living a well tended life... at any age

blove: minnow + co.

Oh, I am so excited about today’s “blove”.

But first, a little story.

If you recall, I had the pleasure of attending Alt NYC last June. On the night before the event I attended a dinner sponsored by Bing, and hosted by the AH-mazing Sunday Suppers in Brooklyn. I saw a few familiar faces, and got to know some fabulous new ladies – all over a delicious meal in the most gorgeous of settings.

I wanted to make sure that I properly thanked all of the representatives of Bing, so I made my way around the room once dinner was over. I got to almost all of them when I saw one more lady across the room. She was sitting with my friend Susan and I walked over, introduced myself, and thanked her profusely for inviting me to the dinner.

That was when Susan gently pointed out that the lady I was thanking was NOT from Bing – but was in fact, a blogger named Ellen Foord.

minnow & co.

all images (except where noted) courtesy of Ellen Foord

As the floor did NOT open up and immediately swallow me whole (rude), I had no choice but to laugh it off, ask Ellen for her card and make just enough small talk that my presence there looked somewhat intended. This was made much easier due to the fact that Ellen couldn’t have been friendlier or nicer about my goof-up.

I still think that the whole thing was meant to be, as I was instantly smitten with Ellen and her delightful blog – Minnow + Co.

Ellen describes Minnow + Co. as a “lifestyle/design blog  with a D.I.Y. slant”, and she is also a regular contributor to DIY Network’s “Made and Remade”.

As a staunch “non” DIY-er myself, I am always appreciative of: a) crafts that I can actually execute, and b) crafts that, when executed, look a step or two above what my pre-schooler might bring home.

Ellen scores on both counts. She manages to come up with seemingly endless ideas for fun, easy, DO-ABLE crafts that don’t require fancy techniques, expensive materials, or (the horror!) the need to sew.

I asked Ellen to share her favorite posts with us – and I don’t know how she narrowed it down (seriously, they’re ALL winners), but here’s what she chose!

This is a perfect example of the type of DIY you’ll find from Ellen- a high style makeover for a few cheap vases:

minnow and co diy painted vases

DIY Painted Vases for Mother’s Day

“I love a good makeover, especially when it takes cheap to chic. These vases were such a huge hit for Mother’s Day and it makes me happy to see them every time.”

I was determined not to ever acknowledge the Cronut on these pages. As the frenzy around this food trend shows no signs of abating – and being too geographically challenged to ever get downtown early enough to actually get one, I’ve decided to take the sour grapes approach and assume that they’re totally overrated and not worth my time (clever, right?). And then Ellen and her pal Erin had to go and HACK them. Seriously? NOW, what am I going to do?

minnow and co fauxnuts

Sweeten Up Father’s Day with Fauxnuts

“This is where my pal Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking Co. helped me hack cronuts. I think that’s pretty much enough said. (PS – Erin just released her first book, and it’s GORGEOUS. How lucky am I to have a pal like this genius?)”

I’m typically not a fan of DIY clothing decor – but in Ellen’s skilled hands these items became completely covetable (and her daughter? SO adorable!):

minnow and co trash into treasures toddler clothes

 Trash Into Treasure: Toddler Clothes

“This was a project where I started playing around to see if I could find a way to salvage some of my daughter’s stained and torn clothes, and it ended up working out like a charm. It was a good reminder that sometimes it pays to play around and see where it takes you. Plus, look at that FACE!!! “

This is my kind of DIY – easy and inexpensive but looks totally cool. Again, Ellen breaks it down step-by-step, to ensure success:

minnow and co how to fake a flower garland

How to Fake a Flower Garland

“This was a win-win-win post – it’s a great DIY that produces beautiful garlands at little to no cost, it helped out a friend who needed a gorgeous party on a VERY small budget, and it makes me think of summer.”

This last post is not only my favorite of Ellen’s, but one of my favorite blog posts of all time – and I feel privileged that she chose to include it here. Ellen’s candor, grace and bravery left me speechless:

minnow and co drink drank drunk sober

Drink, Drank, Drunk….Sober (image credit: Anne Skidmore)

“It was TERRIFYING to hit publish on this post. But writing it was important to me. It’s too easy to let readers think that our lives what they see in the photos – perfectly styled, perfectly organized, and everything in its place. I wanted to make sure everyone who reads Minnow + Co. knew that though I have my together moments, I actually come from the school of hard knocks and I’ve fought HARD to become who I am today. It was so incredibly gratifying and humbling to be on the receiving end of the outpouring of love I got from friends, readers, and strangers. I will always err on the side of being open and honest in order to stay authentic, even when it’s really, really scary.”

She’s awesome, isn’t she?

It doesn’t hurt that she has fab style and loves washi tape too – I mean, she had me at the washi tape.

So head on over to Minnow + Co., and be sure to check out her tutorials on the DIY Network too. And remember when I told you about Alt Reps? Well Ellen is one of them (see? I told you they were fabulous!), so make sure you seek her out and say hello.

And thank her for dinner – she’s cool like that.

Wanna know what “blove” is?

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