Monday, April 29, 2013

Make // Mother's Day Gift Boxes

I first shared this tutorial at SEI Lifestyle

I have a confession to make-- I am a gift wrap slacker.  I'll buy the gift then set it aside and forget about it. Then the day of the event I'll panic a bit, and stuff the gift into a bag. Sometimes I'll throw in some tissue paper. I'm fancy like that.

So this year I thought I'd be proactive and get a head-start on my Mother's Day gift wrap. Sometimes presentation is key and I think Mother's Day is one of those occasions. I had fun dreaming up these boxes that pretty much scream "Happy Mother's Day!" and "Spring is here!".

click "Read more" for the tutorial

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Make // Water Lilies

With Earth Day earlier this week, and since I had a lot of milk jugs leftover from these votives, I decided to try my hand at another "milk jug" project.

Water lilies are one of my favorite flowers; They're beautiful, vibrant and they grow in ponds. Awesome. My love for water lilies goes way back. My 14-year old self had a bedroom decorated with Monet's water lilies prints (I even had an impressionist water lilies bed spread!) and when I first traveled to France 15 years ago, visiting Monet's home and gardens was one of the highlights of the trip. It was at his home in Giverny that Monet maintained a beautiful water garden which inspired his famous Water Lilies (les nymphĂ©as) series.

So with water lilies and dreams of outdoor dining on the brain, I decided to come up with a centerpiece for our patio table.

Click "Read more" for the tutorial

Monday, April 22, 2013

Make // Milk Jug Votives

Since today is Earth Day, I thought I'd dig into our recycle bin and come up with an upcycle project. 

Most upcycle projects that I see are glass-- wine bottles, jars, even beer bottles. Not too many pretty projects with plastic milk gallon jugs though. I wonder why?  ;)  I guess they aren't the most exciting in their original form, but with their vellum-like quality, I thought they would be perfect for a votive project.

click "Read more" for the full post

Happy Earth Day!

I have a project for Earth Day that'll be ready to share later.  In the meantime, I raided the archives and pulled together a round-up of several upcycle projects.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beauty // The War Against Aging

I've always felt like a young person. Then, while pregnant with child #2, I was tagged "advanced maternal age". Ouch! Well, child #2 is almost five years old. What does that make me now? Middle aged.  Nooooo!

I've always told myself that, barring invasive surgery, I would do whatever I needed to do to maintain and preserve my skin. I'm lucky to have genetics on my side (my Grandmother had beautiful, smooth skin until she passed unexpectedly at the young age of 96). However, my Grandmother stayed out of the sun and covered-up whenever she was outside. I, unfortunately, did the opposite. If only I had known better!  I've been pretty good to my skin the last 15 years or so-- sunscreen, good moisturizers, removing make-up at night, eating relatively well, etc. But it's time to up the ante.

After a bit of trial and error, I think I finally found the perfect "preserve & protect" program for my skin. I still need to find a good vitamin C eye cream to tame the under eye circles though. I never had those before and they definitely add to the tired/old look that I'm trying to avoid.

My skin's main issues-- sensitive, usually on the dry side (t-zone in warm weather), melasma (aka skin discoloration leftover from crazy pregnancy hormones and sun exposure).

I use some of the same products in the morning and at night. You may have noticed that I don't use too many "corrective" creams... In the past I've had bad reactions to prescription and over-the-counter products to correct skin discoloration. They made my skin look worse-- dry, flaky and irritated. So the current battle plan is to keep my skin moisturized and protected from the elements.

Believe it or not, although there are many layers of product going on, I don't spend a ton of time "pampering" myself-- 15 minute max in the morning, which includes applying make-up; and 5 minutes during the evening, which usually includes brushing and flossing my teeth. I guess I've become efficient in my middle age. Ha!

Click "Read more" for the full post

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Make // Faux Batik Circle Scarf

I'm blogging over at SEI Lifestyle this week. There's also a giveaway going on right now.  Stop by and say hello! Here's one of the tutorials that I'm sharing...

While I love to make things, I don't have the kind of space where I can make huge messes-- no cement floors in my home, my laundry room is the size of a postage stamp and the garage is the Hub's domain...  So a "batik" type project was out of question until I stumbled upon an easy & mess-free method.

Click "Read more" for the tutorial

Monday, April 15, 2013

Guest Blogging // SEI

I'm guest blogging over at SEI Lifestyle this week. Yep, five days of posts!  Today's the intro, but the next four days will be filled with projects and tutorials.

They gave me free rein over the content of the posts, but I decided to go for it and come up with a week's worth of projects. It wasn't too hard since their products are quality and I had fun working with some new (to me) materials and mediums. If you are looking for beautiful paper, scrapbooking accessories and other craft supplies at a decent price point, be sure to check out SEI Crafts*. And if you're an avid scrapbooker, paper crafter or card maker, definitely check out Club SEI for their monthly kits.

Here's a peek at tomorrow's project--

Click "Read more" for the full post

Thursday, April 11, 2013

bliss bloom blog // Favorite Projects

A compilation of some of my favorite projects...

Click "Read more" for the full post

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Break 2013... 2nd Half

Our kids had two weeks off for Spring Break so, to save our collective sanities, we decided to fill those two weeks with plenty of activities. The first week was spent in Texas... Read all about it here.

We flew back from Texas on Easter Sunday and went from the airport directly to my parent's home. They hosted Easter Dinner for the LA/OC branch of our family and there was a lot of good food and good times with cousins, aunties and uncles. We don't get to see each other often, so it was especially nice to hang out and catch up with each other.

After Easter, we were home for a few days to decompress, check in with the office, and deal with the mounds of laundry. Then we were off on another adventure...

Click "Read more" for the full post

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break 2013 was EPIC!!!

While our Spring Break was fun and great memories were made, when I say EPIC, I don't mean to brag. Because it was epic as in... Extra Long. Like reading Homer's Iliad and Odyssey from cover-to-cover long. Like 16 days of togetherness long.  Like trying to keep two boys busy so that they don't spend the entire time bickering and roughhousing, while playing video games and going comatose watching television long... That kind of EPIC. And yet there still was a lot of video game playing and television watching... hmmm. Epic!

Some day I will really appreciate the epic spring breaks, but right now I'm exhausted. Being a 24/7 referee, camp director, purveyor of snacks, navigator, tour guide and parent is kinda tiring! Whoda thunk??  I'm thankful though that the boys truly love and get each other. Even if that means getting under each others' skin. 

brothers hugging... leads to wrestling... leads to a big smooch... leads to more hugging & silly smiles. repeat.

You probably felt this coming, so here's the EPIC photo dump of our 2013 Spring Break....

Click "Read more" for the full post