chit chatty on the honest home

corners of my home Head over to The Honest Home and I get all chit chatty about blogging, my book, and even my girls. Tammy was such a gracious host and made me feel so comfortable. Doing things like these are always so nerve wracking, but I’m always up for the challenge. I’m so grateful for all the different opportunities that have come through the years, and I so appreciate all of you who continue to spend time checking in here. I love being able to share projects, stories, and even my struggles with all of you. So if you care to listen, you can get the podcast here.

I’m so excited that it’s spring break is finally upon us! Happy Friday! *doing happy dance*



bed frame with or without a headboard?

with or without headboard with or without headboard with or without headboard with or without headboard Here’s a confession… Ben and I sleep in two different beds. It’s not as bad as it sounds, as it’s two beds right next to each other, so we’re still together, but it is still two beds. He has a firm twin right next (there isn’t any space between the two beds) to our soft queen, and it’s because the mattress we bought when we first got married is killer on his back; it’s not enough support. We had a much firmer twin in a guest room, so some time ago, he dragged that into our room and put it next to our bed. It’s quite laughable and our friends totally make fun of us, and just in case you’re wondering… our marriage is great. This has not affected us one bit. It’s just like we have a super king bed, but use different sheets!

We started mattress hunting two years ago, and narrowed it down to a couple choices, but then we got all freaked out about all the chemicals that go into making a bed, so we decided to look at more natural options. We looked at a couple natural choices, and we love the one we picked out for True (read about it here), but we still haven’t figured out one for us just yet. I have always liked beds not resting on a frame, kind of just low to the ground (which is what our bed(s) are now). But I think it’s time to grow up and pick out a frame (and hopefully a mattress).

I’ve searched long and hard for a bed frame I liked, but since I haven’t found one, I haven’t been in a hurry to get a mattress. Well, I think I found two bed frames that make me dance, so now we are back into bed and mattress discussions. I love this one with a tall headboard (in white), and I like this narrow leg bed frame (in white), but not sure if I want a headboard or not. One day, I want to also put white brick on the wall behind our bed, so I’m not sure if that should weigh in having a headboard. First world problems, I know.

Even when we decide on a bed frame, we are still stuck on what mattress to get, and whether to get king or queen. Our bed is a queen, but I guess having two beds together, it’s pretty much like we have a king. We never co-sleep with the children, but on the weekends they do like to come sleep in our room, so they all drag sleeping bags and sleep on the floor, so not sure if we need a king. I have gotten used to having more bed to myself though, so maybe a king would be best. See, another bed-deciding dilemma… at this rate, we are going to live like this for another couple years. HA!

image 1 via the style of my life. image 2 found on pinterest, source unknown. image 3 found on pinterest, source unknown. image 4 via nuevo estilo. if you know who the unknown photos belong to (or if i have any one linked up incorrectly), please do share as I would like to make sure to give them credit. thanks!



christmas tree decorating tips

tree stuff I’m definitely not a pro when it comes to putting together a fancy Christmas tree. I go for the sweet and simple when it comes to tree decorating, but I wanted to share some tips I remember my mom teaching me when we decorated the Christmas tree growing up…

-Spread out all the branches. We never had a real tree growing up, just my parents’ preference, so we had to take time to spread out all the wire-y branches.
-Don’t just put ornaments hanging from the edge of the branches, but put them in closer to the trunk too. You want to give use your ornaments to give your tree some depth.
-Check the tree from all angles. Everything might look fine and dandy from one side, but you look from another angle, and there’s a spot (or two) that need some ornaments. Make sure to spread them out!

tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff tree stuff Besides the wooden ornaments from Michaels (we purchased these straw ones from eBay), I also created some additional ones with the wooden balls. I bought some tiny eye screws, drilled a tiny hole in each wooden ball (okay, had Ben drill holes!), then screwed in the eye-screw (okay, Ben did that too!). The girls added some string (they really did that!) and we hung them up!

When I was little, I would be gung-ho about decorating the tree as soon as my parents brought it out. Then, my drive would fizzle out at some point, and I would sit there and watch my mom finish it. She always took special care to make the tree just perfect for all of us. I love the festive feeling my mom (and dad) created in our home growing up, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do that for my girls now.

If you want more tree inspiration, stop by The Glue String to see all 30 of the Michaels Makers’ trees. Some of them are pretty awesome. Like I said in this post, I would totally lose in a tree decorating contest.

Supplies for this project are provided by Michaels as part of the Michaels Makers series. No additional compensation was provided.

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our homeschooling space

homeschooling space homeschooling space homeschooling homeschooling homeschool homeschool homeschool homeschooling space homeschooling space homeschooling space homeschooling space homeschooling space Welcome to our homeschooling space! The major change we did for this year is switching out the table for a round one , which I scored on craigslist, and this was to accommodate Soul (and eventually Glow). See previous set up here and here. Additionally, we added chairs and removed the bench, and I switched out the 3 hanging halo lights for one Koushi inspired one. I feel our space is functional and pretty.

The round table now gives everyone a spot at the table. Soul used to work, more like play, on the small spool table, but I find she’s more interested in learning now that she has an official spot. Glow is still napping during our school time, so she doesn’t sit at the table yet. The chairs are found items from Anthropologie and I love the interesting shape of them; I also love the school chair vibe they have, and apparently they were from Belgium in the 1960′s. I have had my eye on those chairs for a few years now and wanted them for dining room chairs, but Ben wasn’t feeling them for that purpose. Though when we switched out the table, I knew these chairs would be perfect for this spot, and Ben agreed.

The girls sit at the table for our lessons and discussions. I use the white board to draw and write on and I love that it feels like our own mini classroom. The metal cabinet houses paper, lots of books, math manipulatives, school supplies, but all our current teaching guides and workbooks sit in a wooden crate right next to it, I just pull it out when I need it. We have pocket charts to hold our flash cards and such, one was bought when I worked as a public teacher, and the fabric printed one is from my book, Let’s Sew Together (you can get the instructions on how-to make your own in there!). We have metal baskets hanging to house pencils, pens, markers, and additional craft supplies.

On the other side, there’s the hanging basket chair, which I scored on craigslist for $30, but from a New Jersey listing. Coincidentally, my friend happened to be road tripping through, picked it up for me, and grey hound shipped it to Southern California. Great friend, right?! The girls love to read in that chair! We have a cot (scored on ebay) and the girls love to lounge there too. This side is more where they play, do projects, and read, it’s a nice comfy area. I got the rug recently from Rugs USA. I’ve loved that style for awhile, but wasn’t sure where to get it, but then over labor day it was 80% off, so I purchased it. That space looked like it was missing something to pull all the furniture together, and it was all just floating on carpet, so I think the rug brings it together nicely, even if it is still on carpet. The texture is different, so it works for me. The hanging chalkboard is another project found in my book, and the girls change up the drawings on it from time to time.

We use an IKEA clothes rack to hang our giant tablet paper, and we use that to write our poems or do diagrams. I drag that rack over closer to the round table when we need it.

This room has been loved (I have four kids after all), so the carpet is really worn, there’s plenty of stains on the carpet, and the walls aren’t really white, more like a cream-grey with lots of fingers prints and crayon/marker drawings all over the place. If you look closely, you’ll see some of it (note: the red lipstick drawings on the carpet). I love our set up though, it’s a happy and bright place for learning, and I’m thankful to have this spot in our home to do our homeschooling.

If you missed my curriculum post, you can ready about that here.

room details: burke tulip table, craigslist. chairs, found from anthropologie. jute rug, home goods. hanging light, shared here. hanging chairs, craigslist. pouf, ebay. clothing rack, ikea. cot, ebay. moroccan rug, rugs usa. themis mobile, uncommon goods. pocket chart and hanging chalkboard, projects from my book. spool table, local electrical shop. vintage alexander begge kid chairs, ebay.



inspired by the koushi lamp

homeschool I shared in this post how how I liked this light fixture and asked if anyone knew the designer. Someone kindly shared it was called the Koushi Pendant, so I set off in search of it. Evidently, it was made by Mark Eden Schooley, but I couldn’t find where it could be purchased, but that specific one I liked was by Nelson Sepulveda for Aye Illuminate. Apparently, both artists are friends, one uses wire and the other bamboo. I contacted Aye Illuminate for the cost of the light, and they directed me to two shops in Santa Monica. I called them for availability and cost, and they said they would get back to me, but they never got back to me. I tried one more time, and still never heard back, so what did I set off to do?! Make my own.

I liked both the wire and bamboo one, but wasn’t sure how to get bamboo all bendy, nor had the patience since I was itching to put something in this space quickly. I took trips to the hardware and craft store to come see what materials I could find to make one of them work. I ended up making mine with flat, copper wire strips and it took some tweaking to get it rounded. For the cover, I had some cheesecloth in my fabric stash, and I used that to cover the frame. I used the light I had from the previous hanging light. Mine isn’t as nice as the designers, but what I really love about the light is how airy and ethereal it looks, so I think I got pretty close.

In my research about the lamp, I came across Bodie and Fou and the lamp they made inspired by the Koushi Lamp. The outcome of their creation is just as gorgeous as the original. Here’s another pin of that dreamy bamboo lamp. While, I would have loved to have the real deal, this made by me one works well too. I love seeing it hanging in our homeschooling space (more to share about our space soon)!



it makes her unique

she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey Brave’s love for Spider-Man started a few years ago, and I thought it was just going to be a phase, but it’s only grown even more. I made her the Spider-Man doll a few Christmases ago (see here), and every time a special occasion rolls around, everyone loads her up with more Spider-Man things like this mask and lots of little Spidey things. Ben’s cousin also gave her four volumes of Spider-Man comics several months back, and that just changed her life. She knows all about Peter Parker, and because he wears the same things in the comic, she tends to wear the same things all the time too, particularly those blue striped Misha Lulu pants. They’re worn so much that the pockets in the back tore off, and Karen was kind enough to send her another pair.

A month or so ago, we were passing by a comic store and saw a poster for a Spider-Girl and that just blew her away, another life changing moment. She didn’t know that there was a Spider-Girl (nor did I), and she had so many questions about her that we had too look her up online to get more info. Then this past week, Brave looked up at Ben and said, “Papi, do I scrunch my nose when I talk? Because Spider-Man scrunches his nose, so I want to too.” The spidey influence has led her to always be wearing red or blue (or both), prefer shorts and pants over dresses, and want to climb walls. She knows that last one is not allowed though.

she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey

I asked Brave, “Why do you like Spider-Man so much?” She replied, “Because he’s cool, climbs walls, and he’s brave.”

This Spider-Man thing is very unique to her and I think it’s really endearing how much she loves this red and blue masked hero. The other girls like him too, but not as much as Brave. It’s amazing to watch your children grow into their own unique selves. I think by nature since True’s the oldest, the younger girls would copy and like what True likes, but with Spider-Man, it’s the first thing that Brave latched onto on her own. It set her apart, and it’s this cute quirky thing that’s all Brave. Sometimes we still see the girls doing something just because True does it, but we tell them, “You don’t always have to follow True, you are own special person and it’s okay to be different.” And everyday we see how they are becoming their own special person.

Brave wanted to get a poster at the store, but I thought it would be cute to make our own. I had her get in her Spider-Man costume (hers is Target from a few years ago when we did this Halloween story) and do her best Spidey poses. We took a picture in front a plain white background, I brightened the color up in Photoshop, and saved it to the poster size I wanted. We went to our local copy center to get it printed and there you have it, we had our own Spider-Man poster. This oversized print cost $22, which is more than a store bought poster, but we get to make this special for her, so it’s worth it.

I started off the first letter on the poster, and I let her complete the rest. She made a couple mistakes, but they blended right into the web. She’s Spider-Girl, so we cut out an image from the Spider-Man pose doll box that she saved and attached that on. After she did the lettering, the other girls joined in on the coloring. I helped get the web started, taught them how to do it, they finished the rest, and added a whole bunch of spiders for good measure. Now, she has her very own special Spider-Man and Spider-Girl poster. We put it up next to her bed and it’s very clear which side of the room is hers, you probably saw a glimpse of it in this post.

True’s now asking to make her own She-ra poster, so I guess that’s the next super hero on the project making agenda. As the girls get older and into cartoon characters, we’ve learned how to incorporate our love for handmade things mixed in with regular store bought toys they love so much, both mom and children end up quite happy with the result.

This post is sponsored by Target. More Spider-Man, More Amazing: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite superheroes at Target. Thank you for your continuous support of this space and the collaborations I choose to be a part of. 



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