October 31, 2012

Cozy warm in the home

Now that temperatures are consistently low and a chill is beginning to sip through our windows, it's time to think of keeping warm around the house. So,  I'm looking for a new blanket or throw for the living room sofa.  When the holidays are over, and all the color of the festivities come to a calming halt, I will be choosing more muted tones for the living room such as soft greys, white, and black.  Like a Winter wonderland.  I want a throw that will compliment this palette.  I'm looking at these:

                                     Source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

October 29, 2012

Halloween block party

This weekend was our neighborhood children's Halloween parade. We saw so many cute diverse costumes. Emilu went as an owl! The parade started out from the neighborhood playground and stopped at local bank, where the kids were treated with candy, then by Whole Foods, where they picked up fresh apples and other sweets, and the final stop, Logan Circle.  I've never seen so many kids dressed up and playing and running around. It was fun.

October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween weekend

Although Halloween is not until next Wednesday, all kinds of witchy Halloween costumes will make their presence this weekend.  My favorite costume this year is Rosie the Riveter.  If you watched Parks and Rec last night you may have seen it on Amy Poehler's character.   We are planning to dress Emilu as a tiny hoot, she's into birds right now.  I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween weekend.  Some links I have found inspiring.  

mulling spices sachets are a perfect gift of the season!

this modern flat is full of texture and color!

incompetence hides behind authority

taking a step back in time in rural and Gothic England

this vintage decorated nursery is adorable!

these headboards are beyond colorful!

Halloween in the village!

I love starry nights! 

my favorite animal shows up in home decor

October 25, 2012

In the Kitchen: Favorite breakfasts

Some foods are plain delicious. We can't get enough of them, and besides, who says they can't be healthy as well? They get high marks on my chart because they are so easy to put together.  This is what we have been eating for breakfast lately, over and over.  Our top five in the home charts:
1.  Avocado and poached egg buttered toast with sauteed kale.
2.  Belgium waffles with raspberry jam and homemade whipped cream.
3.  English eggs (soft boiled) and buttered toasts (dunking is the best part!)
 4. Cream cheesed toast with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and bananas. Optional:  maple syrup and powder sugar.
5. Low-fat vanilla yogurt with pumpkin granola and two servings of fruit

October 24, 2012

Motherhood: The way we were

Before I became a mother, I used to have time to do many things.  Now it's always a race to finish something on time.  It's true, motherhood changes you in a fundamental level, and one day I will open up about that aspect in my life.  Today, however, I'd like to talk about the small things that once were, and now, not so much.  If you are pregnant or have not have kids yet, prepare for big and small changes. One of my favorite quotes, "When someone says they slept like a baby, they haven't had one yet,"  is the perfect prescription for realizing nothing is left unchanged. This is my list of things that I can't seem to get around to do [not that often] anymore.
  • Remember when you'd take the whole afternoon on a weekend to deep clean/redecorate/buy fresh flowers/ slow-cook and candlelight dinner-your house in underpants and mood music? Forget about doing this EVER again. This doesn't happen here that often anymore.  I mean, how pathetic is it that my mother arranges/organizes all my closets, dusts off the big bookshelf and magic-erases the grime off the walls.  And she lives 1,000 miles away!
  • I used to read more.  Reading was like a vacation, except I took one every couple of weeks. Now, I'm just as content to read the book review.
  • I used to write more.  Writing was work, but at least I sat on the chair and opened the notebook, and stared at the window.  Now, I don't even know where the notebook is.
  • We used to watch lots of movies. Around here it was called movie binging!  Now we have to wait until our carefully selected choices become available on Netflix.  And guess what? We can't even watch the strong/graphic content ones, because she's mostly around until we all go to bed around 10ish.
  • Which brings me to this one:  We used to stay up late,  past midnight.  And even then, we slept pretty good.  Which meant that we used to wake up after 10 a.m. on weekends. Now, weekends and weekdays are exactly the SAME.

  •  I used to get regular manicures and pedicures.  Not anymore.  It's not like I have let myself go.  I dress up for motherhood the same way I dress up to meet a friend for coffee or the movies. But when you don't have any hired maid service (oh yes, I would do this if I had the money) who can also cook for you, then you can't just leave everything and go do your nails.  And with many other interests always competing with each other, like reading, and writing, and doing crafts, or redecorating or taking pictures or simply venturing outside everyday with your kid, to the playground, the market, the bookstore, the library, the  hardware store, etc, then the luxurious couple of hours you do have on a lucky weekend or the extra hour that Tuesday, you rather rest, catch up with email or a friend.  These days my nails are bare, and I'm learning to embrace that.
  • Remember when you could wear jeans or trousers and occasionally a top more than once before washing it?  Scratch that off when you have kids.  They will soil it with everything and anything.  Their hands, their throw-ups, their watery noses, with paint, and food or milk.  If you breastfeed, you will leak no matter what.  And those breast shields are nice, but let's be honest, they end up stinking up your bras and shirts. ( I used to change mine 3 times a day)  These breastfeeding nuances can turn exhausting.  But hey, at least your kid is drinking milk not processed with equipment that uses soy, eggs, or nuts.
  •  While that kid is awake, they are constantly tugging at you for attention.  And some kids are very perceptive and demanding, like mine.  They are not content to be sitting next to you while you are in the computer.  They need your hands, your eyes, and your voice on them.  So you are basically participating in a triathlon everyday until they go to school. And by that time, you are so exhausted and have grown so much gray hair, you contemplate not having that second kid after all.

I could only think of these ones. But, I'm sure you mothers out there have a laundry list of your own. 

October 23, 2012

Exploring the pumpking patch

Last weekend we went pumpkin patching in the neighborhood of Cathedral Heights here in Washington.  Emilu was beyond excited.  I often wonder what goes through toddlers' heads when they see something for the first time. They point, they touch, they grab, they taste.  A time for exploration and imagination. 

October 22, 2012

On cloth diapers

I don't think I've ever written about our experience using cloth diapers, and some of you have shown an interest in the past, so here we go.

We have been using cloth since day 1,when Emilu was first born. Back then I spent many weeks of research, going back and forth with friends that were already on board with cloth, and all the other related things like how to wash and what detergent was best.  Shortly after, we were sold on the idea of a cloth diapering system.  What appealed to us was the sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability is about conserving as much as we possibly can.  So, we liked the idea of not contributing to a carbon polluting product by buying and disposing massively. But we also love the money we are saving by not buying a pack of regular diapers every week.

But cloth diapering is not for everyone...

October 19, 2012

Have a lovely Fall weekend

I've been thinking about New York lately, even though we were just there a month or so ago.  It's just that Fall is the most gorgeous time in that city. And the smells and the colors have stayed with me ever since I went for the first time 18 years ago during the Fall.  During this time, we start rolling out the rituals we so much love to do.  I take out my favorite DVD, which I insist on watching only in the Fall.  I cook and bake certain dishes, like cheesecake, creme brulee, casseroles, and tomato basil soup.  I unearth a few blankets and switch up the throw pillows, and basically redecorate with more color and put more scent around the house.  It's part of the transformation and the search for beauty one craves during this time.  I've have also been thinking about the things I want more during this time, hence the snapshot above with affirmations to help me get there.  How about you friends, what are you searching for this Fall? Above, all, enjoy this time of year.

have you got the blues?

 I have a thing for woven baskets (i wish I could get them all!)

beautiful illustrations:  feathers and gills  

snapshots from our last time in New York:

two lovely things I like

a remarkable encounter

sometimes I dream hard about California, because of links this like this one and this one! and of course, this entire blog!

wow, i love the look of these giant washi tape wall decor!

the art of simple breakfasts! 

this home is absolutely gorgeous, my kind of home!

Paris! it's everywhere lately.

October 18, 2012

And they grow fast

It's true what they say, kids do grow up fast, and even though it doesn't feel like it because you are in the everyday, one day you look and they are already doing new things, and the old things are just old. One day they play with fruits, and the next day all they want to do is "read" books.  Next month she will be one year and 6 months old.