Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween everyone! This year Sierra is "Olivia" the pig, specifically Olivia from the "Olivia Saves the Circus!" book. The costume was hand-made by the talented Aidan Vitti! She's made Sierra's costumes for four Halloweens in a row. Thank you Aunty Aidan!!

Hoping everyone has a safe, fun and dry Halloween tonight! -Craig

Have you guys heard about Amanda Todd yet?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have you guys heard about Amanda Todd yet? She was a Canadian teenager who committed suicide attributed to cyber-bullying through Facebook and text messages as well as at her school. On September 7th, Todd posted a video on YouTube in which she used a series of flash cards to tell of her experience of being blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted.

Reading about things like this break my heart. It's a very sad story, and whats even sadder is that this happens every day. According to 2012 Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, someone dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in the United States. That is a horrifying statistic. Please use the story of Amanda Todd, and countless others, as a reminder and a reason to stop bullying if you are. Your actions have real and devastating consequences.


Read about the story here:

Wikipedia: Suicide of Amanda Todd

TIME: The Tragic Case of Amanda Todd

Watch the video she posted here:


Helpful Links:

  1. "What Can We Do to Stop Bullying" via/ SHAPE
  2. Steps to Take to Prevent Cyber bullying via/ Chicago Now
  3. StopBullying.gov via/ U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
  4. Dealing With Bullying via/ Teen Health
  5. To Write Love on Her Arms

Daddy Does Chicago (2012 Edition)

Monday, October 15, 2012

This past weekend a client of mine offered to fly me out to Chicago to help his company finish up some work for an event they are running. Being away from Sierra is tough on both of us but we combat the toughness by FaceTiming, calls and plenty of reassurance that I'm not leaving forever and will be back very soon. I also gave her a little note that told her I'd miss her and that I love her and was told she carried it around in her little pocket all weekend. I missed her terribly but I think learning that sometimes parents need to be away is a healthy and important lesson to learn.

So Friday morning I dropped Sierra off at daycare, said my goodbyes and off I went to the airport to hop on a plane and head to Chicago for the weekend. (ps. I went to Chicago last year around the same time and blogged about it here.)

Friday / Day 1: I'm a very light traveler. One backpack with a laptop, a book, a sketch pad and a few different shirts / cardigans. Here is the first (of many) obligatory plane window pictures from on the way there.

Here is the awesome sunset I got to watch from my pal Huff's roof in the Old Town part of Chicago once I arrived. Huff is BALLIN by the way, check out his rooftop pool. Man I really love this city...

For dinner that evening I went out to a little slice of vegan heaven called "Native Foods", which have a few locations around the country (sadly not in Boston!) and a bunch in Chicago. If you're in the area of any of them I  recommend getting out there and trying it ASAP. Organic/Vegan foods and beers galore! Here is some of cool chalkboard murals they have on the walls:

Saturday / Day 2:

On Saturday Huff headed out to see his little cousin play a football game and I ventured out into the (rainy) city by myself in search of good food, cool stores and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

I ate at "Delicious Cafe" (which was delicious!) and checked out a few cool / small galleries and shops. Check out the store "Transistor" if you get a chance!

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago is AMAZING. If you live in Chicago or within driving distance you need to get there immediately. They have some really great pieces on view right now and it's well worth the trip.

PS the picture right above this is a still from my favorite piece I saw at the museum period. Here is a one minute clip from it: http://new.daazo.com/film/1dec36cc-3c43-11e0-8e6f-0050fc84de33 -- The fulI film is about 11 minutes long.

Eventually I had to do what I had come there for and settled into Huff's balcony to get some work done. After finally finishing work (around midnight). Huff and I jumped in his BMW (BALLIN!) and went to the famous jazz club "Green Mill" and it was well worth the $5 cover. Unlike bars in Boston which close at 2AM, Chicago parties until 5! Huff and I having just worked for 6 hours straight and been all over the city all day were exhausted and only stayed until around 3 or 3:30 though. We saw an amazing jazz quartet and really enjoyed ourselves. You NEED to go here if you can:

Sunday / Day 3:

My flight was at 1:25 the next day so I pretty much only had time to pack up, eat some breakfast and get to the airport. I was sad to see Chicago go because I had such a great time and love that city but was so excited to get home to my family and get some much needed hugs and kisses from a certain 3 year old.

Once I was home we ate dinner, I gave Sierra a bath with her new color bath fizzes that I bought her at the Museum shop and then celebrated being back home in Boston with a New England pumpkin adult beverage.

Overall it was a lovely weekend and I was glad for the opportunity to be able to see Chicago again. Thanks for the free trip Huff and can't wait to come back again! -Craig

AMAZING stories... AKA Listen right now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recently I've become obsessed with story telling podcasts such as The Moth, Strangers and Risk. In case you're unfamiliar someone gets on stage or in the studio and tells a story. Each episode has a theme  and people tell very personal stories about their lives ranging from 5 minutes to an hour or more sometimes. The stories are beautifully told and are so moving and interesting.

Two have truly stuck out to me as a father and I just wanted to share them with you. One is about a Dad who is a stand-up comedian by night and an amazingly strong father who takes care of his young daughter with cancer by day. The story is about 10 minutes long and as a disclaimer grab a box (or two) of tissues before hitting play. So moving.

The second story is from RISK! and is by Susan Kent of http://www.SouthernDiscomforts.com and is about getting pregnant at a very young age and having to hide it from her mother. This one is a bit longer clocking in at around 30 minutes but is told so vividly and with such emotion it is WELL worth the listen.

You should REALLY subscribe and listen to all three podcasts ASAP!! -Craig

The Moth: Subscribe Here

Strangers: Subscribe Here

RISK!: Subscribe Here

Disney Rebrands Their Princesses To Encourage Girls To Achieve Their Goals...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Disney has "rebranded" the word 'princess' with their new video titled "I Am a Princess" promoting the values of kindness, bravery, trust, compassion, strength and generosity among young girls. Wonder what Peggy Orenstein thinks...

The ‘I Am a Princess’ video shows what the company believes it means to be a Princess today. Check it out / Let us know what you think in the comments section. -C

14 Awesome DIY projects I want to do...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Let me start out by saying thanks to BuzzFeed for posting a ton of awesome DIY posts, I merely got wrapped up in looking at them and decided to aggregate all the ones I liked in one spot. For their original posts see here, here, here, here, and here.

These are all AWESOME and I really want to do some of these ASAP. If and when I do I will be sure to take some pics along the way and post to let you guys know how it comes out!


1. Art Supply Caddy

2. Art Supply Caddy

Cover tin cans with Mod Podge and fabric, then use wire to attach them around the perimeter of a larger can. Nifty storage for paint brushes, pencils, and other art supplies.

I REALLY want to do this one! Sierra's art supplies are always all over the place so it may be fun to get some Crayon patterned fabric, marker patterned, etc and make some sort of system that may encourage cleaning up!

2. Screw Cheap Furniture Knobs Into Wood for a Necklace Holder

Screw Cheap Furniture Knobs Into Wood for a Necklace Holder

This looks AWESOME but I'm thinking larger door knobs and using it for umbrellas near the front door or perhaps towels in the bathroom. Hmm.

Click here for the full tutorial.

3. Turn Inexpensive Frames Into Chalkboard Signs

Turn Inexpensive Frames Into Chalkboard Signs

Paint the frames, and then paint the glass with chalkboard paint. We've had multiple mirrors leaned up all over waiting for something crafty to happen to them. Perhaps I'll do this and make some "Buy This" lists for the kitchen or just to write something cheesy like "Heart is Where the Home is." or something Pinteresty.

4. Ladder Bookshelf

Upgrade An Old Ladder By Turning It Into A Bookshelf

5. Floating Bracket Bookshelves

Floating Bracket Bookshelves

We have TONS of books all over the place it may be nice to get them up off the floor and for INSANLEY cheap w/ little to no effort an L-Bracket and a few screws. I have one of these 'invisible bookshelves' in our room but the thought of making them for myself for super cheap sounds great.

6. Box Shelves + Binder Clips = Unique Bookshelf

Box Shelves from Ikea, Connected with Ordinary Office Binder Clips

This is so awesome and I need to find somewhere in the house where it would make sense to have this but I love it. Click here for further instructions.
Source: livethemma.ikea.se  /  via: remodelista.com

7. Window Frame Photo Frame.

Turn an old window into a picture frame.

We have a TON of these old frames and we've stuck photos in them just sort of wedged in the edges but this looks a lot nicer!

8. Ladder + Wood Bookshelves

Ladder + Wood Bookshelves
I'm in the process of converting my sun porch into a usable space for playing / making art and this could be a wonderful solution for cheap shelving. Made with 2 ladders and planks of wood.
Source: peggy
Or just one ladder will do for a smaller bookshelf.

9. Wooden Pallet Bookshelves

Wooden Pallet Bookshelves

Gorgeous. Thinking bathroom magazine racks perhaps?

Source: kmackay

10. Storage Bench

Storage Bench

Love this idea and am thinking a coffee table but who knows. I could always use more record storage thats forsure. Made from pine wood, metal crates, and casters.
Click here for instructions.

10. IKEA Spice Rack Bureau Storage

Awhile ago I repurposed an old aqua bureau for Sierra's room and this is a great idea for adding some storage for her books! SO going to IKEA and grabbing the materials. IKEA spice racks nailed to the sides of a dresser makes instant display bookshelves. Click here for more details.
Source: ikeahackers.net

12. Stained Plywood Book Display Case

Stained Plywood Book Display Case
Don't know if I really need this but it's awesome looking so maybe I'll just make it and give it away as a DIY Christmas gift haha. Just glue some birch plywood together and stain. Click here for the tutorial.

13. Make a Sharpie Mug

Make a Sharpie Mug
These are awesome! A certain blogger pal of ours did a little tutorial on how to do these over at her blog  IROCKSOWHAT.com -- Read here.

Source: abeautifulmess.typepad.com

14. Coffee Beans and Tea Lights

Ramekins, Coffee Beans and Tea Lights

These are sort of cheesy but I love the smell of coffee and I want my house to smell like it at all times Mmmm. The warmth of the candles makes the coffee beans smell amazing.
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