Easy Gift Idea – Pizza Lover Tote

I think it’s a safe assumption that everyone has a pizza lover in their life.

I know I do!  My bae Heidi loves pizza more than any person in this world.  I asked her for her favorite pizza quote, and she provided me with, “Pizza is the only love triangle I want.”

Pizza-love-triangle-tote-gift

You could make this gift for ANYONE.  I would suggest snooping on their Pinterest boards for a quote or phrase they have pinned.

I’m joining up with my blog friends who are putting on a blog series called Dare to DIY.  Today’s theme is give handmade.  You can find more ideas over at Maybe Matilda.

dare to diy

After Heidi told me her favorite pizza quote, I designed it on picmonkey and printed it off.

pizza love triangleI very carefully cut out the letters with an xacto knife to make a stencil.  I realized this would be MUCH EASIER if I had a cutting machine.  Hopefully there’s one in my future, but right now, I’m going old school.

Pizza-is-the-only-love-triangle-i-want

pizza-is-the-only-love-triangle-tote

I centered the “stencil” on the tote, then taped it down.  I tried painters tape, but it wouldn’t stick to the bag.  So I used duct tape.  I taped down the middles of the letter for the stencil.

DIY-easy-gift-pizza-is-the-only-love-triangle-i-want

I mixed acrylic paint with textile medium to make fabric paint.

textile-medium-fabric-paint

I used a stipple sponge brush to paint the tote bag.

Easy-gift-idea-DIY-pizza-is-the-only-love-triangle-tote-bag

Unfortunately, the middle of the letters on “Love Triangle” lifted up, so those got filled all the way in.

DIY-gift-idea-pizza-tote-bag

I free-handed a slice of pizza at the top of the tote.  In general, I was a little disappointed how the paint bled a little.  I was hoping for crisper lines.  But I guess I’m not surprised after using a piece of paper as a stencil.

I still think the bag is still pretty rad.  I think it works since the font I used already had a ‘handwritten quality’ about it, so the bleeds just kind of added to that.  I’m pretty excited to send it off and check something off my Christmas gift list!

Pizza-is-the-only-love-triangle-i-want-tote-gift-bag

 

 

DIY Ho Ho Ho Throw Pillows

The older I get, the more I realize what an overly-sentimental and nostalgic person I am.  There’s a quote from The Office that goes, “I wish there was a way to tell you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”  And sometimes that’s how I feel.

Lately, I’ve really been missing Christmas at our old house.  I LOVE our new house, but it just doesn’t feel the same.  Our old house was naturally Christmasy, with the fireplace, candles, banister and tree in the front window.  Christmas last year was an extra special time for me too as I really got to focus on getting Evelyn here safe and sound.  Everything was a lot more meaningful.  I wrote a personal blog post on our family blog about it here if you’re interested in reading my feelings.

Anyway, I decided it was up to me to make an effort to bring more holiday cheer into our home.  So I decided to stretch my creative muscles and do a SEWING project.  FYI, I DON’T SEW.

Since I didn’t want to dabble in zippers, I decided to sew envelope/pocket pillows.  The pillow forms were 20″.

JoAnn had their red linen on sale for $4 a yard, so that was my fabric of choice.  I cut 3 21″x21″ pieces, and 6 21″x15″ pieces.

how-to-make-envelope-pillows

Then I took my 6 smaller pieces and hemmed one of the 21″ sides.  I hemmed the width of the presser foot.

DIY-christmas-ho-ho-ho-pillows

Pinning the pieces together is pretty simple.  Remember to lay the pieces inside out, in the following fashion:

how-to-sew-easy-pillow-cover

Easy-no-zipper-pillow-cover-DIY

Sew around all four edges.  Again, I did the width of the presser foot.

I wanted each pillow to say “ho,” so I made this template, and printed it off in an 8×10 size.

ho template

I cut it out, and traced it onto my glittery gold iron on paper.

DIY-red-gold-throw-pillow

iron-on-throw-pillow-cover-DIY

Then it was just a matter of centering each ho and ironing it on (according to the iron instructions for whatever iron on paper you use).

ho-ho-ho-DIY-pillows

Then stuff those pillow covers and you got yourself some ho pillows!  They will no longer be known as “throw pillows.”  Just ho pillows!

DIY-ho-ho-ho-Christmas-pillows

Are they perfect?  No.  Can I spot several mistakes?  Yes.  BUT, I love them.  They really do bring an element of happiness to our Christmas decor.  And, as a not-sewing-lady, I’m really proud of myself haha!

Also, a walking baby means the bottom third of the tree does not get decorated!

Christmas-ho-ho-ho-DIY-throw-pillows

ho-ho-ho-throw-pillows

And as much as I loved this Christmas…

Easy Christmas Decor

I’m really grateful that this is where we’re at now.

Interiors-by-kenz-Christmas

 

I’m linking this project up with my friends doing dare to DIY over at Newly Woodwards.

dare to diy

 

Living Room

Aaron and I have both fallen down the mid-century modern hole, and it doesn’t look like we’re getting out any time soon.  Something about the simplicity, clean lines, skinny legs, warm wood that makes a heart flutter.  If we stay on this road, I’ll be cutting my hair into a bob, burning all my jeans, and changing my name to June before you know it.

Kilim-Rug-MCM-Couch-living-room

Keep in mind, like the kitchen and breakfast nook, everything is still REALLY minimal.   We are still trying to figure out what we’d like to hang on the walls, coffee table vs ottoman, what curtains we want, and different lamp options.

We put our old couch from the basement at our old house in the living room and it was all wrong.  The shape of the sectional was wrong for the shape of the room, and it was too bulky looking.  And thus began the new couch hunt.

ugly couch

I set out for the post office one morning, and took a detour to IKEA.  And the heavens smiled down on me.  The floor model of Karlstad U-shaped sectional had just been moved off the show floor and down to AS-IS, and was marked down 40% from its original price.  I’ll take it!  I lived in a couch-maze for a week while I tried to quickly sell old beige.

IKEA-karlstad-couch

I knew I wanted a Kilim rug for the living room.  I was able to find this one on Etsy for a screaming deal.

kilim-rug-tom-dixon-copper-kitchen-living-room

This couch fits the space SO much better than our old one.

MCM-sofa-kilim-rug-great-room

For the living room, we plan on wall-mounting the TV.  I need to start looking for some good art as well.  I want to get curtains, but I’m not really sure if I want to go for something strong and bold, or something soft and subtle.  I also want to change out the lamp.

I bought this TV stand from Overstock.com and painted the shell bright high gloss white.  It wasn’t worth writing its own blog post.

mid-century-modern-family-room

I really like the view over the Karlstad into the kitchen, and visa versa.  It’s really nice to be able to work in the kitchen and watch Evelyn play.

modern-kitchen-living-room

Speaking of Evelyn playing… while I was shooting this space she decided it would be a good time to have a parade and walk around while clapping.  So of course, I needed to take a video of it.  It’s a pretty great way to spend 34 seconds.  She disappears for a second but then she comes back.

She and the dogs are both enjoying the new couch.

Interiors-by-kenz

Interiors-by-kenz

 

We are all extremely happy to have a place to relax at the end of the day.  It’s a place we enjoy being.  It’s good to be home.

 

Kitchen and Breakfast Nook (and Tom Dixon Copper Chandelier)

Moving is so hard.  (Can I get an amen?!)  When you are finally in your new place, you wonder if the boxes of your stuff literally multiplied and replenished your house.  Boxes. For. Days.  And then, your stuff comes out of the boxes, and what once fit in your old house, doesn’t quite fit right in your new house.  Aw, the moving game.

It took some time for the boxes to clear out, but I’m FINALLY starting to feel like our house is more of a home, and a livable home at that!

This post is more of a “state of affairs” of the house.  Obviously nothing is on the walls or really decorated.  But it’s semi-put-together, so I felt confident enough to share.

I love this view of the breakfast nook when you first walk into the house.  The copper chandelier is the first thing everyone notices and comments on when they walk in.

mid-century-modern-open-concept

We kept our Restoration Hardware table, but the chairs were all wrong all of a sudden.  I knew the breakfast nook was screaming for a set of Eames chairs.

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We had a builder-grade chandelier over the table, and I hated it.

builder-grade-light-fix

I knew a long time ago that I wanted a Tom Dixon copper chandelier.  Fun fact, I couldn’t find one for less than around $700.  And that was discouraging, because that was NOT in the budget.  It would be a very empty dinner table (with a very pretty light) if I would have paid full price.

HOWEVER.  I found a very (seemingly) sketchy Chinese wholesale website, that sold this light fixture for a fraction of the cost!  (Here’s the link.) Right after I ordered it, I got a call from my bank verifying I indeed made the purchase.  To be transparent, I was terrified I had made a huge mistake.  But then, 2 weeks later, to my delight, the chandelier showed up!  It was as brilliant as I expected.

Tom-Dixon-Copper-Chandelier

tom-dixon-copper-chandelier-dining

Forgive me, because I TOTALLY forgot to take the baby-lock off the cabinet before shooting this… and by the time I realized it, the kitchen was already messy, and the sun was down.  So, you get a lovely baby-lock in this photo.

Tom-Dixon-Copper-Pendant-MCM-Kitchen

Aaron picked this granite because he liked the way it tied with the copper light.  (We had the light picked before we even started building!)  We still have many things we want to do to the kitchen.  We have plans for a backsplash, and for making the cabinets less builder-grade and more custom.

The bar stools are the same from our old kitchen.  I’m not really sold on them being cohesive with the design plan we have going on.  But for now, they are staying (until I find new stools that I absolutely cannot live without haha).

New-Kitchen-dark-cabinets

I’m really pleased with the way the kitchen and breakfast nook are coming together.  I was REALLY skeptical of the dark espresso stain on the cabinets.  That was Aaron’s decision.  It’s very far out of my white kitchen comfort zone.  But it’s really growing on me.  I guess it’s a good thing to trust your husband every now and then!

white-walls-dark-cabinets-copper-light-kitchen

 

A New Bundle of Bones

I realize that it’s not Halloween time anymore.  However, in my defense, we did announce this to our friends and family before Halloween.  But I wasn’t blogging, so you missed out.  UNLESS YOU FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM WHICH, WHY AREN’T YOU?!!!

pregnancy announcement

This announcement was created by my talented friend Valery Bunnell, who did Evelyn’s newborn pictures.  If you are a Salt Lake City local, look her up!

We are more than delighted with this news.  Surprised, but over the moon.  As you guys know it took us years to get pregnant with Evelyn.  We knew that was a possibility for future children as well.  We decided not to prevent with a *just in case* mentality.  All the stars magically aligned, and our wish came true.  Evelyn and the new baby will be 16 months apart.  I know it will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m happy to accept!

I know a few of you are probably wondering if I have been as sick as I was with Evelyn.  It is a question I get asked often.  I had quite a bit of morning sickness the first trimester, which contributed to my lack of blogging.  However it pretty much subsided as soon as I hit 12 weeks.  Every now and then I’ll wake up feeling pretty queasy and have a little go, but I’ve been very fortunate this time around.  Something I am incredibly grateful for!

And for funsies, I thought I’d pull up Evelyn’s announcement.

Pregnancy AnnouncementAnd speaking of Evelyn, I promise I haven’t forgotten about her monthly growth pictures.  I keep taking them, but haven’t posted them.  Maybe I’ll surprise you one of these days with an amazing post about how she is no longer an infant but a real live small human.  :)

 

Our New House is Finished!

Hi loves. So, it’s been awhile, huh. I don’t really think I need to get into why I’ve had a hard time blogging (right now at least). I just want to share with you how our house came together.  Last I left off, we had just finished framing.  Naturally the next stop on the house checklist would be drywall.   Since drywall is SO exciting, I obviously took about 300 pictures.  I’ll spare you the deets and just give you one.

drywall

They painted all our interior doors, and all I could think of was Monsters Inc.  I wished they had them on a revolving track.  I mean, that would be an effective way to paint, right?  I’m going to mention that to the builder.  And of course I’ll expect royalties.

Painted Doors

And then there was a HUGE mess with the flooring.  We had had a few bumps along the way, but the flooring was a massive debacle.  We wanted our planks to be entire main level.  We didn’t want carpet, especially in the great room.  I knew if we did get carpet, down the road I’d change my mind about wanting carpet, and trying to match the floor would be costly and time consuming.  It was better to do it now.  However, that message was apparently not communicated to the builder.  They eventually fixed it and redid the floor, however it took awhile and really set them behind schedule.

Flooring mess up

Meanwhile, the exterior was slowly getting worked on.  Our friends enjoyed the adult jungle gym scaffolding.  I enjoyed staying on the ground.

Scaffolding

They poured our concrete at an unusually wet time, and built this incredible rain gutter system.  I mean, I really think they’re onto something.

Wet Cement

The siding got installed which was fun to watch.  It really began to take shape and really look like the house we had been dreaming of.  I don’t think anyone was surprised when they saw that the siding was green!

Siding

The carpet came, and then Evelyn really loved visiting the house because she could get down and explore.

New Carpet

And then, it was finished!  (Well, almost.  The builder had to bond with the city for our landscaping.  They were responsible for the sprinkler system and sod in the front yard.  We just got it installed over the weekend, however I do not have an updated exterior picture yet.  Maybe sometime next year I’ll show you.)

New House

 

I made a video tour for you guys.  It’s a little boring since there is nothing in the house.  But it will give you a good idea of the layout.  The chandeliers are all builder grade, and are getting swapped out.  We have some projects lined up for the kitchen to give it more of a custom feel.  It wasn’t our first choice of finishes, but the builder didn’t offer what we had in mind.  Lucky for us, kitchens aren’t a project that scare easily.  This kitchen is kind of a downgrade from our last kitchen, however the rest of the house is a major upgrade.  So we will happily take the trade off for now.  The plan with our new house was to get into a place with good bones where we wouldn’t need to rip down walls, but have a place where we could still do projects and leave our mark.

If the embedded video isn’t working for you, you can watch it directly on youtube here.

Our New House Progress

I would be lying if I said this was a nice relaxing summer, free of projects.  This has been a rough summer.  And I feel exhausted.  I have barely blogged because I don’t have the energy to.  However, I thought I’d check in with you guys and share with you some of the progress being made on our house.

(To see our floor plan, see this post.)

They dug our basement, and that was fun to watch.

Digging a basement

Dug out basement

Then they poured the footings and the foundation.

footings

finished foundation

From here, the framing went really quickly.

second floor

framed house

My favorite feature during framing was seeing the grocery pass through door from the garage to the pantry.  We call it the Costco Door.

Grocery pass through

grocery pass through door

We’re a lot farther along in the construction process than this post suggests.  I just didn’t want to dump it all in one post, because that would be a lot!  There have definitely been hiccups along the way.  Up til this point things went relatively smooth.  The next post I’ll talk more about builder issues we faced.

For those of you who have asked, our house is said to be done on October 15th.

Also, in case you missed it: I had another contributor post on All Things Thrifty last week.  Check it out!

diy memo_board

 

Vintage Trailer Photo Shoot & Headshots

A few months ago when I found out I was going to be a DIY contributor to All Things Thrifty, I was asked for my headshot.  Um… yeah, about that…  Apparently selfies don’t count.

I reached out to my friend Valery from Valery Bunnell Photography.  She normally specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography (did you see Evelyn’s newborn pictures?!).  But with a little bit of arm twisting I was able to convince her to do a special photoshoot with our vintage trailer that I made over.

I’m sure you noticed my updated picture in the top corner of my blog awhile ago, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the other images from the shoot.  She really captured the beauty of my lil Myrtle!

The location is 5 minutes away from where we’re building our new house.  I’m in love with this area.  The beauty is breathtaking.

Mekenzie Crowder

Headshot Kenz

Vintage Trailer Photo Prop

Vintage Trailer

Vintage Trailer

Kenz Headshot

 

There you have it.  I promise I have a few blog posts in store.  I need to catch you up on Evelyn’s monthly photo project.  I need to show you how our house is coming along.

Since there have obviously been no house-projects, it’s been nice to take a little break from blogging during the summer.  I love blogging and the community, but I also love unplugging.  It has been really nice to recharge my battery.  Hopefully I’ll have some creative projects for you to see soon :)

Our New House

We are building.  However, this is going to be slightly different than a “custom build” that you might be used to.

Most people when they build a house are doing it so it will be perfect, move-in ready, project-free, and good-to-go.

Not us.  We already have a project list started.  (More on that another day…)  So why are we building?

There are projects we like doing, and projects we don’t.  And honestly, we are tired of tearing down walls.  We wanted a blank canvas with great bone structure.

There are things we put on a must-have list for our new house:
-Formal living room
-Formal dining room
-Front porch
-Master bathroom

You guys, formal living rooms and dining rooms are a thing of the past!  They are SO hard to find (in Utah, at least)!  But it’s really important to me to have a place for the piano, a place for conversation when people come to visit, a place for Thanksgiving dinner.  You could say I’m traditional.

As our own real estate agent, I did a TON of house hunting, and could not find a house that checked every box, within our price range.  Then, we stumbled on a builder with a house plan that met literally our exact needs and wants.  And of course, the name of the plan is The Traditional.

Total square feet: 3864
Finished square feet: 2478
Finished bedrooms: 4
Finished bathrooms: 2.5

I’m in love with the elevation.  It has all the curb appeal I fancy.  I’m dreaming of sitting on a porch swing eating a popsicle with Evelyn, of a porch with carved pumpkins and flickering candles, and gables covered in Christmas lights.

New Construction Elevation

My all time favorite feature on the main floor is a trap door from the walk in pantry into the garage for grocery pass-through.  It’s going to revolutionize shopping trips in unimaginable ways haha!  I love that the main level has the traditional elements I wanted (formal living and dining) as well as a modern open concept family room and kitchen.  In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.

House plans-main level

Things I love about the upstairs: bedroom-level laundry baby!  I enjoy all the closet space too; something that was definitely lacking in our old house.  You guys, in my WHOLE LIFE I have never had a walk in closet.  This is a first for me, and I’m dying with excitement.

House plans-upper level

This is the basement floor plan.  We aren’t having the builder finishing the basement for us.  This is something we plan on doing in the future.  4 bedrooms is more than enough for us right now.

House plans-basement

This is our house.  These are our rules.  We can’t stop.  We won’t stop.