17 April 2014

pin to present: outfit favorites

For Bri's Pinterest outfit inspiration themed Third Thursday Threads, I thought it would be a great time to recap a few of my favorite copycat outfits from my weekly Pinterest-inspired series (for which my very first post, over two years ago now, was an outfit inspired by Kendi, who I've copied more than once). Here's one from my things to wear board for each season, along with an all-time favorite.

pin to present: outfit favorites

pin to present: outfit favorites

pin to present: outfit favorites

pin to present: outfit favorites

pin to present: outfit favorites

Some of the many Pinterest-inspired outfits I've posted are kind of "duh" moments: they get me to wear stuff already in my wardrobe in ways I hadn't before - that really should have been obvious, they're so nice together, like the sweater/chambray/blazer layering and the coral blazer/turquoise necklace pairing. And some of them have really gotten me to branch out and try new things, like the scarf as headband that I probably wouldn't have been brave enough to do without the inspiration photo, or my favorite cargo jacket paired with a "fancier" dress. And still others may have inspired a little shopping, but who's counting.

Whatever the result, it's been great to have this series to push me to utilize my wardrobe in different ways and my ever-growing pin board of other people's outfits that I love. A great place to turn when I'm having one of those don't know what to wear kind of days.

Lots more Pinspired outfits in my archives, and even more to check out over at Bri's link-up!

16 April 2014

Hendrik at 6 months

Hendrik at 6 months

You might think of yesterday - April 15 - as tax day, but around here it was my baby's half birthday. Already! I'm excited because 6 months is feeling like a really fun age with how interactive and happy our little man is, but it's also bittersweet: I know the next 6 months are going to fly by just as fast as the first 6 months have, so it almost makes me feel like my baby's 1 already. Crazy.

Hendrik at 6 months
Hendrik at 6 months

Here's some of the fun stuff my sweet little man has been up to in the last month that I know I'll want to remember someday when years and years go by as fast as these few months...

  • Henk's a mover. He's always loved to kick his legs - he can make that bouncy chair seriously bounce - but the latest favorite move is picking up his legs and slamming them back down in unison, which he does on his play mat, on the changing table, and even in bed (usually the first thing I hear when he wakes up in the morning).
  • He's also an observer - just loves to be carried around and take everything in. Our vacation was great for that because there were so many walks to go on and so many people to watch. He also loves coming to book club at the coffee shop with me and just watching all the ladies talk and the other happenings around there. Looking out the window or keeping track of what GInger's up to is pretty fun too.
  • Toys have become much more interesting to him in the last month, especially Sophie the giraffe. She just has so many good parts for putting in one's mouth. He also has a little lion toy usually attached to his car seat (which we call Leo); it has some crinkly parts and a tag, both of which he loves munching on for long stretches while in the car or in the stroller.
  • Putting things in his mouth is one of Henk's greatest pleasures in life, and greatest of all is fabric. He often holds things at arms length to look at them, then brings it to his mouth for a taste or a chew, then back out to arm's length to consider the item again, etc. It's pretty funny.
  • We've reached an age where we can get anticipatory giggles - if I fly him toward his reflection in the mirror or nuzzle my face in his belly after a diaper change, he laughs, but now he even laughs more when he's anticipating the funny thing happening again. I love it.

New tricks

  • Growing hair - finally. It's definitely starting to come back in on top, and it's coming in red! Just need to grow a little more in the back now to cover up that bald patch.
  • Holding his bottle - he's soooo grabby these days, which sometimes is a pain when you're trying to feed him and he's getting in the way, but sometimes comes in handy when he can hold his own bottle for a few minutes, especially if we're out for a walk and he's suddenly desperately hungry.
  • Rolling over - he did this a few times right around the 5 month mark, but semi-assisted (his arms had to be placed correctly under him, or he'd just flail). Now he does it on his own, though not so interested in going back-to-front just yet. He's never really liked being on his tummy though, so what's the incentive there?!

  • Baby food. We joke that he takes in about 6 calories per attempt at eating, but he's definitely getting better at figuring out this spoon business after that initial try. First up was sweet potatoes, which he liked, followed by squash, which he definitely didn't. 
  • Vacation. Which also came with his first time wearing shorts (which are hilarious because on stubby baby legs they go almost to the ankles) and his first dip in a pool. The pool had mixed reactions (I think we caught him at a bad time), but the vacation was wonderful - so far he's a great travel companion!
  • Trial of an exersaucer, at the daycare at our gym (also first visit there). As one who's always liked to kick his legs and stand assisted, he of course loved it, and now I'm wondering if we'll need to end up acquiring one of those too. This is how it went with the bouncy chair and the play mat....
Hendrik at 6 months
Hendrik at 6 months
Hendrik at 6 months
practicing sitting with the Boppy - we're almost there!

  • I was waiting for a blip in the nighttime sleeping on vacation with the different beds/rooms, but it never happened - yay! Since that 4-month sleep regression we never get up during the night, and he pretty regularly sleeps from about 9:30 or 10pm to about 7 or 7:30am.
  • Naps got kind of messed up after coming home though... He's just not a great napper to begin with, though he clearly gets tired and needs some rests during the day, and after vacation he has struggled to fall asleep in the crib during the day. Sometimes we resort to the stroller to get him to fall asleep, sometimes we just deal with a cranky baby, and sometimes he throws in a 2-hour nap. You never know with nap time around here!
  • He's getting a lot snugglier when he's sleepy - he likes to hold one of his little lovey blankets now when he's falling asleep, and he's started stroking my hair sometimes when I'm holding him and he's starting to get sleepy. It's really sweet.

  • Still mostly a liquid diet around here, up to 7-8 ounces at a time with the bottle.
  • For the first couple attempts at feeding baby food we used some jars of Gerber, but now we're making our own with the Babycook (so handy and easy). I love that we can steam a portion of one of the veggies we're having with our dinner for him; one night we did roasted sweet potato for us/pureed for Henk, and another night we did grilled zucchini for us/pureed for Henk.
  • Definitely prefers fruits - sometimes Peter would let him suck a little on a piece of what we're eating, like a chunk of strawberry or banana, and he couldn't get enough. Even loves to suck on limes! So he definitely developed a taste for fruit before getting to the baby food; now we've done apples (with a little cinnamon, yum) in the Babycook for him, but most often I just mash up part of a banana really well (and add a little water to make it runnier), and he loves it.
Hendrik at 6 months
Hendrik at 6 months
last photo by my mom - isn't it the sweetest?

15 April 2014

wearing lately: outerwear outfits

Much as I am soooo happy to be putting away the winter outerwear, I really love spring jackets. There are just so many great options for lightweight layers, and they can really make an outfit. My new favorite is this jaunty red number:

wearing lately: outerwear outfits
wearing lately: outerwear outfits
wearing lately: outerwear outfits
coat and jeans: JCrew Factory | shirt (similar): Target | shoes: Madewell | purse: Sole Society

Lauren recently commented, in reference to her fabulous yellow coat, that we all deserve to have something in our closet that makes us feel like a million bucks - and a chunk of your monthly clothes budget is totally worth spending on it. I completely agree, and this coat is one of those things for me. I just feel so great and put together and happy when I'm walking around in it.

wearing lately: outerwear outfits
wearing lately: outerwear outfits
tee (similar): Old Navy | ponte pants (similar): Loft | flats: Banana Republic | necklace: Chewbeads (Hendrik loves it, and it's saving my regular necklaces from grabby hands and baby spit!)

The other great thing about this coat is that it makes these outfits fit my personal style goal - rocking basics with a twist - really well. It doesn't get much more basic than the components of these two outfits: white jeans, a denim shirt, black jeans, or a black & white striped tee. And then the jacket adds the perfect twist to keep things fun and interesting. (Which is perfect for the cooler spring days when your coat is still pretty much a part of your outfit when out running errands.)

What's your million-bucks piece right now?

Shop the post:

Sharing on Mix It Mondays, What I Wore, Style Sessions.

14 April 2014

weekend: the return of warm

Ooh does it feel good to come out of that winter. It's cliche to write about it, but I know everyone agrees: all weekend my Instagram feed was full of people picnicking at parks and brunching al fresco and attending baseball games and other such happy things.

My little family's gorgeous 70+ degree weekend was suitably full of good weather stuff too: Thursday night grilling followed by a weekend with lots of bare baby toes; sunny, short-sleeved walks with Peter, Ginger, & Henkie; a great 10-mile run on part of the Flying Pig race course with Sarah's running group (and a zillion other pigs-in-training); and a fun BBQ and BYOB dinner on the lawn at Eli's.

weekend: the return of warm
weekend: the return of warm
weekend: the return of warm
weekend: the return of warm
weekend: the return of warm
weekend: the return of warm

Some snaps from our evening at Eli's - and it turned into an "evening" even though we tried to get there early. Everyone else in Cincinnati thought it was a great idea too! Luckily Henk mostly slept while we waited in line to order, because there was plenty more waiting to do after ordering... But we also had some nice company (and beer) to pass the time with, and that pulled pork sandwich and "dirty" mac & cheese were worth my hungry wait. (Also, thank you, 10.5 hilly miles of calorie burning.)

What fun stuff did you do with your spring weekend?

11 April 2014

five things Friday: spring checklist edition

The Glitter Guide's recent fun spring to do list inspired me to make one of my own - especially because there's just something about the arrival of spring that makes a girl eager to get back out into the world after being cooped up all winter, and to do/see/try/buy fresh new things. So five items on my spring checklist:

5 things Friday: spring checklist
images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5  

1. Find a great new pair of sandals for the spring/summer season.

2. Get a little more of this great peachy coral color into my house. Isn't it happy?

3. Try some new recipes on the grill, perhaps starting with these enticing grilled sweet potato tacos.

4. Spring cleaning, re-organization style, starting with the files in my office.

5. Explore some new parks/trails in Cincinnati with the baby & the baby jogger - starting with finally getting around to a run on the Loveland Trail. And visiting the zoo!

Looks like it should be a great weekend around here for grilling and running - add to that a little reading in the sun on the porch, and I'll be one happy girl. What spring things are you up to this weekend?

10 April 2014

pin to present: one-pot Thai

Credit for this week's pin-made-reality goes to my mom. She discovered this super easy and really tasty one-pot Thai noodle with peanut sauce recipe on Pinterest a while back and scaled it up to feed the masses on our family vacation. I liked it so much that I added it to my things to eat board right away and added it to the dinner rotation as soon as I got home.

pin to present: one-pot Thai
image and recipe: Apron Strings

This one-pot idea is amazing - you seriously just chop up everything in the photo below and put it all into one pot at the same time with the vegetable broth, peanut butter, and spices, simmer it for a bit, and then eat up! So quick and easy. The peanut sauce is nice and creamy, and it was a hit with everyone on the family vacation - plus is well suited to various dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free - luckily  nobody with peanut allergies, or that wouldn't have worked so well).

pin to present: one-pot Thai
pin to present: one-pot Thai

A few recipe notes in case you want to try this one - and you should!

  • My mom actually went to an Asian market and obtained the tamarind paste... I just skipped it and couldn't tell a huge difference (though I made mine quite a bit spicier, so perhaps I couldn't tell because of that!)
  • Also, my mom made it with brown rice noodles (as a gluten-free girl), which I actually liked better than the regular linguine I used, but it's what I had around and still worked well.
  • Perhaps go lighter on the lime juice than called for in the recipe or it can be a bit overpowering. 
  • Don't forget to garnish with extra peanuts at the end - yum.

09 April 2014


currently: april 2014

carrying: my laptop, etc. to the library and coffee shops in this great tote from Conversation Pieces to work while the nanny's with Henk.

cooking: baby food in our Babycook. We're still newbies at this, but so far the thing is pretty slick!

reading: a Jane Austen spinoff that's gotten quite good reviews. I've had a whole bunch of books lined up on my Kindle for ages that I'm finally getting around to, and I'm really looking forward to starting this one next.

scoping: finishing touches for our bathroom, like lovely hand towels. Which it's so not time for, since work hasn't even started on it yet, but I'm an eager beaver for the fun final touches... and they're distracting me from having to make a decision on a medicine cabinet, which I find much less enjoyable.

anticipating: our next date night, with dinner reservations at Metropole (Cincinnati's top new restaurant). Can't wait. Though I will have to... for a week and a half.

How about you, lately?