Food & Drink / Travel

What to Eat in New York City – (Vacation like a Blogger)

February 17, 2017

The Best NYC Eats

You guys I LOVE New York City! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my husband and I got away last week for a few days and had the BEST time in NYC. And as any good blogger would, I shared lots of food and coffee pictures on instagram.

One of the most important parts of vacation is what I eat. I spend many hours each week shopping for and preparing meals for my family. So, when I’m exploring a new place, I want to eat interesting, delicious, new things (that I don’t have to cook). So, I’ve put together an Oleander + Palm What to eat in New York City guide. I’m sure there are a ton of “Best NYC Restaurant” lists and posts out there. But, when I searched, all that came up were either 1) way out of my budget or 2) just too predictable or touristy. So, my husband and I made it our J-O-B to find the yummiest, not-so-pricey, food in New York City. Now, we are not New York City experts (I’ve only been a total of 5 times) and have never lived there, but I think our list will definitely not disappoint you. Oh and I should mention that we walked or rode the subway everywhere, so these we are easy places to get to.

As Californians, Mexican food was definitely not on our radar (we’ve got the good stuff here). We were looking for fun eats that can’t be found in Bakersfield. We also are pretty thrifty and love to live big without spending a lot of coins. So, most of our meals and treats were easy on the wallet.

Vanessa’s Dumplings

We found this place by accident, but totally lucked out. And we both ate for under $11 total!!! That’s a huge win in NYC. You have to order the Honey Ginger Hot Tea, it has big chunks of spicy ginger in it. All of the dumplings were super fresh, but the spicy fried dumplings were our favorites.

Pastrami Queen

If there is a deli sandwich to be had, I always go for the pastrami or a reuben. So, I’ve had quite a few in my lifetime. I’m telling you that this was the best pastrami I have ever had. So ya, order the pastrami for sure, but the matze ball soup was really good on a cold day.

Cafe Henrie

Hip and totally trendy with some slightly inappropriate art (that’s the hip mom in me talking). Not sure if I’d want my teenagers to see the neon light near the bathrooms. I know, now you want to go see it. But, the food – I’m pretty sure everything here is good. I went for the instagram happy food like the Mr. Pink Bowl (which has beets and I LOVE beets) and the acai bowl. I also had a cardamom coffee with cream, and it was really yummy. If you are there for the instagram images, be sure to wait for a table near the windows. The back of the restaurant got a little dark. But, those pink tables by the window were perfection.

What to eat in NYC

Yemen Cafe

This is a must for us when we are in NYC and yes, we ate there twice in the 4 days that we were there. So, we did live in Yemen for two years, so this place feels familiar and brings back lots of memories. But, really, if you like unusual food, then you need to try Yemeni food, because it’s really yummy and super unique. Be sure to order salta or fahsa, it comes to the table bubbling in a stone dish. These are meat and veggie stews that you eat with warm, fresh flat bread. And definitely order the hot tea with milk, it’s bottomless and so delicious.

The best New York City food.

Milk

If you are in need of a late night sweet treat, a lot of their locations are open till 11 pm. Oh ya, we were making an ice cream and cookie run around 10:30 pm one night. Try any soft serve they have on tap. We’ve had the cream cheese sage (at Momofukus) and the cereal milk soft serve with the crunchy cereal topping was so good.

What to eat while in New York City

Eataly

Everything you eat here will be fantastic. But, we do have a few favorites. The Nutella Cafe is a must. They have crepes, pastries, gelato, and fancy coffees topped with mounds of molten Nutella. We also love the roasted meat sandwiches that are served in the back of the store. There is a rotisserie that roasts a couple different kinds of meat everyday. It’s sliced right in front of you and piled on a fresh crunchy roll and topped with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. My son, who is 13, had the sandwich about 4 years ago and still refers to it as the best thing he’s ever had to eat.

New York City's best food

Shake Shack

There is usually a very long line. But, if you are just in need of a sweet treat, there is a separate shorter line for ordering frozen custard and shakes. I always just stick with a scoop of the chocolate frozen custard, but I know their shakes are pretty much off-the-hook.

Brooklyn Bagel or Milk + Honey

When in NYC, bagels and cream cheese are a must. Milk + Honey was right around the corner from our hotel, so it was a super convenient breakfast on the go. We also stopped in at Brooklyn Bagel one morning. They had a huge selection of bagel and cream cheese flavors. I’m sure any bagel you have in NYC will be better than most, but these were two spots we really enjoyed.

Dough

I kind of feel like I’m a donut expert and these are the best donuts I’ve ever had. You guys, I’ve had Blue Star, Randy’s, Tim Hortons, Voodoo, you name it. Besides my mom’s homemade donuts, these are #1. The Passionfruit Cocoa Nib and the Lemon Poppy Seed are my faves and usually I’m a chocolate or coconut girl. They have a location in Manhattan, but the trip to their Brooklyn shop is worth it, that’s where they are made. So, get there early and be ready for a carb experience like no other.

What to eat in New York City

Cheesecake

I’m not a cheesecake expert, but you should have a slice or two. We had cheesecake after seeing a broadway show at Juniors. It’s probably a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s right in the theater district and the cheesecake was pretty awesome.

Martha Stewart Cafe

If you walk The High Line, which I totally recommend, be sure to walk an extra block to Martha’s Cafe. I had to! I’ve seriously been a fan of all things Martha since 1996, so I had to go. And in 100% honesty, it was the best latte I had the whole trip.

What to eat in New York City

Buvette

I think this was our most expensive meal of the entire trip (around $50) and I’m pretty sure it was worth every penny. And actually it counted for two meals because we ate Sunday brunch at Buvette. The pastries are to die for, perfect little croissants, almond brioche and madeleines. We ordered a Croque Monsieur with gruyere, ham and herb d’provence – it’s really just the fanciest grilled cheese you’ve ever had.

Now, it’s your turn. What do you recommend folks eat while in NYC? A recommendation from a real person is always the best so I’d like to know what awesome things you’ve eaten there.

 

Design

Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal

February 8, 2017

Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal - modern patterns and vintage touches create a bold bathroom.

I’m so excited to share our guesthouse bathroom reveal with you today. It might be the smallest room in our house, but I’m pretty sure it packs the most style. All the gorgeous fixtures, fabulous tile and modern decor came from one store, AllModern. This bathroom makeover has been months in the making and I’m so grateful to my brother, Joash for all his help in seeing this project through. Our little Airbnb guesthouse will be open for business very soon!

I’m sure I broke a whole bunch of design rules when I chose this very bold, geometric tile and not only put it on the floor but also up the walls. But, that’s what makes it fun and exciting for me, trying something new and taking a risk. And even though this is some very loud patterned tile, the color palette is very neutral.

The room was mostly grey and white, so I chose to warm up the space with some warm wood tones and brass finishes.  This free-standing vanity is the perfect space saver for this tiny bathroom. With no legs or a pedestal base, it feels light and not cluttered. I love the view of this space from the doorway. Seeing the tile seamlessly transition from the floor to the wall creates an illusion of the space a little being bigger then it is.

Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal - modern patterns and vintage touches create a bold bathroom. Guesthouse Bathroom RevealGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal - modern patterns and vintage touches create a bold bathroom. Numbered Shower Bottles

If you can be in love with a shower fixture, I definitely am! This gorgeous shower handle is about the prettiest piece of hardware out there and instantly give the space a luxurious feel with out being too stuffy. We kept the shower classic and clean, with pretty white subway tiles. And there is definitely no missing those gorgeous fixtures in that all white space.  (I also added a set of my numbered shower bottles to the little nook in the shower.)

Brushed Brass Bathroom FixturesGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal - Bold patterns, crisp clean white tile, and brass fixtures. Brushed Brass Shower Head and FixturesGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal - Bold patterns, crisp clean white tile, and brass fixtures.

Limited wall space meant being a little creative with towel racks. We opted for two large knob hooks for guests to hang their towels to dry. Extra linens are tucked away in the large drawer under the sink. We also kept the original medicine cabinet because it offered so much fantastic storage. We found a simple round mirror to add to the long narrow cabinet door, and it broke up all the straight lines in the space.

Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal Guesthouse Bathroom RevealGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal - Bold patterns, crisp clean white tile, and brass fixtures.

This guesthouse was built in 1918, so we wanted to try to keep as much of the original charm and character as possible. The arched entry to the shower was one of the details.

White subway tiled shower.

Years ago the room was re-wired and conduit was added instead of dealing with the lath and plaster walls. While this can feel a little industrial or even unfinished, I kind of feel that it adds a fun layer to the space. A shiny new brass globe pendant light mounted to the exposed conduit is a playful juxtaposition.

Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal - modern patterns and vintage charm create a unique look.Brass Globe Pendant Light FixtureGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal Guesthouse bathroom revealGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal Guesthouse Bathroom RevealGuesthouse Bathroom Reveal Guesthouse Bathroom Reveal - modern patterns and vintage details.

There will be more room makeovers and reveals coming your way soon. Thanks friends for sticking with me. So, what do you think? Is the tile to wild for you? Are you in love with the pretty brass fixtures as much as I am? I’d love to hear what you think about our new and improved guesthouse bathroom.

This post was sponsored by AllModern. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Bold geometric patterned tile on the bathroom floors and walls.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies

February 7, 2017

Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies

I’m such a fan of sweet and spicy and shortbread cookies are my go to. Chocolate and chipotle are a match made in heaven for me, so this recipe is on a regular rotation in my kitchen. I served these at last week’s workshop, and I’m pretty sure they were a hit. A good cup of coffee and a couple of these Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies, and I’m a happy girl.

I haven’t given Valentine’s day too much thought yet, but at least I’ve made some cute heart shaped cookies. To give these a pretty Valentine’s day vibe, I dipped them in pink royal icing. Check out this post for easy smooth royal icing tips and tricks.

Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

With an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, chipotle powder. Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk to combine and remove any lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Place the cookie dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ on a well floured surface or between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut into shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 F for about 10 mins.

This recipe is modified from Martha Stewart’s Halloween Cookies.

Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies Chocolate Chipotle Shortbread Cookies

Design

Hallway Makeover

February 6, 2017

Hayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway Makeover

Slowly but surely there is less and less wallpaper in our house. This is a long, painfully messy process, but every time I see another room with crisp white walls I am sooooooo happy. The latest room I tackled was the upstairs hallway. It’s a great little space that needed a little personality.

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I love vintage, and especially mid century furniture. So, when I came across this adorable mid century style bookcase at Hayneedle, I knew it would be a perfect fit for our home.

If you aren’t familiar with Hayneedle, then you are truly missing out. They have a huge selection of home furnishings, decor items, and almost everything you can think of for the inside and outside of the home.

I’ve teamed up with three other bloggers to share a styled bookcase from Hayneedle. Be sure to check out Love Your Abode, Wife in Progress, The Mountain View Cottage.

Here’s what I used in this space:

Hallway Makeover and an artificial fiddle leaf fig for a room that has no natural light.

I’ve tried a few times to keep a plant alive in this room, but with no natural light, it’s just impossible. So, believe it or not, this is an artificial fiddle leaf fig! Ya, they can look this good. I love the color and life plants bring to a space. And although I didn’t think I was an “fake” plant girl, I was easily convinced when this one arrived on my door step.

Hayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway Makeover

So you can appreciate how awful the wallpaper was, here are some lovely “before” pics. Oh yes, there was a boarder as well. This yellow tone just felt aged and very dated.  Fresh white walls help make this space feel a lot brighter. With no natural light in this room, I needed to bounce as much light as possible.

Hallway Makeover Before Hallway Makeover Before

This part of the upstairs landing leads to the kid’s bathroom. So, a soft Moroccan rug runner felt like a must. Cold floors first thing in the morning can be a little rough. And this mostly white rug adds even more light to the space.

Hayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway MakeoverArtificial Fiddle Leaf Fig Hayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway Makeover

I kept the shelves kind of sparse and was super picky with the items I chose to display. I wanted to keep this space feeling light and airy. And in a couple weeks, I’ll probably change it up again. I like to rotate my favorite objects from room to room, it makes the whole space feel brand new.

Hayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway MakeoverHayneedle Midcentury Bookcase and a Hallway Makeover

This post is sponsored by Hayneedle. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Food & Drink

Pink Peppercorn Lemonade Mocktail

January 30, 2017

Pink Peppercorn Lemonade MocktailPink Peppercorn Lemonade Mocktail

The best way to chase away those Monday blues is with a Mocktail!  And I’ve got a really fun one for you. It’s not only the prettiest shade of pink, but it’s a very unique flavor that I’m sure you will love. Don’t worry, it’s not overly spicy.  It has just a tiny bit of heat, just enough for make it interesting.

Pink Peppercorn Lemonade

Start by making the pink peppercorn simple syrup.

Pink Peppercorn Simple Syrup

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. pink peppercorns

In a small pot, combine the sugar, water and pink peppercorns. Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes on high. Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Pour the syrup through a fine metal sieve to remove the peppercorns. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Pink Lemonade

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grenadine syrup

In a large pitcher combine all the ingredients. Mix well until all the sugar is dissolved.

  • club soda or sparkling water
  • lemon slices for garnish

In a glass filled with ice, add 3-4 tbsp. of pink peppercorn simple syrup. Add equal parts lemonade and club soda. Stir and garnish with a slice of lemon and a few whole peppercorns.

Pink Peppercorn Lemonade Mocktail

I served this with as a grown up cocktail this weekend at my latest workshop. A little gin is a fun way to spike this tasty drink.

Pink Peppercorn Lemonade Mocktail

DIY

DIY Draft Stoppers

January 19, 2017

DIY Draft StoppersDIY Draft Stoppers - keep cold air outside and do it with style!

Ok, this simple little sewing project has been on my to-do list since the weather got cooler. Living in a 100 year old house with original doors and windows, cold and even hot air can easily sneak in. We found that our feet where actually cold in the sunroom with the draft that was coming in under the french doors. So, as a temporary fix, we stuffed towels around windows and doors – YUCK! They were driving me crazy. Doesn’t matter how cute a room is if you have towels on the floors in every room. So, making these draft stoppers was a MUST!

DIY Draft Stoppers - keep cold air outside and do it with style! DIY Draft Stoppers - keep cold air outside and do it with style!

A couple yards of fabric and a huge 20 lb. bag of rice was an inexpensive fix for our old doors and windows.

DIY Draft Stoppers - keep cold air outside and do it with style!

You only have to know how to sew straight lines for this easy project. I chose to make my draft stoppers in a kind of “color black” style. I started by measuring the width of the windows and doors, this would be the length of the draft stoppers. Then I cut 6 inch widths of fabric. You could definitely just make them all one fabric, I just thought if you have to have these in your house, you might as well have a little fun with them. So I joined to contrasting fabrics before I sewed the tube together.

Sew one end and the length of the draft stopper together (good sides together). Turn it the right side out and with a large funnel (you can just make one out of a piece of paper), fill them with rice. Then simply top stitch the open end closed. So easy, right?

So much better then an old towel stuffed up against the door, right?

DIY Draft Stoppers DIY Draft Stoppers

Design

The Guesthouse Bathroom Plan

January 12, 2017

Well, I know I said I was taking off the month of January to kind of get caught up with life, but I wanted to pop in and share a little more of the progress on the guesthouse.  This is one part of life that I’m really trying to finish – the guesthouse. We are full-steam-ahead and trying really hard to have this space 100% done in the next week or two. Tile is being installed and I’m giddy with how amazing it looks. I’m so glad we chose to have the tile installation done by professionals. I’m all for DIYing, but this was beyond my skill set.

The bathroom is small, but we are packing a whole bunch of style and functionality into this tiny space. The color palette is very neutral, but there is no shortage of bold geometric pattern and pretty brass details. I’ve teamed up with AllModern to give this 100 year old guesthouse a gorgeous, modern bathroom makeover. My guests are going to feel like they are staying in a 5 Star hotel with this bathroom makeover.

Guesthouse Bathroom Plan

  1. Rosewood Vanity
  2. Brushed Brass Faucet
  3. Brass Globe Light Pendant
  4. Wood and Brass Shelf
  5. Toilet
  6. White Towels
  7. Turkish Hand Towel
  8. Brushed Brass Shower Head
  9. Towel Hooks
  10. Hand Towel Ring
  11. Toilet Paper Holder
  12. Geometric Tile
  13. White Subway Tile

Stay tuned friends, because things are coming together really quickly now. My brother, Joash, has worked many many hours to help us create this beautiful space. We are so grateful for his skilled help. We just finished the refinishing the floors right before Christmas. I took lots of the step-by-step pics and I’m excited to share the finished product with you. That will be on the blog next week. Spoiler Alert –  floors turned out better then I could have imagined.

DIY / etc.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year friends. I hope you had a great holiday. We did. It was so fun to host my family here this year. I’m just popping in to say hey and then kind of good-bye for a little while.

Well, can’t say I’m sad to say good-bye to 2016. I’m ready for a fresh start. I’ve been sick for the last couple of days, so I feel like I’m moving slowly into this year and not with the usual energy that I have. And that’s ok, it’s given me some time to plan and dream for this new year.

In the past, I’ve picked a word for the year. But, this year I’m kind of stumped on finding one word to focus on. Maybe because I don’t have good goals set for the year yet. But, I do have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Last year was kind of a blur, and I felt really way too busy and scattered. So, I’ve decided to take a the month of January off from writing blog posts. I do have a few things scheduled that will definitely be posted in this month, but I just need a little time to gather my thoughts, organize my life and get a clear picture of where I’m headed. This feels like a stupid thing to do for my business, but to be 100% honest, it’s such a good decision for my personally. I’m just plain old tired and burnt out. I’m hoping to find ways to stretch myself creatively without the pressure of having to share it on the blog. Like I’d love to paint and draw more.

I’ll still plan to post often on Instagram and I have a lot to say over on Instagram Stories probably too much, so you can still follow along there.

Maybe the idea of turning 40 this year has me feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m not super excited by the thought of being 40 – yuck! How did I get this old? But, there are a few things I want to attempt this year. I’m not calling them resolutions, but that’s really kind of what they are.

  1. I watched the Minimalism documentary and while none of the concepts are new to me, it has inspired me and I have a plan for this year. And I think I’ve convinced my family to join me. I’ve decided to buy no new clothing all year!!! Yep, what we own right now is it! It’s a good time to start, everyone just got new socks in the stockings. Really I don’t own a lot of clothes and really I’d love to own less. I’d really just like to have a capsule wardrobe for each season. Come Summer, I may need a new bra, and that is the exception I’ll make. But, if there is anything that we REALLY need, I’m sure we can find it at a thrift store. It’s going to be a challenge with growing kids, but I’m excited to try.
  2. Whole 30! I’m back on it. This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve started the year with Whole 30. I’m planning on finishing 30 days and then see if I want to keep going. It’s a great way to reset and broaden my healthy recipe repertoire. I’m the only one taking on this challenge, but most dinners at our house will be Whole 30 this month. (I’m going to share a lot of the food I’m making on Instagram Stories, if you are interested.)
  3. More hikes! It’s my favorite form of exercise, so I’m pushing my family to go on at least one hike per week. I got new approach shoes for Christmas, so I’m excited to put some miles on them.
  4. This year will see a lot of painting our new house. I will be working my way from room to room in this house and hopefully we will be able to tackle the outside as well.
  5. Get our Guesthouse Airbnb up and running! I really want this to be successful and hopefully help us earn a little extra cash. (I have an update post coming your way this week.)
  6. I want to find more peace and joy in the present and not always be aiming for bigger and better. I also want to set some more reasonable work hours for myself. So, I don’t feel like I never have any down time. I’m sure it won’t happen, but I’m going to keep it in the back of my mind and give myself permission to stop from time to time.
  7. And then there are a bunch of business goals I want to tackle. I won’t bother you with them here. But, I want to push myself and expand in a few ways. I want to try more video content and I want to have a little more fun with my photography.

Well, that’s a very disjointed list of random ideas. But, that’s what’s going on in my head right now. Maybe at the end of January I’ll have more direction and more plans and dreams for the year. I hope you’ll stick with me while I figure things out this month. Come February, I’ll be back and stronger and more inspired then ever, well that’s the hope at least.

What are some of your goals and plans for this new year?

 

DIY

Mocktail Recipe Calendar

December 22, 2016

Mocktail Calendar

You know I’m a fan of the mocktail. They give me a chance to mix up some yummy drinks that can be enjoyed anytime of the day and be kids of all ages. Cocktail drinkers don’t have to have all the fun, mocktails can be sophisticated and unique.

I’ve taken some of my favorite mocktail recipes and printed them in a calendar with Mixbook. Now I have a year of mocktail recipe ideas ready to go, one for each month. During this holiday season, there are a lot parties and get-togethers to go to. I like to take a hostess gift that is maybe handmade or at least customized in someway. If you’ve ever thrown a party, they are a lot of work, and a hostess gift is such a pleasant surprise to receive. This year I’m packaging up this beautiful 12×12″ calendar with all the ingredients to one of my mocktail recipes – the Pineapple Rosemary Spritzer.

Mocktail Calendar made with Mixbook

Simple syrup is so easy to make and if you fill a pretty bottle and tie a little rosemary sprig to the outside, it’s instantly fancy. And you know how I love faking fancy.

Mocktail Recipe Calendar made the Mixbook

Mixbook has gorgeous layouts and designs for creating one-of-a-kind calendars. I chose a clean modern white layout so that all my mocktail pictures could shine. With tones of customizable options, it was easy to find a design that allowed me to share an image and recipe for each month of the year. These calendars are made with beautiful heavy paper and each month has a generous calendar spread, that gives you lots of room to fill in important dates and appointments.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Mocktail Calendar and Gift BasketMocktail Calendar and Gift BasketMocktail Recipe CalendarMocktail Recipe CalendarRosemary Simple SyrupMocktail Calendar made the Mixbook

Tis’ the season for giving and Mixbook has the most beautiful personalized photo products to give to your family and friends this holiday season. They offer the most customizable photo products- like books, home decor, calendars and more.

This post is sponsored by Mixbook. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Mocktail Recipe Calendar

DIY

DIY Touch of Gold Modern Wreaths

December 21, 2016

DIY Touch of Gold Wintery Greens Wreaths

I’m still decking the halls, or at least trying to. This has been such a frazzled holiday season for me. And like usual, I had all these hopes and expectations of what Christmas would look like in our new home. This is one of the first years that we haven’t had to travel for the holidays, so I had imaged all these wonderful memories being made in our new home. But, instead, it kind of doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. Ya sure, we have a tree. But, I’m just running from task to task and feeling like I’m actually not accomplishing anything at all. I had hoped to throw a big holiday open house – nope, that didn’t happen. I wanted to have all sorts of cookies baked by now – nope, just one dozen in the freezer. I was really wanting to spend some time making our new mantle look off-the-hook Christmasy – nope, it’s just a bunch of random things that really don’t go together. And I could complain some more, but I won’t. This morning I decided I can’t wish for the what-ifs and all the things that haven’t happened, instead I’m choosing JOY! I know the real reason for the season and I have a lot to be grateful for. I determined to make the most of what’s left of this Christmas season. Yes, I still have lots of work to do, but I’m just going to try to power through it the next couple of days and focus on all the good things in my life. And tonight, I’m going to bake some cookies, even if it’s at 2:00 AM. I don’t know, can you relate? I don’t want to be disappointed this Christmas, I want my family to have fun memories this year.

DIY Wintery Green WreathsDIY Gold Wintery Green Wreath

So, even though my to-do this is super long, and I really should be sanding floors or something more productive. I decided to take some time this weekend to make some modern wreaths to hang in our windows. And because it’s the holidays, a little gold is always a good idea. Last year, I friend and I made about a dozen wreaths similar to these with eucalyptus we foraged from our neighborhood. I’ve been wanting to make more this year, so I just did it and I’m super

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16″ brass hoops
  • Design Master Gold Medal Spray Paint
  • Florist’s Wire
  • Winter Greenery (I bought a $4.99 bunch from Trader Joes to make all three wreaths)
  • Large Jingle Bells
  • Wire snips or heavy duty scissors

DIY Modern Winter Wreaths

Start by laying out branches to get a general idea of how you’d like the wreath to look. I kept mine all very sparse and kind of asymmetrical.

DIY Modern Winter Wreaths

Begin wiring on the branches. Try to tuck the wire in under leaves and needles to hide it as you wrap up the branch.

DIY Modern Winter Wreaths

Layer on more branches as needed.

DIY Modern Winter Wreaths

Starting at the center point of the wreath and spray on a even thin coat of gold spray paint work out towards the ends of the branches. Leave the ends their natural green and feather out the paint so that there isn’t a harsh line where the gold paint ends.

DIY Modern Winter Wreaths

Design Master paints are perfect for jobs like this. This paint goes on in even, light coats that can be layered. It also dries super fast.

DIY Gold Winter Greenery Wreath DIY Gold Winter Greenery Wreath

Using a little more florist’s wire, wire on the jingle bells to cover the mess of visible wire in the center of the wreath.

DIY Modern Gold Winter Greenery Wreaths DIY Modern Gold Winter Greenery WreathsDIY Modern Gold Winter Greenery Be sure to check out the some of the other fun DIYs I’ve created using Design Master Spray Paint – 3 Tiered Hanging PlanterDIY Modern Decorative PlatesDIY Faux Copper VaseDIY Ombre Give Thanks BannerMetallic Dipped Taper CandlesDala Horse Salt Dough Ornaments, DIY Ombre Shoes and Laces and the Gold Dipped Yarn Hanging.

I buy my Design Master paints and my local Michaels. Design Master paints can paint the most delicate of surfaces, such as silk and fresh flowers, fabric, ribbon, tulle, lace, paper, foam board and Stryrofoam TO the sturdy hard surfaces such as wood, metal, masonry, terra cotta, ceramics and plaster. Design Master is a great resource for products and ideas.  Be sure to check out all the craft and project ideas on their blog.

This post is sponsored by Design Master, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

DIY Gold Wintery Greens Wreath