Category Archives: D+I+Y

New Year, New Smile | Smile Brilliant

We all have big plans for the new year. Honestly, it can be a bit tough to get started right away especially when it’s a health goal. I love coffee and red wine so my teeth have taken a beating over the years. I’ve partnered with Smile Brilliant to meet a health and beauty goal in just a short time with out completely giving up two of my favorite things to drink.

Smile Brilliant specializes in high quality custom teeth whitening trays. They are made just for you so no need to worry about those generic strips that slide and move around as you use them. Smile Brilliant starts by sending you an amazing fully stocked kit that includes materials to make your custom molds,pre-paid postages, whitening gel, desensitizing gel and a storage case for your trays.

I felt a bit overwhelmed at the thought of making my teeth molds on my own at first, but the detailed directions made me feel like a pro. Once you send in your teeth molds, Smile Brilliant quickly sends back your custom whitening trays and you can start your professional whitening system at home right away.

I love that I can whiten while I cook dinner, do laundry, clean, and even write for my blog. No dentist appointments, time off from work, or inconvenience, yet this system is exactly what you would get at the dentist office.

I remember falling and chipping my tooth as a kid. One of the worse things about that happening was how terribly painful it was to eat or drink cold and hot things afterwards. One of the best things about this kit is the desensitizing gel that it comes with. You don’t have to worry about your teeth being sensitive to hot and cold things after you whiten.

I know you want to know how well it works so here are my real results!!! I can be a bit off a sceptic sometimes so after each session, I would closely inspect my teeth to see if I noticed a change. Putting my before and after pictures side by side made me so giddy! I am so impressed with the results after just 4 short sessions. In those 4 sessions I whitened for 45 mins at a time. You can whiten for up to 3 hours but I wanted to take a slow and cautious approach on this. I can’t wait to see more progress over the next few weeks!

Want a Smile Brilliant system for yourself? Enter my giveaway to win your own right here!  Enter to win a Smile Brilliant system! If you can’t wait until the giveaway is over you can order your own now. Use discount code “authenticallyb” for a 5% discount.

I’ve even included a Youtube video so that you can see how the system works in action 🙂

10 Hair Styles for an Undercut

The other day someone told me that I had a brave haircut. I smiled and on the inside I wished everyone felt like they could do something brave with their hair. You may think having an undercut  would really limit how you can style your hair but for me the possibilities seem endless. I put together a snapshot of ten styles I could create with an undercut and box braids. Hopefully this will give you the push you need to do something “Brave” with your hair. Leave me a comment about which style is your favorite.  Enjoy!


  1. Top Knot

2. Side Braid

3. Side swept & down 

4. Straight back braid 

5. Ponytail 

6. Half up, half down 

7. Low ponytail (hidden under cut)

8. Low twisted side bun

9. Bow up do 

10. Messy bun

How to Upgrade Cabinets for Under $15 | DIY

As many of you know our family appeared on HGTV’s House Hunters earlier this year. When we began filming we weren’t even close to being ready to move in. While we were still prepping, I was able to knock out small projects that were fun, easy to do and inexpensive. Let’s be real, renovations are not cheap so I was definitely looking for projects that would make a real impact for not a lot of cash.

This easy DIY helps you provide a serious upgrade to your cabinets that are easy to change anytime you want. Our home was built in the 1920’s so everything isn’t perfect but it will last forever. Our cabinets don’t have backing so to spice it up a bit I created patterned backings to make the bare wall look amazing. To start gather large card board boxes, scissors, fabric of your choice, a tape measure and a hot glue gun.

  1. Measure the length and width of the inside of your cabinets.
  2. Once you have those measurements, cut out card board pieces in the exact measurement and shape of you cabinets.
  3. Take your fabric and make sure too cut a section that will cover the front of the card and slightly fold over the edges and corners.
  4. Use your hot glue gun to glue the fabric to the card board on all four sides and let it cool.
  5. Carefully insert the covered part so that your fabric is visible inside the cabinet.
  6. Press it firmly into the back of the cabinet until its snug.
  7. Repeat these directions until you cover all or part of your backings.

I hope you found this cabinet upgrade simple to do. It can pack a real punch in an otherwise ugly or boring cabinet. Leave me a comment and upload photos to show me how this easy DIY worked for you. Enjoy!

House Hunters Episode Information

Violeta Roots by Juliana Alonso- The Art of Precious Memories

Several years ago one of my husbands aunts passed away and at the memorial service each family member was given a rose. That rose stayed on the dashboard of his car for a very long time, dried out and was eventually thrown away. After our wedding a few years ago my bouquet became a beautiful center piece in our house for a little bit then of course they died.
Now I know that artist Juliana Alonso could have beautifully preserved my wedding bouquet and my husbands rose. She then could have created one of a kind pieces that would have served as beautiful memories and home decor. I call it “The Art of Precious Memories!” Juliana is the queen of custom flower preservation heirloom art!

Meet Juliana Alonso! She’s originally from Bogotá, Colombia; A city in the mountain valleys of the Andes in South America. She now calls Houston, Texas home and provides a unique personalized experience to each of her clients. Juliana is a natural born helper, idealist, and creator. She likes to say that she’s composed of equal parts sentiment, compassion and goofiness. Not only is she a ball of fun, she’s incredibly serious about fully feeling and witnessing life! Juliana loves cats, uplifting animated films, practicing yoga and training in Capoeira martial arts.

Juliana’s creations acknowledge and honor the meaningful moments that define who we are. Now that you’re as obsessed as I am, check out her website and stalk her social media. Don’t skip the opportunity to meet Juliana and see her creations in person this weekend at Mamas+Makers Market this Sunday, July 31 at The Merrill House. It’s family friendly and indoor so you stay cool!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1025713674188949/?ti=iclEnjoy!

http://www.violetaroots.com

Instagram- @violetaroots

Facebook- Violeta Roots

Pinterest- Violeta Roots

Yarn Earring DIY

Ready for another fabulously easy fashion DIY? Well these beautiful yarn earrings cost next to nothing and take about 15 minutes to make. The great thing about them is that they are so easily customizable. You can make them in any color yarn comes in to match any style. I know y’all would expect me to go for black and white yarn so I went for the opposite just to spice it up. Light, bright and contrasting colors look best for these earrings. The only materials you need are yarn, scissors, and jewelry wire.

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Materials: Yarn, scissors, and jewelry wire.

1. To begin take one color of your yarn and cut 8 equal pieces that are about 7 inches long each. 

2. Take your jewelry wire and cut about 7-8 inches from the roll. Gather the 8 pieces of yarn together and wrap the wire around the center section of the bundle of yarn. Leave the left over wire sticking up in the center. That will become the part that goes in your ear. 

3. Take the next color of your yarn and from left to right start wrapping it around the wire to cover it. When you first begin wrap the yarn directly on top of itself so that it doesn’t unravel. 

4. Once all the wire is covered hold both bundles of yarn together and wrap around both of them to create a circular loop at the top. 

5. Continue to wrap the yarn around both ends until you like the amount of color showing in the earring. 

6. To end it, tie a loop pull it and repeat the loop one more time. 

7. Cut the access yarn from the earring and at this time of you want the hanging strands to be a bit more even you can trim them as well. 

8. Lastly, take the remaining wire and bend it to the desired length and cut off any access wire. 

Done!! I hope you enjoyed this fashion DIY, leave me a comment about how you may style these cool yarn earrings. Enjoy! 

Collar Necklace DIY

Do you ever wish you had beautiful accessories to wear to the pool or beach with out the risk of losing or ruining something pricey? This DIY necklace solves this problem and you only need a few things to make it.

Designer Karissa Lindsay of A Leap of Style was kind enough to donate scrap fabric to a craft material hoarder like myself. I promised her I would create something amazing and I think I came pretty close.

For this DIY all you need is scrap fabric, a hot glue gun, thin cardboard or card stock, and a small amount of t-shirt yarn. To start, draw the shape that you want your necklace to be on your cardboard. Once you like the shape take your card board and lay it on top of your fabric.


Use a pen to trace around the card board about a half inch to an inch. Cut out the shape to remove the excess fabric from around your necklace.


To make gluing the fabric to the cardboard easier, cut small slits into the fabric so that it will lay flat when it’s glued around a curve.


Go ahead and glue the fabric to the cardboard. Once thats done, take your t-shirt yarn, unroll one end and glue it to the end of the necklace. Repeat that same step on the other side and you’re done. Fast right?!?



To wear the necklace make a simple tie behind your neck with the strings. I made three necklaces in different sizes and layered them for a statement look. Leave me a comment to let me know where you would wear this DIY necklace, Enjoy!

Mel’s Modern Caillgraphy

I first met Mel when she came aboard at our school as a second grade teacher. Like many teachers she is multifaceted and crazy talented. It only took knowing her for a short while to realize this. As the school year started I saw her classroom come together beautifully. I could not help but notice all the unique hand lettering  and calligraphy. Of course I went to ask where she had found such cool things for her room and her response was, “I made them”. My mind was pretty blown at that point. I later found out that she held a job while she attended college that allowed her to create cool custom stationary that helped her to nourish her creativity.

Not long ago Mel decided it was time for her to start her own business and named it “Three M Designs” (Melodie Marie Musgrove). She later changed the name to a much sweeter one to avoid any confusion with other companies with similar names. Her design company is now called “Maggie Elaine Designs” after her beloved weimaraner Maggie and her favorite character from the tv show Seinfield.

When Mel invited me to her home to take these photos I was even smitten with her living and work space. It is so vibrant and indicative of her talent as well as her artistic abilities. Every element and piece is carefully selected and in its right place. Her dining/work table is covered in butcher paper to protect it from craft materials and one small chalk board at the entry way allowed me to feel welcome and ready to create as soon as I walked in. The two stars of Mel’s home include a custom 5’by 6′ canvas piece hung carefully on the wall that says ” If you love what you have, you have everything you need ” and an original 1970’s sofa gifted to her by her grand parents. The sofa is adorned with bright floral prints and is built to last just like the special bond she shares with her family.

When I asked Mel what the future holds for Maggie Elaine Designs she said, “To continue to give her customers special stationary made from the heart”. As she continues on her path as an educator and future principal she will continue to design one of a kind creations. Check out Maggie Elaine Designs on Etsy for custom graphic lettering and stationary. Nourish your creativity. Enjoy!

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DIY Tassel Earrings | Earth Day

 These DIY tassel earrings cost me pennies to make but look like they cost top dollar. I can’t lie, I’ve been pretty obsessed with up cycling old shirts over the last few weeks. As I helped my friend Amber, who is an art teacher cut old t-shirts into t-shirt yarn, I ended up having some craps of fabric that couldn’t be used for much else. Amber had jewelry wire and through trial and error, I came up with a simple earring DIY that happens to be a spring/summer trend. With Earth Day coming up this Friday, these tassel earrings are a great fashionable way to reuse, reduce, and recycle. I made a video of me making one because it would have taken a thousand pictures to show it accurately. (It’s my first video on A+B:0) Give this a try for Earth day, Enjoy!
 

   

  

 

Vintage Stripes and Gold DIY

Earth Day is approaching and I want to give you two really chic ways to save the planet! This OOTD mixes two things that I love the most, black and white stripes and DIY. Thrifting and buying vintage clothing is one of the most tried and true ways to reuse and recycle. I got this 80’s dress from my friend Heather Petrey over at Lone Star Vintage. I love the elongating vertical black and white stripes paired with the classic button up collar. The front pocket detail along with a 4 inch split in the back makes it feel very modern.

The gold floral earrings are a DIY of mine, made from plastic lids from food to-go containers. Of course I will give you a complete DIY tutorial for the earring soon 🙂 These earrings a literally one of a kind! They are melted into a floral shape and can be colored with sharpie before hand or spray painted afterwards. Either way they will all be unique. When you wear these earrings you don’t need to worry about many other assessories because they are a true statement piece!

I prefer outfits that are simple to put together with no fuss! Including my trusty black lace up heels that I wear with everything, this look is only 3 items. Earth day is Friday so start thinking of chic ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Enjoy!

Earrings-A+B DIY

Dress- Lone Star Vintage

Shoes- Aldo


  
  
  

DIY Statement Necklace

You should give this DIY statement necklace a try because it’s easy, beautiful, cheap (free) to make, bold, and super comfortable! You know I’m all about comfort. The necklace is made from cotton so it fits my life. Lol

Materials

  1. T-Shirt yarn
  2. scissors
  3. clips (binder clip, paper clip)
  4. Needle and thread

 

My inspiration for this necklace came from the skirt that Lupita Nyongo is wearing in her recent Instagram post.

 

 

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If you’re not sure how to make t-shirt yarn check out my How to Make T-Shirt Yarn instructions.

Start with your t-shirt yarn and decide how long you want the  necklace to be. [Tip: Go for longer pieces because once everything is sewn together it will appear much shorter] Cut the yarn about 1/3 longer than you want it to be. Braiding it will make the length a bit shorter. Cut 2 more equal length pieces of yarn for the braid. (3 total)

Get a clip ready and be sure your pieces of yarn are facing the same direction as pictured above.

Clip the 3 pieces together with your binder clip.

Gently braid the 3 pieces until you reach the end. Don’t pull the yarn too tight because it will result in a very thin braid and you want it to be thicker.

Repeat the same process 3 more times making each braid shorter in length each time.

One side of the braid will look simple and the other side will look more intricate because of the rolling of the fabric. Decide which side you want to appear in front and flip it over. You are going to want to sew the side that will be unseen.

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When you sew down the loose ends it’s best to do so by layer, sewing one strand of the braid down at a time. It will look messy underneath but the visible side will look awesome.

Start with the 2 longest braids. Center the shorter braid in the middle of the longest braid. Use a thread color that is close to the fabric color. Thread your needle and tie of the end with a simple knot. Remove your clip from the shorter braid and overlap the loose ends onto the longest braid. Use a simple “over and under” stitch to connect the braid together at the edges where they meet. The trick to making it look seamless in being careful not to sew into the front side of the braid. Since the fabric is rolled there is lots of wiggle room.

Be careful to keep the “U” shape as you connect the braids.

 

Repeat this same process for the last two braids. Remember to sew close to the edge where the braids meet. To connect the back of the necklace simply remove the clips, overlap the ends and do a few neat stitches on the underside that won’t be shown. No clasp needed! Just put it on like a t-shirt.

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Done! People are going to want to know where you got your necklace from. Smile and tell them it’s a hand made original. Enjoy!