My Etsy Shop

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

three smart choices

Below are three clothing items you will not regret having in your wardrobe.
 Free People Top (which comes in many colors)
Zella Black Leggings (thank you Jen and Rachel for the suggestion)
Booties (I found mine at Salvation Army but countless stores have great options right now)
The reason these are smart choice are because....
1. You can wear them no matter what your size.  
An example of this is that I have worn the Free People top before I was pregnant, during my pregnancy and while nursing. It has adapted along with my body and helped me feel put together and comfortable at the same time. The leggings obviously have to be worn under the belly while pregnant but are especially amazing early post-pardum since they have a large waistband that holds you in and leaves you smooth. Booties, as with all shoes, work great no matter what weight or height you are.
2. They are not limited to a certain season.
The top can be worn alone, paired with a jacket, layered over a long sleeve shirt, or underneath a chunky sweater. Leggings can be great in the summer, worn with dresses and booties in the fall and long sweaters with tall boots in winter. Booties again know no season and look cute both alone or styled with fun tights.
3. Any age can wear them and not look like they are trying too hard.
Hopefully no explanation needs to be made here. But as further support to my statement let me just say I have seen a high school girl wearing this outfit and I have seen a grandmother wearing this outfit and both looked equally lovely and age appropriate!
Any smart clothing choices I should be making? I always am up for purchasing something that fits well within those three rules.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Evening Walks

Evening walks have become a little bit of our thing as of late.  During this slice of time when physical activity is limited for me paired with the older two being at school for a few hours, by the evening we all are pretty wired. The college campus by us is always a gorgeous walk, but add in the beauty of the changing season and it is stunning. For me there has always been something energizing about walking around on a college campus.  I spent many afternoons in highschool perched in one of the trees there so I think it has quite a bit of nostalgia for me as well. All my walks start or end on front campus.
As we started out on the walk I shared my brilliant idea of grabbing hot chocolate at the Stupe  while in route. Nate agreed it would be a happy addition to the crisp evening. It was. Now Judah did end up spilling his hot chocolate outside all over the ground, but luckily Nate and I were happy to share. It felt like I was doing a grown-up version of the things I loved about my college (walks, drinks at our student union) and it was comforting and special to me in a different way.
As I watched Isabelle my heart started to swell. Her outfit and hat reminded me of a college kid, then add the drink from the Stupe and the fact that she kept calling it coffee and my heart hurt as I realized how quickly the years already are passing. Too soon my sweet Belle will be a brave woman walking on a college campus and all grown up.
The realization made me savor this family walk even more. Precious times that will not always be mine.
On our way back home we discovered the Wheaton Warrenville South band playing outside of the Chapel to kick-off the college's music series. We stopped and listened for quite some time. I shared with Nate my many memories of the band playing "Eye of the Tiger" while I ran beneath the football bleachers with other little 8 year olds while my parents watched the game. Every thing on that walk felt like a visit to my former years-doing it with my sweet clan of 4 babies felt surreal  and I treasured it.
Eventually we headed home and found ourselves holding our two year old as she wailed, "I want the Tigers." (so much for Wheaton North loyalty)
All in all, the evening walk was a treat. It reminds me of what a 93 year old woman said in a recent post I saw on facebook "If you force yourself to go outside, something wonderful always happens!" 
It certainly did. Make sure you have time for outside.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Thin, crispy and topped with delicious ingredients.
Homemade pizza is one of my go to meals so pizza dough can readily be found in my fridge. I have a few dough recipes I like but lately have been using hers. Sometimes however I am craving a more upscale version of the red sauce and mozzarella pizza. Enter the flatbread.
 I like that when I make flatbreads my dough goes twice as far since I half the amount used to ensure the crunch I crave. On a whim once I rubbed white balsamic all over my rolled out dough and it was spot on! It adds divine flavor as it soaks into the crust and offers just a hint of sweet to contrast the salty goodness I like to sprinkle on. 
When I made this flatbread last night (my hubby and I were on a strange eating schedule and decided to feed the kids early and enjoy our little flatbread with a glass of white wine over our new favorite hulu show Blue Bloods once everyone was down for the night). It came together in about 20 minutes, start to finish and was so good! Nate even commented that it was better than anything we could order anywhere. It was pretty good and to be honest we were really hungry which never hurts in making something taste amazing.  I sprinkled freshly grated parmesan cheese liberally all over, tossed bits of smoked bacon I had left over from another meal, some goat cheese and the white balsamic.
It was good! If you have never experimented with flavor/ingredient combinations on a flatbread then I highly urge you to start! I have done some random pairings and somehow a flatbread always makes them come together in a scrumptious way.

Let me know if you find a combination I need to try because believe me when I say flatbread is gonna be on the menu rotation for a while!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A talented woman

Handwriting has been an area of interest and fascination for me since first grade. When I stumble across handwritten notes or scribbled bits of paper at estate sales I feel as though I have found a little hidden treasure. People use to write with such flair!
More than sketching or drawing I usually find myself writing out words and embellishing them with a border of flowers or some poorly executed banner. It is therapeutic to scribble out letters on a page.
When I discovered my dear friend Joanna had a similar passion (and a superior talent) it thrilled me. Many times I glance over at her during our Bible study simply to see how she has filled the study's pages with the beauty that is her natural handwriting.  Lovely handwriting comes naturally to her. When little Eliza Mae was born one of the things Joanna brought me when she visited in the hospital was my babe's name, written out so perfectly. I hung it in her room as soon as I arrived home and love that it is both elegant and simple. I know I will always have it.

Well, just this past week Joanna decided to open an Etsy shop and basically I love every item in it. The prices are a steal-especially when you think of the fact that a Hallmark card costs as much as one of these handmade beauties. I was plotting Christmas gifts as I imagined framing a few lines from one of my family member's favorite hymns, or verses or books. What a special baby presents to give a friend with her newborns' name written out. Or send one of her prints in place of a letter to a dear friend with words to encourage their heart. The options really are endless with what these sweet pieces of artwork could be used for.

all images taken from Panner's Pen

Joanna of course has no idea I am doing this. She would be far too modest to allow it which is why I did not even ask her if she minded. (sorry Joanna) But please do go check out her shop and spread the word. She writes killer addresses for wedding invites (or Christmas cards) as well....just fyi. Find her shop here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A little busy...

I could  come on here and say I have been so busy because I have four kids now. I could say I am so busy because I have a 2 week old. I could say I am not functioning because lack of sleep....but the honest reality of it all is none of those things are entirely true. The kids have been wonderful and helpful. Little Eliza Mae blends in flawlessly to our family and she sleeps at night. (WHAT?? A NEWBORN THAT SLEEPS?! I HAVE NEVER HAD ONE OF THESE AND IT IS THE BEST!!) The reason I have been a little busy is because time with a newborn is in turbo speed and it makes me all sentimental about her and all my babies growing up. I treasure new stages but find myself mourning the moving on from the tiny years. So, while this slim slice of time is slow and not too filled with scheduled demands I am doing all the cuddling I can. I like that kind of busy.