Monday, November 9, 2015

Officially grown ups:

So, a week ago, we finally bit the bullet and did something we've been just talking about for a long while now: we bought a new car! And not just any car, a mini van! We're officially grown ups because, you know, graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, and having kids weren't enough. I've finally accepted my fate as a potential soccer mom and you know what? It feels good. That van is nice.

We said goodbye to our beloved Escape. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. That car has been there for us through so many milestones. We dated in that car. We literally got engaged in that car (it was January and I was too cold and stubborn to get out). We brought Max home from the hospital in that car. So many memories and adventures. I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. We loved that car but with another kid on the way, we just needed something with a little more room. So, we said our thank yous and goodbyes and drove away knowing that our dear friend still had a long life ahead of it with someone new.

So, here are our new wheels. Nice, right? And so. much. room. We're loving it. I don't even care about my soccer mom status. I'm having a lot of fun driving it. Now, who wants to go for a ride?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Happy weekend:


Happy Friday, friends! I've been obviously absent from this space for a while now. No real reason, just generally tired, busy, and well, not in much of a sharing mood. But I'm back and here we go:

  1. We've been doing some remodeling in our house and I'm super excited to share the end result.
  2. We bought a new car! We're officially grown ups! More on that next week.
  3. M is now walking and talking. He's really making huge strides (pun intended).
  4. Found out the sex of the new baby. The big reveal is happening next week, too (for those of you who don't already know).
  5. M had the most adorable Halloween costume this year and a very interesting Halloween to boot. More on that next week as well.
Man, I've just given you a million sneak peeks into what we've got coming up next week. I know you'll all be waiting on the edge of your seats with baited breath until then.

What are you doing this weekend? Any plans? We've got to finish up some projects around the house and the library is having another used book sale. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New reads:

This week I'm reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. It's my pick for my bookclub's September selection and so far, I'm really enjoying it.

Here's what it's about, if anyone's interested:

"A.J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island -- from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight -- an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming.

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."

My senior year of high school, I wrote my AP English paper on isolation in Silas Marner by George Eliot. Have you ever read it? It's a lovely little novel. As I read this though, I can't help but draw similarities to Silas Marner. Anyone else see them?

What are you reading these days? Anything you want to recommend?

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I've been going a little crazy in the sewing department lately. Mostly stuff for M but a few things for myself (yay!). Maybe it's nesting. Maybe it's that I'm finally feeling like I have energy again. Either way, I'm taking advantage of it to get some stuff done.

Here's what I'm currently working on:

Maxaloones by Max & Meena. I can't seem to stop making these pants. So cute, so comfy, and they last forever! I can wax poetic about my love affair with these pants for a really long time. I have a lot to say so stay tuned.

Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads. Little M has yet to own a pair of jeans. This is about to change because I just bought some denim on sale and hit the jackpot and got the end of the bolt so now I have about a million yards of dark wash denim on my hands. Needless to say, I will be making multiple pairs of these.

The Jude Jacket by Shwin Designs. You have no idea how excited I am to make this coat. Andrew is totally jealous that it doesn't come in a larger size. 

I'm making it in a charcoal wool (see above) and lining it with that grey and orange lightning bolt fabric. Did you see it in all its glory? Hearts in eyes. I also just got him a lightning bolt shirt for the fall/winter. My Harry Potter infatuation is finally rearing its ugly (or awesome) head.

I've also got big goals as far as future projects. They include:

This Totoro costume. Because, well, did you see it? Must make now. I've already got M's Halloween costume all planned out but I may just make this to wear around the house. 

These ridiculously adorable coats by the super talented Little Goodall. She sells these beauties in her shop but also sells patterns to make your own. So, of course, that's what I'll be doing.

I've also got some other projects in the works, including those of the non-sewing variety:
  • 2 maternity shirts for me
  • Winter maternity leggings
  • Newborn sweaters (more on those later)
  • 2 winter sweaters for M
  • Winter sweater for A
  • M's Halloween costume
  • M's annual homemade Christmas gift
  • Baby bibs
  • Headbands for a good friend to help raise money for her adoption
So, yes, I'm back and very busy. I wouldn't have it any other way, though and I can't wait to share all my projects as I work through them. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hello, hello:

So, this space has been pretty dead lately and for good reason:

We've had our hands pretty full the last couple of weeks. I've been busy, exhausted, and a million other things. It's been so much harder this time around but things are finally starting to die down a little (knock on wood) and I am feeling more like myself again.

So be prepared for some major updates coming your way. Because we have a lot to tell you about!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing with your time off? We are celebrating the wedding of A's brother to a wonderful lady! M is the ring bearer (even though he can't yet walk). It's going to be pretty much the cutest thing ever. Can't wait to see and catch up with family.

Have a great weekend, everyone! XO.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing with your long weekend (assuming you do indeed have a long weekend)? We are excited to get to sleep in tomorrow, even if only a little. We're hoping to have a little cookout to celebrate Independence Day, too!

Here's a peek into what we've been up to lately:
  1. M has teeth erupting left and right these days. Hard to keep track anymore, I just know it must hurt because he is grumpy all the time.
  2. Been getting my exercise on with one of my oldest friends lately. It's too hot to do anything but walk in the afternoons but I enjoy getting to catch up with her and I can certainly use the exercise.
  3. I've been on a sewing kick lately -- can't stop buying patterns and fabric. Make all the things!
  4. Breaking news: I ate a Chik-fil-a sandwich last week! And I liked it.
  5. X
Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

J.Crew sale:

Just a head's up: J.Crew Factory (my go-to for J.Crew at a cheaper price point) is having a sale on their clearance right now. Get an additional 50% off! I got some great pieces for myself and some for A as well. 

And if you're interested, LOFT is also having a really great sale on their clearance as well. Seems like it's time to stock up.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy weekend

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? Got any fun plans? We are having a game night with a friend tomorrow and have big plans to do lots of cleaning. I've been slacking lately and it finally caught up with me. Hopefully I can get some sewing done as well.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Eight years:

Yesterday we celebrated our eight-year wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it's been eight years already! And yet, at the same time, it feels like we've been together forever.

Happy anniversary, Andrew! There's no one else I'd rather travel through this crazy life adventure with! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Having a bit of a struggle this week. Thinking about going back to bed and just starting all over. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? We have no real plans and I am crazy excited about it. Here's what's on my to-do list: nap, eat, hang out in the yard. Nice, right?

Have a great weekend! XOXO!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New reads:

Sorry for the radio silence lately, guys. I've just gotten into a really bad habit of being lazy. That ends now (hopefully -- habits are hard to break, you know).

I'm done begging apologies -- onto some books!

This week I'm reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Have you read it? What did you think? Almost everyone I know who has read it either really loved it or really hated it. There seems to be no middle ground here.

Here's what it's about, in case you're interested:

"We are in an elegant hotel particulier in the center of Paris. Renee, the building's concierge, is short, ugly, and plump. She has bunions on her feet. She is cantankerous and addicted to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she is everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in a posh Parisian neighborhood. But Renee has a secret: she is a ferocious autodidact who furtively devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor she scrutinizes the building's tenants -- her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth.

Then there's Paloma, a super-smart twelve-year-old and the youngest daughter of the Josses, who live on the fifth floor. Talented, precocious, and startlingly lucid, she has come to terms with life's seeming futility and has decided to end her own on the day of her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop subculture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

Paloma and Renee hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a new tenant arrives, a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu. He befriends Paloma and is able to see through Renee's timeworn disguise to the mysterious event that has haunted her since childhood. This is a moving, witty, and redemptive novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us."

Here's the honest truth. I am one of those rare people who is in the gray on this one. I haven't finished it yet. But I am struggling with it. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten very far. Maybe it's because something got lost in translation from the native French. Regardless, I'm having a hard time with it. I will finish it because that's what I do but I'm not sure how I feel just yet. It could go either way at this point.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! It's a very special Friday because today is Baby M's birthday! He is officially one year old! We have cleared our schedules in order to spend the entire day with the little man of honor.

We've got a huge day planned full of snuggles, giggles, a visit to the playground, and tasty treats. And we have some family coming in this evening to celebrate and spend the weekend with us so we are very excited.

Hope your weekend is just as fun filled! Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

While you were sleeping:

Baby M is having his one-year photos taken this afternoon. I whipped up this cute little crown last night, in celebration of the event, between painting the kitchen and showering.

I had used this pattern and tutorial but I didn't like that the crown was only in the front and the back was just elastic to I went rouge and did my own thing. I couldn't measure M's head because he was in bed so I guestimated that his head was roughly 18 inches. I cut the pattern piece from my felt and augmented it a little so that it was 20 inches instead of 16. I followed the rest of the directions but instead of just attaching elastic in the back, I fed it through the entire circumference of the crown. I got to try it on M this morning and it fits really well. Now if we can just get him to leave it on his head.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? I'm so excited for this 3-day weekend and the extra day to spend with Baby M. We've got a lot to do around the house and yard and hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately:
  1. We've been repainting the kitchen in what we like to call Phase 1 of our remodel.
  2. I'm still sewing up a storm, trying to finish that birthday present for M.
  3. I've been so exhausted lately -- hopefully I can sneak in an extra nap this weekend.
  4. M has started pulling up to furniture and cruising around the couch. It won't be long before that boy is walking!
  5. My to-do list for this weekend and next week is astronomical. It may stress me out but, man, it feels so good to be able to cross stuff off it.
Have a great, long, start-of-summer weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

While you were sleeping:


Baby M's first birthday is rapidly approaching and I've been working like a mad woman to finish making a few things for him. Up first: a birthday bunting banner.

I have 52 pieces of fabric from his weekly photos (see here) and some of that is designated for a quilt but there is still a ton left over so I decided to pick a few of my favorites and make him a bunting banner. The idea is that he will have something just for him to pull out year after year to celebrate his special day. My hope is that even when he is grown with a family of his own, he will get it out every year and make it a part of his birthday celebration.

It was really easy to make -- just time consuming. Probably more so for me than it would have been because I kept changing my mind about things and adding fusible interfacing to everything at the last minute. But I'm happy with how it turned out and can't wait to string it up.

I've moved onto finishing that quilt --  here's hoping I can get it done in time!

Monday, May 18, 2015

New reads:

I just finished reading Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards, one of my very favorite books from my childhood. Once, in the fifth grade, I lost my copy, and then for my birthday last year my mom (who bought me my first copy) gave me another one. I have enjoyed reading this again. It's such a sweet little story. 

Here's what it's about, in case you're interested:

"For an orphan child whose life is filled with comfortable, predictable sameness, with no particular hardships, life is, well, all right. Really, what does Mandy have to worry about? So it comes to a surprise even to Mandy when a small restlessness begins to grow in her. This lonely ache sets her to wandering father afield, and leads her to a startling and wonderful discovery over the orphanage wall -- a very old, very small, seemingly abandoned cottage. Embarking on a clandestine domestic fantasy involving gardening tools and soap flakes, Mandy finds herself being less than honest about where and how she's spending her days. Holding her secret closer and closer to her heart, this imaginative dreamer inadvertently endangers her reputation -- and her life.

For every child who has fallen in love with The Secret Garden or A Little Princess, Julie Andrews Edwards's 1971 novel will be a heartwarming discovery. Any sometimes-lonely child with a giant imagination will recognize Mandy's dreams and rejoice in her ultimate fairy-tale happy ending."

I was a terribly imaginative child (still am) and was immediately drawn to this story. I always wanted to be an orphan -- it was my favorite thing to pretend -- and I'm only now just realizing that's probably why I devoured books like this (and Little Princess, Secret Garden, and Secret Language). I longed to live in an orphanage (or boarding school) and discover a secret place of my very own. 

I didn't realize until I was much older (and really into Sound of Music) that this author and Maria Von Trapp were one and the same. 

Rereading it as an adult, this story has lost none of it's magic. It's still just as charming as ever. I chose it as #25 on the "26 Books to Read in 2015" list: a book more than 10 years old. One of my favorites then and one of my favorites now.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy weekend, everyone! Sorry about the radio silence lately. We've just been so busy doing a whole lot of nothing and it's been very nice. I'm trying to give myself a little time off every now and then so we've been catching up on sleep and episodes of Outlander all week.

Time to get back to business as usual this weekend though. We've got some home updates to work on and I have got to finish that birthday present for M. What are you doing? Any fun plans?

Have a great weekend! Stay dry out there.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? We have got a lot going on: prepping the kitchen for a mini-makeover, sewing, yard work, pizza and game night with a friend, and celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday. This is my first official Mother's Day and I am excited to share it with my own mom. She taught me what it is to be a mother and I have such new-found respect for her now that I'm seeing things from her perspective. I'm proud to be a new member of the mom club and looking forward to spending this day with her.

Here's a little of what's been going on with us:
  1. M learned to clap! We both cried the first time we saw him do it and it hasn't gotten old. His little baby hands clapping is such a sweet little sound. I cannot get enough of it.
  2. We are in the process of doing some improvements around the house. Tiring, but so worth it.
  3. I have been sewing every night in order to finish all of M's special birthday surprises.
  4. Spent some time this week catching up with my other mom friends. So glad I have those ladies in my life.
  5. We have spent every evening for the past few weeks watching every episode of 30 Rock again. Now, that's some good comedy! It is without a doubt, one of my favorite shows. 
Have a good weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Selfish sewing:

I have loved Emerson Fry (see here, here, and here) and their caftan forever. Seriously, for years. It's always sold out though and when it's not, it's almost $300. As much as I love it, I can never pull the trigger on paying that much for one dress. 

 So, I did some digging around and found something similar to make myself.

I think I'm going to use this vintage pattern (view 2) to make my own Emerson Fry knock off.

Here are some of the fabric options I've found:

Still hunting the perfect fabric but can't wait to get to work on this! It's going to be the perfect lazy summer day outfit. And much cheaper than the long-lusted-after one from Emerson Fry!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New reads:

We have a tradition at our house, as I'm sure most of you do, of a bedtime story. We snuggle down after bath time and disappear into a great story. It's a tradition I'm hoping will continue as our family grows (you should see my list of books). Story time is one of my favorite parts of the day and I love sharing my love of reading with M.

Our local library is participating in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and we are on board. It's a super simple concept: you read books to your child and keep track of what you read on paper. When you reach 1,000, you get free books. We're already close to 100 and we've only been keeping track of them since January so you'd be surprised by how fast it goes. I think it's a fantastic way to promote literacy and really great for those goal-oriented kids because they get to see their progress.

We've been checking out tons of new books from the library lately with plans to purchase our favorites for our home library. Here are some of the ones we've read lately:

  1. Dream Animals -- Such a cute story about dreams. The illustrations are beautiful. Hands down, my favorite of the bunch.
  2. Wolfie the Bunny -- Wolfie (a wolf) gets adopted by a family of bunnies. It's a great story about mixed and nontraditional families.
  3. A Sick Day for Amos McGee -- Amos McGee, a zookeeper, gets sick and can't go to work so his animal friends come to him! Again, gorgeous illustrations and such a sweet story. We really liked this one.
  4. Snoozefest -- A sloth goes to Snoozefest -- like a musical festival but for sleeping. Adults will appreciate the clever comparisons to real life. Or, at least I did. 
I fell out of the picture book circle sometime in early elementary school. Things have changed so much and I hadn't realized. The classics are still there but there are so many special stories out there. It's been a real joy discovering them all.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? We have big plans to work on things around the house. Andrew has been tackling the mess we call a backyard and has been making such progress! It's starting to look like an actual yard now. And we finally landed on a cabinet color for phase one of the kitchen remodel so I'm anxious to get started on the painting. I have to do some sewing too because I have birthday projects in the works for baby M (only 28 days away!) and really need to get on it. We're going to be insanely busy! Can't wait!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

While you were sleeping:

One of my dearest friends has a  little girl who is about three weeks older than baby M. This past weekend we celebrated her first birthday. I took this opportunity to make a cute outfit for such a sweet little lady.

I had so much fun choosing the fabric for this project. As I'm sure you know, one of my favorite things to do is shop for fabric. After I made my fabric decisions, I made sure I pre-washed everything to reduce shrinking. Then I cut out all my pattern pieces and got to work.

Next, I pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut out all the pieces. This is the most time-consuming (and my least favorite) part.

It all went together easily, although I have some issues with the pattern and directions.

I had some issues with the button holes as well but I fixed it all. And I'm really happy with the final product. Can't wait to see that little girl in her new outfit soon!

I made this outfit as part of Kids Clothes Week (see more here and here). Can't wait to share the rest of my week's creations soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New reads:

This week, I'm reading (or rereading) Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I actually started this book over two years ago (yikes!) but never finished it. As part of my book club, we decided to read it in thirds and discuss it but I never made it through the first third. Then, after finally finishing The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder recently, I was inspired to give Wolf Hall another go. 

You can see my initial review of it here. I chose it as #26 on the "26 Books to Read in 2015" list: a book based on a true story.

Like I said before, it's a real piece of work. A beautifully written story but it can be hard to read sometimes. If you aren't familiar with Thomas Cromwell (most people aren't) and Henry VIII, I suggest a quick internet search before picking up this book. And I actually feel like reading (or watching) The Other Boleyn Girl might help you here. Don't feel too badly if you have to educate yourself before attempting Wolf Hall. I had to read an English history textbook before jumping in.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun? We are celebrating the first birthday of a dear friend's little girl. It's M's first birthday party experience so we are excited to see what he thinks of it all.

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately:
  1. I've been under the weather this week and have felt like doing nothing but sleeping. Unfortunately my schedule won't allow it.
  2. This week is Kids Clothes Week and I have enjoyed getting to sew up some fun things for the babies in my life. Look for more info on that next week.
  3. M is standing. Standing! He went from crawling to standing in less than a week. Slow down, little boy!
  4. Tillie has been acting strangely lately -- she tore up some of the baseboard by our back door and has been staring at it ever since. We suspect we may have a mouse under the house.
  5. Andrew got some much-deserved recognition at work and got to take some time off to spend with little mister. 
Have a great weekend, everyone!