Friday, August 15, 2014

Creating a Dream Room for the Kids

If all goes to plan, Magic Man and I will be moving into a new home in September.  Of all the rooms, I'm most excited about the kids' room.  Our last one was kind of fun even though we were limited to what we could do in an apartment.  

Their bed is my absolute dream come true: easily sleeps four, works as a guest bed and has storage built in.  Amazing!  I only have a few blurry photos (but it was my favorite place in our apartment):

Ikea fabric is the greatest for easy to hang and then remove decor.

I started to research alternate closets because one small closet is not enough for 4 kids.

Then I started to look at isolated play areas for make believe time (they love their Ikea circus tent at my parent's house). 

Then I started to pull photos for inspiration - and see what overall look I wanted to go for.  Apparently it's chaos and color. Beautiful, beautiful chaos (and color).  Because you know they'll turn it to chaos anyway.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dreamiest Decade Ever - No Question

I was telling Magic Man about how wonderfully, perfect the 90s were.  I said it was the last true creative decade and had a huge aesthetic impact on how we live today.  He replied, "Well, do you just think that because that was your heyday?"  I was incredulous!  This wasn't a question or debate, I was stating a fact.  

Then I had to really think this over.  I was in high school and college in the 90s; I was discovering music and there were still super models and designers were rock stars and magazines weren't about pandering to a digital generation - they were producing art.  Or so I always thought . . . I decided to go back and reexamine the decade and do you know what?  It's better than I imagined! 

We had Ellen Von Unwerth keeping American Vogue interesting! 

Anna Sui was making perfect vintage looking dresses.  And, NO ONE had eyebrows.

There were a new crop of photogs like David Sims making models look androgynous and sexy.

And, there were all these waif-y Super Models: Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow and, of course, Kate Moss.  

 If there was no Kate Moss there would have been no 90s.  
It's a fact.

Magazine covers were actually interesting and not celebrity- driven snooze fests.

Steven Meisel was king - he basically shot every feature in Vogue and every advertisement.

Sofia Coppola went from 'It Girl' to 'Movie director who casts It Girls.'

And, did I mention Kate Moss?

I get so bored when I look at magazines today.  Occasionally I'll see a spread that looks beautiful and interesting but it's not how I felt in the 90s.  Except for one photographer who Never disappoints: Olivia Bee.  Part fairy, part wunderkind, she creates images that take me back to the glorious 90s.

And, I do love that Hermes hired her to shoot their 2012 their catalogue when she was 18.  It gives me hope for fashion.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dreamy Vacation? Not Sure Yet . . .

You know how sometimes you have a miserable time somewhere but then some time passes and you see photos and you think, 'That wasn't so bad. . . ' ?

Well, that's starting to happen with our road trip to Louisiana.

Months ago, my mom gave me The Happiness Project and I Loved It, especially the chapter on kids.  
And yet, this trip was an example of me completely forgetting everything I read and going into stress-ball-survivor-mode.

I had worried about the drive there but the car ride turned out to the easiest part of the trip and it was Not easy.

It's been a month and now when I look at this photos I think, 'Look how happy everyone looks!' and mostly, 'I need to lighten up.'

Remember how on the way over we stopped at McDonalds for an hour with my parents and the kids had fun eating and climbing all over Poppy?

Then we arrived at my perfect In-Laws bucolic home in West Monroe  and we played badminton and volleyball and ate  ice cream. . . That should be heaven, right?

(And why I thought I could pull off an all-white dress on a trip with the kids is ridiculous - and not just because Lil' Dude had an accident on my lap.)

My In-Laws street is the prettiest road in all of WM, LA.  Why wasn't I awed by that beauty and just insanely happy?
(Look at this these two Californian grandpa's and BFFs.)

The kids loved seeing the Bayou (which looks so different from the first time we visited) and so did my parents.  

We even created a 100 foot long Slip'N'Slide.  100 feet!  If that didn't make me love the trip than I don't know what would.  

And there were so many lovely moments like CC catching fireflies and the girls building towers of blocks and a freaking pinata!  A PINATA!  That's all I usually want to do in life - parties with pinatas!

And on our last night we even launched a paper lantern!  Someone needs to seriously punch me - why was I so miserable?

Maybe this is why:
Vacations with 4 little ones isn't a vacation for the parent.

Being a Step-parent is the hardest thing I've ever done. 

Constantly being 'On' and trying to keep an eye out for 4 little ones, making sure they're safe, fed, not hurting another kid or themselves is the most tiring and unrewarding thing I've ever done.  

And having someone pooh in your lap doesn't help either.

Lesson Learned:  When you're miserable take lots of photos, it'll help you forget how you actually felt and trick you into thinking it was a relaxing, grand ol' time.

But you know what?  

I wouldn't change a thing.

These little ones just make my heart melt.