Author Archives: Amy @ this DIY life

Cupcakes + Rollercoasters = Love

In one of the first posts I did on this little blog you met my friend Ashley and I shared with you our somewhat stalker tendencies when it comes to John & Sherry from Young House Love. Did ya go back and read the post? It’s a short one, but it will probably make you wonder about my stability so I’m not sure why I’m reminding you it’s there. Anywho…Ashley and I knew that wherever the YHL book tour went, we were going to go to one of the stops. We both have a love for Chicago so that’s what we were planning. Then our trip to Chi-town was squashed when my SIL decided to get married that day. After a little debate I decided to go to her wedding (just kidding Meagan) and we decided on Minneapolis for our chance to party like rockstars. After we’d decided I spent a month looking for a keychain that was a rhinestone $ for $herdog. Couldn’t find one [sad face]. I also decided at the last minute (aka too late) that I wanted to get us t-shirts that said “I’m With the Band”. Good thing their book deal was a two shot thing. Next time…next time.
I also decided (seriously, I’m not usually this good with decisions) that this trip was going to be my birthday party. Cause when your birthday is on a holiday it sometimes gets missed. I admittedly whine about this way too much, but I’m also celebrating an anniversary of my 29th birthday so in all that time I’ve learned to take matters into my own hands and plan my own birthday parties. Plus, how awesome to have John & Sherry at my birthday party?!?! Dream. Come. True. (please don’t be scared). Unfortunately Ashley couldn’t go at the last minute, buuuut my friend Amanda stepped in! So I picked up Amanda on that amazing Wednesday morning and we took off to Minnesota. After a stop at Starbucks of course

We stopped at a gas station to get gas (of course) and take a picture with this bear?

We were watching the time tick down on the GPS trying to figure out how long we would have at Ikea (hallelujah)

We finally got to Minneapolis and headed straight to Ikea (hallelujah) and had lunch there and of course shopped. Then we went to the Mall of America. I’d never been there and Amanda used to go there a lot when they lived in Minnesota so she helped keep me on task instead of letting me wander around with my mouth open and eyes wide like a kid on Christmas. The tasks were to ride a roller coaster and pick up cupcakes. We rode the roller coaster and then stumbled our way to Cupcake. When did I get so old that I couldn’t walk straight after a 30 second roller coaster ride? We went to Cupcake so we could officially call this our birthday party (Amanda’s birthday was last weekend)! Ya see, I posted on YHL facebook page that this was my party and I was bringing cupcakes so they could sing happy birthday to me. The kicker was that they agreed! So we were in search of cupcakes. We just needed any cupcakes, but the s’more variety was preferred so when we found these I was completely and totally jazzed!

Aaaaaand they were a winner from Cupcake Wars? Holla! This added to the whole rockstar experience!

Post roller coaster and post cupcakes we made our way back to the car with me muttering to Amanda “I can’t believe this is actually happening. I can’t believe this is actually happening.” We got to West Elm around 4:30 and joined in the line.

Around 6pm we started filing in and made it close to inside. We were standing right outside the window where they sat for signing. I may have gone a little paparazzi and just started snapping pictures. Later when I showed them to Ashley she said “It’s like watching a movie”.

We had a couple hours to look around the store while we were in there waiting in line

I decided that I may want to do something like this above the sink in our kitchen (as in I definitely do).

The closer we got to the table the more and more freaked out I started to get. At one point I looked at Amanda and said “I hope I don’t faint or cry.” Then we came upon these cookies that took my mind off it for a little while.

Not long after we passed the cookie table, Amanda started counting people ahead of us. That’s when I really started faaa-reaking out.

So, the absolutely terrible part? My phone died. Amanda’s phone died. Fortunately, there were some fab ladies behind us in line and we knew they were as big of fans as us when we heard them talking about feeling like stalkers and like they were meeting Justin Bieber. That’s how I felt. I commented on a facebook post Ashley made the day before. Honestly, only two of those three things didn’t happen.

I felt totally comfortable asking them to video the happy birthday serenade and then emailing it to me. And one of them agreed!!!! I feel like I owe her my first born child or something. There. Are. No. Words. Video time? Please note, I was so excited I forgot to mention to them it was Amanda’s birthday too (Sorry Amanda) and I was completely flustered. I cried. I actually cried. Amanda said that she kept looking at me waiting for me to faint. I didn’t. I held it together (for the most part). Sherry was signing Ashley’s book when she was singing and started to say Ashley’s name (so she was there in spirit) But here’s the video

UPdate: Today I read an email from the super kind lady who took that video. Know why she’s awesome? She’s a blogger (shoulda known). Here’s her post about the meet and greet. Go on, check it out. Give her some love. Thankfully, she’s pg so she may not make me give her our firstborn. Whew. Bullet=dodged.

Of course we had to get a picture with them and our cupcakes

Then I took a picture of my new prized possession

And on Saturday Amanda’s husband posted this picture and caption on facebook

Amanda’s fortune from last nights dinner. If she would have received this Tuesday night or Wednesday lunch I would have been sold on these fortune cookies for life!

All in all it was an AMAZING day! Can’t wait for round two!!! Anyone else go to get a book signed?



Categories: It's Our Life | 3 Comments

A (free) Halloween Printable!!!

I’m totally a crazy cat lady. I admit it, it’s okay. Bella and Bristol are the lights of my life. When Audrey from Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats asked me to create some tags for a cat treat she was working on, I was totally on board. I was skeptical when she told me they were going to be kitty litter clumps. We clean a lot of litter in this house and I’ve never thought of it as food. But, looking at Audrey’s tutorial, I might end up trying these!

How would you like a free printable of the tags I designed for these? Similar to the other free printables I’ve given you follow this linkto take you to Picasa Web Albums where you can download the file. Enjoy!

I designed these to help promote my event planning and styling business. I’d love it if you checked out my facebook page for Amy Lynn Events!

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The Little Chef

I’ve told you that I’ve gone back to college to study interior design. Have I told you what I want to do with my interior design degree? Event planning and styling. That’s my dream. I’ve started my own event planning business (here’s my facebook page) and between that and sixteen credit hours this semester in school, I’m so uber busy! Two weeks ago, we also went to see my in-laws and my friend Kristen. When we were visiting the in-laws, while Michael was setting up computers he had built for his parents, I spent some quality time with my MIL and SIL working on stuff for my SIL’s wedding in November! Visiting Kristen was awesome! I haven’t seen her since we were in college…fourteen years ago. So I got to meet her husband and her boys and we went thrifting and made a trip to Home Goods and we went to some neat restaurants in their cute little town. It was amazing. We were gone a little over week and it was so refreshing, but now I’m having to play catch up.

Yesterday was my niece’s first birthday party and my sister let me plan it! As I was deciding what pictures to share with you, I realized I never shared with you my feature on Spaceships and Laserbeams! A few months ago, I showed you the vintage airplane dessert table that my friend Kristen designed as part of their Boy Bash on a Budget. She encouraged me to contact them about doing one too. I ended up doing a dessert table for their brand new collection called “Little Chef“.

Here are a couple pictures from that feature

You should check out all the pictures on Spaceships & Laserbeams. On my facebook business page, I posted a few more pictures, so you can check out that album here.

I’m working on posting the pictures from my niece’s party on there, but here’s a couple of those pictures too

Categories: Everyone Loves a Party | Leave a comment

Cutie Patootie Miss E

Well, friends, I’m not ashamed that I’m here to beg. See this angel right here?

I think she’s pretty awesome. She is, after all, my niece so she didn’t really have a choice to be anything but awesome. Her mama (my SIL) entered this picture in a contest. Pretty please go vote for her on Livie & Luca. You only vote once so I won’t bug you every day to go vote over and over. But once? Just once for the little girl who looked at her mom this week and said “I haven’t seen Auntie Amy in awhile,” complete with a pouty face.
Once I’m safely past a presentation for school tomorrow, I can’t wait to show you the project that the hubs painted last week. It seriously makes my heart skip a beat every time I look at it. Check out my Instagram feed to get a small sneak peek (username: thisDIYlife).

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Bubbly Mason Jars in a Donut World

Time for the fourth installment of the Garden Brunch bridal shower. The first one was the ombre dyed table runners. The second was the dollar store painted serving platters. The third was the split peas turned vase filler. Now there was one more thing I painted.

One of my favorite blogs is Hostess With the Mostess. I loved this way to display cake pops – little flowers.

Image from Hostess With the Mostess

I had some terra cotta pots already so decided to use them…painted pink of course. I’ve painted a lot of terra cotta pots in the past and I’m sure I’ll paint a lot more in the future. When you’re painting them, make sure to seal the pot first. This step will help you save quite a bit of paint. Also if you are going to plant actual plants in them it will keep your paint on the pot.

Remember to seal both the inside and the outside of the pot. If it is not sealed on the inside any water or moisture that is on the inside can cause the paint to lift on the outside.

After the pot was painted I put some floral styrofoam inside and covered it with moss (all from Dollar Tree) and snapped this picture and shared it on Instagram.

Another tip if you’re not on Instagram: you can see my Instagram photos from my Twitter feed. If you don’t have Twitter, you can find them in the sidebar here to the right. If you are following me on Instagram you may have also seen this picture. I did a whole mess of painting in just one day.

We didn’t have cake pops, after all this was a brunch shower. Instead we ordered doughnut holes from Donutland (Donutworld to my nephew Hunter), a local favorite doughnut place and stuck lollipop sticks in them and then into the pink pot.

Here’s Grandma eating one

We used Mason jars for drinks and covered them with cupcake liners. My cousin Brianna seemed to like them

I also designed some water bottle labels

We got some bubbles at Party City tied a little green seersucker fabric around them and the girls at the shower had fun blowing bubbles in the park


I think that two more posts should  take us through the rest of the shower. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you have seen so far. As always, let me know if you make some of the projects. Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or just email me.



Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Projects | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Paint Shower – Part 2

Hey look at that, I had ambition. Will wonders never cease? Ready for Bridal Shower part 3 and Paint project part 2?

Last time I left you sitting outside on my deck with this and the promise that I would tell you about what is on this drop cloth with the plates and candlesticks.

Any guesses? A hint? This Instagram picture?

Okay, that’s the only hint you’re getting because it’s a pretty big hint. I hate guessing games so I won’t make you deal with that torture. But you have to promise to never make me play Pictionary or Charades with you.

I saw this thing via Pinterest. I know, I know. Try to contain your shock. Painted beans for vase filler.

Image from g*rated

They used beans, I used peas because I had peas. Next time I will use beans. I’m not sure that this is cheaper than actual vase filler, but I couldn’t find any filler that would have the effect of my ombre obsession so I set off to make my own. I had the paint and the peas and neurotic Amy took over.

I laid them out on the drop cloth and started spraying

Three bags of peas in three different colors – to perfectly match the three colors of cake stands

Then I shook them up a little bit to give them another coat. Something to note: If you don’t let them dry completely first and try to move them around, this happens

I was really happy with the way the dark pink ones were turning out

I’m not sure if it was the paint or the color of my peas but the light pink ones looked pretty white with little bits of pink. Maybe I didn’t shake the can well enough?

Whatever it was, these took sooooooo long to get covered. I ended up calling it good enough. The still looked good in the vase but my favorite part is what the peas left behind on the drop cloth. I have a project in mind where this is the actual intention now

Unfortunately this is the best picture I have of the vase with the filler.

It was used at the wedding too and then I threw it all away because I didn’t want to separate them all out. I think flat paint would work much better than the gloss paint I used for the two pinks. When the painted peas got warm they all stuck together. Next time…yes there will be a next time. In fact I already have a next time in mind. My nephew’s birthday party perhaps in black and Hawkeye gold.

One more paint project and then I’ll show you the whole food table. Seems like a good Friday post to me. What do you think?



Categories: Decorating, Everyone Loves a Party, Projects, Tutorials | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Paint Shower – Part 1

I painted a lot of stuff for my SIL’s bridal shower. Generally speaking I’m a laid back easy going type of person. The exception to this rule is party planning. I seriously go all type A and it can get ugly if I don’t get exactly what I want. The colors have to be right. The mood has to be right. It just has to be right. The theme for Lindsee’s shower was a garden brunch. It was at a local park in a pavilion and it was cute! The colors were pink and green so everything had to be pink and green. I searched and searched for just the right platters for the food (I told you it was a problem) and couldn’t find anything. If you’re on Pinterest you’ve probably seen the candlestick and plate make a cupcake stand thing. I was at Dollar Tree and decided to check out their candlestick and glass plate situation. Score! I also finally braved taking my phone into Dollar Tree again to take this picture. Every time I go in there since the cashier stole my last one, I leave it in the car. But I knew I was going to want Kristen’s opinion on this one so I braved it.

We had four things that were going to go on platters and instead of refilling while people were standing there, we wanted to do switch outs so I picked up eight plates and eight candlesticks.

I could have left them the way they were, but decided that they needed some paint. Something to go with the ombre obsession perhaps? I think so. Fortunately I only had to buy one can of paint. Either I was thinking ahead or I just have too much paint. Let’s go with the first one.

Step one was to peel off all the stickers and clean the surface. Then I pulled out my new drop cloth that probably can’t be classified as new with all the paint that it has on it now. I laid out all the plates face down on the drop cloth.

Time for paint. Thin even coats. Always, thin even coats.

Then the candlesticks. Same treatment

I wanted to be able to put food straight onto the platters so I didn’t paint the tops. They may have been okay, but poisoning people at a bridal shower with paint chips and chemicals was not something I was interested in doing or a chance I was willing to take.

If you visited our house in the midst of this chaos you would have had to walk by this scene on our deck. I promise the other thing I painted is coming soon – maybe later today depending on my ambition level.

Here’s my favorite picture of them, courtesy of my Instagram addiction. So for some of you this picture may be a repeat. (psst – if you’re not following me on Instagram my user name is thisDIYlife. Really original aren’t I?)

I could have glued them together but decided to just try balancing because I wanted to be able to store them easily. Balancing worked well for the most part. Only one person almost dumped the platter. I call that a win. They matched the colors of the shower and they were classy and fun. They got used for the wedding too.

Price breakdown?

  • Glass plate – $1 at Dollar Tree
  • Candlestck – $1 at Dollar Tree
  • Spray paint – $4 at Menards – I think you could easily paint 8-10 of these in one can of paint if you weren’t ombre obsessed like me.
  •     Total – $6

So, that’s part two of the bridal shower and part one of the stuff I painted for it.

Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Foodie Faves, Projects | Tags: | Leave a comment

Ombre! Ole’!

Did you give up on me? I honestly don’t know who thought it would be a good idea for me to take so many classes this summer. Especially since I haven’t been in college for 14 years. It wasn’t the brightest decision I’ve ever made. Now that I’m semi-caught up and two weeks from the end of the summer semester I feel like I can take a little time to write out some DIY posts for you. More of what you expect from me rather than finger nails and birthday wishes. If you think waaaaay back you might remember that I was the planner/stylist for my brother’s wedding a month ago. I also worked with my (step)mom and sisters to plan the bridal shower. The biggest thing I tell people about planning a party is that if you plan something and can’t get to it or you forget about it, you’ll be the only one who knows. I imparted this wisdom on Ashley’s mom when I invaded her house threw her and her husband a gender reveal party. Donna’s response: Unless it’s forks. Donna-1 Amy-0.

There were some things that didn’t get done for Lindsee’s shower, but a lot that did get done. This would be one huuuuuge post if I did it all at once so I’ll show you pieces over the course of the week and by next week you’ll have a complete picture. I think one of my absolute favorite parts of this shower was the table runners. I’ve been a little obsessed with ombre lately. Okay, maybe a lot obsessed. When I saw this on Pinterest, I thought “Stick a fork in me, I’m done. On second thought don’t. That would hurt”. Yeah, none of that is true but I was pretty excited about it.

Image from A Practical Wedding

I got six yards of muslin and cut it in half. That gave me three yards/nine feet for each table. Then I cut it in half lengthwise once and then those two pieces in half again. At the end of this confusing story I had eight runners that were approximately thirteen inches wide and three yards long. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know that when I give you a tutorial I tell you what I did and then I tell you the better way to do it. This, my friends, is no different. Due to the aforementioned (10 point word) obsession with ombre I was completely jazzed to see if this would work and therefore did not take time to hem my table runners first. I sew because I need to, not because I want to…or because I’m good at it…because I’m not. I can hold my own and that’s about all. So if you’re going to make some of these I suggest hemming the edges first. It will save you headaches in the long run. But I didn’t do that and they still turned out good. Just a little smaller from unraveling in the washer. Oh well. Back to my dye job. I got some fuchsia dye at the store (can’t remember which one) for about $2.

I filled the sink with water and wet down all the fabric (just like the package said to)

Then I dumped the dye in the sink.

At this point your husband may come in from the garage and ask you what in the free world you’re doing…mine did. I gave him the standard “Making things pretty” response. After being married to me for almost ten years he just rolls his eyes and walks away. Good man, but he’s lucky I’m not Christian Grey.

Here’s where my runners start to differ from the (p)inspiration one I saw. I wanted the center of my runners to be white to help draw the eye along the runner and then to the centerpiece. I had all of my runners folded in half and stacked on top of each other. I dunked the ends into the dye bath

I used a bamboo skewer to occasionally check the color. I wanted to make sure it was dark enough before putting more of the runner into the dye bath

I was really concerned that there wouldn’t be a gradual change in the colors and that the lines would be too rigid. I discovered that the dye tended to “climb” the fabric a little. Like this

I’m not sure if it’s because I was using super light fabric or if this would just be normal. Maybe someone who is fabric inclined will email me and then I can let y’all know. Until then I’ll be blissfully ignorant. Every 4-5 minutes I moved the fabric further into the dye until I had about six inches left that was white. Then I started rinsing and rinsing and rinsing and rinsing. I think you get the picture. I was careful to keep the white part away from the colored part. This is where my fabric and dying ignorance is going to show again. Hair dye? Oh yeah, I’ve been using that for twenty years. Fabric dye, not so much. I was pretty serious about this ombre so I started with the darkest pink ends and rinsed until the color ran clear. Then moved my way up the runners. I was not going to let this turn out like my orange hair. Seriously it was orange. My friend’s mom who never says anything bad looked at me and said “Oh Amy. What happened to your hair?” It was that bad. No more of that talk…it’s too painful.

After I rinsed them all I took them outside to the clothesline. It was a beautiful windy day so I knew they would dry fast and I would get some laundry on the line photos.

Here is what they looked like on the table at the shower

Couple closer pictures on my dining room table?

I’m thinking they might make an appearance for my niece’s next birthday party because they are awesome and when else will I use them?

There you have it. A little ombre in your day. Anyone else obsessed with ombre? How about taking pictures of laundry on the line? The G rated laundry that is. I think next we shall discuss berry baskets…or food (with recipes)…or poms…or the banner that didn’t get done (sad face). Eh. It will be one of those. Maybe two. Requests?

Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Projects | 2 Comments

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