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Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 | 2 comments

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

We love the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest, now in its eighth year. This will be the first time we throw our hat in the ring and create our own diorama. It took us the better part of a week, off and on, to create our entry. We started by brainstorming some ideas and looking at past winners, oohing and aahing at the impressive creations. We loved the various Downton Abbey dioramas especially. After much debate, we decided on a scene from the movie Gravity. First, we found a box and then gathered all sorts of craft supplies from our craft closet, not sure quite what we’d end up using but wanting a lot of options. And, of course, we purchased a package of Peeps — the bunnies rather than the chicks — so we’d have more room on their heads for space helmets. We looked at images online of scenes from the Gravity movie and picked one to depict, with a sliver of the Earth showing on one...

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Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 | 2 comments

Favorite Meals from My Whole Foods Detox

Favorite Meals from My Whole Foods Detox

I joined Marybeth’s Whole Foods Detox and Cleanse earlier this year with excitement about experiencing all of the wonderful benefits of a cleanse — more energy, a boost to my immune function, and a general feeling of well being. What I didn’t expect was my thrill at discovering delicious new recipes that I could continue to eat as part of my regular diet. The basic premise of Marybeth’s program is to avoid foods and substances that cause inflammation and toxicity and add more foods that are naturally detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Some foods to avoid: sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, yeast and fermented foods, eggs, gluten, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, peanuts, soy, beef, pork, and lamb, and of course anything processed. What does that leave? An abundance of nutritious whole foods like berries, apples, fresh vegetables, wild-caught fish, free-range and organic chicken, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, oil, herbal teas, and many tall glasses of filtered water a day. Here are some of my favorite meals from the week....

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 | 1 comment

Heidi’s Blue Painted Piano

Heidi’s Blue Painted Piano

Would you have the nerve to paint your piano? Heidi did and to wonderful results. If you hang out at St. Elmo’s coffee pub in Del Ray, you may remember seeing a piano there a few years ago.  This is the very one. “I’ve always wanted a piano,” she says, “so when I saw a notice about a piano for sale in St. Elmo’s, I called right away and had a piano in my living room the day after.” She didn’t like the dark, brown wood though and thought she might like to paint it. After searching online and finding so many beautifully painted pianos — red, yellow, green, blue, and purple — there was no turning back. “They all looked so much better in color,” she recalls. For her piano, Heidi decided to use the same grey-glue shade of Benjamin Moore semi-gloss paint as she used on a secretary in the same room. The project took about three hours. She first sanded the wood and primed it before...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 | 1 comment

DIY Kitchen Backsplash: Part 2

DIY Kitchen Backsplash: Part 2

It took a couple more weekends to finish my kitchen backsplash project. In part 1, my intrepid hands-on consultant Danielle helped me scope out the job, measure the walls, and envision the layout of the tiles. For part 2, we used a wet saw borrowed from a neighbor to cut many, many tiles — skinny tiles, L shaped tiles, and the most challenging of all, U shaped tiles to go around the outlets. In addition to the wet saw, we also used premixed mastic and the following supplies: Trowels, straight and  notched Tape measure Chisel 1/8 inch spacers Level Painters tape and a pencil Rubber mallet Grout spreader Sponges Setting the Tiles We started placing the tiles on the short wall from the bottom up, first spreading about an 1/8 inch of the mastic and then scrapping it with the notched trowel to allow the tile to stick evenly. After each row, we tapped the tiles lightly with the rubber mallet. After a few rows, it became apparent that our...

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Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 | 5 comments

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

A Bungalow Designed for Art and Play

Last week we showed you Kay’s creative and serene home office where she runs her holistic interior design business, Oikasa. Before that, we featured the fabulous wallpaper she installed on her stairway. And today, we bring you the rest of her house which she shares with her husband Stefan and their two active young children. In every room of their home, we see Kay’s design sensibility at play — simplicity, uplifting colors, handmade and natural elements, and an organized and efficient use of space. In the middle of the front room, a child’s-sized grand piano atop a green shag rug was the last thing I expected to see. But, given that Kay teaches music lessons to young children, a room dedicated to musical instruments makes perfect sense. Next to the front door. you can see an illuminated canvas Kay made. She painted the leaf design on a stretched canvas and then poked Christmas lights through holes into the canvas. She says that her youngest music students love to gaze at...

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