Monday, October 20, 2014

Small Space? Put up a Gallery Wall!

 Our upstairs bathroom is one of the first places that you see when you walk in our home, and given our open layout, it is pretty much visible throughout our entire top floor.  A few months back, on a whim, I started a little gallery wall on the wall you see first, and have been eagerly awaiting Gray's move to his brother's room to steal all of his artwork to complete my dream of having one room that is essentially one big gallery wall (don't worry, his brother still has enough for the both of them ;)) 

 I wasn't quite sure exactly how to lay it out, but just like last time, I realized that once you jump in and start hanging, you can start to see a clear pattern (or actually the opposite which is what you want) emerge.  Given all the "projects" we've had going on around here, this was not something I wanted to throw money at, so rather than buying new frames, I collected what we already had, hit the clearance basket at target, bought a few mini cans of spray paint, and got to work. 

 I'm not sure how the experts tackle a gallery wall, but I've found that the easiest way is to hang the frames first, sans artwork, just eyeballing, and try not to have too similar of a color or shape near a similar color or shape.  90 percent of these frames started out white, which made things a little easier, and as I hung, I would swipe a little q-tip of spray paint on the frame, so I knew what the end color would be.  Using, gold, navy, and bright blue, I painted all the frames at once, and when dry put them back on the wall.  I then collected all the random artwork and pictures that we had around (mostly in Gray's room) and filled in what fit by size, again trying not to put too many of the same medium side by side.  Finally, I saw where there were holes, and ordered a few of my favorite prints in the sizes needed from shutterfly, and grabbed an inexpensive print from etsy to fill in the one remaining frame.  In the end, this little project probably took about 4 hours, and $40 bucks, and for the visual impact it provides, I'd say that is quite a bargain!

I'd like to say that this room is "done" having painted it white a few months back to try to get the art to "pop" but no sooner was the last nail hung, when I declared that I think another color underneath would actually make everything stand out more (insert my husband's eye roll here.)  Initially I thought it should be navy (no surprise there) but the other day it hit me that this would be a perfect room to try out one of my favorite colors; mint.  I am a firm believer that mint is the perfect shade to paint any room, because basically everything looks better when paired with it.  Given all the random colors in the gallery wall, I think this would really make what once was a boring 'ol bathroom, look really special.  Now of course, finding the right shade of mint is my new mission, and luckily the internet is not short on inspiration. Here are a few of my favorites the prove what a great neutral mint really is. 

I'd like to say I'll wait a few weeks before taking everything down and painting the walls (leaving every nail of course) but knowing how I work, I'm already plotting how I can enlist my sister to get this done by the end of the weekend.  Final results to follow...

If you have a small space and are looking for a BIG impact, trust me when I say you will not regret a large gallery wall.  Who knew our little upstairs bathroom would actually become my favorite room in the house? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekend Links.

 Happy Saturday! What are you all up to this gorgeous Fall weekend?  Today the LM and I are up in New Hampshire for a little skate session, and then later I'm whipping up our favorite homemade fig pizza, and we're planning to watch this classic movie.  Tomorrow we will be heading over to our favorite event of the year, The Head of the Charles, which happens to take place in our back yard. Each year I tell me husband we are never moving, because I can't imagine ever not being here for the races!

I wish you a wonderful weekend, whatever your plans are! Here are a few fun links from around the web that caught my eye this week and last. 

File this under awesome things you'd thought would never happen... Breaking Bad is coming back for another season!  In our house this is VERY big news.

This is blasphemy I say! I will forever live for the greatest meal of the day; brunch.  Most of the best times of my life have been during my child free, long, boozy brunches with friends in NYC.

A few years back, I posted an idea about photo collages for you children's ever growing artwork collection, and I've attempted it with varied results.c This awesome (albeit pricey) company, takes the guesswork out of it.  I love how the end product looks a little like a Damien Hirst piece, for a fraction of the price!

I love this T-shirt!  Truer words have never been spoken!

I don't think you can find an easier, or healthier Halloween inspired snack!  I'm absolutely copying this for the LM's school Halloween party!!!  This one is equally as awesome!

It's officially scarf weather!  8 different ways to wear Fall's greatest accessory.

I am absolutely in love with every inch of this house.  That navy, palm wallpaper is to DIE for.

What every mother needs in her bag.  I plan to make a few of these up over Thanksgiving break for Gray!

On the pursuit of perfection in NYC. A great read!

Every. Single. One. Of. These. 

A great article on hyper-parenting. Guilty as charged.

Everything your kitchen aide mixer can do. It's time to dust that baby off!

I've been loving this incredible travel blog!

Any version of this outfit would be perfect for all those upcoming holiday parties.

Finally, what happens when 2nd graders are treated to a 7 course, gourmet meal (Gray's dream!) and how to get your kids to eat (or at least try) everything.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


 After three long weeks, I'm happy to report that my husband went back to work today, and I am back!  Since the surgery we have had so many ups and downs, and honestly, I'm just so happy that this chapter of our lives is almost over.  Going in we weren't really sure if the surgery would even work, and after about a week, we were completely blindsided when my husband's pain was worse than ever.  After another week of questions, we were relieved to hear that the pain he was experiencing was normal, and that thing really should start improving soon.  This did wonders for my husband's mental state, and we spent the last week pretty much enjoying our time together, and kind of treating it as a vacation.  After school drop off, I would come home and we'd take long walks together, followed by lunch with Gray, and then the three of us would tuck in for a long afternoon nap.  If you told me a month ago that I would love having my husband home all day, I would have told you that you were crazy, but last night we all were a little sad, knowing that the next day it would just be the three of us again.  As a family we really are stronger and closer than ever, and if there has to be an upside to this year long drama, that is most definitely it. 

This past weekend, we thought we'd give Dad a little quiet time, since three days home with the two rowdy boys can be a lot, and decided to embrace Fall fully by taking our annual apple picking trip out to our favorite Belkin farm, with my sister in tow.  This is one of my favorite things that we do each year, and this time Gray was really able to get in to the spirit of things, eating more apples than we actually picked! Here are some pictures from the day. 

This picture melts my heart. These two really are tied at the hip (when they aren't driving each other crazy, of course!)

Every year we pick our pumpkins on the way out, and this year was no exception.  The LM wanted a storm trooper and Gray, of course, had to have a pink batman. B oth were a little frustrated that I couldn't just whip these out in ten minutes, but in the end were very happy with the results. 

Very happy. 

On Monday I ran the Tufts 10k for my second time. Having not really run since the last event, I've been feeling the pain, but I beat my time, despite my knee crying the last mile, and I'm pretty sure next year I'll be back!  This really is an incredible event, and I love when a woman twice my age, races past me at the finish.  Really, if you are in the area, you should run this race for inspiration alone!

Now it's back to business as usual. My husband is still taking things easy, so the boys and I are doing our best to stay busy.  It's been nice being home and I have quite a few new projects to show off in the coming weeks. To say I've been busy is an understatement, so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In The Picture.

 Those of you who are long time readers know that the LM and I spend quite a bit of solo time together.  I hate to say it, but it's  probably more than Gray and I do, strictly because I somehow became the de facto parent when it comes to athletics around here.  This means I'm the one who drives for hours, and hours, and hours to take him skiing or stating, and while most of the time I love it, there are times that it can be pretty exhausting, especially when we reach our destination and it turns out that the LM is not having it that day.  "But we just drove 2 hours, I say," shaking my hands in the air.  "Nope," is his usual response followed by a few hours of begging, cheering, and tears.  Luckily, this is not the norm, and without question my greatest memories of his childhood will always lie in some freezing cold skatepark in the middle of nowhere, or on the slopes, trying to play catch up as my 6 year old bombs down the mountain.  

A few years ago, when I was feeling a little defeated, wondering if I was more of a stage mom, than a motivator, a friend of mine whose mother had passed when he was in his teens, texted me to let me know that his greatest memory of his mother was her cheering him on and watching him skate. In that moment, that was the most beautiful thing that someone had ever told me, and it most definitely what   I have tried to focus on while driving though blizzards, sitting in traffic, and basically freezing my ass off, while plying my kid with Cheetos and Gatorade... just to keep him going.  The LM is definitely appreciative of my efforts, more so when I bring a friend of his, but until a few weeks ago I never really knew what our weekends actually meant to him.  Without knowing it, one little journal entry was the greatest gift anyone has ever given me, and since that day when talk of whether or not I should take him somewhere comes up, it is now me who quickly raises my hand and says "me, me, me"

You can click to enlarge, but it says that his dream for the future is to be a pro skater, and over to the right that's me IN the picture.  I can hardly even look at it without tearing up, and I wonder if he actually knows that me standing there in his dream future cheering him on is also MY dream for the future as well, but either way, I'm there and that's all that matters. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Beginnings.

 I'm here with some serious apologies about the lack of posting this past week.  In this case my absence had less to do about a lack of inspiration, and more about life getting in the way.  It all began last Thursday, when my husband finally had surgery for the pain he had been experiencing this past year.  No one was more excited about this day finally coming than me, and although we are still waiting to see if the surgery was a true success, they were able to find that congenitally he was pretty messed up in there (that's a surgical term you know ;)) and what was done to fix it, should do the trick.  Lots of fingers crossed around here.  As if that wasn't a big enough event in our household, the night before the big day (or as these things go, in the middle of the night a few hours before) Gray got taken down with a pretty horrendous stomach bug, followed two days later by the LM, followed the next day by my incapacitated husband and then myself.  I'm not a big complainer, but I have to admit, last weekend was the hardest of my life.  To be that sick, and have to take care of two sick, and then well (read bouncing off the walls) kids, and my husband, all while trying to pull myself off the bathroom floor, well, lets just say many tears were shed, and I could not be happier to have that behind us.

The good news is that by the time Monday rolled around, everyone was back to school, and I was left to tend to my patient.  I have to admit, at first I was a little excited about having my husband home 24/7, but very quickly I learned that I really, really like having my space to myself during the day.  I swear, every afternoon it's the same conversation around here.  I'm all, "I have to write my blog, I have things to do, you have to leave me alone," and he's all, "I'm bored... distraction... distraction... distraction."  Oh well, it's only 10 more days and I'm sure some day we will look back on these times and laugh.  Some day. 

Knowing in advance that I am not the kind of person who can sit still for very long, and knowing how much I hate being tied to the house, I decided that this would be the perfect time to complete a project  that I've been thinking about for a while now.  Yes, we have a guest room! You know what that means don't you?  These two guys are finally roommates!!!!!!!

I really didn't plan for it to happen like it did, but two Saturdays ago we decided to give them a trial run sleep over together. It went so well, we've never looked back.  Even though my worst nightmare of them waking each other up with the stomach bug, the two have done really well at ignoring the other throughout the night!  I'm not going to lie, Gray has had a few early wake ups (which were quickly met with the threat of going back to his own room) but generally the've done great, and absolutely love sharing a room together.  In the mornings they are pretty much the sweetest, and once they are both awake, they cuddle and whisper in the same bed, until their clock tells them they can get up.  The whole thing really is priceless and I'm so glad we finally made the move!

Back to the guest room.  Even though the flu practically killed the whole project, single-handedly I couldn't have been more excited to take this room from this:

to this:

to this:

In just 4 short days!!!

I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have a room for our ever rotating guest list of family members, not to mention how good it felt to purge our entire house of "baby stuff."  We must have gained another 300 square feet of space!  I promise to do a full post on the room as soon as I get a few final touches in.

So, that's where we've been.  My apologies for not checking in sooner, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate those of you who have been checking in with us during this time.  I'm hoping to be back to posting more next week, so long as I can find something to keep my husband occupied (i.e. get him a video game) and then it will be back to business as usual.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend! xoxo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Current Lust Item: Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag.

  I've been on the hunt for a new bag for about 3 years now, and for one reason or another, I have been having the hardest time finding the one that was just right for me.  Initially, I thought I might want a lifetime, blow the bank, happy next 10 birthdays to me kind of bag, but last year after almost pulling the plug, I remembered that I am a mother of two, running from one place to another, and a beautiful bag would would not only get destroyed, but wouldn't be very practical.  So, instead, I've been sticking with canvas bags, and pulling out my trusty old tote, day after day. 

Over the Summer, I started seeing pictures of the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag, and I was intrigued.  From day one I pretty much fell in love with the clean lines, and simplicity of the bag, but I cast it away thinking that it would be far out of the price range that I had envisioned in my mind.  Instead, I went to pinning and pining, and it was only about a week ago that I actually tracked it down, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bag I wanted (mini/ black) was actually under $500.  After mulling it over for a few more days, I finally decided that YES!!!! this is absolutely the bag I want for the next 5 years of my life, and that I can't think of anything else I would want for Christmas, and please please please can it be mine.  That kind of decision.  I had bookmarked a few websites that said they had it in stock, and when I went to purchase it today, I found that it was sold out everywhere.  Just to make sure, my SIL called one of the vendors where she was told, "there are no more left in the world."

The WORLD!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Obviously, I did some digging and its true, this f$%&ing bag is so damn popular that there really isn't one in all of the interwebs.  I'm now kicking myself for not looking sooner, and obviously this is at the bottom of the list as far as bad things go, but I still really wish I could find it.  After signing up for a dozen newsletters, I'm hoping I can grab one when they re-stock in December, but we all know how that game goes.  Until then, I have these images to drool over, and who knows, maybe Santa is real, and maybe he has a line on fine leather goods.  I know I've been a good girl! ;)

She is a thing of beauty, isn't she?

In general I am a huge fan of the bucket bag, and thought I'd do a little crave/ save/ investment. The bottom bag is only $30 and I have to admit I'm loving that it comes in emerald green! 

(My Love)


If anyone sees one out and about, email me.  Seriously.  I promise to send back the most incredible shopping karma in return!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Links.


Happy iPhone 6 day Friday!  Yes, I am one of those people who has been tracking UPS like it's carrying my baby today, but in my defense I have been working with an iPhone 4 (not s) for about a year now, and while I can handle the screen held together with duct tape, the 2 hour battery life has pretty much crippled me.  Finally, I get to see what all the rest of you have been talking about for about a year, and I don't know, actually make a call?!?!  Other than messing with my new toy, we are hanging low this weekend, and spending as much time outside as we can because it's supposed to be gorgeous here! Summer, please never leave!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, here are a few links from around the web that caught my eye. See you next week!

After spending a year with my shorter hair, I've decided to give mid-length a go, with this as my inspiration.  I really feel like this length doesn't always get its full credit.  These 11 celebs show that it might just be the perfect length.  Don't worry, the platinum blonde isn't going anywhere, anytime soon... as in ever!


I pre-ordered my phone a week ago, and it's currently on the truck out for delivery.  Easy peasy.  These people clearly didn't get the memo. 

Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix.  Cue the binge watching!

This at home drunken noodle recipe looks as easy as it is delicious!  I've been craving all things spicy lately and might have to give this a whirl on Sunday.

Looks like spring is going to be just as casual (and comfortable) as Fall.  Sign me up!

A beautiful and moving love story.

The only thing I actually care about from NYFW.  Love #20!!!

Self control... Wait, what's that? ;) Here is how to master it. (taking notes)

Stylish sweatpants.  Yes, you had me at sweatpants.

Still holding on to Summer, and dreaming of these 7 s'mores recipes.  How is it that I never thought of throwing a Reese's peanut butter cup in in the middle.  Gah, genius!!!

Nailed it!  I know who I'd appoint as NFL commissioner.

50 things you probably didn't know about Sex and the City.

I'm loving these wreaths for a simple table setting for the holidays.  Boxwood for the win, and yes, it's way to early to talk holidays!  My lips are now sealed until November!

Finally,  I am always a little blown away by the comments that some people will leave on blogs, specifically design ones. Sure, we all think these things sometimes, but to actually take the time to write it knowing someone on the other end is a) human, and b) reading,  is something I cannot comprehend.  That being said, I think there are a lot of the big time bloggers who refuse to allow any criticism, even of the constructive nature.  You see it over and over again where someone will question a choice, and not only are they attacked by the blogger, but also their spouse, parents, dog, and legion of readers.  This article sums this up nicely.  Clearly, it seems like moderating the forum is key.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

73 Questions with Anna Wintour.

 I'm a little crazed today, but I had to pop in to post the newest installment of my favorite series 73 questions.  This time it's with the queen herself, Anna Wintour.  I have to say, she seems a little uncomfortable during her questioning, kind of the opposite of SJP, but still, it's Anna, and it's yet another look inside Vogue, so there's that.  I really hope they continue this series forever.  I think Hillary Clinton would be the dream get!

Oh, and journey ;)

Back tomorrow with some weekend links! xo

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I mentioned last week that we spent the Summer traveling from coast to coast to coast to coast.  Here is a little of what I like to call the "highlight real" from our adventures. As you can see, we had a great time, but just like they always say, "there is no place like home!"

So long Summer 2014... 'twas a good one!


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