Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More photos from the vault

I just deleted about 30 photos of a toy spiderman, taken by my four-year-old. Interest in Angry Birds and Talking Tom only lasts so long and then Ethan usually ends up finding the camera on my phone and shooting away. A lot of the photos are indecipherable or quite blurry, but some turn out and give me a good laugh. I especially loved this series of photos of Ryan and me. Our dorkiness just oozes out of them.

These were taken on Valentine's Day, but they might as well have been taken today. It is so cold tonight and I would bundle up just the same if I went out. I need Spring already!

Is it warm or cold where you are?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flipping and flopping and wishing and washing

Today I laughed with an old friend about how often our personal styles change. I seriously already want to sell a couch I bought a year ago. I am actually itching to get rid of every piece of furniture in my house. I want an empty house, a clean slate. And I want to go in the opposite direction.

I have been feeling like this for a while, but it really hit me when I discovered Amber from Amber Interiors. Let's just say I have developed a bit of a blog crush... Isn't her dining room so bohemian chic? I am dying over the antique rug and the light fixture. And she created the cloud art herself.
Lately, I have really been feeling blues and corals and I feel inspired by this study she put together:

Who is this girl?!? I wish I had her vision... and that I could afford her design help.

Back to reality... and to calm Ryan's nerves about my crazy flip-flopping, I will have to wait until my next move to make any big changes and by that time, I am pretty sure I will be in love with something completely different.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

G Street

During the debate inside my head about whether or not I should buy the top and skirt on Monday, one little thought kept creeping into my mind. It was something my mom has said so many times: "I could make that." Of course, we all know I couldn't make that outfit. But maybe I could make a variation of it. I thought if I just got some good fabric, I could make a cute pencil skirt and a flowy, cropped dolman-sleeved top with elastic around the sleeves. I figured it couldn't be that hard, right? So on my drive home from shopping, I decided to make a little trip to G Street.

G Street is a fabric store in my area tucked away inside a strip mall anchored by a Home Depot and Barnes and Noble. Upon entrance, it looks so tiny that you are tempted to walk back out until you see the escalators in the back of the small room. If you take those escalators down, you enter into an underground world of fabrics. It's always fun to visit G Street, but my kids don't agree with that point so it's usually a very quick visit. So entering G Street sans children was like a whole new experience.

I perused and touched and smelled so many fabrics and then suddenly I saw a small navy striped stretch cotton print. I grabbed it and quickly found this airy, navy floral. Lately I am digging the navy blues and peaches and mint greens of the 80s so this was right up my ally. I figured I would need a couple of yards of each and at about $16 a yard, they would cost me about $64, which is much better than the $250 I was about to spend on the outfit earlier that day... But that outfit was already an outfit- made by someone who knew what they were doing. And it was already fabulous (plus I liked the print on the Anthro top better than this one). I came close, but again, I just couldn't get myself to purchase. I don't really trust my novice sewing skills to turn this into something cool. So I didn't :-(.

I know, lame story about nothing. Sorry. I guess I am just processing my thoughts.

But back to G Street. One of my favorite things about going to G Street is seeing these faux dresses on dress forms all over the store. On first glance, it looks like someone just sewed a dress and put it on the mannequin, but if you take a closer look, you see that someone has carefully draped fabric - still on the bolt - and painstakingly pinned it to create a temporary piece. These were a few of my favorites on this, most recent trip:

I love how everything is left on the bolt and looks like it is still under construction. Oh and that floral cotton...

Look closely to see the pinheads. Cool, huh? See, this post wasn't about nothing after all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Question: Is my blog format too wide for your screen? It is for mine, and I am wondering if I need to change some things to make it fit.

On another, much more important note, it was my birthday yesterday! Yay! I am telling you this not only to solicit late birthday wishes from all of you, but also to let you know what a great day I had yesterday. Ryan woke me up yesterday morning with a wad of cash and a promise to stay home from work. (I believe he has done this every year since we moved out here, so while it's not much of a surprise anymore, it is the best gift he could ever give me). Of course, he doesn't stay home so we can spend time together. He misses work so I can leave, by myself, and go buy things for myself, which is, without a doubt, my very favorite pastime. 

Ever since having kids, I have had very little time away from home alone. And I crave being alone. So I spent my hours all by myself today sauntering around in many of my favorite stores. 

On my way out to Tyson's Corner, where I began my day, I decided that I needed to buy clothes that I can wear as a mom on regular weekdays. Whenever I have a little extra cash, I usually spend it on church or date outfits, as I often gravitate toward nicer-occasion clothing. So I usually wear the same grubby things over and over again during the week.

I started out at Anthropologie and, once I had tried a few things on, I decided on these two pieces:
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Yeah, not exactly everyday wear. OK, I know some fabulous people dress like this everyday... but not me. I just tried it on for fun and really fell in love with the two pieces together. I like the juxtaposition of the angular, striped skirt (which looks so much cuter in person) with the flowy floral top (I loved this on).

Don't worry, I didn't buy them. I was about to spend close to the amount I had to spend for the entire day and then I would be left with nothing else - no shorts and tees and sandals for my everyday life. I did put them on hold though...

Anyway, one of my favorite moments of the day was sitting on the bench with an order of Auntie Anne's Cinnamon Sugar Pretzelsticks and eating every single one of them. I usually have to share them with my kids so this was awesome. I ended up getting a serious stomachache later in the day from all of that sugar. Another favorite moment was taking my time at G-Street Fabrics. I'll post about that a little later.

I ended the day on a sushi date with my hubby. It was delicious and if there is anything I love more than being alone, it is being with him. He is the best.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Made my day

Yesterday morning, I checked my blog to see if my last post had worked and I was shocked to find a fabulous new header at the top of my blog. Apparently last night, my sister signed into my blog and replaced it! I love it so much that I have checked my blog about 100 times today. Thanks Kenz, you made my day!

In other news, I finally downloaded some photos off of my phone onto the computer and now you all must suffer... the next few posts might be loaded with semi-fuzzy photos from the past few months.

Ruby loves to swing and she doesn't care who knows it.
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Ethan trained to become a Jedi warrior at the last birthday party he attended (my friend Catherine made Jedi robes and light sabers for all the boys at the party) but if you ask him, he will tell you that he is "Dark Vader." I honestly did not tell him to pose like this for the photo.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day





Speaking of The Smiths, they hold an annual Green Party and it is one hilarious, fun, delicious and well-decorated party. So please excuse the gratuitous photo-booth shots, but I can't help myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The kiddies

Way back in October, our friends Jon and Melissa, took photos of the kids. I have some displayed in my home, but I have never posted them on the blog. So here are my cute kids and The Smith's amazing work:

The photo shoot also served as Ruby's one-year photo shoot, so we had to get crib shots like the ones we got of Ethan when he turned one. If I have more kids, they will get their one-year photos taken in the crib, as well. I absolutely love them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


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Lately I have been craving angles, sharp lines and geometric patterns. My house is so curvy and feminine and I have been feeling the need to add diamonds, corners and straight lines to the mix. I feel the same way with my clothing. So this shirt stood out to me when I spied it on Unfortunately, I think it is sold out, but at least it gives an idea of what I am looking for. I saved the photo and then added a few things to it to make an outfit. The metal motion necklace from Madewell echos the shapes in the shirt. I think the gathered waist trousers from Zara are super sexy and soften up the look. The leopard print ballerinas, also from Zara, are cute and I love that season after season, we continue to see animal print in fashion. I prefer it in small doses, in like a shoe or belt. Of course, I have no idea where I found the bag. I don't know why I just saved the photo. I am sure it is something I couldn't afford anyway. I like the structure to the bag and the color is perfect.
In other fashion news, my friend Morgan gets to go on an anniversary trip with her husband next weekend! She e-mailed me this morning and wondered if I know of any places in the D.C. area that are currently selling beachwear, sundresses in particular. I thought I would open that up, since I honestly haven't been to the stores in a while (that's what two kids does to you). Does anyone have any good ideas for Morgan?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another thing that gives me goosebumps

Call me strange, but I think this commercial is so beautiful. It looks pretty, but I am most in love with the words. Does anyone know where they came from? It's kind of Dr. Seussish for adults.

I'm a Chobani girl, but this kind of makes me want to give Fage a try.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The good and the really bad

Currently, this is Ethan's favorite book. We checked Moonshot out from the library a few weeks ago and had to re-check it out since Ethan couldn't bear parting with it. We read it daily and then spend the following 20 minutes or so looking at the pictures and discussing how the moon landing happened.
I have to admit, I wanted to keep this book just as much as Ethan. It is so beautifully written - it's a poem (but not the rhyming kind) - I sometimes get chills when I read it. I think the goosebumps are due more to magnitude of the moon landing itself, but Brian Floca's words help illustrate how amazing the feat truly was in a way that a 4-year-old can understand (although he has about 100 questions each time we read it). The illustrations are nice too. I especially love the depictions of how large the rocket was to begin with and then how Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins came back to Earth a week later in a tiny little compartment that landed with a splash in the ocean.
The best part was that we went to the National Air and Space Museum with the kids last week and saw that exact tiny compartment (among many other amazing moon landing exhibits) in person. I have been to that museum more times than I can count and I never remember enjoying it so much. My fascination with all of this has led me to question why I studied what I did in college. Oh how I wish I would have gone into the sciences. I guess it's not too late...
And since we are talking about favorite books, I just had to mention my all-time LEAST favorite children's book and Ruby's current favorite:
This book was given to us a long time ago and when Ethan was Ruby's age he loved I Spy Little Bunnies too. I cannot figure out why it is so addictive, but Ruby brings it over to me several times a day and says "Ree! Ree!" It is the weirdest book. Just look at this page (taken from my phone).
The author throws "bubble clowns" out there like two little people dressed as clowns in the reflection of a bubble is a real, normal thing. The rest of the book follows suit in the weirdness category. The last page features a "toothbrush bunny," a stuffed bunny holding a toothbrush. I just can't figure out why she couldn't find more normal things for the kids to "spy." It's definitely the creepiest book we own... and that's saying a lot since the same bookcase in which it normally sits contains "Breaking Dawn."

Friday, March 4, 2011

The awakening and some seriously morbid conversations with a 4-year-old

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Every March growing up, my mom would tell us to look for buds in the trees. I'm not sure they always arrived in March (I grew up in an icebox) but the buds were a sign that Spring was coming, that after the bitter, dead winter, beautiful things could come alive again.

I walked outside yesterday to see small crimson clusters on the tree in front of my townhouse and smiled. I exclaimed to my children that there were buds on the trees and that everything was coming alive! Ethan asked what "alive" was. I sat for a second and then said, "You are alive if your heart is beating and you are breathing and moving." I obviously didn't have a clear answer. After all, trees don't really breath and all movement on their part is very, very slow. But it's like they are waking up, I said, and giving us blossoms to enjoy, no matter how short-lived they may be.

Today, Ethan asked me about death. I can't remember how the conversation started but he wanted to know what happens when we die. "Does it hurt?" Of course I said no. "Do you just get back up after you die?" I answered no again and told him that his body will be buried. I explained that his spirit will live on to the next life, in which he will learn and grow even more and then finally, when the time is right, we will all be resurrected, with our bodies. We will live again!

"So did you and Dad already die?"

"What? No."

I guess I hadn't explained it well enough. I said we will all die one day when we are really old (cross our fingers), but that won't be the end of us. We will continue on. It will be more like waking up than dying, really... kind of like the buds.

And I really hope that's true. In the meantime, I am going to brush up on both my spiritual and physical facts because, honestly, his questions are getting really hard to answer.

On a much lighter note, don't mess with these kids:

They have decided to stop smiling for the camera :-(.