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italiano limoncello recipe

It’s been a week since I’ve been back from Italy and the warm weather we’ve been having has been giving me some serious nostalgia about the Italian coast.  Part of the nostalgia is the lemon everything we encountered while on in Positano – especially the limoncello. While in Monterosso (further north up the coast), I did a little limoncello tasting at a small shop which made their own and the woman actually gave me her recipe.  I think she knew full well that I wouldn’t have access to the same ingredients (Mediterranean lemons, that is), so I wouldn’t be a huge danger to her business.  Needless to say, I got right home and flexed my lemon liquor muscles and since it takes some time to make, we need to get yours started now.

If you’ve never had limoncello, it’s an aperitif and it’s tart, sweet, and strong!  In Italy, a lot of restaurants just bring it to your table after the meal totally for gratis… and believe me, it’s appreciated.  Like I said, it takes some time to make (about a month and a half or longer) said the woman in Monterosso and you can let it steep for longer if you’re able to stand it.  There are recipes online that take a lot less time, but let me say… if it seems to be too good to be true, it is.  And good things take time… all of those cliches hold true with limoncello.

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wine cork diy boot tray

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I sure did miss you guys!  I kept up with a lot of you via Instagram while I was on a European vacation (go there to see photos, more to come tomorrow), but I also really missed the daily thoughts and comments that we share here in this space.  It was that feeling of connection with you guys that made me want to do something interactive like I’ve never done before.  So today, I am hosting my first ever reader DIY challenge!

I say ‘challenge’ a little loosely.  There are no winners and losers here, this began as a quest for me to find something original and cool to do with the bazillion wine corks that I have around the house and I thought the best way to do that would be to get you all involved!  I challenged you to come up with a DIY using wine corks and share it here, today!

On my end, I made a project that used nearly all of my corks (but don’t worry, I’m sure after my newfound knowledge of French and Italian wines, there will be a lot more to come!).  A boot tray works perfectly made of cork due to how absorbent it is! The project was simple and took me about one hour from start to finish with the majority of the time spent just placing each cork exactly where I wanted it! My favorite part of the project was actually just looking through all of the corks and remembering wines that I’d loved and labels that were tied to a special occasion.  I love the ones with a print or date on the round end and tried to show it off where possible!

Keep on reading for the full tutorial and to submit YOUR project to the round up!  How exciting!

diy challenge 2015 wine corks

For the past few weeks, I’ve been planning something so fun and I’ve been so anxious for this day to arrive so I could finally share it with you!!  Over the next two weeks, I’ll be hosting my first ever reader challenge! I have really been wanting to do something fun WITH you all and want to see the absolutely fabulous ideas and thoughts that you all have been sharing in the comments over the years.

This challenge is going to be an amazing way to share your savvy, ingenious, or just plain beautiful ideas with not only me, but with each other and the rest of my readers as well. Want to get involved? Keep reading for the details!

black and white graphic easter eggs

I usually don’t decorate Easter eggs, but for whatever reason, this year I got the itch to have some small touches of easter around the house.  You all know me well, I am not a colorful person, so after going to the store to buy an egg dying kit, I ended up scraping the entire thing and just drawing directly on some hollowed out eggs with a marker.  It was surprisingly cathartic to just sit and doodle on an egg, I recommend it!  At first, I was going to go in with a gold sharpie after the black, but I decided to stop there because I liked how graphic they looked in simple black and white.  It took a little more brain power than the dunking would have, but it wasn’t messy, and I could be as creative as I wanted.  There was just one thing that contributed to making this an easy and enjoyable project.

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It’s just about farmer’s market season, which is my favorite time of the year!  I love the feeling I get when I go to the market to get produce that is so fresh from local farmers. I grow a fair amount of produce in my garden as well, and this year will be no different. Although Strawberries are one of the first things to pop up in the spring, I am pretty excited for the blueberries to be in season.  They’re my favorite and I could literally each a basket each morning for breakfast.

In preparation for a spring full of fresh fruits and veggies, I created a few of these berry baskets to hold the haul that I bring home or pick. The baskets are quite easy to make and are quite cute too.  You could even use them for a party or as a food filled gift. Want to make your own? You can!

motivational desk accessories diy

I hope you all have been having a great week!  I am excited to be sharing this super easy catch-all project with you today!  I have gathered together with several of my favorite bloggers to share fun DIY ideas to ‘Dress your Desk’ with using some of our favorite goodies from The Container Store in celebration of their annual Office Sale (going on now).  The links to all of the participants posts are at the bottom of this post, so you can head there after!

You guys know I know to keep it pretty minimal in my office.  I just shared our new double work space last month and there were a lot of very simple lines, natural colors, and clutter free areas for getting work done. One of the BIG ways I keep my desk clean is by enlisting a catch-all.  It’s kind of like the ‘junk drawer’ mentality where if even the totally random little tid-bits have a space, the desk can stay clear.  In my catch-all I keep everything from binder clips to zip drives, to hand lotion to sticky notes.

For this project, however, I wanted to give the desk a little extra motivational umph! I scanned a handwritten version of my favorite mantra, “dreams don’t work unless you do” and turned it into a vinyl decal and adorning a lucite tray.  I have the whole step-by-step coming up next, so let’s go! 

minimal spring living wreath

Happy St. Patricks day!  I have a little green for you today!  Over the past few weeks, spring has been inching closer and closer.  Yesterday’s 70 degree temps in our area had me thinking about landscaping, cleaning off the patio, and getting things ready for outdoor entertaining. Are you there yet? I know we’re still a bit far out, but I wanted a little taste of spring in my life this week, so I made a wreath which captures the essence of this season so beautifully. I also wanted something that was a little more modern than what you can typically purchase at the store.

When you live in the woods, it’s easy to love spring.  The buds on the trees all start growing at the same time and the bright, new green almost starts to radiate around you. It’s almost like you can feel life starting to grow all around.  I wanted to capture this feeling in a modern way with my wreath and I also wanted something that would look pretty for a long period of time, so I chose to make a ‘living’ wreath out of air plants and moss… both of which can be spritzed with water to keep them looking fresh all spring long. I’m not a huge fan of air plants because they’re kind of desert-y for my taste, but surrounded by more vibrant, lush moss, the variation looks beautiful.  I also added in some birch and feature accents just to really push the forest feel. Let’s get on with the tutorial for this modern spring wreath DIY! 

monogram smoking loafers

I made it back from Las Vegas late last night and now I’ve got spring on the brain.  Although it wasn’t characteristically warm there, it was a hell of a lot warmer than in Ohio and it gave me a taste of the spring weather to come, which was a total tease.

I have been seeing a lot of really cool & chic monogrammed loafers (or slippers, whatever you call them) around recently, from the iconic Stubbs and Wootton to the chic parisian brand Chatelles. I had this image of the Chatelles in my mind one day when I happened across some plain loafers at Old Navy. I picked them up and got to brainstorming about how I was going to get some letters on them. 

rose gold leather mousepad

Happy hump day friends!  How is the work week going?  Mine has been fairly busy.  I’ve decided to take a last minute trip to Las Vegas this weekend to de-thaw myself after what has been the coldest week on record in Ohio. Matt was headed there for work anyway, so I am just tagging along.  I have a video to shoot while I’m there, so I am hoping to find some fun locales for a few shots.

Around here, I’m still making a few changes to settle into my office. I love the rough, farmhouse look of the table, but realized that when I use my mouse, it’s a little bit of a bumpy ride.  I haven’t used a mousepad in years since they moved to lasers, so I kind of laughed to myself when I realized that I needed one.

I knew that I had enough on hand to create a pretty rose gold leather mousepad. Originally, I was just thinking that a piece of leather would do just fine, but it was a little to light to lay flat and kept shifting around, so I made a few updates and was surprised how easily it came together with a few simple steps

diy woven wall hanging

I really struggled with a name for this post.  Easy DIY wall hanging is exactly what it is, but it’s a little less of a DIY than it is just a straight-up ‘hack’.  But we’ve talked about my distaste for the word hack, so easy DIY wall hanging it is.  Let’s move on.

Do you guys have those things that you buy all the time regardless of whether or not you have a place in your home for it? For me, it’s rugs.  I love cool rugs, but my home really doesn’t have enough wood floors to justify my constant purchase of them. I usually stick to buying 2′ x 3′ varieties and just swapping them in and out of the bathroom and kitchen. That is, until this week.  

gold foil tumblers

It felt good to flex my crafty muscles this weekend.  Not only did I made this geometric foil gem, but I also made a fair amount of pretty party goods for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. I even re-covered a stool that I’d bought over a year ago.  After the holidays, redesigning this site, being out of town for a week, then tearing my entire office apart, I’ve just finally gotten back in the swing of things and it feels so nice.

I like using juice glasses for small flower arrangements.  Since I usually have about 3-4 arrangements scattered through the house at any given point, I was using our entire set of juice glasses and realized that I might just need to go pick up a few one-dollar glasses instead of leaving us to drink all beverages out of mugs or champagne flutes.

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The little stacked and shifted triangles make a really cool pattern for the glass as well.  It’s plain enough for regular use and cool enough not to bore me. Plus, using dishwasher-safe decoupage means that the design will last a while.  Ready to see the step by step?