Lifestyle

How to Create a DIY Hula Hoop Photo Display

Looking for fun and creative ways to display pictures for your family, birthday parties, bridal showers, maternity display, graduation parties, theme parties, weddings or even as a gift to your friends? I think Hula Hoop Photo Display is a great way to instantly add to the decor while also compiling your favorite memories. I created a beautiful Hula Hoop Photo Display recently for my husbands birthday.

Materials Needed

A Hula Hoop (There are 2 sizes available – I got the slightly smaller one but you can pick any)

White Spray Paint (Any color of your choice. If you are planning to display for your wedding gold would be a great color option too to add some glitz and glam)

White Satin Ribbon

Faux flowers

Faux greenery/leaves

Hot glue Gun

A small wooden Block (Optional – If you want to make it stand)

Pictures (I printed ours using the Printic App)

Scissors

Directions

Step 1: Shortlist the pictures from your phone or social media which you would like to use for creating this beautiful photo display and send them for printing. I got mine printed using the Printic App. All you need to do is select the pictures you want to print and they will pop and print polaroid type pictures for you and send them in your mail. They did a fantastic job and I was extremely happy with the quality. If you want you can even have them edited to a black and white version for a more vintage look on photoshop before getting them printed. You can also print these yourself on Photo Paper if you like too.

Step 2: Next I took my Hula Hoop and wooden block and spray painted it white in a ventilated area. I gave them around 2 to 3 coats to ensure they were completely covered. I also coated them with a topcoat to seal the paint. You may skip this step if you like but I highly recommend it. Set them aside to dry completely. I kept them to dry completely for 24 hours. I did it in the summertime so it dried fairly quickly.

Step 3: Once they have completely dried, I cut 4 satin ribbons measuring the hula hoop and where they will be placed and secured them with a glue gun. If your pictures are fairly smaller than mine you can add a thinner satin ribbon too and add more ribbons to add more pictures. This is completely your choice. I started with cutting and sticking the center ribbon to be as symmetrical as possible.

Step 4: Next, I started to add the faux greenery. I first laid them out to decide how I wanted them by laying the leaves first and adding some faux flowers and faux buds around it. Once I was happy with the arrangement I secured everything with a hot glue gun. You can add as many or ass little of the faux greenery or faux flowers as you like. Remember to add enough hot glue to secure everything in its place.

Step 5: While everything was drying, I started laying the pictures on the satin ribbon until I was happy with the display arrangement and then secured them with a glue gun.

Step 6: Finally, I took the Hula Hoop Photo display and using a hot glue gun stuck it to the wooden block. Remember to hold it for a couple of minutes to give it support until the glue dries and can hold it easily. Ensure to apply enough hot glue in order to secure it in place. If you wish to hang them you can easily hand them too using ribbons and skipping the wooden block.

Hope you enjoy creating your personalized Hula Hoop Photo Display. If you do create one using the directions feel free to share it with me. I will be happy to see what you come up with.

Food, Lifestyle

How we Brewed our Own Beer – Homebrewing

After our trip to Amsterdam and actually visiting some breweries my husband and I were intrigued about someday brewing our own beer however always pushed it back. During the quarantine we finally decided to give it a try and become beer brewers from beer drinkers.

Since we are not experts at it we googled and looked for options and finally decided to order the Craft A Brew Kit from Amazon which had great reviews. We personally like Hefeweizen so got that kit but they definitely offer more options such as Pale Ale, Irish Scout, Brown Ale, IPA, Oktoberfest Ale, Ciders and many more options to pick from depending on your liking.

The kit includes a 1 gallon carboy, thermometer, sanitizer, yeast, hops, dry malt extract, speciality grains, grain steeping bag, airlock, rubber stopper, funnel, transfer tubing, racking cane, a tube clamp and a guide to craft brewing. A good thing about this kit is that all the equipments are reusable if you plan to brew beer again and all you need to get is the ingredients i.e Dry Malt Extract, yeast, speciality grains, hops, yeast, sanitizer and a grain steeping bag.

Additionally you need a large brew pot (link to the brew pot we used), around 10 Lbs of Ice, 10 to 12 Swing top bottles (or 4 big swing top bottles) and a fine mesh strainer (optional but recommended).

The guide to craft brewing included with the kit lists down all the steps in a clear and precise manner making it so easy to brew the beer even for beginners. It was our first time too but the instructions and very explicit and also they have many You Tube videos in case you need more clarity or don’t understand a particular step. Also, if you run into some questions which cannot be answered by viewing the videos you can always reach out to the brewmaster and they respond back with answers.

The Process consists of 6 steps :

Step 1: Brewing – This is the first step and one of the steps where you will spend most of your time. We took around 4 hours to complete this step but had a great time brewing our own beer. The guide has detailed instructions about this step and below are some of the pictures for this step.

Step 3 : Sanitization – This is one of the most important step to brewing and will determine if you get great tasting beer or terrible tasting beer. So be sure to follow this step exactly as stated in the guide.

Step 3 : Fermentation – Once we completed brewing our beer, we filled it in the sanitized carboy and plugged it with a rubber stopper and made a blow off assembly inserting one end of the tube in the rubber stopper and the other end into a half full glass of water. It is essential to store in a dark cool place for the fermentation process to commence. After a few days once the fermentation calms you can use the airlock. This whole process takes around 2 weeks.

Step 4 : Carbonation and Bottling – After 2 weeks of the fermentation process we were looking forward to the bottling process. We used the swing top bottles for this process and yet again sanitization is key to this process. In this process we reactivated the remaining yeast using sugar as fuel to carbonate the beer once bottled. Once that step is done we siphoned the beer from the carboy to a pot using the racking cane, clamp and a tube and then yet again to the bottles from the large pot as per the instructions mentioned in the guide. This process took us about 1.5 hours to complete. I am not going to lie we did get a little curious as to how the beer was tasting and tried a sip before the process of carbonation.We kept the bottled beer back in a warm dark place for another 2 weeks to allow the beer to carbonate and condition.

Step 5: Enjoy – After 2 weeks we got our home-brewed beer ready to drink. We were really happy to see the carbonation process work and the beer tasted absolutely amazing. We went all out and even designed our own Beer Labels and came up with a name for our Beer too. Clearly, we were over excited that the beer turned out so good and all the hard work paid off. We are left with our last Beer bottle now and already planning to brew our next batch by adding a twist to it.

This can be a great date night idea or even a fun activity for a family or friends to do together to spend time bonding with each other while also enjoying the rewards at the end of the brewing process. After all what’s better than a cold beer on a hot summer night ?

I would love to hear about your beer brewing experiences. Feel free to share them with me. Happy Brewing!

Fashion, Lifestyle

The Tie – Dye Trend – A Fun DIY

The Tie – Dye trend is strong this season and I am totally here for it. I am not going to lie when I saw this 70’s trend making its comeback I had my doubts but I am loving how easy it is to style it and add a pop of color to the wardrobe.

What was once only a school arts and crafts project is now making a serious comeback. The new trend has been embraced both on and off the runways in a more elevated and fashion forward way. It is one of those trends that quickly moved from the runways to the streets.

The new elevated Tie- Dye trend feels bohemian but tailored and nostalgic but contemporary. What I love most about this trend is how easily accessible it is and so many different ways to style it. The Tie – Dye trend today is not restricted to t-shirts alone but is seen on jackets, coats, jumpsuits, dresses, swimsuits, skirts, scarves, bags, shoes, bedsheets, pillow covers, cushions, and so much more. The options are endless.

This trend has literally something for everyone. If you find the loud colors not your style I highly recommend going for muted colors to tailor this trend to suit your requirements.

And the best thing is you can even DIY if you are looking for a fun project. It is easy, fun and can we done by anyone kids as well as adults. My husband and I created our own Tie- Dye T-shirts (His and Hers) and a baseball cap as a part of a date night idea where we got messy and had some fun. I am going to try doing a few other things as well. These are fresh out of the dryer so haven’t ironed them yet.

We used this Tie – Dye Kit which includes 12 squeeze bottles contains dyes, 16 protective gloves, 40 rubber bands, a reusable surface cover and a project guide. Since this kit already has bottled pre filled with powdered dyes all you need to do is add water to the bottles and shake to mix it up making it super easy. This kit can dye upto 36 projects. There are many small kits available too for someone who is looking for only a project or two. The best thing about this kit is it includes all the essentials you need to get creative and create unique pieces and it works on cotton, rayon as well as silk. Additionally, you will need a white t-shirt (got ours from Michaels) or any other fabric you are dying, plastic bags (to keep the tie-dyed fabric in place without disturbing it for the fabric to pick up the dye colors).

Happy experimenting and having a fun time! Feel free to share your Tie- Dye DIY projects or fun tie dye ideas with me.

Lifestyle

DIY Candle Holder – In Less than 10 Minutes

I love how candles instantly make your house look cozy and add the same time add the perfect ambiance to any room. They are a great addition to coffee tables, book shelves, mantel, in the dining room as centerpieces, or also in the bedroom.

Today, I wanted to share with you a quick and easy DIY Candle holder which can add to the decor of the house. You can easily make as many of them to use as centerpieces on the dining table or as you please.

Materials Needed:

Tumbling Tower Game (A mini one)

Black Spray Paint

Sand

Cylinder Glass

Wood Glue

Led Candle – Pick one that fits inside the cylinder glass.

Directions

The first thing I did is washed the clear bowl with warm soapy water to ensure that there are no prints on it and remove any stickers.

Next, I took 4 tumbling tower pieces and using the wood glue stuck them forming a square as per the photo below.

Later I took another 4 tumbling tower pieces and created a cross sign as per the below pictures.

Once you have created the cross sign add some wood glue to the centre of each tumbling tower piece of the cross and stick the square created above diagonally on it as per the picture below.

Once you are done with this, you will need 4 more tumbling tower pieces and stick each vertically on the edges as the below picture using wood glue.

Let it dry for sometime and spray paint the entire piece using a black spray paint in a well ventilated area. Do not miss to spray paint the sides. Let it dry completely.

Once the holder is dry, simply add some sand to the cylinder glass and place the LED candle inside it. It is ready to use.

Thank you for visiting the blog today and hope you enjoy creating this DIY Candle Holder.

Lifestyle

DIY Sunshine Vase – In less than 30 Minutes

Spring is finally here and I cannot get enough of flowers and plants. Especially in these times when we spend more time at home, color and greenery immediately uplifts me and makes me feel happier. I had some supplies at home and decided to use them to create a sunshine vase. Sharing this super easy and quick DIY with you.

Materials Needed

— Pearl Stickers

— Spray Paint of your choice (I used Yellow Gloss)

— Durable Topcoat (I used Gloss)

— Clear Glass Bowl

— Faux Flowers/Real Plants or Flowers

I got all my materials from Michaels and they are still doing delivery.

Directions

The first thing I did is washed the clear bowl with warm soapy water to ensure that there are no prints on it.

Next I took the pearl stickers and stuck them on the clear glass bowl in the design or pattern I wanted. I created a diamond shaped pattern. The pearl stickers do not need any additional adhesive to stick that what is already on them which makes it really easy for anyone to do including kids with minimal materials.

Once the pearl stickers were applied, I took the glass bowl outdoors to spray paint in a well ventilated area and spray painted the entire glass bowl yellow turning the glass bowl upside down for easier application.

You can keep adding coats of spray paint as long as you get the desired color. Just remember to keep an interval of at least 15 minutes between each coat.

Lastly, seal it with a topcoat of your choice – gloss or matte. And let your vase dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

Once the vase has dried add faux/real plants or Flowers and add them anywhere in your house. I ordered some Tulips with my groceries and added them to add a touch of spring. After all, what says Spring more than Yellow + Tulips.

Hope you enjoyed this easy DIY and have fun creating it!!

Lifestyle

Free Activities to do at Home during Coronavirus Social Distancing

As we are moving to a more homebound lifestyle atleast for the time being, I hope that this blog post can be a lighthearted space for some of you! Some of us have the liberty to work from home while others are still out there continuing their day to day lives in these uncertain times. I hope and pray for their safety and appeal to others who can to practice Social Distancing. The Government is doing everything to keep us all safe, lets do our bit.

I know staying indoors can get boring and annoying and make you feel restless. I am sharing some free activities that can be done from the comfort of your homes. Feel free to share your favorite apps or your go to activities during these times with me.

Activities to do at home

This may be a great time to pick up some DIY projects for your home. Some fun project ideas that I have worked on myself and shared previously are DIY Jewelry Dish, DIY Plant Pots, create your own gallery wall. A few upcoming projects on my blog are TIE- DYE project, organizing your home by better storage ideas, create a cozy nook in your home, wine cork bulletin board (for a wine lover who collects corks), etc.

Home Wellness Apps

Planet Fitness – As a measure to encourage people to stay indoors, Planet Fitness is streaming Live workouts on Facebook everyday at 4.00 pm PT (7.00 PM ET) for both members and non members. Also, if you miss the live streaming you can always go back and watch it later. Over and above this, when you download their app they have several free workouts for everyone.

Peloton App – Usually Peloton offers a free 30 day trial period however during this coronavirus outbreak they are providing a 90 day free trial for home workouts which include Yoga, HIIT and many other activities which do not need the machine as well.

Corepower Yoga – They have added few online classes and will be adding more too.

Carrot Fit App – This app is free at the moment too and offers 7 minute workouts.

Down Dog App- The Down Dog App is free until April 1, 2020 and offers various at home workouts – Yoga, HIIT, Barre as well as 7 minute workouts

Strong by Zumba (You Tube) – They offer various workouts ranging from 7 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes free on You Tube. The best part is you do not need any equipments for the same. They combine cardio, muscle conditioning, bodyweight training synced to music.

Studio Tone it Up App – Currently they are offering a free trial of 1 month as against 1 week and offer a huge variety of classes like yoga, dance, kickboxing. HIIT, Barre, strength training, etc. They mention if you need any weights or any other tools at the start of the class but many just require a mat.

Note – Remember to cancel paid apps once the trial period is over to avoid being charged.

Entertainment

Over and above the steaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon Prime which you can watch from the comfort of your home many cultural institutions have opened their doors and are allowing people across the globe to enjoy art and music virtually.

The New England Aquarium will post content every day at 11.00 am ET on the aquariums social media platforms. They offer live videos with educators and various activities for children.

Many world renowned museums have partnered with Google Arts and Culture and are doing virtual tours online currently such as The Louvre, Metropolitan Museum, Van Gogh Museum, and many more. While it may not give you the best experience that an in person visit offers, it is a great way to explore some of your favorite museums or something you have been meaning to go for a long time from your homes.

If you are a nature lover don’t be disappointed. National Parks like Yellow Stone and Yosemite have got you covered. They offer virtual tours to explore and feel connected with nature.

If you have a library card, you can check out the libraries collection of ebooks, audiobooks and other subscriptions it offers. In case you do not already have a library card you can always sign up for an e- library card.

Learn Something new

Have some spare time on hand ? How about learning a new language ? A fun way to use this time could be to pick up learning a new language. Duolingo is a great place to start learning any language.

With Coronavirus changing our daily lives and with most of us having some time on hand it may be a good time to take up classes from prestigious universities from the haven of our homes. Sharing a link of the same here

At the very end please remember that we are all in to together and it is a great time to extend your support to those in need at this time. Help your staff with basic essentials like food, sanitizers and whatever you can. Help elderly people with groceries and medications as they are the most vulnerable to this pandemic. Ask your non profits if they need anything and try and help in any way you can. Support your favorite local businesses by buying gift cards to use later. Please do not hoard necessitities more than your household requires so that others are not left in a bind. Donate to your local food banks.

Please be cautious but do not panic. And needless to say, wash your hands regularly.

Lifestyle

DIY Plant Pots in less than 30 minutes

I love the versatility of terra cotta plant pots especially since there are so many easy ways you can turn a simple pot into a work of art. I have been looking to add some plants inside the house to add a fresh look to the house and adding some character. I love succulents as they require minimal care and and work both indoors and outdoors. For this project however I am going to use faux succulents but you can easily replace them with real plants.

Material Needed:

  • Terra Cotta Pot
  • A paint Brush/ Sponge Brush
  • Paint Palette
  • Faux Succulents/ Real Succulents and Dirt or any other plants
  • Craft smart – Premium Chalky Acrylic Paint (2 colors- Linen and Rich Brown)
  • Thick White Paper (to keep your workspace clean)

Step 1: Working on the thick white paper, using the linen chalky paint start dabbing your terra cotta pot with paint all over using a paint brush or a sponge brush. Do not just simply run smooth strokes like you would paint instead apply paint by dabbing on the pot to give it some texture.

Step 2: Then to give it a more weathered effect just take very little Rich brown Chalky Acrylic paint and start dabbing it on the pot with your paint brush. Keep dabbing it till you get a look you are looking for. You can give it a very vintage look or keep it slightly vintage.

Step 3: If you feel like you have excess of the Rich brown chalky acrylic paint making it look more vintage than you like then redo step 1 at spots that need any corrections.

Step 4: Also paint the inside of the pots that the brown color of the terra cotta pot is not seen even when you place your succulents. Use the linen chalky color to paint the same. You can paint half of the inside or the whole inside pot as required.

Step 5: For real plants put a dish below and you can plant your succulents adding dirt or for faux plants I just added stones to stuff the pot and decorated the pot with the faux succulents.

Step 6: You can make just one and use it as a centerpiece or make 3 of the same kind and use as a centerpiece to decorate your dining table or any other space you like.

These pots are really easy to make and can be a great project to do along with your kids or friends. They are also a great idea for gifts to bridesmaids, to say thank you or even to add to a hamper for all succulent lovers. A great part about them is that I can easily move them to other parts of our home and they are an inexpensive way to add some character to the house. I can easily remove the faux succulents and use them in other containers. It is also a great idea for staging your house for a sale. The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Lifestyle

DIY Jewelry Organizer Tray – In less than 30 minutes

Jewelry Trays are so fun and colorful to create using Sculpey and a fun way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe. From solid colors, to interesting patterns, different shapes and more, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few tips I would like to share with you to create a jewelry tray in no time. Seriously, its fun, useful, easy and addictive!

Materials Needed:

  • Sculpey soft clay
  • Clay Roller/ Rolling pin
  • Butter Knife
  • Cookie/Clay cutters – Different shapes (not necessary – made this one without any cutters)
  • Thick paper or Ceramic tile (to keep your work space clean)

Step1: Working on the ceramic tile or thick white paper, roll your sculpted clay using your hands to form thin ropes of all the different colors you want to use.

Step 2: Twist all the ropes together interlacing the colors into one large rope.

Step3: Continue to twist and turn the rope and fold on top of itself, mixing and swirling the colors together.

Step 4: Using your hands, make the rope in the shape of a ball and flatten the ball using a rolling pin. Avoid it being too thin or too thick; you will want to get it to about the thickness of a quarter. I selected a mix of 2 colors here but you can mix and match as many colors you like or use only one solid color. I used a piece of white and a piece of violet.

Step 4: If you want to make the shape more natural like me just use your hands to give it the shape you like or use clay/cookie cutters to give it any shape you like. You can also use a bowl to give it a round shape.

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit . Transfer your tray on a parchment paper, and bake it for 15 mins for a tray having thickness of a quarter inch. If your tray thickness is more it will be needed to be baked for longer. Follow the instructions on the clay you are using for baking instructions. If you feel the clay does not fold the shape you can even put the tray over an oven safe bowl and put it to bake.

Step 6: Let the tray cool. Once completely cool, paint the rim for detail or leave it as it is. Place your favorite jewelry inside.

These trays are so easy to make and can be made in various shapes, colors and styles. They also make a great gift to give to your friends or simply enjoy yourself. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!