Saturday, August 29, 2015

Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference!

Hi Cupcakes!

I know I've been MIA for a little over a week now, but between throwing Rachel's bridal shower, my own wedding plans, selling my car, planning our upcoming move to Minnesota (which is happening in 2 WEEKS?!) and packing everything up, I haven't even had a second to breathe, let alone sit down at my computer! So, sorry about that friends. But I've got a few really great projects coming your way over the next couple weeks that I'm excited to share and get your thoughts on! 

For today I just wanted to share with you a few little things we added to Rachel's apartment. I know that sometimes decorating can be incredibly overwhelming for some of you. Wether it's because you hate shopping (I heard there actually a few of you out there?!), or because you have so many ideas and don't know where to start, or maybe you're like me, and you know exactly how you want your space to look but don't have the budget to create your dream space all at once. I've found that the best way to create the space you've been day dreaming of is just a little at a time. Especially for newly weds, or people in our age range, budgeting is EVERYTHING... which is why I'm so happy that i was able to help Rachel take the first step in making her space feel homey! Keep in mind, these rooms are far from complete, but just an example of how just a few little purchases can open up a room and make a great difference! 

Here is a before and after of the dining area. The dining room table is from my last post that you can read here! My favorite part of this room is the huge window. A big window really brightens up a room. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to really dress up a room with big beautiful curtains! Ordinarily, because Rachel is renting the space and doesn't want to paint the walls, I would take this opportunity to dress up the room with some statement curtains, something patterned or bold. However, Rachel loved the idea of having a color scheme of blacks, taupes, and creams, so keeping that theme in mind, we found these amazing, creamy, dream-like curtains at IKEA. (We bought them in 55x98" but make sure you measure!) The best part about these curtains in that they are only $20 for two panels! we used 4 panels for a full look! I think the most important tip of all that I can give you for any windows, but especially big ones like these, would be to hang the curtains at the top of the wall rather than at the top of the window. This really opens up the room and makes it seem a lot bigger. Plus, you won't have the awkward task of decorating the tiny space above the windows that would otherwise look blank and like its missing something!

Here is a before and after of the bedroom. They didn't have a bed frame and the way their furniture was laid out was that the door is located in the top right of the before picture. I may not be a feng shui   master or anything, but I have learned that your bed should never be in the direct path of your door because it can disturb sleeping patterns, but you should be able to see the door when you are lying in your bed. (If that makes any sense). So the first thing we did was rearrange the furniture in the bedroom so that it was facing the door but not in line with it. The after picture was taken from the doorway so you can get an idea of placement! Another detail we added was a bed frame from IKEA which you can find here! Adding a bed frame changes the entire feel of the room. It's so important to get your bed up off the floor, I literally can't stress that enough! Finally we threw on their clean bedding and a few throw pillows and it INSTANTLY looks a thousand times better. The last little thing I did was hang those Mr. and Mrs. signs up on the wall. Before they were just leaning against the wall on either side of the bed and hanging them just makes it look way more intentional and a lot less like you just tossed it there. This room DEFINITELY still has a ways to go, it could use a patterned rug and some serious wall art, but the curtains from Bed Bath & Beyond that Rachel bought using a gift card she got as a bridal shower gift also help to tie the room together. It's a work in progress as are the rest of the rooms in the house, BUT remember, little by little, it'll grow into a dream space!
The last update I have for you guys is a really basic update to liven up the living room! Their new couch is just about the comfiest of them all ( I would know, I've slept on it more than once ;) ) but it's lacking character and life! So we added a few throw pillows, including these from IKEA! We also added some flowers and a basket as a coffee table center piece as a place to organize the coasters and remotes! Finally we added this throw blanket from IKEA for a comfy and cozy look. I think the most important tip for this room would be the flowers. Adding flowers to any room can instantly give the room more life. It's like magic! 

Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed this (long) post! I know it was a lot, a maybe decorating isn't your things, but if not, don't fret, because I've got more DIY projects coming up for you soon! Stay Tuned!!

Let me know if you have any great tips by leaving it in the comments or emailing me at Don't forget to subscribe via email at the top of the page and follow me on instagram @thecaliforniacupcake!

P.S. I really do try to stray from these lengthy posts because I know it can be ridiculously boring to read that much, so if you read it all, cheers to you, and if not, don't worry, my next post won't be so looooong. ;)

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dining Room Table Make-Over!!

Hi Cupcakes!

So today we're talking about another piece of furniture that needed an INTENSE make-over. The future bride that I mentioned in my previous post, called me up one day because she found this (kind of hideous) dining room table and a set of four (equally hideous) chairs for like $40 at goodwill. (I really have a love/hate relationship with that place) Anyways, Rachel really liked the style of the table and the height, but it clearly needed to be spruced up. Of course, the little DIYer in my head was like "buy it now!". So,  Rachel gets a dining room table for $40, and I get to share the make-over process with you guys...that's like, a serious win/win, am I right? And so the process begins....
Before       /       After

Okay, so here is a list of the things we used for this project:
- Ugly table and chairs from Goodwill ;) $40
- Interior paint (black) - I used this paint! $27.47
- Primer - I used this kind! $11.98
Foam Rollers - Don't forget to use the right rollers that we talked about in this post! -$5.37
- Small Brushes (like this) for the tiny (annoying) crevasses!! - $0 (had these on hand)
 - Drop Cloths (Sheets, newspaper, or be totally legit and grab some for like $2 at Home Depot)

 So this is what the table looked like when Rach first brought it home...I mean, I guess I wouldn't call it hideous, but let's be honest, it aint pretty.
As you can probably (hopefully) tell, the chairs were not sold with the table as a set, it was honestly such a lucky find for Rach and it just happened to work out that the chairs were the perfect height.

 Sad little dining room :(

And here is the paint used in this project...Glidden Premium Paint + Primer....Even though this is a duo paint with primer in it, I always ignore that and use my own primer...just to be safe, because who wants to spend all this time painting just to have it chip off at every little use of the surface...not me!

 Okay, so the best part about this project, is that it's so easy, that I really don't have a whole lot of instructions for you! Basically, the first thing you're going to want to do, is find a clean, dry, and ventilated place to work...(The ventilated part is important because, well, you can't finish the masterpiece if you're high on paint fumes...). We were originally planning on working in the backyard, so we dragged all of the (heavy) furniture outside and set everything up....and then (like ten minutes later), we came to the conclusion that we were nuts because it was 100 degrees outside and this was just not we (complained for like ten minutes) pulled it together, and moved back inside. We ended up working in Rachel's little dining room because it was right next to the AC, and right under a ceiling fan. 

Now, normally, once you're settled in your project spot, you should take apart whatever it is that you're painting. That was just not happening for this project. We just could not find a way to take this stuff apart. So we decided to just wing it. We sanded everything lightly, primed as usual, and painted a few solid coats. The tiny crevasses are seriously the BIGGEST pain in the butt (hence the little tiny paint brushes), but we worked it out and it turned out great!
Projects like these won't always go as planned so it's important to be able to just go with the flow!

And finally...the finished product!!

The cost of this whole project (including the cost of the table and chairs) was $88.79!! Obsessed. Not to mention that we did this whole thing in...wait for it...ONE DAY....and we had time to bake cookies at the end of the day...(which, lets be honest, makes everything better)

Well, that's it today! I hope you enjoyed this post! I'd really love to hear what you guys think so leave me comments and let me know if you've done any projects like this one! 

P.S. The dreamy curtains are from IKEA and will be featured in my next post ;) 

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cupcake Toppers!

 Hi Cupcakes!

The last couple of weeks have been so unbelievably busy! One of my favorite people in the whole world (Rachel) is getting married in December, and I am lucky enough to be her Maid Of Honor. One of the many things I've been so busy with lately is her upcoming bridal shower! (along with a few home decor projects for the bride's new apartment that I'm so so excited to share with you soon!) These adorable cupcake toppers are one of a few projects I'm working on for the shower and I'm so glad I can finally get this post up for you guys! So let's just dive right in here...

 I absolutely LOVE the way these cupcake toppers came out! They are simple and classy and not to mention so easy to make! 

Here is a list of items you will need to make these little cuties:
- Computer paper
- A Printer
- Black Satin Ribbon (I got mine for $.96 at Michaels)
- Toothpicks 

The first thing I did was open up Microsoft Word on my computer and create a new document. I made 4 rows of 8 " I do " 's. I browsed the fonts and chose a classic script font in black ink to go along with Rachels black and white classic traditional theme. You can choose whatever font and color your little heart desires! You could even change up the color of the paper and ribbon if you want to get really creative! I needed about 60 "I do"s for all the cupcakes, so I printed 3 pages just to be safe. Here is what it should look like...

 Once I had the pages printed, I grabbed my handy dandy Martha Stewart Crafts Heart Punch ( I can't even explain what a life-saver this thing is!)

 The best way to use the Heart Punch in the project is upside down. I totally realize that might sound weird, but using it upside down allows you to be sure that your "I do"s are centered on your heart cut out. And we all know how important centering is!! Cutting out all of the hearts took me maybe ten minutes MAX. ( I told you the Heart Punch is a life can thank me later ;) )

Once you have all the tiny hearts cut out, grab that glue gun and your toothpicks and start gluing! Make sure you are working on a surface that you don't mind getting a little glue on! (I used an old file folder) All you need is a tiny dot of glue...don't get glue happy because it will seep through the paper! (Yikes). Once all the little hearts were on my toothpicks, I started on the ribbon. After a few trial and errors, I learned that the best way to add the bows is to cut the ribbon to your desired length, tie it in a bow (or like a shoe lace), cut the excess ends off, and glue! After you're finished with allll that gluing, you'll hopefully end up with your own version of these babies!!

These are great for special events, birthday parties, bridal showers, etc. I had so much fun making them and I hope you do too!! 

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