28 August 2012


It's everywhere. Dip dye. I first fell in love with the Casamania Philippe I cafe table and since then, the trend just hasn't faded. Everything from furniture to hair. With eggs, silverware, dishes, mugs, lamps, spoons, clothing, shoes, sheets, shirts, chopsticks, stationary, pillows, scarves and jewelry all in between. Just about anything can be dip dyed, and it seems the long running trend is going to live on for a while. Some of my favorites are here, here, and here.

The one dip dye item that makes me salivate are the Spoons by Ladies & Gentlemen. I wanted to try making it because honestly, I just don't have $38.00 for a spoon.
It's not really dipping though. This process is masking and spraying. Let me preface this by saying these are not dishwasher safe and are best used as serveware instead of daily flatware. But they add a nice touch of color to a party or dinner table. The smaller spoons are perfect for condiments.

1. Stainless flatware spoons
2. Spray paint in desired colors
3. Matte clear sealant spray
4. Masking tape

Mask off the spoon portion to leave the handle exposed. Spray 2-3 coats of color. Let it dry thoroughly between sprays. Spray 2-3 coats of sealant, again letting it dry all the way. Take off tape. Wash by hand and use.

How easy is that? This was an experiment. Although I haven't had any scratches yet with this method, If I did it again, I'd try a primer first. Just to see. This makes any old odd bunch of silverware look cute. Teaspoons in a variety of colors or even white to go with your favorite teacups. There are lots of uses. This could also freshen up the tired wooden spoons in the kitchen.

23 August 2012


It's on its way! See a preview here and here. Can't wait for the tension between these two bitties.

21 August 2012


I have a few rules about Birthday Parties for our kids:
1. Don't over do it.
2. Family up until age three.
3. Friends starting at age four.

This year, when we found that most of our family will be out of town when our daughter turns two, we decided to break the rules and have a neighborhood friends BBQ. There will be lots of kids, mostly older than Nina but just having them all there will feel like her party.

We got a big ol' swingset (in June) and after months of having it sit in our garage in boxes, we finally hired someone to put it together for us. Money well spent, I say. My husband doesn't have to dread the job and I don't have to lose him for many hours to the massive undertaking that would've possibly put him into a mental institution and/or recuperative physical therapy.

So there will be plenty for the kids to do, we'll have some good food, cuppie-cakes, a few gifts but most importantly, because I can't help myself, I get to plan and decorate in a Farmers Market theme. Something I've wanted to do for quite some time now.

Here are some of my first thoughts and inspirations:

03 August 2012


We did it. After neglecting my children to accomplish some serious research on the topic, and discussing the options with my husband. After a few charts and countless articles read, I think we're ready to cut the cable and move on to a more advanced way of using our television.

Our TV is used for a select few (very important) programs: Mad Men, Downton Abbey (among other BBC shows), Modern Family and a few kids shows like Peppa Pig, Charlie & Lola, Curious George and Mickey Mouse. We watch the Today Show in the morning for news and weather and after the kids are in bed, I tend to decompress to reruns of Seinfeld or Friends. That's about it. I do enjoy watching movies but my husband and I seldom watch TV together. One or both of us is usually working on other projects.

That said, we're not the kind of people that NEVER watch TV so this is a move that needs to be thought through. Articles I found particularly helpful, here, here, and here and some other tutorials on how to decide what system is best, here were really what got me going. We don't have Wii, XBox or BluRay so some options weren't available to us. We wanted to keep costs down. We do however already own several Apple products so AppleTV made more sense to us.

Through this process, I have found this decision is very personal to each household. It all comes down to what you watch, where, and how often. How important are these shows to you and can they be found elsewhere.

For us, we were spending $160.00 a month for Comcast (Internet, Cable, Phone) but we don't use a land line and the cable was often a source of frustration. So many channels, still nothing to watch. OnDemand is the most pathetic "perk" ever offered. There's nothing there worth watching and if there is, you have to pay extra for it. Our cable was going out a lot too, so there were many calls made to talk through the technical difficulties. It was just a bunch of waste. And it's hard to swallow the big bill each month amid all the frustrations.

Many friends had already switched and after hearing their feedback, and doing the math, we found that we could save $50.00 a month but cutting out cable, getting AppleTV with Netflix and iTunes to supplement.

Here's what we did:
1. Purchase a Digital Antenna = $30.00 (to get basic HD channels)
2. Purchase AppleTV = $100.00 (the source for Netflix, youtube among others)
That's it for the upfront costs
3. Cut cable and phone from our bundle but keep internet = $80.00 /m
4. Sign up for Netflix = $8.00 /m
* Netflix offers a free 1 month trial. You can't see a list of what they offer on their site without signing up. Many of our favorite kids shows aren't on Netflix but they have enough to replace some them. We can also purchase other favorites on iTunes or search youtube for full episodes.

The one downfall to this plan is we no longer have DVR. I think it's something we'll learn to live without. If it's on Netflix, we'll be able to get to it when needed. But for those times when we aren't home and need to record... there's the negative.

Another possible negative is that Apple will upgrade their product as they often do and we'll need to repurchase. We bought our AppleTV from Best Buy and opted for the $15 upgrade charge. It lasts for two years so if something breaks or if they upgrade, we can trade it in for free.

After one week, I feel like we're really doing well with this transition. It's been good for us. Less sitting in front of the TV channel flipping (something I've mastered over the years). More importantly, less TV in general which is something I continually strive for with our kids.

- On the left we listed the shows we watch.
- The top columns:
How to get our basic channels: Digital Antenna or Basic Cable (through Comcast) - each option offers the same thing but buying a Digital Antenna is a small upfront cost with no monthly charge as opposed to a higher monthly bill.

How would we find our favorite shows: Netflix (had the most for us), Hulu Plus, iTunes (is our best supplement), Amazon Instant Video... there are many others.

How do we connect to these: Again, there are countless other options but AppleTV and TiVo were the ones I narrowed down to.TiVo offers DVR, but costs so much more, we decided to cut the cost and try to adjust our habits.


This has been on my to-do list for months and I finally got to it. It only took an hour. And it looks so nice to see in my daughters crib, it helps clean up her sleep area a bit. Why did it take so long to check this off of my list?

Sewing Machine
Measuring Tape
Cutting Board/Ruler
Thread to Match
Two Patterned Fabrics

1. I started with a small 13"x20" pillow insert. I measured out two pieces of pattern (A) at 14.25"x21.25" and two end pieces of pattern (B) at 14.25"x3.5". I like the manufacturers edging with the designer name, colors etc. and used it as part of one piece (A). If you're using a different sized pillow insert, just allow 1.25" or so on each side for seam allowance and some space to insert the pillow easily.

2. With four pieces cut, I iron 1/4" of one side (B). I pin (B) to (A) patterns facing each other and sew them together. Then I sew the edge of (B) and iron it open. I like to roll over the edge of (B), iron and sew again to give a clean edge. Repeat for the second set of pieces (A) and (B).

3. I also like to give a added security stitch along the outside of pattern (A) the connecting seam where (A) and (B) are sewn and ironed down.

4. With two complete panels, back them up and pin three sides. The two longest, and the short side of pattern (A).

5. Turn inside out and iron flat. I use a chopstick to get the seam to lay flat as I iron. Insert pillow and done.

Cute, cute.