Modern DIY Christmas Wreath in 3 Easy Steps

Hi Friends! I hope everyone had an amazing Holiday weekend and ate until your pants were to tight. We had a great one and got a lot accomplished around the house which was much needed. It was nice to be with Nick and Beckett for fours days straight, that never happens so I cherished every minute. So excited to share with you guys how to make a Modern DIY Christmas Wreath in 3 Easy Steps. I hope you will give it a try. I decided to do most of my décor in metallic this year to switch it up from the traditional red and white I usually do. I am really into the modern home style vibes these days. 

Step 1: Gather your supplies. I went to Joann’s on my lunchbreak (YES EVERYTHING WAS 50% OFF) and grabbed:

Rose gold hoop found in the floral department
Greenery (3 stems-I used lambs ear stems)
Shiny stems (1 or 2 stems depending on how full you want it)
Sign for center-I found this one in the Christmas section
Green floral wire with cutter 
Few pieces of yarn


Step 2: Adhere the floral stems. Take your floral wire and wrap it around your greenery twisting as you go. Make sure it is tight so that your greenery is on there nicely. Next take more floral wire and add your Metallic stems. I chose these champagne balls and some rose gold sprigs that I thought were adorable. I wrapped wire where I knew a leaf would be covering it to ensure it was not noticeable.

Step 3: Add your sign. I was able to get my sign to stay on by taking some beige yarn and wrapping it on both sides of the wood frame and then securing it tightly to the hoop. 

That’s it you guys! So quick and easy. Every year I search far and wide for a Christmas Wreath. I have yet to find one I like so creating your own is the way to go. I had this baby done in 20 short minutes and it was less than $30 with supplies left-over to make another one.  I hope you will give it a try and please send me pictures. 

I hope you guys are enjoying my DIY and home décor tips

Xo, Andie

Cozy Christmas Tree in 7 Easy Steps

Christmas time is upon us. Let the craziness begin! As we wrapped up Thanksgiving I started feeling sad to say goodbye to fall which is my most favorite time of year. Its always an interesting transition since we go from giving thanks and feeling so grateful to the season of spending lots of money on excessive items that really nobody needs. Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas but the transition period normally takes me some time. This year I thought I would hit it head on and get some decorating done the day after Thanksgiving so that my nostalgia wouldn’t set it. I will also have more time to enjoy the beautiful decorations which is definitely my favorite part of the season. 

Step 1: Go get yourself a beautiful tree. I really wanted to go cut down our tree since that is what my family always did growing up but the cut-it-yourself places closest to us take hours to get to. We settled for an adorable Christmas tree farm out in country that makes you feel those same festive vibes. They have hot popcorn, hot chocolate, and a few different photo set up areas for the kids. Beckett loved it and he had a blast picking it out. This is the first year in our new house so we were able to get a taller one this year since we have vaulted ceilings. We got ourselves an 8 ft. Douglas Fir which is my favorite kind of tree. Once we got it home we pounded the bottom of the stump with a hammer, this helps to activate the cells of the tree (at least that’s what the hubs tells me). This is a useful tip I learned and helps prolong your tree.  Pop it in the tree base and bring it inside. 

Step 2: Add a festive tree garland around your tree. I chose burlap this year. I found mine years back at Michael’s but Hobby Lobby also carries it. I twirled mine to give it a bit more texture. 

Step 3: Add lights. I love clear lights as I am always drawn to the more classic Christmas style. We strung the lights between the burlap sections. We used about 2 rows of clear lights per section.

Step 4: Add a festive banner. I got mine a few years back from Paper Source. I also have another one that I made myself out of craft triangles and twine but I went with the metallic rose gold one this year. The banner tagged here is from Etsy and I love supported small businesses so check that one out.

Step 5: Add lots and lots of ornaments. I went with the modern neutral tree theme this year. All of my ornaments are from Hobby Lobby. I got round copper balls, some bigger faux fur balls to add some texture, some sparkly champagne balls, and some burlap balls to tie in the burlap garland. Try to get various textures and sizes if you plan to do all of the same shaped ornaments.

Step 6: Add your tree topper. I always do a handmade bow, this year I chose a see through gold ribbon for my bow. Every single year I go on the hunt for a modern tree topper and I have yet to find one that I like. If anyone sees a cute modern one PLEASE PLEASE send it my way as they are hard to come by. I love bows so this will do for me.

Step 7: Add your tree skirt. Mine is from Hobby Lobby and I went with a fuzzy textured one to tie in the with the fluffy ornaments on the tree. We shall see how long it takes for my dog to make this her permanent bed. I better get some presents under it ASAP. 

That’s it! Super quick and easy and can be done in one afternoon. I love decorating for Christmas and we had a blast yesterday setting it all up. Now lets see how long it takes Beckett to pull all of the low ornaments off. I give it a day until my tree looks nothing like this. Ahhh mom life, its the best life. Happy Holidays to you and yours. I cant wait to see all of your trees, DM me your pictures.

NOT PICTURED: The copious amounts of Baileys and Hot Chocolate we consumed to get this tree looking just right. 

Xo, Andie

Trader Joe’s Must-Haves for Kids

I thought I would take a break from all of the festive holiday posting, and share some Trader Joe’s kids favorites that your babes will go crazy for. Beckett is 1.5 so as most of you mammas know they are PICKY little guys. Trying to get him to eat a vegetable is like trying to get me to stop eating carbs, impossible. Trader Joe’s is probably my favorite places to shop for Beckett. They make everything quick, easy, and healthy which is exactly what this working mamma needs. I have definitely nailed down his favorites that are my go to every time we go shopping.

Veggie Sticks: These can be found in the chip isle. Beck goes nuts for these things. I love them because they are Vegan and Gluten Free. I always pack these when we are on the go in the diaper bag or for a quick daycare snack. You cant go wrong with these.

PB&J Bar: These can be found right across from the fruit section with the granola bars at the beginning of the store. Beck loves these granola bars. They taste exactly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without the mess. These are also gluten free. The only issue with these is you have to be careful eating these around other kids because of possible peanut allergies.

Butternut Squash Zig Zags: These can be found in the prepared food area where the chopped/bagged vegetables are. These are quick and easy to cook for your little one. They are washed and ready to go. They cook in the microwave in under 4 minutes. I love to add marinara and parmesan with them for Beckett and act like they are pasta. I love all of TJ’S ready to go food.

This “blueberry walks into a bar” Cereal Bar: These can be found right across from the fruit section with the granola bars at the beginning of the store. These can be a little messy but Beckett loves them. They are great for a quick breakfast or to throw in the diaper bag for an on the go snack. They have better ingredients in them then most cereal bars. They also come in other flavors but our favorite is blueberry. 

Organic Apple Mango Fruit Sauce Crushers: Located in the dry goods isle. These are probably my favorite on this list. They are my favorite because of the size of them. Beckett rarely finishes an entire pouch so the mini size of these is perfect for him. I cant even count the number of pouches I have thrown out because they weren’t finished. I don’t think we have ever thrown one of these out because they are the perfect serving size at 3.17 oz for him. They do have regular size pouches as well but we love these.

Uncured All Beef Hot Dog: Located in the meat section. These hot dogs are definitely Beckett’s favorite on the list. He eats these hot dogs (cut small of coarse) like they are candy. He has probably eaten 3 whole hot dogs in one sitting before. They are so much healthier than other hot dogs I have seen. Also Gluten free without a bunch nitrates added in. We have started calling other foods “hot dogs” so that Beckett will at least give it a try (oops cue the mom shamers)

Bamba Peanut Snacks: Located in the chip isle. These are so delicious even I eat them. They are basically a peanut flavored Cheeto puff. Our doctor recommended these to us to give to Beckett early on so that he was introduced to peanuts right away. Beckett has been hooked ever since. Also a great snack to take on the go. We cannot keep enough of these stocked in our house.

Turkey Meatballs: These are located in the frozen food section. They have a great selection of already cooked, frozen meatballs. We are currently loving the seasonal cranberry meatballs pictured here however these may be gone soon. We do love the regular turkey meatballs as well. They are great with marinara and are ready in 3 short minutes.

Organic Silver Dollar Pancakes: These are located in the frozen food isle. They are so good and just the right size for kids. I just pop them in toaster in morning and we are ready to head out the door. Beckett loves these with jelly or peanut butter on them. We love the size of them so you can easily make for a quick snack. These are a must have in our house.

Battered Fish Nuggets: These are located in the frozen food isle. Beckett will eat four or five of these in one sitting. The only downsize is they do take awhile to cook so just plan ahead for the 10-15 min cook time. He enjoys them with ketchup but will gobble them up plain as well. We have tried a few other brands and we just keep coming back to these  because of the small size of them and they have a shorter cook time than most others we have tried.

I hope you guys will go give these items a try. Please report back and let me know what your kiddos are loving. Also please share with me what some of your favorite Trader Joe’s items are for your kids. I am sure there is still lots to discover and I love trying out new items. I  love how they are always re inventing themselves with new items. It keeps grocery shopping a little bit more exciting.

Xo, Andie

Thankfulness, A Beautiful Table, and Pie

I am so excited for Thanksgiving which will be here in only two short days. Normally I start getting stressed out about the holidays because it normally entails lots of running around. This year we decided to stay home and enjoy four long glorious days off without running around. I am excited to enjoy every sweet minute of it with Beckett, Nick and of course some of our amazing family.

Photo By: Christina Roberts Photography

Today I am going to show you how to put together a beautiful Thanksgiving table in under 5 minutes, that’s right 5 minutes! I quickly gathered a few things I had lying around my house and literally threw them on my table. A table runner, eucalyptus, candlesticks, and pumpkins left over from Halloween. That’s all you need to get things looking festive and fun.

Table Runner: Mine is from a little vintage store in Placerville, California that my Dad used to shop at called Country Elegance. You can find these vintage doily table runners at lots of antique stores, or flea markets these days. Here is one I have have been eyeing from cost plus world market.

EucalyptusI bought one bunch of Eucalyptus at Trader Joe’s yesterday when I went grocery shopping but you can just go out in your yard and clip whatever greenery you can find. Look for something with unique, geometric leaves. I have an olive branch tree in my back yard that I use for my home decor all the time.

Candlesticks: My candlesticks are from the Alameda Flea Market. If you have a local, vintage flea market nearby you should definitely go every once and awhile and pick up some fun vintage items, like candlesticks, for dirt cheap. Check these ones out from target that I have been eyeing.

Pumpkins: You know where to find these. My chevron pumpkin in the center is from the Target dollar spot. If you don’t know about the Target dollar spot you are missing out. You can get coffee mugs, home decor, kids toys, and so much more for cheap.

Plates: Mine are from Crate and Barrel. They come in all colors

Napkins: These are from Cost Plus World Market. They have the best napkins with such fun prints.

Silverware: I have a vintage gold set that was handed down to me from my grandma but you can use whatever matching set you have. Check out this swoon worthy set from West Elm.

I also wanted to share with you guys my moms perfected apple pie recipe that is so amazing and easy. We are BIG Apple Pie people in my family so this is just a no-brainer when it comes to the holidays. A little ice cream on top and I am in pie heaven. Nick and I actually served pie at our wedding instead of cake because we are obsessed. Please give this recipe a try. You will thank me later.

9″ Pie Crust 

-2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
-heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-3/8 teaspoon baking powder
-7 tablespoons oil: canola, vegetable, olive, your choice
-1/4 cup cold water

Instructions:
-Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder
-Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients
-Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened (you may need to add more water if it is not at a doughy consistency)
-Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass will help smooth out the bottom
-Crimp the edge, or flatten with the tines of a fork

Filling

-4 lbs Newtown Pippin or Mutsu apples (or you can use a mix of your choice)
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions: Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4″ slices. Toss with the lemon juice. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and toss with the apples. Arrange the apples on top of the pie crust, with the points facing down.

Streusel Topping
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-3/4 cup (6 oz.) butter

Instructions: Place dry ingredients in a food processor, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Pour streusel topping on top of apples, pressing down onto the slices. The streusel should cover the apples completely.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Tent the pie loosely with foil. Place on lower rack of oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, transfer to center rack and bake for 1 hour until apples are softened, but slightly firm when tested with a skewer. Cool on rack for at least an hour before serving.

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving. Take the time to focus on GRATITUDE this week. Hug your loved ones tight and let them know how much you love them as often as it crosses your mind.

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things”-Maya Angelou

XO, Andie

Daddy’s Dresser

All of you who know me pretty well know that my Dad passed away about two and half years ago suddenly. It was definitely the toughest thing I have ever had to go through in my life thus far. As time passed after he died I went from not wanting to be reminded of it all to wanting to be reminded of him every day.  As hard and as difficult as it was I found myself wanting to be around things that reminded me of him and my childhood as much as possible. I wanted to remember him and be reminded of him as much as I possibly could. It somehow helped to ease the pain just a little bit.

10696327_10154835330555112_7316703754134678467_n
Photo By: This Love of Yours Photography

It was so incredibly difficult the day my siblings and I had to go up to his house after he passed and start cleaning it out. The emotions on that day I will never forget. I never would of been able to get through that day without my siblings, they are LITERALLY my living angels on earth. There were a few items of his that I knew that I wanted and some that just didn’t mean as much to me. It was pretty hilarious because we all had something very different in mind that we wanted to take or keep of his. For me it was a hall tree and a dresser, two furniture pieces that my dad cherished more than anything. Everything my Dad had kept over the years were pieces that meant something to him. He was never one to hold on to something just because, he kept the precious things that to him were irreplaceable.

I actually decided when we first got there that I didn’t want the dresser, it was just shot. It was a sad dresser that had been loved to death. The handles were falling off of it, it had paint all over it, and it just looked like it had seen better days. I just kept coming back to it because every time I opened a drawer it smelt of my dad. It smelt like a fireplace which is the memorable scent that is the definition of him. I kept brainstorming ways that i could redo it or make it pretty again. I knew how special this dresser was to my Dad. It was a dresser that my grandpa had given to him and my mom back when they were married. It was a dresser that made every move with him over and over. It was the dresser he would hide his gold coins in under his socks. It was the dresser that I as a kid would search through if i wanted to see some of my dads special satchels full of coins, rings, and special mementos that were meaningful to him.

I am going to be honest and say that it took me this long to get this dresser redone. Since my dad passed away I have sold, bought, and renovated a new house, had a baby, and I work full time. Phew! We just really did not have room for it at our old house either so I was waiting until after our move and renovation to work on it. I also needed time to decide if I wanted to paint it or just restore it. I needed time to think as I knew it had to be perfect. I knew it would really modernize it if I painted it and I am sure I would have loved it but it would of turned it into a completely different dresser. I finally decided I wanted to keep it true and original. I wanted to be continually reminded of the dresser I have always known and remembered. One that I know my Dad would love as well. This quick and easy DIY project was completely done in less than 2 hours while Beck was napping. My kind of project!

I removed the old drawer pulls and cleaned all the dust and grime off of it. I then sanded it lightly with 000 Steel wool pads.  I wiped it down entirely to remove some of the wool that was left over. I then applied this AMAZING product called Restor-A-Finish. This product is so unbelievable and it only costs $9.98. I picked a color that looked closest to color of the dresser. I then applied the Restor-A-Finish using a steel wool pad. You can just apply with a rag but I recommend using a steel wool pad if your piece is pretty scuffed or scratched. This product will restore your old color in seconds. It’s such an awesome product and I am so glad I found it because it will literally restore any old wood piece and make it look brand new. You better believe I will be on the hunt to find old reclaimed woods to use this product on. I then shopped around for some modern drawer pulls. I wanted something in a brushed gold as I new brass would look way to 80’s for this dresser. I was also looking for something affordable as drawer pulls can be pricey. I found these brushed champagne pulls at my local Home Depot and they were only $ 5.98 ea. and they were perfect.

I added a gold mirror on top to tie the pulls and mirror in and to modernize it and make it fit in perfectly to master bedroom. I absolutely love how it turned out. For a total of $72.48 I had this beauty back to looking perfection.  Lately I have been so obsessed with mixing modern and vintage. It just makes my little design heart happy as I am so passionate about both styles in home décor. I hope you guys loved how this quick this DIY project turned out and I hope it has inspired you to try this out and restore something old that may just need a little love.  I am not sure how I could ever survive life without nap time?! I try to utilize it as much as possible to do something that will make my little design heart happy. I am now reminded of my Dad everyday and I can’t help but smile from ear to ear knowing he would be so proud of me and this beautiful piece.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Continue reading Daddy’s Dresser