Super Cool Canvas Art // Gallery Direct

>> Friday, July 31, 2015

I spend a lot of time moving furniture and painting rooms to get our house looking more like a home. One area that I haven’t paid much attention to until recently is the art hanging on our walls. I’ve been rocking the same posters and prints we had in our apartments just after college. (Yes. Even the whole “Keep Calm, Carry On” thing -- yikes!)

Slowly, we’ve been adding some fun art pieces to our collection. For example, my parents gave me an awesome vintage map of my home area for my birthday this year. They got it professionally framed and matted -- it was the perfect gift. We also recently picked up a unique wooden art piece for our dining room.


Since I’m an amateur photographer, I also love the idea of getting some of my photos printed. We’ve given canvas prints as gifts many times before, but have never snagged anything for our own walls. So, when the folks at Gallery Direct in Austin, TX, contacted me about their fine art and canvas wrap services, I was super excited to check them out.

Here’s my print:

This is a photo I took of the Pine Creek Gorge (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Grand Canyon).

It’s a slice of home right in my living room.

I actually think we’ll be hanging this piece in our family room (with the map of my home area), but the lighting is better in this space, which is why I photographed it here. My piece is a huge 40 inch by 27 inch size that’s awesome for hanging over a couch or other large piece of furniture.

Oh, and here’s how to create your custom print with text!

  • Just take the full resolution (biggest) of the photo and put it in an editing program (I used PicMonkey). 
  • It’s great if the photo has some good white space and I chose to convert mine to black and white.
  • Then find a quote and type it onto the image. 
  • Play around with fonts and sizes until you get it just right.

I went from this:

To this:

More info:

You can learn about Gallery Direct on their website. I was particularly impressed with the quality of my canvas print. Like I said, we’ve ordered ours from drug stores and big box stores . . . and the quality is adequate. But this was a huge step beyond. The print even came ready to hang on the wall.
  • All pieces are made with love and shipped in Austin, TX.
  • Art is printed on state-of-the-art HP printers atop top-of-the-line canvas, paper, birchwood, aluminum, and acrylic.
  • The process is completely customizable -- if you dream it, they can print it.
  • Turn around (from experience) is extremely fast. No 4 to 6 week turnaround time like with many other companies.
  • If you order a print from their site, you’re supporting small artists.
  • And check out the amazing reviews on
I personally had a wonderful customer service experience. I wasn’t sure if my photo was high resolution enough to print in such a large format. But they helped me figure it out every step of the way.


Think you have something you’d like to print on canvas? 

Visit Gallery Direct’s Photo Upload Page!

The site is running an amazing sale TODAY through MONDAY (8/3) where you can get 75 percent off uploads on canvas gallery wraps and a whopping 45 percent off site-wide!

Better yet, I have a #giveaway for you guys. Leave a comment below telling me what you’d print off for a chance to win a $200 gift card to spend on the site. You can choose a piece from their photography or art galleries or print your own piece. It’s up to you!

This giveaway is open to anyone. And -- this is important -- I need you to leave an email address (or other contact info) so I can send you the code if you win. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 7th.

You can also follow Gallery Direct on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Pinterest for the latest news, inspiration, and deals.

Thanks to Gallery Direct for sponsoring this post and providing such an awesome giveaway.

Good luck + happy Friday!

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Pistachio Basil Pesto

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We returned home to a bursting-from-its-seems garden. (Here’s what our garden is like this year.) And by that I mean we have a ton of tiny tomatoes and basil that we need to use up ASAP. Good thing those are two of my favorite ingredients -- right?

Now, you guys know all about my love affair with pesto.

Let’s review:


What you’ll need . . .

  • 1 cup clean basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • ground black pepper

Method . . .

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. I used roasted/salted pistachios and took them out of their shells for this recipe. 
  3. Also: I didn’t add salt because the nuts were already salted.
  4. I also rinsed the basil and then pat it dry with paper towels. I didn’t cook the basil, though. Left it raw.
  5. You can play around with the oil to make your pesto dryer or runnier. It’s a preference thing.
  6. You might also have success using some nutritional yeast in place of the cheese.


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Big Girl Room

>> Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I haven’t shown photos of Ada’s “new” room at our “new” house . . . and we’ve already lived here a year. And in the past year, we’ve transitioned from the crib to a bed to now to a lofted bed. Her room has been a space of transition, and I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve as she grows.

Here’s where we are now:

There’s really no rhyme or reason behind much of the decor. This room was pieced together over many months, so there really was no master plan. Nothing really matches, yet -- at least to me -- the space seems to flow together in an explosion of rainbow cheeriness.

She certainly agrees!


Bed: Ikea KURA. We had my brother pick it up for us last year because our closest store is almost 3 hours away. Here’s a very cute + inexpensive loft bed if you’re in a similar situation.

Duvet: Ikea UTELEK.

Princess art: Home Goods.

Wall hanging: Thrifted on our NYC trip.

Curtains: Eclipse Kids Blackout in purple.

Hanging sorter: Ikea PS FANGST.

Rug: Safavieh! I have had SO many questions about this rug and I finally found it again! And it’s cheaper than when I bought it several years ago. 6x9 foot.

Kid couch: Nod chair. I got ours on super sale years ago.

Baby crib: Bitty Baby by American Girl. Ours is an old version my MIL found at a yard sale.

Heart art: DIY -- here’s how.

Glow stars: Wonder Stars Super Kit.

Desk: Thrifted. Here’s a similar one -- it’s adorable and probably much sturdier than our antique version.

Knit animals: Blabla Dolls. Ada has Suzette the Fox and Mirabelle the Bunny.

Garland: Home Goods. Here are similar felted garlands.

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