Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recent Changes

There's been so much going on in our lives in the last few weeks. We're in the middle of moving out of our apartment, I started a new job in a field I never thought I'd find myself in (and loving it!), and most importantly my little man N started school! Here is a pic of us mother-son duo on the first day of school:

On Litte N: Gingersnaps shirt, GAP Kids sweatshirt & jeans, Skip Hop lunch bag
On mommy: Ann Taylor LOFT sleeveless shirt, J Crew sweater, Stradivarius bottoms

Saturday, September 15, 2012

DIY Baby Shower

Back in May I helped throw a baby shower for a sweet friend of mine who was due to have baby boy Can (pronounced Jon) a month later. I was responsible for decorations which I was delighted to do, when I had my baby shower I came across so many beautiful DIY shower decorations that I couldn't wait to try my hand at them.

Right away I started to sketch ideas (yes I was so excited I sketched out how I envisioned it would look) and went online to find tutorials on how to make the things I had in mind such as banners, pom-poms, diaper cake etc.

I was most looking forward to tackling the hanging pom-poms because I knew they would have the most dramatic impact in the space. Pom-poms are easy to make if you have tissue paper, but where I live tissue paper is not available (*gasp*), so I had to make do with the closest thing available which was crepe paper. It's thicker, more crinkly and doesn't hold folds and creases like tissue paper, but it was all I had to work with.

My first try at making pom-poms
The color options for the paper was limited to the most primary of colors (think a child's first box of crayons) which was a good thing because when H told me her favorite colors were orange and blue I didn't have to spend hours going back and forth between what shades of orange went with what shades of blue. The decision was already made for me - there were only two shades of blue, one intense orange-red and some white to balance the orange, sold! I never left a store so quickly in my life lol.

With the leftover crepe paper I made two smaller pom-poms, taped them to some wood dowels I had leftover from an old project and put them in some extra white vases I had laying around.

Voila, DIY floral arrangement
I also used the extra paper to make baby onesie banners. I folded the paper in half, cut out a shape of a onesie making sure to leave the top shoulder part uncut so I could just hang the onesie over a string of ribbon instead of taping or glueing it to the string. This saved me a suprising amount of time and I love the 2D look of it. For Can's name I printed the letters, cut them in a circle and taped them on the banner.

It's a boy! Welcome Can!
No baby shower is complete without a diaper cake and H's shower was certainly no exception. I've seen the playful type of diaper cakes that are overflowing with toys and gifts but I wanted this one to resemble a real cake so I stuffed the gifts in the inside centers of the cake and kept the outside clean and simple with just ribbon details. I was so amused when guests walked into the shower and thought it was a real cake lol.

My first diaper cake

Found the perfect cake topper - it's a shampoo bottle!

I didn't know if I would have time to take decent pictures of everything set up at the shower, in fact I hadn't even been to the location prior so I had no idea how everything would look in its actual space. So for the blog I decided to take pictures of everything set up in my home before heading to the location. Thus the pictures I'm sharing are of just the decoration and other small things I prepared for the special day like the cupcakes and toppers.

I printed the toppers on cardstock and cut them to shape.

I was also in charge of baby shower games so if you're wondering what the jars of baby food are for, it's props for the games, we're not feeding guests with baby food lol.

That concludes my baby shower post. Check back soon because I plan on sharing tutorials for the banners and diaper cake.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And here she is... my first legit publication

I know it's been two months since the July 2012 Real Living issue came out featuring Noah's Room. When my mom visited last month she brought me a few copies from the Philippines but with all the traveling I couldn't get it up here until now.

But anyway, here are the pictures of the actual magazine, in July I posted pictures of the electronic version. Nothing like the real thing tho :)

Obviously the cover page
Page 24... first cover story of the lot!

Et voila! Noah in his jammies lol.
The write-up... if you can read it :)

Noah lounging in his chair. That hair, yeah, that's why I stopped cutting his hair, so he won't hate me for the rest of his life haha.

If you click on the image above (or any of the other images) a close-up of it will pop up for easier reading.

Thanks for joining me in this fun ride of creating a happy space for Noah. In the next month or two we may be moving out of our current rental and into another home... which means another kids room challenge may be in the horizon!

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Summer 2012 Travel Diary: Paris Part 2

Welcome to the continuation of my Paris holiday, the first leg of summer travels. For Part I of my Paris trip please click here.

Where were we? Oh, on one of the days we took a cruise along the River Seine. It was a nice way to see the major sites without exhausting ourselves.

I took this same cruise with my husband after our wedding years ago. Funny to think that I've returned with a son in tow! 

During the cruise we passed Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge made out of metal. See all the padlocks attached to the railings? It's a tradition for lovers to wish for everlasting love by securing a padlock to the railing and throwing the keys in the water. I'm suprised there weren't any vendors selling locks nearby.

After the cruise I explored these stalls along Pont Neuf, the Seine's oldest (rebuilt) bridge. The vendors mostly sold vintage goods (books, magazines etc) and souvenirs. I ended up buying several fashion magazines (Circa 1920-40s) and vintage posters which I can't wait to frame.

While walking the streets of Paris one thing I kept admiring was the application of gold and bronze gilding on everything and anything possible.

It's as if they've adorned the city with jewelry.

How majestic is this?
It wasn't enough to have one winged horse dripping in gold, no, they had to have another one on the other side too.

I wasn't exaggerating when I said there was gold everywhere!
In fashion the French may be masters of understated elegance but when it comes to architecture "understated" it is not.

I also loved the random bursts of color in a sea of grey structures.

Another thing I appreciate is the attention to detail in the mundane things. Check out the beautiful carvings on this lamp post. Apparently the French left nothing untouched.

Paris was indeed a feast for the eyes. Even Noah agrees, here he is admiring Gucci's window display.
Uhh Noah, your taste is too expensive for a 2.5 yo. Plus, you need a job to buy those.
Speaking of window displays, I was amused by this storefront display on Rue de St. Honore.

The sheep was a witty way to represent Fall season/collection.
Now here is a feast in the literal sense.

Why wait in line for an iphone at the Apple Store when you can have these?
And that my friends concludes my Paris adventures. I hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. If you couldn't get enough, visit soon for pictures from our next destination, Roma. Ciao!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Summer 2012 Travel Diary: Paris Part 1

Now that summer is coming to an end I thought I might share my summer activities with you. Brace yourselves for a photo-heavy entry :)

This summer we had made plans to visit Boston. The husband and I spent a good chunk of our lives there so it's like a second home to us and we miss it dearly. Unfortunately, as summer approached we ended up having to shuffle our plans around and postpone our Boston trip :( Buuuut I wasn't completely devastated as our new vacation plans involved visiting all of Italy, prefaced by a stop in beautiful Paris. Hip hip hooray!

Our new itinerary was made even more special because my mom joined us all the way from the Philippines. She met us here in Turkey and together we flew to Paris with my 2.5 year old Noah. This was my first time flying without my hubby so naturally I was feeling anxious about being a solo parent for a week. Thankfully travelling with Noah turned out to be a cinch, he adapted to the change in environment really quickly and with minimum fuss. Phew!

But I digress, back to Paris. My first visit to the city was a few years ago, in the heart of winter and it was so brutally cold I ended up getting sick at some point during the trip. Despite the illness, I fell in love with the city and have since wanted to re-visit.

Pic taken as we were driving past the Eiffel

In this last visit my love for Paris was rekindled. I adore everything about the city - the immaculately preserved historic monuments tucked in every corner, effortlessly chic Parissiene ladies walking down cobblestone sidewalks (and kudos to French men who are not afraid to wear bright colors), the mouth-watering pastries (who new a plain croissant could taste so darn good), or little details like the perfectly trimmed trees that line the streets. All these little things give the city so much charisma, its impossible not to fall in love with Paris.

The first thing we did was dump our luggage in our hotel room and walked over to the Louvre.

Even though we were exhausted and disheveled we couldnt resist taking pictures.

We were enjoying the area so much we almost forgot to eat! We opted for a light dinner around the corner at Le Ruc Cafe.

Before we knew it, it was well past Noah's bedtime but the adults weren't ready to go down. So we took a short stroll to L'Opera de Paris.
Stayed long enough to take our pictures and then headed back to the hotel to attend to some much needed beauty sleep.

Day 2, beauty rest accomplished, ready to take on the city. After devouring some croissants from a nearby boulangerie, we returned to the Louvre with the intention of visiting the museum only to find out it was closed for the day.

We stayed a little and soaked in the ambiance.
My mom having a little fun with the pyramids.
And Noah having his share of fun dipping his feet in the water

The Louvre was followed by a visit to Champs Elysees.
Champs Elysees perfectly trimmed trees made my heart smile.
One of many human statues along the avenue but this one gets extra points coins for originality.
A big grin from a happy shopper.
L'arc de Triomphe
Miniscule standing next to the massive columns of the Madeleine.

The next day our first stop was Notre Dame.
See the lengthy line behind us? Wasn't in the mood to wait in that line so I opted to linger outside with Noah while my mom went in.
Being goofy while waiting for grandma.

Trying to get my little man to nap in his stroller before heading off to our next destination.
Next stop, the Eiffel Tower. I thought the line to see the Notre Dame was bad, well it didn't compare to the 2 hour wait to get to the top of Eiffel. We debated about leaving our place in line and moving on to other sites but at that point we had already invested an hour of our time waiting so we stayed and waited another hour. On the plus side we did get to chat with some interesting travellers who were in line with us and of course, the views from the top of the Eiffel were a pay off.
My little man enjoying the ride to the top

Views atop were nothing short of magnificent
Symmetry makes my heart smile

At the top of the Eiffel
Eiffel from the lower level
Well folks this is where I abruptly end Part I entry of my Paris adventures. Stay tuned for another photo-filled Part II entry!
***Update: For the second entry of my Paris blog please click here***
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