5 Tips for the Everyday {Extra}Ordinary Girl

5 Things

Hey, guess what. It’s Tuesday already! If you live in the US or Canada, we hope you enjoyed your long weekend! If you’re in Europe, maybe you enjoyed a nice bank holiday? We sure hope so.

We’re easing ourselves back into the work week (and reluctantly saying our goodbyes to summer) by bringing you a post with fun little tips and tricks we think you might enjoy during this transition-into-fall period. From how to set a table to creating your very own succulent garden, we’ve rounded up some of the web’s very best from the recent past.

1. Julia was a wise woman. Get this print from Design Eat, Repeat and make it your number one golden rule.

2. Dazzle your fancy friends by knowing what side of the plate your soup spoon resides. Image by daniellemj.

3. Macaron milkshake! This needs no explanation. Carry on.

4. 10 DIY Uses for Coconut. Yes, there’s even a DIY for your very own coconut bra. (Um, early Halloween costume, perhaps?)

5. Go green and learn How to Plant a Succulent Garden from the impossibly talented Jenni and friends from I Spy DIY.

XO RTC

Lemonade with a French Twist

Citron presse

Hooey, it’s hawt out! Like top knot hot. Like, put your lipsticks in the fridge because they’re going to melt any minute now hot.

For real, it’s getting hot in here so take off all your…woah, woah. This is a PG blog. Sorry Nelly, I’m gonna need you to take a step back. Back into 1999. Haha.

Oh snap.

Now that I’ve made myself laugh and probably alienated our readers, let’s talk about lemonade. It’s sweet. Sometimes it’s tart. And it’s always refreshing on a hot, summer day. In this version of the very popular summertime sippery, we’re taking cues from the French because they’re, let’s face it, fab-u-lous.

In this post, we’ve replicated the ever popular Parisian café beverage, citron pressé or sometimes referred to as lemon pressé. It’s really basic, super fresh and easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ice water + sugar + lemons

After you’ve gathered your ingredients, you can flex your muscles as you squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a glass. That’s the “hard” part. Really, this recipe is fool proof. Except that the recipe called for one lemon per glass and we decided to do two, which ended up being ridiculously sour.

Lemon press
Citron presse. Just add sugar

Once your lemon juice is pressed, your guests can mix up their own drinks with as much or as little sugar and ice water that pleases their palettes.

Et voila: citron pressé.
Citron presse, a French take on lemonade
weird combo of bracelets! (2)
Fresh lemons

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, add some lime juice or totally forgo the lemon and lime and concoct an orange pressé for a fabulous brunch brew. Oooh, the possibilities are endless.

We really enjoyed drinking the fruits of our labor and we hope you do, too!

Have a fab weekend!

Merci, RTC

Seeing Spots: DIY Polka Dot Artwork & Venetian Gold Frame

How to... Dots

When I was in middle school, I liked art class.  Art class, however, did not like me.  I wanted so badly for Mrs. [Protect Innocent] to acknowledge my creations.  It never happened.  Truth is, I was quite awful at art-making.  I stopped trying to draw still-life flowers and even abandoned my paper mache pig by the time I got to high school.  In case you’re wondering, the pig’s name was Herbert and he was painted cobalt blue with no other details.  I wish I hadn’t chucked him – his monochromatic pig-self would have been very on trend.  Sort-of like these beauties.

Fast forward a whole lot of years.

I recently stumbled upon an absolutely fabulous textile designer Caitlin Wilson  and became dizzy with affection. (If I could, I’d buy one of everything she makes.)  Not only are her products crisp and beautiful, she possesses some polka dottie artwork that I simply adore!  I have always been drawn to polka dots and I was completely inspired.  There is NO stopping me when I am inspired.

CW smaller

*image by CaitlinWilson.com (check out the sale items – it’s what any RTC girl/guy would do)

After an unsuccessful internet search for the print, it occurred to me that I could replicate those splendid spots!  Here’s what I did to create my own version:

1. I seized an opportunity.  My mother had a framed print that never worked with her décor sitting in a closet (waiting for me, clearly). I visited and informed her that I would need to leave with the old art immediately.  Naturally, mom was wondering what my intentions were.  I told her I was planning to make some artwork for my living room, and dashed off before I could process her bewildered look.

champagne tasting 052 (2)

2. I went to Michael’s and purchased five items for the project: paint brushes (2), black, grey and metallic “venetian gold” acrylic paint. I spent approximately $6 and was eager to get home.

3. I got to work!  I heated and pulled away the backing from the frame.  I used a flathead screw driver to remove staples. Some were little SOB’s! Once the print was free, the matting was immediately placed in a safe spot.  Using a sponge brush, I painted black polka dots haphazardly on the reverse side of the print.  I was going to add grey dots, but decided against it.  Next, I used the metallic gold paint to revitalize the black plastic frame.  Using a 1” chip brush, I made even strokes around the frame until I reached desired coverage.  The paint went on well and dried fast.  I was happy after two coats.  This project took me about 2 hours to complete.

PicMonkey Collage ART

The result…

06-18-2013 130 (2)

06-18-2013 157 (3)

Sofa: Restoration Hardware  (similar) or (less expensive), Terracotta Pillows: Pottery Barn (similar), Aqua Pillows: Unknown/Custom (splurge), Green Stripe Pillow: TJ Maxx.  Toy Poodle: NOT FOR SALE!

For this project, I did something I try not to do very often – I channeled my inner 8th grader. We all have one, you know.  To be honest, I think Mrs. [Protect Innocent] would be proud! My artwork is not an exact replica of what’s in the Caitlin Wilson shot – just a couture piece in my home that makes me smile when I walk past the living room.

Have you ever achieved success with an art project as a novice?  Is there a specific print or pattern that you have always been drawn to (i.e. ikat, trellis, polka dots)?  Do you ever channel your inner teenager to begin or complete a task?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!