THRIFTED





and the thrifting gods looked down on me in favor, and i glowed with frugality... or something like that. it was a good trip to the thrift the other day. i found this set of stack-able tables, the sweetest linen dresser scarf and doily, and some nice vintage remnants to use in some upcoming projects. you can't tell form the photo but the last one is swiss-dot... and i can never pass up some swiss-dot!

the tables are great for my little high-traffic living-room which i have been struggling to figure out the perfect surface solution for (i wrote more about that here). all my fixtures around here are bronze, which is kind of eh, but these tables will make the most of it. they are not super-shinny bronze, but kind of weathered and perfect. the glass is nice and thick and sits in the tables pretty snug. oh, having tables in the living room is making me all types of happy, because now i can sit and put my luke-warm coffee down on a table, and think, or read, or make a fort.

the doily will most likely travel around the house and lend prettiness as needed. the dresser scarf is going on the wall. yes, you read that right,. on the wall. because it is too cute (and unstained) to go anywhere else. to frame? or not to frame? is the question for the dresser scarf!

chloe was with me during this trip. she stayed in the carrier because there is way too much glass and art for a curious toddler in this particular thift shop. she did manage to get her hands onto the most adorable china egg cup shapped like a chicken, and once she had it in her hands and proclaimed "CHI-HEN", i immediately dismissed any thoughts of removing it from her chubby hands and decided it would come home with us. she held that fifty-cent chicken for a good half hour. she sang her "a-b-sees" to the chicken and kissed it. then once we were in line, just minutes away from checking out, she started to wiggle and make it known she was done sitting in the carrier. her and her chicken wanted out. when i told her she would need to stay in the carrier for just a few minutes she threw that little chicken on the ground and it shattered into tiny little pieces. i was embarased, and upset, but i picked up the little pieces and told her she had been wrong. i explained that there was no more chicken. she was quiet. she doesn't say "sorry" yet. i am not sure if she really understands being "sorry" yet. i offered to pay for the chicken, but the woman behind the counter laughed and told me to forget about it.

i felt bad. i felt bad that my toddler had broken something that technically wasn't hers, even though i had planned on buying it and wanted to pay for it, even broken. i felt bad that i could no longer buy it for her to enjoy. i felt upset that she threw a fit and broke the chicken that she was enjoying so much. i felt bad knowing that this would not be the last time she makes a decision that comes with negative consequence, or results in loss. and i felt a little powerless and humbled knowing that there is nothing i can do about this other than to allow her to continue to make these mistakes, and help her learn from them. once i got to the car i had kind of processed these thoughts, and then almost walked back in to retrieve the broken pieces of the little chicken that the woman at the counter had brushed into a paper bag and set inside the trash can. what would i do with a bunch of broken chicken pieces?

don't answer that. there are many things that i could do with broken "CHI-HEN" pieces.





PUMPKIN SHORTBREAD COOKIES

last night chloe and i made some pumpkin shortbread cookies, and this little video. the cookies were delicious - just the right amount of pumpkin, and the pumpkin added just a little chewiness to the shortbread. i added a little powdered sugar to the tops of ours, but you could also make a glaze from milk and powdered sugar.



INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla (or scrappings from a vanilla bean).

1 cup pumpkin

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg
 

METHOD:
mix butter and sugar together until creamy, add pumpkin and vanilla, then spices and mix well. add flour and mix just until incorporated. turn onto floured surface and knead a few times over and then split dough into half and form two logs. wrap them in plastic wrap and place in the refridgerator for an hour. pre-heat oven to 350 F. cut cookies into 1/4 inch slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. dust with powdered sugar or wait until cool and dip in a glaze made from milk and powdered sugar.


BEST ENJOYED WITH:

coffee or tea. halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas. a banana - i am dead serious. a giggling toddler. breakfast.

BEFORE THE HOUSE WAKES UP


so, monday was a little bit of a wash. i worked sunday night, came home to grab a couple hours of sleep, and then woke up with chloe, and we went about our day. after a few nights of doing the working-mom routine i like to do some cleaning and laundry to get myself back into the house-wife mode. once my house feels a little tidier, chloe has had her fill of books, playing, and maybe a movie, and nap-time has arrived, it is time for me to make some coffee, throw on something to watch and grab some laundry to fold or some fabric to cut. it is tempting to take a nap on that first day back home, especially when i have only slept for a few measly hours the night before (maybe from four in the morning to eight if i am able to fall asleep right away). however, if i keep myself awake i can get some work done, cry over "downton abbey", cry over the end of "beasts of the southern wild", and then wake up chloe and put something together for dinner.... or just grab chipotle, and then play with chloe and relax with the husband, and ultimately go to bed at a "normal" time (ie, before midnight). if i were to take a nap i would miss crying over downton abbey (so horribly sad this week - i sat there saying "no, no, no" the entire episode, although nobody was around to listen), and i would miss crying over "beasts of the southern wild" (more "no, no, no!"), and i would be well-rested enough to make dinner myself, and then well-rested enough to stay up until three in the morning and feel ridiculous today.

so... much better to do the laundry on monday.

i woke up this morning bright and early, and sat in bed and cuddled my husband, hoping i would fall back asleep, but when i could not and six a.m. was approaching i woke up, made some coffee and decided to enjoy this little bit of time before the rest of the house wakes up. enjoying this time entails doing a quick work-out video, painting my nails, and then getting out some fabric to cut while watching a little "american horror story" before chloe wakes up... and making a list of things to do once she does wake up.

things to do when chloe wakes up:

eat some oatmeal and bananas hit up the thrift shop

go to the produce store

stop somewhere and buy laundry detergent, dish washer detergent, hair dye, and marshmallows

what do you do when you are awake before the house wakes up?

PORTRAIT v. 4

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"
this past week has been chilly here in philadelphia. while we usually try to get out and walk, or go on a little adventure once a day, we have been staying inside, watching way too many movies and trying to keep warm. i can't complain too much, it's really not all that too bad being cooped up with miss chloe - this wild woman warms my heart and always keeps things interesting...

movie recommendation for mommas and their babies: wes anderson's "fantastic mr. fox" - of course!

PATIENCE, AND SLEEP, AND POO

mamas blog for days like today. before i started writing about my days as a mother and posting them here on this little blog i would have days like this and think to myself "i need to write this crap down". what did women do before blogging? call their friends? write a letter? keep a diary? being as i am sitting on the sofa with "toy story two" playing, as my toddler crawls over me with her woody-doll in hand, i don't think i am in a good position to do much more than type a little, tickle her, type a bit more, kiss the back of her neck... oh the back of the neck is my favorite toddler kissing spot... and it always smells clean.... type some more.

last night i went to bed early. chloe must have been tired, and i surely was. i did not sleep after updating my little etsy shop the night before. i have no reason for not sleeping. i didn't do anything too fun, i didn't really read much. i didn't watch movies. i just didn't sleep. sometimes, or really all the time when my husband works nights, i don't sleep. you would think that i would get used to it after over a year and a half of us arranging our work schedules so that one of us is always at home, but i haven't. it doesn't help that i also work nights, and that i am inclined to being a night-time kind of person, or that i take naps when my husband and chlo are both napping.... because as much as i crave a bit of alone time, a nap with a warm husband in bed is just too good to pass up. sleep? during the day? c'mon....

so my little one decided last night that seven at night was bed-time. i thought we would sit down and watch a little "mary poppins" together, have some momma-daughter bonding time. i had bought the movie a while back and she was really too young, but her attention span has been growing, along with her love for musicals, soooo... i popped the dvd in with a bit of hope. it all looked promising: she watched the first little scene with dick van dyke singing and dancing, and did a sweet little dance of her own.. and then she lost interest all too quickly. she walked to the steps, and when i asked where she was going she answered "night-night". well. okay.

at seven thirty i had put her to bed, washed my face, filled the humidifier, and tucked myself in. i fell asleep instantly, and woke up at one in the morning. completely awake. i laid there and thought through my options. wake up and try to get something accomplished and make myself sleepy, knowing that this may just wake me up more, and risk not sleeping again until nap-time... which is more than twelve hours away. no good. find a book to read, a very uninteresting book, my parenting book, and see if it will make me fall asleep... and maybe i have some melatonin in my underwear drawer still? yes?!?! and then i heard chloe wake up.

perfect, i will bring her into bed with me and snuggle and i will definitely fall asleep. i went to her room and picked up her little warm body, and she snuggled into my neck, and i melted. best idea ever. i brought her into my bed, sure that i would most surely fall asleep. she laid next to me and just smiled. then she poked my eyes. "eyeees. eyeeess". yes chloe, let's close our eyeeees and go night-night. she laughed again. i sang the abc's very softly. this is her favorite lullaby at the moment. i sang them a second time very softly. and then it was quiet... until she smacked my face so tenderly with her baby hand and said "a-b-seees?" a-b-seees?" no chloe. night-night. time for bed. i got up and made her a bottle, gave her a fresh diaper, and tucked her back into her crib. it was a nice idea.

i looked around for some sleepy-time tea. none to be found. i made a cup of zesty orange tea as it was the only caffeine free tea around, but as the name suggests, it was... uhh zesty, and didn't make me want to sleep. i stayed up thinking of blog ideas, craft ideas, doll ideas, things i want to buy my husband, clothing i want to make for chloe. i wrote all these things down, hoping that by doing so they would be rid from my mind and i would just be left tired... but the more i thought, the more ideas i had. which is usually the case with me. the more i create, the more i think, the more i do, the more fuel i have.... which leads to many sleepless nights. it's like a crazy positive feed-back system... like childbirth: where your contractions produce oxytocin, which causes nerves to be stimulated, and then triggers your hypothalamus to produce more ocytocin, which causes stronger and more frequent contractions...

i think i finally zonked out at five. i woke up at eight and thought that maybe chris was home, and then remembered he was working a double and wouldn't be home until tonight. i was wide awake once more. i got up and made some zesty orange tea, turned on the curling iron, took a shower and decided that we would go out today to buy some flannel sheets, eyebrow pencil, and something to keep chloe entertained.... the necessities. or rather, what i think is necessary in order to get us out of the house for the first time in five days.

chloe woke up, i fed her dry honey-nut cherios with dried cranberries mixed in and some orange juice. she was beyond happy and sat at the table proclaiming "mmmmMMMMMMmmmmm.... mmmmMMMMMmmmm!" i know i had done good. 



i warmed up the car and thanked the lord that i was kind of suburban and owned a car of my own, instead of living in center city and needing to walk. i am sure my butt would be cuter if i lived in center city and walked everywhere, but i wouldn't have been going to target today if i did live in center city and needed to walk there.. soooo...away to target we went. chloe insisted on a bag of peanut and milk chocolate chips (the ones you use to make cookies). chloe doesn't do so great with chocolate, and i try not to let her have it unless i want to be changing diapers all afternoon... you get what i am throwing out there? yeah. it's bad. poor kid. hopefully this passes. so i grabbed some flannel sheets, another grey v-neck shirt that was on clearence to add to my collection, some brow pencil... and then i saw play-doh, and then i saw the ingredients in play-doh, and decided that since chloe would most surely want to eat the play-doh i would make it at home. so i grabbed some food coloring instead. stopped at trader joes to grab a few little things and have some tantrums, and then home.

which is where i made the mistake of allowing her to have the smallest handful of the peanut butter chocolate chips, which i added to her left-over cheerio and cranberry breakfast. i made her some play-doh while she snacked away... once again proclaiming her approval: "mmmmMMMMMMmmmm!!!" 

i smiled and stirred away at my home-made play-doh, knowing she was going to have such fun. picturing us sitting on the kitchen floor making a grand mess and playing with the blue and pink doughs of delight that i was kneading away at.  when they were still warmish, but not hot, i presented these doughs of fun to her. she poked her fingers at them and walked away. she must be missing something. i sat on the floor and rolled out the dough hoping she would come and play. i made a few balls. i made pretzels. she turned on my ipad and sat on the sofa. fail. 

here is the recipe for homemade play-doh if you are interested :

3 cups flour
3 cups water
2 Tbs. cream of tartar
3 Tbs. oil
1-1/2 cups salt

put all ingredients in a pot and stir continuously over medium heat until it forms a ball. then turn it out onto the counter and knead it until smooth. add some food coloring if you like. no need to use flour to knead it. you can keep it in a air-tight container if your toddler isn't into it that day.



chloe still doesn't talk much. she knows what she wants, and usually finds ways of getting it, but she won't say words all the time, she just points, drags you around by your index fingers, and grunts or squeals. she can say some words, and it is getting better each day, but i am inpatient at times, and wish she could just tell me what she wants instead of her having me ask until she stops squealing. "do you want an orange? a pear? an apple? a spoon? oh, okay, it's a spoon. sure. you may have that." also, she has no interest in using the toilet... and sometimes she plays with her poo when she is in her crib. gross... sometimes i wish she would just get tired of the diapers and become interested in the toilet. i have been taking her to the bathroom with me since i can remember. she has had a toilet in the bathroom for months. she had big kid undies and training pants ready to go. but no interest. and i get impatient.


 
she then "read" some books to me, and i read some to her. and i thought to myself of how silly it was to be so impatient, and reminded myself that she wouldn't grunt and point forever, and that the whole poo thing would pass as well, and that there would come a day when she would independently care for herself, and that day would come way too soon. so i resolved, once again, to love this time, this day, with her. then it was nap-time, and i thought that since i had slept more than i usually ever do that i would be able to have some alone time to read, or craft, but i felt exhausted, and sore, and congested, and my feet were freezing... so i took some claritin, and some midol, and poured myself some diet coke, and put on some of my husband's socks. sexy.

i fell asleep reading a book on the sofa, and woke up two hours later with feet still cold, and still feeling stuffy, and yet dry. like i had been on an airplane for twelve hours. i guzzled some water and started some laundry, and then heard chloe awake. not crying, but awake... which is never good because it means she has found something to do while in her crib... and yeah, it was playing with poo. 

so she got a bath. and ate her dinner of fish sticks, clementines, and quinoa... of which she dipped her fish sticks in the quinoa. and we now watch toy story, and tickle and kiss babies, until the husband comes home... and all is okay in the world... and i like my life... even if it involves cleaning poo.


happy thursday friends. i hope life is good to you today.

SHOP UPDATE!




finally updated my etsy shop with little valentine's day cupid dolls that i feel like i have been working on forever (although it has probably just been a couple weeks). there are twelve dolls - nine listed so far, and three blondes which should be in the shop tomorrow. this is one of my own designs, and i love how it turned out. i played around with some materials and am very happy with the quality of them. they feel like they will last forever, and that is what i am going for with everything i make.

i am changing how i run and stock my shop a little. instead of working on a ton of different projects at once i am making a small amount of a single item (like the twelve cupid dolls), and then listing them, and starting another project. i am also going to be trying to work mainly with recycled or vintage material - i love how it makes the finished project unique and it feels more special to me. the cupid dolls were made with vintage poly-knit remnants that i had fallen in love with and was saving (or hoarding), for a special project. i like to allow the material i am working with contribute to the idea of the project. these fabrics felt like valentines day, and once i saw the light blue swiss dot material i knew i needed to make wings.

well, it is off to find something to read or watch, make a little hot cocoa, and work on a couple little projects.

more to come soon, as always.

love,
leah.


CHLOE'S PICKS: BOOKS FOR A DAY INSIDE

it is cold outside! and inside! i woke up early to finish some projects i am working on for rockwell handmade (shop update tomorrow!) and within an hour found my toes not only numb, but also slightly blue! i stole my husbands warmest socks and turned up the heat before getting chloe up. we have nothing planned for today other than sitting inside, drinking coffee and hot chocolate, reading some books, and maybe (most certainly) curling up together for a movie this afternoon.

chloe likes to read books. i keep her books in our bookshelf so she can pull them out as she likes. she also has a little bookshelf in her room next to her bed that i have learned to stock with board-books, as she often likes to "read" books to herself during nap time, but can get a little crazy with thin paper pages (and then nap-time looks like a confetti mess!) i love that she enjoys books and hope that she always does. i thought i would share with you some of chloe's favorite books. some of them have been favorites for a long time, and others are new favorites. we read to her a lot in the morning and before bed. it is also a great distraction and calming tactic when she is getting a bit wild. recently she has started reading to us, and that is just freakin' adorable.




chloe's most popular picks:
  • "Press Here" by Herve' Tullet
  • "Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley
  • "Peek-a Who?" by Nina Laden
  • "Hippos Go Berserk!", "Barnyard Dance!", and Belly Button Book!", all by Sandra Boynton.
 what momma is reading:
  • "Parenting with Love and Logic" by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. (good book, but any recommendations for some fun reading? please!)
i would recommend anything written by Sandra Boynton - the woman is a child entertainment genius. and i would most certainly recommend having a toddler read to you.

 what are your, or your little one's favorite books? and seriously, any recommendations for some recreational reading for me?

PORTRAIT v. 3

a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

my sleepy-headed girl, very happy today after a weekend of not feeling so well.

AROUND HERE...

1

2

3

4

5

6

7
1. i have been feeling this need to clean my home when i come home from working.

2. we have been trying to eat out less and cook food more. this is oven roasted chicken, potatos, carrots, and brussel sprouts... not too shabby.

3. somebody has been eating a lot of waffles. this afternoon's version of the favorite included peanut butter and syrup.

4. we have been reading books.

5. and playing in tents while momma cleans.

6. i tried out this macaron recipe - and it did not disappoint (even better than martha's).

7. someone has been making me breakfast, obviously.

hope you have had a very good weekend friends!

TWIT-FACE-TEREST-GRAMMING

for the past couple months i have been blogging more and more. i am enjoying it. it is a creative outlet, a little way to record the days of my family, a way for me to share special little bits of my life with others. before i started blogging i used other social media platforms, such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest - and i don't plan on stopping.

but, it is a lot, and it makes me feel a little congested, and a little cluttered. i am constantly wondering if i shared the same stuff with my facebook friends that i shared with me instagram friends and then there are the twitter friends, and it is all too much to keep up with. but i really want to keep up with all of you and share with all of you, so i am not leaving.

one of the purposes of the blog was to actually share less than i had been sharing on facebook. i don't really want to write about where i work, share my exact location, let you know what i am planning on doing tomorrow, or where i am planning on going, etc. i have found that by blogging i share less of this, and instead more photos of things we have already done. i know that i cannot ever be 100% safe when posting stuff on the internet, but i think that posting past-tense stuff and just recording things, rather than sharing plans is a step in a good direction... i am making other little steps to ensure safety for myself and my family as i continue to blog and share with all of you.

so, i am not planning on being rid of any of these social media platforms, the most important reason is you. i have gained friends through all of them and do not want to loose contact with anyone. i love seeing the photos of family that you, my friends post, reading about your adventures and tid-bits of your day. but i have needed to consider making some changes, for my sanity, and to just share the same thing with everyone in a concise way (so that you don't get bombarded with photos on facebook, plus blog posts, and so my twitter feed doesn't make my own head spin). so i am taking a few steps to make this work:

  •  i switched to a blogidy-blog facebook, and will be shutting down my regular one as soon as i friend everyone under my new account. there will be less facebook updates (probably just a blog post once or twice a week). i am planning on continuing to follow the friend that i have that are on face-book, but probably will try to interact less on there.
  • i will be e-mailing people more when i want to contact them - yay!
  • i will be using twitter to post little thoughts and tid-bits from our days that may not deserve their own blog post, and hope to connect with more who are using twitter.
does this seem any less complicated to you? still sounds crazy? have any suggestions on how to be less crazy without getting rid of facebook, instagram, or twitter??? for now i will see how this goes. i hope to tweak it and come up with something more managable, less cluttered, and more personal as i go along, without loosing contact with any of you guys.... okay, enough talk... here is a photo-dump of instagram photos for those of you who may not be 'gramming, or who missed them somehow:










this was a rather silly post. thank you for being friends with me.

love,
a silly girl.

THRIFTED


 two little vintage wool sweaters, just in case i need them in a year or so... no i am not pregnant, but i couldn't pass these up... it's hard to can be tough to find cute vintage baby sweaters in such great condition - so these were definitely coming home with me. 
 
a little pair of fleece-lined duck boots for chloe that should last into next year.
 
a vintage floral flat sheet that is actually kind of thick - to use to make tents, or line curtains or quilts, or a purse...

overall, a small loot, but not a bad trip to the thrifts.

"DEAR LITTLE HOUSE... DEAR SHABBY STREET"

i have lived in my home for almost three years now, and while i do love it, it is still a work in progress, and a constant cause of much debate between christian and i. he loves clean, modern, new, and minimal, and while i also appreciate modern and clean, i like a little pretty clutter all over the place and a few old pieces to add some character. i like to think that our style tension helps to edit our home - keep out the stuff we don't really love and really hold onto and cherish the things we adore. 

i thought i would share little bits of our home, some photos of rooms that inspire me, as well as ways to bring little updates into your home in a thrifty fashion - because let's get real here, i am still paying off student loans, and might not have the money in my budget for many of the lovely home goods that i drool over when browsing pinterest. i am a slightly experienced sewer and crafter, but by no means an expert, nor am i a designer at all... that being said: most of the stuff i am going to suggest or discuss could most likely be accomplished by anyone and made to suit your own personal style.

without further adieu - our living room:


a little window over the sofa with a hat stand, mate cups from chile, a vase from west elm i bought as soon as we bought a house, some thrifted figurines, and a photo of my mom with my three youngest sibiligs.

lamp that was faithful to me during my two apartments, and now has earned its keep in our home. 
i have a thing for bamboo and wood blinds, but they don't really give me as much privacy as i would like...

a vintage kilim rug i found for a steal on ebay. christian hates it, but i adore it.

white sofas! what were we thinking!?!? however, these microfiber babies have held up well so far, and fit in our tiny living-room without taking up too much space.

pretty simple, right? it is a crisp white room with a few framed pieces of art, and a ugly ceiling fan which i pretend isn't there (it really keeps the house so comfortable in the summer when i don't quite want to freeze with the air on). i see so many photos of creative girls ripping down their fans and replacing them with lovely industrial or shabby chic fixtures with huge ball lightbulbs, and one of these days... lordhelpme, one of these days i will forget how i kind of like the breeze these darn fans make... one of these days.

now, *sigh*, here are photographs of rooms that inspire me... *big.sigh*


image via living agency
image via smile and wave




image via the selby


all these rooms have clean white walls, mismatched furniture, and a somewhat kid friendly feel to them, especially the last one. so how do i use this inspiration in my own living room?

1 - more throw pillows - notice all the comfy and colorful pillows in the inspiration rooms? they add pops of color and some character without taking up much space, or needing much of a commitment. if you can sew a square - you can make a pillow. i have some old pillows in my attic that would work great for these. velvet is a pretty fabric to work with, but old sweaters, skirts (i have an awesome ralph lauren skirt that i recently undergrew that would make pretty tartan pillows like the ones in the first photo), and old blankets make for very pretty, and thrifty, throw pillows. want to make a pouf similar to the one seen in the second photo? (i am always longing after poufs in catalogs!) they easier to make than you would think, and there are many tutorials out there - here is a great one! grab some materials, a few old pillows, fabric scraps, and stuffing, and go to town.

2 - more photographs - and i would be more inclined to go the mix and match frames route, but christian would probably appreciate a frame of similar color or style. so, the retail route would be a little price-y, and the thrifted route would be more in our budget. i have seen frames for a quarter at many thrift stores, which is such a small fraction of the price you would pay in a retail store. spend the money on getting your family photos professionally printed, spray-paint your thrift store frames all the same color and go crazy making a wall that will make you and your family smile.

3 -  add some curtains! for privacy, dimension to those windows, and a pop of color. these teal ones from urban outfitters would bring out some of the blues in my room (in the rug, the vase in the window, the throw pillow on the sofa). but these could even be made at home with about 5-6 yards of material and a little bit of time.

4 - lighting - add a simple floor lamp (or two, like room # 1) next to the sofa to give better lighting... doesn't need to be expensive or fancy - a little floor lamp from ikea (like this one) will do the trick without breaking the bank.


5 - add a surface. surfaces are an ongoing debate between christian and i. the room is a bit of a high-traffic area - a coffee table can just about make the space into an obstacle course. but i love having somewhere to rest a mug or my laptop, or a little surface for chloe to play with her toys on - it makes the room more usable. these nesting tables are a bit of a splurge, but would add a little bit of a rustic-modern feel to the room, and be light and small enough to tuck against a wall when not being used.


i hope to blog more "dear little house" posts in the future - to share bits of my home that i love, some decor inspiration, and a little diy as well. have any favorite living room diys? and rooms that inspire you? i would love to check them out! please leave them in the comments people!




*please note, this is not a sponsored post.. and in fact, none of my posts are - the stuff i link to and write about are all my own little likes and fancies!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...


i am very happy to share with you chloe's most passionate dance performance to date....


maybe her new dance slippers brought her inspiration - this is her most dramatic performance so far!

WHY DON'T YOU SMILE? HUH?

adorable illustration from kris atomic
i love this little illustration. as a woman who has been told so many times to "cheer up", when i am actually extremely happy (but just may not wear my feelings on my sleeve, or rather, my face), i am glad to know there is a name for this "condition". i am just fine not wearing a grin all the time ... it hurts your face muscles. besides, people who are always smiling are a little creepy. ha!


FRESH


i am many things, but a web designer is not one of them. thus, tonight i decided to get serious, and pay to make this blog look  and feel like i want it to. i have enjoyed blogging more over the past few months and plan to continue, so i made a little investment and couldn't be happier with how easy it was and how much i like this nice, fresh, clean look... it needs a little tweaking, mind you, but so much better.

yes, it is after three in the morning. yes, i should be sleeping. yes, i meant to go to bed at eleven last night. yes, babies will be waking in a few short hours.... yes, yes, yes.

SIMPLE SHORTBREAD

i have been eating shortbread cookies for a while, most of the time at work. i do not work at a bakery or grocery store. i am a nurse in an emergency room, and rarely am i lucky  enough to get a chance to use the bathroom during a shift, let alone grab something to eat. we have these little bagged lunches that we keep in the fridge for patients. usually intoxicated patients that are "sleeping it off". they contain a turkey sandwich with the fixin's (mayo and mustard), a juice cup, and a tiny package of lorna doone shortbread cookies. when i am having a busy night, caring for pee soaked, slurry-speeched drunksicles (drunks that are cold)... let's just say their lorna doones may just disappear.

they are the most satisfying food in the world. at three in the morning, when you have had nothing to eat, and you wouldn't dare leave your drunksicles to go grab something, lest they decide to stand up, lose their footing, and hit their head. oh vey! safer for everyone if i just eat the cookies, right?

safety first!

i recently realized, and this is going to sound very silly, that i love shortbread. i never thought much about it until the other day when i had an almost cosmic experience while eating a sweet-potato shortbread cookie. sweet-potato and shortbread is nothing short of amazing. trust me.

i decided to start making some shortbread and sharing them with you. these recipes are so simple, and use items most have ready in their kitchen. they are perfect with coffee or tea, and satisfying enough to be a brunch or breakfast if you add a half a grapefruit or some berries. this recipe was taken from smitten kitchen.



INGREDIENTS:

12 tablespoons butter (1 & 1/2 sticks) melted and still warm
5 tablespoons sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla, or scrapping from 1 vanilla bean
1 & 1/2 cups flour

METHOD

mix the first four ingredients together in a mixer or by hand with a whisk until creamy. add the flour and mix just until incorporated. press into a greased 9" springform cake pan (or a pan with a removable bottom, or a foil lined square or rectangle pan leaving a little overlap of the foil - you want to be able to remove these without crumbling them).  then you let them sit, for at least two hours, or overnight. you don't need to refrigerate them, but you can if you want.

bake at 300 F for 45 minutes. take them out of the oven. leave the oven on. sprinkle the cookies with some sugar, and let them sit for ten minutes. then cut them into bars, squares, or wedges, and put them on a parchment lined pan. return them to the oven for 15 minutes so they get a nice crispy little crust on the top.

eat them as soon as you can handle them.



BEST ENJOYED WITH:

an early morning, coffee, tea, some simple flowers, laziness, quietness, friends, family, babies, berries, wool socks, or a good book.

portrait v. 2

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

from last night, when she decided to put a bowl of macaroni and cheese, vegetables, and fish-sticks on her head while the husband and i were enjoying our dinner and a little conversation. this project is helping me to take many more photos of these little moments, rather than getting upset over the extra work that they make.... it's all good folks.
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