14. 01. 2015
pillow diy During the holiday season, I became obsessed with this GORGEOUS pin on Pinterest from On Sutton Place. Christmas Tree Pom Pom Pillow Cover Man. Looking at this picture again more closely gives me some serious pom-pom envy. I mean... Look at those poms poms! They're beyond perfect! how did a human make those?? But I digress.  Amazing idea, right? However, being that I'm often a few steps behind on keeping up with holidays I just didn't get around to attempting this great DIY this year.  I couldn't get this pillow out of my mind though, so I tried to think of other ways I could use this idea.  I so love a good monogram and I also love that monograms look great all year round, so I decided to do a big "J" for our last name using pom poms.  I also decided to try it out with a black and white pillowcase for a lil dramatic oomph! Here is how I made it: I started with the pom poms  Here is the tutorial for how to make the pom poms:

Pom-Pom-How-To-with-Numbers_thumb

The poms poms were definitely the most time-consuming part. I made 22 pom poms for my J, which is WAY more than I thought I would need. Just a heads up, don't feel bad if you try making a few of the pom poms and you're like WHAT the what? My pom poms totally don't look anything like this!  Keep at it and just trim away if they're uneven.  I did a lot of trimming :/.

Then all you need to do is turn on your hot glue gun and glue those babies on! I took the pillow cover off to figure out where to put the J and for the gluing. And that's it!

pillow

monogrammed pillow cover

11. 01. 2015
eclectic nurseries All eclectic, all the time is what I always say.  Although, I don't actually think I've ever said that.  I've definitely thought that though.  But OH I just love any and all things eclectic.  I have a really hard time picking and sticking to themes, so I end up just buying things I love, even if they totally don't go together, and sticking them together and calling it eclectic.  Usually it somehow works out and looks kinda cool together.   I especially love eclectic themes in children's room.  I feel that children are inherently eclectic, so eclectic themes just seem so right for decorating their spaces. Here are some of my FAV eclectic nurseries in all their chalkwall, kilim rug and arrowed glory in case you need a little eclectic inspiration. Click on any of the pics to see more! And while you do that, I'll try to think of some ways to work in the word eclectic a few more times into this post... IMG_7350-1024x682   image11   HIGHRES-59-681x1024   6469be900cac49bc139e59e7d2692cf4   baby room   hallafter-682x1024   ec759c887e899da4810899ecbf888c06   702df146a497c004f861461c98b08bd3   9    
09. 01. 2015
PicMonkey Collage Do you ever think "I totally could have written that AND done a better job" after reading a children's book?  I know I have! But then I tired to write one for my Master's Project and GOODNESS GRAY it was tough.  Probably one of the hardest things I've completed in my academic career.  There are so many different components that go into a quality piece of children's literature.  Even though a 18 page picture book seems simple, there is A LOT of thought behind every detail.  It's hard to know and appreciate the complexities of what constitutes good children's literature, and even harder to determine which books represent quality children's lit.  Therefore, I often refer to my favorite book lists to help guide me.  I certainly don't think every book you read to your child has be awarding-winning literature - believe me, we read a lot of $1 specials or books of little substance just for kicks. But I do think it's important to read your child a balanced diet of children's literature. The good stuff helps expose them to more thought-provoking and stimulating content matter than the fluffy stuff. To help understand some of what goes into quality children's lit, here is a little excerpt from one of my favorite places to look for new and GOOD children's books regarding how they select books for their annual book lists (Bank Street College of Education): "In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes. Nonfiction titles are further evaluated for accuracy and clarity." Helps give you a bit more perspective on the whole process, right? And these are just a few high-level things that make-up good children's lit. SO help me sort through all the options out there, I rely on these links below for guidance when on the hunt for the best children's books: Newbery Medal Winners - Going straight to the top here. These books receive medals for being the most notable contributions to children's lit for the year. Caldecott Medal Winners - Up at the top again.  These books receive medals for containing the most distinguished illustrations of the year. New York Public Library - Love this classic list of the top 100 children's books for the past 100 years. Bank Street College - Saved the best for last (OK I'm biased as a Bank Street Grad, but really, when it comes to children's lit they REALLY know what's up). This is your one-stop-shop when looking for children's books.  They compile annual book lists that are broken down by age and category.  You can also search their general book lists to find books that address pretty much any topic. Where do you go to look for new children's books?