DIY- Valentines Day Decor


If you know me you know I love decorating for holidays. This is again, something that was engrained into me during my childhood. Every holiday our house was decked out with décor. As a married couple, I plan to carry on that tradition. While some may say that Valentines is just a dumb excuse to buy your significant other something fancy, or that it’s overrated and leads to expectations that are eventually unsatisfied, I disagree with you.  Yes, it’s sad that there is a holiday to remind us to show the ones we love that we love them. However, life meant to be celebrated, love is necessarily in life, thus celebrating love sounds great to me!
Here’s some of my fun, inexpensive valentine décor I have up in our cute little apartment (a.k.a. love shack!) Ha-Ha!


 Heart Magnets: This was a great find at the local dollar store. I loved all the cute heart designs and for that cheap, I couldn’t resist! These are a great investment because you can reuse them year after year!
You can find similar items at: Walmart, Target or your nearest dollar store.

Stuffed Animal: Valentines & Stuffed Animals go hand-in-hand. I got this monkey from my mom when I was probably 8 and I have loved it ever since! I couldn’t resist putting it up. Adding a little stuffed friend can liven up a room and will bring you back to your childhood!
You can find similar items at Walmart, Target or Hallmark.


Heart Vase: To make this candle holder, I used an old vase, added some heart tabletop decorations in pink and red, tied a pretty red bow, and then added one of my favorite vanilla candles to complete the look. This cost me $2 dollars to put this together. Frankly, I’m pretty proud of myself for coming up with it J
You can find similar items at your local craft store, Michaels, or Home Goods.

Frog Prince: I received this from a good friend in my neighborhood while growing up. I couldn’t resist putting him out and he even sings love songs when you press on crown! I love the whole frog prince idea and definitely think this will be a fun décor item when we have kids!



Valentine’s Day Printables: I found these off Pinterest and fell in love with them. Printables are one of the easiest ways to liven up a room and add a little personality. I’ve included the printables below for you to print off for your own use! 


You’ve still got 16 days until Valentines… Get Decorating Ladies!
Follow the Link to check out more of my DIY Home Decor Tips
DIY Home Decor

XO COURTNEY



Chocolate Chip Cookie Microwave Recipe



I won’t deny, I am definitely a sweets lover. I love to bake desserts (check out my Weekend Indulgence post). Often times at the end of the day, I would like a cookie. Just ONE cookie! I’d like to eat it without having to go to all the effort to make an entire batch and eventually being tempted to eat the whole batter. I found this recipe on Pinterest and about died with happiness


 

{single serving} deep dish chocolate chip cookie
recipe from//no. 2 pencil
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 drops of vanilla
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. flour
2 tbsp. chocolate chips 

In a bowl, mix together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg yolk. 
Add in the flour and salt. 
Mix until combined.
Add in the chocolate chips. 
Put the dough into a small microwaveable bowl, ramekin, or coffee cup.
Microwave for 40-60 seconds or until the cookie looks done. 
Best served warm… Enjoy!
 

This recipe is seriously too simple. Follow the recipe and you will end up with an amazing, gooey cookie straight from the microwave. Its perfect portion size and is just the right amount to cure your sweet tooth!


TIP: Make sure that all of the ingredients are completely mixed together. Otherwise, you may have chunks of sugar, salt, etc. that won’t taste that great to bite into.

Enjoy! XO Courtney

Snowflakes & Burgundy



Here in Utah, it feels like winter will never end! Don’t get me wrong, there are things I love about the winter weather, but it has been absolutely frigid lately! This winter season I have become obsessed with one thing, chunky sweaters.

They are comfortable to wear and can be dressed up or down for any event. I love the chunky sweater and leggings look. I found this chunky sweater at a local thrift store and fell in love with the design and cozy fabric. I paired the look with some burgundy-colored leggings, which compliment the design of the sweater. I wore my tan combat boots that I pretty much wear everywhere. (They remind me of something Katniss Everdeen would wear). Scarves are always an easy accessory for the winter time, and I am absolutely in love with the color burgundy as of late.
Chunky sweater + scarf = Relaxed Winter Outfit

Sweater: Local Thrift Store
Leggings: Cotton On
Shoes: Forever Young Shoes 


Scarf: Forever 21



Happy Monday!  Hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying their holiday!
XO COURTNEY



Café Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing


Cafe Rio Link
Café Rio is a very popular restaurant started here in Utah, now with locations throughout the country. They have this amazing cilantro ranch dressing that is to die for! I crave it quite frequently. I love Café Rio but it can get a little pricey for me sometimes. To avoid having to splurge the $9 bucks for a salad, I found the copycat cilantro ranch dressing on Pinterest so I can make my own at home! I have seen this floating around Pinterest for a while but didn’t believe it really worked. I decided to try it out this week!

Cafe Rio’s Cilantro Ranch Dressing
(Found at FavFamilyRecipes)
Ingredients
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
 2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (if you like it SPICY, keep the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)



TIPS WHEN MAKING THIS RECIPE
Finding tomatillos at the store was a pain! Nobody knew what they were really and they are odd looking to say the least. It’s basically just a little green tomato with seeds that’s covered in a husk.

recommend using a juicer when juicing the lime. I got this mini one at a convention a while back. You simply push the juicer into the core of the lime, twist it a bit, then squeeze the lime so the juice comes out! Super simple.
When adding the cilantro, be sure to use just the leaves. You can have a little bit of the stems, but be sure to chop off the majority of them before sticking in the blender.

The dressing was a little runny when I got it out of the blender. I recommend putting it in the fridge for about an hour before using. This allowed for it to thicken a little bit more to absolute perfection!

Instructions
This recipe is so easy because you just have to combine all of the ingredients into the blender and WAH-LA! This seriously tastes just like the real thing! I can’t wait to use it on different salads for my lunch at work this upcoming week.


THE FINAL PRODUCT!
If you’re a Café Rio lover, this is definitely a recipe to TRY OUT! The ingredients are super cheap and it’s definitely worth it!
XO COURTNEY



DIY: Home Decor Tips

I once took an Interior Design class in High School. I loved mix-matching colors, designing furnishings, and being inventive in drawing up a room. My hopes were dashed when I received a C- in that class, the worst grade I’ve ever received. It made me so frustrated because I felt like it was something I was good at. Hopefully this is a lesson that an awful grade doesn’t mean you are necessarily bad at something.

In my head there is scale of what is considered balance. For me, there must be a sense of balance when it comes to room décor.  Koy, my husband, can already attest to the fact that I have changed our wall décor in our cozy little apartment probably 5 times already because it just didn’t “feel” right. Balance.


Photo Credit: Yahoo.com


My room in college was a collage from top to bottom, of pictures from fashion magazines. I accented it with black drapes, and other vintage posters of Marilyn Monroe and Paris. (similar to the photo above) I naturally gravitate towards loud, daring pieces. While I loved this abstract, art deco room design, I want something a little more contemporary and traditional for our home.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve BALANCE in whatever setting. 

Pops of Color
I like to have random pops of color throughout a room. For our living room, I chose the color scheme of black and cream, with the accent color being red. I added pops of color by adding red decorative pillows, red flowers, and a red candle. These elements all bring out the accent while still letting the other furnishing stand out. These red accents stand out as highlights, while the decorative lamp cover and decorative floral pillows stand out as well. These are lowlights against the black and cream backdrop of the couch and walls.
Mix & Match

We have an office area in our apartment, where I decided to hang up some vintage canvas décor I acquired a few years ago from Target. As you can see in the photo, the canvas sizes vary. I staggered them in such a way that it allows for just enough wall space between the artwork yet it doesn’t appear overcrowded.  I also used different size photos to decorate the walls in our living room.  Check out Home Decor How-To on Pinterest for help on what sizes of frames to use for a particular setting! These photos were very useful and gives a lot of great ideas for how to decorate any area of your home.

Go Big
I’m currently obsessed with large artwork. For Christmas, Koy got a plaque of one of my favorite quotes. It is a bold red color too which looks perfect with our color scheme! I couldn’t wait to put it up, and it’s the perfect size to not appear overbearing in our kitchen. In our living room I also have one of my favorite wedding photos printed in poster size. The 24X36 print was only $8 bucks at Costco Photo and Target has really good frames for $8 bucks as well! Above top I added a little personality by hanging a plaque, a gift from one of my college roommates, which has our last name in bold with our first names across the middle in calligraphy. 
 


I love to decorate and look forward to having a bigger place where I can do more of it! 
Hope these tips were helpful!

XO COURTNEY