the snow storm that was.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

yes, it snowed in the boston area, you might've heard?  jokes aside, it was really fun, the whole "batten down the hatches" thing.  we went grocery shopping on sunday (skirting most of the crowds, though it was pretty crowded then too), filled the tub with water in case of power outages (to flush the toilet), and all got showers in just in case.  we had candles, we had flashlights, we had water.  we had warm clothes and last, but not least, we had chicken enchiladas.  those, my friends, were so good.  and please, if you make them, do not use any enchilada sauce but her homemade one (which is silly easy).  and don't skimp on it either.  pour it all over those enchiladas.  and then with the extra?  pour it on your eggs, too.  eat it with a spoon?  rub it on your face?  it's delicious.
anyway, the snow is still white and sparkly, the snowblowers and shovelers and sledders are still in good spirits, and with a travel ban in effect for majority of the storm, there were no car accidents.  all that to say, the snow is still fun and magical and us, its audience, are still marveling at it all.  in a few weeks when it's basically black and spotted with dog pee, the magic's all worn off.  it forced us to stick around, stay home, and there's something so comfy about it all.  all the neighbors out together, waving hello and helping each other.  so sweet it'd make even norman rockwell gag.  it's great.  we had eggs and hash browns and stayed in sweats.  steve and william had to snow blow, we went sledding, william built a huge tunnel in our backyard that parker loves to climb through, steve built a fire pit in the backyard and i made hot chocolate, and mexican dip (those two don't really go together but when in juno!).  
the kids and steve had two consecutive days off, and we played a lot of hullabaloo (a really good game if you've got 3-7ish year olds in your home).  parker loved it.  "let's play hubbubbloo!"  (note: i think it's so much on amazon because it's no longer in production but i bet it could be found on ebay.).  after parker went to bed, we watched gladiator (the first time i've really seen it from beginning to end) together.  you get it.  ate, relaxed, did snow maintenance.  repeat.  repeat.  repeat.  that's the sum of it.  and, having nothing to do with the snow and everything to do with me being a nice person who passes along a good deal, i got this shirt for $4.50.  literally.  additional 50% off sale items with code SAVE.  you are welcome.  i considered keeping that to myself but decided not to be a b plus gap is sort of not a secret.  now, for a quick departure from snow and winter... to come: something to remind us summer will come again with some of THIS.  add some rum?  vodka?  one can pretend.  till the drink wears off, anyway.  and that's that.  how is it in your neck of the woods?


anders, 7 weeks: he's starting to attempt laughs and babbling.  also, his eyes follow me around the room when he's not in my arms which is really, really cute.
parker, 3 years: ...still dressing up "all the pime!"  (as he would say.)

*anders' sleep sack was sent to us by merino kids.  i'm sort of obsessed with keeping him warm and over the past few days i've just slipped him right into it when we wake up.  it does the trick and looks really cute too.  unzips easily for diaper changes (and even has a place to insert the car seat buckle if need be).  machine washable and with plenty of room to grow.  downside: you don't get to see his chunky thighs, or delicious feet.  poor winter babies (or poor mom?).  thanks merino kids!

birth announcements + a giveaway with minted!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

minted is probably my number one site to browse when it comes time to send christmas cards or birth announcements (a tradition i just can't quit, even though i spend two-plus hours addressing them!).  their designs are amazing, the fact that you can tinker with the layout a bit is perfect (for instance, this design as it was didn't work perfectly with the picture i used, so i moved anders' stats to the bottom right of the card so his face wasn't covered at all.).  the little add-ons are awesome: you can do brown kraft envelopes instead of white, you can do scalloped edges, rounded corners, liners in the envelopes, so on and so forth.  it's all eye-candy over there, basically.  (have you seen their children's art???  it's so lovely.) the process is simple and there is always a set of eyes on your design before it goes to print.  

so, if you're in the market for some birth announcements yourself... how about a $150 credit to use towards them??  

to enter comment below with your favorite design and include your email address!

ends friday.

i completed the whole process with this address stamp and a uniball pen (has to be a uniball pen).  and to the post office we went!

this post is sponsored by minted.

downsizing: what the hell do we do for a closet?

Monday, January 26, 2015

i've mentioned before how our move included a pretty significant downsize.  we purged a lot of our stuff (steve and i are both really happy to get rid of, which is great) but still... there are things that must stay, particularly in the cold massachusetts' months.  like jackets and boots and all of the other paraphernalia that goes with snow storms and temperatures dipping below freezing.  we have two closets on our first floor but none are right by the doors entering the house, and one we reinvented into a small (so small!) computer room--complete with a rolling chair that goes out of sight, under the desk, in order to close the door.  so... not useful for storing stuff.

thinking outside the box!!

so, really we have one closet on the first floor and again, not by any of the doors entering the house.  we moved in the summer months but i knew come winter with all the winter stuff (there is so much winter stuff!), it was going to be a problem.  see that top picture?  real winter hadn't even hit yet!!  we had to do something.  (this all happened in the fall, but i'm about three months behind schedule on blogging.)

with a dash of pinterest-ing and some conversations with my dad and steve, we came up with a plan: some tavern-style wainscoting with hooks.  high hooks, low hooks (parker can hang his own jacket!), a boot tray, and a hanging basket of sorts for all the mittens and hats.    

between the two of them, plus a little help from quinn and parker (really, those two shouldered the majority of it.), the problem was solved.  thank heavens, the struggle was real.

editor's note: it never looks as neat as it does in the last picture.  we usually have about five more jackets and six more pairs of shoes there, but we can pretend...
also, like the placement of the italy map in the first picture?  guys, we're all way overthinking the hanging of things.  just get some tape, close your eyes, and go.

sources: boot tray / market tote (similar) / hooks

have a happy weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2015

another week of winter survived!  check!  the other day steve and i went for a long walk and i was proclaiming, "it's already the end of january and i'm not totally depressed!"  we were both about to celebrate when i realized... not so fast.  there is ample time to get blue-sy, sweet bridget.  in fact, that often hits around mid february so, hang on tight!

and on a related note - you guys were awesome with the tips on winter activities for kids.  parker has been having "car washes" in the sink, using his caterpillar toys in dried beans and pasta, and making "potions" with a syringe and different cups with food coloring.  so, thank you!

how about a few things from around the web?

so, this sweater is really great, but is this store sketchy?  i've never ordered from them.  anyone know?

i'm sort of obsessed with the ready-to-craft peg board in this apartment tour.  and the whole apartment.  

am i the last person to have discovered lindsay letters?  i love this print.  and all of them.

this post on the things wrong with the goodnight moon bedroom made me laugh.  

this book is the next to add to our many books.  i flipped through it recently at a local store and it looked really good.

boston folks, my friend brought me some of these doughnuts the other day and they were very good.  move over union square, you're not the only game in town!  the chocolate cake one and probably the salted toffee were my favorites.  don't make me commit though.

kierra sent me one of these customized swaddles for anders and it's quickly become one of my favorite baby gifts.  there's a bit of a wait right now, but you can email her for yours!

since it's winter in massachusetts, i do what i always do: browse warm vacation spots.  though said vacations will never come to fruition, i carry on nevertheless.  this is a constant favorite.  are you going someplace warm?  don't tell me.

and that's all, folks.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

anders, 6 weeks: sometimes in the middle of the night, he's a little restless and if i put my arm around him and bring him even closer, he settles down and goes back to sleep.  kills me.
parker, 3: he spent the better part of the last three hours trying on all different costumes: duck, leopard, firefighter, knight. he takes it really seriously, saving lives, fighting battles, having baby ducks, you know.  (side note: he's just taking about a 12-second "rest" here, not actually sleeping.)
lindsey, 12: she got a kindle for christmas from nathaniel (isn't that such a nice present?) and has been reading lord of the rings on it.  also, isn't there something so teen-like about her here?  i can't believe it.
william, 14: he was semi-quarantined to the basement with the flu, so while he watched sunday's pats game on DVR, i delivered two bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup to him.  and then washed my hands, just to be safe.  (so far, so good!)

getting back to it.

monday was like... 40 degrees?  45?  which to us is balmy right now (that's just sad), so upon seeing the forecast i knew we had to get outside that day.  parker has been housebound for the better part of the past six weeks and it's hard.  it's hard on him, it's hard on me.  but getting all of us out the door in twenty five degrees just for the sake of it sometimes feels a little bit like punishment and martyrdom mixed together.  is it really that necessary?  surely it can wait until march... so, 40 degrees?  okay, let's get 'er done.

we've done it a few times this week, and by ourselves too (except sunday, when steve was home!).  i'll admit, it's nice to sort of check that box: "okay.  i can do it.  i can be outnumbered and still get us to town and back in one piece and with clean diapers and hands and hopefully little to no tears."  i want some normalcy for parker.  getting him back to the cafe where he sits across from me and picks out a yogurt while i have a latte, walking up the street to the library where we fill our book bag, and at least passing the playground we're used to even though it's way too cold to actually play on it right now.  he's been disciplined more than usual.  how do you convey any sense of urgency to a three-year old?  when you really need them to come to you right then and there to get dressed because you've just put the baby down to be hands free and said baby is now crying so sadly SO COME HERE NOW SO I CAN GET YOU DRESSED.  
it's a learning curve, for both of us.  before i go to bed, i always go to check on parker, put my hand on his forehead, kiss his cheek.  i can't believe how big he is, i can't believe the baby is all gone.  i tell him that he'll always be my baby.  "but no!  i'm a big bo!" he responds.  i tell him every chance i get that i love him so much my heart could burst.  he is doing so well, doing so much, having so much expected of him.  he is still so small!  but he's also so big!  he seems so different to me, just in the past few months.  such a little person, with opinions and words and feelings.  and anders?  i was just face timing with my mom and telling her how i don't get to spend an hour (or two, or three) every morning in bed just staring at him and taking him in quite the way i did with parker.  it's more, "okay baby is sleeping... quick, switch the laundry!  let the dog out!  get parker breakfast!"  my mom is always trying to help ease my mom-guilt, told me anders is just fine, that i'm doing the best i can.  which he is, which i am.  but i need it too.  it's not just for him, i need that time with him!  maybe more than he needs it from me.  
so, we're taking it day by day, feeling the weight of it, and the utter joy of it, all at once.  figuring out how to make it all work, happy kids, happy home, happy husband and wife.  i think the key here is to lower your expectations, but i'm not always good at that.  i like to check things off my list, which is so not conducive to having a newborn.  and at the very same time, i told steve last night while watching the bachelor with anders all folded up so contently and sweetly on me that i'd just like to sit, just like this, for the next six months or so.  "you can handle things, right?"  oh, wouldn't that be nice!  but life moves on, and and so we follow it one foot in front of the other.  sometimes i look around and, like a soundtrack of my life (seriously, this happens a lot lately), i start playing 10,000 maniacs "these are days" in my head.  because it's true!  these are the days--i'm not sure why natalie merchant left out the the in that sentence.  but anyway, it's so true it could make me cry.  who am i kidding, it's so true it does make me cry.  god, this life is good.

would it be so entirely cheesy of me to close this rambling post with the song and lyrics?  yes, yes it would!  but i'm doing it!  it's just too poignant right now!

These are the days. 
These are days you'll remember. 
Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this. 
And as you feel it, you'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky. 
It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you. 
These are days you'll remember. 
 When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in Every hour. 
 You'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky. 
 It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you. 
 These are days. 
 These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break. 
 These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face. 
 And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be. 
 See the signs and know their meaning. 
 It's true, you'll know how it was meant to be. 
 Hear the signs and know they're speaking to you, to you.

let's talk about water.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

water.  blah blah blah our bodies are mostly water, we need 8 cups of day, no scratch that, it's more like your body weight divided by some number i can't remember, drink it with lemon, drink it hot, drink it cold, drink it room temperature, bpa-free only, no bpa-free is bad, glass only, don't drink it bottled, blah blah blah. 

there's a lot of things written about water.

i'm about to write one more!

at our house, we drink our water from a brita filter (originating from, of course, our kitchen tap).  nothing earth-shattering and certainly can be improved upon.  i had searched high and low for a glass brita option but no such luck.  which, i think, is pretty stupid.  surely there is a market for a glass filter with the ease of a brita?  poor consumer research, people!  

but, to be honest, i don't love it.  i don't love that it's plastic, i don't love that i'm not exactly sure when to change the filter, i don't love that i'm not really sure that the filter is even doing a whole lot, i don't love that our town puts a few things into the water that i'd really like the option to take if i so choose, and i don't love those tiny charcoal balls that end up at the bottom of my glass.  i'd love a system for the whole home (which i think comes in around a whopping $1000-plus).  so, that's not happening any time soon.  i've heard great things about this company but really don't have the place for a big free-standing water apparatus in my kitchen.  though, thumbs up to the stainless steel option which is second only to glass in my opinion.

so what to do?  i guess i'm still not sure.  i do think it's really important.  it's water, we drink it constantly, and we like to think that it's good for us one hundred percent of the time.  is it? 

what do you do at your house?

(side note: this is not meant to be any sort of fear-mongering post because honestly i hate those and often eye roll them because--for the love!!--we are all doing the best we can and now i've got you convinced you're drinking poison?!  i hope not.  any water is better than no water.  cheers!)

to read more about the filter/purifier that, i'm pretty sure, is at the top of its game and to see how it compares against other filters (!!) check this out.

also: not sponsored!

a sale at anthro, hip hip hooray.

Friday, January 16, 2015

if you're hitting up anthropologie's extra 40% off sale items, 
then get this because it is so, so, so, pretty.
and maybe this for valentine's day.

i'm not because i'm buying... wait for it...
diapers instead.

don't forget code EXTRAEXTRA at checkout.
tell me what you get and i'll live vicariously through you 
which is much, much, much less fun than actually owning the item myself.

classic peanut butter cookie (without sugar!).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

i was on the phone with my sister kate just before christmas (well, and nearly every day since... we talk a lot.) and she was doing a bunch of christmas cookie baking.  one of them, she said, was the classic peanut butter cookie.  but, get this, without sugar (or flour -- but that's her recipe.  it's a little different below.).  but then she followed with, "but they're so good.  seriously.  mike asked me to make them again."  mike is her husband and perhaps less likely to eat something "just because it's good for you" than kate who is a tried and true carmody woman.  you see, the carmody women are known for that--particularly the matriarch.  she'll down any healthy concoction known to man because and only because it is good for you.  she might even act like she likes it.  yes, i'm talking about you marianne.  but when i heard that mike really wanted her to make them again, i was more interested.

"fine, kate.  give me the recipe."

cause you know those seriously healthy flax, gluten-free, chia-filled, sugar-free, taste-free, gross, dry, crumbly cookies masquerading as a normal cookie?  you know the ones!  well these are basically healthy but actually good.  ACTUALLY GOOD.  they're not masquerading as anything but a good cookie.  give them a try and you can call me a liar if you disagree.

also, there's no two bowls nonsense for this.  put all your ingredients into one bowl (wahoo!) and done.  they take under ten minutes to prep.

classic peanut butter cookie

2 cups organic peanut butter (i'm saying specifically organic because it's texture is pretty different than regular peanut butter--it's much runnier and "oilier")
1/4 c - 1/2 cup of flour (the recipe doesn't actually call for flour (!!) but there was no way mine was sticking enough to make a cookie form without some flour; i used this fabulous flour for ours)
1 1/2 cup raw honey (or less)
2 eggs
1 cup (more or less) chocolate chips, optional (please.  not optional.)
2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  spray baking sheets with coconut oil.  mix all your ingredients and semi-shape dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  bake for 10-12 minutes.  remove to cooling rack and then enjoy!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

anders, age 5 weeks: we pretty much all live to make him smile these days which, bless him, he does quite often.  it's the biggest, sweetest open mouth grin and his eyes scrunch up, and we fall even more in love with him.
parker, age 3: you'll find him hunched over his basket of knights every single day at some point (or many points) without fail.
lindsey, age 12: she always says she's cold.  i promise we do heat our house.
william, age 14: comes home from track and makes himself two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as an appetizer before dinner.  he's eating a lot these days.

4moms mamaRoo giveaway! :: CLOSED

Monday, January 12, 2015

4moms is one of my favorite baby-gear companies because they make really cool products, their aesthetic is great, and they're super cool and generous people.  (Remember the Breeze giveaway we did forever ago?)  They swooped in again, this time for Anders, and gave us their new mamaRoo seat to try out.  Well, I can't say I actually put Anders down that often (what can I say?  Their littleness is fleeting!  I like my babies right with me!) but when all hands are busy, which of course happens, he nestles into the mamaRoo quite nicely.  It's nice to have a place on my first floor clear of dog hair or army men where he can sleep or hang out.  

Some cool things about it:
// It has several different motions--car ride, wave, tree swing.  And different speeds too.
// It has an app.  Say what?  Yes, an app so you have the ability to control it from your phone.
// It can hook up to your phone to play music (but has its own built-in sounds too).
// It's not an eye sore like some baby swings can be.

I'm sure I'm missing some things, but check out the website and then enter below to win one!
(open to U.S. + Canada only!)

This post is sponsored by 4moms.  Thank you for reading!


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