Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Tomorrow is our anniversary! I'm a late bloomer, and all my life I HOPED and HOPED for a family of my own. At long last, my dreams came true, and it's been a whirlwind couple of years...we got married, knew we wanted a baby asap (and here's Jake in answer to our prayers) and moved! Here are a few fun photos of the day...a lovely, sunny day on Cape Cod.

As we are both a little older, we didn't want to have a long engagement, and pulled the whole thing off in just a few months. Notice the flower garland in the background as we said our vows? I had ordered flowers wholesale for some of the table arrangements and they weren't quite what I had in mind when they arrived...the colors were a little odd. But, as I also had heaps extra, I pieced that whole garland together with a friend in less than an hour. Not bad, right?

The day before the ceremony...

The beautiful little girls and handsome boys were my bridesmaids and ushers. They were so cute and so excited. I figured they would get much more of a kick at walking down the aisle than any of my friends at this point in my life! My littlest niece decided to rub her forehead against a screen door with her little friend Wilder (appropriate name!) the day before, thus the large, red, bruise-like thing on her forehead. The photographer asked me if I wanted her to remove her "birthmark" from the photos. I said "no".

We went to Carmel for our honeymoon and had a lovely time exploring the area. We really packed a lot into less than a week...the seventeen mile drive, a day in San Fran, a really odd whale watch where the captain was DETERMINED to show us a whale, despite the fact that 3/4 of the passengers were getting wretchedly sick...

Here's to a very happy day (the wedding, not the whale watch)!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Maple Shade Kids

I came across these wonderful pictures for kids by Wanda Hirsch, artist behind Maple Shade Kids that just make me smile. Her inspiration to create came after she moved into her 1830s farmhouse in New Hampshire. After redesigning her children's rooms and furniture, she decided to continue the fun by designing products for others!

Her children's art is created using the natural beauty of wood with cheerful paper patterns. The wood she uses is either FSC-certified (comes from well managed forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council), or is rescued from a ship builder's scrap pile!

Read more about her in this interview here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Aren't kids and bubbles the best? I took Jake to a Mommy and Me gym class yesterday (in an attempt to make Mommy/Baby friends...I'm not sure it worked) and the teacher had all the kids following her around, mesmerized using a terrific bubble blower. It was just the cutest thing. I think I need to get one, and whenever I need Jake to follow me, I'll just fire it up!

(All photos from Flickr: 1. Mickey Liaw; 2. Zenus Leo; 3. Ken Flannery; 4. Juniperbud; 5. Squeaky Knees)

Want to see what others are hooked on? Join the fun here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Remember how excited I was that the handyman was coming? Well, my excitement has waned somewhat due to the discovery that one small side of our house is rotting. Gross. I'm glad the handyman discovered it (silly me, I thought the hole in the house was due to a wood-pecker!). The whole thing needs to be re-sided, and a new window is on it's way from wherever it is that windows come from. far, nothing "fun" has been done to the house as part of my "fall resolutions"

Part of what I'd like to do, is organize our front entryway. We need to have some storage for the piles of shoes and stuff that tends to conglomerate there. I love the idea of having some built-in storage, and the handy handyman has assured me we can do this once we resolve the more important house rot issue.

I was motivated to find some inspirational photos for what I have in mind after coming across Erin of The Perfect Sentiment's blog post yesterday. Here are some of my favorites...

This is perfect! I love the cute fabric on the bench which makes it more pretty than just a storage space filled with "stuff". I think I'd move the top storage area UNDER the bench though to get it out of view a bit more.

(Image via PSErin)

Love the amount of storage that this space offers, but I'm not sure we have the space for it:

(Image via PSErin)

In a simpler, clutter-free life (which is not mine!), this is a nice, neutral relaxing look:  

First published in: Ideal Home, July 2009

My husband, who prefers a more modern look and loves "floating shelves" would like this option. So would Jake because he could throw stuff off those shelves (which is why this option, lovely as it is, is not for us!):

First published in: Living Etc, April 2009

So pretty! Love the pink phone!:

(First published in: Country Homes & Interiors, April 2009)

There is an incessantly LOUD bird chirping just outside Jake's window which means he will wake up in about three minutes, thus ending all further posting on entryway storage!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Halloween is coming soon!

I'm trying to decide what Jake should be for elf? an owl?
Any ideas? I'm leaning toward the elf costume, as he already has the adorable red and white striped pjs. I'll have to teach him to say "HO, HO, HO!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Curtain call!

I came across this cute button-up window shade idea from Martha Stewart. It couldn't be easier to make, and you could do so (sew?) many things with it. Two coordinating fabrics would look adorable in a kids room...stripes and polka dots? Bigger buttons? It probably works best on a window that you're not going to want to put up and down the shade very often.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bibitty prints

I came across this adorable print by Bibitty, a studio in Salt Lake City. If you send them a photo of your child, they can transform it into a print with a quote of your choice. I especially like this one, and love the little boy on the swing. They have several other cute posters/prints available. I could design a thousand children's rooms with all the cute prints out there! Take a look at these:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Artist Series: Meredith Nelson

One of the best things about blogging is all the cool, creative "friends" that you meet along the way. One of the friends I've met, Meredith Nelson has just started her own photography business specializing in portraits and candid shots of children. As a new(ish) mom who is constantly trying to take cute photos of my son, I truly admire her talent, and realize how difficult it is to get good, non-blurry photos of kids. I asked Meredith to share some of her experiences as a mom of two adorable boys, and as an's what she has to say!

1. How do you juggle your time between your new business and your two busy boys?
Right now, I take advantage of naptimes, bedtimes, and very early mornings alone. I am a morning person, so I don't mind being up before the sun.

2. What made you decide to start your own business right now?
This is something I have wanted to do for several years. But, for many reasons, it just wasn't the right time for my family. This fall, my youngest son is starting a nursery school program three mornings a week, so I figured I could dedicate that time to working.

3. Can you offer any tips how amateur photographers like me can take good photos of wiggly children? 
Children can be hard to photograph! The first thing I would suggest is a faster shutter speed. no matter if you are using a DSLR or a point and shoot, there are settings to adjust the shutter speed. Sometimes the setting icons look like a runner, or a child's head. Just turn the dial and keep it there while photographing your little ones. That should help with fast moving kids. Another photography resource that I love is There is a lot of information for all abilities and it is very user-friendly. 

To see more of Meredith's photos and to see what she's been up to lately, (the circus party she had for her son is darling!), visit her blog. Her business is based in Marblehead, MA just north of Boston. So, if you would like some great photos of your family, consult her website here!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

One thing I love about Etsy is that many of the sellers will custom make something for you...which totally can make you feel like a rock star! 

For our anniversary last year, I had a vision of a pendant (a cool, male pendant) that I wanted to give to my husband. I researched various Etsy sellers and came across Kimberly of La Belle Dame, and asked her if she could make a custom piece. I sent her a little sketch that I did which was based on the design I had created for our wedding invitations. There are four little birds...Daddy, Mommy, Baby and Maybe (because you never know!). I love the way it turned out, and he couldn't have been happier with it.

And, as if it isn't rock-starish enough to commission jewelry, Kimberly told me she was behind on commissions because several REAL rock stars had been seen wearing her work, so she was "up to her eyeballs" with work!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Resolutions!

I am approaching fall with renewed energy to tackle several home and personal projects that I've been wanting to work on for quite some time.

The following are just a few of my resolutions...
• Redesign this blog (and perhaps find more of a focus?) A fellow blogger, Minnie, of Mama Without Borders recently redesigned her blog, and I think it looks fantastic! She's definitely motivated me to add a few features to mine! 

• To FINALLY create a baby book/photo album for Jake. It's crazy! I'm a book/gift product designer and I've designed SEVERAL lovely baby books in my career, and all poor Jake gets is a diary (when I remember to write in it) that I didn't even design! I've seen some great results with the Blurb books, so I might use that as a starting point. Why is it always hardest to design/start the projects closest to your heart? 

• To meet with the handyman...he's coming tomorrow! I'm thrilled! Of course, one of the major questions I have for him is household rot...which I'm not so thrilled about, but at least I'm on the road to fixing the problem!

• This brings me to the next phase of home improvement... finish decorating our house which we moved into almost two years ago. Between lack of time and the economy tanking, we've been at a standstill. I think it's time. Each room, except Jake's cozy room, is only halfway there.

AND...most importantly...
• what I call, Project Friend. I would love to meet more new(ish) mom's in my area. I'm on a mission! Will you be my friend?

Cool poster from: Blue Bicicletta 

To find out what others are hooked here!

Whoo's There?

If I could follow a knitting pattern, (or if I knew how to crochet) I would want to make one of these delightful creatures. If YOU can knit (and I'm thinking especially about my very talented designer friend Margaret!) I think you should pick up one of these patterns by Etsy seller Amy Gaines. She's also got kits to make her designs that include the yarn.

P.S. I have a date with the handyman! I'm giddy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Waiting by the phone...

I feel like a teenager at the moment...jumping when the phone rings...wishing, hoping HE'll call! Will he? Won't he? How many messages can I leave him without seeming like a stalker? Maybe he went away over Labor Day? Should I call again on Tuesday? Wednesday? 

Handyman, oh handyman, where for art thou?

I'm in complete "back-to-school" mode (although I'm not actually going back to school) and am ready to take on about one thousand household and personal projects. But, before I can truly begin to tackle some of my more major house issues, I really need the handyman to call and set a date! 

Top two log books designed by me; third image from top: notepad by: John Hill Jr. Shop; T-shirt by: Jam Jam Tees

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dreams Do Come True!

My friend Carol is a great fan of "visualizing" what you would like in your life...and making it come true. Several years ago, Carol had a super-cool job doing product development for Barnes and Noble. She flew all over the world sourcing materials and products for journals and gift items. She loved the job, but called it her "golden handcuffs". Her dreams were a little more personal than what B&N could offer.

Several Labor Days ago, on a super long drive back from the Cape, Carol told me everything she wanted in her life...she wanted to start her own company, she wanted to get married, and she wanted a baby. I am proud to say that within two years, with a lot of guts, and determination, those dreams were hers. 

She met her husband-to-be within three months of our conversation. By the following Labor Day, she had quit her cool job at B&N, bought a car, and drove cross country to start her own business, and to live with her husband-to-be. Then, by the next Labor Day, she was pregnant with her adorable little boy.

With many ups and downs, her business, International Arrivals is thriving, her products are great, and she has been able to pursue her passion for traveling (often with her family in tow!). Three cheers for Carol! I'm a life-long fan!

And, if you're in back-to-school mode, I strongly recommend the bubblegum scented SMENCILS (scented pencil!)...also available in pens!