Desk/Vanity before and after

Our house is a three bedroom which means we have no room for an office so my only options are to have the computer in the family room or master bedroom, I chose the latter. Our room is also not very big and finding a desk I love with storage wasn’t easy. I also needed a space where I can do my make-up and hair. I scoured Craigslist for a few months looking for the perfect desk until I came across this beauty. It is solid mahogany and I believe from the 40′s or 50′s. It has a genuine mahogany sticker like this one .  Anyways I purchased it for $60 and it is in great shape, and clean for its age, it came with a glass top wich has a small chip on the edge, but no big deal.  I gave it a coat of Zinsser oil-based primer  and spray painted with Rustoleum white paint.  If you would like instructions on how to paint furniture; Kate from Centsational Girl has this awesome tutorial.

Here are the before shots, I forgot to get one with the drawers and pulls in.

Here is the after. I love that its right by the window it gives lots of natural light for when I do my make-up.

I polished the original brass pulls with some Brasso and good as new.

How we built our mantle

When we first bought our house I was excited that we had a fireplace but one thing  it very much lacked was a mantle. It was floor to ceiling brick, and while I do like brick it definitely needed something to lighten it up a bit. My wonderful husband built it all himself. Here is what we did, it may not be the most “right” way to do it, but this is how we did it.

This is the before

and after

At first I drew out a sketch of what I wanted it to look like, then I took chalk and drew an outline on the brick of how big and where I wanted the mantle. Then my hubby took the measurements and purchased mdf and made a frame like so:


he first made two columns like so



This is  a close-up of the column

It is hollow inside and the back side does not have a board

He then added another board to the front and and on top between the columns

After this my husband finished when I wasn’t home so I didn’t get pictures of the rest but its very simple, you just take a longer and wider piece of mdf and and if you have router you can finish off the edge with the router bit of your choice.

Then add a piece of crown molding between that piece of mdf and the frame, add a baseboard to the bottom and add molding to your desired design.

Give it a coat of primer and paint, attach to the wall and add caulk around it.

And because i love taking pictures here is some more.

I really need to get a coffee table.

Here are some of the nick-nacks I have on the mantle right now.


Raspberry chocolate almonds bites

I love raspberries they are my favorite berry, I also love chocolate and almonds.  And when you put these 3 things together you get something amazingly unbelievable!  This is a very simply recipe but tastes divine.  All you do is melt semi-sweet chocolate chips either in the microwave or using a double broiler.  Then dip each raspberry by hand, first in the melted chocolate and then in sliced almonds and put onto a surface that the chocolate wont stick to such as parchment paper or a silicone cutting board and then refrigerate at least 30 minutes. When they are cooled and chocolate is hard you can put into desired dish.

Childs Chair Cushion with pom poms Tutorial

I am currently working on designing my daughters room, I am going for a pink, aqua and coral color scheme.  She loves pink (like any 4 year old girl you will meet), but I didn’t want it to be too princessy (is that even a word) or cartoon like, I want a somewhat vintage feel to it. I found this aqua and pink/red/coral floral fabric at a local fabric store and matched some pom pom trim to it and decided to use it on a few different things in the room.  She has had this table and chair set for a few years now, I bought it at a local ross, it was rather inexpensive but it had one problem, it was Tinker bell themed- all purple with characters all over it, and if you know me well enough you know that I can’t stand anything character themed, I believe they belong on TV not on your clothing and furniture, now don’t get me wrong there are lots of people who are ok with it and I don’t mind, if they like it then that’s great, but it doesn’t work for me, so what did I do? Paint it of course :)

I wanted to add a little color to the chairs and have a soft place to sit for the kiddos, so I came up with this chair cushion.

Now some of you will say “I don’t know how to sew!” but believe me this is so easy! really! You just need to know how to sew a straight line and believe me its super easy! If you need help with how to work the sewing machine just go on youtube or google it, there is a tutorial on everything these days. I am self taught so I know how easy it is. With that in mind please don’t criticize me because I am not a professional yet, and the way i do things may not be the “right” way to do them.

I don’t have dimensions for the cushions because it was custom made for my chairs and yours will be different so just measure around your chair seat and add an extra 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch  for seam allowance.

Materials you will need are:

-Fabric of choice (about1 yard)

-pom pom trim of choice (about 2 yards)

-matching thread

-button cover kit

-fabric for the sashes

-fiberfill stuffing

Tools you will need are:


-sewing machine



Your first step will be to measure your chair, my chair is not a complete square, more of a trapezoid so I had 3 longer sides and 1 shorter side, but you will most likely have a square, mine also had rounded corners, you can either do rounded corners or sharp corners, depending on your chair.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 inch for seam allowance to your measurements ( I usually add more just in case) and draw your shape on the backside of the fabric with a fabric marker or chalk. Cut out two of the shapes, one for the top and one for the bottom of your cushion.

Step 2: Measure around your pillow where the trim will go, I didn’t add trim to the back so I just measured 3 sides. Cut that length of your trim and pin it all the way around (on the sides where you want trim) on the right side of one of the fabric squares (right side is the side that will be on the outside) with the pom poms facing each other or into the fabric. And sew around carefully and pulling out the pins as you go, making sure the trim stays where you need it. Make sure to sew on the trim.

Step 3:  Place the other piece of fabric (right side down) on top of the fabric with the pom poms and pin around. Sew around (I just sew right on top of the other seam to make sure I am getting the trim in my seam) but leave the back side open.

Step 4: As you can see  I left a little too much for seam allowance so I just trimmed it back a little. Turn your cushion inside out and stuff with the fiberfill stuffing until you get the poufiness you want. Set the pillow aside.

Step 5: Cut out two long strips of alternating fabric for the sashes, i used a coral linen because it was a little more stiff than the cotton and I wanted the bow to stand up a little and not be floppy. One side should be a little wider than the other if you want to achieve the thick tails that I have on my  chair cushion. Again I am not going to give you my dimensions because your chair will differ. Just take some rope and check the length you need by wrapping it around your chair back and tying it into a bow. Take the strips and fold down about 1/4 inch and iron them down, then do it again. for the sharp corners you will have to cut a small part of the corner off to fold it down. Then sew all the way around.

Step 6: Pin the sashes and the back end together into the cushion. And sew it shut.

Step 7: Cover your button covers with your choice of fabric, the directions are on the kit so I don’t have pictures of it. Then take the button and attach it by hand using a needle and thread.

Step 8: Tie around the back of your chair into a bow and enjoy!

Featured on HWTM !!!

I am so excited to tell you guys that I have been featured on HWTM!

Yes, yes, you heard that right, the biggest and best website for events-Hostess with the mostess,  featured Olichkas birthday party last week and today is featuring the tutorial I made for the lace streamers.  I am so happy and grateful for the opportunity! Head on over to check it out!

(click below)

DIY Tutorial: Pretty Receipt Paper Streamers

Mini tutorial on “Lace Ribbons”

Remember my post from my daughters birthday? Well of course you do, it was just last week ;)

Well here’s a little tutorial on how I made those lace streamers that I hung behind the dessert table.

You will need at least 1 roll of receipt paper, the width depends on how wide you want your ribbon to be. I used 3 rolls because it makes things go by way faster .

A dowel or something similar.

9×13 sheet.

Martha Stewart Punch or something similar.

A long workspace (I used my kitchen counters).

Arrange your rolls into a row and stick a dowel through the holes of the receipt paper rows. Put them into a 9×13 sheet or something similar to keep them from rolling all over your counter or workspace.

Then lay the paper on top of each other, pull towards the punch and start punching away. In order for your ribbon to be nice and neat you have to make sure that all of the paper are being stamped evenly, you will see if your doing something wrong.  The punch has guides to where you need to move the paper to.

You will have to lift up the punch once in a while to empty the bottom of all the paper that is being punched out. You can use this stuff as confetti.

Chocolate banana bread recipe with orange liqueur

Do you like banana bread?

I do! Especially if there’s chocolate chips involved :)

I never used to make banana bread until about a year ago when my friend said she makes it all the time and she loves it. I never had good banana bread , actually I never had banana bread before that period, I did have banana nut muffins and wasn’t much of a fan. My friend had good taste in food and so I was interested, “if she likes it then it must be good” I thought, and boy was she right.  I started looking for good recipes online and then twisted them a little to make them my own and this is one of those recipes. I follow a blog called A CUP OF JO and she had Joy the baker share her recipe for banana bread it looked so good so I decided to make that recipe but changed it up a little and let me tell you this one is very good.

If you don’t cook with alcohol or would like to substitute the orange liqueur you may use orange zest and some orange juice or you may use orange extract.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons Orange Liqueur
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pan ( I used two 6 inch cake pans instead). Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

During this time mash your bananas.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add bananas, lemon juice and orange liqueur. Beat until well incorporated.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and incorporate the last of the ingredients with a spatula.

Batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

I like it warm but your supposed to remove from the oven and allow loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve with milky coffee or tea and enjoy!

Banana bread will keep for up to 5 days, well wrapped, at room temperature. But it never lasts that long in my house :)

Lets start with a party

For my 4 year old girls birthday party this year I wanted to do something girly and elegant.  I had an idea to use ribbons of lace as the backdrop to the dessert buffet, however I didn’t like the price of them and couldn’t justify spending that much on the backdrop. I started to think what I could use as an alternative and found a Martha Stewart punch at joanns that was called flower bed.  It is very much like an eyelet border and eyelet kinda looks like lace right? so I got an idea to punch a crepe streamer with the MS punch. I got all excited, got my coupon and bought the punch at joanns, came home and started punching, well not not really. I realized that the punch does not work on the crepe paper, it just bunches up and doesn’t go through :( so I got to thinking and couldn’t come up with anything, then asked my super smart hubby “what is thin, made of paper, on a roll, and cheap?” and he goes “receipt paper” and I was like oh yeah! receipt paper is perfect, you would think I would be the one to think of that with all those years working in retail and having to change those things out all the time. I had him pick up 3 rolls of the about 2 inch width receipt paper at Staples and it worked amazingly!

(click any picture for larger view)

This is my precious Olichka, isn’t she adorable?


I wanted her to have a cute dress to match so I found a silky chiffon fabric at Joann’s that  I loved and sewed her this cute little dress with lace ribbons. The headpiece is made of 2 fabric flowers, some ostrich fathers and millinery netting attached to comb.

I created the dessert labels in Photoshop then printed on card stock and cut them out using decorative scissors.

The popcorn holders was also card stock that was punched used the same MS punch as the ribbons.

Kiddos drank lemonade from these “milk bottles” which are actually Starbucks frappachino bottles that I collected. I wrapped them with the lace streamers that I made, then tied an aqua ribbon into a bow and added paper straws that I bought at Zgallerie.


blowing out the candles

Olichka with her friends.

They all love popcorn so much.

I was to tired from making all the desserts and just decided to order pizza.

You can click on any of these images to enlarge them.

new blog

Hello all,

I have finally gotten my new blog up! YAY!

However, I am having some problems with my computer and its not looking as I planned so you will be seeing some changes here pretty soon.

Hope to see you guys around here :)