Melodrama Summer Playlist 2016

President Obama and others have been sharing their summer playlists so I figured it was about time I shared mine as well. Here are some of my favorite summer songs for you!

Click here for Melodrama Summer Playlist 2016

What are your favorite summer tunes? Let me know in the comments!

 

DIY White VCT Tile Bedroom Flooring

Up until about a month ago I had carpet in my bedroom and I HATED IT. Between allergies, constant city dust, and senior dogs, having carpet just wasn’t right for our lifestyle. I rent and didn’t think changing the floors would ever be an option, but when it was time to renew our lease and our manager offered to replace or clean our carpet, I seized the opportunity to ask if we could replace the floors at our own expense instead. They surprisingly agreed to my request and gave me the freedom to pick the flooring option of my choice.

I knew whatever option I chose wouldn’t match the rest of the apartment anyway, so I decided to give in to my desire for white floors. I did some research and the easiest and most cost effective of our options seemed to be VCT (vinyl composite tile).  Plus, I’m always down for a mid-century vibe and you can’t get anymore mid-century than vinyl tiles.


I ordered a bunch of samples and ended up choosing Armstrong’s Carnival White , an off-white color with multicolored specks priced at $0.91 per square foot. It’s really cute and has the vintage speckled look I was going for, but was the most cost effective for me as well. Since I rent I didn’t want to invest too much, if you get what I mean. 

This was my first time installing VCT tiles so I’m no expert, but I can tell you that there are some very good and thorough tutorials on YouTube that can explain the techniques you need better than I can through pictures. If you’re planning on doing this project I highly recommend watching several of them.

Luckily my room is pretty much a square so there wasn’t many complicated cuts and I was able to finish the room within a day, by myself, spending less than $300 total.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Here’s a terrible picture of what I started with. As you can see the dark beige carpet and old pink paint absorbed most of the light in the room. The first thing I had to do was remove the old carpet. That was a lot easier than expected and I was able to do it all in one piece. After that I pried up the tack strips and used pliers to remove any stray staples in the floor.

 

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then we took the opportunity to paint the walls a nice high reflective white .

After the walls were done I got started on the floor. I used a chalk reel to mark the center points of the room where I would begin laying tiles.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Next I dry laid some tiles to make sure they would be even and to decide on which way I wanted the speckled pattern to run. A lot of of the time the tile is installed with an alternating pattern but I decided to run mine all in one direction for a seamless look.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then I had to use a small notch tile trowel to apply adhesive to the floor. I want to note that this took longer than expected to dry, and didn’t dry clear like the container said it would. I let it dry for SEVERAL hours until it was tacky and a dark amber color. If you start laying the tiles too soon they’ll slide around and make you regret everything. Also, wearing knee pads will save your life.Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

At this point my dog decided to get around my barricade and lay directly in the glue, promptly getting stuck and full of the stickiest glue that no dog shampoo on earth could remove. After throwing him in a bath to soak and cutting his hair, I was able to continue onto actually laying the tile.

I didn’t get pics of that process because I had to move fast, but I started from the middle line and worked my way out. Once I got to the edges I used a utility knife to cut the edge tiles to size. YouTube will explain all that to you in better visual detail.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

As you can see there were some small gaps between the tile and the wall. You can put a piece of trim around there to finish it off or you can use caulking to fill it in like I did.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

For the threshold I simply used a piece of flat molding and wedged it in the door frame. Simple and sleek. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)I let the tile set for about a day and then mopped it and applied four coats of floor polish with a microfiber mop. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

What a difference! My room feels so much cooler, fresher, and brighter! I only wish I had done this sooner. Here’s how it looks furnished. Much better than before!

Vintage California Style Bedroom Decor

DIY Yellow Fringe Blackout Curtains

You guys, let me start by saying I’m bummed because I lost all of the how-to pics from this project when my old computer died, BUT I still wanted to share how easy it is to make your own curtains.

I couldn’t find any light blocking curtains that I liked for my bedroom so I took on the task of making my own. Curtains are the easiest thing to make if you can sew a straight line. All you need is enough fabric to make a panel long enough to fit your window and hem all four sides, leaving a big enough loop at the top to fit a curtain rod through. I found a really nice and inexpensive fabric in the perfect shade of buttercup yellow, but the problem was that it was too thin and let a lot of light through. We’re not morning people so this was a no-no. To remedy the problem all I did was lined my fabric with an old black out curtain from IKEA. Easy enough!

 

IMG_4254.jpgDoing that completely blocked any light from coming into my bedroom and also added some much needed weight and heft to the panel.

IMG_4264.jpgFor some extra flair I added a strip of vintage looking rope fringe to the top.IMG_4270.jpg

 

 

IMG_4252.jpgTada! Stay tuned for more bedroom decor updates and be sure to follow along on Instagram.

DIY Striped Bed Skirt and Headboard

If you would have told me that finding a bed skirt would be the most difficult part of my bedroom makeover I wouldn’t have believed you. I thought I would just be able to pick up your run of the mill white skirt at any home goods store and be done with it. Nope. Of course not. Story of my life.

I had to exchange 3 bed skirts before deciding I was better off making one on my own. Either they were too short, too long, too sheer, or the wrong color. Who knew?! Luckily making your own custom bed skirt isn’t as hard as it may seem.

First of all, I wanted it to match my new DIY headboard so I picked up the same striped fabric from IKEA. The headboard isn’t really new, it was previously used as the backboard to my dining room banquette IKEA hack. The fabric for the bed skirt cost me about $16, much cheaper than bed skirts I was finding in stores.

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialThe first thing you need to do is figure out how long your skirt needs to be. Measure the distance from the top of your box spring to the floor. Then add 3-4 inches for seam and stapling allowance.DIY Bed Skirt TutorialMine was at 16 inches, so I cut 20 inch long strips of fabric. The fabric is 58 inches wide, so I needed 3 of these strips in order to cover 3 sides of my box spring.DIY Bed Skirt TutorialNext you need to make the hem. Fold over the long edge at 5/8″ and press.DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialThen fold the raw edge under itself and press again.DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial This creates a nice clean hem. Stitch at 3/8″. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can use iron-on hem tape.

 

Once that is done, stitch the strips together at the ends to create one long strip. Then staple the raw edge directly to the box spring, making sure the hem just barely touches the ground. If you don’t have a staple gun you can use flat head tacks. 

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialDIY Bed Skirt and Headboard TutorialContinue all around the box spring. The mattress should cover the staples and it’ll look like a normal bed skirt!

 

DIY Bed Skirt and HeadboardFinally, make your bed as usual and reward yourself with a nice nap.

For instructions on how I made the headboard, click here.

Peel and Stick Faux Tile Kitchen Backsplash | SmartTiles Review

If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Snapchat you’ll probably remember that I installed a white tile backsplash in my rental kitchen a couple of months ago. I didn’t want to post details about it right away just in case the product didn’t live up to its promises, but I’m happy to finally report that it has been great!When deciding on a backsplash I had some important requirements that had to be met. I’ve mentioned before that I rent so anything I decided on needed to be temporary, easy to install, and easy to remove. I also didn’t want anything that looked too fake and wouldn’t hold up over time. I came across the Metro Blanco peel and stick tiles from SmartTiles that met all of my criteria and decided to give them a try.

Peel and Stick Faux Tile Backsplash in Rental KitchenThey’ve been AWESOME. We use our kitchen a lot and I was worried they wouldn’t stick for long with all of the cooking and cleaning we do, especially behind our stove. So far they’re holding on strong and have held up to steam, 500 degree oven temps, pasta sauce splatter, and daily cleaning.

Peel and Stick Faux Tile Backsplash in Rental Kitchen
I could have taken progress photos but honestly, SmartTiles has wonderful installation videos that do it better than my photos could. All you need is a utility knife and a ruler. It’s really that easy.

Peel and Stick Faux Tile Backsplash in Rental Kitchen

They really have transformed my kitchen for the better. It no longer looks super basic and boring. My kitchen doesn’t get a lot of light, but these add some reflectivity and brighten up the space. (I had before photos but they got lost on my dead computer. Sad.)
Peel and Stick Faux Tile Backsplash in Rental Kitchen
My friends and family couldn’t tell that they weren’t real until I told them. They’re usually brutally honest with me so I can trust them.

Peel and Stick Faux Tile Backsplash in Rental Kitchen
If you’re looking for a temporary, easy solution for your kitchen definitely check out SmartTiles Peel and Stick Tiles.

 

Summer Picnic Idea: Riondo Prosecco and Peach Sorbet

This post was sponsored by Riondo Prosecco through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Riondo Prosecco, all opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things to do during summertime is to pack an evening picnic, complete with Riondo Prosecco, and sip away while watching the sunset.

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Even though this prosecco can be thoroughly enjoyed on its own, my current favorite thing to do is pour it over fruity sorbet!image1 (1).JPG

Peach sorbet is my personal favorite. Serving it with Riondo Prosecco is a summery combination that’s perfect for a warm evening spent watching the sun go down.

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Trust me. Now go pack a cooler, grab a couple of glasses, and relax with this tasty summer combo.

Cheers!

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

First of all, Happy Fourth of July weekend! I’m literally sitting on the beach right now as I type this but I just HAD to share the amazing strawberry and blueberry cornmeal skillet cake my husband made for breakfast this morning.

It was so good I forced him to write down the recipe for you guys because you need this in your life. It has crispy buttery edges and a nice tender middle with lots of tart berry flavor. It’s so easy to make, too! Ok blah blah blah enough talk. Here’s the recipe.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted, set aside 1 tablespoon for skillet
6 oz fresh blueberries
8 oz fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and the melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon for the skillet. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet; scatter the blueberries on top, and place the strawberry halves evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle with as much sugar as you’d like, we used about 3 tablespoons.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is evenly browned. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!