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Bittersweet. Final ohbrooke Post

I started this blog 3 and a half years ago not really knowing where it would go. The greatest impact I think it's had is on myself. I remember being in 8th grade and teachers telling us that we'll find out "who we are" in high school. While high school was definitely a test of strength, confidence and will power, it definitely didn't shape who I am. In retrospect, this blog has shaped me more than any institution has. My mother and father are both creative, and my siblings equally so. As the youngest child, I never knew where my creativity fit in and I think I  found it in this blog. In high school my creativity was red hair ...


Favorite Things Party

You know you're itching to throw a party... this one was a TOTAL success! Some friends of mine told me about this Oprah's Favorite Things party idea, with the premise that we all get ideas for great products from our girlfriends. So the three of us threw a party to do just that. We each invited four people and told each guest to bring a friend {my favorite way to get a good mix of people at a party}. One of the hosts, Kim, told me about Paperlesspost.com for the invitations which proved to be super convenient and adorable; all sorts of digital stationary, fonts and colors to use, as well as reporting of which guests are attending and which guests ...


Sad Chair / Happy Chair

Sad Toddler Rocking Chair: Happy Toddler Shark Chair: With the hand-painted details and appropriate sanding for a vintage look: with imperfections and personality: A tip for painting something like this that has lots of nooks, crannies, and joints: use spray paint. It's nearly impossible to hide brush strokes, and it'll cut your painting time by over half. A tip for achieving a vintage look: use desaturated colors, and use a different base color if you plan on doing some sanding. It'll make those "wear marks" look more authentic.


$1 Toy Box Makeover

I couldn't pass it up: a toybox crying for help. Somehow I was able to take this great little toybox home for a dollar. I girl'd it up for someone special that has her first birthday coming up. My favorite spray paint, 1/2 yard of this great fabric, grossgrain ribbon trim and lots of Mod Podge created this: Hope she likes it! {and sidenote, after fabric and mod podge is dry, you can easily remove the fabric and it won't damage the wood.}


Mother’s Day Gift Card Contest

It's not often your offspring remind you of Smeagol. At least it shouldn't be. We had a lovely Easter weekend, and yet, this is the picture that came back to me {captured by my friend April}. I'm proud to be this little river-creature's mother and couldn't pass up the chance to hold a contest for the best caption. Leave a comment with a suggested caption for this picture, and enter to win a $30 Amazon Gift Card. And no, you don't need to mention it, I'm already sending off the picture to AFP. {click to enlarge photo for better inspiration} Comments will close on Wed. May 11 2011. Winner announced the following day.


Growth Chart

As they say, "It happens so fast!" I bought this adorable growth chart from "KimsSister" on Etsy, and the quality has far surpassed my expectations. It's super cute and goes great with Owen's nursery. You can buy one here.


Why Can’t I Have Cute Ankle Jeans?

Because I don't like trying on jeans. Sorry for the terrible iPhone photos, I was too lazy to charge my camera, and now you are all paying the price. So, here's a pair of jeans that I've had for a few years, but they offensively roll over at the bottom. So gross - even with a cute outfit, I look like a chimney-sweeper. ... throw the jeans on your twin sister inside-out and pin back the flare to make them straight-legged... sew them on your bathroom counter, three rooms away from your sleeping baby... ...fold cuff over, double hem, and chase your unhappy toddler around the patio for that perfect amount of fray... Bring photos in Photoshop and stretch the photo length-wise juuuuuuust enough so flat ...


Free Downloads: Easter Goodie Bags

A quick trip to the store for Easter candies and a few pieces of cardstock later {regular paper works well too}, I came up with an easy-but-cute favor idea. Click the links to get free downloadable PDFs for the bag tags, prints 6 to a letter-sized sheet of paper. {bunny artwork from here, chick artwork from here} Free Download {PDF} Bunny Poop {used with Whoppers} Bunny Babies {used with marshmallow bunnies} Bunny Tails {used with cotton candy or marshmallows} Chick-a-dees {used with Easter grass and peanut butter Easter M&M's} If you're not a designer When creating favors or labels or anything from scratch... think simple. Simple makes a statement, even with the irreverant "{bunny} poop" favors. Simple goes a long way.


Easter Favor Ideas

Easter always sneaks up on me. With the little one, a friend of ours has put together a mini Easter Egg Hunt, mostly for 2 years and under. I'm trying to come up with an Easter treat, and I've got it whittled down to these DOABLE, don't-need-too-much-patience ideas {click image for links}:


What I Know Now: 1 Year Old

It was a year ago today that I gave birth to Owen. In retrospect, I don't remember it being all that much work. How messed up is that? Both that I don't remember how great it was, and that I don't remember the pain involved. Being pregnant for nine months felt longer than having a baby for a year. Time goes too fast in between feedings and naps to even realize a week has passed. After a 27-year great track record, I'm now officially late to everything. Forget trying to schedule things with other friends who have babies. Some things I never saw myself doing: holding a baby on my lap while in an airplane bathroom, wearing a shirt that got peed on ...


Brand New Waverly Fabric GIVEAWAY!

Waverly Fabric just came out with a brand new line of beautiful fabrics called 'Modern Essentials' which will be sold in Joann's stores starting next week. Here's a little bit about the new design: Waverly takes a new direction with Modern Essentials, a unique variety of classic motifs designed for 21st century style. The collection offers three distinct looks - a playful, ethnic group, a spa inspired group and a take on the more traditional florals with Asian aesthetic and tone. The color palette ranges from earthenware and saturated jewel tones to crisper, warmer fruit punch tones and serene, aquatic colors. All are on cotton sateen with a nice calendar finish. I love that these ...


Baby Gate Makeover

I have a stack of beautiful new Waverly fabric that I wanted to put to use. Just a few inches from my stack of fabric is my baby gate I've told you all about. Then it occurred to me that it wouldn't be *too* terribly obnoxious to spruce up my baby gate, would it? Here's the before: And here's the after: The width of the fabric was the perfect for the height of the gate. I cut 1" notches along the width of the fabric and ripped strips off, then wove them through the gate with a little knot at the top and bottom. Other ideas I had along the way include spray painting the gate something a little more vibrant using spray ...


Owen’s First Tattoo

It was clear from the beginning that Owen is a 'bad boy'. Sleeping all day and partying at night, over consumption of anything and everything and a blatant disregard for rules. It seemed only fitting as his first birthday fast approaches, that we help him blossom into who he is: A Rebel. Bad to the bone. So, we took him to our local tattoo shop and had him branded with his favorite "she thinks she knows what she's talking about" website. I'm sure there are more to come.


What I’m Pinning

You've probably heard about Pinterest.com by now, a new social network of projects and products and anything in-between. Think of it as magazine clippings of things you want to make or use for reference later {While reading your blogs, you can 'pin' things you want to remember later. Then they're all stored in one place!}. Since our condo is on the market, my little projects have fallen by the wayside {only to ramp back up when we get a new place, I'm sure!}. Anyway, here's what I'm pinning lately... {You can follow what I'm pinning here}. Click images to see original link...


Relocating and It Feels So Good

Not exactly, but I'm feeling a little sing-songy tonight. So, here's the scoop. Just six weeks into our condo being on the market, we got an offer. Suddenly we had possibly 30 days to pack up and ship out. But ship where? We're planning on renting in the same area for a while until we find "THE" house we can stay in and grow 12 babies and no pets in. But that doesn't really answer the question. I'm flexible on the city. I'm flexible on the property-type and the size. I'm not, however, flexible on price. How on earth did rent get so high? With equal parts "Shoot!" and "Phew!", the offer fell through. I felt the ground back under my feet ...