Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry & Bright

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.
Merry everything!  Peace, love, and happy holidays.  From my family, to yours.

My first blog post for a new publication, Fig Columbia, was posted on ther site yesterday.  Check it out if you're so inclined :)


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Local Gift Guide for the Sassy (and Classy) Woman in Your Life

(Clockwise, from top left)

So, let me be very honest: this gift guide is all things that I want.  And, I think, things your girlfriend or wife or mother or sister or best friend might want too. Here we go:

1. You can't go wrong with an Amsa Yoga class pass.  You can buy 5-class, 10-class, 20-class, or 1-month unlimited class passes, and the first class for new visitors is free.  I've waxed poetic about my love for Amsa before, but truthfully, there are lots of great local yoga studios in Columbia; find one and hit the mat.  It's like therapy and exercise in one.  (Photo courtesy of Amsa Yoga).
2. This necklace by local artist, January Jewelry, has the sort of vintage-boho feel that I adore.  It is so reasonably priced, and supports a local artist and a local shop, as it can be found at Nest, the new all-local maker's market inside the Marriott on Main Street.

3. I have a new favorite store in Columbia: Jack & Jane Sport.  I stopped in the other day to get some ideas of things I want the hubs to get me for Christmas, and this Oiselle top is definitely on the list.  Not only is it a pretty color and the perfect weight for running in Columbia right now, but you have to feel it to believe how soft this top is.  Susannah, one of the owners, helped me; she was genuinely friendly and not at all pushy.  They have great-quality athletic gear, and for men too.

 4. How about a bottle of bubbly?  Anything sparkling is my drink of choice, and a nice bottle is without a doubt one of the best gifts you can give, I think.  Kaitlin Ohlinger, a friend, and the General Manager of Cellar on Greene, and author of the wine snob, is happy to help you pick out a unique one.  This Evolution Sparkling from Oregon has a pretty sweet label.  I'm partial to Oregon wines in general, and this one is delicious!  (Sold out on-line, but Cellar has it!)

5. The Gourmet Shop is a great place to shop for gifts, especially for the foodie or chef on your list.  They have awesome gourmet candy, wine, cigars, prepared foods, and so much cool kitchen stuff!  And what lady wouldn't be happy with this daily reminder?  The You Rock ceramic catch-all is a perfect gift for any woman on your list. 

6. How about a membership to the Columbia Museum of Art.  There's not much classier or more fun (and affordable!) than a year's pass to this beautiful and hip museum.  Besides the amazing art from renowned and classic artists, the museum also hosts cool events, and the museum shop is super-chic.  This gift would please so many people, and you'd earn some "class" points for giving something cultural and useful.  (The photo above is of Jones honing his skills in the CMA children's room).

So, here's the not-so-subtle hint for anyone looking to buy a gift for me this Christmas, and hopefully this helped you with something for the lady on your list!  Shop local!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Local Gift Guide for that Special Man (Hipster, Dad, or Both!)

Clockwise, from the top:

1. I don't know about the men in your life, but my hubs likes to cook, and that is something I can always get behind.  So, how about encourage his kitchenry with a gift from The Crescent Olive?  The traditional balsamic vinegar is delicious.  I ate some just the other night with my pizza.  Weird, I know, but it's the perfect thing to dip the crusts in!

2. This is by far one of the cheapest, yet one of the best-received and well-loved gifts I have ever given my husband.  Seriously, it's cool, functional, and under $10.  A wall-mounted bottle opener from Mast General Store makes a great stocking stuffer.

3. And here's another less-expensive item upon which any Dad would love to rest his glass--a work of art coaster by Frank Heflin of Columbia, SC.  These really cool, unique graffiti art coasters are available at Nest, the newest all-local shop in downtown Columbia.  See that "Dad" coaster in the front?  It may or may not already be wrapped under my tree...

4. This next gift is an item that can be found locally at Non(e)such, a high-end specialty store on Devine Street.  My husband has actually received two of these Barrington wallet/money clip/card holders over the years, as he lost his original one and could not find anything he loved quite as much and had to replace it.

5. OK, so not everyone knows a man (or woman) who wants a tattoo for Christmas, but in case you're in the market, Shavon's Purple Lotus is a great place to go.  Her website describes it as "a place you can take your grandmother to get tattooed."  The photo above is of the tattoo my husband got with his Christmas tattoo gift certificate last year.

6. Looking for a one of a kind functional art piece for the kitchen?  Look no further than Reaves Woodworks.  A Columbia local, Larry Reaves describes this beautiful handmade edge grain cutting board as made from Maple, African Mahogany, Canarywood, and recycled skateboards.  Very hipster-chic, if you ask me.  (Photo courtesy of Reaves Woodworks.)

And, if you're in the market for something pretty cutting-edge and up-to-the-moment, how about a gift certificate to Bourbon, Columbia's newest (not-quite-open-yet) creole-cajun eatery and bar.  Just message them on Facebook, and they'd be happy to sell you a gift certificate for that lucky guy.

Happy shopping; only 8 days left before Christmas!  Buy local!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Toddler Date

On a recent Saturday morning, Jones and I set out on a mommy-son date to new local store, Provisions, and to The Mad Platter.

This was my first venture into Provisions, and Genevieve made us feel more than welcome, which is to say she was very sweet about the fact that Jones wanted to "sample"  Provisions aims to sell local bulk food and spices, as well as locally produced and farmed produce, eggs, dairy, meat, and bakery items.

And there were plenty of local food items for sampling that day.  Nuts, candy, chocolate covered pretzels, blue cheese with Sallie's Greatest Blueberry + Lavender Jam.

My friends know--and laugh about the fact--that I am usually a strict no "fruit in weird forms" kinda girl.  Meaning, no dried fruit, no hot fruit, no fruit in sauce or liquid, and especially no jelly or jam, typically crosses my lips.  Seriously, it usually disgusts me.  But, because I am an adult and I am all about trying to get my toddler to try new things, I set the good example, and tried the offering of blueberry + lavender jam on blue cheese.  Suddenly, my life of not eating fruit-in-weird-forms flashed before my eyes with a pang of regret.  (Not really).  But, I conceded to the fact that I really liked the jam on top of blue cheese.  I even bought a jar.

We also bought a bag of apple rings candy and some DiPrato's Pimento Cheese.

that's my card, right on top...fingers crossed.
After snagging some cool local food, and vowing to come back closer to Christmas to put together some gift baskets for family, we headed just down the street for the artistic portion of the date.
The Mad Platter pottery-painting studio is totally catered to accommodate kids.  Jones had a blast picking out his items to paint, then picking the colors, and then painting.

I mean, with a potty-training toddler, half of our time is spent in the bathroom, and Mad Platter even makes that easy with a family-friendly bathroom!  (If you have ever potty-trained a child, you get it).

We painted 2 nativity scenes for Jones' grandmas, and he also picked out one small train to paint for himself.

I'm pretty sure Jones' grandmothers were thrilled with their special gift, and Jones & I had an awesome time painting together.  Thanks, Mad Platter!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Local Gift Guide for that Precocious Toddler

 Clockwise, from the top:

1. This modern, unique, and eco-friendly belt made from recycled fire hose has already made its way from KD's Treehouse under my tree this year.  Jones will be getting the purple; they also have them in red, green, & blue.  The manufacturer, Gallo en Fuego, donates a portion of the proceeds from sales to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation! 

2. A membership to EdVenture Children's Museum is like a present for kids and parents.  There is always something new to see, and it is incredibly refreshing to take your toddler to a place where they are actually expected to run around, make noise, and touch everything! (The picture is of Jones playing in the ship at EdVenture a year or so ago).

3. How about this amazing handmade corduroy vest from Owlette.  I mean, this vest is over-the-top adorable, right?  She makes them in a variety of sizes.

4. Or, for the toddler girl, this precious handmade skirt, also by Owlette. Hounds tooth and corduroy...I kinda want this in my size.

5. I am obsessed with Charley Harper, and the Columbia Museum of Art Museum Shop indulges me at every turn.  This colorful puzzle-of-art would be an awesome one to Mod Podge and frame for a child's bedroom after it's completed, (if one were so craftily-inclined).

6. And a puzzle-of-art to beat all others, check out this handcrafted wooden dinosaur puzzle!  This thing is large and beautiful and perfect for a toddler or young child, (or child-at-heart-husband).  There are multiple dinos to choose from, and they're available locally at Nest, the new maker's market inside the Marriott downtown, selling only SC-made goods.  Handcrafted in the Midlands by Chris Salmon of Knifefish.

In addition to a few of these items, Jones will also be receiving a gift certificate to Columbia Children's Theatre.  He loves a performance, and I am all about giving experiences instead of things when possible!

Shop local, shop handmade!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Word for Wednesday: Ethos


thos: the fundamental character or spirit of a culture

As in: (from Denby's review of new movie, American Hustle): "Like “Goodfellas,” this movie uses voice-over to swing us into the action, offering first Irving’s view of the world, then Sydney’s, then the two in alternation, as the characters expound on their up-from-the-bottom ethos of survival."

This review of American Hustle by David Denby of The New Yorker gets me more than a little excited to experience this film.  I am already a little swoony over Jennifer Lawrence these days, after her impeccable performance in Catching Fire.  And really, I've loved her since witnessing her humility and humor at this year's Oscars.

Can't wait to see this:

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Local Gift Guide for the Bouncing Babies in Your Life

Clockwise from the top:

1. A Hape Little Drummer drum is the perfect gift for a baby who likes to bang on things--channel that energy musically!  Available locally at KD's Treehouse.

2. Columbia is lucky to have so many creative-types selling handmade and often one of a kind items, and I would be remiss to leave Nana by Sally off of such a list.  These adorable bibs are available on her website, at Soda City Market most Saturdays, or at KD's Treehouse.  (I also recently spotted some of her beautiful bags at Mast General Store on Main Street).

3. And speaking of handmade, this unique bonnet with little ears by Columbia-local Owlette is on my wishlist for baby Birdie.

4. Columbia husband-wife duo, jellykoe, creates amazing "Wonky Dolls" and handmade plushes, perfect for that discerning and local-supporting little lad or lass. 

Stay tuned for more local gift guides that will be coming on the blog!
Buy local (and handmade) this holiday season!

Monday, December 2, 2013

What's Better Than Drinking On a Weeknight for a Good Cause?

Not much, am I right?  St. Lawrence Place, (the amazing non-profit for which I have worked for going on 8 years), is hosting a fun, holiday-themed fundraiser on Wednesday, December 4th from 6-8 PM: Sip for St. Lawrence Place.

There will be 3 wines to taste, mucho hors d'oeuvres to be eaten, (some by Southern Way Catering!), and some cool local vendors and artists selling their wares--all to support the families experiencing homelessness who are living at SLP.  AND, the tickets are only $20 each.  Win, win, win, win, win!  And, every attendee will be entered to win the door prize, a $25 gift certificate to Cellar on Greene.

Vendors include C & S Gifts, a local duo (sisters, Cindy & Sarah) who sell perfect gifts for any occasion--hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, and holiday decor.  

Reaves Woodworks (a husband-wife duo, Larry and Mary) will be selling beautifully-handcrafted cheese boards, cutting boards, and wine balancers, as well as one of a kind recycled wood jewelry.

cheese board photo via here

And Dolly Patton of Knitwits will be selling her signature ruffle scarves.

ruffle scarf by Knitwits
And when you buy an item from one of these vendors, you're not only supporting a local business, but they are going to give a portion of their proceeds to SLP, so you're also supporting a local non-profit!

So, I think you should come.  It's at my sister's gorgeous home in Columbia, the wine will be flowing, there might be a fire roaring, (as long as it's actually cold on December 4th--we do live in Columbia, so one never knows), and I'll be there, so introduce yourself if we've never met!

You can buy tickets online here, or by calling 256.3999.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There's Not Much Better Than Live Music

At least, according to my toddler, there's not.  It's safe to say that Jones is pretty obsessed with listening to music, and playing musical instruments, and singing, but most especially hearing music live.  I have to admit that his father and I are pretty over-the-moon about this obsession with music.  The video above is him jamming out to The Kernal at the most recent Columbia Jam Room Festival.

At this same festival, we were listening to Dear Blanca, when we hear the lead singer give a shout out to our son.  By name.  James and I looked at each other.  I looked at Jones who was perched on James' shoulders, and then looked back at the lead singer.  I thought, um, how do you know our child's name?!  (He then said into the microphone that he works at Jones' daycare).   But seriously, our 2 year old got a shout-out at a concert.  We've never been prouder!  And Jones took it in stride, no big deal to him.  "Oh yeah, that's Mr. Dyyan."  (He's still working on pronouncing his 'l's correctly...)

taking in some music from the best viewpoint in the house
The hubs is a certifiable musician, and by that, I mean he actually plays instruments and can read music and all that jazz.  I, on the other hand, cannot.  I am woefully very musically-un-inclined, but I sure do appreciate it.  I never even took a Music Appreciation class in school, but if I had, I'm pretty sure I would've aced it.

Thankfully for our family of music-lovers, there is ample opportunity in Columbia to take in some live music, even during the day-when we must enjoy if we're going to take the toddler along for the trip.  We have attended a couple concerts at EdVenture Children's Museum.  Jones asked me the other day if we could "go to the museum to hear some music?"  Alas, the concerts at EdVenture were only scheduled for Fridays during the summer.  Maybe they'll schedule some more for the Fall too, hint, hint...

Lunch Money is a kindie-band favorite--they have dubbed themselves "Indie Rock for the Whole Family," and I would agree.  It's kid-music for people who hate kid-music.  We own a couple CDs and we've heard them twice now at KD's Treehouse in town.  They don't disappoint. 

Here's to more family-friendly live music in the Midlands for my music-lovin' babe!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Word for Wednesday


lake: to allay (thirst) by satisfying

via here

As in: "We slake our thirst, let the warm water pour over our itching bodies."  I read this line in Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, last night, and was struck by the word.  I'd never heard it before.

The hubs and I are going on a 5-year-anniversary-date this Saturday evening.  First stop, the early showing of Catching Fire, the movie, then on to Cellar on Greene for drinks and dinner. I was a bit slow to the Hunger Games party, but I am hooked now and can't wait to see this!

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.
Definition via

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Don't We All Deserve A Place at the Table?

One of my favorite spots in Columbia, one of our city's gems, I think, is The Nickelodeon Theater.  Before I had children, (when my nights were a seemingly endless barrage of opportunities to go out and experience the city), my girlfriends and I went to see at least a movie a  month, sometimes more, at The Nick. 

image via here
Fast forward a few years; we all now have children, and getting a babysitter is reserved to 1-2 nights a month.  Jaunts to The Nick aren't nearly as regular.  However, they showed A Place at the Table this past Monday, and I told my social work students that I'd give them extra credit to attend this poignant documentary film.  And in doing so, I got to go to The Nick on a weeknight.  And I got to see this raw and smart and provocative film about hunger in America.  (Side note: The film's soundtrack features The Civil Wars, who are amazing.  I blogged about them here.)

The problem is getting worse, not better.  And, you know that obesity problem that our country has, well it's inextricably tied to our hunger problem.  And our factory farm problem.  And the problem we have in our country of taking care of big corporations as if they are people, and caring not for the people themselves.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, having 1 out of 2 children in our country experiencing hunger is good for no one.  Hunger affects a child's brain development and health and learning capability...and that affects everyone's future.

Next week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.  Please do something to help the kids and families experiencing hunger and homelessness.  Watch this film.  Call, e-mail, or tweet your representative and let them know that you don't want them to cut food stamps (SNAP)Do something locally to help combat these problems. 

A quote I posted on the blog I write for St. Lawrence Place a few weeks ago puts words to this issue as succinctly as I can imagine: "The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people's children,"  Marian Wright Edelman.

Hunger is a social justice issue.  Do something.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Word for Wednesday


orosity:  the state or quality of being porous.

As in: "I love the rain. I love when we haven't seen a drop in weeks and then it arrives with fury. The porosity of the soil can't keep pace.  I love existing in it."  This is a quote from this post by this amazing blogger, whom I love reading.  Her writing is exquisite.

Definition via here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Easiest Vegetable Recipe Ever (swear!)

This is nothing earth-shattering, I realize, but it is a new-to-me way to cook broccoli, and I am addicted.  And it's as easy as it gets.

In the past, I have shied away from cooking broccoli because to me it was a pain in the ass to cut it up and boil it, just to have a semi-ok-tasting end product that I was really only eating because I knew it was good for me. 

But now, my broccoli-avoidin' days are over.  Since finding this bag of pre-cut broccoli  from Trader Joe's, my vegetable repertoire has expanded.

 Just empty out this bag on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some red pepper flakes, and shave some Parmesan cheese on top.  (Pretty much every savory recipe I cook includes Parmesan).

 Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, (depending on how much toothsome you like your veggies), and that's it.  Healthy veggies that are super-easy and tasty.  Why did I not think of this sooner??

What are your favorite easy-to-make, yet semi-healthy veggie recipes?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swizzle Sticks

Can we bring swizzle sticks back, please? I mean besides the fact that the term 'swizzle sticks' is pretty eff-ing cool, each one is unique, and not to mention useful.

Since adding the bar cart to the den, I have been working on displaying some cool vintage finds on it, and I've decided it needs some swizzle sticks.

I mean the plastic, kitschy kind that hotels and bars used to give out freely in every mixed drink.  My parents had them, and growing up I always liked to open the drawer where they were kept and look at the different designs and logos and colors.  I mean, they are really cool.  But, no one stocks these serviceable souvenirs anymore, do they?

Here are a few swizzle stick finds from my internet search...probably going to go digging in my parents drawer soon too.

via here
via here
via here-- I am dying over that fox!

Wouldn't it be cool if local bars and hotels and even restaurants had their own unique swizzle stick?!  According to this LA Times article from 2010, swizzle sticks are making a comeback.  This company is still making custom-molded and custom-printed swizzle, how 'bout it Columbia businesses?  It's pretty genius marketing, if you ask me.

Wouldn't it be cool if swizzle sticks made a comeback?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Old Furniture Memories and a Bar Cart DIY

We recently had two pieces of antique furniture recovered for our den.  This furniture has been in my house for over 5 years now, since my sweet, sweet grandmother, Mammy, passed away and left us these gems.

bad lighting, but the fabric is a gorgeous gray velvet from Forest Lake Fabrics

I love this couch because I have memories from when I was 10, and later a teenager, sleeping on it in my grandmother's condo on the river in Beaufort.  It was in her den, just steps away from the tiny kitchen where she and my grandfather always left the radio on, 24 hours a day.  It was not loud enough to be distracting, very low, but it was always on, and always on the classical station.  To this day classical music makes me think of that condo and my grandparents.

awesome blue & emerald green textured fabric that I found on ebay

I don't have any before photos of the couch and chair, but I am in love with the afters...Mr. Shannon of Shannon Upholstery in Eastover, SC is amazing.  He not only did an impeccable job refurbishing (the couch needed lots of repairs) and recovering this furniture, but he truly gets why pieces like this mean so much to people.  They don't have a website or a showroom, but he's the best of the best, take my word for it!

With the addition of these beauties into our already mid-century-modern-eclectic den, I had been feeling the need for a bar cart.  After searching Pinterest for bar carts that suited my taste, I was mostly coming up with options that were way out of our price range.  Until I found this list of DIY bar cart hacks.

We bought the IKEA BYGEL utility cart for $25:

image via here
Then, spray painted the metal pieces with this $8 can of spray paint:

And voila:

this is all the liquor that is only seldom drunk, as all the popular stuff is "out of stock" in our house...

A very affordable bar cart for our very eclectic den.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Word for Wednesday (makes a comeback!)

Just checked, and it's been over a year since I did one of these goes:


indie: indie music for kids

As in: Lunch Money is definitely my favorite kindie band.  It's kid-music for people who hate kid-music. 

my family's favorite Lunch Money album, Spicy Kid

By the way, Lunch Money is doing this really cool puppet-musical thing called Planet Hopping at the Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College in Columbia on November 15th and 16th.  Sounds pretty rad.

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.
Definition via Urban Dictionary.

Monday, October 28, 2013

On Creating Space and Enjoying the "In-Betweens"

I took my first yoga class in quite a while recently, and as I always do after practicing yoga, I feel inspired to practice even more.  Amsa Yoga is my favorite spot in Columbia to practice, and Anne Miller is my kind of yogi.  For me, her classes have just the right balance of meditative reflection and bodily challenge.  I inevitably do some deep-thinking and feel all-spiritual and stuff, but also totally let go of my thoughts and focus on my body and nothing else, seemingly all at the same time.  It's amazing.  And it feels indulgent--a whole hour and a half to myself, focusing on myself only.  It feels indulgent, but I kinda think maybe it shouldn't.  Maybe I should be carving out these spaces of time for myself more often, and then I wouldn't feel like taking care of me is secondary or tertiary to other things.  And maybe eventually I wouldn't have to "carve out" time to practice yoga; I'd have to carve out time for other stuff, and the yoga would be non-negotiable.  Maybe someday...

Amsa Yoga studio, photo courtesy of their website

Anyway, the focus for the yoga class was creating space--in our lives and brains and our bodies--to accept and feel the "in-betweens."  The time and space between the beginning of something and the end of it.  As humans we have schedules, and demands placed upon us, and deadlines, and essentially just lots and lots of beginnings and endings.  Our days begin at roughly the same time each day, we have kid drop-offs, and meetings with distinct start and end times, and mealtimes, and on and on.  But, do we stop enough to enjoy and be present in the "in-betweens?"  I mean, essentially, the "in-betweens" is the meat of what we do and how we define ourselves, and life, right?

That was my takeaway from my yoga practice today, thank you Anne; create the space in my head and heart and body to enjoy the "in-betweens" and be in the present.  Yoga is powerful stuff; (ha! transcendent proclamation, right? You can quote me on that).

And I love that you're supposed to call it "practicing yoga" as opposed to "doing yoga."  The term practicing invites you to make mistakes and be forgiving of yourself and keep learning and doing, all while knowing perfection is not the goal.  That is my kind of activity.

**Disclaimer- I am in NO WAY an authority on yoga; this is just what it means to me :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Army Green for Fall

Searching for a more affordable version of this nail polish.  I want it on my fingers ASAP.

Nirvana polish via here
Seen any 'round these parts?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Reaching Goals and Gettin' Things Done

Since having a baby 4 months ago, (whew-time flies; I can't believe she's 4 months old!), I have been slooooowly and steadily working towards getting back into "running shape."  I define running shape as being able to run 2 miles without stopping, and without totally hating the time I spend doing it.

Today I reached that goal.  I had my first enjoyable 2 mile run without stopping to walk; (it was actually 2.3 miles!)  And just in time too, as I run in my first 5K in almost 2 years tomorrow night.  I'll let you know how that goal is merely to run the entire thing.  No time or pace goals for this girl; I just aim to run the whole way without stopping to walk.

image via here
Tonight James & I are taking the babes to EdVenture Children's Museum to hear Like Totally!, a theatrical, kid-friendly band that I think Jones will really dig.  He is obsessed with music and instruments and playing his guitar and singing these days; it's pretty awesome.

Tomorrow we plan to go to Soda City, the all-local farmer's market on Main Street.  We'll be looking to get a boat load of tomatoes so James can make a huge batch of salsa to can.  This market is so cool and Jones loves it too--I love to grab some Indah coffee as soon as we get there, then sip as we peruse.  Last time we went Jones got a bag of mini-donuts which were delicious.  I also scored some cool records.  Very fun.

Jones at the Soda City market last winter--a little hipster-in-training, right?!

I'm also thinking a dinner on the patio at Il Giorgione might be a good way to celebrate completing the 5K tomorrow night; we'll only have Birdie with us, as Jones is spending the night with his YaYa, so we could actually even have adult conversation!

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Won a Book!

I had a fun message in my Inbox this morning from the lovely Clotilde Dusoulier, of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini, stating that I had won a copy of her brand new cookbook The French Market Cookbook!

via here

So excited for some new vegetable recipes, especially since our garden is finally producing some veggies!  I am also trying to get back on the mostly-vegetarian/pescatarian wagon after falling off for over a year while I was pregnant...junk food (and convenience food) is extremely addictive.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  (There's science to actually back this up).

Anyway, thanks so much to Clotilde for giving away copies of her beautiful new cookbook, and for randomly choosing me to receive one!

And if I ever have another girl baby, her name shall be Clotilde.  Seriously.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tales of a Lady in Nesting

Anyone who knows me well or is a Facebook friend knows this already, but holy mother, I am nesting like a crazy-woman these days.  I am exactly 2 weeks out from my due date with this baby girl, and I am as impatient and irritable as I have ever been.  I know I should be relaxing and sleeping and soaking up these last bits of time that I have with my little family of 3, but it's just not in me right now.

I have over-scheduled our past few weekends, trying to fit in some fun things for Jones that might not happen for a while after the baby arrives: trips to the farmer's market, EdVenture Children's Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, haircut, festivals around town...we'll be at St Pat's for the parade tomorrow.  I just can't sit still for the life of me.  James told me a couple nights ago that pregnancy brings out the ADHD in me; I cannot be still, and I cannot focus on only one thing at a time.  I have been cleaning, cooking, and crafting like it's my job.  And I guess, biologically, right now, it is.

My default personality is a laid-back, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, procrastinator.  The over-planning, anxious, antsy, irritable woman who has taken over lately is foreign and a bit disturbing to me; (and I can only assume to my loved ones as well).

Anyway, I know things will change as quickly as I post this, and our lives will be turned upside down by a new baby.  Just had to vent.

Photo evidence of my nesting of late:
Valentine's Day goodies for Jones' class (via Pinterest)
Easter Egg garland made w/ paint swatches/chips from Lowe's (via Pinterest)
Vidalia Onion Pie (for Pi Day!)
Here's hoping that this weekend brings an end to my craziness and a new beginning in the form of a healthy babe!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Toddler Tantrums & Treats

Minute-to-minute my emotions and thoughts are so differently-focused these days...I blame the 34-week-pregnant-hormones.

Today's focus seems to have landed on how to prepare (and love-up) my sweet 2-year-old before this baby girl comes into the world.  I'm having the typical anxieties about how he will react...I have a feeling nursing time will be pretty brutal, as Jones is already mama-clingy these days.  And I'm pretty sure he totally gets that there is change coming, as he has already started wanting me to hold him and rock him "like baby" more and more.

I am reading up and asking advice on how to handle all of this, and for now, holding tight to the boy while also trying to lay down some discipline as his tantrums and willfulness seem to have spiked to the "terrible twos" level literally overnight.  One thing I have thought might help with the behavior issues is to create a reward system for chores.
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I know some might think 2 is a bit young to do chores, but Jones loves to help and he actually can do some helpful things around the house, (with a little oversight!)  I just ordered these brilliant little chore magnets from Etsy and am excited for Jones to use them!  I included Feed Dogs, Pick Up Toys, Brush Teeth, Try a New Food, and Water Garden, among other things...

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A friend of mine "pinned" a genius idea on Pinterest the other day, a "nursing basket," full of new/rarely allowed toys, games, and stuff for the older child to play with only when the baby is nursing.  As I've been thinking of what to put in Jones' basket, I came across these personalize-able flashcards from Pinhole Press that I had "pinned" a while ago, and I decided to order them for him.  I think it will be a fun and educational thing to put in Jones' "nursing basket."
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So, any advice for me on how to seamlessly (ha!) bring a new baby into a 2-year-old's world??  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas.