Now, if this doesn’t make you want to schedule a trip, I don’t know what else will.
Iceland Part 2: Look Pa, I’m outdoorsy!
Blog’nhagen Part 2: Lunchtime
Part 3 coming on Monday…plus the video!!!
Thanks again to the photographers of these pics. Chasing Heartbeats, JJ, Dos Family
In the Mood For: Monet inspired Interior Design
First, a special announcement!
I’m writing about Monet for a few reasons – the first you know, the second is kind of a secret… This summer we are launching an online summer camp to teach kids all about some master artists, including Monet! It will include daily projects (with videos!) to help kids dive deep into new mediums, art styles, and the lives of great artists of myriad colors, genders, and time periods. Stay tuned for more details!!! Sign up for our newsletter here for early access and a huge discount on this course when it is released! Now onto tips for interior design inspired by Monet:
1 – It’s all about lighting.
Much of Monet’s passion as a painter was driven by a desire to capture light! He would paint the same scene over and over again at different times of day to capture the shadow play and different colors created. Within the walls of your home, you are somewhat limited with regard to natural light. When choosing a place to live, consider how natural light will affect your space! Select fun curtains or shutters (tres French) and outfit the windows accordingly.
You may not be able to control the sun, but a lovely invention called electricity does give you the ability to control light! It is amazing how a simple lamp or light shade can transform any space. An old apartment of mine felt dingy and small. The walls were a funny yellowish color that I thought was terrible, but I couldn’t change it! Eventually I got a floor lamp with a bright, white light. Suddenly, I realized the color wasn’t as bad as it had looked before. With just a lightbulb, I achieved the same effect a can of paint would have had. While lighting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “interior design,” it should be when the phrase is followed by “inspired by Monet.”
How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday
My 40th Birthday Plans
Leading up to my 40th birthday, I had lots of plans. Specifically, I wanted a big Europe trip to celebrate! But we are in up to our necks in behind-the-scenes projects here at The House that Lars Built, which means a trip to Europe just wasn’t in the cards. At least for now. Maybe in the fall? I’ll keep you all posted. There’s noting wrong with a belated birthday trip, after all!
I’m not the only one turning 40 here, though! Despite my lack of exciting birthday plans for now, all my friends are also soon-to-be or already over the hill, which means I’ve attended some great 40th birthday celebrations in the past year. I couldn’t just not share those ideas with all of you! So today I’m giving you the lowdown on all the things my friends did for their 40th birthdays, plus a few extra ideas.
How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday
Birthday trips are a classic way to celebrate a big milestone birthday like your 40th! (hence, my hopes to make it to Europe this year). But if you can’t make it internationally and still want a weekend getaway, try something closer! It’s amazing what a quick trip to somewhere new can do. And of course it’s always better with friends or family to come along for the fun.
For your enjoyment, here are some photos from our most recent trip to Denmark (and I promise to post more once I make it back to Europe for my birthday trip)!
So I don’t know if you were aware, but there’s something about 40-year-olds and karaoke that is just magical. I’ve been to a handful of karaoke parties to celebrate the big 40 and I have to say that a bunch of moms singing karaoke are a different breed of unparalleled fun. What are you waiting for?! Warm up those vocal chords and get ready to sing yourself into your 40’s!
A birthday classic for a girls day out especially, a spa day can be the perfect, relaxing way to usher in the 40’s with some self care. Pamper yourself; you deserve it! Go for a mani/pedi, massage, the whole nine yards. We promise you won’t regret it!
Here are some spa essentials to get you going:
Post COVID lockdowns, it feels that much more triumphant to have a party IN PERSON with people you love! So even though parties aren’t unique to a 40th birthday, there’s a reason we have parties for every birthday. It’s a classic way to celebrate that never really gets old!
Speaking of parties, we have some great party decorations for your to peruse in our shop! Check out our birthday suites, and all of our birthday content here!
Learn a New Skill
Your 40th birthday is such a milestone that it can be great motivation to learn a new skill or take on a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try! It’s never too late, and 40 seems like the perfect time to try. Turn it into a party and invite someone to teach you and your girlfriends how to knit, cook something fun and fancy, or even make a punch needle rug! The options are endless. What do you want to learn how to do?
Movies are a classic way to celebrate anything special, so why not your 40th birthday? Go out to the theater with the gals (maybe even rent it out if you’re feeling ambitious!), or take the party home and have a marathon of your favorite series! Personally, I’ll be watching Bridgerton. What are your favorites? Send the recommendations my way! I’m always game for a fun new show.
The options are endless with this one! Just because it’s your 40th birthday doesn’t mean you can’t have a simple game night. So many categories of games. Are you more of a board game or card game person? Or do you prefer a combo of both? If you’re like Paul, you’ll be hanging around those old classic arcade games all night. Whatever gets you most excited is what you should do!
Here are some game night options to get you started:
We have plenty of ideas to get you started on 40th birthday decor! It starts with our five birthday suites: animal menagerie, garden party, lemon, rainbow, and floral. Click here to see the rest of our birthday shop! Also, don’t forget to check out our past birthday blog content, like our Flower Lane birthday crowns, twisted birthday candles, or DIY birthday felt pennants.
Hopefully we gave you some good ideas to get you started planning your 40th, if you haven’t had it already. And now we need to know: what did you/are you doing to celebrate your 40th? Let us know in the comments!
My Scandinavian Christmas day 11
At home we tucked our son in for his midday-sleep and I started preparing to decorate the tree. First I put on the lights, then I carefully unpack all my ornaments and put them on the table. Then I start with the bigger ones and continue till all of the ornaments are on the tree. When my son woke up, the tree was done and he was thrilled. I hope he’ll grow up with the same feelings about Christmas that I have. And still do.
Thank you so much Julia for participating! Check out Vintage Hausfrau.
photocopies onto clay
Thankfully, I made a friend, Elizabeth, who let me test some on her plate. You can try images onto glazed plates like this one by first using some sort of adhesive like a glue stick or spray mount.
Because the workshop is a few hours from Copenhagen, I’m staying with some gracious friends who have been kind enough to drive me to and fro and provide me with some wonderful Danish food. This also means that it’s the first time that I’ve been away from Mr. Husband. So weird. Also weird: the mice I hear running in the ceiling of where I’m staying. eeek.
Danish Easter picnic
*The first time I ever boiled an egg I was babysitting a family for a week during Easter. I just assumed that you just boil water and add eggs to it. WRONG! As we dipped each egg in the rolling water each one bursted immediately upon impact and the hardened yolk flew out from the egg. I thought that must be normal so we did the full dozen. Each one I had to guard the kids and yell, “stay back kids!” and would drop it in shielding my eyes. Looking back it’s totally embarrassing, but hey, they were kids. This might explain why I haven’t done it since.
Thumbelina wedding shoot
If you’re in Denmark, check out the We Do Weddings website. It’s such a great resource for planning a wedding.
Photography by Tine Hvolby
Dress by Gudnitz Couture
Models: Christina and Sebastian Michanek
Stylist and prop maker: Brittany Watson Jepsen
Our house has undergone a major facelift within the past few weeks and I must say that it is lookin good. Remember what it looked like before? Brick with a red tile roof. Our landlords, who live on the bottom two floors (we live on the top), have replaced the roof with a black tile roof, plastered it and painted it white and added really lovely windows. And we are most happy that there is now insulation. Yes, after they tore off the roof it was discovered that there was none, which explains so much about why it’s just as cold inside as it is outside during the winter.
Meet Make Do Part 2
Yesterday I talked about the crafting retreat I attended last week in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. Today I’m finishing up starting with a change of scenery. See this bright of colorful sunshine above? That there is the Saguaro Hotel. It comes into the story in just a bit. But in the mean time…
You might remember from yesterday that we were staying at a really awesome mid-century house, which was perfect for our needs. We all had our rooms and then a central gathering place to craft not to mention a pool and tons of beauty. Serene. Well, we returned home from dinner the second night and found that our place had been robbed. Eeeeeeek. For reals. The two little casitas in the back of the house had been ransacked. Laptop, money, wallets…gone. Two girls lost a lot of valuable stuff, not to mention a sense of safety and comfort in a new place with new people. Erin of House of Earnest was one of those and you have to read her account of it. I admire her for her amazing perspective while being in such a vulnerable position.
The police came and did their thing and because of a lack of feeling safe in our place, our hosts and our sponsor, Bing, decided that the best solution was to find a hotel to stay for the night. Through the horrible events of the night, the highlight of the situation was trying out something new. Enter Saguaro. I can’t say I was super bummed about our new locale.
Erin mentioned something in her post that was spot on. We no longer had a place to craft and do our thing AND THEN, the elements decided to turn on us and rain the next day so our plans really went out the window. BUT, the change of plans brought us closer together. We ended up spending time together chatting and really getting to know each other. Some of my favorite moments were late night chats with my roommate, Melanie from You Are My Fave and our last night together as a group gathered in Erin’s hotel room eating cheese and pretending as if we were circled at a campfire. I felt 16. I felt bonded. We talked about what it means to be generous and a good person. I can’t imagine a better ending to what could have been a truly negative experience. Have you ever come out of an awful situation feeling reenergized? It’s incredible how those things happen.
This is the view of the Saguaro from my room.
And Kelly matched the walls.
Back in the day I interned for Jonathan Adler and I finally got to visit the hotel he designed, The Parker, which is impeccable. So so gorgeous. I forced Ashley to take a door shot.
Now, how embarrassing was this. I brought my skirt that I found at a vintage shop years ago. I perfectly matched the bedspreads in the hotel rooms. I compare it to the time I showed up to high school on the first day wearing the same thing as my teacher, DJ Tanner style. You know what I’m talking about. I got a lot of compliments from the housekeepers.
I had to get a shot with the B. And that uncomfortable face I’m pulling is a result of rain and wind in my face.
Well, that’s it folks. A lot of really great times combined with some not so stellar moments. But I’d do it again in heartbeat.
Thank you to so many people for making it happen. Especially Chelsea from Lovely Indeed, Kelly from Studio DIY, Brittni from Paper & Stitch and BING who is the best. Also a big thank you to West Elm for providing a lot of the styling pieces we were going to use (doh!). Jordan Brantley for all the branding and all the others who I mentioned yesterday and above. Can we do round 2 please???
photography by Mary Costa Photography with some snapped from my iphone and one from @lovelyindeed
A Lars Closet: Floral Dresses
This May I’m celebrating flowers on The House that Lars Built, so I wanted to compile some phenomenal floral dresses for you! It’s a great time to be a flower-loving dress wearer, so I came up with quite a long list. In true Lars fashion I’ve organized them according to the rainbow. You’re welcome for all the inspo! Ha!
Dresses are an instant, one-piece outfit. I love that I don’t have to figure out if I have a blouse that goes with a skirt or think too much about putting things together. They’re really my daily uniform!
Dresses look great as an outfit all by themselves and they’re easy and fun to style up with other accessories. I love versatility! Dresses are cool in the summertime and easily warmed up with tights in the winter, and only wearing dresses means that I don’t have to search high and low to find pants that fit right. As you can tell I’m a serious believer in dresses and I’m more than happy to spread the good word!
So, without further ado, here are some of my current favorite floral dresses that you can buy and join my Lars Closet team.
Looking at these red dresses has me dreaming of poppy fields and berry picking!
Here at The House That Lars Built we think of pink as a neutral color because it’s so versatile. Whether you’re looking for something subdued or show stopping, these pink floral dresses are perfect for summer.
These orange dresses are transporting me to citrus groves and lovely terra cotta streets. Wear these on your summer adventures!
Here comes the sun! These yellow floral dresses are all things sunshine and cheerfulness.
Channel your earthiness and all your garden dreams with these green dresses.
Blue is another color that can read as a neutral–maybe because blue jeans are such a staple in the average wardrobe? Achieve the same lovely, relaxed vibe with these blue floral dresses without the horrors of hot jeans in the summer!
Floral prints go hand in hand with purple. These dresses make me think of gorgeous bundles of wisteria and delicate clumps of violets. Dreamy.
For days when your color story defies any part of the spectrum, wear a multicolored floral dress. Walt Whitman‘s not the only one who contains multitudes!
Louder for the people in the back: NEUTRAL DOESN’T MEAN BORING! These floral dresses in subdued tones from white and black to shades of rich brown are so lovely and refined. They will fulfill all your cottage core dreams!
More Summer Fashion Inspiration
If looking at floral dresses in all colors of the rainbow hasn’t satisfied your desire to look at summertime fashion, here are some more projects and posts to peruse:
- The Lars Girl and Everything She Needs for Summer
- DIY Painted Rainbow Sunhat
- Loungewear In Every Color of the Rainbow (I know, they’re not all dresses, but there’s something for everyone here!)
- Spring and Summer Fashion for Kids
Thanks for letting us help you build your wardrobe! Every time you shop through links on our blog we get a small commission that helps us bring you more great content.
The Sound of Music tour
Was it worth it, you ask? Definitely. Would I recommend it? YUP! Again, the reviews on Yelp were so mixed up that I can imagine a bad tour guide could happen, but who cares?! You’re in Salzburg with the Von Trapps? You’ll get caught up. Oh, and did I mention at the end of the tour while you’re cruising back to Salzburg, the guide puts on the soundtrack and you sing. I mean, I sang, I couldn’t really hear anyone else. But the girl from China came up afterwards and congratulated me on my voice. All I could say was, “I know it quite well”. This was only a day trip from Vienna, a lovely 3 hour train ride, and if I were to go back I might spend the night and do more Mozart stuff, because I also love him.