California

I Heart California

Just wanted to take a sec today to proclaim my love for Cali. I may have strayed for a few years to the east coast, but I’m a west coast…

California

Just wanted to take a sec today to proclaim my love for Cali. I may have strayed for a few years to the east coast, but I’m a west coast girl through and through. It always blows my mind how many different types of beauty you can find in one state (granted, a huge state, but still). We’ve been all over California this summer, from the mountains to the Bay to the south and the north, and I just wanted to drop some pretty photos here for you in case you love this place as much as I do. xoxo

California

California

California

California

California

California

Cactus Flowers

Monterey Bay

 

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party (And a Bonus Playlist!)

I recently read this article in praise of “scruffy entertaining” — the idea of hosting simply, offering whatever it is that you have, welcoming guests with a come-as-you-are type of…

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

I recently read this article in praise of “scruffy entertaining” — the idea of hosting simply, offering whatever it is that you have, welcoming guests with a come-as-you-are type of mentality, and just not putting so much pressure on being a host. I loved it! It spoke to what I love most about being together with friends and family, which is just… being together. Visiting. Nobody visits any more! So the other day we decided to have an impromptu backyard hangout with family, to let the kids run around and to catch up with the grownups. We threw it all together in about 10 minutes and you know what? It was a total ball. It was simple, easy, and no stress. All we needed was some good music, a few snacks, and a place to gather.

So in the spirit of encouraging easy entertaining, we’re sharing just a few tips so that you can have your own impromptu backyard party and not stress about it even one little bit.

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Make it Comfy You don’t need tables and chairs and tablecloths for a shindig. Toss out some blankets that you don’t mind getting a little grassy and top them with a few comfy pillows. Done.

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Snack on What You Have Usually I feel like the most stressful part of planning a party is the food. Is there enough? Who eats what? Do we need forks? This time around, we went with what we had. We had a watermelon in the fridge and some popcorn in the pantry. And as it turned out the kids were thrilled. (Henry may or may not have eaten an entire bowl of popcorn on his own.) Next time you’re hosting something last minute, just use what you have. Don’t bother with a whirlwind trip to the store — in fact, you can even have guests help you rummage through your cupboards and help you put something together to eat.

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Turn on the Tunes For me, music is what makes any party. I have the best memories of summer parties with my family in the backyard and music playing out of somebody’s pickup truck. These days we have fun bluetooth speakers like this SoundLink Mini from Bose so nobody has to leave their truck running. 😉 This little powerhouse speaker is perfect for taking along with you to the backyard or on a trip. It’s small but mighty and connects to your smartphone so you can wirelessly stream your playlists. (We’ve taken it with us on a couple of day trips this summer and it’s great in a beach bag, too!)

And speaking of playlists! I made a special playlist for our little shindig that I’d love for you to use as well. It’s all about the oldies but goodies: the 1950’s and 1960’s rock and roll that I remember listening to with my parents and sister (and they were already oldies when we were listening to them in the 80’s!) I love playing oldies for kids and family gatherings — the music is just so uplifting and fun and simple. There’s something about seeing my niece bopping her head along to an old doo-wop song that’s so sweet. And it always just sort of blows my mind that now I play the same music for my son that my mom and dad used to play for us. This playlist sounds pretty great on the SoundLink Mini, too! Perfect for a summer afternoon spent outside in the sunshine.

LISTEN TO OUR PLAYLIST HERE

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Bring Some Games I tossed out the DIY domino set that we made a couple of years back and the kids were crazy for it! My niece is just at the right age for learning to match dominos, my nephew liked arranging them in lines, and Henry just wanted to get in on the action. Ryan took some time to teach them the basics and they were totally into it. Having a simple game on hand that you can play while you chat is such a lovely way to pass the afternoon.

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

Snap a Photo I do love the planned family photos that are all set up with everyone dressed nicely, but my favorites are the ones from moments like these. Kids with watermelon juice dripping down their chins, grownups laughing at each other, bunches of hands reaching in the popcorn bowl. Be sure to snap a couple of candid photos to remember the day.

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

I’d love to know — is this up your alley, or are you able to handle party planning in your sleep? And what are some of your favorite memories of being together with friends and family? For me, simple moments like these are always my favorite. It feels so good to take the pressure off and just focus on spending time together, no matter where you are. Hooray for simple gatherings! xoxo

Simple Tips for an Impromptu Backyard Party

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

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

DIY Yahtzee Game

Yaaaaaaay it’s BACK! I think our DIY game night projects are my favorite ones of the year. We’ve been dreaming and scheming more DIY games to share with you this…

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

Yaaaaaaay it’s BACK! I think our DIY game night projects are my favorite ones of the year. We’ve been dreaming and scheming more DIY games to share with you this summer and I can barely restrain myself from telling you about all of the fun stuff that’s coming up! But let’s just start with this old chestnut — DIY Yahtzee! I cannot tell you how many summers I spent with my Grandma, laying on the floor playing rounds and rounds of it. We had this special banshee yell that we would do when one of us rolled a Yahtzee that I still do to this day any time I get five of a kind. Ohhhhh man, I love this game. Let’s make our own DIY Yahtzee game!

Materials

Make Time: 1 Hour (Plus Paint Drying Time)

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

Step 1: Download and print our Yahtzee Score Card template (how ’bout those pretty colors, huh?!). Trim around the edges; each player gets one score card.

Step 2: Paint your dice in the shades that you wish. I love different colors for each one! Allow paint to dry fully.

Step 3: Using the wrong end of a small paintbrush, add the dots to your dice. Dip the end of the brush lightly in paint and carefully make dots by setting the end of the brush directly down on the wood block. Be careful not to come at it at an angle; place the tip directly down to get nice round dots. There’s good info right here about which numbers go on which sides of each die. Paint all of your dots and let them dry thoroughly.

Step 4: You can always roll the dice with your hands, but if you’d like to make a cup for rolling follow steps 4-6. Cut your bentwood box down so that it’s about 3-4 inches high, according to your preference. Trace an even line around where you’d like the top of the cup and you should be able to cut the thin wood with scissors.

Step 5: Use a piece of sandpaper to sand down the top edge of the cup, removing any sharp areas.

Step 6: Cut a piece of leather to the correct size to cover the outside of your cup. Spray the wrong side of the leather with spray adhesive and place the leather carefully around the cup, smoothing as you go. Trim any excess along the top edge.

Now let’s play! I confess: I forced Ryan into a Yahtzee tournament one night after Henry went to bed and got waaaayyyy too competitive about it. I guess my Grandma trained me a little too well. 😉 Stay tuned for more fun DIY games, coming at you for the next 5 weeks! xoxo

P.S. See all of our past DIY games right here.

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

How to Make a DIY Yahtzee Game

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch + GIVEAWAY!

When we were living and working in China a few years ago, I fell deeply in love with this certain candy from Japan that I had never seen in the…

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

When we were living and working in China a few years ago, I fell deeply in love with this certain candy from Japan that I had never seen in the states. Being a total candy junkie (no pun intended), I was having a ball trying out lots of different crazy things we found and when I tried these I was like where have you been all my life?! We came back to the states and slowly but surely I started seeing them pop up here and there, and now you can find them all over the place! This magical candy I’m talking about? HI-CHEW.

I kid you not, these are my favorite. Soft, chewy, fruity, the perfect amount of sweet. So when HI-CHEW contacted me to see if we might want to team up for a summery project it was pretty much like Beyonce herself had sent me an email. I actually ran into the other room to tell Ryan. ANYWAY! Enough babbling. Let’s talk summer. We’ve been road tripping so hard this summer and on every trip we take, I’m always wishing I had a little pouch in the car of my essentials — I’m always carrying stuff for everyone else so my own things get scattered and tossed around. But no more! We put together this juicy little no-sew foldover pouch so I can take it on all of our summer adventures (and obviously stash some candy inside, too). (Pssst — be sure to scroll all the way down for a juicy giveaway!)

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

Step 1: Cut out your felt pieces. We freehanded ours but here are the general measurements: one dark orange oval (11.5″ x 9″), one light orange half oval (5.5″ x 9″), one white half oval (5″ x 8.5″), and five light orange wedge pieces that fit inside your white half oval like orange slices.

Step 2: Spread a line of E6000 around the arched edge of the half oval, leaving no glue along the flat edge. Place this piece over the lower half of the large oval, aligning the arched edges. Press down the glued area to make sure it adheres.

Step 3: Fold the top of the large oval down like a flap. Spread glue along the entire back of the white piece, and glue this down onto the front of the folded over flap.

Step 4: Glue down each of your wedge pieces onto the white piece.

Step 5: Place a velcro dot on the inside bottom of the pouch; place the corresponding piece on the inside top of the pouch and make sure that the two align.

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

That’s it! Let all the glue dry, fill it up, and take it on your adventures! And speaking of adventures, how’s your summer going? We’ve been having a blast seeing lots of California (since I’m so far along we can’t really fly any more) on road trips and having a whole bunch of #flavorfulmoments. We still have a few adventures left, though — this fruity little pouch will be coming with us to Santa Cruz, to our family’s cabin, and possibly to the state fair before it closes! And luckily, I’ve got enough HI-CHEW now that I can take it along and share with Ryan and not have to hoard it like I usually do. Sigh. I love summer. 🙂

Now — who wants to win a fruity little prize pack full of HI-CHEW goodies?! We’re having a simple, fun giveaway so you can test out all of my favorite HI-CHEW flavors and they’ll show up right on your doorstep. The prize pack will include t-shirts, a pop socket for your phone, a tote, and more candy than you can shake a stick at. All you have to do to enter is comment below and share a #flavorfulmoment from your summer! It can be something you’re planning on doing or something you’ve already done. Giveaway will be open until 12am PST on July 17th and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. Leave us a comment so we can send you something sweet! xoxo

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

DIY No-Sew Fruity Foldover Pouch

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

Tropical Leaves

Happy Friday + The Wallpaper Gods

Friends, we’re embarking upon a terrifying journey this weekend — we’re going to attempt to wallpaper a room ourselves. GAH! It’s time to get Baby Girl’s room done and we’ve…

Tropical Leaves

Friends, we’re embarking upon a terrifying journey this weekend — we’re going to attempt to wallpaper a room ourselves. GAH! It’s time to get Baby Girl’s room done and we’ve been avoiding it for a while because we’re scared! Neither one of us has ever even held a roll of wallpaper, let alone tried to install it. So toss up a prayer for us to the wallpaper gods and try to envision us being total pros and having the whole process just go swimmingly. That’s how The Secret works, right? 😉

In other news, YAY WEEKEND! What are your plans for the next couple of days? Tell me it’s more fun and way less stressful than rolling around in wallpaper glue! xoxo

Cactus Flowers

Why I Blog

How often do you ask yourself why you do what you do? Sometimes I’ll go months without thinking about it and then other times it’ll be at the forefront of…

Cactus Flowers

How often do you ask yourself why you do what you do? Sometimes I’ll go months without thinking about it and then other times it’ll be at the forefront of my mind for weeks on end. I’ve been checking in with it a lot lately and just started jotting down things in a notebook, which turned into this here blog post.

If you’ve been here a while, you know that I sort of have a patchwork of careers behind me; I graduated college and became a high school music teacher for a few years, then moved to NYC and was a musical theatre performer for another chunk of time, and during my time there I fell into creative blogging  & making and have been here ever since. I used to think it was a totally random path that I had taken, but looking back it’s pretty clear that I’ve always been driven toward creative fields. I think what was difficult about teaching music and performing onstage for me was that those are two lifestyles where you have about a zillion people to answer to. Whether it’s students, teachers, producers, directors, you’re holding a lot of weight on your shoulders and are responsible for the success and happiness of hundreds of other people.

When I discovered that blogging was a thing, that you could be creative just for yourself, and share that with the world, it sort of felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s far from the only reason that I love blogging, but it’s a huge benefit for me. I’m the boss. I make the plans. I concept the projects, good or bad. I have myself to answer to and I think that’s exciting. And also, as a people-pleaser from way back, it alleviates the stress and anxiety I would feel when I felt like I couldn’t provide what my students needed, or didn’t live up to an audience’s expectations. In this world, I’m my own compass and that’s very freeing.

And aside from all that, just the chance to be creative in so many ways on a daily basis is such a fantastic challenge. I’m surrounded by people who are spinning out these beautiful ideas and changing the way that the world looks, whether you realize it or not. It’s inspiring and invigorating and keeps my brain pumping to stay in the game. We get to write every day, take pictures every day, work with our hands every day. I feel pretty lucky about all of that. And then I get to turn it around and share it, to hopefully add some beauty and inspiration and creativity to the world. That’s the crucial part for me. I think that the world needs every bit of loveliness we can add to it, and I strive to do that every day, even in my own small way.

The icing on the cake? The people. You guys. My colleagues. Blogging is so fascinating to me, in that it connects people who otherwise would never have crossed paths. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written or shared something and gotten responses from you all that have helped me in one way or another — moral support, tips, suggestions, a different perspective, or just a virtual high five. I think it’s good for the world for us all to know that perhaps we’re far apart and different in many ways, but we can relate on more levels than we think.

So what do you do? And why do you do it? Seriously, I’d love to know — leave a comment and let’s chat. xoxo

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Refresh

We’ve had this metal rolling cart kicking around in our backyard ever since we moved into the new house a couple of years ago. Initially we found it at a…

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

We’ve had this metal rolling cart kicking around in our backyard ever since we moved into the new house a couple of years ago. Initially we found it at a yard sale and Mr. Lovely took it on as a little furniture update project, and it turned out great! We used it as a bar cart for a while. When we moved in I put some plants on it and set it outside and it just sort of stayed there, forgotten. Needless to say time and the weather took their toll and it was looking a little less than chipper. (And by less than chipper, I mean totally grimy, faded, scratched up, and basically a mess.) So we teamed with method, who’s encouraging us all to #fearnomess and get our hands a little dirty while we’re being creative! We cleaned it up and gave it a new life. If you have a similar piece of furniture that needs an update, this might just do the trick!

Materials

Make Time: 2 Hours (Plus Paint Drying Time)

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

Step 1: Take your cart outside and wipe it down of any major dust or debris. If necessary, use a stiff brush to brush away any paint flakes or caked-on gunk.

Step 2: If your cart has any wheels or hardware, remove it and set it aside.

Step 3: Spray all over with a cleaning spray like method’s all-purpose cleaner (which, by the way smells like lovely clementines!). Spritz lightly with water and wipe with your rags to clean every inch of that baby.

Step 4: Once completely dry, cover with a first coat of spray paint. This is the part that will take patience — you may need a few even coats of spray paint to get your desired effect. We were going from navy to bright yellow and I didn’t prime it, so we used 4 coats of paint.

Step 5: Between coats, once each coat is dry, spritz lightly with your all-purpose cleaner and wipe gently with a rag. This will ensure that any dust or debris that settled while the previous coat was drying gets removed. A gentle, non-toxic formula like method’s is ideal here so that it doesn’t eat away at the paint as you’re working on adding coats.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until your cart has complete color coverage.

Step 7: Clean all your hardware with the all-purpose cleaner and a rag. Allow it to dry thoroughly and then reattach it to the cart.

Yessss! I love this little refresh! The bright yellow is so fun and it’s a great spot to hold a few odds and ends around the new studio. I’ve been rolling it around here and there until I find the perfect spot. Have you ever updated a piece of furniture? If you’re new to the game, I’d highly recommend a project like this one to get you into the swing of things. It’s so exciting what you can create when you #fearnomess! xoxo

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

DIY Metal Rolling Cart Restyle

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

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Oopsie. I made this stuff and then got ADDICTED. Fully addicted. If I could drink sparkling cherry lemonade all day every day I totally would but I have a feeling doctors…

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Oopsie. I made this stuff and then got ADDICTED. Fully addicted. If I could drink sparkling cherry lemonade all day every day I totally would but I have a feeling doctors would frown on that sort of thing. I had been wanting to try to use our SodaStream to make some fun concoctions for a while and this one paid off! It must be said, they don’t recommend using it for anything other than water but I did a bunch of research and decided to take a walk on the wild side. Also, I have to admit that this recipe took a couple of fails before it worked well! So learn from my mistakes, lovelies, so that you don’t end up with sparkling cherry lemonade all over your kitchen. 😉

Watch our video and then read a couple of detailed tips down below! Cheers! xoxo

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water plus about 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6-7 lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • maraschino cherries for garnish

Step 1: Combine sugar and 2/3 cup water in a pot and place on the stove over medium high heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves completely to create a simple syrup; set aside to cool.

Step 2: Once cool, combine simple syrup, lemon juice, 1 cup water, and maraschino cherry juice in your Soda Stream bottle. Note: We recommend leaving a bit more space in your bottle than usual; leave about 1/2″ of space below the liquid line.

Step 3: Place your bottle on the Soda Stream and add carbonation. Note: We recommend only depressing the carbonation button for about 2 seconds. Otherwise the liquids in the bottle will overflow.

Step 4: Allow the fizz to settle in the bottle before removing. Pour over ice, add a cherry for garnish, and enjoy.

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

**Please note! The Soda Stream instructions do state that it’s not recommended to carbonate any liquids other than water. Please use safe practices when in the kitchen; Lovely Indeed assumes no responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages in connection with this recipe.

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

A Five Minute Weekend DIY // Customized Clipboards

I’m loving all of the trends in DIY right now! Pineapples, pompoms, watercolor, macrame — I think it’s all so fun. But the one that I just can’t quit is…

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

I’m loving all of the trends in DIY right now! Pineapples, pompoms, watercolor, macrame — I think it’s all so fun. But the one that I just can’t quit is gold. Come on, you know me. In fact, there were actually a couple people who responded to our survey with feedback that they were kind of over the gold trend. Hey, to each his own! It’s just that when I saw these clipboards with gold clips at Michaels I couldn’t physically restrain myself from putting them in my shopping cart and finding a way to dress them up a little bit. I do have a new nursery to decorate, after all…

Materials

  • clipboards
  • adhesive-backed vinyl
  • scissors
  • craft knife

Make Time: 5 Minutes

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

Step 1: Cut a piece of vinyl slightly wider than the base of your clipboard, anywhere from 3-6 inches tall (depending on how much color you’d like at the bottom of your board).

Step 2: Cut a wavy edge on the top edge of the vinyl (or get creative and cut at an angle, zig zags, etc).

Step 3: Adhere vinyl to the bottom of the clipboard so that it hangs over the bottom and two sides just slightly.

Step 4: Use a craft knife to trim around the edges of the board so that the vinyl and the board are even.

That’s it! I’m planning on using these in Baby Girl’s nursery to hang up and switch out photos or art prints when we want something new. If you’re looking for more fun DIY trends to try over the weekend, check out what the rest of the Michaels Makers are making right here. xoxo

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards

How to Customize Colorful Gold Clipboards