Tag Archives: florida

Bright & Cheery Living Room on a Budget

cheery-living-room-decor-on-a-budgetIt was almost a year ago that my husband first laid eyes on the house that would become our first home. When he brought me back to tour this place with our realtor I instantly saw visions of us decorating the nursery, bringing home our son, and watching him grow up in this wonderful place. But aside from the sweet sentimental (5 months pregnant at the time!) woman in me, I saw all my Pinterest boards coming to life before my very eyes! After a more than 2 year search for our dream home, my Pinterest boards were full of inspirations for decorating that I just couldn’t’ wait to bring to life.

My vision was to unite my love for French Provincial decor with the fresh, cheery, colors of Key West Florida. The final product was a fusion and style all my own

And the best part of all? I DID IT ALL ON A BUDGET!

I plan to share with you every room in my house eventually but let’s start with my formal living room.

Here’s how I did it…

 

The first and most important part of putting this vision together was finding the right furniture. So it was straight to Craigslist.com for me. Craig’s List is always my #1 source for furniture. You can find amazing deals, and if you can’t find the exact piece you’re looking for you can always use your imagination to repurpose and add new life to old pieces.

(P.S. if you look closely in the photo above you can catch a sneak peak at a super cool orange ombre fondant wedding cake I did for a bride a couple weeks ago! It is a dummy cake and I thought it looked pretty awesome in my living room. :) bright-living-room-inspiration

paint-sofa-leg-upcycle-repurpose-living-room-on-a-budget-turquoiseI found the sofa for $100. All I did was add a coat of fun turquoise paint to the legs and I had a bright new statement piece!

The accent chairs took more work. I found a pair of gorgeous french provincial arm chairs for $50 each. They were originally very traditional with dark wood and neutral fabric. I wanted something that would really pop with color, marrying the classic Marie Antoinette style of the chairs with fun cheery Key West colors. chevron-throw-pillow-lime-greenI found the lime green chevron fabric at Hobby Lobby on sale and I had a 40% coupon as well! 4 yards of fabric only cost me about $19.00 and I had enough fabric leftover to make the matching little throw pillows on the sofa (The orange pillows came from Home Goods – $25 for both). The turquoise paint is the same I used to paint the legs of the sofa, and also my mantel piece on the fireplace. I still have 1/2 the can left for other projects and it only cost about $12.00. Lucky for me I have an AMAZINGLY crafty and talented aunt who hooked me up big time by painting and reupholstering the chair set for just $100. All in all these fantastic chairs set me back just over $230. repurposed-chair-turquoise-chevronThe white side tables also came from CL already painted ($100 for the pair), as did the coffee table ($30). YES!! I found a french provincial coffee table already painted orange! Seriously?? Who besides me would have the vision for an orange coffee table? Apparently my decor soulmate. The green rug was $20 from Old Time Pottery (to be completely honest I would have loved a rug about 3x that size, but we’re on a budget!). I snagged the blue vases and silk flowers from my mom (shhh don’t tell, LOL!)orange-lime-green-turquoise-chevron-living-room-modern

 

lamp-stack-of-old-books-add-heightThe lamps came from IKEA for $15 each. They ended up being a bit short in my opinion and didn’t make enough of a statement. So to make them taller I simply stacked them on some old books. Such an easy little touch that makes for a really cool look!

 

scrabble-letter-photo-box-craft-diyA sweet friend made me this awesome scrabble letter photo box for my birthday. Isn’t it awesome! It has found a lovely home on the magical orange coffee table. photo-coasters-diyFor Christmas our family decided to do homemade gifts. My creative nephew (with help from my super crafty sister!) made us a set of photo coasters with pictures he grabbed off my Facebook page! Isn’t that just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? He did it by mod-podging photos to plain old ceramic tiles (you can pick them up at Home Depot or any home improvement store) and then sealing them with  spray sealant. I absolutely love these coasters!!

square-picture-frames-grid-oranges-diy-wall-hangingI found this lovely piece at a second hand shop. The guy in the store asked if I was looking for anything specific and I told him I wanted a french provincial sideboard. He happened to have one in his truck that he hadn’t even unloaded in the shop yet. He said he was going to paint it but if I had a specific color I wanted he would do it custom for me. So for $260 I got an antique sideboard freshly painted and distressed by hand! I couldn’t believe my luck because a search on CL for anything similar to this piece was anywhere from $400-$800!!

dunedin-floridaNow, when I moved this piece in there was such a huge piece of empty wall space above it. I knew I wanted a square grid of frames but it took some creativity to come up with what sort of art would live in those frames. Enter Dunedin, Florida. We live not far from this adorable little Florida beach town. On the facade of many buildings in “delightful Dunedin” you will find these charming paintings of oranges. There are probably 100 or more of these mysterious paintings on the fronts of antique stores, ice cream shops, restaurants, and bars. You can read the story of how they got there in the Tampa Bay Times. Its an adorable story.

So I decided that I wanted a touch of Florida in my art and what says Florida more than Oranges??dunedin-orange-mural So I strapped Luke onto my back, grabbed my camera and headed downtown. I took pictures of about 20 oranges and decided on the best nine. A little bit of photoshopping to correct the lighting and to crop each photo into a perfect square and they were ready for printing. Whenever I need high quality prints I always turn to PersnicketyPrints.com. They have never let me down AND they do 12×12 prints which is exactly what I needed for this project. All 9 prints cost me less than $20 including shipping. I also needed to find the perfect frame. 12×12 frames are surprisingly hard to come by, and they are usually pretty pricey. After several days of searching the interwebs for the right frame at the right price I came across FrameUSA.com. Not only did they have great customer service, they had gorgeous frames for cheap! This whole project cost under $75.00!

IMG_0485This fireplace originally had a hideous 1970s puke brown stone facade that thankfully the previous owners had the sense to paint white. I further modernized the mantle by adding a coat of turquoise semi-gloss paint. The map of Puerto rico was used on a real cruise ship and you can see the captain’s handwriting on it! I picked it up years ago when I worked for a cruise line. I got the frame at Michael’s on sale and with a 40% off coupon for $17.00.

The candlesticks came from Ross for about $5 each, and I had the bunch of silk flowers laying around. I just stuck them in an empty Mad Housewife wine bottle.

rattan-chevron-chair-diy-upcycleThese two chairs actually came exactly as is from Craig’s list!! I know! I’m the luckiest craiglister in the world. Honestly I just check back every day for new items in my area. Whenever something awesome comes up I jump on it right away! Having cash and a truck really helps. Someone had already up cycled these rattan chairs by painting them blue, recovering the cushions in lime green chevron fabric, and making these adorable throw pillows. They were a STEAL at $60 a piece! I really couldn’t believe I found these gems. The side table in between them was found at a thrift shop for $20. The plant is from IKEA.

SO for around $1000 I was able to completely furnish an entire living room. You can do it too! Just keep your eyes peeled for awesome deals, and use your imagination and a little creativity to come up with a style that is totally you!

 

 

 

Homemade Citrus Lip Balm Tutorial

recipe-for-12-tubes-of-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comI’ve been wanting to make my own lip balm for a really long time. I’ve spent lots of time looking at various recipes and researching all the ingredients before I finally took the plunge and decided to do the legwork to come up with the most wonderful, luscious lip balm recipe ever! Lucky for you, I write a blog and you get to reap the moisturizing lip benefits! The other awesome thing is that I have a super awesome new sponsor, SKS Bottle, (you remember them from my apothecary spice jar project) who sent me these awesome lip balm tubes! I couldn’t resist.

When it comes to lip balm, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredient variations. There are so many wonderful natural ingredients that you can mix and match to come up with the best recipe for you. I recommend playing around and seeing what works for you. The following is just one of many lip balm recipes I will be posting in the coming weeks and months.

I give you Homemaker Chic’s “Citrus Splash SPF Lip Balm “

lip-balm-making-supplies-homemakerchic.comNow, this may seem like a lot of ingredients, but there are so many different variations you can do with just a few small tweaks. I ordered all of the ingredients I needed in one day, online, from my living room. And most of it was free shipping. All in all, I spent about $100 for everything (That includes some other ingredients not included in this recipe, for different flavored lip balms). It may sound like a lot for lip balm but everything came in large enough quantities that I will have enough to make lip balm for my sisters, my mom, my friends and myself for a very VERY long time. PLUS- many of these ingredients are excellent for other skin preparations other than lip balm and are very handy to have around the house. It is an investment, and a project, but if you want to do this, you really need to have all the best ingredients. If it seems like too much for you, then by all means- Burt’s Bees is at your disposal! I will tell you though, that this is the most luxurious, smooth, and moisturizing lip balm I’ve ever tried. It smells and tastes amazing and you will LOVE it! I won’t ever go back to store bought again.

Supplies:

  • 12 lip balm tubes
  • 1 lip balm filling tray
  • Plastic putty knife

Lucky for you SKS Bottle has an awesome deal for Homemaker Chic readers! You can get the exact lip balms tubes, filling tray and putty knife that I used, and actually a few other tube designs for a big discount! They’re giving my readers $10 off an order of $50. They also have lots of other containers that I’m going to be using in some upcoming posts so you can spend $50 real quick. Just use the code HomeChic413 at checkout (or click the image below). I love their site!!

SKSHomemaker413

  • 1 ounce measuring shot glass
  • Eye dropper for oils (I found mine at PetSmart)
  • Double boiler
  • Small spatula
  • Glass pyrex cup with pour spout

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz white beeswax pellets
  • 1/3 oz Mango Butter
  • 1/3 oz Solid Room Temperature Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 oz Orange Butter
  • 1/4 oz Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 oz Olive Oil
  • 1/2 ox Cold Pressed Castor Oil
  • 15 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 15 drops raspberry seed oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil
  • 1/16 of a teaspoon of Mica Shimmer Powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia or other sweetener
  • Small sliver of lipstick for color (optional)

homemade-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comOkay so here is the basic ratio for Lip Balm:

1 Part Beeswax : 1 Part Solid Oil or Fruit/Vegetable Butter : 1 Part Liquid Oil.

You can really play around with the oils. You could use one type of oil, or make a blend like I did.

Let me explain a little bit about why I chose the blend that I did.

Orange butter comes specifically from Florida Oranges (of which I am a HUGE supporter since I’m from Florida!). It has wonderful moisturizing qualities, smells incredible, and gives this balm part of its wonderful citrus flavor and scent. Mango butter is light and fresh smelling and very smooth. It has great healing properties for dried, cracked lips, and peeling skin. It also has SPF natural SPF properties. Coconut Oil has amazing moisture benefits, and is well known for bringing chapped lips back to life. It has a wonderful scent that really pairs well with the tropical flavor profile in this balm.

The raspberry seed oil was added for its natural SPF benefit. It has very little scent. Several studies have show it to be anywhere from 6-20 on the SPF scale. Living in a sunny climate I really need SPF in my lip balm so this was a must. Same goes for the avocado oil, which aside from its incredible moisture and healing benefits, is also a natural SPF of 6. The vitamin E oil is excellent for healing chapped lips and protecting them, but a little goes a long way.

I added the castor oil because it adds a really nice shine to the balm, and helps maintain soft and supple lips. The olive oil was added because I needed a little bit more filler and olive oil is slightly cheaper than castor and avocado oils, but it still has tons of moisture and lip protecting benefits.

mica-for-shimmery-li-balm-homemakerchic.com

The Mica Shimmer powder is a mineral powder that is used in eye shadows and other make up to make them shimmer. The version I’m using is natural and perfectly safe to use on the lips. Make sure the Mica you get is lip safe, as some are and some aren’t.

Here is the exact product I used.

Instructions:

This recipe fills 12 lip balm tubes plus a little leftover. About 3 ounces.

SKS-lip-balm-tubes-homemakerchic.comStart by snapping your tubes into the tray. I really love this lip balm filling tray from SKS-bottle because it makes filling the little tubes SO easy. I seriously can’t imagine how I would have done this without the tray. I’m sure I would have been knocking them over and spilling hot lip balm everywhere. I’m sure you could DIY this by cutting holes in a cereal box, or by sticking the tubes into styrofoam to keep them still, but the thing I like about this tray is that the tubes fit perfectly and snap in firmly, so they don’t fall over. Plus once the balm cools you can smooth the tops with a putty knife and you get a really professional flat top to the balm. Its really worth it if you plan to make a lot of balms.
melt-beeswax-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comPrepare your double boiler. I just used a small saucepan with a pyrex measuring cup. I filled the pot with water and placed metal cookie cutter in the bottom, then just set the cup on top. The cookie cutter kept the glass from directly touching the heat. You could also use a couple rings from a mason jar. Get the water simmering and pour in 1 ounce of beeswax. Use a metal spoon or knife to gently stir the wax. I like using a flexible metal spatula because it really makes it easy to scrape down the sides of the cup later on.


Once the wax is melted, add your butters. I only had one little ounce measuring cup so instead of washing it out and losing all that wonderful butter in between, I just scooped out the little bit that was in the cup and rubbed it on my skin. Its wonderfully moisturizing, and expensive too, so don’t waste!

melt-mango-butter-for-lip-balm-homemakerchic.com

Once the butters are melted add your oils and the sweetener.

A WORD ABOUT SWEETENER: So a lot of people use stevia to sweeten their balms. I personally don’t like the taste so I tried Nutresse, which is a sugar from the monk fruit. You could probably just use regular sugar, but there might be something to be said for the fine powder of stevia. Here’s the thing with sweetening lip balm. SUGAR WILL NOT COMPLETELY DISSOLVE IN OIL. BUT, it will partially dissolve, and you just need a little. I stirred and stirred, and the oil was really hot, but on a molecular level, oil just doesn’t have the ability to completely break down the sugars (even in liquid form like honey or liquid stevia. Liquid sweetener will separate in your finished balm.). So you will probably end up with sugar crystals in the bottom of your cup. This is okay. As you pour the finished lip balm into the tubes, the sugar will stay at the bottom. You won’t end up with undissolved sugar crystals in your balm if you pour carefully. So just dissolve it as much as you can and don’t worry about it.

melt-lip-balm-for-pouring-homemakerchic.comNow you can add your coloring if you want. I added sugar blush mica powder which added a hint of color and shimmer. A little Mica goes a LONG way, so use it sparingly. You can always add more, but you can’t take away. I also added a sliver of Revlon colored lip balm in a nice coral color. This really doesn’t add much color to your lips but it makes the balm a little more presentable and pretty in my opinion. Just slice a bit of lipstick off, and melt it into the balm. You could totally leave this part out. I know there are some other natural ways to tint lip balm out there, I just haven’t tried them yet.

Use the back of your spoon or spatula to collect a test sample. Allow it to cool. (I stuck the spatula in the freezer for a few seconds to speed up the process.) Use your finger to rub a bit on your lips to see how it feels and tastes. If its too hard, too soft, or not sweet enough you can still alter the recipe. You may find that you want a stronger grapefruit flavor, so just add a few more drops of the essential oil (although be careful not to add too much because essential oils tends to be pretty intense and can dry out lips if you add too much. just add a few drops at a time to be safe. I wouldn’t add more than 30 drops to this recipe.) If its too hard, add more coconut oil. If its too soft, add more beeswax. I have tested this recipe and found it to be the perfect consistency and flavor, but you can always change it if you’re looking for something different.

pour-melted-lip-balm-into-tubes-homemakerchic.com

NOW- the pouring part is a bit tricky.

Pour quickly and carefully into each tube, filling all the way to the top. Its okay if it slightly overflows onto the tray.

lip-balm-will-harden-while-pouring-homemakerchic.com

The balm will cool and harden very quickly, so quickly in fact, that as you’re pouring, you will notice it hardening in the glass. You will have to pour as much as you can, as quickly as you can.

remelt-lip-balm-homemakerchic.com

Once it cools too much to pour, scrape the cup and return it to the water bath to remelt it. I had to do this twice while filling 12 tubes. After you fill the tubes, the balm will settle and you will have little pits in each tube. Refill each tube to the top again. Allow them to cool for a good 5 minutes.

lip-balm-settling-homemakerchic.com

use-putty-knife-to-smooth-lip-balm-homemakerchic.comFinally, scrape the putty knife firmly across the top and smooth out the surface of your balms.

Once you have smoothed the tops, let them sit for an hour or two to completely firm up before using.

make-your-own-lip-balm-homemakerchic.com

If you follow the recipe correctly, you’ll have a bit leftover. I remelted it and added an equal part of coconut oil to the lip balm mix, then I poured it into a little pot I had. It turns out to be a wonderful skin balm or belly butter for stretch marks! I absolutely love rubbing it on my hands. Just one example of how all these ingredients can create another awesome skin product. And its all natural!

I’ll be working on some cute custom labels in the coming days so I’ll hopefully be sharing a printable with you soon.

I hope this helps! This project was so much fun and the results are wonderful. I know you’ll love this recipe. Happy Lip Balm making!

Repurposing Grapefruits

grapefruit-homemakerchic.com

A couple weeks ago my mom gave me a huge bag of grapefruits. Living in Florida this sort of thing happens often. People have tons of citrus growing in their yards this time of year so bags of grapefruits and oranges are doled out like free candy! I ate as many as I could but eventually I got grapefruited out and the 4 or 5 that were left started to get very overripe. Instead of throwing them out, I thought they would make a delicious juice! Especially since they were so sweet.

Since I don’t have a juicer, I just put a sieve over a bowl and started squeezing away. I ended up with a pint of juice! Hey not too shabby, because its not cheap in the store. If the juice is too tart, add a little stevia to sweeten it up. Since the fruit was so ripe it was nice and sweet! I had this lovely mason jar on hand from SKS Bottle, and it was perfect for my country style juice. juicing-grapefruit-homemakerchic.com

The rinds also serve another great purpose. Toss a few down your garbage disposal and grind away. The citrus cleans the shoot and leaves your kitchen smelling like spring! So don’t throw away that overripe citrus! freshen-garbage-disposal-homemakerchic.com

Happy spring everyone!

Grilled Plantains with Brown Sugar and Butter

Living in Florida we get to taste amazing Spanish and Cuban cuisines. One of my favourite Latin treats is fried plantains. The plantain is sort of like a more dense banana. They happened to be on sale at the super market so I picked up a few. Now I wanted to do a healthier version of this dessert than fried, so when Adam suggested grilling out for dinner, I knew this would be a great way to cook the plantains!

over ripe plantains-homemakerchic.com

Now plantains are not as sweet as bananas, so for this recipe you’ll need to let them over ripen for at least a week. I let mine ripen for 10 days. You want them to be black and yellow, or completely black if you really want some amazing sweetness. The cool thing about the plantain is that it doesn’t get mushy, even when it is super ripe, so you can still get nice slices even after 2 weeks of ripening.

All you need is 1 plantain per person, some butter and some brown sugar. You’ll want about 2 parts butter to one part brown sugar. For 2 plantains I used about 5T of butter and 2 T of brown sugar.

photo 2

 

Slice the plantains on a strong bias so you get nice long pieces.

In a small bowl mix the butter and brown sugar until you get a nice creamy mixture. Spoon about a teaspoon of the butter mix on both sides of each slice.

 

 

grilling plantains-homemakerchic.comPlace them gently on a medium heat grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Use a metal spatula, not tongs, to turn them. Tongs will smash the soft flesh.

 

 

 

The sweetness of the plantains caramelizes with the sugar and the butter. These would be great served with vanilla ice cream or just by themselves! We scarfed them down and wanted more. They are sooo delcious. Try them, I know you’ll love them, and so will your kids!plaintains-grilled-homemakerchic.com

Sunset at Pier 60

Its not everyday I get down to the beach, but when I do I’m always amazed at how beautiful God’s creation truly is, and how blessed I am to live just a short 20 minute drive away.

When its a balmy 78˚ and the sun is begging to give me just a tiny kiss, I simply can not resist. I hopped in my truck and headed across the bridge to Clearwater Beach. Palm Pavillion was calling my name, and so was the second best Bloody Mary in this city. (Some day I’ll write about number 1). Kindle came along too and the two of us enjoy a few chapters and some tasty chicken nachos.

These nachos ruled the school because instead of a pile where the bottom chips are plain and soggy, and the top chips get all the goodies- these chips were all toasted individually and each had a the perfect portion of cheese, chicken, and jalapénos. They also put the salsa and pico on the side which made me very happy.

After lunch I took a walk down the beach toward the pier. The sun was looking mighty fine and I took the opportunity to take a few pictures and catch up on my people watching. There were kids playing, a girl doing yoga and a couple gratuitously making out and rolling around in the sand. The sun didn’t pay any mind… he just kept doing his thing.

Every time I see this sight I think the same thing… I LIVE HERE!

There is something so very spiritual about the sunset.When I feel the warmth, and gaze into the beaming light, I feel so close to God, and I consider how very much like Him I would like to be. He is the ultimate artist. He didn’t have to make the water move like it does, and make the light sparkle and dance like it does, but He did. He is what creativity is all about. I imagine how fun it must have been to start this whole thing called the Earth from scratch. Like an empty canvas wondering what it is about to become. We are His masterpiece. Wow!

I remember swimming in this very water as a girl, and never daring to go under the pier lest I get swallowed up by the giant octopus that lived there.

I’m still uncovering lies my brother told me. Oh the tales spoken by his lips that I always believed and still do.

When the weather is nice, the City of Clearwater puts on a little fair at sunset on Pier 60.

There are lots of merchants selling their wares, and musicians playing for pennies. They’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I remember how much I loved seeing all the little do-dads people would make, and imagining that some day I would make things and sell them. Maybe I’m not so far off from what I thought I’d become.

I love this old Pier.

I love its 1960’s charm, and weathered feel. This Pier has seen many storms and hurricanes yet it still stands. When everyone flees and take shelter, Pier 60 remains.

Something tells me this wooden railing is so much more beautiful today than the day it was built.

It has earned its patina from the conditioning that happens only from the oils of a million hands. It is smoothed by the squalls washing over it thousands of times. Hardened by the sun baking day after day. Warmed and seasoned.

I got lucky and caught this seagull taking off.

Finally Adam came to join me for an ice cream cone…

and a kiss…

the perfect ending to the perfect day.