Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 2

before and after brooklyn backyard makeover After revealing last week how my husband and I have become complete and total gardening nerds grown lots of veggies, I am excited to reveal, *drum roll please*……our entire backyard. We have worked many long, hard hours (even sacrificing time with friends) to take this space from a concrete dump (quite literally) to something where we can relax and entertain. $500, 19 trips to Lowe’s, 15 trips to Ikea, 10 bags of soil, 5 bags of mulch, a couple of furniture pulls from the side of the road, a few good finds on Craig’s List, 2 trips to CT to pick up our seating area furniture, 1 ridiculous month-long search for solar-powered globe lights (they apparently don’t exist for under $100), and more seeds and plants than I can count and #operationbkbackyardmakeover is complete. We still have plans for a few things here and there (like staining the wooden bench that Mr. RC made and adding plant name tags) but for now we’re spending time just enjoying our little slice of outdoor Brooklyn. I hope you like the pictures (because there are about a million of them #sorrynotsorry) and get some backyard ideas for your own outdoor space. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything in the comments (just so we’re clear, by ‘anything’ I mean anything pertaining to the backyard ideas and outdoor space makeovers, not like “Is there extraterrestrial life outside our atmosphere?” and “How many gum balls does a gum ball machine hold?”). FYI, sources of products are listed at the bottom and part 1 of our reveal was posted here. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Brooklyn backyard makeover From this….

budget backyard makover in NY budget outdoor space makeover Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 2 || Runway Chef …to this!

brooklyn backyard makeover on a budget ideas for small backyards Old $10 Ikea shelves that we stained + waterproofed

Ikea oudoor table Free table from Craig’s List + DIY bench

backyard makeover on a budget Brooklyn Backyard From L to R- chair + couch are Pier 1 given to us by my father-in-law, the black and white striped “cover” is a blanket from Ikea, and the other chair we found on the side of the road

Pier 1 outdoor couch outdoor furniture outdoor couch Brooklyn Backyard Reveal, Part 2 || Runway Chef ideas for small outdoor spaces bugs Some of the little critters we see in our garden

budget backyard makeover backyard plants Brooklyn outdoor space


Bar Cart + Stools- a DIY made from a piece of Ikea furniture found in the free section of Craig’s List, tutorial here
Grill- Target
Plant Stand- Ikea shelving, stained by us
Table- Ikea via free section of Craig’s List
Bench- DIY by Mr. RC
Lounge Chair- found on the side of the road
Spool Table- found on the side of the road
Couch, Chair & Cushions- Pier 1 via my father-in-law
Black and White Striped Blanket (currently acting as a couch cover)- Ikea
Fire Pit- Lowe’s
String Lights- Ikea
Copper Watering Can- Target (smaller one here)
Copper Bin- Marshalls (similar one here)
BK Letters- Marshalls (similar here and here)
Door “Screen”- sheer curtain from Ikea
Pots- Lowe’s, my father-in-law, old tomato cans, Ikea, Goodwill, and a wooden toy box found on the side of the road

DIY Outdoor Bar Cart + Styling Tips

how to style an outdoor bar cart It was quite by mistake that we ended up with an outdoor bar cart in our backyard, but now that we have one, I am convinced everyone that doesn’t have one is totally missing out (ummm, having a bar just inside your house is so yesterday, haven’t you heard?!). Before I reveal the 2nd part of our backyard makeover tomorrow, I thought I’d share one last snippet (I’m such a tease, I know) by revealing our little DIY outdoor bar cart. Also, it’s Thursday, which means it’s almost Friday, which means it’s basically the weekend, which means you’re totally going to need a bar cart of booze in your backyard. Oh, and I made you a video, because, well, I couldn’t make you a drink at my outdoor bar cart, so making you a video was the next best thing. Obvs!

P.S. To see our full $500 backyard makeover, click here.

outdoor bar cart styling To make the bar cart, you will need:

Ikea Kitchen Island
Wooden Stain (you want something that says waterproof or exterior use)
Paint Brush

1. Make sure the kitchen cart is nice and clean.

2. Add on a coat of wooden stain, then let it dry for at least 4 hours. Repeat. Let it dry overnight.


To style the bar cart, some of the things I like to have include:

A non-acolholic beverage (otherwise known as a mixer)
Liquor (served in a fancy decanter, preferably)
Fun straws
Fresh fruit
Toothpicks (for the fruit)
Votives (battery operated ones are best for outdoors)
Various trays, slate, wood pieces, etc (to add visual variety) 

Proceed to style as you wish and watch the below handy dandy little video I made you for some styling inspiration.

Supplies Shown In Video (linked to either the same item or similar items):
Mason Jars
Slate Board
Flameless Votives
Galvanized Bucket (holding the white flower; also great to use as an ice bucket)

how to style a bar cart

outdoor entertaining ideas DIY outdoor bar cart paper straws how to style a bar cart bar cart styling

DIY Gold Silverware

DIY Gold Silverware It should come as no surprise that if something comes in gold, it’s probably high on my list of things to buy (much to the dismay of my husband). This silverware set was no exception. However, silverware isn’t really high on my splurge list (unless Chanel comes out with a set, of course!). Nonetheless, I just had to have my gold silverware. I mean I had to make my food pictures look pretty, right?! Side note- when you become a food blogger/food photographer the regular plates, mismatched silverware, and paper napkins that never used to bother you, suddenly become the biggest of eyesores. Anyways, when I make up my mind that I just have to have something, well, then, I just have to have it. So I turned to my trusty can of gold spray paint, bought an inexpensive set of silverware, and voila. This DIY gold silverware is by far the easiest and least expensive (less than $10 total) DIY I’ve done in a while. And also the prettiest, but then again, what does’t look prettier with gold spray paint?!

Have a great weekend everyone!

DIY Gold-dipped silverware

Silverware (This cost only $4 at Ikea, but the $11.99 Amazon price isn’t bad either)
Gold Spray Paint
Clear Sealer
Box Cutter (scissors or a knife would also work)
Cardboard Box (or painters tape and ziplock bag)

DIY Gold Silverware 1. Clean and dry your silverware.

how to paint silverware 2. On one flap (or two, depending on the amount of silverware) of the cardboard box, use your box cutter to cut small slits (about 1″ long) for each piece of silverware you have, making sure to leave ample space around each slit.

how to make your own gold silverware 3. Push each piece of silverware down through a slit, stopping where you want the spray paint to stop. Once all your silverware is in a slit, flip the sides of the box in so that all the stems of the silverware are facing up (see below picture).

DIY painted silverware 4. Spray on the first coat of paint, making sure to hold the can about 8-10 inches away and spraying as evenly as possible. Let it dry for about 10-15 minutes, then give the silverware another coat of paint. Repeat the process one more time for a total of three coats of paint. After the the final coat has dried, spray on a coat of gloss, then let dry for an hour.

(As can be seen in the below picture, an alternative to the cardboard box method is to use painter’s tape to mark off your silverware then line it up in a ziplock bag, tape down the bag on either end (as well as in between each piece of silverware), and proceed to spray paint.)

gold silverware how-to 5. Once your silverware is all dry, wash it prior to using. 

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS- After receiving several questions about the durability of this silverware, I wanted to ensure you all that, not only do I test things prior to posting, but I have continued using my silverware several times since this has gone live and the gold paint has held up fine. The clear sealant is key to this, as is how the silverware is washed. Here is how I’ve cleaned my silverware: Hand wash only using a mild detergent. Run over the painted portion of the silverware with the soft side of sponge once or twice. On the unpainted portion of the silverware (or the part you eat with) you can be a little less gentle and scrub as your normally would. Proceed to rinse and dry. I do not have a dishwasher so I can’t attest to how it would stand up in one, but I would recommend hand-washing these even if you do have one.

DIY gold silverware Stay tuned to see how I put this DIY gold silverware to use in next week’s Valentine’s Day D&D.

DIY Easter Egg Candles

easter eggs No matter how old I get, there are many things I will never outgrow. Chocolate milk, coloring placemats at restaurants, watching the Little Mermaid and crafting (I am secretly still 5!). While I never turn down the opportunity to dye an Easter egg, I wanted to switch things up a bit this year.

Somehow through all our moves, the eggs that Mr. Runway Chef and I first dyed together have never broken….so of course I decide to break them instead! But only to update them in to candles. It’s a fun way to hold on to something from the past, while looking at it in a whole new candle light!

DIY Easter Egg Candles

candles made from easter eggs

Easter candles

To make the easter egg candles you will need:

  • Dyed eggs (I used some we had saved from the first batch of eggs we ever dyed together)
  • Tea lights (use 2 per egg)
  • Wick (or you can make your own)
  • Tools: a double boiler, a spoon, a glass measuring cup (to help pour), foil (to cover your workspace for easy clean up), paintbrushes/pencils/wooden spoon & tape (to hold the wicks well the wax sets), and a container to set these up in
  • Optional, food coloring (if you would like to color the wax) and essential oils (for scented candles)

easter crafts Begin by gently breaking off the top portion of the egg.

melting wax Next, remove the wicks and metal holders from the tea lights. Set the metal holders aside, and begin melting the wax over your double boiler.

how to make candles While the wax is melting, set up the eggs. Place each one in a metal holder from the tea lights. Line them up in a semi-shallow container and then lay the paintbrushes across the tops of the eggs.

making easter egg candles

Measure your wicks and cut to the appropriate length, making sure to leave enough room to allow you to tape it on to the brush. Secure the wick in place with the tape.

steps to making easter eggs into candles Once the wax has melted, if you choose to dye and scent the wax, now would be the time to do so. Otherwise, working as quickly as possible, pour the wax into the measuring cup and then into the eggs.

easter crafts

Let the eggs harden over night. Remove the tape and brushes, trim the wicks and enjoy!

Easter candles Easter Egg Candles

DIY Business Card Holder Tutorial

DIY Business Card Holder

I dare you to find a cute business card holder. Because you won’t. They are all either hideously ugly, or hideously ugly. And you most certainly won’t find one painted gold and covered in hearts and pink and white twine!

After months of letting my cards sit in random stacks, I stuck them in this old Altoid tin. And after months of letting them sit in the remains of minty freshness, I decided it was time to take this business card holder seriously. So as promised, here is my easy DIY to make your own pretty and unique business card holder for your desk.

DIY-Business-Card-Holder The only essential item you need is an old Altoid tin. From there ou can use a variety of papers, fabrics, felt, ribbon, twine, paint, spray paint, or even pom-poms to decorate and customize your card holder. For my tin, I used gold spray paint, twine, and felt and ribbon secured on with a glue gun.


Paint the outside of your tin.

DIY-Business-Card-Holder Cut a piece of felt the size of the inside of the tin.


Line the tin with the felt. Attach it with a hot glue gun and then use scissors to trim down any excess felt.


Trim the inside with ribbon. You could also use felt here or just leave it plain.


Accessorize with glitter, ribbons, twine, etc to jazz it up and make it personal for you. I used heart ribbon I got a while ago in the dollar section at Target (a similar option found here) and this pink and white twine.


DIY Business Card Holder DIY Business Card Holder DIY Business Card Holder