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Remembering 2013 + a giveaway!

life in print pictures

Let’s try this again! My apologies that this giveaway went awry last week.  I had some issues and was at a photoshoot all day without my computer, so I had to take it down until it could be revamped. Anyways, we have an even better prize for you today, so let’s get started!

Before I went to Alt, I had a bit of an issue with space on my phone.  It was all taken up with photos, none of which I wanted to delete from my phone, or download to the photo abyss of my hard drive. So many of the photos I love are on Instagram (do you recognize these?) but I wanted to get them off my phone and get them into my hands.

In this digital age, we share, tweet, and tag photos online, but how often do we actually print them out? When’s the last time you’ve printed photos? I can honestly say that (until now) I hadn’t printed out photos since college (wedding prints excluded).

paper photos

We’re going to change today, however. The folks at Printic were kind enough to offer me some free prints, so I wanted to extend the offer you guys also (yay for really fun free things)! You can simply comment below to win a full box of 50 free prints… AND there will be TWO WINNERS and everyone else will get 1 print free with their next purchase with the code: 757369 (minimum 3 print order).

I hope you have fun with it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Mexican Hot Chocolate Party Favor

mexican hot chocolate dippers

For our Valentines Day dinner party this year, I’m going with a bit of a Spanish flare – paella, tapas, flamenco fan style garland, spanish wine, and so on. The exception to this is the Mexican hot chocolate dippers that I’ll be making to accompany the heart shaped churros I plan to make for dessert. I love the mixture of spicy and sweet in mexican chocolate, so I thought it would make a really cute addition to the party to melt some chocolate onto the honey dippers from my Esselle hostess box.

The attached message, “Love and Chocolate are best served hot” is actually a spin on a german proverb (“love and coffee are best served hot”), but I changed the words a bit for this quirky valentine treat. The back of the tag could easily host a custom sentiment for my guests as well.

hot chocolate favors spoons

The best part is, with the exception of the honey dippers (which you can also find here), you might just have all of the ingredients on hand. Keep reading for the step by step instructions, recipe, and the printable tags!  Continue Reading…


Secrets + Life in Print


We definitely had some exciting news this weekend, our home and our lives as Grandiflora owners are featured in 614 Magazine. It’s a wonderful article about how path to living in this home and the history of its life before we moved in.

To tell you all a secret, even with the rich history of this home, our time in this house is limited.  We’ve made improvements and renovations, but all were with the understanding that we wouldn’t be here long-term.  Some of the changes we made were cosmetic, just to get us by living in a place we loved living.  Other changes were totally functional.  We needed to replace a beam under the kitchen floor and put on a new roof. We love this house and it’s such a big part of the family (read the article for more on that!) So what’s the plan? Continue Reading…


Friday Faves 2.7

Friday Faves 2.7

ONE hand lettered gold XO print would be a perfect gift for her, $28 from Rach Illustrates. TWO carved wood shape salt and pepper shakers are interesting, but classy from Crate & Barrel for $25. THREE I’ve always wanted a moroccan wedding blanket, and I like the darker colors woven through this one from Urban Outfitters, but it’s still a little pricey at $799. FOUR If you’re having a hard time adding a textured tribal look to your home, this striped hemp pillow is a nice place to start. $65 from Nomadic Trading Company. FIVE brass votives from Furbish are the kind of thing you can use or your table or move to your bookshelves or style in a hallway vignette.  They’re totally versatile and quite pretty. $26.50 each. SIX I love this gold triangle wrapping paper.  It’s a great option to have on hand for that ‘pop-up’ party you need to attend. $7 for two sheets.


It’s really been a great week here in our corner of the world.  I got my husband back after his man-cation, I had a wonderful dinner with a friend who had moved away, and I’ve been doing some really fun styling work for a local company’s website (I’ll share soon!).

I have a few meetings this weekend and then I’ll be working on my master bedroom closet (details to come)! My sister is coming up from Nashville, so I’m excited to see her in between my work.

What’s on your agenda this weekend?


p.s. I sincerely apologize for the confusion with my post yesterday.  I put up a giveaway, but then had some issues with it, so I had to pull it back down to revamp.  It will come back soon!


Black & White Abstract Art Video Tutorial


Well, guys, I have some fun news for you!  Today is the day I publish my very first video tutorial! It’s a bit rough, but I’m pretty proud of it for my first attempt at shooting and editing my own video.  It was 100% done by me and my trusty tripod, so have some mercy, but I hope you enjoy it!

For the abstract paintings, I used watercolor, but maybe not the watercolor you’ve used before.  If you go to your local craft or art store (I went to Michaels) you can buy tubes of watercolor paint.  They work a thousand times better than the stuff you used when you were a kid. I bought a kit with 24 colors for about $18 bucks.  This one is on sale right now at Utrecht. That is really my only big trick. Just get the good paints and you’ll be shocked what a difference it makes!

I do encourage you to try it on your own if you’re feeling creative.  Making a pattern is easy – here are some tips:

First, start out with a couple areas of large, concentrated dots. sprinkle a few smaller dots within that cluster.  Then gradate the size and frequency of the clusters out toward your blank space.  So as the dots move further from the large cluster, they should become smaller and less frequent. If you still doubt your ability, I’ve created a little template! Just print this onto your watercolor paper and paint over the dots.  It doesn’t get easier than this.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on the video and if you like it better or worse than my little photos I usually do!




It’s What’s Inside that Counts

brand names

In matters of house and home, I have an embarrassing confession to make.  As resourceful and cheap as I can be in some areas, in other areas, I am downright irresponsible.

Let’s back this up… I pinched pennies for so long through college and afterwards, I used coupons, compared prices, bought generic, you name it.  Then, when I started making decent money at my first ‘real’ job, I splurged. I splurged on everything from trash bags to Louis Vuitton bags.  Obviously, I saved a lot for those bigger purchases, but the problem came when I did little shopping – groceries, various sundries – I didn’t even look at the prices. I just grabbed what I thought was better… the name brands.

Yesterday, I went to the store to pick up normal things – paper towels, toilet paper, coffee, cereal.  Being in the recent self-employed state that I am, this time, I really looked at the prices.  I thought about the fifty-cent or dollar differences between brands and thought – is it worth it?  Continue Reading…


Black & White Abstract Art

black and white abstract paintings

Whenever Matt goes out of town, I usually paint something.  That something is typically a room, and typically I’m slightly unsure he’ll agree with my color choice hence the call to action while he’s gone!

This weekend, I did a different sort of painting.  I wanted to relax a bit and had some movies I’d been wanting to see (Blue Jasmine & Life of Pi, both excellent), but I cannot do anything where my hands aren’t busy.  If I’m watching TV, I’m also crafting something or sketching or maybe folding clothes… something else so that I don’t feel like I’m rotting my brain glued to the tube.

Anyway, back to the painting.  I was inspired by some of the recent sharpie projects I’d seen on the interwebs.  Both Brittany and Caitlin went at recreating the classic Brunschwig & Fils Les Touches fabric, which is an abstract snow leopard-type print.  I loved what these girls did, but wanted a little more variation and customization in my designs.  I used the fabric as a jumping off point for inspiration, but varied mine quite a bit.  The outcome is a little bit natural (animal print) and a bit abstract.

les touches inspired paintings

abstract black and white art

I hung the two paintings (which I’ve dubbed spotted I and spotted II) in my living room above a corner accent chair.  I am slowly trying to balance some of the simple, rustic, scandinavian touches in my home with the right bit of modern.  I think these paintings definitely help!

What are your thoughts on the paintings?  Different enough from the original?

ALSO, I am going to post a step be step tutorial later this week, so come back if you love them!


p.s.  My closet clean-out is going on over on the instagram account @erinsclosetcleanout – follow and bid on designer pieces that I’m (sadly) parting with after hoarding without use!



Friday Faves 1.31

Friday Faves 1.31

ONE ‘fortune favors the brave’ print is just the perfect reminder to take that next step.  Three sizes available starting from $18 from FieldTrip. TWO I love natural vachetta leather and this little clutch looks so luxe, but minimal.  It gets more and more beautiful with age and wear (think LV handles!).  The maker, Minimaliste has lots of great shapes, this one is $150. THREE vintage Eames rocker sit’s at the top of my wish list and one day I’ll make the splurge.  $465 from Cast & Crew. FOUR vintage kilim Turkish rug is so vibrant and would add a gorgeous splash of color to an otherwise neutral room.  This one is a large 6.5′ x 10′, but the shop have several sizes available. FIVE navy blue mini triangle pillow would be the perfect addition to my sofa in an effort to bring some navy into the living room. $48 from ShapesColors. SIX my skin is freaking out over here. I need to buy some serious lotion to stave off the winter dryness!  This chamomile and grapefruit body butter from Beridan Naturals is all natural, super thick, and calling my name, $32.


Well, I’m back from Utah and getting back into the swing of things over here.  It’s been super cold all week, so we’ve been hunkering down, catching up on our DVR, cooking dinner at home, and drinking lots of wine.  I just started watching ‘Girls’ and can’t decide if I like it or hate it… any watchers?  Of course, the highlight of my Sunday nights is Downton Abbey.  I just love it.

Matty is going away for a boys ski trip this weekend, so I’ll be catching up on some of the work I missed while at Alt, watching girly movies, and possibly treating myself to a manicure.

What are your plans this weekend?


p.s.  Big news – I’ll be having a virtual garage sale next week starting on MONDAY!  Follow @erinsclosetcleanout on instagram for all the details!  I’ll be auctioning everything from bags, shoes, accessories, and clothes to some furniture and home accessories!  I’ll be sharing complete rules on Facebook, so be sure to follow there too!


A Spanish Valentines Party: The Plan



For Valentines day each year, I have a dinner party with some of my favorite friends to celebrate the love in our lives.  Although I’m not a big fan of gooey romance, that doesn’t mean I don’t like some romance in my life… it just needs to be festive and fun – hence the dinner party.

I like the spanish theme for a few reasons.  Mainly because it’s a passionate theme without being over-the-top and secondly because I have a good friend who asks year round for my paella and I feel this is a good opportunity to splurge on a giant skillet of seafood and sausage. It’s not the kind of meal you make for a small crowd.

To help my decorations, the wonderful girls over at esselle sent me their ‘Devyn’ hostess box which is made to create a playful, handmade dinner for two.  Since I wanted to take a non-traditional spin on the holiday, I’m using some of the pieces (like the birch votives, the confetti, the gold/white vases, and the cupcake wraps) to support the Spanish vibe.  I know it isn’t Spanish, but I am going to use the honey dippers included in the box to make some Mexican hot chocolate dipping sticks so we can drink it with our churros.

I think it all goes to show, that using what you have (or what’s out there in the stores this time of year), can be done with a twist that will surprise your guests and make the night crazy awesome.

As we get closer to the party, I’ll show you guys a few tutorials for the decor and how I plan on using those cupcake sleeves and honey dippers!!


*click on the photos for source


Polka Dot Plaster Vase

plaster textured vase

This is the first time I’ve ever worked with plaster of paris, but I’d wanted to try creating a plaster vase for a while now.  I’ve seen similar items at Anthro or West Elm, but just thought, “I’d like to give this a go before I buy something funky and artsy”.  Do you ever think like that?  I’m not necessarily thinking that I want to knock something off, just more of a creative adventure to see if I can create something I like with my own two hands.

Anyway, this turned out being very very simple and made me so happy that I’m going to try some other plaster variations on upcoming projects (get ready!).

textured plaster vase

plaster vase tutorial

ONE mix 1 1/2 cups plaster with 1 cup of water.  TWO create an underlying texture on a glass vessel.  I used an old candle (with wax removed) and some furniture foot pads (because I had a bunch on hand) to create a raised dot texture.  THREE roll the vase in the plaster until all glass and textured pieces are covered.

I let it dry for an hour and was done!  I could have spray painted this gold (surprise, surprise) but kind of liked the silky white natural look of the plaster.

plaster vase

It’s by no means perfect, but that is kind of the point.  Not only did I get to play with a new material, but I make something that is sculptural and interesting as well.  I’m happy with it!
My wheels are already turning with what my next plaster of paris project will be.  I can’t wait to dig in!

Have you ever attempted a plaster project?