Friday, January 30, 2015

Darlybird & Flor de Luz Collaboration + 15% Off Flor de Luz!


We love Flor de Luz and the beautiful handmade goods that Nassari brings back with her from of Mexico. Just look at the vibrant colors in Rachel's blouse! The color is what attracted us to Flor de Luz, and why we wanted so badly to collaborate with them. It's the perfect springtime blouse!


We paired the blouse with some Darlybird earrings (two different pairs, as seen in the photos above and below-- both are coming soon to the shop!)


Nassari is generously offering Darlyblog readers 15% off of her entire shop with the code darly15. Jump on it, friends! (Side note, they just added little kids' rompers to the shop, and we're dying. So cute!)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Repost: Our Creative Home: The Lovelands

Justin Hackworth Photography
Originally published July 22, 2014. This was our first Our Creative Home post and it was with one of our favorite women, Alma Loveland of Ollibird and Caravan Shoppe. Tell us about your family! Mike and I are a pair of artists who are happy to be doing what we love. We are both artists, but focus on different areas, so teaming up has actually expanded what either of us was ever able to do alone. Before kids came along, we would make really creative gifts for one another, but SURPRISE, when kids came along, we suddenly had no more time or energy for extra creativity. We have our creative outlet at work, and once work is done, well, we're lucky if we have the dishes or laundry done on a somewhat regular basis (a 3-week laundry cycle is regular, right?). We have 2.5 kids: Oliver (5), Joan (3), and a baby boy due later this year. Parenting a 3 and 5 year old has its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh any of the frustrations.  How have you encouraged creativity in your home? I don't know if there is anything that we do to consciously encourage creativity. Our children are 3 and 5, and to be totally honest, activities like coloring, drawing, cutting, or crafting don't hold their attention for long at all. Without exaggeration, I think it's fair to say that we get about 3 minutes of activity, and 20 minutes of setup/cleanup. Although we are artists, our lives don't look like what is seen on Pinterest or parenting blogs. We're just pretty normal, trying our best to balance work and family. Creative activities can be as simple as hauling out the play dough, or letting the kids help make cookies.  That said, this summer I have a goal to make sure that we are regularly engaging in fun, interesting activities. One thing that I would like to do is have a simple science experiment every week. I think I can manage that (but ask me again at the end of the summer). So like we can start with Mentos and Diet Coke. Just a few minutes to put together, but something that is exciting to the kids, and makes them laugh and wonder about the world we live in!  How do you get your kids involved? My kids love to be outside and to explore. This also echoes the childhood that I had. When I think of my childhood, most of my memories revolve around the great outdoors! The times that I feel most creative with my children and most fulfilled are when we are outside and appreciating the world around us. This could be little hikes, collecting bugs or flowers, campfires, or kayaking (I even bought a kayak for my kids). I think that activity, curiosity, and exploration all help to foster creativity so while I'm not sitting down for craft time with my kids, they are still learning to look, and to see.  What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle? I have a pretty laid back approach to life. I think my best advice for others looking to live a more creative lifestyle is to eliminate the comparison to those around you, or to what you see on blogs, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. The most important thing that you can do is to spend time with your kids, and it doesn't matter if your activities look picture-perfect. 

Thanks so much for sharing, Alma! Readers, how do you foster creativity in your homes? We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015: Be Gentle

I have not always been kind to myself. With a natural disposition toward depression and the scars from times when my spirit could not bear the grief it felt—rational or not—it's taken time to learn to love and nurture my body, mind, and spirit. The habits associated with loving and nurturing, though, could be more consistent. And that's where my 2015 mantra comes in: in 2015, I will be gentle to myself and others in all that I do.

^ earrings by darlybird
2015 will be a year of more vegetables and less sugar, of yoga teacher training and following through with my desire to gain knowledge, of working out and of working hard. It's a year to consciously banish black-and-white thinking (because everything is not just all great or all terrible). It's the year of loving myself, and showing myself that love.

As a dear friend once told me, I need to strengthen myself in order to strengthen others. This is my intention.


I came back home after a sugar-heavy holiday vacation and was ecstatic to get back to a regular schedule. I have been exercising and pushing myself harder. Last year my neighbor introduced me to Blogilates and I've been doing her 30 Days to Flat Abs challenge. I've been spending way too much money at Mend Juicery, but my gosh, it's delicious (my favorites include F1, F2, F3, C1, G4, and G6). On a more creative side, I've also been continuing studying The Artist's Way with a book club, and I'm looking forward to continuing that program. I don't think any of these things are necessarily new for me—I've been pretty active for a while, and particularly over the past year or so—but I am approaching them with a new mindset and greater resolve.


I should note that I've also begun enjoying detox baths. I heard about Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath a couple years back while reading the Lil Blue Boo blog, as it was part of her detox routine while undergoing chemotherapy, and I have since read many other very positive reviews on it. Let me tell you, this product is a dream. It is "a gentle herbal formula with powdered mustard seed, eucalyptus, rosemary, wintergreen, and thyme." You put a scoop of the powder in a hot bath and sit in it for at least 20 minutes. If you don't do it for the physical benefits, do it for the calming effect. If this isn't being gentle to myself, I don't know what is!

2015 is going to be a beautiful year.


- Allie

What are your goals and intentions for 2015? We'd love to hear about them! Comment below! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Our Creative Home: the Hoilands


Today we will be hearing from artist and writer Ashley Mae Hoiland (Ashmae). I own her picture book The Lost Party (pictured above) and I love it. She is talented, inspiring, and will be sharing with us how she encourages creativity in her home!

Tell us about your family!

I have two kids, Remy (3.5 years) and Thea (1.5 years).  We have lived in Palo Alto for the last four years while my husband is pursuing his PhD in Geology here at Stanford.  Before that, we both attended BYU where I got a BFA in painting and an MFA in creative writing.  We are all pretty easy to please, and mostly love adventures close to home.  Our life right now is so simple, but we love it that way.  I have written and illustrated several children's books and I work mostly from home during naps and bedtimes to keep my work going.  I have art and writing at ashmae.com and I've also started documenting my creative trail at makerstrail.blogspot.com.

How have you encouraged creativity in your home?

For me, as a mom, I've learned to play to my strengths and not worry so much about the things I'm not as good at.  One thing I know I'm good at is letting my kids make a mess, and get messy, without me intervening too much.  It's important for me to create a space and feeling in our (tiny) home, that there is room for experimenting, getting a little wild and figuring things out on your own.  I teach a little joy school for my son and his friends, and I think best day was when I took a bunch of cardboard boxes out of the recycling and let them build forts in the backyard.  I helped with my roll of tape when they needed it, but this little group of kids pulled together to figure things out and take ownership of the project.  They colored it, brought toys into the rooms, build pretend fires and stayed in it for hours.  Also, because our house is so small, we don't have very many toys, but the compensation has been that all the kids in the neighborhood know that I don't mind if they take all the cushions off the couch.  It's been amazing to me what they can do with a few giant cushions and an empty couch.  Sometimes the space is an alligator infested river, sometimes they are climbing mountains and sometimes they are just jumping from one couch to the other like crazy people.  I'm certainly not on my creative game everyday, but I've had to learn that more often than not, it's a change of my own attitude rather than me providing awesome projects and activities.


How do you get your kids involved?

One of my favorite seasons with my kids was right after I'd finished my first children's books and I was doing an elementary school classroom tour. Remy loved to help (Thea was still little).  He would be at the front of the class (sometimes in front of very large groups) handing out props, telling kids to sit down and handing out stickers at the end.  It was over a year ago, but he still talks about how he dressed up in his fox costume to do his work with the kids.  More than anything I want my kids to have ownership and recognize that they have the ability to do good for others.  Honestly, it's a daily struggle to keep them involved because more often than not, it's easier to just do things myself, but sometimes I have to consciously slow down and remember that I'm not in a hurry and the time I invest with my kids now is just as valuable as the end goal I'm working towards.

Do you have any creative traditions in your home? If so, what are they? How did they begin, and how do you keep the momentum going?

Our family still feels like such a young family to me, but I am always surprised by how quickly simple consistencies makes them feel special and a part of something.  We do things like go to the live nativity every Christmas, wrap toys for kids in need, homemade marshmallows at Christmas and books and a prayer before bed every night.  I have to remind myself of two things, first, traditions do not have to be elaborate to be meaningful, and secondly, if I want things to happen, I have to make them happen.  My mom was so good at making things happen for us that I just assumed that traditions would simply come to me or somehow would just happen, but it does take a little effort, determination and sometimes a little preparation for things to come together.


What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle?

Don't compare your creative efforts to a pinterest board, blog or instagram feed.  Your kids are not judging or comparing your efforts to online presences, so you probably shouldn't either.  Be kind to your efforts.  Let your kids make a mess once in a while.  Let yourself make a mess.  Put your phone down and go outside (that is a number one fixer for me).  Put end goals and products on the shelf for a time (especially when kids are involved) and let yourself find joy in exploration and experimenting.

Any final thoughts?

Love yourself!  Love your kids for what they are trying to be!

Thanks so much, Ashley! Read more from Ashley on her blog, and see more of her artwork and purchase books and digital prints at ashmae.com.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015: Abundance


Around the time that I (Allie) was thinking about my intention for the year, Rachel, the creator behind Darlybird, posted this on Instagram. She says:

"This is my word for 2015. I have been pretty public about some aspects of my current situation, for better or for worse. For me, vulnerability and transparency are the only way to live life. If it looks like I'm handling heartbreak and divorce with flying colors, let me assure you: this has rocked/wrecked my world. I have been laid low again and again to the point that I am now literally almost like a newborn in a very strange world. I am reassembling myself, and this time around, choosing everything deliberately, and with abundance. Love and abundance are the opposites of fear and scarcity. And it is easy for me to slide into those negative states. But I've seen time and time again, when I choose abundance and love, I am filled to the tippy top and even overflowing. There is always enough. And God or the Universe, or whatever you want to call it, is waiting to bless you with peace. It has been shown to me in the most simple and beautiful ways."

Rachel is one of the most creative, passionate, and resilient women I know. I'm so glad she chose to share her intention for the coming year!


What are your goals and intentions for 2015? We'd love to hear about them! Comment below! 

I'll be back in a couple days to share about my own intention for 2015, and hopefully to share a few of yours as well!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Darlybird & JUNIEblake Collaboration + 10% Off JUNIEblake


Welcome to the most flattering dress I've ever worn in my life. It accents the best (notice the elastic waist in just the right spot), covers the necessities (goes down to the knee, perfect neckline, and sleeves that are not too long but not too short), and—AND—has pockets. And, icing on the cake, it doesn't wrinkle. This is now my go-to dress for trips. I have literally kept it sloppily folded up in my carry on suitcase for a whole week and I could still pull it out and wear it right away, without steaming or ironing it. The Corrine dress is basically everything I've ever wanted in a dress. 


We paired JUNIEblake's Corrine with Darlybird earrings (coming soon!). The sky blue earrings fantastically accent the bold ikat print. I have also worn this dress with black gem earrings for a more professional look. This dress is surprisingly versatile. Day or night, party or dinner, Darlybird and JUNIEblake have you covered!

JUNIEblake is generously offering Darlybird readers 10% off of all JUNIEblake orders for the next week. Just go to junieblake.com and enter the code DARLYBIRD9 at checkout.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Creative Home: the Vincents



Today we're featuring illustrator Sabrina Vincent (of SLOVLY) to hear how her family learns and creates together (and separately!) 

Tell us about your family!


I am an illustrator, I love to read and I take a ballet classes. Mr. Vincent is a computer programmer. He loves to read and golf. We have four children. Luke, 14, loves video games, video game history, plays video game scores on the piano and is learning computer programming. He is a dreamer. Isabel, 12, loves learning Mandarin Chinese and is an amazing pianist and athlete. She is determined. Sylvia, 9, is a natural at her aerial silks class and loves to ride horses. Everyone laughs when she laughs. Hazel, 5, loves puzzles. With her confidence and leadership skills, I think she is going to lead a country some day. We are a homeschooling family. Although I don’t like that term because we don’t really do “school” at “home.” Maybe we do more of a child-lead learning approach or unschooling. But those terms don’t sum it all up either. Basically we all live our lives and try to follow our passions along the way. With six very different people living in the same house it gets very interesting.


How have you encouraged creativity in your home?

Two ways…

1. By following my own interests. I read an article about a study (yes, all very vague) about how the biggest factor of what determined how a child eats as an adult, is how their parents ate. That really rang true to me and I’ve applied it to everything. Several years ago when my children were very young, it was so difficult to find time to draw or paint. What kept me at it was that I knew I was being a good example. It’s important for them to see that I put my creativity, art, passions as a priority. After I painted a mural, Sylvia wanted to paint one too, so we got out all of the paints and all four kids painted an amazing mural in our chicken coop.


2. By holding my tongue. We now have two teenagers in our home - we are learning the art of silent encouragement. For some strange reason my two oldest act like my brilliant suggestions are, let’s just say, not so brilliant...go figure! Even with young children, I feel that the second you give them one of your “brilliant creative ideas” such as, Maybe the monster you drew could have sharp teeth! or even Maybe this yellow block could go on the top of your tower, you are immediately making it not their own authentic creation. As parents we always want to be teaching, but where creativity is concerned I think it’s important to be a supporter and let our children be inspired naturally. Around the home we have art supplies and tools handy, along with making books and opportunities readily available for when any such inspiration strikes.


How do you get your kids involved?

My two youngest are up for anything. If Mr. Vincent or I are working on a project, I know we need to have enough supplies for our little helpers. It’s not so simple for our older two. They have figured out more of who they are and know what they are interested in and what they are not. Sometimes they do not want to be involved in what we are doing and that’s okay. My 12 year old, Isabel wanted to sew. Since neither Joey or I sew, we got her a sewing machine and put her in a sewing class. We let our children know that we want to try to facilitate what they are interested in.


Do you have any creative traditions in your home? If so, what are they?

Late Night Up with Dad! Four children, four nights a week. I don’t know how Mr. Vincent does it or how he keeps the momentum going, but I love that he spends an evening a week with one child doing what they want. It makes them feel so special and it’s amazing how much different that child is when away from their siblings.


What advice would you give to families hoping to live a more creative lifestyle?

It’s great to get creative ideas from other people but at the same time, never think about what is in style. Do what feels right for you and your family. Don’t be afraid of change...or paint.

Thanks, Sabrina, for your thoughts on fostering creativity within your home! I, for one, am inspired. Readers, how do you live a creative life, and how do you encourage creativity within your homes?