Friday, January 29, 2010

Studio 7 A.M. Blanket 212

I am planning a ski trip out to Montana in a few weeks for President's Day Weekend and was in desperate need for a warm waterproof shell for my bugaboo stroller. I wanted something which was warm, chic and multi-functional and I finally found it! The Blanket 212 from Studio 7 A.M. answered my prayers.

The bunting bag grows with your child so that you get several years of use (from a few months old to 4 years of age). It also adapts to any stroller or car seat and converts to a large thermal downlike, fleece-lined blanket. The waterproof shell on the outside protects your child from the wind and the rain. Done, done and done! Where can I get one in my size?

To view and purchase the whole 7 A.M Enfant Line click here

And did I mention the celebrities love this line too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dollhouse Bookcases

Looking for a piece of furniture for your daughter's room which is whimsical, playful, and functional? If so I would recommend purchasing a dollhouse bookcase. It can be used as an actual bookcase or as a large dollhouse and girls just LOVE them. I personally like them because they are an instant statement piece in a room.

We used to carry the line Bradshaw Kirchofer (pictured above and below) at Sprout. Although the Bradshaw Kirchofer designs are the most expensive, they are still my favorite choice. Notice the detail on the chimney, scalloped roof, and mini picket fence. They are also made-to-order so you can choose from over 20 different paint colors to match your room. This is the only dollhouse bookcase that I found whose finish comes distressed (although you can order it non-distressed). It is also the only dollhouse bookcase which comes fully assembled (hence why it ships freight for $150).

Bradshaw Kirchofer bookcase available at Layla Grace
41"H x 34"W x 13"D

Now if you like the look but don't want to shell out $800, the Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids have recently come out with their own versions of the dollhouse bookcase. Interestingly both come painted white with green accents on the roof and windows. As you can see from the photos below, the details are much simpler than those in the Bradshaw Kirchofer style above and you don't have color choices but the price is much more reasonable. The only catch is that assembly is required and the pieces do not have a distressed finish.

Land of Nod bookcase
44.5" H x 27"W x 12.25"D

Pottery Barn bookcase
51"H x 45"W x 12"D

If $300 is still too high for your budget, I have one more option for you (besides building one yourself). Guidecraft makes a very simple pink and white bookcase for $270 (I found one below for $210).

Guidecraft bookcase available at The Toy Palace
47"H x 43.5"W x 12" D

Monday, January 25, 2010

Red, White & Blue

Red, White, and Blue used to be the "go-to" for boys room decor. But now with the evolution of modern nursery design and the introduction of bold colors such as turquoise, orange, lime green, and brown, the popularity of this color combination has subsided. I'd like to re-introduce you to this classical and standby trio with a few inspirational rooms:

The room pictured above was designed by Katie Leede. Even though the colors of red, white and blue are used, there is no particular theme attached to the room. The same goes for the room below designed by Katie Ridder.

The rooms below definitely have a more Americana feel because of the use of the American flag and stars as room decor accents.

image via Style Chronicle, room designed by Ashley Whittaker Design

also by Ashley Whittaker Design, almost the same layout!

room designed by Susan Kasler and featured in her book Inspired Interiors
(love the painted ceiling)

image via Style Chronicle, room designed by Stephen Gambrel
(a fabulous drum light fixture)

I forgot where the image below came from but I love the blue sliding door and camp-style beds. This would be such a fun nook for a sleepover!

If you don't have the resources to create the rooms above, here are some pre-designed bedding sets which will help you get started with that Red, White & Blue look:

A Serena & Lily's take on the Red, White & Blue
The Nate bedding set is now on sale!

Lucky Horseshoes bedding set

Chesapeake crib set by Bebe Chic

Henry crib set by Maddie Boo

And now a few options for a more modern take on the Red, White & Blue theme. Since these sets do not have any red in them, I would add hints of red with accessories. Or even better, paint red stars or the American flag on one entire wall!

Kaledioscope crib bedding by New Arrivals

On another note, since you all know I LOVE orange, the four sets above would look stellar with orange or even fuchsia if you really want to go with something out of the box.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rainy Day Carnitas Tacos

Since we are going on day #5 of rain here in Los Angeles, I've been craving hot chocolate, red wine, and comfort food. I don't think anything says comfort food more than crock pot cooking so I'd love to share a family carnitas recipe with you to try over the weekend.

This makes a great Sunday night group dinner, make some queso & guacamole with chips as an appetizer, pop open some Corona lights, and viola! You have dinner made.

Queso (serves 8)
This recipie comes from my best friend's mother-in-law in Texas, Patsy Nicholas. (This is not low fat but is oh so good)

1 stick (yes I said stick) of unsalted butter
3 green onions chopped
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 large package of Velveta cheese diced into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Melt the butter in a soup pot over low heat (about 1 minute). Add the green onions and tomatoes and cook until just tender (about 2 minutes). Add one can of mushroom soup & velveta cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and has combined with the soup base. Toss in the cilantro just before you take it off the stovetop and serve in a colorful bowl. (I know the mushroom soup sounds a little weird but somehow it keeps the cheese from getting hard after it has cooled down and adds an interesting flavor to the queso) I always make extra queso because people eat a ton of it plus this one can easily be kept and re-heated in the fridge for the next day.

Guacamole (serves 4)
This one is really easy, and my go-to recipe. Just combine all of the items below in a bowl and serve with thick tortilla chips.

3-4 Ripe Avocados - mashed into thick chunks
1/2 finely diced sweet yellow onion
2 roma tomatoes diced (try to just dice the outside and leave out the seeds)
1 handful of cilantro chopped
2 shakes of cumin
1 lime juiced
1/2 tsp salt (you might want more, I like mine really salty)
1/4 tsp pepper

Carnitas (serves 4-6)
This recipe was shared with me this week by my sister-in-law's mother Deborah Barto. She is an amazing chef and every recipe that she shares is a winner.

2 lbs country style pork butt or pork shoulder or boneless pork ribs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 large yellow onion cut into 4 pieces

2 Avocados
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of radishes
1 bottle of green tomatillo salsa
1 small block of jack cheese
1 red pepper
1 small container of sour cream
12 authentic corn or flour tortillas (try to get the real ones from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Central Market, or a Mexican Grocery Store - it makes a big difference)

Cut the pork into 1 1/4 inch pieces. Toss the pork into the bowl of a slow cooker with the salt, pepper, oregano and cumin to coat. Place the onions pieces on top of the pork. Cover the slow cooker and cook the pork on the low setting until the meat is very tender and falling apart (about 6 hours). After the pork is cooked, shred it using two forks and change the cooker setting to warm until you are ready to serve.

To serve, set up separate bowls of cilantro springs, sliced radishes, tomatillos sauce, shredded jack cheese (shred yourself, don't use the pre-shred, it tastes much better), sliced avocado, thinly sliced red bell pepper, and sour cream.

Heat 12 flour or corn tortillas wrapped in foil in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes.

Scoop the meat mixture into warmed tortillas, top with selected toppings and serve with a cold beer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Helping the Children of Haiti

One of my favorite childrens design blogs Project Nursery has partnered with TV personality and Host of the celebrity "Boom, Boom Room", Jayneoni Moore in a diaper/formula drive to help with the relief efforts in Haiti. This drive was specifically created to help the Haitian Embassy provide food, diapers, and clothing to the orphans in Haiti. I'm sure many of you have seen the CNN segment on Haiti's littlest victims, but there are thousands of children in Haiti who have lost their parents and their homes and have no one to take care of them. These children are starving, living in filth, and suffering from extreme dehydration. Items needed include:

Disposable Diapers (all sizes)

Powdered Baby Formula

Baby Wipes

Gauze and First Aid Products


Donations can be dropped of or shipped to Haitian Orphan Relief, 269 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 by Tuesday, January 26th. If you don't have the time to drive up there or live outside of the Los Angeles area, I suggest ordering supplies from and having them shipped directly there. All items will be packaged and shipped to Haiti this Wednesday, January 27th.

For more information on how you can help with this effort please visit Project Nursery's Blog, or click here for more stories on the orphans in Haiti

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Swing-inspired Beds

I've seen quite a few posts in the past few weeks with images of whimsical swing-inspired beds. Although they look amazing and very unique, I must break it to you that they are not very comfortable. I had the pleasure of staying at a wonderful home on Figure 8 Island in North Carolina back in September and my husband and I took the room with the swing bed because we thought it was fun and that way no one else had to be stuck there. Yes it was fun in theory but there is no way that I could have slept in that bed for one more night. It is not comfortable on the back and it rocks quite a bit. Since it sits on basically a piece of wood, there is no box spring and unless you have a thick high quality mattress it feels like you are sleeping on a plank of wood. Maybe a tempurpedic mattress and Frette sheets might have helped.

If you are thinking of having one put in your home I recommend placing it in a screen porch for casual afternoon naps (as a more decorative and interesting alternative to a hammock). Yes kids will still love it regardless of the comfort level if you put one in their room, but beware that they really rock and hit the wall. Despite my warnings, here are some more photos of this bed idea in case you or your kids just HAVE to have one.

First image via All the Best Blog designed by Tammy Connor

Image via Style Chronicle designed by Suzanne Kasler for a lake house

Image via Coastal Living

The last image below is the actual room where I stayed in Figure 8 Island (via VRBO). The house was an amazing rental and this was honestly the only off room in the whole place. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a North Carolina beach Getaway.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Little Nest Furniture

For all of you modernism and mid-century revival furniture lovers out there, I have a line of childrens furniture to introduce to you...please welcome Little Nest into your design folder.

Little Nest's debut collection features child sized replicas which play tribute to iconic 20th century seating designs. Styles replicated include the Egg Chair originally designed by Arne Jacobsen, the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Eames Lounge Chair and many more. I will warn you that these replica-inspired pieces do not come cheap but the quality is outstanding and they will truly be a show-stopper in your child's room.

The chairs are suitable for children ages 2-12 but not to exceed 88 lbs in weight. Most of the products are finished by hand and are made of top-quality materials including 304 & 202 stainless steel. Now if these are not a starting point for design inspiration, I don't know what is...

A euro-chic cafe style Cygnet table & Little Bert chairs (this definitely beats the painted wooden standbys)
The Le Club a replica of the 1928 LC2 chair by Le Corbusier

Giddy Up a replica of the 1973 Pony chair by Eero Aarnio. I actually sat in this one this weekend at the LA Mart and it was surprisingly comfortable. This is truly a statement piece.

The Yolk, a child sized reproduction of the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2nd Birthday Celebration!

This is one of my first posts on Birthday parties. I really started thinking about them a few months ago when I realized that I needed to plan my son's 1st in February. So I e-mailed a few friends to see if they would mind sharing some of their favorite birthday moments and party sources.

The first birthday to be featured on Nursery Notations is Tyler and Harper's 2nd Birthday. The party did not have a specific theme just good old-fashioned fun & classic entertainment. Corky the Clown was there for a magic show, face painting & balloon animals. The lunch served included mini grilled cheese, fruit, french fries & chicken nuggets served with lemonade & chocolate milk. All of the decor (banner, cupcake toppers & favor tags were purchased from: Seven Cupcakes. Favors were mini play-doh, light up flashing rings & assorted lollipops. And lastly, the invitations were from Picture Perfect Invitations.

The twins after the party! Looked like a good time to me!

Now my next questions, is where did you get those adorable monogrammed dresses?

If you'd like to submit photos from one of your child's birthday parties or from a shower that you hosted, please e-mail them to

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Custom Monogrammed Bulletin Boards

White attending the opening day of the LA Gift Show yesterday and I truly found a treasure at the LA Mart. I had the pleasure of meeting Gina Donald and Leslie Johnson the founders and designers of LG Designs. LG Designs is a company which makes and sells custom made-to-order monogrammed posting boards. The friends came up with the idea when they could not find an elegant, stylish and functional bulletin board on the market. The monogrammed raffia is so chic and different, who knew that a bulletin board could be a show-stopper itself?

They are perfect to use in your kitchen, hallway, playroom, office, or childrens room.

Standard sizes are 20 x 24, 35 x 25, and 40 x 28 but they can also make custom sizes upon request. Frame choices are white, black, gold, silver, and white, black & brown bamboo.

If you live in Los Angeles, you can order them from Waterleaf in Manhattan Beach, otherwise an order form is available on the LG Design website.

I can't wait to order one for my son's room and for my office. The hard part will be picking the design...single initial or name?!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vintage Louis Vuitton Diaper Bag

Who knew Louis Vuitton made diaper bags? I've never seen one more chic and timeless than this one. I found out about this one from the blog Zuburbia which is all about vintage finds.

This vintage 1980s Louis Vuitton diaper bag is available at the Enokiworld website for $795. It features the signature Louis Vuitton monogram leather outside and the inside is lined in vinyl to protect the bag from bottle and sippy cup spills. It measures 14.25" wide by 12" high by 6.5" deep with double 7.5" handles.

The only catch is that you are stuck with a monogram with the initals RCP but I'm sure you can get it easily replaced or I guess the weird monogram makes it even more fun and vintage. I actually like it as just a normal carry-all purse too, perfect for the plane and carrying a laptop.

But if you still want the Louis Vuitton name but want a new one, it will cost you a cool $1800 and looks a little different from 30 years ago. The Monogram Mini Lin Diaper Bag comes in three colors and measures 17.7" x 11.8" x 6.7". Its design is more practical for the modern mom with adjustable flat handles, a removable padded shoulder strap, a key ring holder, tons of compartments and two outside pockets for baby bottles. Available at Louis Vuitton stores.