A ROBOT BIRTHDAY PARTY

This weekend, we threw a robot birthday party for the best new 7 year old on the planet. We celebrated with all of our family and a whole bunch of robot friends. The weather was beautiful, the kids were happy and I was calm (yay!) and loving every minute of it. Here’s a peak at what went down and a few of my pointers on how to have a party that’s successful not stressful! robot birthday partyI have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist, especially when company is involved. I love to make things look good, cook food that tastes good, and be sure that everyone has a good time. That perfectionism tends to translate into stress and create a sweaty, red-faced, short fused gal leading up to party time. It’s not a good look and I’m sure my husband would agree that it’s best when that scary lady doesn’t come to the party. For this party, I was determined to not let stress get the best of me so I took a more low-key approach. robot birthday partyI made simple banners and robot garland with construction paper we already had in our very large collection of craft supplies. I adopted this simple little robot mascot that I cut out of folded paper (just like those famous paper snowflakes) and stuck them around the house to tie everything together. robot birthday partyI covered our new door table with Kraft paper for easy post party cleanup and to avoid the stress and worry of any drips or spills. I glued some of my little paper robots around the edges and, since I have a weakness for cheeky food signs, I took the opportunity to cheese it up with fun labels. robot birthday partyBecause who can resist some computer chips & salsa? Not this girl. robot birthday party

robot birthday party

robot birthday party

I love to cook but for this stress free party, I decided to put out some simplrobot birthday partye sides, order a few subs, and have Joe throw some hotdogs on the grill. As much as the perfectionist in me wanted to whip up some fancy foods and try out some fun new recipes, I reminded myself that this day was about fun & family and that the most important part was making sure our birthday boy was happy. robot birthday partyAnd that, my friends, was accomplished.

The one big project for the party had to be our BirthdayBot photo station. To avoid any stress or last minute procrastination, a few weeks before the party, Joe and I spent the weekend building him. We gave ourselves plenty of time to get it done and really have fun with it and I’m so glad we did because he was a real hit with the kids (and adults!) robot birthday party

At the end of the day, the party was perfect. Not because every detail was perfect or a homemade feast was laid out on the table but because a very special 7 year old was celebrated with people that love him to the moon and back. What’s more perfect than that?

I hope your weekend was as lovely as ours was. Hopefully it was full of fun, food and celebration on that beautiful Memorial Day…and maybe, if you’re lucky, a whole bunch of robots.

MY GLASS TERRARIUM + A GIVEAWAY FROM THE ZEN SUCCULENT

{THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED}

A few weeks ago, I shared my excitement about bringing some green into our house and tipped you off on some of my favorite planters on Etsy. Despite the death curse I seem to put on every plant I bring home (look, it’s not for lack of trying. I don’t understand why it happens…) I’m not giving up on my dream of having beautiful, lush and thriving (I’d settle for simply living at this point) plants around the house which is why I was so excited when Megan & Margaret, the fabulous mother/daughter team behind the brilliance of The Zen Succulent, offered to send me one of their beautiful terrariums to get my green ball rolling. glass terrarium

So let’s talk about this Blue Moss terrarium for a sec. Aside from the fact that it’s way too pretty for words, it couldn’t have been simpler to assemble and I have high hopes of keeping it alive. From the looks of it, you’d never even know I was a bonafide plant murderer.

glass terrariumThose crazy talented ladies over at The Zen Succulent hook you up with everything you need in the Terrarium Kit along with really helpful and clear instructions on how to assemble it and tips for not killing it care and maintenance (which I’ll clearly keep handy.)

glass terrariumFirst, add your sand or pebble layer…

glass terrariumPosition your reindeer moss…

glass terrariumNext goes your plant layer… glass terrariumFinally, add in the decoration layer. This Blue Moss terrarium kit included these cool blue rocks but the contents of your kit will vary based on which one you choose.

glass terrarium

Also, in case you are concerned about the safety and well being of these sweet, innocent plants (and rightfully so) keep in mind that Air Plants like these are extremely low maintenance and, in fact, can thrive on neglect. Not that I plan on neglecting them, but… let’s be honest, I don’t have the greatest track record. I have high hopes though and Better Homes & Gardens even tells me that I can do it.

glass terrariumRight now I’m loving it sitting on top of a stack of books in my dining room while I look for the perfect spot to hang it, which is why I love the option of using the little stand. I’ve been loving these sleek glass terrariums lately and couldn’t be more excited that my friends over at The Zen Succulent decided to hook me up with this baby. Head on over to their Etsy Shop to put a little terrarium in your life.

glass terrariumBut…do you know what’s even more exciting? The Zen Succulent has agreed to hook one of you up with a gorgeous Blue Moss terrarium just like mine!!

glass terrarium

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment below telling me how you’re bringing Spring into your house! For a 2nd entry, leave a comment on our Facebook Page.  A winner will be chosen at random later in the week!

 

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACES

So, I feel like I’ve been struggling with a few spaces in our house lately. Maybe it’s a designer’s version of writer’s block or maybe I just have too many crazy thoughts going on in my head with far too little organization (let’s be honest…it’s probably the latter) but I’ve been staring at one particular spot in our house for days weeks MONTHS and coming up short in the creativity department. It’s a space I really liked at one point but as my style changed a bit and I tweaked it here and there, it finally got to the point where I didn’t really know what else to do. I wasn’t loving it at all but wasn’t hating it enough to do a complete overhaul, so it basically just existed, sitting there untouched, un-styled, completely under-designed and just begging for the design gods to send its owner some ideas.

Well, I’m not sure I’ve been touched by an angel quite yet, but the ideas are starting to filter in. The “TV wall” in our living room has gone through a few changes over the months.

Several months ago it looked like this. I really liked the striped accent wall, I was digging the symmetry with the windows on either side and I was pretty happy with it, but suddenly the sight of the fake tree and pleather ottoman/bench starting to make me twitch…

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACESSo those two were out and I decided to pair the windows together to the right of the striped wall to create a cozier little reading nook and fill out the wall a bit more.

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACES I liked this a lot but then I was left with an empty space to the left of the striped wall. I thought this would be the perfect spot for our radiator cover turned console table that I had hiding out in the basement waiting for her moment to shine.

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACESShe felt right at home here and I loved how it had the feeling of an old built-in but then I was left with the task of styling it, which proved to be slightly difficult…

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACES

I wasn’t really happy with anything I came up with and, to be honest, I didn’t really try that hard. Something just wasn’t clicking and I couldn’t force it. Along the way, I lost that sense of symmetry that I liked in the beginning and even though I didn’t want to go back to how it looked before, I was yearning for that symmetrical feeling again.

That’s when I realized, I needed something to tie the 3 different spaces together. In it’s current state there were three separate areas competing for attention: the console table wall to the left of the TV, the striped accent wall, and the windowed wall to the right. Nothing was bringing it all together and, instead, my eyes were darting about, trying to figure out where to look.

Let’s add that of our list to design rules: Darting Eyes = Bad!

So I think the solution to my problem might be to create a gallery fall that overflows from one space to another, to truly connect all three spaces. I’ll do away with the striped wall (it was fun while it lasted but it’s just not working anymore) and add a collection of old frames and prints of all different shapes and sizes to bring it all together.

Here’s a hastily put together probably quite embarrassing, why am I actually publishing this for the world to see again? Photoshop drawn version of where I’m going with this…

PLANNING A MASSIVE GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACESThat’s clearly night a high quality rendering of what I’m thinking of but I think you get the picture. Fill those blank black & gray rectangles with beautiful prints, cool old frames, and a whole lot more character and I think it will be a great way to tie it all together camouflaging the TV a bit. Then, the 3 spaces will work as one rather than competing for your attention and doing away with that pesky darting eye.

Here are a few examples of where I think this idea really works…

TV wall gallery wall

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PLANNING A GALLERY WALL & DEALING WITH COMPETING SPACES

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As I continue to add to my frame and art collections, I’ll be sure to use my tape and paper gallery wall planning trick to avoid putting 15,000 holes in my walls before I know what I’m doing and to get a good idea of what layouts will work and which ones won’t. So for now, if you need me, you can probably finding trolling Etsy art shops and digging through thrift shop frame aisles…

Do you have any spaces that are competing for your eye’s attention? How do deal with tying areas together?