...because home doesn't happen overnight.

fall wreath 2

I don’t do a ton of holiday decorations. I can’t justify spending time and money on something{s} that will only be displayed for thirty days and I don’t like how gussied up some decorations make my home look. {My kids think I’m boring.} I lean towards seasonal décor that is nature-inspired. It’s usually cheaper, can be displayed longer and better complements the rest of our home’s décor unlike, say, a giant inflatable yard jack-o’-lantern with a ghost rising up out of it. {My kids think those are the bomb.}

fall wreath 3

Wayfair sent me a plain vine wreath and asked me to autumn-fy it. There were no guidelines for the challenge but I made it a goal to spend absolutely NO MONEY on the DIY. Turning to nature, I clipped three hydrangea blooms from my yard leaving a 2″ – 3″ stem on the heads. I let the blooms dry out in an empty vase then tucked the stems snugly into the vine wreath. I also clipped a few leafy branches from a shrub in my yard to flank the hydrangea arrangement. I attached them to the wreath in the same way. I just slipped one end of each branch into the vine wreath until it was secure. I borrowed a simple ivory ribbon from my Christmas decorations to hang the wreath from a mirror {yes, it looks like a bald man’s silhouette} in our laundry nook. The ribbon is taped to the back of the mirror with heavy duty duck tape. Fancy.

fall wreath 4

I love the way it turned out. Especially since it took about five minutes to put together and hang. I like the organic feel and the reddened blooms of the hydrangea are the exact hues that come to mind when I think of fall. Sort of a deep purple-ish maroon. The best part about this DIY – aside from the no glue, no wires, no mess, no trips to the craft store, no money spent – is that the arrangement is totally removable. When I tire of it, I can replace the bloom + branches arrangement with something more wintry or festive.

I encourage you to skip the Halloween and Thanksgiving decoration aisles and turn to the outdoors for seasonal décor instead. Nature knows best!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

06.10.13 / Five Things

What day is it?

Last week was my kids’ first full week of summer break which happened to coincide with one of HH’s business trips. I decided it would also be a good time to sort through the mess that was our attic. After herding the kids and staying up well past 1:00 a.m. every night for the past week to wrestle the attic into submission, my brain is mush. But the attic is looking fantastic! As far as attics go.

Thank goodness the nearest IKEA is only 25 minutes away. I took advantage of IKEA’s kids-eat-free-horse-meat-Tuesdays amidst the chaos and a few things {that cost less than $20!} caught my eye while we were there.

caught my eye

SNIKA boxes // Seriously considering these for storage in my boys’ bedroom.

TOLSBY frame // You guys, these are only 99¢! They are made of plastic {i.e. super kid-friendly} but look ceramic and I think they would look way more grown up with a coat or two of gold spray paint.

KVISSLE steel & cork box // Visible, tangled cords drive me bonkers. This sleek box hides all that. Great for a desk or charging station.

FARKOST wall lamp // I’m loving the new swing arm lamps flanking our bed but they were a splurge. For an inexpensive version, you could spray paint these bad boys gold. I love that they are adjustable so you can direct light where you need it.

SKÄRBLAD pillow cover // It’s a 20″x 20″ pillow cover and it’s $5. Why wouldn’t I love it?! I tried really hard to think up a place in my house for one or two of these pillows but, sadly, could not.

While we were at IKEA, I did grab a few things for mine and HH’s bedroom and the boys’ bedroom. Can’t wait to show you!

Here‘s your Mod MomME winner!

images: IKEA

02.04.13 / DIY Photo Postcards

My sister, Rihana, is getting married this year. We haven’t been to a wedding in a looooooooong time. I’m so excited to  have something outside of the house to look forward to! As a result, House*Tweaking might get a dose of wedding this year. Consider that a warning. I’m matron of honor {doesn’t that sound so matronly?}. Layne and Everett are ring bearers. Mabrey is a flower girl. And HH just gets to sit there and look pretty. What he does best.

My first job as matron of honor was to send out invites for the upcoming engagement party. Well, it was mine and my other sister, Alina’s, job. She’s maid of honor. I know. That just got confusing. I come from a big family. And we like unusual girl names, m’kay? Anyhow, Rihana was adamant about not labeling the party a “shower” or “celebration.” My extended family is extremely laid back and casual and we like to keep our parties the same. {Beer helps.}

Alina and I thought it would be best to DIY the invites to keep it casual. Plus, DIY’d invites have the added benefit of being a little more personal than store bought ones. A few months ago, I took engagement photos {also totally casual} of Rihana and her fiancé. I asked if she would mind if I used one of the shots for the invite. She was game.


I had 24 photos printed at my local Moto Photo in the 4″x6″ size in sepia tone in a matte finish with a white border. They were ~40¢ each. {I’m a Moto Photo member…so that might be a discounted price.} FYI – I opted for a matte finish because I think it looks more professional and I thought it would hold up better in the mail.


Then I bought 24 of these postcard stickers off the shelf – also at Moto Photo. They were 25¢ each. {I’ve seen them on Amazon for about twice that.} Last Friday night, Alina came over and we set up an assembly line to turn the photos into postcards.


Alina peeled the postcard sticker off the release paper.


I carefully lined up one photo edge with the sticker edge…


…then smoothed it out. FYI: Once the postcard sticker is stuck, it canNOT be removed. So, it’s really important to line things up properly before you smooth it all out. There’s no turning back!


Instant postcard! The sticker is quite stiff so it feels like an actual postcard too.


Alina and I are both lefties but somehow she managed to get all the good handwriting skillz. She wrote out the invite info and I addressed them. I bought fine {as in thin fine, not as in Ryan Gosling fine, although, now that I think about it, that would have been way more fun} Sharpie pens just for this step to avoid indenting the photo side of the invitations. Worked like a charm.


“He liked it so he put a ring on it” came from pinterest. I believe there were dancing Beyonces on the inspiration invitation.


Alina and I were really pleased with how they turned out. Rihana received her invite today and I got a text right away. “Got our invite in the mail today. So cute!!” Two exclamation points. I think that’s a good sign.


You could easily do this for just about any casual occasion or event: baby shower {hello, sonogram pictures!}, birthday party, Valentine’s Day {just around the corner!}, graduation open house, birth announcement, we’ve moved, Christmas postcards, etc. Really, anything. The best part is you save money by: 1) forgoing envelopes and 2) buying less expensive postcard stamps. With postage and all, I think we spent less than $1/invite which is pretty awesome considering invitees get an actual photo as a keepsake.

And now I would like to point out that I have exposed the image of Rihana & Jack kissing more than half a dozen times in one post for all to see. Jack, you are loving this, aren’t you?


One more. For good measure.


And one more because you’re a Ravens fan.


And one more because I’m a Steelers fan.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking