Monday, July 30, 2012

OlioHop MomSpot

Happy Monday everyone! Today brings another OlioHop (although it is not the first Monday of the month there's a reason!) and today's theme is MomSpots! I swear somewhere out there is a force connecting me personally to the themes Olioboard puts out for OlioHop, normally we have Mommy Monday here! This week I'm spending my Mommy Monday from Wellfleet, MA on Cape Cod. I used to vacation here with my parents every summer and I am thrilled to get Kyle and Dablet (all the way) up here for a change of scenery and a Red Sox game!
Our view of Long Pond from our secluded rental

Last month we talked about organizing for our OlioHop, and the immense inspiration from all of the amazing designers, tools available on Olioboard, and really taking a look at how to best organize even my own spaces (it's always harder to practice what you preach!) I took home 1st and 2nd in the Olioboard Ogranizing Challenge! Thank you for ALL of your support!
It has always been a dream of mine to have my own "Mom Cave" - well at least since I became a mom! How many times have you heard "Man Cave" as if us ladies have the rest of the house on lock down?! Maybe we insert more influence, but let's be honest, when you're a mom the house belongs to the kids! In order to create a "Mom Spot" you have to take a few elements into consideration:

  • Space available
  • Your passions
  • Your resources
  • The mood you are trying to inspire

For me, the last one is the most important, but I put it last because I feel we (as moms) often overlook how we want a space to make us feel and just explode with sheer excitement at the opportunity to have our own corner. Maybe we can convince our kids to send us to timeout in our Mom Spot?! My top three types of mom spots would be Reading Nooks, Spa Areas, and Crafting Rooms. Before I hit the designing boards on Olioboard, I take to Pinterest for some pinspiration! Check out my full Mom Spot Board Here!
I chose this "I just want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares" as the theme for my Mom Spot blog!
After all, it's about what YOU want to make yourself happy!

Olioboard makes it incredibly user friendly to take your pinspiration and turn in into a "shop-able reality"! Can't find the perfect item you're looking for in the large bank of brands on Olioboard? Don't worry! You can always upload it yourself! I try to upload my pinspiration into my boards so I can have a vision of what my dream result looks like. Here's how my pinspiration took life into Olioboards for reading nooks, spas, and craft rooms:

To see this board and shop the look click here
Find yourself a comfy place to curl up with a book, gossip magazine, and beverage of choice. Been a rough day? No one here will judge you if you get a few drops of red wine on a throw pillow! Choose your favorite colors to set the mood and inspire your hideaway!

To see this board and shop the look click here
Say it with me now, "Ahhhhhhh"! Whenever I see a spa area I immediately want to check out the recipes for homemade flavored water, light a candle, and meditate! In this room it's OK to play in the mud!

To see this board and shop the look click here
Are you the type of person who escapes into creativity, but just can't seem to find the time? Make your craft room easy access with easy organization! Your mental health will thank you for it each time you find 30 minutes to dive inside and be a kid again! 
Need more organization tips? Check out the last OlioHop: Organization!

Do you have another idea for your dream Mom Spot? Head over to Olioboard and get creative! Remember, it's a dream idea so let your budget run wild! Need to make it a reality?! We're happy to help there too and create a budget friendly version of your wildest dreams!

As with all OlioHops, this could not be a success without the teamwork of Olioboard and the other amazing bloggers! Olioboard has given us an extra bonus this week with their presence at World Market Center in Las Vegas, and the Blog Her Conference in NYC! Big thanks go out to Olioboard and these fabulous events for taking the time to take a look at us!
Today we have 12 other talented designers sharing their ideas for fabulous Mom Spots, be sure to check them out and share your ideas with them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July

Happy hump day everyone! It's the 25th and Lynda over at Focal Point and I have linked up to bring you a little holiday spirit in the middle of summer! Apparently, we weren't the only ones with this idea because this morning my phone started beeping with all kinds of Christmas in July promotion emails from some of my favorite stores! None the less, there is plenty of holiday spirit, inspiration, and cheer to go around!
When I think about the holidays, I have a few key things that come to mind:

  • Decorating - how to transform your home for the season
  • Cooking - probably my favorite part! The smells, the family, the baking!
  • Kids - this is a relatively new one on my list because of Dablet!
  • Gifting - how to pick the perfect item (on a budget too!)
  • Crafting - the DIY side extending the budget and the personal touch

In order to bring some of my favorite ideas together in one place for you, I've created a "Christmas in July" board on Pinterest! and to give you a quick visual highlight, I took to Olioboard and created an inspiration board:
To see this board and the pins featured click here

The holidays bring entertaining and lots of cards! In recent years I have fixed strips of ribbon to an archway in our house and tacked all of the cards we recieve to line the inside of the arch. It's nicer than putting them in a bowl or box because you see them all at once! The wreath and tree display options are great, and the tree is something you could have as a piece of home decor year round as well! From the parties to the family dinners, you are bound to either create or experience a decorated table sometime during the season. To channel your inner Martha pick a theme and go for easy quick ways to make a dramatic statement (without breaking the bank!)

Ornaments are quick, easy, colorful and budget friendly for table decorations!
When you're planning your Holiday soiree the focus will be on the food (after your guests see your fabulous table of course!) When I think holiday cooking I immediately go to baking and mulled cider! 
Pinned here, recipe sourced from The Dish on Delish
1 orange, washed
4 cups (1 quart) apple juice or cranberry juice cocktail
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves

Peel the orange by slicing into strips. Combine your juice of choice, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and warm the juice until tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to keep the juice from boiling. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

Paired with my mulled cider I could live off of gingerbread cake! Not only is this dessert packed full of flavor, but if you're looking for something to have in the oven when guests arrive to add the perfect smell to your home this is it!
Pinned here

Pulling Kids into cooking, I had to go to cupcakes! While many of these would require time (and a certain amount of talent) they remind me of the Cookie Decorating Parties my mom used to throw for me and my friends. We'd make a load of sugar and gingerbread cookies ahead of time and several different colors of frosting complete with bowls of edible decorations. My friends and their parents would come over, we'd all wear something to cover our clothes and decorate the cookies with obnoxious amounts of frosting while our parents mingled! Here's a modern day trend version!

The holidays provide another magical moment when we are able to look through the eyes of children and remember the magic of the season! Go ahead and crank up the holiday music, do a little dance, and belt Jingle Bells at the top of your lungs! While they're little, they'll still enjoy it...soon enough you'll get the look of "Mom, what ARE you doing?!?!"

One of the challenges I will eventually have to face with the holiday festivities is hiding gifts from Dablet. Lynda brought up the idea of sharing gift hiding places with my mom readers and to be honest, I'm stumped! there are the obvious closets, under the bed, and in the garage....but my house is so open that I'm not really sure what would work! I have until at least Christmas '13 before this becomes an issue, so please share your tips with me!
Again channeling my inner Martha, I wanted to share some fabulous gift wrapping areas with you! These are a perfect tie into the OlioHop coming up next Monday, so be sure to check back!
Pinned here
Super simple! Take rods and mount them with hooks onto an empty frame. That way you can change out your wrapping paper depending on the season, or when you run out!
Pinned here
I LOVE this simple way to organize ribbon in two ways! Same rod idea as above for the ribbon spools, and then you tuck away the rest in boxes with the strands coming out! Hidden chaos is my favorite thing!
Check out more gift wrapping pictures on the Pinterest Board

Last, but certainly not least, is the crafting! I have featured SEVERAL different sites via pins showcasing all kinds of crafting ideas that are kid-friendly and also more sophisticated! One I am absolutely going to do this year is the hand print tree! I think this is not only something fun for our home, but would make a great gift for the grandparents with hand prints from all three of us!
Pinned here

Can you hear the holiday music yet and smell the gingerbread?! With the heat we've been having and the perpetual nightly thunderstorms, I've appreciated sharing a bit of holiday cheer with all of you! With Dablet's 1st Birthday just around the corner in September, it won't be too long before I'm breaking out the Christmas boxes and picking out the theme for this year's wrapping! Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? I'd LOVE it if you shared it with me! Merry Christmas in July!

As I mentioned before, I'm teaming up with Lynda from Focal Point today to share double the ideas for Holiday Styling! I've taken a sneak peek over at what she has, and all I can say is SPARKLE!
This lady has style, pizzazz, and an element of effortless chic that I admire in abundance!
Be sure to check out her blog and Pinterest Boards!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mommy Monday - Paint & Playroom

Happy Monday everyone!
It's been a crazy several days, productive, but CRAZY! Our dumpster kitty, Meow, had back surgery last week and is home now "enjoying" her digs that she will have to deal with for the next four weeks.

Also to add to the chaos, we finally had our yard sale this past Saturday!! I felt SO good to purge, and we will donate the rest to one of our local organizations. The best part...we profited over $800!!! The two rooms these funds will go to first in our home makeover are my office and Dablet's playroom! Speaking of home makeover, I painted our half bath! I was true to my word that I'd end up starting with the smallest room in the house!
I used Benjamin Moore Peacock Blue and a lot of 1.5" blue painter's tape! I reminded myself why people often resort to hiring professional painters. It's not that the painting itself it hard, but you spend at least half of your time prepping and touching up!
This was the "before" and the Koi painting from our Honeymoon was the color inspiration
Prep, edging, and during photos
Final look! Amazing how much different a coat of paint will make a room!

With paint on the brain, I think I have a background color for Dablet's playroom! Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl has been one of my favorites for a long time! It's a pale blue gray (at least in my house!) and with all of the other colors I want to use in the playroom, and the chalkboard paint wall, I think it will be a perfect canvas!
Now for those yard sale dollars!! 
I have been browsing blogs all weekend for inspiration and I found some at one of my favorites Focal Point. Lynda lives in Arizona, and I think I might just need to get my butt out there and figure out a way to get these fun finds back to me! It's a good thing I'm headed out that way this October!!
I NEED this for my office!!!
I'm slightly in love with the black and white fabric trim on this chair! 

Another fun thing I tracked down this weekend perusing IKEA's website for Dablet's Playroom was this:
The bins come in all different colors, you can place them in any orientation with the grooves that you wish, they also have a white frame and you can always paint it! It's from the TROFAST collection and this frame runs just at $114. I can picture putting words and numbers on the bins for teaching not only clean up practices, but also what's what!

Two other requirements for our playroom creation are a reading nook and chalkboard paint!! Here are some of my favorite pins for my ideas! You can find more on my Playroom Board!

See the pin here
See the pin here

See the pin here
See the pin here

I hope you all have fabulous success with whatever projects you have going on, and please be sure to share photos! I'd love to see!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mommy Monday...Wait Wednesday

Clearly it's not Monday! My Mommy Monday was spent taking Dablet up to Virginia with my mom to see my horse while (not so) quietly celebrating in the car my 1st and 2nd place victories in the Olioboard Organizing Challenge! Hia, my horse, turned 28 this year and is still rockin' around the ring in better shape than she's been in for a long time! When we got up there the view instantly reminded me why no matter how crazy barn life may be at times, it will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart

Dablet got to meet some great people and horses, and even "climbed up" with me on Hia for her first "ride". I realized I hadn't been on a horse in about 2.5 years (that's sad!), and after a softball double header the day before you better believe my legs felt it when I got off!

After all of the excitement of the trip, the people, the horses, and not to mention skipping her afternoon nap; Dablet didn't even make it the 2 miles to the hotel before passing out straight forward in her car seat!

Tuesday brought an even bigger adventure for Dablet! She got her first actual pony ride! Meet Smarty Pants, aka Smarty, who we will likely be seeing over the next couple of years if Dablet decides she loves riding as much as she did the first time!

My little pony jockey!

When we got home last night we hit a double header that Kyle was playing in before coming home and CRASHING...into bed! Although, I did manage to peruse the internet for some Equine inspired decor pictures thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could have an equestrian themed room one of these days!

Fun barn feel girls room - picture from
I LOVE this clean simple entry way! Picture from

I had to pull this one because if you follow fashion these days you equate equestrian with orange, plus the desk has very cool tall boot like legs! picture from

I hope you've all had a great start to your week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Frolicking

Happy Friday everyone!
In an attempt to balance home, work, school (Kyle), and normal life stress, Kyle and I have vocalized the need to have a social life! Sometimes this is as simple as getting out of the house all three of us and walking around the mall, going to Goodwill, HomeGoods, or grabbing a quick Mexican food lunch. Other times, we'll have friends over, or (dare it be said) even go on a date night! I feel like parents often slack on paying attention to the relationship as a couple and can end up bringing extra stress into a relationship because those needs aren't being met. Slack shouldn't be taken in a negative way, after all life proves to demand a lot from you and it's easy to get caught up!
Our (former) nanny is coming over tonight to hang out with Dablet for a little bit because they miss each other while Kyle and I go take a look at some ideas for his birthday coming up! Secretly I am planning on heading home early because I want to hang out with her too! She's one of my few close friends in the area and it's been over 2 weeks since I've seen her!!
For the next time we go out as a couple, I wanted to share some fun date night ideas with you!

Fabulous fun chain necklace (spotted on Pinterest from my virtual friend Lynda)

Something fun for the summer! Pinned to my "Someday Style" board

If I could rent these for the night, I would find a place to wear them! If I could afford them, I'd be fine wearing them around the house! One of these days I'll have a reason, but I couldn't resist sharing them!

This is called a Wild Cherry Fizz and I want to try one! Here's the Pin!

Every date night involves an appetizer! These spicy shrimp and avocado fit perfectly with the spicy/cool mix for summer, and my recent seafood craving!

I will be taking Dablet to another softball tournament tomorrow, and playing in a double header on Sunday. Somewhere in there I will finish painting my new office, sort more for the yard sale, take a nap, and use the grill without trying to blow myself up! Did I not mention you must practice extreme caution trying to light a propane grill after massive amounts of rain? In-home date nights are slightly less romantic with singed arm hair!
I hope you've all had a fabulous week and have something fun planned for your weekend!