Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Like Etsy in Your Neighborhood

Spring in the desert is hands-down one of the best times of the year.  Beautiful weather, the scent of orange blossoms, wildflowers and hundreds of outdoor events. 

I'll be at two of these events in the coming months and if you love handcrafted hipness you do not want to miss these.  It's like Etsy has come to your neighborhood!

Petals are thoughtful gifts for Teacher Appreciation and Mother's Day.  They also make beautiful accessories for Easter and summertime. 

Get yours now - these are the last two shows of the season!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pintrest Has Me Pinned!

Have you become a Pintrest addict like me? It practically has me pinned to my iPad. My justification for excessive use is that it's a substitute for magazines or blog surfing. I've actually found amazing recipes and wardrobe inspiration. It's become a more refined Google when I'm searching for a specific type of recipe or craft.

The other night we came home at 5:15pm from soccer, all famished and without a plan. I took a quick look in the fridge and searched for "ground turkey, black beans, carrots" and Pintrest spit back the best turkey chili recipe I've had in a long time.

Since everyone on Pintrest is so artsy and craftsy there's a plethora of inspirational prints in pretty fonts on and colors. A few have really resonated with me and are good reminders for daily living.

So Pintrest is more than just a time-waster. It's a resource. It's inspirational. 

Two mornings in a row I woke at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep, but there was Pintrest.  Waiting for me.  I'm not quite sure if I pin because I am up at 4am or if I wake at 4am so I can pin.  What came first?

Pinned Image

Pinned Image
Tory Burch Loafers {source}
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Farmer's Market Party {source}
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 DIY Food Covers {source}
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Quinoa Salad {source}
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Cinque Terre {source}
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One Pot Veggie Garden {source}

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Page Canvas & Gallery Wall

This idea isn't new and has been all over the blogosphere, but thought I would share my take on it.  It's a super easy project that takes very little time.  It also inspired me to create a gallery wall in our entryway.  A very impromptu afternoon!

old book from thrift store
12x12 canvas
Elmer's glue spray
Mod Podge
paint brush

Tear some pages from the book and lay them out on the canvas.  I tried to find pages with fun titles and cover up the page numbers.

Gently slide the pages off (to remember your layout) and add them back one at a time with the glue spray.  Fold the edges over as you go.  Then, using the paint brush, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge.  At this point your canvas and book pages will look really wrinkly and you'll think it's headed for the trash, but don't dump it yet!  Let it sit over night and dry and all the bubbles and wrinkles will disappear. 

Take your embellishment of choice and add it using hot glue gun.  I used a moss-covered H to represent our last name.  You may remember it from this tutorial I did awhile back. 

I didn't really have a good spot to hang this piece, so I decided to take down the large wall art in our entryway and turn it in to a gallery wall.  I pulled random art, frames, mirrors and family photos from all around the house.  It's a rather large wall so I plan to add to it over time.  Everything has a meaning and memory attached and some pieces I had nearly forgotten about until I started rummaging around in cupboards.

This vintage paint-by-numbers came from a local thrift store and I painted the frame cream.  I love the colors and the fact that you can't see the woman's face.  Her age and identity are a mystery.

I discovered this vintage botanical print in a round gold frame at an antique store in Idaho when I was there on business years ago.

My husband found this horseshoe and knew it would be something I'd love.  I wrapped a canvas in natural linen and attached the horseshoe with some glue.

This print came from Gus and Lula on Etsy.  They have many sweet and simple prints to choose from and you can customize the background color and texture.

I bought this water color mail print at a boutique in Los Angeles when visiting a friend about 10 years ago.

This pencil sketch of three birds is another local thrift shop find.  I often wonder who drew this, their age, gender, intent.  Was it a teenage boy doing it for a school art class or an retired woman working in her backyard?



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Favorites: Potty Training Essentials

Potty training is tough stuff.  Right up there with breastfeeding and sleep issues if you ask me.  With my son we started right before his 3rd birthday, went cold turkey and within a day he was doing great, no accidents.  With my daughter we started when she was 2.5 years old, went cold turkey, dealt with accidents for 6 months, reverted to pull-ups for a miserable week and have finally nailed it.  You just never know.

Every child is different and you have to do what works best for your family and disregard what others are doing.  That said, if this is your first rodeo you may want a few tips before jumping in to the potty training pond.  Here are some helpful items you might want to have ready before the big day.

Clorox Wipes: For wiping down the seat, floor, bowl, step stool...

Nature's Miracle: Yes, this is for dog accidents, but it works just as well with little humans.  All natural, smells fresh and doesn't stain carpet.

Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover

Step stool: My favorites are these simple affordable white ones from Target.

Undies: I thought having Belle or Toy Story undies would encourage my littles to keep them dry, but as much as they love those character undies it didn't help the cause.  The best undies are these from Gerber because they are thick absorbent training pants that help catch most of the pee before it can hit the floor.


Bjorn Potty Chair: When we trained our son we were living at our old house and the powder room wasn't close to the family room.  It helped to have this potty chair close by in a little alcove.  In our new house there is a potty right off the playroom so we didn't use it with our daughter.  Plus I think she wanted to be like the rest of the fam and go in the big potty.  It is handy to bring in the car for long road trips.

Munchkin Potty Ring: A lot of my friends used this and we have one, but my kids never seemed to need or want it.  Plus to me it was just one more thing to clean (see Clorox Wipes).

Munchkin Potty Seat

Books: There are many many potty training children's books out there including the famous Once Upon a Potty.  My favorite is Big Boys Use the Potty! (there is also one for girls).  It comes with a reward sticker chart that may encourage some kids and makes for a nice keepsake and tracking system too. 

Big Boys Use the Potty!

Treats: M&Ms were used in this house and, again, might work, might not. 

Milk Chocolate M&M's

There were many days I had to remind myself to:

take deep breaths
have compassion
be a cheerleader
be realistic in my expectations
recognize they will not pee their pants forever
pour a glass of wine

Good luck!