Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A year in review:

As 2014 draws to a close, let's do a recap on what may have been the most monumental year of my life thus far:

Tillie celebrated her sixth birthday in style.

We found out baby Sever was a boy.

We finally bought a house.

We moved.

We decorated a nursery.

We had a baby.

We started our cloth diaper journey (and fell in love).

I reignited my passion for sewing.

We celebrated our first Halloween with our baby Yoda.

Other items of note:
  1. We did lots of home improvements.
  2. We officially became adults with the purchase of our first washer, dryer, and fridge.
  3. We got to introduce M to all his family members.
  4. M tried solids for the first time (and hated them).
  5. I took a 3 month vacation from work this summer to hang out with a newborn.
  6. Andrew got a promotion and sort of killed it in the freelance department.
  7. M experienced his first Christmas.
We have had such a great year, it's hard to imagine anything ever topping it. Here's to 2015 and all the adventures it's sure to bring!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


This is a story of childhood yearning.

When I was a kid, I got a board game called Oops and Downs for my birthday (or maybe it was Christmas). It was super fun and I loved playing it. Sort of like a 3D version of chutes and ladders, it featured a tiered board and playing pieces with holes so that when they went down the little "chutes", they made a whistling sound. Very entertaining. One day, I left it out under an open window and it rained (during the rainy season in Panama, so we're talking torrential rain). The game got soaked and I didn't discover it until much later. Needless to say, the board had pretty much disintegrated (as cardboard tends to do). We were unable to salvage it and all that was left were little plastic firemen and tubes.

The years went on and we were never able to replace it. Apparently, it was just a small, unpopular game that quietly disappeared into thin air. I searched for it for years. I couldn't even remember the name of it but I always thought of it and regretted my reckless actions that led to its untimely demise. Maybe it's because I only got to enjoy it for a brief time before it was destroyed. Maybe it's because it met such a violent end. I couldn't stop thinking of it.

In all the years I was looking for it, Google never gave me anything. My searching was in vain. And then one day, something turned up: a small image of a playing piece. I recognized it immediately. I disappeared down a rabbit hole and miraculously, tracked it down. I found one copy. Just one. And though it may have been more than I would usually spend on a little children's board game from the 90's, I pounced. I had searched for it for years and finally had it in my possession.

I know it's just a bunch of plastic and cardboard but somehow, I feel like a hole has been filled. I feel, in a small way, justified. I can stop looking. I can have a do over. It will be around for M to play and enjoy like I did. And you better believe I won't be leaving it out near any open windows.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! What a great week this has been. We've been off work for a few days already and we still have a glorious weekend before us. I love this time of year for about a million reasons but one of them is the break from work.

What are you doing this weekend? Big plans with the family? We are planning on holing up at home and doing absolutely nothing. We may not even get out of our pajamas the entire time. Yay, Christmas!

Have a great, relaxing, comfortable weekend!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas:

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope your day is full of warm moments with family and friends. 'Tis the season, after all.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? Can you believe it's the last weekend before Christmas? I'm feeling the pressure because I haven't gotten everything done so I'll be scrambling around trying to wrap up things. Also, my dad's birthday is Sunday (happy birthday, dad!) so we'll be taking time to celebrate with him. It's tradition for us to go see a movie for his birthday and eat a ton of candy and for the past few years we've watched the Hobbit movies so we're excited to see the final installment this weekend. Also, eating lots of cake is on the agenda.

Here's what's going on with us:
  1. The two missing Order members are in town for Christmas and I am looking forward to having the circle of my oldest and dearest friends complete. I love getting to spend time with the three of them. It's like being wrapped up in a hug. Those girls are my family.
  2. M tried solids this week! We skipped the cereal and went right to vegetables. We made him some sweet potatoes and he was not a fan.
  3. I've been working on our Christmas stockings for the past couple days and almost have them complete. Can't wait to share!
  4. M cut his first teeth this week! You can barely see them but stick your finger in his mouth and sure enough, you can feel two little bumps. It's impossibly cute. Such a big boy!
  5. We just ordered our Christmas cards this week and they finally arrived yesterday. Yes, I know we kind of dropped the ball with the whole time management thing this holiday season, but we're going to be busting our butts to get those out this weekend.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Make that yuletide gay!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I've been nostalgic all my life so naturally, we're big on traditions in our house. The holiday season is when most of our traditions take place. I have such warm memories of my childhood Christmases and I want to focus on making my family's memories just as wonderful. So, we've continued some of my childhood traditions and created some of our own. My favorite? Having a picnic dinner in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve in our pajamas and playing a new board game. 

I've been on the hunt for this year's board game for a while and I'm down to three different options, all equally great but different:

Quirkle ($23) looks fun and easy to play. It seems similar to Rummikub (a game we already know and love) and would be a good game for adults and children to play together. I also think it can get a little cutthroat, depending on who you're playing with, which is always fun. 

Diplomacy ($28) looks like it would be a lot of fun to play but it's one of those games that takes a whole day to play so everyone has to be into it and clear their schedules. Sort of a commitment. And I don't think this game would appeal to small children. Bonus: I just found out you can play it online for free here!

Pandemic ($31) is definitely one that I want to try. It's a co-operative game so instead of working to screw over the other players, you work together. I find that refreshing after games like Monopoly (which I'm not allowed to play anymore due to the fights that ensue). The whole point of the game is to contain and cure diseases before they take over the world. Seems a little weird and well, medical, but also unique and fun. Like diplomacy though, I think this is a game for adults so kids might get bored with this one.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! Hooray for the weekend! This week has been so stressful, I'm very glad to see it end.

What are you doing with your weekend? Any fun plans? We will be taking M to see Santa for the first time and I have a Christmas party to attend. Andrew has some work to finish and I have a few sewing projects to wrap up. Other than that, we are looking forward to relaxing and maybe sneaking in a nap or two.

Hope your weekend is great! XO!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Starting solids:

Now that little M is 6 months old (can you believe it!?!), we are preparing to start solid foods. Per our pediatrician's recommendation, we decided to watch for his cues to determine when he is ready to start. Lately, he has been waking up more frequently to eat during the night, watching us closely as we eat and drink, and trying to grab everything as it makes it's way to our mouths. So, the time has come. And as much as we are excited to help introduce him to the world of delicious food, I'm a little nervous about what this means for our diaper-washing routine and daily schedule. I felt like we were just settling into a really good routine and now things are changing. I guess that's the nature of children and parenting in general, though. Blink and everything changes.

Anyway, we have been on the hunt for the perfect high chair for a while now. We really wanted something that fit our lifestyle. Our criteria was:
  1. Made of wood (even better if it's sustainably sourced).
  2. Doesn't look like a clunky, plastic high chair (no bright or pastel colors, baby animals, or weird patterns -- we try to keep things that are very "fisher-price" to a minimum in our home).
  3. Slim, with a sleek profile since we are a little short on space in the kitchen/dining area.
  4. Has the possibility to alter and grow with our child (we don't mind paying more for an investment piece that we will use for multiple children and beyond).
If you know me at all, then you know I spent countless hours researching, reading reviews, and crunching numbers. In the end, we decided on the Tripp Trapp by Stokke.

It's made of solid wood, has a sleek, modern look, and can adjust to accommodate a 6-month-old infant up to a 300 lb. adult. The reviews were nothing but stellar and many people have had theirs for years. One woman bought hers in the 70's and used it for all her children and now her grandchildren are using it. 

We decided to go with red because we love the bright pop of color it adds to the somewhat neutral color palette of our home. We also picked up the matching baby set which is designed to be used for younger babies until they can sit unassisted. 

The cost of the chair was $318 (with the baby set) and at first I was hesitant because it seemed like a lot for a high chair but then, like every other big purchase we make, I broke it down. Since it's designed to grow with the child, let's say M uses it every day for the next five years. That's 1,825 days. When you divide the price of the chair by the number of days he'll be using it, it's only 17 cents per day. And if he ends up using it for longer or if we use it for any additional children down the road, it's even more cost-efficient. 

We also recently purchased a diaper sprayer to add to our arsenal because with solid food comes a whole lot of extra. Nothing looking forward to that. Cloth diapering is about to get a little messier.

Now that we're armed with these new weapons, we're ready to take on the world of food. We've read up on the nutritional benefits of each fruit and vegetable, we have all our baby-food-making supplies, and we're ready for the challenge.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas 2014:

It's that time of year again -- time to share what I'm wishing for this year. My mom complained that my list is too random. Well, that's me. My interests are varied. So, here we go. My picks for 2014:

  1. Madewell's sidewalk skimmer in leopard ($118) -- my current leopard flats have officially died so I am in the market for new ones. I love the almost pointed toe of these.
  2. Immersion blender ($40) -- we make a lot of soups during the cold winter months so we really need an immersion blender to make them smooth and creamy. Transferring to a blender is getting old.
  3. Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook ($23) -- these are all the recipes for the delicious baked goods at the Momofuku Milk Bar. I've never actually been there but have you seen these recipes? They look bonkers.
  4. Growing Up Sew Liberated ($17) -- I recently checked this out from the library and fell in love with it. It's filled with fun, creative patterns that I can't wait to make.
  5. 30 Rock season 7 ($26) -- No surprise that I'm in love with 30 Rock and Tina Fey. This is one of the only seasons I am lacking.
  6. Phillips Sonicare Airfloss ($70) -- I'm terrible at remembering to floss and after conversing with my dentist about it, I really want to try the airfloss. Anything to make the everyday mundane easier, right?
  7. Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens ($197) -- I am dying for a new lens for my DSLR. This one will do nicely, I think.
There are a few more items on my list. Click here to check them out. Happy gifting!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? I'm hanging out with some friends tonight and we have plans to work in the yard tomorrow and get our Christmas lights up. The forecast looks iffy though so let's hope it holds off long enough to get everything done.

Here's what's been going on in our universe lately:

  1. We drove to Indiana and back this past weekend for Thanksgiving with family. M did so good for the 10 hour (each way) drive. We got to introduce M to his great-grandparents (my grandparents) while we were there. It was so great!
  2. Andrew has been killing it in the freelance department. He is getting work left and right. So proud of him!
  3. Our washing machine is finally back up and running. So excited about all the laundry I get to do (not a joke).
  4. I tested the dairy waters over the Thanksgiving break and so far, things are looking good. M doesn't seem to be having an issue. We celebrated this week with ice cream and cheese pizza!
  5. One of my oldest and dearest friends is in town and I've gotten to see a lot of her this week. Having her home is always a good time.
Have a great weekend! XO!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New reads:

This week, I'm reading Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly.

It's a book of letters sent from one friend to another, giving advice on motherhood and life. I have found them greatly moving, funny, and comforting. I have found motherhood to be isolating at time and when I read this book, I don't feel so alone. It feels like hanging out and chatting with two lovely friends.

Whether you're a new mom (or dad) or not, I definitely recommend this sweet little book.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Happy December, everyone!

Now that Thanksgiving is over and done with, I can turn my attention to Christmas. This Christmas is going to be extra special because not only is it the first in our new home, it's our first as parents. I am looking forward to sharing M's first Christmas and making sure it's extra special.

So, in order to usher in the Christmas spirit, last week I ordered fabric to make our new stockings.

I love collecting and hoarding new fabrics so I had so much fun with this step of the project. I plan on making each stocking quilted with a white cuff. And I'll embroider each family member's name onto the cuff of their stocking. 

I am so excited to get started on these. And even more excited to see them hanging, year after year, on our mantel.