Easy DIY Vertical Herb Garden

DIYHerbGarden_FT

I’ve never really considered myself Pinterest savvy. In fact, more times than not, my Pinterest projects turn into laughable Pinterest fails. I just accept it as part of my life now, and there is no shame in that. However, not every one of my projects I find through Pinterest fails, and I’m sure you’re wondering how. Well, the common denominator to all the successful ones is my husband.

Yeah, that’s right. He’s an engineering wizard that can help me take my Pinterest projects from fail to hell yeah in about three cuts of a table saw. This is primarily because I’m too scared, and probably too clumsy, to use a table saw on my own. So anything that involves heavy duty work like that needs an extra hand from my husband.

But have no fear! I don’t ever stop looking for cute, unique ways to flex my crafty muscles, and that’s why this super easy DIY Vertical Herb Garden is perfect for haphazard people like me!

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Your First Time: Buying a House

Your First Time: Buying a House

When my husband and I started looking for a house, it was an exciting venture. It was going to be a place for us to just make a life together, but we had no idea how to even start that process. Other than stalking Trulia and making a wish list, we weren’t really sure where to go first. Beyond it being a fun time in your life, it can be stressful if you’re doing it alone or never had to handle a transaction as large as this.

So, here’s what I learned after going through the process, and what I wish someone had told me when we started looking to buy a house:

Know what you need in a house.

This is important and something that I think might be overlooked. What you need is different than what you want. You might want lots of land, a pool and an in-home movie theater, but you don’t necessarily need that, especially in a first home. Think of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to be comfortable, the style of house, the location, what kind of amenities you want near by. These are the things that you need to keep in mind, and if you decide you want a pool you can always add that later.

Know your financial limits.

Just because you can afford a $1200 mortgage payment doesn’t mean you should. Many websites will have calculators that will max you out or tell you that you can afford half of what you make towards a mortgage payment. But I think we all know that’s crazy, and you need to remember that life happens. If you max out your budget or give half of it to the mortgage, you’ll be in a pinch when you need some extra funds. Lay out a budget and see how much money you could comfortably handle without feeling paycheck to paycheck. So to sum it up, if the calculators say you can afford $1400, look for something at the $900-$1100 range to ensure you have enough of a financial buffer for “life happens” moments.

Interview your real estate agent.

There are hundreds of agents out in the world looking to help you find your house, but not all of them are going to have your best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid to go in and interview your agent. If you don’t like them, try someone else. The right agent will make the process seem stress free and fun, instead of a stressful nightmare. Our agent was wonderful, and always said what she would do if she was in our place, rather than giving us the typical jargon.

Shop around for loans.

There are so many types of loans, and many banks will offer them. Every bank will have different interest rates, some better than others, so make sure you don’t just choose a rate because you don’t want to research. There are loans made specifically for people in the military, people looking to buy in rural communities, and even no-money-down loans. One word of caution though: any loan that says you don’t have to put down money for a house sounds great but the reality is you’ll be paying no-money-down mortgages.

Have a solid down payment.

This might seem like a “duh” moment, but it’s very important. Most places will recommend that you have about 20%, and that’s a very smart thing to do. Not only will that help reduce your mortgage payment, but it also avoids having to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is basically insurance that the loan office takes out to ensure you don’t skip out on payments and leave them with a huge debt. This happens when you pay anything under 20% of a down payment. My husband and I put down a little under 15%, but we were fortunate to have our PMI paid off at closing. The more you can save, the better you’ll be when you go to buy a house.
But the biggest tip is just to have fun. You only buy your first house once – duh – so make these moments the best you can. Do your research, understand what you need for a house, and enjoy your new home.

DIY leopard print gold leaf tray

DIY Leopard Print Gold Leaf Tray by A Creative Day

DIY leopard print gold leaf tray

(Image Credit: A Creative Day)

Beautiful do-it-yourself projects that are so simple I wonder why I never thought of them always catch my eye. This DIY Leopard Print Gold Leaf Tray by A Creative Day is one such DIY. All you need to make this project at home is a gold leaf pen, a little creative flair and a tray that is in desperate need of some leopard spots!
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Apple and Cucumber Cooler Recipe by Girl Cooks World

(Image Credit: Girl Cooks World)

Nothing is better on a warm summer day than a light and refreshing beverage. The Apple and Cucumber Cooler by Cate of Girl Cooks World is a healthy and incredibly easy way to quench your thirst. Cate’s been kind enough to share the recipe for this delicious two ingredient wonder with us and I can already hear your taste-buds thanking her!

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DIY Confetti Tumblers by Radical Possibility

(Image Credit: Radical Possibility)

(Image Credit: Radical Possibility)

Stores like Anthropologie make me wish I had an unlimited home decor budget (as opposed to the reality that buying even one item there could break my budget). Lots of DIY’s claim to replicate items from the store, but leave me wondering who do you really think you’re fooling? Either the look of the final product is all wrong or  the quality is so poor I rather go without than bother doing it myself. But that is NOT the case with these stunning DIY Easy Anthropologie Confetti Tumblers by Radical Possibility!

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts Recipe by Cookie + Kate

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts (Image Credit: Cookie + Kate)

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts (Image Credit: Cookie + Kate)

I dare you to look at that salad and tell me it doesn’t look delicious. On a hot summer day, a light refreshing salad is my go-to lunch (for some reason the thought of eating anything heavy with the heat bearing down on me makes my tummy very unhappy) and this Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts from Cookie + Kate tastes even better than it looks. Continue reading

Infused Water Recipes to Get You Enthused About H2O!

Infused Water Recipes to Get You Enthused About H2O!

As the summer heats up it’s easy to reach for a carbonated or sugary beverage to chill the parch, but there’s a much healthier option that’s just as tasty. Infused water. So what exactly is infused water? It’s water that’s had fruits, vegetables, extracts and/or spices soaked in it for a long period of time to infuse it with the flavors they provide. The resulting drink is a beverage that will make your tastebuds do cartwheels without all the sugar and chemicals of store bought beverages. And before you ask, no you don’t need a Magic-Ninja-Keurig 5.0 to make it. All you need is fresh ingredients, a pitcher (or some other water holder device type thing), and the patience to let the infusing happen. Continue reading

Celebrate National Cheese Day with a Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese by FoodieCrush!

Jalapeno-Popper-Grilled-Cheese-foodiecrushIt seems like there’s a day for just about anything nowadays, but this is one I can get behind. National Cheese Day is June 4, and I’m pretty excited to finally find one that speaks to me on a spiritual level. With so many delicious recipes that include cheese, you might be wondering where to start on your tasty journey, but look no further. FoodieCrush has you covered with their Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich, the only dish you’ll need this National Cheese Day. Check out the full recipe below! Continue reading

3 Summer Mocktails (or cocktails) for Each Time of Day

Lemon Berry Dreamsicle (Image Credit: Brailey Lisath)

Lemon Berry Dreamsicle (Image Credit: Brailey Lisath)

There is a lot to love about summer. The sun is finally out, you can enjoy an array of outdoor activities, and it’s the season for vacations. However, one of my favorite things about summer is that it’s also the season to get fancy with your drinks. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a nice morning, afternoon AND evening pick-me-up? Here are three mocktails (or cocktails if you’re a bit more adventurous like me) to try this summer, and the time of day they are best received.
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30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

30 Things You Should Be Able to Do By 30!

30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

30 (Image Credit: Colin Milligan)

There comes a time in everyone’s life where we come to realize that we are either on our way to becoming or have already become full fledged adults. While we all may reach this point at different ages, one thing is for sure: there are certain things we should be able to do on our own by the age of 30. Consult this list to see if you are on track or at least on your way to getting there!

1. Fix a flat tire (or in my case fight a flat)

If you ever find yourself alone with a flat tire and no one around to help you fix it, you could always call AAA, but just imagine how satisfying it would be changing it yourself. Besides it is a useful skill to have (Check out Your First Time Changing a Tire to learn how!).

2. Buy/own/ or have your own means of transportation

3. Learn how to say NO and stand by it

Say no to choices that you know are bad for you, or friends who want to borrow clothes but are notorious for never returning them, or to your friends who try to set you up on another blind date, after the other ones were clearly not right for you making you wonder: Do they know you at all?

4. Learn how to save and be responsible with your money

By the time you reach 30, if you have not already started saving for retirement, you are in a bit of pickle. You want to set yourself up for the future. You also want to maybe not overextend your wallet because you had to have that new jacket/watch/iPad, whatever it may be.

5. Know what a 401k is…and how to use it.

This kind of goes along with #4, but in order to set yourself up for the future, you should have some sort of 401k or Roth IRA, or at least a savings account that you don’t touch. It may not seem like much now, but continuous contributions now equals a happier you in the future.

6. Know proper table manners

You know…no elbows on the table, know which fork to use with which course, which fork to use as a weapon when someone tries to steal off your plate…common sense mostly.

7. Have one signature meal you can whip up

Whether it is cider-glazed ham with a ginger-lime glaze, or a bacon and guacamole grilled cheese sandwich, it’s always good to have one signature meal to impress your friends. Whether or not it is edible remains in question.

8. Get a real bed (not a futon, or your friends couch)

9. Make a bed

It doesn’t have to be hotel quality, but at least pull up your sheets neatly and fluff your pillows. Trust me, there is nothing more inviting after a long day than a freshly made bed.

10. Set up a home

Have a place you can call your own. Whether you decide to share this place with someone is your own decision, but you should at least know what it is like to have your own place and your own space.

11. Own a piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone in your family

Unless it is vintage, a family heirloom, or holds some kind of sentimental value, it is time to get rid of that old couch you have had since college.

12. Be alone for a while…

Learn to be comfortable with being alone. Embrace the silence. Listen to your thoughts. Clear your mind for a while.

13. Stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault

14. Take a compliment

Don’t fight it, or deny it or list the reasons why you are not worthy Just simply say “thank you.”

15. Fall in love without losing yourself

16. Do your laundry…

On your own…without dropping it off at your parents house.

17. Load a dishwasher

Now there is no one way to do this, but doing it correctly can extend the life of your dishes.

18. Grow some plants

Learn how to keep something alive before you have kids. Learn how to nurture it,watch it grow and protect it from harm.

19. Have a mentor

Find a mentor in somebody. Look up to them, discuss choices they made, paths they have taken and mistakes they have made. Do your best not to make the same mistakes.

20. Be a mentor

Then, when the time is right, be that person for someone else.

21. Stop following fad diets

22. Know that the only real way to lose weight is through healthy eating and regular exercise.

23. Get into crazy good shape

Do it for yourself and then take lots of pictures to prove that you were once in crazy good shape. Then try to maintain it for as long as you can so that you don’t have to say “Once upon a time I was in crazy good shape, but then…”

24. Know what works for your body type

Accept what your body type is and know what styles and colors work for you. Try to avoid the trendy items and stick with what works for you.

25. Properly format a resume…without padding it

26. Tie a bow/necktie

27. Learn how to take a good photograph…and not just a selfie

Photos capture moments in time and help us capture great memories. You should learn to take a good photograph that showcases these memories and all the people in them…and not just to fill up your Instagram feed.

28. Drink like a grown-up…

Meaning for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you must drink one glass of water. Also no getting “black-out” wasted and dancing on tables…unless you had a really rough week.

29. Know how to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next

30. Discover yourself…

Not in that way! Tsk tsks…get your mind out of the gutter! But do know your strengths and weaknesses. Admit to your weaknesses and play up your strengths and you will be on your way to global domination…or at least domination in the workplace.

Whether 30 is around the corner for you, a few years away or already in your past, these are a few of the things that you should be able to do by the time you reach this glorious age.

Originally posted March 10, 2014.

DIY Crepe Paper Flowers by Let’s Do Something Crafty

DIY Crepe Paper Flowers (Image Credit: Let's Do Something Crafty)

DIY Crepe Paper Flowers (Image Credit: Let’s Do Something Crafty)

Spring is in full bloom, but for those of us with allergies it can be hard to enjoy the beauty of flowers when it means sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes are an added bonus. But rejoice, my flora deprived friends, we found a DIY that will let you add a touch of color to your home with some stems that won’t have you reaching for the tissues… but will have you reaching for the crepe paper!

Let’s Do Something Crafty has come up with an simple way to make your own bouquet of DIY Crepe Paper Flowers and it’s so easy that even the most Pinterest-failed among us can pull and poof it off! It’s also extremely inexpensive, requiring very few materials with the most important being crepe paper, and who doesn’t have an extra roll laying around from a party to practice with before committing to the DIY? So bring the colors of Spring inside without the risk of allergies by making yourself some of these crepe paper blossoms! Check out the Full DIY at Let’s Do Something Crafty.

Featured DIY: Marbled Mugs with Nail Polish by DIY Candy

(Image Credit: DIY Candy)

(Image Credit: DIY Candy)

Alright ladies and gents. Marbled-anything is a popular trend right now; who’s with me? I’ve seen marbled shoe prints, marbled phone cases and marbled laptop cases! Now what if you could bring the marbled look to an item that holds one of our favorite things…COFFEE! Best thing about it? It’ll cost you less than $5.

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DIY: Circle Shelf from The Merry Thought

(Image Credit: The Merrythought)

(Image Credit: The Merrythought)

There comes a time in a person’s life where they head to the internet (e.g. Tumblr or Pinterest) for decoration inspiration. My latest inspiration comes from The Merry Thought. I was introduced to the idea of a DIY Circle Shelf which looks extremely complicated at first glance but it’s really not! Continue reading

Featured DIY: How to Decorate French Macaroons With Edible Glitter by Bespoke Bride

(Image Credit: Bespoke Bride)

(Image Credit: Bespoke Bride)

What’s better than delicious macarons and glitter you can eat? Absolutely nothing! These classy and delicious cookies would be the perfect pairing for a dinner party with your girlfriends or a great addition to the dessert bar at a bridal shower! Continue reading