Office Decor Update

WHEW!  This weekend was incredibly productive in the Vidal house.  In fact, it was so productive that a DIY project was actually completed.  That's right folks -- toss the confetti this way because a project has gone from being 'pinned' to made in REAL LIFE.  

A paper chain hanging piece....

View the original pin here.  They did an 'ombre' paper chain, and while I was going to originally do that as well... do you know how expensive card stock is?!  The worst part (in regards to this project) is that you can only buy the paper in these LARGE packs.  So one pack of a pink color card stock will be $13 but that's only ONE shade.  If I bought 4 different colors -- that's at least $52 for just paper.  No thanks.

Instead, I found a four-color pack that had gray, tan, mint, and coral -- $13 (and how lucky to have found that beautiful color pack?! I mean, mint and coral?! Holla atcha girl).  Jose had the great idea to make the colors go into a wave vertically instead of horizontally like the original pin...

We partially joked that it was a modern, pastel version of the Mexican flag -- hahaha :)  I love it!!

Halfway through our project I ran out of double sided tape.  We made a quick run to Walgreens where I saw Lady Gaga on the Vogue cover.  I started thumbing through it in line and towards the end they had these heavy pages with these absolutely beautiful collections from Neiman Marcus.  I impulsively had an idea and tossed the magazine with my double-sided tape to scan while Jose raised his brow at me.

My idea: frame the images!!  So after buying some 8x11.5 frames at IKEA, I have framed these magazine images and will have to find a spot for them in my office....

Cheap, easy, and oh so pretty!  Sometimes those are the best projects, right? :)

A Sweet Gold and Pink Package Tutorial

I'm sending out something special and before I explain exactly what it is and what's inside... I wanted to teach you how I made the packaging. First can I say -- did you know there was lace packaging tape?!  Talk about impulsive buy.  When I came across this tape from designer Karl Zahn, I did not hesitate to purchase.  So here's what ya need...

Gold ribbon: IKEA
Kraft box: re-used (but can be found at Michael's or other craft stores)
Rose: came from ribbon at local boutique
Lace tape: Karl Zahn online store
Craft glue (I used Scotch Quick-dry adhesive)

I would recommend that you lay the strands across your box before you start gluing to make sure you have enough (or decide on your pattern).  But who are we kidding?  I definitely didn't do that.  Like I've said before, I'm not a ruler kind of girl (though I married a man who is! ;)

And look at how simple strands of gold ribbon transformed this kraft box!

Then if you're really feeling like making this baby special, add some pattern to the sides with tape!  Just search Etsy for "decorative tape" OR take a look at the mind-blowing options at TapeSwell online store.


Now you have yourself a pretty little package ;)

Personally, I wouldn't judge you if you stuffed it with cookies and gifted it to yourself.  Or skip the packaging altogether and have an intimate moment with the cookie monster.  It's all good ;) Just have yourself a sweet Valentine's day!

p.s. Jose asked me out on our first date exactly 5 years ago today.  I brought him a little box stuffed with Valentines Family Guy pencils (yes, they make those) and candy.  What can I say... I know how to sweep them off their feet ;)

DIY Anthropologie Mason Jar Snowglobe

I'm in Texas! At least that's what I figured when I saw all the boots and cowboy hats coming off the plane. Yes, the stereotype is true my friends. Or maybe the airport is just that nostalgic. Anyway, we're going Christmas shopping today so I'm going to make this one short and sweet :) Inspired by the snow globes at Anthropologie and refusing to pay $30 for each, I came up with this tutorial.


I bought all of these little Christmas figurines (penguins, snowmen, trees), the Martha Stewart craft glue, glitter, and snow at Michael's (craft store). The figurines are only a couple of bucks for a bag of 5 in the Christmas craft section where they sell ornament crafts! You can find mason jars at thrift stores, but since I was making 9 (and they need a lid) -- I found a box of 12 at the grocery store.

Step 1 // Hot glue your wooden block to your mason jar lid. Then hot glue your Christmas figurines on top of that block.

This is basically serving as a base (and adding height) to your Christmas figurines. We happened to have 1x2 wood from Home Depot that Jose cut into little blocks. If you don't have (or want to buy) this, you can just use crumpled paper.

So glue your scene to this wooden block (or glue it to the crumbled paper that is securely glued to your jar lid).

Step 2 // Tear strips of notebook paper (or even better, white printer paper)

Step 3 // Hot glue the little strips around your wooden block to hide it

It'll look like this..

Step 4 // Cover your paper with a light coat of glue. Then add your frosty snow! It won't always stick perfectly, but that's okay! Tip: toothpicks are a great help when/if your fingers are covered with glue.

I also found these gold toned pine cones at Michaels. They're great for a more refined look. Just depends on how playful you want your snow globe to look :)

Step 5 // Drip your craft glue on to the bottom of your mason jar. Take a brush and make sure the entire bottom is coated along with some of the edges. Fortunately my hand was able to fit inside the mason jar so I used the same glue brush.

Step 6 //
Sprinkle your glitter and swivel your jar to make sure the entire bottom is coated.

Let it sit this way for a few hours along with your bottom lid. I made the mistake (due to an overdose of Christmas spirit) of immediately closing my jar. The next day when I opened it, the glue was insanely STRONG smelling. It's because I didn't let it air dry.

Plus, it helps to let the glue in your jar dry with the glitter instead of dumping out the excess immediately.

After a couple of hours (or the next day), flip it over, dust out the excess glitter, and screw on your lid!

I know, I didn't talk about the hanging pine cone. But it's ridiculous to get that thing on there and not really necessary :) I glued some fishing wire around the pine cones and squirted some hot glue at the base then literally STUCK MY HAND inside the jar to press the wire against the glue. I yelled many times in the process, burning myself 3 times at least. I made 9 of these for my party and I think I only put the hanging pine cones on 4 of them.

There's no need to be ridiculous. With or without the hanging pine cones, they'll add a kiss of whimsy to your Christmas either way ;)

Happy Holiday Monday! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial :)

The Hair Story - Part II

So where were we?

Oh yes. Extensions. Again, it can have a bad connotation, but why should it? It's all in HOW you use it. I heard something along the lines of : On your wedding you should look like a BETTER version of your everyday self, but not UNLIKE yourself. The idea is that you don't suddenly transform yourself that it's almost unrecognizable, but that you also don't treat it like any other day of the week.

My bestfriend, ironically, ALSO went for a Spanish look on her wedding (4 years ago!), and she wore a simple, low bun. Actually, my Godmother styled her hair :) Well, she DOES have thick hair, but it wasn't long enough to make the bun look FULL. You know, those luscious hair buns? So my Godmother added some extensions to increase the volume of the bun and viola! The perfect touch.

So! Back to me screwing up. I managed to make a hair appointment in Houston, and I wanted to have the extensions for the hair trial. She told me to wash my hair the day before our trial so it wouldn't be so silky clean the day of. I stayed up that night till almost 1 a.m. sewing those extensions! I had to wake up early and I just LOOKED so tired. I threw on a dress, and looking still half-asleep I left for the appointment that was 45 minutes away. By the way, I was staying at my cousin's house in Houston once I left Atlanta for Texas the month of my wedding.

My hair decides to feel extra greasy today, even though I had washed it the day before. I think because I kept running my hands through it when I was stressing over the extensions that the oils in my hand made it more.. matte-y. Meaning, it didn't feel flowy and just.. drabby. Am I making up words?! Blogger keeps underlining them in red! Anyway, I was NOT feeling my hair and KNEW this was going to affect the styling.

I show the stylist the photos, describe the looks, but also emphasize that I am VERY open to ideas. I want her to be inspired and use her skills to do what she does best. The first thing she does is start curling my hair. I notice that she doesn't even change my hair part. I start to shift in my chair when I see the curls slide out of the curler and they look so tight. Ugh. When she gets to the last layer, I speak up. She informs me that the curls will start to become loose as time passes because they lose shape, so it's better that they're slightly tighter. Slightly? Um.. okay. Also, the curls aren't that bouncy because my hair is heavier from the natural hair oils + product. So much for the romantic curls :(

Once the curling is done, she begins the styling. I interrupt and ask about the extensions. And guess what? Guess w-h-a-t. Dummy here picked extensions that were the actual LENGTH of my hair! Meaning, I wouldn't have layers .. I would just have a LOT of hair at the same length. I needed to get them a few inches longer so that some curls could be longer than others. Y'all, I REALLY thought I had picked some long extensions (12 inches!!). But I didn't realize how long my hair had gotten and how SHORT it becomes when you curl it. Clearly 12 inches isn't long enough. Who would have known. So make note of that ladies. Hold the hair to your ear and see how long it drops.

Blah. She tells me that on the wedding I can just buy longer ones from them ($20 per/track) or bring them myself and that it "should work out." I don't know about y'all, but I DON'T want to see my wedding hair on my wedding day. I want to see it BEFORE because that might not be my wedding hair if it doesn't turn out well!

Finally, she starts pinning things so my hair can cascade down my shoulder, except -- the curls are so tight, it's not really "cascading." It's just sitting there. POP. That's the sound I heard in my head when my bubble busted. Plus, my part is STILL on the same spot when I came in, and she didn't do anything special when she pulled it back.

Biggest mistake brides make: Do NOT go home and complain about your hair style if you have not said a WORD to your stylist. Your stylist needs to know if she can make any changes because she can't read your mind. She could probably read my body language...

And my body language was saying "Weeelll.. I was picturing something a little different." I explain to her what I was hoping for, and she re-does the side section. It came out pretty. Very pretty. I would be alright wearing this to a bridal shower. But NOT my wedding. I asked her to take a photo and I'm sorry it came out blurry!

The front

You see my arrow? I'm pointing to the curl that looks like it's been brushed. Notice how at the VERY top of my head, it's like my hair appears to be slicked down. (BTW - I made this one B/W so that the blur wouldn't look as strong).

The side

The curls were just... all wrong...

The other side

Now this is the part I asked her to make it more 'intricate.' I REALLY did like it, but because I didn't like the hair as a whole -- it didn't work for me.

At this point, I had already asked to make changes, and even after the changes I wasn't satisfied, so my answer was clear = Not my stylist. If that's how she curls hair, it's not like I can say "Can you change the way you curl hair...?"

What I learned from this session:
  • My hair needs to be washed relatively close to the trial because hair products weigh my hair DOWN. It gets oily easily. This is not the case for everyone, so this is why brides -- you MUST have a hair trial if that is important to you!!!
  • The tight curls REALLY shortened my hair length = buy longer extensions
  • It is better to walk away from a trial you didn't like then cross your fingers it will work on your wedding day
  • I MUST, must, MUST blow dry my hair with as much volume as possible before the trial.
Stick around for the FINAL part that includes photos of the SECOND trial with a friend and how we eventually got .... this

*photo by Raya Carlisle

DIY Fruit Basket

I shouldn't necessarily call this "DIY" because you don't actually do anything. But since it's not meant to hold fruit per say, I figured throwing DIY in there isn't completely false ;)

Anyway, I want to share with y'all Jose's little Martha Stewart moment.

This here..

... turned out to be one of my favorite pieces in our kitchen. While shopping in Pier 1, Jose pointed out these wooden boxes with fruits and vegetables painted on them. Of course, being the platano addict that I am, my eyes lit up at the plantain box. If I had painting skills, I would be inspired by this to paint more wooden boxes -- but that, my friends, I am not.

He suggested making it a fruit basket and I knew God made this man for me!! Haha, jk. Anyway, all you do is add a beautiful decor napkin (mine is from Anthropologie because it's about the only thing we can afford there!), and voila!

You've got yourself a colorful, Spanish, vintage fruit holder. So clearly my wedding theme is more of a "Alejandra's Life" theme. I can't help it... my love of Spanish design + vintage runs deep! (and NO those plantains were not planned for the shoot! I promise. I really am an addict ;)

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