Ingleside…

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So,

after years,

and years,

and years,

and YEARS,

of talking about moving,

well,

we actually are!!!!!!!

Like-

in two weeks.

Eeeeeeeek!!!!!!!!

I just threw up a little….

TMI?

I need to get back on packing.

But as a person who has moved over 30 times in my life span,

I know my process…

Step one: make a plan to move—feelings of excitement and imaging the future

Step two: follow through with actual plan to move like sell a house, rent a new one—more feelings of excitement and imaging the future

Step three: prepare to move—at first feelings of excitement rapidly turning into sentimental sapping about every nook an cranny.

Step four: procrastination and hesitation.

lol

It is always scary-

moving.

Not bad scary.

Good scary.

It is a new beginning.

And it is time for this move I know that.

But I still love this house.

I fell in love in this house.

We came home to this house after our wedding

and

with a new baby.

So many dreams and happy times were realized here.

It has good juju

and great memories.

I love it.

I know every corner,

every nook,

every cranny.

And I wonder

will the new owners love it

like it deserves?

Will they take care of it like I have?

The truth is probably not.

They will do what they want with it.

It will no longer be mine.

And it makes me sad.

I took pictures of Charlie playing out front.

Like we always do.

So we can say hi to puppies,

and watch kids ride by on bikes,

and say hello to walkers who pass.

I love this neighborhood

but

I don’t love felons hiding in my back yard

(story for another day)

but

I love this neighborhood.

It has a park 3 blocks away.

It is ethnically diverse,

Charlie goes to the park and plays with a little girl who she has named Mulan.

They love each other,

running all over the park

trying to boss each other around.

Completely unaware that they speak different languages

or look any different.

I love that.

I will miss all this.

Then I start to wonder…

will I be lonely out in the country?

Will I miss watching people walk by all day,

all kinds of people…

kids,

stay at home dads,

students,

hippies who walk barefoot,

hipsters,

elderly people out for fresh air,

the lady who has three dogs and a cat that always follows behind,

my mailman who I adore and watches out for me and the safety of Charlie by turning in drug dealers and

who I trade recipes with and gossip about neighbors with.

I wonder if anyone will ever live in the house across the street that has been vacant the entire 6 years I have been here.

Someone takes care of it,

works on it,

mows the lawn and prunes the bushes

but it sits empty and alone.

It has always made me sad.

I know this entire place inside and out.

I have watched this world for 6 years

and I will miss it.

But now I must think about my new world.

Full of cow pastures,

and fields that go on for miles and miles,

of gardens full of fresh veggies,

and animals,

SO MANY ANIMALS!!!

Babies,

all the time.

Something new and fresh.

I know

I want to live more simply

and use my hands more.

I think too much of life is about convenience,

not taking the time to do the little things,

make our food,

grow something,

have quiet moments instead of constant go-go-go.

I got rid of my microwave in January.

Well,

actually it started a small fire inside,

so we threw it out.

At first we thought we would replace it

but as the weeks passed

I realized how often I was using it

just to save time.

It made the food taste terrible.

It is not a great way to thaw meat.

It zaps 30% of the nutrition out of your food.

It just isn’t necessary

and so I learned how to reheat food without it.

I learned how to make popcorn without it.

It takes a little more time

but it tastes so much better.

And it made me really think-

are we in such a hurry in life that we even have to have 30 second food?

I want to slow down.

I want to savor life.

I want to be attached to what I eat.

I want to make a wonderful quality of life

and appreciate the sacrifice of an animal to give my family nourishment.

Too much of life comes in packages.

Plastic,

artificial packages,

food,

toys,

EVERYTHING.

I want to get away from that.

Not completely amish

gotta have my blow dryer

but I also don’t want to reside in this world of iPads for babies,

electronic toys for toddlers,

and preschool,

and structure,

learning and sports

and music and activities pushed from age 2 and up.

We are rushing our kids too much

and making them grow up too fast.

We are on the go to much.

This is not how a childhood is meant to be spent-

driving from event to even to event.

I want Charlie to get dirty,

to play with imaginary friends under the pine trees outside,

to run free all summer

with popsicle stained mouth,

with her kitties,

and chickens,

and skinned up knees

and collections of lightening bugs

and earthworms in jars.

I don’t want to follow the flow.

I want to live free and simple.

And this is that beginning.

I am calling it Ingleside.

After Anne’s adult home from Anne of Green Gables.

It’s a dreamy little world and one I hope to replicate.

In reality,

it is a little 2 acre farm we are renting.

It has 2 cows,

a pasture,

a chicken coop,

tons of space,

and a farmhouse full of charm and potential.

It is my little slice of heaven

for me to start making my dreams of a more simple life

come true.

I think learning comes naturally for kids,

in counting how many baby chicks we have.

In spelling out vegetable names as we mark the garden rows.

In routine and responsibility of caring of other living things.

Learning doesn’t to be a competition or standards to keep up with,

it can just be life.

Living it side by side.

Teaching in little moments,

all through out the day.

Teaching that learning is not something that you only get in school

but also from life

that it doesn’t start and end with

an institution-

that it continues on forever.

That we always need to be learning,

evolving,

changing,

to help us move on to that next part of our life.

We must always be learning.

So I will learn this new life.

Just as I have learned this life at 906.

I will learn this farm life

and I will teach it to my daughter.

I look forward to these next years.

The ones that will stick out in Charlie’s mind about her childhood.

It is mine to create.

What kind of world do I want her to remember?

Isn’t that what being a mother really is?

Crafting a childhood worth remembering.

Full of memories,

lessons,

and little moments of lots of love?

I hope that is what the next years bring

at Ingleside.

Meet Lady Gaga and Cher

our moo cows.

They will both be having babies this fall.

We can’t wait and I am hoping to assist in the birth…

yeah…

I just said that.

I am hoping to help a cow have a baby.

How the heck did I go from Manhattan and fashion week parties to possible cow labor assistant?!?

Who knows…

It is a funny life I live.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Charlie Chase Turns Two

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How can it be possible

that two years ago

the most precious being

to ever grace this earth 

was born?!

Charlie Chase

you literally light up 

mommy and daddy’s life.

What was life like before you?

I honestly don’t remember,

or for that matter 

care to.

You are funny,

spunky,

wild,

crazy,

and we love that about you.

You sleep all night

and have since you were 4 weeks old.

You take 3 hour naps 

every.day.

You run everywhere you go

and you are FAST.

There is no doubt that

you come from a long line of runners.

The questions remains

will you be a sprinter 

or

distance runner???

Mommy is team distance.

Perseverance my dear,

it comes in handy.

Distance runners have to push 

through pain,

through aches,

through miles and miles

and not give up,

and yet still have enough left over

for that final

glorious push to the end.

When you dig deep

and give it all you have left inside.

And I want you to have that perseverance

because the race of life calls for it.

I tried to hold my crap together

on your birthday.

To make it about you

and not me

because

if it were up to me-

I would keep you this age forever.

This year has been pure magical sweetness 

and I know all to well what 2 brings.

Tantrums,

larger then life emotions,

OPINIONS!!!!

ugg…

This past year has been

long walks,

park days,

sunshine

and sidewalk chalk.

Things that dreams are made of

or

at least what my dreams are made of.

Being your mommy has made my life complete.

I could die tomorrow a very happy

just for bringing you into the world. 

I hope you had a lovely birthday

and I hope you enjoy many more to come.

“You is kind.

You is smart.

You is important.”

{Kathern Stockett The Help}

Go 

grow up

and do important things.

Be the change I wish to see in this world.

Just never forget how much

your mama loves you…

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Ready? Set? Refresh!

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I have to admit

I got a bit jaded about blogging,

and bloggers,

and the whole internet thing in general.

Do I have anything interesting to say?

Was anyone even reading what I wrote?

Am I vain for putting my life out there

on the great wide web?

These were all very serious questions

lol

or they could be label under the hashtag

firstworldproblems

Truth is

I had a crazy, busy toddler.

My husband lost his job,

I started home daycare,

and in truth my life was far from the picture perfect facades you see

all to often in the blog world

and I was afraid to share it

because it felt boring,

lame,

and unpretty.

But still I missed it.

I missed sharing my projects,

I missed sharing my words,

I missed taking pictures with my camera.

{which sadly has sat dormant in my linen closet for far to long}

So you know what?

I am back.

I am not making any promises of upcoming series,

or what this little place is going to be about,

but I am here and present

and I am gonna be real.

Because really that is all I can be.

Truth be told

two years ago I went to a blogger meet up.

Excited to meet with other like minded women

and talk shop, shoes, and eat some yummy food.

What I got was what I can only describe as a high school throw back.

There were “the cool girls” and then there was me and my sister in law.

It was all “Where did your husband go to school” {the U of I a great school} and

“let’s drink, drink, drink”

{not that I’m a prude and despise alcohol but I happened to be 5 months pregnant}

and “I hate Young House Love because…”

Only 2 of the 7 of us even had what I would call a successful blog

and it was all BULL CRAP!

Immature, insecure, you make me feel bad about myself so I am gonna make fun of where you are from BULL CRAP.

Yes, they made fun of where I was from because apparently the suburbs of Philly are way more classy then Champaign Illinois.

I guess shopping at Target there and shopping at Target here are two very different experiences.

But what they didn’t even know was that yes, I come from the midwest. Yes my husbands hometown had a population of less then 50 people, yes I sometimes shop at Kohles,

but I have also lived in New York and Germany.

I was a guest of Nole Marin’s exclusive after party during fashion week.

I know the difference between champagne and other sparkling wines,

I know what the spoon on the side of your pasta is for.

I have been places, I have done things,

I just don’t have to make you feel bad about yourself

to prove it.

I realize all this  2 years later

but at the time it made me feel really awful.

Especially after one of the meet up bloggers added me as a friend on Facebook

and then de-friended me-

???

High school.

If you don’t like my political opines don’t read them

don’t defriend me-

be a grown up.

So it really shook me

and made me doubt this whole blogging thing.

So I deleted their blogs from my bookmarks.

I realized how insecure they were.

I realized that it was them, not me.

I grew strong in my self

and realized.

Their loss.

I don’t want to be in high school.

I wanna be a blogger.

A good blogger

who responds to comments,

who appreciates readers,

who loves other blogs that are successful.

Not trash talk them

{the blogger who hated on Young House Love- she got the majority of her first traffic due to Sherry and John featuring her guest room on their blog…again ???}

So here is what I can promise you:

I will respond to legit comments

{not spam}

I will love and adore each reader because you validate why I do this.

I will love on other bloggers who also do this.

I will respond to your emails and questions

because that is what this is about.

It’s not about you making me feel good.

It’s about community.

Finding people to connect with.

Appreciating each other and finding new friends.

Ready?

Let’s go.

Cheers

to a new beginning!

Jenny Hart embroidery, a wiener dog, and a note on Miley Cyrus…

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Have you been to Sublimestitching.com?!?

Because it’s awesomeness! I don’t care who you are, you can’t help but be charmed by these sweet embroidery designs.  I first saw Jenny Hart on a sewing show I DVR on PBS- Sew It All.  Sounds nerdy doesn’t it?  I LOVE IT!  Sometimes I like what they make and sometimes I don’t but I always learn something.

 Jenny Hart was a guest on the show and she was demonstrating simple embroidery techniques.  She instantly feels like a good friend.  I love her casual approach to embroidery and her work- it is amazing!  Art, really. In fact I think she was featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Her patterns are awesome, her blog is fun to read, and her studio will make you pea green with envy.  Go check them all out because you know you want to, even if you don’t plan on ever embroidery a thing.  You will still enjoy just looking at her creations.

I, myself, really want to learn to embroider.  I think it is the perfect winter project.  So I am learning some stuff right now, just dabbling, and pinning ideas.  Call it the preliminaries but come Christmas I wanna be banging dishtowels out left and right. Bam. Bam. Bam!

I am pumped to make a wiener dog dishtowel set for my mom’s best friend.  Cause she needs a wiener dog towel. Really. She does. Or maybe I just need an excuse to stitch a wiener dog but it’s so dang cute. I am in love. I have these grand ambitions of hand embroidering all of our pillowcases and possibly doing a blanket for Charlie.  I know I’m getting carried away but isn’t that the fun part of falling in love.

Make something you love with your hands!  It will make you feel good inside and it is a great way for kids to avoid “twerking”…just sayin’ I have never met a crafter who was also a hoochie…it just doesn’t happen.  So get your daughters hands off her hips, pry the cell phone from her hand, and get her crafting.  I can guarantee better results then Billy Ray Cyrus had…just saying.

PS if you daughter says crafting isn’t her thing- show her the Jenny Hart tattoo your towel kit…embroiders can be hard.

There, my public service announcement is over. Embroider. Avoid twerking. 

*photo source

Girls Day at Westside Park & Pekera Bakery…

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Last Thursday me and Charlie had to get out of the house.  We needed fresh air and some coffee.  Good coffee.  We started our morning with a walk through Westside Park to the fenced in playground.

That’s right. A fenced in playground.  I haven’t found one of those around here yet!  In New York my favorite little park was completely fenced in and it was AWESOME.  Makes it much easier to take 2 kiddos to the playground.  Just an extra protective barrier. The park also features a gazebo and a beautiful fountain. Fountains are pretty great to toddlers.  

There is lot’s of shade in the park but most of the playground is in the sun. Sigh. Why do they do that?  It’s already hot, sweaty business chasing after toddlers without the sun beating down on you.  Shade, people, shade- that’s what moms want. Kids don’t need suntans they just need the fresh air.

We wrapped our little morning out with a cappuccino and macaroons from Pekera Cafe. Best. Cappuuccino. In. America. Down to the pretty design made in the foam.  I haven’t had a cappuccino like that since I had lunch on Lake Fuschl at the Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa located near Salzburg Austria. Ahhh The Alps.  The most beautiful place in the world. 

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While Pekera cannot offer the stunning lakeside views the Schloss Restaurant can nor is it located in a castle made in the 1400′s but if I closed my eyes and pretended not to hear the large, screeching truck parked in front of the cafe, I could almost pretend I was somewhere else, maybe not a peaceful lake but somewhere else at least…

Sometimes, as a mom, you need a mental escape.  Just getting out and appreciating something that made you happy before you where a mother catering to the whims and needs of another soul 24 hours a day can turn your day around. 

Added bonus?  The cappuccinos are a Thursday special and are only $2.00.  

The macaroons on the other had are $1.75 each and worth every splurgy penny.  We got three and that was plenty for us to share.  They come in all kinds of colors and flavors.  Me and Charlie got purple, pink, and orange.  Charlie ate the purple and orange.  I ate the pink and it was delish. Parisian macaroons in downtown Champaign- who would have know?

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You do now.

So go eat some- even if you don’t know what a macaroon is. Because then you will feel extra cool when you tell someone else about them and they are all like “what is a macaroon?!” and you can be all “oh they are this special french cookie- super hard to find good ones around here and I know the best place to get them…” and sound all worldly and stuff.

Or you can eat them and feel a moment of pampered relief from life.

Either way works fine.  Check out Westside Park and Pekera Bakery downtown Champaign and tell them you heard about them from 906 E. Chic cause I’m hoping they might throw me a few free macaroons…

Try ‘em.

 

Weekly Meal Plan { Vol. 2}…

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MONDAY:

BBQ Chicken Nachos

*put bbq sauce on before you bake the nachos- I think I forgot that the first time around…

TUESDAY

Lime Marinaded Steak With Brussels Sprouts & Cous-Cous

WEDNESDAY

Enchilada Hamburger Helper

*add fresh cilantro, avacado, really anything fresh that you like on tacoes, put on this stuff or wrap it up in soft tortillas, or add some black beans.  What I am saying is- dr this stuff up!

THURSDAY

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage & Side Salad

*boil spaghetti, brown the sausage, and cut up some cucumbers and tomatoes with some romaine. Bam. Dinner. Satisfies most carnivores…

FRIDAY

Frozen Pizza – cause mama is clocking out…

The grass is greener where you water it…

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So you know what?

I’m going to water the crap out of my house this fall. I’m done feeling sorry for myself.  I’m done being bummed about the house not selling.  I’m done complaining and I am ready to start doing something about it.  That’s why you read this blog isn’t anyway isn’t it? To see projects I’m working on?  Where have the projects been? Time to fix that.

So.

Here come some projects!  I am pinning and planning and gearing up for a DIY fall.  This summer has been great and all but I’m over summer.  Bring on pumpkins, corn mazes, cozy sweaters, and BOOTS!!!  Oh boots, you make me so happy.  I miss you.  Let’s make a date k? 

So where was I? Oh, fall.  Yes, come this fall I am going to be rocking out the DIY projects.  You can look for a fall edition of DIY Anthropologie, house projects, and for all you locals I am going to finally have a craft night- pinkie promise!

Wanna sneak peak into the house planning?  Follow me on Pinterest.- if you aren’t on PInterest then you should be!  It’s fun and addicting and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Here are a few links to some recent pins of mine…

small bedroom style with great art

awesome bird chandelier 

colorful paint dipped vases

this mixed media painting by an Etsy artist

this blog post about chest of drawers 

Check them out and let me know opinions!  And if you see anything you think I would like share the link!