Happy Weekend!

Sometimes you accidentally drop the camera remote when you're taking a photo!

This is an outtake from my chocolate Pocky pops. I accidentally dropped the camera remote in the matcha powder!

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

This was a crazy productive week for me. I wrapped up a few projects, got my inbox down to the single digits and even had time for an awesome trail ride. So here’s to another productive day and a weekend off. We’ll be visiting the dog park, heading to a birthday party, and squeezing in a beach bike ride. What are you up to this weekend?

Favorite links from this week

2 vase diys: put tattoos on them or add a frosted pattern

This guide to putting in patio pavers is giving me serious backyard envy.

I could use this in the laundry room.

Every home office needs this pretty board.

I’ve got my eyes on this watch.

Loving Kelly’s new YouTube channel.

Just in time for back to school.

DIY Pom Pom Bike Basket

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IZZE. All opinions are 100% mine.

Add some sparkle to your bike by creating this easy DIY pom pom bike basket! Created in partnership with @IZZEOfficial

Today I’m sharing another fun and easy project that is sure to add some sparkle to your everyday! It’s a DIY pom pom bike basket and it’s the perfect functional way to accessorize your bike.

One of my unofficial 30 before 30 goals was to learn how to ride a bike. And if you read my “What I learned in my twenties” recap, you know that I did learn! Riding my bike around town is now one of my all time favorite activities. We now ride from our bungalow to the beach, to get dinner (and donuts), and to grab groceries.

If you love all things bubbly than you gotta try the organic @IZZEOfficial sparkling water! It has true-to-the-fruit flavors and only 10 calories per bottle.

We’re only a 10 minute ride to the beach but we often get too busy to go there. When you’re self employed it’s easy to work 24/7 and then some. So we’ve made a resolution this summer to have a picnic there at once a week.

My favorite bike basket picnic accessory? IZZE Sparkling Water! It’s the organic way to add some bubbly to your everyday without all the calories (it only has 10 per 12 oz. bottle) and it’s available in Blackberry Pear, Mandarin Lime and Raspberry Watermelon. So why not make everyday sparkle brightly with something that’s made with organic natural flavors and a touch of organic cane sugar? Load up your adorable pom pom bike basket with IZZE Sparkling Water, your favorite snack, and ride out to your next adventure!

Add some sparkle to your bike by creating this easy DIY pom pom bike basket! Created in partnership with @IZZEOfficial

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

DIY Pom Pom Bike Basket

Supplies

White woven bike basket
Pom pom maker, 2.5″
Embroidery floss (4 skeins per pom pom)
Scissors
IZZE Sparkling Water for when you get thirsty while you’re pom pom making!

Directions

  1. Cut a 18″ piece of embroidery floss in whatever color you’re using to make your pom pom. Fold one skein of embroidery floss in half and then in half again so you have 4 strands. This speeds up the pom pom making 4x!
  2. Open up the pom pom make as shown below. Wrap the 4 strand thick embroidery floss around one quarter of the semi circle. When you run out of thread, repeat this on the other side with another skein of embroidery floss.
  3. When you complete one semi-circle. Grab the third skein and wrap it around one half of the other semi-circle. Finish wrapping the entire semi-circle form with the 4th skein of embroidery floss.
  4. Close the pom pom maker and use small, sharp scissors to carefully cut along the entire circumference of the pom pom maker. There’s a notch along the edge for your scissors to slide along.
  5. Tie the 18″ piece of embroidery floss tightly around the entire pom pom. Double knot the ends.
  6. Carefully pull the pom pom maker apart and use scissors to trim any uneven ends. Use the long threads to tie the pom poms onto your bike basket.

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

Pom poms made easy! Learn how to use a pom pom maker in this easy to follow tutorial.

Using embroidery floss, rather than yarn, to make pom poms makes them softer and a little more chic. One thing I always tell myself is I want to make something look handmade not homemade and I think this is just the trick. I just love how the frayed edges make them almost look like carnations.

Add some sparkle to your bike by creating this easy DIY pom pom bike basket! Created in partnership with @IZZEOfficial

Add some sparkle to your bike by creating this easy DIY pom pom bike basket! Created in partnership with @IZZEOfficial

This post was created in partnership with IZZE

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DIY Jeweled Treat Bags

Dress up plain paper treat bags using jewels and glue dots. Perfect for party favors, small gifts and more!

I’m kicking off the week with a fun and super easy DIY project. All you need are a few supplies and about 10 minutes to make these DIY jeweled treat bags. They would the perfect addition to your next party because who wouldn’t love candy, cookies, or other treats in a sparkly bag!

All the supplies for this DIY can be found at Paper Mart, a one stop online shop for packaging supplies, gift boxes and more. As someone who loves gift packaging, I found tons of items that would make gifts and favors oh so special. They also have tons of basic packaging items and even shipping supplies, all at really great prices.

Dress up plain paper treat bags using jewels and glue dots. Perfect for party favors, small gifts and more!

These small treat bags are lined with glassine paper, which is a type of wax paper that’s water and oil resistant, making them perfect for storing freshly baked cookies and other sweets. They are also the perfect size for tiny gifts, like gift cards, nail polish, and other stocking stuffers. If you’re feeling extra crafty, make a bunch to keep on hand for when you need a last minute gift or if you’re feeling ambitious you can get a head start on the holiday season.

Dress up plain paper treat bags using jewels and glue dots. Perfect for party favors, small gifts and more!

DIY Jeweled Treat Bags

time: 10 minutes

Supplies

glassine lined paper gourmet bags
acrylic jewels
mini glue dots

Use jewels in your favorite colors and shapes to decorate treat bags.

Directions

  1. Apply one glue dot to the back of a jewel. Stick it anywhere on the front of the glassine paper bag. Repeat with as many as you like! They can be arranged randomly, like confetti, in a pattern, or even used to spell out a word or monogram.
  2. If you want to arrange the jewels in a polka dot pattern, use a ruler and pencil to mark out each spot. The bags shown are 12cm wide, so I marked 2cm, 6cm, and 10cm. Then I placed a jewel rightly on top of the marks.

I found it easiest to press the back of a jewel onto a glue dot rather than placing the glue dot on the bag and adding the jewel. You can use which ever way works best for you.

Use jewels in your favorite colors and shapes to decorate treat bags.

Use jewels in your favorite colors and shapes to decorate treat bags.

Use jewels in your favorite colors and shapes to decorate treat bags.

Dress up plain paper treat bags using jewels and glue dots. Perfect for party favors, small gifts and more!

From showers to girl’s birthday parties, these fun bags have some many uses. What would you use them for?

This post was created in partnership with Paper Mart

Reader Survey

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Next month marks my 4 year blogging full time anniversary! I seriously can’t believe that almost 4 years ago I left my part time job (at the Apple store!) to pursue Sarah Hearts full time. To gear up for the anniversary, I wanted to get your feedback. I’d love to know what you like most and what you want to see more of. And if you have something else you’d like to ask me (about anything really!) feel free!

Please take a minute to complete the survey below. Your feedback will help shape the content you see on Sarah Hearts! Thanks so very much!

London Travel Guide

Heading to London for the first time? Check out this awesome travel guide!

One of Kevin and I’s favorite things to do together is travel and explore new places. It’s been one of  our goal over the last couple of years to travel more and I’m thankful to say we’ve done quite a bit of it! Last August we traveled to England to explore the city for the first time together and to visit some of our close friends. This August we planned visited our friends again and then continued to head east all the way around the world before heading home.

I’ll tell you more about the second leg of our trip soon but today I’m sharing some highlights and my favorite things to do in and around London.

london-photos-8

Choose a hotel near an underground station

While in the city we stayed in East London at the Andaz on Liverpool Street. While this hotel is situated more in the financial/banking side of the city, it’s right next door to the Liverpool Street tube station which was super convenient. Whenever you’re traveling to a city, I highly recommend choosing a hotel that’s close to a subway/train station. This made it easy to travel all around town.

This hotel was gorgeous! It super modern lobby and foyer had a spiral view to the floors above that resembled the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The rooms are in a much older part of the building which while still modern and chic had tons of charm.

Pretty colored front doors in London

Pick up a SIM card

After checking into our hotel our first stop always is to grab a SIM card so we can stay connected. When visiting the UK for less than a month, one of best deals is to grab a SIM card from Three which gives you 12 GB of data (plus calling) for £30. And if you plan to use Uber while you’re there, you can update your phone number in your account so your driver can call you.

Orla Kiely wallpaper found in the flagship shop in London

Leave room in your suitcase for shopping

While tons of U.S. brands have stores in London, there are also tons of UK only brands that you may want to check out. I swear I think I should have been British because nearly all my clothing and accessories are from English brands. I intentionally left almost half my suitcase empty because I knew I wanted to do a little shopping this trip (even though I almost never do much shopping when I travel since I prefer to spend money on experiences and food).

My favorites? Orla Kiely, Cambridge SatchelCath Kidston, and Liberty.

Beautiful flowers at a shop in London; check out this travel guide to the city!

Visit the markets

My favorite food market of all time is the Borough Market, which is located on the south side of the Thames. Grab some bread, meat and cheese to enjoy later in your room or on a picnic. I promise you won’t regret it! While some of the vendors take credit cards, most only take cash. There’s a Post Office nearby, which usually has the best exchange rates, although this trip we found better exchange rates at individual ATMs.

After visiting the Borough Market it’s about a 10 minute walk to the Tate Modern. Which if you love art museums, this is one of the best in the world!

Other markets to check out: Brick Lane Market (then visit Nude Espresso after), Columbia Road Flower Market (on Sundays), and Broadway Market in Hackney.

When visiting London rent a bike at one of the many kiosks around the city.

Rent a “Boris Bike”

Much like L.A.’s Hulu bikes and New York’s Citi bikes, London has Santander bike rental kiosks all around the city. Hopping on a bike is a great way to explore a city but if you’re a little nervous about riding in traffic (and on the left side of the road) I highly recommend heading to Hyde Park. There are several kiosks on all corners of the park but taking the tube the Marble Arch station  brings you to the northeast entrance of the park and right next to two kiosks.

Hanging plates on a wall for instant wall art in Smug, a boutique in London

Explore other neighborhoods

On your first trip to London you gotta see some of the sights. Check out Covenant Garden, Buckingham Palance and the London Eye. But if you have more time, I recommend checking out other areas of the city.

Hackney: We meet up with Fran and Teri at the Hackney train station and headed to the oh so Instagramable Palm Vaults. This area used to be a little rough around the edges but is now one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city.

Islington: Stroll up A1 street and wander in and out of all the shops. Don’t missifeelsmug.com and Present & Correct if you’re a stationery lover like me. Stop in Byron for a burger if you’re craving (posh) comfort food.

Gorgeous countryside in Foxton, Leicestershire England

Travel Outside of London

If you have the opportunity I highly recommend exploring the villages outside of London. Our friends live in a small village outside of the town Market Harborough. It’s just over an hour train ride from central London and has a cute little “downtown” with shops and is home to the first Joules store, which of course I had to visit and lucky for me they were having a summer sale!

Foxton, the village they live in, is mostly just residential and farmland but it does have some delicious food. We celebrated our friend’s birthday at The Bell Inn which looks like a small neighborhood pub but has incredible food. And The Black Horse Pub has a gorgeous garden that you can sit in and enjoy a pint or gin and tonic while admiring the English countryside.

Bright and cheery yellow front door spotted on a home in Foxton, Leicestershire England

Other Things to Note…

Visit the SkyGarden

If you find yourself in the banking side of East London, stop by the SkyGarden for a great view of the city. It’s an indoor garden and tropical oasis right in the middle of one of London’s tallest buildings. There’s a cafe counter where you can get coffee and pastries or Darwin, a restaurant that has delicious avocado toast.

Don’t tip

It’s standard to not tip at restaurants and bars. You will probably get some funny looks if you do.

Ask for tap water

This seemingly obviously thing can actually save you tons of bucks if you don’t mind drinking tap water. If you order still water 9 times out of 10 you’ll get a fancy glass bottled water that’s way overpriced.

Any type of food can be found

Whatever you’re craving, chances are you can get it in London. From fish and chip stands to Good & Proper Tea and great Italian, Indian and Thai food you can find it all. If you love homemade pasta, definitely check out the tucked away La Tagliata in East London. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Pick up an Oyster Card

An Oyster Card is the reloadable plastic smart card you can use on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail and most National Rail services in London. You can pick one up at any train station and you can load and reload them with a credit card so no need to get cash out for this.

Navigating the underground is easier than you think

Google maps makes it super easy to figure out which lines you need. Just be sure to look up directions before heading underground, where you won’t have service. Take a screen shoot of the directions to reference.

Pink drink! A beet root almond milk latte served at Palm Vault in London.

P.S. If you followed my Instagram Story while I was traveling you might have noticed that we traveled on first or business class the entire trip. That’s all thanks to Kevin’s travel hacking skills and he’ll be sharing more about that in the near future!