Lily & Val Living - A pretty place for all who love the simple things in life.
Lily & Val Loves #3- Here Comes the Sun Yellows and Golds

For this edition of Lily & Val Loves, we are collecting some of our favorite yellow and gold items in honor of all the sunshine we anticipate now that spring is on its way. From dainty necklaces to beautiful handmade items, these selections are great examples of mixing textures and materials with a sunny disposition.

These very delicate letter necklaces add just the right amount of minimalist shine to any ensemble. These also make a great gift for someone special…. Mother’s Day, anyone?

Beautiful dainty letter necklaces.

Using gold at home in a modern way means keeping the gold elements simple and contrasting with lots of whites and light colors to keep things fresh for sunnier months.

This scratch off map is such a great addition to any gallery wall. The best part is you get to scratch off all the places you visit, making this more than just wall art. What a fun conversation starter to have in your home.

Gold Scratch off Map to document all your adventures.

Having pretty utensils makes any task at home or work more fun. We love gold handled scissors around here…but these all matte gold scissors are beautiful and super comfortable to use.

Super Comfortable Gold Scissors

The more vases the better, right?! Having some fresh stems at home really brighten any space. These geometric gold vases are modern yet classic. They look beautiful even when they aren’t full of bright blooms.

Matte Gold Geometric Vase

This mug is so beautiful and understated. The dainty metallic gold cactus contrasts the organic beauty of the ceramic handmade design. A very minimal and understated bit of dessert decor that’s very classic with a little hint of trendy design.

Beautiful Handmade Ceramic Cactus Mug


If you’re looking for a little pop of color in your spring and summer wardrobe check out this beautiful sunny mustard yellow clutch. We love the “envelope” shape design of course!

Beautiful Handmade Leather Clutch

I hope you love some of these sunshine inspired pieces and find a few to brighten your day! Happy Shopping!

Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers – FREE Download

Friends, I have an embarrassing confession to make…

Like so many, I grew up with Mister Rogers in my home on a daily basis. Also, being from Pittsburgh, he’s one of our proudest hometown heroes and a beloved icon. So naturally, I was ecstatic to hear the news about a movie being made and Tom Hanks playing the role of Fred Rogers. I was so excited about it, that I decided to watch an old episode of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood on YouTube. It was, of course, familiar and comforting, and brought a flood of emotions. I sat there, in my 30’s watching this children’s program and I cried! I couldn’t help myself!

His messages of kindness and positivity are simple and needed. I feel extremely lucky for the role in played in my life and countless others. So, in honor of his birthday today, I thought I would spread a little kindness by drawing one of his well-known quotes and offering it to you as a digital download!

The quote continues… “…There’s no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.” Cue the tears!

Maybe you need to hear this message yourself and practice a bit of self-love or maybe you know someone who could use this piece of simple encouragement from one of the best encourager’s the world has ever known. Either way, I hope you enjoy this little 5×7 print.

Free Digital Download:

Enter your name and email address in the form below and the download link will appear.

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

I love coming up with my own recipes. The downside of that is when people say “can I have the recipe?” or when my husband requests a dish I made so long ago I don’t remember what was in it. Keeping track of creations in my Keepsake Kitchen Diary solves this problem for me.

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

Even though pesto isn’t a very Irish dish, it is green, right?! So I chose to give this Kitchen Diary entry a little orange, green, and peach color scheme, in honor of the very green holiday! See my previous post on how to make this delicious pesto!

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

When people ask me now, I can just look up the beautiful spread in my Keepsake Kitchen Diary. Having the little tear out recipes in the back is so very handy for sharing.

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

I like adding little paper pieces and keepsakes to my recipes. Like this cute stamp with a red-haired girl. It’s nice to add in little, unexpected details to make going through your recipes more fun.

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

The notes section is the perfect place to make note of special occasions that a recipe is good for. This way when you are flipping through your Kitchen Diary for a dinner party or get together, you can easily see some great festive choices. I used a cute shamrock sticker to indicate this lucky holiday spread.

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

On the “Memories” side of the page, sometimes instead of recounting all the occasions for every dish, I note other important things in the “occasion” section.

For example, here I made a list of some of the ways I have used this homemade pesto for dishes and meals in the past. There are truly no “rules” for using your Keepsake Kitchen Diary. You can customize it however you wish and truly make it your own family cookbook!

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

I hope you enjoy this very versatile recipe. Keep some in your fridge to spice up all sorts of everyday dishes and stay tuned for some fun uses for this dish coming to the blog soon!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Basil Pesto Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #91

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #91, we’re documenting snapshots of our month. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #91 with coffee mugs from NSPottery, spring photo shoot pretties, and new projects

1. “Launch day of the Flora Collection! Love this mug from NSPottery.” – Valerie

2. “Just some of the prettiness from our Flora Collection photo shoot!” – Valerie

3“A peek of a current project!” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #91 with all things from the Spring 2018 Flora Collection photo shoot

4“My studio walls got a nice gallery refresh for Spring using a number of the new prints!” – Valerie

5. “Another photo shoot peek! I just love how these mugs from Ikea match the new Coffee & Flowers print perfectly!” – Valerie

6. “Shooting the Spring cards! Emily created a magical flat lay!” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #91 with Spring at Trader Joe's, new spring artwork for the studio and Strengths Based Marriage

7. Trader Joe’s is making me excited for Spring even though the Pittsburgh weather says otherwise!” – Valerie

8. “Another look at my studio refresh! The new “green love” chalkboard and “cocktails & flowers” makes such a pretty pairing!” – Valerie

9. “I picked this book up on a whim and I’m excited to read it. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a HUGE fan of personality testing. The Clifton Strengths Finder test is one of my favorites and that is what the book is based on!” – Valerie

In The Kitchen: A Spin On Classic Basil Pesto

Green foods are good for you, and good for St. Patty’s day…well any day!

I love coming up with recipes. A few years ago, after growing an abundance of basil, I decided to whip up my own spin on the classic, versatile pesto.

For this recipe, you can use more than just the basil leaves. Since you will be blending the basil, feel free to use some of the stalks as well.

I also like to use good quality olive oil. Once you start investing in the good stuff, you will never go back. The flavor of your pesto will have so much more depth.

You will also need some Pink Himalayan sea salt. You can use regular salt sure, but I have found the flavor is much better with sea salt.

You can also use fresh garlic or garlic powder, just adjust the amount to taste if you choose to use fresh cloves.

A food processor, blender, or any good grinder will do the trick! I use a NutriBullet and it makes just the right size batch of pesto.

For a little added flavor, feel free to add some onion. Yellow or red are my personal favorites, depending on what I have on hand.

Raw sunflower seeds are a great replacement for pine nuts. I personally prefer the flavor of sunflowers seeds since they give the pesto a nice texture variation and subtle, nutty flavor.

You simply blend the pesto until it is a nice spreadable texture. Add oil until you reach the consistency you desire.

Depending on whether you are using the pesto as a spread or in a pasta dish, you may want to blend it more or less.

The beauty of this recipe is that you do not need to measure anything! Everything can be adjusted to how much basil you have or how strong you prefer your flavors. To get you started, try these suggested measurements. * sunflower seeds, salt, pepper, garlic, onion are all subject to your taste, but start with less…you can always add more!

Basil Pesto:

  • 2 cups Fresh Basil
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds*
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea salt*
  • 1/4 tsp Cracked Black pepper*
  • Garlic (fresh or powder)*
  • Onion (fresh or powder)*

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

If you need to add more seasoning, make sure to do so in the blender so that you can mix your ingredients thoroughly.

When I come up with recipes that seem to be a hit, I always make sure to add them to my Keepsake Kitchen Diary. This is the perfect place to keep track of inventions to make again and again. I hope you enjoy!

How To Decorate Your Home With The Color Green

I change colors so frequently in our home…maybe too frequently. I love having a reason to play with a new shade. Every year around St. Patrick’s day I get to use one of my favorite color families, GREEN!

There are so many shades of green, and they don’t all play well together, but if you have a favorite shade of green, start there! I personally love emerald, kelly, and chartreuse greens.

Keep reading for my tips on how to decorate your home with the color green…

Plum and Green, great combination

Keep Large Pieces Neutral

In order to be able to use new colors in my decorating, I keep most of the large elements in our home neutral. My preference is for a mixture of cool and warm colors. What does that mean? Cool colors include greys and black accents. Warm colors include tans and creams. Doing this lets you have fun with accent colors.

Choose An Accent Color

Once you choose the shades of green you will use, choosing an accent color to go with it will help make your green decor more sophisticated than the shamrock clad St. Patty’s Day decor one usually sees this time of year. I chose to accent with mauve and plum this year, inspired by a painting I did last spring and a new vintage piece you’ll see below. These colors are only used sparingly but provide a nice break from the green shades.

Unify The Space With Small Elements

Sprinkling the green shades all around your home helps to keep it from overwhelming your space and provides unity. Small elements are best to change out colors: think throw pillows, vases, florals, books, and trays.

Some old books to add a little green to your life.

These black and white pillows are my favorite throw pillows. They go great with almost any color scheme I try out. Here I added a mauve pin-tuck and a deep green velvet pillow to the mix to make the room more festive.

mauve and green decor are great for springtime

Mix Textures

Adding a variety of textures helps keep the look clean. For example, I love using green glass. It’s light and translucent while the velvet or leather of the other decorative elements provides a heavier look.

Decorate in green for a sophisticated St. Patrick's Day Beautiful Green in glass and leather

Add Faux Foliage

Of course, I love adding faux foliage into the mix. When you find the good stuff, make sure it matches the shades of green you’re using and put it in a statement glass vase. This will tie any space together and give it a designer touch!

Here I used some beautiful blue/green, faux eucalyptus and these beautiful little tan sprigs that tie in the mauve and natural tones.

Decorating with Green Tips and Tricks

Contrast Deeper & Lighter Shades

When mixing shades of green, contrast deeper shades with ones that may be a bit lighter. This year I used a touch of chartreuse with my deeper emeralds. This was inspired by this marvelous vintage sewing basket that I recently added to my collection.

Can you spot the items from Lily and Val Loves? It’s perfect for green decorating.

Green and Chartreuse Colors for St. Patty's Decorating Tips

Use Artwork To Tie Your Color-Scheme Together

If you need something to tie your color-scheme together consider using artwork to make a statement. New art is easy to change out and can really bring color into any space.

I love the new “Love” chalk design on this beautiful, grown-up version of a green chalkboard. We are so careful with colors around here, and I think this shade of green will be the perfect fit for so many styles.

I hope that you enjoy incorporating some green into your home is a beautiful and classy way this spring. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!


Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection

Last week we launched the Lily & Val Spring Flora Collection and since this particular release was different than any we’ve ever done before, I thought I’d share a little behind-the-scenes o the making of the Spring Flora Collection!

What made these pieces so different was the addition of a colored chalkboard background! I had no idea how this concept was going to turn out, but in the creative spirit of trying something new, I gave it a whirl and documented the process along the way.

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

Colored Background Chalkboards

Here are the three paint swatches we chose- a mossy green, deep plum, and a golden mustard. The trick was choosing colors that would be Springy and pair with your Spring decor, yet dark enough for white chalk to show up and contrast well on top. I then took the swatches to Ace Hardware in Wexford, PA where they mixed me up a custom batch of chalkboard paint in those colors! I didn’t even know you could do that until I started exploring this process -pretty cool!

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

I painted over the black chalkboard paint on the normal panel board that I use.

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

Then, the moment of truth- drawing the artwork! The new chalkboard paint worked and I loved the result of the white chalk on top!

Here’s what the different pieces looked like as I was chalking them. Since the Spring Collection was all about flowers and botanicals, I chose lots of leaves and floral drawings to mix in with the lettering and quintessential chalkboard banners. These drawings reminded me of the roots of Lily & Val, but with a fresh take. It was back in 2012, I got my start with white chalk on black chalkboards and this reminded me of those early days.

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

Just like the L&V chalk art process that I developed back in 2012, I photographed the boards and use that photograph to produce each print and canvas. The reproductions keep the authentic look of the original chalkboards!

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

Preparing The Collection

In addition to the colored chalkboards, we also released four new floral-inspired prints and five cards! Drawing the artwork is just the beginning of what all goes into producing the collection!

Samples are ordered and visits to the printer are made! We test color swatches to ensure the printing is a true match to the files. We also choose envelope colors to perfectly coordinate with each card.

Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection

Then, it’s time to photograph the collection! Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for the Flora Collection. Emily, L&V’s Creative Coordinator, always does such an AMAZING job styling these shoots. It’s a meticulous process to convey in photos the feel we want the collection to have. This one was whimsical, botanical and a bit magical – everything I feel when I think of flowers.

Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection

Our shoot days are long and we are always exhausted (and even sore haha) by the end, but these are some of my favorite days. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch the products and your vision come to life.

Behind The Scenes: The Making of The Spring Flora Collection

Thank you to everyone for your support and kind words of this new collection! Thank you for following my journey and allowing me to experiment, try new things, and produce what’s in my heart!

Be sure to check out the entire Flora Collection! Below, you will also find a short video explaining the new chalkboard prints. Enjoy!

Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection Lily & Val Introduces Colored Chalkboard as part of their Spring 2018 Flora Collection

Meet The Flora Collection – Lily & Val Spring 2018

Lily & Val Flora Collection Spring 2018

Friends, today is an exciting day because we released the Lily & Val Flora Collection and I can finally share what I’ve been working on…keep reading for all the details of this new collection filled with flowers, blooms and whimsical botanicals!

Lily & Val Flora Collection Spring 2018

The big news: I am so excited to introduce three chalkboard designs with colored backgrounds!!! Take a peek at this short video to learn more!

Each color was custom mixed into chalkboard paint and drawn on with my favorite white chalk. As with classic L&V chalk art, I then photograph the chalkboards to produce each print and canvas! I think they are such a pretty, fresh, spring update to classic L&V chalk art and they were so much fun to dream up!

“Stay Curious” in Deep Plum

Never let your imagination slip away. This darling chalkboard print elicits moodiness with its deep plum hue, while staying fresh and unique for spring. A wonderful way to try new things and bring modern colors into your spring palette

Stay Curious Deep Plum Chalkboard Art by Lily & Val

“Love” in Mossy Green

This uniquely hued green chalkboard print & canvas was designed to conjure feelings of growth, revitalization, and nature. Simple but impactful, it is a gorgeous accent piece to the rest of the Flora collection and other L&V favorites.

Green Botanical Love Chalkboard by Lily & Val

Oh What A Beautiful Day in Golden Mustard

Let some sunshine in, lovely! This mustard-toned print features all the fixin’s for a cheery home. Daisies and a whimsical ribbon bring the print to life, while the basic composition ensures it can work just about anywhere—from your kitchen to your baby’s nursery to your office.

Oh What a Beautiful Day Mustard Chalkboard by Lily & Val

That brings us to the other new designs in the Flora Collection! Inspired by the idea that “flowers are always a good idea,” we paired flowers with two of our favorite things…

Cocktails & Flowers

Sprouting with style and grace, this print marries our affinity for tasty sips and breathtaking blooms. With gentle blush, green, and yellow tones, this sophisticated and versatile spring decor item will brighten any space with chicness.

Cocktails and Flowers Wall Art Print by Lily & Val Cocktails and Flowers Wall Art Print by Lily & Val

Coffee & Flowers

Channel your inner coffee shop owner and invite this fun, vintage-inspired print into your quaint cafe (or kitchen, same thing). To us, nothing makes a morning brighter than a bouquet of flowers and the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans.

Coffee and Flowers Wall Art Print by Lily & Val Coffee and Flowers Wall Art Print by Lily & Val

Up next, a print that allows springtime to be synonymous with softness…

Live Simply

When you add this elegant print to your surroundings, a renewed sense of calmness awaits. And, thanks to its slightly abstract design and soft lettering, this print makes an ideal companion for gallery walls missing that coveted, airy feel.

Live SImply Botanical Wall Art By Lily & Val Live SImply Botanical Wall Art By Lily & Val

And lastly for our new prints and canvas, the latest L&V cocktail recipe illustration for an Elderflower Gin Fizz! 

Illustrated cocktail recipe art- Elderflower Gin Fizz Illustrated cocktail recipe art- Elderflower Gin Fizz

As part of the collection, we also released five new cards! They include a much-requested Easter card, as well as two new Mother’s Day cards! The “cheers” and “thinking of you” cards are bright and pretty for Spring, but they would be beautiful to send all year long.

Spring cards as part of the Lily & Val Flora Collection Happy Easter Card by Lily & Val Happy mother's day card by Lily & Val Cheers card by Lily & ValLove You Mom Mother's Day Card by Lily & Val

Also, to celebrate the launch and also help you refresh your walls for Spring, we are giving buy one get one half off on ALL L&V Canvas for a limited time! There’s no coupon code necessary. Start shopping!

You can read more about L&V canvas here.

Lily & Val Live Simply Canvas Wall Art

I truly think flowers are always a good idea—especially as a new season is budding. I hope the “Flora” collection will brighten your home and heart this spring! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Lily and Val Loves #2- Favorite Green Goodness

In honor of St. Patrick’s day and all of the spring newness we anticipate, we are featuring some of our favorite green products.

Green is a versatile color. There are so many shades to play with, but they don’t all play nicely together. Everyone has there favorite shade of green and there are great products out there to match each one!

The key to loving green is to find your shade. I personally love emerald green, jade, and chartreuse. Olive, kelly, and mint green are also great colors to search for when trying to find your favorite green items.

Check out some of my favorite green things in all the different shades below!

I have had this chartreuse portable turntable for a few years now. It is a beautiful decor piece that is just the right size to listen to your favorite vinyls anywhere!

Chartreuse Portable Turntable


Springtime is the time for cute lightweight jackets like this little olive green number! I love the gathered detailing that adds a feminine detail to the shape.

This trench has a beautiful olive color and feminine gathering details.

Another staple in any closet…a cute and durable rain boot. These low-rise olive green boots go perfectly with the raincoat above, and are great with so many looks.

Perfect style to blend with any rainy day outfit.


If emerald green is your thing, this chic handmade leather backpack is for you. I love all of the designs on this site, but this modern look is great for students, professionals, or just the occasional day trip.

Beautiful emerald green chic backpack

Who doesn’t love a good leather oxford? The fun unexpected jade toe and heel details add a bit of whimsy to this classic style.

Jade green handmade leather shoes with camel color accents.

If you aren’t ready to commit to all things green, start with some small accent pieces. This vintage style jade ring with gold details makes just the right size color statement for even the most color timid.

gold and jade ring handmade vintage style

A true St. Patty’s day classic is kelly green. Colorful glassware is a fun and easy item to change around for get-togethers or just a change of pace. These bubble glass green tumblers are durable and beautiful.I love the vintage feel of these kelly green bubble glass highball tumblers.Mint green glass is beautiful in any shape! These little bee tumblers have a vintage flair and are perfect for spring and summer entertaining.How cute is the little bee detail on this mint green glass?

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

Friends, I could not be more excited to finally reveal a project and collaboration I’ve been bursting to share! Introducing Lily & Val for Mixbook wedding photo books!!

Keep reading to see both styles and a peek inside each one…

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

There are two books with different themes to choose from- one is an elegant chalk style book and the other is a soft, more neutral book with hand-drawn botanicals and hand written details. There are literally endless options to put together the details and hand lettering “stickers” to create your custom book! Mixbook also offers a variety of sizes for your finished album!

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

The Elegant Chalk Style Book:

Here are a few peeks inside the pages of the Chalk Style book! There are chalkboard backgrounds as well as soft, light-colored backgrounds to contrast the dark. It has mint and pink floral elements and adorable details like borders, corner elements and even chalk dust that you can strategically place!

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

I love how this chalkboard scroll banner looks placed on a white page! Of course, there are many hand lettered phrases to choose from and you can pair them with the MANY fonts offered by Mixbook when you customize your book.

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

The Soft, Neutral Botanical Book:

It was so much fun to dream up the pieces and backgrounds for this light and airy book! It’s filled with hand-drawn, pen and ink botanicals, elegant hand lettering, and an array of neutral backgrounds in varying shades of gray, ivory, and blush.

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

One of my favorite parts about this book is the penciled lettering! It’s meant to feel whispy and hand written. It adds a soft texture to the pages and just feels so organic and fresh. I have been loving this style so much lately!

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

I really do think this book would work with mostly any wedding style and bring those soft, romantic touches to your album!

Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books Lily & Val For Mixbook Custom Wedding Photo Books

I hate to even admit this, but I’ve been married since 2012 and I do not have a printed wedding album! I’m telling myself it’s because I was just waiting for these! It’s finally going to happen! I can’t wait to hear which book you choose for yourself. To play a tiny role in your love stories just means the world to me.

Shop the Chalk-Style Book and the Soft Neutral Book.

I can’t wait to see how you make it your own!