Archives For Window Shopping

I took down the cafe curtains in my kitchen for a few days while I painted and despite the privacy concerns (we live in an historic neighborhood where the houses are really close together), I kind of dug the added light.

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I decided to keep the cafe curtains but maybe hang them a few inches lower, which would require hemming the fabric panels and, you know, I have just never been in love with those curtains. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to change out the fabric. But before I did anything drastic I decided to try hanging up some cloth napkins with curtain clips as a stand-in.

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I decided I definitely wanted my new curtains to reach all the way to the windowsill, but the lowered height was perfect and the pop of color was fun too. So fun, in fact, that I decided to scrap my original plan to whip up some plain white curtains from fabric I already had on hand and shop around for some more colorful fabric instead. This is only a few feet away from the large-scale floral fabric in the laundry room, so I think that something geometric or small-scale would play nicely. I’m also really digging the idea of navy blue. Here are a few choices I rounded up, all under $12/yard:

geometric and small scale navy curtain fabrics1 / 2 / 3 / 4

5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Here’s a tip when shopping online: pin things you’re interested in to Pinterest (you can use a secret board if you don’t want anyone to see) and Pinterest will suggest other boards that the item has been pinned to. This can help you discover new possibilities through pinners who have similar tastes. I found a couple of these picks that way, and another was through the “you may also like” sidebar on fabric.com. How do you wade through the thousands of fabric options out there to find what you’re looking for (at a price you can afford)? And which fabric do you think I should choose? I have a favorite, but I’m not totally sold.

 

Shopping for little ones can be confusing. They’re not old enough to ask for what they want (which is both a blessing and a curse) and because play is the work of childhood you want their toys to help, or at least not hinder, their healthy development. Often the toys that we think are great end up cast aside in favor of various household items (see this post for a hilarious take on a baby’s Christmas list). I’m still a relative newcomer to this thing called parenting, but after 18 months I’ve gained a few ideas on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to entertaining a tiny human. Without further adieu:

The Best Toys for Babies and Toddlers

  • Electronic toys are hugely entertaining, but can be annoying and batteries are a giant pain so I avoid them whenever possible. This is not to say that we don’t have any battery operated toys, but in the name of my own sanity I choose not to buy them and when the batteries finally run out on his most annoying toys I probably won’t replace them.
  • Musical instruments–always a winner. From the classic xylophone to baby maracas, the noise factor is nothing compared to what VTech puts out.
  • Cups, bowls, and blocks. Great for stacking, sorting, and pretend play. Also: balls. Jack is really into balls lately.
  • Activity cube. These things are great for a wide range of ages.
  • Baby doll and accoutrements–yes, even for boys! It’s fun for toddlers to reenact daily activities like feeding, bathing, and dressing.
  • Books–here’s a list of board books that are actually good for developing early literacy.
  • Play silks–these can be used for peekaboo, pretend play, and the ever popular toddler game of “put stuff into a container and take it back out again”
  • Push or ride-on toys that help develop gross motor skills–walkers and jumpers are actually not so great for this purpose according to physical therapists. Jack is getting this and this for Christmas from various relatives.
  • Play kitchen and/or pots, pans, play food, etc. for pretend play, not to mention noisemaking potential.
  • Wood puzzles.

For more ideas you can check out Baby Cheapskate’s lists of Toys that Get Played With: 6-12 Months and 13-24 Months. You can also see all the great stuff that I put on Jack’s wish list here–you can even view purchased items to see what kinds of things he received when he was younger. My favorite brands for toys are Lamaze, Sassy, Hape, and B. Toys. Another option is to shop on Etsy, especially for natural wooden or cloth toys that are pleasing to eyes of all ages (just search Waldorf or Montessori if you’re not sure where to start). Good luck choosing toys for the tiny people in your life this holiday season and beyond!

Whenever I visit Target it’s important for me to get in and out as quickly as possible in order to avoid giving them all of my money. They have so many cute things for the home but most of them are too expensive. Yes, I really am that cheap. Target is too high-falutin for my sensibilities. This is a good time to note that Target is certainly not paying me to write this post (though, hey, Target, if you want to sponsor my blog feel free to give me a holla. You can pay me in gift cards). I feel like their Threshold line is specifically designed for people who read and write home decor blogs. So much great stuff! It’s still pricier than my favorite store–the Goodwill, but there are some seriously cute finds for under $25.

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Threshold™ Acacia Wood Tray | Threshold™ Decorative Wood Chip Tree | Threshold™ Floral Bath Towels | Theshold Serving Tray with Handles | Threshold™ Fretwork Shower Curtain | Threshold™ Global Small Milk Crate | Threshold™ Fuzzy Throw | Threshold™ Chunky Bath Rug | Threshold™ Scalloped Burlap Tree with Glitter Detail | Threshold™ Rectangle Platter Set of 2 | Threshold™ Round Patchwork Toss Pillow | Threshold™ Stoneware Figural Owl Cookie Jar | Threshold Brand Shop

Those towels remind me of these much pricier ones I have from Anthropologie. I’ve also got that gray bath rug and I am totally coveting that blue fuzzy throw as well as pretty much everything else pictured above. I’m not totally buying the “quality” part of the brand description–it’s all definitely mass produced overseas. I noticed that they’re marketing a lot of stuff as brass that’s actually just painted aluminum and most pieces with moving parts (like soap pumps) or anything with a decorative finish (like mercury glass) have really poor reviews. Stick to simple materials like wood, fabric, ceramic, and clear glass or decorative whatnots that won’t see a lot of wear and you should be good.

I hope you each had a wonderful weekend! Nick is off from work all this week but I am out working hard for the money right up to Turkey Day. The tables have turned! It should be interesting to see what condition the house is in when I get home!

I really don’t buy much for myself these days. Money is on the tighter side since I’m not working full time and the lion’s share of my discretionary spending goes toward cute stuff for the house (after living here for more than three years decorating is still my favorite hobby!). I splurge on a cute top or a professional haircut now and then, but most of my clothes come from the thrift store and most of my bang trims come from yours truly. So when Christmas season rolls around and loved ones start asking what I want, I’m often at a loss. This year I’m starting early with the curation of my list. Behold:

I don’t often take my DSLR camera out of the house with me–I prefer to leave it home and use my iPhone when we’re out and about so that I don’t have to worry about breaking or losing the camera I spent months saving up for. But occasionally, especially when we travel, I do like to bring the fancy camera with me and so far I don’t really have a good method of transporting it safely. I would love to have a handsome leather bag to carry and store it in, and of course vintage wins my heart for style and price.

Also related to photography: I feel like I am constantly moving my memory card back and forth from camera to computer. On one of the rare occasions I brought my camera with me because I really wanted to get some pictures of a friend’s home to share here on the blog I actually forgot my memory card at home (in the computer). Moving the card from camera to computer and back again is one of those little tasks that adds up to be really, really annoying when I am doing it every day for my blog and shop, so this nifty invention would be immensely helpful. It’s a memory card with built-in wifi, so it will automatically send photos I’ve taken on my camera to my laptop with no hassle on my part. It’s one of those things I would never buy for myself but would love to receive as a gift.

Continuing the trend of practical wishes, I’ve been coveting a rotary cutter and mat for ages. This would make cutting paper and fabric for my craft projects so much easier and more precise.

And finally, something with no practical use whatsoever. A friend of mine has a simple necklace similar to this one with her son’s name on it and I absolutely love it. I’m not sure where she got it from, but this one on etsy strikes my fancy just fine. I’m not sentimental in a traditional way but I think that Jack’s name stamped on a necklace as lovely as this would be sweet.

Are any of you lovelies already making your list and checking it twice? I’ve bought my first gift of the season already! I wasn’t looking for anything yet but I saw something at an antiques shop that I knew would be just perfect for someone I love so it came home with me. I’d better start shopping for Nick soon, because he’s so hard to buy for that I’ve come close to giving up. I hope you each had a wonderful weekend and a magnificent Monday!