Thank You and Checking In



Just a quick post here...not even any pics, sorry! Wanted to say thanks to everyone who participated in the John Robshaw Textiles Mood Board Monday party this week. You guys are amazing! Awesome work once again, so many beautiful spaces, each totally different. If anyone has any ideas for what the next MBM could be about, let me know. Or maybe someone wants to guest host it and come up with the inspiration or something? I'm open to whatever:)

Also wanted to let you know that I won't be around next week. We'll be on another staycation...this one with my sister and her boyfriend who are flying in from London on Saturday for a week! Haven't seen her since Christmas - can't wait to hang out, meet her man and have her reconnect with Maura! During the beginning of September things might be a bit sporadic around here too, with the Labor Day holiday, Maura's birthday (maybe I'll eventually get around to posting the pics from last year's party?!) and some other stuff we've got going on. Can't believe the summer is winding down so quickly, I'm so sad. We are trying to cram as much fun, outdoor stuff in as we can:)

Take care, talk soon!

Mood Board Monday Linky Party: John Robshaw Textiles



Hi there! Welcome to the 14th Mood Board Monday Linky Party! So glad you could make it:)

The inspiration for this week's rooms is unbelievably gorgeous and versatile. I am so excited to see what you've come up with because the possibilities really are endless. I mean, what happens when you combine six beautiful hand block-printed fabrics from the amazing John Robshaw with a group of super talented creative, DIY, design gurus?! Ah! My brain is going to explode, its going to be so good:) 

Remember, Mood Board Monday is all about seeing how different people are inspired differently by the same thing. So, I've given you three different combinations of Robshaw's textile to choose from (all hand block printed on fine linen and available only to the trade). You must include both patterns from the pairing in your room (as drapery, upholstery, pillows, etc...whatever you want to do).

JR Fabric Combo No. 1: Citadel Umber and Madura Vista

JR Fabric Combo No. 2: Algiers Lotus and Jajam Brinjal

JR Fabric Combo No. 3:  Twine Light Indigo and Bagru Indigo


Here's my mood board for the week. I knew I wanted to use combo #3, the Indigo fabrics, and I started out trying to do kind of a study/sitting room. It wasn't really exciting me though, so I switched to something a bit more unexpected for this fabric, a girl's nursery. I'd make (ha! someone would make for me!) a crib skirt out of the dark navy geometric and I'd upholster the glider in the light blue diamond pattern. To make things a bit more feminine and to keep the room from being too monochromatic, I actually added in a third Robshaw fabric, Ginger Coral, which I would use for the drapes (thus adding that pop of coral/pink/red).

1. The palette: I'd paint the walls in a light, creamy, coral pink to keep things girly. The light and dark blues will contrast nicely. I'd pull in some warm brown tones from the drapes as well - like for the dresser, baskets and rug.
2. I actually went to a third John Robshaw fabric, a floral - Ginger Coral, because I loved it so much, to really pull this room together. I'd make the curtains out of it.
3. The Time to Turn in Crib in White from Land of Nod keeps things bright and classic and the turned spindles add that girly touch.
4. On the crib skirt, one of the inspiration fabrics, Robshaw's Bagru Indigo. (I tried to do a little mock up of it actually on the crib for myself...I really need to see these big blocks of color when putting the room together, it is hard for me to find the right balance of things just saying "Imagine this white crib skirt was navy blue!")
5. The Melon Penny Dot Crib Sheet from Serena and Lily on the mattress is the perfect pop of coral on this side of the room. I love it against the navy of the crib skirt!
6 and 7. Love this Larkin Swivel Glider from Ballard Designs. I'd have it upholstered in the second inspiration fabric, the Robshaw Twine Light Indigo...wouldn't it be so pretty against the light peachy-pink walls?! (Again, I tried to do a little photoshop mock up of it so that I could envision it.)
8. On the glider, this Ikat Modern Designer Lumbar Pillow from etsy seller WhitlockandCo in that coral red pops and adds a modern, sophisticated touch to this kids room.
9.  I'd keep things neutral (against all that other color) and soft on the floor with this Chenille Striped Jute Rug from Pottery Barn. Brings out the brown tones from the drapery fabric.
10. For more warmth and a natural element, the Jacqueline Recycling Bin Basket and Jacqueline Rope Handle Basket from Pottery Barn could hold toys and stuffed animals.
11. I'm adding in a bit of beauty and sophistication with this St. James 7 Drawer Dresser in Antique Coffee from Restoration Hardware. It would also function as a changing table.
12. Above the dresser, I'd hang this large scale Butterfly Wall Art in Skipper, Duskywing, and Tropical from Wisteria.
13 and 14.  On the dresser, the Alexis Ceramic Table Lamp in Porcelain Blue from Pottery Barn ties in more blue and the Won't You Come and Read with Me Bookends by Land of Nod add a graphic (and educational) punch.
15, 16 and 17. I love gallery walls right now and they are a great way to pull together lots of random, awesome art, like this (and help repeat your color scheme): Girl on Heron by Cori Dantini, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by etsy seller sugarfresh, and Midnight Owl Print by etsy seller twoems.
18. Clochette the Fairy Blabla Doll...enough said:)


Now its your turn!!! Here's what you do to join the party:

1. Create a mood board for a room of your choice using one of the three pairs of inspiration fabrics above.
2. Write a post about it, including sources (with a link back to this post so others can come look).
3. Add your name, project and thumbnail image to the Linky list here on this post (see below).
4. Then add the link to your SPECIFIC Mood Board Monday POST, not your general blog address.
5. Have fun checking out all the other wonderful rooms!

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to participate.  I love all these patterns and I know I'm going to love all your mood boards!

PS. Check out our previous Mood Board Monday Linky parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, MBM06, MBM07, MBM08, MBM09, MBM10, MBM11MBM12 and MBM13.

Blogdate #3: Help Casey with her Nursery



..otherwise known as what 3 bloggers can get done in 6 hours with pizza, chocolate chip cookies and lots of Snapple and Vitamin Water:)

I had such a great day this past Sunday, you guys! Remember that I've gotten together with a couple of local bloggers before - Casey of loft & cottage and Carrie of Hazardous Design? (These girls are awesome! Previous blog dates have included Blogdate #1: Jewelry Party and Blogdate #2: Shopping in Providence.) Well, Casey's expecting her first baby in early October (yay!). So Carrie and I went over to her house this weekend to help with whatever we could in the nursery (check out the surprise we sent Casey in the mail here). It was soooo much fun and we got so much done!!

The room was already pretty great, with wide trim and tall baseboards, crown molding, hardwood floors, a huge slider to the porch. Previously as Casey's office it was a light yellow-green (which would totally work for a baby too), but this girl has a vision (see her mood board of the room here). First thing on the agenda, and a huge check on her to-do list, was new paint for the walls.

{silly girl practically doesn't even look pregnant here!}
Here's Carrie tackling proper prep work (go, Frog Tape!):

On three of the walls we painted two coats of Heavy Cream by Martha Stewart (such a nice, soft, warm, pretty white). Here's an in progress shot (we had a good system going, I cut in and Carrie rolled):

{I cut in, Carrie rolled}
Sigh. I love new paint. As soon as it went up I knew Casey had made the right decision. The new color made the room feel so much bigger and clean and bright and fresh!

Casey had us use Rustoleum's Black Chalkboard Paint on the fourth wall (we did three coats)!!! So cool! It's going to be such a great focal backdrop for the crib.

Look how cute Casey's bump is!! I swear, we didn't let her actually do much work!

After all the paint was dry and we had peeled off the tape (love that step!), we still had some time (and Casey's man Michael had come home), so we brought in the rug, put together the crib (super easy - the Jenny Lind from Target) and hung up the roman shade and drapes. (Aaaahhh! I love it! This kid is going to have the best room!)

Look at these two! (Girl even brings her own paint roller extender to the party. DIYer nerd alert!!!) And doesn't the crib look amazing against the black chalkboard wall?! (I can't wait to see what Casey writes/draws on it!)

I was so glad we were able to get a lot done and relieve some stress for Casey. Plus it was just really great to see how Casey's design brain works and be a part of the progress! Here's a pretty good before and after:


Not bad for a days work!! We've all agreed its much more fun to work on this stuff together with friends...what's that saying?..."many hands make light work"...totally true. Now I have to think of which project around my house I can use these girls on:)

I so can't wait to see this nursery finished, its going to be gorgeous!! And it'll be fun to meet baby loft & cottage too;)

PS. Casey and Carrie are posting about our blogdate today too, check 'em out here and here:)

Mood Board Monday Reminder: John Robshaw Textiles



 Hello! Just wanted to remind everyone that next Monday, the 20th, is our Mood Board Monday linky party. The insanely talented John Robshaw and his gorgeous hand-block printed linens are the inspiration of choice. Pick a pair of fabrics, and use both patterns somewhere in your room:)

JR Fabric Combo No. 1: Citadel Umber and Madura Vista

JR Fabric Combo No. 2: Algiers Lotus and Jajam Brinjal

JR Fabric Combo No. 3:  Twine Light Indigo and Bagru Indigo

So, just to recap:

1. This is a fun way to share all of the creativity out there and showcase how we can all start from one inspiration point and end up with a variety of ideas.
2. To participate, you need to create a complete mood board for any room using one of the three pairs of John Robshaw fabric shown here.
3. On Mood Board Monday party day (Monday, August 20th in this case), come back here to link up to the party. You will need to include your sources in your post and give a brief description of the room and how you used the inspiration fabric.

I love all these fabrics, I can't wait to see what you guys do! I just totally changed directions with the mood board I had onto a completely different kind of room, this one's working out much better. Gotta get back to faux shopping for it while Maura's still napping:) Have a good rest of the day!

PS. Check out our previous Mood Board Monday Linky parties here: MBM01, MBM02, MBM03, MBM04, MBM05, MBM06, MBM07, MBM08, MBM09, MBM10, MBM11MBM12 and MBM13.

Maura and Mama's Bathroom



...otherwise entitled photos of a room in our house that has never graced this blog before:)

We haven't really touched either of our upstairs bathrooms since we moved in six years ago. The master bath is fine enough for now, plus only Paul really uses it...a trend that started way back when I had to get up earlier than him for work, so I would go down the hall to the guest bath to shower and get ready so as not to wake him. Thus, our guest/kids bathroom became both mine and Maura's. It's pretty pathetic that I/we've been using it for so long in such a sad state, but the truth is that its so terrible it needs a complete re-do and I haven't even felt like giving it any effort cause it is that bad!

Case in point, here's some real before pics, from like when we moved in (these photos are bad in and of themselves, but its not even worth taking better pics!!!):

{Bad laminate counter top, its like pink and gray speckles! I also hate this sink hardware.}

{I like having a shower/tub combo...its just old by now, with more bad hardware. Don't forget the blue plastic shower curtain rod that matches the walls exactly! I now have a plain white shower curtain here, but not for long.}
{Gah! I love blue, but this is way too blue!!! I suppose I coulda repainted 6 years ago, but I didn't.}
{One thing I do like about this bathroom is that our laundry is here, behind those bi-fold doors. Easy and convenient.}

So, yeah...yikes!! The complete redo of this room is not going to happen anytime soon. I figure though that Maura deserves a better place to have a tubbie in. And there's our guests to think about. Maybe its about time I do something about it. I mean, like a little something, but something. We all know I work better with deadlines though, so I have the perfect motivation to do a little mini, mini, cheap make-over in sister is coming in from London (with her British boyfriend who we haven't met yet) to stay for a week at the end of August. Bingo!! We all, Maura and the Brit:)

First up is a new shower curtain. I figure since I'm too lazy to do anything about the over-the-top blue walls, I'll just embrace them. And try to distract your eye away from them! I went to Target with the goal of finding a shower curtain that would coordinate with the blue and maybe give me some other inspiration to work with. I immediately stumbled on this pretty blue bird floral one for $19.99.

Yay! It's got bright blue in it, as well as some other decent colors. I like birds. Maura likes birds. I wonder if my sister's boyfriend likes birds?

I also stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond and snagged (with 20% off coupons) a "chrome" shower curtain rod to replace the plastic blue one and a new shower curtain liner (I swear, I change these out frequently). Although small, I think it'll hopefully make a big improvement.

Other than that, I'm going to try and make a little gallery wall above the towel bar (to the right of the shower). I plan to not spend any money here, just use frames I already have and downloadable art or calendar pages, stuff I make, etc.

Any other cheap, easy ideas? I really know nothing about bathroom materials and haven't ever collected much bathroom inspiration, so I'm actually quite intimidated to think about renovating this space for real! Any ideas for down the line when we do it right?

22 Months!!!



Thank you soooo much for all your support and comments on the children's book project! I really appreciate all your encouragement and book recommendations, etc. I feel a lot better about tackling this with you guys on my side!!

A few weeks ago (I'm a bit behind), Maura turned 22 months. That means that in less than two months, she'll be 2!!! What?

Here's the last two months' bunny chair pics:

{yes, this is really how she is a lot of the time!!!}
{yikes, this hair is really starting to get out of control, its growing so fast now!}

She's definitely more like a real big kid now (how did this all happen so fast?). And she's in some sort of phase (terrible twos come early?)...lots of tantrums and meltdowns and I want it my way fast. I'd say about 85% of the time she is awesome, an angel, really fun to be around, she's my best friend and then the rest of the time...I don't know what to do with myself - cry, ignore her, laugh hysterically at how dramatic she looks. When is real discipline supposed to start?
We've been keeping busy...I find that this helps keep the rough times to a, summer is just we've been hitting up the beach, playground, splash pad, etc. I love playdates...both for the adult interaction for me and the whole socialization, sharing, etc. thing for Maura. We usually have at least one a week.

{a bit of an aggressive hug with Morgan in our pool}
{with Jack in his backyard}

{picnic lunch with Jack at the park}
{with baby Emerson and her cool mama, the infamous Holly}
As far as developmental stuff goes, Maura learned how to walk up and down stairs on her own!! It's so cute to watch (she holds on to the wall/railing with one hand, and holds one of our hands with her other hand). She also got three more teeth in, both bottom cuspids and one of the top ones. (I guess teeth shape is genetic?!, because she totally has her Dad's!!!) She's still taking one nap a day (thank goodness) in the middle of the afternoon for about two hours. She is getting up earlier in the morning than she used to though and usually ends up going to bed later because of all the fun summer stuff we've been doing (which usually pushed nap time back which pushes bed time back).

On the food front, Maura has moved to a booster seat at the table - she really likes it and I think its helping her eat more/sit longer. She also loves eating on the stools at the kitchen island. She's getting much better at eating things you hold in your hand like corn on the cob (loooves it!), hot dog in a roll, sandwiches, burritos, etc. She had her first (and subsequent) Popsicle and Chipwich (ok, I got this one for me, but who in their right mind can resist ice-cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies?!) and she now likes eating apples whole (although she doesn't get very far into them).

This summer was the first (and second, third, fifth, eleventh) time that Maura rode on a carousel...and man, does she looove riding those horses around and around!!!

In June, we finished up her series of swim lessons at the local YMCA. For some reason, she loves the ocean, bath time and our friend's pool, but not so much the deep end at the Y. Oh well, I'm definitely still glad we did it:)

Maura recently inherited this play kitchen from her cousins who are a bit too old for it. She is loving it, it keeps her busy for awhile - yay! Unfortunately, they couldn't give us any of the food or pots and pans, so I have to go buy her some of that, but for now I've just stocked it with stuff from the real kitchen or fake food from some of her other toys.  She doesn't seem to mind:) Some of the other stuff that she's into now are still her cars from the movie "Cars", anything "Thomas the Train" and Disney's Pixie Hollow fairies like Tinkerbell and her whole nature-helping gang. She just watched her first princess/Barbie movie the other day and its killing me, but she is soooo into it!!! (Ugh, I was hoping to put off that whole princess thing for another few years!)

{OMG, you guys, these ikat shorts slay me, they are so cute!!! from Gymboree}

Here's some more random pics that I couldn't resist:

{picking the yellow "flowers"...I didn't have the heart to tell her they were weeds!}
{watching a plane fly by}
{reading at the book store with Dada}
{helping me plant flowers...since this post covers the last two months, some of these are from May, when the weather was still really iffy here}

I really can't believe that the next time I write one of these posts will be for her second birthday! I still look at her every day and am in awe that she is mine...that I helped create this unique little human being...that she is going to be a part of my life forever and that I get to see her change and grow through all of it...and I just feel really lucky to have her:)

Ps. Sorry, I totally meant to have this written and posted on Monday, but I keep getting sucked into staying up late watching the Olympics, so then I get nothing done at night.

Pps. Did you guys realize they were bringing back some of the previous contestants on Design Star All-Stars? It just started last night. Anybody watching? How did you feel about the winner of Design Star this season?

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