Weekend Links.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hola friends, happy Friday! I wish I had more to report, but down here things are like they are in Groundhog Day. Get up, hit the beach, hit the pool, eat, sleep, repeat. You know, good ol' family vacation type fun. Right now two of my three sisters are here, along with their boyfriends, and my Dad, so we have a pretty full house with lots of hands on deck for the kids. Those of you with littles know that this is a very good thing. The highlight of my week came yesterday, when for the first time, I became a Godmother... to a sweet baby GIRL. This means that my world has finally been opened to all things girly, and I can't wait to spoil her rotten. Now my kids can't look at me like I'm crazy when I just go to "peek" in the little girl's section! 

I hope you all are having a great week, and get the chance for some beach time this weekend. From what I've heard it's been hot hot hot on the East Coast! Here are a few fun links to kick off your weekend, oh, and yes, that is me surfing up above. It's nice to know I've still got it. Just like riding a bike ;)

This New Yorker cover is perfection. #Equalityfor everyone

While we've been down here, we have been attempting to teach the LM to read. These books are amazing, and one week in, he can almost read the whole box! I had no idea they also had an app!

I love this entire look for Summer date nights.

These are MINE when I get back to Boston. Like the second I get back.

This Pinterest board had me laughing out loud. I smell a book deal soon! P.S. In my next life can I come back as Quinoa?

A cute DIY garland for those 4th of July parties.

The J.Crew Fall look book is out, and I'm loving the prints on prints on prints. Maybe if this is what Fall looks like I won't have to cry too much over the cooler temps. Maybe.

A new way to try on wedding dresses. How fun would it be to have a try on party with all your girlfriends and a few bottles of bubbly?

This one is going on my fridge when I go back home.

Speaking of food, this looks really really really really good.

What beach party is complete without smores? I love the idea of these pre-made containers for the kids!

Even though it is 10,000 degrees out, I am lusting after a colored leather jacket for Fall. Right now this one is on the top of my list.

I don't follow hockey, but I can appreciate a class act when I see one. Well done Chicago.

Finally, an interesting article on Summer sleep for kids. I know we are guilty of cheating our kids out of some, as the nights stay lighter longer. Sometimes a few more minutes at the park, or on this beach is just too tempting. Sadly, we usually pay the price the next day.

P.S. As most of you know, Google Reader is shutting down on Monday. If you'd still like to follow my blog on a feed, I'd suggest Feedly, which is actually a better reader, and you can transfer over all your favorite blogs in one click!


Monday, June 24, 2013

 Well, we made it. At one point on Friday, after 2 hours of being stuck in a stand still traffic jam... in the middle of nowhere, I turned to my husband and said, "what the hell are we thinking, doing this every year?" Soon after the removal of a semi from the two lane highway, and an icy beer from the cooler (before breakfast I might add)  I again began to remember why we love this country so much. The next day when we hit the beach, with only my family in sight, I was reminded of why we have to do this every year. The gift of being away, with just the ones you love, is priceless, and even though we've had our share of toddler meltdowns, thunderstorms, and even earthquakes (a rare ((and scary)) occurrence in these parts) I can say with absolute certainty that there isn't anywhere in the world I'd rather be right now. 

Here are a few pictures from our first few days in paradise. 

Life is good. xoxo

P.S. The Internet has been spotty at best, so please don't get too mad at me if I'm not able to get back here as much as I'd like. :)

She's Back!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

 ... and we aren't even talking about me! 

Okay, I'm back too (from one of the best NYC trips ever, more on that later) BUT someone else decided to make a surprise appearance exactly 1 week, and 1 day after her departure. Yes, I'm talking about my sofa. She's back, and she's better than ever! Just like the sun, I haven't even looked directly at her, because doing so makes my eyes tear up. I could say more, but this should do all the talking. 

I mean, can you even? I can't. It is beyond what I ever dreamed. Oh, and the fun doesn't stop there. I also was able to get our crappier, than crappy, dining room chairs recovered in french ticking. 

All day long I have been in disbelief that this is actually our living room. AND that our house is pretty much "done." For now. Recovering the sofa is tied with the rug under the dining room table, as being the game changers in our design. I now can say every inch of this house is "me" and I swear we are never moving. 

That sofa is what dreams are made of. 

For those of you who have asked, I used Perkins Upholstery in Uxbridge. All tolled, for pickup, delivery, the pricy fabric, the nailheads, the chairs, the tufting, the overstuffing, the tax... the whole thing ran about 3k. Yes, we could have gotten another sofa at that price, but it would have been your stock piece, the same we just had for the last 5 years. This... THIS would not have been obtainable at that price point. If you have an old piece of furniture, you should absolutely give it a second thought before tossing. I now get what they say about the "bones." It's all about good structure, people!! 

THAT SOFA is this sofa. Let that sink in. Do you even see that living room? I can't even believe that used to be our house. The best part is when I talk about being afraid of color. hahahahahahah says the girl with stripes on her ceiling, skateboards behind her bed, and bumble bee stamps on half the walls in my house. I have learned you have a lot to fear in life, color is the least of your concerns!!!

Did I mention the sofa ;)

P.S. My feral animals (err children) and I are off for our annual jungle trip to Costa Rica. I will most definitely be posting, but probably not as regularly. I should be hooked up to the Internet by Sunday, so keep checking in. I hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

 I'm off with the boys for a solo trip to NYC and the 4 hour train ride, with my wiggly toddler scares the bejesus out of me. Wish me luck, send me your kind thoughts, and xanax... lots and lots of xanax.  

Be back Tuesday. Happy weekend. 

The Shoe For Spring/ Summer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I have a current shoe obsession, and what it is might surprise you...

 I'm trying to get a jump on packing for the kids and I for our upcoming trip to NYC, and I was a little surprised when after considering all my shoe options (of which I'm embarrassed to say there are many) I decided to pack only my oldest, and still whitest pair of Chuck Taylors, (thanks to some bleach) and my current favorite pair of vans as my only footwear options for four days. Sure, I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time hoofing it around the city with the kids, but as far as style goes, I feel like the classic sneakers are again having their moment, and in a world of espadrilles, sandals, wedges, flip flops, ballet flats, oxfords, etc, etc, right now I'm pretty sure that is nothing more chic than your trusty pair of kicks. This, of course, is a very good thing, considering we all pretty much have a pair (or two) hanging out in the back of our closet. 

Now, pairing these sneakers with shorts and jeans is easy... but I'm also loving them with dresses and a classic pair of trousers. I pinned these two images recently, and I find myself draw back to them, again and again. As far as I'm concerned, Spring/ Summer dressing doesn't get any better (or easier) than this. 

Here are some great options for "borrowing
these looks! (click image to enlarge)



I Workout.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

 Working out is extremely important to me. I find that it is an absolute necessity in my life, and ever since I got serious about working out (right after the birth of LM) I've found that I've never been happier, nor have I felt better... both mentally and physically. After I had Gray, my two girlfriends turned me on to core fusion at Exhale, and I can't even begin to tell you what it has done to change my body, and my mind. I pretty much crave going to class every day, even though while I'm there I want to cry every second because it's that hard. Of course, the difficulty level is what makes it work, and in the end the pain is so. so, so worth it. Most weeks I am lucky if I can make it to class three times a week, and thankfully this works for my body, coupled with our vegan(ish) diet. I can't even begin to tell you the hoops I have to go through to get there, but almost every minute of childcare that I use each week is based around my class schedule. It's sad, but those classes are absolutely the highlight of my week and there is pretty much nothing that I would rather be doing with my "free" time then sweating it out in the studio. 

Of course, Summer break is here, and that is a whole new ball game. My sitter leaves me, the LM is home a lot more, we have play dates, beach dates, travel... you know the drill. Some weeks I've found that I'm lucky if I make it to class even one day a week, and even though we have a gym in our building, I have such little lack of motivation when it comes to traditional exercise (treadmill/ elliptical/ bike) most days I'm better off thinking about exercising, rather than wasting my time down in the basement. I still crave that time to myself, and I feel so defeated when I know I won't be making it to class for the week. 

 Enter the workout video. 

Last Summer, when we spent the month down in Costa Rica, my sister and I decided before we left to download a few DVDs. We figured we would have ample time on our hands, and that the two of us would be able to motivate each other. We always had surfing, and yoga classes to fall back on, but sometimes it was nice to go into her studio, crank the AC, and sweat for 45 minutes. We asked around for what our instructors used when they traveled, and after some trial and error I've narrowed my favorites down to the following. Except for the yoga video, these are pretty dated/ cheesy videos. You HAVE to ignore that. After a month, I found that I was able to not only maintain the physique I worked so hard for back home, but also add a bit of muscle tone. At home, I try to keep to my three times a week schedule, so I use the videos to supplement on days I can't make it in to the gym. I use 3 pound weights at home, and last year we found that two cans of beans also do the trick. ;)

Here is what is in my at home arsenal. 

Yep. TaeBo. No, I'm not kidding. My friend J turned me on to this one, and while it is as bad as it gets musically, it makes you sweat bullets, and the next day you can barely lift your kids. Two thumbs up. Also, since these are so old, they are so cheap. I also HIGLY recommend the ab series. A lot of it is done in a chair, and it's intense. Love it!

I was lucky enough to practice with David when I was a member at Equinox, and I can't say enough about this video. Beautiful, challenging, and a great mental break. I don't use this one so much to work out, but more when then kids are driving me nuts, and nap time can't come soon enough. It's a great way to recharge mentally. I think he has a whole video series online. 

This is the one I probably use the most. Jillian is pretty annoying, but I've found this is the closest that I can get to the level of a core fusion workout. Its divided in 3 levels with various intervals in each. All three are 20 minutes long, and if you are just starting to exercise, level 1 and 2 are great, but I prefer to do level 2 and 3, each workout. After the 40 minutes you will be sore all around, which is how you know it's working! She also has a pretty good abs series, but the video itself has a few minutes incorporated into each segment. 

Finally, when I do find myself in an actual gym, my go to is always the app Sworkit. I stumbled upon it last year, and it's great, if you are like me, and don't really know what to do with traditional equipment. You can set which body part you want to work, and for how long, and it gives you minute by minute exercises to do. No weights required! 

Now, go forth and get your sweat on!

P.S. If you ever have the chance to go to a core fusion class, YOU HAVE TO TRY it. After the first day, I was a convert. If you are in the Boston area, I cannot recommend attending one of Susan or Claudia's classes. Mind blowing instructors, and amazing fellow mommas who totally understand when you have to leave class early ever.single.day to get your kid. (You all don't even want to know) 

P.P.S. Is there anything you all use at home? I'm always looking for something new to try!

Weekend Links.

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's official. I am the mother of a Kindergartner. I thought I would be the most teary of us all, but it turns out my sweet Little Man was the one who was the hardest hit. Last night, at bedtime, there were more than a few tears, but today he woke up excited, and ready, for his last day at school. I'm sure it helps that there was a pajama party AND they were celebrating Summer birthdays (which is when his big day lies.) How can you not love a day where you get to spend the day in you PJ's and eat cake? Um, where can I sign up? My sister is going to pick him up today, because I know there is no way I could handle the goodbyes gracefully. Tomorrow, we are meeting up with a few of his classmates at Chuck E. Cheese, and on Sunday we are heading to a birthday party where most of his friends will be, so at least we get to keep this party going for a few more days. 

What are you all up to this weekend? Wouldn't it be nice to have just ONE full week without rain? I guess, around these parts, that's too much to ask. I can't complain too much, because this time two weeks from now we will all be settled in Costa Rica. If it rains there, someone gets punched in the eye ;).

I hope you all have something fun planned this weekend, wherever you may be. For those of you who have kids moving on to the next stage in life, I am happy to share my tissue box. My hope is you are stronger than I! 

Here are a few links from around the web, to try to take your mind off of how fast they grow up!

Before we leave the country, I'm taking the kids to NYC for a few days to visit friends and family. My bestie told me I have to try to get in line to get my hands on a "cronut." Apparently there are lines around the block for these things, and you are limited to two. You had me at fried dough. Tell me, have any of you had one... is it worth the wait? 

Last night my husband and I tried to start The Walking Dead. 40 minutes in we had to turn it off. Both of us HATE scary movies, and I think I stopped breathing around the 20 minute mark. I'm dying to know if it gets any less terrifying. I might try to watch it, on my own, in the day, because my husband absolutely refuses to give it another go. If a zombie apocalypse ever does happen, I hope I can be the first to die. No way I want to survive that!

This cover with Kate Moss on it, stopped me in my tracks today. Does she ever age? Gorgeous!

Summer is almost here! Which means it's bathing suit season.  J. Crew is having a 30% off sale. I'd get this, this, this, or this! 

Of course, when you think bathing suits, you have to think sunscreen. Here are the safest brands for kids. 

Did you all see Gwyneth's latest GOOP? I am street food obsessed, and plan on making them all! I tried the mushrooms last night, and they were awesome!

I love EVERYTHING about this look. Airplane chic perfected!

My current favorite, featured on the cover of this month's Matchbook magazine. Oh, he is the man!

Because you can never have too many striped shirts. This one is killer!

Crafts for BOYS!!! Summer vacation approved. 

I absolutely loved this article. I have never once missed work since I decided to stay home with the boys. Sometimes I feel like the only one, in this world of power player moms. It's nice to see there are a few of us still left out there, not regretting our decision. Oh, and check back with me in ten years, I may feel differently!

Finally, these are my new fall obsession. This year of not shopping really hurts sometimes! 

Tile TILE Tile.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

 Guys, today I've got nothing. I usually post during Gray's nap, but as an unexpected surprise, my contractor called me just as his little head hit the crib and THIS is happening right now. 

It's 100,000,000 time better than I thought it would be and my kitchen is already transformed. I never thought tile would make me so emotional, but I kind of want to cry. The whole thing should be done tomorrow, but for now I need to keep my tile guru company/ discuss the 15 other projects I want to do next. 

Two things I have learned this year. You can never go wrong with a good paint color, and tile. Words to live by, people!

Navy Sofa Update: It's Really Happening!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

 Remember back when I was trying to convince my husband that we desperately need to recover our sofa? Well, after cashing in all my Christmas/ Birthday/ Mother's day chips for the next few years, I finally got the old man to come around, and MONDAY my sofa is getting picked up, and will be returning in 7 weeks, looking better than ever!!!I could not be more excited, and I can only compare my elation with that of having a baby! Okay, okay, not quite that exciting, but let me tell you... it's close!

Going through the process, I expected convincing my husband to be the most difficult part. Turns out, that paled in comparison with the real challenge; picking a fabric. Honestly, I figured I could just call up the upholsterer and order 20 yards of navy velvet, in some sort of poly blend, with the only stipulation being that was easy to clean. Turns out I was wrong. After a few looooonnnnnggggg drives to the middle of the state to look through books until I was cross-eyed, and even more samples shipped to the house, I learned that there is WAY to much fabric out there, and what I initially wanted wasn't really what I wanted at all. This is another case of how it pays to look at everything, because what I now have coming my way is going to be so killer, I can't.even.stand.it. 

Going in I was SURE that I wanted something that was formal and traditional. You know, your standard, gorgeous, navy velvet. The kind that you see all over Pinterest day in and day out. 

Think your Grandma's velvet. 

Turns out, what I really wanted was a lighter, more open weave, "casual" velvet. Something slightly more rock star, and with a little more texture. This first picture was what sealed the deal. 

Think Mick Jagger's velvet. 

After month of scouring fabric books, I was down to the sweet 16. I laid all these guys out day after day, seeing how they looked at various times in different light, and figuring out how much dust they collected. I also spilled a little bit of milk on each one, and wiped it clean to see who would stain the least. 

In the end I narrowed it down to the final three. The one on the left was the most casual, and the others were more of a flat velvet. The one in the middle (which arrived last) was what I had been looking for all along.

After seeing the piece I thought I wanted, I was certain that the one on the left was the winner! In person the color is exactly like the photo above, but I took a close up so you all could see the texture. The best part is that this one was the most industrial of all (meaning it should be able to withstand the wild animals that I call children.)

I've also decided to tuft the back pillows, and add a single line of nailheads at the base of the sofa. I think it is going to look so bananas when it comes back, and I can't believe that we are able to do this for a fraction of the price of a custom sofa! 

Of course, I will be sharing 100,000,001 of the after shots. I am already counting the days until it comes back! Goodbye sweet sofa, you have served us well!

On Sleep.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

 Question: How much do you all sleep? 

I ask, because my husband has me convinced that I sleep way more than most people. I'm not sure if that's true (I'm guessing it is) but when I sleep less than my usual, I truly feel sick all day (like I'm dying a slow death,) and it makes being with the kids so much more challenging (are they always so loud?) that I rarely, if ever, sleep less than 8.5 hours. In fact, if I know I have something coming up, like a concert with friends, or a dinner out, I actually have to psych myself up for a few weeks before, so by the time 10pm rolls around, I'm not falling asleep. For real. I have to wonder if this is normal!

Now, It's not that I'm all that concerned I sleep too much. On average, I go to bed sometime around 9:30-10 and get up between 6 and 7, depending on the kids. Without them, I would probably go until 8, but that hasn't happened since the day the LM was born, and I'm pretty sure I have about another decade before it does. But the thing is, I wish that I was able to sleep less. There are books I want to read, things I want to write, shows I wish I didn't have to cut from my life, but doing most of those things would mean I would have to sleep less, and there are very few things that interest me enough, that I would cut in to my eight precious hours. 

My husband used to be on the same sleep schedule as me, and with work and the kids, he found he couldn't "waste" some of those precious hours, so now we go to bed together, and he will stay up writing until after midnight, and is usually up before me. He said it just took some getting used to, but I feel like I have tried to sleep less (mostly when getting up with the babies when they were little) and there was nothing great about it. It sucked, and I'm not quite sure I want to try it again on purpose. Plus, isn't sleep good for you? It's supposed to keep you thin, sane, young?

Are/ were any of you life long sleepers. Did you ever find a way to scale back long term? I'm not interested in doing anything drastic, but I would like to find a way to slowly cut back to 7 hours. I feel like having 7-10 extra, kid free, hours a week would be such a gift, but I just don't want to do it at the cost of not having any energy throughout the day. I'm wondering is it better to start cold turkey, or slowly cut back over time. I have to ask, as I always say to my husband when he asks on Saturday night at 9:30 if I'm a baby as I head down the stairs, do some people just NEED more sleep? I think they do, but I would love to be proven wrong. 

As an aside, what it is with kids not wanting to go to bed or sleep in late. There has to be some way to convince them that they have it so good. Man, what I wouldn't give for a solid 12 hours! (Haha, I can just hear Gray laughing loudly at my suggestion that he sleep in!)

Monday Links.

Monday, June 3, 2013

  Hi friends, sorry for the unexpected absence over the weekend. Early Friday, I learned that my best friend, who is pregnant with her 4th!!!! baby, was in the hospital due to some complications. Baby and Momma are doing great, but it looks like she is going to be there until the end, which is about another month. I'll be able to visit often, given that she's staying close by, but my thoughts are always there with her, and over the weekend I found it hard to focus on much else. It's so hard, to feel so helpless as a friend, and I can only imagine how she must feel not being able to do anything other than sit and wait. Luckily, she has an amazing family, who is the best support system anyone could dream of, and I plan on spending many hours by her side, talking nonsense, hoping to make the days go by a little faster. 

Apart from that, the kids and I had a nice weekend. Saturday, we took advantage of the 90+ temps and we hit the beach. My husband had to work, so I went alone, and I can't even begin to tell you how exhausted I was at the end. The beach part was easy, but the sun screening, changing, changing again, ice cream eating, bag carrying, OMG my kids are running up giant boulders in different directions, and jumping in the water, only one can swim, is that a bug/fish/crab Gray is eating, sun screening again part was difficult. I'm very looking to having a few extra hands on deck when we go to Costa Rica in a few weeks. Whew. Yesterday, it was birthday party central, and the LM had not one, but two, awesome parties to go to. By the time 7:30 rolled around, he was out for the count... as was I! 

Today, of course is Monday, and like most Mondays, it came a little bit too soon. This is the last week on Nursery School for the LM ever, and while most of the time, I feel like he is 16, this does feel a bit like an end of an era. I just can't believe my little guy is all grown up and it's going to be strange, not dropping him off at "his" school every morning. In the fall, Gray will be taking his place, and in 3 short years I'm sure I will be feeling exactly this way, all over again. Last night, before bed, the LM told me that the last day of school is a mad/sad/glad day, and that's okay to feel sad and happy at the same time. I'm glad one of us is in touch with our emotions! haha

So that's a little of what we have going on around here. I decided to post the weekend links today, not only for you all, but also so my bestie would have some more light reading. I'm pretty sure there aren't enough magazines in the world to kill 12 hours a day, in bed. At least tonight The Bachelorette is on, so we will be able to kill the next week dissecting this one! (P.S. I'm hooked!)

Here are a few fun links from around the web, for this rainy Monday. Enjoy!

After accidentally stumbling across this duvet cover from H&M home, I became obsessed with getting it for what will be the future boys' room. Too bad they don't ship to the US!!! Thanks to my British friend, I "met" through blogging, I have two of these coming my way. Now I just have to make sure she lets me repay the favor with a US company!

Speaking of the boy's room. I'm dying to do this on their ceiling. I'm thinking of painting it Navy, and using a stamp with glow in the dark ink, to create the night sky. (Yes, I'm probably going to stamp this whole house now ;))

My new go-to for Summer. Bright white toenails and leather sandals. Turns out, I'm not the only one who is loving this look. 

What I would do to get this T-shirt is slightly disturbing, so I'll just say I want it. Bad. Do we think they will mass-produce?

This risotto looks amazing. I have to make it this week. Have to.

These would make a great Father's Day gift. So cute for weddings too!

This living room slays me, and just reinforces my decision to recover our sofa. Also, everything she says about Hague Blue is completely true. That's the color we painted our master bedroom, and it is still my favorite room we have done. 

I've decided that even though we aren't big drinkers of hard alcohol, it would be great to have a little bar set up on our sideboard. I found this tray, and I think a set up like this would be cute. Now we just have to entertain more!

A rainy day, like today, is just screaming for a project like this. I think I will let the boys pick one to make this afternoon!

Finally, how refreshing does this look? Perfect for the next heat wave!

Happy Monday!