Category Archives: Food & Drink

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Practically since the first day I started this blog back in March of 2011, I’ve had a running series called “Thrift Store Scores.” The concept behind it was to share vintage furniture, lighting, and other decorative goodies scored from (you guessed it) local thrift stores. That was all fine and good when we lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, where thrift stores were practically around every corner, but since we moved out of town to Waynesboro, it’s a totally different story.

Instead of thrift stores, we’re surrounded almost exclusively by antique stores, and of course there’s a pretty big difference between “thrift” and “antique.” So, lately I’ve been called out (rightly so!) by you guys for including things like a $500 mid-century cabinet in a series titled “Thrift Store Score.”

All that to say that this calls for a title change! Welcome to the revamped “Secondhand Score” series. Hopefully the shift away from thrifty-specific terminology will help shed more clarity on our collection of secondhand antiques. First up with this evolved series name in mind? Our new-to-us set of retro dining room chairs.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

As you may remember from our home tour, we used to have a great set of dowel-leg dining chairs that looked an awful lot like the famous Eames molded plastic side chair. Since they were inexpensive knockoff versions, our chairs came in well within budget, and still gave me the mid-century vibes I was hoping for in our dining room.

The only rub was that I knew they weren’t really mid-century, and that bothered me probably more than I should admit. So, I’ve unofficially been on the hunt for authentically mid-century (as opposed to reproduction) chairs for the past year.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Late last December while I was working on a little dining room revamp at our house, I really got serious about finding antique wooden chairs to replace our cheapo plastic ones. I scoured Craigslist, kept an eye on the Facebook marketplace section that everyone raves about, I watched for new arrivals in my OfferUp app, and I also was a regular at all of our local antique stores.

It wasn’t until a couple of days after Christmas that I finally found the perfect set of retro chairs. They came from Circa in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, which (as you probably know) is a favorite spot of mine. The chairs are most definitely vintage, and I love the mix of their wooden frames with black leather upholstery. They’re comfortable, easy to clean, and, best of all, were within budget at about $250 for the set of five.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

In case you’re wondering if you heard me correctly, yes, the store only had five chairs in the set. It’s definitely a bummer since we have room for six, but 99% of the time it’s just John and me eating at the dining room table, so we already have more chairs than we need with the set of five. Plus, we’re looking forward to keeping an eye out for that elusive sixth chair to round out the set. It’s our new favorite game when we’re out antiquing.

Before I finish up this story, I wanted to quickly mention the piece of art you may have spotted there between our new-to-us retro lamps (the ones I talked about a couple of weeks ago here). It’s a vintage Japanese architectural drawing that I found in this Etsy shop last summer.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

The print had actually been saved to my “Favorites” list for months and months, and the purchase of those sleek mid-century chairs finally inspired me to order the print to help play up the cool monochromatic vibes of our new dining room setup. That Etsy shop has tons of gorgeous vintage art pieces to choose from, so definitely check them out here if you have time.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s “Secondhand Score” story! What do you think of the new chairs? Would you have passed on the set since it’s missing that sixth chair? Or do you think you would have, like us, fallen so hard for them that it didn’t even matter? Do tell in the comments below.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

I’ve said it year after year, and my tune hasn’t changed—Valentine’s Day still isn’t a holiday I get all that excited about. I know, I know…I must sound pretty heartless, but I tend to be of the mind that love should be celebrated every day of the year, and that Valentine’s Day, in general, has gotten pretty commercialized—which is a shame!

Please don’t get me wrong. If you love Valentine’s Day, by all means, do it up! My own sister, in fact, has always been a gigantic fan of the February 14th holiday, so I know I’m probably in the minority here. Despite my feelings about Valentine’s Day, I do look forward to seeing all those warm, fuzzy declarations of love pop up across social media the day of the big event.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Knowing all of this, it should come as no surprise that John and I won’t be making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day this week. There will be the exchanging of cards and “I love you”s, of course, but we’ll skip elaborate gifts and probably won’t be going out to a big fancy dinner to celebrate.

Instead, I thought it would be fun to challenge us to make the holiday feel special this year just by amping up our homemade dinner at home. I experimented with a few tricks in a little trial run one afternoon last week, and it turns out that you really only need to gather a few small pieces to make Valentine’s Day feel grand around your very own dining room table. Keep scrolling for the tips I plan to put to good use this Thursday for our real holiday dinner.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Break Out The Linens

Most days we just use everyday placemats on our dinner table, but for Valentine’s Day I wanted to make the table look restaurant-inspired. To get that vibe, I plan to lay down a white tablecloth that billows down the sides for an elegant look. Luckily, this type of “elegance” doesn’t require any money spent if you already have the cloth on hand!

To create a sense of intimacy between the two place settings I’ll spread a pink runner across the space of the table between our seats. The runner you see pictured in today’s test-run set-up is actually a floral scarf that I already owned but repurposed as a table linen.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Never Forget Flowers

One of the few things I plan to purchase fresh for our Valentine’s Day dinner at home is flowers. Even a tiny bunch of flowers from the clearance section at the grocery store will do. To make them look extra special and restaurant-worthy, just pop a few stems into bud vases and arrange them in the middle of your table.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

**Resources: Floral Runner/Scarf, Gold Floral Dish, Bud Vase, Tray, Terrazzo Jar Candle, Salad Bowl, Black Cutlery

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Candles Are A Must

Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without ambiance, so make sure to pull out a candle or two to light up come dinner time. Most of us keep these types of accents around for special occasions, so it’s another way to save money this holiday. Corral a few lit candles in the center of your tabletop on a nice tray to create a centerpiece.

One trick to make a plain votive feel worthy of the special occasion is to place it on a metallic plate, like the floral dish you see on our own table. By itself the little white candle would have felt lost and unimportant, but setting it on a gold dish instantly made it feel grand.

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

As for food, I say don’t feel the need to go overboard! If you try out a few of the decorative tips I shared above, your everyday dinner table will feel anything but ordinary—so much so that even simple chicken salad sandwiches could make you feel like you’re out at a five-star dinner on the town. Cheers!

Valentine's Day Dinner For Two At Home

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Just five more sleeps until Christmas morning! Are you ready and all set to go for Tuesday morning’s festivities? I’m just about ready, but, nevertheless, feel a little anxious that I’ve forgotten something. That feeling is probably thanks to the amount of to-dos I still have on my list of deadlines for work, but all of that will be done by the end of the day tomorrow, and I’ll finally (finally!) be able to relax and enjoy all the excitement that comes with Christmas and New Years.

For those of you who can relate and tend to feel a little on edge or overwhelmed in general this time of year, I put together a list of eight ways to de-stress and decompress. Scroll on for my tips, and picture me over here trying to take a cue from my own book, too!

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

How To De-stress This Holiday:

1. The very first thing on my list? Learn to say no! This time of year can be especially hard on people who suffer from social anxiety (like me), so go ahead and decline that holiday party invitation that’s been weighing on your mind. If the host is a true friend, they’ll understand. When you graciously decline, though, maybe suggest planning a post-holiday lunch date to catch up.

2. Don’t overextend your creativity on presents. If you’re still buying gifts for people, consider asking your family members to give you their specific wish lists. That way you can be sure you’re getting them something they’ll actually use and love.

3. Eat healthy foods. Even if you trade in just one carb-heavy dinner this holiday season for one packed with vegetables instead, you’ll inevitably feel more energetic and less stressed.

4. Turn off the television and play a board game. Bright digital lights from a TV can cause eye strain and anxiety, so dim your table lamps, turn Christmas music on low in the background, and get back to basics with a family game night.

5. Give yourself license to skip the hassle of wrapping gifts this Christmas. Instead of struggling with tape, scissors, and perfect lines, use bags (or even fabric) to loosely hide your presents from their recipients’ view.

6. Think of quick yet effective ways to give back this Christmas. I was going to suggest volunteering at a homeless shelter, but then my mind started spiraling at the thought of trying to work something like that into an already-packed holiday schedule this late in the game. Instead, go buy some coats, gloves, and hats, and donate them to your local homeless shelter.

7. Keep up with your routine. Sometimes, breaking away from the activities you’re used to during the rest of the year can make you feel thrown off, so stick with your weekly yoga class, morning meet-ups, and bedtimes this holiday season.

8. Stop for a moment at least once a day to think about the big picture. Think about what Christmas means to you, or try visualizing a couple of positive goals you want to make for the new year ahead. You could even simply tell yourself that this, too, shall pass in just a couple more weeks! Having a mini check-in with yourself puts things into perspective, and can help you recenter before tackling another potentially stressful holiday to-do list item.

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

How do you de-stress over the holidays? Or are you the type of person who can sail through Christmas and New Years with a big ol’ smile on your face despite the chaos surrounding you? I wish I could be more like that latter group of folks, but, alas, I think I’m always going to be just a tiny bit high strung this time of year. Even still, I always look forward to these festive holidays, and wouldn’t trade the occasion for anything in the world. Leave your own tips, if you’ve got them, in the comments below.

Tips For De-stressing Over The Holidays

*Photos by Chelsea Laine Francis from my 2014 feature for Camille Styles all about 10 Easy Ways to Deck Out Your Home for the Holidays
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Christmas Coffee Cocktail Holiday Recipe

Christmas Coffee Cocktail Holiday Recipe

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you enjoy a nice relaxing weekend like I told you to? I think it’s so important to prioritize self-care right now since we’re all likely in the midst of a super chaotic holiday season.

Even if you’re not traveling or hosting a big group of family and friends for Christmas or New Years, chances are good that you’re having to accommodate all of those people around you who are. John and I drove out of town the other day to do some Christmas shopping in a nearby city, and we had a helluva time avoiding impatient drivers and stressed-out shoppers. It’s the nature of the beast, if you will, this time of year, so make sure you set aside some time for self-care these last couple of weeks of the year.

Today, I thought it might be fun to share one of the simple little stress-relievers that I’ve added to my own holiday routine this year. Every few days, I make myself a cup of this Christmas Coffee Cocktail, and it does wonders to soothe my racing mind. Keep scrolling for the couldn’t-be-easier (or sweeter!) recipe.

Christmas Coffee Cocktail Holiday Recipe

Christmas Coffee Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Baileys Irish Cream

1 tbsp. Frangelico

1 tbsp. Kahlua

8 oz. fresh coffee

Directions:

Combine the first three ingredients in a mug, and then pour the fresh coffee over top. Stir to combine, and serve hot. The drink is sweet enough on its own, but if you want to go the extra mile, try adding cinnamon sugar to the rim of your mug before mixing the drink. A dollop of fresh whipped cream wouldn’t hurt either. Cheers!

Christmas Coffee Cocktail Holiday Recipe

P.S. If you enjoyed today’s post, you’re going to love what’s coming in this week’s DGD Tribe newsletter! Sign up here to get on the list before the last newsletter of 2018 goes out on Wednesday.
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How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

This statement is nothing new to you if you’ve been a blog follower for a while now, but the lighting in our kitchen is really, really bad. Even with the overhead pendant on full blast, John and I feel like we’re squinting to see what we’re doing while cooking in the space. So, under-cabinet lighting has been on my to-do list for practically the entire time we’ve lived in this house.

As of this past fall, enough was finally enough, and I decided to splurge on a set of battery-operated lights for under the kitchen cabinets. Today, I wanted to talk you through the quick install process, and also share my thoughts on the lights themselves now that we’ve used them for a couple of months.

Oh, and just so you know, this post isn’t sponsored—I paid for the lights myself, and just thought you might like to know a little more about the exact ones we bought because (spoiler) they’re awesome!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Here’s a link to the set of six wireless puck lights I ordered off of Amazon. After reading the reviews, I decided to also order a few sets of rechargeable batteries. The puck lights themselves actually came with regular batteries, so I didn’t have to open the rechargeable ones right away, but I’m glad to know that, when the cheap batteries die, I’ve got a backup set that we can reuse over and over again.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

As for installation, all you have to do is remove the lights from their packaging, pull out the temporary plastic tabs to activate the batteries, and then decide where you want each light to go under your cabinets. Since you really can’t see the lights when you’re moving around in the kitchen, you don’t need to be super meticulous about measuring things out—unless you want to, of course. The lights are tucked far enough under our own cabinets to be inconspicuous, so I just eye-balled their placement every few feet around the L-shape of our kitchen.

You can actually tap these particular puck lights to turn each one on individually, but the set also comes with a remote so you can turn them all on at once, dim them, and even set them on a timer, which I think is pretty handy. The only thing you need to keep in mind because of the remote is that you need to install the lights with the sensor facing outward so the remote can trigger them accurately.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

(Note: Please ignore the patchy yellowish drywall you see exposed between the backsplash and cabinets…We still need to paint it or add trim to cover it up.)

To install, I first held the assembled light up where I wanted it under the cabinet, making sure the sensor was facing forward. Then, I carefully lowered the light (with it still oriented the correct way), gently twisted the halves apart to access the screw holes on the top section, and then realigned it under the cabinet. After that, I made marks through the holes onto the cabinet with a marker, drilled through the marks, and screwed the top portion of the light to the cabinet. Finally, I twisted the bottom part of the light onto the top that I had just screwed in place.

As you can see a few photos up, I also drew on a quick arrow to help me remember which way the top portion needed to be aligned under the cabinet. This made sure the tabs that you twist the halves over are all facing the right way to get the sensor aligned properly. I promise this will make a whole lot more sense if you decide to purchase and install these exact lights, so don’t worry if it sounds confusing right now!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

I went back and forth over whether to pay an electrician to come out and install wired lights, but am actually really glad I decided to go with battery-operated. Yes, they’ll eventually dim and die and we’ll need to stay on top of recharging batteries, but the lights cost less than $35, so the whole project came in way under budget.

Another reason I’m happy we went with wireless lights? They are an absolute GODSEND when the power goes out! That doesn’t happen too often around here, but it went out for 24 hours last month after an ice storm, and we were able to light up the entire kitchen without power thanks to our little set of puck lights. We also were able to twist a couple of them off the cabinets and keep them in the bathrooms so we had light in those rooms during the power outage, too.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Have you installed under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen? If so, did you go with battery-operated lights, plug-in options, or fully wired versions? Let me know in the comments below. And, again, if you want to copy our set-up, these are the puck lights we bought, and these are the rechargeable batteries that we have on standby.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Ready to see the next new collection to hit the DGD Pottery shop?! The latest set of seven handmade pieces just went live here, and today I’m talking you quickly through each one so you can get a sense of my intention for the collection.

As with nearly everything I’ve created so far this year, my focus has been playing around with different organic shapes and working within earth-toned colors that feel really natural. Some are more minimalist than others within this group, and some look especially handmade, but each one is perfectly suited to lots of handling and daily love wherever they end up.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

There are three cups in Collection No.3—a dark brown mug, one tall tumbler with a carved branch design, and a bright bluish green handle-less cup that can be used for drinking just about anything, whether that’s coffee, tea, water, or juice.

I’ve been anxious to settle on one consistent mug style, and even though I feel like I have a long way to go before I get there, I’m most drawn personally to the chocolate brown mug in this latest shop update. The ultra even sides and handle speak to me and my love for symmetry, and the dark glaze is so rich looking in person.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

That branchy tumbler was actually meant to be a quick exercise in seeing just how quickly and how high I could form a cylinder, but I ended up liking the tall form so much that I kept it. This style is now my absolute favorite for drinking tea out of, and I think you guys are going to love the other versions that I’ll be adding to the shop in the new year.

The minty fresh no-handle cup is done in another of my go-to glaze colors, and although it wasn’t exactly intentional, one of my favorite parts is the pool of thick glaze around the bottom. I double dipped the piece to try to get an ombre look, but ended up with that candy-like glaze effect along the bottom edge, which you can see better in the photo just below. I can’t wait to recreate that look on a few new pieces after the holidays.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

This collection is the very first to include anything hand-built, and I really couldn’t be more excited about that. I just started dabbling in these types of free-form pieces, but have a feeling it’ll be something I start to focus on in 2019. I didn’t think I’d like the slightly uneven edges that come from working with clay on a table rather than on a wheel, but it speaks to me! The dark blue raised plate that you see (upside down) below is perfect for serving treats on a buffet, or for holding odds and ends on a coffee table.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Now for the vases. There are three new ones in today’s shop update: a skinny-necked spotted one with a scallop design at the bottom, a simplified angular white vase, and a low dashed ikebana vase, which I demonstrate how to use below.

Just fill the vase with water, snip off your flower stem (it works best to use tall, thick flowers like orchids), and push the cut end of the stem onto the pin that comes included inside the vase. It makes such a cool statement, doesn’t it? I’m going to have a really hard time letting that one go, but I hope one of you will be inspired by my version of this type of Japanese floral designing.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Hop through here (or click that image below) to learn more about the collection on Etsy and to grab your favorites before they’re gone. I also have a handful of Christmas ornaments left in case you’re still holiday shopping. The cut-off for guaranteed delivery before Christmas is next Thursday, December 20, so don’t wait! As always, thanks so much for your support of the shop and my pottery—your messages, comments, and orders mean the world to me.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

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5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

I’m so sorry to keep today’s post extra short and sweet, but I just can’t ignore the fact that I’m sick any longer. I need to take a bit of extra time off this week to rest and recuperate from whatever cold or sinus infection I managed to catch because I’ve got way too much on my Christmas to-do list to stay down for long. I’ve got peppermint lattes to drink, holiday lights to see, Christmas meals to eat, and shopping still to do! But all of that must wait until I get back to good health.

The good news is that my latest project for Oriental Trading Company was finished long before I started feeling under the weather, so I’m excited to send you right on your way to check out that extension of Dream Green DIY content today.

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

See the full step-by-step tutorial for my 5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas right here, and feel free to let me know in the comments below which one you’d make first for someone special on your list. My personal favorite? Gotta be those pumpkin bites! Boy, could I use one of those right about now…I guess that’s just another reason to get better sooner rather than later, am I right?

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.

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DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

*This post was sponsored by Snapfish

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

Okay, guys. No more stalling. If it wasn’t “officially” crunch time for Christmas shopping before, it definitely is now! With Thanksgiving 2018 memories in the bag, we’re turning our attention to crossing “gift hunting” off our holiday to-do list.

We actually keep things relatively low-key among our two families (John’s immediate family and my own) by agreeing to gift one item apiece to each other, but it’s still a task we take pretty seriously. We hate the idea of giving gifts they don’t really need, so we think long and hard about what we can give them that serves a purpose. The number one item on that list? Coffee!

This season, I’m teaming up yet again with my favorite folks over at Snapfish to show how you can treat the coffee lovers in your own lives to something fun (and functional!) this holiday. Scroll on to learn more about the custom photo mugs and other kitchen accessories I put together as experiments for gift ordering later this month, plus the step-by-step tutorial for our new DIY coffee mug rail in case you really want to wow them come Christmas morning.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

First, the mugs. This was my first time ordering custom mugs from Snapfish, and I’ll admit that I was a little worried about being able to find designs among their pre-built templates that would suit our mod, clean-lined aesthetic. I’m not a big fan of ultra bright patterns, but I was excited to find out that that’s not all the website offers in terms of templates.

I was able to choose four really simple designs for our mugs—one with John’s initial for his daily cup of coffee, a wood-look labeled design with my own name on it, plus a couple of custom photo mugs with our engagement pictures printed on them.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

I actually kept my cart open in its own separate tab in my browser so I could refresh it every time I completed a mug design and added it to my collection. That way I could be sure that the photos and designs I chose would look good together on display in our kitchen. That might be a little too OCD for everyone, but it worked for me!

Oh, and I should mention that the interface for creating custom designs was super easy to use, too. The do-it-yourself layout allows you to get really creative with multi-photo arrangements, and, whether your style is classic like ours or punchy (think: chalkboard designs, metallics, and even botanicals), the site has plenty of design options for you to play around with.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

It’s also a cinch to upload your own photos to the product builder. You can pull directly from places like Instagram, Facebook, and Google Photos, which saved me so much time. If I hadn’t had that option, I would have had to dig out my external hard drive to access the older photos I wanted to include. Being able to pull from my social media accounts saved me at least an extra half hour of hassle.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

Now for that DIY I promised! I wanted to figure out a way to really show off our new collection of custom kitchen items (did you see we also picked up a custom tea towel with our last name on it?!), so I built a quick DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail to go under our new open shelves. Scroll on to learn how to recreate the project.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail

Step One: Figure out how long you want your rail to be. I ended up using a 1/2-inch unfinished copper pipe for my rail because we already had it handy, and I also really liked the look of the patinaed copper against our wood shelves with their matte black brackets. The rod was already cut to a size that worked for us (34 1/2 inches long), but if you need to trim yours down a bit, you can use a pipe cutter, like this.

Step Two: Next, choose your spot for the rail, and mark where you’d like the hooks to go that will attach it to the underside of your shelves. I used three 1-inch white hooks to support our copper rail, spacing them roughly 12 inches apart from each other under the shelves. Mark where your hooks will go with a pencil, pre-drill the holes, and then screw the hooks in place.

Step Three: Slip your rail gently through the hooks, making sure that it feels strong and sturdy. If you feel like the rail needs more support, screw in a couple more hooks between the others.

Step Four: Loop S-hook hangers over the rail, and then slip your custom mugs right over the hangers to allow them to swing freely for easy grabbing in the morning.

NOTE: When figuring out where to hang your rail, make sure you keep it away from the wall by at least a few inches. Otherwise, the mugs could bang into the wall and break.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

We love how the custom collection turned out (it’s such a treat to see them swinging there on our DIY rail every morning!), so I’m definitely planning on ordering more to give to friends and family this Christmas. Wouldn’t they make for the perfect personalized stocking stuffers? I vowed that this would be the year that we finally find functional gifts that look cool, too, and I think this idea definitely nails that criteria.

What types of personalized photo gifts would your family like? I love trying to think beyond the standard photo gift (remember my custom ’12 Reasons Why I Love You’ photo book from last year?), so if you have any clever ideas, tell us about them in the comments below. Whatever inspiration strikes your fancy, be sure to use the code ‘SANTA40‘ now through December 31, 2018, to enjoy 40% off your order sitewide.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

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Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

*This post was sponsored by Tuesday Morning

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle when decorating a kitchen. I’m all about pretty thrifted art, overstuffed upholstered seating, and cozy textiles, but you really can’t put much (if any) of that in a kitchen. Walls are typically taken up by cabinetry so there’s no room for art, and there’s usually not enough space for a seating area filled with throw pillows and blankets. The other issue I run into when decorating a kitchen is that I can’t stand cluttered countertops, so even cute “for looks” tabletop décor makes me go cross-eyed.

As I explained last week, I decided to really buckle down and try to crack the kitchen code when it comes to décor, and today I’m excited to reveal the new updates in partnership with Tuesday Morning. After stepping back to survey the results post-styling and rearranging this past weekend, I’m finally comfortable calling this room “done”—and just in time for Thanksgiving, too! Scroll on for a few of my biggest takeaways from this project.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Hidden Storage

I figured I’d go ahead and start with one of the most obvious ways to add function to a kitchen: hidden storage. Things like lidded baskets and ceramic jars are great for hiding extra kitchen rags, dry ingredients, and even pet treats.

As an example, I picked up a tall white ceramic container at Tuesday Morning for $14.99 (compared to $36 full price!) that I’m now using to hide Rocky’s dog bones in. The retro-inspired pattern on the side is so perfect for our 1960s kitchen, and you’d never think that it held smelly, crumbly dog treats.

I also grabbed a marble jar from the bath aisle (priced in-store for $9.99, $20 retail value) that I use for sugar nowadays. The marble pattern is so much prettier than the wrinkled sugar bag I would otherwise have had to plop out on the shelf.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Exposed Storage

On the other hand, hidden storage isn’t the only way to make use of countertop and shelf square footage. I also love having select items at-the-ready in exposed storage—things like open bowls and metal baskets—so I can grab them at a moment’s notice.

One of my favorite purchases from my shopping trip was the wood and brass bowl we’re now using as a fruit container. The rich wood tone of the bowl speaks to our cabinetry, and the punched-out design in the brass rim accent is so eye-catching. I also love that it was marked down from $54.99 to $29.99.

Another exposed storage upgrade we made was where our coffee pods are concerned. At the last second, I grabbed an oversized serving bowl from the kitchen aisle (cost me $19.99, compared to $35 full price) that we use for our Keurig K-cups. It’s a lot easier to pick one off the top of the pile first thing in the morning instead of having to dig around in a cabinet for the box of pods. Oh, and I should mention that the name brand K-cups, themselves, came from Tuesday Morning, too—at practically half price. I’m not making this up.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Soft Textures

I know I mentioned that you can’t have soft textiles in a kitchen, but that’s not altogether true. I lingered for an extra long time in the towels section in-store to make sure I stocked up on pretty towels for our kitchen that would add a bit of color and texture. I also chose a pair of black and white check oven mitts while I was at it ($5.99, compared to $14.99) because we keep those out by the stove and I wanted them to look just as nice as they functioned.

Of course, another place to add softness in a kitchen is on your floors. I knew I wanted to lay down a rug in our space—something that pulled the blue color from our curtains—and I think I found the perfect one. The jute rug I grabbed has a modern zigzag pattern in it that I love, plus that blue hue I was looking for, but it’s not so bold that it distracts from the rest of the space.

Here’s another random tip for you: pick up an ergonomic kitchen mat to lay underneath your main rug! It doesn’t have to be pretty or expensive—in fact, I grabbed mine from the clearance section—because you’ll never see it, but your feet will really come to appreciate that extra cushion when you’re slaving away over dinner.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Maximize Wall Space

I finally got around to upgrading our DIY open kitchen shelving, which has really helped me maximize the empty wall space we originally had in our kitchen. Now the extra deep shelves have plenty of room for stacking extra plates, bowls, and cups on, and we don’t have to worry about opening the kitchen cabinets when we want a quick snack or easy lunch.

I bought six white plates for $2.99 a pop and a set of four cereal (read: ice cream) bowls that cost $3.99 each. I also added eight new glasses to our collection since we seem to go through those too quickly for our dish washer to keep up on a weekly basis. Oh, and don’t worry—I plan to share the full tutorial on how to hang and style those shelves in just a couple of weeks!

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Blend-able Neutrals

To me functional décor needs to look nice but also serve a purpose. I’m over the whole “just for looks” decorative phase I was in for so long, and want to make sure every item in our home serves a real function. So, I tried to keep that in mind when choosing replacements for some of the pieces in our kitchen that were looking a little worse for wear.

One way I managed to make the more boring purchases for our kitchen look great, too, was through color—or, really, lack thereof. Our toaster, for example was pretty dingy, so I knew I wanted to replace it. The new one I picked up for $17.99 (compared to $49.99 originally) sports this really nice rose gold face and a white finish on the sides, so it blends right in with the subway tile backsplash. You hardly even see it! I also picked up an angular white cup that we’re using to hold our dish brush by the sink, so the dirty bristles are hidden from view and you see mostly just the glossy white finish of the cup instead.

When in doubt, grab items and containers that match your backsplash or cabinetry (like the new set of wooden-handled utensils I bought and now keep by the oven) so they don’t shout, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I know I have more to share on this topic (especially when it comes to drawer storage) but I’ve already rambled quite a bit and don’t want to overwhelm you! Did you notice our new under-cabinet lighting? I’m so excited to talk more about this extension of our functional kitchen upgrades, but the topic deserves its very own day, so stay tuned for that after we get back from Thanksgiving break.

Did I leave any advice or tips out that you put to good use in your own kitchen? Do tell in the comments below. And don’t forget to add a Tuesday Morning drop-in to your holiday shopping spree list! Find your closest Tuesday Morning store location here.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

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Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I’m so excited to announce that a brand new collection of pottery just went live in the DGD Pottery shop on Etsy! In case you’re just catching up, this is my second shop update since launching earlier this month, and includes a whole bunch of fresh-from-the-kiln work that I made over at Make Waynesboro Clay Studio. Scroll on to learn a little bit more about the pieces in this new collection, and then click here to grab your favorite before it sells out.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Last month I started a pretty intense glazing class with a handful of other members taught by Jake, the co-founder of Make Waynesboro. I learned so much about different techniques and all the various ways a person can make their ceramics pop with hand-mixed colors, wax relief designs, and carving into glaze to create crisp lines.

The little white dish you see above is an example of my after-hours experimentation with wax over bare clay with a glossy white surround. I love the minimalist look and think this miniature bowl shape might just be my favorite to make and use around the house for things like jewelry and keys.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I’m excited to share about two new cups with floral carvings this go-around—one a subtle blue-on-blue look, and the other has a neutral, earth-toned vibe. The latter actually went up last-minute earlier this month when I launched my Etsy shop, and has already sold out, but the dark blue one is still available here.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I also included some new watercolor-inspired work in this latest shop update. That plate above is easily my personal favorite of the entire series. I’m so drawn to the almost translucent look of the glazes, and how they layer over each other. I also feel like I’m getting closer to nailing the asymmetrical look I’ve always been aiming for with this series. See how the colors are sort of more to one side than the other? It just looks more abstract and organic to me, and is definitely something I want to try doing intentionally in my next batch of watercolor pieces.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Another piece that snuck its way into the first collection and has since sold out is the mint “You Got This” cup. I’m absolutely smitten with that color and the calligraphy look, though, so I’ll definitely make more for later in the season. Do you have any particular sayings or quotes you’d like to see on a mug or tumbler? Do tell in the comments and I’ll work on making it!

Oh, and as for that curvy bottle with the dashes? I’m in love with that one, too! So much so, in fact, that I tried the same look on a new bottle that I made last week, so don’t worry if you miss out on it in this shop update. There will definitely be more added to the shop with this design soon.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

The two vases you see pictured above and below are some of my most ambitious pieces yet. I can’t take credit for their designs, of course, because I based them off of the work of Hsin-Chuen Lin, but it was a lot of fun to give these Asian-inspired silhouettes my own flair. It will be tough to part with them, but I’m hopeful that someone out there will appreciate the concepts and shapes as much as I do. That would make it so worth it.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

So, there you have it, folks! Click over to Etsy here to shop the new pieces in Collection No.2, and feel free to let me know what you think (or what you’d like to see next) in the comments below. I’m still just as infatuated with pottery as ever, and can’t wait to get back to the wheel.

I’m also planning on creating a whole series of Christmas ornaments, which should be available in the shop just in time for your holiday decorating and gifting. Stay tuned for that, and thank you so much for your support—it means more than you’ll ever know!

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

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