Thursday, March 26, 2015

Minted Art Prints // A New Look for the Dining Room

I was perusing the artwork selection on Minted's site when, ironically, I received an email from Minted asking if I would review their curated Art Marketplace. Kismet! I'm all about blogging with authenticity, so it was an easy "yes".

Redecorating our dining room has been on my mind for the past few years. We moved into our current home five years ago, and we basically just squeezed in our existing dining room furniture & accessories, then moved on to deal with more pressing issues. Our current furniture is big, bulky, outdated (think Tuscan circa 2001), uncomfortable and our dining room just doesn't work with the rest of our space. The artwork in the room is no better; Dark, heavy… Not inspiring at all. We've been making-do for the past 5 years and I think it's time to remedy the situation.

Over the past few months I've been perusing various online art sites for inspiration. My plan? Find contemporary art & accessories and meld it together with timeless, useable furniture pieces. The only thing that I'm keeping is a silk & wool rug. Luckily it is a neutral transitional piece and should work well with many contemporary styles.

Using the artwork from Minted as inspiration, I came up with 5 different looks.

Look 1: Bold + Masculine

Look 2: Black + Gold

artwork:    the rapids by rose lindo via minted.  | chandelier | chair | table | rug

Look 3: Beach-Inspired

artwork: beach by yao cheng design  via minted   | chandelier | chair | table | rug

Look 4: Ethereal

Look 5: Neutral + Bold Color

Now the hard part… Figuring out what style to go with! I'm terrible about making big decisions. Someone chime-in and help me out!

In the meantime, here's more eye-candy…

Aren't these strong, bold prints wonderful? They just demand attention.

artwork via minted: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 

When it comes to artwork, my eye is always attracted to pink and other feminine colors-- It just seems so light and uplifting. And yet I don't own anything pink or purple. No decor. No clothes. I may need to rethink my buying habits. :)

artwork via minted: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

One color that just speaks to me is blue. I have splashes of blue in every room. From a chair in a reading nook, to artwork in the living & great rooms. Calm and soothing, I love blues (and greys too)!

artwork via minted: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

What a goldmine of incredible art!  I've purchased some very cool cards from Minted in the past, so I am really happy to find the same quality of carefully curated and well-priced artwork in their Art Marketplace. There are so many eye-catching pieces that I feel that the possibilities are endless… What say you? Any standouts?

disclosure: This post is sponsored by the fine folks at Minted. As always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day - Rainbow Cupcakes

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Yesterday the boys and I whipped up some easy Rainbow Cupcakes for a bake sale. We are competing with donuts, a bake sale favorite, so this year we decided to take it up a notch. Yes it's still tastes like a white cupcake… but it looks much more fancy with a little lot of color!

Here's why it's easy--
White Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme)
Vegetable Oil
Buttercream Icing Mix (I used Wilton)… I don't usually like frosting, but this one was good.
Food Coloring (I used Wilton Gel)… The color is very concentrated and you don't need much.

Enlist the help of eager leprechauns to mix, stir & dollop.

Bake it…

Let it cool then… Frost it.

I didn't even bother with a frosting tip. I put the frosting in a ziplock bag, cut the corner and squeezed.

We'll see how these do at the Bake Sale!

It just occurred to me that the last time couple of times I've posted were also "holidays"… in February. Whoops, I really mean to post more often, but it's been a busy month (heck, a busy 6 months) and time keeps getting away from me. I do have a project that I'm working on… If it turns out I'll share it in the next week or so. Crossing my fingers, because it's a science experiment of sorts.  Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Make // Minecraft Valentines - Free Printable

My six year old loves Minecraft, so this year we decided to make Minecraft Valentine's Day cards for his class. I kept it simple with swords for the boys and hearts for the girls-- All in the pixelated-Minecraft theme of course!

Perler Beads lend themselves perfectly for this. I have to admit that I kind of like working with them-- slow, pedantic and somewhat relaxing if you're not in a rush.  I had a bit of practice with Perler Beads when we threw a Minecraft-themed birthday party last summer (details HERE). 

You can obviously do a lot more with Perler Beads and the Minecraft theme-- Minecraft Creepers, Steves and Mobs, etc. If you're looking for more design ideas, check out these Perler Bead cupcake picks.

Click "Read more" for the full post

Saturday, September 20, 2014

This Week // 9.20.2014

sunset fields via sylwia urbaniak photography | available on etsy

Well hello there! 

Just popping my head in to say "hi"… and make sure the ol' blog is still standing. ;) 

I didn't mean to take two weeks off but, life happens and then suddenly it's two weeks later.

Or something like that.

In my last post, we were "transitioning" into a new routine.

Well, I guess we're as transitioned as we'll ever be.

So I find myself with a 1st & 3rd grader.

They are busy.

2 soccer practices, 2 basketball practices, 2 karate classes, 1 lego engineering and 1 agility training…

Add school and homework, the random play date or birthday party, and that's pretty much our week.

Tack on my decision to handle the fundraising for the kids' school.

I've had my head buried in spreadsheets, verbiage and strategy since school began.


The last two weeks we've also had family and friends in town, visiting from other countries.

Hong Kong and Brazil to be exact.

So cool to have and maintain these long-distance relationships.

Busy and lucky.

And Thankful.

That's enough babbling. Here's what's going on this week--

The crazy week-long heatwave finally broke and today it finally feels like Fall. I can't put away the shorts and tees just yet, but at least I can start thinking about  *flannel*  *plaid*  *boots*  and  *wool pants*.

10 steps to make your child smarter. Unlike most lists, this one is backed by science and actually makes sense.

Have you ever tried grilling lettuce? I love grilled cabbage… and this grilled romaine salad appeals to me.

And here's where you think I've gone completely nuts… The cutest snail ever. We have one in our aquarium… Fun to watch and smarter than our fish.

I'm re-thinking our dining room and this chandelier has me intrigued.

I swear by argan oil and use it day and night to keep my sensitive skin happy and dewy soft. This alternative to the pricey josie maran version gets my stamp of approval… and I like the pump better than the medicine dropper.

Hope you're having a nice weekend!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

This Week // 9.04.2014

personalized leather bracelets via sweet auburn studio | available on etsy

Our household is in transition mode… we are transitioning from Summer to Fall, from K & 2nd to 1st & 3rd, from Unscheduled to Scheduled. Today is the boys' first day of school. I'll be honest… I'm a little sad. Usually I'm jumping at the bit to get back on schedule, but this summer I thoroughly enjoyed being under-planned. That's probably not even a word, but under-planned is sometimes good for a usually over-planned family. Luckily we have a few days to adjust before the REAL school year kicks off on Monday. So we are excited, anxious, slightly unprepared but pretty much ready to go as we'll ever be. Ready or not world, here we come!

Besides transitioning, here's what's going on this week--

I always crave Plaid during the Fall. This dress caught my eye. And so did this top.

The history behind Why we shouldn't wear white after Labor Day. Do you/did you ever follow that rule?

This may be the year of the puffer vest. I'll revisit that thought when it's not 90 degrees outside.

I just love this Back-to-School comparison of the 1970's vs. Today. I can so relate since I grew up in the 70's and now have school age kids… Man, I miss those uncomplicated days…

Antibiotics in our food causing allergic reactions in some… What (!!!)

Tired of your Summer tees but it's too hot for Fall clothes… It's time for something edgy, yet cool

Happy almost-weekend!