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DIY calligraphy coffee mug

DIY calligraphy coffee mug

“All you need is love and a cup of coffee”

Are you a coffee lover like I am? Would you like to have a new coffee mug every month? I know I do! And with each season kicking in, I automatically feel the need for an adequate and new coffee mug. I’d love to have a different mug for a different state of mind, like the ” Hello gorgeous” and “Great things will happen” mugs for the days when I need encouragement, and the “Nope” for the days when I need to send out a clear message to the universe. Also, let’s not forget the monogrammed mugs, as they make for a great littlle gifts!

And with mothers day arunf the corner, I’m sure you started thinking about diy gift ideas, didn’t you?

So with a clear addiction to pretty mugs I needed to find a way to save my budget from this craziness. And here’s where the DIY sharpie coffee mug saves the day! They are really easy to make, and the possibilities are simply endless!

easy calligraphy style diy coffee mug

So I have made the “Hello”, “Bonjour” and a monogram “M” coffee mugs as gifts for my mom and my sweet friends, and a “#bosslady” and “sip” for me. Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

– white mug
– sharpie
– paper

For a more natural feel of your handwriting, try writing down your word on a paper a couple of times first. That way once you’ll start tracing on a mug, your hand will be more steady.

After writing down your word , try tracing it over to give it a more calligraphy-like feel. In real calligraphy the letters are a bit thicker on one side, so you can try imitating that.

Mug

 

Mug

Mug

Mug

image

So for my self, I wanted one mug with the bosslady hashtag on one side, and a set of closed eyelashes on the other side: seriously, closed eyelashes are the easiest to paint even if you have zero artistic skills! And my second mug got a “sip” on one side and ” coffee” on the other one.

Once you’re done, leave your mugs to dry for 24 hours. I know it seems like a long time, especially they feel dry almost right away, but that’ll make them more resistant after baking.

Bake them at 300F, for 30 minutes. After that time turn the oven off, but leave your mugs in the oven so they cool down gradually.

Don’t ever put them in the dishwasher, as that will wash down the sharpie. Wash them just like a delicate porcelain, by hand, and they’ll last that way!

Mug

diy calligraphy coffee mug

So, do you know what will you write on your mug?

How to organize kid’s shared bedroom

how to organize a room for a kids shared bedroom

I believe that when young children share one bedroom, they become closer together. Though sometimes the space is so small that it seems challenging to transform it in to a bedroom for two! But after almost two years of my two daughters sharing one tiny room, I have learned some tricks to make it work!

See, as soon as my younger daughter Rose started to sleep through the night, I’ve put my older’s daughter bed next to the baby crib. And that’s how they started sharing a bedroom together. Now, I think it has been one of the best parenting decisions that I had made so far. They became best friends. They sing each other lullabies before they fall asleep and they laugh and play first thing in the morning (which let’s me sleep longer!).

Though I know that organizing a cohesive, comfortable and practical space for two kids can be difficult. Here’s how you can make it work for your kids:

1. Choose a theme that’ll appeal to both of your children.

Decorating one room for two kids can be tricky, a specially if you’re trying to include their interests and characters.

That’s why instead of trying to match two different themes in one room, try something more general, like a color palette that’ll appeal to both of them. Then, using colours as your guide, add individual touches.

2. Pick furniture that’ll pass the test of time.

Choosing furniture that is good quality will save you money and time in a long run. Also while picking new beds, think about your kids needs in a couple of years : will they still fit in, will they be comfortable, will their style match their changing interests?

So instead of changing from the baby crib to a toddler bed and then to big girls bed, I decided to switch my younger daughters crib for a big girls bed right away. The small room looks more cohesive with matching beds, and the nighttime reading is so much more comfortable now!

shared bedroom

3. Go for neutrals and simplicity and then add accessories.

Since you’re organizing a room for two kids, you have double the chances that they’ll get bored with a flashy wall color or a bed in a shape of a car. Why won’t invest in a simple furniture that’ll match their growing personalities and neutral painted walls that’ll match any changing bedding.

4. Make organization a priority.

Two kids in one room doesn’t need to mean twice as mess. Add baskets for toys underneath the beds, and make sure that their clothes are easy to reach. Use vertical space above kids beds for storing small toys.

5. Accentuate personal space.

Let each of your kids have something unique: like a special decoration on top of their bed, or a shelf with their favorite figurines, a basket with their favorite toys underneath their bed, or a different bedding arrangements. If your children are old enough to read alone make sure they have a night lamp each. Let them choose the accent colors and let them arrange their own toys the way they like it.

6. Unify the space.

However if your kids are in the age when they always want what the other one is having, then you might like to unify their sleeping area as much as possible: by getting the same bedding and accessories for their beds. My daughters are two years apart, so in my situation unifying their room is the only way to go!

7. Keep it simple.

If your children do have a separate playroom, then keeping their bedroom as calming as possible will help them fall asleep easier. While decorating the bedroom, keep in mind that anything that attracts attention during the day, will do so also while you want them to fall asleep. So if you have a restless toddler, go for calmer colors and less toys around.

And that’s why most of the decorations in by girls bedroom is above their bed’s, so when they fall asleep it doesn’t distract them!

Sources:

Furniture: Leon’s

Unicorn and the tooth pillow : Brooklyn’s Room

Quilt: Not Sew Strange

Cloud Pillows: TwoLitlleTadpoles

Calligraphy print: Invited By Audriana

Unicorn in the purse: Endee Made

Dreamcatcher :Posh Pax Designs

Colorful prints on the shelf: free here on Pinterest

Rainbow/doughnut blankets : Little and Luxe Shop

Tassel garland : GenWoo

Great tips to help you organize a shared bedroom for yout kids: even in a very small space!

Free winter prints to print at home

free winter print to print at homeYou might not now it, but I really love changing decor around my home, and I love updating prints and pillows above all! I just feel like every time I do so, my entire home looks different, and I feel much better in the space that changes with the seasons.

And since I really love the style of the hand calligraphy ( I even took a calligraphy course once! ) and motivational and inspiring quotes, I decided to design some new prints with winter vibes in mind.

So with the snow out the window, and my need to cozy up our space for the cold months ahead, today I have two winter prints for you that you can print at home! The first one is a quote that I love so much, by a British poet Edith Sitwell, as its describes perfectly how I feel about winter:

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

And the second one is for all snuggle weather people like me! Perfect for any space!

free winter prints

free winter prints

free winter print to print at home

free winter print to print at home

So just click here for ” the winter time is..” print.

And click here for the snuggle weather print.

And if you’d like t update your gallery wall without spending a cent, then like me you can use some framed material, old calendar pages and a free printables. I even used a print from an art-book that I had though never looked through!

Tip: I suggest using good quality paper and a good printer set on printing on mat paper settings.

I really hope these winter prints to print at home will brighten your home and make your space feel a bit more cozy and inviting during the cold winter months! Enjoy!

free winter prints

How to transform your bedroom for guests

how to transform your bedroom for guests, great simple tips for hosting !

We live quite far from many of our family members, and so every month or two we have a visitor coming over for a couple of nights. Our home is rather small, and there’s no real guest room to host our guests, so sometimes we’d simply prepare our own bedroom for them to sleep in!

And so, with the holiday season upon us and many of you having family over visiting for Christmas, I thought I’d prepare a guide on transforming your bedroom for guests! I even made a printable for you, because I know that you don’t want to be second guessing yourself if your guests are comfortable on top of all the holiday preparations!

how to transform your bedroom for guests

how to transform your bedroom for guests

1. Prepare fresh sheets, fresh towels and fresh slippers.

As much as fresh sheets goes without saying, I really encourage you to get an all-white set for your guests. They’ll feel like they are in a hotel, but with that extra layer of cozy. Also, prepare at least 3 fresh white towels per guest, and a pair of new slippers!

2. Add an extra warm throw, preferably a heated one!

Nothing is worse than feeling cold in the night, and that’s why an extra blanket is a must! Except that sometimes that’s not enough and your guest is still cold!

My mother-in-law would always ask for 3 more blankets and would still be cold, and I always felt so bad for her… And then I remembered my grandmother, and how she would make my bed when I was visiting her for the night! At bedtime, we’d read together in bed and she’d tuck me in with her own heated throw. So I finally decided to get one for my home.
Just recently, I received the Sunbeam Faux Fur Reverse to Sherpa Heated Throw, and I couldn’t love it more. It features three heat-settings and has a three-hour auto-off function, is extremely soft and cozy, looks luxurious and chic on my bed, and makes my mother-in-law happy when she comes to visit!

how to transform your bedroom for guests

how to transform your bedroom for guests

how to transform your bedroom for guests

3. Set a welcome tray for your guests.

I always set mine with fresh water, small pretty glasses, some tissues, magazines (depending on my guests’ interests) and some extra snacks (like some good quality chocolates, mixed nuts or home-made cookies). You could also add a second one in the guest bathroom with some mini sized self-care products and an extra toothbrush!

4. And replace your personal photos with a printed Wi-Fi code (download my free printable).

Instead of making your guest fall asleep to your wedding photos standing by your bed, put a frame with a Wi-Fi code written in a pretty printable (that I made for you!), so your guest don’t have to look for it in the evening! You can get the printable I made here (just print it, and write in your Wi-Fi code).

So don’t stress too much over hosting this holiday season, simply check out these four points from my list, and I’m sure your guests will be comfortable, cozy and warm! 

how to transform your bedroom for guests

Disclosure: “This is a sponsored post in partnership with Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS). All thoughts and ideas remain my own.”

Winter gallery wall

winter gallery wall

I strongly believe that Christmas decorating doesn’t have to be over the top expensive nor difficult! And I think that one of the easiest ways to add interest to any room, is by simply adding some new and fresh prints to the gallery wall and transforming it in to a winter gallery wall! And I really love it when not only the textures, pillows and accessories change with seasons, but also these visuals, prints and wall decorations. And so for me Christmas decorating means not only dressing up our small Christmas tree, but also updating my gallery wall.

Honestly, visuals in the room are almost as important for me as the furniture themselves, since they can add the vibe and the atmosphere to the space like nothing else really. They can transform a boring and uninteresting wall in to a stunning and inspiring one, and best part, is that it’s so much cheaper to change prints then furniture!

But of course, since I don’t poses unlimited decorating funds, I had to find a way to make these gallery wall changes affordable, and easy.

winter gallery wall

winter gallery wall

So I came up with some simple, and mostly free ways to change your gallery wall and make a winter gallery wall like I did! Including a free to download, calligraphy style printable, ” Baby it’s cold outside” ( do you know this Christmas classic song? It’s one of my favorites!). And there’s even one surprise print in french!

You can read my step by step guide and get the printables by visiting your Hello Holiday Christmas guide! Just click on the “free printable” on the page 10! It’ll take you directly to it!

And if you’re looking for more festive ideas, simple DIY projects and decor inspirations, I’m sure you’ll find them all you need in our guide! Happy festive preparations!

DIY wrapping paper

diy wrapping paper

While I’m not always a DIY busy bee, I usually tend to get more crafty for the holidays! Of course I know that Christmas can be very busy , but for me it’s the excuse to actually slow down and craft a little more with my daughters. Because I really enjoy starting the preparation early, keeping things simple and listening to  Christmas music while doing so!

And when my daughter Lili was two years old, we started making wrapping paper together. It’s not perfect, shiny and detailed like the store-bought one. Honestly it’s a bit messy and rather imperfect. But we have so much fun making it! And now, when Lili is almost five, and Rose is approaching three, I have not one, but two little helpers to help me with my Christmas preparations!

diy wrapping paper

DIY wrapping paper

Also, I really love the Scandinavian Xmas vibes, with its nature inspired simplicity. So every year I make these simple stamps that we use to stamp white paper with. I find the result adorable, and my kids have a blast stamping along!

And I think that making a hand-made wrapping paper teaches kids a lot about the real joy of giving! I think that thanks to our little craft they actually look forward to give their gifts to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and they can’t wait to see the looks on their faces and to tell that it’s not only them who helped wrapping the gifts, but it’s also them who made the wrapping paper itself!

This potato stamp wrapping paper is a great and simple winter activity for kids, while the effect is both practical and festive! And now you can wrap all your gifts without spending extra money on wrapping paper!

You can find the full tutorial here, in our Hello Holiday Guide, among other simple festive DIY ideas!

Happy wrapping!

<em>Photos of me in this post where captured by <a href=”http://www.donnagriffith.com/&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Donna Griffith</a>.</em>

How to make a small space feel bigger

five tips to help you make any space feel and look bigger! Simple tips and tricks. 5 ways to make a small room feel bigger!

We live in a rather small house. As soon as you get in, there’s a small entry way and the kids playroom is just on the right, and the living room on the left. And our entry way space, aside of being boring, used to be such a mess. But lately, I was craving change, and while looking at our sad entry way I was asking myself how to make a small space feel bigger. And more organized! And more personalized. So after some searching, I got to work, and today I’m sharing the result!

First let’s start with the very sad before photo. As you see, the space is really small.
I bought this table when I was pregnant with Rose, over three years ago, but I never really did nothing more there. The light switch above the table was annoying me, and so I couldn’t really figure this corner out.

before
before

But this past month I had a strike of inspiration, I realized I was longing for color and texture, and here’s the result:

How to make a small space feel bigger

How to make a small space feel bigger

How to make a small space feel bigger

And I even changed the wall in my girls play room.. Since it’s one of the first things you see when you come in!

So here is my recipe for making any space feeling bigger, and a little secret hack:

1. Add pattern.

Pattern adds depth to any space, so even if it’s a small space, it can greatly benefit from a bit of pattern.

Oh, you don’t wan’t to deal with wallpaper? Nor do I! That’s why I didn’t use wallpaper but material called pixerstick! I got this peel-and stick gorgeous pattern from Pixers. One for my entry way and one (the pastel cloud wall) for my girls play room. The best part? It was already cut to fit my space, and it took me and my hubby not more then 2 hours to install it all ( yes, the big wall in girls playroom and all of the entry way).

And you wan’t to know what I love about it the most? It doesn’t mark walls, is super easy to just un-peel and take off , and there are literally hundreds of choices to pick from! Now that’s what I call a life hack!

How to make a small space feel bigger

2. Use horizontal space

I would always put my purse, and keys on a little table, but when my hubby would add his pocket change, and my girls would add their hats, and I’d add some mail on top of it.. Well then there was a huge pile of mess. That’s why I added hooks! Now I’ll have a designated space for my purse and my scarf!

You could even add a hook for every family member and use that horizontal space to hang hats, keys or scarfs!

How to make a small space feel bigger

3. Add mirrors.

Mirrors really do make the space feel bigger! But look out: they’ll make your space look and feel bigger only if they reflect light!

Also, try playing with shapes! Round mirrors are on trend now and for a reason: they can add that vintage and playful look, or a sophisticated and elegant , all depending from the material they’re made of. So if you wan’t to go for the first one, choose brass or bamboo, and if you prefer the second, go for metallic or wood.

How to make a small space feel bigger

4. Add a gallery wall.

Even a small wall will look better with a gallery wall, and the higher you’ll hang your frames, the higher the eye will travel, giving the illusion of a bigger space!

Try mixing frames of different sizes and colors for an eclectic look, or go with one color but different sizes for a more classical finish. And if you’re going for a modern vibe like I did, hang a in-pair number of objects on the wall.

You don’t need to hang expensive art nigher: I used the same print I had, and I draw the abstract art with Pastel crayons.

How to make a small space feel bigger

5. Unify the space.

Every space feels better if the elements and colors repeat themselves.

So while painting the abstract art I tried to add in some blue hues to match the Pixers “wallpaper” sticker. And since the table I already had has a little rustic feel in to it, I decided to add two hand lettered wood boards, in order to add in more of that modern rustic feel. My hubby have cut old wood for me, and using my kids Ikea crafting paint I wrote these two quotes that I love!.

So now, I feel like not only my entry way got bigger, but also that I got a new personalized room altogether! And I hope that these tips will help you with changing things a bit in your home!

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Pixers, all opinions remain my own.

Christmas living room makover

Simple ideas for Christmas living room decoration

As much as I love Christmas – I’m the first one to sing Christmas songs, and I don’t even get a tiny bit annoyed with festive decor just after Halloween – I also believe that Christmas is more than just a big Christmas tree and gift shopping. I believe that it’s simply about being close with the ones you love, making your own traditions and celebrating the season.

So for me, decorating for Christmas, is simply about adding comfort. It’s about a comfy chair for my guests, it’s about a sofa big enough for me, my hubby, our daughters, my cats and my daughters dolls and toys. It’s about feeling cozy and warm.

This year I was all about the white and red color scheme, simple Christmas tree and layering textures. I guess I’m equally inspired by Scandinavian simplicity as French elegance!

And Christmas is my favorite time, and as a homebody that I am, my home is my favorite gathering place! So making the room as inviting, cozy and comfortable as possible, is all that I wished for.

Simple ideas for Christmas living room decorating

Simple Christmas living room decorating ideas

That’s why while decorating for Christmas with the help of Leon’s furniture I opted for two small Xmas trees rather then one big. And since our space is rather small all I wanted for it, is t make it as cozy as possible.

And now, our living room is the real epicenter of our Christmas traditions. This is where we check on our DIY advent calendar in the morning. This is where we talk on Skype with our extended family that is back in Europe. This is where we entertain friends and family, where we unwrap gifts and sip hot chocolate.

You can see more of my Christmas Living room , along other great Christmas decorating and hosting ideas, in our Hello Holiday Guide here!

<em>First 2 photos in this post where captured by <a href=”http://www.donnagriffith.com/&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Donna Griffith</a>.</em>

Bedroom makeover

bedroom makover

Bedroom. One of the most important pieces at home! Back in my twenties, I used to study in my bed as a student, and have always had a huge mess of laundry there. Then, as a new mom, my bedroom was buried underneath the pile of baby clothes, diapers and more laundry. Oh, and pacifiers and rubber toys too. So investing in the bedroom of my dreams really had to wait.

Up until recently, when one day I finally realized that it’s been awhile since I had a baby to change and feed in the middle of the night. And that actually, from time to time I do find a minute to read in bed. The only problem was that, my old headboard was a little bit of a DIY project, and didn’t hold that well, so leaning comfortably on it was impossible. Our mattress was getting uncomfortable, and our night stands where cute but very unpractical little tables, too small to store anything. It was time for a change!

And so with a help of Leon’s furniture I finally have the bedroom of my dreams! It’s still small, and it’s simple, but I just love how it turned out!

Here is how it looked before and how it looks now:

the before

bright, calm and airy bedroom

airy calm and bright bedroom


So now, this is what I call my mom oasis. There’s a place for books by the bed, and some extra storage for all the things. There’s a comfortable and inviting bed, with a purring cat waiting for me to join.

And if you’d like to see more of my bedroom makeover, read more about this bed and it’s amazing storing capabilities, and see why I love my new mattress, all that along some amazing holiday inspiration, click over to the Hello Holiday Guide ! It’s our 90 pages online lookbook with gorgeous makeovers, holiday inspiration, and real home stories! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

<em>Photos 3 and 4  in this post where captured by <a href=”http://www.donnagriffith.com/&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Donna Griffith</a>.</em>

Hello Holiday

Hello Holidays guide

Never in my dreams would I have though that decorating would become a part of my job, nor that I would have imagine being a blogger in a first place! But I’m beyond happy to do both, and today I’m so exited to reveal a big project I’ve been working on since summer, in collaboration with five other amazing bloggers and Leon’s furniture team! Today is the day we’re finally launching the Hello Holiday Guide For Your Happy Holiday Home! It’s a book full of beautiful holiday decor inspiration, Christmas life hacks, and easy, doable and festive DIY ideas ! Made by real mom-bloggers like me, in their real homes, with kids, pets and imperfections!

Hello Holiday

You can get a printed version with the December issue of Canada’s Style st Home magazine too, though for the full 90 pages of amazing content, go on-line here!

And I have prepared 8 different stories, with simple Christmas DIY ideas, recipes and of course, room makeovers! I’ll be sharing all that Christmas goodies on my blog little by little too!

Here are a couple of sneak peaks of what I’ve been working on and of what you can see more of in the Lookbook:

Hello Holiday

Piernik, the ginger bread cake, traditional Polish cake for Christmas

DIY advent calendar with a free printable

Also, if you don’t know them already, here are the five amazing Canadian bloggers that I had a chance to work with on this project:

Bethany from This Little Estate

Julie from Elliven Studio

Lucy from Craftberry Bush

Kassandra from Little DeKonings

Thalita from The Learner Observer

So grab yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate, and come get inspired for this holiday season! I’m sure you’ll love what we have prepared!

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