Category Archives: DIY

Homemade citrus vinegar cleaner review


It’s been a while but continuing my last post on green cleaning, here’s an update on the citrus vinegar cleaning solution that I said I was going to make and try out!

Here’s what it looked like after about 3 weeks:


Method: I strained the orange colored vinegar above and diluted it with water in a 1:1 ratio into an old spray bottle. The quart of vinegar and water filled the spray bottle up and there was about a full cup of the non-diluted solution left.

Color: The clear vinegar started turning yellowish after about a week and ended up a bright orange color. The solution had been sitting on top of my fridge for about 3 weeks when I finally “made” the cleaning solution, aka, diluting it with water. Can it get easier than that?

Smell: Vinegar in its pure form does have quite a potent smell but after being “marinated” in citrus peels for about 3 weeks, the potency was noticeably diminished. While I did get slightly vinegary whiffs when I sprayed out of the bottle, I’m happy to say it smells mostly like citrus and the slight vinegar smell doesn’t really linger and goes away pretty soon after you wipe down whatever you’re cleaning.

Effectiveness: I first tried cleaning the bathroom with this solution and it did everything that my old cleaner did, WITHOUT all the chemical fumes that used to make me cough and my eyes water. The tile floor, the ceramic sink, and faucet were all clean and shiny when I was done. I also tested it in the kitchen, on the carpet, shelves, and floors, all to my satisfaction. I was especially surprised at how easy it was to wipe down my crusty stove after letting the vinegar cleaner sit for about 10 seconds. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and degreaser without the toxicity of the store bought cleaners. Really, what’s the need to overuse chemicals that’ll, in the long run, harm us more than protect us?

Cost: A quart size vinegar bottle at the supermarket costs around $1.50 so for the cost of a couple oranges (which you can eat as a snack after you use the peels to “marinate” the cleaner solution) and about $1.50, you get almost a bottle and a half of cleaner. Saving $$$? No chemicals to inhale?? Yes, please!

If you want a healthier home for the fraction of the cost of a name brand chemical cleaner for most of your household cleaning needs, I definitely recommend trying this cleaner out. I won’t be browsing down the cleaning section of my local Target anytime soon, that’s for sure. There’s tons of other uses for vinegar around the house which I’ll be looking into and sharing with you all. I also bought a huge box of baking soda the other day to experiment with. More green cleaning trials to come!



DIY dry erase board


A new DIY today! If you have any old frames lying around that you don’t know know what to do with or scored a cheap frame at a secondhand store, this would be a perfect project for a weekend afternoon.

I have some frames that I found in the hallway of a friend’s apartment a while ago so I’ve been trying to come up with ideas to use them. In their old form, I think they’re pretty ugly. So for one of them I popped the glass and backing out and painted the frame silver and used it as a part of my gallery wall as you can see in this post.

The other day I decided to make a dry erase board with another (since you can never have enough surfaces to write down your to-do list or grocery list, of course). Here’s the step-by-step tutorial.

1 can of white primer spray paint
1 can of spray paint in a color of your choice
Newspaper or paper shopping bag to spray on
Patterned paper larger than the size of the frame

1. Remove the glass and backing and wipe down the frame to prep it for paint.

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2. In a well ventilated area, spray on a coat of primer onto the frame and let it dry for about 10-15 minutes.


3. Spray on the first coat of paint in the color of your choosing. I chose a can of mint colored spray paint that I already had. Let the first coat dry for another 10-15 minutes.


4. Spray on the second coat and if you really want, a third coat for maximum coverage (let it dry in-between coats!).


5. After the paint has dried completely, cut your patterned paper into the size of your frame backing. You can glue it onto the backing before you lay it onto the glass but I just laid it against the glass and since the size of the paper is the exact size of the glass and frame backing, I know it won’t budge even without glue. And here’s the final product. Take a dry erase marker and write away!


Cara Park Wedding


I’m realizing that I really enjoy the creative side of events. A huge event where I appointed myself “event designer” was for my own wedding. I started forming a very specific vision in my mind early on and spent months creating details and elements to pull the vision together.


I loved how everything turned out and it seems like the Knot did too since they featured our wedding in their spring/summer 2014 Real Weddings section :) All the details in the photos were made/designed by me or with the help of amazing bridesmaids/friends!! The flowers were of course in collaboration with my amazing florist, Peicha from Falls Flowers. Photos courtesy of Carina and Amanda of Love Me Do Photography.

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Baby library themed baby shower

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Last weekend, I had the privilege of “organizing” and decorating for a baby shower for some friends (I use the term “organize” loosely here because the parents-to-be made most of the logistical arrangements for the luncheon). They gave me free rein for the decor part so I went to town on Pinterest to brainstorm for some ideas. The one request that the couple had for the shower was for some baby books to start a baby library so I decided to use that as the starting point of my inspiration and the “theme” naturally evolved from there.

Baby library baby shower 01

Since most of the guests were bringing baby books for the shower, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into the overall design as a part of the decor. I also mixed in some stuffed animals, some DIY pinwheels, simple DIY banners, and a pair of oversized candlesticks (which I had used at my own wedding). I borrowed a cake stand and a cupcake stand, which another friend baked cupcakes to fill, and voila, came up with the arrangement below. The key for the table decor below was to mix displaying the baby books horizontally, vertically, and forward facing well as getting in some height which I used the candle sticks for. The lighting in the restaurant was pretty bad (and I have yet to master my DSLR) so unfortunately the first photo above was one of the best shots I got of the whole table.

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Valentine’s day crafts

Happy Valentine’s day, everyone! Here are some simple but pretty crafts to spruce up your home, school, or office in honor of this heart crazed holiday :) The best thing about these crafts is that they can be made with whatever you already have at home–paper, scissors, stapler, twine–and can be easily recycled!

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Bridal shower gift DIY

For my friend Sharon’s bridal shower last week (who is one of my most ardent supporters of this blog btw!), rather than buying her a gift that she might not need or want, I decided to make her one instead (one hopefully that she would like). For my own wedding, I had made a 3D shadow box with my husband’s and my initials with our wedding colors for part of the wedding decor.


Everybody loved it so I thought I’d make a customized one for Sharon with her wedding colors as a gift.

Here’s how I did it.


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Coffee table makeover

My first DIY post! :)

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved arts and crafts and making things (think friendship bracelets, needle point, paper mache, pottery, etc). Fast forward 20 some years and I still love arts and crafts and making things. I took a hiatus from anything crafty and artsy during college (thinking that I wanted to go into public policy or international relations; you know, more important stuff) but after college I knew I had to indulge my creative side a bit more or I was going to become a miserably boring person. I took some interior design classes post-college which I really enjoyed, which led me to sustainable design. More details about that later but more recently, with planning my wedding and “nesting,” I’ve rediscovered my crafty side.

With my meager background in interior design, I love furniture. I love browsing beautiful, well crafted furniture pieces that cost thousands of dollars that I could never dream of buying. So for me, the next best thing is to make something old, forgotten, and not-so-nice, nicer with some elbow grease. My first furniture makeover for our new apartment, which was a coffee table, came out surprisingly well.

I found this coffee table at a second hand furniture store. My husband and I were driving past the store when I saw this piece out in front on the sidewalk. I got an immediate feeling that this was a piece that could be transformed into a beauty and made my husband turn around so that I could take a closer look. Despite his reservations about the beat up piece, the perfect size and good bones made me adamant about getting it. I even bargained for it and got it at a whopping $34.

First DIY 01


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