Spotlight: Zee Avi’s “Nightlight”

From time to time I like to shoutout to books, music, products, etc. that make this parenting gig easier or better in some way. Today I have a good one for you.

Let’s talk children’s music. After hearing Frozen one million times (ever felt this way?), I think we’re all ready for some common musical ground with our children. In comes Zee Avi (who makes lovely, quirky music usually targeted for adults) with a children’s album entitled “Nightlight.”

It’s quirky, acoustic, and fun. And did I mention Zee Avi’s warm, almost retro voice is lovely lovely lovely?

What music do you and your kids listen to together?

Paper Flowers Never Wilt

Decorate your mantel with book page flowers.

Our mantel for the longest time was one of those surfaces in the home that collected stuff. It was stuff-purgatory (Will I throw you in the trash? Will I file you?). Because nothing says “come relax by the fire” like an unpaid bill.

And then Mr. P’s dad (“Papa”) brought us a most gorgeous cut of hickory that he then stained for our mantel. Thank you thank you thank you, Papa. This has been on our wish list for some time and now that it’s done, I truly do sit and just stare at its loveliness. Needless to say, I stopped covering it up with bills and junk mail.

Then one fine day not too long ago I discovered a place of wonder and secrets.

Bargain Hunt.

It’s like a Walmart-sized Target clearance rack. And it is where I found these vases I had been wanting for maybe an entire year (because it’s normal to crush on a piece of pottery), but never could justify the price. These lovely ladies were waiting for me at $5 a pop.

And while I loved the way they looked on our mantel, they seemed incomplete. Ever since developing a close, personal relationship with Chip and Joanna Gaines (and by that I mean I don’t know them at all; I’m just addicted to Fixer Upper), I’ve been challenged to decorate in 3-dimensional ways, as opposed to just slapping stuff on the walls and calling it a day. While watching an episode of said show, I had the idea to make paper flowers for the vases. So I gathered my hot glue gun and an old copy of Twilight and got to work.

Make paper flowers for your vases.

This first set of flowers I made using this Martha Stewart tutorial. The only difference is that I wadded up paper into a ball and glued it to the center. The stems of the flowers are made of disposable chopsticks.

DIY paper roses

The next one I based loosely off of this tutorial at One Little Project. I had significantly smaller pieces of paper to work with, which is why there is such a discrepancy between hers and mine. Again I added a paper ball to the center to hide the chopstick and glue. Classy.

Make a paper magnolia

The paper magnolia is by far my favorite, and hilariously enough, this one doesn’t have a tutorial. I learned how to make this kind of petal from 100 Layer Cake, but while playing around with the petals, I decided to shoot for a magnolia instead of a rose. I love the way it turned out.

DIY paper magnolia

All together now:

Decorate your mantel with paper flowers!

I’m all over it. And now that I’ve done several paper flowers, I’m tempted to try some more ambitious ones.