in search of: diaper bags

I'm not sure what it was about diaper bags but when we were buying things before C-man was born I just wasn't all about hoping on the diaper bag train. I figured whatever we ended up with would be fine and realistically, I would probably be the type of mom who just threw a few diapers in my purse while we were out and that would be that. If needed, I'd just keep the diaper bag in the car and go back for reinforcements if something crazy happened.

Yeah, right.....um, what was I thinking? Clearly I didn't realize 20 diapers, wipes, snacks, juice, milk, a changing pad, disposable bags and a change of clothes would be required pretty much every time we left the house.  

And if I was feeling brazen enough to just "chance it" and not bring enough supplies for a small army of babies, then obviously Murphy's Law would take full effect and that would be the day we had a monstrous diaper explosion. I'd have to quickly rush out of Target with a pants-less C-man who was screaming bloody murder while sitting on a pile of paper towels to soak up the mess with me trying to move as quickly as possible to save everyone in the store from seeing his poop filled clothes and smelling my stinky baby. True story.

I even let Kyle pick out our diaper bag {gasp!} because he said if he was going to carry it, it HAD to look cool and manly. So, big surprise we ended up with this.....

The Skip Hop Duo Bag in Blue Camo. The bag itself is ok and I actually do like the blue camo. But it's definitely made for a guy to carry with a longer, thicker strap {messenger style} and let's be completely honest, even thought I'm not opposed to the camo, I don't exactly want to carry it with me whereever I go. It fits all the baby items, but there really isn't a good place fo rme to put my wallet, phone, keys, etc without them getting lost in the abyss of the center pocket.

So, fast forward to today. Kyle has carried the diaper bag roughly three times and its typically me carrying the diaper bag plus my own purse, all the while juggling a 26 pound baby. 

Methinks it's time to streamline the process and invest in a diaper bag that will carry everything I need in one bag and look good while doing it.

Agreed? Ok, here are some contenders. Suggestions, experience and opinions are welcome in the comments....

Timi & Leslie Charlie Tote - $150

I really like the bag shown above, especially in the tan version. The one below is the Mia Bossi diaper bag which is quite popular and despite being pretty pricey, has gotten good reviews and lasts forever.

Mia Bossi Maria Tangerine - $390

This one comes in black, too....
Skip Hope Studio Tote - $90

And naturally I loooove the Ikat one {also comes in brown and blue ikat} but I've heard it is on the small side...need to check it out in person....
OiOi Ikat Tote - $160

Heard great things about this MZ Wallace Kate bag....
MZ Wallace Bedford Nylon Kate - $390

MZ Wallace Fatigue Stud Pearl - $192 on sale
I've also always loved the Dwell Studio bags and patterns....
Dwell Studio Hudson Tote - $240
Dwell Studio Chocolate Dots Madison - $100

While I was researching diaper bags for this post I also happened upon a blog called Diaper Bag Junkies which at first glance seems to have loads of real-life reviews of the million of so diaper bags out there. Looks like I know what I'll be doing for the rest of nap time today... 

what do moms do all day?

I saw this article floating around the Blogosphere last week and just came across it again and wanted to re-post here. 

It rings pretty true with me because at the end of the day I often feel exhausted and worn out, but don't really have much to show for the day other then a list of phone calls, emails and text I've completely forgotten or simply haven't had the chance to answer. It's easy to feel swamped by all these things but then I remember that C-man is my number one priority and everything else is just simply going to have to wait. I think the author hit the nail on the head here and I felt so much better after reading it :)


babies galore this weekend

New babies and baby showers are the name of the game here these days....

Our friends Shannon and Jake had a beautiful baby girl last week and I was so excited to go visit them all in the hospital on Friday {mama shannon is second from the right in the photo}. She's so cute and little I'd forgotten just how small newborns are - and her hands and little feet - so tiny and adorable!

On Sunday, C-man spent the afternoon hanging with Dada while I went to a baby shower and put my onesie decorating skills to the test. Some of the designs were seriously impressive and I think a few of these ladies need to start their own onesie decorating business, too!

and of course, we also managed to squeeze in some swing time with our own baby, too.....

Hope you all had a great weekend, too! Look out for a post later this week about a project I'm finishing up at home - I love it and can't wait to share :)


serena & lily bazaar

Oh man, I'm in trouble. I just received an email from Serena & Lily {one of my favorite shops for nursery and home furnishings} about their upcoming Bazaar and I'm drooling over just about everything they have listed.

Like this etched aluminum table....

Vintage Indian Etched Aluminum Side Table

These Chevron Ikat pillows {my favorite mix of patterns - chevron and ikat!}

Chevron Ikat Pillow

This bracelet....

Balinese Brass Bangle

This painting....
"Eastern Break I" by Karen Smidth

This necklace....{I'm always a sucker for wooden beads}

Mombasa Necklace
This awesome hand etched copper pot....

Hand-Etched Antique European Copper Pot

This flame red vase....

Mid-Century Textured Ceramic Vase

and this funky hammock...

Tassled and Striped Hammock
By the way, do people still even say "funky" anymore? Couldn't you just imagine laying in this and sipping a mojito?

The Bazaar is previewing now, opens tomorrow and runs through Wednesday, July 27th.


beach mornings

Going to the beach earlier in the day is highly under-rated.

It's calmer, quieter and nothing beats a post-beach sleepy baby, quick bath and then curling up and watching an Elmo DVD {babies, dogs and more!} and taking a nap.

Sand in between the toes and playing with trucks {vroom, vroom!} is pretty cool, too :)


saturday afternoon & 16 months

Sometimes time seems to move as slow as molasses and sometime it moves at warp speed. Right now it's moving faster then I can keep up with because C-man is 16 months old today. What the what??!

For some crazy reason I felt like the month after his 1st birthday lasted forever - probably because we were still working on walking and each day was marked with very slow progress. Is he going to walk today?? Nope, guess not - maybe tomorrow??

But since then I'm not sure where the past four months have gone and now suddenly he's 16 months! It probably has something to do with the fact that little man is walking/running/climbing at roughly defcon 5 all. the. time and I barely have a moment to look at the calender to see what day it is.

I saw this diagram in a book yesterday and it made me laugh because it's so true...it's titled Seven Clocked Minutes of Nursery School Behavior

That little 18 month old is on the move and so is our little 16 month old :)

We went out to Sullivan's for dinner yesterday afternoon {I say afternoon because if we are eating out we are forced to eat at the early bird hour of 6pm these days so we aren't faced with a 16 month old meltdown} and we snapped these pictures of a few, rare calm moments where C was just sitting and hanging out.

His new favorite thing is to dip things in sauces...

The rest of the time was spent pulling all the napkins out of the holder, climbing on the table, dancing and bopping his head to the music, squirming around and walking up and down {and up and down and up and down - repeat, repeat, repeat} on the ramp and stairs outside.

Hope you all are having a great weekend and a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Aunt Ally!!! xoxo


french inspired baby shower brunch

I feel a little funny just re posting these images from another blogger, but I find myself going back to her blog to look at them again and again, so I thought y'all might enjoy seeing them too. They are simply so pretty and tastefully done I just loooooove them! No store bought baby shower crap-ola in sight, it's all hand made and thoughtfully put together and exactly what I would want in a second baby shower {side note: kelly and tim, you guys did a fabulous job on our shower and we are forever grateful for that!!}

The shower was hosted by Grace, who writes a fab blog called Grace Happens, for her friend Alexis, who also writes another of my favorite blogs, Fern & Feather. I highly recommend checking them both out :)

I'm always a sucker for anything with mason jars and striped straws....

Grace stamped the rings herself on kraft paper and used pretty french striped napkins 

I'm drooling over the chocolate covered strawberries and ribbon skewers...and the rest of the food...

And look at this present!! A vintage schoolhouse chair! Such a thoughtful gift and completely fits with her aesthetic. So adorable and unique...

As parting gifts each guest was given a set of the french stripe towels wrapped in bakers twine with personalized, stamped wooden tags.

If you'd like to see more click here. What do y'all think? Beyond adorable, huh??!

all photos are from Grace Happens


b is for......baaaaah!!!

So I had this cute little post planned called "B is for....beach!" with some photos I took of C-man out on Sullivan's this morning. But while I was working on the post, someone wandered into the other room and when I went to go searching for the little devil him, I found this....

Just hangin' on the mess of a table {ahem, Kyle....can you please clean your plans/work off the table now that the entire internet world has seen the mess. Okeydookey? Perfectawesomethanks....}

So now B if for BAAAAAH! what are you doooooing?? Which I've been saying an awful lot around here lately. This little incident wasn't even close to being the worst of them. If it was I certainly wouldn't have had a moment to snap a picture....

Honestly, I really have no idea how he gets his little body into these places so darn quickly. I mean, two seconds is seriously all it takes for him to D.E.S.T.R.O.Y something or shimmy himself way up high up on a piece of furniture....he's also pretty crafty at opening doors now, so I'm guessing it's only a matter of days until I find him outside with Red talking a walk to the playground.

Uustyd@@@#%jahsjdh????!!!!......I can just see the two of them strolling along now. BAAAAAH!


recipe: avocado, tomato and mozzarella

I started making this last summer and can't get enough...

It's especially good with mid-summer heirloom tomatoes, ripe avocado and fresh mozz. It's a healthy lunch or a perfect side dish for dinner. If you aren't a fan of Braggs, you can always substitute Balsamic or even some Tamari, but I think it's the Braggs that really makes the dish.

Also, here's a tip for the Braggs: buying the spray bottle makes it easier to evenly coat the salad. I tend to be a little heavy handed with the sauce and the spray bottle really saves me from going overboard and accidentally making Braggs soup.


Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
{for two}
3 medium sized tomatoes - preferably heirloom
2 avocados
2 big balls of fresh mozzarella
dash of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Bragg Liquid Amino


july wedding weekend + our 4th

We're back in Charleston after almost 10 days in Virginia and it was a bit of a wake up call this morning when I had to make my own coffee (thanks, G'Pops!).

We had a great visit and C was able to spend lots of time with Kyle's parents and also with Aunt Ashley and Uncle Blair who provided some much appreciated free babysitting {thanks, guys!!} while we were at David and Karolina's wedding. David and Kyle went to high school and college together so there was a great group of friends, lots of dancing and some Polish vodka that may or may not have put a dent in the rest of the weekend :) The wedding was small and intimate at a house in Arlington, VA {more on the house in a min...} and was the perfect way to kick off the holiday weekend.

Looking back, the few photos I did take are mainly of us on the dance floor and the house, but I did manage to get a relatively cute, normal photo of us in the mix...

Ok, now onto the house....if I could move into this room, I would in a second. This photo barely does it justice. 

The ahhh-mazing kitchen was to the right and despite the million or so shots I tried to get of it, none of them really came out that well. Plus, I was trying to restrain myself from looking like a total crazypants. 
You'll just have to trust me that the quilted, stainless, commercial fridge, Carrera marble counter and giant Viking gas stove really were just that awesome. 

I actually wasn't going to share this photo {for obvious reasons - mainly due to polish vodka} but it gives you a glimpse of what I'm talking about...plus I stole it from Beth {if you're reading this - thanks, Beth!!}

Wish I had taken more, but that'll have to do. A big Congratulations to David and Karolina! We are so happy for you!! xoxo

We spent a great Sunday Funday at Ashley's parents house and got a little b-ball action in the pool....

On the 4th we went to another party in Arlington, but this time ar Blair and Ashley's friends house. There were lots of little boys running around who were all roughly the same age, 15 months going on 21 years.....

Look at those little devils getting into the cooler!

Hope you all had a great 4th!!


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