How To: No Sew Pillow Cases



New year, new beginnings, right? Correct! It may be a little too early for Spring cleaning, but who’s to say your home doesn’t need some freshening up? Not all of us have the budget to completely redecorate our homes for the new year, but there are are few tricks to add a breath of fresh air to your living space. One of our favorites is the No Sew Pillow Case. Yes, you read correctly, “no sew.” What could be better than that? If you’re sewing machine challenged just as we are, this DIY is right up your alley!

What you will need:

  • Standard throw pillow (preferably without any embellishments) 
  • A piece of fabric 3 times as wide plus a few more inches and twice as tall plus a few more inches as the pillow
  • Pinking shears


Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to avoid fraying.


Start by folding the bottom half of the fabric to the center of the pillow.


Then fold the top down to the center.


Fold the edges of each end as if you’re wrapping a present.


Bring one side over the top of the pillow. Repeat for the opposite side.


Tie the ends in a square knot. To tie a square knot you take the fabric over-under then under-over.




Images courtesy of


No Fuss New Years Eve

Okay so most of us are guilty of doing everything last minute for the holidays simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day! From running around at work to getting everyone’s presents, we sometimes forget the other details that make a holiday party special. After strenuous planning for Christmas and Hanukkah, some of us are pooped come New Year’s Eve! No need to stress though, we’ve got a few easy tips that even the least creative of us can do!

For the Home

Who doesn’t love candles? They smell wonderful and cast a beautiful glow in any living space. These simple (and cheap!) DIY candles are sure to sparkle at your NYE party!

DIY Metallic/Glitter Candles

candlesticks 1

What you will need:

  • Dollar store candles (any color, size, shape you prefer)
  • Candle holders
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Glitter (any color you prefer)
  • Metallic Spray Paint (any color you prefer)
  • Painters tape


  1. If you simply want metallic candles, spray two coats of the spray paint, or enough until the original candle color isn’t showing and let dry overnight. I recommend doing this two days in advance.
  2. If you only want sections of colors, use the use painters tape to mark off the areas you’d like to have the candle base color show. You can get creative and create designs with the painters tape! Spray paint exposed areas and Voila!
  3. For glitter candles, pretty much the same concept applies.
  4. For full on glitter candles, spray the entire candle with spray adhesive and roll in glitter. Spray another coat and roll in glitter once more and let dry overnight. Again, I recommend doing this at least two days in advance.
  5. You can use the painters tape to section off areas of glitter.
  6. If you really want to get creative, combine both the metallic paint and glitter!

Your Outfit


Do sequins, but do it right! You don’t want to end up looking like the NYE ball in Times Square or a disco ball at that! From sequined dress, sweaters, skirts, shorts and pants, the possibilities are endless.

Too scared to full on sequins? Sequined flats or pumps add sparkle to your outfit without drawing a lot of attention.</p>

Sequins aren’t your thing at all? Dress up your LBD with a statement necklace or bracelet and a bright pair of pumps!


Champagne is a must for NYE without a doubt!  Remember our Sparkling Cranberry recipe from Thanksgiving? Whip up a batch of these sugary berries and lay them in your champagne flutes and pour a little bubbly over! This recipe can be done with a variety of berries if cranberries don’t suit your fancy. Little kids and Mommies-to-be coming to the party? Substitute champagne for sparkling apple cider or ginger ale for the same bubbly effect!



Baked brie…looks complicated and time consuming, but is soooo easy!


  • 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough
  • Cranberry chutney
  • Round of brie (do not remove rind)
  • 1 cup of Candied walnuts
  • 1/4 of a cup Brown Sugar
  • Assortment of crackers and breads
  • Apple Slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. On a non stick cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry
  3. Put the brie round on the puff pastry. Make sure it is centered.
  4. Spread cranberry chutney on the top, fold dough over top, creating a little pouch. Cut off excess dough.
  5. Top with brown sugar and candied walnuts
  6.  Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with crackers, bread and apple slices.

Party Essential


This one is super easy and I guarantee takes little to no time. Confetti bags! Yes, as childish as this may sound, it’s a cute way for your guests to let loose at midnight.

What you will need: 

  • Confetti, especially “2013” confetti
  • Clear plastic cellophane bags, preferably the smaller ones
  • Colorful ribbon

Simple fill the baggies with confetti, tie with ribbon to create a little pouch, and hand them out to your guests right before the countdown and let them go crazy at midnight!  Of course noise makers are a must too!


How To: Shellac Nails at Home

$40 for a gel manicure every two to three can get costly pretty quickly! Unless you’re going on vacation or have a super important event coming up, there’s no need to break the wallet. And of course spending money on a regular manicure gets pretty annoying when it only lasts a week, especially with kids! Enough with the rant, here’s an easy, at home shellac manicure (no UV light required) that anyone can do!



  1. Give yourself a relaxing manicure! Crank up the tunes, light some incense or candles and clip, file, and buff away!
  2. To ensure your nails are fully dry, run over each one with a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover.
  3. Gently buff your nails, so they are slightly rough (not too rough!). Apply one coat of the 3 way glaze to each nail.
  4. Apply two coats (or three depending on the shear-ness of the color).
  5. Apply one coat of the Sephora by OPI UV Effects polish to each nail and let dry.

Voila! You’ve got yourself your very own shellac manicure!

You can view our YouTube Video for Shellac nails here: 

Have you ever had a shellac manicure?  Would you try this shellac mani at home? Share with us your shellac stories!

How To: Unique Wood-Mounted Art for Kids Room


In eager anticipation of the arrival of our 2nd babygirl, I treated myself to some unique art for the “girls” room that I have had my eye on for a long time. The only problem? How to frame art for a kids room, in a way that is both toddler and earthquake safe.  I came up with what I think is a pretty groovy technique, though surely I’m not the first to think of it. Check out the video below and feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments, I’d love to hear what creative twists you may have to offer!


  • Artists Wood Panel
  • Acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • gel medium
  • art or photos


  1. Paint your wood panel with the selected color, including all 4 sides. Allow to dry. Note: to achieve a watercolor effect, I watered my paint down by almost a 3:1 ratio.
  2. Apply a thin layer of gel medium to the back of your art, and affix it to the top of the wood panel, carefully selecting the location as it will dry & stick fast. Allow to dry.
  3. Apply a thin layer of gel medium on top of entire visible side of wood panel, paying extra attention to smooth brush strokes on top of the art. Work out as many air bubbles as you can without damaging art. A few may remain and that’s ok! Just adds character. Allow to dry.
  4. Continue applying layers of medium until you achieve the desired look. Allow to dry in between each layer.

Et voila. Uniquely mounted art for your home or kids room, sans the expensive frame or dangerous glass. Let the creative juices flow!


Follow Totsy’s West Coast Mom – Autumn Moss Penaloza – on Twitter @AutumnPenaloza

“I’m Bored, Mom” Ideas In A Jar

Whether your a parent, grandparent or a babysitter, kid’s tend to be famous for two words-“I’m bored.” This tends to be the case during summer, weekends, break from school or whenever they run out of things to occupy them. So how does one keep the kiddies busy for days upon days? Well naturally we would all turn to Pinterest for help, which is how I stumbled upon this darling idea from Shabby Beach Nest! Create an “I’m Bored” Jar filled with 101 ideas to cure boredom. Visit the Shabby Beach Nest for 101 free printables!

Image src: Shabby Beach Nest


  • Jar
  • 101 tongue depressors
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrapbook paper


  1. Print 101 ideas from PDF (you can use scrapbook paper or regular paper)
  2. Cut each idea out
  3. Brush Mod Podge onto the back of one idea using a paint brush
  4. Place tongue depressor on the side with glue, make sure the tongue depressor is aligned w/ the shape of the printable by holding it up to the light
  5. Place on hard surface and press down
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for 100 more ideas and let them all dry
  7. Trim excess paper from around the tongue depressor
  8. Decorate your jar with lace/ribbons/papers/stickers or whatever you desire, put all the ideas in the jar and your all set!

Visit Shabby Beach Nest for free printables (it even includes some blank ones to fill in your own ideas!)

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (, repin our boards on Pinterest (

DIY: Sidewalk Chalk Paint

This super easy DIY is a personal favorite! Kids love it and adults can have a blast with it too. It’s a great way for the kids to have fun and get messy outside without staining the house. This DIY from Apartment Therapy lets the little ones get creative & have a summer day full of laughter.

Image src: Examiner


  • Mixing bowls
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Something to mix
  • Foam brushes


  1. Pour cornstarch into a bowl
  2. Add food coloring
  3. Stir in a few tablespoons of water
  4. Mix it all up!

P.S- the mixture shouldn’t be too thick and not too liquidy.

For step-by-step photos & more visit Apartment Therapy

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (, repin our boards on Pinterest (

DIY: Plastic Lightning Bugs

Lightning bugs or fireflies always have a magical essence about them as they light up in the darkness. As a kid, the best part of summer nights was chasing fireflies with a jar and catching them (and of course letting them go when it was time to go inside). Unfortunately, some areas rarely have any fireflies so this craft from Apartment Therapy is perfect! During the day these little lightning bugs are so cute to leave in the backyard and by night watch your kids faces light up as the plastic fireflies begin to glow!

Image src: Apartment Therapy


  • LED tealight
  • Plastic Easter egg
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Thumbtack
  • White sticky labels
  • Silver duct tape
  • Black marker


  1. Poke holes through the eggs using thumbtack to insert pipe cleaners for antennas and legs.
  2. Use white sticky labels for the eyes and black marker to draw them.
  3. Use silver duct tape for the wings. Cut into heart shape or two ovals.
  4. Pop the LED tealight into the eggs.

Visit Apartment Therapy for this craft & more!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (, repin our boards on Pinterest (