Food & Style Workshop with Sweet Laurel Bakery and Kitchy Kitchen

Food & Style Workshop with Sweet Laurel Bakery and Kitchy Kitchen

This past weekend, I stepped outside of the rehabber box and took a “food and style” class with Sweet Laurel’s Laurel Gallucci and Kitchy Kitchen’s Claire Thomas. I know it isn’t quite rehabbing, but making beautiful food is kind of like DIY in that you can be creative with what you do and that it is okay to try new things.

I also figured if these ladies could help me make cake as beautiful as this and that was healthy (for a cake!) I was in! IMG_9669 The workshop was at the Hedley & Bennett factory just outside of downtown LA. We arrived to coffee from Columbo Coffee and delicious snacks like almond milk cheese with flax crackers and curried yam crostini.

After spending some time snacking and meeting Claire and Laurel and the other workshop attendees, we were treated to a tour of the Hedley & Bennett factory. I love that you can mix and match colors and patterns for the aprons and straps, and that they’re made in LA. My favorite part of the factory was the playful vibe and the inspirational quotes on the walls.

Photo of Hedley and Bennett from before the photography class 😀


Clearly, I loved the color wall in the office area!

After the tour, we watched Laurel give a presentation on ingredients she uses and why, and then she got down to baking the featured items of the day, a light lemon poppy bundt cake and lavender sandwich cookies.

While we waited for the treats to bake, Claire gave us a class on food styling and photography and we got to test out her tips.

Here I am working on my food styling skills. Thanks to Morgan Walker for capturing this moment!

Now, I’m going to show you a photo I took at the beginning of the class versus the end so you can see just how awesome and helpful it was!

Here’s a photo of the lavendar sandwich cookies that I took before Claire’s photography and styling class.
I took this photo at the beginning of the class, right after we learned a bit about food styling.

Now for the payoff. Notice the huuuuge difference in the photos above and the photos below.

These are my favorite photos from the class:
After testing out our new skills, we got to enjoy Laurel’s amazing treats! The cookies were a nice bite of something sweet and the lavender wasn’t overpowering at all. The lemon bundt cake was light and airy and you couldn’t even tell it was grain free!

THE cake!

All in all, it was an amazing class and I learned so much about a healthier way to bake and a better way to get good photos. I can’t wait to do more of both and practice my new skills!

Thanks to Sweet Laurel, the Kitchy Kitchen, and Hedley & Bennett for such an incredible afternoon!

Tips for Buying on Craigslist

Since I got a lot of response on Tips for Selling on Craigslist, I wanted to give you guys my top tips for buying on Craigslist, and just in time for the weekend!

  1. If you have questions, ask.
    • You can save time this way. For example, I found a great settee on CL. I emailed asking for more pictures, for measurements, and if it was sturdy when you sit down. When they sent the measurements, I realized it wouldn’t fit in my space. Sad, but I did save time not driving to Orange County to pick up a settee that wouldn’t fit in my house.
  2. Contact the OP the way they say they want to be contacted.
    • Some posts say “call only” or “text” or some posts want email only. Do what they say so you’ll get a response.
  3. Be on time.
    • If you say you are going to look at an item at a certain time, be on time. Even if the seller is late, you won’t annoy them (more annoyed= less likely to get a deal.)
  4. Don’t make a ridiculous offer and only bring that much cash.
    • If you’re not willing or able to even pay close to the list price, you may want to consider asking ahead of time. Don’t just bring money for half of the listed price. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
  5. Do your research!
    • Look for similar items online and see what they’re selling for so you know whether you’re getting a good deal or not.
  6. Don’t list the item’s flaws to the seller when asking for a better deal.
    • The seller likely already knows the item’s flaws. They probably don’t want to sell to someone who is “just not that into” their beloved item. Be respectful. Frame it that you really love the item, but it is out of your price range. Don’t nitpick it and expect someone to be happy to give you a discount. You end up sounding like an a-hole.
  7. Bring someone with you!
    • Meeting a strange person in a place you don’t know can be scary! Bring someone with you. They can keep you company on the drive, help you carry your item if you need it, and provide a little extra piece of mind. If you can’t get anyone to come with you, tell a friend or family member the time you’re going, the address of where you’re going, the information for the person you’re meeting, and that you’ll call them when you leave. I may be hyper vigilant, but, hey, better safe than sorry.
  8. Check the free section!
    • When looking for items, I always check the free section. My favorite table and chairs set came from the free section, the girl just needed to get rid of it ASAP. You never know what you’ll find, because as all rehabbers know, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
  9. Don’t pay ahead of time or allow someone to ship the item to you.
    • You want to look at the item before you purchase. You want to make sure its in the shape you think it is. You want to be sure its not a scam. Beware of people who say to send the money and they’ll send you the item.

Happy buying!

Tips for Selling on Craigslist

Tips for Selling on Craigslist


I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile.

I always have friends texting me asking for tips buying and selling items. I’ve tried several different ways to sell, but I still find Craigslist to be the most reliable, efficient way of selling if I have one large item that isn’t designer but needs to go.

That being said, selling on Craigslist can go terribly awry sometimes, so I’ve been wanting to give you guys some tips on how to do it right:

  1. Don’t be too emotionally attached.
    • I know, I know. You’ve had that chair for 5 years and loved it sooo much but it just doesn’t fit your decor anymore. That doesn’t mean someone wants to pay $100 less than what you paid for it 5 years ago and buy a $600 used chair that your cat has been sitting on for 5 years. People on CL are looking for a bargain. Be realistic about what you can get for your item. If you can’t get what you want for it, consider donating it or reupholstering it, or you’ll be sitting on it (no pun intended) and re-posting lots of ads for a long time.
  2. Do your research.
    • Research what you have and see what similar styles are selling for. I will never forget the time I moved into an apartment and the previous tenant left a lamp inside. The manager told me I could keep the lamp, which I didn’t love, and I listed it on CL for $40. Once I started getting more into selling, I realized that lamp was worth A LOT more. Like $500 more. No wonder the guy who bought it was so excited to pick up what I thought was just another ugly lamp. So do your research!
  3. Have wiggle room in your price.
    • Once you’ve decided on a price that seems fair to you and have done research to make sure you’re on track, list your item for a little more than your goal price. People on CL love to negotiate, and they’ll feel like they’re getting a good deal if you knock some off. Now, I’m not saying to list something for $600 if you’re really wanting $300, that will just scare potential buyers away. But listing for $350 or $400 may work in your favor.
    • If a buyer asks for “the best you can do” on your item, ask them what they’re thinking price-wise before you say a price. Sometimes when I have done this, buyers have put a price out there that was way higher than I was expecting.
  4. Put a photo in the ad!
    • Take a photo with clean daylight, preferably against a plain wall if you have one. You don’t want people to be discouraged from buying your item because they don’t like your other decor. Or take a photo in its setting (think yard furniture in the yard.) Clean the item up the way it will look when you sell it and don’t have a lot of clutter or other items sitting on or near the item for sale. The photo can make all the difference in selling an item or having it sit for months.
  5. Have someone with you when you show the item or bring the item outside.
    • This is just me being careful. I get a little worried about inviting people to my house to look at items, and I especially did when I was living alone. I would have a friend come over when I was showing an item, tell a neighbor someone was coming by to look at stuff, or bring the item outside before they got there if I could carry it. Yes, carrying an item out to sell it is a pain if they don’t buy it, but you don’t want to let random people into your home when you’re alone if you can help it.
  6. Cash only!
    • I’m saying this assuming you only sell a couple of things every now and them on CL. If you have a square card reader, by all means, use it. I still prefer cash.
    • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER accept checks. This may seem like common sense, but what about those people that offer more or the exact amount you have an item listed for without looking at your item and say they’ll give you a cashier’s check? No, just no.
    • This is a major scam. You take it to cash it, the bank realizes it is a fake, and holds YOU responsible. If they have time to get a cashier’s check, they can take their butt to the bank and cash it and bring you cash.
    • Money wires are also scams.
    • Don’t give out your account info for bank transfers.
    • CASH ONLY!

These are my main rules for selling items on Craigslist. I hope they help you have a safer, faster sale so you can buy new stuff to change up the look of your space. Happy selling, Rehabbers!



DIY Birthday Banner

I absolutely love banners, especially homemade banners. Today I’m going to tell you how I used cheap gift wrapping supplies to make a custom birthday banner, and how you can easily make one, too.

I was walking through the $1 section at Target and found this collection of items and decided they would make for a fun project.

The supplies I scored from the dollar section.

When I got home, I gathered a couple more things from around the house and got to work.

Everything ready to go.

First, I arranged  the gift tags to see how many I would need, then simply wrote the message in Sharpie. How easy is that?! The gift tags were $1 for a pack of 8. I got 16 brown tags and 8 white tags, which was way more than I needed. Don’t worry if you mess up on the lettering, just keep writing. If I stop to fix or redo a letter in the middle, I always start obsessing over every little mistake and end up messing up a lot more. I looked through the letters at the end and replaced the ones that looked really bad (this is why it is good to buy extra tags!)

After the message was done, I set out to add a little sparkle. The glitter bags came in packs of two, but they were only glittery on one side (rats!) I cut the bags open and drew templates to cut out on the back. That way, I could play with the sizes before committing to the cut and wasting paper. I chose hearts (but you could do any shape, stars would also be cool.) I used double stick tape to attach them to the gift tags. Glue would also work well if you have that around the house instead.

close up of the hearts

I used the clothes pins to attach the gift tags to some twine I already had at home. At first, I wasn’t sure about what kind of spacing I wanted or if I wanted it to be one or two layers. My solution was to wait to cut the twine until all of the tags were attached so I could assess how it would hang (and not waste twine!)

the finished product

I just taped the banner to the mirror, but it could easily be hung by tying knots in the twine and hanging them on command hooks if you want it to look a little fancier. I chose the mirror because my boyfriend was coming home after dark, and that area of my place reflects light well at that time of day, calling attention to the banner and reflecting light on the glitter hearts.

What an easy and fun way to craft your way into a festive environment! The best part? You can create extra tags for each family member or friend and customize the banner for each occasion!

Another look at my cheap and chic banner.


Making Lemonade

This morning, my power was shut off for a few hours for some routine building maintenance. I was planning on working on my thesis, but my computer was dead as a doornail. I wasn’t going to let the lack of power stop me from rehabbing, though.

I decided to start hand stitching something for a small project. I found a tiny older piece of Manuel Canovas fabric that I’ve been saving for something small. It was just too pretty to throw out!  I’m really loving the look so far!  


Why I Love LA

After nearly 4 weeks in and out of town, with two separate trips to the East Coast, I’m back in LA! It has been a busy month. While I had a great time, there is nothing like time away to make you appreciate home even more.

During my travels, I visited Orlando, San Francisco, Berkeley, and New York.

Orlando was to spend time with family and recharge on my thesis work. I saw some cool rustic finds in Orlando’s Winter Park, but the highlight was really a quick day trip to Harry Potter World (yeah, I’m a nerd!) I loved the way all of the shop windows were decorated. There was so much detail and everything felt magical, which is what they were going for, I guess. 😛

Enjoying a butterbeer in Diagon Alley.

In Berkeley, I spent time on campus getting inspired and worked on my thesis in my favorite cafe from my college years, La Note. Everything is French and they have lattes in bowls, which are perfect for a cozy day studying.


In New York I checked out the Whitney, visited friends and family, and saw some amazing furniture and antique jewelry.

I fell in love with this piece, called Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on and Old Theme by Joseph Stella.

Now I’m back in Los Angeles and have been working all week on a quick office rehab for a growing tech company. Im really excited to share the results with you guys!
While traveling is fun, all week I have found myself listing reasons why I love Los Angeles. Here are the top reasons:

  • Having my own car. It is so much easier to get around than public transportation!
  • The amazing weather. Who wants to be too hot or too cold!?
  • My cute patio garden. My tomatoes and strawberries are loving our version of Fall weather!
  • My favorite thrift shops!

Today, I finally made it to my favorite thrift shop and found a silver platter for a friend. It is SO gratifying to find the perfect piece that someone has been searching out for so long.

Love finding silver!


Love This Idea From Southern Living: Pumpkin Votive Holders

Now that it is October, I’ve been slowly putting out all of my fall decorations.

I get really into decorating for fall because it makes me feel more festive, regardless of the temperature in Los Angeles.

Every blog/ insta/ decorating site seems to be talking about how to decorate for fall. I love a good arts and crafts project, but I just haven’t been feeling many ideas this year.

I LOVE this idea from Southern Living‘s recent article about decorating with pumpkins: floating pumpkin votive holders.

Pumpkin Votives
Here’s the photo from the article.

Candlelight= cozy. Cozy= fall.

I would love a big glass bowl of these for a party!