Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are costumes

This year for Halloween I talked the boys into dressing up as characters from the classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s always been one of our favorites, and lucky for me, they were game!

I knew I would have to spend a lot of time piecing together Aiden’s costume since they don’t make one for the Carol character in his size, so I felt really lucky to find a beautiful “Max” pajama outfit on Etsy and a leather crown to go along with it. For Aidens’ Carol costume I pieced together all of the items separately, and a couple required some DIY work on my end.

We took the photos at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, one of my favorite places for a quiet walk with nature. I’ve included their outfit details below in case you’d like to piece together something similar for Halloween or otherwise!

Max (Søren):

Custom Wolf Suit Pajamas – Via ElysiaP on Etsy. These have feet attached but I just tucked them into his shoes. The tail detaches and they were made perfect to his measurements.
Leather Max Crown – Via little blue olive on Etsy. This arrived quickly and was beautiful. I’m contemplating a Where The Wild Things Are birthday party for him now to get more use out of it.
Freshly Picked Shoes – I managed to snag these at Nordstrom the night before I took these photos. I’m so excited that they make hard-soled shoes now (and in larger sizes). I can’t believe I almost forgot shoes, ha!

Carol (Aiden):

Bear Hoody Hat – I purchased this hat and made the horns out of felt to sew on with brown thread.
Yellow Oversized Sunglasses – These were large and yellow enough I think to pull off Carol’s yellow eyes. I could have taken it a step further by adding pupils, but I wanted to let Aiden’s eyes shine.
Orange Foam Clown Nose – This is just an orange clown nose. I thought it would add a more cartoon-y effect, but I’d recommend just painting a nose on if it’s for a child because we had a hard time keeping this on Aiden’s nose.
Long Sleeved Shirt – I couldn’t find a shirt that was striped just like Carol’s sweater, so I purchased a long sleeve yellow tee and painted stripes on using painters tape and orange acrylic paint. It did not wash out.
Fingerless Gloves – These are from American Apparel. I sewed white felt triangles on them to look like claws.
Five Pocket Trousers – To make the scale effect, I used a gray Crayola washable marker. It came out after a few washes.
Striped Raccoon Tail – This is part of a raccoon dress up set from Oeuf NYC. Really, any tail that is darker brown or gray will work.
Grizzly Bear Slippers – Before he wore them outside, I used blue painters tape on the bottom to make them a little more resistant to the elements. If it were raining or we were walking in dirt, I would have gone another route with shoes.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the costumes or if you’d like me to elaborate on anything. Have a safe and happy Halloween weekend!

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Fall Wishlist

My fall 2015 wishlist, featuring favorites from Zady, Everlane, Aesop, and True & Co.

I can’t believe Fall is finally here in California. I feel like the warmth of Summer is finally starting to fade and we might actually see some color in the trees soon. I’ve put a lot more thought into my purchases lately, especially after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I want to buy items that are timeless and will last for quite some time. Below is my fall wishlist for this year, though I can see them being well-loved into future years as well.

1. J.Crew Tissue Turtleneck
This tee is so soft and versatile, I can see it worn with everything from boyfriend jeans to an A-line skirt and heels to dress it up a bit. I love that the neckline is soft and thin, so it doesn’t feel as cumbersome as a thick knit would.

2. J.Hannah Rose Gold Beaded Ring
This little ring is made from solid 14k rose gold, something you don’t find often. It’s made in Los Angeles, California. I love how understated it is, I can definitely see myself wearing it year-round.

3. Animana Big Cloud Queen Blanket
I’ve been lusting after this beautiful handspun and handloomed blanket since I found out about Nuraxi. The merino wool, thick weave, neutral color, and ornate texture are just calling my name. I know it will probably never happen, but a girl can dream, right?

4. Kristin Elspeth Silver Bar Ear Pin
Made in collaboration with local metal-smiths in Los Angeles and New York, these silver bar earrings by Kristin Elspeth are lightweight for all day wear. I love that you can turn them to angle up along your earlobe, or hang down for a more formal look.

5. Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream
My skin has been on a rampage with the change in seasons. I used to use a dermatologist recommended daily moisturizer, but it’s not as natural as I’d like. I like that this cream is natural and includes SPF coverage. Plus, the packaging pulls me in quick.

6. Bianca Panama Hat
Living in California, I’ve had lots of opportunities to collect hats for the Spring and Summer, but not many for Fall. This year I’d like to change that. This hat is 100% wool and made in the USA, and I absolutely love the dark olive color. It would fit perfectly into my current wardrobe.

7. The Chelsea Boot by Everlane
I don’t have many pairs of flat boots, and I’ve been dying to buy a pair of Chelsea boots for quite some time now. These are made from beautiful italian leather and Everlane’s radical transparency mission and quality goods make this an easy decision for me.

8. True & Co. Essential PJ Set
Lately I’ve found myself wanting to wear more fancy pajamas. I feel more put together and well rested for some reason, don’t ask me how that works out. The fabric on these pajamas is so soft and delicate, and they’re the perfect length for me. I have them in gray, but I’d love to pick up this blue pair as well.

9. Women’s Wool Trench by Everlane
This trench is a beautiful shade of gray, and timeless by design. I love that it’s not too light to worry about getting dirty, but it still brings that light-as-snow winter aesthetic to an outfit. I’d pair it with white pants and some flat boots like in this look.

10. Woolrich Felt Mill Scuff Slippers
I picked up a pair of these at the start of actual Fall, and they’ve been so light and comfortable on my feet I’m in love with them. I used to have a larger (and heavier) pair of slippers but these do the job just fine and take up less space.

11. Petra Market Bag by Everlane
There’s no way around the beauty of this tote. I recently purchased this pink and beige reversible one for a couple of recent trips, and fell in love with using a tote again. I think this one would be perfect to span both Fall and Winter seasons.

What is on your fall wishlist this year? Are there any upcoming trends you’re looking forward to?

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5 Tips To Photograph Flowers

5 Tips to Photograph Flowers

One of my favorite things in life is beautiful plants and flowers, I usually share them over on instagram. I love to visit botanical parks, and I love to keep fresh cut flowers on my table at home. I’m not always gifted when it comes to arranging them, but I love to photograph them so today I’m sharing my 5 best tips to photograph flowers with you.

1. Choose your flowers wisely.

You will want to start with flowers that are already pretty, and well taken care of. These are easiest to photograph because they need less work to look beautiful. If you choose flowers that are wilted or beyond their prime you will need to work harder to get the perfect photo.

My favorite flowers to photograph are Peonies (all of them in this post), tulips, roses, alstroemeria, babies breath, and other delicate flowers that are available in lighter colors. I tend to stay away from flowers like daisies and sunflowers which feel less romantic.

2. Set the scene.

Find a space that provides lots of natural light, like a windowsill or a surface near a window. It should be uncluttered and clean in color and appearance. I prefer to photograph my flowers in lighter backgrounds and scenes, but darker areas can also provide for a more moody photo.

3. Lighting is everything.

I can’t emphasize this enough. Lighting is almost everything in a photograph. I prefer natural lighting 99.9% of the time that is even and bright. In the very rare instances when I don’t it, I like artificial lighting in more moody photos. Natural lighting is also more flattering most of the time.

4. Change the view or angle.

Flowers don’t always have to go in a vase. You can tie them together and stand them up, or one of my favorite things to do is lay them down for a photo and take the photo from above. It gives a slightly unconventional angle to the photo and more options as far as arranging the flowers.

5. Get in close.

Most of the flowers I choose to photograph are delicate and have very tiny details that you can only see if you get in close. I love to come in close and different angles to show those little details off. Experiment with different angles and distance from your flowers to find the most flattering photo.

I hope these tips are helpful for you, if you’d tag me in any floral photos you post I’d love to see what you’re doing! I also keep an inspirational florals board on Pinterest with all of my favorite floral photos.

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Teen Room Planning for Aiden

Teen room inspiration from Rafa Kids

With my son Aiden’s 12th birthday quickly approaching, it’s hard to deny that he will soon be a teenager. I’ve been working on his “teen room” as a gift for his 12th birthday. I know he’s not quite a teen yet, but he’s long passed me up in the height department, and when I peek into his room, his poor feet are sometimes over the edge of his bed. He’s very quickly outgrowing his bunk beds, so I’ve been looking at other options for him that will last longer than a year or two.

After our big room switch, I never got around to actually finishing his room. I had a plan that was a little more grown up, with an emphasis on science and outer space (his two favorite interests) but it never fully materialized. I plan to make a few changes so his room can be final for his birthday (this month, eek!). Below I’ve explained my choices for some of these items, and the role they will play in his new room.

1. CB2 Stairway Desk & CB2 Stairway Bookcase
His current desk is one that I made using hairpin legs from our old desks, and although I did cave and buy an IKEA Råskog utility cart for him, it just doesn’t offer enough storage for his needs. I might keep the cart around as a rolling bookcase of sorts.

2. Urban Outfitters Vernick Berber Rug
Since he got his own room back, he hasn’t had a proper rug for it. We finally broke down and tossed the white dust and hair attracting shag rug he’s had since his Robots in Space bedroom and have yet to replace it. I really love the natural look of this one, but I’ve also thought about this navy-colored rag rug. He likes this one best, and it looks soft so I think it’s the winner.

3. Moon Phases Calendar by Little Lark
I purchased this for him as part of his last room design, and I still love it quite a bit. The year we have is 2015, but I don’t think he’s keeping track so it’s going to stay. I will say that this full moon pillow is rather rad, and so is this large glow-in-the-dark version.

4. Toto Accessory Toolbox
Right now he uses several pencil cups to hold his supplies, this would bring everything into one place for him, and it would be easy to move about in case he wants to work in another room or has a project that requires more space.

5. Ikea Nordli 7 Drawer Dresser
I love this system from IKEA. It’s not solid wood, but it feels very well made. We use it in our walk in closet and I just love how easy it is to customize, along with the easy close drawers.

6. DIY Chakboard A.
I love the giant “A” in the Rafa Kids photos. I wanted to recreate something similar since Aiden’s name starts with “A”. I thought it would be fun to do a giant wall-size letter A chalkboard on the wall in his room. That way it can function as decoration and for him to doodle notes or checklists on.

7. Ferm Living Molecule Building Set
This set has been on my wish list for quite some time, and every time Aiden sees it he asks about it, so I thought I’d surprise him with it in his room. I love that it functions both as decor and a thinking type toy without looking like a little kid’s toy.

8. Unison Grid Black Duvet Cover
The grid pattern on this totally draws me in, and reminds me of graph paper that you’d use for science class. I actually have this duvet cover from HAY Denmark that is similar, so I plan to use that.

9. Ikea Malm Queen Bed
Aiden’s room functions as the guest bedroom when we have guests over. I know it’s not pretty but it works for us because usually it’s just my Mom so he sleeps on the top bunk, and the guest gets the lower bunk. With a new Queen sized bed, I will move his current bunk beds to my younger son’s room so that Aiden can sleep on the top in there when we have guests, but enjoy his larger queen sized bed when we don’t.

I can’t wait to get to work on his room, with his birthday quickly approaching I’m going to have to move quickly, but can’t wait to share it with you once I’m done!

Have you ever designed a pre-teen or teen bedroom? What did you like best about your room when you were a teen? I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have for Aiden’s room in the comments below!

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