Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taking a Break

Be back in a few days. I'm taking a little break to enjoy summer with my kids. See you soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Keep 'em Busy: On the Go

If your summer plans include traveling, I'm sure one of your top priorities is keeping those kids busy while en route to your final destination. Whether we're in the car or on a plane, I like to keep several surprises handy to distract them when moods start to crumble. Or when I get tired of hearing, "Are we there yet?" I'm a huge fan of the Land of Nod's arts and crafts for  unexpected and unique surprises to keep up my sleeve. Here are a few of my favorites:

Love the handy travel case of this Art On the Go Case
Washable markers, colored pencils and oil pastels give them plenty of options on the go. And you can save the watercolors for later. (Unless you're super brave and want to take full advantage of that tray table on the plane). 

Unusually-shaped crayons are always a huge hit.
And chubby toddler hands can grasp these Rock Shaped Crayons
just like the big kids.

Hudson got this Robot Stencil Set
for Christmas, and it's been an MVP in my "distraction arsenal" ever since.
It fits perfectly into my bag, and it's great for car trips, restaurants, and everywhere in between.

I can just imagine the three of us snuggled up in our seats
on the plane giggling madly as we put on a little puppet show with these Animal Hand Stickers
 Distraction at its finest. Not to mention you'd definitely be the coolest mom on the plane. 

I used to love lacing cards as a kid. Perfect activity when quiet matters. And these Fairy Threading Cards
are just too cute. 

And for the burgeoning fashionista, a Fashion Coloring Book
Charlotte's gonna love this in another year. I might need one for myself, too.

While you're cruising along, give them the task of Coloring Postcards
so they can send a little love to their buddies back at home.

Happy Trails!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Life gave me some of those proverbial lemons this morning when I learned my email and facebook had been hacked by a Nigerian cyber criminal. Ugh. So to any of you who received an email from me today saying that I am stranded in London and in need of money, don't fret. I'm safe at home today helping my children host simultaneous play dates.

If you want to see what I did with those lemons, check out my lemonade post over at good tots. Perfect timing for some lemonade, dontcha think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dream Home

My mom called me about a week ago to tell me that she and my dad had just toured my dream home during the Utah Valley Parade of Homes. I snooped around online until I found the Four Chairs Furniture facebook page. I sat spellbound, pouring over photo after photo of perfection. It's like they'd torn pages from my inspiration file and made them into a home. Beachy, comfortable, fresh, colorful and fun...needless to say this entire home may actually replace my entire inspiration file. 

I immediately contacted the designer, the incredible Lindy Allen of Four Chairs Furniture and Cristi, the homeowner (who is also one of the photographers at hiya papaya) to request permission to share these photos with you. And guess what? They were both super duper nice. I just love nice people. The best part is that Erin over at House of Turquoise just finished an in-depth five day home tour, complete with links to many of the sources and materials...even paint colors. So take a peek here, then hop over to Erin's posts for even more information.
Love this chandelier so much I had a dream about it last night.
A quick note: Four Chairs did all furniture and design, they supplied all wood flooring, wallpaper and furniture, including bedding and accessories and light fixtures. So if you have any questions about how you can get your hands on some of these gorgeous pieces, hop over to Four Chairs. They've updated their website with an easy email request button, so you can request pricing for items featured in each room of this home.  

OK, now I'll shut up and let you look at the home.

The main floor:

Don't you love the reclaimed barn wood floor?

The kitchen:
Turquoise subway tiles? Check. Apron-front sink? Check. White cabinets? Check. 
My dream kitchen in real life.

And I really love seeing countertops made from something other than granite.

Wallpapered ceiling, mismatched chairs, Roman shades. Love, love, love.

The mudroom:
Aren't the textures of the brick floor and the barn wood walls fantastic?

Now we move upstairs. 
The Playroom:

The nursery:

Another bathroom:
This bathroom was actually the first picture I saw of the home, and I knew the second I saw this bathroom that I was going to love the rest of the house. 

Family Room:
The ceiling fans and the end tables are two of my favorite features in this room.

Upstairs Hallway:

The Master Suite:
I still can't get over that yellow sliding door. Genius.

Master Bath:

The Craft Room:
As my parents were touring the home, they kept saying, "All this needs is a craft room." Then they walked upstairs and Bam! A craft room. 

I'm dying over the turquoise pool table.


The little retro kitchenette is right off of the theater room. I've always wanted one of those retro turquoise refrigerators. This makes me want it even more.

Theater Room:

 I hope you had as much fun admiring Jeff and Cristi's home as I did. I'm sure I'll revisit these pictures over and over again.

A little more source information for you:
Builder: Hatfield Homes (Jeff, Cristi's husband, also helped with a lot of the architectural design)
Interiors: Four Chairs Furniture
Photography: Hiya Papaya

Not only is Cristi the proud new owner of a gorgeous home, and a talented photographer. She also has a darling etsy shop where she sells her recycled accessories and her fine art photography. Stop in and show her some love.

And Four Chairs Furniture is located in Lindon, UT for those of you who are close enough to visit. I definitely know where I'll be going the minute I step off the plane next time I'm in Utah.

I'm so sad I didn't get to see the home in person, although I probably would have been hyperventilating the whole time. A huge thanks to Cristi & Jeff for sharing your home, to Lindy for being so generous with your talent and your sources, and to Hiya Papaya for your gorgeous photos!

*All photos copyright Hiya Papaya. Used by permission.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It's our last summer before Hudson heads off to kindergarden, so we're going to make the most of it. The kids and I made a list of 100 things we want to do this summer, and we're off to a great start. The best part is most of the activities are free or inexpensive. I made sure to include some indoor activities for the days it's just too hot and the pools are crowded. I had to abbreviate a few of them, but any food items listed are cooking activities for us to do together. I'm really excited to make cars out of boxes then have a "drive-in movie." I still remember the red and orange box cars my dad made for my sister and me one year. 

 We all ready checked "beach" off our list. It was cold and breezy that day, but so much fun. I'm sure we'll make several more beach trips this summer. Hudson grew up going to the beach at least once a week for the first part of his life, so he's a natural. And Charlotte loved it. It was all I could do to keep her from throwing herself headfirst into the cold, cold water. She squealed and giggled when the water wrapped around her ankles. Then she would plop down on her bottom to fully enjoy the experience.

"The List" has taken center stage on our fridge. And Hudson so proudly places a checkmark or two on the list every day. I love it too, because it takes the "I'm bored," right out of summer. And you all know I'm a huge sucker for a checklist. I've left plenty of wiggle room in the list for some traditional summer "do-nothing" days too, just to save my sanity. What's on your summer list?

UPDATE (6/6/2014):

I cleaned up the design of the original Summer List, and made it easier to look at. The font I used up there was really terrible. Yikes. Sorry 'bout that.

Don't miss the 100 (More!) Things to Do This Summer list, either. Find both printable files here. And Happy Summer!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cheap Summer Fun

With Summer Vacation finally in full-swing we've got our list of 100 activities to do together. I'll share it next week. But I have a little homework for you this weekend. Hop over to and sign your kids up. I did it yesterday, and it's brilliant. Your kid can bowl two games free every day of the summer and all you have to pay for is shoe rental.

Another source for cheap summer entertainment is the dollar movies. Check out the theater near you and see if they offer a summer kids' program. We printed out the schedule and picked the shows we want to see.

Also, check out your local library for summer programs. Ours is doing a reading game, and they offer weekly entertainment: magicians, animal shows, etc.

Just a few ways you can beat the heat this summer. What are your favorite summer secrets?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In the Studio: Happy Tags

I'm loving all the happy colors my customers have given me to work with lately. 
Here are three batches of tags going out today. 


 I apologize for the not-so-pretty lighting. I wanted to take a quick photo before I dash off to the post office, and I figured my customers would rather I not wait till late afternoon when the lighting is better. :)

Glad the weather is starting to feel more like summer. Today is the "official" last day of school in our district, so all of our friends will be free to play for the rest of the summer. Hooray! What do you have planned for the summer? We'll be doing lots of swimming and picnics at the park.