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!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Make // Pineapple Gold Leaf Bowl

I wasn't going to jump onboard the "pineapple decor" bandwagon. But then, on our trip to Kauai, I saw this 1970's designed pineapple bowl while perusing the Tourist Section at Walmart. You know that section? The one that all the locals avoid? I was fearless and risked my reputation for this!! I kid. Sorta… Anyhow, for 5 bucks, I figured I could indulge the trend.

BTW, this bowl is made from pine, not pricey koa or monkey pod that some of the vintage pieces are made from. So while this pineapple bowl brings me back to the time of avocado shag carpet and orange formica… aah memories… I'm clearly someone who enjoys living in this century, and had no problem updating it with a little paint and bling.

My only struggle was deciding on a design…  Should I paint it on the diagonal? White with gold polka dots? Paint it all? Leave some wood showing? Gold leaf?

Eventually Gold Leaf won out. I have a gold leaf kit that's been hiding-out in my craft supplies for the past year or two. Truth be told, gold leaf can be a little tricky to work with, so I put off using it until I had the time and patience. Well, last week I had the time and patience-- woot! Here's how my first attempt at gold leafing turned out.

Click "Read more" for the tutorial

Thursday, August 21, 2014

This Week // 8.21.2014

We are back from our annual trip to Oregon. It was eleven days of amazing. We spent 7 days in Portland and 4 days in Central Oregon. This wasn't a super fancy or highly planned out trip, but it was perfect for us-- Quality time with great friends and many, many children… nine in all! And those nine kids (7 boys, 2 girls) got along splendidly. We hung out a lot, bbq'd a lot, played a lot. It was just what we needed.

Now we're home and the back to school, back to routine, back to work, back to everything, is in full swing. It's all good though. This has been one of the best summers on record for us. It's a combination of the kids being a little older (no nap schedules to adhere to, no major meltdowns) and also me being better at planning and finding the right mix of busy and downtime. Ah summer...

So, besides laundry, here's what's going on this week--

You know those tees and sweatshirts with French saying? I still like 'em.

Oh dear, dear, dear… They one-upped cookie butter. Already on my shopping list.

I think it's inane to worship athletes and celebrities, but I'm okay with my kids looking up to this humble guy. A good read for the 8+ crowd. This is the kids' edition, but there's also one for teens/adults.

After a decade of being a strictly pants kinda gal, I'm ready for a change. I may have found the perfect skirt-- not too frumpy, not too frilly. Just right.

You're looking for a Natural Dyes Chart, right? Sure you are. This one is cute and useful for a future project.

I've always wondered what to do with these drawers. Now I know.

Have you heard of a capsule wardrobe? I always feel better when I simplify… Consider me intrigued.

Fall shoes… Oooh. Currently 20% off.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This Week //8.14.2014

abstract pillows via art pillow | available on etsy

We are hanging with our besties and having a relaxing, carefree week… Well as relaxing as it can be with 7 kids under the age of ten! Luckily they all get along really, really well. Which probably isn't all that unusual considering that us parents (well, 3 out of 4) have known each other since 9th grade. These days I really appreciate our childhood friends. If these relationships can weather puberty, teenage whims, and the unpredictable 20's, they can pretty much make it through anything!

Here are some things I liked this week--

Cute bootie alert!

I don't like frosting. But I still have a sweet tooth. This nekkid cake may be just the thing.

Did you ever wish that you could create a Water Color Map with a snap of your fingers? Just enter your location. Done.

Tips for planning an Epic Road Trip. Unless we're driving at night, my kids can't survive past 1.5 hours. Saving for later.

Do you collect fonts? These are pretty darn cute.

Apparently Instagram selfies take A LOT of work.

Among other things that we're updating in our house, we need to install and change-out some ceiling lights. I'm digging this round-up of lighting fixtures.

This may be THE perfect jacket for Fall.

Happy *almost* Weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Eat // Dutch Oven Savory Pork Roast

I've been a slacker blogger lately (there. I said it!) and I actually couldn't remember if I shared this recipe already. So I had to search my own blog. Pitiful. 

Anyhow, it turns out that I haven't already shared this recipe and it's about time that I did!

I love easy. I love healthy. I love anything that makes my eyes roll back in my head as I stuff my face between sighs. This pork roast just does it for me. And my hubby and boys agree.

I love it when that happens because I am not a short-order cook… and I get annoyed when one kid likes white sauce, one kid likes red sauce and I'm supposed to figure it out… pink sauce??

No figuring it out with this one. The only thing I do differently for one kid is give him barbecue sauce instead of gravy.

Someone always has to be difficult special.

Click "Read more" for the recipe

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This Week // 8.07.2014

beautiful sunsets this week…
but thankfully the humidity broke and we're back to dry 80's. phew!

We have a month left of summer break and I feel like time is just speeding by. I find it interesting that many schools have already started or will start within the next week or two. It seems like schools are starting earlier each year… Remember the good o' days when school would start mid or late September? I'm not sure how I feel about school getting out in May and starting in July/August, but all I know is that right now we're not physically or mentally prepared, so I'm grateful for the extra few weeks!

Things I liked this week…

A cool DIY leather-wrapped console table.

Vans are back! Or did they ever leave? I may need these cool kicks. If anything to relive my skateboarding days. ;)

Underwater photography tips.

I'm not really a watch person, but… wow!

Toile… it's making a come-back!

We're finally getting around to doing some home improvements around here. I'm a decorating scaredy-cat so I'm starting with the easiest room-- our guest room. It's getting new charcoal gray drapes and this bedding. It's a start!

After trying on way too many hats-- too floppy, too wide, too summery… I finally found my hat for Fall. It keeps the sun off my face and, although it looks like wool, it's light and airy.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Make // Paper Punch Card

It's been awhile since I've worked on a project, so when my sister-in-law's birthday rolled around, it was the perfect opportunity to create a pretty and simple card.

I used this technique a few years ago for the cover of my journal, and it's one of my favorite projects-- Simple with a little flair.

click "Read more" for the tutorial

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Party // Minecraft - Free Printables!

As promised, here are the FREE PRINTABLES for a Minecraft Party. If you're looking for all of the party details, click here.

 This Creeper printable will fit nicely around a tall
 2"x4.75" juice box.

And this TNT printable will fit around a 2"x2"x2" box.

Click "Read more" for the Free Printable & Instructions

Monday, July 28, 2014

Party // Minecraft - Part 2

I mentioned in a previous post that we were gearing up for a Minecraft Birthday Party. Well that party was this past weekend and I believe the birthday boy and his guests had a great time.

Weather in July is always warm in Southern Cal, so we held the party at an indoor play gym. The kids bounced, slid, jumped and zip-lined to their hearts' content. So basically, there were a lot of sweaty and hungry kids at the end of 2 hours. And those kids were ready to get their Minecraft on!

My youngest LOVES Minecraft so we decided to decorate the party room with all the Creepers, Steves, Mobs and archaic Weapons that we could gather. There aren't a ton of Minecraft decorations out there, so it was a fun challenge for me to make some of my own and also "repurpose" what is already out there.

Click "Read more" for the full post

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This Week // 7.24.2014

summer reflections via joy st. claire | available on etsy

I've got the de-clutter bug. It doesn't happen often enough so when it comes around, I have to roll with it. I wish "the bug" wouldn't come around when temps are in the mid-90's… but if I'm sweating, I guess it also counts as a workout. It started with my linens, then moved on to all the random home accessories that I've collected over the years--I finally said goodbye to all the tropical/beach house stuff from the 90's. Of course that stuff is coming back in style, but… NO. Then I moved on to the kids toys. That was kind of sad… no longer my little toddlers. But off to homes that will appreciate and get some use out of them. I still have a ways to go since I'm apparently the only one in the family who occasionally gets this de-clutter bug. The rest of the family? Pack Rats. The whole lot of 'em. 

Things I liked this week…

I spend a lot of time outdoors and am looking for a full coverage hat for summer and fall. I'm thinking felt, I'm thinking brown. This one. Or maybe this one. And if money grew on trees, this one.

What You Learn in Your 40's = Skip the drama, everyone's just winging it.

These chicken kebabs sound delish. Yogurt marinade? Paprika? Yes please.

In the real world I'm never a size 00. Except sometimes here. But man… they're comfy, cool and I snagged them for 50% off. Two thumbs  up.

Our attempt at "family game night" quickly petered out. Perhaps we should try again.

I usually don't DIY things that won't last beyond a season… but this is awfully pretty.

An art piece made from drinking straws.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Party // Minecraft - Part 1

My Little. My funny and rambunctious, yet sweet and caring child… He turned SIX last week!! When I started this blog, he was just eight months old. Sometimes I have to think in terms of blogging to get a perspective on time. All I know is that it's going by much too quickly.

He is the child who easily makes friends, likes to perform… jazz hands and all, is a friend to everyone and just loves to laugh and play. He is also the child who is concerned about others, will sit and comfort a friend, and likes to throw in surfer words like "dude" and "epic" whenever he can-- "Mommy, that chicken was epic".  :D  Right now he has the missing front teeth lisp so it sounds even better.

This bundle of happiness is also a HUGE fan of Minecraft. His party is later this month, but since he's a summer babe (no celebrating at school with his buddies) I decided to make a little something special for him at home.

Behold Mr. Balloon Creeper! I was going to make it out of small square plates, but he's a balloon guy. He requested a bag of balloons for his birthday-- he's the only person I know who likes to manually blow them up...  So we had to go with balloons. I know they're not square (it's not Minecraft if it's not square and pixelated), but aside from shiny mylar, I don't think square balloons exist. Well, at least not yet.  :)

He's also my guy that likes to sit down and assemble things, so with Grandma's help we spent a couple of hours folding up these Minecraft papercraft cubes and this cute mob. I never thought of a mob as cute, but… this one is! Either that, or Minecraft is growing on me. He's playing with them now and we'll use them later as party decorations. I briefly contemplated printing my own-- there are many freebies on the internet, but then decided that it'd be more cost effective if I just bought the pre-made version. I'm pretty sure my printer ink costs more than this! It's actually really well made and easy to assemble.

One thing I did design myself, is a Creeper Juice Box "skin". This is just a draft… I'll be sharing the final version and free download in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Another fun detail is this Perler Bead "mob". With their pixelated look, these beads lend themselves perfectly to the Minecraft theme. I shared this "mob" on Facebook earlier this month. These guys are going to be incorporated into the party as well… But more on that later!

So, that's pretty much what's been going on at Casa de BBB… This and a ton of play dates, swimming, sports, camps and birthday parties. I don't think we've ever had such a busy summer, but it's a good busy and it's relatively unscheduled and free of self-imposed stress… So I'm not complaining!

Have a nice week!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This Week // 7.02.14

We're back! You may not have noticed, but I went and disappeared on ya for a couple of weeks. I'm stealthy like that. Or Not. Okay, maybe I should've prepared better and prepped some filler-posts before we left but… bygones! I'll share more of our trip to Aulani and Kauai in another post… I still have to weed through about 500 photos on my poor little camera phone.

But here's a sneak peak--

And another one--

So here's what's up for this week--

I shared some of my Favorite Summer Projects over at homework. If you haven't discovered it yet, Carolyn's blog is jam-packed with creative and beautiful project ideas. She also has one of the prettiest sites in the blog-o-sphere. But don't take my word for it, check it out!

After snickering at the "pajama pants" that are in style, I went and bought a pair. Soooo comfy for summer and not too spendy with the additional 30% off. [code: SHOPMORE]

Looking for an easy DIY tee for the July 4th festivities? This one is cute and looks fairly easy to make.

I'm trying to focus on finishing up our Master Bedroom restyle and am therefore going to ignore all the great sales going on this week. But this Tag Sale + extra 20% off at Anthro…  And this Sale + Free Shipping at Madewell... And an Extra 30% off Summer Styles at JCrew… Well, I hope someone scores some great deals!

Apples & strawberries dipped in anything sweet is so up my alley. This idea is great for a party.

I'm looking for extra-large artwork for my dining room but am struggling to find the right look… this elegant DIY might be just the thing.

If you're in the U.S., have a fun and safe Independence Day weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

This Week // 6.19.2014

ranunculus still life photography via lupen grainne | available on etsy

Things to avoid if you want to be happy. Especially #1, #4, #10 and #16.

I'm a long time fan of volcano, but this crane flower about knocked my socks off. It's supposed to be a present but… I'm soooo tempted.

The prettiest trailer I've ever seen.

Jewelry that gives back-- This one is a beauty. And this one too.

Why doesn't my craft room look like this?

If you're a blogger (aka master of deception), these photography tips are awesome.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, June 13, 2014

This Week // 6.13.2014

quote by william shakespeare | sign via the house of belonging  | available on Etsy

Today is my kids' last day of school! My how quickly this year went… Next Fall I will have a 1st grader and a 3rd grader. What??!!! So this is the Summer where we slow down time. We are not going to rush through it. We are going to s-l-o-w-l-y enjoy each and every moment. We'll call it the Summer of the Tortoise… and it'll take us an hour to eat a piece of lettuce.  :)

Since the Fam and I will be in slo-mo, this here blog will be in slo-mo too. I know, I know… it's been in slo-mo for about a month now… Alas, it can't be helped. Call it burn-out or a case of casual disregard, but I think a little break will be helpful. I'm going to try my darndest to peek in here at least once a week. And maybe a little creating will happen too. We shall see…

So, here's what's up for this week--

I don't like war. I don't like conflict. And I definitely don't like loud, in-your-face explosions, or special-effects laden movies about war… but I LOVE this movie and what it represents. It's about war, it's about buddies, it's emotional, human and very, very real. It's one of those movies that really gets you thinking and may change what you think you know. Highly recommend!

Father's Day is this Sunday and I got this for my hubby. Trust me when I say… He's going to be so stoked! No sarcasm AT ALL, he's been wanting one of these babies for a while. I did my research and this one is supposed to be good.

I'm not really getting the latest trend of pineapple decor, nor the blogosphere's obsession with cute donuts or things that look like donuts, but aren't… but I can get down with this yummy goodness.

After trying on way too many swimsuits, I finally found one that works for me. It's flattering, on sale, and it doesn't go anywhere when I swim. All good qualities. I feel like it deserves some sort of award… ;)  ps. I bought mine in the sale section and paid under $50.

We're redecorating our Master Bedroom. So far it's very contemporary, charcoal gray/cream and a bit masculine, but I'm strangely attracted to these whimsical crewel curtains. But I know how my brain works, I'll probably lose courage and go with this. Gah! We'll see…

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Lives // Hike Our Backyard

Okay, this is not exactly our backyard… But I'm grateful to live in a place where open space and hiking trails are just a stones throw away. Many may complain about Los Angeles and Southern California in general-- too many people! the crazy traffic!;  However many don't realize that we live amongst the largest urban national park in the world, not to mention the abundance of open space just north of the county line. The 240 square miles of open and protected space gives us easy access to nature's wonderland and is what keeps many of us native Angelenos happy and sane.

Although I appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, I have to admit that we don't get out there and embrace the outdoors as often as we should. So last weekend we decided to remove our butts from all horizontal surfaces and get a move-on. We grabbed the kids and some friends and went on a three hour hike. It was invigorating, beautiful, sweaty and dirty.  We had a blast.

It was a warm 84 degrees, but luckily the occasional cool sea breeze made it enjoyable. We slathered on the sunscreen, packed a lot of water and snacks (gorp is my fave) to keep ourselves hydrated and energized, then headed on out.

I love how California terrain can go from dry scrub and cactuses to a lush waterfall in about 100 steps. Since we've had drought conditions for over 3 years, I was happy to see that the waterfall, while not full, had a decent flow of water.

Streams were forged, pebbles were skipped, plants and animals were observed (including a large snake… thankfully not a rattler). The kids explored and enjoyed pointing out all the interesting things that they discovered.We took our time and followed the stream from the waterfall back to its source. We walked over flatlands, under tree canopies, through steep, shaded canyons and crossed the stream a few times. There was such a variety of things to look at and places to explore that there wasn't a single complaint out of any of the hikers… Nirvana.

At the end of the 3 hour hike, the kids were still running. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This Week // 6.05.2014

latitude-longitude key chain via maven metals inc | available on etsy

This was a "chicken with its head cut off" kind of week for me. It's partly due to end-of-school madness, mixed with birthday and holiday planning, and topped off with miserable allergies… A not so great combination.  It was so bad that in my frenzy to get stuff done, I forgot to fill up gas. I was driving on the freeway when I realized that my fuel gauge actually read "1 Mile". Ack! My car gives no warning for low fuel… no bright light… no bing… nothing. By the time I rolled into the gas station it was actually on "0". Whoa… that's pretty bad. But, on the bright side, I'm grateful that I didn't have to push my car.  :D

Anyhow, summer is almost here and I'm determined to get my sanity back soon. Very soon. And I might even work on a project this month… Or July. 

Here are a few things that caught my attention this week--

Any Outlander fans out there? Well, if you are an Outlander virgin, let me tell you… there's a good reason why there are about a billion rabid Jamie & Claire fans out there. It's all about good writing, great research and A-mazing characters that are so incredibly real (and hot!).  On June 10th the Eighth book in the series will be released. I pre-ordered through Amazon and can't wait! Of course, if you're new to the series, you'll want to start with the first book which sets the whole plot and is a great read in itself. 

For some reason, fried blossoms sound good to me. One of these days I'm going to try this recipe.

I don't need any more clothes for summer, but I love this top (in blue)and this one too.

Starting June 15th, some products of Jessica Alba's eco-friendly line, The Honest Company, will launch at Tar-Jay. One more thing to get distracted by when I go to pick up our prescriptions.

Emily Henderson's go-to paint colors. Awesome. Less trial and error for me. Love her… and love her even more for sharing.

Have a great weekend!

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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Make // Design a Pillow with Tulip For Your Home

Today I'm sharing a stenciled pillow project, sponsored by the folks at Tulip®. I happen to love their Soft Fabric Paints and have used them on several textile projects. This paint is exceptional on fabric and always dries soft and flexible. So it's no surprise that I was excited to try some products from their new Tulip For Your Home line.

With stylish stencils and an extensive line of paint colors, they make it EASY to create affordable, on-trend home decor. It's the perfect medium for personalizing any textile project-- from pillow cases & placemats to lampshades & canvas art.

I was given all the tools to create this pillow case, including the "cool" color palette of blueberry, ocean and nickel.

Click HERE for the full post