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Mini Boden Brand Ambassadors #momsloveboden

24 Oct

Me and the girls have been huge fans of Mini Boden ever since Sophia was a toddler so when the brand asked me if I wanted to dress up my ladies in some Mini Boden goodies and be a Brand Ambassador, I jumped at the chance. The fall/winter collection has great new versions of many of our favorite styles so we had a really hard time editing down our picks!  Here’s a peek at what we decided on and how we styled it with the rest of their wardrobes.

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For Lily, we knew we needed to start with an applique t-shirt since we’ve always love the ones from Boden. They’re so soft and super-durable so we knew whatever we chose would last forever. And since Lily hasn’t met a rainbow she doesn’t love (remember her rainbow birthday party?), we knew the Dotty Applique T-shirt was the right pick. As you can see, she likes it! She really, really likes it!

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We picked a classic coat for Sophia and I’m sure Lily will be wearing this beauty (the Two-in-one Padded Jacket)  in three years. I love that the sleeves and hood come off so you can choose to wear it as a vest or as a coat.

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Lily lived in an adorable Boden dress last winter (the Printed Tea Dress) so when I saw they were offering it in new prints this season, I snatched one up! Bonus: It’s machine washable (which is great because she’s worn it at least once a week). She even chose it as her “school picture” outfit! I can see her wearing this all winter with leggings and cardigans…and all summer long, too!

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My favorite thing from the whole order was this Johnny B dress that I got for Soph. If you’re not well versed in Boden-speak, Johnny B is the “big kids” line that’s in between Mini Boden and Boden. Sizes range from 9-16 and though Sophia can still fit in Mini Boden, she tends to like the more “tween” styles of Johnny B. Case in point: the adorable Mabel dress. It’s basically a t-shirt dress that she can wear over leggings all winter but the way it fits her is what elevates the look.

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I love how the sleeves are slim and a little longer than usual. And that pink trimmed exposed zipper is so pretty! (Doesn’t she look so grown up in it?)

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Lily also scored the aptly named Pretty Printed Top which has got Boden written all over it – figuratively, of course. (These “ditsy” florals are a Boden fave. In fact, Soph LIVED in a cotton Johnny B dress all summer that had a similar print and Lil wore an old Mini Boden hand-me-down in this print tons, too.) I love how this top feels light and girly but the long sleeves make it perfect for fall. (With skinny jeans and boots, of course!)boden 028

Check out the little gold trim around the neckline! boden 040

Thanks again to Johnny Boden and all of ours friends at Mini Boden and Allison Brod for inviting us to be Mini Boden Ambassadors! I must admit, these little ladies wear it well!

XO

Sue at Home

Full disclosure: Mini Boden provided us with a gift card to shop with (which just scratched the surface of our seasonal Boden purchases!).  But you know that all opinions are mine and I would never promote a brand that I didn’t truly believe in, right?

P.S. Tis the season! I made a double batch of Pumpkin Whoopie Pies today and you should too! Click the picture below for details and recipe info. You know you want to.

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A New Old Desk by “Sophia at Home”

15 Sep

Hi! I’m Sophia, Sue’s nine year old daughter. Today, I’m going to show you how super easy it is to redo a desk for your room in just one weekend.  Welcome to Sophia at Home!

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Step 1: Ask mom for a desk for your room for the millionth time.

Step 2: Rearrange the furniture in your room for a few minutes with your mom to see if a desk will even fit. Mom gets that look in her eyes that she gets when she’s got a good idea. You can practically see the lightbulb above her head!

Step 3: Say thanks as Mom and Dad present you with a dirty old wood desk that’s been hiding in the attic for years.

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It’s pretty gross looking but you love it anyway. (You decide not to mention that the little cube is never going to work as a chair. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.)

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Step 4: Have your assistants bring it outside to the deck and gather all the supplies you’ll need: sanding block, paper towels, painters tape, primer, paint, paint brush, foam roller, paint pan, screwdriver (to open paint cans), and a hammer (to close them). Make sure you’re using Benjamin Moore paints. Duh.

Step 5: Start by sanding the top and sides of the top. (You’re only painting the top panel and leaving the legs au natural ’cause you’re cool like that.) Towel all the dust off after. Note that you should be wearing “work” clothes but that’s no reason to not have on chic protective eyewear.)

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Step 6: Tape around the edge with painters’ tape. (Multi-colored manicure optional.)

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Step 7: Paint the top with primer. Make sure you paint with the grain of the wood!

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Step 8: Get bored and take a break while your assistant finishes up.

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Step 9: Let your primer dry and call it a day.

Step 10: Get back to work in the morning. Roll on Benjamin Moore’s Mountainview (aka mint). Luckily your mom had some leftover from painting the inside of the kitchen cabinet. This is what your mom likes to call a “no cost DIY”. Note: jammies make for great “work clothes” in a pinch.

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Step 11: Let it dry and then have your assistants carry it back to your room. Thank mom profusely and then tell her about the chair problem. (Make sure you break it to her nice and easy.)

Step 12: Watch the lightbulb go off over mom’s head again as she remembers an old chair she originally planned on painting for the den for this project. It’s currently collecting dust in the garage. (Mom gets so excited about having a solution that she forgets to take a before shot of the chair but luckily she has this one from when she bought it. It’s the little black one on the left which she picked up for $2.99!)

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 Step 13: Marvel as mom takes the chair apart and proceeds to paint the legs with gold spray paint and the seat and back in paint that match your ‘new old’ desk.

Step 14: Bask in the glory of your awesome new cost-nothing desk!

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The old-school keyboard tray is now a drawer for my school supplies, jewelry, and other important kid stuff,

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Because this is a combo desk/vanity, earrings have the same prominent placement as pencils.

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Isn’t the chair unrecognizable? I love it!

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Thanks for letting me crash the blog, mom!

Bye!
XO

Sue SOPHIA at Home

A Lalaloopsy Party for Lalalily

1 Aug

I’m back today with a belated post about Lily’s Lalaloopsy-themed birthday party. You might remember back in May, I showed you the DIY invitations I made using cardstock, washi tape, some Picmonkey layouts, and a custom Lalalily logo that my awesome sister-in-law made. (Lily says thanks Aunt Paola!)

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We lucked out with the weather once again for Lily’s party which was good because it was at our house. 

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A sign on the door with the custom Lalalily logo greeted guests and let them know they were at the right house. (FYI: That’s a Lalaloopsy doll. And a Lalalily.)lalloopsy party 034

We hired a face painter from Bella Faccia who worked on all of the kids. She came early to do Lily and Sophia and when kids arrived they got a numbered sticker on their hand so they wouldn’t have to stand in line. Ann did an amazing job and all the kids were thrilled! 

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Note to local friends: They’re the ones that are always at the Westfield streetfair on the corner of East Broad and Prospect. They’re not cheap but they were worth it!face paint collage

We also “hired” Sophia and her friend to do temporary tattoos for all the kids. We used an old Discovery Kids lemonade stand as a tattoo booth and I let the kids decorate it with neon signs I bought at the Dollar Store. They took their job very seriously and even made sure all the dads and grandpas were covered in tattoos!

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As for the desserts, I made two cakes and some chocolate covered pretzels which were so ridiculously delicious they were the surprise hit of the party.  Details coming soon. (Actually that’s a lie. The real surprise hit was my pomegranate margaritas. The kids loved them! Kidding. But they were awesome and you’ll get the recipe for those soon, too.)

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I decorated the pretzels with some rainbow colored sugars that I already had. (I mean, doesn’t everyone have decorative sugars in every color of the rainbow like I do?)

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I decorated one of the cakes with button lollipops from Oriental Trading. (It’s a Lalaloopsy thing. Don’t ask.)

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The other cake got a two-sided sign with that custom Lalalily logo. I made it by making two prints on cardstock, using a plate to trace a round shape on the top, cutting it, and then attaching the prints onto three skewers with tape. That makes it sound complicated but it really was very simple. And certainly simpler than writing the logo in frosting or crafting it out of fondant (which is far past my cake making skill set).

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Lily was not very excited about her mini Lalaloopsys being on the cake but after I promised that I’d clean them up, she allowed it. (I starting having flashbacks to a similar glue and Polly Pocket situation with Soph’s school project that strangly is my most read post. I guess a lot of people need to build wigwams.)

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If you know me, you know I like some colored cake (Exhibit A: Lily’s rainbow cake!)  so it may come as no surprise to see that the cakes were pink and turquoise inside. (Bonus: Duncan Hines has made it just too easy with pre-colored Blue Velvet and Pink Velvet vanilla flavored box mixes!)  

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For favors, I filled bags from Oriental Trading with Lalaloopsy art kits for the girls and Batman Lego sets for the boys…

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…and then used washi tape to attach labels to each bag. 

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Lil had a great time and we were so happy to have my parents with us to celebrate! (Note to self and anyone considering having a face painter at your kid’s birthday party: Just remember that your kids will look like this in any nice family pictures from the soiree. As long as you’re cool with that, paint away!)

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Check out some other birthday parties here:

Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

Lily’s Luau Birthday Party

Sophia’s Glamtastic Birthday Party

 

Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

XO

Sue At Home

 

 

 

 

Hallway Gallery and Runner

12 May

When you last met my hallway…what? You’ve never met my hallway? Oh the shame. Let’s get better aquainted.

Back in 2010 when we moved in, our hallway had brown wall-to-wall carpet (yikes) and poorly textured creamy walls.

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It only took about a month before we ripped out the carpet and had the wood floors underneath refinished. We went with a dark stain downstairs but we kept the hall pale to go with the floors in the bedrooms. Check out 2 year old Lily showing off the pretty hardwood back before I fixed the stair risers. (Doesn’t she kind of look like a ghost? Boo!)

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A few months after that, Pablo attempted to skim coat the walls (I’ll give him an A for effort) and we painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray with Cloud White trim.

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That was three years ago and everyday since then I’ve had the intention of hanging some extended family pics up there. And now it’s done! Well, not done. More like a decent start. (You’ll also notice I’ve sort of learned how to use my camera too.)

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I shopped for the runner for a loooooong time. That problem with my expensive taste and limited budget got in the way but eventually I fell for a pretty kelly green wool flat weave rug in a Jaipur catalog my mom had borrowed from a local decorator. I was contemplating getting one (and even paying the expensive-for-me $200+ price) when this beauty popped up on One Kings Lane for only $149. I had to go for it. Lucky for you OKL has it right now, too (for a few bucks more).

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The next step was the frames and since you know me, you can imagine I tried to go inexpensive with some of the offerings at Target, Kohls and Ikea. But they all just looked too cheap to me so I ended up getting most of them at Pottery Barn. (I can’t say enough nice things about their gallery frames. Just go buy them and thank me later.)

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As for the pictures themselves, the focus is on extended family: the girls’ cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. (I felt I had thoroughly covered the 4 of the us in our dining room photo wall so it was time to spread the love.) You’ll notice most of them are super casual.

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hallway 050One of the favorites is this picture from Thanksgiving a few years ago. It’s the last time we had my family and Pablo’s family together so it’s got a lot of VIPs in it.

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The walls look a little sparse for now but the goal is to fill it up top to bottom. Something more like this.

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It’s coming together but don’t look up! If you do you’ll see cracked and peeling paint and one of the noisiest flourescent lights in history.

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Take a closer look at that texture.

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We’re bringing some pros in soon to fix it up and I’ve got plans to replace the light, too. I’ll keep you posted.

And the view from the bedrooms needs a little love too. See that space above the stairs? hallway 056

 I’d love to put something inspirational there so we see if right before we head out for the day. Ya know, something like this:

seize the day

OR

don't forget to be awesome

Maybe we could even jump and smack it like the Notre Dame football team does with their motivational sign…?

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So it’s still a work in progress but I’m happy with the changes we’ve made. It sure is nice to see Mimi, Papa, Uncle Steve, Auntie, Jonathan, Bobe, Grandpa Steve, Uncle Francis, Aunt Nicole, Baylee, Arianna, Carter, Aunt Paola, Aunt Alex, Eliseo, and Weli everday.

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XO

Sue at Home

Easy Party Invitations

6 May

Lily’s 6th birthday is coming up (how did she get so big?!?!) and I decided to go the DIY route for her invitations again. The theme is “Lalaloopsy/Carnival” so I wanted the invitations to be bright, fun, and Lalalily!

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The first step was to turn to my resident graphic designer (that would be my sister-in-law Paola) to create a custom Lalalily logo to be used all over the party. As per ushe, Paola rocked her assignment (even with her newborn baby on her hip). Check!

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Next I chose a fun picture of Lily that I took in Aruba this year and added some text to it with the help of PicMonkey. FYI: The font I used–which features hearts over the i’s if you’re into that sorta thing (and why wouldn’t you be?)–is called Emily’s Candy.

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Don’t mind the reflection of the photographer in her lens. Note to self: no more mirrored glasses for the girls.

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I knew I could have just printed the text on the back of the picture (I printed them at home on cardstock) but I figured to make it more interesting I’d print separate sheets and then tie them together with a ribbon. But when I went to look for my hole punch, I was greeted with this: washi tape heaven!

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And that’s when I decided that it would far more Lalaloopsy-ish if I used random washi tape to attached the image to the party info page.

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Isn’t it so pretty? Now I’m totally inspired to use washi tape all over her party!

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Stay tuned for more Lalalily details as the party date approaches! And if you just can’t wait, check out these other awesome party posts on Sue at Home:

Lily’s Luau Birthday party

How to Throw A Glamtastic Kids’ Party

Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

XO

Sue at Home

Valentine’s from PicMonkey

10 Feb

I had every intention of doing something super creative with the kids for their school valentine’s but as we all know: Researching on Pinterest does not a valentine make. So there I was at Target on Sunday night, grabbing a few bags of Hershey Kisses and some clear goody bags to make a little somethin somethin.

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All I needed was the valentine itself. I’ve used PicMonkey to make party invitations before (see Soph’s here and Lily’s here) so I figured I’d let the girls design their own valentine’s with the help of the monkey.  (Before you start thinking this is a sponsored post, I’ll stop you right there. Nope. I just really, really like PicMonkey!)

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Sophia came up with this turquoise and lavendar heart card that includes a peace sign, a smiley face and a little heart, obvs. (Note, we left a little space on each one for them to write their friends names in.)

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I tried to get controlling with Lily’s (as I like to do) and I designed this one on my own but she wasn’t having it. (I thought it was cute, no?)

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So, she got to work on her own!

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And I think it came out much more “Lily”. (Case in point: that butterfly icon over her head.)

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Next I printed sheets of them on some cardstock.

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And here’s the finished “Lily original”.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

XO

Sue at Home

If you’ve never tried PicMonkey, check out their blog for lots of great ideas.

Keeping Up with the Ernetas

8 Jan

Hi! Did you forget that I exist? I know, it’s been forever since I’ve posted so I’d thought I’d give you a little catch-up post to let you know what’s been happening in my life since Halloween.

I chopped my hair off. (I know I’m no Daria but I’m still digging it.)

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The girls and I took the train up to CT to my parents’ new house with a little stopover at Grand Central. (Isn’t NYC architecture just amazing?)

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Pablo met us up there and we had a great weekend with perfect weather.

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Our friends–with their 17 month-old twins–came to our house for a sleepover. Doesn’t it seem that’s the only way for adults with kids to socialize without spending a fortune on babysitters?

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I got a new runner for the hallway from One Kings Lane. (Frames with family pics and new lighting are on my to-do list.)

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I fixed some cracked and peeling paint in the bathroom. (Now if everyone could just make sure the shower curtain is totally closed from now on, then we won’t have this problem again.)

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We took the girls to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

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They loved it!

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We went back to CT for Thanksgiving and fell in love with my parents’ new house a little more.

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On the beach with their cousin, Jonathan. (I think I need to retake this picture every year.)

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Thanksgiving day beach cartwheels.

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Arts and crafts in Mimi’s kitchen.

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I took some pictures of my parents on their porch for their Christmas cards. Aren’t they cute?

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I was totally inspired by this washi tape Eiffel Tower at the Uniqlo spring presentation. (Maybe you’ll see it reproduced in Soph’s room soon.)

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I went to Sophia’s class to do a presentation on Matisse. For the project–inspired by Matisse’s cut outs the kids had to work together to create a themed picture without drawing their shapes on paper before cutting. They had to “draw with scissors”. 

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Here’s one of their awesome masterpieces.

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We saw Santa and the Mrs.

(Local friends: He goes to the Trailside Center in Mountainside one day each December. It’s free, you can take as many pictures as you want, and get this…NO LINE! You’ll never wait at the mall again. You’re welcome.)

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We found Eugene, our elf…

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…again and again. (Look hard. He’s there, too.)

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I wrapped some gifts. (Paper from Minted.)

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We put up the tree (and watched countless Christmas movies).

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I went to Miami for work and stayed at the James Hotel. (Check out this little nook in my charming room.)

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We shot a fashion story for my day job at Wynwood in Miami. (You can see the completed story in the March issue of Ladies’ Home Journal.)

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We hung up Christmas cards with washi tape. Thanks to everyone who sent one!

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The girls made a gingerbread house with Mimi. (Back in Connecticut!) I love Lily’s “cloth napkin kerchief”. We need to get these kids some hairnets!

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We had a visit from Ariel and Eric. (I take no credit for this craziness. My mom “knows them”.)

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The girls made wishes with Ariel’s wish dust (aka glitter).

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They sang some Christmas carols with Ariel and Eric, too. The girls LOVED it – especially because they got to share it with their new CT friend, Emma. (Her dad is one of the guys who built my parents’ house!)

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Santa came!

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And he delivered. (That’s my Christmas present you’re hearing in the background: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!)

We met a friendly beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium.

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It was freezing but we had such a hard time leaving Juno. Check out how playful he was:

I saw Prince (!!!!!!!) at Mohegan Sun…

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…with my dad!

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We celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends on Long Island. (Five families with 11 kids total, all sleeping under one roof! Thanks for hosting Jeff & Di!)

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And then it snowed. A lot.

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And that brings us up to date! More home posts coming soon…okay?

XO

Sue at Home

A Giveaway and Holiday Cards with Minted

19 Nov

That’s right, people. You heard it here first. I’ve decided to go rogue and try a different company for my Christmas cards this year. The winner is Minted! Let’s look at the 6 reasons I’m making the switch.

#1 Minted makes my super cool business cards and I love them. 

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How cute is it that my biz cards are totally personal on the back, too?

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#2 Great designs with lots of options

They offer over 1000 holiday designs in all. Plus the option to change the design based on your holiday needs.  For example, this design (one of my favorites called Etched) can be changed from Happy Holidays…

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…to Merry Christmas…

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…or even Happy New Year.etched happy

#3 Super Searching Tool

Before you start having heart palpitations thinking about how you’ll never be able to pick just one, fret not! Because Minted offers one of the coolest holiday card search tools I’ve ever seen: Find It Fast.

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Simply upload a photo you’re considering and Find It Fast drops it into all of the designs. It’s a quick and simple way to see which ones are going to work and which ones to skip over (I’m talking to you Little Joy! maybe you’ll work for someone else’s pictures but you need to get your words off of my kid’s face!)

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#4 Supporting independent artists

Another thing that sets Minted apart is that the designs are submitted by thousands of independent designers. You could even be a Minted designer! Check out how to submit your designs by clicking here. Not creative? You can still be part of the democracy by voting for designs you like here.

And I love that when you pick a style you like, there’s a link to read a little bit more about the designer. One of my favorites this year, We Are Family, is designed by Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma in Columbus, Ohio. You can read more about Karly and see more of her designs here.

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#5 More than just great cards

Just click on Art Prints or Party Decor if you want your head to explode.  I mean, how about this Heart Snapshot custom art? Love it!

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Or in the party decor section, this 10 foot gold bunting? Yes please!

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#6 A Minted Giveaway

I know you thought I was going to say that the reason I picked Minted is because they sponsored this post, but you’re wrong. Sure. They are picking up most of the tab for my cards this year but they weren’t the only company that offered so know that I’m using Minted because I want to, not because I have to.

But I was feeling a little bribed (in a good way!) when they agreed to a $75 giveaway right here on Sue at Home. Because you know the only thing I love more than scoring a deal for myself is scoring one for you!

Giveaway details:

Prize: A gift certificate code worth $75 towards products on Minted.com

Number of Winners: One

How to enter: Leave a comment telling me what you want for Christmas (or whatever holiday that you celebrate)!

Giveaway closes: Friday, November 22nd at 9 pm

One entry per email address permitted. Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Winner will be posted on Sue at Home.

Thanks for entering!

XO

Sue at Home

Halloween Crafts from Ladies’ Home Journal on The Better Show

28 Oct

Phew. That’s one long title. Allow me to explain.

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As you know, my day job keeps me busy over at Ladies’ Home Journal. I do lots of fashion stuff and not a lot of crafting stuff. But since I love me some glitter and spray paint, I was asked to present several of the Halloween crafts we featured in our October issue (all originally seen on some of our favorite blogs) on The Better Show, a nationally syndicated lifestyle program owned by Meredith, LHJ’s parent company. So, to put it in simpler words: I’m here to show the crafts that I made for The Better Show which were featured in Ladies’ Home Journal and originally produced by bloggers like me. Does that make more sense? No?

Well, then just set the DVR because I’ll be on Better tomorrow, Tuesday, October 29th. OK? Thanks.

Let’s check out a bunch of pumpkin crafts from Sequin Crush. First up is a Studded Pumpkin. All you need to do is buy a foam pumpkin (I got mine at Michael’s but most craft stores carry them), gold spray paint, and gold thumbtacks.

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Once you’ve got your fake pumpkin painted (remember – never spray paint real pumpkins because you don’t want this to happen), just space out the thumbtacks around the top first and then just press into the creases. I needed about 200 thumbtacks for this large pumpkin.

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All done! And bonus: Because it’s just foam, you can save it for next year!

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Next up is the Glitter “Dipped” Pumpkin. Again, start with a large foam pumpkin and spray paint it gold. Then use a spray adhesive around the base of the pumpkin and sprinkle on the glitter as you go. Spray a little, then glitter a little. Repeat until you’re all the way around.

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This baby has done quite a bit of shedding since I made it but I still think it’ll survive for a few more years.

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Next up was my favorite of all of the projects. It was insanely simple to do, it took about 2 minutes, and it came out great. I started with one medium sized real pumpkin, clear glue, glitter, and a round foam paintbrush.

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I put a little glue onto a paper plate and then dabbed the foam brush into the glue.

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Next, I put little circles of glue around the pumpkin with the paintbrush. (No measuring needed. Just eyeball it!)

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Next, I sprinkled on some gold glitter and it was done.

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Sadly, this one won’t last beyond the season so I’ll just have to make another one next year.

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Next are Baby Boos painted with Metallic Paint Pens from Paper & Stitch. I used oil based metallic Sharpies but you can use the water-based ones. (More on that in a minute.)

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First, I followed Paper & Stitch’s design and found that it only took a couple minutes.

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Then I went rogue and created a chevron with dots pattern.

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When the girls saw what I had done, they wanted in on it too. So I gave Sophia the oil-based pens and she made the one in the front while Lily made the one in the back with the water-based pens. (I just figured that Five Year Old + Oil Based Paint Pen would not be a good idea.) As you can see, the water-based is fine but not as bold of a statement.

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Here’s a more clear comparison:

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Next, I used pipe cleaners and yarn to make letters that were originally seen on the blog Cakies. This one didn’t come out as well as the others but–lucky you!–you can learn from my mistakes so you don’t make them too. Mistake #1 is pictured below. See how thick that orange yarn is? That’s how thick all of your yarn should be. I got sooo caught up with finding the right colors that I picked a bunch of way-too-thin yarns.

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Now listen closely because here comes mistake #2. I started by twisting the pipe cleaners together and then bending them to make the word Boo. Please note: Don’t do that. Don’t shape it into the word before you wrap the yarn. It’ll make the wrapping take forever. Just twist the pipe cleaners first but keep them in a straight line as you wrap the yarn.

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Ta da! Four hours later I had this. I know that sounds insane but as I told you, I screwed up. If you had thicker yarn and didn’t shape the word first, I’d guess that it wouldn’t take you more than an hour. I think the fun thing about this is that you could do any word with this method. “Ho Ho Ho” for Christmas? A kid’s name for a bedroom? “Eat” in the kitchen? Your last name on your mantel? The possibilities are endless.

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So, head on over to that DVR and figure out what time Better is on in your area tomorrow. You can click here and use that pull down menu on the top left that says Check Local Listings. Thanks for watching!

Oh…and since the October issue of LHJ is off newsstands by now, you can visit lhj.com/halloween to see all these Halloween crafts (and a lot more!). But if it’s the real deal magazine you’re looking for, check out the November issue on newsstands now. You won’t be disappointed. Especially since Sophia and Lily are in the issue! That’s right! Our editor-in-chief asked us for a picture of something that makes us happy and she chose a bunch to feature on the editor’s letter page. Here they are seeing it in Barnes and Noble for the first time. There’s nothing my narcissistic kids like more than looking at pictures of themselves!

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And a quick iPhone pic of the page.

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Always keep in mind that you can use that affiliate link in my sidebar (right where it says LHJ subscriptions) or you can click here to order a one year subscription of LHJ for only 10 bucks! (Disclosure: LHJ gives me a small percentage of the sale if you click over from my site. Thanks for shopping!)

Now, go and get your craft on! There are still a few more days til Halloween…

XO

Sue at Home

Lily’s Luau Birthday Party

17 Jun

We recently celebrated Lily’s 5th Birthday with a luau at our house. Let’s take a peek at how we put it all together.

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As you saw in last week’s post, I created an umbrella wreath for the front door out of paper parasols.

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 I bought two hibiscus plants that I put in some pots that I had painted last year.

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They added the perfect tropical touch.

luau-126In the foyer, I put tons of leis in a bucket and displayed the invitation that I made on PicMonkey.

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I made it with a picture of Lily from Aruba and a great font called Luckiest Guy.

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For the favors, I got sunglasses from The Children’s Place, some Swedish Fish (Lily loves “sweetest fish”!) a hibiscus tattoo, and either a Hello Kitty necklace for the girls or a foam plane of the boys (both from the One Spot at Target).

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I just put all the goodies into white paper bags and added a little tag–that said “Thanks for coming to Lily’s Luau”– thanks to Picmonkey again. (I “borrowed” some of Sophia’s fun tape to attach them to the bags.)

luau-111Some grass skirts for the girls were laid out the back of the couch so kids could grab them as they came in.

luau-122I usually don’t like a matching set of paper plates but when I saw these at Ikea, I had to have them. I got the straws eons ago at Pottery Barn outlet and they’ve been sitting in a party bin in the attic just waiting for a luau!

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I kept the food pretty simple: pizza for dinner, tortilla chips and homemade guacamole, and lots of fruit. I had to include some pineapple, of course! (more cute napkins from Ikea)

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As for the cupcakes, I made them at home and used blue frosting to represent water, crunched up graham crackers for sand, gummy flip flops and a paper parasol.

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I pulled out all my cake stands and decorated some of them to look like they had grass skirts on.  I just cut up a piece of green craft paper and taped it all the way around. Then I cut apart one of the leis and glued flowers around the paper with fabric glue.

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I also wrapped one of the cake stands with a lei.

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The little tissue paper decorations are from Oriental Trading –where I got just about everything I needed–and they came in really handy to give some height to the cupcake displays. (I just stuck them on top of a plastic cup turned upside down.)

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As for activities, we kinda just winged it. I was nervous because we don’t have a swingset anymore (remember how I told you that Hurricane Sandy took it out?) But we just put out all of our frisbees, wiffle balls and bats, and bubbles and let the kids have fun in the yard.  They loved it and there wasn’t a dull moment. (Sidenote: Check out the nice lattice that Pablo just put up under the deck! A post about that is coming soon.)

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Of course, we had to do the limbo but there wasn’t much else that we tried to organize.

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Lily was totally happy just being with her friends.

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And all the kids loved their sunglasses in the goody bags. (I can’t help but picture these kids in the same kind of pose, 11 or 12 years from now, heading off to their prom!)

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It was a perfect day with lots of good friends, good food and drinks, and good times!

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Happy 5th Birthday Lily!

If you’d like to read all about Lily’s 4th Bday party last year, check out this post: Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party.

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XO

Sue at Home

P.S. UPDATE: Check out the follow-up post that shows the matching fill-in thank you notes I made here.

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