Tag Archives: ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16, so I am assuming most people will be out doing a little shopping this weekend. I know I always struggle with Father’s Day gift ideas; there’s no way I’m alone in this. So to help give you (and myself) a little gift inspiration, I’ve pulled together these fabulous gift guides.

POPSUGAR Moms’ 10 Great Father’s Day Gifts for Sports-Fanatic Dads

In the Powder Room’s Father’s Day Pinterest board

Real Simple’s 36 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Huffington Post’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Cool Mom Picks’ Collection of Father’s Day gift posts (everything from “Gifts for the Stylish Dad” to “11 Great Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas”)


Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I originally posted this last year, but since I know so many parents are starting to think about those end-of-year gifts, I thought it was a good time to re-post. Cheers!

It’s that time of year again when children’s eyes glaze over in class, teachers are fervently counting down to the last day of school, and parents are scrambling to throw together cute teacher gifts. Since my mom is a teacher, I know just how much those little tokens are truly appreciated. To help out those of you who are currently racking your brains for brilliant ideas, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite gifts that I’ve put into my “when Olivia is in school” file.

Apple Cupcakes
From make and takes
Slap on some red frosting, a green gumdrop leaf and a pretzel stem, and you’re good to go!

Summer Tote Bag
From The Lovely Cupboard
Help your child’s teacher really relax this summer with a tote bag full of fun magazines, a beach towel, sunglasses, flip flops. . . all the necessities for soaking up rays at the pool or beach!

Bucket of Hugs
From Little Pumpkin Grace
Pick up some cute containers in the Dollar Spot at Target, fill them with Hershey’s Hugs, and attach cute little tags. Done and Done!

Potted Plant
From Giggles Galore
A cute idea, with or without the additional gift card. If you don’t want to bother with the hand painted ruler, you can just spray paint the entire pot with chalkboard paint.

Strawberry Pickin’
From eighteen25
I LOVE this because it’s just so stinking adorable. Fill a strawberry crate with assorted strawberry goodies (soaps, candies, candles, fresh strawberries) and add the little sign. Perfect for summer!

Thirst for Knowledge
From Tatertots & Jello
You can find these plastic straw cups for pretty cheap at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Have your child write a personal note to his or her teacher and put the note along with a gift card to Tropical Smoothie, Jamba Juice, etc. inside. You could even include some of those single serving lemonade packets.

Wise Owl
From Lisa Storms
This is definitely for the crafty mama. Fill this little owl bag with homemade cookies, candies, whatever you want. So sweet!

Apple Rice Krispie Treats
From Gourmet Mom On the Go
Use a package of Jell-O for coloring, Tootsie Roll Minis for stems, and a #68 icing tip (or other leaf tip) for the leaves. Package these four to a box and tie with green ribbon or yarn!


The Master Bath Reno Reveal

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post—it’s so exciting! Our master bathroom renovation was a labor of love … a really, really long labor. I will never forget the day I was washing dishes downstairs and heard an ominous banging overhead. I raced upstairs and found my husband standing in the shower of our master bath with a crow bar and a mallet methodically demolishing the tile. Apparently, we were renovating our bathroom.

Over the course of the next several days, our bathroom was ripped apart. And then it stayed that way—for six months. We finally decided that, with both of us working full-time and having a toddler, we needed to hire a contractor or we would never use our master bathroom again.

So finally, one year and two months later, here you go … our big master bath reveal!

Before

Our house was built in 1979, when apparently master baths weren’t a selling point, so ours is on the small side. Expanding the space during the renovation wasn’t an option because of the layout of our house, so we tried to make the most of the space we had. Everything “before” was original to the house, right down to the sweet vanity light and wall-sized mirror.

Drum roll please …

After

This was a total gut job. Turns out we had to replace some of the plumbing, so it was a good thing we took it down to the studs.

 

For the shower tile, we loved the look of the glass tile, but it’s a bit more expensive than your run of the mill white subway tile, so we decided to just work some glass tiles into the white shower surround. Before the white tile went up, we went through with a Sharpie and marked X’s on the sheet rock where we wanted the glass tiles to go. This whole idea was a leap of faith because we couldn’t find any similar pictures or ideas online on which to base the design. We were thrilled with the way it turned out! We feel like we got a custom-looking shower for a much lower price tag.

A real point of contention during the design process was the shower door. While we both agreed that we wanted a glass door, I was fine with one with a chrome frame across the top. My husband, on the other hand, was really pushing for a frameless shower door. I don’t know if you’ve ever priced out frameless glass shower doors but they’re waaaaaaay more expensive than regular glass doors. I wasn’t ready to break the budget over a stupid frame. But my determined hubby found a frameless door online for much cheaper than all the others we had seen. It was still more than a regular door, but it was a price I could live with. And I will say this (honey, are you reading this?), he. was. right. There, I admit it.

We had a challenge finding a vanity out of the box that would fit the space. Because of where the rough-in was for the toilet, the vanity couldn’t be more than 42 inches wide, which isn’t a standard vanity size. We also really wanted a marble top, which limited our options even further. At the end of the day, we opted to convert a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. Best decision we ever made. Yes, it was more work than just picking something out at Home Depot, but we were able to get the exact look we wanted at the right size (and price, thanks to the cabinet being on clearance!).

The real reason it’s taken me so long to write this post is because it took us forever to find a mirror. What can I say? We’re very particular. We bought five or six mirrors, but the second we held each one up in the bathroom, we instantly hated it. Imagine my excitement (and shock) when we both agreed that this last mirror was “the one.” FINALLY. To top it off, it was only $60 from HomeGoods!

 

The fixtures are all part of the Moen Waterhill family, right down to the towel hooks. We saved around $115 by ordering them through Plumbersstock.com instead of picking them up at Home Depot or Lowes.

I think my favorite part of our bathroom is the flooring. I love the look of wood floors in the bathroom, but it’s just not practical. So we went with a faux wood porcelain tile instead. It really warms up the small space and feeds the vintage-y look we were going for.

To really maximize the natural light we get from the window in our bathroom, we decided to apply a frosted treatment to the window rather than covering it with blinds. It’s amazing how much lighter the bathroom feels now!

We are so happy with our new master bath, and we really feel like we made the most of our small space.

A few tips we learned to really maximize the space in your small bathroom:

1. Take your shower tile up to the ceiling to heighten the room.

2. Keep the color palette light and airy to really open up the space.

3. Go for a small scale toilet to gain a little extra space.

4. Make the most of any natural light you have by keeping your window free of blinds and applying a frost treatment for privacy without sacrificing light.

5. A glass shower door can make your bathroom appear a couple of feet larger.

Materials we used:

Shower DoorDreamline Mirage Sliding Tub Door *We ordered ours from Overstock.com but it looks like it’s no longer available on that site.
FlooringBayur Borneo from The Tile Shop
Mirror—HomeGoods
ToiletAmerican Standard Clean White High Efficiency Toilet
Fixtures—Moen Waterhill collection
Shower Tile—3 x 6 basic white ceramic subway tile and 3 x 6 Daltile Arctic Ice Glass Tile
Marble—White Carrera marble from USA Marble and Granite
Vanity Cabinet—HomeGoods
LightingHinkley Avon Chrome Wall Sconce  *We opted to flip ours the other way for more lighting.

 


Last Minute Ideas for a Kid-Friendly NYE

They say that New Year’s Eve is the most difficult night of the year to find a babysitter, and they ain’t lyin’. Not sure about you, but we’ll be ringing in 2013 from the comfort of our own home. Luckily, we have wonderful friends who will be coming over to party it up with us.

Olivia definitely won’t make it until midnight, but she’ll probably stay up a little later than normal, so I’ve been looking for some fun kid-friendly ideas for NYE. Here are some of my favorites:

Via Parenting.com

Mix up some tasty mocktails. Alcoholic or not, these look amazing!

Make a time capsule. Click here for instructions. I think Olivia might be a little young for this this year, but I’m totally keeping this in mind for the future!

Serve kid favorites in miniature—think pigs in a blanket, little taco cups, bite-sized pizzas, sliders, meatballs, mac and cheese poppers—who doesn’t love this stuff?!

Via Family.com

Pick up some party hats, poppers, balloons, noisemakers, etc. to get everyone in on the fun and excitement. You can even use a hole punch to make confetti out of leftover Christmas wrapping paper.

Break out the Xbox or the Karaoke machine to get the party going. Group video games like Just Dance get all ages involved—there’s even a Nickelodeon Dance game that features Dora and the Backyardigans!

Ring in the New Year with milk and cookies (or at least let the kids do it!).

Celebrate “New Year’s in Rio” if you’re on the East Coast and don’t want your kids staying up until midnight. Since Rio is three hours behind U.S. Eastern Time, you can count down with your kiddos at 9 p.m.

No matter how you plan on welcoming 2013, stay safe and happy, and I’ll see you next year!


Six Unique Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

A hostess gift is a great way to thank someone for inviting you into their home. It doesn’t have to be big or crazy expensive; this is one of those times where it truly is the thought that counts. The traditional bottle of wine is never a bad idea (is wine really ever a bad idea?!), but these great hostess gifts will put you at the top of everyone’s guest list this holiday season!

1. Give the gift of a happier morning after! As the one time recipient of such a gift, I can tell you your host will thank you. This adorable basket from Everyday Occasions includes banana bread, coffee, and honey butter, but you could include any combination of your favorite breakfast treats.

Breakfast basket from Everyday Occasions

2. A rosemary tree is both festive and practical—it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Rosemary Tree from Lowes, $12.98

3. This colorful salt crock will quickly become your host’s favorite kitchen accessory. Its design ensures that the salt stays accessible while cooking but protected from drips and splashes. Plus, it’s super cute!

Salt Crock from Le Creuset, $30

4. Infused with spices like Indian curry, Hungarian paprika, and ginger, these truffles are a uniquely decadent treat. You can also pick up a few of their delicious chocolate bars while you’re at it (the Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar is AMAZING!).

Exotic Truffle Collection from Vosges, $10.50

5. This painted spoon rest is so pretty, who wouldn’t want it sitting in their kitchen? It’s just so happy!

Amaryllis Spoon Rest from Anthropologie, $10

6. Grab some Weck jars and some rosemary sprigs, and you can make your own infused sea salt.

Rosemary Sea Salt from Martha Stewart

 


Seven Inspired Ways to Paint a Nursery {or Big Kid’s Room}

It’s amazing what you can do with a little paint and some elbow grease! Check out these unique ideas for how to transform your baby’s nursery with just some paint (and in some cases, a LOT of painter’s tape).

Argyle Wall via Decorating Obsessed

Striped Accent Wall Via Project Nursery

Chalkboard Paint Via Nite Nite Mommy

Painted Chevron Ceiling Via Project Nursery

Single Stripe Via Apartment Therapy

Colorful Painted Squares Via Project Nursery

Chevron Wall Via Lowes


Kids’ Cupcakes (That the Average Parent Can Actually Make!)

We’ve all seen them—those amazing cupcakes on Pinterest that you decide you just HAVE to do for your child’s birthday party. Until you try to actually make them and they turn out like this:

For the record, those aren’t my cupcakes nor is this my picture, but it made me laugh out loud because it’s so true! Oh, I am still going to try to make the Cookie Monster cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday Sesame Street party, so we’ll see which of these pictures I get closer to.

But for the average parent (i.e. those of us who aren’t professional bakers or even good amateurs), here are some adorable cupcakes that are actually DOABLE. Enjoy!

By Good Housekeeping

By Frilly Milly Events

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By marthastewart.com

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By Better Homes and Gardens

By ericasweettooth.com

By justcallmechris.blogspot.com

 


Kellan’s Dr. Seuss Birthday Party!

A Dr. Seuss theme is great for birthday parties and baby showers because it’s gender neutral, colorful, and provides tons of inspiration and creativity for food, drinks, and decor! Kellan celebrated his first birthday in true Seuss fashion, right down to his birthday outfit. All photos are courtesy of Kellan’s proud mama and party planner, Sarah.

The plates, napkins, hats, etc. were ordered from Birthday Express. . .

 . . .as was the personalized banner!

For snacks, Sarah got creative, making Cat Hats (strawberry and marshmallow skewers), Green Eggs and Ham, Seussville Sticks (besprinkled chocolate dipped pretzels), Yertle’s Turtle Shells (chocolate dipped Pringles), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (Goldfish crackers), and Horton’s Spirals. The water bottle labels were ordered from Etsy.

The birthday boy sported a Dr. Seuss onesie from Etsy shop Antsy Pants and enjoyed a Cat in the Hat smash cake made by mom.

Sarah used blue cotton candy atop her Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes, and a friend made the adorable birthday cake.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for sharing Kellan’s adorable birthday party!


A Nursery That’s for the Birds

Birds and owls seem to be everywhere, especially when it comes to nursery decor—and they’re not just for girls. I’ve curated some of the cutest stuff on the web, so start clicking and get inspired!

1. I love the watercolor quality of this bird print by cute little nursery on Etsy, $12
2. Owl Always Love You clock from Target, $29.99
3. It may be pricey (as far as nightlights go), but it’s darn cute. Nocturnal Owl Nightlight from Land of Nod, $49
4. Speaking of pricey but adorable, Jonathan Adler bookends, $195
5. Ferm Living Tweeting Birds wall stickers, $69
6. Every baby needs a humidifier, so why not get this cute little guy?! Crane Humidifier, $45
7. Great print for a boy or girl—Dwell Studio crib sheet, $40
8. Pottery Barn Kids’ Birdie Anywhere Chair, $139
9. Soooo many great prints on this site- I had trouble picking just one! Sleep Baby Sleep print from Oopsy Daisy, $60.03
10. Owl Alphabet print (also comes in pink) from Gingiber on Etsy, $20
11. Handmade crib mobile from lovely friend on Etsy, $78
12. Skip Hop Treetop Friends crib sheet, $24
13. Perfect for those newborn pictures—Two’s Company picture frame, $25.95
14. Metal bird hooks, $19.99
15. Silver Bird Set from Pottery Barn Kids, $29


Great Online Resources for Home Design Inspiration

We all know that Pinterest is a great place to start when you’re looking for design ideas and inspiration for your home. But if you’re looking for a few more helpful sites and resources, visit some of my favs below.

Copy Cat Chic specializes in finding the inexpensive alternative to that tulip chair you covet that’s not quite in the budget.

Decor8 has “fresh finds for hip spaces” and features beautiful photography full of chic urban lofts and pops of color.

One of my favorite DIY inspiration sites is Young House Love. John and Sherry Petersik (along with their dog and baby girl) have renovated and redecorated not one but two (!!) houses. I love their style and ability to deliver a high end look on a budget.

I discovered Apartment Therapy when a friend’s sister had her apartment featured a couple of years ago (click here to see the article). The site is super easy to navigate, with menu categories including small spaces, budget living, green living and searching by room.

The HGTV web site is a great resource for info on a plethora of topics. I love looking through the Rate My Space rooms to get inspiration from everyday spaces, especially when I was working on the little one’s nursery.

Houzz is a great site if you’re not only looking for design inspiration but also want the ability to search for and purchase items. I find it so frustrating when I find the perfect bath vanity in a picture and have no way of knowing who the manufacturer is or where I can buy it.

Finally, House Beautiful is where I go when I’m putting together my dream home in my head. The designer-styled rooms are simply stunning. I love them.

What sites do you frequent when looking for design inspiration?