Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Faves | Books for Petit Ones

"The more you read the more things you know. 
The more that you learn the more places you'll go."
- Dr. Seuss

That quote from Dr. Seuss will probably always be one of our very favorites. We love reading to our petit ones! In our eyes, gifting books to children is the kind of gift that keeps on giving. Nothing makes us as happy as curling up with the kiddos and reading them a book!

We often try to gift books to the petit ones in our lives. They don't always have to be brand new. Sometimes the best books are the ones that have been passed down from your own collection, or older cousins and siblings. Classics! In case you missed this post, Jess talks about how thrift stores can be the ultimate jackpot for books, children's books especially! We have also found that if we display their books front facing (and rotate them regularly to change it up) the kids definitely take more interest in reading because they can actually see the front of the book.

The left photo (Edison's old room) is actually a DIY shelf made from rain gutters! Thank you Pinterest discovery. And the right photo (Olivia's room) is using Ikea's white RIBBA picture ledge.

 Here are Edison and Olivia's current favorites. Happy reading y'all. :)

Edison's current favorites: Tap The Magic Tree / Knuffle Bunny / Rusty Robot
Olivia's current favorites: Five Black Cats / Olivia Owl / Secrets of the Seashore

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hello September!

Oh sweet, sweet September. We wait for your dear arrival every year. September is quite a special month for us over here at Petit Republic blog. We started up our blog two years ago - minus the one year hiatus, sorry y'all - with the idea of sharing all of our DIY's, recipes, deals, and party planning into our own little corner of the internet. We might be a small blog, not as big as other lifestyle blogs, but everyday we continue to dream and share this space with y'all. We love that people take the time out of their day to stop by and read a bit. It really means the world to us to be able to share the wealth, and hopefully inspire some of our readers with all the cool stuffs out there.

The month of September also means early celebrations of Halloween! I mean, since we became moms - the hype over this holiday has completely done us in. Any excuse we can make to dress up our petit ones in costume and then take their cute little bums trick-or-treating, only then to get into their candy stash once they've gone to sleep. I mean, who are we kidding, they can't eat all of that chocolate themselves?! Ha!

Last year, we attended Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Disney's Magic Kingdom, and we had such a blast that we decided it was a must-have ongoing September tradition. Since we heard that this event gets crazy all through the month of October, we totally book the tickets in September! Stay tuned for obnoxious Disney Halloween photos, because it's that much of a good time! If you have never been to this Disney event, can we just say that we highly recommend it?! The parade, the fireworks, the Halloween themed treats, and cute kids in costume? PLUS handfuls of the candy? And...it's the good candy at that! Disney ain't stingy when it comes to that!

And aside to September marking the start of the changing of seasons (not really in Florida, haha!) and early Halloween celebrations, September is a huge birthday month for the kiddos in the Petit family! In addition to the blog's "birthday" - both Edison and Olivia are September babies! Edison will be 4 and Olivia will be 3. Amanda and Craig have already felt the effects of a possible threenager-to-be, and Jess and Bill are crossing their fingers that their current threenager happens to outgrow his tantrums and whiny-ness. These kids are lucky they're so damn cute. But man, we sure do love them.

So here's to September, peeps! While we sit here sweating and envying those of you who actually get to see the seasons change and put on your cute fall clothes and boots, we'll be toasting our grande PSL to you in 90 degree weather and sending you our thank yous for reading our bloggity blog. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DIY | Closet Shoe Rack

By Amanda. Since moving into our apartment in March, we've had this awkward angled closet that has been filling up with shoes. It's been a big ugly mess and I cringe every time I open that door to put shoes in or get shoes out. It's also a total B*tch trying to find a pair of matching shoes it that mess. I finally had enough last weekend and did some pinning on Pinterest to come up with an organized solution that would work in our awkward closet. I knew that shelves wouldn't work because we also have some random items that need to be stored in there (i.e. husbands golf clubs) so it needed to be something that could lay flat against the wall. That's when I stumbled upon this post. It's the perfect solution for what I was envisioning in the closet so I put the husband to work!

How we did it:

I went to the local hardware store and picked up some 8ft lengths of 1 - 2 inch wide pine boards, and some 1/2 inch dowel rods. I then cut the pine boards into 2 1/2 foot lengths so it would fit in our closet. Measure your own space and cut accordingly. I then measured out 5 1/2 inch spaces and marked them on the board making sure they were centered, and drilled 1/2 inch holes at a slight upward angle. Make sure and use a drill press and/or jig for this as you want them all to be uniformly angled. I then cut the dowels into 3" lengths and quickly sanded the cut edges to clean them up a bit. Use a rubber mallet and tap each dowel into the holes and if there isn't a snug fit, add a dab of wood glue to each dowel before tapping it in so they stay tight. For the bottom row I cut some longer 5 inch dowels to accommodate ours boots. Then take two of the 8 foot lengths and cut to the length that will fit in your space and mount your rows of dowel laden boards like a ladder. I measured the space between rows using my largest shoe to be sure there would be no over hang on the next row. Then mount the entire piece to the wall. This method saves you from making over a dozen holes in your wall. Our rack mounted securely with only 4 anchored screws. This took me a total of 30 minutes to design and build. If you are mounting it in a more visible space spend a little more on some nicer wood and add some stain to class it up a bit. Or if you can get your hands on some nice cedar boards they will act as a natural bug and odor deterrent. 

***The total cost of this project was under $20.00***

Monday, August 24, 2015

Petit Florida | So Long, St. Pete Pier

By Amanda. With demolition starting last week on The Pier in downtown St.Pete- I can't help but reminisce on being a kid myself and visiting this landmark in this city of ours. It was such a staple in this community and the biggest tourist attraction we had outside of the beaches. There's no denying our city is growing and changing. More and more of our generation are anchoring themselves here and growing their families. So many people have fallen in love with this sunny city and started calling it home. There are new plans to rebuild the pier and give it a modern and unique vibe that'll coexist with our evolving downtown scene. You can read more about those plans here. So so long, St. Pete Pier. You will be missed. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Makers, Shakers & Entrepenuers

By Amanda. One thing I've really started to pride myself on is the term "keep it local". Our generation has really stepped up its game in creating everyday products that we use and love, and we no longer have to outsource to other countries for said products. Although some of these products may be a little more pricey - we are doing ourselves a huge favor by keeping our money right here at home and supporting each other. And I don't mind paying a little more for quality products made by hand with love. Below are a couple of my absolute favorite shops that I love and fully support. I've purchased all of these products and I just can't get enough of these makers and shakers! Shop local and support small businesses!

Olfaction Candles - Made right here in the lovely Tampa Bay by my friend, Paige. Her candles have the greatest scent combinations, classy packaging and toxic free ingredients. The candles have mild, welcoming notes and I've yet to smell one that makes me crinkle my nose. Not only does she make just candles, she also makes homemade soaps, and face masks!

Amelie Mancini - Out of Brooklyn, NY, Amelie makes the cutest little leather accessories that you ever did see. From coin purses to sun glass cases, her hand painted patterns are adorable and on trend. 

Jenny Highsmith - Based out of Atlanta, GA, her hand-lettering prints and home decor are stunning, and artistic. 

Light and Ink Studio - The coolest hand-stamped stump prints from central Utah. These prints are so unique and a fantastic conversation piece.

Rich Hippies - Right in the heart of East Nashville, TN, Lana's handmade pieces are adorable to say the least. I'm a little bias with her Leather Plant Hangers as those were made by my super crafty husband. He's so creative its disgusting. You can also check out his Etsy shop here.

Fox and the Fawn - The most delicate and unique pieces of Jewelry made in Las Vegas, NV by a powerhouse mom. This lady is a total boss and makes every single piece of jewelry BY HAND.

Zoe Organics - A mother who decided one day to make her own products for mamas and babes. All natural everything, with sweet scents and great quality. She's created such a movement that you can now find her products at most Targets.

Tubby Todd Bath Co - If you aren't familiar with the Faulkner sisters, then you aren't living. Andrea created the most amazing bubble bath/shampoo/body wash trio to initially help her children with eczema and it worked so well that she officially started distributing her products out of California for all of us mamas to get our hands on.

Passive Juice Motel - The funkiest apparel and home goods, screen printed in  Tulsa, OK. They have the coolest prints to suit small babes and big kids alike.

A cool thing that I discovered about our area here in Tampa is that Urban Outfitters, West Elm, and Anthropologie promote Etsy Pop-Up markets with local vendors who are doing their own thing on Etsy and in our community. And actually, on Etsy's homepage you will find a link that says Etsy Local - this will direct you to where you can find different markets, pop-ups and festivals going on supporting local makers.

I encourage everyone out there to do a little digging, find products made with love in your community and support those makers!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We Tried That DIY | Crayon Molds

By Amanda. These last couple of weeks have been hella crazy weather here in the sunshine state. I don't think we've ever experienced this much rain in a very long time. We get our occasional afternoon storms during the summer that last all of 15 minutes and then disappear, but it's been a consistent down pour and we just aren't built for that kind of rain. We've had a bunch of flooding here in the Tampa Bay area, and my poor in-laws neighborhood is about 3 ft underwater right now. Luckily, we are on high ground so we didn't experience too much flooding but it was still a very dreary and wet weekend.

With the weather being as brutal as it has been, I decided to scan Pinterest and look up some easy DIY's to keep us preoccupied. I recently cleaned out my purse and found an abundance of freebie restaurant crayons so I decided, why not re-purpose these? I bought some silicon molds awhile ago, so when I came across this pin on Pinterest, I thought: "yep, I'm going to make those."

Pardon the awful lighting as this was the best I could get under the doom and gloom that was going on outside.

Here's what you'll need:
^^ Note - once you've used a silicon mold for melting crayons, you cannot re-use it for food. ^^ 
Knife - preferably utility knife or non-cooking knife
Baking sheet or baking pan
Aluminum foil or parchment paper
Cutting board lined with parchment paper or flexi cutting board 

Here's what to do:
First, peel all of the wrappers from each crayon. It helps to take a knife and slit the wrapper so you can easily peel.

Next, separate your crayons into whichever color category you are feeling. I went with warm colors vs. cool colors. Start chopping! *Disclosure: We cannot stress enough to be super careful chopping up crayons. Taking your knife to rolling crayons can be dangerous and messy.* We'd like for you to keep all your fingers. I suggest using a utility knife or a knife that you don't generally use for cooking, unless the crayons stain your favorite kitchen knife, or worse, you don't mind that your chopped food ends up tasting like crayons even after a good knife washing! Haha!

 Once all the crayons are chopped, fill your silicon molds with the pieces all the way to the top. You'll also want to place your silicon mold on a baking sheet or pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper before placing it in the oven, in case any crayon wax melts and drips. Place in the oven and bake at 230 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

You'll notice that as they've melted, the crayon wax is very runny, so be careful removing it from the oven. You thought your kid coloring on your walls with crayons are bad? Melted crayon wax is a whole other beast. Be sure to let them cool down and harden up before popping them out of the molds. 
How fun are these colors and the letters?!?

Verdict: Super cool craft to pass the time, and re-purpose all of those half broken, weird crayons laying in the bottom of your bag. Plus, they're a hit with little hands to color with new shapes and learn their alphabet, and the color combos make for awesome coloring! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Faves | Dresses for Toddler Girls

By Amanda. Olivia has been OBSESSING over dresses lately. We honestly never put her in dresses or costumes because I was afraid that she would become the crazed child I was when I was little. I used to beg my mom for dresses, and not just any kind of dress, it had to be a "twirly" dress. I knew this day would come where Olivia would start to ask for a dress and become infatuated with them. It was inevitable, and I'm accepting that. So in honor of her crazy dress obsession - here are a couple of my picks for this summertime weather.

From top left to bottom right:

P.S.- These are all under $20! You're welcome. ;)