Wednesday, March 27, 2013

last minute flower vases

 Spring (and Easter) are around the corner which means flower season is HERE! I love using clusters of vases/flowers when entertaining and I always try to keep fresh flowers around our home but I never seem to have pretty vases on hand for my arrangements. So I asked my mom (the gardener and expert on all things flowers and arranging) to help me come up with a handful of SUPER fast and easy ways to transform things around the house into creative vases. 

Grab that acrylic paint and dip the bottom of a vase or glassware in the paint. The acrylic paint is not permanent but will last and hold up until you wash it!

A cereal bowl (glass, ceramic or even plastic) works great for flower arranging. 
Simply add pebbles or stones, place a floral frog (the best creation ever) in the stones and add flowers- the frog enables you to arrange the flowers upright. 
We added moss to the top of the pebbles.

Use a glass candle holder, shallow bowl or plate and paint with polka dots. 
Add a floral frog, water and flowers. 

Recycle those glass food jars (herb, spices, jam, baby food, etc) and use them as vases.
Use acrylic paint to add letters, words or pattern
Embellish the top with decorative ribbons, lace or beads.

Wine glasses and goblets make a great tall vase for flowers.

SO many everyday things can be filled with flowers. Take a look around your house and see what you can come up with!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

homemade bird nest

A homemade bird nest is the perfect accessory for spring decorating or even Easter entertaining and I've come up with a very easy tutorial. All you need are a few simple supplies-

Brown paper napkins
Glue gun
Twigs, branches and moss
Cereal bowl

I started by twisting brown paper napkins and wrapping them around a bowl (this bowl will serve as a form for the nest). Using hot glue I attached the napkins to each other (do not glue to the bowl)by stacking and gluing as I went until I formed a nest.

I collected twigs and moss and glue them to the surface of the napkin nest.

Next, I used watercolors to add some shading and contrast the the napkins.

I will be using my nest as a centerpiece for the table so I found a long branch that I painted white and then tucked my nest into the branch.

Last, I filled the nest with pretty blue painted stones.

The result is a pretty little nest perfect for spring!

Monday, March 25, 2013

geometric eggs

A couple of years back I shared a fun tutorial on decorating Easter eggs with doodles and a Sharpie pen. This year I couldn't resist putting another twist on this project! This time around I doodled geometric patterns and I filled that pattern with black and grey watercolor to add shading and contrast. These might be my eggs yet!

Have a look at all the tutorials I've shared over the years!

Friday, March 22, 2013

fashion friday- my outdoor uniform

We spend a lot of time outdoors and that means having clothing that works for a variety of locations and weather conditions. I have come up with a sort of uniform for myself that comes in handy for all kinds of outings!
A baseball hat or a stocking cap is a must! It gets windy and rains at any moment so I make sure I have a hat on hand. 

A warm vest is my staple item. It keeps me warm enough when layered over the top of a sweater on most days and is easy to wear under a jacket when it rains or gets cold. 

I wear sweaters year round here on the coast. They are easy to layer and a fun way to add stripes or pattern to an outfit.

I love skinny jeans, they are comfortable (stretchy) and easy to tuck into boots.

I cannot live without rubber boots. We are always hiking around on the beach and they make it easy to walk through tide pools and small streams. I have slowly acquired a nice little collection of rubber boots in a variety of colors and styles!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

getting creative with reality

Recently I posted some photos on Instagram sharing that we are in the midst of trying to figure out our co-sleeping arrangements. I have received SO much feedback from moms out there in same situation asking about our sleeping arrangement and commenting on our bedroom set up that I thought I would dedicate a post to our current sleeping and decorating situation. A little more personal than I typically share but I know there are many of you dealing with the same issues so here we go...

If you would have told me when I was pregnant that I would still be breast feeding at 18 months AND co-sleeping I would have laughed in your face and probably replied "What, no way, not me!" From eating to sleeping, I had a picture in my head of how the whole baby thing was going to go. I read all the books, did my research, I browsed hundreds of pretty photos of nurseries and kids rooms online. I spent months preparing, nesting and decorating her room... I thought I would bring our baby home and lay her down in the crib in her perfectly decorated room and walk away while she slept.

And then Lucy arrived with a bad case of reflux which meant I couldn't just feed her and lay her down. Those early days weren't easy- feedings took SO much time, patience and attention. For the first 6 months I didn't care about where she slept but more about keeping her food down so she could sleep. Many of my days and nights were spent with a baby sleeping upright on my chest which eventually turned into a baby in our bed which brings us to today- Lucy, thankfully grew out of the reflux but she still sleeps in our bed. 

I am not going to share my opinions on bed sharing or co-sleeping (or even extended breastfeeding) except to say that it wasn't in our plan BUT it all ended up working well for us. And I am not going to say sleeping together helped her reflux but it was one of the ways I was able to make feeding/sleeping comfortable for the both of us. Now we have reached a point where we all are ready to experiment with some changes in our sleeping arrangement. 

We are about 3 weeks into our transition and it has worked wonderfully but my biggest dilemma has been decorating for our current sleeping arrangement (gotta have priorities). I love living in a colorful and creative decorated home and having an extra mattress on the floor in the master bedroom makes aesthetics kind of tricky. While there are millions of beautiful photos online of nurseries and kids rooms, I have yet to find stylish inspiration for co-sleeping. So I went to work trying get creative with our current reality! With just a few simple things I was able to set up a cozy and colorful space where we have some decor and beauty in our surroundings while we work through this transition together.

First up was getting a good mattress that could eventually be moved into her room and also be comfortable enough for me to sleep on if I need to get up with her in the night. We selected a full size memory foam mattress. Instead of going with kids bedding, I went for a mix of blankets and quilts that could be used by all of us in the years to come.

I love shopping for bedding from Urban Outfitters and Target. I shop for one of kind knitted blankets on Etsy.

Then I added pillows- lots and lots of pillows! I have a GIANT collection of pillows- they are one of the easiest ways to change up a room and add pattern, texture and pops of color to decor (and they are cheaper than other big ticket items). While we don't sleep with all these pillows, we do have them around (everywhere) all the time and they have become a big part of Lucy's play. Throughout the day she loves to rearrange her pillows, stack them, wrestle with them, jump in them and kick back and read on them.

I've collected pillows and pillow cases for years! My favorite place to shop for unique pillow cases is Etsy- My current favorites- Festive Home Decor  and animals from Sarah Young

I NEED art on the wall so we hung our collaborative painting over our bed. Above Lucy's bed (as much as I wanted to hang all kinds of art) I decided to keep it safe and simple with a very lightweight branch (remember my love branch?) and draped it with garland  and hung it out of reach.

The result is a colorful little nest for all of us! And so far the new sleeping arrangement is working out great. We are all sleeping well and Lucy loves her bed and even gets excited every time she climbs into it (which is what we were trying to achieve). The challenges are not over but we are getting there (and getting better sleep) and that is enough for me right now! The best part has been making a lovely and creative space that works for all of us during this time... who says transition can't look pretty!!!

p.s. don't be fooled by my pretty pictures, half the day our room is a hot mess!


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