February 23, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Baby E is three months old today, which honestly hardly seems possible. She’s hitting such a fun stage right now, learning to play and growing increasingly verbal. (She can’t stop won’t stop with the ridiculously cute cooing at the moment. So sweet!) At the moment she is currently sitting right next to me, hanging out in her bouncer while batting at her toys and babbling away. I wish I knew what was going on in that little head of hers because she just seems so happy and content with nothing more than a couple of little toys and her own imagination. Which brings me to today’s round up of the coolest things ever made from cardboard. I couldn’t resist pinning these DIY cardboard wings when I saw them and that somehow led me down a bunny trail of homemade cardboard toys. Guys, cardboard! A bit of paint. A few big pieces of tape. A smear of glue. Approximately $0 if you use stuff you have lying around the house. Playtime just officially went analog [and awesome] again.
Photos [from top]: DIY Cardboard Wings | DIY Cardboard Television | DIY Cardboard Castle | DIY Cardboard Crown | DIY Cardboard Brownstone Dollhouses | DIY Cardboard Kitchen | DIY Cardboard Houses | DIY Cardboard Dollhouse | DIY Cardboard Food Truck | DIY Cardboard Camper
February 19, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Happy Friday, friends! I’m switching things up a little bit today after an unexpectedly long hiatus from my traditional Friday Link Love post. It always surprises me that my weekly link round-ups are so popular, but I’ve been playing with the idea of switching things up a little bit. I’ve written hundreds of link love posts and it felt like time to try something new. Still a collection of links I’m loving, still inspiration for your weekend, but packaged up slightly differently. We’re calling it the weekend to do list. Let me know what you think! In the meantime I’ll be over here putting our house back in order after yesterday’s full day shoot. There may or may not be gold flatware and assorted cocktail glasses scattered everywhere at the moment. (Stay tuned! Good things are coming your way.) Have a fabulous weekend and I’ll see you next week! xoxo
1 | Try This
Have a bathroom that could use a quick update? Add a touch of glam by taking the DIY approach to gold sink legs and plumbing. So smart and so affordable! [Photo by Lovely Indeed]
2 | Sip This
Need to up your smoothie game? This dark chocolate cherry chai smoothie looks nothing short of seriously delicious. [Photo by How Sweet It Is]
3 | Make This
Glam things up for your next shindig (Oscar party anyone?) with gorgeous DIY metallic gold glassware. You’ll be amazed how quick and easy it is! [Photo by Sugar & Cloth]
4 | Eat This
Homemade three ingredient vegan ice cream has none of the dairy and all of the fun if you’re feeling like a hot fudge sundae this weekend. (Who isn’t feeling like a hot fudge sundae this weekend? Come on now.) [Photo by A Beautiful Mess]
5 | Download This
Oscar party confetti – have you ever heard of such a ridiculously fun thing? Download the printable sheet and then punch it out! So cute. [Photo by Madcitizen]
6 | Wear This
How long has it been since you found a fun new shade of lipstick? It has been eons for me. I’ve been glossing it sans color for too long now. I’m loving these shades for winter and early spring! [Photo by What Olivia Did]
February 17, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
This year is the year that after many years of renting, Bob and I are hoping to finally to own our own home. The jury is still out on whether we will design and build that home from the ground up or buy a house, but either way, I have basically been thinking about it constantly for the last several weeks. Maybe it’s the whole having a newborn baby thing and wanting to give her and the big kids (as we call her older siblings) a big backyard of their own to romp around in, but it’s really feeling like this is the right time for us to make the move. While we’re sorting all of that out (we met with a mortgage broker earlier this week!), I’m obviously on Pinterest day dreaming about bathrooms and kitchens and little home offices and big backyard barbecues like it’s my job at the moment.
One trend I’ve been seriously loving lately? Patterned cement tile. I think it looks particularly amazing on a bathroom floor, but it’s also pretty incredible in a kitchen as either a floor show stopper or a gorgeous backsplash. What do you guys think? Are you loving this look, too? I worry that 10 years from now it’s one of those things that will feel really dated and we all know tile can be both expensive and time consuming to update. On the other hand, I think the years of being pattern-shy, living in houses with no wallpaper and very simple, neutral tile might be coming to an end. (I mean, do we really have to worry about resale all the time? Can’t we just design houses we love?) I think the key to making this look work for longer is to keep the color palette neutral (like most of the examples here) and I also suspect it will feel more timeless on a floor than on walls. Weigh in! I’d love to know what you think about this one. In the meantime, I’ll be over here dreaming about our dream house.
Photos [from top]: Tabarka Studio | Tessa Neustadt via Style By Emily Henderson | Amber Interiors | Magnolia Market | Capree Kimball via Curbly | Kelly Brown via Design*Sponge | Joe Schmelzer by Kishani Perera via My Domaine | Deirdre Doherty Interiors via Desire to Inspire | Joe Schmelzer via My Domaine | Amy Bartlam via Houzz | Marcia Prentice via Apartment Therapy
February 16, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
After an insanely warm start to winter, the more typical frigid temperatures have officially found us. We’re talking wind chills of -45° over the weekend, making our icy little city the coldest place in the continental United States for Valentine’s Day on Sunday. With the onslaught of arctic air usually comes dry, chapped, raw skin practically flaking off of my cheek bones, but this year I’ve got it in check thanks to all of you! Last winter I shared that I was struggling with my skin and you chimed in with your winter skincare tips, tricks and product suggestions. I’ve tried loads of the products you recommended plus a bunch of others and I’ve finally landed on a winter skincare routine that totally works for me. I thought I’d report back on the products I’m currently using and loving! As a bit of background, I have true combination skin that changes throughout the year. In the summer I tend to be a touch oily through my T-zone and in the winter, my cheeks tend to get really painfully dry.
Step 1 – Micellar Water
If it’s a day where I haven’t been wearing a lot of heavy make up, I always use Bioderma as my makeup remover before cleansing, applying it with an exfoliating cotton pad. It’s gentle and doesn’t mess with my skin. In the morning it’s sometimes all I use, depending on how my skin feels. It’s also great for a mid-day pick me up, too! Micellar water is becoming more common and there are cheaper alternatives on the market now (Simple makes one that people rave about), but I haven’t yet had a chance to try them out just yet.
Step 2 – Cleansing Oil
Next up if I’ve been wearing heavier makeup is a cleansing oil. Currently I am using The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil which I rather love. Don’t be thrown off by the term “cleansing oil” if you have oily skin. The oil does an amazing job of breaking down makeup and leaving your skin feeling nourished instead of stripped and raw. I pump a bit into my hand and work it into my skin really well my finger tips. Then I add a bit of water which causes the oil to lather up a bit before rinsing and following up with a cleanser.
Step 3 – Cleanser
If you’re following along, we are now three steps in and still cleaning our face, which in the past I would have found completely excessive. That said, I think finding the right combination of products to truly cleanse your skin is such an important step to avoiding crap winter skin. These days I am primarily using the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash, which lives up to it’s name. It’s simple, it’s not overly drying and it’s super affordable.
Being completely real now, I have a newborn baby. There are times I’m lucky to even get to wash my face so in those instances I’ve been leaning on the Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes. As a rule I know that it’s better to clean thoroughly, but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do and I like these wipes a lot. I also appreciate that they’re cruelty free! Alternately, I sometimes use The Body Shop Nutriganics Foaming Facial Wash in the morning instead of the Simple cleanser, if my skin just feels like it wants something a little lighter that day. (Such as back in December when it was freakishly warm still!)
Step 4- Moisturizer
After loads of hits and misses, I have finally found a moisturizing routine that works for me! Yes, this requires an exclamation point, because moisturizers are where it always breaks down for me. My skin is so super dry and sensitive in the winter that a lot of moisturizers with alcohol or fragrances will actually make my skin burn as if it is on fire. Then I end up in a situation where I won’t put anything on my face because my skin is in agony and as a result I get even drier and more sensitive. (No doubt that this vicious cycle has gotten progressively worse since I entered my 30s!) Right now I am loving the Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream. Admittedly it’s a bit pricey, but it is so thick that a tiny dollop will easily cover your whole face so it lasts forever. My skin loves this stuff and it keeps me feeling super hydrated during the day.
If my skin is feeling a touch oilier that day, I’ll skip the Boscia and use Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer. Honestly, I’m not sure there is anything too remarkable about this stuff, but it’s a nice mid-weight moisturizer and it doesn’t burn my skin, which earns a thumbs up from me. I do like that it has SPF 30 so sometimes I’ll even layer this over the Boscia if it’s a day where I know I’ll be outside. (Although admittedly that’s not happening a lot this winter with the baby and all.)
In the evenings it’s all about Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask. Guys, I’m obsessed with this stuff. As in, I will never ever live without it again a day in my life. If you suffer from dry skin and you can only splurge on one product, make it this one. It smells amazing, it feels so good and within a week last winter it had my skin completely rehydrated after months of suffering from incredibly painful, excessively dry skin. I use it on my face, all over my neck and in the evenings I even use this under my eyes in lieu of an eye cream because it helps keep that thinner skin really moisturized.
Step 5 – Eye Cream
Speaking of eye cream, I’ve been on a big kick with Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream lately. (Honestly, I think I’m realizing that I love a lot of Origins products, because I also love their Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, which I have a sample of at the moment.) Another favorite is Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, which also does a bang up job of keeping the corners of my eyes from getting dry, which seems to be a recurring issue for me now that my skin is aging a bit. (Side note: I’m only 32. I am so not ready to age yet!)
Occasional Products –
Because I’m now on a massive skincare kick and can’t stop trying out new things, I have a handful of other things I work into the mix occasionally, too. The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer is something I’ll use a couple of times a week before bed underneath my moisturizer, but only on my forehead. Anywhere else and anymore often and I find it too drying. If I feel like doing a mask, I’ve really been liking The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask as well as their Vitamin C Microdermabrasion scrub for a good weekly exfoliator. I also reach for the St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub on occasion, too. (Skip the famous apricot scrub! It’s really harsh on your skin. This stuff is much better and just as inexpensive at about $4 a bottle.)
And there you have it, folks! My excessively long list of skincare products I’ve hoarded to make it through the winter. As crazy as it sounds though, since I started really paying attention to what kind of cleansers I use and when, and since discovering a couple of incredible moisturizers that really work for me, my skin is amazing. Not that I ever had awful skin to begin with (other than the crazy dry skin in winter), but I absolutely have the best skin of my life these days. That said, I’m not done playing with new things yet so tell me what new things you’ve tried and have been loving! Any go-to favorites? Spill the beans in the comments so I can feed my addiction.
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
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February 11, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
I was really excited when I found out that longtime reader and friend of mine, Christen, was expecting a baby not long before I was due. She and her husband welcomed their baby boy Graham in August and then she spent the next three months giving me baby advice and checking in on how I was feeling while juggling a newborn of her own. A wonder of a woman, I swear! Today I could not be more honored to share Graham’s nursery with you. Christen created the most incredible space for him, light and bright and full of travel inspired art. It’s one of the loveliest nurseries I’ve ever seen and it’s a room I could live in for sure. I am so excited for Graham that he has a room like this to inspire his adventures as he learns and grows. But enough new mommy rambling. Christen was sweet enough to share all the details about Graham’s room (scroll down for sources) and a whole bunch of design and survival advice for new parents, so let’s get on with it!
What inspired you when designing Graham’s nursery?
I loved the idea of using different travels and adventures for Graham’s nursery so I turned to a few of my favorite artists for inspiration. Katie Daisy and Rifle Paper Co. have plenty of amazing prints which fit into that whole idea! I was also so happy to be able to incorporate a few things from our own travels and adventures like a Swiss music box and cowbell, travel guides we’ve used, my dad’s oar from summer camp, and a photo of my grandparents from when they lived in Africa.
Any design tips for new parents?
Create a space that YOU love and are inspired by, not necessarily what you think a nursery should look like. There will be some late, cranky nights and being in a beautiful space makes it a little less painful. I didn’t buy a standard matchy-matchy nursery collection. I filled the room with different colors, art, and objects that would make us feel good when we walked in there and now our nursery is hands-down my favorite room in the house. Graham seems to love it too, especially the feather wall hanging I made for above his changing table!
Any must-have baby gear or gadgets?
I use our Skip Hop Pronto every time we leave the house. SO much better than always having to lug the whole diaper bag around everywhere! The BabyBjorn bouncer has been amazing and I love wearing him in the K’Tan or Solly Baby wrap! Also, buy good socks!
Favorite kids book?
Beautiful Oops – The message is that by using a little creativity you can turn a mistake into something awesome. Love it!
What is your favorite place to shop for kids clothes? How about your favorite place for kids decor?
We’re big babyGap fans but I also love the hoodies and sweats from Childhoods. For decor it would have to be Land of Nod and Etsy.
What are you loving about being a mommy so far?
It’s a toss up between the cuddles (SO GOOD!) and when his face lights up because he sees me.
Any advice for new parents in those first few weeks?
I had a great support system in those first few weeks and I believe it made a huge difference. By support system I do mean family and friends who came to bring us food or help clean (so thankful for that!) but I also mean someone (my husband in our case) who politely but firmly said no to guests when we needed some time alone to bond just the 3 of us. It often felt like entertaining the revolving door of visitors was more exhausting than being a new mom! We were excited to introduce Graham to everyone, but it was helpful to spread out visits a bit and to make it a priority to set aside time to hang out just the 3 of us (that wasn’t when we were all exhausted at 2:30am.)
[Photos by Denise Weaver of Lauren Fair Photography.]
Crib: Pottery Barn Kids | Prints above crib: The Wheatfield | Cloud mobile: The Butter Flying | Crib pillows: Target + Pottery Barn | Crib sheet: LouLou Made | Hello World blanket: LouLou Made | Fabric: The Little Ivie Cloth Co. | Changing table: Pottery Barn Kids | Changing pad cover: Madly Wish | Diaper holder: Bed Bath & Beyond | Round vase: West Elm | Adventure Trail print: Creative Market | Kind & Gentle print: Prints & Printables | Ragamuffin Pennant: Roxy Marj | Zig zag print: The Wheatfield | Felt ball garland: Sheep Farm Felt | Polka dot curtains: Land of Nod | Triangle wall decals: Urbanwalls | Shelves: Ikea | Journey print: Minted | London print: Rifle Paper Co. | South Africa print: WallArty | Map print: Minted | Lamp and shade: Land of Nod | Baskets: Pottery Barn | Nightstand: Pottery Barn Kids | Pony Express print: Rifle Paper Co. | Animal Alphabet print: Rifle Paper Co. | Yosemite print: Rifle Paper Co. | Compass print: Society 6 | Pouf: Land of Nod | Glider blanket: Land of Nod