Category: Uncategorized

June 7, 2013

photo of the day


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June 5, 2013

DIY // Personalized Dyed Noodle Garland

With the summer break practically here (already here for many of you) thoughts of… what in the world am I going to do with my kids all day are crossing many minds around these parts. Well, here is a fun, super easy, inexpensive DIY project perfect for any age, a dyed noodle garland complete with their name! It can be completed in less than a day, needs little supervision (depending on your child’s age), and is able to be hung by the child afterward giving it a wonderful function! What more could you ask for in a children’s project right??

I won’t lie, it was rather interesting helping my boy string the noodles since he is only two but he was able to get the hang of it. But seeing the excitement in his face and hearing him giggle when he crawled into bed and saw his garland hanging there in his room made all the work totally worth it!!

The garland was unbelievably easy to make… There are two different parts to the project but really if you keep at it you totally could do the entire thing in a day.

 I used these instructions to dye the noodles. I used rigatoni noodles because they are large, columnar, and have a huge hole allowing my two year old to string them very easily. A few other tips you might want to remember… the longer you let the noodles sit in the food coloring the darker and more intense the colors get. I let mine sit for probably 30 minutes or so in the dye, flipping and shaking the bag every so often to make sure the color was evenly spread. PS… they dry quite quickly too since it is rubbing alcohol not water they’re soaking in.

Once you have you colored noodles, it is time to string your garland! Are you ready??


Dyed noodles (you could totally use really big beads honestly… the noodles are just fun because they’re super cheap! We’re talking like $2 for more than enough for a garland)
Hole Punch
Letters to spell your desired word (I don’t have anything to cut the letters out for me so I simply printed them and cut them out by hand.)

Punch holes in each of your letters. You want each letter to have two holes so that they will hang straight and flat.

Cut your string so it is the length you would like the garland to be.

Begin stringing your letters onto the string. I would recommend stringing the letters from the front down and then back up through the second hole. This makes the string along the letter in the back not the front. Trust me… you’ll want it that way…

Center your letters so they spell your word on the center of your string.

String your noodles onto the garland on either side of the word keeping the number of noodles even on both sides.

Once you have strung your desired amount of noodles, hang it up!! Enjoy it!! Let your baby feel proud of his hard work!

And there you have it!! Super easy right?? So… is this super cute or just super tacky? I can’t decide… Christopher loves it though so I think it will stay up for awhile for him. There is something special in letting your child see his work and be proud of creating something I think.

For more super fun DIY projects to keep you and your kiddies busy this summer be sure to drop by and visit me over on Just Dawnelle!

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June 3, 2013

Shopping Clearance


(Yes, Roman broke his arm, and yes, Asher jumped in that puddle after I took this photo!)
My two favorite ways to save money on kids’ clothes are to shop used and to shop clearance! I eyed both of these shirts (from Target) and shorts (from Old Navy) when they were full price in the spring and only weeks later they were on the clearance rack! I loved being able to mix and match so that my boys were “matching” while still having individual styles. Stores are always putting out new items, so I highly suggest checking the clearance racks! These t-shirts cost me less than $3 each and the shorts were about $5 each. Personally, I have found that shopping in store results in better deals than online.
I couldn’t find either of these items shown online right now but some other cute boys clearance items I’ve eyed recently are: this, this + this.

Visit me on my personal blog at!

Also be sure to check out my store if you are looking for some great gently used children’s items!


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May 27, 2013

22 months


Somehow May 22nd came and went without me realizing that my Asher is 22 months now! I can’t believe that in two months this little boy of mine will be 2! At 22 months, Asher is full of energy and passion for life. He is talking more and more each day and always surprising me with forming new little sentences. He loves to take hikes in the woods and he LOVES birds! Most of all, he loves his little family and he likes to repeat our names all in a row, “Mama Dada Momo (Roman)”

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Visit my personal blog here!


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May 17, 2013

How Do You Keep A Stylish Home While Raising Children?

Lifetime’s Pretty Wicked Moms debuts in just a few weeks and I’m sure it is going to be the hit of the summer! The show follows 6 stylish Atlanta Mommies on their adventures in Mommyhood while they attempt to maintain their high-end lifestyles. I am not sure how much I have in common with any of these mamas, but am excited to see how they balance work, play, & home life.

As a SAHM & full time blogger, I find it so easy to forget to take care of myself! Anyone else? Baby stuff somehow takes over your life, and you forget about the once stylish and well kept person you used to be, right? It also becomes really easy to start neglecting the house once baby gear begins to take over the living room.

For the first year after I became a mom, my living room literally became a playroom. It was convenient for my daughter, but got old really fast. It was also a bit depressing for me. I missed having a nice adult space. I missed just having a dining table. There were no dinner parties that year and really no place to even have a nice meal with my husband. That is when I decided to redecorate. After I did, my husband & I started having weekend date nights in our new dining room. (after the kids were in bed of course!) See how the dining room turned out HERE.

My children’s toys & gear nowadays remains in their bedrooms or the basement. I try and keep my main floor toy/clutter free. It is really nice that my home feels stylish once again. How do you keep your home/yourself stylish, yet practical while raising children? I’d love to hear!

Be sure to tune in to watch parenting like you’ve never seen before with the first episode of Pretty Wicked Moms on Tuesday, June 4, at 10:00 pm ET/PT on Lifetime:

FTC DISCLOSURE: aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.

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May 15, 2013

Oh diaper bags… a love hate relationship…

Oh diaper bags… I have a love-hate relationship with them. They carry all kinds of very useful things. They are the perfect excuse to hide snacks at all times of the day. But at the same time they are bulky and sometimes end up so stinking full you wonder if you’re actually leaving anything at home when you leave the house.

Not only that… but I have issues sometimes with the way they look…

Let’s be real for a second. When you have children it is awful hard to keep your swag going. Spit up on the shoulder, peanut butter smeared on your pants… shoot sometimes I feel lucky to have remembered to get dressed. Throw a diaper bag into that mix and my personal style and swag has completely gone out the window!!

How do I remedy this? I don’t use diaper bags as diaper bags… I use a bag that I love, a bag that represents me, a bag that I will feel excited about carrying around.

Now I know that diaper bags are made with specific pockets and waterproof linings. Shoot, I’ve seen bags with a special pocket that unzips into a changing pad! But when it really comes down to it, I personally don’t use that stuff. I take the essentials and that’s it. I want simple and something I love.

So here are the bags that I am currently LOVING and would be excited to carry around everyday as my diaper bag. Best part? All under $100! I’m all about spending less on a bag so I can switch it out for a new one in a few months…

1. Mad Pax
How adorable are these things? I actually have one of these… half size… perfect to be passed onto my little boy when he is ready for his own bag to carry around his treasures. I get the best compliments about this bag too… people are always trying to touch it or ask about it. Plus it is a super wonderful plaything for my ten month old. She loves the texture and spikes!

2. Ecote Geo Mini Backpack
Check out that texture! Love backpacks for diaper bags… they keep your hands free and can always be used for other things after their life as a diaper bag has ended!

3. Kanken
Oh the Kanken… I actually like to think of this as the PERFECT diaper bag! Made out of waterproof material, the front zips all the way down so you are able to easily find anything in the bag. They come in tons of different colors and have two different ways to carry it… handles or on the back! I adore my Kanken. Plus… I know it is going to last FOREVER!

4. Guatemala Tribal Print Backpack
Again with the patterns! Easy, small, bright backpack with a super easy opening… plus a thick textured, colorful fabric makes it super durable against the kiddie whirlwind!

5. Water Warz Tote
I’m completely in love with this pattern… and color… The silhouette is perfect to carry anything you might need. Super easy to stuff full of diapers, toys, blankets… you could probably fit any and everything in this gorgeous thing! Who wouldn’t want to be carrying this around?

6. Cereal Box Tote
Leather making it durable and soft… big to store just about anything… and a long strap to throw over your shoulder keeping your hands free without having to wear a backpack. Plus that price? Can you beat it??

7. Trip to Thailand Messenger Bag
So I know this isn’t so kid friendly but how can you beat that pattern and color? This is a bag that will stand out in a crowd. It is the type of bag people will be asking about… I’m completely in love with it.

8. Hudson Colorblock Handbag
The simplicity of this bag is beautiful. The colors make it super versatile. The leather keeps it durable. The strap makes it hands-free… what more could you ask for? Great price? Of course! This bag is basically just perfect for any wardrobe or style…

Be sure to come check out more of my fabulous opinions over here on my personal blog… Just Dawnelle. You know I’m always there and always LOVE to hear from you!! Because you guys are the best!



May 6, 2013

My Work Space

With only 9 days until our big move (EEEEK!), I’ve set up this work area in my living room. We’ve sold pretty much all of our living room furniture & I am loving having my desk front & center. Most of my work stuff is already packed away. I left out my sewing machine and my new cricut expressions machine so I can work on a few little projects once I am done packing boxes.

A little bit about my space….

A few weeks ago I got these fabulous chevron Flor tiles and am obsessed! If you are not familiar with, you are missing out!


I love the idea of using Flor tiles in the nursery! Don’t the chevron ones POP? Which Flor tiles are your favorite?

A few more details in my work space:
toadstool lamp
rabbit bank
white KASSETT storage box, & polka dot box from IKEA too (not seeing it on website but was $3.99 for 2)
Parsons Dining Table from West Elm (I always go for dining tables instead of desks- I love to have a large surface to spread out all of my things!) “Anchored in Love” Print in white & gold.
Eat You Up Card “Love Languages” Poster
Bertoia Style Chair
Put The Love In The Coconut beach towel (on my chair)
BAROMETER nickel plated floor lamp
Dayna Decker Ambrosia Cassis Candle


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May 2, 2013

photo of the day


May 1, 2013

Is there anything cuter than baby shoes?

I have a very serious question for you today… I would like to know if there is anything cuter than a tiny little pair of baby shoes? I mean seriously, if you really think about it… the tiny little feet scrunching up those tiny little toes making it hard to put on those adorable tiny little shoes. But once those shoes are on… how super cute is it to see fat little legs kicking and kicking those shoe covered feet?

So today, let’s talk about the most adorable of all the adorable baby shoes shall we?

1 // All About Heidi
The most adorable petal shoes! Handmade out of a single piece of leather, there are no seams so no roughness on little feet. The petal silhouette allows your little one to stretch their toes any which way while still being protected. Perfect right?And if you are interested there is a giveaway going on over on my personal blog for a free pair!!

2 // OWO Shoes
Handmade out of leather and lined with a super soft lining, they come in some fabulous colors! The laces ensure a perfect fit and they come in all kinds of sizes from newborn on up! I’m pretty sure they will become something to keep and treasure forever. I mean look at them… are they not adorable?

3 // Freshly Picked
Ohh moccs… I have a soft spot for moccs… The colors, the fringe, the silhouette, the fact that they become more adorable as they’re worn in AND they’re handmade? Basically they’re worth every penny!

4 // Scarlettos
Baby canvas shoes that look like little Toms! With elastic so they stay on! Handmade with lots of different patterns! Adorable!

5 // Manimals

Now these are moccasins. The mix of the fringe and the little tie are perfect for a little boho baby! Plus they come in yellow and HOT PINK! Sweet right?

6 // Weepereas

Little cloth reversible slippers with an endless list of patterns. Don’t these look like the perfect little things to keep those socks on those adorable little feet?

For more from me be sure to visit Just Dawnelle! I’m there chatting it up everyday and would love to have you!

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May 1, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Baby

Hola, Irene here again from designstiles. This week it’s time to get your babies ready for Cinco de Mayo. Arriba!

Just because babies can’t sip on margaritas, doesn’t mean they can’t partake in the festivities. They can do so with holiday-appropriate onesies. Rattle it up with some maracas. Sport an adorable, handmade poncho. Play with a plush piñata, or they can count (not yet) their blessings with custom banners.

Cinco de Mayo Babyone // two // three // four // five // six

Happy Wednesday!
Irene Lovett

decor . styling . consulting

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April 29, 2013

Surviving the NICU

spearmintbbnicuGoing into the labor of my second son, I thought I had it all together. Tiny newborn sleepers were washed and folded and my hospital bag was actually packed and ready. Even the birth seemed to go off without a hitch! The one thing I hadn’t prepared for was my son’s stay in the NICU. Here are some tips and tricks I learned to help get through our NICU encounter.

Bring Pillows- In the NICU where our son stayed, parents had wooden rocking chairs with thin cushions to sit on. Let’s be honest here- a thin cushion is not going to cut it after giving birth. I may have looked a little ridiculous walking in with all my pillows, but being comfortable helped me to focus on my baby.
Stay Nourished- With all your attention on your newborn it can be difficult to remember to eat and drink. However, keeping up your strength is imperative when you have a sick baby to care for especially if you are breastfeeding! Carry a big water bottle with you and take snack breaks!
Rest- During this crazy time, being able to get adequate rest is so important! Mommy guilt begins at the start, so it can be hard to leave your newborn’s side but don’t feel bad if you need some rest. Chances are your baby will be sleeping while you are gone as well.
Call in Backups- When friends and family ask what they can do to help, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for meals or babysitting for your other children. Sometimes even having a friend come and sit with you can go a long way and give you fresh strength to cope.
Let your Voice be Heard- It can be very hard to keep with all the medical jargon coming at you from doctors and nurses. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and don’t be shy to give your opinion. Now is the time to practice that protective Mama Bear side! You’ll be using it for a long time to come.

Visit my personal blog at:!


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April 25, 2013

Trending Now / Jumpsuits


Oh my holy cuteness! Jumpsuits!!! Trending right now, and forever more in my mind, are jumpsuits. These are just too cute to keep to myself. Stripes, ruffles, patchwork, florals… you name it and they’ve put in on a jumpsuit this season. Here’s just a few that I’ve found so far…


just love

Categories: Apparel, Uncategorized
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April 22, 2013

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of Earth Day, Wean Green + dozens of eco-friendly companies are hosting a a scavenger hunt! It starts today at 7 am EST. Just follow the clues from all the brands for your chance to win fun prizes! The first clue can be found on Wean Green’s Facebook Page.


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April 16, 2013

Bizarre Pregnancy Photos, FUNNY!

Too funny not to post this tonight, The 10 Most Bizarre Pregnancy Photos of All Time! These 2 are my faves!


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April 16, 2013

2 Days Left To Vote!

Hi Ladies & Gentlemen (i know my husband reads this!),

We’ve been nominated for the HOME DESIGN MOMS award on Circle of Moms. We would LOVE if you could help us out with your vote. It is super easy, & you can vote once/day by clicking on the LINK below:


Thanks so much,
Shari + all of our super fabulous Mama contributors here at

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April 15, 2013

Spring Things For Mom

.. sandals .. headwrap .. water bottle .. sunglasses .. nail polish ..

With spring weather finally showing it’s face where I live, I cannot tell you how excited I am to pack up our winter coats, hats and gloves! There is something so freeing about the beggining of this season and I am loving all things spring. While I have been doing some shopping for my little boys, I wanted to focus on Moms this week by sharing some of my favorite “spring things”! Sunglasses, sparkly shoes and colorful toes certainly have been cheering me up lately as I’ve been getting outside more with my boys. What are your favorite things for spring??

Visit my personal blog at!


April 10, 2013

Parisian Chic Shared Bedroom

Designing for my family is a passion of mine. I thrive on making a space special for each of them… To see their faces light up in a room that reflects their individuality, decoratively. Redesigning Soph and Charlotte’s room was no exception. It began with a brilliant Craig’s List find of two mint condition Jenny Lind beds and evolved into an eclectic mixture representing both of the girl’s personalities. By blending newer elements like an Ikea desk spray painted hot pink and older relics like the industrial sign letters above each bed, a naturally delicate balance was achieved. Without hesitation, both girls have settled into their new stomping grounds flawlessly, which in turn makes for a very happy mommy.

xo.j >>








*Design by J + Photography by D >>

Source List >>

Beds: Craig’s List / Paint color = Graceful Grey by BEHR, Bedding: Target, Pillows: Target, Urban Outfitters + Home Goods, Industrial Letter ‘S’ and ‘C': Etsy, Vintage Dresser: Ebay, Floral Rug: Target, Wall Lamps: Ikea, Chandelier: Ikea, Eifel Tower Vinyl Decal: Etsy, Curtains: Ikea, Armoire: Shabby Chic for Target,  Yellow Rug: Home Goods, Desk and Chair: Ikea, Wall Color: African Violet by BEHR

April 9, 2013

Win a Prize Package from Clevamama!

Happy spring morning…it is contest time! This time we’ve teamed up with the folks over at Clevamama to give away 5 of their most popular products:

  • Splash & Wrap Hooded Towel (Clevamama’s signature product)
  • Pacifier Tree
  • Clevafeed
  • ClevaScoop Infant Formula Scoop
  • Baby Formula Mixer

1. The ClevaFeed™ is the safest most hygienic way to introduce your child to solids including fruit and vegetables without the risk of choking. Easy to use – simply snap open the top of the feeder and place food in the teat.

2. The Splash and Wrap Hooded Towel is designed to fasten around your neck like an apron to give you two free hands to lift your baby safely out of the bath. This extra-large towel is made from 100% cotton and is perfect for drying in between little fingers and toes.

3. The Clevamama™ Baby Formula Mixer is designed to blend powdered formula milk into a smooth consistency. It eliminates the need to wait for the contents to cool in order to shake the bottle. No fuss, no mess.

4. The ClevaScoop Infant Formula Scoop is all it takes to prepare your baby’s bottle correctly every time. The patented BPA free ClevaScoop™ was developed in collaboration with the world’s leading infant formula research lab and is proven to be more accurate when tested against all other formula scoops. Using ClevaScoop™ is easy, just set the scoop to the size feed you are making and make your bottle with confidence.

5. The Pacifier Tree™ is compact, fast and a simple way to sterilise and store Pacifiers. Using the speed and convenience of your microwave, it is now possible to sterilise up to 6 pacifiers in just 60 seconds. It’s also a convenient home which means less lost Pacifiers! Includes 2 FREE silicone orthodontic Pacifiers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Contest will be open until Midnight EST on Monday, April 15th, 2013. Contest is open to US & Canadian residents only. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 16th. We will send an email to the winner but please also check back on Facebook/Twitter within 4 days to see if you won.

Categories: Contests, Uncategorized
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April 4, 2013

Twitter Instagram Picture Viewer

Are you sick of having to click on links in Twitter to see people’s Instagram photos? I felt like I was missing out on so many pics & am thrilled to find this awesome solution! I had to share with you guys…

This is specifically for those who use Chrome as their browser. (& if you don’t use Chrome you SHOULD, so go download it now!)

& here is the link to the Twitter Instagram Picture Viewer download. It literally takes seconds. As soon as you download it your twitter page will look like this:


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April 3, 2013


Any Instagrammers out there? I am always late with these trends, but finally starting to get into it. I love that it is like Twitter with pictures! (aren’t we all visual creatures?) Now I can get to know you and your cute families! To connect with me: @thespearmintblogs

Feel free to post your username in the comments as well!

Have a great evening, Shari

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April 3, 2013

Crib Sheets

Hi, It’s Irene again from designstiles. Today I’m sharing some super cute crib sheets I discovered while looking through some of my favorite baby shops. One of these is even from Target. Can you guess which one (pssst, it’s no. 3)?

Number four is adorable. So is six. They’re all cute.

crib sheets_edited-1

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

Do you have a favorite?
Irene Lovett

decor . styling . consulting

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April 1, 2013

Fun With Photoshop Graphics

click here to download

Spring break is coming to an end & I have so many fun photos to go through. I am so in love with my iPhone 5 camera (vs. the horrible quality of my 3GS) that I barely ever use my nice camera anymore!

Here are some simple graphics for dolling up your photos. I used a few of these on photos from our spring break. ENJOY!


March 28, 2013

Spring Break

Hope you’re enjoying your spring vacation! I decided to take the week off to spend some quality time with my kids. It is still CHILLY & wet here, but we are trying to make the best of it. Hope you are enjoying your Passover & Easter week!

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March 28, 2013

Eggcellent Nursery Inspiration

In lieu of Easter weekend, I was inspired by all of the pastels and colorful Easter eggs.  Why not find inspiration from a colorful egg?  I remember dying eggs with my mom as a child and how much I loved to see what color combination it would take on as you pulled the egg from the colorful water.  I still love all the blues, pinks, yellows, and teals so when you put all those wonderful colors together, you can create a pretty nursery palette of eggcellence!   Happy Easter….

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 8.27.09 AM

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 8.27.34 AM

sources: crib, rabbit blanket, bumper pad, pillow, rug, bookends, rabbit, petal chandelier, rabbit mobile, glider


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March 20, 2013

Cute Wallpaper for Kids

Hi there Spearmint Babies, It’s Irene from designstiles, a lifestyle blog where I cover interiors, style and sometimes my dogs. My business has focused towards nurseries and kids’ rooms because they speak more to my design aesthetic, colorful and charming.

While sourcing wallpaper for a client, I came across these adorable designs that would make a splash in any baby or child’s room.


one – walnut unhasty keylime // two – schumacher balloons // three – hygge & west daydream //

four – wallcandyarts fetch // five – osborne and little coronata star // six – design your wall zoo animal vintage

Need help with your nursery, feel free to contact me.

Irene Lovett
decor . styling . consulting

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March 18, 2013

Little Leggings


<<<<<<< 123456 >>>>>>>

I am so into the baby legging craze right now! Leggings are great for little boys and girls because they are comfy, easy to put on and ADORABLE! I had a hard time finding cute inexpensive leggings for boys until I started looking in the girls section at stores! LOTS of leggings can be gender neutral so don’t be afraid to shop for your baby boys in the girls section!

Visit my personal blog at!


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March 5, 2013

Bathtub Paint


Harper went to her friend’s 5th birthday party on Saturday evening. (EEEK, I cannot believe her friends are already turning 5!) In her goodie bag was a can of shaving cream, a paint brush & the recipe for bathtub paint:

mix shaving cream with a few drops of food coloring in a muffin tin until you get your desired color

If you are hesitant, no worries…there was no staining. If you do spill any food coloring on your grout or counter while mixing, my girlfriend recommends Clorox Clean-up with Bleach. I used Scrubbing Bubbles to clean the bathtub afterwards. (although it really only took a good rinse for clean-up!)

My kids were busy painting the bathtub for about 30 minutes before they asked for more paint. I definitely recommend bathtub paint for a rainy day!


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March 4, 2013

19 months


Just wanted to make a little personal update on my Asher who turned 19 months! Photoshoots with toddlers NEVER end up how you expect them to in your mind. While I had planned for some photos of Asher quietly reading books on the bed in his jammies, I was happy to capture him jumping on the bed instead! This captures Asher perfectly, our “wild one”. Asher’s favorite things at 19 months include taking his own diaper off (EEK), following his older brother around and mirroring his every move, sharing daddy’s ice cream, playing with balls and learning new phrases to say!

Visit my personal blog at!



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February 28, 2013

Nursery Decor for Little Boys


1. blue striped cloud shaped pillow
2. yellow star garland
3. blue knit crown
4. ABC house
5. 24 carat gold leaf sign letter Q
6. grey/white star storage boxes
7. BOBO CHOSES knit stripes blanket
8. retro high top children’s sneaker, ZARA
9. bloom alma papa crib

Before I had a boy I never really thought it would be as much fun decorating a boy’s nursery. I’m not the pink -obsessed-girly-girl mama, however my eye does gravitate more towards girly things.

After having my darling little boy, my eyes suddenly opened up to the wonderful design/accessory/clothing world of the BOY! I’ve picked some of my current favorites and put them into a mood board this morning. One of my favorite color combos: BLUE, NAVY, BLACK, GOLD, & WHITE.

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February 18, 2013

Little Favorites – Newborn Essentials


#1 The Baby Book – Dr. Sears #2 Moby Wrap #3 Natural Pacifer #4 Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets #5 Vulli Teething Rings #6 Boppy Pillow #7 Ergo Baby Carrier

My littlest is already a year and a half and I can’t believe it! I spent much of yesterday afternoon sorting through my boys’ clothes and switching out sizes, which is actually one of my favorite things to do. With more and more baby things going back into the garage for baby 3 (SOMEDAY) it has me thinking back to those precious newborn days. I’ve realized that newborns really don’t need a whole lot of “stuff” but these are some of my favorite things to have around when a new baby joins the family.

What are your newborn baby must-haves?

( Asher, 18 months ago – it goes by fast!)

Visit my personal blog at!


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February 16, 2013

What to Bring for a Long Flight with Toddler

what to take for a long flight by vivat veritas 570


This week my husband and I took our first from Japan to his hometown, NY – 12 hour flight with our two-year old daughter. It was really a nerve racking event since our first flight with our daughter didn’t go all that well. I wrote more about it here, if you are interested, check it out :)

Here is a list of things we packed for our flight and thought was helpful:

1. Two extra set of clothes. I didn’t think I would need two sets, but I ended up needing them both. My daughter threw up twice during the flight while watching TV, so I was glad I packed this.

2. New toys and snacks to occupy the child. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.

3. Eye mask. This was surprisingly helpful. I didn’t realize how bright it was on the plane while they are serving meals. My daughter was asleep when the light was on, and it was helpful to have something to cover her eyes. She resisted wearing the mask at first, but eventually she got used to it. Also having her favorite stuffed animal had helped her relaxed.

4. Extra diapers and wipes. Same as #1, you never know what will happen. Kids have amazing timing. She has a very regular schedule…except for this day My daughter pooped twice on the plane, so having spare diapers in hand was so helpful. I packed 10 diapers and 1 pack of diaper wipes.

5. Gummy candies to for ear discomfort during take off/landing. I gave them to her in the beginning and end of the flight and she did not cry at all during those times.

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}


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February 6, 2013

Failed to Write File To Disk Error While Uploading Images in WordPress

Has anyone ever had this happen while trying to upload photos to WordPress?

If you ever do, it turns out that the solution may be really simple….

I always shy away from these technical issues. After almost 4 years of blogging I am still really un-savvy when it comes to blog maintenance. I spent the majority of my morning waiting patiently & thinking that this issue would resolve itself. It didn’t.

It turns out this was a hosting issue and I really should not have spent so much time trying to figure it out on my own! After contacting Dreamhost I was made aware that my server’s /tmp directory was at it’s max capacity. (whatever that means?!) It took the folks at Dreamhost 5 minutes to switch /tmp from memory to disk which will give me a lot more room.

Just an FYI to anyone that may encounter this in the future. Back to blogging this evening!

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January 30, 2013

12 Ideas To Brighten Up Your BIG, White Wall

1. a wallpapered accent wall

2. an oversized, vintage map

3. GOLD polka dot decals

4. a monogram letter (that takes up the whole wall!), 5. COLORFUL polkadots, 6. a chalkboard wall (i painted one in Harper’s bedroom), 7. a house backdrop using wallpaper

8. a wall of ledges for his/her toy car collection

9. BOLD stripes

10. a built in dollhouse using bookshelves, or IKEA wall shelves!

11. Mosaic wall decals

12. colorful, painted wooden knobs as hooks!

ALL links found on our PINTEREST

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January 17, 2013

Cheers to my discerning baby

I love a good euphemism, especially when it covers for someone I love.  Our two year old terrier mutt will bring you a toy to throw him, placing it on your lap or directly in your hand, endlessly (we tested his limit as an experiment one day when lots of people were over and could alternate throwing to him – he went for eight hours straight with no break).  Or he will purposefully push his toy under the coffee table and then whine until someone retrieves it for him – at which point he will push it right back under.  Over and over again.  For hours.  Technically, he might be considered obsessive compulsive or hyper-active.   But I prefer to think of him as “high spirited” and “persevering.”

So when I read an article about bottle refusal that included the line “if your baby is particularly discerning” I knew I’d hit on a winner.   This is the perfect way for me to think about Daniela – a baby who will only nap for more than a few minutes if she’s strapped to my chest or in my arms.  A baby who will not even consider sucking on silicone pacifiers or nipples.  A baby who will happily look at dangling toys for several minutes, and then on a dime, start shrieking like they’re attacking her.  A baby who used to only be soothed by the up down motion (of course not side to side or front to back motion, like a swing can provide ; ) of her parents climbing the stairs of doing deep knee bends.  Who would fall into a deep sleep during said stair stepping or squatting, but wake up the second the motion slowed or stopped (forget about trying to put her down!)

When she’s fussy, she’s not difficult, or even high needs.  She’s just discerning! I love this- it gives her some agency, and it’s a commendable trait.  I really do try to think of her now as just having excellent taste and wanting only the best.  Why shouldn’t she?! I hope she keeps this up well into adulthood.  If she’s half as discerning about who she dates, or what jobs she takes, she will be golden.

So cheers to my extremely discerning baby (no, seriously – cheers – as in, it’s 2 PM and I need a drink badly ; )

But all kidding aside, I do believe that language is really important and how you label things can make a huge difference in how you experience them.  I was first exposed to this idea through Dr. Sears’ books – he doesn’t label babies colicky, but instead, underscores that they’re hurting.  Apart from the fussy times when she’s just being discerning, there are also good stretches when Daniela is inconsolable and hysterical for no apparent reason.  During those times, when absolutely no soothing techniques work, I often feel like yelling “what the !@#$ do you want from me?!”  But I stop myself, and even if it’s not aloud, I repeat things like “I’m so sorry you’re hurting.  I wish I knew what was wrong.”  Instead of thinking “I love you even when you’re crying for hours,” I try to think “I love you especially when you’re crying for hours, because that’s when you need it most.”

So in more seriousness, cheers to my discerning baby, and may she stop hurting very soon.   It’s so hard for both of us when she is.

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January 17, 2013

Pottery Barn Kids Nursery Style Event


I wanted to spread the news this morning about Pottery Barn Kids Nursery Style Event happening this weekend. You can get a sneak peek at the new nursery collection as well as product demonstrations and nursery design advice.

The event is this Saturday, January 19 from 4pm – 6pm. Be sure to RSVP to your local store to enjoy refreshments and 10% off for you and a guest during the event (excluding furniture). Plus enter for a chance to win an UPPAbaby VISTA stroller or a $500 shopping spree at Pottery Barn Kids!

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January 14, 2013

10 Free Fonts


Do you have any favorite fonts? I like to change it up often, & you may see some of these fonts in recent Spearmint posts:

caitlyn (I use this font in all of my 4 pretty things posts)
chopin script
banda regular
wisdom script
st marie
simply glamorous

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January 14, 2013

7 A.M. Enfant Promo


Buy 1 Polar Igloo get 1 pair of WARMMUFFS! Enter WHITEWINTER at checkout, while supplies last.

& don’t forget to enter our contest to win a Le Sac Igloo!

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January 14, 2013




While browsing my reader, at the butt crack of dawn, I ran across this image and fell in love.
Love. Love. LOVE.

△ △ △

mama style | westover manormama style | westover manor

What do you think?
Did I capture street style?

Top / H&M // Leggings / Express
Boots / The Jean Girl // Belt / Target
Earrings / Old Navy // Bangles / H&M

△ △ △

mama style | westover manor

Quinn’s wearing//
Vest / Old Navy // Jacket / Old Navy
Pants / H&M

△ △ △

Hey! There’s a super cute kid in my photos.
Love you, Q dude.


Are we connected?


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January 10, 2013

Why I love this crazy swaddle sack


This is Daniela modeling her Love To Dream Swaddle Up.  It’s the single thing she’s worn the most in the 10 weeks since she was born – she pretty much lives in it.  Sometimes I have mild anxiety attacks if I think we’ve misplaced it, and I just ordered the next size up, because I didn’t want to risk even a day long gap without one.  Here are some of the many things I love about this thing:

1) She can’t bust out of it.  ever – no way, no how.

2) Anyone can put it on, no learning curve whatsoever.

3) It’s made of nice jersey knit fabric that hasn’t pilled after literally dozens of washings.  My Summer Infant ones all got pretty ratty after a bit.  Also no velcro to stick to other velcro in the wash.

4) It allows her hands to move, but not freely enough to startle herself.  This is nice because she’s old enough now that I wouldn’t have her tight swaddled during the day any longer.  When she is getting fussy but not ready to go down yet, this still allows her to gesticulate, but if she does fall asleep in my arms or elsewhere, I don’t have to wake her up to swaddle her (she stays down for naps about 4 times as long if she’s swaddled).  Also, she is starting to learn to suck on her hands to self soothe, and I LOVE that this sack doesn’t interfere with that! She can and does suck right through the fabric.

5) It has a two way zipper, meaning that you can simply unzip it for night time diaper changes, rather than having to un and re swaddle her.  This alone is enough of a selling feature to win my loyalty.   She had mild hip dysplasia at birth and is in a brace part time, and this is also wonderful on that front – it’s loose enough around her legs that it was OK’d by her doctor to wear as is, and when she’s in the brace, which holds her hips open too wide to accommodate this sack, we unzip it halfway from the bottom and her legs are completely free.

6) A cute pocket on the back conceals an opening that a seatbelt or other 5 point harness can fit through.  To use this way, you unzip the bottom half.

The Australian company that makes these doesn’t ship to the States, but I found one US based website who sells them- Eco Mom.

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January 4, 2013

Two great baby gifts

I love this pic of my little baby first of all because it’s adorable.  But secondly, because it features not just one but two of my favorite gifts that she received! I wanted to recommend them both for anyone creating a registry or looking to give a gift.


First is the Finn & Emma play gym – I couldn’t love this thing more! It’s totally portable, made from all organic materials (one less tacky plastic baby thing we have to display in our house!), and comes in light and dark wood, with girls or boys toys (the boys version is cute in orange and blue).  She loves it too – she will stare at and accidentally bat those toys more than anything else right now.  You could theoretically replace the little toys with ones of your own if they got bored of them – the wood arch has slits and a lot of stroller toys would probably work well too!
And then our personalized birth announcement throw pillow! These are at Uncommon Goods, and come in more fun colors besides pink and blue.   This looks great in the nursery and is such a fun reminder of all of the details of her birth!

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January 2, 2013

Hiring Contributing Editors


Happy 2013! Guess what, we are looking for a few of you to join us here on!

Who you are:
Must be an experienced blogger and have photo editing & preferably photoshop skills. Blogger will contribute 2 posts/month. Blogging ideas may include chronicling your pregnancy, craft projects, design/mood boards, useful newborn tips, pretty nurseries/decor finds, mama/baby style, etc. Feel free to come up with different topics each week that may be interesting to readers.


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December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas from Floret Cadet!

I just have random tidbits today.  First of all…

Merry Christmas from 7 week old baby Daniela.  (5 weeks as shown here ; )

xmas card finalJPG

You know what else The Original Reindeer Auto Outfit looks cute on? A stroller!


And one more quick thing, more along Floret Cadet lines…I didn’t get around to much impressive Christmas decorating this year, but am liking my impromptu tree topper – although yes, I could have adorned it a little bit more nicely than with curling ribbon ; )  It’s a tillandsia, aka an air plant.  I got mine from a local grower, but they are widely available online, and they live out of soil, only needing watering via spray or soaking very occasionally- the perfect houseplant for an occasionally preoccupied new mom!


Next year, I plan to do more of a botanically decorated tree, with long lasting stuff like water picked orchids, succulents and airplants everywhere!

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December 17, 2012

a message this morning

I find it so disgusting and insensitive to ignore what happened in CT. To not acknowledge it on your blog, especially since you are East-Coast (NJ) based.

But, you’re right. It’s GREAT that you got your Christmas shopping done to feed your rampant consumerism. That’s what this season is about, right? (sarcasm)

I would think your husband’s accident and subsequent injuries last year might change your perspective on things. We hear so little about him and how his injuries have changed your family/life. Maybe it hasn’t. Show some restraint and sensitivity!

I won’t be reading your blog any longer, and I’ll pass my message on to my friends who are also readers.

As a blogger & a human being who is still trying to grow a “thick skin,” it is difficult to receive messages like this. To those who feel that me not speaking about/acknowledging the tragedy in CT is insensitive, I apologize. I purposely decided not to talk publicly about this because I wanted to respect those that lost loved ones.  As a blogger, I did not want to make this a forum for discussion on gun control, blame, and parenting. In addition, I did not want to use the tragedy as a subject to drive traffic to my blog. (a place where I make money)

Please understand that this does not mean that I have not shed tears, mourned privately, & hugged and kissed my children more than usual. Our family will continue with Christmas while we pray for the children, teachers, mothers, sisters & brothers who will not be here to do so.

Those of you that know what happened to my husband last year on December 28th know that our year has not only been difficult but has changed our lives forever. Out of respect for my 3 children, I have chosen not to discuss the accident in depth on my blog. That may change one day, but for now I am sure you understand. We take it day by day as many others do. We are happy and hopeful for a positive 2013.
xo, shari

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December 14, 2012

How to Hem a Dress for a Pregnant Body

The picture above was from when I was 38 week pregnant! Now my daughter is 20 month old, it feels like it was ages ago!

This blue dress was my vintage find from “Sanbiki no Koneko” (three kittens) in Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. I bought it for 600 yen (about 6 bucks). I really liked the bat sleeves, and elastic waist, so I decided to take this home with me.

One problem with the dress was that it was too long for my liking, down to mid calf level. I decided to hem it shorter.  But, having learned the lesson from my hemming experience of this polka dot dress, I decided to readjust my approach to hemming. If you hem a dress or skirt in the traditional way while you are in your third trimester, the center front of the skirt will raise more than expected because of the big belly.

So, this time I cut the front center of the dress 3 inches longer than the side and back.

Doing this will make allowance for the expanding pregnancy belly and make it so that the dress will not rise too high.

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}


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December 13, 2012

Newborn Cloth Diaper Roundup

We have been cloth diapering Daniela since she was a day old, and it’s been going swimmingly! She has a whole stash of one size diapers that she has yet to grow into, but we also had a smaller stash of tiny newborn sized diapers to get us through the first several weeks.  I did lots of research beforehand into cloth diapes that will fit brand new babies, and wanted to share my experiences with some of them here!  First, some diapers that Daniela has been photographed wearing ; )

#1- Size 0 Newborn Kissaluvs

These were our go to diapers for the first few days.  They’re not waterproof, but they’re organic unbleached cotton, and snap down to avoid hitting the umbilical cord stump.  While I was just making colostrum, these were sufficient without a cover – she wasn’t peeing enough to soak through them.  Once she needed a diaper cover over these, I stopped liking them, as much as I wanted to- putting on two separate garments felt like too much work, and the velcro on the outside of the newborn sized covers we were using would scratch me when I was breastfeeding skin to skin (which was every time in those days).  They also got quite bulky with the covers on top.  I still loved these for those first days, but wouldn’t have stocked up as much as I did had I known how little I’d use them after that.

Daniela is about 10 days old, and about 7.5 lbs in all of these three upcoming photos, by the way!

#2 – Lil Joeys by Kangaroos

I LOVE these all in one diapers! They are sized diapers and quite small, but at 6 and a half weeks, she still hasn’t quite outgrown them and I’m using them all I can before she does!  They snap down to accomodate the umbilical cord stump, and they fit her wonderfully from day 1.  She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz, and had pretty skinny legs at birth.  They have never leaked thanks to the built in gussets, and don’t take too long to dry (a common complaint about the all in one diapers).  They’re also trim and cute, and I must say that the ease of all in one diapers is wonderful.

#3 – Small sized G Diapers


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December 12, 2012

iHangy iPhone 5 Case & Keychain

After 3 months of waiting, I finally got an iPhone 5. In fact, it took a trip to Scottsdale, AZ to find exactly what I was looking for! …NO JOKE!

Anyway, I thought it was going to take just as long to find a cute case for my new phone. But iHangy responded to my plea for help by sending me their cute Slip in iPhone 5 Case + Keychain. I LOVE it! Not only is it hot PINK, but it clips onto my keychain & I no longer lose my phone in the mess of my purse!

Only $29.99 & available in black, white and pink.

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December 10, 2012

Happy Hanukkah

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday. For those of you wondering, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Anyone else?

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December 10, 2012

Baking this morning…

& using my cute new measuring spoons!

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