Monday, December 22, 2014

Free People Christmas!

While I was in Utah I picked up the most gorgeous Free People stockings for myself and my two daughters. They are so pretty it is a pity that they will only be used at Christmas.

 I think I need to find a way to incorporate these into everyday decor... Right?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Ornament

I'm not gonna lie: this is my favorite Christmas ornament I have purchased all season. Have I ever talked about the absurd number of Christmas ornaments I have? No? OK, that's for the better. I have entirely too many and I love each and every one passionately. I think I have like 800. There. I said it.

I found this happy fellow at World Market. It took everything I had not to buy six more :).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DIY: Mason Jar Snowglobes

You GUYS!!!!! I am pretty excited about this DIY. Can you tell??

Trust me when I tell you that this is a super duper simple DIY.

I saw the original mason jar snow globes on the Anthropologie website and fell in love. And then I thought, "Wait! I could make those for less than the cost of buying one!". I decided to make a small stash of globes to sell at one of the local stores I work with and began planning right away. You will need a few supplies but getting most of the stuff at Michaels and using both the mailer coupon AND the coupon code on my phone saved me quite a bit of the green stuff. Shall we delve in?

Supplies Needed:

Mason jars. I prefer the smaller to medium sizes - it sets the perfect little tableau. I discovered these blue ombre jars at Michaels and decided those were my new favorites.

Pack of small to medium Christmas trees. Again, this was a Michaels purchase. I bought a multi pack of like 15 trees in the Christmas train section.

Really small Christmas elves/characters. Once again, Michaels and in the Christmas train section.

Epsom salts. I picked up a bag at the grocery store for like $2.00. Easy

Hot glue gun and hot glue gun sticks.

The key with this project is having a surface to lay things out so that you can fit each tableau onto the inside lids of the jars well BEFORE you do any gluing. You will need a bit more clearance for the lip of the mason jar fitting into the lid than you think. I laid everything out and then one by one, hot glued the tree first, then the figures to the inside of the metal disk that fits inside the ring. Just deal with the disk right now.
Once the figures were set, I carefully ran a thin bead of hot glue along the metal ring of the mason jar and fit the disk into that. I pressed firmly until it was flush with the inside of the metal ring. I botched the first one and used a little less glue and took a bit more time with the next ones. Success!

After the disks and rings were happily married, I turned my ombre jars right side up and poured about half a cup of epsom salts in. If you are using larger jars, use more salt. You want it to look like a little snow drift but not so much that it covers too much of the figurines.

Then I screwed the lids onto the jars nice and tight and turned them upside down.


Easy right?!

I have seen these look great with just clear glass and groupings of several different sizes. Just use what speaks to you! Are you going to try making this?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

From where I sit...

The view from where I sit tonight. Nine feet of Christmas sparkles in our living room, raining outside and "The Hobbit" on TV. Well played, Saturday. Well played.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My favorite shoes. My favorite weather. My favorite running compression tights. 

 Today was a good day :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wishing Tree

There is a unique little town close to where we live called Port Costa. It is like going back in time to a movie set...except it is real.

And that car below??? Major vehicle lust coming from me over this one:

We spent a day with friends driving around and exploring this funky little town. My favorite part was this large olive tree in front of someones house that had hundreds of old tags hanging from it.

Upon closer inspection, we realized that there were wishes written on each tag and a jar nearby with pencils and more tags. Some wishes were written in crayon by children, some written in other languages. The whole of the tree is then wrapped in multi colored Christmas lights. Isn't this world just fascinating? What a hidden treasure.

If you are ever in the Bay Area, Port Costa is worth an afternoon of exploring. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Being Grateful...

If you are feeling overwhelmed/overburdened/OVER it all try a trick today: just start thinking of all that you have to be thankful for.  Seriously.  Start with the fact that you are able to breathe on your own without a machine...or that you have hands that work.  Or that you slept in a bed last night.  Start with the basics and build from there.  You will be surprised in less than a minute how much you have to be thankful for.

There are many times in my life where I start to feel like I am drowning under ALL of it.  And then I need a perspective shift.  For me it starts with remembering all that I have been blessed with, all that I have to be grateful for.

Give it a shot.  That's my challenge for you today :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Glittering Risers

I saw this on Pinterest today and fell pretty hard.  Absolutely LOVE this...

disco ball stairs // @bradleydean we're doing this next time ;) 
Would you do this look?

Thursday, October 9, 2014


These are my besties.  My girls.  My peeps.  Some of the people on this great big earth who know me best...and love me anyway.

I'm a lucky lady to have these girls in my life.  We all met many many years ago in NYC before we had babies.  Now we have 16 kids and a lifetime of friendship between us.  I am so grateful that we carved out the time to travel from our far flung corners of the country for 4 days together in Rhode Island for our annual girls weekend.  It was epic.  We laughed, we cried.  We did some unmentionable things.  I'll just leave it at that.

Love you girls :)

Love Where You Live

I'm not sure if I have talked about this before...but I absolutely love where I live.  We have been in the Bay Area now for 10 years and each year that goes by I realize I love it more and more.  These are vineyard filled hills that surround my kids school.  The view doesn't get any better than this.


It took a good 3 years for me to fall in love with this place.  I was ( an East Coast girl and living in NYC for nearly 7 years had me wound pretty tight.  But now I am fully invested with being a California girl.  There are a lot of uncertainties in life and certainly no day is completely free from problems but if you love where you live it sure helps.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DIY: Backyard Fabric Garland

See those big kids on bikes?  Those are my older two.  They are getting too big.  And see that garland hanging on my back fence?  I made that this weekend.  It is way longer than you can appreciate based on this photo.  I gathered up a bunch of my favorite vintage and colorful fabrics and chopped out some triangles and sewed them to burlap twine.  It was literally that simple and I love the way it looks.

Have you ever made a fabric garland? Are you looking for a use for those fabric scraps in your craft room? You should try this!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Board Books

DIY: book headboard
Check out this incredible headboard made of books.  Perfect for the book lover...or possibly for someone who suffers from insomnia?  For tips on how to make this incredible headboard please visit this website - she will show you how to do it from start to finish.

Friday, August 29, 2014

DIY: Dressing Up the Foyer...

I have been looking for a long time for a storage savvy piece for my foyer.  Now don't start thinking I have a grand foyer; the very word "foyer" sounds grand doesn't it?  Well, my foyer situation is not grand but after lots of searching and thinking and more searching I finally found the perfect piece.

I found this piece at my local favorite flea/antique haunt.  It was olive green when I found it:


I knew that it needed to be French Louis blue. I used my favorite Annie Sloan chalk paint and cleaned this old girl right up.  It took a good 2 1/2 coats; I spent the bulk of my painting time talking to Sophie so I quite enjoyed myself. I finished the whole piece off with Annie Sloan wax and allowed a few days to dry completely before I styled it.

Here is this beauty NOW:

The drawers contain ALL of our DVD binders and Wii games.  We still have a whole spare drawer for whatever crops up in the future.  I loved the colors and lines of this piece.  Also, it weighs a TON, so it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Like, it seriously weighs a ton and I still can't believe that I hauled it out of my car and into my house. If I ever doubt my own strength I just have to look at this giant thing and pat myself on the back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pretty Twine

Want to see the prettiest twine EVER?

handmade fabric twine diy included video tutorial

This just makes my heart go pitter patter.  Like seriously.  I have millions and millions of fabric scraps. This will be the perfect way to use them all!  Got to do this right now...

Friday, August 15, 2014

This quote resonated with me today.


Thank you Mr. Twain.  Those are some good thoughts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Gratitude...

Gratitude quote printable 8x10. "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" - Anonymous 
I have been thinking on gratitude a lot today. I have a child who, despite all he has been blessed with just doesn't GET gratitude.  Doesn't get it.   And I don't know what to do to help him see and understand all that he has.  It is frustrating.  

I have always been a "glass half full" kind of girl.  I don't know how else to do it.  And I am so grateful for that gift alone because I see how others struggle to find the good in the crappiest of situations.  I most strikingly noticed this trait about myself 7 years ago.  My husband and I were in Mexico on vacation when I suddenly miscarried at almost 13 weeks.  It was totally unexpected and devastating.  We had a 2 1/2 year old and 4 year old at home and they both were excited to have a new sibling.  While I was waiting to go into surgery, I was alone with just a pad and paper (my phone had died).  I decided to make a list of the things I was grateful for in spite of just suffering a loss.  It was a silly list...but it was a lifeline for me.  And that simple act of writing down what I was grateful for in a moment of quiet sadness and desperation set the course of how I was to deal with a loss.  It showed me something about myself.  It showed me that even at the worst moment, I am STILL a glass half full kind of girl.

But how do you teach that to someone else?  Is it something they either have or they don't?  Is it a personality trait?  Can you learn it?  If you CAN learn it, does that lesson only come by heartache and hardship?  I truly do not know.

I can see how hard life can be for someone who is not grateful. I don't want that life of "lack" for my children.  This is one of those days where being a human being...just being a parent seems very very hard.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chalk Painted...Hair!

wish i could pull this off
YES to everything about this!  YES!  Forget about your regular, old ombre.  This is so much cooler.  For tips on how to create this look please visit this website.  Now go!  Chalk paint your hair!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Flower Crate Strikes Again...

Remember my vintage flower crate that sits in the middle of my kitchen table? mom fell in love with it while she was visiting in May and so I shipped it back to Virginia for her birthday.  Then I needed another vintage crate...

Luckily, my friend and neighbor Amber deals in vintage wares and so she had the perfect replacement.  After a stop at Larry's Produce in the "You-Pick" flower fields, my chalk painted jars are now happily refilled in my new crate.  Loving all of the summer colors.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sunny Sunflowers

I hope that today you feel a bit of joy. A bit of sun. I hope that you have a little spring in your step and maybe your heart leaps just a tad. And if none of those things are happening for you, then I hope that you look this photo of sunflowers down the street from my house and they give you a little boost :).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DIY: Spring Flowers

We are channeling purples in the dining table flower box today. This simple chalk painted mason jars DIY vintage flower box is still one of my favorite things in our home.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thumbprint of You...

Thumbprint portrait. Scraps of paper all about you.
This is genius (in my opinion). It is a thumprint using scraps of paper...all about YOU.  Find scraps in magazines, newspapers, etc.  Cut up, turn into a finger/thumbprint.  It would be a fantastic gift too!  Think of how much your mom or dad would love something like this...

Love it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY: Spring Centerpiece with a Vintage Crate and Mason Jars!

 A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a neighbors garage sale and brought home this beauty of a box!  Vintage, perfect coloring, and wood in good condition.  Then I grabbed my chalkpaint colored mason jars (I made a dozen for a bridal shower back in February), filled them with purple wildflowers and viola!  A spring centerpiece on our dining room table!

Vintage crates like the one pictured above usually go for between $20-$60 depending on dealer, size, condition.  My neighbor gave me a generous price of $20; you can be sure I will be going back to her post haste :).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter 2014

It was Easter this past weekend.  We enjoyed lovely spring weather and an incredible feast with family and friends.  But most importantly, we prayerfully considered and expressed gratitude for Jesus Christ.  Easter is all about the Savior and His resurrection.  To learn more about my beliefs visit here.  I am grateful for my faith, my testimony, my family.  I love being Mormon; I can't imagine my life without my faith.

Here is this amazing family of mine.  I love that 3 of us are in VERY similar glasses, and 3 without.  Remarkably, we are all smiling at the same time and looking in the same direction.  It was an Easter miracle :).  Both of my daughters dresses are from Target (recently).  My whole outfit is from Anthropologie.  The boys...who knows where those clothes are from?!

On Saturday we had a little backyard Easter egg hunt for our chickpeas.  Very fun.  I have the happiest memories of my grandparents doing an ALL OUT hunt for us every year.  Money in the eggs, our favorite candies, giant chocolate bunnies.  It was epic.  I am trying to teach my children to focus on the reason for the Easter holiday to begin with (Jesus Christ) but we still have our family traditions :)

The kids opened their baskets in the playroom on Sunday morning.  Everyone got one thing they had been asking for/looking forward to (oldest son was the next book in his favorite series, oldest daughter a pair of yoga pants, etc.) and then of course lots of candy. Candy is a given on Easter, am I right? Most of which was gone by the time we got to church at 1 PM.

Later we enjoyed the yummiest feast ever with our cousins the Clawsons. Corned beef, roasted corn on the cob, sour cream and cheese potato casserole AND baked potatoes, grilled asparagus, salad.  And a giant strawberry shortcake trifle for dessert.  It was perfection. Every last morsel. 

All in all, a lovely Easter weekend had by all.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DIY: Vintage Bottlecap Magnets

You guys.  These are the easiest things in the world to make.  Like EVER.

Supplies Needed:

Vintage bottlecaps
Small circular magnets
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Step 1 - Find a source for old bottle caps.  Some people collect them, some find them on ebay, some find them in thrift/antique stores.  Me?  I have a guy on ebay that I get them from. Just search on ebay under the term "vintage bottle cap lot".

Step 2 - Go to Michaels or Home Depot and get a pack of small circular magnets to match up with the number of bottle caps you will be using.

Step 3 - with a hot glue gun, attach the small magnets to the back of the bottle caps.


I completed my sets (which are sold in stores around the Bay Area as gift items and on my etsy site) by getting metal carpet tacks (I think that's what they are called) at Home Depot and backing with my business card.

So simple.  Great gift.  The end. Now go forth and create some of your own!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Me and Chewy...

This is my youngest son.  We lovingly refer to him as "Chewy".  Because, I mean, come on...look how squishy and cute he is.  Seriously.  He prefers to call himself Turtle (notice the little turtle sitting ON my chest?  He carries it everywhere).

So this is me...with Chewy/Turtle, lounging on our couch. The end.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be THAT mom

One of the reasons I am slow to post lately is that...drumroll please...we have a new computer!

Which should be the best news ever.  And it IS.

But the learning curve with this puppy is throwing me for a loop.  It is an HP Envy - 17" laptop with touch screen.  So after nearly 7 years working on a MacBook, I am teaching myself how to 1. Work with a PC and 2. learn how to work between a keyboard and touchscreen efficiently.

I'm getting there...but it is taking time.
I Love this!
Tonight my youngest son got sick.  He was moving SLOW before and after dinner and was out of sorts.  We can always count on him to clean his plate and have boundless energy until the bitter end (ie: bedtime) but tonight he was rubbing his eyes and at one point fell asleep cuddled into me on the couch.  My mama heart was warm.  He is a very busy 4 year old boy with precious little time for cuddling.  So even though I could tell he wasn't at his best, I loved that brief time on the couch.

And then 10 minutes after my cuddles he threw up.  ALL over the couch.

Which wasn't a big deal because, come on.  We have 4 kids.  This stuff happens.  My husband and I have the triage team thing down to a science. 

I cleaned up the boy, we worked on the couch/floor and then I took him upstairs for a shower.  He was so lethargic and was happy to lay in my arms afterwards, wrapped up in a towel.  And THAT right there is maybe one of the best parts of being a mom.  Making your child feel safe and secure and clean and warm.  Where they feel like everything is going to be OK because MOM is here.  That is the best.  And that stuff is when I am at my best.  That's when I'm fully present and the kind of mom I want them to remember.

I have noticed, with my older kids in particular, that the memories we are making as a family never seem to include stuff we have bought or even places we have been.  The kids remember FEELINGS.  My oldest is almost 11 and even with that short life he has nostalgia for certain places or foods or events - and it is always tied to how he FELT in that moment.  I want to commit to remembering to be the mom that inspires happiness and zest and creativity and warmth and JOY.  I want to be the mom I want them to remember.

My oldest son was sick recently in Utah over our Christmas vacation.  It was a weird 8 hour flu thing - throwing up, fever, chills, pain - the whole 9 yards.  And naturally he wanted mom at 4 AM :).  I ended up making him a little bed in the bathroom so that he could be near the toilet but could at least lay down.   As I was getting him situated, in his feverish sick state he started telling me about ALL of the other times he has been sick and I have been there to take care of him.  And how thankful he is for that.

Seriously.  THAT is the good stuff right there.  I'm not a fan of vomit or breathing machines late at night or runny noses.  Or of struggles with friends and bad grades and forgetfulness.  But I am a HUGE fan of my kids and all of their quirks and personality.  And this time is passing by so fast.  SO fast.  In a little over a decade all of my children will be out on their own and the time for intense mothering will most likely be over.  They will be on to new adventures and friends and even families as they create their own lives and loves.  And I WANT them to remember mom in all the best possible ways.  It's important to me.

So today I commit to being a more present mom.  More compassionate.  More forgiving.  More creative and adventurous than I already am :)  So that someday when they think on the word "mom"...there are lots of warm memories that are attached to my name.

DIY: Kids Kitchen Makeover!

This post is originally from my personal blog back in 2009...

I hit the jackpot with a wooden Pottery Barn play kitchen for my kids this past weekend. While it had good bones, it really needed some TLC.

Here was our humble beginning:

I began this process by taking the doors and hardware off and taped it up in preparation for paint. Also, the kitchen was too short for my tall four and six year old so I simply attached feet. The feet are spindles from the stair/banister section at Lowes. I predrilled some holes in the base and screwed the new legs in. BOOM! Necessary play height achieved!

Then it was off to painting. I did away with all over priming since the existing pink was a great base. I simply roughed up the surface with a light sanding with some sand paper. I gave the new spindle feet a quick light coat of white spray paint I had on hand for priming. I used glossy red spray paint and it took two full bottles.

This part took awhile because I wanted an even finish. I allowed for drying time in between coats.

I then repainted the original silver components, added a tile back splash (out of necessity - I messed up with my spray paint on that section), added a new silver piece to the door and embellished it with an antique silver star. I made a little curtain with fabric from my stash and hung it on a small tension rod from Target. Finally, I visited my local Goodwill and picked up a few random small pots and pans. You would be surprised how many small containers there are at thrift stores that are the perfect size for play kitchens. The last piece was a food play set from Melissa and Doug. And that was it! DONE!

It took a little work but was such a fun project. Luckily, Simon and Sophie love it almost as much as I do and have been enjoying it tonight. It is a solid piece of furniture and I am hopeful that it will last not only through my four kids but their kids too. Bon appetite, kiddos!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hi friends :)

I feel like I have been a negligent host of late.  Well...for several months actually.  One of my goals in the coming year is to pay more attention to this space of the interwebs that I own.  This is a place that acts as my design journal, landing spot for ideas, journal...everything.  Over the holidays I had some delightful downtime and found myself getting newly inspired by some new-to-me blogs.  I REALLY appreciate fresh inspiration.  SO...I promise to be more attentive and really make this blog as beautiful and helpful as I know it can be.

So without further ado, welcome 2014! 

2013 was a stretchy kind of year.  Does that even make sense?  I guess that I mean 2013 stretched me I some new ways, painful ways at times.  There were a lot of ups and downs.  There were many times throughout the year when my husband and I would look at each other and say "Is this really happening?".  Or "What on earth is going on?". 

The good news is we came out of 2013 stronger, braver, more excited about the future than perhaps any other year before.  And that is always a good thing.

I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me personally, and for my family.  BRING IT :)