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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My favorite places - Downtown Manhattan

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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Oh...hello!

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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A mystery craft challenge, say whaaat?! Take 13 creative bloggers from across the country, send them a mystery box filled with craft supplies, and find out what they all make out of it…that’s it, in a nutshell, the genius idea behind Trade and Made - a cross-country craft challenge put together by Erin at House of Earnest And Laura at A Girl Who Makes. And guess what, I am one of the lucky girls who gets to do it! I received a with a box filled with fun things from Michael’s, Clear and Simple stamps, For the makers, Deco Art, and Specialty Bottle. Here’s a little preview….now, what to make, what to make?! Come back next Wednesday for the answer and tutorial!

Also, don’t forget you’ll be able to check out all of the other awesome DIYs made by all of the other bloggers participating in this year’s challenge – just go to the Trade and Made website (designed by the amazing Gloria at Little White Whale) and you’ll find a link to all of the tutorials that will be posted next Wendesday -I have no doubt all of them are going to be pretty fabulous too!

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Photo credit: Image by the amazing & super talented photographer Erika Gerdemark.

I have one big announcement to make, friends! If you subscribe to my email, you might already know this, but to the rest of you my dear readers: we’re hitting the road, Jack!

This August I’m moving to the Bay area with the little family – we’re so beyond excited! If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably know that moving to the Bay Area has been on my bucket list for a very long time. We knew we wanted to head West before our last move to New York, and we’re so happy it’s finally happening. As you can guess it’s been all boxes and packing and more boxes for me! My husband and I hesitated a long time between moving to Marin County and the East Bay – we finally decided to move to Berkeley. We can’t wait to go explore!

We’re going straight to SF after our vacation in France. No more New York. It is going to be a bittersweet move because a part of us doesn’t really want to leave New York. We know that it is not the right place for us to raise our family, but it is still an amazing city, unlike any other we’ve lived in. We’ll miss the vibrancy and the hecticness and the wonderfulness of it the minute we get on that plane headed West, no doubt about it. But it’s time. We can’t wait for this new chapter of our life to start. We have moved so so much over the past few years (it is actually going to be my 6th move in 7 years!), and we’re hoping that this move is going to be “it” for us – that it will be the place where we settle and raise our little tribe.

SO COME ON, BAY AREA FRIENDS, DISH IT ALL OUT – ANY TIPS ON WHERE TO HANG OUT, EAT, & HAVE FUN…I WANT TO KNOW IT ALL! 

 

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I always knew that our life in Manhattan with the girls was a bit complicated, but being at my parents in the French countryside for the summer vacation, I am getting to see the extent of that. We traded the subway for a bike. We traded the top notch children’s museum for my parent’s backyard, filled with treasures and opportunities to discover. We traded fancy brunch restaurants for the old walls of my grandmother’s farmhouse, where we spread homemade blackberry jam on thick slices of crusty bread. Life, simplified. Life, as good as it gets. We fill our days with simple little moments that I know the girls will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives. Childhood in the making. We pick flowers, anytime, anywhere. We dip our fingers in unharvested honey from my dad’s beehives. They play with my aunt’s dalmatian puppies. We pick cherries at my grandma’s and raspberries at my sister’s. Through their eyes, I rediscover myself, I rediscover my own childhood. And it’s exactly what they say: you can take the girl out of the French countryside, but you can’t take the French countryside out of the girl.

PS: For more pictures of our vacation in France, follow my Instagram feed here.

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L: Paris apartment via Au Coin du Monde |R: Watermelon soda float via Bon Appetit.

Do we all need a little something to cool off? It’s been really warm here in France since I arrived with the girls last week - we’ve been trying to cool off whatever way we can. Thank goodness we’re not in NYC anymore though, my poor hubby is still there stuck in our apartment. With no AC. During a heat wave. Yikes! In today’s {live here, eat that}, loads of wood and neutral colors for this gorgeous Paris apartment. Something about it makes me feel cooler, maybe because I associate wood and neutrals with Scandinavia, where temperatures never get crazy hot – and THAT’s the understatement of the year, my friends. Oh, and while we’re making ourselves at home in this pretty little home, shall I fix you this yummy watermelon soda float? It’s on me, I insist :)

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