I am taking a break on baby/newborn postings for a bit to showcase some Halloween fun! If you know me, you know that I’m a Halloween fan. What’s not to love about creative foods, crafting costumes, and using your noggin for fun ideas! When I first met my husband, he said it was weird for people to decorate for Halloween. Clearly he didn’t know me at all, because THAT’S WHAT I DO! Now that we’ve been married for 4.5 years, he appreciates this “holiday” a bit more. Goal complete.
We hosted a Halloween party last night on Hallow’s Eve for friends. A baby doesn’t change the fact that this holiday must call for a gathering. Crafted Halloween decor. Themed pot luck foods. Mandatory costumes. Success!
Just take a look at these amazing pictures. And of course, I have some new food ideas to share with you.
First the family costumes:
Snow White themed
Right above my TV, I added floating candles this year! Here’s a great tutorial from Consumer Crafts. Instead of toilet paper rolls, I rolled up craft paper.
DIY floating candles
Now for the food ideas!
Back and front end!
Rib of dead man and pot pie intestines
And how about these delicious mummy potatoes!
Twice Baked Mummies
The dessert table
And you cannot forget:
Sangria – duh
My favorite new item that I made this year was the jar of eyeballs. So much fun and easy to do. Here’s the tutorial:
What you need: Jar, Can of Lychee, and Boba
You can purchase a can of lychee at any Asian grocery store. With the Boba, you can buy a milk tea and just use the starch balls. Huge bonus, you get to drink the milk tea!
Drain the can of lychee into the glass jar
Take out each lychee and stuff with boba
Place the “eyeball” into the glass jar
Fill the remaining jar up with water
Create a label, display, and eat!
Jar of eyebals
Easy and fun right? Now tell me, what are you doing this Halloween?
I’m the type of person that decorates the house when it comes to Halloween. My husband, on the other hand, thinks that’s crazy. But that’s how it’s always been in my family. Our lawn was littered with Halloween decor for those trick or treaters. It’s so fun to get into the holiday.
Now that I have my own place, it’s no different. I love to decorate. But I don’t love those high-demand prices. Pro-tip, wait until the day after Halloween to get some of your decor. I always score some great items for 50% off, though I have to wait until the following year to use it. Nonetheless, it’s such a great deal and decor doesn’t have an expiration date. It’ll last.
But my favorite thing to do? Get creative and come up with some of your own decor ideas. For my Halloween ideas, cardboard is my primary tool. MG and I buy a lot of things online so we usually save the boxes. Simply use any cardboard box laying around for a project like this. Most importantly, use your imagination!
Can you guess what I’m going to make from the outline below?
Another hint for you:
Final product – cutlery and a zombie barricade, all made from cardboard. I want to add some blood to the knives, but I was recently home alone while MG was on a work trip. I didn’t want to freak myself out!
Close up of the zombie barricade – simply draw some lines onto pieces of cardboard and tape them over a window. For the hands, I cut outlines on white poster board and then spray painted them black.
I also added some arms reaching through the banister of our stairs. They still creep me out a bit when I walk up the stairs. However, when I walk down, I feel like everyone is trying to give me high-fives!
Paper and using your creativity, that’s all it took. What do you think? What are some other fun ideas you can come up with using cardboard and/or poster?
Happy Halloweek! Come back for a fun costume idea!
It’s been one year since my very first post. I can’t believe I kept up with posting on this blog for a full year, posting 3 times a week, scheduling posts to go live at midnight. I first started this blog when I was still a housewife, beginning to find new hobbies. This was one of them, and this one actually stuck. Sometimes posting was a pain. I would remember that I needed to write a new post around 11:45pm with only 25 minutes to go live. Those were some of the nights I had to stay up late in order have posts for readers the following day. It was more about my own self-discipline and trying to keep myself on a tight schedule. I knew if I was too lenient, I would continue to let myself slip. But I stuck with it! I’m really proud.
Today deserves a celebration. Happy one year to my little blog!
In lieu of today, I’m featuring some of my proudest posts. I love to look back and see what kinds of projects I’ve completed, recipes I’ve created, and reminisce at trips that I took. I hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane!
And then there’s the many, many different trips I took this past year. Each and every one of them were so memorable. If you’re going to any of these places, check out my posts for ideas of what to do and eat!
I’m so happy with the turnout of the dental office! I’m especially pleased with the stenciled wall to give it that extra somethin’ somethin’.
Just a fun fact, I actually stenciled my wall at home the exact same trellis pattern but in yellow. The wall took me half a week to complete at home because it’s a 10 ft x 20 ft. The office only took me 1 day to finish since it’s a smaller surface area.
For the dental office, I wanted a surprise element when patients walked through the front door. This stencil was perfect. Plus, I got to reuse it from my house so I saved money there!
If you’re interested in stenciling, here’s an easy DIY step-by-step. Honestly, it’s super easy, but be warned, it does take patience!
First off, prep your station. If you’re a messy one, lay out some tarp to protect your floors. Use painter’s tape to mask surfaces that will not be painted. Pour some paint into your tray.
Now spray the back of your wall stencil with spray adhesive. This acts like the sticky part of a sticky note. It will help keep your stencil in place while painting. The stencil should be sticky to the touch but not wet.
Okay, now really think about where you want your stencil to be on the wall. Perhaps you want to start in the middle of your wall. Maybe you want to the stencil centered above your doorway. Eyeball the perfect position and then stick your stencil onto the wall (this is where that adhesive spray comes in handy). If your stencil is a bit heavy (or like mine was used before), use painter’s tape to keep it from falling off the wall.
Let’s get to painting! Dip your foam roller into the paint evenly. Roll it out on the tray as much as possible. Then roll the foam roller on a paper towel to get out all the excess paint. When I say less is more here, I mean it 100%. If the roller is too thick with paint, there will be seepage on your stencil. If paint does seep, here’s where that cup of water comes in handy. Dip a paper towel into the cup of water and simply clean the paint up. Since the paint is wet, it’s quite easy to wipe away the extra paint.
Now that all the excess paint is out, roll your paint onto the stencil. It should be a light layer.
Then take your stencil brush and fill in edges and gaps of the stencil where the roller couldn’t reach. Use circular motions.
Once you’re done painting the first set, let it dry a little before moving on. My specific stencil overlays the next set of patterns. You simply have to line up the pattern. Depending on your stencil, you may need to do this too.
Keep at those steps and remember roll out the excess paint!
For the edge of the wall, the stencil company should have sent little pieces of the pattern. These are useful for those hard to reach nooks and crannies.
When you’re done, stand in awe because you’ve completed a huge project!
It’s also important to note that the paint can warp the pattern as it becomes so thick and caked on. If the pattern starts to warp, it’s time to peel the paint off your stencil and clean it. Keep that in mind while painting.
^^^ Stick it onto the wall! There’s yellow from my previous project but the stencil still works fine
^^^ I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is! Roll… Roll… Roll…
Finally onto the wall!
Get the edges of the stencil…
^^^ I know you see them!
Whoaaaa! So glad we got rid of that green carpet!
I’m honestly in my element when there’s paint on my hands and I have dirty feet!
What’s great is that this stencil can be used over and over again. When you’re done painting, the paint can be easily peeled off the stencil. Afterwards, I typically soak it in my tub for a bit to clean the rest of the paint off.
Have you ever used a wall stencil? How was your experience? Do you think this is something you can try? Have I inspired you?
If you’ve been following along, you know that I was hired to do an interior design job for a dental office. Hope you’re still drumrolling in your head because it’s that big of a deal.
The project is done! Complete. Fin. Yay! Whoohoo! Celebration time!
It took me a little under a month and a half, working only on the weekends (since I’m back at work full-time now too). Best part, the clients (John & Mia) loved it! When you’re doing something you love (yes, I really enjoy designing), even working through the weekends is fun. I felt in my element when I was covered with paint, caulk all over my hands, and feet black from walking the dirty floors. I’d spend hours researching furniture, color palettes, and design ideas. And I enjoyed every moment! The hardest part of this project was knowing when to stop. Obviously there’s still so much to I can do, but there has to be an end right?
Let’s not waste time. Here’s the big reveal!
Umm please make note of this weird green carpet…
Now also keep in mind that all the cabinets are teal. I decided to keep them as is because many harsh chemicals go on this surface in order to keep things sanitary. I didn’t want the cabinets to start peeling if we were to paint them a different color.
With the teal in the color scheme, we needed to make sure that teal was incorporated but not too much or it would overwhelm. While doing some research, I put together this palette.
Perfect right? And we were set to go! Seafoam was used in the main waiting room with gold highlights. Peach was used in the patient rooms, and champagne is a great neutral to go throughout the office.
Here’s the waiting room now. This is the first thing you see when you walk in through the front door.
This is the opposite corner. That colored curtain was originally a shower curtain! I sewed it, and now it’s another pop of color in the main room.
Close up of the corner seat. I love the design of that chair and the cute little ottoman for storage. I’ve also gotten into watercolor painting so I made some artwork for the room. I love wall stencils as a design element (yup, I hand-painted it)!
Here’s some space for magazines and brochures. I love the disposition of this table (especially love that vase for flowers!).
Oh and remember that hideous green carpet? Look at this beautiful laminate wood with a tinge of grey. Hello gorgeous…
Here are the patient rooms! I wanted to keep it simple because each room already gets fantastic sunlight. A little bit of art and a colored wall changed the entire room.
A close up of my art gallery ^^^
This is also another piece I did for the hallway. I call it, “In the end, there’s always Love.”
Of course I didn’t forget the bathroom!
Some goodies for clients -lotion and sanitizer and lots of hooks for jackets and purses (I personally appreciate when people do that!). And some bathroom wall art for your viewing pleasure! These are my favorite painting so far…
It was such a great opportunity to work and showcase some of my own personal designs; I’m grateful to John and Mia for trusting me in this new stage of their life of opening a dental space.
What do you think about the design? If you’ve done some interior design work, do you have any advice for me?
Come back this week for some office DIYs!
If you’re interested in some of the products featured in this post, you can find them in the links below.
I’m super, duper, fricken ecstatic to share my newest project with you.
I revamped an old dresser that I bought from a friend for $10. With a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware, this piece of furniture looks brand, spankin new!
This project is simple but it takes time for each layer of paint to dry. The entire project took 3 days. I’m almost positive that you have an old piece of furniture sitting around your house that needs a little bit of loving. If not, maybe you’re looking for a new bookshelf or a dresser. Go to the thrift store, find one to your liking, and revamp it. I love bargain hunting, and the thrift store for furniture is where the treasure’s at! I also like to think that refurbishing something old is like recycling, so I’m being green too right? It’s really a win/win situation. Honestly, most, if not all, furniture pieces have potential to be something beautiful.
1. Undo all hardware. I also took apart the dresser so that none of the screws get painted (this part is optional but recommended).
2. Sand – get that shiny layer off. Sand it real well so that the primer sticks.
3. With a roller, primer all pieces (roll carefully so that there are no paint drips). Let dry (timing depends on your paint, read the label), and sand it down again if there are drops of paint or bumps. Then roll primer one more time. Let dry. Sand again to ensure all pieces are smooth.
4. Now it’s time to paint. With the other roller, paint the dresser with your desired color. Let dry and sand again to smooth out bumps. Paint the dresser one more time and let dry.
5. If you’re doing a design, it’s time to paint it on now. I used frog tape to outline where I would paint. I also painted all the edges of the drawer gold too. Let this part dry as well. If you want a darker color, paint it another time.
6. Take the brush and paint on the varnish (a roller will cause bubbles). It’s recommended to varnish 2-3 times. Since the top of my dresser will be used a lot, I varnished 3 times but the drawers I only painted twice. Let dry overnight.
7. Put the furniture piece together. Change out the hardware if you desire.
Some tips from my experience:
1. Roll and paint on carefully so that you do not have to sand in between layers. It’ll save you time in the end.
2. Bring plastic wrap to wrap up your rollers and brushes so that your tools do not dry up. If you’re not using it, wrap it!
3. If you’re using white, use an off-the-shelf white to save some money. I used Ultra Pure White by Behr.
4. If you’re doing a design with painter’s tape, do not allow the paint to completely dry before ripping off the tape. Simply wait 5-10 minutes, and rip tape off at an angle. Paint will chip if it becomes dry.
This is how I got the dresser – I call it blegh green
I took apart all the hardware and taped the screws to each piece. That’s helpful!
Sand it down!!!
That turned me into Elphaba ^^^
Use a roller for the primer – smooth, long strokes
Paint with a roller too – long strokes again and careful not to drip paint
Be patient with drying. Make sure it’s dry – better safe than sorry!
This is my design. To guide the lines, the width of the white is the same as the tape
I found this gold on sale at Home Depot for $5.25 (find it here)
This is delayed gratification at its finest. Best feeling in the world is tearing off painter’s tape.
Reassembling the dresser – it also needed a back. Home Depot will custom cut wood for you. All I had to do was nail the back onto the dresser
And now this beauty is in my room, ready for my clothes!
I’m totally in love with this dresser and am proud of the end product. What do you think? Do you shop for furniture at the thrift store? How do you revamp it? And can you share some of your current DIY projects?
I’m super proud to unveil one of my most recent projects on the blog today!
Since I’ve been home in Sugar Land, I decided to update the bathroom in my parent’s house. I set out thinking this DIY would be a week long task. After doing research, it seemed removing wallpaper would be a breeze – Score the wallpaper and make holes throughout the paper, penetrate the paper with anti-adhesive solution, peel, and then primer and paint. Seems easy right?
WRONG. That’s only true for plastered walls.
Apparently, houses built in the 90s glued wallpaper directly onto drywall. Builders did not expect homeowners to switch out wallpaper (ill thought out). For those of you who are reading and don’t know about drywall, drywall is plaster between thick sheets of paper. Trying to “unglue” wallpaper from paper is an extremely difficult task. I set out to do a nearly impossible assignment.
Because the wallpaper is glued on drywall, our project became this: peel wallpaper and be careful to not damage the drywall to badly, spackle the drywall damage then dry, sand down the walls to make it even, primer and another day to dry, texturize the walls then dry, sand to even out the texture, primer again and dry, and finally paint and allow for it to dry. 8 total steps but with 5 days of drying in between jobs. This project became a 2 week task with multiple trips to Home Depot.
Here’s Katie (my sister) and Baldwin peeling off wallpaper
See the dark spots on the wall? That’s damaged drywall
See the difference between drywall and plaster?
The drywall is so badly damaged… ouch
But Ming-Gih saves the day with spackle. It’s smoothed onto your walls and evens it out if there are dents or damage.This stuff goes on pink and drys white so you know where you’ve spackled – it’s called DryDex.
Lots of damage ^^^
After the spackle drys, the dust storm hits. Wear a mask and I promise you’ll still get white boogers.
I’d be a cute grandma right?
Then we have to primer!
Had a little helper this time around ^^^
And then texturize
Then sand and primer again (but no need for pictures since you get the idea).
I am still in Texas with my family and having a great time. I do miss the convenience of knowing where all my things are, like ingredients to bake or seasonings to make dinner. I also miss knowing where all my craft supplies are, couldn’t even find a ruler to measure something the other day! However, I can’t complain because having my parents take care of me is a wonderful thing.
One big thing I miss is decorating my home (maybe that’s why I recently embarked on a DIY wall remodel at my parent’s house, post to come soon). Since my wedding in June of 2012, I’ve been obsessed with dainty little vases. I place them all over the house and put one or two stems of flowers in them to decorate the house a bit. Vinegar/oil bottles are great, little bulb vases, mason jars, skinny vases – I love them all! They make me so happy!
The first vase is an olive oil bottle. The second and third vases were from my wedding. I purchased these gorgeous things on Craigslist from a previous bride. I adore the bulb one in the middle!
How gorgeous are these flowers? Does anyone know what they are called?
What are some decor elements you like to place around the house? Any suggestions?
I love the Fall/Winter season. For one thing, the weather gets colder so warm and comfy sweaters and boots. Secondly, the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
It’s Halloween this Thursday! Halloween has always been one of those holidays where my parents decorate the house so the Fall/Winter fun kicks off on 10/31. Now that I’m married, MG and I get to start our own annual traditions. The pumpkin carving party started last year, and I really hope to continue this event year after year. We go to the pumpkin patch in the morning with friends, pick out our pumpkins, head home to rest a bit and snack on treats, then start the carving!
This year I decked out the decorations for the carving party. Our closest friends joined us, and we had a great time!
Holly, David, and I went to the patch together to pick out our pumpkins at Pastorino Farm and Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. MG wasn’t able to go since he had a bachelor’s party this year. It was the perfect day – some wind and lots of sun! We got there early too to avoid traffic. It’s always a joy to watch little toddlers running around while parents are trying to get pictures of them in the patch. Guess that will be me one day!
Here are some fun pictures from my iPhone. Sadly my camera died right before we got to the patch (newbie mistake)!
Special thanks to David for the next three pictures! Glad someone’s camera was working!
Do you go to the pumpkin patch every year? What do you like to look at?
Look at our carved pumpkins!
Which one do you like best? What did you carve this year?
So pretty when lit up! I sprinkled some cinnamon on the lids before lighting the candle. My house smells awesome!
We collected all the ooey-gooey-ness and cleaned off the seeds and made….
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic seasoning, pepper, and salt. Then roast them for 45 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious!
To make things more fun, I adorned the house with some low cost, easy to do decorations!
Done over and over again, but definitely adds to the setting!
I found some cute mice wall decals at Target for $5 a pack (10-15 mice decals)
I’m really proud of this zombie blockade! I found a cardboard box and cut it into strips, then used a Sharpie and drew wood grain. I cut out hand silhouettes from poster and spray painted them black for the zombie hands. Looks really cool over a window or a fire place! What do you think?
I cut out and spray painted some extra hands and taped them against the banister so that it looks like zombies are reaching out to you as you walk up the stairs. It actually took 2 days to adjust to this because looking from the bottom of the staircase, it’s a bit terrifying.
Here’s an up-close shot
As I was spray painting the hands against a cardboard, the outlines turned out to be a pretty cool backdrop.
I placed this against a wall for some extra effect
Lastly, Halloween themed food is one of my favorite parts of this holiday!
Chocolate covered Chex with Candy Corn and Reece’s Pieces. This is such an easy to make snack! Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix into Chex evenly. Then add 3/4th cup of powdered sugar and evenly coat (I like to shake them in a Ziploc).
Blood shot eyeball deviled eggs. Use a toothpick and red dye to draw veins, use green coloring in the mashed up yolk, and olives for the pupils.
Spider deviled eggs with olives
Owl and brain cupcakes! The owl’s eyes are Oreos with Reece’s Pieces. Aren’t they so cute?
Brain cupcakes! Red velvet cake with strawberry filling/guts. Yum
Do you celebrate Halloween? What is your annual Halloween tradition? Anything you want to try from this post?
Before we get into the revamp, I want to announce the winner of the Minion Hat costume giveaway. Congratulations Winnie Cheung! Cheetor will make a great Minion for Halloween. I will send you an email with shipment details.
Stay tuned for more giveaways coming up soon!
Now! I’m so excited to reveal my newest revamp – my updated storage unit.
It’s not the most intriguing piece of furniture, but I saw potential! With a bit of sanding and painting, the unit looks totally different now. Here I’ll provide detailed instructions on what I did. Maybe then you’ll be motivated to go purchase a storage unit for yourself and revamp it!
First off, bring your unit into a well-ventilated place because that spray paint is strong! I brought mine into the garage. Bring music because this is a 3-day process!
I then unscrewed the cabinet doors and took off the glass shelves. Keep the hardware in a brown bag so you don’t lose anything.
It’s so naked ^^^
Now start sanding! This will help paint stick to the furniture. Get every inch and all crevices. The shiny layer should be gone by the time you’re done.
Before you start painting, dust and wipe down the storage unit with a wet rag. Then take a a black spray paint or dark, dark brown and spray the edges. I did this so that there would be a more rustic look at the end. This part is optional, but I think it gives the unit more character.
The most important thing here is to get all the edges. I sprayed some middle parts too so that some black can show through later. Go crazy and have fun! Now let the spray paint dry for 24 hours. You’ll get to actually painting the unit once the spray paint is completely dry.
Use acrylic paint for this project because latex will not stick. Acrylic!
I love the wood grain look, so I painted in long strokes with the grain. You can see how the paint looks up close in this picture and how some of the black shows through.
I wanted my unit to look very antiqued. I took some fine grit sandpaper (220-grit), and carefully rubbed off some paint on the edges. Don’t be too rough or the black underneath will rub off too. The trick is, high grit and light pressure.
Do you like the edges like this?
Finally, once the unit feels dry to the touch, you can coat the storage unit with a finishing spray.
I used a matte finish from Rust-Oleum. This stuff stinks! Seriously, make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.
Time to wait for another 24 hours for the paint to dry. My patience is low, so this is the hardest part, especially since you’re so close to finishing!
Storage always seems to be a problem when you own a place! I put this unit in my living room, near my kitchen so that I could store appliances. Once I organize everything, I’ll have so much more counter space.
Drumroll, please! Here’s my final product:
What do you think?
Up close of the right side of the unit – I put in some cookbooks, wine, and kitty toys
You don’t get to see the inside because there’s a bunch of random things – like my rice cooker, crock pot, and tools. Ew, that’s why it’s hidden!
For your viewing pleasure, I’ve added a few decor items on the top – my beloved Jambox, a succulent plant displayed in a glass vase, my fruit bowl, and my cup holder that I purchased for 99 cents at the thrift store. I’m displaying my “J” cup!
Do you have a problem with storage and counter space at your house too? What do you think about this $20 unit revamp? Is this something you could do and will you be hunting for a piece of furniture to revamp now?