Archive | January, 2011

valentines for your valentines

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Do you have a valentine?

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Or a friend who is extra sweet?

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Do your kids want to send something special to their best buddies?

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Introducing a collection of printable valentines perfect for your valentines.

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These valentines are printable files – simply download the pdf, print on your favorite card stock and trim along the dotted lines {provided in the file}.

If you don’t have a printer at home or the office, any print shop {kinkos, office depot, etc.} can print the files for you. Each design is 3.5 x 5 and formatted with four cards per page. The file is yours to keep and you are welcome to print as many as you like.

You will need Adobe reader in order to view the full pdf,
which you can download for free {HERE}.

valentine

Select your favorite design and purchase by using the ‘buy now’ button under each card.

big heart

big heart | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:60:end]

i love you

i love you | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:65:end]

ampersand

ampersand | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:61:end]

loopy

loopy | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:67:end]

brackets

brackets | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:59:end]

scallop dots

scallop dots | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:70:end]

plaid

plaid | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:69:end]

cherry

cherry | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:63:end]

umbrella

umbrella | $2.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:71:end]

Do you * l o v e * more than one? Purchase them all for $7.95

[wp_eStore_buy_now:product_id:74:end]

How sweet.

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what I wore {end of january}

If you are new around here, this is what I call ‘what I wore’. It is, quite obviously, photos of me wearing what I wore. It really wasn’t my idea : Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy got me started when she showed just how darling she looked every day. It seemed like a good way to motivate myself to wear more interesting outfits and actually put on real clothes!  I go in waves; sometimes diligent about taking photos, and other times feeling rather bored of seeing myself {and my slightly uninteresting clothes} plastered all over the blog.

But I have decided to start it up again for a time. I do this post on fridays and you are welcome to see past outfits {here}

Disclaimers:

1. I wear jeans nearly every single day. I really like Seven For All Mankind, but I’m beginning to expand into other brands.

2. I wear a lot of clothes from Banana Republic. But let me be upfront and say that most of the Banana items I own are from the Factory store.  I love the real Banana and if I were working outside of my house, wasn’t spending my days with sticky-fingered children and could afford it {!} I would dress in their fancy clothes. The Factory store is a bit more casual and their clothes fit my lifestyle a bit better.  If not Banana, my clothes are probably from Target, Old Navy or Nordstrom {regular and The Rack}.

3. Every time I get dressed and add an extra accessory I feel like such a dork. But I am trying to expand my fashion sense and go with it.  Try not to laugh at me.

4. Finally, while I don’t particularly love this feature, I do this for two reasons: 1. it stretches and encourages me to put together a more interesting outfit than I would normally choose. 2. I think fashion for moms is hard. We’re not really going anywhere {unless you count Target as ‘going out’} so heels aren’t necessary and we are spending time doing chores or crafts and a silk blouse doesn’t really stand up well to peanut butter or glitter glue. So we resort to comfy clothes and look {and feel} frumpy all day long. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days when p.j.s or yoga pants are the best outfit choice. But when that becomes my everyday, I start to feel less attractive and become much less productive. Weird how that works. So, I guess you could say this is my encouragement to all the moms who want to look cute, but can’t quite fit a pencil skirt into their daily lives.  I hope that I can give some ideas for how to dress casually and still somewhat stylish {how strange it feels to claim that I am a stylish dresser – I would never put fashion as one of my strong suits}.

Okay, here it goes:

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1. button up: banana, t-shirt: target, jeans: seven, shoes: nine west

2. sweater: target, shirt: old navy, jeans: banana {nice scowl}

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shirt: marshalls, jeans: seven dojo, shoes: nordstrom

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I like these shoes. They feel like slippers. And I wanted to show you the gorgeous paint job that #2 {5} gave me.

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4. shirt: gap, long sleeve: target, skirt: old navy, boots: dsw. This is one of those outfits that was a real stretch for me. I do like my new boots though. It only took four pairs and months of searching to find ones that fit right.

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How cute is this tutu skirt? It was a gift from Audrey’s auntie from baby gap.

5. shirt: Martin + Osa {which is now out of business}, jeans: banana, shoes: payless, headband: me {tutorial coming soon}.

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6. sweater: Target, shirt: Nordstrom Rack, belt: Target, jeans: Hudson, shoes: nordstrom

There you have it.

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february giveaway

If you like pink, red and February 14th, you’ll *love* this month’s giveaway collection.

feb give

feb collage

Included this time around is:

1. A grain sack inspired Rug Pillow {tutorial will come}

2. A set of 12 valentines with envelopes {printable collection of valentines coming soon}

3. A generous sample of red & white bakers twine

4. An 8 x 10 ‘Love Never Fails’ art print {newly available in the shop}

5. Set of 12 ‘love’ stickers + 12 glassine bags

The Giveaway winner will be selected on Februay 7th {which should give the winner plenty of time to package up some goodies and deliver valentines to their sweeties}.

TO ENTER, PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW

monthly giveaway button 2

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the lamp print

I wasn’t planning on sharing this story – the story of how the lamp print came about – but it seems appropriate after all of the wonderfully positive feedback and questions about it. It is pretty personal to me and if you aren’t in the mood for long-windedness and rambling, please feel free to click away. I am not offended.

lamp print

So here it goes :

In May of last year I was beginning to really enjoy blogging {I started doing it a little more regularly in January of 2010 when I combined my business & personal blogs}.  I found myself composing blog posts in my head as I washed the dishes or nursed the baby, I took extra photos of life just in case they were blog-worth and I started expanding my vision of what my little stationery business looked like.  As I played around on my blog, I began to get comments : and followers : and it felt really good. 

I’m the type who thrives off of positive feedback and is crushed when I disappoint. It is not something I am proud of admitting and certainly an issue I am working through. I wish I didn’t care so much about what others thought of me, but if I’m being really honest, I do. A lot.

So as I was gaining followers, I had to really check my motives with this blogging thing : was I simply doing this to gain approval of man {or woman}? I would read another blog, see on the sidebar how many followers they had and then compare myself and feel completely inadequate.  Yuck. That is not a fun place to be.

So one afternoon I had a quiet few moments to pour out my heart to the Lord in the form of – what else – my private blog. {I love to journal and find that I am much faster at typing than writing, so I created a blog to be able to do that – password protected, of course!}.

In those moments, I came across this verse:

Philippians 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

That really hit me – I didn’t want my motivation to be selfish or based on impressing others {both in my blogging and in life} but only in what could help others, inspire them, encourage and bring God glory. That really became my prayer.

A few days earlier, I had returned from an amazing women’s retreat where we had looked up our names to find out the spiritual connotation and the scripture that went with it {from this book of names}.  On this particular afternoon I looked up the verse that went with Emily and it was this:

Matthew 5:16 {New International Version}

16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

For some reason, this didn’t really make sense to me. What did letting my light shine have to do with the name Emily, and more personally, in my current life situation? So I looked it up in another version to see if it brought clarity – and oh how it did.

Matthew 5:16 {The Message}

14-16“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had this type of experience – when you feel like Scripture just comes alive and speaks right to your heart? That is what happened to me with this passage. It felt as though God’s will for my life just came together for me : and it felt so good.

What I got from this scripture is this: Whatever I did, whether on a blog or in daily life, my sole purpose was to speak God’s name.  Because I did have a small following on my blog, I felt I had a public ‘platform’ from which I could do it. I knew it wouldn’t always make me popular, that I could lose potential business and that I may never have tons and tons of followers.  But I realized that “by opening up to others, I [could] prompt people to open up with God” – which really was what I wanted in life. I didn’t {and still don’t} feel like I needed to share my faith all the time, but I loved that I could just be open about who I am and that maybe that could also bring Him glory.

Are you still reading? Sorry, this really is long-winded and I hope it is making sense.

As I was contemplating this all, I looked on my office floor and saw a stack of papers waiting to be recycled. On the top was a print out of a lamp silhouette I was going to use for a project.  And it dawned on me : I should put this scripture on the lamp and make a print for my wall as a reminder of my purpose.

And so I did.

lamp

My intention was really just to create this as a reminder for me, but when I shared it with a friend and she suggested turning it into an art print, a whole new facet of my business began.

I think having scripture in our home is so important, but I’ve had a hard time finding ways to incorporate it. I’m not really a fan of the traditional scripture art with photos of snowy mountains or vast meadows {do you know the ones I’m thinking of?} so I decided to come up with a few that are a bit more graphic, modern and simple.

I have a million more ideas for future art prints, and I love hearing suggestions for new ones. If you have a favorite verse or saying, please let me know!

{already in the works are: Twirl, Be Intentional, 1 Cor. 10:31, the great commission, the Aaronic Blessing – I will add them to the shop as they become available}.

Thanks for bearing with me on a roundabout story of how the lamp print came into being.  It is personal, like I said, but I guess that is what this blog is all about – sharing myself with each of you and {hopefully} bringing God glory through it all.

{if you are interested in the art print collection, please click HERE}

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office–rearranged

Several months ago, this was my finished office:

office 1

But in true ryan-and-emily-fashion the room didn’t stay that way for long.  Because Ryan was working with me so much on my blog and business, we decided he needed a workspace in the office as well.  So we moved a few things around, changed out art on the walls and here is where we now work:

office

I’ve always loved the idea of two desks back to back and it is very functional for us. Ryan and I spend a lot of time at our computers and it is nice to be face to face while we work.

desks

I added some of my favorite pictures and artwork to the wall in a semi-organized but mostly haphazard manner.

art wall

art wall left art wall right

A sample of my favorite wallpaper, bird poster, photos of my darling boys, botanicals from my mom, silhouettes of the kids, a family photo, my lamp print, linen bulletin board and wall hanging card holders. Everything on this wall has special meaning to me and I loved putting it together.

pin board

lamp

red bird

On the other side of the room is the chalkboard wall and an armoire that we brought in from another room in the house. It now houses all of my decorative paper and envelopes.

chalkboard wall 1 chalkboard wall 2white birdpaper

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A while back I decoupaged sheet music to a funky Goodwill painting. My three-year-old and I watercolored over top to ‘age’ the paper, then I painted my favorite word on top.

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And that is our rearranged office for two.

{If you are interested in details from the office, read THIS post and THIS one too.  If you want to learn more about the painted wallpaper, read THIS one.}

FYI: the desks were a gift from a family friend who no longer needed them. I don’t see any markings from the manufacturer, so I can’t give a name to them. So sorry for the lack of information!

The wall hanging card holder things are from Pottery Barn about three years ago. They no long carry them and I couldn’t find them online. I know, I’m really helpful.

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be intentional

Last night my best friend and I were doing our bible study and the word ‘intentional’ kept coming up.  She mentioned that be intentional has been a phrase on her heart for several weeks – a phrase she wants to paint over her doorway in her bedroom, but has yet to do. Now to give her some credit, she did just have a baby two months ago and is already the busy mommy of two, so she doesn’t have tons of time lying around to do things like paint a phrase over the doorway in her bedroom.

be intentional

But it got me thinking : so many things in life will never get done if I am not intentional about doing them. Handwriting notes of encouragement to friends, spending one-on-one time with each of my children, putting the laundry away – these all take a conscious effort. 

But even more so, if I am not intentional about loving others the way God wants us to, I will spend all of my days doing my own thing in my own home forgetting that there are so many unmet needs right outside my door.

To wake each morning with the phrase be intentional staring right at me is probably just the reminder I need to live my day with purpose – accomplishing important tasks, making the most of the time that I have and truly loving those around me.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

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best mail day ever

Slightly pathetic but oh-so-true fact about me:

I love getting mail.

Going to the mailbox is quite possibly my favorite daily task.  It is really fun to get a note from my sister or a birthday card for one of the kids or a rebate check. I even get excited about receiving catalogs {in fact, I subscribe to catalog mailing lists just so I can get mail}. I know, it is weird.

But today was the best mail day ever. Look what came for me:

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Some left-over fabric from my friend Holly.

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Generous samples of each of the happy colors of divine twine from Whisker Graphics {in the most darling striped paper bag}

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And the newest Better Homes & Gardens magazine which I briefly flipped through while eating my very healthy afternoon snack of chocolate-hazelnut cookies from IKEA {they are so yummy}.

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It was a good mail day, indeed.

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valentine goodie bags

My friend Rae : she’s amazing. I’ve talked about her on here plenty of times and will continue to showcase her talent because : she’s amazing.

Look what she came up with this time:

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Valentine goodie bags + stickers.

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You can select from her adorable designs, add your child’s name {or your own, I suppose – how fun would it be to give these to your co-workers? Or your milkman?} and she’ll send you a glassine bag and label as a set. You can order as many as you need for only $.89 each.

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Look at all of these darling designs.

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Rae came up with a great list of unconventional fillers for the goodie bags: doughnuts or doughnut holes, cocoa powder + marshmallows, s’more fixings, fruit loop necklaces, cake pops, fudge, bark, brittle or caramel, anything mini, or dipped in chocolate {such as rice crispy treats} or colorful macaroons.

Or something with a little less sugar perhaps?  How about:. trail mix, dried fruit, flavored popcorn, granola bars, chocolate covered raisins or pretzels, fruit leathers, or flavored croissants or scones.

Good ideas, yes? I think plain old chocolate would also be a nice filler. Just saying. {I like chocolate}.

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So many cute designs, it is so hard to choose!

You can purchase yours by heading over to her new website {click on her logo}

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{oopsies … “your a hoot” should read “you’re a hoot” and Rae is on it}

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kitchen follow-ups

Thank you for all of the nice comments on our kitchen. I know I’ve shown it a million times, but I realized that my old post from my old blog didn’t transfer the photos when we moved to this new site, so I figured I should do a new one.  Anyway, thanks for looking {again}.

In answer to some questions:

1. We do drink coffee {you know, being from Seattle and all} and it is kept in the butler’s pantry {between the kitchen and dining room}.

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Don’t judge too harshly the fact that the butler’s pantry is unfinished {and has been for the past two years : we are really great at starting projects, but not so great at finishing them}. One of these days we’ll get around to adding the molding and putting the light switch plates back on. Geesh.

2. We also eat food. It is stored in the pantry that is across from the coffee station in the butler’s pantry.

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Our enormous microwave lives here.  Because it is not an appliance we use on a daily basis, we really didn’t want it taking up space on the counter. So we stuck it in the pantry.

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Ryan went on an organizing kick one day and went crazy with the jars {from IKEA}.  It is really nice to be able to see everything and the jars have rubber seals on the lids that keep things surprisingly fresh.

3. Our table looks like this most of the time:

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I enjoy a tidy space, but for some reason paper, pencils and markers strewn about the table doesn’t bother me too much. We like that the boys are artistic and making these items easily accessible is important to us. Glue, stickers, paint, etc. is kept in a bin in the pantry for other crafts, but mostly the boys just like to draw. And use tape. We go through lots of tape.

4. The files were a find from Goodwill. Ryan inherited an eye for treasures from his mom. It was originally the most terrible hot pink you’ve ever seen so we sprayed it with a million coats of white paint to cover. I just added stickers for the numbers.

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I haven’t found anything just like this, but here are a couple of hanging wall files that would work equally well:

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{ballard designs}

pottery barn

{pottery barn}

5. That big picture above the bench is a topographical map of Mt.Rainier.

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Ryan has summited the mountain a couple of times because he is amazing like that and someday he is hoping to take the boys up the mountain with him.

6. We kept the white appliances that came with the house. Of course I love the look of fancy stainless commercial grade ones, but a} we didn’t have the budget b}our appliances were brand new and c} I actually like the look of white appliances with white cabinets. They blend in well.

7. Other than the granite installation, we did all of the work ourselves. I sanded and painted the cabinets {with oil-based paint using a small foam roller} and Ryan did all of the demolition and construction. I am pretty thankful that my husband is so handy. When we don’t know how to do something, we just sort of wing it. So don’t look too closely or you may see that things are not perfect. But it works.

8. Our {approximate} breakdown of costs:

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I’m pretty sure there are more expenses that I did not account for {nails for the nail gun, electrical wiring, many trips to the hardware store picking up some little piece of trim or screw that we had forgotten}. A remodel is always more expensive than you think it will be.  We tried to come up with a less expensive counter surface {we played with the idea of pouring our own concrete countertops which is what I really wanted, but it was too risky} and without the granite, the kitchen facelift would have been very affordable. But the granite was worth it as it is sturdy and looks nice and will hopefully add value to our home when we sell it.

Okay, are you kitchened out? I will not show any more photos of it for a while.

Or at least until I redecorate the shelves. 

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our kitchen

As I mentioned last week, we remodeled our kitchen just a year or two after we moved into our house. It was a fine kitchen and believe me, we were thrilled to have such a luxurious place to cook and eat coming from our previous teensy old house that didn’t have a dishwasher, let alone any counter space to set a dish. junejuly 188

{photo taken before we moved in}

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So we decorated and added our style to the space {hanging pot rack, giant chalkboard, ticking fabric folded and stuck on the window frame in a fake roman shade – the Nester would be proud of my curtain mistreatment – or maybe she wouldn’t : it really looks terrible}.

But it just wasn’t doing it for us. After searching through tons of magazine clippings and coming up with a sketch of our own for what we wanted it to look like, we took the plunge.

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{sketch by Ryan}

With a bit of muscle {tearing off the tile, removing the upper cabinets} a whole lot of patience {rolling the lower cabinets and waiting for the oil based paint to dry}, some expert craftsmanship from my handy husband {the bead board backsplash and built-in bench} and the nice guys from the granite place, we have a whole new kitchen.

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I think the best decision we made was extending the counter on that right hand side. The little beverage fridge is a great addition, but I mostly love having more counter space to work on.

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We also extended the island so that we could fit three chairs and added the bookshelf on the side for cookbooks & the kids’ workbooks/crafts.

kitchen 3

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The built-in bench was a feature we’ve always admired in other kitchens and it is so useful in ours.

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The boys spend a lot of time at the table drawing {hence the basket of markers and colored pencils}.

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We keep their drawings in these numbered files until they overflow and their terrible mommy takes them to the recycle bin.  Although I would not think of tossing that darth vader picture. Nope, not me.

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I am often asked if I like having open shelves. My answer is a resounding yes! We are very happy with them.

kitchen window

I like having our dishes so easily accessible. I like seeing our simple white dishware and clear glasses – I think they are pretty.  And I like being able to decorate them with the seasons.

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Sure, some items get a little dusty. But if you give it a quick rinse, it’s like that dust was never there. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

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The brackets & shelves are from IKEA. We purchased the birch wood shelves then sanded and painted them the same color as the cabinets.

grateful

Love this print from Vol. 25.

sink

I like our big sink too. It is by Kohler and the protector inside is a life {or sink} saver

cereal

This is our breakfast station. Life cereal {my fave}, oatmeal, brown sugar & baby formula.

frige  side

Are you a fridge minimalist or the magnet type? Ryan prefers a clean fridge, I like photos, invitations and the kid’s drawings. So I use the side to hold all of my random things {although my stuff often creeps onto the front as well}

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kitchen number

Another fun touch are these glitter numbers that line the wall above the doorway. You hardly notice them, but they make me smile. And they come in handy when the boys need to know how to write a number.

Let’s look one more time at the before:

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and after:

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Ahhh : much better.

SOURCES:

shelves & brackets  : IKEA

wall paint : Benjamin Moore Texas Leather

cabinet paint : custom white matched to our existing trim.

granite, sink, bead board, faucet : Home Depot

Table & bench : CB2

pendant light & striped rug : IKEA

Continue Reading | 143 comments

giveaway winner + hair clips

First things first :

the winner of the January giveaway is:

nikki

And what do you know, it looks like she also sells some pretty darling baby bracelets.

Like these two silver ones.

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I like that they are sturdy, but still dainty. I’m so glad to have come across Nikki’s shop.

Anyway, congratulations to miss Nikki {please send me a note and I’ll get your package of wintery goodies sent out}.

. . . . . . . . .

Second, thank you so much for your support of my new shop. It is always great to hear nice feedback so I thank you also for your kind words.  My munchkins were particularly into playing legos yesterday afternoon so if you placed an order yesterday, you are in luck : it is printed and will be shipped today.

. . . . . . . . . .

And now for a simple {but very practical} tutorial.

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I’m all about a baby girl wearing a flower headband {those will be added to the shop at some point}, but there are times when a simple hair clip does the trick. Finding plain clips is not always the easiest, so I just make my own.  This technique is certainly not original but the clips are awfully cute and I think worth sharing.

So here is what you’ll need:

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:: metal single prong hair clips {purchased at the beauty supply store}

:: ribbon

:: fabric glue {you can use hot glue but it gets a bit bumpy when it dries}

:: scissors

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You can use any type of ribbon – grosgrain, velvet, satin. I find that for the single prong clips 3/8” ribbon works best. All of these are from May Arts or Midori.

STEP ONE: cut a piece of ribbon to size

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For my clips just under 7 inches was plenty to wrap all the way around.

STEP TWO: add a line of glue

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STEP THREE: attach to clip

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Press the clip to open, place the ribbon on the inside of the prong and wrap around the end, adding more glue to adhere.

{oh dear, please excuse the chipping polish}

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Now add more glue and continue wrapping, pressing the ribbon into the springy part.

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wrap all the way, pressing the ribbon together to adhere.

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and you’re done.

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It’s as easy as that.

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Pardon the blurry photo. It is the best I could get of this squirmy babe.

If you’d like to embellish further, you could add a mini flower

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If you find a clip in my Target that looks just like this one, it is Audrey’s. She likes to pull them out, chew on them for a bit and then drop them.  I don’t really like that about her.

These make darling gifts when you package them all up together – very simple, personal and inexpensive.

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the always amazing holly mathis

Do y’all read Holly’s blog? If not, perhaps you should. She’s amazing. Besides being a dear friend, she is also a fabulous decorator. Look at what she did to a little space in her kitchen:

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I love so many things about it. The linen skirt, the pencils in the pitcher, the funky lamps and metal basket. I love that it is clearly feminine without being over-the-top. I could work there.

And see what she did for a little feature on hgtv.com:

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A slipcovered bed two ways. I’m loving that one with the chipper fabric {I’m thinking about using it for living room curtains : we’ll see how that goes over with Ryan}. Of course the book wreath is a favorite, but then add in a silhouette, neutral walls, that simple glass lamp : I could sleep there.

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And then this charming set up with the monogramed slipcover. I love the way Holly mixes so many textures and layers – it really makes the room look collected and lived in and finished without being contrived.

You can see more of Holly’s amazing talents at www.hollymathisinteriors.com.

. . . . . . . . . .

Today is the last day to sign up for the january giveaway. Click on the image to enter!

jan give button

. . . . . . . . . .

My shop is now open.

I’ll be adding new products as we go, but for now I have a great selection of name prints and art prints.

Please take a peek!

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baby bracelet

After our baby girl was born, I had this idea to get a dainty baby bracelet for her as a keepsake.  I did a little bit of searching, but didn’t find quite what I had in mind.

Then I met Amber from Starfish.

I mentioned to her that I was looking for a baby bracelet, gave her a few details and she agreed to design the sweetest little piece of jewelry for Audrey.

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Is that not the cutest thing?

It really isn’t for every day wear and will probably live most of its days displayed on Audrey-girl’s dresser, but I love that I now have a keepsake to remember just how tiny her little wrists are.

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{so big!}

Amber has added the baby bracelet to her fabulous assortment of personalized jewelry.

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Because she already had a piece with the name ‘audrey’, she is calling this one ‘emily’ {I feel sort of famous!}. If you have a special baby in your life you can order her a sweet bracelet { h e r e }. 

Thanks again Amber for such a lovely gift!

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live where you live

2011 is my year to let loose. Have a little more fun. Be daring and crazy.

You probably won’t find me sky diving or shaving my head, but I do hope to take life a little less seriously.

Take, for example, decorating my home.

I really love decorating, rearranging furniture, creating displays on our kitchen shelves, changing out pillows – it is a favorite hobby of mine for sure.  As far as I can tell, it seems to be a favorite hobby of yours as well.

So maybe you can relate with me on this one.

I get an idea {however unconventional it is} for my walls or cabinets or lighting, but I’m afraid to actually follow through with it out of fear that it will somehow ruin our home.  We love where we live, but we don’t feel like it is our ‘forever’ home. So in the back of my mind, the term ‘resale value’ is always lingering when these crazy ideas pop up.  And if it isn’t ‘resale value’ it’s the thought that I should just wait until we are in a house that is our dream home and then I can really make it ours.

Anyone?

But here’s the deal.  I need to embrace where we are now, fully live in the house we get to call home and enjoy it despite what a future homeowner might think.

{I’m not advising destroying your home or being unwise with what you have : I’m just talking about living in the present and allowing your home to reflect your family – even if you don’t plan on being in it forever}

We learned a bit of this lesson when we remodeled our perfectly fine kitchen to make it look more like ‘us’.

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It didn’t cost much and we did most of the work ourselves, but it totally reflects our style and has become a room that I really enjoy being in.  Was it necessary? No. When it comes time to sell our house will every prospective buyer love the open shelves? Probably not. Do we love it? Yes. Plus we can now fit lots of little bodies around the table which makes hosting parties that much easier {which we also love}. And that makes it worth it.

So if you are anything like me – stifled in your decorating by the what-ifs of the future sale of your home or waiting for something better to come along – I say let loose.  Have fun. Take some risks.  Really  L I V E  where you live.

If that means putting a hole in your wall to hang some artwork – go for it.  You can always fill a hole.

It it means using a sharpie to draw the most amazing wallpaper in your bathroom – by all means, go right ahead.

And if it means painting the wood floors in your kitchen with a distressed checkerboard pattern like you’ve been wanting to do for years {honey, are you reading?} – then do it!

Here’s to 2011.

Can’t wait to see what it holds.

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movie night

It’s movie night tonight {Despicable Me, if you’re curious}.

And, naturally, movie night means it’s also popcorn night.

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But not just any popcorn.

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This is the best homemade kettle corn you’ll ever eat.

Recipe found { h e r e }.

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