Best Blankets {favorite 20}


Best Blankets {favorite 20}

The leaves are starting to change here in Connecticut, and the mornings are crisp enough that we are creeping into the winter storage every morning to find sweaters, vests and cozy socks. Every year at about this time I wish I had one of those houses where you change the slipcovers, drapes, pillows and linens from summer to winter. (Does anyone even do that anymore? Maybe I’m thinking of a different era…like Gone With the Wind.) I get tired of looking at the same worn out stuff, and I would love a fresh look. That’s why I am drooling over these blankets!! It wouldn’t take much to change out blankets from summer to winter, right? Here is a list of 20 blankets I would happily own:

1. Red gingham wool blanket by Margaret Howell // 2. Alpaca blankets in lots of different patterns from Asher Market // 3. Lambs wool green striped blanket by Forestry Home // 4. Blue wool camp blanket at Schoolhouse Electric // 5. Swedish red cross cotton blanket by Pia Wallen

6. Buffalo plaid wool blanket by Schoolhouse Electric // 7. Organic cotton blankets made in Germany by Coyuchi // 8. Gray + pink handmade granny square blanket from Etsy // 9. Chunky baby alpaca knit throw at Garnet Hill // 10. Natural wool basket weave blanket from Toast // 11. Striped wool throw by Coyuchi of Canada // 12. Graphic black + white mohair blanket by The Fest Collection by Mae Engelgeer

13. Red striped wool blanket made in Canada at Toast // 14. Green Kantha quilt at Sundance // 15. Blue ticking quilt by Sally Campbell // 16. Wool navy plaid Soho throw at Alder & Co. // 17. Red flowered Kamala quilt from Sundance // 18. Woollen plaid blanket at Toast // 19. Merino wool green striped blanket from Fine Little Day

And finally, number 20. I couldn’t write a list of favorite blankets without including a DIY. These knit blanket tutorials are from my favorite store/website/blog ever… The Purl Bee from Purl Soho. Check it out (and prepare to fall in the rabbit hole).

Happy Wednesday!

xo Bar

 

 

Ribbon Jar


Ribbon Jar

I’ve had ribbon jars for years, ever since the girls were little. I love being able to see all of the ribbon that we collect. I used to have a shoebox, but that wasn’t very pretty. Now the girls go to the ribbon jars almost every morning for their hair. And the boy uses the ribbons as belts. He stuffs water guns, sticks and lightsabers into his pink polka-dot holsters.

You can buy these jars online (mine are the 1 gallon size), or you could also use those big pretzel jars or any container that is clear with a lid.

Happy thursday…

xo Bar

 

Paperbag Paintings


Paperbag Paintings

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

Created with recycled grocery bags and some mixed-media art supplies, these paintings are perfect for the little ones. They even have a built-in picture hanger! Today on Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big, read more about how they were made.

Have a great week!

xo Bar

 

Pom-Pom Hair Ties


Pom-Pom Hair Ties

Even though these pom-pom hair ties are far from original (Pinterest has run amuck with them), I wanted to share my version because they are quite easy and fun to make. And with the added elastic cord, they are a perfect bun topper!

The tutorial on how to make these is over at Mr. Printables (I love their blog!). I used elastic cord from Etsy that I tied around the pom-pom at stage #7 in the tutorial.

I’m thinking of having a pom-pom making party for my friends nearby. (Hopefully it’s not just me who is obsessed!)

xo Bar

 

Lunchbox Words {to inspire}


Lunchbox Words {to inspire}

I love this idea for getting the kids to read big words…send a little message in their lunchbox! These alphabet cookies are from IKEA and they are so cute with their scalloped edges. We also use Trader Joe’s version which are cinnamony & delicious. My little guy has told me it’s too embarrassing to spell his word in the lunchroom, (this from the kid who wants me to stay and watch his entire soccer practice so that he can look over at me if he needs to), but my girls love it (I hope).

The IKEA cookies don’t seem to have a “Z”, or maybe it was just our batch. I was trying to write amazing. I told my son about it, and he immediately dumped the box of cookies out and found an “N” which he turned sideways. You might think to yourself, “well, duh!”, but I forgot about that trick until my 7-yr old reminded me. This got us talking about syllables and lowercase vs. uppercase. We thought of words starting with whatever letter he held up. It was a lovely conversation about words. And wouldn’t you know it? Somehow, the box was empty right when our little talk was over.

We love words! And alphabet cookies. Send a little love in their lunchbox. ♡

xo Bar

{ps: tupperware from IKEA, too}

 

Shapes Exploration Art


Shapes Exploration Art

exploring shapes with little ones through mixed media art | art bar

exploring shapes with little ones through mixed media art | art bar

Today on Art Bar Monday on Small for Big I will teach you how to make this whimsical mixed-media circle art with your kids. These were made by children from ages 4 to 10. They loved learning how to rubber stamp and about funny shape names (rhombus got quite a few laughs). Hop on over to Small for Big to see how it’s done!

xo Bar

 

The World Needs You + Love This {two}


The World Needs You + Love This {two}

My middle daughter started middle school last week, and it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. It is so surprising to me how there are some families who don’t teach their kids that they must filter their words. What ever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? It’s what my mother always taught me, and what I teach my kids. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I still believe that kindness is more important than anything. I created this graphic as a reminder that the world needs her vivacious, funny, honest, challenging, courageous, creative and generous soul, too.

Love This {two}  (note: I changed the name of this series from Cool Stuff to Love This. Bear with me please, my changing mind is just part of the package.)

Here are some interesting things that I’ve loved lately (the first three are related to raising daughters):

1. A great, short article on how to talk to your daughters about their body (step one: don’t talk to your daughters about their body).

2. On that note…for anyone who has daughters on the verge of puberty, this ad campaign is genius!

3. I bought these pencils for my girls!

4. For whatever reason, I am always worried that my kids get enough calcium. Here is a list of 9 plant-based calciums (which I have written on a piece of paper and taped to my pantry wall).

5. I am stocking up on these trays from IKEA for all of my holiday teacher gifts.

6. Artist Leslie Graff is my new hero. Her “Domestic Series” of paintings are so well done. I love the color and composition, but also how she attempts to explore the tension between fiction and reality.

7. Tim Ferriss, start-up guru, posted a super helpful article on his blog about why & how creative people need say “no”. (Time is truly our most valuable commodity!)

Hug your kids and tell them you love them. Have a good weekend!

xo, Bar

Ps: You can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, FB and Twitter.

 

 

Photo Wall Murals


Photo Wall Murals

I am obsessed with the idea of a giant photo wall mural. (Do I say obsessed too much?) I am definitely doing this in my next house. The question is, do I chose a scenic photo from one of our trips, or a black & white of the kids? I love both ideas very much. I guess I should find my wall first and then decide. The above photo of the elephants is impressive to say the least. I love how the giant scale of the animals contrast with the small furniture. Across different cultures around the world, elephants are symbols of reliability, honor, patience and pride. It would be so cool to wake up to these friendly giants every day.

Mountains and woods are always magical places for kids. I love the feel that the wallpaper gives these rooms….like secret hideouts. And then there are the Muppets! I love those guys.

Black & white photos are the bomb. They are dramatic, yet also come across as more neutral. The one with the ocean cliffs exists at the Ace Hotel in London. Book it!

These cityscapes are so cool! I love how the view from above makes you feel like you’re living it up at the penthouse apartment (if only).

Here are some resources if you want to give this a try:

Better Wallpaper Co.Murals Wallpaper, Printed Space, Tazma, Murals Your Way, Eazy Wallz, or DIY.

If I ever get mine up, you will be the first to know!

xo, Bar

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies // Paleo


Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies // Paleo

A few months back I talked about the paleo diet and shared my recipe for these delicious bars, which we make all the time. But a lot of paleo desserts aren’t sweet enough, or taste too much like coconut. That is why I my heart skipped a beat when I took my first bite of these chocolate hazelnut brownies. They are AMAZING (and not just for paleo standards). They are dense, full of flavor, and exactly sweet enough to fulfill my unruly sugar cravings (not to mention my Nutella addiction).

{This recipe is adapted from Panna’s Paleoliscious blog.}

Chocolate Hazelnut Paleo Brownies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
2 cups raw almonds
130 grams dark chocolate (we use Green & Black’s 85% cacao)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tspn coconut crystals (sap from coconuts, tastes like brown sugar)
4 eggs

Directions:

1. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 350°F for about 10 mins. After you take them out, place them in a dish towel and rub them roughly so that most of the skin comes off. Keep the oven on at 350°F.
2. Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and chop until it starts to form into a ball, about a minute.
3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a pot over boiling water (double boiler effect).
4. Make almond butter by putting the almonds into the food processor and letting them chop for about 10-12 minutes so that it has the texture of peanut butter
5. Separate the eggs. Whip the yolks with the agave syrup until fluffy. Whisk in the coconut crystals, almond butter, chocolate and hazelnuts.
6. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form peaks. Then gently fold them into the chocolate batter with one third of the batter at a time.
7. Pour the mix into a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes. Try not to over bake it, that is very important.
8. When it’s done, let it cool down for a few hours. Once it’s completely cool, you have the option to make the ganache for on top (but they are really so good without, too!).

Ganache:

Melt 100g of dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon olive oil. The ganache will harden within the hour. If you want it to stay creamy but without dairy (true paleo) then you can add some coconut milk when the chocolate becomes liquid in the double boiler.

Make these for your Labor Day bbq! Although there are few ingredients, this recipe is a bit labor intensive (get it?…ha ha), but so worth it. They are chocolate-hazelnutty perfection and make you want to throw your Nutella out the window because these are the real deal people!

Please let me know how yours turn out. ♡

xo, Bar

 

 

Sunburst Paintings


Sunburst Paintings

Today is our first day back to school. I am biting my nails. I don’t know whether to be sad or happy. Both, I guess. To kick off the school year I am sharing a simple “art meets math” project with quite beautiful results. Please click over to Small for Big for my Art Bar Monday post. And let me know if you make these paintings… I’d love to see!

Happy back to school everyone!

xo Bar