I was looking around my home taking inventory. I like to know which gifts hit the mark, and which fall short. While I was noticing that my son sleeps with his tape measure, and my daughter hasn't worn her new sweater yet; I also noticed a gift from last year. Christmas 2011 I gave my oldest daughter the reuseable butterfly wall decals below;
To be honest, she probably hasn't moved them in the last two months, but she goes through phases of renewed interest. Sometimes they're grouped like above, other times they seem to be migrating south for the winter. But they've lasted a year, and I think I paid $25 for the package. I consider that a victory. My favorite application for wall decals is definitely a children's room. There are a lot of wall decals that don't catch my fancy, but I was looking on the Blik Wall Decals site and saw a few that could be used in grown-up spaces too.
I of course like the graphic and colorful nature of the fishscale wall above, but if you're looking for something more subtle I thought the herringbone below could work well. Both of these patterns could be framed as art, and pretty inexpensively to boot.
I was also drawn to the moody and nerdy pattern below. Or maybe it's the that the colorway reminds me of a Louis Vuitton bag, either way I am intrigued.
Do you avoid the wall sticker craze or have you jumped on board?
It's probably no surprise that we here at 2nd and Strand enjoy beautiful toys for children. Toys around the house can count as decor, right? Or is that just what I tell myself when I constantly see toys thrown all over every square inch of my apartment?
Christmas clearly has me thinking about presents for my two young boys. I did a post about pretty wooden toys a little while back, so this post will fit right in. Both boys, especially my 4 year old, love to build buildings with blocks. Our block options at home are lacking, so I want to get a set with some interesting architectural features to it, but still with flexibility to be creative with it.
Here are some great options below-
1. Tokyo In A Box. These aren't building blocks, but considering I grew up in Tokyo, I couldn't resist adding these to the mix!
2. Antiquity Architecture Wooden Block Set
3. Wooden Blocks Middle Eastern
5. Medieval Castle
6. Russian House Wooden Blocks
Really, I wish more than anything I could gift these amazing blocks from Torafu Architects in Japan to my boys. They seem like endless fun (seriously, follow the link to see more pictures).
Do you have any favorite wooden blocks in your household? I'd love to hear your opinions.
Legos are already a hot item at our house. But if you combine all the awesomeness of legos with the beauty of say; Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater; you get this...
Lego has an entire series, called Architecture, which allows the user to recreate fifteen famous building; offerings include buildings like Big Ben and the Sydney Opera House. Way to go Lego! True aficianados have taken this process one step further and put their creations to music. This video is helpful because is shows all of the information that comes in the kit.
Growing up my parents would often gift the family a puzzle for Christmas that we would all work on for the remainder of the break. I could see this architect series filling that gap for my own little family. Wouldn't this be a fun way to introduce your kids to some classic architecture pieces?
Like the rest of the design world I've been following C Wonder since they launched in New York and now in LA. Their graphic prints and high color contrast pieces are right on trend and pretty fantastic, but they're often just out of my price range. However; they have some great pieces on sale right now. I've selected my favorites, if you'd like to learn more about an item click on it's picture.
I think that Butterfly tray would look great on my coffee table!
Mother's day and flowers go hand in hand, don't you think? Since Mother's day is this Sunday, I thought I'd share some great ways to give flowers that have a more personal feel. Not only more personal, and pretty, but then the recipient doesn't have to worry about trimming the stems and finding a vase... it's nice to give a gift where no added work is involved (not that it's much work... but I'm lazy...). Of course, the ideas shown below are also good ideas for birthday presents, saying thank you, congratulations, get well... and many, many more! Check them out -
I love the jar used below. It sort of reminded me of this post we did about reusing food jars as vases. If you can't shop for a cute glass container in your home, you can look at the grocery store, thrift stores, or antique fairs. I really love that label... thats what really makes this look feel unique and authentic.
If you buy a potted plant or flowers, I think this idea of wrapping a cute fabric around the base and tying it off with ribbon is a very cute idea. It definitely helps give it that personal touch.
First can I just say how beautiful I think this picture is? Seriously... I love it. I'm a sucker for all things white, which definitely includes flowers. I love that the variety of flowers don't compete with those amazing tinted glass vases. Those are seriously cool. Here and here show two different methods to do this yourself. You can also paint the inside of vases, just be aware of what kind of paint you use cause it may not be waterproof.
Mason jars. Thats probably all I need to say since I know most everyone has seen this look... a lot. But I still love it. The main reason I love it is because it can be customized in so many different ways. Leaving it bare still looks classic and lets the flowers be the main focal point. But you can wrap it in twine (like whats shown below... which is my current favorite), fabric, ribbon, japanese masking/washi tape, paint, cute labels (like the first photo)... anything you can think of to help dress up the jar.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any ideas to share that you've done or seen for ways to give flowers in a personal way?
Journals can be pretty special possessions, don't you think? Just like most things in life, it takes time along with some dedication for it to become a regular part of your routine. My mom got me this 10 year journal a little over a year ago, and it really has been one of the best presents I've ever received. In this particular journal, it gives you four lines per day to write in (with extra pages after each month if you want to write more). This is the perfect amount of space for me because it only takes minutes, and you can just focus on small important aspects of your day... cause lets be honest, writing about laundry/making food/cleaning is only so interesting : ). It's so fun to have written in it for just over a year now (okay definitely not every day) and being able to write in it now while looking back on what I wrote a year ago. Very fun, and I will always appreciate this thoughtful gift.
I have a family blog, but having a journal allows me to be a little more personal in my memories I want to document. Things I focus on are:
- notable events
- something new I've learned
- someway I feel like I've grown
- simple things my kids say or do that I want to remember (what I usually write about)
- hardships (not that I have many, but I know I will look back on my time as a young mother of small kids with a lot of joy even through the frustrating times)
You know the common question, "If there was a fire in your home, what would be the first items you'd grab on your way out?" Well, also on the theme of journals, I have two journals from my childhood that are some of my most prized possessions. When my siblings and I were younger, my Dad kept journals for us. He would update them a few times a year while on airplanes since he had to travel a lot. He said writing journals for all 6 of his kids while we were young made him not feel as guilty about having to travel so much, and made him feel closer to us while he was gone. I have two different books, and I can't tell you how much love I feel for my dad each time I read through them. Reading things like my birth story from my dad's perspective is pretty funny!
So this Christmas if you are looking for a thoughtful gift to give, consider a beautiful journal. I would like some instructions in it (make it for your kids, write about times your felt joy throughout the day, a travel journal, etc) because sometimes when given a notebook its hard to know what to do with it at first.
Listed below are some beautiful journals to look great on your bedside table -
Tagged Bouquet Journal from Anthropology
'Live Life To The Full' Panama series book from Smythson
Writing is Wonderful Journal from Ruche
Valise Journal from Anthropology
Suzy Jack Lined Notebook from See Jane Work
Ring Binder from Ferm Living
A classic, more masculine, Moleskine Notebook from Barnes and Noble
Some pretty options, right? I think the main thing with notebooks or journals is you don't need to take them too seriously, because then they can become more of a burden than a blessing. For you other journal writers out there, what do you like to write about?