Succulent Pots

Plants (23 of 27)

In case you couldn’t tell from some of our previous posts, we’ve been really into succulents lately. It seems like over the past year succulents have become all the rage in Los Angeles, and we can definitely see why! While very cute and trendy, their low-maintenance tending requirements are perfectly suited our busy schedules.

The other weekend some of my roommates went to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market, something I definitely recommend checking out if you have the chance to go. From locally grown fruits and vegetables to freshly baked artisanal breads to mini succulents, farmer’s markets are always a great way to spend your Sunday (especially when you find cool new ways to spruce up the apartment)! When Maddy came walking through the door — succulents in hand — I immediately jumped at the opportunity to turn the pot-less plants into our newest craft on the blog.

This craft is one of my new favorites in the effortless way it enhances the ambience of the room. These succulent pots are a very affordable way to express your creativity and add a little character to your desk, coffee table, etc. Read on for more!


Materials:

  • Succulents
  • Mini terra cotta plant pots (we got ours here)
  • White acrylic paint
  • Gold leaf pen (we love this one here)
  • Paintbrush

After carefully peeling off price stickers from the pots (we soaked them in hot water with soap for a few hours to ease the process), generously apply white paint directly onto the terra cotta. Let dry and touch up as needed.

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Next, we took out our gold-leaf pen and doodled away. You can decorate each pot the same way or create a new design for each one — this is the part of the craft where you can really let out your inner-creativity!Plants (12 of 27)Plants (16 of 27)

Finally, we carefully potted our succulents into their new homes! Plants (27 of 27)Plants (25 of 27)

Happy potting!

– Michelle

Decorative Letters

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Throughout our college careers (as is the norm for most college students), we’ve constantly been on the move — in and out of dorms, sorority houses, apartments. Each new school year comes with a new place and new people to call home. While definitely exciting as each place will inevitably bring new memories with our friends at school, it makes it a little harder to create that “home away from home” feeling.

When we moved into Towngirls (the 4-girl room in our sorority) together sophomore year, we decided to make a little housewarming gift for our roommates to brighten up the standard white walls and grey carpets of our room and make the place feel a bit more lived-in. Since then, it has been a tradition to begin each school year with this housewarming gift for our new roommates.

This craft is unbelievably easy to make (you’ll be surprised) and can be tailored to each person’s favorite color, pattern, etc. These letters make the perfect housewarming, birthday, holiday gift for friends and family — really, it’s great for any occasion!


Materials:

  • Cardboard letters (we got ours on Amazon, here)
  • Acrylic paint/paintbrush (you can also use spray paint)
  • Decorative paper (we got ours at the Paper Source, here)
  • Modge podge
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

After carefully peeling off all the price stickers from the cardboard (you want to begin with as smooth a surface as possible), we began to paint the letters completely. Two layers ensured a rich paint color. Let dry completely before moving on!

Letters (3 of 16)

Next, we flipped the letter upside-down and traced onto the matching decorative paper with a pencil. It’s really important to make sure you are tracing the letter backwards onto the back side of the paper — we don’t want to pull a Karen from Mean Girls!!

Letters (5 of 16)

Then, carefully cut out with scissors. Make sure to stay as close to the pencil line as possible so that the paper lines up with the letter so there is no excess or shortage.

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Finally, we painted Modge podge onto the front side of the letter so we could attach the decorative paper. Carefully lay the paper onto the Modge podged surface so that there are no wrinkles. Press down firmly to secure.

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Now you’re ready to keep ’em, gift ’em, hang ’em on a wall – whatever your heart desires!

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Happy Modge Podge-ing!

– Kirby and Michelle

Coconut Macaroon Birds’ Nests

Easter (9 of 16)

We hope everyone has an amazing Easter this upcoming Sunday! We will both be spending it the best way possible, with family. This is one holiday that, although it was a blast as a kid (who doesn’t love a good Easter egg hunt?), it is still just as special as an adult. Maybe it’s the fact that the weather is nice, family and friends are around, or that it always is on a Sunday, but neither of us can remember having a bad Easter. Plus, the Easter candy selection might be the best of all the holidays. Hard to compete with that.

This past week we tested out some coconut macaroons as a sweet treat to contribute to our Easter parties. Instead of traditional coconut mounds, we shaped them into nests that perfectly fit three little cadbury eggs in the center. The result is an adorable Easter themed treat that tastes like a dream.


Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (1 14 oz bag)
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A bag of cadbury mini eggs

Preheat the oven to 375º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In our test run, the cookies stuck a little bit so next time we will grease the paper as well just to be careful. Mix together the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla until well combined.

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In a separate bowl, use and electric mixer to whisk the egg whites and salt until they form stiff peaks.

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Carefully fold the egg white mixture into the coconut mixture.

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Use a spoon to form a heaping mound of mixture onto the baking sheet.

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Then use your fingers to press down in the center to create a “nest” shape. You might want to test the size of it with three eggs to make sure that they will fit. Repeat this until you have used all of your mixture.

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Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges are golden. Then allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, fill them with mini cadbury eggs and you are done!

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Easter (7 of 16)

Lola thought they were pretty tasty, too hehe.

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Easter (11 of 16)

Easter (16 of 16)

Happy Easter!

-Michelle and Kirby

Flower Tea Cookies

_MG_7094Alas, Spring has sprung! There are daffodils beaming in the garden, birds and squirrels scampering about, driving Lola (my cocker spaniel) mad, and my favorite summer wardrobe staples creeping back into my closet. However, I often find myself confused with the weather this time of year. I think that I forget Spring is not Summer. I expect the sun to be full blast and for ice cream to be present every evening. Even here in LA, it is still a little bit chilly, which I feel guilty saying because I know that if California isn’t hot right now, the East Coast much be worse. In fact, my mom called the other day from Santa Fe, NM where it was snowing. Yikes.

So, long story short, these sugar cookies are a great transition to Spring. They are bright and floral, but can be enjoyed with a nice hot cup of tea. With a little nook cut into them, they rest effortlessly on the side of a coffee cup. You can make them with any shape, really, and I look forward to making a festive batch in the distant holiday season when hot cocoa comes back into my life.

P.S. Michelle and I just got home from Thailand! It was the most incredible adventure and I fell in love with Asia. We’re already daydreaming about how to go back. Stay tuned for content about our trip and our favorite crafts that we stumbled across in the colorful, vibrant markets.


Materials

  • Sugar cookie dough and royal icing (recipe here)
  • Food coloring (I used purple and orange)
  • Plastic ziplock baggies or piping bags
  • A round glass (or circle cookie cutter)
  • A knife

Follow the recipe on my older post to make your sugar cookie dough. Roll out your dough onto a floured surface until it is approximately 1/4 in thick. In order to save money I used a glass to cut the round shapes rather than buying a new cookie cutter. Continue rolling and cutting until you have no dough left.

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Using a knife, carefully cut a slanted rectangle out of your cookie. For this step it’s probably best to just follow my picture because I realize “slanted rectangle” might not make any sense.

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Place the cookies onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a 400º F oven for 8 – 10 minutes, until barely golden brown on the edges.

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While the cookies are cooling, make your royal icing. Divide the icing into 2/3 and 1/3. Mix the color that you would like for the petals  into the large half and the color for the flower centers into the small half. I used purple for the petals and orange for the centers. Divide the large half of icing (in my case, the purple) in half and mix a tiny bit of water into one of the halves in order to water it down.

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Spoon all three batches of colored icing into separate ziplock baggies or piping bags. Cut a small hole in the corners.

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Using the thicker purple icing, pipe the outline of the flower petals. Then allow to harden for about ten minutes.

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Next, fill the outlines in with the runnier purple icing. Fill it as much as you can without it spilling over the edge.

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Finally, pipe the orange icing into little dots in the center of each flower. Allow to dry and serve!

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Happy Spring!

-Kirby