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Tuesday, December 29

Life Lately: Edison's First Christmas


Oh what fun!

Per usual, I had big plans for Christmas crafts, actually baking, great gifts, and Christmas cards. But this year, ain't nobody got time for that.


But I did make the "Silent Night" artwork on the mantle, and decorated the house, and the tree. And since we didn't get family Christmas pictures taken, I took a few of Edison under the tree.


Edison has loved the lights and ornaments!

Christmas festivities included tree shopping, going to see Winter Wonder - a Christmas production by Scottsdale Bible Church, watching Elf and enjoying fires in the fireplace.


We opened presents as a family, and Edison got to try out the bouncer we got him, before we flew to Iowa the next day. He was a trooper! He fell asleep before the first takeoff, was content to suck on his pacifier or bottle for the landing and next takeoff, and only cried during the last landing, which was a little rough for all of us. He had no problem getting through security, and since we'd figured out a few days before that he liked being in the infant carrier if he faces out and can see all the people, that made it easy to transport him around the airports.


Since we've been in Iowa, we celebrated Christmas with Brian's immediate family Christmas Eve morning, my immediate family Christmas Eve evening, then drove two hours that night so we could celebrate Christmas morning with Brian's extended family, leaving early afternoon to celebrate with my extended family, and then driving back to spend the night with Brian's extended family. Then we visited with Brian's extended-extended family the next morning, and early afternoon make the trek back to Brian's parents' house, where we're staying. And then we took long naps.


This week, I'm trying to fit in more time with family and friends, while not overdoing it. I've figured out that as much as Edison likes people, he needs time to recharge, which has meant crying most of the day on Monday and refusing to sleep. But we're figuring it out, one day at a time. And seeing my family enjoy spending time with him is totally worth it.


Edison turned five months! Even in the time we've been here, he's started sitting up mostly on his own, rolling over more, making lots of new sounds, and sometimes I'm pretty sure he recognizes his name. He's chewing ferociously on everything, but no teeth yet!


I got my wish for a white Christmas! And then some - we got hit with a blizzard, which allowed us some much needed down time for naps and working on New Year's Resolutions. 




Travel, snow, family, friends, decorating cookies, cozy pajamas, great presents, sleeping in late and drinking hot apple cider out of giant mugs - it's almost like a story out of the Hallmark Christmas movies we've been staying up late to watch. Minus dumping the handsome attorney for the rugged country boy, and having to choose between a promotion in the big city and said rugged country boy. In this story, I will still go back to the big city, and I'll take my rugged country boy with me!



Merry Christmas from us! I hope you have a fantastic New Year!

Thursday, December 3

What's On My Christmas List

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what I wanted for Christmas this year. The idea of getting lots of "stuff" just was not appealing. But gift-giving at Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to others - not just just the person you're giving a gift to, but also the companies and workers you support by your purchase. 

In years past, I've shared gift guides for gifts that give back, but this year, I don't really have time for that. You know those "what's in my purse" posts? I thought I'd adapt that, and share what's on my Christmas list this year. 

My Christmas List

1. Black Metallic Desert Wedges. I love, love, love every pair of TOMs I've owned, but I've never tried anything other than flats. I've also never ever worn ankle booties. I could really use a new black pair of shoes for work, and instead of getting another pair of flats, I'd like to add these shoes that give a pair of shoes to someone else.

2. Rose Gold Round Watch in Pale Pink. I love wearing a watch, and this classy handmade watch is is sustainably made from new scrap leather that would otherwise go to waste.

3. #GIRLBOSS. "In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called "Lean In for misfits," Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world." I think this is basically required reading for 20 something women these days, and it sounds fascinating.

4. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms. Emily Henderson wrote a book! I'm an avid reader of her blog, and I've been awaiting this book release with great anticipation. 

5. Moscow Mule Mugs. Because, copper. I can't get enough. Honestly, I could see myself drinking hot chocolate out of these. How cozy would that be? 

6. Causebox by Sevenly. This would be like Christmas every few months! It's a subscription box filled with ethically made, goodies that give back. It's not cheap . . . so a Sevenly Giftcard to go toward a shirt or print would also be much appreciated!

Not pictured: a lot more books, and some Disney/Pixar animated movies - namely, UP and Wall-E.

For more gift ideas that give back, you have to listen to The Happy Hour Podcast's Christmas episode. So many great ideas! And Jen Hatmaker. Seriously, it's a gift just to listen in! And, I've got a Gifts that Give Back pinterest board for more inspiration. 

How's your Christmas shopping going? I have started ... sort of. The problem I have, is that I find cool things, and then I want to keep them for myself. Anyone else? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, October 31

Life Lately: Our October


Brian did the Arizona Half-Ironman! It's a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike ride, and topped off with a half marathon. Yeah. I was more than a little concerned for him going into it, since he hadn't been able to train all that much with helping me take care of Edison. But he did it! And my sister-in-law, Edison, and I were there to cheer him all all seven and a half hours of it. I'm so proud!


It was a tiring day for all of us. 


Speaking of tired, Edison has had a slow time adjusting to sleeping at daycare. He usually only takes very short naps there, when I'm working from home with him the next day, he's very sleepy and snuggly. 


In the last couple weeks, he's improved his fine motor skills. Pulling this little blanket's ribbons into his mouth, and burying his face in it, are some of his new favorite things to do. 


Reaching new heights!


Going back to work has been ... challenging. Beyond what I imagine is normal - I have a new boss, a new job, my entire department has been restructured ... and many other challenges that I can't go into here.

But I recently read this quote, and it sums up my perspective. I know that I'm capable of learning to do whatever I set my mind to and making it great, so there's no sense in wasting energy on the past.


The sunsets lately have been incredible.


Our little man turned three months old! Look at those smiles!

 

He's starting to look like a toddler, and my heart can't handle it. 

At daycare, he made his first art! He painted this pumpkin with his feet. Clearly, my baby is a genius. 


With all the drama at work, Halloween snuck up on me. I had to improvise with what I had already for Edison's costume. I figured that if we took Edison trick-or-treating, our neighbors might see through that, so I'm hoping that next year we'll have a reason to get dressed up as a family (including Sirius!).

Happy Halloween!




Since it is actually a little chilly, Edison decided he'd prefer to be a sailor for Halloween.


That's a bit of life lately! I hope you had a safe and fun Halloween!

Out of curiosity, how old were your kids when you first took them trick-or-treating? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Friday, October 9

Five Friday Finds 10/9

Happy Friday! Just a handful of things/blogs/shops/articles that I found inspiring, encouraging, or entertaining: 

1. The Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey. Disclaimer: I've only listened to one episode so far. Disclaimer to my disclaimer: that's all it took for me to know that this podcast is excellent. It really is like sitting with your best girlfriends for happy hour, except that in this case your girlfriends are all the authors, bloggers, artists, and creative women you admire from around the whole internet. So you should gather the real life girlfriends you admire, and tell them to listen to this podcast with you, during happy hour. 


2. 4 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes and 3 Easy DIY Princess Costumes from Merrick's Art. The Elsa dress! You guys! And the modest Ariel outfit! And don't even get me started on the Kate Middleton costume - I could wear that every day of the year, not just for Halloween. 


3. "Make Room" Advent Calendar and Devotional from Naptime Diaries. I love Advent. Well, I should say, I love the idea of Advent. Don't we all want to slow down and savor the true meaning of the Christmas season? I'm just really bad at it. This advent calendar and devotional would provide that motivation and accountability. Plus, it's just pretty.


4. Life Lived Beautifully Fashion Week with Gretchen. I so enjoyed Gretchen's series last week on fashion from a Biblical perspective. This post especially, Fashion and Real Life, is chock full of practical advice. Gretchen has a four month old, and I have an almost three month old, so if she can get dressed every day, I can too! She introduced me to several new ethical fashion brands that I'm excited to check out.


5. New and improved Decor and Storage Ideas for Your Dorm Room (And Other Small Spaces) Part one and Part 2. Can you believe that Pinterest wasn't even really a thing when I first wrote those posts?! I'm almost considered old in blogging years. So this week I took some time (actually, a TON of time, like, days) to fix all the broken links and images for things that no longer existed, and added brand new thrifty decorating and storage ideas that you can try out really anywhere you need to maximize your storage or add a little flair.

That's what I found this week! What about you? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.


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Wednesday, October 7

White to Bright: Office Makeover Inspiration


White is so hot right now. 

Sleek, modern, pure, and accented with gold and soft pastels. As much as I admire the Scandinavian look (and Bonnie's office above is LOVELY) that workspace just doesn't work for me. I'd feel like I'd always need my nails done, fresh peonies, and a latte in order to work. It's just not sustainable.

Creativity is messy! However, there's a big difference between a messy creative process and a messy, chaotic office. Outer calm creates inner calm. You want to be more productive? Clean off your desk. And your husband's desk? Well, turn your chair so you can't see it. 

Here's what our office started with: a recipe for mediocrity. Beige walls - check. Bland shaggy carpet - check. Carpet infested with cat fur - also check. Dog won't stop peeing on said carpet because of said cat fur - check. Tearing out the carpet first thing - CHECK.


Where to even begin? 


The balance of serenity and warmth is why I tore this photo out of Better Homes and Gardens years ago. I like the productivity boosting color scheme of blues and grays with natural textures - modern, but with warmth.


I'm inspired by this living room styled by Emily Henderson. The patterned chair, gold and brass accents, contrasting colors - it's exciting, but not overwhelming. 

Apparently, I really like patterned chairs. For my office inspiration boards, I'm going to start there, with a vintage accent chair find from Chairish


I had a hard time choosing just one vintage chair to be the focal point - this one was a close second. With the centerpiece chosen, we can build outward and make it our own. I took my inspiration in two different ways - classic and wildcard.

Style #1: Classic



For this style board, I started with the BHG photo and added the navy gallery wall from HomeDit, but I also made it more bright and colorful with light blue and yellow. 

I like the contrast of the ornate gold frames on the navy background, and the sunny Stockholm rug from Ikea repeats the shape of the mirrors and adds warmth to the floor that's missing in the inspiration photo. While the desk doesn't have the weathered look of the metal one, you could always rough it up with sandpaper, if you really wanted. 

The magazine files, storage baskets, and light fixture add color, texture, and well, light, to illuminate your excellent organization. As for the print, my decor philosophy is to always add a little something French. You really can't go wrong. 

Style #2: Wildcard




Party time! These colors feel so happy. Hot pink accents punch up the energy while the pool blue of the desk chair and curtains and white desk keep things simple. The light, pillow, and table add sparkle, but the patterned chair remains the focal point. In this room, I'd use the chair and side table to make a little reading nook.

I showed both style boards to Brian, and guess which one he liked best? He said the second one doesn't feel like an office. But maybe that's the point - if it feels cozy and fun, we'll want to spend more time there. 

Although I can see the hot pink being a deterrent for one of us. 

I'll try to post update on what we've done since ripping out the carpet soon. 

So, what do you think? Would you pick the classic navy, blue and yellow, or go for the wildcard hot pink? 

Let me know which is your favorite in the comments below, on Instagram, or Facebook.