Gallery walls are a great way to personalize your space and display your favorite family photos, children’s artwork, or an eclectic mix of images and art. While the finished product is high impact, getting it to be museum-worthy can be tricky. Here’s our step-by-step guide (including some great tips and tricks) to help you along the way without leaving your wall looking like Swiss cheese.
1. A simple grid pattern using square frames is the easiest of all gallery wall configurations. However, there are many ways you can organize your photo wall. Consider the size of your wall when selecting the frames you want to use.
2. Trace the frames you plan to hang onto paper grocery bags, newspaper, or butcher paper to create a template. Cut the templates out. Align the template with the frame and mark the hanger or wire’s spot—this will be your guide for nailing the frame to the wall.
3. Lay your paper templates out on the floor and play with the configuration of frames until you come up with a combo you like.
5. Number your frames in the order you have arranged, moving clockwise and clearly marking which frame you want to be at the center of your gallery wall. (this is a great tip if you’re using different frame sizes and styles). Take note of the space between design. Keeping the space between the frames consistent helps create a more finished look.
6. Next, measure the wall and mark its center point. Tape the template you marked as your center to the wall here.
7. Tape the remaining paper frames to the wall according to your numbered design. When affixing the templates to the wall, we used sticky notes between the frames to keep the distance between each consistent. This is a trick so you don’t have to worry about being overly precise with a ruler. We are big fans of using items you have at home.
8. Check that your templates are level. Nail through your paper template, using the marked hole as the guide.
9. Remove the paper template as you mount each of your frames onto the wall (use a level and mounting putty to keep frames straight).
Voila! You now have a beautiful gallery display that will be a great focal point in your home (or, in our case, a diaper wall of fame!).
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People often look at me a bit confused when I start talking about toxic chemicals found in our consumer products. The first question most people ask is: “Isn’t someone checking these products for safety before they end up in the store?”
You would think so…
I am grateful for those in the business community, like The Honest Company, that are doing their best to make products free of questionable, toxic chemicals. That is why Honest is a valued member of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition—together we’re working to pass stronger laws in Washington, D.C. to protect our families from toxic chemicals.
The Honest January theme is “New Year, New You!,” which I find particularly inspiring for kicking off 2013. I’d like to riff off of that theme and say that it’s a New Year and we need new laws!
Here’s the problem
Under current federal law chemicals used in the products in our homes and workplaces don’t have to be tested for their health and safety. The result?
Many of the products in our homes contain toxic (or untested) chemicals.
Just how broken are our laws?
Let’s look at the numbers:
If the United States can’t ban asbestos, our regulatory system is obviously broken.
What does this mean for our health?
It goes without saying that exposure to toxic chemicals isn’t good for our health. At Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families we work with some of the world’s leading scientists to help us understand what the link is between the rise in childhood cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, infertility, early puberty and toxic chemicals.
We recently published a report called Chemicals and our Health: Why science calls us to action. This is a great summary of what the best science says about the links between toxic chemicals and rising adverse health trends.
What kinds of chemicals are we talking about?
A class of chemicals you may have heard of, called phthalates, are commonly found in our homes and consumer products. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that many children are exposed to this class of toxic chemicals through shampoos, lotions, and other products. Exposure to these hormone-disrupting chemicals has been linked to various adverse health outcomes including: deformities to the male reproductive system, lower sperm count, and damage to the liver, kidney and other organs.
To put it simply, we have a huge opportunity to prevent some of these health problems, by simply ensuring chemicals are safe before they enter our homes and bodies. Make sense doesn’t it?
What can YOU do now?
By joining Jessica Alba, Honest.com, and millions of other Americans, you can tell Congress we want protections from toxic chemicals. Take a moment to send a letter to your Senators here—it is quick, effective, and your voice matters!
And check out our tips to protect your family from toxic chemicals.
Follow Safer Chemicals on Twitter: @SaferChemicals.
~ Lindsay Dahl, Deputy Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Inspiration. The perfect theme for beginning the New Year. And thanks to the abundance of great online resources there’s plenty of it to be had as we resolve to refresh and renew in 2013. To get started, we’ve shared ten blogs we think are worth bookmarking. The sites are educational, creative, fun; encourage authentic, stylish, and healthy living; and offer community. Of course, let us know other blogs you think we shouldn’t miss!
Cookie + kate. Vegetarian recipes that any foodie and family would love (plus, a few enticing indulgences for good measure). Kate’s photography alone will make you hungry.
Eco18. Bursting with great “green” info on everything from beauty to design to food, this easy-to-navigate site offers something for everyone. It’s no surprise that we love the Eco 18 mission, which is to connect, share, learn, and live a healthier, natural lifestyle bit by bit.
Family Sponge. Pursuing an eco-friendly family life is all about baby steps and play! And eating veggies has never been easier thanks to their 30-day green smoothie challenge.
Life + Times. Jay-Z is a man of many talents and interests, as reflected in his blog that gives an inside look at art, architecture, music, food, fashion, and culture. Spend a few minutes on this site and you’ll leave inspired and ready for great cocktail conversation.
Moomah The Magazine. A community for parents looking to connect, do fun and realistic activities with their kids—all with a dash of advice, humor, and whimsy.
Mer Mag. Merrilee’s posts are not only beautiful, but inspire us to think outside of the box when it comes to “reuse, renew, and recycle.” Her DIYs are a modern mom’s and kid’s dream.
Remodelista. This design-minded group of friends won’t lead you astray when it comes to interior inspiration (and all things beautiful). You’ll be pinning a lot!
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Blog. Stay up to date about what chemicals you should avoid and learn how to keep them out of your home (including advocating for change in Washington, D.C.).
The Etsy Blog. Did you know the online marketplace has a blog? Get to know its shop owners and their art and trade. Learn about fun recipes, DIYs, and historical stories. And enjoy the personal reflections of a diverse group of contributors.
the littlest. Designer Elizabeth Antonia’s reflections (and photographs) on her life—family, food, music, and even Ayurvedic philosophies—are a dreamy delight.
Grocery shopping is a weekly outing for my family. I used to get paper bags at checkout because they’re recyclable and we’ve always reused them at home. But recently our stores began charging 10 cents per bag. What better motivation to switch to reusable, eco-friendly bags when we shop? I should have done this a long time ago! These bags don’t rip, some can be folded into my purse, and they can be used over and over again.
I use my own full-sized bags, but my girls also like to carry bags of their own so they can feel like big kids. They obviously like to add their favorite toys to lug along with us as well. This makes grocery shopping fun for them and provides a great opportunity for us to talk about what we’re purchasing, why, and how we’ll enjoy it at home.
Here are my favorite eco-friendly reusable bags for little ones:
How do you get your kids excited about healthy eating and reusing everyday items?
~ Kate Brightbill of Style Smaller
Wintry weather makes us crave stick-to-your-ribs food. So, we’re always on the look out for hearty meals that fit the bill, but don’t come with unwanted and unhealthy extras. Our new favorite recipe for butternut squash salad incorporates simple flavors that are tasty, seasonal, and satisfying like comfort food. Plus, it makes the perfect meatless meal.
1. To prepare the croutons, cube any type of bread (we used wheat French bread). Mix the cubes in a bowl with olive oil, thyme, sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
3. Peel the butternut squash and then chop it into cubes.
4. Sauté the butternut squash in olive oil until it is soft on medium heat for 10-20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing olive oil, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar along with chopped sage, thyme, and salt and pepper. Adjust the dressing’s ratio to taste.
6. Rinse and dry arugula. Mix with sliced red onion, chopped walnuts, cooked butternut squash, and shaved Parmesan cheese (just enough to cover the salad).
7. Add just enough dressing to lightly cover the salad and toss.
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