DIY Painted Pinecones

DIY Painted Pinecones

Somehow I did this project last year and never posted about it! I think I just had a whim one day to add some color to my Christmas decorations and…

DIY Painted Pinecones

DIY Painted Pinecones

Somehow I did this project last year and never posted about it! I think I just had a whim one day to add some color to my Christmas decorations and started dunking pinecones in paint, not even thinking about turning it into a blog post. Isn’t that weird? Sometimes I forget that the little things I do around our house for fun are things that I should be sharing here. Duh. Anyway, I love these bright pinecones and they were a bit hit last year in our decor! My niece was fascinated by them, probably mostly because she and her little brother collected them for me on a trip to our family’s cabin. But I love them and they’re making a repeat appearance this year!

Materials

  • pinecones of all shapes and sizes
  • acrylic or latex paint
  • containers for dipping
  • bendable wire
  • cardboard

Make Time: 1 Minute per Pinecone (Plus Drying Time, approximately 24 hours)

Since I didn’t think of posting it on the blog last year, I don’t have any step by step photos! But this one’s pretty simple so let me lay it out for ya.

Step 1: Set out a large sheet of cardboard where your pinecones can drip dry.

Step 2: Open your paint containers. If they’re large enough to dip your pinecones in and you don’t mind possibly getting pinecone debris in your paint, you’re good to go. If they’re too small, pour the paint into a container with a wide mouth so that you can dip.

Step 3: For the half-dipped pinecones (like our long white Sugar Pine cones), just hold on to one end of the cone with your hand and dip the other, submerging only halfway. Twist it around slightly in the paint to ensure that all areas get coverage. Pull it out, allow the paint to drip off into the container until the drips slow, and lay it on your cardboard to dry.

Step 4: For smaller pinecones that you want to fully submerge, form a piece of wire into a hook and affix it to the pinecone somewhere. Find a spot that feels nice and firm, like the wire won’t come off when you dip.

Step 5: Dip the pinecone and fully submerge under the paint. Repeat the process from Step 3.

Step 6: After a few hours of drying, we went in and flipped all of our pinecones over & set them in a clean spot on the cardboard. This seemed to help with the drying process and even the paint out.

Boom! Crazy colored pinecones for your mantle, your table, or any old place. Would you do bright colors, or would you stick to a more traditional holiday palette? Oooooh, you could also do gold! That would look pretty fab on a centerpiece at Christmas dinner. Have fun! xoxo

DIY Painted Pinecones

DIY Painted Pinecones

DIY Painted Pinecones

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

Printable Christmas Cards

It’s here! The Christmas season! Now that Thanksgiving has passed I can officially go holiday hog-wild and nobody can give me side-eye about it. (Even though, let’s be real, I’ve…

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

It’s here! The Christmas season! Now that Thanksgiving has passed I can officially go holiday hog-wild and nobody can give me side-eye about it. (Even though, let’s be real, I’ve been listening to Christmas music since the day after Halloween. It can’t be helped.) Anyway, now that we’re in full swing, we’ve got a printable for you to kick off the season. If you need to send some Christmas cards or attach a little note to a holiday gift, we’ve got ya. These are as simple as download, print, and give — and around this time of year simple is good.

Materials

Make Time: 20 Minutes

Step 1: Download our holiday card printable. Note: This is a special file meant to work with Avery’s Design & Print Online platform, so don’t fret if it seems like it didn’t download properly! Just carry on to the next step.

Step 2: Open the files at avery.com/open.

Step 3: Choose to print on the Note Cards (product #8315).

Step 4: Insert the image into the card template, and follow the instructions through to print! Use the toolbar on the left to add any text you might like; you can even print on both sides if you’d like to print a message on the inside of your cards.

Step 5: Once your image is complete, print on the blank card sheet. Separate the cards, trim if desired, and you’re all set.

Have fun addressing your cards! Do you like sending Christmas or holiday cards? I’ve always loved it. I know it’s a ton of work but there’s just something so lovely about getting them in the mail and I can’t stop sending them. Hope these come in handy for you this season! xoxo

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

DIY Printable Christmas Cards

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

Rum Balls

Easy Rum Ball Recipe

When I told the Goodie2Spoons girls that I wanted to test out some rum balls for a holiday recipe to bring to you guys, neither one of them had ever…

Rum Balls

Rum Balls

When I told the Goodie2Spoons girls that I wanted to test out some rum balls for a holiday recipe to bring to you guys, neither one of them had ever tried them before! (Something about too many rum and cokes in college, you’ll have to ask them yourselves… 😉 ) But that didn’t stop them from concocting some of the best rum balls I’ve ever had. I don’t know why, but I have such a special place in my heart for these things! Maybe it’s because my sassy aunt used to make them for Christmas all the time. Or maybe because they seem like such a fun throwback treat, very midcentury and fun. Either way, this recipe is so simple and perfect for serving at parties, sending treats home, or just a little fun holiday experiment in the kitchen.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes

Rum Balls

  • 1 package of vanilla wafers (12-14 oz.)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup spiced rum

Pour cookies into a sealable plastic bag, and smash with a rolling pin until finely ground. Take 2 cups of the smashed vanilla wafers and combine in a bowl with powdered sugar, chopped pecans and cocoa powder and stir. Add corn syrup and spiced rum to the mixture of dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in cocoa sugar (recipe below) and enjoy.

Cocoa Sugar

  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Combine ingredients, spread in a shallow bowl and roll the rum balls before serving!

The girls and I agreed on this one, these get better with age! If you prep and serve the same day, the rum flavor will be pretty potent. But after a day or two it mellowed and they were even better. (Although if you like a boozy rum ball, go ahead and serve them right away!) So they’d be perfect to make ahead for a holiday party or for some take-home sweets; that way you don’t even have to think about them on the day of your shindig.

Go check out Goodie2Spoons and follow along on Instagram to see what else they’re making for the holidays! xoxo

Rum Balls

Rum Balls

Rum Balls

Be Thankful

Be Thankful

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. I love looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow and having one more day before the hustle of cooking a big meal just…

Be Thankful

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. I love looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow and having one more day before the hustle of cooking a big meal just to be quiet and prepare and reflect. This year I’m so, so thankful for my little family and where Ryan and I are in our story. It feels complete and whole and just so lovely to be settling into this life. And yes, we’re up to our ears in diapers and feedings and toddler playdates and homeowner lists, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hope you’re winding down today in preparation for some time with the people you love tomorrow. And I would love, love to know what you’re thankful for. xoxo

How to Make Rhinestone Christmas Tree Ornaments

Lovely Indeed’s Fave Holiday Projects

I can’t help it. I’m dipping a toe in the Christmas pool the week of Thanksgiving. But I figure everyone’s already shopping holiday sales so it can’t be that early,…

How to Make Rhinestone Christmas Tree Ornaments

I can’t help it. I’m dipping a toe in the Christmas pool the week of Thanksgiving. But I figure everyone’s already shopping holiday sales so it can’t be that early, right? I was cruising through our archives recently and found some of my (and your) favorite holiday projects! These were all so fun to put together and have been some of our most popular posts ever, so let’s get into the holiday spirit and revisit some oldies but goodies. I think I’ll actually be making a couple of these again this year to fill out our collections, starting with our DIY rhinestone ornaments at the top of the post.

Hank’s mini tree will be making another appearance this year, with his festive animals. I think our little girl needs some too!

Festive Holiday Animals for a Kid's Christmas Tree

Festive Holiday Animals for a Kid's Christmas Tree

Lots of you have tried this simple holiday gift wrap, and it’s still my go-to for little gifts.

wrapping1

One of our craziest concoctions! The pink-tipped tree took a while to make but it sure is worth it once it’s up and decorated.

How to Make a Pink Tipped Christmas Tree

How to Make a Pink Tipped Christmas Tree

And if a giant tree isn’t your style (or doesn’t fit your space), you can always give this geometric painted tree a go. It was perfect when we were living in apartments.

DIY Geometric Painted Plywood Christmas Tree
DIY Geometric Painted Plywood Christmas Tree

If you’re looking for more holiday inspiration, grab a mug of hot chocolate and head to our archives! Lots of Christmasy goodness awaits you right here. xoxo

Tips for Taking Your Own Holiday Family Photos

We get asked all the time who takes all of our family photos. And with the exception of just a couple of photos, the answer is… we do. We take…

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 10.07.08 AM

We get asked all the time who takes all of our family photos. And with the exception of just a couple of photos, the answer is… we do. We take them ourselves! Partly it’s because we have the equipment and the know-how so we might as well just go for it, and partly it’s because you never know when the opportunity will present itself for a group picture. So we’re kind of always ready. I’ve done a little post on this before, but I thought it would be good to get into more detail about how we actually get the shots of everyone smiling with their eyes open and looking like they’re having a decent time. So! Read on for our tips on how to take your own family photos, and you’ll have your Christmas card shot in no time. xoxo

Baby Announcement

Set up your Equipment. I think that it’s absolutely crucial to have a remote shutter for your camera if you’re planning on making this a habit, or trying to get a good photo for a holiday card or something similar. It’s just too hard to keep running back and forth between your camera and your photo area if you’re using a self-timer button. Do a little research and see what remote shutter will work with your camera. We have been using this one for years; it’s less than ten bucks and works like a charm. If you’re using your smartphone you can also get a remote shutter like this one.

Once you’ve got your remote shutter, read the instructions on how to pair it with your camera. It should be in the shutter instruction booklet. Then set up your camera somewhere steady to get the shot. Note — I said “somewhere steady,” not “on your fancy tripod.” Yes, we sometimes use tripod setups for our group photos in a studio setting but more often than not we are out and about while we’re taking these photos. I’m usually caught without a tripod so I’ve been known to wing it. We’ve taken photos with the camera on our car hood, on a stroller, on my purse, on a park bench — you name it. Just be careful that you place your camera in a spot where it won’t slide off and fall. That would be TRAGIC.

Get Focused. Be sure that before you start snapping photos you check the focus on your camera, especially if you’re shooting on something that doesn’t autofocus for you. Have one family member stand in the spot where you’ll be taking your photos and take some test shots to be sure nothing is blurry. Then, once you start snapping photos, be sure that you’re all standing in the same spot and on the same plane (or distance from the camera) so that you’re all in focus.

Fighting in Marriage

Designate a Photographer. So you’ve got your remote shutter set up, and now you need someone to hold it and actually take the photos. This means that you’ll be holding the remote shutter in the images that you’re taking, but if you’re tricky you can almost always disguise it. Either Ryan or I are holding the remote in every one of these photos; sometimes you can see it and sometimes you can’t. But it never really detracts. And if it really bugs you to see it, then do a little Photoshop magic afterwards and get rid of it.

Anyway! Pick somebody to hold the shutter. We find it best to just fire away once you’re all together and take a whole mess of photos. Yes, it’s more work to sort through afterwards but when you’re all in the picture and nobody is placing or styling you, you just have to go for it. Also, you’re bound to miss a sweet moment or two if you’re waiting to press the shutter until you feel like you’re perfectly posed.

How to Make Heart Shaped Waffles for Valentine's Day

Start Playing Around. And speaking of being perfectly posed, don’t. Well, I guess maybe that’s a good rule of thumb if you have toddlers or babies, anyway. But usually our family photos are of just just goofing around and being happy together, and we’ve found that it’s what works best. It feels less stiff, everyone is more comfortable, and we always end up with photos that look relaxed and feel like us. So instead of trying to get your kids to look at the camera and smile, just try to get them to have a good time while you’re snapping. And if it’s just the two of you, don’t get too prom-photo-y. Put on some music, move around, try different positions, and just be yourselves. In the photoshoot below for our Christmas cards last year, Henry had just learned to walk and he wanted to go everywhere. At first we tried to hold him and he was not having it. So we let him wander and it made for some great images.

How to Take Your Own Holiday Photos

Pick a Child Wrangler. Another good tip for parents with babies or toddlers — one of you needs to be in charge of the kid. Instead of both getting in their face and trying to make them laugh or smile, just let one parent entertain them. The other can look at the camera or look at the kid while they’re snapping the remote shutter. The separation of duties makes things easier on everybody and is less overwhelming for the baby if they’re just focused on interacting with one parent.

Married Life // Making Friends

Feel Happy, Look Happy. The number one thing we’ve learned taking all of these photos of our family? If someone’s in a bad mood, just stop. Come back later. There’s nothing worse than bickering or being upset and trying to take a happy family photo. Be sure you start in a place where everybody’s pumped to snap some photos and nobody’s cranky or out of sorts. Come in happy and let the happy show!

love5

Mom and Baby

Living on Snatched Time

Photo by Scot Woodman Photography Looking back now to having only one kid, I have to laugh at myself. I remember thinking This is the hardest thing. This has to be…

Mom and Baby

Photo by Scot Woodman Photography

Looking back now to having only one kid, I have to laugh at myself. I remember thinking This is the hardest thing. This has to be the hardest thing in the world. And then you add another kid and suddenly you find yourself reminiscing fondly about the days of only one baby. And how when the kid went down for a nap, you had some time to yourself! To do whatever you wanted! But now when Kid #1 is down for a nap, who knows what Kid #2 needs? Maybe Kid #2 is also sleeping (if magical unicorns have sprinkled fairy dust over your house that day) but most often, they’re not. They’re awake. And they need to eat or play or have their diaper changed or who knows what.

Please don’t misunderstand, I love those babies! Love ’em so much I’m afraid I’ll pop ’em if I squeeze too hard. But with Maggie joining our squad I’ve been realizing lately how much a mom has to live on little snatches of  time.

45 minutes at 5:30 am to run to the gym and work out while both kids are asleep.

5 minutes when you get home to shower.

5 more minutes to try to make your hair look okay and maybe slap on some makeup.

2 minutes while the older one is eating a snack to respond to an email or text.

1 minute while they’re playing in the living room to hide in the kitchen and eat an Oreo, so you don’t have to share it.

2 minutes after a 3 am feeding to respond to another email while your eyes will still stay open.

All of these little bits of snatched time are where we moms have to try to do something for themselves. Sometimes I find myself looking at Ryan and thinking Why do you have so much more tiiiiiime than I do?! I’m not even sure that he does, with the exception that I’m breastfeeding so I do have a little ball and chain with me lots of the time. I think as moms we just push ourselves to always be available, and so anything that’s just for ourselves (showering included) feels like it should be done fast and gotten out of the way so we can tend to the family again.

I’m truly wondering how we’re gonna work all of the scheduling out once I’m back to work full time. I know that women do it all the time, and I’m double-lucky to have a husband who works at home and people in town to help with childcare. But right now, it still looks daunting.

Moms, do you feel like you live on snatched time too? And please tell me I’m not the only one who hides while they eat a cookie so their kid won’t take it. 😉 xoxo

8 Holiday Sweaters

8 Perfect Holiday Sweaters

It’s sweater season! Ohhhhh MAN I love the day where I get to take out all of my sweaters from storage and put them into rotation. Anyone out there feel…

It’s sweater season! Ohhhhh MAN I love the day where I get to take out all of my sweaters from storage and put them into rotation. Anyone out there feel me? If you’re a sweater fan too, we put together a quick little roundup of our favorite finds for the season — they’re all just festive enough to say “holiday” without saying “yikes.” Catch my drift? I can’t pick a favorite! I’m thinking it might just be the navy sweater with those cute little gold stars sprinkled everywhere. So perfect. Which is your fave? xoxo

8 Holiday Sweaters

Yellow stripes. Bow neck. Gold stars. French hen. Polka dots. Reindeer. Fair isle. Metallic heart.

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

I have all of these lovely little necklaces and bracelets that have been wasting away, not being worn, because the state of my jewelry storage is a total joke. I’ve…

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

I have all of these lovely little necklaces and bracelets that have been wasting away, not being worn, because the state of my jewelry storage is a total joke. I’ve been meaning to make some sort of stand to hang necklaces on forever, but I wanted to come up with something that was super simple, affordable, and would last. I think we did it finally! You can make this copper and marble jewelry stand with just one trip to the hardware store and a few minutes at home. And now all of the jewelry that I’ve been ignoring for so long can come out and play.

Materials

  • marble tile
  • 2′ length of 1/2″ copper pipe (plumbing aisle)
  • 3 1/2″ copper pipe caps
  • 2 1/2″ copper tees
  • threaded copper 1/2″ – 3/4″ adapter fitting
  • E6000
  • optional: Dremel tool

Make Time: 10 Minutes (Plus Drying Time)

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

Step 1: Head to the hardware store! If you don’t have a Dremel tool or a way to cut copper pipe at home, after you purchase your pipe ask if someone in the store can help you cut your pieces. Lots of times they’ll cut for free, or there may be a small cut fee. Cut the 2′ copper pipe into the following pieces: two 5.5″, two 4.5″, one 3″.

Step 2: Once you’ve got all of your supplies home, wipe down the marble tile to remove any dust or debris. Put a layer of E6000 around the wide rim of the copper adapter and glue it down to the center of the tile. Wipe away any glue that seeps out. Allow to fully dry and cure.

Step 3: Assemble the rest of your stand. Insert one 5.5″ piece into the adapter and top it with a sideways tee. Insert the other 5.5″ piece above the tee. At the top, add a tee with the two sides pointing outward.

Step 4: Insert the 3″ piece on the side of the tee and finish it with a cap.

Step 5: Insert the two 4.5″ pieces on either side of the top tee. Finish them both with caps.

Easy peasy, huh? Now just deck it out with all of your trinkets and it’s all set. It’s so nice to have all of my favorites displayed in one place so I can just grab them so easily. And now all of my pieces actually get worn, instead of just waiting around in a forgotten corner of a drawer somewhere. Hope you try this one out! xoxo

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

DIY Copper and Marble Jewelry Stand

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

They’re baaaaack! It’s my favorite chefs, Katie and Allie from Goodie2Spoons, with an appetizer that is so good we literally ate them all by the time we finished shooting them….

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

They’re baaaaack! It’s my favorite chefs, Katie and Allie from Goodie2Spoons, with an appetizer that is so good we literally ate them all by the time we finished shooting them. (That’s not a joke, guys. We ate them. All of them.) These delicious pretzel bites are just the snack for game day or to have around while you’re waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. They’re the perfect mix of doughy pretzel & salty sprinkles, and when you combine them with either the sriracha or the pesto dipping sauces they’re next level. 

Prep Time: 30 Minutes (Plus 1 hour for dough to rise)
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt

Baking Soda Slurry

  • 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ cup baking soda

Heat milk to 110°F and remove from heat. (As soon as bubbles form around the edges of the sauce pan, about 2 minutes.) Pour milk into a separate bowl and add the yeast. Let the yeast soften in the milk for a few minutes.

Stir in the brown sugar and mix until dissolved. Add half of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Add diced butter and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Stir in the table salt and the remaining flour, and mix until a loose dough forms—dough may be sticky.

Sprinkle rolling surface with flour and knead the dough, adding flour if necessary, for about 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but smooth and consistent. Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour. After the dough has risen to double its size, remove from the greased bowl and separate it until smaller pieces on a floured surface.

Roll the smaller pieces into long snakes, and cut into 1 inch “bites”. Dunk each bite into the baking soda slurry and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Separate the bites about an inch apart, and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.

Bake at 450°F for 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet 180° half way through the baking time.

While the dough is rising, you can prepare these delicious dips!

Sriracha Dip

  • ¼ cup whipped cream cheese (room temp)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (room temp)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha

Combine ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.

Pesto Dip

  • ¼ cup whipped cream cheese (room temp)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (room temp)
  • 1 tbsp jarred pesto sauce

Combine ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Now, don’t be scared of trying these, y’all. It may sound fancy to make your own pretzel dough, but you’ll be masters in no time. And I’m dying to know which dip you like better! I think the sriracha dip is my jam, but then again sriracha anything is my jam. And now, can we all just high five Katie and Allie for this crazy good recipe?! Be sure to follow Goodie2Spoons on Instagram to keep up with more fun eats. xoxo

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

Pretzel Bites with Dipping Sauces

How to Wear Flared Denim Jeans

All the Jeans I Own

Yesterday I pulled on a pair of jeans and zipped them and shouted to Ryan, “Hey! I can fit in my pre-pregnancy big jeans!” And then I realized how ridiculous…

How to Wear Flared Denim Jeans

Yesterday I pulled on a pair of jeans and zipped them and shouted to Ryan, “Hey! I can fit in my pre-pregnancy big jeans!” And then I realized how ridiculous that sounded. I also realized that in my closet is a bizarre selection of jeans, sized to every season of my life. If you’re a mom or even just a woman, I know you know what I mean. Let me break mine down for you.

First, there are my good ol’ normal jeans. For when I’m my average, every day size. Pre-pregnancy, that is. Then there are pre-pregnancy tiny jeans — for when I’m a few pounds down from my norm. Then there are the pre-pregnancy big jeans — I think we all have big jeans. Those are for the days when you accidentally ate cake every day last month and it finally caught up with you. Or the day after Thanksgiving. Or when it’s that time of the month. The days when you just can’t bear to squeeze into your normal (let alone tiny) jeans.

THEN! If you’re a mom, you have an arsenal of maternity jeans, because stupid maternity jeans are fickle and some days they work and some days they don’t. I’m pumped to say that all my maternity jeans left the building the day I came home from the hospital, mostly because I couldn’t bear to look at them any more.

And also if you’re a mom, you have post-pregnancy jeans. A whole new set of jeans to deal with. There are the big post-pregnancy jeans, for the first few weeks when you just want to wear normal clothes but you still sort of look 5 months pregnant. Then there are the high-waisted jeans because your stomach just ain’t what it used to be (and thank God high waists are back in style for a second). And if you’re lucky, after you work your way through those categories you end up back in some form of your pre-pregnancy jeans someday. After Henry, I was back in my tiny jeans after about 6 months, mostly thanks to breastfeeding (I think?) and spin class. Because Lordy knows I was eating everything in sight so it sure wasn’t my diet.

I like to think that all of my pre-pregnancy jeans are sitting in that pile in my closet for a good reason and that someday I’ll be back in them. Because there are some cute jeans in there, guys. Now tell me — have I missed any categories of jeans that are currently hiding in your closet? xoxo