Have you ever really wanted to redecorate but just can’t get inspired because your space (bedroom, living room, office) requires a lot of TLC and decision making? That’s sort of where I’ve been the past year — in a mid-redecorating-limbo. I desperately wanted to redo my home office space because I spend about 75% of my time here and it isn’t a very exciting environment. I did get started last year (yes I am currently in a year long limbo) but the project stalled because I got overwhelmed with options.
Above :: Ikea Chair, Ikea desk, World Market Rug, West Elm desk lamp
Well, it’s time to pick things back up. I have some major decisions to make; like paint (my walls are stark white) and more functional furniture (I’m so over the old stuff I’ve had forever). But that’s a little much for me right now — so I’ve decided to start small. I’m rethinking a small gallery wall and adding a few more decorative touches to the space.
Last week I shared the my youngest daughter and I had been inspired to come up with a unique idea to help create a better world, and select a Summer Sunlight Activity we’d like to do together to make our household more sustainable. Pairing the challenge with her love for the kitchen, we decided to make our challenge One Ingredient, Five Ways which will help eliminate food waste in our home.
Over the past six months, I’ve been collaborating with Pepperidge Farm and sharing my original recipes using Puff Pastry. Along the way, my readers were asked to submit ideas for recipes they would like to create using puff pastry and just a few weeks ago one reader (Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery!) got the news she would be heading with me to the Pepperidge Farms Innovation Center to compete in our own version of a Top Chef inspired cooking challenge.
We arrived with several other bloggers and guests for a day of inspiration, taste testing and recipe development! Above is Sharon and I in the Pepperidge Farm test kitchen. It was SO cool!
With aprons tied, we worked together to create two dishes that would be presented to the judges. Our mission was to create two recipes each inspired by a new food trend –Brazilian influence and using Greek yogurt in a savory dish. Above were our two dishes.
My youngest daughter is seven now, but ever since she could stand up she’s been helping me in the kitchen. Prepping, cooking, baking, eating — she absolutely loves it all. I love how she gets excited about the entire experience; from gathering ingredients, to putting in the hard work in the kitchen, to sitting down and savoring the meal.
The kitchen seems to be a place where she problem solves often. Whether it’s substituting an ingredient or brainstorming ways to use items grown in our backyard garden, she’s always thinking. So when I learned about Unilever Project Sunlight’s latest film, The Way Kids SeeIt I knew this would be something her and we’d both enjoy. The video shines a light on the unique ideas and the magic that children all over the world apply to tackle all sorts of environmental and social issues. It’s pretty inspiring! Check it out:
The end of the school year is fast approaching and it’s during this time that I like to think about a few thoughtful things I can do for my girls to help them get excited about summer. Every year, I like to have a small gift for them to kick-off the first official day of summer – and this year, I’ve created “jars of fun.”
Although we are constantly doing fun things during the summertime, my kids still seem to find time and ways to “be bored.” That’s where these little jars of goodies come in. To help keep boredom at bay this summer I’ve filled these jars with a variety of fun items to keep them busy in between scheduled activities and trips. They’ll find everything from small toys to an animal stamp set, bookmarks, mini slinky’s and bouncy balls. Because all the items fit into a jar, it’s also an ideal gift for travel.
For older children you can place in gift cards to the movies or an ice cream shop, crossword puzzle books, or even a new pair of shades for the summer.
Okay, maybe DIY isn’t dead but it definitely has grown up a bit. DIYers have been at it for over a decade — crafting and creating new things, making something out of nothing, reinventing old things into new. On the blogs we read this typically shows itself in ways of fabulous party garland, a new way to display your jewelry or a sophisticated typography print just waiting for you to download. In a parallel (yet equally thriving world), a culture of garage tinkers and hackspace inhabitants have been head-down making things too. New products that solve every day problems and innovating products that have existed for centuries, giving them an upgrade. They’ve been making things; just like DIYers have been.
Despite the clear similarities between the DIY and Tinkerer communities we have (until recently) been living in different realms. In fact, I would argue each group wouldn’t have wanted to identify with the other before — as they have historically seen themselves very different from each other; one side “craft” and the other “tech.” How many DIYers attended the Maker Faire in 2009? Likewise, how many garage tinkerers opened up an Etsy shop in 2009? Exactly. Not until the past few years have these world began to merge into what we are now calling the Maker Movement. But why now? (more…)