Tuesday, July 29, 2014

waterfall hike...

While my parents were in town for a quick weekend, we decided to brave the Utah heat and take the kids hiking.  We went on a hike up to see the waterfalls up at Battle Creek Canyon- it was so worth it!  

The girls insisted on each taking their own backpacks with their lunches and water bottles.  They carried them approximately 12 steps before they were passed on to me.  It was hot, but the kids all did pretty good.  We stopped a few times along the way to collect sticks, throw rocks in a stream and take a drink break.  Maddie figured out pretty quickly into the hike that it was much, much more enjoyable to hitch a ride on Poppa's shoulders, rather than walk herself.  He was a good sport!  

The waterfalls were so pretty!  It was a perfect place for young kids- the streams and ponds along the way were all very shallow, and there weren't too many steep hills or rough patches.  We ate a quick lunch and made the trek back down.  We were seriously so dirty and sweaty, I had to immediately throw our shoes, backpacks and clothes in the wash when we got home!  Snowcones were the perfect post hike snack...and a little snooze!

On the way down from the hike the kids stopped to collect rocks (it's one of the girls most favorite things to do) to bring home and paint.  The next morning the kids gathered around and painted, jeweled and colored on their rocks.  They're the perfect addition to the girls shelves and a fun reminder of our hike!

ps- my sunglasses are from the Nordstrom sale (you can find them here) and I've worn them non-stop.  And the girls outfits are from Target (found here)- both girls are wearing a size 4/5.  They are our favorite!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

studio 5...paper lantern chandelier...

I was so excited when Studio 5 called and asked me to tackle a paper lantern chandelier.  I've always loved the look of paper lantern, especially as a focal point in a room or at an event.  We had an amazing chandelier hanging in the tent at our wedding, made with lanterns and parasols in several colors.  Fast forward a few years, they are still used non-stop, but not just for parties and weddings.  I searched through Pinterest and looked at, what felt like, hundreds of pictures and tutorials.  One tutorial in particular stood out after seeing how they assembled it with a frame.

If anyone has hung lanterns, they know how tedious the job can be.  Getting each lantern individually hung, at just the right height, just the right angle, with the colors in the right spot and the arrangement just perfect can be an overwhelming task.  We've thrown a lot of showers, parties, receptions and holiday get togethers in my parents back yard.  No event is complete without some decorating (my Mom is a supreme party planner) and it always ends up needing some sort of hanging decoration.  It's the family joke that whenever it comes to hanging, people start to disappear!  I remember having them hung over the crib in Gracie's nursery and getting them just right was a task.  I was sold on the idea of a frame when I realized how easy it was to assemble it and get it looking just right in a convenient way.  There wasn't a need to spend an hour moving the ladder around, cutting down strings, and re-hanging when necessary.  I love for a party that you could assemble your chandelier days before (even a week if you're really on top of it:) and only need to hang one item before a party.

The Frame...
Building the frame was a pretty simple task.  I picked up a bunch of dowels at Home Depot, I used the 5/8" x 48" size, I loved how light they were.  Depending on the size you want, you can cut them down to assemble just what you're looking for.  I made mine 48" x 12".  It's a great size, but it is pretty large.  I made another frame that is 36" x 12" and think that would definitely be an easier size, but definitely not as big of a statement.  We drilled pilot holes, as the tutorial suggested, and still had a little splitting in the dowel, but nothing that caused an real damage.  4 screws and we were ready to go!  As a side note- if you're not planning on adding a ton of paper lantern, you could easily paint the frame, so it looks a little better if it's peeking out in between the lanterns.  Mine is so full, you can't see the frame at all when it's hung.

The Lanterns...
I love the look of incorporating more than just paper lanterns.  I wanted to use tissue paper pom poms and honeycomb balls as well.  I think it gives it great dimension to add all of that in together. I knew I wanted pattern, texture and color, so I set out to find all three.
*Before you buy...
I knew for the girls chandelier I wanted it to be really full.  The tutorial I went off of showed the lantern all hung pretty evenly.  I wanted to stagger mine a bit, giving it more of a domed look, meaning I would need more than the tutorial suggested.  I love bright colors, especially in the girls room.  I was immediately drawn to a few different shades of pink and orange, with a bit of gold.  I love how happy it looks!  I think a chandelier would be great in monochromatic colors or an ombre effect.
*Where to buy 
I picked up the lanterns for this project at Zurchers, a party store in Utah.  I have been so impressed with their selection!  If you're not local, I'd suggest Luna Bazaar.  They have every shape, size, color and pattern you could ever want...seriously, it's amazing!  I used them for our wedding and for the lanterns I previously hung in Gracie's nursery.  My Mom has ordered from them dozens of times and has always been happy with them.
*What to look for
I wanted color, texture and some pattern.  I found some amazing white and gold polka dot tissue paper and decided to keep that as my main pattern.  If you're wanting pattern on your paper lantern, I'd suggest ordering those online and then finding shades to match.  Martha Stewart has some great lace lanterns that I've used for Valentine's day and a couple parties.  They look so pretty hung and thought the pale pink complimented the other colors.  The honeycomb balls are my new favorite.  I fell in love with the pale orange color and wanted to pick up every single one.
*How many to buy and what size
This question depends on what kind of look you're going for.  If you're wanting more of a domed look, and you're using a 48"x12", I'd suggest picking up between 15-20.  I used 5 large, 7 medium and 6 small, in all different colors and types (lantern, tissue paper pom pom, honeycomb).  If you're making something smaller, I'd suggest looking for some types that are even smaller (think 4" in diameter).  I found some pre-made garlands that had small oval lanterns, pom poms, and even tissue paper discs that you can cut apart to attach on.  They're also great fillers if you have spot that you can see the frame through.

Tissue Paper Pom Poms...
I have been making these for quite a few years.  I think for one particular shower in California I made close to 30...and it was a pain!  But making a few for the chandelier was a piece of cake.  I used mostly the polka dot paper and one from bright orange tissue paper.  I love how these look with patterned paper...probably more than solid.  There are tutorials all over the place, but I've learned a few tricks.  Most tutorials, or even pre packaged kits (don't ever buy those!) come with about 8 sheets per pom pom.  I've never subscribed to the less is more philosophy when it comes to crafting, so I like about 12 sheets in each.  Especially if you'll be installing this in your home for long term use, the fuller your pom pom is, the longer it will last...when there are only 8 sheets, after time they look dull and fall flat.

Assembling it
I'm not going to lie- I thought everything about this project was pretty easy.  It's something you could put together in an afternoon.  However, it is definitely a two person job, especially when it comes to assembling it all.  My sister came over, and while her husband and Matthew took the kids swimming, we tackled it.  I laid out the big sized balls and got the color combination just right, then added in some of the medium sized balls.  We played with the configuration and then started hanging the large sized.  I used a thick, durable fishing line to tie everything on.  My suggestion is to just start and get 5-8 hung and then step back and adjust what you need to.  There will always be one that needs to be lower, one that needs to be raised or tilted.  When it comes to hanging the lantern, I hung them with the holes on the side, so when you're under the chandelier you won't see the holes.  I like how it looked way more, although it is a little more of a hassle to hang them that way (on a side note- if you want to hang some ribbons down from the lantern, hang them so the hole is facing down, the ribbons will hide the metal frame and hole).  We finished up with the small sized pieces and then made some final adjustments.

Installing and Hanging...
I consulted my Dad (he's in construction) as well as a slew of employees at Home Depot (I'm fairly certain they made fun of me after I left) on the best way to install your finished frame.  For a party or temporary fixture, you're fine to use an eye hook screw.  The whole chandelier weighs maybe two pounds, so with four screws, you'll be totally safe.  The nice thing about these screws is that you can twist them right into the ceiling, and they don't leave huge holes.  If you're planning on installing them as a permanent fixture, and you're wanting to be safe, you can use a dry wall anchor and a longer eye hole screw.  The anchor will prevent the screws from slipping out of the drywall.  It will leave a little bit of a bigger hole, but something that can be easily patched.  I slipped some fishing line through each corner and then looped it through the eye hole of the screw.  You'll probably want it pretty close to the ceiling.

Ideas on where and how to use these...
*In your home
I obviously loved the idea of hanging a chandelier over the girls bed.  But also thought it would be great over a playroom table, a kitchen table, or even a couch (I totally could have seen doing this in my college apartment).  Play around with the colors, fullness and size.  All white (with even some lace ribbon hanging down) would be beautiful in a shabby chic room.  Ribbons hanging down definitely would give it more of a little girl look, but there are ways to do them more masculine.  Less tissue paper balls (to me they do seem a little more girly), and the right color scheme would be great.

*For an event
I have an endless list of where to use these for a party.  I mean, seriously, they could be used everywhere!  Anniversary parties would be great with pictures hanging down (I talked about this in the segment), birthday parities, weddings, showers, you name it.  My Dad's 60th birthday is next year, I could totally see doing one in gold, cream and white.  A perfect Valentine's Day centerpiece with glittered x's and o's hanging down.  It will definitely be used for Gracie's upcoming 5th birthday party!

Going on Studio 5 is something I've loved to do.  Their staff and crew and so kind and helpful and puts any of my nerves at ease.  I have been so impressed with how well they run their show, they are serious pros!  Brooke Walker makes it all a piece of cake as well...I've always just felt like I'm chatting with a girlfriend!  It's been a neat experience and something I'll always remember!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me (lindseypinegar@gmail.com).  Thanks so much!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

lucy turns 1...

I don't know how it's been a whole year since Lucy became part of our family!  She has added a whole lot of excitement to our lives, and will forever be the 5th member of our family.  Lucy has staked claim of Gracie's heart- it has been so neat to watch their bond form and grow.  The most painful thing for Gracie is to leave Lucy when we go out of town.  There are always legitimate tears and a piece of her heart that is broken until they're reunited.  Gracie is very serious when it comes to her responsibilities with Lucy.  She checks her food and water each morning, loves to take her out to go to the bathroom, is on top of making sure she's had enough exercise (she loves having Lucy pull her on her scooter, it's pretty cute!) and takes pride in brushing her so she looks nice.  When the neighborhood kids come to visit (Lucy has friends who come nearly daily to play with her) Gracie beams while showing her off.  She's always quick to insert a, "yeah, she's my dog" whenever she can.  While we always knew that Gracie would be enamored with Lucy, we had no idea that Maddie would take such a liking to her as well.  I can often find Maddie laying next to, usually partially on top of her, singing and petting her.  Maddie is always the first to initiate a game of chase around the kitchen island, and I will never tire of hearing her call out "Lulu Baby!" from the top of the stairs as she motions with her hand to follow her.  One of mine and Matthew's favorite things to do is sit on our front porch steps and watch the girls play while Lucy tags along right behind them.  We often talk about how much work she is, but how much we love giving the girls the experience of having a dog, and so healthy for them as they develop compassion, love and respect for a pet.

Despite the chewing, occasional making me chase her around the neighborhood and waking me up early, she has been the best pet we could have asked for.  We have seen huge improvements with Lucy since putting her through the training classes.  The biggest lesson we've learning is that she needs a solid hour of exercise a day.  If she hasn't had a chance to run like crazy, she is bound to chew something!  It took us the better part of this year to get her trained enough, but she's finally to the point where she can sleep in the girls room.  She starts the night off on her bed on the floor next to the girls bed.  By the time I'm checking on them in the middle of the night, Lucy has snuggled herself in-between the girls feet on the end of their bed.  I know Matthew would probably move her back to the floor, but I can't help but kiss the three of them and sneak out of the room.

The girls were adamant that we celebrate Lucy's birthday.  The spent a solid chunk of time on Saturday at the pet store mulling over treats and presents until they settled on the perfect one.  And there was NO way we were going to get through her birthday without balloons!  I didn't point out that Lucy didn't actually like the puppy cupcakes, or notice the balloons, as far as they were concerned, it was the party of the century!  I love that the girls have a pet that they can dote on and love to celebrate!  It was quite a feat to get pictures of the three of them together, but I will love them forever!

I'm off to tape a segment for Studio 5 today.  I love the project I did and can't wait to share more with you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

road rally 2014...

We spent last night at the Road Rally 2014.  The girls had their scooters decked out in ribbons by 10am and spent the rest of the day asking how much longer till they could go race.  It was such a fun event- music, popsicles, fake tattoos, bike rides- it was the best kind of party!

Gracie is competitive by nature.  I mean, she just understands the whole game.  She was prepped and ready and talked strategy on how to do her best.  It's funny because I don't know if she recognized that a couple boys beat her to the finish line, she is so focused on how she's riding, how fast she went, that one time she let go of the handlebars for a second.  She already understands how to critique a performance.  I watch her in gymnastics and dance, it all comes so naturally to her.  She got her medal and was so proud, she was beaming when she asked, "Mom, does this mean that I won?!"

Maddie on the other hand is much more laid back.  She cruised in the race, collected her medal and took it off a few minutes later.  I carried it around and at the end of the night asked her if she wanted it back, she took one look at it and said, "oh, um...no thanks!"  Maddie notices other people a bit more than Gracie.  She loves interacting with people, recognizes when people notice her, and wants to know that everyone loves her.  She's much more content to push the serious business to the side and have fun instead...and she's always up for cuddling!  Where Gracie has big bursts of energy and more meltdowns, Maddie is just consistent.  She's always going, always happy, and always smiling.

The girls are so close and play together nearly non-stop throughout the day.  They love the same things- making art, riding scooters, creative games that use their imagination, etc. but how they approach everything is so fundamentally different.  It's so interesting to see how they compliment each other and how well they get along despite their differing personalities.  Not to completely stereotype either one of them, but Gracie is pretty similar to Matthew, where Maddie seems more like me.  Matthew and I have learned how to work together despite how different we are, it's kind of like watching us in mini form!  Matthew and I have learned that we need to take individual approaches to parenting.  Maddie is sensitive and needs a soft approach, where Gracie needs a stronger, logical approach (it's taken me a long time to learn the difference between yelling and sitting down and having a firm discussion with her) to understand.  It's a major learning curve with both of them!

Aside from the race, they had the cutest wash station set up for the kids to scrub down their vehicle of choice.  I thought it was such a great idea!  They used metal buckets with sponges and soapy water and let the kids have at it.  Our girls would have been content to hang out there for an hour.  The next time I need to clean the kitchen, I'll be setting up a scooter wash on the front porch!

Thanks to Freshly Picked Moccs (seriously loving their new bags!), Small Fry Blog, Chatbooks (you have to check out their Instagram books!) and Little Hipsqueaks for the great night!

girls peek tank + shorts
my white denim | black teedenim vest sandals | sunglasses

|| According to Gracie, taking the ribbons off and have a plain scooter is boring.  I never should have put them on in the first place! ||

|| She had her game face on! ||

|| Her favorite part of the whole night! ||

|| Matthew took a turn taking a lap with each of them- they love playing with him! ||

|| Matthew taught Gracie the appropriate way to pose with a medal ||

|| Not that impressed with the medal.  She'd rather have a popsicle. ||

|| A quick water break in between laps. ||

|| Teasing Dad.  That face of hers is the best! ||

|| Trying to prove she's a faster runner than me.  She legitimately is. ||