Chic Decor for Mom on Mother’s Day

*Disclosure: I partnered with Target and Stylinity for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Holy hiatus, Batman!  It’s been nearly a month since I wrote a post on my blog.  Goodness! So much has happened!  A lot of it you can see on Instagram.  I’ll try to update you with the rest in upcoming posts.  For now, I want to share with you what I gave myself for Mother’s Day: A front door makeover!

Aside from fashion, a clean and somewhat nicely decorated home makes me super happy. With two kids in the house and a hubs with a crazy work schedule, the “clean and somewhat nicely decorated” part hasn’t happened.  So, this was my attempt to get the “nicely decorated” ball rolling.

I’ve had a slight obsession with boxwood recently and recently stalked this boxwood wreath on the Target website.  They never seemed to have it in store when I went, so I finally  went ahead and ordered it.IMG_3166

Next step was prepping the door for its transformation.  This was the door before doing anything to it:



Not too shabby, but a bit on the dilapidated side. Let’s face it – it needed a make over.  So, off I went to Home Depot to find the paint.  The selection was limited, but I ended up finding a nice black gloss paint that I thought would do the job.  I also picked up a small roller and a brush with a small handle.


We already had white paint, brushes, and tape at home, so I started with the trim; which I painted a bright white so as to make the door “pop”.  I also taped the door handle prior to applying the black paint.




Then came the fun part!  The transformation.  I took about a third of the paint in the paint can and poured it into a hand-held plastic container.  I first hand-brushed paint on the entire door, focusing on getting the entire inside of each of the six panels.  I then followed with a second coat over the entire door with a small roller.




It took longer to dry than it did to paint it!  The process was fairly painless and super easy.  I also picked up a new floor mat, so when it was all said it done, I had a brand new door and front-door decor!





The white trim can use a second coat upon hubby’s closer inspection, but otherwise, I’m super happy with the result.  Obviously this involved work on my part, but it took a total of three hours total (at most, not including drying time) and was relatively inexpensive!  Here’s a breakdown of what I purchased:

Paint for door: $8 for black gloss paint

Roller: $6

Brushes, trim paint, and tape: Free from previous jobs at home (took back the ones I bought)

Welcome mat: $12*

Boxwood wreath: $45

Total cost: $71

Shop all the products here.

*To save a little extra money with some Target coupons, click here!

This is a DIY you can attempt on your own and perhaps surprise mom with, OR, you could gift her a basket which includes all the brushes/paint/roller/materials and wreath and DIY with her to spend some quality time together!  Either way, I think it would make an excellent gift, and something that is somewhat unique too.  Dontcha think?!


Hubs and I have talked about a bedroom, basement, and closet/office makeover, so stay tuned for those!  In the meantime, I wish all you mama’s out there an amazing Mother’s Day and to those of you who are not mama’s, wishing you a lovely time with the mother or mother figure in your life.

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

DIY Hair Color

Okay, so I have never colored my hair at home, BY MYSELF.  I was scurred to say the least.  For some time now, grays have begun to take over my head.  A once lush, landscape of dark brown hair, has now begun to turn into a sea of wild grays, slowly overtaking the dark colored strands.  SIGH.  So, hair color it is.

But.  Hair coloring entails going to the salon, at least a 2-hour endeavor, and money.  This also, apparently, needs to happen every 4-6 weeks.  My hair grows relatively quickly, so my range is more like 3-4 weeks rather than 4-6 weeks.  Anywho.  A friend of mine mentioned that she uses Garnier hair color, so at $7 for the box, I figured, why not try it!

Well, leave it to me to try it the night before a big trip and at 10pm no less.  So there was no chance I was going to have a plan B,  entailing going to the salon to have them fix whatever horrors resulted from me trying to color my own hair.  I had a box that had been sitting around for months, and off to the bathroom I went.


My hair is not naturally black in color, so I figured I would try the darkest brown color.  In all honesty, I think it is still too dark for my hair, so I MAY try the next lighter shade.  We shall see. But, darkest brown it is for now.  It’s not TERRIBLE though.  Here’s a pic I took the next day at a Blow Dry Bar salon. [ That is sparkling water and fruit, btw.  Not booze, lol.]


I don’t know you if you can tell, but unlike natural hair color – as in one’s biological hair color – store bought hair dye makes your hair color completely uniform.  Unless of course you employ a special technique to add color variation.  But hello – I already explained that I barely knew how to apply this DIY hair color, so there was no way I was going to even attempt to do anything fancier.

hair color,

So, uniformly colored dark hair I have!  I don’t think it looks terrible, though, again, think I will try something a bit lighter next time.  My grays, btw, were completely hidden after the one application of hair color.  The instructions specifically say that you need to leave the hair color in an additional 5 minutes in order to achieve complete coloring.  It is entirely likely that a gaggle of grays in the back of my head remain alive and gray, since I did this myself and didn’t take the time to look in a mirror before I washed out the dye. LOL.  But, it is what it is!

In conclusion, I definitely recommend this brand of hair color should you decide to color your own hair at home – and no, this is not a sponsored post, haha.  The price point is amazing, I didn’t react unpleasantly to it (e.g. it does not seem to be too harsh a dye for my scalp/skin), and my hair remains pretty soft after dying it!  I do recommend you read the instruction booklet in full, AND definitely use the gloves provided.  Also remember to wear an old t-shirt or some other garment that you won’t mind getting dye on.  OH!  And, wear something that buttons open should you decide to wash it out in the shower and not in the sink.  Otherwise,  you risk getting hair dye on your top when it comes off over your head.  No bueno. (It happened to me.)

That is all, friends!  Let me know if you have any other tips or techniques you would like to share with me!  I’m also open to any ideas for other brands of hair dyes!

Shop Garnier Hair Color here.

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Hermes Tray DIY

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve undertaken an office-makeover project at work.  I’ve posted a couple of updates so far, but today got lots of questions about one of the items in my post: an Hermès tray!

Hermes Tray Vintage, http://chicinacademia.comVintage Hermes Tray, (Photo: 1stdibs)

The one pictured above is a vintage tray that sells for $875.  If you’ve read my blog once or twice, you know that I’m not one to pay retail, but that instead, I’m one to seek luxe for less.  Well, that’s exactly what I did…again!

I’d known for some time that I wanted one, so I searched Pinterest for possible places to purchase one that wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.  Pinterest is a great place to seek inspiration.  If you’re not a big ‘pinner’ feel free to peruse my boards from time to time!  Anyway, after searching Pinterest a few times, I did find some replicas or ‘inspired’ trays that were reasonably priced; but as I am decorating this office on a budget, I really wanted to pay less than $50 for mine. Here are a couple of ones I found, both which are priced $125 or less:

Hermes Tray Replica // http://chicinacademia.comHermès Tray Replica,, $99.00 (Photo: Artfire)

Hermes Tray Replica Etsy, http://chicinacademia.comHermès Tray Replica,, $125 (Photo: Etsy Seller)

I still felt like $100 was too much for a replica.  So, I searched for just a simple tray instead.  That’s when I found this one I decided for in the end on eBay!

Orange Lacquer Tray eBay Timeless Settings, http://chicinacademia.comOrange Lacquer Tray, eBay, $20 (Photo: Timeless Settings)

I like that it has the mirrored bottom, and also loved the price!  You can find this one on eBay from seller Timeless-Settings for a mere $20!  Score!  There is also a round one you can buy for $52 dollars, but again, that starts to get a bit out of my price range, so I stuck with the $20 tray.  You can find the round one, here.

Honestly, initially, I didn’t have plans to make my own Hermès DIY tray; but, then, I happened to come across this decal while shopping for decals for my office wall and decided I’d give it a try!

Hermes Logo Trading Phrases, http://chicinacademia.comHermès Wall Decal, Trading Phrases, $14.99 (Photo: Trading Phrases)

They have several sizes, but happen to have a decal that measures 5.5″ x 1″.  The size is perfect for the side of the tray I found on eBay!!  I ordered both and one week later, I had my own Hermès replica tray for about $35!  Here’s a sneak peak of the tray:

Tray without logo, http://chicinacademia.comTray without logo (Photo: Chic In Academia)

Tray without logo, http://chicinacademia.comTray without logo, another view (Photo: Chic in Academia)

Tray with Logo on Bar Cart, http://chicinacademia.comTray with logo.  DIY Success!! (Photo: Chic in Academia)

What do you think?!  I’m personally pretty excited about the way it turned out!  I’m not quite done decorating and this bar cart is not quite styled the way I want it yet, so stay tuned for an update on the make over and all the final details.  In the meantime, I wanted to share this with you before the trays sell out!  Keep up with my updates on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.  I’d  also love to hear what you think about the DIY or what you think of the bar styling so far, so leave a comment below!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Until next time!  Stay chic!