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Monday, May 22, 2017

Walk It Out

I don't know about you, but Kate Middleton is one of my ultimate mom inspirations - she's even rocking a hat like the best of us!  
Before kids, I liked to keep my workouts varied. That time was my time to decompress from a day at the office, and it was fun to switch between running, pilates, circuit training...well, as fun as working out can be :). But now it seems like that window of time has disappeared completely into the dinner/bath/bedtime blur.
So far, my solution has been to embrace walking. The fresh air makes everyone happy, sometimes I can time it with a baby nap, and it helps me get moving in the middle of the day and gives me a little endorphin bump. 
One thing that I've noticed recently is that listening to podcasts make this time feel extra productive! Of course, sometimes my toddler wants to talk the entire time. But if she's dozing, then popping an earbud in to listen to something that makes me feel like an informed adult makes a huge difference. Here are some that I've been enjoying lately:
Do you have any favorites? Help me pass the miles! 
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Starry Night

Our youngest, Livia, is currently in a teeny-tiny little nursery. She doesn't need anything bigger right now, but I do want it to look like a cozy little girl's room, instead of the office/huge closet it might have been before we moved in :). I've always loved the wallpapered ceiling in these two rooms:

via 

via

Like I said, her room is tiny, and the walls aren't exactly square, so I wasn't confident about tackling a wallpaper project on the ceiling. I had stenciled a wall with the same style star in her big sister's room in another house, but my shoulders were aching just thinking of painting at that angle! So...I cheated. Big time.

I just used wall decals! I found some that were the right size on Amazon, and once they arrived, all I had to do was measure and mark where they'd go on the ceiling. You want to create an even spacing between all of them, and I found it easiest to work in rows to stay on track (even with the odd angles in the room). 

They're metallic and catch the light in a lovely way - Liv is always talking and pointing at them when I get her up in the morning now!

It was such a quick and easy addition to her little room - my favorite kind of makeover!

 

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day Ideas

This feels kind of funny to write since a lot of you are mamas yourselves, but feel free to pass it along to your husbands or big kids who might want ideas...or treat yourself! You deserve it. :)

- Breakfast in bed: This was always how we started Mother's Day growing up. Of course, it looked nothing like the pretty scene above, but moms appreciate over-done toast and spilled orange juice too, I think...maybe just offer to make/clean the bed if necessary at the end for an extra bonus! 

 

- Homemade cards: Homemade is always a winner, and even kiddos as young as a year will love playing with watercolor with some supervision! I've started letting my toddler paint a stack at once, and then save them to turn into cards for family throughout the year. 

 

- Flowers: Whether it's a beautiful bouquet from the florist or a random assortment foraged from a yard, if you tie a ribbon around it and put it by her bed, she'll feel the love when she wakes up the morning after Mother's Day, too.

 

- Spa time: This can be a gift certificate to a fancy spa, or just promised time for her to get some uninterrupted pampering at home. I love to do face masks while painting my nails...and with my new favorite candle burning, I'd feel like I was at the spa without a commute!

 

But when it comes down to it, getting to sleep in and some extra hugs throughout the day will make all of us happy :). Happy day to the rest of you lovelies!

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter Table

Last year I collected some of my favorite ways to decorate Easter eggs - and they're still my favorite! So this year I'm thinking about the rest of the table, and ways to bring some extra pretty to one of my favorite days of the year.

 

My girls would love this jelly bean tree

I like this ombre flower arrangement for a centerpiece; it can be nice and low so that you can still see and talk with everyone at the table: 

This is one of the sweetest spring wreaths I've ever seen: 

I have one of these porcelain bunnies from Target (the gilded ear got me!) and I'm tempted to get a few friends to go with it this year: 

And last but certainly not least, I first made this carrot cake for Easter a few years ago, and I'm not allowed to an Easter brunch unless I bring it now. And you won't hear me complaining, because it's one of the easiest cakes I've ever made, and it's so so good. It deserves a spot on your table!

 

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cooking with Kiddos

I realized something today, as I made muffins with my three-year-old: cooking with her used to drive me crazy, but now we both actually like it! So I tried to pay closer attention to what we were doing to see if I could pinpoint exactly what I'd changed. Here's what I came up with:

1. Dress the part! This sounds sort of high-maintenance, but in our house it actually just means getting her hair out of her face and tossing on one of my own aprons to give her clothes a better chance of surviving. It helps me chill out, and she gets excited knowing that she's going to be a "baker"...and makes her less likely to lose interest and run off halfway through. 

2. Don't rush! I often feel like I'm rushing through the day - so a reminder to let her do the simple steps (instead of thinking that I could do them in 1/10th the time) is always good.

3. Lower your expectations! I love cooking and baking and like to do things from scratch, but when you have a tiny sous chef, it makes sense to make things as easy as possible. So today, we were just using a box mix and adding in a few ingredients to make it more exciting. Plus, if I've taken a shortcut like that then I'm more likely to take other extra steps that make it more fun for her (like measuring things out into their own containers so that she can do the dumping and mixing).

4. Embrace the mess! It'll take two seconds to clean when you're done, and in the meantime, she'll think you're co-conspirators when you say "let's just take a lick first" ;). 

5. Turn it into a show! This is the simplest one: don't forget to turn the oven light on, so they can proudly watch their creations baking! 

 

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