Did you know that the number of bookshelves in your home can predict your kid’s success at school?

A study by a team of Stanford and University of Munich researchers shows that parents who own two bookshelves raise kids who do better in school. Whoa.

And with that, here’s why you should absolutely read books out loud to babies.


Do you still read paperbacks and hardcovers or do you rely on tablets and e-readers?




Sweet Etsy Shop: Little Low Studio

Do you ever get the impulse to make every wall in your home a gallery wall? I see art and prints sometimes that make me want to keep adding to Declan’s wall of framed illustrations and watercolor animals…but it’s not organically arranged, they’re perfectly spaced and it was planned just for the six frames currently up there so I fear it would look sloppy to add more and I really don’t want to take them all down. wah.

You can get a peek of how they’re hung in this precious photo by our fantastic photographer friends Brandon + Kristin Kidd:

declan newborn photo 2 brandon kidd photography

I totally have the temptation to add more prints and art up there, especially after I found these Little Low Studio prints.  And I know Mumbles would approve of the vintage car set – he totally loves the Thing. And it all coordinates with the color scheme in Declan’s nursery nicely (which Mumbles could probably care less about).  This pack in particular is a handy little set of 5×7 cards so they’d be super easy to frame and add up to the gallery wall – maybe two on each side or maybe even all lined up in a row along the bottom! (hey, now that’s an easy solution!)

little low studio car prints

So now that I’ve tackled the nursery issue, I still want to gobble up a lot more of the beautiful prints from this shop and frame them for various gallery walls that have yet to be made in our home.  Like this stunning American map with floral representations for regions of the country.  I love that navy.

American Map floral little low studio on etsy

And how fantastic would this be as a gift for the garden-lover in your life?  Like sugar, that’s how sweet.

Have you found any fun Etsy shops lately?  


P.S. Check out more of my favorite prints on Pinterest.

Photo via Brandon Kidd Photography.

Craigslist Finds

This post should really be titled “Things I’d Like To Buy & Hoard.”  But I’m not being that honest today.  Emily Henderson does frequent posts on “Craigslist Trolling” in different cities with amazing finds she’d scoop up and sometimes even gives pointers on how she’d refurbish them or style them in clients’ homes.  In similar fashion, when I start daydreaming of taking everything out of my house and designing it all from scratch again, I sometimes troll Craigslist for fun to see what I might put in this fictionally empty house of mine.  And every so often, when I’m not even looking for it, I come across something magical like these amazing barstools for so cheap I think I should call right now and go snag them before someone else does.  And then I’d hurry home to get rid of our current dining room table, chairs and bench so we can start fresh with these brass beauties…le sigh…

craigslist barstools

Or this lovely bentwood rocker. These pop up quite often but usually the wicker/cane needs repair. This one looks to be in excellent condition. Side note: check out this sweet painted one from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Santa Ana for a whole $32! you can see a small hole in the upper corner, but hey, nothing a little blanket thrown over it couldn’t hide!

craigslist bentwood rocker

If you happen to be in need of a whole new dining room (like maybe you did take everything out of your house so you could start all over? well done, you!), this is a killer deal for everything (buffet, hutch, dining table, and chairs) you’d need and really all you’d have to do is update the upholstery on the dining chairs.  Such a steal.  And I just can’t resist the brass and those cloister-like details which are not only beautiful on the hutch, but cleverly tie in on the table base. Too much good stuff, I tell ya!

craigslist dining set hutch


And the other day I was reading a blog (sorry, can’t find it now) and the writer was lamenting about how she completely regretted not snatching up a pair of midcentury wire lounge chairs like these for her non-existent patio.  I sort of want to buy them for her now. But I can’t recall who she is so maybe I’d just keep them for myself. I do love them.

craigslist outdoor lounge chair siesta set


Have you scored anything amazing on Craigslist lately?  What are you currently searching for?


Layered Rugs

I’ve been on the hunt recently for a new rug and I noticed that a few photos have really caught my eye with one thing in common: layering multiple rugs over one another.

emily henderson layered rugs in joanna goddard living room

Stylist Emily Henderson explains “the other rug was added/layered to give the boys more of a designated play area (and to engage that corner) – it’s plush and VERY kid friendly. You could hide blood, playdough and all sorts of bodily liquids in that bad boy and not be able to see it.”

I love our ivory shag rug from Home Depot (it was such a deal at $120 for an 8×10 that I seriously couldn’t not get it) because it was neutral enough to ground the room but the walkway between the sofa and the coffee table is seriously worn down from foot traffic and it looks dirty.  Gross.  So, I’m wondering if I could get a smaller rug and layer it on top?  But then I wonder if a rug layered on top of a shag rug would look funny. Seems it may need to be the other way around.  Hmmm…

I don’t know that I’d go as overboard as they did with so many different rugs but I do love the look of the recycled sari silk rug.

cb2 layered rugs

Do you like the look of layered rugs?  Have a rug you want to rave about and recommend?  Here are more that I love. 


P.S. Mumbles is back on his “we need a recliner” kick so I need to find a stylish one, quick.  I love the look of navy paired with the caramel brown leather like in the photo above – complements the grey sofa (which we have) perfectly!  Maybe I could reupholster Jane in a navy velvet or something…

Are You Mad for Midcentury?

Remember Clive and Clyde?  I went to visit Clive in person the other day and left feeling really disappointed. He’s handsome, don’t get me wrong. And totally fits the function we’d need him for, which is pretty spectacular since my wish list was long. But after meeting him, I was sad because he didn’t live up to my expectations (which were to fall madly in love at first sighting and immediately wrap my arms around him to stake my claim)…oddly enough, we passed right by him in the store and didn’t notice him.  So maybe we should rethink our fear, which is that the reclaimed wood would be really overwhelming and busy in our house. Plus, C&B can’t guarantee exactly what our Clive will look like – the reclaimed wood planks may or may not have paint on them, nails, holes, etc… so yeah, not what I wanted to be feeling for that price tag. I still think about him often, though, and that says a lot, right?  We’ll see, Clive. We’ll see.

Clyde is still on my list, and we just may get him.  I feel like he’s a safe bet. But the tricky part is we can’t see him anywhere before we buy and he’s a pretty penny, too.  I’d hate to have to deal with the hassle of returning such a big piece of furniture. What a pain.  So lately I’ve been stalking Craigslist for china cabinets, bar cabinets, buffets, sideboards, and hutches.  Heck, I’ve even been toying with the idea that maybe we should have a custom dry bar area built into that area (but nixed that idea pretty quick since our plan down the road is to knock out the storage closet behind that wall the day that air conditioning goes out on us).  Anyone a carpenter/welder that wants to build us a custom Clive?  Anyone?

Anyway, I’ve been finding some neat items and one midcentury piece immediately caught my eye so I’ve emailed the seller to get more details.  West Elm has a line of midcentury furniture, it’s all over design blogs and magazines, and some of it goes for high dollar on Craigslist and Ebay — perhaps because of everyone’s love affair with Don Draper?  Or maybe it’s just that solid wood construction and simple, clean lines.

I found this NPR article where someone said

People tend to like what their grandparents liked.

For me, that’s totally true. “Grandma chic” is what I like to call it.  Remember when I brought home Jane and my parents were like “did you find that in the attic?” and reminisced about similar furniture that their parents had?  So funny. The article also explains that logic; baby boomers don’t like midcentury styles because it’s what they grew up with.  So, apparently style tastes skip a generation. I can believe that.

midcentury wall unit via the modern vault

If you’re in Orange County, I stumbled upon a great shop: The Modern Vault in Newport Beach.  How awesome is this chair? If I had room for a free standing bar (ours needs to go up against a wall) this one is so amazing!

Do you like midcentury style?  Do you and your grandparents have the same style? 


[image via The Modern Vault]