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Lacquered Message Hairpins

lacquered message hairpins

So, maybe I have a little thing lately for some European salutations.  Or, maybe after the ‘Bonjour’ doormat, I felt compelled to redeem myself!  Regardless, I’m not usually one for sweet, girly things, but something about the warmer weather and the impending summer makes me yearn for more bright, cheery, feminine details in my life. I have had these hairpins on my editorial calendar forever and kept pushing them back because I didn’t want to take that next step into wearable DIYs (read: fashion), but after such an amazing response to my little Hong Kong fashion challenge, I am so excited to share with you a sweet accessory DIY today. This project takes just a few common items and can be done for less than just a couple cents each.  That’s right… a couple of cents.

These lacquered message hair pins are made from just a few really simple things… alphabet pasta and nail lacquer.  That’s right.  This is mature pasta art at it’s best.

message bobbipins

A lot different than the noodle art you made back in school, right?  I’m thinking that the possibilities could be endless here!  Monograms, names, funny words… unfortunately, pasta art doesn’t come with hashtags, or else I would have definitely done something with those.  A nice, classic LOL would be darling however (can you hear my sarcasm?)

Keep on reading for step by step photos and steps to complete this darling DIY.  Continue Reading…

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A Better Life in Five: Island Rhythms

 

improve your life - reggae

Ready for this fun new column on House of Earnest?  It’s called ‘A Better Life in Five’ and focuses around something you can do in just five minutes to better your life.

This is one of my favorite tricks to use, especially during the rainy months (e.g. Spring in Ohio).  When it’s raining and gloomy and you feel in the dumps, listen to Reggae.  I’m serious, do it. Hear me out.

You know when you’re on vacation and you get one of those afternoon tropical rains that blow through, but the reggae is playing and you’re feeling relaxed and awesome? You know that feeling? You can have that at home.  I just recently found the “Island Reggae” station on Pandora and every single song makes me feel like I’m sitting on a beach somewhere. You can’t help but relax a little more, breathe a little deeper, and take a good look at the fulfillment of life.

Next time you feel a little stressed out, take five, close your eyes, and put on the island rhythms.  Even if the raindrops are falling outside, they’ll sound rhythmic as you gain some perspective and energy to tackle the rest of your day.

 

Any tunes that calm you down instantly?

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Spring Floral Series: Floral Letter for Mother’s Day

mothers day flowers gifts

When it comes to flower arranging, you can get as creative as your mind lets you. I love to test, play, and experiment with various ways to make beautiful things.

Today, I’m showing you the DIY project that I taught in last week’s Anthropologie in-store Mother’s Day event!  We had 30 people show up to the Easton Town Center Antro store to learn how to make these letter-shaped flower arrangements… perfect for mothers day.  So, today, ‘M’ is for Mom and I’m going to show you guys how to make a sweet floral ‘M’ for under $15… way cheaper than buying a custom arrangement.

flowers mothers day

Are you excited?  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 5.2

Friday Faves 5.2

ONE foil color-blocked trays from The Vintage Vogue Story start at $32. TWO isn’t this diamond woven poof the coolest?  I saw it at Anthropologie last night and loved it immediately, $198. THREE I am not big on wearing scarves, but I am big on using colorful scarves for table linens!  This summery striped one from J. Crew is high on my list.  Bonus, it’s handmade by ethiopian craftsmen and women to help create economic independence.  Knowing that it was handmade makes the $135 price tag a little more worth the cost. FOUR a classic white pitcher will work all spring and summer long. This $20 enameled version from Ikea is perfect for flowers or drinks. FIVE festive and fun, these fish planters are a little coastal and a little quirky, $50-$60. Don’t worry, the big price reflects the big size!  The green one is a giant 19″ wide, making it wonderful for an impactful table centerpiece. SIX a new take on nautical, this navy and white (peel & stick!!) wallpaper is just right.  Also, it’s repositionable, apartment dwellers delight!!  $40/sheet.

Happy Friday!! I am really ready for a weekend, are you?  I spent last weekend in Hong Kong and although I had a great time, I had back to back meetings for most meals, making it quite the working weekend. I usually don’t get jet lag too bad, but I do end up waking up several times during the night wondering where I am, only to feel Perry’s little furry feet wedged against my back and realize I’m in my own bed.  So, I put on my new bed-phones (haha) with some ocean wave sounds and try to fall back asleep.  Side note, these headphones (made for sleeping) are amazing… especially if you have a snorer in your household. I tune them to a variety of sleep stations on Pandora.

Anyway, this weekend, I am SO excited to soak in some of the springtime in Ohio.  Things are greening up quite nicely and I think we’re out of frost territory, so Matt and I might try to finish our landscaping and build a raised herb garden.  I think I’ll also try to squeeze in a trip to the driving range… I’m trying to work on my game!

What’s on your weekend agenda?

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The Perfect Margarita

the perfect margarita recipe

Cinco de Mayo is this next Monday, but I’ll be celebrating this weekend…with margaritas.  My favorite drink above all, bar none, is a marg. I drink red wine because it’s better for me and has less sugar, but if I could have a margarita, I’d take it.

This margarita recipe was created one night because my husband, Matt, wanted a liquor drink but said that margaritas were too sweet for him… enter my recipe.

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It’s very simple, which means strong, so be careful, but it’s quite delicious. It has just enough sweet to balance the salted rim.

The Perfect Margarita

  • 1.5 oz regular tequila (I like patron)
  • 0.5 oz Patron Citronge (orange liqueur made in mexico)
  • juice of 2 very juicy limes (or 3 not-so-juicy limes)
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar
  • Splash of orange juice

Mix all of the above in a carafe and pour over ice in a salt rimmed glass.  To professionally salt the glass, drag a wedge of lime around the rim of each glass, then dip in salt before adding ice and margarita.

the perfect salt rim margarita recipe margarita recipe without triple sec

I usually double or quadruple this recipe in a carafe for mine and Matt’s ‘Tequila Tuesdays’. Its natural sugar, and tequila, so you know it’s good!

It’s simple, and the perfect mixture of salty and sweet.  Enjoy!

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Gilded Horse Keychain

horse keychain diy

One of my favorite things about the spring is the horse racing and culture surrounding it.  Mint juleps, big hats, the rush of a few second long race… I love it all.

This little golden horse keychain is preppy, fun, and just takes a few short minutes to make.  Really, you could take the same DIY elements and apply them to almost anything, but today, I am showing you how to make this gilded horse keychain and maybe it will strike up a little luck for the derby this weekend.

horse keychain gold horse keychain

Want to give it a go?  Full instructions and step by step photos are next!  Continue Reading…

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Weekend in Hong Kong

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I have a lot of favorites when it comes to Hong Kong.  This is my sixteenth (!!) trip and each time I accumulate another ‘favorite’.  I have a favorite noodle shop, favorite dumpling restaurant, favorite place to get pink champagne, favorite shops and so on.

Each trip, as I familiarize myself more and more, some things get much easier (jet lag) and some things stay just as difficult as day one (lack of personal space). Above all, it’s a city that I’ve still only seen such a small percentage of.  I have much much more to see and do and am eager to keep returning.

I wanted to share some of my photos with you, and give you a taste of my Hong Kong, which based on the diversity and size of the city could be so much different from anyone else’s Hong Kong.

The photo above is of the cafe at Lane Crawford.  The stone tables are stunningly gorgeous and it’s pretty surprising that this is in a department store.  Granted, Lane Crawford isn’t just any department store… they carry all of the major designers and although they’re a bit out of my price range, I still love going to gawk at gorgeous handbags and shoes.

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macarons at Laduree are a must have treat for after a long day of work

for more photos  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 4.26

friday faves 4.26

ONE painted silhouettes might be the best idea for mothers day, but given their custom made 4 week lead-time, you should probably go ahead a get one for father’s day. Starting at $85 from Vonjet Silhouettes. TWO a high back woven chair for the outdoors, but it’s beautiful enough to be inside too. $466.00 from Crate & Barrel. THREE I love Mara Hoffman’s resort and swim collections, so when I heard she was doing a collab with Havaianas, I was pumped.  Flip Flops are $48/pair, but will keep you styling all summer long. FOUR I pretty much love every rug that gypsya has, this blue, coral, and white geometric flat weave rug is just one of many gorgeous examples, $288 for a 4′ x 6′. FIVE cute little patterned plates from H&M home for just £4 are a steal! (check out the pink ones too!). SIX ceiling mount lights can be so ugly, but this $79 geometric diamond light from the Young House Love for Shades of Light collection makes up for all the others.

 

It’s been a wonderful week in Hong Kong!  I’ve had a ton of great meetings, solidified some pieces for the Grandiflora fall collection, and had a chance to relax a bit too. I hope you’re been enjoying my fashion challenge so far!  I’ve loved sharing with you guys and being as strategic as possible with my creations.  Today’s outfit might be my favorite (until tonight that is!) so be sure to hop over to Instagram to follow along!

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Three Rhubarb Cocktail Recipes

rhubarb gin fixx recipe

When it comes to distinctly spring flavors, Rhubarb is one of the first things that pops to mind.  I used to stay far away from the tart veggie after summers of eating it raw from my grandmothers garden left me with a bad taste in my mouth (literally). As an adult however, I try to challenge myself to re-try things that I once thought I disliked… Rhubarb being one of them.

I am not known for turning down cocktails, so after trying a rhubarb margarita concoction (which I loved) I decided to try making some other cocktail varieties for you guys who are able to find some rhubarb in the market.  We have three very different drinks for you to try, starting with a ‘Pink Sparkler’.

pink sparkler

The Pink Sparkler uses a classic combination of strawberry and rhubarb to create a base of sweet flavor.  Topped with a crisp sparkling wine, this cocktail becomes well rounded.

rhubarb gin fizz rhubarb rum punch

Next on the list is a Rhubarb Gin Fizz.  Classic Gin Fizzes use lemon or lime juice with superfine sugar, but I’ve subbed the sugar for simple syrup here to integrate the rhubarb flavor and still add sweetness.  Your typical recipe might call for egg white too, but I opted out for this recipe. The result is a very light, tart drink that isn’t overpowering.

Lastly, the Rhubarb Rum Punch is my favorite of the bunch. It tastes like a spring vacation. Orange juice cuts the tartness and a lingering rum flavor adds a slightly tropical twist. It doesn’t look beautiful, so if you don’t like the muddy yellow color, mix a bit of grenadine in.

All in all, it was a lot of fun creating these recipes and you’ll notice that they all use one common ingredient – Rhubarb Simple Syrup.  It’s easy to make, just chop up 2 stems of rhubarb and add it to 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan.  Bring to boiling until all sugar is dissolved.  Reduce to a simmer and let the rhubarb flavor meld for about 5-10 more minutes. Strain to remove the rhubarb chunks and let it cool.

rhubarb champagne cocktail

It’s pretty easy to make flavor infused syrups.  Look for some local rhubarb in your area and give it a try!

 

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Treat Yourself: Mini Scissors

pretty scissors

Happy Wednesday guys! Welcome to ‘Treat Yourself’ a little column where I rationalize fun little purchases.  This happens for one of two reasons, because I’m trying to rationalize the purchase for myself, or because I’ve purchased one of these things, realized multiple uses and think you should know.

When it comes to herb scissors, I own a pair that I bought last year on a whim but have come to love and appreciate in more ways than I originally thought.  When I got my pair, I didn’t have a plan for them other to look pretty for photo styling, but since then, I use them for everything! The super sharp, pointy blades are great for getting into small spaces and snipping mini things – which happens way more than you think.

I keep a set in my closet for all sorts of trimming needs.  I find myself reaching for these little guys when I need a sharp point, because big scissors just don’t cut it (haha).

Do you have some? Any fun uses that you’ve discovered?

 

 

*Scissors shown above are from Brook Farm General Store for a cool $12.

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