Friday, March 19, 2010

A Few Things

As predicted, the weather went from 70 degrees yesterday, to 6 inches of snow today. Not even kidding. But it's supposed to be warm again on Sunday, so I'm choosing to ignore this little blip in the forecast. Instead, I'll keep day dreaming of summery things. Like these colorful shirts on the line by Chipoupine. Here are a few things for you to enjoy over the weekend:

-All the artwork and photography from the Mom 2.0 Exhibit is up for auction. Great prices. Gorgeous pieces. Created by the blogging community. Go see. You can even bid on Ben Blair's photo of me making pie crust. Best part: all proceeds go to Haiti.

50 Signature HandBags — a perfect reference for all you fashionistas.

-In the mood for mint and tomato?

-My favorite image (and words) of the week. Can't wait to do up some eggs!

-Wow. Look how decadent this Vogue editoral is.

-Remember the poster showcasing everything he owns (including a too ripe banana)? Well here's another version of the same idea from a different artist. Someone who owns more stuff.

-Have you ever seen such clever stamps?

-Let's all collect colorful watering cans.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend. My kids have school off next week for Spring Break — so we'll be brainstorming clever and adventurous ways to spend our vacation here at home. I'm sure at least some of our plans will be all about getting ready for Easter. What are you up to this weekend?

P.S. — Don't miss your chance to win 2 custom paintings of your child's favorite toy. Click here to enter.

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Serena & Lily Catalog

The latest Serena & Lily catalog has me drooling. I'm especially taken with the Freida duvet. Plus, have you seen the new Bazaar Section they just added? It's filled with all sorts of funky, hard-to-find pieces that make fantastic accents for a room. And most of the listings in the Bazaar are one of a kind — which means, when they're gone, they're gone.

Serena & Lily is also a great spot to find nursery inspiration. Aren't those white paper cranes gorgeous?

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Baby Name Books

We've decided we need to get serious about thinking up baby names, so I ordered a copy of my
favorite baby name book. It arrived yesterday and we're all getting a kick out of perusing it.

The first time I bought this book (when I was pregnant with Ralph), it was called Beyond Jennifer & Jason. And then it was Beyond Madison & Montana. And now it's Beyond Ava & Aiden. I like it because it's not a simple alphabetical list of names and meanings. Instead, there are dozens and dozens of different sorts of lists -- like Metrodude Names and Vintage Starbaby Names and So Far Out They're In Names -- plus good conversational writing between each section. I remember reading it for the first time and thinking it would be a fun bookclub book. We also like looking up the names of our current children to see what lists they appear on in each version of the book.

Even if we don't end up using a name from the book, it's a fun volume to have around. Turns out the creators of the book are also responsible for Nameberry -- which is a super fun site to check out names.

Do you have a favorite baby name book?


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Custom Toy Portrait Giveaway

Oh. I love today's giveaway. Jennifer Maher is offering custom toy portraits for a lucky winner — one 8"x10" and one 5"x7" — a total value of $165. Isn't that fantastic? Two original works of art — they could inspire a whole gallery wall. How does it work: snap a photo of your child's favorite toy and Jennifer will magically transfer it into high art. For reals.

I love Jennifer's style and I love the idea of capturing one or two of my child's favorite objects — capturing a snapshot of their childhood — in a painting. Talk about an heirloom! You know you'll be handing these pieces of art down to your own children as they put together nurseries for your grandkids. And Jennifer's prices are totally reasonable for custom art. Take a look.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!


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Oh my goodness. We're down to less than two months till my due date. So creating a space for this new little baby is on my mind. I found gorgeous nursery inspiration at British company, Bambizi. I don't think we're in the market for a new crib, but this "cot" made me smile — absolutely fantastic for a little prince or princess.


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On Kirtsy This Week

What is it about this week? Every morning I wake up and think it's Friday. At least today, I'm only a day off. : )

Here are some of my favorite kirtsy links from the last week or so. (
Kirtsy is a site where anyone can share cool links — I'm one of the co-founders).

-It looks like a real, actual house. And it's gorgeous.

-A great article on getting kids off the couch and into the great outdoors.

-Do you rsvp — or have you abandoned the practice?

-A post written by a mother who is observing her baby-loving toddler while knowing this daughter is infertile. Heartache!

-Why teenage girls are awesome.

-Photoshoot of a soldier coming home and meeting his baby girl for the first time.

-The best films you've never seen.

-Want to receive a fun postcard from all 50 States?

-Does owning less stuff equal having more time?

-The New York Times published a piece about mommy-blogging and the reaction hasn't been great. Here's one well-written response.

-I am enough! An invitation from Tracey Clark.

-Yummy. Anthropologie has a new sister brand called Leifsdottir. (That's where all these neato images came from. Do you like the washed out photography?)

Anything fun you've seen on Kirtsy lately? Any links you've added to Kirtsy?


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Clutches

It's so warm today that I'm browsing swimsuit sites and dreaming of summer handbags. I think accessories with wooden accents (like bamboo handles) are exactly right for warm weather dressing. I like these little clutches by Pistolstitched.


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Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Sewing & Fabric Crafts

Friends. If you adore fabric — or anything related to fabric — I highly encourage you to pre-order your copy of Martha's new Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. It covers everything I love about working with textiles. Dyeing, printing, stamping, embroidering, quilting, etc. With the gorgeous photography and clear instructions that are trademarks of anything Martha. 150 different projects are featured. That's right. One hundred and fifty. Like the companion volume, the Encyclopedia of Crafts, this volume is a heavyweight. It's the size of a major textbook.

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy and I've been reading it like a novel. I think the first thing I want to try is a project featuring some ribbon embroidery.
Wouldn't it be lovely to embellish a little hat and blanket for this new baby?


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Adoption Gift from Katie Mohr

For Mother's Day I got a painting. It was an original. It had custom framing. It was expensive in many contexts. It cost years of tests, shots, co-pays, pregnancy tests, adoption fees, postage on paperwork, airline tickets, country fees, and international ATM fees. It cost tough conversations, tears, long runs to clear my head, eight months of my "real life", strong hugs, several hard Mother's Days, thousands of prayers, and rolls upon rolls of cookie dough. If I gave you a real dollar amount we might all throw up. However, this painting is worth it. It's that good. I would pay that "price" all over again.

It was made by two little hands. Two perfect hands. Two brown hands.

The same two hands that offered me part of his waffle on Sunday morning when Russ told him that it was Mother's Day. The same brown hands that rise in the air when he hears his new favorite song because he wants to "dance" with me. The same little hands that search through my hair to find which earrings I'm wearing each day. And the same hands that have to sign "more" because he's giggling too much to talk. The same sweet hands that blew me a kiss after I said good night to him while he was already tucked into bed tonight.

I'm in love. I'm in love with Eliot, I'm in love with being his mom, I'm in love with the Lord for creating him and "us", and I'm in love with his painting.

From Katie of More From The Mohrs.
Image via Fresh Art Photography.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to


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Birth Video from Jarica

I'm just now sitting down at my desk after my morning prenatal visit. All is well. I was encouraged to add more pineapple and dried apricots to my diet — apparently both are high in iron. Who knew? Plus, I got the "all-clear" for a quick trip to New York next weekend.

It wasn't exactly a St. Patrick's Day celebration, but it was still fun to be out and about and see everyone wearing green. Are you doing anything special for St. Patrick's Day? Did your kids wear green to school? I'm thinking it would be fun to pick up a box of Lucky Charms for an after school snack today.

In the meantime, I've got some great posts for you. Starting with this beautiful birth video (nothing graphic, I promise) from Jarica Madsen.

An Amazing Miracle from Jake Madsen on Vimeo.

Granted, I'm 32 weeks pregnant, but I cried the whole way through.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bonpoint — Now For U.S. Shoppers!

Great news! Bonpoint just opened a site for U.S. shoppers. Gorgeous things for newborns, toddlers, boys and girls. Mmmmmm. I will take one of each.

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Book of the Week — My Book About Me

Did you ever have this book as a kid? I loved my copy. It's a fill-in-the-blanks journal with all the cleverness of Dr. Suess. It's called My Book About Me and it covers everything a kid would care about in their kid-sized world — favorite color, how big your foot is, how many steps from the front door to the mailbox. Oscar received a copy for his birthday and he adores it. It is a daily read.


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Train Token Necklaces

The girls at Blue Poppy Jewelry have been working on a new necklace using authentic train tokens. Wouldn't one of these make a cool gift for your wanderlust-addicted friend?


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Ask Design Mom — Curly Hair

Ask Design Mom Question:

I have to know about your hair! I have naturally curly hair as well and I NEED to know what products you use in your hair. (Shampoo, Conditioner, Gel or Mousse... seems so personal but all of these things affect the result.) I have wasted tons of money on so many products and they all give different results. Also, do you air dry or diffuse? Thanks, Missy

Design Mom Answer:
Thanks for the question, Missy. I actually find this question in my inbox frequently. And then I totally nod my head in sympathy because as a fellow curly headed person I totally know the frustration of figuring out a hair process and knowing how to deal with curls in all sorts of situations (like humid New York vs. bone dry Denver).

Here's the basic process that works for me: In the shower, I shampoo lightly and then heavily condition and let the conditioner soak in for a few minutes while I'm soaping up. I'm fairly relaxed about products — something luxurious from the salon is always a treat, but I'm equally satisfied with a variety of drugstore brands. Right now, my favorite is Infusium because the conditioner is really thick.

After the shower, I gently(!) towel dry my hair. I don't run my fingers through it or brush or comb it — the key is to not separate the curls. Next, I fill my palm with a mix of leave-in conditioner and hair gel — again, I'm not too particular about brands — and work the combo through my hair. (Note: don't brush or comb or pull your fingers through your hair to work in the product, just kind of moosh/scrunch it in everywhere.)

Then I let my hair air-dry till it's about 75% dry — while I put on my makeup and get dressed. Finally I flip my head upside down and use a hair-dryer with a diffuser to finish drying the roots. Diffusing with my hair upside down gives more lift at the roots so the curls don't look like they're dragging.

Last two tips: 1) I only get my hair fully wet every 3rd or 4th day. For showers during non-shampoo days, I just pull it up into a bun so it doesn't get wet. 2) At hair appointments, I make sure to keep my layers trimmed — especially around my face. Otherwise the curls get too heavy and my hair forms a gigantic triangle.

And that's it. The book Curly Girl helped me quite a bit in how I approach my hair. I don't follow all of its guidelines, but it's definitely a great place to start if you're frustrated with your curls (or your child's curls). In fact, if you like it, you could totally give a copy to your hairdresser.

What about you Fellow Curly Girls? Do you have any favorite haircare products or haircare tips?

Images of curly haired peeps from Bumble & Bumble.

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Ice Milk Aprons

Good morning, Friends! I couldn't post yesterday due to some technical difficulties. My apologies to those of you who checked in hoping for some new content. Happily, the technical stuff was resolved this morning and I've got some fantastic posts to share today.

First off, what are your thoughts on aprons? I tend to favor waist aprons versus full aprons — and I adore these straightforward, really beautiful options from Ice Milk Aprons. (Although, right now, I'm happy for anything that covers my giant tummy.) Something about the change of seasons seems to draw me into the kitchen. In the fall, I crave pie making. In the spring, I like cake.

Do you use aprons in the kitchen?

spotted on SimpleSong


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Friday, March 12, 2010

A Few Things

Hello Friends! This Spring weather has me in such a good mood.
I hope we will spend the entire weekend out of doors. And I must buy some cut flowers for the house. What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? I think we will be seeking out a steakhouse — my midwife says I'm slightly anemic and need more iron so I want to feast on steak on creamed spinach. : )

Here are some links I've been meaning to share:

-The Egg Print above is by Abby (seen on Unruly Things). It's wonderful and it reminded me I'm excited to make Easter Eggs. Any particular Easter Egg methods you're looking to try this year?

-The third issue of (online magazine) Lonny is out. I'm hoping to read it over the weekend.

-Did you see the Chanel Iceberg?

-It's a diaper and carrier in one. What do you think? Would this work for you?

-The man in your life has questions. Find the cleverly written answers — a new one written each day — here: The Rules of a Gentleman. (via UpsideUp)

-I want to make a shamrock badge.

-If you wanted to, you could add a cheery ruffle to your corkboard.

-It's called Ikea Heights. And it's a melodrama filmed entirely in an Ikea store. Except. Ikea doesn't know about it. (Warning: apparently some episodes are NSFW. Yikes.)

-For lunch today, let's just eat an entire tray of these blondies.

P.S. — Don't miss the 5-Strand Pearl Necklace up for grabs in my Leslie Lewis Giveaway. You can enter till Monday. I hope you win!

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Hand Printed Wallpapers

Do you have wallpaper in your home? I think the hand-printed offerings from Grow House Grow are pretty. Plus, each design has a story.


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leslie Lewis Designs Giveaway

A beautiful giveaway today. From jewelry designer (and fellow Colorado girl), Leslie Lewis. You could win this gorgeous
Not Your Mother's Pearls necklace. Five perfect strands. And then you could wear it out on the town. Or to the grocery store. Either way, you'd look lovely sporting such an elegant creation.

Go to Leslie's site to see more of her jewelry. Earrings. Bracelets. Necklaces. At lots of different price ranges. Some of my favorites? The Classic Bali, Precious Metals, and Posh. But really, my favorite is the one up for grabs in this giveaway. Isn't it beautiful?

To enter, leave a comment below. A happy winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!

Congratulations to Through the Looking Glass! You are the lucky winner. Enjoy your pearls.

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We Are Fast

The weather has been lovely and all of the outdoor toys have spilled out of our garage. The jumpropes. The longboard. The ride-on jeep. And especially the bikes. Have you noticed all the pretty bikes available these days? I like these custom bikes by We Are Fast.

My kids have bikes, but Ben Blair and I don't. We think this summer is the summer to get them. Do you bike?

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American Science & Surplus

Have you browsed the wares at American Science & Surplus? It's a fascinating place. You can find these pretty pushpins for less than $3. Or this clock for your math-whiz friend. Or you can find robot partz.

Via Wee Wonderfuls


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Headbands by Blue Eyed Freckle

Maude's hair is at a great length for headbands and we've been searching out pretty ones far and wide. Like these lovely felt creations from Blue Eyed Freckle. Do you wear headbands? Do you like a wide or thin band? I've never been very good at wearing them, but I think they're adorable.

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