a note from mom

I'm a big stationary person. Not like a big person who sits around all day, but a person who loves stationary. I love pretty note cards, invitations, and thank you notes. All the kids have personalized stationary. I always order fun birthday party invitations, even when the bouncy house/little gym/pottery studio provided their own. So, why until last week was I scribbling notes to Ava's teacher on sheets of computer paper torn in half? I don't know either. So, I ordered myself some personalized notepads from sarah + abraham. My name is printed at the top and my phone number and email address are printed at the bottom. Simple and cute! Plus, even if the note is about why Ava forgot her homework or why she's wearing two different shoes, it makes me appear organized and together.


new soup for you!

Last night, I made dinner. A real dinner, that didn't involve the microwave. I found this yummy tortilla soup recipe on momfilter. I made a few minor adjustments, like shredding a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store instead of cooking the chicken myself. I used 1/2 of the amount of chipotle they called for. I also used oregano instead of epazote and monterey jack instead of chihuahua cheese. Considering that I rarely (ok, never) attempt recipes that require charring a pepper over a gas burner or breaking out the blender, I found it to be surprisingly easy. There was a point in the recipe where most of the ingredients go into the blender, and it made me question exactly what size blender the person who wrote the recipe has in their kitchen. Because I had to blend it in batches. But in the end, it turned out really well! Like, not only did the kids eat it but they asked for seconds. In fact, my husband is eating it right now for breakfast. It's that good! Emerson even called it world famous.


fun find

There isn't a week that goes by that I don't wish that Cookie Magazine still existed. It was like a bible for cool moms. It had awesome clothes, gear, toys, and decor for kids. It also had recipes, family travel ideas, and stylish un-frumpy mom clothes. It also usually had an effortless-looking celebrity mom and her kids on the cover and a fun article inside with all her favorite kid picks.
As my husband and I toss out ideas about where to take our family this summer on vacation, I found myself missing those issues of Cookie and digging up the ones I have saved. Today, while trying to find an old article online, I stumbled upon momfilter, a blog written by Pilar Guzman and Yolanda Edwards, the founding editors of Cookie. Besides themselves, they also have a lot of awesome contributors, most of whom, in addition to being writers or photographers or editors, are also moms themselves. While it won't fill the void left by the former magazine, it will make it into my rotation of regularly-visited blogs. Definitely check it out!

extreme room makeover...again

I am almost finished with the girls' room. It needs a few finishing touches to make it a bit more cohesive, but it's definitely getting there. The whole reason for their room updates was because awhile back, Jay and I contemplated moving. We found this big old (like 1850 old) house and decided we were going to up and move and completely redo it. Well, after much debate, we decided to stay put... for now. During the "we're totally moving" phase, I had completely designed Ava and Emerson's room in my head. So, although content with the non-moving, I was slightly bummed about not getting to decorate a whole new space for the girls. So, after breaking it gently to Jay, while throwing out key phrases such as "I'll do all the painting", and "I won't spend a lot, I promise", I got started a couple weeks back.

First, I removed all of the toys, books, crap kids hold onto, etc. Then, I took out the bookcase (which was falling apart), the dresser (which was going in Finlay's room), and the desk (which was a huge eyesore thanks to years of crayons, markers, and stickers). The only thing that stayed put is the bunkbeds. And not because I love them (because I actually think they'd be much more at home in Declan's room). But I did promise to not spend a lot. I patched the holes, dings, and dents and then painted the room Benjamin Moore Pigeon Gray (it's a smoky lavender gray). Here it is:

I bought a white Malm dresser and a dark charcoal flip out loveseat (Solsta) from Ikea. Then I bought a basic white 3 shelf bookcase from the Target. I put all 3 together with a little help from Emerson. She collected the boxes and turned them into a small village for her stuffed animals.

Here's a look at the new sofa:

Next up I decided to tackle the wall above the couch. I bought a bunch of white frames and laid them out on the floor until I came up with a pattern I liked. I got the lime silhouette print from A Vintage Poster. The fabric letters are from Anthropologie. The vintage pink pink photograph is from Gabrielle Kai on etsy. The top middle square frame is actually wrapping paper from Paper Source. The print of the little girl drawing is from Sarah Jane Studios on etsy. The two 5 x 7 prints side by side are from DUDADAZE on etsy. The one on the left says, "She believed that the world looked better upside down" and the one on the right says, "She believed in spontaneous dancing". Finlay has the 3rd one in her room and it says, "She believed in make believe". The center bottom frame is a card that Ava made for Emerson one day that says "You uer my fred". The b&w photos I took of the girls outside last week. Here's how it turned out:

The bedding is the Waterfall Ruffle Duvet Cover & Shams in pink from Urban Outfitters (although it's a bit more peach in real life). The lighting is a little off in this picture, but here it is:

Here are some other pictures from around the room. First, the bookcase, with baskets (one to hold hair stuff and the other for miscellaneous trinkets) and magazine organizers (to hold coloring books and such) from The Land of Nod.

Here's the dresser I put together. I got a jewelry organizer from Marshalls and two cloth jewelry boxes from The Land of Nod. The clock radio/CD player is from Target and the lamp and shade are both from IKEA a couple years ago.

Here's a shot of how it all looks together. The curtains are from Z Gallerie and the giant magnetic heart is from Urban Outfitters. The lamp and shade came from Target and the pink toy buckets that were in their room before are from The Land of Nod. The pillow is from CB2.

I'm still looking for a couple elements to pull the room together. Maybe another set of shams on the bed. I'm thinking of a gray and white ikat pattern maybe. Also, would love to replace the toy buckets at some point and maybe get some prettier under-the-bed storage, since you can see it. I love these from Restoration Hardware baby & child, but they cost more than the couch.


Please forgive me!

It's been 46 days since my last confession blog post. Sorry! Here's what you missed:

12 swim lessons
4 basketball games
2 gymnastics classes
3 field trips
1 overnight Girl Scout trip
1 parent/teacher conference
1 trip to Mexico (us)
1 trip to see the grandparents (the kids)
1 baptism
1 new baby ("Osbert" was born on March 5th, but he prefers to be called Bryson now!)
1 birthday party
2 date nights
3 playdates
2 new teeth for Finlay
2 lost teeth for Ava
3 doctors' appointments
1 room painted


46 trips to the Starbucks (just kidding! I was in Mexico for 4 days--so it was really more like 42)

So, now that all of that is out of the way...my upcoming projects are:

finishing decorating the kids' rooms
switching Declan from a crib to a twin bed
painting the laundry room
making our backyard more functional and less of an eyesore

I could add a million other things to that list, but I'm trying to simplify and just work on stuff I have an actual shot at crossing off. First, up the girls' room. I'll post details and pictures soon!