Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Take Me the Land of Nod

I love The Land of Nod.  Like borderline obsessive sort of love.  Their new catalog came in the mail a few weeks ago and I can't stop looking at it.  And after I look at the catalog I of course jump on the computer to peruse their website to be sure that I didn't miss anything good.  Which of course I did, because the website has so many more products and choices to see!  And then when I'm bored I look at the catalog again.  And then back to the computer.  It's like the predictable cycle in the "If You Give a (Mouse, Cat, Pig, etc.)" books.  My title is "If You Give a Heather a Land of Nod Catalog".  And it ends something like this - and chances are if you give her a catalog, she'll want to buy something.  Or several somethings.

It doesn't help matters that I'm in the process of decorating Addyson's "big girl" room.  Of course, I need to keep looking at the catalog and website for ideas and inspiration.  And maybe to place an order or two.  Okay, so I already placed one order.  Two if you count the one from December, but I'm going with one since it's a new year now.

Beautiful Jenny Lind bed!
Let's start with how stinkin cute The Land of Nod products are.  Cute doesn't seem to do them justice though.  I mean, really - I just want to jump right into the catalog.  Like on Mary Poppins when they jump into the sidewalk drawings.  I want to do that with my catalog.  The colors, the whimsy, the functionality - all of it appeals to me.

"Flowers Ink-a-Dink" kit to make paper chains
And how bout the clever names that they give their products?  They don't just sell rugs - they sell Magic Carpets (the non-flying edition according to their website) and the Braidy Bunch rug (no I didn't misspell that, they actually mean braidy as in braided).  And they don't just sell storage solutions - they sell I Think I Canvas bins (made out of, you guessed it - canvas!) and Bin There Done That book bins.  See?  The product names are catchy and fun, and just saying some of them makes me smile.  And who doesn't want to buy a product that makes them smile simply by saying it's name?  Maybe I'm a sucker but I think that their product naming is genius!

Take a look at some of my favorite products from The Land of Nod:
White activity table.
Who wouldn't want this for their playroom?

"And You Brought a Clip" jumbo wall clips perfect for displaying art!

"As You Wish" upholstered bed in pink zigzag fabric.

"Over the River and Through the Rug" interactive rug.
See what I mean about the clever product names?

Storage cubbies for desk top or mounted on a wall.
Those are just a few of my favorite things from the newest catalog.  
If you want to learn more about how this uber cool company came to be click here.  Even their story is fun to read!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nifty Thrifty Update

If you read this post then you know that I had grand plans this past weekend that included visiting several local antique/thrift stores.  You may also recall that I mentioned the disappointment that I was more or less expecting to feel if (or when in this case) I came home empty handed.  Well, it turns out that I was right and I came home with a big fat nothing.  Turns out I'm not so nifty or thrifty I guess.

I had an unexpected sidekick join me on my journey (Rylee, who is 6) and we actually enjoyed our day together even though we didn't make any purchases.  We went to 3 of the 4 stores on my list - 2 were antique stores and 1 was a consignment/resale shop.  It was a lot of fun to wander around aimlessly looking at all of the trinkets, furniture and such.  Rylee especially loved the old telephones and dolls.  And I did see several items that reminded me of my Grandma's house, but nothing that triggered a specific memory or that seemed special enough to come home with us.

To be honest I didn't even come close to buying anything.  There is still 1 store left on my list and my sister claims that there are some pretty great flea markets in this area, so I haven't given up hope yet.  When spring time rolls around I will be hitting some of those flea markets and maybe even try my hand at yard sale shopping:)

In the meantime my sister has offered up an antique dresser that she bought for $20 but isn't using, so I think I'm going to adopt it and try a little DIY makeover on it for Addyson's room.  And I found some hobnail glass pieces on ebay that definitely remind me of my Grandma's house so I may just purchase those too.  It may not be as fun and exciting as scouring antique shops but it sure is convenient!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nifty Thrifty?

Tomorrow I am embarking on a one woman adventure to do something that I have never done before.  I'm going antique/thrift store shopping.  The thought makes me a little excited and a lot nervous.

I soooo want to be one of those people that can go to an antique/thrift store, yard sale or flea market and find amazing bargains on amazing items, but I'm so not.  At least I don't think that I am.  I'm not sure really because I have never tried.  I'm scared to try.  Thanks to HGTV and all of the DIY blogs that I follow I have very high hopes for this whole thrifting thing.  Yet something tells me that I'm going to come home empty handed.

I suppose I should go into it with a better attitude than that but I hate being disappointed, so maybe if I think the worst then I will be pleasantly surprised.  Or maybe I will still be disappointed.  Only one way to find out and I intend to do just that.

I'm sort of thinking that this sort of shopping takes practice and a lot of trial and error.  Hopefully I can find enough patience to become good at it.  Lord knows that I'm good at regular shopping!

So what exactly is it that I'm looking for tomorrow?  Good question.  I'm not really sure.  I have a few ideas of things that I might like to buy but I'm also sort of going with the laid back attitude of "if something jumps out at me then maybe I'll buy it".   Anything that reminds me of my Grandma's house stands a pretty good chance of ending up in the back of my car.  I'm also thinking it might be fun to find an old dresser or armoire to use in Addyson's room and maybe some sort of chair or bench for her room too.  Old picture frames are also on my list.

Wish me luck and look for a follow up post next week!  Depending on how things go that post could be a really short one or a really long one!  And if anyone out there has any tips on thrift shopping I would love to hear them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Creating a Big Girl Space for Addyson

Remember this post and this one about Addyson's big girl room?  Well, now that we are settled into our new home in Iowa I am finally getting around to executing my plans.  Sort of.  The process is moving slowly but at least she's not still sleeping in a 3-sided crib.

The ridiculously inexpensive bedding from Kohl's (mentioned in the above post) was returned and the plans were altered after I stumbled across this room on Pinterest:

Beautiful pink and powder blue color combination!

The original color scheme for Addyson's room was bubblegum pink and turquoise but I changed my mind the moment that I saw this photo.  I love the way that the powdery blue/almost periwinkle shade looks with the pink and white.  So clean and crisp, light and airy.  And so pretty.  I don't know what else to say about it, except that it's pretty.  And different.  A bit unexpected maybe?  Most people tend to think pink is for girls and blue is for boys and I never would have thought to pair the two together had I not seen this photo.  I've seen girls' rooms decorated in pink/green, pink/yellow, pink/lavender and pink/pink but never really pink/blue, and definitely not this shade of blue.

So of course I was drawn to it.  I mean, why on earth would I want to make things easy on myself by choosing a color combination that is common or even a shade of blue that is readily available at the stores that I frequent?  That would be too convenient.  In fairness to myself, it's not like turquoise is a super common color either, so regardless of which color I had chosen this process wasn't going to be a stroll in the park.  Turquoise would have been easier but still not easy.  Not like green or yellow or lavender or just about any other color in the rainbow.  Nope, I couldn't even go with plain old blue.  I had to go with what Benjamin Moore calls "Jet Stream"  and Sherwin Williams calls "Bewitching Blue".

Anyway, enough complaining since I'm the one that choose to make this process difficult.  Here are a few photos of the progress that has been made in the room so far and a bit more about what else we hope to accomplish over the next few weeks!

Delano twin bed from Target.  Such a great deal!
And I love that it's simple and has drawers for storage underneath.
The bedding shown is not what we purchased, see below for that photo:)

Tea Time bedding from Land of Nod.
We only purchased the duvet cover since the other colors shown
don't coordinate w/the pink/blue scheme.

Next up we are planning to paint at least 1 of the walls in the room.  Why only 1 wall?  Well, because we are renting this house and technically I don't think we're really supposed to paint at all, so we figure that if we only paint 1 wall then we'll have less to undo when we move out.
This is the shade of blue that we think
most closely matches the photo from Pinterest.
Sherwin Williams "Bewitching Blue".
I also still need to add some organizational items like bins and/or baskets to hold books, dolls, toys and other miscellaneous items that inevitably end up in Addyson's room.

I love these storage baskets from Land of Nod but I'm unsure on which color to go with.
I'm trying to avoid too much pink in the room but I'm not sure
that the light blue shown is the "right" shade either.
And we need some wall art or shelves- anything to add character to the walls that are left white.  And I would love some sort of hanging decor or lighting too even though the room is well-lit with the single light fixture that is already there.
I'm obsessed with the Maskros light fixture from Ikea but I'm
not sure that it's practical to pay $50 for it when I intend to use it soley
for decorative purposes and not to light the room.
And (lots of and's here, huh?) I'm on the hunt for decorative pillows to add to the currently completely pink bedding.  In need of some white and blue to break it up!  New curtains would be nice too since the ones we have now are also pink (although a much more pale shade than the bedding) and are leftovers from Addyson's nursery.

So as you can see, there is still a lot of work to be done in Addyson's new room but we're getting there.  Slowly but surely.  And did I mention that I'm going to attempt to paint the room myself?  Another reason why only 1 wall will be painted.  I need to make something easy on myself.

I'll post more updates as we go and hopefully the room will be complete or close to it very soon!  And here's a peek at some the inspiration photos that I've pinned to my board on Pinterest.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spring (shopping) Fever...already!

Every year towards the end of July/beginning of August - right around the time everyone is gearing up for Back to School and I've had enough of the heat and humidity - I start to long for the fall season to arrive so that we can all bust out our sweaters and boots.  When the cooler weather finally arrives (much later in the South than here in Iowa) and it's time to put away the flip flops and tank tops, I am so ready for it.  I have a handful of cute little jackets and a few favorite sweaters that are fun to wear, and I also love the sassy look that just about any pair of boots can add to an outfit.

But - if I'm being honest - I have to admit that I tire of my fall wardrobe quickly.  Truthfully, I find winter coats and jackets to be quite uncomfortable and I feel like I am stuffed into them so tightly that I may never get out.  I also despise static cling and being shocked (or maybe I'm the shocker) by everything and everyone that I touch.  Let's not even talk about what it does to my hair.  Long hair and static are not a good combination.  And while I do love boots, they make my feet sweat and that's not so attractive or comfortable either.  So maybe fall fashions aren't so great after all?

Part of the reason that I have tired of my fall wardrobe so quickly this year also has a lot to do with our move to Iowa.  Those cute and sassy boots?  Not so cute covered with mud and muck created by melting snow.  And the static is even worse here - if that's possible!  And while we're being honest, what's so cute and trendy about being bundled up in 86 layers of clothing while the wind blows my static filled hair into my face smearing my lipgloss all over my cheeks?  And hats just aren't my thing either so forget keeping my head warm and my hair out of my face by going that route!

So needless to say, I'm ready to put away the coats, sweaters and boots and trade them for loose, flowing sundresses and strappy sandals.  No more bulky layers!  No more static!  I even think that spring time accessories are more fun.  The shoes for sure (no more pretty polished toes being stuck in sweaty boots), but even the handbags and jewelry are more playful and colorful.  And let's not forget the sunglasses!  Of course the sun shines year round (although it doesn't seem like it here in Iowa during the winter months) but when spring and summer roll around everyone is ready for a new pair of shades.

Yep, I think that I'm ready for spring and the fun fashions that come along with it.  Of course, I'm sure that I'll tire of the sandals and sundresses after endless weeks of desert-like temperatures and the stifling humidity that causes those new sunglasses to fog over the second that I step outside.
Mother Nature just can't win, can she?

Oh well!  For now I am looking forward to warmer temperatures and less layers!
Here are a few things that I have my eye on for this spring!

Tory Burch leather Miller flip flop - available in several colors!

Pantone named "Tangerine Tango" as the color of the year for 2012
and this is Essie's take - Orange It's Obvious nail color.

Shades of light green like mint and pistachio are also predicted to be big
colors for the upcoming spring season.  Essie nail color in Navigate Her.

Paisley is a hot print for spring and this tiered skirt from Forever 21
looks pretty and comfy!

Love the bright yellow color, soft leather and chunky shape
of this handbag from Target.

Ahhh, Tory Burch - love!  This bag is made of twill, which
is great for spring and summer, and the backpack silhouette
is perfect to take along on vacation. 

Glossy Garden necklace by Kate Spade.
Love the color and the flowers!

Butterfly sunglasses by Prada!

This stretchy mosaic bracelet from Forever 21
is great because it will match just about any outfit.

Here's to a Happy Spring Shopping season!
For more info on color trends and some of the must-have looks for this
spring click here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Bowl, Super Food

I love to eat.  I love to cook.  I love to entertain.  And I realllllllllly LOVE Madonna.  So naturally I loved this year's Super Bowl.  Throw in the fact that Tom Brady and Eli Manning are both cuties and that Jimmy Fallon was on live after the game, and I loved this Super Bowl Sunday almost as much as I love my husband.  Ok, maybe not quite that much but you get the point.

We had some good eats this year!  Here are a few photos and recipes.  And how cute (albeit simple and sparse) is the football decor that I scored at Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart?

The spread included slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches, cheesy potato casserole, buffalo chicken dip, pigs in a blanket, and plenty of other munchies.

Football napkins from Wal-Mart.

It's not a party with out some ice cold beverages!
I still love this galvanized metal drink bucket that I've had for years!

I don't typically think of desserts when I think about Super Bowl parties but this one was too tempting NOT to make:
Peanut butter/chocolate chip dip!  This was too die for!
I found the recipe here.
A few other recipes from our menu:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (for sandwiches) - All Recipes

Buffalo Chicken Dip - 
1 small  package cream cheese
1/2 c. Roka blue cheese dressing
1/2 c. buffalo wing sauce
1 package pre-cooked Southwest flavored chicken (diced into small pieces)

Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and cover w/paper towel.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve w/crackers and celery for dipping.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Designer Spotlight

So here we are, barely into February, and I am dying to buy new spring clothes for my girls.  Not necessarily for myself or for the little guy either, but DYING to start shopping for the girls.  I literally can't take it.  I am on the computer almost every day looking at the new spring collections as they are released and making a list of our Must Have Items.  It makes me giddy.  And for those of you that are wondering, yes I do have a problem and yes I am aware of it.  And no, I don't care.  I know that most people think that I am insane for caring so much more about my girls' wardrobes than I care about my own, but it's just the way that I am and I'm ok with that.  I have always had an obsession with children's clothing and having 2 girls didn't help matters.  I don't even try to fight it.

This month's designer is one that I had never heard of until this season when I spotted their goodies at one of my favorite online boutiques - Everything But the Princess.  I don't necessarily go in search of new designers but I always have my eyes open for unique and fun pieces and this collection is just that!

Mustard Pie offers sweet prints, beautiful colors and unique designs.  This season's colors are bright, vibrant pastels that are playful and eye catching.  Not only did the colors and prints catch my eye but I have to say that the photos really captured my attention.  I have been paying more attention lately to the photo shoots that designers use to market their collections because there are so many great props, poses and other ideas that can translate into the photos that us "ordinary" people want for our kids/family shots.

How fun is this photo shoot?  And the clothes are pretty darn cute too!