How to build a school garden.

Hello dear readers. Did you miss me? I have been a busy bee these past three weeks. For the last two years I've been planning and fundraising to build a school garden at an underserved Title 1 school in Dallas. It has been both an arduous and an exhilarating process and one that came to fruition this week. I've had no time for writing or blogging because I've been project manager on a school garden construction site. But I didn't do it alone, of course. I enlisted (and sometimes begged) for support from businesses, neighbors, school officials and friends. And they got on board in a big way. I'm filled with gratitude for those who made this school garden possible.

This weekend saw the official ground breaking. All of the hard work paid off and the garden, which serves 800 students and 90 staff members, is open. How did we do it? Here's a little photo line-up that tells our story.


Identify your space...



Dream on paper and make a plan and a budget... 




Find a fabulous local landscape architect to help you... 

Drafting by Curtis Scoggins.


Hit the streets for community partnerships and funding... 




Form a committee of awesome people to do the focused jobs...




Advertise the school garden and talk it up...




Design a poster and ask a local business to cover printing costs...



Once the district approves your plan, lay out your garden...




Seek press opportunities and say YES to press inquiries...

From The Advocate Magazine - April 2016


Enlist your school art teacher to create a mural with students...




Host work days and create neighborhood partnerships... 




Invite the kids to help...




Borrow tools from friends if you don't have your own...




Work with handy parents who know how to build stuff...




Secure your rain water collection system...




Revel in the moments when it all comes together...




Stand in awe of your school art teacher's work...


Artist Emily Ash

Artist Emily Ash


Work with fabulous Girl Scout Troops...




Build a beautiful fence to protect what you've created...




Ask for seed donations...




And ask for transplant donations...



Host a Glove & Shovel Drive to supply your tool shed...




Clean up your construction site and get ready to break ground...



Break ground and invite EVERYONE...










Then invite the press back to your launch party...
All photos below are from The Advocate Magazine.







This has been such a fulfilling process.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making the Skyview Harmony Garden possible.

Interested in knowing more?
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Bunking Up

Well, it's happened. Charlie has definitely outgrown his crib. It's time to move on. Since my boys share a room, we're looking into bunk beds. I love the twin over full size bunks. Charlie is a big kid and we need to be able to get in bed with him for changing clothes, diapers and getting into his leg and arm braces. So I'm leaning towards something like you see in the bottom two photos.


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A Nursery for Davis

Last week on Houzz, I published an article about the Graddy Family and their beautiful newborn son, Davis. You can check out all of the photos and read the full article HERE at Houzz.com. Until then, here is a quick excerpt from the article:

In fall 2014, Stephen and Kellie Graddy found out that they were expecting a second boy. They also learned that he would be born with spina bifida — a neural tube defect in which the spinal column does not close completely. During the next few months, the Graddys followed their hearts and planned for the birth of baby Davis. “Sometimes the second kid gets a little left out, so we wanted a special place for Davis to land when he arrived,” says Kellie.















To read the full article and see all of the photos, click HERE.

Letter to 6-Year-Old Me


Dear Sarah,

You're six. Congratulations.

I'm writing to you from 30 years down the road and while I generally have no idea what I'm doing these days, I have a few things to share with you. Just a little heads up about growing, loving and living.

First off, you're a great kid. You're surrounded by wonderful people who love you. They will always be there for you even though they may hurt you at times. If you feel hurt by these people, its because they are in pain. It has nothing to do with you. It is because they love you that they can share their pain with you.

You are not responsible for the happiness of others.

Second, you have a vision problem so wear the glasses. Don't squint and push your way through math class and basketball games. There is no need to take that C in Algebra or miss those clinch free throws just because Brian E. teased you so mercilessly about your glasses. Wear the glasses.

Also, you don't have to be just one thing. You are good at a lot of things and your interests are too varied to narrow your options. Pay attention to all of the thoughts you're having - they are gold. Smart girls who are good at a lot of things are always the first to be shot down. When this happens just smile and continue working. Being really smart is fun so enjoy yourself.

There is no need to hide your beautiful mind.

You are an intuitive little girl and you are going to grow up into an intuitive woman. Protect your intuition and heed it. It will NEVER fail you. All those wonderful things you dream about doing and seeing and tasting and hearing and feeling and sharing - they're all going to happen for you if you learn to wait for the right time. And you'll know, without a doubt, when the timing is right.

Also, the gusto and confidence with which you make decisions right now at the age of six, is the same gusto and confidence that will be required of you in adulthood. Once you know what you need, go after it with childish abandon. Your enthusiasm for life is your rocket fuel. It will take you everywhere.

And as a parting reminder, take naps. I don't know why but for some reason you need to sleep more than your peers. Trust me on this one.

I love you.
Sarah

Houzz Tour | Markus and Lilly Neubauer

Markus and Lilly Neubauer have filled their Dallas home with lots of fabulous local art and unique vintage furniture. The couple's most recent design challenge - a nursery for their newly adopted daughter, Heidi. Lilly says, "We went from zero to baby in 24 hours!" Within a week of bringing baby Heidi home, the couple had designed and assembled a beautiful new room for their daughter. You can go HERE to read the full article and see all of the photos.









All photos by Sarah Greenman

To read the full article and see more photos, click HERE.
PS - You can find Lilly blogging about fashion, interiors, gluten-free food, 
Dallas and adoption at Pancakes and Beetjuice.



My Boys Share a Room

This bedroom has had quite a few incarnations. It began as my oldest's nursery, then quickly shifted to his "big boy" bedroom. When our second came along they shared the bedroom for a short while. Then we separated them and now, they're ready to reunite and share a bedroom again.

This is a very high functioning space. It has to sleep both boys, house all of their clothes, shoes, equipment, toys and books. One child is a very active six-year-old who has lots of little Legos, mini cars, bits, bobs and wee parts that must be kept out of reach and the other is a non-ambulatory three-year-old who must have low lying access to his books and therapy toys. Its moments like these when I'm so grateful for Ikea's line of children's furniture! Everything you see in the room below we already had on hand somewhere in the house. The only new piece is that polka dot rug I bought second hand form a neighbor. Here is our shared boys' bedroom:







Why has it changed do much in the past four years?
Its because I am constantly changing things up to suit the needs of our family and household.
Here are the previous incarnations:




My Little Family

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. We call it "family day" and its usually set aside for pancakes, family projects, family outings and sometimes an in-house physical therapy session for Charlie. Its a time when we connect with each other, take stock, recalibrate and buoy ourselves for the busy week ahead. 

Recently, one of my beloved doula clients (I was present for her last three home births) gifted my family with a film session with the very talented Ceci Jane. Ceci usually makes birth films, but she also does "day in the life" type films. I asked her to join us for a Sunday in March. She filmed us hanging out at home and turned her footage into this amazing little slice-of-life video for our family. 



Gray and Pink Nursery

Lynsey Purl and her husband James are expecting their third child this winter. They were kind enough to let me take a peek at their nursery, which lies ready and waiting for their sweet baby girl. I also did a story on their home for Houzz.com.  You can take a look at the full article and see all the photos of their home HERE.  But today, I thought I'd share their gray and pink nursery with you.  Didn't Lynsey do a wonderful job? Lucky baby!








If you're interested in taking a look at my other articles on Houzz, 
feel free to click HERE and do some browsing!


Nursery Wall Treatment

I love the color of my son's nursery.  Its a dark Moroccan red/brown.  Henna, really.  But sometimes I just want to paper over it with something bold.  Maybe I should just keep the paint color and paper the ceiling!  Here are some super cute nursery wall and ceiling treatments that I've had my eye on:

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Walker's Room and a Winner!

First things first - the winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is #57, Athena!  
Congratulations on your beautiful new dress!  Athena, I'll be in touch shortly...



And now, on to Walker's new room.  Remember THIS post from a few weeks ago?  You all had some great ideas for Walker's room, many of which I implemented.  Just as you suggested, I went lighter with the wall color and made sure that all of Walker's books were easily accessible for a little guy.  Walker had some requests as well - mainly that his fish be closer to his bed and that I keep the window clear of big furniture.  He said, "I want to look at our street and watch for ducks or bad guys."

Again, here is a photo of his room before hand.  As you can see, it definitely has the baby blue nursery vibe and he had to share it sometimes with his baby brother, Charlie.  Walker turned four last week, so he needed his own space - free of the baby stuff.




Here's the new room!
 



All of the furniture was already in our home, so it was just a matter of re-arranging some things and in some cases, hitting it with a bit of spray paint.  The new elements are the huge pull down school house map on the back wall and the floor to ceiling curtains, which I have still yet to hem.



The bolster pillow on the bed , throw pillow on the couch 
and the curtains are all IKEA fabrics that I picked up on sale and stitched together.
The paint color on the walls is "Creamy Mushroom" by Behr Paints.



The chevron print pouf is by Aleta Fae, which I won in a
giveaway at Head Over Heels.  And the love seat (an old Craigslist find)
is a pull out bed for when Walker has sleep overs.



These sweet prints - a galleon and turn of the century hot air balloon - 
are from Collage-O-Rama on Etsy.  The frames are IKEA and I spray painted the mattes.



Here's a close-up of the map, which I found for a great price on ebay.
It's from an old old school house in Georgia (1957).



I snagged this cool vintage globe during a sale at The White Woods.
The White Woods has a great little collection of vintage goodies.



And the beautiful quilt on Walker's bed was made by our wedding officiant.  
He is an amazing quilter and created this for Walker when he was a baby. 


Of course, Walker loves the end result.  
His favorite part is the little chair and reading lamp under the window.
Okay, so now comes the time when you tell me what you think! 
Any thing that I should add, subtract or re-think?

Brainstorming Walker's Room

Now that Walker and Charlie are no longer sharing a room, the baby blue nursery seems a bit out of step for Walker's big boy status. Walker is turning four (Yes, FOUR!) in two weeks and I want to give him a fresh new coat of paint in his room.  I'm also tired of his old curtains (midnight blue velvet hand-me-downs), so I picked up some green and white stripe fabric on sale at IKEA yesterday.  And you know me: I love a project.  So here's what I'm thinking for my little birthday boy. 

I'm thinking a map and green stripes...

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I'm thinking sophisticated shapes and bold color...

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I'm thinking a corner book nook...

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I'm thinking gray walls, green accents and gold pops here and there... 

Ship image via HERE.

It's not fully there yet, I'm still brainstorming... 
but if you've got any brilliant ideas, lay 'em on me!

Elephants for Infants

Charlie, who is fourteen months old right now, is loving on a big stuffed elephant.  He adores this thing, a gift from his grandmother.  Its ears are made of a stiff material that crackles when he grabs them.  Charlie is delighted by his elephant.



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Interior Shifts

Last January, we moved Baby Charlie out of our bedroom and into his brother's room.  It was my hope that we could reclaim our master bedroom (which we did) and give the boys a space of their own (which we did).  For the first seven months the boys did a great job sharing a room and sleeping soundly through the night.  Then Charlie had his surgery in August and it all came apart.  Charlie was waking up two to three times a night and Walker would get up with him.  It was a bad situation.  Charlie has been bed surfing every since, which I'm sure is contributing to his sleep confusion.  So, we give up.  We're going to give the boys their own rooms.  The only bummer is that I'm going to lose my office.

But Jack and I came up with a plan. 
Here is an unused corner of our laundry room:



I left the table (an antique purchased twelve years ago by my husband) and pulled out the leaves, which fit the space perfectly leaving about a half inch on either side.  I brought in my rolling file cabinets, which slid neatly on either side of the table legs.  I couldn't have planned it better.  Here is the new incarnation:



Its not perfect, but it serves all my needs.



For Walker's room, we removed all of Charlie's nursery furniture and replaced it with some of the office furniture.  I also brought in a Titanic poster that was hiding in the office.





And the office has now been transformed into Charlie's nursery.  I didn't paint or move the book cases out because frankly, I don't have the time.  Plus, I love the color of my office (Moroccan Spice by Behr) and I do most of my reading when I'm rocking Charlie to sleep.  The couch went into Walker's room and the harp went into my bedroom. 



...and here are Charlie's new digs. (Excuse the fuzzy photos.)




The mobile hanging above Charlie's crib was created by my mother.  The morning of Charlie's craniofacial surgery, Jack, my husband, awoke early with Charlie.  (The following might sound kind of juju-hoo-doo to some of you but here it goes.)  When Jack saw Charlie, he had a vision that Charlie was surrounded by a thousand golden butterflies, each one representing a protective prayer and love-thoughts flying through the universe to Charlie on his surgery day.  I told my mother about the vision and she created this:


So there it is... the great interior shift of 2011.
And guess what... Charlie slept for 10 hours last night.
Coincidence?  I think not.

Ready for Walker's Return

My three year old son, Walker, has been staying with my Mom at her farm in Oregon.  We've been separated for over two weeks.  (Aye, aye, aye!) We wanted Walker to have a safe, wonderful place to stay during Charlie's surgery and recovery.  (...because how do you explain to a three year old that his baby brother went to a doctor and came home looking like the victim of a car accident?)  Walker returns home tomorrow afternoon, and I've been fluffing up his room in anticipation of his home coming. 




I found these two book cases in the "As Is" section at IKEA.  Fifteen bucks!  For the past few months, Walker has been asking for a pet.  I'm allergic to practically everything with fur, so pet ownership is not really in the stars for poor Walker.  However, we did get a little aquarium and a couple of guppies for Walker as a welcome home present.  They're tucked nicely away in his new shelving unit.


Oh, and check out the train book end on the top shelf in the photo below.  I picked up a pair of these at a thrift store while traveling in Oregon this summer.  They're super cute and Walker is a total train fanatic. 


I know it looks kind of creepy, but the Ernie (from Sesame Street) bank on the far right has been in our family for a long time.  I love it.



So, everything is ready for Walker's return.  
Now all I need is the kiddo. 

Reclaiming my Bedroom

I posted a few days ago about creating a shared room for my sons.  They are both on the same sleeping schedule at night, so we thought this would be a good time to make the switch. So far, its working out beautifully.  We are very lucky in that we don't have to store toys in the bedroom - we have a converted garage that serves as a play area.  The boys' bedroom is mostly dedicated to reading, nursing, diaper changing (for the baby) and of course, sleeping.  Here is a before and after of the space:

BEFORE


AFTER


BEFORE


AFTER

And here is our reclaimed master bedroom.  Until I figure out what I want to put against this wall, I've placed two brown wicker chairs and a side table I picked up off of Craig's List.  This is formerly the wall where we had the crib.  We also had a changing table in the opposite corner.  Both are now in the boys' room.  The diamond mirror on the wall was a recent find at a vintage consignment store in Dallas and the easel in the corner belonged to my grandmother who was a water colorist.  Its so nice to have our own space again!






Of course, even with a new room of their own, 
they still enjoy spending the morning on Mama's bed.


Also, I've been learning how to use my webcam recently so that I can try vlogging.  I did a test run yesterday and posted it to the La Maison Boheme Facebook page.  I've also posted my first vlog to my About page. The response was good, so I thought I'd give it a go for today's post.  I'd like to make La Maison Boheme more personal by posting vlogs in addition to my regular fare.  Dear readers, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  (If you don't care for video blogging, feel free to say so.  But please be kind and remember that I'm a mama to two little ones and I do all my blogging before 9am.  Meaning, my look is casual - even pajama-like,  and the coffee hasn't quite kicked in yet.  XO)

A room of their own

I knew from the beginning that I wanted my boys to share a room.  I think there is something magical about sharing a room with your siblings when you're young.  When they grow older, we'll consider separate rooms, but until then, I think sharing is best.  My three-year-old has had a room all to himself and we're in the process of transforming his room into a shared space.  Our baby, Charlie, is consistently sleeping through the night, sleeping the same hours that his older brother sleeps.  So, I figure this is a good time to make the switch.  I'll post photos when we've finished the re-do, but until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts about sharing rooms.  Did you share a room with your brother or sister as a child?  What should I keep in mind as I help the boys make this transition?  Is there something I should add to a shared room besides an extra bed?

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And just for fun, here are some photos of the dynamic duo. 





If you're looking for a new bed, especially if you're looking for a way to save space, then you should look at the bunk beds at www.dreams.co.uk.  When Walker gets a little older, we'll definitely transition to bunks!

All My Sons

Like most American families, we have spent the last few weeks saddled with nasty colds, and our littlest kiddo, Charlie, had bronchitis.  Thankfully, we're all on the mend now and Walker, my oldest even felt well enough to produce this painting yesterday.  I think its one of my favorites.  (Click HERE to see some of his previous work.)


Even though we've been ill, we've also had some very good news about our son Charlie, who as you know is dealing with a bevy of health issues.  Both his cardiologist and geneticist have given him a clean bill of health as far as their expertise is concerned.  Charlie can now check off his heart murmur, his enlarged PFO (a little hole in his heart), and any and all possible genetic disorders.  In the months ahead, Charlie will be preparing for cranio-facial surgery (to separate his fused skull due to Craniosynostosis) and possibly kidney surgery (to eliminate his duplicate collecting system).  He'll also continue physical therapy and treatment with his neurologist as it relates to his stroke.  So as you can see, taking our geneticist and our cardiologist off of the payroll is awesome news for us.  We're over the moon!  I'm sure Charlie will continue to check these remaining health issues off the list as he grows and thrives.

MRI Day

Today, my husband and I are taking our baby Charlie back to the hospital for another MRI.  The doctors will be doing a brain scan and a spinal scan in addition to a bajillion blood labs.  Our neurologist will compare Charlie's first MRI, which revealed his hemorrhagic stroke, with the new MRI to assess the state of Charlie's brain.  If all looks well, then we can begin to decrease Charlie's Phenobarbital dose, a medication that keeps him seizure free.  I've posted a recent photo of Charlie with his big brother, Walker, below.  Charlie is doing really well and we are all hopeful and eager to get the results of this new MRI.  Thanks, dear readers, for all your well wishing and positive thoughts.


More info at Help Charlie Heal.

Weekend Gallery

We're having a wonderfully lazy weekend here in Dallas.  The weather is bright and beautiful, the mosquitoes are finally begging off and my son is creating little painted masterpieces with abandon.  I'm one of those proud mamas who bores everyone with my son's brilliant moments.  I realize that most people could care less, but I ignore them.  So, today I'm abusing my blog and turning it into an online gallery of Walker's art.  My son is two and these are a smattering of his paintings.  Sometimes he titles them.  Sometimes he doesn't.  Enjoy!

July 2010
Untitled

October 5, 2010
Untitled

September 18, 2010
Untitled

June 7, 2010
Untitled

December 2009
"Orange Train"

"cupcake"
"Cupcake"

September 18, 2010
"Snakes"

November 2009
Untitled

December 2009
"For Grandma Happy"

July 2010
Untitled

September 18, 2010
"The Red Potty"

August 1, 2010
"Pub Art"