DIY Dual Purpose - Balcony Bench and Litter Box Enclosure

Double Duty – Custom Patio Bench and Outdoor Litter Box Enclosure

The Tidy Townhome - Balcony Seating and Litter Box Enclosure

Okay so here’s a project that might just possibly be the most creative thing we have conjured up for The Tidy Townhome. Since my boyfriend and I are cat fanatics, we had a dilemma. We both didn’t want to have the litter box inside because A) Gross and B) its Messy. There’s no room in the garage since it barely fits my car as is and the layout just doesn’t make sense to make the kitties trek all the way there. So our last option it was; the balcony.

The Tidy Townhome Kitty Paradise

We didn’t want it to be a free-for-all for the cats to jump ship into a nearby tree or something so I suggested (or forced) my boyfriend build an L-shaped bench to fit our small balcony so it could double as seating and an enclosed litter box holder! It’s genius.

Right when you open the door off of the kitchen to the balcony, you’re greeted with an air-conditioning unit that has a lattice cover over it (Thank you previous homeowners!). Turn right and that’s where the bench had to go. If you see the tape on the wall, that’s where the cat door connects the kitties from inside to their ventilated, private outhouse.🙂

The Tidy Townhome Litter Box Bench Layout

The Tidy Townhome - Litter Box Bench

My boyfriend got creative with the interior details hence the gorgeous (not!) linoleum floors for their little delicate paws and padding around the wood that has nails and screws. The way we had to build this was two separate benches – The long one for the cats and the short one for storing pillows and cushions. The far opening towards the wall was installed with chicken wire so there’s some air flow in there.

The Tidy Townhome -  DIY Litter Box Enclosure

The Tidy Townhome Kitty Litter Box Door

After all the framing was laid out, the wide white planks were installed and I was stoked. That was until it rained. Don’t make the same mistake we did, make the top lid one solid piece of wood so there aren’t any cracks and waterproof that sucker. We had one period of crazy rain and little did I know the enclosure was filled with water and it took me several hours to figure out why little Charlie was crying but I very quickly connected the dots when I found a pile of fresh cat crap on my boyfriend’s clothes in our bedroom. He must have known it was his fault for the design!😉

The Tidy Tonwhome - Completed Patio Litter Box Holder

We ended up replacing the top lid to both benches with a solid piece of MDF and it’s working great.

I finally bought some custom cushions for us to enjoy this summer and coordinate with my gorgeous pillows I got last season at Target. I loved enjoying the warm weather and BBQ season with my cute little space! Now if only I could keep some of these plants alive… Most of my succulents have survived my black thumb but one didn’t make it…😦 Oh well, you can’t be good at everything!😉

The Tidy Townhome - Balcony Seating and Litter Box Enclosure

The Tidy Townhome - Custom Outdoor Bench Cushions

The Tidy Townhome Air Conditioning Unit Cover

The Tidy Townhome Patio Balcony

The Tidy Townhome Balcony Plants

**Feel free to ask me any technical questions on the construction and I will find out the answer for you!**

Herringbone Subway Tile - Final Reveal

My Dream Kitchen is Complete!

Herringbone Subway Tile - Final Reveal

I’ve been in the Tidy Townhome for almost a year and a half and I finally have everything I dreamed of for this space, for a budget under $6,000! Below shows just where we started when we moved in. Everything was dark, dark, dark.




As soon as I saw this kitchen I envisioned lightening up the space with white cabinets and a non-hideous backsplash. Apparently, it’s not recommended to have this granite backsplash piece and a tile backsplash on top. It becomes a choppy look. The tile on top seems to be something that the previous homeowner added on.


So first things first, we refaced the cabinets. We opted to replace the doors so they were heavier and better quality. Originally I just wanted a bright white without antiquing but my carpenter, Chris Trauger of Champion Cabinets, convinced me otherwise. I’m so happy we went with the super light grey antiquing to really show off the details of the cabinets and provide a rustic contrast that goes perfect with the existing granite countertops. We also replaced one of the normal cabinets with a super secret dual pull out trash can. This was a must-have feature for me!


Pull out hidden kitchen trashcan

Another thing we did was replace the corbels underneath the breakfast bar with larger ones to match the cabinets. We also added false door fronts on the former plain edges since these are the first things you see walking into the room. The cabinet project was the most expensive part of the kitchen which came out to be $5,000. So the backsplash had to wait….

Custom Corbels


False door fronts cabinetry

Fast forward to a year later and marathons upon marathons of my new favorite show, Flipping Vegas, and I could no longer stand this backsplash. These were my inspirations for my new backsplash to finally tie my vision together:



My Dad attempted to do the demo himself to save me some money, he’s a super handy guy, but whoever installed that tile REALLY made sure it wouldn’t go anywhere. I told my Dad to give up when he was halfway 4 hours later and had the installer finish the rest for an extra $100. I’m pretty sure he regretted that low quote though once he started… Doesn’t it already look better without the busy tile?


Next up, I bought the supplies from Tile City. Guess how much my first choice of tile priced out to be? Over $35 per square foot! That totaled almost $2,000 for just tile, not even including labor. Seriously, I have expensive taste because everything I liked was super expensive. I eventually went with Plan B – regular 3 x 6 white subway tile BUT laid in a herringbone pattern. This was $2.29 a square foot and including grout, I spent under $200. Because of this pattern, I had to have something to “stop” the tile at each end. I went with these stainless steel rods. I bought one piece (they come in 8 feet pieces) and my installer cut them to size. I think they are normally used to hold the bottom of a mirror above your backsplash but they work just perfectly for this purpose too. I’m super happy with how everything came together and I don’t feel it was much of a compromise with the inexpensive tile at all! It’s classic, easy-to-clean, inexpensive and always in-stock.




My uncle recommended a Tile guy to me and he finished everything in just one day which was awesome. He charged $675 total for demo, install and sealing. My advice to anyone doing this is to cover up all your furniture with drop cloths or plastic. Shit’s about to get dusty. We had our bi-weekly housekeeper really do a deep clean the next day because it was so bad.

So my kitchen face lift cost about $6,000 and was worth every penny. What do you think? I’m in love! I think the kitties are loving it too.🙂


Herringbone Subway Tile - Final Reveal




painting pictures

Surprise Birthday Party and The Best Gift Ever

A couple weeks ago, I threw a surprise party for my boyfriend! I’m so glad it was successful and it’s over, those things are way too stressful.

J May Arts - Nader & Ace

Believe it or not, I got the idea to throw the party in February when I figured out what my very special birthday present to him would be, a commissioned painting! It needed its own night and a surprise unveiling. Sounds fancy right? Well I was extremely inspired when I saw this work of art by my very talented friend, Jenn of J May Arts. I said, “Do you know what would make that better? Replace it with my boyfriend and three cats.” I was instantly giddy to see the hilarious outcome of my request.

I sent Jenn a million photos of my boyfriend and cats (No, the painting wasn’t actually a scene from real life, LOL – the things people ask me) and she got down to business. Here’s the photos she actually copied for the painting:

painting pictures

She truly is amazing. Look at her go! She finished this in less than 3 weeks.

picture progress

And now for his reaction…. I made him walk over to the easel covered in fabric to “unwrap” his gift. At first he had a “WTF” kind of expression and then he laughed like I hoped he would!🙂 He absolutely loves it and thinks it’s hilarious. Meet “The Pussy Pleaser”…

reaction shots

Let me tell you, the framing department at Michaels had a good laugh with this one and told me they have seen “weirder.” I can only imagine! This bad boy is 11×14 and cost me $375 + about $80 for discounted framing. If you’re interested in your own custom painting, reach out to Jenn here!

Painting Unveiling

So where am I going to hang this amazing piece of art? Not over my bed, I have no idea why several people blurted that out as their first thought. Umm, that’s super creepy! I’m currently planning out my staircase gallery wall so I’ll get to admire “The Pussy Pleaser” every day when I’m leaving and arriving.🙂 Stay tuned!

Happy Birthday Cake


Side note – This birthday cake was from Nothing Bundt Cakes! I bought a bundlet for the top and 8 inch cake for the bottom and stacked them myself. I made the birthday banner with twine, straws and printable letters found here.🙂

25 Whole30 Meal Ideas

Whole30 Challenge and 25 Meal Ideas

With a full time job, weekend gig, three cats and a boyfriend, I don’t find myself with much free time so forgive me for taking four months to write this post… ☺ Hopefully, it’s worth the wait!

It was Refinery29 that convinced me to do this challenge in August! It sounded like an awesome way to kick my health goals into gear and clean up my diet, literally. And it’s relevant now since I’m doing it AGAIN in January! I had to have a least one cliche New Year’s Resolution, you know.🙂

whole30 blog

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the diet, Whole30 is a really strict form of the Paleo diet for the duration of 30 days to cleanse your body of processed junk and leave you feeling amazing. There’s no cheating allowed or you have to start from Day 1. After the 30 days, you can start to reintroduce these elements into your diet and monitor how your body feels to identify the types of foods you should be staying away from. So the basic “no-no’s” of Whole30 are:

• NO added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
• NO alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
• NO grains.
• NO legumes, peanuts or soy.
• NO dairy with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
• NO carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
• NO “healthy versions” of baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients.

Since I cook 90% of my meals, I knew that cooking at home and following these rules wouldn’t be hard for me but the 10% of time when I eat out would be difficult.

The first 15 days or so were a breeze for me and the second half was a little more difficult but I was seriously impressed with my willpower. The fact that you can’t cheat or you have to start over was a really amazing rule for me to follow. Overall, I lost 5 lbs and 2% body fat for the month and at least ½ – 1 inch everywhere I measured. I loved how amazing I felt with zero bloat and everyone could see a difference too!

With this new set of dietary restrictions, I got creative in the kitchen! Here’s some meal ideas to carry you through your Whole30:

DINNER: Chicken and Pork

• Baked Mediterranean Chicken

Whole 30 Baked Mediterranean Chicken

This was SO good and SO easy. I took 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts and lined those babies up on a pan greased with coconut oil. I seasoned them with TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute and garlic powder. I then added what I had leftover in my fridge, sliced half of an onion, half of a can of artichoke hearts, several kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes, and half of a bag of frozen spinach. Slice up a lemon and squeeze few wedges over everything. Then add a circular slice of lemon on each breast and bake everything for 20-25 min at 350.

• Pork Chops / Crucipherous Crunch

Whole 30 Pork Chops

These were boneless but I've made this same recipe with bone-in too, which I think is even better! I marinated the chops in apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute over night. My boyfriend grilled them to a nice medium temperature and I served them with garlic green beans and sautéed crucipherous crunch (my new favorite!). It’s a delicious blend of broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, and cabbage all shredded like a slaw. I sautéed the bag in two batches for about 4-5 minutes per batch with a spritz of olive oil, a generous dash of apple cider vinegar (keep tasting as you go, you don't want it to overpower), and a few cloves of minced garlic. My boyfriend said it was one of the best meals he had ever had. So I made it again the next week. And to think he said “Well, what am I going to eat?” when I initially told him about the Whole30. Haha!

• Artichoke Garlic Chicken

Whole 30 Garlic Artichoke Chicken

This is the original recipe. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty, but it still tasted amazing! I’ve made this twice now and I just cut the thick chicken breasts in half lengthwise, and omitted parsley in the food processor recipe (so just spinach, garlic, artichoke hearts and olive oil). I decided to bake the chicken as well and just spread the mixture on top. They are just as tasty and I find this modification a little easier and less messy!

• Spicy Turkey Burgers

Spicy Turkey Burgers Whole 30

I’ll admit, I missed the cheese and normal Heinz ketchup on this, but this recipe is hands down one of the best turkey burgers with the most flavor I’ve made yet! I mixed 1 lb. ground turkey (do yourself a favor and use dark ground turkey if you can find some – try Whole Foods, it’s AMAZING and has so much flavor), 1 egg, handful of sundried tomatoes, TJ’s 21 seasoning salute, 1 (or 2) diced jalapenos, spinach (use frozen and thawed if possible), 3 cloves of minced garlic and diced red onion. Pop these on to your grill, George Foreman or sauté pan (if they feel fragile) and wrap them in lettuce with some mustard and Paleo ketchup (there are recipes on Pinterest but I wasn’t impressed OR find vegetarian ketchup at Whole Foods which isn’t amazing either but does the trick when mixed with yellow mustard). I had mine with a few TJ’s Plaintain chips and sometimes with homemade baked sweet potato fries!

• Zucchini Pasta + Italian Sausage

Whole 30 Zucchini Pasta

I used my handy dandy Pampered Chef Spiral and Slice to create these zucchini ribbons. I then steamed them in the microwave in the Large Microcooker (I use this thing EVERY DAY) with a little water. Drain and add TJ’s Paleo-friendly jarred Putanesca sauce and browned TJ’s Italian Style Chicken Sausage. YUM! I recommend serving a side salad with this one.

• Grilled Chicken Salad

Whole 30 grilled chicken salad

This is a super easy prep-ahead-of-time lunch or dinner meal. I threw in some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, diced onion, pine nuts, and beets from Trader Joes. Tossed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

• Slow Cooker Carnitas

whole 30 carnitas plate

This recipe in a lettuce wrap paired with lots of homemade guac and pico de gallo with a few Trader Joes plaintain chips made for a satisfying meal! This made a lot so I used the rest in a breakfast bowl (see below).

• Grilled Chicken + Sweet Potatoes + Veggies

Whole 30 Grilled Chicken-sw potatoe-veggie

Marinate and grill your chicken. Peel and steam sweet potatoes. Then dice them and pan sauté them with a little coconut oil and your favorite seasonings. I used garlic powder, chile powder, cayenne, pepper and onion powder. You can prepare the veggies the same way or just with a little salt and pepper. Easy and delicious!

DINNER: Seafood

• Ahi Mango Salad

whole 30 ahi salad

I love me a quick dinner and this is exactly what that is! Find ahi steaks at your local Trader Joes in either the fresh fish section or in the freezer. If you buy them frozen, let them defrost over night in a marinade of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Prep a salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and cucumber. (Optional) On a plate, encrust your ahi steaks with sesame seeds. In a pan over medium heat, grill them with a little coconut oil for 2 minutes on each side. Then slice over your salad and top with a few cashews and your favorite Paleo Vinagarette. I love this one.

• Blackened Salmon + Asparagus

Whole 30 Blackened Salmon

This meal was courtesy of my lovely mom who had me over for dinner and catered to my Whole30. She used my favorite blackening combo too! On this salad, she grilled up some salmon and asparagus and served it with a baked potato with homemade pico de gallo and fresh sliced tomatoes from our local farm.

• Blackened Cod Salad

whole 30 blackened cod

This was also made by my Mom on another night. She marinated and grilled squash, zucchini spears and onion and put on a bed of mixed greens with fresh tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette and pinenuts.

• Rock Fish + Mango Avocado Salsa

Whole 30 Rock Fish

I pan seared wild rock fish from Costco in a little avocado oil and topped it with a mango, avocado and tomato salsa. I roasted some fresh broccolini to go with it along with some leftover spaghetti squash.

• Blackened Salmon Grilled Veggie Salad

Whole 30 Blackened Salmon Salad

This was inspired by my Mom’s delicious Blackened Cod Salad! After I blackened the salmon, I assembled it on a bed of spinach with grilled zucchini, fresh avocado, cucumber, green onion, grape tomatoes and a drizzle of Tessarae’s Paleo lemon dressing.


• Meatloaf

Whole 30 meatloaf

This meatloaf was way tastier than it appears. I messed up on the key step – wait for it to cool after you take it out of the oven or it will not slice well, it will crumble! My boyfriend was a big fan of this one, so much that I’ve already made this recipe again! I followed her directions pretty closely except I substituted paleo ketchup instead of the BBQ sauce and didn’t add bacon since I could not find any without sugar on it for the life of me. For the mashed cauliflower, take apart the head and steam it. Then, add the cooked cauliflower to a food processer and blend until smooth. You’ll need to add a little water to the processer to help it out. Add a few cloves of minced garlic with salt and pepper and enjoy!

• Grilled Steak & Veggie Salad

whole 30 steak salad

Marinate and grill some steaks (preferably a lean cut) and veggies on the BBQ! This salad had filet mignon, zucchini spears, bellpepper and onion along with fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes, pinenuts and avocado in a Paleo balsamic vinaigrette.

• Filet + Mushrooms + Squash

Whole 30 Filet

Marinate and grill filet mignon and sautee some mushrooms (these were crimini) with garlic and olive or avocado oil. I found this blend of summer squash and zucchini at Costco and sautéed them with garlic, shallots and avocado oil.

• Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs

Whole 30 Meatballs

This was my very first Whole30 meal and it was delicious. Here’s the recipe for the meatballs and sauce. For the spaghetti squash, microwave it whole for about 2 minutes to soften it and make it easier to cut. Then cut it in half horizontally and seed it. Cover each half in cellophane and microwave separately for about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Uncover and let the squash cool, then “shred” it with a fork. Done!

• Tacos

Whole 30 Ground Beef Tacos

These tacos were created on the fly and I just winged it. I used the grass-fed ground beef from Costco and sautéed it with diced onion, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and avocado oil. Serve this deliciousness in lettuce wraps with some fresh salsa, guacamole and diced onion and tomatoes.

• Urbane Café

Whole 30 Takeout Urbane Cafe

This was a takeout staple. The Urbane Café Cobb Salad without cheese and substituting sautéed mushrooms (I don’t like raw) and olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Not too bad on the modifications! If I took it home with me, I’d add extra cherry tomatoes, diced egg and pine nuts on top for a little extra crunch.

• The Habit

Whole 30 Habit

I may or may not have always placed this order online for pickup because I didn’t want the cashier to judge all of my modifications… ☺ Okay, I did do that! This is so darn good, though. I ordered the Chicken Club Sandwich, lettuce wrapped without mayonnaise and adding grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and mustard. Then I served it with some pepperoncinis and a few plantain chips from Trader Joes.


These are the more elaborate breakfasts I whipped up for myself but on many days I had a more simple breakfast to eat at my desk – a few hardboiled eggs (the pre-done ones from Trader Joes), a link of Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage that I pre-browned or a few slices of prosciutto with some fruit and avocado. If I really hadn’t thought ahead at all, I would grab a LARA bar that I had on stock in my favorite flavors – Apple Pie or Cherry Pie.

• Truffle Potatoes & Eggs

Whole 30 breakfast 2

Nuke some roasted potatoes from the night before and add a quick drizzle of truffle oil. Combine with two fried eggs made for an easy morning meal.

• Eggs + Sweet Potatoes + Apple Sausage

whole 30 breakfast 1

Also utilizing sweet potatoes from the night before, just whip up some eggs and grab a link of sausage for a satisfying healthy breakfast. This won’t leave you craving a snack before lunch time.

• Egg White Omelet Muffins with Spinach Pesto

Whole 30 egg muffins

Here’s the technical specs on how to make these bad boys (oven temperature, time, etc.) Wrap the muffins in foil in pairs and grab on the go for breakfast! Be prepared to have someone help you eat these over the course of a few days or just make a half batch.
I tried freezing half of these to enjoy later but I wouldn’t recommend it, once they were reheated it was rubbery and they ended up in the trash.

• Carnitas Breakfast Scramble

whole 30 Carnitas scramble

I used leftover Paleo Carnitas from the recipe above and mixed it in a big batch of egg whites with sautéed bell pepper, jalapeño, onion and potatoes. I made three breakfast bowls and added the carnitas on top with salsa and guacamole before serving. My colleagues were especially jealous of this breakfast!

• Sweet Potato & Apple Sausage Breakfast Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

This was so good and definitely could have been split into two meals. I peeled and steamed sweet potatoes, then diced them after they cooled. Dice the Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage and sauté together with the sweet potatoes, diced onion and bellpepper, and a little coconut oil. Season the hash with a few dashes of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper. Cook an egg or two in a separate pan and add on top when you’re ready to eat!

So would I do it again? Definitely! As I said, I’m currently doing the Whole30 again right now and working on more recipes to share with you!🙂

Let me know if you have any questions about the diet or the recipes! Follow my board on Pinterest for great cooking ideas, updated consistently!

Christmas Decor Tour

Christmas Decor Tour

It’s been almost a whole year since we moved into The Tidy Townhome! I scored at last year’s “After Christmas” Sales and I finally got to use the decorations. I didn’t even remember what I had purchased and of course I bought way too much, but unwrapping everything from the storage bins was like, well, Christmas!

Living Room

I’m pretty bad for rarely turning the tree off. One because the button is sort of hard to get to and two because it’s just so darn pretty! The ornaments and tree skirt are from TJ Maxx and the poinsetta pillow is from Joss and Main.

Rustic Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Lit Up

I went for a Rustic look to match the rest of the decor. Since this is our first Christmas together, we don’t have any sentimental ornaments. Therefore, I could do a formal tree without feeling guilty for not putting out the special ornaments. We’ll address that problem next year if needed!

Penny Under Tree

Charlie under tree

callie near tree

I made sure to get a picture of the tree as soon as I put it up because it no longer looks this pretty. The kitties are thoroughly enjoying diving into the presents, chewing on the tree skirt, batting the ornaments and climbing inside the tree. They are lucky they are so cute.

Counter centerpiece

This centerpiece is from last year’s sale at Kohls. It sits centered on top of my countertop above the bar stools. It’s so pretty when the candles are lit!


Right when you walk up the first flight of stairs, you’re greeted with this festive table! I got the pinecone garland and owl figure from Michaels, Christmas Tree from The Decor Store, red florals and pillow from Target, frame from Home Goods, and lantern from TJ Maxx. I was playing around with different things to put inside the lantern but wasn’t feeling any of it, so I left it empty.

Tray Entry Way

Owl Lantern


In the mirror above, you can see the reflection of this lovely wreath on my glass door! I got this baby on clearance last year at Michael’s and fixed it up with a glitter pinecone and additional red berries that had fallen off. The best assistant for this task? A glue gun and my handy Hobby Holster! It’s intended to cling to a smooth surface like your crafting table or dining table so the pouch is hanging but it works amazing on glass too! This made it so much easier on quick touch ups when the wreath was already hung.

Hobby Holster door

If you go through the door, you’ll be on the “California Christmas” Patio!

California Christmas Patio

Left side patio

And here’s what it looks like all lit up at night:

nightime patio

What’s cool about these lights is they are solar paneled so they turn on and off by themselves! I got them on sale at Target during the fall. I think I’ll just remove the garland when Christmas is over and keep the lights there year round. The reindeer and owl are from TJ Maxx, the poinsettia and green reindeer potted plant are from Trader Joes, and the garland is from Michael’s.


As you come back inside and head down stairs toward the front door, I switched out the fall wheat for these Christmasy faux florals from Michaels.


Right by the front door, I decorated this cute little tree from Michaels. Since we don’t have a fireplace, this is where our stockings had to go. Again, my Hobby Holster came to the rescue to protect my dining table when I hot glued our initials on our Kohl’s stockings.

Hobby Holster Stocking

And last but not least, on both stair banisters, I weaved garland. I wish I had a gorgeous banister to work with but hey, I’m happy with how it turned out! Just be prepared to vacuum all the fake snow from the stairs if you do the same…

staircase garland

What’s your favorite Christmas Decoration this year? Share with me in the comments. Happy Holidays!🙂

penny on lap

penny blanket

DIY Diaper Bouquet Baby Shower Gift

I love a good gift basket or great gift presentation, which is how I got the idea of this adorable diaper bouquet for my friend Jessica! I think it’s way easier than any of those diaper cake tutorials.

larger bouquet

So here’s how to re-create this bad boy:

1. Purchase an in-expensive apothecary jar (without a lid) or wide vase from a discount store like Ross or TJ Maxx.

2. Shop the mom-to-be’s baby registry and purchase the little things they are asking for (nail clippers, aspirator, binkies, socks, etc.) and fill the vase with those items.

3. Buy a package of diapers (I always buy larger sizes since I figure most people will go for the newborn size). Roll the diapers tightly around a wooden skewer and secure the ends with a piece of scotch tape.

4. Tie curly ribbon around each “diaper flower” and curl the ends.

5. One by one, add each skewer and stagger the heights to create a full bouquet. Hide the skewers by placing them in the center of the vase so the only the small gift items can be seen from the outside.

6. Tape your card to a skewer and add to the bouquet.

7. Finish off with a big bow in the front (mine was an upcycle from a Nothing Bundt Cake!) and add a few baby hair clips throughout the bouquet.

Up close bouquet


Happy crafting! If you have any leftover diapers, be sure to bring those with you on the side, the momma-to-be will be happy to have them!

What’s the most creative diaper creation you ever seen?

Southern California Fall Decor

It’s a Southern California Fall!

I’ve been anticipating the arrival of Fall since the end of August. I just could not wait to decorate! So as of mid-September, I felt it was officially okay to begin my decorating. I waited until the end of September to purchase my live pumpkins and ghourds, so they will hopefully last through November. There is this bleach cleaning trick I might try to keep them alive and kicking but I may or may not find the energy. We’ll see ☺

I’ll start with my favorite part of my home. Here’s my patio/balcony which you can see through the glass door right next to our dining room table. Every time I look out, it makes me so happy!



The white lattice is actually covering up the air conditioning unit but it really gives some good real estate for seasonal décor!

I rearranged the flowers and succulents I had featured for Summer by rotating some plants to the back of the display to leave room for the pumpkins. Don’t you love that blue pumpkin!? I replaced the chalkboard writing with “Happy Fall” and removed the dying basil (I’m terrible at remembering to water, hence all the succulents) that’s usually in the teal pot with some magenta mums from the farm. I thought this cute little owl made the perfect finishing touch!

Cali Fall Decor

I also found that gorgeous wreath on a whim and it was originally going to be for another project. That didn’t work out so I hung it here on the glass door with a suction cup hook I had left over from a shower caddy. Pretty smart, huh? You can see this wreath right as you walk up the stairs and it just screams Fall.




Also when you arrive on the main floor, you’re greeted with this fall-centric entry table including my favorite lantern filled with mini white pumpkins, a fun sparkly pumpkin, amazingly yummy smelling caramel toffee candle and fresh fall foliage.



On the stairs ledge, I filled my tall glass vases, usually containing wine corks, with Indian corn. On one side of the shutters, I filled this repurposed white container with some dried wheat I got at the farm and faux Amaranthus that I surprisingly picked up at Vons. On the other side, I took a small jar I had and filled it with mini pinecones and placed a yellow candle on top.



In the kitchen, I moved a few things that were on the counter to above the cabinets to make room for this shiny pumpkin and faux yellow hydrangeas. I added some leftover plastic pumpkins and pine cones to my wired basket.


candy jar.jpg

On the breakfast bar, I layered cinnamon scented pinecones with white mini pumpkins in this TJ Maxx Clearance find, a wooden based hurricane glass. On the other side, there is a giant candy jar to satisfy my boyfriend’s sweet tooth. This was an awesome Target Clearance find for around $11. I no longer have to keep refilling the little candy jar he had before! Woo hoo!


My favorite little distressed teal sofa side table got a Fall makeover with a golden pumpkin candle and a new cranberry candle in the stemmed votive. I let my flying pig statue stay because I just love it too much. ☺



In between the sofa and love seat, this side table conveniently has an even closer stash of candy in a chicken wire basket (per my boyfriend’s request), mason jar with mini pinecones and felt pumpkins and a Halloween photo from a few years ago. That burlap shaded lamp stays there year round and always coordinates with everything!



The only thing I changed in the coffee table tray was the faux dried yarrow flowers in the mason jar. I think these might work for winter too! We’ll see, I am known to change my mind quite frequently. ☺



I replaced my wine cork ball on this tall candle stand with a white clay pumpkin and added the orange pumpkin below. I placed mini pumpkins and gourds in the basket that usually only has assorted decorative balls.



On my ladder shelf, I replaced the items on the top shelf with a ceramic pumpkin and mason jar with dried yellow rye. In the white cake stand, I swapped the flowered candle I had in there before with a real mini pumpkin. The cats love it too!


I moved my usual red flowers above the cabinets and opted for these red/orange ones. I added in a fallen piece of wreath in the middle. So easy and gorgeous! It looks awesome next to the wreath on the glass door.


And last but not least, when you walk through the front door or when you’re leaving, you’re greeted with this cute little barstool turned table all decked out in fall! I finally found a use for the dollar candle stick I purchased from Target years ago and my little sunflower burlap arrangement also found a home.

So is everyone else as excited for Fall as I am? Here’s a picture of me and my mom having so much fun at the pumpkin patch, haha. I think am more excited here than I was as a child. Yay for Fall!


TJ Maxx
-Silver Owl
-Fall Wreath
-Wooden Based Hurricane Glass
-Stemmed Candle Votive
Home Goods
-Wooden Lantern
-Sparkly Pumpkin
-Silver Pumpkin
-Black Lantern
-Caramel Toffee Candle
Michaels Crafts
-Assorted Fall Pumpkins
-Mini Pinecones
-Faux Flowers
-Ceramic Pumpkins – Cream and Orange
-Chicken Wire Basket
-Candy Jar

RUSTIC CHIC Fall Decor Pin