Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let Boys Be Boys

I've been wanting to watermark my pictures (some of them are getting pinned to Pinterest, hooray!) and quote myself here and this is one picture I ran across that I thought was cute.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring where I am

How does Spring spring in the valley of the sun, you ask?

Well, we have peaches growing on our peach tree in the back yard.

Aren't they cute??

Today my mom and I took our time at Home Depot. I got new succulents for my polka dot pots for the back patio. Low maintenance, baby!

And an itty-bitty succulent for my Goodwill teacup.

The only flowers I buy are geraniums because I can actually keep them alive. This one is out back so I can enjoy it from the porch or swing.

I added a pink geranium to my bird cage by the front door.

I decided that I needed to add a little life to the inside of our house, too, so I got a new houseplant. It's called a Dragon. I'm still looking for the perfect pot. Probably turquoise.

I think I like this spot, though.

Just a few little touches of nature and color but I like it!

Spring has definitely sprung here. What are YOU doing to invite Spring into your home?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How To Choose Curtains {and not lose your sanity}

I waited seven months after moving in to our new house before purchasing curtains for our family room. I took my time looking for just the right ones and made sure I got exactly what I wanted. I am THRILLED with the result!

{my curtains!!}

Choosing curtains can be a harrowing experience! Maybe what I learned in the process will take the pain of out your decision.

1. Know your needs.
FUNCTION: We love the view of the back yard and didn't want to obstruct it. Light control isn't an issue and neither is privacy so our curtains were really just for looks. Do yours need to block light, provide privacy or disguise an unattractive view? That will help determine the type of fabric, whether they're lined or not and how much width you need.

FORM: Do you want something trendy? Traditional? Do you plan to replace them in two years...or ten? Do they need to be stationary or open and close easily? All of that will help guide your shopping AND determine whether to get rod pockets, ones with grommets or ones that clip on.

CARE: We have young kids and live in the desert where there is a lot of dust so we knew they needed to be machine washable, too. Check the care instructions before purchasing. If they are 'dry clean only,' add the cost of dry cleaning to the price tag.

{we hung them so that they 'kissed' the floor}

2. Are you going for neutral or WOW? Figure out whether you need curtains that are A: neutral so that they calm the room down and blend in to the walls or B. have a WOW factor to bring pattern and color into your otherwise-bland room. This will help you narrow down your search considerably and make sure you don't end up with curtains that overpower (or underwhelm) the entire room.

Some people invest in neutral furniture and paint the walls in calm colors then bring in the POP of color with things that are easier to change like accessories, pillows and curtains. Then maybe colorful, eye-catching curtains are right for you. You might be better off buying fun fabric and making your own. I can't help ya on that one.

Other people love to paint the walls in bold colors and decorate with colorful, funky decor and furniture. Those people may need neutral curtains that won't take attention away from the more exciting elements of the room. These people will have an easier time finding ready-made curtains because most retailers offer a wide selection of plain curtains in tame colors and patterns that will work in the most rooms.

As my husband pointed out, I will always want to have bright, funky furnishings and accessories, so I need more neutral curtains to keep things from being TOO eclectic and loud.

We had actually originally set out to have gray walls and ended up with a gorgeous shade a blue-green that we adore. So we took the opportunity to 'get our gray' with our curtains. Plus gray is my hubby's favorite color so he feels like he won this one. Which really means a win for ME.

{I still get to enjoy the view of the yard}

3. Get a vision and don't settle for less.
Curtains really set the tone for a room and make a BIG impact on the space. Decide how you want the room to look and feel. Collect images and shop around. Make sure your curtains fit your vision before purchasing. If you're not sure or the effect is just an "Eh, it's ok" reaction then pass them up and move on. It's worth the wait!

{both windows}

4. Budget first.
How much do you want to spend? Take into account how many windows you have and how many panels you will need. If we'd needed to close our curtains, I'd have needed FOUR panels per window instead of two which would have DOUBLED the cost! And don't forget about rods. They can be even more expensive than the curtains themselves.

{they have an ikat-esque pattern}

5. Try before you buy.
Like paint, I HIGHLY recommend buying one of the curtains your plan to buy (or a large swatch of the fabric you intend to use) to put ON your window before committing to doing the entire room. Look at how the light filters through it, how it looks at night, how the pattern 'reads' from across the room (maybe you need a smaller or larger-scale pattern?) and how it fit into the overall scheme of the room. Look at it from the other side of the window, too.

We duct taped the 84' version that was available at the store up to our window so we could get an idea of the feel throughout the day. I was in love.

I am so glad I took my time and shopped around. I couldn't be more happy with how the room is coming together!

Mine are "Sorrento" by Cindy Crawford in Skyline Gray from JC Penney. I ordered the 108" length on-line and had it shipped to my house for free. They arrived in three days!

Are you frustrated by all the curtain choices out there? How are you narrowing down your search?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Making Easter Cards {the easy way}

I had something of a card-making binge last night. I cranked all twelve of these out in about two hours using stuff I already had in my craft supply stash.

All you need is: 1. notecards 2. paper 3. cardstock 4. adhesive 5. stamps and ink 6. embellishments 7. scissors and/or a paper trimmer.

I had a pack of 16 notecards that I got for less than $4 on clearance at Target recently. They were cute enough on their own but when I decided that I wanted to send some Easter cards out {on time!}, I knew I could jazz them up.

Here's what I did...and YOU can do it, too, and probably with supplies you already have at home!

1. Grab some blank notecards. They can even be thank-yous or birthday cards--and you can just cover up the sentiment with paper!

2. Find some coordinating paper and card stock. Use the paper in your scrap pile--you might be surprised by the combinations you can dream up! {like the one below} I let the hints of orange and hot pink dictate the paper and flowers I used. Funky!

2. Cut and attach some coordinating paper to the card to add dimension and interest. I usually just do a 1-2" strip down the middle like the striped paper, below. Brown for an Easter card, who-da thunk it??

3.Stamp your sentiment onto cardstock. I like to ink the edges, too. Then layer it on more card stock or just attach it right to the paper.

4. Add an embellishment in coordinating colors. I used butterflies {like the one above} and flowers for a springy touch.

{I happen to love the green/turquoise/cobalt blue color combination above}

Then just add a sticker or another stamp inside if you want to, write your sentiment and you're done!


So much better than a mass-produced card and WAY more affordable!

I hope the recipients enjoy getting them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Tea Time Somewhere!

I am BIG on every women having some 'me time' EVERY day. Whether it's as simple as a peaceful shower with no interuptions or going on a girls' getaway weekend, it has to be SOMEthing just for YOU.

I have heard several women say, "I don't even know what I would do if I had any time to myself." That is a tradgedy. For one thing, FIND THE TIME. Convince the people in your life that it is something you NEED, not just want. For another, by all means plan ahead to spend that time wisely!

When my husband takes my boys off for a manly excursion, the garage door isn't even all the way down before I'm drawing a bath or thumbing through a magazine in my favorite chair.

Or putting on my kettle to brew a pot of tea! Earl Gray is my current favorite.

The ritual of brewing tea is so comforting and soothing and taking the time to steep the leaves, pour the tea into a lovely cup, add milk and sugar and nibble a treat...well, it's pure bliss. I love to brew a whole pot so I can linger over a cup or two.

Find some time for yourself. Let me know what you do because maybe I can steal your idea for next time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

student of the week

My boy was student of the week last month and I summoned my inner scrapbooker and created this poster of pictures from his first six years. I kinda love how it turned out. My baby sure has changed. Sometimes it's still hard to believe that he's already in kindergarten. Now I know why, at my high school graduation, all the parents were saying, "It seems like just yesterday that they were in kindergarten."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fun new blog and giveaway

Discovered a fun new blog and web site from an Austin, Texas interior decorator.

JVW Home has lots of eye candy and great ideas. And lots of turquoise, my favorite color right now! She's doing a LOVELY giveaway on her blog.

Check it out!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Take a Hike

I find the Arizona desert beautiful.

So last weekend, we took the boys on a desert hike. Ok, so it was more of a desert meander--or a walk at best--and less of a hike.

Ethan checked out some coyote scat.

He got a kick out of walking along the trail. Pun intended.

We posed in front of a saguaro.

I thought this tree was beautiful.

And the city view was fabulous.


And my baby looking adorable by the windmill.

It was a great family outing and we're planning to go back soon. Maybe next time we'll actually HIKE.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pampering Playdates

I love pampering. This was the pampering foot soak I received at my Blessingway in 2009.

Isn't that delightful??

I believe every woman deserves to be pampered. One category of women in particular deserves pampering: moms of young children. Yet they have an especially hard time finding time to take care of themselves, even (or especially) when it comes to their daily skin care and makeup routine. Who can navigate the gazillion choices at the local drug store or big box retailer, or take the time to navigate the makeup counters at the mall, especially with kids in tow??

Yet most moms want to look their best and take care of their skin, whatever age they are. Many moms are also looking for anti-aging treatments and sun protection, too, which only complicates their choices all the more.

My solution for this mom dilemma is a....Pampering Playdate!

{I am officially coining the name "Pampering Playdate." Aren't you glad you were here to read it?? I want to be included in the Wikipedia entry for it someday!}

A definition of a Pampering Playdate: "A time for a deserving mommy to be pampered while her kids play."

A deserving mommy comes to my home studio and is treated to coffee or tea and refreshments and receives a personalized Mary Kay skin care assessment, hand treatment and microdermabrasion treatment in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere...all while her child or children play happily in my playroom. Her skin will feel AMAZING! My most popular comment following a treatment: "My skin has never felt like this before!" That's awesome!

I can also do a foundation match and even a glamour makeover if she wishes.

The mom doesn't have to infringe on their evening family time, hire a sitter or ask her husband to watch the kids for her, plus her child or children will have a blast playing with new toys in a new environment, mere steps away from their mommy. It's a win-win-WIN! Plus I will provide her with the products she needs on the day of her playdate and make sure she knows how to use them at home for maximum benefit.

After the Pampering Playdate, I'll be her personal Mary Kay beauty consultant for LIFE, answering her questions and addressing her concerns while helping her stay current on skin care and makeup advances and trends.

How cool is that for a busy mom??

I know when I was looking for personalized skin care and makeup recommendations since becoming a mom over six years ago, I would have loved to be invited to a Pampering Playdate! I love kids and I love moms so I hope this will prove to be an effective and enjoyable solution to at least this one challenge of motherhood.

{Live in the Phoenix metro area? Visit my Mary Kay personal web site and use the "contact me" form to schedule your Pampering Playdate!}

Now. How do we solve the "removing the stuck-on Cheerios from the dining room table" dilemma...??

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ever feel like there's a target on your back?

I write devotionals for the Girlfriends at Central web site for Central Christian Church and I am going to start publishing them here, too, in case one might speak to someone out there.

Ever feel like this?

Then you should check out my recent devo titled Targets On Our Backs. We are targeted for GOOD, not bad!

I hope you enjoy it!