One thousand items used once, one item used thousands of times

This is actually more of a throw back item gallery. All of the items I’ve chosen are both green and modeled after a vintage container concept.

How many mini milk cartons did I use while in elementary school, putting the chocolate or 2% milk on my tray with a square pizza slice.

My parents always had us pack lunch boxes, but I do remember how cool my friends’ lunches seemed in their paper bags. (How to predict what is ‘cool’ to children: pogs, furby, silly bands… anyone?)

So, below are some great products to use and re-use.

The Brown Paper Bag

The Plastic Bag

The Bento Box

Forget all the plastic spoons and forks, how about these beautiful and useful bamboo utensils? 

Don’t forget the classic White Paper Napkin

Grocery Bags (Sure there are hundreds of options, but these maintain the traditional aesthetic) 

How many cartons of ice cream do you go through? I’ve got four in the freezer next to me!

Milk Carton, Milk Bottle Carrier

Egg Crate

Water BottleThe plastic party cup – forever!

Coffee Cup

Soda can and bottle

(Meant for coffee)

Farmer’s market fruit containers & cans

Coffee SleevesGood BYE Paper Maps & Subway maps!
The best realtor business card I ever received had a NYC subway map on the back… I still use it, just not the number on the front!

I’m not totally sure they fit in here, but I fell in love with these two ideas:

1. Use cans as modern art vases

2. There’s no doubt you’re acquainted with pantone chips; you may even have some saved for that room you’ve been dreaming about redecorating. Perhaps you even have some taped on a wall somewhere. This pot was just too cute to omit.

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Beautiful faces

This post is just for some fun and to give you a little insight into how I view the world.

Passed down from my father, I am a nature LOVER. I treasure nature walks, jungle expeditions, and simply exploring the world around me. While in the city, inspiration came through hidden shop windows, flea markets, and people.

While upstate on a nature walk this weekend, however, I was blessed with the sights below. Enjoy!

The Old Grandfather checking out grocery prices
 

A cartoon-like, circle-faced man; surprised and a little unsure

A jack-o-lantern face; friendly and a tad scary


I love this guy. He reminds me exactly of the gentleman on the corner of a neighborhood block, leaning on his cane as his face twists in an awkward, yet kind, smile; one eye squints while the other remains vigilantly on the lookout for someone to give a warm, curled-lipped “hello.”

Careful! A snake is peeking out…

Love is everywhere! My sister loves heart shaped rocks and I can’t help but search for them in masses of pebbles and stone. Failing that, a wonderful beach combing treasure is the perfect skipping stone!

  • Now how can one use these rocks? I place my favorites upon a windowsill or in a small picture frame. None of the above were keepers, just fun examples.
  • Fill baskets with them as a nice accessory to the fireplace mantle.
  • Write wishes upon them as gifts for visitors.
  • Place them in a mosaic style wall art
  • Use them as table decoration
  • Fill a lamp, glass box, or gabion
  • Use them as the headpiece for drawer knobs
  • Use them as the knob for coat racks

Don’t be the only thing melting!

It’s summer time and that means…

 Popsicle Time

Many of what I include below are event specific as particular colors, tastes and ingredients appeal to different individuals or parties. I advise you to take these notes into consideration when planning your menus!

  • For many guests, bite size portions are best
  • For day parties, choose a refreshing option
  • Pops with alcohol are best for adult-only parties so as to avoid disaster
  • The yoghurt and dark red or chocolate colored pops are great for intimate and romantic gatherings, while the green pops are more flirty and fun
  • Popsicles tend to make a mess, so be sure to shop for napkins as well in a similar color scheme

After scouring my sources, I compiled the best approachable and savory recipes below. Just click on a picture and it will bring you to a sunny seaside state of mind!

For the morning sweet and cool treat, water melon & mint

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Refreshing and rejuvenating! Image

Another beautiful idea that is perfect for adults and children alike. The Kiwi pop!

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As the day goes on, it is a good idea to jump into the more sugary pops. Below are two delicious examples:

What I call the Nemo pop, otherwise known as Nectarine-buttermilk PopsImage

Rhubarb & Raspberry YoghurtImage

Italian Ice Pops

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Hot Cocoa Pops, including: Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate & peanut butter, White chocolate

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And now for the adults!

Corona & LimeImage

Dark & Stormy Red Velvet PopImage

and to spice it up, Mexican Mango ChiliImageImage

I would also recommend using Stoli’s Jalapeño Vodka for your mixer to add extra flavor!Image

In order to make your pops as beautiful and pleasing as the pictures above, think about containers. Any ice cube tray (like below) are great for appetizer sizes. Search for the shape that fits your occasion!

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Some extra tips:

  • Most of the sites suggest covering your pops’ tops with tinfoil to assist freezing
  • Don’t be discouraged if you need a few trial runs, each container you use will need different time and proportions of ingredients. I learned this the hard way while attempting to fill hollowed out, variably sized fruit with jello!
  • Should you also be serving ice cream or gelato, look at how they serve the creamy dessert below. Ingenious! I cannot stand scooping ice cream!

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Enjoy your sweets and please post your pictures here so we can see how it went!

Sweet Wishes

Chalk it up to…

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, chalk boards have made a wild come back with products like

 and 

Below, I will list some of the more creative uses for “chalkboard” influenced paint and other fun products.

HOW cool is this!? Recently, the DIY Network renovated a kitchen in a similar manner to what is pictured below with magnetic paint. By priming your wall space with it, you can accessorize with cute magnets to truly make use of the space!

Invite chalk artist Dana Tanamachi to decorate your newly scribble-able walls with her unique style.

  
Here’s another great DIY using old wine glasses to identify dinner party guests.
Some other great products inspired by this age old concept are below:
First, we have stickers that may be applied to whatever your event or desire requires
These containers come assembled and are perfect for cereal, rice, baking products, rubber bands… you get the idea 🙂These cups are perfect for a forgetful husband or the tired mother who deserves an “I love you” upon waking… or just for some doodling on a fun, new surfaceAs a good host knows, one should always try to switch up courses, which goes for cheese as well! To label your choice of fruit and cheese, I give you the cheese plate!
Another labeling idea is the name cards below – soap stone chalk included!These table numbers (perfect for the country wedding) can be hung around a jar or wine bottle, on floral arrangements, or simply strung from a candle
My sister was decorating her apartment on a DIY budget and found this wall decal. We used it to write notes or affirmations to one another and to welcome people to parties when hosting guests; and the best part, No Holes in the Wall!! We are still renting 🙂Adorable for children’s rooms without having to buy and store a huge physical chalkboard… reminiscent of school days passed.
cupcakes
& ice creamPerhaps the cutest idea of the bunch, and great for mix and match decor! Sometimes writing on the wall can become tiresome. So, for playtime, a fun alternative idea is to use the craft table (shown below) for crafts and coloring.
As far as the older kids go, what could be better than this designer ping pong table for a mere $3k? Oh yes… a DIY version on whatever table you find at the nearest Costco, BJ’s, etc.Now that we’ve got your kids hooked on their chalk boards, they will need one when on-the-go! The designer of these boards uses a variety of fabric to match the board with its owner’s personality. It’s the perfectly versatile coloring book / sketchpad for restaurants, waiting rooms, and anywhere else your kids’ attention may need to be occupied.
Let’s not forget the CHALK! Here are just a few cute ideas:
As for a last minute tip: always wet the end of chalk before using it to get the cleanest lines. Additionally, there are chalk markers that come in a wide range of colors that leave less mess!
Finally, a GREAT DIY idea for gifting, storing, or recycling other products!

Using what the Fridge gave you..

I made breakfast yesterday for my boyfriend’s family using only what I found in their pantry. While this can sometimes get weird, you’re almost always safe with breakfast!

Protein, Fruit/ Veggies, and maybe some type of carb or fiber.

  1. Open the fridge and do not fear leftovers
  2. Test all leftovers as they may in fact not be edible
  3. Pick your inspiring ingredient
  4. Prep!
  5. Cook!!
  6. Serve and enjoy.

My inspiring ingredient was spinach leaves, most likely intended for a salad. Additionally, I found some feta that was almost gone, mushroom, pepper, avocado and tomato… I knew I was going to fare all right.

I began the cooking by tossing the spinach with butter and mustard before adding the mushrooms to the mix.

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Next, I rubbed mustard and avocado together on english muffin halves to toast in the convection oven.

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My last prep involved the orange pepper, which added a great color boost, and my eggs and milk for the scrambled eggs.

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In order to ensure everything was served hot, I cooked the turkey bacon first before hitting the pans…

…and voila! An open breakfast sandwich of avocado and tomato (both salted and peppered), topped with scrambled eggs with spinach, feta, pepper, and mushroom, accompanied by a fruit salad drizzled with honey.

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There was nothing left over for the puppies at the end of this meal 🙂

Buzz Off!!

I have recently been reintroduced to one of summer’s frequent flyers and, while relatively harmless, most incredible pests. In light of this event, I want to review some of my most effective solutions for flies.

Every summer party should include fruits and sweets. Inevitably, some party crashers in the form of fruit flies and other insects will soon arrive. The only tried and true method of removing these pests is killing them, although there may also be a live and let live option.

The Magic Fruit Dish

Although it may look a bit grimy, fruit flies are incapable of resisting a bowl containing fruit or red wine. By covering the bowl with saran wrap and poking small (think nail prick rather than needle) holes in it, you create the perfect DIY fruit fly trap.

Once caught (if your problem is indoors) you may wish to simply bring the bowl outside for release. Or, to eliminate the pests once and for all, wait until they circle the rim of the dish and press down to kill them.

  • This is of course where it becomes a bit “grimy,” as in order to make the most use of your trap, you will need to leave the dead flies while waiting for their friends

For other flies, the issue can be quite simple and often aesthetically pleasing.

These two containers keep food chilled by storing ice at the bottom (salad above, condiments below). They also have tops that can be removed moments before service, leaving you with a clean, clear serving dish that will work in any setting. 

Below are some more pieces, which add glamour through specificity…

And of course, the future of food protection… Below is a mock up of a cooling plate that can also protect fruit and food from pests. 

In the event that a fly just won’t stop buzzing even with these models, I give you…

THE ELECTRIC FLY SWATTER

What a turn this post took, huh?!

🙂

Good Morning with a Tweet

Waking up to the harmonic singing of birds is a great blessing that I’ve enjoyed this week in upstate New York.

The enjoyment reminded me of some early morning bird watching that I experienced with a guide named Esperanza during a recent trip to Belize. Since that time, I have been obsessed with birds, creatures who only a short time ago, after a sullied white blouse and a traumatizing second grade picture day, solely meant “duck and cover” to me. In particular, I love listening to their calls, identifying different tones and wing markings

So today, I give you birds! Specifically, the ways in which they can be a part of décor.

By combining these measuring spoons with your other utensils and kitchen decor, you add a country atmosphere without the mess of keeping a farm inside your house.

Following the same principle, you may opt for measuring cups. I love the white, clean look and the space saving utility of these stackable cups!

Another beautiful bird-inspired piece is this wine decanter by Riedel’s, which subtly embodies a swan’s elegance and tranquil nature when gliding across water.

Inspired by the cages that one can find enclosing the most beautiful colors of the rain forest, these pieces can be used to cover desserts from flies or to shelter terrariums.

These birds are a serene and perfect match for a fallen bud or for adding a touch of greenery to a room, beyond simply plumping something in a bud vase.

Perhaps my favorite piece in this collection is the ingenious tea bag design below. I have seen blog updates that show interest in marketing this product, but unfortunately it is at present just a wonderful idea by Natalia Ponomareva.

Of course one can’t have birds without eggs. Crate and Barrel shows a wonderful use for some country chic displays (in place of flowers) for the allergenic guest!

Additionally, these unique soy candles work wonderfully to bring the country essence of birds to any living space. Below is a DIY version I have yet to try, but which looks wonderful!

The simplistic and modern, yet fun tea light containers below are inspired by bird feathers. The color collection by glassy baby offers some of the most unique colors I’ve come across. Any of the selection below (of many) would add style and class to an event.

A direct and modern interpretation of caged, colored beauties brings a bit of fun to this traditional summer house.

Designed by the same artist, below is a version perfect for a child’s bedroom.

 Last, but certainly not least, these speakers are the coolest bird inspired piece I found because they can literally travel anywhere sparking conversation with their sleek design and amazing sound.

Time for a bird watching walk before the sun’s too hot… enjoy!