Valentines day is in about 2 weeks. Do you usually do anything special for it? My mom would always cut out big hearts from a piece of pink or red paper, write some sort of short 'I love you' message on it, with some candy placed on the top. It would be waiting for us in our rooms on the floor so I knew when I woke up, I'd be able to see it right there and would always be so excited.
Now that I have two kiddos of my own, I try to focus more on a family love day than just for me and my spouse. All that consists of is some sort of family Valentines day activity... make red velvet cupcakes, decorate heart shaped sugar cookies, pink pancakes, or some sort of heart craft (yes, most of our past activities have been based on food... as usual!). Simple, but fun, festive things.
If you want to throw a party (even if its just with your family!) or give out cute Valentines to friends, here are some fun supplies that can help you all from my favorite party supply store, Shop Sweet Lulu
Polka Dot Candy Cups
(you can order a rainbow color combo, or just pick one).
What are your Valentines day traditions? Do you go all out or keep things more simple?
Jordan sent us a request that many people face. How do you decorate a bedroom that is shared between a boy and a girl? This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I've recently done this in my own home! Jordan sent us a picture of her daughter's nursery that will need to used as a bedroom for her 19 month daughter AND four year old son.
Her nursery is adorable right? You can tell this is a nursery that was made with love, and I want to carry a lot of those same feelings into the next space. It's also important to note that Jordan has three sons total, and this is her only baby girl. I had to remind myself of this as the first room that I designed was all blue and green. But as I looked at the details of her existing space it became apparent that Jordan loved putting together a nursery for her first baby girl. So I am encouraging her to make a blanket out of the drapery to use on her daughter's new big girl bed, and I think the hair bow shelf should be repurposed in her closet. These sweet details should not be lost, but can't be front and center in a shared space either :) In my blog combing I came across a bedroom that I used as inspiration for this space:
House of Turquoise
I love this inspiration image because the color is so close to what Jordan already has, and I love that it looks both graphic and timeless. I also think the colors work really well for both a girl and a young boy. The room looks modern and clean because it has such a narrow color palette, and I want to do that in Jordan's space. She's going to have a lot going on in a small space, so it's important to not have a lot of extras to visually distract your eye!
- x2. Both beds will have their headboards against the farthest wall, each one in a separate corner. This bed is perfect as it will stand out against the blue wall and the white details, but it's best feature is that it works as either a toddler bed or twin. If your kids are small enough leave it as a toddler bed for extra play space!Storage
- this tall piece will sit in between the two beds and will be painted Benjamin Moore Blooming GroveWall Light
- each child could have their own reading light, the white would contrast nicely with the storage piece, bed, and wall color - but go nicely with the white accentsValence
- this would be a great DIY, just find some green grosgrain to go with the storage piece, the valence would replace the curtains, as a bed would now be under the windowRug
- this rug would go between the two beds and in front of the storage piece, it's irregular shape would break up all the straight lines of the bed and storagePolka Dots
- I like the pink and orange option because it is decidedly girly and would allow the current wreath to be placed above the new bed. I love buying bed linens from Garnet HIll because you can buy just what you need. Lots of kids don't use a flat sheet and they prefer their own special blanky as opposed to a duvet. Jordan I'm sure knows what her kids will use and will make a great choice!Rocket Ships
- decidedly boy, has a bit of orange and blue to tie everything together
Every year, Pantone
comes out with its color of the year, and for 2012 the color is:
Since we are still in January, I thought I'd post some good 'tangerine tango' finds that you could incorporate into your own home. I know I've mentioned this before, but the term "must have" bothers me. If you don't have this color in your home for 2012, who cares. But if you want to see some fun finds that can spark some inspiration to add it to your home if you're interested, than this post is perfect for you! If not, its always fun to look at pretty things anyways : ).
Tangerine Tango ikat pillows (16x16) from Etsy
. $45 for a set of two!
Circle Round sheet set from Anthropology
These two awesome picture frames from Furbish Studio
Voyages Over Edinburg
print from Society 6.
Chica Wall Vase
from Crate and Barrel. Wouldn't this be so pretty with light blue hydrangeas?
Do you have any 'tangerine tango' in your home? I have an orange pillow that I like, but thats about the extent of it in my home! What do you think of this new color for the year?
House and Home
This is basically what my backdoor looks like right now, basically :) I've been on the search for a fantastic boot tray to help contain all our snowy boots. I've also been forced to recognize the need for a new door mat. The ones I've purchased are below, and their being shipped to me as I type and the kids nap. This is a good thing as I hear we're in for more wet weather!
I've also got my eye on one of these, it's called a Mitten Tree. I could see this baby being put to very good use.
Emily just moved into a new apartment, and wants to spice up her bathroom a little bit. She needs to keep everything as it is (since she is renting) but her request? New towels and an art piece.
Emily likes color. She also likes abstract art so I went in that direction for the possible pieces for her bathroom, but wanted to keep them light and fun but still interesting and pretty.
When you are working with such a small area, its important to make an impact with patterns and textures (and in Emily's case, color!).
Since we are only looking at towels and art, I thought I'd put two different options together and get your opinion.
I LOVE the texture of the yellow floral towels. But to balance out the femininity of the bath towel, I would pair it with the blue and grey striped towel (I'm also loving the tassels on that!). The art helps tie everything together.
This peacock towel has amazing colors in it with a fun, interesting print to it. Since the print is pretty bold on this, I'd pair it with a towel with a more subdued print with the hand towel option (it still has a print on it... follow the link and see how good looking this towel is). Again, the art helps tie the color scheme together.
Take the poll below to share what option you like better!
I have been in the midst of a chalk board debate for about four years now. I love the drama of the color combination - black and white, I love that it's utilitarian, I love that it can be personable, I love that it's flexible, and I love that it's another space that is kid friendly. The only thing I don't like is chalk dust. The smell makes me feel kind of itchy. But sometimes a price must be paid for awesomeness. I'm slowly realizing that some sort of chalkboard is in my future. Here are some inspiring sights.
This Old House Magazine
Atlanta Home Magazine
I don't know if the homeowner has a TV behind that huge chalkboard, but this would be a very economical way to hide a TV.
The image below is my favorite of the day. I think this is a brilliant use of a BORING sliding closet door. This area is made better by the contrast with the graphic wallpaper and the layered felt display piece on the right. Cheers to whomever designed this one!
The eaiest, cheapest, and still great:
IKEA"s MALM Easel - $15
The final straw is the discovery of these:
Dustless chalk, that's right. Who knew such an awesome thing existed! I'm thinking a chalkboard and chalk would be a great Valentine's Day present for the short people in my life.
First of all, we want to say a BIG thank you to everyone for supporting us here at 2nd and Strand. Andrea and I were really excited at the thought of being able to show our gratitude by putting together our first giveaway
, and are really pleased with the response. Should we get to the big announcement?
(We'll get in touch with you today)
And here's the glass piggy bank
that Marisa picked!
My friend David asked me what I thought about adding a fireplace to his living room. I said absolutely! David is quite handy and is thinking of tackling the job solo. I thought I would round up some inspirational photos to aid him on his home renovation mission. I limited my search to natural gas fireplace inserts; not only because I don't suspect any of you want to be laying brick for a chimney this weekend but also because I've been told they are much more efficient at heating a room.
I like this option for it's use of stone work in such a geometric pattern. I like that the fire is short and wide while the stone work is tall, the contrast is great. In modern rooms it's always nice when the TV AND the fireplace can be the focus.
I like the built-ins surrounding the fireplace, I like the scale, and I like that this design is fairly neutral; the design can go contemporary or rustic, modern or country depending on the finishing touches.
I like this fireplace for a few reasons: 1. your kid can't trip into the glass 2. it's elevated so you can see it from all over the room 3. it works in a small space
So which one would you pick? I think I'm going to go make some hot cocoa and use my own fireplace. Don't forget to enter our Giveaway
, winning would be a great way to start your week! Check back here on Monday to see if it's you! Happy Weekend everybody!All images are from Candice Olsen on HGTV
I wish I could say I'm a really great planner. But truth be told, I'm usually not. I might just be the biggest procrastinator you know. I've had a life time to master that... unfortunately. My two little boys and I threw a surprise birthday party for my husband yesterday evening (his birthday was the day before but was spent travelling... so luckily there was some surprise involved!). Both my son's have colds, and I think the amount of times I've been coughed/sneezed/snotted on is unfortunately catching up to me as well... so lets just say it was great already having on hand some things that are simple, but add beauty and charm to a party with minimal effort. Here are my main two suggestions-
First thing you should invest in? A pretty, simple cake stand. I got the one below from a Pottery Barn outlet for 12 dollars a few years ago. I might be biased towards getting a white one (because I'm sort of obsessed with white dishes) but in my opinion, food always looks prettier on white, and an added bonus is it can easily be incorporated into different party color themes. My heart has been set on this milk glass
cake stand for a couple years now, but I can't justify buying that one when I have a functional, pretty cake stand already. But maybe eventually I'll give in!
I do have wrapping paper. But its in a bin in my sons closet, with a few heavy bins on top of it. So instead of lugging bins full of things around to get to the wrapping paper, I decided to be a little creative. My 3 year old likes to paint. And because I'm his mom, I always think they are fantastic and have kept most of them. That secret hoarding came in handy when I realized a present wrapped in one of my son's paintings would be much more meaningful and beautiful than store bought paper (at least what I own...its been a while since I've bought wrapping paper because I typically wrap things in brown masking paper and spice it up with yarn/ribbon/japanese tape). It looks pretty, right? Again, its nice having things on hand to give a personal touch with as little effort as possible (is my laziness coming on a little strong right now?).
There are a few other essentials for last minute birthday celebrations, one being candles (or hey, a single candle... you have to blow out something!) so keep those in stock. It would be weird without cake/cupcake/other dessert, and if you don't have time to be a gourmet chef like me and whip up a cake mix, just buy one from a store... and don't feel bad about it. Lastly, you can decorate with whatever you'd like. Luckily I had streamers so we looped some of those around the room for my husband's party last night. A tradition of my family's growing up was we'd decorate with signs. We'd all take a few colored sheets of paper and write something funny, or meaningful, or we'd draw a picture and put them up all over the walls for the special birthday person to wake up to. I still love that tradition and have kept it going with my little family.
Just for fun, I thought I'd share the basic recipe I used for the vanilla frosting on the cake shown above (it was super sweet!). I modified it a little bit: I didn't add quite as much confectioners sugar, and added more milk and vanilla than it called for. Here you go! -Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
(From Sprinkles Cupcakes)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat till blended.
- Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
We wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate all our readers! Thanks for joining us here, we're happy to share our design ideas with you, answer your questions, and discuss ways to beautify all of our living spaces. Today I've picked a few of my favorite everyday items. I picked these particular things because I think you should surround yourselves with things that inspire you and lift your spirit. One lucky reader will win their favorite item. In order to win please leave a a comment; including your email (it will be unpublished, it's just so we can contact the winner), and tell us what your favorite item is and why. The giveaway will close this Sunday, the 15th, and we'll announce the winner on Monday the 16th. Good Luck!
Monogrammed Euro Sham
- perfect as a Valentine's Day present, red and personableMatch Candleholders
- good design should always have form and function; these candles have both as the slit allows you to light the wick without removing the votiveValencia Bottles
- wouldn't drinks just taste better if served from these? and they're reusable, win winMade to Play
- are you familar with Joel Henriques work? He is a very artistic father who wrote a book sharing all the ways he and his kids play - so inspiringStainless Steel Snack Bowls
- makes ordinary snacks look like a big dealGraham and Brown Spa Wallpaper
- lovely and reflective, perfect for small spaces, one rollGlass Piggy Bank
- witty and usefulPixie Stick Straws
- add color and pattern to a table spread, biodegradable too, maybe use them with the above bottlesMonogrammed Mug
- I love to gift this mug, everytime it's used, they think of me!
My New Years wish would be that we all try to surround ourselves with things that are purposeful and beautiful in 2012.