Thursday, February 28, 2013

the world's most comical bedroom makeover

the world's longest and arguably most comical bedroom makeover is finally complete. 

i swear, the redecorating gods did not want me to have a made-over bedroom. 

first, our wallpaper didn't stick. we spent half a day wallpapering the wall behind our bedleaving poor evie to play by herself in the pack-n-play, a prison for a curious toddlerand woke up the next morning to find it assaulted by air bubbles and peeling off the wall. (gah!) after a few embarrassing tears (it's only wallpaper, after all), i scoured the internet for something else to put on that wall. my heart was set on a pretty pattern. 

second, the flowery decals i found on etsy as a wallpaper alternative didn't feel like sticking, either. onto our textured, painted wall, each one took about 40 minutes to apply. (40 minutes x 8 decals = 5 of evie's naps were spent decal-ing.)

third, when i finally found a spare hour to make the pillow covers, the sewing machine broke.

last but not least, i used the wrong kind of spray paint for the wine-bottle vases. instead of nicely coating the glass, the paint ran down the sides. (it also turned part of our front porch yellow.)

thank goodness this makeover is just that: over!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

trendy tot tuesday

there's this new thing called trendy tot tuesdays where people post pictures of their toddlers wearing trendy clothes. on tuesdays. it's right up my alley! if you've seen my instagram photos, you know my favorite subject is this little tot.

these days, i put a lot more effort into evelyn's wardrobe than my own. 
here's what she's wearing in this photo:

hat baby gap
shirt baby gap
leggings old navy
shoes uggs

of course, i didn't buy any of it myself. i just can't justify spending $40+ on a shirt that evelyn will outgrow in three weeks. i just can't! i'm all about the carter's stuff from fred meyer and costco. the clothes are cute, practical and best of all inexpensive. i like old navy for jeans and jeggings (baby girl jeggings are the cutest, aren't they?). and one of my coworkers brings me her daughter's look-like-they've-never-been-worn hanna anderson hand-me-downs by the bagful, so evelyn wears a lot of that too.

thanks kellymegan and lindsay for the fun excuse to share yet another photo of my baby. :) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

my song

my husband is a super talented musician. he used to perform at local bars and restaurants, the lead singer and keyboardist in a band of four, and i would watch every weekend. it's one of the few things i miss about my life pre-baby. back then, i dreamt of what our wedding would be like. i imagined jeff stopping the ceremony to perform a song for me on the keyboard, in front of everyone, declaring his love in the most romantic way possible. maybe he'd do a little choreographed dance, too. (only after our wedding did i realize this only happens in the movies.) 

i know it's a lot to ask of a man on his wedding day. for months leading up to our wedding, instead of seriously asking, i made lots of jokes about how funny (read: awesome) it'd be for jeff to sing his vows to me instead of just recite them like every other boring groom. jeff got the hint.

as a wedding gift, he wrote me the most beautiful song in the world and played it with a slideshow at our rehearsal dinner. (so much classier than a mid-ceremony song and dance.) i just listened to it again this weekend, and i love it so much that i can't not share it with you. 


Friday, February 22, 2013

Lately in iPhone Pictures

{1} fresh from the hair salon (it's red!)
{2} a gorgeous sunset, captured by jeff
{3} there's nothing more fun on a saturday morning than making eggs with dada
{4} pretty cupcakes for a coworker's birthday
{5} just a regular afternoon hangin' with my main squeeze
{6} first time i've ever ordered steak (i usually go for the fish or veggies), and holy cow (no pun intended), i've been missing out! 
{7} second birchbox arrived yesterday. tried this Jouer Matte Moisture Tint today and am 
l-o-v-i-n-g it. 
{8} oh hey girl, there's a monkey on your bum!
{9} surprise valentine's day breakfast for the hubs

Thursday, February 21, 2013

playroom refresh + diy pillow covers

we spend a lot of time in the spare bedroom. like, a lot a lot. it houses all of evelyn's toys, from stuffed animals to trains to push toys—a "mail cart" and a "vacuum cleaner"—to a four-foot-tall ballapalooza that santa brought for christmas. (is she spoiled? naaaaahhhh.)

jeff and i are determined that, no matter how many kids we have, we'll never let our living room turn into a playroom with toys and blankets and such sprinkled about. it will remain a grown-up space where we can entertain friends and hang out without tripping over balls and rattles. (those of you with two or three kids might be snickering at our naivety.)

since we spend so much time in this room and are completely set on maintaining our grown-up-only zones, i thought it was about time i turn the spare room into an actual playroom, a fun and energizing (and organized!) space.

et, voilà

many of my friends have asked me how to make simple pillow covers like the ones pictured above. if you know how to use a sewing machine (or know someone who can teach you), it's easy peezy—and super inexpensive. 

here's what you'll need:

pillow form
matching thread
straight pins
sewing machine

and here's how to do it:

{1} iron the fabric.

{2} measure the pillow form, and cut two pieces of fabric that are 1" wider and 1" taller than the form. (so, for a 12x12" pillow, cut two 14x14" fabric squares.)

{3} place one piece of fabric on the floor, right-side up, and lay the other piece of fabric on top of it, right side down.

{4} pin the pieces together, leaving a wide opening on one edge (this is where you'll insert the pillow at the end).

{5} with the sewing machine, sew the pieces together. the seam can be anywhere between 5/8" and 1" depending on your fabric type and how fitted or loose you want the pillow cover to be.

{6} cut the corners just a little bit, so they're not so pointy once the pillow is in. (i like a more fitted look.) turn the fabric inside out so the pattern is facing out.

{7} stuff the pillow inside.

{8} stitch the opening shut by hand.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

what's up with babies and remotes?

is evie the only one, or does your kid love pushing buttons too? if there's a remote (or anything with buttons) around, this girl will sniff it out and keep a strong hold on it until her next meal, when she needs free hands to feed herself.

the type of remote doesn't matter. she's satisfied with a tv remote (i remove the batteries first; learned that the hard way), wii remote, overhead fan remoteyou name it. there's just something about pushing buttons that really does it for her. oh, and if a light turns on when a button is pushed (like that little red one on the comcast remote)? she's in heaven. 

the battery-free tv remote goes many, many places with us these days. (exhibit a: top middle photo.)

do you ever pack an entire diaper bag of toys and then notice your tot is most interested in your wallet, keys, crinkly package of baby wipesand the remote? gah! really (really, really!) don't understand what's better about a remote than all the awesome toys flooding evie's playroom. 

but i have to admit, it's pretty fun to watch her little face light up when she pushes those buttons. sometimes when i watch her, i wish our adult lives, too, were simple enough that we could rejoice over buttons: no worries, no fears. just innocence and happiness to the very core. 

^^forget about this really educational toy you spent a fortune on, mama. if there's no remote around, i'll just find an iphone to play with. thanks!^^ 

(we try not to let evie play with our phones, but sometimes there's one laying around and she snatches it up while we blink.)

❄ check out the hunk in the snow gear! ❄

jeff and two buddies took a boys' trip to mt. hood on sunday. 
he looks pretty good in his snow gear, eh?

(just now i'm noticing he's wearing my sunglasses, my backpack and my camera.)

(no wonder i think he looks so snazzy!)

since there were no girls allowed, i really don't have much to say except some snowshoeing happened. but i wanted to share these awesome photos from the guys' little adventure. jeff's pretty good with my camera, isn't he?

while the guys were out snowshoeing, evie and i enjoyed the portland sunshine, a stroll to the duck pond and a warm latte from our neighborhood cafe (well, i enjoyed the latte while evie devoured a big cup of milk). it was kind of fun, just the two of us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

{fancy up} saturday night

on saturday our friends didn't just have us over for dinner. they planned an elaborate cocktail hour with charcuterie trays and a full bar, they put flowers and candles on the tables, and they cooked salmon and a big pot roast to perfection. the best part was the girls wore dresses and they guys wore ties. it was just like being at a fancy restaurant, but without the crowds or wait time. such a fun {and delicious} idea for a saturday night mixer! 

but that wasn't even the best part of my weekend. the best part? was last night, when evelyn looked at me from across the room, pointed, and said, "ma-ma" for the first time. it was the sweetest thing i've ever heard. my fragile little heart melted and skipped at the same time. {your heart gets fragile and you turn all mushy when you become a mama.}

Friday, February 15, 2013

love is all you need.

in the spirit of love (i'm not quite done with valentine's day yet), here is my grandfather on his wedding day, so young and happy and unquestionably head-over-heels in love. he reminds me of jeff in these photos, the way he looks at his new wife. the four of us are the same yet different, separated by generations. we probably would have been friends had jeff and i been married in the '40s.

as i stare at these pictures, i wonder if my grandchildren will ever look at my wedding photos and think the same things about us that i'm thinking about my grandfather now: young, happy, in love, and resembling just a speck of the man i know today.

my grandfather and his wife, liz, had four children before liz got sick. she passed away when my mom was just eight years old, before my mom really got a chance to know her or learn the important things that young girls learn from their mothers (how to wear lipstick, how to get over a heartbreak).

shortly after her passing, my grandfather found martha, my grandma. she loved us so much. i remember our camping trips and outings to the children's museum and chats about her neat collection of swarovski crystals (animal-shaped and always on display) like they were yesterday. she died suddenly when i was in third grade. i still think about her almost every day.

after martha, my grandfather lost another wife. i can't understand it. why do some people get dealt heartbreak after heartbreak while others breeze through life without any? some people get to grow old with their high school sweethearts, and others lose three wives. three loves of their life. it's not fair. it has been a true test of my grandfather's unwavering strength and character, and it's helped me remember to fully appreciate everyone i love—because anyone could be gone at any second.

today my grandpa is happy. after everything he's been through, i've come to realize that he—behind his military personality and stern façade—loves love. and that's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

diy ❤ valentine's day snack gifts

it's my first valentine's day as a wife. you'd think i'd get all mushy about it, maybe buy jeff a big stuffed bear that says "i love you" when you squeeze it or bake him an extra-large batch of heart-shaped cookies.


instead i almost forgot all about him. i got so caught up making *the perfect* valentine's gifts for evie's friends at daycare that it didn't cross my mind to do something for my husband, too (until yesterday; i have something up my sleeve now)!  

for evie's friends, i made a yummy snack mix and packaged it in a short 8oz mason jar with festive fabric and a homemade label.

in the mix:

frosted cheerios
strawberry shredded wheat
gerber yogurt melts

i hope the kiddos like it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Bachelor with a side of Potato

It's no secret I love The Bachelor. For years, my girlfriends and I have gathered every week to eat, drink and watch poor girls suffer through the process of finding love on national television. We used to be happy watching with a greasy pizza and a $5 bottle of wine, but as our viewing group grew and we got older and got married and had babies and actually learned to enjoy cooking, our pizza era ended. Now, everyone meets at our house each week (we have a baby who goes to bed at 7pm, so, you know) and we take turns cooking real dinners for the group. 

Last night was my turn to cook. I set up a baked potato bar with different topping combinations—one was pizza inspired, one was breakfast inspired, and one was Greek inspired—and made a spinach salad with bacon and aged white-cheddar dressing.

The food and company is even better than the show.

(Can you believe it about Lesley M.? Dang!)

(at least she didn't take tierra's sparkle.)