Happy Monday, friends! A little “color” inspiration post all in white, for once :) We used to have so much white in our New York apartment, and since we moved to California I really miss having so much white in my home. The home we’re currently renting in Berkeley is absolutely beautiful, but it is an old craftsman house and there’s a lot of wood in every room – loads and loads of it. The walls are also painted all shades of light beige, grey and pale yellow. My hand is itching to grab a paintbrush and go white crazy – give this house a clean slate. But wondering if that’s worth it since we won’t be here forever, painting can be so expensive! So I have trying to find over ways to add white. What about you – does your home have a lot of white? Do you crave it too?

Images: 1.| 2.| 3.| 4.| 5.| 6.

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My sweet little Olivia,

Almost a year since I last put down in words how amazing it is to have you as my little girl. How in the world did I get so lucky? I like to pretend that I am writing this letter to you, my little love, but really, I am writing it for myself because you are growing ever so fast and I don’t want to forget a thing. So, here are the 10 things that I love so so much about you right now, Olivia:

1. The way to draw and paint the world. You get lost into the things you make, and the more you grow up the more I see myself in you. Your imagination is as big as the sky! Quite frankly, I often get lost just watching you draw and paint. You’re every bit of the creative girl – having paint on your fingers is probably the best thing that can happen to you any day of the week :) The other on our way to gym class I said “Oh sorry we forgot to wash the paint on your hands, should we do it when we get there?” and you replied with a big smile on your face “No, I like my hands like this“. :)

2, How thirsty you are for stories- whether we make them up or read them to you. Every morning on our way to school, you’ll ask me: “Mama, can you tell me the story of…” And I happily tell these stories to you, over and over again.

3. Your tiny tiny braids. Your hair’s been growing so slowly (I’ve only cut it twice 3 times in your whole life), but you like to pretend you are a princess from Frozen wearing some of those gorgeous scandinavian braids -so we braid your hair, pretty much every day. It’s probably my favorite part of getting you ready in the morning :)

4. How much you love the water. And I mean, I think you must have been a fish or a dolphin in a previous life ;) Your favorite book right now is Manfish, a story about the life of explorer Jacques Cousteau, and you ask me to read it just about every night. 10 times in a row :) You often scream “dyggemaske” (diving mask!) and jump around the house as if you were stepping in the ocean.

5. You are always ever so happy. EVER. SO. HAPPY. And one thing you’ll realize with time little girl, is that it is contagious and rubs off on people – so don’t you dare ever loosing that side of you. You always make our bad days so so much better with your smiles and hugs.

6. the way you shake your little bootie when you dance – guess those ballet classes are paying off after all ;) It is so cute, and you’re always trying new move. But be aware, Daddy’s watching you though, making sure the bootie shaking doesn’t go overboard :)

7. You are the most social child I’ve ever seen. You are always looking to make new friends, asking when we’ll have play dates, and you sure aren’t afraid of talking to people you don’t know. Oh, and you love an audience. A few weeks ago we were watching the Olympic Games on TV, and you said: “When I am big, can I snowboard too?“, directly followed by “Can people come and watch me?“. Haha, well yes of course.

8. Our little walks together. Once a week you and I walk alone from your school to Madeline’s school, and I cherish that precious time alone with you so so much under the sun, checking out whatever comes our way. The way you look at the world never stops to amaze me!

9. You are just so amazingly sweet. You prepare “parties” for daddy and me and will “decorate” your whole room for us. You’ll stop halfway through your breakfast and say something like “mama, did you buy this dress for me?“, and when I say yes you reply with sparkly eyes: “Oh thanks you so much mama cherie!“. If I come pick you up from school and decided to put on a little lipstick, you’ll pull me close, put your hands on my cheeks and say: “mama, I love your lips – you’re so pretty!

10. Seeing you turning into such wonderful big sister. You take such good care of Madeline already – whenever she’s gone you keep asking for her. You girls play “mama” together, you dance around the living room together, you create new stories with your princesses together. I can’t wait to see what an amazing big sister you’re going to be with your other baby sister when she arrives in May.

Keep on dreaming and dancing and loving the world, little girls. I love you to the moon and back. If not more.

You mama.

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Since you guys seemed to really like the “10 tips to take killer pictures with your phone” post that I wrote last fall, I thought I’d do a follow up and share some great ways you can get these pictures off your phone and into your left – 5 great ways to print and gift the pictures you have on your phone or Instagram account! Talking about Instagram, are you in yet? If not, you’re missing out! I know, you’re gonna say “One more social media platform I need to deal with, thanks but no thanks!” I felt the same before joining last year. But I changed my mind really fast, it’s really the best!  Here’s my account – make sure to say hello :)

Alright, so back to printing these pictures. Before I dive into the fancier products, I get my regular prints using an app called PostalPix, FIY. It works great for me, really easy to order right from my phone and the prints arrive at my house fast. Now, into the fancier stuff, shall we?

1. A calendar: there are a lot of lovely calendars out there, but this one by Prinstagram is my very favorite. I love that each day has a different photograph, and the quality of the paper is super nice. Once you tear of the page of the day you can still use that picture to decorate your walls or to write a little note to a friend. And that concrete block with the planter (sold separately), gaaah – makes it look so sleek and cute! I got this calendar to put on hubby’s desk at home, and his first reaction when I saw it: “Can I get another one like this to put in my office at work?” Score :)


2. Artifact Uprising mini book: If you don’t know Artifact Uprising yet, I need to bring you up to speed – they make the most beautiful albums, and guess what, they are rather affordable too! To make this mini book of your phone/Instagram pictures, it couldn’t be any easier – because they have an app for that, and a pretty sweet one if you ask me!  The interface is SO pretty and easy to navigate, I was done with making my book  in just a few minutes. BAM a beautiful little book filled with priceless memories, just like that!


3. Photo strips: These are so much fun, maybe even my favorites! I print mine with Prinstagram and I use these strips in my journals. You can create some fun “themes” and tell a story about a day with your pictures. Sometimes I’ll sneak one in hubby’s laptop bag or in the girls’ lunch bag to remind them of that fun day we went to the beach or when we visited our families in Europe. Makes them smile every time :)


4. Instagram watches: these custom watches by May 28th are DA BOMB! You can select whatever pictures you have on your Instagram account or upload any other photo from your computer, change the color of the band, the buckle, the keeper…you name it. Loads of fun colors you can pick from too!  They would make an amazing present for mother of father’s day. Personally, I love mine. The bright colors cheer me up, and I love checking the time during the day and seeing that picture of Olivia all cuddled up with the teddy bears  at Target:)


5. Polaroid prints: Last but not least, polaroid pictures. Who doesn’t like polaroid pics, right? There is just something nostalgic and fun about them. Too bad they cost an arm and a leg now that they don’t make the original film anymore! The good thing is, there are quite a few companies out there that will let you turn your pictures into a polaroid pic. I use Prinstagram again here because they are so easy and I love the format of the prints/quality of the paper, but other companies you should check out include Printic (more white space below the pictures like a real polaroid) and Origrami (great packaging and they can print the map where the picture was taken on the back of the picture, sweet!)

 Disclaimer: Upon my request, UA, May 28th and Prinstagram sent me some of their products for review. All text, pictures and opinion are my own. 

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Happy Wednesday, friends! Switching it up gears a bit from all the DIYs and home posts I’ve been doing lately. Today I wanted to share with you three books that I’ve been reading – and really really enjoying! I mean, I’d buy them for their covers alone (aren’t they all so pretty?!), but what’s inside is equally as good! Keep on reading to find out what I think of each book. What about you guys, anything that you’ve been reading & love? Always looking for suggestions!

PS: If you guys like this post, let me know & I might do book posts more often :) ….although haha, who am I kidding, will I really have any time at all to read once baby girl arrives?


♥♥♥ Where’d you go, Bernadette? ♥♥♥ I’d been wanting to pick up this one for months, but only finally jumped in a couple weeks ago – no regrets! This book is written in such an unconventional and funny way. From the beginning you know what happens (Bernadette, the main characters, disappears), but the story and characters unfolds little by little with so much creativity and wit – crazy and funny and so real all in one. Put together with bits and pieces from flashbacks, emails etc, the book had me turning pages lime a mad woman to finally figure it out – where did Bernadette actually go? Plus, having lived in Seattle and worked for Microsoft, this book brought me straight down memory lane :)


♥♥♥ Creative block ♥♥♥ This book just came out, and whenever I saw Victoria’s post I knew I had to get it! If you are a creative person, you’re going to adore this book. In this book, Danielle Krysa (bet you know her, she’s the Jealous Curator!) has gathered 50 interviews of amazing artists. These interviews are just so honest and witty, nestled between beautiful photograph of gorgeous artwork. The artists talk about their own creative blocks and insecurities, which you’d think would be a sad topic, but everything they share is actually so inspiring. What I like the most about this book is that these artists get down and dirty on how they actually get unstuck, in a very concrete way, and each of them also gives a “creative unblock exercise” to help shake us readers out of our own creative blocks. Priceless!


♥♥♥ Prints & Patterns ♥♥♥ Oh, how I *love* this book! I picked it up last month at my local art store, and it’s quickly becoming my go to book whenever I need pattern ideas for a project – or when my brain feels the need for a little color explosion :) a real jumpstart for inspiration! It’s the second volume in the series – I don’t own the first one, but I might just have to ask for it for my birthday in a couple weeks! The book is like a encyclopedia for prints and patterns, featuring dozens of modern designers and their beautiful, colorful work. Real eye candy for the pattern and color lover!

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I am so excited to share today’s DIY with you – only because the girls have been as excited about it as I have. And well, let’s just say dipped kitchen jars – no matter their amazingness ;) - don’t quite work as well on them. But a reward chart with magnetic gold stars? AND their own names on it? AND it glows in the dark?! Booooyaaah – we’ve got a winner!

Since baby #3 is due to arrive in May, hubby and I have been trying to get the girls to do as much on their own as possible and help out. But all we got was a “kicking-and-rolling-on-the-floor-trying-to-put-her-shoes-on” Olivia and a “but-muuuuum-my-legs-are-to-tired-to-carry-this-spoon” Madeline. We were making real progress here friends, obviously. Until I made these board for them. Now, they want to do everything and anything on their own to get a star! It’s like, I can retire as a mama and just wait for my kids by the pool with a (virgin) margarita in my hand while they clean up the house. Almost.

How it works: the rule is pretty easy, they get a star when they are nice/helpful, and once they earn enough stars to spell out their entire name they get a prize – sometimes of their own choosing, something hubby and I come up with something. The starts are magnetic and super easy for them to move back and forth. Right now we’re giving away stars left and right because we just started with it and want them to think it’s super fun. The girls get a start for getting dressed/undressed on their own, putting their shoes on on their own in the morning (was a BIG battle with Olivia before!), helping to set and clean the table, cleaning up their toys, when they are super nice to each other or other kids, etc. Once all of these things start becoming habits to them (and they get older), we’ll tell them about other ways that they can earn stars.

Oh, and yes, like I said, these board also GLOW IN THE DARK! Because we all know that something that glows in the dark is 100 times cooler to kids. And to my hubby  too ;) Totally optional but a nice final touch. I only added glow paint to the names, although you could go all out and paint the magnetic stars with invisible glow paint also to make it extra cool.

 

Click here to learn how to make this magnetic constellation reward board

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In case you didn’t know, today is St Patrick’s day – a.k.a rainbow power day in my books, so here’s a little color inspiration for you if I may! Last year for St Patrick’s day my very good Irish friend invited us over her apartment to celebrate, and it was all stew and green jello and potato stamping and potato racing for the kids Haaaa to be Irish – add a potato to any activity and you’ve got yourself the Irish version…just kidding ;) I don’t think we’ll be doing much for St Patrick’s day this year. Duh, I can’t even have a Guinness so where would the fun be, really! Are you guys celebrating at all?

Happy Monday, friends!

Images: 1. | 2. |3. |4. |5. |6. |7.

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Yay and it’s Friday! And to put you all in a happy weekend mood I thought I’d share some pics of our last weekend at the beach. The perks of living in California are pretty endless!

It wasn’t a pretty white-sand-and-palm-trees kind of beach we went to, but it was perfect in its own way – wild like we like it in Northern California. We made princess castles and collected seashells. We skipped in the waves. We closed our eyes and let the sunshine fill our happy little souls. And since the beach was just around the corner from the Golden Gate Bridge, we also made a tourist stop to snap a couple pics of that heck of a view. Because, why not. We’re so  very blessed.

Have the loveliest of weekends, friends!

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While many of you are still under a pretty little blanket of snow, it’s been warm here in California – so warm that the lavender in our garden is already in full bloom. Don’t hate me, friends, but I’ve actually been wearing my sandals all week ;) Anyway, I thought, why not make up a little drink that will make you feel warm and cosy inside, but with a little taste of summer to it? Yum yum lavender white hot chocolate!

It’s such a delicious & comforting drink, really easy to make. And you know what, it would also make such a cute little gift for friends if you packaged some white chocolate chips and lavender buds together in a milk bottle with the recipe attached to it. In any case, enjoy – and if you try it let me know what you think!

Lavender white hot chocolate

Makes one large mug of hot chocolate, or two smaller servings. 

  •  2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/3 tsp lavender buds (adjust according to preference, lavender is quite fragrant)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
Heat milk and lavender buds over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the milk starts to simmer. Remove from heat and leave the lavender for 5 minutes in the warm milk. Strain lavender and but the milk back on medium heat. Add the white chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk milk mixture for 10-20 seconds until frothy.

I didn’t have any cream to make whipped cream, but my taste buds tells me it couldn’t hurt to have a bit of whipped cream with this bad boy ;) If you do, just make sure not to make the whipped cream to sweet as the white chocolate already makes this hot chocolate plenty sweet!

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I have an obsession with pretty, colorful storage for the home. So of course, when I got these glass jars I just couldn’t possibly leave them alone – I HAD to add a bit of color to them! Is it bad, doctor? Here is a super easy DIY for these dipped jars, using spray paint & foam letters as stencils to mark their content. I really love the way they look on my kitchen shelf (I’d been looking for ways to add more coral and green to my home!) – and even better is the fact that as soon as whatever’s in the jar disappears below the line, I know it’s time to buy some more at the grocery store ;)

I left some of the jars dipped, but also had fun adding a little bit of a pattern to some of them with my sharpie pens. Come on, you know me – one of them HAD to have polka dots one way or another ;)

Keep reading to see how I made them…

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I first ran into Bloomingville products last summer in Denmark when we were visiting my husband’s family – and fell in love with it right away. I’ve already spend hours browsing through their S/S 14 catalogue and there’s isn’t a thing I don’t like. Now, if only they sold in the US! Here are a little selection of some of my favorite products by Bloomingville – perfect for Spring! :) Happy Tuesday, friends!

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