Cinco de Mayo Linkies (and more!)

Sooooo… oopsie I didn’t do any Cinco de Mayo projects this year! I’ve been so wrapped up in the show that I basically missed all of April and now it’s just…

Sooooo… oopsie I didn’t do any Cinco de Mayo projects this year! I’ve been so wrapped up in the show that I basically missed all of April and now it’s just about May! So in a belated attempt to help you celebrate, let’s just revisit some of the oldies but goodies, shall we?

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Make a quick DIY Cinco de Mayo photobooth backdrop for your fiesta! This one is super simple and adds a bunch of color to a room.

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These little Cinco de Mayo gem pinatas are still one of my favorite (and most popular) projects! There’s even a free template for you to download. (P.S. Remember a million years ago when I made my very first pinata? I swear I was early on that bandwagon.)

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I love, love, love making papel picado! This DIY version is way more simple than it should be. And that’s a good thing.

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And! In case you need a little extra reading, check out Mr. Lovely and me over on The Neighborhood! We’re writing about all kinds of stuff:

I’m itching to take a road trip and use of of these apps!

Mr. Lovely is obsessed with his FitBit

…and all of this other nerdy stuff, too.

Do big public events ever make you think twice?

My husband keeps zero receipts. Here’s how.

I’m officially grossed out.

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

DIY Cement Dominoes

Hey hey! I’m so excited today to kick off a mini-series of DIY projects for ya. With summer on the way, I always have an itch to get together with…

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

Hey hey! I’m so excited today to kick off a mini-series of DIY projects for ya. With summer on the way, I always have an itch to get together with friends for game nights. So I thought it would be cool to have a series of DIY games that you can make and then play! Fun, yeah? Today we’re starting off with a doozy — DIY cement dominoes, using the adorable ice cube tray from the Oh Joy for Target collection!

Materials

Make Time: 2 Hours (plus cement drying time)

Begin by mixing the cement for the dominoes. Follow the directions on your packaging; I found it best to add a tiny extra bit of water to make the mixture a little on the soupy side. It should be the texture of pancake batter when you pour for the best results. Experiment and see what works best for you. Once mixed, work quickly to pour cement into each mold on the ice tray. Each mold has multiple tiers; only fill the first two or your dominoes will be huge! After the molds are full, tap the tray a few times to help the cement settle. Let set for an hour if you’re using Cement All; otherwise, check the directions on your packaging.

DIY Cement Dominoes

Once set, pop the dominoes out of the tray. Repeat this process until you have 28 domino pieces (I made a few extra to account for mess-ups!). That will be enough to create a double-six domino set.

DIY Cement Dominoes

Use painter’s tape to tape off a slim line on the center of each domino. Use craft paint to paint the center line. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet. Set aside to dry thoroughly.

DIY Cement Dominoes

After the center line is dry, use a pencil to mark off where the dots will be on each domino. There’s a great chart here that I used to keep track of how many dots are on each domino.

DIY Cement Dominoes

Next, use the handle end of a craft paintbrush to create the dots. Dip the handle into a bit of paint and tap it lightly on the domino right over your pencil mark. It should make a nice, round dot. I decided to make each number a different color — all the sixes yellow, all the fives blue, and so on. Use your imagination!

DIY Cement Dominoes

Finally, once everything is dry, get your game on! Mr. Lovely and I are loving this set — it’s so fun and colorful. I’d love to know if you make some, so send a photo! And big thanks to Joy for inspiring the project. Have fun! xoxo

DIY Cement Dominoes
aliabrahimia@gmail.com

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

aliabrahimia@gmail.com

Tutorial photos by Lovely Indeed; all other photos by Whitney B. Lucas.

Married Life // Living Spaces

It’s happening. Mr. Lovely and I are getting itchy for a new place. This always happens! We’ve been so fortunate to always find great little apartments that are just perfect…

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It’s happening. Mr. Lovely and I are getting itchy for a new place. This always happens! We’ve been so fortunate to always find great little apartments that are just perfect for us, and our place now is no exception. We’ve got enough space, a little patio that is filled with plants, big windows with lots of light, and a granite countertop in our kitchen. It’s fine. But I just can’t stop wishing we were in a house.

Are you an apartment dweller? Condo? Big ol’ house with a front porch? Wherever you are, are you happy with it? It’s kind of hard to live in an apartment and look at friends who live in full houses and not be jealous. I just sigh every time I think of having a whole extra bedroom for guests, or an office space that isn’t in our living room, or a backyard to invite friends over and barbeque. Sigh. See? Even typing those sentences I get this vision in my head of the perfect little house on the perfect little street and I look around my apartment and kind of harumph. I shouldn’t be so ungrateful.

So what is in your head when you picture the perfect living space? I have this vision of an airy, white, bright house with lots of windows, and a room just for me and Mr. Lovely to work in. Lots of cool nooks and crannies and space for the treasures we’ve collected while we travel. Room for everybody to come and stay the night or have a party. And call me crazy, but I think it would almost be fun to have kind of a fixer-upper so that we could get our hands dirty and make it our own. But there’s also the very real restrictions that finances put on a situation, and looking at housing prices is totally insane.

I’d love to know about your digs, and if you dream of being somewhere different! Do you find that your living space affects your relationship? Do you love where you live? xoxo

Desktop Designers // Nicole Hance

Ain’t nobody got time for that. -Kimberly Wilkins DOWNLOAD AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME WALLPAPER Word. I feel this way most days. Nonsense? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I love…

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Ain’t nobody got time for that.
-Kimberly Wilkins

DOWNLOAD AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME WALLPAPER

Word. I feel this way most days. Nonsense? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I love what Nicole Hance did with this quote. Her style is just perfect for it — clean, sassy, and straight to the point. Yes!

Nicole’s Etsy shop, West Sheridan, is filled with her lettering and illustration work. I love that her pieces are so accessible — sometimes I feel like calligraphy can get hard to read, but her style is so fantastically clear and still gorgeous. (I kind of want to snap up one of these self-inking return label stamps!) You should also definitely check out the portfolio on her website. So much good stuff!

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Nicole jumped out of Corporate America as soon as she could to spend her days lettering and illustrating. She works full-time (and then some!) as the owner of West Sheridan. (She says she’s living the dream! I love to see fellow creatives living a fulfilled life.) Her very favorite and most important job happens on nights and weekends, though, when she’s mom to Ava and wife to Brent. Find Nicole on Instagram right here,  and read on for a few more fun facts! Download your copy of today’s wallpaper below. Thanks Nicole! xoxo

nicoleinterview

DOWNLOAD AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME WALLPAPER

On Entertaining (and Betty Crocker)

Recently, a friend loaned me an old homemaking book — Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining: How to Have Guests and Enjoy Them. It was published in 1959 and it’s…

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Recently, a friend loaned me an old homemaking book — Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining: How to Have Guests and Enjoy Them. It was published in 1959 and it’s kind of hysterical. It’s also pretty fascinating to take a peek at what “entertaining” used to look like. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite snippets.

On being introduced at parties:

Men rise on being introduced to any woman, but the woman guest never rises unless she is being introduced to another woman very markedly her senior, or when a clergyman or other male guest of either great distinction or age is introduced to her.

On informing your guests of party attire:

Part of the shine of any party is dimmed for the one guest who is out of step by being underdressed. And it is a hardship, as well as an embarrassment to the guest who arrives in chiffon and fragile evening slippers to find herself at a corn roast on a sandy shore.

On her new favorite dip recipe, guacamole:

Here is a recipe for a dip I borrowed from Mexico. It is pronounced Gwah-ka-mo-lay and should be served with chips or crackers.

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Reading through this thing is incredible! It’s like a little time capsule. Although I have to say, that even if it is dated, I admire Betty’s approach to entertaining:

Hospitality isn’t a contest. It is sharing the best you have.

Do you love that? I think it’s really a beautiful sentiment. It’s encouraging, too. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think of having people over to our apartment, and wondering if it’s too cramped or there’s not enough parking or whatever. But Betty’s getting my head straight.

Do you entertain much? I’d love to know your thoughts on having people over and playing host or hostess! xoxo

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Wordpress Tips and Tricks

Blogging // WordPress

I’m so excited about today’s post — I’m nerding out. My nerdy husband has rubbed off on me and I now find it fascinating that there are so many things…

Wordpress Tips and Tricks

I’m so excited about today’s post — I’m nerding out. My nerdy husband has rubbed off on me and I now find it fascinating that there are so many things you can do that make it easy and awesome to blog! And lots of the things that make it easy and awesome for me are because I blog on WordPress. So if you’re a WordPress user, today’s post is your jam. And if you’re looking to get into blogging or for a new platform, this might have a bunch of info that’s right up your alley as well. I spend quite a few brain cells on making my blogging experience smooth, simple, and efficient, and I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. I’ve also realized lately while consulting with some of my blogger clients that there are lots of WordPress tools I take for granted that some folks don’t even realize exist! So today, I’m sharing my secrets. Let’s get nerdy! Click here to get all the goods!

Minted Mother's Day Gift

Mother’s Day All Wrapped Up

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see my mom this Mother’s Day, but every year I try to do something special for her to thank her for, oh,…

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Minted Mother's Day Gift

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I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see my mom this Mother’s Day, but every year I try to do something special for her to thank her for, oh, I dunno, giving birth to me and all that jazz. So this year I thought it would be sweet to send her a sort of Mother’s Day party in a box, so that she can have a few pretty things to celebrate!

I found the most beautiful, customizable stuff while toodling around on Minted‘s site, and I started putting together a plan. Minted has all of these great party decorations and I found some in my mom’s favorite color palette that would be just right.

I customized some stationery for her — I knew she probably wouldn’t use the stationery if it had her name on it, but a sweet little sentiment like “Bonjour” seemed just right for my mom. I also added a custom table sign, but made it say “Happy Mother’s Day,” and used it as the card in the gift. It was perfect to flip over and write a little note on the back!

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I did end up putting her name on a little journal; my mom always has a million lists going (chip off the old block, right here) and I thought she could consolidate them all in one spot. I added a big, fun garland with the words “Be Happy” so she could hang it up and celebrate! And Minted has this great selection of paper straws, so I popped some of those in there so she could sip something delicious while she’s celebrating. I added some ribbon to keep all the straws organized, too.

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Finally, the wrapping paper. You guys, my mother is going to lose her mind over this. Minted has this customizable wrapping paper that you can add your own photos to! I was so excited about it I almost accidentally told my mom on the phone. I have a feeling she’s going to ask me for an extra sheet of it just to hang on the wall.

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Minted Mother's Day Gift

So now all I have to do is keep my mom from seeing this post for a little while until her package arrives! Do you have someone special that you celebrate on Mother’s Day? I always kind of think it can be for more than moms — there were plenty of women (and men!) in my life who helped me grow up. How do you celebrate?

Big thanks to Minted for helping me celebrate my own mom!

This post is sponsored by Minted. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the sponsors who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

For me, there’s no better fix for a bad hair day than a scarf. No joke, they cover just about any flaw (or at least distract from the fact that…

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

For me, there’s no better fix for a bad hair day than a scarf. No joke, they cover just about any flaw (or at least distract from the fact that you haven’t washed your hair). And I’ve been loving the little twisty scarves that I’ve been seeing pop up all over the place. So I turned one of my beloved vintage scarves into the new-fangled twisty version, and I’m wearing it all over town. Let’s do it!

Materials

  • vintage scarf or fabric with a strong, tight weave (at least 32″ long)
  • 20 gauge craft wire
  • sewing machine and materials
  • scissors

Make Time: 30 Minutes

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

Cut the scarf into a rectangle that’s 32″ x 4″. Fold in half width-wise, so that the rectangle is 32″ x 2″. On both ends, cut a taper so that the ends come to a gentle point. The taper doesn’t need to be exact but it should be fairly even on both sides. (The photo depicts the scarf unfolded after the taper cuts have been made.)

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

Fold the scarf width-wise again, with right sides facing. Starting at one end, sew a straight stitch all along the open edge of the scarf. Leave approximately 2″ open on the opposite end.

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

Flip the scarf right side out by pulling it through the open portion on the unsewn end. Cut a length of wire to approximately 32″. Bend 1″ of each end of the wire back on itself; this will help keep it inside the fabric. Slip the wire into the open end of the scarf. (Here’s where it’s important that your fabric is strong or has a tight weave; otherwise the wire may slip out of the fabric.) Feed the wire all the way to the opposite end of the scarf.

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With a needle and thread, discreetly sew a hidden stitch to close the open end of the scarf. Tie off the thread and snip the excess.

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

Twist this little buddy up in your ‘do and go party! I seriously love these things and I love that they’re finding a new purpose for all of the vintage scarves I stole from my mom’s closet. Have fun! xoxo

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist Scarf

DIY Vintage Twist ScarfP.S. Right after Mr. Lovely and I finished shooting this project, we saw Brittany’s similar post pop up! Great minds think alike, guys. I debated on whether or not to share for a while, but I decided to go ahead with it. Be sure to check out Brittany’s adorable bunny ear twist tie project on The House that Lars Built!

 

Desktop Designers // Caroline Hutchison

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair. -Susan Polis Schutz When I was working with all of our awesome calligraphers on the Desktop Designer project to…

Caroline Hutchison

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair.
-Susan Polis Schutz

When I was working with all of our awesome calligraphers on the Desktop Designer project to choose quotes, I gave each one a few choices and let them decide on their favorite. I was so excited that Caroline chose this one, because I think it’s so perfect for spring. It feels so free and happy, and it’s such a beautiful sentiment.

And Caroline Hutchison was the perfect artist to bring it to life! I love her style — it’s the perfect combination of clean and whimsical, feminine and fun. I just adore what she did. Caroline is the creative behind Linalulu Paperie, where she specializes in custom and template hand-written paper goods. She’s also got an Etsy shop filled with both custom and ready-made stationery (I love this one!). And now she’s right here, giving you this gorgeousness!

caroline1Caroline keeps busy with both a full-time job and Linalulu Paperie during her spare time!  Outside of her business and art, she loves hanging out with family, friends, and her sweet husband. Read on to get to know her a little better, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  And be sure to download your freebie desktop wallpaper below!

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Caroline Hutchison

DOWNLOAD WILDFLOWERS WALLPAPER

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Are you guys music lovers? Music is so a part of my life I need it like water. I was actually a music major in college, and it’s still part…

Joni Mitchell

Are you guys music lovers? Music is so a part of my life I need it like water. I was actually a music major in college, and it’s still part of my profession at times. Mr. Lovely and I are always listening to records & the radio, making up songs, or plunking stuff out on the piano or ukulele. I really think it’s good for my soul.

Recently I’ve been on a Joni Mitchell kick. She’s not new to me; I’ve been listening to her since I figured out I was secretly a hippie, sometime in college. But I’ll leave her music for a long while and then come back to it and remember that I never should have stopped listening to it because it’s so good. I mean come on! Do you listen to Joni? It’s like she’s seen the inside of my heart. Gah.

Right now my favorite is All I Want from the Blue album. It just feels like a sunshine day with the windows open, and being young, and happy, and hopeful. Do you have reactions like that to music? These lyrics just get me:

I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun,
I want to be the one that you want to see.
I want to knit you a sweater,
Want to write you a love letter,
I want to make you feel better,
I want to make you feel free.

Her lyrics are just so simple but so true. I feel like she’s one of those artists that’s somehow able to take the things that everybody feels and express them so eloquently.

Side note: I just read back through this post and it sounds like an entry in my high school journal. So many feelings! Haha! Whatever, I’m leaving it. And while we’re on the subject, do you have any musicians or artists that just get you? I would love to know who! xoxo

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

Gold pencil necklaces have been the stuff of my dreams lately. They used to be a pretty popular accessory for ladies, which I think is so adorable. I came across…

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

Gold pencil necklaces have been the stuff of my dreams lately. They used to be a pretty popular accessory for ladies, which I think is so adorable. I came across a couple of vintage ones in an antique store recently, from the 30’s and 40’s. They were mechanical pencils and you could refill them with lead. So you always had a pencil at the ready — and you were super stylish to boot. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era! So I dreamed up a way to make a substitute, until I find just the right vintage pencil necklace. This one is super simple and I made it with things I already had around the house!

Materials

Make Time: 20 Minutes (plus drying time)

Start by drilling a small hole into the metal portion of the pencil. I used a 1/8″ drill bit, but be sure to use a bit that will make a hole large enough to accommodate your chain. Use the metal file to file down any rough edges. Clear the hole of any debris by blowing through it or inserting a toothpick to clean it out.

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

Sharpen the pencil until it’s your desired length. I wanted a pretty short pencil; it’s about 3″ long.

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

In a well-ventilated area, paint the pencil with liquid gilding. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

Cut a length of chain about 30″ long by detaching one link with your jewelry pliers. Insert one end of the chain through the hole in the pencil. Use the one open link to connect the two ends of the chain together. Be sure the link is closed tightly and secure.

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

Slip it over your head and you’re good to go! It won’t write, but it sure does look cute. I think it could be the perfect gift for your schoolteacher friend or an aspiring writer. Have fun! xoxo

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace

DIY Gold Pencil Necklace