Summer Swims

On a lark, I put together a little video of Tim and I snorkeling off the coast in Maui. As usual, the video took a lot longer to make than I thought, but I love how it turned out. Let's be honest, if I don't make the footage cute, I never look at it again :P

We took the video with a rented underwater point and shoot and I used iMovie to stitch 'er all together. Music by Cimrya Deal - Octopus's Garden. Last vacation post - promise! xox


Maui Vacation

Last week Tim and I treated ourselves to an amazing vacation in Hawaii. It's definitely as beautiful as they say and we had an amazing time.

Snorkeling was probably my favorite activity, even though I burned myself HORRIBLY on the very first day. Wear sunscreen kids, and for god sake reapply.

Second best or maybe even tied for very best activity was the Road to Hana. It's a whole day adventure and I highly recommend buying the accompanying CD from the lady at the Shell Station nearby. Also, if you're someone who suffers from car sickness (*points to self*) you should drive. This road is not for the faint of stomach.

Because we're those kinds of tourists (no shame), we went to the The Feast at Lele Lu'au. It was SO FUN and there was a fire eater for the big finale!! The booze is included, which never hurts ;)

There are several things I'm super happy I got/brought, so if you're planning a beachy vacation take note:

Mostly we just did whatever we wanted because vacations are supposed to be relaxing (see Tim? I'm learning). What are your favorite vacation bring-alongs?


Martha Stewart Inspired Friendship Keyring

Last week the kind people at Martha Stewart sent me a copy of the July/August Martha Stewart Living Magazine. It is PACKED with inspiration! One feature in particular caught my eye - an updated take on friendship bracelets.

I'm totally one of those girls who made friendship bracelets for all. of. her. friends. That's probably why I was so cool in elementary school (read not cool, but very crafty).

I decided to use my friendship bracelet skills enthusiasm to make a friendship keyring. I started with three 80 inch strands folded in half around the key ring - two cotton strands and one straw twine. I chose the mix of cotton and straw because I liked how the fibers looked together, but if I had to do it again, I would choose strands of the same stiffness - the straw twine was a little tricky to work with.

I started with a regular ole knot then followed the Martha Stewart Living instructions for a quarter inch of chinese staircase. Then I did a few rounds of the chevron pattern. Once I had enough of that, I divided the six strands in two and did two braids. I ended the whole bit with another basic knot, snipped the extra twine, then unwound the strands that made up the tail, so they would be more fluffy.

It was super fun to tinker with friendship bracelets in a fresh new way - so much nostalgia! I'm glad the Martha Stewart Living magazine reminded me of how great these little knots were. Any avid friendship braceleters out there?


Tips for Applying Gold Dot Decals

When I initially started giving this little bathroom some umph, I envisioned the back wall covered in gold x's, like a big cute cross stitch reference. Needless to say, that didn't work out. Oh, and there were tears involved in the not-working-out of it. As a DIYer I know the feeling of "now for plan B" VERY well.

Lucky for me, plan B ended up being better than plan A ever could have been - metallic gold vinyl polka dots.

Even though I've already done a whole bathroom reveal, I thought I'd go a little more into how I applied the dots. Here's what I used:

Gold dot decals cut into individual squares, a wall-mountable laser level, and tape measurer.

A little more about the dots: I bought two sheets of 2" gold dots from Walls Need Love. I definitely could have just bought one sheet, but I'm glad that I played it safe. The decals are completely removable, which is GREAT for renters (and yes, I've tested it).

The easiest way to apply the dots was by peeling off only half of the paper, positioning the dot, then removing the rest of the paper.

I used the laser level to align the tops of every dot.

For the next dot, I used a spacer (a cut up piece of paper) combined with the laser level. The method was great and went super fast once the first dot of each row was up. My dots were spaced out about 5 inches width-ways and 7 inches height-ways.

So that's that! Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll answer them in the comments below. Happy polka-dotting!


Polka Dot Bathroom Reveal

Today I'd like to welcome you to the little half bath on the first floor of our apartment!

The bathroom was never really a "problem" space, but it was super fun to add some touches of our personalities. Before and after...

With a fresh coat of paint, a few accessories, and cute gold dot decals, this room looks totally fresh. So far, I've only put dots on the back wall. I don't want them to be too overwhelming when you're in there, but it could be fun to dot up another wall... We shall see!

Paint Color: Eon by Behr
Gold Dot Decals - Walls Need Love
Wicker Magazine Rack - Carlsbad Village Art and Antique Mall
Wicker Toilet Paper Holder - Target
Vintage Hand Towels - Thrifted and Estate Sale
Crate Wall Shelf - DIY
Cross Stitch QR Code - DIY
Cat's Pajamas Art - The Black Apple on Etsy
Trash Can - Target
Soap Pump - Target

In my humble opinion, every bathroom with guest access should have a few things: soap and towels, extra toilet paper, a plunger, and some kind of air freshener. I won't go into details but NOBODY wants to be caught without these things if they need them. Fun reading material is a bonus.

That's it! Small but full of fun. So help a girl out, should I add some more dots or is enough enough?


Updated Counter Stools

Tim knows better than anyone, if I see a combination of brass and wicker, I'm instantly scheming ways to make space for it in our apartment.

I found the stools on one of my regular craigslist perusals for "wicker | rattan" (a search for all posts with the words wicker or rattan - check out this post for more advanced searching tips). The brass and rattan frame was perfect, but the upholstered cushions were... ahem... not doing it for us.

But THAT, my friends, is an easy fix.

Initially, I wanted to use dark blue velvet on the seats, but after looking at the prices of upholstery grade velvet, I decided to cover the cushions in a much less expensive fine navy blue corduroy. From a distance the fabric looks like velvet, but it's a lot easier to clean and I won't want to cry if someone spills spaghetti sauce on it.

My basic reupholstery kit was a drill, pliers, screw driver, philips head screw driver, staple gun, and seam ripper. Seat cushions are the easiest way to dip your toe into the world of reupholstering. The trick is to make sure the seat is relatively easy to remove. Mine just screwed right off.

Use the screw driver to carefully dismantle the seat, removing all of the staples and the old fabric. Once you've removed the old fabric, use the seam ripper to carefully deconstruct it - these separated pieces will be the pattern for your new cushions. Once you've cut the cushion pieces out of your new fabric, reverse the whole process and reassemble your cushion.

If you're worried you might lose track of things, write down every step you take while disassembling the old cushion. Or better yet, take photos.

In the end, I bought each of the stools for $16 and spent about $30 on fabric and thread, for a grand total of around $78 or $26 per stool. Not too shabby considering remotely similar stools online are going for $200 each!

Just the right amount of personality for our kitchen. So whaddya think? Something you would try?


New Categories Navigation

Happy Weekend!!!

I'm really excited to have finished a huge thing on my to-do list... category pages on insideways! If you saw a really strange post in your reader yesterday, that was a little *ahem* misfire from me while I was working on these category pages. Oops! Now, they're up and functional in the sidebar. Hopefully they make browsing insideways a little more pleasant and fun.

It was really fun to look through all of my old posts. Now I'm off to get a little weekend cleaning done - Maggie sure is cute, but she sheds like CRAZY. It's the fur ball wild west in here...