The front porch redesign

A couple weeks ago the weather was unexpectedly warm I’ve been selfishly wishing for warmer type of weather so I can paint my front door. I didn’t necessarily want to wait till spring and unfortunately (due to climate change) but fortunately I did not have to wait until spring to transform my front door.

On a warmer Saturday morning s few weeks back I decided to take out my royal blue paint that I purchased at my local Hobby Lobby in hopes to be able to to transform my teal door sometime in the new future.

The paint color I chose was “Midnight Wave “ by Diamond Hard it cost only $10, but make sure to use the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby offers you for $4 savings.

I painted three coats and let it fully dry before I put a protective wax over it.

Once the door was completely dry I then started to add some of the decor pieces on the door itself.

I purchased on clearance a wicker basket from target, from the brand Threshold in the color espresso brown. This one isn’t on clearance, but its still a great price! 

I added some faux greenery garland that I had purchased at hobby lobby, again use that 40% off coupon that they offer on their website or wait until florals are 50% off, you could always guarantee that it will happen at least once in the month!

I then purchased the Half Circle Braided Coir Mat by Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia. I’m simply obsessed with this doormat it’s so adorable and gives off the right work that I was going for!

I paired it with a black and white buffalo plaid rug that I purchased off Amazon, it’s such a great big size 24” x 51” and only $18!

This front porch is far from being complete but I am so happy that I was able to get at least a little bit of it done because I was itching to do it!! I can’t wait to add more stuff when the spring time hits but until then I’m going to love what I have if you have any questions or want to know more please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, @urbanhippiect

 

Links

Mightnight Wave Paint for Front Door 

Mini Round Decorative Basket 11.25″x 8.75″, whicker basket 

Half Circle Braided Door Mat

Black and White Buffalo Plaid rug

 

Nutella Cookies…YUM!

Raise your hand if you love Nutella as much as I do!… Nutella on toast, Nutella on fruit, Nutella and pretzels, give me Nutella and I will find another way to eat it!

The other night I realized at an ungodly hour that I had to make cookies for my son’s school cookie swap as I am rummaging through the pantry, I come across an unopened jar of Nutella! A few things ran through my head, the first being, how is this still unopened?! The next thing, can I use this to make cookies?… With a little Google search, the answer was yes! After following the recipe I discovered the most delicious, moist (I HATE that word, but its true!) chocolaty heaven of a cookie that can ever be baked was baked and I NEED to share the 15 minutes recipe, 5 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to bake, and -0 minutes to devour.

I can’t hold it in any longer, I need to share the easiest recipe with you!

Nutella Cookies

Makes 32

Preheat oven at 365 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Nutella
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2.5 Cups of All purpose Flour

Mix the Nutella and the 2 eggs until completely mixed together.

Next add in the flour and continue to mix completely together.

Dough will now form, if sticky still store in the refrigerator for 20 min. If the dough isn’t sticking to your hands.Using your hands roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into balls. Place cookies on your baking sheet and flatten them slightly with your fingertips or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 10 minutes, until they are cooked around the edges and still slightly soft in the middle. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then cool on a baking rack. Enjoy!

 

For more DIY’s, recipes, and how to design on a dime, head over to my Instagram!

 

The Ultimate Gift Guide 2019

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season? Well me too! Just Kidding! I would like to think I have come up with the ultimate gift giving guide to help you narrow down your Google searches and hopefully you land here and impressed with the choices I have given you.

New/ Expected parents, I have probably listed this one first because let’s face it, I am still in this category and my toddler is not old enough to “ask” for things so this is my list of things I would hope he asked for to make mommy and daddy’s life easier.

Let’s talk about this portable high chair from the Paper Store,

highchairThis highchair is an easy on the go  chair with how innovative, practical, and portable it is. I loved this thing and still use it today! It cleans so easily and perfect to have just in the back of your car for “just in case” purposes. Not only that it’s so lightweight and fold’s up just like a lawn chair.

This highchair is usually listed at $69.99 at the  Paper Store but if you purchase The Paper Store’s 2019 Exclusive Cardinal Ornament (Only $3.99, in store or online) they will take 20% off your entire order, that’s a $14 savings on a great gift!

Another awesome gift idea for the parents of a toddler and a toddler that just wants to be involved in the kitchen or whatever their parents are doing. The Adjustable Kids Learning Stool, Kids Kitchen Step Stool with Safety Rail-Solid Hardwood Construction from Amazon 

stool

I love this stool for so many reasons! It grows with the child from ages, 18 months to 60 months!

It helps elevate your baby to counter height. Kids can help out in kitchen: baking, mixing, preparing food, cleaning up, or other hands-on situations. It will make your kitchen full of fun! You could also put it in washing room so kids can brush teeth by themselves. It’s 4 feet high and has settings that can help accommodate the average height of a 12 month baby up to a toddler of 6. It’s made from solid hardwood and carefully coated with durable, nontoxic, lead-free coating. Fences around big standing platform(19.5*13 inch), so kids won’t fall out from high place. The dimensions are, 19.5″L x 14.8″W x 37″H. And they are offering a 30 days free return and life time free parts guaranteeThe price point is a little steep at $130 but this isn’t a one season gift, this is something that can be used day after day!

The Home Bodies: Nothing says “home body” like a warm comfy Sherpa weighted blanket! I love anything Sherpa and then you go and add a weighted blanket to it and now I don’t want to leave my bed or couch. Walmart has a great selection and plus their black Friday deals are insane! blanket

Weighted blankets may be used to help people with anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, or autism to relax, sleep, and wake feeling refreshed.

 

 

 

 

Moms: As a mom I never knew how much I would love a set of new and stylish… towels. There I said it! I love when my kitchen and bathroom display adorable linens that go with my decor! I found the most amazing, soft, and stylish towels at Olive and Linen. Their linens are actually Turkish Towels and I am obsessed! Turkish towels are flat woven, lightweight towels that are both beautiful and functional. IMG_7635_395f4640-5a1f-45d4-bddd-c6276b2560e0_1024x1024Also known as peshtemal, fouta or hammam towel, Turkish towels are more compact and versatile than terry looped towels. They can be used as a bath, beach or kitchen towel as well as a picnic blanket, scarf, sarong, tablecloth and even curtains. They are the ultimate go to piece that you will reach for everyday. Olive and Linen are having a great Black Friday deal, everything is up to 75% off with free shipping!

 

Dad’s: Self Charging Wallet. Say that 10 times fast. This ultimate gift for dad or really anyone will have them thanking you for the thoughtfulness. For the minimalist traveler or just someone thats phone is always dying, this slim case has been designed in tannery leather that softens over time. A modern take on the classic wallet, the updated find has four card slots, one cash slot and holds a full charge to keep you connected during busy work-to-play days. It’s also ready for foil-debossed personalization. slim-leather-charging-wallet-c

The wallet is listed for $79 and to add the personalization it’s only an additional $10 but if you use the code: “Friends” you will get $15.80 off your total and it will only be $77.85 with FREE shipping! What a steal!

 

 

 

 

Long Distance Friends/Loves: So you are far away but still want to show each other you are on each other’s mind. The perfect gift for people who are long distance is the awesome, Long Distance Friendship Lamp found at Uncommon Goods

lightsOn the website you have the option to get one ($99) or two ($198), but what I really love about these lamps are that they, light up loved ones’ lives—across town or across the world.  The function is still the same: Touch yours, and theirs emits the same glow to send a little “thinking of you.” Creating a group? You can also assign colors, so each person gets their own special hue.

Grandparents: The truth is grandparents typically don’t “need” or “want” anything than to be around their grandchildren, so to make them feel near their grandchildren all the time the best gifts for them would be anything personalized. You can find a ton of gift idea’s with personalization on the website, Etsy.  For instance, this blanket that was personalized is so adorable and is one of the great personalized gifts offered on Etsy. il_794xN.2101987871_quml

Etsy connects people looking for unique goods with independent sellers around the world. When you shop on Etsy.com, you can choose from millions of handmade, vintage, and craft supply items created and curated by millions of independent sellers. This is one of the reasons why I tend to use Etsy because I love supporting small business’ and local artist. Local Artist and Small Businesses don’t necessarily need to be the people right outside your home, these are people all across the world and Etsy allows you to support small by doing so.

The Give Back/Stylish gifts:  Have you heard of Pura Vida? Well two Southern California friends—Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman—took a college graduation trip down to Costa Rica in the summer of 2010, they came across two artisans whose colorful string bracelets captured the simple beauty of Costa Rica. Sadly the artist were struggling to survive on their artisan wages, living with their family in a single room with three beds. Desperate to find some way to help, Griffin and Paul asked the artisans to make 400 bracelets to take home with them, they put the bracelets on display in a local boutique, selling out completely within just a few days. And it hit them: These pieces were more than just simple friendship bracelets.3F9A2520_1200x1200_crop_center

I love these bracelets and not just what they mean and stand for but because they are so stylish! Pura Vida is having an awesome Black Friday sale, everything is 50% off! I also have a coupon code: DanielleGiordano20, this code will also give you 20% off your entire order!

 

 

 

 

Child(ren) Gifts:  Let’s be real for a second, toys are what every child wants for Christmas, but lets be practical this holiday season. Toys come and go, they break, pieces get lost, and ultimately, that toy isnt “fun” anymore. But do you know what is fun and what a child may cherish? Experience gifts!

What is an experience gift you may ask yourself, well an experience gift is one that provides a child a memory. From museum memberships to sporting passes, you can give your kids more than just another object for their playroom. It can create memories, help build skills and provide fun for the entire family.

Need some ideas? Here is a few to think of as options,

  • 1. Children’s theater season passes
  • 2. Trampoline jump passes
  • 3. Zoo membership
  • 4. Full session for new sport (gymnastics, football camp, etc.)
  • 5. Trip to the bookstore to pick out new books
  • 6. Local + national state park passes for a year
  • 7. Plane ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)
  • 8. Pass to an art museum
  • 9. Cooking class for kids
  • 10. Tickets for child + friend for a local play
  • 11. Pottery making classes
  • 12.  Out of country airfare + accommodation (if you want to be truly indulgent)
  • 13. Swim lessons
  • 14. Aquarium yearly pass
  • 15. Subscription box
  • 16. A train ride to somewhere they’ve never been
  • 17. Musical instrument + lessons
  • 18. Flower or herb seeds to plant a garden
  • 19. Ballet classes + tutu
  • 20. Ceramic painting class

 

I hope the gift guide can assist you with coming up with the perfect gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. If you are not interested in purchasing gifts, I will be posting some awesome DIY gift idea’s in next weeks blog post. Check back!

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

 

Baby “Flurry” … the winter “Baby Sprinkle”

Have you all heard of a baby shower for the second child? Well if not, its typically called a sprinkle. Get it, a baby shower for the first child and a baby sprinkle for the second?… Well, have you heard of a baby flurry? Probably not. It’s my take on a baby sprinkle that takes place in the cold winter months when it normally won’t sprinkle rain it will snow flurry.

My sister is pregnant with my littlest niece and the last time she had a baby was 5 years ago so she needed the necessitates again, bodysuit onesies, socks, bibs, hooded towels, the whole nine EXCEPT the big stuff like the crib and stroller and those things. So my mother and I decided lets throw a small intimate baby shower. So while I was looking up with theme ideas I thought a winter wonderland theme would be adorable and than I thought about calling the shower a flurry instead because of the winter theme.

Now that we have a theme, we needed to get the decorations and get the menu straightened out. I headed over to my local Hobby Lobby and saw that all their Christmas decorations were 50% off! So I did a happy dance in the aisle and I stocked up on as much silver glittered decorations, snowflakes, and lights I can get my hands on.

This theme does allow you to get pretty much all winter decor that you can possible think of PLUS I was able to use my own decor that I have for the holiday season and since I was buying some new things I would be able to incorporate in my holiday decorating too. A nice win for me! For the centerpieces we made wreathes with shatter proof ornaments and for the party favor we gifted snowflake ornaments.

The menu was your typical Italian American cuisine, except instead of getting it catered my mom, who once owned an Italian deli and market, opted to make all the dishes. I also decided instead of your typical salad, we would offer a salad bar so the guests could create any type of salad they would want with all the sides they can think of. The food was a hit and everyone raved about it. The salad bar will probably make its return to other parties that I plan and put together because it was easy to prepare and set up.

The Flurry was extremely successful, it was so nice to see all of our family and friends come together to celebrate the newest upcoming arrival of our family member. I do suggest having a second shower/sprinkle/flurry for the mom to be because a lot of the time these events take place years after the first child was born and unfortunately not all moms keep the items from their first child and they have to start from scratch again.

For Holiday gift ideas and decor check back to our previous blog post 

“What do you want to do?” “I don’t care, whatever you want to do” … Date Night Tips

Do you ever struggle to come up with something different than the typical dinner and movie date? I mean that is a classic date idea, I love anytime someone feeds me and I get to be quiet and watch a movie but the truth is, I sometimes fall asleep during the movie, especially if I am really full from dinner. It’s not so much a buzz kill to me but maybe to the person I am with, they probably wouldn’t be too excited while I am catching some Z’s while the new Marvel movie is playing, well truthfully, I love Marvel movies so I probably wouldn’t be catching up on my sleep during that one.

My husband and I are tired of the “what do you want to do?” “I don’t care, whatever you want to do” conversation. After a while, things get old and we fall into the same routine. Well this chick decided to spice things up a bit, don’t worry this is a PG post.

Last Valentine’s Day I made my own unique 52 Date Idea’s, so basically it gave us an idea for a date every week and take the “fun” out of being indecisive. Can you hear my sarcasm?

datejar

My husband loved this idea, not only did it get him off the hook on not being spontaneous and romantic but it took out the arguments or the repetitious date nights we have had in the past. Some of the date idea’s are your typical date nights but also are daytime dates and activities you wouldn’t necessarily think of being a date, for instance “Drive to a part of your town you never drive through and take a photo to document” this forced us to get out of our comfort zone and do something we may not think to do.

A few other Date Idea’s are below, feel free to use them for yourself and get out of that rut on trying to come up with new date nights.

1. Create a meal together and eat it only using toothpicks

2. Create a Scavenger hunt for each other

3. Go to a museum and pick out your favorite art

4. Make homemade pizza together

5. Go to the Dollar Movie or a Matinee

6. Go to the Drive-inn

7. Have a game night

8. Go to a local band performance for a night out of dancing and music

9. Grab a Groupon/LivingSocial Deal and go out to a restaurant you’ve never been before

10. Ice skating

11. Go to your local gun range and have a “friendly” competition

12. Stay at home Spa Night

13. Go bowling

14. Do a DIY project together

15. Write down questions about each other that you want to know and then take turns asking them to each other. (Tip: Don’t write yes or no questions)

You should definitely, make it a point to complete all 52 date idea’s before the year is up, it’ll be an accomplishment that you both will feel great about AND you created memories together!

 

Follow me on Instagram for more DIY tips and tricks and if you create this Date Night Jar, make sure you tag me in your post, I would love to see! #UrbanHippieCT

Urban Hippie : The Evolution

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As most of you know, Urban Hippie, was a name/brand that I came up with back in May of 2009, holy smokes! That was 10 YEARS ago! In Providence in the tiny state of Rhode Island. I was a college senior that was looking for an easy A in one of my business classes and as the tale has been told over the past decade, I was sitting in a class room thinking of something that is “unique and describes you” and that’s when and where Urban Hippie was born, however, Urban Hippie was originally just a tee shirt line.

As my passion for design started to spin off its axes that is when Urban Hippie evolved from unique tee shirt designs to, bath essentials. This girl loves a relaxing bath so of course creating bath bombs and aromatherapy candles came into play.

Then in 2014, I purchased my first home with my soon to be husband and that is when home decor came into the picture. I was being gifted every antique/vintage and straight up pieces of “junk” that didn’t go in other people’s homes so of course since I just purchased a house I certainty needed it more than anyone else, even though none of the pieces complemented each other.

So what does a person that has a passion for design and refurbishment do?… we research and then we paint! We paint all the things. I started to work on my first piece of home decor for myself and my empty home but then soon after I would be getting messages and phone calls from other people that have a piece that they love and can not part with or they want to keep but it just does not go with their design motive or theme of the room. I started evolving Urban Hippie from a tee shirt brand to a lifestyle brand.

I absolutely love being able to assist people with updating pieces that were given to them by family members/friends or being able to breathe new life into a dresser that looked like it was on its last leg or even more, I love creating custom pieces that are never before seen and was just a thought in my clients head.  My joy really comes from people’s inquiries and their excitement on their new retiqued pieces.

Urban Hippie has the capability to really do it all, tee shirts, aromatherapy candles, bath bombs, refurbished furniture, and stationary. Hey, I may even be able to remodel your kitchen if you are interested in having me. I have a hard time saying “no”, especially to projects.

Come follow along with the many things Urban Hippie does, follow us on Instagram @UrbanHippieCT  

Hello, 104 weeks later…

Hey loves!

So it’s been awhile… 1 year 10 months 7 days ago to be precise. A lot has happened in between the last post and today. Let’s do a run down and than we’ll reintroduce.

So since the last post, this lady got pregnant and had a baby boy named, Luca. You would think that would be the only change funny how life works that way… I decided to do a complete career change because when you have a life change everything else changes along with it.

After I had my beautiful baby boy, almost 4 weeks early and after a short NICU stay, I took my allotted 12 weeks of FMLA maternity leave and when I went back to my full time job life as I knew it before I had a child was completely different, that one hour drive to work each day became so painful and dreading, leaving that tiny little face each morning was unbearable when I just had the scariest birth experience.

The truth is as a modern day woman, you’re sometimes not allowed to say “I need time” we’re all suppose to adapt and move on quickly because that’s what society has taught us over the years.

My water broke at 36 weeks and I was working up until the day of even though I knew I should have taken time for myself to prepare my body for this crazy but beautiful body transformation. It’s just crazy to me how the workforce in America has no support for woman especially after bringing life into this world.

Things needed to change for me in order for my happiness and the happiness of my family. We took a big leap and had faith and I left “corporate America” job and decided to put my heart and energy into my family and my small business. We are 1 week away from a year of this big change and I can honestly say it has been one of the best decisions in my adult life.

I may have to hustle a little bit more but it’s so worth it, I absolutely love being able to be present in my family life.

You can follow me and my small business on Instagram, @UrbanHippieCT #UrbanHippieCT