Children's Tee Pee: Can I Have One?

Well hello there! It seems that when I am pregnant I have a hard time keeping up with my blog. We have number two on the way and I am pretty excited, nervous and clueless as to what to expect. I think I am getting in to my nesting mode again, but since we don't know if we are having a boy or girl yet, Viv is still reaping the rewards.

I got inspired by a little birdie to make a tee pee for Vivienne and No. 2. After seeing a few online, I what was blown away by the prices. I was not so blown away however, by the designs. I thought it would be fun to design one that was a little rustic and authentic, but with a modern sensibility. So here is my take on a children's tee pee. I used natural cotton canvas, jute twine, bamboo poles and cotton rope for the ties.I was going to wait until Christmas to give it to Viv, but I was the little kid in the scenario and couldn't wait to get in it myself. So we now have a tee pee in our house and I quite love it.

Remember making forts as a child and wanting to have your own private space? Well I think I still want that as an adult and climb in with Viv to read stories. She let's me in for now, but give her 6 months or so and I may be banned from her private abode.

I am thinking of putting them on Etsy, so if you are interested in your own custom tee pee, let me know!


Wedding Shower & Tears

What a week it was! Not only did I have a shower to host for my good friend, but I came down with a cold/flu (not sure which it was) during the week. Having a cold didn't help me pick away at my to-do list by any means. After dragging my feet around all week, I did manage to get most of my tasks accomplished. And the shower turned out to be a wonderful success.

I was mostly worried about making it as special as I could for Andrea. She is a dear friend and I wanted her to know how much she deserved a special day in her honor. I didn't get as many photos taken as I would have liked, but I did take a few. I tried my best at tying all the elements of the party together, from the invitations (see post here) all the way to the end with the parting gifts. I used the flowers from the invitations where I could and thought it made a nice touch on the notepad gift tags reading "Mahalo". She is getting married in Hawaii so I introduced a slight Hawaiin theme without going overboard.

To keep with the Hint-O Hawaiin idea, for the food we served (this was brunch) strata, garlic roasted potatoes, baby green salad, strawberries with lime curd or oh-so-yummy and easy chocolate sauce, vegan coconut cupcakes and vegan mini chocolate donuts from Seattle's Mighty-O. To clear up the vegan bit, my friend is allergic to dairy and soy so I had to at least try to serve most of the food for her to eat. To side step the strata part, my mom graciously made her an omlette sans cheese. And for drinks, we served mimosas tropic style with champagne and tropical juice accompanied with the drink umbrellas I made a while back (see picture here) which were a big hit!

The flowers Andrea's mom brought were just gorgeous and made the table sing! She put them in silver vases that were her grandmother's which made it all the more sentimental. And if that doesn't pull your heart strings, her long time friend Devon put together the sweetest slideshow of the cute couple that had us all teared up at the end! All in all I think it was a success and I just hope that Andrea enjoyed herself and knows how much I and all the wonderful ladies who came love her to bits.

PS - I made her an embroidered pillow which I will share in a few days or early next week. It was way more work I had intended, but in the end I am pleased how it came out.


Outdoors vs. Indoors

Finally we have some sun and heat here in the Northwest!!! We are starting to use our outside patio again and it seems like summer is half over already! In my longing to be outside, I have been looking at outdoor furniture and decorations online. What I have been noticing is there has been a dramatic style step in the outdoor decor department. Many of the items being sold as outdoor, I would gladly have inside my home to offer a rustic approach. One of my birthday gifts that I adore is technically to be dawned outside, but it has found it's home on my living room coffee table. The rustic finial and large scale is just the ticket to offset the more formal lines of my sofa and chairs.

I have even seen furniture pieces I wouldn't mind having in my home. Restoration Hardware recently revamped their outdoor and garden wears and some of their pieces are stunning. My friend actually got this side table for her living room and I absolutely love it! The bonus of finding outdoor decor is that it's usually priced less than indoor decor...it makes as much sense as men's dry cleaning costing less than women's. Don't get me started!!!

Here is another finial from Wisteria that is deserving of the indoors.


Shower Invites. Check.

Here is a follow up on my progress for my friends shower. I finally got the invitations in the mail yesterday - phew! I feel better that that checked off my list. I think they turned out pretty well and have a slight nod to Hawaii without it being in your face Hawaii overload. My new favorite paper to print homemade invitations on is Paper Source's Luxe cover stock. It has a slight texture which adds a little extra professional touch and masks some of the home printer inabilities. But I must say, if you can choose to print between a laser vs. an ink jet, go ink jet!! The ink lays soooo much better and is closer to offset printing.

I also found these sweet beige labels in a random drawer of our laundry room at the last second. They worked perfectly with my invites and added an extra touch to the envelopes. What a find! And in my own home no less. The next step to my party planning is to make labels/tags for the food and then some garland. You can't have a party without garland!


Rainy Day Projects: Rain, Rain Go Away!

I don't know how the weather is for the rest of the country, but here in the NW it has been down right gross! So to pass the time of not being able to enjoy the outdoors and sunshine (I am still wearing long pants and sweaters on a regular basis!), I have been busy with some projects around the house.

I mentioned in my last pot that I got a new sewing machine for my birthday and it has been both fun and frustrating! That's another story. I said I would take some pictures of a few of my frustrations, I mean projects. Soooo...I doctored these curtains I found at Ikea for $15 a pair for our guest room. Yeah, you heard right! $15 for both of them!! They are a bit on the plain side so I found some cream ruffle trim and sewed it along the edges to give it just a hint of interest. I thought about doing a colorful or patterned border, but my commitment issues kicked in and I had to go on the neutral train...again. This room won't be a guest room forever, so I haven't wanted to invest much of anything to it. That said, I still want it to be a comfortable place for guests. Mainly my parents :) Also, in the picture, I made some shams to redo euro pillows I have had for ages. I don't love the tone of green with the green of the front pillow, but for now, it will do. I am trying to find a berry colored throw blanket for the edge of the bed, but it is proving to be a hard color to locate. Is someone trying to tell me something?

Also, I have been planning my dear friends wedding shower next month and am trying to start on making some of the little details that I can do ahead of time. She is getting married in Hawaii so I thought it would be fun to incorporate a little bit of the tropical theme. It forces me out of my neutral world - this is good! We are going to serve mimosas tropical style with tropical fruit juice instead of the typical orange juice. To make them even more festive I found the idea of making my own cocktail umbrellas on Martha Stewart's site. They were super easy and I they will be cute perched in our champagne glasses! The possibilities are endless with these! I'll try and post some of my other treats I intend to make as I go along...I hope my friend will be reading this!?


Gilty As Charged: Gilt Group

Hello there strangers! I have been on hiatus this last month. I have been busy planning for a dear friends bridal shower. It's not for another month, but I want the pots on our deck to look nice since I haven't given any attention to them in the last several years. I think I have them almost up to par. Just one more to consider ;) Also, demanding my time over the last several weeks, has been an early birthday gift from my husband. I got a new sewing machine and so I have been getting to all of those little projects I had on the back burner, ie hemming pants here and there, pillows, and curtain modification. It has been fun, but it takes up "sew" (sorry, couldn't help the lame pun) much time!

Also, throughout the week I have been checking out a new (to me) online designer duds discount site along with all the others I now subscribe too. Gilt Group carries a broader scope of wears that includes women, children, the home, men AND vacation sites. I haven't paid too much attention to the women's section, but the children and home sites have had some wonderful items so far. I am hooked!

I'll try and remember to take some pictures of my recent, but feeble sewing projects. I have also been busy planning for a br


OXO Tot: Smart yet Again

I went to the spring Seattle Home and Gift show this weekend. It was my first time attending something like this and it was sort of a bizarre world. It was made up of all these small showrooms with various products like any other store would be, but the prices were wholesale (yay!). The catch being that you had to order crazy amounts, however I still had fun taking it all in. There really wasn't much there to drool over, but there was one merchant who carried some great children and baby products that was a little more up my alley.

We are all familiar with the OXO brand and the smart designs they bring to the table. They have been continually expanding their wares and I have to say they may have done it again. OXO is coming out with a new line of foodwares for babies and toddlers called OXO Tot. It's not available to the consumer yet, nor is it available for viewing on their website, but I was able to get a glimpse in person and the designs and functionality look very promising. Their bottles transition from baby to toddler (fantastic!) and they have a super cool high chair that I wish were out when I bought ours, which I really don't like...let's just say hate. I don't have any pictures to show you, but you can sign up with their website to be notified when the line is released.

One other cool product that could have proven gimmicky, but actually has merit is the Tiny Tongs. A woman from the Seattle area designed it for her youngster. They are meant to help ease tots in to using actual utensils which can be a tricky transition. To a one year old, a spoon is more like a toy than a tool. I was lucky enough to snag a pair and my daughter has used hers a few times and she actually can pick up a piece of food here and there. She will get better with time of course, but for now she is loving feeling like a "big girl". Pretty clever design I say.


Peacoat from Oliver + S

It took me a while to remember to put Viv's coat on and take a picture and now I remember why I procrastinated. It is so hard to get her to sit still! At any rate, here is the winter coat my mother-in-law made for her and she wore it ALL winter long. She did an amazing job and Viv got comments on it where ever we went. The pattern is from Oliver + S. The only modifications my MIL made were adding a little length to the body, shortening the sleeves (oddly long) and then adding a soft flannel paisley lining.

It is so hard to find classically tailored clothing for little people these days. Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe...just one of many reasons ;) She now has a spring version in camel with a sweet cotton lining of little birds in trees and shell colored buttons and wears it all the time. That is the one thing about patterns - you can just make the next size up when your child grows out of the last.


Berry Cool!: Jayson Home and Garden

Sorry, I missed posting last week. It got away from me and I hadn't been inspired until...I thought these were the coolest thing when I saw them in a magazine! These farmers market baskets from Jayson Home and Garden are perfect for the upcoming berry season. Why not display them on your counter for guests to nibble on in these uber cool baskets that are reusable? They somehow look vintage and modern all in the same vibe don't they? That's always a selling point for me! Hmmm...Mother's Day is coming up ;)


Velvet & Tweed

I don't know about you, but I find most of the clothing for little peeps out there...well...less than desirable. It is so hard to find simple yet sweet clothing for little ones these days and so I am always on the look out. You pretty much have to make them yourself if you want classic childrens clothing in quality fabrics...that's if (big if) you can find a decent pattern and fabric to create such a thing. My mother-in-law made a grey wool peacoat for my daughter this winter. It has been the best coat to wear with anything and everything and she reminds me of a little european baby. It's getting too warm to wear it now, but she has the spring version already made and ready to wear! I'll take a picture of my daughter modeling her coat and post in the next day or two, so check back for a peak.

Velvet and Tweed is an exception however, and creates sweet little clothing that is sophisticated, yet innocent. And if they don't use the absolute cutest models - geesh they are cute little peeps! Currently in Washington there aren't any retailers that carry their wears, but hopefully one day there will be. But keep an eye out on the Mini Social. I have seen them on there occasionally.


Dresser Found!: Ikea...Really?

It is late in the week for me to get to my blog, but I think all of my procrastinating worked out for a reason. I took a trip down to Ikea yesterday for the first time in a long time to look for some basic and inexpensive curtains. And when I say a trip, for me, I have to be in the right mind-set to endure Ikea. It was a rainy afternoon and I had exhausted most of my normal outings I do with my daughter earlier in the week so I thought, let's give it a go.

One of the first few turns along the Ikea subliminal shopping pathway they keep you on, I stumbled upon the Edland dresser that was surprisingly not Ikea-like. It was more traditional in form and painted wood (pine mind you)...not Formica! It got me to thinking that it could work in my bathroom since it was a smaller scaled piece and I wanted either a grey or weathered wood chest for in there. And here is the kicker - $200! Well, you can't beat that! I wasn't however, disillusioned that this is an Ikea piece and won't stand the test of time or be handed down to my grandchildren's grandchildren. Never-the-less, it fit the bill and will serve it's purpose and look good doing so for several years down the road. I was desperately needing something to get all of our toiletries out of the baskets in the open vanity and away from my daughters little fingers. And this will hold me over until I find that "perfect" dresser.

When I got it home and my husband put it together (yes, Ikea is not white gloved delivered or assembled as we all know), it fit perfectly and is less than 20" in depth. I did however, change out the pulls with some mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie (who, by the way, have a fantastic selection of vintagey knobs and pulls). I think they add a bit of extra character and individuality. I guess it was meant-to-be stumbling upon something shortly after blogging (see here) about my long lasting search for a dresser in our master bath.

Oh, and I did find some great basic linen curtains for a song. I will have to modify those too so stay tuned!


In The Kitchen: Spanikopita as the Main Attraction

Lately I have been trying to explore new recipes from my vast amount of cookbooks I have lovingly collected over the years. I get stuck in ruts and tend to make the same things over and over because I don't need a recipe. I am all for experimenting ad-lib in the kitchen, but sometimes trying a new recipe inspires new adventures and pairings of food you otherwise wouldn't have dared to try on your own.

I am a huge fan of Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa. And little does she know we are on a first name basis :) I have all but one of her cookbooks and 9 times out of 10 think her recipes are fantastic. She makes the simplest of ingredients and dishes seem somehow elegant and party worthy. So I set out to try her dinner party spanikopita from her Back to Basics.

My husband is greek, and with that comes a spoilage of spanikopita. My mother-in-law makes THE BEST spanikopita and I am lucky enough to now have it as a staple with our holiday celebrations. So I was skeptical in trying Ina's version, but decided to give it a shot. I spent Saturday afternoon making them and I have to say they were a bit labor intensive, but after trying them, they were well deserving of the wait and the recipe makes enough to put aside some in the freezer to bring out for some last minute dinner guests. Instead of making them in the traditional sheet pan, these were made in to large triangles and that small change made them elegant to serve as a main dish. My mother-in law's version is still the best, but I certainly will make Ina's version again, and it's a nice change to the traditional. She adds a touch of nutmeg and toasted pine nuts...in the words of Ina, "How bad can that be?"

Oh, and I tried out my new cutting board from Epicurean. Definitely reccommend it if you are looking for a lightweight and eco friendly cutting board. They come in several sizes, but I love the large one for even more surface area to make a mess!


Another Reason to Love Scandinavian Design: Ferm Living

I came across Ferm Living browsing through the Scandinavian Design Center and loved the products they offer. Simple and whimsical. I think that pretty much sums up Scan design. They always nail it don't they? Some of their throw pillows are just yummy and the little mobile is so dear. Don't forget to check out their wallpapers too!

Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!


Accent Bench with a Punch

I just got this ottoman/stool last week and I love it! It's not for everyone with it's zebra-like print, but I think every home needs a few small pieces that draw the eye and make a statement. I found this one for a steel at World Market Cost Plus and scooped it up when I spotted it. I have been looking for a small bench to have in the living room that was on the bolder side. The only thing I want to change is make it a little shorter so it's level with the fireplace hearth. But I couldn't pass it up and the bold pop it gives the room is just the ticket!


Sweet Little Birds Nest

I can't believe tomorrow is spring and Easter is right around the corner. As always, it snuck up on me and I haven't put out my Easter tree as my one and only Easter decoration. Hopefully this weekend. I did however, find this sweet little nest with two eggs nestled in the middle when I was at the garden store yesterday. I couldn't resist putting it in my ever revolving glass urn I keep on the dining room table. The urn is my staple centerpiece that I change out the decor inside from season to season. My rocks with a cream candle in the center are the anchor for most of the year, but Easter, fall and Christmas are when it gets a face lift. I love not having to put too much thought in to a centerpiece and being able to change it with minimal effort when I feel like it.

Enjoy the sun and beautiful spring flowers popping up everywhere. It sure felt like spring in this part of the country today!


Chest of Drawers: So Many to Chose From!

I have been on a quest for the last year or so to find an antique inspired chest for our master bathroom. We have an open walnut vanity with modern lines, marble counter tops and antique silver framed mirrors. Currently I have baskets below the sink storing all of my beauty products. I intend for the baskets to stay there, but instead house some more appealing sea sponges, nicely folded towels, etc. Not my red hair drier and toothpaste tube - gross!

So I have been looking feverishly, but without much success {sigh}. Don't get me wrong, I have found more than a few wonderful chests that make my heart flutter a tad, but there has been something slightly off that doesn't make it the perfect fit for my space. And that "something" is usually the dimensions. I need something farely shallow so it doesn't jut out too much and not too long so it isn't overbearing for the space. Most dressers are around 20" in depth. If I absolutely can't find something more shallow, then I may have to compromise, but for now I will continue my search. At any rate, I thought I would share my favorite findings with you all and hopefully one of these will be perfect for your home. Also, when you have a moment, Design Sponge posted a great search on chests back in 2008 that have even more fantastic options.

French Director Chest: Wisteria
Georgeous chest I would covet to have in my bathroom...if it fit :(

Director Chest: Wisteria
LOVE this chest as well and the rustic finish with formal lines!!! Again it's too wide. Ugh! Wisteria has an amazing selection of chests so check out their site for even more options.

Demilune Console: Wisteria
This is a unique option for a chest. I like the idea of placing this piece some place other than the expected entry way. The curved lines make it seem like it's taking up less space.

Carnegie Side Table: Jayson Home and Garden
A dresser with some serious presence, but without taking itself too seriously given it's rustic edge.

Jacqui Chest: Bungalow 5
Lovely little chest. I have this one in my daughters nursery. It comes in several other colors as well.

Marais Console: Ballard Design
This console/chest comes in tuscan brown as well and is perfect for a smaller space. I like this one, but think I need a few more drawers for my purposes.

Jackson Low Chest: Oly Studios
I adore this chest, but it's a little too wide for my space

Polo Chest: Bungalow 5
This one is fantastic if you want to bring a casual plantation vibe to your home.

Isabella Chest: Bungalow 5
This one comes in several colors and is a sweet modern take on a traditional chest.


Design Tip: Book Smarts

I think books are fantastic. Not only for the information and adventures they hold, but for the visual effect they provide a home as well. I can't say I read as much as I should, but I still love to have books around, especially coffee table books with great photographs and art. One thing I use them for on occasion is for a simple prop or decor element.

I miss those days when books had the classic bound look, and when all lined up on a shelf, they looked massive and stunning. To find books like that these days, you have to either take the jackets off and hope it isn't a horrid fabric bound cover underneath, cover them yourself (maybe some day when I am retired and have nothing better to do), or go to the second hand book store and purchase some old classics on the cheap. I have done this option several times and intend to go back for more for other areas in my home as I need space fillers. In this photo, I wanted an object with some mass and presence, but also wanted to avoid a cluttered look with too many objects. So I went to our local Half Price Books and bought some old italian art books that also had a jacket covering that would suite my living room. One thing I suggest keeping in mind when picking out books, is keep it relevant to a topic you find interesting. If someone does happen to read the spine and it says "Historical Hunting in America", I think my friends and family would know right away they were staged...I'm a vegetarian.


Zulily: Deals for Tots and Moms

Here is another great website offering designer discounts focused on babies, moms and tots - Zulily. It's very similar to The Mini Social which I have loved perusing for cute clothes and toys for my little one and this is one more outlet...just what I need! I really don't, but it sure is fun looking! I wish I had known about this site before I had my daughter. So far in the last week I have seen some great deals on the Maxi Cosi car seat (we have one) and the Quinny stroller. Happy shopping and I hope you find some great deals!


DIY: Shell Artwork

My good friend Stacey, whom I draw a lot of inspiration from, has moved in to a new house with her husband and she has been a busy bee making a home for the two of them. She is super creative, so when I bring Viv over for lunch play dates and a quick chat, I am always looking to what new furniture or art project she has done since the last time I was there.

This visit I noticed some shell artwork above her media console, and it was almost an "a-ha" moment when you look at something and go, "why didn't I think of doing that?". She simply took some small sea shells she found at the craft store, glued them to a linen back and framed them in a shadow box. Voila! Beautiful and simple and I am sure a fraction of the cost of what you buy at some fancy boutique shop. Love it!


Homemade Marshmallows: So Sweet!

For years I have been wanting to try to make homemade marshmallows and for one reason or other I have never gotten around to it. My husband loves marshmallows and will buy a bag just to eat plain...hmmm. Not really my thing, but he loves it so I thought making him some for valentines day would be a fun treat.

After all those years of procrastination, they were the simplest of things to make. Some gelatin, corn syrup (not the best for you I know) and sugar and you have yummy marshmallows. And there is no comparison to the artificial texture of the store bought ones. They are like fluffy pillows of gooey heaven. I made my husband some hot chocolate in the morning and placed some of the marshmallows cut out in heart shapes (sorry, they were consumed before I could get a photo of them). We don't celebrate valentine's day with grand affairs, but the small little gestures are what counts.

I made simple vanilla flavored ones this time, but the flavoring possibilities are endless. See Martha Stewart here for the recipe and other ideas. Also, here is my simple recipe for an instant at home 100 calorie mocha with no espresso machine required. It's a great substitute when you are trying to cut back on spending your hard earned cash at Starbucks. And I use all natural ingredients to avoid as many artificial additives as possible.

100 Calorie All Natural AND Instant Mocha:

2 tablespoons Organic Hot Cocoa from Trader Joe's
.5 - 1 teaspoon instant coffee ( I use Trader Joe's or the Starbucks Via one is good but pricier)
4 tablespoons All Natural Whip Cream (any all natural one will do and they have the same calorie and fat content than the artificial ones. Aka Reddi Whip)

Place your cocoa and instant coffee in your favorite mug, mix just enough boiling water to mix the cocoa and coffee, add the whip cream and mix again. Then add the rest of the boiling water and mix. For an extra special treat add a homemade marshmallow on top. I just did and it made it that much yummier!


I Heart Garland

I can honestly say my new excitement over garland came innocently when I first made the garland for my daughter's birthday. Since then, I have seen garland ideas all over and some mighty good ones at that! At least in the blogger world I have been seeing them every where (See Poppytalk for a great article on garland). And I can see why - they are just a fun simple way to celebrate any occasion without a whole lot of fuss.

I am not one to decorate for every single holiday. And Christmas is about the only one I manage to do or put effort in to. However, I thought it would be fun to make some Valentine's garland this year. And it is so stinking simple how could I resist?! I was at my local craft store and found some 100% felted wool. I l.o.v.e. felted wool for so many different applications and this was no exception. The only problem with felted wool is that I am not willing to put in the effort to get wool to the felted stage. But this was already felted and dyed and sold in paper-sized rolls. Perfect.

I made my heart template in two different sizes and then punched out two holes at the top of each heart. Then I used, of all things, some poultry string that I had in the kitchen. It took me all of an hour from start to finish. Easy peasy. Minus the shopping time of course. Plus, this is something you can keep year after year and not a craft you are likely to throw away...on to my next garland idea!


Preserve Toothbrush: Naturally Appealing

Call me crazy, but I have actually stared at my toothbrush and not liked how it looked amongst the rest of my bathroom design. How insane is that?! I admit it openly...though within the comfort of my little blog. So yes, the little minutia of details run through my head and I would like to fix most of them. But I also understand practicality, and so my toothbrush has remained on my bathroom counter top looking garishly bright and juvenile in comparison to the rest of it's suroundings. Until...

I was at my beloved Trader Joe's and looking at all of their personal/beauty products to see if I needed anything and out popped these toothbrushes by Preserve that bestilled my heart! (Also available at "Amazon)It was white, a simple design AND (bonus!!!) environmentally friendly. I was so thrilled that I bought one to try. Despite it's good looks, it had to be a good brusher as well. I have been using it for several weeks now and have to say I love it's function almost more than it's looks. It curves outward contrary to most other brushes. I thought this might be awkward to hold or reach my teeth, but it is quite the opposite. Here are some details on it's origins:

• 100% recycled plastics in handle, at least 25% recycled Stonyfield Farm« yogurt cups.
• Tri-level virgin nylon bristles with softer outer rows to protect your gums and tooth enamel.
• Curved handle, developed with dental professionals, for an effective and thorough cleaning.
• Preserve Toothbrush and packaging are completely recyclable with our postage-paid mailer (included with each order).
• Packaging is reusable travel case with ventilation holes.

"The Preserve Toothbrush was developed by dentists and engineers to be a high performance brush - and from the start, it and its packaging are designed to have minimal impact on our Earth's resources. Through our innovative recycling partnership with Stonyfield Farm«, we source at least 25% of our handle plastic from recycled yogurt cups. The Preserve's packaging is not only a reusable carrying case, but the materials are wood-based plastics from renewable forests. When you are finished with your Preserve toothbrush, use our postage-paid mailer to recycle your used Preserve and case into plastic lumber products, like park benches."

If you are a colorful brush kind of person, they do come in several vibrant colors that are sure to please. I like that even the colorful ones are one solid color. So brush in natural bliss and feel good that once your toothbrush has taken care of your pearly whites, it won't do more harm to the landfills.


Vintage Picnic Basket Holding it's Weight

Holy mother of greyness! I just finished drying my hair (I rarely do these days) and as I was drying I saw all these grey hairs...more than the usual. Eeeck! I may look like a ratty Chihuahua with my hair up in a wad every day, but at least I am living in an ignorant grey-free bliss. So I had to blog today to make myself feel somewhat in-the-know and young(er) again. The two pimples on my face are helping me feel a bit younger too. Junior High here I come again!

I wouldn't say this is the most hip of ideas or objects, but it is my recent obsession. I have really been in to baskets lately and I think it stems from trying to create some sort of order in my life AND keep things tucked away and out of reach from my increasingly curious daughter. This is my favorite basket find I have in the house right now. And it turns out, it was right under my nose hidden in our pantry. It was my grandfather's old picnic basket that I snagged years back after he passed away. I am sure there are a ton of stories that go along with it, but sadly he isn't around to tell them. Some of my favorite pieces I own are of my grandparents on both sides. Just by looking at them, you can see that they have had more adventures than the average person. At the moment, I am using this basket to hold all of my workout weights away from little one-year-old hands. Viv has been curious to lift the lid to see what's inside, but after falling in and not being able to get out, I think the scare was just enough to keep her at bay.

I am constantly repurposing things around the home as our lives evolve. If it's something that is of good quality and design it can have as many lives and stories as we can find for it. I encourage you to always think of what you have in your home that could use a new life. Who knows, maybe your grandchildren will have it one day and treasure it as well.


Reclaimed Wood: Floors, Tables and...Walls?

My husband and I went out to dinner last night to Frank's Oyster House and Champagne Parlor and what a treat! It was a low-key evening there, but it was a Tuesday so what can you expect. The vibe was ultra cool and not something you see everyday. What really caught my eye was the floor to ceiling panels of reclaimed wood. They were all in different shades, widths and depths. The overall effect when looking from afar was almost like zebra wood which is uber cool and elegant. However, when looking closely, it was very rustic and casual. I thought it was a fantastic idea and something that could easily be translated in to the home. A small powder room would be amazing with this treatment, paired with some crystal chandelier pendents - can you imagine?! Hmmm...we have a small bathroom downstairs that isn't finished. Wonder if I could apply this idea down there? The hamster is spinning on his wheel ;)

Another room I could see it in, is a basement family room that needed some character. Add some white porcelain antlers to the wall accompanied by a painted antique occasional chair in a modern fabric and you have some major style going on! The possibilities are endless.

Aside from the visual appeal reclaimed wood offers, we forget where this wood once stood. It often is from old barns that hold a multitude of american farming tales and history. See this site on "Old-Barn-Wood" for a little more history. What a cool conversation piece to have in your home.

Oh, did I mention the food was delicious too?


Wheely Bug: Big Fun for Little Ones

If this is not the cutest children's ride-on toy I have ever seen! We got Viv the cow Wheely Bug from Prince Lion Heart for Christmas and she has the cutest smile when we push her around on it. Her legs are still a little too short for her to push herself, but she is close. And we got her the small one! I am tempted every time I see the little thing to go scooting around myself, but don't want to find out in horror that I crushed it. I have managed to stay away, but I think it's only because my knees are too creaky to bend down that far now.

They come in small and large for older kids and in addition to the cow, they come in a lady bug, bumble bee and mouse. All four are equally cute. I found mine on Amazon. Also, what I love about them is they are very well made, easy to clean and light weight to carry around. It is something that will definitely last through much use and is something I would save to pass down. The only issue I have with it is they don't make one for grown ups!!!


Hickory Dickory Dock Birthday Wishes

Vivienne in her cute party hat complete with a glittered mouse and feathers to top it off!

I can't believe my baby girl just turned the big ONE! How this last year flew by. Despite my daughter's birthday being right after Christmas, which gives me zero down time in between, I had fun planning her birthday. Thankfully I had pretty much everything planned out in my head before Christmas so that once the holidays were over it was just a matter of pulling it all together. I wanted to have an underlying theme to the party, but I am not usually one for "smack you in the face" sort of cheesy themes so it had to be subtle for me to even go there. I am a sucker for nastalgic things from my childhood so I perused through Viv's Mothergoose nursery rhymes and found Hickory Dickory...you can do a lot with clocks and mice! On a side note, I realized that the majority of old nursery rhymes are all a bit twisted or morbid! It was hard to find one that wasn't depressing. I digress.

I had fun creating her invitations which spun everything else off of that. As always, I wanted to keep everything as simple and understated as I could in terms of food and decorations, but still have a cohesive vibe. I believe a party is in the details and the creativity and time you devote to it... in addition to good behavior by your guests ;) After designing the invites, I was inspired by a template of letters from Martha Stewart to create custom garland. Printing them out on different colored paper, cutting them and stringing them on to some black and white ribbon was a cinch! The rest of the details included custom glittered mouse confetti, cone shaped chip baskets with silver pipe cleaner handles with matching wrapped cutlery, soft flowers, balloons and giant chocolate peanut butter cookies wrapped in wax paper sealed with custom monogrammed stickers.

I found these straws a while back and can't even remember where. I am huge straw fan and I think I may have been the only one who used one, but that means I have more for myself later!

I tried finding colored tissue paper that worked within my color scheme, but to no avail. Bleached wax paper was the next best option and I am happy with how the packaging turned out.

Oh, did I mention that a party was all in the details and the creativity? I still maintain that point, but it's also hugely dependent on the FOOD!!!! I am a vegetarian so picking out a meat dish is always a challenge for me. It has to be something that has minimal hands on requirements! So honey mustard mini drumsticks came to mind...make the marinade. Dump bag in to marinade. Done. The rest of the menu consisted of lemon arugula pasta salad, sugar snap peas with sesame oil, Terra chips (for the cute little chip baskets!), movie popcorn (we have a movie popcorn popper at home - so fun!), applesauce spice cake with cream cheese frosting, hot mulled cider and the giant cookies for people to take home. It was simple yet familiar flavors and I think, or hope, they all went well together.

I made the cake in to a clock with the help of my husband's steady hand. A round cake I can manage...anything else? Not so much.

You can sort of see the mice confetti dispersed on the table.