(*indicates BIPOC-owned brand/BIPOC-created work)
(*indicates BIPOC-owned brand/BIPOC-created work)
While I am all about making messes to get creative, sometimes I just don't want to have to deal with all the clean-up that's involved (or the clean-up I will have to remind my kids they need to do after ;P). Here's an easy and fun art exercise you can do with kids of all ages from toddler to big kid!
All you need is:
-paper (I cut sheets into quarters so they would be the same size and also to keep them smallish)
-colorful dot stickers (thanks Jordan for telling me about these stickers!)
-black permanent marker
Here are a few exercises you can prompt! They involve a mix of creation and story-telling, and it's fun for you to do the exercises alongside with them, too...
Exercise 1: Place 6 dots on your page in six different colors (they should not touch). Then use a Sharpie to draw different facial expressions on each dot. Next, add drawings around each one. They could become an object, a living thing, a person, etc. Finally, tell a story about the six things...it could be one continuous story where all six could all be involved in the same story or just describe each one!
Exercise 2: Using any colors you want to make a continuous path from one end of your paper to another. Then, add drawings to make your stickers create a scene. Add a title to your scene. Then, describe it to everyone!
Exercise 3: Make a pattern with the dots! You can use any number of colors you want. Then, add either drawings or a title. Now, describe your picture!
Exercise 4: Make whatever you want! BUT, create it in mind with the idea that you are making this for someone else and you would want to send it to them in the mail—like your best friend, your grandparents, etc! Finally, describe your scene to everyone.
My kids had a great time doing this art exercise, and it was fun for them to get different prompts throughout. They got excited about sharing their creation, too. Afterwards, my oldest said now she wanted to make something messy because this one was so neat and clean! Ha!
After spending so much time sheltering in place this year, many of us have discovered just how important our spaces can be. For the third annual Real Simple Home in the October issue, they've partnered with designers and organizers to design a space in a real home and ideas for making every area inviting, calming, and ultra-functional. I'm excited to be one of the designers this year and share the room I created with you!
My inspiration for this room is a real-life 11-year-old living in NYC named Evan. She's artsy, a little edgy, and loves yellow. I wanted a space that felt fun and inspiring for a tween but also felt like she could grow into as she becomes a teen. Since the room is small, I added a large wallpaper mural to the focal wall behind the bed for impact.
New York City apartments and rooms are always on the smaller size, so I had to maximize the space with storage options that go vertically and allow her art supplies and sketchbooks to be stored off the desk. All of the major pieces of furniture are neutral (whites and light woods) with yellow in with a couple statement items like the peg board here and the wall mural by her bed. At this age, all furniture can be adult-sized so that she can use it for a while to come.
Typically this home could be toured in real life. But for the first time, Real Simple will be hosting a LIVE virtual event on October 1st to give you exclusive behind-the-scenes access to everything Real Simple Home. Be sure to register before October 1 so you can access the event page and get reminders via email.
This was such a fun project to work on since it's an age I haven't had a chance to design for yet, and I hope this gives you some fun inspiration for your own home. See the October issue of Real Simple for my room and more by all the other talented designers!
Bed Photo Sources: Wall Mural by Christina Flowers for Minted; Bedframe by The Novogratz; Yellow Round Pillow by Castle; Duvet Cover by Castle; Duvet Insert by Bed, Bath & Beyond; Sheet by Castle; Dotty Pillow Case by Castle; Scallop Pillow Case by Castle; Pillow Inserts by Bed, Bath & Beyond; Rug by Crate & Barrel; Nightstand by Urban Outfitters; Planter by The Jungalow; Faux Plant by Terrain; General Stationery by Poketo; Tout Est Magique Print by Hotel Magique; Floor Lamp by CB2; Curtains by West Elm; Curtain Tie-Backs by Urban Outfitters; and Curtain Rod by West Elm.
Do you have a guest room in your home? If you do...raise your hand if it's an extra bedroom that's well-intended as a guest bedroom but often gets used as a storage room for our extra junk or doubles as a home office/guest bedroom. (I'm raising my hand!) Since we can't have friends and family over these days, I've been taking the time to prepare our guest bedroom in a way that would be suitable for our future guests once they can finally come visit us!
We started with the California Closets x Martha Stewart The Everyday System which offers a beautiful way to customize closets at a lower price point than traditional built-ins. I love the idea of using the closet as a way to offer extra fun amenities, and things that would make their stay comfortable and provide them with things that might come in handy during their visit. Almost like the perks you would get at a fun hotel!
A mix of closed boxes allows you to keep some things hidden with open storage for making some things easily accessible.
Some of the items to include that come in handy and will make your guests feel special include:
- Extra towels, blankets, pillows, robes
- Books about the local area
- Tote bags for shopping or beach trips
- Umbrella, sun hats, sweaters to allow for changes in weather
- Extra toothbrushes and First Aid items
While you may not be able to leave a guest closet filled with only items for guests, you can make use of boxes or bins to store things that you need as well and can easily be tucked away when guests are in town!
(Photos by Lily Glass)
Fall is upon us! While some of us are still living in the hot summer temps, the transition to fall is on its way. Here are a few fun things that work now AND later that I'm loving right now all from independently-owned brands.
(left to right, top to bottom: Doen plaid top ($208), snake earrings from Chauncey & Coco ($36)*, CV x Melissa McCarthy Moyen Messenger bag ($495), CV x Melissa McCarthy 3/4 Sleeve Sweatshirt ($135), Roam Vintage dress ($72)*, orange leaf earrings from The Tiny Tassel*, AAKS woven bag ($153)*, Celia B woven jacket ($300). / *indicates BIPOC-owned)
The other day my friend Sara texted me and said they were making Pad Kee Mao and the rice noodles that typically go into the dish didn't work out, so they substituted with Korean rice cakes! It was such a great idea that I was inspired to recreate it for you!
Here's what you'll need...
- 1lb. of Korean rice cakes ("dduk")
- peanut oil
- 8-10 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 2 cups of green veggies (green beans, bok choy, broccoli, etc.)
- 2-3 Tbs. oyster sauce
- 2-3 tsp. black soy sauce (this is different than regular soy sauce and is thicker and sweeter)
- 2-3 Tbs. of fish sauce
- 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of white pepper, to taste
- 1/2-1 cup of fresh holy or Thai basil
-Thai chillies finely chopped (I added after so that I could make this for my kids, too)
- Protein (like shrimp, chicken, beef, tofu)
You can find a video of this recipe being made on my Instagram! Enjoy!
*recipe adapted from "It Rains Fishes" by Kasma Loha-Unchit
Windows (and lots of them) were always a huge part of our home build design. We love natural light, and sunny Los Angeles gives us some of the best and longest daily sunlight we could ask for! But we also knew, even as far back as our old apartment how important blinds were for sleeping through the night, keeping privacy, and controlling the amount of sunlight and heat in our house.
So we’re excited to partner again with Blinds.com to find the perfect window coverings for all the bedrooms in our home. While I can’t show you everything in our house just yet, I can show a couple of peeks at some options we choose. And then I did some shopping for you, too! Blinds.com has a large selection that can be daunting, so I picked some of my favorites for you to consider for your own home...
We chose Premier Roman Shades with the black-out option in mostly every bedroom in the home. I love that because you could have something like and bright (like the Gent Bisque linen shades at very top) or darker and more sultry (like the dark blue Luxe Velvet Lapis shades above).
Also, ready-made curtains can be so hard to make work when you have extra high or wide windows, so I love that you can get them custom-made affordably here, too, like this Easy Rod Pocket Panel style.
Window coverings are one of those pieces that we don't often work into a design from the get-go, but it's important to make sure they work for you both functionally and aesthetically. One thing that is SO helpful to selecting window coverings is to chat with a professional that works with window coverings for a living. They have a great service and you can work directly with a designer to get just the right treatment for your home!
I can't wait to show you how these shades work into our full room reveals!
(Top two photos by Lily Glass, Other photos by Blinds.com)