Taste{Full}: February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh so Taste{full} -- Giada De Laurentiis for Target

Speaking of Target, Have you seen the new Giada De Laurentiis for Target line? This couldn't have come at a better time since I have been obsessed with Food Network lately. Isn't it SO like Target to take the cutest chef on television and stick her adorable face on products, making us aware of a "need" we didn't know we had?! Speaking of 'adorable,' I have a love/hate relationship with Giada. I love her recipes and she is just too cute...but I often wonder how on Earth she stays so tiny and petite while cooking and presumably eating oodles of pasta deliciousness?! I suppose that shouldn't matter. What should matter is she's having a dinner party, and did you hear? "You're all invited!" Who doesn't want to attend a dinner party with Giada? Well while we may not be able to enjoy her cooking genius we can try to whip up some genius of our own using her line of products at Target. Priced from $8.99 to $199.99, Giada brings gourmet cooking to every woman. I so wish I was getting married so I could register for all her fabulous basic cookware products. But I'm not...so for now, I suppose I'll just have to build up my cooking supplies one piece at a time. In the meantime, I'll be watching "Everyday Italian" and continuing to fall in love (and hate) with Giada.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Is On It's Way {And-Oh-So-Stylish} at Target!

Though we're still shivering in our wool coats and digging out our cars on a regular basis up here in the Northeast, signs of spring are in full bloom in the shopping world.  Target always has some fun offerings as the weather warms up, and this year is no exception.  They will be rolling out several designer lines right in a row, starting with Jean-Paul Gaultier on March 7th, Liberty of London on March 14th, and then Zac Posen on April 25th.  I will admit that I am most excited for Liberty of London... if you're not familiar, please let me show you why...
Could it get any HAPPIER than these beautiful and cheery floral prints?? I think I have already fallen in love, but if you're not quite there yet, check out this promo video... I promise it will leave you with a smile on your face and a crazy desire for summer dresses.  Counting down the days til March 14th!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Decorating a Nursery on a Budget: Part II

To sum up my tips on decorating a nursery, here are my top 5 (scroll down for lots of photos!):

1. Don't overspend.
Now, having had a baby, I realize that beautiful bedding doesn't stay beautiful. Within minutes, it can be covered in spit up and poop. It's great to have a beautiful nursery but it has to be functional as well. If you can afford $500 bedding, go for it, but if not, there are tons of cheap options at places like Target and Walmart.com. (And as my husband would say, wouldn't that $500 be better spent on a 529 plan so Genevieve can go to college?) Gotta love that man.

2. Accesorize, but sparingly.
I bought BAGS of accessories-I'm talking jewel adorned cake stands I was going to use to put baby stuff on (soooo not practical), adorable frames, little glass animals for shelves, books, baskets, etc. Eventually when I actually put the room together I realized less is more. Also as your baby gets older, decorative items will become obsolete. I'm already preparing to say goodbye to my beautiful homemade teacup lamp.*

3. Accesorize cheaply.
Three words: TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Marshall's! I lived there when I was decorating. They have one of a kind items at great prices. I also shopped at thrift stores and antique stores where I found the book sets and her dresser along with so many other adorable furniture items I wished I had room for.

4. Use bright, contrasting colors...and decorate for both you and baby.
Though we lean toward pastels for babies, they actually like bright contrasting colors. Babies respond to black and white earlier than they do to other colors--especially pastels. Genevieve LOVES her bright room. She can be crying and we'll walk into her room and she'll start cooing!

And what do I mean by decorate for yourself? You have to live with the room. Do you really want to decorate with jungle animals if you hate the idea because you think that's what babies like? Babies aren't picky! Pick something your baby can grow into that you will also enjoy. I like my nursery. Although I'd rather not be up at 3 am, at least if I am I can be in an environment I find pretty. :)

5. Storage, storage, storage...
Babies have lots of crap, I mean stuff. ;) Seriously I can't believe how much stuff Genevieve has and it seems there is always more I'm running out to Babies-R-Us to grab. I bought a dresser with 6 drawers (rather than a changing table with little storage), 7 baskets, and 2 ottomans with storage. I use containers for under her bed and she has a fairly spacious closet and we could still use more storage.

Oh I lied--I have 6 tips!
6. Don't be afraid to mix it up.
Your nursery should be a reflection of you. As for my style, I call it the dichotomy of Tiffany: I love old and new. I LOVE modern but I also love vintage and antique. I tried to mix it up using those two elements. I used an old dresser and an old rocking chair but a new, fairly modern crib. I understand some of you type As will not be able to handle having espresso and white furniture or old and new furniture in the same room and trust me I get that! But don't be afraid to throw in some off beat elements even if all of your furniture is matchy matchy. It will make the room more unique.

Shelves from Ikea. Books from antique store. Frames and decorative items Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

The mobile doesn't even go with this set but you'd never know it!  Mirror from HomeGoods.  Baskets from HomeGoods (please ignore the dust bunnies surrounding them!).  Memo boards from TJ Maxx (I wish I'd made them...it would have been so easy!).

Storage Ottoman from Target (it's filled with diapers!).  *Teacup Lamp--so proud of this creation!  Check back for a DIY guide.  Dresser from a thrift store.  Click here for the DIY guide.  Joe and I waiting for baby at 39 weeks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Decorating a Nursery on a Budget...

But still fit for a princess!
For some time, I've been meaning to post about decorating a nursery on a budget. But what do you know- you have a baby and all of a sudden you don't have time to reminisce about how fun it was to prepare for that baby. It's all you can do to keep up with around the clock feedings, play time, and poop parties. :) In any case I figure I should get started, though I may have to post in a couple of installments [insert Genevieve's crying here].

Ok, I'm back. :) I love to decorate. In a perfect world I'd have a slew of HGTV employees lined up just waiting for me to give them orders on building, painting, and creating the perfect roomscape. In the real world (you know- the one where I am still unemployed) I knew I'd have to decorate a nursery on a budget. When I found out it was a girl (or as the sonographer so exuberantly stated "It's...looking...like a female") immediately my mind went to oodles of pink with maybe black accents. I started looking at designer bedding like these, imagining pink walls and a cool black mini chandelier with baroque like accents. While I still love the idea of pink and black, I also think it's the next pink and brown which in my humble opinion was once unique but is now quite popular (kind of like the names Olivia, Sophia, and Isabella).

From Left to right: Lizzie Baby Bedding: $850.  Flourish Baby Bedding: $540. Ashlyn Baby Bedding: $450.

I ended up choosing the bananfish lily collection bedding from Target (left bottom).  This bedding is so much fun and more importantly much more budget friendly. While this bedding was more affordable it was also a knock off of the far more expensive "Kate" set by Serena and Lily (left top), so I at least felt like I had a bit of designer inspiration in her room, which was important to me. My goal was vintage modern. And I found just that with a vintage print in modern colors. Adding a bronze mirror and bronze window hardware gave it another unique touch and while I'll admit the pink is a bit over the top (I seriously never thought I'd paint a girl's nursery pink...just too typical right?!), using two tones of pink and adding chair rail at least helped avoid an overwhelming Pepto-bismol feel (at least I hope it did--you may disagree!). I was pleased with the end result and even more pleased that I stayed within my budget! Let me know what you think--and feel free to post a comment with your own tips about decorating a nursery!

PS- Check back tomorrow for more details on the topic, my top 5 tips for decorating a nursery, and more pictures...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Perfection In The Tiniest Size

These have to be some of the most adorable baby booties I have ever seen!  This lovely image sent me on an etsy search for some for my baby girl.  Though I have yet to find this exact perfect pair, I've found some pretty cute substitutes:

$23.99 on etsy.com, available in a literal rainbow of colors!

This adorable set is only $27.00 on etsy.com.  The boots are available separately for only $15.00.

Still hunting for those pink ones above!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scrapboxing: Tools & Techniques

So now that you're dying to get started preserving your memories in style with your first scrapbox, what exactly do you need??  Here's a few supplies that will come in handy:

Shadow boxes: Obviously. :)  Get yours at a discount by shopping at Michael's or AC Moore and using their fantastic weekly coupons to get a percentage off a single item each week.  Usually it's at least 40% off!  Don't get their email coupons yet?  Go here to sign up for Michaels and here for AC Moore!

Shelving: As Tiffany pointed out in her comment on the previous post, IKEA offers some great shelving at really reasonable prices.  This would be my first choice to display the boxes on, as it allows the greatest flexibility.  Check out the TONS of options on their website here.

1/4-inch thick foam board: Back photos and drawings for extra depth, or add a layer into baby clothes or any articles of clothing to give a filled-out look.

Adhesive dots: Hold open the lid of a mounted watercolor set, or give a child's dress fabric folds with these reusable dots.

Background paper:  Add a pop of color behind whatever items your're displaying, or match it to the box wall to let the objects take center stage. Scrapbooking paper at your local craft store will offer you tons of options, or you could even use a favorite wrapping paper or a map from a trip.  Mount the paper on foam board if you plan to attach items to it with wire or straight pins.

Craft glue: attach embellishments to anywhere inside the frame.

Double-sided foam tape: adhere heavier items to paper or foam board.

Double-sided tape: Attach a photo to the inside of the frame's glass with a tiny amount of tape, or attach circles of confetti to the background paper.

Straight pins: Secure bikini ties or tiny shoes to background paper mounted on foam board.  For a clean look, snip the pinheads off with wire cutters after pushing them in.

Wire: Display floating items (sunglasses, swimming goggles) with pieces of wire looped through holes in foam board, twisting the wire ends in the back.

(Part of this information came courtesy of the one and only Martha at www.marthastewart.com)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Etsy Find: Handmade Valentine's Day Cards. I'm in love.

I'm in love.  With love...with Joe...with Genevieve...with the etsy store, sendthemarose.  I think I know where I'm getting my Valentine's day cards this year.  And instead of just getting one for my husband and one for my BFF, I may have to buy a bunch and figure out who else to give them to.  Seriously.  With these creative beauties at this amazing price, I may just not be able to help myself. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Taste{full} Goals: Organize My Photos, Part 2: Scrapboxing!

Once upon a time I had some grand ideas of having scrapbooks overflowing with my family memories... but about 10 pages into a Cabo San Lucas vacation and 7 pages into my son's first year, those fantasies met a harsh reality: my lack of time.  I'm not even sure that I could have kept on top of it pre-kids, but I blame that on my perfectionist mentality when it comes to certain areas of crafting... when you spend hours agonizing over a page layout, typical scrapbooking just MIGHT not be for you.  Never fear, I have a wonderful alternative!
My little sister's dear friend first showed me the idea of scrapboxing in this month's Martha Stewart Living.  There on the glossy pages was the most amazing spread of memories beautifully preserved in white shadow boxes.  Assembled by Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings (and the cutest little lady ever if you've seen her on Martha's show!), the boxes showcased all sorts of family events from Darcy and her little family's life.

What do I love so much about this updated form of scrapbooking?  First of all, the scrapboxes don't have to be super complex.... no brads, cut-outs, rub-ons, ribbons, three dimensional wedding dresses, etc.  They can be as simple as your favorite photo from an event and then any small item you saved from the day.  They don't even have to include a photo!  Your baby's favorite toy, first onesie, baptism dress/suit or even their favorite book would make a great display.  On the other hand, you COULD make them as elaborate as you want... it's all your personal style!  Second, you can actually display these for all to see whenever they enter your home, versus having to lug out scrapbooks and make visitors sit and go through every detailed page.  And can you believe what a fantastic conversation starter a wall of these beauties would be?  Third, these take minimal time to put together and can highlight either major events or the everyday joys of life.  You don't need to feel the pressure to document every single event, so you can pick & choose and make them as you see fit!

So how exactly do you display these treasures?  Glad you asked.... 

A wall display can be assembled either by hanging each individual frame or installing basic shelving and then propping up the frames.  I have to say that I love the shelving idea (though obviously a bit more expensive), as you can then easily move your frames about and add additional sizes and shapes without messing up the configuration.  

Next up?  What you need to get started along with additional instructions and links to products!  Check back soon!

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