Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun Finds Update

So a few weeks ago I wrote about some of the "fun finds" that I was super excited about and I said to check back for photos, so here is an update!

Our "surprise skirty's" from PrettyMe (check her out on Facebook and/or Etsy) arrived Monday and all I can say is "oooh la la."  Love them.  Adore them.  Can't get enough of them.  What fun!  Angie was amazing to work with - so pleasant and helpful!  And the best part?  She is super fast too!  She whipped up the skirts on Friday and they were in my mailbox on Monday!

Now, these little goodies are supposed to be a complete surprise, she chooses the fabrics and you just trust that it's going to look great, but since I had specific necklaces that I wanted the skirts to coordinate with I did give Angie just a little bit of direction.  I never saw any of the fabric choices, I simply told her what colors I was looking for and asked her to make the 2 skirts different.  Without even knowing my girls she chose the perfect combinations for each of them and the skirts look great with the necklaces!

A friend of mine is taking photos of the kids this Saturday and the "surprise skirty's" are part of wardrobe #2 so I'll be posting more photos after our session, but for now here is a peek at the cuteness.

Surprise Skirty's from PrettyMe

Necklace from The Snootie Pig on Etsy

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

I think the title of this post pretty much says it all - Spring Has Sprung!  Not only outdoors, but in my head too.  Watch out people!

My head is seriously spinning, like out of control get dizzy and fall down spinning.  I already have a very full bin of Easter decor tucked away in a closet somewhere around here, but I have seen some unbelievably fun decorating ideas that I want to try.  Not just for Easter, but for Spring in general.  I almost feel like I need to host some sort of a spring soiree just to put these ideas to good use.  Hmmmm, there's a thought.
I always love a good party.  I'm thinking a few of you might call me crazy for hosting one just because it's spring time though.

It's not just decorating ideas flooding my head.  Easter egg hunt ideas, spring photo ideas, party themes (as if I need anymore of those!) and the list goes on (and on and on). Not to mention the excitement of getting out our spring wardrobes and adding new pieces for this season.

I'm feeling giddy just talking (and writing) about all of this.  I need to make a list of exactly which projects I want to tackle because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and indecisive right now, but check back soon for photos and more details!

Happy Spring everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patty's Day Slacker

I love holidays.  Christmas is my favorite but I really love them all.  Who doesn't love a reason to decorate, celebrate and bake?  Doing those things adds such a cheery feeling to what might otherwise be an ordinary day.  It's so much fun to get the kids involved and hopefully create lasting memories for all of us.

I tend to start my holiday decorating about 2-4 weeks before the holiday arrives.  Since my Christmas decorating is a bit more involved and I like to feel that I have plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of my labor, I usually start that project the day after Thanksgiving and leave the decor up until  New Year's.  The rest of the holidays are allotted about 2 weeks of full decor but then it all comes down the day after the holiday is over.

So you see that I have a system in place and some standard guidelines for my holiday decorating schedule (laugh if you want to), yet I somehow missed St. Patrick's Day this year.  I found tons of cute decorating ideas online and saved them all so that I wouldn't have to search over and over again to find them, and I made sure that there was green food coloring in my pantry for whatever food and/or drink that I might decide to dye green on that day.  I colored the girls' milk pink for Valentine's Day so making it green this time around was on my list and I was also thinking of making green eggs and green cupcakes, but none of that happened.  I'm not sure why really, it's not like I didn't know the date considering that St. Patrick's Day is always on March 17th, so I can't use that as an excuse.  It just snuck up on me like those darn little leprechauns!

The only decor that made it out for this green holiday were some lonely little shamrock window clings that barely even cling anymore.  No fun displays on the fireplace mantel, no wreath on the door, no green place settings on the table - NOTHING!  I guess I shouldn't say nothing b/c my husband is a teacher and the PTA at his school brings in food, treats and drinks for anything and everything that even remotely resembles a holiday, so he did come home with a few green carnations and some mini pots filled with candy wrapped in gold foil, which became our table centerpiece.  Barely a centerpiece in my book but better than nothing.  Then my guilt got the best of me and I whipped up some shamrock shaped sugar cookies and had the girls help me decorate them.  And that was the extent of our St. Patrick's Day celebration.  Boring!

In my defense I will say that places like Target and Wal-Mart really don't make it easy to do this holiday up right.  For any other holiday they dedicate at least 2-3 aisles to candy, cards, decor, and everything else, but for St. Patrick's Day they give you one measly end cap to shop from.  And maybe a few items in the Dollar Spot if you're lucky.  I suppose I could have gone to Party City or maybe even tried art and craft supply stores like Michael's or Hobby Lobby, but I'm not at those stores every day as I am Target and Wal-Mart so it's not quite as convenient.

It's not like I'm a true Irish girl straight from The Emerald Isle but my grandma was part Irish and boy was she proud of it.  She loved being Irish!  I remember there being green beer at her house on St. Patrick's Day (at the time I wasn't even close to being of legal drinking age but it sure did look good) and she had various plaques and wall hangings with Irish sayings on them.  One of my favorites (and I have no idea how or why I remember this) was - "An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold on to one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth." It's especially funny to me b/c my Grandma wasn't a big drinker but that plaque hung on her wall for as long as I can remember.  I think there were coffee mugs too and she grew these cute little flowers called Bells of Ireland.  Truthfully I think that she just liked anything having to do with Ireland or being Irish:)

Grandma's Bells of Ireland flowers

So as someone that is
sort of Irish and that just flat out enjoys a fun holiday celebration I would appreciate a bit more oomph! from retailers when it comes to their St. Patty's Day offerings.  The more I think about it the more I really like this holiday, Irish or not.   I mean, really - you're not expected to give gifts or cards to anyone, it's a great excuse to drink beer and eat corned beef, and who doesn't love those cute little leprechauns and their pots of gold?  What a fun, no pressure holiday!

Here are some of the things I'll be doing for next year:

Rag wreath

Shamrock garland

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fun Finds

The next few weeks are going to be exciting for me.  Nothing extraordinary or earth shattering is happening really, but for me these few small (and maybe silly to some) things are super fun and even a bit exhilarating.  Yes, I am a complete dork sometimes but it's the small things in life, right?

Fun Find #1
I discovered (through a great little blog - a handy little tool to assist in making pom poms from yarn.  My head is spinning with ideas on what to do with the pom poms once I've mastered making them - necklaces, decorative garland, etc.  I got so excited when I read the blog post about this that I immediately picked up the phone and started calling every local craft and/or fabric store that I could think of looking for a pom pom maker doo-dad..  It didn't take long to locate a yarn shop that sells this neat little gadget and they are very inexpensive, so I will be picking one up this week and trying my hand at making these fun little yarn balls:)  Something tells me that my house is going to be covered in pom poms soon.

Fun Find #2
Jewelry making!  I've been contemplating this for awhile but wasn't really sure where to start until I accidentally stumbled across what appears to be (I've only seen their website so far) a super cool bead shop in Dilworth and they offer FREE classes.  I am so excited about this!  How fun to make your own jewelry???  Check them out at  I'll definitely be attending one of their beginner classes and will let you know how it goes!

Fun Find #3
I think we've established the fact that I am a bit obsessed with children's clothing, so how delighted am I to be having 2 skirts custom made for my little ladies?  And custom made for an amazing price!  Thanks to a tip from a friend I found a great little Etsy shop called PrettyMe.  I've been stalking this shop and it's adorable little dresses, skirts, and other goodies for about a year now, but for some unknown reason (maybe laziness, forgetfulness, etc.) I haven't gotten around to purchasing any of these whimsical creations.  Until now!  
A friend of mine is taking photographs of the kids in a few weeks and I've been busy planning their wardrobes and coordinating outfits.  I bought necklaces for the girls from another Etsy shop b/c they were too cute and affordable to resist, even though I really had no idea at the time what they were going to wear them with.  Then I saw a Facebook post from PrettyMe about an item called a "Surprise Skirty".  It really is a surprise:)  Using leftover fabrics an apron skirt is designed and custom made just for you but you don't choose the fabrics, they do!  I contacted Angie (the shop owner) and asked her if she would please, please, please make a skirt for each of the girls to coordinate with their necklaces and she was so pleasant and easy to work with.  Now I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our Surprise Skirties!  And yes, for those of you that are wondering, I did buy the accessories first not having a clue what the girls would wear with them.  I think there are a lot of ladies out there that do the same thing.  You see a great pair of earrings and grab them b/c you can always find an equally great top later:)  Same goes for shoes, handbags, etc.  After all, accessories make the outfit!  

Fun Find #4
I don't want to give too much detail b/c I am working on another blog post about decorating but I found a little something for C's room that I'm really excited about.  It's not the white tree sticker that I've been in search of for almost 2 years but it's a fun and (I think) creative addition to his room.  More to come on that...

Stay tuned for photos of all of these Fun Finds!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Designer Deals

Okay moms, do you want stylish and trendy, high quality designer clothing for your child at a discount price?  Duh - who doesn't?  I love, love, love so many designer brands but I'm on a tight budget these days so I took the plunge and signed up for some of those online "members only" private sale websites.  And guess what?  I have actually found some pretty good deals on real designer clothing for my little ones.  I wasn't sure if these sites were legit or if I was going to be bombarded with spam and junk e-mails, or be sucked into some sort of crazy scam or identity theft ring (you just never know these days!) but I have been pleasantly surprised.

My favorite of these sites and the one that I have had the best luck with is The Mini Social,  This site was started by 2 moms just like you and me looking for a great deal on some of their favorite designer children's brands and it has taken off!  I placed an order around Christmas time and that same night I saw The Mini Social featured on an NBC nightly news segment about holiday sales and the increasing popularity of warehouse sale sites.  Talk about great publicity!  They also offer some items for us moms and you will receive a $10 credit when any new member that you invite places their first order.  Plus, this week only receive a $20 credit just for referring 5 friends!  So hurry and when you sign up for The Mini Social be sure to say that I invited you:)  I need all of the credits that I can get!  And then be sure to invite your friends so that you can earn your credits too!

Some of the other sites that I have signed up for are Totsy, Zulily and Haute Look.  There are many others and the hot trend of online warehouse sales seems to be producing more sites like these every day so I'll keep you posted and let you know if I spot any others that are worthy of your membership:)  If you have any favorites please be sure to send them my way too!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fashion Fun

I promised some fashion talk and some not so lengthy posts so here ya go!

Those that know me well know that I am obsessed with children's clothing.  I always have been, even before having children.  I have an AA in fashion merchandising, and when I was in college many of my projects were based on a children's clothing store (an imaginary one that I named Teeter Totters).  While all of my friends worked at stores where they could buy clothing, accessories and other items for themselves I worked at Limited Too and dressed little girls.  Retail wasn't the greatest job but I really enjoyed working with children and all of the adorable little people clothing.  After college I worked in retail management at Limited Too and Gymboree and then went on to do an internship with Baby Guess.  Ultimately I landed in the handbag/accessories world but never lost interest in children's clothing.

I still can't pinpoint exactly what it is about children's clothing that keeps me so enthralled but whatever it is I can't get away from it.  I dream of owning a children's clothing boutique someday and it even has a name (it's a secret but I can tell you that it is not Teeter Totters).  I also keep a list of designers and brands that I would sell at my pretend boutique and I have ideas of what the interior of my store would look like.  Is that odd?

I could sit in front of the computer all day looking at different designers and drooling over their amazing creations.  My newest favorite is Persnickety clothing -  So beautiful!  If our money tree was blooming right now I would buy one of everything!  Unfortunately the tree is quite barren these days, but just looking at this line of clothing makes me happy.  I would definitely sell it in my boutique:)

I'm thinking of doing a Designer Spotlight blog once a month and sharing some of my favorite children's brands with everyone.  It will be sooooo fun for me to write and hopefully fun for all of you to read so be on the lookout for that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Never Ending Nursery Project

Our current residence is a rental so my decorating options have been very limited, but one thing that I insisted on doing was giving C the nursery that I had been planning in my mind since before we even knew that we were having a boy.  After 2 girls I was tired of pink and ready for a change.  The color scheme was set (orange and aqua), I had chosen a paint color (Swimming by Sherwin Williams), purchased bedding (a total fiasco) and some small accessories and decorative items, and had even chosen a shower curtain for his bathroom.  Then we found out that we were moving.  Crap.  I refused to let that ruin my plans.

A few months after we moved my parents came to visit and my dad painted the room the very color that I had chosen so many months before (it felt like an eternity to me as I hate to wait to execute a plan once I have one in place).  Since this house is a rental we chose not to paint any of the other rooms but I felt that it was necessary to achieve the full affect of my nursery decor plan (how could I have an orange and aqua room with NO aqua?).  I also enlisted my dad to hang the big orange frame that I had painted (and painted and painted) along with the letters to spell C's name.

We also hung the curtain rod and orange window panel (of course I had purchased 2 b/c his room at the old house had 2 windows so now I'm stuck with an extra one) and a few of the decorative items that I had purchased on Etsy - a handmade felt banner that spelled out "Hooray" and a small cuckoo clock wall hanging.  So the room was coming together nicely but was still missing some of the original pieces that I had imagined and hoped for.  The layout of this room was different too and there is no bathroom, so some minor adjustments had to be made, but the general plan was still the same.

Unfortunately, due to budget constraints some of the ideas had to be put on the back burner and most of the great little accessories that I had accumulated had to be stored b/c there was simply no place to display them.  Until a few days ago!  I purchased a white shelving unit (intended for closet storage) for a bargain price at Target, and even though it is smaller than the Ikea unit that I have been holding out for I hoped that it would do the trick - and it did!  I was able to pull all of the fun stuff out of storage and there's still some open space on the unit for more goodies.  So that completed Nursery Update #1.

Nursery Update #2 was a bit unexpected.  As I mentioned, finding the perfect crib bedding was a fiasco to say the least.  I fell in love with a set that I saw on a blog and I knew that I had to have it.  Aqua and orange is a tough color scheme to work with so my choices were limited.  I was able to get all of the information about the bedding that I had seen but found out that it had been discontinued, so I was beyond excited when the owner of a local boutique tracked it down for me.  I was also beyond devastated when she called to tell me that the set had arrived with stains in multiple places and smelling like mold and mildew.  I immediately drove to the store and when I saw (and smelled) it for myself I knew that no matter how much I loved it I couldn't possibly pay money for such a mess and then allow my baby to sleep on it.  UGH!  After more searching I found another set made by the same designer and the price was lower on this one, so even though I didn't love it quite as much as the stinky set I still bought it b/c the colors were right and I honestly couldn't find anything else.  This fiasco had been dragging on for a few months and I was over it.  I had no idea that working with aqua and orange would be so challenging.

So my stressful bedding fiasco came to an end and what I ended up with was perfect.  Until recently.  I had noticed that the crib sheets were stretching a bit and one even had a small hole in it but I didn't think much of it b/c they had been washed and dried at least 100 times.  Then one night when I went to check on C I discovered that the sheet had come off of the mattress completely and he was wrapped in it.  Thankfully it wasn't covering his face and he was sound asleep without a care but it scared me to death.  I removed the sheet immediately (waking him in the process of course) and threw it away along with the spare one.  My first thought was obviously - "thank God he is okay" but that was closely followed by - "how on earth am I going to find new sheets that match the room?"  Finding the existing set was a huge struggle so I just knew that it would be impossible to find new sheets that worked with the color scheme.  I was wrong.

A few days later while strolling through Target I spotted an end cap and I practically started running towards it.  Right there in front of me (in one of my favorite places ever) was a new Dwell Studio collection that was perfect for C's room.  Aqua, orange and a touch of green!  There were even 2 sheet designs to choose from - 1 had a modern safari print and the other was a simple graphic print.  I couldn't decide which I liked best so I grabbed 1 of each:)  I wasn't sure that they would look right with the existing crib skirt and it's pinwheel pattern, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and saw how well they coordinated.  So much easier than I thought it was going to be! I only wish that this bedding collection had been available 18+ months ago when I was so desperately searching for the perfect set!

One major element is still missing from the room but I am determined to find it.  It is a giant wall decal for the wall where the crib sits.  I want a white tree, a big one.  Not one with flowers or birds on it, just a simple and plain white tree.  And not one that costs a small fortune.  I mean really, it's just a big sticker.  Not worth $100+.  I am still on the hunt for this white tree and once I find it the room will be almost exactly as I had imagined it to be when complete.

You can always add to a room and continue to make changes and updates to existing decor, which is what I'm sure will happen with this room, but for now I think it's just about "done".  And it only took 18 months to finish!