Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Big Kid Bedroom

Hi guys! I'm so excited to share this room with you. I feel like I've been working on this project for ages, and it's finally done! Hip, hip, HOORAY! I teamed up with my friends at The Land of Nod to create this fun room for my 8-year-old. Many of you know I've been writing for their blog for a couple years now, and it's no secret that I love everything Nod. I've been a customer for years, so working with them is really a dream come true.

In order to keep the nice folks at the FTC happy, I need to tell you that my friends at Nod gave me some of the things for Hudson's room. Most of the items we bought with our very own money; but I'll denote everything below in my sources so you don't feel misled. Now that I've jumped through that pesky disclosure hoop, let's move onto the fun stuff:
My son's name is Hudson. He loves sports, science, Legos and the color red. We've lived in our new home for almost a year now, and I've been flitting from room to room working on project after project. Hudson waited so patiently while I tackled other projects, like his sister's room, until it was finally time to turn my full attention to his room. 

You may remember the inspiration board I created several months ago. I stayed pretty true to the board, but added a few things as I went along. Sometimes I feel like kids rooms are a little too theme-y for my tastes. Don't get me wrong--I've seen some fantastic theme rooms. Like many kids though, mine are interested in so many things, and their interests change. So rather than locking onto one distinct theme for this room, I let Hudson be the "theme" of his room. This room is a pretty accurate reflection of his personality and the things that are important to him. And that makes me happy.

Legos are the bees knees right now. Have been for several years. I first realized we had a problem when I couldn't take two steps in the same direction without stepping on a handful of those delightful tidbits. I saw this fantastic organizing system on Pinterest and knew right away it was The One. It's just an IKEA system with some labels on the drawers. But it definitely does the trick.

Santa made the Lego table for Christmas, and I hear it was the easiest DIY ever. One IKEA table + 3 Lego pads + Spray Glue. You get the idea. It took about five minutes to get a perfectly customized lego table. I made both the bulletin board and the shelf (tutorials coming soon!). I realized the shelf was a necessity when the younger kids and their friends started destroying some really time-consuming projects. Now Hudson can display his creations without constant fear of a Natural Disaster (i.e. Little Brother) while he's at school. 

I love this scene so much. I took most of these photos while Hudson was at school, but then realized I didn't get a good shot of the dresser. I ran back up to take more photos in the afternoon and saw this little rock shop he'd set up. So pardon the mess, but it's just too sweet to take down. The green sign reads: "Last Day of the Rocks and minerals shop. Free touching." So hurry on over if you want to touch some rocks. It's free, you know.

Some of my favorite accessories are flea market finds. Hudson has loved bowling since he was tiny. And the tennis racket was from the time I took him on a little date to the Alameda Flea when we lived in California. He picked up this blue racket and I just couldn't say no. When we got home, I realized it had an "H" on the strings. It was meant to be.

Also, I think it's fun to see how this paint looks different in every photo. The two photos above were taken at the same time of day, but on adjacent walls. Sometimes the paint looks blue and other times it looks gray. Once after I'd just finished painting the room, I stood in the corner comparing two walls for about five minutes because they looked so different. It was at this time I realized two things: 1. I really like this paint color, and 2. I'm undeniably a complete nut job.

I firmly believe eight is the perfect age. He's grown up enough to be semi-responsible and super fun to talk to; yet still sweet and cuddly and secretly still likes his teddy bear. If I could freeze him right now I would.

The two "posters" above his bed are actually just wrapping paper sheets from Paper Source. They were five bucks each, and they're absolutely perfect. He's got a Minecraft poster he's dying to get up on that wall…so I imagine the poster spot will change frequently.

The headboard (below) is one of the details I added as we went along. It just sort of happened and I couldn't be happier about it. I found this incredible local shop that's kind of a mix between a flea market and an up-cycling shop. The headboard is actually made from a 1940's bowling lane. I told them what I had in mind and they made it happen. Even down to the exact size and finish color I wanted. I'm thrilled.

Now hanging this bad boy was another story. I didn't realize the bowling lane headboard would be so heavy…so I had to find two studs and use a french cleat and make sure the whole thing was level, and most importantly, safe. After a pep talk from my dad, a new drill bit and a lot of cursing under my breath I did it. I've never felt so victorious in my life. The thing is on there rock solid and completely level (despite my crooked photo). I may have done the running-man down the hallway immediately after I hung the headboard. But don't worry, there are no witnesses (that I know of).
So there it is! Hudson loves his room, and I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

Here's a lengthy list of the items I used in this room…but let me know if I missed anything:

Land of Nod Products:
items they gave me are marked with an *
Other Items:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts + Garden Tribe Giveaway

Hi Guys! Remember that time I practically wrote a love letter to Baylor Chapman about The Plant Recipe Book? Well, that very same day the nice folks at Garden Tribe emailed me with great news. I don't, in fact, have to wait till my next trip to San Francisco to take a class from Baylor. They offer an online class called Party Plants, (pictured above) taught by Baylor herself. Best news ever.

Because they're so kind, they let me take the class for free! It was about 30 minutes long, and came with a bonus class called Party Gifts, which inspired all of my Mother's Day gifts this year (pictured in this post). During the class, I learned several mind-blowingly simple tricks to make planting and caring for my plants so much easier. And I watched Baylor put together a sensationally cool centerpiece that sits right on the table. She also demonstrates how to moss-wrap plants, which opens up all sorts of gifting and displaying possibilities. The only problem is that I just can't get enough.

I took my two younger kids out shopping today…first to my favorite consignment shop looking for new containers and then to my new favorite nursery--Millcreek Gardens. I'm so excited to have such a great resource close by. Seriously, if you're local, check them out. They have everything you need to make the incredible centerpiece Baylor demonstrates in the class. I'm so excited. I'm currently scheming up a dinner party just so I have an excuse to make a centerpiece.

Garden Tribe is giving away a free Party Plants class to one of you! Enter for yourself, or give it to your mom for Mother's Day! And if you don't win, definitely think about giving the class to your Mama for her special day. It makes a fantastic gift…you don't have to ship it, and she doesn't have to put it away somewhere. Everybody wins.

I'm going to make this giveaway a quick one, so I can notify the winner before Mother's Day. That way you'll have the option of giving the class to your mom. But I wouldn't blame you if you want to keep it for yourself. ;) The giveaway closes at 10:00 pm Saturday, and I'll notify the winner Saturday night.

Just hit up the Rafflecopter widget below to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pop of Color + Wayfair Giveaway

I met the nice folks from Wayfair at Alt Summit earlier this year; and I'm so excited to be one of their new Homemakers. That's a fancy way of saying I'm a contributor for their blog. I jumped at the chance when they invited me to participate in their Pop of Color campaign. Here's how it works: They sent me a $100 gift card to pick out something colorful for my home. My end of the bargain is that I get to show you before and after pics of how I added some color to my home, and tell you a little bit about my shopping experience. Pretty awesome, right? And even better: I get to give one of you lucky readers a $100 gift card of your own. More on that later.

We bought our first home nearly a year ago. It's been so much fun (and overwhelming at times) making this house our home. Sometimes I feel like I'm making no progress at all. Then I look back on the before pictures I saved from the real estate listing and it makes me feel better. The above photo is what the living room looked like when we toured the house last April.

And here it is today! I'm still not done, but I feel like I'm making some strides in the right direction. We toned down some of the browns in the room by swapping the orangey beige paint for a blueish grey, replaced the wooden shutters with crisp, clean white ones and then started adding some personality.

When I first heard about the Pop of Color project, I knew right away that I wanted to tackle the little bay window area. Early on, I'd bought those two turquoise swoop chairs, and then I got stuck. So I took this as a personal challenge to get back to work. 

I wanted a little round table to go between the chairs, to make a little "conversation nook" of sorts, and some colorful pillows to tie it all together. I kept my search at Wayfair mainly to end tables and pillows so I didn't get distracted. Here are a few of the items I considered: 

I ultimately decided on the red table. It's been in and out of my shopping cart for a couple months now. My main hangup was the color--I not usually a red person…but since this challenge is about adding color, I thought I'd give it a whirl. I've been shopping at Wayfair for ages. They have a huge selection, but their search is so easy to navigate. For this order I just typed in "end table" to the search box, then refined my search by shape so I wouldn't have to sift through products I wasn't interested in. Easy peasy. The only problem is that I couldn't stop thinking about those feathered arrow pillows. So I bought them the next day. They're perfect and I love them, plus free shipping never hurts my feelings.

So there you have it. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect coffee table and a couple more chairs, along with the right accessories to finish off the room…but that'll come in time. For now, I'm thrilled with the progress we've made in our first year.

Now the fun part for you! One lucky reader will win a $100 gift card to Wayfair. Here's how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The bad news: The giveaway cannot include entries from Rhode Island, New York and Florida. It's crummy, but those states have extra rules we can't stick to during this campaign…so sorry!

And here's some additional fine print:
No purchase necessary. By leaving a comment you agree to the rules of this sweepstakes. Each comment to this post equals one entry and must include a name and valid email address to be eligible. A comment must link to a product from Wayfair.com to be considered for this sweepstakes. One entry per household. Limited to entrants over 18 in the US and Canada, residents of Florida, New York, and Rhode Island are ineligible to enter. Contest begins as of the time of this post and ends on SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM, MST. The winner will receive a Wayfair gift card/promo code, a retail value of $100 US. The number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning. All comments will be numbered in the order they are received and the winner will be chosen randomly by Christina Williams using the Random Number Generator at random.org.  Winner will be notified by email at the address given in their entry and must respond within 72 hours to receive their prize. If the winner does not respond within that time, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be provided by Wayfair.com. Christina Williams is not responsible for any problems with receipt of the prize. This contest is governed by the rules of Massachusetts, void where prohibited. This sweepstakes is sponsored by Wayfair LLC, 177 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA, 02115.