Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cool Weather Cardigans

I don't know about the rest of the states, but Pennsylvania has been spoiling its residents with some cooler temperatures as of late.  Days are still pretty warm but evenings and mornings are cool enough that long sleeves are a necessity.  My go-to clothing item this time of year is a cardigan--something to throw on over my tank top or dress that makes my outfit cuter, rather than just covering it up entirely.  Kiddos deserve to stay cute in cooler weather too!  So we've stocked the shop with a variety of cool weather cardigans...

For the girls:

For the boys:

All items are for sale now in the shop and we're add new stuff daily!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Vegan for a....Hurricane Interruption.

Hello there!  We just got power back late, late last night after the hurricane.  No power means no cooking which means another week with no vegan recipe!  However, we made the best of it...even better than the best, maybe.  Yesteray morning Q stoked a fire in the backyard firepit and we made breakfast (see? I did do a little cooking...).  He heated hot water for coffee/tea and we made breakfast mountain pies.  Aurora loves being outside, so she ran around and we picked up a lot of stray sticks.

bread + vegan cream cheese + fresh tomato + dash of garlic salt into the mountain pie maker.

Later, the big girls came over...as you can see, Aurora is getting not only soccer skills from her big "sissies," but also fashion inspiration.  I was just telling Q yesterday how grown up and pretty they both were...and he agreed (though begrudgingly--I know he still thinks of them as Aurora's size).   We played outside int he gorgeous weather, then went searching for some internet (for me) and ice cream (for them).

fedora- Gap (thrifted), top-random (thrifted), jeans-boys/Target, hi tops-Old Navy (thrifted)
We went out for a quick thai dinner (which was vegan, but not very good) and after Aurora went to sleep, Q and I watched Waking Life (which I can't believe I've never seen!) by candleight, as he'd had the foresight to charge our portable DVD player. I love that man. Our power returned at about midnight last night, so everything is pretty much back to normal. And I'm excited to cook dinner tonight!
I hope everyone else stayed safe and dry during the storms.  I'm trying my best to catch up on blogging and posting and other work after a very crazy last week!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Strike a Pose

I've said this before, but it seems like us moms are always the one behind the camera.  When I see Andrew holding Lyla, whether she is fast asleep on his chest or they are grinning at one another (and the light is juuuust right) I can't help but want to snap a photo.  Maybe being a mom has made me uber nostalgic and I don't want to miss a moment or maybe it's the artist in me that sees everything as a picture.  Either way, I love photographing my family.
Andrew has a pretty darn good eye for photography (even though he is the athlete, smart/practical, left-brained one in our relationship).  But unfortunately I mostly have to ask to have my picture taken if I want photo documentation of something (sorry babe, it's true!).  It's a little embarrassing to ask, but when it comes to capturing memories of Lyla and I together, I am certainly not too proud.
Here we are yesterday, just because.  (Okay, maybe it was because my hair was looking particularly better than usual....)

And because this is a "vintage" blog, I must mention my t-shirt in the photos!  I first started getting into vintage when I was in college and vintage-looking logo tshirts starting to become popular (2002ish?).  Because I am a cheapskate, I would scour thrift shops looking for authentic vintage tshirts instead of buying $25 'fake' ones from Urban Outfitters.  I have scaled down my collection quite a bit, but can't seem to part with my Pittsburgh sports tees (Pirates, Penguins Steelers).  Anyway, my love for vintage stemmed from there and has grown ever since!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend (and hurricane free!).


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed....

I am welcoming cooler weather with open arms.  Not only do I have a super low tolerance for the heat since giving birth (anyone else experience this?), but also I am really excited about wearing fall clothes--and dressing Lyla in fall clothes!

Something Old:
This sweater was mine when I was little (or Amanda's?  I guess she probably wore it first and then I might've worn it as a hand me down).  I have it on display in Lyla's nursery, along with other pretty vintage pieces that are too big for her still.

Yesterday was a cool morning and I decided I would try on the sweater.  I had to roll the sleeves, but it pretty much fit!  I'm glad that it is still a bit too big because this means it will fit her for most of the winter.

Something New:
This past weekend we spent time with Andrew's family.  Lyla acquired a small fortune of new clothes, including this little fuchsia top with hearts all over it.  Her matching sandals were a gift from earlier in the summer...now that she is standing they look even CUTER!

Something Borrowed:
The cargo pants were Aurora's...as are a lot of Lyla's clothes.  We take good care of Aurora's hand-me-downs because we plan on returning them to Amanda if she has another little girl someday.  It is really such a shame how short of a time baby clothes get worn for--which is why when shopping for vintage, baby clothes are a good thing to search for.  They're pretty much always in great condition!

sweater-vintage, heart top-Osh Gosh B'Gosh, cargo pants- Baby Gap, pom pom sandals- Gymboree

Sorry for the photo overload!  This girl is just too cute...
One more, an outtake!  Lyla's BFF, Sophie interrupted our photo shoot to grab a quick kiss:

We are linking up with Mama Loves Papa for Small Style (every Thursday!  SO many cute and stylish little babies...go check them out!).

Jayme & Lyla

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Post About [Lack of] Sleep

My husband and I sleep with our feet touching.  It is all that is left of our “perfect spoon”—the position we would curl up in each night when we would lay down to sleep, ceiling fan whirling, blinds pulled tight.  The position we would sleep in for afternoon naps, windows open, breeze blowing in.   All we have now are those toes touching.  The spoon is gone.  The naps are gone.  The sleep is gone.
It’s not all bad.  I mean, the divider between us when we lay down in bed just happens to be the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen.  She is the sweetest little thing.  But she HATES sleep.
Lyla is now 8 months old and still in our bed (I hadn’t even planned on being a co-sleeping family) and has been waking every two hours since month four (she never was a great sleeper, but we used to at least get 4 hour stretches out of her).  I have grown a bit attached to having her sleep beside me.  On the [rare] nights we lay her in bed before we ourselves lay down for the night, I sit in the living room watching TV, longing to go curl up beside my girl--to put my hand on her belly and feel her breathing.  But two hours after lying down she awakes, rolls on her belly and crawls on top of me, looking to nurse.  Sounds kind of cute, doesn’t it?  Sometimes it is.  But lately by the second wake-up I find myself seething.  I am so frustrated that I can’t even see straight.  Muffled curse words spew from my clenched jaw.  I lift up Lyla and hand her to her daddy for fear that I might squeeze her just a little too tight.  I immediately feel remorse for being so impatient with her.  “She’s a baby,” I tell myself, “She doesn’t know any better.”  But there’s just something about being woken up in the middle of the night that puts you in a different mindset.  Personally, it makes me a crazy person.  In the morning I'm fine.  Lyla is an angel and the horrible night before is a long lost memory.  But the night....
Something has got to change.  So far our efforts have been in vain. We tried techniques from “The No-Cry Sleep Solution.”  We tried crying it out.  This past weekend I tried to wean her from nighttime nursing and gave in on the second night. I feel like Lyla’s sleep has gotten worse with each attempt to make it better.  She is a willful little baby.  So should I just keep following her cues (at the sake of me and Andrew’s sanity…and intimacy)?  Or am I being a ‘softy’ and I need to work harder at sleep training?  My sleep-deprived brain can’t think properly—am I missing something obvious?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegan for a Day: Crunchy Asian Sesame Noodle Salad

Hello friends! It's a sad, sad Monday here, even though it's beautiful outside. Q is at work, and I'm here working up a storm. There are no beach smells, no kiddos running around, no family laughing.  Just back to our regular routine.  Of course, sleeping (the whole way through the night) in our own beds was heavenly.

Q's family has a cool tradition at the beach: each family takes a turn cooking a meal one night of the week (we order in/do our own thing on the couple of other nights).  The girls and Q were totally on board with making a totally vegan meal--as long as it included the VegNews mac and cheese I posted a few weeks back.  But I also made a massaged kale salad and this delicious, easy Asian noodle salad.  My mom makes it all the time, but I just veganized her version.  With the cabbage, sesame seeds, and almonds, I could definitely eat this as a meal, but you might just make it as a side dish with some marinated tofu or even another salad.

 Crunchy Asian Sesame Noodle Salad


1 large package (1 lb.) cole slaw mix  (or 1 large head of cabbage, shredded)
8 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 packages Oriental Flavor* Ramen Noodles (only noodles--seasonings will be used for dressing!)

*Any of the noodles work, but the flavor packets are used for the dressing, and the oriental flavor happens to be vegan. My mom uses the chicken flavor in hers.  Also, beware of some of the organic ramen noodles if you're keeping it vegan--I checked their oriental version and it contained milk!

3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. toasted sesame oil 
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 tbsp. sugar 
2 Ramen noodles Oriental flavoring packets

1. In large bowl, combine cabbage, onions, sesame and almonds. Break up noodles and set aside to be added later.
2. In a blender or jar, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, and seasoning packets from noodles. Blend/shake well and refrigerate 1 hour (if possible...but if you must use immediately, like I did, it's still delicious!)
3. To serve, our dressing over salad mixture and toss well.  Add crunched up noodles on top, and mix again gently, just so they get a little coated with some dressing, but not soggy.

So there it is: your easy, yummy Meatless Monday meal!  Or do you have something else planned?  Share/link in the comments!

Bon Appetit,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lyla { 8 months }

And here we are... 2/3 of the way through Lyla's first year.  I want to be nostalgic but honestly, the older and bigger she gets the more fun (and easy) she gets.
This past month Lyla has learned SO much.  She pulls herself up to stand, waves, claps....
Recently we've been sharing a nectarine each day.  I take a bite then hold it up to her mouth and she gums the fruit and sucks out all the juice.  She loves it!  If I grab a nectarine and hold it up to show her, she smiles, crawls full speed over to me and pulls herself up on the nearest piece of furniture (or my leg), waiting for her bite.  It makes me so happy.  Sharing a piece of fruit with my girl.

Our sleep situation is still in dire straits.  I pretty much dread nighttime.  I will save that for another post though....  Naps are getting a little better.  She prefers being held, but I'm starting to lay her down after she's slept a good hour or so in my arms (so if she wakes up, at least she got some sort of nap time in).  Other co-sleepers--where do your babies nap?  In bed?  On you?  In a crib?  I lay Lyla in our bed with pillows piled up on either side.  If I lay her in the crib she immediately wakes up.  Ugh.  (again...more on that in a later post)

Napping on daddy.  Moms always seem to be the one behind the camera, huh?
No doctor's appointment this month so I don't really know how much bigger she's gotten.  She still has hardly grown out of any clothes.  The onesie she's wearing in the photo above is 0-3 months.  Granted, she used to be swimming in it and now it fits just right.  Andrew and I were both small kids so we're thinking she'll be a tiny kid too.  Which is good considering that she loves to be carried and held.... And I am such a softy.  I never pass up the opportunity to hold and snuggle Lyla.  I am honestly savoring every. single. moment.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aurora Style: Hand-Me-Down Dress

It's Amanda (and Aurora!) writing from the beach.  We took these photos of Aurora last weekend before we headed off to our ocean vacation.  We got this dress from Aunt Jayme in the mail the day before (along with a sweet card, some photos, and a magazine for me to read at the beach! Care packages are the best!) and I had to try it on her! I love the color and the tie back detail.  The dress is actually on loan from Jayme's sister-in-law...who is now on her way to her first year of college in the fall! How time flies...

dress-vintage, shoes-Gymboree (thrifted)
I have another post to prep for tomorrow, and then it's on to a cold drink and a good book to wrap up a perfect vacation day!  See you when we get back...

(And don't forget to check out more Small Style over on the Mama Loves Papa blog today!)

Amanda & Aurora

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We are here:

The sweet Jacki from Roots & Wings featured one of our items today (little plaid shorts with suspenders).  We LOVE seeing kiddos in their vintage goodies from Miskabelly!
Go check out her blog, where she has regular "We Rock Vintage" posts!

Thanks again Jacki!


Wordless Wednesday

(okay, maybe a couple words)

Lyla:  setting the trends in baby fashion statements.
Or just....squirming away mid outfit change.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lyla's First Concert

Life certainly changes once you have a baby.  The most noticeable change (well...second behind LACK OF SLEEP.  I'm using all caps because I can't stress enough how LITTLE sleep we get around here) is the loss of freedom/spontaneity.  Most evenings are spent at home where we have space for Lyla to crawl around and play, food and diapers on hand and privacy to nurse comfortably and not be self conscious if she decides to have a crying fit.
Our town was having a concert series this summer where each Thursday a cover band would come and play a show--for free, outdoors.  Artists covered included Journey, Elton John and this past Thursday, the Beatles.  We decided that because it was free (so if we needed to leave it wouldn't be a big deal) and outdoors (plenty of space to pace with a fussy baby) we would take back some of our pre-baby spontaneity and go.  It also helped that my parents decided to come along which meant extra helping hands (and they got us take-out to eat before the show)!

Note:  doting grandma in the background!
The result:  success!  Lyla loved seeing the band on stage (they even dressed up like the Beatles--wigs and all!) and she loved hearing the music.  It was perfect to display her new 'trick'--clapping.  And of course, she was a crowd pleaser, smiling at the other concert-goers.  As the sun went down, she got a little fussy.  I nursed her right to sleep and she slept through the last few songs, in daddy's arms.  Perfect.  Angel.

(click to enlarge)

I was so pleased with my gal.  I think this small success will give us the courage to do more outings with Lyla.  If not just for an excuse to dress her in a tutu again!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Vegan (and Gluten Free!) for a Day: Fried Eggplant

Hey guys--Jayme here!  Amanda is at the beach this week so I thought I'd take over her Meatless Monday post and share my own recipe.  I do not follow a vegan diet (or even a vegetarian diet) but I do have my own dietary restrictions.  I have been eating gluten free for almost 2 years now (I wrote a little about it HERE).  So I'm sure you can imagine, when Amanda and I get together it becomes a bit of challenge to find foods that work for both of us.  Recently I made this recipe for fried eggplant (you can also use zucchini--which I actually prefer!  But I just happened to get out the camera when I made the eggplant version...).  It calls for egg, but just as a way to make the breading stick--so go ahead and use vegan egg replacement (suggestions below) and the final product will taste just the same!

Gluten Free Fried Eggplant

1 medium sized eggplant  (zucchini also works well!)
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 corn meal
1 tsp. garlic powder
*1 egg, beaten (this is for egg wash before dipping eggplant flour/corn meal coating.  For VEGAN version-- replace egg coating by a simply dipping eggplant in soy milk or blended silken tofu)
4 tbsp. margarine
salt (to taste)
*parmesan (for VEGAN version sub with nutritional yeast)

1. Combine rice flour, corn meal and garlic powder in shallow dish.
2.  Put egg or egg replacement in separate small bowl.
3.  Slice eggplant or zucchini into 1/4 inch slices.
4.  Heat margarine in large, deep pan and keep at medium-high heat.
5.  Dip eggplant slices in egg/egg replacement wash, coat in flour mixture then drop into hot margarine.  Cover entire bottom of pan with your eggplant slices.
6.  Fry for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned, then flip over and brown other side.
7.  Remove slices from pan as they are ready and lay on napkin (to absorb extra margarine).  While still hot, sprinkle with salt and parmesan/nutritional yeast to taste.

I served my eggplant slices alongside a fresh organic heirloom tomato (woohoo...fancy schmancy).  If I didn't have fresh tomato on hand I would serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping!

I love this recipe!  It is fried food but the batter is super light and you can still taste the veggies through it.
Bon appetit!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Deep Thoughts with Q: Superheroes

Q is back by popular demand with another post.  I guess you could say he's becoming a regular around here.  This post made me tear up a bit, so Reader, beware. ;)


Superheroes, Volume 1, Issue 1

Every boy want to discover his super power: express his X-gene, absorb too many gamma rays, get bit by that radioactive spider, get selected to receive the power ring, participate in a super-secret project, anything.  Then to put on that cape and start making sure everything goes the way it’s supposed to, protecting the innocent, preventing disasters.  And you had better believe that if the wish came true, they would be sure to save their friends and family.  That would be awesome.  Right?

None of the superheroes seem to have an uncomplicated situation regarding family and friends though.  They all seem distanced from everyone else.  They have people they care about especially, and they do take special care of them.  Supe always saves Lois, Spidey always saves Maryjane, Logan’s always looking out for some protégé.  But there’s always a distance, isn’t there?  Is the power to protect the ones you love worth the isolation from them?

Just to be clear, no one’s considering asking me to join a League or Friends of any sort.  The Avengers don’t need me to help them.  Well, maybe if Cap rolls his ankle, or if a shoulder problem is preventing Tony Stark from patting himself on the back, they should consider calling.  Otherwise, not too many super villains are going to respond to a stern talking to explaining the error of their ways.  Their Dad should have done that for them before it was too late.  I know about the distancing effect though, and I was reminded of it last week.
Manda and Emma and Aurora and I were all out riding bikes – Aurora rides in a trailer behind me calling out to every puppy we pass and occasionally calling out to see if Mama is still there.  We were going for a  ride out to dinner.  It was a great evening for it, not stiflingly hot and humid like it had been for what had seemed like weeks.  Amanda and Aurora love getting out to bike; Aurora only needs to catch a glimpse of the safety flag out the window to get worked up and start demanding to go out to the “B-Ikes!” and if she finds where the helmets are hidden she wants everyone to put them on.  Emma especially likes bike riding too, and I love sharing that with her.  We were all having fun and happy.  In the comics or the movies, you’d know something was about to happen.

We’d almost gotten there, about another half mile to go, when I heard something bad.  I don’t know if it was Emma or Amanda that I heard call out, but it was a sound that made my heart stop, and jerked my head back over my shoulder.  I also don’t know exactly what I saw: it happened fast, some of my attention was still on controlling my bike, and everything  was in my peripheral vision.  But what I know I saw was Emma’s bike with the front wheel turned awkwardly as she was going down, and Amanda right behind her ditching her bike to keep from hitting her.  The power of flight didn’t come to me, I had no webbing to shoot out to cushion their landings, no mysterious green force field emitted from my ring to catch them up before they hit the ground; if I had any super power, it would have come forth unbidden at that moment.  Absent that, I could only watch them fall.  And be horrified.  For a moment.  And then I shoved that down somewhere it couldn’t get to me.  I had to keep it together right now, had to make sure everything went the way it’s supposed to, protect the innocent, prevent disaster.

I grabbed Aurora out of the trailer and ran back.  They had both sat up or rolled over.  They were both stunned, not really sure of themselves.  Emma’s knee was bleeding.  She didn’t cry, but I could tell she was scared, that she was going to hurt when she was done considering it.  Amanda was still being careful, and a bit dazed from hitting her helmet on the pavement (yes, HELMET, wear your helmet people.  I’m not just talking about the kids; parents’ brains are important too.).  I checked Emma out – nothing broken or dislocated – and helped her to the side of the trail to clean out her knee with some water.  Not that deep.  She started to get a little shocky – her vision was getting dark – but cleared right up with a position change and a little breathing.  Amanda had scraped her hand, and her foot hurt, and she was going to have some colorful bruises too.  In the end, we got everyone up and walked that last half mile, and I kept a watch on them while we waited for my mom and brother to come pick them up and take them home.  All the while I had that superimposed detachedness, still not feeling safe to let that down and be myself.  That part of me that loves them and aches to have to see them hurt or scared had to make way for my alter-ego who’s not too paralyzed by that to be able to think clearly and help.

Emma's knee a few days later...looking a lot less scary.
Amanda's forehead from the helmet/ground collision.
The tools of a superhero?
 It wasn’t until after we were all home that I let myself feel it.  I was driving to pick up our carry out order when it hit me.  Palm sweat, heart racing, shallow breaths, mind racing, full-on freak-out.  When I think of that moment looking over my shoulder now, it all happens again.  I have to be careful not to think about it right before trying to go to sleep, because it snaps me into high alert still.  And I’m happier to be my mild-mannered self, the one who is close enough to them to suffer with them.  But in times of danger, it’s good to have someone to call on.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lyla Style: Little Levi's

I love baby girls in ruffled frocks, white and pale pink, delicate floral prints.  I like things that make baby girls look really "baby-ish."  But there's also something undeniably cute about a tiny baby in "big girl" clothes.  Here is Lyla's version of 'hipster':  high waisted denim Levi's shorts, a logo t-shirt and ballet flats.

Some mama-made details top it off (a felt bow in the hair and a found ribbon used as a belt).

She is one sturdy little stander.  Daddy's finger tips are spotting her here (since the cement stairs are not the safest place for baby).

And here she is showing off her other new trick--clapping!  She hasn't quite got enough gusto in it to make a sound...but she will make the motion on cue (both if you tell her "clap clap!" or if you clap for her so she can mimic).  She also waves.  Little smarty. [Excuse the dirty knees... apparently I need to mop our floors!]

hair bow-made by mama, shirt-Carters, shorts-Levi's (vintage?), belt- found piece of ribbon, shoes- Baby Gap
A special thank you to 'Dada' for being in these photos with Lyla!  I was in full-on mama mode yesterday which means:  I hadn't showered and was still in my comfy morning walk outfit with a messy bun on my head.  He's cuter than me anyway.  ; )

We are linking up with Mama Loves Papa for Small Style (every Thursday!).


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh, Blogging

I have a such a love/hate relationship with blogging and reading blogs.  I mean...we're writing about our lives and sharing photos of ourselves and our families and when you think about it, it's all a bit conceited.  We're basically admitting that we think we are interesting or attractive enough that people all across the internet would want to read about us...or at least, the "us" that we present on our blogs.  And maybe that's the loop hole--blogging can become an art form we use portray our happy/beautiful moments in photos and words.  A picture of when we wore a cute outfit (and actually showered!) or a recipe of a delicious meal we cooked for our family (woohoo!  a successful attempt at making dinner!) or documentation of our baby's undeniable cuteness (when she's not screaming in my ear and splashing in the dog's water dish).   I keep seeing comments flying around on twitter or on other blogs about not being "real" or "acting perfect."  But really?  Do you you want to see photos of my sink full of dishes?  Or read about how money is tight?  Some of us use blogging as an outlet to vent (and anything goes...the good, the bad, and the ugly) but I don't think there's anything wrong with using a blog to show pretty pictures and practice our skills in creative writing.  I blog because it's fun.  I like to write and I like to take pictures. Simple as that.
(I'm going to be all over the place with this post)
I also think that the blog-world is a community where you can look to for support and advice.  So it's totally cool to share your downfalls and struggles too.  It's YOUR space, so you can do whatever you want!  (Free speech is tha bomb.)

So...because I feel like it, along with this pretty picture of Lyla and I, I want to share a struggle I'm having lately:  I think (well, I KNOW) I need to get a part time job.  To be a stay at home mama is my dream and I love devoting my days to my baby.  But it doesn't pay the bills.  And Amanda and I work our butts off with our Etsy shops...but it is very inconsistent.  So this is what it's come to.  I'm looking for a part time job for evenings/weekends.  Probably my worst nightmare.  My husband will come home from work...and I will leave for the evening.  Fun stuff.
So yeah.  Life is far from perfect!  But in lieu of these struggles I will continue to post silly photos and write about how amazing my little girl is.  Blogging is the layman's form of art therapy.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Aurora Wore: The Maxi Skirt

I found this little tie dye skirt while thrifting, and while it looked like the length of an older toddler, the elastic waist seemed small. I thought it might work as a longer skirt on Aurora...and I was right! It was even cuter than I anticipated: I think you'll agree.

tank-hand-me-down, skirt-thrifted, shoes-Baby Gap (thrifted)
Aurora is once again between shoe sizes, which is so hard since she runs around all the time.  These little poka dot espadrille mary janes are a 5, and I see her only having another month in them (at least she'll have them for the beach!). They, of course, matched the outfit perfectly.  Only a cute little gal like this one can pull off tie-dye + polka dots.

You will also see Teddy in the photo. He's her security blanket.  If she wakes up in the middle of the night and can't find him, she cries, and says "Teeeeeeeeeeeeeedy, Teeeeeeeeeedy." Like she's searching for him in a game of hide and seek. Except when she does it, half-asleep, it admittedly sounds kind of creepy.  Still, we love Teddy, as he has made for many easy car rides and nights in a Pack n' Play in an unfamiliar bedroom (next week--the beach!).

Have a happy Tuesday!  We are on vacation countdown, so I feel like it's dragging...

Amanda and Aurora

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vegan for a Day: Have a Little Rice

Okay, okay, don't judge me, but I didn't make vegan food for today! We had a few mini home catastrophes yesterday and taking photos of my quickly made dinner didn't even cross my mind.  Yet here it is again: Meatless Monday.  What is a vegan-word-spreading girl to do?

Kill two birds with one stone, that's what. (Except no killing birds because, well, you know, I'm vegan and care about animals and stuff.)  I'm going to introduce you to one of my favorite vegan blogs by one of my favorite people ever. Katie, of Quick Cook Rice!

She's super cute!

On top of being an awesome vegan, writer, wife, yogi and pug mama, she's also a very close friend--my DC vegan partner-in-crime since she's the only "real" vegan I know here.  We met in grad school...became friends...lost touch...became friends again...oh, the drama (which you can read a little about here.) I even found a few photos of us from that crazy time. (K, I hope you don't mind!)

This St. Patty's Day did not end well.
Dancing. Georgetown. Justin Timberlake. Who ARE these people?!

Phew, glad those days are over. We are both healthier and happier now.  Who knew that veganism could be so life-changing?! (I do now.)

Katie is working to explore more than just recipes with her vegan blog, but the culture of veganism, vegan roadtrips, the whole vegan experience. I love her writing, and I think you will too. She's funny. And smart.  And her blog posts really make you think. Or salivate.

But it's Meatless Monday and we do need to make something....so here's a link to Katie's delish recipes (especially check out Meatless Monday Man-Foods!).

So go, check her out!  Show some love.

Bon Appetit (and happy reading!),

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Smile for Your Weekend (and a little shop preview!)

Aurora knows what the camera does now.  For a while, she used to pose for it, and then she started getting too antsy, but she's come back around to the posing phase--which I, of course, LOVE.

She posed for these photos before we went out for a family picnic/concert in the park on Thursday night.  I found this little cotton lamb shirt (which I think is a baby dress, actually) this week. I'm in love with it, but it won't fit her much longer...so into the shop it shall go!

top/dress-Saks Fifth Avenue (vintage), wide leg pants-Janie&Jack (thrifted), red corduroy sneakers-Koala Kids (thrifted)

We hope you all have a fantastic weekend! The weather here is perfectly summery, and we're planning some little adventures.

Amanda & Aurora

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Post: Meet Q

I went to school to "be a writer" and along the way, I met my husband, who is also a writer (when he's not swamped being a physical therapist and kick-butt dad). So it would make perfect sense that he could chime in and share some of his perspectives on life and fatherhood (would you believe he asked me if he could do a guest blog here and there?). He has two beautiful teenage girls, my stepdaughters, who are bright and talented and kind, in no small part due to the fact that he is their Dad. And lately, he also happens to be Aurora's favorite (and always mine).

Enough gushing...here's his first guest post. __________________________________________________________________________________

Aurora and Dad took in some vintage this weekend.  (That’s me:  Dad.)  You might have gotten used to thinking of me as “Q”, since that’s how I get referred to here.  I’ve got a funny kind of tu-vous stupid hang-up about it though, and would prefer that you wait until we’ve been introduced and shared a conversation before you start calling me that out loud.  Names before nicknames, something like that.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Well, anyway, this weekend, Aurora and I shared some vintage of a slightly different sort.  For the most part here, she’s in front of the camera, or Amanda is, and I’m behind it.  I can tell the pictures that I took.  Not from the lighting, or the composition, or the exposure.  Just from the look on their faces.  That’s a good look to be under. 

This weekend, we both watched something that Albert Lamorisse photographed of his children. The clothing is all circa 1956, and we drift and run and climb around Ménilmontant in the heights of Paris.  I think about children, and growing up, and how to hang on to the best part of a child’s innocent imagination.  I even get a little nostalgic for Paris (though I've never been) when we get taken thrifting in the middle of the story.  Amanda would love to do that.  I wonder if we’d even make it to the Louvre or La Pomme d’Eve?   Aurora shares two things that she thinks about as she watches (she’s getting so verbal now, really trying to tell us and her sisters what’s up).  The first is “ki-y”, when Pascal stops on his way to school to pet one.  Soon though, all she wants to see and talk about is “boon”, or rather, “BOON!”

I guess I should back up a couple days to help you see how we got here (you probably saw some pictures earlier this week).  Tuesday, we went out to dinner at Joe’s, someplace Amanda and I went way back when we first started dating.  Little kids get balloons there.  Aurora has always loved balloons.  Let’s face it, who doesn’t?  But this is the first one that she’s gotten since she became so involved with seeing what she can do in the world.  I can see her measuring it up, trying to see what she can make it do, laughing when it surprises her, and then going back and making it do that same thing over and over while she laughs at it.  I could watch her doing those things all day.

We bring the balloon home with us, and I’m careful to hold the ribbon just below where Aurora is holding it as we walk inside.  I didn’t need to, because there’s no way she’s letting go of it.  Later that evening, we’re going out onto the back porch.  Aurora wants to come with us, but she also wants to bring her balloon, so I make a loop on the end of the ribbon, and pull it through itself so that I can tighten it on her wrist.  Did I mention that she’s getting really clever about things, and that she wants to be in control now?  So, of course the moment comes when she’s saying “boon!” more anxiously, because she’s gotten the ribbon off her wrist and the balloon is floating up through the tree over the back porch and out of sight.  We tried to get to where we could at least see it, but it was already gone.

Getting back inside, I feel I need to find something to take her mind off the balloon, or else she’s going to be asking about it, and I don’t have any answers for the questions she’s trying to ask.  Here’s one of her favorite books, we should read that together.  Oh, right, I forgot the two pages in the middle of the book about balloons.  You know what? Maybe Yo Gabba can work its magic.  Pick an episode at random…get it started…yeah, this’ll work.  Wait, what’s DJ Lance giving out at the beginning? Yes, you guessed it: balloons.  Well, at least Brobee’s got a balloon.

I stopped on my way home the next day to pick up a mylar balloon at the grocery store.  I think there was something else we needed too, but that was secondary to getting the balloon.  Aurora is always excited to see me when I get home, even if she’s tired and cranky.  She was that evening too, but I faded into the background as soon as the balloon was pulled through the door after me.  For the next two days, she held on to it no matter where she went in the house and no matter what else she was holding.  There was at least one anxious moment when she was struggling with how to hold her milk with both hands without having to let go of the balloon.  She figured it out.

Which brought us to Sunday morning, and my searching the instant selections on Netflix for something I was pretty sure wouldn’t be there.  But still…it might…in fact, it is.  It’s kind of a crapshoot, going back to check out something you remember liking way back when.  It’s hard to know whether you’ve changed too much, or gotten too cynical, or maybe just smarter.  Speed Racer is pretty doofy, Yellow Submarine is still pretty cool, Looney Tunes (the classics, not the watered down later versions) are hilarious.

And The Red Balloon is still beautiful.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Aurora Wore: Minnie Mouse-y

I still love getting Aurora dressed every day...it's actually getting more and more fun. I've found some of the best stuff at the thrift lately (as Aurora grows out of her 12-18 month clothes and size 5 shoes!) and am really looking forward to fall.

It's actually more fun to dress Aurora than it is to dress myself to be honest...she looks super cute everyday, while I mostly look "meh" and sometimes get a little more dressed up for events/occasions.

Jayme thrifted this dress for Aurora, but it's the strangest size...2T Large or something...for extra pudgy toddlers? I'd never seen it!  But it's the cutest vintage-y looking dress, and it's just a little big in the waist, so I tied on a vintage scarf as a belt.  The bow shoes and bow headband seemed meant to be together. Of course, the black and polka dots reminds me of Minnie Mouse's ensemble (hence the title).

dress-Baby Gap (thrifted/gifted), shoes-Gymboree (thrifted), headband-mama's, vintage scarf-mama's

We're linking up with our friend Morgan of Mama Loves Papa for another week of Small Style...we love seeing so many other cuties in the blog world.

Have a great Thursday!

Amanda and Aurora