Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Succulent Love

I can honestly say that succulents are my favorite plants. I just love their unique shapes, thick leaves, and how their purple & green hues blend together. And most of all, I love that I can't kill them. They are super easy to take care of and can survive well beyond a bouquet of flowers.

Here are two easy (and creative) ways to add these ornamental plants to your home:

1. DIY Mason Jar Wall Planters
These planters can make great accents to any doorway or nook inside or outside your home or in this case, our fireplace. The good news about the project is that you probably have most of the supplies already lying around your home or garage. The bad news is that you have to choose what you want to put in them! We had already narrowed our search down to the succulents section at Mohoney's in Brighton, but even then we browsed through every baby succulent for about an hour before we decided on the perfect chosen ones. I can walk into any clothing store and narrow in on exactly what I like in minutes, but man plants are tough! I was in love with every unique little succulent in there - and I love what we ended up with.

Materials needed for this project are below, and for the full step-by-step building tutorial, see this post from Rental Revival.

What you'll need:
  • mason jars of any size
  • plants and potting soil (we chose a few baby succulents)
  • any wooden plank(s) of some sort
  • short screws to mount the jars
  • long screws to mount the planter as a whole (we opted to just mount from the back instead)
  • power drill
  • stainless steal adjustable pipe clamps (1 per jar)
  • decorative paint or spray paint (optional)
Total cost for the project: ~$20

^ Great tutorial from Rental Revival
2. Decorative Succulent Box
This project came about when we needed that special something to go on top of our new bar (aside from alcohol). It also came about after I simply could not only choose the 4 little succulents from the store needed for the mason jar project above - I became attached to so many of them. So yes, this means that I proudly walked out of Mahoney's with about $30 worth of hand-picked succulents. I was smiling ear to ear. Josh was rolling his eyes.

What you'll need:
  • potting soil
  • planter box (we chose a distressed grey wooden one to match the bar)
  • plastic bag (to go inside the planter if it's not already sealed, you can also use the bottom of a milk jug)
  • plants (we chosen succulents, obvs)
Total cost for the project: ~$25 (depending on planter quality)
^ Inspiration from Pinterest 

So easy and fun! Now I just hope they stay alive...

Possible future project? DIY herb planters for the kitchen!

Friday, October 25, 2013

So long 69 Main!

Josh's move has been bittersweet. On one hand we are beyond excited to no longer be 200 miles apart, but on the other hand we're sad we won't be in the green mountain state as often. 69 Main St. in Burlington, where josh has lived for the last 6 years, holds SO many awesome memories. There are almost too many memories to recollect, but chances are that if you are reading this blog, you've probably been there for one of them. More importantly, it was where many of my college friendships were formed and where everything started for josh and I.

And now, after literally a quarter of my life's worth of memories, the 69 Main chapter is closing. So as an ode to josh's last official weekend there, I took a little walk down memory lane and looked though my photos from that apartment spanning the past few years. Thanks 69 Main, it's been real!

^ Waiting for the off campus bus to head down to an epic 69 Main party
^NYE 2011 and my 21st bday
^ the day I got back from Barcelona!
^ Josh's 23rd bday
^3rd of July

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

3 Easy Driftwood DIY Projects

Lately I've been really into the rustic, effortless look of natural wood and bringing a little bit of the outdoors in. Josh and I have added the look to our apartment in one big way in the form of our new bar (more on that later) but also in some really small and easy ways. Here are three!

DIY Barnwood Photo Frames
I've had a stack of cute Polaroid's lying around since I moved in that I've really wanted to display somehow, so this idea I found on Pinterest was perfect. This is one of the easiest DIY projects ever with one of the coolest results. All it entails is buying or finding a frame (or building one if you've got skillz), cutting string to equal lengths, securing the string to the back of the frame with metal tacks, and hanging your photos. And then voila! You've got a super stylish and fun way to display your favorite photos.

What you need:
  1. A wooden frame. We had this unused Barnwood frame from our last photo project
  2. String, wooden pin clips, & metal tacks. Most of these things we found stashed away at our apartment, but we got a few things at Lowe's
  3. Photos. We used polaroids that I have been taking of our friends with my FujiFilm Instax for a few years now, but you could use regular 4" x 6" photos, postcards etc.
Total cost for the project: ~$30


DIY Driftwood Dock
We actually bought this one at Boston's SoWa market from a local vendor called DockSmith. These guys find driftwood on the shores of Maine and turn each piece of wood into a really cool iPhone or iPad charging station. When I saw all their creations I had to have one, but these would be super simple to make!

What you need:
  1. Piece of driftwood. Found at your local beach or lake
  2. Apple dock adapter & charging cord (if you don't have one already)
  3. Drill. With drill bit set to the width of  the iPhone/iPad adapter to carve out a space for the dock, and then a thinner hole through the entire width of the piece of wood for the cord.  
Total cost for the project: $9 (for adapter)
Cost to buy: $72 online  (If you catch them at a craft fair you can score deals, mine was $30)
^some cool options from DockSmith's Etsy shop
^Charging for two!
DIY Driftwood Mantel Decoration
This is TRULY the easiest driftwood project you can possibly take on, but it's also my favorite! Josh and I spotted this really cool piece of driftwood on a walk we went on along Lake Champlain a few weeks ago and I just had to take it home. It was like when you've been searching for months for new shoes and then you finally spot that perfect pair. It was kind of like that. But with wood.

Either way, the coolest part about this project is that the piece of wood came from the beach about 2 minutes from Josh's apartment. Now it's painted (with a little help from my artistic pal Ander) and displayed on our bedroom mantel. I tell josh that any time he misses home, he has a little piece of it right on our mantel every day. Literally.

What you need:
  1. Driftwood. Find a piece at a beach that means something to you. In this case the lovely Lake Champlain
  2. Paint & paintbrush. Or in this case, black nail polish!
Total cost for project: Free!
There's something really cool about taking a piece of driftwood - which has had a whole life of its own and been sculpted by the wind, sand & sea - and turning it into a piece of art that can be enjoyed long after its life on the beach. It's almost crazy to think about the pieces of wood in these projects - where they have been, where they started- and the fact that they are now pieces of decor in my home in Boston. I kind of like that we are now just a small part of their stories...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life Lately: Apple Fever

My relationship with apples is strictly seasonal. I'm admittedly not the hugest year-round apple eater, but as soon as the fall temperatures begin to drop, I crave them. There are actually not too many things I look forward to more about Fall than apple picking. After avoiding apples all summer, every year once autumn rolls around I pick and fill a huge bag go on a month-long apple bender. Sometimes there's an apple pie (or this year multiple apple crisps) somewhere in there too. Then, after the bag is empty and I've binged on as many McIntosh, Honey Crips and Cortlands as I can eat, I'm officially over apples for the remainder of the year. Me and apples are like Kim and Kris Humphries' wedding, short-lived but soooooo epic.

This year was no different. Josh and I have been to tons of different orchards in the past few years spanning from MA to VT, but this year we went to Shelburne Orchards in Vermont and I've gotta say, it was one of the best orchards I've ever been to. There were no lines or crowds, to-die-for cider donuts and super friendly staff that was just as excited about apples as we were. October weather in Vermont is pretty unpredictable, but luckily it was a perfect, 65 degree sunny day which made it easy to fall in love with apples all over again.

Here are some pics from our little fruit fest. 3 weeks and counting until Josh's move! -->