eeek! what's happening???

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Where did my background, etc. go??  Please 'scuse the mess. Trying to figure it out. ;)


Time is flyin', but I finally found Bloglovin'

Friday, April 12, 2013

Where have I been????  Yes, I know.  It's almost been a year.  But such is my life these days.  It seems every day I make some ridiculous statement like, "where did March go?" or "oh yes, my daughter is great. I can't believe she's already almost 18 months old!" or "oh my god this winter was so lonnnnng, but is already spring?!"  I can't even deal, but the words are usually already out of my mouth.  It's true though.  The older I get, the faster the days just fly on by.

SO sad to hear about Google Reader closing down!  Although I LOVE to see everyone's blogs and all the prettiness they put into their designs, on an average day, I need to get through the posts quickly so that I can try to stay current.  And the reader did that for me, ya know?  But really it's a blessing in disguise because I'm so far behind on this whole Bloglovin' thing.  I'd heard of it, but let's get serious.  Since I had my {spectacular} daughter back in 2011, my posting and reading has been way behind so I never really looked into it.

When I saw this article last month, I quickly checked out the options and decided Feedly is my favorite for viewing on my iPhone.  It's fun and looks very different and allows you to simply load your blogs in from your reader account.  Love that.  No set up time required.  But it doesn't seem to show you the posts in order so you can read oldest to newest or something of that nature so if I fall behind on my reading, it gets very confusing.  I mean unless I just haven't figured that out yet... :) 

Anywhoosy, in my attempt to research this issue, I'd found various other articles commenting on options for life after the reader, and that's where I was reminded of Bloglovin'!  Where have I been???  Other than the fact that I have to add all of my blogs individually, it's simple and organized.  I typically get annoyed about having to go to a blogger's site directly in order to read a post - as in when a blogger only allows a few lines of the post to be shown in the reader. (And I seriously don't mean that to sound insensitive because I completely understand why they want that, but I'm being real here. I would love to spend all day pouring over my favorite blogs, but I'm just busy.  And aren't we all?)  So Bloglovin' does this in such a way that you almost don't even notice the switch to the blogger's site - except of course that suddenly you're staring at a beautiful blog design.  I'm seriously loving it.  I think it's the best of both worlds.  Bloggers get to have readers on their own sites and readers get to follow many blogs in an efficient but exciting manner.  And then of course, it actually inspires me to post on my own blog, which is awesome.  I guess it just seems like a big happy family if that makes sense.  I highly recommend it!

Follow me on Bloglovin'


Fabulous {and local} eats

Monday, July 23, 2012

(random & gratuitous dining room shot)

What's going on the table at your house?  (And no, I don't really mean the centerpiece...)  We're starting to figure that out again over here now that the babe is starting to eat solids.  Slow-going, but we want to teach her about being healthy and eating real foods and all that. Certainly not a new concept, but now that we're parents, we're trying to focus on it more, I guess.

A few years ago when we were still living on the shoreline, J and I had participated in a CSA, but we couldn't find any near our new house.  Thanks to a friend's status update on Facebook, we found one right next door, and let me tell you - this one is extra-special! It covers the whole diet.  The whole diet!  Perhaps this is common in other areas, but we're in New England, people - tons of wonderful farms, but we have a shorter season for fresh produce as it is, never mind finding farms that will offer meats, dairy or grain directly to the consumer.  Only over the past couple years have I noticed a gradual upswing in opportunities for things like farmers markets, wine tastings, farm-to-table dinners or CSA's that put a focus on our local community. So having the "whole-diet" option is perfect because while we do still go to the store for a few items, we get most of our food straight from our local farms - a variety of meat, cheese, eggs, vegetables, a few fruits & a loaf of bread.  They even offer granola, milk and yogurt, but since it's primarily just the two of us eating it this summer, J & I decided to limit our share the first time around.  While I don't usually by frozen at the store, I love that the meat comes vacuum-sealed and frozen in our box.  This way we know it's super-fresh, and it takes the pressure off of us if we work late, don't know what to make or just aren't feeling that week's offerings at the time.

As you can imagine, it's been crazy-town 'round here - working really late with finance deadlines and getting Bub on a schedule - so our evenings are pretty busy.  I'm still nursing, which means I handle her nighttime routine, and thank God J loves to cook because if he didn't make dinner of late, we mostly wouldn't eat.
Here's what I've scrounged up from the past few weeks:

So for one of the weeks, if you can't tell, we'd received bok choy, green beans, zucchini, summer squash, lemon basil, rye bread, a peach, manchego and a dozen eggs.  You might be wondering why those eggs look like they're fancy, sort-of-local-but-not-really-local eggs - it's just a reused container. And these pictures do really cover what I did since J wasn't thinking in terms of photographing his food while we went (LOL). 

*I roasted a chicken with an herb butter under the skin - that took some effort on my part because I HATE touching raw chicken.  Particularly since being pregnant.  But I did it, and it was worth it.  Thanks America's Test Kitchen!  

*The lone peach inspired me to make a peach cobbler I saw on one of my favorite entertaining blogs.  Truth - the one peach wasn't sufficient so I had to buy more, but luckily, I was able to buy more right from our town.  I've always been a huge apple crisp fan, but I've never thought much about peach cobbler.  This was sooo good, and a perfect summer dessert.  

*And since we have a TON of zucchini and summer squash, I made these blueberry zucchini muffins that I found on Pinterest.  So good and such a nice change from your standard zucchini bread!  And I felt super-saavy being able to use some of the extra crumble topping from the cobbler recipe that I popped into the freezer. Just like Jenny told me to. :)  (Next time though, I'll be looking to reduce the sugar and will make fewer, bigger muffins.  I already replaced half of the oil with plain applesauce; I'm wondering how they'd turn out if I replaced 3/4ths of it instead...)

*I also found this shot on my instagram from the first week. We received dill, beets & a sharp cheese so I made this little roasted beet salad, and I pretty much felt like a rockstar.  Or like a guest at some foodie gathering, whichever.  Either way, I was proud of myself for trying something new and shockingly easy.

Those are all of the things that I made, but J made us daily feasts from our box - most memorable being pasta with a homemade bolognese sauce (there's veggies in there!), cheeseburgers to go with our beet salad, a delicious stirfry with chicken and bok choy, scrambled eggs with a zucchini & summer squash "hash" topped with rye croutons and pesto, which we haven't yet used.  I'll try to snag some pictures of his meals in the future because trust me - they are worthy.

**Check out my friend's blog about her journey through the CSA.  A baker, super-mom of three (under four years is 8 weeks!) and student, she clearly doesn't have enough going on right now (loll so she posts weekly about what amazeballs creations she's come up with based on the ingredients in her basket.


She's so grown up

Friday, June 29, 2012

How is it that she's already 8 months old and standing in her crib?! I feel like she just got here. It's been a whirlwind this past year, but every moment has been worth it to be with her.


A Little Neon on a Dreary Day

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Such a blah day today.  I know this whole rain thing is an important component of spring, but it's so so dreary!  It makes me move slower, think less clearly and just overall feel melancholy. Decided I needed a little thinking-break (from work).  I need color!  I need excitement!  And so to Google Reader I went...

Was catching up on Fabulous K, and she must be reading my mind.  Her giveaway today is just what I needed!  She and Amber Interior Design have teamed up to give away one of the punchy blankets in Amber's Shoppe by Amber Interiors. This is the blanket here:

Oh how I would love to wrap myself up in that.  It reminds me of a blanket I purchased in Sayulita, Mexico years ago.  When I found it, I was thinking it would be great as a tablecloth, picnic blanket or (at the shop owner's suggestion) a dress (never happened...).  I forgot to see if it would fit our table, but here we are using it a couple weekends ago:

These are some of my shop favorites:
Ikat embroidered pillow

Large blanket

Or get this rug version!
Trust me. If I could swing it, this would be making a nice little home in my hallway. 
*speaking of, Amber is generously offering 15% off right now. check out the deets on Amber's blog.*

This shot from Amber's post reminds me of this gorgeous bag from net-a-porter:
Or these sweet wood pens:

Or these fab DIY dip-toe shoes from greenweddingshoes:

Or my favorite painting "Flourish" from Cocoa & Hearts:

{Side note: Just took advantage of Jen's weekend sale at MadebyGirl and finally bought the Gold LOVE Candy print I've been drooling over for so long.}

**And I'd like to note that as a general rule, I wouldn't post about a product on my blog just for the sake of being able to enter the giveaway. That isn't in line with my blog philosophy (i.e., I don't have a blog in order to get free stuff). However, after looking at Amber's blog, design website and store, I decided that this is a shop I would blog about without the giveaway had I found it previously.  Bottom-line: you should definitely head over and enter to win. You can get up to 5 entries, including one by posting about the giveaway on your own blog like I've done here. Also, just to be clear, blogging about this doesn't guarantee that I'll win the blanket either. {Having no experience with them, I can't speak to the products themselves, but they look great!}**

Now I'm off to check out Amber's portfolio and older blog posts. :)  Fun!


Nursery Diaries #7 - Colors, fabric & crib bedding

Monday, March 19, 2012

I spent a lot of time looking for various fabrics I wanted to incorporate into the nursery via crib bedding, glider, changing pad cover, pouf, window treatments... Coral and gray were the main colors that I wanted for the space and intended that they would come in through the bedding, walls and other small details.  But I still wanted to have pops of something else here and there to spice it up.  I decided a nice seafoamy teal would be a good contrast for the window treatments and changing pad cover.  (Unfortunately, hindsight has changed my opinion on this a bit, which is one of the main reasons Alexa's nursery is still so incomplete. That and the fact that I never got around to putting up any real wall decor, but I'm getting ahead of myself.)

So here's the background story: I had originally planned to have bedding made through a vendor on etsy.  I struggled to find fabrics and a method to create the bumpers that would give the look that I liked (Arden's crib from Copy Cat Chic and Sloane's crib from Urban Grace first shown here.  I'd basically given up and decided to buy a premade Rikshaw Design set on sale at Layla Grayce (along with our rug) that would change the plan for colors, but it was so pretty and soft I felt like it was a good decision to stop agonizing over.

Isn't it sweet??  But no.  Sadly, this was not the end.  That was in July (remember, baby was due October 8th) and three weeks later, I received an email saying that the bedding was on backorder until the end of September.  (Ahhh!)  I knew the baby wouldn't need it for awhile, but I couldn't wait until then to see how it fit into the nursery, if at all.  No way!  So I canceled my order... :(  

Ok. Back to square one.*  I found the OrganicQuiltCompany on etsy, and they saved me.  I worked with Becky to design my own set, provided her with the measurements and she crafted exactly what I wanted. 

{*Would you believe I ordered the full/queen duvet cover for our own bed during another sale at LG and yet again, it's on backorder?!  Fool me once...fool me oh man. Thankfully, I'm in no rush on that although I am dying to snuggle with it!}

So here are the fabrics I ended up with {top three are crib bedding that I found through the fabulous Becky and purchased through BratPacksFabrics, fourth was for the cornices, fifth and six are for the changing pad cover & seventh for the pouf- all remaining purchased on sale at JoAnn Fabrics}: 

Now I'm no sewing expert so I did NOT attempt this at home, but here is the beautiful end product from Becky.  I realize that the coral fabric comes across much more orange in this picture below, but in person, it's softer like the picture of it above.  The third picture down seems to be more acurate. Similar situation with the gray - looks paler below, but it's truer to the above pic.

And coincidentally, a friend of mine made this gorgeous blanket for Alexa prior to my receiving the bedding that fits perfectly in her room.  Can you believe how closely that matches?!

And here was the bow she had on my birthday gift from some extra yarn.  So cute, I had to find a spot for it.  I want to tie it into the wall decor, but for now, it sits here. (Well, right now, it really sits squished in between the changing pad and this bin so I can get to the wipes, but when I tidy up the space, this is where it goes.)

And special note - those bumper inserts were very difficult to find, but Reichel was kind enough to tell me on twitter where she got hers - in case you're trying to find it.  I ended up buying the pre-cut Nu-foam baby bumpers since they were already supposed to be crib sized... I wrapped two of them together in batting and stuffed them into the bumper covers.  I hadn't really thought through the fact that by making them thicker, they would need to be shorter since they would take up more depth in the crib.  Once I tried to squish them into the crib, they wouldn't fit.  Sigh...I cut them down with giant scissors and that's why the long bumpers "kiss" the fronts of the short bumpers rather than meeting them in the corner.  Whatevs.  At least I did all this prior to sending the measurements for the bedding to be made.  I also would've wrapped an extra layer or two of batting to make them more overstuffed looking, but once I got it all in there, I was exhausted and so tired of thinking about it.  :)

I love the end product and highly recommend the OrganicQuiltCompany


Nursery Diaries #6 - DIY Projects 1

Monday, March 12, 2012

When I pictured the little toot's nursery, I envisioned a pretty dresser with a changing pad on one side and a basket of diaper-changing essentials on the other - like this gray one from my inspiration post:

Or even this mid-century style:

{By the way, one of my best friends gave me those same owl bookends a year or two ago, and while I think they look cute on my own desk, they'd be really sweet in Alexa's room! And I LOVE the look of the shelf above the changing area with a delicate mobile hanging below. Alexa loves to look up at the pictures that are on the wall and wiggle and kick, and I suspect that a mobile would be much more fun so I'm on the look-out.}

Anywhosey - I set out in search of a beautiful dresser but was ultimately disappointed. Didn't find much on Craigslist in my area. Such a bummer! I found LOTS on Etsy like this and this (both so pretty!), but sadly they were too expensive for our budget...same with ebay. I looked at and lots of other places and then decided I was sick of the whole process altogether... Lucky for me, J's old dresser wasn't in use so he suggested I refinish it. He figured that even if I didn't end up liking it for the nursery, it was bound to be an improvement from what we had. (Apparently, I didn't take a good "before" pic, but you can see the drawers in the background and get the idea.)

I've never refinished furniture before so I wasn't really sure where to start. Fortunately, Jenny from Little Green Notebook had just posted a super-detailed how-to about refinishing an upholstered chair (definitely bookmarked it for another day). I figured the painting portion of it would work for the dresser as well.  I dedicated a weekend to it and recruited Hubs to help when I got tired. This pic looks like I started him really early on, but really he just wanted to fix the cracks before I started painting.

And ta-da...

Turned out pretty great!  The only negatives are that I'd prefer it to be longer like those examples above and since it's an old dresser, the drawers are tricky to slide in and out.  Down the road, we may switch to one with drawer glides, but for now, this works.  My favorite part is the hardware.  I'll admit that J and his dad did the pulls for me. I started to do it, but it was driving me nuts. Of course, I didn't just buy pretty replacement knobs. I wanted these pulls I mentioned here that look like crowns. :) So I had to fill or cover the knob holes and then measure out the new holes and then drill them exactly where I measured them while keeping my belly out of the way...I didn't last long. They took pity on me and figured out a faster way to do it.  I might have put the pulls on the bottom three drawers in a little on either side, but the effort of getting the correct placement on that wasn't worth it in my opinion.  :)

And here's a close-up. I love them! Fit for a little princess.

To catch up on the prior posts, check out 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
{Photo credit: laybabylay via Pinterest / It's Great To Be Home / the rest are my own}