SHOP WITH US! HANDMADE SIGNS AND DECOR FOR YOUR HOME.
Check out the latest posts from the blog, a sweet little corner of The Junq Drawer created to share all the lovely home decor, DIY and other lifestyle things!
Party Table DecorThe main thing I wanted was the word "ROAR" hanging above the food table. The green streamers & paper leaves make a nice backdrop for the gold letters, making them "pop." I originally wanted some of those gold mylar letter balloons to spell out the word. You can get them for about $25 which isn't too bad, but it didn't quite fit into my budget. Being resourceful, I found some gold poster board, stenciled the letters myself and cut them out. It turned out perfectly! This pennant banner and number one mylar balloon I found at hobby lobby. If I couldn't have the letters, I at least had the number! It was a nice touch across the back patio door.
Dino MenuPlanning the party menu was a breeze after deciding to break it down into types of dinosaurs: Carnivores, Herbivores & Sweetivores. You remember that last one from school, right? No? Well, let's just go with it ;-). The herbivore cups (veggies & hummus), dino eggs (grapes), dino spikes (watermelon) & dino toe nails (doritos) fed our herbivore guests. The carnivores feasted on barbecue meatballs & dino shaped chicken nuggets. Finally those sweetivores had dino cupcakes & dinosaur bones (white chocolate covered pretzels). Full disclosure: it was so hot the cupcakes started melting!!
Party GameI didn't plan any games really. Party games are not my favorite thing (I'm all about the food and chatting it up with friends!) but I loved this "Dino Dig" idea and thought the kids would have fun with it. They certainly did and I apologize to every one who ended up with sand in their cars as a result! We picked up 3 bags of play sand from Lowe's for $15 and used a little plastic pool we already had (from Target for $10). I threw in some dollar store plastic dinosaurs and pails and shovels and the Dino dig was ready for excavation!
Fun DIY ProjectsI didn't want to stress myself out too much by planning too many little projects and then scrambling to get them all done at the last minute (experience talking!). However, these next few projects ended up getting done simply with plenty of time to spare. It's the little touches that make a party & tie everything together, isn't it? I love those custom little chalkboards you can purchase on etsy with all of the facts about your one year old. I didn't have the time or budget to order one and honestly didn't even plan on doing one. I happened to have this chalkboard lying around around and decided to try my hand at it. It's not perfect! And I probably won't be selling them myself, but I thought it turned out pretty well! Well enough to display in front of family & friends (and now you!). I always like displaying photos that show the age progression throughout that first year. During naptime a day before the party, I chose my photos from my facebook & phone, uploaded them to Walmart.com and ordered 4x4 square prints. I think it cost me less than $5. This adorable frame with the twine & mini clothespins was a gift from my husband's aunt. I added a coat of white paint a few months ago (since discovering that farmhouse style I'm painting all the things white!!). It was the perfect way to display the photos!
Birthday PrinceMy daugher wore a beautiful crown headband from Pride & Princesses on her first birthday. Definitely check them out on Etsy and Instagram. I wasn't sure what to do for a boy, but I wanted him to have something similar. This felt crown was perfect! I found my inspiration here, but put my own spin on it based on what I had available. I got two different colors of felt and free handed the crown design. I did trace the one color onto the next so that the crown points would match. Then I used some spray adhesive I had on hand to glue them together, leaving a little tab to glue the ends together. I love it so much & he looks adorable in it! The pennant banner is just some craft paper I had glued together over some string, and the letters are cut from the leftover poster board I used for the "ROAR" letters. Nothing too special, but a nice added touch!
Happy 1st Birthday, Simon!Hope you enjoy these photos from the party! We had a blast and it was a whirlwind like most fun parties. Let us know if you decide to use any of these ideas in your next party!
My mother-in-law has a closet full of silk flowers and is wonderfully generous with them, so I came away with literally bags full without spending a dime!
To incorporate some gold and sparkles, I found gold and burlap chevron ribbon at Walmart, of all places, and wrapped those around mason jars to hold all of the cutlery. Of course, what French party is complete without an Eiffel Tower? This was a struggle for me (because who can afford to spend $50 on a three-foot tall Eiffel Tower for one birthday party? Not me). Thankfully, I stumbled on a beautiful Eiffel tower jewelry holder that was black and fit the theme perfectly. Where did I find this gem for $14.99 plus 40% off with a coupon? Michaels. Yep!
I had this idea from the get-go of using white tablecloths with French phrases written on them, but when I saw the invitations, I knew I had to use black and white stripes or polka dots or something more pattern-heavy, too, with splashes of gold. The gold tray came from the Party Store, as did the polka dotted plates and napkins. The pink cutlery and black and white polka dotted ribbon I found at Walmart.
My next quest was bunting. I pretty much love all things pennant banner, and stumbled on these beautiful MDF pennants at Hobby Lobby for half off $1.99! I was not in love with the font on the gold and white ones, so I went with pink for the letters and gold and white to separate. (Don't judge the fact that my shelf is unfinished. It has since been painted a beautiful white to match the rest of the house. If you love the shelves, Shanty2Chic has a great tutorial on how to build these!)
The other pennant banners I bought in a package from Michaels (again, for 40% off). They were in the party section, already cut into triangles! I just glued twine to the back and hung them with tape. Super easy.
For the table covers, I went to Walmart and bought $1 white rectangular tablecloths then used a sharpie to write french phrases all over them. We have an awesome beginner hand-lettering tutorial that you can read here if you're not sure where to start.
Does anyone else think balloons are ridiculously expensive? Especially the oversized ones! Here's a great tip. Hobby Lobby has oversized balloons like this pink one (they get as big as 36" round) for between $2 and $5 depending on whether or not they're on sale (a lot cheaper than the $10+ you'd pay at a party store). Take these to Kroger or your local party store and ask them to blow them up for you. They'll charge between $.49 and $.99. If you're into foil balloons, Hobby Lobby and Michaels have gold and silver foil numbers and letters, too! It's a great way to save some money.
Probably my favorite part of the party decor was the photo backdrop. I found this paper at Michaels in the wedding section. While I was at Hobby Lobby, I stumbled on Eiffel tower sticky decals for half off. (Similar ones can be found here.)The only problem? Where to hang the backdrop... I don't happen to have a 5' x 8' blank wall hanging around, so I improvised by gluing the backdrop onto a 4' x 8' piece of plywood. Yes, there are lines, but it's not obvious in the photos!
Then there's the buffet! I used tiered cake stands, one that I purchased at Home Goods a few years back and another that my grandmother gave me, to give the dessert buffet some depth. These held the cake pops. You can read my tutorial on making those here. The "happy birthday" toppers are from Hobby Lobby as well.
The jewelry holder Eiffel tower was put in the center of the buffet, and to bring Sophie the Giraffe into the mix (because apparently no decorations currently exist out there for a reasonable price), I printed clip art graphics onto cardstock, cut them out and taped them to the table and the pennant banners.
This was a simple, but beautiful and girly way to celebrate Ashlyn turning two. I hope it inspires you in your own party planning!
If you're interested, Ash's dress is from Old Navy. All of their toddler dresses were on sale for $10, and this one with the tutu was too perfect to pass up for her big day! The matching bow is from Walmart.
VignettesVignettes are fun to do and easy to change up based on the seasons. These vignettes in Jess' home were inspired by Ashley's tips on styling a tabletop or shelf. Amanda also did a post about styling vignettes which you can read about here.
Decorating With BooksWe'll let her give you the details in her book, but we took Ashley's advice and started decorating with old books! They make perfect accents for decorating using the Rule of 3's!
Pillow CoversPillow covers are such an easy DIY! Ashley shares all the details in her book (on where to get them for cheap and how to make your own). We used her tips to make our own for our fall front porch and bought some for less than $5! The best part about Ashley's book is she gives you all of her designer tips and then shows you how she incorporated them all in one room! It really pulls everything together and gives you that "ah-ha" moment! An even bigger bonus, the book is beautiful in and of itself and will make a great home decoration! Now that you know you want to win a free copy of this book, how do you enter? Simple! Like Salt & Life Blog and At Home With Ashley on Facebook and tag 3 friends in the comments section of our giveaway post. That's it! The giveaway winner will be announced on our Facebook page at Thursday morning. Even if you aren't the lucky winner of this book, Ashley is offering At Home For Less at 40% off to all of our subscribers. If you're not subscribed already, just click on the subscribe tab at the top of this page and enter your email address to receive the promo code! Good luck, friends!!! xoxo Amanda & Jess
6. Prayer Journaling - Did you ever keep a diary as a kid? Or write in a journal? It's probably been awhile, huh? What a luxury to have time and clarity of thought to record your daily events and thoughts each day. I would challenge you to get a journal. It can be a pretty, leather-bound one or just a twenty cent notebook of lined paper. All you need to do to have a prayer journal is jot down a few requests or whatever few lines of thought you can get down on a page. Maybe take a verse that stuck out to you in your daily reading and copy that down along with a few notes on why it means something to you. You don't have to get deep, just write what's on your mind. The amazing thing about a prayer journal is looking back on it and seeing how God answered your requests or taught you certain things that you didn't even realize were happening in that moment. It's a great testament to God's faithfulness. And if he's been faithful in the past, he will be faithful in the future, because he does not change. And that, my friends, is worth remembering! 7. Walking with God - Ok, so literally walking. Put on your cross trainers and go for a walk with God. Or a run! It is literally the best way to clear your head and put all your focus on HIM. Pray as you walk and notice his fingerprints all over his creation. If you open your eyes to see it, you cannot ignore his existence when you are surrounded by his creation. I've had some of my best quiet moments with him when I am silent in nature and I simply listen. It's peaceful. Plus, you're also getting in some cardio so that's a double use of your time and I know God doesn't mind if you wanna do both. Lol. Just make sure you're focused more on the condition of your heart towards him than your heart rate, right? Well, I pray you are filled with hope and a renewed sense of purpose as you finish reading this post. Spending time with God doesn't have to mean hours pouring over an open Bible with study guides and eloquent prayers. All he wants is acknowledgement and a chance to speak to us. It's what any parent would want. I'm humbled by the fact that it truly takes so little time and yet makes such a huge difference in my day to day life. I hope you will join me in this effort to invite God into our daily lives in whatever ways, large or small, that we can. Life can be crazy and time can seem fleeting. Do your best to control your time and not let it control you. Even on those days when it does, give yourself some grace, listen to that worship song and let God tell you how precious and loved you are. No matter how much you fail and even because you fail, He loves you. He wants to be needed, to be able to show his strength in our weakness. As independent as we like to be, it's foolish to believe that we can make it a day without his input. "Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by your presence, Lord."
- Dishes done
- Kitchen swept
- Counters wiped down (kitchen and bathrooms)
- Den vacuumed
- A trash bag
- Two laundry baskets
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- (optional) 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks*
- 1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
- 2 avocados, halved, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with taco seasoning. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.
- Heat tortillas according to package instructions.
- Working one at a time, place chicken, avocado, cheese, sour cream, Ranch and cilantro in the center of each tortilla. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the tortilla is reached. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add burritos and cook, pressing gently with a spatula, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately.
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Begin by heating a large skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Prepare your chicken breasts: you may need to pound the breast to make them a bit thinner, mine were approximately 1 inch. Salt and pepper each side, add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side (until golden brown, but cooked through). Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Toss together strawberries, basil, balsamic and 1 tbsp olive oil. Top each chicken breast with strawberry mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Add additional balsamic glaze or balsamic if needed. Serve immediately.
- 1 (15 oz) can Black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup Corn
- 1/3 cup Salsa
- 2 tspTaco seasoning
- 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped (or green onions)
- 1 cup Shredded cheese of choice
- 8 Low carb/high fiber wraps
- In a medium bowl, mix together beans, corn, salsa, taco seasoning and cilantro.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium low heat, sprayed with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in the skillet, and scoop 1/2 cup of the filling onto the tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the bean mixture, and place second tortilla on top of the cheese. Press down on top tortilla lightly with the back of your spatula, so you can meld the tortillas together as the cheese melts. When the bottom tortilla begins to brown, flip the quesadilla over until both tortillas are lightly browned and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Cut into wedges if desired and enjoy!
- Spicy Shrimp:
- 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- squeeze of lime (optional)
- Avocado Salsa:
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from half a lime
- ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- 6 small flour tortillas (corn tortillas can also be used)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- To cook the shrimp: In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili and onion powders, and salt. Add in shrimp and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours. Heat a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and shrimp. Cook shrimp in a skillet on medium-high heat until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of lime (optional).
- To make salsa: Combine tomato, avocado, jalapeno, salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. (If not using right away, place a piece of plastic wrap inside the bowl and directly over salsa to prevent discoloration and refrigerate.)
- To assemble: Stir sour-cream with cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl; set aside. Grill tortillas on stovetop over flame until lightly charred (this step is optional). Spoon avocado salsa generously over warm tortillas, then top with 3 shrimp and drizzle with sour cream sauce. Serve tacos with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!!
Are you still skeptical that so little time can make a difference in your body? Check out her before & after page on her website. It's pretty amazing! But here's the thing, if we really understood how effective small consistent changes over time are, we wouldn't be so surprised. This is a concept I am constantly learning in all areas of life. This "In Minutes" series is a great example of things that are easy to do, but also easy not to do. These small acts that seem to not matter much, when compounded over time make a HUGE impact. (Check out an awesome book I'm reading on this very topic. It will change your perspective on life!)[caption id="attachment_1996" align="aligncenter" width="594"] Source: Lucy's Instagram[/caption] You need accountability? Do it with a friend! Or go on Twitter or Instagram and follow Lucy. Tweet out that you did your workout with the hashtag #lucyssquad and you'll get a like or retweet from her as well as encouragement from other people around the world doing the same. There's nothing like social media to make it feel like a truly "small world after all." I hope that you are inspired and encouraged to take 4 minutes out of your day to get fit today and everyday. You can do it!! Just stay consistent. I did this for 3 weeks and then lost my motivation. It does happen. But the key is just jumping back in! I'm going to start back today & I hope you all will join me. Follow Salt & Life Blog on Twitter to join with me in accountability for the next 4 weeks. I'll be tweeting after each workout! Come join #lucyssquad!
A Fall-Inspired Front PorchNothing screams fall is here like mums and pumpkins! The white pumpkins are from Michaels, the lantern and bin from Gabriel Brothers and the mums from Lowes. The harvest-themed pillow covers are made from duck cloth and a fabric marker (we'll be posting a tutorial later this season). Jess used half of an antique ladder to create shelving for the mums and pumpkins. To see how she used the other half, click here. The vintage toolbox is from one of our junkin' trips!
GET INSPIRED!We love the blend of rustic wood, nature (mums, pumpkins) & something cozy like a blanket or twinkle lights. Take an element from each of those categories and you've got yourself some gorgeous fall decor. Check out some of our favorite examples from fellow bloggers: [caption id="attachment_1958" align="alignleft" width="600"] Source: Three Pixie Lane Blog[/caption] We love the idea of using an old wooden chair as the foundation piece for your little fall vignette. [caption id="attachment_1963" align="alignleft" width="600"] Source: Adventures in Decorating Blog[/caption] Don't have a spare chair? A wooden crate works just as well and is perfect for small spaces. Amanda is using the following example for inspiration outside her front door. [caption id="attachment_1964" align="alignnone" width="600"] Source: The Crafting Chicks[/caption] Are we the only ones that find pine cones cozy? We may not be able to snuggle up to them, but there's something about bringing these outdoor decorations inside that makes any space feel warmer. Adding some twinkle lights gives it that finishing touch. This is a perfect centerpiece or end table decoration: simple yet beautiful. [caption id="attachment_1962" align="alignnone" width="768"] Source[/caption] We always love a good chalkboard addition to any space. Throw that into the mix and your space instantly has even more rustic, autumnal charm. [caption id="attachment_1965" align="alignnone" width="620"] Source: Three Pixie Lane[/caption] Who doesn't love a good fireplace mantel? And don't we always need fresh inspiration for decorating one? We love this one by Rustique Restoration. [caption id="attachment_1966" align="alignnone" width="600"] Source: Rustique Restoration[/caption] Adorable chalkboard art! It's really just a few simple items placed together in a complementary way. Thankfully, even if you don't feel you have an eye for these things yourself, there are plenty of examples from people that do. It gives you a place to start, and from there, you can make it your own! We hope you had a fun and festive Labor Day, friends! xoxo Amanda & Jess
I am by no means an expert when it comes to makeup. I am however, pretty decent at putting a face together fast. I don't really like spending a lot of time on makeup and I certainly don't follow all the "rules." Maybe you're like me, or maybe you're at the opposite end of the spectrum and you put on full foundation, primer, setting spray, etc. every single day. Regardless of where you fall on the makeup wearing spectrum, I hope you will find my tips for 5 minute makeup helpful. First things first, if you haven't already, make sure you've read our 5 minute skin care post so that your face is fully hydrated and prepped for makeup. Your product will go a lot further & glide on a lot smoother on clean, moisturized skin. These are the products I'm currently using:
- BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer
- Translucent Powder
- Eye Shadow & Tools for Brow Shaping
- Mascara & liquid eye liner
- Lip gloss/lip balm
- First I apply my BB cream or tinted moisturizer. If you don't have one, you can use a dot of regular foundation mixed with a dot of moisturizer. That's actually my favorite way to wear foundation. Most foundations can be pretty heavy and adding the moisturizer just lightens it up, helps it glide on smoothly, blends well and still has a little bit more coverage than a tinted moisturizer.
- Next I use concealer anywhere I have redness or discoloration. For me, that's my chin, the corners of my nose, under my eyes & then any blemishes I may have. I follow that with the translucent powder to set everything.
- After that, I have a blank canvas to start applying some color! First I take my blush and brush it on to the apples of my cheeks and back into the hair line. Following that I "contour" with bronzer. I am using quotation marks with "contour" because it's a very quick, simple contouring pattern and there are much more detailed ways to do it. I don't have time for that! So I suck in my cheeks and brush it under my cheek bones, around my hair line, down my nose, and maybe a tad along the jaw line.
- Next is eyebrows. Now, I do not know what has happened to America (maybe even the world) but we are suddenly OBSESSED with eyebrows. Unfortunately, mine quit growing a long long time ago. At the age of 13 I went tweezer crazy and plucked them to bits! I have rarely had to tweeze them since. Definitely have not tweezed at all in 10-15 years and still they do not grow. So, sadly, my eyebrows are nearly nonexistent. They've also gotten increasingly lighter in color since having children (maybe they're going gray first??). All of this to say...I now must draw eyebrows on my face. But pencils are way too harsh for me, and again, no time!! So I grab an angled brush & some dark shadow and I go to work! Shadow is much softer than the harsh lines a pencil can create, and allows for a little sloppiness.
- Now for my favorite part: Eyes! I have spent my life battling raccoon eye from eyeliner & mascara. That NEVER happens with these products: Artistry Liquid Liner & Artistry Length & Definition Mascara. I'm not just saying it cause I rep for those products either, I swear. The liner goes on so smoothly and it's a felt tip, just like a marker! So it's super easy to apply and get that little "flick" at the corner of your eye. It doesn't feel like you've painted something on your eye when it dries. It doesn't feel like anything! It can be rubbed off if you sleep on it, but it typically stays put.
- At this point, sometimes I'm done. But if I'm getting really fancy I'll throw on some gloss or lip balm. This is Artistry lip gloss over Baby Lips, both in nude colors. I like a nude lip, simply because it's understated. I have a hard time choosing a lip color I'm really confident and comfortable in, and I feel like you just can't go wrong with a nude lip.