Bar Cart Before & After Reveal & Polka Dot DIY!

Oddly enough, a toddler playroom inspired the final design of the bar cart first seen here.  (Sorry Kalia, Mommy needs a cocktail...)  I was inspired by Lay Baby Lay's playroom-  she had some silver polka dots on a bookshelf.  Check out my entire Pinterest inspiration board for bar carts!

In case you are new here- I love polka dots. As evidenced by here and here . (and newbies I also love wine, the color pink & Marc Jacobs).

When I saw the polka dots- I knew immediately what I could do! I had my eye on stainless steel contact paper while I was at Lowe's one day and thought the metallic color would make a great project some day... I just love it when a plan comes together!

Polka Dot DIY

Silver Stainless Steel Contact Paper  (or any color you want)
Large Circle Cutter
Self Healing Mat
*All links are Amazon affiliate links


1) Your contact paper will be in a roll, so the paper will curl very easily, to fix this I laid the roll out flat on a table and placed heavy books on it and left out overnight. (a couple hours should do)
Now the contact paper is flat and will not curl while you make the circles!
(Step one is not required but makes it much easier; You can also use the books to keep it flat while you are actually cutting, but the paper still tends to curl & it is a pain)

2) Lay your sheet on top of the self healing mat and make your circles!  I chose the 4 inch circle size for my project.

3) To apply the circles all you need to do is remove the back adhesive, I chose to go random with my placement.

How easy is that? =)

I was excited for this project as I have wanted a circle cutter for awhile and this was a perfect excuse to buy one.  They are about $25, but I never go to Michael's without my 50% coupon =)

I am forewarning you, there may be lots of polka dot DIYs coming up now, lol!

For the actual furniture painting, you can review my dining room furniture for thorough instructions but here is a quickie version:

I sanded (the crap) out of the shelf*.  Primed.  Painted two coats. Spray painted the wheels and bottom legs metallic silver.
(my dining room furniture I chemically removed the paint, this piece was small so I used a handheld wedge to sand)

Redoing this small piece was SO easy after my dining set.  I completed that back in July and have not wanted to redo a piece of furniture since- this was a simple reintroduction and made me remember why I love making over furniture!

And yep, that is another tray ($2) I redid with some spray paint and painter's tape!

Please share, comment and pin if you enjoy- thank you so much!

Follow me along on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

Linked up to the Pinterest Challenge- Start doing your pins!

Thrifty Tuesday Tip!

Keep a list! I personally do not keep a paper list but I have a running list of projects in my head (always...)

Do not lose your creative eye at a thrift store but it is important to always be on the lookout for the pieces/supplies you need!

On your list, it is important to note measurements for the items- window sizes, tables, wall space, etc...  I do keep these handy on my notes app in my iPhone!

A small sampling of my current list (I cannot reveal all my secrets ;)

What is on your list for your home?

Fab Friday- Link Love, Loving Links!

Thought I would try a new feature on A Bubbly Life- sharing some fab favorites from around the web!

Fab-  Mini pumpkin DIY via papernsitch blog- Love!

Fashion- must.have. tulle skirt via Anthropologie instagram

Fun-  Today is International Champagne Day! (we know I love the bubbly...) Drink some champagne, take some pics and follow along with hashtag #ChampagneDay  I'll be tweeting a pic tonight!

Follow- Something Brue- outfit posts, design inspiration, food- a little of everything!

and me on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter!

Have a bubbly weekend!

xoxo, Laurel

Crispy Duck Leg Confit Recipe (A Simpler Version)

The tasty ingredients!

Duck confit is one of those recipes that sounds very scary to make or will take hours of preparation and work.  However, it is VERY simple and as long as you do not tell anyone else that it is very easy- you appear to be the great host and chef ;)

Most of the time involved in duck confit relies on your refrigerator and stove- as you will see with the very easy recipe:

Simple Crispy Duck Leg Confit by A Bubbly Life 
Serves 2

2 Duck Legs
4 Garlic Cloves
4 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Peppercorns
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
Duck Fat and/or Olive Oil (enough to cover legs)*

* Traditionally, duck confit is cooked entirely in duck fat, but when I lived in Hawaii, duck fat was VERY hard to come by.  So, my trick was to use olive oil if I had no duck fat-  then I would strain, cool and freeze the fat left after the dish was cooked to use next time.  Quite honestly, I did not notice a huge difference in flavor.

- Place duck legs in bakeware
- Poke tiny holes* throughout duck skin- do NOT pierce the meat (I use a fondue fork to pierce holes, it may not be the professional way but it works!)  *I poke holes because after making the dish multiple times, I found MORE fat to release using this method.  It improved the dish by leaps and bounds!

- Smash garlic cloves with the blade of your knife and add two to each leg
- Break in half bay leaves, pour peppercorns, salt and thyme sprigs evenly over the duck legs
- Tightly cover dish (I use Glad press and seal )
- Refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours

 - Add olive oil or duck fat to cover the legs.  I typically do not cover them completely, and do just over half the body of the legs.  (I may be shot for saying so by duck confit experts :) 
- Bake at a 325 oven for 3.5 hours  (Another shot for me from the experts, traditionally it should cook nearly all day on a low temp, but I am just not around all day to leave oven on!)

And serve! Roasted fennel and artichoke hearts go well with the dish!

I hope you enjoy! The skin is crispy and the meat is juicy and delicious- it is my second most requested dish (after my lamb, which I may share later)

Duck confit is a great fall and winter dish- I love having the stove on for so long and keeping the house warm!  I do go against many of the traditional methods for duck confit in this recipe, but this way works with my time, schedule and is absolutely delicious.  Rest assured- my method developed over years of trial and error!

Please share and pin if you enjoy!

Weekend Loves & Lens!


Pumpkin Patch!  I know that green little guy is just a gourd, but I still wanted to pet it and bring it home with me...

Blog Sneak Peeks-

This weekend was a project weekend!  I worked on at least 4 DIYs.  Now to get to work on photos and tutorials (A DIY blogger's work is never done... ;)

And P.S. my bar cart looks nothing like my inspiration pieces- but I love it! I hope you will too!

Hope your weekend was wonderful!

Follow me around ;)

A Bubbly Life on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

DIY No Sew Tablecloth! Repurpose a Sheet!

I found a twin sheet for $1.99 (half off day at the thrift store!) and knew it would be perfect for a  tablecloth for Kalia's party (pink & girly!)  And finally today, I have the quickie, easy tutorial on it!

It was a simple fix to make the twin sheet a tablecloth- no sewing of course!

I loved the print (pink & white stripes) but the sides of the sheet needed fixing up- it looked like a bed sheet on the table.

So, I purchased very large white ribbon and used hot glue to attach the ribbon around the sides of the sheet for the trim.  The quickie version of tutorial- twin sheet, glue, plus ribbon around edges = tablecloth!

Perfect and inexpensive!

Tutorial- this is one where you should do as I say not as I did:

Twin Sheet
Satin Ribbon* (I used 2 inch length)
Washable Fabric Glue*- (using a hot glue gun was what I did in a pinch, it was the night before Kalia's party, hot glue gun may stand up for a wash or two, but not for long)

Measuring Tape/Ruler


I wanted my ribbon trim to hang low,  so I used the edge of the twin sheet to glue my ribbon evenly.

If you want the ribbon trim higher up on the sheet- use a measuring tape/ruler create a pencil outline around the perimeter of the sheet based upon how low you want the ribbon to hang as your trim.

Glue ribbon to sheet, lay books or other heavy objects on to seal.  Leave for 45 minutes.

And you are done!


*Ribbon has a tendency to curl when washed, the photograph shows it after a wash and a quick iron.  I do not mind the little ripple, so I did not iron it out completely around edges. The ripple is something to keep in mind for the overall look of your tablecloth.

* If your sheets are of thin material- use caution with the surface you are gluing on, the glue will bleed through to the surface.  Use something below the sheet to protect the surface.

Want another NO sew tablecloth?  Check out my tiered ruffled tablecloth tutorial!

Thrifty Tuesday- Halloween Garland!

Last week's post on 3 Glam Glitter Pumpkins also featured a thrifty find!  

The pumpkin garland was a $0.25 find- I added mod podge and glitter and got the perfect (well, perfect for me!) Halloween garland.


It was an easy makeover and I had all the supplies! Cannot wait to look for Christmas ones to create!!

What was your latest find??

3 Glam Pumpkins! Glitter Halloween DIY

If you remember, I cannot cut a straight line... This holds true for carving pumpkins.  I am TERRIBLE at it.  Every year, I carve one and my husband laughs at my pathetic one, while he can carve a small village on his...

So, revenge is sweet, because I decided to use glitter on some pumpkins this year! (My husband is sick of glitter on his clothes)

To cover your entire pumpkin in glitter, follow these VERY easy instructions.

Mod Podge
Foam Brush

- Brush mod podge all over pumpkin.
 * If your pumpkin is large, do one side at a time so that the mod podge does not dry up while glittering.
- Pour glitter on pumpkin.
- Do the glitter shake and remove all excess.

I like to use double sided tape when possible in glitter projects to create smooth lines (it is a great, easy way to glitter!).

On the pumpkin here I used the tape to create a K for Kalia! (who else?)

Double Sided Tape
Tiny painting brush

- Apply double sided tape in shape desired (curvier letters like B, C, D and P, are harder, but it is possible if you cut the tape.  Most other letters are quite simple straight lines to make!)
- Pour glitter over the taped area.
- Use the small painter's brush to sweep away glitter that is outside the taped area.

And you are done!  (I also painted my pumpkin white)

And finally, a quickie glitter pumpkin- I used the double sided tapes to create a couple stripes on the pumpkins here:

Which one is your favorite?  I lean towards the K because I love anything Kalia!

Hope you enjoy my glitter, sparkle version of Halloween!

Please pin and share, if you enjoy!

Weekend Loves & Lens- A Bubbly Life Update!

A Bubbly Life-

Kalia's First Birthday Party won the Project Nursery project of the month thanks to all YOU wonderful voters!!

Thank you so much for your votes- it was quite an honor to be chosen as Project of the Week, then Fan  Favorite, then Project of the Month!  Thank you so much!

I am very close to 400 likes on Facebook, once again thank you for all the support!

Also, have you checked out my Pinterest lately?  I gave my homepage a Fall theme (can you tell Fall is my favorite season??)

And here is a rare pic of Kalia [(on the blog)  (I probably have 10 thousand...)]  on our hike to enjoy the fall leaves:

Hope your weekend was awesome!

Bar Cart Inspiration- Thrifty Thursday!

When I go thrift shopping, I have a mental list of items that I am on the look out to makeover or create.  A bar cart has been high on my list for a few months now.

Two weeks ago I found this guy:

* The before pics are from my iPhone, my Canon crapped out on me, so I am drowning myself in wine & tears have been working hard to repair it.

It is not what I had in mind at all so, why did I purchase?

Three reasons:

As you can see, much to my husband's dismay, it does not take much to convince me to make a purchase.

So, I began collecting ideas on Pinterest.

1- Source2- Source /  3- Source/  4- Source

Now all these, of course, do not look like the crappy laminated wood one above, but I am drawing inspiration from them all and have come up with some ideas!

It may be awhile before I can post what happens, but I cannot wait to get my hands on it for some hard work and reveal it! Even if the reveal is actually a major DIY fail!

Anyone else come across some great finds?

Living in Great Gatsby!

Inspired by my post at Apartment 34 on Live Here, Decorate This- I went a fictional route and dreamt of living in Gatsby's world.

I would love to dance in that gilded ballroom- the grandeur and glamour of the world of the Great Gatsby...  I cannot wait for the newest version by Baz Luhrmann and while I wait, I dream of living in it- with a modern twist.

Look for a fashion inspired Gatsby board soon! (I am kind of, slightly, totally obsessed with the upcoming Gatsby movie- Baz, Leonardo DiCaprio, F. Scott Fitzgerald... Need I say more!!)

Sigh, it is delayed until May 2013 :( It is killing me!

room image feather tray polka dot wallpaper carafe coffee table

Weekend Loves & Lens

Hope your weekend was lovely!!

Mine included:

Pink Glitter.  What am I working on? Hmm... (also I think glitter has shown up in another Weekend L&L, lol)

Took a quick trip to HomeGoods because I needed new books for Kalia,  but I had to window shop as well.  I snapped a pic of this because I believe it is a good motto ;)

And finally, Kalia & I went on a Chalk Art Walk!  The lizard was Kalia's favorite.

No pics of delicious food... Hubby was out of town, which means canned soup wine and some cheese for dinner!

A Bubbly Life-

Be sure to check out my guest posts last week on Apartment 34 and A Fancy Girl Must!

Thank you for your comments, tweets, pins and support!