Monday, June 29, 2015

Accidental Chalk Paint Planter

Good morning! I'm excited to show you my new DIY planter.

This planter was kind of an accident. I started out with the idea to create something sort of like this...

...but ended up going a different direction. 

Let me start at the beginning. I bought this great ceramic planter for less than $4 at Target. I didn't know what I was going to use it for right away but my crafting wheels were turning and I knew I would figure something out. 

Then I decided to take my own spin on the Anthropologie planter by painting it a light gray color and using my gold leaf paint for some accents. 

I even took pictures of my plan...

...and pictures of me trying to create my perfect gray color...

but something wasn't working. I noticed that my black paint was really runny and not mixing well with my white paint. I shook the bottle and tried again to only realize that I was using CHALK PAINT!! How does one make that mistake? Must've been divine intervention because I then knew exactly what my planter was going to be...

...a chalk paint planter!! How simple and easy! You only need the planter, a sponge brush, and chalkboard and bam you have a cute planter that can be customized whenever you like.

I started off by dipping my sponge brush in my chalk paint and painting the entire planter with vertical strokes. 

Then allow that to dry for at least an hour before painting it with horizontal strokes.

**Don't you just love my Bare Essentials box haha! It's such a great box to store my paints in :)**

Allow the planter to curate for at least 24 hours. I let mine curate for several days because I went out of town. 

Afterwards, it was time to season it. I would make sure to do this over a cloth or sink because it can be messy!

Follow a similar pattern to painting the chalkboard paint and start off by running the chalk in horizontal strokes all over.

Side note: I know the inside isn't real cute but I knew it was going to have soil in there so it wouldn't really matter!

Then use the chalk vertically in the same strokes.

Then use a soft cloth or chalk eraser to remove all the chalk. There was a little leftover chalk dust so I squirted a tiny bit of Windex on a cloth and wiped it down. If you do this, let it dry thoroughly before writing on it. Like my mama says...Windex fixes everything!

Then I picked out my plant and planted it!

I love a good cactus or succulent plant! It adds such a pop to decor while not requiring more maintenance. What do y'all think? I hope you love this Accidental Chalk Paint Planter as much as I do :)

Have a great day!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

Today I'm linking up with some of my favorite bloggers Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Friday Favorites!

This week I've been doing more of this...

...studying for Series 7. Please send some thoughts and prayers my way as I continue to try to learn SO MUCH MATERIAL!


I knew that when I moved to Charlotte that I wanted to join a church. Church is a good way to get involved in a new community and encourage meaningful friendships. It's not always the most comfortable thing to do to go to a new church by yourself in a new city. But I did...and boy am I glad I did! 

Elevation has been such a blessing this past 1.5 months I've lived in Charlotte! The sermons encourage me, the music moves me, and I've met so many great new people! I even started attending a bible study! I'm blessed to have found the right church for me right off the bat. If you're local to Charlotte you should definitely try Elevation!


I love candles. I like more neutral scents most of the year like vanilla but holiday scents in the fall! A couple years ago I found the best candle ever! It's the Pink Magnolia Jar Candle from Target and it is the perfect scent. It's fresh and clean with a touch of floral. I've stocked up on it just in case Target stops selling it! Fingers crossed they never do! The best part is that it's only $8. 


For about the past 6 months I've read Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and it's fantastic. I'm in the beginning steps of my walk with God but it really relates to anyone. One particular reason I like this devotional is because it's a short way to start or end your day and it is written from the perspective of God. It really makes you feel like God is poking you and going, "Hey...don't worry." :) 

I have a tendency to rush through life to get to the "next best phase" of life. Well, news flash Lauren you have to learn to enjoy the here and now because you'll never get these days back. And of course this week, God used this devotional to pass along his message...

...time to enjoy everyday! 


Last week my parents came to visit me and they brought my dog! It was so great to see them. We went to dinner at a restaurant in walking distance of my apartment then to a local ice cream store! It was delicious. The only picture I took of our night was this...

...sign of a good night :) They also helped me hang some pictures in my room. We had a slight malfunction so it won't be long till I post them! 


My exam for Series 7 is Monday June 6th so I don't have any plans for the July 4th weekend except study...sigh. But that hasn't stopped me from pinning away! Check out my America board on Pinterest and while you're at it follow me too :)

 Try out some of these ideas and send me pictures so I can live vicariously through you!

Have a great weekend and see you back here Monday!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

San Diego Part 1

I love to travel. Love, love, love it! If I made a list of my favorite things a la Sound of Music, travel would be one of the top things on my list. I haven't traveled nearly as much as I would like in my 22 years of life but my goal is to change that in the years to come. 

For spring break of my senior year, my roommate and I knew we wanted to do something to commemorate our last semester of undergrad but couldn't really figure out what. A lot of our other friends were doing the traditional Mexico and Caribbean trips but we've been there done that and we wanted something unique.

We wanted to use this week of time as an opportunity to see a new area. Alas, our Las Vegas/San Diego trip was born. The trip was fantastic. It was my first time on the West Coast and it didn't disappoint.

San Diego is beautiful, colorful, and relaxed. If you haven't been I highly recommend you make it your next trip! Here are some pictures from our trip...

The view from our hotel room...the beautiful San Diego skyline.

The water view from our room. Stunning.

The next morning view from the front of our hotel.

We went to the famous San Diego zoo our first full day. I have tons of pictures of this trip but I'll save those for another day...I doubt you want to see 34 pictures of just a polar bear :) 

But first we had to fuel up with a big breakfast at Kono's in Pacific Beach. It was fabulous hence the line.

My first time seeing the Pacific Ocean. The view from our breakfast. Not bad, not bad. 

Then we made our way to the San Diego Zoo. My college roommate and I. 

Here's a few of my favorite pictures from our zoo trip:

We had a great time at the zoo. The next day we went to La Jolla then the last day we toured the U.S.S. Midway and walked around downtown. I'll blog about our last days some other time!

Have you ever been to San Diego? What did you think? 

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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Best Meatloaf, Seriously

Meatloaf has a bad rap in my opinion. It's known for being dry and flavorless. Well not my meatloaf, no ma'am. It's so moist and delicious! As an added bonus, it's easy and packed full of veggies. I love to serve this yummy meal with "faux mashed potatoes" and a salad and call it a day.

Gather all your ingredients and preheat your over to 350 degrees. You can use a full pepper or a 2 half of different color peppers. I chose to use a full green pepper.

Throw all the ingredients together for the meatloaf. Make sure you leave the ketchup, mustard, and honey aside for the sauce. Mix them up really good.

Side note: I apologize for my awful pictures I was running late and my kitchen has no natural light!

In a separate bowl mix together your ketchup, honey, and mustard for your sauce.

Put the meat in a loaf pan and pat flat.

Pour the sauce on top and make sure to cover the meatloaf evenly. This sauce is important because it adds a nice flavor and keeps it really moist!

Place the meatloaf in the oven for an hour. While it's cooking I decided to make my side dish: Mashed Cauliflower. They taste and have the texture of mashed potatoes but a lot healthier! Also, it's ridiculously easy.

I started by steaming my cauliflower. Forgot to take pictures of that. You also need salt, pepper, butter, and if you're feeling adventurous garlic :) You can use a food processor like me or a blender.

Add in about 4 tablespoons of butter and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Then puree or blend to the correct consistency.

All done! Now I get my delicious meatloaf out of the oven!

This meatloaf serves 6-8 people.

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 cup of milk 
1 cup of Italian Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped*
1/2 red pepper, chopped*
Salt & Pepper

1/4 cup of honey
1/3 cup of Ketchup
1 Tbsp. of Stone Ground Dijon Mustard

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together. Put in a nonstick or greased loaf pan. Pat flat. In a separate bowl, mix the sauce ingredients thoroughly. Pour sauce over top of meatloaf.

Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through. 

*You can substitute 1 full pepper of your choosing in place of the 2 separate peppers.

So simple. So delicious. So moist. Is it too much to say that my meatloaf will break stereotypes? :) Let me know what you think! Do you like meatloaf?

I linked up with Andrea for her monthly recipe club...check it out!

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