Spotlight on the Season…DIY Autumn Harvest Wreath

The calendar has spoken. October has arrived. And, in my little world, that means just one thing…

‘Tis the season to start crafting!

Need I say more? Exactly. So, grab a festive beverage (because…fall), tap into those creative juices and let’s Pinterest it up over here!

diy autumn harvest wreath

First Things First. Here’s What You’ll Need:

12-inch Wire Wreath Frame

25 feet of 6-inch Burlap Ribbon

Fall Accent Pieces (*see below)

Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

Floral Wire & Scissors

Wreath Hanger

*When choosing your accents, might I suggest…

fall accent pieces 1

fall accent pieces 2

fall accent pieces 3

all available at Hobby Lobby

With Me Still? Alrighty, Then. Time To Make It:

  1. Attach the end section of Burlap Ribbon to the most central opening of the Wreath Frame, using Floral Wire.
  2. Thread approximately 3 inches of burlap through this part of the frame, then continue threading it through the frame’s other two openings.
  3. Turn the frame over and and twist the burlap 2-3 times, then thread it back through the frame’s most central opening.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 with the frame’s additional openings until the entire wreath is covered with burlap ribbon.
  5. Cut off left-over burlap and attach its other end to the wreath frame, using floral wire (If you’re confused, I recommend watching this video tutorial before making any attempts).
    burlap ribbon

    here’s the look you’re going for

  6. Heat up the Glue Gun and, while you’re waiting, arrange the Accent Pieces in a desired pattern, leaving approximately 2 inches between every individual cluster.
  7. Glue each accent onto the burlap and push them down for 30 seconds to ensure the glue adheres.
  8. Lay the wreath on a stable surface until the glue has dried completely, then display it on your front door, using a Wreath Hanger, so the neighbors swoon with envy!
autumn harvest wreath finished product

Can you say “tres chic?!”

For the First Time in Forever: Frozen-Inspired Holiday Decorating

I grew up in Orlando, which means that an obsession with all things Disney has practically been written into my genetic code. As such, the holidays never fail to bring out the “Disnerd” in me.

During this most glorious of seasons, my family can be found celebrating Christmas “around the world” at EPCOT, decorating our oh-so-traditional Mickey Mouse-themed tree, and — most recently — watching Frozen while sipping hot cocoa.

(Side Note: I make the best hot cocoa EVER. Here’s my secret formula: 1 c. rice milk and 2 tbsp. Nutella, melted over medium-heat for 5 minutes. And don’t skimp on that Nutella; it’s the clincher here. Besides, a little holiday indulgence never hurt anyone, right?!)

Wait. What were we talking about? My affinity for Christmas beverages took me off on a tangent.

Oh, right. Disney. My other affinity.

So, the Frozen fanaticism has hit me hard. Guilty as charged. My twin sister and I even refer to ourselves as Anna and Elsa. (But, as the oldest by 1 whole minute…I’m obviously Elsa.) Wanna see our Arendelle-couture Halloween costumes? Sure you do!

Anna Halloween Costume

Elsa Halloween Costume

Nope. The cold never bothered us anyway.  But enough with all these tangents. There is a point to this post, I promise.

Now that Halloween is over and the holidays have officially begun (Hey…Starbucks says so. Those red cups are back, people!), ’tis the season to start crafting.  And, in typical “Disnerd” fashion, no DIY project in my house would be complete without a nod to the Happiest Place on Earth.

So, $20 and 2 hours wandering around Hobby Hobby later, I set to work recreating some Elsa ice-magic.  The finished product — a Frozen-inspired Christmas wreath.

So, while this isn’t related to health and fitness, it turned out so cute that I just had to share!

All it took was faith, trust, pixie dust, and the following tutorial:

  •  What You’ll Need:
  1. 16-inch metal wreath form
  2. 3-foot rope of silver garland
  3. 3-foot rope of icicle beads
  4. 6 lavender snowflake ornaments
  5. 1 pkg. assorted-size blue ball ornaments
  6. 4 teardrop pearl branches
  7. hot glue gun & glue sticks
  8. wire cutters or scissors
  9. wreath door hanger
  • Time to Make It:
  1. Glue one end of the garland rope to the top center of the wreath form and wrap the garland tightly around the wreath until the other end reaches the point where you started, then glue it down.
  2. Glue one end of the icicle bead rope to the top center of the wreath form and loosely drape the beads around the wreath until the other end reaches the point where you started, then glue it down.
  3. If you have any extra garland left over, cut several 3-inch strands and glue them, at one end, around the wreath, so they stick out  in a random yet artful arrangement.
  4. Remove the loop hangers from the snowflake ornaments, then glue them onto the wreath in whatever pattern you choose. (I opted for symmetry here, but feel free to get creative!)
  5. Remove the loop hangers from the ball ornaments, then glue them onto the wreath, between the snowflakes in whatever pattern you choose. (I placed them in clusters of varying numbers/sizes.)
  6. Cut the teardrop pearl strands off the main branch and glue them, at one end, around the wreath, so they stick out in a random yet artful arrangement. (I paired each pearl strand with a garland strand.)
  7. Allow the hot glue to dry completely, approximately 10 minutes, then hang this fabulously Frozen-ified creation outside your door for the neighbors to ogle at with envy!

And, just in case you were wondering, the finished product should look something like this…

Frozen inspired Christmas wreath

Give the Gift of Yoga!

Yoga is not only fabulous for spiritual serenity and physical flexibility, it’s also a proven couples’ bonding activity. Practicing yoga regularly with your significant other offers tons of benefits: a shared hobby, an inexpensive and out-of-the-ordinary date, an exercise in syncing with one another’s mind and body.

My boyfriend, Brandon, and I have recently started discovering yoga, which has given us even more common ground to talk about and participate in together whenever he visits.

Last week, our yoga journey conveniently coincided with our 1 year anniversary, so I wanted to incorporate this newfound interest into my gift for him. After some extensive deliberation, I came up with the following DIY project: a personalized yoga workout that corresponds to standout moments from our past year of dating, decoratively written on a yoga mat.

Brandon loved the finished product (because…well, he’s easy to please…but seriously, this mat was adorable!), and he’s actually finding it functional too. Mission accomplished.

So, next time you and your S.O. celebrate a major relationship milestone, instead of the stereotypical roses or another been-done-before sentiment, give something totally unique and embark on a new pastime together.

  •  What You’ll Need:
  1. 1 standard size solid colored Yoga Mat (approx. 72″ x 24″)
  2. 1 package multi-colored Puffy Pain Pens*
  3. ready access to your Romantic Side!

*I used Scribbles brand neon Puffy Paint. Find it here or visit any art supply dealer, such as Michaels.

  • Time To Make It:
  1. Roll the yoga mat out on a flat and sturdy work surface.
  2. Using the puffy paint, write a personal message across the top of the yoga mat.
  3. Think of approximately 10 intimate aspects of your relationship (they can range anywhere from silly to sentimental – see my list of brainstorming suggestions below).
  4. Assign a yoga pose to each of these 10 relationship-isms (based on your partner’s yoga skill level, they can be either basic or challenging – I went with basic since my boy is still new to the practice).
  5. Using the puffy paint again, write the first 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses on 1 side of the yoga mat (i.e. “For every time we _____, do a _____ pose for 30 seconds”).
  6. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  7. Flip the yoga mat over onto its other side and write the remaining 5 relationship-isms and corresponding poses, using the same format.
  8. Allow the paint on this side of the yoga mat to dry completely for 2-4 hours.
  9. Tightly roll the yoga mat back up, then secure it with a ribbon.
  • Ideas To Get the Creative Juices Flowing:
  1. Do you and your partner have a special song?
  2. Do you and your partner enjoy certain activities together?
  3. Do you and your partner have a favorite date spot?
  4. Do you and your partner watch any TV shows together?
  5. Do you and your partner share any inside jokes?
  6. Do you and your partner make fun of each other’s quirks?
  7. Do you and your partner show each other new things?
  8. Do you and your partner swap childhood stories?
  9. Do you and your partner have any “couple” traditions?
  10. Do you and your partner end up on misadventures together?

 And, for your viewing pleasure, here’s what my creation looked like upon its completion (plus, Brandon showing off his moves…eat those hearts out, ladies!):

yoga mat 1

yoga mat 2

yoga mat 3

yoga mat 4

yoga mat 5

Ditch the Drugstore: Why Homemade Make-up Is the Way to Go

Sure, it’s a matter of convenience. One quick stroll down the personal care aisle, and you’ve got the entire makings of a beautified face. Maybelline, Cover Girl, and Loreal are definitely dialed into your “make me pretty” needs. Why would you even consider looking elsewhere when it’s time to pile on the glitz?!

Well, for starters…how about because those products aren’t exactly face-friendly?

Yep, gasp-worthy but true.

To prove this point, I looked up the ingredients list for standard Maybelline eyeshadow, and the search results read like a who’s-who-of-toxic-chemicals: Talc, Triisostearin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Stearate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Nylon-12, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Alumina, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Methylparaben, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Silica, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Tin Oxide, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben.


That’s a whole mishmash of words I can’t even pronounce, but it doesn’t sound like a holistic spa retreat, that’s for damn sure! Basically, here’s what you can take away from this little lesson in chemistry: NO BUENO.

So…umm…what’s a girl to do?!

Make your own make-up, of course! This all-natural alternative to those synthetic science experiments cluttering the cosmetic counter is surprisingly simple and completely skin-safe. Before you dismiss this as some tree-hugging-earth-woman mumbojumbo, just consider these perks of taking the organic beauty approach:

Why DIY?

  • You’ll save money since most of the ingredients needed to whip up a batch of foundation can be found right in your kitchen.
  • You’ll also save time since you won’t have to hit up CVS every few weeks upon running out of that precious Cover Girl bottle.
  • You’ll be in total control over which substances your face is exposed to (that means no harsh irritants, preservatives, or anything developed in a laboratory – for that matter!).

Now, time to make it!

This 5-ingredient powder foundation will undoubtedly become a staple for your morning routine…

  • Ingredients:
  1. Arrowroot Powder (get it here!)
  2. Cocoa Powder
  3. Ground Cinnamon
  4. Ground Nutmeg
  5. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Preparation:
  1. Pour the arrowroot powder into a shallow mixing bowl (use 1 tbsp. for light skin and 1 tsp. for dark skin).
  2. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the arrowroot and combine thoroughly (eyeball the amount of these ingredients you use until the desired skin tone is reached).
  3. Drizzle approximately 5 drops of olive oil into this mixture and stir until the texture is slightly more compact.
  4. Apply the foundation with a large make-up brush.

(recipe courtesy of: Thank Your Body)

diy foundation

Sidenote: I substituted 1 tbsp. Cornstarch since I didn’t have any Arrowroot Powder on-hand, and it still worked just fine.