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Sticky Frog Advent Calendar!

2 Dec

2013-12-02 09.51.02 am

Before I get into the point of this post, let me make two things clear.

1.) Between Thanksgiving and early January, my work schedule is typically a bit lighter. Partly because people are less likely to want to take on big home projects during the holidays, and partly by my own design (because I like to be more present during the holidays, and with my son having a whopping almost 20 days off of school, I need to be!). So, during the next month or so, this blog will naturally become less about decorating and design and more about crafting and kid and holiday themes.

2.) I love chalkboard paint. So if you don’t, you’re in the wrong place.

Phew. I’m glad we’ve gotten that out of the way. Now I’ll start:

I wanted to make my 4 year old son an advent calendar this year, and last week, I sent my husband and email detailing all the little gifts we could give him. He pointed out, and I think rightfully so, that it was too much stuff, which is something we struggle with having a little kid. So we decided we could still do the advent calendar without deluging him with 24 different knick-knacks that he’d never appreciate or use (and inevitably, lose). I ultimately decided to draw the calendar on the new/temporary chalk wall we have, and every day we’ll put a new sticky-frog on the date. Remember those? You throw them, and they stick to the walls. And the tv. And the stair railing. And the picture frames. And your parents’ legs. And hopefully not the sprinklers on the ceiling.

Sticky Frog Advent Calendar

For demonstration purposes, I’ve put the frogs on each number: in real life, there’s no way this would work, as my son would remove every single frog on day 1. But he sure does look forward to coming down every morning and finding out which color his frog will be. Is it his “first favorite color” (orange)? Or his “second favorite color” (purple)? Who knows.

Sticky Frog Advent Calendar

 

This works really well for our family because it manages the junk and tames my son’s sense of preschooler-I-want-it-entitlement.  I may even be “fun mom” and put a piece of candy up there one day. Maybe.

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

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DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

26 Nov

I posted a picture to Instagram a few weeks ago of some DIY paper fortune cookies that I made. A few people have asked how to make them.

DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

The good news is, they could NOT be easier to assemble! If you have paper and a glue gun, it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to make a few.

Here’s a how-to…

DIY Fortune Cookies!

Didn’t I tell you that was easy? If you don’t have a glue gun (Wait: how can you NOT have a glue gun?) you could use a dot of regular glue, but I can’t stand holding paper together until glue dries so I use hot glue. I also glued a lot of the “prizes” to the inside of the “cookie”; folded paper (messages, bills) tends to stick just fine, but other things will fall right out.

We’re going to have them as part of our place-setting for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

DIY Fortune Cookies

If you find my paper choices gaudy, I should explain that I chose patterns that correspond to certain family members’ interests. I am MUCH more fond of fun than formality.

Enjoy this super easy and festive craft!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

You Do What You Can With What You Have: Holiday Decorating Edition.

20 Nov

Many of my friends and most of my neighbors are aware of the ever-present, pretty annoying, long-lasting construction project going on in my condo right now. To make a long story short, the building has some issues with waterproofing that are a result of not very detail oriented initial construction, and we’re in the midst of what we’re hoping is the final fix. Also, Pro-Tip: When installing window flashing, you want to position it so that it directs water outward, toward the facade, and not inward, toward YOUR HOUSE.

So now that we’ve covered that, let me explain…

About a month ago we were graced with this lovely tent.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

Not only did it compromise the lovely light that we get through this hugely awesome window, but it upset my son because it exists in his “play station.” He came home from school and charged it like a linebacker. Not good. Though I can attest that it’s a pretty sturdy bubble. 

After about a month, they realized the existing windows will no longer work, so the search is on for new, custom, apparently very hard to find windows. I am no stranger to custom items, long lead times, and construction hassle. But ugh. And it was getting cold in here. So in this windowless hole, they put up a temporary insulated wall, which will grace our condo with its presence until the new year, when the new windows are finally here. It’s heinous.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

My first thought was: MY HOUSE IS GOING TO BE SO UGLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  My second though a few seconds later was “Can I paint this?” So I asked a guy standing around and he said I could. Before he had time to go ask someone who could say “no” I painted it. With chalkboard paint. Bear with me here on this big black box…

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

I had about 1/3 of a quart left, and I used every single bit of it. The best thing about chalkboard paint is that one coat is enough, and if you do a spotty job, you’ll never know because the first time you use it you create an imperfect, cloudy/chalky finish.

I strung up some lights, and then my son went to town with the chalk.  The first thing he did was get a chair, climb up on it, and draw a sun and clouds. “Because they’re up high.”

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I’m really liking this “new” look. We’ll “Christmas-ize” it in a few weeks, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I might even miss it when it goes. Maybe. I might. We’ll see. I have to admit my craftsmanship is at 75%, but hey, it’s fun.

Just wanted to share this fun project, which turned a disaster into a fun, temporary installation!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

I’m Just Going To Brag For A Moment Here…

14 May

On the first ever Mother’s Day I had as a mom, my husband set a pretty high bar. We’re not much for giving big gifts to each other, but we do make small, meaningful gestures and get a little crafty when the time calls for craftiness. Naturally, when I was allowed to sleep in until the luxurious-to-a-new-mom hour of 8am or so, I was bowled over with love and laughter to see this sitting in the living room for me:

Mother's Day 2013

Don’t worry: that’s infant-safe tape adhering the flower to his hand. At least that’s what my husband told me…

I look at this picture every few weeks and laugh-cry at how sweet my husband and son are.

Now, four years later, we are veterans of all the holidays-you-do-with-a-kid. I don’t expect too much.

But this weekend I was pleasantly surprised when my son crawled into bed with me – at the ever-so-luxurious-to-a-mom-of-a-four-year-old hour of 7 am – told me “Happy Mother’s Day,” handed me my phone, and told me to check my email. I found a link to this, my “card” for the day:


My favorite part is when he throws the mulch at me. True life, you guys.

Sunday was a beautiful day. It’s always nice to spend time to reflect on being thankful for my kid, my own amazing mother, and all the moms who help make your and my life brighter.

(Hey – don’t forget to enter my $75 Novica GIVEAWAY – you have until Friday!)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Eggs in Every Color…an Easter Craft Round-up!

29 Mar

Coloring eggs this weekend? Here are five fun methods to try for all skill-levels.

Pantone Eggs (via How About Orange). Easier than you thought!

Egg Dyeing Projects

 

Sprinkle Eggs (via Studio DIY). An egg after my own heart…

Sprinkle Eggs!

 

Marbelized Eggs (via Camille Styles). Not food safe, but totally gorgeous.

Marbelized Eggs!

 

Wax Patterned Eggs (via Martha Stewart Living). Because is it really a craft round-up without a MSL project? No, it’s not.

Wax Patterned Eggs

 

Rubber Cement Swirls (via Parents). Genius, and reminiscent of my 80’s childhood with the rubber cement.

Rubber Cement Eggs!

 

As a relevant aside (is that a thing?) I read on Slate this week that the correct way to boil eggs is to immerse them in a pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off and let them sit there, covered, for 10 minutes. Not 8, not 12, just 10. Apparently this allows the yolks to cook-through completely without making the whites rubbery. Who knew?

Have a great weekend!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Car Valentines!

10 Feb

We just completed our Valentines for Thursday, ahead of schedule!

Car Valentines!

 

I’d love to claim credit for the idea, but I got it from Pinterest. We had an abundance of Hot Wheels cars, both new and very gently (read: never) used, so we were able to put this together very inexpensively. Each clear favor bag contains a card, a lollipop, and a car. My son made paper valentines for his friends on construction paper by diligently coloring, cutting, and applying stickers. It cracked me up that he chose the two police cars for his besties! I was really proud of his giving spirit and his ability to focus…my little guy is growing up so fast. 

I suspect we’ll be making more paper Valentines for neighbors this week. If you’re a neighbor, expect some scribbles under your door for the next few days!

Have a great week!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Thanks.

22 Nov

This is my third year writing a Thanksgiving post, and though I remain thankful about all of the same things as in years past, I still have a few things that I’d like to add or reiterate.

 

My family is without question the source of most of my smiles and my sanity. My husband is a rock and a perfect partner, and I’m always excited to share my days with him. My little boy is the best thing we’ve ever done together, and he continues to teach me new things all the time: like how big my heart can get, and that I can get pomegranate juice out of the carpet. (I am optimistic that in this post next year I can manage to get a single good photo of the three of us together.) My parents are so giving and so wonderful and such great grandparents, and my in-laws are the best a girl could ask for. My friends are fantastic, and though parenthood has changed how I make new ones and how often I see old ones, they are all relationships I value tremendously.

Everyone is healthy this year. And that’s a big deal.

I never thought I’d be the kind of person to be all “yay! community!” but every year when I sit down to write this I feel incredibly grateful to have such helpful, kind, and fun neighbors. I’ve said it before and I really mean it: this is the best place I’ve ever lived. On that note, we wrestled with the decision about where to send our son to preschool all last spring, and we ultimately chose our neighborhood public school. It has turned out to be a warm, nurturing, and energizing place, and I am thankful for my son’s wonderful teachers every day (but especially Mondays).

Though I have been blogging sporadically and fairly infrequently since the spring, I realize that’s because my business has grown to a point where I can’t justify blogging daily. It’s bittersweet, because I love to do this, but it’s been a great year for JGB Interiors and I look forward to the next. I am just a little bit surprised that I’ve been able to grow my little job into a real job in just a few short years, and I feel very proud and really fulfilled. My clients are bright spots in my day, and I have been lucky to meet a few this year that I feel like I would have chosen as friends had I met them on the street instead of them calling me about their kitchens first.

Superficially, I am thankful for the tangible things that make my life fun and easier: J. Crew rubber shoes, vanilla coffee, and…well..Game of Thrones, which I have recently discovered. I’ve been cooking more and trying new things, and that’s been a joy. I’m thankful for time spent outside and strive to do more of that. I am also quite thankful for the Swiffer that my in-laws got us on their last visit here, and so are my floors.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you have many things to be thankful for as well, and can spend the day with people you care about.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.