Tag Archives: decor

DIY TACO FIESTA…on a budget (including recipes!)


One of my husbands most favorite things on this earth are tacos…specifically my barbacoa tacos. So when his birthday came around it was an easy decision to make tacos for his birthday lunch. The kids and I planned to meet him for lunch at his work with the tacos in tow. He was excited! What he didn’t know was that I had also set up a surprise lunch with some of his friends and co-workers. Surprise!


I made a few decorations throughout the week…hiding them on the porch. It’s been over 100 degrees here so I knew he was not going to be going out on the porch lol. I made some avocado piñatas, a faux chalkboard sign, picked up a few fiesta looking linens from goodwill, and used some old Voss glass water bottles to hold some fresh sunflowers I picked up.

I needed to be able to set up the whole table in a matter of minutes to avoid being caught (which I almost was!). I laid down a white curtain as the table cloth, laid a fiesta looking blanket (goodwill for $4) and hand painted pillow cover in bright fiesta colors (goodwill for $2) over the curtain to give a pop of color, hanged a party sign (“hooray” sign from target for $5) on the front of the table, and then added the table top decor of the faux chalkboard, flowers, and avocado piñatas. Easy. Easy. Easy.

HERE’S A TIP: Cloth linens easily dress up your decor over the cheap, plastic ones but they can cost so much! So look around your house and secondhand and thrift stores. What can you repurpose as a linen from what you already have or for only a few dollars? I’ve used everything from a curtain to a sheet to a blanket to cheap fabric and it makes such a big difference!

The avocados were an easy DIY using two bowls, paper mâché, and streamers and tissue paper. There are plenty of DIY tutorials out there so I won’t waste your time. Rather,  here  is my favorite link. A couple notable differences: Instead of balloons I used two bowls covered by Saran Wrap (since I already had Thor on hand = free), and instead of a brown seed I used gold foil to make the seed similar to the avocado piñata sold by Urban Outfitters here.


The faux chalkboard was a last minute attempt to DIY something that resembled a chalkboard for cheap. My chalkboards are being borrowed right now so I wanted to make due with something I could make fast and cheap. I grabbed black foam board and pom poms from the dollar tree, glue, a gold pen I had on hand, and stencils and got to business. I have to say I was pleased. For $2 I had a pretty good centerpiece that matched so well and made the area so much more fun!


The sunflowers were a bulk purchase from Costco. $10 for 12. They add so much color and height to the table.

HERE’S A TIP: Instantly add a sophisticated touch by using fresh flowers and/or greenery. It doesn’t have to be expensive though. What bushes and trees can you use in your or a friend’s backyard? What plants are on clearance in your local nursery? What bulk flowers are available at a discount cost? I’ve used all of those for different events and loved the results of every one of them.


I wanted some tall, thin vases to keep the height of the flowers and also to be able to hold the heavy stems up. After looking around at what I had, I came across some old glass water bottles I had stored for such a time as this! Perfect and free! I turned them around so the writing faced the back and you’d never know they were old water bottles.


Lastly was the food. I wanted a catered feel to the table so I chose some foil food containers from the dollar tree. We had meat, corn tortillas, rice, beans, chips, taco toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, and donuts for dessert. Delicious and about $50 to make it for a group of 20 people ($2.50 a person!).


So, I am not a cooking blog but I thought I would quickly share the easy recipes for the food to make this a one-stop shop blog for your future fiesta. It isn’t perfect (I usually eyeball it when I make it) but hopefully it helps! 

Barbacoa: a chuck roast or London broil, box of beef stock, can of chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce, 3 garlic cloves, 1 white onion sliced, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp cumin, salt, pepper. Combine all ingredients except the meat in a slow cooker, add meat, if meat isn’t covered by the sauce then add water until covered, and cook in a slow cooker for 10-12 hours on low or until cooked thoroughly and falling apart. If possible, cook on high for the first 3-4 hrs for the most tender results IMO.

Beans: 4 cans of black beans, drained, rinsed, and warmed in a pan with some of the cooked barbacoa juice and salt.

Rice: basmati rice, box of chicken stock, can of tomato paste, and can of stewed tomatoes. Bring stock to a boil, add in tomato products and a cup of the cooked barbacoa juice, salt, and lastly add the rice. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer 20 mins or whatever time your rice directions say. 

Chop up the toppings. I had pre-made salsa, chips, and corn tortillas for convenience but made my own quick version of guac. For the quick guac, mash 3 avocados and add a few spoonfuls of some pre-made salsa, dash of salt, and Tbsp of mayo (weird but trust me…soooooo creamy!). Mix thoroughly.

That’s it. You’re done! Easy right? What do you think? Any ideas you have for a great fiesta party? Let me know in the comments below. 


And, as always, feel free to subscribe if you haven’t already to get all my latest blog posts. Also, like this post if you want to see more budget friendly party ideas in the future. Until next time…

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DIY Woodsy Themed Baby Shower: Navy, pink, and gold

1609951_10153307341651672_161327033171356564_nThis past weekend I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for a sweet friend. Thankfully I also had the help of three other amazing hostesses to pull this shower off. The shower was so much fun and the guest of honor just loved how it all turned out.

I wanted to share the decorations from the shower with you in the hopes that they can help inspire you for your future party and/or decor needs. So, a little back story. For the decor portion of the shower I was given the theme of woodland animals and a color scheme of pink, gray, navy, teal, and gold. I decided to really hit on the woodsy feel and use primarily pink, navy, and gold with just a few teal accents. Gray seemed to be a bit too much in the color schematic with everything else so I dropped it.  One of the hostesses so graciously allowed me to use the wood cut outs her husband had sliced up just a week before for another event (an easy DIY if you have wood and a chain saw) and some silver deer she had around her house and with that, the mood was set.

Oh, and you may have noticed in the past few blogs I have been redoing my mantle with DIY floral arrangements and gold accents for spring. But in addition to spring I was also redoing my mantle to match the decor of this baby shower. If you missed those posts check them out here and here. I also made some more of the DIY bird’s nests I showed you in this previous post for the shower as well.

So, without further ado, here is the woodsy themed shower in navy, pink, and gold.

First is the entry way filled with special pictures of mommy, daddy, and baby hung on a DIY magnet board made from spray painting a pizza pan from the Dollar Tree gold and modge podging scrap book paper into the middle. The table holds one of my DIY floral arrangements, a dollar tree frame spray painted white, a frame holder from Michael’s holding an ultra sound picture, and accented with a pine cone spray painted gold.

11223308_10153308301146672_7691437643708614853_nSecondly is the sign in area. Since our sweet friend will be moving away right after baby is born, she may not be in town when she writes her thank yous. With that in mind we used thank you card envelopes and a sweet prayer journal in place of a sign in book. Guests wrote their name and address on an envelope and then left a sweet prayer for the new mom and dad to be and for their little girl. The banners were an easy DIY that I discuss in the next section. The mirror is just four mirrors I glued together from the dollar Tree, more gold pine cones, and the birds nest and floral arrangement are from past DIYs I already shared with you all.

11110450_10153308301536672_1677661230269535825_nThirdly is the gift area. The banners are an easy DIY made from scrap booking paper on sale at Michael’s for $0.20 a page cut into small triangles and hot glued onto Jute. Easy, simple, and affordable. I scored some foam letters in a wood print from Target for $1 a bag to add sweet messages to the banners. What was even better than having them for the party was that the guest of honor took them home afterwards to hang above her sweet baby’s crib in her nursery. The mirror I scored at a local thrift shop for $15 and the rest of the decor is just my mantle done up for spring/summer.

11146491_10153308301621672_3307086081900762586_n We had so much fun hanging up all the sweet baby clothes on jute string with clothes pin. Such a fun way to display all the tiny, adorable clothes and I wanted to share it with you.

11243470_10153308296126672_6796614585932905416_nLast, but not least, was the food table. I loved this table so much. From the DIY cupcake stand made from wood cut outs, to the silver deer, to the bird’s nests, to the gold pine cone picture holders, to the yummy and colorful food. I loved how it turned out.

1609951_10153307341651672_161327033171356564_n11265080_10153308299446672_7626414816283824762_n1524705_10153308299626672_6978722553916027368_n10422154_10153308299531672_5066228516445577953_nWhat do you think? Let me know how your next party goes and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Floral Arrangements: Spring Peonies


So I have to share this while the spring florals are still available at Dollar Tree. These florals are amazingly beautiful for how cheap they are. Please forgive this quickly written post. I really, really, really don’t want you to miss out! I mean, look at those peonies! So, without further ado, here you go.

I originally made these arrangements for a baby shower coming up and loved them (and the price) so I used them for a missionary luncheon and then my home. Anyone can add a pop of spring to their home or event with these arrangements and bring a little cheer inside for a very affordable price (approximately $4-$8 an arrangement depending on the amount of blooms and accents you use). Who doesn’t want that?

wpid-20150330_101013.jpgTo make each one you will need:

1 Queen Rose Bouquet in white

1 bunch Peonies in pink (I ended up buying one in a peachy pink and another in a more white and pink ombre coloring but both will work and look great)

1 rose bouquet in a peachy pink

Feel free to pick up any other florals that have a full bloom and go with the color scheme. I added in a few random florals like white and pink Magnolias and fern leaves to add more variety.

I also picked up floral foam and a glass globe shaped vase and a tall, cylinder shaped vase at the dollar tree so I had some variety to work with.

To make these you need to:

1. Cut the stem of each floral to the height needed for your arrangement. You will want a shorter stem (3-4 inches) for the globe shaped vase and a longer stem (7-8 inches) for the cylinder shaped vase.

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2. Cut your foam to fit in your vase and then place your brightest, biggest bloom in the center about an inch or two higher than the top of the vase. How high you place it depends on how full you want your arrangement to be..the taller the bigger and fuller the arrangement will be. I used my peonies to start. I just love them so much!

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3. Begin to fill in around that center bloom. I go in circles around the bloom until the arrangement is to the fullness I want and then use smaller blooms to fill in any gaps. Feel free to pull and push at the blooms to get a very organic look to your arrangement.  I also added a few bird embellishments to add interest to some of the arrangements.

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4. I added in burlap strips into the globe vases and glued burlap around the outside of the cylinder vase to cover the floral foam and add texture to the arrangement.

(you can see the fern leaves I used in this first arrangement)

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(this second picture is one of the centerpieces we made using the floral arrangements for a missions luncheon)

Just as a heads up, for the arrangements in the globes, I had florals left over from each one so I was able to get a few more from the leftover florals since I wanted a lower arrangement height in those.

HERE’S A TIP: Add even more interest to your vase by spray painting it. I added a few arrangement to various Dollar Tree vases I spray painted gold for a pop of metallic color.

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What do you think? Let me know how your arrangements turn out and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips

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Add a metallic accent to any room with this quick, easy, and budget friendly DIY idea

wpid-20150330_101013.jpgOur family room has been 50 shades of brown since we moved in. All of our lounge furniture and decor just somehow ended up being brown, beige, greige, or white. All of it.

In an effort to get the room redecorated in time for spring, I decided to work on adding in some color and texture…on a budget of course. Some of the textural ideas I had I already blogged about, like my $2 DIY jute bowl or my easy burlap frame. Once I got some texture into the room I turned my eye towards pops of color.

The idea I am blogging about today came to me out of a desperate need for metallic accents. One way to add texture and color is to use metallics. But how could I do it on a budget? Reusing what I already had was one way to save money. Our family room already had a lot of glass from old candles that had long since been used up and old dollar tree glass and knick knack items that could really use an upgrade. So I had a lot of stuff I could re-purpose but I also needed to do it quickly (I have a toddler so nap time is about my average project duration these days). Spray paint was the clear answer. That seems to be my go to whenever I need a color quick and am on a tight budget. You already saw how I was able to transform some old Dollar Tree frames into Lilly Pulitzer inspired frames in this post so my love for spray paint comes as no surprise. But that being said I wanted to share what all I was able to transform with a $4 can of spray paint

You will need:

Old trinkets and glass containers (try dollar tree if you don’t already have these).

Gold spray paint (or color of your choice)

You need to:

1. Spray anything you want gold. Obvious right?

Really, this blog is to give you ideas and inspiration based off of what I was able to transform. So, here are some of my ideas on what you can paint to give your decor a little face lift.

1. Old candle jars. Spray paint them and display them empty or place an arrangement inside. No need to take the candle out unless you want to. I just placed the floral arrangement right on top of the old candle.

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2. Glass vases. Again, some of these I displayed alone and others I added flowers to. For this first one I wanted an ombre type look. To achieve that I began by spraying about 6 inches from the glass and moved further out from the glass as I sprayed in upward motions.

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3. Wood letters. This W was $1.49 at a craft store. A little paint and it takes on a whole new look.

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4. Knick knacks. I got these from yard sales or thrift stores. I always keep my eye out for fun shapes that would look great with a new coat of paint. To get the two toned leaf pictured below I simply places it upside down and sprayed only the bottom portions of it. I like the surprise gold you get along the edges of the leaf.
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I even spray painted a trash can from the Dollar Tree!

wpid-wp-1428521314383.jpgWhat do you think? Let me know how your accent pieces turn out and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. I will be sharing how to make the floral arrangements pictured in this post from Dollar Tree florals soon. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Faux Bird’s Nest…perfect for your home decor or next party theme.

wpid-wp-1424986403666.jpgI am in the process of helping create some “woodsy” decor for an upcoming baby shower. One of the projects on my “to do” list was create a bird’s nest out of some supplies supplied to me by my MIL. I managed to come up with a rather quick and easy way to create a bird’s nest on a budget and wanted to share that DIY with you today.

To get started you will need:

1. A foam wreath 7.8in wide x 1.9in.

2. Spanish Moss

3. Natural Moss or preserved moss and/or leaves

4. Hot glue gun with glue

5. Small paper plate (big enough to cover the hole in your foam wreath but not bigger than your foam wreath).

6. Decor for your nest. I used a bird, eggs, and burlap flower.

To make your wreath, you will need to:

1. Cut your foam wreath down the middle. You want it to be about 1 inch tall when laying flat. Cutting the foam was a slow process for me. The foam is very delicate and breaks easily. The key is go slow and apply as little pressure as possible.

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wpid-wp-1424986425700.jpg2. Next, you want to carefully stretch out your Spanish moss to make a moderately thick rope about the length it would take to go around your wreath. You can make one long rope or two or three shorter ropes. I made three shorter ropes like the one pictured. I found that easier to glue on that one big rope.

wpid-wp-1424986468222.jpg3. Glue your moss rope(s) directly onto the smooth side of your wreath (so the cut side  becomes the bottom of your nest). Generously drizzle glue on the top of the wreath and push and hold your moss rope onto the wreath over the glue. Don’t get stuck trying to make it perfect. As long as it sticks that’s all that matters. Once glue has dried, pull at your moss to get it to fold over the outer edges and attach around the outer edges with a dallop of glue as well. don’t worry about the inside just yet. We will get to that.

Here’s a picture of the moss glued to the top:

wpid-wp-1424986501777.jpgHere’s a picture of the moss being stretched and glued to the outer sides:

wpid-wp-1424986535495.jpg4. Now fill in those areas needing more coverage using your filler moss which can be anything from the left over spanish moss scraps to natural moss, preserved moss, and/or preserved leaves. I mixed a few of these together to get my filler moss. Just dallop some glue on the bare area on the wreath and push on a pinch of the filler moss. Using different moss in different colors adds texture and interest to your nest and really gives it a real life look. Here’s a picture of my spanish moss scraps mixed with my greener preserved moss.

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wpid-20150226_124122.jpg5. Now we finish off the inside of the nest. Glue the bottom of your paper plate to the bottom of the nest. This allows you to apply a bit more of the spanish moss, natural moss, preserved moss/leaves to the center of the wreath, fill it in, and complete that real nest look.

Here’s a picture of the plate attached to the bottom of the nest:

wpid-20150226_124103.jpgAnd here’s a picture of me filling in the center of the top of the nest after the plate had been attached to the bottom:

wpid-wp-1424987290217.jpg6. Now it is time to add your wreath decor. For mine, I attached a bird, eggs, and a little burlap flower, but your options are endless. You could put some simple robin blue eggs for a country chic look or even use foil covered eggs to hold your candy during the Easter season. Let your imagination run wild and personal preferences play into this.

wpid-20150226_123744.jpgWhat do you think? Don’t forget to share what ideas you come up with to decorate your own DIY nest. Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

And here are a few pics of how the nests were used at the recent baby shower. It’s a girl!

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DIY Gold Magnolia Leaf Centerpieces

10991117_10152828422202912_5980700450068655316_nThis post is part two continuing on from the previous blog post regarding easy, trendy, and budget friendly centerpieces. If you missed the first post check it out here. That first post discussed the first of two different centerpieces used to decorate for a Valentine’s Day banquet. The second centerpiece is the one pictured above. It is so easy and budget friendly I had to share. All this centerpiece is is a bouquet of magnolia leaves spray painted gold and displayed in a tall, slender vase.

To make this you will need the following supplies:

1. Four or five stems with 6-8 Magnolia leaves on each stem

2. Gold Spray paint

3. Vase of your choosing

To make this you will need to:

1. Spray paint your Magnolia leaves gold. This will take a few coats of paint to get all the different angles but you may find, as did I, that the gold spray paint dries incredibly quickly so it doesn’t take long.

2. Once paint is dry, make your bouquet by bunching your Magnolia stems together.

3. Secure your bunched stems together with a rubber band or twisty tie.

4. Place your secured stem base into the vase and fidget with the leaves until you have the desired shape and fullness. It really is that simple.

Also, If you want to make the vase that I used then simply buy two vases at the Dollar like this these:

20150122_103510And glue the bottoms together like so:

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imageVoila, you have a budget friendly tall and slender vase!

I added in a few vases filled with berries and floating candles as well as berry details around the table, more candles, and more gold magnolia leaves. This whole setting it centered around a gold charger used as the base. All glass was purchased at the Dollar Tree. The Magnolia centerpiece costs around $3 to make. The total table decor (centerpiece, charger, glass candle holders, and candles) costs just under $12 total. Seriously, you can get this same decor for less than $12 a table.

Another thing that I love about these centerpieces and that must be said if you plan to use these for a big event like a wedding is that you can make these Magnolia centerpieces ahead of time. I made mine two weeks before the event and it was still standing tall the night of the banquet. Such a great way to add drama and height to any table for about $3 a piece!

What do you think? And don’t forget to please share what arrangements you come up with! Check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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DIY Floral Ball Centerpiece…$5 and 30 minutes

10649857_10152828422522912_7943226731867637439_nThis centerpiece is so easy and budget friendly I had to share it with you all. I am in the process of working with some talented ladies to decorate for a Valentine’s Day comedy and dinner. This is just one of the great ideas we have come up with so be on the look out for some more blogs regarding DIY centerpieces…all on a budget of course.

This centerpiece is perfect for weddings, baby showers, birthdays. The list goes on and on. Simply change up the color or the flower for a whole new look!

For this rose centerpiece you will need the following:

1. Three bunches of the flower of your choice (I chose red roses since it is for a Valentine’s Day theme and the roses I chose were from Dollar Tree with 5 flowers on each bunch).

HERE’S A TIP: Use pink roses for a baby girl shower or white roses for a wedding aisle or reception table or even your own home or office.

2. Foam in a globe shape (I used a foam apple from the Dollar Tree since actual foam globes can be pricey)

3. Hot glue gun

4. Vase to hold your arrangement (All the different options I show are from Dollar Tree)

To make this arrangement you need to:

1. Remove the head of all your flowers from the stem.

image2. Find the exact middle of the bottom of your foam globe and poke a hole there using the stem from the bottom of one of your rose bunches like so:

image3. Apply a small amount of glue to the bottom of one of your rose heads and place said rose bottom into the hole you just made like so:

image4. This is the center of your rose globe. The rest is simple. Simply make a circle of rose heads around the rose you just inserted using the same process you used to attach the rose you just inserted like so:

imageimageimageimage5. Continue this process until your foam globe is covered to your liking. For mine, I had a center and two rows around the center before I had the fullness I was looking for. I added in a few leaves to add some green but that is totally up to you.

image6. Place your arrangement in a vase for display. Here are a couple of different ideas I had for how to display your arrangement.

This first vase is made by simply gluing the bottoms of two vases together and adding a sprig of holly berries into the bottom vase.

imageThis second vase is simply a round glass vase with water and a few holly berries added in. I love this one for a home or office use.

imageThis vase is made by gluing the bottom of the round vase used in the second example to the bottom of one of the vases used in the first example.

imageI also added in some candle holders, a gold charger, gold magnolia leaves, and more holly berries to get the total look. I plan to blog about the extras in the coming week along with another DIY and budget friendly centerpiece.

And that is it! Depending on what vase you like, this floral arrangement costs between $5 and $6 to make. You could use this to spruce up the dinner table for Valentine’s Day, decorate a party or baby shower, or even as wedding centerpieces or aisle decor. Perfect for the girl on a budget. The total looks shown here (flowers, vase, candles, candle holders, charger, and gold painted magnolia leaves) costs just under $16 total. Less than $16 a table!

What do you think? As always, please share with us what arrangements you come up with! And check back soon for more centerpiece ideas…on a budget of course. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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