Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pregnancy | 5 Women and their Pregnancy Style Secrets

So, I'm not pregnant (scout's honor!), but I know that a few of my readers are. About a week ago Refinery 29 interviewed and photographed 5 women on their style and beauty regimen during their respective pregnancies. Their tips are great and each woman's style is different and has a life all it's own.

When I was pregnant with Sebastian, I made the mistake of buying way too many overpriced, drab maternity clothes. It was an extremely frustrating experience, and I still "joke" with Cody about how I should have burned my maternity jeans after having Seb. They were awful. Next time around, I'll take these women's tips to heart. I hope you enjoy reading it and find some useful info as you navigate the world of maternity clothes. Read the article, here.

Do you have any tips, favorite stores, or silhouettes that carried/are carrying you through your pregnancy?


Food | The perfect salad

Your choice of salad mix
Pecans or almonds
Goat or Feta cheese
Dried fruit. I prefer cherries.


Summer Savory Dressing
1 c. oil
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. savory

Cody is starting to blame my salad addiction for causing me to spend too much on groceries. 
He might be right.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saving face | Yes To

Hi friends! Just popping in again to tell you about the skincare line called Yes To. Have you heard of it? I bought some of the facial towelettes for my sister for her birthday, but had no idea about the other products in their line, or how they are made without parabens, SLS, petroleum and phthalates. You should check out their site here and get 35% off your purchase. And since their line is already reasonably priced, I think this is a really good deal.

Have you used any products in the Yes To line? I'm curious, what skincare products do you normally use? I've used Mary Kay for ages, and really like it. It saved my skin from it's constantly irritated state. No bueno. I've been shopping around for a good eye cream though, and thought I would try something new. I ended up buying this soothing eye gel. I have a terrible time with dark circles. Maybe this will help!

Thanks, Happenstance, for clueing me in to this great line.


North Carolina | Trails & Jogging Strollers

Since moving to Durham, our sidewalk walking days have been practically nonexistent. However, a friend told us about the Duke Forest trail, and we love it. I joke that when I take Seb there we're going on a hike—not a walk. It's 3 miles long, has some crazy hills, and although the terrain is pretty smooth, I have to wrestle with our Bumbleride Flite the whole way.

Although I'm sure it's a much better workout for me to not have a jogging stroller, I think I would be more inclined to take the trail (and maybe even run it?) if I had something that could take the terrain a little smoother. Do you have a jogging stroller? What brand? I have been looking at Craigslist and have found a couple that I think we might get. Both Baby Joggers, I think, and cheap cheap cheap. (Yesssss)

Right now, however, I'm daydreaming about this one. You can even get an adapter set that allows you to put an infant carseat in it. I'm all about the versatility.

Do you have trails you like to exercise on?

P.S. Running Mom


Style | Color blocking: making more than just a splash in the fashion industry.

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I read today that there are, at most, two new trends that stick and transform the fashion industry each decade. I can tell you honestly that that is a fact I will remember every time I label something as "timeless" in an attempt to justify buying it. Unless it is time tested, it may not be around for very long. The same source seems to think that this decade's big trend-to-classic fashion idea is bright, unexpected color pairings, otherwise known as color blocking. What do you think? Although I've enjoyed the pops of color I've been seeing everywhere, I'll forever be hopelessly in love with neutrals.

And since we're on the style subject, here are a few things that I love. These shoes are everywhere, and I am in desperate need of new jeans. I've ripped holes in my last favorite pair. What's the best jean brand you've found?


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Monday, August 29, 2011

Home | The start of something new

Today marks Cody's first day of graduate school. I so wish I had thought to get a picture of him holding his lunch and wearing his backpack. He was very excited, but as always, we miss having at home with us. Seb starts making this pathetic "bah bah baaaahhh!" sound that increases in desperation when Cody is leaving. It's just terrible. It makes me very glad that I don't have to leave him every day.

It has been so fun to notice the little changes in Seb and how he is growing up. I want it to stop, but I also love it and get so excited for the next thing. He is very content to run around the apartment and play by himself, finding spots where his toys are stashed, carrying our shoes around to different rooms—a favorite activity, which makes Cody's ability to find his shoes next to nonexistent—stacking blocks, looking at books, and talking on his old cell phone that PawPaw and Mamaw sent him . This morning I noticed that he was very quiet, so I peeked around the chair that was obstructing my view of him, and the above is what I saw. Bubble wrap is classic entertainment. He is 15 months old today, and no longer a baby. I love my little toddler dude.

In other, and very exciting news, my mom and little sister are visiting tomorrow! I spent the morning doing some cleaning, and have been making a mental list of all the places I can take them. I'm also hoping that my mom will help me with a few sewing projects, and that Joanna will make me some funnel cakes! I love visits. Hint hint.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Inspiration

Lotte, of the blog Belle Fleur de Lis: An Inside Garden Diary, working with her plants.

Welcome to weekend posting! I thought about calling my weekend series something like, "Ain't ever gonna happen wishlist." But then that sounds pessimistic and unhappy, doesn't it? The goal of my blog isn't to list off a number of impossible wishlists and make you and myself unhappy about what we can't have, but to share with you things that are inspiring. I love beautiful, well-made, marvelous things, and unfortunately, that usually means $$$.

But maybe not "unfortunately"... I think it's good to tell ourselves no. If every pretty dress, every amazing bag, and every inspiring painting were within our reach, we would never have to deny ourselves, and well, let's be honest, we'd all have a whole lot of crap collecting in our houses and our hearts and before we knew it would be featured on that hoarding show called "Buried Alive."

And when it comes down to it, that's not how we want to live. So that was a long way of saying that I want to share some lovely things with you, and maybe they'll inspire a diy, or something to give or ask for as a Christmas gift. Mostly I hope that you will enjoy with me the creativity, ingenuity and amazing craftsmanship and talent displayed in these pieces.

I also hope to highlight a new-to-me blog each week to give us added inspiration for the weekend. Today's is a blog called Belle Fleur de Lis: An Inside Garden Diary. I start with this blog because it captures one thing that is extremely inexpensive and tremendously rewarding and beautiful—the best way to decorate, in my opinion: Gardening. There is nothing like plants living with you in your home. If you haven't tried it, go to a home improvement store and find a Pothos plant. Want something more tree-like? Corn plant. They are virtually impossible to kill, but so beautiful. So when you're lamenting that you can't buy that $50 dollar pillow that would make your living room pop, see if a $3 plant might do the trick. I hope you enjoy Lotte's simple posts and sincere love of plants and crochet.

Also, here's what made this week's "awesome list."

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Fashion | Shoes for Fall

My trusty pair of Minnetonka moccasins are showing some wear—probably all that snow, ice, rain and salt that I subjected them to. I would like to replace them, and possibly with something a bit different, but with still the same look. Here are a few styles that I love. Are you getting new casual shoes this fall? Any recommendations?

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P.S. Have you signed up for the new Madewell catalog?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

North Carolina | Music at The American Tobacco Campus

Hello, dear friends. I want to start sharing with you about our experiences in North Carolina, and more specifically, the Durham/Chapel Hill/Raleigh areas, although I hope we will be able to travel around the state a bit, too. I can guarantee that many of the things I will share are not going to be specific to this state, but they will be things that are new and fun to us.
Last weekend we went to an outdoor bluegrass concert at the American Tobacco Campus. Durham is historically known for it’s Tobacco production, and it has left it’s mark on the city. The downtown area is smattered with gorgeous, large brick tobacco buildings that now house restaurants, art galleries, art studios, and even apartments. The particular spot that we went to had a man-made stream, courtyard with spongy North Carolina grass, and some neat restaurants—Durham is known for it’s great restaurants. The band was called Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and they were so good. I loved the mellow and intriguing music that seemed to combine a bit of jazz + bluegrass + indie rock. Or not—I don’t know much about music. Ha! Oh hold up, I just read on their website that no one really knows what type of music they play, because it’s such a fun mesh of styles. So I guess I wasn’t too far off!
Seb loved hanging out, and surprisingly didn’t try to go for a swim in the stream right in front of us, and only went ‘round visiting with strangers once. What a good little dude, eh? 
Do you have outdoor music events where you live?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fashion | What to don in your first ever hurricane

Maybe you've heard, maybe you haven't, but we're about to get a hurricane up in here! I'm usually a bit of a ninny when it comes to severe weather, but we're just far enough away that I must admit I'm a bit excited.

Hello, we don't get hurricanes in Michigan, or Ohio...

So basically, we're about to get some rain, or at least that is what this guy below tells me. Saturday afternoon you say? Well okay, then!

Naturally, my next thought is, "What should I do to prepare?" I don't think I'll need to be boarding up the windows any time soon, but I will probably be needing to make sure I have some proper footwear?

Yes, yes. Or no?

Thanks weather forecast. I liked where I was a moment ago. Lots. Of. Rain. I guess my first hurricane is going to be nothing too exciting after all...

Darn. I do love rain.

Decor | No sad walls around here!

Yes, you were all thinking it. “When is Mary going to get her butt in gear and make something?” 
Okay, maybe you weren’t, but I was.
When one decorates a new apartment, decisions must be made. Sometimes walls that would have once been gloriously covered are left barren. Such is the sad story of our bedroom wall. Our living room was begging for the wedding picture that used to hang above our bed, so I decided to get creative so that said bedroom wall would have some happiness, too. I instantly thought of some pillow-type of monogram made out of this rug I bought at the Women’s Commissioners sale a couple years ago. It ripped recently, but I loved the pattern and colors so much that I didn’t want to throw it out, so I kept it for a project such as this.
It would have been ideal to print out enormous letters in my chosen font, but we don’t have a printer, let alone a large one, so I picked a typeface that I liked and eyeballed it on some heavy drawing paper. I was a bit nervous about the sleek, modern font that I chose, called LT Oksana, but using it as a reference accomplished exactly the look I was hoping for. I wanted something clean, but not boring, so that the texture, pattern, and color of the rug would be the focus.
Have you ever tried something like this? The most difficult part for me was making the letters (don’t forget a 1/4” seam allowance! The “M” was just about the end of me.), but after that, it was a fairly simple process. I also recommend making things easier on your self and sewing a zig zag stitch around the outside instead of turning the letters with the seam inside. Of course, if your monogram is made with a chunky font, turning them shouldn’t be a big deal. Fortunately for me, the visible zig zag stitch works beautifully with the whole look of my monogram.

Have you had any bursts of craftiness lately? Or maybe some really good ideas?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seb | What he’s been up to

This beautiful little man is a trooper. Despite the cold he came down with just days before we left Michigan (and passed on to us!), he did wonderfully during our long trip to North Carolina and throughout our first weeks, even managing to help us with various tasks! Despite how well he’s done, it’s been hard on him. In addition to his cold, he’s teething pretty badly—several swollen spots where his molars are coming in. Walks have been scarce, and carseat time has been frequent due to our many exploration/shopping trips. It breaks my heart when I think of how joyful he has been despite the challenges of these weeks. I think the highlight of his days right now is getting his teeth brushed at night.
Pointing is his favorite. He’s always trying to show us something cool that he’s noticed.
He’s been spending lots of time with Dada. It’s going to be hard on him when Cody starts school. He's also getting really good at understanding to "give it to dada!" It's impossibly adorable when he toddles down the hallway with a block to find Cody.
Which brings me to the next thing... He’s walking everywhere! It’s so fun to watch him waddle about the house and carry his tennis balls around. We just bought him some new soft soled shoes for wearing around inside. Do you know of any cute, but sturdy enough toddler shoes? I know Bobux has some good ones. Traditional baby shoe soles are just so stiff and clunky, and the poor little guy can barely take a step without tripping.
Newest talent? Talking on the phone! Just a few days ago the three of us were in the living room, when we looked over at Seb and realized that he was chatting away with someone on the “phone.” It was actually the tv remote, but he was holding it to his ear, pacing the room, and just jabbering away to his imaginary friend on the other end! It was quite possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Grrrraaarrrrr... Yes, he’s a growler! The skies turn blue when you growl at him, and you get extra points if you flail your arms in the air and scream when he growls at you. Just yesterday he almost passed out from laughing so hard. Man I love this little guy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home | Surfacing in Durham

Hi friends! I just have a few minutes at our local (yes, I said local!) Barnes & Noble to post a little update. Right now, it goes something like this: 

I love our apartment. It was surprising to me how much I would love our off white walls and white trim.

I still haven't been behind the wheel in N.C., which needs to change because I have no idea how to get places!

We visited an African Anglican church today and loved it. We've decided to go their consistently for the next few weeks instead of church hopping from the start, because we liked what we saw, the people we met, and because we both really want to get integrated into a community as quickly as possible. 

We've been to Super Target every day. Lame, but necessary.

Their are loads of pine trees, which I love, because it makes me feel like I'm in Florida, which is the only southern state I have to compare to N.C.

I have so much more to say, but Seb is getting sleepy. I'll try to get with it and write a more substantial update soon!

P.S. More photos to come! This was the only angle of the house that was tidy and (mostly) finished. It's such a process, but I'm having fun and enjoying our closets!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Home | We're off

We left our home late yesterday, and are leaving Wilmington early tomorrow for N.C. Can I cry yet? Oh yea. I already have. Let me tell you, last night was the first time I ever teared up because I was entering Ohio. I won't focus on the sob story, but there isn't a whole lot on my mind right now, except that I want to get in the car tomorrow and drive north.  We won't have internet for a few days, but I'll update with pictures, and I hope, something a little more uplifting when I get a chance.

For now, I'm focusing on a few things that always make me happy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Decor | A roundup of inspiring home items

Lovely ombre bags. I want these cylindrical ones for dirty laundry! via

DIY chevron striped ceiling fan. via

The most lovely crib bedding. I am going to have to find a way to make my own. via

I love the idea of having a kitchen island, but hate how they often feel bulky. This one solves that problem.

image - decorating with baskets and lovely rugs.

p.s. This is in no way decor related, but thought it was so lovely and personally challenging. How to talk to little girls.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seb | He'll always be a good midwestern boy

My sister and her roomies threw a going away party for us on Friday. It was such a lovely gathering with wonderful friends and some of the tastiest food I've enjoyed. Seb wasn't very hungry, so he opted for playing corn hole instead. Then, after partying hard, he snuggled up on his auntie's lap and listened to some tunes. We'll miss this place and the people so very much. Michigan, you haven't seen the last of us.