Archive of ‘Style’ category

My Haute Dame

I know it’s been a while but even if I told you where I have been, you wouldn’t believe me…  My life is crazy.  Amazing, but crazy.

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Anyway, My Haute Dame.  My Haute Dame, “Adventures in hair styling” is a fantastic newblog/tutorial site featuring really great and creative hair styles and techniques.  They even featured my little hair tutorial on day 19 of “Februhairy”.  Pull out your teasing brush and bobbie pins and get to work!

Follow My Haute Dame of Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/myhautedame

Fast Wavy Hair Tutorial

Easy and Fast Wavy Hair Tutorial

This is a terrifying venture for me but here we go…  My very first video tutorial!  I have been curling my hair using this technique for years; it’s easy, fast, and usually lasts a couple of days.

  • My favorite curling iron is the Conair Infiniti Pro which you can find on Amazon or at Target.
  • I don’t typically bow dry my hair unless I am in a big hurry but it does make for a sleeker curl.
  • The only product that I use on my hair consistently is Moroccan Oil.  The health and strength of my hair has improved dramatically since I began using the product over 4 years ago.
  • In the video I mention curling away from my face but you can actually do this many different ways.  Try curling one side away from your face and the other side towards on alternating each curl: one forward, one back, etc.

Well, here goes! I hope you can find this useful.  Good luck!

 

 

Wrap Scrap Flowers!

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My sister-in-law is amazingly talented and today she is sharing one of her many talents with you.  Wrap Scrap Flowers!  Enjoy!

Hello, my name is Evonne Marvin.  I am Nikki’s sister-in-law, wife to a wonderful husband, mother of three amazing babies under two, high school/middle school English teacher, dancer (the list goes on…), and crafter.   I’m honored to share this fun, simple “how-to” craft on Nikki’s blog.  You can make these pretty flowers in a mater of minutes, which is important if you have a busy lifestyle like me.  All you need is:

Wrap Scrap Flower Materials

  • wrap/fabric scrap (at least 3″ x 12″) for the flower
  • wool or poly felt for the leaves and circle bases
  • coordinating embroidery thread and needle
  • decorative button
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks

Follow these simple directions, get creative, and have fun!

1.  Cut your materials.  Cut a rectangle of wrap/fabric scrap at least 3″ x 12″.  The longer the fabric, the more gathers and swirls you can have.  Cut two felt leaves leaving some length at the base to attach and hide in between the bases.  Cut two felt circles for the flower base and the clip base.

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2.  Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and tuck in about 1 cm of the end to give it a nice unraveled finish.

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3.  With a needle and knotted length of thread, anchor the first stitch (so the knot doesn’t slip through the fabric), and hand sew (through the back, through the front, through the back, through the front etc.) at least 1 cm from the top, creating your gathers (based on your preference for how tight and ruffly you want your gathers).  Once you get to the end, coil your ruffles from inside to the outside and adjust your flower as you see fit.

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4.  Tuck in the last cm of the end to give it a nice unraveled finish and tack in place.  Sew a few stitches between the layers to hold the flower in place.

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5.  Apply hot glue to one of the felt circles.  The circle should be big enough so it covers the entire bottom side of your flower.  Place it on top of the base of your flower and press to secure.  From the top, press the layers to make sure that they are firmly attached to the felt circle.

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6.  If you are using a fabric that easily frays, apply hot glue in between the layers to prevent unraveling.

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7.  Attach a cute, coordinating button using hot glue or thread and needle.

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8. Layout the leaves to get just the right angle and plan your placement relative to your flower.  If you like, you can do a simple stitch around the leaves for a cute accent.

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9.  Attach the leaves to the flower by stitching them to the felt base of the flower.  You can even use a little hot glue.

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10.  Cut two small slits in the other felt circle.  This way, you can use/attach your favorite clip, pins, headband etc. depending on what you want.

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11.  Apply a thin ribbon of hot glue around the perimeter of the felt circle, line it up wit

h where you want the clip directions to go on your flower, and press firmly.  Done!

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You now have an adorable hand made flower that you can use wherever you want some colorful cuteness!

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Why Babywearing Makes Me a Better Mom

BabyWearingShadow I’m not sure how I managed everyday life when my daughter was an infant; four years ago. I remember feeling so much anxiety all of the time; most of which came with being a first time mom. We never left the house without a pacifier. If she so much as whimpered in a restaurant my husband or I would quickly usher her out. My arms would ache from carrying her in the infant car seat.

Lucky for me, several friends became involved in the Babywearing community before my son was born 4 years later. I did own a Baby Bjorn when Anjali was a baby but I swear I only wore it about two times… front facing. Man, if I knew then what I know now! What is Babywearing, you ask? Babywearing is carrying your baby in a cloth carrier around your body that simulates holding your baby in your arms.

Babywearing makes me feel like a Super Mom. Here’s why, in no particular order:

  1. Two words: hands free. I can wear the baby either on the front of my body, the back, or on my hip leaving my hands free to hold my daughter and husbands hands at the same time. Not to mention: carry groceries, cook dinner, sip a latte… Whatever.  Babywearing gives me the confidence to accomplish things that would otherwise seem daunting.
  2. Baby HATES being in the infant car seat or stroller. I have a car screamer and my daughter was the same way. With Anjali, if she was fussy, I would have to carry her and push the stroller along. We would also transport the infant car seat from place to place with her in it; which was really heavy! Babywearing allows me to skip the stroller option altogether. Just grab the baby from the car and go! Happy baby, happy mama.Babywearing at the zoo
  3. Nursing on the go! Gone are the days of sitting in the “Mother’s Lounge” at the mall to feed the baby. Nowadays, I just scoot the baby down, whip out a boob, and he suckles while I go about my business. No hooter hiders with this baby; babywearing makes breastfeeding more discreet than ever!
  4. Oh so kissable. At anytime I can kiss my baby on the forehead or inhale that intoxicating new baby smell; he’s right there happily cuddling with mama. Having the baby so close allows me to feel in tune with his needs while attending to my older child.
  5. Weight training via baby. As my baby grows I am increasing my weight training! I wear Arjuna probably about 2 hours a day. That’s 2 hours of walking while carrying an extra 17 lbs. I’m not saying that I have a beach babe body by babywearing but the weight is melting off, so it must help a little.
  6. Babywearing daddies are super hot. It’s true, but how does this make me a better mom? I cannot express the amount of love I feel seeing my husband wear Arjuna. It gives me piece of mind knowing that Daddy has the ability to comfort and bond with the baby… without a boob.Sheshababywearing
  7. The kid doesn’t cry. I literally have the happiest baby ever (besides the carseat). I believe this is because Arjuna has to hang out and go with the flow while in a carrier. He also has no reason to cry because his needs are being met. Again, happy baby, happy mama.
  8. “Sleepy Dust”.  All baby carriers come with magical baby “sleepy dust” which helps them feel safe and secure.  Worn babies are comforted by the thud of the wearers heartbeat and the walking motion, that simulates being in the womb.  Even if Arjuna has recently taken a nap, if I put him in a carrier or wrap he is asleep in no time!
  9. Community support. There is a babywearing community full of mamas sharing information on all things parenting. I have turned to this group several times to ask for, as well as offer, advice unrelated to baby wearing. This group also hosts play dates where the members teach each other various ways to wrap and carry babies.
  10. The Advanced Track. Arjuna is 7 months old and is crawling, standing, trying to walk and talking (Dada, Baba, and Da for Doggie). Our daughter developed quickly too but this guy is incredible! While in a carrier, the baby is inches from my face, which means constant interaction. If he was in a stroller all the time, he wouldn’t be learning as much.

Babywearers are  in a sort of secret club that has it’s own secret language and underground trading system. It can all be quite confusing at first but there is lots of information online to help with breaking the code. After I had my son, my sister-in-law, Evonne, broke it all down for me. I thought that I would have ended up owning two different types of carriers, and that would be it….  but I’ve got a nice stash now. Nothing compared to the hardcore babywearers that I know.

My stash includes: 1 Maya Wrap Ring Sling (RS), 1 Girasol Wrap Conversion Ring Sling (WCRS), 1 Natibaby Dinos Wrap size 5, 1 BabyWearingMemeGirasol Dark Rainbow size 6 (which is currently missing, somehow), 1 Kokadi Glamour Stars size 5 (my favorite!), 1 Wrap Conversion Mei Tai (WCMT – hand made for me by Evonne at NarNar Baby), 1 Angel Pack Wrap Conversion Full Buckle Carrier (FB), and finally the Daddy pack, a Camo Boba 3G.

My name is Nikki and I have an addiction… Honestly though; each carrier serves a specific purpose. Can you get by with just one carrier? Yes. Amazingly enough these things get better and softer the more you use them AND they hold their value!

For more info on Babywearing checkout these resources:

PAXbaby

The Cloth Mama

Babywearing International

The Baby Wearer

Attachment Parenting

 

 

 

Sweet Dreams and Pretty Things

My kid’s room is my favorite room in my 100 year old house.  It features my favorite color, teal, and the entire room was inspired by my daughters headboard; which we found at an antique store in Old Towne Orange.  Enjoy the tour!

Teal and Brown Shared Kids Room

There are few things in life better than watching my kids play together but I do like a good deal.  Almost all of the items used to decorate this kids’ room were either really cheap or on sale.  The curtains are from Target, the rug and hanging chalkboard birds are from World Market and the chair is from Home Goods.

Mixed and Match Frames

This is Anjali’s side which is dolphin themed; Anjali loves her dolphins.  The dog picture is a random Target find that looks exactly like our dog, Minnie. To the left of Minnie is a painting from Disneyland where the A is made up of Ariel, seaweed and a sunset.  The four frames on the bottom right are actually one frame that I found at Michaels and they are filled with Anjali’s swimming pictures.  The bottom left is a canvas print that my husband created and ordered using an iPhone app called Zazzle.

Jenny Lind Painted Crib

I LOVE this crib!  I ordered this Jenny Lind crib on Amazon for about $175 in white. My brother and I sanded and painted it ourselves.  I also had a Jenny Lind crib when I was a baby; they have been the same style since the early 1900s.  The crib sheet, blanket and changing pad are from The Land of Nod.

Painted Chandelier

I really wanted a chandelier in the kids room (and in my closet). I found this gem at Home Depot on sale for $40. I primed it with spray primer and hand painted everything but the crystals with the same paint as the crib.

Painted Vintage Headboard

Above is the headboard that inspired it all. Anjali picked out the wall decals on Etsy and she helped me place them on the walls. The bedside table was a bargain from ROSS about five years ago.

DIY Stand up bookshelves

This picture should be called “Pinned it, Tried it”.  I saw this idea on Pinterest when I was searching for book shelve inspiration. These are Ikea spice racks that I primed and painted to match: the headboard, crib, and chandelier. They are fantastic and I’m actually planning on adding more. Two kids = lots of books.  The best part?  These spice racks are only $3.99 at Ikea! The toy chest/bench is also from Ikea.

Tree Wall Decal

Another “Pinned it, Tried it” idea was this tree wall decal from Etsy.  There are lots of different styles and they are super easy to use, but the shelves were a different story. Don’t buy the Target shelves because they have very little support and they will fall off the wall.  Home Depot has the best shelves.  The changing table/dresser is another Old Towne Orange find; Shabby Chic.

The paint that I used for everything is called Peacock Blue and is available at Benjamin Moore.

Photo Shoot with Ju-Ju-Be

Tokidoki Ju-Ju-Be BFF

Thanks to an OC Moms drawing on facebook I was the lucky winner of a Ju-Ju-Be Designer Diaper Bag giveaway and photo shoot for their new Spring/Summer catalogue. OC Moms is the parenting section of the Orange County Register and they post lots of fun things on Facebook; including random drawings for prizes! . Needless to say I was very excited to receive a new Ju-Ju-Be bag and pictures with my kiddos! We modeled their new top secret design and it’s so cute! Hubby even modeled a bag while holding a baby and doing hat tricks. I cant wait to share the catalogue.

I have been carrying the BFF and it is the perfect diaper bag. If you are in the market for a diaper bag I highly recommend the BFF! The patterns are beautiful, the changing pad is memory foam, and the entire bag is machine washable.  Check out these pictures.  I have this pattern but they come in many beautiful patterns.

Ju-Ju-Be BFF Inside Ju-Ju-Be BFF BackJu-Ju-Be BFF Front

The bag that I won is the BeHip messenger style diaper bag. This bag is much bigger than I thought it would be and I’m planning to use it for a computer bag. If you need a diaper bag on the cheap; this bag is on sale for $40!

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And, finally, I left today with an awesome, super good quality, and functional backpack; the Be Right Back. Every mom needs a backpack for those trips to the park or Disneyland!

Ju Ju Be BeRightBack Inside Ju Ju Be BeRightBack Back Ju Ju Be BeRightBack Front

Thank you Rochelle for a great opportunity for me and the kids. We can’t wait to see the pictures!