Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Project: Art Center!

I finally have a little project to share with you! Yay! I have been doing just a few small things around our home, to create an environment to help Liam feel a little more independent now that he is almost 3 ( a longer mommy post on that transition later). One of the things that Liam loves to do is art, but all of the art supplies have been safely tucked away out of the reach of new walking baby/toddler, then out the reach of newly curious 2 yr old...It occurred to me, my toddler, is almost 3, and we have been struggling. He needs more independence. The first thing I decided to do, is make his simple art table, into an actual art "center".

Before, his table was, great, but it only held his coloring books, what good is that if all crayons, markers, pencils are under lock and key!! Here is the boring "before"

SO, you can see, there's not much going on!

Here is what I did to change Liams area:

Switched location! Moved his table and chairs from the boring south,door wall, to the East wall. This gives him more natural light to "create" ;)

I added (5) Tin Planters that I bought from Ikea for $.99 each!! (2) bigger ones and (3) small ones. I hung the tins with drywall screws and...Gorilla glue...that's right, I said Gorilla glue! The Gorilla glue was an after thought, as one tin ( the paintbrushes) started to droop...this happens sometimes when the walls are plaster! so my fix? slap a little glue on that baby and shove it back in! Worked like a charm!!

Added one more piece of hand made art work! I love this so much. This is the least expensive way to brighten up any children's area!G is the one who brilliantly thought to hang the bigger one ( I did a post about that here) and so I added this Red Ikea Frame ( $1.99) and a smaller piece to even out that little space.

The Jara Lamp Shade in Navy, on sale for $18, along with the Januari chord set for $9.99. This brings SO much more light to the space. Liam was never using this area at night because there just was not enough light.

The Rocks are Liam's latest obsession, he sorts them, and plays with them, puts his dinosaurs in them, just loves them. So the little dishes are condiment dishes that we already had.

Lastly, I bought ALL NEW art supplies! this was the best part! New markers, crayons, colored Popsicle sticks, glue, paint brushes, puff balls, and all new paper! I completely changed his area while he was taking a nap last week, and when he woke up, and walked out he put his hands on both of his cheeks and said, "OH.MY.GOSH mama!! Lets build" ?? okay, so we don't really build there, but I love that he was so excited!! So was I!! Take a look at the "after" What do you think??

Please comment and tell me your thoughts!! I would love to hear if you have done anyhting to help with a little Todller/preschooler independence!!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mommy Moments: According to my phone

Here are a few photos from my phone, taken while Liam and I were visiting my family in Fl...Flying, potty training, heart shaped pizza's for Valentines day, basking in the sun, enjoying Grampa time, hanging with aunt TaTa, Riding on the Boat w/ Gramma, and much needed sleep ! I actually didnt take many phone pictures, but have no fear, as soon as I am done editing the 369 pictures I took with my camera, I will be sure to post a few ;)

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Im so over the moon excited that yesterday, I was featured on Made By Girl Blog, writing about the Good, Bad and the Ugly of Renting vs. Owning!! Please check it out!! 

Click below to link to the feature!! :)

Thanks to Jen Ramos!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Enjoyables!

Welcome to my new weekly feature here at Design Thoughts!! A few things that I have seen through out the last week, that I enjoy, like....

This beautiful little quote...I LOVE IT!! Thank you, I WILL shine on ;) I just ordered for my home office
I mean, who doesn't want to be called a Diamond EVERY day??
From Etsy Shop, Handz

This Fireplace Screen!

An Interior that has some Grit..You know what I mean?...Like,  I see this picture and I just feel like snarling my lip, bobbing my head and saying YES! UH! no? well...I just really enjoy an interior that is a little raw sometimes..not too overdone..:)

This cast iron Bulls Head Towel Ring!! Weird, right? I know, 
I cant quite put my finger on WHY I love this, but I do! 

Small bud vases in a larger vase! Love the idea, love the colors!!

ENJOY your Hump Day Everyone!!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy Sunday! A few awards!

Ahhh!! I am back from my week long trip to Florida, stay tuned this week for the full details of the beautiful sun, much needed sister time, and a complete is a hint..the melt down involved me crying into the shoulder of my step mom ( yep..a mommy meltdown)!!
 and a heartfelt THANK you to Michele, Jen and Deidre, who helped me by guest posting!!
Now onto some exciting news :)

I was awarded The Liebster award!!!
 The Liebster award is given to (and from) smaller bloggers, less than 200 followers (although a lot of times, the recipients have a lot more than that, but still considered small Think small business compared to big box)
It is a way to spread the word and recognize us little guys. Thank you
Linda, Author of  My Crafty Home Life blog, I'm honored to be in such great company!

Apparently there are five rules that need to be followed by those of us who accept this award:
  1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs to award the Liebster to. These five blogs must have fewer than 200 followers.(orrrr..just an up and coming)
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
  5. Share 5 random facts about yourself.

Here are my 5 random facts about me:

1. My nose, my ears and my belly button are/were all pierced. I took out the belly ring when I got pregnant, still have my ears pierced and miss my nose piercing all the time ( I had to take it out at my last job)


2. I do a little joy dance and usually cant believe it, when I get a comment on my blog, from someone other than a friend or family member.

3. I dream of my success ALL the time, I meditate about it, I journal about it, I visualize it, and I believe I will create what I want. ( this includes family success, as in another baby,Success in Business, and my role as a mom ,wife,  good friend..)


4.My voice raises at least 5 octave's when I talk to my closest girlfriends on the phone
( Kisha, Katie, Sunshine to name a few..)


5. I was chosen to be part of an international dance team to perform in Paris when I was a senior in High school with my friend Heather Seybert, but that year, Paris flooded and the parade was cancelled, and it was a good thing, because we didn't raise enough money to get there!!


Now for my Five Liebster recipients....this was hard, because many of you girls have more than 200 followers, and you are all rising stars, all on the verge of GREAT success, actually many of you have achieved many great success' already!;
1. Rebecca of Belle & Beanzer ( Im not gonna lie, Rebecca is one of my favorite people, like, EVER. Follow her amazing journey of creating/designing a baby clothes line, and what it takes to create the vision..making an idea into a reality!!! So inspiring and real!)
2. Alisha Gwen of  My Design Diary (talk about rising star!!ok, ok...yes, she is one of the more than 200 follower bloggers, BUT she is just soaring, and its JUST the beginning for her!  She has already taped a show for HGTV, and is a rising Interior Designer in her 20's, follow her blog and her journey to fame..she has GREAT taste!)

3. Kristie of  Just Being ( A life coach and amazing friend! Follow Kristie as she truthfully tells about life, and how to find the amazing "positives" in reality of being a mom, wife, and woman!! so inspirational)

4. Sam from Vintage is For Lovers ( Follow Sam as she illuminates the blog world by allowing us to see the beauty of the world through her eyes! Join her as she begins her next chapter of creating her new venture "Mindful Octopus" a story telling Yoga program for kids)

5. Alexandra from Fashion Blog, She is Red ( I love this blog! Alexandra is brand spanking new to blogging 11 months, she is a natural beauty, has an amazing eye for style, is following her dreams and lives in Oregon :) A fun quirky take on real life in the fashion blogging world! I love her!!)

SO there you have it, my list of 5...although, I would have loved to add at least 5 more..I wonder if there is a rule as to how many days in a row you can give out this award?? hmmm....anyway, as I said, the five lovely ladies above, have already had great success, and I would love for you to support them too :) There is "ENOUGH" for all of us, and its always nice to give and receive a little love from a fellow blogger!! Thank you again, Linda...for including me :)

Happy Sunday!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Post: Mommy Moments Teens & Tweens

*Hi Everyone!! I hope you have been enjoying a week of guest posts here at Design Thoughts!! Its actually the most consistency this blog has had in over 6 months !HA ( working on that!!) Well my final guest is Jen of Today's Nest. She is here to share tips on getting through parenting if your kids are older. I thought it was so refreshing to see mommy hood from the perspective of a mama with older kids!! I know you will too!! Thank you, Jen for helping out :) *

Modern Hen’s Top 10 5 for Tweens and Teens

Many thanks to Design Thoughts for allowing me to guest post today!  I’ve been struggling with this post a bit because I haven’t really been feeling my teen or my tween this week.  Translation:  when I committed to this idea I was oozing with love for them, and thought, this will be so easy and now they haven’t done chores, have begged for favors, and complained about dinner almost every night.  The good feeling is GONE.  It’s hard for me to remember now if I felt like that when they were babies.  Probably not that exact way, but more like I can’t wait until they take a nap or go to bed.  Well, of course now, they don’t nap or go to bed very early, which means we get take in a lot more of each other.  This is sometimes good and sometimes bad.  Here’s how the Modern Hen handles her teen and tween:
Max and me, this picture truly sums up the teen and Hen relationship! 
1)   Keep’em fed and watered.  Isn’t this true of all living things?  Babies are happiest when they are fed, watered, clean, and rested.  Tweens and teens are really no different.  I can sense the slightest mood swing as meal times draw near and I’m  quick to offer water or some other liquid refreshment and a snack of popcorn (freshly popped on the stove) or pretzels and magic mustard.  Popping corn on the stove or making magic mustard makes such an impact at this age.  It’s like they get that some extra effort and love went into it.  Expect a big hug and a sweet thanks for going the extra mile.

2)   Plan separate dates.  We aren’t great at sticking to this, but when the opportunity presents itself to go our separate ways we have the most wonderful time.  Recently our tween asked Sam (dad & husband) to the movies.  They went to see a flick that only they wanted to see, but were all too excited to tell us about it when they got home.  It was great for us to hear the recap, but better for them to have seen it together.  My teen is just as happy to hop in the car and head to Target with me.  He likes to tool around and we have some of the most interesting conversations and he opens up to me in ways he might not have if we were just sitting on the couch at home.

3)   Set expectations.  We have regular family meetings.  We run the household like a business and everyone’s a stake holder.  Understand that these meetings aren’t anyone’s favorite, but we feel we owe it to our kids to tell them where we are with things like goals, vacation planning, business planning (our website), work, projects, etc.  It may go in one ear and out the other, but sometimes you may be surprised at what sticks.  Like wanting an expensive item, but drawing back in light of the impact on the entire family.  A note of caution on this one:  it takes time.

4)   Make them work.  Kids these days!  They have so many options, far more than we ever had which makes getting them to do chores that much harder.  Chores for our boys meet them at their skill level and never in sum take more than 30-40 minutes to do.  Now that time is subject to fluctuate based on the focus and work ethic of the person doing it.  I have a master checklist of chores for the household and then I divvy the work up on daily chore sheets that can be found here or could be made.  They are required to get their work done the day of and turn in their chore sheets each day for allowance paid at the end of the week.  Consequences are pretty harsh for not completing chores – the next day grounded with chores from previous day + current day chores.  It doesn’t pay to slack off around here.

5)   Be spontaneous.  Gone are the days when we packed a bag and loaded the kids up in the car seats for our idea of adventure.  Now it opens with… ugh, where are we going?  Gah, I was just watching my show.  Geez, we just went ______________.  So we’ve taken to late night runs in our pjs to get ice cream or grab a movie on a random Wednesday night instead of the typical Saturday/Sunday routine.  You can’t give away too much and once we blindfolded them.  This was a little risky, as we thought it might look as though we were kidnapping them.  We ended up at a hotel in a city just 30 minutes from ours and it was decked out with all their favorites.  They loved it.  So much so that we actually got to eat where we wanted.  Savour small victories. 

Jake's debut as Martin Scorsassy the cinematographer

I know everyone says to enjoy every moment because they are fleeting and I am no stranger to how quickly they grow with one previewing colleges already, but make no mistake this thing we are doing, parenting, is a long, tough road, and sometimes you have to make your own joy.  Whether you have ittie bitties or budding hormone machines, take time for yourself, set realistic boundaries, and try to have some fun.  As for me, fun starts tomorrow, I’m exhausted. 

Clucks and pecks,
Modern Hen

Let's Connect !! 

Twitter: @modernhen and @todaysnest

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest Post: Draping in Design!

Hi Everyone!! !! Today's Guest is, Architect, and author of  Mod Design Guru ( formally HeyM Design Innovations) Michele. Take a minute to read all about "Draping" and also check out her new site for weekly updates on amazing innovations in everything from architecture to fashion!!
Thanks M!!!

Draping in design

Hooray, Fashion Week 2012 is here! Ok, my secret is out. I am an architect with a passion for fashion: the fantasy, the use of color, pattern, texture and construction, especially methods of construction like draping, weaving, pleating, wrapping. After studying abroad in Florence, Italy, I came back thinking I would pursue fashion; however, my scientist dad redirected my other passions for art, math and science towards a career in architecture. The funny thing is my fascination with fashion is viable - since concepts from fashion and architecture do collide. In 2006, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles presented Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture. The exhibition unveiled how architects and fashion designers borrow from each other. For example, avant-garde designers have come to approach clothing as architectonic constructions, while architects have embraced new forms and materials.

Due to advanced software technologies, I have noticed the cross-pollination of concepts and vocabulary not only between fashion and architecture; but also between fashion and other design disciplines like interior, furniture, lighting and product design. Let's examine how 'draping' a fashion strategy, applies in this cross section of design.

DRAPING: a technique often used as a dramatic effect in fashion design. It includes a number of free forming folds appearing throughout the garment.


Alexander McQueen's tailoring and draping is 'rigorous and impulsive, disciplined and unconstrained.'


Charles James is known for couturier and his distinctive and complex draping.


Frank Gehry's addition to the New York City skyline is clad with 18 gauge stainless steel that folds, ripples and reflects light. The architect cited, as inspiration, the drapery in marble sculptures by 17th century Baroque artist Gianlorenzo Bernini.




The Taichung Convention center by MAD Architects has a draping exterior skin that naturally ventilates the structure and generates energy from solar power. The interior framework is also expressed thru free forming folds.


The hypnotic wall at Blue Fin Restaurant cascades and puckers down the central main staircase.


How cool is this crinkled side table called the Munken Cube! It is a unique object of paper and wood consisting of 2200 sheets of high quality paper set on a solid wood plinth designed by German interior brand e15 and the Swedish manufacturer of natural paper, Arctic Paper.


I love this organic customizable couch called 'Mood' by Designer Hanna Emelie Ernesting. It is ever changing! It acts as a "blanket, pillow, a cubby to burrow in or an intimate hideaway to cuddle with someone special."


Atlantis Chandelier by Hudson Furniture is so glamorous. It's metal chains elegantly drips.


Global lighting's organic pendant called 'Agatha' is a hanging lamp whose shape blooms like a flower. It is created by Spanish designer Luis Eslava for LZF. It comes in two different sizes and 8 different wood veneer shades.



Wavy bookcase design by VIDAME built its own bending machine to create these dynamic folds made out of powder coated aluminum. Colors can be customizable.

Thanks for reading!! Let's connect!! If you already followed me on HeyMDesigns, please take a minute to re "Like" me, and re-connect on twitter!! Thank you!

Blog: Mod Design Guru
Facebook: /ModDesignGuru
Twitter: @moddesignguro

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post: Layering!

* Hi Guys!! As you know, I am away on vacay this week ( WAHOOO) !! So I have invited a few guests to come help me out!! I am super excited to introduce you Deidre Of Deidre Interiors, please welcome her with open arms and a warm heart ( and follow her links too, she has GREAT style and design Advice!!) Thanks for helping out, Deidre!!*

 Layering rugs
Hi, I’m Deidre. Kim invited me to hang out with you guys while she is away, thanks Kim!
In a recent post on my blog , I talked about five easy ways to make your home more inviting. One of those ways is to incorporate a larger rug size. Rugs that are too small make rooms feel unwelcoming, as if there is an island in the middle of the room, or someone misplaced the bathmat.
Larger rugs that go beneath furniture help define space and pull people together!
Sooo let’s say your rug is too small. Do you have to buy a new one? Maybe…  But, you could also look into layering in a couple smaller rugs too! There are a few good reasons to layer rugs:
1.       It can be cheaper than buying one large rug
2.       You can incorporate rugs you already have
3.       It creates a custom look
4.       It’s super chic!
Get inspired and see what you come up with!

Have a great Monday guys. Come by and say hi sometime!

Friday, February 10, 2012


I am OFF for 8 whole days to fill my tank with much needed Sister, Pappa, MA and beach time, in sunny Florida!!! and a few glasses of wine here and there i'm sure!! Wish me luck as I travel with "L" alone,
( G has to stay and work.. insert sad face)

In case you're wondering, my plan is to look this relaxed as I gaze into the ocean..or at the very least, this sure I will accomplish both beautifully :)

 Happy Friday!!

For those of you who dont actually know me personally..
MA stands for my step mom, who is Mary Ann :) works out perfectly dontcha think :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have started a new series on Design Thoughts..It's called "Enjoyables" short snippets of things that peak my interest, tickle my fancy, put an extra spring in my step ;) What am I "feeling" right now? I am enjoying thoughts of spring!! I cant even blame a hard cold hasnt been either of those this year in NY, but what I have figured out, is, its not so much the spring like weather that I long for, ( yes I love that too..) its the new birth, the vibrant color, and the smell of growth!! I cant wait!!

The new growth of Beautifully colored flowers!!

The thought of a fun spring party!

Vibrant Color!!! ( pic via

Enjoy your Hump Day everyone!! ( I mean..who doesnt enjoy Hump Day!!)


Monday, February 6, 2012

Finally Stenciling!! Part 1

Hi Guys!! I am so excited to finally be doing a post on STENCILING!! Back in November, I was contacted by Kerry, of Cutting edge stencils to do a product review! I was able to pick any stencil design I
wanted  ( how fun, right?? I picked this one)  and they sent me every thing I need to do it. I was SURE that I would get to it by December...well, its now February, and I am just getting a sliver of time , and I am so excited to dive right in!!

I started by covering our old wall color ( which was called Stone, but I forget who by!) with Behr Premium Ultra, Paint and Primer in one, Color: Burnished Clay.  Since the first coat is actually the under color of the stencil, I didn't have to be so careful (thank God). I should also mention, I will be painting the surrounding walls also!

I am showing you the pear, because I know the paint looks like its white, but its actually a very very light grey. The white pear, shows the true color a little better!

I have to say, this is the first time I have used paint with primer already mixed in, and I LOVE it, I painted this wall sooo quickly, that by the time the Superbowl starts in 2 hours, I will be able to start the actual stencil :) see below, I am trusting that I will have pics of the actual stencil work in this post!! ( ha..that's right, as I am writing this, I JUST got done painting the light grey, with *hopes* that I will get to the stencil by tonight).
I'm not gonna lie, I am A little nervous about starting the stencil..see video below, I know it's pretty time consuming, so I am trying to set myself up to have some patience ( NOT one of my best characteristics BTW)

I am so excited to get started!!!
OKay, well, Superbowl is in the 4th quarter, and , you guessed it, the stenciling has not begun....mostly because I have a very active, and hilarious 2.5 yr old who likes to run around naked screaming, "get your hand outta your butt dada, and turn dat game off" Wowza! I wish I were kidding!! it just wasn't in the cards tonight, no way husband could watch a game, and mama could do a stencil wall. And just for the record, G did NOT have his hand in his butt. So this has now become a 2 part post, and that's OK! Lesson number one of 2012..don't push projects, just to blog about feel me..enjoy the crazy life!! So stay tuned for an awesome reveal, and an awesome giveaway this week!!! And thank you again to Cutting Edge Stencils, I am sorry that the words "Hand outta your butt" were included in part one of the post about you, I promise, no talk of butts in the following posts!

Just for laughs, here is a pic of "L" dancing on the table during Madonna.

Enjoy your week !!!!