Wednesday, July 29, 2015

entryway storage

Our house entryway is narrow, on one side there is the stairwell and on the other side,
 there are a small coat closet, a foot of wall, and then the powder room.
In order to be able to open the door and enter/leave the house, 
everything must be put away in the little closet.
On this little space on the wall, I have installed a mirror with some hooks,
 perfect to keep the dog leash and an umbrella but that’s about it.
My kids are very average in their interest at putting stuff away, 
which means everything has a tendency to get piled up on
 the kitchen table: coat, backpack, lunch boxes, 
helmets (they both ride their bike to school), not shoes luckily!
It makes for an unpleasant sight coming back home at night.

In the past we have tried to come up with different solutions: reorganizing the closet,
 adding shelves, adding hooks, but none really helped.
I looked around blogs and Pinterest to see what other people were doing, 
and I saw beautiful mudrooms,laundry room, garages, all perfect but not applicable to our house, 
we live in a sixties modern home without a garage, and laundry in the basement!
But we have a very interesting stairwell, with large landings…
so I saw it as the perfect place to recreate this transition area.

I kept it very simple, with just a set of five hooks (numbered one through five), 
that I found at Home depot for $5, and a wide board found in the basement.
I stained the wood, attached the hook to the wood, and then screwed everything to the studs.
And it worked! The kids have been using it, hanging their jackets and helmets, 
leaving their backpack right there.
Since there are 5 hooks and 2 kids, it totally works out: 3 helmets 
(2 bikes, 1 horseback riding) and 2 coats.

The shoes still need to be stored in the coat closet, but because they are not fighting
 for space with the backpacks, it is actually easy to do.
 The adults and guests have space to hang their coats in the closet, 
without fearing for their toes to be smashed by flying helmets.

Currently, as it is summer time and pool season,
 the backpacks have been replaced by towels and goggles,
 the helmets are still there, the kids bike to the pool.

Of course it never looks like the ones on the Pinterest board, life cannot be staged!

But it is fun to play pretend!

Happy day!

Monday, July 27, 2015

two simple birthday parties

Miss C turned 11 last week and we celebrated her birthday
 with some of her friends, 
she chose to have a Minion light inspired party.
 I say light because just a few things were minions related.

She made her own invitation from yellow cardstock and denim inspired paper, 
stamping her initial on the blue band, a sophisticated take on the minion uniform.

We baked some cupcakes (much easier to serve than actual cake), 
yellow cake of course (from the box, my family’s favorite,
 I don’t get it but it is not my bday!), 
with homemade chocolate frosting, and purchased minions eyes and mouth,
 the wrappers were also minions.

It was a much simpler party that some of her previous ones, 
(which are probably simpler than many fancy people do)
like the Safari Party when I sewed goodybags


Like last year, her party took place at our neighborhood pool, which means no cleaning 
before the parties, and easy post party clean up.
Most of the kids were nice and picked up after themselves.

Last year for her 10th birthday, Miss C. was inspired by the “teen beach movie”, 
a truly beautiful, fancy party.

Of course we did not go all the way like in the inspiration, 
we baked some surf board inspired cookies that Miss C. decorated herself, and some cupcakes.
 I added some kid friendly snacks and drinks. 
A few decorative accents were included to go with the color scheme
 of aqua, orange and lime.
 Miss C. also crafted simple invitation with the same color,
 keeping it low cost and fun. 
All the kids had a good time, played in the water and ate all the treats,
 success all over!

Happy birthday, Miss C.!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

makeup brushes roll

As Miss C. is getting older, she is more and more interested in makeup.
 Nothing too intense, she just likes to be silly with some of her girlfriends, 
which I totally understand. I was the same way at her age, 
not that you could tell now as I mostly only wear lipstick!

For her birthday, she received a full set of brushes (from Target),
 more than one would need, but perfect to play. 
To make them a more interesting present, 
I sewed a simple roll to store them all.

I followed this tutorial from LBG studio (fast and easy). 
I used some tween approved aqua Japanese fabric with
some French writing for the outside and the pocket,
 and some white Kona cotton for the inside.
The white was probably not the best as the brushes deposit colors on the lining,
 as Miss C. proved it after putting on some red lipstick and blue eye-shadow!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

peach cobbler

Summer has been really hot for the last couple of days,
but we are done with swim team, practice and twice-a-week meets,
I feel like we are entering the second phase of the season,
with more down time, even while working full time...

During the swim season, there were a lot of Friday night pot lucks,
and the perfect dessert to bring is a large peach cobbler.

It is easy and serve a lot of hungry swimmers and their parents,
that one was actually so large it did not stay in the pan!

(it is a quick one minute video!)
the only change I made was to use half a cup of sugar to cook the peaches,
it is just too sweet otherwise.

It always disappeared within minutes,
so I made many more, in larger pans.
I am planning on making more, but it is just too hot right now
to turn on the oven....
oh well we can just eat the peaches plain,
they are truly delicious!

Happy day!

Monday, July 6, 2015

July celebration

Usually for the 4th of July, we keep decoration simple,
we have been using the same 2x4 flag we made in 2010.
Looking back as that post the kids are really young,
hard to believe they are going to high school and middle school in 8 weeks!

So we had step up our game, and come up with something new.
Being almost the day of, we went with something easy,
and made a simple banner.
Instead of just celebrating the US independence day,
we are also celebrating Bastille day as it is known here.
(they are just 10 days apart....and 13 years!)

If you have ever visited Mount Vernon, you know how close George Washington and Lafayette
 were, and there you can see the key to the Bastille (royal prison and symbol of oppression)

While it was not a very sunny or hot day (by DC standard)
we still enjoyed the outdoor, lemonade, watermelon
and fireworks!

Happy day!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...