Ruby Bleu Boutique…

I am seriously flipping over the new online boutique

a friend of mine just opened.

Ruby Bleu Boutique

It’s like Forever31 : ) and Anne Taylor mixed together

and because she is a mama of two

she knows what us other mama’s are looking for.

No longer will you have to sneak into Forever21 to pick up a few trendy pieces.

Cause you know you have done it and dang it,

it’s hard to push a stroller around that store!

Plus Ruby Bleu is based out on the west coast so we all know that instantly ups the hip factor

for us folks here in the midwest

The picks are spot on with out being too trendy.

These are really great, quality pieces you can have in your wardrobe for a long time.

There is something for everyone.

Athletic gear,

sun dresses,


Here are some of my favorite pieces that I am hoping to pick up for fall.



 Indie Fringe Cardigan


Fine Knit Sweater


Funfetti Top


Native Love Top


Heat Waves Sweater


Easy Breezy Cardigan


Qupid-Martyr Round Toe Bootie




Fringe Pendant Necklace

Oh and did I mention that it’s free shipping?


Can it get any better then never having to leave your couch and having fabulous, quality pieces delivered right to your door- FOR FREE????

I’m in.

Ryan you better watch out

cause Imabout to add these items to my fall wardrobe.

Prepare the bank account and your spending expectations : )

Go check out Ruby Blue Boutique

and tick your husband off too 

so I’m not in the dog house alone alright?


How to survive teething…


Let’s be honest

teething is a b*&@#.

Pardon my french.

But there is no other way

to express how I feel.

I feel like being a dental assistant

has helped me a lot in this area

and for me personally,

is a big reason that I choose to be a stay at home/ work with my kid mom.

On days like today, and yesterday, and all of last week,

I can be on the schedule Charlie needs to be on.

She can sleep when she can sleep.

I can get up in the middle of the night

without worrying about how I am going to function at work the next day

and this I know this may seem like a luxury

to other mama’s out there working and wishing they could stay home.

So I am thankful that this is how we can deal with teething.

I feel for you working mama’s getting up in the middle of the night,

soothing hurting baby,

knowing you have to get up in 2 hours

no nap in sight,

worrying their caretaker is doing as good of job as you would or that you should have stayed home.

I am amazed at you and admire your stamina.

But staying at home has not come without sacrifices too

but that is a post for another day.

Today we talk about teething!


your thinking right?!


Teething is one of the woes of motherhood.

There seems to be such misery and hardly a thing to do for them right?


Here is my list


No. 1

{ A chewy teething toy }


N0. 2

{ Orajel }

Personally, I use the extra strength nighttime formula 4 times a day. But use whatever you feel comfortable with. Charlie willingly opens her mouth to let me rub it on so I know it must help.


No. 3

Children’s Ibuprofen }

Why do I use Ibuprofen?

Because it is anti-inflammatory

and not as hard on your toddlers liver as Tylenol.

Make sure they are taking plenty of fluids though.

Extra water, juice, fruits that have lots of moisture like oranges.

Keep them really well hydrated but don’t just randomly give Ibuprofen to them.

If you are going to use Ibuprofen then use it consistently for 2-3 days every 6-8 hours.

Otherwise you aren’t doing anything for their pain or their teething.

It takes time for the medication to build up in the body and start to reduce the inflammation and swelling around the new teeth.

Staying on a course for 2-3 days gives it time to actually do it’s job.

Reducing swelling, inflammation, and keeping it down.

There for reducing pain.

All Tylenol is going to do is reduce the fever. It may help a little with pain

but not much because it is not an anti-inflammatory and isn’t going to the same nerves as Ibuprofen.

Why do I do this?

Because at the dental office we didn’t tell adults with toothaches to just use Orajel and suck it up

We would instantly put them on a course of 2-3 days of anti-inflamatories and go from there.

We never told them to take Tylenol

because it doesn’t do squat.

It seemed pretty obvious to me to do them same with teething pain.

But again, always talk to your doctor and do what you feel is best as a parent.

This is simply what works for me.


No. 4

{ Frozen Treats }

I like frozen blueberries.

They are full of good things for kiddos.

Charlie loves the taste.

and they feel so good to chew on.


No. 5

{ Plenty of movies }

I don’t limit tv time during teething.

All I want if for her to be comfy.

If all she feels like doing

is lying around watching Veggie Tales

then I let her.


No. 6

{ A project for you }

A book, a craft, organizing photos on the laptop,

give yourself something to do so that your mind

doesn’t go crazy

being confined to a constant state of snuggling on the memory foam mattress  (see No. 7.)


No. 7

{ Make a nest }

Ryan makes the best nests.

Last night he took the memory foam mattress pad

from our spare bedroom

and made a huge nest in front of the tv.

A nest must include:

cozy blankets,

cozy pillows,

and lots of padding.

With prime tv watching positioning.


No. 8

{ A temporal scanner thermometer }

If you do not have one of these,

get one.

They are amazing and extremely accurate.

All you do is turn it on,

wait for it to tell you it is ready,

place on center of the forehead,

and slowly scan across forehead to the temple .

I can even take Charlie’s temp when she is sleeping without her waking up.


My dad didn’t trust their accuracy until he did his own google search so feel free to do the same.


No. 9

{ Books! }

No one,

not even a toddler

can watch Dora the Explorer for 9 hours straight.

So you will need some light activities to keep their little minds from going crazy.

We like to take a little tv break and cozy up on the bean bag.

The Llama Llama series is a big hit around here.

Anna Dewdney.

Look her up.


No. 10

{ Coffee }

How can you survive teething

or toddlerhood in general

without it?!?

Waking up at 3:30

you need a little energy boost.

I like to whip cream with my IKEA Milk Frother and then add cinnamon coffee to it

makes a homemade latte.

It’s the little things that get you through the day.


So there you go.
10 ways to help you survive teething.

Good luck to you.

I must go change a diaper.





after years,

and years,

and years,

and YEARS,

of talking about moving,


we actually are!!!!!!!


in two weeks.


I just threw up a little….


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.


It is always scary-


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


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


I don’t love felons hiding in my back yard

(story for another day)


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…


stay at home dads,


hippies who walk barefoot,


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,



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.


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.


artificial packages,




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,



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,


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…


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


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,




and we love that about you.

You sleep all night

and have since you were 4 weeks old.

You take 3 hour naps

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 


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


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.


larger then life emotions,



This past year has been

long walks,

park days,


and sidewalk chalk.

Things that dreams are made of


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}


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…





Ready? Set? Refresh!


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


or they could be label under the hashtag


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,


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.


Let’s go.


to a new beginning!

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


Have you been to!?

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