A few weeks ago, we took a road trip to Arizona for a couple of special occasions. It’s been a while since we’ve spent that many hours in a car together, and we were so excited to spend it planning out future posts and upcoming projects and activities. We even made these cards along the way for a happy couple and newborn baby.

We attended the wedding of our friends, Abby and Danny and made this card for the Bride and Groom. We gave it a classic yet whimsical feel using a gold background and the couple’s new shared initial on the envelope. Adding prints and textures creates interest. This love bird sticker was the perfect touch to complete the look.

Color coordinate the gift wrapping to your homemade card. This polka dotted bag adds another whimsical pattern to the overall look, and we topped it off with an over-sized bow. While on the road, we got creative with our limited time and photography needs. Photos were taken on the leather seats of the car and in this case, the gas station floor.

A funky card is unexpected for such a sweet baby girl. This houndstooth pattern mixed with bright colors and mismatched letters is an unlikely pairing. Bird stickers, which came from the same package as the wedding love birds, were added as a nod to a common theme in her nursery.

We keep paper scraps, leftover stickers, and recycled gift wrap to always have materials on hand for this type of project. Keeping blank cards and envelopes in stock makes it easy for you to Do It Yourself even “on the road”.

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09.26.2011

 

Our youngest sister, Maya, recently left for college, and as her big sisters it is our job to make sure she is prepared. We put together this “College Survival Kit” filled with all the necessities of living in the dorms; plastic dishes and cups, air freshener and Clorox Wipes (for keeping things clean), a mini lint roller, laundry detergent, chapstick, tissues, and chocolate (Maya’s favorite).

Tami and Lauren’s College Tips (for our little sister):

  • Call up your roommate before heading to school. This will make you less nervous. Discuss what you are bringing to maximize your space, eliminate unnecessary double purchases, and get to know each other’s living styles. 
  • Come up with a  color scheme for your dorm room. This Tiffany blue nail polish was Maya’s inspiration for brightening up her space. We added black, white, and dark gray to give a college chic look.

  • Do some bargain shopping. College is expensive. Save money on decor by shopping in the home sections at TJ Maxx, Ross, and Target. 

 

  • Trade in your car for an adorable bike or beach cruiser in a funky color, so you know which one belongs to you when heading out of a busy class. Don’t forget a combination lock to keep it safe. 
  • Plan a road trip to help move your freshman in. We told Maya stories and secrets from our own college days at Arizona State University along  the way.
    • Compartmentalize your small space. Raising your bed or adding cinder blocks underneath makes room for a kitchen area or a place to store your shoes or laundry basket.

     

      • A mini fridge will keep your snacks cold when you get sick of the dining hall.  
      • Put up a whiteboard and markers on your desk or outside your front door. Although you and your friends will be texting back and forth, it’s still fun to arrive back at your dorm room to a note or inside joke. 

        • Over-sized, plush rugs in the bathroom or right next to your bed will make you feel more at home.
         

        •  Make the most of your space. Luckily for Maya her mom, Evon, is a master organizer. She put Maya’s closet together like the pieces of a puzzle.

          We are so excited for our youngest sister, Maya. Moving into the dorms and getting the true college experience is what we have always wanted for her. It was amazing for us as her big sisters to get the opportunity to help Maya move in.

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          Here’s an added Friday bonus for our readers! It’s finally Fall and what better way to celebrate this change in season than with a Fall inspired meal; Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, tomatoes, carrots, onions, black beans, and yellow corn.

          Just follow these simple steps to create your own quinoa stuffed squash:

          1. Scoop out the center of the acorn squash, but leave enough inside to add to your meal
          2. Preheat oven to 350 and bake squash (shell side up) for 45 min. or until soft (we added a little honey for a touch of sweetness)
          3. Cook quinoa in a medium sized pan 
          4. Sautee onions and garlic in another pan until golden brown, add and heat chopped tomatoes, carrots, black beans, yellow corn, and cooked quinoa.
          5. Stuff squash with quinoa mixture and cover with cheese (we used Jarlsberg)
          6. Put back in the oven until cheese is melted and enjoy!

            Shout out to our brother, Aaron, for his expertise on this amazing meal he and Tami made together.

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            Looking back on the time before their wedding, Scott and Lauren are so grateful for their friends and family who contributed to making their house into a home. They carefully registered at Crate and Barrel, Bloomingdale’s, Z Gallerie, and West Elm for all the necessities of starting a new life together, and it was so much fun coming home to packages on their doorstep. Although they first moved into their Brentwood condo together two years ago, this has enabled Scott and Lauren to complete the look and feel of their home.

                          

            Registering for wedding gifts is like dreaming of your perfect home and watching it come together one piece at a time. The couple wanted a simple china design that would not compete with a variety of different centerpieces and color schemes. Adding serving dishes, napkin rings, place mats, or chargers with texture creates interest. A table set up should make a statement. When you are registering ask the consultant to set up one place setting in order to see how it comes together.

            When Scott and Lauren moved into their condo, they immediately began the remodeling process. They kept the beautiful bamboo flooring, but gave a new modern look to all other surfaces; smooth coating the walls, painting them clean white and cool dark gray, removing “cottage cheese” ceilings, adding recessed lights, crown moldings, and new door frames. A modern tufted sectional, wood coffee table (designed by Lauren and built by our father of Jackie Bitton Fine Woodworking), light gray silk striped rug, and a small decorative mirror-top side table fill up their living room. Photos from Lauren and Scott’s travels, both separate and together, are framed and hung in two neat rows decorating their walls and bringing back memories.

            The original fireplace had a brick facade. It was smooth coated and painted white to give an ultra modern look. Painting the fire box black allowed for the surrounding white to really pop. These hammered silver vases were gifted from their registry, and the peacock feathers made their way home from the couple’s wedding ceremony design to remind them of their big day.

            This built in media cabinet (also designed by Lauren and built by our talented father) does a great job storing useful equipment as well as displaying decorative pieces including ritual objects. A collection of frames which sit on floating shelves house pictures of friends, family, and the happy newlyweds. Two small ottomans sit along an empty wall and can be moved around to serve as extra seating during a gathering or a place to sit and put on your shoes.
            A round wood and glass dining table and modern faux leather upholstered dining chairs are lit up by this sparkling over-sized chandelier. This piece is truly the focus of the room. Change up your table centerpiece to keep things fresh; vibrant flowers, holiday decor, or in this case an elegant silver and mother of pearl bowl.

            This console table with granite top from Scott’s grandfather’s old house was repainted and turned into a bar. Many of the items placed on top were originally bought for the wedding with the intention of reusing them; a white round crocodile leather tray was used to hold kippot at the ceremony, antique glass candle holders were placed on high top cocktail tables and filled with candles or white roses, and white sweets from their candy bar are now placed in different decorative bowls.

            Scott and Lauren look forward to remodeling their kitchen one day. Until then, it was painted white to make it feel larger, stainless steel appliances and hardware were added, and gray and white patterned draperies were hung to add texture. Lauren enjoyed putting away all of their new dishes, silverware, glasses, and cooking utensils. The countertops hold some of the more decorative objects such as this gorgeous silver trivet and salt and pepper shakers, wine rack with wine accessories, and a beautiful cake plate with a glass dome top. 
            Many couples who live together before their big day express that nothing has changed when they are officially married. It was extremely important to Lauren and Scott to change the feel of their space from house to home, from his and hers to theirs. They accomplished this by adding gifts they chose together and finally finishing their design.
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            Whether you are a parent, student, or teacher, every school year is a very important one to remember, and what better way than to create a scrapbook to keep your pictures and keepsakes together. Tami’s students love to see their pictures displayed creatively in her scrapbooks.

                   

            Flowers made from ribbon and buttons are a creative way to decorate the cover of your scrapbook. Add school inspired materials like this ruler striped ribbon.

                   

                    Letters that don’t match on a title page are unexpected and add interest.

                    
             

                    

                           Every student is remembered by name on these full class pages.

                              

            Use many contrasting patterns and textures. Tami added one of her favorite scrapbooking materials to the middle of these flowers; “stickles” adds a little sparkle.

                     

            Stick to the year’s theme. These adorable animal sayings started out on the bulletin boards in Tami’s jungle inspired classroom, and were added to her scrapbook at the end of the year.

            This year Tami’s class will be making their own scrapbooks of stories they write, places they go, and events that take place. Why not bond over scrapbooking with your children or students? Whether you are a parent, student, or teacher, you might enjoy scrapbooking at home as well.

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