Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{ 10 things - three cheers for chairs! }

My name is Rachel, and I'm a chair-aholic. It's true.  I LOVE chairs.  If space allowed, I might have an entire room filled with fabulous chairs of all sorts.  I've got a list a mile long of chairs that I covet, but here are 10 that I'm loving right now.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Do you have a thing for chairs too?

Monday, June 27, 2011

{ story & snack sundays - strawberry mice }

Unbelievably, we're still digging on strawberries around here.  We still have quite a few delicious berries hanging around, so this past weekend we made a snack inspired by the story,
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear.

These little guys are so fun and totally easy-peasy to make. Learn how here.
They're almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

Friday, June 24, 2011

{ friday focus - grown up gingham }

Summer always has me giddy about gingham. This all-American classic pattern typically conjures up images of darling little girls's dresses or picnic tablecloths.  But today'gingham offerings can be so wonderfully versatile. Gingham can be all-out country, or completely fresh and modern, depending on how it's used in a space. These images show how decidedly sophisticated good ol' gingham can be.

House and Home
House and Home
Source Unknown
Martha Stewart
House Beautiful
Source Unknown
Lars Bolander
What do you think?  Are you digging this new, glamorous side of gingham, or does it still make you think of homespun frocks and cottage-style draperies?

h a p p y  w e e k e n d !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{ strawberry fields forever }

We've been busy whipping up strawberry everything thanks to our recent trip to the strawberry patch and Mr. Polkadotsandpuppies' frequent trips to a local fruit farmstand which he passes on his way home from work.   

Recipes: {STRAWBERRY} shortcake, jam, lemonade
  It's safe to say that we are LOVING strawberry season around here.
  Are you enjoying it too?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{ you gotta have (creative) friends }

I happen to be lucky enough to have several seriously creative friends.  I wanted to do a little series that focuses on getting to know a few of them.  First up is my incredibly talented pal, Tammy.
First, let me say, I can't even believe Rachel considers me one of her creative friends. Ummm, have you seen some of the gorgeousness this girl creates daily? Totally honored to even kinda be considered creative in her eyes. Ok, so who am I and what do I do? Well, my name is Tammy. I'm a stay at home mom to two of the most gorgeous kiddos in the world. I try to fill our days with fun and learning. I'm trying to create a home that makes me happy. I'm a photographer that is in total denial that people actually pay me to take pictures of their families. I have a blog, the td world,  that documents all my craziness. :)  
My home and my photography are my creative outlets. They both push me in different ways. I feel more comfortable making mistakes with the decor in my house. Its easier to go out on a limb when I know its not on public display. I must say that the confidence to make those mistakes comes from my photography. My photography makes me squirm. Squirm in a good way, though. I've never been known for my creativity so it definitely puts me out of my comfort zone to have my work open for criticism. I need it, though. Putting myself out there is what truly pushes me to create and take risks.

I painted these for my daughter's room.
 Kind of simple but, I was out of my comfort zone!
I think that the first question you need to ask yourself is if YOU LOVE whatever it is you're about to put into your home. Obviously, there are some things that you just aren't practical with young kids - glass top coffee table anyone? - but, I feel like if you really love a piece, you can make it work with kids. On the flip side, if you buy something just because its practical to have with kids, you're going to look at that piece with disdain every day. Who needs that? I want to look at pieces in my house and smile, not frown. True style comes with filling your world with love. Ask yourself if you love it first THEN ask yourself if someone is going to lose a limb if its in the house. If you really love it, you'll make it work. I have a gallery wall with bookcases along the bottom. When we first put it up, my oldest was still a baby. Everyone warned us that he would be into the books and pulling everything down. I'm not going to lie, he had a phase when he was trying to get at everything on those shelves but, we were consistent and he soon got over it. We'll see if the same approach works with my headstrong daughter! :) 
P.S. My gallery wall is on the same wall as my garage. There's a lesson, don't put a collage of pictures on your garage wall because they will never be straight. Thank you garage door opener.  
 I always read in decor blogs and magazines that you should buy the best that you can with your budget. If I did that, all my stuff would come from WalMart. I guess one tip would be, don't dismiss places like WalMart. Even the Pioneer Woman showcased bowls from WalMart. I'm not going to lie, I even find Target to be pricey at times. Sigh. Not quite sure what that says about me and my budget/frugality.
Patience is my other tip. Its ok if a corner of your room sits empty while you save a few pennies. Since I'm being totally honest here, I have to remind myself that I need to be patient like every day. Its hard to live on one income. I have to remind myself that there's a bigger picture and going into debt for a sideboard/buffet really isn't the smartest thing in the world. Take the time to save the pennies. The only people you have in your home that matter are friends and family and they probably don't even notice the emptiness. They notice the feel of your home more. If they do notice, chances are they're in the same boat as you.
 I heart Coastal Living. I love bright, airy rooms. In contrast to my husband that loves "caves." The coast, be it lakeside or the ocean, just makes me take a deep breath and smile. I want that for my home. Take a deep breath, smile, and welcome home.
Hmmm...can I say my whole house? There's little parts of every room in my house that make me happy. Ask me in a year when I have my kitchen renovated and I'll give you a more definitive answer. :)
You know I'm going to say Polkadots and Puppies! Seriously, Rachel and I share a similar aesthetic and she is way more awesome at being inspired than I am, so I steal her inspiration. (Rachel here, totally *blushing*)

Under the Sycamore is another favorite of mine. I love her mix of family, home and crafts. Her day to day photography is to die for.
She's very inspiring to me.

Whatever - She seems like someone that would be fun to know in real life.

The Lettered Cottage - I like her home style. She does a lot on the cheap which is right up my alley. Plus, she just announced that they want to adopt so I hope to hear more about how their process is going.

The Anderson Crew - I have no idea why I like this one so much. I just do. They just adopted a little girl from Africa. She made them a family with 5 kids. When she made it home, they found out they were expecting their 6th child!
Must you really pin a girl down to one object when money is no object?? Currently, I'm obsessed with mercury glass and I desperately need table lamps. So, as boring as it is, I'd say a mercury table lamp. Sounds crazy when money is no object but, $95 is a lot for a lamp if you ask me!

I find editing the most challenging part about decorating. Editing and committing. I find that I want to smoosh every color and style that I enjoy into my house. You really can't do that without feeling a bit schizophrenic. Editing my ideas down is so hard for me. Once I edit down, I have a hard time committing to it. My husband constantly asks me if we should really pull the trigger on something or am I just going to change my mind in a few months.
Ice cream!
Other than the second that daddy walks in the door after work? Morning. I love the idea that a wonderful day with my kids acting absolutely perfect lies ahead of me. Right?!?! In reality, I'm most motivated to get stuff done in the morning. I lose steam in the afternoons. Plus, often if I make mistakes or feel bad about something, I often tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. Morning brings me that new day.
 {My favorite peonies in the morning light}
Tall Chai Latte!

A million thanks to Tammy for participating in my creative friends series.
It's the first time I've seen those darling flower paintings she made.  Love them!  And her photo wall looks fantastic in this photo, but it's absolutely stunning in person.  I wanted to also mention that Tammy is responsible for this photo of my family.  I'm CRAZY for this photo!
 It brings a huge smile to my face every time I see it!
Please stay tuned in the coming months to get to know more of my creative friends.  I know some awesome people :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

{ a whole year! }

I can't believe I started my little blog one year ago today.
You are all beyond awesome for hanging out with me!

Now get off of the computer, and enjoy your weekend! ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

{ friday focus- cruiser candy }

Nothing says summer like a lazy Sunday afternoon bike ride around town.  When I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of tooling around town for a few hours on one of these beauties.

Schwinn Windwood Cruiser
Isn't she positively dreamy?!  I'm now completely smitten with all things crazy, cute cruiser! For instance, I finally got my hands on this dress that has been sold out at Anthropologie for a year. HAPPY day!
Anthropologie Two Wheeler Shirtdress

While in Colorado, I was also lucky enough to pay a visit to the VITAL Industries studio, the genius folks behind these handprinted goodies.
Etsy never disappoints, so it's no surprise that it's absolutely teeming with all sorts of gorgeous bicycle love.
1 2,  3 4,  5,  6

I'm looking forward to squeezing in some time for a family bike ride this Father's Day weekend. I'll be thinking of this breathtaking scene all the while :)

H A P P Y   W E E K E N D!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{ wednesday wrap session }

Just a dotty little gift for a sweet friend, wrapped up by yours truly.
Except for the personalized gift taggy, I had everything else around the
house in my stash of paper/ribbon/trinkets.
 I hope she likes RED :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

{ primed for the picking! }

Going strawberry picking sounds like a wonderfully idyllic summertime activity, doncha think?   I pictured me and my little guys happily gathering delicious, fresh, sun-warmed strawberries by the quart-full.  How reality differs! On our recent trip to a strawberry patch with some great friends, we were reminded just how much hard work it really is.  First of all, it was HOT.  Like, really darned hot.  Then there was the fact that the really ripe berries were hard to find.  After what seemed like an eternity of picking, this is what we'd managed to harvest....
Oh, well.  We made sure to buy a few extra of the already-picked variety
 at the farmstand. I wanted to have enough to make some homemade jam.

I thought it would be a cute idea to wear my strawberry print, peep-toe skimmers.  I naively thought they wouldn't get too awfully dirty.
 I was wrong.

 But we did have a lot of fun though, and we made some memories, and that's what really matters, right!?

Somebody did FAR more sampling than picking!

Last one.  I promise, mom ;)

 Big brother was working hard for his berries, but he also made some time for some dandelion wishes.

Whew! Those ruby red cheeks are a giveaway to just how hot it was.

All in all, it was a lovely summer morning with some of our best friends.

What a fun day!

Hooray for  S U M M E R!

Friday, June 10, 2011

{ friday focus - ferris wheels }

I've got several trips to carnivals, county fairs and
 amusement parks on my summer calendar. 
And, boy, it really has me feeling nostalgic for
 a good old fashioned ferris wheel ride!

Ferris wheels are everywhere in decor and design these days,
 and I've become a woman obsessed.
  It all started with this image. 
Emily Henderson
I am head over heels for this whole room actually, but that darn ferris wheel totally steals the show, in my opinion.

Emily Henderson
It's by CB2, and it just made it to the top of my birthday wishlist.
Is this not every kid's dream room?   What a clever toy storage idea!
Artistic Living Spaces

Does anyone else have memories of playing with one of these?

Love the idea of using a vintage-y one for
 decor at a carnival-themed party.

I've also seen ferris wheels in the background
of several engagement photos recently.  Such cuteness.

 Green Wedding Shoes
Do you have a fondness for ferris wheels? 
 Or maybe carousels are more your thing? ;) 

Happy Weekend!