Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pseudo Bed Rest

The irony of it all is just too much. After I wrote about keeping fit this pregnancy, I started having contractions, which set off "alarm bells" for my doctor, since I've done this three times before with no problems at all. So now I'm a step above bed rest, under-active, pseudo bed rest, staying at home, whatever you want to call it.

Just in case that sounds like fun, let me be clear that with three kids, all of the mommying, organizing, and thinking parts of parenting/cooking/household running are still there, except now I make grocery lists for other people.

Today my to do list involves:

making a grocery list for the week and putting out money
ordering new shoes for the 2 and 4 year old (online of course)
Putting photos into albums so I'm all caught up
Framing the birth announcement of our 2 year old (very late...)
Trying to figure out if a mani-pedi is too much activity
Drinking 100 ounces of water

Any good book/movie/internet ideas? I'm looking for fun things to keep me occupied while the little one bakes for at least 4 more weeks!


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Using Amazon Smile to give back while shopping

Apparently in 2013 I had 164 orders from Amazon.

Yup, I'll just give you a minute to let that astronomical number sink in.

Still in shock? Me too.

As I've mentioned before, using Amazon Prime saves me at least 10 hours a week and hundreds of dollars. The time part is easy, but the money part is mostly due to the fact that I don't have any impulse purchases (ahem, Target I'm talking to you).

So when a friend told me that Amazon rolled our Amazon Smile, and will give a small percentage to the charity of *your choice* I was all about it. I signed up to support my daughter's school, and now each time I buy diapers, toilet paper, crocs, books, a TV for a vacation house I'll be making money for a worthy cause.

Just go to and sign up for the charity you want to support. All your wish lists and orders and account settings are the same, and you can still get prime shipping and everything, but it's super awesome.

btw- I'm hoping to stay under 100 purchases for 2014. Last year was just extra crazy with the vacation house to furnish and fill, so I'm blaming at least 50 purchases on that:)

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Hide Lamp and Walnut Dresser- Modern Vacation House

So we've made a few additions.

Hide bedside lamps, leather bed, and west elm bedding

I can't even explain how happy I am to finally have bedside lamps, it took us almost a year in our regular house to find lamps that we agreed on, so when I spotted these lamps (giant scale, made of cow hide, neutral colored) at Crate and Barrel online I jumped at the chance to buy them. Of course, it wasn't that easy. They were discontinued so I searched outlets for them until I found a store with 2 lamps, paid for them over the phone, then begged my sister to go pick them up within the 7 day window.

Hide bedside lamps, leather bed, and west elm bedding

But, so pretty, and at 50% off, I was super happy about the deal we got.

Room and Board walnut dresser, colorful jewelery box and red bird

The other addition is a Whitney walnut dresser from Room and Board. Even though our walk in closet is all kitted-out with Ikea pax closet systems, come this summer and the arrival of baby #4, there will be a crib in the closet, so we needed a spot for a few grab-and-go clothes as well as a spot for baby clothes and to change the baby.

Room and Board walnut dresser, colorful jewelery box and red bird

All-in I was still about $3,000 under for my whole-house furniture budget which is why we decided to buy a good quality dresser in here. The accessories are all West Elm and I love them for things like that, but the quality of their dressers leaves something to be desired. I need drawers taht glide easily, pull out all the way, and won't break a year later.

Room and Board walnut dresser used as a changing table

I think with the addition of a rocking chair in the corner, some art, and a modern changing pad, I hopefully won't mind the baby corner of our bedroom, and it will still feel modern.

See our initial master bedroom progress here which includes a source list.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bunkroom Reveal- Modern Vacation House

Our four year old is our super snuggly one, so he jumped at the chance to have the bunk room be "his" room. The lower bunks feel like forts to him, and he happily invites his older sister in to share when guests arrive and displace her from her pink and aqua bedroom.

Bunk room with built in bunks, and a navy and orange color scheme.

The first thing I found was the Moda bunk bed from Room and Board, so we designed the room around them, creating niches that perfectly fit these bunk beds.

Bunk room with built in bunks, and a navy and orange color scheme.

They are the perfect mountain-yet-modern bunk beds, super sturdy and strong, and can stand up to kids climbing on them and even adults sleeping in them! As much as I adore Ikea (entire Ikea kitchen and built in closets), their beds are just not high quality enough, especially when we are talking about bunk beds, and the potential for falls/climbing/rough housing.

Ikea Pax closet system built ins

As in other rooms, we built in closets with Ikea's Pax system, and here we used Antropologie's into the woods fox knobs to bring a little bit of whimsy to the space.

Bunk room with a navy ceiling and orange drum shade

The giant window is awesome, and we used the ironwork flocked curtain by West Elm to bring some navy in. The ceiling is also painted navy, Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore to be exact. The drum light in orange is from Land of Nod. Initially our son wanted an orange ceiling, but after tons of color searching, I just couldn't find a color that worked. We compromised by getting orange sheets from Target for his bed.

Bunk room with a navy ceiling and orange drum shade

The duvet covers have moose printed on them and are flannel (similar to these from Restoration Hardware but I think they were a Christmas season item only, so I can't find them online)- perfect for winter. The other duvet covers are from Ikea and super scratchy and cheap-looking so I think I'll need to upgrade them in the summer:)

Make each bunk feel like a fort with a book ledge and individual light

Each bunk has it's own book ledge and clamp-on light for keeping books and lovies close by. This is working great, since our son likes to "read" at night, and this way he doesn't have to get out of bed to turn off the light when he's done.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pink and Aqua Bedroom Reveal- Modern Vacation House

Pink and Aqua, those are our 6 year old's two favorite colors, so that was what she requested for her bedroom in our vacation house.

Bright pink, orange and teal in a modern house makes the perfect room for a growing girl.

At first she was disappointed when I told her that every.single.wall would be painted white (Decoraters White by Benjamin Moore if you want to know). Then when I told her the bedroom ceilings could be colors, she was ecstatic and wanted "the aqua color of the nursery at home" (see the pink and teal nursery here). So Barely Teal by Benjamin Moore went up on the ceiling and our color scheme was born.

Pink and Aqua girls room with ikea closet system

The desk is the Sloane leaning desk and bookshelf from Land of Nod, with velvet sanela curtains and Jules pink desk chair from Ikea. The dot art above the desk she did herself!

Through the Woods rabbit brass knob

The wall of built-in cabinetry is all Pax from Ikea, with fancy rabbit brass pulls from Anthropologie.

Aqua ceiling, pink drum shade, and pink and orange bedding- such a cute little girl's room.

The bedding is Paper Medallion from Urban Outfitters, with jersey flannel sheets from Target. The nightstand you can't see is an amazing bar cart from Target's Threshold line, which my friend Jill recommended to me via text message:) The pink drum shade is from Land of Nod.

Animal Print Shop baby animal prints over a bed

Art above the bed is from the Animal Print Shop, and their forest friends collection. Who can't love pics of baby animals? The bed itself was from Joss and Main.

Animal Print Shop baby animal prints over a bed


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

So now I can drop my phone without worry...

Partly due to pregnancy (love to blame everything I can on it) and partly that I'm just a clumsy person and the parent of 3, I continually drop my phone. Usually I just hope and pray for everything to be OK, but a few weeks ago, my hopes were answered by my phone falling on carpet only to have my prayers dashed as it bounced !!! and landed face down on stone.


The top right corner was totally cracked, and over the course of a day the cracks just kept spreading.

Then I dropped the phone two more times the next day. And not like in this awesome video.

I really, really, really, want to try that!

I think it *might* be time for me to find a better case:)

Bumprz bling for your phone that also protects it!

Enter Bumprz, which are both blingy and super smart. A friend of mine is developing them and I can't wait to get my set. They are crazy strong but tiny, letting your phone actually look like a phone with pretty metal corners, instead of a giant bubble gum-colored blob of spongy plastic in your purse.

Gold corners for your phone

They come in gold and silver, polished and matte, so pick whichever one suits your tastes and drop your phone, or hand it over to your clumsy kid- worry free.

You can support Bumprz on Kickstarter,  then you will get your set before everyone else. Or find them at

As an aside- this time I called a mobile tech fixer person who came to my house, and replaced the screen for me. Totally life-changing. If you live in the Bay Area feel free to call or text Isaac at 925-382-9742. He was professional, polite, and super fast!


I wasn't compensated in any way for this post- I just think I'd love to be able to drop my phone without having to replace the screen.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Exercise and Pregnancy: a Treadmill Desk and a FitBit

Apparently I am incredibly open to being swayed by seasonal marketing. So in January I had the immense need to get fit, which is not exactly the easiest thing when I'm already in my third trimester of pregnancy.
Treadmill desk hack- use a computer shelf and you can read blogs and walk at the same time!

Still, if the magazines and blogs are telling me to do it, I want to jump on the bandwagon. Which is why I found myself trolling the aisles of Amazon and Target to no avail for a Fitbit Force . (They are back in stock now! Also, they haven't sponsored this in any way, I just wanted one after much research).

I finally found one at BestBuy, brought it home, and became slightly addicted to the stats it offers me. Time, number of steps, flights of stairs climbed, hours slept etc. Since our house is 5 stories tall, I'm totally rocking the stair climbing metric, but since I'm 7 months pregnant the steps part is harder, since everything in me tells me to sit on the couch eating a donut and watching the Kardashians.

Reading blogs while working out- brilliant

Enter my new fantasy- the treadmill desk. I could blog and read blogs, and online shop and "work".

Treadmill desk hack- use a computer shelf and you can read blogs and walk at the same time!

An actual treadmill desk is costly, so I just added this little computer shelf to my existing treadmill, the SurfShelf Treadmill Desk . It helps me to get to my 10,000 step per day goal, plus if I limit my blogging, and blog reading to the treadmill, I get at least 20 minutes each day, yay!

Attach your computer to your treadmill for a makeshift treadmill desk

Note- I'm super scared to track my sleep once baby #4 arrives, so I think I'll take a month or so off from wearing the FitBit to sleep, who can handle that much reality?

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Donut Hole Tower and a 6 year old Birthday Party

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party

All donuts and donut holes, all the time.

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party


I bought a styrofoam tower at Michael's, left the plastic wrap on, and just skewered the donut and donut holes on with toothpicks. Then decorate with some frilly Target tutu thingies, as you do:)

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party

So now, in a break from the onslaught on vacation house pictures and reveals (announcing, why we built, under constructionmoving in, the great room, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath...) I bring you my 6 year old's birthday party and the awesome donut hole tower I created for it.

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party

Yes, her birthday was in August. I got pregnant and sick and anti-screen and just never blogged about it. Honestly, I give myself points for even taking pictures.

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party

It had a "princess-pajama-art" theme, which was clearly her own invention and excuse to wear pajamas and a princess dress.

donut hole tower for a princess birthday party

The pj's were off at this point.

4 year old boys, however, refuse to accessorize their construction machine pajamas with princess attire:) Thankfully, my sweetie loves donuts!

book swap at a birthday party instead of gifts or favors

Instead of gifts (which I loath to receive and slightly dislike giving), I had each child bring a book (used or new) and the kids did a book swap. While sitting around out coffee table, they sang Happy Birthday, passing the books around. Then when the song stopped if they liked the book in front of them they took it and stepped back. Worked wonderfully, and we had a net loss of 4 books in our house (since some siblings arrived unexpectedly).

book swap at a birthday party instead of gifts or favors

Birthday success all around!


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