Friday, August 24, 2012

Seven Months

My baby is seven months old. I can hardly believe it. I'm trying to soak up every bit of his squishy deliciousness before it's gone. He's growing up way too fast. The big kids and I took him out for a quick photo shoot to celebrate his sweetness.

He's sitting up pretty well and army-crawling like a little champ.
He's got one (almost two teeth), and the sweetest little personality you could imagine.

I'm so thankful that life is starting to feel normal again so I can take the time to appreciate how great my kids are. School starts next week, so I'll be popping in and out sporadically until we get back into the swing of a regular schedule.

 Have a great weekend!


xo
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Julep + Trina Turk

I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. Waking up to the news that Julep has partnered with Trina Turk for the new September collection, got my week off to a beautiful start. I love Julep and I love Trina Turk...so this is gonna be good.

You can see the whole collection pictured above, but each of the Maven Boxes have either two or three polishes and one mascara in them. Not a Julep Maven yet? You should be. Take the style quiz today to see which style fits your personality best.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Unfinished

That little crate bookshelf project boosted my confidence a bit. Now I'm having so much fun imagining the possibilities with this great unfinished wooden furniture. Now the mismatched dining chairs of my dreams can be a reality! Super affordable AND free shipping. Can't beat that. You supply the paint and the creativity. I just ordered a little console table for my entryway. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4

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Sora Designs Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the Sora Designs giveaway! And a big thanks to Wen for sponsoring such a great giveaway.

Congratulations to comment #2, Jeanine!
I'll contact you shortly with details of your big win.

*the winner was selected by the random number generator at random.org
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lunchbox Roundup

I know many of you have kids in school all ready. We've still got a few weeks left of summer vacation, but we're getting our gear all lined up. The lunchbox is next on our to-do list. 

Here are my top picks for unique, stylish lunch totes. My first-grader will likely end up choosing something slathered with cartoon characters. Perhaps I'll have to get one of these just to keep on hand as a backup. ;)
And for those of you who take your lunch to work, some of these are pretty great options for grownups, too.

1. Snappy Trails Lunch Bag
2. Fruitful Friendship Bento Box
3. Brown Paper Bag Lunch bag
4. Oots Lunchbox kit
5. Learning to Print Lunch Bag
6. Nigel the Shark lunchbox
7. Retro Scooter Lunch Bag

I'd better start thinking about what I'm going to send for lunch. I have a feeling this is going to take a little more thinking ahead than I'm used to doing. Any tips?

P.S. Don't forget...the Sora Designs Giveaway ends tonight. Hurry and enter while it's still open. Good luck!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

DIY Crate Bookshelf

When we moved into our new home I realized pretty quickly that we needed a new storage solution for the kids' books. I was in the mood for a little project so I decided to make something myself.


I grabbed a few unfinished wooden crates and set to work. These things are a dime a dozen. You can find them at most craft or home improvement stores. If you have a coupon, you can usually get them for 7-10 bucks a piece.



Here's a little play-by-play:
  1. Sand them down. Ugh. Sanding's the worst part, right? My crates were pretty rough when I got them, so started with 80 grit, then 100, then 150. They're not exactly silky smooth; my main goal was to smooth them up enough so the kids wouldn't get splinters on their new bookcase.
  2. Beat 'em up. My kids LOVED this part (maybe a little too much). Get creative here...use nails, hammers, chisel, chains, anything to make scratches and dents. If your scrapes leave any rough edges, you may want to sand them down a bit.
  3. Stain. Make sure your crate is clean and free of dust, then stain it your desired color. I used my favorite stain (Rust-oleum Dark Walnut). They've got these nifty half pint cans that are perfect for a small project like this.
  4. Seal. Finish with a coat of polyurethane. I used Satin finish, because I didn't want too much shine.
  5. Finishing touch. Screw on some corner brackets. (optional) They're technically called "angles" and you can find them in the roofing section. 
  6. Configure & attach. I attached the two horizontal crates to one another with wood glue and some screws underneath. The vertical crate I left unattached so it can also double as a handy carrying crate/nightstand if needs be.
Now just fill up those shelves. We gathered all of our books inside the crates (the tall crate is perfect for those extra-tall books. We displayed a few of our favorite vintage goodies up top. And what reading nook would be complete without a comfy reading spot? Now the kids can add their favorite artwork to the walls and we'll be all set.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick Eats: Macaroni Salad

I have a handful of recipes I turn to when we've got a busy day ahead. The recipes that fall into this category are those that can be made ahead of time, and that I usually have all the ingredients ready in my pantry. So when I know we've got activities scheduled up until dinner time I whip up one of my Quick Eats early in the day. When we get home and we're starving and/or having meltdowns dinner is ready and waiting in the fridge.

Here's a little recipe for macaroni salad:
Granted, I used Farfalle and not macaroni, but that's all I had. That's the beauty of this recipe. Use what you have and keep it interesting. Cook the pasta, drain and rinse with cool water. While the pasta's cooking toss all the other ingredients in a large bowl. I don't measure...I just keep throwing stuff in. The more the merrier, right? Cut the pickles and cheese into bite-size chunks, and don't forget to drain the tuna and the olives. I know Miracle Whip vs. Mayo is a really scandalous issue, so use whichever you feel more comfortable with. Put it in a separate bowl, thin it down with some milk until it reaches a consistency you like, add some salt and pepper, then dump it in the bowl with everything else. Add the cooled pasta and stir it all up. Cover and refrigerate until dinnertime. Bonus points for using fancy serving bowls. ;)

P.S. Naturally my kids won't eat this meal. Waaaaay too many things touching each other here. I usually cook extra pasta and save some plain, bare naked noodles in a separate container before I let all the ingredients start touching one another. We can heat up a bowl of boring noodles for the kiddos when it's time to eat.

This is great as a meal by itself, or serve as a side dish...either way, it's quick easy and you don't have to think about another meal until tomorrow.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Style at Home's ABC's

Moving to a new home is like the grown-up version of a fresh notebook on the first day of school. So clean and perfect. So full of possibility and promise. That's exactly how I'm feeling about our new place. I love so many things about it, and I've got so many ideas and intentions. But sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities.

I've really enjoyed reading Style at Home's ABC's of Summer Decorating. It's just the back-to-basics reminder that I needed. Take a peek. You'll be glad you did.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

She Wears it Well...

...and I LOVE it!

I've got some pretty awesome friends at Anastasia Beverly Hills. But they've really outdone themselves with the new She Wears it Well fall palette.

Every single shade in the collection is perfect. Each one is so easy to wear and blend; it's the most wearable, realistic palette I've ever encountered. My favorite part? Each shadow can be worn wet or dry. It's been years since I've worn a wet/dry shadow. I forgot how much fun it is to play with wet shadow. It kind of feels like you're water painting on your face. :)

I made several heroic attempts at getting photos of me wearing my favorite looks. Sadly, my puffy bloodshot eyes from back-to-back all-nighters with Baby Nolan aren't very photogenic. My eyes may be scary, but my makeup looks great. Promise. Instead, I'll entertain you with these great shots from the look book.
Each She Wears It Well palette includes:
  • Deluxe mirrored compact with professional dual brush that features 9 shadows for day and evening looks
  • Illumin8 formula featuring Youthful Synergy Complex® is clinically proven to illuminate, firm, and hydrate the skin
  • Long-wearing Crease-Free Can be worn wet and dry

I'm gonna grab a backup so I won't cry when the first palette is gone.

P.S. I totally forgot to announce the winner of the Anastasia giveaway last month. I think I forgot to unpack my brain when the moving truck left. But Congratulations Keri! I'll email you shortly to get your address. :)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Giveaway: Sora Designs


I'm SO excited about this giveaway. My friend, Wen, is the beauty and the talent behind the wildly popular Etsy shop Sora Designs. I sincerely have never met anyone with a better sense of style or a more artistic eye. Wen has so generously offered to give one lucky reader her Simple Silver Circles necklace. This necklace is so perfect for everyday, for both casual looks and special occasions. It's beautiful on its own or it would be so much fun layered with other pieces.

So how do you win? Here are the different ways you can enter:

1. Visit Sora Designs. Leave a comment here telling me about your favorite piece in her shop.
2. Favorite Sora Designs on Etsy.
3. Like Sora Designs on Facebook.
4. Follow my blog
5. Like my page on Facebook.
6. Help me promote the giveaway: tweet about it, or share it on Facebook or google+.

You can earn one entry for everything listed above. Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, and don't forget to make sure I have a way to contact you when you win!

The giveaway will end on Tuesday evening August 14th around 11pm PST.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Want List: Tiny Flowers

I spent many summers and Saturdays of my teenage years working at my parents' store. We did a lot of special orders for customers, and we kept track of them in what's called the WANT book. When someone wants something, you write it down in the book. Pretty great system, if I do say so myself.


And that's the theory behind my new series--each month, I'll have a new WANT list filled with goodies often appearing in my daydreams. This month, it's sweet little flowers. I'm not usually a floral person, but I can't resist these diminutive little blooms.

1   2   3 45   6   7

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Friday, August 3, 2012

In the Studio: New Recipe Cards

These happy little recipe cards were one of the casualties of my move. They've been sitting on my desk patiently waiting for their turn to be listed in the shop. Today's their day in the sun, finally.

My recipe cards have been selling out fast, so grab some while they're fresh! And have a great weekend.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Road Trip Survival Kit

School supplies are filling the store shelves, which means summer is almost over. But if you're planning a last-minute road trip, here are a few helpful hints I learned this summer. We made two long road trips, for a combined total of 21 hours of driving with all three kids (and we lived to tell about it!)




  • On our longest trip, I made an envelope for each hour of the trip. Every hour, the kids got to open an envelope to reveal a surprise. Sometimes it was a snack, other times a new game to play or a coloring book, or some new music to listen to. The surprise envelopes were a HUGE hit.
  • One of the favorite surprises (shown above) were the I Spy Wonder Tubes. I picked some up at the last minute, but I'm sure they'd be a pretty easy DIY project, as well. 
  • The license plate game is a great activity for older kids. I kinda like it, too.
  • I also snagged a good old-fashioned clipboard for each kid. I filled them with plain paper, coloring pages I found online and some Highlights hidden picture printables.
  • Kid-sized earphones are a must-have. Solves several problems...I don't have to listen to their movies, and they don't have to try to keep adult-sized earphones on their tiny little heads. Added bonus: these have a volume lock.
  • Spill-proof water cups for everyone, so you don't have to stop to change clothes when bump in the road causes a soaking wet toddler. My children absolutely, positively will NOT wear clothing with the slightest drop of water on it...please tell me I'm not alone. Oh, and while you're at it, make sure you throw in a change of clothes just in case. ;)
  • Fruit sauce packets are a great, healthy on-the-go snack, and it makes me feel better about all the junk food they consume while on the road.
  • Sunglasses or a suction-cup window shade are fantastic so you don't have to hear, "It's too sunny. The sun is in my eyes. It's too bright." Over and over and over.
  • And don't forget a stay-awake snack for the driver. Hot Tamales are my personal favorite.

Happy trails!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where I've Been

Have I given up blogging? I'm not gonna lie, I've considered throwing in the towel. But I think I'll stick around a while longer. I'm happy to report that we made it through our move unscathed. Here's a look at what I've been doing:

When we weren't packing boxes, we were cheering at little league games, hosting water balloon fights and spending every last second with our good friends. Oh, and we threw in some swimming lessons to keep things interesting.


The last week of June brought B's official graduation, where all five of us were invited up to accept his diploma. Our moving truck arrived and the chaos ensued. We had a lot of very unglamorous moments, but the kids enjoyed our cardboard box picnics and our campouts on the floor. We took a week off and enjoyed the 4th with family in Utah...then we drove and drove until we reached our new home.


We had some incredible help (Thanks, Dad and Mom!). The move really couldn't have gone any smoother. After the dust settled and B started his new job, the kids and I set to work unpacking. We had to take frequent breaks, though, so we started exploring our new town.


So far, we all really like it here. We've been to the rodeo (twice!) And all the people we've met are genuinely so kind and helpful. Our neighbors started coming over to introduce themselves within minutes of us pulling up out front. I've never seen anything like it. 


 We also hit up the carnival, the children's garden, made our first batch of cookies in our new kitchen. And Mr. Nolan turned 6 months. We also snuck in three trips to Utah in the last two months.

It's been a fast, crazy whirlwind of a summer. But it feels like the calm is setting in. I miss my friends dearly (sniff, sniff) and I know the kids miss their friends. But it's nice to be on this end of the move rather than all the planning and stressing I've been doing for almost a year now. And it's great to be back here on the ol' blog. I've missed you.

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