Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Heat Safety

I've missed the blog, but enjoyed the time I've spent with my family over the last couple of days! Kyle is finishing up a break from school, and Dablet's Fairy Godmommy was visiting us! Also, I'm gearing up for another OlioHop on Monday with the topic of organization and could not be more excited to share the inspiration! 
Here's a favorite shot from the mini-break!

Dablet has a crazy bad diaper "rash" and this week has been pitiful for her! I'm that lucky parent who has a godsend of a child who is the easiest thing on the planet. I know, I want to throw a brick at me. I'm sorry, but she's a gem. I'm sure I'll screw her up somewhere along the line! Anyway, she had her 9 month check up yesterday and was declared perfect at 23lb15oz (97th percentile) 29" tall (95th percentile) and a 47.7cm head (off the charts!!)....BUT...she's had these angry bumps on and off for a couple weeks. They were getting better. THEN yesterday afternoon she refused to nap, SCREAMED, and refused to let me go. This morning, she woke up SCREAMING. As soon as I touched a wipe to her, all hell broke loose. My child doesn't cry, let alone scream; so we went back to the doctor. Long story somewhat shorter, she has an imbalance now from many factors including teething and use of antibiotic ointment (that stuff kills the good things too!), and is on a new creme. What's the worst part besides her pain? We can't go to the pool! And, when I give her a bath she's agitated, so our AC will just be working overtime for the next few days!

Today hit 107 according to my car's thermometer, and yes, that was after driving it around for awhile not just sitting in the sun. All day I felt like I was seeing posts about heat stroke, dehydration, and accidents that were happening across the country due to the heat! As I dropped Fairy Godmommy off at the airport to return to NY (although she just sent me a text at 10:47 to say her connection is now delayed until 1:10 am....) the mommy in me kicked in! I need to find ways to beat the heat for the next several days!
Kyle has a weekend long softball tournament starting least 3 games....all day....did I mention it's supposed to be 105 with a heat index up to 115 and crazy humidity?!?! I mean, you walk outside and stick to yourself. So, I wanted to share some of my favorite "stay cool tips"! I know it's not the normal blog content, but if you read through you may stay out of the hospital!
Drink FLUIDS! Obvious right? But if you aren't sweating outside there's a problem! Your body can't cool itself, and it means you don't have enough fluid in your body to keep sweating.
Pedilite - Not just for kids! The great thing about this fluid is the molecular composition is small enough so it is absorbed once it hits your stomach. Most other fluid is absorbed in the small intestine. 

Keep your skin cool!
You release most heat from your head, so get it wet and cool off! I always pack washcloths or towels that I have soaked and put in the freezer overnight. They work wonders laid on your neck to bring your body temp down.

Eat snacks with fluids in them!
FRUIT!!! Freeze grapes for little mini grape Popsicles! Cut up a watermelon, and pack Popsicles! Your body will appreciate the extra liquid and sugar intake

SUNSCREEN!  Sure, a tan looks sexy, but skin cancer isn't as much fun. Slather on the SPF and stay in the shade!
Above all, keep drinking, eating, and if you feel light-headed, don't be a hero and keep pushing on. Sit down and ask for help! 
Even though we can't go to the pool for a few days, we were able to go a couple of days ago and Dablet wanted to share her latest swimming pic! We both hope you enjoy the summer safely!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Clean Way(fair) of Living

I have always dreamed of walking in my front door to a living space that looked like the one I created for the third, and final, week of the Wayfair contest on Olioboard. Why? It makes me say "ahhhh" and relax, but is functional for entertaining with separate but open access joint spaces. Why is that important? Well, in this house you could have several different things on TV, and depending on the groups you may want to be close but, well not so close to the MMA fight on TV!
Here's the design!

Vote for this look and shop its contents here!

I visualize this space to have a fabulous kitchen around the left corner, and an incredible view outside of that wall of windows! It's a dream design so I can do anything I want right?
These weeks of contests have been incredibly inspiring! It's all perfect timing too because I have been able to use my creative energy and actually make decisions about our home makeover, work on design boards for my mom's new townhouse, and seriously purge my home! We will be having a massive yard sale here July 14th (tentative date!) with a bunch of furniture and other fun finds!
Speaking of fun finds, I snagged a $10 organizational bin to help clear the clutter in our living room from HomeGoods today! We have three big dogs, lots of dog toys! Let's face it, they're even worse than Dablet at picking up their toys so I need somewhere easy to toss them!
See how much of a difference something small can make? I love the mini chalk board too!

Another fun find that might make its way over to my house (from my mom's!) is this incredibly cool light!
I LOVE industrial looking metal lighting! I think this brings chic to industrial! My mom told me I would just need to find a lamp shade, but I think I might see how it looks with a frosted bulb and keep it exposed as is.

Keeping the eye on organization and re-purposing, I want to tell you all that I will be a blogger on the 2nd OlioHop coming up next Monday July 2nd with the theme of organization! I just hope I can find a way to use some of my tips myself! 
Hope you all have a fabulous week! I know Dablet and I will! We're off to pick up Fairy Godmommy from the airport for a few days of visiting!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why I love Benjamin Moore - Reason 1

This may end up being more than one reason if you piece it apart, but let's just say this is the first blog dedicated to why I love Benjamin Moore! Today was a day of local travel. We knocked out the local farmer's market early and snagged some homemade sweet potato gnocchi, spinach/artichoke ravioli, wild mushroom ravioli, fresh sausage, and these beauties
The greenery in the back is actually a fresh basil plant that will live in my kitchen!

After that, I made a delivery for a client, we did some home based things, I "checked in" with my Olioboard for my new home office, and my mom and I went off to our local Ace Hardware Store (closest place that sells Benjamin Moore paint); that is where Steve came into my life. Steve is the paint department guy, and yes, they sell more types of paint in addition to Benjamin Moore. I've been in there a few times and chit chatted with him about the Color Capture app for my phone, but this time we really got to talking.
I showed him my Olioboard design for the home office, and told him about the applicator kit I won by tweeting to Benjamin Moore. His response was, "they're great about promotions and donating, and they have the best colors; everyone should use Benjamin Moore!" I have to agree with him! I of course told him I would love it if they'd decide to donate the paint for my total home makeover...I'm still dreaming!
After he rung me up for my pints, gallons, and a few planters I bought, he told me to bring up some business cards and leave them on the counter for customers to pick up. Then....wait for it.....he handed me two shrink wrapped bundles and said "I'm sorry I don't have any 'Color Preview' extras, or I would have given you all three"...He had handed me the color swatch book for all of the Classic Colors and the Affinity Colors!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Here's a fun trick with the Affinity Colors:
Any...yes ANY....three, four, or five (I'll stick to three) colors you pick from the swatch book will go together! I tried this a couple times by picking blindly, and here's what I got:

I love this second one. It's a little hard to see in the picture but the middle is a bone color and the color stacked on top is a blush, with the bottom a deep purple.

Maybe I'll make better friends with my pal Steve, and maybe I'll get some paint out of the deal so my decorating dollars can go further. If not, that's OK too because I have all of the color inspiration I could possibly need to make this home complete! Thank you to Steve from Ace Hardware for loving Benjamin Moore as much as I do!

Dabble's New Office

I recently retweeted the link to my old post Definition of Self and Style. Sometimes it makes sense to go "back to the stacks" and blow the dust off an old blog post to reintroduce it to your readers, or to make sure your new readers had a chance to see it! This post was important to me because it was my "Hi world, I'm Kate!" post that told everyone to define themselves before they started trying to determine their style. Also, in the post I made a list of how to go about designing and decorating a room that is pretty foolproof if you execute it appropriately and put the time into your "homework". In case you missed it, here's the list:

  • Go room by room and pick a vision - this can be inspiration boards (made easy by our friends at Olioboard)
  • Collect your favorite patterns, colors, furniture....and then do some old fashioned editing
  • Set a budget for the entire house - or however many rooms you want to do
  • Prioritize the rooms in your house
  • Break down your budget by room
  • Edit again if needed
  • Start with canvas - your paint and wallpaper
  • Move furniture back in
  • Decorate with accents
Here's the KEY to making this work:

Sounds pretty easy right?! Then WHY is it so hard? A few reasons come to mind:
Sentimentality: that "one thing" you got somewhere that you can't get rid of, but never use, or look at until you wonder for the third time this month if you should throw it out
Time: Isn't it ALWAYS a matter of time?
Expense: Somehow what you dream of putting in your room is always more than you have to spend (at least in my world!) That's why I'm bound and determined to pair up with some fabulous DIY experts and "thrifters" to make your dreams come true!
Inspiration: I know it's hard sometimes to pull your ideas together, hopefully the blog can help! Also, take 10 minutes and pull some things together on Olioboard. You'll be surprised how easy it is and how inspired you can really be!

Here's what I have come up with for my first BIG room project: My home office and client meeting space. Yesterday I posted the room layout and some before pictures. Now, this will show you what I've come up with on Olioboard:
You can shop the items in this look here 

I'm off to Goodwill and HomeGoods this weekend to see if I can find anything the budget friendly way! I hope this has sparked a first phase of inspiration, and as always please share your design ideas as well!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Let's Clean!

Today marked a pivotal point in the transformation of my home; we got our carpets cleaned! A while back I fantasized of replacing the "blah beige" carpets you see in all new construction with bamboo hardwood floors, and then the state decided to withhold a large chuck of money from our state refund to pay Kyle's old college bills. Mind you there is an automatic payment on these bills that is automatically withdrawn every month, AND he's back in school so should be able to have all of his loans "suspended"....I'm sure you can imagine that I was somewhat frustrated. So, a couple hundred dollars later our cats got to save what is left of their lives collectively after the destruction they had caused to our carpets and they're amazing!
To make this miracle possible we had to clean out our loft, the room that is soon to be my new home office and client meeting space! I am GIDDY with excitement to design this room, and even more so that I have a blank canvas to work with now!
Here's the room layout:
And here are some photos of what the space looks like...not much yet, but had to share the before photos!
Please forgive the couch in the corner on its side...had to expose the floor space for cleaning! That couch will be in our yard sale in a couple of weeks! I'm starting to think we may need to have more than one yard sale because I'm not sure our driveway and garage can hold everything we have to sell!
After we cleaned we had a mini dinner party! It seems like this happens often in out house. It's not a full blown dinner party because I never have time to really hostess or get fun with it, and it's usually just "family". Tonight it was my mom and my aunt, the "uncles" (Clay and Anthony, our business partners), Clay's girlfriend, Kyle's mom, and the three of us. The starter was an amazing Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. I could eat this all day! Abby liked it too, so it works as a baby recipe!

Ingredients - 4 servings
24oz. Chicken stock           8oz. Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, dice
2oz. unsalted butter             2tsp. Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
4oz. diced onion                 1tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1oz. minced shallot             Kosher salt - to taste
4oz. half-n-half                   Pepper - to taste
Butternut Squash, peeled, diced - 16oz.

Pour stock into 3-4qt. saucepan, bring to simmer over med-high
While that is heating, melt butter in 10" saute pan over med-high heat, add onion and shallot to butter and saute until translucent ~4-6min
Add squash to saute pan and cook for 3-4 minutes
Add sauteed squash mixture to stock. Add apples, thyme, rosemary, and simmer covered until all veggies are soft and tender. ~30 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender or Cuisinart (in batches if need be) and pour blended mix through medium mesh strainer into clean sauce pan. 
Place saucepan over medium heat, stir in half-n-half, simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper

This soup is great as a starter, or you can toss in some shredded chicken and make it a meal! Abby loved the flavors, so it gets the "Dablet Seal of Approval"! I think this would be even better in the fall or winter as a warm you up meal!
I am crazy with yard sale things, fun collaborations, and getting mom set up over the next 10 days, but I will be sure to share with you my Olioboard process along the way! Also, I'm taking paint color suggestions for just about any type of room, so leave me your comment with your favorite paint colors! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Today has been utter chaos! My mom, and my aunt, arrived today with her two cats from Boston to start her move into her townhouse. I went over to Target (I am ALWAYS at Target!) to get her a few things for the cats that she couldn't exactly bring. Think litter box, litter, dry food, etc. When I went over to her place to drop that all off, along with a twin size bed from my house for her to sleep on for a few days, I took all of the "before" pictures. She has about 1,500 sq. ft. townhouse on a lake with LOTS of windows, and a big open living room! This will be quite the project!
While I'm crazed like a madwoman, I wanted to share with you a few of my current favorite things!

Favorite Crib
DucDuc Furniture provides great built in storage options with FABULOUS color choices!

Favorite Glider
Oilo Glider from Layla Grayce, I love this pop of color in the piping

Favorite lighting
When it comes to lighting, I love industrial looks! This Pendant from West Elm is just one more reason I am incredibly happy they are opening a store less than 10 minutes away from us!

Favorite Pillow

Favorite Paper
This little treat says "Sometimes a girl just needs to compose a tweet...even if she's wearing a neon ball gown" It's from Ashley Brooke Designs, and I want one for both of my home work spaces! I'm working on a fun idea with these lovely ladies, and I'm hoping to show it to you soon. At least part one!

I hope your week is getting off to a good start! I'm looking forward to expanding all of the ideas building up inside me into actual reality very soon! 
Until then....

Monday, June 18, 2012

Family Ties

Happy Monday everyone!
Tomorrow is the start to a new chapter of life for us down here in NC. My mom is moving to the area, more specifically about 3.5 miles away from us, for at least a year. She bought a townhouse on a lake with amazing views the end of April, found a renter for her *amazing* condo in Boston, and will be flying down with her two cats in tow tomorrow afternoon! If you had asked me several years ago if I thought this would ever happen I would have told you you were out of your mind. It is amazing how much family relationships can change over time, and as a parent I realize that the actual relationship between parents and their kids is incredibly important!
Not only will this mean some Grandy/Abby babysitting time (let's face it, it's a perk to be able to go out on a date), another cohort to go on Target and Farmer's Market trips, BUT....wait for it....she has a whole townhouse that needs to be decorated!
Insert giddy excitement and bubbly laughter here!
Sure, she's bringing all of her furniture and decor items, but anytime you change spaces; you need to change your look just a bit!
I am beyond excited to help her do that, and to show you some of our DIY "Mrs. Fix-it" ways to make her current things just a bit newer. For now, here's a room that "screams" my mom!
Photo from Coastal Living
The only thing I would change about this would be the curtains, but other than that the glass jars, fresh blue hydrangeas, old books, comfy couch to read on, creme and blue hues....all my mom!

Also on the inspiration boards this week is the second week of the Wayfair contest on Olioboard! The topic is nurseries and kid's rooms (also the topic of the recent OlioHop), and both Dablet and I have an entry! I'd love it if you would check out my boards on Olioboard and vote for either "Dablet does Olio-Nursery" or "Dream A-Way Nursery" in the contest! Also, check out the Facebook page for a giveaway I have going that ties into the contest!
I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Food

Happy Father's Day everyone!! This is Kyle's first Father's Day with a baby "on the outside" and we've been celebrating all weekend! Unfortunately, we are out of the tournament for softball, so he won't get to enjoy that part of life, but the next season starts in less than a month. Kyle also finished his first quarter in culinary school officially yesterday after submitting the final exams for his online classes. One of his "exams" was a finished menu for his Management by Menu class...can you say drool? As I mentioned a while back, he and our former business partners (whom he has known since kindergarten) are about to take over an Italian restaurant and do a bit of a (major) face lift! This has been a fabulous brainstorming project for me as well because they will be completely revamping the inside decor! Can you say Olioboard anyone?? I think this would make a FABULOUS community challenge, and I'd even be willing to sponsor it!
Anyway, back to Father's Day/end of quarter culinary festivities!
Friday night Kyle made dinner on the grill! We had Lamb and bell pepper skewers with a mango kiwi glaze, grilled plantains, and sauteed broccoli. The lamb was cut into cubes from loin chops, SUPER easy, and put onto rosemary skewers. You should never be afraid to try out new meats and even fruits on the grill!
We used a charcoal grill and cooked the lamb to medium rare ( I personally believe cooking it more than that is not acceptable!) Pair with your favorite red wine (or a beer!) and enjoy on your deck!

Saturday we tried out our local farmer's market. I love shopping local, organic, sustainable, and actually getting to talk to the people responsible for producing the food we put on the table! Some of the farms even brought photo albums showing you their land, animals, employees, and crops! How cool is that!? Dablet decided to try and look "farmer chic" and we came home with all kinds of goodies!
1-Dablet! 2- Kyle and Dablet walking to the market

The flowers were really the whole reason I wanted to go! I LOVE fresh flowers, and I could not be happier with this bouquet! We ended up buying blueberries, red, white, and blue potatoes, fresh uncured garlic, onions, NY strip steak, fresh Chorizo, fresh spinach fettuccine, homemade ravioli stuffed with sweet potato and ricotta (YUM!), and fresh sourdough and challah bread! Oh, and Kyle got a blueberry and cream cheese danish for breakfast. I think this will be a new Saturday tradition!!
Sunday morning brings lounging around in PJs and eating chocolate chip pancakes! It took me a while to create the perfect way to make chocolate chip pancakes to produce perfectly melted chips and no melted chocolate on your pan! 
Step 1) pour your batter, once you have bubbles that are almost staying open on their own, proceed
Step 2) Place your chocolate chips, keeping slightly away from the edge and pressing gently into the batter
 Step 3) cover the chips mostly with a thin layer of batter by this time they'll be cooked through
Step 4) Flip and allow to "puff up" and finish cooking!

Finished result! 

While she didn't get to have the chocolate chip pancakes, Dablet did partake in pancakes with some mixed fruit puree! 
Check out her bib! It says "Click 'like' if you think I'm cute"!! She also has one that says "I'd rather be blogging"! I think it's great that social media has gone to baby apparel, and let's face it, she would rather be blogging!

Enjoy your Sunday!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Outdoor Celebration!

Today is the last day of Kyle's first quarter in Culinary School! Technically, Wednesday was his last day "on campus", but after today all his work for his online classes will be done and I think that requires a celebration! What shall we do? Cook of course!
With the weather warming up and the light lasting longer, it is time for outdoor entertaining. If you haven't checked out the contest on Olioboard presented by Wayfair, you should take a look here! Need some more inspiration?
This is a fabulous space saving idea that can close up and be out of your way, and drop down to provide an outdoor bar area complete with serving surface! How neat is that? When it's closed, you have a top surface perfect for a few herbs! Re-Pin this look directly from our blog, or here so you won't forget this fabulous idea!

This bar cart gives me the impression of not only being vintage, but hand made. I can just see one of my grandpas putting a metal box on top of a basic pull cart and turning it into a bar cart perfect for entertaining! Maybe I can find a way to recreate this look in a DIY project, because unfortunately Pottery Barn no longer carries this gem.
I am always looking for eco-friendly ways to do just about everything. This recycled glass drink dispenser from West Elm fits the bill! I love when companies that make their money off of production and distribution take the initiative to do things a little "greener".
Any good outdoor party needs a place to serve the food and share the appreciation! I love this table from Wayfair. You can shop it here! This reminds me of growing up in Massachusetts, where I could always find an element of shutters in at least 75% of the outdoor furniture I saw. What's great about this table to me now is it seats 8 with a small footprint, and it would be super easy to get clean! With our three dogs, anything that falls between the slats can be "re-purposed" into a doggie treat.
What's an outdoor celebration (especially for a culinary student) without a fabulous recipe?! These Honey Lime Chicken Skewers are something I found on Pinterest, but they were sourced from another blog originally. I love grilling, the smells, the fresh clean flavors, and the use of citrus in the summer! 
The perfect way to end our outdoor soiree is with a cocktail that matches the vibe, food, and makes you say "ahhhh"! I also found this Honey Citrus Cocktail on Pinterest, here's the recipe:
4 oz. Skyy Infused Dragon Fruit vodka
2 tsp. honey
4 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
sugar rim

For full instructions, visit Sugar and Charm

My project for today is to spruce up our outdoor spaces, and decide what stays and what goes to the yard sale. I'll show you our results soon! I hope you all have something to celebrate this season, and if not, just pick a night and enjoy yourselves! Life is too short and provides too much stress to not take a moment when there is a cool breeze on a summer night and just breathe! 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dablet Talks Food

Dablet has been bugging me to get a post in recently, and after our dinner adventure tonight I told her to have at it (as long as she cleaned up first). She would like to share some anecdotes about food because she overheard me telling our tweeps that I wanted to have a week of food blog posts. Her bedtime is in about an hour, so I'm just going to hand over the keyboard!

Hi!!!!!!! My mom keeps talking about me but hasn't let me talk in a long time! Enough is enough and I'm ready to put my two cents in. Did you know that I'm going to be nine months old on Thursday? Someone told me that this means I get to go see Dr.Morton later this month for a check up, but promised me I wouldn't have to have shots. Mom keeps telling me he's going to check my height, weight, and ask about what I've been eating. I eat A LOT! Although, I'd like to make a complaint because crazy mom quit giving me the liquid gold, her milk, and switched me to the powdered junk. NOT COOL! Formula is fine, but I made her transition me over 3 months because the taste just wasn't the same sweet goodness I was used to!
Other than the powdered nonsense, these people are feeding me all kinds of crazy colored mush. I think I've heard them tell me I'm eating things such as bananas, pears, peaches, apples, prunes (poops every time!), squash, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, spinach (green poops every time!), corn, green beans, oatmeal, rice cereal, beets, rutabaga, chicken, turkey....and several other things I just can't remember. When they got the "brilliant" idea to add these meats to my diet, they also introduced yogurt. Now, yogurt I can live with, I's fruit flavored! But this meat stuff seems to also mean mom decided to become my personal chef and give me more texture than Ella's food. By the way...if you have anyone my size and don't know about Ella's food you should really meet her! She makes it super easy for me to travel everywhere with my mom mess free. (I'm always happy to provide the mess!)
Mom's a great cook, don't get me wrong, but isn't daddy the one in culinary school? Maybe I should ask him to whip me something up because this stuff my mom makes me.....I SWEAR she's feeding me sand! What's with all the texture?!?! I have half a tooth, can't I just slurp my food? I love those puffs things, and the yogurt melts. THOSE I can feed myself, and some to the dogs of course! I'm independent! My parents keep saying they have no idea where I get that trait, but I think they're full of bologna!
Recently, my mom decided to try and introduce texture that I don't feed myself just one more time and I showed her exactly what I thought about that:
I nailed my face, hair, hands, ears, all over the tray, the floor, and probably at least one dog! I'm a happy eater when I eat my way, and she can wait another couple weeks until she plots with daddy and Dr.Morton to change my mind!
It was great "chatting" with all of you, but it's bottle and bedtime! I'm hoping that some of the nursery design mommy shared with you yesterday makes it to my nursery face lift!
Here's my mama back to sign off!

She's full of it! Just not textured food!! Please share with me your feeding tips, tricks, and baby food recipes! One day she will enjoy the finer foods in life!

OlioLove the Patio

Yesterday was amazing! I cannot begin to express enough appreciation to Olioboard, Leslie of The Kaleidoscope Partnership, and the entire group of fabulous designers that took part in the first OlioHop! I really hope I get the chance to participate with them again. If you didn't get a chance to "meet" them yesterday, I've included them again at the bottom!
Not only did Olioboard have their first Blog Hop yesterday, but they also launched a great contest sponsored by Wayfair. If you aren't enjoying your outdoor living space already, I'm sure your're about to be! Grilling, entertaining, or just taking a refreshing summer drink outside are things I look forward to all winter long. I'm like  that with every season though! There is always something to look forward to, but I appreciate the ability to expand our living space to the outdoors.
Here's a drink recipe from Pinterest I am DYING to try! Anyone want to come over and enjoy with me?!
Pink Grapefruit Margarita - Here's the recipe!

Let's take our Pink Grapefruit Margaritas, or your beverage of choice (I'd love for you to leave me links to  YOUR favorite summer drink recipes!) and head out to the patio! Here is one of my entries for the Wayfair sponsored Olioboard challenge. 
Vote for this entry HERE by clicking the heart icon!
This challenge is one week long, you can vote once per day per entry, and there will be a second and third contest over the next two weeks. Each week there is a prize for $250, with the three winners going head to head after 3 weeks for an additional $250! That would be worth celebrating with a fabulous summer drink recipe!
Big thanks again to everyone for all of the support! If you need help with spicing up any space in your home don't hesitate to connect with me! I love meeting new friends!

Here are my fellow OlioHoppers one more time!

Monday, June 11, 2012

OlioHop Nurseries - Girls, Boys, and Twins!

It's OlioHop Moodboard Monday! Welcome to all of the new wandering eyes, and of course "Hello" to my faithful friends! I am truly honored to be included in the inaugral blog feature brought to you by Olioboard, a fabulous design tool that I have blogged about on many occasions! Please be sure to check out the bottom of this post for the links to the other nine blogs featured in today's OlioHop! Don't forget, you can create fabulous designs yourself (just click on any Olioboard link, or the "Get creating here" link at the bottom of the blog!)
When I received the email asking me to participate and shared the topic of the Blog Hop, I reached a level of excitement that is best described by 3 year old girls squealing in tandem over something no one truly understands! So, what is the topic you ask?
Nurseries and Kids Rooms!!!!
Pretty perfect right? After all, it won't be too long from now when I have to look at Dablet's nursery and figure out how to transform it into a room for a little lady! (forgive me as I quietly shed an emotional tear!) It seems as if Kyle and I are surrounded by babies recently. Friends, family, neighbors....everyone is having babies!! It is seriously not helping my case of "baby fever". Although, I will admit that through the last few weeks and the process of perfecting this post for all of you, I have realized that nurseries are my favorite room to design! There is something sacred about the first space your child will call home. Putting together all of the little details, taking your time to plan for the late night feedings, wardrobe malfunctions, tummy time sessions, and reading nook exploration bring an amount of joy to me that cannot be matched elsewhere! I am officially focusing my work to nurseries!!
Enough about me! Let's move on to what you're here for: Nursery design!
Starting "close to home" for me, we shall begin with a room for a little girl!

Find all of the items and shop this look here

The great thing about Olioboard is...well, there are several....but to begin with they have fabulous brand partners! AND you can import your own images and link them back to the store you sourced them from. (This is why creating a virtual showroom for an etsy store using Olioboard will help boost sales, especially when you pin it!)
The paint colors for this room have two different schemes with Gray Owl as the common element in each. Benjamin Moore is Olioboard's paint partner and always provides more than enough colors to choose from! I am a sucker for paint color names. Some of the names seen here are "Little Piggy" and "Funky Fruit"! How fabulous are those for a baby's room?!?! I found the wall art on Etsy! The left three pieces are from Nicole ap, and I actually came across her work through I AM THE LAB featuring a giveaway of her designs.
What I love about this look, as the mom of a little girl, is how it is clean and pure. Sure, it has pops of color from the Lili Alessandra coral pillow from Layla Grayce and the Currey & Co red lamp from Zinc Door, but it is sophisticated. I love modern nurseries! Trust me, your little ones will add plenty of "baby" to the space, and when you start hanging clothes, changing diapers, and adding an abundence of things that say "Fisher Price" and "Playskool" you will appreciate this kind of look fit for a baby!
Now it's time for me to pretend a little...let's talk boys!
Find all items and shop this look here

For this Aquatic (sounds a bit more chic than "under the sea") themed boys room I had to use colors called "Caribbean Azure" and "Tropicana Cabana" with a little bit of "Calypso Orange" to pack the punch! When I showed this board to Kyle the first thing he said to me was, "that's for a boy? That pillow doesn't look very boy" pointing to the Maze Pillow from One Kings Lane. Maybe he has a point, but until your baby starts bringing in dump trucks (with the sand), and all kinds of things that stick (to everything) I don't see what's wrong with a little bit of sophistication to a boy's room. The trend right now for nurseries has far surpassed the "out of the box" look and moved to something that has elements of purity, pattern, and elegance without all of the fluff. Now, if you can afford to spend $25,000 on your nursery you might disagree with me about the lack of fluff!
Things I love about this look:
The pop of color on the DucDuc panel crib from Layla Grayce.
Nurseyworks changing table, also from Layla Grayce, for all of the versatility (and storage!!) that it offers! How about that geometric pattern on the door too??
The ease with which you can mix geometric patterns with this Roundabout rug from CB2
Finally, another Etsy find, this time from Raw Art Letterpress! The "Breathe" turtle print is something I could put anywhere in my house (just about) and be happy with it. With the amount of money you could potentially put into a nursery, try to think about how you could reuse pieces around your home when your babies grow up!
Speaking of spending money...let's talk about twins! Has anyone else noticed the boom in multiples?!?! When I was pregnant with Dablet, Kyle thought it would be great if we were having twins because we could knock out two at once. Maybe you can imagine who knocked out whom after that..... :) No matter what, twins are twice the blessing and twice the expense. So when planning a twin nursery, it is important to think about budget and sharing spaces!!
Find all items and shop this look here

I wanted to make this look gender neutral so that parents of boy/girl twins could be comfortable creating just one nursery without detracting from any special elements!
Color names: "Warm Comfort" "Fairy Tale Blue" "Bunny Gray" and "Spring Leaf" - great names for kids!
Budget in mind, you could make these curtains out of any fabulous fabric with a great bold pattern that you find! It's not too hard to whip up a nice set of curtains, and they add quite a style element to any room! With twins comes need for even more storage than the normal nursery! The combination of an 8-drawer dresser from Target and the multi-size drawer Skylar Changing Table from Pottery Barn Kids will provide ample space without taking up much of your floor plan.
Another one of my favorite tricks is tupperware containers under cribs for extra toys, blankets, and things you want in the room but out of the way! Crib skits provide great hiding qualities! I also wanted to show you the Kendall Crib from Pottery Barn Kids for it's simplicity. The look in the picture actually shows you how you can have a boy and girl in the same room. Keep it white (or neutral) and add pops of color in their own area.

If you are expecting twins, or any amount of multiples, check out this great program from Layla Grayce that offers discounts for purchases made for multiples (just scroll down ~3/4 of the page!). These ladies know what it's like to plan a room for more than one infant, and will be more than happy to assist you in making all of your dreams come true!
Another fun lady who can help give you a little something extra for your bundle of joy can be found at Ashley Brooke Designs! I am a nut for custom stationary, all types, sizes, and uses! Check out this announcement for twins!
I have always tried to find an extra special touch for clients and a personal way to say thank you to them for allowing me to become part of their lives (even if in a small way), and I think ABD and I are concocting a fun plan to do so! You can have your own custom illustrations done, or shop her ready made designs here. The ladies involved in this company make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, and I cannot wait to work with them on some custom designs! I think an illustration of your nursery is the perfect way to capture your treasure that is sure to change!
Remember, small spaces are FINE for babies! They're small!! It really comes down to the organization of it all. You can get what you want and still afford to send your child (or children!) to college. Prints and photography should tie your room design together. Something like this "Love You Word search" print also found on Etsy by Sydney N Company. Don't be afraid to go bold for a baby!! Above all, find pieces you can reuse later!!

With all of this nursery planning it probably won't be too long before Dablet gets to share her expertise with another little one, but until that time I cannot wait to design the perfect spaces for the little ones sprouting up all around me! Do you have little ones sprouting up around you too? I would love to hear about them! Also, don't forget that Olioboard is SO easy to use, and offers FREE membership!!
Get creating HERE today! Do you have a design you'd like to share? Post the link in the comments section, I'd love to see it!
Please take a moment to check out my fellow bloggers featured in today's OlioHop!

Thank you again to Olioboard and all of the amazing brand partners on the site for this opportunity and the tools to create visions of creativity perfect for little ones!