– DIY 4th of July –

Happy almost Independence Day from Sugar and Cypress! 

This is one of our favorite holidays! In the midst of summer, not only does it bring friends and family together in celebration, but it also give this happy sense of camaraderie to those around you as well! Whether you’re celebrating with a home BBQ, at a community parade or on the beach, everyone is there to show their pride for this country.

To show our patriotism we decided to sprinkle our home with some red, white and blue! One of our favorite pieces are these easy, breezy flag inspired wood blocks. See below for the full DIY instructions and some other 4th of July home decorations!


(See below for where we got the decorations shown above!)

DIY 4th of July Wood Blocks 

First we started with purchasing one large, square fence post from Home Depot and had it cut into 3 pieces. These can really be any heigh you like! Ours are 22″, 20″ and 18″.


Because we like the look of darker wood and had decided to rough these up, we decided to start by staining the wood pieces a dark brown. This step is really optional since you’ll be painting over the stain anyways! Minwax is a favorite, so we deicded to go with the rich Provincial color.

After the stain dried, we took each wood piece and painted them white. This took two coats to make sure the paint was solid and not super streaky. Any acrylic white paint will do!


Once the paint is dry we started on the design. We wanted to incorporate “red, white and blue” on each of the individual blocks. We decided to make the small red bock our red piece and used masking tape to block off a white stripe in the middle. We used a star stencil (shown below) to trace white stars on the middle block, and then followed the same tape design on the large block for some additional pops of color. The great thing about this design is that you can really make it your own! Add the design, star layout or tape sections in any way you like!

Once everything was taped off we started painting! We painted the red on the outside of the tape on the small block, traced the stars on the middle blue block and then on the large block painted inside the small tape lines for a pop of red and painted the top blue. This left the vast majority of the large block white.



Then, here’s the tough part…let it dry! 🙂 Once everything was all dry took the sander to the blocks to rough up the look a little bit. This is where the white paint and dark stain pop through. This is another optional step as well in case you prefer a more finished look, but if you’re anything like us…the more distressed the better! We also used a water-based sealant on top of the paint to protect from the weather.



If you’re interested in any of the decor found above here’s where you can pick up some of your own!


Blue “Home” Pillow – Pottery Barn

Red, White & Blue Pillow – World Market

Red 20×20 Pillow – Calvin Klein via TJ Maxx


White Candle Stand – Pottery Barn

White Antique Vase – Anthropologie

Americana Table Runner – World Market

Liberty” Star, Red Candle, Succulent & Flags – Hobby Lobby

Happy DIYing!

xoxo- Sugar & Cypress


Swanson Party of 3! 

Coming up with a unique gender reveal is kind of tricky these days with Pinterest fueling the creative sides of all of the soon to be parents out there.. Thankfully for our special baby Swanson an idea was born straight out of its  ingenious enginerd father Karls brain (insert happy dance if your preggers happy waddles are accepted too..) 

The beach feels like home to our San Diego resident & sugar and cypress soon to be mommy Lindsay.. So a reveal party by the sea was a must! Now just add in some close friends a bon fire and a smoke bomb.. Oh yeah we should probably elaborate on this smoke bomb because that’s the part where we found out if the newest sugar to our cypress was a boy or girl!! 

These are the bad boys that we used… They worked great, however it was a bit windy so the smoke bomb wasn’t as big as we had hoped but we were happy with it. Reveal Time – Newborn Baby Gender Reveal Color Smoke Fountains, Blue & Pink https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0137DYEMG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_rmHxxbDEJ9329

We are so excited to announce we have a baby boy on the way! Kaden will be here in November… We can’t wait to kiss that little turkey 🙂 

Photo credit: http://www.saltlightavo.com/ Thank you Gina for the beautiful pictures! 

Here’s a fun video of the shindig: http://youtu.be/kMnc5KhE1Ww

Cilantro – Lime Chicken Recipe

It’s our favorite time! Trying to find fun, delicious, and easy meals for summer that suit a healthy lifestyle. Check out the link below for a recipe to this tasty dish! Better year the cook time is short and sweet! Enjoy!

Click Here – Cilantro Lime Chicken- Click Here 


Our post on Instagram also featured a Kale salad. Below is the Recipe.

Kale Salad:

-1 Bag Kale (Or mixed kale, cabbage and brussle bag from Trader Joes)

-1 handful Goji Berries

-Light Balsamic dressing



DIY Backyard Pallet Furniture

Hi Everyone!

After a short hiatus we’re back! A lot’s happened since the Swanson’s tied the knot and it took quite a bit of time to get back into the groove. We so appreciate everyone who’s stuck with us through this short break! We’ve got lots of fun things in the works for the future, so let’s get it started with some fun summer projects!

DIY – Backyard Pallet Furniture on a Budget:

With summer in full swing we needed to get it together and create an outdoor space to enjoy the weather. With patio furniture being WAY out of budget, we decided to make our own! And what better way than to utilize pallets. They’re cheap, easy to work with and if something doesn’t work out then you have wood to use for any future projects as well.

To start we collected as MANY pallets as we could find! You can ask warehouses, Home Depot, hunt them down in Mall dump areas and anywhere else that orders products in bulk. We used a total of 13 Pallets for this project. We were fortunate enough to get most all of them in pretty good condition and the same size.


After gathering the pallets we experimented around to decide on the layout we wanted. We decided on 3 separate chairs & one middle table. (We pushed two of the chairs together in the picture below to make a large couch. This way we could pull it apart to separate it if we wanted.) We ended up using a total of 4 pallets per couch. 3 for the base, and one for the back. In the picture below we show 5, but we ended up moving two of the pallets from the couch layout onto the single chair.


Next we needed to put together our table. We used the largest pallet that had the wood slats closest together. All we needed to do was add the legs! We went to Home Depot and got one square post of wood in the thickness that we wanted and had them cut it down to 4 individual 7″ pieces. (We guestimated a lot on the height but it ended up working out!)

After getting the layout figured then came the color. We used Minwax – Provincial. I’ve tried a variety of stains but Minwax had remained to be my favorite. The colors soak into the wood really well and the can’s aren’t too pricy. It took us a total of 3 cans to stain all the pallets. We stained the front and back of most all the pallets, except for the bottom pieces. Those we just did the wood that was visible…block out a good portion of your day cause this takes some time!


Once we finished staining & set the wood back up in its formation we attached the pallets together. We used a combination of flat & L shape galvanized brackets to attach the bottom & back pieces. You’ll need quite a few L shaped brackets on the inside. The amount of brackets you’ll  need will vary depending on the type of pallets you use, and how many pieces you end up attaching. Just make sure its sturdy!


After we finished attaching the wood together it was time to put on the finishing touches! We got our outdoor pillows from TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Pottery Barn. Our decorative accessories on the table are from mostly World Market. The nice thing about having wood pallets is they can fit any style and match any color! We went for a tropical beach look.

For the cushions: This was the trickiest part since I didn’t want to have to sew the cushions myself. There’s a variety of options since these will most likely have to be custom made. Luckily we have a family member that loves to sew, so we just got her some 4″ dense foam and outdoor fabric and voila! You can also find custom cushions on Etsy, by visiting your local fabric shop or even shopping around at outdoor furniture stores that sell cushions separately.



The cost was super low on this project since the pallets were found, $Free.99 is definitely a favorite! We only had to pay for the stain, brackets, and wood for the table legs. Taking the decor out of the price factor this projects was well under $100. For anyone interested in the painted wood wall art, we’ll have a tutorial for that coming soon! Feel free to send us any questions and comments! Happy DIYing 🙂


Sugar & Cypress