Happy fFriday, friends! Any fun plans this weekend? The girls are starting school next week, and I’ve also been looking at ideas to organize my new “office” – read here closet in the back of the house. Even though our new house is much bigger than our New York apartment, we don’t really have a good spot for an office, so I’ll have be creative to make myself little nook that feels inspiring. Here are some fun little projects I found that are great to keep your office pretty and organized.

1. Colorful bookmarks by Projektila.
2. Cork pencil holder by Design For Mankind.
3. Alphabet containers by Willow Day.
4. Cloud cork board by Papernstitch.

PS: Have you entered our fantastic giveaway yet? If not, you’re going to want to – click here!

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Hello. Nice to meet you.

While we were in France at my parents last month, I made this little tree swing for the girls. Originally I wasn’t planning on showing it to you guys, but my dad complimented me on it - and if you know my dad, you know that compliments don’t come around that often. So I thought, maybe a few of you might like to see it to?

Madeline wants to go on swing non-stop, but my parents got rid of the swing set we had when we were little a long time ago.  So I rounded up some wood, rope and paint and surprised her. You should have seen the look on her face – she squealed and ran to it when she saw it under the walnut tree!

I made it wider than usual swings cause I wanted to be able to pile up a few of the cousins together on it for some fun. And that’s exactly what we did :) How cute are these guys sitting together, really?! Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the supplies that I used, but I’ll try to give you a list and describe the steps as well as possible.

What you need

  • Piece of wood (a bit less than foot long, 3.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches thick)
  • Sisal rope (10 feet or so, depending on how high your branch is)
  • Drill and drill bit slightly larger than your rope
  • Sanding paper
  • Laquer paint

What you do

1. Drill two holes on each end of the piece of wood. Sand the wood afterwards to remove chips and prepare the wood for painting.
2. Paint the wood with the color/pattern you fancy. Make sure it dries well before setting up the swing (I’d give it 24 hours)
3. Cut the rope into two pieces.
4. Prepare an area where you can hang and paint the ropes (above a tree etc). Dip then end of each rope in your first colors of paint – about 1 foot for each piece. When it stops dripping paint, add the second color along the 1 foot about that, so you have about 1.5 foot to 2 feet of paint on your rope.
5. Gradually blend the two colors together until you get the amount of ombre you’d like.Hang the ropes to dry.
6. When the wood and ropes have dried up, tie up the rope to the piece of wood using a hangmans knot – here is the good video to learn how to if you don’t know. Cut any extra rope.
7. Attach the swing to your branch using more hangmans knots – or even better, set up some hooks in the branch to attach the rope.

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Hello. Nice to meet you.

Bwahaha I told you I was coming back….and what best to get back in the swing of things than an amazing giveaway?!

Today I’m teaming up with Carolina Benoit, a Miami fashion designer, to give you an $150 gift certificate to shop shop shop until you drop on her website. Carolina just released her new fall collection – and it’s simply breathtaking. Each piece is filled with whimsy and romance, just see for yourself.

I am absolutely loving all of the neutral and soft pink hues, and I just can’t choose a favorite – my heart is beating fast for the popcorn silk blouse. And the rosette gown. And…Alright alright, be still my heart.

The other reason why I am a such big fan of Carolina’s work is that every piece in her collection is crafted with great care locally in Florida. Now, that’s not something you see a lot in the world of fashion these days. Carolina is quite an amazing woman really, and I am in awe of the passion, dedication and care she puts into creating such beautiful, unique pieces.

Credits: Photography by Vlopz Photography , model Lauren Arboleda & make-up by Adel Berman

So, ready to enter?

Below are 5 (super easy) ways you can enter and win this $150 gift certificate to add some lovely Carolina Benoit pieces to your closet. You can choose to do one only or do them all. What are you waiting for, today might be your lucky day?! :) Make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below! This giveaway is open to people worldwide.

Psssst….even if you don’t win this giveaway, Carolina is currently taking pre-orders for her new collection with up to 50% discount (depending on the item) for pre-orders placed before September 20. Hurry hurry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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While I am getting back in the swing of things -thanks to all the people who sent me kind notes about the move!-, I wanted to share a few pics from the little trip to Paris I took a few weeks back….because, let’s face it,pictures of Paris are much more f un than pictures of unpacked boxes and mess everywhere ;)

My best friend Soazic (pic above) is moving to Africa this fall, so while in France I decided to take a little trip to Paris on my own to visit her so we could get into a shenanigan or two. My golden mom took care of the girls, and it was so fun to stroll around Paris completely carefree.

We hit none of one of the busy touristy place- instead we wandered around little streets of Montmartre in the early morning (always my favorite), went to the gigantic parc of Buttes Chaumont and had a drink at the lovely cafe Rosa Bonheur, stopped by Paris Plage along the banks of the river. Oh, and of course we had way too much good food along the way.

I saw Paris in a way that I had rarely seen it in the past – relaxed, slow-paced and gorgeous under the warm summer sun. My very favorite thing was probably spending the evening by the river Seine with my friend, having a few glasses of rose and tapas while making friends with our neighbors as the sun set over the bridge. It felt like a bit of dream, if you ask me.

Have any of you been to Paris? Or are you dreaming of going? What’s your favorite thing to do in Paris?

Photo credits: All pictures by Audrey Smit, except for the two pictures of me, by Soazic Gardais.

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L: Swedish cottage via Hus o Hem, photos by Carina Olander |R: Malted milk shakes via Martha Stewart.

Hi friends, miss me yet? :) Sorry I didn’t blog at all last week, we moved to the Bay area (Berkeley) last Monday, after a month spent in Europe visiting family. This past week can be summed up as this: a gazillion boxes we have to unpack, and two  oh-so-adorable-but-super-jet-lagged little girls needing a lot of attention. Needless to say I haven’t even been near my computer much, aside from looking at inspiration for our new home.

We didn’t bring much from our apartment in New York and need quite a bit of furniture. While browsing for inspiring homes I came across this lovely Swedish cottage. Hubby and I love the chairs in the first pictures, and we’re thinking about getting some like these.

And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind one of these malted milkshakes. Because let’s be honest here, this  week hasn’t exactly been a culinary highlight – pasta, pasta and well….more pasta.About time I unpack the rest of my kitchen stuff, don’t you agree?!

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This summer is going by way too fast – we’re just spent a week in Denmark to visit hubby’s family, and we’re only 3 days away from our move to San Francisco. THREE DAYS! Might as well be lightyears away, because even though I am super excited about our move, right now I don’t even want to think about all of the boxes I’ll have to unpack. All I want is more ice cream, late dinners al fresco and huge water fights.

I’ll share some pictures from our week in Denmark soon, but today I just wanted to find these cute little DIYs to celebrate summer in pink. Happy Friday, friends!

Source: 1.  Strawberry & almond milk popsicles. |2. DIY dreamcatcher |3. Simple table decoration |4. Simple painted candles. |5. Pink horses for a cake.

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Before we move to the Bay area on Monday, I have to share some of my favorite places from where I live in NYC – Downtown Manhattan. Somehow I already miss it a bit, this neighborhood that I called home for  3 years :) When people visit New York City, they usually don’t spend much time in the Downtown area, apart from zooming through to the Statue of Liberty, visiting Ground Zero and stopping by Wall Street. I know that downtown might at first sight lack the charm of other neighborhoods in Manhattan, but if you look just a bit better, you’ll find some really unique things. Here are my very favorite places:


EAT HERE – Los Americanos in Tribeca: I discovered Los Americanos completely randomly, needing a place to cool off with the girls after a doctor’s appointment a couple weeks before we left New York. It’s funny how often we spend hours looking for the perfect place to have dinner, only to be disappointed, and then little gems like Los Americanos just pop up out of nowhere. Hubby and I loved it so much that we decided to have going away drinks with our friends there, and it didn’t disappoint. We closed the place ;) The drinks were amazing, the food is a great mix of South American cuisine, but with a very authentic feel to it, and the retro decor made me feel like I was in Buenos Aires. Address: 305 Church street, NY, NY 10013

PLAY HERE: Teardrop park in Battery Park City. The best kept secret of downtown Manhattan if you have little ones. Teardrop is our urban oasis, our salvation on the many NYC hot hot hot summer days. This little park is nested between Battery Park high rises and surrounded by tons of trees. When we go there it’s like we’re escaping the city – it’s all water, rocks, sand….and the longest slide you’ll ever see! The  girls could spend hours playing there, and as parents, it’s probably the only park we’re I can happily stay without feeling like I am putting in “park like” hours for the girls. It’s relaxing and fun.

HAVE A DRINK – Stone Street in the Financial District: sometimes I like to think about Stone Street as the original Little Street. I made so many memories there, out with only hubby or with friends, and going there always make me smile. It’s probably the street of NYC that I love the most, probably because it reminds me of Europe quite a bit. It’s one small street, but don’t let it fool you, there’s a great restaurant of almost every type of food you might be looking for – Mexican, Swedish, a great pub with the best brunch buffet on Sunday morning, coffee and pastries, brick-oven pizzas. No traffic allowed on Stone Street, and as soon as the nice weather arrives, all of the restaurants set up tables in the middle of the street for this never-ending-beer-fest kinda atmosphere.

SHOP HERE – New Amsterdam Market in South Street Seaport. I hadn’t gone back to South Street Seaport since Hurricane Sandy hit NYC last fall, and it was so sad for me to see almost all of the shops down there still closed up. But people haven’t given up on making Seaport what it used to be, and recently the New Amsterdam market opened up again, on the last Sunday of every month (rather than weekly as it used to be before the hurricane). You don’t want to miss it! There you’ll find great produce, the freshest and most unique breads and pies, and loads of yummy food to eat on the spot. It’s like no other market in NYC, and it makes it worth hanging out in Downtown Manhattan!

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I am not a girl to wear a lot of jewelry, but when I love a piece, I’ll wear it ‘til death do us part. And when I discovered the handmade jewelry by Son of a Sailor a year ago, I knew right away that I’d be visiting their shop over and over again..and again. They charmed me with simple lines, plenty of bright colors, all of the natural materials that they use – wood, leather, etc- and the nautical references. Their jewelry and other gifts have such a genuine feel to them, because I think that Jessica and Billy of Son of a Sailor are such genuine people themselves.

And Right now, they are offering some exclusive designs through their Indiegogo campaign in order to raise up some money so that they can attend a big tradeshow that will hopefully help them grow their business further. They are almost 1/2 way through their goal, and need a bit more help to raise the rest. Maybe you want to snag a little something beautiful while helping these awesome people? I myself snagged the beautiful Luna set below! Also, check out their videos to learn a bit more about what they do and why they love what they do :)

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We only have one week left in Europe before our move to San Francisco, can you believe it?! It’s been so nice to be here at my parents, doing nothing but enjoying the little things that life in the countryside has too offer. A real break from life in the city. Last week we went to my grandma’s to pick cherries from her cherry tree – she’s too old now to climb up a ladder and we couldn’t leave these to the birds! Her garden is a pretty magical place, I used to spend so much time there when I was little. Roses and other flowers grow in every corner, between every patch of vegetables and underneath fruit trees. There is no real order, it’s a beautiful mess of a garden, really, filled with bright colors and sweet smells. It was so much fun snapping pictures of Madeline trying reach for cherries to fill her little basket, lost among the rose bushes. Happy Friday, friends!

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Remember last week when I told you I was participating in an awesome cross-country crafty challenge called Trade & Made!? Well, today is our big reveal – we’re showing you what we came up with! Last week I showed you what supplies all of the participating bloggers received, and the rule was that we had to use at least 4 of the supplies that came in our box to come up with a unique DIY project. Let me tell you, ain’t as easy as it seems! Usually when I DIY I buy extra supplies in case the DIY doesn’t exactly go the way I want to to (and let’s face it, it NEVER does)…but here, there was no room for a redo. A nice little challenge!

My box was filled with gold items and bright, flashy colors, so I came up with this little golden clouds mobile for my cutie pie of a niece. The hot pink thread makes a nice, bold contrast with the gold paper. Simple and colorful :)  I can’t wait to poke around the Trade and Made website and find out what the 12 other participating bloggers came up with!

Most of the supplies I used were from Michaels, as well as a pretty silk ribbon from For The Makers. Keep on reading for instructions on how to make the mobile.

What you need: 

  • 3 wooden dowels 
  • gold foiled paper 
  • hot pink thread 
  • teal silk ribbon 
  • clear glue

What you do:
1. Cut a couple inches off two of the dowels. Save all of the pieces.
2. Arrange the wooden dowels to see the structure of the mobile – the longest one on top, next level are the two medium pieces, and the two smallest pieces go under one of the medium pieces.
3. Start linking the dowels by wrapping a long piece of thread at each end of the top dowel. Glue it so it won’t move. Wrap the other end of the thread around the middle of each of the dowels below and secure with a knot. Repeat until all of the dowels are linked together.
4. Fold the gold paper in two and glue together so you can cut clouds that are gold on bother sides. Wait until it’s dry.
5. In the paper, cut 2 big clouds, 4 medium clouds and about 20 raindrops.
6. Use small pieces of threads to glue the rain drops to the back of the clouds.
7. Use longer pieces of thread to attach each cloud to the bottom dowels. Wrap around and glue. The biggest clouds will go under the medium dowel, the medium clouds will go under the smallest dowels.
8. Check the balance of your mobile – if a dowel is out of balance, move the thread in the middle to the left or right until balance is found.
9. Wrap the silk ribbon in the middle of the top dowel, and glue when you find the right balance.
10. Hang above baby’s head and wait for cooing :)

 

A very special thank you to the sponsors who made Trade & Made possible: MichaelsSpecialty BottleFor the MakersClear & Simple Stamps and DecoArt. And of course, to Erin and Laura for organizing the challenge, as well as Gloria of Little White Whale Studio for putting together the amazing Trade and Made website. Make sure to check out what everybody else made!

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