Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer's Last Hurrah

Are you as sad as I am to see summer coming to an end?

To make the most of this last weekend before school resumes, 
we headed up north to the San Juan Islands in Washington.

Orcas Island

On the ferry, a stunning day... a stunning location.

A game of cards and some wine, tomorrow an adventure with a zip line...or two or more.
I won't lie, I'm a little nervous!
(details next week)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Good FYI Stuff

Here's a sampling of random and helpful FYI tidbits I've stumbled across this week!
How to caculate the amount of paint needed for a room:
Multiply the height of each wall by it's width to get the total wall area.
You'll need one gallon for every 450 sq st.

How to avoid creating the perfect doll's wardrobe! 

Use a dry erase marker on the washer to indicate clothes that are inside which don't go in the dryer.
A great reminder for yourself (or others who may pitch in!)
Via Shoplet

Who Knew?!
Via Kegworks

Have a great day!!

Colorful, Happy & Eclectic

There are so many approaches to pulling together a child's room, 
and I'm drawn to this eclectic mix of this and that, happy color and range of pretty patterns.

Photography and Design by Carley Slater

To see more fun kids spaces and read an article on Ideas & Inspiration for Creating Magical Spaces for Children, visit here. (page 120)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Loving the Food & Images of Sips and Spoonfuls

It has been such a pleasure to work with Sukaina of Sips and Spoonfuls 
for several pieces in House of Fifty Magazine. 

She just has such a beautiful way of photographing the delicious creations she cooks up.
And food that looks good tastes even better, don't you think?!

Visit Sukaina's blog for more tasty recipes and visual treats.
And look for her work in the upcoming issue of House of Fifty, coming September 10th!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Circle Skirt: So Easy to Make!

Continuing on the theme of how I've become my children's seamstress of late, 
this time it's a circle skirt. And it was so easy to make!

Again, the project started with someone's idea of a garment they just had to have, this time a circle skirt for school. So off we went to JoAnn Fabrics where we selected a faux suede with a fun "metallic" finish. 

You don't need a pattern to make a circle skirt. Simply layout the fabric folded over along the fabric grain and cut a line along the fold half way up the length to create the center back seam. Then cut out a small half circle at the midway point. Start small, it can always be enlarged once the material is draped on the body to see if the circle is large enough to create the waist of the skirt. From the outer edges of the small half circle, measure the desired length of the skirt, plus an inch or two just to give you some leeway.  Mark this point on the fabric in frequent intervals, creating a large half circle and then cut out the circle along the points. 

After the needed circumference of the waist is determined, measure the total length and cut a waistband the same length, approximately 3-4 inches wide.

Create a back seam by sewing the circle together, leaving 7-9 inches open for the zipper and sew on the waistband.

Sew in the zipper, I like invisible zippers best.

Then turn over the waistband, pin and sew in place.

Finally, a simple hem...and there you go. 

I've been asked if we can make a collection of these, next in a camel faux suede. 
We're off to the store this morning.

It's a good thing the decorating of my house is basically done with no long to-do lists, 
those projects would have a hard time making it to the start line!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Projects: The Kids Realize Mom Can Sew

It suddenly occurred to my kids recently that I can sew...
and that they've been missing out on an opportunity!

One night as they were getting ready for bed they hatched up the idea that they should have matching pj's and that we should make them. They had a very distinct vision of what they would look like and of course the project should have started minutes ago.

So the next morning off to JoAnn Fabrics we went, coming home with a pattern, fabric and notions, promptly getting to work. I got more help than I thought I would, along with lots of strong opinions and supervision.

They love them. How fun to pass on the interest and ability to make things!
They've already got a list of more items they would like to make.

So much for having any time for home decor!! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Break the Coffee Habit Easily...No Kidding!

With everything we try to fit into our days, is it any wonder so many of us depend on coffee?! If you are anything like me, coffee has been a big part of the ability to get up and go...and go and go and go!

I have wanted to reduce and ultimately get off of coffee for some time. While the aroma of a brewing pot helps me drag myself out of bed at an early hour, with the allure of a steaming cup awaiting me, it just hasn't been making me feel so great for some time. It's interesting how the ritual behind holding and sipping a hot cup, containing it's big dose of caffeine, can become so addictive making it quite hard to stop!

Until now. The doctor I've recently begun seeing, who also agreed I needed to get off of the stuff stat, suggested I replace my morning cup of coffee with a steaming cup of Dandy Blend. When she described it, sharing I'd be able to avoid the headaches and withdrawal symptoms typically associated with cutting out coffee, I was extremely skeptical. First, how could that be and plus, it didn't sound so tasty. So she made me up a cup right then and there. And after a couple sips I found myself saying, "Hum, not bad, I'll give it a try."

And it worked. I haven't had coffee in a couple months now and I don't miss it a bit. I was able to switch from coffee to Dandy Blend without any negative symptoms such as the horrible headaches! And probably equally important in being able to break the coffee habit, I didn't have to forgo my morning ritual of sipping on a steaming beverage. The end result is that I feel a great deal better and don't find I have the significant energy lulls in the mid afternoon that had me wishing for a cat nap! Plus it's a beverage with many health benefits.

What it tastes like: I like the layer of froth at the top of the cup when it is first made, with the taste reminding me of an espresso. You could certainly add milk or soy milk to the mix, but I've found plain is just fine.

What it is made of: Extracts of roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye. 

Health benefits: While the company avoids making many distinct health claims for the product, Google Dandy Blend or dandelion root and many posts and studies on how dandelion root can help with liver and gallbladder detoxification, digestion, high blood pressure and improve heart health with pop up.

So, if you've been looking for a way to cut back or eliminate your coffee intake, I'm pretty sure you'll find this as helpful as I have. But if you love your my husband still does, enjoy!! Each to their own I say.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Fun & What Caught My Eye This Week

Over the past week I've been traveling, first heading out to the country to enjoy time with extended family. I have loved visiting this spot - a sprawling 60 acres purchased by my grandfather's bother in 1951 for a song - since I was just a little one. And now it's fun to be able to bring my kids here!

Guilty as charged. While keeping an eye on the kids in the creek from the swinging bridge, hubby and I were deep in discussion over a pesky business issue. That threatened to ruin a glorious day, so work was promptly put on the side for the day!

Kids have it right. Enjoy the moment!

The next day we packed up and headed to the coast, leaving the sunny skies.

This is what beach time looks like in August on the Oregon Coast. No bikinis here, rather the garb of choice is a toasty sleeping bag! (I know, I'm such a wimp...I simply don't like to be cold!!)

But while I was relaxing, I did check in each morning to see what was going on in the online world. Here's a few things that caught my eye:

After a pinner spotted these at PB Teen they saw DIY potential.
Animal toys + wood blocks + paint = fun bookends!

In a dining room by Lizette Marie Interior Design 
a sputnik fixture looks fabulous against the dark ceiling and geometric wallpaper.

And a simple but thoughtful hostess gift idea. 
Wrap a bottle of a favorite beverage in a pretty kitchen towel with a bow...
a great idea if you are headed to a party this weekend.

And finally, completely out of season, but too funny...

Hope you have a fantastic summer weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Shopping Trip to Check Out Fashions for Fall

Last week my trusty shopping companion and I headed out to see what was arriving in stores for fall. We got inspired by what we saw on the racks, and found ourselves trying on lots and lots of pretties. You simply have to try on a lot of options to find the gems, what looks good on a hanger will often disappoint, while a garment that shows little promise on the rack can come to life on the body.

I came away with a wish list of looks that I'd love to have hanging in my closet, ready and on call this fall to mix and match with favorite pieces I already own.

Vince Leather Trimmed Coat

I'm in love with this simple silhouette, beautifully textured wool and subtle trim. It looked fantastic on and over jeans with a great pair of shoes it would have you set to go about anywhere on a daily basis.

Fendi 'Chameleon' Small Leather Tote

And while the Vince Coat is a maybe, the Fendi bag is simply a dream wish list item. Of course a visit to the designer handbag department is a must during any decent shopping trip; it is such fun to appreciate the beautiful workmanship of these bags! The photo doesn't do this item justice, the color is a gorgeous muted gold, and the size and style just right for carrying you through the day. (And that would be everyday for years and years and years if it were mine!)

Marc Jacobs 'Quilting Stam' Leather Satchel

My shopping partner likes things with a little more bling, and this bag hit all the marks. Elegant with a lovely dose sass.

Tory Burch 'Annabelle' Car Coat

The fabric and cut of this item was wonderful and it looked much better than this photo, both on the rack and when tried on by myself and my daughter, who adores Tory Burch! I'm loving the ladylike trends of the past few seasons.

Hudson Stretch Boot Cut 'South Hall' Jeans

After many seasons of straight leg and skinny jeans I was happy to see the boot cut style make a return recently, and these have been on my wish list since I first spotted them. Happily they were about 40% off during the Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom, so I snapped them up. A great jean to pair with the Vince Coat...

Ivanka Trump 'Indico' Pump

Jimmy Choo 'Anvil' Pump

...and a pair of leopard pumps. Of course I simply adore the patent leather tipped Jimmy Choo version, but the Ivanka Trump (nearly) look-alike is the style more likely to come home with me.

Tahari 'Avery' Topper

The above topper surprised me when I tried it on, it looked amazing with lines reminiscent of a vintage garment. Far better than this image or how sad it looked hanging on the sale rack...(the only reason I picked it up.) While it was left behind at the store, I thought about it for days until I decided it was a keeper, thinking about all the things I have that it could go with. Sadly, once I went online to place an order I discovered it was also an Anniversary Sale item and had returned to its full price. So on the watch list it goes!

Vince 'Favorite' Turtleneck

For fall a perfect turtleneck in black is a wardrobe staple, and I haven't found just the right one in some time. This may be a contender...really loving all the Vince styles out this season.

Kate Space 'Millie' Skirt 

And finally, I would have never brought this item into the dressing room, probably because of the color. But it caught my daughter's eye who thought it would be perfect for me. Once on I had to agree, the fabric is delicious and the cut divine. It also has been put on the watch list, perhaps I can snag it midway into the season at a reduction!

Have you been out to preview the fall offerings? What has caught your eye?