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#Swag For The Little Ones

I hope everyone had an awesomely relaxing and happy holiday weekend, at least for those in the States celebrating it! For that matter, I just hope everyone on the whole globe had an awesome weekend. World peace would be awesome, you know? Anyway, I’m taking a pause from my big blog transitioning week to actually post something. Yes, you heard read correctly – this is the week that this blog gets a makeover. She’ll be a whole new girl by the weekend, fingers crossed all goes well! So far, I’ve been using for free hosting which has been A.Maze.Ing, and it was super nice of them to let me basically sleep on their couch for free while I got this whole endeavor underway; but it is long overdue for me to go out on my own. It also means moving over to a whole new server and getting a bit of a new look, as well. Stay tuned!

If things get weird and glichy, I apologize in advance and totally appreciate your patience. Please cross your fingers for me. #technologyisscary

Aaaaanyway, let’s talk about some stuff. Like, literal stuff. The kind we buy for our kids. I’ve always been fascinated when I’ve read bloggers writing about their fav baby and kid items (like Bower Power and Young House Love), because it’s interesting how some items are to-die-for-could-never-live-without for one parent… and yet completely useless for another. I thought I would contribute to the convo, so without further ado, here are my fav baby and kid items of all time. BTW, this post is not sponsored at all… just my humble opinions.

For the Preschool+ Crowd

#Swag For The Little Ones, Fav Kid Gear | Painting Sunny

  1. Crayola My First Crayola Triangular Crayons (16 count), $4.05. These are cute, so much less likely to break, and I’ve successfully washed them off walls. A few times.
  2. Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets in a Box, $11.99. The best part about these is that the whole back of each magnet is coated, instead of having a little magnetic choking hazard glued to the back like the old-fashioned ones I grew up with. They have held up for over 2 years for us, and still adorn our fridge today.
  3. Munchkin Shampoo Rinser, $6.00. We just moved into a place with two bathtubs, and the kids are reveling in it. Just a few months ago I picked this up and it is worth way more than the 6 bucks I paid for it. It is genius with no parts or grooves to get mildewy and need cleaned, a soft edge that bends against your baby’s head to direct the water away from their eyes, and even comes in pretty colors. Swoon.
  4. Nubby Super Spout Easy Gripper (2 count), $7.11. We are just transiting out of these and into straight-up water bottles, but I couldn’t even tell you how many Nubbys we owned over the years. They were so easy to transition to after a bottle, and the price is right too.
  5. mabel label’s Basic Kit, $34.95. I am def adding a new pack to my shopping list for this year, since I’ve never tried the shoe or clothing labels and am convinced they will change my life. We have used the little labels on school supplies, lunch containers, sports equipment, and countless other things. Who knows how much money it has saved me in lost sippy cups and rain boots?
  6. EasyLunchboxes (Set of 4), $13.95. If you’ve been around Painting Sunny awhile, you know that I have quickly become devoted to these lunchboxes. They aren’t just a lunchbox, they are a lifestyle. Affordable, well-made and kid-friendly… join me on this bandwagon.
  7. SweetPea3 2 GB MP3 Player for Kids, $84.88. This was a holiday gift a few years ago from the Grandparents, and although the price is an investments I also can’t imagine traveling anywhere at length without one. The kids use it in the house or on road-trips, and it’s a great break from DVDs to keep them entertained. The sound quality is good, they can work it themselves, and I’m pretty convinced it’s indestructible.
  8. Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Figure Eight Train Set, $22.96. Of all the wooden train sets out there, this one has my seal of approval. It beats out almost any competitor in price, is compatible with other brands, and the track is reversible which is awesome. Gotta love M&D, am I right?
  9. My Big Sticker Book of Nursery Rhymes, $19.10. We have a variety of these (courtesy of the grandparents) and I see our son toting them around the house regularly. The stickers are easy to move, the book is really well made, and the book itself makes good reading.
  10. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, $138.95. Our entire backseat is full of these right now. Literally. Both kids use them, with the 3.5 year old using it with the full harness still, and the almost-7 year old using the high-back booster option. It is seriously convertible, and the price is really appealing when you take a look at the car seat market. We’ve had one for 4 years now that is still holding up.

With my own being 3.5 and almost 7, this is definitely the stage we are in and loving it. I miss the cute little baby toes, but whole new worlds of toys, decorations, and adventures opens up with you hit that 3+.

Now, in reverse chronological order…

For the Baby & Infant Peeps

#Swag For The Little Ones, Fav Kid Gear | Painting Sunny

  1. Carter’s Fleece Baby Blanket, $29.95. Ours has duckies on it, and is one of the most valuable positions in this house. Blankie is a family member, and the couple times we thought he was lost I think I would have paid 1k to get him back. Our son still sleeps with his every night, it consoles him when he is sad or tired, and it was a major relief he began self-soothing pretty early on.
  2. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo, $99.00. This thing entertained two kids for us, and still was in almost-new shape when I re-sold it to a consignment shop for almost what I paid for it. It was hard to believe, but it was just well-made and both kids loved it in that stage where they want to be up looking around but need some support. No lie, it takes up some square footage of your living room… but if frees up your arms, so who can be made at that?
  3. BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Original, $71.99. Okay, we had the plain old black carrier, but if they had this pretty option when I was pregnant the first time I totally would have sprang for it. Of all the carriers I’ve tried out, this tride-and-true version worked best with our little ones who always seemed like little furnaces and hated being snuggled up too close for too long.
  4. Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer, $29.89. When our son was 2 we reached that point that the cheap little armpit thermometers were just not doing the trick… and when you think your kid has a fever, it isn’t a time you want to be frustrated trying to work something with tiny buttons. This was a great investment for our whole family.
  5. Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Diaper Bag, $139.95. Full disclosure, I did not have this actual backpack diaper-bag but I totally wish I did. We did go the back-pack style route with our diaper bag (which I can’t find online now) however, and were so glad we did. It kept our arms more free, saved us back-aches, and made organizing items much easier. Sigh – this one is so cute, someone please buy it so I can live vicariously…
  6. Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier (2 count), $3.20. Our son was in the NICU, so came back with some of these famous green Soothie pacifiers. They were the only binkies he would use, and I loved that they were affordable, easy to clean, and didn’t have parts that would break easily.
  7. Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket, $3.82. I’d never lived in a home with a dishwasher until our son was born, and it was one of those moments when the sky opens up and you hear a church choir singing. This basket was ran through our dishwasher daily, and held an impressive amount.
  8. Panasonic Automatic 3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker, $29.95. Yep, you’re thinking I added this to the wrong list aren’t you? Well, HA! It totally belongs. I made all of our baby food at home for the kids, and it was much more healthy and affordable than buying the little jars. It was also super easy, which I think a lot of people don’t realize. But what made it affordable was that I did not buy one of those fancy baby-food making systems. In my opinion, they basically just do the same thing as a steamer. I used this Panasonic rice cooker (it also steams veggies) for both kids, and still use it for rice cooking today.
  9. Bright Starts Lots of Links, $4.99. Who doesn’t end up with a million of these? They are great for carseats, strollers, those playmat things… We had them everywhere.
  10. Jeep Liberty Sport X All-Terrain Stroller, $179.99. This is the piece de resistance. It has a built-in music player, can go on basically any terrain, it’s basket holds everything… It’s just amazing. I’ve owned a few strollers, but after we had this one I would never betray it. If my husband picked one favorite baby item, I’m pretty certain it would be this. Hold on, let me go ask him. Yep, he said the stroller.

Anyone else cook all their own baby food? Completely disagree with me about the fancy baby-food machines? Love your stroller so, so much you refuse to give it up? Want to label everything your kid owns?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.


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A Mid-Century Modern Mood

It has been a long minute since we have had a mood board up in here, and as I have been spending some time daydreaming about the day I can design a whole living room for myself and freely DIY/buy/magically procure everything I want for it, I thought maybe we could wistfully daydream together. And lately, I’ve been in a very mid-century modern mood.

In case you are curious or just a mega nerd, “Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.” – brought to you by Wikipedia.

If I could wave a magic wand, this would be the result:

Mid-Century Moodboard | Painting Sunny

  1. Mid century modern custom address sign by Daddy’s simple signs, $75
  2. Bentwood Pendants by West Elm, $168
  3. Mid century poster print, MIES’S PIECES geometric shapes, artists giclée print by visual philosophy, $24.99
  4. Spectral Floor Lamp by inmod, $430 (on sale)
  5. Mid-Century Danish Modern Dresser by Revitalized Artistry, $975
  6. Madeline Chair by Urban Outfitters, $379
  7. Martini Side Table – Silver by West Elm, $149
  8. Sheepskin Rug, Ivory by Pottery Barn, $79-$179
  9. 2-piece dahlia candle-holder set by CB2, $19.95
  10. Danish Modern Side Table by Urban Outfitters, $179
  11. Jester vase by CB2, $49.95
  12. Night and Day Convertible Sofa by Urban Outfitters, $649

My partner-in-all-things-life is very much into clean, new, modern design while I like to blend that pretty evenly with eclectic, vintage pieces. Mid-century and Danish modern design is one place I think we could meet in the middle, so I’ve found my eye catching on it more and more as inspiration.

Are some of the items above major-splurges? Yes. Obvi. My budget could not stretch to create this room, but a girl can dream! In reality, there are some steals linked up above too (like that almost-too-cool giclee print) and for the rest I would DIY or bargain-hunt to find similar looks.

Need more inspiration? Books are a good place to start.

Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details by Bradley Quinn

Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors by Michelle Gringeri-Brown

Charles & Ray Eames: 1907-1978, 1912-1988 Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism by Gloria Koenig (this would make a gorgeous coffee-table book!)

Some other inspiring articles & round-ups include…

the nest’s Mid-Century Modern Decor Finds Under $200

Dwell’s Mid-Century’s Greatist Hit’s

HGTV’s Add Midcentury Modern Style to Your Home

Anyone else feeling the Mid-Century Modern Vibe? Kinda think Danish people must be really cool? Surprised that Urban Outfitter’s furniture had such a classic look?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.


DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame

Okay, this post is random and yet feels necessary. And okay, a bunch of them are not at all ceramic-looking and are gold or brass… that is just the current DIY climate. Hater’s gonna hate, but sometimes when there is a bandwagon you just have to jump on it. That sounded more confusing than I thought it would.

I present to you, The World Wide Web’s Best Ceramacized Animals.

I feel pretty confident that is a word.

DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame | Painting Sunny

Can you believe it isn’t all owls? I’m just as shocked. But seriously, the fat little owl is probably my favorite.

1. DIY Animal Bookend by Natalme. Seriously, that is one cute hippo and the blue is so vibrant. My little boy would love one in his room, for suresies.

2. Do a Deer by Bower Power. How could this not be included, this deer is just so damn regal. Her Sexy Rexy post should get an honorable mention, as well.

3. Horse Squared by Young House Love. Obviously, YHL gets mentioned as they are my fav blog to obsess over follow. Still, these horse heads are unique in their bright color and more abstract design. I would love to stumble upon something like the before at my local thrift store! (No idea why that rhymed strangely.)

4. A Happier Ceramic Owl by A Swell Place to Dwell. This owl is bad ass now. I love the pink, too – my dream is to find some ceramic animals to spray paint, and for them to end up hot pink or coral or somewhere in between, so this one I was especially drawn too.

5. Spray-painted cockatoo by On My Honor. Honestly, I just never expected to see a spray-painted cockatoo. This one takes the prize for originality, and also for props in the picture. I love it.

6. Ceramic Owl Makeover by Teal and Lime. Yes, this one is my favorite. It looks so much like something from West Elm or Pottery Barn, I had to read the post twice. This owl has so much personality! I thought the owl craze might be about over, but this one should kick-start it again.

7. DIY Gold Elephant by The Eclectic Owl. Okay, this might be the most pinned thing in the universe it is so cool! Just wait until I get my hands on a plastic elephant. That sounded more violent than I meant. Anyway, I also love her very random collection of books put together and the fact that I believe I have read all of them at some point.

8. Updating X-Mas Decorations by Beautiful Haven. I first saw this on Better After, and while it is possibly the most random addition to this list (even more so than the cockatoo, since I’m pretty sure an elf isn’t an animal) I love how it turned out. And yes, I love that this blog is named Beautiful Haven since my own little daughter is named Haven and she is certainly beautiful. It is a cool elf, in any case. #I’mNotBiased

9. DIY Dollarstore White Lion Bookends by Sweet Suite Ten. I love projects that originate at the Dollar Store, and this is one of the best turnouts I’ve seen! They are just so perfectly spray-painted… Michelle, please come over to my house and help me with my technique?

10. Pottery Barn Inspired Easter Ceramics by First Lady of the House. I hope she runs across a bunny at some point, I would love to see how it turns out! These would be sweet in a nursery any time of year, not just at Easter. I love that duck that is lunging forward!

11. DIY Brass Figurines by Hi Sugar Plum. These are so cool, and I love how differently they each looked before! It’s like your own fancy  little zoo. On a random note, that lamp next to the giraffe is so gorgeous… I can’t stop staring.

Anyone else hanging desperately on to this ceramic animal trend? Scouring a thrift shop for a rabbit or giraffe, or just open to whatever animal may find you? Is this a random enough post? It’s a little obvious what I’ve been pinning, huh?

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Pretty Pretty Patio Things

Spring is in the air! Okay, I’m a little belated… it’s totally 87 degrees out and BBQ season has hit full-on swing. As we are in the midst of relocating and will be a little bit “between houses” this June, I’m relying on good old online-window-shopping to satisfy my patio cravings. Let’s just cut to the chase, right?Pretty Patio Moodboard, Summer 2013 | Painting SunnyFrom Top Left, Moving Clockwise…

    1.  Ikea, SKYN Serving bowl, white for $9.00
    2. West Elm, Bend Dining Chair for $249.00 – $498.00 (on sale $119.99 – $239.99)
    3. World Market, Aqua Bird Ceramic Drink Dispenser for $29.99
    4. World Market, Multi Stripe Chevron Tray for $16.99
    5. World Market, Chains Indoor-Outdoor Rug, Black/Neutral for $49.99 – $699.99
    6. West Elm, Mosaic Tiled Bistro Table – Aqua Glass for $399.00 (on sale $319.00)
    7. World Market, Wild Stix Sidewalk Chalk, 4-Piece for $2.49
    8. World Market, Aqua Rectangular 2-Tier Tiffin for $9.99
    9. Ikea, BÄRBAR Tray, dotted, multicolor for $5.99
    10. West Elm, Martini Side Table – Silver for $149.00
    11. West Elm, Porcelain Hurricanes – Floral for $29.00 – $49.00

Who could resist that oh-so-bright-and-fresh chevron tray from World Market? I think it is also safe to say that aqua is still a hot summer color. Browsing around, it seems like a vintage vibe is in the air for this season, along with some mid-century modern design elements. I’m throwing around these terms with more confidence than I probably should.
Anyone else charmed by striped sidewalk chalk? Mixing their aqua’s and sunny yellow’s? Laying more patterns than is probably advisable? I’m off for more packing fun!
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

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In The Mood For Ikea (A Triple Moodboard Love Fest)

The best part of planning our move so far (for me, anyway) is our planned trip to Ikea. We are re-selling quite a few furniture items that we don’t want to move all the way and which we aren’t totally in love with, so we’re hoping to make enough money off those to completely cover the cost of a little Ikea trip on the way there.

As excited as I am about an Ikea shopping experience, we are looking at getting some pretty practical items… a chair, little dressers for the kids, etc. That is our max, but you can’t stop a girl from dreaming, right? Here is what I would buy if I had unlimited funds and a whole room to decorate. Well, two living rooms and a little guy’s room, anyway.

Let’s dream on…

Quirky Patterned Ikea Dream Living Room | Painting Sunny

Quirky Patterned Ikea Dream Living Room

Okay, granted this is a lot of pattern – but I love the contrast, and the way the reds and cooler tones play off of each other. Doesn’t that chair add structure?

Glamorous & Practical Ikea Dream Living Room | Painting Sunny

Glamorous & Practical Ikea Dream Living Room

As a family with children, I love anything that is still shiny and pretty and fabulous… and unbreakable with the ability to clean it easily. I like how the wood of the table and the plants in the print add a natural element to ground the glitter just a bit.

Bright and Cuddly Ikea Dream Children's Room | Painting Sunny

Bright and Cuddly Ikea Dream Children’s Room

I’ve done some moodboards of what I envision our daughter’s room looking like some day… but if I could drop some cold hard cash on our son’s room right now, all these things make the cut. Ikea is just so easy to mix and match. How sweet are those foxes?

Anyone else window shopping for affordable Swedish furniture? Buying fake vegetables for their kid? Wishing they actually played the lotto?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


Art For The Kids: Hang It Up

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” It’s always nice to start off a Japanese proverb, right?

Well, judging by my Pinterest account, I may be a little heavy on the vision and have room for some more action. Remember when I put together some little moodboards on kid’s rooms inspiration, including some ideas for art you can make, and then some ideas for art you can buy with cold hard cash. There are also some really fresh, creative ideas for how you can display that art (or other pretty things you have lying around the house). Let’s check it out.

Moodboard, Art For The Kids: Hang It Up | Painting Sunny

Five ideas for cool, creative ways to dress up your kid’s room should cover almost any nursery or playroom’s walls. Unless you have like… a lot of kids. Then you may have to do a little more research. In any case, I love these ideas and am certain at least three of them will be make appearances in my own little tyke’s spaces.

  1. Better Homes and Gardens, framed book jackets: How adorable is this? Most importantly, it demonstrates a family’s love of books. If you don’t have bright colored book jackets lying around, I bet you can make a color copy of books you do have, or find some printables online. Just hit up your kid’s bookshelf for inspiration!
  2. jan eleni interiors, The Jan Eleni Collage: Okay, budget-wise this might be the most impractical idea (ordering one from Jan Eleni costs $950 for the 40 image version – the standard sizes also include 70 or 112 images). I think my piggy bank won’t quite allow for this, but I do love the cool, modern feeling and how it takes so many different works of art by your child and puts them together in harmony. If I ever win the lotto…
  3. Infarrantly Creative, Game Board Storage Art: This isn’t just a cute idea for art, it’s a sensible storage solution. So perfect for a game, media, or play room. Since most of the games haven’t changed a lot visually, it also fits great in a vintage-vibed nursery.
  4. Young House Love, postcard shelves: Yes, YHL does everything well. How sweet are these shelves, and the little images on them? There are so many ways to change this up, to fit what you have on hand and what is sentimental for your own little family. Building my own shelves used to scare me, but this would be so worth it.
  5. Shanty 2 Chic, color frame with clip: Don’t want to commit to just one piece of art? Not a problem! Change out your photos, kids artwork, even cool clippings from magazines. The kids themselves could get involved updating these with their newest creations.

Any other out-of-the-box art displays? What would you put up on a postcard shelf? Have $1k just lying around, and didn’t know what to do with it until now?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

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Art For The Kids: Buy It Up

I confessed last week to my tendency to DIY almost everything for the kids… which can be great and something to be proud of, but also sometimes the results are… less than ideal. My success rate is pretty good, but I’ve learned that sometimes it is worth it to put up the cash and get something professional, special, or that I just don’t have the right tools to make myself. Artwork can be one of those things. It is all so unique, you know? Who wants to only have your own artwork up everywhere? A bit egotistical, right?

For ideas on some awesome artwork to make for your kids, check out last’s week post. For a little moodboard of artwork you can acquire with cold, hard cash check out the collection below.

So, let’s spend some cash! YOLO!

I already regret writing YOLO. Please don’t leave.

Moodboard, Art For The Kids: Make It Up | Painting Sunny

Everything listed here is from shops at Etsy… which shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. I love Etsy, and think it is a great way to get unique things for affordable prices from artists. BTW, this post is in no way sponsored by Etsy or any of the artists and shops listed here. It’s just stuff I found online and liked how it looked.

  1. Andralynn Creative Design, Bunny Nursery Decor, $60: These original paintings are so sweet and whimsical, and the price isn’t bad for the actual painting. I love how gender-neutral yet kid-friendly it is.
  2. PaperRamma, Libra Zodiac Art Print, $20: This is a great way to create something personalized for a children’s room, especially if you have multiple kids born in different months. I like the idea of them having something unique and individual about themselves highlighted. Actually, this would be perfect for the hallway outside of a kids room… I may be adding both Libra and Sagittarius prints to my wish list.
  3. Portlands Pocket, Vintage Smokey the Bear Collectible Poster (price undetermined): When I went back to this today, it had already sold! Bad news… but I bet you could find something awesomely similar. I love the educational aspect to it, and I think something like it could be found for whatever your kid is currently obsessed with; dinosaurs, bugs, planets, and so on.
  4. LisaBarbero, We All Shine On Typographic Print, $20: This poster would be perfect for a celestial-themed nursery or children’s room, but could be a sweet addition anywhere. The price is right, too, for this type of print. Okay, this artist’s shop is addicting… with all of the super-trendy state-specific art out right now, these skylines are something fresh.
  5. Halfpence Design, Science Chemistry Periodic Table Poster, $34: Okay, this is my fav on the list. It is so colorful, modern, and totally sends a subconscious hint to your child to grow up to be a brain surgeon or something. I want this so bad. I could hang it in any room of the house.

Any other adorable kid room art I’m missing out on? Great sites other than Etsy? Anyone else willing to hang something nerdy in their kids room, even if it isn’t designed for kids? Might as well start teaching the Periodic Table early. I still haven’t learned it.

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.