Wall Fun

A friend of mine recently sent me a new site with some decals I haven't seen before. Here are a few of my favorites:

And being a teacher these really stood out to me:

This would be great for an elementary art teacher (or for some kids even a middle school art teacher like me lol):

I like this one a lot for a classroom with the exception of the homeschooling and pets part:

And I love this idea for a classroom, especially if you could change the words to art vocab, math vocab, etc:

They also do custom wall decals. Thanks for the site, Joe!

Christmas Picks - Part II

Part two of my Christmas gift picks:

For the Fashionista: Jewelry from Stella Dot

Feminine, high quality jewelry that has been featured in Lucky, Elle, the New York Times, and many more publications, this gift is sure to please any fashionable female on your list.

For the Family Cook: Frisper Freshkeeper ($59.99)
I don't know about you, but I have issues with freezer burn and leftovers going bad. I would love to have one of these palm-sized gems to seal my food in and keep the air out! Buy this little powerhouse for the cook in the family or homemaker on your list.

For the Decor Lover: Monogrammed Pillow ($25)

Create a custom pillow by choosing the fabric, color, and letter for the decor lover in your life. Handmade by Etsy seller Letter Perfect Designs.

Grillmaster Gift: Original Juan Sultan Caddy ($15.99) or Gift Basket ($30)

Delicious hot and bbq sauces that will make your mouth happy. Or maybe scream. It all depends on the heat!

Getaway Gift: BedandBreakfast.com Gift CardWelcome at over 4,000 bed and breakfasts around the country, and recommended by The New York Times, Real Simple, Forbes, Travel & Leisure, USA TODAY and many others. Get this gift for the lovebirds or family on your list who need to get away from it all.

For the Food Lover: Omaha Steaks Fantastic Feast Gift Assortment ($69.99)

The Fantastic Feast
features a host of favorites including top sirloins, pork chops, stuffed sole, gourmet franks, boneless chicken breasts and stuffed baked potatoes that will keep stomachs full and happy well after Christmas is over. Hint: Don't buy this gift for your vegetarian friends!

For the Thrillseeker/For the Person Who Has It All: The Gift of Experience (priceless)

Not sure what to get for the thrill seeker on your list? Or for the person who already has everything? How about the gift of experience? The possiblities are endless - the experience of a hot air balloon ride, flying lessons, stock car driving, sky diving, scuba diving, etc. This gift is a little costlier, but is sure to be remembered for years to come.

So there you have it folks - my pics for the best Christmas gifts for everyone on your list. Do you have any other suggestions for great gift ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Christmas Picks - Part I

Not sure what to get your friend/family/loved ones for Christmas? Here are some of my pics for this holiday season:

Green Gift: Reusable Shopping Bags ($8.50 each)
I discovered these Envirosax on Young House Love and fell in love with them. They come in a huge variety of different colors and designs, great for Mother Earth, and are fun and stylish as well as useful and practical.

Tech Gift: Apple Magic Mouse ($69)
The Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth, so no wires to deal with! It also comes with its own software, so it can be customized to your needs, and allows you to click, swipe, and scroll anywhere on top of it's smooth white surface. Yes please!

Baby/Toddler Gift: Plushies ($16-$25 each)

Adorable handmade friends that any child will cherish for years to come.

Young Artist Gift: Pocket Paint Set ($15)

It comes complete with paints, a mixing palette, pencil, paintbrush, water cup, bottle, and paper. On top of all of that, 100% of the profits benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Now that's what I call giving!

Gamer Gift: Super Mario Brothers for Nintendo Wii (from $46.99)

Brings back a favorite classic in a new way, with up to four players at a time! I'm sure these will go fast, so get them early.

Intellectual Gift: The Intellectual Devotional (from $17.28)

For the cultured person on your list, The Intellectual Devotional is a daily read of 365 short lessons that will keep the mind sharp with topics from history, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, religion, fine arts, and music.

More to come tomorrow, stay tuned!

P.S. If you have a great gift idea for someone on your list this year, we'd love to hear about it!

Living/Dining Room Fun

Just for fun, I designed an idea board for my living/dining room around this too-expensive-even-on-sale chair from Wisteria:

Anyone want to buy four of them for me?

New Table - Which Chairs?

So the hubster and I finally bought a new dining room table to replace our free hand-me-down that we've had for a few years now. We are actually going to be moving the dining room into the living room to make space for another sitting room in the house that will eventually probably double as a play room.

Here's kind of a mock-up I made on FloorPlanner.com (sorry it's a little messed up - my first attempt)

The former dining room is that white room on the far right (sorry the floor got a little patchy there for some reason). The new dining table will go in the living room area on the left. The table will be in front of the fireplace, to the left of the sofa area.

So here's the new table:

We were going to buy it at Wolf Furniture, but due to some issues on their part, we bought it at diningtables.com instead. We only bought the table, however, and not the chairs. I know we want two upholstered chairs in this fabric:

It's Marimekko Kukkula White/Grey. A little pricey, but that's why we'll only do it on two chairs. The other four chairs are up in the air. Here are the options:

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

Option 4:

Option 5:

Option 6:

So which would you choose? Or is there something else that you think would be better? I'm pretty up in the air at this point.

Fickle Paint

So I'm definitely fickle about paint colors too. I love the yellow on the walls of my living room, but sometimes I think it would look great a grey or taupe color like this:

Or this:

Or this:

I wish there was a remote control that I could use to change my wall colors at my whim, because I have a lot of whims...does that make me whimsical? Anyway, I think we might actually do this. It will give us sooo many more decorating options!

Right now we're leaning towards Behr Silver Drop. Has anyone used this? Any recommendations for another color/brand?

Maybe Thanksgiving break would be a great time to start...stay tuned for updates, and have a great weekend!

Living a Truly Fulfilling Life

Time to get a little more personal. Lately I have been doing a lot of soul-searching - mainly about being a working mom or a stay-at-home working mom. One thing I know for sure is that I love my job - working with kids, art, great boss, great benefits, decent pay, summers (kind of) off - what's not to love?

But now that Baby H is on the way, I'm trying to reassess my priorities. I'm not sure how I feel about someone else being with my child for 8 hours every day. I know plenty of happy, healthy kids go to daycare, have nannies, etc., and that may be right for my children and me too, but I've really been giving it some serious thought.

While we're here I think we should live a life each day that is truly fulfilling.

Not only am I thinking about this for my child, but for myself as well. We each get one life to live, and it isn't a very long one. While we're here I think we should live a life each day that is truly fulfilling. Is that possible for every person? Maybe not, I'm not sure. But it's something I'd like to aspire to. One blog that has been really inspiring me lately is Colour me Happy written by Maria Killam.

Maria has transformed her life from a career in sales (which she hated) to becoming a designer. A very popular designer. A very popular designer who actually makes money at what she does and is very happy. To read more about Maria's journey, go here.

Now do I think I'm going to become a designer? Not by a long shot. I can confirm this through Maria's post on, 5 Ways to Know if You Should Quit Your Day Job and Become a Designer. Yeah, I definitely don't meet the criteria! Nor do I know that being a designer is what I want for my life, although I'm sure it would be fun.

Image found here

I know it's not for everyone, but I think it would be great to have a career more like Adam's from Diapers to Desktops. I know Adam and his wife Angie from back in the day in high school, and I really admire what they are doing. While Angie teaches, Adam stays home with their two boys, Charlie and Roman, and also watches the child of a friend to earn some extra income. It was very important for both Adam and Angie to spend more time with their children, and they have made a lot of sacrifices along the way.

You may ask, what's so special about this? Well Adam has started a project called Diapers to Desktops through which he hopes to help other families

1. spend more time with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

2. generate a source of income while doing so, and

3. help other families find safe and easily accessible child care

It's really an amazing project that can help people like me who would like at the very least to consider the option of staying home with their children, but can't afford to do so without an extra source of income. I think it could be the best of both worlds as I would get to stay home with my own children and continue to be fulfilled by teaching the children of others.

I can totally see the back room of my little house having a cute little set up like this, with baby H and two or three other little goobers filling up the chairs.

*BUT* (there's always a but) It's a big risk to leave my stable, decent-paying job that I love, especially in this economy. And I'm not a risk-taker by any stretch of the imagination. So like I said, I have a lot of soul-searching to do - wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Copper Christmas

Is anyone else looking forward to Christmas? I usually try not to think about it until AFTER Thanksgiving, but I just can't help myself this year and I'm already doing a lot of online Christmas shopping. So my apologies for the early Christmas post!

Last year the hubster and I started collecting copper, bronze, and gold Christmas ornaments for our tree. Here are a few of my favorites from last year, along with a few new ones for this year:

Pinecones - Christmas Central
Wire Butterflies - Lifelike Artificial Trees
Coils - Crate & Barrel
Pomegranate - Uncommon Goods
Sequined Ball - Crafta
Lilies – Smith & Hawken (no longer available)
Glitter Curl Ball - Crate & Barrel
Solid Butterflies - Pottery Barn
Copper Christmas Balls - Balsam Hill

Too bad Smith & Hawken (one of my fav places to get Christmas ornaments) is going out of business!?! I guess that'll just stop me from spending any unnecessary money on Christmas though :)

What's your favorite place to purchase ornaments?

Wall Dolls

These adhesive fabric wall stickers from Etsy seller lovemaestore are so fun! Like paper dolls for your wall. I wonder if this Etsy seller will come out with new outfits and accessories periodically in case the girls get tired of their wardrobe after a while?





I do kind of wish the girls didn't look so depressed about playing dress up though...

Wonderful Wallpaper

Wallpaper kind of scares me in general with its seeming permanence. I know it can be removed, but do I really want to have to do that someday? Or subject the next owner of my home to extensive wallpaper scouring, soaking, and scraping? But this amazing design would be so worth it:
You could paint directly on it, or affix your artwork, your child's artwork, etc. to the frames. The possibilities are endless! Now where in my little house do I have a wall big enough for wallpapering? Maybe the dining room? Wonder if the hubster would allow wallpaper on our walls? This is one of those days that I wish I had a room all to myself...

A Fresh & Clean Kitchen

There's so much I love about this kitchen:

The warm floors, the clean white cabinets with frosty glass fronts, the glass subway tile and open shelving. Everything is so fresh and clean. Someday when we get around to our kitchen redo, I'll be referring back to this photo for sure. Have a great weekend everyone!

Featured Artist - Etsy Seller TUSH TUSH

I stumbled across this talented art student's Etsy shop the other day and fell in love with the expressive little paintings she creates. Here are a few of my favorites:

And they're so inexpensive I would even buy multiple paintings and create a collection. I think three or four would make a fantastic little vignette.

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