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Elmo Birthday Party~ "Black & White Chevron"

A few months ago my youngest little muffin turned two and I was on a mission to give her a chic Elmo themed birthday party. Not that she would care either way, her love affair with Elmo is unconditional. The "Chic" part was definitely for me!!:)
As I got online and started looking around for black & white chevron Elmo birthday supplies, it was clear that all my favorite items I would find on Etsy. 

I found these adorable Elmo cups at Hello Faith on Etsy. The chevron runner I found at The Preppy Owl Boutique on Etsy too. They both were good quality and a fair price. The Elmo fruit platter was one of my favorite food items. So easy to do and really cute. I can't take credit for it though, I found the idea online at Google Images. 

I can however take credit for these little dessert creations. The first item is a rice crispy treat with an Elmo cupcake topper, the kind you peel off the paper and can get in most grocery stores. The second treat is red white chocolate pretzel sticks rolled in Oreo crumble topping I bought in the baking supply department at Michael's craft store. They were easy and cute and yummy to boot!!:)

What's a party without a cake or cupcakes, or both?! Our cupcakes looked extra cute once I stuck these Elmo cupcake toppers in them. I found them at Card Crafters Corner on Etsy. The cupcake wrappers were from the Etsy store Parties & Pastries. 

I was in heaven when I found this party hat!! I purchased it from Dana & Gaels Place on Etsy. It was high quality and super cute! The highchair tray skirt I found at Luna's Foley at the Etsy marketplace:) 
This banner was custom made by the Etsy shop Stick to your Story. Great name and great banner!
These were our favor bags filled with small toys and candy. The bags I found on Let's Party Creations and the Elmo face bag clips I found on One Charming Party. 

I made the paper pinwheels by paper I found from The Paper Source. It was a lot if fun and pretty easy to do, just took a little time. I quickly asked my friend "G" to help me. She was quite the expert folder:) let's just say after lots of twine and hot glue the pinwheel wall stayed together.

ELMO ROCKS!!! Happy Birthday Olivia!


Contemporary Ranch Kitchen Remodel

Recently I finished working on a contemporary ranch remodel. One of my favorite rooms in the house is the new spacious kitchen. We used Wenge laminate on the kitchen island in a dark espresso color and the perimeter cabinets in a true shaker style painted "White Shadow" by Frazee. The island countertop is white Quartz fabricated with a 2 1/4 inch square waterfall edge. The perimeter countertop is Silestone and the color is Cemento. 
I absolutely love how the kitchen island turned out! It's current and clean looking and is accented perfectly by these industrial glass pendants from West Elm. 
The convection microwave and oven are by Electrolux and the undercounter wine fridge is by N'Finity. All three appliances are lit by blue back light that adds to the hint of blue in the backsplash tile.
The faucet the homeowners and I chose is the new Delta Trinsic kitchen faucet with the Touch2O technology. 
My client was looking for an electric induction range and we decided on the Electrolux. The range hood is made by Cavaliere and has a euro modern quality to its design that perfectly compliments the overall style we were trying to achieve. The contemporary backsplash is made by AlysEdwards. The tile above is H8 2 C U Go Butt Luv 2 Watch U Leave from the Kiss My Big Fat Glass collection.
The floor in the kitchen is concrete and is finished in a weathered bronze stain.


Home Staging "Small Spaces"

I recently finished a home staging project in South Carlsbad, just minutes from the beach. This property is in great condition but is only used a few times a year. Our challenge was to make it feel spacious and alive. 

In the kitchen, we removed clutter and replaced that with a few accents and a living house plant. Adjacent the kitchen is the nook. 

The nook is open to the kitchen and has a great flow. Most home buyers are looking for an open concept and this condo offers that. At the start of the job we quickly realized we would need to address the issue of the homeowners oversized furniture. We removed a large love seat that was part of the couch set. Next, we purchased a contemporary area rug to anchor the living room and repurposed a coffee table from else where in the condo. Another issue was the oversized television which we decided to remove.

Off the living room is a wonderful sunny deck. We added a row of colorful cyclamen in flower boxes and some accent pillows to bring the patio to life!

We freshened up the guest bedroom and bathroom with new linens and towels. Crisp and clean accessories will always breathe fresh air into a house that is not used frequently. 

Last but not least, we tackled the master bedroom and bathroom. We removed the television and switched out the night stands for ones we found in a storage closet. We added tranquil and relaxing bed linens and added similar colored towels and accessories to the master bathroom. 

This condo is now spacious and fresh and ready to sell!!


1st Birthday "Cowgirl Themed Birthday Party"

This last weekend my adorable niece turned 1 year old!! My sister and brother in law celebrated her birthday by having a Cowgirl themed birthday party for her including a pony ride on the Pony Express.
The dessert table was a big hit with everyone especially the little ones. My sister in law even included Cowboy Corn.
The day before the party we headed down the street to Franco's Flowers and picked up a bunch of beautiful flowers and arranged them in mason jars complete with jute twine and burlap bows.

Happy 1st Birthday sweet little girl!!


Wall Stenciling a Feature Wall

We recently moved and I have been busy making our new house our own. I wanted to do something different in our guest room without having to buy all new furnishings, so I decided to continue our square theme of brown and sea green on the walls. I didn't use wallpaper though, instead I had my girlfriend Tracie Fossum with Inspired Finish stencil the feature wall in the room.
 I found the interlocking square pattern that I liked online at Royale Designs. This site is amazing and has many different modern and current patterns to chose from that I am sure will work in your design plan.
This wall was a large wall and took Tracie three days to complete it. It is quite a math problem and takes a little time in the beginning to layout your plan and make sure everything is level. Tracie was checking level twice before every stencil application.

The finish product exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I couldn't possibly be happier with how it turned out, it's just perfect and absolutely worth it!!

P.S. The wall color is Sea Green by Restoration Hardware and the stencil pattern color is 50 % darker.


Modern Glass Kitchen Island Pendants

The latest project I am working on is a modern whole house remodel in Olivenhain. We are at the lighting stage in the design plan and I have been obsessed with finding the perfect kitchen island pendants. My all time favorite is made by Modern Niche and is called the Bell-Jar Modern Pendant. It carries a hefty price tag but in this case these beautiful lighting fixtures are fabulous and worth it!!

(Bella Jar Pendant by Modern Niche)

Modern Niche also has a longer and narrower jar version named the Bella jar pendant shown above. I like this one when you are displaying four pendants verses the original modern bell-jar I prefer it when three are displayed above the island. I found some additional island pendants that I liked as well and they were a little more gentle on the pocketbook.

(Industrial pendant by West Elm)

(Amber Craft Show Glass Pendant by Shades of Light)
(Mercury-Glass Pendant found at

(Glass Jug Lantern found on
(1LT Metal and Glass Pendant by Dainolite)


A Guest Post "Refinishing an Adirondack Bench & Chair with Chalk Paint" by Tracie Fossum

My friend Tracie Fossum with Inspired Finish recently refinished my Adirondack bench & chair. She started her company about a year ago, and has been refinishing amazing furniture pieces with chalk paint ever since.

(Before picture of my red bench.)

I was extremely impressed with the results and can hardly believe what she was able to do with my very weathered pieces. If you are up for the challenge, Tracie has given detailed steps on how you can do it too!

1) I cleaned and lightly sanded all of the old paint, removing paint chips, peeling and dirt.  I then filled in some of the more damaged areas with wood putty. 2)Next I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Duck Egg for the base coat of the entire bench.  3) Annie Sloan Provence was the top coat.  4) I lightly distressed the edges and slats of the bench and chair to reveal both the Duck Egg paint color underneath, and in some places, the original red of the bench which further created the beach vintage feel. 5) I put a thin coat of Annie Sloan lacquer as the top coat.

Since the bench began to yellow in the sun and didn't seem to be holding up to the rain/weather, I repainted the entire bench.  1)I lightly sanded again, sanding the entire piece(s).  I spent extra time on the areas that receive the most exposure to sun/rain, sanding off any areas that had yellowed.  2)  I color matched Annie Sloan's colors, both Duck Egg and Provence, but this time used a Behr Ultra exterior paint that is both primer and top coat, choosing the Satin Finish which is the lowest sheen available for this type of exterior paint.  3)I painted one coat of Duck Egg on the entire bench and chair.  4)Next, I painted a coat of Provence over both the top and bottom of the bench and chair.  5)  I lightly distressed to reveal the Duck Egg underneath.  6) I did not want to leave raw wood exposed which happens when you sand/distress, so in many areas I used a small brush to dry brush a very small amount of Duck Egg over the Provence to achieve the look of a distressed piece without leaving any areas of the bench/chair exposed to the elements.  Since this is an outdoor piece I wanted to achieve a distressed two color look without compromising the protection of the paint.

I loved my newly refinished pieces so much that I decided to have our children photographed in them! If you are interested in having Tracie bring back to life some of your weathered pieces, please contact Tracie Fossum at or (949) 547-0738. Her website is

Look for her next guest post on wall stenciling...coming soon!