Friday, June 14, 2013

my favorite designer: amber interiors & a giveaway

So I have about 5 favorite interior design bloggers. One of the top ones is Amber Interiors. She has a fabulous shoppe and I drool over it constantly! She is doing a giveaway and I've been dying for one of her batik pillows for a good year now. Fingers crossed!! Head over here for details if you want to enter to win as well. Be prepared, however, to fight me for it! If you do win by chance I will probably hate you forever!! You can also check her out on instagram! Can you tell I'm obsessed?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WHAT I'M WEARING: the perfect midi dress + forever 21

One of my favorite places to shop for clothing is Forever 21. I'm trying to reign it in because so much of what they sell is trendy and cheaply made. It works good though for changing tastes and to add some of the trends into a wardrobe at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Sometimes they have some very classic and timeless pieces that I just can't get enough of. Here is one of them--the Striped Midi Dress!
Source: via Stacy on Pinterest

Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this dress. It fits loose enough where it needs to, its forgiving, I love the print, its modest, inexpensive (only $17.80), and can be paired with a blazer, denim vest, denim jacket, army jacket, floral scarf, flip flops, wedges, sandals, converse, booties, you name it! It can easily translate between fashion styles (hipster vs. preppy). Get it here or in stores! Love trends when they are modest too! Thank you midi dress and skirt!

Go check out my pinterest page for more of my fashion choices!

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to create a focal wall via Emily Henderson

Here's a great "how to" video on how to create a focal wall with art. Some awesome rules to keep in mind, like the 2/3 rule. She also has great tips with the gallery wall like filling the entire wall, having your larger piece in it off-center, and using different sized pieces. What do you think? Did you find it helpful? She's one of my favorite designers/stylists.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I wanna be...

I feel like one of those people who has mad potential but never goes anywhere.  I'd probably classify myself as a wannabe. In high school it resulted in no best friend or really close relationships and only being average at everything. Yes, I did excel in academics to a degree but I didn't have that much competition in my little rural school. If I'd grown up in a city like Eugene where we live now I don't know what I would have done. I'm sure I would have needed to choose one area and push myself in that direction. Instead I did some of this and that. One of my many regrets about my teenage years is that I wish I would have chosen one or two things and done great things and really perfected it and stuck with it throughout life.

This may be a part of my individual personality, to not commit to something 100% or get obsessed with some hobby. I would however like to feel like I have more things in life that I am good at and can put more of my mark on.

So, I've decided to start a first of a few new series to help with keeping blogging going this time around. It will help me to figure out what one or two things I want to really grab ahold of in life and which things will always just live on my "Wannabe List". My plan right now is to focus on one thing each month. I'll learn more about it, try it out, see if it's worth keeping around, and report.

Here's a list of things currently on my "Wannabe List" (aka bucket list of sorts):

  • Cooking--baking has never been a strength and expanding my culinary skills in general. I've always wanted to go to culinary school.
  • Painting--watercolors, oils, mixed media.
  • Sewing--knitting, embroidery, and jazzing up my sewing skills in general which will require me to get my sewing machine fixed to start).
  • Fashion Designer
  • Interior Designer/Design Blogger
  • Dance--ballet, modern.
  • Swim--took lessons as a child and I think did well, but i have this fear and anxiety with my face in the water and taking breaths as a swim. I don't know what the problem is. I'd love to use swimming as a form of exercise.
  • Sailing--this is a huge dream for me. One I will actually get to try out in July! It has been on my bucket list and Ryan actually gave me the chance to do it as part of my Christmas gift this past year. The sailing season in Oregon is shorter I presume so we had to wait until July. I'm hoping if I love it to start sailing lessons immediately follow as an early birthday present maybe? 
  • Surfing--I've gone a few times but need to commit to it or just get rid of my board. I hate having to get up so early in the morning for the best tides or to wear a wetsuit and go in the freezing waters. 
  • Kayaking--perfect for Oregon life.
  • Reading--I've never been a good reader and so I just don't do it for pleasure very often.
  • Rock Climbing
  • Lobbyist
  • Local Politician
  • Soccer player
  • Musician--violin, cello, guitar. Vocalist. Sunday night Ryan was playing his guitar and I told him that in a dream world he'd play his acoustic guitar and I'd be the singer and we'd write songs together. I don't know why I put perfection limitations on myself because this one is actually possible. Not professionally but for our own and maybe the enjoyment of our family and friends possible.
  • Masters, PhD in something. I've never been able to commit to an area. I used to think it was law and I'd go to law school, then it was just political science (which is what my bachelors degree is in). Lately I've been considering Early Intervention because of my passion for it as a result of Gavin's autism. The next step for this would be GRE and applying by spring of 2014.
  • Consultant
  • Professor
  • Photography
I'm sure there's more. I'll add to it as they come. Some, most are really achievable and practical things. I just have to decide and put my mind to it. That's really the biggest hurdle. Are you to same way? Lots of big dreams and no follow through? How have you overcome those hurdles?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

back from the dead

I believe its been a whole nine months of departure from this life of blogging. I'm guessing no one has really missed my infrequent and subpar antics, but I will say, at times, I have missed writing. I definitely realize that I have little documented of the past 9 months and so for that I'm a little sad. Nothing exhilarating or life-changing has occurred, but I guess many little moments, miracles and memories have and those have meant all the world to me as we trudge through the tough stuff life brings.

So, here's to waking from the dead!

*image via here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

G's big boy room

I decided to attempt an inspiration board for g's little boy room. I am probably already halfway there with decorating it. I just haven't been able to make up my mind about his bed. I have finally decided on a stained wood bed in a simple more modern shape. I am thinking of DIYing this bed. Ana White has some plans on her website for a pioneer style bed that I could probably use and modify slightly to make it more modern.

Here is the board I came up with. Obviously I have some experience to gain in making inspiration boards. I am trying to use the furniture and curtains I already have. I could sand down the black dresser and go with a different color if I want. We painted it black from wood for G's nursery.

Clockwise from top left: BED inspiration taken from here. I found some 100% cotton sheets by Lauren Ralph Lauren in a small purple gingham at TJ Maxx/Homegoods. G loves purple and I wanted to incorporate it into his room somehow. I decided that the gingham print was a perfect way and this darker purple isn't too feminine. I found these sheets in twin size while visiting in CA and decided they were worth paying the 7.25% sales tax. Love not having sales tax in Oregon! Mint green down pillow found at Homegoods (love mint!!) Orange velvet pillow from Cost Plus World Market. Wall lamp from Ikea, found here. DRESSER is painted in a black gloss. It was Ryan's as a kid. Woven basket for toys/laundry. Vintage globe. Displaying G's art on one wally in a casual gallery style display. I'm planning a huge 3 ft wide strip of black chalkboard contact paper the length of one wall to contrast with the brown bed with the art above it I think. Woven baskets with books in them. We keep a basket of "bedtime books" next to G's bed and those are the books he can choose from for bedtime. We went through this time where he was so obsessed with books it made bedtime tough. We already have Ikea's Duktig Mini-kitchen and Kritter table and chairs in white. The black grommet curtains are from Target and I have 4 panels on his windows so I can close them to help blackout the room more. The blue chevron rug is from RugsUSA, found here. We also have an Ikea expedit bookshelf in the room with woven baskets full of G's toys. I already have some toys on display and layered on shelves to bring in more color (reds, blues, oranges). His rocking chair from the nursery is still in there too. Every so often I think about taking it out and then decide I'm not ready to do that. Probably because I still love the occasional night he wakes crying and I rock him. He is my baby still. The walls are white, duh (its a rental!).

Here is the inspiration for his bed:

Here's Ana White's Pioneer Bed (here's the link to plans).

I am going for more of an eclectic look rather than too matchy-matchy. What do you think? For now G is still on the floor on his crib mattress. He's happy and sleeps well so I guess that is what really matters. Right?

Monday, September 10, 2012

the shopping cart dilemma: toddlers + grocery stores


We've come to THAT age...the independently-minded 3 year old. This is one of those times when I can't really say its related to autism, but man alive get me into a tough situation and I WILL use that card if I need to because even if all 3 year-old children have this problem I'm sure the autism isn't helping it! G absolutely refuses to sit in the little shopping cart seat (and practically couldn't if he would due to his size) and now he doesn't really even want to sit in the big shopping cart area. I blame it on my husband because when he was with us once he let him run around and now he wants to do that EVERY TIME! 

Last Friday we headed to Trader Joe's for G's essentials (rice milk, peanut butter, and abc cookies). Before even entering the store G insists he wants to walk. UGH!!!!!!!!! It was busy and people are rushing all around us. So, he runs off and I catch up. I go to grab him and he rushes away. I grab him by the arm (the move I dreaded having my mom do to me as a child) and he screams. People immediately look over. I think, "Go ahead just call me a horrible mom with an out of control child right now before we get going and that way we can all just move on with out lives!" 

Funny thing is I was just thinking that morning about behavioral therapy and how I really wish I had that in-home support now to help us transition to this new change in shopping behavior. Little did I know I'd need that support this very morning.

After grabbing G I proceeded to attempt teaching my child all about grasping on to the side of the cart and keeping one hand on it at ALL TIMES! Yeah right! Seriously, how do moms teach their kids to do that? Is it really realistic. He wanted nothing to do with my little "teaching moment" and it quickly became a useless endeavor. Thankfully, I realized I needed to make it more exciting to hold tight to that cart and I enthusiastically asked G if he'd like to push the cart. He came over and got behind that thing pushing it along. That worked for most of the trip, but it was undoubtedly intermixed with wandering steps. I would grab items from the shelf and have G drop them into the cart and he seemed to enjoy that. I gave him choices of foods and he that engaged him some more as well.  When he would push too far I'd ask him to back it up like a truck and he'd make the beeping sound and back the cart up. 

By the time we made it to the register I had that little moment when you think "No, don't go with that line even though it is shorter" but I didn't listen and the darn gal was shopping for her wedding (a TJ employee) and ordering a million bottles of wine and garlic pizza dough. Seriously!! I waited it out and then finally gave up and moved to the line next to me. Kind of like on Office Space when the guy goes back and forth between traffic lanes and gets NO WHERE!! Well, we finally checked out the same time I would have had I stayed where I started. G wandered some more and I had to pull him back. He seems oblivious to the people around him and they will say "excuse me" and ask him to move and its like he doesn't hear them. Mental note: Something else to work on! It was only the last 2 minutes I finally caved and gave him my iPhone to get us through checkout. 

I would definitely call that trip successful but I doubt I will do that very often. Its good for him and working on behavior, but man its demanding! I think it will get easier over time as we develop a new routine and new expectations for grocery store behavior. I think a big key to success will be reinforcements and distractions (the two major principles that all of G's therapies taught me). We were able to find a panorama and pictures on the walls well above eye view that I would have never seen in my life if it weren't for needing to distract G. 

So, I guess even though I didn't have an autism interventionist or specialist right there with me, I did have the most amazing parenting principles (which they taught me) I could ever be given to make a successful trip through the grocery store! 

I'm sure there are many other great tactics (my favorite, leaving them home with dad). I'd love to know! 

So, what you do to make it through the grocery store with young ones who won't have anything to do with the shopping cart?