Thursday, March 23, 2017

The most incredible wildflowers you will ever see | Tips for Visiting the California Wildflowers Superbloom

Visiting the California wildflowers right now is a once in a lifetime experience.  As someone who has chased wildflowers every spring across Texas, I can truly say that this is an incredible sight.  

Pack a picnic lunch, or head to a drive thru and go to the mountains.  We drove from Los Angeles out to Lake Elsinore and Anza Borrega Springs.  We visited both in one day comfortably. 

You belong among the wildflowers.  -Tom Petty

The mountain roads leading out of Anza Borrego Springs.  I think I saw the abandoned mechanic shop that was the inspiration for radiator springs on the way too.  

The approach to Lake Elsinore was unbelievable.  See those little patches? 

Yeah, those were everywhere.  This is a very far away shot.  I've never seen anything like it and I've seen the fields at Muleshoe bend before the whole thing got flooded. 

There is a little mountain ravine right off the highway.  You can take the Elsinore exit and drive over to the side and park. 

It was like being in a dream.  The poppy fields are bigger than the poppy fields in the Wizard of Oz.  I mean, those were fake fields for a lavish movie.  And they are dwarfed in comparison to this. 

Nandini was very excited and proud to get a turn with the camera.  Thanks Nandini! 

The giant wildflower fields at Anza Borrega.  These are mostly a type of sunflower. 

I first got the idea to visit the state park after reading this Washington Post article.  We had a trip planned to California for spring break and the timing worked out perfectly for us.  There are lots of different flowers cycling through blooming periods and it is still gorgeous.  

We weren't sure if we could fit it into our trip but I am really glad we did.  The bluebonnets are blooming now in Texas and I am glad for that.  And we do take pictures and go for walks and spend time among the flowers here too.  But, boy did California put on a show.  Thankful I got to see its glorious spring with my family.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Holi Festival | A two-page scrapbook layout + full photo page

The Holi festival is the Hindu holiday of colors celebrating the arrival of spring and the winter harvest. 

I used the Ali Edwards bond story kit and the March Studio Calico kit here.  I typed my journaling with extra spaces to fit the stamps in.  The rainbow is made from patterned paper and I think it would look cute on a St. Patrick's Day layout, or any spring themed project. 

The journaling reads:
     Holi is probably one of the most special holidays for our family. We have so much fun together.  We get messy, dousing each other in color.  We laugh, chasing each other.
     Growing up in the US, away from all my extended family with two working parents, and a mom who worked almost every single holiday, we didn’t celebrate them in a big way. So I never learned how other people did most things.  I could see the decorations, and had some small inkling of the special food but didn’t really understand the time that people put into it. The thing that I really never saw was the ways that families would spend time together. That is something I am still learning.  How holidays make spaces for families to create special memories together.
I had seen my parents pictures of them celebrating Holi together in India.  It has such a magic around it.  And always seemed so romantic to me, since their pictures were taken as newlyweds.
     When Ryan and I got married we took our first trip to India together and got to play Holi with each other for the first time but we didn’t play it again for many years.  Not until Avinash was born and we moved to Houston.  They play Holi in a big way there! We haven’t stopped since.  In Houston we always played with our close friends Garima and Sameer.  After Nandini was born we played Holi outside on our patio a few days later.  A new tradition was created and the kids and I would play colors out there all the time.  In Austin we wasted no time finding a temple to play Holi together.   We played Holi at Nandini’s birthday party in the park one year.  Her classmates were so delighted to get experience the holiday with us. The kids loved being able to share their culture with their friends too. The next year I surprised the kids after school at the same park with color.  We ran around, just the four of us getting messy and having a blast.
     I am still figuring out how to be a good Mom.  I want the best for my family.  I want a strong bond between us and our children that will last a lifetime.  I want them to know we will always be there to share in joys and sorrows, no matter how big or how small.  Holi has become an amazing time for our family to connect and I am so glad it is such an important tradition for us now.  Avinash and Nandini look forward to it every year.  Lakshman has always had fun with Holi, getting messy and throwing color but I think this will be the first year he really can remember it and I can’t wait. Holi Hai!!

Check out another fun and colorful hybrid project:

December Daily | Handmade Holidays Day 1

Friday, March 10, 2017

Boy's Room Ideas and Inspiration

When I was pregnant with Lakshman our oldest Avinash was so excited to be involved with the baby.  He even offered to share a room with him and help take care of the baby at night.  It took a few days of thinking this through before he reneged on his offer. "What if the baby cries?  I can't change diapers." 

Too bad for him in this family a promise is a promise and we never forget a good one.  Now that the baby is a little older we totally jumped at the chance to move him out of our room and into Avinash's.  
Choose your words wisely son.  That is the lesson here. 

We are definitely not expert decorators as we tend to want to choose all the themes! Decorate with all the things! 

So we had to make one hard and fast rule for ourselves.  No nautical stuff.  I love nautical stuff, I think it's great.  I just have to keep the madness at bay somehow.  Maybe I should write a book.  The life changing magic of saying no to anchors and seashells?

We figured going with a space theme was pretty much the exact opposite.  When I saw this  Land of Nod space quilt that basically sealed the deal entirely.   That Pluto/retired pillow put the whole thing completely over the edge. 

Our stuff is a big mix of mostly Target and Ikea with a little bit of Land of Nod thrown in. Pillowfort is our new go to. The target gods have done it again.  So serious. 

The large canvas poster of monsters is also from Land of Nod.  (What? There are monsters in space.  Also, I probably could have thought that through a little better but it doesn't seem to disturb anyone's sleep so I pretty much nailed it!) 

The chalkboard stegosaurus and the green shelf are Land of Nod too.  The line up of monsters and animals up there is ever changing.  Love that it adds texture and dimension to the gallery wall of mostly flat stuff.   

The frames are Ikea.  Yes, I need to fill in some frames.  No I am not decisive. This is a problem.  We did get one filled in at least. The Shiva print is from a book of posters by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel, The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities. The large A is a marquee letter thrifted from one of our visits to the antique fair in Round Top, Texas

My Dad made the headboard some *cough cough* few decades ago for me.  Love that Avinash and I have the same childhood bed.  Love that it is so meaningful because of his special connection with my dad too. 

I still have the chalkboard shelves from Target that I DIY'd, with a fossil box and robot collection on top.

The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

The other half of the room is Lakshman's side.  He has an Ikea crib that was a hand me down from Nandini. 

In keeping with the theme I moved our rocket ship shelf into the room and strung up a star garland from Land of Nod.  I think it  is intended to be a holiday item, but I love it year round. 

The red stripe rug was also something we had previously that just matched perfectly with the red rocket ship.  I also love how the grey book cart contrasts with both. 

I also added a galvanized metal L (from Hobby Lobby) and a vintage Steelers pennant.  Love that it adds to the play on different shapes along with the circular Ikea mirror. The Krishna print is from the same Poster Book of Hindu Gods. 

The sunny pillow is also an Ikea find.  

Did I raid all of our bookshelves around the house to put this rainbow shelf together?  It's entirely possible.   

Rolling gray book cart is from Target.  I put some baskets of toys and stuffed animals underneath. 

So that is our space themed boys room! Hope you loved checking it out as much as we enjoyed setting it up.  And I promise you, this bed has never been so neatly made since. 

 You can follow my blog on bloglovin', check out my Etsy shop Rainbow Scrapbooksfind me on twitter or instagram as nirupama01.

The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

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