Santa's Helper: Stocking Photos

I wanted to get one last post in before Christmas because I think this is a handy little idea for stockings. I grew up with a stocking that my mom made and embroidered all of our names on them. If you are like me and not so inclined to make your stockings, let alone embroider them, this is a cute idea so everyone knows who's stocking is who's. And more importantly, so Santa doesn't get them confused!

I found these mini silver frames last year at Restoration Hardware (unfortunately they don't have the exact same ones that are as small) after looking here and there for a bit and they are perfect! I printed one photo of each of us in black and white and then hung them on our stockings. The fun thing with this, is that you can change up the photos every year if you like with goofy photos, or as your kids grow and no longer look like that sweet little baby they once were. My personal photo may be ever eternal at my age now.

I hope you find this useful - I know Santa will!


Feeling Twiggy This Christmas

I had to share this ultra simple Christmas decoration with everyone before the holidays...which is just around the corner. Eeck! I am not ready! At any rate, I have used this same branch for several years now in various ways and this is my favorite. I look forward to putting simple red ornament balls on my branch that my husband scavenged for in our back yard. I have it placed in an antiqued glass vase with a floral frog at the bottom to anchor the branch and moss around the base to hide the floral frog. It's the easiest AND cheapest decoration ever and I just love the simplicity of the silhouette it creates. So go out, find a branch, put mini Christmas balls on it and you have instant and elegant holiday decor!

King of Opulent Home Furnishings: One Kings Lane

One of my new obsessions is One Kings Lane. I have to give credit to my friend for this find and I thank her for it. It's an online site offering high end home decor with major discounts. They offer just a few brands every few days and notify you via email, so you have to keep checking to see what's being offered that day. I can't say I have bought anything yet, or love every brand that comes through, but it has been so fun to learn about brands I may have otherwise never heard of. Or maybe some day I will find that one piece that is absolutely perfect and wouldn't have found anywhere else. So far some of the brands that have come through that I already love are Roost (always have cool home decor) and Serena & Lily (sweet nursery decor). Arte Italia is coming up tomorrow and I can't wait to see what products are going to be listed since we are collecting their dinnerware for our china - love them!!

Anyway, it's free to sign up and browse the sales as they come through. Take a peak if you have a chance. You never know if you will find that magical piece for your home at maybe a manageable price. Enjoy!


Birds in Flight Mobile

Ok, if I can just get back on the blog train. Ever since Vivienne was born I feel like I am not out in the "real" world to find inspirations to post about. Everything is focused around her - finding the best baby bowl, toys, clothes, etc...I have become such a mom!!! When did that happen? Oh yeah, 11 months ago.

So this post isn't straying from the baby bubble I am in, but well...here it is. I have a crafty heart, but when it comes to actually doing crafts I tend to shy away because I don't want to deal with all the mess and sometimes it costs more to make something than going out and buying it. However, I wanted to make something for my daughter before she was born and I couldn't find a mobile I could stomach so my mobile idea was "born".

I wanted to incorporate birds in to her nursery to go along with the nature/branch theme I was creating. I used heavy wool fabric for the birds with contrasting yarn in a whip stitch. They were super simple and I could make it up as I went along (my kind of craft!). My husband then went out in the backyard to hunt for the perfect straight sticks to hang the stuffed birds from. It's been many months now that Vivienne's mobile has been hanging from her crib and I don't' know how much she gazes up at her mobile and thanks her mom for taking the time to make something so sweet just for her...but I feel good as her mom that I made something for my sweet pea. Oh and it cost less than $10!


Vivienne's Baptism: Chic on the Cheap

We baptized my daughter, Vivienne, last month and threw a reception afterwards. I had fun planning it, but it wasn't without constraints. So here is what I was working with: as inexpensive as I could without compromising elegance, as easy as I could make it without having to hire a troop of staff to do it for me. With those goals in mind I set out to give my daughter a sweet an elegant party.
I found a cute little hall in downtown Kirkland called Heritage Hall that only charged $60 an hour - how perfect!! That way I didn't need to clean my house from top to bottom or rent tables and chairs to be brought in. And it was simply adorable. I ended up renting table clothes which cost about the same as the hall rental, but if I compromised on those, the tables would have looked pretty shabby and would have ruined my whole asthetic. Fine. I will bite it on that one. Then I wanted table runners to dress up the tables since my flowers were going to be minimal. I came up with the idea to by burlap since it is SUPER cheap and then I cut the width in three to maximize my yardage and then my mother-in-law did a quick stitch one inch in and then we frayed them to give a casual finish to them. It only cost $22 for nine table runners!! I also was resourceful with our local farmers market and talked to one of the flower vendors. He gave me his card to call him a day or two before the event and I could go out there to get as many flowers as I wanted. I spent $120 for soft pink peonies that were to die for. If I went to a florist I would have been charged up the wazoo!

Next was food which could have been a huge production to do on my own or hugely expensive to have it all catered. I decided to have mini sliders catered and found a local catering company that allowed me to just do the sliders (The Catering Company). They were fantastic. I then bought large bags of fancy Kettle chips and dressed them up in wax paper baggies tied with some hemp string. Super cheap, yet fun and elegant looking! The rest of the food I kept to just simple finger munchies, like feta, olives, marinated cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and strawberries with lime curd and sweet sour cream. And for dessert everyone loves mini cupcakes and there is less guilt involved if it's mini, right?

Also to save money, I did the invitations myself and printed them at home. Everything turned out wonderfully and thankfully despite not having an afternoon nap, Vivienne was an angel all day and was flirting with the guests. One of the things I like most about throwing a party is how creative I can be to make it look as inviting fun and elegant without just throwing money here and there to do so.

I've included a few photos of the invite, tables and one of my daughter.


Nothing Twisted About Modern Twist

A good friend of mine gave me these wonderful coasters for Christmas from Modern Twist and I had seen them before and liked them. Since I have had these coasters I have fell more in love with them. They are the most practical, yet are super stylish. The fact that they are rubber, means they won't scratch any surfaces or be ruined by any water. And to boot, if you look on their website, they have some fabulous placematts and drinkware accessories that would make fantastic little gifts.


Jewelry Doesn't Grow on Trees...or Does it?

Wow! It has been a loooong while since I last posted a blog! My daughter was born January 8th and since then I have been playing Mom and trying to figure out how to be a parent. Things are starting to get back to a "new normal" and I am itching to get back in to the swing of things.

I had this tree sculpture since before my daughter was born, but it was antique gold with a dark wood base. I wanted it to be white to showcase the jewelry I planned to hang on it. Months later my husband graciously painted it white for me and it looks soooo much better! I have seen the idea before in various places and looked for a tree sculpture I liked, but they were all so pricey. I came across the one in the photo at Target and knew that I could easily change it to my exact liking without too much effort. It's a great way to show off your favorite jewelry and also dress up your vanity or dresser.


DIY: Magnetic Chalkboard

When designing the nursery, the room already had a niche in the wall meant to have a built in desk. My husband built a simple white desk with floating cabinets on either side. I wanted to use the space to it's fullest and so I thought about creating a pin board for the backsplash. Then as the thought process evolved we thought of placing a chalkboard there instead as long as it was magnetic so you can place photos or whatever little girls like to display.

It was a simple solution and to help guide us along, I found this guideline from good ol' Martha Stewart. We found some metal from the local metal yard and they cut it to size. Then with a little chalkboard spray paint we had a custom backsplash that is both functional and adds some contrast to the all white desk. When our little tike gets older she will be able to place all her treasured memories and photos there as well as draw and write messages.