3 step DIY tutorial for a cute halloween sign

diy 'boo' halloween sign tutorial

you guys! this is such an easy and quick diy for halloween. it's great for your front door or anywhere inside your house that you'd like to add a spooky touch. 

supplies :

- ready-made letters from a craft store (mine were already black and ready to go, but if necessary you can always paint them or add glitter)

- ribbon

- black wreath hanger

- scissors

    

 

 

step one : 

cut three strands of ribbon into roughly six or seven inch pieces 

step two :

flip all of the letters over and put them in order from top to bottom. tie ribbon around the bottom of each letter and tie into a secure knot. 

step three : 

hang it on your door and enjoy for the rest of the halloween season! this literally could not be any easier, ha! 

since this tutorial was incredibly simple and short, i thought i would give you a little peek inside as well. our house is clearly very tiny from the picture and so i decided to keep the halloween decor at a minimum this year. a small house can easily go from decorated to cluttered in about two seconds. 

so here are my very simple halloween touches: 

when you don't have a lot of space to work with i recommend just scattering a few randomly sized and colored pumpkins around your house for an instant fall vibe. i just love these little guys! also, fresh, in season flowers are a must too! sunflowers generally aren't my favorite flower, but they are a great autumn bloom and generally fairly inexpensive so those are pluses.

in the living room i just taped some of these chipboard bats that i have from last halloween in a flying pattern above the media console. i just love the simplicity of it. i got them at micheal's craft store last year and i'm sure they have something similar this year if you'd like to grab some. oh, and candles! they are such a must for autumn. i got the absolute best scents this year at tj maxx. 

my favorite scent i found was the vanilla cider candle. i loved it so much i had to get two! it's a great subtle scent that just cozies up your home.

i added some halloween themed paper straws and a pumpkin scented candle to our bar tray. i got my straws at target, but they sell them almost anywhere these days. 

happy fall to you all! 

 

xoxo, 

ashley

 

 

 

 

diy coffee table tutorial

sooo...i have been looking for a coffee table for a while since moving to california. we got rid of a lot of things we didn't love in our apartment before moving out here, the coffee table being one of them. we had this vintage trunk for a long time, but it was just a little too rustic. i really love wire based coffee tables, but so many of them are really overpriced for just some veneer, aka fake, wood and some metal thrown together. so i opted to make my own with a little (a lot) of inspiration from Makerista's coffee table diy. check out her blog for some great diy projects! 

you'll need:

- electric drill

- 24" to 36" round piece of wood (i got a 24" pre-cut piece of wood from lowe's)

- rustoleum stain

- polyurethane

- two paint brushes

- chalk

- wire basket (got mine at target)

- four 3" metal brackets

- four wood screws

- pliers

step one and two: 

first, you'll want to lay out some old towels or a dropcloth to stain your piece of wood. ok, so i learned this the hard way, only apply one coat of stain. apply liberally and allow to soak into the wood. after leaving for 30 seconds wipe off excess with a towel. i let my stain sit overnight. 

after stain has dried for 24 hours it's time to coat with polyurethane. apply two or three coats depending on your taste and allow to dry another 24 hours. ahhh, twenty four hours seems like an eternity when you're impatient like me and so excited to see the final product! hang in there though, the stain and clear coat need to cure.

step three:

remove handles from the basket if necessary with pliers. 

step four:

measure the tabletop to find the center. mark with an x so that you can align your basket or whatever wire base you have chosen. 

step five:

it's time to attach the base to the tabletop! ok, so for this you'll need your drill, wood screws and brackets. just place the brackets on the outer edges of basket in equally spaced out areas. attach each bracket with two screws and make sure the base is secure. 

so that's pretty much it! the longest part is definitely the first two steps, but after that this project basically couldn't be any easier! i love having handmade items in my home. storebought stuff is great, but it's always nice to have a memory attached to things in your home. 

messy bun tutorial

 

two key pieces of advice for achieving the perfect messy bun or topknot: 

1. DO NOT LOOK IN THE MIRROR WHILE STYLING. it sounds odd, but if you're looking in the mirror you'll get the overstyled, perfect, ballerina bun which is not what we're going for. i've watched many a messy bun tutorial and surprisingly i've never heard them mention this. so avoid the mirror at all costs and it'll help you achieve that messy, i don't care look.

2. MAKE SURE YOUR HAIR IS UNWASHED. i usually just skip washing a day and use conditioner only. seriously, don't even try this after just washing your hair. it won't come out right. i've tried and tried, but there are just no styling products that will duplicate unwashed hair. the reason for this, is that unwashed hair has more natural hold and texture. 

what you'll need: 

light hold finishing spray

dry shampoo

comb of some sort

bobby pins

hair ties

steps: 

1. start with wavy or air dried hair for some texture, then spray roots with volumizing dry shampoo. make sure to spray from a distance or it will give you white roots. (if that happens, the next step will usually make it go away.)

2. begin teasing sections of the mohawk area starting from the front and working your way back. this will give you some volume. 

3. take all of your hair into a high ponytail and secure with hair tie. tease the pontytail for some texture and volume. start twisting and wrapping your ponytail into a bun while securing with bobby pins at the same time. make sure to keep this loose and fun. (and of course don't look in the mirror during this part.) 

4. take your fingers and massage the hair around your face in circles. this will give it the undone, messy look. massaging your hair like this should free up a few pieces around your temples and ears, if not just be sure to leave a few pieces out framing your face for the messy look. 

5. now look in the mirror and adjust as necessary. use the wide tooth part of the comb to smooth out any crazies. then secure the look with a light hold finishing hair spray and there you go! 

 i usually just leave those flyaways that fall down in the back. it just adds to the messiness of it all! i hope this tutorial helped.

xoxo, 

ashley

 

quick & easy weekday dinner

guilt free buffalo chicken wraps

i love to cook and i reeeally love to cook relatively quick, healthy things. that being said, this is one of my favorite new recipes. even better? it doesn't require you to dip into your 401K to buy a gazillion ingredients. you know what i'm talking about...those recipes that call for fig butter and seasoned rice vinegar that you'll never touch again. 

what you'll need:

- 1/2C franks buffalo sauce (roughly)

-  2 or 3 stalks celery

- 1LB chicken breast

- blue cheese crumbles

- romaine lettuce

- ranch dressing

- 2 TBS butter

- 2 TBS olive oil

- pinch celery salt

- salt & pepper

- tabasco or siracha (optional)

 

steps:

saute the chicken in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until cooked through. remove chicken and shred on a cutting board.

dice celery stalks. in empty pan put the frank's wings sauce, butter, celery salt, salt & pepper to taste. (i personally go crazy with seasonings and put a ton of pepper, siracha and tabasco in the mixture. i just try it until it tastes right...there's no science. that is of course if you enjoy spicy foods.) saute until the butter is melted and return chicken to pan. add celery and toss to coat. 

to dress just add blue cheese crumbles and ranch dressing to taste. serve with baby carrots or red pepper slices and wah-la you have an easy weekday meal.

halloween themed gallery wall

i typically don't deck out my house in so many halloween decorations, but what can i say? i got the crafting bug a couple of days ago and it just made sense. there are two things that make me really happy: crafting and decorating. what could be better than combining the two?!

in my trip to michael's i stumbled upon the cutest patterned scrapbook paper and my wheels started turning. i decided to go with a black, silver and green theme and replace the pictures in our gallery wall with a halloween theme. so i stocked up on cute patterned paper, halloween themed cutouts, stickers, tape and got to work! 

really this project is just a matter of cutting the paper to the size of your coordinating frame. it's easy peasy. i took a picture of the current gallery wall on my phone and used it as a reference for deciding on the patterns and colors for each frame. after i cut the paper to size i taped the glittery spiders and webs to add a little something interesting.

i cannot tell you how handy this paper cutter has been in my life! it's an essential in my arsenal of art supplies. one of my favorite elements of the gallery wall is the word "EEK" made from glittery stickers meant to decorate pumpkins. i had other plans for them though. into frames they went!

i laid out my design on the floor as i went just to make sure they were going to flow. you don't want to many of the same pattern and color next to eachother. variety is key in a gallery wall! next up, putting them into frames and hanging them. aka, the boring tedious part.

ta-daaa! there you have it, a cheap and easy peasy DIY project that you can complete in a night. 

i painted some ceramic skulls and added lots of green glitter to cutesy them up a little bit. they completed the halloween look!