Kodak has unveiled Ektra, a smart phone aimed at photographers. It runs on Android and features a 21 megapixel fast focus camera with a f2.0 aperture. The camera also boasts DSLR functionality and can capture video in 4K.
Kodak has unveiled Ektra, a smart phone aimed at photographers. It runs on Android and features a 21 megapixel fast focus camera with a f2.0 aperture. The camera also boasts DSLR functionality and can capture video in 4K.
Faye is very into building forts lately. There’s a fort under my desk most weekday evenings. The ritual of making them is usually the same: Drag the sheepie from the bedroom to the desk, carefully arrange the couch pillows and sheepie underneath it, hang up blankets or play silks or anything else that will make for a cozy place to hang out in. I very much encourage the habit, in part because it sometimes means the difference between making dinner in relative peace or not, and in part because fort building was one of my own favorite childhood pastimes.
As everyone might know, a good fort experience is vastly helped along by a flashlight, so a few weeks ago, I went to our linen closet to get a flashlight out of the toolbox to present to Faye. James and I both entered our romance with mini Maglite flashlights and we’ve held on to both of them. Alas, as is too often the case with the lazy flashlight owner, when I tried to turn them on, they both were dead. Batteries, I figured. But when I tried to open the flashlights, I realized that in both cases the batteries had bloated, leaked, and were stuck inside the flashlights with a solid crust of battery acid oozing out of them. Whoops.
An internet search ensued. What do you do with such a flashlight? I found myself in a deep Reddit rabbit hole with forums of people saying that with a power drill, a bit of vinegar, and a basin of hot water I could potentially dislodge the stuck batteries. (Caveats included toxic battery acid, the risk of explosion, and a flashlight that still wasn’t working once you finished.) This was not a DIY I wanted to experiment with. So how to responsibly care for them? I don’t want a non-working flashlight in my house, but I don’t want my decluttering frenzy to result in adding a piece of toxin-coated metal to a landfill either.
I took to the Maglite website. I read through their warranties, their FAQs, their user forums. I eventually wrote a quick note, asking what I could do about the fact that I had two flashlights that needed attention. Send them our way, they said, we’ll dispose of them and replace them at a discount. I won’t claim that the system is perfect. I wish I could have fixed them safely myself. (I wish I hadn’t let them become damaged in the first place!) But, the two women I spoke to on the phone assured me that the company deals responsibly with the waste of this sort that’s returned to them. In all, my search took about 25 minutes on a weeknight after Faye was asleep.
Here’s the thing: In my book, I write about wanting to fill my home with objects that are knowable. I’ll take a French press over a coffee maker with buttons and a plug any day. But there are still objects in my house—electronics and appliances, mostly—that include technology that I can’t claim an intimate knowledge of and that are made with materials that come at a significant price to the planet and to the people working with them.
I recently had the chance to preview the film Death by Design and it’s been weighing on my conscience. The documentary covers the environmental impact of so many of our gadgets. But it also explores the idea that some of the unknowability is by design. Planned obsolescence means that even care and attention might not be enough to keep our tech in working order. Storing my flashlights without batteries in them would have likely prevented their demise, but there are lots of electronics that are designed to fail regardless of user behavior. And fixing or responsibly recycling those things isn’t always so obvious. Despite the ubiquity of these things in our homes and hands and everyday lives, most of us wouldn’t know where to begin when tackling a repair. Cell phones that used to have easily replaceable batteries now have batteries built into them and they’re screwed shut with proprietary screws. When we send our electronic waste out for recycling the metals inside of them are often mishandled, often in the hands of small children. At the same time, we have a tech industry that’s churning out ever-greater numbers of brand-new electronics to satisfy our yen for the latest and greatest.
Okay; before I lose you to a deep depression, here’s my pledge: to get a little bit more mindful about fixing what I have. Clothes, for sure. But other things, too. As we enter into a holiday season, we’ll be bombarded with advertisements for what the tech world has to offer. I know that the iPhone I’ve now dropped countless times will look even more worse for wear next to ads for this year’s shiny model. I’m going to try my best to turn a blind eye. And when I get my replacement flashlights, you can bet I’ll be storing the batteries separately.
A few helpful tips:
+ If you’re interested in watching the documentary Death By Design yourself, check out the list of upcoming community screenings or host one yourself! (The film will be available for renting online in 2017.)
+ If you have an electronic that’s broken and you’re not sure if you can do anything about it, see if the folks at iFixit might have solution. If they don’t, get in contact with the manufacturer themselves. You might find better answers than you’d imagine.
+ If you’re looking for a responsible way to dispose of something you can’t fix, head to e-Stewards to find a responsible drop-off center for electronic waste near you.
+ If you’re in the market for something new, look into buying something that’s been refurbished. Many manufacturers have refurbished items for sale on their own sites; alternately you can find refurbished products at many electronic stores.
+ If you’re still wringing your hands, sign a petition demanding safer and more sustainable products.
What about you guys? How do you try to handle your tech responsibly?
Pixar Animators spent 5 years making this devastatingly beautiful short film in their spare time
– Interesting and counter-intuitive article on how to pick the fastest line at the Supermarket.
– Wow! Beautifully designed athletic hijabs made to get more young Muslim girls into athletics.
– Smart: Store your phone in your water bottle during your next work out.
– What to do when the name of your business becomes associated with terrorism. I feel for the owner of the ISIS hair salon.
– Cool: Maslow is a 4×8 foot CNC router for $350. Imagine the stuff you can build!
– This little guy made me chuckle.
– Just discovered this free (!) Skillshare class by Mailchimp teaching you how to automate, optimize, and personalize emails to increase sales. So good.
– CEO school.
– This brand new CreativeMornings talk by Simon Sinek is fantastic. 30mins well spent.
– If you’ve ever wondered which countries have the most introverted vs. extraverted norms, here’s a map of the data from 51 cultures.
– Guzzle Buddy is a handy device that transform an entire bottle of wine into a personal drinking glass. Low in class, high in fun.
– I wish people would be more open about the topic of money. Here’s an interesting article with 7 questions that might help start a conversation around it.
– Treehugger wrote an article about my co-working space FRIENDS WORK HERE.
– Psst… Tattly is running a SALE until the end of Sunday.
I like the pegs
These fold-up market totes are beautiful.
There’s an easy way to elevate your fall and holiday desserts, and it’s this: use fresh pumpkin puree.
Several years ago, my husband and I did a blind taste test with two otherwise identical pumpkin pies—except I made one with canned pumpkin and one with fresh. Aside from the pumpkin, I used the exact same ingredients and baked them side-by-side in the oven.
The difference was astonishing.
I know, I know. It’s more work to go the fresh pumpkin route, and I definitely get the appeal of canned pumpkin. I find myself using the canned stuff from time to time because of the convenience. But whenever I can, I’ll try to use fresh pumpkin puree for my pumpkin desserts. It always tastes so much better!
If you’ve never had the fresh stuff before, it’s definitely worth trying at least once to see if you think the difference is worthwhile. Fresh pumpkin puree is very easy to make. Let me show you the process.
When you get to the store, look for pumpkins labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” You don’t want to use the decorative pumpkins you stick outside your doorstep, but rather the ones designated for cooking. They will be sweeter and much less stringy.
Start by trimming the stem off.
Then slice the pumpkin in half, through the top.
Now remove the seeds and stringy stuff from the middle of the pumpkin.
I like to use a melon baller and think it’s the best tool ever for removing seeds from pumpkins and squash. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I used a melon baller to ball melon, because it’s officially my squash-seed-and-string-remover tool. That’s what it should be called. Doesn’t have the same ring to it though.
Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a sheet tray.
It’s very important to place them cut-side down because otherwise you’ll get dried out edges to the pumpkin. Placing them cut-side down keeps the pumpkin moist without needing to add oil.
Roast in a 375ºF oven for about 45 minutes until the skin darkens and becomes puckered.
When you flip the pumpkin halves over, the pumpkin will have pulled away from the skin and it will be very soft.
Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin with a spoon, then place into a food processor.
Puree for about 30 seconds until completely smooth. Then it’s ready to use in your pumpkin recipes!
Note: Pumpkin puree will keep in the fridge for 5 days. Some people freeze pumpkin puree but I personally don’t like the change in texture, so I don’t like to freeze it.
First of all, let me just say a resounding you're welcome to all you fellow cat owners out there. I know how tough it can be to love the adorable little kitty that naps on the couch with you but not always love the rest of the kitty gear that comes with that furry little face. So far, I've done my best to upgrade versions of cat essentials with a color-blocked scratching post, junk food kitty toys, a hand-stamped cat collar, and even a mini Palm Springs scratch house to make the feline essentials fit in (rather than stand out) from our home decor. Now, while all these things have really helped integrate our human and cat worlds, there is still one area I haven't gotten around to making aesthetic improvements in—the litter box. I think I didn't feel the need for a litter box cover in our last house because we had a separate laundry room where we could keep all those kitty necessities, and it was rather hidden under a shelf in a corner. At this house, however, the laundry is actually in the garage with no kitty access to the house. So we have to do the dreaded "litter-box-in-the-middle-of-the-room" scenario. Ever since we moved last year, doing a DIY cover has been on my to-do list. So here we are!
-sheets of 1/2" thick plywood (one big enough to fit your 4 sides or several smaller sheets)
-1 1/2" wide boards for your rooftop (I used 6 boards that were about 30" long.)
-miter saw (optional but needed if you want a top that opens)
-2 small hinges
-cat shaped opening template
To determine the size that your box cover should be, you'll need to first measure the length and width of your litter box to make sure it will fit. Take the measurements and use the guide above to find what size your panels should be (don't forget you need two sides and two front pieces). The above dimensions should give you a pretty snug fit with about 1/4" of perimeter space between the litter box and the cover, but you can always make the cover bigger if you want (you just don't want it smaller than your litter box obviously).
Draw out your dimensions for all four sides onto your plywood sheets and use a jigsaw to cut out your sides.
Determine how big you want your cat-shaped opening to be and print out your template the correct size. You'll probably have to print it on multiple pages and tape together unless you have a large printer. Remember that you want the opening to be big enough for the cat to use, so make sure they have room to get through it comfortably (I made mine about 12" wide). Trace the opening onto the center of the front panel 2-3" from the bottom of the panel.
Drill a few holes (at least the width of your jigsaw blade) into your traced cat shape so you have an opening to get the jigsaw into. Use the entry holes to cut out your shape.
Sand the edges of each of your panels to remove any rough spots.
Match up your panels so that the sides are between the front and back panels with sheets of wax paper underneath to catch any extra glue. It's helpful to have an extra set of hands for this part (thanks, Todd!) when trying to get the pieces squared up. Use wood glue and tape to keep the pieces in place while the glue sets (a few strategically placed boxes would work as well).
Once the glue is set, use a few nails to hammer your box together from the front and back panels.
If you have access to a miter saw, you'll take your 1.5" boards and use the saw to cut four of them at the correct angle so they meet together at the peak of your roofline (on the front and back) with a 1/2" overhang on the bottom edges. While I'm sure there are more technical ways of figuring out what that angle is before cutting it, I just use scrap pieces of wood and keep cutting angles and adjusting until I find the right one. It's actually pretty fast that way and my dimensions ended up needing a 25° angle to meet up correctly. Center your 4 boards, and then measure the distance between the front and back boards and cut 8 more boards that will fit in between them.
If you don't have access to a miter saw, you can use your jigsaw to cut 8-10 of the 1 1/2" boards that will run from the front of the roof to the back (with about 1/2" overhang on both sides). Just space them out evenly across the roof and nail into place after painting. You won't have the option to open the roof this way, but it will look pretty similar and you can just clean the box from the front opening instead.
Space your 8 boards equally over some wax paper between your 4 angled boards and use wood glue to adhere into place. I glued them together over a cutting mat so I could use the lines below to make sure the pieces were squared up correctly.
Paint your cover and your roof pieces your desired color, and then attach the two roof halves with your hinges once the paint is dry. Decide which half of the roof you'll want to open for cleaning purposes. Then glue or nail the other half of the roof shut for stability when opening the roof. Place your cover over your litter box and admire your hard work!
It looks SOOOOOO much better if you ask me! You can also add as many or as few slats to the roof as you want to expose more or less of the litter inside from the top view, but some cats don't like to be totally closed in from above (while others don't mind it), so use your cat mama judgement on that one. Either way, this is a giant visual improvement for us, so I'm thrilled with how it came out, and it got, ahem, used pretty quickly once it was put out. So I think the cats like it too. If you've been looking to improve your litter box situation, then this may be just the solution for you! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.
Last month I visited Nashville with Rachel and Jacki. As you can probably guess, we spent a disproportionate amount of the trip eating—because what is traveling for after all. And one place that Elsie took us was Avo, which is a mostly raw/vegan spot. When my parents visited, they had checked out this spot too, and my mom insisted that IF we went, then I had to get the spring rolls and the raw Pad Thai.
And I pretty much always do what my mom says because she's smart and also has good taste. They were delicious, of course. And I added the raw Pad Thai to my list of things I should try to make at home because I thought it might be something, with a few tweaks, that Trey would enjoy as well.
Somewhere along the way, I think my brain decided that I should just turn the raw Pad Thai into a spring roll—so I tried that and loved it! Figured I'd share with you all too.
But I must admit right out of the gate here—this recipe is not 100% raw. For one, I don't think the spring roll wrappers would qualify, but for another, I do believe a few items in my sauce don't quite fall under the raw category either. But, if you are looking for a super satisfying dinner idea that is brimming with veggies and flavor, then I would still highly recommend you try this out. :)
1 small/medium zucchini
2 carrots, or about 6 baby carrots
1/2 small cabbage
1 red bell pepper
6-12 mint leaves, depending on size (see notes)
18 cilantro leaves
6 spring roll wrappers
a couple big handfuls of peanuts or other nuts you prefer
For the sauce:
juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp (I use this brand.)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
First you want to cut up all the vegetables. I used a spiralizer to make my zucchini resemble noodles (ZOODLES!) and also to cut up my carrots. I had bought my cabbage already shredded as I used some to make coleslaw later that week. You can shred by hand, but just make sure it's really shredded thin. And same with the bell pepper, you want to cut it into matchsticks. You can give the nuts a rough chop or just leave them in whole pieces—up to you. I kind of like leaving them whole, but if you use nuts that are a bit bigger, you might want to give them a chop.
Next make the sauce. Simply whisk together all the sauce ingredients listed above until smooth. If your sauce appears too thick, like it's very difficult to whisk, then add a little water, but I found this was not necessary for me. I could see a little water helping though if you are using tahini or peanut butter from the very bottom of the jar. Sometimes if the oil separated and you didn't get to mix it together well when you opened the jar, then the very bottom becomes quite hard. You should be able to pour the final sauce pretty easily.
In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of the sauce (a little less than half) and mix well so everything gets coated. Reserve the remaining sauce to serve on the side along with your final spring rolls.
Fill each wrapper with a chive, a few mint leaves, a few cilantro leaves, some nuts, and then a small handful of the raw pad thai. Roll up and repeat until you've made all six rolls. If you've never made spring rolls, I show how to handle the wrappers in this post with a basic spring roll recipe.
-You can see the size of the mint leaves I was using here in the photos. These are smaller than I normally see them, so I probably used 12 throughout all my spring rolls. But when they are larger, I'd use less, sometimes only one big leaf per spring roll that I tear into a few pieces. The main idea is the chives, mint, and cilantro will add a lot of flavor to your spring rolls, but you don't want to overpower them with any one flavor (or too much of all). So use your judgement here based on how big your herbs are.
-Tamarind pulp is sort of a weird ingredient, I know. But it's also useful in making Pad Thai sauce (you know, for noodles, not the hippie raw version) and other thai dishes. We love Thai food at our house, so I find it really useful. Don't be afraid to try it out.
-You can totally use any nuts you prefer or even mix. I like peanuts and cashews the most, but any nuts will work well as we're just looking to add a little crunch. :)
Make these spring rolls, guys. They are so yummy and pretty healthy too—delicious food you can feel good about! Wahoo! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
First we discovered Hall-Mack Relaxation Units … Then, Satin Glide Relaxation Units … And now, what is likely a very rare vintage recessed bathroom accessory: A “Family Hospitality” Relaxation Unit. Thanks so much for reader Kristopher for sending in three photos of this treasure! And: Oh my, what a gorgeous original bathroom you have, Kristopher!
Our 1954 home in Wisconsin has a similar recessed toilet paper holder/magazine rack, but it looks to be a third brand? The label calls it “Family Hospitality – created for you by House of Hospitality” in No. Hollywood, Calif. A quick google search didn’t turn up anything, but I haven’t explored too far yet.
Everything in our master bathroom is original including wall tile, flooring, lighted medicine cabinet, Bathe-Rite free-standing shower stall, and Kohler Cerulean Blue fixtures.
We corresponded a couple years ago when my nephew was featured in a photo at Christmas time with our cardboard fireplace.
Loving the blog, as always!
Some day, it would be fun to research who was first with the idea for this type of bathroom fixture — House of Hospitality, Hall-Mack, or Satin Glide? The Family Hospitality unit appears more complex in its design than the other two… it looks more substantial … and the label says Patent Pending. I will bet: It was first to market, then Hall-Mack and Satin Glide created simpler designs.
Thank you, Kristopher! What a wonderful, historic woddity! I am not envious by nature, but this one: ooooooooh!
The post Family Hospitality Relaxation Unit — our third design of Relaxation Unit appeared first on Retro Renovation.
Yes, please. Yes.
I doubt this leather wrist ruler is practical to measure anything but it sure looks cool.
As someone who really doesn’t like to clean the stove, I love the idea behind this slightly silly looking product called Frywall. It is a silicone splatter guard that fits inside the rim of any pot or pan, so spattering and sizzling food won’t spray out.
Obsessively searching to find new vinyl flooring for my basement, I ran into this new design — “Raeburn” from IVC’s Flexitech @ Work Collection Astro series. I love how IVC has reimagined the classic streaky jaspe vinyl tile into this larger polygons-into-square design. The color looks pretty nice too — I am a beige person, not a gray person, and there’s been a real dearth of beige in the market for the last 5-8 years. This flooring is an IVC Commercial flooring and comes in 13’2″ widths — nice! I would call this a nice choice for a retro-modern home. Nice floor!
Oh, and for those of you who prefer gray, they have that too.
Remember: When looking for flooring options, be sure to check the commercial section of manufacturers’ websites! Big roundup: 25 companies that make flooring — cork, linoleum and vinyl — suitable for a midcentury house.
The post Streaky jaspe style vinyl sheet flooring — could be great for a retro-modern home appeared first on Retro Renovation.
This is my dream decor/house
Today we have an extra special At Home With feature for you guys—from our very own Jacki Moseley. All you avid ABM readers probably already know Jacki as she is our Community Engagement Manager, meaning she's the sweet gal behind the Instagram, support emails, and blog comments. Jacki does SO many things at ABM that I think the whole thing would stop working without her (I'm not joking—really, she keeps the machine moving). She also has a passion for vintage, as you can tell from her Etsy shop The Paisley Suitcase. Her house is insanely adorable with too many cute details to count. So we were so, so pleased when she agreed to share her space with our ABM community.
"Totally blushing right now, Emma. I'm SO excited to share my home with you guys today. I'll start with a little background info. My uncle bought this amazing early 1920s home a few years ago, and I've been renting it from him ever since. I was pretty content in my 700 square ft. apartment, but I mean... hello! Instant upgrade. I love everything vintage and old architecture makes me super happy. So this place has been an absolute dream to live in and decorate.
"I love decorating with a lot of color so everything really stands out against the white walls. The teal couch was Elsie's, and it's by far my favorite thing in this room. I had a yellow couch before this and had WAY too much gold and brown in here. I felt really inspired to add even more colorful decor and redecorate after I replaced the couch. Sometimes that's all it takes to get in the mood to redo things!
Engineer print/Staples, Vase/Target, Table/Hobby Lobby.
"If you know me, then it's pretty obvious that I'm 100% in love with my dog, Kingston. And when people know that, you receive a lot of Boston terrier gifts. I love this old book, and it's the perfect centerpiece for my coffee table. Just a note on that. I'm not the craftiest person in the world, but a can of spray paint can do wonders. :) I painted the wooden legs yellow, and I love how it looks with the couch.
"A common theme in my home is having keepsakes from my family around. My grandma has given me a lot of hand-me-downs over the years, like the cool wicker chair in the living room. The engineer print is an old photo of my other grandma (bottom right) and her friends. It's by far my favorite photo, and I love seeing it on the wall everyday. My family has owned an office supply store in downtown Springfield for over 70 years. I have a lot of little memories from it, like my great-grandfather's business card and other items from the original location.
"I kept the decor pretty minimal in this room, but I love how the blue rug and bright white hutch are the main focus. It has an original flour sifter inside and it's perfect for storage. The printer's drawer was my grandma's. I used to play with the little trinkets when I was a kid! It's really fun to add to the collection when I come across them at the flea market.
"I love that I can display my favorite glassware and knick knacks in the kitchen display cabinet. I found the bar cart at my favorite flea market. The colored aluminum shot glass and shaker set is the best!
"The house is very close to its original form, but the bathroom has been renovated since I moved in. My uncle has amazing taste, and I couldn't be happier with how this room turned out. We removed the bathtub and put in a walk-in shower (showers are so necessary nowadays!), chose black and white subway tile all around, and penny tile for the floors. It really fits with the era of the home. The old medicine cabinet (found it on eBay) is great for bathroom storage and my old perfume bottle collection.
"I kept my bedroom pretty simple, focusing on white and airy elements. I chose mint and peach as the main colors for this room based on a photo I took of the Loveless Cafe sign in Nashville. This cart was an estate sale find, and I couldn't imagine a better spot for my mom's old Dr. Seuss books.
"Little details like this make my heart so happy. I'm still pinching myself over this home tour, so thanks so much for reading! And a special thanks to Janae Hardy for making me fall in love with this home all over again."
Credits//Author: Jacki Moseley. Photography: Janae Hardy.
Pumpkin pancakes and cinnamon rolls are well and good, but what about those of us who like something savory instead of sweet for our weekday breakfasts? These Paleo muffins prove that pumpkin plays just as well with cumin and paprika as it does with cinnamon and nutmeg.
These muffins make a great grab-and-go breakfast or a healthy afternoon snack. They are also grain-free and very nutritious!
When the fine folks of Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q reached out to us about developing recipes using their BBQ sauce, I practically jumped out of my chair with an enthusiastic YES!
I love Stubb’s. I have great memories of dancing up a storm in my cowboy hat and boots at their place in Austin (my gosh do Texans know how to put on a party, scroll down for evidence).
Their BBQ sauce (we used Stubb’s Original) is everything you’d ever want in a BBQ sauce—deep, rich, tangy, and smoky. (It’s also gluten-free for those of us who like to avoid gluten.)
This recipe for grilled nachos in foil makes use of BBQ sauce twice—once for tossing with the cooked chopped chicken that goes on top of the tortilla chips and cheese, and once again mixed in with some sour cream to drizzle over the nachos.
Have you ever tried making stuffed peppers in your slow cooker? These slow cooker Cajun stuffed peppers are great alternative to the usual oven-cooked method for busy weeknights.
Just pop them into your slow cooker for a few hours, and you’ll have a tasty meal waiting for you.
You know who I'm talking about. The people who show up at the office bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, every day, like clockwork. They're the ones eating the kind of food you made New Year's resolutions about. The ones who never fail to get their workouts in. The ones who stock their calendar planning events and have all the fun. In other words, they're the people with enviable amounts of energy — enough, it sometimes seems, to power whole neighborhoods. Full disclosure: I am not one of those people. But here are seven things they all have in common.<p><a href='http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/secrets-of-people-who-are-always-full-of-energy-236250'><strong>READ MORE »</strong></a></p>
Maybe for that bamboo salad bowl we have?
If your homemaking mantra, like mine, is "Never enough houseplants," then you might also be ever on the lookout for fun, new planters to hold your green babies. Am I talking about you? Yeah? Well then, this might be the perfect DIY project for you!
Generally I have good luck finding nice pots or vases at thrift stores and flea markets, and I'll occasionally splurge on something I really like from favorite shops like West Elm, but lately I've been exploring easy DIY options to create unique planters I just haven't been able to find in stores. You may have seen my recent lucite plant stand project, which was so easy and nice looking that I just had to translate the idea over to a planter too! And here she is. Lookin' mighty fine, if I do say so myself.
-wooden bowl (I got mine here, but these can easily be found at thrift stores.)
-3 wooden ring display cones* (I got a set of 6 from here)
-disposable surface (such as a paper plate or piece of cardboard) + disposable stir stick
*I lightly sanded and restained the cones I received in order to better match the bowl. I always have a variety of wood stains on hand, so buying stain for this project wasn't an issue for me. If I didn't have stain options at the ready, I would've been happy enough to leave them as they came.
Step One: Situate the wooden cones equidistant on the edge of the bowl's bottom. Mark their placement with masking tape. This will make it easy for you to perfectly place the cones during the next step when time is an issue.
Step Two: Squeeze out an even amount of the two epoxy ingredients from the tube onto a disposable surface. Quickly mix them together with a disposable stir stick, then goop some epoxy onto the flat edge of the cones/feet. Spread the epoxy lightly and evenly, then press the feet into place on the bottom of the bowl. The epoxy will set up very quickly, so you don't have much time to fuss here. Hence the taping from the previous step.
Make sure to immediately remove the masking tape, lest any of the epoxy set up over top of it!
If your wood bowl is not already sealed, I definitely recommend lightly sanding and spraying down the bowl with polyurethane to make it waterproof. You may choose to drill drainage holes into the bottom of this planter, in which case I would recommend sealing the wood inside the holes with polyurethane as well. If you don't, you risk rotting the wood as it becomes soaked with water.
I cut down the sides of a fancy plastic self-watering pot to fit inside this planter so the water could drain into the saucer inside of the wooden bowl. I bought two plastic pots to try out, and one ended up being the perfect size! Using this interior planter is great for the succulents I'm using and certainly is a lot easier than dealing with drainage holes in the wooden bowl itself. If you are planting something like pothos that doesn't need soaking and ample drainage, I wouldn't worry about drainage holes. Just don't overwater it.
This footed planter is a nice size for a table centerpiece, and the contents can be changed up depending on the season. And hey, if you feel really crafty, why not paint it a fun color? I have a feeling a little paint job may be in this guy's future, but for now, the wood finish provides the perfect cozy touch for the fall and winter seasons. -Mandi
Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.
Today is the first day of Fall and isn’t that a nice thing to think about? I’m a sucker for season change. The shift in weather, the memory of past seasons coupled with the promise of a new year offering something just a little bit different. When the season’s associated with warm spices and breezy days and leaves crunching underfoot, well, then all the better. Yes, I’ll take all the clichés, please and thank you.
I contributed to a Lonny Mag piece earlier this week and gave a few ideas for how to freshen up a home for fall. No surprise, my tips don’t include buying much of anything new, but the story did inspire me to do a little two ways and expand on a few ideas you can use to refresh your space, either by making a smart investment or just investing a little time.
Check out the original story here. Get a few other ideas down below:
Brighten Your View, Two Ways:
+ Upgrade your curtains to something calm and cozy.
+ Wash the curtains you have, wipe away the water spots on the windows from those summer thunderstorms, and watch the fall sunshine stream in.
Bring in Fall Colors, Two Ways:
+ Add a warm touch to your entryway with a richly colored rug.
+ Collect freshly fallen leaves and get a lil’ crafty with some washi tape and a blank wall.
Hang Up Your Stuff, Two Ways:
+ Bring home a new set of hooks to wrangle clutter and get things off the ground.
+ Clear off the hooks you already have and decide carefully what you hang back up. If there’s something you don’t use or aren’t currently wearing either pass it along to someone else or tuck it away for safe-keeping.
Keep Your Floor Clean, Two Ways:
+ Replace a grody or threadbare doormat with something clean and new and built to last.
+ Give your doormat a deep clean by shaking out the dirt, vacuuming it up, and giving her an old fashioned scrub with a sturdy brush and dish soap.
Swap Out Your Art, Two Ways:
+ Invest in a new statement piece to love forever.
+ Move what you already have around. Shifting an existing piece to a new wall will give a whole new look without costing a dime.
Upgrade Your Closet, Two Ways
+ Splurge on the new fall flannel you’ve been eyeing.
+ Give your dresser drawers a good once-over, make sure you love everything in them, do a little refold/reorganization to get them looking new again.
Cozy Up Your Bed, Two Ways
+ Go for that set of super-soft flannel sheets that reminds you of being a kid.
+ Pull the warm blankets out of summer storage, air it out in the sunshine, hit with a little lavender water, and drape it over your bed.
Set the Mood, Two Ways
+ Get a little spooky with a set of black beeswax tapers.
+ Set those apple peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cider to simmer on your stove and fill the house with the smells of autumn.
Set Your Table, Two Ways
+ Fill it with dark woods and gooey cheeses.
+ Haul out whatever you’ve got, invite your friends over for a pot of chili, pour goblets of red wine.
The Flip Clock is beautifully old-school. It would look good in my home!
Do you dream of one day buying a bit of land, plunking down a stylish trailer and living a slower-paced, nature-filled, "tiny home" lifestyle? Or perhaps you're just curious how anyone goes about getting that kind of life? Either way, you'll want to check out this advice from Kirsten Dickerson, who lives on 25 acres that includes a 1955 Spartan Mansion (350 square feet) and a 1967 Overlander Airstream (180 square feet). She's a pro now, but she and her husband had never owned land or trailers before this...
You know how many grocery stores have a big, clear case of pastries somewhere near the bakery? Temptation island, am I right. :) I don't always open the case and pick out a treat for myself, honestly. Or at least I don't as often as I think about it. Also, why do they always seem to be right by the produce section?! At any rate, more often than not, I think about getting a donut, but when it really comes down to it, I end up reaching for a bagel. Of course I love both, and in a world where calories and carbs don't exist, I reach for both, always—but that's not where we live. :)
I am a sucker for bagels though—I really am. They are just so comforting! I love the almost-crusty outside and then the soft, chewy insides too. And every now and again, I get the itch to make them at home so that the smell of baking breads fills out the house. One of my favorites is Everything Bagels, and this is sort of a variation on that recipe. It's got some stronger flavors but nothing is overwhelming, just interesting. If you've never made bagels at home before, I highly recommend you give it a try—it's super easy and sort of fun!
1 large beet (mine was 8 oz.)
1 1/3 cups water
1 tablespoon honey + more for the tops and serving
one package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 oz goat cheese + more for serving
1/4 cup chopped nuts or seeds (I used almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds)
coarse sea salt (1/4 teaspoon or so, no need to be exact here)
First we make some homemade beet juice, but without a juicer.
Peel and cube the beet. I wear gloves and use a potato peeler to do this. Beet juice will stain your hands, wood cutting boards, and sometimes marble counter tops, so do be careful when you work with beets—they can be messy! Add the cubed beets to a small pot with 1 1/3 cups water, bring to a low boil, and cook for 10 minutes until the beet has softened some. Then pour the entire contents into a good blender (I love my Vitamix here!) and blend until smooth. Strain into a glass measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. You're aiming to get 1 1/4 cups liquid here, but if you come up a little short, just add a little water until you have that amount.
Now, while the beet water is still warm, stir in 1 tablespoon of honey, and then pour the yeast over the top of the mixture. Let that sit for a few minutes. It should begin to foam a little, which just means the yeast is working. Doing its yeasty job.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 1/2 cups bread flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the beet/yeast mixture in and stir until a crumbly dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough ball becomes somewhat elastic feeling, the surface becoming slightly shiny and smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm, dry spot in your house. If your house is a bit chilly, you can warm your oven a little (not too hot or you'll bake the dough), then turn the oven off. Place the dough in there, with the door slightly ajar or closed (depending how warm you got the inside) and let it rise there. I almost always do this as we tend to keep our house on the chillier side.
By the way, don't you think the dough kind of looks like a brain here? I don't know what it is about the pink, beet color, but it kind of looks like a brain to me. So maybe this could double as a Halloween baking project for kiddos/adult Halloween enthusiasts? :)
Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a flour surface and divide into 8 pieces. Roll into a ball and then use your index finger to gently press a hole in the center, then shape into a bagel shape. Once you've shaped all the bagels, allow to rest for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a medium sized pot with water to a low boil. Boil each bagel for 1 minute on each side. The dough will float about the first few seconds of cooking here. Then remove to a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or that's lightly oiled.
Whisk the egg in a small bowl and brush over the tops of each bagel. Top with the goat cheese, nut/seed mix, a drizzle of honey, and a little coarse salt. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack.
-If you can find or make fresh beet juice, feel free to use that instead of the water/beet juice mix suggested here. The flavor of your final bagels will likely be stronger, but I suspect it will be just as good and the color may even be richer.
-I do wear gloves when peeling or cutting up beets, but once you've incorporated the juice into the dough, it won't as easily stain your hands or counter tops. I kneaded the dough on my white counter tops and no stains appeared.
Hope you enjoy these! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.
Erin and Ken updated their Tudor home with bright, clean finishes and smarter, more efficient technology — all while respecting their Tudor home's time period and keeping a firm handle on their budget. Here are the details from her renovation, including the final costs of materials and labor and specific sources for the finishes and fixtures:
→ If you want to see what the kitchen looked like originally, read Before & After: A Tudor Kitchen Catches Up With The Times
Whether you need to carve out a bedroom from a studio apartment, or a foyer from a living room, or just a little private space anywhere, these room dividers will get the job done. Some are more opaque, for when privacy is a primary concern; others let a bit more light through, for when the suggestion of a separation is enough. Check out our top 10 collection.