Back in the Swing?

We've been back from vacation for a week now and I think we're back to normal...maybe? 

Our food situation in the fridge has considerably improved, I've brought almost all my plants back to life, and I'm finally caught up on laundry and there was a lot. Ryan may or may not have gone out to buy new socks and underwear while I was gone since laundry isn't a word he knows....unless you count that "dryer" means "iron".

I'm also back to the evil place/my favorite time of the day, depending on whether you ask me before or after I finish..

No sweaty workout selfies, it's my gift to you this weekend.

One thing not back to normal though, is a certain toddler's disposition. It's....well, it's awful. I don't know if there's teething involved, or the sudden decrease in full time caretakers has thrown her highness for a loop, but girlfriend is not pleased. She's letting me know all day long

Seasoned mothers: prepare to eye roll at my newbie pain. This oughta be a good one.

Whoever coined "terrible twos" clearly did so out of convenience and because the alliteration sounded good. My brief nineteen months of parenting have taught me that there are tough times from day one and as soon as I feel like I've mastered one phase, a new one rolls on up to bite me on the ankle. I'll leave you with one example before I move on to the high quality iPhone photos I know you all come here for.

Monday's are usually craft store (or as my mother calls it, crap store) day. I go stock up on whatever I need and face the ornery lady at the fabric counter. She always gives me the stink eye for letting Olivia play with the ribbon (I always put it back, calm yourselves) and looks at us like we're crawling with toddler germs. She's not wrong.

Anyway, after our fabric was cut, with a good 4 people in line behind us, I scoop Olivia (who has somehow procured a bag of 100 buttons) up and plop her in the cart so we can move on. Ohhh hellll no. Not ok with her, so she screams and throws the button bag as hard as her little arm can and they hit the ground, exploding, sending 100 buttons everywhere. 

I had too big an audience to whisper yell at her and then speed away like I really wanted to, so I got down on my hands and knees and picked up those tiny little buttons while she tossed everything else in the cart at me. I feel like this is the right time to say #soblessed

Rookie mom lesson: don't let your kid run all over and get their hands on bags of buttons, dummy.

Either that, or just go to a new craft store.

If you think I have a photo to accompany this story, you're drunk. I could not move fast enough to get out of there, so no scattered button photos for you today. Maybe next time?

Instead, here's a few from the moments when she's not using sewing accessories as improvisational bombs.

She knows how to smooch now and it's the best. Ryan's concerned.

For moms who are newer than me or ladies who are expecting: don't let this make you wonder what you're in for. Motherhood rocks, it's just a trip sometimes, but we all survive. I always hate when I tell people how tough this age is and they say "oh just wait until she's 2 or 3 or potty training". Because, thanks, I wasn't feeling railroaded enough by my 25 lb tater tot today, you've just made the next few years seem dismal.

To the moms who have more than one...I bow down to you.

I hope your weekends are filled with coffee, relaxation, and nary a button in sight. I'll see you on Monday with hopefully some less toddler-centric spiel to share!

Some Decor Updates

A full year in this home and I'm nowhere near where I thought we'd be. I probably (definitely) had unrealistic expectations that have had to be adjusted (oh you mean most people don't gut their kitchen on the first day?) but we've definitely made progress. 

We've done all the painting we wanted to do, with the exception of the kitchen. We're saving that for when we do a big kitchen renovation (probably in a couple years) since the kitchen needs some serious updating. We've got a lot of our big furniture pieces and Ryan continues making progress on his big office project, but there's work to be done in bathrooms and my office. Maybe in 5 years I'll call it done? Probably not.

Since big changes are a ways away (meaning, until my dad comes to visit), I've been focusing on making small adjustments to nearly finished rooms in the past few weeks (seriously minor) that I've been pretty excited about, since the thrills are big around here, and want to share with you all. 

In Olivia's room:

The first thing (and easiest) was to swap out some photos in the gallery wall above her changing table/dresser. I'll show the full gallery wall in a future post, since I've changed it up quite a bit. I'm sure you're all just on the edge of your seats.

Olivia's room was originally a gray and lavender theme but as she gets older and grows into more of a little girl, I wanted to bring some more color into her space and find a way to incorporate navy since my obsession for navy runs deep. She'll probably hate it, so I'm getting my kicks now.

I swapped her curtains and sheets out for white fabrics (I'll show those another time) and found some great raspberry and navy fabrics at Hobby Lobby to make some pillows to bring some color back in. When she moves to a toddler bed next year, I already have a navy and white bed skirt that's going to be perfect and I'm already hunting for a raspberry comforter. 

These cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby are spray painted and now spell out her monogram over her crib.

More little pillows and ribbon on the chairs at her little tea table. She thinks the ribbon is a seat belt. At least we've got safety checked off our list of things to learn. Now if we could learn not to spill every darn drink.

In the playroom:

I painted our old IKEA coffee table from our apartment in Boston thinking it would be a great craft table. It was originally dark brown and it's my favorite addition to the room so far.

It's just her height and fits baskets underneath to store coloring supplies, sticker books, plastic cookie cutters, etc. We keep a roll of paper underneath that we can just roll across the top.

I also made some pillows for the corner chair because I loved how this fabric tied in the aqua color from the pouf. As for the pom blanket? I couldn't get it in my Target cart fast enough.

In the entryway:

Another IKEA hack! These are my favorite. Taking our cheap stuff and repurposing it into something totally different just gives me a thrill. Obviously it doesn't take much.

This was our little entertainment center when we lived in Boston. It was also dark brown, but nothing some white paint couldn't fix. I had intended to put it in my office, but as we were moving it upstairs, we rested it in the front hallway and I told Ryan he could be done. I love it as a bench and Ryan's loving that there are now fewer pillows on our couches.

I'm going to love having some shoe storage in the front hallway, as well as a space to store hats, mittens, etc. Oh wait, we live in Texas. 

I'll find something to put in there.

Next on my list is to paint Olivia's little bathroom white (there are literally no windows, so light is an issue) and find some vanity mirrors. Sounds like another trip to IKEA is coming up...

I'm Taking a Trip...

...over to Southern Mama and Child today! 

Britt has been sweet enough to invite me to dust off my Nutritionist's hat and spend some time talking on her new motherhood focused website about picky eating in toddlers and some strategies I use to get this sassy little thing to eat. I'm also talking about other sanity saving tips for moms with picky eaters, and just tips in general for teaching your children healthy eating behaviors.

The post should be up around 8 am CST and I hope you'll stop by and check it out - as well as her whole site! It's a great resource for mothers or any ladies planning on having children. Hope you all enjoy!

One Year in Texas

A year ago yesterday we moved to Texas and a year ago today we closed on our house, our first house. It seems like we've been here forever and yet it's gone by really fast.

I think the only reason I really felt compelled to write a post on this "anniversary" is because this first year was really hard, for lots of reasons, and I felt the need to say "we survived it".

July-November of last year were brutal. There were times I thought my husband wouldn't make it (new job pressures, new home, women to support), that I wouldn't make it (not working, raising my first baby 2,000 miles from home), and times I really worried our marriage wouldn't make it (combine the previous items and you'll understand why). 

But he did, I did, and we did.  We had to, we had to make this place our "home" and be our own family since we didn't have any here and we're better for it. It's funny the perspective a year will give you. We're going through some minor stresses right now, but when I think back to this time last year, I'll happily keep today's troubles over last year's. There will always be problems to solve, things you'd like to go differently and I can credit a quality call with my Mimi yesterday for giving me the perspective to say that. I called her in a little bit of a pity party and she grandma'd me good, ya'll.

Anyways, this is my long-winded way of saying this past year was great and I'm so glad we've logged a year's worth of memories in this home. If we stay in Texas, this is the home we'll stay in, where Olivia will grow up, where I'll bring home our next baby, and make many years worth of memories. 

So if you'll indulge me, here's 12 of my favorite photos from this house in the last year.

While it's been hard to live away from our families, it's worked for us. Ryan's had opportunities he wouldn't have had otherwise, I've made friends I treasure and strengthened existing friendships, and it's how my husband and I really learned to be a team. Sure there have been weepy phone calls to my mom, late night texts with friends who can commiserate, and many, many anxious times, but I'm glad we took the leap.

Thanks for taking the lengthy trip down memory lane with me're all the best.

Weekend Photos

It's been so nice to be back in Texas this weekend, getting back into the swing of things and having our little family all together again. We're headed back to Maine in just three weeks, so I wanted to bust out some DIY projects and get the house in order before we take off again.

Friday morning we (thankfully) slept in. After the plane ride from hell on Thursday I needed some rest and Liv let me have some. No, seriously. I locked myself in the bathroom at one point to cry...or rather so Liv and I could cry together. Teething and sleep deprived toddlers don't fly well, regardless of how many snacks, apps, or distractions you have and after 3 hours, I felt my sanity getting ready to disappear. We survived though, as everyone does, thanks to a quick hand washing/eye drying session in the airplane bathroom. I have to say that the low point (other than the lavatory cry sesh) was when the elderly man in front of us took out his hearing aid. That's right folks, you don't need amplified eardrums to hear our delightful brand of bat crap crazy.

 Anyway, we hit Trader Joe's right away Friday morning since Ryan had been living bachelor style and there were only sodas and pepperoni sticks in our refrigerator. I'm not a creative cook to start with, and I certainly wasn't going to whip up anything containing Diet Pepsi Cherry and Slim Jims. Gawd.

Livia's newly obsessed with freeze dried fruit and I couldn't be happier. The hunger strike seems to be ending and these strawberries from Trader Joe's have nothing but real strawberries in them, so they're pretty mess free and super healthy.

We made homemade BBQ chicken pizza (adult and child size) for dinner and then the grown ups kicked it outside by the pool after the little passed out.

Anyone else love the IKEA catalogue like I do?

Saturday and Sunday were basically the Ryan and Olivia show, with Liv insisting that Ryan be rightnext to her all the time. 

The only exception was me waking up Sunday morning like this.

Yes, friends. Somehow at almost 20 months old, after over a year of refusing to snuggle, we're snuggling....ish. It's more like co-sleeping between the hours of 6-7 am and occasionally 12-1 am  if there's a nightmare (those are rare, and totally pitiful). It's my strategy for getting an extra hour of sleep and she's actually going for it, so I'll take all the feet in my face she wants to throw my way.

Throw in some coloring, splashing, and some DIY projects (that I'm saving for another post) and you've got our weekend in a nutshell.

So today we're catching up on WC, going back to the gym (the drop off at childcare should be just awesome, and I'll probably hyperventilate on the elliptical...don't you wish you could be a fly on the wall for that train wreck?), and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. 

I love my husband, and I hate to talk smack about such an awesome guy, but good God, a bigger slob never lived. He "cleaned" before I got home and let's just say that our definitions of clean are slightly wildly different. Hammer up drywall? Rig a DIY video baby monitor? Fake drink a mean cup of tea with Olivia? Make some seriously good pork fried rice? You betcha. 

Wash a dish? Yeah, no. 

Reminds me of when we were dating and I had to drink water from a measuring cup since he was completely out of clean glasses. Ah, the memories.

Hope you all had a blast this weekend!

Loving Lately

We're back in Texas this morning, and as much as we miss Maine already, we're going back soon and there's just something about sleeping in your own bed. We're also pretty happy to see Ryan, so no complaints there.

Today will be spent cleaning and grocery shopping (because Ryan's two weeks as a bachelor really aren't conducive to us having food in the fridge or having any clean towels) and getting back to work on the Etsy shop. So in the spirit of keeping up with our glamorous day today, here's some of what we're loving lately:

1. Ben Nye Banana Powder

This stuff is ah-mazing. You can use it to prime as a highlighter or as a setting powder and all the rave reviews are true. I used it to set my makeup and even on hot, humid days, it didn't budge!

2. Liv's New Sneakers

My mother got these for Olivia last week and they just slay me.

3. Fall fabrics

I hate the rush the seasons, especially summer, so I'm easing my way into fall accessories for WC with some muted reds and oranges.

4. Pink Polish

This is my new favorite polish - I just love what a bright, true pink it is!

5. The three of us being reunited

Two weeks apart from Ryan isn't my favorite and I know Liv was missing her tea party buddy, so we're all happy to be together again!

Toddler Favorites

Last week I promised a post on some toddler favorites and as much as I'm going to try to keep it short, it's probably not going to be...sorry!

I'll break it down into foods, toys, and apps to keep it simple and please, please let me know of anything your kiddos are loving these days! Liv has the attention span of a hamster so new ideas are always welcome!


We crack out the iPad for long car rides, flights, and sometimes in the evenings if there's a real meltdown brewing and there are some really awesome apps for toddlers out there. We've tried a bunch and only a few have stood the test of time in terms of holding her interest.

Peek a Boo Barn

I swear this was the impetus for her to start talking. The little barn doors shake, they tap to open it, and there's a different animal each time that moos or quacks and she loved repeating their noises so much that it really got her language going.

Play Kids

This app is in conjunction with PBS Kids and is adorable and our #1 favorite. When the app opens, a train pulls in and each train car contains a different PBS show they can watch (Caillou, Daniel Tiger, etc.) or an activity like coloring, playing a little piano, or matching animal noises to photos. This app is toddler crack in our house so it has to be wielded carefully since taking it away from her is ugly.

Fisher Price Storybook

There are lots of these apps that contain different stories. We have the one with Itsy Bitsy Spider and it sings and lets them turn the page. It's pretty basic but she seems to dig it.


Olivia's playroom is my favorite room in the house and it's been so fun to pick toys for her and watch her play in there. It's really evolved since she turned one which has meant always trying to find new things that hold her attention.


She loves to color. I painted our old IKEA coffee table from when we lived in Boston and put it in her playroom with a roll of paper and a bunch of crayons (these are our favorite) and she stands there and colors for up to 20 minutes which is a lifetime, relatively speaking. I've mentioned the Crayola Color Wonder stuff before and it's still awesome. I highly recommend this if you want to keep your walls, furniture, and clothing their current colors.


She's recently discovered stickers and loves to stick them on the paper on her table. She hasn't quite managed to get them off the backing yet, so she comes running saying "peese peese peese" and asking me to take the stickers off for her, hand them to her, and then she sticks them.

Alphabet Magnets

I wouldn't get dinner made without magnets. She hangs out by the side of the fridge knocking them all to the floor and then putting them back up. We have the equivalent of three alphabets living underneath the fridge that need to be removed, but it's all good. I love these magnets and we've been known to grab some from the One Spot at Target as well.

Dress Up

Again with the Target One Spot, I know, but $1 fairy wings and tutus are manna for bored toddlers and their mamas. She has a cube in her playroom designated for dress up and she loves to put on all my old costume jewelry and twirl around to all the music from Frozen.


This one should be quick. The toddler hunger strike continues so not much is striking her fancy these days, but there are a few things that she'll usually go for.

Wholly Guacamole
Yogurt Covered Raisins
Mott's Medleys Fruit Snacks
Apples and Peanut Butter
Pretzels and Hummus

That's all she wrote. It's a struggle to find things she'll eat or to convince her to let me buckle her into her highchair for meal times, so we're working with what we've got. I'm praying the guacamole and blueberry tolerance continue since that's about all she's getting for fruits and veggies other than the smoothies I'm tricking her with.

For smoothies we usually throw in half a banana, a few frozen strawberries, frozen pineapple, and a handful of spinach with some chia powder and milk or yogurt. The yogurt is her main source of protein with hummus helping out. Raisins, pretzels, and the occasional fruit snack are her only accepted snacks, so not much to talk about there.

Again, let me know what your kiddos are loving lately, I'd love to hear!
Blogging tips
Blogging tips