Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer List Progress Report

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend. We kicked off the official beginning of summer with a few activities from our Summer List(s). Here's a look at what we've been up to.

Our Egg Drop (from the new list) was a success! The winning combination was bubble wrap, foam cushioning and air-pak pods topped off with a grocery bag parachute. Good thing we have loads of moving supplies hanging around. :) Hooray!

PiƱata (List 1)

Ball Pit (List 1)

Are you making any progress on the Summer Lists? Print 'em out and join in the fun. Or even better: write your own and have an adventure!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Blowout at One Kings Lane

Remember how I mentioned that I'm mentally living in the future and decorating our new home? I blame One Kings Lane. I'm addicted. Really. I may have a serious problem here. It's quickly become part of my morning routine. Breakfast, shower, get kids dressed, check the new sales

Last week I scored the perfect rug for under the kitchen table...I'm still on a high from my bargain shopping, and I can't wait to see what I find next. You'd better believe that I'll be waiting to pounce, as the clock strikes 8:00 for the big Memorial Day Blowout sale starting today. 
The Chevron Navy Vanity Tray in Navy, (available in the Decor and More sale) may just make its way into my shopping cart. Wouldn't it be perfect to corral perfume bottles or bracelets? But then again, I can't wait to see what other goodies they have in store for us.

If you're not a member yet, go here to sign up. Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

100 (More!) Things to Do This Summer

Remember last year's Summer List? It was a tremendous hit with my kids...so they've helped me come up with a new list this year. Anyone up for a challenge? Try completing BOTH lists this summer.
Two hundred fun, easy activities should pretty well annihilate the summer boredom phenomenon. At least, for a week or two. Then you're on your own. ;)

Update (6/6/2014):
Both lists are available as free printables here. I've got both a color and a black and white version for you so you can print them any which way you want. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obsessed: Julep

I'm officially obsessed with Julep. I definitely haven't been this excited about nail polish since the seventh grade. That year it was my "thing." I had a signature "thing" every year through middle school. One year it was statement necklaces. Another year it was colorful shoes. And seventh grade was all about nail color.

A couple months back, I discovered the Julep Maven Program. They send you a box with two polishes and other fun products every month. You can use the promo code SHAREONMAY and get your first box for just one penny. Serious. The first time that sleek black box landed in my mailbox my heart skipped a beat. And I've been back on the nail polish bandwagon ever since.

I don't get out much, so twenty bucks a month is a pretty great way to treat myself. Nail polish is cheaper than a babysitter, and more low-calorie than the ice cream. How do I find the time to paint my nails? Well, I'm blessed with this baby who can't sleep unless he's ON me. So I slap a quick coat of polish on while he's snoozing in my arms. Not ideal, but it works.

Oh, and if you ever want to send your monthly box to a friend, you can do that, too. Like, say, your little sister's FIRST twenty-ninth birthday is coming up and you want to send her something cool, but you're in the middle of packing up your house and don't have time to go shopping. You can divert your shipment to her house with a gift message tucked neatly inside. She's happy, you're happy. Two birds with one stone.

What are you still doing here? Get over there now and get your Maven box on its way.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Color Crush: Primaries

Mentally, I'm living two months in the future, and decorating our new home. It's my coping mechanism since I'm bobbing in a sea of boxes, bubble wrap and checklists. I spend my quiet time gawking at houzz.com and dreaming up ideas for the new place. I forgot how much I love interior design.

I've noticed a lot of fun interiors lately making great use of primary colors. Here are a few of my favorites:
Grace Home Design eclectic living room

The mustard yellow, rusty red and dark blue make this room look sophisticated and energetic at the same time.

Betsy Burnham eclectic bedroom

I love the mustard, turquoise and orangey red paired with Asian accents. I think this would be a perfect guest bedroom.

Violets Nursery contemporary kids

Slate blue walls + crisp white, yellow and red accents = adorable gender-neutral nursery. This would also make a great color scheme for a boy/girl shared bedroom.

Oliver Street traditional kitchen

For those skeptics among us who think primary colors are reminiscent of a kindergarten classroom, try a cheerful runner for a smaller dose of color.

P.S. All photos are linked directly to their pages on houzz.com.

Have a great day!


Monday, May 21, 2012

How Does She Do It?

I'm pleased to bring you the first installment in my new interview series. There's no one better to kick it off than the fantastic Michelle of Absolute Bliss Massage Therapy and the Be Blissed Etsy Shop. I first met Michelle through a local mother's club. She's super friendly, energetic and positive.  I'm so inspired by how she's recently taken the plunge and focused her career full-time on her massage therapy business. I've been curious about how she manages her business and her family and a new Etsy shop (and makes it all look so easy!) so I roped her into being the first interview in my new series.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a pretty busy single mom these days. I have two sons: Gabriel and David. I have lived in this little town for pretty much all of my life. I like to blog, take pictures of my food and the littles. I have a pretty full DVR, I like vanilla lattes, purses and people-watching.

Describe a typical day at your house.
A typical day at my little nest, which is what I call our home, is pretty busy. The boys wake up around 6 am. Rain or shine, Monday-Sunday. During the week I'm busy packing snacks and doing the breakfast routine. Then we are out the door for drop offs to school. Three days a week the boys are both in school. This allows me time to take sessions either from the studio or sometimes at home, for clients I have known for a while. After morning sessions, if I have time, I will run errands or start the dreaded chore of laundry--my arch enemy. It's funny I choose a career that actually creates more laundry for my always-full basket. The afternoon consists of picking the boys up, heading home to play and do homework. We have and early 5 pm dinner and the boys are usually in bed by 7:30. Then I get some downtime. Most of the day massage-related work is sprinkled in: booking sessions, looking up stretches for a client, working on my website, sending out intake forms for the following week, and of course, washing and folding sheets.

What do you like to do with your kids?
The boys and I, since they were very, very young, are living room dancers. After a long day (or morning) depending on what's happening with them and what little fire I need to put out, I put on a favorite playlist and we just dance and dance around the house. It's our thing. I often get requests for songs and Gabriel will bust out a new dance move. We also like cooking together and trying out new things--like playing with our juicer. They pick the fruit; I juice it. My sons and I are very close. We do just about everything together. We go for walks, we watch The Food Network together and we chit-chat in the mornings while I'm putting on mascara and lip gloss. We discuss major issues. Like Jedi politics and new things they want to try on cupcakes.

How did you get your start in massage therapy?
I got my start in massage therapy over 10 years ago. I attended a school that's pretty popular in the Bay Area, The National Holistic Institute in Emeryville. Although I have been practicing massage for many years I have always put off doing the full-scale massage practice thing until recently. I came to a point where I thought, "I have this great skill I want to share and help people with. It's time to take it to the next level--there is not much holding me back."

What do you like about your job?

There are so many things I like about my job. I love being able to make my own schedule. It allows me more time with my littles which is something I have missed out on in a previous life. Another fabulous thing about my work is that I get to meet with and help so many different people. Whether they are in the studio for an ongoing issue or just to relax, people are very grateful that you are there to help them achieve that goal. I have always been a people person. People find it easy to talk to me about their day, their back pain and sometimes more. I find it totally fascinating the things people will share with me in an hours' time while they are on a massage table. They talk about their crummy job, the great love of their life they lost, or just some cute shoes they picked up at the mall. Everyone is different. I love learning about people. It's the busybody in me.

What motivates you in your work?
I really like helping people. Massage and wellness are my passions. I often go above and beyond the call of duty and stay up late emailing clients stretches that can help them with a tight hip, pulled knee or strained back. I enjoy getting feedback in followup sessions. When someone tells me, "that stretch you gave me to do, or the essential oil you recommended for a warm bath really did the trick." It makes me happy. Then when they are on the table and I can see a change in their range of motion and how they are feeling in their body it makes me proud. I love seeing people tag me in Facebook posts and telling their friends about their recent session. I think it rocks! I walked into Starbucks with my son, David, a couple weeks ago. There was a client I had seen the day before for the first time. He greeted me very kindly and told his friends how blissful his session was and how fantastic his low back was feeling that morning. We made a few jokes about his falling asleep on the table and snoring. It really made my day to get such appreciation from someone I had a session with. It's honestly a great feeling and it's something I had not really experienced before in previous jobs--such thanks for a job well done. That keeps me very motivated.

Helping others relax must be exhausting. How do you relax?
Massage is hard work. I'm using my body constantly. A good, proper soak in a very hot bubble bath is my therapy and was, up until recently, my ritual on Sunday nights. But all the great Sunday night television has stolen me from my bubble baths. I need to start doing that again. Life is too short to not take bubble baths. When I have time and I'm not completely worn out, I read a good book or veg out on Pinterest. I also love updating my blog and writing in my journal. Writing really helps me clear my head. When I can sneak out on my own (which is not very often) I catch a yoga class or go for a walk and sing whatever song is on my iPhone loudly.

Tell us about your Etsy shop. How do you come up with your scrub recipes?
I have had a serious crush on Etsy, for like, ever. I'm not super crafty. I kinda wish I was. I used to spend a lot of time cruising Etsy checking out odds and ends thinking, "Geesh, I wish I could have my own little shop." One day a few months back I was drafting up a blog tutorial on how to make a body scrub using essential oils. I thought, "Duh, I can open a body scrub/bath essentials shop." I learned all about aromatherapy, salt glows and other healing remedies of botanicals in massage school. It seemed an easy marriage of the two ideas. Voila, Be Blissed was born. I have a large knowledge of essential oils floating in my head from school and my practice. I know off the top of my head what two scents compliment one another, how lavender can help to induce relaxation and sleep. That tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil make a delicious foot scrub for tired, achy feet, keeping your toes cool as well as fresh with tea tree's anti-fungal properties. I blend and mix ingredients that tickle your nose and your skin. Items I use in everyday cooking too. If you can eat it, you can nourish your skin with it.

Thanks, Michelle! I love this little peek into your life. 

If you'd like to get to know Michelle a bit more check out her links below:
Absolute Bliss Massage Therapy
Be Blissed Etsy Shop


Friday, May 18, 2012

Lately + Coming Up

The days and weeks are speeding by. I've been busy with projects (t-shirts, wedding invitations, napkins...you name it) and moving preparations. But I do have a few noteworthy things to mention as we head off into the weekend.

Polka-dot recipe cards are now available in my shop.
They make great teacher and graduation gifts, since school is almost over. 

I really wanted to host a Stella & Dot trunk show at my home this spring...but things are such a mess with boxes and packing and upcoming events, that I've opted to host an online show instead. It starts next week. {Psst: stay tuned for a fun giveaway!} 

I'm always in awe of the talented, busy, wonderful women I meet (both in real life and through blogging). And I always find myself asking, "How DOES she do it?" I've decided it's time to stop wondering and start asking. Welcome to my new interview series: How does she do it?

In this new series, I'll introduce you to some fantastic ladies who are happy to share their secrets on balancing all the great things in their lives. Have someone you'd like me to interview? Just say the word and I'll do the rest.

And remember last year's Summer List? It's been making the rounds on Pinterest again this year...so I've got a brand spankin' new list coming out this year. Oh, and both lists will be available here and over at Honest to Nod as a printable download soon. Combine both lists for 200 things to do this summer. Game on.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Fake it 'Till You Make it

I don't want to give any of you the wrong impression...it's not rainbows and butterflies around here all the time. Or ever, for that matter. Most of the time I only share the pretty parts of my life here...the fun activities we do, or the completed projects I've been working on. In fact, I don't think I've ever shared us as we are...mess and all. Here's my confession: I do not have my act together. Not one bit. I'm probably the biggest disaster of a person I've ever encountered. So here's a little glimpse at a regular day around here:

Here I am, putting the finishing touches on a proof for a customer. Charlotte crawled into my lap whining, "I wanna hold you, Mama." She then promptly rested her head on my arm as I used the mouse and drifted off to sleep. I snapped a quick picture because I often face the question, "How DO you do it?" Well, folks, this is how I do it. Pretty glamourous, huh?

Also noteworthy in this photo:

  • It's 4 pm and Charlotte is wearing her pajama top. She refused to let me change her clothes, and I wasn't in the mood for a fight. 
  • Pretty sure she's not wearing pants, either. Just her Cinderella undies. 
  • Jeepers, I have a lot of freckles. And just ignore that shiny nose...I'm sure it's just the glare from the computer screen.
  • I'm kind of proud of myself for dressing up my ponytail by wearing some earrings. You can't see them, but they're there. Promise.
  • I'm pretty happy that my workspace looks kind of clean. Sad but true, this IS clean for my desk. Not only is this where I do my work, but my desk is also the dumping ground for everything nobody wants to deal with. (Stray game pieces? Go put 'em on Mom's desk...she'll know what to do. Bills? Mom's desk, of course. Extra buttons from that new shirt? Why, I think they'd look great on Mom's desk!)  

Next we come to Hudson's room. It usually looks like a Lego bomb went off in there. I highly recommend wearing shoes at all times in this room. Navigating the floor barefoot is like walking across a minefield. I can't even count the number of times I've stepped on one of those damn things this week alone. And yes, he's supposed to clean his room everyday...this mess is a fresh one, even though it looks the exact same as yesterday's mess.

And finally, let's take a peek in the master bedroom for a little game of I Spy. See if you can find the following:
  • Unmade bed
  • Open drawer. I didn't leave it that way, I swear.
  • Overflowing laundry basket. How did that get in the middle of the floor, anyway?
  • Hudson's tighty whities...clean, of course (I hope)
  • A makeshift stuffed animal hospital. There was an epidemic that morning. Dr. Charlotte checked their hearts, then left them here to recover.
  • Abandoned bassinet. Because sleeping with Mom is so much better.
  • Random scattered objects. What are they? Coins? Magnets? No idea.
Well there you have it. I've successfully shattered any illusions you've had. Sorry for misleading you of so long. I'm just faking it till I make it. I'll probably never make it, but I'll keep pretending and I'll let you know if anything comes of it. :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In the Studio: More Napkins

Just popping in with another variation of the Eat, Drink and Be Married napkins I printed last week. The artwork is from the talented Emily of Orange Beautiful and I did the printing.

I should probably mention that I'll only be taking custom orders for three more weeks in preparation for our big move. Then I'll have to start packing up my studio. I won't resume custom work again until August.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Lamp List

Recently I noticed how all but one of our lamps are in horrible shape. There are the wobbly ones, the crooked ones, the one that's missing the on/off switch, and the one that turns on randomly whenever it gets bumped. Most likely these fine specimens will not be making the big move with us.

1. Anthropologie, 2. The Land of Nod 3. 4 Chairs Furniture 4. Crate and Barrel 5. Anthropologie
I don't know what it is about lamp shopping, but it totally stresses me out. Good lighting is expensive; and  ugly lamps are abundant. When I need a new lamp, I need it right this second. So I run down to Target, stand there for an hour staring at the options, paralyzed with fear that I'm going to choose the wrong one. I eventually give up and grab the cheapest one because I can't handle the pressure anymore. Then that cheap lamp eventually goes wobbly, or shorts out and I'm right back where I started. It's a vicious cycle. My new Lamp List is how I decided to take control of my lamp-shopping phobia. The next time I'm in the market for a new lamp, I'll know exactly where to start looking.

And don't even get me started on hanging lights. I'm hyperventilating just thinking about the day we own a home and I have to choose hanging lighting. But when that day comes, I'm sure I'll have plenty of options added to my trusty lighting pinboard.
1. Layla Grace, 2. Layla Grace, 3. Lamps Plus, 4. 4 Chairs Furniture, 5. Wayfair

Now that we've examined my fear of lighting, what are your design phobias?