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Archive for December, 2011

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Online Feature: Lil Sugar’s Best of 2011 Baby Shower Themes

We can’t think of a more celebratory end to 2011 than being included in Lil Sugar’s Best of 2011: The Year’s Best Baby Shower Themes! Thank you to our friends at Lil Sugar and happy new year to all! Here’s to more babies and more celebrations in 2012!

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

It’s a wrap!

from Jamie

Ready or not, the holidays are truly here! If you’re doing a lot of wrapping right now, AND lamenting at how quickly the UNwrapping will occur, consider this game that I just made for my daughter’s grade school classroom party.

First, you collect a pile of interestingly shaped objects — the more distinctive the shape when wrapped, the better! Also, look for items that have a noticeable texture. Some things I collected: a slinky, an orange, a soda can, dried corn, a battery, a shell, a matchbox car, roll of toilet paper, etc.

Then, you guessed it — you wrap! Along the way, write big numbers on the outside of the packages that correspond to your own secret list. Then decide if you also want to write some clues for each object. (I opted to do this for a class of second graders, which ended up being the wise thing to do.) Lastly, decide if you want people to work individually or as teams to figure out what the objects are. Then pass the objects around for investigation. The answers can be yelled out (first correct shout out wins) or have the answers written on paper and read aloud at the end.

This object, appropriately numbered 25, was everyone’s favorite, straight from the North Pole! Need a clue? Look at the unwrapped objects again!

On that merry note, happy holidays to all! See you in 2012!
Jamie & Kate

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Online feature: Design Mom’s Living with Kids

Many thanks to Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom for the feature on living the creative life with kids!

A true inspiration, Gabrielle is a designer and mother to six and is currently living abroad in France. Her insights into all things motherhood and design are always fresh, deeply insightful and blended beautifully with her social media savvy. Her website and blog have achieved recognition far and wide from the likes of Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Martha Stewart, Babble, Parents magazine and Real Simple magazine.

You can follow her adventures here!

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Making the Most of Down Time

from Jamie

Getting the most out of those elusive moments of down time are true balancing acts. Sometimes you just want to be spontaneous in your choices and not be overly scheduled. And other times you want to seize the day and check another experience off your bucket list. This leisure book from Oh Happy Day is the solution to deciding what to do with those awesome opportunities of uncharted time when they arise.

All you need is a blank journal (preferably with tabs) and some time to brainstorm the categories you’re going to build out.

Some ideas: restaurants, movies, books, music, hikes, day outings, date nights, weekends away, travel destinations, seasonal/holiday events, kid activities, etc. It’s like creating a personal culture guide for yourself, or as a gift for another during the holidays or for a birthday, anniversary, or upcoming trip. Researching online and asking for input from friends will add to your initial ideas.

After I left a decade-long life in California many years ago, I started my own variation of this, which was a list of places to visit on return trips. Of course there were the favorite restaurants, the awesome bookstore and other shops, but my favorites of the favorite list were the wildflower peaks — Death Valley and Joshua Tree in February, Anza Borrego in March, The California Poppy Reserve in April and the Lompoc flower fields in June/July.

No matter the format the goal is the same: To keep your inspirations and passions close at hand and at the ready. Here’s hoping you’ve got some down time coming your way!

(image courtesy Oh Happy Day)

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Lucky Number Seven(ty)

from Jamie

Here’s a super special gift idea for someone who has a birthday or anniversary coming up!

Brooke from Inchmark Journal wanted to do something special for her dad’s 70th birthday. First, she printed 70 postcards on thick cardstock, each with a different number between 1 and 70. She then gathered addresses for seventy of the important people in her dad’s life: family members, old classmates, dear friends and all his grandchildren. Included in the envelope was a card explaining that it was dad’s birthday, and that they needed to send the postcard back sharing their funniest memory. To make things easy, the postcards were pre-addressed and pre-stamped so all they had to do was write a quick note on the back and toss the card in the mail.

Brooke writes:

“When my dad got home a few days after his birthday, there were a handful of cards in his mailbox. He was surprised and delighted. And then the next day there were a few more cards, and the day after that, a few more. This continued on for the rest of the month until he had quite a stack. I hadn’t asked people to stagger when they mailed their cards, that just happened naturally. Some of the notes were heartfelt and quite moving, others were funny, bringing up memories my dad hadn’t thought about in years. I especially loved reading what his grandchildren wrote. All in all, a pretty inexpensive gift (postage was our main expense) and one I think my dad will remember for quite some time.”


(images courtesy Inchmark Journal)

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Not your Traditional Tree

from Jamie

Ready to try something new and different with your holiday decor? These visuals provide some great inspiration! All images found via PoppyTalk.

Post-it note holiday tree by Bright Bazaar

Who needs ornaments when you have a lifetime of collected objects? (from Jane of All the Luck in the World)

Short on space or time due to travels? (Image from Chatelaine by Virginie Martocq)

Fuss free: no watering and no needles! (Canadian House and Home)

Holiday wreath meets family tree, by Country Living.

There’s loveliness in small spaces too. (From Bo Bedre, photo Kristian Septimius Krogh via Emmas Blogg).

Create the flexibility to change the sentiment daily with decals! (from Shanna Murray)

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The Gift of Experience

from Jamie

I love nothing more than creating, having or giving an awesome experience that continues to give long after the actual event is over. So when I saw Oh Happy Day‘s post about 10 Experiences to Give I couldn’t wait to pass it on!

How about giving a class, tickets to a lecture, concert or show, taking a hot air balloon ride or train trip, eating in a great restaurant, reserving a campground or planning a surprise getaway?

Stuff will come and go, but memories will stick with you forever. Good luck finding a box big enough to contain these gems!

Here’s my favorite! The Human Nest, which is a treehouse on the California Coast. Imagine waking up to this view!

(top image courtesy Oh Happy Day, bottom image from Treebones Resort)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

A Tree-ific Yarn Craft

from Jamie

Love the simplicity and unexpected colors in these yarn trees! Directions can be found at One Pearl Button.

(image courtesy One Pearl Button)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Merry Making via the Mail

from Jamie

Recently I posted about the 13 ounces or less rule that continues to be so creatively and beautifully executed by Giver’s Log. Just in time for the holidays, they’ve inspired a new way to think about tinsel, lights and the mail! Got some holiday cheer to send someone’s way?

(images courtesy Giver’s Log)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Merry Monograms

from Jamie

Looking for a creative alternative to store-bought gift tags AND a creative way to recycle holiday cards? I love the contrast of the pattern/image-filled letterforms against the bright solids below! Letterforms too complex for a little one to make? Simple geometric shapes would work well too, not to mention cookie cutters!

(image courtesy Martha Stewart)