Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Teachers’ Presents.

Welcome back to week three of Pinterest Christmas! {See week one here and week two here.}

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This is the first year Eloise has had teachers and I wanted to be sure to do something special for them for the holiday since they are so wonderful. There are so, so many ideas on Pinterest (to the point of being overwhelming!) but I managed to find one that was super simple and fit with E’s teachers’ styles. I made the original DIY project even simpler by buying mugs that already had initials rather than painting a plain white mug.

gold initial mug gift

{original Pinterest link – Earnest Home Co. blog}

While I really liked the look of Anthro’s Gold Initial Mug, it really isn’t the style of Eloise’s teachers (who lean towards the hippy side!). So I found these beautiful Petal Palette Mugs instead which were perfect!

I found burlap at Jo-Ann’s (I used less than a quarter of a yard), small organic rosemary plants at Trader Joe’s, and small plastic cups in our party supply stash – easy peasy!


I love that these gifts will last for some time – E’s teachers drink lots of tea and rosemary is super hardy, even I have trouble killing it! – plus they were super easy to put together. And, my kitchen smelled amazing after having re-potted that rosemary; the move from one pot to the cup must of activated the leaves or something!

Once I had everything in the mug, I placed them in Christmas-y paper bags and taped our family Christmas card to the front. Eloise was so excited to take them to school to her teachers last week!

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you make or buy teachers’ gifts for you kiddos for the holidays?



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highlights of 2013.

2013 2014


happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.




february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!



march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.




april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!




may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.




front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!


seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.



august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.





september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.



october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.



november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.



december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.


reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?


see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

a pinterest christmas: gold-tipped pinecone garland.

yep, this is the second project for week one of this year’s a pinterest christmas {see the first project here} – i am planning two projects per week so stay tuned for those.

today i wanted to share a fun new garland. it is definitely festive & has some sparkle {which i love!} but could be awesome to keep up year-round too!

DIY gold leaf pinecone garland

{original pinterest link – pinecone garland}


  • pinecones – i had some displayed in our living room plus my mom mailed over some from idaho – thanks!
  • craft paint – i used a metallic gold paint from Michael’s
  • glitter – {optional} i used a fine glitter by martha stewart from Michael’s
  • paintbrush
  • twine/string/ribbon – i used this twine with gold from Amazon
  • cardboard or a box – i recommend this to contain the glitter

this was a really simple project that i was able to complete during a crafternoon with Amanda. it was easy enough to paint the pinecones while chatting & catching up, so you could do it in front of the tv as well.

i used a small flat craft paintbrush with a small amount of gold paint to brush just the tips of the pinecone {note: amanda used a small foam craft paintbrush which worked well too}. i avoided painting the very top stem of the pinecone so that i had something to hold onto once i started painting. i started from the top of the pinecone & worked my way around the top, moving down once i had painted the tips in the top section.


if you are adding glitter, be sure to be working at a space that you don’t mind having residual glitter for a while. i used a shallow cardboard box {Amanda got it from Costco} so that i could contain most of the glitter.

i would recommend painting just two or three tips in a section near each other & then sprinkling glitter on while the paint is still damp. you don’t need a lot of paint to coat just the tips, so if you wait until all of the tips are painted, the glitter won’t stick to the section you painted first. i used a very fine glitter so the tips weren’t encrusted with glitter, but just enough stuck so that there was a shimmer.


once the pinecones are dry – i would wait at least half a day – you can string them. one of the tutorials i found on Pinterest {see here} had instructions on screwing eye hooks into the tops of each pinecone, which is definitely an option if you are up for it. i decided just to use the twine/string that i had to see if that would work. i enlisted aaron to help & he came up with a way to loop the string around the pinecone stem & another tip which worked out so well. so this is the trick: you take the string in both hands & make a loop; pull one piece of the string thru the first loop to create a second loop; place the first loop around the stem & the second loop around a tip right next to it; then gently pull the loops to close & repeat for each pinecone.

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i added a garland of gold paper tassels that i had made for aaron’s birthday party {see here} though i think the pinecones are fun on their own, especially if you had a mantle.

also be sure to check out Amanda’s pinecone DIY over on her blog here!

ready for some more {p}inspiration? check out these ladies:

amanda @ Without A Doubt

maggi @ Greg, Maggi, & Rodney

abbi @ The Pena Family

kendra @ The Gilbertson Family

{also, catch up on the last two years on my diy tutorials page here.}

have you been {p}inspired by any christmas projects this year?


my weekend in pictures.


{after a fun morning of catching up & crafting, my friend brenda & I popped into west elm. there was a pop-up shop with a few etsy sellers. & cupcakes!}


{saturday night date at boom noodle wouldn’t have been the same without a s’more crepe!}


{amanda & I did a crafternoon on sunday that included gold paint & glitter. I can’t wait to show you what we were up to!}


{sunday night dinner was thai take-out since we were too busy to get to the store this weekend. no complaints here.}

I apologize for the complete lack of pictures for this weekend post. I had two weekend craft dates & lots of time spent catching up with friends – it was lovely! throw in a good barre workout, a date with my husband & you’ve got yourself a pretty great weekend. how was your weekend?


my weekend in pictures.


{the end of #embracethecamera challenge. read more about it here & check instagram for the entire week of photos.}


{all dressed up with somewhere to go on saturday night.}


{the wizard of oz was the first play of the season at The Paramount.}


{swung by jamba juice post-pure barre on sunday morning for a smoothie. when did the menu get so big?}


{crisp fall weather this weekend meant we turned the heat on for the first time in months.}


{even with the heater on it was still puffy vest weather!}


{sunday afternoon amanda came by for a short crafternoon. i may or may not be starting on some things for chrismas…}


{aaron made eggplant parmesan tonight from the eggplant we grew this summer. it was delish!}

ah, where did the last two days go? i say this every week, but the weekend days go so fast. this weekend we didn’t have a lot of plans & i felt like i got a lot off of my to do list – always a good feeling going into a new week. we celebrated our six year dating anniversary on thursday, which seems insane that it was that long ago – talk about time flying! how was your weekend?


my weekend in pictures.


{on friday we did dinner & a movie with my grandmother. her choice was the butler which was very good. highly recommend it!}


{saturday morning i started a painting project. the details are a secret for now but i should be able to share soon!}


{amanda & i had a crafternoon date on saturday. she brought over these gorgeous antique keys. now i need to find a fun project for them. any ideas?}


{i peeled lots of potatoes this weekend since we have been getting so many with our CSA each week. i peeled, boiled, & mashed some up to freeze – you can freeze potatoes, right?}


{we found a dog groomer close by & took sadie in for a much-needed grooming. she even got a bandana to wear with her new look.}


{saturday night was a double date night with our neighbors, the friends. i kept it classy with black & white.}


{aaron & i continued date night on saturday after dinner with some molly moon’s. the summer is nearly over & this marks only the second time we have been. #makingupforlosttime}


{this morning i met a girlfriend for breakfast at the market. it was crazy busy, per usual on a sunday, but so fun.}


{i can never resist picking up a beautiful {& cheap} bouquet when i am down at pike place. this month the dahlias are in bloom!}

we had a great weekend full of catching up with friends we have been meaning to get together with all summer. does that happen to you where you plan on seeing someone {or a couple} & then it takes months to get together? i have been forcing myself to just get something on the calendar & make time every weekend to catch up! it has been lovely. the weekend went so quickly {doesn’t it always?} but we are looking forward to a short work week, though i am at a loss to believe that next weekend is labor day. seriously, where did the summer go? how was your weekend?


diy framed key.

i mentioned in my weekend update that amanda & i had a crafternoon on sunday. we decided to make a simple project, but it was fun & i am super happy with the result. this is a project you could do with just one key {like i did with our first house key – yep, just the one house} or with multiple keys {like amanda did with keys from both her first & current house}.

framed key

{original pinterest link here}


  • frame – i got mine at michaels & painted it a champagne gold
  • house key – i painted mine with acrylic paint
  • map of where you live, text page, scrapbook page, or some kind of background
  • glue or adhesive

the how-to is pretty self-explanatory, but here you go:

1. paint frame & key.

2. cut out map – i off-centered where we live so that the key was in the middle of the frame & our house is to the right of it a bit. i also got lucky & captured our neighborhood name – ravenna – in the bottom right corner.

3. glue map to cardboard backing {the one that comes with the frame}.

4. glue key to map.

5. close up the frame.


do you keep all of your old house keys? {i sorta wish i had so i could do something a la YHL} have you ever thought of painting them & framing them?