Photo Diary | Work In Progress |

Friday, May 31, 2013

If you have noticed me being a little bit quiet and yet even a little bit quieter still lately - these pictures give a little peek as to what I have been doing - even the self-portrait, I have had to do a little of that too. Some of you may know, or remember that I have been working on an endeavor I signed up for back in April (how does that feel so long ago and yet time has gone by all too quickly at the same time?!). It's been an experience and the time is approaching where preparing for it ends and seeing what will come of all of it begins.

At first I though getting 225 (potentially, 225 - that's the goal/max) pillows ready to be customized for the sale sounded difficult but that's actually been my solace, it's all the computer-geekery, like creating forms, setting up my online shop and writing blurbs about what I do that have proven, shall we say, not my strong suit. (In all fairness setting up the shop was something I procrastinated on for over a year and when I wished I had it done already, well, it wasn't. Note to self: remember procrastinating is dumb). I have been a bundle of nerves worrying about that one-week-to-go mark, which officially begins tomorrow. Mostly because I have been writing a new a to-do lists at least 6 times everyday and seem to keep putting the same things on the lists, over and over again. And to attempt to get through my lists I have been placating my kids with unlimited ipad time and bowls of ice cream. Of course they think that's great. And now that the day is dawning I feel relieved in a it will be whatever it's going to be sort of thing.

And today was a bit of a turning point and I got to cross off a good portion of my list (which is what i kept telling myself would happen "self" i'd say "there is going to be a day when you look at your list and you will cross a bunch of stuff off it). What can I say? I was right. Now I am getting excited to see what is on the other side of preparing for this endeavor. I am nervous too of course (but I won't go into the tailspin my brain can go into on that front. It's not fun nor is it productive). But I guess with all that I am back where I started - a fun little cocktail of nervousness and excitement. I have no idea when things will resume normally around here, or in general, but I'm excited for that too.

House Tour | Melborne, AU |

Monday, May 27, 2013

Via  Photos by Sean Fennessy

Hope everyone had a great weekend and many of you are enjoying the extra day off today. We finally got a bit of unexpected nice weather and while I was still confined to working inside it was lovely to have a bit of sunshine streaming through my windows and fresh air coming in the open doors. But what I wouldn't give for a light flooded space such as this. How amazing are all the windows and the wall of green outside the dining room? I also love the eclectic collection of modern and vintage furnishings. I would be in heaven to have a space where you felt the inside and outside were almost one in the same. I can't imagine a better environment to work and live in. Actually I can imagine it, I am imagining it right now and it's perfect.

Pins Of The Week: Flower Power

Friday, May 24, 2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Oh the rain! I was sure a few weeks ago when we were basking in the sunshine and summer temperatures is was karma for us Portlanders. Karma for our weathering it out through the grey skies day in and day out every fall, winter and spring. Karma for being such excellent recyclers and having great bike lanes. I at least thought is was well deserved after the last few summers which more closely resembled Alaskan summers than the summers I remember here as a girl (normally we get long dry summers, for real it's true - or it was). I was so sure that this was it, summer was here to stay.

But it was a tease and the rain and cold has been back with a vengeance the last couple weeks. I have been too busy and house bound with work to complain much. But now that my deadline is staring me down at eye-level I am realizing that even when I am stuck in my house and I know it's nice outside I am more productive and creative, have more energy and a more positive outlook (a little more "I can do this!" than "wah wah" and "meh"). I am no gardener but having a little garden of veggies and a few pots of flowers to care for feels really mediative and purposeful in the way sweeping rainy debris off my floor does not. Working outside in the shade with a warm breeze makes the work load feel lighter. Taking a walk in the evening is always a bit magical and tires out my boys. And I really miss seeing all the flowers blooming! All the peonies are sadly resting heavy from the rain on the ground and other flowers that started to grow and bloom have given up. Sun, where are you?? Please come back. 

Hope you all get some sunshine this weekend! (I am officially waiting for the next 7-day forecast to see if there is more sun in our future.)

House Tour | Paris 16EME |

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am head over heels in love with this charming and whimsical Parisian apartment. Forget for a moment that I am over the nursery room years, have three little boys and live in Portland. My imagination wants to be here speaking french to my wee babes (i'd have to add a girl for that sweet nursery of course) as we look out over Paris from the Juliette balcony of my lovely bedroom. Or reading books in that adorable little nook, coloring on the chalkboard wall, sitting on my sofa admiring all my hand-carved moldings and ornate fireplace, discussing our days event at the little kitchen table . The only thing I don't imagine is cooking in that tiny kitchen but that is fine because if I could afford this sotheby's property listing I am sure I could afford to eat out every night (and maybe adopt a little girl too). Le sigh...

Design Trends: Boucherouite Rugs

Monday, May 20, 2013

1-2 Via The Apartment

3-5 Via Beklina

Thanks to pinterest I have yet another new item to obsess over - boucherouite rugs. It may be that I have been in my own land of painstaking handcrafting lately so items like this are really calling to me right now. Though I can't imagine how many hours goes into handcrafting just one of these rugs. More than that however, I love the free-form designs, the colors and that they are crafted with reused materials. I also find the story behind them intriguing which you can read a bit about here. Even though they are in fact made for floors, I could easily see one of these hanging on a wall as a piece of art. What do you think? To Boucherouite or not to Boucherouite?

Favorite Finds | 23 | Dressers

Friday, May 17, 2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

My Ikea Hemnes dresser broke this week. It literally just started coming apart at the joints. I think with my lack of folding skills I need something a little more solid. Luckily I was able to fix it, though, I don't think it will hold forever. But I think I am okay with that because I have been over mine for awhile now. I have also been wanting to give myself a bedroom makeover (as you may remember from my numerous posts about it) and this might be the motivation I needed to finally do so. Right now I don't have the time to spend toiling over dresser decisions (you may also remember indecisiveness would be one of the three words that would accurately describe me - the other two are still up for debate) but I do think I want a more low profile dresser. The Hemnes one I have now is really tall, which I thought would be better for my not-so-big bedroom, but I am fairly certain I was wrong. It feels like it looming over me while I sleep (especially now that I know it's super unstable). What do you think? Is the longer, low profile dresser better for a smaller space?

The last two images are vintage pieces (I really like that little wooden/painted number). Searching for a great vintage piece might take a little extra time but it also might help to narrow down my list and thus make the process go faster for me. Additionally vintage pieces tend to made with wood throughout and those good old fashioned tongue and groove joints which is why they are still around - they last forever. Particle board and tiny wooden pegs are not the best method for something that takes a real beating, and by beating I mean blindly stuffing full and shoving closed. But I am really loving the not-vintage pieces as well. Good thing I am not a in rush to decide, it's not going to be easy.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I am still so very busy and am hoping this weekend will be productive enough to get me past the "totally overwhelmed with my to-do list" phase.

Make : These Things

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One thing I really enjoy about blogging is it motivates my diy projects. I often come up with various ideas, or find inspirations for things I want to try, but being able to turn my efforts into a blog post makes it a lot more fun. Also being a crafter of sorts by trade it feels good to work with other materials than I normally do, and it can actually help get my creativity flowing in general. But I have been so busy lately I haven't been able to do or share any diy projects (insert my sad little face here). So I have rounded up a few crafty diy's for you all here, these are things I am hoping to attempt when I have a little more free time. I think that first one, with the pom pom embellished blanket is my favorite because I am a lover and advocate of simple projects that have a dramatic impact. If you want to try it I do have a pom pom tutorial you can find here. I know you want a pom pom blanket just as much as I do.

** Being as I won't be here tomorrow I just want to give a little shout-out today to my sister for her birthday on Thursday. Happy Birfday Hannah. I love you!! xo

The Printed Pant

Monday, May 13, 2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend and all the mama's had a relaxing Mother's day Sunday. I have to admit I spent part of my Sunday working. But I really enjoyed it, there is this perfect mixture of working and relaxing that I can achieve sometimes that makes it feel wonderful. I think it's the no-stress-attitude that makes the difference. It might have helped that we feasted the entire day too. Lots of fresh berries with crème fraîche, a kale and red onion quiche (with gluten-free crust!), bbq chicken with roasted potatoes and pistachio ice cream for dessert. I also got a book that I have long been waiting to get, Beautiful Ruins, but for now it's going to have to wait for me to have some time to start it (I know you're not suppose to judge a book by its cover but this one is so pretty! I can't wait to read it.).  

Also, when I have a little more time to indulge myself, one other thing I must do is shop for some pants. I wear leggings so much it is kind of embarrassing. If I stumble across a meme about how "leggings aren't pants" I turn beet red even while sitting by myself in front of my computer, because I totally wear them as pants (with long shirts of course, but still. I know it's a problem I must face someday). At first I wasn't sure how I felt about all the printed pants I have been seeing for the last several months but they are really growing on me, like I want some now, growing on me. I can say I am still not convinced that they are best for my short stature but I am kind of falling in love with them. What do you think about the printed pant, a yes or a no? I am thinking #4 would be a good start for my transition phase.  

Weeks End Review | Perspective |

Friday, May 10, 2013

As many of you know I have been pretty busy these last several weeks. One of the many things I have been busy with is my little Luca's food allergies. Dealing with food allergies is a long process. As a mom I knew something was wrong but couldn't put my finger on it. So you try this and you try that because they don't write out orders for lab work based on hunches (insurance. not our doctor. our doctor is amazing!). But I was dealing with it based on a hunch he could not eat wheat which he hasn't eaten for months. Then at a recent dental visit we found out Luca had a mouth full of cavities. The great thing about having twins is that automatic comparison you get, because Milo did not. The dentist suspected Luca has been suffering acid reflux which finally resulted in insurance approved allergy testing to see what else he may have issues with. And thus his food allergies which led to his acid reflux led to him needing to have dental surgery. That was yesterday.

It went really well, we are happily at home eating popsicles. We went to Doernbecher children's hospital here in Portland, which I learned is a wonderful place. It also put a lot of things in perspective for me. I was feeling pretty frazzled in general from my never-ending to-do list. I was also feeling really guilty about not realizing sooner that Luca had acid reflux so bad that it caused so much damage to his teeth (how did i not realize that for so long?!). I was moping about having to learn how to make all my own pastries - not just wheat free but now oat free and soy free. I was feeling bad that Luca would suffer with allergies/celiac for his whole life and wouldn't be able to just spontaneously get an ice cream cone with his friends and would have to learn all the sneaky names for foods he's allergic to so he can properly read food labels.

But then we spent all of yesterday at Doernbechers and I heard a woman crying on the phone about having to drive several hours to get there in an unreliable car, having to take all her children with her with no one else to help, having to stay in a hotel she didn't feel safe in because that's all she could afford. Then I saw a man who was also there with his sick child turn to her and give her some money and say "I have been there too. I want you to have this even though it's not much." I saw a young boy in a wheelchair hooked up to an alarming number of IV bags come outside to play with his parents. He couldn't play like I was able to play with Milo. So his parents played catch with each other in front of him like he would if he were able to and they included him in every way possible, emotionally - lots of high-fives and laughter between them all. I saw too many parents that ran into other parents they knew because they each had spent so much time at the hospital with their children, and they all stopped to give each other a hug and words of empathy or encouragement.

We walked out with two bouquets of beautiful flowers that are donated by a non-profit organization The Bloom Project. We left with four stuffed animals which were also donated to give each child who comes for surgery (and to their siblings too). We made bracelets while we waited in the family area with volunteers who go from waiting room to waiting room bringing a cathartic distraction for families while they wait for their children in surgery. And we enjoyed a few nurse-ran puppet shows while vital signs were taken.

Today my feelings of guilt and stress have given way to feeling really fortunate. It was awe inspiring to see so many acts of kindness. Having been in social services for so long in the past, I hate to say it, but at some point you can feel a bit jaded that efforts don't reach those that need it most. It was just such a beautiful experience to see these efforts not only reaching those that need it but each person paying it forward immediately and without a second thought. And I'm totally over moping about having to make my own pastries. In fact I'd love to make a batch and take them down to one of those waiting rooms here in the near future. We all have our own set of blessings, it was a wonderful reminder to count them, and then, share them with others.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's day is coming up this Sunday in the US. Anyone have any special plans? I have to say everyday feels like mother's day around here being a mom and all. Personally I don't see a better way to celebrate my mothering than to have a day off from it. I kid. Okay, I am actually not kidding. I honestly adore my children and love being a mom, I just totally get those calgon commercials now. While at the top of my wish list would be a remote island vacation I rounded up a few other goodies in case that doesn't happen. Because that's totally not going to happen, and even if it did, within about 10 minutes I'd be wishing my kids were there to enjoy it with me.

House Tour | California Ranch |

Monday, May 6, 2013

We have had the most wonderful weather this last week and through the weekend, lots and lots of sunshine. Which always brings up a long-time fantasy of mine of living somewhere in southern California, where this kind of weather is more often the norm than not. My grandparents took me on a few trips through California when I was younger and I feel in love. I loved the weather and the varying landscapes, the palm trees and the fact that swimming pools were everywhere. In my mind it was all hollywood-esque, all with a timeless mid-century vibe and warm breezes. From then on I often imagined myself living in a mid-century styled ranch (I was really in to old movies and shows from the 50's when I was little which gave me an early love of mid-century design and cropped pants paired with ballet slippers). I should also note I also imagined myself living in either the hearst castle or winchester mansion. But when I spied this home on Houzz, I thought, this is a lot like the house I imagined myself living, if I lived somewhere in my more realistic childhood-california-fantasy, it would definitely be in this house. 

Did you have a particular style of house you dreamed of living in someday when you were little?

Detour: Tender Roots

Friday, May 3, 2013

Today I am over at one of my favorite blogs Tender Roots filling in for Yelle, one of my favorite bloggers. Yelle is getting all ready for her wedding this Saturday (congrats!!). The theme is love story. Can you guess what my love story might be about? When you visit be sure to go back and check out some of her other posts too, she takes the most lovely pictures and the way she talks about food always makes me want to rush off to the farmers market.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend xo

PS Thank you again(!) for all your feedback on my logo design. I did it, it's done. I took all your input and checked that task off my to-do list. It's a bit of a hybrid of the favorites, and why I didn't think of that to begin with is exactly why I needed you all. Thank you!

Process of Elimination Part II

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Remember awhile back when I said I am really indecisive? And remember when I shared some logos I was working on? And do you also remember awhile back I said I was working on creating a my own online store (outside of Etsy)? Well this post is a culmination of all of the above (thus far).

The good news is all your feedback on my beginning logo designs really helped me get the overall feeling that I was going for and also gage what you all responded to in the designs as well. The other good news is that I started working on setting up my store. I really couldn't choose a logo until I could see it in action, so setting up the shop and inserting logos helped me to fine tune it all.

The bad news is instead of boiling it down to two, as I had hoped, I only eliminated a few and then added a couple more - so now instead of six I have five (I take serious baby steps). The other bad news is I am still superbly indecisive. So I have come back to ask for your opinions one more time (I swear this is it!). I like all of them for different reasons (cue indecision), so if you like one over the others that is  exactly what I need (help!). I am going to definitely choose one of these - no more going back to the drawing board (that doesn't count resizing or a little color swapping). But I need to pick one and check it off my list. So it's vote time friends. 

On a side note I will be taking tomorrow off from blogging, another baby step, one towards moving to the MWF schedule for a little while I tackle some of the many things on my to-do list. Happy May!!
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