DIY: Shabby French cake stand

29 May 2015

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites / Bilute de cocos cu ciocolata neagra

If I would have to describe these dark chocolate coconut bites in only a few words, I would say: 
perfection in small portions
What is there more to say, right? :) They are just perfect.  
And homemade, which is a big plus, because you get to control all the ingredients and you know exactly what you use. They are vegan, gluten free, you don't have to bake them and are super easy to make. Which makes them THE perfect choice for a quick but luscious dessert.

The only problem is ... they are so good, you might be tempted not to share :) 


Daca ar trebui sa descriu in cateva cuvinte bilutele de cocos cu ciocolata neagra, as spune:
perfectiune in portii mici.
Ar mai trebui spus ceva? :) Chiar sunt pur si simplu perfecte.
Si sunt facute in casa, ceea ce e un mare plus, pentru ca detii controlul asupra tuturor ingredientelor si stii exact ce pui in ele. Sunt vegane, fara gluten, nu trebuie coapte si sunt super usor de facut. Ceea ce le face alegerea PERFECTA atunci cand vine vorba de un desert rapid si savuros.

Singura problema e ca ... sunt atat de bune incat s-ar putea sa fiti tentati sa nu le impartiti cu nimeni :)

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites


♥ 2 cups shredded coconut  3-4 tablespoons honey  5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil*
♥ 160 g dark chocolate
 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


1. Use a food processor or a blender and pulse the shredded coconut a few times.
2. Transfer to a bowl and add the honey, the melted coconut oil and the vanilla.
3. Incorporate all the ingredients using your hands. 
4. Before giving each ball its round shape, keep the mixture in your palm and squeeze it for a few seconds. Make 16-18 small balls following the same process.
5. Put them in the fridge for about half an hour.
6. Melt the chocolate by putting it in a small bowl over a simmering pan with water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pan. Stir continuously until smooth and silky. 
7. Remove the coconut balls from the fridge and roll each ball into the melted chocolate until completely covered, using two forks. Let the chocolate drip off the fork and back into the bowl before putting each coconut ball on wax paper. 
8. Put them in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. 

Bilute de cocos cu ciocolata neagra


450 g fulgi de cocos  3-4 linguri miere  5 linguri ulei de cocos virgin
 160 g ciocolata neagra
 1 pastaie de vanilie sau 1 lingurita extract de vanilie (optional)


1. Puneti fulgii de cocos intr-un robot de bucatarie si apasati butonul ''pulse'' de cateva ori.
2. Transferati cocosul intr-un bol si adaugati mierea, uleiul de cocos topit si vanilia.
3. Amestecat toate ingredientele cu mana.
4. Inainte de a da fiecarei bilute forma rotunda, tineti umplutura in podul palmei si strangeti pret de cateva secunde. Faceti 16-18 bilute urmand acelasi proces.
5. Puneti-le in frigider pentru aproximativ o jumatate de ora.
6. Topiti ciocolata intr-un bol, pe bain marie, punand bolul intr-o oala cu putina apa, care fiebe la foc mic. Aveti grija ca bolul sa nu atinga fundul oalei. Amestecati continuu pana ciocolata devine moale si lucioasa ca matasea.
7. Scoateti bilutele de cocos din frigider si dati fiecare biluta prin ciocolata topita, pana este acoperita complet, folosind doua furculite. Lasati ciocolata sa curga de pe furculita inapoi in bol, inainte de a pune fiecare biluta de cocos pe hartie de copt.
8. Puneti la frigider pana ciocolata se intareste.

The waiting part is the hardest part, trust me. Especially now that the whole house smells amazing from all that coconut oil.
It's really important that you use coconut oil for this recipe and not other oils because coconut oil will harden and will keep all that yummy mixture together.

Partea cu asteptatul e cea mai grea, credeti-ma. Mai ales acum ca toata casa miroase atat de bine de la uleiul de cocos.
E foarte important sa folositi ulei de cocos pentru aceasta reteta si nu alt tip de ulei, pentru ca uleiul de cocos se va intari si va lega bine de tot amestecul delicios facut mai devreme.

I am a huge fan of coconut oil and I am crazy for Nutiva coconut oil* lately.
I absolutely love it, if you want to give it a try, you can find it on Amazon* or iHerb

Here are some interesting facts about coconut oil.  

Did you know that ...?

Coconut oil is considered to be a superfood and can be used on so many things, whether it is for cooking purpose (like supercharging a smoothie or many other foods or drinks with beneficial saturated fats) or for body care products (you can use it like it is as massage oil, or you can use it to make homemade lotions or soap, toothpaste and many others).    

So you'll even get an extra bonus after making the coconut balls - your hands will be extra soft and super hydrated and they will smell coconutty divine, all natural and healthy! 


Eu sunt fan ulei de cocos si in ultima perioada sunt innebunita dupa uleiul de cocos Nutiva*. Pur si simplu il ador! Daca vreti si voi, il puteti comanda online de pe Amazon* sau de pe iHerb, in magazinele din Romania nu l-am vazut inca.

Iata cateva chestii interesante despre uleiul de cocos.

Stiati ca ...?

Uleiul de cocos e considerat a fi un superaliment care poate fi folosit pentru o gramada de lucruri, fie ca e vorba de gatit (cum ar fi energizarea si incarcarea unui smoothie sau a altor mancaruri sau bauturi cu grasimi saturate benefice)  sau in scopuri cosmetice (cum ar fi folosirea lui direct ca ulei de masaj sau ca si ingredient in realizarea lotiunilor si a sapunurilor homemade, a pastei de dinti, etc). 

Va veti alege si cu un extra bonus dupa ce terminati de facut bilutele de cocos - niste maini foarte fine si super hidratate, parfumate de un miros divin de cocos, in varianta naturala si sanatoasa!

Good to know when buying coconut oil 

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and it starts to melt at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so depending on the temperature outside, you can buy it in a solid or liquid state.  

Make sure you carefully read the labels when trying to buy coconut oils, it seems some of them are not suitable for eating and can only be used in making body care products.


Bine de stiut atunci cand vreti sa cumparati ulei de cocos 

Uleiul de cocos se afla in stare solida la temperatura camerei si incepe sa se topeasca la 24 grade Celsius, asa ca, in functie de temperatura de afara, il puteti cumpara in stare lichida sau solida.

Aveti grija sa cititi cu atentie eticheta, se pare ca unele dintre ele nu sunt destinate consumului alimentar, putand fi folosite doar pentru realizarea produselor cosmetice.

Hope I convinced you to give these dark chocolate coconut goodies a try. And maybe decide to eventually share them with your loved ones! :)

Sper ca v-am convins sa incercati si voi minunatiile astea de cocos cu ciocolata neagra si sper ca, pana la urma, veti decide ca merita sa fie impartite cu cei dragi! :)

Don't forget to smile / Nu uitati sa zambiti,

Recipe inspired and slightly adapted from a recipe found on Pinterest, from Pinch of Yum

Reteta originala am gasit-o pe Pinterest, le apartine celor de la Pinch of Yum. 


*This post contains affiliate links of products I love and recommend. See more of my favorites here.

For home decor ideas, DIY projects and homemade tips & tricks, follow Dreams Factory here:


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Sharing with lovely people: French Country Cottage |  Shabby Art Boutique
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16 May 2015

A little bit of happiness and a French tour of our home, filled with lilac and handmade decorations

Don't you just love when things tend to fall into place on their own, when you least expect it?

I had some crazy busy days working in the shop lately and I was so upset when I realized I didn't even get the chance to buy some lilac this year! Where and how does time fly so quickly, it beats me. But sometimes I just wish it would slow down a little (or even freeze!), allowing us ... to breathe.

You can only imagine my excitement when I accidentally spotted that one of my neighbors still had some blooming lilac trees! I decided to ask for a few cuttings and he was very kind to give me ... almost half of one lilac tree! :)

I was soooo happy! No longer tired. No longer busy ... I instantly decided to take the day off to arrange the flowers, take pictures, decompress and enjoy a little bit of at-home aromatherapy. Just finding happiness in small things.
Note to self: I should do that more often! :)

So here is a French tour of our home, filled with lilac, handmade stuff and a little bit of happiness. I could say that our home's style is a mix of this and that - some dreaming of the beach Cottage, romantic and delicate Shabby Chic, white and airy Scandinavian.  
We finished the house almost three years ago and we filled it with lots of lovely simple things that we like. I will highlight the decorations/transformations we've made ourselves (me and Mr. Dreamy) with links to their original posts, just in case you love them too and want to make some of your own! :)

First I gathered some of my favorite French vases, pitchers, painted jars, jugs, baskets and even a cupcake stand and filled them all with these lovely-and-delicate-all-time-favorite-flowers! Below you can see a Frenchified group hug :)  All that amazing lilac in one place, before arranging the vases in strategic points around the house. Can you smell that heavenly fragrance? :)

 I used the French pitcher, some Shabby Chic candle holders (from Ikea, all painted and distressed), a Shabby French sign (made from wood, painted and distressed, decorated with decals), a Shabby wooden board and a French clock (also handmade) and rapidly styled the dresser under the stairs.

Then I used a small enamel pitcher, also from Ikea, to which I added some faux rusting on the edges with paint and a French graphic (I'll show you soon how to make one yourself) and placed it on my kitchen table. Yes, the same table that I painted, distressed and decorated with decals with another beautiful French graphic! :)

On the counter top in my kitchen I put some lilac on this lovely Shabby cupcake stand that I use a lot in my home for all kind of things ... beside holding cupcakes and mini tarts :) On the left you can see one of the French made pots with some small lemon trees I planted last year and on the right the painted jars I've made to reorganize my kitchen. Lots of handmade goodies as you can see! :)

In the living room I put some amazing lilac in another enamel pitcher from Ikea and placed it on my coffee table using for styling a round wooden plate I painted and distressed a while ago. When building the house we opted for lots of open spaces, so here is a view of the kitchen from the living room.

The coffee table* from the living room is from Ikea but of course I revamped it with a little painting and distressing! :) I used some of the amazing milk paint from General Finishes* and even added a cottage style table top, made from reclaimed wood. Hopefully I'll show you how to also do that soon! :)
P.S. As you can see the lighting was kind of poor, so I had to switch on all the lights to do this photo-shooting.
Note to self 2: I should learn how to use my camera other than on automatic mode! :)

By the window I used a flower stand from Ikea and I filled a basket with some more of that beautiful lilac. This is definitely one of my favorite places for reading ... by my French windows that I absolutely adore! :)

In the bedroom I put some lovely lilac in a small milk jug with French touches for an extra aromatherapy session :) I arranged it on my nightstand with a Shabby candle holder and a simple but beautiful lamp from Ikea. And one of the books I'm reading right now - The China Study, a life changing book that I highly recommend if you plan to become vegetarian someday or are just looking for a new, eye opening perspective on health & nutrition.

In the office I used a simple white pot filled with lilac, a beautiful white angel and my essential oils reed diffuser with its beautiful French script angel wings. And my lovely French table painted with milk paint* that I'm sure you already know by now :)

I had some broken lilac branches and decided to keep all the little flowers and let them dry in a lovely basket tray that I have painted white a few weeks ago.
Aren't these delicate beauties just amazing? :)

Only after writing this post and mentioning all these handmade decorations around our home I have realized how many of them are created/transformed by me and Mr. Dreamy!!!  That's another bit of extra happiness for me, if I may say so :)

It's so easy to add a little bit of charm and character to your home, wouldn't you agree?
What about you, do you love making and adding handmade items to your home?

What about that extra happiness, where do you like to find it?

Don't forget to smile,


Post Scriptum

As you can see around my home and my blog, I'm in love with all things French, so I've created a special board on Pinterest called Frenchified ♥, for beautiful French things with Shabby Chic, Cottage and Vintage touches. If you want to contribute to this board and pin your favorite home decor ideas and DIY projects, all Frenchified and beautified, please follow me on Pinterest and leave me a message below with your pinterest ID. I will gladly add you.
Happy pinning! :)

Follow Diana / Dreams Factory's board Frenchified ♥ on Pinterest.


*This post contains affiliate links of products I love and recommend.

For more home decor ideas, DIY projects and homemade tips & tricks, follow Dreams Factory here:


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01 May 2015

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati simplu un buchet frantuzesc

EN: Beautiful fresh flowers will always make the perfect gift for any occasion, so here is a quick and easy DIY SIY (style it yourself) project that you can make with things you probably already have in your home. It will only take you 5 - 10 minutes from start to finish to style and add a little bit of French chicness to a flower bouquet, turning it into a lovely gift.      

RO: Florile frumoase, naturale, vor fi mereu alegerea ideala pentru un cadou, in orice ocazie, asa ca azi m-am gandit sa va arat o transformare DIY SIY (style it yourself) super rapida si usoara, pe care o puteti realiza cu lucruri pe care probabil ca le aveti deja prin casa. O sa va ia aproximativ 5-10 minute, de la inceput la sfarsit, pentru a stiliza si a adauga un strop de farmec frantuzesc unui buchet de flori, transformandu-l intr-un cadou deosebit.    

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

Here is what you'll need / Iata de ce aveti nevoie:

a lovely flowers bouquet  | white parchment baking paper | scissors |  raffia ribbon* or twine | distressed French tags | colored ribbon
Yes, that's right, white parchment baking paper! :)
I didn't have any white wrapping possibilities at that time, so I did a little bit of improvising! :)

un buchet de flori frumos | hartie de copt alba | foarfeca | sfoara de rafie sau orice alta sfoara | etichete frantuzesti invechite | panglica colorata
Da, ati vazut bine, hartie de copt alba ! :)
N-am avut alte variante la momentul respectiv, asa ca am improvizat un pic! :)

How to style a French bouquet/ Cum sa stilizati un buchet frantuzesc 

Using scissors, cut the parchment paper into several pieces (you can use a A4 sheet for guidance) and partially folding each sheet in half, add them around the bouquet, one by one - take the bouquet in one hand and just add and arrange the sheets with your other hand.
Hold the parchment paper sheets tight and tie them together using some raffia ribbon.

Taiati cu foarfeca mai multe bucati din hartia de copt (puteti folosi o coala A4 ca model) si, indoind partial fiecare bucata in jumatate, adaugati-le in jurul buchetului, una cate una. Tineti practic buchetul intr-o mana, adaugand si aranjand bucatile taiate din hartia de copt, cu cealalta mana.
Strangeti-le bine si legati-le strans cu ajutorul sfoarei din rafie.
How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

Cut off the rebel leaves form the bottom and add another folded sheet on the lower part to mask the raffia ribbon and some of the margins of the folded parchment paper added previously. This will give the whole assemble a clean look. 
Tie some colored ribbon and make a little delicate bow.  It already looks amazing, right? :)   

Taiati eventualele frunzele rebele din partea de jos a buchetului si adaugati inca o bucata de hartie de copt, indoita, pentru a masca sfoara din rafie si o parte din marginile indoite ale bucatilor de hartie adaugate mai devreme. Acest lucru va conferi intregului ansamblu un aspect ingrijit.
Legati niste panglica colorata si faceti o fundita delicata. Deja arata super tare, nu-i asa?:)

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

Now let's move to my favorite part, the tres chic Frenchify-ing part.
Remember the distressed and waterproofed French labels I've made a few weeks ago with lovely French graphics from The Graphics Fairy? Well, I really hope you tried making some of your own, because now it's another perfect time to put them to use! :)


Sa trecem acum la partea mea preferata, adaugarea efectelor frantuzite tres chic. 
Mai tineti minte etichetele frantuzesti invechite si rezistente la apa, realizate acum cateva saptamani, cu imagini frumoase de pe The Graphics Fairy? Ei bine, sper ca v-ati facut si voi cateva, pentru ca acum e momentul sa le punem la treaba! :)

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

You have two choices.

You could punch a hole on the right or left corner of your French label to easily turn it into a tag and you could attach it to your colored ribbon. 


Aveti doua variante.
Puteti gauri eticheta in dreapta sau stanga sus, pentru a o transforma intr-un tag de agatat la cadouri si o puteti lega de panglica colorata folosita mai devreme.
How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

Or you could leave the French label like it is and just add it between your lovely flowers.


Sau puteti sa lasati eticheta asa cum este si sa o adaugati pur si simplu printre florile frumoase.

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

Either way, your bouquet will look classy and beautiful. And amazing.
And whimsical. And chic. And charming :)

And what a unique handmade gift will be for someone special!
Not to mention that you'll have the satisfaction  you've just SIY (style it yourself) in only a few minutes. :)


In orice varianta, buchetul vostru va arata elegant si frumos. Si uimitor.
Si fantastic. Si tres chic. Si fermecator! :)

Si ce cadou handmade deosebit va fi pentru cineva special!
Sa nu mai vorbim de faptul ca veti avea satisfactia unui lucru stilizat chiar de voi in doar cateva minute. :)

How to easily style a French bouquet / Cum sa stilizati usor un buchet frantuzesc

I hope you like it and decided to give it a try!
Would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.
And don't forget to share it with your friends and family. Pinterest or any other social media will do! :)
Have a great week-end, don't forget to smile! ♥


Sper sa va placa si sa incercati si voi!
M-ar bucura mult sa va aud parerile, puteti lasa un comentariu mai jos.
Si nu uitati sa dati share pentru prieteni si familie. Pe Pinterest sau pe orice alte canale media! :)
Sa aveti un week-end frumos, nu uitati sa zambiti! ♥


*This post contains affiliate links of products I love and recommend.

Post Scriptum

If you are feeling curious or you are just wondering about the French background that you've just seen in these post pictures, let me tell you, that is my Shabby French table that I've made a while ago and still love like crazy :)
Come check my step by step painting tutorial and an easy image transfer & painting technique I did for this table.
Maybe you'll even feel adventurous and try making one yourself! :) 

Daca sunteti curiosi sau poate doar va intrebati ce-i cu background-ul frantuzesc pe care tocmai l-ati vazut in pozele din postarea de azi ... este masa frantuzeasca cu aer Shabby Chic pe care am facut-o acum ceva vreme si pe care o iubesc la fel de mult! :)  
Haideti sa vedeti tutorialul complet, cu toti pasii parcursi pentru realizarea ei, precum si o metoda usoara de transfer de imagine & pictura.
Poate chiar  va luati inima in dinti si incercati sa faceti si voi una! :)

For more home decor ideas, DIY projects and homemade tips & tricks, follow Dreams Factory here:


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Sharing with lovely people: Shabby Art Boutique |  French Country Cottage  | The Graphics Fairy |
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