February 20, 2009

How To Use Bright Color In A Girl's Nursery

Sometimes decorating a child’s room without color is hard making the last post on a black and white nursery useless for many parents. So, how about some color and lots of it? I’m thinking bright, fun and unexpected colors not found in a traditional nursery.

This look for a bold and modern girl’s room starts with a hot pink and orange color scheme. Since none of the items are permanent, everything is easily swapped as tastes change or if the color doesn’t work. These vibrant accessories work equally well for a newborn nursery or a redecorated big girl’s room. For more looks of brightly colored kid’s rooms, check out the ideas from Parents magazine and the house tours at Ohdeedoh.

How do you feel about bold, bright color in a nursery?

February 18, 2009

See How Easily You Can Make Black And White Work In A Nursery

Research shows that newborns have difficulty distinguishing between colors, which makes their view of the outside world a blur. However, they clearly see in black and white. This classic color combination is a great choice for decorating a nursery. Not only do these high contrast colors—light and dark side by side—create a stimulating space, they provide a stylish departure from tried-and-true pink and blue baby rooms.

If you’re thinking, “What? Black and white in a nursery,” stick with me. I’m not going to tell you to paint the room in black and white stripes, unless that is the look you’re after. Start with neutral walls the color of rich caramel, misty silver or creamy lattes. You can then add bedding, artwork and other fun accessories to play up the contrast theme.

clockwise from top left:
black girls play fabric from jcaroline creative
white first number fabric from jcaroline creative
Knappa Klover pendant lamp from IKEA
black & white duck print from Grow Big Dreams, Dude by K. Barteski
visual stimulation developmental baby blocks from Cookie Dough
Dottie rug from PBteen
Tadpoles 4-pc crib bedding set from Target.com
Crane Cool Mist Humidifier from Amazon

How do you feel about black and white decorating? Would you use it in a baby's nursery?

February 15, 2009

Top 5 Home Accessories For Your Favorite Reading Corner

Here in Alabama the weather has been refreshingly spring-like lately. However, it will not last, not yet, anyway. The weather forecast predicts blasts of winter in the coming weeks, which I think is great. It means at least one more opportunity to curl up in a comfortable chair, with a hot cup of coffee and a good read.

photo by ceanandjen

Between entertaining a 17-month old, trying to keep a presentable home and writing a few articles, free time does not happen that often. I know you mommies out there can relate. When I do manage a few empty hours in my day and it is cold outside, all I want to do is grab a blanket and read.

Of course, it is not that simple. The perfectionist in me needs the set up to be, well, perfect. Before I can get comfortable, there are a few props I must gather and have at the ready. Finally, I am prepared to snuggle up in my cozy reading spot, just like those seen in the pages of a beloved magazine…oh, how I will miss Cottage Living.

Are you tempted to jump into your favorite chair? Go ahead, but not before you check out my top five must-haves for a truly relaxing read.

Floor Lamp
Cantilever Adjustable Floor Lamp from Target
An adjustable model like this antique-inspired version provides optimal lighting wherever you need it.

Reading Glasses

Burberry Eyeglasses in Cranberry Crystal at DecorMyEyes
If you must have glasses while you read, at least they can look stylish.

Home Tweed Throw from Target
The ideal throw is warm, yet not too bulky so it will tuck around you in all the right places. I actually have this fringe-trimmed blanket, and it is just perfect.

Embroidered Floral Pillow from Pier 1
While a pillow is not essential to a good reading experience, it does help to prop up tired elbows.

Coffee Cup
Polka Dot Handled Cup from Fishs Eddy
I love to have a hot drink while lost in the pages of a favorite book. This playful polka-dot mug makes it easy to take a sip no matter which hand you use.

What do you like to do in your free time? Is there one activity you indulge in before any other?

February 13, 2009

Sweet Chocolate Treats For Valentine's Day

It’s not as if you need an excuse to whip up one of these chocolate delights, but tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Roses are overrated and cards aren’t necessary, but to not have chocolate on Valentine’s Day? That is a crime.

Just in case you still need some ideas on sweet treats to make or bake, here are a few of my favorites. Personally, the Oreo kisses are tops on my list this year.

clockwise from top left:
Oreo kisses from Bakerella
double chocolate doughnut from Country Living
chocolate cherry stack cake from Better Homes and Gardens
hot chocolate cake from Country Living
chocolate souffles from Food Network
flourless chocolate cake from Food Network
delicious chocolate pie from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

What chocolate dessert can you not live without?

February 10, 2009

Red Hot Looks For February

Even though Valentine's Day only happens once, you can still infuse the color of love into your wardrobe throughout the month (or anytime!).

Here are two options: one for when you are feeling fancy, and another for when only your favorite jeans will do, which is most days for me.

clockwise from top:
navy blue silk dress from Shabby Apple
felt earrings from 3FUN
twill trench coat from Ann Taylor LOFT
Vanda red patent pump from Target
red glambition bag from ModCloth

clockwise from top left:
Mallory Keaton sweater from ModCloth
dotted dip-dye scarf from GAP
wood and gold hoops from Claire's
Simone stretch ballet flats from Target
"The Flirt" jeans from Old Navy

Do you wear a lot of red? What is your favorite red piece in your wardrobe?

February 9, 2009

Red And White Valentine's Table For Two: Right This Way!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I have mixed feelings about it. It seems every year I am a little less enamored with the idea of buying (and receiving) presents or celebrating with a dinner out all in the name of love.

My husband and I love each other every day, he treats me with little gifts all year long and we go out to dinner more than we probably should. We have promised each other no gifts this year, and we have yet to decide if we will celebrate at all.

As much as I am disheartened by the pressures and commercialization brought on by Cupid’s holiday, I am infatuated with anything red. With red being the color of love and all, there is plenty for me to drool over this time of year. The table settings below had me at first click, and I could not resist pulling together a few things to recreate the looks.

It just might be enough to inspire a romantic dinner at home, which is just our style anyway.

LOVE table setting from delish.com
table setting with paper lanterns from Rebecca Thuss

polka-dot napkins from Paper Source
red ring dinnerware from Target
candy-filled floral arrangement from Martha Stewart
red garden pindot fabric from jcaroline creative
blooming place card from Martha Stewart
party lantern string lights from Luna Bazaar
red enamel letter from Urban Outfitters

How do you feel about Valentine's Day? How are you going to celebrate?

February 6, 2009

Give a Vintage Valentine

Remember how fun it was to exchange Valentine’s when you were younger? For me, I was just as excited to see what the cards looked like as I was to know whom they came from. That is why I love vintage-style Valentine’s. The designs are simple and the verses are silly, but they are just right for saying, “I like you,” whether you are five or 50.

Send them, frame them, recreate them, but just enjoy them. In a stack of cards covered with Hannah Montana and cartoon characters, a Valentine inspired by those from years gone by will be a welcome read.

clockwise from top left:
Vintage Valentine's (Press Out Book) by Golden Books
Valentine's: Vintage Holiday Graphics by Jim Heimann
Custom Message Vintage Valentine from VintageScraps
Sweepingly Cute Valentine from BeMyVintageValentine
Leopard Valentine at 7deadlysinners
Boxer Valentine at 7deadlysinners

Note: While the last two Valentine's are not for sale, you can use them as inspiration for finding (or making) your own vintage-inspired cards. If you want to buy in packs, Plum Party has a set of 10 classic valentine cards.

What is your best Valentine's card memory? Do you still send them out today?