Fun Manicure

Happy Friday + What are You Doing Next?

The other day I was wasting time on Instagram in the middle of the day (when I should have been working but that’s beside the point) and I asked everybody…

Fun Manicure

The other day I was wasting time on Instagram in the middle of the day (when I should have been working but that’s beside the point) and I asked everybody what they were doing that very minute. I loved getting all of the responses! Some people were procrastinating like me, someone was mopping their floor, another person was counting down until the work day was over, and someone else was DIY-ing a fur vest. It went on and on and it was so cool getting these little glimpses into people’s days. I was having the most fun hearing about everyone’s moments! So I have another question for you:

What are you doing when you finish reading this? What’s next?

Happy Weekend! xoxo

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

I love this project I love it I love it! Once upon a time I saw this really great tropical plant wedding backdrop and fell in love. I love the…

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

I love this project I love it I love it! Once upon a time I saw this really great tropical plant wedding backdrop and fell in love. I love the shape and the size but I kept wondering if it would look just as cool if it was on a smaller scale.  And for the longest time I wondered how it would even work and whether it would be really hard or really expensive and I wanted to figure it out so that it was neither of those things. And I think we did it! This little photo backdrop goes up in about 30 minutes, you can put it up days in advance, and you can reuse it over and over because the plants are totally faux. That also eliminates the problem of not being able to find tropical plants during the wrong season (or if you don’t necessarily have a huge budget/amazing flower shop nearby). Also, it’s great for baby bump photos. 😉

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

Step 1: Prep your plants by pulling the individual leaves apart if they are grouped. Lots of plants will pull apart easily; some of the larger ones may need wire cutters to snip off individual leaves.

Step 2: On your blank wall, envision the pattern you’d like to make. Go geometric and organized or more natural and free-form. It’s up to you!

Step 3: Start with your largest plants. For the large, heavy items, place a Command hook on the wall according to packaging instructions and hang the leaves from a hole if they have it. If not, make a small slit in the center of the leaf where the hook can slip through.

Step 4: Start filling in your smaller pieces. For smaller and lighter leaves, we found that 2-3 Glue Dots per leaf held beautifully. If you place a leaf on the wall and want to remove it to adjust, you may need to add a new Glue Dot.

Step 5: Continue filling the wall until you’re happy with your backdrop! This one is about 6″ across and about 4″ high and is great for horizontal shots from the waist up.

That’s it! If you ever want to remove or reuse the backdrop, just pull off the leaves and the Glue Dots, move locations, add some new dots and put it back up. It’ll last forever and you can use it over and over. Happy making! xoxo

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

DIY Faux Botanical Photo Backdrop

Tulum Beach

Fun Newsletter Freebie Coming Up!

Hey gang! A heads-up for you that our upcoming newsletter has a pretty little freebie — a free printable file of one of the images from the Lovely Indeed print…

Tulum Beach

Hey gang! A heads-up for you that our upcoming newsletter has a pretty little freebie — a free printable file of one of the images from the Lovely Indeed print shop! It’s a surprise which photo will be included but suffice it to say that it’ll be plenty… summery. 😉 You can print the file for free in high res and hang it on your wall to love forever! But it’s only available to newsletter recipients, so get yourself signed up below if you’re not already on the VIP list. Keep an eye on those inboxes! xoxo

Heck yeah, I want that newsletter!


How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

DIY Mancala Game

I had never actually played mancala before I decided to make a DIY version, but now I have to say I’m hooked! It’s simple enough to play but really makes…

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

I had never actually played mancala before I decided to make a DIY version, but now I have to say I’m hooked! It’s simple enough to play but really makes you think ahead and get a strategy going, which is probably why Ryan trounces me every time. Whatever. As long as I get to shuffle sparkly rhinestones around the board, I’m happy. This is also one of our easier and quicker DIY games, so let’s get on it!

Materials

Make Time: 1 Hour

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game

Step 1: Take the lids off of all your boxes to use for the game. Set the lower portion of the boxes aside for later, because we’ll have a DIY coming up soon that will use those!

Step 2: Start glueing together the hexagonal box lids to form the mancala board. I suggest glueing together 3 hexagons at a time; apply a thin strip of E6000 to one flat side of a box lid, and place the flat side of another lid against it. Secure with a clothespin while the glue is drying. Make four sets of three lids each.

Step 3: Once the glue is slightly tacky, take two sets of three lids and glue them together at the points with a dot of glue. Then take a rectangular lid and glue one long side to the end of the two sets of hexagons.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 with your remaining materials.

Step 5: Glue the two pieces together in the center, creating a full game board. Allow the glue to dry.

Step 6: In a well-ventilated area, spray paint your board. We created an ombre effect by painting one half of the board a dark color, then painting the other half a lighter color. While you’re applying the lighter color, move your paint can away from the board as you near the center to help get the ombre look.

That’s all! Let the paint dry, gather up your rhinestones, and don’t forget the rules! This one is so pretty it’s a shame to hide it away in a drawer, so be sure to leave it out on display on your coffee table. It would even be pretty on a table at a party, and give your guests a little ice breaker while they’re playing. Stay tuned for a few more DIY game projects, coming up soon! xoxo

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

How to Make a DIY Mancala Game for Game Night

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

How to Pack for Day Trips with a Toddler

I love, love, love traveling with Hank right now. He’s just over a year and a half and totally up for adventure. Is every trip completely perfect? No way. But we’ve…

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

I love, love, love traveling with Hank right now. He’s just over a year and a half and totally up for adventure. Is every trip completely perfect? No way. But we’ve developed a bunch of tricks that we keep up our sleeves to help things go as smoothly as possible. Little dudes are pretty flexible but they do have their limits, so we do our best to be prepared for lots of different scenarios but not have to pack the kitchen sink for every little trip we take. Here are our favorite tips, tricks, and things to take!

The Basics Start simple! Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, a hat, a couple of bandaids, a compact change of clothes — ya know, the usual mom stuff.

Car Entertainment Henry still takes one nap a day so usually we try to plan our long drives so that he snoozes in the car for part of them. But if that just doesn’t work, no biggie! We bring a couple of his favorite toys or books for the car to pass the time. He has a few faves that he’ll read forever, so those are usually the go-tos. We start with toys and books and when/if things start to go south (read: screaming, crying, desperation) then we go for the big guns and pull out a phone or an iPad. It’s not our favorite habit, but on travel days we loosen our expectations on screen time. If an episode of Daniel Tiger or looking at photos on my phone gets us to our destination, no biggie.

Snacks that Everyone Loves We’re a family that gets hangry when we go too long without a snack, the little guy included. So I do my best to keep easy snacks in my purse that we can all share — no need to have different foods for parents and kids. Our latest go-to is Way Better Snacks sprouted chips. Hank is obsessed with chips right now (he calls them “pics”) so I try to find options that taste great and have awesome nutritional value, too. These are them! They’re packed with good stuff like quinoa and chia seeds, and are gluten-free & non-GMO. Seriously. A wholesome chip! And the flavors are banging’  – I’m a fan of the Spicy Sriracha and my fellas are pretty into Sweet Potato. We take a few snack bags with us to battle the hangries in between meals (also crucial for this expecting mom).

Also! Don’t forget water on your day trips! Nothing worse than being thirsty and not having a water fountain in sight. Staying well-fed and hydrated is something we really focus on and I think it’s the basis for a successful outing.

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

Familiar Items Usually the toys and books stay in the car when we arrive at our destination so that we don’t have to haul them around. But we do make a couple of exceptions for whatever small toys he happens to be latched onto at the moment. On a recent trip to Monterey to visit the aquarium, he absolutely insisted on bringing his tape measure inside. I was happy to oblige. And I swear, he had that tape measure in his chubby little hand the entire time we were in the aquarium. He was thrilled with the fish but just didn’t want to let it go. If you look at the photo below, you can spot him hanging onto it. Long story short, sometimes it’s worth it to let the little ones hold onto something familiar so they have a sense of continuity on a day that’s somewhat shaken up.

Little Boy in Aquarium

Bedtime Gear We’ve started driving home from our day trips at Hank’s bedtime. So we bring jammies, a nighttime diaper, his toothbrush, and the little doggie that he sleeps with. We find a quiet spot (sometimes even in the back of our car!) to change him and do a mini bedtime routine, then pop him in his carseat like it’s bedtime and he sleeps all the way home. It’s a beautiful thing.

That’s how we do it, gang! I’d love to know if you have any of the same tips, or if you have any other brilliant tricks that we haven’t tried yet. Leave a comment and give us your best secrets! xoxo

How to Pack for a Day Trip with a Toddler

This post is sponsored by Way Better Snacks. All opinions and ideas are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

Family Photo Booth Strips

Happy Friday + Photo Strips

We did it again! Friday! These days it feels like a massive accomplishment to get to the weekend. We took these photos a couple weekends back in a photo booth…

Family Photo Booth Strips

We did it again! Friday! These days it feels like a massive accomplishment to get to the weekend. We took these photos a couple weekends back in a photo booth at the county fair and they’re maybe some of my favorite that I have. Henry was fascinated by the “tiny house” that took your picture, and we even got him to sit for his own strip. I love memories like these — kind of blurry and messy but totally perfect in their own way. We were hot and dusty and just so happy to be together. Even the baby bump made an appearance in a few frames. I fully admit that my photo strip collection is a little ridiculous, and I’m starting to forget where they each came from so I’m going back and writing on the backs of the ones I remember. I have some of them in a book that we DIY’d, but that thing is filled to the brim! Anyway, my fondness for photo booths (especially the old school, legit ones) isn’t dying any time soon so I’ve gotta start labeling those babies.

Anyway! What are you up to this weekend? I have this bizarrely lofty goal to sort through all of my digital images and start deleting the junk photos that are hiding there. Mind you, I have about 40,000 photos in my computer alone, let alone what’s on my phone, sooooooo….. I’ll just do my best. 😉

Sending high fives for making it through another awesome week, my lovelies! xoxo

30 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Stuff // 15

We’re about 30 weeks in, with two and a half months left until Baby Girl gets here. And I think it’s safe to say that the “sweet spot” I was…

30 Weeks Pregnant

We’re about 30 weeks in, with two and a half months left until Baby Girl gets here. And I think it’s safe to say that the “sweet spot” I was in last time is loooong gone. It was beautiful while it lasted, gang! We’ve got aches, we’ve got pains, we’ve got a little waddle starting to develop that I’m fighting as fiercely as I can. 😉 But so far baby is still healthy and I’m still going to the gym so I’m counting those as major wins. Here’s some more. xoxo

WEEK 30

EATING literally just watermelon for dinner.

DRINKING like a camel. Do camels drink a lot? Maybe I just feel like a camel because I have a big hump in my middle.

READING welllllll NOT any baby books. And I just sort of realized that maybe I should do a little refresher on newborn stuff like sleep training and breastfeeding. I feel pretty confident in most of the stuff that I remember with Henry, but I’m sure that there are details that we forgot in our newborn stupor.

WANTING my body back. I’m so grateful (SO SO BLESSED) to be able to carry this baby and that she’s on the way, but I definitely feel the toll that a second baby is taking on my body. It’s uncomfortable bordering on painful at times and I’m really feeling the strain of carrying around 20 extra pounds. My tailbone aches, my feet are so tender in the mornings I can’t walk well, and my ligaments are stretching in ways that they just didn’t last time. Ouch.

SLEEPING is annoying. Can we just leave it at that?

WEARING the same maternity clothes over and over because I refuse to buy any more. We can make it 10 more weeks in what we have, for crying out loud!

FEELING so excited for the fall, for a little maternity leave, and to just snuggle up and focus on family toward the end of the year.

LOVING my husband and every single little thing he does to try to help our family through a really crazy season! Pregnancy, renovation, parenting a toddler — we are in the deep end right now and he is keeping us all afloat.

Summer Songs Playlist

Playlist // Summer Lovin’

Dudes. I have discovered Spotify. Whaaaaaaaat it’s blowing my mind! I love finding people and following their playlists! Why did nobody tell me how rad this is? I’ve been annoyed…

Summer Songs Playlist

Dudes. I have discovered Spotify. Whaaaaaaaat it’s blowing my mind! I love finding people and following their playlists! Why did nobody tell me how rad this is? I’ve been annoyed with iTunes and Apple’s music situation for a long time, and this is kind of a perfect solution. It’s easy and there’s a ton of music and you can discover so much new fun stuff. So! Who wants to know what I’m listening to this summer?

I have a pretty intense musical background so my taste is a little all over the place. We’re starting tame with this one (although we do have some old school stuff on there that I think you’ll love!) but maybe with future playlists I’ll put some wacky tunes in there for ya. 😉 This summer I’m into happy, sunshiny songs so that’s what this playlist is all about! We’ve got everything from Stevie Wonder to Lynrd Skynrd to Miley Cyrus, so get ready to turn up some tunes, roll down your windows, and jam out. xoxo

LISTEN TO OUR SUMMER LOVIN’ PLAYLIST

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

DIY Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

You guys. YOU GUYYYYYSSSS!!! This project has been a dream of mine for a couple of years and we can finally share it with you! I had the idea to…

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

You guys. YOU GUYYYYYSSSS!!! This project has been a dream of mine for a couple of years and we can finally share it with you! I had the idea to do Chutes and Ladders games based in various cities but I didn’t really know how to tackle it. Turns out all you need is a really amazing illustrator and graphic designer, which is where Hailey Nowak comes in. We teamed with her to make a Los Angeles-based Chutes and Ladders game for you to play on your next game night! I am so, so pumped today and I hope you absolutely love this one.

Materials

Make Time: About 5 Minutes (See Below!)

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

We’re taking a bit of a different approach to “making” this game because we found a totally rad site online that lets you print out your own board games! So I admit it, we cheated. But the quality of the printed game board is really fantastic for the price (about $12 before shipping), and I didn’t think that we could DIY it any better or cheaper. So here’s how you do it!

First, download our file. (Note: The colors will look a little weird on the download page but after you save the file they’ll be just right.) Then head over to Print Play Games and select an 18″x18″ Deluxe Board from the dropdown menu. Upload the Chutes and Ladders file on the same page and add it to your cart. We also bought a couple of little men to move around the board (they’re just a few cents each, and the site has a minimum of $12 for an order so that should bring you up to the right price). Then just check out and your game will arrive in a few days! (FYI, Print Play Games isn’t a sponsor for the post, they just happen to be a perfect solution for our little project.) By the way, the dice from our DIY Yahtzee Game are perfect for rolling on this game too. Just use one to roll for your turn and move the correct number of spaces.

Now, a few things! I have big dreams of making a series of Chutes and Ladders games in different cities, so I have to know — which other cities would you like to see?! And within those cities, what are some of the things you’d have happen in the game? I’d love to do NYC and have a subway breakdown send you all the way back to start, because that happened to us way too many times.

Leave a comment and let us know! And if you download and make the game, be sure to share a photo on social with #TheLovelySquad! xoxo

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

Download and print your own Los Angeles Chutes and Ladders Game

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

DIY Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

Baby Girl is coming and even though we have lots of baby gear already, I just can’t help but make her a few special things of her own. Knowing that…

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle BlanketBaby Girl is coming and even though we have lots of baby gear already, I just can’t help but make her a few special things of her own. Knowing that last time we used our muslin swaddle blankets until they were practically threadbare, I decided to grab a few blank ones and make her some custom blankies to get wrapped up in. (Swaddling, by the way, was our savior last time around when it came to getting Hank calm and asleep.) I found some really fun fabric paints that act a little like watercolor on a muslin blanket, so I fiddled around until I came up with this painted pineapple pattern, which is suuuuper easy to make.

Materials

Make Time: 1 Hour (Plus Washing Time)

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

Step 1: Decide how often you’d like your pineapple pattern to repeat. I was able to fit 5 pineapples across the blanket, and stagger the rows. These pineapples are about 5″ tall and 2.5″ wide.

Step 2: Place a piece of cardboard behind your blanket and spread it out. Start painting the oval bodies of your pineapples. To get the watercolor look, squeeze some yellow paint out on a palette, and dip your flat brush in water, soaking it. Mix the water into the paint; keep mixing until you have a pretty soupy consistency. Load your brush with paint and paint a messy oval onto the blanket. Sometimes I wouldn’t re-dip in paint to fill in the oval, but instead dip into water and keep painting. That creates a layered, watercolor look.

Step 3: Dip your brush in water and squeeze a bit of russet-colored paint onto your palette. Load the tip of the brush with a tiny bit of color and create criss-cross lines on the yellow oval. Use a very light touch to create fine lines. Tip: You might want to test this part out on a piece of paper first to get the feel of painting the lines.

Step 4: Squeeze out some green paint; add a bit of white to brighten if you desire. Dip your fan brush in water until saturated. Mix the green and white paints, load your brush, and create downward strokes starting about 2″ above the oval, drawing them down toward the oval. This will make the green crown of the pineapple.

Step 5: Continue making pineapples until your blanket is full!

Step 6: If you like, let a few watery drips of color drop across your blanket at random. I spattered a few drops here and there and liked the effect of the random dots of color.

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

We wanted to be sure the color would hold so we did a test wash and it came out beautifully! I recommend washing in cold water and tumbling dry on low for the first wash, then you can follow the directions on your blanket for all subsequent washes. The paint comes out super soft; you can actually barely feel it on the blanket. These little blankies are so cute, and if you’re not expecting you can always make it as a sweet custom gift for a baby shower. Orrrrr just make one for yourself because they’re so soft I can barely stand it. 😉 xoxo

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

How to Make a Painted Pineapple Baby Swaddle Blanket

Baby Girl Names

We Need Baby Girl Names!

This is not a drill, guys. We are stuck for a little girl’s name! We have a few frontrunners but none of them feels right yet. Ryan asked the other day…

Baby Girl Names

This is not a drill, guys. We are stuck for a little girl’s name! We have a few frontrunners but none of them feels right yet. Ryan asked the other day if I had asked you guys for help and I realized I hadn’t! So. Here we are. Please help!

Okay, a few guidelines. Preferably nothing that starts with an H (because of Henry). We’d love a name that’s easy to pronounce and spell, but isn’t the same name that every other little girl has right now (so we’re probably steering clear of the Sophias, Ellas, Emmas, Avas, and the like). I love classic names that can also feel new again. We’re open to something a little off the beaten path, but nothing too crazy. And it’s gotta fit with Foy for a last name.

Help, team! We need ideas!

Oh, and have a beautiful weekend. 🙂 xoxo