24 April 2014

pin to present: painted animal mobile

I've been meaning to get a mobile up in Hendrik's room since he started sleeping in his crib a couple of months ago. In the mornings he typically wakes up quite happy and will just chat away to himself until I go pick him up, so I thought he'd love something fun to look at. The only problem was that I couldn't find something that worked - so many options were so theme-y or expensive or just didn't go with the room. But then I came across these adorable painted cardboard animal silhouettes on Pinterest and a DIY idea was born...

pin to present: painted animal mobile
inspiration image and tutorial: Small for Big

I had been contemplating getting one of these photo mobiles, that you can clip your own photos or postcards to, but I was still undecided about what to hang from it, until I saw this Pinspiration. The painted patterns are just so cute, and the animal silhouettes go perfectly with the loose theme of around the world safari we've got going on.

I used a couple of the templates from the (easy) tutorial, along with other animal silhouettes I found via a Google image search and traced them onto thin cardboard. After I cut them out, I got out my craft paints, gave them all a base coat on both sides, and then added some fun patterns after they dried. In the meantime, my mobile frame was delivered (thank you, Amazon Prime!), and I just clipped the animals on after I assembled and hung the mobile.

pin to present: painted animal mobile
pin to present: painted animal mobile
pin to present: painted animal mobile
pin to present: painted animal mobile
pin to present: painted animal mobile

Really easy and kind of fun to do, and now Henk has something fun to look at when he wakes up in the morning. Or when he lays in his crib refusing to nap (ugh).

See the rest of Hendrik's room here!

23 April 2014

workout Wednesday: in my [gym] bag

workout Wednesday: in my [gym] bag

Since having a baby I much more commonly take my shower at the gym after my workout rather than at home - because that way I make sure to actually get one. And now that our master bathroom has been torn up (takes only about 2 hours to rip apart what will take more than 2 weeks to put back together!), using the gym's facilities seems even more convenient. Carting all my stuff around sometimes doesn't feel quite so convenient though, so I recently acquired a new gym bag that has the carrying capacity and handy pockets for everything I need. Here's what fits inside:

workout Wednesday: in my [gym] bag

In the outer pockets:
1. Spinning shoes that go in the handy shoe pocket
2. Sweaty Bands headband to keep my bangs out of my face and extra hairband
4. Lock, for my locker of course
5. PowerBar for after class
6. Armband for my phone and case with headphones

And inside, my outfit for the day (and of course a change of undies, not pictured):
7. Shoes
8. Jeans / tank / jacket
9. Case with watch / jewelry for the day

workout Wednesday: in my [gym] bag

Also inside, stuff for showering/getting ready:
10. Microfiber towel (super absorbent and lightweight, so it doesn't take up much space!)
11. Ziploc with shampoo, conditioner, razor, body wash
12. Makeup bag with all the necessaries
13. Flip flops for wearing in the shower/around the locker room
14. Travel-sized hair dryer
15. Straightener and heat resistant carrying case
16. Brush

workout Wednesday: in my [gym] bag

Though what I really wanted was the Lo & Sons OG Bag - because I love the slightly smaller OMG bag that I use as a diaper bag and also think it's so stylish - I settled on the Puddle Jumper by Lug after seeing one in the locker room as it has similar qualities (nylon, lightweight, good pockets, tote shape) and though not as stylish still is pretty good looking ... at less than half the price. So far it's served me well.

Also, here's what I lug around in my other bags: pre-baby purse | diaper bag

p.s. to my pregnant friends... you know I loved my For Two Fitness tanks for working out during pregnancy - definitely an essential when working out for two. They're so flattering and soft and stretchy (which lasts you through to the very end, even if you have a huge basketball bump like I did!). And they're really cute. I think if you're going to lug that belly to the gym, you should just own those stares and comments that you're going to get either way.

for two fitness giveaway
17 weeks | 27 weeks | 37 weeks

Anyway, just thought I'd share that For Two Fitness is running a huge giveaway for their anniversary that you should definitely go enter - there are lots of amazing products including my favorite For Two Fitness tank, but also other great stuff like Kind Bars, Sarah Haley Fit DVDs, Maclaren Beginnings products, GNC prenatal vitamins, Happy Family Brands baby foods, Zensah compression leg sleeves, and a Baby K'tan baby carrier. There will be one grand prize winner, and two runners up will also receive gift bags, so go check it out!

22 April 2014

wearing lately: florals all day long

There are many great things that come with the return of spring, but one I get especially excited about is the return of dress wearing. A new number in my wardrobe for this season that I love is this vintage-inspired floral shift from the boutique Conversation Pieces. You might think at first that such a bold print wouldn't be that versatile, but I think it can be dressed up or down to be suitable for occasions from daytime to evening:

wearing lately: florals all day long
wearing lately: florals all day long
dress and tote: c/o Conversation Pieces | jacket (similar): Land's End Canvas | sneakers: Old Navy

For nice spring days, there's not much I love more than a dress + denim jacket combo, and a pair of white sneakers is another fun way to dress down a dress - perfect for bopping around town running errands. And this classic tote, also from Conversation Pieces, looks great with it and has been just the thing for carting my laptop to the coffee shop to work while the nanny's around. Then for evening I just swapped out the jacket for a suede sash and the sneakers for some bow-back kitten heels.

wearing lately: florals all day long
wearing lately: florals all day long
dress: c/o Conversation Pieces | shoes: Sole Society 

So easy to wear, all day long. Next I might try it with a blazer, or maybe layering a chambray shirt underneath. Or maybe a different type of belt. (Isn't dress weather great?)

wearing lately: florals all day long

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

21 April 2014

weekend + 14 in 2014 update

From a childhood in Michigan, I have memory of very few Easter Sundays that were suitable for actually wearing an Easter dress - but the weekend was perfect for it around here this year, and I was quite pleased to get to pull out my favorite dress again (which was stored in the back of the closet all last spring/summer while I was pregnant) for church. The 70s and sunshine were also perfect for wearing a dress on date night at Metropole, for going on family walks, for reading in the sun (I am LOVING Longbourn), and for getting in my 12-mile run.

Some scenes from date night and Easter morning:
date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning
 date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning
date night and Easter morning

Metropole made the #1 spot on this year's Cincinnati Magazine top-10 new restaurants list; while we'd already been meaning to try it, this made it a must-do, of course. And we enjoyed it a lot - it's in the cool 21c Hotel, and it's really fun to go and wander through their art galleries before/after the meal. There's art (and giant penguin sculptures that visit tables) to look at in the dining area too, and I'd say the food is mighty nice to look upon as well.

We loved our first course of the burnt carrot salad (with avocado, pickled onion, feta & pumpkin seeds) and the beet salad (with blueberry, ramps, & goat cheese) and the wine, but we weren't super wowed by the entrees. Not as much as at the other top new restaurants we've been to anyway (Boca and Sotto). Perhaps it was a matter of execution that evening, but based on that course, we would say Boca should have gotten the top ranking... In any case we had a great time and definitely plan to go back and try some of their amazing-sounding cocktails on the rooftop deck. And if they'd serve me some of those crazy good fries I had along with a drink, I'd be a happy girl.

With our Metropole visit we concluded #5 on my 14 in 2014 list (new restaurants Boca, 50 West, Metropole - I'm sure we'll get to more though!), so I thought an update of where else I am on the rest of the list was in order:
14 in 2014 update

Still in progress are 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14. Of note from those: (1) master bathroom demolition begins today! So this one better be crossed off the list by next month's update; (3) just under 2 weeks away from the race, and I did a 12-mile training run on Saturday, so I think I'm ready to go; (13) last month's recipe was the tasty one-pot Thai dish my mom introduced me to.

Aside from the restaurants, I also deemed #11 (meet with a financial planner) cross off-able, thanks to Peter. He had enough of a phone chat with one that we've got a plan, at least through the end of residency, so we know we don't need to further involve a planner at the moment. Easy enough!

18 April 2014

six things Friday

In celebration of Henk's half birthday this week, we're doing 6 things Friday rather than 5 things... Look at how much those spindly limbs have grown since the first month! He's really been packing it on the thighs the last couple of months - which, along with his round cheeks, are just perfectly squishy and kissable. I'm in love.


Enough mushy stuff though - I'm off to a weekend of book club, running, date night, and celebrating Easter. Hope you have a great one too!

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...

Likes/dislikes
  • 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?!


Firsts
  • 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!

Sleeping
  • 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.

Eating
  • 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?