The Best of Pinterest

Best of Pinterest

Alright crafty friends, (and wannabe crafty friends). It’s a new year and the DIY possibilities are endless. So let’s talk about Pinterest. Pinterest offers an infinite abyss of clever DIYs, beautifully styled homes, delectable-looking recipes, insanely cute outfits and pretty much anything else your inner idealist could hope for. Let’s be honest, it’s fun to lay in bed, scrolling through images of ‘ideas’ (or ideals). In fact, one could even argue that it is like a virtual vision board, helping you to manifest a life you desire… Am I pushing it? Regardless, it is fun and a great place to get ideas for projects.

When I joined Pinterest a few years ago, I made a non-spoken agreement with myself, that if I was going to play in this perfect little fantasy-land, I had to at least attempt to execute some of these projects. Otherwise, it seemed like a huge waste of my time. Through a lot of trial and error, (and a few epic fails), I have selected what I believe to be the best DIY projects of Pinterest. Some I have recreated, and some are still on my to-do list.

My criteria for this are as follows:

  1. Easy to execute and emulate.
  2. Fun.
  3. Functional.
  4. Realistic.
  5. Within a reasonable budget.

Button Magnets

Hey you! Yeah you, the one with the pizza delivery and taxicab magnets (that you got for free in the mail), adorning your fridge; this one’s for you! It really doesn’t get much easier than this, and the finished product is nothing short of adorable. All you need is some buttons, magnets and your hot glue gun.


Scrabble Art

I am a bit of a self-admitted word-nerd, so obviously I love me some scrabble art. Wouldn’t this make for a cute gift? I made a piece of art like this, but I used an actual scrabble board as my canvas. It included my family’s names, with words like ‘family’, ‘love’ and ‘home’ woven in perpendicularly. It currently resides in our humble abode.

scrabble art

(We also used my scrabble creation as wedding decor)

(We also used my scrabble creation as wedding decor) Photo cred: Sarah Field Photo

Earring Holder

Here is another genius idea, and happens to be one of my very first successful Pinterest DIYs. I love a functional craft! To spruce things up, (and because I didn’t have chicken wire or screen on hand), I used black fishnet instead. I use my earring holder for my larger, dangly earrings.

earring holder earrings

Scrabble Coaster

Love. These. Coasters. These are on my to-do-someday list. The word possibilities are exciting and endless.

scrabble coaster

Mason Jar Chandelier

I think the proper words for this rustic chandelier are, “I die”. In fact, my super talented friend, Steph, has one of these puppies hanging over her dining room table, and I assure you, it is even better in person. Steph’s home is one of my absolute favorite design spaces, and if she lets me, I will be doing an upcoming blog post, spotlighting her beautiful home.


Memory Jar

Every year I say I want to start a memory jar–this is MY year. I am doing it, people. Come December 31, 2015, The McAllister family will have a jar full of memories to read!


Stencil Pillow

More crafts with more words. Seems easy enough, right? Plus who doesn’t love a throw pillow?


Ticket Keepsake

I am one of those sentimental people, that saves every show ticket I have ever been to, (even down to my very first concert; The Grateful Dead, Fall 1993 Tour.) When I stumbled upon this DIY, I knew it was fate and quickly proceeded to create my own ticket collage. If you’re a romantic (like me), these could make for a really cute anniversary gift.

ticket keeper


Animal Silhouette 

Craft paper, scissors, tape/glue and a frame. Quick and easy nursery, (or in my case, bathroom) art.

animal sil

Sharpie Mug

Really, the ideas for this one are never-ending. So easy. So cute.


Faux Zinc Letters

Remember my tutorial on these babies? I love my faux zinc letters. And you will love yours too! #pinterestdoesitagain

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DIY Nightstand

A spray-painted trash can turned upside down. Definitely one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’, moments.

night stand

$1 Chalk Sign

Easiest chalk signs ever. You can buy trays like this (and other various shapes), at your local dollar store. Slap some chalk board paint on them, and you have instant party decor. I have used these for many a party. (You can see an example in my gallery from Ayden’s 1st Birthday Party, here.) 

dollar chalk sign

Painted Table

I am in love with this whimsical, space-saving idea, aren’t you? You could even mount a mirror above it and make it in to a vanity. Ideas, ideas…

painted table

Menu Board

Need help meal planning and staying on top of your grocery list? Make a menu board. Game-changer, and pretty darn easy to make.


Revamped Folding Chair

I have two folding chairs just begging for a makeover. Stay tuned for a step-by-step in the near future.

folding chair

Glitter Shade

Sparkly is my favorite color. If it’s glittery and shiny, I like it. This one is a yet-to-do for me, but I am sure that I will find a lampshade (or two) to try this on.

glitter shade

Numbered Drawers

I gave our boring old dresser a super easy makeover, using this idea. It gave our dresser a whimsical, personalized touch.

nmber drawersdrawers

Painted Drawer Interior

Cute, cute, cute! I love a pop of color; so many options with this.

painted drawer int

Gold Mug DIY

This combines 2 of my favorite things; coffee mugs and gold. love how the gold sharpie turns metallic when baked in the oven! (I will be putting this to the test, asap).

gold mg

Gold Letter Magnets

I have a zillion of those multicolored, kiddie, letter-magnets. A coat or two of gold spray paint, and you have magic.

gold magnet

Gold Rock Book Ends

(Told ya I liked gold).

book ends

Fabric Garland

I love me a garland, a bunting, a banner and pretty much anything cute and hang-able. How darling are these? Don’t feel like making one? Buy one from my friend, Shanna.

Fabric garland

Available at: Neni & Co.

Available at: Neni & Co.

Jello Playdoh

I want to make this. The end.


Gold Dipped Feathers

You thought we were done with the gold, didn’t you? Wrong. I have a ar of my own sparkly, gilded feathers on my computer desk. They inspire me and they’re pretty. ‘Nuff said.

dipped eathers

I will continue to collect fabulous Pinterest DIYs for you guys, so keep an eye out for a sequel to this list. I’d love to see your creations, so pretty please show them off to me!

xo, Em

My Resolution to You


January 1, 2015. Nice ring to it, eh?

Happy New Year, you beautiful creatures, you.I am writing this as a sort of intention, or manifesto for the coming year, to my readers. I had a long conversation with my hero, (my big sister), yesterday, about vulnerability. About transparency. About authenticity. It became very clear to me that one of my hopes and intentions for this blog, was to open up a bit more, and let you in. 

I often talk about the power and the magic of truly relating to each other, and now it is time for me to walk that talk. I still plan to share fabulous and fun DIYs, events and recipes, but I am also hoping to incorporate some more #realtalk.

I am so excited and honored that you have decided to join me on my blogging journey thus far, and I can’t wait to bring you so much more; cue music, “We’ve only just begun…”

xo, Em

life is rad

My Top Picks: Online Shops – With Discount Codes

N E E D  A  B U I L D I N GS U R V E Y E

What’s in my Instagram feed? A whole lot of awesome, that’s what. Of course my friends and family are a part of my virtual scrolling party, but I also follow some really stellar small businesses & shops, (and blogs–but that is a whole other post).

In the spirit of my birthday week, (yes, I have decided that it is a week-long event), and in the dawn of Holiday-season, I have compiled a list of my very favorite online shops. And in the spirit of generosity, many of these fabulous shop owners, have offered a special discount code just for my readers. Does it get any radder? I think not.

Before I get to the goods–and trust me, these are gooood, I would just like to say my piece about supporting small businesses. Many of these companies are run by other women and/or mamas. This makes my heart happy and inspires me to chase dreams and to live creatively. Because the owners and creators are so accessible via social media, these products feel personal and original. Often times, there are pretty amazing stories and causes behind these businesses, and it feels really special to participate in their success.

The following small businesses were hand-selected by me, as a direct result of having had a great purchasing experience with them, and/or my genuine enthusiasm and belief in their mission. I hope you will find some new brands to browse and purchase from just in time for some fun Holiday shopping. Happy discounting!


Hello Apparel

Hello, gorgeous! But seriously, have you discovered Hello Apparel yet? These guys are making all sorts of coolness, with their signature ‘Hello’, pieces, and now adding to their collection with even more awesomeness.

This was one of the first shops I followed when I joined Instagram, and it has been super fun to watch them continue to grow in to a household name brand.

The wonderful folks over at Hello Apparel are offering a free shirt to one lucky winner, as a part of my giveaway.

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Tumbleweeds Handcraft

Originally I stumbled upon this company when I discovered their (discontinued) ‘Life is Rad’, mug. (I am a bit of a coffee mug hoarder). I ended up browsing their site, and entered a world of incredible hand-crafted wooden goods, namely, the coolest sunglasses I had ever seen. Then, to make matters even better I discovered Beca & Doug, the nomadic, van-traveling duo who run and own Tumbleweeds HC. First of all, I love love. Second of all, I love artists. So put the two together? And you can call me a fan.

Beca & Doug have generously offered the discount code: twhc20 , for 20% off your order.

Tumbleweeds is also participating in my giveaway, offering  a custom pair of sunglasses (valued at $150).


Freshly Picked

Where to start with this grass roots company, headed by trail-blazer, Susan Peterson. Freshly Picked single-handedly (in my opinion), started the kids fashion craze of leather moccasins. You might have seen Susan’s appearance on a little show called ‘Shark Tank’, when she won the hearts of not only the show’s viewers, but also those of the Sharks themselves, namely Daymond. She told her rags-to-riches story of selling scrap metal for money to buy leather, with which she would make the first batch of her now, coveted mocs. Perhaps the episode’s most memorable moment came, when one of the Sharks called her company a ‘headache’, to which she replied, ‘I am Not a headache’. The Sharks were visibly impressed and leveled by her self-sureness, and from that point, she owned them.

Cut to: a year ago just after the episode aired, Susan announced on her Instagram that she would be doing a pop-up shop/meet-and-greet at The Land of Nod, at the South Coast Plaza. I decided to go. I got there early, and as the minutes ticked by, the line for entry began to wrap around the entire mall level. Once inside, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting not only Susan herself, who took the time help my then 2 year old daughter put on her new pair of golden moccasins, but also her extraordinarily warm staff. I can’t say enough nice things about the folks over at Freshly Picked. Maybe Utah makes nicer people, or maybe they all just love their jobs, but either way I am a big fan of how they run their show.

My new buddy Rachel, over at Freshly Picked, has offered a FREE pair of mocs, for one lucky guy or gal as a part of my giveaway.

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Lucky Face Threads

Sometimes the very best designs are the simplest designs. I am a little bit obsessed with this shop’s signature royal logo. This sassy mama, who’s shop motto is ‘Life is awesome, dress accordingly’, has some of the coolest kid duds around. There’s even a little bit of swag for us mamas.

Andrea has graciously offered my readers a discount of 25% off with the code: SILVERBELLS

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PS I Adore You

I can’t say enough great things about this online pop-up shop. First of all, they offer stellar daily discounts for rad, on-trend goods. I have found many a treasure through this site, since I am a girl who loves a bargain. But what is even more remarkable about this company, is the work and advocating they do on behalf of childhood cancer.

These three fantastic mamas feature a ‘cancer cutie’ each month, where you can read the heroic story of the incredible featured child’s battle against cancer and donate to their medical expenses. Not just that, but your purchases helps to fund childhood cancer research. Talk about awesome.

Chelsea, Ashley & Whitney have offered you a 10% off discount, using the code: psholiday

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Ry & Rue Kids

I have a special place in my heart for this company, and not just because my cutie is a brand rep for them, this month. I had such a wonderful purchasing experience with Ashley, the shop owner. She really helped me out in a pinch to make sure Ayden was looking’ fly for her 3rd birthday party.

Ry & Rue Kids makes the cutest mini knee socks (and then some), you ever did see. Keep an eye out for their up-coming Black Friday sale.

ry1 ry5 ry3 ry2 ry4

Baby Jives

Oh how I love Baby Jives. Jahe Ives, (owner), is a creative genius in my book. She makes the most fantastical, whimsical, modern baby mobiles, (and more). You know how some pieces of art just make you smile and feel good? This can be said for everything  in this shop. I want to exist in a world adorned with her fluffy cloud mobiles, raining rainbow-colored hearts on my head.

Also: Check out Baby Jives mini mobiles as X-mas ornaments!

Jahe has offered you free shipping on domestic orders (through 11/23) with the code: chasingayden


Nena & Co

This company combines fashion and social responsibility, which makes for insanely beautiful bags with a whole lot of soul. I have seen many a hip mama sporting these as diaper bags, and I have complete diaper bag envy! (Reason enough for me to get started on baby #2!)

These gorgeous, patterned carry-alls represent a huge part of Maya culture, in Guatemala. They incorporate hand-cut leather and recycled clothing. Read more about the process of making these bags, and how they are helping to provide jobs and save many people from living in poverty. Pretty amazing stuff.

The wonderful people at Nena & Co are offering one of their beautiful clutches as a part of my giveaway.

Also: Nena & Co is Currently being featured on Brickyard Buffalo

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Brickyard Buffalo

Brickyard Buffalo was my first ever encounter with the online pop-up shop experience, and I was instantly hooked. Here’s how it works. They feature small, USA businesses on their site, offering a temporary discount, (think 3-7 days). Once the items are gone, they’re gone.

This site often invites rad guest-editors to select which products and shops will be featured. Brickyard Buffalo pretty much wrote the book on stylish and cool.

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The Bannerie

Let’s talk about this shop’s fabulous owner , Gilit Cooper for a minute. (Don’t worry, I will get to the shop goods.) I was so impressed with Gilit’s kindness and helpfulness. I recently placed an order for an event I had been planning, and not only did she work with my restrictive time-line, but actually helped me conceptualize an idea of what the banner should say. I seriously love Gilit! I digress, though…

So I am a bit of a raccoon, in that I really like sparkly things. These glittery, sparkly, customizable banners make me happy. I want a sparkly banner in every room of my house, telling me encouraging things–don’t you?

Enter the code:  AYDEN10 at checkout for, 10% off your order!


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Whistle & Flute

Happy clouds, happy ice cream cones and happy pandas. Just marinate on that for a minute. So much cuteness, it actually hurts a little. I hate to be one of those girls, but I literally can’t, right now. I am in love with this modern / unisex brand.

Not just that, but they have offered you a discount of 15%, with the code: chasingayden.

You’re welcome.

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Dana Decals

Some of you know that I previously ran a little pop-up shop, and I had the true pleasure of collaborating with Ernesto from Dana Decals. Not only was he fantastic to work with, but was super generous about offering me business advice. Ernesto, you are aces in my book.

Dana Decals makes wall decals. I love me some wall decals. It is a great way to spruce up a room, without having to paint. (If you are a commitment-phobe, then this is right up your alley).

Dana Decals has offered you a discount of: 10% with the code: TURKEYTIME

They are also participating in our upcoming giveaway with a rad little bundle for the winner.

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Indie Nook

Yet another shop owner that I just adore. The power of connecting via social media is a real thing, and I just love this fellow Massachusetts native, (aka ‘Mass-hole’) Laura. She and fellow shop owner, Andy, are creating cute and clever shirts for kids and adults.

I love every shirt in their shop, but my absolute favorites are their ‘Best Friends’ t-shirt sets, and the ‘Red Balloons for Ryan’ tribute shirts. Ayden owns this, and every time she wears it, I make sure we do something extra fun. Indie Nook is offering you 20% off with the code: ayden20

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T’nees Teepees

Do you know what every baby, every toddler, every kid — basically every human needs? That’s right, a personal teepee. Am I right or am I right?

These teepees are the o.g. deal–the highest quality and the best pattern options ever. I am completely smitten with everything about them, and I think everyone should have one. The T’nees Teepees peeps are super kind, and their teepees are made well and are truly top-of-the line

T’nees Teepees are offering a $50 store credit as a part of my giveaway–cha-ching! Happy holidays to you!

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 I am so super excited about this giveaway! There are 3 ways to enter:

1. Subscribe to my blog. Easy, right? In the right-hand side-bar of my blog, there is an email-entry form to subscribe to my blog. All you have to do is enter your email address there, and that will count for 1 entry in to this ‘Ayden’s Giveaway’.

2. Head on over to Instagram, and follow me at: @aydensmommyy

Find the post with the giveaway graphic, tag at least 3 friends and follow all participating shops for 1 entry in to ‘Ayden’s Giveaway’.

3. Head on over to Instagram, and follow me at: @aydensmommyy

Find the post with the giveaway graphic, and REPOST it with the hashtag: #aydensgiveaway. Follow all participating shops for 2 entries in to ‘Ayden’s Giveaway’.

*You may repost 1x a day for the duration of the contest.


***Coupon codes are good for ONE week.


xo, Emily