NURSERY INSPIRATION

June must be the month for having babies. I have had quite a few friends who just celebrated their babe's first birthday, and a handful more that are due later this month. If you know me well you know babies terrify me- I never grew up having baby siblings, and I have never changed a diaper in my life.  I think I am the only person in the world with babyphobia.  I used to teach kindergartners, I can handle toddlers and small children, its just something about the unpredictability of a little human that strikes fear in my heart. But I LOVE designing nurseries, and play rooms. I recently designed a nursery for a good friend who is having a little boy later this month, here is where I drew some of my inspiration. I'll share my design board with you a bit later in the week!


I love the gold crib and draperies in this nursery. What a great idea to have a larger bed in the nursery in case you need/want to be close to your little one. 


The simple owl print hung in an ornate frame above the crib really makes a statement in this space. 


The backdrop of this nursery is all neutral with touches of green and coral in the accessories.


The rug in this room really sets the stage for a "world traveler" look, the map doesn't hurt either. 


This green crib is perfect. 


The paint by numbers mural in this room was a huge inspiration for me. I hope this room has a tee pee.


I love orange and pink for little girls, this room is fresh, and fun I loved the roman shade and window seat.


I imagine this room in a cozy New York apartment, I love that little felt cloud. 


This neutral space is quite feminine, I really like how they incorporated texture to warm it up. 


I was kind of dying over the antique crib in this room, and the gingham bed skirt just hit it home for me. 

FERN COLLECTION FREE PRINTABLES


I have received quite a few emails about where I got the fern botanical prints in my bedroom, from this post. So, I thought I'd address the question with a new post and some free printables! I didn't purchase them anywhere, because I couldn't find ones that fit the frames I already had. Prints that did fit the frames, had a lot of other plants going on, and I just wanted a basic fern, no extra jib jab. So I ended up photoshopping my own prints from old scans I found at an online library archive. Library and museum archives are a great way to get a collection of prints if you are trying to achieve the look of a gallery wall for less, many of them have online scans. You can get my fern collection by clicking here. 




I simply printed them out with a basic color printer and placed them in my frames. I got these frames originally at Michael's craft store about 5 years ago, but they still sell the exact frame in a few sizes. (I have another fun tutorial coming up with these same frames) I believe they were 9.99 -- and they were all 50% off, so wait until they have a sale. I should also mention I spray painted them with my most favorite gold spray paint of all time- nothing compares- really. You can get it here. It looks like this:


FOODS MOST/LEAST CONTAMINATED BY PESTICIDES

Thanks to Pinterest my "How to Eat with the Seasons" post has been the most popular tip on the site. To go along with that I wanted to give you gals and guys a great resource on pesticides. I don't always buy organic fruits and veggies at the market- but I ALWAYS buy organic when it comes to the "Dirty Dozen" list below. Usually the prices aren't too much higher, and the trade off is well worth paying a few cents more. The "Green Fifteen" list are the fruits and veggies least sprayed with pesticides, so those are typically safe to buy in the non-organic produce department. Just keep in mind that some of the items on the good list can still be genetically modified to create larger fruit that doesn't necessarily taste better, I'm looking at you tomatoes and avocados...


MUSHROOM BROCCOLI AND RED PEPPER MELTS

I hope everyone had a fun Father's Day. We made this recipe as part of the "5 week vegetarian challenge" and again on Father's Day with some homemade sweet potato fries. (Recipe coming soon) I enjoyed seeing the look on John's face when he thought I was preheating the oven on to 500 degrees in the middle of June. His exact words were, "I always wondered what broil meant." I hope you enjoy. It's pretty good.

Ingredients:
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and ground pepper
8 brown button mushrooms, or your favorite variety
1 red bell pepper
balsamic vinegar
4 thick slices of focaccia or ciabatta bread
4 ounces Gouda cheese, thinly sliced


Directions:
Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Slice mushrooms and peppers, cut up broccoli into florets  Saute veggies with olive oil for about 6-8 min.

Place bread on a work surface. Dividing evenly, drizzle with balsamic, and top with vegetables, then cheese. Place on baking sheet, and broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


5 WEEK VEGETARIAN CHALLENGE MEAL PLAN

We did it! We completed the vegetarian challenge, without breaking a sweat. I am so excited to share with you the meal plan and some recipes. For a printable version of the meal plan click here. It wasn't as hard as I had anticipated, and I only anticipated it being difficult because we would have to come up with a lot of new recipes for variety. But as soon as it began I welcomed the challenge. I really enjoyed trying new things, like making risotto for the first time. And I can tell you I feel better- not just because I know I was kinder to the environment- but because I feel like I have more energy, because I had fun cooking, and because I enjoyed not having to stress over "what's for dinner." We will probably keep this up for quite a bit. I plan to make a 5 week meal plan for each of the four seasons, so I always have recipes with seasonal fruits and veggies handy. For now we are happy flexitarians.

To make it easier for readers I tagged all of the recipe posts with the label "5 week vegetarian challenge" and you can find most of these recipes by clicking here. You can see the term "leftovers" in the meal plan, I set it up this way for 2 reasons. The first being, if we had leftovers they got eaten, and the second reason was to offer a "free space" each week. For example, if a social engagement came up on a Monday and we were scheduled to make the Grilled Portobello Sandwiches, we would just swap that day with the leftover day from that week. The same goes for "salad," I stuck that in to help us eat the rest of the raw veggies we usually have lying around. We eat a large veggie salad at least once a week anyway, so that really worked for us.

ALOE + ROSEWATER FACIAL SETTING SPRAY

The summer heat has really started to set in, which means my makeup is usually melting off my face.  A few weeks ago I talked to an esthetician who recommended a facial setting spray and listed a few brands she liked. She said it basically sets your makeup for the day and can really help those with oily skin. After reviewing some of her recommendations I wasn't loving some of the ingredients. But renewed my search when a day of heavy yard work left my fave looking like Gangie - See here for reference.  I then came upon a product that was not only ingredient friendly, but I thought I could make myself. If you aren't into making your own beauty products you can buy it here. 



Ingredients:
Witch Hazel
Green Tea
Rose Water
Aloe Vera (natural, in liquid form, not the gel)
Distilled Water
Essential Oil

Directions:
Pour 1/3 cup witch hazel into a 3 oz misting bottle (usually in the travel section of the drug store). Then  add 3 tablespoons of green tea, strained. Next combine 1 tablespoon of both aloe vera and rose water.
Add a few tablespoons of distilled water, and a few drops of essential oil if you prefer, it is for fragrance only.

After applying your make-up, Lightly spritz face and let dry, don't touch your face or move. (I made the mistake of looking down and got mascara on my under eye area)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BACKSPLASH

Have you ever fallen into a design rut? It’s easy to find a style or trend you love and sooner or later you realize it has popped up in a few rooms in your home. One trend I keep seeing repeated is white and marble subway tiles in kitchen backsplashes. Don't get me wrong, I really love that look- I do it for clients all the time, but I am starting to feel like a one trick pony. It is a simple part of your kitchen that can make a big splash (no pun intended, but hey that was pretty clever!) if done right. Here’s some inspiration to help you (and me) get out of the subway tile rut.

Add a touch of pattern



Try a natural touch like pebbles or bricks.



Mix it up with metal




Renting? Try painting a backsplash it’s affordable and far from permanent



*Note two of the images have a watermark so I know where they came from-- but the rest were saved on a file on my computer before Pinterest (how did we even live before Pinterest) If you know the source please send it to me, I'd love to be able to link them!