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It is HOT.

20 Jul

While most of the country was experiencing a crazy heat wave in June and early July, temps here were pretty mild. Now we’re officially baking. Despite spending most the day snoozing comfortably in the air-conditioned house, Venus continues to struggle with the heat. This dog must have a night gig that we don’t know about. What is she so exhausted from?

Drama.

Save or Splurge: kids’ table & chairs

15 Jul

The time has come to reclaim our family room and create a designated space for Myles to play and keep all of his toys. Part of my vision for his “play corner” is a table/chair set where he can eat, color, play, etc. While it needs to be toddler friendly, I want it to function well in the space and not scream “kiddie table.”

I regularly peruse the Buy Modern Baby blog for inspiration. She posted some very cute options but at this time I’m looking for pieces that are a little more budget friendly. But I absolutely love these oversized number tables. They would be a cute addition to any playroom. These Tambino tables retail for $185. The oversize number 2 is my favorite!

via Tambino.com

 

I found these adorable table & chairs at the Land of Nod. The table is $149 and the chairs are $69 each. I love the bright, fun colors of the chairs paired with a white table. Great contrast!

White Here, White There, Anywhere Table @ Land of Nod

 

White Parker Play Chair @ Land of Nod

 

I found a nearly identical set at IKEA. The SUNDVIK table and chairs are $39.99 and $19,99, respectively. Unfortunately, this set does not have has many bright color options. It comes in white, espresso and grey/brown. However, any toddler chair could be paired with this table to add color and I’m sure the chairs could even be painted.

SUNDVIK children’s table

SUNDVIK children’s chair

Watch for the play corner reveal to see if I decided to save or splurge!

Let Sleeping Babies Lie

12 Jul

Nap time is one of the most welcome times of the day! Myles is SUPER busy, on the go every second that he’s awake. His naps are a welcome opportunity to eat, shower, or even just sit still for a few minutes. I used to run around and try to be “productive” during his naps but now I take it as “mommy time.” I like flipping through a magazine, perusing wedding sites and now blogging.

But for all the parents out there – have you ever been paralyzed with the fear that your kid will wake up “any second” and therefore you get nothing done? I’ve seen many hours of precious time slip away because I was fearful of starting something when it seemed like Myles was on the verge of waking up but then ended up sleeping for 2 hours as I stood there in anticipation almost the entire time. Sometimes I do enjoy just watching him. I think God made babies exceptionally cute when they sleep so that you forget just how much they test your patience when they’re awake!

But I’ve learned to enjoy all time to myself, be it 5 minutes or 3 hours. I’ve also taken the pressure of myself to be “productive.” No big deal if I don’t work, clean, cook, do laundry etc. I’m embracing and enjoying this down time. Now, when will it no longer be frowned upon to enjoy a glass of wine at 1pm? =)

How Did You Celebrate the Holiday?

8 Jul

No, not the 4th of July – friday was National Fried Chicken Day! There was a segment about it on the Today show therefore it’s a totally legit holiday! It was the perfect excuse to defrost the loads of chicken in the freezer and fry it up. In my opinion, everyone should know how to fry chicken. It’s a classic dish that even the healthiest of people will indulge in every once in a while.

I have several family recipes that I’ve tweaked over the years and I’ve come up with a few “secrets” of my own. For starters, I believe in the double dip – dip your chicken in the egg wash, seasoned flour and repeat. My other requirements are seasoning/flavoring the egg wash and for added crispness, I add some panko bread crumbs to my flour mix.

Since I’m one week strong into bootcamp and trying to improve my eating habits (as well as my family’s), I balanced out all the golden fried goodness with the warm quinoa salad over spinach. It was perfection and so easy to make! I’ve just recently started buying quinoa and so far we’re all really liking it!

the double-dip egg wash & flour method

cast iron skillet – my favorite way to fry!

golden fried perfection!

paired with a warm quinoa salad. baby spinach topped with quinoa and sauteed corn, tomatos & mushrooms. Light and tasty!

Speaking of Birthdays….

5 Jul

America almost had to share her birthday with Myles. My original due date was July 4. But my strong-willed son made is debut in dramatic fashion, 11 days late and via emergency cesarean. His first birthday was quite the ordeal – our “ONE-derful” Celebration took me months to plan and while it wasn’t crazy expensive, it certainly wasn’t a drop in the bucket. I stressed out for several weeks leading up to the party, the day of and for a couple of weeks after (about sending pictures and timely thank-you cards). The turn out was nice, the kids had fun, Myles was fast asleep by the time we were singing happy birthday. Nonetheless, we sat him in front of his cake, sang and posed for pictures while he slept. (How is it that he’ll wake up at the sound of a pin dropping at home?)

Now with his 2nd birthday just 10 days away, I have no plans. And I have zero desire to throw a party. Is this wrong? Am I a bad mom? I’m bombarded daily with the cutest and most creative images of kids’ parties on Pinterest. Typically, I love throwing a party for any reason. But this just feels different. I’d much rather do something simple and intimate with immediate family. Why not save the pomp and circumstance for when he’ll actually remember and actually understand that it’s his birthday.

Some days I am fine with this decision. Other days the guilt is overwhelming. Are kids’ birthday parties a right of passage? Is it ok to just be practical and put any money we would spend on a party into his savings account?

But just in case I have to throw something together at the last-minute, here are my top two inspirations:

Yo Gabba Gabba – Myles favorite show
via Pinterest

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Myles’ favorite book
via the Hostess with the Mostess

Office Space

6 Jun

One of my top priorities for the summer is to clean, organize and decorate my home office. My office is technically a laundry room but is actually a good size space and includes 2 large windows. Since we moved in 18 months ago it really became a place to store unpacked boxes and any other junk we couldn’t find a place floor. Nonetheless, I shoved my desk in the corner next to the window and navigated my way through the junk, somehow managing to be productive despite the chaos.

Guests always believed we had nicely put together home but they had know idea what was behind the closed office/laundry room door.

I dream about a clean, modern and well organized space. Something feminine but professional and somewhat cozy. I must have color, ample storage and pictures galore. I picture a space straight from the pages of the CB2 or West Elm catalogue. Probably a combination of these…Image

via Living Designs

Image

via Fresh Home Interior Design & Architecture 

*Sigh* It’s not easy but in my efforts towards accountability, this is what my office has looked like for most of the time that we’ve lived here (and in the interest of full disclosure, I had been working on it for about an hour before I even took this picture….

Image

The good news is, I took the enormous first step towards cleaning up the room. I’ve made excellent progress and can’t wait to post updated pics!