Melodrama Holiday Home Tour 2016

I’ve said it before but I feel like this month has flown by. I honestly wanted to do a little more decorating but ran out of time. Boooo. I did manage to get all of the necessities in here though! Christmas Tree: check! Bottle brush trees: check! More Christmas trees: check! I’ve realized this year that I have a thing for Christmas trees.

dining-roomIn the dining room I used large bottle brush trees from Target to decorate my shelves and then stuck in two more baby trees for good measure.barI got a little more festive on the adjacent bar, of course. I used Shiny Brite ornaments and epsom salts to dress up a cheapy $5 plain wreath and garland.living-room-bar-kitchenlivingroomThe living room is definitely the most festive place in the apartment! I spy a DIY corn husk wreath over the fireplace.IMG_5640.jpgI also decorated the fireplace with my collection of bottle brush trees and DIY Putz Housesvintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decorationAnd then there’s the treevintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor

I’m going to miss this when it’s gone.

flamingoI got this hat for my dog but she hates it so Frank the flamingo got a festive little makeover.

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These DIY pom-pom pillows dressed up our little IKEA Hack bench. I made these for Christmas but I think they’ll end up sticking around all year.

I didn’t get much decorating done in our bedroom, except for this little gold tree that holds our personal, heirloom, and travel collection of ornaments. I used a faux fur throw as a tree skirt and hung a cute little DIY Christmas print on the wall. The lighting from this tree is super cozy and great to have on during bedtime Christmas movie watching AKA my favorite winter time hobby.bedroom-tree

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays! Xoxo!

Coquito Puerto Rican Holiday Drink Recipe

 

We all have traditional comfort foods and drinks that taste like the holidays to us. You know, the ones that you just can’t do without and look forward to having once a year, every year? For my husband it’s Coquito, a creamy Puerto Rican coconut and rum based drink. For him it’s just not really Christmas without it.

Every family has their own recipe and preferred way of making it, some use egg yolks making it more of an eggnog-like drink, but the mainstays are always coconut cream and rum, and lots of it.

coquitoHere’s our favorite recipe given to us by my husband’s aunt. Thanks, Titi Pily!

COQUITO

1 (12 fluid ounce) can Evaporated Milk

1 (14 ounce) can Coconut Cream (unsweetened)

1 (13.5-ounce) can Coconut Milk

1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 cup White Rum

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

4 Cinnamon Sticks

1 teaspoon Whole Cloves

1 2″ to 3″ piece of Fresh Ginger

2 cups Water

Directions

You’ll be making a sort of tea with the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. First, peel the ginger and chop into large chunks. Place the ginger in a medium saucepan and muddle until all pieces are smashed. Then, add the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and water to the pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat, and simmer until the water turns brown, about 20 minutes.

Once the tea is ready, strain into a large measuring cup, you should be left with about 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid.

Add evaporated milk, coconut cream, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, rum, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the tea to a blender (or a large bowl if using immersion blender) and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until everything is well blended.

Pour the Coquito into glass bottles or mason jars and refrigerate until it’s cold. Once it’s ready to serve, shake the bottle or jars to make sure everything is well combined, pour into small serving glasses, and top with a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! 2016

Ok, real talk, I honestly feel like this month has gone by really quickly. TOO quickly. The holidays are almost over and it makes me sad! I want more time!

Anyway, if you know me at all you know I take my Christmas trees very seriously. Every year we get natural tree and usually have it flocked in white, but for some reason this year was particularly difficult. It took visiting five different tree lots to find the perfect one, but we finally found *the one* and I love it. When you know you just know. You know?

Without further ado, here is this year’s tree!

vintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decoration

It’s chockablock full of candy colored ornaments, gold garland, tons of tinsel, and my trusty DIY tree skirt.

vintage-ornaments

vintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor-2vintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor-3

It’s the perfect tree to display my vintage ornament collection. I especially love vintage Shiny Brites and threaded bulbs. Speaking of, The Christopher Radko Company has resurrected the Shiny Brite brand and has been producing ornaments based on classic Shiny Brite designs. I got some this year to fill out the tree and they’re gorgeous!

vintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor-4shiny-brite-ornaments-from-christopher-radko

I also got a finial from them to top it all off.

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I want to keep it up all year round!

vintage-inspired-christmas-tree-decor

I’ll try to post a Christmas home tour, but until then you can see what’s going on over on Instagram.

DIY Mid-Century Christmas Village Putz Houses

I’ve always had this wild fantasy that I would become one of those people who collect and make elaborate Christmas villages. I just love the idea of making perfect make-believe Christmas towns and being able to look at them all season long. The first time I ever walked into a Department 56 store I almost died. Alas, those things are expensive and I’m not a millionaire (Yet.) (Kidding.)

However, to fill the Christmas village hobby void I started making DIY Christmas village houses, otherwise known as Putz houses! Porcelain versions became popular around the 70s, but cardboard versions were very popular in the mid-20th century. Just my style.

Traditional cardboard putz houses were just that – traditional. Most were the standard cottage or a-line box. I have a love affair with mid-century modern architecture, so I sketched my designs pulling inspiration from some of my favorite architects and homes I grew up around in Palm Springs and LA. Then when I started to render them to be printables, a quick little internet search for putz houses led me to one of the best retro blogs out there called Retro Renovation! I’m so glad it did because they have some pretty amazing and inspiring Putz house patterns and tutorials! Great minds! Check those out immediately.

Anyway, this is a pretty easy and straight forward craft that can be done a few different ways. I personally printed the patterns out on cardstock and used hot glue to assemble them. DIY Mid-Century Christms Putz HousesDIY Mid-Century Christms Putz HousesYou can also trace the pattern onto cereal or gift boxes. To color them you can digitally fill the pattern in with color before printing, or you can use paint, crayon, or colored pencils to fill it in. Then use cardboard pieces for the roof and base. Whatever works for you!

After assembling the walls and roof, I covered a piece of cardboard in white felt and attached it using hot glue. I applied a hefty amount of white glue to my roofs and piled on the buffalo snow.

DIY Miniature Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesYou can use miniature trees and accessories like cars, animals, and snowmen to bring the scene to life, and as you can see every house has a tree up in the window.

DIY Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesFor this one I used paper straws to hold up the carport.

DIY Christmas Village Mid-Century Putz HousesAnd for this house I cut light shapes out of scraps of felt and glued them on. DIY Mid-Century Christms Putz Houses 4

So fun! Get out your exacto knife and start cutting!

Click here to download my variation of the patterns that I used here, and be sure to visit Retro Renovation for the originals and even more great putz templates, ideas, and step by step photos.

Christmas Decor At Our House 2014

Yay Christmas! We’re ready. A lot of things have changed around here lately. We got a new sofa, I made some new art and pillows, and we got new tables and lamps (more on that later).

This year I went with a silver, gold, black, and white theme for our tree. Most of the ornaments are from Target, IKEA, or vintage. I also DIY’d some marbled ornaments. It’s totes glam and I love it. I can stick with it for a few years since it’ll go with any decor color scheme I happen to have going on. You know I like to change my mind about that lot.

Christmas at the home of blogger Krys Melo of Melodrama

 

Tada! Merry Christmas!

 

DIY: The Easiest DIY Christmas Wrapping Ever

Let’s face it, some people just aren’t that creative with wrapping presents. (Not me though, I’m wonderful.) Or maybe some of you just don’t want to mess around with all of the ornamental bows and ribbons. Maybe you just want to do something a little different and totally adorable. Well here’s the solution to your problem. Put it in a gift bag.

Just kidding! Chalkboard paper!

All you need is a roll of chalkboard paper and chalk markers, which are available at most craft stores. Chalkboard paper is just like a roll of wrapping paper so if you’re not that good at wrapping presents in general, this post wont help you (try here instead). I’m merely here to solve your creative problems. Basically you just wrap the gift as normal and then draw whatever custom design you want on it. Tada!!

DIY Chalkboard Wrapping Paper!!

DIY: Felt Mistletoe Cocktail Glass Decorations

Here’s a quick little holiday entertaining craft idea. Little felt mistletoes you can tie on to your glass stems. Cute right? So festive. Bonus: You can hold your drink over your head and people will make out with you. (At least that’s my plan!)

DIY Mistletoe Glass Stem Decorations

Anywayyy I’m terrible and didn’t take pics of the steps but I think you get the idea.

You’ll need:
Green felt
Small white felt balls
Craft glue
String or twine
Small scissors

Just cut out little mistletoe leaf shapes. They’re kind of oval with long stems. Next glue the white balls onto the leaves. Then bunch them together by the ends and tie them up using twine or string. Tie them securely to glass stems.

Pro tip: Use them in other areas of your home or as a fun gift detail to add to your gift wrapping.

 

DIY: Marbled Christmas Ornaments

It’s Christmastime!!! I’m so excited.

I had the brilliant idea to change our Christmas tree theme and colors this year. Our past theme didn’t quite fit with the style of our apartment so it was kind of clashing and annoying me. Black, white, gold, and silver are basically my favorite colors and would totally fit in with my decor. I also wanted a glam and semi-retro vibe. Luckily we found some appropriate vintage ornaments during a flea market trip, and I think maybe Target read my mind (or tweets) because they have a bunch of black and gold stuff out in their Christmas section right now.

But even after all of that I had more space to fill on the tree, so I got out my paints and a pack of clear ornaments and got to work on marbling.

These are super easy and you can use any color combo you want. I used black and white because duh.

First, you have to take the top off of the ornament since you’re going to be painting the inside. Then, drop a few drops of each color into the opening. The paint immediately starts to swirl together and you’ll begin to see the effect. Be patient and let the paint flow all around the sides by moving the ornament around.

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

 

 

The paint flow will begin to slow down as it covers the ornament. If you want to walk away just put something on the sides to hold the ornament in place so the paint can flow down the sides. Gravity or whatever.

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

 

Then tip it over and let all of the excess paint drip out . It’ll marble even more during this step.

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

 

Once all of the excess paint is out and the inside is dry you can put the top back on and hang it on the tree.

How to make marbled Christmas ornaments

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Pie with Speculoos Cookie Crust and Pecan Streusel

Butternut Squash Pie Recipe with Pecan Streusel and Speculoos Cookie Crust. Full Recipe!

I love baking pies, you guys. For me there’s no better way to spend a cold autumn morning than baking a pie and listening to my favorite holiday mix. We’ve finally had some cooler weather and rain in California, so it was time to wake and bake. Pumpkin? Nah, been there. Sweet potato? Nah, done that. Butternut squash?  Yes. Butternut squash is probably my most favorite of the squashes, but I’d never had it in pie form, so I was unreasonably excited.

I didn’t feel like using regular pie crust, either. I’m such a rebel \m/. I thought maybe it would be nice with a cookie crust. *Light bulb* Have you ever had speculoos cookies? Jesus C. they’re good. They’re spiced and very crunchy. Perfect for crust making.

The result was exactly what I’d hoped for. The filling has a similar consistency to pumpkin and sweet potato pie, but it has more of a fruity aroma and taste. The spiced cookie crust paired well with it and gave a nice texture. I added a pecan streusel on top because I like the roasted nut flavor along side all the sweetness. Ok, I’m starting to sound like a foodie d-bag. I won’t go on and on with the Top Chef style food chatter, but basically the pie is yummy and you should make it. Here’s the recipe.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust
Speculoos Cookie Crust:
1 pack of Speculoos cookies, 1 1/2 cups of crumbs
5 tbs melted butter

Use a blender or food processor to finely crush your cookies into crumbs. (If you don’t have either of those appliances, put the cookies in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.) Melt butter on stove stop or microwave. Mix melted butter and crumbs together until it has a wet sand consistency. It should hold together when you pinch it. If your crust is still a little dry and won’t hold together, you can add a bit more melted butter until it does.  Put in pie pan and use your hands or a measuring cup to press and flatten the crumbs to the bottom and up against the sides.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until it has set and slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Speculoos Cookie Pie Crust

This part of the pie is optional but highly recommended.

Pecan Streusel Topping

Pecan Streusel Topping (Optional):
1/2 cup pecan pieces
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Toss ingredients together and reserve for sprinkling on top of pie halfway through baking.

Now for the filling.

Butternut Squash Pie Filling Recipe

Pie Filling:
1 large butternut squash (approx. 2- 2/12 cups of puree)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

There are a few different methods to cooking the squash. First is the method I used because it gives a nice roasted flavor and cooks faster:
1.Peel, cut into large chunks, and roast at 400 degrees for 40-ish minutes.
Or, alternatively you can:
2. Cut it in half and bake it cut side down, for about 1-1/2 hours.
3. Peel, cut into large chunks, and boil until tender.

Let it cool and then puree it.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar and eggs. Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice and mix really well. Stir in the butternut squash puree and cream and mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared pie shell.

Butternut Squash Pie Recipe

Bake for about 45 minutes until filling has set and slightly risen in the middle. Let cool completely and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. [Note: If using optional streusel mixture, sprinkle onto pie after 20 minutes and then continue baking for 25 more minutes]

Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan Streusel and Speculoos Cookie Crust. Full Recipe!

 

Pet Lover’s Gift Guide 2013

During gift giving season you can’t forget the fur babies! I love giving my dogs gifts. They get really excited…probably because I’m so excited but whatever, we enjoy it. I’ve picked out some nifty things to get for that special furry member of your family. I’m talking about your pet of course…

Let’s start with the dogs:

Every dog owner I know has toys laying all over their house or shoved into dog bed in the corner of the room. This includes myself. I’m always like ahhh we need a toy box! Well check out these hemp toy storage baskets from Harry Barker. They’re totally perfect for holding all of the toys and they’re not cheesy or tacky. They’re also coated on the inside for easy cleaning. Find them at Harry Barker for $38

My dogs love bath time! I’ve tried my fair share of shampoos on them. This shampoo is my favorite. It’s made with essential oils so it soothes their itchy skin and makes them smell amazing. After the first use my pups felt great and didn’t scratch at all throughout the entire night or following days. It’s made in the USA, is eco-friendly, and is not tested on animals. Also worth mentioning – the customer service is superb. This gift set comes with a 16oz bottle of shampoo, a microfiber towel, and an adorable tote. Find it at Dogtails for $32. Use the promo code MELODRAMA to receive 20% off your order until 12/31/13!

This book by holistic pet chef Christine M. Filardi is a great gift for anyone that needs a little help understanding how to spoil their dog but keep them healthy. It’s full of yummy recipes for home cooked meals and treats. I’ve had a lot of fun reading this book and looking at the adorable pictures. This new year we’re going to start incorporating and transitioning our 13 year old dogs over to Christine’s menu to alleviate allergies and tummy issues we’ve struggled with in the past, so you’ll see me mentioning and sharing her recipes from time to time. If you or someone you know is interested in doing the same, definitely pick this book up. You can find it at Abrams Books or Anthropologie for $19.95.

This year I’ve been fortunate enough to see a couple of new rescues join the families of those I care about. Help your favorite rescue celebrate with a handcrafted, USA made accessory from Found My Animal. Found My Animal’s mission is simple and they donate to many rescues around the country. This dog bed is handcrafted in Brooklyn and made from canvas and marine grade rope. The insert is made from 100% USA recycled foam rubber. Pick this girl scout green one up on FoundMyAnimal.com for $170

Custom Dog Plush

Last on the list of perfect dog gifts are these custom stuffed dog toys. They take a photo of your dog and turn them into the most perfect little replica. They also have toys based on actual shelter pups that need to ‘adopted’. These are made in the USA from pure merino wool and proceeds go to support shelters and rescues. Pick up a gift certificate for your favorite dog lover or create your own order at The Shelter Pups.

Now for the cats! I don’t know much about cats but I have my fair share of cat ladies in my life so I have an idea of what’s hip in cat land.

Like this DJ Cat Scratch Turntable. Your cat will be spinnin’ dope beats in no time. Made from 100%  carboard so no records are harmed. Find it at PerpetualKid for $37.00.

Looking for kitty stocking stuffers? From the Field’s Purrrfect Deluxe Gift Set comes with 2 hemp cat toys, organic cat nip spray, and a cork ball. Cat lovers love this brand! Find this set at OnlyNaturalPet for $16.99.

Do your cats chew on your plants? Are you looking for an indoor kitty garden? SmartCat’s Edible Garden is the way to go. The box is totally cute, too. This looks great in any kitchen and refills are easy to pop in and out when needed. Find it on Amazon for $13.95

Check out hear cool things! They’re called CattyStacks. They’re stackable cardboard boxes that create the ultimate cat house. You can change them up so your cat never gets bored of exploring. Pick up some of their tunnels too! They’re made from industrial strength corrugated, recycled cardboard and built to last. Find them at CattyStacks for $14.99.