My enthusiasm for interior design is broad. In a style diagnostic, my preferences ranged from whimsical farmhouse to bohemian mid century modern. If you can pin point what that looks like, you are welcome to come to my home and make all my difficult design decisions (like how to arrange a beloved ceramic deer head with vintage tea towels and a garden gnome). Did I mention I have a blue couch? The couch is not the point. The point is, I have a deep appreciation for many styles one might find in an interior (or exterior really). And whimsical unicorn style is definitely not out of the question. In fact, this DIY unicorn bust is the star of my little Charlotte’s room! (You can see more of Charlotte’s room here, here, and here). It’s a DIY that was definitely a labor of love, but I am delighted by how it turned out!
Every single time I wear this necklace, someone always complements me on it! They inevitably ask if I made it and I confess to the deed. The truth is, this DIY geometric necklace that I crafted for the blog For The Love Of is one of my wardrobe staples. I love it. As a person who crafts daily (or is at least trying to craft/create daily), I rarely create things that integrate into my daily life so effortlessly. Perhaps it is the simplicity of this DIY geometric necklace that draws me in. Honestly I can’t wear giant dream catchers and 37 succulent varieties
around my neck without being institutionalized, so a handmade geo necklaces will have to do the trick.
Anyways, people were asking where the tutorial was at and I can’t ignore what the people want! You can find how to make DIY geometric necklace here.
And because this seems like too short a post to hit publish on, I will now brief you in what I did today: fed a baby yams for the first time (she looked at me like I was, in fact, insane), changed poopy underwear…and then a bath ensued, watched last nights Younger (new obsession), made mac n’ cheese to the absolute perfect creaminess (and you thought I couldn’t cook), read a chapter from this book (it’s in my top 10 books of all time. I really really love it), more diapers, and then brunch with Michelle Obama, and I’m off to an evening of girl time with the cast of Golden Girls! (I may be lying about those last two).
Earlier this week I found out that the name Charlotte was in the top 5 baby names of Utah County for 2014. I’m at least 95% positive that is why Will and Kate assigned this namesake to their second born. I like to picture them sipping tea (Benedict Cumberbatch is there, naturally) reading some local Utah County newspaper when Kate suddenly (but delicately) places her tea cup on it’s matching spit-shined saucer. “I got it!” She exclaims in the most British of British accents. “Charlotte shall be her name! That is what the people of Utah County found good enough, and so do I!” Will And Benny (as I affectionately call Benedict…because “Dict” just doesn’t seem as kind) jump for joy and applaud the Princess for having such excellent taste in names.
Other versions of this scenario play out in my head, but most of them involve the royal family being frequent readers of my blog and that would just be ridiculous.
My Charlotte just so happens to be the best Charlotte, of all time, in all universes, forever and ever. I’m biased of course. But when someone grows another someone inside of themselves, they tend to be pretty obsessed with the “outcome” (too literal? Sorry). Our Miss Charlotte is pudging up real nicely, and I felt an update on her developmental (and sass) progress was in order.
- Charlotte sometimes gets really quite pissed at us. She takes to spitting when this happens, and I am not exaggerating, she starts blowing spit bubbles that are only interrupted by chastising yells. She get mad, spits, and yells. It’s all very adorable.
- Miss Charlotte sits up like the proper lady ought to. She actually has been sitting up for over a month now, but I allot that success to the fact that she has a very broad base when sitting on top of those gloriously fat thighs. They are soooo glorious.
- Speaking of sitting up, she also transitions from a sitting up position to an on-all-fours position, but very cautiously. She will rock in transition until she finally works up the gumption to lunge forward. Sometimes face plants (and tears) result, but she’s got a quick recovery time.
- I swear she can say “mamma” and Clint swears she can say “dada” but both probably translate in baby talk to some variation of: “feed me more food”.
- Liam is Miss Charlotte’s favorite. He always has been, and I find it funny that he can sit on top of her, bring her to tears, and she is still excited to see him. Maybe we should call her Saint Charlotte instead.
As a mom, and a person who is trying to do there best in the environmentally-conscious sort of way, I am constantly trying to balance being the kind of mom that feed her kids hot dogs for every meal with being the kind of mom that grows her or soy beans for tofu (and is affectionately know by the neighbors as “that health-freak lady”). I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle between these two. One thing I maintain a strict perspective on, however, is my belief in all natural baby products. I’m lucky enough to have access to all natural, chemical free, hypoallergenic baby baths and lotions…so I definitely take advantage of such products for my sweet little ones.
Both Liam and Charlotte have very sensitive skin. What’s more, all baby’s skin is extremely porous. This is why I carefully select baby wash for those fun bubble baths. Out of the dozen or so baby washes I have tried, Tubby Todd is my favorite!
First, I love the smell of Tubby Todd. It’s lavender and rosemary fragrances are subtle and gentle, but still leave your baby smelling fresh. Some all-natural baby soaps are scent-free or have a weird sent, which usually means my baby just kind of smells like a potato after bath time…mmmmm yum.
I also love how sudsy the soap it! I can scrub those pudgy baby tummies and rolls all nice and clean with less than a teaspoon of soap, which means that one bottle lasts me a good few months of scrubbing!
Partnering with Tubby Todd is really a no-brainer for me…so today I will be hosting a Tubby Todd baby wash giveaway on my Instagram! You could win a Love Lake gift set (about 4 months worth baby wash and lotion!). This Tubby Todd baby wash giveaway is very very easy to enter.
My blog and branding have needed a makeover for some time now. Blogs tend to be a reflection of their owner/founder/CEO??? and for some time now I have felt like mine is a bit out-dated. We still employ glitter and spunk plenty around here, but not in such ample proportions. Also, I’m gravitating to more rich and substantial colors (but don’t tell that to Hot Pink. She can be a real diva I hear). The new site will not launch for a couple months, but I wanted to let you know that it is definitely in the process of happening. It’s on the brain daily
And to get you a little excited, I wanted to share with you some of my watercolor graphic business cards that are the jumping-off point for the whole website makeover. They were designed by the ever-so-talented Tosha of Hello Tosha! She is really a talented designer and calligrapher. I highly recommend her and her Instagram account is one of my favorites.
I got a hold of Tosha when I was in a pinch for a blog makeover and she helped with all the branding details that are in my head, but I don’t quite have the skills to materialize them. Well, let me just say she is skilled and I am delighted about the direction things are heading. I really love how the watercolor fills in the details of the flowers, but not in a too precise way. As you can see, “Alix Adams” is becoming a bigger part of my brand to make mental room for me to expand into other business ventures. All in all, these watercolor graphic business cards are the perfect start to a fresh face for “Alix Adams: A Ruffled Life”!
As for business cards, you know me…the more impaction (and even gaudy) the better . You can see my previous business cards here, here, and here!
A couple weeks ago I chatted about 5 tips to a more organized family (I emphasize the “more” because I feel like we are not necessarily an organized family…but we are putting in an honest effort towards become more organized). One of those tips was meal planning and I have to say that as a non-cooker-I-do-not-enjoy-cooking-I-am-not-very-good-at-cooking-er, stress free meal planning has been my bread and butter (there’s a pun for ya! No?).
Meal planning has eliminated a lot of stress and anxiety out of my life so I shared a few stress free meal planning tips over on The Neighborhood to help you on your way to a more pleasant meal experience. And by pleasant I mean, less standing in the kitchen whining about there being nothing good to eat, crying when when we don’t eat out, and complaining about chores. (I am, of course, referring to me).
With the stress of meal planning behind me, meal prep time has surprisingly become one of my favorite times of the day. I had a friend in college who would cook meals frequently with her boyfriend. They enjoyed experimenting with ingredients and foreign recipes and watching them was kind of like watching a Nicholas Sparks movie. They were adorable and I thought to myself, That could be Clint and me! Well as it turns out, Clint and I were not very compatible in the kitchen (good thing we were comparable in other areas…I know what you are thinking–pervert). It’s true though, it took us an earnest 6 years of preparing countless dinners together before we found a rhythm in the kitchen where I didn’t micro-manage his dishwasher loading and chicken preparation. Honestly, Clint is probably a better chef than I, but he still lets me cut up all the veggies and force Brussels sprouts into our menu. (Brussels sprouts, by the way, are my favorite veggie. I know, I’m a freak). Clint and I now enjoy cooking together for the most part and I think it is hopeful to all you folks who hate to cook with your spouse…you can grow to love it!
Friends. I have found my new favorite medium: cement. I know that this whole DIY cement planter craze is probably not new to anyone. I mean, I myself have pinned a good many cement projects, and I finally decided to take the metaphorical DIY leap into the world of cement. Truth is, my Home Depot patio makeover needed some festive details and cement was the answer. Guys, cement is amazing. I’m obsessed. I already have in my mental craft line-up about 3 other cement projects that I’m sure to share here.
But first…DIY cement napkin rings. I know you, and I just know you were staring at your stack of napkins thinking, man I wish I had a ring to put on those napkins. Then you most likely spent the rest of the day doing your best Beyoncé impression while singing, “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it!” No? Well, now you are singing “Bey” all day for sure.
Like I said, if you like those napkins, then put a cement napkin ring on them. At least, that’s what I did! Check out my cement napkin rings.
Okay you guys…Home Depot and I are a match made in Heaven. I’m the kind of crazy neighbor who is out rolling giant rocks across her yard all in the name of DIY landscaping, and Home Depot totally gets me. They are my go-to source for all indoor and outdoor projects, so I was absolutely thrilled when I was able to partner with them on a patio makeover!
As you can tell from my before photo below, things could really only improve. The first thing on my patio makeover list? Throw out the dead plant on the porch and start mapping out the space.
The biggest challenge, I found, was that the patio felt very exposed and massive. It is a big space, but filling it up with beautiful furniture and plants wasn’t going to be enough. I needed to think carefully about furniture placement and how to transform the patio into a useful and cozy space!
You can find out exactly how I did this by heading on over to Home Depot’s blog and checking out my Patio Makeover Reveal!
You will also find a ton more pictures of my patio space there, but here are a couple teaser pics to get you interested
My very favorite part of my patio makeover reveal has to be a tie between my little rock wall and my giant planters filled with greenery. I love how plants bring a finished feel to a space. I’m curious to know what happens to be your favorite outdoor decor?
The last 4 weeks have been a whirlwind of photo shoots and projects for some of my favorite brands and people. I am soooo looking forward to sharing more about these projects this week, and I wanted to start today with a quick sneak peek into a post I created for The Neighborhood.
If you are like me, you have the HARDest time saying farewell to those glass jars and toilet paper rolls. I mean, why is it so difficult to throw away an old spaghetti jar? Truth be told, without my opposing force of being an organization junky, I would be a likely candidate for Hoarders. TLC would be like, “Ooooo she has three rooms full of old milk cartons! Let’s film her and call it real TV.” And I would watch that show…I would.
The good news is, I can reuse home items in creative ways because nobody can stop me. That’s right: I am free to turn a cardboard box into a play house and I can turn my coffee grounds into compost. Freedom. So my dear readers who are itching to re-purpose, reuse, and recycle… check out these 10 ways to Reuse Home Items on The Neighborhood today!
I cannot emphasize enough how often complete chaos takes over my home and life (not the best start for a post about organization huh?). Picture plates from breakfast and lunch on the floor, our dog running around like crazy, and drying laundry strewed across my bannister. This is a norm for my house.
But the point I am trying to make is that nobody (especially me) has it all together all the time. In fact, after chatting with friends I have noticed that different friends prioritize organizing different elements of their life. Some have spotless homes, house-cleaners, and scuff-free walls (can you even imagine how wonderful that would be?). Others are clean-eating freaks (in a good way) and have detailed meal plans with coordinating shopping lists.
I personally aspire to have it all together someday—to be completely organized. But life is naturally messy and a little chaotic. Complete organization isn’t really in the cards for this life . To keep my sanity amid the wonderful craziness I try to follow some simple tips that make it easier to function as a (semi) organized family! You can approach these tips like a salad bar…choose to add Tip 2 and Tip 3 to your salad, add a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Or you can methodically implement each step on your journey to a (slightly) more organized family. My sincere hope is that these tips will help you feel like a more organized family!
Tip 1: Have a calendar, use a calendar!
Many friends on Instagram sometimes ask me “how do you get so much done?” and my first answer is “I only get to about 40% of what I want done, to be honest.” My second answer is this simple secret…I use a calendar. You are like 1.2 million times more likely (not the real statistic) to achieve a task if you write it down, and this proves true for me. A calendar helps me be organized with my time on a daily basis. An average day might look like this:
10:00AM – Liam tumbling class
12:15 PM – Play date with Halle
12:30 PM to 2:30 PM – Photo shoot with interns
3:00 PM – Edit posts
4:00 PM – “Clean” house and Start dinner
You will be amazed at how productive and organized your daily life can be when creating a simple daily schedule!
Tip 2: Grocery shopping, meal planning!
After 4 years of chaotic trips to the grocery store to collect random ingredients for dinner each night I had a revelation: Meal. Planning. I always thought that planning meals for two weeks was more work and more money at the grocery store. Not so. As it turns out, when I took 20 minutes to plan my meals I saved hours of shopping and mucho money! Here is how I meal plan and shop (and it is really simple).
- On the first and third Sunday of every month I stand in my kitchen, pen drawn like a saber, ready to attack the overwhelming task of feeding my people. I write down 10 dinners (assuming that for four of the 14 days we will eat out or eat leftovers).
- Then I go through the list of dinners and name off ingredients needed while investigated the kitchen to determine what items I need to buy. Those items are added to my grocery list.
- That next Monday I buzz through the grocery store stalking my cart with organic gummies, kale, and ice cream. Shopping only twice a month insures that I don’t have to face the grocery store with my two kids too often. Every two weeks happens to also be almost exactly when we run out of fresh produce and need to stock up anyways.
Note: I don’t plan certain diners on certain days because I like the freedom of cooking what sounds good on a particular night.
Tip 3: A load a day keeps the insanity away!
I feel it my humanly duty to admit right off the bat that I enjoy laundry. What I mean is, out of all the house-keeping tasks invented, I hate laundry the least . It is a bit therapeutic to me…the same way my completely lunatic friend enjoys vacuuming (but honestly I freaking hate to vacuum). The main point with this tip is: do a chore a day and your house will not become too overly chaotic.
Set aside 15-30 minutes a day to do a load of laundry, scrub a toilet, organize a closet. About once a month I put on my yoga pants and deep clean major messy areas in my house (which is totally more of a workout than yoga), but on a daily basis I spend about 30 minutes cleaning and the rest of my day doing better stuff (playing with kids).
Tip 4: A place for everything and everything in its place
Now I can preach this tip because I practice this tip like a pro. You can ask Clint, if he places something ambiguously throughout my house I’m like, “So babe, when are you going to move that crossbow off the kitchen table?” and he’s like, “When I get a second.” Am I being crazy because this crossbow is on the kitchen table rather than in it’s place in the basement? You be the judge.
I have a place for paperclips, a place for macaroni and cheese, a place for extra toothbrushes, and even a place for instruction manuals. Like I said, everything in its place. So when I buzz around the house straightening up I don’t have to stare at the objects in my hands, wonder where to put them, and hide them in a drawer.
Also, it is worth noting that having a place for everything makes finding anything much much easier. This tips saves me sanity and time!
Tip 5: Take time to organize your mind.
I’m serious. Take time to sort your thoughts, feelings, and goals. For me this mental organization takes the form of lists and journals. For you it may be 20 minutes of meditation. And for others it could be a 30 minute game session with CandyCrush.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, disoriented, and anxious I grab a pen and make a list of goals. This gives me focus and organization for my day. It just gives me a place to start!