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.


Just Be Cool Printable by Sarah Hearts

Free printable: Just Be Cool I’m so excited to announce that I have another printable for you today!! This phrase, “Just be cool,” is something we say a lot in my family. This is what I tell the boys when they are getting crazy. It’s what I tell them when we talk about how you should treat people. It’s like a new school way of the “do unto others…” saying. And it is also what I’ve been feeling in regards to the blog lately. You remember my goal setting post from Monday? Well, when I start to get all overwhelmed by my to-do list or the gigantic task of figuring out a new name, I tell myself, “Just be cool.” And it totally calms me down. I thought it might be something that you needed in your life right now as well. It doesn’t really mean dress better, or like cooler things than everybody else (although if that is a goal of yours, that totally works!) It just means settle down.

Just be Cool free download printable by @sarahheartsI’ve been trying to work with more bloggers, who I’ve met over the years. So for this one, I reached out to Sarah of Sarah Hearts. I truly admire her graphic design skills and when I asked her to create this printable from me, I basically gave her no instruction. And she sent over this FANTASTICALLY DESIGNED gorgeousness and my heart skipped a beat. It was better than I ever imagined it being! And I am so grateful for her willingness to partner with me on this. Blogging can sometimes be very individual, especially when you think in terms of being cooped up in a house hunched over a computer. So the fact that two bloggers can pair up from one sunny coast (me in Cali) to the other sunny coast, (Sarah in Florida) is so awesome.

Just Be Cool Print for your home.Right now I have the Just be Cool Printable my hallway where my family can see it when we come out of our bedrooms. It’s a great reminder as we start each day and head out in to the world. And yes, that is a giant photo of my husband hanging on the wall. Thanks for asking.

Hot Pink BougainvilleaAnd these Bougainvillea! So good. I have a tiny little patch of them in my backyard that I can see when I work at my “desk” (kitchen counter). But I think I’m going to start cutting them up and putting them in every room. I know I can’t be the only one with a thing for these hot pink flowers!

Free Download: Just Be Cool PrintableBut I digress. I know the detail is hard to see in the other photos, but for serious, this print might be my favorite of all time. Sarah is my favorite. From the colors, to the overall feel of this, I’m in love. So just be cool. And go download the print.

Download the Just be Cool Printable Here!

Now go follow Sarah Hearts.
facebook-sarah-heartstwitter-sarah-hearts pinterest-sarah-hearts  instagram-sarah-hearts

Yes, I can be bossy. :)

Coffee Lover Free Printable

free coffee printable with touches of leopard print for the coffee and animal print lover. Happy hump day, yo. As I get older, I’ve become really in to coffee. Not only do I look forward to my morning cup beginning the night before but I also enjoy finding those places that serve really delicious coffee. I also love the community aspect of coffee. I love how you can sit and enjoy a cup with someone and use it as a way to really connect and spend time with them. I began drinking coffee, right out of college, rather by necessity when I commuted to Los Angeles for my internship. Although I was getting plenty of sleep at night, the monotonous, stop-and-go drive was enough to make me feel like I was falling asleep at the wheel. The simple act of sipping something warm, helped me to focus and drive safely. Previous to this, I had enjoyed only mochas (because who doesn’t like to drink chocolate) as a desserty treat. Fast forward to today, coffee is now part of “me time.” Sure I drink it while I take the kids to school, but I also really enjoy preparing it in the morning and knowing that I am about to start my day and will hopefully make some magic happen. So I will tell you how this coffee lover free printable came to be.

Free coffee lover printable using Beastie Boys song lyricsBecause I am a music lover, certain song lyrics float around in my head. This one, by the Beastie Boys, had been an idea I had for New Year’s Eve cocktails. I reached out to one of my favorite graphic designers, Heather of River and Bridge, and since I waited until the last-minute to work on it, gave her very minimal details of what I was looking for. What came back, though was so much better. When I opened the file and saw more of a coffee cup type cup, my first thought was, “Heather is a genius.” For most of us, our day doesn’t get started without coffee. And I love that this feels empowering. Do you get that? I usually over think everything.

Free printable for coffee lovers and people in to home decorTo me, this says, don’t waste any of the day. Let’s get started and tackle what awesome things lie ahead.

Free coffee lover printableTo me it says, let’s make a change, collectively. Not just on your own, but as a community. Let’s finish the cup and DO something.

This free printable is perfect for the coffee lover in your life. Even better if they love Beastie Boys.And it is also just fun! What does it mean to you?

Download this print, frame it and remind yourself to make the most of your day. Take the day by storm and finish that cup. Sure, it sometimes takes 2 or 3 cups to get going. But use that time to plan your attack. Then tilt your head back. And finish that cup.

The song printable is set up as an 8×10 but you should be able to shrink it to fit whatever size best suits your needs. This would also make a great gift tag for a coffee lover gift!

Finish the Cup Coffee Printable

See more of Heather’s work on her site: River and Bridge

*I’m looking to do more collaborations! Let me know if you think we can work together!



One Cabinet, 3 Ways

Cabinet for bedroom area. #spon @sauderusa

I knew I liked this Sauder cabinet when my husband first put it together. But I’m realizing it is even more awesome than I originally thought. It is crazy versatile and fits in just about any room in my house. I recently had my husband help me move it in to the bedroom. The colors work perfectly and it is now used as a place to store all his business supplies. He recently started a small business with a partner and our house has had stuff everywhere. We rarely eat at our dining room table anymore so I knew that this cabinet would be perfect to hide all that clutter. Can’t wait to share his company with you all soon! You are going to love it!

Cabinet in the living room. #spon @sauderusa

This is where the cabinet was before. I still really love the idea of putting the cabinet back in this location and instead of using it as a bar area, like I originally did, keeping it as the supplies cabinet. This will actually be closer to where he is conducting business and provide a place for me to set my keys and sunglasses in between school pick ups. I also need it back in the living room because otherwise, I have very few places to put Halloween decorations. I’ve got a neon green skeleton man who needs a home!

Sauder Cabinet used for photo shoots. #spon @sauderusa

But sometimes this cabinet needs to be in my work space off my kitchen. One of the key selling points of the cabinet for me was the faux marble top. It provides a great surface for photographs so I move in here from time to time to get some work done.

Cabinet for office area in the bedroom. #spon

I can’t believe how perfectly this piece fits in this bedroom nook. It is out of the way and is a great place to keep all of my husbands supplies without them being strewn all over the house. It is also a great place to display one of my father-in-law’s paintings.

Organized office area in bedroom. #spon @sauderusa

This desk caddy keeps all my husband’s supplies tidy and easy to get to. I’m just wondering how long it will be until all of those pens go missing. My kids love to draw and I know once they realize these are here, they will be “borrowing” them all the time.

Cactus and wood cactus for decor on the cabinet. #spon @sauderusa

I didn’t want to add too many knick knacks so this space can remain really user friendly, so I added two small cacti, one wood, one real. It adds a nice little decorative touch without being frilly.

A place to keep my husband's phone, etc. #spon @sauderusa

And I moved my husbands catch-all tray from his nightstand to this cabinet so he can grab it even easier as he heads out the door in the morning. The color of the tray goes really well with the faux marble and it is small so it doesn’t take up too much space.

Love the detail on the side of the cabinet. #spon @sauderusa

These ridged sides really add a nice design element to the room as well. Between the great shape of the legs and this cool texture on the sides, this cabinet is not typical and is really great looking.

Cabinet for my photo shoot area. #spon @sauderusa

Which is why it also works so well as a prop for my blog posts. I try to plan my editorial calendar ahead of time so when I shoot things, I usually have a few different crafts or recipes to do all at once. This cabinet makes it super easy for me to have everything close by so I can be super efficient and get a lot of posts done at once.

Storage for photo props and crafts that I'm going to make. #spon @sauderusa

Although the cabinet doesn’t look that big, the inside shelves are really spacious and can hold a ton of stuff. When I had this cabinet set up as a bar it always shocked me just how full of stuff it was!

This cabinet is really good for photo shoots. #spon @sauderusa

And the marble-esque top is a perfect backdrop for photos. It isn’t so shiny that I get reflections off of it and the colors are subtle but pretty. I set it in front of my white photo backdrop and it is a great spot to shoot things, especially cocktails.

Faux marble top is perfect for photo shoots. #spon @sauderusa

I am SO glad I didn’t pick the chair that I had my eye on! This Sauder cabinet has been awesome and no matter where we decide to keep it, it will be perfect for our house. The best part was that the price was super reasonable and I have half a mind to order another one so I can put them in the living room AND the bedroom! This piece is so versatile which is one of the reasons I love it so much. You can check out my Pinterest board for versatile furniture that can be found on the Sauder site to find more pieces that I think would be easy to use in multiple places in my house.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Living Room Update : Storage Cabinet

*This post is sponsored by Sauder.  All opinions are my own!

Storage cabinet as bar cart. //

Our living room is coming along. VERY slowly. We are super happy with our new rug. We have ordered a new chair. And we are preparing to put up a gallery wall of some of our favorite art. For our gallery wall, we wanted the prints to work around a small piece of furniture. At first we were thinking about something like a small decorative table, but we were having a really hard time finding the perfect piece. This spot is right in our entry way, so it can’t come too far out from the wall, and we want it to be a little tall, something that wouldn’t look too small against a large focal point wall. And while I wasn’t originally thinking about a storage cabinet, that is precisely what we found. And it is perfect! For so many reasons. I also never dreamed I would use it as a bar area. But guess what. It’s full of booze. And both my husband and I LOVE it (the cabinet. The booze too but only in a socially acceptable way). That almost never happens.

I was familiar with Sauder from doing a previous post so I knew that they would have furniture that suits my style. I spent a few hours really scouring the site and looking to see what might fit the space the best. But as you do, I got all side tracked and pretty much furnished my whole home in my head before I got back on track and really focused on the task at hand. I still have my eye on this chair though. The site is super easy to use and breaks it down for people who want to search for things in various ways. I love that! Like, at first I searched ‘Tables and Nightstands’ but then popped over to search ‘Living Room’ and then finally under the ‘Style Lab’ tab which shows the furniture in styled vignettes. It makes it really easy to find the pieces you want to see while also showing you things you might not have been thinking about. Once I found this cupboard – I mean, the faux marble top grabbed my attention and I couldn’t shake it I was ready to place my order. The ordering was simple and in a week or so, it showed up at my door.

My husband and I opened up the box and started building the cabinet. There were really easy to follow instructions in the box and I am certain that I could have put it together without him. But that is how our roles are divided in our household. He gets bugs, trash and building things. I get taking pictures, nagging and smiling sweetly when he threatens to walk off the job…

I was really impressed at how each piece was labeled and it was easy to lay out and organize how to put it together. But I was also impressed at how affordable it was without sacrificing style. While it is a faux marble top, it still looks really nice and the shape of the wooden legs help the whole piece to look modern and stylish. If you found this piece at a trendy furniture store it would cost 3 times as much.

How great does this look! I kept the styling simple for now as we are going to build the gallery wall around it and won’t have this photo leaning against the wall when that happens. The colors work so well in the room and are really interesting how they all work together. But you know what else I’m super excited about?!

It’s full of cocktails! I never thought I would have a designated bar area in my living room. I mean, we have two small boys who kick soccer balls around the house and love to wrestle.

The fact that mama’s favorites can be tucked away inside the cabinet makes it perfect. Since this is the first thing that you see when you enter our home, I didn’t really want to have liquor bottles set out in plain sight as if to say, “Welcome to my home. Let’s get sloshed.” And I now have a place to house my wine glasses. These glasses do not fit in my kitchen cupboards. Dumb.

I love marble. Faux or not.

Marble topped cabinet works perfect as a bar cart. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis cabinet is going to be so great for entertaining.  The surface will wipe clean easily and I can make drinks where the guests are instead of being stuck in the kitchen preparing them.  It’s so funny how you start out thinking you want one thing and end up with something else.  The unexpected plus of this cabinet is that I now have another surface to style in this room.  I found during the holidays last year that I really didn’t have anywhere to set decorations, so this year I’ll be able to set out a little village or something.  SO excited about that!   I can’t wait to get started on the gallery wall to finish off this spot in our living room.  And I’m certain Sauder has a TV stand that would round out the furniture update in that room.  I think I’ll go look right now…  

sauder logo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Goal Setting for the Blog and a DIY Tutorial

Create and inspiring work space.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy head is spinning.  Recently I found out a number of things that were wrong with my blog, behind the scenes.  I have always felt like things weren’t set up right but I really didn’t know why.  So I decided to some research and try to teach myself new things.  Holy moly.  The issues that I knew were there but didn’t know were there (are you with me?) started to become apparent.  Which is both awesome and awful at the same time.  It is awesome because I now know some of the things that I want to fix but now I need more time so I can fix all of them!  I decided to sit down and write out my current goals for updating the blog.  Writing down goals is a really great way to help you get your mind right.  Instead of sitting here with a jumbled head, I can set a plan for how to get it all done.

Easy tutorial for decoupage planter/vase.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI sat down at my new work space, which I made pretty with this adorable DIY decoupage planter, and really thought about things in terms of priority and function.  By writing out these steps, it also helped me to figure out who in my blogging community might be able to answer some questions I still have about processes or be able to provide some guidance in some way.  

Goal setting for the blog:  current things to improve on.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI went from feeling all sorts of weird about my blog to having a game plan.  My heart literally races with excitement about getting to work on these goals.  If you know anything about blogging you know that goals 1 and 3 are no small task.  But they MUST be done!  With over 1000 posts, this is going to take me a while.  But I’m ready!  I’ve researched the best way to go about these tasks and am looking forward to marking them off my list.  And goal number 4 starts now!  I have been so lucky to have met a community of great gals online who are always willing to give me their attention.  And I want to make sure to do the same for them!  My husband says I’m already done with #5.  Isn’t he sweet?

Head over to the Tiny Prints blog to check out the full tutorial for my DIY Decoupage Planter inspired by this rad postcard.  What are your blog goals?  What major projects are you taking on?