The night that my wonderful husband proposed to me in Central Park, he also surprised me with a stay at The Nomad hotel, which had just opened and was supes hip. During one of the few moments I was able to take my eyes off of that sparkly rock on my finger, I noticed that the room was beautifully decorated and then cursed myself for having no innate sense of design style. Lucky for me, what I lack in decor creativity I make up for in my ability to vaguely copy something I see that I think looks cool.

The easiest and cheapest way to Nomad the crap out of my house was to add a salon wall in the living/dining room (it's a small house, otherwise known as "open concept"). The first step was easy, acquiring various pieces of art and putting them in frames. We spent about a month doing this, finding good deals online and perusing local flea markets. Then we came to the difficult part: taking the pile of framed photos and paintings from our floor and putting them on the wall in a way that made sense. Keep in mind that I completely lack the ability to imagine something accurately in my head. I need to see something before I can tell you if it's good or terrible. If mirrors weren't a thing and I was also famous and there were magazines with pictures of famous people but no digital cameras that I could use to take pictures of myself that I could review instantly, then I'd be a permanent fixture on the tabloids' worst dressed lists.

This is where this story really pivots: I had the greatest idea of all time for how to make my salon wall look good.  Either that, or I had an idea that a million other people have had and I just thought it was genius and original because I didn't bother googling how to do it in advance.  But if it's the latter, please don't tell me, this story is really important to my sense of self worth.  Here is a picture of the final product and instructions, but no pictures of the various steps because I was too overcome with self-pride to remember to snap some shots along the way.


Roll of large paper
Measuring tape
Actual tape


1. Measure the size of the wall space that you are using for your salon wall.

2. Take the rolled paper and cut and tape it so that it is the same size as the wall space you will be using.

3. Find a space where you can lay out the wall-sized paper flat. Place your art pieces on the paper and move them around until you find an arrangement that you like. One thing we realized made a big difference was to intersperse the frame colors (for example, you can see we put the white frames in opposite corners and then mixed up the gold/beige frames so they weren't too close together). We also liked to mix photos with paintings with unframed items so that there weren't clear delineations between different types of art. These might seem obvious to you, but if they don't, then you're a lot like me.

4. Once you have an arrangement that you like, use the pencil to mark on the paper where the nails should go. This takes a little bit of estimation since you're trying to put the pencil marks behind the pieces of art. One way to make it a little more exact is to feel behind the art for where the nail should go, leave your finger there when you remove the art piece, and then draw a spot where your finger is. Again, this might be obvious to you, but if it is, then you probably haven't read this far anyway. Also, make sure to write some description of each piece of art near where the nail markings are so you know where to put what when you're done. I found it helpful to draw outlines of the art and then write a description of the piece in the outline.

5. Remove all of the art and tape the paper onto the wall space you are using. Then just hammer nails into the pre-marked spots.  Once you are done adding the nails, rip the paper off around one of the sets of nails and hang that piece of art. Then rip more paper off where the next set of nails are and hang that piece. Keep in mind that if you rip off all the paper immediately, you might not remember where each piece is supposed to go. Alternatively, you could arrange the art on the floor in the right order and then hang it that way. Whatever you prefer, I'm not the boss of you.

The end!  Now would be a good time to invite people over to praise your amazing sense of style.


Our friends Jack and Julia (here's your promised shout out, Julia, use the fame this blog will bring you for good not evil) came over this weekend so that we could meet their new dog West and try to force all 88 pounds of her into our pool to see if she likes to swim (which, apparently, she does not).  One of my favorite things about having people over is having an excuse to try new recipes and hear them tell me how good it is even when it isn't because my friends are nice people.

As I was putting together a grocery list to take to the market, my husband muttered something about strawberry shortcake (subtle). Lucky for him, both my hearing and my general wifeliness (autocorrect from "wifeyness") are great, so I did him a solid and grabbed the strawberries and other ingredients. But strawberry shortcake in itself is not that cool, I needed to jazz it up. And then it hit me. You know what's better than strawberry shortcake??  Strawberry shortcake IN A JAR! Because everything is better in a jar (science). So that's what I did, and it was delightful. Here is photographic proof:

I adapted from this recipe: StrawberryShortcake.


Stand Mixer, Hand Mixer, or Serious Bicep Power
A few mixing bowls
8x8 Baking Dish
4-6 Jars (depending on how full you want the jars to be)


1 container of strawberries (or 1 1/2 lbs if buying loose)
10 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest


Step 1: Remove the stems of the strawberries and cut them in quarters (or smaller, depending on your preference).  Toss the strawberries in 3 tablespoons of sugar and place in the refrigerator to macerate while you cook the shortcake.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Mix together the four, baking power, baking soda, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream and mix until it is just combined (don't over mix).  It will be very crumbly, that is fine.

Step 4: Place the flour mixture in the (ungreased) 8x8 baking dish and spread out with your hands so its even. Bake until golden, 18-20 minutes.

Step 5: Remove baked shortcake from the baking dish and place on drying rack to cool.

Step 6: While the shortcake is cooling, make the whipped cream. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon zest into a bowl (the bowl of your stand mixer if you're using one or a mixing bowl if not). Mix on medium until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Do not, like I did, go do something else and forget about the whipped cream. That's how you get accidental custard (which still tastes good but changes the whole dynamic).

Step 7: Roughly chop up the shortcake into approximately 1 inch squares. Fill each jar about 1/3 of the way with the shortcake. You can push it down a little to fit it all in, but don't squish it in there too much. Then spoon some of the whipped cream on top of the shortcake. Top it off with a few spoons of the strawberries.

Step 8: EAT! You can eat it immediately or cover the jars and put them in the refrigerator for later (which I did and it still tasted delicious).

And because you've been such good little reader(s), you get a treat, in the form of a picture of West weighing the pros and cons of the pool life:


So, I got married. The theme of my wedding started out as "DIY" and ended as "who has the time for this shit, let's buy everything but maybe make one or two things as an homage to our previous theme." So I made a bunch of signs and they were really easy but looked nice and now all my friends talk about how I did so many cute projects for my wedding. Because they're my friends and they love me and point out my successes even when those successes are minimal. Here is what the end result looked like:

Here is how the magic happened:


Wood frame (like this: MichaelsWoodFrame)
Paint color of choice for the frame (pink pictured above)
Chalkboard paint (I used Krylon chalkboard spray paint)
White Sharpie paint pen


Step 1: Paint the wood frame in the color of your choice.  I would do a few coats so you can't see the wood underneath.

Step 2: Take the plastic sheet that comes with the frame (that you would typically put a picture behind) and spray paint it with the chalkboard paint. Be sure to cover your noise/mouth so you don't poison yourself. Leave out to dry in between coats. I would suggest three coats.

Step 3: While everything is drying, find a cool font that you want to use. I went on dafont.com for these signs and downloaded a few wedding-fancy fonts. Then type the text you want to write on the sign into Word in your font of choice.

Step 4: Once everything is fully dried, use the chalk to write out the language you want on the sign in the font you chose, using the Word document version as a guide. Make as many changes as you need, you'll be washing the chalk off eventually.

Step 5: Once you have everything sketched out in chalk, use the paint pen to go over the words. Go slowly, the paint pen doesn't erase like the chalk.  Let the paint dry and then use a wet cloth to wash off the chalk.

Step 6: Instagram it, because you're awesome.


My favorite kind of project is one that looks/sounds far more impressive than it actually is. It's why I love my bread maker. Saying I made my own bread sounds SUPER impressive. It evokes images of me arising while it's still dark to knead for hours, all while cutely covered in smears of flour. In reality, I measure out 6 ingredients, dump them into the bread maker, and go watch 4 hours of West Wing reruns.

This is what I found so enticing about this bench project. I can forever say that I built a bench. I can even say I built a bench that looks exactly like the pinterest pictures. In reality, I just painted some cement, stacked it, and tossed some wood through it. For those of you who learn by reading, that sentence should have explained exactly how to make this bench. But for you visual learners out there, here are some pictures. I would give step-by-step instructions, but I don't want to insult your intelligence.

Actually, I don't really care about offending you, I'm trying to run a blog here.  Here are my instructions:


Paint color of your choice
Paint roller
Some sort of floor : paint barrier, like newspaper
10 cinder blocks*
4 pieces of wood (4x4)


Step 1: Paint outside of cinder blocks. You can paint the inside too, but we live in the San Fernando Valley and it was 102 degrees out, so we convinced ourselves it looks better this way. We've tried to turn "it has a DIY look" into a positive attribute and not how you describe something that was clearly not built by a professional.

Step 2: Once the paint has dried, stack the cinder blocks in your desired location. For each "leg" of the bench, place three cinder blocks next to each other vertically. Place another cinder block vertically on top of the far cinder block to make the back of the bench.  Place one cinder block horizontally on top of the two front cinder blocks.

Step 3*: Place one wood plank through the holes of the top cinder blocks to make the back of the bench. Place the remaining three wood planks through the holes of the next row (first full row) of cinder blocks. That is a terrible explanation but I'm trying to explain how to put wood through holes without succumbing to the overwhelming urge to make a "that's what she said" joke. So just follow the picture.

Step 4: Tell everyone you know that you made a bench.

Step 5: Buy a cushion for it. You can find some cool ones on amazon or at World Market. Or check my future post on how to sew a bench cushion, when I get around to first figuring out how to do that and also writing about it.

*We did a little riff on the typical bench set-up by putting a back on it. The version I usually see would use 12 cinder blocks and 4 pieces of wood. Each side would have four cinder blocks stacked next to each other vertically and two horizontally placed on top. The four pieces of wood would go through the top four openings.


This is my first blog post! Ever. I think. The aughts were a crazy time, who knows what I did back then.

This blog was born out of curiosity, raised in the throes of hating-being-a-lawyer-and-needing-a-creative-outlet, and will hopefully grow to be a mature, self-aware, and altruistic blog, bringing the people together in the joint pursuit of a hobby that creates something with a practical use.  I am proudly a jack of all trades, master of none, so this blog will follow my somewhat-ADD journey from food creations, to sewing crafts, to minor furniture building, even to regrettable home remodeling. Maybe someone will happen upon this blog one day and find it useful (a girl can dream).

A few years ago, I became entranced with the idea of creating. I grew up as a proud consumer who didn't know how to cook, hang a picture, or iron (I still can't iron, but I built a bench once so stop judging me). Once I was an adult, like an overexcited pendulum, I wanted to learn how to do EVERYTHING myself, from cooking my own ketchup to sewing my own clothes to making my own beauty products. I started this blog to track that journey, mostly for posterity's sake and to one day, hopefully, sit atop my DIY empire and laugh at how terrible I was at this in the beginning. Maybe this blog will give you ideas of projects to try or show you in step-by-step instructions what not to do, but I hope it will be entertaining nonetheless. Someone once said "it is better to try and to fail than to fail to try and forever experience the inestimable loss of what might have been." I don't know who said that, but I thank him/her for giving me an excuse. So let's watch me fail at a few things.