My Entry in the Mystery Thrift-Off Challenge

For those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram (ummm…I’d love it if you did!) – I was lucky enough to be part of the Mystery Thrift-Off.  A crazy fun contest that Lindsey, of the blog Better After, dreamed up.  For more details on all of this contest madness – READ HER POST HERE. (while you’re there – you should browse – her site is FANTASTIC!!  SUPER INSPIRING!)

One day my hubby and I were just chillin’ on the couch on a Saturday afternoon…and suddenly there was a knock at my door.  I had a very SPECIAL delivery!!

Mystery Thrift-Off Delivery

I was super nervous to open this box – the letter she wrote me apologized profusely for how hideous and horrible it was inside…and I was supposed to make it fabulous.

Here’s what I found inside:

My Mystery Thrift-Off Item

Hello Mr. Shepherd.  What the heck am I going to do with you????  There was a significant amount of stewing.  I contemplated busting the mirror and making a mosaic, but it’s not really my style.  I could make a mirrored table…hmmm…possibilities.  I could make a serving tray that would also be a great conversational piece.  My sister threw this idea at me:

A distinguished German Gentleman


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha


It finally boiled down to: what could I make that I need?  We are in the process of moving kids rooms and my oldest daughter is first on the list to decorate hers.  She wants to do a teal and white room with gold accents, so I thought that I could use this mirror above her vanity table in her room!  She, as I’m sure most teen gals do, struggles with self-confidence.  She has a very unique personality and I wanted a daily reminder for her that she is unique and beautiful!!  I found the quote, and I had recently seen a tutorial on using Heidi Swapp’s new screen printing supplies, and I REALLY had been wanting to try them out.  So, I thought that this project would be the perfect platform!!

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

Here’s the process I used to transform my Mystery Thrift-Off item:

Step 1: I removed the silver frame and spray painted it gold.

Step 2: The dog had to go, so out came the razor.  It scraped off super easily using a little bit of an angle on the razor (thanks, mom!)

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

Step 3: I used the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit  to add the teal flowers to the border of the mirror:

Mystery Thrift Off Transformation using the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit

Mystery Thrift Off Transformation using the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit

Step 4: While the paint was drying, I designed the graphic and cut it onto vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo

(seriously – almost every project I create revolves around this machine!  If you don’t have one – GET ONE!! I don’t get paid to say that.  So you can trust me ;0)…ha ha)  If you can’t get one – you can always use an exacto knife!!)

Step 5: Using transfer paper – I transferred the vinyl to the mirror.

Mystery Thrift-Off


Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 6: Remove the transfer paper.

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 7: I applied Heidi Swapp’s Gold Metallic Screen Ink {using the rubber scraper that came in the kit} to the vinyl.

**Tip** I thought that it would be pretty easy to apply the ink over the vinyl, because it was so easy applying the flowers over the screen.  But…it was a little trickier than anticipated.  Still possible – but trickier.  When using the screen – you want to scrape off all of the excess ink so that it has a smooth finish, and because the screen is between the mirror and the ink, you can.  Without the screen there, I had to lay the ink on pretty heavily, or the scraper would just take it right off of that spot.  So – if you’re using vinyl, go heavy on the ink.  In the end, I kind of like the textured look that it produced!

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 8: **IMPORTANT!** Remove the vinyl before the ink dries…otherwise you’ll be cutting around the ink with an exacto knife.  I learned this the hard way!!

Step 9: I wanted the YOU to stand out a little more – so I masked off the “BE” and the “TIFUL” with paper and the creative caution tape that came in the kit. (so cute!)

Then I sprayed just the “YOU” with gold Glitter Blast Spray:

Mystery Thrift-Off

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 10: Peel off the vinyl and use the razor to clean up any mishaps and you’re done!

I just hope that this mirror sends subliminal messages to her every morning!!  {She is pretty beautiful, if I do say so myself.}

Step-by-Step instructions to transform a thrift store mirror into a beautiful vanity mirror with an important message every teen should have in their room!

Mystery Thrift-Off

And just for fun – here’s a close-up of that glitter!!  Love that stuff!

Mystery Thrift-Off

**AND**  Just because I like you so much, If you’d like to make your own, you can download the ‘beYOUtiful’ graphic as a PDF:

Glittered Download Button

or if you already have the Silhouette, you can download the cut file:

Glittered Download Button

It would also make a fabulous art print, if the mirror and screen printing route seems like WAY too much!  Just print and frame.  Easy peasy.

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

What NOT to do:

Ha Ha.  It was trial and error on this one…I’m not gonna lie.  Here are some things that I tried that just really didn’t work.  AT ALL.

1.  I thought I could do this using Gold Vinyl and Glitter Vinyl and skip the painting all together.  You could.  But, I tried it & it just looked a little chintzy.

2. I tried using gold spray paint instead of the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Ink.  It dried too fast and peeled off with the vinyl.  And when I wiped it with a cloth – it rubbed off. Boo.

3. I tried sprinkling gold glitter onto the “YOU” instead of using the glitter blast spray.  It made a mess and rubbed off too easily.  The glitter is sealed in with the spray.  Much better.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial!  Voting begins tomorrow, Thursday June 9th, Go take a peek at ALL OF THE ENTRIES and cast a vote for your favorite!

**Shameless Plug**

If this was the first visit to my site – I’d love to send new projects and inspiration right to your inbox!  If you’d like to subscribe – you can fill out the sidebar info – or simply CLICK HERE.

Thanks in advance!  I look forward to getting to know you!


p.s. If you use the graphic in a project, please share your link in the comments!  I’d love to see it put to good use!



Bake Group: Mothers Day with Baking Chez Moi

Bake Group Pin It Image

Bake Group is one of my favorite things.  I get to feed my belly…and feed my soul with some of the amazing women I am blessed to call my friends.

What is Bake Group?  We basically review recipe books…via taste testing.   We choose a book, each pick a recipe, and have a little soiree while we taste the outcome & talk about how hard/easy the recipe was to make, what we might do differently, and wether it’s worth purchasing the book or not.

This month (and last month, actually – I still need to get that one posted, too!) we reviewed tasted  Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere by Dorie Greenspan.  The verdict??  You need this book in your life.  Not only do the recipes LOOK delightful, but all of them (& counting this one, we’ve made 9 of the recipes) – all DELICIOUS – all fairly easy to prepare.  That’s the sign of a good recipe book in my life!  We’ve had some great books, but this is by far MY FAVORITE!!!  Trust me when I say that you NEED this book in your life.   Here’s what we made today – and you can decide for yourself:

 Smoothest, Silkiest, Creamiest, Tartest Lime Tart

This is THEE BEST Lime Tart I've ever had!! No subtlety to the lime, but not too tart.   #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #LimeTartRecipe #LimeTart

That really is the title of the recipe in the book.  Believe me when I say that it’s the correct title.  Vickie chose this one…and nailed it!  She said that she was surprised at how much lime zest was in the recipe – but I’m so glad there was.  There’s nothing worse than biting into a lime tart – or key lime pie and trying to find the lime in it.  Not the case here.  The topping was a mixture of sour cream and confectioners sugar helping the zing factor along nicely.  The crust tasted almost like a shortbread cookie.  I REALLY LOVED IT!


Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Meant to resemble womens parasols - these are like a sugar cookie - only airier and lighter.  SO GOOD!! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #sugarcookie #frenchcookie

Meant to resemble womens parasols – these are like a sugar cookie – only airier and lighter. SO GOOD!! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #sugarcookie #frenchcookie

While the name isn’t easy to pronounce, these cookies were easy to take down.  The frosting was really more of a glaze and had hardened slightly – which I liked.  They are like a sugar cookie, only airier and lighter.  Which could pose a problem.  Sugar cookies tend to be heavy enough that it’s easy to stop at one…not the case here.

The author said that they are meant to resemble women’s parasols – they were darling to look at.  Karin said that she would double the batch, as this yielded only 20 cookies – even though the recipe said 40, and that tinting the glaze in a variety of colors would be easy.  Perfect for a party!


Carrément Chocolate, The Simple Loaf

This chocolate cake loaf was AMAZING.  With chunks of salted chocolate mixed throughout...a very good recipe! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #chocolatecakeloaf #chocolate

This chocolate cake loaf was AMAZING. With chunks of salted chocolate mixed throughout…a very good recipe! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #chocolatecakeloaf #chocolate

Randi made this beauty.  INCREDIBLE!!  There were chunks of salted chocolate mixed throughout the loaf cake – so every now and again you’d catch a bite that just elevated the whole delicious thing.  She said that it was very easy to make, and would make a beautiful gift for a friend.  She served it with fresh whipped cream and raspberries.  They cut the richness of the chocolate enough that eating a whole slice was no problemo!

Odile’s Fresh Orange Cake with Poached Citrus Topping

This cake is perfect for making a day ahead.  It soaks up all of the juices and was moist perfection!! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #OdilesFreshOrangeCake #PurdueAvenue

This cake is perfect for making a day ahead. It soaks up all of the juices and was moist perfection!! #PurdueAvenueBakeGroup #BakingChezMoi #OdilesFreshOrangeCake #PurdueAvenue

I chose to make this one, because the author said that she liked it better the next day.  Since I was hosting – making my dessert ahead of time was VERY appealing!  {With that said, I should have photographed it the first day.  The citrus was plump and juicy looking – where the second day it looked a little sad.}

It was so easy to make.  The whole thing was done in 30-40 minutes – including baking time.  I will say, I wish I had done only oranges.  The grapefruit was a little too much bitter for me.  I think I would have liked pure sweetness.  The orange gave enough tartness to overpower any sickly sweetness there might have been.

My favorite part of this recipe was zesting an orange into the sugar and then rubbing it together with my fingertips to combine until the sugar was orange scented.  {You can see pictures of the process on my Instagram Feed}  The smell was INCREDIBLE!!  Such an interesting technique that I think I’ll incorporate into a lot of other recipes.  That sugar was mixed with eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, & butter for a simple batter.

For the topping, the citrus was sliced and poached – and then the poaching liquid was drizzled over the warm cake.  It just absorbed into the cake and it elevated the flavor like you wouldn’t believe!!  The hardest part of this whole thing?  Slicing the citrus.  Make sure that you have a sharp knife!!  I mangled the fruit pretty bad and went through WAY more than was called for!  Ha Ha.

Because I admire these women so much, not just as people – but as Mothers – I wanted to make something for them to take away besides a belly ache….since you don’t even get the belly ache – here is a little Mother’s Day Gift for you!  I put 2 on a page so that you can print one for a Mother that you admire, too!!

#MothersDayPrintable #PurdueAvenue #Motherhood #NeilLAnderson

#MothersDayPrintable #PurdueAvenue #Motherhood #NeilLAnderson

Download Button


Here is a shot of the place setting: I placed a small arrangement of flowers at each persons place setting using my collection of mis-matched crystal glasses.  {I scour Goodwill for them every time I go in!} The place card & Art Print were made using the Heidi Swapp Minc Foil {watch for that tutorial soon!}

Mothers Day Table Setting - visit the blog for a free Motherhood Printable!

And her is a full shot of the tablescape:

Mothers Day Tablescape

I hope that you all have a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day!



A Meaningful Mothers Day Gift Idea…

Meet my super cute Grandma…

Grandma Cutie

She was as sweet as she looks.  Every year for my birthday, I could count on a sweet handwritten letter with a coin from the year I was born included.  This was a pretty impressive feat since she had 55 Grandkids and 126 Great Grandkids!  She passed away {on my birthday – sigh} almost 11 years ago.  I still read her letters that I have saved from birthdays past, and enjoy the wisdom and love in them that I should have appreciated more in my youth.

As I was reading one last year, a particular phrase stood out to me because – well – I wasn’t having a very good year.  It seemed like all of the elements were combining against our little family and I was being a bit of a whiner about it all.  But then I read these loving words from my sweet Grandma:

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.41.49 PM

“Live a good life and be happy”

I thought that it needed to be cross-stitched and hung somewhere that I could see it EVERY DAY.

BUT since that isn’t really my style – and there is just something wonderfully nostalgic about her beautiful penmanship, and the way she writes her “and” sideways. (I always loved that) I knew that I needed to do something using her own hand.  I opted for making this pillow using my Silhouette Cameo:


Once it was finished – I just knew that my mom would love it, and since it was almost Mothers Day,  I chose to give it to her as a gift.  She loved it…and she cried.  And isn’t that the point of giving a gift?  That the recipient loves it SO MUCH that they can’t keep their emotions from bubbling over?  I knew that it was where it belonged.

I need to make another one for me…and I’d be happy to make one for you, too.  HEAD OVER TO THE SHOP and order yours now.

Like it?  Love it?  Need it?

Purchase button

or you can always pin it for later:

Customized Pillows from

I hope that you love it!!


p.s. while you’re there – it’s not too late to order yourself one of my easter pillows!

Burlap Bunny Pillow with Gold Flecked Pom-Pom Tail -

Table Styling: A few tips and tricks

I was SO excited & beyond flattered when I was asked to collaborate with Laura from Pink Cake Plate on her Christmas Themed Downton Abbey Tea Party for World Market. We had so much fun! For this post, I thought that I’d just share a few tips and tricks that I used to style her table that will help to make your own table setting stand out this Christmas!



Trick No. 1

Think about new uses for traditional items.

Laura was asked to feature the Downton Abbey Tea Set from World Market:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 3.07.11 PM

 Photo from World Market

My first thought:  Laura and I are both LDS and we don’t drink tea.  So this “tea party” was really more of a schmorgesborg of yumminess – which meant that the tea cups were kind of the odd man out.

My second thought: Let’s turn the cup & saucer to make every place setting their own little personal cake pedestal!

Kate Eschbach Photography-13

Photo by Kate Eschbach Photography

Make the most of what you have available & find a functional use for it. It would have looked silly to have the tea cups sitting there empty.  But with all of the desserts at this party – a cake pedestal was a great use of a great item.

Trick No. 2Layering.

It works with clothes – why not decor?

Since this was a Christmas themed party – we used a wreath as the centerpiece and made it functional by resting a 3 tiered platter in the center.

Kate Eschbach Photography-16

Photo by Kate Eschbach Photography

Trick No.6  You could use a regular run of the mill wreath – OR – you could layer two to make a bigger impact.


Trick No.3Elevate.

Add height and dimension to the table using dishes that you have hanging around.  I like to work in 3’s…but this table was already pretty crowded, and we needed places to put the food!  I didn’t like how it looked to have 2 plates together, and knew that we needed the 3rd.  The solution?  I flipped a dessert plate upside down and placed the 3rd platter overlapping the 2 sitting side by side.  It gave it just enough height to clear the two plates and added some much needed height and dimension to that part of the table.  You may have to go through some trial and error to achieve the right height – it feels like Tetris sometimes, but the result is worth the effort!

Kate Eschbach Photography-29  Photo by Kate Eschbach Photography

Trick No.6Add glue dots for stability.

We used this trick on the centerpiece as well.  Resting the 3 tiered platter directly on the wreath left if super wobbly and unstable.  The Solution: Placing a ramekin upside down in the center of the wreath, I added some glue dots to the bottom.  When I added the platter, not only was it the right height, but it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a hungry guest trying to get the last scone!

Trick No. 4

Make the most of your Space.

We had a ton of goodies to fit onto a pretty small table! The solution was to combine the place cards with the napkins to save on our valuable space!!

To make it pretty: I used thin ribbon that coordinated with the color scheme, and a vintage clip on earring to secure the place card to the ribbon.

Kate Eschbach Photography-10Photo by Kate Eschbach Photography

As promised on Laura’s site – here is the Place Card Printable:

{I’d just love you forever if you’d pin this image for me!}


Glittered Download Button

***NOTE*** If you like the font I used – MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD & INSTALL THE  FONT BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE!  Otherwise – you have to delete the PDF, download the font, and then re-download the PDF.

{Ugh – too much work.} Also – you will need to have Adobe Reader installed to download this file.  You can get it for free HERE if you need to.  :0)

You can download the font HERE.

Trick No.6
Personalize it!

Fillable means that you can add your own text to the PDF.  Alternatively, just print the PDF without typing anything to hand letter the names for a more personal touch!

Trick No. 5Enjoy Yourself!!!

There is a reason that I like to have everything crammed onto the table.  I don’t like getting up and down to refill platters.  I don’t want guests to have to get up and down either.  By having the full spread on the table, you can enjoy yourself and the conversation doesn’t get cut off every time the hostess needs to take care of another detail.  Your guests aren’t there to eat your food – they are there because they are your friends and they want to enjoy their time with you!  Work the details out in advance so that the party runs smoothly and it’s possible to just sit back and ENJOY YOURSELF!!

Those are a few of the tips and tricks that worked well for this party – What are some of your go-to Tips and Tricks?  I’d love to hear them!!


Merry Planning!



p.s. Don’t forget to enter our Pin It to Win It Giveaway going on through December 19th!

My Chalkboard Calendar {Tutorial}

As promised in my Top 5 DIY Projects post – here is the tutorial for the chalkboard calendar in my command center.

With 4 kids involved in more than I like them to be – we need to have our lives mapped out.  The iPhones help A LOT – but I’m that mom that hasn’t let her kids have a phone yet…so they need to be in the loop, too.  We always have a breakdown of the week at our Family Night on Monday nights, and we all say what we’ve got going on and then….it goes up on the Family Calendar.

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial


Sorry about the terrible photos – that area of my house has TERRIBLE lighting!!! {and I have no tripod!}

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial

It’s big and beautiful and you can’t miss it!  I have a little command center right as you walk into the house {well…where WE walk into the house}, and right where we walk out of the door.


Backpacks, Lunchboxes, even our SHOES are stored here so that we always know where things are, and getting out the door is MUCH easier!!  The kids each have a bin to keep homework folders, Cub Scout books, etc.  It’s ALL HERE!  But, the Calendar is still the main attraction.  And the best part about it…it’s SUPER EASY TO MAKE ONE!

**If you don’t have this kind of wall space – you can make this in a MUCH more scaled down version – and even put it INSIDE OF A PICTURE FRAME if you’re not handy with the power tools!

Since I made this before my blogger days – I have no pictures of the step by step {SORRY!!!}  So – I’ve created graphic visual aids that I HOPE make sense!  Just make sure to read ALL of the instructions.  I know – not as easy as picture tutorials…

*I’m going to give you instructions for how I made mine – so if you’re doing a different size – just make the changes accordingly.

What You’ll Need:

**Sheet Metal – you can find it with the duct work materials (heat & a/c) at a Hardware store.  I wanted mine to be magnetic – so that I could just stick up party invites or appointment cards easily where they are very visible.  If you don’t care about it being magnetic, you could just use backer board found by the wood trim.

**Chalkboard Spray Paint – you could use brush on paint – but I wanted my finish to be smooth like buttuh.  No brush marks or drips for me!

**Primer – Again, I like mine in a spray can. :0)

**1/4″ Square Wooden Dowels – how many you’ll need will depend on the size of calendar you are making.  I used 16 of them :0)  It’s a good idea to buy a few extra sticks in case you have cutting errors.

**MDF casing molding – it’s already primed and ready for your paint!

**Caulk in a Tube – I find that if you’re not used to using a caulking gun – the tubes make it pretty easy to use caulk!

**Glue – I used my Hot Glue Gun.  I know…I could use something stronger.  I didn’t want to stand there and hold each piece on until it was set enough to let go.  AND it’s been up for 5 years with no issues…so there you go!  Just make sure the glue is REALLY hot!  No cold temp guns allowed! **you could also use caulking – since it’ll be hanging around the ‘job site’ anyway!**

**Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape – this is going to need to stay up for awhile.  You could also use Liquid Nails if you’d like…but you’d need a caulk gun :0)

How To Make It:

**I had a big wall to work with – so I chose to make my board 60″w x 46″h.  You will have to figure out what size of board you want to make and buy materials accordingly.**

Step 1:

Decide what size you want your calendar to be.  To figure this out – I knew that the sheet metal I wanted to use was 24″ wide – and I wanted to cut as little as possible – so I decided to make my calendar according to those dimensions.  I also wanted the dowels hide the seams of the sheet metal – so I made each “weekday” box 8″ wide to get 3 “days” per sheet of sheet metal.  The length of the sheet metal is 36″ – so by making each “day” 8″ tall – I could get 4 “days” down – leaving 4″ to put the days of the week at the top.  Perfect! Since there were 3 “days” across & 4 “days” down  per sheet and I needed 7 days wide and 5 days long – I knew that I needed 3 pieces of sheet metal.

Layout the calendar

I used the full 2 sheets with no cuts & cut the remaining piece into {3} 8″ strips.

Cut the sheet metal into thirds

So – I placed the 2 full sheets side by side and then I added one strip to the width to make my “saturday”, and the other 2 strips to the bottom.  Cut off any excess using steel snips.

Sheet Metal Layout


WHEW!!!  That’s the hardest part – I PROMISE!!!

Step 2:

Once your sheet metal is cut to size layout all of the pieces…

Prime it – make sure that you have even coverage and don’t stay in one place too long to avoid drips!

Paint it – with the Chalkboard paint – I like to use 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

*make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.  I put a drop cloth on my patio table outside.  It’s nice and open and the fumes don’t get to me.

Step 3:

Paint your casing molding the color that you want.  I used ‘Aged Beige’ Behr Primer and Paint in One.  This seems to be my favorite color these days!!

Set aside to dry.

Step 4:

Attach the sheet metal to the wall using Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape. (or however you’ve chosen to hang the metal)

*use a bubble level & a yard stick to draw straight GUIDE LINES on the wall at the height you’d like the TOP of your calendar to be.  Then use the level to draw guide lines for the SIDES.

*attach strips of the mounting tape to the backs of the sheet metal & then remove the plastic strip exposing the glue

*using the guide lines you’ve drawn – attach the sheet metal to the wall in the same pattern you chose to lay it out.  The mounting tape directions say to hold them in place for a set amount of time – make sure to read the time frame!  If you’re using liquid nails or another form of adhesive – follow the directions for use.

Sheet Metal Layout


Step 5:  Cut & attach the casing. (if you’re using a picture frame – you can skip this step and go straight to step 6)

Using a miter saw or a miter box – cut the casing as shown below to the length of your sheet metal layout. Don’t assume it is a certain length.  MEASURE TWICE & CUT ONCE!

cut linesAttach using a brad nailer if you have one.  {you could nail in finish nails and an awl, or use liquid nails, too!}

Step 6:  Add the dowels to make the grid

Once everything else is in place – use a bubble level to attach the dowels in a grid pattern that will make up the “days” on the calendar.

*I like to start with covering up the seams first.

-Cut the stick to where it won’t end in the middle of a “day”. For example:  My dowels were 36″ long – but I made my days 8″ square.  So, I would need to cut the dowel to a number divisible by 8.  So – I cut my 36″ long dowel to 32″ so I don’t have any seams where I don’t want them.

*start glueing (again – I used my hot glue gun…) the 32″ long sticks following the grid that you created to figure out the layout – so for me I placed them every 8″ across and to cover up the seams on the bottoms strips.

***the black lines are where you should be placing your dowels***

lay out the long dowels

Once you have the long dowels in place, you can start making the cuts for the short dowels.

*I like to roughly measure between the long dowels to make sure that they are straight and you SHOULD (in theory) be able to mass cut the short cuts.

But – I would cut maybe 3 sticks into your width length (for me it’s 8″) and make sure they are fitting before you go and cut up all of your dowels.

cut the short dowels

Glue them onto the calendar in this pattern:

Full Grid Layout



I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is!

*You’ll want to turn a piece of chalk sideways and rub it in all over the chalkboard areas.

*Then use a dry cloth and erase it.

*If you don’t do this step – whatever you write on the board will never fully erase.  It needs that chalk as almost a sealer so that future chalk will wipe off.  That probably made no sense :0)

Ta- Dah!!!  You’re all done – now your kids can look and see what activities they have coming up & I have my life in front of me at a glance.  I love it!

Just as a side note:  I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again that I LOVE this chalk cartridge set from Allary.  I stick it on top of the frame so it’s always there handy if I need to add an appointment.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial!  I will take step by step pictures when I help my friend make hers ;0)




Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner Tutorial

First order of business: Congratulations to the WINNER of our Blogiversary Giveaway:

Blogiversary Winner

Yay Ashlee!!  As a special THANK YOU to everyone that entered & so kindly helped spread the word about the blog – I’ll be showing you how to make the Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner that was in the party in a box!

*If you’re not the DIY type – you can just buy it all finished and delivered to your door HERE – don’t forget to use the special follower coupon code PURDUEAVE15 to get 15% off!*

For those of you that love a good project…let’s get started!

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial

Step 1: Cut out your bunting. {if you need help with this – see THIS TUTORIAL}

               * I used Canvas Fabric {also called duck cloth or drop cloth} from Hobby Lobby.  You want to use a heavy weight fabric so that it

                   hangs well and doesn’t roll.  Rolling is no bueno.

Step 2: Put a thick {& I mean THICK!!!} line of Mod Podge across the top {wide, flat end} of the first flag:

Run a thick line of glue across the top

Step 3:  With a dry bristle brush – “PULL” the Mod Podge from the top to around 1/2 – 3/4 of the way down the flag.

* Don’t go back over the area that you’ve pulled.  You DO NOT want uniform thickness with the glue.  It needs to be in varying thicknesses to give it the ‘Ombre’ Effect.


Step 4: Cover the ENTIRE flag with glitter.  You might think “but Erin, there’s no glue at the bottom!  Why glitter there?”  Some of the glitter will get trapped into the fibers of the fabric and we will seal it in the next step.  It makes the glitter “thinner” in some areas.   :0)


Step 5: Lay the flags out in a well ventilated area (I actually DID have a drop cloth underneath – but took this picture later just to show you)

and spray with an acrylic sealer.  I like the Mod Podge Sealer– it doesn’t dull the glitter.


Step 6:  Allow them to dry for the recommended time for your sealer

Step 7: Sew/hot glue your bunting to the ribbon of your choice.  {see my bunting tutorial if you need help with that}

Step 8: Step back and admire your handiwork then throw a party to show it off! :0)

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial -

Yay for YOU!!

If you don’t feel like this is in your wheelhouse – you can always buy one all finished in my Etsy Shop!!

p.s. If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and have friends that might, too – don’t forget to share.  Sharing is nice. ;0)

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PurdueAvenue Top 13 Posts of 2013

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#11 {ice cream party}

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#10 {top 5 DIY projects in my house}

PurdueAvenue top 5 DIY projects for the home

#9 {photo booths are all the rage}

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#8 {treat bags & gift tags}

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#7 {garden party}

Garden Party Ideas & Tutorials

#6 {no tricks…just treats}

THEE BEST Caramel Popcorn Recipe

#5 {pink & gold party}

Pink & Gold Party **ideas**printables**tutorials**

#4 {a place for everything}

Craftroom Studio Organization Solutions

#3 {tomatillo chicken with cilantro lime rice}

Tomatillo Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice #slowcooker #pressurecooker

#2 {his & hers soiree}

His and Hers Soiree **ideas**printables**tutorials**

#1 post of 2013… {Pretty Paper Lanterns}

pretty paper lanterns #silhouette

Top 5 DIY Projects at My House

So…while I was hosting the Holiday Boutique last month, I had people asking me about projects I’ve done in my home.  A lot.  I think if I’d have been selling some of them, I would have done very well for myself.

Some people were trying to take things off of the wall to purchase – others sat with me awhile and picked my brain about how to do others.  It was super flattering!!

Then, I realized that I haven’t shared much of my home on this blog.  It was also suggested to me {A LOT} that I should.  So…that’s what this post will be…me sharing the things that people were loving about my house.

Some things I’ve posted about – others I made before I entered the world of blogging, so I saw no reason to take photos of the process.

I’ll link up to any tutorials that I HAVE done  – and get to work on ones that I hadn’t thought to do.


So…here are the top 5 DIY Projects that people were loving at my house.



#1: My “Mud Room”.

This is the area that comes in from the garage.  I’ve built a chalkboard wall calendar {tutorial to come}, back pack hangers, and a “shoe shelf” area.



 This shoe shelf was made using the IVAR shelving system from IKEA.  {this was the 4th place I’ve used these shelves in my house!  I’ve also used them in my Roll Down Pantry Shelves and in my Playroom.  You can see them both in THIS POST.  And also in my new shelving/desk in my craft room {that post is in the queue!}

Here are the links to the different components.

SECTION SIDE UNITS (I used 4 @ $8 each)

LONG CENTER SHELVES (I used 3 @ $6 each)

SHORT OUTER SHELVES (I used 6 @ $4.50 each)

*I just cut each brace to the height I wanted.

*Make sure to cut them all from the same end (top or bottom) so that your peg holes line up for your shelving.  {we don’t want any crooked shelves!!}

*I painted everything in ‘Aged Beige’ by Behr Paint and Primer in One in a satin finish.  I like satin for my furniture painting.  It washes easily, but isn’t tacky.

*The table top for the shelf is just a piece of MDF shelving.  I wanted a little more detailing, so my dear old dad cut the corners fancy using my scroll saw.  I made a pattern by tracing the edges of my dining table.  I wish I’d taken a video of it.  He’s an impressive guy!


The Chalkboard Gigantor Calendar is a tutorial for another day :0)




#2: My Chalkboard Menu Wall

People were literally trying to take these off the wall to buy.  It made me laugh.  How do you politely say “back off, lady!” when something isn’t for sale??  ha ha.  This one, I DID do a tutorial for!  You can find it HERE.



#3: My Store Bought Curtain Make-Over

Again, lots of oohs and ahh’s over these.  This was one of the EASIEST projects I’ve done – but gives store bought curtains a lot of class.  You can see the tutorial HERE.



#4: My Picture Wall

My husband tells me that I’m “trigger happy” when I’m taking photos.  Them’s the breaks when you have cutie kids, I guess.  Needless to say, I have A LOT of photos.

I also love having my photos be the “art” on my walls.  It makes it feel more homey to me and gives the artwork more meaning.  So – my dilemma – I needed to display a lot of photos, but didn’t want to pay for

a bazillion picture frames.  Thus, this project was born.  This tutorial has been added to my project list.  Wait for it….



#5: My Fireplace Mantle

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made this mantle.  I was blogging at that point.  WHY, OH WHY did I not take pictures of the process??  Silly.

Lucky for you, I have 2 other fireplaces that need to be “mantled” – so I’ll be a better girl and take photos of the process for you.  It was actually quite simple.



I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few peeks at my house.  There’s more to come.  Watch for the tutorials, too!  If you aren’t a follower – make sure that you become one to get these tutorials sent right to your email!




Where I’ve Been…


My life feels crazy.  Seriously.  I apologize for abandoning the blog for a bit – but something had to give!!  I think you’ll understand when I show you all of the fun I’ve been having…

FB Header

I hosted a Holiday Boutique Open House a few weeks ago – and it was SO MUCH FUN!!  I can’t wait to do it again!  I had visions of taking amazing pictures and sharing them with you – but instead you get some terrible & blurry photos I snapped with my phone in between customers.  Ugh.  I am sorry.  They just don’t do the products justice.  But – what’s done is done.  The important thing is I’m sharing what I have as well as the vendor info in case you’d like some for yourself ;0)

The Entry



The Halloween Room

Halloween Room

Here are some closer looks at the room












The Christmas Room 

The Christmas Room




Here’s a closeup of the large snow globe


















The Kitchen






Home & Beauty



















Home & Celebrations





















The best part about this boutique was the vendors!!  Everyone brought great quality, adorable stuff!  If you saw something in the pictures that you just can’t live without – here is a list of the vendors and links to their contact info.  Some of them were first time sellers – so they don’t have a store up yet – but if you click their name it will open an email address.  If you see something that you don’t see listed – just leave a comment – I’ll let you know who to contact!!



A Simple Touch {Vintage Paper Wreaths, Paper Holiday Bunting, Advent Calendars}

Ahh Baby {Adult & Children’s Aprons, Bean Bags, Fabric Tu-tu’s}

Aimee {Fabric Bunting, Halloween Clocks, Halloween Stockings, Dead & Breakfast Sign}

Ammanda {Wire & String Art, Art Prints, Mini Paper Garlands}

Autumn {Music Art Prints, Palette Picture Frames, Palette Arrows, Lace Glitter Crowns, Glitter Pumpkins, Goodie Boxes, Burp Cloths, Taggie Blankets}

Bubblegum Alley {2014 Chalkboard Desktop Calendars, Fridge Magnets, Art Prints, Button Flare}

BeautiControl by Mary Smith {Spa Sets, Lighted Lipgloss, Microderm Abrasion & lots more!}

Courtney’s Creative Cards {Greeting Cards for every occasion}

Choppers Creations {custom furniture including vintage mirror, vintage door with chalkboard panels, vintage bench}

Dog Decor {Custom Collars for the Pampered Pooch}

Jaymi {Holiday Blocks, Home & Family Blocks, Hand Towels, Rolled Fabric Flower Wreaths, Hair Bows}

Nancy Noodle {Santa Mug Rugs, Ruffled Tree Skirts, Quilted Ornaments, Cupcakes in a Jar}

Nix-N-Nax Boutique {Dry Erase Frames, Picture Frames, Christmas Signs}

Origami Owl by Janee Stover {Custom Jewelry, Handmade Quilts, Crochet Dish Cloths, Pillow Cases}

Project 7 {Apple Cider Syrup, Kleen Sweep Bags, Reusable Snack Bags & Sandwich Wraps}

Scentsy by Ann Davis {she provided the wonderful smells in my house}

Then of course, all of my stuff…I’ve put everything I had left into the shop…but I’m happy to take orders on the Jingle Pillows & Chalkboard Placemats.  I sold out of those :0)

But please take a look at what’s left!!  I’ll be adding more over the next week, as well.


{Click on the image to go to the shop}


Hopefully, life has settled down enough that I can start consistently posting again.  I’ve got to admit that I’ve missed all of my friends in blog land :0)








Ice Cream Party Games

Who doesn’t love a game of bingo?  And you can’t go wrong with cards this cute!!

Candy Bingo Card Printables



You will need:

Candy for each player (at least 25 pieces – we used jelly beans but would suggest smarties for younger children so they don’t roll around)

Bingo Cards DOWNLOAD OUR VERSION HERE  {the original images are from THIS WEBSITE – we just gave them a makeover)

Picture Squares (The first page of the printable PDF has the pictures that you cut out )

To Play:  (just in case you don’t know how)

Print and Cut the Sweet Shoppe Bingo Cards onto card stock (you can laminate them if you want them to survive for re-use)

Give each guest a card (there are 16 different cards in the file)

Draw from the Picture Squares



Have guests place a marker (jellybean) on the square of the image that was called



Once they have 5 in a row  – they yell BINGO!  And then they get to pick a prize from the prize bowl!  There were enough prizes for everyone to get BINGO – so you just continue play until everyone has had a chance to choose their prize.  We kept the prizes to things under $1. Some prize ideas include:

nail polish

ice cream flavored lip gloss

jump rope

fingernail stickers



We also played pin the scoop on the ice cream cone.  I just enlarged the cone, scoops and cherries from our Party Invitations to fit on a 12×12 sheet of paper.

Each girl got their own color of scoop so that we could see who got the closest to win the prize!  Of course, we had 2 cherries for the 2 birthday girls to stick on the top!






Very easy & affordable games – and the girls had a GREAT TIME!

Friday I’ll show you the food we ate and the darling goodie bags the guests were able to take home!!


p.s. If you’re like me and love BINGO for every occasion – check out the holiday BINGO cards in my Etsy Shop.  OR – I’m happy to design a set for your next big shindig!  Just convo me and we’ll figure it out ;0)