Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Out and About

Currently it is raining cats and dogs, my toes are frozen and all I've wanted to do today is curl up under a blanket and sleep.  But Lyla is grumpy and won't sleep for more than ten minutes at a time so today has been spent sitting on the couch, nursing a baby all day.
BUT yesterday...yesterday was lovely!  The sun was out and Lyla and I got all gussied up to meet Sandi for a coffee date.  It was so refreshing to 1.  get out of the house  2.  get to see my friend (our coffee/lunch dates used to be a weekly occurrence and I miss them so!)  3.  be inside a Starbucks (since Lyla was born, Andrew just runs in and gets us our drinks.  BEFORE she was born we spent so much time there that the baristas knew our drinks--some even knew our names.  While I was waiting for Sandi to arrive one barista even came over to see Lyla and asked "Is this her first trip to Starbucks?" haha).

left: me (in vintage sweater and belt!), Lyla, and a decaf vanilla latte;  middle:  Lyla, passed out on the way home;
 right:  Sandi and a pucker-faced Lyla

It was amazing to be able to do something from my "old life" and bring my baby girl along. I felt like I was waking from a coma.  I felt human again.  There's only so much time you can spend holed up on the couch with a baby before you get a little stir crazy.
I can't wait to continue these outings and sharing my life with my little girl.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Three Months.

My baby girl is three months old.  I'm afraid this means she's no longer a newborn and more like just a plain old baby.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!
This past month Lyla has become a completely different baby.  She's finally filled out and I love her newly rounded belly, cheeks, arms and legs.  My favorite is the little roll she has at her wrist....I love to hold her little hand and kiss that tiny wrist when she's nursing and reaching up at my shirt collar.
The other [amazing] news is that "the books" were right--colic really does subside after three months!  Now I don't want to go and jinx it....but as the days goes back Lyla seems to be happier and happier.  She giggles and coos and smiles.  She still cries.  Today she had a meltdown that brought me back to a month ago (when the meltdowns happened multiples times a day, EVERY day) and it reminded me how far we've come.  I'm finally getting back to reality.  I feel like I can leave the house again.  Just in time for spring!

Lyla's learning to hold her toys.  She lays on her play mat and bats at the rattles and loops that hang above her.  She'll occasionally roll from her belly onto her back.  I like to think she's super talented for her age.

She also will look at herself in the mirror and smile--too cute!!  She looks at her self with such a flirtatious little grin like "Heeeey cutie..."  Every once and a while she'll even giggle a bit with her grin.  Love!  I'm still working on getting a photo of this.  Darn babies.  I swear she turns off that smile the second she sees the camera!  Here's one I caught with my phone the other day (blurry and bad quality... but the biggest smile I've captured so far!)

Part of me wishes she could stay this age forever.  But it's also so exciting to watch her grow and learn new things everyday.  So I guess it's a win-win...not that I have a choice!


Monday, March 21, 2011

WINNER: DeLaVie Designs Necklace Giveaway

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway from DeLaVie Designs!  And thanks to owner/designer Stacy!
The very lucky winner (chosen by is #43:

Blogger Shannon said...

I liked DelaVie on FB

Congrats Shannon!  We'll email you shortly will details.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sleepy Bear

Nothing is cuter than a sleep-eyed, bed-headed baby.
Here is my sleepy baby in a super-soft vintage layette.

I found this little nightie while thrifting for Miskabelly shop and just couldn't let it go.  What makes it even sweeter?  Lyla matches this adorable vintage bear piggy bank (or I guess it would just be "bear bank" but that sounded weird...) that Amanda got me for my baby shower.  

I am so smitten with my little sleepy bear.


And the Sadie Ryan Keepsakes WINNER is...

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway from Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles!
The lucky winner is entry #10(chosen by

Angie said... 

How beautiful! I love the idea of the photo and announcement together. I think that they should offer family options a family photo with the family's last name below and a date maybe???

rennieangie at gmail dot com

Congrats Angie!  We'll be in touch shortly with details...


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Vintage Baby 2

So...Lyla is growing like a weed!  This little lady has gone from lean and lanky to round and chubby.  She finally has some little rolls of pudge--and the plumpest cheeks that I can"t help but pinch every time she smiles!  We finally had to retire most of her newborn size clothes *tear* but it's been fun to incorporate some new things into her wardrobe that didn't fit before--including some vintage goodies!

This little vintage blouse is for sale on Miskabelly!  It has the sweetest ruffled collar and buttons up the back.  Perfect for spring!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Generation to Generation

My parents came to visit Virginia this weekend. We had a fantastic time eating, going to the Farmer's Market, eating, antiquing, and of course, playing with Aurora (and....eating)!  Last time I went to this antiquing/thrift spot, I found the cutest little lamb figurine for Aurora's room:

 I decided to make it an antiquing tradition, to find something for Aurora's room.  She has quite the mix of vintage, thrifted, and modern/new stuff in her nursery.  I found the perfect little companion to her lamb at the very same antique shop:

isn't he cute? he even has a little furry tuft of hair on top of his head!

Every family visit has become an opportunity for my parents to clean out their basement (which is still full of a lot my junk), and this time, they brought some things from my own childhood that I could now give to Aurora: a little kiddo wicker patio set and a rocking horse that my Uncle Jeff made for me.

It also reminded me of other childhood relics I have been sharing with Aurora. My mom was good at saving just the right amount of clothing in the bottom of her cedar chest for both me and Jayme.  When I start packing up some of Aurora's stuff now, I have difficulty getting rid of anything! Every little outfit holds a memory.  Plus, if my next baby is a girl, I can't let go of all of these sweet pink outfits yet.

a little trinket box...I'm a February birthday too, just 4 days after Aurora's!
a little t-shirt collection...shh, don't tell Jayme about the #1 Daughter top!
one of my baby bracelets
 I love seeing Aurora with all of these things.  It also got me to thinking about the intangible things that I want (and don't want) to pass down to her.  I hope she has my thick hair, sense of humor, and intelligence.  I hope she doesn't have: My thighs. My tendency to doubt myself and my abilities. My lack of common sense/clumsiness.

Of course, a few of those "bad" qualities are inevitable, but at least now I have the skills to provide her with some coping strategies! (Except for the thighs...when the pear-shape is passed down, there's pretty much no escaping it.)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Girls Night Out

I bet that title conjures up all kinds of images--wearing high heels, dancing on tables, taking tequila shots, staying out till all hours of the night.... These days it's more like:  I actually brushed my hair for once, I had human contact with someone other than Lyla or Andrew, I had A GLASS of wine,  I ventured out of the house to do something other than get groceries....  But I'm okay with that!  It was a great evening.
I met two of my oldest friends (Sandi and Jess) to celebrate Sandi's birthday (which was February 9th... so the celebration was WAY overdue!).  We had dinner and wine and got caught up on each other's everyday lives.  I love these girls!  I feel like I can just be myself with them.

left: Sandi enjoying her meal, middle: me and Jess, right: the birthday girl in her pretty outfit!

I was disappointed I forgot my camera--so I settled for some camera phone pics.  Here's where we play pass-around-the-phone-and-take-photos-of-each-other!

Andrew held down the fort with Lyla--pretty sure they spent the evening watch some type of sporting event on TV (I think he secretly wants her to be an athlete!  Trust me....she wouldn't get that quality from her momma). I was totally relaxed being away from home, knowing he was there with her.  He is a great daddy!  

I'm looking forward to more "girl time" as Lyla continues to mature--and not need me to hold her every minute of the day!  I am so thankful to have friends that are super understanding--and don't hate me for being pretty much MIA for the past 3 months.  Love ya, ladies! 


Giveaway Extended! Sadie Ryan Keepsakes

Really guys?  You don't want a FREE personalized decorative keepsake?  The tile will have whatever photo you'd like on it!  (Did ya think you were getting this one with little Lyla?  No way!  This one's all mine!)
We have unusually low entries on this giveaway so we've decided to extend it a couple days...
You have till Wednesday to get your entry in!!  All you have to do is leave a comment.
Good luck!
CLICK HERE to enter!

Friday, March 11, 2011

CLOSED: Handmade Feature/Giveaway: DeLaVie Designs

We were super excited to come across this newly opened etsy shop-- DeLaVie Designs.  We usually like to feature stuff for babies but figured it was about time we bring something to the table for all you hard-working moms!  Owner/designer, Stacy, creates delicate jewelry using sterling silver and freshwater pearls.

Let's get to know Stacy:

What does your life outside of Etsy/blogging look like?
I have been married for 3 1/2 years to my husband and am a mother to our beautiful 19-month-old little girl. I am also a nurse and work part-time in the pre- and post-surgical area.

Describe yourself (or ask someone else to do it!) in three words.
I had my husband do this.  After a few jokes he said:  "creative, compassionate, and comedic".

Fall piece you can’t live without:
Tall boots and leggings.  When the "legging" trend came out I swore I'd never wear them.  Well, I caved.  And now I love it!  So comfy and stylish!

Most recent fashion-related purchase:
I don't shop much so my most recent purchase was back in October - I bought a Nine West purse.  It is so cute!  It is gray/brown and has fabric flowers on the side.

Do you craft/make anything else outside of what’s in your shop?
I enjoy painting but haven't done that in a while!  My husband is actually quite artistic, too.  He is a graphic designer and dabbles in things like vinyl signs, t-shirts, and posters.

Any pet peeves?
Clutter.  Makes me feel disorganized and distracted!

Bad habits?
Being a back seat driver.  I hate not being in control.

Desert-island food?
Crab legs.  I could eat those every day of my life!

Three bands/singers you can’t get enough of:
Coldplay.  Frank Sinatra.  Needtobreathe.  And all things country.

Another blog you follow regularly:
All TOTALLY up my alley.  I love interior design!

What made you decide to start a shop?
I was looking for a necklace that I could have my daughter's name on so I'd have something to keep close to my heart when I went back to work after my maternity leave.  When I showed it to my husband, he said, "you could make those".  So, here I am!

Significance of your shop name?
"De la vie" means "from life" in the French language.  That is where I draw my inspirations... from life.

Favorite item in your shop right now?
I'd have to say my favorite right now is the long rectangle pendant.  It's sleek and simple and easy to add pendants as more children are added to the family.

Stacy will soon  be launching her own website: if you'd like to place an order!

Stacy is generously offering her tiny bloom necklace to one of our lucky readers!   
The winner gets to pick an initial to put on the charm.  

Here's how to enter:
Mandatory Entry- 
1. Follow our blog! Once you become a follower, just leave a comment below, telling what your favorite item from DeLaVie Designs is.  If you’re already following the blog and our twitter—simply leave a comment, telling us what your favorite item from DeLaVie Designs is!

Additional Entries-
2. Follow Miskabelly (@miskabelly) on twitter…and again, just a quick comment to let us know you did (with your twitter user name) and share what your favorite item from DeLaVie Designs is.
3. Once we tweet about the giveaway, you can re-tweet to gain an extra entry!
4. HEART  Miskabelly on Etsy (leave us a comment to let us know!)
5.  HEART DeLaVie Designs on Etsy (leave us a comment again!)
6.  "Like" DeLaVie Designs on facebook (

This contest will run through next Friday, March 18th and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.  

Good luck!
Manda & Jayme

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring is in the air...

I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this long, cold, dreary winter.  Having a brand new baby during the dead of winter has been a good deterrent from going out and about too soon and exposing the little one to germs, an excuse to stay in and just relax, and a reason not to stress too much about getting back into pre-baby shape ASAP.  But I can't help but wish that I gave birth during the warm and sunny seasons because these first few months have been so difficult and I feel like there's nothing a little sunshine can't cure.

This past weekend Andrew and I took Lyla out for a walk.  It was still a little chilly but the fresh air felt incredible.  Lyla seems to really enjoy being outside...just like her momma!

Once spring is here I plan on making a walk part of our daily routine.  I could hear the little birds chirping this morning,,,,so hopefully the warm weather is on its way!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winner: Hug-a-Tree Crafts Giveaway

Congrats to the winner!

monorox said... 

<3 Hug-A-Tree Crafts on Etsy (monorox)

Take Time to Make Time for Yourself, Mamas. (Sponsored Post)


Thanks to Crystal Light for sponsoring this post. To learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors, visit

Jayme and I have both posted about it recently and it's no secret: being a mom is hard. I work from home, so I am with Aurora all day and all evening. I work during her nap times and between cooking dinner, cleaning up and spending time with my husband when he gets home, I don't really get time to myself unless I wake up early or stay up late.

I have found that it's necessary to get some alone time during the day (or at least, every other day, if possible) to refuel. My two favorite ways to refresh are writing and exercise.

a little indulgence never hurt! coffee is one of my weaknesses.
If I have the happy fortune of a good night's rest, I might wake up before Aurora. I love to sit in the kitchen at sunrise with my coffee and taking 15-20 minutes to write what's called "morning pages." I just write whatever comes to mind, stream-of-consciousness style, whether it's a list of my daily chores, notes for a new story or blog, or just a diary-style entry of what I've been up to. Morning pages help to clear my mind and often open doors to my creativity.

If I have a free night where I don't have to work, I love to exercise. I'm surprised to hear myself say this because it's only a recent realization. I have discovered Zumba, and I love it! I actually have fun while sweating and working my entire body. I feel pretty amazing after a half an hour workout. It's true that exercise gives you more energy, as long as you can muster up the energy to do it!

As moms, we have to take time to nourish our selves in order to be our best. Even if it's just 15 or 20 minutes, it's time well spent.


Remember, visit to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Super Thrift Find: Nursery Edition

Mondays are 25% off days at my favorite thrift nearby.  That means it's really crowded and disorderly, but if you can brave it, you'll often come away with a few really great finds for extra cheap.

Yesterday, Aurora and I went at lunch time, and we found a little gift awaiting us in the furniture section:  a kiddo-sized armchair with a rocking bottom!  I shoved it (awkwardly) into the cart and made my way to the checkout.  It was priced at $14.99, and with 25% off, that made it...well, really cheap.

As soon as I set it down on the kitchen floor when we got home, Aurora climbed on.  She rocked in it and climbed all over it.  I moved it into her room and finally found a place for the vintage blanket I've been wanting to display.  Now, her nursery is almost done (my parents are coming down for the weekend, which provided some extra motivation!). A nursery tour to come, but today, I just wanted to share Aurora's Chair!

I think she likes it!

Hi, Mama!
Reading "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" (one of our favorites)
"Where's baby's mouth?" "Behind the cup!"
Climbing up to make it rock!
My sweet girl.

I love that Aurora has a little room (and chair!) of her own.  I see many hours of story reading and stuffed animal snuggling in her future.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review/Giveaway: Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles

Since Lyla was born I have become uber-obsessed with taking photos.  I just want to document every little (adorable!!) thing she does.  The thing about this new day and age of digital photography--it seems rare that people actually get printed copies of their photos.  I'm trying to make more of an effort to do that.
I used to work in a frame shop and have a real love for wall-art and framed photos.  I think pretty much every wall in our house has something hung on it.  It's so tempting to plaster framed photos of Lyla all over our house.  But rather than just framed photos.... how about a printed ceramic tile?  That's what Sadie Ryan Keepsakes offers.  Pretty great idea because as their website says: 'things etched in stone last forever.'
I was super excited when they offered me a free printed tile--of course I chose to have Lyla's face on it!  It's an awesome commemorative piece with her name and birthdate as well.

We currently have it displayed on a bureau in our dining room, but it also has hardware on the back that makes it possible to hang on a wall (but like I said...we kind of have all our walls covered already!).  I really love the antique feel that the tile has.  The photo is printed on the tile with soft edges--giving it a seamless look.  So pretty!

These tiles would make a lovely gift--  not only for a birth announcement but perhaps for a wedding?  an anniversary? What would you have printed on your tile?  

Sadie Ryan Keepsake Tiles is generously offering one of our readers a chance to have a personalized tile of their own!  If you follow our blog, simply click THIS LINK to the Sadie Ryan Keepsakes website and check it out!  Leave us a comment below telling us what ideas from the site you like best.

Last day to enter will be Saturday, March 12th  Wednesday, March 16th.  We will choose the winner by random number generator.  Good luck!


3 Day Weekend

Yesterday Andrew took the day off.  Thank goodness.  Not only is it much easier taking care of a baby with a partner to help out...but Lyla is SUCH a daddy's girl and always seems to be in a better mood when he's around (not to mention, I'm in a much better mood when he's around too!  Andrew and I joke that I'm "obsessed" with him.... I would spend every second of the day with him if I could!).
We took a risk and toted our fussy baby along with us to do some errands-- coffee & groceries.  Lyla did surprisingly well .  And I wore a skirt!
Grey eyelet henley-thrifted, belt/skirt/sparkly brooches-vintage, 
tights-hand me down from Amanda, blue suede clogs-Steve Madden

Our routine with Lyla is that Andrew (daddy) is her "stylist" on the weekends.  I love to see what he picks out for her to wear!  Unfortunately we took these photos at the end of our adventure-filled day and she was pretty grumpy.  So she wasn't much for a photo op.  Here's what she needed to be doing:

As Andrew says, "Lyla doesn't fight sleep...she hunts it down and kills it."  Seriously--this girl is a mover and a shaker!  She NEVER wants to rest.  Poor momma. (notice it's daddy that got her to go to sleep....he has the magic touch!).

Hope you're all having a great weekend.  We're working on a little re-design for the stay tuned! It's going to have a similar look to our other blog- Miskabelle.  


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Being a mom is, really hard.

While Jayme is experiencing all of the physical and emotional difficulties of a new baby (breastfeeding, sleepless nights, endless crying), I'm starting to feel the...existential (spiritual) and financial ones.

I've always thought way too far ahead, been too emotional and an overanalyzer.  These tools can be helpful at times, but as a mom, they can be paralyzing.  I want Aurora's life to be easier than mine was growing up...not that I didn't have wonderful parents, but we struggled.  A lot.

I know money isn't everything, but it seems so hard to make life better for Aurora.  Just yesterday, I was on the phone with three (yes, 3) loan companies, trying to figure out my student debt (my parents couldn't afford to pay for college, so I made my way with scholarships, loans, and a part time job; however, I made the mistake of going to grad school all on my own).  I'm working part time at a job that shall not be named because I hate it.  I love our Etsy shops and blogs, but the way the market is, they're not enough to make a living wage.  And even with this part-time job, I'm not making enough to put money away in a college fund, or even pay those college loans (I'm in deferment). I'm able to work from home, which is a huge blessing since the cost of childcare in the DC area is prohibitive (even if I worked full time).

I am doing the best I can, but sometimes it doesn't seem like enough.  I want to give Aurora everything.  I know it's enough to give her all of my love and a stable home where she feels safe and protected, but in the world we live in, it just doesn't feel like enough.

Here's the other hard part about being a mom:  I want to be happy in my life outside of motherhood.

Nothing brings me more joy than Aurora.  So desperately wanting to work a job I love seems a little selfish at times.  I'm able to be at home with her--why am I always complaining and stressed out?  It's because I'm not feeling fulfilled creatively.  I'm not being inspired.  I'm being drained, drop by drop, by a company who could care less about me and my family.  I'm marginally using my degree, but not in the way I intended.  I want to be writing creatively, not grading utterly uncreative essays.  I want to be out meeting people and forming relationships, not isolated at the computer for hours a day.  I want to be my own boss.  I want to do what I love.  But it's hard to take that risk.

When I had two months away from that awful job to devote myself to Miskabelle and Miskabelly, I was much happier. Even the most mundane tasks were enjoyable to me.  We had our best month of sales ever.  But now, that business has to take a back seat.  And I miss it.

I am blessed to have a job, I know.  I am blessed that my husband has a good job.  We have a house.  We have working heat and running water and two cars and health insurance. But we're still just scraping by.  All of my idealistic college dreams, of how life would be better for me and my children...they're just not a reality.  Things are different, yes.  But there are no bootstraps anywhere that I can see. And I know it's worse for so many, and that's an additional burden on my heart and mind.

It's time like these that I'm reminded why I believe in God, in a different realm, in a better place...this can't be it.  There has to be more.  I need something to cling to because the world is just not doing it.  Which reminds me of a powerful C.S. Lewis quote: “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (The idea was made into a song by Brooke Fraser, who I love. I posted it at the end, if you want to have a listen.  You should check her music out regardless of your beliefs because she is amazing.)

Maybe that's what I'm feeling. That, and a lot of stress.  I'm so thankful I have a loving and supportive husband and family in this world.  But I'm always longing for more--and not just for me, but for everyone in my life: more love, more joy, more satisfaction, more time, more energy, more faith.  If I am successful at anything as a mom, I hope that Aurora will feel the same way.  I hope she'll have faith and hope and love.  

That's my mental and heart space right now.  Where are you at, moms of this world?  Striving? Struggling? Satisfied?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Little Spring Preview...

Warmer weather is a'comin' (and so is the Easter holiday for many of us).  We're stocking the shop with sweet little outfits for your sweet little ones.

plaid onesie w/ Peter Pan collar and removeable vest  6-9 months

lightweight corduroy bunny overalls 12-18 mos.

smocked Polly Flinders rosebud dress (it has a matching bonnet!) 12 months

little white Easter dress w/ lace trim 0-3 mos.

pink corduroy skirt jumper  24 mos.

pretty Easter dress w/ square neckline and lace cap sleeves 6-9 mos.

denim vest  12 mos.

All of this (and MORE!) coming to the shop very, very soon...but if you see something you MUST have, drop us an email to reserve it:  miskabelle  (at)  gmail   (dot)  com.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Mama Uniform

Today I had (yet ANOTHER) follow up appointment at by OB.  The sun was shining and figured I might was well take advantage and get a little fancied up--pretty much that means I switched out my jeans for a skirt today.  Guys...I am in serious fashion crisis!  I feel pretty clueless lately when I get dressed.  My brain just isn't working.  Not gonna lie...Lyla is a difficult baby.  We're struggling to get her to sleep and she cries so dang much.  I'm trying different things--changing my diet (cutting out dairy), keeping her swaddled, white noise, etc. but nothing seems to be a sure fire cure.  So honestly, fashion is the last thing on my mind.  I snapped a couple quick pics anyway--maybe I can look back on them a couple months from now and remember this rough patch--and hopefully see some progression, both in my fashion sense and in my skills as a mama.

chambray cardigan from Ross, Michael Stars tank, vintage skirt and belt, 
Calvin Klein nude fishnet tights, black campus boots from Marshalls (I think?)

Lyla and a close up of my tights!

She fell asleep in the car on the way home (which lasted for all of 10 minutes--
just long enough for me to snap a pic of her in her little bonnet!).

Have you entered our giveaway from Hug-a-Tree Crafts yet?  If not, scroll down and check it out!  It's super cute.  And I'm sure you're sick of me asking....but if you want, you can vote for us on Top Baby Blogs by clicking the box on the top right.  ; )