Hey Little Birdie!

Valentines

I’m sure you can tell from the pink and red rainbow that has vomited all over everything from Target to Pinterest that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. You may roll your eyes at the cheesiness, be exhausted from the December rush, or think it is a corporate, meaningless holiday. And to that I say- why do you want to kill love? (Imagine me with a pout and doing the heart sign with my hands.) But truly, I fully embrace the love fest. Pink, hearts, candy, chocolate, and sweetness around every corner! Valentine’s is the Hallmark Movie of holidays and I will always get sucked right in.

I’ve been tossing around the idea of handmaking some little love tokens to send out or give to close friends. And I want it to be something that Claire could help me with too. I need to be more intentional about including her in these things. She may not be able to participate in the traditional sense, but I want her to know and feel that she is a part of these celebrations. Just as I would do if she were a typically functioning child. So that may mean letting her feel the craft supplies, guiding her hand to stick something on a card, having her smell the ingredients of a treat, and showing/explaining what we are making.

Here are a few options I’m thinking through. Maybe you’ll see something that inspires you to share a little love as well!


Felt Fortune Cookies via Martha Stewart


Gumball Valentine Necklace via One Charming Party


Mini Baked Donuts via My Baking Addiction


Eye Love You cards via Kraze4paper

and lastly this cute Cupid Kit can be purchased from Paper and Twine on Etsy.


 

January 9th, 2012

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Know Your Birdies: Being Female

Welcome to our weekly feature “Know Your Birdies” where every Friday a question is posed and you get to know us through our answers. This week we’ve asked… and answered: What do you like most about being female? Keep in mind that we know that these answers have a massive potential to generalize and stereotype both sexes. And while that isn’t our goal, we do feel there are basic things present in our lives that we associate with being female. So in an attempt not to offend, please know we are just speaking personally.

I think the main things I love about being female are the roles I get to play. I love being a wife, a mom, a sister, and a daughter. They allow me to express a bevy of traits that are uniquely feminine to me – brushing someone’s hair or having them brush mine, giving in to immoderate tears while watching sappy tv and not worrying about ridicule, excessively (and I mean excessively) cheering for someone when they take something on, nurturing, cuddling, and hugging. Honestly, this is just the beginnings of a list. The longer I thought about my answer to this question, the more I appreciated being female. Oh, and one more thing that I can I forget… not taking out the trash. At least that’s how it goes in our household.

I have so many different things that I love about being female. I would have to rank the ability to nurse toward the top of the list. I know people have mixed emotions and reactions to nursing, but it is for me. I love that God designed mothers so perfectly that we are able to give to or children exactly what they need through breastfeeding. I love the time it gives me with my babies, even if it is at 2:30 in the morning. I love the bond that it builds. I know mothers that become grandmothers that still miss that experience, and I know one day even 50 years from now I will look back on nursing with great affection and powerful emotion and feel a loneliness for that experience.

“Maternity”
by Pablo Picasso

What don’t I love? Okay, except that pesky visitor we all know and loathe…But besides that bother, I love pretty much everything. I am a girly girl through and though. (Except when it comes to football devotion. Then I turn my beast on.) One of my favorite things is that as women, we share an intimate affection for one another in a way that guys usually don’t. We can hold hands, snuggle, and cry together. And that comes naturally in our close relationships. There is nothing like a true girlfriend.


What do you love about being female?

 

 

 

January 6th, 2012

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Be Awesome… Today

My husband and I were talking the other day about how neither of us have ever really assumed the habit of resolution-making. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe I need to have a conversation with a resolution-enthusiast to really compare their zeal with my nonchalance. Maybe then I will uncover the source of my apathy.

However, I will readily admit that I am much affected by the amount of intentionality that this time of year brings. I’m inspired by the dedication to evaluate where we’ve been and conversely where we are going. I align myself right up next to those who self-analyze in an effort to become better versions of themselves. I love these practices and premeditations. They resonate in my very being.

I want to become a cleaner, more pure version of myself… who I was created to be. I want my day-to-day life to reflect the things and people who are most important to me. I want to embrace opportunities to grow and push myself past my established realm of comfort.

For me, maybe this means cleaning out closets to simplify my life, maybe it’s baking something for a neighbor in an attempt to dig in to the physical location where God has me planted, maybe it’s taking more walks outside to expand Lyla’s space and to lessen my waist line, maybe it is setting my alarm a half hour earlier to ensure I have daily time in prayer, maybe it is dreaming with my husband when he talks about his business, maybe it’s interrupting less and listening more when a friend catches my ear.

So, what about you? Are you a resolution person? Do you want to convert me? Do you think I am a closet resolution-maker based on the ramblings of this post? I kind of think that maybe I am.

p.s. The print above is from Super Swoon Print Shoppe. Check it out.

January 5th, 2012

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Pantry Organization

Going along with yesterday’s gushing about all things January, let me tell you another reason I love this month: it is all about organization. And you know how much we love our organization here at HLB (in fact, Nicky may have already done a pantry post already.) Every store has sales on storage, blogs and magazines are full of wonderful organizational ideas. So I am jumping on that bandwagon and compiling a little montage of spectacular pantry spaces.

This one is a little snapshot of my pantry… No, I kid. I would never be able to coexist with this kind of pantry, I would just sit in there and cry tears of joy all day looking at it.

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If you are digging the whole industrial chic look here is bit of eye candy for you:

I am kind of smitten with the idea of lockers as a pantry.

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I am sure if you have ever googled pantry organization, you’ve come across this beauty. That is because it is perfection.

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In conclusion, I have relized through my perusing pantry porn that in order to have a incredable pantry you must:

1. Have loads and loads of room

2. Have very little to no food. The food you do have must be put in empty containers with zero branding. Darnit I like my food to match.

3. Have time to wallpaper the back of your pantry. Really it doesn’t get much better than those pantries.

Fortunately now I feel super organized just looking at these and have relieved myself of any pressure to actually organize my pantry.

 

January 4th, 2012

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An Ode to January

Welcome to January! I am wildly partial to January above all other months, even though it is kind of the month equivalent to a Monday. In full disclosure this month is the anniversary of my birth as well as the anniversary of my becoming a mother, so I really am biased.

This is the month that feels like my own bed at the end of a really fabulous trip; there is a peace to getting back to the mundane and routine. December is all about being the sensory overload month. It is full of loads of glorious food and festive music. Our surroundings are adorned with effulgent lights. Everything is ridiculously extraordinary. Then January ushers in a stark crisp silence that feels positively serene.

It is also the month that allows for renewal. I love that sense of positive personal ambition that most people have with their New Years Resolutions all fresh in their minds. Even if it doesn’t end up coming to fruition, I love seeing people progress and implement positive changes in their lives. No other month provides an opportunity to welcome the mentality of “I can and will do it better” into our consciousness. After a month of overindulgences full of glorious, gluttonous  excess it feels good to practice restraint and take inventory of our basic needs, wants and desires for our lives.

To me January is a sigh and a pause. It is a time to sidle into the starting block and begin the race again, no sprinting, just a sweet jog toward where we want to be. Happy January, readers. I wish you a wonderful start towards your new year.

January 3rd, 2012

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Farewell to 2011.

Because of our mutual affection for all things Zooey Deschanel, Nicky sent Katrina and me a link to this sweet video of Zooey and her (500) Days of Summer co-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (another personal fave), singing New Year’s Day. As I listened to it, my heart swelled within my chest.

It’s sweet.

It’s simple.

And it’s a perfect 2011 send-off to you sweet friends who read this little blog.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 for each and all. We love you.

December 31st, 2011

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Know Your Birdies: Physical Attribute

Welcome to our weekly feature “Know Your Birdies” where every Friday a question is posed and you get to know us through our answers. This week we’ve asked… and answered: What is the thing you like most about your appearance?

This question brings out all kinds of insecurities in me. I want to embrace who I am more and more, but conversely I feel the need to temper my answer with a fair amount of self-deprecating humor. Why do we females do this to ourselves? Well, in an effort to combat this fact, I am going to be upfront and bold in my answer. I like my hair and my eyes. I’m thankful that my hair doesn’t present me with any great obstacles. It’s not limiting in any way. I can go curly or straight. It’s not too thick nor too thin. And the color… well, that can be altered pretty easily. As for my eyes, I like them because I really do feel like they represent who I really am. They show my inner essence like nothing else does. And I’m all for transparency.


My fist inclination is to say my eyelashes are my favorite physical feature, and ascetically they are probably my best, but my hands are my favorite.  I have short stubby fingers, my nail beds are all wrong, my cuticles are atrocious and they are bizarrely veiny.  But I still love my hands.  Growing up I was preoccupied with what my hands would look like when I grew up, not what my face would look like, but my hands. A couple years ago I remembered this and was struck with the fact I was there and these are my grown up hands.  I love that they bare the symbol of my marriage. I love that they hold my children’s’ hands. I love that they prepare the food for my family. I love when I use them to write. I love when the left side of my left hand has paint smeared on it from painting. I love when my children take them and cup them up against their checks for comfort. I love when my husband hold them in the car still. I love that they will always show my age and be a perfect ledger of where I am in life and where I have been.

Oh the dreaded question…I am very hard on myself. I hate that I am overweight (yet I consistently put off working hard to fix that) and I am sensitive about silly things like a birthmark below my collar bone and a scar from stitches on my chin. But if I am honest with myself, there is quite a bit I like. I think I have a twinkle in my eyes, a nice smile (without ever needing braces, hooray!) and pretty hair. And my favorite thing is my dimples. They totally fit my personality to a T.

 

What do you love about your look?

 

 

December 30th, 2011

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Glitter Top Coat

If you know me, you know I am borderline obsessed with glitter. It is just so FUN for crafts and such. However, I rarely wear anything glittery on my person. My style is more classic and preppy, and glitter fashion can often veer into Ke$ha territory fast. But lately, I’ve been embracing the trend to add just a dash of sparkles here and there. Which is fitting since New Years Eve is right around the corner, I mean, what better time to glam it up a little than the biggest party time of the year?

So my subtle solution is the Sephora by OPI Jewelry Top Coats. I bought the one that is clear with gold flecks. I can’t recommend it enough! It lasts forever and transforms any polish or plain nails into disco ball fun time. You won’t be able to stop staring at your nails with this stuff on, and you may start spontaneously dancing in public. Or you might be the kind of person who does that anyway (finger pointed at me). In either case, it’s awesome!



 

 

December 28th, 2011

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Christmas Recap

Today I am commandeering HLB and getting all family blog-ish on you guys. It is just that I had  such an amazing Christmas day, I feel I should share it with you. The kids were hilarious, the food was good, the table was pretty and the company was the best. Santa brought the kids wheelbarrows. Seriously, wheelbarrows. But if you know my kids, you know that wheelbarrows are undoubtedly the best gift they could have received, they are just weird like that.

I was way more into the “tablescape” this year than the food. The food just kind of messed it up, truth be told. I thought about making everyone eat off of paper plates on the floor just so I could preserve the table for a bit longer. It started with a rabid obsession with finding gold flatware, an obsession that was satiated thanks to Craigslist. It kind of built from there. I have now decided pink and gold should be the official Christmas colors.

I hope your Christmas was absolutely wonderful!

December 27th, 2011

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Loft Slippers

It’s the day after the biggest day of the year. And I don’t know about you but I am spent. In a good way, but exhausted none the less. My little family had the grandest two days. Filled with family, parties, delicious food, and merry making all around. And we got to do it all-which is the biggest Christmas miracle for a family with special needs. I really couldn’t ask for more. But now that it is behind us, I am in full on relax mode. That means lounging around in my sweats, snacking on holiday treats, and watching the tube. The only thing wrong with this picture is the constant view I have of my tattered, hole-y slippers. They look (and probably smell) atrocious. So from my perch on the sectional, I’m ordering one of the pretty pairs from Loft. They are all 50% off today, which means only $12.50. A super sweet deal for slippers so cute that you could get away with wearing them on a grocery run. My task now is to pick which pair!

1. Striped flower 2. Grey Chiffon Flower 3. Camel Chiffon Flower 4. Leopard Print

 

 

December 26th, 2011

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