Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inspiration // Back to School!

In the spirit of "Back to School", I've pulled together some fun inspiration that brings me back to the good ol' days of jumping rope, standard lined paper and pencil boxes. Do you remember how you felt at the beginning of each new school year? For me it was a combination of excitement and anxiety mixed in with the promise of new beginnings. Not to mention the joyful anticipation of wearing a  brand spanking new pair of shoes... Exciting times!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Make // Botanic Decoupage Coasters

As a constant crafter and someone who likes to experiment with new techniques and ideas, I'm always on the lookout for quality craft supplies and products. So, when given the opportunity to work with the new Martha Stewart Decoupage line, of course I jumped at the chance!

There are several decoupage formulas available including Fabric-to-Fabric Oil Cloth Finish, Multi-Surface Gloss Finish and Multi-Surface Matte Finish. All formulas are durable, weather resistant, non-toxic and dishwasher safe, all of which are appreciated in my child-centric household. In addition to the decoupage mediums, the line includes a variety of pretty papers and trims that can be used to enhance a multitude of surfaces including glass, ceramic, wood, metal and terra cotta.

I used the Gloss Finish formula and the Butterflies & Ferns decorative paper for this project. The decorative paper is perfect for decoupage-- Thin enough to blend seamlessly into the project, yet strong enough to withstand tearing and bubbling when the medium is applied.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Fashion // Fall Flair 2013

What do you think of this year's Fall trends? I'm not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but Fall is my favorite season and I usually find myself crushing on the fashions that come along with falling leaves, cooling temps and darker color palettes.  Here are just a few fall pretties that caught my eye.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beauty // Drugstore Favorites

I admit it, I'm a girl who likes her beauty supplies. And I'm pretty sure it started when I was in 7th grade and subscribed to my first teen magazine (does anyone remember YM?) My friends and I would take our weekly allowance and walk, possibly skip, to the nearest shopping center to explore the colorful and transformative world of drugstore cosmetics. Fast forward a decade or three.... As I get older and become more freaked-out about aging, I'm back to trying out new products. But this time, instead of experimenting with brightly colored lipsticks and eyeshadow, I'm more focused on trying to preserve and maintain.

I posted my anti-aging skincare routine earlier this year, but I wanted to share a few more favorites. The best part is that all of these items can be found at your local drugstore.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Make // Design Your Own Textiles

Last year my kids brought home art smocks that they had made at camp. They looked like very colorful batik, but instead of using wax, kids school glue was used for the "wax resist". And instead of using fabric dyes, acrylic paints were used. While it was very pretty and colorful, the acrylic paints made the fabric stiff and prone to cracking. I know I didn't want stiff fabric, but I also didn't want to use messy, toxic dyes, so I had to do a little homework and find some alternative materials.

Last weekend I finally got around to trying out this technique and am pretty happy with the results!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Travel // Quebec with Kids

The hubs and I love to travel. We traveled when we were single, we traveled as a newly married couple, and now, as a family of four, we travel together. Obviously some things have changed-- It'll be a few more years before the kids are really interested in historical monuments or spending quality time at a fine art museum. That said, they do absorb quite a bit and seem to enjoy the new experiences that each destination has to offer. When they were really little (ages 1 - 4), we stayed stateside, did a lot of road trips and tried to limit the air travel to 5 hours max. Anything beyond that and we knew that we'd be asking for trouble.  It was also a challenge traveling with strollers, car seats, luggage-hogging diapers, and all of the other necessities that come along with small children. And I won't even bother mentioning the difficulties of maintaining a nap schedule, changing diapers in sketchy public restrooms, overtired kids, feeding baby on the go, carrying snacks, etc.

Now that our kids are a little older, a manageable 5 and 7, we are able venture out a little farther and stretch our wings so-to-speak. I don't think we're quite ready for Europe (11+ hour trip) or Asia (14+ hours), but a trip to Quebec was perfect. It hit all of our criteria--

1. Somewhere we've never been
2. Easy to navigate with children
3. Unique enough to feel like we've "left" our everyday lives behind
4. Culture

When to visit Quebec City
Quebec City is a tourist destination, and we happened to be there during one of the busiest times. However, while the town was bustling with activity, it never felt overrun with tourists. If anything, it  has an international flair as many visitors are from Europe. Quebec City is popular during the summer for the Summer Festival, during autumn for the fall colors, and during winter for the Winter Carnival as well as the nearby Ice Hotel.

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