Friday, December 21, 2012

I Heart Zara

Somehow, earlier this year I was introduced to Zara kids' clothing; I think via this blog, (which I love).  The clothes are really well-made and stylish.  I haven't bought a thing for full-price, as it's a little more than I can afford to spend on clothes, but they have great sales.  

Here's what I scored this morning--their Fall/Winter sale just started, so I got some things for Jones and Baby Girl (Birdie) for next year:
Can't you just picture these with some cute-colored tights underneath?!
I actually want this in my size, but it'll be even cuter on a baby!

Cableknit leggings for an infant. Enough said.
And for Jones:
The boy looks good in blue.
The boy also looks great in a hat; and loves them to boot.

Happy Holidays! XO

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Civil Wars

Ever since I saw them on Austin City Limits a couple months ago, I can't stop listening to their soulful sounds...

Came across this video on NPR today, and the news that they've split up due to "irreconcilable differences."

 Here's to hoping they can overcome those differences.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Joyful And Bright Holiday Card
Turn family photos into holiday cards at
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Craving

One of my favorite sandwiches in all the land:

A Groucho's STP (all-turkey for me) with 45 Sauce.  Seriously, it doesn't get much better.
And yes, those are potato chips on the sandwich--the only way I do it.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Motherhood, Officially

Sounds silly, but today the fact that I am a mother finally hit me like a ton of bricks.  You wanna know why? 

My shopping list includes the makings for cupcakes made to look like pumpkins and Halloween stickers for my adorable child's Halloween party at school tomorrow.  Plus, I just realized that every. single. picture. I have posted on a social media site lately has been of said adorable child.

"Bodybag Johnny," aka my adorable child

As if that wasn't enough, the ever-growing baby bump under my maternity jeans and sweater and the contantly-moving baby therein, give me a pretty much hourly reminder that I'm officially a mom.  It's pretty grand.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Culture in Columbia

There is so much going on in Columbia, SC in the next few weeks!  So many events I want to attend and shows I want to see...alas, with a toddler at home, a husband who works most evenings, and a baby on the way, (read: I am tired all the time), it makes it a little challenging to do everything I want to.

Not sure what will shake out, but here are a few things I'm really hoping to partake in:
via here
Sleepwalk With Me at The Nickelodeon.  This film is by the producers of This American Life.  Need I say more?  (I love Ira Glass and I love that show--I even have the app on my phone!)  The film is playing at The Nick through October 18th.

via here
Red at Columbia Museum of Art.  You've probably heard that the CMA is exhibiting Mark Rothko works right now, (definitely on the to-do list).  Well, in conjunction with Trutus Theatre, they are also putting on a Broadway play of Rothko's life called Red.  Playing tonight through Sunday. 

via here
NPR's Scott Simon, the host of Weekend Edition, will speak at USC on October 23rd as part of their Fall Literary Festival.  Another of my favorite NPR personalities and shows.

So, what are you up to these crisp Fall days?  There's plenty to choose from.   We're going to take the babe to the State Fair next week--can't wait to see him on the kiddie rides!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Green Shoes

Anyone who knows me well knows that my favorite color is green.
Last week, I purchased these on-line, only to find out after a day of wearing them that they were too small:
via here

So, I passed them on to my mom who has smaller feet than I.  After learning a size bigger was not available from Old Navy any longer, I bought these instead:

via here

Anxiously awaiting their arrival.

I mean, everyone needs a pair of green shoes, right?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Toddler's Favorites

My 20-month-old's teachers told me yesterday that they had noticed that every time they tell the class to pick a book from the bookshelf, Jones always picks the same one: a book with kid-friendly recipes.  They said it has pictures of foods made into cute little animals and shapes.  I guess I'm not really surprised; the boy does love to eat.  (And he gets it quite honestly, from momma and daddy).

At home, his favorite books right now include:
via here
via here
via here
He is really into books where he can point out and say the word for what he sees on the page--it is amazing to see his comprehension expand so quickly!  And his vocabulary is catching up, too.  Although he still speaks entire paragraphs in seeming-gibberish, we are beginning to understand him more and more.  His favorite words right now are "truck" (cuck) and "bus."  He loves to point out every truck and bus we see when we're in the car.  He also always points out the fountain ("wa-wa, mama!") that we see on our route to and from school everyday and the firetrucks in the fire house on Devine Street.

He's starting to put together 2-word phrases really well: "hold you" (when he wants to be picked up) is my absolute favorite...I mean, how can you resist that!?  He also says "love you, mama/dada/yaya/didi/caca" to whoever he's with.  I enact the proverbial hand-clasp-over-heart every time I hear it.

Monday, September 24, 2012


"If a child has been able in his play to give up his whole living being to the world around him, he will be able, in the serious tasks of later life, to devote himself with confidence to the service of the world."
~Rudolf Steiner

from Simplicity Parenting

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Have you noticed the change in the light- just in the past few days?  You have no idea how excited for full-on-fall this subtle change makes me. 

I have done plenty of posts in the past about how I adore Fall.  But, seriously, I do.

And, I think I may need this to get me further into the Fall mood:
image via here
Well, I I might buy this, if I had a habit of spending $23 for nail polish, which I don't...anyone seen any other brands with similar taupe brown colors?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Being Present

My son, Jones, (18 months), gave me his first-ever unprompted kiss this morning on our way out the door.  I was a little rushed, and it barely even registered what he was doing until he had already done it.  At the time I said "oh, thank you, sweet boy," or something equally trite, and we made our way to school and work.

Thinking back on that sweet kiss now makes my heart swell and swoon, and I am kicking myself for not being "present" enough in the moment to fully appreciate how sweet it was at the time.  Isn't that always the way?  Memories are more poignant and sweet-seeming than the actual moment.  I hate that, but I guess it is human nature, and definitely parent-nature.

Also, my babe has started to watch TV all of a sudden...  When I first became a mom I was firmly planted in the "no TV until 2 years old" camp, due to all the research saying it isn't good for babies.  And, I still pretty much fall in that camp.  But, upon my first hungover morning as a mother of a toddler, I begged my son to watch just 15 minutes of TV so momma could "rest her eyes" while lying on the couch.  No go.
A couple months ago on our 10 hour drive to Boca Grande, FL, I brought along our portable DVD player and a stash of shows I loved as a kid and thought he would love- Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Care Bears Movie, and crossed my fingers that when the going got rough for Jones, he would discover that TV was super-cool.  Nope. 
The hubs and I have long-known that our baby is biologically-drawn to music and will dance to almost anything with a rhythm.  Seriously-- think, cell phone rings, (and not necessarily ones that ring as songs, just plain old phone rings), the washing machine, and the 5-second transitional music played between NPR shows...  Anyway, we finally figured out what type of DVD our child would be enamored of at this point in his life, and when I brought home the Sesame Street Singing with the Stars DVD a couple weeks ago, enamored he was!

image via here

The DVD is basically just Elmo and friends singing Sesame Street versions of songs by famous musicians.  Jones dances, stares, and has even started air-drumming at appropriate times while watching this DVD over and over recently.  The lineup of stars boasts everyone from LL Cool J, Feist, and Will I. Am (mommy's 3 favorites) to Hootie and the Blowfish, Destiny's Child, N Sync, and Andrea Bocelli.  It's pretty crazy how many famous artists sing with Elmo.  Some of the songs are pretty tough to take, and many get interminably stuck in my head; but it's not a horrible children's video, considering all the crap that is out there.

Anyway, though I am not proud of the fact that my 18 month old is now addicted to a DVD, my favorite part of his new obsession is that he likes to watch from my lap, while holding onto a finger or two.  It makes me indescribably happy to see that sweet chunky butt backing up towards me to sit in my lap and then feel his tiny hand grasp my fingers.  Sigh.
Here's to being present for these moments.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yes, Please

Can't wait for this:This Is 40 (the kinda sequel to Knocked Up, one of my favorite movies ever)

And this looks good too:
Celeste and Jesse Forever

Seen any good movies lately?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Charleston Quickie

It's finally Friday!  Our family is headed to Charleston tomorrow to visit some friends, eat some fresh seafood, and ogle the fishes.

My oldest friend, (seriously, we were at each other's 1st birthday parties), just had her 2nd little girl, and her first child is just a bit older than Jones, so the babes will likely have a blast playing together.

Hank's- image via here
We're getting a babysitter Saturday night and going out to Hank's Seafood Restaurant.  I've never been, but it's been voted "Best Seafood Restaurant" by the Charleston City Paper for 13 years, so there's that. 

Before we head home on Sunday, we're gonna take all the kiddos to the South Carolina Aquarium.  Another place I've never been; I think Jones will love it!  

Juanita Greenberg's- I want the crown light for my home.
If I can talk James into it, we'll also probably hit Juanita Greenberg's on our way out of town.  I'm an addict.

What should we order at Hank's?  What are you up to this weekend? 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On the Bedside Table

image via here

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
I am enjoying this one so far.  Took me a minute to get into it, but about halfway in, it's now the first one I pick up when I settle in to read.

image via here
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne & Lisa Ross
Yes, this one is still in my has taken me a little longer than usual to get through it, but what I have read is good.  I am seriously still working on purging and simplifying our house and specifically the toys and activities that Jones has to play with.  
I am looking more and more into Montessori-type activities, and finding that many of the "practical living" activities are things he already enjoys the most anyway- like sweeping, pouring his own cup of water, and "threading" items--the boy adores fitting things together!

image via here
Just ordered Blue Nights by Joan Didion from  After reading The Year of Magical Thinking, I am enamored of Ms. Didion.  

And, after reading this book review by a friend of mine, I am really wanting to read Gone Girl.

What's on your reading list for the rest of this fleeting summer?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Loving Downton Abbey

So, I'm a little late to the game on this one, but James and I finished watching the first disc (Episodes 1 & 2), Season 1, of Downton Abbey last night and we're hooked!

We were in need of another show to Netflix, and since Girls and Homeland are nowhere near Netflix availability yet, this is what we went with.  Very glad we did.

Love to hate Maggie Smith's character, Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham.
This video is pretty funny:

Have you seen the show?  Do you love it?!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Difficult Truth

I tend not to get too heavy on this blog, but I live this stuff day-in and day-out, working at a transitional housing shelter for homeless families, so today, it is spilling over:

I found this infographic on Poverty in America on


Browse more infographics.

21.6% of kids in America live in poverty.  WHAT?!

Find a social justice issue to be passionate about.  Seriously, do it.  And talk about it.  And make a difference.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Dose of Truth & Cool

Truth: "Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic."
~Oscar Wilde (quoted in my yoga class this morning by instructor, Anne Miller)

Been thinking about that one all day.

image via here

Cool: heard this past weekend on NPR's Weekend Edition: Michael Hearst's new CD, Songs for Unusual Creatures. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Social Life

Having a toddler who enjoys a strict bedtime of 7 pm and a husband who works odd hours makes it difficult to have a social life outside of having friends over to my house for an occasional drink or hang out.  In the past 2 weeks however, our social activity calendar has been full, not sure why now, but here's what it entails for the rest of the week:
Tonight I am going to see... ahem, Magic Mike, with some girlfriends.  I can assure you, I am definitely not going for the plot development or the characterization.

Tomorrow night the hubs and I are going to see Moonrise Kingdom at The Nick.  Cannot wait for this--I know I've been blogging and tweeting about it for weeks now, but I really am excited.  It has gotten great reviews.

And Saturday night we are going out dinner at @116 Espresso & Wine Bar in West Columbia.  I have blogged about this spot before, and it is still one of my faves in Columbia, but I don't get to go there very often.
Thinking pre-movie nights that we're going to Cantina 76 and Hunter Gatherer, two more local favorites.

What has been on your social calendars lately?  I'm just excited to have one at the moment, and thankful that I have awesome parents and in-laws to babysit :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dinner & a Show on a Budget

Wanna feel all grown-up and go to dinner and a show, but on a budget?  In Columbia, you can.

We ate dinner last night at Gervais & Vine--it hasn't disappointed ever, not once--and then saw Avenue Q at Trustus Theatre.  The dinner was 3 courses; I had a smoked gouda/bacon/shrimp dip, then a petite filet with feta and balsamic reduction served with fingerling potatoes and asparagus, then white chocolate chip bread pudding and ice cream.  I mean, that's some seriously amazing food.  Can you guess what I paid for that food (tax, gratuity, drinks, not included)?  $15.  For real.

The ticket to Avenue Q is $30 (it's a musical) and for $15 extra dollars, I got that awesome meal at Gervais & Vine.  I almost felt bad, like I was stealing...  $45 each for dinner and a show.

Avenue Q was hysterical--and very well-performed.  I saw the off-Broadway version in NYC back in January, so I even had that to compare it to, and I think they did an amazing job.  You should go see it.  And do the dinner and a show deal. 

image via here

I also REALLY want to go see Moonrise Kingdom at The Nick--it's been held over for another week...

Friday, June 22, 2012

On My Brain Today

Some things that have been in my head and in my life lately:

Banana chocolate chip muffins.  I was the mommy assigned to bring "Fun Friday" snacks today for Jones' toddler class, and that's what I made.  I used this recipe from Life of Meg blog, (substituting applesauce for oil), and they turned out great.  My forays into baking don't always have such an ending, so I was pleased.

Gamecock Baseball.  3-peat in the works.  Good luck tonight vs. Arkansas.  So exciting!

This article on working moms attempting to "have it all" that's making the rounds on the interwebs. 

We're headed to Boca Grande, FL soon for vacation with my in-laws and it's a 10 hour drive, so I've been thinking of ways to keep my 17-month-old entertained in the car for 10's what I've got so far: 
I bought and wrapped several cheap dollar-store toys, like glow-in-the-dark necklaces, stickers, a plastic dr's stethescope, small nerf football, and more. 
I of course have plenty of snacks--mixtures of raisins, organic cookies, cheerios, dried banana chips, cheese sticks.
A book light and a roll of painters tape.  Random, I know, but my son loves a flashlight, and I read somewhere that toddlers can be thoroughly entertained by a roll of tape.
Books--some familiar favorites and some new.

Here Comes Science Album via here

We have plenty of music- kid-friendly and otherwise- although Jones would mostly rather listen to grown up music than silly songs.  The kid music we have for him includes Muppets: The Green Album, They Might Be Giants' Here Comes Science, and some Lunch Money CDs--these are all fun, kid-friendly stuff, but tolerable for adults as well.

image via here

And, as a last resort, we have a portable DVD player.  Jones has never really been allowed to watch TV at home, and now that I actually want him to spend a few silent, immobile minutes in front of the tube, he isn't interested at, not sure the DVD player will work.  But, in case, we have the newest The Muppets movie, Follow That Bird Sesame Street movie, and episodes of Fraggle Rock on DVD.
Any other suggestions?!

And, this little man is always on my mind- here he is on the way to school this morning wearing seersucker and Converse One Stars--my favorite combo of traditional and hipster ;)

Happy Friday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Holga Love

A couple years ago my husband gifted me a Holga camera.  "the Holga produces extraordinary low-tech works of art with the bare minimum of mechanical function." (via here)  Right up my alley.

My first attempt at taking pictures with it is documented here.

It took us a bit to figure out exactly how to take decent pictures with it, but judging by the most recent ones we took over Memorial Day weekend, I think we've got it down:

My sister and her son.
Don't you just want to poke that belly?!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Never give up on the thing you can't go a day without thinking about."

via a friend's Facebook post

Friday, June 8, 2012

Call Me Guilty (Maybe)

I have seen all sorts of blog posts and FB posts and Tweets today about the Carly Rae Jepsen cheesy, bubble-gum pop song that I guiltily cannot get enough of, Call Me Maybe.

Here are my two favorite versions:
Fun. covering Call Me Maybe live, via my friend Kristin Lavender of  the blog creativintage.:

Carly Rae Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots performing Call Me Maybe with elementary school instruments via the Fred Flare blog:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yellow Door & Closet Love

Our new master closet is almost's a preview:

And, my favorite part:

A sliding yellow barn door (handmade and painted by my talented husband). 
Inspiration for the door via Apartment Therapy:
image via here
We're gonna paint the bedroom a dark grey when all is said and done.  
On the hunt for a new platform bed too--maybe this one from IKEA:
MALM Bed image via here

A Word for Wednesday


ealty: fidelity to a lord; faithfulness

I heard this word while watching Season 4 of True Blood last night.  It's out on Netflix now, and as reluctant as I was to start watching this series, I have to admit that I am so excited to be back in the midst of some crazy/sexy vampire drama!  Truly a guilty pleasure.

image via here
I think this season, my fealty may be to Eric Northman.  Sigh.

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.
Definition via here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Take This Waltz

I must see this soon.  Adore Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams.

Tangential tidbit- my husband has on more than one occasion been told he resembles Seth Rogen...when his hair is long and he has a full beard.  He hardly ever takes it as a compliment, but I think they are both super-cute.

Also, if you've never seen Blue Valentine, you should.

Functional Art

Just bought some of these stamps yesterday.
image via here
I love this painting.  The original is oil-on-plywood from 1940.  And, incidentally, William H. Johnson was born in Florence, SC. 

I Heart Spelling

I've always prided myself on being a pretty good speller.  But, I'm not this good:

Guetapens- Never heard of this word before this.  Bravo, Snigdha.  Bravo.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Creation

image via here

"Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed."

-Vida Dutton Scudder, The Privilege of Age

full disclosure: this quote is jacked from the May 2012 Real Simple magazine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Gatsby

I'm pretty excited for The Great Gatsby movie, due out this Christmas.  From the trailer, it is very obviously directed by Baz Luhrmann--the fast-paced scenes and dialogue, the music and dancing, fireworks, Bollywood-ish feel--much like his adaptations of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge

I, for one, enjoyed those films and Luhrmann's style. And I adored The Great Gatsby when I first read it in school...mentally putting it on my summer reading list right now.  And the movie is on my Christmas to-see list, for sure.  Will you see it?

Also love the book cover:

image via here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Denver Eats (Well)

I was in Denver, CO last week for a quick 2-night work trip.  While there we managed to dine at a few very cool local places.

LaLa's Artista Pizza

LaLa's Wine Bar & Pizzeria- great, creative pizzas.  The anchoviest-Caesar salad dressing I've ever eaten, but in a good way.  Nice, neighborhoody-feel.  Would be an awesome place to enjoy a happy hour drink or three, al fresco.

Caffe Sanora- we ate breakfast here-- right across the street from our hotel.  Very friendly service; amazing homemade sundried tomato & asparagus quiche.  In fact, since eating it, I've been on a major quiche-kick...made 7 in the past week!  (5 were to give as end-of-the-year gifts to Jones' teachers).  A decidedly local and hippie-ish place (all organic); I talked with a local mom about her 13-month-olds' use of sign language over breakfast--only in Denver!

Las Margaritas- Pretty heavy stuff for a lunch, but it serves authentic Mexican food.  Since it was a working lunch, I didn't indulge in a Margarita, but hear they are good.  The salsa was amazing.  Wish I had brought some home.

Popcorn and Cava at Linger

Linger- The "trendiest" of the spots we ate on the trip, but still, with a down-to-earth and friendly feel.  Popcorn is the gratis tablefare, differently-spiced each night.  The view of the city is fantastic.  We sat right by the "open wall" and had some awesome small plates.

image via here- the view from Linger

All-in-all, not a bad list of restaurants in Denver, considering we were only there 48 hours and we worked most of it!

Oh, and a fun tidbit about Denver, they ID everyone.  Seriously, everywhere I ordered a drink I was carded.  And it was awesome.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reading Lately

As life settles back into a new-but-familiar-normal, I've found great comfort in again reading before sleep each night.  While I was pregnant I was so sick and tired all of the time, that upon day's end, all I wanted to do was sleep.  My mind barely focused on anything superfluous of work and child-rearing.

Excited to read again, here's what is on my bedside table right now--all holding my attention pretty equally so far:
via here
 My boy is 15 months old already...

via here

I got interested in re-finding this one on my bookshelf and actually reading it after watching Midnight in Paris a couple weeks ago.  Really liked the film, and loved all the references to literary and art figures from the 1920's.  If you dig that sort of thing too, you should also read this.

via here
 And, for a light beachy-read, this one is easy and enjoyable.  I loved Giffin's Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and this one is pretty good so far too.

These 2 are en route to my home as we speak:
via here
This one intrigues me because I went to summer camp for 2 weeks once in my life and was terribly homesick the whole time.  Then, I went off to college and, again, was terribly homesick for the first semester of Freshman year.  After that, something clicked and I haven't been homesick more than a day in my life since, never again during college, and never during my year living in San Francisco.  As a parent, I want to learn how to cultivate a sense of adventure, and to save my child from the homesickness I endured...or learn if that's possible.

via here
Feeling the need to purge our lives of so much stuff these days...hoping this one can help.

What are you reading?  One of my favorite things about summer is having more time to read in the sunshine...I need some more to add to my list, so please, comment away.