Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Making the Kids Rooms Glow

Hey everybody,

Today I am talking 'Lights' in the kids rooms.

Growing up as a navy brat, I did not pay much attention to the houses we lived in. The furniture was all provided by the Navy...and was the same no matter which city we lived in. The houses were temporary residences before we moved on.

Hey, it was a good life. But did not give me leave to desire anything special in my room or decorate it in anything more than celebrity posters. I had a bed, a desk and chair, a window for some lovely natural light, a ceiling fan and a light source. What more does a kid need anyways?

Pride in one's room, that's what.

And pride comes with having the little things that make a big difference. I would probably still think twice before spending hundreds of dollars on a chandelier, but I cannot deny that when I do something special in my home, I love showing it off.

I have handpicked 10 of my favorite lights in kid's spaces. Half the fun in decorating kid's rooms is in the whimsical designs you can get away with. The balloon themed lights designed by Boris Klimek is a case in point.

courtesy: BorisKlimek

Normally my rule is to only show products that you can actually get your hands on, if you fall in love with them, but Boris Klimek gets my vote again. And I'm sure you'll agree that this cat lamp is a one-of-a-kind conversation starter.

courtesy: BorisKlimek
Every room definitely needs a main light source. This pendant light is excellent in a nursery. Not only does it provide a design on the ceiling for baby to watch, it also has a mobile. Love the bright colors too.

courtesy: Wayfair.com

Most table lamps have, more or less, the same shape of stand and shade. Embellishment is added to give it a theme, like a basketball or safari animals at the bottom or frills on the shade. Here is a slightly different take on the same theme. Such a world of difference for a little girl who loves dolls.

courtesy: Wayfair.com
The same can be said for floor lamps too. Aren't you bored with the same old, same old? Gotta love this lovely 'twist' for a new look that is sure to appeal to the younger generation.

courtesy: LandofNod.com
Here's my favorite desk lamp. Fancy space saving that is much appreciated on a crowded study desk as well as a perfect reading light on bunk beds, the clip on desk lamp gets my vote. Available in different colors, it is easy to match it to your room decor.

courtesy: LandofNod.com

If wall sconces are up your alley, you will enjoy matching these sconces to your decor too. Whether you go for the elegant cottage look...(I love the details such as the cat climbing on the side of the door)

courtesy: ABaby.com

...or the nursery oriented Humpty Dumpty theme.

courtesy: ABaby.com
One of the most important item in your child's room is the Night Light!! Yeah, that soft light bathing the room in it's serene glow that at once terrorizes the hearts of monsters all over the world and gives your little one the confidence to slumber in sweet dreams.

courtesy: LandofNod.com
Here's one that can even change colors with the click of a button. Love the goofy look.

courtesy: Wayfair.com
With so many different and adorable lights to choose from, it is so hard to make up your mind and agree upon one. Makes me wish I had plenty of rooms to decorate. Well, at least I can do it virtually.

There are other factors that you need to take into consideration when finalizing the kids room lighting. Natural light, Energy conservation and Safety are just some of the topics we discuss in detail here.

How far are you willing to go to decorate your child's room? Do you have a fancy and funky light or perhaps you are a diy-er (is that a word?) and have created your own fabulous designs. Go ahead and add your links here or you could also give an entire write up on our site.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Birthdays Past - Pirate Party

Hey there,

My personal ray of sunshine is turning 9 in less than a month.

As I sit here to plan her birthday party, I can't help but think about the birthdays past and how the ball started rolling. I hope you will stay on for the 'Nostalgia Ride'.

The very first party I threw was a 'Pirate Party' for my son. I remember how I threw myself into the spirit of it. I bought decorations, dress up accessories like swords, eye patches, tattoos and bandannas. I bought a lot of wooden boxes of different sizes and spray painted them black.

Do you see the plastic glasses that I have also spray painted black? I did something really cool with them. I made a hole at the bottom and made a hook with aluminium foil. 

One of the games we played was 'Musical Islands'. This is like 'Musical Chairs' but instead of chairs, which I did not have enough for all kids or the space for it anyways, I simply stuck green plates to the floor. The kids had to dance in the middle while the music played. When the music stopped, they had to find an island to hop on.

The one who did not find an island, had to have his/her hand 'cut off' by the mean pirate (Me!) and got the hooked hand instead. The kids loved it so much that they actually preferred the hook to the island. I was so pleased with the success of my hook hands.

As the kids came in, they got to decorate their very own pirate hat. I had pre-cut black poster paper in the special shape and even written their name on each so there would be no confusion. They also each picked up an eye-patch and a sword. Now they were ready to sail the seas. Arrrghhh!!

Another fun game we played was called 'Pop the Cannonball'. I had blown up some (a LOT!!) round black balloons. Each kid had to use his/her sword to pop the balloon. Not only was the loud sound a great source of fun (remember we are talking about 4-5 year olds), but I had also stashed some candy into each balloon. So as they burst the balloons, they also got some candy for their effort.


And what pirate party would be complete without a 'Pin the EyePatch on the Pirate'?

There was also a treasure hunt for the goodie bags, but the little ones were quite tired by then. Just one older kid thoroughly enjoyed solving the riddle that led everyone to the treasure chest.

There were some other touches such as the Pirate Cake and tableware.

And of course, we had set the mood for the party with our one of a kind party invites...

For the boys:

For the girls:

Aahh! Good memories. Of course as the kids grow older, the number of friends being invited gets lower (sort of...I try).

That was almost 6 years ago. With the experience of the years I hope I will be able to pull off another fun birthday party for the kids. It won't be long before they don't need such elaborate parties anymore, so I plan to indulge myself as much as I can.

Or perhaps I can start planning parties for other kids! Now there's a comforting thought.

I will share other birthday party ideas over the next few blogs and of course, the reveal for this years party will be on (right after the party!).

Share your happy memories with me too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Where's My Homework?! Smart Storage Ideas

Hey there!

It's that time of the year again...back to school season.

I love 'Back to School'. The smell of new notebooks is so tempting...the blank pages inviting me to write down all my secrets, to open my mind to new possibilities, to plan new adventures.

But I do dread the scattered school supplies and the constant search for something or the other...from pencils to the homework due tomorrow!!

Use the Space You Already Have!

This DIY rolling storage cart is not only cute, but it's also quite versatile. It's great for organizing school supplies, serving snacks or storing gardening supplies. We have the full tutorial by Ana White. Just click through to The Home Depot Blog.
courtesy: homedepot

If you already have bookshelves or toy storage bins, move the stuff around and make space for the school supplies. Keep a folder (or two) to save school papers. I usually keep any papers that I like, and at the end of the year, I discard the ones that I can do without.

And remember...EVERYTHING WORKS!

Whether you have storage cubes (like I do), plastic bins (simply label them and stack), shoe boxes, even an old shoe rack can be re-used to store important folders and papers. But it is important that your child have one dedicated space to keep all his/her stuff.

Use Last Years Binders/Folders!

At the end of the year, the school returns all your supplies including the folders and binders that were used through the year. Remove all papers and re-use the binders for keep important papers this year.

Every year we buy new binders and folders for the kids. But what do you do with the old ones that the school returns at the end of the year? I generally re-use them - keep some for filing their artwork, important papers from other activities. I even keep papers from their notebooks in some to use for rough work at home.

Re-Use the Take-Outs!

Do you have food containers lying around the kitchen? The plastic boxes are very durable and make excellent boxes for colored pencils, markers, crayons and more. Label them and store. It will also clear he clutter from your kitchen.

Empty jars are also a great source of storage but the deeper the jar the more difficult it is to get the smaller crayons or the shorter pencils.

Re-Think Over-the-Door Shoe Holders!

These make a perfect place for all your stationary - pencils, markers, highlighters, scissors etc. Remember to go for the ones with clear plastic so your child can see where each thing is. Also label the pockets so that they know where it will go when they have to put it back.

The decision of papers to keep or discard is a very painful one for me...I am still laboring over the learning curve on that one. My daughter loves to draw and is forever giving me these little pieces of paper saying 'I Love You, Mom' and it breaks my heart to have to throw any of them away, but truly, how many can I keep? And more importantly, WHERE?

Some time back I had read a blog where the mom takes pictures of all the artwork her kids produce. That's a smart way of saving their work. I have started doing that but there are some things that you just CANNOT throw away!

What are your smart storage ideas for the kids school supplies?