Programming Note

Monday, August 19, 2013

 I can't even remember the last time I sat down to eat a meal, which can give you some idea as to why I've been slacking on the blog. Between camp ending, 10,000 playdates for the LM's new school, friends in town, school paperwork, a foundation crack leaking in to our lower lever AGAIN, and general life, we have been busy. Tomorrow, the kids and I are heading down to the cape for the week to visit my two best friends, so really, things could not be any better. This coming weekend the LM turns 6, and we will be hitting the waves in Water Country. I'm hoping sometime between now and then I can actually get a break to get back over here, but the way things are, I can't promise much. Besides, does any one even read blogs in August? My stats say no ;). 

I hope you all will bear with me, and I'll be back to my regular(ish) posting soon. School is only two weeks away

! Since I can't leave you empty handed, the boy's new beds arrived a little earlier than expected, so I was able to get a jump on the room. Here is a teaser... you know I'll show the full tour when I get back. 

Hope you all have an awesome week!

Happy Camper.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Living in an urban environment, we often wonder if our kids are missing out on some of parts of their childhood that we so fondly remember. Things like fishing, hiking, swimming in the lake, riding horses, canoeing, being still in nature, are hard to do living in a concrete jungle. Of course, our kids get some exposure to these type of activities during our time in Costa Rica, but that is only 4 weeks, and we all know too well, that Summer break seems to last forever. This is why we were so excited to find out about Camp Sewataro, after some friends told us about the amazing summer their daughter was having last year. After scouring their website, I knew that this magical place had the LM's name all over it, and quickly signed him up for a month of camp, starting the day after we returned from our trip. Even though the days are long there, and our little guy is pretty beat when he gets home, I love the idea that for this month he was able to experience summer in the way that I remember.

Last night, we were able to visit the camp and it was beyond what I could have imagined. Campfires, sing alongs, tents, beautiful scenery as far as the eye could see... it was summer camp perfected, and I'm sad to see it all end on Friday. 

Until next year Camp Sewataro. We will most definitely be back!

THAT House.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I have to start this off by saying that I love my house. I really do. It is very much "me" in every room, and I feel as though it has a very defined style, that was created on a fairly modest budget. I think my favorite thing about our home is that it's very playful, as well as inviting and friendly. It's also a bit loud,  a bit over patterned, and somewhat predictable. It's the last three things that I find my self constantly questioning. 

The problem lies, where most problems lie, in our ability to access so much imagery in such a short amount of time. As soon as the caulk was dry on our new kitchen tile, I had already found myself lost in Pinterest questioning one of 1,000 other tiles that I could have chosen instead. Sometimes I just get so confused and overwhelmed by the whole thing, and then I have to remember it's supposed to be about what I like, and not what some designer who is trained in actual design does. Which, in the end, all I really need to remember is that I AM NOT A DESIGNER! I feel like I should have this tattooed inside my eyelids, so every time I see some amazing spread on a blog or a magazine, I can remind myself that we are just super ordinary people, and most of those images that are in magazines are heavily edited, heavily styled, and are photographed by actual photographers... in good light. Not to mention, and most were designed my actual designers. (there's always that)

Where most people have body envy when they see a model or celebrity, I have pattern mixing envy. For real. This is why, I was so excited to see the cover piece in this month's Elle Decor. Just like the woman reading shape magazine, who sees her exact figure staring back at her (which should be shown in a dozen different sizes (don't even get me started on this one) I saw this home in Morocco, that pretty much validated (in my mind) any and every design decision that I have ever made. Of course, it houses actual designers, and owners of a tile company (my dream) but so much of it encapsulated everything I had ever wanted for our home, and after seeing it I have such a different view of my own space. It's like I've seen it through the eyes of someone else and I'm falling back in love all over again. Almost like an ex- boyfriend.  

The stripes, the stars, the insane amount of pattern, the over sized art, all of it  speaks to me. And while this is on a whole different level, I feel like our place has such a similar vibe, that I can now relax a little bit and just enjoy this space I have created. Sure, there are always going to be design dilemmas, and there are some additions that I want to make here and there, but ultimately the bulk of this home is finished, and instead of questioning all my decisions, I've decided to be proud of them. Even the not so perfect DIY pieces that I give the side eye to every day. Live and learn, right? 

Now, back to THAT house. You guys, is this not everything? I think this living room is one of the best things I have ever seen. My husband thinks the furniture looks incredibly uncomfortable, but I think he's crazy. It's probably so old it feels like butter. Oh, and those portraits, and the lighting. I mean...

This room is equal parts crazy and awesome. As in crazy awesome. 

That blue claw foot tub slays me. There is no doubt in our next home I am going to tile up the wall. The dramatic effect is beyond. 

I'm not sure how I feel about this exact tile around the fireplace, but I'm pretty sure that blanket and zebra caftan beyond make up for it. Let's just say I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers. 

Did I mention stripes. And chevron. And tile. This honestly leaves me speechless and will forever live in my dreams. 

Oh, and that's just our perfect kid's room.... don't worry about it! All I can think about when I see this room is WHY I didn't put this exact tile in the boy's room when we had our floors redone a few months back. WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY? (oops, I forgot I wasn't questioning everything) This one is definitely going somewhere, anywhere, in our next home. 

Seeing all these elements together, along with reminding myself that we have all we could ever want (and more than we could ever need) has really confirmed for me that you just have to go with your gut when it comes to designing your own space. If you choose things you don't love, just because you see 100 Pins that have it, in the end your home is just going to look like it belongs to someone else. I feel like the personal touches are really what makes a house a home, and for us that just might mean there is a little more chevron than would traditionally be considered acceptable. Okay, a lot more, but hey, as far as I'm concerned, you can never have too much of a good thing!

Weekend Links.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Would you look at that... it's raining. Again. I suppose I'll stop the pity party there, because we don't have fires, or floods, or oppressive heat, and compared to the rest of the country, that makes us pretty lucky right now. Our weekend weather looks like it is going to be insanely beautiful, and fortunately the boys and I have two entire skate filled days ahead. Right now I feel such urgency to soak up as much of the remaining summer days as I can, the cooler mornings we had earlier this week are just a reminder that too soon it will all be over. 

That picture above reminded me so much of my childhood. In fact, I think I might have even had that rainbow shirt! It's funny how as you get older you start reminiscing about your youth, and for me I always think back to riding my bike around my neighborhood, trying to find the perfect secret hideout.  I can't wait until my boys are a little older, and can do some of that exploring on their own. I'm pretty sure that is the stuff that awesome childhoods are made of!

I hope you all have a fantastic rain free, fire free, sunny weekend. Here are a few links from around the web to help 5pm get here a little quicker! xx

What a timely article for my current pondering of what's next. 

Coupled with this great advice from the Messiah. 

Okay, who watched the season finale of the Bachelorette? I'll admit I watched the first episode or two, and the last, but I find it impossible to keep up with everything in the middle. This most definitely hasn't always been the case, and this made me laugh. I'm pretty sure finish a novel, could be in there as well!

Our farmer's market has the most beautiful zucchini right now, and my husband keeps telling me there is no way to make it taste like anything other than boring. Let's see if this recipe does the trick. 

This post has me wanting nothing else in life other than this spray gun. Do we think it's as easy as she makes it look? I have a few pieces of furniture in the boy's room calling my name. 

This piece from the New Yorker really makes me miss those Sex and the City days. Why oh why did they have to make the sequel to the first movie, or even the first movie? I feel like it forever tainted something that was so, so good. 

More on the Birkenstock. Hmmmmmm, I'm still on the fence. 

As a nod to the boy's Swiss heritage, I picked up these for the bottom of their new beds. They are so perfect!

Beautifully written diet and body advice from one of my favorite yoga instructors.  

How to do all feel about wallpaper? If I could afford it, I would probably have it in every room in our house. This great roundup had me drooling. 

I've been searching and searching for the perfect lamp for our guest room. At this price, I can now say my quest is over!

Oh, and I really should start training for the 10k I've signed up for in October. By training I mean actually run for the first time ever. Maybe this will give me some motivation

Finally, two words; Breaking Bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's back on Sunday... is anyone else FREAKING OUT?

(Photo via this site)

P.S. A big happy birthday to my MOM! We love you!

The Next Step.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

 With the LM starting kindergarten in a few weeks, and Gray following soon after (for a whopping 6 hours a week) I've been thinking a lot about what my next step is going to be. Granted, it is a few years away, but soon, both my kids will be in school full time, and I am going to be left with quite a bit of time on my hands. I realize that things will be busier in a different way, with car pools, school responsibilities, after school sports, homework, etc... but I can't deny the fact that from 7:45-2:45 I am no longer going to be pushing a stroller for miles a day, wiping butts, spending hours at parks, museums, play dates all on a pretty steady cycle, and knowing myself, this is going to leave me feeling a bit restless. Sure, I welcome the idea of daily yoga classes, photography classes, gardening classes, cooking classes, leisurely lunches with my girlfriends (who, as it is now, I don't see nearly enough), and learning more languages (something I've been dreaming of for years) but neither of these things is going to fill my days completely, and I know soon I will be longing for something a little more challenging. Already I am trying to figure out what that will mean for me and my family.

There are two things I know for sure; 1) I do not want to go back to practicing law in any shape or form, and 2) I don't want a full time, year round job. I realize that being about to put these disclaimers out front is a complete luxury, one that I most definitely don't take for granted, and I also recognize that in this economy, especially, it means I'm going to have to get creative. My husband and I talk about this all the time. I am in the incredibly fortunate position where I can pretty much do anything I want, so long as it doesn't disrupt our family balance too much. When I quit my job after I had the LM, we both agreed that their were pros and cons, and one of the cons would be that I was signing up for our arrangement for the long term. Unless I was truly miserable, there was not going to be any take backs, from either of us. The fact is, that since that day, I have been happier than I have ever dreamed, and my husband and my children have benefited from this happiness by being able to rely on the fact that whatever it is, Mom will get it done. I enjoy being that person, as much as they enjoy having it. Family balances are so tricky, and no two are alike, so for us to find one that everyone approves of is not something that I am going to upset without real cause to do so.

I've considered possible enrolling in some sort of teacher training for yoga, or my beloved core fusion, along with wardrobe consulting, interning with a design firm, clothing designer, or media outlet. I've thought about the endless number of volunteer opportunities, how I could possibly use my legal background for a beneficial purpose, rather than for a paycheck. I thought about trying to grow my blog brand, and seeking partnerships with various established "mommy" blogs. Believe me, I've pretty much thought about it all, and there is one thing I keep coming back to.

I'd like to be a writer.

A novelist to be exact. A purveyor of literature geared to women. Yes, I'm talking about chick lit, but something more along the likes of Emily Giffin, than E.L. James. When I think back to all I've ever really wanted to do, it was this same thing. When I graduated from High School. my family gave me books on how to make it as a writer and I had planned to be an English major. My first year of college I became convinced that only a few people actually "make it" as such, and quickly switched over to political science and law, as being the only "safe" career choice. Read: paycheck.

Now I am at a completely different point in my life, where I don't have to play it safe, and working to finish my novel is something that I can do on my own time, at my own pace, without disrupting any part of our family life. So what if I, and maybe some of you, are the only ones who ever reads it, or the one that I am already plotting that will come directly after the first. What do I need to be afraid of?

Failure of course. This is why I have been sitting on my first 100 pages for almost 3 years now. Those of you who have been reading this blog since its inception know that I've thought about doing this all before. At the time I wrote 100 pages, and then began researching book agents, and how to self publish and I got so overwhelmed by the whole thing that I just put it away. Around that time we were in the middle of fertility treatments, then I was pregnant, and then I was juggling life with two kids, and I had almost completely forgot about the whole thing. It was only when I started having trouble with my computer and had to desperately save my pages to transfer them to my beautiful new 2 lb machine, that I realized what it meant to me. Now that I have it back, and on a portable piece of equipment, there is nothing standing in my way and I feel like this year is the perfect time to try to give it a go, even if it is only to say I finished.

Yesterday, I went back and read the first chapter again, and I am right back where I was three years ago. Hooked, obsessed, determined. I read a lot of fictional literature, and some is incredible, and some is crap, and I truly believe that what I'm writing is good, and will make for one hell of a beach read. With my husband riding my ass (as he likes to do when it comes to finishing this thing) and you all holding me accountable, I'm hoping that maybe I can actually do it, and how great would it be if this led to something that would be a fulfilling enterprise over the next few years. That really is the dream, isn't it?

AND if it doesn't work out, and no one but my sister wants to read it... there is always this:

So begins the next chapter... literally.

Boys, Furniture, and Anxiety.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

 I have been at a stand still trying to figuring out what I want to do in the soon to be boy's room. I know the general look I am going for, but the one thing that has been holding me back is deciding what furniture I want to use and what we have left to buy. I'd like to incorporate as many pieces as I can of what we already own, but there is no way around having to purchase two twin beds. I don't know about you all, but for me, the initial furniture purchase is the hardest part of designing a room. Maybe it's because it's typically the most expensive, or the hardest to hide if you screw it up, but for some reason I swear I have a mental block the second it is decision time. I'll take pillows, bedding, paint, rugs, pictures, you name it, any day of the week over trying to find the right dresser or bed frame.

What I thought I wanted all along was a fabric headboard, with a simple bed frame. The only question in my mind was tufted or un-tufted, nail heads or not, shape/ size... etc. My girlfriend had turned me on to Ballard Designs, which was definitely the cheapest and best option to get exactly what I was looking for. I was sold after looking at images like these. 

When I was sorting through fabrics, I got to thinking that maybe this wasn't the best option for my boys. I began to question the durability of a fabric bed, given my little Tasmanian devils, and I really only want to buy twin beds once, given that they probably only have a 10 year life span (when your dad is 6'3" you might need a bigger bed sooner rather than later.) This is also their main play area, and I wanted them to have furniture that was a rough as they can sometimes be. 

So began my quest for actual twin beds. I went to the usual sources PBK, Serena and Lily, Land of Nod, and didn't really see anything I liked. Everything was either very "boy" or "girl" or very stock kids room furniture (read bulky) and the beds I sourced from more modern designers were WAY out of my price range. Then, while ordering one of those letter pillows Land of Nod is famous for, I stumbled upon this bed

It either wasn't available when I looked prior, or I missed it under the 10,000 layers of accessories it was buried under, but either way it's perfect and coming in at 800$ (which I got an additional 15% off during last week's sale) it is exactly what I have been looking for. I love the midcentury design, and the vintage feel. I think this is going to be perfect when paired with their current dresser, which right now is white, but may be red after I get my hands on it!

Now that I have ordered the beds, I can picture exactly what this room is going to look like. I love when that happens! The room makeover is what the boys are getting for Christmas, so it will be a few months before I can put it all together, but I am so excited to see the final result when it all comes together!!! Well, that, and the fact that we are less than a year away from a guest room. Book your tickets now ;)

Weekend Links.

Friday, August 2, 2013

... and it's Friday. I'm not quite sure where the week went, but for some reason I'm happy this one is over. I wish I could just remember what we did each day! Is it just me, or does it seem like Summer is flying by? If only Winter could pass at such a warp speed, right? We don't have much going on this weekend (which is awesome, if you ask me.) The boys are getting haircuts tomorrow morning, both afraid I'm going to take away their long manes. Of course, I would never do that, but it would be nice to see their little eyes every now and then. Besides that, we will be hitting up some parks, and skating, followed by a family dinner at our favorite place in town. On Sunday, the LM has his first play date with a friend from his new school, and he is a little excited/ nervous. It's actually pretty sweet. 

I hope you all have a great one. I'll be back on Monday! Here are a few links from around the web to get your weekend started off right!

It's hot again, which means one thing; Popsicles. I made these this week and they were as awesome as they were easy. Lucky for me, my kids don't like banana, which just meant more for mom. ;)

The secrets to the J.Crew bun. C'mon, you know we've all tried to replicate that at one point or another. 

My husband is always talking about moving us to San Francisco. This is a very good reason to stay put.    Woah. Well, that and the fact that I freaking love it here. 

This is most definitely coming with me on my next surf trip. Cute + warm = awesome. 

A few months back, my friend Anne asked me my thoughts on Birkenstock. I immediately said no. She then sent me this, and I thought maybe, but after seeing them on someone at the gym I'm back to No. What do you all think? Are they back? I'm going to have to give this one some more thought next summer. 

I am beyond obsessed with this series from Cup of Jo. I have probably read each one 10 times, and I hope it never stops. It is so fascinating to get this glimpse from around the world. 

I bought two of these for our hallway. I can't decide who thinks they are cooler... the kids, dad, or me. This is what it feels like when worlds collide!

Is this really what people without kids do all day? Sign me up! All kidding aside, I'm glad there is some conversation going on about validating a couple's choice to remain childfree. It is definitely not for everyone!

It's another year, and the mirrored oxford is still haunting me. So chic!

#iamsoguiltyofnumberthree #someoneshouldtakemypoundkeyaway

Hands down my favorite board on Pinterest. She changes it weekly!

Finally, this room took my breath away. My kids would destroy it in about 10 seconds, but damn it is perfect. 

On Tattoos.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Question: How many tattoos are too many? I ask because I want another. 

I know this really is a matter of personal taste, and surely if you work in some creative field in Brooklyn, the answer likely differs from someone who works in a corporate law firm, or teaches elementary school, but since I clearly am not on either extreme I feel like I need some advice on how many I can pull off, without raising the eyebrows of my kids when they get older. I tend to think the answer is 2 or 3, and if I were to make the jump, just one more time, I think I'd be maxed out. This is a problem only because, those of you with tattoos know, once you get one you just want another. And another. And another. Is it better to always wonder about #3, or just do it, and make a pact not to get #4... ever. I'm not really sure. 

The thing is, I love my tattoos. I have a dime sized heart on my lower back, that I got at the old age of 26, funny enough to try to prevent my sister from getting a tattoo. She was 16 at the time, and wanted some large butterfly (I think), I told her if she waited until she was 18, I would get one first, and then she would have something to look forward to. I picked out something small enough so that neither of us would end up regretting it later, and sure enough the day she turned 18, she got inked with the same thing. 

My second was done on a whim about two years ago when, again with my sister, I decided that we had to get a bird tattoo that we had seen a few months prior. We had been talking about it forever, and a kid free weekend in New York seemed like the perfect opportunity. Even though I had to do multiple touch ups, I consider that tattoo to be one of my best decisions ever, and, of course, this just makes me want more. 

I've asked a lot of people this question, and for most it comes down to their own personal history with tattoos. Some have had ones they love and say do it! Some, the exact opposite. The rest, side with my husband, and say that I should leave well enough alone and enjoy the two I have. I'm kind of in the middle. Because mine aren't all that visible, I feel like I can get away with just one more, especially if it is also not visible. But, yes, they can all be seen in a bathing suit, and I'm not quite sure how that's going to work out, when I get older. Like way older. Maybe it will just make me more bad ass? That would be nice!

I'd love to know what you all think. Ideally I would like a small constellation on my rib, kind of like this one. To ink or not to ink... that is the question!