dollhouse

our dollhouse!!!!

08.04.20

i don’t want to burst your bubble– i’m not going to be doing a massive tour YET, instead i’ve decided to do room by room so i can really explain and link everything thoroughly. so stay tuned for the first room tour. and i just did an IGtv video walkthrough which you can see here.

but in the meantime, for those that need an introduction, i decided to do a dollhouse for arlo’s 3rd birthday! i wish i had decided a little sooner than a month out but i was able to finish pretty much in time for the big reveal. it was really stressful for a bit there because i was keeping it a surprise, so i was pretty much only working on it during naps and when he’d go to bed, but somehow i finished!

this is the house i purchased. it seemed to be normal 1:12 dollhouse scale but i noticed very quickly that standard dollhouse furniture didn’t seem to look right and that the rooms were all pretty small. sooo i decided to just make almost all the furniture. there was a lot of learning involved and f**king up and starting over but WOW i’ve never done any project that was so gratifying.  there is something about miniatures that is SO SATISFYING. the fact that i can fully renovate a kitchen in a few hours or change out the rug or tile floor in seconds is just the best. i really feel like i found a calling of mine!! i don’t think i am particularly great at construction yet, but i definitely would like to do another dollhouse. and because i was in such a rush i didn’t get to slow down to really document as much as you’d want me to– so definitely i would like to take it slowly next time!

i got a lot of questions asking if i went to architecture school, how i knew what i was doing, etc. i did go to art school and in our freshman year everyone takes a class called “form & space” but i was actually terrible at it! i still don’t have a steady hand and i find it really hard to cut straight lines (even with metal t-squares), but somehow with the small size you can’t really tell. i watched a lot of youtube videos (just would search how to make a kitchen, a couch, etc) and i bought a giant box of coffee stirrers. the majority of the furniture is built from foam core and then trimmed out with coffee stirrers! the sofa was actually the second one i built after i spent an entire day on the first one, but just building that one couch was such a giant learning experience for me. then i saved the more challenging stuff like the kitchen until the end when i was a little better with execution.

also it’s such a fun quarantine project because it was so nice to keep my hands busy and off my phone. i highly recommend if you need a little escape.

i’ve ALWAYS dreamt of doing a dollhouse for my child, and tbh there were times i talked myself out of it because arlo was a boy. but i am so glad i trusted my gut and made it for him anyway, he is obsessed with it and we play with it daily. and i got so many messages from straight men who said they were so happy to watch this progress and let them vicariously live out their dollhouse desires they never were able to.

and if you missed all the progress — i shared tons of IG stories here:

dollhouse highlight pt 1 / dollhouse highlight pt 2
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baby / motherhood / tips

tips for baking and cooking with a toddler (and enjoying it too)

07.31.20

this post is in partnership with oxo

i have been baking with arlo since he was only a year old and i made his first birthday cake while i wore him in a baby carrier (tears!!!!). since then, he has developed such a serious love of helping me in the kitchen and it’s one of our favorite things to do together. i cherish these memories of us together making so many dishes and the idea of him being a chef someday or even just being really great at cooking for his own kids WARMS MY HEART SO MUCH!!!

i also realize that i have a severely well mannered toddler (ok well about 70% of the time), so some of this advice might not be applicable if you have a wild child. if thats the case, i totally recommend doing their own batter (like just letting them mix up ingredients in their own bowl for the fun of it).

i’ve been working on this post for so long now and so happy to finally be sharing my tips with OXO. OXO makes so many kitchen essentials that we love and are actually really kid friendly too. their mixing bowls have rubber bottoms so they won’t topple over when your kid is frantically whisking. and the measuring spoons are magnetic so they stick together in the drawer, but i can take them apart for when arlo is CAREFULLY pouring the vanilla extract in and its much safer than the sets that are stuck together. (he also loves to stick them together in between steps for fun) Read More

baby / tips / travel

traveling with toddler : how we drove 7 hours both ways with arlo

07.28.20

we were pretty concerned about doing a 7 hour drive to tahoe with arlo– but i find that overly dreading things to the point of mania always seems to help make the actual event way less painful haha. arlo did so great in the car both ways! we were fully prepared for 7 hours straight of ipad but he totally surprised us by being super chill throughout. it helped that we had some new things for him to play with and lots of snacks, always snacks!!

here’s what i did to prepare :

a week before i hid toys and books i know he loves

that way a bunch of the stuff i was packing was “new” again. so i hid some of his old electronic toys that keep his attention for super long. some books he loves, an etch a sketch, some stickers, etc.

bought some new things for him to play with and read

again i wish i could be one of those montessori moms who doesn’t give my kid the loud obnoxious battery-powered toys, but i am not! arlo is obsessed with them and will play with them for hours, so i’m all for them actually :| we got him this for the drive — which he quickly named “bear ipad”, and he played with it for a LARGE portion of the car ride (and a large portion of the days at home since the trip too) he switches off between that and reading the sesame street dictionary, which he can look at for an hour (not exaggerating) in silence.

packed a “fun bag” that i kept in front seat with me

inside the bag, i kept all the toys and coloring pages and books so i could distribute as needed. if he has access it seems like he’s not as into things and everything sucks, but if i’m handing him something it seems to do the trick! and if he says no to something i’d put it back in the bag and offer it the next time he was groaning haha.

packed TONS AND TONS of snacks (and a lunchbox)

arlo has a deep affinity for chips, so i made sure to pack multiple bags of his favorite kind and somehow sitting and eating chips probably took up about an hour altogether hahaa. we also packed blueberries, a few apples, things he can eat one at a time for long periods of time lol.

downloaded a bunch of shows on the ipad

i was fully prepared to let him watch hours of shows, but somehow we didn’t need to. netflix, amazon and disney all let me download episodes of his faves. i always avoid letting him use the ipad as long as i can because he almost always goes crazy when he has access to it.

we tell him all the time if he was better with moderation, we would allow him to do these things more but as of now– he goes BONKERS when it ends or when he’s trying to play games, so its an emergency thing only. we did make a rule that it would only be for watching and not for playing because the games stress him out too much. but somehow we didn’t end up needing it either way.

we timed it around his nap

on our way out, we left around 11 so that he would be sufficiently tired by his normal nap time at 130. he fell asleep a bit after that but ended up sleeping for an hour or two. on the way home we didn’t get so lucky and he stayed up until the last 30 minutes of the drive and was a zombie for the rest of the evening haha.


not sure if this was helpful, but i got questions on instagram so i always like to type out my advice in case it can help any other mom. good luck on your drives!!

photo via

tips / travel

how we traveled safely during quarantine

07.17.20

hi! this post is not meant to encourage anyone to start traveling like the old days, but because i got a lot of questions about it, i thought i’d share my tips for how we took precautions during our trip to tahoe. it might all be common sense, but hopefully it helps you if you need it.

since even before stay at home was official, we’ve been at home– i haven’t actually really gone anywhere in months. i know i’m more on the extremist side, but its pretty crazy how quickly the agoraphobia kicks in! i also was really hesitant about going in the first place, i was honestly sort of dreading it because i’m so used to being at home that the idea felt really daunting. but in retrospect, it was such a nice change that we all needed. even just for the change of scenery and the smell of the air there. and my brother and sister-in-law have also been really good about staying at home so we all stayed together, and it was soooo nice to be around other people for the first time in so long.

tahoe is actually doing really badly right now, so i’m also not advising you specifically to go there (with a tahoe guide), we just happened to go to tahoe because our in-laws have a house there and this was finally the first chance we got to go. we saw A LOT of people not wearing masks and acting super casually, so it was a little nerve wracking.  Read More

entertaining

arlos under the sea 3rd birthday (at home)

06.30.20

you know i love to setup a cute party, so even though we’re stuck at home i didn’t let that stop me! i asked arlo way too many times what theme he wanted for his birthday this year, and i thought for sure he’d choose daniel tiger (which i was planning to be a fun creative challenge for me on how to keep it elevated looking) but to my surprise he chose under the sea because he looooves the soundtrack of little mermaid and sebastian. after confirming with him for like 8 days straight, we went with under the sea.

i must say, i was a little weirded out about making a party for nobody, but arlo loved it just being us. he got to have the big exciting moment of seeing our dining room transformed and eating all the sweets we baked, without having to feel overstimulated by a bunch of party guests.   Read More

tips

how to deep clean your dish rags

06.22.20

this post is in partnership with 20 Mule Team Borax

being stuck at home for as long as we have now, my dish towels and cloth napkins have gotten GAHHH-rooose. from all the cooking and cleaning, i noticed within two weeks of quarantine how funky everything was smelling.and when i was posting on instagram complaining about it, i got soooo many messages saying you guys were having the same issues. i moved them into their own basket in the kitchen, so that they would stay separated from our clothes, i tried soaking in vinegar prior to washing in the machine. nothing really worked to get the mildewy stench out until i tried using Borax recently.

Borax is an all-natural laundry booster and multi-purpose cleaner that you can use in a ton of different ways, you can use to clean your kitchen, your laundry and all over your house. for the #boostwithborax challenge you may have seen that i took part in on instagram, i used Borax to make a laundry pre-soak for all my kitchen towels before i washed them. this works well for odor, but also tough stains (i also did all of arlos clothes that have been getting thrashed from the crafting we’ve done at home)  Read More

diy / kid things / our house

our playroom mural

06.16.20

This post is sponsored by Ace Hardware
I received compensation and product, but all opinions and
content are my own

when we fixed up the playroom / the studio last year i was sooo happy with it, but the giant wall you see straight on when you enter the room always felt sort of challenging to me. i tried a few different pieces of art and eventually decided to just paint a cute simple canvas to hang– but overall it still felt … underwhelming to me. so finally i decided to add an easy mural to the wall to make it feel really special in here. my mom had a window with a teeny far away castle painted in my bedroom as a kid and i will never forget it. i used to stare at it every night before i went to bed. it’s those special things that mean so much to kids, so i really hope arlo always remembers this sun fondly (and while we’re at it maybe all of the projects i’ve done for him over the years lol)

i teamed up again with Ace Hardware, and i’ve always been so happy working with them– but this time they sent me a sample color from their 2020 color trends, vanilla chai by clark+kensington (N-W9), and it was actually so perfect for me so i just used that without hesitation! it’s the perfect peachy neutral that is basically my dream paint color (ps i used it in the parents bedroom of arlos dollhouse i’m working on too!)

painting a fun accent wall or mural can feel daunting, especially if you aren’t the most artistic, so it helps to come up with an easy design like this. i was brainstorming lots of challenging ideas and intricate murals, but am so glad i went with something simple. this only took me roughly two naps to complete and i barely needed help from gid whatsoever!

while we’re all stuck at home, a project like this is the perfect creative project. idk about you but if i have a creative outlet i’m working on, it always helps me get through things. i can’t remember the last day of quarantine i wasn’t working on something haha.

so before i get into how i painted the giant sun, here is a reminder of what the wall looked like before!

ok not to toot my own horn but WOW I REALLY LOVE IT!!!! lol. it just feels so happy in here now. it’s clearly hand painted but i sort of love that. Read More