Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vacation, I love you

I'm back from vacation and battling the whirlwind of a classically crazy workweek... sigh. At least I have my tan to remind me what I was doing this time last week, right?!

The major vacation takeaway (besides the fact that duh, we need to go on vacation more often) was this: we have a water baby! I'm so happy that my girl seems like splashing around the water as much as her mom does. We had a tented pool float, aka the best $30 I've ever spent, and it was perfect for her. We could actually use it in the ocean, too, as calm as the water was there. And blue! That blue... (cue another sigh).

We stayed at the Beachcomber condos in Grand Cayman, and I can't say enough about the property. Perfect location, great amenities, completely relaxed and easy. If you're looking for a tropical condo vacation instead of a hotel (especially if you have a little one in tow), the Beachcomber is definitely worth looking into! This vacation wasn't our usual speed at all. We tend to be active vacationers, checking things out and seeing sights. This time we really just wanted to relax, enjoy, and do absolutely nothing, and we nailed it.

I have well over 100 vacation photos - Hazel swimming in each of her little suits, dozens of shots of each of us holding her on different days, various sunsets and ocean shots, etc. Excessive photo-taking, as can be expected with a six-month-old on her first beach trip. (And oh yeah: we celebrated our five-year anniversary down there. Yay us!) Here are just a few of my favorite shots:




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hazel's nursery featured on 100 Layer Cakelet!

Hi friends! I know I've been holding out on showing Miss H's nursery here, and that's because it's being featured on 100 Layer Cakelet today! Head over to their gorgeous blog and check it out, and let me know what you think! We love her cheerful room and all the details that make it special.

Once I'm back from vacation next week I'll share more. Enjoy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday I'm in Love

Happy Friday, aka vacation kickoff day! I'm taking the day off to prepare for our vacation tomorrow, which is sadly necessary given the mess and empty suitcases staring at me ahead of our 6:00 a.m. departure. Before I start doing laundry and packing wee swimsuits, though, I leave you with some fun moments from the week. I'll check in from vacation next week to share some fun news related to H's nursery, but in the meantime... au revoir!

Best. Walkup. Song. Ever.

I hear your inane country tune and your angry metal and I raise you one glorious "Careless Whisper." Josh Reddick, you are my new favorite.
Courageous Bride, Beautiful Wedding
My fabulous friend Sara consistently plans spectacular DC weddings full of swoon-worthy details. This wedding of Sara's, though, takes the (wedding) cake, for all the right reasons. I want to hug this bride a thousand times over!
Alternate Ending for Tyrion

This alternate ending to Sunday's Game of Thrones episode makes me cackle with delight. Sometimes it just doesn't take much. Team Tyrion over here (obviously). (Also, we can agree that Jamie's haircut is absolutely terrible, right?)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cherry Blossom Family Photos

Our images from our cherry blossom photo session with Amanda Young Photography make me so happy! These were taken just over a month ago, and I swear little H already looks so different! It was hard to choose which ones to share, we had so many great ones. Here's a sample:

Thank you Amanda for such beautiful work!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little things lately

I chopped my hair! I now feel about a thousand times lighter. As I captioned on Instagram, "I just went from 'Game of Thrones' extra to "quirky best friend" in a rom-com." Adios to eight dead inches. I was admittedly hesitant to cut it given my super-sexy postpartum hair loss (I'm sorry, even if you know what's happening, seeing handfuls of your own hair in the shower is horrifying), but I also knew what was left wasn't worth saving. Short and sassy for summer it is! Thanks for pressing the issue, hormones. I'm glad I bit the bullet.

Speaking of bullets... (okay no, that segue is never going to work). Life has been a little challenging lately on the baby front. I'm in a low milk rut again, and Miss H officially has two teeth all the way through the skin. We were hoping that would mean our former star sleeper would get back to her old ways. Instead, we're still coaxing her back to sleep every hour she's in her crib, then giving up and bringing her into our bed. As long as she's on me, she'll sleep. Sigh. But so hard to complain, you know?

The fitful sleeping scene was in full swing Saturday night when we had some of our favorites over for dinner. Kudos to B and L for rolling with the host running upstairs every 45 minutes, and for welcoming the little one when I finally gave in and just let her join the fun waaaaay after her bedtime. At least she's cute, right?

Our first Mother's Day together was pretty awesome. Love this girl, and really love the guy she's resembling more and more, too.

Vacation begins on Saturday! Somebody better start packing...

PS: Over the weekend I stumbled upon Bobbi Brown's Tinted Lip Balm, in hopes of replacing my discontinued fave. While she's missing the sheer red that is my perennial fave color, I scooped a Pink Raspberry and will report back!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My girl, and "our" girls

Last night I put one of Hazel's swimsuits on her for the first time, squeezing her broad thighs and roly poly almost-six-month body into the stretchy fabric. We're ten days away from vacation - time to make sure her suits are good to go. They are.

I get these moments now and then of being utterly overwhelmed with happiness that I have a little girl. Seeing her in her very first swimsuit last night very nearly broke me. There she was smiling at me in an old-fashioned print with a sweet little skirt and a high neck and all that skin. It was too much. She has an entire life ahead of her to explore her relationship with swimwear (and if I have any power at all, I hope that relationship will be happier than many girls'), but this first chapter is ours together.

I feel that way about so many firsts she's having these days. I rub her feet - perfectly smooth and un-calloused, since she's never actually walked on them, and I wonder where they'll take her. I see her light up with a grin at someone and think about all the people who'll inspire that smile in her lifetime, and all the smiles she'll inspire in turn. I see her brain whirling and hear her sounds coming, and wonder how many grand ideas will come out of that mouth, how many people will turn to listen to what she has to say.

Because she's my girl, I predict she'll have lots of opinions and quite a lot to say. I want her to be whatever she wants to be, but to be it proudly, and I know she'll have every opportunity in the world to live out that motto. Other girls aren't so lucky. And maybe because just the sight of my little one in a swimsuit makes me teary, maybe because I'm filled with every bit of hope in the world for my little girl right now, the horror of 300 kidnapped girls in Nigeria is especially appalling.

There must have been so much hope in their eyes, sitting in their classrooms and learning about the world. Their families knew that going to school was the best way to channel their hopes into a better life, the best way to rise to the challenge presented by their dreams. If you believe, like I do, that making the women of this world happy is the key to achieving peace anywhere and everywhere, then you know it all begins in a classroom. Of course the classroom is the battleground.

As Uzodinma Iweala wrote in the Washington Post this morning: "The kidnapping of these girls is the crudest attempt to destabilize our country. It is a cowardly act by lazy minds who lack the ability or desire to address a pluralistic nation as the democratic process demands, through the spoken or written word." Kidnapping, he explains, is the worst kind of tool in a young democracy where hope is the currency: "[Kidnapping] turns this hope into a liability that can paralyze."

Paralyzing the future and extinguishing the light in the eyes of 300 girls will have a ricochet effect within Nigeria that I can't even begin to comprehend. The horror of it is both why a "hashtag movement" is so easily prompted, and also why it could never be enough. I know it's not enough, but I say #BringBackOurGirls anyway. I see Hazel's sparkling eyes and her smile and those sweet rolls exposed by her new swimsuit, and I think about little girls everywhere. I know it's not enough, but I say it again, and again, and again: #BringBackOurGirls.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Isn't that always the way? (Vanity edition)

Remember that time I wrote about my favorite tinted lip balm being discontinued, and how crushing that was to my delicate, chapped-lip psyche, but how I finally found a replacement? It's been over three happy years since that post, and I now have Laura Mercier Hydratints in Berry and Crimson stashed in bags and drawers everywhere. Chances are any photo taken of me since that post involves me wearing one of those two colors.

A few key tubes - my work bag and desk drawer versions - were getting low, so I popped online to buy more and....

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my god. No really. Seriously. NO!

Hydratints are now discontinued, too.

I was way late on this news, apparently - I can't find stragglers anywhere. And to be honest, I can't really wrap my head around why I'm the only one who seems to love sheer lip color in chapstick-style tubes. You can apply them without looking in a mirror and know you look fine, and apply them in the middle of a work meeting full of men without feeling prissy. DONE.

Are there any replacement suggestions out there? Ugh, so annoyed. Excuse me while I shed a tear adding to my Discontinued Hall of Fame List:
  • Laura Mercier Hydratint line
  • Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curl line
  • Chanel Aqualumiere in Porto Rodondo
  • Neutrogena Moistureshine Tinted Lip Balm line
  • Kiehl's Ultra Moisturizing Buffing Cream with Scrub Particles
  • Laura Mercier Just Lips
  • Origins Shedonism line

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday I'm in Love

This was a week of milestones: My dad is back in the country after three long months in Saudi Arabia and Miss H's first tooth poked through to say hi. Before I head offline for a weekend of gardening and parental visits, here are some fun picks for the week. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wooden Volkswagen Beetle
This is kinda the coolest thing ever made. A Bosnian man spent two years covering a Volkswagen Beetle in wood - 50,000 separate pieces of oak, to be exact. Holy awesome.
Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs: The Opera
This will only resonate for any planning nerds who may happen to be reading, but if you're out there, HOLY CRAP A ROBERT MOSES AND JANE JACOBS OPERA. I am there. Do you think the cast will sign my dusty graduate school thesis?
Black Jade Pencil
I recently lost one of my two favorite eye pencils. Grrrrr. I'd had it for years and had plenty left for another couple of years, too, so it was a no-brainer replacement. Green-eyed gals, get your hands on this standby for me: Chanel Le Crayon Kohl in Black Jade. It's pricey but as I said, lasts forever and makes eyes like mine pop like no one's business.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Guest Room Redux

Last time I shared our back bedroom here, it was a home office.

But then my company opened a DC office, so I didn't need a dedicated space at home anymore. And then our guest room turned into a nursery (the big reveal coming soon, promise!), so we needed the old office to become a new guest room. The last several months have featured the same d├ęcor from the old office with the guest bed thrown into it. Not very cohesive and not very homey.

It's occurred to me walking around our home that as much as I love the color green, it's not really featured very much in our house. I decided that the revamped guest room would be the perfect place to remedy that - I'm going for fresh green and white with pops of blue, very outdoors-in. My inspiration started with Waverly's "One Wish" fabric in Mint Julep - I used it for curtains, and the print is just the vibe I wanted. (Note: The green is much lighter in person than is this image! I wasn't prepared when the curtains arrived, but quickly adjusted the greens in my plans.)

I'm putting the room together now - almost done repainting and maybe halfway there with other elements. I'm trying to use what I already own as much as possible, so I'm repurposing existing bedding, furniture, and art - really just shopping for new accent pieces. I've been collecting ideas on a Pinterest board if you want to take a peek at where I'm headed.

Hazel had some fun this weekend while we were painting (luckily the same gray paint from the old guest room works great in here - I love using what I already have!). Here's our cutie hamming it up during the paint session with a sneak peek of the curtains. (Also, remind me never to sell our house unless we're moving into one with the same great natural light, okay?)

I'll be back next month (fingers crossed!) with the finished product.
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