October 8, 2012


When my mom told me about the cute sock monkeys Kohl's had for their Kohl's Cares stuffed animals,  I was inspired to throw a sock monkey themed party for my twin boys' 3rd birthday party.

Kohl's Sock Monkeys before I modified them

I added a hat tassle & monogrammed letter to the monkeys
My mom and grandma made sock monkeys for all three of my boys and they love them, so I knew it would be a party they would like. 

These are the invitations (the photo was attached to the back)

I made shirts for the boys with sock monkey sock material.

I always like doing a welcome sign

Our dancing monkey
My boys love air dancers...you know, the funny dancing blow-up tube guys that advertise oil changes and the like.  I decided I wanted to get one for their party. Of course I didn't find a sock monkey one, so I decided it was a project I could take on to make.  I was so happy with how it turned out...in looks.  When I hooked it up to our bounce house fan it didn't dance. I made adjustments, enlisted my mom and dad's help, visited an actual air dancer, but never got him to dance.  So, we just blew him up to stand straight (which also needed a little help to get him to just do that). The boys still enjoyed it, but I think I will still try and figure out the physics of it. If anyone has an brilliant ideas, please share.
Their party was at the end of September, so I thought chili would be a good and somewhat easy thing to have for over 40 people. I guess I didn't expect it to be a day of 90 degree weather, but at least it cooled down by afternoon.

We had over a dozen little ones at the party (with only 1 girl, the rest boys).  We had a little craft table where kids could decorate vests for the sock monkeys that they got to take home. We also had the kids play Pin the Tail on the Sock Monkey and break open a pinata.

For dessert we had sock monkey cake pops (chocolate), red cake pops (vanilla), and regular cupcakes. We also had a candy buffet.

Hudson blowing out his candle; both the boys with their cupcakes

Candy buffet with Hot Tamales, Whoppers, Red Vines & Twizzlers (we are a family divided),
banana chips, caramels, Werthers, Tootsie Rolls, peppermints, rootbeer barrels

I had fun making the gift bags and I loved the fact that money went to a good cause when I got the sock monkeys. Each bag just had the monkey, a barrel of monkeys game and little reusable container with Tootsie Rolls. The one little girl who came got a special little headband I made for her since she had to deal with all those boys.

Here are the birthday boys (with bad hair days) and a picture of our whole family.  It was a fun day.
And no, my husband is not touching me where it looks like he's touching me...his hand was just resting on his knee. Sadly it looked like this in every picture we had taken. Oh well.

Thank you for taking a look.  Now onto big brother's party which is only a month away.


After I make a frame for a photo of the boys, I believe their "new" room is complete.  I loved their nursery, but was excited to make my 3-year old twin boys' room more mature.  I knew I wanted to use grays, but was not coming up with much.  Then I remembered a fabric with skyscrapers I bought for a project for my living room. I remembered it came in gray, white and black. I was inspired.  It was hard to paint over the pain-staking stripes that my husband painted for our first son, but I think we are all happy with the new room.  Now if Owen and Hudson would just stay in bed at night and go to sleep.


Some info from the above collage of pictures: I painted the skyline on the wall in layers. I spent so much time trying to find a decal or make one, but one day I just went in with some blue painter's tape and started taping the outline of buildings. It ended up being much easier than I expected.

The little porcelain tealights I found online at Queen B in Australia. A bit pricier than I would normally spend on a child's room, but they're just adorable and perfect for the room. My plan is to have these be night lights in their room (with battery votives). One of the buildings is even called The Fullerton (the town where we live).


I found the lightswitch cover on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/MapMotifs). The woman made it special for us. She had one like this posted on Etsy, but had sold it.  She was quite sure she had one more vintage maps of Minneapolis and she was so wonderful to search for a couple of months until she found it. I LOVE it! And I was so grateful. I actually think of her act of kindness every time I use the switch.

The Empire State Building is like a Lego set but called Best-Lock (found at Amazon.com). It came with stickers to put on the windows, but I like the clean look of the gray. I also want to get the Lego Architectural pieces for them, but when they are a bit older.

The two teddy bears may be the most special items in the boys room, and I was double-excited that they match the room.  My mom and grandma made these little bears for all of my grandma's great-grandkids from suits that were my grandpa's.  My son Hudson's middle name is Ray, which was my grandpa's name.   

I made the nightlight with the Brooklyn Bridge on it, but we don't use it because Hudson is scared of it (he's scared of a lot of things).  I think he thinks it's some sort of mask or something. Hmmmm.

The stool looks as if it was made for this room.  It's a Kikkerland EZ Fold Short Step Stool. They come in a lot of fun colors and collapse flat. They only cost around $12 and can be found at Amazon, Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Love them.

The chair was mine as a child.  I painted over it twice now. Once for the striped nursery and now this.  Here's the before (wish I had a before-before photo):

The paintings of the maps were inspired by some prints I saw on Etsy.  The maps are of NYC, Los Angeles and Minneapolis (three places I've lived).  These are far from perfect, but I like how they turned out. Crazy side note is that my sister's sister-in-law who also moved to L.A. from MN bought the maps from Etsy and has them in her house. I was shocked at how small world that was, but also felt great because she has the best design style of anyone I know.

I found the bathroom rug and towels at Target and did a little dance when I saw how perfect they were for the room. I also got the soap dispenser, tissue box and toothbrush holder and all the black bins from Target. Love me my Tar-jay.

The lyric painting was made by my friend Laura Hagen.  The second I saw her first piece of work like this, I knew I had to buy one...and have since bought two. I am obsessed with her work.  I have the white one in our living room.  You can see some of her work here http://pinterest.com/mamasemamasa/canvas-happy/.


Found the fabric shower curtain at Sears. There were quite a few NYC shower curtains, but I love the look of this one best and it has my favorite building (Flatiron Building) on it.  The fabric is great quality and very thick. Here's a before picture of the bathroom (done before we had 3 little boys).


Now I need to start working on bedding for full size beds, since they are not going to fit in the toddler beds for much longer.

June 19, 2012


If it's too hard for me to get to the beach with my 3 sons (ages 6 and 2.5 year old twins), then I will bring the beach to us. My friends and I have made quite a few wreaths over the past few years, but this one remains my favorite. 

June 18, 2012


I just made this fabric book cover and bookmark (I made it a pocket bookmark and printed out some photos to keep in it) for my summer reading. For those days at the pool when you want to hide what you are reading. Or just for some added protection. Think of it as book SPF. I think I will try a laminate fabric one next.

April 11, 2012


For the season 4 premiere of MadMen we threw a viewing party to honor our great friends' identical twin sons (Michael & Brody) for their role as Baby Gene Draper.

So much fun to plan, and such a great evening of '60s style eats, drinks and cigarettes 
(candy, that is).

The invitation


This is my friend Teresa, who is Michael and Brody's mom. She has a little candy buffet business and let me use some of her vases for the little candy buffet we had.

Below is Teresa with her husband Cameron. Their older son is my oldest son's age and they are good friends. Then they have their twin boys and we have our twin boys. Not only are they wonderful friends and neighbors, but they have been unbelievable support for us in this crazy world of having 3 boys - including a set of twins.

I remember the day Teresa called to tell me her sons had an audition for a show that she had known was my favorite. I couldn't believe it and told her they would the perfect baby for Don and Betty Draper. They obviously got the part and I was lucky enough to accompany them to the set one day to help out. I got a little tour and even said a little hello to Jon Hamm. Small world...but he and I both went to the University of Missouri at the same time. How could I have never run into him there? I've since met him when the cast of MadMen hosted the annual brunch for the Rape Treatment Center this year, which I volunteer for every year.


Here's my little photo for making a very worthy donation at that event.

Okay...back to the party. The retro furniture was borrowed from storage from my inlaws. I went to the library to check out art books published in the mid-60s for the coffee tables.  Probably should have rolled up the contemporary non-matching rug for the party, but just getting the toys put away was a feat.

I had fun with the little touches, like framing a picture of JFK and putting together a slideshow in the digital frame of MadMen stills and pictures of Michael and Brody. I even put retro Vogue pictures and artwork from the 60s in my bathroom.

I pulled all the scenes from the episode that had the twins in it so we could have a special viewing of their parts. Even projected on a vintage screen. 

Teresa and I in our MadMen outfits (retro clock courtesy of my inlaws...took me a couple of months to take it down because it was such a big hit).

Everyone outdid themselves dressing the part

This is my husband, Matt. My Don Drape

All the MadWomen
All the MadMen
Enjoying our candy cigarettes...maybe a little too much
Well, I forgot to take pictures of the cleverly named retro appetizers and food (deviled eggs and pigs in a blanket included) but got a last minute photo of the vintage wooden pineapple cheese holder. LOVE (again a thanks to my inlaws).
Someone caught this very unflattering photo of me, but at least you see I did serve food.

Not very retro, but yummy red velvet mini cupcakes

As people left I had DVDs of the boys' episode and scenes along with a photo of the boys for
everyone to take home