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!

 

 

Weekly Meal Plan {No. 1}…

MONDAY:

Blue Cheeseburgers SIDES: Sweet Corn & Scalloped Potatoes from Betty Crocker Box Mix

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TUESDAY:

Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos

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WEDNESDAY:

Roast Lemon Chicken SIDE: Potato Salad- for this salad I am roasting the potatoes not grilling them but I am using the mayo-less dressing.

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THURSDAY

Leftovers- don’t waste yummy food. Be creative, make quesadillas, add some pasta or rice, dr. it up good and enjoy not having to cook for an hour!

FRIDAY:

Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza- I am probably going to add some chicken to this pizza as my husband is a carnivore and needs meat with every meal or he feels famished even after eating.

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