DIY Concrete Planter & the Coolest Family #StreamTeam

DIY concrete vase tutorial. The kids helped! #StreamTeamHow cool is this DIY concrete planter?! I love how rustic it looks. But the best part is, my family made it for me. How great is that? I know I am biased, because two-thirds of them came out of me, but I just love the heck out of them. We make a great team and I love those little quirks that make us unique.

This post is written in conjunction with Netflix #StreamTeam. As you know, each month I share with you what my family is watching on the service and share some thoughts about what is going on with us. For this one, we are focusing on modern families and their stories. I like to think that my family is pretty modern. But when you look at how families are structured now a days (as evidenced in the new show Grace and Frankie), we are actually very traditional.

Long haired boys are cool. #StreamTeamThere are a few things I wouldn’t change about my family. This kid here is pretty awesome. He wants to keep his hair long. He says it’s his “trademark” and he is often remembered for his hair. He’s taken some heat for it from ill-mannered classmates. He’s been mistaken for a girl more times than I can count. But he’s confident in his choice and I love that he chooses to set himself apart from what all the other kids are doing. I hope this never changes about him.

This kid loves art. That monster is a decoration from his monster birthday party that he drew himself. #StreamTeamThis little guy loves stuffed animals and art. He is content to sit and draw while his brother would rather be on the computer. He loves to read and often reads to me in accents. It is the BEST! He’s creative, witty and seems much older than he is in some ways and then is a total kid in others. But the best part about my family, is that we would do anything to help each other out.

My husband has been working 60 hour work weeks. He’s commuting to Los Angeles. He’s doing everything he can to get his start-up going full speed. And yet, when Mother’s Day rolled around, he and the boys decided to create content for my blog so that I could get a break. They came up with that idea all on their own. He knew that I have been juggling the kids, the blog, PTA commitments and sickness and decided to lend a hand. They also came up with the idea for a DIY concrete planter. I was so grateful. He could have gone the easy route and just gotten me flowers (he did that too, btw). But instead, he and the boys made me a gift, made work a little bit easier for me and really just showed how much they love me. So without further ado, here is their DIY Concrete Planter. (P.S. I’m doing all the wording because I think it’s best to let my husband get back to his own work now.)

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamThe supplies you need to make this planter are two different sized large plastic water bottles, ready-to-use concrete mix, scissors, a straw, a trowel and a stir stick of some kind. You will also need water and a large tub or bucket to mix the concrete in.  The smaller bottle will nest inside the larger one to create the mold. Follow the steps to below, it is not as hard as it looks!

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamStart by cutting off the top of the plastic water bottle. Choose a plastic bottle with ridges to create a design on the outside of the planter when the concrete sets. My husband was able to use a pocket knife, but if you want the kids to help they should be able to get through it easily with scissors.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamNext, poke a hole in the bottom of the large water bottle. Be warned, this part of the plastic is thicker than the top and should probably be done by an adult. My husband used a pocket knife and then twisted the scissors to work the hole open. The hole needs to be large enough to fit a straw through. The straw creates a drainage hole for the planter.

Fun family project that kids can help with. DIY concrete vase! #StreamTeamIf you decide to make one of these with your kids, know that they will quickly lose interest and find the leftover pieces much more fun than doing any kind of manual labor.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamNext it is time to cut the top off the smaller of the water bottles. And again, poke a hole in the bottom for the straw to fit through.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamGive it a little test to see if it fits together nicely. The space between the two bottles is now your mold.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamMix the concrete per the package instructions but it is basically the concrete and water. Add the water a little at a time. You can always add more, but you don’t want it to be too runny.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamRemove the smaller bottle for the time being. Start adding the concrete to the bottom to create the base of the planter. Shovel in the concrete and give it a tap to get it to settle. You want there to be at least 1 inch of concrete for the base.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamAdd the smaller bottle back on top of the concrete.

DIY concrete vase or planter. It is something your family can make together! #StreamTeamThen fill in the concrete mix between the to plastic water bottles. Use the stick to help fill in the spaces. Try to smooth out the top as best as you can since that will be very visible on the finished planter. Holding the smaller bottle in place, tap the whole project on the ground, a few times, to remove air bubbles or empty pockets you might have missed.

The concrete takes about 24 hours to dry. When it is fully dry, use scissors to cut out the bottles. It can be a bit messy so make sure you cover your workspace or do this part outside. It took a little strength but it was not too difficult to remove the mold. Cut down the straw in the center well as short as you can.

DIY concrete vase tutorial. The kids helped! #StreamTeamI LOVE how it came out! There are a bunch of different ways you can use the planter. Here I perched an air plant in the center. Easy as pie.

Turn a DIY concrete planter in to a vase in one easy step! #StreamTeamYou can also easily make it in to a vase by inserting a small glass to hold the water. Remember you have a drainage hole and if you add the water right in to the planter, it will run right out. All over the place…Duh.

Easy DIY concrete planter made from empty water bottles. And the kids helped too! #StreamTeamBut of course, you can alway use it as a planter. I planted this little cactus in it which took only a little dirt and only a few pokes to my fingers. This now sits in our family room and when I look at it, it makes me smile. It looks cool but my family made it for me and that makes it priceless to me.

Here are some other Netflix shows about family that you might like:

For the Kids:

The Tigger Movie  :: Because sometimes your family is not blood related but are special to you just the same.

Spy Kids :: These are my kids favorites and they’ve watched all 4 about 12 times each this week. I love the message about doing anything to help your family when they need you.

For Us:

Gilmore Girls :: Why isn’t this still on the air?! This was a show my husband and I used to watch together. It’s well written, dramatic and hits all the family angst themes with a touch of humor.

Grace and Frankie :: I mentioned this one before and I’m dying to watch it! I mean, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin?!

And don’t forget that season 2 is out of Richie Rich! This is another favorite of my kids!

*Thank you for supporting the brands, like Netflix, that let me share creative content and what I’m watching on TV. I love TV and I’m guessing some of you do too.


St. Patrick’s Day Craft

Easy St. Patrick's Day Yarn Bracelet DIYThere is not a lot of green in my wardrobe. So every year I roll my eyes at St. Patrick’s Day. I’m a grown up, so people should not pinch me. But I like to try to at least play along for my kid’s sake. I followed an old tutorial of mine and made a super easy St. Patrick’s Day craft. This green yarn bracelet means that I now comply with “the rules.” It didn’t take any time at all and I already had the yarn lying around so it was super inexpensive. It really is the perfect way to get green in your outfit without putting out a lot of energy. Save that energy for adding green food coloring to random foods and drinks. This would also make a great craft to do with friends at an afternoon playdate!

See Yarn Bracelet tutorial here.


DIY Drink Markers on Melissa Creates and Links!

Easy Drink Marker DIYYou guys! One of my most very favorite people, Melissa, just had her first baby! How exciting is that?! I couldn’t be happier for her and her husband. They are going to make the best parents. Since she is on maternity leave, I’m helping her out with a contributing post. I’m sharing a tutorial for these super simple fabric drink markers.

Head over to Melissa Creates to see just how easy, but cute, this DIY is!

If you have a minute, pop over to to see my latest contributor post for a cute fabric letter sign.

And if you need more cocktail inspiration for the weekend, here are some of my favorite links.

How to make homemade bitters.

Make these gorgeous flower ice cubes for your next party.

You should totally infuse your own vodka with yummy flavors.

Hello summer! (wait, it’s not summer!) But it can taste like it is with this Aguas de Frutas cocktail bar.

How stinking GORGEOUS are these floral drink stirrers?!

And if you are looking for more recipes, follow my cocktails and beverages board on Pinterest!


Simple Unique Entertaining Tips

Use modpodge and fabric to dress up a store-bought succulent container. I think entertaining friends is a great way to share yourself with them. Through your home decor choices to what you serve, when you invite people in, you are letting them get to know you more intimately. Here are some simple, unique entertaining tips to let your personal style shine through while having a great time with friends.

I love succulents as much as the next person. But I have a black thumb plus I don’t like to be dirty. I don’t know how to replant plants in to decorative pots and every time I decide I’m going to do it, I buy a huge bag of dirt (why don’t the home improvement stores sells a half bag???) that just sits there for a year before I throw it out. What I’ve started doing instead is just adding a little pizzaz to the pots the plants are sold in. I make sure to leave the bottom free so the water can still drain out. Here, just a little bit of Mod Podge and some bright fabric make these pots a little more fun. I have these all around my house and it not only makes the house feel more lived in (plants really are miracle workers) but I can show a bit of my design style in the colors and fabric patterns that I choose.

Upcycle a tray from the top of a box of candy. Just use a little modpodge and cool wrapping paper. I don’t know about you but I am NOT made of money. I love to shop but shouldn’t. So I try to look at things that are around the house and figure out how I can use them in a new way. This “tray” was actually part of a plastic box that held candies at Christmas. I used a little Mod Podge and some cool wrapping paper to make it a custom tray. And I love leopard so this was another great way to show a little of myself. It’s not heirloom quality by any means, but it totally passes as a tray and when I think it has done its job, I can throw it out and not feel like I’ve wasted money.Easy entertaining idea: a unique candy or a special treat you brought back from a recent trip to share with your friends. I love candy. My husband and I don’t take ourselves to seriously so I love to have candy to put out when friends drop by. Candy makes people happy. And even when someone is on a diet, they will still reach for one piece of candy. Pretty much any candy will work but I like to use the opportunity to pull out some unique candy that you can’t find everywhere. These cinnamon milk dreams are pretty and delicious and were picked up on my recent trip to Portland. Not only am I sharing something new with my friends, but I’m sharing a little bit about myself and my love of traveling and finding new things.Kim Crawford sparkling wine for entertaining your friends in style. And even at the most casual of gatherings, you should serve sparkling wine. Don’t save it for a fancy occasion. Serve it on a Tuesday afternoon. Because most people don’t. You don’t have to spend a ton on a great bottle. Find one that you like and share it with your pals. A lot of people like to play it safe and serve what they think most people like or what they know they like. But I like to take that risk of serving something new. Sure, there have been flops. Which has made for some pretty fun memories.Use a drop of essential oils in your sparkling wine! This wild orange is like a refreshing mimosa.I’ve recently become obsessed with essential oils and have been wanting to try them out in all different ways. YOU GUYS! The wild orange oil in sparkling wine???? AMAZING! The lavender was thumbs up emoji too. Do things different. (Just be careful ingesting the oils and always follow directions on the bottle! The oils paired perfectly with this sparkling wine from Kim Crawford.Essential Oils in ChampagneKim Crawford is one of my favorite wine brands. If I could only drink their Sauvignon Blanc for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy lady. But this sparkling wine is definately a new favorite. It’s crisp and dry with a vibrant fizz. If you see it in the store, pick up a bottle and try it for yourself! Their motto is “Undo Ordinary” which I adore and is how I try to do things in my own life. Ordinary is fine. It’s just so much more fun to color outside the lines once in a while. For me, it’s next to impossible to not be creative. Sometimes I think my personal motto should be, “Can’t leave well enough alone.” But that makes me, me. And my guests know this. And embrace it. (I think.) How do you entertain differently and let your personal style come through?

*Kim Crawford sent me a bottle of their Fizz Methode Traditionnelle to try.

DIY Leather Stir Stick

Leather and wire drink stirrers.I’m on the fence about a cute drink stirrer. In some cases they are totally useless. Does your drink really need a quick stir? Not usually. But they do look cute. And this DIY leather stir stick was super simple. So today, I’m in to them.  All images by Tammy Mendoza.

Easy leather and wire drink stirrers. Things you need: Wooden Skewers, super strong scissors, leather scraps, wire and a glue gun (not pictured because why would you take a glue gun to the desert?)

Things you don’t need: Herpes, Ugg boots in California (yes I have them but I feel just terrible about it), Tory Burch flip-flops (let’s be honest. they are super overpriced. you know those shoes are really the same as Havianas that they’ve slapped that big gold medallion on.)

DIY leather drink stirrers.Cut your leather pieces. I made mine sort of geometric and non-matching. Oh hey, witchy old lady hands. Look at the size of those knuckles! Ok, I’m done now.

DIY leather drink stirrers.I gave each piece of leather a dab of hot glue to adhere it to the skewer. And then simply wrapped wire around it in a haphazard way.

Champagne Punch and DIY leather drink stirrers.Boom. Now your drink stirrers are too cool for school. And if you left this champagne punch sitting, it would actually separate which would mean that you could use your stir stick for its intended use. But what are you doing leaving this delicious punch sitting around undrunk? I think I need to see other people.

All images shot for Cupcakes and Cutlery by Tammy Mendoza.


Decoupage Holiday Treat Plates

holiday-decoupage-plateChristmas is the time for treats, am I right? And treats are made for sharing. These easy decoupage plates are the perfect thing to gift your holiday desserts on. I love Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge and when I saw that they have a dishwasher safe version I almost cried. How cool is that?!

decoupage-plate-for-holiday-partiesThese glass plates cost .99 cents at Ikea. Just grab some of your favorite fabric and some dishwasher safe Mod Podge.

cut-fabric-for-decoupage-plateCut the fabric to fit the size of the plate. Leave a little overhang to make sure if covers the whole way.

holiday-entertaining-craftFollow the directions on the Mod Podge bottle. Paint on the Mod Podge on to the plate. Then lay out the fabric on top. Smooth it out to make sure there aren’t any wrinkles. Paint on the Mod Podge on to the back of the fabric. Then let dry for an hour. Add more coats (up to 4) leaving each to dry an hour in between.

trim-fabric-from-holiday-craftOnce fully dry, trim the fabric as close to the edge of the plate as possible. Let cure for 24 days or whatever the bottle says. It seems like a really long time but if you want to really put these in the dishwasher then you will want to do it. If you are just doing these for one party then I’d just make sure that they are dried completely.

diy-decoupage-plate-for-holiday-entertainingI fell in love with this holiday fabric. I know it doesn’t look very traditionally holiday, but I think it is perfect.

decoupage-plate-gift-ideaWrap the plate and treats up with a little cellophane and tie with a cute bow and you’ve got the perfect neighbor gift. This is a perfect thing to make for kid’s birthday parties when you are trying have everything be cohesive and part of a theme. It also works with patterned papers, lace doilies, whatevs.