Gift Wrapping Idea: A Paper Flower!

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you all had a great start to your week - I am finally starting to feel better and Winter Break is in sight so I'm pretty excited :) Here is a little project I did to dress up the gift I got for our Secret Santa gift swap at work. Last year I made lots of little tags like this to put on all of my gifts, so I will hopefully be back later this week with a couple more ideas for you!

To make the flower, first cut out five petals (make sure they are wider at the top like the ones below). Next, make the little ripples in each of the petals - I used the end of one of my smallest makeup brushes (while you are doing this start heating up your hot glue gun!). Skewers also work well (better, actually). It helps if you have two. Put one on each side of the paper and shape the petal around the skewers. It's confusing at first, but you'll figure it out! Next, cut a slit at the bottom of the petal, and overlap the two sides so your petal becomes 3D...glue it together with a little dot of hot glue! (Look at the picture and it will all make sense). Now, glue each of the petals together.

To create the middle of the flower, cut two small circles. One should be a bit bigger than the other. Cut the edges of each of them like I did in the picture above. Then use your fingers to curl the edges in. Glue them to the middle of your flower (little one on top of bigger one). Cut out a couple of leaves and glue them to the bottom of the flower.

For this one I created a band of white paper to wrap around my present, and glued the flower to this and used it as my label. In the past I have also made smaller flowers and cut out little labels to attach them to. It's up to you!
Do you have any creative ways you like to embellish your presents? Or do you like to keep it simple? Today I just wrapped a present in craft paper and tied it up with neon string - sometimes simple is great too. I love coming up with different ways to wrap presents, so I'm excited to finish wrapping everything once I get to my parent's house for Christmas!

Photo Friday//White Balance

Welp, seems I'm already failing at staying on track with this Photo Friday thing! My excuse is that I've been sick...Good enough? This week I'm going to be sharing what I've learned about White Balance! But first, I'm going to share a couple photos I took over the last couple of weeks, using what I learned about the Manual Setting. As you will see from the photos, I didn't do anything all that exciting...on our way out on Friday night my car broke down. So that was the extent of our weekend excitement! (I tried to get a photo of this, but frozen hands + the inside of a tow truck does not equal a nice photo).

If you're just here to learn about White Balance you can just scroll to the bottom to see the lesson!
 leaves on a crisp sunny day//a hot mug of cocoa//working from bed//snuggles from my puppy at home//brainstorming by the fire//cleaning out my closet 
Photo Friday, Part 2: White Balance

What is White Balance? Basically, light has a color temperature - it can be warm (red) or cool (blue)...White balance allows us to balance the temperature of the light in our pictures. Our eyes do this for us, and DSLRs have an auto mode that tries its best to do it, but it doesn't always work perfectly. The Auto White Balance mode works best when there is a good contrast of dark and light.

Now that we know what White Balance is...did you know that there are different presets on your camera for White Balance? Mine has Incandescent, Cool-White Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, and then a Preset Manual setting. Using these depending on the setting can help get rid of the nasty yellow glow of indoor lights, or the depressing grey light cast by clouds. Here are some links to helpful posts that talk about (and show) each setting and what it does: It's OverflowingMy 3 BoybariansLaid Off Mom.

You can also set your own White Balance if none of these presets will do the trick. These two posts talk a bit about how to do this: PhotoxelsMy 3 Boybarians. I doubt I will be doing much of this for my everyday photography, but I might give it a try in the coming weeks...seems like a good skill to have under my belt, just in case.

Also, I just wanted to share this tutorial about photographing your christmas tree - I used it as a guide when I was taking the photos for this post...everything I learned in my last Photo Friday also really helped.

Remember to share any of your photos or photography tips in the comments! I would love to hear from you :)

Christmas/Winter Mix 2013

I always forget how much I love the holiday season. The first month or so of cold weather feels so magical...bundling up in fuzzy scarves and hats, drinking hot cocoa, cuddling up under piles of blankets. I love all the twinkling lights, the smell of Christmas trees, sitting in front of the fire at my parents' house, the excitement for the fresh start that comes with a new year, and of course, Christmas music. I found all of the local Christmas music channels and programmed them into my car's radio as soon as I got home from Thanksgiving (much to Taylor's dismay)! Even if they aren't the best songs in the world, so many Christmas songs have sweet memories attached to them...I love the classics but I've also discovered some different songs that are a little less corny :) Here is a mix I put together of some of my favorites...there are some classics, some alternative versions of the classics, and a few Winter songs for those of you who hate Christmas music!

Christmas/Winter Mix 2013 by Ella Nimmo on Grooveshark

This week I am hoping to check lots of things off my to do list, do a little Christmas shopping/crafting, and squeeze in some holiday movies and coffee dates. It has been freezing in Portland and it is hard to motivate to do anything but cuddle up in bed. We even got a little dusting of snow last week!...it made me so excited for a real snowfall when I'm visiting the East Coast for the holidays. Crossing my fingers for a white Christmas! Hope you all had a great weekend!

(original photo found here)

Twinkle Light Christmas Tree

Raise your hand if there is a dead tomato/basil/blueberry plant freezing in your yard! Mine has a nice little plant cemetery going...The other day as I was admiring my collection of plant skeletons, I realized that the cages that used to hold up my plants were the perfect shape to use for a Christmas tree craft project! I have been brainstorming ways to create a tree/something that could stand in for a real Christmas tree for our house. There isn't a lot of room in this itsy bitsy house, and none of us will actually be home for Christmas, so it just didn't make sense to get a tree...but I still wanted something that felt festive and cozy. 
To make this little tree light I started by attaching lights to the cage vertically, securing them with washi tape as I went. This fills in the gaps so you can wrap the next string of lights around the cage horizontally. Mess around with the lights until you like they way they are distributed. Just make sure all plugs are in the back. Next, attach decorations! We don't have any tree decorations so I just made some gold and white stars and taped them to the cage. That's it! My house mate just came home with pine scented cleaning supplies and we may or may not be considering spraying the tree with them to trick our senses into thinking it's real...
I'm excited to curl up on the couch next to our little tree and watch Christmas movies this weekend :) It's not quite a real tree, but it'll do! (it case you're wondering, the tree is about 3 ft tall)

Embroidery Hoop Wall Art

Evening, friends! I finally made it home to PDX late last night after a long, eventful day of travel. Today has been quiet and relaxing. I stole my boyfriend's softest sweater, made a hot cup of tea and did work in bed all day! Oh, and I may have plugged in the twinkle lights and listened to a little Otis Redding Christmas Pandora channel...

Here is a little DIY I finished today that I have been meaning to do for a long time...filling this embroidery hoop has been one failed DIY after another. After using transfer paper to print a photo on fabric didn't work, I resorted to just washi taping a little feather in the middle of the hoop and calling it a day. Today that feather inspired me to try something else!

To do this I used a regular ink pad (since I won't be washing it or anything), a feather (needs to be one that isn't too fluffy - I cut mine down a little so there wasn't too much fluff and it was a shape I liked), letter stamps, white fabric, and of course the embroidery hoop.
I carefully stamped on the phrase I wanted. Then I used this tutorial to print the feather below the writing. I used a wine cork instead of a roller since I didn't have one, and it worked just fine!

I'm really happy with the way it turned out - I love that the stamp letters are a little bit imperfect. If you don't have letter stamps, you could also hand write a short phrase using a paint pen, or you could just do a feather! I'm excited to try a few more projects using my newly learned skill of feather printing :) 
Hope you're having a great Sunday! xx


A New Feature: Photo Friday//The Basics of Manual Mode

Happy Friday everyone! I hope those of you here in the US had a wonderful day full of relaxation and Thanksgiving left overs...and managed to avoid Black Friday lines/stampedes! (Speaking of which, Take a look at this cool info-graphic some friends made last year about Black Friday. Check out the sales happening at local/small businesses, or take a look in my DIY archives for presents you could make yourself instead!)

I have had a wonderful week at home (perks of working in a public school!) - I surprised my mom for her birthday, attended her big 50th birthday bash, had a yummy thanksgiving dinner with family and friends at Taylor's house, and finally finished and submitted my first grad school app (woo hoo!). Of course, all of this meant no time for blogging. Oh well! I'm back today with a new feature! This is going to be a bi-weekly feature to help me (and hopefully you as well!) improve my photography!

Here's the plan: Every other Friday I will choose an area of photography to learn about and focus on over the following two weeks. I will start with basics, like how the heck to use the manual setting/what all the numbers mean, and then move on to things like how to take good photos in different types of lighting, or how to take flattering portrait photos (some of the posts might be specific to a DSLR camera, but others could be used to improve your photography using any type of camera - even your phone). I know nothing about photography, so I won’t be writing my own tutorials. I will just be sharing my notes and links to the resources and information I find online or through books. I figure this will be a chance for us to learn together! I hope that these posts will be a forum for us to share information – if you know anything about photography or have some input on a particular technique, I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments. 

In each post I will share a few photos I took using the new techniques I’m learning...So the posts will also be a way for me to share some personal photos. If others are interested in joining along and linking up each week with the photos you took using your new skills, that would also be great! - Just leave a link to your post/photos in the comments.

Also, if any of you talented photographers (or non-photographer bloggers who still take amazing photos) out there would like to contribute to this feature, let me know! It would be really cool to have occasional posts with original content from photographers themselves who actually know what they’re talking about.
Ok, so, here is the first topic for this feature: how the heck to use manual mode.

This is something I have learned half heartedly in the past, but the info never really sunk in. Every photography blog I have read says that learning to use manual is the first step to getting great photos with your SLR...so I figured it's a great place to start! (Sorry to readers without SLRs, future posts in this feature will apply to you, I promise!)

Gold Chain Headband DIY

This DIY is inspired by a chain headband I saw a while back in Urban Outfitters. It is super easy and cheap to make, and you can customize it any way you like...You could make it thinner, thicker, braid it, add in silver/brass/copper chain or bright string or different styles of chains...so many options! I think that this simple gold one will be great to wear around the holidays. Also, I discovered that this headband makes a cute necklace! I would just wear it with my hair down to hide the elastic in the back a bit.
All you will need is a few inches of thin elastic, a needle and thread, two large jump rings and a bunch of chain (I think I used a couple little packages of chains. You might be able to find some cheaper chains in bulk online). Measure your head to decide how long you need to make the chains. Leave a couple of inches in the back for the elastic. Cut the elastic to be a little shorter than the space you left (that way it will be tight enough). Cut your chains to your desired length, trying to keep them all the same length as much as possible. Remember, if you plan on braiding your chains, you need to take into account the shortening that will occur. Attach the chains to a jump ring on either end. Now, take your elastic, loop it through each of the rings and sew it in place. That's it!
Due to a lack of sunlight, or a tri pod, or a functioning camera remote, or someone to help me take pictures I struggled majorly to get a good picture of this...the one that shows best how this headband looks on ended up being a mirror picture I took in my room...oh well!

Confessions of a Blogger

Emorie of Oh Whimsical Me tagged me the other day to do the "Confessions of a Blogger" post and answer a few questions about blogging. Thought I may as well give it a go in case you are interested in hearing a little more about me and my blog :) If not, just skip on down to the next post!

1. When did you first start blogging and why?

I first started blogging in June of 2011 on my first blog “The World Through Kaleidoscope Eyes.” In September I changed my blog name to Paper Umbrella and moved everything over here! From the time I discovered DIY/Lifestyle/Fashion blogs the idea of starting my own was always in the back of my mind, but I never got the courage or had the time to take the plunge. I finally decided to start one because I was about to leave to study abroad in the Dominican Republic and wanted somewhere to document my experience. I didn’t end up being able to blog all that much while I was there, but when I got back to the US I decided to start posting DIYs. I love being creative and wanted a place to share my projects and inspiration!

2. Have you had any past online presence?

Just on my old blog. Before that I just spent a lot of time on Pinterest and other blogs. 

3. When did you become serious about your blog?

I became really serious about my blog when I changed the name and design in September. Before that I really didn’t have a lot of time to devote to it so once I found myself unemployed and with some extra free time I decided to start over and make it a priority.

4. What was your first blog post?

My very first post was a little intro with some pictures of some flower hair clips I made. The first real post was a DIY for silk flowers.

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?

Really, the biggest struggle has been finding the time and staying organized. It’s hard to juggle a blog and a full time job and grad school applications and all of my other commitments (I'm an over-committer). Luckily I love blogging, so I see it as something fun to do in my free time. I also have a hard time with networking with other bloggers – I have come across so many interesting people who I would love to connect with more, but sometimes my introversion gets in the way!

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

There are so many inspiring and kind people in the blogging world – I love it! It is also great to have something to encourage me to keep creating and a place to share what I love with others. It’s amazing to meet and hear from people who are passionate about the same things. My blog is slowly becoming a place where I share more of my life, and I love having somewhere to keep memories and reflect on everything.

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?

One thing that is a little scary about blogging is that you are opening yourself up to criticism – I haven’t experienced it, but I know how easy it is for people to hide behind their computers and say hurtful things to others…Knowing this makes me think extra hard about certain things I post. I also definitely identify with Emorie’s response to this question; there are so many other areas that I am passionate about beyond what I tend to post here, and sometimes I don’t include these parts of my life because I worry about how readers will respond or that they won’t find it interesting. In some ways I feel ok about that because I am able to express those passions in other areas of my life…but it’s something I think about a lot.

8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?

There is inspiration everywhere! I just truly love being creative and sharing with others. The way I feel when I create something awesome or take a great picture or create the perfect mix is the best motivation.  I am also so motivated by the fact that there are people out there who get just as excited about these things as I do and want to learn from me.

9. What is your blogging dirty little secret?

I’m not too sure what kind of answer I’m supposed to give to this question…hah! I am a major procrastinator and my ideas for this blog are all over the place. I often end up blogging way past my bedtime or when I should really be doing other things. Do those count as dirty little secrets?

10. What is your current goal as a blogger?

I just want to keep seeing my blog grow and keep pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone as a creative person. I want this blog to be a place that not only inspires others, but also myself – I don’t want to look back at posts and see the same old things. I want to grow and experiment – maybe even fail a few times.  I think that’s ok. I also want to do more networking and pursue opportunities to try new things and work with others.

11. Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?

I have become a lot more interested in photography. I have so much improving to do in terms of my photography skills, and Paper Umbrella has made me more motivated to learn more about photography…I recently decided to really buckle down and work on this by creating a new weekly feature (more on that later!).


I'm tagging:

Danica of Goodheart
Jordyn of Pretty Lovely
Andra and Deanna of Birds & Oxfords
Suzanne of A Coin For The Well
Caroline of A Batonette A Day

Make Your Own Rings!

Who else is obsessed with the recent trend of tiny stacked rings? The other day I found the "show me your stack" feature on the blog Unruly Things and spent a good hour admiring the beautiful stacks of rings. I decided it's time I invest in some stackable rings, and then promptly came to the conclusion that I can't afford stacks of rings and instead put a few on my christmas wishlist. After a bit of searching around and lusting after rings, I realized I could probably create a few little rings with some sturdy thin wire and a pair of needle nose pliers. This project ended up working out so well! I'm really excited to make a few others and start building up my stacks of rings!

To make one of these rings you will need some thin (but sturdy) wire. I think the wire I got was 22 gauge and it holds it's shape well. You will also need a pair of needle nose pliers and wire cutters. For the xo ring you will need a soldering iron (I don't know why, but apparently we have one at our house...also I originally called it a welder but then learned that wasn't what I meant...oops!) or some strong, clear glue to hold the x in place.
I drew the diagram above to help you shape your xo ring if you'd like to give this design a try. Start by shaping your ring around a pen or chapstick/lipstick tube that is close to the size of your finger. You can adjust it to your exact size once you've rounded it around the tube. Next use the piers to shape your "o" first, then your "x." Then clip off the extra wire. Use your soldering iron to connect the 2 parts of your "x" or use a small dab of clear glue (because, honestly, I don't know why you would own a welder...). You could also just leave the "x" as it is if you're ok with having to adjust it back into place every so often.

Other ideas for wire rings: a heart, a little bow, a knot, something like this, or you could attach a bead or piece of jewelry hardware. If you decide to make one of these rings, put a link to pictures in the comments! I will put up some pictures once I get around to making more :) 

Heavenly Pretzels & Spicy Cheese Sauce

I have something to tell you, but you guys have to promise not to judge me or tell anyone else. My number one guilty pleasure food is soft pretzels and spicy nacho cheese. Especially that nasty fake cheese. Mmmm. So, when I saw this recipe I pinned it immediately. This weekend Taylor and I decided we wanted to bake something, and I managed to convince him that we should make pretzels and cheese sauce (he thinks I’m gross). These turned out SO yummy. Go make them. Right now. You won’t regret it.
For the pretzels we just followed this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. The recipe is perfection, so no need to make any alterations. These pretzels are perfect for making on a lazy Sunday at home. We spent about half the day making the pretzels, working on projects in between the steps.
We changed around the cheese sauce a little based on what we had on hand. Here’s what we did: Make a roux like they say in the recipe above, then add the milk (my roux didn’t really do the job and the milk wasn’t thickening, so I added a little corn starch). Next add in 3 oz cream cheese and around a cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Once the cheese is melted add some chopped up pickled jalapeƱos. I think we used around 15-20 of the little slices. Next, add in a few tablespoons of the juice from the jalapeƱos. I’m pretty sure that this was the ingredient that made the sauce. Lastly, add in some cayenne pepper a little sprinkle at a time, testing until it’s spicy enough for your taste. Now, dunk your warm pretzels in there and devour them all in one sitting. I won't tell if you don't.

Neon//Gold Garland

This weekend was probably one of the best I've had in a while...it was a good combination of lazing around and being super productive. I finished 4 DIY projects and finished one of my essays for my first grad school application! Woohoo! Here is one super simple DIY to start off the week. 

One of my favorite color combinations lately has been gold and neon...especially neon pink! So I decided to make another garland using these colors (you can see the other garland I made here). All I needed was a pack of wooden beads, painter's tape, gold spray paint and some sort of neon pink rope or string. I couldn't find the type of rope I was hoping to use, so I made do with some thicker pink cord (I think it was called parachute cord or something like that).

First cover half of each wood bead with painter's tape and spray them with gold spray paint (white could look good too). Once they are dry, remove the tape and begin stringing them onto your rope. I measured out my string first (make it a little longer than you actually want it to be in the end to account for the knots you are going to tie...I didn't add enough length and mine ended up being a little shorter than I originally wanted...oops). Then I added all of the beads and spaced them out, tying knots on either side of each bead as I went. That's it!

I'll be back tomorrow with a post about the most amazing thing I have ever baked in my life, seriously. Get excited.

want // need // wear // read

Just a little something for your weekend viewing pleasure. I'm currently working on a few diys that will be part of an exciting feature I am doing, so patience ducklings, I will be back soon with more projects! For now, here is something I want, something I need, something to wear and something to read - inspired by the feature James of Bleubird does on her blog!
"something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read"

want this cute map of Paris print//need a cozy blanket to keep me warm//wearing lots of fuzzy sweaters these days//reading Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins//

Happy weekend, friends!

post inspired by james of bleubird blog

Thai Noodle Soup

This is a recipe my family learned from our friend Yai, who is from Thailand. He is an amazing cook and always gives us cooking lessons when we visit him. He taught us how to make Thai noodle soup years ago and it has been one of our favorite recipes ever since. If you've every had Pho before, this is very similar to that. His recipes never have any measurements or anything, so hopefully I remembered everything correctly...regardless, it tasted preeeetty yummy to me!
This meal really should be pretty simple to make, but there are a lot of little things that you will need to be throwing together at once, so it definitely helps to plan out how you are going to do things before you start cooking. This meal makes about 4 large servings.

First, start your broth.

You will need:
8 cups of high quality chicken broth (not a stock - there should be as few ingredients in it as possible. Obviously it is preferable to make your own broth from scratch if you can! If you are vegetarian you can also use veggie broth instead.)
2 whole garlic cloves
3 stalks of lemon grass, chopped roughly
2-3 kaffir lime leaves
10 peppercorns
A bit of star anise

Pour your plain chicken broth into a large pot and bring to a boil (while you are waiting for this to happen you can prepare your noodles - see below). Add in your garlic, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, peppercorns, star anise and chilies. Cover and let simmer while you finish everything else. If you would like to have chicken in your soup rather than tofu you should also add your chicken to the broth (obviously in this case it will mean keeping more of an eye on the broth so your chicken cooks the right amount). Right before you are ready to serve the dish, add in a couple bunches of bok choy (or any other similar green) and cook for a couple of minutes.

While you are waiting for your broth to come to a boil, cook your noodles. 

You will need about 2/3 of a packet of flat rice noodles. Put the noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are completely immersed. Let them soak until they are al dente (should be about 5-10 minutes). Immediately strain them and run cold water over them so they don't stick together. Set them aside!

Now, we need to prepare all of your toppings! You can always add or subtract from this list, up to you! Set all of these aside in little bowls so everyone can add what they'd like to their soup!

1) Fried tofu: Take one packet of extra firm tofu and try to get as much of the water out of it as you can. Cut the whole thing up into cubes and toss them in flour until each piece is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Fry the pieces in a pan with olive oil until they are brown and crispy (this method of cooking tofu has turned many tofu skeptics around!...but if tofu still scares you, use the chicken you put in your broth as your protein).

2) Fried lemongrass. Chop 4 stalks of lemongrass up finely. Fry in a pan with a bit of oil at medium heat until they are brown and crispy. Put them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil before transferring them to a small bowl.

3) Fried green onion (or shallots). Chop 4 pieces of green onion up finely. Fry in a pan with a bit of oil at medium heat until they are brown and crispy. Put them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

4) Fried garlic. Chop 3 cloves of garlic up finely. Fry in a pan with a bit of oil at medium/low heat until they are brown and crispy. Put them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

5) Nuoc mam sauce. Mix together 3 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce. Add some finely chopped garlic and thai red chili when you are done making any adjustments!

The rest don't involve much preparation, just set them out for people to add!

6) Finely chopped cilantro
7) Bean sprouts
8) Tom yum sauce (this sauce is the best, you can find it at your local Asian market)
9) Sriracha
10) Soy sauce
11) Lime juice
12) Finely chopped peanuts
13) Thai basil
...Anything else you think might be good!

Now, what my family generally does is let everyone add what they want to their soup. Serve up bowls of broth, bok choy and noodles and each person can add the rest. I usually add a bit of almost everything, give it a try and then adjust as needed. My favorite is the tom yum sauce so I always use lots of that :)

Let me know if you have any questions!

Last Minute Halloween Costumes (For My Fellow Procrastinators)

If you're anything like me (most years), you've put off your halloween costume up until now...despite the fact that you've been brainstorming an awesome, crafty project all year long. It's ok, life just happens...I can't even remember the last time I put together a real costume :( This year I'm more on top of it...some friends and I are being lost boys (from Peter Pan) and I have all the materials and part of it made...but I will definitely be scrambling to finish it before we go out tomorrow night!

Anyway, if you still have no idea what you are doing and need something to wear to a halloween party this weekend (or maybe you are a super slacker and still need something for tonight), here are a few fun, quick, simple ideas I found around the internets so you don't have to be that guy that shows up in a white sheet (unless you are going as a sexy ghost in which case I'm all for it). Hope these give you some ideas!
A Beautiful Mess has some adorable last minute couple costume ideas...love the Fantastic Mr. Fox ones! You can definitely also use these ideas as inspiration for costumes for one person. Studio DIY has all sorts of quick costume ideas. I love these ideas for simple halloween "toppers." Want to be a ballerina but don't have a tutu? Check out this tutorial for a bubble wrap ballerina costume! Aaaand last but not least, you could always throw on some ears, paint on some whiskers and call it a night. I love that these animal ears have a little edge!
If you're not into the whole costume deal but want to be a little festive, here are some fun (and relatively easy if you use a small brush) halloween nail art ideas! (one//two//three//four)

Hope you all have a great halloween/halloween weekend! I'm sure I'll be sharing some pictures from mine next week :) Stay safe!

Spain Video!

Here is the last of my posts about our trip around Europe this past Summer (well, that took a while)! This is the video from our time in Spain...by this point in the trip we were taking less and less video, so this one is on the shorter/simpler side, but it's still fun to have these memories to look back on in the future! I just re-watched the other little movies we made and it made me so nostalgic for that trip! You can find our France movie here, and our Italy movie here! (The France one is my favorite :) ).

The songs in the video are "Barcelona" by Giulia y Los Telarini and "Gorrion" by Juan Serrano. Hope you like it!


Skull Inspiration for You, and You, and You Too!

Aaaaand here is part 2 of my simple (not-so-spooky) halloween decor ideas...skull edition! Growing up we often attended dia de los muertos events with some of our family friends who celebrated...this was always one of my favorite events - I love the beautiful, colorful and even festive way of honoring the dead. Although dia de los muertos is an event entirely separate from Halloween (let's not get them confused!), I was inspired to use some of the bright colors you often see there and integrate them in with more typical halloween decor...black and orange, pumpkins, spider web, etc. To me, it makes the halloween season much more beautiful! So, I made this little skull to put with some other bits of decor we already had out (sorry there are no pictures of that...the lighting in my kitchen is SO BAD).
I got this little cardboard skull from Michael's. I really wanted to get one of the big plaster ones they have been selling but they only had one left that was already painted. Sad day. I probably didn't need a life sized skull lying around anyway...

So, all I did was paint it white, paint on some bright designs (using some pictures I found online for inspiration), and hot glue on some fake flowers! Done!
 Hope this gets you inspired to add some fun colors to your Fall/Halloween decor!

Simple Fall Decor Inspiration: Part I

I'm back with more pumpkin related goodness! This time I have some easy fall/halloween decor inspiration for you! As I mentioned yesterday, I'm not so into the usual halloween decor...orange and black is one of my least favorite color combinations (too bad they were my school colors in college!)...BUT what about orange, white and gold? Those are close enough to halloween colors, right? I can get with that. 

To make these little decorative pumpkins I painted a layer of modpodge all over the stems, poured on lots of gold glitter, let it dry, and cleaned off the excess glitter. Then I decided it would be fun to add some white to the pumpkins, so I painted on some polka dots with acrylic paint (this required a couple coats). 
You could do lots of fun things with the white paint! You could paint triangles, stripes, you could do a dipped look...I was also thinking it would be cool to do a spider web-esque design by criss-crossing thin strips of tape on the pumpkin and then spray painting over it (let dry and then carefully remove the tape). The gold would also look really nice on a white pumpkin!