I have had a blast checking out all of the whimsical, playful products that Kawaii for You offers. This little company out of Brisbane, Australia, promotes many of Shinzi Katoh’s designs and products:
” ‘Shinzi Katoh is one of the most famous Japanese Zakka artists. Zakka is a term that refers to anything that improves your home, life and outlook.’ There are many items in each range which makes them a favourite of collectors.”
What I love about Kawaii for You are the themes on their stationary, totes, lunch boxes, decorations, and such: classic children’s stories such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, the Three Little Bears, and more.
A few of my favorites:
Liven up your basement:
Basement couches get a bad rap. For whatever reason, they are chosen not be in the main living space of a house. Their demotion only lowers them to purely utilitarian seating downstairs. Nothing attractive, nothing special, in most cases.
Thus, the basement couch dilemma.
We affectionately call ours “the fat man couch.” It is one of those styles with the two huge flaps that also acts as the back pillows or cushion. Since ours does provide adequate seating downstairs, I decided “the fat man” needed a little love.
Making pillows to distract the eye from what makes “the fat man” fat, the rolls or flaps, and some coordinating pieces on the wall can change the feel of a dark basement. Of course, I relied on blank canvases for wall decoration. I stapled on fabric, traced a design, and painted around the design. (The above photo was in between coats of paint.)
The mommy and her little chickadee prints are the theme, since the mommy and her little chickadees spend time here. The “fat man” couch is now looking somewhat mod and adds something special to the corner to make it feel more loved and less, well, basement-ish.
the sleepy time gal
It started almost four weeks ago. I was taking down a bottle of water, perspiration dripping, face red-hot, telling Bobby for the millionth time how much running strengthens my soul, when it hit, the greatest inspiration ever: a fitness competition between the two of us.
I learned early on in our marriage that Bobby was competitive. Just watching him play his siblings in Trivial Pursuit was clear evidence of that. So why not have a little healthy competition? A little monetary reward for the fittest contestant, and three months of rediscovering what our bodies are made of.
Two new memberships ($10 a month!), coordinating of schedules, and encouraging each other is the game now. Although there will be only one winner, something has changed in us. We do act like a team. Rather then having his help for dinner, I send him to the gym sometimes. Rather then help put kids to bed, he sends me to run other times. We both see it changing us to have the same goal.
And lovely food has become our ally. Cooking and baking means more when I’m conscious about what I’m taking in to sustain my body. Homemade protein bars (Bobby’s request) are on the list for some upcoming Baking Days.
Food plays a powerful role. I’m learning more about how food makes me feel and strengthens me. Real, homemade meals are so rejuvenating after pushing myself seeing what my body can do.
And so, the purifying effects of total commitment to a challenge have begun to work their magic. Two months to go, we’re going strong, and bonding incredibly along the way.
(By the way, I WILL win!)
the sleepy time gal
A long night with friends and family. An exciting tradition. Hopefully a nap will be in my future today…
the SLEEPY time gal
Johanna refuses anything but skirts or dresses these days–yes, we’re in that phase. If more feminine is what she wants I figured I should happily encourage it. A simple skirt with something special: a pocket for treasures along the way.
This fabric was also used in their bedroom. It is the perfect easy, breezy cotton of tiny summer strawberries. Perfect for hot summer days spent at the park.
And so the skirt goes on during the day with pleadings to wear it to bed.
Oh, my little Johanna.
The whole experience of carrying, giving birth, and raising twins has humbled me. I knew going into it that these babies would have a totally different experience than my older children had from day one, just because there were two of them.
I was so concerned all along that they wouldn’t be as close to their mother or need me as much since I didn’t and couldn’t always provide for their needs at the first cry. Bobby and I gave and gave that first year, carefully balancing love and nurturing for all four daughters, into the night many times, too. Fourteen months later, and here they are before me; strong, curious, and aware. I still worry sometimes when I can’t read to both of them at the same time on my lap without one of them pulling away looking for the last book we read, me wanting so badly for them to have a normal “singleton” experience without the balancing and distractions.
But this is life as they know it, all that time and experience has shown them of the world.
And so I step back and watch, as they develop in a world always shared with the one that has been there next to them since the womb, the one always sharing their experiences with them. Their worlds wouldn’t be the same without the other. And for this I am profoundly grateful.
the sleepy time gal