Monday, February 28, 2011

what i made monday: the taylor {double}

Happy Monday!!

What I made this week is lots and lots of mommy bling.  There has been a huge run on the Whitney necklace and I cannot seem to keep the vintage roses in stock!

If your Whitney is photographed above, it is headed out with this morning's shipments!  Check your email for the tracking number!

On another note, it seems like I have been doing a lot of custom requests lately, which I love, love, love.  If you ever see something in the shop that you would like to tweak to make your own, just email me and we will work together on just the right design.  One request that I get every single week is for a Taylor with two initial charms.  So, I decided to add the Taylor {double} to my shop.

Taylor is a sweet and simple necklace, strung on a 16" delicate chain.  This little lovely is the most popular item in the shop.  It's perfect for layering and perfect for everyday.  I had someone tell me that they have not taken their Taylor off since Christmas!

I have a lot of customers who order a Taylor, then come back to order more Taylor's or more necklaces to layer with it.  I love this necklace.  And I love the two charm version as well.

You can find the new Taylor {double} here.

And, I'm super excited to show you another brand new design...come back tomorrow to see the new Kelsie necklace!

{PS Happy Birthday, to my beautiful sister-in-law Sherry!!!  What is it now, 23, 24???  What a year this has been!!  I love you so much and I'm so glad my brother brought you into our family.  We are very lucky to have you, and so is he!  You are such a wonderful sister-in-law.  I hope your day is happy and relaxing.  I wish I was there to toast you with a glass of wine!  LOVE YOU!!}

Sunday, February 27, 2011

lazy winter weekend mornings at our house

In the summer, our weekend mornings are a little different.  We will walk down to the beach cafe for breakfast.  Stroll along Sunset Cliffs and check out the waves, but this time of year, it looks like this outside:

And, we are all about snuggling up and enjoying a slow morning. 

If you stayed over at our house on a Friday or Saturday night, you would wake to find that Mark got up with the boys at 6am so I could sleep in for a few hours.  He does this every Saturday and Sunday without fail, and without me ever asking.  He's just amazing like that.

He will probably go to Vons to get groceries for dinner and maybe take the boys to go get donuts in their jammies {this is a daddy thing. I never allow them to leave the house without being fully dressed!}

When I get up, we laze around watching Sponge Bob and whatever else happens to be on Cartoon Network.  We eat breakfast and I drink my chai from a big mug topped with ridiculous amounts of whipped cream.

Reid will study his favorite book of the moment and tell us about every page.  This weekend he is trying to convince us that it's a good idea to get a bearded lizard for a pet and that he will take care of it all by himself.  {that's a tough sell with this mama!}

{Notice Reid's mint green desk in the background?  It's on my list of things to's a long list!}

Mark will start a fire and Samson will lay right in front, using all his energy to try and keep his eyelids open.

Around 10:30, Grant will be ready for his nap.  After he goes back to bed we will all start to motivate and get on with the day.  But, it's a good couple of lazy hours while it lasts...and I look forward to it all week long.

{5 year old tacky-but-oh-so-cozy peppermint patty lounging pants courtesy of Old Navy}

Happy Sunday Friends!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

how to keep a sparkly bathroom in 3 minutes a day

Stonebreaker Builders & Remodelers traditional bathroom
{photo from here}

I shared my morning 5 with you the other day and mentioned my daily quick clean of the baths. 

I absolutely despise spending a perfectly good Saturday scrubbing an icky bathroom.  So I refuse.  Instead, I spend 3 minutes a day in each of our three baths.  I do a quick wipe down and scrub and they never get dirty enough to need a full on Saturday scrub.

This is a combination of things I have learned from FlyLady as well as some tips I got from Real Simple.  It works well for our busy family.

If you'd like to try this method in your baths, here's what I do:

Minute 1:  Spray the mirrors with glass cleaner and wipe off with a paper towel.

Minute 2: Wipe down the counters, sinks and faucets with an antibacterial wipe.

Minute 3: Wipe down the toilet, seat, lid, rim, etc. with a second antibacterial wipe.  Drop 2 Alka Seltzer tabs into the toilet and do a quick once over with the toilet brush inside the bowl. {yes, the same Alka Seltzer you take for an upset tummy.  I'm not sure why it works, but it does}

As far as the shower goes, if you use a daily shower spray, then squeegee the walls and floor after every shower, you'll only need to scrub with a cleanser once every 3 months or so. 

I hope these little tips help you free up more time for all the things you want to do so much more than clean your bathroom!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

what i want more than stuff

{the latest batch of nice, but unnecessary items to leave our home.  thanks dad, for helping load it up}

There is so much that I want out of life and I am realizing that what I want the most is less. 

Remember my New Year's Resolution?  I've had a lot of stops and starts, but I'm making progress.  And, no matter how many items leave our house or get tossed, it feels like there are thousands more.

And, it's not that they are bad or not pretty, or don't work properly, but I've just come to realize that every item I own costs me.  There is a price for every single item I choose to own.  It costs money to buy it and then it costs my time and energy to clean it, maintain it, organize it, move it and fix it when it breaks.

And the bottom line is, we don't need that much.  I was thinking about how few items in my home I actually touch on a monthly basis.  Really.  How many things do I never touch or use?  Why am I keeping them?  I bet 80% of what we own doesn't get used, worn, played with, read, or looked at on a monthly basis.  It seems like a total waste.  And, meanwhile I spend the time that I could be laying by the fire with a good book cleaning and organizing and tripping over all of the things that I don't use or need. 

And that, my friends, is the definition of crazy.

Here is an excerpt of a really brilliant blog post I read this week:

"Why do we trade in our goals, hopes, and plans for things that will eventually end up in a garage sale or in the landfill? We’re pulling thousand-pound baggage behind us as we go through life thinking about the next thing we can add to it!

I like my stuff, but I am SO OVER IT.

Give me passion, pursuits, wholeness, healing, compassion, mercy, reconciliation, audacious goals, beauty, love, grace, kindness, tender touch…give me those instead, and let me not be distracted by anything less."

{from Rachel's Blog post, titled Loosen the Grip of More Stuff}

So true, right?

So long clutter, I am so done with you!  I have way bigger dreams for myself!

And, P.S. -  Dear expensive chandelier that had been sitting in the garage for 2 years: I don't miss you a bit!

Gotta go, I have stuff to throw away!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

my morning 5

Miele coffee maker

Our home is by no means perfectly clean and organized, we have stacks and piles, dirty laundry, legos in every room and dust bunnies in the corners.  But, I have a morning routine that helps keep me sane {and showered} and it works for our family, so I thought I'd share it here.  Having this little routine has shown me how a few small changes can add up to make big differences in my home and my mindset.

Shortly after Grant was born, I was feeling overwhelmed by a never ending to do list and a house that I couldn't seem to keep in order.  Never mind trying to grab a shower or throw some make up on.  So, for 2010 my New Year's Resolution was "Keep the House in a State of Clean" 

My goal was not perfection, just basic tidiness.  Get the most important things done and then try and relax about whether or not the rest got done. 

I started subscribing to the FlyLady emails.  If you are not familiar with FlyLady and you are feeling overwhelmed by your space, I highly recommend her.

I started small and set up a basic routine for my morning.  I call it my morning 5.  Let me preface by saying that I only make it through all 5 items once or twice a month.  On an average day, I get 3 or 4 done and I am totally okay with that.  I'm a perfectionist at heart, but I try not to let that rule me at home.  If I did, I would never do anything until I had the time to do it "perfectly".  But, I have 2 kids, so let's face it, that time is never coming.  So, my goal is progress not perfection {that's a FlyLady-ism that I remind myself of almost every day}

My Morning 5:

1. Shower and Get Ready
I have two choices when it comes to showering: do it before the boys need me, or miss it altogether.  Since I cannot deal with not showering, this is the very first thing I do in the morning.  I walk straight from the bed to the shower.  I do my makeup, blow-dry my hair, get dressed, put my jewelry on, the whole bit.  By the time I step foot out of my bedroom I am totally ready for the day.  For me, this is about a 45 minute process.

2. Make the Beds
I make all three beds every morning.  It drives me crazy not to have a made bed.  It sets the tone for the whole room.  This is a 2 minute investment of my time and it makes a huge difference in getting the day off to a good start.  At bedtime, it's so nice to get into a made bed.  Getting into a sloppy bed at night just doesn't feel restful to me.  I have literally made the bed at 5pm just so we had a nice bed to get into a few hours later. 

3.  Start the Laundry
I need to wash, dry, fold and put away 2 loads of laundry a day to keep the dirty clothes from climbing up the walls.  Starting the laundry first thing in the morning helps me keep up. 

4.  Wipe Down The Bathrooms
I hate cleaning the bathrooms and luckily, I never have to do it anymore.  I do a quick 3 minute morning routine in each bath and they never get dirty.  I'll share this little routine in more detail later in the week.

5.  Empty the Dishwasher and Pick up the Kitchen
I usually do this while Grant is eating breakfast.  I empty the dishwasher from the previous night, put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and pick up any clutter that's found it's way onto the counter.  If I have time, I also wipe down the counters.  This is also the time that I eat breakfast, and guzzle as much as caffeine as possible.

And, then!  It's time to start the day! 

Once I've done my morning 5, I know the basics are out of the way.  I can focus on the rest of the day knowing that although it's not perfect, the house is in a basic state of clean and that helps me feel centered and able to focus on all the other items on my to do list.


Monday, February 21, 2011

what i made monday: stewed berries and ice cream

I was originally going to share a fun project that involves spray paint for my What I Made Monday series today, but it has been a rainy, cold week and since neither of those are good conditions for spray about some ice cream?

We were invited over to our neighbors for dinner last week and I offered to bring dessert.  I knew that Grant and I were going to be gone most of the day, spending time with my parents and that I would barely be home in time for dinner.  Since baking was out of the question, I decided to go with one of my all time faves: warm stewed berries with ice cream.  I brought the ingredients with me and whipped it up once we had finished eating dinner.

It's a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  All you need is fresh berries and vanilla ice cream.  You can bust this out in 10 minutes and have a fresh, warm and delicious dessert.  The combination of warm berries and cold ice cream is divine.

Bring this to the party next time you offer to bring dessert and you will for sure be invited back.

Here's the recipe:
{Serves 8}

3 half pints fresh raspberries, divided
2 half pints fresh blueberries
1 gallon really good vanilla ice cream.  It would be a total shame to try and serve this deliciousness with a store brand imposter.  Splurge on the good stuff {we love Dreyer's natural vanilla}
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water

Bring the water, sugar, all of the blueberries and 2 pints of the raspberries to a boil in a small saucepan.

Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked.  

Off the heat, stir in the remaining pint of raspberries and spoon the sauce onto a plate or bowl.  Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

inspiration boards

I have been seeing inspiration boards all over and I think I am going to add one to my office.  Since I'm the creative type, I'm constantly day dreaming about things I want to create, ideas for our home, and new designs to try in the workshop.

 I think it would be fun to have all my ideas close at hand.

Here are a few of my favorite inspiration board photos...

I love how bright and feminine this one is:

sfgirlbybay eclectic home office

And I love the dramatic black paint behind this one:

Home office eclectic home office\

Look at all the childrens artwork on this one, love it!

Custom Home office contemporary home office

How fun is this one?  I love the industrial look and the metal would make it easy to us magnets to change out photos:

Inspiration Wall eclectic home office

And check this one out with the bright pop of orange!  So fun!

organize - inspiration area traditional home office

What about you?  How do you store all your creative ideas?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

good news/bad news

Image of Tori  Image of Grace

Image of Lauren  Image of Shelby

So how about the good news first???

There are 2 awesome {Starfish} giveaways going on right now and I really want you to win!  So in case you haven't entered them yet, here are the links:

Each of these girls have seriously amazing blogs and I am thrilled that they are both hosting giveaways this week.  I am giving the winner of each giveaway any necklace of their choice from my shop.  Yippee!!

Okay, now for the bad news...I am having a price increase effective next Monday 2/21.  This totally bums me out for two reasons:

I try to keep my prices as reasonable as I possibly can, but the cost of silver went up in January and I have been eating that additional cost ever since because I seriously dread having to charge you more.  The truth is, I would make you each a necklace for free if I could do it without going broke.  That is a huge part of the reason I do all these giveaways.  It makes me happy to know that my jewelry makes you happy and that it represents keeping those you love close to your heart. 

The second reason is that part of why I started {Starfish} in the first place was because I really wanted a mommy necklace for myself and they all seemed so expensive and if they weren't expensive, they looked cheap.  And, although I definitely have some necklaces in what I call the 'couture' price range, my designs start at $22.  I want every mom to be able to have a mommy necklace and to be able to layer them and switch them out and not have to save and wait for a monumental event to be able to purchase one.

So, all that being said, I wanted to give you a few days notice about the price increase.  If there is something you have been wanting from the shop, snag it up before the price increases on Monday. 

Now, back to good news, since I would like to end on a positive note: both of the giveaways mentioned above have discount codes so you can save even more cash.  See?  I told you, I really would do this for free if I could.

That's all I know for today...

I hope you all have a beautiful Thursday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

what i'm loving: ikat

I am totally on board with the Ikat trend.  It's my latest obsession actually.  I just picked up these fun melamine bowls and plates for the boys to use {from Target}.  Love them! 

Product Image Blue & White Ikat Bowl Set of 4 - 6"I love having lightweight non breakable dishes for the boys, but I don't exactly love having Thomas or Spiderman themed dishware.  I have enough of that theme in every other room in the house!  These fit the bill perfectly.

Product Image Blue & White Ikat Dinner Plate Set of 4 - 10.5"

 And how fun is this ottoman?  I think one of these would look so cute in our family room.  I think those big chunky wood feet totally make it.

Printed Ikat Essex Bench

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I love this pillow, and the peacock blue and grey color combo too.

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If they made this chair in a bikini cover up/tunic, I would totally wear it with strappy white sandals.
  {And, of course I love it as a chair too}

Super cute top from {here}

Kaylee Greeting

How adorable are these cards?  Ordering some of these could get me seriously excited to write a thank you note.

What are you obsessing about right now?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the perfect play date

Since school was out last Friday, a few of us moms decided to meet down at the beach with our boys.

It has been warm and beautiful here and the boys love running around at the beach, even though the water is still a bit too cold for a dip! 

Here is the whole crew.  Aren't they adorable?

When we go to the beach, we set up this umbrella/tent for Grant and he never moves.  We give him snacks and a few toys and he is totally content to watch the big boys run around.  We were there well over two hours and he never moved off the towel!  He is the perfect beach baby!

The big boys climbed rocks and found caves and dug in the sand.

And, here's the Goose, happily holding down his towel.


I was so happy Mark left the shop early to come with us.


We had such a fun afternoon.  It was absolutely the perfect play date.  What's your perfect play date?
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