Recycling, Gardening and Entertaining All In One!

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Here at How2Girl we have devoted the entire month of April to gardening tips, tricks and ideas to help you get your creative juices flowing!

cbhdpost2I feel really lucky that I have teamed up with The Home Depot to bring you a fun and easy way to entertain this Spring and recycle at the same time. Being the hostess with the mostess and being green? What’s better than that?

I don’t know about you but I love candles and I hate to admit it but I usually buy the ones that are on the pricier side because the containers they come in are so beautiful! Not the $50 candles, that’s just crazy, more in the $15-$20 range. While these candles are gorgeous while they last, the question I always find is what do I do with the pretty containers once the wax is all gone? It’s such a shame to throw them away! Then I thought, why not plant flowers in them? For this project I’ve gathered up all of my empty candle containers and some pretty glass vases and turned them into beautiful centerpieces for a girls luncheon I was hosting at my house.

cb3hdpost2All of the flowers on the table were from plants purchased at The Home Depot. I planted a bevy of gorgeous outdoor flowers in a large candle container for the main centerpiece. For the smaller votive candles I planted dainty adorable little flowers and for my vases, I cut fresh flowers straight from the plants I purchased. I even planted flowers in beautiful candle containers that adorned the place settings as a party favor. Everything turned out amazing! It was fun and easy to do and I had a total blast getting creative with this project! I hope you get inspired to think outside the box when it comes to gardening and relish in the fact that plants don’t have to always be planted in the ground. There are so many other fun things they can be used for and they are a lot less expensive than hitting up your local florist, that’s for sure!

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To start, I gathered old candle containers from around the house.

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For a table runner I wanted to do something more on the organic side so I purchased a small sheet of hardboard and had it cut for me at The Home Depot to fit my table, about 15in wide by 36in long.

 

 

 

Next I painted it Hazel Woods, a dark green color by Behr Paints. After it dried I sprayed glue adhesive all over the board and added on Green Moss to the board. I loved using the board to adhere the moss onto because after this project you can store it and reuse it again and again. You can simply spread the moss on the table too but just be prepared for the clean up.

 

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After I finished my table runner I moved a few small glass vases I had on hand. I wanted to spice them up a little and decided to spray paint parts of them gold.

 

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Using Blue Painters Tape and Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint I taped everything off and sprayed them a perfect gold rotating between my two spray paints, both with different finishes.

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Finally it was time to plant my flowers! For the large centerpiece I used a Mother Fern, Columbine, Freesia, Coleus, Snap Dragon and Tulips. Using a knife I trimmed off some of the excess soil from the plant bases to make them all fit nicely.

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For my party favors I planted Kalanchoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flower25For my vases, I cut Columbine, and Freesia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flower26Last but not least, I added fresh stems of Lavender from a new plant to fresh squeezed lemonade for a special drink for my luncheon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of these gorgeous flowers were all from The Home Depot Nursery as well as the rest of my supplies. I love that they are a one-stop-shop for everything I needed for my luncheon centerpieces and gifts! Who would have thought? It just goes to show you don’t have to spend a lot to get fabulous results, just be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty. Oh wait, they have pink gardening gloves for that too, so you don’t even have to ruin your manicure! Major bonus!

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If you’re in the Los Angeles area be sure to join me this Saturday, April 19th at the Marina Del Rey Home Depot for The Home Depot LA Garden Party I’m hosting! There are going to be fabulous DIY gardening activities, food and cocktails! Plant your own creations and learn unforgettable tips and tricks from gardeniere Teena Spindler! Teena is a gardening expert hand-picked by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and a Home Depot Garden Club partner! As a Gardeniere, Teena is a passionate gardener with real-world experience when it comes to growing throughout the year on the West Coast.

The Food Network’s very own Southern Californian chef Nikki Martin will be making amazing farm-to-table recipes and “mocktails” for you to enjoy using all fresh ingredients! I hope to see you there! For more info click here for the Facebook event page and don’t forget to sign up for The Home Depot Garden Club to stay informed and learn everything you need know about gardening! The Home Depot Garden Club is an amazing resource for local gardening content, simple tips, tricks and expert advice to help you start your own garden at home, no matter your experience level or your location. Click here to join The Garden Club!

Thanks for being here with me today on How2Girl.com and have a great day!!!

 

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this “Garden Party” event. As a part of the project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash, for the purpose of promoting this event and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Spring Is Here! I’ve Teamed Up With The Home Depot Bringing You Fabulous DIY Gardening Solutions This Month!

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Spring is upon us! Hallelujah! This time of year has so many wonderful things to offer. There are gorgeous flowers blooming everywhere I look and I’m soaking up the warm weather but my favorite thing by far about Spring is the gardening!

 

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It’s time to roll up your sleeves with me because I will be hosting the The Home Depot LA Garden Party, April 19th at the Marina Del Rey Home Depot here in sunny California! If you’re in the LA area please come stop by, say hi and enjoy fabulous gardening projects!

Get your hands dirty and get inspired while you paint your own terra-cotta pots, plant your own creations and learn once in a lifetime gardening tips and tricks from gardeniere Teena Spindler! Teena is a gardening expert hand-picked by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and a Home Depot Garden Club partner! As a Gardeniere, Teena is a passionate gardener with real-world experience when it comes to growing throughout the year on the West Coast.

If you thought that was great it gets even better. The Food Network’s very own Southern Californian chef Nikki Martin will be making delicious farm to table recipes for you to enjoy using all fresh ingredients! Last but not least, get refreshed with signature “mocktails” made with fresh grown herbs!

It’s going to be a very special event and I’m extremely proud and honored to be part of it. If you’re in town I hope to see you there!

Don’t forget to sign up for The Home Depot Garden Club to stay informed and learn everything you need know about gardening! The Home Depot Garden Club is an amazing resource for local gardening content, simple tips, tricks and expert advice to help you start your own garden at home, no matter your experience level or your location. Click here to join The Garden Club!

For more info on The Home Depot LA Garden Party click here to go to the Facebook Event Page.

 

Now, onto my first gardening project of the month!

CourtneyHomeDepotGardenPic1To kick off this beautiful time of year I’m going to be doing a fun gardening project that works in any space and home and that kills two birds with one stone. There’s nothing better than fresh flowers and fresh herbs but we all know it’s no fun constantly running back and forth to the store for them. Today I’m making custom planter boxes for indoor and outdoor gardening that serve dual purposes: Gorgeous fresh flowers and herbs as well as beautiful long lasting table centerpieces! The indoor planter will be a permanent flower fixture on my dining room table. I will be planting Hydrangeas mixed with a few faux roses for a little extra va va voom. The outdoor planter will go on my outdoor dining table and have a variation of delicious herbs planted inside like Basil, Spearmint, Thyme, Oregano and Parsley. This table is right out my kitchen door so it will be super convienent for me when I’m cooking or making a cocktail and need to grab an herb. Not only is this project functional for fresh farm to table cooking but it also makes for a gorgeous everyday centerpiece.

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I had a blast putting these planter boxes together and they were super easy and inexpensive to do! The best part is you can put your own spin on it, customize it to your lifestyle and get super creative in the process.

32All of the materials for the planters including the flowers and herbs were purchased at The Home Depot and took less than 2 hours for me to assemble 3 planters and 1 hour to paint and plant all 3.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

These are the measurements for my planter which I think is a great size that can fit most rooms and tables but of course feel free to customize these planters to you!

The Framework. One frame for the top and one for the bottom of your planter. This is what you will use to attach your sides to.

These two frames are made up of:

Four pieces of 1in x 2in Clear Pine Wood for the length of the two frames. 24in long each.

Four pieces of 1in x 2in Clear Pine Wood for the width of the two frames. 10in long each.

To keep everything nice and organized I’ve taken a Sharpie marker and written out numbers on the pieces pertaining to what number that step is when I assemble. The first frame is numbered 1 and the second frame is numbered 8 (It will be the 8th step even though it’s the second piece constructed.) I find that this is a great way to keep everything organized but of course you don’t have to if you don’t need the extra help.

The Sides. You will need four sides to attach onto your frames to make into a box.

The sides are made up of:

The long sides. Two pieces of plywood. 24in long and 8in tall.  I used a 4ft x 8ft sheet of plywood model T lll, because I liked the pattern and grain in the wood but feel free to use whatever you like. Mark one piece as 3 and one as 7.

The short sides. Two pieces of plywood 10in long and 8in tall. Mark these 4, 5.

The Bottom: You will use the same wood as the sides to make the bottom of your planter.

The bottom is made up of:

One 24in long by 10in wide piece of plywood. With three holes drilled in the wood for the water to drain out. Mark this as 6.

The Trim: A perfect way to make the edges of the planter look finished and beautiful.

The trim is made of:

The long sides *Top. Two pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim (L shaped trim that forms a 90 degree angle) 25in long cut at 45 degree angles at the ends. These will go on top of the planter. Marked 9, 11.

The short sides *Top. Two pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 11in long cut at 45 degree angles at the ends. These will go on top ends of the planter. Marked 10, 12.

The long sides *Bottom . Two pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 23in long to go on the bottom of the planter. Marked 13, 14.

The short sides *Bottom. Two pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 9in long to of on the bottom ends of the planter. Marked 15, 16.

The corners. Four pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 7 1/2in long to go on the corners of the planter. Marked 17, 18, 19, 20.

You will also need:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 4.11.17 PMA nail gun compressor, a power drill or even a hammer with nails if you like. I chose the nail gun compressor because it’s quicker, but whatever you have at your disposal will do just fine! This Porter-Cable 6-Gal. Portable Electric Air Compressor and 18-Gauge Brad Nailer Combo Kit has everything you will need available at The Home Depot. I used Galvanized narrow crown staples along with it.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 4.14.44 PMHere’s a power drill I love that is extremely simple to use and sells for under $40 at The Home Depot, the BLACK & DECKER 12-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8 in. Cordless Drill with Soft Grips. This is a fantastic investment and trust me you will use it again and again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3You will also need Rust-Oleum Leak Seal Flexible Rubber Coating also from The Home Depot. This product is amazing because you can literally just spray it and it waterproofs and seals whatever surface you spray it on. In this case, once you plant your flowers, herbs, veggies, etc in your planter you need a protectant so that when you water there’s something between the water and the wood to prevent the wood from getting wet and ruining not only the planter but also the surface the planter is sitting on.

 

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Last but not least, you need a Saucer 24in Window Box Tray under $4 a piece. You’ll place this on your table or whatever surface you’re planning on putting your planter to protect it from any damaging drainage when watering. I used a utility knife to cut mine down a little to fit under my box.

 

Step 1: Make your Measurements. Once you find the perfect spot for your planter to go, you need to figure out how big you want it. Using a tape measurer take your measurements.

Step 2: Make Your Cuts. Once you know the dimensions your planter will be it’s time to cut your wood. My planter is 24in long, 10in wide and 8in deep. If you don’t have a saw at home don’t get discouraged because The Home Depot is always happy to cut your wood for you, just be sure to bring in your measurements. If you want to cut the pieces yourself, The Home Depot also rents tools!

Now we’re ready to start building. Since we’ve marked all of our pieces numerically, this is going to be like painting by numbers!

1Step 3: Build Your Frames. You need to begin the construction of your planter by building a top and bottom frame. This is where your side will attach to. Using four pieces made of 1in x 2in Clear Pine Wood for the length we will be making 2 frames. Each frame comprised of two pieces that are 24in long and two pieces that are 10in long. Marked 1, 8.

2Put the two frames shaped like rectangles together and secure them into place with your chosen nail gun compressor, power drill or hammer and nails.

 

4Step 4: Add on and secure your 3 sides. The two 10in sides and the one 24in side of plywood securing to the bottom of your frame. Marked 3, 4, 5.

 

 

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Step 5: Slide in and secure your bottom piece with the three holes drilled out for drainage. Marked 6.

 

 

Step 6: Add and secure on your fourth side, marked 7.

 

 

 

Step 7: Place the frame marked 8 inside the top of the box. Secure all four sides to the top frame.

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Step 8: Add and secure the trim around the top. (This is the Corner Guard Fir wood trim that has been cut at 45 degree angles on the edges to fit in a rectangle like pieces of a picture frame.) Marked 9-12.

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10Step 9: Add and secure the two pieces of  Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 23in long to go onto the bottom of the planter. Marked 13, 14.

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Step 10: Add and secure the two pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 9in long onto the bottom ends of the planter. Marked 15, 16.

 

12Step 11: Add and secure the four pieces of Corner Guard Fir Wood Trim 7 1/2in long onto the corners of the planter. Marked 17, 18, 19, 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now that your planter is built, it’s time to waterproof the inside so the water won’t seep into the wood!

 

Step 12: Spray a generous about of Rust-Oleum Leak Seal Flexible Rubber Coating throughout the inside of your planter.

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Step 13: Paint your planter however you want it. The possibilities are endless! I painted my outdoor planters “Hazel Woods” by Behr which is a lovely Dark Green to match my outdoor dining table. For my indoor dining room table I tried to match the distressed finish it had so I used “Toasted Marshmallow” as a base. A mixture of “Dark Ash” and “Creek Bend” also all by Behr in very light brush strokes until I got the look I wanted. The natural grain in the wood did a lot of the work for me.

 

 

 

planters_RHStep 14: For my indoor planter I was inspired by a very expensive planter from Restoration Hardware with a rope detail. To make my own I used thin brown rope from The Home Depot and stapled it in place with my nail gun compressor after the paint had dried. I thought this gave the planter a beautiful finished look.

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Step 15: I hand painted little plastic posts with my herbs names on them so I always know which is which! This is a great step to avoid any confusion.

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Last but not least…Step 16: You want to make sure you place the 24in Saucer Window Box Tray directly underneath your planter to prevent any drainage from damaging your table or whatever surface you are placing it on. After you water be sure lift your box up and empty the tray out.

Thanks for being here with me.  I hope this post inspires you to get into gardening this Spring no matter your level of experience, your space or your budget. Gardening is accessible to everyone, everywhere. Thank  you for being here with me and have an fabulous day!

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this “Garden Party” event. As a part of the project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash, for the purpose of promoting this event and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Rock Your Wedding. Courtesy Of My Bestie, Susan Homes McKagan + The Huffington Post.

Christian-Louboutin-BridalMy wedding has come and gone. I can’t believe how fast the actual wedding flew by! Everyone said it would be over in a blink of an eye but I didn’t really understand until now. All of the months of work that was put into one day is crazy but so worth it! With that being said there are killer ways to eliminate stress and work while planning your big day. My girlfriend Susan Holmes McKagan wrote a fabulous article in her Huffington Post column sharing 5 Tips To Rock Your Wedding! I wanted to share this article with you in hopes that if you or someone you know is planning on walking down the isle this guide will take a lot of the extra work and cost out of the exciting but sometimes daunting process. Click here to read the article.

Spring Is Around The Corner! Show Your Loved Ones How Special They Are! #SpringGiftBaskets

photo-1All of our roses in our backyard have just bloomed! I thought it would be so great to not only put them around the house but use them in gift baskets for our friends, neighbors and even my step-daughters teachers at school! I wanted to share these baskets with you because they all cost less than $10 to make and are super cute, fun and easy!

I headed to the Dollar Store, where I found adorable wicker baskets and candles. I love dollar stores! Next, I stopped by Joann’s Fabrics and picked up 1/2 yard of floral cotton fabric to line the baskets with. I added a simple lace trim to some but the fabric also looked really cool with unfinished edges as well.

Now to fill them with goodies! I baked delicious and healthy Carrot Muffins from scratch, see recipe below from KitchenTreaty.com These muffins are a perfect element of these baskets because not only are they delicious but they are very healthy too!

 

Next I cut some fresh rosemary and roses from our yard and tied them in bunches with ribbon. We are lucky to have Orange and Lemon trees on our property so I added some fresh fruit. Remember just because you may not have fruit and spices in your yard doesn’t mean your basket will be any less beautiful. You can improvise, whatever you have on hand will work! Last but not least I made a card using card stock from Michael’s Arts & Crafts, a hole punch tied it together with ribbon.

 

Now for the perfect finishing touch,  I found some beautiful candles at HomeGoods for $2 a piece.

 

Here is the best carrot muffin recipe I have ever made!

photoCarrot Muffin Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats + a couple extra tablespoons for topping
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrot, grated
 Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or place cupcake wrappers in a standard-size, 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, 1 cup oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the carrots.
  5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups. Cups should be filled just about to the top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffin tops spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Serve plain with butter and honey, if desired.

 

The baskets were a huge success! Beautiful and healthy basket and the best part… On a budget that works for everyone!

 

 

How 2 Get Victoria’s Secret Curls!

adriana-victorias-secret-angels-16007539-760-1024This post is an oldie but a goodie and as I was curling my hair today I wanted to repost it for you! Everytime I open a Victoria Secret caltaloug, watch their annual fashion show or even walk past the store in the mall I get beyond jealous of the models gorgeous hair!

 

 

 

 

Candice Swanepoel for Victorias Secret Lingerie March 2013-002It’s the perfect combo of tousled curls and volume but yet it looks natural like they just woke up like that! No matter how I tried to curl my hair I could never get it to look the same! Very frustrating!

My hair world was changed for me the day I worked with one of the top hair stylists for Victoria’s Secret. He taught me the trick when he did my hair, I couldn’t believe I finally had my dream hair and the best part is how simple and dummy proof it is!

Now you can get the same gorgeous hair at home! You want to curl in sections starting at the bottom of your crown and putting the rest up in a bun with a clip on top of your head.

 

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You will need a serious hairspray, aerosol does the trick best.  My absolute favorite is Loreal Elnett extra hold hairspray available at Target for $9.99 click here.

 

 

loreal3-300This is the spray that all of the pros use for every photo shoot and fashion show. It’s the best!!!

You’re going to grab a small section of hair and spray it generously. Then using a fine toothed comb backtease the hair at the root underneath the section very minimally. Don’t worry if you look like a crazy lady you will brush it out later.

 

 

 

 

14627417_201306191539Now for the barrel curls. Using a 1 inch or 1 ½ inch curling iron Tony & Guy makes a great 1 inch iron available at Target for $29.99 click here. I also love using Bombay Curling Irons, they come in a box with a variety of different size barrels which is amazing! I love these, click here for more info.

You are going to start at the root of your section and holding the section of hair at the bottom wrap it all the way around until all of your hair is being curled and you will hold onto the bottom, try to get the hair at the end as close to the barrel as possible without burning your finger. After about 10 seconds unwrap the hair and you will have perfect barrel curls.

Continue this teqniuqe around the rest of your head curling in sections. When you get to the hair around the face I generally always curl away from my face, think Farrah Fawcett.  When done curling  flip your head over, hair spray all of your hair, then break it up with your fingers for a tosseled look.

images If you want it more Veronica Lake looking brush it out. One more spray to set it and you’re good to go!