Monday, January 24, 2011

Frame It, Hang It, Make It Special...Your child's artwork

As I was working on this post, I was asking myself if this was just me {proud mom} taking an opportunity to show off how talented of an artist my daughter is.....However, I really did want to share how wonderful it is to show your children how much you cherish what they create.  Frame it, hang it, and make it so very special.  Give their art or creations a place of honor.  It will inspire them even more! My daughter of 12 years took a very serious art class last summer and I had to get her work up on her wall for everyone to see.  Hanging them up gives her a great sense of accomplishment and pride.  They also gave a lonely wall in her room much needed personality...and it is original to boot!
Daughter's room...her favorite reading nook

I found these poster frames at Michael's craft store.  These pieces of art were rather large so this was the best solution. {I think I hung the pictures a bit crooked...not the best at hanging art}
Art via my daughter

Photo of rocks via my daughter
This photo was also taken by my daughter when we were at the beach on Martha's Vineyard, MA.  I thought it was such a beautiful shot of the water and rocks below, I just had to frame it {I had it enlarged to 8x10 first}.  I want her to sign it too.  I think it is just amazing when you give your child the opportunity to create.  Why don't you let them have the camera for the day?  They really get into it and produce something wonderful.  I think this photo looks amazing framed and we have it in our guest bedroom/office for family to see when they come and stay with us.
We cropped and hung this still life, by my daughter, in our small sitting room off of our kitchen.  I love how art looks hung on shelves and really love showcasing this piece here.

Another piece she did that I just adore.  I love the trees and the mushrooms are so cute!  We framed it and have it hanging in our kitchen.  I hope you are inspired to hang some of your children's art work!  I plan on hanging more!

~jamilyn

{All photo's taken via me, artwork via my daughter, all images property of Living It At Home}



Friday, January 21, 2011

My Two Favorite Children's Birthday Cakes {Martha Mode}

Dragon cake baked via me

Castle cake baked by me

The joy!
Periodically, I browse through all my photos from the past.  It is fun to relive all the great times we have had.  However, looking at them reminds me of how quickly the years have gone by.  So, it is a little heart aching to see how much my daughter has grown and matured.  When she was just a little peanut, I loved making her birthday a special day.  I would get so wrapped up in the creative end of things!  I have been know to stay up well into the morning hours baking and building one of these cakes you see above.  It was well worth it to see my daughters reaction on the day of her party.  My creations were a big hit!  I did not have a blog then so my photos are not the greatest!  If you would like instructions on how to make the 3-D dragon (dinosaur) cake, go here.  I followed some of the directions and then improvised and added what I thought would make the dragon more appropriate for a girls birthday.  The colored stones are actually candy!  The theme was castles, dragons, and princesses.  The castle cake was made with about 7 layers of cake, frosting, candy and glittered (edible) ice cream cones.  We have all experienced when we are in "Martha Mode".  You know when you are trying to make everything "just so" or even perfect.  My cakes may not have been perfect, and I may have been running around like a mad woman creating these parties, but in the end I enjoyed my efforts!  Too see how happy my little girl was made me so glad I put in all that effort.  We will always have these great memories!

We made sure we had a jumping castle too!  Cheesy, but the kids love it and I was able to build a whole castle/princess theme around the cake and the jumper!  Those were fun birthdays!  Enjoy!

xojamilyn

{All photos taken via me and property of Living It At Home}


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Topiaries Are An Obsession

Images via me
Kitchen

Breakfast
You must own a topiary!  I have a hard time passing them up when I come across one.  I just love to look at them!  Over breakfast this morning, I was enjoying the lemony scent and the earthy rosemary aroma...so heavenly!  I have been trying to keep them alive due to the fact that I kill all my plants.  I am really surprised that these two have lasted so long.  I have been misting and misting and misting...I learned that they need that!  Aren't they lovely?  I think they are worth the investment.  I just wish I had space for more.  I would love to imitate this image below from Lonny Magazine.  To see more on topiaries go here.
{Love}
Martha Stewart

Clustering topiaries together really creates a visual impact!

xojamilyn

{Photo's via me and images from Lonny Magazine and Martha Stewart}







Friday, January 14, 2011

If You Need A Dose Of Snow...We've Got Plenty

Maggie...she looks good in red!
In the middle of the snow storm


Trying to lick the snow!



Looking down our street

My home looks like a Christmas card!


Four little ones sitting in the tree during the storm


I had to dig a path through the 2' of snow so she could go outside!


Have a wonderful weekend!

xojamilyn

{Photos taken via me and property of Living It At Home}

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I've Turned Into The Crazy Bird Lady {with a great camera}





Do you see the sunflower seed in it's beak? The Black Capped Chickadee is the most enthusiastic bird at the feeder.  They actually will wait close by me while I fill the feeder.  A high energy bird and very busy.  They chirp and chirp until I am done.  These little guys don't like to eat at the feeder if it isn't full to the top!  {Photos: Living It At Home}

Cute bird that always look a little grumpy to me and very serious! 




Female Cardinal, the male gets all the glorious red.



Yes, that is my new nickname given to me by my husband and daughter.  I have become the caretaker of these birds you see above.  They visit my feeder everyday and have begun to consume large quantities of bird food!  My husband wants to know when they are going to start paying rent!  I have also moved up from the cheapo bird food to the supreme high nut content {expensive} food for them.  You see, I have become very fond of them and get great pleasure watching them everyday.  If something happens to their feeder, such as being empty, frozen or partially taken apart by those pesky squirrels, I run out in my PJ's to rescue it.  Hence, I look like a wacky bird lady...with bed-head hair!  Good thing we have great privacy in our yard due to all of our trees otherwise my neighbors would get a site of me looking like a cookoo bird myself!  I love taking photo's of birds and I am getting good at sneaking up on them {I sound even more crazy now}.  It is good practice for me because I have no idea how to use this camera {Nikon D300}.  I love how these pictures have come out without having to do much but snap the shot {and some editing in iphoto}. Taking photos also satisfies my creative side along with sharing them on my blog.  I think it is important to try something creative at least everyday!   Enjoy these photo's of my winter birds {my babies, how do they stand the cold}!  To see more photo's I have taken of birds go here.  Thank you for stopping by!

JUST IN....The snow storm!
I woke up to a huge winter storm this morning!  School is cancelled, fridge is stocked, and my camera is out.  Just wanted to add some photo's I just took!  Hope everyone is safe and warm!

I had to dig out the bird feeder!  It was buried!




xojamilyn

{All photo's taken via me and property of Living It At Home}



Monday, January 10, 2011

My Gorgeous iPad Case {Love}

I don't need to use many words to describe this DODOCASE for my iPad (just arrived).  I think my photo's say it all.  Well, I will say a few things!  I absolutely love it!  I have tried another case from the Apple Store but found it very lackluster and not attractive.  This case, however, shows off the true beauty of my iPad (yes, I think iPads are beautiful).  It is made beautifully and looks like a book too!  It also feels very sturdy and strong.  The DODOCASE is one of the most popular cases out there and won the MacWorld Eddy award and the 26th Annual Editors Award iPad case of the year.  It is hand made in San Francisco (remember, I used to live there so I am excited about that) and they use true book binding techniques to create this sturdy case.  Their philosophy is to manufacture things locally and keep the art of bookbinding alive by adapting it to a world of e-readers and iPads (how clever are they). They also have different color choices for the interior.  It is easy to install your iPad too.  Just gently place inside the bamboo frame and viola, your iPad is secure and looking so pretty!  They also make a case for the Kindle e-reader.  We are a Nook family and hopefully (I am going to write them) will make cases for the Nook too.

 Source DODOCASE
Looks like a book when closed.


Cute book plate.  Love the Dodo bird!
I actually feel good supporting a company that makes things by hand and uses local craftsmen!  
Well, I am off to enjoy my new case and my iPad {the most amazing device-a dream}.

xojamilyn

{Photo's property of livingitathome blog and info. from DODOCASE.com}






Thursday, January 6, 2011

Right Brain Creative Type Gets Organized With Plastic {Not Typical}

  • Right-brain types are visually oriented. They tend to think in images rather than words, focus on the big picture rather than the details, and go through life in a somewhat seat-of-the-pants (a.k.a. scattered) way.  Source Real Simple.

OK, that is me in a nut shell {I try though}!  I have been reading so many organization articles recently and I am happy it finally is getting into my head on how to become organized.  I have a million projects to do for this new year 2011!  I definitely overwhelm myself  thinking about it all. Our bedroom closet has always been on my mind and it was a mess!  Without even putting it on my list for the day, I just walked in and starting taking it apart {I just had to}.  I had not even removed our summer clothes yet!  My one biggest frustration was how much dust accumulates on shoes, handbags, ect...   After stumbling across the Container Store's clear shoe boxes, I knew I found something that would solve my problem.  I couldn't wait to get over there and get busy recreating my closet {made a list first of what I needed}.  I am officially obsessed now with these plastic boxes!  They hold everything and no more dust or toppling items in my closet!  Neat...neat...neat and only $1.79 each!  I bought the box of 20 and saved a few dollars.  You seriously have to try these for your shoes and other items!

By the way...here is some advice from Real Simple for right brainers {go here for more-also some advice for you left brainers too}
Right-Brainers
Forget about trying to adhere to strict rules. Your keep-it-neat plan should capitalize on your pull toward the creative and the emotional. Containers you already own and love can be motivating. Investigate your clutter patterns: Do you drop your necklace on the bathroom counter when you’re getting ready for bed? Maybe you need a wall hook by the sink to catch jewelry. If it works for you, it’s correct.
 I love how my shoes look and fit into these boxes...I really am obsessed!  Container Store even has boxes for boots!  Seeing my boots here make me so happy!  

 My small handbags were always falling off the shelves and getting dusty.  I love how nicely they will be stored now.

I have managed to even find a spot for my delicate scarves.  I never knew what to do with them.  I seriously am giddy!  

I don't have the fanciest closet but it feels so much more organized now.  I can walk in and "see" everything and everything has a home now.  I am not a super organized person {remember? right brain creative type} however, I love it when I am inspired to become organized and actually accomplish the task!  I still have more work to do in here though.  I would like to replace all my plastic hangers with real wood and paint the walls.  Oh, I even got some mens clear plastic shoe boxes for my husband {he does not like plastic boxes}.  However, he loves how organized his side of the closet is now!
I hope this organization bug doesn't wear off!  I am feeling really good right now about my closet project and the results.  To keep it like this however takes work and maintenance.  That means periodically eliminating items you no longer wear.  Also, put back things were they belong...make sure everything has a place.  I am feeling neater already!

Go get organized!
xojamilyn


{All photo's taken via me and property of Living It At Home}



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Too Soon For Tulips? Our Happy New Years Eve

After a long week away visiting family for Christmas, it was really nice to come home and fuss about.  Somehow I thought New Year's Eve was on Saturday and I would have a day to gather myself, unpack, clean and get organized before the New Year.  After I said to my husband about ten times that I couldn't believe it was New Year's Eve on Friday, I ran out to go food shopping (cupboards were bare).  I also needed some flowers ASAP for some cheer!  These tulips felt so fresh and gave me a hint of spring.  I hate to admit that I woke up that morning (Friday) excited for spring!  It is only the beginning of our long winter and  spring is very far away so I better get over it!  I highly recommend filling your home with flowers during these long winter months.  I plan on putting flowers in several rooms in my home, even on my bedside table.  Flowers when you wake up?  Just lovely...I will try and find some scented ones...
I think the reddish pink tulips compliment the antique silverplate vase perfectly!


For New Year's Eve, we kept it simple and easy.  No cooking (whew)!  I had to have candles to set the mood.  We kept all the lights low and put on some classical music.  We also had our fireplace going to make it even more cozier.  
I love my collection of brass candlesticks from antique stores

We had a lovely antipasto platter and an assortment of cheeses.  Opened a bottle of wine, ate shrimp cocktail and just sat back and relaxed.  It was the best night ever!

The aftermath....


Photo taken by my daughter
A view from my dinning room through the foyer to our living room where our chubby Christmas tree is. I did not do much decorating this year because we were traveling.  However, it is nice to be home and enjoy our tree now.  My husband asked me what are two things that I would like to accomplish in 2011...that would have to be, travel (Ireland and San Francisco-for now) and get a new refrigerator!  Also, healthy eating and exercise...oh yeah, update and care for my blog better (have not been posting that much).  It is exciting to "feel" like you can start fresh for the new year coming.

What do you resolve to do this year?
Happy New Year!

xojamilyn

{All photo's property of living it at home}



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