10 Easy Steps to Create a Silhouette

I've had a thrift store frame just screaming for a pretty silhouette of my favorite munchkin for a couple of years now. For whatever reason I kept putting off the project, but this past weekend I was in the crafting zone and decided to go for it. It turned out to be super quick and easy. Here's what I did in ten easy steps:

Step 1: Take a photo of your subject's profile (If you are photographing a toddler it's best to do this candidly if possible - I took my photo while she was in the bathtub :))

Step 2: Open the photo on your computer and go to the print screen. Resize the photo's scale. I tried a few different sizes, but 30% worked best for the frame that I was using. 

Step 3: Print your photo and make sure it fits properly in the frame you have chosen:

Step 4: Place a piece of tracing paper over your photo and trace around the outside edge of the subject:

Step 5: On a piece of watercolor paper, trace the back insert of your frame:

Step 6: Flip your tracing paper over and center it on the shape you just traced. Trace over the your drawing to transfer the pencil lines onto the watercolor paper.

Step 7: Lighten your pencil lines with an eraser. You should be able to faintly see the lines, but you don't want them to be visible after you paint.

Step 8: Fill in your drawing using the medium and color of your choice. I chose watercolor paint (Grumbacher Indian Yellow). Use wide, even strokes for an even finish, but if you can see some of your brush strokes it's okay - it just gives it a painterly look.

Step 9: Cut out your shape

Step 10: Frame and hang!

From start to finish this entire project took me less than half an hour. I've been wanting to do this for ages and now I can't believe I didn't do it sooner - it was so quick and easy. Happy painting!

xo, Lauren

Getting Crafty


Sorry I've been a bit MIA, but Violet's birthday party has kind of snuck up on me and I've been pulling some late nighters in my party sweatshop (because I'm too cheap to just buy this stuff). Hope you have a lovely weekend! xo, Lauren

I want to work here


Kind of completely obsessed with the studio of Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion featured over on Glitter Guide. The colors! The little gnome man! True love.

xo, Lauren

Mini Meals: play with your food

I love these plates from Boguslaw Sliwinski (via de zeen magazine). Too bad I can't figure out how to purchase them! What a great way to make eating fun for your kid!

xo, Lauren

Around here


1. The weather lately has been hit or miss. Typical spring - it's either eighty degrees and sunny or forty degrees and raining. On the sunny days we almost always go to the "PAHK!". It's a short stroll down the street, and Violet and I quite literally stroll...with our "duhlduhs". She pushes hers and I push mine - that's how we roll. We almost always get a smile from passersby. I've got the system down to an art. If she gets tired of strolling and decides to ride instead I fold up her mini and stow it down below. She is really into slides (the twisty is her fav) and mulch - the latter apparently especially when she's wearing her white dress :)

2. Her second birthday and party are rapidly approaching and the supplies have been arriving daily on our doorstep. These beauties are all from Shop Sweet Lulu. Love that place.

3. So long orange, hello Cole & Son Cow Parsley in yellow! I am seriously so thrilled with this wallpaper. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am when I walk downstairs each morning to this magnificence. This room gets great light in the morning, but the rest of the day can be a bit on the dark side. Now it feels sunny all of the time (and bigger too!)

4. When we aren't at the park, we're often strolling around the neighborhood. I love all of the mature trees that we have. That's the benefit of living in an older home. In the spring it's a riot of color. Pure magic.

5. My mama found this little ditty on the curb. For the garbage men people. Can you even imagine? I mean this is thick solid wood. It's amazing, and it's going to be Violet's new play kitchen. So if you see me pinning felt food and wooden toasters to my hearts content now you'll know why...

6. I can't tell you the number of times I've looked down and realized that Violet and I match, or, at the very least, coordinate. I swear I don't consciously try to do this. Does this happen to anyone else?

7. Violet's big girl room is now home to several of her works of art. I have a collection that is continuously growing - the girl loves to paint. I can't bring myself to throw it out, so I'm just amassing a pile that soon will surely take over my dining room. I think I may have to photograph it all and create a photobook or poster out of it or something. My mom had a file cabinet where she kept all of our art from the time we were very young. She gave it all to me when I moved out and I just loved looking through all of it. Then I threw most of it away. Unfortunately tiny Tudors like ours just aren't made for saps like me.

8. Love me some leg hugs. This girl knows how to give 'em, let me tell you.

9. We've been digging in the dirt a lot lately. Finding 'bees' (bugs), rocks, and, well, more dirt. The Hubster is working on creating a vegetable garden and in the meantime Violet has decided it's her own personal sand dirt box. She also likes to take off her shoes and sift it between her toes. (But heaven forbid there is a speck of dirt in her bath tub. Ah toddler logic...)

10. I just love when she falls asleep in my arms. Most of the time I put her down awake, but every now and then just as I'm finishing her story she'll turn in and nuzzle her head into my chest. I sing her a lullaby and she just drifts off to sleep so peacefully. There's nothing like the look of pure, blissful, innocent toddler sleep. Not a care or a worry in the world. Just deep rhythmic breathing and that sweet angelic face. It's moments like these I want to hold onto forever and ever.

xo, Lauren

P.S. If you want to follow on Instagram my username is @withtwocats

Violet's Big Girl Room: Wish List


All of the major elements are finished in Violet's big girl room - hurray! There are still a few things on my wish list:

This little gnome is really a bottle opener, but he's stolen my heart and I'd like to ask him to move in.

I've had my eye on these pretty brass urchins for a while now and think they would look so pretty with Violet's stars.

Lori Marie makes the prettiest dolls. This one has already been purchased, but it's probably for the best - she's a bit out of my price range. Maybe someday...sigh.

This display box is too pricey for my taste as well, but luckily a friend of mine said he'd be happy to make one for me - hurray for handy friends! (I'm sure the Hubster could make one but he already has enough projects on his plate)

I think this may be the most adorable tape holder I've ever seen. Maybe for Violet's little roll-top desk? (Or for my own lol!)

We already have two of Umbra's Horizon Crunch Cans, but you can never have too much pretty storage, right?

We also need to hang the curtains, purchase a toddler bedrail, buy the shades (waiting for the new black out shades to come in at Lowes), hang some art, and a few other odds and ends. I feel like I'm in the home stretch though!

xo, Lauren

Mini Meals: First Pancakes!


We have generally been giving Violet eggs, toast, or cereal for breakfast as the instructions on the pancake mix tell you to add milk. Well, light bulb moment people! We were having dinner the other night with another couple whose son is allergic to dairy and they suggested substituting water for the milk. (Why didn't I think of that?) The Hubster was a little skeptical, but guess what - they still taste like pancakes! We also found a 'buttery spread' that Violet can eat. And it isn't half bad either. Earth Balance buttery spread is free of dairy and contains soy oil (which Violet can have), but not the soy protein (which she can't have), so Violet can now have 'butter'! I was sooo thrilled when I found this. It opens up a lot of new doors for us with meals. Maybe I can even use it to make icing for Violet's birthday cake? What did your little ones eat this week?

Violet Turns Two: Birthday Ideas


We've been talking to Violet about her birthday lately and most of the time she'll tell you that she's going to be 'two' but every now and then when we ask her she says 'fwee'. So cute :) Less than a month to go and I feel so unprepared! I tend to be a bit of a last-minute person anyway (totally hate that I'm like that but it's true). Here are a few ideas I've found lately:

One - Love these festive cups from Anthropologie. I think I could get a similar look with washi tape cut into triangles and clear plastic cups

Two - These wooden spoons and forks are so pretty! I'd buy them to save myself from the DIY but I refuse to pay the same amount for shipping as I do for the item itself.

Three - I love, love, love this ruffled cake topper. Simple, pretty, and super festive. Another possible DIY project?

Four - Love these icing colors and the best part is that she made them with normal store-bought food coloring!

I have a (hopefully not crazy) goal to make all of the food Violet-friendly. The cake, the main course, even the (non-adult) drinks - everything. So if you have any good dairy and soy free cake and/or icing recipes, send them my way! I'm hoping for a messy cake face this year :)

xo, Lauren

Steppin' Out Saturday


We had a dinner party so I got a little fancy. I'm loving the braid + gibson tuck for my hair. Looks like I tried but it only takes a few minutes! Linking up with Mandy over on the Hapsxo, Lauren 

Around Here

Don't feel like writing much today. It's been a bit of a tiring weekend - Violet's been waking up in the middle of the night the past couple of nights screaming her head off - not sure if it's the two year molars? Anyway, I'm feeling  physically and emotionally drained at the moment. Trying to keep in mind the good things:

  • Blue skies and beautiful warm weather
  • 'Buttery spread' that my kid can eat (AND more importantly that she likes!)
  • Violet's first time eating pancakes (we just substituted the water for milk. Didn't taste a difference)
  • Pretty spring blooms
  • Messy (but still good) hair day
  • Playing at the park in bare feet
  • Violet is learning her colors, ABC's, numbers, and recognizing shapes lately! She knows so many new things every day - she amazes me.
  • Wild weeds flowers on our walk
  • Pretty soon I'll have easy access to fresh veggies - yum!
  • Chocolate peanut butter eggs 
  • Playing in the backyard with my sweetheart

Hope you had a more restful weekend than me! xo, Lauren

P.S. Follow along on Instagram @withtwocats

Friday Favorites


Love this gorgeous party set up featured on Amy Atlas' blog. I'm going for a similar color scheme for Violet's birthday party.

Fifteen minute flower garland!

Everything about this wedding is so pretty.

I'm guilty of this (but she is so right - it's silly)

Love it when I see a glimpse of real life.

Some places never lose their magic.

Happy Friday! xo, Lauren

Mini Meals

Sorry I'm a day late here - the holiday completely threw me off! Easter breakfast was fun this year - painted eggs, flower toast, and butterfly grapes. I just used a cookie cutter in the shape of a flower for the toast (and isn't this puzzle sandwich cutter just adorable? I might just have to buy one). And Violet's Grammy made the butterflies for her - she's a very loved little girl :)

Link up below!

xo, Lauren

Supermom: Sarah Schlothan Christensen

This week's Supermom is Sarah Schlothan Christensen of Becoming Sarah. Sarah's blog Becoming Sarah is on my daily must-read list. Her posts have inspired me, humbled me, made me laugh, cry, and helped to carry me through some of my most difficult moments as a mother. I cannot say enough about her thoughtful honest writing, not to mention the fact that her daughter Charlotte is just an absolutely beautiful, joyful, and downright hilarious child. Sarah just recently announced that she is pregnant and I am thrilled to follow along on her family's new adventure. Read on to learn more about Sarah and her thoughts on motherhood...

I’ve been blogging off and on for ten years.  My first blog was actually a joint blog with a few high school buddies.  It was a private space where we would leave coded messages for each other to figure out.

Once a complete and incurable dork, always a complete and incurable dork.

At any rate, I stumbled across parent blogs shortly before I met my husband.  At the time I was a single, young college student a million years away from having children, but something really drew me in.  I loved reading about parents’ successes and failures, about the ways their children inspired and frustrated them.  It was like an online love letter to their kids and I knew immediately that when I had children of my own I wanted to do the same thing.  I loved the idea of sharing my parenthood with other parents – learning from them, being challenged by them, and building a community – and I loved the idea of my future children growing up with so many people pitching in.  I knew that a community of like-minded parents would help me stick to my guns in the face of adversity and would help me get back on track when I fell off a wagon and would help me think about things in new light.  I strongly believed that the more people there were involved in the rearing of a child (with at least one or two very consistent nurturing figures, of course), the better.

So that’s how I fell into parent blogging.  As soon as I knew that my daughter was healthy in my womb, I opened BecomingSarah.com and started writing about her and about us.

This is a tough question because what I love most changes day to day.  Recently I have really loved listening to the stories my daughter narrates to me.  Our family is very big on oral storytelling and Charlotte loves to create stories of her own throughout the day.  I adore listening to all of them.

I have a really hard time dealing with criticism of my parenting.  I put so much thought into each decision and when someone tells me that they think I’m doing something wrong, I have a very hard time standing up for myself.  It doesn’t matter if the decision is rooted in science or in family tradition or in simply following my instincts – nobody can make me doubt myself like another parent can.

And probably some diapers too.

This isn’t a great question to ask me.  Our parenthood has been largely determined by a miniscule budget.  A $10 used Moby wrap (my favorite for young babies) was cheaper than a stroller.  I later won a stroller in a blog giveaway, but we almost never used it because baby carriers were simply easier.  Strollers are a bit of a pain in the ass, you know?  They’re heavy, bulky, you can’t exactly cut through crowds, and stairs are a nightmare.  And I powered through breastfeeding problems in the early days because, quite frankly, we couldn’t afford to continue supplementing with formula.  We cloth diapered (FuzziBunz) because we couldn’t afford disposables, and all of our daughter’s clothing were hand-downs.

Having made it through babyhood with less than half the crap that baby books told us we needed, I’m generally of the opinion that you need almost nothing.  Some diapers, a place for the kid to sleep, a way to get the child from Point A to Point B, a handful of onesies, a blanket, and either boobs or bottles.  That should carry you through six to eight months.

More love.
More patience.
More confidence.

And probably a book about nutrition or discipline wouldn’t hurt because that’s basically all you’re going to think about during the toddler years.

Some good friends, preferably people who make you laugh.

Solid nutrition, because the better you eat the better you feel, and the better you feel the better a parent you are.

And a day off now and then.  Because parenthood isn’t meant to be a one-person show.

I rely on a lot of people!  My parents live four houses away and they see Charlotte two to five times a week.  Because we parent very similarly to the way they parented me (although my dad says we’re a little farther down the “hippie” scale than they were!), I never have to worry about what activities they engage in or what they feed my daughter.  The transition from one house to another is seamless for Charlotte.  They even discipline her in the same way that we do.

Outside of my parents, we also rely on neighbors, siblings, and good friends to help us out.  If we ever need help with something or we feel overwhelmed, we know that we have people we can count on.  I cannot stress enough how important I feel that a supportive community is in our world.

Trust yourself.  Nobody knows your child better than you, so trust what your gut says.  It’s never a bad idea to listen to other people because sometimes you might learn something or two years later that advice you discarded originally might be perfect – but if what they say doesn’t jive with you then don’t feel bad about ignoring it.  They don’t love your child the way you do and they aren’t familiar with your family the way you are.  So just go with your gut.

Unless your gut is telling you to stuff your kid in a freezer or something.  That’s straight up bad parenting right there.

My mom.  She’s the original =)

Thank you so much to Sarah for your advice and thoughts on motherhood. I can completely relate to dealing with criticism. Before having Violet I pictured myself as a mother confident in my decisions but in reality I question myself and my decisions multiple times a day. That's difficult enough without throwing others' opinions into the mix!

Definitely visit Sarah's blog, Becoming Sarah if you are a parent or parent-to-be. Her blog is truly a must-read. And yes - she really is a super hero.

xo, Lauren

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