Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Fabulous Cooking Party

A couple of weeks ago, my son and I attended a fabulous cooking birthday party!  My cousin's son was turning 5 and they had it at Frog Legs Kids Culinary Academy in Seattle. 

First of all.. it's so much fun to have a birthday around Christmas because everything is so festive to begin with.  Laura, the owner of Frog Legs does an AMAZING job both inside and out.  You are charmed by her home the minute you walk up the steps to the front door.  We were instantly welcomed in by the sweet scent of baking bread. 

I can't say enough about how charming, homey, cozy and absolutely stunning her home is.  Most importantly, it allowed for 10-15 kids running around!  Can you imagine?  Laura was so cool, calm, collected and FUN!  The kids made cupcakes and their own pizzas for lunch.  My son has been wanting to cook more every since that party. 

So, if you live in the Seattle area, you need to check out Frog Legs Kids Culinary Academy for a birthday party, cooking classes, catering or camps for your little one.  If you're not in the area, maybe you'll be inspired by what you see.  I AM!  :)

Enjoy these photos and thank you to Cindy for having us and Laura for inspiring us!  Well done!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Monday - The Entry Project part II

Hello everyone!  This week is a slow week as we recover from a wonderful weekend of celebrating the best holiday of the year!  So rather than a WHY IT WORKS post this week, I thought I'd share another home project.  While my husband has more time at home this past week, I enlisted his help and added the HEMNES shoe cabinet from IKEA to our entry.

Here's a before and after. 

Before... really not good


Voila.. the cabinet fits perfectly. 
Now... we need to fine tune it!

I LOVE not seeing a pile of shoes over in that corner!  This corner is from complete though.  We definitely need some artwork above the cabinet.  So many options... a simple bulletin board, artwork, family photos or framed kid art.  Hmmm...

Here are some prints I've been eyeing over at etsy.  Help me out... what do you think?

These are seen everywhere, but I still love it. 
This one is from PrintSpot

LOVE THIS!  So sweet!  From thewheatfield.

So sweet from SilhouetteBlue

Another design from SilhouetteBlue

Aren't these cute.   Lots of options of personalize.  From NellaDesigns

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas - He is the Reason

And so another year...  Christmas cards have been sent, presents have been bought,
the decorations are up, the rush is over... and so we anxiously wait... 

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2: 11-12

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Digital Nativity

Many of you may have already seen this.  I thought this was so creative - it brought a smile to my face.  The world is different, but the story is the same.

Hoping the rush is through and you're enjoying the true magic and meaning of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Season for Giving - World Vision

I love how World Vision has put together their Holiday Gift Catalog this year.  They've given us opportunities to give in ways that are simple and tangible and make such a difference in the everyday lives of people around the world.  Here's just a few examples.

For only $30 you can help a child succed in school by providing backpacks and school supplies.

For just $25, you can give 2 chickens to a family and help them with their nutrition and income through the raising and selling eggs.

For $69, you can provide farming tools and seeds.  What a great way to help people, help themselves!

Your donations can towards towards all sorts of things including clean water, animals, soccer balls, even art supplies.  I can't wait to sit down with our boys, go through the catalog and let them pick out ways that they can help.  Often it's hard for kids to understand how giving a monetary donation can really make a difference.  They can't see it.  Through the pictures and descriptions, I'm excited for our kids to learn how giving can have such a real effect on others who live with much less than we do. 

Click here for a link to their online gift catalog.

(all images from worldvision.org)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why It Works - A Holiday Staircase

Still in the Christmas spirit, this week I'm posting a holiday photo from one of my favorite designers, Sarah Richardson.  What I love about this photo is all the inspiration it has, both holiday and non-holiday.  Here it is!


(image from houseandhome.com)

  • Color, Sarah's color palettes are always easy and beautiful.  Here we have soft grays, browns, yellows and white.
  • Stair runner.  I LOVE the look of stair runners.  This one happens to be painted with a contrasting orange border.  How fun!  Don't you love the numbers on each step?
  • Console table.  This is the easiest way to dress up the space right below a staircase.  A simple console table with just a few well placed accesories.  Maybe a lamp, flower arrangement and/or bowl.
  • Garland.  I love how clean and simple this boxwood garland is.  It's accented with justt a few gold ornaments that pick up on the yellow/golds in the room.

  • Color palette.  This is a beautiful palette to copy and use for your home.  Grays, white, buttery yellow, anchored with dark browns is a palette that will stand the test of time.
  • Stair runner.  This is such a simple and economical look to replicate - especially if you're painting your runner.  My favorite part is the numbers.  You can easily pick those up at any hardware store.  I love how they are mismatched.  This is a great look to consider for stairs even outside, leading to your home.  So charming!
  • Console table.  In my opinion, one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can buy and you can find them anywhere!  My console table has moved from entry to family room, to loft and now in our master bedroom.  Find one that you love and invest in it.


Friday, December 17, 2010


I was looking for artwork at IKEA, when I ran across UNG DRILL.  It was love at first sight!  What a great find!  This frame will provide instant graphic and designer punch to any room and looks like it would cost much more than $29.99!

This frame looks great just on its own, or it could be used a as a bulletin/message board with chalkboard paint, cork or fabric.  The possibilities are endless, especially if you want to get creative with spray paint.  Here's some great inspirational photos!  Check out the last photo with the mirror.  Beautiful!

(image from ikea.com)

(image from orangebeautiful.com)

(image from orangebeautiful.com)

(image from thekidsroomdecor.com)

(image from sunset.com)
Whew!  What a busy week!  Make the most of your weekend!
See you on Monday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gifts - Roasted Rosemary Cashews

Did you get those adorable tags from Tuesday's post?  Well I told you I was going to use them, and here's how!


This year, I made Roasted Rosemary Cashews, following this easy recipe from Ina Garten.  I packaged them in these great tie top bags, very similiar to bags that coffee comes in.  I LOVE these bags and have used them for all sorts of favors and goodies.  If you're in the Seattle area, you can get them at Packagaing Specialties.   You can also order them online at Garnish, one of my favorite sites for fabulous packaging products. 

My little buddy helping me to put the cashews in the bags

Finish off the bags with brown ribbon and a sprig of rosemary

I hope our dear preschool teachers will enjoy these!

Lastly, a quick plug for brown ribbon and rosemary trees!  I highly recommend both as you get great bang for your buck.  Brown ribbon goes with EVERYTHING... it always comes in handy when I'm looking to put something together last minute.  Rosemary trees are everywhere this time of year.  You should be able to find them at your grocery store or hardware store.  I've had mine in our planters by our front door for 3 years and they've been able to survive through the winters.  They smell great and are so useful!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card Displays

Are the Christmas cards starting to come in?  At our home, our cards go up on this card holder from Pottery Barn.  I LOVE this holder because it doesn't take up a lot of space, you can hang it vertically or horizontally and you can leave it up all year long.  After the holidays, I usually trim our Christmas card so that we have just the photos.  I put them back up on our holder and our kids love to see pictures of their friends and family all year long.  This is a seasonal item at Pottery Barn, so get it in now if you're interested.

Here's another idea that I love!  This is very simple to make.  It's just an embroidery hoop with mini clothes pins glued on in an alternating pattern, in and out.  This would look great in a group of 2 or 3.

Lastly, this is a super easy one, we did this at our house last year. 
Just tape your cards on a framed mirror you already have!  It looks great!

(sorry... this is the best pic that I have from last year. 
Can you see the photos in the back?)  :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Gift Tags

When I was looking at the Christmas photos over at My Sweet Savannah, I spotted these fabulous gift tags!  I would've been willing to pay good money for these beautiful tags, but I won't have to!  Emily at Jones Design Company has them on her blog and we can all download them for FREE.  Whee! THANK YOU!!  I WILL be using these!

Martha Stewart also has a TON of tags that you can download and print for free.  Here are 2 of my favorites.

Click here for the monogram gift tag.

Click here for the mitten and stocking gift tag.

Happy Gifting!

Monday, December 13, 2010

WHY IT WORKS - More Christmas!

Ok, for all of you who found my post last week inspiring, you will be even more inspired this week!  Melanie, over at My Sweet Savannah, has taken Christmas decorating to a whole nother level!  Melanie's home was the one that inspired my striped entry way.  When I first saw her holiday decorating post, all I could say was, "wow!"  Her home is GORgeous!  She has a hot chocolate making station!  Nuff said!  I've posted some of my favorite pics, but go over to her blog to see more photos.  Well done Melanie!  Thanks for inspiring me to kick it up a notch! 


  • In my opinion, there are a few key reasons Melanie's decor works so well.  First is color.  Even with her holiday decor, Melanie stays true to the creamy color palette of her home, so everything flows seamlessly.  The best way to acheive this is with careful editing.
  • Natural elements.  Adding natural elements is fool proof.  It adds life and texture to any space.  I love how the natural elements she used still ties into her color palette, using creams and whites.
  • Mixing old and new.  Her home is so interesting to look at because so many of the pieces look like they could tell a story.  Whether truly aged or aged looking, mixing old and new is a great way to add interest.

(Hot chocolate making station!  It doesn't get much more welcoming than this!)

(Christmas balls in an urn.  Simple and beautiful.)

(White poinsettia, beautiful)

(Paperwhites and reindeer moss.  Nice)

(An understated, yet festive mantle)
  • Be a careful editor.  Remember, you don't have to display everything, all at once.  What feel do you want to convey this year?  What's your color palette?  Red/Green?  Metallics?  Creams?  Commit to it.
  • Add natural elements.  There are so many options for holiday decorating!  They all look great!  Branches, greenery, holly, poinsettias, paperwhites, and amaryllis, even cyclamen.  I also love miniature lemon cypress trees like these.

  • In the end, anything that brings you joy and peace this season goes!  The holidays are about traditions and family.  So, if you really love your singing reindeers and snowmen... GO FOR IT and HAVE FUN!  :D

Friday, December 10, 2010


This is the time of year where many of us will be entertaining and having guests at our home.  This also means that we're going to be looking for places to hide the junk and clutter of everyday life.  :)  I'm always looking for furniture pieces to do double duty. 

This week, meet RAMVIK.  You can have this guy at your home for only $139, and boy is he a workhorse!  This  coffee table has been such a great purchase for us.  I bought this 3 years ago when we moved into our current home.

I actually hadn't done a whole lot of research on different coffee tables but when I saw this one at IKEA, I knew this would work. The drawers pull out on each side, and we have hidden our share of toys, diapers, wipes, coloring books in there!  We actually bought 2 of these and put them together, so that it made one big square coffee table.  Double the storage and I thought it looked great.  It easily looked like one unit.  We're only using 1 right now so that our kids have a little more room to run around. 

Here's RAMVIK at our house. 

(Handsome right?)

(if only you could see inside)  :)

I think they look just as good as the Sliding Coffee Table from West Elm for $399, don't you?

(images from westelm.com)

Have a wonderful weekend!  See you Monday!


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