Wednesday, December 16, 2015

new home progress: the living room

Lets jump right in. I agonized for weeks over a sofa choice. Norah and I spend a good amount of time in the family room throughout the days, and Will and I love to watch TV together to wind down at the end of the day, so the sofa is a big deal in our house. Unfortunately, since most take several weeks to come in, time was somewhat of the essence. After browsing countless websites like Wayfair, Overstock, Ballard, Ethan Allen, and West Elm, and then actually shopping in person at Crate and Barrell and Restoration Hardware, we (I) decided on this one.

This is a mix of stock images + iPhone pictures I took in our local store. It doesn't look particularly special, which is kind of what I was going for. I wanted something modern but classic. Something that would be a good quality, and match different decor if we decided to change other things in the room. It's only shown in the basic Sand, but we ordered Taupe, which is the swatch on the bottom of the picture below. Shadowy phone pictures aren't the best at showing true color, but it's much better than the website mockup.

The top swatch is a color called Mist which represents the two accent chairs we purchased. These are probably the pieces of furniture I'm most excited about getting. I absolutely love the look and am really proud of myself for ordering something custom that I believe in rather than just picking stock colors and fabrics. Not to mention, I feel like such a bum sometimes when I spend all day on and off the couch. This will give me a comfy place to sit in the living room without feeling like I'm about to take a nap. We bought two of the Lyon Chair the white washed wood in the Mist fabric. I won't even bother with the online version of the wood and our color, because the fabric looks nothing like it does in real life. Any interested parties will just be waiting around until "late February" with me to see the finished product!

Next on the agenda for this room are a rug and end tables, but we'll most likely wait and buy those things until we're in the house next month. Until next time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

holiday & house update

Where to even begin? We have had so much fun this holiday season already I barley know where to start.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Very low key, and everyone had a good time. I'm generally a stickler about Norah's bedtime but decided to let her stay up with the big people for the holiday. She was a little cranky but it made the memories that much more special because she was involved instead of in her crib asleep. On Thanksgiving Day we ate with Will's family, then on Friday my mom and sister came in for a visit. Friday was also my sister's 17th birthday, so it was nice to spend that day with her too. Saturday the families united for a wonderful, long, and decadent dinner at what has become one of my favorite restaurants, Eddie Merlot's. This is the same place we announced our pregnancy to Will's parents last year (with my mom and sister in tow, and no, I'm not pregnant) so it has a special place in my heart. I took 0 pictures of any of this, but that just means we had the best time. I have bought a few here and there of N in some of her holiday outfits.

Come to think of it this one  actually was one Thanksgiving.

Aside from that, our holiday agenda has included just overall preparing for Christmas. Shopping, decorating, and attending lots of family friendly holiday events. The Christmas cards are being addressed and our annual events like family get togethers and friend dinners are on the calendar. We're also going to see The Nutcracker which I cannot wait for!

In other news, we're getting a house! It's hard for me to believe these things are really true until they give me the keys, but we're under contract, so it looks like it's going to happen. While we loved our current home, it is just so far out from the things we like to do. We are buying in an area just 15 minutes from Downtown (as opposed to our 30+ now). It's a great school district, the entire village is a historical landmark, and most importantly, it's walkable to so many things. Parks, restaurants, shops, schools. We really cannot wait to start this chapter.

Along with an older home is going to come a little bit of downsizing and lotta bit of renovations. We are starting with the biggest job of all, the kitchen. I'm terrified, but also excited. We've had our first meeting with the contractor and can't wait to move on to the next steps, which will hopefully happen soon. Anyone that has been through a kitchen renovation, I would love your advice and tips! These are a few pictures of what we're going for. My current must haves are white tile backsplash (either a classic subway pattern or herringbone), white countertops and cabinets, wood floors, farm sink,
and a classic look. I've pinned a ton of ideas here.

We've begun looking at furniture, and planning other smaller renovations throughout the house, and I really can't wait to get my Fixer Upper on.

In other news Norah has been hit with the sickness that appears to be going around. So many "bad" diapers. A round of projectile vomitting. Fever. You get the idea. We'll be quarantined all week it looks like, so wish me luck! Linking up with Jess today.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

We're back! life news

It has been a ridiculously long time since I've posted, and I miss these updates. With the usual hustle and bustle of life in the summer, working part time, Will traveling, and Norah being go-go-go, there just hasn't been time to blog. While I'm still working my Rodan+Fields business, I had my last day at my part time project a couple of weeks ago, so I'm hoping to have more time to post. I'm honestly not too sad to see that chapter of life close. I genuinely thought I'd enjoy the part time, work from home role, and while for the most part I did, it was just too much on my plate. N only naps once a day now, and the naps were rarely long enough for me to get much work done. I'm glad I gave it a shot but am definitely ready to have that weight off my shoulders. I've said it once I'll say it again, to all the single parents or parents who run business from home while taking care of kiddos- I have no idea how you do it!

What else have we been up to the past couple of months?

We sold our house! I blogged about the process of buying our first home a couple of years ago, and boy have we loved living here. The neighbors and friendships we've formed are irreplaceable. This is the home we lived in when I found out we'd have our first child, definitely our biggest milestone yet. We brought Norah home from the hospital to this home. We've hosted several parties and showers. It's been great. I have however felt very overwhelmed by the size, and honestly think it was a little too big for our first home. We're not living in a mansion by any means, but with the majority of the days consisting of just me and a toddler, it's just so much to clean and maintain. Not to mention the yard work. We also kind of fell in love with another community a few miles away. After much deliberation, we decided to list our house and see what happened, and it sold in six days! We couldn't believe it. We'll close in January and are currently on the hunt for our new home. The search has been emotional, but I think we're closing in on something. The community we're headed to has much older homes so we'll likely be doing some renovations, which I cannot wait to post about. It's also walkable and I am so excited to be able to pop out the door with the stroller and hit up Starbucks, the library, park, etc. Here's to new adventures.

Norah has been growing, learning, and taking over our hearts more each day. This girl knows what she wants, and communicates it with either words or directing you throughout the house until you figure out what she wants to do, eat, etc. She is becoming so sweet and such a little person. It's truly a joy to watch. She never sits still and is always exploring, which is also fun to watch. That said, the learning and growing comes with stubbornness and tantrums too, so by bed time, I'm generally feeling like I got hit by a bus. No matter how tough I still feel I have the greatest job on earth. Some of Norah's current favorites are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, drinking out of real cups with straws, not eating our food unless it's fruit or yogurt, shoes, Little People toys, and the park.

We had an awesome Thanksgiving with family that was the perfect relaxing but fun kick off to the holiday season. Unfortunately for us Dad has a ridiculously crazy month at work in December, but we still have a ton of family Christmas activities planned we hope to squeeze in.

Happy to be back and catch up with all my favorite blogs! I've met some of the most amazing friends via this little page and don't want to let it slip away.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Less words, more pictures

If I had to sum up today in one word, it would be "ouch". Overall it wasn't a total loss, because we got out and about, saw some good friends, and the weather was awesome. But let me tell you one thing: When your toddler is used to napping 3+ hours a day, switches to 1 hour a day, and then peppers in a day where 15 minutes is literally all she will sleep... just...


That's all I can say about that. What have we been up to besides no napping, learning the word "no", and all our other usual shenanigans?

We've trolled the city getting our fill of warm weather before cooler temps hit.

We've had playdates with our awesome mom+baby friends

We've had our first hand at baby modeling at an official photo shoot.

We've tried to take some solid pics with the DSLR, except certain people didn't want to sit still

And we've gotten our beach pictures in the mail, and they are amazing. Pics by Heidi Hope Photography in Rhode Island. They were a dream to work with!

The days are long but the years are short. Hope to be back soon with a better update!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Norah Paige, 12 Months

Welp Peatie Pie, you're the big 12 months old. I started to say "I can't believe you're one"… but really I can. That's because I can't remember what life was like before you really, so it's hard to imagine that there was ever a time before you were part of our family. You're truly my best friend. We eat all our meals together. Watch shows together. Go on walks, make new friends, and everything else that best friends do. You are one of a kind sister. You go a mile a minute but still manage to squeeze in plenty of love and hugs and special moments with us throughout the day.

I could go on and on about how the past year has changed me. About all that I've learned. But the overwhelming weight on my heart that I think about the most is just how grateful I am and how undeserving I am of this life. I do believe no matter how good you have it, everyone deserves time to complain on the really hard days… but I am ashamed of all of the times I've cried to your Dad or my friends about how hard it is when you keep us up at all hours of the night or won't cooperate with our schedules. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS Peanut, because we really have it good. You are a gorgeous, healthy, active baby and we have literally every resource we'd ever need to give you a happy life. I hope I can instill in your heart how lucky we are but also how hardworking everyone in your family has been to give you the life you deserve. Now to the facts.

Weight: 21 pounds 6 ounces

Height: 2 feet, 6.5 inches (30.5 inches)

Nickames: Nor, Peatie, Peanut, P

Eating: You will only drink milk from a bottle, and have 3 a day. Always one first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, and the other some time in the afternoon. It just depends what we're doing that day. For "real" food you have breakfast at 8:00am, Lunch at 12:00pm, a snack around 3:00pm and dinner at 5:00pm.

Some of your favorites are blueberries, greek yogurt, cheese, chicken, mashed potatoes, and the occasional dessert when we left you try them. You still love puffs as a snack or to keep you busy. We gave you a whole cupcake on your first birthday and you at the entire thing, including the icing, plus some ice cream! You are also now drinking cows milk and though it's just been one day, you haven't skipped a beat thus far.

Sleeping: Slowly improving, but you still don't sleep through the night on a regular basis. We're getting there. Naps twice a day around 9:00am and 1:00pm but you are somewhat flexible. Bedtime is 7:00pm and you wake up between 6:30am and 7:00am.

Diapers: Still size 3 but I think those days may be numbered.

Clothing: In dresses or every day clothes you can fit anything from 12 months, to 18 months, and even the occasional 2T t shirt. Just depends on the cut. Pajamas are 18 months. Shoes are size 4 or 5, depending on the brand. You will tolerate most anything we put you in, but I try to keep your clothes as comfy as possible.

Social: You my friend LOVE to be social. You love when adults talk to you when we're out and about, and seem to really enjoy interacting with other babies. We've still been going to the library on Wednesdays, then a mom + baby play group on Thursdays or Fridays. Sometimes we see the same people on both days so you're really starting to recognize them and get comfortable around them. We were in swim lessons which you liked, but those were just too much of a hassle to fit in our schedule now. We will try again when you're a little older. We start a music class in two weeks which I think you will love.

You also enjoy walks around the neighborhood to stop by and play with all your neighbor friends. Still prefer Mom in most situations as opposed to other people, but some days you only want your Dad, and you are EXTREMELY fond of your Papa and Aunt Paige too. I think those two are just as good (ok, almost as good) as Mom or Dad in your eyes.

Likes: ANYTHING Mickey, specifically Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Being outside. Walking around outside/in public on your own. Water (water table, splash pad, bath, etc), fruit, dogs, Little People toys.

Dislikes: Diaper changes, most vegetables, being in the car seat or stroller for long periods of time, having things taken away from you that you want to play with.

Firsts: So many that I am sure I'm forgetting. First cupcake at your party. First "injuries" when you run away from us outside and/or trip on the concrete- you've gotten a couple of (lightly) bloody knees. First time in a bounce house (at your birthday party).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Life Update

For the past couple of weeks we have been busy little bees. Settling back in from my girls trip to Vegas. A fishing trip for Will. Prepping for Norah's first birthday. The fun just doesn't stop around this joint. That also means the chaos never stops either. We keep our chaos pretty organized, but it still leaves me worn out at the end of the day. Even the days that just consist of trips to Target or playing around the house leave me feeling like I need to be napping right along with baby. 

We hosted a family party so N would have a chance to meet some of her Daddy's cousins. It was a great time and we can't wait to see them all again at Christmas. I also took her to the Children's Museum for the first time, then out for a burrito date alfresco. While exhausting, it was one of our most fun summer days. Throw in some evenings with neighbors, time around the house, and some day time play dates with a group of SAHMs we met, and that about sums it up.

The saying "the days are long but the years are short" could not be more true. I am so excited that we've reached this milestone: one year as a family of three. It's also bittersweet how fast the time goes, but we are not complaining. Love my healthy, happy, hyper, growing girl!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

a trip north

Long time no post! We have been traveling, preparing for a family gathering + Norah's first birthday this month, and trying to squeeze in the last bits of summer. Pumpkin beer is out at the stores, and the temps are falling slightly, so this lady is ready for fall.

I wanted to pop in and share some pictures from our Trip to Boston + Rhode Island. These are a few I snapped on my phone. I have a few on the DSLR that I can hopefully update soon.

Norah playing with her cousins. It was great for her to get to spend some time with them. 

Lunch at the Union Oyster House.

Red Sox Game.

View from our seats.

Post game.

Headed to dinner at The Coast Guard House.

View from our table at dinner. One of the most beautiful places I've eaten for sure.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Happy Friday! Another week on the books. Here's a little of what's been going on in our world.

1. The dog saga continutes. Our dog Sadie has still been experience extreme storm anxiety. We've tried everything under the sun, and this was still the scene we woke up to after one of the bad storms this month. Ugh. Looks like it's time to invest in a cage, although I doubt that will contain her.

2. We're in official party planning mode, and invites will go out this weekend. Sigh. As excited as I am, I'm also a little torn up about my baby turning one. Any suggestions for gifts is welcome. Norah loves to play and climb and explore, so I hope we find something up to her adventurous standards.

3. Babies first doll house. N is starting to really love playing with her Little People doll house and that is a big milestone for me. It's no secret I really wanted a girl (read about that here), and it's so exciting that she's getting older and starting to enjoy the girl stuff.

 4. White cabinets.

We're doing it. I've officially started getting quotes from local pros to paint our kitchen cabinets. While our cabinets are just a couple of years old, they just aren't what I want. Moving into a house that was brand new, was wonderful. Moving into a house where basically every single surface was a shade of brown, not so wonderful. We're slowly but surely getting there with painting walls and decorating, but these cabinets may just be out of my wheelhouse as far as projects I can take on. Our floors are dark, trim and molding bright white, and kitchen walls a light blue. I am hoping to achieve something close to one of these looks.

5. For once, we have a FREE weekend. Still plenty to do on the to-do list, but there's nowhere we have to be at any certain time. I'm so looking forward to just spending some QT with my people.

Happy Weekend Friends! Linking up with April today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

working from home, with a baby

Now that I'm about 4 months in to my work from home role, I thought I'd post about some things that have helped me figure out how to not only work from home, but do so while watching a baby. Norah was about 6 months old when I started, and she's now closing on on 11 months. I know as she grows and changes, my day will look a little differently, but these tips work for us for now.

Keep you work station available.

As much as I wanted to (and still may) deck out a desk area for myself in our office nook in the master bedroom, it just isn’t the smartest way for me to work. Our main floor living/dining/kitchen area is where we spend most of our time. It is much easier for me to bang out 30 minutes or an hour of work if I can just hop on my computer at the island and send emails while the baby plays, or work at the table while she eats. Dragging all her toys in our room, or all my work supplies downstairs 5 times a day was just too limiting.

Be realistic with your expectations. To your employer, and your self.

Be honest in regards to what you can do in a day. I spent weeks beating myself up because I would stress constantly about working an hour or two less than I had committed to. I finally talked with my employer about my need for flexibility while things are so crazy schedule wise in my household. Luckily for me she was very understanding, and appreciated my honesty. This also led me to enjoying my work more, since I wasn’t so stressed about it.

Don’t assume nap time is the best time to work.

While I do get some work done at this time, I also still need those 100% kid free moments to do things that are too dangerous or annoying to do while a keeping a baby busy. I also still enjoy using nap time to have a few silent minutes to myself to think, rest, plan for the day, etc. I also make sure to schedule my work hours around other activities that are important to me that we fit in, like library story time.

Know when your most motivated and productive time of the day is.

When I first started working from home, I was very relaxed about what I accomplished during the day, because I assumed I would finish up what I needed to after N went to bed. She’s lights out by 7:30, still leaving my plenty of time to work before my usual bed time of 10 or 11. What I didn’t take into account was that in that few hour span I also usually finished making and eating the “grown up” dinner if we didn’t get to it before, cleaning, chores, time with my husband, and sometimes time with friends too. My brain was so ragged and ready to relax by the time even half of these things are done, it just isn’t realistic for me to expect to get more than an hour (max) of work done in the evenings.

I am a morning person. I’m much better off waking up early to get a jump on my day than trying to squeeze a bunch of thing into the evening hours. If you’re a night owl, the opposite is true. Don’t expect to rise super early and work if you know you’re a 10 times snooze hitter.

Give yourself a break.

It's hard being two people at once. Be gracious to your mom self and your employee self, and know that your best is enough! 

What do you do to stay focussed and productive with little ones running around?

© g squared. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.