Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday and I'm laughing!

I was sooo trying to be efficient and leave the house with a dish for the potluck dinner party, and my two kids. 

All we had to do was assemble and leave. Yup. That's all we had to do.

A girl can dream...

Me: Ava, Jonah! Let's go!!
Jonah: no response
Ava: but, um... one minute, mama
Me: Sweetie, we don't have one minute. We have to go now.
Ava: But, MOM!, I'm turning myself into a butterfly!!

It took her five minutes to strip to nothing, put on wings, dig out the Halloween face paint and almost finish painting her face. We could all learn a lesson from her on efficiency.

Fast forward 10 minutes to me chasing my naked girl, as my son tries to join forces in a show nudity strength, while she is singing/shouting, "My butt is on fire!!" No clue what was about.

Truly, this is some of the best stuff as a parent. I can't tell you what she was thinking, but I'm so glad I was there to witness it!!

We have a choice during these moments to turn away from the wild imaginations and amazing humor of our children. We also have a choice to be right there, in the moment with them, and just soak up the wellspring of FUN. 

So here is to good humor and hilarity, a beautiful weekend ahead, and stuff that makes me laugh. Enjoy!

I have so many pics of my kids, like this one. My favorites of newborn Ava are with
her pants hiked up super high. Is it wrong to laugh at with our kids? I say NO!
Who doesn't love a good funny face??

I love this! Doesn't it totally convey the emotional message?
The font selection was perfect, movie reference (drama)...
Simple + smart + funny = My fav combo!
Some people might call me dramatic... WTF? :) jk...sorta

One of the greatest beauties of children. Blind Faith. Ava decided the other evening that we could just whip out building a new house in the back yard for her and Jonah to play in.  THAT NIGHT. With big, blue eyes blinking at me, she explained to me that we just needed to get some wood, hammer, nails, glue and paint. Voila! It reminded me how much faith our children put into us. I remember looking at them when they were newborns and thinking, look at this person just literally putting themselves into my hands. wow


Has anyone NOT been on sh*t my kids ruined?? It's a good laugh when your children are demolishing your home. This pic, below, Reminds me of when our toilet that overflowed last week. 
Ava was chucking wads of TP into the bowl bc it was making Jonah laugh.
How they discovered this laughter venue?? No clue. But, it was good times with TP nevertheless
aw, buddy. a good thing went a little too far?

This one is sooo

aaand clearly every endeavor can't be perfect.
But, perfect isn't always perfect, you know?
It can be awesome, and funny, and one of your best memories.
This KILLED me. Like head down on my desk laughing.

Sometimes you look back and just wonder what you were thinking. 
Don't you love this kid, though?! She's just chilling out, happy as can be.

What's the funniest thing you've seen or heard in a while?
What are your funny stories about your children?
Share some!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fab Fam Weekend

That's right. As in, Fabulous Family. Me, my brother, mom and pop have been calling ourselves that for as long as I can remember. Pretty much any event or activity that includes us all is labeled Fab Fam and/or World Famous. We just had our yearly Fab Fam weekend, and hung out at my Pop's lake house and ate World Famous spaghetti.

It was a beautiful fall weekend. I can't even express it fully. Everyone was in a great mood, lots of laughter and fun. 50-ish degrees, sunny, leaves had changed. Absolutely perfect. 

This year my little Fab Fam decided to stay at a B&B, The Columns, near the lake house. It was SO inspiring! The home was filled with interesting and thoughtful vignettes. I had been itching to go to the Vintage Crawl in Brooklyn last weekend, but my son got sick and he flat out needed mama. So, when we arrived at The Columns, and it was my own private vintage show... well, you can imagine the high pitched, "oooh!" that escaped my lips.

I could not help myself from exploring and snapping pics. Enjoy!!!

kids slept for the first time in a bed together. it was too cute!

DELIGHTED to have a fancy glass and pumpkin plates

the blue window

vintage doll house = BIG HIT

view. yes, there were horses frolicking!! 

blue lamp base. how happy is that?

loved the stain glass colors against the window

little secret room. maybe not so secret, but a girl can pretend!

big questions

little hidden bunny

little hidden bunny buddy

fierce shadow

communications control center

hello?  yes, mr, president...

view of the front from above


"i ride dat!"

this old house

"...and, I was run-ning!"

a good combo? I'm not so sure...

baby grand

me and d, those two specks are our kids

beautiful fall sky, noisy geese

Fab Fam Caravan

picking flowers

The Lake

Jonah and Pop Pop

Golden Leaf
 Do you have any favorite places that inspire you? Share them with us!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

21 Days: My gift to myself

21 days...Isn't that what it takes to change habits? I think I read that somewhere...In just under a month, it will be my birthday and I'll be one step closer to 40, than 30 (ok, maybe 2 or 3 steps closer. crap.). Across the past 5 years, I've been feeling...tired. When I fully absorbed the fact I was talking about five whole years of my life, I was shocked. Then, to make myself feel better, I rationalized that I have two small children, one of whom is turning 5 this month. It's been a busy 5 years, after all! I thought about my (previously) stressful job. That, before that, it took my son a good year to sleep consistently. All good reasons. Yup. Good reasons until I realized that I'd been feeling this way longer than 5 years. Isn't that like cold water on your head? I can recall my regular weekend afternoon naps when Andrew and I were first dating...over 10 years ago.

I truly believe comparison is a root of evil. But, when I looked around, I could see that something was off with me. First thoughts: maybe I'm sick? Depressed? Bad habit?? nope. nope. ...maybe?

This summer, I was inspired by my old friend Marla Carter of Marla and Shane Photographers and the popular blog, Left on Amelia. She wrote about TheWhole30 and eating in Paleolithic. Think eating foods like nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats.

2-3 years ago, my husband bought a book called The Paleo Diet. So there I was reading Marla's blog, and I could see the good health in her pictures and hear it in the tone of her writing. Then I read about her mid-day bike rides b/c she was no longer tired in the afternoon. What the what?!

Andrew and I talked, and we did it. It wasn't always easy. But, that's the truth. It's not always easy. I LOVE a good muffin with my coffee, a little wine and dark chocolate, and I'm a comfort food girl at heart. But, the pay off was tremendous. Within a week, my troubled skin cleared up, I was no longer taking a siesta, my moods had evened out, I had loads of energy, and was thinking more clearly. I have no idea if those kinds of results were common, but they were mine.

Paleo Carrot Soup with ginger, cardamom, and coconut milk. Crazy good!
off-the-tree apple slices to saute in coconut oil, cinnamon and almonds

Then, enter our summer vacation to Nantucket. Hello ice cream cones, cocktails and Portuguese breads. Hello naps, moodiness and troubled skin. We got home, and we definitely had a great time, but we felt like garbage.

We've gone back on Paleo, (ahem) loosely. Some weeks more loosely than others.
Paleo-ish homemade oreo cookies
What beer? This is clearly a picture of me making a Paleo-ish Apple Pie!
All forms of denial and kidding aside, my bday is around the corner...and I'm thinking to myself, what do I want? A spa day, carte blanche at Anthropologie, jewelry, a vacation?? Ummm, yeah, ok yes I'd like all of the above. (Andrew, are you reading this?? Anthropologie, are YOU??)  But, really when I get down to it...What do I want?

I want to feel like a million bucks when I wake up on November 4th.
I want to open my eyes and smile bc I feel awake, rested, and aware. I want to look out at the autumn morning golden sunshine, and be totally psyched to start my day.
I want to give myself the gift of my good.

So, my reconnection with true Paleo is part of this gift of good health. But, really, there is more to the story than that. Good health is more than just food, it's about a balance of all things in my life. My first step and shift towards choosing my gift of good health, really started last year. For me, the logical next step was reconnecting with my husband, children and family. Career-wise, it has all been all about rediscovering with MY aestheticvoice, and point-of-view.

I'm a working, designer mom with an amazing husband and two small children. I'm blessed with amazing friends and family...AND I'm starting my own business. YAY!!!! Budding and dreaming entrepreneurs, it's A LOT to balance. There are pockets of feeling overwhelmed and times of push and craziness, and it wont always work out like a feel-good tv show. But, it's also so totally awesome. There is always something else to do, and for the most part, I can't wait to do it! (no, I'm not talking about you dumb forms!!)  Just like my physical health, for my business to thrive, there needs to be good health within it.

I've made the decision to cut back a bit on my freelance hours, to free up more for belle&beanzer.  My freelance work is definitely a good thing, it's fun, I looove NYC, but it  isn't where my excitement lies. I'm lucky to have it, to interact with SO many creative, talented and interesting people. It's actually put me in touch with some key people I've needed to play a role in my business. But, ultimately, it's really about the bigger picture. The big picture being belle&beanzer, and that I want to go live January 2012. 

Speaking of which, the latest and greatest is... my final prototypes will arrive at the end of the month. As will my final costing estimates, etc. I'll need to plug those numbers in and see where I land with everything. PS - run your numbers, folks. Seriously, hard core numbers. In a future blog, I'm going to be interviewing an truly amazing woman who wrote a book for people just like me. We've opened an email correspondence, and she's agreed to be a guest blogger here. More on that later...

As for the one-piece, I'm REALLY excited to do a reveal as soon as I get the protos back. I've been pulling together the pics and video from along the way. I've got some goood stuff in there. We'll get a glass of wine and have a good laugh together! 

In the meantime, I can't wait to post my mood board, logo, etc. It's all getting there, with the branding. I find it SO serendipitous in my venture adventure, that order to have a clear brand and point-of-view, I've had to really understand MY point-of-view, aesthetically. It's a simple concept. It's amazing how long it too me to get it!! I was too busy doubting and second guessing myself and comparing my ideas to others. GAH! Done with it! 

The less exciting news, but reality, is the surprising amount of paperwork and the appalling lack of information about how to fill out said paperwork. 

Oh yeah, heads up!...pretty soon, hopefully within the month, I'll be migrating my blog to my website. Therein lies the next piece, technology...migrating my blog, getting the website looking the way I envision it, setting up my email, linking up all my social technology. LEARNING. CURVE. 

So, there you have it. 21 days to better overall health. Finding a better balance in all aspects of my life and how they interweave. I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spread the love

I love my home office. Truth? Mostly bc it's mine. Sort of ;) It's a work in progress, functionally and aesthetically. I have lots of ideas I collect on my home office board on pinterest.

Ever heard the saying that we thrive in our routines, and delight in the surprise? I happen to believe it. I believe we like to know what to expect, and we want a little surprise to remind us of our individuality. It's riding that line of the familiar and the unexpected. To me, nothing is more truly an expression of this than working from home with small children.

I move things around, switch things out and very often wind up with a dinosaur in my drawer, princess mixed in with my pens and some plastic food nestled in with my samples. I adore finding these little treasures.

They are very respectful if my room, and absolutely want to "work" with me. Hearing a little spontaneous sing-song and laughter, vrooooom car noises, and a drive by cuddle brightens my day and is such a gift to me. In those moments, I'm fully connected with cornerstones of my business: Family. Motherhood. Creativity. Joy. Humor. Simplicity.

I now have colorful little marker scribbles on my couch (oh WHY didn't I buy the washable markers first?), my pens go missing, my pencils are out of lead and the notes in my notebooks are interspersed with little drawings.

The sassy girl in the middle is Ava being a rock star. Notice the stance with attitude.
But, the number one office supply of 2-5 year old desire are my post-its.

Ok, they are a certain 36 year's old desire too. I love them, and I'm not afraid to say it. I use them on pretty much everything. Try it out for your next to do list! It's SO much more satisfying than crossing things off. Peel off the whole thing, and throw out!! Simple, sweet thrill! You'll notice they hold just enough space for a reasonable amount to do in a day too. They can be easily transferred from notebook to notebook.

If I'm going to reveal the true me, the only supplies that trump post-its are notebooks and pens. I'm addicted. Seriously, don't "borrow" my fav pen. I'll laugh and be friendly, but it's no joke. I'm just kidding (not really)...

So, being that I love post-its, I have them in many shapes and colors: bright pink, orange, green and blue, and flowers, stars and hearts. My daughter saw them, and I saw her little pupils dilate.

I'm a sharer (lets forget the whole pen thing for now), but feeling a little mine my beloved little ones (the post-its I'm referring to), and after several stacks went "missing," I suggested that we pick up some of her very own. Win-win.
Ava decorating my floor
Fastforward to yesterday. We bought Ava her own stack of pink and orange heart-shaped post-its. We got home and Ava's fingers were positively wiggling in anticipation. She quietly colored on them for nearly 2 hours.  It was the start of our evening, and we were busy with dinner, baths, milkies, laundry, lunchboxes, and finding lovies. After the house was quiet, it was just me and Andrew and we were getting ready for bed. I pulled back my pillow and found little post-it hearts sticking to the back. Andrew found a surprise for him too. Then he asked, "yeah, what's with all the hearts all over the house?"

Turns out that Ava had been busy filling out little messages on her post-it hearts, and sticking them around our home.

Flanked with love
Love Machine
I won't take them down until the glue dries up and they fall off. Talk about humor, joy, delight and the simplicity of straightforward love. Hers and ours.
Sweet Dreams