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Acrylic Gem Cuff DIY

clear acrylic gem cuff diy

Let’s get a little crafty today!  I’ve been excited to do this jeweled cuff tutorial and have been looking forward to getting back from my trip just so that I could do it.  I know that sounds silly, but I was literally sitting on the plane thinking about the colors, shapes, and gems I’d use in this project.

I have a few jeweled up cuffs, but I have a really hard time with cuffs in general because they always just fall off my wrist. This issue is especially true for the acrylic ones on the market since they’re not usually too bendable.

acrylic gem bracelet tutorial

While at my local art store, I was searching for foam core board, but stumbled upon this PVC sheet and thought, “BINGO”!  I wanted to do a cool, totally unique bracelet with a snap closure to fit my petite wrists and I got exactly that.  You know when a project is finished and it’s better than you thought it would be?  That’s happened to be with this cuff.  Here is how I did it! Continue Reading…

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Beachy Weekend in Hong Kong

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What a whirlwind week!  I didn’t end up instagramming nearly as much as I’d hoped.  Since Matt traveled with me this time, we met the wireless device maximum with just our computers, so my phone stayed off!

I’m afraid it wouldn’t have been super interesting, however.  We worked a lot and went from work to dinner to sleep each day.  On Saturday, however, we stepped out of the city center and our usual champagne brunches to relax and get some sunshine. We boarded a double decker bus and headed to Stanley Market which is a little touristy beach town on the south side of Hong Kong island.  The bus careened down narrow, winding streets, hitting tree branches and tilting slightly around the tight cliff corners.

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After lots of back to back meetings and fancy dinners, it was a wonderful departure from the hustle and bustle. A little walk down the boardwalk and a couple of beers at a sidewalk pub were exactly what we needed.  We talked about the meetings we’d had throughout the week and schemed up ideas for future endeavors (what we do best when drinking beers on a beach).

Today, we’ll be back in Ohio to hit the ground running on some of our projects that stemmed from the trip. I haven’t been super specific about what business has been taking me out east, but I have plans to share soon and ways it might help you in your future endeavors as well! Stay tuned!

Have a fabulous start to your week!

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Friday Faves 6.20

Friday Faves 6.21

ONE the prettiest blue wind chime would be right at home on our back porch. $69 from Dot & Bo. TWO I am so excited for the Poppytalk line for Target!  It launches this weekend and I’ll be there for it! THREE a modern rocking chair from CB2 that doesn’t look the least bit old fashioned and is on sale for $199. FOUR a little pot with clementine lip scrub inside looks almost as pretty as it probably smells! By Sara Happ for $24. FIVE I love that these gorgeous bamboo tumblers are biodegradable.  Don’t they look like ceramic? $24 for a set of four from Terrain. SIX the Joon pillow from Crate & Barrel looks like a mirror print, but is actually embroidery and all for only $17!

 

Happy Friday!  It’s been a wonderful week here for us.  Matt and I have been working in Hong Kong all week and after a day tomorrow to do some exploring, we’ll be heading back home on Sunday.

Although I’ve been overseas, we haven’t been short of inspiration over here on House of Earnest!  I am still obsessed with the luau party we hosted last week and shared on Wednesday and if you didn’t catch my 5 minute frozen yogurt, check it out too! I love the summery, relaxing vibe of today’s faves and they actually make me a bit homesick to get back to the Ohio summer. Do you ever get homesick while away?

We’ll see you back here on Monday with some peeks of our trip!  Until then, have a fabulous weekend!

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Five Minute Homemade Frozen Yogurt

homemade frozen yogurt

I have such a treat to share with you today (literally)!  I have been challenged for the last few weeks because I’ve been trying out a very high protein, low sugar diet which is clearly not conducive to summer sweets like ice cream.  Since the diet focuses a lot on greek yogurt, I decided to try a little trick and see if I could make some homemade frozen yogurt to act as a sweet substitute for cool summer treats.

Good news, it worked.  Better news, it was delicious. Best news?  It’s fat free and only about 100 calories per serving.  So how did I do it?

homemade frozen yogurt recipe how to make frozen yogurt at home

I focused on the way ice cream is made by getting it super cold and agitating it so small crystals form instead of a a big block of ice. Not only is it wonderful, but it makes the perfect single serving.

Five Minute Frozen Yogurt

You’ll need:

  • Single Serving Greek Yogurt (I use Chobani 100 in lemon flavor)
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 quart freezer bag

Mix together the salt and ice in the gallon freezer bag.  Empty the yogurt into the quart freezer bag, seal tightly and place inside of the gallon freezer bag.  Wrap the bags in a kitchen towel and shake, squeezing gently for about 5 minutes. The yogurt will freeze up to the exact consistency of ice cream and then you can scoop it right out of the bag.

This trick works wonders.  Give it a try and indulge your sweet tooth!

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Authentic Summer Luau Party

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I have been bursting at the seams to share the outcome of our luau with you!  I’m sure you saw the sneak peeks on Instagram over the weekend, but today I have so many photos all taken by the amazingly talented Allie Lehman who was able to capture us having time best time.

I shared with you guys a month ago what my vision was for the party.  I am obsessed with all things Hawaii, so I wanted to bring the things that I love most about the islands to my friends and family in Ohio.  We teamed up with Pier 1 Imports on the project, sourced some perfect accessories, and were able to create exactly the look I was hoping to achieve – a very classy, non-cheesy, traditional style hawaiian luau.

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When I told people I was having a luau, reactions ranged from people thinking it was the cheesiest theme-y idea ever to people asking if I was wearing a grass skirt (neither happened).  I pulled inspiration from the island feeling that I have when I travel to Hawaii with an aim to create a sunny, relaxed, natural, and rustic atmosphere.  I pulled colors and textures from that of nature rather than that of a party store.  Bright hues came from the tropical flowers and fruits that we decorated with.  I loved Jenn’s idea of using a pineapple as a vase, which is an obvious tie-in to the tropical table.

Mai Tai’s (my absolutely favorite tropical drink) were adorned with fringy umbrellas and a giant wedge of pineapple.  Fresh orchid leis certainly put everyone in the aloha spirit.  There are so so so many photos of all the many details.  Keep on reading for tons more details!

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Continue Reading…

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Outdoor Rope Chandelier DIY

diy rope chandelier

I just love bringing indoor luxuries and comforts outdoors during the summer months.  I have had the idea in my head for a while to create an outdoor chandelier from globe lights and created this super simple DIY using just a few things that you could get at your local shops.  Just a string of globe lights, a hula hoop, and some rope is all you need to get a gorgeous chandelier out onto your patio.

outdoor rope chandelier

Where ever you have an extension cord, you could place this light fixture, the sky is (literally) the limit. Here is how I made it…  Continue Reading…

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Genius Protection for Outdoor Fabrics

outdoor fabric protection

It’s clear from the amount of parties and casual gatherings we host that we spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer.  Last year we created a flagstone patio and furnished it with a lounge set, and this is the first year where we will actually have the same patio furniture for more that two consecutive summers.  Why?

If you have an outdoor space, this scene will be all too familiar.  In previous years, we didn’t act quick enough when a pop up storm… well… popped up, so we ruined cushions, pillows, rugs, and furniture alike. Last year with the new patio, the same events played out. We were super pumped about taking care of the patio, so our rainy day efforts went to the other extreme.  Every time the sky was looking a little grey to the west, we dragged all of the cushions inside for fear of ruining yet another set. The cushions would stay inside and dragging them in and out meant we actually used the patio about half of the time we should.

Over the winter we got some amazing furniture covers (that I am obsessed with since kept out ALL of the snow from our tumultuous winter since we don’t have a garage to store the furniture), but early on I saw the same scene was playing out as impromptu hang-outs diverted inside.

You’ve seen so many photos on instagram of us on our patio (especially if you caught any of the luau photos I posted this weekend) so what’s changed?

Rust-Oleum® sent me a box of their NeverWet™ Outdoor Fabric Water Repelling Treatment…. that’s what changed.  I used up the entire box to cover the sofa, chairs, pillows, and poufs.  The treatment means that water beads off instead of being absorbed.  EVEN on the highly textured poufs I bought from Target a few weeks ago.

protecting your outdoor fabrics outdoor fabric protector

I was very impressed and now I am no longer afraid of the pop up storm.  I still cover my furniture when I leave for an extended period of time, or if there are huge storms brewing, but if we’re caught without covers on during an afternoon rain, a quick wipe off is all that is needed to get rid of the moisture since it doesn’t absorb into the cushions.  No wet bums here!

oh, AND it repels mud and dirt, so the little monster who lives with us is more than welcome to hop up and cuddle.

Keep those cushions uncovered and open to the possibilities of guests, friends, and the pop-up gatherings – not pop-up storms!

Rust-Oleum Universal Logo

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Rust-Oleum® via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Rust-Oleum®.

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Friday Faves 6.13

Friday Faves 6.13

ONE I love this little ‘Oui Oui’ bar necklace from Honey & Bloom.  It’s gold plated brass and just $90! TWO isn’t this the coolest ‘magic carpet’ yoga mat?  I think it would make me want to do yoga more just to show it off! $98 from Anthropologie. THREE You just can’t have enough poms in your life and this pompom blanket from West Elms would be perfectly styled on your patio or in your home. And it’s on sale for $19! FOUR If you feel like you need a bit of personality on your patio this summer, look no further.  This embroidered pouf will rescue any bland room for £95. FIVE this gold leaf console is just gorgeous.  It’s a little mid-century glam but is minimal enough that it won’t overtake any other decor. SIX think optimistic thoughts!  Art from satsuma shibuya will help you get there.

 

It’s Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious at all? I’m not, I’m just hoping the crazies don’t get in the way of all of the hoards of things I have to do this weekend!

I’m gearing up for my event tomorrow morning at West Elm (If you’re in the Columbus area be sure to stop by) and then I’ll be headed home to have the big LUAU party!  If you missed it, I posted first with a mood board for the party, then shared some of the tidbits I bought as well.  I cannot wait to put all of the ideas together and host a big old shindig before I head out of town on Sunday to Hong Kong again.  I will be posting the full party details next week from abroad so keep your eyes peeled!

Although I’m not doing another outfit challenge, I’ll still be instagramming and posting from my travels, so be sure to follow along.

 

See you on Monday from across the world!

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A Better Life in Five: Grocery Shopping

farmers market

I know a few people, myself included who just LOVE to grocery shop.  It’s literally one of my favorite things to do. It’s even more enjoyable if I’m in a new town or a new country. This past weekend while in Chicago, My sister-in-law took me to a new grocery shop that opened up on their block and I could have roamed that place for an hour just looking around at the new things and products that are specific to that demographic or region.  It’s total nerd territory, but for whatever reason it’s as good as window shopping in Barney’s for me.

That being said, I know many friends who are the total opposite – who despise grocery shopping.  The trick I’m about to share is for both of our types, however.  Because not only does it keep me on track and reduce aimless purchases, but it helps get you in and out in a snap.

Step One – Write your grocery list

Do not go without a list.  Stand in your kitchen with the pantry open and mentally go through your daily routine. Coffee, milk, sugar, kids lunches, my lunch, etc.  Go through all of the things you need in a regular day.  Then, turn your sites to dinner.  How many dinners do you need?  I usually shop for 9-10 dinners for a two week trip. Get into a cookbook or magazine and pick a few (4-5) new meals to make. For the balance 4-5 meals, think of easy staples that your family loves. Write down anything that comes to mind while standing in your kitchen.

Step Two – Re-write your list according to the layout of your store

This is the magic step. I tear my original list off the notepad and lay it next to a clean sheet.  Then I start to pick out and cross off items as I transfer them to the new list in the exact order that the Trader Joe’s (my grocery store of choice) is laid out.  So I start with the cheese, then meats, then prepared foods, then fruits and veggies, and so on. This is also the time I usually practice my handwriting, since I’m re-writing in a slower manner. 

This method has been a life saver at the grocery store.  No longer will you be standing in the frozen section just look next on your list and there be a dairy item – all of the way across the store. You will save so much time it’s unreal.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

 

 

photo source: Warby Parker Class Trip

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Chicken & Waffle Appetizer Bites

chicken and waffles appetizer

Boy, are you guys gonna love this one! I got the idea from a friend of a friend, but put my own twist on this perfect appetizer.  Making the traditional chicken and waffles in a mini, bite sized version adds to the appeal of such a well-loved dish.

With a skewer in each bite, they turn into an appetizer perfect for grabbing and grazing.  A maple-sriracha glaze finishes them off wonderfully.

mini chicken and waffles chicken appetizers

The recipe is simple enough, grab some frozen popcorn chicken and cook according to the package directions.  Top them onto toasted mini waffles and drizzle with a mixture of one half maple syrup and one half sriracha.

summer appetizer chicken and waffles

I suggest making these chicken and waffle bites for a party where you need hearty snacks or heavy hors d’oeuvres since you could make a meal of these and I promise your friends will want to do just that.

 

Have fun and enjoy!

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