dino soup

Pop quiz! What do motherhood, food poisoning, Key West, birthday parties and lots and lots of moving boxes all have in common?! What's that? Hmm, good guess, but it's actually a trick question;  it's really just a laundry list of lame excuses for my radio silence... sorry. It's been a busy few weeks here, seemingly for everyone we know. Must be the changing of the seasons and anticipation of summer. For us, it's the impending move (less than 2 weeks away!! What?! It has been a while, huh?) coupled with a few other distractions that have kept us spinning. Anyway. Enough excuses. I'm here now.

There are countless reasons why I'm bursting with excitement about the house being finished (and a few things that bring a little tear to my eye), but by far the most significant is the desire to get back to my life. It's been really interesting and sometimes refreshing to have something else on which to focus my attention for these (gulp) 8 months, but it's been to the detriment of many other [much more important] things in my life, namely my sweet boys. I'm not proud to admit that taking on what was for big chinks of time a full-time job with no extra childcare left me staring frantically at the computer or on the phone with the contractor while my babies were flailing, sort of desperate for attention. It's tough. I've always had the utmost respect for mamas who are able to divide their brain between work and their children. It's a growing interest of mine to find out more about how some mamas are able to gracefully stoke both passions simultaneously (much more on that coming soon...). I am seemingly not one of those moms. Maybe it takes practice.

So, in a two-fold attempt to entertain my boys and finish what I need to get done, I went to the best place I know to find awesome projects (talk about creative mamas multitasking) and made my guys a Bean Box. I picked up a plastic bin + 2 bags of dry pinto beans. The rest you just make up with whatever you have lying around; spoons, cups, animals, balls, sticks. Both boys love it and it's a great way for me to get dinner cooking or check a few emails [almost] guilt-free while they play contentedly alongside... Today's we had Dino Soup. Recipe to follow. Now hang up + hug your babies. xo

Recipe:

1 plastic tub, cardboard box, mixing bowl or other shallow vessel
2 or more bags of dried beans, we used pinto
Cups
Spoons
Shovels
Animals + dinosaurs
Cars + trucks
Guys

Mix all ingredients well. Leave your need for tidiness and spotless floors behind. Enjoy.

What are some of your favorite activities + projects for kiddos?

time to weigh in

Quick! Grey or walnut? The kitchen will have a wall of white cabinets, but we want to make the island a different color to create some interest and to help marry it to the dining + living spaces. The grey is airy + bright + serene, but painted cabinets are naturally a bit less durable. The walnut is rich + modern + warm and is better able to withstand a drive-by Tonka trucking, but might look heavy in the middle of our bright room... What do you think? The cabinet maker is waiting. No pressure... xo

juxtaposition

I love juxtaposition, especially in design. I love texture and the combination of old + new, formal + informal, rustic + modern. One of my very favorite blends is that of organic and raw materials + really bright pops of color. Something about it speaks [no, screams!] to me every time and somehow sort of defines my aesthetic.

Lucky for me, there are tons of creative people out there right now turning out really inspired combinations of materials in all sorts of unique ways. One of my favorites locally is David Rasmussen, a very talented furniture maker and designer in Carbondale, CO, who I first discovered at the early Firefly Handmade Markets here in Boulder. In addition to the really interesting furniture pieces he's crafting, he also does a line of housewares that epitomize my love for this style. He starts with gorgeous wood, lets it speak for itself and then spikes it with pops of perfectly blended color. I confess to having amassed one of nearly every piece he's made and I'm always looking to add to my collection.

David Rasmussen's WUD platter

David Rasmussen's WUD platter

Here's a roundup of some of the other gorgeous things I've come across that speak to my love of this aesthetic [there are lots more on Pinterest and things i love] Housewarming gift? xo

Props for the goods:
[Side note...We are incredibly lucky here in Boulder to have a vibrant creative community. Several of the items in this roundup are crafted by locals whose work I LOVE, namely Ash & Ore and by elke, who is currently featured on terrain.com. Much more on these extremely talented gals in the near future...]

: beautiful twig dipped pencils / Garza Marfa round stool / I'm so making a hand painted antler
: cleverly painted tree stump / fun painted bowl + plate / handmade Roxy rocker
: dipped mini bowls / sunny wrapped twigs / by elke hand stitched leather bracelet
: David Rasmussen large WUD plate / Ash & Ore leather clutch / Pantone dipped pencils

inspiration: kitchen

I used to be pretty organized + punctual. I was reasonably articulate + sometimes even interesting. The sleep deprivation and intensity of early motherhood robbed me of both latter virtues (+ personal hygiene, but that's for another day...). This reno project has all but obliterated the former of those traits. I have been in fight or flight mode since January 1, with my hair perpetually on fire. I'm exactly 20 minutes late to pick up my boys from school every time and come racing in disheveled, with whatever lunch I was lucky enough to cram down in the car all over my pants. I try to eloquently explain my tardiness, but end up mumbling something weird + unintelligible while wiping a stray black bean from my hair. Fortunately, the boys' sweet teachers just smile and say "no worries," but they must think I've lost my marbles. I'm late to meet the contractor. I'm late with dinner. I'm super late with my blog posts. I feel a little crazy.

I know there's an end in sight for the project, which is reassuring, but I also know that life will just get that much busier as the boys get older. With that in mind, we've very deliberately designed the new spaces, especially the kitchen, with efficiency in mind. I'm hopeful that the easier it is for me to complete my daily tasks, the more time I'll have to spend with my boys outside + doing the things we love to do. The kitchen will be the center of the house, both literally in placement and figuratively in function. It will be bright + open and will have enough storage so that I don't have to waste precious time trying to figure out where to put the salad bowl I somehow wrestled out of the cabinet, but can't seem to fit back in.

Here is a bit of my inspiration (check out my Pinterest kitchen board for more). I love the simplicity of white, combined with the richness of wood or the coolness of grey. I love pops of color. I love unique, but subtle details. I cannot wait to show you the finished product, because it'll be really fun + it should mean that my hair is no longer on fire. xo

1. Different color cabinets + island, via Houzz. /  2. Rich cabinets, via Viciously Cyd. / 3. Leather drawer pulls, via Camp. / 4. White shaker cabinets, via Houzz. / 5. Beautiful grey shaker + cool hardware, via Greige Design. / 6. Big pop of gorgeous color, via Desire to Inspire. / 7. Salt + pepper, via Etsy. / 8. Pops of color, via Domaine Home. / 9. Love the contrast in textures, via Home Life.

1. Different color cabinets + island, via Houzz. /  2. Rich cabinets, via Viciously Cyd. / 3. Leather drawer pulls, via Camp. / 4. White shaker cabinets, via Houzz. / 5. Beautiful grey shaker + cool hardware, via Greige Design. / 6. Big pop of gorgeous color, via Desire to Inspire. / 7. Salt + pepper, via Etsy. / 8. Pops of color, via Domaine Home. / 9. Love the contrast in textures, via Home Life.