Archive | boys

a seahawks birthday party

seahawks-birthday-party

Our second son turned 9 last month and we celebrated with a Seahawk party. We started with his invitations (seen here – which turned out super cute and not too seahawky/footbally/cartoony) and carried the theme into the actual day. We watched the game, ate football party food, played a few games and celebrated the birthday boy. It turned out to be a perfect party for Brady and his friends.

seahawks-party-table

The food setup was great for the kids and simple for me: crackers/cheese/salami, cut up veggies, chips and ranch dip, grapes and pigs in a blanket (my fave). Mini sodas and gatorade in a big jug for drinks, and a bowl of candy (with skittles, of course) that was picked through within minutes.

seahawks-party---food-table

I used a roll of kraft paper as a runner and drew yard lines with a chalk pen.

seahawks-party-food-table

seahawks-party-food

When the kids first came, I had out Seahawk colored rubber bands to make bracelets and a Seahawks word search. I wasn’t really sure if they would be interested in either, but all of the kids got into both activities and it gave them something else to do while the game was on.

seahawks-party-activities

seahawks-party-bracelets-and-word-search

I’m not sure if jerseys are a big deal in your football city, but everyone in the Seattle area wears theirs on gameday. It was cute to see all of the kids with their Seahawks gear on.

opening-gifts

During halftime, we went out front to play a couple of yard games.

seahawks-party-games

Knock the cups down by shooting rubber bands, throw mini footballs through a hula hoop, run around cones, and toss a ping pong ball in a cup (filled with skittles). Good times.

Once the game was back on, this is what the living room looked like …

seahawks-party-watching-the-game

The older boys watching the game, the younger boys playing upstairs and the girls outside loving on Atlas.

For dessert, my non-cake loving boy chose these chocolate covered nutella + peanut butter s’mores.

seahawks-party-smores

seahawks-party-eating-treats

They were a hit.

This turned out to be a really fun party for everyone, easy to host and most importantly, our Brady-boy had a great time.

#gohawks

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speaking your child’s language

We just returned from a weekend away at our favorite beach house on Whidbey Island. I’ve written about this magical place several times before, and posted a million IG photos (#theboathouse). Our good friends are gracious hosts and their hospitality provides the most cherished and memorable adventures for our kids. It is for sure their most favorite place to be.

whidbey-morning

I love the boat house for many reasons, but lingering at the top is watching the boys be boys. They have complete freedom. They can roam the endless beach collecting shells and digging for sea creatures. They cut down branches and make paths through the woods and whittle sticks with their pocket knives. They shoot bb guns and practice with their bows & arrows. They kayak or paddle boat and swim in the freezing cold water.  They build forts and bon fires and swing on a hammock.

whittling-sticks

See what I mean? It’s a boy’s delight.

whidbey-teepee

Usually, after breakfast is over and with the kids happily occupied, I spend my days lounging on the deck or beach chatting with our friends, occasionally glancing through a magazine or reading a book. It’s a pretty dreamy day for me as well.

sitting-on-beach-

But every once in a while, I make an effort to play with the boys. Since Audrey is the littlest and basically my shadow, I find I get lots of time with her, but the boys don’t always get undivided mom-time doing what they love to do.

And the number one thing they love to do at the beach?

digging

Dig.

Dig deep holes. Build dams. Divert the stream.

With shovel in hand, these boys are happy for hours.

And so, on this particular day, I dug.

Dug deep holes. Built dams. Diverted the stream. Dug until I had blisters on my hands and had completed the best sand fort ever.

Midway through our digging, No.1 looked up at me and said, “mom, thanks for being this kind of mom.”

whidbey-digging

And that made missing out on deck-sitting time and those blisters on my hands totally worth it.

Sometimes speaking your child’s language looks like wielding a shovel with jeans rolled up and bare feet.

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a book recommendation from my ten year old

Our oldest son just turned 10 and loves to read. He’s not all that interested during the day, but at night, give him a good book and he will read hours past his bedtime.

the-mysterious-benedict-society-books

I’m always on the lookout for good books for boys and bought the first book in this series at the school book fair based solely on the cover (I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but I totally do and the cuter the cover, the more likely I am to pick it up). I then found a boxed set of the whole series and again, I just couldn’t resist the great illustrations/lettering and bought him the collection for Christmas.

the-mysterious-benedict-society-series

He read the prequel (The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict) and couldn’t put it down. He insisted that I must read it, and he was sure I would love it. I always wanted to be that mom who read whatever her children were reading, but so far, this kid has lapped me a thousand times and I haven’t even attempted to keep up. This was especially true during his infatuation with those ridiculous comic-type books like Captain Underpants and Big Nate. Sorry … this mama has no interest in 8 year old boy humor.

But this book – this whole Mysterious Benedict Society series – this is something I can get in to.

reading-nicholas-benedict

I finished the first book yesterday while feeling kinda sick and even though it is written for kids in grades 3-7, it was a perfectly captivating, intriguing, charming read for me as well. My 10 year old was right – I did love the book.

Now on to the next one …

If you are looking for a good series for your kids (or you!), this one comes highly recommended by both my son and I.

mysterious-benedict-society-series

Learn more about the books here or purchase the set here.

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today, we skied.

The older boys had the day off school. The little ones did not. What’s a mom to do with a 10 year old and an 8 year old on a random january monday? Hang out on the mountain and ski, that’s what.

skiday

We’ve been up skiing as a family a handful of times, but this was the first for just a mom + boys ski day.

SO MUCH FUN.

It’s strange and wonderful all at once to be in this new phase of parenting. I went skiing with my children. Not to library storytime or the bouncy house or the zoo, but skiing. On a mountain. In less-than-ideal-icy-snow conditions. And they did awesome (minus that one run-in with the tree as seen above). These boys are great. I’m happy to be their mom.

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all of the sources for the boys room makeover

Now that the boys’ room is finished and you’ve seen how it turned out {thanks for all of the nice comments, by the way!} today is a good day to share sources and answer a few questions.

One thing you should know about my approach to decorating: nothing is precious or crazy expensive. That’s just not our style. I think even if we did have an unlimited budget, I’m not sure I could spend hundreds of dollars on sheets for my boys’ beds anyway. The challenge of putting a classic and stylish room together without spending a small fortune makes you get a little creative, work a little harder, and the finished result is always so rewarding.

I hope you see some doable ideas here, affordable design and inspiration to use what you have and fill in with a few diys and a couple of purchases.

On to the sources … broken up into categories.

boys-room-furniture-sources

bunkbeds // purchased from costco 6 years ago. I wish I had a link for where to find them, but I couldn’t find one.
dresser // old
shelves & brackets // ikea {see details here}
chair // old
woven cube // diy shown here

boys-room-lighting-sources
ceiling light // depot ceiling lamp potterbarn kids
floor lamp // pharmacy floor lamp target
reading lights // hektar wall spotlight ikea
table lamp // rounded turned wood lamp target

the-bedding-sources

sheets // ticking stripe sheet set target
duvet // striped duvet west elm
blanket // swiss military style wool blanket the sportsman’s guide

boys-room-art-sources

be brave canvas // lindsay letters
camping art // hail tiger *ENTER DISCOUNT CODE JONES15 FOR 15% OFF*
stamped wood round // diy shown here
chalk antler print // the burlap bungalow
swiss cross canvas // painted by me
pinecone print // cut from an old letterpress card
compass canvas // chalk on black painted canvas
cardboard antlers // jdc|monthly october project
constellation print // paper source gift wrap

boys-room-accessories-sources

zinc letters // diy shown here
lantern // morkt lantern ikea
mini drawers // local craft store. There is not a source on the tag – I’m so sorry!
lockers // urban outfitters mini locker that is OUT OF STOCK. Boo. This one is a fun alternative.
deer pillow // lulu & georgia
plaid throw // hermine throw ikea
rope mirror // nate berkus port mirror target {on clearance now}
embroidered pillow // target {not available online}
raccoon // folksy forester manhattan toy
jute rug // tarnby rug ikea

A few more details …

I struggled for a while trying to come up with a good window covering option. The bunk beds overlap the window on both sides and so in the end, I decided to do a full wall of curtains to simplify the lines. My mom and I brainstormed how we could get the look of a canvas tent, without it being too obvious. We used a large drop cloth cut in half and stitched with red thread for that industrial/outdoorsy feel. Then Ryan and my dad stapled the whole thing to a 2 x 4 cut to the size of the wall and installed it at the ceiling. With curtain tie back hooks turned sideways, I can now open each side and loop over the hook to open the curtains.

drop-cloth-curtains-in-boys-room-

The entire setup cost less than $30.

Many of you asked about where the boys toys and clothes are stored. Their room is mostly toy-free since we have a playroom to hold all of their play things. As for their clothes, each boy has a drawer for their shirts and the rest are stored in their very unattractive closet.

boys-closet

Pajamas go in the wire drawers {just thrown in – I’ve given up on folding pj’s}, each boy has a shelf for their pants {a system that is quickly needing updating as they grow and their pants are getting too big to fit}, and sweatshirts/sweaters/button up shirts are hung. On the top shelf are random too-big items or off-season sports uniforms. Nothing fancy, but it works.

Now let’s chat for a second about the cork wall. It was a pain. I’m glad I did it, but it did not go as smoothly as I would have hoped.

The people from WidgetCo sent me a stack of cork wall tiles which I was really excited about because 1. they were self-adhesive which makes them easy to install and 2.they were super thick so the tacks wouldn’t go through the cork and into the wall when putting up photos.

So one saturday a few weeks ago I spent a few hours putting up the tiles.

installing-cork-to-wall

The peeling and sticking part was easy – cutting the tiles to size was a bit trickier, but after a couple of hours, the wall was finished. cork-on-wall-and-then-not

We left for a few hours and when we returned, the tiles had all come down. I tried to re-stick them, but they came down once again. I contacted Widgetco and they said that sometimes you have to add some extra adhesive depending on your wall surface. They sent me out a pack of replacement tiles and last weekend, I tackled the project once again.

cork-on-the-wall

I tried gorilla glue. They fell down. I tried hot glue. They fell down. Finally, I tapped in a little finish nail to each corner and that did the trick. I should have just done that from the beginning. I would still recommend the tiles because they are great quality and there are not a lot of other options available, but maybe test the adhesive on one tile before taking the time to do an entire wall.

Whew. That was a lot of info in one post. Hope it is helpful. As always, let me know if you have any more questions!

 

 

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the boys’ room reveal

As with all DIY projects, the boys’ room redo took much longer than expected, but hip, hip, hooray it’s done!  It all started with this design board. Next we repainted the walls, stained some shelves and installed a new light. And then end-of-summer-fun and back-to-school craziness and a few project hiccups later, I finally spent this past weekend finishing up the space. It came together just as hoped – merging my neutral-loving aesthetic with boyish charm and lots of personal touches.

Welcome to the new and improved boys’ room.

vintage-outdoorsy-boys-room

Our three boys {ages 9, 8, 5} share this room and a couple of things were important in the redesign.

1. It needed to feel light and bright. The two sets of bunk beds are dark and take up over half of the room, so it was necessary to balance the space with lots of white.
2. The boys wanted their own reading lights and places to keep their special things.
3. We wanted the room to reflect the boys and stay away from being overly theme-y or feeling too young.

I think we succeeded at all three.

bunk-beds-and-windows

The walls are now white, the ceiling is faintly blue and a custom window treatment {by my mom} made of painters drop cloths runs across the entire window wall. It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint made in the room. The previous color was a nice neutral beigey-gray, but it just felt so dark. I was nervous going white, but after seeing this room transformation, we’re seriously considering painting our whole house white.

shelves,-chair,-anters

The inexpensive shelves hold a quirky mix of the boy’s favorite things: books, baseball cards, trophies, a bottle cap collection and a few pieces of drift wood from their favorite beach.

shelf-styling-american-flag-compass-art-baseball-cards-driftwood

shelf-styling-pinecone-print-dot-garland

The stamped wood round sits on the shelf next to a couple of my oldest’s beloved hardy boys books.

wood-round-and-hardy-boys-books

bed-and-chair-from-above

That woven footstool turns out to be a great multi-purpose piece: I love it for propping my feet up while I read at night, the boys love it for stashing random toys when it’s time to pick up their room.

On the other side of the room are two more bunks, an old chippy dresser and new art wall.

boys-room-dresser-and-bunk-beds

Each bed has it’s own reading light, a metal wall locker and cork board for saving special notes and photos.

guest-bed-with-light-locker-and-cork-board

reading-light-locker-cork-board

The collected art is really where the concept for the room began.

boys-room-collage-wall-seek-adventure

The Be Brave canvas was the starting point, then came this darling camping/hunting print.

wall-of-art-with-dresser

With the chalkboard antler print, a photo of No. 2 on our favorite beach, Atlas’ announcement, a mini version of the Make Good Choices print, a pinecone print, painted canvas and striped bunting, it makes for a eclectic, yet clean little grouping.

cork-wall-in-boys-room

One of my favorite features {and the one that caused the most headache} is this cork wall. It is just a small wall right when you enter the room and it seemed like the perfect place for the kids to tack up special photos, awards, notes. I’ll share all the details of this project fiasco later this week, but for now I’m just happy that those tiles are finally stuck to that wall.

be-brave-strong-and-courageous-lindsay-letters-canvas

I finished all of the last minute touches late on saturday night while the boys had a sleepover in the bonus room. When they saw the finished room in the morning, they were so excited {well, as excited as a 9, 8 and 5 year old boy gets about a finished bedroom} and that made the whole thing worth it. It’s bright and charming, clean and boyish … just the look we were hoping for.

I’ll share a full list of sources this week, but if you have any specific questions, please leave a comment and I’ll respond back with the answer.

//UPDATE//

for all of the sources, click here.

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diy hand stamped tree slice

It’s accessorizing time in the boys’ room and so I’ve been scouring our house, finding a few things online and crafting my own items to give their room that campy/outdoorsy/vintage/boyish charm I’m going after.

be-kind-wood-slice-hand-stamped-diy

This is one of the pieces I sort-of made. It started with the wood slice I happened across at the craft store. I originally thought I would paint the inside with chalkboard paint like this or this, but I couldn’t find my paint. Not one to let a little missing paint get in my way, I came up with a new idea: using my beloved alphabet stamps to ink a phrase.

diy-handstamped-wood-slice

SUPPLIES //

Wood slice {i found mine at Michaels, but you can also get them online here}
alphabet stamps {I use this set all the time. You can order them here}
black ink pad {like this}

STEP ONE // decide on a quote and practice on a scrap piece of paper.

stamped-wood-round-supplies

STEP TWO // stamp onto wood slice

stamped-wood-round

That’s it.

I mentioned this on instagram yesterday, but I’ll do it again here. If there is anything I want for my boys it is for them to be kind. To think about others, to genuinely care, to understand that oftentimes we don’t know the whole story and so we must be compassionate just for the sake of being compassionate. I want them to stick up for each other, to befriend the lonely kid, to celebrate victories together and encourage when things aren’t going as well.  I want them to grow into young men who are kind. Not wussy; but empathetic. Not out-of-control sensitive; just tender enough to see life through another’s eyes.

And so I chose this quote. Not sure who the originator of it is {some say plato, others disagree}, but it rings true. Plus, my kids are all about battles and fighting, so it seems rather appropriate.

stamped-wood-closeup

Easy, peasy project that is perfect for the boys room, but could be adapted for so many other spaces. Enjoy!

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