ready for the noise

the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls the girls This week, the girls have been off on vacation galavanting with my parents. We stayed in San Diego this past weekend, and my parents happened to plan a trip there for the week, so we dropped the girls off with them on Sunday night at their hotel. It’s been so quiet here and I’m getting lots done, but I miss the happy (and chaotic) noise here. We worked hard these past couple weeks to get ahead in school work to be able to allow them to go, so I’ve been using my time to catch up on projects and house stuff.

I’m learning everyday how to be a better parent. There’s always room for improvement, so I’m trying. While I do miss them, it is also a welcomed break, but I think some time off from the everyday does everyone some good from time to time. My parents still work, thus they don’t really get to spend time with the girls that often, so I’m sure they’re loving getting to shower them with love (and probably other things) for a whole week. I’m sure we will have to do a little bit of reseting when they get back, but I’m so glad they get to create memories with their grandparents. Ben had a much harder time letting them go off for a week, but he understood that I welcomed the break and that they get to enjoy their Grammy and Grumpy.

on me: dress, she inside (awhile back). shoes, steve madden (from about 5 years ago). on true: denim shirt dress & leopard sneakers, c/o old navy. on brave: dress, vintage. denim shirt & ballet slippers, c/o old navy. on soul: heart tee & striped mini, c/o old navy. shoes, salt-waters. on glow: play dress, c/o old navy. shoes, vintage.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. I’m thankful for your continuous support of this space and the brands I partner with.



glow turns three

Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow's 3rd birthday Glow turned 3 (what?! 3?!) this past weekend, and while we all went off on a weekend getaway to celebrate, we did all the birthday festivities the morning of her birthday. She was served the family tradition of breakfast in bed, but this time breakfast was birthday cake. It was totally not a healthy one, I made a salted caramel cake, but dietitian dad is even okay with breaking the rules once in awhile. Plus, her only requests for her birthday was cake and to see Georgie. Translated: I want to go to the zoo to see monkeys.

She was sitting in our bed, when we all came in singing “Happy Birthday” wearing animal masks because she loves animals so much! She calls all animals her “babies.” They devoured the cake, and then she opened the present we got her. We just got her a panda-dressed Monchichi that we picked up this past summer when we had a layover in Tokyo. It was much cheaper to buy it in Tokyo than it is on Amazon ($20 cheaper). Immediately after she opened her present, she was just loving on that panda-Monchichi. Her sisters have their own Monchichis and now she finally has her own too (no need to steal theirs anymore). Then, she claimed the panda off her cake and wanting to see pandas were added to her birthday request.

We spent the weekend in San Diego visiting both the Safari Park and Zoo, and spending as much time as we could at the hotel pool. Swimming at the hotel pool is always their favorite part of any vacation. I priceline-ed the hotel the day before because Priceline’s usually the way we go to book hotels (we do the name your price thing) and I always hope that last minute gets me the best deal.

Our weekend was full of fun as we fulfilled her birthday request and got to enjoy a little getaway together. I’m happy to report that we have a very happy 3 year old!



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)!



diy: chalk finish recycled bottle

chalk finish recycled bottle Chalk Finish Recycled Bottle

Glass/plastic bottle (I used our Simply Grapfruit bottle)
Chalk paint
Dried flowers, optional (for decorating)

chalk finish recycled bottle chalk finish recycled bottle Directions:
Make sure to clean your container completely and remove any stickers. Add a coat of paint and allow to dry completely before adding a second coat of paint. On my container, I did 3 coats of paint, and made sure to allow each coat ample time to dry before adding another. When done, decorate with pretty fresh (or dried) flowers!

chalk finish recycled bottle chalk finish recycled bottle chalk finish recycled bottle chalk finish recycled bottle A few years ago, I saw some painted recycled plastic bottles sold as vases in some online shop. It appeared to be painted with this chalky looking paint, and I always wondered what paint was used to make them. I saw these paints at Michael’s a few weeks ago and thought it might be it. Now, I never bought those vases I saw, so I can’t say for sure if it’s exactly the same, but it looks reminiscent to it, so it works for me. These chalky paints are kind of fun and I want to try painting some candlesticks with it. I really like the matte finish and the pastel colors they come in.

chalk finish recycled bottle This project is part of the Michael’s Makers Series.




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