Friday, March 6, 2015


A few weeks ago we got Mila this table set from Ikea for only $20. How can you beat that?! Its a perfect blank slate to do anything that you want with it. I am in the process of making Mila's room into more of a play room since she sleeps with us anyway. The first step was donating all of her baby toys and furniture and we are slowly adding more toddler friendly things to it. 

The chairs are all pine and felt very uncomfortable so we bought some batting and fabric from Ikea. There are several tutorials on Pinterest on how to add the cushion to the chairs. I used this one but instead of using a foam board I used 4 layers of batting. I sprayed a few coats of Scotch Guard on the fabric assuming they would get dirty easily. The first day she used the set she colored all over the chairs with crayon and luckily the Scotch Guard made it super easy to clean off. Then I purchased acrylic paints that matched the fabric as best as possible. I am in love with dipped furniture lately so this was the perfect project to attempt it on. We also painted the top of the table and backs of the chairs in chalkboard paint. I plan on writing MILA on the back of one chair and if she ever has a sibling, writing their name on the other chair. The acrylic paint has been great as its very easy to wipe it down. Especially with her easy access to crayons and chalk, she has colored on every part of this table and it looks like new after a quick wipe down. 

I can't wait to move soon and decorate her new 'big girl' bedroom completely and make an attempt at moving her bed into their as well. It will be full of dipped furniture, pastel and bright colors, and lots of pine. What decorating styles have you guys been loving lately?

Friday, February 27, 2015


I always thought I would be one of those moms who hates technology and would never let their toddler watch TV or use an iPad or iPhone. Fast forward to having a child who is 18 months and has her own iPad...aaannd all that judgement has gone down the drain. Mila does have limited screen time but I would not be able to get half of the things done during the day without technology. Seriously, the Wiggles and the iPad are my heroes.
With that said, I thought I would share a few of our favorite apps... 

1. Mini U- Zoo Alphabet

This app helps teach kids the alphabet in flash card form. Each card has a different animal with a  narrated and interactive letter. At the end of the flash card set you can even take a quiz to see which letters you have learned. 

2. Youtube Kids

This app just came out and is already a household favorite. No longer do I have to worry about what my toddler may get into. It has its own channels just for children to watch and NO ads.  You can even set a timer to restrict how long your child uses the iPad. 

3. Nighty Night! and Nighty Night! Circus

These apps are actually a part of our bedtime routine on most nights. There are several animals on the farm and at the circus that need to be put to sleep. You can interact with them and then shut out the lights so the animal goes to sleep. After putting all of the animals to sleep, it prompts you to go 'nighty night,' and I let Mila turn out the lights throughout the house.

4. Little Fox Music Box. 
An interactive song book and music studio. Right now Mila is super into "Old Macdonald" so we play this song over and over on here. She gets to click along with all the animals on the page and even change the seasons, making each animal have new interactions.

5. Peek-a-Zoo Pack.

This has always been one of our favorites. With a single click new animals will come out of hiding and play Peekaboo. Each animal has its own interaction and will make different sounds/movements. Mila is a huge fan of animals and has learned what several of them are using this app.

6. Petting Zoo

We just got this app last week and I can't believe we waited this long to try it. Petting Zoo is an interactive picture book with musical sounds for each animal. The hand drawn art, humor, and music is fun for the whole family. This is one of those apps that I enjoy watching and playing as well. 

Do you guys have any of these apps? Are there any I left out that you and your toddler enjoy? If so, please share and we will try them out!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hi strangers!

To be honest with you, I haven't had the slightest clue what to even write about in this blog since Mila was born. How does that even happen?! But I am ready to come back, 100% and ready to start designing again. My blog is in the middle of a face-lift as well as my portfolio so bare with me while a few changes happen on these pages! 

There has been so much going on here, both fun and stressful at the same time. And our time in Germany is coming to an end, hopefully by this summer! I am ready for daily Target dates with Mila, family, and friends. Also hoping we get to move somewhere with nice weather for a change! 

See you guys soon with fun updates and posts!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Paint a Pillow; my living room makeover

The people from Cutting Edge Stencils have done it again. Their new company Paint a Pillow, allows you to pick from a huge variety of stencils, colors, and accessories to design the perfect pillows for your home decor.

We recently got rid of our couches and gave our living room a whole new look. However, even with our new rug and couch set I felt like something was missing. Thanks to Paint a Pillow I designed these pillows with a pop of color that room definitely needed. The pattern and colors I chose also fit in perfect with my other patterned pillows.

A friend of mine had the opportunity to use the same stencil so we could show one stencil could be used in two different rooms. She also chose to use studs from Paint a Pillow and they also give you the option of adding tassles as well. Here is her final product:

With the kit you receive everything needed to create your own pillows. It is almost like a mini screen printing kit. You get a pillow, a pillow case, paint roller and brush, paint colors, paint tray and the stencil. The instructions are really simple and they even include a How To Video on their site. The colors we chose were turquoise, ruby red, and black and we used the multi color stenciling technique.

I love the idea of being able to create your own custom pillow, however the stencil we chose was a bit time consuming. If we had chose a pattern and just one color instead of two, we would have been able to use the roller and each side would have only taken 5 minutes. The pattern we chose took us both about 45 minutes to paint each side. In the future I would keep that in mind when choosing colors and patterns! Overall this was a great project and just knowing I painted our pillows myself makes me love them that much more.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Man Cave Makeover

One of the awesome people responsible for Man Crates, a company that makes gifts for men that come in crates which can only be opened with a crow bar (how cool?!), contacted me about the perfect gifts for a man who is decorating his very own "man cave." My husband is not lucky enough to have his own man cave, but if he ever did, fingers crossed it would be decorated like this, and not some cheesy, geeky, stereotypical men's room.

Man Cave

I tried to stay clear of any sports teams and neon beer signs in this room. However, I still wanted to allow some subtle hints of what some men may love. For example, a more grown up version of the Stars Wars canvas and Ninja Turtle decor. Still allowing their favorite characters from childhood to be represented but in a more adult-like decor. A faux-fur blanket is the perfect accessory for any room, so why not create a richer feel in a man cave. And what man doesn't want to be wrapped up in velvety luxury while drinking beer or playing video games late at night? As for the trash can, I chose a large geometric vase that was masculine and sturdier then a normal trash can. It is definitely needed in a man cave as a classier option to hide all of the beer bottles and snack wrappers.

And why not finish the gift-giving with the ultimate man cave gift, personalized barware and coasters from man crates. Seriously, if you havent checked this site out, do it now. Your husband/boyfriend/brother/father will love you for it!

Nothing advertises a man's success like a set of personalized pint glasses and coasters.  Straight ballin'.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mila's DIY Reading Nook

I have been dying to get Mila's toys out of the living room. The house always looks a mess and I feel like I'm constantly cleaning. So over the past few weeks, I've slowly moved all of her toys into her room, but felt like she needed a separate place to read books and play quietly. With the help of Pinterest I felt like a reading nook was an easy and affordable possibility.

The one thing I wanted for sure was a teepee, as they seemed to be all I was pinning lately....but couldn't see myself spending over 100$ for one and waiting a month for it to get here. Thanks to Ikea, garage sales, and Cutting Edge Stencils, I did this entire room for less than the price of buying a teepee online.

Is it not the cutest thing ever?! I want a room like this for myself. The teepee just needed wooden dowels, the fabric we made, twine, and a few decorative accents we got for cheap at the craft store! The black fabric around the top dowels is actually an old pair of black leggings I never wear. Everything else in the room we either bought used, bought for cheap at Ikea, or was re-purposed from other rooms we had in the house. It was beyond hard to find affordable fabric here. Which led to the idea of using a stencil and painting a flat sheet we had sitting in our closet.

I was very intimidated by the idea of using a stencil and painting the sheet that would literally be all you saw of the teepee. There's no going back and redoing once you have painted, so I was nervous my OCD would kick in and I would never be happy with the finished product. This was not the case at all as Cutting Edge Stencils made it super easy and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. The hardest part of the whole thing was choosing a stencil as there were 5 of them I was absolutely in love with. 

All you need to get started stenciling is:
  • The stencil you choose (I chose the 'Little Diamonds Allover' stencil)
  • King sized flat sheet, or whatever size you may need for your project
  • Sponges
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Mustard acrylic paint
  • Textile medium (to be mixed with the acrylic, making it better for fabric purposes)
  • Masking tape or painters tape
  • Paper towels
  • Paint tray or I used a tupperware lid to hold the paint

Step one:
Dip your sponge in the paint. Use only a little at a time as you don't want the paint to bleed under the stencil, blurring your clean lines. Once you get going you'll know how much to use each time you dip the sponge.

Step two:
In a dabbing motion, start painting your design with the sponge.

Step three:
Align the stencil, overlapping the last row you completed. Continue painting until you have the entire sheet finished.

Voila! There you have it :) Our own custom fabric that we did ourselves. Way cheaper and more personal than buying fabric at the store. And this little nugget of mine is thrilled with her new room! We have been spending lots of time reading in her teepee and its the first place she runs to when we get up in the morning. 

For more ideas on what you can do with stencils and DIY projects, go to Cutting Edge Stencils Blog!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

That time we got lost in Rome...

See those steps? F#*$ those steps. Those are the Spanish Steps that everyone goes nuts over seeing, and we almost walked right past them. And right to the left of them is a Metro station to get off and on the trains. After walking around for four hours sightseeing, we decide to head back to these steps, get on the train, and go to our hotel. We could not find these steps for almost FIVE hours. We couldn't find that stupid train station or those stupid steps anywhere. And once we finally found another Metro station, we could figure out the right train, taking another 2 hours to get to our hotel. I sat on the ground and started crying, and D gave in and got a cab to take us 40 minutes away to our hotel. Well $65 later we finally made it and I cried tears of joy. Needless to say this was a horrible start to our trip, but after that fiasco we had an awesome time! The food was disappointing overall, but I think the 'Italian' food I was hoping for would be in Sicily. Anyone else who made the trek over to Rome feel the same way? Mila loved the gelato and several tourists kept asking to get their pictures taken with her. How awkward, but how flattering?! Definitely a trip we will always remember, and next time we take the Metro we will be better prepared.