Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Decorate: Nautical or Nice

Designing Mom Abby of Style Me Pretty was the first to really turn me on to the inspiration board. I have always been comfortable sketching, scribbling and painting into a journal but putting together little boards has surfaced as a great way for me to categorize the many, many bookmarked web page and photos and products that I come across. The two below happened when I had the urge for some nautical. I'm sure there are some pretty great inspiration boards out there amongst all of you--if so, please share some of yours with us!

above: little one version

above: adult version

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Story: Return to Sender...Chevy Chase Doesn't Live Here

by Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade

photo by Docuvitae

Okay. So. I've decided that I am living in a Chevy Chase movie. A good one too. One that you would have a VHS copy of and then later a DVD. I think when I was a kid watching those movies I thought ....first of all...thatTHEY were know...old. I realize now that they know...older...than....ahem...THEY used to be. But THEY clearly aren't as young as I am at their age....okay I digress....anyhow...yes...I have found myself living a Chevy Chase all started when....

swirly swirly swirly screen with the sound "didly didly didly didly didly didly"

I was at my girlfriends house when I heard her husband say "I'm gonna get that gopher! That gopher is back...its out there...and I"m gonna get it!" As he's muttering that...I'm sitting on her couch with a glass of wine telling her that I realize now that we have a house and two kids...we are....we have ...arrived... to that point in our life that I think of as parents life...circa 1977...that life. You know...the one that from the outside looks meets brown plaid couch kind of life...that one.

And just as I'm telling her this I see her husband walking across the plate glass window with a shovel over his shoulder going to ...get the gopher....And it occured to me...I've woken up in a Chevy Chase movie and I can't get out. Not that I want to...I like my it actually...but I didn't realize when I was at the mall in 1985 with my Madonna perm laughing at European Vacation that I was actually....laughing at the future me. You're all in essence...laughing at me...that's what I've decided...and that's okay with me. I am entering this time of my life somewhat gracefully...with my hipster short boot heel dug deep in the dirt...that kind of gracefully. I'm just trying to figure out which role I am...there's of course the obvious one...the mom...her son kept changing each movie and she didn't even realize it...remember? No, that's not me...I'm too much of a control freak to let that happen....there was the german bimbo at the bier tent in munich....well...maybe 10 years ago but no...grandma on the roof of the car? I guess I'm a little of all of own little version of Ryan Larson has kids...Ryan does the mom's casual.

Why am I telling you this...this realization of my current state of ..dare i say it...MOMhood? Because I want...NEED you to me...I am in the need of being relate-able. MOM doesn't need to be a dirty've actually up and moved out of your former self and into MOMhood kind of doesn't....I'm here to tell you that...why do you think I can still pull off the hipster short boots with the heel. I am in love with being a mother...a mother to my darling darling children...but I just can't be the roll of know what I mean.

It's casual.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Story: Sweet Celebrations

What a treat (literally) to be invited to Designing Mom Shinmin's "First Birthday of Pies" for her daughter Mila! I had to share some pics from the weekend...

above: the Evite was the perfect teaser... if you dont' know already,
Shinmin of I Dream of Cake is a baking guru

above: you couldn't ask for a more beautiful day out on
Crissy Field. Baby bottles served as mini-vases.

Happy Birthday Mila! Hope you had a very special day...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Fotos: A Girl's Best Friend(s)

Guess who popped in for a most wonderful visit at the studio the other day? Designing Mom Jenn and her new, scrumptious baby Hazel. I'm sure we must have spooked my interns with all of our chitchat about motherhood but I loved every minute of it.

The photo below is of Hazel's big sis, Grace, and I borrowed it from their blog (written so poignantly by Jenn's husband Brad). Seems Miss Grace is quite the social butterfly and has many stuffed friends that join her for brunch. Click here to see the full post.

Have a happy Friday and weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fitness: Off Balance Training

Today's post is great for the busy mom (umm...guess that means all of us!)...
If there is one thing to focus on in your fitness regime, it'd be the core. I had a not so easy recovery to say the least but strengthening my core has been so key to being able to get back to running, cardio and developing fast twitch muscles to chase after the bambino!

by Fitness Contributor Jeremy of Twisted Twilight

Chaos is coming, so you’d better train for it! The need for random, unbalanced, asymmetrical movement will present itself sometime in our future. It could be in response to slipping on a wet floor, riding a subway train, carrying a wiggly child or even playing a sport. Being ready for events like these is what core training means to my clients.

Effective off balance training enhances the ability of the core muscles to control the position and motion of the trunk relative to the pelvis and legs. The core muscles don’t get “more stable”, but they do achieve greater contractile ability to create stability in the lumbo-pelvic region (lower back and hips). With a clear understanding of the goals of core training, we can effectively use many pieces of fitness equipment, including stability balls. By exercising with these balls, we can potentially achieve greater core muscle activation. Given that the nervous system learns with relative rapidity (compared with the time it takes to develop strength), many stability ball exercises can be mastered in a short period of time…granted that you have built a foundation of core strength prior to any advanced movements.

The use of a stability ball does not automatically mean we are training appropriately for improved function. Functional training is not defined by the equipment we choose, but by how we use that equipment. For example, someone standing on a stability ball cannot possibly be training for function as, in this situation the demands placed on the stabilizers are so excessive that the prime mover (the main muscle for that movement) shifts roles and acts as stabilizers—the opposite of their primary function; this will put stress on the central nervous system (CNS) but not necessarily the muscular system.

Many common stability ball movements…and many non-stability ball movements are done bilaterally and symmetrical. But think of all the activities that we do throughout the day—carrying things, riding the bus or subway, climbing stairs and playing sports. These movements are rarely symmetrical, and the majority of them are unilateral. If we continue to train our CNS to only move forward and backward, up and down, and with symmetry, we will lose on other movement planes and set ourselves up for injury. Remember there are three: sagittal plane (forward/backward), frontal plane (lateral/side to side) and transverse plane (rotational movements). It is important that we train in all three to remain balanced.

So keep in mind as you are working out that how we train should help us with how we move, whether it’s sport or non-sport specific. Tests yourself…do 10 reps of squats with a comfortable weight; now do 10 reps per leg doing single leg squats as deep as you went with the regular bilateral squats.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Story: A Toast to Fancy Glasses

by Designing Mom Erika of Delphine

photo by Erika

We've been having a hard time getting our son (he's in K now) to drink something during breakfast. I think it's really important to hydrate before he heads off to school, so we started serving his morning juice in a "fancy" glass. It's just a cheap champagne glass from a discount store, so I don't stress out about it breaking. S loves drinking from it, which means much sweeter mornings all around.

I find it applies to grown ups, as well. My grandmother, Delphine, is really bad about drinking water in the morning before her workout (she does Yoga and Zoomba and Pilates!), but if I serve her sparkling water in a pretty glass with a slice of lemon in it she drinks it.

Here's S drinking fresh squeezed orange juice from our backyard while he peruses his favorite sticker book before school.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Decorate: Hanger Management

by Designing Mom Jenn of 13 Creative

In my four nanoseconds of spare time today (secretly snuck in, between breastfeeding and heading back to the computer to design the 5 invitations on my to-do list right now!) I came across a really fun, whimsical blog post about "Hanger Management!" and the beautiful art of vintage children's hangers.

I just thought that these were too fun not to share - even though I had to come clean about my momentary lack of focus in order to do so! Focus is a 4-letter word around here these days, with my part-time role as mommy and full-time role as a designer. Or wait, is it the other way around?!

Check out the blog "Modern Kiddo" for the full story, but here's a really sweet visual recap of the hangers of yesteryear! I, myself, am partial to the antithesis of these vintage treats (I love the streamlined look of all the same white plastic hangers in a row, because it let's the clothes be the focal point in the dark closet recesses!) but I have to say, I admire someone who would go so far as to use the hanger as a canvas for creativity. I'm guessing these were made by our Country's original designing moms!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make: Baby Love Letters

Today's "Make" comes from Designing Mom Aya who received such an amazingly thoughtful, heartfelt gift made from her talented intern, Grace. Read on to find out the meaning behind the maps!

by Designing Mom Aya

I wanted to share the loveliest hand-made gift that Hayden has received. Grace, who was interning at Chronicle when I was pregnant, created these map letters for Hayden. It came in a super cute hand decorated envelope, hand-sewn fabric case. But I was most touched when I realized that she used the map of San Francisco (where we live), subway map of Tokyo (where I am from), a map of Vancouver (where she lives) etc. She calls this project “love letters.” Hayden is a one lucky guy to receive such a love letter.

I will have to try and make something like this for a new mom to be one day :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shop: Modern Dose

Hope everyone is enjoying the better weather! Modern Dose has some new spring items and is celebrating the farewell of winter by offering 10% off their site. Just use "spring10" as the code.

Friday Fotos: Taking a Break

I think we could all use one of these... This adorable sleeping beauty belongs to reader Joy Luna.
Have a happy Friday and weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fotos: Boy Crazy

After a week of a sick baby and massive work pile-up, I had some much needed comic relief from the popular email my friend Mui forwarded over entitled "Why Boys Need Parents." Hope you don't mind us taking a little laugh break from design and projects today.

And btw...I am convinced that designers have boys*. The ratio alone on this blog is overwhelming (at least 2:1) !
*And for those of you Designing Moms with girls, I am also convinced you must have more than just designing genes in your body...any one know of a profession with a lot of girls?

Why Boys Need Parents...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Make: Washi Tape Decor

Reader Elizabeth just started a new blog, To be Charmed, and sent in a great "Make" project with Washi Tape. Love how she transformed paper cups and glass vases that we've accumulated from bouquets with them. Click here to see the full post!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shop: Lucky Little Leprechaun

by Designing Mom Tori of Tori Higa

I saw this by Sweet Pea Toad Tots on the etsy home page and couldn't resist sharing it here. This little one is the perfect model for such a cute little hat.

Make: Shamrock Shake Cupcake

Do your kids love the Shamrock Shake? My sister and I were obsessed with these growing up. Reader Dana sent this link for a "Shamrock Shake Cupcake" recipe that she is making by the dozen for her family.

Shop: For the Little Leprechauns

I had these in my Etsy bookmarks and thought I'd add to Tori's Leprechaun Hat post...

Plushy by Buttercup Bloom

Topper by Goose Grease Undone

Baby Leggings by Posh Pipsqueak
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