Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! So glad the weekend is finally here! Not a lot of plans around here for once and I am really looking forward to it. The weather has been pretty rotten lately and we've been house-bound so fingers crossed the weather cooperates this weekend and we can get out and enjoy warmer weather and sunshine.

Here's a little of what we've been up to lately:
  1. M has been teething like crazy lately and it's throwing everything off, especially his sleep. I think he might be trying to kill me.
  2. We have been lucky enough to get to spend extra time at home due to all the snow and ice we've had lately. And while I'm always grateful for time off of work, I am especially so now that we have a little babe to cuddle up with. 
  3. I finally got my hair cut this week! I don't want to even admit how long it's been since I took scissors to it. 
  4. M tried peas for the first time this week -- he hated it. Oh the faces he made!
  5. I stumbled upon this read and loved it -- exactly how A and I are approaching this whole parenthood thing.
Oh, and Little Rock restaurants are creating Girl Scout cookie inspired desserts this week to celebrate restaurant week. Big Orange has created a samoa shake and since they are my favorite cookie, we are definitely trying them this weekend!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The inside story:

Remember our new filing cabinet in the office (see here)? Well, here's the inside story (pun intended).

With the number of projects I've been working on lately (see here and here), my fabric stash has been growing and I needed somewhere to house it all. Previously it had been sitting in stacks and I was unable to see what I had. I needed a different solution. Enter the new filing cabinet. We use the top two drawers for paperwork so I decided to use the bottom two for fabric and other sewing supplies. In order to see everything all at once, I decided to file my fabric. I took file folders, cut them in half, and draped each fabric over the metal hanging part. Now, when I open the drawer, instead of piles of fabric, I see this:

Nice, huh? It's very pleasing to my eye. I love being able to see it all. I love just opening the drawer and looking at it. Sometimes I sit around and reorganize it: by color, pattern, etc.

The drawer above it is reserved for miscellaneous items: batting, interfacing, pins, scissors, scraps, thread, etc. I love having it all in one place, organized and out of the way.

Finally having a place to store all of my goodies makes me feel like such a grown up. Having it all in such close proximity to tax documents and medical bills probably helps -- makes it feel much more formal and important.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New reads:

This week, I'm reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Have you read it? You probably have. I am probably the last person on the planet to read it. In fact, I'm reading it as part of the 26 books to read in 2015 project (more on that here). It's my pick for #20: a book "everyone" but you has read.

I'm not quite finished but I've been reading a little every evening and am really enjoying it. Here's what it's about, in case you're interested:

"Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Doerr's 'stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors' (San Fransisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer 'whose sentences never fail to thrill (Los Angeles Times)."

It's beautifully written and a really rich story. I am invested in the characters and since I know where it's all headed (it's 1944 France, after all), I find myself dreading the ending that was all too common to so many people.

It's a great book. I can see why people are raving about it. If you haven't picked it up yet, you should definitely carve out some time to spend with these characters.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Storage solutions:

True story: our home office was in serious need of some storage and organization. We had a closet that was severely under-utilized but no real plan for how to use it. I had my eye out for a filing cabinet but didn't want to shell out the cash for a new one and my search for a used one kept coming up empty. 

And then last Saturday morning, I looked out the window and noticed that our neighbor had put one out on the curb. So, I made Andrew go out there in the cold to get it and haul it home. I clean it up and dragged it to the basement where I took some spray paint to it.

A few rounds of sandpapering, a few cans of spray paint, and a little love was all it took.

It's a subtle change but makes a big difference. Over two weekends, A and I took turns with baby duty to sand and spray. We chose white for the cabinet because it's clean and neutral and gold for the drawer hardware because, well, we're classy like that.

Once it was dry, we moved it into its new home in the office closet and set it up. And because I'm a super nerd, I got all excited about organizing the drawers and filling it with all our stuff. I love it -- it solves so many of our storage issues. But my favorite thing is the fact that it only cost us a few cans of spray paint and a few hours. 

Look for the post on my genius organizing job later this week. And in the meantime, if you need me, you can find me organizing my cabinet.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! How about the weather this week? M got to see his first snow and we spent the rest of our time off cuddled up in blankets, playing, watching cartoons, and eating way too many homemade donuts.

What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? I have been working on a project for the past week that I hope to wrap up this weekend. I can't wait to share it with you. We had big plans to spend some time outside this weekend after being cooped up in the house all week but I don't think the weather is going to cooperate. So, movies and naps it is!

Have a great one! Stay warm and dry.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New reads:

I just finished reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Have you read it? I've heard a lot of people talking about it lately and couldn't wait to dig in. Here's what it's about (from the back cover):

"When fifteen-year-old Bee claims a family trip to Antartica as a reward for perfect grades, her fiercely intelligent but agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, throws herself into preparations for the trip. Worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Bernadette is on the brink of a meltdown. As disaster follows disaster, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together emails, invoices, and school memos to reveal the secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an ingeniously entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her imperfect mother."

I loved it. It was a really fast read and very enjoyable -- light and funny. And Bernadette? Loved her. She was probably my favorite character. Maybe one of my favorite characters ever. Top 20, at least. She's smart, independent, and does and says whatever she wants. Like this little gem:

"My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like, I'm going to die. But the good kind of racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I'm about to kick the shit out of life."

I found her very refreshing and relatable. And I vowed to try and be a little more like Bernadette from time to time.

So, did you read it? If so, what did you think? Did you like Bernadette as much as I did? And if not, what are you waiting for?! It's great, I swear. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! Got any plans for the weekend? I have Monday off (thank you, state holiday) and I am excited about getting to hang out with little M for three whole days.

Valentine's Day is Saturday! Do you celebrate? We really don't, just because I think it's kind of ridiculous. I mean, the sentiment is sweet but the commercialization has really made me kind of grumpy about the whole thing. I guess we celebrate in our own way -- we usually just reserve the evening to hang out and enjoy each other's company. The evening usually involves something along the lines of getting a pizza and beer and playing a board game while listening to some good music.

Here's what's going on with us:
  1. M is getting 3 new teeth! 3! That makes a grand total of 5. He is getting so big!
  2. Our good friends welcomed their baby girl on Monday. We got to go visit them in the hospital -- she is so tiny and sweet. Can't wait for her and M to grow up together.
  3. We celebrated our dating anniversary on Thursday. We have officially been a couple for an entire decade.
  4. We've been making baby food purees like mad. So far, bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, and carrots have been big hits at our house.
  5. We've been running and working out more -- trying to get our post-baby bodies back. It feels good to get moving again, but man, it's tough. Especially after having taken about a year off.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Hope your Valentine's Day is special (and Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Grownup sleep uniform:

Confession: I am 30 years old and still sleeping in old pajama pants and t-shirts from college. They're comfortable but frumpy and gross. So, I finally decided to update my sleep uniform to something a little more grownup. Yes, I'm aware it took me way too long to get to this point. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this.

But here comes the fun part: shopping! I wanted something that is loose and comfortable (like my grungy pjs of old) while looking mature and put together. I wanted it to be something that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed by if I had to leave the house while wearing it. It had to be something that, later on, wouldn't embarrass my kids either. 

Of course, I immediately turned to Everlane, one of my favorite sources for comfortable shirts. They have so many great options and are reasonably priced. I have been a fan of theirs for years (see here).

I'm loving:

  1. The Cotton Tank ($18)
  2. The Cotton Drop-Shoulder Tee ($22)
  3. The Ryan Long Sleeve ($30)
I love these three different styles so I'm covered no matter the season. Don't they just scream "snuggle up with a tea and a good book"? So comfortable. Plus, I love Everlane's belief in radical transparency. They believe in being honest about every step of their manufacturing process, the factories that make their products, and the real cost of production. I appreciate a clothing company's dedication to doing what's right and I'm proud to support them. 

I'm thinking of pairing them with these:

Such an improvement, right? Look at me all grown up. Funny, it took updating my sleepwear, not getting married, buying a house, or having a kid, to feel like grownup.

Monday, February 9, 2015

New reads:

This week I'm reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. It's about a doctoral candidate at Harvard named Connie, who in an attempt to find an original source for her dissertation, stumbles across a woman named Deliverance Dane and what seems to be a book of "recipes". Deliverance Dane lived in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials and was caught up in the whole witch hunt thing and somewhere along the way, her book disappeared. Connie begins her search for the missing book, learns about herself and her family's past, and fights against those that seek to harm her. There's adventure, mystery, romance, and even historical aspects to the story.

While I enjoyed the story, it seemed a little predictable to me. I found it very similar to the All Souls Trilogy by Diana Harkness, and to be honest, I liked those better. I did enjoy the historical parts, though. And I found it interesting that the author, Katherine Howe, is a descendant of two different woman who were accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. So, in a way, it seemed a little autobiographical. Or, at least like she used parts of her own life to create her story.

It is a fast read and I'd recommend it to anyone that likes stories with a twinge of supernatural, historical fiction, or mystery.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Happy weekend:

Happy Friday! What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? We still have painting to do (boo). I came down with a stomach bug last weekend and then M got it so we didn't do much of anything except nap and cuddle. Not a bad way to spend a weekend but not great for productivity. So, I'm looking forward to following through with all the plans I had last weekend.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New rug:

We've lived in our house almost a year now and I have hardly done anything to decorate it and make it really feel like home. I have good intentions, I just get busy and forget. Sure we've picked up a new piece of furniture here and there and painted a few rooms but so far, none of the finishing touches have made it into our home. No pictures on the wall. No curtains. No rugs. Terrible, I know. So, I decided to change that.

Say a great big welcome to our new office rug! I've got big plans for making this space warm and inviting since we spend so much time in there as a family watching tv and playing. We still haven't shared the progress in this room, so look for that soon.

Can't wait to see our house finally come together a little bit more!