Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Extraordinary Kid

What makes your kid extraordinary isn't just the epic stuff. It’s the little things. The small moments that maybe only you see — and quietly celebrate every day.  Our best moments together are spent exploring.  He takes off down a trail with enthusiasm for what we'll find around the next bend...maybe a wild mushroom or even a waterfall. 
It's the little things like waking up extra early on a day off to go hike/trail run a trail with me before anyone else and being the only two people at the waterfall.  Then turning around, hiking back down and going over to the next trail for another hour+ of hiking & chatting.  It's the little things like how he'll lightly grab my hand and walk right next to me and isn't shy about holding his mom's hand on a hike.

Our time on the trails and the tennis court or golf course or on bikes or paddle boards isn't just about being active, it's about being close and developing our mother/son relationship.  By far, my favorite moment was when he went ahead on a trail and when I caught up, he had a heart shaped rock and sticks laid out for me to read:
I no longer have to ask him to keep up.  I'm the one keeping up.  
He's had his share of total wipe outs, close calls and perfect landings because he isn't afraid to push the limits.  Nothing keeps him down and it takes more than an encouraging mother to back him up, it also takes exceptional health care...just in case something goes awry.
Whether your visit is routine or rare, Stanford Children’s Health is committed to providing extraordinary care for healthier happy lives.  Check out the video I made for my kiddo.  This is just one of my two extraordinary kids.
Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stair Landing Restyle

My stair landing had become a bit of an eyesore. A displaced bookcase made the space feel dark and heavy no matter how I tried to brighten/lighten the accents. Then I found a bookcase much more suited for the space and much better suited to my evolving style.

The old bookcase had served as a media console for a few years until I replaced it with a high-end media console early this Spring. When Sauder asked me to select a piece of furniture, my selection was easy. I knew as soon as I clicked to "view all collections" and saw the Barrister Lane Collection, I'd find something I'd love. My eyes went straight to the Barrister Lane bookcase in the Salt Oak finish. I really like how you can shop by space, product or collection. The ordering process was a snap and in only a few days, the bookcase had arrived at my front door. The communication from Customer Service was immediate and they kept me informed when the order was received and when it shipped (the following day!).

The bookcase came very well packaged with super sturdy corner protectors. I was very were the kids, who used the sturdy corners as swords for a dual in the backyard while I got to work with the assembly.

All of the pieces were easy to identify and everything was in perfect condition.

The boards were clearly marked with letters and the instructions were easy to follow.

After placing the hardware, the pieces assembled pretty quickly and only involved tightening the cams.

I started around 8pm and finished just after 9pm...all by myself. After attaching the back piece, and standing the bookcase up, I was surprised how tall it is and how nice it looks. It doesn't look like a furniture piece you have to assemble. It is very sturdy.

I found the perfect spot to relocate the heavy bookcase. It slid right into place in my closet to hold my shoes! (Yes, I really do sort my hanging clothes by color).

Check out the befores and afters:

The 3 birds painting is very special to me as my first original art purchase, but I decided it was still heavy and dark, so I finally found a use for the 3 wood carved panels I bought well over a year ago and had yet to hang them anywhere. I hadn't even thought of hanging them in the stairway, but it is perfect for how tall the ceiling rises and looking down from the top of the stairs.

The Salt Oak finish is the exact same color of the laminate hardwood that I was looking at for my living and dining room. I'm used to the dark espresso or black finishes on most of my furniture and it seems to be a dust magnet. The Salt Oak finish hardly shows dust.

Find your style on
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tie Dye your Summer!

This is a compensated post as part of a campaign with Blueprint Social and Tulip. All opinions are my own.
Are you ready to Tie Dye your Summer??  Need a fun project to occupy the kids?  Check out this box of Tulip One-Step Tie Dye products I received in the mail last week.  I've always heard that tie dying is so easy, but it seemed like more work than I wanted to tackle.  I was wrong!  Tie dying is a piece of cake and Tulip makes it even easier by providing all of the supplies you need in their One-Step Tie Dye Kits- the dye bottles all ready pre-filled with powdered dye, complete instructions with colorful photos and project/design details, rubber-bands, several pairs of plastic gloves and a large plastic sheet.
 Although it wasn't included in the steps, I pre-treated the shirts by soaking them in washing soda to hold the color.  Soak the shirts in the washing soda for 5-15minutes.  Wring out excess water.
 While the shirts soaked, I got all of the supplies ready.
 Fill the bottle to the line with warm water.
 It's smart to put the gloves on first.  I learned this after I already had a little red dye on my fingers.  Shake the bottle to dissolve the dye powder.
How to make a Spiral Rainbow tie dye design:  Spiral the t-shirt fabric by placing fork prongs on the shirt where you want the spiral to start and twisting the fork to pull the fabric into a spiral.  Secure with rubber bands (so it looks like 6 pieces of pie).  Add your red dye over one slice of the pie and repeat with each color- saving yellow for last.  Flip the shirt over and add each color dye on the backside.  Place the dyed t-shirt in a plastic bag and leave for 6-8 hours.  Rinse in cold water until the water runs clear.  Wash in hot water (separate from other clothes the first few washings).
How to make a USA Flag tie dye t-shirt:  Gather the fabric for the blue part of the flag and secure with a rubber-band (about middle of shoulder and just under the sleeve).  Wad up the sleeve and rubber-band.  Vertically accordion fold the remaining t-shirt fabric and rubber-band approximately every 2".  Add your blue dye to the shirt and then add the red dye every other section for the stripes.
 I didn't want the stripes to touch while it set for 6-8 hours, so I used plastic wrap to cover the shirt.  After 6-8 hours, remove plastic wrap, rinse in cold water until water runs clear, wash in hot water.
How to tie dye Colorado Flag t-shirt:  this is my favorite and one I contemplated for the entire day.  I wasn't sure how I was going to keep the white section white, but have the blue around the red C.  I think I came pretty close for completely winging it.  Location the part of the t-shirt where you want the yellow dot and gather a small circle of t-shirt to rubber-band.  Gather another circle below for the red C.  Scrunch the top of the shirt and bottom of the shirt and randomly rubber-band sections.  Leave the middle to have the band of white behind the C.  Add the yellow dye.  Add the red dye (if you look at the gathered circle like a clock going clockwise, add dye starting at 4o'clock and stop at 2 o'clock).  There was only a little bit of spreading.  Add light blue and dark blue dye to the top and bottom sections.  Cover in plastic for 6-8 hrs.  Rinse in cold until water runs clear.  Wash in hot (separate).
I was so excited when I uncovered and removed the rubber-bands and began to rinse!  Everyone who has seen this CO flag shirt wants one just like it.
How to horizontal tie dye shirt:  Accordion (vertically) fold the t-shirt and secure with rubber-bands every 2".  Rotate dye colors.  Flip and add dye to other side as well.  Place in plastic bag for 6-8hrs.  Rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. Wash in hot (separate from other fabrics).  I washed the rainbow spiral shirts and this striped shirt in one load and the two flag shirts in another load.
His two favorite team colors tie dyed together:  Colorado Rockies and Green Bay.
Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye is America's Favorite Tie Dye! It is easy to use. The colors are bright and bold. You don't have to worry about fading- the dyes are permanent and color-fast. The kids had a blast creating different designs and we're now getting started on refashioning the shirts to use as swim suit cover ups for the pool this summer. I can't get home fast enough from work to do 5 more shirts with the kids this evening.

Check out more project ideas at ilovetocreate. Follow ilovetocreate on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.
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