The art of giving.

Regrettably I always find myself forgetting a friend or family member’s birthday more often than not.  As of late is seems that holidays or important events sneak up on me and I need a gift in a pinch that says, “Of course I remember your birthday and I cared to send you the very best.”  Flowers are classic but predictable. Recently a new company reached out and asked if they could sponsor a post so I could try out their service.  Sesame Gifts has made it their mission to curate perfect gifts ready to ship to that special someone…I can’t tell you how glad I am to have them in my back pocket for when I’m in a bind special-event bind.

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They have gifts for every type of person for every life event you could imagine.  I received their “Modern Tranquility” box which includes an Air Plant, misting bottle and Walnut Planter.


When you ship a gift it usually gets dropped and jostled over the several hundred miles it has to travel and rarely looks the same way it was put together pre-shipment.  What I loved is how beautiful their presentation was.  Sesame Gifts has figured out how to ensure the gift looks like a gift and not a shipment coming in a big brown box.  Chefs say we eat with our eyes first and presentation is just as important as the gift itself.  Sesame has figured that out.


It’s the perfect low-maintenance plant that I just might be able to keep alive.  (Might).


This sweet little plant has already been all over our house…



They even have a mobile app…perfect for when you’re laying in bed and remember that you forgot your mother’s birthday.  You can grab your phone, open the app and place your order  all while laying on your pillow.  Easy-peasy!

Right now you can also earn a $20. credit for every $100. you spend on Sesame gifts with their “Gift More, Get More” campaign.

They also run a gift box giveaway on Instagram every Sunday (#SesameSundays) which you can enter by tagging your friends…especially cool because they are new to Instagram which means their entries are low enough that your chances of winning are pretty high!

Now for some excited news…you guys know I rarely gush over a company without sharing the love.  I’ll be giving away a $15.00 discount code to 5 readers!

To Enter:
First, head on over to Sesame’s website and pick your favorite gift.
Next, head on over to my Instagram account  and leave a comment.

Happy gifting!


Personalizing with Painters Paint Markers.

I have been sponsored by Painters to feature their product.  I was given Painters Products to use in the production of this post.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

One of the perks of blogging is getting to try out new products and let your creativity take you where it will.
This week I had the opportunity to experiment with Painters Paint Markers.  You know those things that you draw with by holding it in your hand?  I’ve gotten so used to typing, tapping and dragging my finger over a screen to create images in some fancy program then have a machine design, draw and cut it simultaneously for me.  I almost didn’t know what to do with these Painters.


In the past, I’ve used paint that comes in the form of a marker or pen before but only on my walls.
This time I wanted to see how well they would do on canvas accessories which I found at Hobby Lobby.
Using a fine medium point Painters I drew a pattern on a canvas bag.


I was pleasantly surprised how well it drew on canvas material.

I then decided to try my luck on a pair of canvas shoes for my niece as a gift. Using a fine tip marker I carefully drew a pattern on the shoes.
I was nervous it would bleed and then I’d have to figure out a way to make a ink stain look like something intentional but there was no bleeding whatsoever.



What girl wouldn’t love a matching bag and shoes?


I had so much fun I decided to make all my little nieces a bag for Christmas gifts.


If you’re not good at free-handing or are planning a more deliberate design I would highly recommend sketching it out in pencil first then go over it with a marker.


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I even drew a simple monogram on a little zip clutch (yes, I went a little crazy with all these accessories).


I’m not an artist by any means but I actually surprised myself.  I can actually draw without the help of an electronic device…who knew!?  Painters markers allow you to give things an personal touch and I found that drawing designs became a hypnotic therapy of sorts.  Plus the Painters rock.  Really quality paint markers.

Now for some exciting news.  Painters is having a monthly contest between October – December where you can make your own creations using Painters. They are giving each monthly winner a prize valued at $500! The Style by Aisle with Painters Contest will have five different themes (August-December) which are based on store “aisles.” You can submit your homemade creations to the Painters site.  You can also download a coupon for Painters products on their site.
Happy Drawing!

Installing Timberlane Bermuda Shutters.

Now that we’ve shared our shed makeover reveal earlier this week we wanted to rewind a beat and talk shutters.
One of my favorite elements of this makeover was the addition of the Bermuda Shutters (also knows as Bahama Shutters).
If you’re not familiar with Bermuda shutters, they are a type of shutter hinged at the top meant to block out the sun but still allowing a breeze to come through.
They get their name from most commonly being used in the islands.
I’ve always loved the look of these shutters and in our case they were meant to be more decorative than functional.
You can see that we have two windows on the front of the shed that allow much needed light to come through.


Problem is they reveal a cluttered mess inside the shed. At certain angles the windows look like two black holes.
By adding the shutters, we still have the illusion that the windows are there but they hide the black holes and mess inside.


See the difference?


After realizing this was not a DIY project I wanted to tackle I reached out to a stellar company, Timberlane Shutters.  They are known for their handcrafted shutters and every piece is custom.


They were confident their shutters would make the project and they even sent us a pair of shutters to review.
They were so beautiful in their original cedar state that I had a hard time wanting to paint them.  In the end I chose the shade called “Fog Rolls In” by Clark + Kensington Paint from ACE Hardware.  It’s a perfect gray.


One tip I learned from Ryan Reeder (who refinished our cabinets after the original paint job begin peeling after only 2 years later) was to sand any hard 90 degree angles before painting.


He taught me that paint can’t stick to a hard 90 degree edge so if you take some light grit sand paper and ever so slightly round the edge down the paint will stick and you won’t have worn paint down the road.  You won’t even notice the sanded edge.  It’s been a valuable tip I use on all my projects now.

The installation of the shutters was very straight forward.  Timberlane has a large line of beautiful hardware to use on their shutters.  Good thing because I wasn’t in the mood to mess up those beautiful shutters with some kind of rigged DIY situation.

I did however opt to use the reclaimed hardware for the arms I found in Kansas City, MO during our crazy cross-country RV trip.

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Using my crockpot (which has found permanent place in the shed with the rest of our tools) I let the hardware simmer for a few hours and then the paint fell right off (details here).


The round knob attached the shutter is adjustable which allows it to be extended out further or lay flat.

Here’s a quick video slide-show of the install.

If you’re thinking about outdoor shutters for your house (or shed) you’ve got to check out Timberlane.  I mean it when I say their shutters are quality!
You can also follow them on their website or on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a $100. gift card to ACE Hardware here
I was given shutters to review.  This post was written by myself and opinions are 100% my own.