best of all, my son is in love with it!


Here’s a an easy step-by-step on how you can create your own chalkboard city mural:



Black Chalkboard Paint

Small Paint Roller


To start, I found some pictures of city murals to get some inspiration for my outline. I then used some painter’s tape to create the outline of the city. I basically just eyed it, no rulers or nothing fancy like that.


After the painter’s tape was in place, I used a small roller to paint the wall with black chalkboard paint.  I also used a small brush for the edges around my baseboards. I let it dry for about 2 hours before removing the painter’s tape.


To finish off the look, I added this Superman wall decal I found on Amazon for under $20 bucks. It really adds a nice touch to the city mural.


And voila, here’s the finished project. It came out so much better than I could have ever imagined.


I also added windows to the buildings using chalk.


I waited one day before actually writing on the chalkboard (just to be safe), but once it was fully dry my son went to town writing on his new chalkboard. And I must admit, it’s also fun for grown-ups too!


For more DIY tips, check out the DIY section of our blog or visit our Pinterest page!

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DIY Image Transfer Pillow


With Valentine's Day coming up this weekend, Courtney Hamby, from The Hamby Home, wanted to create something for her husband's movie room for a gift. Check it out!

The room hasn’t been decorated yet but the plan is to do classy University of Kentucky (his team) and University of Alabama (my team) decor. I wanted to find a cute Kentucky accent pillow but haven’t had any luck so I decided to make one myself! This would work with any team and better than that, really any idea you may have for a throw pillow!


Plain Pillow Cover



Step 1:
Find your artwork. I just googled Vintage University of Kentucky sign and found this one. Legally, I believe you can use any photo that you find as long as you’re using it for yourself and not selling it.
Step 2:

Resize image for printing. My pillow cover was 20x20 and I resized the artwork to be 16x16 so that it would fit on two 8.5x11 sheets wide. I used indesign to do this but you can use which will separate it into multiple standard size pages.

Step 3:

Flip the images horizontally on all pages and then print using the transfer paper rules (print onto the white side of the paper).


Step 4:

Trim all the white edges off the artwork and piece it all together


Step 5:

Flip artwork so it’s artwork face down onto the pillow and tape edges to secure into place.

Step 6:

Heat up your iron on high with no steam. I have to admit once I started, I started panicking that it wasn’t working. I found this video that my sweet friend Chloe made on using Lesley Riley’s Transfer paper very helpful and definitely recommend watching it before starting this step! I was very worried I had messed it up completely but I don’t think you can over iron and Chloe’s tip of heating it up before removing was the key!


Step 7:

Insert pillow stuffing and it’s complete!


That’s all! The transfer isn’t absolutely perfect but since I chose a vintage looking image, it really isn’t noticeable and it just adds more character. Overall I am THRILLED and I know my husband is going to love it! It’s the perfect classy University of Kentucky fan pillow, now I just have to make a complimentary University of Alabama one! I’m already brainstorming other transfer pillow ideas!


For more amazing DIY projects, check out the DIY section of our blog, or head to our Pinterest page.

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How to Use Floor Stencils to Update a Dresser


Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is going to show us how to use a floor stencil for something somewhat unconventional. She uses a floor stencil to update an old dresser- how clever! 

Welcome back my Beauties! It's time for another makeover for's Home Expert series. For this edition I am going to show you how to jazz up a boring, old, flat and boxy dresser.

I picked up this petite dresser at the local thrift shop. It was in good shape structurally, just a bit dull.


I decided to paint it with a deep Queenstown Gray Milk Paint by General Finishes to give it a rich color.

To get the deep gray I was looking for I gave the piece two coats of the paint. (You can see from the picture how it looked after only one coat.)


It looked perfectly fine just being gray. I could have easily just put on some new hardware and left it at that, but you know I always like to add a little extra to a piece.

I grabbed one of my trellis-shaped floor stencils and decided that for the color scheme on this piece I wanted to do a classic combination of pink and gray. I mixed up a deep pink color with my craft paints, laid my stencil down straight on the dresser and stenciled the trellis in pink down the front of the dresser.


Once everything was dry I lightly distressed the whole piece and gave it a quick coat of Spray polyurethane to seal it.

The reason I custom-mixed my pink was because I wanted it to match these adorable French knobs that I had picked up at the craft store.


With the detail of the scroll work stencil and the hardware it really changed the whole look of the piece; It went from bland to belle.


What was once square and boxy has a little more detail and dimension simply using paint.

I hope you enjoyed this little makeover and I hope the next time you see a boring piece you consider using a floor stencil to add a little flair to it! 




Until next time, have a beautiful day!

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How to Organize a "Maximalist" Kid's Room


Cassie Bustmante, from Primitive and Proper, shows us how to organize a kid's room. Her daughter, Emmy, is a fan of her stuff and doesn't want to part ways with it. Cassie takes us on a tour of Emmy's room and demonstrates how to keep a maximalist kid's room neat and tidy.

As the new year rolls in we all get that itch to purge, clean, organize. This year I’ve been ruthlessly purging… why bother purchasing pretty storage containers just to hoard all the “stuff” I have? Unfortunately my 9-year-old daughter, Emmy, doesn’t share that view. No way, jose! She likes her stuff, so we needed to find some way to corral and organize the chaos that was taking over her bedroom.


To organize her room, we created several “zones” including areas for art supplies, toys, books, clothing, and jewelry. Her bedroom is not a large space, so we utilized every square inch to work for her and her interests. She helped me organize and decorate, which I highly recommend. The more your child is involved, the more likely they will work to keep it organized. I also allow her to display her own artwork in her room, which gives her a sense of ownership and pride.


Let’s talk about the closet, first, which is where we gathered all of her art supplies. My maximalist is also quite the artist, delving into watercolors, acrylics, sculpting, sketching and doodling, sewing and embroidery, as well as bead and jewelry making… basically if it’s creative she wants to try it - and I encourage it! Art supplies are small and numerous so storage containers that are on the smaller side work well. I had a few of these units in my garage storing hardware, but I knew they would be better put to use in her closet for art supplies.


We placed them in the center of her closet so that her clothing still has plenty of room to hang on either side of the piece. The shallow bins are perfect for sorting her utensils and supplies.


Having everything streamlined in this manner makes it much easier for her to find what she is looking for as we all know sometimes the mess is created during the search!

At the top of the closet you can also see a row of aqua storage bins which hold clothing Emmy has yet to grow into.  The use of matching storage bins makes anything look a little tidier with little effort.  We carried this idea through to under her bed, where we store all of her toys.


As you can see, we purchased plastic bins on wheels that easily roll under her bed. They are the perfect size to make the most use of that space.  To find the right size for your kid's room, just measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the bed’s side rail and find binds that will be a close fit to maximize that space.  The wheels are a great touch as they make it easy for a child to pull the bins in and out.  

Next to Emmy’s bed is a dollhouse- a play toy- but it is dual-purposed, acting also as a nightstand for her.  


It was a great way for us to provide her with a place to set her nighttime water, while also sneaking in more play space.

Our family loves to read, and happily that is a trait we have passed on to our children, Emmy especially.  We didn’t have room for a bookcase in her bedroom as we needed space for a large dresser (hello, mini fashionista!).  A great way to work in book storage is by adding shelves; you can purchase wall mount shelving or DIY it as we did.


Because we live in a Cape Cod style home, we have an awkward nook in Emmy’s room that was perfect for adding shelving.  This space now offers her plenty of book storage, display space for things that are special to her, and underneath on the floor, room for her 348 stuffed animals.


I mentioned that we couldn’t fit a bookcase due to needing a large dresser.  As many little girls do, Emmy loves fashion.  She enjoys a variety of styles and experimenting with them, mixing and matching patterns and colors.


Because of her love for clothing, we needed a large dresser. Last year, I replaced her smaller dresser with this triple dresser I painted for her. The size of this pieces is awesome for storage, but it also gives her a little display space. However, she often piles things up on it leaving a cluttered mess, so we’ve been working on streamlining.  We’ve created a space for her jewelry at one end, but I also allow her to display her own creations- right now, she’s got her new Lego hotel up there, which she proudly built herself.


And on the other end of her dresser sits a small mirrored box which serves to hold her earrings, pins, bracelets and other small pieces of jewelry. Adjacent to it on the wall is a pegboard jewelry organizer I created for her.


Before we had this organizer in place, her necklaces were always a tangled jumble!  A simple pegboard with “S” hooks solved that problem!


With systems in place that are accessible and easily used by children, you can keep a maximalist child’s space organized and clear of messy clutter (which is different than neatly streamlined clutter!).

Best of luck as you tackle those spaces that challenge you in 2016!

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3 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room


Going to the gym in the winter is tough. It's cold, it's miserable, you just want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie -- we get it. But what if we could bring the gym to you? We scoured the web and compiled a list of exercises that you can do in your living room. Take a break from binge watching and work your way back to a summer bod from the comfort of your home. No equipment required. 

1. Cardio

According to an article on Greatist, there are a lot of bodyweight excercises you can do that not only build strength, but get your heart rate up as well - AKA, cardio. 

One of the workouts we liked, because it's a good exercise and has a cute name, is the "Inchworm." This move is like a burpee, but without standing up and jumping (that's the worst part, anyway.) Move your coffee table out of the way and get ready to workout! 

"Stand tall, and bend over until your fingertips are on the floor. Next, walk the hands forward while keeping the legs straight until you’ve reached a traditional push-up position. Finish off the move by taking tiny steps to get your feet back up to your hands. Repeat for 4-6 reps."


(Photo and workout instructions via Greatist)

2. Abs

We hate crunches- they're boring. Instead, we found a great ab workout on Real Simple. Not only will it tone your abs, but it can be done in 15 minutes. 

This workout is called the Bird-Dog, another adorable name. This article is taken a very animal-centric turn. 

"To work your six-pack area and back, remain on all fours and tighten your abdominal muscles, keeping your spine and neck in a neutral position; you should be looking at the floor (top illustration). Slowly extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward (bottom illustration). Keep your hips and shoulders square and make sure your lower back doesn’t arch. Hold for five seconds. Slowly return to the starting position and do the move on the opposite side. Complete 5 to 10 repetitions on each side."


(Photo and workout instructions via Real Simple)

3. Legs

We found a great article on that has eight different body weight workouts to tone your whole body. Personal Trainer, Ray Klerck, take you through some living room exercises that are guaranteed to give you a tough workout. 

Unfortunately, this workout doesn't have a cute animal name. These one-leg squats with a chair will tone your glutes, core, hamstrings, and quadriceps in no time. 

"Stand, feet shoulder-width apart, with a chair or couch behind you,” Klerck advises. “Raise your left foot off the ground by bending your knee backwards. Keep your back straight and slowly squat down by bending your right knee until your glutes touch the chair, before straightening back up to the start position. To increase the difficulty, fold your arms across your chest. Do 4 sets, 6 reps with each leg." 


(Photo and workout instructions via Four Four Two)

For more fun workouts you can do at home, check out any of the links below.
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How to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall


Creating the right balance in a gallery wall can be tricky. Luckily, Gabrielle Anschau, from Trend Mogul, is showing us how to create the ultimate gallery wall to add character to your home.

1. Do your research and get inspired

Putting together a quality gallery wall will take time, planning and effort. It is important to do your research - look on Instagram, Pinterest, or for stylistic inspiration.

Also consider what the purpose of your gallery wall will be - is it to display family photographs? Memorabilia? Artwork? Or an eclectic combination of both? Consider where you live - are you near the beach? The mountains? Does your city have historical significance? Use your surroundings as a muse for your gallery!


(Photo via

2. Find the right space

The size and scale of the wall you decide to use should affect the type and size of the frames you choose. Is it a staircase wall? Will the gallery be centered above a piece of furniture? What sources of light are you dealing with?

These factors, as well as the room's existing decor should also play a part in your decision-making. Staircase walls are generally awkward to decorate - the narrower the staircase, the smaller the frames should be if you actually want to see them properly! Consider how well lit your display will be - if the wall lacks adequate lighting, consider installing a wall mounted light to show off your beautiful new display!


(Photo via


(Photo via

3. Decide on a theme

There should be some degree of coherence within your gallery - whether it is the frames you choose, an overall theme (e.g. nautical), a color scheme or the size of the prints - the most successful gallery walls are the ones that look coordinated, and not thoughtlessly thrown together.


(Photo via

4. Don't stop at photos and artwork!

Traditionally gallery walls are used to display photography and artwork in a similar configuration to how they are arranged in professional galleries (hence the name). However, they can be used to display pretty much anything that takes your fancy!

For example:

Create a stylish display of different sized mirrors - this is particularly effective in a small space such as a staircase wall.


(Photo via

Frame designer shopping bags, scarves or vintage clothing to give your room a fashionable flair.


(Photo via


(Photo via

Positive affirmation art, sketches and maps can also create a meaningfully stylish display.


(Photo via

Create unity between your images with a monochromatic black and white theme.


(Photo via

And my personal favorite, vintage posters!


(Photo via


(Photo via

5. Configure your wall

Now we've reached the tricky part. Before you get carried away and start drilling holes in walls, lay everything out on a table or the floor and play with the configuration. Work out what order everything will be placed in and the spacing between pieces.

Come up with a general 'spacing rule' (e.g. 3 inches, 1 ft etc.) to ensure that the spaces between frames remain consistent. Mark up your measurements on your chosen wall using a spirit level and a faint pencil (you can use an eraser to get rid of the lines once you've hammered the nails into place.) Start with hanging the center piece first (it will be harder to shift this later) and gradually work your way out.


(Photo via

And there you have it! Gallery walls are an innovative, fun, and relatively cheap way to personalize your home and add a stylish flair to your home worthy of a professional gallery!

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Easy 8 Step Apple Pie Recipe


Alicia Pileggi, from The Crafterglow, is showing us how to make a delicious, simple apple pie to warm us up on these cold winter days. It's easy as pie!

Pie has never really been my baking forte, but a friend recently shared with me her recipe for apple pie that is both incredibly simple to make and delicious. I love that you can use a pre-made crust, and it still comes out fantastic — no one ever has to know it wasn’t from scratch! Because honestly, after all the holiday baking couldn’t we all use a nice shortcut or two in the kitchen? However, if you are a pie-baking guru and have a great crust recipe, feel free to substitute in your own dough!


This recipe reminded me that sometimes keeping it simple is best, and apples need very little help in creating a fantastic apple pie. A dusting of cinnamon, flour and sugar between layers of apples is all it really takes to make this class. Pair with a big glass of milk or scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and you have the perfect comfort food for these chilly winter nights.

¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon pampered chef cinnamon/cinnamon spice mix
3 tablespoons butter
6 large apples
2 store-bought refrigerated pie crusts



Step 1:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2:
Start by peeling, coring and slicing your 6 large apples. For this pie I like to cut really thin slices. I did this step by hand, but if you have a spiral slicer that is a great way to get perfectly thin slices quickly.
Step 3:
Combine your flour sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Step 4:
Then spread out your first pie crust across the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch pie pan making sure to come up the sides of the pan.
Step 5:
Place a thin layer of apple slices down then sprinkle on a layer of the sugar/flour/cinnamon mixture and repeat.
Step 6:
Continue to layer apples and a dusting of the sugar/flour mixture until you not only fill the pie pan but have a decent little mound of apples above the rim of your pan. Top your apple mound with remaining sugar mix, then sprinkle with cinnamon, and add three tablespoon-slices of butter.
Step 7:
Now you can top with your second crust. Make sure to pinch and seal edges where your crusts come together. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the top crust and use a knife to cut a few slits.
Step 8:
Now you’re ready to pop it in the oven. I recommend placing a baking sheet underneath the pie pan to catch any drippings while it bakes. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes or until fully-baked and apples are tender.

This is a simple recipe that you can easily tweak by using your own crust or even adding some cranberries, pears or different types of apples to the mix. Be creative — or keep it classic!


Happy Eats!


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Updating an Outdated End Table


Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty is back again this week and showing us how to take an old, outdated end table and give it life again!

The holidays are over and the new year is here and I finally have time to get back to work. One of my favorite things to do is to revive outdated pieces and bring them back to being fun and functional with just a little bit of paint.

A friend of mine picked up this piece at a thrift store. The piece was inexpensive and he knew a quick makeover would bring it back to life.


You can see from the before piece that it had a nice '80s feel with the black and mauve finish. The piece was in great structural shape, it just needed to be taken out of the '80s and into 2016.

The first thing I did with this piece was to clean it all up.


Giving it a good scrub down was all the prep this piece needed since it was painted with a flat paint, which would be the perfect adhesive for the chalk paint I would be using.


I love gray as an updated neutral. I painted the whole piece with two coats. Once the piece was painted and dried, I gave it a quick coat of clear wax with a lintless cloth and buffed that up after a few hours with a clean lintless rag.


Now this piece would have been fine as a plain simple gray piece but I always like to add a little bit of fun to my pieces.

I used that same stencil and gold paint that I used for the rustic wall art added a fun feather feature to the top of the piece.



Since the paint is already an acrylic paint I didn’t need to seal it like the chalk style paint - it was good to go once the paint dried.


And just like that, a piece that was once left in a donation bin is now enjoying a new lease on life.


I hope you enjoyed this latest makeover. As usual, thank you so much for following along with my makeover adventures!

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The Buzz: Rose Quartz & Serenity

Towards the end of every year Pantone chooses a color that they think will represent the trends and styles of the year to come. This color is fittingly given the title "Color of the Year." This year, things are a little different.The internet is buzzing about Pantone's bold move to combine two colors as the 2016 Color of the Year. 

shocked face gif

Why two colors? Pantone sees this choice as a progressive move that "challenges traditional perceptions of color association." Rose Quartz is a soft pink (we predicted this!) and Serenity is a delicate blue.

According to The Executive Director of Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman,"Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler, tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace." 

Serenity and Rose Quartz Pantone

While these colors are beautiful, we're curious to see how they are applied to interior design as the year progresses. They aren't a traditional color for decorating, although neither was last year's color, Marsala. 

Here are some stunning examples of how these colors are already being used in home decor:

Soft & subtle.

soft and subtle rose quartz and serenity room


Bold & bright.

bold and bright rose quartz and serenity room


Elegant & ethereal. 

rose quartz and serenity tea party setting


These colors are beautiful together and apart. What do you think of Pantone's 2016 Color of the Year? 

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Adorable DIY Button Mitten Canvas


Julie Grimmett, from Julie is Coco and Cocoa, is showing us how to add fun, winter-themed decor to a room. Plug in your glue guns -- it's time to craft!



With all the holiday decorations put away the house looks a little barren in January. To keep things cozy I’m making a button mitten winter canvas.

As you can expect, you will need a canvas for this project. I'm using an 11x14 upcycled canvas (I have used it for two other seasonal projects previously).

White buttons
Silver buttons
Black acrylic paint
Paint brush
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Mitten pattern to trace


I wanted a slightly distressed look to my canvas, so I began by painting a thick coat of black paint. Then I used my hair dryer to dry the paint. This caused the paint to crack and let the canvas show through slightly. It gave me just the look I was going for.


Once the black paint was dry I printed my mitten pattern, cut it out, and traced it onto the canvas using a black marker. The black marker let me see the lines that I traced, but was subtle enough to not be noticeable once I added the buttons.


I used a package of white buttons from the craft store that came in a variety of sizes. The silver buttons are from my grandmother, but you could find something similar at the craft store as well.


I began by hot gluing the buttons around the edge of the mitten. Then I filled in the middle, starting at the bottom and working towards the top. Make sure to leave room for your cuff.


When my mitten was almost full I added my silver button cuff. I used three rows, with patterned silver buttons on the outside and the plain silver buttons in the center. Once the cuff is on you might want to keep adding some more white buttons to have it as solid as you want. I have some buttons glued on top of other buttons.


Then you'll have to decide how to hang your button mitten. There was some debating in my house about which way was 'up'!


For now the majority has decided this is the correct way to hang our mitten. It's the perfect wintery addition to our gallery wall.  



Remember to stay cozy this winter! 

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Super Easy Creamy White Chili


Mary Beth, from Cupcakes and Crinoline, is showing us how to make a delicious white chili that is guaranteed to warm you up this winter season. Dig in!

The colder weather is upon us and that means it’s time to serve up some hearty soul-warming meals.  My family loves chili, any kind of chili, and while I have always opted for tomato-based variations I changed things up a bit for this recipe and created a creamy dreamy white chili with chicken breasts and lots of delicious seasonings.  

Serve this with a fresh crusty bread and you’ll have a complete meal in under an hour.


1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
1 onion, chopped
14 ounce box of chicken broth
2 (15.8 ounce) cans of Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounce container sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
Shredded Colby Jack cheese to garnish



Step 1:
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.  
Add chicken and saute until done.  Set aside.


Step 2:
Add more oil if necessary and saute onions until translucent.  
Set aside.
Step 3:
In a large pot combine chicken broth, beans and seasonings and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Step 4:
Add chicken mixture, reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 5:
Add sour cream and whipping cream stirring well to combine. 


Serve! You can also add a garnish of shredded Colby Jack cheese if desired. This recipe will serve 4 but can be easily doubled if desired.  




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DIY Woodland Felt Tree


Jessica Bures, from Live Randomly Simple, is showing us how to make a fun and easy felt tree. Christmas is over but this tree can decorate your home all year long! 



I don't know what it is about mini trees but I am truly. madly. deeply. in love with them. I always get excited for Christmas so I can put up my big tree, but decorating with mini trees is something you can do all year long. I have snow covered ones, glitter ones, vintage jewelry ones, mini pines, and tons of bottle cleaner trees just to name a few. BUT I have never had a felt tree, especially one so awesomely fun looking.

For this project you will need felt, wood glue, drill with bit, hot glue gun. Then from mother nature you will need a log slice and twig. The only item I needed to buy for this was the felt fabric which I picked up at my local fabric store for a few bucks a yard.

Let's get started, shall we!?

First you will want to cut a few slices of your log. If you do not have a saw to cut your slices you can pick up pre-cut slices at a craft store, or ask a friend who has a miter saw to cut some for you!

Next grab a drill bit that is the same width as the twig you find. Or make sure you use a twig that is the same thickness as the bit. Grab your log slice and in the center drill a hole about 1/4 inch down. Your log slice can be a few inches thick, or you can glue a couple together to make one the size you want. There are so many ways you can put these together and I love that there are options!


After you drill the hole you are going to put a dab of wood glue or hot glue (wood glue will make it stick way longer if you plan on having this for a few years!) and then twist your stick into the hole. It should be snug and tight so that it does not fall over while it is drying.




Now for the fun part! We are going to cut trees out of the felt. You will need about 6 cut to go around your twig. If you twig is really fat, then you may want to cut a few more trees out. You can grab the pattern here.

Print and cut the pattern and then pin it to the felt and start cutting out your trees.


Cut out 6 or so trees and turn your hot glue gun on. Once it is hot run a strip down the tree. Then fold your tree in half and glue the center of the tree to the stick. Or just run a strip down the center of your tree and then stick it on.


Continue gluing the trees on around the stick until it is full.  (Just have to point out how messy my table and counter top is! My daughter and I were working on about 6 projects today and we made quite a mess!) You can see here how the centers of each cut out are going to touch to make the tree really full and three dimensional.


Once you have all of the trees on you can trim any edges if you need to. Then just fluff it up and sit it out to decorate with!


I am madly in love with how it turned out and I think I need to make more in a few different colors and heights!


I found these old vintage decorations and thought they were perfect to sit on the tree trunk. I mean, I would totally go caroling around a tree this awesome!


So there you have it. A simple woodland tree that is great for year round decor.

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New Year, New Table: DIY Furniture Makeover


Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is showing us how to refurbish an old piece for 2016. (She's even using one of Pantone's Color of the Year!) Enjoy!

Welcome back my Beauties! Today I am going to show you how to refresh an old piece of furniture for the new year! Sometimes those old pieces we have laying around just need a little touch of paint to bring them new life. I have had this old side table for a while just sitting here collecting dust. 


I decided this would be the perfect piece to refresh with a little Serenity Blue, one of Pantone's Color of the Year for 2016. I think this color is a great way to bring the calming energy to your home. 


I started by just lightly wiping the piece down with warm water to clean off all the cobwebs (ew!). Next, I mixed up a custom mineral/chalk paint to match the Pantone color as close as I could.


I grabbed my brush and started painting. I covered the whole piece in two coats. 


Since its a chalk/mineral paint it needs sealing;  I chose to use a liquid white wax to add a little more detail to the piece. You put the wax on a lintless rag and wipe it on your dried paint. Once the wax is dry, buff the entire piece.


Since the top of the piece lacked any fun detail I decided to add some. I grabbed an arrow stencil, which you can purchase online, some antique white craft paint and my stencil brush and laid out a random row of arrows across the top. 


When the paint was dry I waxed over the top again to help seal the paint and give the top an extra layer of protection. 


As you can see, this little bit of paint made a huge difference. A piece that was forgotten and looked ready for the burn pile is now ready for 2016 with a new purpose in the home. I hope you enjoyed this latest makeover and I hope you have a happy year to come! 


For more DIY projects, check out the DIY section of the blog or head to our Pinterest page!

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YOU VOTE! The Best "Home Expert Series" Post of the Fall


Round 2. We want you to tell us your favorite fall home project from our Home Expert Series. We've compiled a list of every project, with (very) brief summaries, and amazing images. So take a scroll down the page and leave your top pick in a comment at the bottom - we're dying to know what you think! 


1: 113 Votes
2: 2 Votes
3: 0 Votes
4: 0 Votes
5: 0 Votes
6: 16 Vote
7: 0 Votes
8: 1 Votes
9: 0 Votes
10: 43 Votes
11: 0 Votes
12: 0 Votes
13: 0 Votes


Congratulations to Karin Chudy and her fantastic dresser makeover! Huge shoutout to all of our guest bloggers. Stay tuned for The Best "Home Expert Series" Post of the Spring. 

Voting is closed.

1. Transforming a Dresser from Blah to Beautiful by Karin Chudy


Karin, from Art is Beauty, has been writing for Pursuit of Home for a over 6 months now and her projects never fail to impress! 

To vote for Karin, write "1" in the comment section below. 

2. DIY Wooden & Iron Pumpkin by Courtney Hamby

Courtney's home, known as The Hamby Home, is filled with gorgeous DIY projects. She showed us how to make this easy and beauitful wood & iron pumpkin. 

To vote for Courtney, write "2" in the comments below.

3. Delicious Caramel-Dipped Apples by Tim & Mary Vidra


Tim and Mary, from 17 Apart, are always making mouthwatering treats like these scrumptious caramel-dipped apples.

To vote for Tim & Mary, write "3" in the comments below.

4. Top 5 Decorating Tips for Renters: How to Decorate Your 'Home for Now' by Gabrielle Anschau


Gabrielle has certainly earned the name "Trend Mogul." In this post she gave us some tips on how to decorate a space that you're renting; a.k.a. your "home for now." 

To vote for Gabrielle, write "4" in the comments below.

5. Apple Spice Crumble Bars by Pamela Reed


As soon as Pamela, aka Brooklyn Farm Girl, showed us this post the office became drool city. These delicious bars are perfect for fall (and winter!) and look so tasty. 

To vote for Pamela, write "5" in the comments below.

6.  Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Cannoli by Alicia Pileggi

Bask in The Crafterglow. Alicia Pileggi showed us how to make yummy pumpkin cheesecake cannolis that will be a hit at any party!

To vote for Alicia, write "6" in the comments below.

Not only is Mary Beth an expert when it comes to Cupcakes and Crinoline, but she can make a hearty, delicious soup too. 
To vote for Mary Beth, write "7" in the comments below.
Carmen, from Viva Fashion, gave us the inside scoop on decorating your home for fall. Her tips are helpful, clever, and simple! 
To vote for Carmen, write "8" in the comments below.

9. DIY Kids' Toy Bookends by Julie Grimmett

Julie, from Coco and Cocoa, showed us how to create fun bookends using recycled kids' toys.

To vote for Julie, write "9" in the comments below.
As the brains behind Live Randomly Simple, Jessica has a knack for creating gorgeous DIY pieces like these festive chippy shutters. 
To vote for Jessica, write "10" in the comments below.

11. DIY Mummy Candy Holder by Ada Gonzalez
Ada, from Ada's Interior Design, showed us how to make this adorable mummy candy holder -- perfect for Halloween! 
To vote for Ada, write "11" in the comments below.
Mrs. Hines' Class has tons of fabulous interior design tips and tricks. Sharon taught us how to create a stunning centerpiece using elements from nature. 
To vote for Sharon, write "12" in the comments below.
Cassie knows how to stay Primitive and Proper. She constructed this fun and functional jewelry holder from a recycled drawer! 
To vote for Cassie, write "13" in the comments below.

Please place your vote by commenting with numbers 1-13 below.
Voting closes January 31, 2016 at 11:59PM EST.
The winner will be announced on February 2, 2016.
 Don't forget to check out more awesome DIY projects and home tips on our Pinterest page!
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Tasty Black-Eyed Pea Soup


Tim and Mary Vidra, from 17 Apart, are sharing a tasty recipe for black-eyed pea soup that is perfect for the upcoming chilly months. Dig in!



There are so many different traditions when it comes to the new year — it's a new start of sorts, a clean slate to review the past year and making intention for the new one ahead. When it comes to food, the first day of the new year carries heavy symbolism; greens embody money and are to be eaten for prosperity; in the South, black-eyed peas symbolize wealth and health when eaten with stewed tomatoes; pork also signifies wealth and prosperity. This warming stew combines a medley of these traditional favorites, covering all the bases for resolve in the new year.

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 pound mild or spicy Italian sausage, cut into rings
1/2 cup onion, celery and carrot, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 14 1/2 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
2 14 1/2 ounce cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock
5 collard leaves, rinsed and center rib removed
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste



Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme leaves, cooking until soft, about 8 minutes. Layer in the Italian sausage and continue to cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Add the black-eyed peas, tomatoes with the juices and the stock, bringing everything to a low simmer.


While the soup is coming to a simmer, roll the collard leaves as if you were making a cigar and cut into quarter inch ribbons.


Lay the collard ribbons into the now simmering soup and continue to cook for 15 minutes, allowing them to soften.


Ladle the soup into bowls with your favorite hot sauce to serve with freshly warmed cornbread and butter.



All of us at are wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

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DIY Pine Cone Winter Dream Catcher


Ada Gonzalez, from Ada's Interior Design, is showing us how to make stunning winter dream catchers to make sure you only sweet dreams in 2016. Enjoy!

Do you know what a dream catcher is? I define it as a net design hoop that catches bad dreams but lets the sweet dreams through. I created mine with winter pine cones and white fluffy feathers. So excited to share how I made my pine cone winter dream catcher and to show you how YOU can make your very own! Ready?



Metal hoop (I used 10” hoop)
Yarn (I used a multi-color, white+pink)
Pine cones (I picked these from my hood)
Feathers (no, didn’t pluck a bird, I purchased this. White color reminds me of snow)
Glue gun

Below are the steps, but remember, it’s your sweet dreams that need to go through so add fun wintery items that you love. Maybe use acorns (get that glue gun out!), or beads, or leather straps, or sprinkle glitter on feathers, etc. Find something fun that makes your project uniquely you.

Step 1:
Thread (loop) yarn around the hoop - I cut strips to make it easier to loop (p.s. good bicep workout!)
Step 2:
Create your net (spiderweb) design - I kept mine simple (I’m a minimalist spider, wink!)
Step 3:
Plan your design (what will you add + where to place them)

Step 4:
Tie the top layer of each pine cone with long yarn and extend opposite end of the yarn to the bottom of the hoop then tie a knot

Step 5:
Tie feather tips with long yarn THEN glue it and extend opposite end of the yarn to the bottom of the hoop then tie a knot

Step 6:
(Optional) I love live plants so I also ended up adding 2 branches that I clipped from outside (shhh, don’t tell my neighbors)

I hope you love my pine cone winter dream catcher as much as I do. If you have any questions shoot me an email at, check out what other crafty stuff I am up to here, and sweet dreams!



For more DIY projects, visit the DIY section of our blog or check out our Pinterest page

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DIY Holiday-Ready Tablescape


If ever there is a time for the dining room to shine, it’s now; the season of celebration with lots of  food, family and friends. So dust off the dining table because Sharon Hines, from Mrs. Hines' Class, is teaching us how to create a tablescape worthy of all the festivities.



Table Runner
Ornaments of varying size and color (choose colors that go well with your home decor)
Pillar Candles
Hurricane Sleeves
Candle Charger Plates
Bowl or Vase


Step 1:
Lay down the table runner. Fluff the garland,
then wind it down the center of the runner.


Step 2:

Place candles at each end of the garland,
being sure to set them on chargers to protect your table from melted wax.
Slip a hurricane sleeve over each candle.


Step 3:
Fill the bowl or vase with a mix of pinecones and ornaments.
Step 4:
Scatter the largest ornaments along the garland,
starting from the centerpiece and working your way down each end.
Be sure to place them on both sides of the garland to create balance.
Tip: Arrange the ornaments by pairs or in odd numbers.
Step 5:
Now add the pinecones along the garland.
Tuck them on top of the garland as well as along the sides of the garland.


Step 6:

Fill in any bare spots with the smaller ornaments.
Again, tucking them into the garland
at varying heights like with the pinecones.


Step 7:

Now, for my favorite decorator trick.
Add live greenery to the arrangement.
Use anything that is native to your area:
pine boughs, holly branches, magnolia leaves or a vine. 

To me, adding a live natural element adds
panache to the tablescape. It’s the wow factor. 

Step 8:

Personalize the tablescape with unique or special items.
I added a cute salt & pepper tree that was a
Christmas gift last year as well as a candle sniffer.


I also decided to add a second set of candles.

Step 9:

To complete the look, be sure to add greenery
and ornaments to your chandelier,
hanging the ornaments at different heights.


Now you’re ready to fa-la-la!

Tip: This tablescape can easily transition
into winter by removing the ornaments.
You could even add Epsom salt to
the bowl of pinecones for a snow effect. 

For more easy DIYs, check out the DIY section on our blog, or visit our Pinterest Page.
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Easy DIY Holiday Chalkboard Sign


Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is showing us another super easy way to add a little extra holiday decor to your home! Get ready to be amazed by how stunning and simple this project is!

Hello again my Beauties! I am so happy to be back with a super easy DIY home decor craft for you.This week I am going to show you how to round up a few supplies (some that you may already have) and create something simple that will add some holiday cheer to your home. First off, you will need a chalkboard. I picked this cute little one up at the thrift store for a few bucks. Next you will need a stencil and some chalk markers. I am using an erasable liquid chalk, but you could just as easily fill in the stencil with an erasable chalk marker.

For this sign I wanted to go with a simple and elegant design. I laid my stencil where I wanted it (you can tape it down if you are worried about it slipping) and start filling in your stencil.

The nice part of using chalk markers is you can erase easily if you mess up. Once you have filled in your stencil, pull it off and let the chalk dry a bit. Next, you can add whatever extra details you want. I love laurel wreaths so I drew two half circles on each side of the deer head and hand drew in the little leaves.

Next, I wanted to add some words. If you don’t like your penmanship you could always use stencils here as well, but I like the homemade look of handwriting. I wrote “love,” “joy,” and “peace” where I wanted them on the chalkboard. See how easy that was?


 It looks perfect on my vintage Christmas mantel and the nice part is you can change it up for each season.

Or, if you prefer, you can do this with white paint and make it a permanent sign. 

Either way, the possibilities are endless! I hope you enjoyed this fun and simple craft. Have a wonderful Holiday and until next time, have a beautiful day!


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