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Holey Moly: How to Add Drainage Holes to ALL Your Pots

March 23, 2017

drill holes in plant pot

In preparation for planting season I’ve been hunting down cute pots and stands. When I saw this pot/stand combo from IKEA I knew it was coming home with me! (It actually took 3 IKEA trips to find it, but hey, it’s home now). The major downside though was NO DRAINAGE HOLES.

drill holes in plant pot

Nuh uh. Not this time. I learned my lesson with my last IKEA ‘self watering’ pot (the shorter one pictured above). Plants don’t like sitting in wet soil for days on end. It’s the difference between wearing wet socks for a week or having a short, relaxing pedicure. So I could have passed over this great find OR….

drill holes in plant pot

Find a solution. And really, adding drainage holes is ridiculously easy with the right tools!

You’ll need:
standard drill bits for plastic pots
masonry bits for unglazed ceramics like terracotta
diamond tipped bits for glazed ceramics

drill
nail
spray bottle
lots of water

drill holes in plant pot

If you’re working on an unglazed pot, soak overnight to prep. This will help the drill move more smoothly through it.

drill holes in plant pot

Scratch a small ‘starter’ mark where you want the drainage hole with your nail to help the drill bit to stay in place. With your spray bottle in one hand and drill in the other, slowly go at it. Keep the drill bit and pot surface wet with the spray bottle. This keeps the bit from overheating (and potentially snapping) and the pot from cracking. If you feel like the bit isn’t getting anywhere, don’t be afraid to really give it some force. Just be sure to keep the drill perpendicular to the pot and not at an angle.

drill holes in plant pot

Always work up to a bigger size instead of using the largest bit immediately. I started with 1/4″ sizes and went up to 1/2″.

Also, doesn’t the pot look like he has a face now? It almost made me sad to fill it with dirt.

drill holes in plant pot

Ah. Pure satisfaction. Now I only add a tiny bit of water to the ‘self watering’ base to give plant baby the humidity he craves but not enough to touch the interior pot. Remember pedicures, not wet socks.

drill holes in plant pot
New baby makes his second appearance. May he grow large and healthy to fill out his new home. Still struggling with a name for this one and his new sibling (the prayer plant in some of the photos), so leave me some suggestions in the comments 🙂

 

 

Celebrate - Eat

Gold Coin Lemon Butter Shortbread Cookies

March 16, 2017

lemon butter shortbread cookies

Still looking for St. Patrick’s Day ideas? These cookies are the perfect last minute treat- just pop a few in treat bags with some gold coins! And for a fun St. Patrick’s Day twist, we’ll be using rich, delicious Irish butter. Yumm. These coins also have a secret. Can you guess what’s behind the golden color?

lemon butter shortbread cookieslemon butter shortbread cookies

Turmeric! Turmeric is a spice that is used to create brilliant yellow pieces. It makes a great natural food coloring as well! You won’t taste the small amount in these cookies, but try to use stale turmeric over fresh (or leave it out for a day so the flavor weakens).

Irish Butter, Lemon Shortbread Cookies
1 c Kerrygold salted butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 c flour
1 T lemon zest
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
2 T lemon juice

Whisk flour, salt, lemon zest, and turmeric together. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the mixed dry ingredients from the first step and lemon juice on low speed until just incorporated.

Roll dough out to 1/4″ and chill for 30-45 minutes until it’s cold but still pliable. You want to chill it without it drying out.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350. Cut out your coin shapes with circle cutters. I added a coin ‘ridge’ by offsetting a smaller circle on my large ones and opted for a plain design on the smaller ones. Edible gold leaf or tiny shamrock sprinkles would be perfect for decorating too!

Bake for 10-12 minutes- just until the bottom edges of the cookies start to brown. Shortbread cookies should generally come out of the oven the same color they went in.

*If you want to use unsalted butter, add another 1/4 teaspoon salt to your dry mix.

lemon butter shortbread cookies

Real talk, these are so good. Like all shortbread cookies, the sweetness doesn’t hit you over the head so you don’t get tired of them. They start harmlessly light and fluffy and finish with a mouthwatering tartness that makes them perfect with Irish breakfast tea.

lemon butter shortbread cookies lemon butter shortbread cookies

Do you love themed food for St. Patrick’s Day? Tell me what you’re be making below!

lemon butter shortbread cookies

P.S. If you’re curious about the tea towel in the photos, I actually dyed it using the Double Tub Method from last week! Except instead of a moving bin, I used our bedroom trashcan haha. I was desperate and all the stores had already moved on to Easter.

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How to Dye Your Duvet In An Apartment: AKA The Double Tub Method

March 9, 2017

duvet dye tub dyeing

When we moved apartments and went from a dark green bedroom to a white one, we knew our white duvet would get lost in the new space. So I started scouring Pinterest (of course) and realized all the colors I liked were easily $200+. Ahahah. Maybe someday.

We still had 2 white duvet covers and with ~$30 in dye, I knew we could get what we wanted without spending a mini fortune. And thus the Double Tub Method was born!

duvet dye tub dyeing

This dyeing method is perfect if you live in a small space or an apartment with communal washers. By dyeing in your bathroom, you can easily monitor your color, won’t have to worry about dyeing the machines, and you can save all your quarters.

duvet dye tub dyeing

For the Double Tub Method you’ll need:
dye
1 cup salt
plastic storage bin large enough for your piece to move freely in

Put your plastic bin inside the tub/shower. Fill with the hottest water you can, leaving enough room for your duvet to move freely. Add dye and salt. As a general guideline, one box of powder dye or 1/2 bottle (1/2 cup) of liquid dye will color one pound of dry weight fabric.

Pro Tip: Check the item description of your duvet cover online- lots of retailers list the item’s weight. For example, we have a $25 cotton set from IKEA and they list the weight as 3lb, 6oz. Win!

duvet dye tub dyeing

Test the dye bath on scrap fabric that’s the same material as your duvet. Once you get the desired color, add the duvet to the bath. Stir constantly with a thick piece of scrap wood for 10-30 minutes until it’s the reached the desired color. The stirring will help achieve a uniform dye.

Rinse thoroughly in warm water, gradually making the water cooler until the water runs clear or throw in the washing machine on a cool setting with an old towel to soak up the excess dye. Optional: To reduce color bleeding, Rit Dye suggests using their fixative immediately after dyeing. We haven’t had a problem washing the duvet with other laundry but have noticed that the color has faded a bit. After washing, hang up to dry or run through the dryer.

duvet dye tub dyeing

Clean up time! Slowly pour the dye down the tub drain with running water. Don’t try to rush this part; the dye droplets can stain porcelain.

duvet dye tub dyeing

If you’re curious about the colors I mixed, I started with Rit Dye’s Color Formula Guide to get a rough idea of dye proportions.

Aquamarine:
1 tsp Kelly Green
1/4 tsp Teal

Pale Blue:
1 tsp Teal
1/4 tsp Black

duvet dye tub dyeing duvet dye tub dyeing

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DIY Terrazzo Earrings, AKA What to Do with All Your Scrap Clay

March 2, 2017

DIY Terrazzo Earrings

Guys, Terrazzo is having a serious moment. Some of you have been on trend the whole time like Marwa over at Enthralling Gumption while some of us are just now dipping our toes. Either way this Terrazzo Earring DIY is a foolproof way to add a bit of pattern and color to any outfit while using up that scrap clay pile 😉

DIY Terrazzo Earrings

Supplies
polymer clay
circle cutters
earring posts + jump links
E6000

Start by rolling out your chosen colors on wax paper, trying to get them roughly the same thickness. You can use cornstarch to keep the clay from sticking to the wax- it’ll come right off after baking as long as it’s not mixed in with the clay.

Pro Tip 1: Use the same brand of clay throughout, especially if you’re mixing colors. The different formulas make it harder to figure out the correct bake time and can cause your clay to become a sticky mess.

DIY Terrazzo Earrings

Hack at all the pieces with a long blade. Keep going until you have a nice assortment of sizes.

Pro Tip #2: Slightly dried out clay works best here- you can even just crumble it up instead of hacking at it!

DIY Terrazzo Earrings

Alright, somehow I don’t have photos of step 3, but essentially roll out your base color a little thicker than what you want your finished piece to be. Drop over your piece pile, cover with wax paper, and gently roll over. Your colored pieces should be nice and incorporated into the base!

Cut out your shapes plus jump link holes (I used these basic circle cutters from Amazon). Bake per clay instructions and assemble. I used standard earring posts from Michael’s & the all powerful E6000.

DIY Terrazzo Earrings

And honestly I loved this pattern and colors so much I had to make a second set the following weekend! I feel like semi-circles are the spring shape this year, what do you guys think?

diy terrazzo earrings diy terrazzo earrings diy terrazzo earrings diy terrazzo earrings

PS, say hi to my new baby Monstera! He’ll be making more appearances throughout the blog soon 🙂

Celebrate - Eat

French (3) Quarters, Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

February 22, 2017

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

Cocktails and Mardi Gras naturally go hand-in-hand, but can we take it really over the top with a punny party trick drink? Oh yes. We can.

The French (3) Quarters is a twist on the classic French 75, making use of a vibrant purple, blackberry lavender syrup that turns a party pink when mixed! Pair it on your bar cart with green champagne bottles & gold accents and you’ve got yourself a true Mardi Gras set up.

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

So there are two ways to make the focal ingredient, the blackberry lavender syrup. Method 2 just has an extra step for a slightly different taste and possibly more convenient if you don’t have culinary lavender but do have lavender tea. Method 1 tastes more like infused sugar and Method 2 is more delicate like really good lavender ice cream. I would recommend trying both. Let me know your favorite!

Blackberry Lavender Syrup Method 1
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup gently crushed blackberries
1-2 tsps culinary lavender

1| Combine water, sugar, blackberries, and lavender in saucepan.

2| Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

3| Strain the syrup through a double mesh strainer.

4| Transfer to an airtight glass container and let completely cool before using.

Blackberry Lavender Syrup Method 2
1-2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup gently crushed blackberries
1 lavender tea satchel

1 | Brew lavender tea according to directions or simmer 1 T of culinary lavender for 10 minutes.

2| Transfer 1 cup of tea to saucepan and add sugar & blackberries. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.

3| Strain and transfer to a glass container. Let completely cool before using.

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

The French (3) Quarters
1/2 oz simple syrup
1-1.5 oz gin
spritz of lemon juice
2 oz Champagne or sparkling wine

1| Shake simple syrup, gin, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.

2| Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with Champagne. Watch the purple turn bright pink!

3| Garnish with blackberry & lemon twist.

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

French (3) Quarters Tips:
Make the syrup ahead of time! Infused simple syrups can keep ~1 month in the fridge.

Use a London Dry Gin– by definition they are all natural and don’t have any extra flavoring or sugars that could clash with the syrup.

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras CocktailFrench 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

If you made it all the way to the end, you’ve earned a confession- this drink was supposed to be purple. *shameface* But with more digging I’ve noticed:
a) purple cocktail syrup recipes usually just show the syrup, not mixed into anything!
b) purple cocktails use of Blue Curacao
c) blueberries might make it more purple, but the colors are wildly all over the place and I couldn’t tell if they were natural, Photoshop, or good old-fashioned food dye.

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

C’est la vie. Now I actually love the surprise of the dark purple turning pink and it tastes great anyways, so it all works out 😉

French 75 Blackberry Lavender Mardi Gras Cocktail

If you’re looking for another easy yet impressive crowd pleaser, check out the Cara Cara Citrus Syrup and Cara Cara Mint Smash Cocktail from last year. That one is easily my go-to drink at home on a warm day.

How are you celebrating Mardi Gras this year?