Archive | lifestyle

run free

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hard to believe it, but my little adam is already 18-months-old! no longer a baby, he’s now a rather rambunctious toddler, and these days i have to get pretty creative to complete even the simplest of tasks. i put on my makeup in the bathroom while adam takes a quick bath in the morning. i answer emails with one free hand while i nurse him in the afternoon. i even practice my lunges while dancing him to sleep in my arms. because let’s face it, i’m not about to get a break. which is why i was especially excited when bugaboo asked me if i’d be interested in teaming up with them to try out their new bugaboo runner. before this shiny new beacon of light arrived at my doorstep, i was struggling to find time for even a quick jog a couple of times a week!

so when the package arrived, it was basically like christmas day. adam was squealing in delight over the big cardboard box, and i was already pulling on my jogging shorts while i ripped apart the wrapping and snapped everything into place. we’ve never tried a bugaboo before, so the first thing i noticed was the seat. adam is a particularly picky customer when it comes to strollers, so if the seat is too deep, or the harness is too clunky, he kinda freaks out because he’s basically feels ‘stuck.’ so it was pretty cool when i sat him down without the slightest protest, and he was able to sit comfortably upright with a really nice vantage point while we rolled around town. not only that, but you actually have the ability to position the seat facing you or facing the world, a unique feature among running strollers. but of course, if you already have a different bugaboo seat (like the bee3, chameleon, buffalo, or donkey), you can easily snap it into the runner chassis.

but the real test is once you get moving. the three-wheeled suspension is so smooth that it practically begs you to run. in fact, it almost feels like it glides along more smoothly the faster you go. and if you’re lucky like me, your child will also act as an exceptionally motivating personal trainer. adam particularly likes it when i run very fast for short spurts and then abruptly slow down for a bit before picking up the pace again. yep, apparently he is already versed in interval training. and if he were to have a preference for speed, it would definitely be very fast. hey, i’m not gonna argue with the kid. he clearly knows what’s good for me!

but joking aside, it’s really is huge relief to have found such an amazing stroller. it’s enabled me to get out into the world and to get more exercise while still being able to bond with my little guy. and it’s just as useful while walking around town or through the park. sure, it’s a running stroller, but it’s just as practical even when i’m not trying to fit in a workout. we’ve been taking it out for walks around town or through the park, and people even stop to complement me and ask where i got it. it’s not big or clunky or garish, just a really good tool that fits right in with our lifestyle.

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slowing down

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i’ve been pulling out my camera a lot more these days to capture little snapshots of life as it is. i think it has to do with the fact that i’ve been trying to slow down a little bit more. i’m always busy, running around trying to complete a million tasks at once. i forget to stop and smell the flowers, as they say. but once i do, i suddenly find myself appreciating the little things, like the simple act of preparing a meal. i had just bought beets and figs when i came across this recipe by five and spice on pinterest, so i decided to give it a try. my rendition is pretty much the same, except i swapped out the grilled kale for fresh spinach. the original is obviously much prettier than mine, but it still felt really good to put it together, and i was still really proud of myself for trying something new.

and isn’t it funny how the moment we slow down a little, we actually end up being more productive? when i try to work too hard, i just end up spinning my wheels. and when i try to make everything perfect, i just end up hampering my own creativity and drive. so here’s so taking a few deep breaths before taking on the week ahead.

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the toddler-friendly version of most meals usually involves a little platter with all of the ingredients separated out so adam can pick and choose what he’s interested in tasting. it usually also includes something i know he will like. he’s been eating blackberries by the carton lately!

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building blocks

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i’ve been a little scarce around these parts lately. the past two weeks have been… challenging, to say the least. adam has begun to transition from two daily naps to only one, but the transition has not been so smooth. needless to say, there have been many cranky, overtired days between the two of us while we try to figure out our new normal. thankfully, it seems like we’ve started to hit our stride again over the past couple of days. i’ve been trying to keep up with answering emails on my phone and posting a few instagram photos here and there, but most of my life has been operating offline. so i thought i’d share a few tidbits:

1. the weather is hot, so i’ve been building adam’s summer wardrobe around plain t-shirts and an assortment of different lightweight rompers, like these amazing linen overalls by jasmin lucero. they are my favorite thing ever and they basically make him look like a little vintage doll. we frequently get stopped on the street by older ladies exclaiming how he reminds them of spanky from our gang. life goals? achieved.

2. we’ve been spending a lot of time indoors, partly due to the weather, and partly due to the aforementioned sleep challenges. last week, i started taking a good look around adam’s room and realized that it was time for a few upgrades. play is super important around our house, and while i try to keep his toys age-appropriate, i also want to mix in a few things that will be challenging for him without being too frustrating. it’s a hard balance, but mega bloks are a pretty big hit around here lately. he especially loves this set because it comes with a little car base that you can build up and push around. and it’s really fun to watch his little gears going while he builds and rebuilds little structures. he’s also currently obsessed with crayons. i have a massive roll of drawing paper that i lay out on the dining room floor. i cannot believe how much time he spends drawing, making sound effects, and even telling me what he’s drawn (mostly owls, dogs, and the moon).

3. while little adam is getting lots of new things, i’m in the middle of yet another purge. since moving into our new house, i’m actually quite impressed with the number of boxes i haven’t unpacked. it’s really showed me just how much stuff i’ve been holding onto without ever actually using it. this week, i’ve been selling off a good portion of my personal wardrobe over in my instagram shop. and i still have a million more boxes of other stuff to go through. it really feels good to let go of all that literal baggage, especially because i’m currently in the process of clearing out said garage and converting it into my very own studio space. which means more room for fun stuff like the re-opening of a more permanent online shop with lots of vintage and handmade goods….

4. speaking of fun stuff, i’m about to start working on a bunch of crafty projects in the upcoming weeks! i have a couple of really awesome vintage patterns that i can’t wait to try out, and i’ve got all of my supplies lined up for a really big indigo-dying session. i’ve been doing my homework on new shibori techniques that i’m especially excited to try on some white cotton bandanas.

5. and if you’re curious about adam’s room, the shelf and baskets are all from ikea! the artwork is by fine little day, the camera is by fisher price classics, we got the badger toy pram from target, the desk is vintage, and the little toy kitchen is by hape. feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything else!

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around the house

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the weather is hot and it seems like all of my house projects have come to a standstill. over the 4th of july weekend, i started insulating our garage in 100 degree weather. i got about two thirds of the way done (on a 900 sq foot room) with the help of my brother before i decided that i might pass out from heat exhaustion if i stayed out there any longer. i also really want to get a start on clearing out our landscaping so it will be ready for planting in the fall. and i’m dreaming up the blueprint for an attached pergola for our back patio. but i’ve finally decided that with this heat, i need to shift gears and try to focus on indoor projects for another month or so.

so while i daydream about all of the outdoor spaces i want to create for this house, i’ve been making my best effort to work on my interior design. the living room is starting to come together! at first, i was a little daunted by that big blank wall near the entryway, but i took the plunge and opted for a bench and made the coatrack so there would be a place for our hats and shoes and things.

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when we first moved to our new place, i almost chucked this ikea shelf that i had in my office. but then i totally realized that it’s pretty much the perfect thing for a toddler’s room. plenty of storage for our millions of baskets, all within reach for little hands. of course i still need to actually hang the artwork, but it still looks kinda cute propped up against all of the furniture.

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smeg

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if you’ve spent any amount of time on pinterest, then you’ve probably found yourself drooling over impossible pictures of dream kitchens. i’ve been spending countless hours doing just that, because one of the larger projects that i knew i wanted to tackle in my new house was the kitchen. the house was built in 1926, but the whole kitchen was gutted and redone in 1970. at some point, i promise to share some really good “before” photos, but you can see some glimpses here: dark stained cabinets, sickly sea green tiles, and an avocado green oven! i can only assume that at one point, there was also a matching avocado refrigerator.

since i’m looking at my house as more of a restoration rather than a renovation, you might think that i’d be looking to go with a historically accurate 1920s-style kitchen. but if you really start to do research on kitchens of that era, you’ll see that they really don’t lend themselves to modern practicality. i think many people still had wood burning stoves and ice boxes! so instead, i’m going to be mixing and matching vintage elements for a space that will be modern and vintage all at once. think white painted wood cabinets with crystal door pulls, a butcher block countertop, subway tiles, a farm sink, perhaps a fancy chef’s range. i know, it might all sound way too cliche, but it’s the space i dream about creating… complete with a smeg refrigerator!

i’m sure you’ve seen it. it’s a total mid century style (but this many years later, i think we can just call it a classic). and despite a few giggles after seeing the name of the brand (did you know that it’s an acronym for smalterie metallurgiche emiliane guastalla?), i have to say, i’ve got my heart set on smeg.

image above: stadshem

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mid century wardrobe

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a couple of months back, i started browsing craigslist on a whim. i’d always wanted a vanity in my bedroom, so i could perch at the mirror in the mornings to get ready, perhaps while glamorously wearing a robe. and as luck would have it, the very first search result was for the perfect little mid century vanity. i was actually surprised to find one from that particular era, since i’d figured such things had gone out of style by the 1950s, but lo and behold there it was in all of it’s sleek, modern splendor. it was being sold individually or as part of a set with two matching wardrobes. i wasn’t in the market for such a thing, so i hopped in the car to pick up my little dresser and called it a day. but don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone? joni mitchell had it right. i almost instantly regretted that i didn’t buy the whole set, and now i can’t stop obsessing over finding one. the only catch is that by the 1950s, people definitely had closets and weren’t in the habit of keeping their clothes in giant wooden boxes. leave it to me to set my sights on some totally random piece of furniture that turns out to be rare and hard-to-find.

so while i scour craigslist and the local green sheet, here are a few inspirational images that are keeping me motivated to find my perfect wardrobe.

image above via freuden von freuden.

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summertime

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they say that memorial day marks the first unofficial day of summer. we’ve had a couple weeks of unseasonably gloomy weather so far, but the sun has finally decided to come out and play. so of course, we’re celebrating with a tiny kiddie pool in the backyard. i haven’t had a backyard since i was a kid living at home, so it’s been a fun realization that i can just step out into my own little area when the weather is nice. adam is obsessed with his pool and usually makes a beeline for the hose every time we go out, requesting, “awa awa awa.” (we taught him agua instead of water.) i foresee a lot of this in our future.

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my happy place

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you may remember a couple of months back, i teamed up with hp to share a glimpse at how i’m able to work remotely utilizing mobile technology. well, for their latest campaign, they decided to expand upon the concept and encouraged a group of bloggers to share how we work from our ultimate happy places. at the time, i’d been spending a lot of time getting sun and snapping photos at the park. when i’m feeling overwhelmed, i pack myself a little picnic and head out for a leisurely hike and a bite to eat before diving in to a busy week. it gives me a chance to clear my head and get the fresh air that i need to tackle my countless jobs, and it’s a great place to take adam so he can run free and explore nature. but not so far off the beaten track that i can’t stay connected using my hp stream 8 tablet.

they just released the video, and it’s so much fun to catch a glimpse of my own happy place among so many other varied worplaces. it’s really inspiring to see the way others work, and a good reminder to myself to turn those dreamy aspirations into a reality in my own life. if you could work from anywhere, where would you go?

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this post was created in collaboration with hp. thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.

 

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work in progress

after yesterday’s quick decor post, i realized that i hadn’t caught you up to speed on where we are with the house! we’ve just been settling in and slowly unpacking for the most part, but i thought it might be fun to share some of the “before” photos of the house in the week prior to moving in! as i’ve shared before, the house was built in 1926 with one major renovation done in 1970. it’s got tons of vintage features like crystal door knobs, the original hex tiles in the bathroom, and beautiful vintage windows throughout. i was immediately drawn to it because it had not been updated with the standard builders grade cabinets or granite countertops, and it still maintained a lot of it’s original integrity. something that i could renovate to fit my tastes and restore to it’s original vintage charm.

our first task? ripping out the terrible brown wall-to-wall carpeting that was covering the original hardwood floors. we knew there were wood floors under there, but it was a mystery as to what kind of condition they were in! i had been itching to get in there and pull it all up the entire time we were in escrow, and i can’t tell you how satisfying it was to finally get rid of that stuff! fortunately for us, the floors were in pretty decent condition, so we were able to move in. unfortunately, they’re still going to need to be refinished!


the moment of truth. pulling up the first corner of carpeting to reveal the floors underneath.


my hands were sore for days after pulling out every single staple from the floors with a pair of pliers. it seemed as though there were thousands!


i was most concerned about adam’s bedroom because even before we pulled out the carpeting, i could tell that a wall had been removed between the original room and a service porch. fortunately, the wood floors ran all the way through the room, but it definitely needs to be refinished along the area where the walls and closets had been. there were also a few holes where there had previously been hot and cold water pipes and what appears to have been a water closet! kinda gross, but it cleaned up pretty well, and i’ve covered it up with rugs in the meantime. also note those heavy seafoam green drapes straight from 1970! imagine this room after they set it up that year, complete with green shag carpet!



those vintage crystal door knobs are my favorite!

 

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5 simple summer decor ideas

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well, we finally did it! we moved into our little dream house. now we can just lay back and relax, right?  yeah, right after we unpack the piles of boxes and get to work on refinishing the wood floors, getting a new electrical panel, painting all of the kitchen cabinets… the list goes on! but just because we’ve got a big job ahead of us, doesn’t mean we can’t do simple little things around the house to brighten the mood. in fact, it’s pretty much a requirement when everything else is in disarray. so when glade challenged me to come up with 5 simple home decor tips for the summer season, it was just the kick in the butt i needed to spruce things up around this place while things get back to normal.

so without further adieu, here’s my list of 5 quick (and inexpensive) fixes around the house that have already made a major difference in welcoming the summer season, and helping to brighten up our little work-in-progress.

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1. arrange items by color. this is a really simple decor idea that utilizes objects you already have in your home. change things up by reorganizing all of the books on your shelf by color instead of title. or go to the baby’s room and pick out a selection of toys in one color to highlight on a shelf or ledge. you can even rearrange the cosmetics on your vanity for a quick visual refresh. the fun with this one is that you can pick and choose which color to work with as the seasons change. i’m especially smitten with yellows and oranges for the warm summer months.

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2. fresh flowers. probably one of my favorite cheap tricks for livening up the house is to run to the farmer’s market on saturday mornings to buy a few bunches of fresh flowers. these yellow and orange tulips are an instant mood lift and make me feel so much more happy in my home, even if the rest of the place is a disaster zone while we unpack all of the boxes!

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3. fresh fruit. it’s easy to add a few pops of color with seasonal blooms, but don’t forget the possibilities sitting right in your own kitchen! think outside the box (or kitchen, as it were) and slice a few citrus fruits to use as a centerpiece on the table or as an accent on the bar cart when guests come to visit. not only does fresh fruit add a cheerful ambience, but it smells delicious, and won’t go to waste. greyhounds, anyone?

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4. decorate with seasonal accessories. summer is quickly approaching, and all i can think about are lazy days spent lounging by the lake. with a laundry list of things to do and a toddler running around, i sometimes forget to take a step back and live a little! i gathered up some of my beach-going accessories that i already had in my closet and arranged them at the foyer, all ready for an impromptu trip to the lake. it creates a carefree ambience that really lightens the mood as you enter the house. and hey, you never know when the occasion might present itself!

5. add texture. i’ve been spotting lots of pretty woven wall-hangings on pinterest lately, so i decided to give one a try. i made this simple little textile in just a couple of hours, and it’s already made a big impact. i tend to be a bit reserved when it comes to the decor in my home, so this quick little tapestry was an easy, no-commitment way for me to step outside of my comfort zone and test drive a different color.

this post was created in partnership with glade and was inspired by their limited edition scent, soak it in summer swim. thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.

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