30 September 2010

I'm In Love With Crayola Model Magic

I was going to put this on the great things to pack when traveling list but I thought it really deserved its own post. I have to thank Jack in The Box for introducing me to Crayloa Model Magic in a kid's lunch bag. We made a pit stop there once earlier this summer when far from home with a lot of driving to do. There was a small bag of it, yellow, which I'll never forget. The Little Bug spent many hours playing this while on a short trip out of town.

The thing I love most about Crayola Model Magic is that it's completely not messy IF you stick with the lighter colors. I found the red tends to stain hands, which I don't really like to deal with in situations where I would use this stuff. If you're somewhere where you can easily wash hands this probably isn't a problem.

Model Magic is not sticky, it's not crumbly. It doesn't make a mess on furniture, upholstery, or clothing. It's squishy and gooey and fun to feel between the fingers.

Model Magic is great for playing in the car, on airplanes, in hotel rooms, the doctor's office, anywhere where you might be sitting in the same place for a while. It's easy to keep in your purse in a resealable bag whip out and quickly put away. It doesn't require a flat surface because kids can just play with it in their hands. We have made hundreds of different things with Model Magic and there is an endless possibility of things you can make.You can buy it in enveloped packets with a variety of colors or big tubs of white or a multi-colored mix. There are also specialty project kits for bigger kids.

It will last for quite a few hours of play if you keep it in an air tight bag or wrapping. It will get a little tough and dry after a few days of heavy use, then I throw it out or you can make something and allow it to dry.

I've decided this will be something I'll put in the fun bag for trips from now on. We don't play with it at home normally, so that it's a special treat for travel days. But it would be a fantastic activity for older children. You can see some of the fun projects available for older kids on the Crayola website. It would also be a great thing to have on hand when the grandkids come to visit, totally not messy and will entertain them for hours.

Next time you need something fun for kids and don't want a mess, Crayola Model Magic is a super affordable and entertaining activity you can take anywhere. Try it on your next trip. Check out the Crayola website for tons of creative activities you can do with your kids. What other Crayola products and projects have you tried? Please share!

White Tub photo & Assortment Bag from www.crayolastore.com
All project photos from www.crayola.com/crafts

10 Great Little Things to Help You Survive Family Trips

After doing a lot of travel the past year or so with my little clan, I finally sat down last week and made a comprehensive list of things we need to be sure to pack. I broke it up in categories of clothing, shoes, socks and accessories, jewelry, miscellaneous other and carry on.

Here is a quick list of little things that make life easier when traveling:

1. Good smelling perfume or lotion (for your carry on). This is so icky to say, but on a recent flight there was clearly someone with some digestive issues behind us. Repeatedly on the flight my seat area was overtaken with foul odors. My clean and lightly scented lotion which I used each time to mask the odors really helped us. And you never know if someone in your party (not you of course) might one day be the culprit and this will help protect the reputations of all in your party.

2. A small bottle of room freshener.  Hotel rooms are small and bathrooms are shared by multiple people. A little air freshener goes a long way to help everyone maintain their privacy and dignity. It's also a great way to maintain good hotel room relations for all. Bath & Body Works has been a good source of small spray bottles of good quality room fresheners.

3. Nasal saline spray. Planes are dry and some destinations can be very hard on the sinuses. Hi Albuquerque! This helps make sleep much more comfortable too when used before bed time.

4. Laundry stain remover in a small bottle. You never know when you'll get a nasty stain and need to do a quick wash in a sink.

5. An empty water bottle for each person. Did you know you can bring an empty water bottle past airport security and fill it up at the water fountain once on the other side? Big money saved! Carry plenty of water, you never know when you might get stuck somewhere.

6. Cough drops and decongestant. (In your carry on). You never know when you might get sick and be delayed at the same time. I sat on a plane in my home town for many hours one night just as a sinus infection hit hard. I was miserable and it took a long time to get to my destination and find a place at that late hour to buy something to relieve my symptoms.

7. Vitamin C and other immunity boosters. You end up very tired and run down when traveling in a crowd. Take the time to keep your health up or ward off any little things when you start feeling extra tired.

8. Microwave heat/freezer pack. You never know when someone will have a little accident. These are also helpful if your room is particularly cold. Heat it up and climb into bed with it. When slightly warmed up these are also very comforting to little children in bed.

9. Swimsuits for everyone. You never know when someone your visiting will have a great outdoor or indoor pool or hot tub. No matter the season a swimsuit is a great idea and provides a great workout opportunity wherever you're staying.

10. A few of your favorite tea bags. Often when traveling you just want to feel the comforts of home. Throwing in a few tea bags is a quick and easy way to create a sense of cozy comfort.

I bet you have some great suggestions to add to this list. Please share them with us. I'd love to add more to my master list and help improve the quality of our travel! Happy Traveling!

29 September 2010

It's Fall, I'm Ready for My Favorite Mighty Leaf Tea

In the middle of a SoCal heatwave, my soul is telling me it's fall and tea season is here. My brain is in Scandinavia, wanting to wear beautiful sweaters and boots and sit in a chilly window and warm myself with a cup of tea held to my cheek. I think that plan is going to have to wait a few months, the tea drinking part that is. Scandinavia, while I miss you so, I don't see myself popping by in the near future, unfortunately.

Anyway, I thought I'd share my favorite tea today, Mighty Leaf Chamomile Citrus. The contents of the bags are so beautiful, nothing like the ground up musty dust you get in many tea bags. It's a joy to sink one of these babies into a perfect mug of steaming hot water, watch it steep and once it's cooled a bit, start sipping away.

Won't one of you in a colder climate drink a cup of tea for me today? Visit the Mighty Leaf web site for free samples and to order any of their fantastic teas. Mighty Leaf teas can also be found in many grocery stores and specialty coffee shops. You'll be happy you have a box in the cupboard come that first frosty night.

photos from www.mightyleaf.com

Kelly Lee-Creel's Fantastic Birch Bulletin Board

It's a great day to introduce you to one of my classmates in the BYW class, Kelly Lee-Creel and her blog ever kelly. She always has great do it yourself projects and inspirations. I have to share with you a superb project she posted last week, the Birch Bulletin Board.

When I first saw it I thought Oh there's no way I  could make that! But when I looked at her easy directions I though Hey I can do that. I got excited. This would be a great addition to your home office, kitchen, bedroom or as a crafts room inspiration board. Even more exciting it would be a phenomenal and inexpensive gift for the holidays! Recipients would be blown away by your DIY sass!

Visit Kelly over at her blog for more great creative ideas and projects. Kelly's a SoCal girl so I hope we get a chance to meet in person sometime with other students.

Photo by Kelly Lee-Creel

28 September 2010

Easy Freeze & Thaw Ground Beef Packets

Here's a quick tip for buying fresh ground beef in bulk-size packages. Once The Man threw the entire thing in the freezer and it was a bit of a nightmare to carve off rock hard frozen slabs for meals. If you want to divide up the meat into individual meal size packets and freeze, try this idea that has worked quite well for me since then.

Cut the meat into approximately one pound sections. In one large package of ground beef I can get five to six meals (many of which have lots of leftovers). Then instead of wrapping them and freezing the meat in thick brick-like chunks flatten them out into a large rectangle that is about 1 1/2 high. Then wrap and freeze the meat in these thin slabs. On each package write the date in permanent marker so that you can keep track of what you have and rotate your stock.

This shape and size is much easier to store in your freezer than big, thick bricks. You can easily and tidily stack them one on top of the other and in a pinch you can slide them into small spaces. The best advantage to this method is that they thaw much more quickly because they are so thin. It will cut hours off your thawing time and get you moving right to making dinner. Even if it's not totally thawed you can break it up in your fingers or with wooden spoon.

For dinner last night we enjoyed The Pioneer Woman's mini-meatball sliders with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. They were even better this time than last. And I have another dinner's worth now frozen and one in the fridge for lunches this week. I learned my lesson last time that no one wants to eat meatballs for lunch or dinner five days in a row. Happy Hamburger Freezing.

Photo from defendingfoodsafety.com.

Taking A BIG Creative Leap

I have some new tools in my blogging toolbox this week and I am having a fantastic time working with them. All my study is really inspiring me but it's also the reason I have not been sleeping enough, have a very unhappy back & eyes and am feeling a little like a caged animal. Haa-haa. Balance, must remember balance.

I created this fun collage using Picnik. It's a small investment ($24/yr) for a lot of fun new features. I'm looking forward to making some collages of family photos and lots of my creative projects too. You'll be seeing a lot more collages in the coming weeks.

I also purchased PhotoShop Elements, which I didn't even know existed until a couple of weeks ago. Makes sense that there would be a "light" version of PhotoShop available, right?! It's less than $100 and there is currently a $20 mail-in rebate. I am so excited to take kalanicut to a new level visually. Visual appeal is so important for a great blog and I want this to be a great blog.

 I am learning so much in the Blogging Your Way class I am taking from Holly Becker of Decor8 and Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint. They are both incredibly inspiring, intelligent and creative women and it's amazing the effect their blogs are having in the blog world.

I feel so blessed and honored to be studying with them and am blown away by all I'm learning and the amazing list of things I have learned to make this blog so much more than it is today. The other fantastic benefit has been building a fantastic web of blogger friends all over the world. Hi BYW friends! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments.

Thanks to this class I am also percolating an idea for a new blog that I think could have fantastic inspirational impact on readers and be a great, much more narrow niche for me. There's room for an opportunity there. Planning is in the works.

27 September 2010

Styling Up a Thrift Store Sweater

This is the darling organic sweater I found at the thrift store a few weeks ago that I have told you about. It's so absolutely delicious, isn't it? Perfect for fall and in a fabulous earthy neutral that goes with absolutely everything. Darling with skirts, jeans and boots. And since The Little Bug keeps repeating the phrase, "I'm a boot girl" it will be perfect with all her boots this fall and winter.

I found a great new button that I'll add onto the top of the sweater and I'll move the top one down to the spot that is missing it's button right under the belt. This project taught me two important things. First, there are a million different possibilities for belts on this sweater. I bought ribbon to make a couple of cute belts. After looking at some ridiculously expensive belt buckles I learned my second lesson. Lesson two has become a new passion for me. Thrift store belts and belt buckles.

So after spending more than I should have on a belt buckle and ribbon for two new belts, I ended up styling the sweater with two new thrift belt finds. I went to a fantastic new thrift store last week and could've spent hours there. There were hundreds of belts. Even if the belt isn't right, if it has a fantastic belt buckle you can easily craft a new belt from ribbon, fabric or leather. I'm having lots of belt ideas and visions right now!

I found this fantastic little utilitarian military style belt and new it would be fantastic with the sweater. This will be great for days when the sweater is worn with lots of color, pattern and layers. Love that the belt is completely adjustable. It will be darling worn in jeans too. Great deal for a couple of dollars.

Ribbon and fabric belts are a great way to style up this little gem. This pink striped ribbon drives little girls wild. With a darling D-ring bamboo buckle it's the perfect mix of girly-girl and down to earth. The Bug loved this belt and it looks so cute with the sweater. Another great option for a couple bucks.

What have you found lately at the thrifts? Please share. I love the inspiration!

26 September 2010

Plan Now For a Blissful Winter

Have you notice the sun is coming up later and going down much earlier each night. For some reason this year it’s taking me by surprise. The seasons have changed and winter for the northern hemisphere is coming. For some it means a drastic change in temperatures and rocky weather. For everyone it means more time indoors, wearing more clothing and beating the winter blues.

Make the most of this winter by planning in advance to beat the blahs and make it a wonderful, fulfilling season for you, your friends and family. Here are 10 easy tips for staying busy and cheerful all winter long.

1. Make your bed first thing in the morning. You’ll have accomplished something. You’ll feel good and your room will look put together and bring you peace.

2. Read something inspiring every morning and evening. Your soul will be fed and refreshed and you go about your day with a better attitude and mind more open to the possibilities of your life. Make a list of inspiring books to read, then dedicate time to curling up and reading during the evening or before bed.

3.Journal every morning. Listen to your heart and you’ll be guided through your day. Write down your thoughts. They will lead you to what you want to do with your life.

4. Get exercise. Go to the gym, join an indoor sports team or dance for 20 minutes with your kids in the living room. Anything to get the good vibrations going in body will work.

5. Make a calendar of things to look forward to all winter.  Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Make a plan to celebrate in small and very meaningful ways. Celebrate anything unique and fun you can come up with.

6. Show gratitude. Every day look for things to be thankful for. Write them down on a piece of cardstock on the fridge.

7. Plan a creative project or take a class that feeds your creativity. Do it with friends. You’ll stay busy and engaged and interacting with a variety of people.

8. Spend time outside. Get the weather appropriate clothing and when it’s practical and possible spend 30 minute to an hour out of doors. This is one of the healthiest things you can do and it will refresh you. Try an outdoor winter hobby.

9. Do good stuff - serve others. Send little surprises in the mail to friends. Drop something off on a friend’s doorstep. Send a cheerful card. Find ways to volunteer in your community..

10. Light candles & drink cozy warm drinks. Denmark has very long, DARK winters. When I lived there I was charmed by the use of candles everywhere and how it gave everything a warm cozy look. Buy some great teas or hot chocolates to enjoy. Create a warm, inviting, soulful environment for yourself.

With a little planning this could be the best, most enjoyable winter of your life. Make plans now to avoid the blahs and enjoy the bliss of a beautiful, well-planned, inspired winter!

24 September 2010

Before and After: My Dream Bread Bowl

Earlier this summer, while in New York City, I visited ABC Home and found the most amazing wood bowls.  I dreamily imagined one of these beautiful wood bowls full of big beautiful slices of bread in the center of a table full of gorgeous food surrounded by wonderful friends.At $75 for the small bowls, I had a hard time justifying the price for something I would use so infrequently.

Even after I decided not to get one of these bowls, I still thought about them and at times regretted my decision. A couple of weeks later I was in my local thrift store and found a bowl, that for only $2.99 had all the makings of becoming the bread bowl of my dreams. My goal was to give the bowl a more organic, natural, worn look.

 before inside view

before outside view

The first step was to remove the aged protective coating that was peeling off the wood. I used a very fine grain sandpaper and sanded off the protective coating from the inside and outside of the bowl. It was a rather dusty operation.

I also sanded down the edges of the lip of the bowl so they were more rounded and worn looking. It took several short sanding and wiping off sessions to make sure I had all the coating off the wood. Then I dusted it off and wiped it down with a damp rag.

Here's what the raw wood looked like. I love the color and the shape of the bowl. I love how old the wood looks. It has such a beautiful aged patina. I'm thinking I might want to go in and soften up the edges a little bit more.

Next I added a quick coat of my favorite Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish. It conditioned the wood a bit and completed my project. The beeswax really brought out the grain in the wood. I hope you can see the subtle changes in these photos. I love how rich, grainy and beautiful the wood looks. 

Can't wait to enjoy my new bowl. It will go well with my fixed up thrift store bamboo tray. Don't hesitate to see a vision in something that looks a little dreary in the thrift store. Sometimes a little TLC is all it takes to take it from blah to beautiful!

I'm already looking forward to Monday.  I can't wait to share with you that darling, little organic sweater I found thrift shopping a few weeks ago. It's beige with rich dark brown buttons and big belt loops at the waist. I've upstyled it with some fun new belts and a new button to replace the missing one. Now she's a real charmer and in a perfect neutral camel color, just in time for the fall sweater season. Have a great weekend. I'll see you next week!

23 September 2010

What's In Your Makeup Bag - kalanicut

It's my turn to be a part of the friday feature What's In Your Makeup Bag.  My makeup philosophy has changed a lot over the years. In my early 20s I was a complete snob for expensive department store brands. Over the years, I wised up.

I have done my research and experimented to find drugstore brands that work great for me and mix them with a couple department store brands I am especially committed to. I tend to spend more on my hair products and services so saving on the makeup helps with that budget.

Here's the lowdown on what I'm carrying these days.

1. Makeup Bag is from my former line of handbags and accessories. Love the silver and the vertical height.
2. Sonia Kashuk makeup brush set and eyelash curler are from Target.
3. Large brushes. I have no idea where I got the black ones anymore. The clear handled brushes are from Clinique.
4. L'Oreal RevitaLife Night Moisturizer.(blue jar) I don't like sunscreen in moisturizer so I buy the night cream versions of my favorites moisturizers.
5. bareVitamins Prime Time Foundation Primer (off white bottle). Experimenting this this hand-me-down from my mom.
6. LA Colors Eyeshadow Palette. I don't always wear eye shadow, so I bought this at the dollar store and am experimenting.
7. Almay Bright Eyes Base and Concealer.
8. Almay Bright Eyes Highlighter & Liner duo. I love the bright eyes highlighter. My recipe for tired eyes is a few drops of Clear Eyes Redness Relief and this highlighter. It perks the eyes right up!
9. Rimmel Eye Magnifier Eye Opening Waterproof Macara in black. (black & blue tube)
10. CoverGirl LashExact Mascara in brown.
11. Blushes: 3 Powder Blushes by CoverGirl and Almay Smart Shade Blush cream in the tube.
12. Lip Colors: Mary Kay Whipped Berry lipstick (black tube) & Lancome Color Fever Gloss in Heatstroke shade.

I just realized that somehow I missed the MVP of my makeup bag! Bronzer! Right now I'm using bareMinerals Warmth. For many years I've been a big fan of Maybelline Blush Bronzer in salsa sun shade. I love how much bang I get for my buck for bronzer. It brightens up your face, gives you a hint of a tan and warms you right up, even on your most tired day.

This has been such a fun series. Love seeing what everyone uses to FOXIFY themselves. Share with us what you're carrying in your make up bag. Take a photo, write up a quick description and email it to me at kalanicut@hotmail.com. Can't wait to hear from you!

Later today I'll share a new DIY project I did last week that saved me about $80 and brought life back to a shabby wood bowl.

Beautiful Leather Thrift Store Finds For Fall

I love browns and neutrals for fall with richly patterned tights, wools bottoms, gorgeous jackets and colorful scarves.. Here are a couple of thrift store finds that are working their way into my fall wardrobe this year. These Via Spigas were a thrift store big spend, costing $20. But well worth it considering the full price. They'll be dandy with a nice pencil skirt, cardigan, white blouse and simple jewelry.

These yummy "back to school" beauties will be so lovely with a pretty, wool skirt with a small check or plaid and brown tights. They would also be charming with wide leg wool pants and a pretty hip length jacket. They're heel enough without being too high for every day wear. I'll have some fun styling these and they were just $12 and look like they have never been worn.

Don't forget the thrift store for your fall wardrobe updates.

Rich, Colorful Beads and Baubles for Fall

I finally, finally got out all the jewelry making supplies, bit and baubles I've been collecting the past few months. I have some fun things to play around with now and hope to have some interesting things to show you next week. In the above photo the two turquoise necklaces on the left are what I'm constructing and the two necklaces on the left are in the process of being deconstructed soon to use the pieces in a new way.

This is a velvety little something I've been toying with for a while now and hope it will come together completely this weekend.

Here are some bits and pieces I'm eyeing for new necklaces. And here are some new beads I picked up two weeks ago. I thought they were on sale, but they weren't but I couldn't pass them up at that point. Great colors for fall!

Here's hoping the creative juices will flow for the next few days so I can pull some great stuff together. Should be fun to try to jam this into the schedule the next few days. I hope to post some finished product next week.

All photos by kalanicut.

Later this morning I'll post another new post on Fashionable Fall Footwear found at great thrift stores. Luscious leathers!

22 September 2010

A New World View

I downloaded my first photos from the new camera this weekend. In the class I'm taking we're learning an amazing amount from the very talented Leslie Shewring. She's a fantastic photographer and stylist and is teaching us in such a great way. Check out her blog and be completely taken by her photography. It's worth the visit!

The intensive nature of the class makes everything we're learning a lot to grasp and put into practice. I finally found the right little spot for a photo studio spot in my house and am having a great time experimenting.

These are three of my favorites that I can share. The first is from a visit to a museum with a collection of old military planes. The second is The Little Bug watching her cousin play baseball as the sun begins to set. Due to no talent of mine whatsoever, I am in love with the lighting in this shot. I love how she's a bit illuminated. Dang, she's cute. It was a lovely late summer evening and happily the boys won.

This is the sunset from our dear Grandpa Craig's backyard. His backyard overlooking the city is dreamy for eating outside, dancing around in the grass and gazing across the great valley. I took many, many sunset shots night after night. I could stand out there and enjoy the sunset every night and be happy as a clam.

Look for new and improved photos to come. Most of the photos in this week's posts have been from the new camera. Thank you my dear friend Canon Rebel T1i. Love spending time with you.

21 September 2010

Could Your Soul Use a Little Refreshment?

Fall and winter are coming. Are you thinking about Hawaii yet? I am. If your soul could use a little refreshment today, here's a little blast from the past about a beautiful thing called The Aloha Spirit. It's a little piece of the islands you can enjoy every day and an attitude we could all benefit from. The Aloha Spirit makes life much more enjoyable at every turn. Catch a little Aloha Spirit then spread it around! Decide now to smile and make it a great day!

Fabulous Fossil Wallet

I am sentimental about things like wallets. I bought a little fabric zip pouch coin purse in NYC about 8 years ago that has been my trusty keeper of cards and currency through many adventures. The zipper has been a little sketchy for some months now and several weeks ago totally broke off.

I contemplated paying to have it repaired or finding another coin purse zip  pouch. I saw one I loved online for $40 which felt like a little much to pay for such a tiny, featureless object. Meanwhile I've been carrying around an unzipped bulging coin purse.

So Saturday as part of my inspirational day, I decided to check out the wallet scene at the big departments stores and found this Fossil little gem in delicious brown leather. Everything about it worked for me and I decided that a new wallet was just the thing to welcome new prosperity in the midst of all the projects I'm working on and have high hopes for right now.

I loved everything about this wallet, the organization features, the feel, the fabric, the stitching and metal fasteners. On the inside was even a fun little question...What vintage are you?

A good reminder to think about who I am and what I chose for my life. Even more pleasing was arriving at the cash register and learning that my little wallet was 20 percent off. I can't wait to empty my little broken shell of a wallet and organize this pretty new home for all my important documents.

By the way, has anyone seen my driver's license? I seem to have misplaced it a few days ago. Here's hoping it finds its way back to me and into its new little home.

20 September 2010

Why kalanicut?

Have you ever wondered why I chose the name kalanicut for this blog? Here's a revisit to my very first post to see where the name came from and how it's pronounced. It was fun to go back and read the first blog entry and what I anticipated for my blog back then. Feels like so long ago. kalanicut will celebrate it's first anniversary in just a few weeks and what a year it has been! Totally life changing in every way possible.

19 September 2010

Stop, Ask, Listen and Then Act

Saturday I took a day by myself. My plan all started Friday night after a really busy, long day. I suddenly realized I had an open weekend and decided that I would finally go see the movie Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed the book and like her take on the journey of life for the most part.

I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the film version as much as I did. But there was something about it that inspired me in so many different ways. I wished I had a notebook with me in the theater to write down the ideas that came to me and the inspirations that I had about my own life.

I decided to take the rest of the day and only do things that helped me connect with myself, feel happy and organically connected to me. I stopped and asked myself "What do you want to do? What would make you most happy" at every step. I was so amazed that when I actually stopped to ask and then LISTEN my soul spoke loudly and clearly. I knew exactly what would make me the happiest. I was thrilled to know my soul was still there, alive and kicking and knowing authentically what she wanted and didn't want from this day.

I need to ask and listen more on a daily basis, rather than running too fast and not even stopping to ask, contemplate or listen to the answer. I think there are times when I get frustrated and feel like I'm suffocating in life. That frustration often gets blamed on schedules, obligations and others' needs rather than owning up to the fact that I'm not stopping, asking, listening and THEN acting in defense of my own life and well-being --thinking consciously about what I do and why.

My fabulous day included a patio lunch of my favorite Turkey Cranberry Panini and the town's best carrot cake, sunshine and ocean breeze, a new purse-size journal (above) to write down all my thoughts today. I bought a new wallet after the zipper broke several weeks ago on the little coin purse I've been using for a wallet for nearly 10 years. I had a little photo shoot in my new home photo studio set up. Spent the rest of the day working on projects still glad to know that if I ask and listen I'll know what I want, what makes me happy and what will bless my life.

17 September 2010

Friday Casual with Keen


I have always loved sneakers but for a long time I just haven't "felt" them for me. Just didn't see it working into my wardrobe or I just didn't have the right clothes to wear with them. I bought these super cute Keen mary jane sneakers last Spring as part of my Spring Wardrobe Update.

I wore them once in May, got giant blisters on my heel where the top of the shoe rubbed one night when I did way more walking than I had anticipated. Then they sat in my closet, where I fondly looked at how cute they are. Finally a couple of weeks ago I pulled them out and just wore them around the house for a couple of hours several times to test them out again. They I ventured out and wore them outside the house a few times. Now they are nicely worn in and I'm so happy with them.

Here are a couple other Keen sneakers I LOVE!

Adore this print in yellow. So cute for fall with gray. Can see these rocking the street with a pair of gray wool pants, a simple dark orange fall sweater, good navy jacket, multi-colored scarf and delicious leather bag. 

Or go suede for fall. Love these dark orange suede that would be so fun with navy pants or jeans, white or gray tee shirt and black jacket with a great dark gray messenger bag.

While I was pulling together this post I came across a fantastic post from the very talented Jordan Ferney of  Oh Happy Day.It's filled with a rainbow of fantastic sneakers for fall. She includes some of my all time favorites including Converse and Puma. You'll enjoy her take on a variety of options for fall. She's a constant source of great inspiration.

I'm working sneakers into my fall wardrobe and hope this will inspire you to find a pair you "feel" and are just right for you!

All photos from Zappos.com

16 September 2010

Having a Blast with Wish Play Create Class

Wanted to share with you a little of the fun we're having in our online art class Wish Play Create. At the end of a full afternoon of art projecting The Little Bug was asking if we could do more and went on to color for another hour after we finished our projects, so I think art class must be a big hit!

Our second week project, lead by the fabulous Tracey Clark, professional photographer, inspirational blogger and great teacher was all about taking photos of our favorite things around the house. Usually I do my own version of the project along with The Little Bug but because she's still pretty young and we were doing the project at Grandpa Craig's house I tried to minimize the chaos by just focusing on getting her project done.

Tracey recommended hooking up a lanyard or some sort of neck cord to a small digital camera to minimize the possibility of dropping the camera. Because we did the project at Grandpa's house, we didn't have a lot of her usual favorite things to photograph. So she took photos of things she loves around Grandpa's house, including a old plane propeller and his dolphin sculture, toys in his toy closet like the beach ball and the dog that sings a loud song when you push a button (super annoying to grown ups) and photos of her favorite little toys she brought including Lucy the saber tooth cat, the little doggies and Cheetah and her favorite pink hair barette that matches her favorite pink shirt and skirt.

Then we printed out the pictures, they turned out pretty great. Then we glued them onto pretty paper on a long ribbon. Now The Little Bug can hang up this pretty garland of her favorite things in her room. Right now it's hanging on the back of Grandpa Craig's couch and looks quite lovely.

I learned a few lessons. Be as prepared as possible with everything before you get started. Lesson two, it takes much longer to get prepared than I think it will. I think being at Grandpa's house made everything more challenging but it was a great way to spend part of the day. We're sharing all our project in a class flickr group and having fun seeing what other children from around the country are doing with their class assignments.

There are so many great opportunities available to help develop children's creative minds. A great art project is a guaranteed winning activity for kids!

P.S. On October 17, I'll be contributing a guest post for Tracey's inspirational project I AM ENOUGH. You can read all about I AM ENOUGH here. Each week Tracey features an inspirational story from a fellow blogger about how they learned and stay in touch with the fact that they are indeed enough. Happy Thursday!

15 September 2010

When's The Last Time You Enjoyed A Sunset?

Just wanted to stop and ask you dear readers, have you slowed down to enjoy a good sunset lately? I did last night, it was amazing. No I'm not in Hawaii, but I knew I had to good sunset inspirations shots from there. I grew up on a little farm that faces a beautiful lake with gorgeous purple mountains behind it. Every night we had clear view of the most beautiful sunsets overlooking the fields, lake and mountains.

When I grew up and moved away I realized how much I was missing not having those sunsets to enjoy every night. Living in the concrete jungle of a big city, just getting sunlight in windows at home can be tricky most of the time.

Last night I had the chance to stand on a high hill, with The Little Bug on my shoulders and watch a beautiful sunset behind a beautiful city. The colors were amazing, and standing there talking with The Bug was dreamy. It reminded me to take a few minutes to enjoy nature every day and helped me catch my breath after some busy days.

Take a few minutes and get where you can see a sunset soon. It's so-o-o-o-o good for the soul!

14 September 2010

Camera Bag for Big Girl Cameras

After the long quest to acquire my “big girl” camera I realized I didn’t have the appropriate bag to protect and extend the life of my camera as long as possible. I remembered seeing some really great camera bags make the rounds around the blogs and knew immediately that ETSY was the place to look first.

I found an amazing array of options, hundreds of different styles and color combinations. I was impressed and found several fabric bags that I liked quite a lot. Then I decided to do a search on the word “leather” and see if anything a bit sporty, earthy and adventure-y looking came up.

Then I found Porteen Camera Bags and I was stopped in my tracks. The prices were extremely competitive and the styles felt a bit more me that the playful, bright color combinations I had been looking at.

For my immediate needs I ended up buying a nice, very affordable Lowe bag that fits my needs like Goldilocks -- not too big, not to small but just right for my camera body and two lens. It’s simple, black, comfortable and works great for me. But I'm still thinking about these amazing leather bags!

There’s something about soft buttery leather that I adore. Above is my favorite bag and here is my favorite accessory - a case for memory cards.

I will definitely be revisiting this fab ETSY store again and I'm pretty sure I'll soon be sporting one of these gorgeous bags. Happy photographing and safe carrying of your best equipment!

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13 September 2010

Art Piece I Contributed to BlogHer Gulf Auction

If you would like to see the art piece I contributed to the BlogHer 2010 Gulf Auction & Art Gala in New York City in early August it's now available for auction on ebay. Here's the link.You can see all the pieces contributed in the category I participated in here.

To explain to you a bit about the piece, it's torn paper art, meaning I ripped each piece of paper by hand to create all the objects in the piece. The blog entry I was asked to create an art piece from was about listening online and how it informed the author. Although the piece was from a more tech-y perspective, this picture of a woman being informed about all areas of her life by listening to online voices kept coming to me. So there is a "thread" that runs from her left ear, out her right ear and on that thread are small "pictures" of fashion, family, work, adventure, religion, travel, etc.

I hope you'll enjoy this small peak. My great regret besides having to overnight the piece to NYC (OUCH!) was that in my rush I forgot to take a photo! So this image is all I've got. Check out the auction. It's for a great cause and there are some awesome contributions and contributors!

08 September 2010

Beautiful Baby Moccasins

I had to share these little gems that I am totally crazy about! I will preface this by saying I think this all goes back to my very young childhood when I had a pair of these. They weren't this fantastic, but I thought they were pretty great!

I am completely ga-ga over these baby moccasins. Seriously, I may be losing my mind at how cute these are. I can't bear it. They are from the Etsy store Freshly Picked. There are other colors too and I'm 'in love' crazy about those too. Wouldn't these be the most fantastic baby shower gift?! Or, just have a baby and buy them. ;)

Susan Peterson the genius behind Freshly Picked also has a great blog with some amazing sewing tutorials and lots of other delicious treats. Enjoy all the fresh delights today. I'm looking forward to reading it like a book, soon!

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07 September 2010

Sharing A Favorite Blog & Shop - Knack

I have so many great blogs and artisans I've wanted to share here. I am starting with Knack Studios, and Barb Blair the brains and heart behind the operation. Knack is a fantastic shop in Greenville, S.C., as well as an online shop at Etsy. Barb creates the most beautiful restored furniture pieces and collect and sells the most personality-filled design pieces for the home.

She is a lovely soul and very supportive of fellow artists and bloggers. I think I can call her a blog friend, someone you connect with from a distance and hope to someday meet. I dream of popping into her shop one day. I don't have any connections to that area, but I'll get there somehow.

Barb has a gorgeous house full of delightful treasures that you can see featured on Design*Sponge. I love the orange cabinet, her beautiful hallway and all the DIY they've done on their happy home.

She is also a weekly contibutor to Design*Sponge, sharing her wood stripping, painting and staining ideas, teaching simple techniques and tricks. She causes quite a stir over there each week by daring to paint wood. ;) Seriously you have to read the fussy comments, I laugh and have to tease her a bit.

She also has an amazing collection of Before and Afters at Design*Sponge.

Each day on her blog Barb shares some delightful creations of her own and things that have inspired her in her travels. It's a daily or I should say late nightly read for me immediately after she posts each night. Today she is featuring a jaw-dropping view of the Brooklyn NY Flea Market. You can read it here. Made me shiver with excitement. I must visit this fabulous flea market next time I'm in NYC.

Get to know Barb Blair. Check out her blog for delicious inspiration, if your in her area stop by her shop open daily at Antiques on Augusta or purchase one of her lovely creations on Etsy.

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