Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Week // 05.29.2014

Where did May go? Just a few more weeks until it's officially Summer. I'm both excited-- always nice to take a break from routine. And scared-- keeping 2 young boys entertained for a whopping 11.5 weeks. Yep, I counted... 11.5 weeks is a long stretch of time. Eep! 

Here's a few things that caught my attention this week--

Maya Angelou will be remembered for many wonderful things, but what always resonates with me is her phenomenal, yet simple, statements about life. What an amazing person. I am re-reading her book this week. Although she may be physically gone, I love that her words of wisdom will live on forever.

Do mean adults start out as mean children? Are you worried about how middle school kids behave? Maybe we should be more concerned with our preschoolers' behavior… Here's an interesting read--  It's never too young to teach empathy.

Bright colors are a good pick-me-up. These colorful melamine plates would be a perfect for a summer get together.

I love Marimekko's bold patterns and just discovered their collaboration with Banana Republic. My friend has this dress and, if you like fit & flare, it is very figure flattering. Also, if you like to decorate with bold colors and graphics, check out their ongoing collaboration with Crate + Barrel.

The simple style and neutral colors of this home in New York appeals to me. Although I have to admit, my own style is more hodge podge and not as serene… I guess some day I'll find a style and stick with it. ;)

Have a nice weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Week // 5.24.14

This week I accompanied my son and his 2nd grade class on a field trip to Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, which is located off the coast of Southern California. Since it's just a short 45-minute boat ride away from Ventura Harbor, I was amazed by the clarity of the water. 

It was a beautiful day and we were able to witness first-hand the largest breeding colony of western gulls in the world. I've always wondered where all those mischievous sea gulls came from… Now I know! Around 15,000 chicks heading to shore this summer. :)

Beautiful scenery abound and, if you're a nature-lover, someplace you should check-out while in Southern California.

Any plans for the Memorial Day Weekend? Here's a few things that caught my attention this week--

If you like sports and a good underdog story, I highly recommend this movie. My 8 year old loved it. It was a little over the head of my 5 year old, but he hung in there. By the end of the movie we were all craving Indian food… yum!

There are tons of sales going on this Memorial Day Weekend. A few deals that caught my eye-- comfy, casual dresses from the Gap (40% off!);  these sweet sandals at Nordstrom (half-yearly sale!);  these perforated sandals and these wedges at Macys (15% off);  summer tees & tanks at Anthropologie (up to 40% off)-- I have this one in ivory (size down) and it's adorable.

This book is wonderful! I think it should be required reading for all tweens and teens.

This Spring dining room by liz marie blog. In fact, her entire house is light & breezy and just lovely. She has moved since taking these photos, so it'll be fun to watch her decorate her new space.

If you're looking for a DIY project this weekend, this white brick vase is eye-catching, but doesn't seem too difficult to make. Win-win in my book.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Party // The One Where Someone Special Turns Eight

Happy 8th Birthday to my oldest!!! I'm feeling nostalgic today. Eight is in big boy territory now… bridging the gap between boy and tween. I've heard that this is a special phase that all parents should cherish. While kids this age may not need you as much to take care of their physical needs, they still look to you for guidance and emotional support.  And they're usually still down with giving hugs too. His nickname on the blog has been "Smarty Pants" for the past 5 years now, but suddenly it seems, *maybe* too young. Sniff. I'm a little sad about that. So until I can come up with something else, I guess my kids will be known as "oldest" and "youngest". How creative.

Anyhow, this weekend he had the 8th Birthday Party of his dreams-- Go Kart Racing. He literally has been waiting years before he and his friends were tall enough.  This was finally THE year.

The boy had a grin on his face the entire day. He has loved cars since he was just a wee babe. I know that Go Karts may not seem like cars to adults… but to my kids, they ARE. We were the family that always traveled with a Hot Wheel collection, he has a car-themed room, we watched the CARS movie umpteen million times, and he's probably one of the few kids that can tell you what rim goes with what car and why.  So this Go Kart party was, as he succinctly put it  "My dream come true!"

This year I did something that I've never done before-- I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING creative for his birthday party. No personalized party decorations, no games, no custom party favors. Nada. This year I pushed the EASY button and outsourced everything. The only thing I did, besides contact the Go Kart place, was to bring in the appetizers and cake. They handled everything and did a superb job. It felt a little strange to not do anything extra, but you know what? I think this was his favorite birthday party EVER.

Since I always like to share something a little creative, here's a trip down memory lane for his past seven birthday parties. We've covered the gamut-- cowboy, lego, space, police…

Friday, May 16, 2014

This Week // 5.16.14

We're in the middle of another heatwave…  :( My boys have been troopers and had baseball games in the 105+ degree heat… Don't worry, we kept them hydrated and brought out the misters. Anyhow, I'm the dugout mom and our team had the joy of facing directly into the sun.  I could not have survived without this gem. This, sunscreen, sunglasses and a jug of iced water…. Phew!

Gotta love this bulldog and his determination. Not to mention his smarts… Lesser pups would've given up. This video made me smile.

Sand is my arch-nemesis. My kids leave little piles of it at the front door and my husband leaves gritty remnants of it by our kitchen trashcan (he insists this is the best place for pounding the sand out of their shoes). Thankfully I have this happy little guy. Would one with less design work just as well? Probably. But it certainly wouldn't make me smile while doing my chores.

Are you ready for Summer? It's coming up soon!!! So lets talk Retro Bathing Suits. I've coveted several over the years but never took the plunge (literally!). Honestly, I just want something cute that stays in place and makes me feel comfortable. This one fits the bill.

And, since the mention of bathing suits usually goes hand in hand with a countdown to get "ready" for swimsuit season… This woman wants to change the way women view their bodies. I'm on board. What do you think?

Have a nice weekend!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Make // Perler Bead Coasters

I may or may not have bought these Perler beads for myself. The pretty colors! The geometric shapes! The pixelated Minecraft-like look…Why did I not think of creating with these before?

I have a few Perler Bead ideas in mind; Some conventional, some not. One of my non-conventional ideas turned into a craft fail (boo!)…  but I think these coasters turned out pretty cool.

This is obviously not something you'd want to start if you're in a rush. If anything, this is a project that makes you slow down and focus. Sorting through 22,000 tiny, little beads will do that!! Like most mundane creative craft projects, I find that it's a good stress reliever and a brief reprieve from the nags and irritations of everyday life.

Click "Read more" for the full post

Friday, May 9, 2014

This Week // 5.09.14

You may have noticed that the blog has been pretty quiet this week. I just didn't have it in me to work on the project that I had scheduled, and here's why….

You may have heard about #redballoonsforryan through Instagram or the web. Forgive me as I struggle to find the right words to describe this tragic loss for a young family. I shed tears because, as someone with young, rambunctious kids, it's something that I worry about constantly. It is something that can happen in a blink of an eye. And it is a tragedy that no parent should have to go through. That this Sunday is Mother's Day just makes my heart hurt even more for this family.

I do not know the family personally, but chose to help in the best way that I can, by donating here. Here's another option if you would like to donate to the family during this difficult time.

Additionally, many bloggers are helping by donating artwork with proceeds going to the family. Here are some beautiful examples by lucy of craftberry bush | mulberry press | idieh design | indie nook.

A community comes together to support others in times of need. In this case, our "little" blogging community has come together to help this family. Whether it's through monetary support, kind words or prayers, all are needed and are what make this community a great one.

Friday, May 2, 2014

This Week // 5.02.14

bicycle wine rack by oopsmark | available on Etsy

Why hello May… How did you sneak up like that? It's our first week back from Spring Break and, with this week's wild weather and extreme heat, it literally feels like we've skipped right into Summer. I'm hoping that Mother Nature calms down and we can go back to enjoying the last month of Spring.

Here's what caught my attention this week--

I never thought I'd say this but… I'm kinda crushing on muscle tees. Some with a Parisian bend and others that are floral and feminine. This one makes me want to go to the beach. Guess I better start toning the biceps!

I've been holding on to some of my boys' favorite T-shirts for several years now, never quite being able to part with them. This beautiful story and lovely quilt touches my heart. Have a tissue ready.

My new favorite home scent can be found at discount retail stores and plugs into a wall. It's inspired by our National Parks and is limited-edition, so get it while you can! I have "Hawaii" plugged in right now and it's almost like being there. Almost.

I loved this Ikea-hack light fixture when I first saw it a few years ago, and I love this new version even more!

Since I could never wear them (bad left foot / bad right knee), I wish I could live in a room that looks like this shoe collection. Whimsical, fun, and eye-catching… yet tasteful (not to mention spendy).

We thoroughly enjoyed our Spring Break. The kids spent a few days at camp, then we ventured out to Palm Desert to visit with good friends and enjoy the Easter festivities. On our way home, we stopped and enjoyed dinner with family. Then the next day we headed out to Universal Studios in Hollywood and leisurely spent 3 days there. The wait times were short and the weather was crisp. Perfection. It was a full, but not overly-scheduled break… Just how we like it.