Sunday, February 9, 2014

Valentine's Day

Valentines Day was always a fun time at my house. My mom always went out of her way to make it special from the time we were little. We would have a special breakfast and find a special treat on the table. I love the tradition and try to do it for my family. 

For breakfast we're having heart shaped cinnamon rolls and pink milk. I will probably give the kids a fun little trinket or toy such as fun chap stick or a Pez dispenser or something. They will be thrilled with anything! And this is what I made for Jason.  I absolutely love it and I think it is so fun to create such pretty things. And I really suck at getting the formatting right here. Yikes. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Living Room

We went to New Jersey to visit my cousins for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful. That night we stayed in Philadelphia and the hotel had the most beautiful lobby. Both Jason and I loved it. So, I thought I would try to re-create it when we buy a house. Until then, I am going to try to create a mood board for it. So, here's the Lobby. Feel free to follow along on Pinterest as I add elements from the room. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

This Week's Top 5

Hello! I am so excited for the weekend. We got kind of suckered out of last weekend because my husband had to work a large chunk of it. I'm optimistic that this weekend will be different. We don't really have big plans, just a little of this and maybe eating out once or twice.

Today I thought I would leave you with my week's top 5. These are just my 5 favorite things that I either read or experienced this week. So here it goes.

1. I took the kids on a play date to St. Elizabeth's East Gateway Pavillion's Ice Slide. It was amazing. And free. They are only doing it for a few more weeks, so if you live near DC this is definitely a good idea.

2. These headphones are awesome. I think they may be a cute red item for my husband for Valentine's Day. Along with this card. Don't worry, I'm almost certain he doesn't read this blog...  We're not big in to over the top Valentine's Day activities and presents, but it is nice to be appreciated and remembered, so we do exchange gifts / go out to dinner some time in February.

3. I swam my heart out this morning at the gym. I joined about two months ago and I really love it. Thankfully the kids love the "kids club" and usually don't want to leave. They drag me there five days  a week. It is wonderful. I love how much stronger I feel. And surprisingly less tired. And swimming really rocks.

4. I learned this week that I am strong than I previously thought. Not in the physical strength way mentioned in #3 but in an emotionally strong kind of way. I'm really happy about making the discovery and I feel like I am in total control of life. I'm sure this feeling won't last forever, but for now I'm totally soaking it in. Things only bother me if I let them.

5.  I spent a few minutes perusing my Pinterest Style board last night. There are some seriously cute clothes in there. I need to do a closet scrub and re-evaluation. That is usually something I do in February. I'm looking forward to it. That outfit book I mentioned previously may be more of a need for me than I previously thought.

Happy weekend!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When You Grow Up?

I feel like we ask our kids all the time what they want to be when they grow up. My son is the king of dreaming big and small. Some weeks he wants to be a garbage man and some weeks he wants to be the president. I love that he chooses solely on whether it seems interesting.

As we grow up I think we kind of lose this. We think a lot about how much money we would make or whether people perceive the job as a "good job." Or sometimes we worry about how much schooling it takes or the start up costs.

I saw a commercial recently that suggested that you save for retirement so you can do your dream job after you retire. I think it's an interesting idea. If you were told you could do any job in the world and you chose to open a pie shop (a la Pushing Daisies) then you should save so you could do that. But wait, what about energy? When you retire doesn't it seem like you might be too tired to open a pie shop? Baking that much would be exhausting. I guess the advantage would be that you could afford to hire employees right away and you could skip the stage where you're a one person shop until you start making a profit.

So, what would you do if you could do anything? I honestly think after my kids are in school I will go back to school to get a graphic design degree. I've dreamed of doing interior design for years but am kind of suffering from some decorating insecurities as of late (my husband told me he doesn't like any of the furniture we currently own. ACK!)  and they get paid so poorly I think it would be frustrating to pour so much time in to something and get paid in pennies. You know? So, I think graphic design is a great alternative. It is still a very creative field, which I think I need. It would also be nice that I could freelance as I wanted, so I would be available to my kids.

Before I became a mom I was an Ophthalmic Technician. I loved my job. Mostly because of who I worked with. It was a fun environment. Each patient presented a different situation so it wasn't ever boring. But, it wasn't terribly creative. It involved doing certain tests for certain complaints, taking lots of measurements and yes, asking the question "Is it better 1, or 2?" I went home every day needing to do something with my hands. I took up sewing, crochet and a few other creative hobbies. I love my hobbies. There is something especially relaxing about sewing for me. I can sit and sew for hours and it feels like just a few minutes. I love sewing.

Sometimes I toy with the idea of opening my Etsy shop again. The problem is I have a list of so many things I want to make for me and the kids and our home that I feel like I should make those first. Maybe some day I'll have a little extra time to make enough to sell.

I also have this really fun idea that totally feeds in to my talents. I really love to organize and make spaces look neat and put together. I also really love shopping for clothes and putting outfits together. So I think I would be an amazing closet specialist. I would help you organize all the closets in your house. And / or I would help you go through your clothes and make a collection of outfits (with pictures) that you could wear. Then we would go shopping to fill any closet holes. I think it would be cool to create a book with all the outfit pictures in it so you could just flip it open and see what you want to wear. This may be especially helpful to people who get stuck in a rut wearing the same 5 things over and over again. The book was actually my husband's idea. He wants to be able to flip through and choose an outfit with coordinating ties and socks. Maybe I'll make it for his birthday or something. A friend of mine has volunteered to be my guinea pig with the closet specialist plan. Hopefully we can get that done soon!

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Darby Smart

I just ordered from the cutest company! It is called Darby Smart. It is this awesome concept where you order a crafting kit and it comes with everything you need to complete the project. It is perfect for those of us who want to do something with our hands but the idea of going to the craft store is overwhelming. Or for when you want to experiment with a new craft but don't want to buy the full size of everything you need. The projects are totally on trend. I wanted almost all of them! They are so sweet and you still have creative leeway on how you want it to look.

This cute little ring dish is the kit I ordered. It hasn't actually arrived yet, but I'll tell you all about it when it does.

I'm not getting any sort of kick back from them. I just thought it was a really cute concept and the projects are amazing and wanted to share. I'm really hoping it is awesome and then I may place a few orders for Christmas presents. My sister would love a little kit.

You can use the code "howdydarby" to get $10 off your order! That would make some of these adorable kits just $9 and I believe if you sign in to their website you get free shipping for a year. It's really a great deal.

Have any of you had any experience with Darby Smart?


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring 2013 Outfit

Spring 2013 OutfitAlthough I'm not spending any money this month I am planning my next outfit purchase. Last year I started buying one outfit per quarter. I love this system of purchasing. It can be hard not to buy t-shirts from Target or other cheap purchases but I've found over the last year my closet is full of beautiful clothes that I love to wear. I don't have a ton of clothes but all of them are things that make me feel great.

This quarter I need a new pair of jeans. I have two pairs, one boot cut and the other more of a wide leg. I need something skinny or strait. I want to dip my toe into designer denim. I have had a pair of Sevens before and I currently have a pair of Rock & Republic which I love. I don't necessarily want to pay full price so I will probably go to Nordstrom Rack or a cool consignment shop in Bethesda called Mustard Seed. Also, my favorite pair of shoes are worn out. They are a cute pair of yellow Miz Mooz. These will replace the old ones quite nicely. I need some cardigans and some gingham. I love gingham. I'm glad it's becoming more popular. So I think this is what my spring outfit looks like. What do you think?


Miz Mooz shoes

Ray Ban ray ban

London 2013

We had the opportunity to jump over to London for a week last month and it was fabulous. It is a beautiful city and a great place to visit with kids.

 The people are so friendly and helpful. Many people helped us carry the stroller up and down the Underground terminals.
 Which are beautiful, by the way.

Aaah, a beautiful city indeed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life Lately

  • Calder loves preschool. I always knew he would. It just took him a month (or two) to warm up to it.  Now he is sad on days when he doesn't have school. He has made some really amazing friends. They innocently run around pretneding to be squirrels and skunks. They dig holes and explore nature. I love it. He loves it. 
  • We moved. Like 5 months ago. We are renting this adorable house. I absolutely love it. I'll show you pictures. I promise. Right now I'm enjoying decorating the porch. It is going to be our outdoor eating and lounging place. Stay tuned for that. 
  • Jason is really enjoying work. Through a stroke of luck for me instead of being gone for a month he had a month off. We went to London. It was awesome. 
  • Colette is so close to walking. I love that too. It is interesting to see how two kids from the same parents can be so different. Colette loves to practice. She has bruises on her legs from all her stair climbing but she is determined to go up and down all by herself.  Thankfully she hasn't ever fallen. Calder at this stage didn't want to try anything unless he was sure he could do it. He would think about a skill for a while before trying it. He was often successful at it because he practiced it so much in his mind. He still does that. 
  • Colette is a tease and loves to laugh and have a good time. 
  • I've started sewing again. I don't know why it takes me so long to get back into the groove after having a kid. It seems to be so overwhelming for the first year or so. Now Colette is pretty content to play alone for a few minutes here and there throughout the day. And she sleeps better at night, so I can start projects without worrying if they will wake her up.

Spending Fast Week 3

As has been true to form the third week of the spending fast is kicking my trash. We are running out of snacks and cereal left and right. I LOVE having a bowl of cereal in the evening, but that has stopped this week. I have been doing more baking than usual this week, which is helping the snack load. We have muffins, cookies and granola bars around. 

I love that the spending fast forces me to become more creative in so many ways. I also love that it stops me from running here and there. I go to the store once a week. Just one store and that's it. This isn't a sustainable lifestyle for our family but it does enforce some very solid habits. We will buy things again in May but not nearly as many as before. I love that it forces me to analyze each thing on my list and decide if it is necessary and if it can be substituted by something else. 

Also, it's not all about food. I am loving my extra time this month. We are pulling weeds in the yard (really, I pull the weeds and the kids eat popsicles, it's adorable) and playing together at home. I really love being at home with my kids. They seem happier too.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spending Fast 2013

All right guys! It is time for the annual spending fast! So for the month of April I will not be spending money. I know it's a little late in the year but due to some travel I have delayed it this year.  That's great news though. You can all join in. Here's how it works.

You avoid buying anything other than the necessities and you limit those. So you can pay rent and utilities. And you can buy gas and food. But I limit my food budget. This year because Calder has been eating a lot more and Colette has been eating solid food I am going to set a weekly food budget of $60.

That's it. So simple right?!? I have learned a lot in the past few years I've been doing this challenge. Check out those posts here and here. I honestly love spending fast month. Not because it's easy but because it stretches me in ways I didn't imagine I could stretch. You should totally stretch with me.

Misery loves company right?! Just kidding. This will be fun.


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