A Coconut Birthday + A Dog Birthday

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

September is a big month for birthdays in my family; my dog’s birthday is on the 1st, and my brother’s birthday is the following week. So you can bet I break out the “Happy Birthday” banner and go all out. You guys, I love birthdays. And giving gifts. And eating cake. Which is what this post is all about, hooray!

I found a Teflon bundt pan at the thrift store (for $1.50, how cool is that!?) recently, and decided to buy it to try my hand at recreating the incredible bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I pinned a bunch of bundt recipes and gave my brother the options, and not surprisingly he chose the coconut bundt cake. We’re big coconut fans, over here! This was my first real cake that I’ve ever baked and decorated all fancy, and I was sweating so much when I was popping that cake out of the pan. I had this vision of half the cake falling out of the pan, and half of the cake sticking in the pan. But look how good it came out:

Coconut Bundt Cake via Imperfect Chevron

Coconut Bundt Cake via Imperfect Chevron

Look at that beauty! The shape of the 70’s, as the box kindly told me (whatever that means).

And then I got to decorate it with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut topping. Decorating this cake was probably the most fun I’ve ever had–just piping on that frosting! So. Good.

Coconut Bundt Cake via Imperfect Chevron

Coconut Bundt Cake via Imperfect Chevron

Is that not the dreamiest cake you’ve ever seen? The best part was eating this cake, of course. It was incredible, seriously! I couldn’t believe I made it. And the highest compliment came from my grandma, who asked for my recipe. Yuh-huh. This cake is what all coconut cake dreams are made of.

If you’ve got a birthday or special celebration coming up, consider making this pretty cake!

And just for a bonus, here’s a couple pictures from Ben’s birthday:

I made him dog-safe “pupcakes” which he LOVED

Coconut Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

And the birthday boy with a special bow on his special day:

Coconut Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

xo

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Currently I’m…September

This month has really flown by. It’s been a blur of job hunting, stressing over phone interviews, and lots of thrift store madness (projects galore). I’ve been kind of slacking on these “Currently I’m…” posts, but here’s what I’ve been up to so far in September:

Currently I'm September via Imperfect Chevron

Here’s to welcoming a Fall season full of changing leaves, learning French, and saving up my to buy my first DSLR camera. Also, fingers crossed I can land a “dream job” this season–I’ll keep you all posted on that. (: Thanks for your continued support and good vibes!

xo

End Table Makeover

One of my favorite things to do is scour thrift stores and flea markets…it’s part hobby, part addiction. It’s so satisfying when you find something incredible and look at the price tag and find you can afford it–plus, I think it’s good for the planet to reuse and upcycle rather than buying everything brand new. Win, win!

On a recent trip to a local thrift shop, I found this little side table for only $7. Real wood, adorable little size, it was perfect. But I didn’t love the look of it.

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I was thinking about what exactly I wanted to do with the end table…should I stain it, paint it? And suddenly I just had this vision, I could see the end product and it looked fabulous. It sounds a little crazy but sometimes you just can see it, what it’s meant to look like, you know?

After sanding down the top (it was a little glossy) and priming the whole end table, I picked up 4 sample size cans of paint. Here are the colors I picked:

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I had a lovely little helper along the way. It’s funny, but Ben just always wants to be right on top of you, doing what you’re doing. Even though he just sleeps while you work, it’s still so sweet.

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

And after several hours of labor and a coat of varnish to help protect the paint, I was finished:

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

You guys, I am so proud of this little side table! Those triangles took FOREVER but the geometric statement is so strong that it’s worth it. I think it’s amazing, because I took something that was very traditional and a little blah, and turned it into something with a modern style that I love! With a little vision and a little paint, you really can accomplish something special.

What do you think of my little project?

xo

DIY: Gallery Wall

Since I got back home in July, I’ve been helping my mom recharge and update our house. I helped her pick a new couch (which is the most beautiful couch in the whole world, in my opinion) and two new modern chairs, we’ve been rearranging and DIY-ing some thrift store finds. All in all, it’s been good. But our living room needed some sort of a statement, it was just really blah. So I proposed the idea of making a gallery wall above the couch, with all of our paintings and little odds and ends. My mom loved the idea, and we got to work! Here’s how we did it:

  1. I collected all of our unused paintings (most of which were done by my brother, my mom, and I) and pictures in the basement, where I knew I would have a lot of room to spread out without my dog trampling all the pictures. I just started putting the pictures together in random assortments, trying to achieve that balanced/unbalanced look, and it took me a few tries but I figured out exactly how I wanted it to look and snapped a picture for reference. DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron
  2. My mom helped me hold each picture up on the wall above the couch individually, and I marked the corners of each picture with painters tape to get a general idea of how the pictures would fit in the space and in relation to each other. This took a while, but luckily we didn’t have to redo it–we got the placement right on the first try. Also, I know this picture of the process looks like the proceedings of a lunatic, and maybe it is, but this strategy worked for us! DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron
  3. We got out the level and started hanging our pictures, one by one. We used really little nails to hang most of the pictures, and some of that sticky reusable putty to keep the pictures flat on the wall. This step by far takes the most time, because if one picture isn’t perfectly straight your whole wall will look off. But it’s worth the time! And the finished product looks incredible.

DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron

We love our little gallery wall, and we’re starting to design and hang another one in the family room, as well. This just adds such a powerful statement to your wall, and ties all of your furniture together into a warm and inviting space. Would you try hanging a gallery wall?

xo

Grad-School Photo Book

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

So I’ve been wanting to get all of my photos from grad school together in an album forever, and I considered getting all crafty and making a scrapbook, but I felt like that would take more time than I have to spare. Luckily, I got an email from Shutterfly to make a free photo book (it was one of their promotions in the spring).

Anyway, I had so much fun sorting through all of my grad school photos (from school in Pittsburgh, to clinicals in Florida and North Carolina) and then putting them together and designing my own little photo album. When I finally finished and the book came, I was so thrilled with how it turned out! I’ve loved showing it off to my family and friends, and I wanted to share some of the book here today!

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect CheronPhoto Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

There are tons of layouts to choose from, as well as different backgrounds and little decorations, so each photo book you make could be special and unique. It was also easy to use. I’ll definitely keep looking out for free offers from Shutterfly!

 

Summer Forever: How to Make it Last

The word “summer” holds a lot of power; when I hear the word it almost invokes a dreamlike state, untangles magical childhood memories and floods me with an instant of pure, untainted happiness. I spend most of the winter daydreaming about it, find myself invigorated with a new breath of life every time June rolls around. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s just something special about summer.

And this time of year is always bittersweet; while I’m always looking forward to the crispness and refreshing air of fall (and of course the BEST fashion), I’m always a little sad that summer is slipping away. The freedom and happiness and long days of summer are something I really cherish, and it’s hard to let go of that every year!

So today I’m sharing a few tips for making the feelings of the season last a little longer. They’re all simple little ideas that I think will help me ease into fall happily!

Summer Forever: How to Make it Last

  1. Microwave S’mores: one of the essential summer activities is lounging around the campfire and making s’mores (whether it’s at a campsite or in your own backyard), and I’m happy to report you don’t have to give up all of that chocolate-graham crackery-goodness just yet! I find that microwave s’mores are pretty satisfying, easy, and quick. I just microwave a marshmallow on top of a graham cracker for 10 seconds on low power, just until it expands and gets warm and gooey. Then I arrange some chocolate on top (chocolate chips, Hershey bars, or fancy flavored chocolate all work great) and devour.Make Summer Last via Imperfect Chevron
  2. Bring the plants in: plants just add a fresh and warm feel to your space, so as the summer slows down bring a couple indoors to add a little summer to your house. You could also plant a little windowsill herb garden inside.
  3. Keep the iced coffee flowing: I like my coffee hot in the mornings, but in the summer I like to take my afternoon coffee break with a nice cold iced coffee in my hand. To make sure I always have iced coffee on hand, I fill up these little glass containers (which were full of Kombucha at one point, yay for reusing stuff!) with leftover coffee from the morning pot. I like iced coffee plain with a splash of almond milk, but you can customize your cup however you prefer.Make Summer Last via Imperfect Chevron
  4. Make use of your summer garden: use that extra basil to whip up some fresh pesto for your pasta, sew a few lavender sachets for your shoes, or make a pretty bouquet for your table with those late summer blooms. Another solution if you don’t have a green thumb? Buy some pretty flowers from the grocery store or farm market!

If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to summer yet, try some of these ideas! I’d love to hear some of your ideas, too, because I am so not ready for summer to be over.

xo

Fourteen.

You guys, this day is very special and important. Today is our dog Ben’s birthday, and he’s 14 years old! Can you even believe it? I wanted to post some pictures and tell you all a little about this very special dog, in honor of his birthday today. And just so you know, we’re planning a great little shindig this weekend with our family for him (cake and presents included, because dogs are people too!). If there’s one thing Ben loves, it’s a good party.

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

My family adopted Ben when he was about 10 months old (so the shelter told us, and we think that was pretty accurate). At the shelter, we were walking up and down the aisles looking for the perfect new addition to our family, and there was this one dog who was sticking his paw out of the cage. My dad (and subsequently, all of us) fell hard for him, and we brought him home and he’s been a critical part of our family ever since. He had cancer several years ago, and our vet told us last year that he’s got active cancer now, so we’re not expecting a whole lot more time with him, but we’re ever so grateful for the time we have. He’s so special to us!

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

Ben loves Christmas, you actually have to watch him like a hawk with any presents under the tree because he starts ripping into them. He loves opening presents.

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

He loves snow: playing in it, laying in it, catching snowballs…

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

he’s really good at the doggy-emoji face…

Life Update via Imperfect Chevron

like, really good at it.

He’s also great at taking naps.

His favorite toys are stuffed animals and tennis balls.

He’s also an excellent beggar (and now that he’s old we pretty much give him MOST of what he wants, unless it’ll make him sick).

Dog Birthday via Imperfect Chevron

Happy Birthday, Ben! We love you so much.

xo