January 29, 2008

Furniture Find

The red color matches our love seat perfectly.
I like swirls.

With all of the space in our new apartment I feel like I can finally get some furniture...like a real adult. Brian and I have been wanting more seating in our living room (We only had very small loveseat.) and some dining chairs. I think it is so hard to shop for furniture. It's either expensive and nice or cheap and not nice. And it's a commitment either way. We went searching through Ikea but didn't find anything that we liked at a price we liked. I guess that's the problem with a big apartment and a small budget. So, I searched everyday on craigslist until I found a few items I thought we might like. Last Saturday I picked up a Honda Element Zipcar to haul all my new finds. I was going to get some very nice dining chairs, but the owners decided they wanted to keep them at the last minute. Bummer!

The chair is originally from Pier 1, and it still in great condition. The only problem was the back cushion had lost some of it's "fluff", so we added some leftover memory foam that we bought for our bed and stuffed that inside. Now it is perfect!

January 26, 2008

Brett & Alex's Wedding--the family

Lining up for family photos

Setting up for the reception

Gillian--so cute!
Cousin Sara, Aunt Ann, and Aunt Evelyn
Waiting for Brett & Alex to exit the Temple

Brett & Alex's Wedding

January 19, 2008


I LOVE these beautiful naturally dyed eggs found on craftastica. She gives all the recipes and formulas for what works best. I just LOVE the warm colors. I think I will start working on Easter eggs next week.

January 16, 2008


As a kid I remember going through a phase where I made purses and all items you might find in a purse completely out of construction paper, glue and staples. Looking back I really went all out: lipstick, checkbooks, coins, coin purses, etc. I vaguely remember using a lot of staples, which I think is pretty funny. The more feminine side of me was shining through but I was still industrious about it! "Please, apply my beautiful pretend lipstick. But be careful of that tiny piece of metal sticking out of it."

That brings me to one of my favorite finds of the day...yesterday...The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. I stumbled upon her blog, SouleMama, when looking at Small Magazine, which I found on the awesome blog, Oh Happy Day. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) :)

I love Amanda's goals/views/philosophies about the creative family and I hope to be able to implement them in my own family as we grow and mature.

In The Creative Family you'll learn how to:

  • Have more fun with fewer toys
  • Create unique works of art to display, share, and give
  • Share the tradition of handmade crafts
  • Explore the wonders of nature with your children
  • Make every holiday handmade
  • Connect as a family through everyday celebrations
Here in Manhattan parents spend tons of money on simple art classes for little kids. For example, if I wanted to (and I don't) sign Isabella up for an hour long creative class at Kidville it would cost about $750 for 17 weeks; that's $44 per class for a 15 month old! It is completely absurd. Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't want to get sucked into thinking that's what my child needs (or deserves) in order to be creative.

I want to encourage and value simple creativity in my Isabella (and future kiddos). I think right now I'm on a bit of a personal journey trying to discover, create, or accept a more creative me. I've been so inspired by others creativity and I really, really want to create.

January 15, 2008

Manic Mondays

I know today is Tuesday, but I've recently been noticing that my Mondays are awesome and then the rest of the week I'm not quite sure what happens.

Sunday night I went to bed around 9pm woke to the baby at 4am. She went back to sleep without help. (So wonderful!) With seven hours of good solid sleep I felt fantastic. (I don't think I've slept that much since my first trimester of pregnancy.) And I got busy.

The house was a complete mess and all my science stuff was everywhere from the weekend's parties. I got the dishes done, everything put away (the living room floor was literally covered with toys and junk), the laundry going, and took a shower before the baby got up at 7am. I felt good the rest of the day. Organized a few more things, made lunch and took it to Brian, ran errands, and had dinner ready for Brian when he came home in the evening. It was great.

Then today came. Isabella refused to take her nap, she refused to eat anything but applesauce and insisted on feeding herself (which is oh, so messy). I put her to bed early, so she's finally sleeping, Brian's not home yet, the floor is completely covered in toys (again!) and I have no clue what I will make for dinner. And Brian just rang the bell!


Hopefully Wednesday will be wonderful.

January 11, 2008

Gift of the Year

A few months ago my Blackberry Pearl took its last, finally fatal, tumble right outside The Ambassador Theater (where Chicago is showing) on W 49th St. I was so sad to see it go and I hadn't realized how much I had grown accustomed to its constant source of information until it was gone. I reluctantly stuck my SIM into my old Samsung and fell behind on my e-mail correspondence. Intentionally I expressed my woes to Brian, who really enjoys buying me cool tech stuff.

I was almost certain another sleek Pearl would show up at Christmas time. Especially when one evening a few weeks ago I was cleaning out Brian's coat, getting ready to hang it up. I put my hand inside one of the inside pockets and Brian suddenly yelled, "STOP!" My hand had touched something, but I wasn't sure what (definitely tech related) when I dropped it back into the dark pocket. I assumed it was a Pearl, but it hadn't felt like one.

Come Christmas morning Brian was full of surprises! Brian gave me two gifts. The first was a 2 GB memory for the camera. And the second I totally freaked out over when I opened it.

WOW! He did it again! Completely unexpected.

That's not all! This is a VERY special iPhone! Brian spent a lot of time researching iPhones and was able to purchase one of the first models brand new from Apples refurbished division online. From what he tells me those models are hackable and the newer ones are not. So, Brian, of course hacked it. Now I use T-Mobile on my beautiful, fabulous iPhone.


From what I've read, it was the gift of the year!

Network World Gift Guide: How the iPhone stole Christmas

2007: iPhone Tops Big Tech Year

Snowmobiling in California

Brian & Me

Sean & Kristen: "We come in peace!"

Look at that view! It was so gorgeous! And so is my hubby, of course!

Kayle, as always, was so wonderful and generous to take us out to play for a day on his toys. He started a cool business about a year and a half ago called Executive Style Boat Club, where he operates a membership based fun club...basically. I've never been snowmobiling so I was nervous but it was a lot of fun. One thing that I particularly enjoyed about this trip was where we went, Iron Mountain, a deserted ski resort. It felt a bit like a ghost town, but once you got past the boarded up lodge and onto the slopes it was absolutely beautiful. We were there the whole day and only saw maybe 15-20 people sledding or snowmobiling. The snowmobiling was thrilling and fun, but when others were riding out of earshot it was the most peaceful, beautiful place I have been to in a long, long time.

I also have to express extreme gratitude to Mom who so willingly and wonderfully watched Isabella ALL day. I've never been away from my little one so long, but Mom did a great job and it was a super nice mini vacation/long date.

One funny story about snowmobiling...

There were five of us and two snowmobiles that could each hold two riders. Sean snowboarded down the mountain and the rest of us took the snowmobiles down on a switchback path. We figured the three smallest of the bunch could fit on one mobile on the way back up the mountain. I was on the three passenger mobile...

On the way back up the mountain, as soon as we took our first turn, all three of us spilled off the snowmobile. We tried again and were pretty successful around a couple of turns. (Snowmobiling is really quite harder than it looks. It's just a sled with an engine, really.) After making it around a hairpin turn Brian, our trusted driver, picked up some speed. But we must have all been leaning a bit in the wrong direction because we all toppled off and the snowmobile kept going.

Even though the engine shut off the snowmobile still had momentum, snow, and gravity working against it. So, down the mountain it went. Kristen and I tried our hardest to run after it but we were no competition; with every step we would fall into the snow past our knees. There was a bit of a bump in the snow that I figured would stop the runaway snowmobile. It slowly reached the bump and slowly went over it, down the mountain even further, right for a tree. Finally...it stopped. The amazing part was, it never hit the tree! It was within three inches I'm sure, but never touched it.

A very fun adventure indeed!

January 8, 2008

Christmas in California

Since Brian and I have been married (5 years last August, so 6 Christmas') we have not spent a single Christmas in California until this last one. We switch off between families every other year, but when it's my family's turn we have gone to Brooks & Sophie's in Settle or Anika & David's in Cleveland until now. Since Brett was getting married on December 28th it brought almost all the family together for Christmas as well.

I didn't take many photos of us, adults, on Christmas--mostly just the kids. Who really wants to see a bunch of gross, pajama ridden adults when there are cute kids to photograph?!
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