Thursday, August 30, 2012

What it is.....What it aint


I've been doing a mental evaluation of this space and have yet to come to any concrete conclusions in my head so I thought I'd at least write it out and see how that goes.
I've gone back and re-read a lot of my posts and there is no underlying theme.
I am all over the place around here.
I read a variety of blogs and have been looking into this whole "lifestyle blog" thing a bit further.
Because I had no clue what it meant to be a lifestyle blogger and I knew I didn't feel like I really fit into the "mommy blogger"category.
Sure, I write about my kids but it's not solely about them. This place is more about me.
It's a collection of my thoughts, ideas, dreams and desires.
It's stories of my family and all the fun & crazy times we have.
It's my perspective on where we fit in this town/space in the universe.
It's my ever evolving personal style.
It's my love of beauty and decorating ideas.
My flights of fancy (or delusions of grandeur) for things that may not ever happen.
It's about my life.
Defining my blogging style is not going to be easy. But then, why should it be?
I am not easily defined.  Astrologically speaking, I am a Gemini meaning I am a walking contradiction. A collection of many things and yet no one simple thing at any given time.
It can be exhausting but it's extremely fun.
So I guess in a way it is a lifestyle blog but I'm not really giving tips on how to live better or anything like that.
I'm just sharing about our lifestyle and how we live right now.
What I know for sure is what I certainly am not. I am not a fashion blogger. Yes I post outfits and even compile lists of fashion trends or wish lists but I am no expert. Nor do I wish to be. I admire all those people who get up and get dressed each day in something cute. Not me.
Most days I'm struggling to take a shower let alone find a cute outfit.
On the days/weeks I do get it together I feel like I have conquered the world! It's the little things people.
I am not a mommy blogger - I am not likely to post tips on getting baby to sleep or wean or anything of the sort (short of having tried something and it's worked miraculously)
Mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing most days. It is my belief that children are a bit like jigsaw puzzles, the minute you think you've got it all together you find that you're missing an important piece. I take each day as it comes and work through the issues as necessary.
I am not a home decor expert. We are still discovering our personal decorating style around these parts. I've seen how it's evolved over the last few years since we moved into together and even since living in this house and after joining Pinterest I now have a more concrete image of what I want our space to look and feel like. It will be a while before it all 'comes together' but I can't wait to get started and I love the process of discovery. So yes, that will be shared for sure.
I am not a food blogger either. I love food. I enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes and may post about my success (or failure) in the kitchen but it will be rare to find me documenting a whole recipe.
In this whole process of blogging, exploring my love of the written word and my inherent need to exorcise the constant dialogue in my head, I have been learning my voice.
In the begining I struggled with who I was. Hell, some days I still struggle. I fall prey to the blogger envy, the discontent, the feeling that I am somehow failing because I am not as widely read as others, don't have the opportunities presented to me as some or just 'not as cool'.
It's something I'm sure all bloggers/ writers deal with. We all want to be great but it's how we deal with it that matters.
In all of that though I am slowly but surely gaining ground. I am working on being present, living with intent and really being in this moment.
Taking the time to enjoy the small things. Embracing the mundane of the SAHM daily life all while carving out my place in the world.
I am one person making a small impact on my corner of the internet and sharing my voice, my story, my way.
Be prepared for deep thoughts, light hearted laughs, random musings, fashion obsessions, makeup loves & a boatload of images.
I am exploring all avenues of genres and subject matter so just when you think you get to know what this blog is "all about" - I will switch up and surprise you!
I hope you hang around for all the fun!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I'm Wearing

I haven't done this in a while.
1. it's been hella hot and I keep wearing the same few pieces over and over (not at all exciting)
2. We haven't gone anywhere and have literally been in pj's and workout clothes until just before the Hubs comes home
3. I think I've lost my style mojo

However, school started this week and I have afternoon carpool duty which means I have to put on clothes. 
And since I like to look somewhat put together I decided to photograph today's ensemble.
Hopefully this will inspire me to continue on this path and be held accountable each day.

Top: H&M (old)
Shorts: H&M (old)
Earrings: H&M (old)
Shoes: Mossimo for Target

Also rocking (or attempting to) the front braid. It's way to hot to bust out the flat iron or have my hair on my face so I've been playing around with alternate styles to stay cool.

 I've worn this outfit before in the fall but never really rocked it in warmer weather so I enjoyed the casualness of the tee but loved the polish of the black shorts.
They're a step up from my usual cut-offs and flip flops

Last seen here:

Linking up with Lindsey!
pleated poppy

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chubbsy wubbsy - 6 month review

For some reason with Baby Bear time is just flying by.
Oh it doesn't feel that way at 2am when he's whining & won't go back to sleep but .
Half a year has gone by since we brought him home.
Half a year.
My oldest starts 5th grade tomorrow.
I have no idea what is happening.
Every stage we enter into is like a brand new discovery and I am enjoying it more and more.
Although still not getting enough sleep as Carson is hitting all these developmental milestones at once.
He's mastered rolling over both ways.
He sits steadily now with only a few crashes here and there but at least he's somewhat figured out how to fall gently.....
This past week his sleep patterns have been out of control and he has been inconsolable a few nights and then this morning I noticed he cut his first tooth!
What the duck!?
So the first bottom tooth has pushed through and the second one should make it's appearance any day now.
I will be happy when its all over as he has not been a fun guy at 4am and it breaks my heart to see him in pain.
However, he is getting to be a lot more fun these days.
I'm enjoying this stage a lot.
He's very grabby, chatty and lovey.
Separation anxiety has kicked in a bit so that's been something else to deal with.
He makes all these funny faces and sounds and he is enjoying his mealtimes the most!
By the numbers he is 99th percentile everything.
29.2 inches long
22.5 lbs.
In short, he is a beast.

Clearly he is not missing any meals.
I still  breast feed and make all his baby food.
It's been fun trying out new veggies and fruits on him.
He seems to like them all.
With the exception of the green beans but I'm thinking they were not pureed enough for him and perhaps need to be mixed with a fruit to combat the bitter taste.

He loves being on the floor and playing with his sister and his Daddy.
That is the highlight of his day.

Well, that and his bath.
His giggles and smiles make everyday interesting and amazing.

He's found his feet and likes to show them off while deciding which side he wants to roll to.
While cleaning up at my mother's house this afternoon I discovered a boat load of toys from his sisters hey day that will be quite suitable for him.
I can't wait to clean them off and show them to him.
He's going to love it all.

We are all just so in love with this kid.
It's so much fun to see him spend time with all of his different family members and watch them love on him.
It makes my heart happy seeing the joy on their faces and knowing he is so loved.
I am still in shock that it's actually been 6 months and am not quite sure where the time has gone.
Thank God I have this space to document things or I'd never know what hit me!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inked - On being a tattooed mama

Currently I have four tattoos and I am jonesing to add another to my collection.
The first three (butterflies) were all obtained when I was a youngster in college and really all about expressing my independence. Some people were dying their hair crazy colors or piercing their eyebrows, lips, tongue. I got tattoos.
I loved them from the moment I got my first. Although admittedly I had some remorse and thought gangrene had set in when I woke up sore the next morning. (That may have been some latent guilt about my mother being upset combined with the way I slept)
However, that did not stop me from getting another a month later. And a then a third a few months after that.
My parents were less than thrilled. My mother in particular but it was too late by then.
I was hooked. 
I even went with D to get his first tattoo and helped choose the font for the script.
But then, as with all things, I was over it. I had my three and was quite content with them.
As time passed I even forgot they were there. Being they aren't conspicuous no one really ever saw them.
And then I had Sweet Pea.
Suddenly I was 'a mom with tattoos'. Quite taboo back in the early 2000's. Boy would  I get looks from some of the more ahem...seasoned mothers when picking her up and my low rise jeans would showcase one of my markings. (And by seasoned I mean those who were clearly older than my 24 years).
I had never been ashamed of them before but (being so young) kind of felt like I was 'wrong' for having them and that I was being judged for my frivolous youth.
Fast forward three years and at age 27 I began to get the itch to add yet another mark on my body.
After much deliberation I settled on a constellation/ cluster of stars on my ankle going down to the top of my foot. Simply because having my daughter reminded me to stop, slow down and take a moment to contemplate the stars.
It hurt like a mother bear but I was so happy with the results.
Every time I look down on it I think of my little girl and why I chose that design in the first place.
Now, six years later, I am getting the itch yet again.
I brought it up with my husband and he mentioned he had been thinking the same. He wants to do something in regards to the kiddos. I love that.
I was leaning towards getting some kind of script.
For years I've wanted Phil. 4:13 on my wrist underneath a cross that has angel wings behind it and even drew a couple sketches for it.
But lately I have been drawn to different locations such as the inside of my elbow or going down the front of my arm.
unique font, love the placement placement "“Cest la bonne vie” means “its the good life” in French. One of my favorite quotes. Its on the side of my right forearm. My 2nd of 3 tattoos. I am french so reminds me of my family & to always look for the good things in life even if they arent present. Got all tattoos done at SkinDeep tattoo in Maui."
I have no qualms about having such visible markings as in this day and age more people have tattoos than do not and the odds of me working in corporate America where it may be frowned upon, are slim to none.
I know in my heart I am destined for creative endeavors and that kind of career path enables me to be a bit more lax in my body art decisions.
I'm actually really excited. It's been so long since I've added to my menagerie that I can't wait but at the same time it's one of those things that takes me forever to decide upon.
I don't make these kinds of decisions lightly and I always want them to be meaningful.
Is it strange to be 33, a mother of two and about to get a fifth tattoo?
And I kind of dig the concept of being a tattooed mama. It speaks to my personality and to the fact that I am indeed not the norm.

Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they of? Do you plan to get more?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Of House & Home

My mind is whirring a million miles a minute and I have so many images in my head its hard to nail them down.
I'm not focused on fashion or makeup for a change but rather another creative outlet.
Home Decor.
I've talked about it before. I spent a lot of time whilst pregnant thinking on ways to spruce up our this place and make it more our home.
But then it hit me a few months ago. This will never be our home so long as we are renting.
We can only do so much within these four walls. Kind of a bummer realization.
However, we hope to buy a home at the end of this year/beginning of next so that's exciting.
It also means we have been looking online at several homes and once again my wheels have been turning.
I have so many ideas when it comes to decor but those will all depend on how the house is laid out.  My sister in law asked what kind of house we were looking for and I was honest when I told her I was not afraid of something that needed a little work. 
Thanks to my favorite shows on HGTV (Property Brothers & Kitchen Cousins) I have a better idea of how a house can be re-configured to be exactly what I dream of. Even if it doesn't start out that way. I don't necessarily want some pre-fab home with random built-ins that don't suit our style of living.
I do know that I want an 'open concept' but have realized in looking at images online, I don't necessarily have to have the biggest kitchen ever. I just want a kitchen space (preferably with an island) that allows me to view the living area and be involved in conversations there.
I hate being closed off in the kitchen and I want it to be a space that allows for socializing. We all hang out in there so much.
Combine all  these day dreams with the fact that my childhood home is currently for sale and you can imagine the emotions I'm going through.
In all honesty I just want the house to get sold, and for everyone to be done with it and move on. But it is hard to say goodbye to the only home I've ever known. 
Sure I've lived a lot of places but that was the first place that I ever knew that had a space of my own to customize.
It's a bit bittersweet to see it listed like a 'regular' house when it's so much more than that......but I digress.

Searching for a new place is hard. I don't have a specific style in mind but I have this feeling that 'll know it when I see it.
In my head I can only see part of the house that will become our home.  I see a kitchen with an island and nice size sink. double oven and  a 6 burner range.
McGonigal Signature Homes's Design, Pictures, Remodel, Decor and Ideas - page 2 SOLD!   Contemporary Kitchen Design, Pictures, Remodel, Decor and Ideas - page 6 LOVE this kitchen.....via our fifth house: A Labor of Love - Kitchen Reveal!
I see dark wood floors and a cozy couch (preferably grey) I see a Greek key rug hand stenciled by me.
Clean with pops of colour. Decorated by Toronto designer Stacey Cohen and featured in Style at Home (via Marcus Design) royal blue accent wall- LOVE the rug so my tastes....Jonathan Adler Love the soothing colors in this room.  tv stand

I see pops of color every which way you turn. I see some kind of graphic wall paper in the hall way.
love the wallpaper & chandelier  Renter's Wallpaper! Temporary wallpaper you can easily remove when you move!
I see bookcases.
Book shelf styling [madebygirl] LOVE these book shelves via My Little Happy Place
And some re-upholstered wing-back chairs in a great color/fun fabric.
  I'm inheriting similar style chairs , what a great fabric & color! - furbish4, via Flickr.LOVE the fabric - Use as an occasional chair or up cycle it for two end chairs for a large farmhouse dining table
There is a custom mirrored TV console where everything is hidden away from little hands and provides a cleaner view.
I see a room or space for my desk and computer. I see a cute chair with a fun pad. A large cork board full of ideas.
desk chair officeInspiration board.

I can sort of picture our bedroom - a dash of drama, a hint of sophistication, all the way comfortable.
sophisticated. yes.bedroomDash of Drama
And a killer well organized closet
master closet. shelves above, drawers below, hanging racks in middle.Small walk-in closetCloset organization

A backyard with a space for the kids to run around & play. A seating/ dining area to enjoy with friends and plenty of room for Babe to perfect his grill master skills.
outdoor living space - I want my patio furniture this dark! backyard fire pit

Overall I just want a place that screams: US
I want for people to walk in and feel cozy and like it's okay to take of their shoes, lay back on the couch, put their feet up and get comfortable!
I dream of hosting family gatherings and ladies nights with all the people we love and doing so in a place that makes me feel so relaxed putting it all together becomes a breeze.
Who knows - maybe a home of our own will inspire me to be a better "maid".......Nah.
Who am I kidding. I'd much rather spend that time pinning images for my next great project.

What is your home style? Does your current home match that which you originally thought it would be?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

With Intent

These days I'm realizing ,even more than usual, I need to be intentional about what I do.
I have to carve out time each day for myself for writing, for marketing to potential clients, for updating the blogs and website. 
I need to be intentional when carving out time with my kids. Really listen when Sweet Pea talks, wants to craft or watch a movie. Get down and play with Baby Bear and be in that moment, not thinking about checking email or social media.
I must be intentional about the time I spend with my husband. Find out about his day and what's going on in his head and just go through the motions.
I need to make time for my family (mom & dad + in-laws) and for spending time with my friends. And not just for my sake or when it suits me, but make it a point to find out to what's going on in their lives and see if I can be of encouragement or just a sounding board.
Intent is huge theme around here as of late. I feel time is slipping away and I am compelled to soak things in.
I am a generally scattered individual. And not in a bad way, I am just a multitasking woman by nature and tend to get distracted easily (you have no idea how many times I started and stopped this post).
ha! so true
But I'm finding that when I am intentional, when I take the time to make plans and actually implement them......well, the result is phenomenal.
I do a lot of living in my head. I have all these ideas and thoughts and plans and things floating around but for me, at times, it's hard to put them down on paper and when I finally do attempt to do so, I can only remember half of them.
Lately I have begun to change that. I am putting things on my calender on my phone or the iPad in great detail. Setting reminders for what I want to do, when and at what time.
I'm digging that. I am being intentional about my schedule because I know time is precious.
I had stopped working out at a crazy hour because I convinced myself that I actually needed the sleep more than I needed to look good in a pair of shorts. And for awhile that was true. Sort of. I like the sleep.
However, after almost a month of half-assing my workouts, having my morning coffee or green machine and still being tired I realized it was the post work out endorphin's that were giving me the boost to get through each day.
So I beginning this week I am being more intentional with my workouts. I have scheduled in my head and on the calendar what I want to do each day and if that doesn't work out, I have a fall back plan.
The same goes for cooking dinner and general housekeeping. I have to make a list and stick to it.
It's been easy to be lazy because "hey it's summertime!" and why not?  Or  worse, using the baby's schedule as an excuse. But I don't like the way I've been feeling.
Tired, lackluster in my work, un-motivated, easily distracted, un-organized's just not who I am (well except the distracted part. I don't think that will ever change).
Better's not who I want to be.
I want to be a woman of intention.
I need to be that in order to maintain my sanity and any to the betterment of my household and all my relationships.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What's Crackin

I haven't really written about what we've been up to lately as I've gotten kind of lazy about it and perhaps it seems we haven't been doing as much?
Or perhaps because I'm being super introspective lately and focusing on what's going on in my head.
Oh and let's not forget my fashion wish lists.
But we've actually been doing quite a bit around here.
There have been birthday parties, and baby showers.
Pool days and quality family time.
Delicious dinners and take out.
It's been a good summer.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending the first birthday of D's goddaughter Madison.
It was a super cute pink &navy nautical themed party and the kids had a blast.
All the decorations came together (I may or may not have had a hand in that)

But I have to hand it to Tenia for utilizing her resources! 
My sister-in-love does catering and had a fantastic spread for us (sliders, crab cakes, ceviche, pasta salad etc.) and my cousin is a baker (she did the cup-cakes for my baby shower) and created a beautiful display of delectable treats.
The birthday girl enjoyed her first taste of cake and all the kids seemed to enjoy themselves (a bubble machine is a wonderful thing).

I love birthdays!!

Friday night we took the kids out for dinner as Sweet Pea has been dying for Johnny Rocket's for some time.
The Baby Bear was up and pleasant so we decided then would be a great time to go.
It was still ridiculously warm out (at 6pm) and we found most of our 'town' congregated at the Shoppes listening to a Rolling Stones tribute band.
We got a great table at the restaurant and in a flash of brilliance I decided to let the Baby Bear sit in a booster seat/high chair there so he wasn't stuck in the car seat/stroller while we ate.
He LOVED it.
The chair was a small one so it was perfect for him and while he was strapped in about the waist he was able to twist from side to side and see the people.
He gobbled up his dinner (squash and peaches) and spent the rest of the meal mesmerized by the waitstaff.
Oh and then they danced. He looked back at me as if to say "Dinner and a show!?? Why have we not done this before!?"
Unfortunately for him, that will not be happening at home.
D & Cam opted for sundae for dessert and made quick work of it and then we decided to walk around and enjoy the evening before rushing home.

We wandered around for a bit carrying Carson who was thoroughly enjoying being out of his stroller and squealing in delight.
I felt the same way. I love summer evenings like that. Just enjoying my family, the atmosphere and being outdoors.
It was a lovely evening.
Saturday we cleaned & organized our house. It was much needed and we tried not to melt while doing so.
Sunday I took the kids to a baby shower for my former co-worker and mafia sister Kristian.
She and her hubby are expecting their first child, a girl, this fall.
I was so excited to attend as all my mafia girls were going to be there.
I'm lame and we didn't get a picture together on my camera but it's okay.
The memories are enough. 
As usual we had a blast and it was so fun to catch up with them.
Three of them still work together (at a totally different company) one moved up north and the other works for a shoe company.
It's funny how much things have changed since we started our mafia back in 2010.

Two of us got married, there are four kids between the six of us (my two, Missy's one and K-Dizzle's babe on the way).
We have started new jobs, moved to new cities and just generally grown as women.
But when we hang out......still the same giggles and eye rolls. 
I love these ladies and have missed them so.

This weekend we will be doing some back to school shopping.
I know a lot of kids have already started back but Sweet Pea doesn't go back until the 27th.
And I'm quite bummed that they changed her whole school schedule so now she starts at a later time and gets out later.
So now I will be taking her to school each morning.
Which means I will have to put on clothes first thing and throw Baby Bear in the car for the short jaunt down the hill.
Everything is about to change.....again.

What did you guys do this weekend?


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