Home Depot Style Challenge DIY Mantelpiece HOW-TO

December 6, 2015

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/christmas-fireplace

So excited to walk you through the “how-to” portion of the Home Depot Christmas Style Challenge from my previous post. It was actually pretty easy, just took some time between each step! But I had to figure out every step of the process on my own, and luckily YOU get to just read all the steps easy-peasy!

So here are the steps for creating your own DIY, modern mantel from the beginning!

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/christmas-fireplace

If you didn’t see my previous post with all the glamorous “after” photos of this mantel, then check them out HERE!

 

Step 1 Remove Existing Mantel

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Find details on Home Depot‘s post.

 

Step 2 Prep Your Floors

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Find details on Home Depot‘s post, but for this step I used: cement boardthis tool, and these special screws.

 

Step 3 Tile (And Grout) Your Floor

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Just followed the instructions on this video, more details on Home Depot‘s post.

These are all the supplies you will need to tile, including the grout:

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Including: tile, spacers, pre-mixed grout, pre-mixed mortar, polishing sponge, notched trowel, grout float

 

Step 4 Figure Out Your Mantel Dimensions & Build a Frame

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I ended up using mostly 2×6 inch wood you can find in the lumbar section of Home Depot.

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Step 5 Add Drywall

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This step was relatively easy, just be meticulous, again. Find tips on Home Depot‘s post!

 

Step 6 Mud Your Drywall

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This step is the only one I would highly recommend finding someone else to do. I hired some professionals, but still bought them all the supplies from Home Depot. Watching the swiftness and skill from professionals helped me realize that this step was definitely worth it for me.

 

Step 8 Paint your Mantel

I didn’t photograph this step, but it was pretty straightforward. I painted the whole mantel in bright  white, and while I was at it, I painted the wall white too so it would feel nice and simplistic.

 

Step 9 Add Your Solid Wood Mantelpiece

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This was by far the most rewarding step. It was so nice spending time perfecting the mantelpiece and then adding it to the mantel. I had to special order the piece of wood from Home Depot because they don’t keep the dimensions I wanted in-store. It was a 6”x8” and very long, so it was huge, and so heavy. My new favorite Home Depot employee ended up helping me cut it to-size at the store and loaded it into my car, thank you Paul (no but seriously, Paul also taught me how to stain properly)! When I got it home, I sanded it down really well so there were no rough sides or edges. Then, since it’s a soft wood, pine, I used a wood conditioner to treat the wood first. This step allows the stain to apply more evenly. I’m so happy I included this step, it made a huge difference, and only took an additional 15 minutes. Just follow the simple instructions on the conditioner if you do this step. Then, I stained the wood using this stain. The best way to stain is to use an inexpensive brush and make sure you follow the grain as you apply. Then let it sit for 5-15 minutes, depending on how dark you want the color, then remove all the excess stain by rubbing it down with a disposable rag. You’ll then need to let the stain dry for a few hours, but then you’re ready to add it to your mantel! Attach it with construction-grade adhesive using a caulk gun, and you will be good to go for the last step!

 

Step 9 Decorate!

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I love all of Home Depot’s Holiday decor, especially this adorable deer and this gorgeous tree that I got from Home Depot. This garland and this wreath also helped bring the perfect amount of natural elements to my mantle. You can take a look at all of their gorgeous holiday decor here! Having a mantel that fit my style made it even more fun decorating for my favorite holiday. And it turned out awesome in the end, take a look!

 

And a HUGE thank you to my friends who made the final moment even more special:

Professional Photography by: Kayla Brooke Photography

Cookies by: Caitlin’s Cookie Factory

Home Depot Christmas Style Challenge: DIY Fireplace

December 6, 2015

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/christmas-fireplace

A number of months ago, I was approached by Home Depot to participate in their Christmas Style Challenge, and I’m excited to FINALLY share the whole experience with you! I ended up creating a brand new mantel for my more modern home from scratch, and I couldn’t be happier with the final look. Best part is? It was TOTALLY easy! So if you are looking to make one on your own, read on.

And if you just want to see pretty pictures of how it turned out, read on too :-)

I hope you enjoy the finished project below, and if you want to read a long DIY post about how I created it from start to finish, then check out THIS POST.

 

And a HUGE thank you to my friends who made the final moment even more special:

Professional Photography by: Kayla Brooke Photography

Cookies by: Caitlin’s Cookie Factory

 

Here’s the before and after:

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When Home Depot approached me about doing their Style Challenge, and explained I could pick from a few projects, the mantle being one of the options, it dawned on me that I didn’t even like our mantel! There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, except it didn’t feel like “me.”

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And in my naive mind, I thought it would be a piece of cake to replace my mantel. And technically it was, but it just took longer than I thought. It always takes longer than we think, doesn’t it?

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The decorations I got from Home Depot made the mantel even better, I am in love with the gold and red details in their holiday products.

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Oh, and I made those white stockings from SWEATERS! From D.I., so they were like 5 dollars total. Amazing.

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I want to express a HUGE thank you Home Depot for letting me be involved in the Christmas Style Challenge, I had a complete blast! And a huge thank you to my friends who made the final moment even more special:

 

Professional Photography by: Kayla Brooke Photography

Cookies by: Caitlin’s Cookie Factory
Love, Alexi

Utah Bride Blog Invitations

November 16, 2015

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I had the really amazing privilege to design some custom wedding invites for Utah Bride Blog this month!! Although they were professionally photographed and will be featured in their magazine in the Spring, I just HAD to show them off for now with my own photographs. I can’t wait to see how they styled them for their feature article that will be out in the Spring, though!

When they approached me, I was asked to spot an upcoming trend, and then create invites around it. I took that challenge very seriously, and did my very best to spot a new trend…and I’m callin’ it right now, palm leaves is the new thing! Not just palm tree leaves alone, but all of these varieties you can see in this cute illustration I found.

I created this moodboard for it before I got started, and then I went to work! Hope you enjoy!

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New Health Goals

November 15, 2015

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Well, I’ve had enough. I don’t care that it’s just before the holidays, and I don’t care that this is a public announcement. I’ve always heard that to make a goal an official goal you need to do 2 things. Write it down, and tell someone. These two steps help with personal and outside accountability, so that’s what I’m doing RIGHT NOW!

It has come time for me to finally take control of my health! I won’t give you the sob story about how life has been crazy (which it has), or that moving and house projects have taken up a lot of time (which they have), or that I have a major love for delicious food (which I do). Instead, I’m going to tell you my commitment, which is that I am taking a stand TODAY. I am taking the reins on my health and not letting any excuses get in the way. There are people who have WAY more going on than I do, and are creating time to take care of their health, so I am going to as well.

I’m not sure when it happened, it was probably a slow decline, but I used to consider myself a very healthy person! I’ve done Whole30, I’ve ran 2 marathons, I’ve done circuit training, workout programs, used to be on dance company and volleyball in high school… Welp, I’m 27 now and I do not want to reach 30 and still be in the same lazy shoes that I’m currently in. So, officially, my goals for being healthier are as follows:

  • I will go to bed early every weekday
  • I will wake up early every weekday
  • I will go to the gym 5x/week
  • I will eat healthy for every meal, and only have cheat bites occasionally
  • I will do yoga to keep my body stretched, and to calm my mind
  • I will read for pleasure to slow down
  • I will read the scriptures and listen to a conference talk everyday to improve my spirit

So, there you have it! Those are my goals, and I’m hoping you can help keep me accountable! If you see me or if we chat, please ask how I’m doing with my goals to help keep me accountable! I’ll check back in and let you know how it goes!

Love You Like Plaid Party

October 21, 2015

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidOver the weekend, I got together with some very talented individuals to create a collaboration photoshoot about this season’s favorite trend: PLAID! I mean, have you BEEN to Target lately? Their stores are covered in plaid, and not just for the fall season, plaid should stick around until at least Christmas. Thank goodness, because I cannot get enough.

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidSo here’s the deal. We had so much fun, we want you to throw your OWN plaid party to tell your girlfriends how much you love them, and also to celebrate the beautiful changing seasons. You’ll see some of the ideas we created for the party, like a popcorn bar, gift baskets, and a craft and I want to hear what other amazing things you come up with, too, if you throw your own party.

Bonus! At the bottom of this email, I’m making all the paper details available for DOWNLOAD below so you can print everything yourself, oh and they are all totally FREE for the rest of October! So hurry and grab those now!

 

A HUGE thank you to the other amazing women who donated their services or talents, including:

The talented photographer who captured the moments beautifully: Kayla Brook Photography

Amazing Salted Caramel Cupcakes: Amy Perkins

Our incredibly talented florist who made the whole event look stunning, and also helped with decorations: Heidi at Over The Top Floral

The cutest plaid love-sign you ever did see: R&J Rustic Touch

 

And now, on to the photos of the event, I hope you enjoy and pin your favorites!

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaid

First off, we made the cutest gift baskets to give to each girl. They included one of my gold-foil prints, one of these Old Navy blankets, some root beer bottles, apples, and a hand-tied bunch of fall leaves and flowers. Creating a personalized hand-out gives your guests a cherished item for them to remember the evening with, and it’s a way to say “thank you” for taking the time to come!

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Next, we created a popcorn bar! We attempted making our own popcorn over the fire, and it probably would have worked if it didn’t start raining (our fire wasn’t very hot) and if we had larger pieces of foil. Give it a try next time! 1TBS of kernels, 1tsp of vegetable oil, and you have to shake your popcorn container constantly so the foil or the kernels don’t burn.View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidView More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidView More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidView More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidView More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaidView More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaid

Luckily, we brought our own popcorn as well, and we had the YUMMIEST toppings. We even did a contest for who could make the best popcorn, and here were the ingredients for the best and most creative:

Snickerdoodle Popcorn: butter spray & cinnamon sugar

“The Works” Popcorn: caramel sauce, crushed Andes mints, mini Reeses, crushed oreos, and cinnamon sugar

Zesty Popcorn: drizzled olive oil and Ranch flavoring (my personal favorite!)

Mexican Popcorn: lime juice, salt, parmesean cheese and olive oil

 

Lastly, we were hoping to make a craft, but the rain sort of spoiled our plans… This was our inspiration, a cute, fall, twig candle-holder. But alas, we didn’t get very far before we realized it wasn’t going to work in the rain. The best thing about doing a craft is that it lets people socialize around a table as they let their fingers work. You get the great conversations, and friendships bond, which is really the whole goal of a party anyway, right?

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Overall, it was a beautiful way to celebrate the beautiful fall weather and an excuse to get some of my lovely friends together. A huge thanks to my girls, and for all the assignments that they brought to make this plaid party such a success!

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Did you make it this far?? As a thank you, and in case you want to throw your OWN plaid party… You can download my invites BELOW and print it yourself! I’m also making the other decorations available as well. Just click on each link to download it. Be sure to use hashtag #loveyoulikeplaid so I can see how you use the printables! Enjoy!!

View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaid View More: http://kayla-brooke.pass.us/love-you-like-plaid

 

*NOTE: Click on the link, save it to your computer with the disk icon in the bottom right corner that appears with a mouse-over, OR by right clicking and selecting “Save As”, then print it!

INVITATION

INVITATION ENVELOPE INSERT

POEM FOR INVITATION

LOVE YOU LIKE PLAID MINI POSTER

TRIANGLE BANNER

PAPER FOR POPCORN LABELS

TAGS FOR POPCORN BAR