Tuesday, March 8, 2016

DIY Framed Canvas

If you were following along with #joshandlusayido, you may recognize this beautiful hand-painted canvas from behind the bars at our wedding. The quote by C.S. Lewis - "Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before" - is one of our favorites and seemed very fitting for a wedding, so we knew we wanted to incorporate it in a big way. We recruited our wonderful calligrapher Lauren of A Fabulous Fete to paint it for us, and I loved what a statement it made in our tent.
Anyway, fast forward 6 months and we still had this lovely painted canvas folded up in a closet. It seemed like such a waste of beauty, and I knew I had to do something to display it and return it to it's wedding day glory. However, it's large size (7 ft wide x 4 ft tall)  proved to be a tricky factor. We consulted a couple of framers, who quoted us over $1000 just for the frame. Then to have a custom piece of glass cut would be another $1000 on top of that, at least. Since we only paid $200 for the custom canvas, this all seemed a bit ridiculous and getting the canvas professionally framed was quickly taken off the table. Our next tactic was scouring the internet, mainly Amazon, for a 7'4' frame, which also proved unsuccessful.  And so we came to the only realistic solution - DIY it!

The design plans were pretty simple: create a wood frame that was the size of the quote, and then staple the canvas around it. Here's what you need!

  • Canvas print or painting
  • 4 inch wide pine boards (Home Depot)
  • 4 brackets with screws (we used these)
  • Tools needed: staple gun, electric screwdriver, circular saw 

First, josh cut the pine boards to the dimensions of the quote, which as I mentioned was about 7ftx4ft. You want to make sure to make your frame slightly larger than your piece of art, because you will be stretching it very tightly around the wood.
Next, josh added the brackets to each corner to secure the frame in place. We started with smaller L shaped brackets but after realizing the resulting frame was too flimsy, upgraded to the larger steel brackets I listed above.
Next, we positioned the canvas underneath the frame and stapled one side to make sure we had the quote exactly where we wanted it before stapling the whole thing.
Finally, go staple crazy! Put at least 5 key staples on each side of the frame, and then circle back around with the staple gun, pulling the canvas super tightly in between each staple to ensure there's no wrinkles. I know I can't be the only one who finds using a staple gun to be so invigorating.
And just like that, you have a beautiful framed canvas, for less than $20! Since this was such a large scale piece, we decided to hang it right above our bed, where it would make a statement but not look overwhelming or busy. We purposely decorated our bedroom in very neural, soothing colors like whites and browns with almost no color at all, so I love the little blue pop that this now adds to the space.
What do you think? Would you try a DIY frame at home? I love that I now get to wake up to this piece every single morning, and am reminded not only of our wedding day, but that every chapter is just going to keep getting better. xx

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Travel Tuesday

Happy #traveltuesday! It has been a very busy start to 2016, which is why I haven't checked in here in quite as often as I would like. So I thought I would catch you up today on what we've been up to over the last couple of months, which has mainly been a lot of flying!

After a mostly snow-less winter here in the Northeast, I am so glad that Josh and I booked a trip to Denver for New Years. We visited some of our best friends, celebrated 2016 and my 27th birthday, and hit the slopes for some much needed powder. We had so much fun that I can almost forget that it didn't reach over 10 degrees the entire time we were there!
I flew out to Utah at the end of January with my work dreamteam for our annual trip to ALT Summit. If you aren't familiar with ALT Summit, it's a large blog conference that attracts some of the top talent in the home and design space. Joss & Main sponsored the conference this year, so we completely designed and built out our space and then enjoyed a couple of days chatting with bloggers and hosting our #whitesofachallenge.
Josh and I fly to Orlando every year over Superbowl weekend to visit his parents (who spend the winter there now), and while we were down there this year we realized it was our fifth year making that trip! It's hard to believe it's been five years since this and this and this, when we were down there visiting Disney World for the first time. We were such babies! I remember even getting my first real job offer while at the Magic Kingdom, which made the trip that much more memorable. Anyway, this year was yet another sunny escape from the cold and really made me realize how long josh and I have been together, and how many traditions we've built along the way.
I officially can no longer say I've never been to California! I finally went to LA last week for a shoot for work, and I'm already dreaming of going back. I think a large reason that I never planned a trip there is because I worried about never wanting to return, and this trip just confirmed that I know myself pretty well. The weather, the food, the people - all wonderful. And although most of my time was spent prepping for a shoot and on set in the Hollywood Hills, I was still able to squeeze in dinner downtown, visits with a few friends, an afternoon by the pool, and my first In & Out Burger. I have to say that I still think Shake Shack trumps In & Out by a landslide, but I won't open that can of worms. ;)
And the traveling continues! Other than a few ski trips up to Vermont and a trip Josh is taking to Nashville with friends (jealous), I think March will be relatively quiet for us (but this could always change!). Then in April, we head to Mexico! We always opt to book a vacation together each Christmas in lieu of gifts, and after hearing rave reviews of Tulum from several people, decided that Tulum would be this years' destination. We'll be staying at Ahau Tulum in a little beach hut for the week, with nothing but our hammock, some tacos, margaritas and each other. Counting down the days! In June, we'll also be traveling down to South Carolina to celebrate my Dad's 60th (!!) birthday in Hilton Head. We've never been, but it's my parents' happy place and I can't wait to get down there to find out what they love about it.
And in terms of the rest of the year - I haven't gotten that far! I'll be sure to check in after our upcoming adventures, and in the meantime you can follow along on Instagram @lindseybach & at #josandlutravels. Visiting new places is truly what I look forward to most, and I hope to have much more to share before 2016 ends. xx

Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Boston Restaurants to Try Right Now

Trying new restaurants in Boston is one of my absolute favorite ways to explore the city. I definitely have a few staple places where I like to think of myself as a "regular", but I also love getting recommendations from friends, following Eater religiously to stay up to date on new openings, and trying to continue hammering away at the long running list of "must try restaurants" I have on my phone. I may be biased, but Boston has pretty great food. And today, I've compiled a list of five spots I've visited for the first time in recent months that I would highly recommend. I also realized when pulling this together that they all have sort of the same vibe - cozy, dimly lit, and mostly underground. I think that is largely a result of the season, so I'm calling this my "winter" top-five-to-try list. I'll be back in the summer with some warm-weather spots to check out!
1.. Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, South Boston
I think it's safe to say I'm obsessed with this place, and have spent my fair share of time there since discovering it a few months ago. South Boston isn't an area of the city that I'm generally too familiar with, but this place makes making the trek there 100% worth it. I think my love affair with Loco has a lot do do with the ambiance, which feels much like a fiesta being held inside a barn, but also the grub. Mexican and seafood are my favorite two genres of food, so when you combine them in a space that is exactly how I would design a restaurant (complete with brick walls, barnwood booths, farm tables, a tin-coated bar, and a canopy of string lights), it feels pretty much like the restaurant was created for me. If I had to pick my favorite menu items, I would choose the street corn (omg good) and the fried oyster tacos, accompanied by one (or two) of the many lovely margaritas on the menu. See you again soon, Loco.
2. Boston Chops, South End
I've been here both with a large group from work and also on a date night with josh, and WOW, the steak is good. I never order steak when going out to eat, but when you look a this menu, it just feels wrong not to get steak. The presentation is impeccable - popovers are served in metal measuring cups to each table in lieu of bread, napkins are wrapped in stamped leather cuffs, and all-you-can-eat "frites" are delivered to your table in a huge hammered copper bowl. The frites, of course, only arrive if you order the steak frites, which I would highly recommend. With this option, you choose your cut of meat and a sauce from a lengthy list, and then your steak is accompanied by a salad and fries. The side dishes are perfect for sharing, with my favorites being the pork belly mac & cheese, charred brussels sprouts, and sauteed baby bok choy.
3. Wink + Nod, South End
This place is the coziest! Nestled underground off Appleton street in the South End, this is one of my favorite places to meet up with friends after work for dinner or drinks in the winter. They are known for their libations, but the restaurant's resident chefs are constantly changing so I love that the menu is always different. Last time I visited the restaurant was occupied by Akinto (who's pad thai was the best I've ever had), but I'm excited to stop by again soon to try the new Pelakasis menu, which is primarily Greek-inspired. And if your a Scotch lover, you'll be excited to learn that they host a Scotch club, where you can sample hand-picked varieties every Tuesday night.
4. Yvonnes, Downtown Crossing
Named Boston's most Instagrammed new restaurant, Yvonnes is definitely the place to see and be seen. With multiple fireplaces, tons of lounge seating, and old world details like textured wallpaper, tufted chairs, bookcases, and an array of chandeliers, the interior just begs to be photographed. What I love most about it is that my parents used to hang out there all the time back when the space was Lock-Obers, and now my friends and I (including several with parents that also frequented the restaurant) are also regulars. Started by the same owner Back Bay's "Lolita" as a "modern supper club," the food is just as cool as the scene at Yvonnes. I've tried almost every item on the menu at this point, which are all meant to be shared socially, and every dish is better than the next. Plus, their spicy cucumber margarita "Grande Dame" might beat mine, which is hard for me to admit. If you haven't been here, you must go! But don't try to get in without a reservation - Yvonnes is a speakeasy that prides itself on being exclusive, so make sure to call in advance.
5. Liquid Art House, Back Bay
When dining at liquid art house, you almost feel like you are more so in an art gallery than a restaurant. Whether it's their food or their walls, which are decked out in abstract artwork from local artists, Liquid Art House definitely doesn't play it safe. Their menu is small and extremely experimental, but what the menu lacks in size it makes up for in flavor. Their seasonal dumplings, which are more like gnocchi, are delicious and their "young green" salad is one of the best I've ever had. The whole vibe just feels really hip, and I think the Boston Globe says it perfectly when it describes the space as a "mix between Boston and underground Berlin." I have only been there for drinks/dinner, but have heard that their brunch is also incredible!

Have you been to all five of these Boston spots? Do you have any new restaurants you've enjoyed? I would love to hear!

Happy Friday. xx