Thursday, May 31, 2012

Top Ten: clever tips for house and home

Who doesn't need life to be a little more simple...and a little more organized...and a lot more clean?

Here are some of my favorite tips for a simpler, more organized and more clean life at home this summer:

1. Turn a mason jar into a sugar dispenser -

 I am ashamed that I never thought of this.  Cut the top of your empty salt container to fit a mason jar ring.  Screw it on and fill it up.


2. Reuse a squeeze bottle as a batter dispenser

No instructions necessary : )


3. How to fold a fitted sheet-

Directly from Martha Stewart.  ( I have to admit that if I ever fold a fitted sheet and it ends up looking like the one above...I will throw myself a party). 

1. Stand holding the sheet by the two adjacent corners of one of the shorter edges. With the sheet inside out, place one hand in each of these two corners.
2. Bring your right hand to your left, and fold the corner in your right hand over the one in your left, enveloping it. Next, reach down and pick up the corner that is hanging in front; bring it up, and fold it over the two corners in your left hand; the corner that's showing will be inside out.
3. Bring the last corner up, and fold it over the others; with its right side showing, it should envelop the other three corners.
4. Lay the folded sheet on a flat surface and straighten it into the shape shown.
5. Fold the two edges in so all the elastic is hidden.
6. Fold the sheet into a rectangle.
7. Continue folding until the rectangle is the size you want it to be.


4. Keep brown sugar fresh-

Toss a couple of marshmallows in with your brown sugar to keep it soft. 

 5. Save your paint brushes-

Soak gunked-up nylon brushes in hot vinegar for up to 30 minutes to remove paint and soften the bristles. Afterward, wash them in hot, soapy water, brushing off paint as needed, then rinse and let dry—good as new.


6. Organize your cabinets-

Use small tension rods to organize your serving dishes and your baking pans


7. Keep your stove-top spotless-

Preserve a pristine stove-top by applying a thin layer of car wax, then wiping it off. Future spills will lift off easily.


8. Clean your iron-

Remove gunk from the soleplate of an iron. With the setting on low, rub the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue disappears, and you're left with a pristine press.


9. Remove sand painlessly-

Sprinkle some baby powder on your child's skin after a day at the beach and the sand will fall off painlessly.

10. Catch the drips-

Use a cupcake liner to catch all of the drips as your children enjoy those summer popsicles.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Four years and counting...

Four years ago today, 
Jason and I were blessed to meet one of the most 
interesting, funny, intelligent, extra-ordinarily imaginative, 
strong, loving, sweet and often infuriatingly adorable 
people we have ever met - 
our darling daughter, 

 She has done some crazy things and
 said some even crazier things...
but, ultimately she has not stopped making us laugh
since the day she was born  : )

 Happy Birthday baby girl! 

We absolutely love and adore you!

Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blythe dolls: Cute or creepy?


I am still undecided about this one. 

I saw the doll above on Pinterest and fell in love.  I think she is ADORABLE and so original!  I instantly thought...I have got to find out where I can get this doll for the girls.  So...I did a little digging.  And I quickly found out that I can't buy this doll anywhere.  This doll along with many, many, many other dolls like her are called Blythe dolls.

The Blythe doll was created in 1972 and only sold for a year.  In 2000, this unpopular doll made a resurgence in Japan, loved for it's miniature body and over-sized head.  Now the Blythe is being produced again overseas and it's popularity has grown exponentially in the United States.  Hundreds of collectors and hobbyists are buying vintage and new Blythe dolls to create their own visions.  It is truly amazing to see the dedication and patience needed to transform these little dolls.  

Some of the transformations I came across were awkward in a very vulnerable and sweet way...


...and some were a bit creepy in a "Carrie"-ish way


 I saw some twins...


...and some truly one of a kinds.


Some were world travelers...


...and others were more nature lovers.


 Some looked introspective in their loneliness...


...and others looked more at peace.


Some expressed their individuality with a more disheveled look...


...and others, went for a more made-up and manicured presentation.


Some were all dolled up for a night on the town...


...others looked ready for a coffee shop outing or indie concert.


What I love the most...this little girl can wash it all away and start anew tomorrow : )


I believe I am falling onto the absolutely adorable about you?


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Vintage Circus birthday party invitation

Our baby girl is turning four very soon and we are gearing up for a circus-themed birthday party.  When she told us she wanted a circus party, I of course leaned more towards a vintage circus party to avoid the primary colors associated with modern day circuses.  I wanted a true circus feeling, but wanted it to still be a party fitting to a little girl.

One of my super-talented friends, Carolyn, designed this invitation for Isabella.  It is exactly what I wanted - a classic circus font with a faded red, butter yellow and a light robin's egg blue making up the color palette.  Still circus colors with a feminine twist. (Visit Carolyn's Etsy shop if you would like these invitations for your little one ).

Once I printed up Carolyn's design, I wanted to make the invitation have the feeling of a circus ticket, so I decided to make a "ticket holder" for the invitation.  I chose a kraft paper card stock and a distressed red scrapbook paper which I printed the word "ticket" on.

 I then cut a horizontal line about 1/3 inch from each edge of the paper...

 ...forming a pocket

I then glued the red paper down onto the kraft paper- make sure to glue the portion above the pocket completely down and glue only the perimeter of the lower portion so you still have a pocket to put the invitation into.

 Make sure to let the glue completely dry before putting the ticket into the pocket. 

I wanted to keep the invitation fairly simple, but I took a little leeway with the envelope.  I found this vintage circus animal paper and decided to use it to line the envelopes.  I deconstructed an envelope and used the flap to create a template. 

After cutting out the liner, I slipped the lining into the envelope and glued down the flap. 

And that's it.  A perfect circus invitation for my little clown : ) 

Who wouldn't love a ticket to the circus?  

Two weeks and counting.  I have many more tricks up my sleeve for this party.  A real circus demands it : )  and hopefully...Isabella will love it!

Check out Isabella's vintage circus party here.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Friday Five...

{ fresh gardenias being worn in your hair }

{ Appreciating the only time in your life, when finishing your ice cream like this... is cute }

{ I love it when drops of water forget to soak into a tablecloth }

{ the Angry Bird cakes my friend Courtney and I made for her son's B-day - the angrier they are the cuter they are  : )   }

{ ...laying down on a carpet of grass in a baseball stadium - so nice! }

What are Your Five?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Do you have a Debbie Downer in your life?

Do you have that one person in your life who has to tell you something absolutely devastating or depressing at a completely inappropriate time?

It used to annoy me, until I saw Ratchel Dratch's Debbie Downer skit on SNL (it is still one of my absolute favorites).  Now when anyone is a Debbie Downer, all I can hear is the Whaaa,Whaaa after they finish their horrible story, and I find myself snorting, doubled over with laughter.  I have tried to control it, but no such luck.  I don't know which is worse...their horrible timing...or my absolutely ridiculous and misunderstood reaction to it.

Do you have a Debbie Downer in your life?  
If so, I would love to hear if you handle it better than I do : )

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