You know the feeling when you get a surprise in the mail and you’re oddly more excited than you should be about something small and frivolous? Well, upon my return late Sunday night from one of the most tiring weekends ever, I had a pretty box on my stoop full of springy goodies from Illume. In the past, I’ve bought the holiday scents and the Coconut Milk Mango everything, but was glad they sent some of the new scents to try out. Yesterday, the weather was sunny, and I was feeling like I needed to take a second to myself, so I put these goodies to use and pampered myself a bit with a long soak.
Did you notice my little pastel tumbler in there? I can’t tell if I’m happier about the packaging or about the actual product. Does that ever happen to you? Something is almost too pretty to open? Almost…
Although I loved trying out the new scents, but I’m still a total sucker for the Coconut Mango Milk. It makes me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation.
What do you guys like to use when you have a bit of an at-home spa day?
*Illume kindly provided the products to create this post. Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that help me bring new ideas and content to you each day.
Wow, it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend. Firstly, thank you guys for all of your support and kindness about this post last week. I’m still trying to get things back to normal over here and hopefully will have a computer and be totally back to my normal blogging by the end of this week. Secondly, my apologies about the super late post today. We drove back from Atlanta yesterday after the show ended and got back in the middle of the night.
In the meantime, I’ve had some wonderful things happening! This past weekend I went to the Atlanta Home + Gift Fair to showcase my Grandiflora line. I was so so so nervous before I went about setting up the booth and ensuring that the ‘retail space’ I was building really reflected the line and the feeling I was trying to convey with it. After a 10 hour drive with a car packed to the gills, I made it into Atlanta and got to work on my teeny tiny little 9′ x 10′ booth. If any of you have been to these fairs as buyers or exhibitors, you’ll know how small these little spaces really are. Although I’d mapped it out in my house beforehand, I was still almost dumbstruck when I got there and saw the space. Keep reading for the ugly before shot and what I did about it.
The ‘before’ was a very typical tradeshow set up. It’s called a ‘pipe + drape’ structure and is literally metal pipe with some white sheers. Oh, and don’t forget about the terrible multicolor convention center carpet. I had brought all of my product and a few supplies that I’d learned about from various other internet resources. I planned to use foam core board as ‘walls’ and a puzzle piece faux wood floor to transform the space. A few display pieces from Ikea rounded out the list of things I needed to properly showcase the line.
The ‘after’ photo just makes me so proud. I made little bump-outs on the back wall so that I could hide wires, empty boxes, and some supplies without encroaching upon my neighbors space. A cheap Ikea desk wrapped in foam core board served a similar purpose. You don’t realize until you’re stuck in 90 square feet for three full days that you need places to hide things like your purse and the bag of Chick fil’a waffle fries you were noshing on before someone popped in.
I can’t say it all came together easily. It took two full eight hour days, an impromptu uhaul van rental, a parking ticket in said uhaul van, a ride back to the hotel from the uhaul center owner (who scolded me for trying to walk back to the show), and lots of bumps and bruises. All of this hard work totally paid off when the show management came to my booth to present me with the ‘Best of Show’ award for my booth design and the visual display of my products. I was literally shocked! It was my first show and I was really just winging it, so it was so nice to feel like I’d hit the nail on the head.
Have you ever done a show? Gone to a show? Tell me about your experience!
ONE a pastel cake stand would not only go wonderfully with this week’s DIY, but it’s perfect for spring and summer! £49 from Idyll Home. TWO I saw this pop color chair in person last week and it’s a much more orangey, coral red than it looks here. It’s a gorgeous piece and I might be a color convert… maybe. At just $59 from Ikea, who wouldn’t be? THREE it’s not a home item, but it certainly makes my faves list this week. I might have to buy myself a little something! Bien Fait scarf is just so darling and is on sale at $14.50 from Madewell. FOUR a table runner… with confetti printed on it. I think this is the perfect thing to take you from early spring through summer, so for $55 you can decorate for half the year. done. FIVE I just love baskets, and if they’re dipped, dyed, or have have sort of weave interest, I’m game. The set starts at $38 from Hard to Find.
So, we made it. No doubt it’s been a rough week for me. Aside from what’s been going on with the break-in, I had to turn around after just a day at home and head down to Atlanta for the Spring Home + Gift fair where I’m exhibiting my Grandiflora line for the first time. I am SO SO excited to show you guys on Monday what I did with my booth. You really won’t believe the transformation from convention center curtained booth to a ‘retail’ space designed with Grandiflora in mind. Aside from the show, I’ve never been to Atlanta, so I’m enjoying some free evenings to explore. If you’ve been to Atlanta (or live here) let me know your suggestions!
Are you guys up to anything fun this (march!) weekend?
If you follow on social media, you’ll know that I spent last weekend in Palm Springs with some amazing bloggers in a 3 day get together sponsored both by Bing and some incredible other brands (see friday’s faves!) and the weekend was hosted by the amazingly talented Chelsea, Kelly, and Brittni. We had a cabinet stuffed to the gills with craft supplies, party goodies, fresh flowers, and tools. We had a refrigerator crammed full of sweets, drinks, and anything a girls heart could desire. These girls really pulled off an amazing fete.
I have to tell you, though, before my trip to Palm Springs, I was feeling a little bad for myself. I just wasn’t feeling my usual spunk and I felt drained and without inspiration. So as we’re spending time together in a hot, tropical valley, I got to thinking about growth. I set out to explore, to learn, and to grow with these other talented women. So that is what I set to do, get out of my funk. Unfortunately, things sometimes get worse before they get better, but I learned that mountainous growth most evident when you’re in a valley…theoretically (and literally in this case).
Settle in for this (novel of a post) and let me explain. Aside from generally feeling stagnant, my trip didn’t start out stellar. The airline cancelled my flight, they didn’t reschedule me. I had a gate attendant in Columbus literally tell me to ‘figure it out’ in Chicago as she ushered me onto an outbound plane without a connecting flight. The wonderful people in Chicago patched something together and got me to Palm Springs just a few hours later than my original time. The downside? They couldn’t recover my luggage, but I could deal with that. I had my valuables in my carry-on and the rest of my stuff would follow the next day. Sure, I’m going to a tropical destination without so much as a bottle of spf or a swimsuit, but I’ll make do. I spent the day traveling in a grey dress, spent the evening dinner in said dress, slept in the dress, and woke up the next morning to wear the same grey dress.
When my luggage arrived the next day, I was elated. I showered, changed, and was a new Erin. The whole thing was a small valley. A really small valley. I say that because a bigger one came. Later that night while we were enjoying an amazing taco dinner at the Ace Hotel, our vacation house was robbed…. and they cleaned. me. out. Every single thing in my room was gone. All I had were the clothes I was wearing… again. When I walked into my room, I did a double-take. I couldn’t believe someone would be so thorough (for lack of better words). My computer? Of course, I expected they’d take that. My Louis Vuitton weekender? Again, yes, I assumed that would be on the list of things to burgle. A pair of Louboutin sandals? Some stylish bandits.
There were things that I didn’t expect they’d want, but were just within proximity, so off they went – from memory cards full of photos and notebooks full of sketches to all of my makeup, hairdryer, and jewelry. This was a new low. It may just seem like stuff, but it was my stuff. It was stuff that I used to make a living, stuff that I bought overseas, stuff that was given to me for Christmases and Birthdays. I expected feeling upset at the loss of my things, but what I didn’t expect was the feeling of being completely violated; the knowledge that a stranger was going through the things that I hold near and dear with complete disrespect. This valley was a pretty big one.
I was in a fog through the rest of the night and the discussions with police officers and a trip to Walmart to get something to wear the rest of my time in Palm Springs seemed to pass by in a blur.
But wouldn’t you know it? It’s in the valleys that we grow. It was following this moment that I felt the highest high of the trip. We took the change of location (and the absence of a craft supply bonanza) to really just get to know each other. During a time when I felt so disconnected from normalcy, I experienced the most comfort. I was surrounded by my peers – those girls in my industry who I interact with online everyday – yet this time in person. I learned of the proverbial valleys that others were in, the struggles we feel in both our home and blog lives. Everything from blogging to when to have kids to buying homes and sometimes none of that going our way. We were sharing trade secrets and dishing about blog blunders and triumphs. I could feel myself regrowing with each funny anecdote or outburst of laughter. We stayed up late and drank wine out of dixie cups and played games. We talked about our lives and our pet peeves, and our dreams. It was both in that valley in California and that valley in my life that I felt such sharp acknowledgement of the peaks, and knew I was definitely on the way up.
p.s. I really struggled with whether or not to tell you guys about this. I wanted to come back and tell you about all of the beautiful, wonderful, colorful things we did, but doing that without sharing what my heart really went through felt like a lie. I’ll be back next week to discuss all of the AWESOME things that happened and some new projects, series, and products that you’re sure to love!
I’m still a sucker for dipped things even after years of dipping and dying anything that stands still. I’ve had the idea for some smokey semi-opaque glasses for a while now, and did a few trials this week to figure out the best way to get the look I was after. The finished result is a not-too-thick pastel color that is perfect for spring. I can’t wait to make myself some lemonade in one of these or to see one full of flowers by my bedside! It will be just what I was after.
Plain paint would be way too thick and thinning it down with water makes the finish dull (like seaglass). I got the idea to mix the paint with clear sealer to tone down the opacity and to keep the color glossy and bright. Although acrylic paints are not meant to come in contact with food, they are non-toxic, so I like to limit their use to at least an inch below the rim of the glass so that you don’t actually drink from the paint part. If you’re still not sure, use these pretty glasses for votives on your spring table or for flowers. It’s up to you!
For the full tutorial and material list
ONE mix 3/4 bottle of paint and 3/4 bottle of clear gloss with one ounce water in a disposable cup. TWO dip the glass into the disposable cup until the paint comes just about 3/4 of the way up the cup. I made mine a bit lopsided for fun, but you can do it either way. THREE let the cups sit to dry on a making sheet overnight. FOUR flip the cups over and fill in any blank spots from the baking rack. Then, move all glasses to a baking sheet (upside down) and put them into the oven. Turn the oven onto 350 and time for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and let the glassware cool as the oven cools. Make sure to put the glasses into a cool oven so that they heat up gradually.
After curing in the oven, the glasses should be dishwasher safe on the top rack. I wouldn’t soak them, however!
Even if you choose some bright colors, they really tone down with the clear gloss, so they look perfectly pastel. Enjoy your pretty new glasses!
Remember this blast from the (not so distant) past? We’ll I’ve got some exciting news and I need your help! I’ve been selected to participate in the Better Homes and Gardens Makeover Madness challenge and the chairs from this post were entered into the first round of the contest! Today is the only day you can vote for me, so please hop over and vote if you can! If I make it to the final four, I get to participate in a craft challenge at the BHG headquarters and if I win that, my project will end up in the magazine! I’d love love love to represent the House of Earnest community, so help me out!
A billion thanks for your help!
We are about halfway through a moderate project in our house – a master bedroom closet renovation. Originally, the master bedroom had no closet, but instead a little nursery-type room off to the side. In the 80′s my father-in-law renovated the home and put in a standard wall closet with bifold doors. Until last week, the little wall closet still existed and I just kept my clothes in the office closet. I finally got sick of going into my office to get my clothes, but more so, having my stuff in the office displaced the business supplies into the guestroom. We finally decided to take action and last week we shared in this post how we tore down the wall closet and decided to make the whole adjacent room into a walk in closet with a vanity. I’m in heaven.
Over the past week we’ve ripped out the wall that made the 80′s wall closet, we’ve repaired drywall and we’ve installed a closet organization system from The Container Store. I’m not going to lie, I’m the kind of person who enjoyed every single second of putting together the organization system. It was sheer bliss. I got myself a glass of red wine in the evenings and just organized my little heart out. There is space for everything! My clutches no longer get piled in a set of plastic drawers, my shoes are no longer in a boxes in my office shelving, and I’ll have a place to do my hair and make up without taking up residence in our single bathroom.
So, now our walls are repaired, we’ve painted everything a nice deep grey/brown – Martha Stewart’s Zinc from The Home Depot – and we’ve put our clothing in. It seems like the end, but it’s not at all. I’m just getting into the fun stuff. I still plan to make a light fixture for overhead, create a vanity space, add some art, put up some window treatments, include a little seating space, and replace the 80′s carpet both in there and in our master bedroom. So we’re only about half done.
We’re to the point where it’s user friendly, but could really use some decor. I’m proud of what we’re accomplished so far and I’m even more excited to just keep going in the direction of my dreams.
What do you think so far?
ONE fun and funky flavors of jam from m. greenwood take a cheese platter to the next level! Pair balsamic strawberry with brie and grapefruit with bleu cheese. TWO painterly stroke towels from fateyedesign are almost too pretty to use. I might turn them into something like this. THREE cut end coasters $12 from Aloe Designs are just a cool $18 and are definitely darling. FOUR tiny little herb snippers are perfect fun gifts for crafty ladies or gardeners alike. FIVE little bamboo utensils are painted in the perfect shade of sunset coral. $22 from Mr & Mrs P. SIX Rose scented salts for soaking in the bath from Oh So Pretty, they smell absolutely divine!
All of these gorgeous items were in our swag bag here in Palm Springs! I’m so happy to get to know these brands and their creators through their fabulous products. I’ve having an AMAZING time in Palm Springs and it couldn’t be a better time for me to get out of the winter weather. It’s so refreshing to have the sun and warmth so plentiful. I’m crafting up a storm today on some projects and new ideas that I’m sure you guys will love!
Have an amazing weekend!
I like to call this the filthy fire martini. I thought it was hilarious, but that shows you my sense of humor. This all started because I thought I should start drinking more mature drinks. When I head to a nice restaurant for cocktails, I always want to order something classy, you know?
This martini recipe is perfect for those of you who love savory cocktails. I spiced up this martini a little bit with some Habanero vodka – don’t worry though! It’s not so so spicy even though it has Habanero pepper. I am only a medium salsa kind of girl and I love it, so I’m sure you will too.
Since there are only two Habanero for a whole 750ml of vodka and it only sits for a few days, it isn’t unbearably spicy. If you do like super spicy stuff, just let it sit a little longer… maybe 2 weeks or so!
Definitely give this one a try. The creamy tang from the blue cheese gives a nice contrast to the spicy flavors.
Do you like the spicy drinks?
I’ve had this idea to make a quick stamp out of cardboard for a while now, and I’m happy to report that it works awesome. This project took me about 20 minutes total and turned out super cute. I bought a whole slew of colorful linen napkins from Crate and Barrel the other day and now I’ve got a honeycomb pattern that is cool, unique and ready just in time for spring drinks (we can hope, right?).
Like I said, this is a quick project using cardboard as a stamp! I know you’ll love it! If you’d like the full tutorial and materials list
ONE using a ruler, bend your cardboard piece at inch intervals until you’ve bent it six times. TWO cut on the last (sixth) bend. THREE tape the cardboard piece into a circle (a hexagon circle!).
FOUR dip your hexagon into the paint. FIVE stamp your napkin. SIX repeat in whatever design you’d like!
Such a cute turnout, right? It looks like something you could buy at West Elm, but when your friends come for drinks, you’ll get much more satisfaction saying, “I made them” when they ask where you got the impossibly cute napkins. I know that we could buy half of the stuff we make around here, but to me, it’s all about the satisfaction of knowing that I created something beautiful, you know?