I am a fan of the statement piece, the one thing in a room that catches everyone's eye first and that you cannot possibly miss. If you want to make a statement for Valentine's Day but don't want to break the bank, giant printable posters are a great option! (And super awesome, and I'm absolutely doing this for both my roommates and my man).
A couple years ago I even printed a giant poster from a photo of my cousin and her fiancé and threw it up on our living room wall pre-celebration and she loved it. I love how Jules (below) customized a photo of her and her husband and made it into a statement piece above their bed.
If you want to make it a permanent piece in your home, Jules' tutorial above is a great option. Otherwise, if you just want an easy decoration for Valentine's Day, you can print out the poster and perhaps make some heart garland to hang with it, put confetti everywhere, buy flowers for the table, and/or bake up something delicious for your loved one to come home to.
We loveFlor 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!)
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.
What are your goals and intentions for 2015? We'd love to hear about them! Comment below!
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.
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!