life lately

We’ve had a busy past few weeks. I have a feeling though, that this is just how life is going to be now. So maybe we’ve had a normal past few weeks. Whatever.

I’ve been making tons of baby food, trying out new recipes in my new dutch oven, trying to keep up with housework, permanently doing laundry, enjoying the warmer weather (and by warmer I mean over 40 degrees), hosting and attending dinner parties, attending other events and even going on a couple dates. So it’s been all good, but it’s been all tired. I mean I’m all tired. What day is it? I swear I just can’t go like I used to.

Here’s some iPhone snaps of recent days.

Paddington Bear for Baby Gap head to toe (on Simona). That stuff is dangerous.

She can feed herself, kind of, which makes things convenient for Joseph.

We celebrated our anniversary last month. My mom was kind enough to watch Simona overnight and we stayed in the city. I also got this fabulous print of the date from Ashley Barlow.

Her first time on the swing. She didn’t really seem to care.

We frequent this diner for brunch on weekends. Best pancakes ever.

A new hat from a friend.

Simona has a thing for jackets, I guess. Like her mom.

A Sunday walk.

wall hangings

I am not one of those people that gets their decorating and painting done right away. I wish I were, but we moved in seven years ago and my kitchen is still the ugly yellow that is was when we got here and awkward spaces remain on walls where I haven’t gotten around to hanging anything up.

It took having a baby just last year to actually paint over the seafoam green walls in our guest room (complete with a painted cloud ceiling, a ‘grassy’ wall, and a bear/moose border). So yeah, safe to say I’m not a go-getter when it comes to those things. Sorry to all our prior guests who had to sleep in that wild room.

I don’t know why it takes me so long. I guess it’s a matter of prioritization, but once I have some free moments I just end up baking something or sitting and doing not much of anything. I’d like to do better, but it might just be a matter of time.

I do keep my eye out for pretty things I might like to hang up someday, so here are some of my wants and inspirations:

For the kitchen. Found here.

Can’t afford these particular ones, but love the idea.

I die for anything by Katie Daisy, these are two faves though.

I’d love to hang a rug similar to this above our bed. That one is sold out, there are other similar ones though. Also expensive :( .

Because it really is. I want this reminder hanging up somewhere. (All the banners by Secret Holiday are pretty sweet.)

baked apple french toast

On Saturdays of the past, we used to roll out of bed sometime after the sun was well on it’s way overhead, then laze on the couch watching golf or a TV movie until our hunger took over and required us to either go to breakfast or make pancakes if we didn’t feel like looking presentable.

Now on Saturdays, Joseph will get up early with Simona (like the champ he is) and then after he puts her down for her first nap, I stumble out of bed and he usually falls back into it for a nap. When we are both finally functioning, we scrounge up some breakfast. So it’s kind of the same as before, but also totally not.

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to have a day-old baguette sitting on my counter, and leftover apple mixture from making these hand pies, so I mean pretty much the choice was made for me. I threw together baked french toast using this recipe as my guide but substituting the apples for the berries. I also added some brown sugar to the apples. And man it was good. Joseph ate the leftovers later that day before I could even pull a fork out. Just kidding, I always have a fork. Like Joey.

If you don’t happen to make the hand pies and don’t want to follow the recipe there for the apple mixture, you can just peel and dice an apple and mix it together with a couple pinches of cinnamon, a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, a couple teaspoons of flour, and a splash of lemon juice. Add the candied ginger if you like, it gives an interesting dimension. Otherwise, just follow the recipe for the mixed berry french toast.

magazine snippets

Every month, the magazines in my house gang up on me. Better Homes and Gardens, Chicago, Bon Appetit…they all just sit there and beckon at me to have a perfect house, an exciting social life, a meal in my crockpot every night. I tend to ignore their advances and just let them pile up. In fact, after I had Simona, I let them go so long that I had two giant (like a foot tall each) stacks to go through. That’s a lotta magazines.

I should have probably just thrown them out, but being kind of OCD about it, I had to go through them to make sure I didn’t miss anything good. Are you like that, or is it just me?

Anyway, I finally got through them but have since let a number of my subscriptions expire. There’s just no time. I do still get a couple though, not to mention catalogs, and I try to regularly go through the old ones to keep up with the clutter. Then I tear out and file the pages I like (told you I was OCD about this…tell me it’s not just me), and I’ve decided to share some of those here.

Planning to make this this week.

Totally a post-workout drink. Now I just have to workout.

You had me at lavender. Then at lemon. Then at cake.

White decor, always and forever.

Exposed brick – check.
Mid-century modern furniture – check.
Lots of light + white – check.
Industrial flair – check.

my favorite things for baby (months 1-6)

If you’ve had a baby or are pregnant, chances are you’ve come face to face with the dreaded registry process. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so fun to start picking out things for your baby, but when you walk into the veritable warehouse that is Babies’R'us and are smacked in the face with at least 14 options of every single thing you might possibly need, it can be a little overwhelming.

I remember the day we registered. I remember walking into the store and saying to Joseph, “can’t someone just tell us the things we need?” I knew we didn’t need things like a baby butt fan or a crumb cap, but where to go from there? What was essential and what was a luxury?

Obviously things like burp cloths, diapers, clothes and sheets were essential. We slowly knocked things off the suggested list, but somewhere in between the aisle lined with 25 different baby bouncers and the pack ‘n’ play museum, I was about tuckered out. Being 7 months pregnant isn’t ideal for lots of decisions being made while on your feet and without any food.

So besides the basics, what are the other things that are nice to have without being excessive? This post got me thinking about what things worked for us. Of course every baby is going to be different, and every set of parents has their unique style and priorities, but here are some of our picks.

1. These socks - All the other baby socks we had usually ended up off the feet more often than on the feet, but these actually stay on. It’s a wonder.

2. Lamaze Freddy the Firefly – I was originally against toys like this, thought they were so obnoxious-looking. But you know what, they’re like that for a reason. Baby doesn’t care if you have a stylish looking toy, she just wants to be entertained. And Simona really loves this guy, he’ll occupy her for a long time. (see top picture) But she does love her Sophie, too, if you’re looking for a trendier toy.

3. Infantino Baby Gym – I was also against these. I didn’t want any tacky baby stuff taking up space in my house. But Simona spends like half her day in this sometimes. I seriously wonder what I’d do with her if not for this. I mean, you can just put the baby on it’s back, but then all they can stare at is the ceiling. This is so great for learning to grab things – I remember when Simona started swiping at the dangling toys and we were stupid excited. Now she’ll grab one hard and shake it with a fiery vengeance. We’ve had it for months and she still plays with the animals.

4. Miracle Blanket – This kind of saved us. Simona would continually houdini her way out of a traditional swaddle, and she hated those velcro flap ones. And she wouldn’t sleep unswaddled for quite some time. This doesn’t require any noisy velcro and the baby can’t break free of it. She slept well in this.

5. Aquaphor - I thought babies were inherently and permanently soft-skinned, so I was surprised when Simona would get dry patches on her skin and cheeks. I used various baby lotions, but Aquaphor is fantastic for healing those dry patches fast. This is the ‘baby’ Aquaphor, but regular works just fine.

What are your favorite baby things?

a woodland nursery

Baby is coming, any day now.

She’s got a pretty room ready for her that she probably won’t care about for some time, but that’s fine. I think it’s important to have a peaceful lovely room for your babe, because it does something for your spirit, in turn doing something for your baby’s spirit. I feel calm and happy when I’m in this fresh new room, and I can’t wait until it’s filled with baby’s coos, zzz’s, even cries. I can’t wait to dress her up in clothes that she also won’t care about for awhile, clothes that are wonderfully impractical (baby overalls, infant shoes) but worth it because then I can swoon over her even more.

Without further ado, here’s my new favorite room in the house:

If you’re interested, you can find:
-wall decals here 
-woodland mobile here
-tissue paper animal art here (I made my own using this adorable shop as inspiration, but it was pretty time-consuming)