Posts tagged Wayfair
Sponsored by Wayfair: DIY Didn't I Think of This Sooner for Your Car

This post is sponsored by Wayfair I was compensated for this post but all opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Pars Caeli.


From school to practice to Church and road trips, my family and I spend a lot of time in our car. We plan our journeys carefully, but I always want to be ready for any unexpected adventures we can seize at a given opportunity! Of course, we also have those times when we're stuck in traffic or come upon an emergency, and our car is like a second home and safe haven. 

Thanks to my friends at Wayfair, I'm sharing my top tips to maximize car travel and make any occasion out of the ordinary.

The Just in Case:

  • From bumps and bruises to emergencies, it's a smart idea to keep a First Aid kit handy (even in the back of your car). 

This simple First Aid Kit is all you need.

  • Less major emergencies like dead electronic devices can be avoided by keeping an extra charger for yours and the kids devices in the car.
  • Keeping a few empty, reusable water bottles in the car makes sense and keeps our budget in check during frequent stops.
  • Flashlights or head lamps get more use that you might expect!

For more fun:

  • Between practices or on a beautiful sunny afternoon, spontaneous picnicking is highly encouraged. 

We keep a picnic blanket always ready in the back!

We also keep a set of camping chairs stashed for t-ball and soccer games.

  • This is a little over-the-top, but during warmer months, we keep a simple tent in the back. I think the possibility and the thrill of camping wherever you are is just awesome.
  • Keep some read along CDs/books or audiobooks always at the ready.
  • Don't forget about the fun that you don't have to pack like car games!! I Spy, The Alphabet Game (finding words on signs that start with each letter of the alphabet), word association, 20 Questions, the license plate game. I also recommend printing off these two games - one for kids and one for teens to help pass long trips.

  • When all else fails, have a book, a few CDs, and if your vehicle uses them, DVDs at the ready to entertain.

You might not expect:

  • Crayons, a tablet of paper, and scissors have saved us from tantrums and boredom more than I ever imagined. We use the scissors all the time to cut off tags from new purchases that just have to be worn right away!
  • Playing cards can be used for card games like War, Rummy, Solitaire as well as simple math games to keep young minds busy,

These playing cards are maps, too! They're perfect for road tripping!

  • It's not fancy, but extra trash bags, tissues, napkins, disposable silverware, and straws are always, always helpful!
  • Last but not least, pack your sense of humor. What road trip or fun day of errands would be complete without some jokes!! Pack my lunchbox jokes for 180 illustrated cards and keep them in the side box.

What do you recommend to make the most of every car ride?

xoxo, MJ


7 Ways to Get Back to You in Back to School Season
All opinions expressed are all mine. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Pars Caeli.
Back to school season can be the perfect time to return to you! Try these seven ways to refresh.

Back to school season can be the perfect time to return to you! Try these seven ways to refresh.

We've put a pretty bow around the end of the first week of school here! The final rush for school clothes, supplies, extra sleep, and final hoorahs came to an abrupt end to make way for backpacks, planners, extracurriculars. And though my children were not exhausted after their first day, I was!!

I love back to school season, don't get me wrong. As a former teacher, I get so excited for the year ahead. And as a mom, I love the return to order and a little predictability.

So, now that the kids are happily settled into school, and I've had a few nights of sleep to recover from the back to school prep, I am ready to get back to me a bit. The beauty of having all three in school for the first time is that, although I am still busy with work and the business, I have a little wiggle room for self care and a recharge of spirit.

Maybe this season is a great time for you to get back to you, too! Perhaps you aren't affected by the start of the school year or maybe you're only sending one or two off to school. It doesn't matter. This transition to fall might be just what you need to kick back in to gear. Here are 7 ways to go back to school and back to you:


As someone who doesn't go through transitions quickly (or easily), I can safely attest to the need for patience with yourself. A sharp change in schedule or an adjustment to people moving in and out of our lives can cause more disrupt to our day-to-day than we might expect. Give yourself some time to adjust. 

2. Get yourself moving:

Whether you have a wealth of time on your hands now or just a few moments to spare, use them to get yourself up and about. It is oh so tempting to fill our time with more coffee dates or TV or blog reading. But the benefits that come from exercise and being in a new surrounding will redouble their effect on your well-being.

So pair the podcasts and binge watching with a walk, a run, or a yoga class with friends. I've been running during lunch, getting myself out into the fresh air. Do something that makes sense for you.

3. Invest in some beautiful office supplies for you:

Students don't have to be the only ones to get organized! Grab yourself a new organizational tool or a chic daily planner to inspire your commitment to take care of yourself and put your priorities in place.

Wire baskets are a new love of mine, for catching all that doesn't look wonderful sitting in piles and corners of my house.

4. Get your learn on:

Dig in and take on that e-course you've been thinking about! Take a trip to the library or local bookstore and feed your mind with possibilities. Start a new journal or notebook. Spend a few moments where you can in active learning.

5. Take time to laugh with people you love:

Who knows you better than your loved ones? Make a date with your girlfriends, your mom, or your favorite couple and get laughing until your sides hurt. Somehow in the midst of happy tears, I always find myself.

6. Be still:

I have been craving stillness lately. Some of us need it more than others, and I know I seek it after a busy period. We had a packed summer, full of fun but still full, and now I'm ready to downshift for a while and recharge in the normal. At the times when I might have worked alongside music, I'm now giving myself an open window and bird noises to minimize the noise and allow myself to be still.

7. Celebrate the new phase:

If we can make national holidays for hot dogs or lemonade, you can certainly create a reason to celebrate you. You might not know what the next phase holds so maybe you celebrate the unknown. Give yourself something special to mark the occasion of restarting. 

What is there worth celebrating? Over here I'm excited to grab a morning coffee every so often with the hubs! 

How will you make the most of this season? How do you get back to you?

xoxo, MJ

Using Pillows to Transition a Room
This post is a part of the Wayfair Homemakers network. I was compensated for this post, but the selections and opinions are my own.

1. Home Pillow 2. Map Pillow 3. Owl Pillow 4. Pink Spots Pillow

When we first moved into our house thirteen years ago, we purchased the most comfortable couches we could find for our living room. The full couch and loveseat are so overstuffed that they fill the room almost on their own. I selected the most neutral tone I could find so that the couches would work with whatever we wanted.

I love these couches. I also hate them. And I'm ready for something with more style and equal comfort.

Our living room is now our art room, and I have big ideas for built-ins, striped walls, and modern furnishings. Right now, though, I have none of those, nor the budget to to make them happen so I'm making incremental steps to transition the room from tired and traditional to something creative and unique.

Pillows are an easy way to transition a room from season to season and now they helping me build my vision for this space with brighter tones and a little humor and playfulness. My friends at Wayfair have a great deal for you, too, if you're ready to start planning your remodel or redesign. The three we have had added a new sense of energy and are setting up the palette for our Christmas tree this year, too. Can't wait to show you that one!


They almost never run coupon codes, but the Wayfair Homemakers get to share this exclusive code!  The code is good for 15% off and is good from now until November 24th. The code is: WFPTP15

Let's spice up our homes, a little bit at a time.

Have a bright weekend, friends!

xoxo, MJ




Large scale art with Wayfair

Wayfair offers a zillion things home – the largest selection of home furnishings and décor across all styles and price points. For more information and inspiration, visit Wayfair and follow Wayfair on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Wayfair compensated me for this post but all opinions and project ideas are mine.


Welcome to week #2 of Endless Summer Projects! I'm delighted to team up again this week with my blogger pals: Ali, Melissa, Jen, and Amy. We taking our project to the big leagues this week with a large two foot by three foot canvas. Grab your favorite tapes and some scissors and let's get to work.


When my little guy L was an even littler guy, we took he and his sisters to the Art Institute of Chicago. They ate up all the painting and sculptures, but the wing of modern art was a favorite. At 2, L fell in love with this giant striped piece and ever since then I've been thinking about how to bring this idea to his space.


With all of the awesome washi tape and duct tape varieties now available, this striped project got a whole lot easier. The supply list is simple: a large canvas (the large scale can better handle the wide variation in pattern), tapes, and scissors as well as your favorite stripe lover. L is just a little bit bigger than this canvas, which was a fun way to note his relative age/size as we were creating this together.


We decided together that we wanted vertical stripes, and we began off center so that we could create a non-symmetrical striped pattern. You can predetermine the order of your stripes or do what we did and create balance as you go by making some of the stripes extra thick and others thinner.


Secure each stripe by extending the line to the back of the canvas. Perhaps the most challenging part of this DIY (though none of the steps would really be considered challenging) is making sure that your lines stay straight as you pull the tape down the canvas. Little hands can easily select what colored stripe comes along next and guide the roll of tape as you straighten and trim the ends.


Let's just say this project had us at hello, and L was so excited with his new canvas, even if it had one lone stripe. But we kept moving forward, mixing up the width of tapes as we added new colors to the canvas.

We had five different colors and a windy day, but all in all this project took us 30 minutes from start to complete in his room.

L and I worked together to hang our new artwork above his dresser. It already houses some Wayfair pieces! And I've been looking at these three as other fun additions to this big boy room (a fire extinguisher water hose is the best)!


Wayfair Firefighter Gear  + Whitney Bros Mirror  +  WallCandy Arts Mural


The finished art offsets L's very special items and pops all the bright colors in the room in a fun and festive way. L pulled out a classic quote on me while we were making this, "Mommy, whenever I look at this, I'll think of you and all the fun we had making this!" Awh. So sweet. How could I not give this kid something special?!

My blogger gals and I are hopping around today to show off our favorite picks from Wayfair for children's and tween's bedroom and playspace. Click on over and see the adorable ice cream supplies with Alexandra, the colorful picks at Lulu the Baker, the chic art prints at Classic Play, and all the animal love you could want at This Heart of Mine!

Alexandra Hedin, Lulu the Baker, Classic Play, and This Heart of Mine

If you missed it last week, be sure to grab Jen's printable summer banner for end of the academic year celebrations that kicked off our Endless Summer Projects series. Thank you all for visiting and sharing and enjoying time spent with your kids in the creation process!

xoxo, MJ

Pop of color in a big boy room
This post is a part of the Wayfair Homemakers network. I was compensated for this post, but the selections and opinions are my own.

My little boy has been in a big boy room for over a year now. I thought that I'd have his new space all decked out and ready to go before he ever moved from his crib and the nursery. But, as it turns out, L had and has a lot of opinions of his own (seems that I raise opinionated people.) So he's had his main furniture pieces (a great bed and dresser with bookshelf), and we've slowly, oh so slowly, been adding bits and pieces of his style into the space.

L loves color especially orange, and, if I'd let him, he'd go construction-zone orange all over. Instead we've compromised with bits of orange and other bright colors sprinkled around. Also, at four, he's a big Disney lover. Just in case that deep passion doesn't last we've expressed that love with accessories that can be moved in and out as his taste grows.

To complete his dresser, L "decorated" the surface with these very cool, colorful favorites. I applauded his choices and promised that we'd keep each of them. To add a few pieces with less shine and squish, I looked to Wayfair I was on the hunt to add texture and dimension, even a vintage flavor, to his room to compliment the warm woods and the worn-in madras plaid.

Red bucket, blue milk crate, green plantstand, and striped pouf all available at Wayfair

I fell for the red bucket first, and I loved that I could search by line to discover some other great pieces that had the same worn charm to contrast the new and shiny that L had picked. The plantstand seemed like a perfect corral for favorite stuffed animals, and small toys could look more precious when displayed in a milk crate.

We added his artwork and very favorite toys. His donut painting from his sister's birthday party served as a bright backdrop to the more subdued tones. And the homemade shoebox frame is a virtual brick for the Lego clock that rests upon it. And finally the rubber dinosaur has a place to rest.

The Disney friends resemble the "Three Men in a Tub" and add a bit of whimsy to the vignette. Also, it's a complete bonus that the green plantstand makes a great imaginary space shuttle, train, and manger when pulled into play!

When my parents visited last weekend, my mom wanted to know where I'd gotten these great antiques for L's room! I snickered and told her they were new from Wayfair I'm still not sure if she believed me. Both pieces have such a nice patina and are made with quality that they make a convincing set of antiques.

His dresser space is now one that is interactive, an open-space toy box, complete with shiny and aged treasures. It's also a space that changes often, as L adds favorites and takes down the plantstand and milk crate to imagine them as some magical addition to his imaginative play.

Stay tuned this summer for a very special piece of artwork that L and I are creating together to hang in his bedroom - it's the perfect DIY for little boys!

So now it's your turn. Are you ready to add some pops of color into your home - indoor or outdoor? The kind folks at Wayfair are letting me giveaway a $100 gift card. All you have to do is comment and link to what you'd purchase with your gift card from Wayfair!! For additional entries, follow Pars Caeli on Facebook and Twitter.

Hurry, hurry, friends, the giveaway will close on May 1 at 12AM EST (only one entry per person). Share this special treat with anyone you know who could use a pop of color in their lives.

Eek! I can't wait to see what goodies you find. Don't forget to link in your comment!

Happy hunting!

xoxo, MJ

a Rafflecopter giveaway


No purchase necessary. By leaving a comment you agree to the rules of this sweepstakes. Each comment to this post equals one entry and must include a name and valid email address to be eligible. A comment must link to a product from to be considered for this sweepstakes. One entry per household. Limited to entrants over 18 in the US and Canada, residents of Florida, New York, and Rhode Island are ineligible to enter. Contest begins as of the time of this post and ends on Thursday, May 1 at 12:00AM EST. The winner will receive a Wayfair gift card/promo code, a retail value of $100 US. The number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning. All comments will be numbered in the order they are received and the winner will be chosen randomly by MJ using the Random Number Generator at Winner will be notified by email at the address given in their entry and must respond within 72 hours to receive their prize. If the winner does not respond within that time, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be provided by Pars Caeli is not responsible for any problems with receipt of the prize. This contest is governed by the rules of Massachusetts, void where prohibited. This sweepstakes is sponsored by Wayfair LLC, 177 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA, 02115.