DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

I recently read Ray Bradbury’s book Dandelion Wine and I loved this quote: “Sandwich outdoors isn’t a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.”

I truly buy into the idea that food tastes different outdoors! I think about the packed meals I would eat on hikes with my dad growing up, and somehow a plain old ham and cheese truly would taste far better when I was tired and outside. Use this DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote on your next adventure. Hopefully you’ll get the delicious outdoor flavor without having to deal with attitude from reluctant adventurers. 😉

One of the perks of Spoonflower is the custom design features. My sister, Caitlin Watson Boyes, has some of her fabric designs on Spoonflower under her company called Funky Pretty, and she has designed some great stripes. I was immediately drawn to this stripe and thought I’d just go for it on both sides. BUT THEN I thought…let’s customize it! Caitlin is a textile and pattern designer and so I had her do something with our dad on it. We call it  Dad’s Head Through the Ages. Ha! I find it hysterical! And even funnier because I haven’t told him about it yet and he’ll be finding out as you are. You’re welcome, Dad!

The best part is the practicality of the blanket. We made it so that it’s SO easy to pack and unpack. The two straps allow you to fold it up like a duffle bag. So easy to carry around! AND, you can even place your plates and such in the blanket as you fold it and it will keep it nice and compact. Score!

Material List:

  • 2 yards each of 2 Spoonflower fabrics in lightweight cotton twill
  • Matching Thread
  • 6 yards coordinating bias tape (We used double folded)
  • 2 yards 60” wide batting
  • 1 yard of webbing
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine
  1. Cut batting and your 2 fabrics all the same size (size of blanket you want)
  2. Put right sides out with batting in between
  3. Sew all three layers
  4. Open the bias tape, stick the blanket edge in, pinch closed and pin
  5. Continue around the perimeter of the blanket
  6. After pinning, Sew bias tape down
  7. Cut your webbing in 2 even lengths
  8. Pin and sew one strap to the center of the top edge of the blanket
  9. Fold your blanket into thirds with the strap as the center top
  10. Roll your blanket towards the strap
  11. Mark where your second strap needs to be
  12. Unroll and unfold
  13. Pin and sew the second length of webbing downTaDa(d) <see what I did there 😉

We’ve done a number of sponsored posts with Spoonflower now and I’m one of their biggest fans. If you’re looking for fabric, wallpaper, or even home decor centered around a particular theme (seasons, fathers, you name it!), Spoonflower is sure to have what you’re looking for. If you’re a designer, I encourage you to upload a pattern of your own! But if uploading a pattern with your father’s face on it isn’t really your thing, try building a collection of existing patterns on Spoonflower’s Marketplace (there are over 1 million!). Stay tuned for a post about some of my favorite Spoonflower artists!showing a picnic blanket that turns into a duffle bag

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower. All opinions are my own.

Check out our other posts for Spoonflower:

Mother’s Day Tablescape
DIY fabric lampshade
My bedroom makeover
How to install Spoonflower wallpaper

What you need for your new baby

What you need for new baby

As a disclaimer, I’m a big believer in that you don’t need too much. I’m actually quite frugal when it comes to making purchases so I tend to either buy cheap or do without unless I find it totally beautiful and worth being in my life and if not the most beautiful, then just super helpful. That said, I’ve noticed that that there are some specific times when you should invest as it will totally make life easier and for the better and if not, more beautiful at least, because that is also important. As a note, I’m not including clothing or furniture for now (though you can find his nursery reveal here!), just product. I’ll be following up with some clothing recommendations.
Rattan bassinet

Ok! Don’t let all these disclaimers deter you, let’s get going! I’ll be updating this list as Baby continues to grow into different stages that require new products so do check back for more recommendations. Also, I’d love to hear your own recommendations. I’m always open to hearing about beautifully designed items.

Lars Baby essentials round up

Lars’ Favorite Baby Essentials

This time around, I’m grouping the products into time frames so you don’t have to buy everything at once. This way you can spread out the purchases and expenses.

Italics are my updated experience with my second child, Felix.

Before Baby gets here (you’ll need it right away)

  1. I legit didn’t know there was such thing as a “coming out outfit” when I had Jasper. And while it’s obviously not crucial to have a photogenic outfit, it feels like a beautiful rite of passage when there’s some sort of stunning outfit to come home in. This time around I bought a few outfits that felt special and just rotated them a bunch. I picked out this baby bundle set from Storq, which came with a sweet white outfit and hat. For some reason I love when babies don’t have as much color and patterns like I normally prefer. That said, I also got a little set with my favorite pattern from Lewis Home. And something similar to this set.
  2. Uppababy car seat and Uppababy Vista Stroller. I LOVE the look of this car seat and the fabric actually wicks away sweat. Plus, I love that it’s interchangeable with the stroller and base in the car. I got the MESA and love it.
  3. Pampers Pure diapers. We did a sponsored post with them a few months ago but now I’m no longer required to say anything and I’m still using them. I love that they are better for baby and earth. I just wish it was easier to find them at all stores. You have to order them online. We also use Kirkland brand (Costco) because Paul’s favorite place on earth is Costco and everything they do is high quality.
  4. Diaper bag. I don’t know why, but this is the one I obsessed with most prior to baby’s arrival. I spent A LOT of time searching for a great diaper bag. There are a lot of good ones out there now that are both great for mom and functional and though I haven’t tried them all out, I decided to start cheap and see how it goes. I bought this one in red as I just so happened to stumble on it on Amazon and turns out! I spot dozens of moms wherever I go using it. It’s a smart design, spacious, and helpful. And they come in tons of other colors. I’m going to be doing a post all on diaper bags because I found some pretty great options. Ok, I never found a diaper bag that I loved that I actually bought because I’ve come to the point where I realized “why do I need a special bag for diapers?” Well, you don’t! But Jasper has put his through the ringer and so now I’m glad that it was cheap.
  5. Changing basket. Design Dua has the most beautiful collection of baskets including this plain changing basket. I love it so much. It keeps him contained so he doesn’t roll around, which he is doing otherwise. The only downside is that I found that it scratched my brand new changing table. I had to take a rug pad and cut it to the shape of the basket and put underneath it.
  6. Onesies. Because you can never have enough! I like dressing baby in a plain white onesie and that’s it!
  7. Clothes. Check out this post for some of my favorite clothes for baby boys 
  8. Travel Changing Pad. This was sent to me by Joy of Oh Joy for her product collaboration with Target long before Baby was even an embryo but I held onto it because 1) it’s adorable and turns out 2) it’s so handy. It looks like a clutch so it doesn’t scream baby and it works well with a slot for wipes. It’s thin enough to squeeze snuggly in my bag. Now that I’m with my second baby, I use this every single day to change diapers around the house. 
  9. Brest friend. I was using another pillow for nursing but it was killing my back. This one happened to pop up on my Facebook ads and I bought it on the spot. I LOVE MY BREST FRIEND. It’s a game changer for my bad back, especially after baby when it was at an all time hurt.
  10. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. By the way, this book was SUPER helpful for learning to breastfeed.
  11. Swaddles. I didn’t include swaddles in my first round of essentials because I figured most people get a ton as gifts, BUT I got a couple of extras the second time around–ones that I LOVE the prints on so they cheer me right on up. These ones from Lewis are too cute. I also have one from Clementine that I love as well as Little Unicorn.

Within the first couple of weeks

  1. Scissor clippers. Moms might know the terror that comes with clipping your baby’s nails. These ones are great because you can go slowly so that you have more peace of mind. I Love them! These are actually the reason why I wanted to create this post for you. I want everyone to know about them! Yup! Still love them! 
  2. Willow pump. GAME CHANGER. I was dreading having to pump so for a number of months I just didn’t unless I really had to. I was using the pump that my insurance company had given me until I tried this and all of a sudden I was free! It sits in your bra and you can walk around and do whatever you want WHILE IT PUMPS! Ladies! Admittedly, I don’t love pumping, but I do use this still my second time every so often when I need to fill up.
  3. Nose Freda. I received two of these as baby gifts so I thought there must be something to it. This one is genius. Do yourself a favor and get one in your cart pronto. Seems odd, but really not odd at all to suck up your baby’s snot. 😉 Really though, it’s efficient and clever and I highly recommend it. Yup, do it! 
  4. Aquaphor. I don’t even need to say much else than you need it. If there’s ever any redness or rash, use it and poof! Gone! We also tried using my sister’s Butt Paste and it works super well, though it stays on the baby as a white substance.
  5. Collapsible bath tubI tried out a few bath tubs that didn’t work so well for me either because of the size of our sink or sturdiness. I like this one because it worked for a newborn and then it can be transformed for a larger baby when they can sit up by themselves by popping down the side and turning it into a more typical bath tub. We recently got a new one compartment sink and it wasted a lot more water by filling it up than our previous one so this was a better option.
  6. Dock a Tot (not pictured). Jasper slept in this for the first few months and it was great because you can transport it around and set him anywhere you are. LOVED IT! Not in love with the huge logo on it. WHY IS IT SO BIG???? For Felix I got the William Morris cover–it’s so pretty! 
  7. Baby Bum diaper rash brush. This was given to me as a baby gift and I’ll be honest, I thought, “this looks like one of those products that you don’t actually need but someone thought they’d try and make a buck by appealing to vulnerable mothers” BUT I WAS WRONG! Thankfully, I don’t have to use it too often, but when Baby boy gets some redness, I use a dollop of Aquafor and apply it with this and it’s so helpful! You don’t have to get your fingers in baby’s crevices. Everyone wins! Still love it! 
  8. 4 Moms Mamaroo. Baby is loving more and more the more we set him in it. He especially loves it now that he play with the items and actually reach them. Jasper didn’t love being in it and Felix loved it a bit more! I wish that the top play part moved–I think babies might stay more interested.
  9. Tubby Todd body wash. Tubby Todd sent me a baby gift to try some of their wash and I’ve been hooked from day one. It smells lovely and it’s gentle for baby, hypoallergenic, and extra-gentle for sensitive skin.
  10. Grass Bottle drying rack. Just makes life easier in a clever design! I rarely used bottles with Jasper and once again with Felix so I didn’t have a HUGE need for it, but if you bottle feed a lot it’s great.
  11. Boppy carrier. This one was sent to me by the company and I’m not required to talk about it, but I have to let you know that it changed the way baby slept. Prior to this, baby could only fall asleep if we coaxed him while he was in our arms. As you might imagine, we couldn’t get much else done. As soon as I slipped him in there for the first time, he passed out. For the first 3 months of his life, he slept in there for every nap. Then all of a sudden we could set him in his bassinet and he could nap on his own. I’m really grateful for this one. I still use it. In fact, I’m using it right now as I travel to NYC and Atlanta. It’s so snug. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful one on the market, but for us, it was a game changer so I don’t care how it looks. Once again with Felix, this was a LIFESAVER! He slept in it exclusively until about a month ago. 

1-2 months out

  1. White noise maker. I was hoping I wouldn’t need a white noise maker and perhaps I don’t because I haven’t noticed a difference in J’s sleep quality, but I find it more useful in thinking that we can carry on at a normal decibel level than if it’s not on. Love this one because you can turn it on and off remotely. Ok, since last time, we’ve been using a white noise machine with Jasper ever since and with Felix too. As soon as the white noise machine is off, Felix is up. I find that it allows us to feel like we don’t have to tip toe around to not make noise. Love it. We didn’t buy the same brand for Felix, which was a mistake. The one we bought is poorly designed. I’ll be buying this brand again!
  2. Uppababy stroller. The stroller can hold the car seat, a bassinet, and a normal sitting seat for an older child. I’m using the VISTA while I travel right now because baby can only sleep laying down completely so I stick him in the bassinet. It’s so beautiful, quick to assemble and disassemble. I’ve become a big advocate of it! Plus, I love the touch of the leather handle–classy! I didn’t need a stroller for the first couple of months because Jasper would just cry. Felix did the same thing, but starting at 4 months he LOVED sitting upright.
  3. Rattan bassinet from Bundle and Bloom As you know from this post, I was on a big search for rattan bassinets for baby’s nursery. I searched high and low to find a vintage one, but I couldn’t find one in the US and shipping from France was going to cost 2x the cost of the crib itself, SO, I was thrilled to find this version from Bundle and Bloom. It’s beautiful and the cost is NUTS! They’re handmade in Guatemala and we’ve been using it since we got it. I love it!
  4. Moses Basket. Early on in the prepping process, I spent a good deal of time looking for a Moses basket because I’ve always loved the look of them. Turns out? They’re also handy. This one I got from Briar and it’s so beautiful it makes me want to cry.
  5. Sleep Sack.

When their old enough to hold their heads up (4 or 5 months)

A lot of these are basically contraptions to place baby so you can have a sec to do something. I like to spread them around the house so that there’s always something.

  1. Chair swing. Ok, this is an exception to the “beautiful” rule. I don’t love the look of it, but I love the price and I wanted to see if he would even use before buying something more expensive. I started him in it at about 4 months and he would last for about 5 minutes. Ha! We’re working on it! I think he’ll love it…one day! This is the chair swing I’d try if I thought we’d have gotten more use out of it. Well, Jasper never learned to love it and we’ll find out about Felix. I have a feeling he will though because he loves his…
  2. Exersaucer. I borrowed this contraption from my friend, Michele, and Jasper didn’t love it. I borrowed it again for Felix and he LOVES it! He’s at 5 months now and having a ball. Sometimes he lasts for 2 seconds and other times he can stay in for 15 minutes. 
  3. Briar bonnets. I feel such a need to protect Baby’s skin from the harsh sun especially since he’s so pale. These bonnets are both adorable and great for protection. We did a collection with them and they turned out so cute! 
  4. Bumbo. I love the Bumbo for setting him in when I need to get some stuff done, like putting on make up. Bonus is that is comes in this gorgeous color. I searched high and low for a pretty color and found it in this one.
  5. Joovy baby walker (not pictured in graphic). I loved this walker because it was the best looking one that didn’t have the built in toys and it comes with a removeable and washable tray!
  6. Charlie Crane. This is another one that was given to me and I felt like I had won the jackpot because it’s truly so beautiful. I love that it can sit seamlessly in your home, though I have it at work for baby to sit and play in. Helpful and beautiful!

Rattan bassinetRattan bassinet

Again, I’ll be updating this list the more I become familiar with other products and stages of baby’s life. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your tried and true products! Dish!

photos by Jane Merrit and Rebecca Hansen

Pour myself a cup of ambition

Ambition

Naturally, I’ve always been ambitious starting from when I was young, though I didn’t always know what I was ambitious for. I was always a really good student, but I think the achievement of excellent grades was more to reach a standard of perfection rather than a specific outcome. Of course I knew, or at least I was taught, that excellent grades meant getting into a great college and lead to a better future and I was all about riding that train. I wanted to make something excellent with my life, whatever that was.

That drive wasn’t necessarily instilled in me by anyone in particular. In fact, my algebra teacher once asked me if my parents were forcing me to get certain grades, no doubt expecting them to be academic tyrants. It might have appeared that way because I would always spend hours trying to figure out equations. On the contrary, my parents were not strict at all and didn’t really push me–they didn’t need to. Math didn’t come easily to me so I worked at it. There was something nice about knowing there was a right answer–I just needed to figure out the best way to get there. It’s probably shocking to anyone who knows me now because I’ve pretty much given up on anything math-related.

In college I remember hearing a lecture about ambition described as a negative thing. This was news to me. I don’t remember too much about the details of that lecture other than feeling that something didn’t sit right. I didn’t buy it. But that’s kind of a motto for my life I suppose–figuring out where I personally sit with what I’m taught and then going for it.

As I mentioned, I didn’t always know what I was ambitious for so just kind of worked hard and acted upon the opportunities that came my way. I realize the immense privilege that comes with this statement–the fact that there ARE opportunities is something I’m grateful for. For example, I specifically joined the Orange County Junior Orchestra in middle school because they had announced that they would be touring France and England the following summer. I had been babysitting and saving my money since I was ten so I had amassed a tiny fortune (for me anyway 😉 and used it to go. We got to perform IN Monet’s Gardens at Giverny and in front of the Eiffel Towel and in places that I’m still shocked about now (I mean, how did they get the permits to do that?!?!). As you might imagine, the trip was absolutely transformative and informs a lot of who I am and how I see the world today.

The Burn Out

Well, as I’ve gotten older and become more exhausted/burned out in my hustling, I’ve started to realize the necessity of being ambitious FOR something. For one thing, I’ve learned that I’m not motivated only by money. If I was I’d definitely be doing something else with my life. Of course I’m motivated to build my business, pay my employees, support my family, and design the house of my dreams, etc., but the main reason I run Lars isn’t for that reason.

What are your motivations?

Additionally, though I’m sure I’d have to do more self reflection on the matter and I’m sure it’s not always the case, I’ve learned that I’m not motivated by the approval of others. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel comfortable owning my own choices and I don’t feel too much pressure to perform for others, whether it’s to make it look like I’m cooler than I am, richer than I am, more beautiful than I am. I’m quite fine with not being the best at all things all the time. Why? Because 1) there’s no such thing as being perfect 2) it’s really boring to be perfect 3) it’s too much upkeep to maintain a certain image that doesn’t really exist, you know?

Mission driven

A few years ago I decided that work is much more fulfilling when it’s attached to a purpose. I know that’s so millennial of me. My mission, our mission, for Lars is to 1) encourage people to work with their hands and 2) to live an artful life. Because when you work with your hands you live a better life and when you do it artfully, it’s intentional.

When I view it through this lens, it’s much easier to not resent work, which is something I have struggle with in the past including as recently as when I was pregnant last year. Anyone else feel super unmotivated and unambitious during pregnancy? Oooo, it’s bad for me!

Reframe ambition

Now that I have an infant and toddler, my ambition continues, but there’s less time and mental capacity. I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll have literally dozens of ideas of how I want to grow Lars and I’m only capable of working one to two hours a day, which is not super conducive to growing a thriving business (and that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it ALL day long–I just can’t implement it as efficiently as I had been). It’s been a point of frustration for me, and probably my team though I haven’t asked them directly and they probably wouldn’t verbalize it even if it was true.

Of course, I realize that childhood is short and I want to take advantage of my time with my children, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. For me, this isn’t an issue of motherhood versus work. It’s also not a “women can do it all” speech. Every woman is different and every situation is different, but I do believe my personal and professional missions can continue just as strong, but just reframed.

How? I’ve worked for years to get Lars to a point where I can have others join me and now I have a great team who I’ve had to rely on more than ever. I feel very lucky to have them and know that they also believe in propelling the mission. They’re not attaching themselves to ME but our MISSION and those are very different things.

SO! Here I am, literally writing this essay while holding a pacifier in my infant’s mouth hoping that he stays asleep for another ten minutes so I can finish this up and pick up Jasper from the babysitter. My ambition isn’t what it used to be because I’m not what I used to be. And perhaps it’s even better that way. I continue to dream and work towards my dreams. They’re different and I’m just working at recognizing the beauty in it all.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What motivates YOU? Is ambition a bad word? Tell me!

Little Lars: New baby items in the shop!

cute gifts for baby

Gift ideas for baby and kids

There’s nothing better than stuff for kids, amiright?! Just enlarge them and make them for adults already! We have a little bit of this and that for baby and kids like pacifier clips, rattles, sunnies, toys. They’re too sweet!

Like these floral inspired pacifier clips. Come on!

flower beads pacifier clips

And, of course, we had to get some rainbows in some how. Rainbow teething toys!

Sweet accessories for kids

cute gifts for kids

Wooden cameras (for all inspiring photographers ;), knitted animal rattles, bunny burp clothes and more. I can’t wait to hear your favorites. Jump on over to the shop to see for yourself!

And if not accessories, we have our full range of art for kids like these art prints based on classic stories by Ayang Cempaka (my favorite is Pippi…no Little Red Riding Hood…I can’t decide!). art for kids based on books

You can find the new items in our Lars Shop here!

Spring Shop Launches!

So much has been going on in our shop that I have a whole list of Spring shop launches to announce! Working with incredible artists and brands is such a fun aspect of what I do, and I’m so excited to announce these Springtime collaborations and additions to the shop.

Betsy Croft

Betsy holds a special place in my heart because she used to be an intern at The House that Lars Built! On top of that, she is an amazing ceramic artist (check out our interview of her here). I adore her new line and I’m ecstatic that I get to partner with her and sell her work through my shop!

Betsy’s mugs are so beautiful and unique that you won’t want to close the cupboard doors on them. I love the vibrant, looped handles, which really make them showstoppers.

Can you believe how whimsical these floral candlesticks are? They would be so lovely grouped together as a tabletop garden or even individually. Each candlestick comes with a candle so you can get started right away.

While all of Betsy’s products would make ideal Mother’s Day gifts, these mini vase brooches are especially fitting. They attach to a blouse securely with two pins, which means they won’t twist upside down and accidentally spill your teeny bouquet. The brooches come with a mini paper flower kit that we made especially for the vase so you can make a bloom that will last a long time. I love giving gifts with a handmade component, and this ticks all the boxes.

Mother’s Day Shop

In addition to Betsy’s phenomenal work, there’s a whole collection of Mother’s Day gifts in my shop! There are darling earrings of so many shapes and sizes that no matter your mother’s (or aunt’s or grandma’s or friend’s) sensibilities, there’s something cheerful and beautiful for the people on your list.fun abstract and floral shaped earrings

Plus, our corsage inspired aprons are always a win!

Nothing says Mother’s Day like a handwritten note, and we also have you covered there. Choose between a wide variety of designs and messages and express your love in style.

Kids need to be able to get in on the Mother’s Day festivities too, so we made this detailed and delightful activity pack. Print out the files and let your kids go to town to make a gift that’s memorable and oh so personal.Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

If you’re looking for more Mother’s Day inspiration, check out our post about Mother’s Day gifts that kids can help out with here.

Kids Shop

cheap art for kid's rooms
This collection of animal prints by Brazilian artist Jéssyka Gomes is a favorite

If you’re familiar with The House that Lars Built, it’s no surprise to you that my boys are a big presence here. We make a lot of projects for kids, so this spring we launched the Baby and Children’s section of the shop. Between patterns, products, and prints, there’s so much to make and do and decorate with for Little Lars (you know I love an alliteration!).

cheap art for kid's rooms
Paris based illustrator, Jessie Kanelos Weiner is a Lars favorite
cheap art for kid's rooms
Yelena Bryksenkova’s patchwork collection comes in prints AND bookplates!
cheap art for kid's rooms
Angie Stalker’s work is fun and bright!
cheap art for kid's rooms
Josefina Schargorodsky captures the essence of a lazy summer day

I teamed up with lots of brilliant illustrators and artists to make artwork you can use to decorate a kid’s room (or your own! I won’t tell)! Lots of the artwork is storybook themed so your little one can decorate with art from some of their favorite books.

Winter Water Factory

Finally, we collaborated with Winter Water Factory, one of my favorite clothing brands, to design a print. If you’re someone who looks at kids clothes and thinks “I want that in my size,” this is for you! Winter Water Factory makes clothing for kids and adults alike, as well as a few key accessories for babies. This collaboration also happened in partnership with Hazel Village to make clothes for stuffed animals. Name something cuter than your whole troupe decked out in matching Dutch Floral clothing–I’ll wait. Ha! We came up with an adorable coloring page to go with it.The House That Lars Built for Winter Water Factorydutch blue floral children's clothingboys can wear florals too!

I was inspired by the floral patterns on Dutch pottery for this line and I think that all the products came out so beautifully.

Keep In Touch

We’re always releasing new products and projects, and I would hate for you to miss them! Our Instagram pages are great places to keep up with what I’m working on. For more shop-exclusive content check out @houselarsbuiltshop and for a broader look at what’s going on in the world of Lars follow along with @houselarsbuilt. I look forward to seeing you there!

Mother’s Day Gifts the Kids Can Help With

Mother’s Day gifts the kids can help with

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

Maybe my favorite Mother’s Day gift is our Mother’s Day Activity Pack, which comes with everything the kids will need to make mom tear up with joy this year. Just print it off on your home printer and let your kids get busy!

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help withMother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with mothers day coupons

Since mom might not be able to go out to the spa, or get brunch with friends this year, these colorful coupon cards will make sure May 9th is still MOM’S DAY all day. Sometimes an hour of quiet time, or a very long nap, are the best gifts in the world.

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with Mother of the year awardMother's day activity pack coloring pages for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

Many moms are in now entering year two as the homeschool teacher, 24/7 chef, and endless entertainment with all her kids at home. Even though vaccine rollout means there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, society’s expectations for moms over the last year have taken a TOLL. It’s no secret that no one was built to be able to handle all of this, and moms everywhere deserve the Mother of the Year Award.

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's day gifts the kids can help withMother's day activity pack for Mother's day gifts the kids can help with #1 mom ribbon

Click here to see the full set!

Mother's day activity pack for Mother's Day gifts the kids can help with

Beaded Clay Necklace

I recently released a Mother’s Day gift project that kids will love making and moms will love wearing. This clay necklace is simple enough that even little kids can make it with a bit of adult supervision. It’s also a big upgrade from the macaroni creations of yesteryear.

Rolling rainbow clay balls for a mother's day necklaceBrittany is wearing a white blouse and a rainbow colored clay necklace. She's standing against a green wall.

It would look great with the new earrings in our shop to round out a store-bought gift with some homemade charm.

Other Mother’s Day Projects

Whether you are slipping these projects to your children to surprise their mom with (along with breakfast in bed, of course!) Or you are still trying to find the perfect grown-up gift for your own mother. Here are our favorite projects from Mother’s Days past, pulled straight from our endless archives.

Mother's day gifts card with paper flowersmother's day flower cake toppers printable

Have you been eyeing our new paper flowers e-book but you’re nervous to try a whole bouquet? This Flower Bouquet Mother’s Day Card is the perfect first project! Slip in just a few paper flowers to the card vase to make it pop.

Or even easier, cut out these Paper Flower Cake Toppers and bake mom something sweet! Or top a tower of crepes with the flower toppers for an amazing breakfast in bed.

Mother's day gifts card with gift cardMother's day gifts card with gift card and paper flowers

These cards are both designed to attach a fun gift card so mom can treat herself! This blog post is a helpful reminder to check in on the emotional health of mothers you know. Especially brand new moms! The best way to really show your gratitude this year to let moms around you know you are there for them. Checking in on them sincerely and sending a gift card for a fun surprise is the perfect Mother’s Day combo! We now offer gift cards to our shop, so mom can pick out her favorite art print or start a new project!

May 9th is coming quickly! Check out our full Mother’s Day shop here!

DIY Detachable Rickrack Collar

Collars are super in right now as a part of the whole cottagecore trend and I am DIGGING them. I mean, you have to be super careful about them so as not to appear too 19th century. You can modernize it a bit more by wearing a blouse tucked into pants. I’m not much of a pants owner so I had to go with my dress here, but I’m going to assume that you own pants–am I correct? Ha! A lot of the ones out there are collars connected with the blouse but I wanted one that you could detach and pair with lots of different ones.

I LOVE a collar on kids too, though admittedly, I think I’d probably put it on a girl if I had one more than my boys. But, who cares?! They’re so fun! Almost like a necklace.

Rickrack is the braided trimming in a zigzag pattern often used as decoration on clothes. In the past, we used them to embellish blouses, and most recently, we used them in our baby bonnet pattern. We love the trimming so much, we wanted to use it in creating other matching accessories for the whole family. Starting with mom and child, make a rickrack collar that you can attach and detach to any outfit. Because rickrack has such a nostalgic appeal, they will maintain its classic look and feel for years to come. Read on to find out how to make one for yourself using our rickrack collar pattern.  

Materials:

Kid and Adult matching collar pattern, 1 yard cotton fabric (we used this gingham by Robert Kaufman), medium rick rack, matching thread, hooks and eyes, scissors, hand sewing needle, sewing pins, iron, sewing machine. A sewing machine isn’t strictly necessary, but it sure speeds things up! 

Instructions:

  1. Download, print, and cut out the matching collar pattern. If you’re making a collar for a kid, hold up the patterns to one of their shirts to decide which size will fit best.
  2. Cut out your fabric. Make sure that you cut the collar back pieces on the fold!
  3. Pin the collar front pieces to the collar back along the shoulder seam. If your fabric is printed, the right sides should be together.
  4. Sew along the shoulder seams. 
  5. Press the seams open. 
  6. Repeat steps 3-6 with the other collar back and front pieces so that you have two identical pieces. 
  7. With the right sides together, pin the two pieces together. 
  8. Sew around the perimeter of the collar, but leave a gap about three inches long where you don’t stitch at the bottom of the collar back.
  9. Through the unsewn gap, turn the whole thing right side out. Press all the seams so that they’re nice and tidy. Make sure that you press the corners where the collar meets in the front so that you see the point. It can help to push the corner out with a pencil or a skewer.
  10. Starting at the top corners (where the collar will meet just below the neck), pin your rick rack to the edge of the collar. 
  11. Topstitch all along the edge of the collar, securing the rick rack down. This will also close up the gap you used to flip the collar right side out.
  12. You’re almost done! To finish your collar, hand sew the hook and eye on at the top corners. 

If you make this collar we would love to see it! Use #LittleLars to show us. Bonus points if you make two and match with your little one!

Favorite Baby Gift Ideas

I live in a part of the country where a lot of babies are born, so I always keep an eye out for cute baby gift ideas for my friends and neighbors. Years ago I put together a list of things I was loving in new motherhood, but so many new things have come out since then! Every year new products surface for expectant mothers to add to their stockpile of baby goods and wish lists. Here is my updated list of favorite baby gift ideas for you to consider whether you’re expecting or looking for a gift for a friend. And don’t forget to check out the new Lars Kid Shop for even more great ideas and products!

Clothes

Clothes are a great baby gift idea because everyone loves dressing up a little one.

Baby wearing a short-sleeved veggie print sleeper

I’m never one to shy away from prints and patterns, and when I saw this zip sleeper with veggie prints I knew that I wanted one for little Felix immediately. Following the farm theme, here’s an appliqué overall outfit and a ruffled strawberry romper that are both springtime showstoppers, and a strawberry bubble romper that I want in my size.

Baby wearing a strawberry bubble romper and a matching hat while sitting on a rug.

If you’re looking for florals, this calico onesie set is a great start. There’s also this long-sleeve one-piece outfit and this long-sleeve onesie set.

My heart melted when I saw these gingham doggie overalls, which also includes a cute collared onesie. A similar outfit, which is lamentably sans-puppy but would be great for summer, is this short-sleeved seersucker overall outfit.

gingham overall outfit with an embroidered dog

If you’re looking for a more subdued palette, this sage green button-up outfit is a dreamy and gender-neutral piece, and I will never say no to convenient snaps for diaper access. A solid green shoulder-tie romper is such a comfy summer outfit, and this collared outfit is another great one for parents looking to dress their little ones in solids.

At Lars we love rainbows, and we found this darling rainbow pinafore outfit that includes a shirt, a jumper, and socks so it can be mixed and matched into a multitude of cute looks. We also found this more subdued rainbow onesie made from organic cotton and a matching rainbow swaddle that are so sweet together.

Blankets and Swaddles

Speaking of swaddles, this swaddle baby gift set with a matching rattle would be such a great baby gift idea for spring. This cotton muslin swaddle comes in so many adorable patterns and colors, and there’s sure to be one for every nursery style.

A white bunny swaddle and rattle set on a beige background.

Parents who don’t want to wrangle a blanket-style swaddle can skip a few steps and use these swaddles with adjustable tabs, which come in a three pack. There’s also this swaddle tube, which looks extra snug and comes with a matching hat!

dark blue blanket with white dinosaurs.

For the scientifically-minded baby, we found this cute dinosaur baby blanket, because it’s never too early to start learning about paleontology.

Baby Carrying

Baby carrying solutions are exciting because there are so many of them. I love this blush pink BabyBjorn carrier that’s great for newborns. Ergobaby also makes lots of great carriers like this all-in-one 360 carrier in field of daisies and in California wildflower.

A blonde woman carries a baby in an omni 360 baby carrier in the colorway field of daisies. She is picking an orange from a tree.

Sollybaby also makes beautiful, low-tech wraps that are great for carrying babies and are incredibly soft. I love this Flora pattern as well as this ginger check.

Beds and Swings

Despite Felix’s best wishes (sweet boy ALWAYS wants to be held), beds and swings are important accessories and great baby gift ideas. This wooden co-sleeper bed is great for babies who nurse at night because it goes right next to the parents’ bed, so mom doesn’t have to get up and walk across the house to feed. I also love that it has space for storage underneath. I also love this swiveling bassinet, which can swing over a parent’s bed to keep baby close.

Once babies can hold themselves up, swings are a fun addition to the home. This cinnamon-colored one could look great styled in so many fun ways, and the wooden beads are an extra fun bonus for baby. I also like this swing, which comes in a few pretty pastel colors and includes a teether toy.

Feeding and Teething

New moms need functional baby gifts! This bottle kit, which includes a sanitation station and a few pacifiers, is such a good option that covers a lot of bases. Because there’s nothing sadder than a baby with a sick stomach, this bottle set has an anti-colic valve at the bottom.

Two burp cloths on a white background. One is yellow and white striped and one is yellow with little red tulips.

Just because baby is going to spit up on them doesn’t mean that burp cloths can’t be cute. I love this set, which comes in lots of colors and prints. These kerchief bibs will also keep baby clean and in style.

A wooden cookie teething toy on a white background.

Teething babies have a reputation for being difficult (it’s okay, we all went through it once!), but teething toys can help provide some relief while also being adorable. Sophie the Giraffe has become a classic teething toy, and for good reason because it is timelessly cute. Giving baby this wooden cookie toy as a precursor to future sweet treats is a fast track to favorite auntie status. I also love this cute set made of silicone that comes in a sun and rainbow, a campfire and trailer, and an elephant and binoculars. For extra cool relief I like these freezable teethers.

Silicone teether toys on a baby blue background. One is a smiling sun, one is a rainbow with a cloud.

This isn’t technically a teether, but I had to share this baby tooth pillow. If only growing teeth were as easy as snuggling up to this toy!

Diaper Bags

Sometimes moms get left behind in the excitement over a new baby, but not at Lars! In addition to baby gift ideas I wanted to share some mom gift ideas. I rounded up some diaper bags that are functional and are stylish enough to keep you feeling like an entire human person, not just a chauffeur for your baby’s gear.

A Black leather diaper bag on a white background

If you or the parent-to-be are focusing on maintaining style during their diaper bag journey, I like these leather and faux leather options. This Fawn Design one is extremely classy and has a beautiful, architectural feel. This backpack by Itzy Ritzy also has nice big pockets for your water bottle and a little one’s bottle, too. Freshly Picked has a great vegan leather backpack with ten (TEN!) pockets that convertible, so you can wear it as a backpack, crossbody bag, or purse. Skip Hop’s backpack manages to combine elegance with a diaper changing station, which is just proof that in this day and age any combination of words can fit together and make something great.

A warm brown fanny-pack style diaper bag.

Diaper bags with changing stations are a game (and diaper) changer. Skip Hop also makes a cute striped tote with a changing pad. The Ruvalino multifunction backpack is great for this too, and looks nice and sporty. I also love the Petunia Pickle Bottom backpack for its changing pad and great color assortment. Maybe my very favorite one is this minimal Kibou diaper bag. It’s smaller than most, but it has great features like a fold-out changing pad and a key pacifier clip. It’s my dream to have things under control enough to carry everything in this little guy. If all you’re looking for is a diaper control situation, the STORQ Kit Bag is for you. It is compact and would be a great insert to a larger diaper bag that doesn’t include a changing station.

Black and white zipper diaper bag pouch

The JuJuBe convertible backpack/messenger bag is a great option if you’re interested in having a wide selection of colors and patterns. My favorite feature? The crumb drain. Glory be.

Last but certainly least on our list is the Vogshow waterproof diaper bag, which looks incredible, even if you aren’t carrying diapers around. Here’s to functional objects for all stages of life.

Blue waterproof vogshow backpack diaper bag with caramel-colored details on a white background.

Baby Registries

When all else fails, a registry is a great place to find baby gift ideas that have been curated by the expectant parents themselves. We have a great article about making your own baby registry that you can check out if you’re looking for ideas.

I hope this list of baby gift ideas was helpful! Did I miss anything crucial? Let me know in the comments?

 

A Craft and Treat for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday lands on the fourth and final Sunday of Lent marking the beginning of Holy Week. When Jesus entered Jerusalem as part of his journey to the cross, crowds cheered and waved palm branches. They also laid the leaves across the road to welcome him. Little did they know how things would pan out in just a few days! But the solemn events of Holy Week remind us of the triumph in the end. Palm branches have long been symbolized for victory and peace; therefore to celebrate Palm Sunday, we have revamped our DIY paper palm leaves so that the victory leaves can set the tone for your Palm Sunday table. The symbolic nature of the leaves will remind everyone of this triumphant occasion and you can prepare the leaves ahead of time as a Palm Sunday craft.

Palm Sunday craft and Resurrection Rolls from The House That Lars Built

How to make your Paper Palm Leaves

To make our Palm Sunday craft this year, we used our past paper palm leaves tutorial and just made them smaller! You can see that past project here.

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Trace out your leaf template and cut it out. (We have formatted the the template to cut up to 8.5×11. However, the leaves that we made for our tablescape were smaller. To accomplish this you can use the template and size down by hand or send it to print at a smaller scale.)
  2. Fan your leaf shape: start from the middle fold, choosing one side of your teardrop-shaped leaf to begin making even smaller folds, helping your leaf get that pretty fanned palm look. Repeat on the other side. (you can use a scoring tool to help you get sharper folds)
  3. Color your leaf: before connecting your leaf to the stem, you’ll want to paint it to make sure it gets an even color throughout. BEFORE PAINTING be sure your creases are defined! Then flatten out your shape again, just enough that you can get an even coat of paint on it. Paint and let dry for 1-2 hours! We used spray paint.
  4. While your leaf is drying, make the petiole stem!
  5. Use petiole stem paper cover template (once again this can be sized down on the computer or sized down based off the printed template, or up if you want to make larger palms like did here!)
  6. Fold your stem along the dotted lines on the template.
  7. You should be able to make a long pyramid-looking stem now with your paper! Hot glue the extra 4th fold to hold it all together (leave the extra 2-3 inches at the top unglued).
  8. Paint your petiole stem to match the leaf!
  9. After your leaf is dry, follow your original creases to re-fold your leaf into its fan shape
  10. Take a lollipop stick and place it inside of the most middle crease of your leaf, only a few inches from the bottom. Hot glue it in place.
  11. Cut diagonally from the leaf to the stick to take the excess off of where the leaf meets the stick (refer to photo).
  12. Tape the very bottom together to keep the shape of the leaf fanned and the stick secure
  13. Slide your petiole stem paper cover over the lollipop stick (the 2-3 inch extra end first.) Allow those 2-3 inches at the top to cover the very bottom of the leaf. Also cover the area where your leaf is glued/taped to your stick. Finally, hot glue the top in place.

Resurrection Rolls Recipe

To complete our Palm Sunday craft and tablescape, we added this yummy recipe and family tradition from our Project Manager, Hailey! Her mom would make them every time at this year.

Palm Sunday craft and Resurrection Rolls from The House That Lars Built

“Resurrection Rolls have been a yummy tradition for years in our family.  They’ve easily become the tastiest, and easiest Easter morning breakfast.  They’re essentially buttered marshmallows wrapped in crescent rolls.  As the rolls raise, the marshmallow melts out and leaves the roll hollow and empty.  This is a great way to teach young kids about the Easter story of Jesus being resurrected and his tomb left empty.  The best part is, you only need a handful of ingredients.  See below!”

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter or margarine
  • 1 tube of crescent dough
  • Bag of large marshmallows
  • Cinnamon or cinnamon sugar

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in one bowl
  2. Mix cinnamon sugar in another bowl
  3. Open the crescent dough and lay them flat on a cookie sheet
  4. Grab a marshmallow, dunk it in melted butter, roll in cinnamon sugar
  5. Place the dunked marshmallow in the middle of the dough and pinch the dough around it
  6. Place about 3 inches apart from each other back on the cookie sheet
  7. Follow baking instructions on dough packaging and bake

Resurrection Rolls Instructions from The House That Lars Built

When you finish our project, display the leaves on your brunch tablescape and enjoy time with your family as you celebrate and remember Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday craft and Resurrection Rolls from The House That Lars Built

 

DIY Sleeping Mask and The Comfiest PJs

You all know that, up until recently, my Lars uniform was a puffy, flowy dress in any color or pattern I could find. I lived in dresses! In any weather or circumstance, I would never fail to don a dress. However, since welcoming Felix into the world and moving the Lars office into my home – I must admit, I have found a new uniform of choice. LOUNGEWEAR. Who knew I would ever become a loungewear gal?! NOT ME! Ha! 

In fact, this new obsession of mine has taken over my wardrobe so completely that most days I find myself sliding into full-on pajama territory. I basically wear the same thing night to day…and then night again. But honestly, I’m not even mad about it. The latest addition to my PJ drawer is this set from the Sleepy Jones + Purple collaboration. When my favorite sleepwear brand and mattress company put their minds together to create a new pair of PJs, you just know they will be the most comfortable item in your closet. 

How to Complete The Ultimate Cozy Look

My favorite part of these new Sleepy Jones + Purple Pajamas? THE STRETCH. I could go on and on about the stretch. Especially when my time is currently spent feeding Felix and working at the same time (somehow?!). I feel stretched thin, so of course I need my loungewear to feel stretchy too. They truly provide the all day comfort I have been longing for. 

I do need to tell you now though, ordering your own pair of Purple PJs is a fluffy, soft, and slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a full Purple bedtime set up. And that is where I find myself now, wearing my new pajamas, surrounded by new Purple SoftStretch Sheets, and Harmony Pillow. But can you blame me? “Stretch” and “harmony” are suddenly my two favorite words, especially to describe my sleeping situation. 

To complete my night time routine, I decided to add a DIY Sleeping Mask to match my new stretchy goodness made from a quilt (remember our quilted coat tutorial?!)! I am already dreaming of the endless good nights of rest I’ll be getting now and perhaps you might benefit from it as well!

DIY Quilted Sleeping Mask

Items made from quilts (like the now popular quilted coat) is the new black and so I had to try my hand at it. It helped that I had scraps leftover from when Romy made mine. Turns out, it makes the coziest sleeping mask (and you better believe I’ll also be turning it into a face mask!)

Supplies:

Sleep mask template, Quilt/top fabric, .25 yard satin fabric, .25 yard cotton batting, 2 12 inch lengths of .25 inch wide elastic, thread, scissors, sewing pins, fabric pen/pencil

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out your template. Make sure that your printer settings are set to print actual size.
  2. Trace your template onto your quilt or top fabric, your satin, and your cotton batting. Cut these out. 
  3. With the front of the satin facing up, place the satin on top of the batting and pin in place. Pin the two strips of elastic to the satin/batting layer with the ends lining up where the triangular markings on the template are. Make sure that the elastic isn’t twisting and that they don’t cross.  
  4. With the front facing down, pin the quilt piece to the satin/batting layer. You now have a sleep mask sandwich with batting on the bottom, then satin facing up, then elastic, then your quilt piece facing down. 
  5. Mark two places at the top of your mask about three inches apart where you will start and stop the stitching. You need to leave this space so that you can flip your mask inside out. 
  6. With a seam allowance of 3/8ths of an inch, sew around the outside of your mask.
  7. Grade this seam by cutting the batting layer closer to the seam. This makes it so that the outside of your mask doesn’t have such a bulky section around the perimeter.
  8. Flip your mask inside out from the space you measured out in step 5. Now the end is in sight! You should have satin in the back and your quilt facing forward, with elastic to hold it to your face. 
  9. Gently iron your mask with the satin side down. When you do this, fold the raw edges from the hole under so that they blend in with the rest of the perimeter. Pin in place.
  10. Topstitch around the outside of the mask. This is where you will close the hole you left to flip it inside out.
  11. Following the seams in your quilt, stitch in the ditch to quilt together your layers. Trim all your threads, snuggle up in bed, and start snoozing.

Get Cozy

Once your DIY sleeping mask is complete, pair it with your own Sleepy Jones + Purple PJs for ultimate coziness. 

This post was sponsored by Purple. Thank you for interacting with this content, your support helps us create even more project tutorials and artful resources for you and your family. Thank you!

My favorite everyday leisurewear

I used to think leisurewear consisted of mostly monochromatic colors and unflattering shapes. A bit lackluster and a lot of frumpy. But ever since Felix’s birth and easing into the norm of working from home, I found myself drawn to comfort and the no-need-to-think-about business of leisurewear. Contrary to my assumptions about its one-dimensional look, my dive into the leisurewear rabbit hole led me to an array of designs and styles. Naturally, with my body altered after giving birth, I looked for postpartum leisurewear that made me feel comfortable and happy.

With a growing number of people working from home and comfort emerging as a necessity, many people have also been looking into cozy chic leisurewear. There are now so many cute designs and styles! And you know I’m here for it! For anyone looking to expand their comfortable wardrobe, look no further! I’ve searched high and low and gathered many recommendations. The resulting list does not disappoint!

Here are my current favorites:

My favorite Leisurewear

Let’s jump into our busy days feeling cool and comfortable in these hip everyday leisurewear. They may be considered glorified PJs, and maybe they are, but there’s no one to judge because we’re home! At least we changed out of our nighttime PJs for some daytime ones. Regardless, it feels great to feel comfortable and ready to tackle the day.

My Little Belleville

Ok, I’ve had a REALLY tough time trying to narrow down the hundreds of options I poured through but my very first and only purchase so far has been My Little Belleville’s Embroidered flower faces because there are friggen EMBROIDERED FLOWER FACES on them! They’re soft and cozy and adorable and I’ve worn them now for 5 days in a row.

woven pajamas from Toast

Toast

I’m digging these from Toast. I think they’re technically pj’s but right now everything is pjs to me.

Clare V

Clare V has some great colors and prints and I’m DIGGING this green leopard!

https://shopstyle.it/l/brFLZ old navy

Solids

There are tons of great companies doing beautiful solid sweats. Here are some of my favorites:

Mate has some great color solids that look super comf.
Old Navy has some great solids at a super price point.
Target has a ton of great options too
Cozy Earth has some soft solids too.
Lou and Grey has great colored solids and a few patterns.
Pangaia has wonderful colors and shapes
Esby has a navy blue sweatsuit that I’m eyeing
STATE has a shocking yellow that belongs in my closet
The Hey Gang has a retro looking vibe for kids and adults
Entire World has the most refreshing colors. It looks like they sell out quickly though!
Zara has some pretty options too!
I just found out that Walmart has a new brand called Free Assembly that looks cool and has great basics options like these

Tie dye and Ice Dye Sweats

Of course, the pandemic produced the ubiquitous ice dye trend and companies at all price points dug it like:

LEFT: Big Bud Press, Clare V, and artist Anna Joyce 

Target, Old Navy, Gap all have their own versions too that are good!

Pattern Sweatsuits

To me, there’s nothing better than loungewear with TONS of personality. Here are some of my favorites that do the job well!

Winter Water Factory is a Lars favorite that has prints for kids and adults so you can live out my dream of matching your child.
Bando has some fun and colorful options!
This checkered one, below, is my dream, but they don’t have it in my size!

And I also covet this patchwork one. Isn’t it so good?! It’s from LF Markey.

Ok, that’s it for now! But let me know your favorites. Would love to hear them!

You become what you see and what you’ve heard

Her comment made me rethink…”why DON’T I run for student government?” If she can see me in the role, why don’t I?!”. So you know what I did? I ran and I made it! I became the Commissioner of Publicity my senior year of high school.

It wasn’t a ginormous role. Basically, I was in charge of publicizing school events and activities, which makes a lot of sense now given my current job. I always had the knack I guess–I just didn’t know it until I did it. I made a lot of posters and banners (in fact, my high school prom date asked me to prom with a sign that said “to the cutie who makes all the signs, this one is for you. Will you go to prom with me?” I’m still blushing ;).

The power of suggestion

It wasn’t until years later that I realized the power of that simple suggestion from my classmate. To be honest, she didn’t know me very well so I’m not quite sure how she came up with the idea, but to have someone think of me in that way and encourage me was life changing. Words matter.

History Made

Yesterday, Kamala Harris, was sworn into the office of Vice President. It’s historic for many reasons–She’s a) the first Black b) the first South Asian c) the first woman to take on one of the highest-ranking roles in our nation. You might recall that when she was first elected she famously said “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.” I guarantee that women across the world heard that and committed themselves to become something more or something they may not have ever thought they could become.

We’ve all heard the historic nature of our new presidency so why does this craft blogger and mom of a 4 week old with little time to write an essay let alone shower, feel the need to reiterate it? Because the more involved I am in social media, the more I see that we haven’t all heard it! Or at least we don’t all believe it! When you hear messages that YOU can do great things and then SEE it in action, well, that changes your perspective and goals.

You are what you see

I recently wrote about my mother who grew up dancing ballet, attended the School of American Ballet and then went on to dance in the New York City Ballet and do other very cool things (you can read more about it here). Seeing the many press clippings and photos of her as I was growing up, and whether I was aware of it or not, taught me that I, too, can do cool things. I set my sights on goals I may not have had otherwise and I’ve been slowly trying to accomplish them. I feel lucky to have seen potential from an early age.

Sadly, great examples are not always found within our own families, which is why seeing people who look like you taking on challenging roles is crucial–“hey, if they can do it…maybe I can too!” This bold notion changes your narrative.

Now, whether you share the same politics or not and hopefully that doesn’t matter to you, we have a woman of color in one of the highest offices and that is important for all of us because women and girls and boys…everyone…from around the world see it and know that they, too, can become great things. Along the way, the diversity of our backgrounds creates a more unified playing ground where we can ALL thrive in a healthy, thriving way.

Here’s to a unified and “more perfect” America!

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If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy our Becoming series!