I'm Reading....

Currently I'm reading three different child developmental books. I love reading baby books, I have a stack I read last year all about pregnancy, baby names etc. you can read more about them here. Here's what I'm reading: 'Baby 411', this was given to me by my BFF who swears its a must have read, so far I like! It's really helped me get though the beginning of Avery teething. Its and easy read, I love all the information. Even though I have an older child who's 11 - I know things change over time, so its good to stay current. 

My mom bought the book 'The Secret Language of Babies' for me recently. I love all the pictures and baby cues 'about what you baby is saying' so far so good. 

Once upon a time, our little guy was amazing sleeper. He slept in his cradle or his crib all by himself the entire night { except for feedings} Now not so much, he's mostly in our bed. We need to break this habit, but I personally I can't do the 'cry-it-out' method, hearing my baby cry for a long period of time would be too upsetting. So when I came across The No Cry Sleep Solution I thought I'd give it a chance. I found the book at The Goodwill. 

Mommy Tip: Shop the thrift stores for Child Developmental books! Usally they The Goodwill has a ton, just skip past the outdated ones and look for the books that are new, with topics that interest you. Trust me you'll never know what you'll find.

Here's a better look at the book

I'm only a few chapters in, trying my best not to skip ahead, lol. This Mamma needs some sleep, and if you ever slept with a little one in your bed then know you get almost zero sleep. When I start applying the sleep techniques in the book, I'll be be back with a review

What are you reading right now? Any baby books like me? Or please feel free to suggest a 'grown-up book' that's a must read! 

Design Trends to Love or Hate?

A year and and a half ago, I wrote a blog post titled Design Trends { Skip it ? } after I read an article from MSN Lifestyle about design trends that should go away. You can read the blog post here. I weighed in with my opinion on how I felt about the design trends, which by the way a year and a half later some still are going strong :) So when I came across another article via Apartment Therapy sharing an article they read in Elle Decor about the Worst Design Trends of 2011, and I had to read it and weight in. Here's the article form Elle Decor along with my thoughts

Elle Decor:  “I adore books and cannot imagine life, or my home, without them,” says Ronda Carman, of All the Best Blog. But for her, books as props have a short shelf life. “Rose Tarlow put it best: ‘An object added for effect instead of affection will always look like an affectation.’”

CLH: I agree, I love books, I love to read. I only buy books for my home that I love and plan to read. It's a plus with they come with pretty colored spines, because they look so pretty on bookcases. So if you see a pretty book like the classic Pride and Prejudice by Penguin Classics in my home, please know I love Jane Austen and that's why I bought the book. I plan on buying more Classics books for my home { The Secret Garden & Northhanger Abbey to name a few } when you buy the books you love, you value you them so much more. 

The books are all pretty, but I'll only buy the ones I love to read :)

Elle Decor: Antiques dealer Richard Shapiro has modernism malaise, calling out the “monotony of one midcentury room after another, all with predictable, gratuitous, gimmicky accessories.” He lobbies for collecting objects from different periods and styles that all have a bit of soul.

CLH: Oh how I love mid century modern, after all our Rancher was built in the 1950's how could I not embrace little in my home. I do think a little goes a long way. I adore ( and get a ton of compliments ) on the MCM Secretary desk I bought via Craigslist and and refinished recently for our living room. I love the clean lines of Mid Century pieces and I personally LOVE finding old pieces { that are new to me } giving them some love and using them in my home.

Elle Decor:  It’s time to retire brightly lacquered Hollywood Regency furniture, says decorator Mary McDonald: “I think we all have seen enough garage-sale junk sprayed in high-gloss Skittles colors to last through the next century.”

CLH:  I disagree with Mary! I adore and never tire of seeing old cast off furniture given a new life because someone has vision. I think its great re-purpose furniture. So many pieces are given new life thanks to spray paint and a can of paint! As the old saying goes, one mans treasure is another mans junk. So whatever Mary, lol. 

Elle Decor:  Designer Mario Buatta singles out “dysfunctional decoration,” his term for interiors that don’t relate to people. “Everything is done for styling, and nothing has to do with living— there’s no place to have a conversation or set down a drink,” he says. “The best time to look at a room is the day after you’ve had a party because you see the way people used the space.”

CLH: I agree, for me the best design is practical design. When my friends and family come over, I want them to feel comfortable and relaxed. so while the living room below is pretty, doesn't make sense for my life. Just a little too sterile and not personal enough for me.

{ via here }

Elle Decor: The DIY craze has run its course, says decorator Sheila Bridges, who has seen her share of “earthy, handmade concoctions. Just because it can be reclaimed doesn’t mean it should be.”

CLH: Seems to me Shelia is lacking some vision or hasn't been on Pinterest. I love love a good DIY project and I love so many pretty and crafty & artsy items on Esty. It's fun to 'think out side the box' in terms of retail stores. I think a mish mash of homemade and store bought goods and adds interest in a home + you put your own personal stamp when you DIY a project and you save money and up your own personal skill level. And lastly there's a certain satisfaction you get when you DIY :) I love all the early 'concoctions' below, bring it on the more the merrier :)

Mug Cozy, yes!

{ via Etsy seller Lilac Gifts }

DIY Kids Cushion, Yes!
{ via Pinterest }

For me interior design and decor isn't about spending lots of money its about getting creative and having fun. My husband and I are all about creating a home we love on a budget, and when your on a budget it forces you to get creative :) For me that's when I'm most creative. 

Now I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Which design trends to do love or hate and why? do you agree with the designers in the Elle Decor Magazine? Also which trends have you skipped and why?


After Christmas for Christmas

Is it socially acceptable to talk about Christmas goodies I won't be using for another 11 months? Let's just pretend is perfectly OK. I didn't mean to buy anything after Christmas for Christmas, but hey when you come across items that are marked down 50 to 70% off, you need to at least look at potential goodies. My first stop checking out Christmas goodies was West Elm ( online ) I was a day late shopping online, but I still scored four red felted stockings for only $ 4 bucks each and free shipping! I didn't even have to drive to our nearest West Elm which is about 20-25 mins in my car, this makes me a happy girl. I'm so glad I bought them! Every year I intend to sew stockings, I just never find time. Next year we're planning on a colorful traditional Christmas decor. 

My next Christmas loot came from Target, there I bought a box of pretty green & red ornaments for around five bucks, I also bought some breaded cranberry strings and a Christmas door mat for only three dollars! The door mat is so nice, its already packed away for next year. I also grabbed a bunch of wrapping paper for only a $ 1.25!! 

Lastly my favorite buy is the vintage style Elf on the Shelf!! I'm so happy about getting this set it even comes with the book :) I paid half :) I love how its all about starting new family traditions, so this makes it even more fun. I'm so excited about the Elf!! :)

Did you score any good deals after Christmas for Christmas? 


Avery's Seven Month Birthday Photo

It's so hard to believe our little guy is already seven months old! Avery is so much fun, just looking at him makes my heart skip a beat! Quick reminder just in case your new to my blog, we're taking monthly pictures of Avery for the next two years in his nursery. Nothing will be planned just him hanging out, its such a fun way to watch your baby grow up. After 24 months of pictures, I will turn the photos into a book. 

Avery Seven Months

I just love his bed head!! If you follow me on Twitter, you saw that I wrote, Avery + Overalls + Stripes = heart melting!!! We love you little guy and are so blessed you have you in our lives!! :)


Practical Shelving

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely week last week, sorry I was MIA { except for one post } I couldn't find my card reader to my camera to upload pictures and time just got away from me. With that said we have been more productive over here at CLH. Remember our bathroom project we've slowly been working on? When we last left off, we installed a new sink to our existing cabinet, which instantly made our bathroom feel fresh. Well last weekend the bathroom officially got painted Bedford Grey from Martha Stewart Living color matched to Olympic Paint. i'm in love with this color!! Its made our one and only small bathroom feel so much bigger!! I love when paint does that!. 

This past weekend we installed shelves in our bathroom. At first I bought the EKBY Valter brackets from Ikea, but those had to be painted white. As much as I love painting, I decided to head back to Ikea and exchange those for brackets that were already white. I eneded up buying the EKBY Stodis in white from only fifty cents per bracket, super cheap, yes. It's cool that they are were so affordable, but I love the fact they look so clean since we opted for the exposed look in our bathroom, like our Pinterest inspiration picture. We decided three shelves in our bathroom would be perfect. Here's our new shelves. For now bath room stuff is just 'on the shelves' no pretty styling done yet. We still need to removed the stickers from the shelves { little things like that, lol } However, you can see how much storage space we added in our bathroom! Each shelf is over two feet long, so we added over eight feet of usable space in our bathroom :) This makes me a very happy girl. 

I love our new shelves! I'm so happy with the additional storage space for practical bathroom stuff { face wash, lotions etc } and space for pretty too { candles, perfume, pictures etc.} We are almost done with our bathroom. Still left: clean bathroom, re-paint trim, buy artwork or create some, hang shower curtain. Oh I also love our new acrylic containers from the container store! Its had to tell in the above pictures, but they are such a great size and are very nice! I'm so glad I found a pretty alternative to glass. Love glass, but acrylic works so much better for our lives { baby, tween, clumsy husband, you get the point! }

Hopefully our bathroom will be in ship shop shape all ready from a complete reveal very soon, maybe next Monday :) 

What do you think of our practical bathroom shelves? Anything on your project list taking longer than expected like our bathroom? 


Baby Toys We Love

These days they have the cutest baby toys for the little ones, that melt my heart! I love getting Avery sweet baby toys I know he'll enjoy for years { it's so hard not to go crazy when getting him stuff!} I put together a round-up of baby toys Avery & I love :) 

Here's the breakdown and why we love them! 

1. Skip Hop Hug a Dog I love it because its cute, hug-able. The arms open wide to reveal a puppy and a mirror { baby safe } 
2. Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker I love it because it has bright colors and super soft stacking development toy.
3. Melissa & Doug Giraffe I love it because its the perfect grasping toy for little hands, the neck twists and turns in all fun directions
4. Melissa & Dough Three Little Pigs We got this gift for my girlfriends sons 1st birthday. Who doesn't love the story of the three little pigs?  perfect for teaching little ones stories with 'visual aides'. All the houses stack inside each other for easy cleanup and the child can carry it from spot to spot. 
5. Rings I love baby rings for so many reasons, keeping toys attached to the car seat or stroller, to count with to play with, teaching colors! So many reasons 
6. Barn Friends I love these little barn animals, each one makes a sound and Avery loves playing with the barn since its a bright red. Perfect for imagination play
7. Carters Stacker I love it because babies MUST have more than one darling stacker!
8. Fisher Price Piano I love that's its colorful and the keys make a cute sound. Avery loves tapping away on it. We might have a little pianist!
9. Skip Hop Animal Trio - I love owls and these are perfect for the stroller, they also make sounds, perfect for little hands
10. Sophie the Giraffe, Avery loves this giraffe she is a must have for babies that are teething the rubber helps soothe his gums and he's able to grasp it himself

We have all the toys above { except number four, which he'll get when he's a little older } Avery loves his baby toys and plays with the above toys all the time. It's so much fun watching him military crawling to play with his toys we place just out of his reach. Baby toys have gotten so much cuter and developmental since we had our tween 11 years ago, its fun being a mommy to a little one again. Oh, and I'm not being paid to share our favorite baby toys just thought I'd pass along the ones we love :)

What's you favorite baby toy from the list above? Or which baby toys did/does your little one adore? 


Peppermint Bark (Homemade)

My son and I recently made homemade Peppermint Bark its super easy, oh so delicious and a great way to use left over candy canes for Christmas. We actually made bark on Christmas Eve, but we ate it all up before I could take pictures. So we just had to { insert mischievous laughter }  make more to share the recipe with all of you. For the recipe you only need three ingredients: Peppermint Candy Canes, Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate { I'm a Milk Chocolate girl }  and White Chocolate. Next grab a small or medium cookie sheet and parchment paper or wax paper for easy cleanup and follow my directions below. 


  1. Line your cookie sheet with Parchment Paper or Wax Paper 
  2. In a microwave safe bowl heat 1 cup of chocolate chips for 1 minute, then stir until all the chocolate chips are melted. Then pour the melted chocolate onto your cookie sheet and spread. Repeat with the additional chocolate left in the bag.   
  3. Cool the melted chocolate in the fridge for 10 mins 
  4. Break your candy canes into chunks. We placed our candy canes inside of a zip lock bag and smashed them with a hammer! :) DIY baby!
  5. Removed the chocolate from the fridge
  6. Repeat step '2' heating instructions for the white chocolate. Pour the layer of white chocolate over the the milk chocolate. Then layer your candy cane chunks on top of the white chocolate and gently mush chunks into white chocolate using the back a spoon. 
  7. Place the bark into the fridge and let chill for 2 hours
  8. Grab another cookie sheet and turn the bark upside down. Then break apart chunks with a knife. 
  9. Enjoy!!! 
Our Peppermint bark, ready to be broken up in chunks 

Peppermint bark is my new obsession its so delicious!!! I like eat my all by its self or with a cup of hot coca YUM! I stored the bark we made in zip lock bag and kept it in the fridge. Next year we plan on giving Peppermint Bark away as Christmas presents :) Here's how our yummy bark turned out. Tabari just refers to it as 'bark' such a tween :)

See, proof that Peppermint Bark makes kids happy! lol 

Even bigger smile! 

Here's his, 'OK mom can I please eat my Bark already' look :)

Have you made Peppermint Bark before? What new sweets recipe did you and your family make over the holidays? Please feel free to share your recipe link with us! 


DIY Gold Bowls

I love when I come across ideas that are so simple yet inspiring that is a total DIY must. I saw these pretty little gold bowls on Pinterest and knew I had to DIY a version. 

{ via Pinterest }

All you need to re-create a DIY version of the bowls above are; simple white bowls, gold paint and a craft brush. I found three mini bowls at Cost Plus { they're actually small tea cups } and a medium square bowl with round edges at Ikea. I love the little bowls cute and they where cheap, only 99 cents each. The Ikea bowl was a little pricier around two bucks. After finding the perfect bowls, I bought a bottle of Acrylic Gold paint from Walmart for only 97 cents. Love that they bought their craft section back! I can stop in there and pay next to nothing for craft supplies and some sewing supplies. 

Here's what I did. I poured a small amount of paint directly into the bowl and slowing painted the entire inside of my bowl. I left the paint dry for 3 hours and then applied a second coat of paint.
For the Ikea bowl I wanted to try something a different. I wanted to have a pretty design inside of the bowl, so I used a butterfly pattern ( left over from my wedding). I placed double side tape on the butterfly and placed it inside the bowl and then painted the entire inside gold. After allowing the paint to dry for an hour I carefully took the pattern out of the bowl. Then I waited another hour and carefully painted another coat of gold paint inside the bowl. 

Here are my little DIY gold bowls. I really like how they turned out. The gold paint is so vibrant in color and it shines. The small bowls are perfect for rings, earrings and small precious jewelry. I'm going to place two on my nightstand and one on Hasani's for his wedding ring. I plan on placing the butterfly bowl { its new name } in the bathroom. 

Here's the butterfly bowl, not perfect but perfectly imperfect. The the natural light in my house was starting to disappear when I took this last photo, so I I had Hasani hold the bowl. I love how the butterfly is center towards to bottom of the bowl.

It's funny, I love sliver and pewter shades in my house, but now I want to pull our my paint brush again and pretty up some more items with gold. This is such an easy project and a must to add to you DIY to do list. Little bowls painted with a variety of colors on the inside would also make pretty gifts:)

What do you think of the little bowls? Are you a 'new' fan of gold again? Like I am. 

Top Five of 2011

Wow we are officially four days into a New Year!! Last year went by so fast, but I think they all do when you have kiddos and now that we were blessed with a new baby in June I'm sure time will speed up even faster. It's fun to look back over the past year and reminiscence about my favorite fun projects. I decided to stick with my Top Five Projects of 2011 broken down by category, the projects big and small that I had fun doing. From painting to sewing to crafting ( a little) here they are. 

Top Five of 2011

Best Refreshed Furniture Piece

Mid Century Modern Desk
- I love how many purposes this pretty desk has in our home. The dresser holds, our DVDs, board games and even provides a work space. Gotta love a multi-functional piece that we bought for only $ 80 bucks for. All it needed was a little 'PP&P' that's Primer, Paint & Pulls :) Read more about its makeover here.

Best Use of Glossy Spray Paint 

Mirror Makeover
Transforming an old dated mirror I bought at a Thrift Store proved to be easy peasy when I used super glossy Krylon Fusion Spray Paint in Navy. The result a pretty focal point at the end our our hallway. Read more about this project here

Best Use of Ribbon

DIY Back Tab Drapes
Who knew Ribbon could be so useful when making back tab style drapes? Ribbon ended up being the perfect solution to make my DIY drapes appear pleated and more polished. You can read my how to here.

Most Fun with Mini Pom Poms 

DIY Giraffe Softies 
I made two darling little giraffes for Avery's nursery, thanks to the help of a pattern I found on Woman's Day. I changed up the pattern just a little bit and added cute mini pom poms for the giraffes mane. I used the same fabric for each giraffe just in a different color. Read more about this sewing project here.

Most Fun with Colored Paper 

Baby Artwork for the Nursery 
I had so much fun transforming color paper into pretty artwork for Avery's nursery. For the artwork below, I used left of dot garland I made for my baby shower and framed it. The dots are varying shades of blue. They look so sweet in his nursery. Check out the other color paper projects I completed here

That's my round up for 2011. I'm so looking forward to what this year will bring. The plan for the new year is to work on lots of projects that are both budget friendly to our wallet, but have big impact. I've already finished up my 1st DIY project of the year and will share on Thursday. Oh, and I'm almost DONE with our bathroom update! 

How was your New Years eve, whats you favorite fun project you completed last year?