This is my girl Senna. One day she's rough and tumble and the next she's a princess. I think she will forever have a baby face and young soul that will work in her favor. I hope all of her crazy big dreams come true and she always lives a life full of love and laughter.
Share your spring style with ModCloth’s ‘Spring-Time to Shine’ Contest, and you could win a $50 gift cerfiticate! Entering is simple -- just snap a photo of yourself in your freshest spring ensemble and upload to the Style Gallery. Outfits do not need to feature ModCloth (although it is encouraged!), and users can submit as many entries as their hearts desire. Two winners will be chosen and featured by ModCloth. This contest is open to both domestic and international applications through 1 p.m. PT on 4/28. Please see our blog for more details. Good luck!
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
From a kid’s perspective, time is a bizarre concept: there are 60 seconds and 60 minutes, but 12 hours... unless there are 24! And phrases like ‘a quarter til’ and ‘half past’ that we take for granted just seem to make their brains melt. Tic Toc Time takes a holistic approach to teaching time; a family of beavers leads a progression of fun games that first explain using a compass and the movement of the sun and shadows before logically arriving at both digital and analog time-telling. A good time is guaranteed for all!
Download it here now for a discounted rate of $.99!
*Brought to you by Apparoo's App of the Week
There are certain moments in the day that I need to get some work done without any distractions. Is that terrible to say? Whether it's getting ready for dinner, writing up a blog post or working on some sort of project, sometimes it's just easier to focus when the girls are occupied with something other than me. I don't mind if they watch tv, but it's not my first choice for them. I love any activity that taps into their creativity and these Creative Cans do just that.
The Creativity Can is a perfectly packaged container filled with individual craft projects for kids. Each one has everything you need including glue, craft supplies and instructions for a suggested project. The best part of it... the girls can do the entire project on their own. It doesn't require parent help, but of course it's fun to get involved too. We're taking a few of these with us on our next vacation to surprise the girls!
Check out more about Creativity for Kids Creativity Can | HERE.
Share your kids’ creations on Facebook | HERE | and for every photo they receive, they will make a donation to the LilySarahGraceFund.org.
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE MORE...
I guess you could say my obsession with food started when I was four years old. I remember playing with a small plastic kitchen for everyday. It was my absolute favorite toy. There was something fun and fascinating about cooking and using my imagination to create new dishes and scenarios.
But toys have come a long way since I was kid (do I sound like my parents?) and that makes buying toys from Maya and Senna even more fun for me! I recently met the owner and designer of Woody Puddy at the NY Toy fair and I fell in love with her designs immediately. Woody Puddy creates gorgeous, high quality wood play sets from fruit to a mini stove to my favorite Japanese Food Set. The quality is truly the best I've seen and most interesting. Each piece is handmade, non toxic and has built in magnets to connecting the joints and ensuring a connection that will last forever.
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE MORE...
Sometimes I catch myself walking down the baby and toddler aisles like I'm ready to pick up supplies for Maya and Senna. The girls have outgrown those adorable accessories, but I remember it like yesterday. Toting around a diaper bag, fully equipped with wipes, diapers and sippy cups. When it comes to kid products, function is always first, but for me design comes in a real close second.
Tommee Tippee has always been a brand that is trusted by parents for the quality of their products and great designs. Their new 3 Ring Circus collection is the cutest! I love their new characters and the style they're drawn in! Don't you love them! Well, the wonderful people at Tommee Tippee have put together a great set from their toddler feeding line including these 3 Ring Circus zippy cups for one DLK reader! Winners will be chosen at random and will select either a the GIRL or BOY themed set shown. Good luck everyone!
CLICK THE IMAGE to see more.
I started blogging about 2 years ago as a way to express myself outside of motherhood and the engulfing world of having two little girls. Being a stay at home mom is not easy when you're used to having a full time career life outside of the house. At first I kept it hidden from family and friends, because I was shy and a little embarrassed to really expose myself. Bloggers are very open, we share our lives and some people respond positively and others not so much. But what I have noticed this last year since "coming out" is that this community of friends, peers and motivators is pretty damn awesome.
I wasn't sure if other bloggers I'd meet would be competitive, private and well, not friendly. It's be entirely the opposite. I've shared my experiences, connections and personal details and they've done exactly the same. It's really kind of amazing. I love what I do now and I'm excited to share these moments out there to the public, to my family, friends and strangers. The friends I've made along the way have done nothing but inspire, encourage and make me a better person. So thank you all for your love and support. I hope to continue on this road for a very long time.
How do we always find time to post super-adorable kid pictures on Facebook, but somehow never get that long-planned baby book done? Well, guilt-trip no more. Blinkbuggy is an online baby book that puts all your photos, milestones and funny stories in one place – and it’s as easy as a status update. You can keep it completely private, link to social media (it can even grab the photos you’ve already posted), or share with whomever you choose – great for grandparents! These precious years will disappear faster than that photo you posted last month, so don’t spend another moment procrastinating. Create an enduring – and endearing – album with Blinkbuggy online and in print!
Download it here.
Brought to you by Apparoo.
Isn’t winter a tease? Just when you think it’s over – BAM! – mother nature throws a curveball (always at Boston?). We shouldn’t complain, though- we have been happily immersed in Spring and Summer color and fashion for several months now. With Spring here, we thought it’d be a fun time to talk about our favorite tips and trends for this glorious season!
HERE ARE 3 GREAT TIPS TO WELCOME ALL
THAT SPRING HAS TO OFFER...
1. REUSE AND RECYCLE!
Now is definitely the time to take out the box of the kids’ clothes from last Summer and Fall and sift through it. While kids grow fast, you may be surprised that you can take advantage of those sneakers or that raincoat you presumed couldn’t stretch another season. We’re big fans of investing in quality clothing items that make great hand-me-downs, so hopefully you have some “new” goodies for your younger kids in there too.
2. CHOOSE A GREAT PALETTE
At one point in her childhood, Bre’s grandparents had a house where each room was a different color (the red room, the blue room, the white room, and so on…) it helped keep purchases focused and also helped to tie all of the elements together into a cohesive, attractive package! Truth is, we all know Kim loves WHITE and her house looks great! Don’t be afraid to try this approach with your kids clothing this Spring and Summer. Rather than being limiting, it can actually simplify your days and keep things easy, breezy and really cute this season.
FOR GIRLS THIS SPRING, we love a nautical inspired palette of navy, white and khaki with shots of pink and dandelion yellow to brighten it up. We add accessories like mini handbags and handmade chunky necklaces for fun.
FOR BOYS THIS SPRING, we love vibrant blues and greens to echo the colors of nature, and ground everything with a neutral palette of tan, navy and white. Try finding a great pair of converse or vans sneakers to add a punch of color to spring and summer outfits.
3. ENJOY THE SEASON
We know the stores are begging you to come in and shop, there are sales on every corner and it’s been a long winter, so you are tempted to buy any tank top that comes your way. Don’t.
Make sure to take some time with your kids to smell the flowers. Heck, plant the flowers and then smell them. Choose the flowers you are going to plant together. Draw pictures of the flowers you planted. Then, take an instagram photo of you and your kid having an awesome spring together!
Bre + Sharim
PS. Visit www.PanacheBox.com this season to check out our new website and make sure to enter the code “DLKSPRING” for 15% off your order over $100.
These two lovely ladies may look familiar… they're Bre and Sharim from PanacheBox and they are the newest DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS contributing writers. They will be sharing style tips for fashionable children here on DLK! While keeping an eye on the prize -- well-rounded, loving and happy kids, they used their backgrounds in corporate law, marketing, and design and founded PanacheBox in 2013. PanacheBox simplifies the lives of busy parents by bringing together beautiful, classic kids' fashions in a box delivered to their doorsteps. Based in Boston, Bre and Sharim have five fun kids between them who offer endless inspiration.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
BRE | I got married at 18 and became a relatively young mama at 21- which has been an unanticipated gift in so many ways. My son, Milo is now 9 and my daughter Soni is 7. They're great, kind kids and I'm so proud of the sweet people they are becoming! We live in Boston in a top floor apartment that we call "the treehouse". We are also currently in the process of adopting two children to round out our family. Our family can most often be found scooting around town drinking coffee and sampling pastries. It's our weekend routine. Healthy, I know... ;)
SHARIM | I was born and raised in Italy, one of four kids who are currently living on four continents. I moved to London to attend University and was a Corporate Attorney for seven years. I moved to Boston nine years ago and haven't looked back... I have three crazy boys that keep the house alive! The kids just got old enough to start skiing, one of my favorite things to do.
IF YOU COULD TRANSPORT ANYWHERE WITH YOUR KIDS, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
BRE | My husband and I went on our honeymoon in southern France and have been back several times with the kids. We love it there- the food, the serene setting, the language, the horses. I love it because there's nothing to do but eat cheese, swim and run around in the grass - which for us equals the ideal break. We're hoping to go again in the next couple of years with all 4 kids.
SHARIM | I grew up in a house in Verona that rests on land with hundreds of olive trees. There is so much space for the kids to run - not to mention the food…. the pasta and gelato are to die for.
WHAT IS YOUR MUST HAVE PIECE FOR CHILDRENSWEAR?
BRE | For Soni, good quality black leggings are a must. They're completely versatile and can be worn with almost any top. For Milo, great high tops. He loves shoes and his brown leather Converse sneakers are particularly awesome.
SHARIM | Skinny jeans - just love the look on all of the boys.
BRE | Nutella! How bad is it that didn't have to think about that at all?
SHARIM | Candy and expensive perfume... I hope my husband's reading this. :)
FAVORITE FASHION TREND?
BRE | I love beanies for boys and girls… you can get great handmade cotton beanies on etsy in fun prints. Knit beanies in winter are also really cozy- I like Neff.
SHARIM | Suspenders are really fun on little boys. My sons have a variety of colors that we mix and match into their wardrobe.
BEST TIP FOR GETTING KIDS READY FOR SCHOOL?
BRE | Ever since the kids were little tinies, I've laid out their clothes for the next day on the big rug in their room. I check the weather, choose their basics and lay it out in the shape of a little person… shirt, pants, and socks on the bottom. It simplifies our morning and avoids any groggy disagreements on the appropriateness of shorts in winter. If Milo ruled the world, we'd all wear shorts year-round.
SHARIM | Having a wardrobe of clothes that mix and match well is key! If things naturally go together, then anything you pull out should coordinate pretty well. I also get the kids dressed as soon as they wake up so it's all done before we start the breakfast / making lunch routine.
NAME TWO THINGS YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT.
BRE | Ack, I'm ashamed to say my iPhone… but in the best sense, it's such a portal to all the people I love, and holds precious baby photos, silly kid videos and voice recordings of Sonia singing Adele in the shower. I also have a journal that I keep in my bedside table which I've written in occasionally since the kids were little- it has funny tidbits about their babyhood, and hysterical quotes, mis-sayings and mispronunciations which are some of the funniest parts of raising a person.
SHARIM | My Nespresso maker - I'm pretty sure Bre would add that to her list as well! An almond milk cappuccino makes me feel like a person in the morning when things are a bit crazy. And obviously my family- on each and every continent.
Kiwi Crate is an award-winning, monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials to inspire creative, educational fun. With themes like Music, Color, Robots, and Safari, these crates deliver everything needed for unique activities that you and your kids can enjoy together. see sample crates ››
And for even more crafty inspiration, visit their DIY Ideas page to check out the latest and greatest on easy projects you can do right at home, right now! Recently featured in InStyle, Parenting Magazine, and US Weekly, Kiwi Crate has also been awarded Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products of 2012, Parent’s Choice Gold Award, and an Oppenheim Gold Seal Best Toy Award. Kiwi Crate is already a celebrity favorite, and is sure to delight the little ones in your life!
*Sponsored by Kiwi Crate
Spring fashion never shies away from flirty-floral patterns, but this year those patterns and shades are bigger and brighter than ever, even in skincare. So when it comes to adding a few new Spring essentials into your makeup kits this season, take a lesson from the flowers.
Here are a few of my favorite Spring inspired products that I’m adding to my collection this season:
CLINIQUE: Cheek Pop in Berry Pop
I love blush, in any shade or style, but how adorable would this little flower look in your makeup kits? Fun, bright pinks are so in this season for cheeks. I love the Berry Pop color; it’s the perfect cheek color to use this spring. Fun, flirty, and adorable, it’s pretty enough to make any one blush.
BENEFIT COSMETICS: Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Dandelion
This color is perfect, it’s a soft pearly pink, that adds just enough color to your lips for every day use, or for on top of a different lip color for a night out on the town. It goes on smooth, and isn’t sticky, plus the little dandelion packaging makes me so excited for spring.
TARTE COSMETICS: Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom
Orange lips are all over the runway, but even the boldest of us are scared of that. So, I chose this more subtle salmon-pink option to share with you all, keeping on trend with the pop of color lipstick. This is such a fun color to try this spring and summer, and of course the packaging is hard to resist!
FRESH: Rose Cleansing Foam
Roses have been used in beauty regimes for centuries, because the oil they produce is packed with nutrients that are great for your skin, helping to soothe, hydrate and restore your skin. I Love Fresh products, so I’m sure I will just love this cleanser. It is a cleanser with ingredients such as rosewater, cucumber extract, primrose extract and plum seed oil that is gentle enough for every day use. Plus your face will probably smell like roses…who wouldn’t want that?
REVLON: Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in China Flower
I’m a sucker for nail polish, particularly any shade of red or violet. So when going in and out of the aisles at my favorite store, Target, this adorable little bottle caught my eye, and I’m glad it did. First I was hesitant, because well frankly I have about 100 shades of red nail polish, but then I caved, because this one was scented! It goes on smooth, is a very fun bright shade of Red, and it smells so good! I had to take it off because I couldn’t stop sniffing my fingernails, proving to be very distracting during my workday.
L’OREAL PARIS: Voluminous Butterfly Mascara
So I know what you’re thinking, where is the floral theme? Well I know it’s not a floral theme, but it’s called Butterfly, which is definitely a sign of Spring to me. No, but really, I saw a commercial for this and had to try it, and since I’m a Mascara addict, I couldn’t resist buying it. So again, while scouring the aisles of my favorite store for spring inspiration, I found this… and when I put it on my lashes, I thought I was going to flutter away! My lashes were bigger, my eyes popped… I think I have a new favorite.
Until the next one…
*Land of Nod is already a favorite of mine for both kid and adult decor and now they've introduced an exclusive line from the beautiful Oh Joy! How awesome? Her collection is just as pretty and vibrant as you'd expect with bright mint greens and soft pinks. Her bedding is cheerful and perfect for your sweet little's room. I love the prints she selected and lamps for any room in the house. Shop the Oh Joy collection > HERE.
What do you think of her new collection?
PS. did you know she's originally from Philly? Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
*Contains affiliate links.
I'm hosting a Facebook party with Kleenex tonight and I would love it if you joined me! We'll be chatting about great designer boxes, the Kleenex Style Studio and giving away some awesome prizes. Here are the details, I hope to see you there!
WHO: you, me and Kleenex
WHEN: tonight, April 3, 2014 @ 8:15pm EDT
WHERE: Kleenex Facebook Page <<
Trying to find great apps for moms or kids can be hard with so many available. That's why I've partnered with Apparoo - the app discovery service for busy moms. Each week I'll be sharing the 'Apparoo App of the Week' with you. Very often they've negotiated to bring you great paid apps at heavily discounted rates and sometimes even free. I'm very excited about this and welcome your feedback on the apps you decide to install. Have fun with your sweet babes!
P.S. this app is FREE until tomorrow!
RIO READ & PLAY
(The official app for the Movie)
Shake your tailfeathers and join blue macaws Blu and Jewel for a colorful read-along adventure set in Rio de Janeiro. This delightful app, featuring characters from the popular animated film Rio, will appeal to fans of the film and newcomers alike. The narrated storybook will encourage your child’s reading skills, the coloring tools will foster their artistic talent – and the bonus activities will grant you peace and quiet over at least two extra states on your next cross-country flight. A feast for the senses, this bright, fun-filled app is like a tiny little Brazilian vacation on your iPad!
My friend MJ of Pars Caeli and I are starting a quarterly Craft Date series and I'm super excited to share it with you! MJ is a talented, generous and motivating blogger who I met at Alt Summit in NYC last year. I was a ball of nerves and there was MJ - cool, calm and totally put together. She's a wonderful mama and stylish babe, check out her blog HERE. She will be sharing her version of this project later this week!
So this is how our Craft Dates work… MJ and I will both take on the same DIY project and share our take. It's a really fun way for us to express our individual styles and share them with both of our friends and followers. This is our first Craft Date and I'm totally addicted to this project.
Meet the hypertufa pot. It's a lightweight concrete pot for succulents and they're taking over my house. This project is not a hard one, but it is a bit time consuming… and messy. Pick up your supplies and take advantage of a beautiful sunny day with this one. If you love the look of them, but maybe don't have the time - you can bring them home from this lovely Etsy shop | HERE |. Ok, yes it's mine, I'd love to make one for you!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW to see the process.
molds (Stonyfield milk cartons are my favorite)
large plastic bin or bucket
nonstick cooking spray
plastic bag / wrap
drill with masonry bit
1. In a large bucket or bin, blend together equal parts perlite, peat moss and portland cement.
2. Add water until the mixture reaches a cottage cheese like consistency.
3. Cut milk cartons in half and spray interior walls with nonstick spray.
4. Spread a layer of mixture and press against mold walls to remove air pockets. Create interior walls approx 1/2-1" thick.
5. Cover molds with plastic and let sit for 48 hours.
6. Remove from molds and set in a cool, dry area for 2 weeks. Allow to dry completely.
7. Using sandpaper, sand away exterior layer and smoothen edges to reach desired look.
8. Blow away dusty crevices, then paint.
9. Let dry then fill with succulent and cactus soil.
I have about one month left before I head into my big fitness goal this year: to run the 10 mile race, Broad Street in Philadelphia. I've talked about it before and now that it's actually so close, I'm a bit scared. I haven't reach the 10 mile goal yet. Last November I made it to 8.7 miles… once. So last week I made a commitment to add at least 1 mile a week to my long run. I had only been running 3 miles at a time since January. Not a good start! But I picked up the pace and hit 5 last week and this week I made it to 6.25.
Now this is all well and good. I'll make it… right? But I'm still struggling with eating great. I'm fine in the morning and have fresh green juice, then a salad for lunch, but when dinner hits I'm starving until I close my eyes. I might eat a decent dinner, then I binge. It's not good and I know my body is feeling it. I feel more sluggish and bloated and I honestly hate the feeling.
Rewind a bit… I've been following Jenna from Small Fry Blog and her new IG account (@JENNASKITCHEN) about her experience eating the Whole30 way. Her posts are amazing, her results are incredible and she is WAY inspiring! So inspiring that I decided to buy the book about the Whole30 lifestyle and start April 1st. Basically Whole30 is about being knowledgeable about food and what is truly good for you. Food is either good for you or bad for you, nothing in-between. Think Paleo - nothing's processed, nothing's coming from a box. It's all fresh and filled with the good stuff.
Are you familiar with Whole30? I'd love to hear your thoughts or experiences with it! I'm heading in full force and ready to make a change. If you want to learn more, check out this book that just arrived at my house | HERE |. It's my homework this weekend… after my last weekend of indulgence.
*This post may include affiliate links.
Have you been on minted lately?
Oh, I love their online shop… so many beautiful designs for every stationary need! But did you see that they are offering a gorgeous variety of exclusive art prints too? It's so good. On a mission to freshen up my office space, I popped over to minted in search of new pieces to fit the slim space on my only window wall. I wanted something to brighten and inspire during those long sessions editing and writing… and shopping.
The minted website has a really fun option to curate a board with your favorite prints. It's super helpful when selecting pieces to see if and how they'd work together. It was totally key in selecting these that I absolutely love. I knew I wanted to keep with a black and white theme to balance with the large photographic piece I have already. But I also knew I wanted one other piece to work with the purple hues… and then I saw this lovely green print called 'out to see' by Carolyn MacLaren. They offer several different print sizes and a great selection of frame types… so with a little playing around on the curated board, I found the perfect size for my wall.
My desk used to sit along the long wall in the office, facing nothing… but the wall. So I switched things up and gave myself the best view in the house. There's so much great light that comes in and setting the desk with space between it and the window now allows Scott or the girls to pull up a chair and work with me. It's really nice to have a partner in the office now. Blogging can be a bit lonely… but not anymore.
What do you think of my new minted prints? I'd love to know which ones you're lovin...
*This post is sponsored by minted. All opinions and content written is original.
I love when brands really mix it up! ModCloth always finds fun new ways to share their love of fashion and style like this latest contest. Show off your twirling capabilities with the ModCloth ‘Twirl Around the World Contest’ and you could win a $350 gift card! Snap a photo of yourself twirling in your favorite spring ensemble and upload to the Style Gallery or post on your Instagram account with the hashtag #modtwirl. Videos will also be considered on Instagram. Contest ends 3/31/14. One Instagram winner and one Style Gallery winner will be chosen on 3/31 by EOD. Happy twirling!