My Summer Checklist

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve never taken time off.

I’ve had a job since I was legally able to work – at 14, I hauled chairs and umbrellas at a beach club every summer; by the time I was 21 I had worked my way up to a senior waitress position. Two weeks after graduating college, I moved to NYC, and I’ve not stopped working since.

So, for the first time in 14 years, I took a summer break! After my big intro grad class ended, my plans for the month extended as far as naps, bad TV, and getting as much sun as humanly possible. Just kidding… my plans extended as far as very specific house projects, bad TV, and learning a bunch of new recipes for the fall. Plus the sun part!

Here’s a quick review of my Summer Checklist, and how my projects went…

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Entryway Sunglasses Hanger – 10 Minute DIY


The finished view — see the “before” below!

It’s an age-old dilemma. How do I store my sunglasses in a way that:
– will display them stylishly
– will keep them from scratching and breaking
– and will remind me to grab them on my way out the door?

I’ve been trying to figure this out for years. I’ve tried putting each pair in a cloth case and keeping the collection in a coffee can… I’ve tried laying sunnies flat in a tray by the door… I’ve tried leaving multiple pairs in their cases in my purse and in my car. Nothing has done the trick, and now that I live with Mike, the collection of sunnies to store is growing. We had to figure out a way to make our sunglass rack like our key rack – a hanging set of hooks right by the door.

After some research, I found this clever, EASY project that took no time at all.

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Nautical Dresser Spruce Up


The finished piece!

Mike and I live with his parents. Well, not really, in the most literal sense of the phrase, but our living situation is more complicated than the two of us.

Buttonwoods Mornings

We are lucky enough to live in a beachside house owned by both Mike and his parents, but where Mike (and now I) live year round. His parents and siblings are here as often as they can be during boat season. Not does that mean that we’re blessed with this gorgeous morning view, but we all get along great and his parents are easygoing about the look of the house, which means we (I) get to decorate however we (I) please (within reason).

Until I moved in this past March, this place was essentially Mike’s bachelor pad. Functionally great for hosting a crowd, but no feminine touch.

Rest assured that when I moved in, the feminine touch moved in with me. A rug here, a new couch there, some IKEA Kallax cubbies in the mud room… Most of our things blended naturally together in each room, which made the move-in much easier, but one room just wasn’t an easy match – the bedroom.

My solution? Downsize our furniture count, fix up the closets, and turn Mike’s dad’s childhood dresser into a nautical piece to brighten things up (which he was nice enough to let me do!)

Read more…

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Homemade: Lavender Sugar Scrub

If you’ve been reading, you know that my first full craft set (and set of posts!) on the blog has been featuring the sugar scrubs I made with Mike’s 12 year old sister last week.

In just a couple of hours, we made 3 very different flavors of scrubs – Strawberry, Coconut Lime, and Calming Lavender.

Unlike the other two scrubs, to which we made significant changes to their recipes, we were able to follow this one from Lemon Lime Adventures almost to a T.


This sugar scrub was definitely the simplest. A cup and a half of sugar, a bit over a 1/4 cup of coconut oil, and 25 (not 10, again!) drops of lavender essential oils.  After the extra steps involved in the last 2 scrubs, it was great to just throw these ingredients right into the bowl to finish off a great afternoon of crafting.


To get this great light purple color, I mixed three drops of red food coloring and two drops of blue. Same packaging as before – twist some gold and silver twine into a bow, and stick a purple post it clipping under packing tape on the top.

Here’s a shareable recipe block below. The nice thing about this scrub was that it was more of an adult’s scrub – it didn’t smell quite so fruity, and it looked like you might be able to sell it at a farmer’s market for $20 a jar. Plus, Casey used this scrub all day, and kept talking about how smooth her hands were after. Of all three scrubs we made, this was definitely my favorite! A great gift, and a treat I’ve now been giving my hands every night before bed.

lavender scrub

Shareable link for our Calming Lavender Sugar Scrub


Did you miss the first two scrubs we made? Check out our Strawberry Sugar Scrub and Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub to put together a great gift set!

Homemade: Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

Hi there! Welcome to the second edition of my sugar scrub craft day with Mike’s sister Casey. Next up? Coconut Lime.

Like with the Strawberry Scrub, we started with a recipe base I found on Pinterest – this recipe from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

Our setup was the same – coconut oil, sugar, and this lime essential oil I bought on Amazon 2 days before.

Instead of simply mixing in the coconut oil, this recipe called for us to melt the oil first. In the spirit of trying all of the different approaches to making the scrubs, we melted a cup of oil to use in this scrub – and it’s a good thing we did! I admit it – adding a whole cup was an oops on my part, since the recipe only called for 1/4! But, this was an experiment day for us, so to make up for the mess up, we used 3 cups of sugar, instead of one, to create the scrub. The whole thing actually worked out great — we had enough to fill all 4 of the jars we set aside for this flavor scrub, and we liked the consistency a lot better with all 3 cups of sugar and the whole cup of coconut oil in the mix.


We also loved the lime smell – so instead of the 10 drops the original recipe called for, we added 25. At this point, we had decided to give some of these jars as gifts to Casey’s friends, so we wanted them to smell GREAT. This time, we dropped in 3 drops of green food coloring to get this outrageous color, and voila! Just like with the strawberry, we also labelled this mini jar with a green post it clipping, and gave the finishing touches with some gold and silver twine.


Here’s a shareable recipe block below. Casey thought this would be a great gift for St. Patrick’s Day (Leprechaun Day, as we’ve been calling it) – but I’m a big fan of giving this tropical, bright gift for a summer birthday or hostess gift.

lime scrub

Shareable recipe for our coconut lime scrub


Stay tuned for the final post in this 3 part project — a Calming Lavender scrub! Did you miss the first one? Check out our Strawberry Sugar Scrub here