{home & garden} an update for a friend

Oh Hi!!  How are ya!?!?  Been while, hasn’t it….

You may wonder if the photo above is our house. It’s not.

I’ll fill you in in the next couple days about all that’s been happening, but in the mean time, I wanted to be sure you didn’t miss out on one of the MAJOR things I’ve been doing and had SUCH FUN while doing it!!

You all know Jen at Tiny Oranges?  I’ve talked about her loads in the past. And thankfully for me, I’ve also gotten to know her in real life over the past couple of years.  Jen’s blog was the first blog I ever read…and truthfully, I didn’t even really know what blogs were.  But I knew I loved hers!

So here’s the FUN… Jen has been talking about choosing a new mattress.  The things you should think about when deciding to do so, what to look for in a mattress, etc. But here’s the thing, there’s always a domino effect when you tackle things like this. You know, when you find a cute pair of shoes, you HAVE to get a new outfit to go with them!! Right??!

And that is EXACTLY what happened with Jen. Deep in the desicion process of what mattresses to get her girls, she felt slightly overwhelmed with the overall switch in her bedroom situation she felt needed to take place. A quick phone call and meeting later and we were brainstorming ideas on what to do with her Guest Room, and 2 daughters’ rooms….and I have got to tell ya, these little girls’ rooms might just be the most fun rooms I’ve ever worked on!!!!  I can’t wait to share them!  For now I have a few before shots to show you, along with a suggestion to go check out Jen’s post on how they selected their mattresses.

Stay tuned for the fun reveal!!!

{Home & Garden} Halloween Fun with Yum! GIVEAWAY!

So fun!!  Loved seeing this on the news stand this week!  (I hinted about it ages ago…) Last Thursday I was sitting in the salon chair of the fabulous Tera Stephens.  And she happened to say “Hey, I saw the Halloween party article in Yum for Kids magazine. Did you know it was out? So fun to see you and your kiddos having so much fun.” The record screeched to a stop. No!  I’ve been dying to see it…so you can bet I rushed to pick a copy up (as soon as Tera had my hair looking as fabulous as it would look for 1 day before I see her again in 8 weeks…).

I ran home to pick up Hayden and we went on an adventure to buy a magazine…

Hay do you know who that is?? “My baby Piper!”

Yep, and who else “And Hay-Hay”!

Yep, anyone else? “Mommy!!! And my Addie!”

Right you are little cutie pie.  So fun to get to see this article and re-live that day. It was  great to work with Yum for Kids and put together this Halloween party. Definitely check out the magazine…lots of great quick dinner ideas, back to school fun, birthday party ideas (such a cute cowboy party you need to read about!)

All in all a really fun experience and I was honored to have been asked to work with them.  I love the magazine and although I’m sad Yum for Kids is only published 4 times a year, on the other side, I’m kind of glad because each issue is packed FULL of useful information. One of those times when less really is more.

In fact I love it so much I would love to give you a subscription {GIVEAWAY!!}.  Just comment below and let me know if you’ve ever seen the magazine. If you have, what’s your favorite part?  If you haven’t, well I’m so sad for you!  I will say it’s challenging to find sometimes. I often get mine at Target. But I’m thrilled you can subscribe now…nothing better than DELIVERED TO MY DOOR!

Check it out and get your Halloween spook on!

{Disclaimer ~ Subscription giveaway sponsored by yours truly. Love the magazine and I hope you love it too!}

{Home & Garden} Addie’s & Hay’s Room and Toddler Bunk Bed

So you saw Piper’s Room (though a week after showing you, I got the itch to rearrange…there will be another post soon…).  This is Addie & Hay’s room.  I wish I had taken photos when it was just Addie’s Nursery. Actually, I’m sure I did, it’s just they would have been taken prior to my writing this blog, therefore WHO KNOWS where they are….

The thing to know is that the furniture is the same. I’m big on rearranging and reusing everything and anything. I like to buy once and use it an infinite amount of times.

The table (orginaly purchased for my college kitchen table) was the changing table for Addie’s nursery (after I had it cut down to a narrow depth).  The skirt hides large plastic toys that I can’t bear to see daily. The pillows were all made for the queen bed that used to be in the nursery.  We had the new twin bed made for Addie by a dear friend.  I used existing Pottery Barn storage baskets to slide under the bed with toys.

There are a pair of bookcases that we found at a second hand store. The rug is from Ikea. Super cozy and soft.

The photos were all taken by Sandy Heit. They are from Addie’s 2 week photo shoot. Her crib used to sit directly below them, so they are a bit off center for the current setup….and um, kinda need to be updated now that it’s both Hay’s and Addie’s room.

This is a small little room, 10′ x 10′ so it’s definitely always had to be a perfect puzzle to make it all fit. Not that many inches to spare.

This is Hay’s side of the room.  The crib used to be Addie’s, but when Piper was born, Hayden became the new resident when she moved in with Addie. The stuffed animal collection is not my favorite, but it is the girls’ and each has a special meaning to them. The tissue poufs were leftover from their birthday party….we went for extra mileaege weeks with them!

Hayden is 2 years & 3 months.  She has been able to climb out of her crib for about 5 months. But she never really does, only if she really, really, really wants out and doesn’t want to wait (until after you’ve gone to the bathroom.) Then a few weeks ago, while Hay and Addie were playing “baby” in her crib, THIS happens.  Guessing she was trying to tell us she’s not a baby anymore.

So I did a bunch of research on beds. My problem was 2 twin beds would swallow the room. But my little girls are 2 and 3 years old!!  HOW could I put them in full bunk beds?? Then I found this toddler size bunk bed at Ikea. And it occurred to me I could paint it black. It was perfect.

So I bought it.

My mom and I partially assembled it. My husband handed me his electric sander, and then I painted it.

It took me about a week of 20 minute windows. But it wasn’t too hard. I used a Behr paint and primer combo to try and minimize steps. Then Hay helped us carry it all into their room.

We dismantled their old room.

And we put the puzzle together.

And now they have a bunk bed (please don’t look too closely at my paint job….we had a bit of a rain storm while it was out on the driveway…I kinda have a few touch ups.)

I’ve reused all the same pillows again. The bedding on the top was Addie’s twin bedding. And the comforter on the bottom is from Addie’s nursery queen bed.

Now both bookcases flank the window again as they did when it was Addie’s nursery.

And here’s their little bunk bed.

The room actually has sooo much more play space now.  We all pile on their rug and read books and watch them play dress up.

Hay (our 2 year old) sleeps in the top bunk.  She is good at climbing the ladder which is not tall at all.  The sides are perfect since she still moves around quite a bit when she’s sleeping and I think it reminds her just enough of her crib, but also let’s her feel like a big girl. Addie (our 3 year old) sleeps on the bottom bunk (basically the mattress is on the floor). She is awesome about getting up in the middle of the night to go potty when she needs to, but she is normally half asleep….love that there is no fear of hurting herself.

I think it’s working for Hayden.

And Addie is pretty cozy too!

Our Home ~ Living Room Shelves

I started the Home Tour with Piper’s Room.  Today I thought I would show you part of the Living Room/Front Room/Everything Room.

The shelves.

But before I can really address the shelves, I need to show you where this side of the room started and where it is now.

It started as a REALLY small front room. We only intended to paint and carpet in the beginning. But we had great plans for where we wanted everything to go. Just not right away….

Wellllll, one thing led to another and as demo was happening, and discovery was going on, and things became apparent that we hadn’t counted on (which is all part of a remodel process ~ one big Pandora’s Box!) we did things sooner than we had planned. But thank goodness for loads of talented friends and family willing to chip in with time and braun…and a Husband that will work all hours to get a job done!! I may or may not have said this before, but our house is 100% sweat equity!

Back to the front room.

From the photo above, the room went here in order to deal with the electrical…

But when Pandora’s box opened up, we went ahead and opened up the ceiling. Seemed fitting since Hubs is 6′ 5″ and he kinda had to duck down a bit…

And shortly after the windows & wall to the left were gone.  The roof line continued outside to a “covered patio” which was an easy way to take that area indoors and give a little more space to the “Everything Room”.

Soon the room became this.

Note that the fireplace never changed. Wasn’t in the budget for new stone (especially with the added scope and workload we had given ourselves). So we had it painted out white and our fabulous painter worked with us to give it an updated surround (as well as a small fence to discourage the Littles from getting too close to the fireplace ~ at the time this meant Addie who was 8 months or so, I was 6 mos pregnant with Hayden).

The floor is the original hardwood that was hiding under the nasty carpet. The wood was unfortunately very stained and water damaged, and while we could have attempted to sand out the spots, we had no idea how deep some of the marks were.  Ultimately we stained the floor SUPER dark (to hide everything). Which I love the look of, just not the day-to-day care of with small kids.

A year after moving in, we opened up the wall to build the playroom. You might remember the wall from the Vonny photo shoot.

Today this is what that wall looks like.

OK, back to the shelves. Love em! Bought them at Room & Board for our first house. It was  a small (600 sq ft…) beach cottage back house in Corona del Mar. I used the shelves to hold all of our dishes we were so thankful to receive when we were married. There was no storage in the small house, and with no children (yet!) I was able to stack away, adding to the overall decor.

Now the shelves are in our front room.

The top half of each is for the grown ups – mostly meaning me :-) With photos, coffee table books, our wedding albums.

My half of the shelves…

The bottom half of each is the Littles’ stuff. Baskets from Ikea hide what I don’t like to see. The shelves above the baskets have some of the Littles’ books, along with the toys that look cute. I figure this is a happy balance for us all.  The baskets are easy for the kids to pull out and play with what’s inside. And also helps the kids clean up with some form of organization.

The Littles half…

Do you have any tricks to keeping your rooms easy on the eyes, but still kid friendly? How do you make a space work for both the kids and the adults? What are your favorite ways to hide toys?

Happy weekend everyone!

Trick or Treat!?…TREAT!

Every now and then I get a phone call or email asking me if I can help with some design staging ~ parties, rooms, etc. It’s definitely something I love to do and is very much my past life. So when I can find a way to squeeze a project or two in, I do! I love the challenge!

This past October was one of those times.  Our home had been used a few months earlier in a Yum for Kids article featuring Vonny’s new casserole cover (LOVE it!). Then a few days before Halloween, Yum for Kids contacted us again and asked about doing a Halloween party the day after Halloween…is this a Trick or  Treat??  I’m going to go with TREAT! Let’s take on the challenge!

(This is where I had a momentary lapse in judgment and thought I was still living my past life sans kids…).

But none the less, it came together and I think it looked AWESOME! I was so pleased with the outcome and had such amazing people helping out with it all!  I haven’t talked about it much until now as I wasn’t sure I was able to, but my fabulous Latte Fairy friend at ToMedia just sent this video clip over that she made and it reminded me how much fun that day was!

How fun does that look! Now I can’t wait for their Fall issue to come out!

Here’s a little bit of where it all started…

This is the bulletin board / door in my little office. Whatever project I’m working on, this board becomes the new inspiration place. Yum called Wednesday afternoon, and by Wednesday night this board was in full action!

Nap time the next day was spent in the garage “working it out” in my head and trying to come up with some magic…

Then it was time to work on some food…mint Oreos became crumbs in the food processor…

And little spiders soon appeared…

Friday’s  nap time was spent with Hubs being the pool man & yard guy, while I started figuring out the Halloween table (that was quickly dismantled before the kiddos woke up).

Piper was seriously questioning what had happened to her Mommy!

While the little ones went out trick-or-treating with Daddy and the Grampas, and the Grandma’s manned the candy bowl on the porch…

The final set up was finished off that would hopefully just need a little tweaking the next morning…

Then the oh so fabulous Tera Stephens showed up (after she finished Erica’s 6am pilates class!!) to try and help a tired Mama out!

Then it was Misha’s turn to do her best to get rid of those tired puffy eyes!

THANK THE WORLD for these amazing ladies! I was a walking Zombie before they arrived!!

Then it was show time and we pulled it all together for the shoot! Loved the energy and amazingly talented people that we worked with that day….Looking forward to the next one!

Easy Bedroom Four-Poster Trick!

Part of loving interior design is about being open to seeing things you wouldn’t normally, and then falling in love with the design. In fact it shocks me how often I see something so simple and so perfectly easy, and yet it *never* crossed my mind.

I have often encouraged people to use a curtain rod mounted on the ceiling for things like hanging extra long shower curtains, or a fabulous piece of fabric or curtain behind a bed in place of a headboard. So tell me, why, OH WHY, did it never occur to me to hang curtain rods on all four sides of a bed for a Four-Poster bed trick??? Love this idea!

It’s certainly not my idea, it’s Jonathan Adler’s and it’s brilliant, easy, inexpensive and a GREAT weekend project to update any bed in the house….I’m thinking the girls may be seeing it in their rooms soon…

“Honey? Are you reading this? We need to schedule some time for the next free weekend….”


“We don’t have any until 2013? OK then, I’ll pencil it in for then”.

Let me know if any of you do this! I would love to see photos! (As it may be a little while before I’m able to go it completed over here….)

(Photo Credit: House Beautiful. I just love their magazine and website!!)

Sharing some love….

I don’t even know HOW it can be Valentines Day in a week! This year is FLYING by so fast I can’t even say I’m barely keeping up…I’m not keeping up AT.ALL. I wonder if my kids will care if I serve their Valentine pancakes on their Santa plates? I’m pretty sure I have not put them away yet….and I know there aren’t any heart plates in the cupboard!

Maybe I’m more on my game when I’m pregnant?? Last year I was throwing a sock hop birthday for Addie & Hay, I had wrapped Valentines gifts with hand print paper, and the girls (including unborn Piper) each had a monogrammed heart blanket waiting for them….

Seriously, maybe my act works better pregnant???  Too bad my head might explode if I were….

This year??

Well this year I do have some cute heart pjs I bought during the Christmas sales, and a few little Valentine books…but that’s as close as I am…need to get it together this week and make some cute Valentine Cards. Oh wait. I think we are having a family Valentine party next Monday? Or was it Sunday? Oops. Guess I better get on that too…

Needless to say, I have not been making my usual visits to all my favorite blogs lately. Things have been a little hectic. But I did come across a few fun ideas to share…

Have you ever heard of One Charming Party? Love em. Great ideas for DIY Tutorials. Free Printables, and all around grand ideas. It’s always a stop for me for inspiration! Honestly, how could you not be inspired looking at a page like this?!?

A couple fun ideas that stood out for me this month are this D.A.R.L.I.N.G Gumball Necklace! I’m really hoping to make these this week…so dang cute!

And see that sweet Valentine next to the necklace? You can use it too, and you don’t have to lift a finger (well maybe just one…). It’s one of the free printables.

On the healthy side of things, I thought this was a really cute sticker idea from The Kitchen. Who says Valentines day has to be just about candy?? Fruit is just as sweet (sometimes…).

Of course never, to be forgotten are the stunning Amy Atlas Setups. Always awesome!

Jenny at Picky Palate NEVER disappoints with her desserts! It may not be a Valentine cookie, but I’m pretty sure you would make a heart smile if you made these…HELLO brownie inside of a cookie! Where have you been all my life??

Lastly, here are a couple ideas that I did last year. Neither took a lot of effort and both were really fun and yummy…

Addie and I made Valentine Cookies (the easy way!)

And this Chocolate Fondue is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. And really, really easy!! I’m not sure whether to love or hate my sister for introducing it to me! (I’m gonna go with love BTW as it’s always a hit!)

Happy Hearts Day to you and yours!  Hugs and love to you all!

Last minute gift idea ~ Orly Kiely

Oh, my, my…my my, my…my my, my…

How do I love this book? Let me count the ways!  My youngest sister turned me onto Pattern, by Orly Kiely and I have been in love with it since it arrived. I actually gave it to a girlfriend for her birthday this morning (My little sis is so sad to read that right now.). As I lifted if from my desk, it was like watching my left arm being taken away from me. A sad, sad morning. The only thing that made it all OK was seeing how excited my friend was to look through it!

Seriously people, if you are still wondering what to get your sister, your mom, your mother in law, your daughter, YOURSELF (did I say that??)


It is filled with pages of pages of patterns, and photos, and inspiration, and all around goodness.

So much fun!

If you love design, fashion, books…


Love the images!

Love the simplicity!

I don’t know why, but sketches like this get me every time!

Love the controlled confusion and design…

Don’t even get me started on bags.  Love me a great bag more than my husband would like  (so sorry Babe, it just can’t be helped…)

And no, not one of my Littles. And no, none of them will ever be this big. They will stay babies forever. Enough said.

Bags, shoes, bags, shoes. Addie and I would like them all please.

Go purchase Pattern by Orly Kiely.  Or buy it for someone you love. Any human being would love this gift! Honestly, they will be grateful forever (am I getting the point across??)!! I’m hoping Santa reads this post and it magically appears under our tree!!  (Best $23.09 ~ on Amazon ~ with Super Saver Shipping you’ve ever spent!!)

Still the most beautiful tableware in the world

(Image: Juliska)

To know me, is to know my love for Juliska Tabletop and Glassware. Honestly, to walk by it everyday, it just makes me want to throw a party! Last year I wrote a little post (a long one…) showing you some of my all time favorite Juliska things. And this year I’ve got a few more to show you.

We use the Juliska “Berry & Thread” pattern as our every day dishes (every afternoon and every night, every breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes too, just sayin’) Love it! It’s freezer, to fridge, to oven, to microwave, to table friendly AND it looks good when it gets there. There really isn’t a whole lot more you can ask for.

Well, maybe one thing.

More of it.

So this year I wanted to show you a few more wonderful favorites, simply because…

I love em.

They make me smile.

And they are as functional as they are beautiful.

These glasses look like silver goblets, right?!?


Fooled me too. The Footed Landon Goblet is glass, made to look like antique silver with the use of painted platinum. Crazy cool is all I can say.

Addie thought they were pretty as well. We even got a few fun “Cheers!” in (but I would be a little cautious ~ these are one of the very few handwash fragile items. But they are beautiful on the table! And so much nicer to drink wine from than a silver goblet…)


Then there are these.

They are part of the Graham Glassware Collection. One day when I grow up, I’ll have many, many of them. Until then, I will completely enjoy the 6 Highball Graham Glasses I do have. They are a wondeful heavy glass. A casual enough feel to use everyday, but elegant enough to use at a fine dinner party (not much of those in my house…but one day). Beautiful enough for a lady, heavy enough for a football game watching guy.  Quite honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a glass as much as these.

Addie can’t keep her hands off either (I think she takes after me in the tabletop addiction…)

Yep, she approves.

They are even pretty for the person drinking, love the swirls!

And don’t get me started on the Classic Bamboo collection. These were a love affair at first site. So many options. So many possibilities. Pure love is all I can say. I’ve just started this collection so I have a few salad and dinner plates…next up is the Classic Bamboo Coffee Mug I’m sure. Though I have not seen it in person yet, I’m betting it may rival the Berry & Thread Coffee Mug as the most perfect coffee mug EVER.  But it cold be close tie.



Then there is this collection. The pewter that’s not pewter. The dishes that look like old world tabletop, but are in fact ceramic and are also oven & microwave & freezer & refrigerator safe. Now while I did talk about these last time, I now own a few pieces. And yes, it’s as fabulous as you think.

(Image: Juliska)

This bowl could quite possibly be my favorite bowl. Wonderful rich color, so beautiful filled with fresh fruit.

Or this darling little pitcher. (About the size of a little foot in case you were wondering….). Sometimes it sits on my desk with fresh flowers and I *sigh* with delight at the simplicity. It kind of makes me think of melting away into a wonderful book by the fire, pouring a little cream in my coffee….if only I had the time…and the book…and the coffee…and the fire. Details.

And lastly, the Pewter Baker. Just the oven to table awesomeness of this piece is all I need to mention. Yes it has a beautiful rich color, yes it looks amazing with your dishes, yes you can freeze it. But really people?? The fact that it can go freezer to oven to table??

Enough said.


As if it isn’t fabulous enough that these collections just exist, guess what?

Juliska is GIVING AWAY one ceramic baker. Do you have a collection started yet? Do you want to start one? Any particular baking dish look intriguing to you??  Just comment below and let us know.

Want an extra entry? Check out the Juliska Facebook Page and tell them what your Favorite piece is, and come back and tell me you did.

I love a great giveaway! Best of luck!

Giveaway closes Sunday night, December 12th at 9:00pm PST

(Disclosure: I’ve been collecting Juliska since Hubs and I were married. Would love it regardless of this blog, quite simply, it is one of my MOST favorite things!)

oh my goodness!

I can’t even write a post today, I’m so excited about Lonny Magazine introducing their new “Kids’ Rooms” section on their site. HELLO!!!  Can we all say “amazing”??

Say it with me, 1, 2, 3…..


I was a huge fan of Domino Magazine…I adore Lonny Magazine….and we of course all know that I’m a huge advocate that having kids does not mean you need to lose your style. Please check out the kids section and see what I mean….beautiful rooms, wonderful spaces. Thank you Lonny!