Sunday, February 28, 2010

a little green inspiration...

a little green inspiration
 a little green inspiration for you...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

a birthday outfit and a bracelet

last night s.c. (my husband) and i went out for his 33 birthday, i know he's getting old right?  unfortunately, i have more gray hair than he does, however.  for the occasion, i dressed a little matronly, of course, to emphasize his aging nature.

what i'm wearing...

sweater- thirfted, but from the limited
top- LOFT
skirt- anthropologie, on sale for $9.99
tights and shoes- target
belt- jcrew
pearls- target

i also wore this bracelet


i recently purchased some t-shirt yarn from Eclectic Notions, which by the way, is a perfectly priced creative material.  it is perfect to knit or crochet a fun summer scarf with or to use to make jewelry or to use a unique ribbon for gifts or even just to use as a soft bowl filler. it was an impulse buy; i saw it and just had to make something with it.  so...while i ponder what to make...i made this little bracelet to help get my creative juices flowing.  

it was super easy i four little circles of tulle and four from a shiny chiffon.  i folded them in half and strung them onto a small piece of thread; i tugged them around until it created a little flower.  then, i placed the little bead in the center and stiched it onto a piece of t-shirt yarn.  i wrapped it around twice and tied a little knot.  the yarn is stretchy enough to slip on an off without having to undo the knot. there you have it, a dainty braclet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

super sweatshirt


Recently, I picked up a navy blue, hooded sweatshirt for, you guessed it, $2.24, at Target.  It was a perfect candidate for some felt applique; so, I made my son, Connor, a SUPER C sweatshirt using iron-on fusible backing, felt, and my sewing machine.  We are working on recognizing the "C" in the first letter of his name; so, I thought this sweatshirt would be a bit educational while inspiring his inner "Superman". 

1. First, I cut out a large C from a piece of gray felt to fit the back of the sweatshirt.  I also cut out a small turtle from green felt, a small piece of "dirt" from brown felt, and a small C from the gray felt for the front of the sweatshirt. 
2. Then, I transferred the fusible backing (just follow the directions on whatever kind you have) to the felt pieces and ironed them onto the sweatshirt.  
3. Lastly, to provide extra reinforcement and outlining, I used my sewing machine to outline the large C and the little "patch" on the front.  I hand stitched the small C on the front using gray thread.    

This little project took no time at all and now my little Superhero has a Super C Sweatshirt to wear.  Plus, each new project improves my novice sewing skills little-by-little.

What do you think? Does this project inspire you to makeover your clearance finds?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a shabby splurge


I was looking for a table to fit this spot in the living room.  I wanted something roomy where, theoretically, two people could casually sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and a conversation.  I had been searching for a table on the cheap that I could paint myself.  However, when I found this solid wood drop-leaf table that had already been given a shabby white paint job, I just couldn't leave it behind.  It cringed me to pay $62 for it, but I love it and it saved me from my never ending search. Now, it just needs a lamp.  

I found this table at this great little shop, Willow Lake, in O'fallon, MO.  I will do a post about this store soon; it showcases some great found objects, architectural pieces, home decor, and local artists.  Eileen, the owner, has great taste. 

cardboard decor



what do you think of my painted cardboard shamrocks? 
cute and clever? 
or belongs in the recycling bin?

you decide...

more info after the break

jackie style

Another find from my weekend is a signed copy of the fashion biography, Jackie Style, that chronologically discusses the fashion and life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.  Her iconic style has influenced fashion for decades and my own personal love of pill-box hats, big sunglasses, and fifties fitted sheath dresses.  For these reasons, I couldn't leave the book on the shelf.  So, for $10, It's mine to treasure. 


Sunday, February 21, 2010

a couple of thrifty necklaces...


This is most likely a vintage collar necklace that would be worn under the lapel of a shirt.  I will wear it with lowish cut shirts and dresses to add a little "exotic" flair. 

I just love this little shell necklace.  Take me to the beach, please. 

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  I enjoyed a day of thrifting on Saturday and I have several other finds to share this week.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

shop local, buy handmade





these necklaces from Made by Maggie Jewelry Designs are dainty and beautiful. if you are in the st. louis area, you can support a local small business and wear some unique baubles at the same time. to me, these necklaces inspire spring and they don't need anything but a t-shirt and jeans to shine.

$35 desk.

If you remember this post, I mentioned that I was looking for a desk.  Ultimately, the wall space that I wanted to use in the living room was only about 28" wide, which made most of the desks I was looking at not an option.  By chance, I came across this laptop desk on sale for $35; it matches the color of the glass-door credenza that I already have in the room perfectly.  It's only 24" wide; therefore, it still leaves room for a stack of books or a magazine basket.  It is pretty solid and is actually usable...I've already used it as a workstation.  The best part is the price; it leaves me the option to change my mind someday.

To finish off the living room, I still need 2 lamps, a pedestal table, and wall's taking time, but at least I'm making progress, right?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a perfect gift-not quite yet baby, new baby, little baby, or toddler


These items are coming soon to Chronicle Books.   They are wonderful new items from the well-designed DwellStudio kids/baby line.  The books plus the unique disposable paper bibs make a beautiful, eclectic gift.  Or, give just the books for a present under $25.  You might even have to buy these for your kiddo too.

perfecting granola


Recently, I've been mad about making homemade granola.  It's so delicious, good for you, kid-friendly, and cheaper than buying a pre-made box.  I've been working with this recipe from  What I like about this recipe is that it is a manageable portion that you can eat in a few days without having to freeze it.  Plus, it's so simple that I don't mind making it every few days.  

The30Girl's Modified, Melissa Hotek's Granola

What you need...
1/2 cup veggie or canola oil
1/2 real maple syrup
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup medium shred unsweetened coconut

What you do...
1. Mix the oil, syrup, honey, wheat germ, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  
2. Add the oats, almonds and coconut.  Stir until all dry ingredients are wet.
3. Spread on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees on the middle rack.  
5. Stir, then back approximately 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Granola should be completely dry, but not burnt.  
6. Cool to room temperature.  Add chocolate chips, dried fruit or whatever suits your fancy. 

I do not add anything until I'm ready to eat it.  Often, I add a few chocolate chips and eat it with milk.  Or I serve it with fresh berries, greek yogurt and honey. 


This is definitely a heart healthy snack. Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

waiting for the postman...

I hope everyone had a splendid Valentine's Day and hopefully a restful 3-day weekend!

I thought I would share with you a couple things that I'm waiting for in the mail.


1. These vintage gardening books.  I am hoping to use some of the botanical sketches in these books as wall art. Plus, I plan to stack them artfully in my "formal living room".  
2. Remember this $50 dollar craig's list find?  Well, I finally decided on the chair cover.  I ordered the Collette wing chair cover in Cocoa from Sure Fit.  I'm still unsure of the color, but I love the design and I really wanted the legs to show.  We'll find out soon if it works.  Unless I was going to shell out the funds for a custom cover, this one at $47.99 (I used a 20% off promo code) can't be beat. Cross your fingers that it works! 
Are you waiting for anything exciting in the mail? Please drop me a comment and let me know:)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Choco-Cheesecake Muffins from a Box.


I made these little ditties this weekend.  They were easy and a hit.  My goal was to combine my favorite (chocolate) with my hubby's favorite (cheesecake) to make a dessert that we would both enjoy.  Plus, I gave a few away as early V-day gifts. 
What you need...
1 box chocolate chip muffin mix or brownie mix
1 8oz package neufchatel cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

What you do...
1. Make the muffin box/brownie mix according to package instructions.  I used Duncan Hines Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix.  Instead of the oil, I always use applesauce to cut down the fat--it makes me feel a little better about indulging in all of the sugar. 

2. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper squares or muffin liners or cooking spray.  Fill the muffins 3/4's full with the chocolate mix.  

 3. Using a hand mixer, cream the neufchatel cheese and sugar.  Then, add the egg and vanilla; mix until well-combined.  

4. Place a dollop of the creamy cheese mixtures into each muffin tin. 

5. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is set and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Companion Bread: a homegrown, homebaked, STL business

If you live in the St. Louis area and you have not already indulged in Companion bread, definitely do so soon.  I'm sure that you will regularly partake after your first crusty bite.  For me, it's not just about eating bread with an excellent crumb and crust, it's about supporting a local small business with great values.  Their commitment to ingredients means eating bread you can feel good about--no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

They have an excellent website showcasing their products, locations, recipes, and web community.  Do check them out, at

Here's an easy recipe incorporating Companion bread...

Friday Night Tuna Melt with Companion's Ciabatta

What you need...

1 loaf of Companion Ciabatta
1 can Cento Tuna packed in oil
several slices of fresh mozzarella
several slices of tomatoes, variety of your choice
handful of organic baby spinach leaves
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

What you do...
Slice the Ciabatta in half, lengthwise
Then, slice the half through the middle, making top and bottom sandwich pieces
Drizzle both sides with a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
Spread out the tuna on one half, layer the mozzarella slices, tomato slices, and spinach
Place top half on top of bottom half, and bake at 400 degrees until cheese has melted and bread is warm and crispy
Remove from oven and give the top of the sandwich a good smash with your hand
Cut sandwich in half and enjoy with a good friend, your partner, your spouse, or your kiddo--while eating discuss the greatness of Companion bread.

Monday, February 8, 2010

diy playroom art, on a budget

If you were reading, you might remember this post from last week, well I finished the project! So, here is the "how-to".

First, I used the Malma Mirrors from Ikea. Once upon a time, I purchased 6 of them.  At $2.99, the price couldn't be beat...I new I would get inspiration to use them someday.


In order to remove the mirror from each frame, I used a box cutter to cut the glue around the edges of the mirror.  Then, I knocked the mirror loose by gently hitting it with a rubber mallet. I'll admit, it did require a bit of elbow grease, but it only took me about 45 minutes to do all 6.  

After mirror removal, the frames were ready for paint.  I simply painted two coats of white, semi-gloss paint on each frame.  If you want to see less would grain, you could definitely go with three coats since the natural wood really soaks up the paint.  Or, you could use primer as the base coat.  For me, I usually try to use what I have on hand to avoid any unnecessary spending.  

Now, the frames were ready for the art.

For the artwork, I cut each picture to size using my handy-dandy paper cutter.  At which point, I glued (using non-toxic, acid-free glue) each picture to a piece of foam core board that I cut to the same size as the pictures and frame opening--4.5x4.5 inches.  I did contemplate using spray adhesive, but it's so toxic--a little Martha Stewart glue did the trick perfectly.  

Then, I inserted my foam core pictures into the freshly painted frames and I secured them into place with one 1/4 inch staple from my staple gun.  

By the way, instead of using the rather complicated picture hangers that came with the frames, I nailed saw-tooth picture hooks into the back of each frame.  These toothy things definitely made hanging easier.

 Basically, that is the process.  Here are a few close ups. 



The playroom is in our basement and has been void of natural light lately due the consistent lack of sun; so, I apologize for the poor quality of these pics.  As soon as I see some sun, I'll snap some new ones to really show off how great this little project really turned out.  

Overall, I had fun doing this project and I'm pleased with the result and price. 

Frames: 15.00
Art: 1.98 (cost of printing)
Paint: Free from basement
Picture Hangers: Free from basement
Foam Core: Free from office
Total Cost: $16.98

If you would like to make this project too, I've posted a .pdf file of my artwork in the sidebar under From the30girl... Or, email me and I will send you the original jpeg files.

Thanks for reading!

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