DIY Floral Gift Wrapping

Tis the season y'all. Pretty packaging and gift wrapping is pretty high up on my must have list! There's nothing better than receiving a pretty package or buying a product that has the BEST packaging! Usually, when the outside looks good, you know you're in for a treat.

I've been drying dried flowers from various projects and finally had a chance to put them to use! For the full tutorial and more pics head over to The Jungalow Blog: http://www.thejungalow.com/2015/12/melanies-dried-floral-diy-wrapping-tutorial.html#comments

HAPPY WRAPPING!

Original DIY, photography and styling by Melanie S. 

Floral Friday

IMG_7438
bloom-post
bloom-post

It's been awhile since I've played with flowers (July 4th to be exact)! I'm itching to head back to the flower market, but until then I'll have to look at some past blooms. These are 3 of my favorites. Top left was made from scraps top right was for a client for Secretary's Day and the bottom arrangement was decor for a dinner party. Love the tiny Chamomile flowers and the pink Lisianthus together!! Have a great weekend and Happy Friday!

Festive 4th of July Weekend

flag
flag
pie
pie
ribs
ribs

It sure does feel great to be an American! A mix of celebrating the 4th of July and the US Women's Soccer team taking the title made for a fun time. This weekend was spent with amazing friends, yummy dishes and plenty of cold drinks! On the menu --> 8 hour slow cooked pork ribs, grilled chicken legs (used a brine for the first time and it made a hellava difference), homemade bbq sauce, potato salad, a festive blueberry galette, fruit salad, grilled veggies, corn, fried rice, cookies and the best cupcakes in Los Angeles -- Big Man Bakes. This rustic blueberry crostata is still my go to desert. I usually make the dough the night before and it turns into a 20 minute prep job for the next day. For the ribs, I like a dry rub. I'm not a fan of ribs smothered in a ton of bbq sauce. I pretty much used every spice in the spice cabinet. Cumin, chili powder, coriander, nutmeg, salt, pepper, paprika, powdered ginger, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, and the list goes on!! Marinate them over night and put them in the oven on low for 7 - 9 hrs and BOOM. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend spent with family, great food and relaxation! 

Succulent Bowl

IMG_7826-e1432699869174.jpg
succulents-.jpg

Succulents have been trending for a while now and will be for years to come (at least here in SoCal where it's rained 3 times in 5 months). You can find them in terrariums, wreaths, wall art and ground cover. They aren't a fussy plant and are pretty drought tolerant. Which means if you have a black thumb and forget to water your plants, these are for you! If you over water them, they will die; they only need water every now and then!  I've been growing succulents for about 6 years, some new, some old and some really really old. I've lost a few along the way and gained new ones from propagation. If you don't remember what that is from grade school, basically my plants had babies and started a new plant. I took the succulent babies and grew a completely new plant. *Note: If you plan on handling the cacti, buy a good pair of thick gardening gloves! The needles HURT. Happy Planting!

The plants below are the newest addition to the loft garden.

House Plant Inspiration

I spent much of the weekend digging in the dirt and drawing up plans for a DIY plant bench. I'm half way there with the design; I'm just waiting on the delivery of a few parts. Oh, and when I say digging in the dirt, that means container plant dirt; I live in a loft. Not having outdoor space, doesn't mean you can't have an indoor "garden" to enjoy. There are so many ways you can pull together an indoor plant space. Just be aware of the type of plants you are buying and the lighting in your house. Some plants need more light than others. Today's mood board is dedicated to House Plants. I've been obsessing and day dreaming about plants so here's a few indoor plant designs that I think nailed it. Sourced From:  1. Urban Outfitters   2. Buzzfeed   3. Gardenista   4. West Elm   5. SF Girly By Bay   6. Free People

Flower Bouquet Gift Wrapping

I can thank my Mother for my obsession with plants and flowers. I stare at flowers, I buy flowers, I forage flowers, but most importantly I love giving flowers. I realized that my vase collection (which is a little ridiculous right now) was dwindling and I needed a solution.  Instead of giving away my vases or buying vases I started wrapping the flowers that I wanted to gift. See below for a quick how to. When you gift your flowers, don't forget to let the person know to unwrap them and immediately put them in water! They could also do a few of these things to make their flowers last longer. 

Materials Needed:

  1. Flowers
  2. Paper
  3. Rubberband
  4. Ribbon
flower1
flower1
flowers2
flowers2
flower3
flower3
flower4
flower4
flower5
flower5
flower7
flower7
flower6
flower6

DIY Metallic Mini Vase

This is the easiest and fastest DIY project that I've ever done! It took 5 minutes tops. You only need two items to complete the project; a glass vase and metallic paint. Steps: 1. Pick out your vase and paint color(s).

2. Squeeze a good amount of pain into the vase (try to avoid getting it on the sides). 

3. Roll the paint around the vase to coat the edges. 

4. Let the paint dry. 

5. Add you favorite flower. If you aren't a fan of the gold craze right now, this will work with any color paint. 

Valentine's Day Candy Kabobs

There are a few days out of the year that we get a pass to consume 1000 grams of sugar ... Valentine's Day is one them! Its wouldn't be Valentine's Day without sweet treats, chocolate and candy. Here's an easy and fast DIY for you to add to your list.

candy.jpg

What You Need:

  • Gummy candy of your choice
  • Wood skewers
  • Narrow cellophane bags
  • Pretty ribbon

The How To:

  • Thread each individual candy onto a skewer 
  • Slip into a cello bag
  • Seal with a ribbon
candy3
candy3
candy9
candy9

Happy Valentine's Day!

Photo Friday

sprinkles
sprinkles

{Sprinkle Me -- played with these sprinkles during a fun project}{Found an incredible succulent farm -- YES a farm with ONLY succulents a.k.a Heaven}

Succulent Farm
Succulent Farm

{Reduce, Reuse Recycle -- NOLA has the 3 Rs down}

RRR
RRR

{Feeling lucky we can BBQ 365 days of the year --  Southern California weather}

corn
corn

{Fall has crept in on New York City}

New York Fall
New York Fall

10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Kitchen Gadgets
Kitchen Gadgets

Some gadgets make you say, “why didn’t I think of that?!” I’m a bit of a gadget freak; herb choppers, citrus squeezers, zesters, spinners, fryers, juicers, you name it I own it.  I’ve had to cut myself off from buying kitchen tools and gadgets for awhile, my cabinets and drawers are getting a little out of hand. Since I own the basics, I’ve moved on to collecting what I call ridiculous but necessary kitchen gadgets. I’ve narrowed down my Top 10 favorite gadgets. These make great hostess or holiday gifts.

1. Corkcicle Air: Chills your favorite bottle of wine in 15 minutes or keeps your wine cold for up to an hour. 2. OXO Egg Slicer:Slices hard boiled eggs for salads and sandwiches. 3. Himalayan Salt Block: This unique block enhances the flavor of anything you put on it. You can cook meat, seafood, veggies and serve cheese and fruit on it. For recipe ideas, check out this salt block cookbook by Mark Bitterman. 4. Citrus Press: Perfect for squeezing every drop of citrus from your fruit. Get the biggest size (the orange one) so that you only have to buy one. 5. Microplane Zester/Grater:This can be used for zesting citrus and cheese. 6. Herb & Spice Infuser: Don't forget the herbs! Keeps your herbs together while adding flavor to your stews and soups. 7. OXO Cocktail Citrus Peeler: This gadget makes the perfect citrus curl to garnish your drinks or desserts.8. Yolk Out: Separates the egg yolk from the whites in one easy squeeze.9. Pizza Stone:Take your homemade pizzas up a notch with a pizza stone. This makes your crust crispy like your favorite pizzeria. 10. Houdini Wine Opener: Cuts your foil and opens your wine in less than 30 seconds.

Hello Autumn!

Summertime
Summertime

Summer you've been amazing, but its time to move over for fall. Or wait, autumn? Is it fall or is it autumn? This is the only season in the English language with two interchangeable names. I tend to use both. According to grammarist.com,  Autumn came to English from the French automne in the 15th or 16th century. While fall became the preferred term in the U.S., autumn became prevalent in the British English language and eventually replaced the term fall. 

Autumn
Autumn

Happy fall y'all! Hope you are ready for endless apples, pumpkins, cold days and early sunsets.

All of these photos were shot last weekend in Vancouver, BC (September 2014). Traveling through Canada in September is a pretty amazing experience. Unlike Los Angeles, Vancouver has 4 obvious seasons (fall being one of their better ones). Late September through early November is the perfect time to visit Vancouver.  The foliage is starting to change all over the town which makes for a gorgeous and unreal landscape. Although the red leaves and crisp air are an official adiósto summer for Canadians, we'll probably have to wait a bit longer for fall to greet us here in SoCal.

fall 2
fall 2
fall4
fall4

Simple Coat of Paint

paintbrush2
paintbrush2

{My favorite paint brush that's gotten' around}

I believe a fresh coat of paint makes everything look better. Before I donate or get rid of furniture, I try to salvage it with a new coat of paint. Nine times out of ten, the makeover works and I end up hanging on to the item longer than anticipated. Giving life to your existing items is an easy way to spruce up a blah area in your home or an item you've been hanging on to. Painting doesn't have to be intimidating,  the most time consuming part is usually the prep. If you prepare properly, you set yourself up for zero headache and a smooth paint session.

greenpot
greenpot

{Give life to terra-cotta planting pots with a bright & fun coat of paint}

Untitled-4
Untitled-4

{Vintage side table brought back to life with white paint & fun knobs}

Common materials you may need for painting:

  • Drop cloth (I use an old sheet)
  • Paint of your choice (spray paint or regular paint)
  • Paint brush (I'm a big fan of Purdy paint brushes)
  • Paint tray and liner
  • Flat head screw driver for opening your paint can and a hammer for sealing the can
  • Painters tape
  • Sand paper  (for stripping old paint or shiny finishes)
shelf
shelf

{Patio storage shelves and closet made new again with a fresh coat of paint}

Some projects definitely take longer than others, but its fun and rewarding when you finish. Painting is by far the cheapest way to give your things an instant makeover! Paint cost between $10 - $30 per can. If you are scared to commit to a color, try starting with sample paint first, those are $3-$5. If you're on a tight budget, check out the "oops section" of your hardware store, this section carries paints that the store has messed up on.  The "oops paint" is typically marked down 50% - 75%. Sometimes I get lucky and can find the perfect color.

One thing you need to know before choosing your paint is the type of finish you want.

  • Flat Paint = Matte finish, zero shine
  • Eggshell = Satin finish, slightly more shine than flat paint but zero gloss
  • Semi Gloss = More durable than eggshell, good for kids rooms, high traffic areas and bathrooms
  • High Gloss = Better for windows, trim and furniture

Don't be intimidated. If you have questions along the way, ask the guy/girl at the hardware store. They do this for a living and can lead you in the right direction. Otherwise, hit YouTube up. There are a million videos that will walk you through the steps of painting.

paintbrush3
paintbrush3

Running Essentials -- Ladies

Summer Run Board
Summer Run Board

I've got a half marathon coming up and I have running gear on the brain.

Are you thinking about running a race? Are you in the middle of training? Need some new gear for motivation? This list should help you out.

I'm taking full advantage of running shorts and tanks before the fall weather creeps up.  Thanks to T, I've been a walking billboard for Brooks lately. Brooks is an American running company that people sometimes confuse with Mizuno. I don't see how, but it happens often. Click the link to read more about the company and how they are working on reinventing their brand ---> {Brooks Running}. All of the Brooks products I've purchased have been stellar.

1. Brooks Visor-- keep the sun off of your face and still be able to wear a ponytail/bun.  2. Banana Boat 2 in 1 -- sunscreen is a must. This 2 in 1 acts as a lotion and UV blocker 3. Run Happy Tank -- moisture wicking clothing is everything 4. Sports Bra -- pay attention to your sports bras. Make sure your sports bra is made for higher impact movement. Sports bras for yoga and sports bras for running are in two different categories 5. Foam Roller -- this contraption helps loosen tight sore muscles. Link  <--- to foam roller "how-to" videos. 6. D'Lite Racer Shorts-- these shorts are amazing, they are so light you forget you have them on (that's the goal). 7. Garmin Forerunner 220-- this GPS watch is on my wish list. This is one of the newest Garmins that offers a color display 8. Brooks Ghost 7 -- my go to shoe. It's a neutral running shoe with just enough support. 3 color options. 9.S'wellH20 Bottle-- i'm obsessed with this water bottle. It keeps your liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. 10. Brooks Socks -- the more I run the more I feel the difference in socks made for running and regular everyday socks. Again, the goal is to forget you are wearing any.

Lace up your shoes, get motivated and go log some miles!