Mar 22, 2015

My Weekend Bedroom Refresh: 5 Things You Can do Too

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. A place you come home to unwind and relax after a long day. That place should be a calming respite filled with all your favorite things-or at least that's what I've been told or read on all the home blogs.

For the longest time our bedroom has been a clothing dumping ground with papers shrewn about or piles upon piles of random crap my hoarding self couldn't bare to throw out. My husband and I both work really hard so not having our own space was the opposite of relaxation. It was time for a refresh, hell we deserved it! Plus I pretty much design experiences for a living so it was poor form that my own home didn't reflect that. With that said, I am doing in a few phases. There was no big budget for this, so doing it on a dime too was the only option.

Take a look at it Phase 1 (new duvet, wall hangings and pillows)-what do you think?

I've also put together 5 affordable ways YOU can do for a quick update to your own sanctuary that will have a big impact.


1. Accent wall- pick a wall to paint or add wallpaper too. A bold color will give your room a focal point as well as provide visual interest.
stunning bedroom with black walls, leopard accents, gold, black and white! SWOON!
Photo for credit on image.
Deep #teal bedroom wall #color with pops of fuchsia. Loving the octagonal #mirror and console as well!
Found on InteriorsbyStudioM.com

























2. Hanging photos or prints - Take a walk around your home, if you have artwork from your kids or prints you haven't hung yet, maybe it can work in your room. A lot times you have all the tools you need right under your nose. I had two family photos someone had blown up, dipped in resin and layed on wood that I never hung (going on 2 years now). They would be the anchor. You can also buy cheap typography prints which are popular right now for less than 20 bucks (Home Goods, Marshall's and Etsy are good options). Similar to the ones shown in my picture. I bought 'Enjoy the Little Things' for $16.99 and 'Do All Things With Love' for $19.99.

3. Bedspread/Duvet Replacement or Rug - a new comforter or rug is a great new base for a room. Either will ground or provide a center to the overall space. Have some fun too, buy two contrasting pillows in another texture to provide depth and/or a colored sheet set for a magazine worthy vibe.


4. Pick an Accent Color - use that to accessorize the other areas of your space. If you stick with this color throughout it will appear thoughtful and will give levity to your space. It can be a vase, antlers, set of small bowls, sheets, color in your framed prints or an accent table for example. I'm using gold/yellow like what you see below both from bhg.com:

yellow bedroom accents bhg              yellow home accessories bhg

5. Storage & Organization- having clearly defined areas of storage in or outside your closet makes a huge difference. Whether its jewelery trays or ring holders, to baskets for magazines, to shelves for your shoes. Places like Ikea, the container store and Home Goods have great options. Take the time to edit yourself. You don't need to keep everything. (going to be Phase 2 for me).

Tag me on IG so I can see your great refresh ideas. Om shanti!





Mar 20, 2015

Kid Style: Can I Wear My Suspsenders Please?


You ever meet someone with a gigantic personality? Someone who confidently walks in a room, commands attention and can strike up a conversation with anyone? Yeah well, I know someone just like that, his name is Jett Malcolm, he's only five and he's my son (see left). Lord help me!

I needed to provide that setup before we discuss our current situation, which is his suspender obsession. To say, he loves his suspenders would be an understatement. The kind of love you typically reserve for a family member or pet. The kind of love that would make you sleep in your suspenders if your parents would let you- yeah that kind. I should add his father also rocks a mean suspender pretty regularly-which isn't a bad thing to emulate.

On top of that, Jett also has a 2-3 maximum outfit rotation. For clarity, he has a drawer filled with clothes but insists on skimming off the top and wearing the same outfits over and over (he even sneaks them out of the dirty clothes and thinks I don't notice-that's the 5 year old in him). He is, for lack of a better word, the most stylish vagabond we know. There were a pair of overalls last summer which he wanted to wear all the time and well into the winter until I put my foot down, then a pair of army green H&M pants we bought for back-to-school that had suspenders on them. When he finally outgrew those I thought why not buy a pair of suspenders so he can put on all his pants and stop wearing these damn high-waters. I thought adding this new accessory to his repertoire would open up the rest of his wardrobe for him to choose from. He would finally dig deeper into the drawer. Sike!

After he rotated the same outfit three times in one week, preceded by several mornings of negotiating and arguing about all of the above, I gave up. I relented to a curly haired, doe-eyed, emotionally manipulative magician and decided to go to Uniqlo and get two more sets of the same outfit in two more colors. It just wasn't worth the headache every morning before work. I secretly won. I have a more calm morning, I don't have to pick out his clothes anymore and I gave him ownership. I AM smarter than a 5th grader!


These days, its suspenders all day every day (unless our babysitter turned cleaning lady moves them which happens without fail & pretty much jams up my Monday). The pants stay up and he's pretty well put together. Its better than a cape, cowboy boots or Halloween costume being worn all the time which I have seen all too frequently at school. The parent struggle is real.

I think I'll invest in like 2 more pairs of suspenders for him and see how that goes.

Do your kids have an outfit or thing they want to wear everyday? If you are in the market for a pair for your little one, here are some  affordable ideas. Enjoy!







CLASSIC STYLES 
Toddler/Baby - Black Striped Suspenders Available here


Cream Navy Boys Suspenders, Kids Suspenders, Toddler Suspenders, Baby Suspenders, Suspenders, Suspenders for Boys. Free US Shipping Available here


COLORFUL OR FUNKY
Yellow Boys Suspenders, Kids Suspenders, Toddler Suspenders, Baby Suspenders, Suspenders, Suspenders for Boys. Free US Shipping Available here
Available here
Kids suspenders blue with darts patterns vintage 70s Available here





Mar 16, 2015

4 Kid approved ramen spots where making a mess is accetpable

Quick Ramen recipe. Perfect soup for fall!
Photo from Pinterest
I'm a firm believer that kids get better at going out to eat the more you take them. You can use these opportunities to introduce new food types and flavors as well as practice behavior around large groups of people. We have always taken our kids out, even suffered through many of a mangled meal when they were young. All of that however has turned my little ones into quit the food adventurers-even more so than me!

In the last year or so we've been eating Ramen. Recently, we've tried several spots sometimes as a couple and several as a family. I've shared a few spots that we love and that have kid friendly menu options some even having kiddie chopsticks (like what you see below from Amazon.com).


Check them out and head on over for a taste.

Ganso 25 Bond Street Brooklyn, NY (kind of dig their old school playlist too)

Hog Wild Dino Sticks Party SetChuko -552 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Naruto Ramen - 275 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Bassanova Ramen - 76 Mott Street, NYC (if you are going here please note the entrance is tucked away via a set of downward leading steps.  The entrance is not stroller friendly per se but with help you can manage.) P.S. The dumplings will make you smack somebody they are so good.


Enjoy!!




In the Kitchen with Chicbusymom: Cozy White Bean Soup


I was in my local Whole Foods yesterday and had no idea what I was going to make for dinner. I happen to go down the bean aisle and was struck by a can of Cannellini beans or white beans when I got the idea to make White Bean Soup.

I figured it couldn't be too hard and would last at least for two dinners. I had already picked up some red kale so I figured I'd throw that in too. It took no time and I have to say if was the bomb. Here is the recipe for you. As a note, I used this recipe as a guide but as you can see I augmented quite a bit.


Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 30 min

INGREDIENTS:
7 oz. Turkey sausage kielbasa (sliced then diced)
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 15 oz. cans of Cannellini beans (do not drain)
1 small onion (diced)
1 Tbsp. of minced Garlic
4 cups of Kale
1 cup sliced carrots
2/3 stalks of celery sliced and diced
1 cup of water
1 cup of chicken broth
1 Bouillon cube
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 palm size full of Parsley


DIRECTIONS:
In a medium sauce pan throw in onions and cook until translucent (about 5-6 minutes). Next put in garlic and cook for one minute. Next put in celery, carrots and kale and cook until kale looks tender but not mushy. Pour in both cans of beans. 

In a separate pan put olive oil and sausage and cook until sausage has a springy-ness about it (4 min or so). Drain and put sausage into soup pot. Add water and chicken broth and stir. Add bouillion cube, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Add parsley.

Serve immediately with warm bread. I used Naan which I warm in a flat pan (2.5 min) with a smidge of olive oil to wake up the flavor.


Feb 26, 2015

In the Kitchen w/Chicbusymom: Mini Macaroni & Cheese Cups

I have been traveling recently for about 2+ weeks straight for work. Like a true road warrior my bags and I went back and forth to Los Angeles twice and then to Florida. At the end of my last trip I checked my calendar and remembered with a audible choice expletive that it was my youngest son's Family Visit the next day at school. 

What's a Family Visit you ask? It's when the entire family comes in and gets interviewed by twenty 5 and 6 year olds. The goal is to learn about everyone's family differences and similarities. You then break off into 4-5 stations where each family member demonstrates different aspects of the family dynamic--LAWD! We opted for a reading corner, an art station, a red carpet/event production station as well as the mandatory snack station. Of course that meant me making his favorite meal, macaroni and cheese.

I had learned from my daughter's previous Family Visit to keep the snack simple and not fussy- it was kids after all. That memory of fresh lemonade all over the floor will be cemented in my memory forever (plus I was beyond tired). With that in mind, I decided it would be easier to make individual cups of mac & cheese vs. an entire tray. This way the kids could pick it up and handle the portions easily and the clean up would be basically nothing. #smartmomswin

It was so easy I made it that morning before school and guess what?! It was a super hit this time (see  the finished cups above). Below I've included my recipe plus a few other variations that I found on Pinterest including two great ones that include vegetables.

MY RECIPE

1 Egg

1 Can of Carnation's Evaporated Milk

1 Box of uncooked macaroni noodles

1 Tablespoon of butter

3 Bags of your preferred  shredded cheese (buy the pre-shredded cheese. It will save you lots of time). I use Sharp Cheddar, Mild Cheddar and Monterrey Jack

Secret ingredient: Half of a medium sized onion cut in four (you will need a food processor of some sort for this. I use my Magic Bullet). Don't worry the flavor is not overpowering and kids will love it.

Salt & pepper to taste

1 Muffin pan and cupcake cups

DIRECTIONS


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes, it should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and return to the pan; stir in the butter.
  3. Fill each muffin cup with macaroni noodles 
  4. Bechamel Cheese Sauce- Take onion and chop in your food processor until it becomes a puree. Remove blended onion from processor and pour into a separate pot. Next pour in entire can of milk and add the egg. Heat and blend egg until all combined. Add 1/2 to 3/4ths of your cheese (all kinds) and little salt and pepper. Heat and stir until cheese has melted and all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Leave this mixture on extremely low heat so as not to burn but to keep the ingredients mixed.
  5. Pour your Bechamel sauce into each muffin cup until well coated but do not overfill. Overfilling will lead to your pan burning in the oven.
  6. With your remaining cheeses top the cups then put in the oven. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. This will allow the cheese to set and they will hold their muffin shape.
And from  our friends on Pintrest...




Roasted Veggies and Mac & Cheese Cups. Click here for the recipe

Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese Cups

Mini Mac and Cheese Cresent Cups. Click here for the recipe

Mini Mac and Cheese Crescent Cups

Spinach and Mac & Cheese Muffins. Click here for the recipe

DSC_3986

Enjoy!





Chicbusymom joins the #EDENWonderMoms campaign

If you follow me for real you know how much I love the EDEN BodyWorks brand for my own hair. Recently, the brand announced its expansion into the children’s category with an all-new collection of hair care and styling products for the little people in your life. Available now at edenbodyworks.com and exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply (select stores), EDEN Kids is designed specifically with children ages 4-12 in mind, with easy-to-use packaging and a scrumptious strawberry and coconut scent that makes wash day enjoyable, quick and easy for all. I used the Leave-In on my son the other night and he yelled out, 'Oooo yum, strawberry!'. I think you would say he likes it and I like the way it made his hair feel too.

EDEN Kids Product Lineup Includes:

Like its predecessors, the EDEN kids collection is sourced purely from nature, with quality moisturizing ingredients nd other restorative properties – and devoid of harsh, damaging chemicals (basically none of the bad stuff is getting into your kids hair):

·         Coco Shea Berry Detangling Shampoo (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Detangling Leave In Spray Conditioner (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Moisture Milk (8 oz.) *April 2015
·         Coco Shea Berry Curly Creme (8 oz.)
·         Coco Shea Berry Smoothing Gel (8 oz.) *April 2015


But wait-there's more!

To support the EDEN Kids launch, the brand will partner with several self-published children’s authors to offer a complimentary book with every $20 or more purchase of the new collection. Participating authors include: Julia Davis (I Love Me), Ashley Foxx (Keisha Kane and Her Very Sweet Tooth), Yolanda Renee (Curlies Color Too), Mechal Roe (Happy Hair) and Dr. Robert L. Kirton (The Beast and The Least).

Through the #EDENWonderMoms campaign, several of the top mommy bloggers (Me included!!) in the business will be taking over the brand’s Instagram account to provide EDEN followers with valuable grooming, wellness and work/life balance tips.

EDEN BodyWorks has commissioned popular illustrator and designer, Veronica Marche, to create hand-drawn depictions of EDEN Kids’ v

ibrant styles and personalities. Additionally, the brand will be hosting “I Love Me. I Love My Hair.” workshops in several markets throughout the year, kicking off in New York City with the all-girls non-profit organization, Petals-n-Belles.

I love everything about this project and I'm happy to be able to participate.


#spon



Dec 16, 2014

AquaBall: Tastes Great & Healthy

Got a box of AquaBall in the mail to try (oh how we love you Olaf) - which are little bottles of water flavored with fruits, berries and a touch of Stevia. There were four flavors in all with Disney characters on them: Berry featuring Frozen, Orange featuring Planes Fire & Rescue, Fruit Punch featuring Disney Princesses and Grape featuring Marvel's Avengers. Didn't know this but Disney is the first company to establish nutritional guidelines which brands must meet in order to be affiliated with the Disney name.

As a parent, you can look for the Disney Mickey Check which lets you make better nutritional choices. AquaBall is the only water beverage that has earned the Mickey Check.

How about this--After I read the paperwork (you know I had to read it to make sure it was safe) I put Aquaball in my kids' lunch. I figured give it a try. I had four bottles so I decided to give two to 2 children on one day and 2 the next. That folks was an instant BAD IDEA! The following day my daughter didn't get one and man the river of tears opened up. Lordy!!! I will never do that again. At least I know they like it --a lot.

At a low price of $1 per bottle that's a deal for 12oz compared to most equivalents that give you 8oz. And did you know that 8oz won't hydrate a 10 yr. old but 12oz will? Yeah, me neither. Plus you get Vitamins C, B3, B5, B6, and B12 in every bottle.

AquaBall is sold at Target, Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.com. Look for it in store on your next grocery trip. I know I will.  **Chicbusymom was not paid for this article**