No matter how interested or involved in social media I am, I'm ever the print journalist, constantly taking down notes by hand -- and realizing that my handwriting has really gone downhill since college as I'm out of practice writing by hand at that length. While spiral-bound notebooks are the most convenient, they're not always the most attractive.
This adorable strawberry notebook from MoMA is perfect for to-do lists, ideas, and notes taken during an interview. The juicy exterior is made of vegan leather and the stem-styled page marker is made of suede. There's also a honey dew version.
image via moma store
There are so many beautiful cotton and linen napkins out there, but sometimes paper napkins are more practical or preferred, so why not have a cute selection on hand? Meri Meri's Toot Sweet line is super adorable featuring fun patterns and, on most designs, a scalloped edge. Most of them come in lunch and beverage sizes and the striped versions offer additional colorways.
These ice cubes are so cute! We've seen amusingly-shaped ice cubes before, but these are just a little different. Silicone molds create mini icebergs for a frozen polar bear and pair of penguins to stand upon. Created by Japanese designer Hayashi Atsuhiro, they represent the North and South Poles. As adorable as they will look in your drinks, they also serve a higher purpose: as the ice melts, the cubes act as a reminder of the situation facing real animals living on the receding Arctic and Antarctic ice caps due to global warming.
The set of molds is available at Fab.
Watch the video below to see how they look in a drink and get a better sense how they're made.
The sunburst mirror has certainly had its day in the sun, so to speak. If you gravitate toward a different style, check out the 55 Downing Street mirror sale, which started today and runs until Saturday, April 5. They have nearly 1500 decorative and functional (the magnify-your-face-to-uncomfortable-degrees kind) options and they're going fast. Some have already sold out and the sale's been open less than half a day!
Frameless and framed options in a multitude of styles, shapes, and sizes are all discounted.
Personally, I prefer large mirrors as opposed decorating with clusters of tiny ones, and I've shared my favorites from the sale here. I love the Art Deco frame above because it reminds me of the office building I worked in on 42nd and Lexington when I was at Traditional Home. The building had some of the most beautiful elevator doors I've ever seen, gold with great imagery and detailing similar to what is on this frame.
As you can tell, I'm also drawn to mirrors with a bit of movement and while I've only shown metallic or neutral frames here, I would also use a colored frame if I found the right one (the mirror on the bottom right comes in dozens of colors).
I also think using one or more good mirrors like these instead of one large unframed (ugly) piece of glass in a bathroom is much more attractive. Interesting mirror frames are just another way of injecting your personality into your decor and of course provide the added bonus of creating more light in dark rooms and making small ones seem larger. What is your mirror style?
images via 55 downing street
I'm not the first person to be excited about Oh Joy!'s collection for Target, which just launched, and I certainly won't be the last. I have to say in all honesty, that Joy Cho is probably my favorite blogger of all right now (I even bought her book on my Kindle so I could learn more about blogging as a business, now if I could just find time to read it). In addition to having an insanely attractive family (I want to have a playdate with our daughters), her taste is fabulous, and she seems so down-to-earth and real; she's very positive, but she isn't afraid to peel back the layers and share her hectic reality. Somehow it was comforting to know that Joy struggles with a lot of the same things I do; you always know other parents feel the same way but it's reassuring to hear it anyway.
Her collection for Target is really lovely and feels very much "her"—as much as you can know someone from reading their blog, it feels like an accurate translation of who she is and her style. The products are very cheerful and feminine, and the shots from her LA launch party have so many great entertaining ideas and decor moments in them. The paper goods are adorable, but I especially love the entertaining pieces that have more longevity. The collection includes more paper goods, cutlery, decor items, cake toppers, and balloons.
The launch party in LA was intended to be an outdoor garden party, but rain drove them inside. I don't think the party lost much of anything by being indoors. There are so many great and easy entertaining ideas that I'm actually planning to blog about them tomorrow for my other job at the event planning company. But decor-wise, here's something I loved. We've seen this cocktail table around for years, but it's always in white. How fresh does it look in color? I love how they painted the tables to coordinate with the collection.
Over the weekend I helped my four year old make her valentines for her preschool class. Last year she was the only one that brought in handmade valentines. I know how busy everyone is, and it's certainly just easier and quicker to sign names on the pre-made cards with popular characters on them, but I'm really glad that we're still making our own, at least for now.
My daughter is really into art projects and sticker crafts. Every time I go through the craft store, I grab a pack of foam stickers so she can do her creative work. I saw this pack of foam valentines and stickers at Target for $5 and brought them home for her.
I helped her a little, but I was really proud of how she carefully put her friends' names and the decorative stickers on each one. We had some pieces left over, which I obviously commandeered to make the valentine above.
Last year, I found card stock shaped like large cupcakes (always a cupcake theme with her) and we put each kid's name on it in white foam stickers. Then I wrote "You're sweet, happy Valentine's Day" and then she signed them. Craft stores always have paper or foam in fun shapes and most have adhesive backing so you don't even need to mess with glue if you don't want to.
I know there are a zillion cute ideas on blogs and Pinterest, and I really do like the one that looks like your child is busting a lollipop through from the second dimension into the third, but I think sometimes attaining (or thinking that you need to attain) that styled perfection can be more stressful than inspiring. If you're not into commercialized characters (I'm not) or spending a fortune and you want to spend a little extra time doing something hands-on with your kids, here are three ideas I literally came up with this morning while fully intending to post links to other people's great ideas.
Parents of young ones probably have most of this on hand. I did not shop or pre-plan for this (which may be obvious when you see them), every last bit came from something I already had in my house. I've mentioned before I'm not super-DIY girl, so these are pretty simple. But that's the thing - these are little kids, they're not trying to reinvent the wheel. They just want to have fun: To them, punny sayings are still novel and giggle-inducing. And making something themselves gives them a sense of pride and extra practice on the motor-skills. So give yourself a break, mom and dad, and if you want to shoot for something slightly more ambitious than store-bought, try these:
We happen to have foam shapes that we use when finger painting, but if you're handy with scissors and short on shapes, you could make a heart from an old kitchen sponge.
I used finger paint to coat the sponge, pressed down, et voila. Then I simply pasted (I actually used double stick tape, but you can glue, too) the original square I cut out onto another colored sheet of construction paper. Your child can write the 'to' and 'from' names on it and leave as is, or embellish as he or she likes.
More construction paper and some left over lollipops here. But even if you don't have Dum Dums hanging around, they're only 10 cents each in the bulk bin, so it's really cheap.
I cut out a 6 x 6 inch square of blue paper, a corner of a sheet of yellow paper to make the sun, and cut the cloud out of white paper. I glued the lollipops on with a bit of clear Elmer's to make it look like a balloon had escaped the bunch. I tied the yarn bow on after gluing, it was much easier than tying them first.
Insert pun about soaring hearts, and you're done!
A take on one of my favorite valentines.
This required the most work (i.e. tinkering with my printer). First I grabbed a toy train and a piece of green construction paper and wrote the message in black Sharpie. When you write your message, try to leave yourself at least a half inch border of blank space at the bottom. I propped up the train with a few small foam stickers so the wheels would look straight.
I took a picture of the train on the paper and printed it out on 4 x 6 inch photo paper (make sure you choose the borderless option). Then I glued the cotton balls on the photo paper to look like the steam from the engine. If you don't want the valentine to be 3D, you could put the cotton balls on the construction paper and then take the picture before printing, getting basically the same effect.
If you make any of these, let me know!
images are my own
As family members and friends visit (or descend, as the case may be), it's important to remember that a little preparation can make a guest's stay more enjoyable for everyone involved. I spoke to three entertaining experts for my recent piece in Redbook magazine's December issue, which highlights easy and inexpensive ways to ensure your guests feel most welcome. Check out the article for product ideas and advice!
image via redbook, photograph by jonny valiant
Now that we're just under a week away from Christmas (what?!), the holiday cards are starting to roll in. I'm grateful I got the bulk of mine out a few days ago, but I still have a few I want to send. I enjoy receiving holiday cards, seeing the pictures of everyone and hearing how people from our past and present are doing. I like to keep the cards out during the holidays so we can enjoy them and think of the people who thought of us, but sometimes it's hard to find a nice way to display them.
Of course, I've seen them placed along the mantel and I've seen them tied with string or ribbon and hung on a stairway bannister, or randomly pinned up everywhere, but I like something a little more put together.
So, in a throwback of sorts--for Thursday, naturally--I wanted to share this idea I've always liked from David Stark. He, being the genius event planner/producer, put this together for O at Home magazine (may it rest in peace) back in 2007 when I worked there; though much to my dismay, I did not get to work on this story.
Anyway, he took a piece of solid insulation material, which seems to be available for relatively cheap at the hardware store, and covered it in a beautiful pink dupioni silk. Then he pinned holiday cards to the board in the shape of a tree, adding ornaments, garland, and other fun elements creating something really special and festive.
I love this and it's quite customizable because you can choose a fabric that coordinates with a certain room, or if your holiday decor has a specific theme or color scheme, you can match that, as David did here with the palette shown in this part of the story. Here, coordinating packages and ornaments on the bannister and chandelier also speak to the overall theme. I also love this scheme because it uses black, which most people don't think to use at Christmas, but I always endorse a little drama, contrast, and sophistication. My husband didn't understand when I bought black ornaments last year, but ha! If it's good enough for David Stark, it's good enough for me.
You can copy the tree design or try a star or any other sort of pattern to hang the cards. And during the off-season, you could select a different fabric and display your children's art or other personal ephemera on it.
Do you display your holiday cards in a special way?
image via oprah.com, photograph by james merrell
Fun little extras to add to the stockings!
images via retailers listed
Who didn't grow up with those ubiquitous electric candlesticks in the windows of your house during the holidays? I used to think taper candles were extremely old-fashioned and never thought I would be interested in them, but just as with everything else that follows the what's-old-is-new-again pattern, these lovely candleholders have changed my mind.
I love the colors and form of the Pleated candleholders, above, from BoConcept, which I wanted to include even though they're handle-less. And any of the selection below of modern takes on the chamber candlestick would look great as a single piece on a bedside table or console, or as a group on a dining table mixed with other decorative elements.
The porcelain model by Klein Reid (bottom) comes with a removable candle insert, so when not in use with a real taper, you can still enjoy a tromp l'oeil effect of having a candle in place.
Most of these are well under $30, with the Weight Here coming in under $50 and the Klein Reid priced at $98.
In case you're in need: Creative Candles is a great source for taper candles in beautiful colors.
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
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