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Author: rightleftstudio

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3 Super-Easy, Almost-Free Ideas for Wall Art

I love switching up artwork and pictures around the house. It’s a great way to refresh a room and it’s so nice to give yourself something new to look at. Art doesn’t have to be expensive (and I’m not talking about those self-painted ‘abstract’ canvases they always used to do on HGTV)… Here are 3 fun, cool art ideas that are so easy, you’ll probably have time tonight to do all three.

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1. Frame a greeting card

A lot of cards these days are little works of art, so why not treat them that way? You can get cards anywhere, but you’ll probably have the best luck finding pretty/cool/interesting ones at specialty stores or places like Paper Source or Hallmark. Keep it simple with a basic frame and mat (get inexpensive ones at Target, Ikea TJ Maxx or Walmart), or get crafty (and add some color/pattern/texture) with scrapbook or wrapping paper instead of the regular old mat. Try a grouping of similar styles, or a small card inside an oversize frame and mat.
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2. Simple Type Prints

You see these prints everywhere on Etsy, Pinterest, and in cool-girl house tours. Song lyrics, inspirational quotes, cute love notes- printed in simple block type and framed. This is probably the absolute easiest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m kind of super excited about how it turned out. I literally spent less than 10 minutes…. I typed out a favorite lyric, (I used Illustrator, but you could also use Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, etc.), printed it out, put it on a clipboard, and propped it on my shelf. That’s it! It gives a bit of nonchalant cool-factor, plus I now constantly have the Beastie Boys stuck in my head- totally a good thing. If you felt like getting slightly more complex, you could actually frame it, or use colored paper. Get creative! Type out your wedding date, the latitude/longitude coordinates of your home, a poem, the alphabet… the possibilities are endless, and you have an opportunity to create something with meaning just for you. Win-win!

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3. 3-2-1 Contact (Paper)

This is definitely the most complex of the three ideas, but it’s still super simple. You’ll need foam core (I like the all-black version- I think it looks more high-quality), and contact paper. White on black is always cool, or go with a colored or patterned contact paper. I was slightly obsessed with this wood-grain variety for a while, so that’s what I used. Basically, you’re just cutting a shape out of the contact paper and sticking it onto the foam core. The difficulty lies in what you decide to cut out. I printed a large “2″ (tiled on four sheets of paper), traced it on the contact paper and cut it out. You could do numbers, letters, shapes, leaves, free-form designs, silhouettes… Again, the option is there to create something that has meaning for you! Or not- you could just print out a big number two because you like the way it looks:)

Does anyone else have any genius ideas for inexpensive art? Let me know in the comments!

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3 summer movies to watch (or rewatch) asap

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1. Shag / 1989
Pair with: Girlfriends, cheap wine + Twizzlers
shagIt’s the 60′s. It’s Myrtle Beach. It’s the high school graduation roadtrip. It’s friends and boys and dancing and troublemaking. You’ll be left quoting this movie in your best extreme southern accent (ie. “the Seh-nator’s dahh-ter does not undress in a gas-o-leen stay-shun.”) Pure summer movie perfection….


2. Stand By Me / 1986
Pair with: The friends you’ve known since you were 8, a case of PBR + cherry flavor Pez
standbymeYes you’ve probably seen this movie before (and if you haven’t, a. where were you in the 80′s?? and b. go netflix it, like now…), but is there a better I-remember-when-I-was-a-kid-and-went-on-adventures-with-my-friends movie? Be forewarned: it may inspire idealistic friendship pacts, extreme childhood nostalgia and plans for a camping trip….


3. The Endless Summer 2 / 1994
Pair with: A homemade outdoor movie screen, a keg, and a bonfire
endlessIf you didn’t grow up near a beach in the mid-90′s, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen or even heard of this movie. (And if you did grow up near a beach in the mid-90′s, there’s a good chance you watched this movie in school 4 or 5 times…) Don’t let the fact that it’s a surf flick turn you off if that’s not your thing- it’s really a travel documentary with some awesome surfing and likeable characters. Throw in Bruce Brown’s silly, entertaining, quotable narration; some good early-90′s beach fashion; an African safari; and some howler monkeys, and you’ve got a recipe for summer movie awesomeness.
Side Note: Bruce Brown’s original Endless Summer (1969) is also awesome- it’s a totally different era, but if you’re liked this one I would definitely check it out… different characters, same narrator, same idea.

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Weekend Ideas: Memorial Day Edition

Annnnnd another week has come and gone- time to get the weekend started! I’m extra excited about the holiday weekend coming up… I have friends coming into town and am SO ready for some fun and relaxation. In case you need some inspiration for making your weekend extra-fantastic, here are my suggestions for an awesome Memorial Weekend!

bocce

To do:

Play lawn games! There’s a reason these games are classic- because they are really fun. Go for horseshoes, croquet, bocce, or -my personal favorite- cowboy horseshoes (aka ladder golf). Bocce and cowboy horseshoes are super portable and easy to play anywhere, even on the beach. (Plus, those are both one-handed games, so you can hold your drink in the other hand- score!)

Photo credit: Gold + Silver Bocce Set from Hayneedle.com

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To drink:

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the need to try this Bourbon Vanilla Root Beer Float. Talk about decadent…. and what’s better than a not-your-everyday-cocktail-ice cream-drink-dessert to celebrate a holiday weekend!!

Photo credit: heathercristo.com

breakfast

To do:

Eat breakfast outside. Bonus points if you have something special and out-of-the-ordinary. If you’re an early riser, take advantage of the extra morning sun and nice temperatures and have a leisurely cup of coffee and a croissant or pastry from a bakery or coffee shop. Or enjoy your day off, sleep in, and fix a big ol’ bloody mary, breakfast burrito and hashbrowns (invite some people over if you’re feeling ambitious!). Or, fix a fancy breakfast for two and picnic it somewhere scenic with your significant other. Mimosas, small pastries, little quiches- lots of options!!
Photo credit: a sunny afternoon

I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Weekend! Be sure to let me know if you tried anything new and fun….

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Da Dip

I am loving the new(ish) trend of things looking like they have been dipped in paint. It doesn’t really seem to matter what it is- furniture, bowls, spoons, garden tools, bags, lamps…. there will probably be a day when I start walking around my home, grabbing things and dipping away! Talk about a super easy DIY update! (I do actually have specific plans to give my boring Target bar stools a dipped look at some point… so stay tuned for that little project:)
I wanted to share a little roundup of some of my favorite dipped finds… (and ensure that everyone else has that song stuck in their head like I do now… when I dip-you dip-we dip…yikes.) Enjoy!
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Clockwise from top: Dipped Baggu totes from West Elm // A beautiful mango wood salad bowl from World Market (I got this as a wedding gift… love) Note: this item is no longer available // adorable, clean, modern, warm natural wood and white spoons from Anthropologie. Who else could make such adorably simple spoons so chic??!
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Clockwise from top left: An adorable DIY idea for a crafty desk // This lamp from The Land of Nod. Works equally well for a kids room OR quirky grownup space! // Beautiful DIY Ikea hack from this blog. Love the ‘reverse dip’ look, and the color… well played….

Has anyone tried this look themselves? Share your projects and inspiration!

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Weekend Ideas

Happy Friday everyone! I’m starting a new little blog series called Weekend Ideas… after a long, cold winter indoors, I’ve been itching to get out and DO things, and I’m feeling the pressure to make every spare minute count. While I always have a project idea list a mile long, sometimes when I actually do get free time to myself I have a hard time coming up with fun things to do. Laying around in the sun is definitely nice sometimes, but my goal for 2014 was to get out and see and do and live. I thought other people might have the same problem I do, so each Friday I’ll put together a short list of ideas for the weekend. Things to do, make, try, see, eat, watch… whatever. So without further ado, here are my ideas for this weekend.
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fudgesicle

To eat:

I’m going to try these homemade fudgesicles. They’re even pretty healthy- score! Seems perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having, and I love a good sweet ice cream treat.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie
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bikeride

To do:

Go on a bike ride. By yourself, with a friend, with a group, whatever works! Maybe you can bike to Sunday brunch, head to your local farmer’s market, or throw your bike in the car and head to a trail or park. It makes getting wherever you’re going just a little bit special, and lets you feel like you have all the time in the world to get there. Perfect for the weekend….
Photo credit: none-found on pinterest and no link :(
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preakness

To watch:

The Preakness! I know this is an indoor activity, but horse races are pretty fun to watch. Get a group together, pick a horse (my friends and I always pick solely based on the names), pretend-bet (or actual-bet if you’re a high-roller…), make some mint juleps (check out my very best mint julep recipe here), and cheer on your steed to victory. Tune in Saturday afternoon.
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated

Enjoy your weekend everyone! Anyone else have fun plans? Hopefully my little list will get you started!

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Bathroom quick fix: Before

I have a dear dear friend coming to visit for Memorial Weekend (yay!!), and in light of this, I’ve decided to give my hall/guest bathroom a little refresh. While this room really truly needs a new floor and light fixtures, I can’t really do anything about that since we rent. So…. I’m sticking with quick, inexpensive, easy updates to give it a little refresh. Here is a little before shot of the bathroom for now; I’ll share the after in the next week or so! (Ugh- yes, that floor is clean. It’s just super-stained. It was like that when we moved in, I swear….)
bathroom-before

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It’s 5:00 Somewhere (But Not Here)

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I just spent my lunch break outside on this beautiful day. Since it was (admittedly) rather difficult making myself come back to my desk, I thought I’d give myself a little summery treat to make up for it. It’s generally frowned upon to mix work and alcohol, so I went with a fruity little mocktail to get myself through the afernoon slump.

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Strawberry-Mint-Lemonade Workday Mocktail

-Fill a glass with ice, and then fill about 2/3 with your choice of lemonade (I’m using Simply Lemonade with Raspberry)
- Top with ginger ale or club soda
- Tear 3-4 mint leaves into small pieces and mix in
- Spear sliced strawberry halves (or raspberries, blueberries, pineapple… whatever you have!) and garnish
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Enjoy! Bonus points for stripey straws, colorfull glassware or a little paper umbrella….

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Window Shopping Wednesday :: CB2

It’s been a while since I’ve done any window shopping (well, not totally true, but it’s been a while since I’ve documented any window shopping here on the blog:). I got the latest CB2 catalog in the mail the other day, and I thought I would share some of my favorites from my ‘mental redecorating’ session….

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1. Loving this pendant lamp – a mix of graphic and organic, with equal dashes of fun and sophistication… // 2. These fun arrow wall hooks would be great in an entryway, or in a bathroom to help keep your towels off the floor // 3. I love some modern house numbers… these are clean, simple and striking // 4. This coffee table is beautiful. A little nod to the chevron trend without it being too in-your-face (admittedly, I’m starting to feel a little over the chevron thing…). // 5. + 6. Time for a couch refresh?? A couple of cool accent pillows… loving that black and white look (again), and the patterned pillow is a perfect small dose of trendy that won’t break the bank. Digging the unexpected color palette and the tribal-ish look. // 7. Cute industrial side table/stool that would probably fit in about a million spots in my house… // 8. This rug… what can I say? I love it. The colors, the fun pattern… it’s almost-southwestern, almost-california-beachy, almost-graphic-pop perfection.

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Quick Porch Update

porchrefreshWe had an absolutely glorious spring weekend here…. I pretty much spent the entire day outside yesterday, just hanging out on the porch, getting some sun, watching the dogs play in their kiddie pool, drinking iced coffee. As I sat there, I realized how disgusting our door mat was, so I decided a new one needed to happen asap. I rode my bike over to TJ Maxx (that was my justification for a little impulse shopping…exercise! fresh air! bike ride!), found this cute bargain rug, and was back home with a refreshed porch in no time flat. Plus, Tally approves, so it looks like I’m golden!

Did anyone else do any fun outdoor updates this weekend?

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the most perfect mint julep

With spring finally rolling around again, I start to get the itch to sit outside on the porch with a nice cocktail after work. (Isn’t happy hour a great invention??) One of my very favorites, especially this time of year, is a good ol’ mint julep. Although I’m from the south, I don’t consider myself terribly traditional in many aspects, but this is one solid southern tradition that I can get behind. Here is my version of the classic cocktail, which is pretty tasty and refreshing, if I do say so myself.
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the most perfect mint julep

You need:
- Bourbon (This year I’ve been using Basil Hayden- it has a mild, smooth taste with a hint of spice. I also like Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek. Fun fact: the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby is Early Times, which isn’t even a bourbon, it’s a whiskey. But it’s really inexpensive and makes a pretty good julep, if you want to stay traditional!)
- Mint
- Mint Simple Syrup (my secret ingredient!)
- Ice
- A muddler

What to do:
First, you need to make your mint simple syrup. I do this ahead of time and keep some on hand in the fridge. (You can also use regular simple syrup, or in a pinch, just sugar). To make the mint simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water and a handful of mint leaves until it boils and the sugar dissolves. Cool in the refrigerator to allow it to thicken and strain out the mint leaves if you like.

Add a tablespoon or two of simple syrup in the bottom of your julep cup (you do have a julep cup, right?! Just kidding, any cocktail glass is fine.) Add about 5 mint leaves, and muddle muddle muddle! The amount of syrup is definitely up to personal taste, but I find most people like to err on the sweeter side.

Fill cup with ice, and top with bourbon. Garnish with a mint leaf if you want to be extra fancy…

And enjoy!

hrPhoto above: Basil Hayden bourbon, awesome julep cup, cocktail napkins, stripey straw, a perfect muddler

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