Tag Archives: home

DIY: Quick and Easy Word Art

Our family loves books. I’m a big believer in reading to kids pretty much immediately. Even if they don’t understand anything at first, just the sound of your voice is soothing to them. Eventually they’ll start paying attention to the stories and they’ll have positive feelings associated with reading, which I think is incredibly important.

Anyway, I’ve been reading to both girls pretty much since they emerged from the womb. We have tons of favorites, one of them being Where the Wild Things Are. When Max decides to give up being king, the wild things shout at him “Oh please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–we love you so!” I’m not sure how or when, but at some point I start saying this line to Samantha.

I’ve been wanting some kind of art that incorporated the quote for a while now and the other day I decided to make one myself. It couldn’t have been easier. Continue reading

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DIY: Kids Boredom Buster Jar

I mentioned last week that I put together a little Bored Jar inspired by a few different projects I saw on Pinterest (just searching “boredom busters” there brings up an endless array of ideas for any age group). I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek at our jar and some of the things Samantha has done with it.
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It’s Officially Too Hot to Cook

I should probably start by confessing that I don’t cook too often. My husband loves to cook and I’m not particularly good at it, so he generally does the cooking. Lately, we’ve both been too hot (and grumpy) to find any dinner idea appetizing.

I mean, who wants to add heat to the house when you’re sweating just sitting in front of the TV? Not us! Too often  I’ve settled for peanut butter and jelly and he’s pulled a bag of edamame out of the freezer and eaten that. Not terrible, but not the way we’d like to be eating. We need ideas. Something other than your typical salad.

So, I did what I always do. I took to the internet to search for some yummy options that did not require me (ok, him) to turn on the stove or (god forbid!) the oven. Here’s what I found:

pressed picnic sandwiches via Crepes of Wrath

chilled cantaloupe soup via Food52

BBQ chicken sandwich via Real Simple

Southwestern salad via Real Simple

tapas plate via Real Simple

What are your go-to recipes when you can’t stand the thought of cooking?

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Cheap, Easy Organization

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an organizational post–and you can tell if you take a peek inside my house. I always think summer will be when I get myself together. You know: clean out the basement, organize the closets, get rid of kids toys that never get played with. But this seldom happens. Who wants to stay inside when we can be at the pool or running around in the sunshine? Who wants to do manual labor when you’re sweating just sitting on the couch? Not this girl!

Still, I need to find some way to wrangle the mess that is my house. Since I’m both cheap and always looking for ways to be eco-friendly, I love the idea of organizational pieces that can easily be made from things I already own (or things that would only cost me a few dollars).

So off to Pinterest I go…

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Summer Party Inspiration

It’s been awhile since I shared any Bijou stuff over here–mostly because it’s been awhile since we’ve done a shoot. We’re in the midst of planning our fall issue though, so that will change soon!

My pal and partner in crime Jackie recently posted some shots from our rustic vintage inspiration shoot (you should totally check out her blog, by the way. Lots and lots of pretty photos!). When I saw these photos again, it struck me that it was not only good inspiration for a laid back backyard wedding, but for any kind of laid back backyard celebration.

It’s perfect for a breezy summer evening filled with talking,  laughing, and eating under the stars. The best part? You can put something like this together without spending much money at all.

We collected a bunch of mismatched dishes and crocheted pieces. We happened to have a lot of this stuff on hand, but they’re inexpensive and easy to find in thrift shops, Goodwill, and Salvation Army stores.

We love the tablecloth because it adds a bit of sophistication that would otherwise be lacking. It really elevates the look so it doesn’t just look like any old picnic, don’t you think?

For a centerpiece, we used an old mirror to sort of contain things and added old family photos, pretty bottles and an old tin to hold flowers. The possibilities are really endless. Candles, a pretty pitcher, floating flowers. There are so many pretty options!

Rustic/Vintage for Bijou Issue I: Styled by Jackie Pfeffer and Jen Garry / Photos by Jackie Pfeffer

For the food, we set up a wooden saw horse with another crocheted cloth laid over it. We added bright flowers, a stack of dishes and some pretty upcycled bottles. These used to hold Yuengling, but once they were cleaned they seemed perfect to sip refreshing summery spritzers from.Revisiting these photos makes me want to call up some friends and plan a little backyard barbeque!

What are your must-haves for a summertime party?

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

There are still a few days left to score something awesome for the mommas in your life. Whether you pick up an ice cream maker that she can concoct delicious treats with her children with or a product that donates to a charity that’s important to her, make sure you think about her as a person, not just a momma. Nothing screams last-minute gift more than something totally generic!

KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment / Rock My World Inc.fingerprint necklace / Forever21 floppy hat / FEED bag / Kate Spade bangle

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Cutesy Measuring Cups

I keep seeing really adorable measuring cups on Pinterest. This morning I finally got to the point where I absolutely had to put together a little roundup of the cuteness:

turtle, sheep, penguin, whale, mastryoshka, milk bottle, cats, cupcakes

Don’t they make you want to put on a frilly apron and whip up a cake (or perhaps these insanely delicious looking red velvet brownies)?

They would also make for a cute gift. Pair it up with a jar of cookie mix or some fresh baked cookies and the sweetness level is unbearable!

Sidenote: I’m entering the second week of a 21-day sugar cleanse, can you tell I’m missing my sweets?!

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Organize My Kitchen

Yesterday, I told you all about my bathroom organization woes. They are nothing in  comparison to the disaster that is my kitchen.

I think our biggest issue is that we have too much stuff. We inherited a lot of things when we first moved in together. We bought a bunch of things between then and our wedding to fill in and then we got all new things at my bridal shower.

Then there’s the fact that I’m sort of a chronic hanger on-er. I don’t like to get rid of useful things when someone (say my younger brother) might need them one day. That’s not to say we haven’t given anything away. My other brother came up from North Carolina after getting married and he and my new sister-in-law shopped our unused stuff.

I really need to let go at this point though. I will never be organized unless I do. I’m going to look into giving things away on Freecycle or to shelters that might need what I’m not using.

After I weed things out, I can concentrate on the really fun stuff… like implementing some of these awesome ideas:

all via Pinterest

Great ideas, right? I know I never would have thought about storing cans in a magazine holder without a little nudge. And I love the idea of using towel racks and magnets in unexpected spaces to create more room.

What do you think? Are these organization posts inspiring you at all?

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Organize My Bathroom

My bathroom has a limited amount of storage that I have yet to master. The result is a mess of products and beauty tools bleeding into the rest of house.

I would love to keep my beauty supplies neatly tucked away in my bathroom, where everything has a home. Instead I have drawers crammed with crap and a cabinet that explodes whenever it’s opened.

I need more organization inspiration!!!

sources: magnetic backing, terra cotta pots, shelving 1, shelving 2,
vintage tray, above the door shelving, mason jars

All of these solutions are cheap and relatively easy ways to make more space in a small bathroom. Maybe if I utilize unused spaces (like above the door and inside cabinets), I’ll be able to navigate my bathroom without the fear of my obituary reading that  I died by flying hair products.

Do you have any bathroom organization tricks?

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Organize My Office

Way back in September (seriously, it feels like forever ago!) I wrote a post on how I need to organize my life. One of the biggest reasons I did that post was because of the state of my office (well, office may be too grand a word for the corner of my bedroom that has become my workspace since my little bean’s birth).

It was and still is a complete disaster. I don’t know about you, but messes can really get to me when I’m trying to work. I can’t concentrate completely when I’m surrounded by clutter because it distracts me (honestly, it’s a wonder I get anything done considering the state of my house on a regular basis… just ask my husband).

I think my biggest problem is letting little things go (like the mail or papers sent home from school with my daughter). Little things become big things when they pile up. My workspace is just one big mess of little things.

I wish my office looked more like these gorgeous spaces (see Pinterest for sources):

Don’t these spaces make you drool?! They’ve sent me into an online window shopping frenzy. I love office products in the first place, but now I’m on the hunt for relatively inexpensive, clever organization solutions. Here’s a little taste of what I found:

spice rack :: drawer organizer :: baskets :: 5 drawer cabinet :: birdcage
shampoo rack :: cardboard organizer :: paper sorter

These ideas have totally inspired me to tackle my mess. I might (might) even go crazy and tackle one of these DIY projects (lord knows I have a hefty collection of empty boxes left over from the holidays!).

What is your work space like? Are you messy like me or does everything have its place? And if you’re neat, please share your secrets! I need them!!!

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