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1. This leather strap planter is simple and stylish.
2. These nails make me want to get my hands on some gold leaf, asap (pun intended).
3. These catch-all wall pockets are an interesting storage solution.
4. Store your painbrushes in this clever leather mason jar holder.
5. Create a taxidermy effect without any real skulls with these fun mini clay animal heads.

This mini instax camera comes in the cutest colors.

15 styling and shooting tips. So helpful!

This twist on a chambray shirt would be super versatile.

3 tricks to help focus your brain. For those days when you have lots to do but your brain just won’t cooperate.

 

This past weekend we attended a wedding in the woods. We stayed in a cabin…
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…hiked through the woods…
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…gazed at the ocean…
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…took extremely serious photobooth pictures (in which yes, I wore flannel)…
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…and learned what to do if you encounter a bear or cougar.
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(Luckily we didn’t end up needing to know.)
It was extremely beautiful, and a whole lot of fun to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in years.

This week I picked up a little piece of Halloween decor. I’m thinking of painting it, but can’t decide between black or white. I’m leaning toward black. Thoughts?
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There’s an Apartment Therapy contest (Room for Color) going on right now that I’m thinking of entering, but the commenters on that site are so mean that I’m having second thoughts. I love our front room, so I should probably stop being a big baby and just do it, right? I already took the photos.
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slow-roasted cherry tomatoes
In the last couple of weeks my tomato plants have been producing tons of cherry tomatoes. Last summer I discovered the best way to use up an excess of cherry tomatoes: slow roast them. Chop them in half, throw them in a baking pan with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt, and they shrink up and become incredibly sweet when baked at a low heat. If you’ve never had them you’re in for a treat.

slow-roasted cherry tomatoes

slow-roasted cherry tomatoes

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

From Smitten Kitchen

Cherry or grape tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet cut-side up, along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle or spray with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and the coarsely-torn herbs onto the tomatoes. Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours, checking them after two hours. You want them to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside. The time will vary based on the size of your tomatoes.
Either use them right away or let them cool and keep them in the fridge. Remove the skin from the garlic and enjoy with the tomatoes.

I eat these with cheese on crackers, but I’ve also had them in a sandwich, in salads, and on pizza. They’d also be great in a pasta dish or even in a salsa. Basically use them anywhere you’d use fresh or sun-dried tomatoes.

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Recently I was walking down the street in my neighborhood on my way to get brunch, and I came across this little lamp in a sidewalk free pile. As you can see from the “before” picture on the left, it wasn’t in great shape. But I liked the mix of marble, wood, and brass, so I grabbed it and carted it home. I figured it probably didn’t work (otherwise why would someone throw it out?), but when I added a light bulb and plugged it in, it lit right up.
lamp makeover
You can’t tell in this photo, but the brass pipe parts were actually pretty rusty, so thought I’d just polish them up and sand off the rust. When I attempted to do that, though, the metal partially changed to silver. It turns out the pieces were only brass-plated, and the plating had been unevenly eaten away by corrosion. I found replacements for the brass online, and figured I could replace the cord with a pretty colored cloth one, and switch out the socket and plug, too, but I soon realized that for the cost of the parts plus shipping, I might as well just buy a new lamp. So instead, I cleaned up the metal and then painted it with brass liquid guilding (I used this kind). I added a new lampshade (this one from Target), and now I’ve got a new lamp!
lamp makeover

Pretty good for a free lamp, right? I’m really happy with it with it, though I still want to upgrade the cord. Have you ever converted trash to treasure? I know I’m not the only one who scouts free piles for makeover candidates.

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DIY leopard fold-over clutch tutorial
Leopard is one of those classic patterns that comes back year after year. While it might look kind of out of place in the middle of the summer, when the temperatures drop and everyone heads back to school, it looks just right. Like colorful leaves or pumpkin spice lattes (which everyone seems to like but me), there’s a time and place for a good leopard pattern. I didn’t always like leopard-print, but somehow over the course of several years, it grew on me. Maybe I’ll wake up one day with a craving for one of those lattes everyone is crazy about. Until then, I’ll save my cash in this faux leopard clutch, waiting for the return of peppermint mochas (now those are delicious).
DIY leopard fold-over clutch tutorial

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