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henry happened: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Get the Look | April Showers


I cannot believe April is almost here. Where did March go? But I have to say I love the warm spring days when I can wear rain boots and stomp in the puddles with the kids. So bring on the showers!

Louisville will be going nuts this weekend over the UK vs UofL game. Should be fun! What's on your agenda?

In case you missed it, here's what happened this week:
More fun weekend reading:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY Kate Spade Bead Necklace

Remember my wooden bead necklace from last week? Well, guess what, I made another one! I stumbled on this $128 Kate Spade necklace that was dying to being DIY'd.

I laugh that most of my DIYs are perfect for preschoolers. That is my idea of a perfect craft. This necklace, however, requires a bit more assembly. Don't worry - it's still easy, it just has a few more steps.


What you need:
  • 13 wooden beads: They come in several sizes, I used 25mm. Available at JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby.
  • 14 small gold beads: You will need beads that are big enough so that they don't get swallowed by the wooden beads. I used 5mm.
  • One length of Bead Ready jewelry wire. I found this at my local craft store.
  • About a foot of gold chain.
  • 2 gold jump rings.
  • Acrylic paint: I mixed the shade of pink I wanted by using red and white.
  • Mod Podge gloss
  • Paint brush
  • Painters tape
  • Scissors
  • E-6000 glue

1. Paint 6 wooden beads with a bright pink. I'm terrible at eye-balling so I used painters tape to mark off half of the bead. Paint two coats of paint. After that has dried, give it a coat of Mod Podge gloss. Leave the other beads plain.

2. Starting with a small gold bead, add your beads to the wire. Alternate a plain wooden bead with a painted one, remembering to put a gold bead between each.

3. After you are done stringing, cut off any excess wire. My picture shows wire cutters but plain scissors actually worked better. You want to cut as close to the bead as possible while still being able to keep a hold of it. (Otherwise all your beads will fall off and you'll have to restring.)

4. Attach the crimp end to the wire by crimping or gluing. Remove the preattached lobster clasp.

5. Attach a jump ring to both ends and add the gold chain. You don't need a clasp because the necklace will easily fit over your head.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Simple Beauty | 5 Make-up Tricks to Fake Looking Awake

I've been having a serious case of pregnancy insomnia of late. And with a baby due in the next 8-9 weeks, I'm pretty sure my dark eye circles are here to stay.

While still holding out for a make-up miracle, here are 5 morning tricks I use to fake looking awake. So easy and you'll be out the door in less than 5 minutes.


1. Moisturize

This somewhat goes without saying, but start the day by giving your face some much needed moisture. I start with a (very) light application of coconut oil just out of the shower.

2. Attack the bags

Erase Paste is truly my "don't leave home without it" product. Lightly apply concealer under the eyes and on lids. Just dab with your fingertips - be gentle with this skin area. Then a little powder helps set it. Don't powder all over or it will make you look old - just under the eyes and maybe on your nose.

3. Open your eyes

After Gwyneth Paltrow's make-up artist said to always use an eyelash curler I promptly added it to my routine. Curling the lashes and adding a coat of black mascara goes an amazingly long way. I'm not terribly loyal to any mascara and end up picking a brand on impulse. Any recommendations?

4. Bright lips

Bright lipstick instantly makes your whole face light up. Plus you feel "done up" without much effort! I'm currently on a search for a long-lasting lipstick because I hate reapplying every 5 minutes. Once I find that I'll start on world peace.


5. Rosy cheeks

If you have an 30 seconds, add some blush to your cheeks. It brightens your complexion. I love this Clinique creamy blush that I can easily apply and blend with my fingertips.

Bonus: Skip the black eyes

Switch to brown eyeliner and you'll look years younger! I just learned this from Allure magazine and was so happy since I have used brown for years. Line the upper lid only to easily wake up the eyes. I use Aveda because it does not go on in a harsh line that I then have to soften and blend. Who needs the extra step?

What tricks do you use to hide the all-nighters? Share your make-up must-haves!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10 Favorite Dresses for Spring + How to Wear Them

Ahh, spring. Now that I'm getting used the time change (it was rough for the Gerber house) I'm ready to embrace flirty frocks and toe-baring sandals (must get that pedicure). Maybe I'll get crazy and throw in a floppy hat and some retro shades.

In an effort to avoid a trip to Forever 21 I've spent some time rounding up my favorite budget-friendly spring dresses. You're welcome. :)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Tips on wearing florals
  • If you're not ready to bare arms, then cover up with a cardigan or blazer.
  • Add a bit of edge - and help define your waist - with a leather belt.
  • To keep it casual, go for a strappy sandal or wedge heel.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Tips on wearing pastels
  • Don't be afraid to go girly. The pleats and bows are a great feminine touch.
  • Pair the sweet colors with a dark manicure - I might even try black!
  • Stay with neutral tone shoes or try a metallic shade.
Are you planning to add some florals or pastels to your wardrobe? What spring trend are you tempted to try?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recipe | Chocolate Banana Bonbons


I apologize for going MIA on Friday. For the past three weeks! Every Thursday I find myself needing to tune out the computer and do other fun stuff - like say, laundry. :)

Growing up my grandmother used to freeze bananas on Popsicle sticks and savoring that frozen treat after a long day of swimming is one of my favorite summer memories. Genius, right? So easy, cheap - and healthy! - and yet we thought we were having a gourmet dessert.

This weekend I found a recipe for mini sized frozen chocolate banana treats and had to try it. They did not disappoint! You can satisfy those sweet snack cravings without going overboard.

I had to fight off little hands in order to save a few for a photo. And next time I'm going to dip in peanut butter before the chocolate!

Chocolate Banana Bonbons

Recipe adapted from Clean Eating

  • 2-3 bananas, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cups chocolate chips. I highly recommend Ghirardelli chips.
  1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir in between. You don't want the chocolate to burn.
  2. Dip one end of the banana pieces into chocolate. Place chocolate side up on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Put baking sheet in freezer for at least an hour.
  4. Eat right away or put in freezer bag.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace


When I saw Joy in this super cute necklace on Oh Joy! I knew I wanted to create a DIY version. The bright colors are so pretty for spring. Then I went nuts and couldn't stop painting beads.

You will need:
  • Wooden beads in several sizes.
  • Acrylic paint in a few different colors.
  • Mod Podge Gloss.
  • Paint brush.
  • Twine. You can also use jewelry chain or leather cord to string the beads.


1. First, paint the beads. Two coats gives you good coverage.

2. After the paint is dry give the beads a coat of Mod Podge gloss.

3. String the beads. If you use twine, wrap the end in a piece of tape to make it easier to thread.

4. Have fun experimenting with different colors and bead sizes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Simple Beauty | My Stretch Mark Secret Weapon


Let me introduce you to my new secret weapon: Coconut oil!

I know, I know, am I the last person to discover how amazing this stuff is?

Yes, you can (and should) bake with coconut oil, but I've started using it for my super dry skin and can't say enough. It feels heavenly and the light coconut scent makes me feel like I'm at the beach.

Plus, I have been religiously rubbing my ever-growing belly to prevent stretch marks (and help the old ones). At 30 weeks, so far so good!

Coconut oil beauty benefits:
  • Coconut oil works well as a massage oil
  • It an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin
  • It delays wrinkles and skin sagging
  • It can help treat skin problems like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema
  • Coconut oil also helps prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties


5 beauty uses for coconut oil:

1. Slather all over right after your shower - it's best absorbed if skin is still slightly wet. I keep the jar on the bathroom counter so the heat from the shower helps soften and melt the oil.

2. Massage into the skin to help prevent and diminish stretch marks.

3. Ditch the high-dollar face cream and use coconut oil as your daily moisturizer. My skin has never looked - or felt - better.

4. For dry, damaged hair, massage the oil into your scalp.

5. Use it to soften hands and feet. Massage into cuticles and on those rough feet. I'm trying to convince the hubby that foot massages are pregnancy essentials. :)

Have you tried coconut oil in your beauty routine? How do you use it?

For more in the Simple Beauty series, click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When You're Feeling Blue...


Going into Caroline's sunshine (and pink) filled room always cheers me up. I can't help but smile at the overt, over-the-top girly-ness. Though apparently there is not enough pink because she keeps asking, "When is my room going to be pink?"

Above is her much-loved "Pinkie" doll and "Dot blanket," which has been washed so many times it's no longer pink. She has a Linus-like attachment to that blanket - it goes everywhere.

Do your kids have a comfort object? It used to worry me but now I think it's sweet.

P.S. I had planned to join Brynn's Color Collective party but didn't get my act together in time - go check out all of the pretty collections if you have a chance!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Recipe | Blood Orange Italian Soda

Thank you for all of your encouraging advice on my weird sewing phobia. I had big plans to open that darn box this weekend - until a stomach virus made its way through the family and sent me to the hospital (all is well, thank goodness).

I managed not to get dehydrated because one of my weird pregnancy cravings is sparkling water. I think I may single-handedly be keeping San Pellegrino and Charmin in business.

While buying pomegranate juice for my usual soda concoction, I spotted the Whole Foods' line of Italian sodas. Blood Orange Italian Soda? Yes! Finally a reason to buy the cool-looking citrus that I've never know what to do with!

To give it a little sweetness I've tried both simple syrup and agave nectar. The real sugar version is my favorite - the sweet tooth strikes again.

And if you can't find blood oranges, try pomegranate juice or muddled raspberries or even plain oranges.

Blood Orange Italian Soda
  • 1/4 cup juice (1-2 large blood oranges)
  • About 12 oz or 1 1/2 cups of sparkling water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of simple syrup

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan. Heat on low until sugar is dissolved. Juice your oranges and strain if you don't like a bit of pulp. Pour juice in cup and add mineral water. Be warned, you might get some frothing. Add simple syrup as desired. Enjoy!

Note: You can put your extra simple syrup in a sealed container and store it in the fridge.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Sewing Phobia

Learning to sew has been on my wish list for a long time. See, I can just picture myself sitting at the sewing machine, whipping out curtains, cute dresses, and clothes for the baby.

But the poor sewing machine I bought - last fall! - still sits in its box, hiding in the closet.

The beginner class I signed up for got canceled. Then I bought the above book with all kinds of good intentions about tackling one new project each week. That was about 2 months ago.

What is my problem? What is it about this little machine that scares me so much? My mental block certainly feels irrational. So I've decided to do take a deep breath and do what does not come easily to me.

Ask for help.

I've offered to cook brunch/lunch/dinner - anything! - for a friend. The only caveat is that she must come over and help me get the darn thing out of the box! I can't seem to face it by myself.

You have no idea how ecstatic I would be to make a napkin. And that is, in fact, going to be my first project. No one will ever be allowed to use it.

Do you sew? Any advice for a newbie?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Beauty | Get Glowing Skin with Turmeric

I'm starting a new series on Simple Beauty because I've discovered how good it feels to pamper your skin. This discovery was followed shortly by the realization that I can't afford salon facials - or fancy beauty products! Whether it's using Kool-Aid to brighten blonde or making your own rose petal body oil I'll share easy, budget-friendly ideas for looking your best.

"Secret Beauty Weapon"

I read recently that actress Thandie Newton recently called turmeric her "secret beauty weapon." Isn't that just for curry? Nope!

Not only does this spice have amazing healing properties (my mom is taking it as a supplement because there is evidence it kills cancer cells) but it's also a great beauty product. Turns out Indian brides have long used turmeric as a head-to-toe body scrub/face mask to brighten skin before their weddings.

Turmeric beauty benefits
  • Turmeric is high in antioxidants that slow down cell damage.
  • It’s widely used as a skin exfoliant and improves skin's texture
  • It helps with inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, dry skin, psoriasis and eczema.
  • It helps reduce pigmentation and even out the skin tone.
  • It is also said to diminish wrinkles.

Make your own turmeric face mask

1. Mix flour, turmeric, honey and milk to make a paste
  • 2 tablespoons of flour. You can use regular flour, rice flour or ground oats if your skin is dry.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons milk. You can also use yogurt to fight acne.
  • A few drops of honey
2. Apply a thin layer to your face and let it dry for 20 minutes

3. Rinse off in the shower, scrubbing gently to remove.

4. Apply your favorite moisturizer.

Will it stain my face?

Lots of folks worried that the Kool-Aid would turn their hair purple, so I want to assure you that this won't turn your face yellow or orange. But I definitely recommend a thin layer - the more you pile on the greater your chances of staining, especially on your neck where skin is thinner. I noticed some staining on my hands but it came off easily. You can always wash your face again after showering.

Your kids/husband might find this mask a little disconcerting so it's also a good idea to do this when you have some alone time! I was going to take a picture with it on, but it was just too frightening.

Have fun and enjoy your glow!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 Favorite Flats for Spring + How to Wear Them

Do you live in flats? I know I do. Every. Single. Day. This is the time of year to get a chic, colorful pair to go with your basic black staples. Here are my favorite Spring picks - all under $50! (Ok, one is not - I couldn't resist a splurge.)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Flats are always stylish - perfect for everyday! Here are some of the best styles to pair them with.

Are you a flats kind of gal? How do you wear them?

Photo sources: Just Jared, Extra, You Can Shop, Fashion Grail

Monday, March 12, 2012

"I Love You Mom" in a Bag

Who needs a fun DIY idea for Mother's Day? Last week I started making several little gifts for my mom - a sugar body scrub, bubble bath, wrapped candles. I wasn't sure how to package them until I remembered my mom is always in need of a bag.

So I dressed up a canvas tote, added some magazines, snacks and pretty polish. And, voila -

"I Love You Mom!" in a bag!

The yellow was inspired by some lovely crochet thread I thrifted. To me, yellow is such a happy, cheerful color.

My bubble bath recipe ended up be a total dud - no bubbles but it smelled heavenly. So I'm still on the search for a good home recipe if you have one.

Wrapping candles turned out to be an excellent way to pass some TV watching time. I'll share more how-to info later this week.

We had a great time in Nashville over the weekend but I'm definitely glad to be home. We'll probably be off schedule for a week from Daylight Savings but yay for more sunlight.

Happy Monday!