Category Archives: Parenting

Toddler Friendly Coffee Table Styling


01bb45f6ec6f9a8291d5dd448c704ded9968a122c1

My life is filled with messy. Two dogs, a toddler, a husband with a penchant for crumbs and a little chaos. Each night as a part of our bed time routine, Juice and I get on my hands and knees and “help” our O.J. pick up a chaotic slurry of Legos, blocks, toys, books, and stuffed animals. I honestly think that my child’s favorite game is making a mess. After all “mess” was his 3rd word, his 2nd word was hummus. For his 1st attempt at sentence structure he strung them together and said many times with delight “hummus mess” as he painted the kitchen table and himself.

It’s hard to justify making things look beautiful with his constant assault on tidiness . And yet I keep at, if only for a handful of brief moments here and there where every Lego, book, and shoe is tucked neatly away, where the dishes are done, and there is no heaping pile of laundry there to taunt me. I prop my feet up, look around my beautiful little home and savor the bright, cheerful bits that delight me.
01791882317a8d0420bdfc52f0badd0b39c69d2748

I love a good styled coffee table, they usually start with some gorgeous, architecturally interesting table, add in a mirrored tray or a basket, and then strategically arrange amazing books, flowers or a plant and undoubtedly some sharp, heavy knick-knack to tie it all together.  All of which sound like a trip to the Emergency room just waiting to happen, that or an expensive book in a pile of shreds.

So here is my solution, a coffee table styling that most likely won’t make it in any design magazine spreads but is free of sharp edges, easy to clean, a great place to put your feet up in those rare moments of peace, and makes your living room look put together all while including your child.

015f2735d747fdddca281d2332c3ede7ee4d1bde5b

014bdbcb8453c5877ca5daebdc51271261ce1044df

01e062069b52eeccb72ca33ee281af1bc8a124c5f4

0137ef4f0e8f75662e1e2e95b91bb2c9f05a90eb3e

01ab790b93c2422efe2b8f5427f1d550c9548460af

I am all about using what I have and so our once bedroom ottoman became the living room coffee table. For awhile I thought about covering it with some trendy upholstery fabric but after countless leaky “sippy cup” incidents I decided that this bland, microfiber ottoman was just right as it, which is EASY TO CLEAN!  I use books that are specifically for my little one but also match my color scheme (just don’t look too closely at these very loved books), a fake plant that has been put away a time or two when I just couldn’t bare another “teachable moment”  where I redirect him to a book or my secret weapon, a wooden puzzle. Luckily for the most part he now ignores the plant.

I put together a quick inspiration board of kid friendly coffee table styling ideas.

I hope I’ve given you an idea that will make your living room decor a little less of a battle and still makes your home feel beautiful.  For #1 how cute would it be to put two of these floral ottomans side by side. #3 I love the idea of picking up a few old books at a thrift store or yard sale and then covering in cute paper.  For #6&7 I am seriously in love this felt flower shop on Etsy.  Where is my debit card?  #8 make your own pussy willow branches with felt balls, I’m totally going to do something like this in my bedroom.
TODDLERFRIENDLYCOFFEETABLESTYLINGcorrected

1. Floral Ottoman from Joss and Main 2. Blue tray from One King Lane 3. photo credit potterybarnkids 4. Penguin Classic Book Collection 5. Faux succulents  6. & 7. flowers and succulents from the Felt Flower Shop 8. felt ball branch d.i.y 9.mini painted globe

I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave me a comment below and Happy Friday!!

xoxosarah

My Little Heartbreaker and his Pancake and Pajama Party

DawsonIII_17

photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

DawsonIII_25

photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

DawsonIII_28

photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

My little two year old Oliver Jack has been stealing hearts since the day he was born.  He has an incredibly charming disposition, a knowing smile, a contagious giggle, and a sense of humor that continually surprises me.  His favorite game starts with him letting out a ferocious roar, followed by  the most earnest question “you scared Momma?”  He tenderly, reassuringly pats my arm and says sincerely “its ok Momma!”  He then mischievously wrinkles his nose and lets out a wild roar, starting the game all over again.

I can’t say the last two years have been easy; the sleep deprivation, the boogers, the messes, the lack of personal time and personal space, the money, oh and there was that vomitous road trip.

But I can say unequivocally that Oliver Jack is the most delightful, magical gift I could have ever hoped for or imagined. He brightens my day with more love than I knew possible.  Oliver acts as though I am the greatest person in the world. Which makes me want to reach higher and maybe one day deserve such adoration.

So happy Birthday Oliver Jack. Its been an amazing, wild two years and I look forward to our many adventures ahead.

To Celebrate his birthday we threw him a heartbreaker themed pancakes and pajamas Party.

I figured there won’t be too many more birthday party themes where I get full artistic license so I went with hearts, it totally works being that he was actually due on Valentines Day and will forever be the best Valentine.

heartbreakerinvitelowres

 

For the cake I made my favorite Guinness chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting, and I used heart shaped macaroons from a local bakery as part of the caketopper.  I created the “Heartbreaker” with a Silhouette and black glitter cardstock.

pancakes1

The pancakes and pajamas were plentiful as promised.

blanketfortlounge

I didn’t get a picture of the basement but we turned the family room into a blanket fort lounge. The kids loved it.  Juice added an eye screw in 3 different walls, about an inch from the ceiling. He then strung a nylon rope through each, creating a triangle overhead.  We hung a sheet up on each side of the triangle and then one on top, using clothes pins to secure it to the rope and where each of the sides met.  We also used clothes pins to hang twinkle lights.  We filled it with all the pillows we could find.

drinkbar2

DSC_0100

The mimosa and bellini bar was a huge hit. I made peach, pineapple, and a berry puree and grabbed a few bottles of champagne.  For the fruit puree I used this recipe by Giada as inspiration.

DSC_0078

How cute are these heart straws?!!

 

pancakes

I cant believe I didn’t get a picture of the pancake topping bar.  But it was filled with fresh fruit, a couple different kinds of syrup, and whip cream.

DSC_0108

For the french toast shooters I added a dollop of cream cheese whip and drizzled in a little Golden syrup.  I could eat Golden syrup on just about anything. Its especially great if you do not love Maple like me.   You can pick up Golden syrup on Amazon or World Market.

 

These egg scrambles were a super easy crowd-pleaser.

DSC_0094

One of the things I love about a pancake and pajama party is that you can use any color scheme you want or no color scheme for that matter.  There is something so comfortable and fun about everyone in pajamas, eating delicious pancakes.

Oliver had a blast with his little friends and was sufficiently spoiled.

I’m highly considering implementing an official “very merry unbirthday,” for each of us just to have more excuses to throw a party, well that or having more kids. 😉

Party on!!!!!

xoxosarah

Valentine’s Day Candy Kabobs

candy

I’ve been obsessed with candy kabobs for several years because they are crazy cute and yummy to eat.  But I have never gotten around to making them myself until now.  They are a great party favor or Valentine. I love that you can totally color coordinate your kabob to match your party theme.

candy2

Here is what you need:

sticks    ( I used these rock candy sticks from Amazon but you could use kabob skewers)

paper straws     (optional)

scissors

tags

sharpie

favor bag

ribbon

an assortment of gummie candy:

  • licorice
  • cherry hearts
  • sour belts
  • licorice wheels
  • Lifesaver gummies
  • Jollyrancher gummies

Cut the paper straws in 1/3 and slip on to the stick. I found it helpful to line up the candy I wanted to use in the order I wanted to use it.   I tried to coordinate between big and little to make it looked balanced.  The cherry hearts were a little gooey so I decided to just use them as the topper. I used pretzel stick favor bags but they were a tight squeeze with the licorice wheels so I will definitely rethink those next time.

candy3

candy1

candy5

Top off these adorable candy kabobs with a little ribbon and a tag.

candy4

I hope your Valentine’s Day or Party is a sweet as these kabobs.

xoxosarah

Lumberjack Party

My little Oliver Jack is a winter baby, which was great when I was 9 months pregnant and a burning inferno, but not so great when planning a 1st birthday party.  The freezing temperatures outside really limited my options.  But I decided to embrace my inner hibernation mode and what better way than with Cozy flannel and comfort food; the key ingredients to a Lumberjack themed party.

I fell in love at first site with these invitations from Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy, she also made a gorgeous set of printables that I couldn’t resist.

 

I loved that she has matching address labels that made these invites crazy cute from start to finish.

DSC_0059

A couple of weeks before the party we took a little trip to the park to collect pine cones.  Which saved me about $20.

DSC_0053

DSC_0007

DSC_0005

DSC_0004

DSC_0090

Decorations ideas:

  • Pine cones
  • Wood stumps
  • Flannel
  • An axe or two
  • Flannel bunting
  • Lanterns
  • Mini pine trees
  • Kraft paper
  • Burlap

DSC_0107

DSC_0071

Chili Bar Toppings:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Fritos or corn chips
  • Hot sauce
  • Corn bread muffin
  • Tater-tots

 

DSC_0092

DSC_0076

Waffle Bar Toppings:

  • Chick-fil-a party platter, perfect for chicken and waffles.
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • White and milk chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Toffee bits
  • flavored syrup
  • Peanut butter
  • Bacon bits

DSC_0064

DSC_0029

DSC_0023

DSC_0012

Dessert Bar:

  • Stout Chocolate Cupcakes, complete with mini ax
  • Assorted sugar cookies
  • S’more Pops
  • deconstructed Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear

 

DSC_0033

DSC_0045

DSC_0041

DSC_0035

Beverages:

  • Hot Chocolate Bar complete with “adult add-ins”
  • Iced Tea and Lemonade for my fave: an Arnold Palmer
  • Mimosa punch
  • Water

DSC_0157 

DSC_0181

Oliver’s cake didn’t turn out like I had hoped, but that is what happens when you leave things to last-minute. I had a vision of delicious cream cheese whip layered between gorgeous fluffy giant pancakes.  To save myself time I ordered the pancakes from local breakfast joint we love. On the day of the party we picked up the to-go order and headed to the venue.  I was really sad to find that they gave me their small pancakes instead of their large.  I had to improvise and the good news is, Oliver Jack didn’t mind.  It tasted amazing!

I loved this party theme so much I want to throw a lumberjack party every winter.

lumberjackowres

xoxosarah

Credits

photographer: Anissa Vegh PhotoNV

Printables:   Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy

Balloons: John with Balloon Architects 

 

What to Expect from Living Darling

I love to cook, bake, plan parties, decorate, and craft. I love being a mom. I want to improve my health in lasting, lifelong ways…Travel the world and create treasured memories with the ones I love.  I want to treasure the little moments.

So here is what you can expect from Living Darling:

COLAGE

Delicious recipes, my ideas on health and fitness, craft projects, decorating ideas, a million posts about my obsession with oatmeal and breakfast salads, parenting tips, party planning, my Husband Juices’ list of Honey-do’s, and pretty much anything that tickles my fancy.

All of these things are in pursuit of a darling life.

I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

xoxosarah