Tag / spring

Easter for the Boys

Between the pink and pastel-dominated holidays of Valentines and Easter, it’s sometimes hard to find stuff that doesn’t feel super girly, for the boys. So I’ve been on the hunt (hehe pun intended) for basket contents for a certain someone who has a special place in his heart for trucks, bugs, and everything else you might traditionally associate with BOY.

I’ve rounded up a few things that will be appearing in somebunny’s basket this year, should you be looking for some toddler/boy inspiration!

Easter for the Boys | lifeinyellow.com

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Crew is obsessed with all things trucks, and loves putting things inside other things, and has a slight obsession with garage doors. So his dreams pretty much all came true when we discovered Tiny Tonkas — there are more than a dozen to collect and they fit in his hot little hand. Each comes with a garage and as you collect them, the garages can hook together in a row. You’d think we’d have lost more of these because of how TINY they are, but he keeps close tabs on these treasured toys!

I love clothing that is more off the beaten path and not on repeat at every big box store (and on every other kid at day care!) so Etsy is a go-to for me, for little boys’ clothing. I loved this take on what could otherwise be a really feminine bunny tee — but given the cool factor!

We are in a major I SPY phase, after getting a first couple of books for Christmas. I opted not to do the “Little Hearts” version for Valentines (but note to self, should you need VDay ideas for next year!) and went for the “Little Bunnies” edition instead.

It’s been a while since it was warm enough to be bug weather, but that doesn’t keep Crew from spotting them in every book, game, movie, etc. Plus who doesn’t love a good pop-up book?

This egg sidewalk chalk made its way into Crew’s basket last year, and it’s still the batch he reaches for most when we’re coloring outside. I think because it’s easiest to hold and sturdiest against breaking. I finally threw out the worn-down nubs at the end of the season — time for a fresh batch to kick off Spring! (Note: Just the other day, I also found egg chalk at World Market.)

I loved this carrot take on a traditional popper — something Crew hasn’t yet partaken in. I also liked that the treats inside AREN’T candy — he’ll get enough of that as it is!

The words “bow tie” were in Crew’s vocab long before he hit two. I love that this kid likes to dress, and I love Janie and Jack’s classic, quality, childrens clothing for when you want to go the preppy route. I can’t wait to share his Easter outfit for church!

And while (of course) I bought Easter jammies long ago (okay, over a year ago — I love to shop the sales and plan ahead!) I thought both these and these were so cute but still “cool” for little men.

I’m excited to incorporate some Easter traditions this year — maybe an egg hunt outside, weather permitting? What are some of your favorite Easter activities with littles??

Easter 2016

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

The bunny officially made his stop by the Smith house this morning…

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

…and it didn’t take someone very long to find the goodies. (Notice…going right for the pouch of food. Somebunny knows this kid is all about the snacks!)

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

It’s been a quiet morning with my boys, playing with new treats and toys, even a new place setting for breakfast.

Easter Decor | lifeinyellow.com

And when Crew crashed early for a morning nap, Page and I went about attempting Eggs Benedict for brunch.

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So yes, even with just the two of us, I had to play set the table. Any excuse to bust out china. 🙂

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We gave ourselves a B for effort (maybe less for presentation ha!) but it tasted good, so that’s most important, right?

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Happy Easter to you and yours!

He is not here, for He is risen. Just as He said.  |  Matthew 28:6

 

less stuff. more organization.

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(guest room closet before…)

I’ve been on a mission to de-clutter our home. I think (??) it started with the flex room and wanting to sell the hutch that lived in there (thus needing to find a new spot for my photo supplies). Then again, it might be stemming from wanting to get our basement under control, so we can take steps to finish it later this year. Then again, it might be that all I did for the first 6-9 months with a newborn in a new house was to just throw crap in random spots, with no energy or brainpower to organize. Wherever the motivation began, what finally kicked my butt into gear was swooning over this craft closet reveal, after planning to do something similar in our guest room closet. So yes, the declutter/purge/organize bug has bitten me HARD.

IMG_1513(…now my “craft closet”)

It’s that start of the new year thing that makes me take a fresh look at our stuff…and frankly, the maintenance and time to clean, organize, pick up, make room for, and search among, it all. We don’t NEED all the stuff. I’m also just more than ready to start really LIVING in my HOME, instead of feeling like in many ways, we’re still moving in and finding more permanent spots for things.

To get started, I’ve been tackling a few projects:

  • I hosted a Facebook “virtual” garage sale to family/friends with an album of everything I collect in my “must go” pile. (Anything not worth the time to snap a pic and post with a price can just go in the car for a Goodwill drop-off.) I like that, as opposed to a traditional sale with price haggling and strangers, I can just name a price, people can decide yay/nay and comment accordingly, I can make piles and totals for pickup, and it all leaves my house in a short, orderly time frame.
  • I’ve been using ThredUp – to consign clothes as I go through my closet. womens and childrens clothing. I’ve been less than impressed by our local consignment shops and how unorganized they are, and I love how easy it is to just fill the bags they send me and whisk off magically to the land of sell and recycle. I don’t even have to do my post-consignment-shop trip to Goodwill with the items they didn’t take. ThredUp recycles anything for me that they don’t take, and I cash out via Paypal. I just sent in my fifth bag. Ahhh.
  • As for baby clothes and gear, I’ve been able to part with a few items as we’ve found our parenting style and which gear best serves us. Several apparel items have moved out, either because they are so worn they can be tossed, they’re a bargain brand that can be donated, or we found it was hard to put on/too itchy/etc so it was never really worn to begin with. Aside from donating/tossing, any brand-name/designer things we can do without have been sent to ThredUp.

As I’ve been going through things, I’ve been doing a little online reading to keep myself on track. In particular, I liked this breakdown of five of the best-known methods for decluttering, the philosophies and personalities attached to them, and of course, links to the books written about them. Also in my search to get motivated to declutter, I came across this blog, which, while more extreme than I have the desire to go, was a pretty fascinating read, and definitely confirmed that there’s plenty around our house with which we can part.

I’ve always been weirdly excited by the idea of purging. Case in point: when the boys were out of the house for a couple hours one Saturday recently, I went wild with my free time…and organized the junk drawer. And loved it. #livingontheedge

I have been using the tools over at A Bowl Full of Lemons (her 14 week challenge is so well organized!). I also stumbled across this 52 weeks to organized checklist (each week is a clickable link to get you psyched for the week’s task). I haven’t followed either plan religiously, but it does keep me on track to tackle SOMETHING on the list each week.

One project I’m particularly excited about is to tackle photos. I found myself nodding along with this article — we are in the exact same boat — so many albums and scrapbooks that take up too much space and never get looked at. I’m hoping to scan my heart away and piece together some albums from our last eight years of marriage. Plus I love that unlike my “system” now for photos, MyPublisher will archive my images on their site and I could reprint a new book at any time in the case of a disaster.

So there is my random rambling of a catch-up, complete with “meh” iphone pictures, on what’s been going on around here in recent weeks. I’m hoping to create a couple posts of the more transformed spots in the house (an updated “before” of our basement, and my reworked guest room closet, housing all of my crafty stuff). Until then, you can likely find me creating categories on my label maker. Try not to be jealous of my coolness factor.

a baby’s / toddler’s Easter basket

Easter Basket for Baby | lifeinyellow.com

While his first Easter (at three months) was fun (the bunny brought him pacifiers and a bib we still use every day!), this year has been WAY more fun to plan for, as Crew is starting to really react to things and we know what types of things get him especially excited. What a difference a year makes…the contents of this year’s basket crunch, light up, makes sounds, and more. #bigboybasket

It seems the blogosphere has all kinds of ideas for Easter (and Valentines for that matter) that are aimed at girls…so I thought I’d share what I’m pulling together for my car-loving, ball-throwing, cause-and-effect obsessed 14-month-old boy.

Easter Basket for Baby | lifeinyellow.com

  • I ended up going with some other items instead, but I still love this little bunny nightlight. It would be so sweet to put in his room during the countdown to Easter each year!
  • The bunny theme continues with some new Kickee Pants jammies (similar) (the softest you will ever buy!). He’s wearing these already, and of course I’ll be snapping some Easter morning pics in them. This particular style came out last year, but they are still available on Amazon.
  • After reading a rave review by another blogger, I ordered Marco for the bath (get it? Marco Polo!). He bobs up and down in the water and his light turns colors when he’s above versus underwater. Crew LOVES things that light up, and at swim lessons, he is working on identifying what is above/below water and bobbing for toys, so this seemed appropriate. Plus I love, love, love anything Boon makes.
  • I have a book wish list a mile long for Crew, but have been saving this title for Easter. Every parent I’ve talked to has a rave review on this book! Some other titles that would be great for a basket include Pat the Bunny, The Runaway Bunny, or Easter Bugs.
  • Crew got the VTech garage for Christmas and a couple of the vehicles for his birthday. He plays with them every. single. day. so it was easy to justify another car for the collection.  (Page made fun of me that of all the choices, I got the van — womp womp, but truthfully, it was one of the cheapest, Crew doesn’t care, and Mama wanted those bunny jammies!)
  • I might put some jelly beans in an egg and see if he’ll taste them, otherwise his eggs will be filled with the pastel-colored goldfish, mini marshmallows, some white cheddar bunnies and vanilla and cocoa bunnies. I’m guessing even before they’re opened, he’ll love holding and shaking those eggs. They’re nearly balls, after all — one of his favorite things!
  • Last year, I ordered Crew’s basket from Pottery Barn Kids (pictured above). I love the quality of their baskets, and I’m a sucker for anything I can monogram!

It seems everywhere I turn, I see something else I can either justify adding to the basket, or I have to talk myself out of! Just this morning I was in Walgreens and spotted a squishy yellow “chick” shaped ball that lights up and was a fun/new texture to hold, as well as jars of bubbles shaped to look like the “Peeps” bunnies. Must. Stop. Shopping. His basket runneth over. 🙂

I ended up with a couple other add-ins not pictured including a mega-refill bottle of bubbles, a carrot-themed pouch of baby food (he still loves these, especially when a tooth is coming in!), a bouncy ball that lights up, and a little watering can, shovel, and spade from the dollar spot. Bring on the warm weather toys and spring. We can’t wait to get outside!

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happy Oscar day!

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This year, I don’t have the excuse that I have a new house OR a new baby…but still just couldn’t get it together to throw an Oscar bash. Next year. 🙂 Too many projects and other priorities, including this handsome little date of mine. May your popcorn be buttery and your kids’ bedtimes early…counting down to the Red Carpet!

Happy Oscars Day!

Set the Table: Easter 2014

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I won’t be in town for Easter this year (girls trip!), but as I was packing things this weekend, I allowed myself a break to play house and create a fun tablescape as if I were going to be. 🙂

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I like to keep brunch from feeling too stuffy, but still pretty and a bit feminine for the spring season. Other than some jellybeans, I didn’t invest in anything new to bring this look together. (Although I later realized I had some coral colored glassware I meant to set out with this look – it was a MEGA sale score from Target last summer – drat! I’m sure I’ll use it again soon enough!)

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

I don’t do much for Easter decor – it always seems a little cutesy to me. But I did pick some favorite Psalms and wrote one on a painted wooden tag (originally bought for the Oscar party, but never used!) and set one at each place setting. A shot glass of jellybeans at each plate was about as themed as I go for this holiday. 🙂

Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com
Easter 2014 Tablescape | lifeinyellow.com

And now for the “pan right…” and you’ll see a peek at the moving chaos already in play!

Anyone else planning an Easter tablescape?? I’d love to see! 🙂

spring cleaning!

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

I don’t know who let this lady into our house, or where she came from, but she’s into cleaning lately.

I know. Whaaa??

I chalk it up to a mixture of Spring fever and wanting to get the house feeling fresh for the changing seasons. Plus, having it on the market makes me look at it with new eyes and clean with just a little more vigor. At a moment’s notice, the house has to be sparkling from floor to ceiling for a showing!

I got on a Pinterest kick one night and started researching homemade cleaners using natural products that were cheap to whip up. (Since we seem to be cleaning daily lately, I was not opposed to something with a lower price tag.) I also like the idea of getting away from the chemical stuff, and using something greener.

To start, I stocked up on some microfiber rags, (way cheap at TJ Maxx if you’re looking for some) – rather than going through rolls of paper towels, I like that these have a little more durability to scrub with and I can use them over and over.

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

Then I made a batch of two kinds of cleaners, using the following “ingredients”:

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

Lemon essential oil and Dr. Brommer’s lavender castile soap (I found these at Whole Foods)…

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

…and a jug of distilled water and one of white vinegar.

Then I made my two cleaners. First, an all-purpose cleaner:

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and add a teaspoon of castile soap. Add a few drops of essential oil if you like for added scent oomph! Shake before using. This is great for wiping down cabinets and baseboards, and I used it to clean the inside of our fridge and microwave. It smells SO good!

Then, I made a water and vinegar mix for cleaning our stainless sink and appliances as well as glass surfaces:

spring cleaning recipes | lifeinyellow.com

Half distilled water and half vinegar. And LOTS of essential oil to combat the whiffs of vinegar.

I’m loving the way my house smells (and glistens) lately 🙂 Happy spring (cleaning)!

bringing spring (now summer) to the living room

It’s been a while since I talked about our living room, which I last shared, looking like this:

Before_Green

I haven’t really blogged about this space since my initial post, pre-bookcases…when storage/display space was scarce and I didn’t yet have anything on the walls. The room felt (and looks in photos) so much smaller pre-bookcases.

Page built the bookcases in time for me to decorate this room for its second Christmas. I loved adding lots of bright red accents in here…

xmas | red and green

…but after the holidays when I went *crazy* with the red, I was ready to see something new and different. And fresh for the changing seasons.

I love the green we already have in here (and with tables and lamps in the color, we are a bit committed to it, for now), and it plays well off the accents of yellow in our kitchen (bar stools, the mixer, and the rugs). I wanted to find some colors that would work well bringing the two together – an aqua blue/green, a jade green, or even some teals. So of course, I went back to trusty color source Pantone, and upon looking at the Spring “hot colors”, I instantly saw the palette I wanted:

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living room update | life in yellow

Ahhhh. So fresh and airy.

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Between tax season and paying for a knee surgery this spring, I knew any “freshening” in this room had to be on a budget. So challenging myself to keep it under $100 for the face-lift, I picked up a sample can of paint for the canvases, a can of spray paint to re-gloss the bookends…

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…ordered the camera pillow cover on Etsy for a pillow form I already had on hand, some half-off Hobby Lobby supplies to make the topiaries…

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…and a $5 vase at TJ Maxx.

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I also ordered the black/white cabana stripe fabric from Etsy, and used it to wrap a canvas and my recipe binder, for some bolder black/white pieces in the bookcases.

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Other details like frames, pillows, etc we already owned and were recycled from other spots in the house.

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Finally, a small order on Mpix and I had some fresh, more recent, photos to fill a couple frames in this room, as well as update our photo wall in the entry. (And as a final nod to my Pantone obsession, I framed a paint chip of what else but the Color of the Year!) It’s so nice to change things (even little things) up once in a while!

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Love how fresh and new this space is feeling for the changing seasons!

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