Thursday, November 21, 2013

Encounter with Santa

Ya know what's fun? The holidays. And you know what makes the holidays even more fun? Doing holiday things with kids. Case in point, I kindly asked (read: tricked) 'ole Tommy into joining me at the mall for Martini's first throw down with Santa Claus. This was a brilliant idea for so many reasons, but most of all because nobody else at North Star Mall was thinking about taking Santa pictures as early as November 17th. (I like to think we are just way ahead of the game when it comes to this whole parenting thing.) Go us. 

I was a bit leery about how this whole Santa thing was going to play out in real life - in my head there were two scenarios 1.) we'd hand over the kid, he'd take one look at Santa and it would be over before it even started (seeing as a lot of Martin's new friend pictures look something like this...)

or this...

Or, we'd have Scene #2 -- a happy kid with a happy Santa, and all would be right in our little first Christmas world. 

And so the adventure went down a little something like this - arrived at mall at 12:30pm, came across this sign...

That little sign says that Santa is feeding his Reindeer and won't be back until 2pm. Hate to ruin your lunch, Rudolph, but we've got a ticking time bomb here, and the added hour and a half wait is not helping my odds of a successful Christmas card.

So dad, the voice of reason that he is, suggested we grab a coffee at the cafe overlooking SantaLand -- brilliant idea. We can keep the little bug distracted all while enjoying a nice cup of joe AND keeping an eye on the line.

As I started to notice movement around the gates, I whipped into mother mode, and convinced Tom that the time had come -- I was NOT going to stand in line behind people that had just walked up in the last five minutes. Not after being there for an hour and a half.  

After watching the family (two parents and one child) in front of me take 17 minutes with Santa (a feat I can only blame his high maintenance parents for) -- I was beginning to think all was lost. The little nugget was hungry, it may or may not have been pee coming up the back of his shirt, I could go on. But alas, the moment was ours. So we did what any new parents would do - in a  moment of panic, we threw the kid into Santa's arms, began flailing around like a bunch or turkeys, and hoped for the best.
The kid didn't even know what hit him.

It is with a sense of pride in our mad parenting skills that I present to you, Martin's first encounter with Santa Claus.  

You nailed it, kid.

(I'll go ahead and savor this moment, as I'm pretty sure next years encounter will unfold looking more like Scenario #1)

Hope everyone is gearing up nicely for Thanksgiving. 
Loads of love, 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Vision

Here we are, folks. Going on two months since we moved out of our beloved little cottage, to embark on the torture adventure that is home remodeling. I can honestly say at this point, I'd almost rather get my oil changed every day (there's nothing I despise more), than be so out of control of a place we hold so near and dear to our hearts. So while there are a lot of things that are NOT in my control (pouring foundation, framing, roofing, etc...) there are, thank heavens, a few glorious things that ARE. 

Let's just focus on those things. My happy creative place. 

My dream for this kitchen was (and still is, luckily) a combination of a few places -- first place -- Schiller's NYC...It was one of our favorite places to hang on Saturday mornings down on the Lower East Side - loved everything about it - the vintage subway tiles, the dark grout, the lighting, the awesome sink in the bathroom, everything (it didn't hurt that the eggs Benedict were off the chain, too).

And then I went and combined Schiller's with one of my other favorite restaurants - French Blue in Napa, (I could and would happily take up residence in this restaurant if I didn't think it would land me on the front page of the Napa Valley Register for all the wrong reasons) and voila, you've got yourself my vision.

While my vision is solid - time (and a very strict budget provided by a certain husband of mine) will tell whether or not such a delectable combination can exist in our quaint little home.  

So until that day comes when everything "just comes together" as my contractor so eloquently puts it, I'll just continue using my creative eye and envision the potential that lies beyond this blue tarp. My EXTREMELY, THINK BEYOND THE BOX AND HOPE FOR A MIRACLE creative eye...

There's no place like home... There's no place like home...

Peace and love, my friends, 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Instant Gratification. Instantly.

I'm all about instant gratification. And while Amazon Prime sort of gets me there - (I order my items, then do something that makes me forget I ordered them, then voila, 48 hours later I'm completely floored when I get a delivery of the items I completely forgot I ordered in the first place) - well, Half Price Books gets me that exact floored feeling - INSTANTLY!

Case in point -- I stopped by the local HPB (Half Price Books) determined to find some baby food making books that were cheaper than on Amazon, and what did we find?  

I'm no brain surgeon, but those appear to be some pretty fab baby food makin' books! 

And I'm no mathematician, but that appears to be one slammin' good price! A whole dollar and 8 cents cheaper than the lowest price on Amazon! Get it, girl! 

And while I went to HPB with the intent of becoming somewhat of a baby-food-making-chef-extraordinaire, I couldn't help but think I could easily expand my new-found expertise into other areas of culinary genius, like this...

Slight confession: after reading some of the recipes, I haven't yet decided if this gets me a vote for wife of the year, or puts me up for a demotion, but we'll try out a few recipes (NOT the Pressed Ox Tongue) and let you know. 

HPB is also my go-to place to find beautiful coffee table books on design, decor, home, fashion, etc. 

I got this stunner for $7.99 - a whole $20 less than on OKL (One Kings Lane), yeah, so it's been pre-loved, but honestly, it's a coffee table book for crying out loud. I'll count that a win in my book any day of the week.

So here's hoping you get a little instant gratification today and that you stay warm while you're at it.

P.S. - stay tuned for a sneak peek at my feeble attempt to make my parents a nail-trim headboard. (And only make positive comments when I post pictures.)



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To say we've been busy would be an understatement -- our son, Martin, joined our crew in June, and to say we're completely nuts might also be an understatement - we started remodeling our home in September. Now that everyone's up to speed on that, allow me to make some introductions...

This is Martin Spencer BW...(and his lady-friend, Sophie)

This was our den...

and this was our kitchen...

As we approach week six of our home renovation (which will take roughly 18 weeks to complete *major sigh*), I find myself constantly having to remind myself of decorator, Tom Scheerer's words of wisdom, "Don't make too much trouble for yourself. Live life now rather than after a torturous renovation." If you've ever been through a major home renovation, then you know how this feels - living out of a suitcase, all your comforts of home packed up in an incredibly inconvenient Pod in another city, oh and with a 4.5 month old baby to boot. It's pretty darn easy to say, "when this thing is over, life will be back to normal" or the more common one around this household, "did we really think this one through?"

But what about today? Well, I'll tell you about today. Today was pretty freaking awesome. I got to make and feed this little prodigy his first taste of delicious rice cereal and apple/pear/cinnamon sauce. Judging by the pics, I'm either lousy at stewing up apples or this is going to take some practice. We're gonna go with the latter. 

Regardless of how much these pics are screaming that this is some form of child torture, we're gonna keep at it, one little rubber spoonful at a time. 

And regardless of how much our kitchen and den look like this...

I'm going to drift on dreaming that in a few short weeks, I'll be whipping up some mad baby food in this kitchen...
(photo courtesy of Nat Rea Photography, remodel courtesy of Taste Design Inc.)

Here's hoping everyone has a super productive Wednesday! Oh and Happy Birthday, big brother, John! Peace out, meine freunde's.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothering Day (That's what they call it in the UK!)

Kudos to the person that came up with the idea of having a day each year devoted to Mothers (I personally think the whole month of May should be Mother's Month) but since I'm not sure who controls that national calendar, I'll go ahead and say, I'm glad we at least got a solid beautiful day for the lovely ladies. Here's a few pics of some of my all time favorite mothers...

It's so easy to grow up and imagine your mother just as she is in the present. To picture her exactly as she is today - my best friend, my confidant - a source of daily inspiration. But as I approach 30 years old, it's hard not to think of my mother when she was my age, with one handsome young son under her belt (John) and another charming little girl just a few months away (me). As I watch my dearest friend take on motherhood with her sweet new baby boy, I imagine my mother facing the same daily duties, and I suddenly see her in a whole new light. As I witness my sister-in-law's reaction as my niece shaves off her eyebrow, it makes me smile a bit knowing that my mother faced the same situation with me when I gave my eyelashes a haircut at the age of 5. So many mother's, all with such similar wonderful stories to tell. Having never been a mother myself, I'm not sure it ever really truly dawned on me the devotion it takes to be a mother. The giving of ones self for the happiness of your child. It's a beautiful thing that can often times be so easily overlooked. 

Because of the selflessness of my mother, I am today a reflection of her love, her laughter and her commitment to raising a child that isn't altogether too terribly embarrassing. I'm a blessed girl for having a mother who was adored by her mother, and a father who was adored by his mother - I come from a wonderful family of love, and today I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all the times you stayed up with me in the middle of the night, for all the times you changed the sheets when I wet the bed, for all the dinners, boxed lunches, field trips, barbie dolls, clip-on earrings, plastic high heel shoes, phone calls, notes of encouragement -- all of it. I am who I am today because of every little decision you made along lifes path. 

To the mothers I love, keep doing what you're doing. You are magnificent. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life's Little Inspirations

I know, I know, it’s been a ridiculous amount of time since I’ve written. And I know when I started this blog, that I said I would write every time I was ‘inspired’. Hear me out -  I’m not saying that I haven’t been ‘inspired’ in the past month and 27 days, not saying that at all, it’s just that I’ve had trouble translating these inspirations effectively in writing.

But writing has always been my truest form of expression. I’ve always said my mind best in written form. So after weeks of internal debate, an in an attempt to not be too self-serving, here it is, what’s been keeping me inspired…

Recent inspirations have come in so many beautiful forms – it has come through the witnessing of strength and faith from my best friend and her family during the most difficult of times, it has revealed itself in the level of intensity that my favorite Brit goes about his work - always with his naughty british sense of humor; it has come through the determination of my brother and sister-in-law finding their daughters the perfect place to call home; I caught a glimpse of it when my parents told me they were planting a garden and when our pastor preached his heart out about Abraham. It has come through the meticulous eye of a friend who knows what she wants and refuses to settle; it’s revealed itself in yoga class and at a painting party. I saw it in my neighbor when she talked about her love for her patients; and in my best friend’s husband when he talked so sweetly about his wife. I was inspired last night when reading a book on Jackie O, and when the people from iTunes support actually got back to me. I got really inspired at an antique store one too many times in 1 month and 27 days (but nothing that got too out of hand…but I did get a fabulously inspiring vintage Bally bag and wallet for $30 and two gorgeous vintage lamps for an undisclosed price J ). I continue to be inspired by a dear friends dream of getting pregnant, and by my other dear friends fierce sense of style. I was inspired by a friends photography, and by her willingness to encourage others to be photographers too. I was reminded just yesterday of how inspiring a call from a cousin at just the right moment was for me. And I am inspired by my grandma’s tech-savy voicemails. I am annoyed inspired by my puppy’s sense of determination when it comes to eating every page of a coffee table book. And by the amount of patience that my older dog has acquired since bringing home said puppy.

So many days, so many inspirations.

I hope you witnessed/read/heard about/listened to/experienced/tried/ate/smelled/touched something inspiring today.

Would love to hear what’s been inspiring you.

Loads of love and kisses to all,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Update on Devil Lizard

My nice friend Gregario over at Terminex was scheduled for his quarterly visit today -- and when he walked in the door I asked in my nicest tone if he would be so kind as to remove the super lizard from my closet before he went into our attic to check for mice/rats. Amazingly, the man who has a job at a company that specializes in removing rodents and other things that run fast with nasty long tails was panic stricken when I asked him to remove the lizard. I thought this would be a walk in the park. After convincing him that he was the right man for the job, he sulked, went into my closet and decided the best tactic would be to carry my running jacket outside and leave it on a chair. So the running outfit is still outside but so is the lizard, so I am a happy.

Stephanie 1; Lizard 0.

Good day to all!