baby / tots decor

Cuteness Alert – Cat Pillow by birdenvy

Omigosh.  This pillow from birdenvy is beyond adorable …

Perfect for a child’s room or someone that just loves kitties.  Made from chenille and tweed.  They also make owls.

fashion

I Got a New Bracelet

Just got this gorgeous [zebrawood cuff] bracelet from tivi and I LOVE IT.  Very simple and really beautiful.

And they have lots more to love too:

Wooden Clutch w/ faux snakeskin

Stainless Steel Ring w/ Ebony Wood

Wooden Bangle

decor

I Want New Furniture!

Let’s just overlook the fact that I haven’t been posting much lately – it’s hard to bring your laptop to the pool or the beach!  Even when I do get the chance to open my computer, I have been working on booking our vacation and looking for FURNITURE!  We have been talking about getting a new couch and coffee table for months, but instead have bought a new ottoman, rug, lamp, little chair for Ava, and other small decor items.  It’s like when you open your closet and suddenly hate all of your clothes and can’t find anything to wear that you think you look good in anymore.  I’m just ready for a new look.  We have been talking about moving into a new place, which is probably fueling my new furniture fire … and while it’s probably smart to wait until we move and see what the new space looks like, I just can’t help myself.  Doesn’t hurt to look, right?

The ottoman we picked up is a bit more of my husband’s taste, but I can work with it.  Styled after the Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona chair, this white leather ottoman is our test to see how our two cats do with something leather in the house.  So far, no scratch marks!

We also picked up a large Hand Woven Jute and Leather rug that looks a lot like this. but a darker color pattern:

The new lamp, which I totally LOVE:

And even though I’ve outgrown buying large furniture pieces at Ikea, it’s still worth a trip every now and then to pick up cute little things like this Ava sized chair:

As for a new coffee table, I have always lusted after the Noguchi Tribeca table.  I remain on the hunt for a great deal on a well done reproduction.

The couch.  Oh the couch.  It was Mike’s couch he had when we first moved in together.  An IKEA Tylosand.  I’m just over it … or am I?  Bemz is finally making slipcovers for it and they have some pretty killer fabric choices [samples on their way to me!].

The possibilities are pretty close to endless.  So, I’m torn – new sofa or half the price to cover the old one?  Maybe both?  We could use a couch upstairs in Mike’s “office”.  I’ll keep you posted … as soon as I get back from the beach. XO

baby / tots life local

Weekend at the Cabin

Last weekend I planned a surprise getaway for Mike’s birthday.  I wanted something close, something serene … somewhere we could just relax.  I found a secluded cabin just an hour and 15 minutes away from Chicago, nestled on 80 private acres of woodland and spring fed ponds.  I did all the packing and grocery shopping in advance and even picked up two fishing poles [Mike has always wanted to take Ava fishing].  It is amazing how much stuff we had for just a two night/three day stay [most of it for Ava – kids don’t pack light!].  Mike drove us to our destination, guided by “Matilda” [the name we gave our mobile navigation voice] and was pleasantly surprised as we turned down the long private drive to the cabin.

The surroundings were beautiful – lush spring forest, lily pad laden ponds – ahhhhh nature.

While I sorted things out inside the cabin, Mike busted out the fishing poles and he and Ava dug up some worms and headed to the pond.  She caught a baby bluegill on her first cast!  She ended up catching a total of two … Mike, zero.

We kicked off our night by making a fire in the firepit and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  I thought Ava would love s’mores, but she said she didn’t like marshmallows “with brown stuff”.  She did enjoy waving her marshmallow stick around though!

On Saturday we went exploring [we were only 15 minutes away from the Michigan Harbor Towns on the beachfront] and picked up some local morels and sausages from a farmer’s market.  Ava spent lots of time outdoors and especially loved the tree swing out in front of the cabin.

Saturday night, Mike and Ava headed down to one of the ponds with a flashlight and net and brought back a bullfrog and a tree frog.  [If Ava spots a gnat or fly, she totally freaks out – but frogs and fish, love at first sight!]  She held the treefrog for quite a while and wanted to bring him home with us [um no.].

The next morning, Mike made a stellar skillet breakfast using our fresh morels and some wild onions, scrambled eggs, local bacon, and potatoes.  Yum.  Then he and Ava headed down to the pond one last time and found a few tadpoles.  [Not bringing those home either!]  By the time we had to leave, we were just getting into the rhythm of cabin life [isn’t that how it always is on a vacation … just when you start to relax it’s time to go].

I have a feeling this won’t be our last weekend getaway for the spring/summer.

baby / tots life

I’ve Been a Very Bad Blogger

Yes, I admit it.  Lately I have been a very bad blogger.  I haven’t posted anything in 44 days.  Yikes.  Shame on me.  Now I am going to have to make up for lost time by going on a posting rampage.  I’m not even going to make any excuses for my neglect except to say I was sucked into a black hole or a time warp or something … because motherhood can feel like that sometimes.  Things we have (or make) time for slowly inch their way down the priority list to make room for bigger and better stuff … like …

Learning to ride a tricycle:

Finally being able to pump the swing:

Climbing a tree:

(With Daddy’s help, of course)

Holding a baby lamb:

And planning a weekend getaway … which we are leaving on today.  It is Mike’s birthday weekend [official b-day Monday] and we are whisking him away on a surprise trip so I can’t share any details with you … yet.  XO

baby / tots creativity life

Making Play Dough!

The other day, Ava and I decided to make our own play dough.  I found a no-cook recipe on instructables, gathered the ingredients [flour, salt, water, food coloring], and sat down at the table with a very excited little girl!

I covered the table with some scrap paper and handed her the measured ingredients to dump into the bowl.  Then I gave her the spoon and let her mix it up – her most favorite part of helping me in the kitchen.

Once the dough was thoroughly mixed, I divided it into three lumps [I had to keep adding flour until the dough wasn’t so sticky] and then added the food coloring.  [I would really recommend wearing disposable gloves for this part, unless you want red, blue, and green hands like I ended up having.]  Just keep kneading the dough until the color is blended.

Hooray – play dough!

After I just reminded her to NOT smash it all together.

After I reminded her that once you smash them together, it’s very unlikely to have three separate colors again.

“Oh well, mom.  I’ll just make a rainbow worm.”  And that was perfectly fine with me. :-)

decor

Steve from Blue’s Clues Handy Dandy Brooklyn Pad

I’m loving this Williamsburg ‘bachelor pad’ belonging to Steve Burns [from Blue’s Clues].  I would have killed for a space like this in Brooklyn.

A courtyard nestled in the middle of a woodsy, modern, super cool space really sealed the deal for me.  Love love love.

Designed by Eric Liftin.  See the rest of this Brooklyn oasis at Fast Company’s Co.Design page.

decor

Decorating w/ Gray

Gray has been a popular neutral for awhile, but some people are still really reluctant to see it as anything other than drab.  I love gray – it’s the color of our bedroom walls and a large portion of my wardrobe.  To me, a gray room is elegant and cool and it goes great with bright accents or other neutrals.  Perfect for someone [like me] that likes to change things up a lot.  And you aren’t just limited to a gray living or bed room.  Gray looks great anywhere…

via house to home

via decorpad

gray ruffle shower curtain from urban outfitters

gray & naturals kitchen makeover via urban grace interiors

shades of gray with awesome green pendants via washington post


gray kitchen makeover via willow decor

rustic and chic bedroom via sköna hem

indie style bedroom via decor pad

cute little gray bedroom via home sweet home

super comfy living space via apartment therapy

gray wallpaper and velvety furniture via the decorologist

tranquil gray via decor pad


baby / tots creativity

Cute Crochet from Frolicking Leaves

I can’t sew, I can’t knit, and I sure as heck cannot crochet.  I did try to make a pillow for Ava once while I was pregnant … didn’t turn out too bad, but there is still an opening on one side because I never learned how to do the closing stitch.  The closest I’ve come to knitting or crocheting [and this is quite a stretch] is doing one of those latch hooks rug kits when I was a kid.  For some people, wielding a pair of long needles [or hooks, I think they’re called] and turning a ball of yarn into something other than a potholder is second nature.  Etsy shop owner, Angie of Frolicking Leaves, is a great example.

Angie lived with her grandmother while she was student teaching in 2001 and from those skilled hands, she learned the craft of crochet.  She refined her skills, began creating her own fun designs, and opened up her shop in October ’09.  Once she perfects a design [which can take days of starting to crochet, pulling apart, starting over, and finally nailing it], Angie can stitch up a pair of booties or an adorable hat in couple of hours.  So jealous.

Over the holiday season, these felted crochet ballet slippers [omg i love them] were selling fast, just like her current line of hats.  One lucky reader will even WIN A HAT just by leaving a comment.  [View Giveaway Details]

Angie is also a mom – two kids, ages 6 and 22 months – and spends a lot of late nights crocheting while the kiddos sleep.  She has even helped her daughter open up her very own Etsy shop [Greta’s Paper Art] to sell her crayon creations.  What a cute idea!

Just like any mom, we need to find ways to unwind.  Angie’s, of course, involves crocheting … as well as a good cup of coffee and an episode of Little House on the Prairie.  Don’t laugh – I actually love that show too.  :-)  Thanks so much to Angie for taking the time to share a little of herself with me … and don’t forget to check out the Frolicking Leaves Giveaway!  XO

creativity decor

Ampersand Love

via FFFFound!

This handmade lit ampersand by White Electric can be distressed in a variety of colors.


Custom made ampersand chair by Lisa Barrett

Cast aluminum ampersand from House Industries

via Leo Reynolds

Large wooden ampersand from Hindsvik Vintage

via Jake Howe

Ampersand tote from Alphabet Bags


via Ed Prichard

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