Friday, January 31, 2014
Pale yellow walls, teal blackout curtains (had to double them up because one layer wasn't blocking out enough light), and bright pops of color. We used mostly decor from her nursery, but it looks so fresh and new against the yellow walls. It's amazing what a coat (or two or three) of paint can do!
Her quilt is from Target and it says "Goodnight...Sleep Tight". Quilts are easy to wash. We don't do comforters in this house anymore. Also, you can see her magnetic sleep pad which Joe insists will keep her circadian rhythms on track and improve her sleep. We have one under our bed, too. Joe swears it has helped him overcome his insomnia.
The bookshelf that I made with my own two hands...
Joe is silly and changed the "SIENA" letters to "IN SEA." He likes to play word scramble with them.
This is Bella, my mom's boston terrier. Dogs are allowed in Sisi's room only when she gives them permission. I'm trying to make her room her own private respite from dogs and any future children we might have.
The stamped "quilt" I made looks darling over her antique teal dresser (another great craigslist find!)
I have a lot more decluttering to do in her closet. It's mostly office/etsy stuff that I don't quite know what to do with now that our office is basically a kitchen island in the sunroom. I left her a teeny bit of room for her dresses. Good thing she has a minimal wardrobe :)
BTW, Joe bought those Russian nesting dolls for Sisi's stocking. Made a special trip to Laguna Beach for them. Love that man so much!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Here is one Pinterest project I actually completed! We were going to trash Sisi's massive damaged dresser, but then I saw this project online and thought it'd be perfect to store Sisi's books and toys.
One of my resolutions is to be more handy around the house. I am slowly progressing on this goal. For example, this project required that I prime and paint, use a power drill to remove hardware, and a socket wrench to insert wood screws. Before this project, I didn't even know what a socket wrench was.
Basically, here's how I did it:
- I removed the old hardware
- primed and painted the drawers pure white
- glued cute wallpaper in as a backing (I originally used spray glue to attach the wallpaper, but it wasn't adhering well, so I squeezed E-6000 onto the paper instead.)
- stacked the drawers in a way that made sense and seemed sturdy
- screwed them together using a socket wrench (power drill was just too big to maneuver on this project)
- attached new knobs to the exposed drawers
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I told myself I wouldn't throw a party this year. So I found a loophole and threw a family "dinner" instead. The dinner ended up being very much like a party, except smaller crowd, less pressure, and no presents (well, I asked people not to bring presents but some just couldn't contain themselves!)
I'm so pleased with how the evening turned out. It was low-stress and low-budget and high-fun.
We chose an ocean theme based on our trip to the aquarium last week...
We hid glow sticks all over the house, turned off the lights, and sent the kids off on a glow stick hunt!
No fancy designer cake, just paleo cupcakes with frosting that I squeezed out of a ziplock bag. I need a real pastry bag, for sure. That frosting looks too much like dog poop. Sure was tasty though!
- HAVE IT CATERED. I prepared a few simple appetizers (bacon wrapped dates, chips and guac, cheese and salami plate) but had our favorite local Greek restaurant cater. It was delicious, and I was able to feed each person a hearty meal for under 10.00. I couldn't have cooked cheaper! Really, catering doesn't have to be that expensive. Or, don't even serve a meal. Choose a time when guests won't be expecting a meal, and serve snacks and drinks instead.
- DON'T GO NUTS ON DECOR. I didn't even buy flowers for this party, and I'm a former florist. It felt blasphemous, but really, no one noticed or cared. Instead, I snipped succulents from our garden.
- DON'T HAVE TOO MANY DESSERTS. There was a time when one funfetti cake got the job done. Nowadays we serve huge dessert buffets. They look gorgeous, but I learned the hard way with Sisi's 1st bday party that people often don't eat a lot of dessert at parties. This was evidenced by the fact that we had no "real food" leftovers, but 6 huge bundt cakes leftover that my mom had to give away to coworkers. This time, I made a few dozen cupcakes and fondue and that was it. It was more than enough to satisfy the sweet lovers.
- DO YOUR HAIR AND MAKEUP FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. If you rush around prepping for the party all day, chances are you'll have no time to freshen up before guests arrive. Everything else will seem more important than primping, and that's just not true :)
- MAKE ICE AHEAD OF TIME. The day before the party I made several batches of ice and saved them in zip lock baggies.
- CLEAN THE HOUSE, BUT NOT OBSESSIVELY. I didn't mop the floor or wash the windows beforehand because I knew people would mess it up pretty much immediately. Instead, I deep cleaned afterward. BUT I did thoroughly clean the bathroom and made sure to have a neat and tidy sink area.
- ASK FOR NO GIFTS. Or not, this is a totally personal matter. I just preferred people come empty handed because we're minimalists and Sisi already has more toys than she knows what to do with. But many of our sweet guests could not resist themselves, and she got a handful of really cool gifts anyway.
- TELL YOURSELF IT'S NOT A PARTY. Call it a "play date" a "dinner" or "get-together". This was a good mind-trick for me. It took off so much of the pressure. I didn't feel the need to make it magazine-worthy or spend lots of money at all. It was just a special get-together for family and a few friends to spend time with my favorite 3 year old.
- PUT OUT A FEW BIG TRASH BARRELS. That will encourage guests to help clean up a little :)
- ORGANIZED GAMES AND ACTIVITIES ARE A BONUS, BUT NOT NECESSARY. We did have a simple craft and a glow stick hunt, but other than that, the kids ran around the house and made their own fun. It made my job a lot easier!
- KEEP IT SMALL! I really wanted to invite all my friends and their spouses and their kids and their pets, but my house is tiny and that would have been chaos. Instead, I kept it to family and a few church friends.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
My marvelous kid just turned three years old!!!
With her chubby cheeks and round tummy, she still looks quite babyish. I love that! But don't let that fool you. She is a full-fledged toddler, with opinions, profound reflections, a sense of humor, and enough language skills to express it all pretty well.
Three years with this girl, and you think we'd be used to her adorableness! But sometimes Joe and I still sneak into her room at night to stare at her and say, "Wow, I can't believe how cute our child is. Ridiculously cute!"
This year for her birthday, thanks to our newfound minimalism, we only got Sisi one simple gift. I made her wait patiently for about 15 minutes while Joe got his camera ready before she could open it. She has enormous self-control. I'm pretty sure she would have been one of those kids who waited to eat the marshmallow!
- Wearing 3T and 4T clothing
- Potty trained for pee since 2 1/2, but still not poop (below, her sticker encrusted potty!)
- Favorite songs: Katy Perry "Roar", Lorde "Royals", and anything by the Okee Dokee Brothers.
- Current obsessions: band-aids, tails (she has been wearing tails every day for the past 5 months), ducks, cutting things with scissors
- She is left handed for most tasks
- Favorite foods: berries, sweet potatoes, parsnip fries, pats of butter, sardines, fatty fat fat (the fatty portion from steak, lamb, etc.), brocolli with mayo, dark chocolate, and any paleo treats I whip up.
- She loves being a dog. She will ask to wear our dogs' collars, does tricks for treats, and even scratches her head with her feet sometimes.
- She and Joe often go on sunrise hikes. During those hikes, they refer to each other as "daddy tiger" and "baby tiger". So cute!
- We took her to the aquarium for the first time, and her favorites were the seals, garden eels, and homo sapiens (the divers). She refused to touch any of the sharks/sting rays/anenomes in the touch tanks. Like I said, very very cautious child.
- While we're still pretty strict about limiting her screen time (she's still never seen a whole movie) we do let her watch bits of videos we rent from the library. Thomas the Tank Engine, Charlie Brown, Pocoyo, and Bob the Builder are some of her favs.
- She has now travelled by plane to Boston, New York, Costa Rica, Mexico, Oregon, and Florida. That's a lot of trips in 3 years!
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
My bedroom used to be a mish mash of clearance bedding and curtains and rugs, whatever I could find that was pretty and colorful. That's fine and all, but I recently decided to give my bedroom a mini makeover.