Be honest…

MODA in Spring

This Spring, make sure to go by the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) to check out Stories in Form: Chair Design by Portfolio Center! It’s currently running, and will continue to run until June 3. MODA, in partnership with Portfolio Center, is presenting this exhibition honoring history and design through the medium of chair. So sit back and enjoy!

There are plenty of more events going on at MODA in the near future, so be sure to check back with them often and show your support! In the meantime, post some photos of YOUR favorite chairs; our favorites are above…

Also head over to our site to see more inspired design using your existing chairs and other furniture.

Be Smart with Kid’s Art

It’s the end of the school year and while that brings big SMILES, it’s also the time of year that the kids bring home big PILES of artwork!! As the teachers purge their classrooms, our homes expand. Are you asking yourself, what should I do with all of these petite Picasso’s and mini Monet’s?  The 3 of us have kids and while we think ALL of their pieces are masterpieces (wink), we can’t hang everything  (or send them to the relatives) so we rotate artwork  as we or the kids tire of seeing what is displayed.  A good way to display kids art is on a bulletin board, a magnetic surface or these great alternatives.

http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/schoolhouse-utility-decor/?pkey=e%7Cbulletin%2Bboard%7C4%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C3&group=1&sku=212175&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60075295

http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Toys-Art-Expandable-File/dp/B000HV0XLS

Going through their piles with them can sometimes be counter productive if your goal is to simply hang on to a few.  Ask them to pick out their 5 favorites, then take pictures of the other ones they like a lot.  Or, on a rainy day, they can make a collage or mosaic with the ones that didn’t make the top 5, cutting small pieces from each  to create one  new piece!  

 How do you display  masterpieces in your household?

Backyard Camping Rocks!

Have your kids been bugging you to take them camping. It is such a fun thing to do as a family. Sometimes it does not work to get to the campsite with all the extra curricular activities we all have. Why not do a backyard campout. Kids love to sleep in tents and it doesn’t matter where you are. A really fun way to plan this is let the kids help you with all the details. They can help set up the tent, build a fire if you have a spot to do that. Do the menu for the camping meal and of course make the s’mores. It is really fun to get creative with the toppings try Nutella and Strawberries yum!!!

Our kids love flashlights. Giving each member of the family their own is a must. We do not want them fighting over flashlights. What kid wouldn’t like this cool Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Blaze Firefly flashlight?

Another huge hit for our back yard campout is to distribute light sticks. They come in bracelets, necklaces and sticks. This is a definite highlight of the night for our kids. They know when it gets dark it is time for light sticks. They also becomes each kids nightlight that won’t keep mommy and daddy awake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This awesome book, Cooking on a Stick,  includes 12 east to follow recipes for all kinds of foods from main dishes to desserts. How about Moose Kabobs? Or Ranger’s Apple Pie?

The best part of camping out in your back yard is the memories you and your family will have, the gas you saved not driving somewhere and the joy you will bring to your kids. Let me also add the creature comforts of home. I have one friend who tells her kids she’s too pretty to go camping!! Share your back yard campout stories with us.

How to Streamline your Morning Routine

Leaving the house in a mad dash is more the norm than the exception
for many. Whether you live by yourself or with others, making a few
minor changes to your morning routine will have you heading out the
door on top of the world. The trick is nothing fancier than taking care
of as much as possible the night before.

  • Check your calendar and to-do list to make sure you have everything you need for appointments the next day and to cue your memory for any other necessary items.  

  • Program your coffeemaker to start brewing that black magic before you roll out of bed. Purchase an electric hot-pot for tea, hot chocolate and instant oatmeal. Pull out the blender, bananas and other dry ingredients for smoothie production. 

  • Move frozen food to the refrigerator to thaw for the next day’s dinner.  Announce what is for dinner on a small  wipe off or chalk board daily. 

  • Choose your entire outfit for the next day and encourage your family members to do the same.  That’s a power struggle you don’t have to deal with in the morning. Don’t forget underwear, socks, shoes and accessories. You’ll never have to stare blankly into the closet again!

  • Prepare lunch or lunch fixings.                                            

  • Double-check supplies.

     Make sure there’s enough milk, cereal, bread and fruit. If not, send an able body to the store after dinner.   Have him or her put gas in the car too, if you’re running on empty

  • Sort vitamins or medications into labeled pillboxes and put them on the breakfast table.

  • Make sure your children’s backpacks contain everything they need for the day, including uniforms, signed paperwork, book reports and projects (set up a checklist for older kids). Get your own bag and files ready as well 
  • Determine whose turn it is to walk and feed the dog. You don’t want to forget about Rover while everyone is rushing out the door. 
  • Hang a shelf at the door with hooks for keys, and use the shelf, a basket or an entryway table to stash sunglasses, purses, lunches, backpacks, etc.  Have a pad of paper there to write down reminders like,  “Bring snacks for soccer practice.” Do a sweep to make sure important items are ready to go by the door.
 

Delight in the Date Night at Home!

No more putting off getting a sitter! 

 Stay home for date night tonight!


 There are plenty of date ideas for staying at home. If you stay creative, you and your loved one can spend some quality time together without  spending a lot of money or ever putting your shoes on .  


Dinner and a movie are a standard date for most couples. However, why not stay in and make dinner together? This way, you can work together to create a festive meal and then enjoy  a movie. The first film you saw together or one that mimics your own relationship often help when making a choice.  My husband and I love to share what we call “Trail Supper”.  A “no cooking night”!  After we put the kids to bed, we enjoy something you might have on a trail:  olives, cheese and crackers or bread, fruit , raw veggies and great beverages!  

Try  fondue to add festivity to your date at home.

This set  prevents the cheese or chocolate from burning and requires no electricity, just candlelight.

If you both enjoy nature but don’t want to leave your home, try doing some home-based gardening. This is a nice way to do something productive and enjoy a project together.

Consequently, think about having a game night at home. Make some delicious snacks, pop in some music, and uncork the wine while the two of you play cards or play a board game. It’s a way to have a light and fun game, assuming no one gets too competitive!

 

  These Celebration Plates, bowls and cups are made from recycled melamine and add a bit of fun and whimsy to the date when it’s meal time!   Embrace your home and enjoy your date, too!


Tell us about a “date night at home” idea  that you have!


Easter Basket Extravaganza!

I just love waking up on Easter Sunday to see “what did the Easter bunny bring this year!?!”  It may be that some of you have more creative bunnies than others, so for those of you lacking a creative bunny I have compiled cute basket ideas.

For starters, you don’t have to use a traditional basket for Easter.  You can use a brightly colored gift bag, cut a fun top edge to it, and embellish with ribbons and flowers.  For a really fun idea, you can add a strip of candy buttons to the bag and blow the kids minds!

Another struggle for some is whether to add candy or no candy to the basket! There are a lot of good options and here are a few:

   

Art and craft supplies are a great Easter basket filler. www.modernparentsmessykids.com has some cute ideas!

 Bath and beauty items are always fun for girl’s baskets:  throw in some finger nail polish, bath fizzies, earings and lip gloss.

Etsy has a cute “I Spy” bunny:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/23169840/chocolate-bunny-i-spy-bag-fuzzy-brown 

Finally, what is an Easter basket without Easter eggs.  These are inspiring and beautiful!

Easter is Sweet!

With Easter this Sunday, I thought I would share some inspiration for a fun and whimsical celebration. 

There are so many fun ways to dress up your table for an Easter brunch.  If you are doing an outdoor tablescape, it would look so festive to use pieces of grass as placemats or a runner.  You can even pop some eggs and flowers in for an element of surprise!

 If you are having a large group of kids over for your Easter brunch, a really fun way to decorate is to have a long table with groups of tulips, daffodils, daisies and lilies surrounded by pails and bowls of snacks.

 

If you really want to get the little ones excited, candy topiaries are the way to go!!  They make such an adorable centerpiece and they can go home with your guests to make a fun bedroom decoration.  

All of the easter egg hunting is going to make the kids, and grown-ups thirsty, but don’t just pass out boring water bottles.  Give them adorable BUNNY FACE drinks.  Use a pretty paper, cut out a bunny head shape, get the kids to decorate the faces and tape to any bottle you choose.  Adorable!!

Final inspiration has to be from Martha Stewart.  This is just TOO BEAUTIFUL!!  Make a delicate centerpiece in a pastel palette of tulips, surrounded by glass bowls of jelly beans in matching colors…truly simple and SO inspiring!!

A Delightful Deck!

A deck is a lot like a patio, where it is an extension of your indoors out.  We talked about accessories and decorative details to enhance your great outdoors, but what about the essentials:  furniture or even decking material.

This grouping from Summer Classics is a great example of how to maximize a long, narrow deck or patio.  Narrow and long areas make it very easy to create two seating spaces, one for dining and one for lounging.
 
Curranonline.com is a great outdoor furniture source.  Their products range from reinterpreted old styles to timeless, classic pieces  to streamline, modern accents.  It does not take much to add flair to your outdoors, just one conversational piece can make a big difference.
 
The vegetal stackable chair from highbrow furniture is a great option for people who have a tight space and entertain a lot, you pull them out when you need them and make a serious statement! 
  
Keep in mind, outdoor furniture can be made of wood (teak), aluminum, vinyl, metal, wicker, resin, or plastic. Teak, wicker metal, and resin will cost more and weigh more that vinyl or plastic. The added weight will keep them in place on windy days. Vinyl and plastic are easier to clean and will most likely be collapsible for easy indoor storage if desired.
 
For those of you who have a concrete patio and want to make it a bit more cozy, wooden deck tiles are a fabulous solution.  For $125 per 20, decktiles.org is a great source with a variety of styles and stains.   
If you are in the market for a new deck please look below for a helpful guide.
  
Most decks in this area are made with one of the following materials:

  • Pressure treated wood
  • Hardwood
  • Composites
  •  

The chart below will provide you with a quick overview and comparison of each of these three kinds of decks.

 

  Pressure Treated Hardwood Composites
Cost Lowest initial cost Higher initial cost Higher initial cost
Maintenance Requires the most maintenance: staining, sanding, etc. Requires some staining/sealing to retain finish Long-lasting color and texture
Splinters and Cracking Splinters and cracks easily Few splinters Guaranteed not to splinter or split
Investment Good Better Best

 

NOTE: All decks, regardless of materials and construction, should be inspected annually for safety and cleaned with soap and water each year to maintain best appearance.

Evening Routine Ideas to Jumpstart Tomorrow

 We have talked about the morning routine and how it’s a great way to incorporate your goals into the beginning of the day.

But there’s another part of the day that I love, and that can have great benefits for you at a cost of only 10-30 minutes each day: the time right before you go to sleep.

Just 10-30 minutes before you go to bed, try going through an evening routine that can make a huge difference for your morning.

Each person’s evening routine will be different, but here’s a sample routine that’s based on something I’ve been trying, with some other  good ideas that most people can use during the evening:

  • wash any dishes, clean the counters
  • pick up so that you’re greeted with a clean house in the morning
  •  turn off all electronics and review your day
  • read yourself to sleep

You will of course modify this to fit your needs, but you can see some of the most important elements: you’re cleaning up so that the house is beautifully clean when you awake, you are reviewing your day and planning for the next, and you are prepping your stuff for the next day so you don’t have to do it in the morning.

Create your evening routine today and get a jump-start on tomorrow!