Monday, December 17, 2012


i sit, still trying to understand such a tragedy
hug and kiss my baby even more
hope she will never witness another of its kind
wish there was a mommy bubble to protect them
grieve so hard for the families of all those involved

my heart aches for those babies and the horror they went through
their parents and the nightmare they are experiencing
friday night - thinking of those babies not with their families

no more news, i can't stomach any more details

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

holly jolly christmas

*loving philosophy peppermint bark shower gel 
*a new mini santa = childhood nostalgia , my husband finds it creepy, lauren loves it - the girls win, it stays
*introduced lauren to the muppets, i'm sure i enjoyed it more but she loved dancing to the songs
*lots of time at home this year - blankets, twinkle lights,  pajamas, playtime
*where did my baby go? little miss independant
*going to see santa = a total fail.  lauren would not let go of me but i did manage some pictures in front of the gorgeous tree because well my tree will never look like this and in case you are curious i still have no ornaments on mine

i did manage 1 christmas craft (thank you pinterest)
again i let go of expectations, as you can see from my horrible cutting job (it was 1am and i of course couldn't find any good scissors) - i kept telling myself, she's only 1 and wouldn't care
she still liked it, best $3 i have spent - it has kept her very entertained in the kitchen while i cook
 next year i will definately make a nicer one

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

making spirits bright

the hustle and bustle has begun
i have no craft projects, december daily or perfectly decorated home to share
i am limiting my time on pinterest and blogs because they make me feel inadequate
i felt like a rockstar because i actually ordered my christmas cards before december 1st
but they along with everything else are sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be addressed 
my tree is up and has lights but still not decorated
i'm constantly tripping over jingle bell elmo and a christmas train
but this year i am okay with it

i made a list of everything i really wanted to do this year
making it simple
and sticking to it

i loved nora's manifesto and decided to "adopt" it!

a little homemade - only 2 craft projects planned
create family merriment - our bucket list - visits to santa , peanuts christmas display, holiday magic at the zoo
keep cozy - more nights at home , movies with twinkle lights, under my favorite blanket on my couch - perfect 
give well - santa letters from work and i volunteered to do a food drive for the chicago food depository
carry on traditions - gingerbread house party, holiday baking with mom
twinkling lights - everyday and night i am home they are on!
enjoy the details - a christmas house - one full of jingles, constant christmas music (lauren now points to the ipod to turn it on if music is not playing), shreds of ribbon and wrapping paper being found by a toddler, peppermint bark in all forms, lots of candles, batches of chex mix (its getting to be an unhealthy obsession), mismatched ornaments, christmas books everywhere, and the constant sound of elmo singing jingle bells  

this year i have seen and heard so much bad news and there are so many in need
i am really trying to take in all my blessings and enjoy the magic and details of the season that make it special

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

FAVORITE day of the year!  Early morning baking and then the traditional cinnamon rolls and macys parade with a little one by my side.  A day of indulgence I am so ready for some yummy food (mashed potatos, rolls, and cheesecake!), relaxing with family, football and holiday movies. 
Wishing all of you a wonderful day of family, friends and food!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


a full many baby girl who makes everyday a husband who puts up with my many moods and crazy parents who still do so so much for me and spoil their granddaughter rotten.siblings who i adore.nephews who live too far but make me smile.friends near & far. a roof over my head. a warm bed. a full grocery cart and then weekend plans. the frivoulous cups.gossip magazines.lipgloss.pretty paper.going OUT to the movies. cheesecake.manicures.flannel sheets.trader joes.cheesy christmas decorations that will go up just to make my baby girl smile.did i mention long holiday weekends?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

right now

having your washer & furnace break on the same day & being told they both need to replaced - not fun
the plan to buy new bedroom furniture next Friday - not happening
throwing a temper tantrum like a 2 year old - that would be me
remembering to put things in perspective and be grateful for what i do have and all my blessing

moving on...

1 week until the Thanksgiving - are you as excited as I am?!

planning holiday baking
wanting someone to pay me to stay home - i have so much more fun , am much more productive & so much happier i get to spend time with the little one - or at least a more flexible work schedule
listening to christmas music, the jingle bells on the door entertaining Lauren
drinking water
wanting a cherry coke
anticipating the holiday weekend - morning traditions, the parade & cinnamon rolls, lots of good food, family, game night, shopping, dates with james bond & breaking dawn date
missing friends near and far - which hopefully won't be too much longer because
excited for time with two of my favorite people in january and a taylor swift concert
as barb stated "it will be like NKOTB all over again!" - the 13 year old girl in me is giddy
burning lots of candles
loving thick socks, extra layers, morning smoothies, chex mix, homemade nachos, scarves, hats & gloves
trying to start christmas shopping
needing to get back to a workout routine and new winter coat (recommendations?!)
enjoying nashville, holiday hustle & bustle, watching my baby girl learning to walk, football with tony
making lots and lots of lists
obsessing over a new wardrobe ,this new kitchen tool, making soup (yesterday it was pw's roasted corn chowder- can you say delish?)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


do you read jessica's blogs?
if not you should
i mean how can you not love a person who starts her blog like this and screams her love for pacey witter

and she has amazing recipes too

and i am so making these for thanksgiving

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Favorite Beauty Products

I still remember the day my mom told me I was "allowed" to wear lipgloss and only lipgloss to school.  - you would have thought she told me I didn't have to go to school anymore - I was that excited.  Off to walgreens we went, I swear I walked the aisle for an hour looking for the perfect lipgloss.  I soon after in high school discovered the world of Ulta and the ever expanding options of make up and then bestill my make up loving heart - the mothership Sephora arrived and well I have never been the same.  Finding that perfect shade or the one product that changes your life still makes me happy.  And now after 20 years ( i feel old typing that - really I was 13 - 20 years ago!?) of reading countless reviews,  wasting money and lots of trips to Sephora, I found some favorites.

Purity with the Clarisonic, Help Me Retinol Cream
Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, Take a deep breath moisturizer
Kate Somerville Exfolikate - I LOVE THIS -   This is an expensive product and to be honest I haven't bought it yet because of that, I am living off samples from Nordstrom and Sephora.
evening and morning for the eyes
Clinique all about eyes  de puffing serum
Kiehls avocodao eye treatment (read the reviews here and here)

The combination of these 2 are amazing! I roll on the serum, wait a minute then apply the eye creme.  Every morning and night.  Seriously - even if you don't wash your face (which you should) or are a zombie heading to bed at least apply the eye stuff - you will thank me in the morning.  If you only buy one, buy the kiehls.

I am a philosophy girl.  I have tried every brand/product out there from drugstore to high end and I always come back to philosophy.  I would like to try the entire Kate Somerville line but it is costly. I have always been plagued by acne and the only thing that really keeps it aways is clean eating.  I really thought I just needed a different product but seriously its the only thing that gets rid of it. After finding a good doctor she told me the first thing to limit was dairy (and I laughed).  Get rid of cheese, chocolate milk - not going to happen.  So she said at least eliminate any dairy product with   rBGH (the growth hormone) and give up skim milk (switch to 2%), so I did .  Just from changing dairy the results were immediate.   My face is an open book, you can tell when I am not following clean eating. 

Make Up
Too Faced Shadow Insurance - the best eye shadow primer - no creasing - read  the 4200 reviews - it has a cult following
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
L'Oreal double extend mascara - i have tried every top of the line brand - save your money for $8.99 at target this is a steal
The best eyeshadows for long wearing and true color - MAC, urban decay & bobbi brown
Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Gel Eyeliner

Invest in good quality brushes - they are expensive - I am still putting my collection together - recommended - Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown & MAC

And to store all that wonderful makeup - my muji acrylic organizers 
I use the the 2 drawer for everyday & brushes and the 5 drawer for the extras


Kerastase - I can't recommend enough - it has saved my hair. It is pricey - but a little goes a long way and I can now sometimes go 2 to 3 days without washing.

Suave dry shampoo - Days when you don't wash - a few sprays and you are good to go. I was very reluctant to buy this but it seriously does the same exact job as every other high end brand

What do you recommend?

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Goodbye October
your craziness but wonderful memories
the sugar and treats

Hello November
21 days until the big day : 21 days of no sugar / clean eating until the big day
menu planning, black friday, holiday weekend, family & friends, favorite traditions

Hello Holiday Music
I've missed you

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

1st Birthday Party

The 1st Birthday
I tried to keep it simple
No theme, just colors - pink orange and yellow
Pinterest deserves a big thank you
as does my momma - who made all the cakes
and helped make my vision a "reality"

If you follow me instagram you have seen most of these but here is recap
I took 3 days off of work prior to the party- partly to work on my wannabe projects, bake and decorate but really just clean (aka move all the piles in my house to an overstuffed closet) 
I was so off schedule those days and survived on cherry coke, halloween candy and homemade chex mix

My big project that I really wanted that actually got done was her highchair (mainly thanks to my dad who will do anything for his granddaughter) it was my first purchase ever off of craigslist it was a steal for $20

I prayed and prayed for good weather because 50 people will not fit in my tiny house or garage
I got so lucky, it was a little chilly but beautiful. And Lauren got to enjoy the bounce house for the first time.

Since I am not Amy Atlas nor her friend or have a budget to afford such service this was our dessert table.

The details - the now must have stripey straws, polka balloons, cookies, rice krispy treats on a stick, cakes by my momma, mini cheesecakes (original, oreo and twix), the mix station (my favorite) homemade caramel corn, chex mix, peanuts, m&ms, candy corn, & reese pieces.  Since it was chilly I had a coffee station and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate went over well, I made three batches.  It was definately sweet but so tasty.

The little one enjoyed her cake - but she was very dainty and neat. I didn't even have to change her shirt.  Daddy did smear cake in her face but she took it well.

It was a wonderful day and I can't thank everyone for their help and coming to celebrate.

Thanks to this girl for taking what is my favorite picture and bringing her adorable little ones.


after a night of no sleep
my husband finally told me we have to go back
i did not want to get out of bed
i told him, i am going to stand up and this baby is going to come out
its going to be one of those crazy birth stories at home
i was crying
going back to the hospital was at 30 minutes
i knew we had to go over 4 train tracks and numerous potholes
i cried some more
i finally got up and shuffled to the car
matted greasy hair, looking like a zombie
totally different agenda than last night, i did not care what i looked like
i went from crying to cursing all the way there
i didn't even call the doctor, i just showed up in labor and delivery around 10am?
i was the crazy woman in the wheelchair
how just a few hours ago, i walked happily into L&D
my husband pushed me in and i said to the desk clerk
i was here last night they sent me pain on  a scale of 1 to 10 is 100 and i'm bleeding
no wait off to the delivery room
waiting for the doctor, my momma showed up
i was clutching the side rails on the bed
the nurses were puzzled, still no contractions on the monitor
finally the dr comes in and checks - oh wow you are at 7 almost 8
Dr - "did they really send you home last night?"
Me - uh yes, when can i get drugs?
the epidural, 45 minutes of poking all while having toe curling contractions and being told not to move
but then - relief!  the fog was lifted i was a whole different person
labor - this is easy i just needed drugs
i now had an internal monitor and my contractions were off the charts
the resident from last night came in to apologize
i didn't care i was in lala land very relaxed
finally at 4:30 it was time
i could not feel a thing, the dr told me i was squeezing not pushing
seriously i was completely numb
at 6:30 we were almost there
6:43pm my beautiful little girl arrived
i had no idea, i was still pushing with my eyes closed
my dr told me to stop
but wait -wasn't she crying
i was supposed to holding her
they had rushed her over to the table
a million "bad" things went through my mind
and finally after a few seconds i heard the crys
then i held my baby girl
and life was perfect
and still is today

Thursday, October 25, 2012

one year ago today

the weather was unseasonably warm as it is today
i was 37 weeks pregnant and having a miserable day at work because i was so tired
my exciting evening plans were to go to costco and the grocery store with my mom to stock up before the baby came
i called her on the way home from work that i was too tired to go
came home and went directly to bed
i woke up around 8 because of a sharp pain
and then decided i was hungry for dinner
i stood at the stove and made homemade cheeseburger macoroni
and told my husband it was very uncomfortable to stand
and i thought i was having contractions
i finished dinner, sat down to watch tv and the contractions got more intense
called the doctor on duty
who told me to come in since i was already 3 centimeters dialated and was told to stop working out last week
so i "prettied" myself up, packed the car and happily walked into the hospital
checked me into labor and delivery
after an hour of no progress and no contractions on the monitor
even though i swore to the resident the contractions were horrible and intense
they told me "its your first baby, you have plenty of time"
you could stay but go home to your own bed
it was painful to change into my own clothes and i kept thinking it was a mistake to leave
but maybe a night in my own bed would be good
it was  a bad ride home, my poor husband who i yelled at for going over every pothole as i cursed the city of chicago
by the time we got home i was miserable and thought there is no way i can make it another day
this has to be labor
off to bed i went
i didn't sleep at all
i was in a place i never wanted to return to
swore to my husband there would be no more kids after this if this is what labor is like
it was a very LOOOOONNNNGGGG and painful night

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Fall Favorites

I have spent the better part of the last 2 months working (well thinking mostly) on someone's 1st birthday.  I decide to reward myself with a few splurges for making it through the first year, also to teach my husband a lesson for never getting me that "push" present I wanted.  As he probably still has no idea what that is and why I deserve one. 

Michael Kors Ring, Watch, Link Bracelet
Fossil Bangle
Bobbi Brown Lipgloss
Kerastase Hair Products ( the absolute best!)
New Hair Color

 I am still trying to download party pictures, hopefully tomorrow a recap.

Best Halloween Movie Ever

Lots more coming soon including a party recap

Friday, October 12, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Of course this is not a totally "healthy" treat but it is so much better than what you find in the squeeze bottle.  It takes your chocolate milk and ice cream to another level.  It is so simple and a little goes a long way.

Chocolate Syrup

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


dear running shoes,
we are doing it
only 3 months together and we've logged a lot of miles and many crossfit workouts
we still have a lot more to go, we hit our first obstacle with a 38 degree run on saturday morning
you thought i was going to give up but i finished

dear holiday catalogs,
thank you for reminding me how i poor i am

dear pinterest,
you are so so addicting but dangerous
i really really want to turn away
but you have introduced me to so many wonderful things

dear bobbi brown,
thank you for awesome lip gloss

dear project life,
i swear i haven't given up on you
i have all my pictures, thoughts and momentos tucked away
just not together - i will find the time

dear sweet baby girl,
how are you going to be a year old?
this has been the fastest year of my life
and i have loved every minute of it
but please please will you try to sleep in your crib more than 1.5 hours a night
i love holding you and snuggling you and waking up to your low whisper..hhhhiiiiiiiiii
but i am becoming very very sleep deprived
even though staring at your sweet face makes up for it

dear clean eating,
you are hard to keep up
i'm going for the 80/20 rule because if you know me i will not turn down an invitation for
pizza, nachos or ice cream
cut me some slack
i'm down to one cherry coke a week
i know i cheated last week and had one at 9am instead of my smoothie but it was a really really bad morning

dear halloween candy,
why are you tempting me
not just in the aisles of target or giant bags at costco
but everyday at work at every meeting at every luncheon

dear kitchen table,
why can't you stay clean?

dear fall,
thank you for always being beautiful

Thursday, October 4, 2012

things that me smile # 465

opening my cabinets to see this
hello fall fiestaware colors, come stay for awhile
we have lots of good stuff to look forward to
late night cereal binges, lazy weekend breakfasts, hot drinks,
quick lunches, soup nights, hopefully some hey josie cooked dinner meals

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

letting go

i've always had high expections, i have learned over the years i need to just be real and set the bar a little lower otherwise i will constantly be disappointed
(come on - who doesn't dream of a martha stewart christmas, in a pottery barn house, where you can go outside and take a walk down sugarplum lane?)

as a mother - the bar is really low - i can't control the weather, when babies get sick,  flat tires, photo locations under construction, rose bushes popping all my balloons, incomplete projects and well an eleven month who doesn't want to sit still

i had hopes of something like this

the day went like this

but thats okay nothing in my life maybe picture perfect but its pefect for me and i couldn't be happier

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

right now

right now i am distracting myself from a messy house, an empty fridge, no idea what to make for dinner, and there still being a hour left in my work day

how to shop at target - i laughed at them - i know you will to - we have all been there certainly item #4

homemade hot chocolate - i made this recipe last year and threw out all those yucky packets - last weekend i didn't have everything so i made this recipe - it was the most decandant i ever had plus bonus whipping cream mixed with marshmallows - who knew it made such a differnce

apple fest - hello fall- i love you

1. philosphy candy corn body wash & lip gloss 2. sweet dangerous not part of my clean eating but so tasty pumpkins 3. garnet hill scarves - i want them both 4. arm candy - a trend i love but could never pull off plus how in the heck do you type all that clanking would drive me crazy

Monday, September 24, 2012


dear old self,
remember when weekends were for sleeping in, leisurely trips to the grocery store and target, where I could throw a few "extras" in just because, when date nights were dinner, a movie and maybe a stroll through the bookstore or stop for ice cream, not knowing the luxury of cooking a meal start to finish without stopping or having something boil over or burn in the oven, choosing to stay in my pajamas and curl up on the couch and nest all day with a good book, recent magazine or gasp! lifetime movie marathons that you couldn't tear away from, making impromptu plans without having to worry about naptimes, and scrapbooking...

i miss you, some weekends i really do
but now
no sleep, rushed trips, date nights at home, cereal for dinner, never ending laundry, spending paychecks on diapers, are all worth the millions of hugs, kisses, & squeals of delight (that 500 trips down the slide bring)

love you baby girl

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


inspired by Marta

notebooks.lists nights cocoa
crisp windows
fall leaves.longwalks
party planning.pinterest
cozy quilts.movies

Friday, March 23, 2012

Project Life

Life has changed since the last time I posted.  Having a baby, becoming a mother not only has changed my life for the better but gives you a whole new perspective on life.  Documenting/ Scrapbooking /Taking Pictures has a new meaning but is even more overwhelming when you little or no free time esp when you add in working fulltime, taking care of a house and a husband.  I thought project life would be that - another project I would have no time for.  But thanks to Barb & Em, I was inspired and have fallen in love with it.  Its the perfect way to keep up and remember all the little details because I have found my memory is just not the same anymore, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning...
My first two weeks documented..