Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guest Room Goodies

Zach and I make it a habit to always have homemade cookie dough in the freezer. It has saved us many a-time. Forgotten potluck? Bake some cookies. Visitors coming to see the baby? Bake some cookies. I think there are so many good reasons to always have cookie dough in your freezer (not the least of which is when, if you are up in the middle of the night nursing a newborn and suddenly need some chocolate, you can just grab some frozen cookis dough. Mmmmm...). This week it came in handy when we found out, happily, that Melissa and Jay and baby Annie (2 months younger than Tate and almost 10 lbs. smaller- she is so dainty and girlie!) were coming to stay over on Tuesday night. It was a quick stopover on their way to Thanksgiving dinner- they would get to the house around 10:30 on Tuesday night and leave early Wednesday morning. They had a five hour drive ahead of them on Wednesday. I wanted to make sure they felt welcome and knew how excited we were to host them (and meet Annie!!!), but I didn't have a ton of time. Once again, the cookie dough saved the day. I had already bought Annie some little winter booties, and we always keep guest-size shampoo and conditioner in the house. So I baked up some cookies, wrapped them in some basic glassine bags, threw them on a tray with some clementines (such a gorgeous and delicious harbinger of winter), added a hand-stamped "For the Road" note, and left it to greet the family on the guest bed when they arrived. I think it worked since the snacks were missing the next morning. Lucky us, the whole family is coming back tomorrow to stay for the weekend. We'll be having our big Thanksgiving dinner then, along with board games, hot coffee, possibly some Christmas tree hunting, and much coohing and oodling over adorable babies (because, as Melissa pointed out, babies do get exponentially cuter when they are together). Do you have any little traditions to help make guests feel special? My friend Dawn always has (homemade!) cinnamon rolls or muffins in the morning. Fresh flowers are always nice. Something as small as a pitcher of cool water on the bedside stand even seems thoughtful, doesn't it? Since it is the time of year when friends and family visit, it seems like now is the time to start thinking about ways we can make our homes extra inviting. What other ideas are out there? P.S. Isn't my mom's handmade quilt in the backround pretty?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had our first snow day two days ago. Which means that winter has officially arrived. But a few weeks ago, in the waning days of fall, I took a series of pictures of Tate, which Zach promptly dubbed "boys of fall". I love them. I feel like they are a perfect way to celebrate what Zach and I are most thankful for today...


So Tate is a drooler. Really a drooler. He drools all down the front of his clothes, and his skin gets irritated. So I mentioned to Zach that I had heard of a dribble bib- a slightly more stylish bib that catches the drool and prevents it from soaking through his (adorable) outfits. Smart, yes? So Zach, who is a tad disdainful of what he feels is the excessive number of unnecessary baby products, jokes that "Tate doesn't need a dribble bib- he needs a dribble ascot". We laugh- because the idea of a baby ascot is just too absurd, isn't it?

At which point, I googled it just to check, and lo and behold...

It actually exists. The baby ascot is a real product.
Ridiculous, isn't it?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Genius Jan Eleni Collage

Dawn and I have an ongoing argument about her love and my hate (is hate too strong a word? I think it is. maybe more dislike) for Gwyneth Paltrow. While I can admire Gwyneth's talent, I generally feel that she is not someone I would want to be friends with in real life. For some reason, she comes across as austere, and a little cold, and for some reason, not too friendly. An ice princess, as it were. However, I do admit to loving her lifestyle site, Goop. I find all manner of good (albeit ridiculously expensive) ideas over there. But never have I been inspired to post about any of them, because sometimes they feel fairly, I don't know, overpriced and ordinary. For example, her recent recommendation of Louis Vuitton luggage. LV luggage seems so done, doesn't it? (Can I also add that sometimes I roll my eyes when I read her posts about things like "Overcoming Sugar Addiction"? Please.). However, I was reading her newest holiday gift guide, and I fell in love. Hard. So hard, in fact, that I am going to begin saving now for when Tate is maybe 10 years old and I can finally buy this for his bedroom. Or my bedroom. Designer (and genius) Jan Eleni creates a collage composed of shrunken images of your child's artwork. I love this idea so much. Nevermind that it is ridiculously expensive (think $1500 for 112 images, although I am sure you creative types could figure out how to do it cheaper). To me it seems so worth it. I would keep it forever. I can see myself on his first night in college, sitting in my room staring at his art and crying a little cry about how grown up he is. And then, Tate could have it. Between this and his pirate ship, his 30-something bachelor pad is going to be pretty awesome.

Not to mention that this is so pleasing to my hate-clutter-and-throw-away-all-random-looking-papers-even-if-it-turns-out-Zach-was-saving-them-and-they-were-important self.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hair Portrait

Oh oh oh. I am not sure exactly why, but I am fascinated by these "hair portraits" by nosideup. Strangely intimate, isn't it?
You can even send in a picture and get your own hair portrait done. So interesting (and kind of sexy, too, don't you think?). found via papertastebuds

Frazier and Wing

I just love these paper mobiles and wall hangings by Frazier & Wing. They make me so happy. I can easily see them hanging in a nursery or a teenager's bedroom (or, for that matter, my bedroom), which makes them perfect for babies. Because as I am learning, the cliche is true- they really do grow up so fast!
Also, I just learned that the artist is collaborating with DwellStudio to make mobiles that match their crib bedding. Genius!

Monday, November 15, 2010

CB2 Hopscotch Rug

I found it! After months of searching, I have finally found the rug I want for Tate's bedroom. It has been a long and harrowing search. A rug is necessary, because the floors are a little squeaky, and I want a soft place for him to sit and play with his toys. I wanted something that matched the feel of the room, and I was immediately drawn to big, fluffy, white ones. But given the 120 lb. black dog, that seemed like a bad idea. So I have been looking for a vacuum-able one that matched the room and made me happy.
And I stumbled across this one, from CB2.
Isn't it great? Normally CB2 is a little too modern for my taste, and as they show this rug, in a living room, I don't love it. But for Tate's kids room? Perfect! I love how the chalk lines are similar to the chalk tree Zach drew on his wall.
Now I just need to count my pennies until we can afford it, and I think we can officially call his room finished.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wean Cubes

Tate is eating real food! It is so, so, so much fun. We jumped right in with miso soup and Zach's beef stew and avocado and pears and artichoke and broccoli and peas... the list goes on and on. It is amazing watching how quickly Tate learns. Just 3 weeks ago, he didn't even know what to do with the spoon. Now he opens his mouth like a little bird. It is adorable.
So although I like to think that we are laid-back parents, we are very serious when it comes to food. I think this is perhaps our one parenting hang-up. Obviously, we have not gone the whole one-food-at-a-time route (this seemed a little hypersensitive to us, because allergies don't run in the family and we wanted Tate to get used to eating flavorful food- he just tried garlic mashed potatoes tonight and loved it), but we are very very conscious of giving him organic food, and avoiding putting or storing his food in plastic.
Which makes the whole "freeze the food in the ice cube tray" not really an option for us.
So I have been searching for an alternative, and recently stumbled across the Wean Cubes. I am really excited about them. They are made of glass that can withstand both heat and freezing, and have lids that seem sturdy (plastic yes, but hopefully not much contact with the food itself). We just ordered two sets a few days ago. Can't wait to report back on how they work!
P.S. I was recently asked if I am ever compensated for writing about certain products. I am not. I genuinely like (and sometimes buy myself) all the things I write about it. This way, when something doesn't work, like my Timi & Leslie bag that I loved, which is falling apart after just 4 months, I don't feel guilty. Because I can tell you the truth without feeling like it is a conflict of interest. Occasionally, some of the companies I write nice things about send me something for free. But I have never solicited anything. I think it is because the owners are just nice people. Whew- glad we got all that out of the way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garnet Hill

You know those bumper stickers with the stick figures representing the family members? I hate those. Given that, I am surprised at how much I love these family portrait pillow covers from Garnet Hill.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby Spanx

Kendra emailed this to me, and it made us laugh. So hard. Oh Tate, how we love your rolls!