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Introducing new baby…Wynn Avi (Part II)

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Welcome to the second post of Introducing New Baby…Wynn Avi.  Having a baby does put one behind on a number of life’s agenda items, and blogging is one of them.  But the best part of my blog is that it is a vault for all of our special moments–from recipes, to projects, to products, and life events–and this is the highlight for us of the year–the birth of our daughter, Wynn.

We’ve been guessing for months before she was born whether she would have darker hair like my husband or lighter hair like me and my son, but my husband turned out to be right. Wynn’s black hair completely surprised me!  Thus far, at 2 weeks old, she has been an easy baby:  sleeping lots, crying very little, and so lovely and well-tempered (totally opposite my son when he was first born!).

All of these photos were taken by Nicole of Snips and Snails photography.  I saw her work about a year after the birth of my son and booked my appointment with her almost simultaneously when I found out we were pregnant.

Here are a few more of the photos of our treasured Wynn and her big brother, Judah.

xx

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October 20, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Famous Ashley Grant - oh my goodness! What a precious photo. If I ever have kids I need to keep this in mind because I would want one just like this :)

October 20, 2014 - 5:06 pm

Laurel Bill - Such an adorable little girl – thanks for sharing her in this awesome photograph!

October 20, 2014 - 6:41 pm

Ryan LaBee - Welcome to the new baby! Beautiful pics, and great post! Keep up the great work!

October 20, 2014 - 7:17 pm

Nick #thisyearinmusic - Congratulations on the birth of Wynn!

October 20, 2014 - 7:40 pm

Tina B - Two weeks old and sound like such a good baby. Lucky YOU!! Congrats!

October 20, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Erin - She is absolutely gorgeous!! My baby is about to turn one and looking at this little two weeker is bringing me back to how tiny she used to be. Gosh it goes quick! Congrats on the little lady!

October 20, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell - Wyn Avi is too cute for words! Love when they are so super tiny and new :)

October 20, 2014 - 8:13 pm

Stephanie - Awww. Such a cutie!

October 20, 2014 - 8:47 pm

agatapokutycka - Congratulations! These are some stunning photographs! Love them!

October 20, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Jim Striegel - What a great bundle of joy to your world.

October 20, 2014 - 11:27 pm

kungphoo - Very cute!~ That bed looks incredibly comfortable!

October 21, 2014 - 1:31 am

Danielle - SERIOUSLY- HOW cute is she!!! Congrats again! I love these amazing pictures!

October 21, 2014 - 1:58 am

Nicole Keener - Congratulations!!! She is too precious!

October 21, 2014 - 2:05 am

Melissa Smith - Those photos are beautiful!!!! Congratulations on your newest little bundle of joy!

October 21, 2014 - 2:26 am

Carmen Perez (listen2mama) - Aw, she is absolutely precious. What gorgeous photos! You’re blessed!

October 21, 2014 - 2:40 am

Veronica - She is absolutely adorable. You have a beautiful family

October 21, 2014 - 5:38 am

Daniele Holmberg - Your baby is so beautiful! Congratulations! I love the photos:)

October 21, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Becky Mortson - That is so adorable. I love how the concept of the photo

October 21, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Manu Kalia - I looking forward on my baby, Planning to have just like this photo for him ;)

Introducing New Baby…Wynn Avi (Part I)

wynn3 682x1024 Introducing New Baby...Wynn Avi (Part I)

Today I’m introducing our new baby Wynn…who will most definitely be making many future appearances here on the blog.  She was born last week at only 6lbs 13 oz (which seems so tiny!).  Since I haven’t posted photos of her nursery yet, I’m doing this post in 2 parts: one focused on baby Wynn’s nursery, which I’ve been piecing together for the past 9 months, and the second solely on her.baby13 1024x680 Introducing New Baby...Wynn Avi (Part I)

Wynn’s name is English, and it means Friend.  Just like with my son, I found it a bit challenging to decorate the new baby’s room before meeting the baby. But, for whatever reason, I kept associating birds with her/her name, so I incorporated this element into the room, including these hand-painted watercolor + glitter birds that I also embossed with gold lettering.

baby12 In attempt to keep a fairly blank palette to eventually fill in with the baby’s likes and interests, I kept everything fairly neutral with a few spikes of color, texture, and inspiration to liven it up.

baby14The colors I pictured for Wynn even before she was born were white, gold, and an orange sherbert.  This wallpaper I’d had my eye on for a long time–it was designed by the creator of Oh Joy! for Hygge & West and after it went up, I secretly wished I could put it in every room.   The hardware on these drawers I introduced in a previous post and just adore.

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This wall I’ve been going back on forth on for either a rocker or child’s play table, but decided to wait until after baby Wynn arrived before deciding.  We had a rocker in my son’s room that I almost never used and it’s still a little too early for a table.baby15These mismatched baskets I filled with toys and books for baby–most of which were Judah’s.  One of the many benefits of multiple kids!  The hanging globe I bought as a one-off find at a Restoration Hardware outlet–I spray painted the metal gold to fit the room.  I think it would also look divine with a white lights or tied with ribbons.

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A wee bit of nursery napping.

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And, finally, a few outtake shots of the first photo.  I forgot how hard it is photographing babies,  especially babies plus a toddler!

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Welcome to the world our little Wynn, next up newborn photos of her and all the crazy cute baby girl accessories to boot.

xx

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October 16, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Frances - Stunning!!! God truly has blessed you!! I love the pics of the nursery :). Thank you for letting us in!

October 16, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Rebecca Carrera - She is beautiful! The nursery is gorgeous of course and I too swooned over that wall paper for some time. I was going to put it in the shop, but decided on a gallery wall instead. Maybe it can make an appearance in my dining room!

October 16, 2014 - 3:09 pm

WordPress.com Support - great minds think alike! i need to stop by your new location to see what you’ve done and pick up some lipstick–hoping to visit soon! ps–i have a lot of the wallpaper left over if you ever decide to use. xx

October 16, 2014 - 3:59 pm

Laurel Bill - Beautiful nursery – you did a great job decorating. And it looks like big brother is thrilled with his little sister, too!

October 16, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Nick #thisyearinmusic - I really love the framed bird pictures and the bear chair! Amaze!

October 16, 2014 - 8:31 pm

agatapokutycka - This is one stunning looking nursery! Well done!

October 16, 2014 - 9:02 pm

Giveaways 4 Mom - Aw what a cutie pie. The nursery looks amazing also.

October 16, 2014 - 9:56 pm

Terri Ramsey Beavers - They are both adorable and your nursery is amazing.

October 16, 2014 - 9:57 pm

Danielle - I love the pictures and your children are adorable! Your nursery looks- FAN-TA-BULOUS!!!!

October 17, 2014 - 1:50 am

Bethany Delk - I LOVE all the details in the nursery! And of course she is adorable! I still have some decorating to do in my baby’s nursery and you’ve just inspired me! Thanks!

October 17, 2014 - 2:03 am

Elizabeth O. - You have such a cute bundle of joy. And I love how elegant the nursery is!

October 17, 2014 - 2:04 am

Tiffany Hathorn - You have an adorable family and the room is really cute as well!

October 17, 2014 - 4:57 am

Veronica - How beautiful is she!!! What a precious little blessing! I love what you have done with her nursery

October 17, 2014 - 5:34 pm

Krista - Those pictures are amazing! What a blessing!

Upcycling Creativity with Homemade Cards

homemade pumpkin card1 1024x680 Upcycling Creativity with Homemade Cards<<This is a post I recently wrote for a local Montessori school that has launched a new blog.  Enjoy!>>

What I didn’t completely grasp before having kids was that one of the most joyful parts of having children is getting to re-experience (and maybe appreciate that much more) all of the best bits of childhood. Having my son brought me back to the colorful and vibrant world of creativity that I so enjoyed as a child—from drawing for hours on end, to creating my own secret language with my best friend, to taking copious notes in my secret spy journal–documenting all the less-than-exciting conversations I eavesdropped on and entirely mundane observations I had made while perched in my favorite park tree (in my secret language, of course).

Practically from birth, I was waiting for my son to grow big enough to sit with me at my art table in our craft room so that we could work on a project together. One of the first projects we completed was thank you cards addressed to guests who attended his 2nd birthday party (a firetruck themed party: the berries we hot-glued onto the cards were also used as centerpieces at his party).

homemade thank you card2 Upcycling Creativity with Homemade Cardshomemade thank you cards1 And what can be more fun and versatile than homemade cards (not to mention messy if you are not careful—I suggest using shoeboxes to organize various supplies and odds and ends and labeling each box).

homemade cards 3watercolor cupcake card3

Not only are the possibilities for types of cards endless, but also in particular the possibilities for reusing and recycling odds and ends that call for another life.

The holiday cards we sent out last year we created from upcycling many years of past holiday cards that we received, but I could never throw away. All those years of storage in my closet finally paid off!homemade christmas card1

Some other beloved materials that often make appearances in my homemade cards include dried plants and flowers, washi tape, scrapbooking paper, maps, buttons/ribbons/strings, photos, embossed stamps, hand-sewn flourishes with needles and thread, toys and miniatures, and even candy.

homemade-valentinehomemade-valentineBut the most divine part of working with kids to make homemade cards is that no matter what the result—the cards are always cute–even if an utter disaster. More than a few times my son and I have assembled a birthday card fifteen minutes before leaving for the party: he randomly places stickers on a trimmed piece of construction or scrapbooking paper, I stamp the child’s name and the date, and together we hot-glue on a few crafty elements ranging from string, ribbons, bits of tissue paper or paper scraps to abandoned or never used toys to feathers and mini-banners.

Not only does the recipient (pint-sized or otherwise) appreciate the efforts of a homemade card just as much (if not more) than a store bought card, but inevitably they both end up in the same place (usually at the bottom of a shoebox, a drawer, or a closet).

And, if you’ve ever had the chance to sort through all the cards you’ve received during the last 5, 10, or 15 years like I have (particularly after a series of monumental life events such as graduation, marriage, and/or having children), you most likely have come to the very stark realization that the greeting card business is a very lucrative one–which may provide you with even more motivation to make your own.

homemade pumpkin cards 2Get more inspiration for your own homemade cards here: http://www.pinterest.com/fatveganbaby/cards/

xx

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September 29, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Jessica C - One thing that I would love to learn more about is card making!! Cards are so expensive to buy, there are times I think it might be cheaper just to make my own!

September 29, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Vanessa - Very cute! Seems like a lot of fun!

September 29, 2014 - 4:31 pm

Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell - First of all… your imagery on the site is FAB!! Love all the ideas you have for upcycling when it comes to homemade cards.. I think I just may do this for my Christmas Cards this Seasion :) Thank you for the inspiration!

September 29, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Jessica Beal Harlow - You do beautiful work! I love the photo of your little boy looking up to you. What fun quality time together!

September 29, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Carmen Perez - Your work is beautful! And I am just like you, I loved creating crafts with my dughter when she wa little. NOw we are both mega scrapbookers! LOL!!!

September 29, 2014 - 8:30 pm

lilce51286 - Creativity is a very big part in my life and it opens up other gateways. I find it useful especially in relationships :)) lovely post

September 29, 2014 - 8:44 pm

franna - Oh wow!!! s creative :) I can’t wait until my little guy is big enough for afternoons like this!

September 30, 2014 - 12:04 am

kungphoo - Very creative, I really like the cupcakes! Great work!

September 30, 2014 - 1:46 am

Veronica - I love the idea of home made cards. Great way to get the kiddos involved. Awesome pictures!

September 30, 2014 - 2:56 am

danisdecadentdeals - You have the most adorable photos:) Those crafts look like such fun!

September 30, 2014 - 4:39 am

Dov Shapira - Those cards are supper cute
I the ones with ribbon along the edges

September 30, 2014 - 4:43 am

Bismah Abdelgawad - It is always nice to see upcycled projects. There is nothing more beautiful than homemade cards, especially the ones made by little hands!

September 30, 2014 - 11:07 am

Manu Kalia - Wow, Very creative and unique! If only I have time to make one of this. My daughter would love you!

September 30, 2014 - 2:14 pm

eliz frank - You are very talented and make these home made cards look easy. I’d love to try my hand at it someday.

September 30, 2014 - 10:33 pm

Joanna Sormunen - Wonderful ideas! I just love all of these! And I would love to recive them too!

October 2, 2014 - 7:21 pm

5 Outrageously Cute Upcycle Ideas - Just Me and You, KiD! - […] Upcycling Creativity with Homemade Cards […]

October 2, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Nicole Keener - I loved this! Very cute,definitely following your blog now! :) <3

October 2, 2014 - 8:33 pm

Nicole Keener - I loved this! Very cute,definitely following your blog now! :) <3

2014 Fall Tablescape

fall2 1024x680 2014 Fall TablescapeIt’s that time again….FALL…and particularly in the blogosphere, there are so many inspired ideas.  I’ve been following Eclectically Vintage’s Fall Home Tour and combing the October issue of Martha Stewart for new ideas, including a pumpkin-shaped Molasses spiced cookie recipe that I’m using for Judah’s 3rd birthday party at the pumpkin patch.

fall4 682x1024 2014 Fall Tablescape

fall1I admit I’ve had my fall tablescape up since the beginning of September–way before the start of Autumn (you may have seen the sneak peak photos on Instagram).   That way, I have plenty of time to burn the pumpkin-spice candles and enjoy the fall smells of cinnamon and pine cones.  I’m also still using the potpourri pumpkin blend I bought last year at JoAnn’s– and it still smells wonderful.

Another new addition to this room is the reclaimed wood we added to the top third of the fireplace divider.  After tons of research, we decided to use Stikwood to get the look we wanted and loved how easy it was to apply and the finished result.

fall3Here’s how the 2014 Fall Tablescape measures up to my 2013 Fall Tablescape that I posted here last year.  Judah helped pick out these sparky, fall-themed ornaments as a new addition this year–he was particularly entranced by the cupcake varieties (see below)!

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Two carry-overs from my favorite aspects of last year’s tablescape:  the votive candles placed in sand and the recycled wine bottles decoupaged with paper fall leaves (from the Martha collection).  I had a hard time finding candlestick holders this year, so I whittled down my orange candlesticks to fit into the bottles from last year–it worked beautifully!

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On another note, we have 2 more weeks until our fall baby arrives and are counting down!

Thanks for stopping by!

xx

j.

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September 22, 2014 - 12:08 am

Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage - I love fall – it’s my favorite season! I know you will have the most amazing parties and family dinners at your beautifully set table. Oh, and I love StikWood – gorgeous!

September 22, 2014 - 12:10 am

WordPress.com Support - Thanks darling! xx

September 22, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Uplifting Families - I love fall too because of the cooler temperatures, changing of the leaves, and all of the holidays. Congratulations on baby number too, it sounds like you will have two fall babies soon. My older son was born in October too.

September 22, 2014 - 10:25 pm

kungphoo - Wow, that is quite a nice table and you have positioned it perfectly for fall..

September 23, 2014 - 12:25 am

Veronica - Very nice Fall table scape. I haven’t created mine yet.

September 23, 2014 - 12:37 am

Jim Striegel - Great arrangements for fall. Now if it would cool down!

September 23, 2014 - 1:31 am

Dov Shapira - With all that beauty of your fall decoration,
Let me say Congratulations on the new baby to be born
I hope everything will be very smooth for you

September 23, 2014 - 5:19 am

Daniele Holmberg - Amazing photos! This post makes me so very excited for the fall season!

Italy (Part II): Dievole, Florence

dievoli1 1024x680 Italy (Part II): Dievole, Florence

Even though I loved all the cities we visited in Northern Italy, my favorite was our 1 night stay at this Tuscan Italian vineyard in the Chianti Region, near Siena:  Dievole.  It was unfathomably picturesque and, even more of a draw for us at least, kid-friendly with a playground, family pool, and a good number guests under 10 who were slightly less than wine enthusiasts.

dievoli2 1024x680 Italy (Part II): Dievole, Florence

The pools and the outdoor courtyards where the meals were served were perched among the Chianti region’s crescent hills, overlooking verdant views of the property’s breathtaking vineyards.  We spent the afternoon taking a tour of the winemaking facility, including their massive French oak barrels, sampling the extra virgin olive oils made from olives at the vineyard, and then walking amongst the grape-laden vines…in the clouds.

dievoli3Even though I couldn’t partake in much of the wine-tastings, aside from a few sips here and there, I got great pleasure watching my husband sip from a bottle of opened Dievole wine on our walks thru the vineyards, while Judah sampled the different varieties of  grapes from the vines.

We packed up our Dievole bottles of wine purchased for future special occasions and made the drive to our last stop on the trip: Florence.

Here’s a list of what not to miss on a trip to Florence:

1. Il Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore: Florence’s most popular site (a cathedral) the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore.

2. Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio: (We stayed in an AirBNB on this beautiful piazza)  It is Florence’s most famous square in the heart of the historic center and a free open-air sculpture exhibit including a copy of Michelangelo’s David.

3. The Baptistery: one of Florence’s oldest buildings made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors.

4. Campanile – Bell TowerL great views of the Cathedral (no elevator, so be prepared to walk!)

5. Ponte Vecchio: Florence’s famous, first, and last remaining medieval bridge across river Arno built in 1345

6. Galleria degli Uffizi: world’s most important collection of Renaissance art (buy tickets ahead)

7. Galleria dell’ Academia: home of Michelangelo’s David and the Medici’s family musicial instruments, including a Stradivarius (buy tickets ahead; we also liked the gift shop here)

8. Boboli Garden and Pitti Palace: cross Ponte Vecchio to a huge walled-off park on a hillside with beautiful gardens and fountains. The Pitti Palace, Florence’s largest palazzo, was once the seat of the Medici family. Eight different galleries feature art, costumes, jewelry, and the apartments.  (We didn’t have time to make it here!)

flor6We went back and forth on which city to take a boat tour of and left it for Florence–to get a unique vantage of the Ponte Vecchio (Florence’s famous bridge).  We had no idea that Florence only permits a few boats on the Arno river–and this tiny row boat (barchetto) is one of them.  The boat is manned at sunset and directed by an Florentine boat-handler standing at the back with a single, wooden oar.

On the morning of our boat tour and for a slower-paced day, I also made a list of all the famous Florentine piazzas and we spent the morning walking to each one, comparing the views, and absorbing the street music.

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My sweetie with the David…

flor2And I would be leaving out the most important highlights of our trip without the following photos of–the food!

dessertsOn one of the long car drives in between cities, my husband and I started making lists of our best memories and meals, including the best breakfasts we’ve had together (one of which was at Dievole), favorite destinations, best hotel experiences, etc.

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Aside from the boat tour on the Arno, we also did a 3 hour bike tour of Florence at sunset–which thankfully ended with a stop at a local gelato shop that I had to continually remind Judah of for most of the ride.   Everyone asked me how I fared on the trip being 7 months pregnant with all the walking, biking, and travel activities, but really all the exercise (sometimes 5 straight + hours of walking a day) felt wonderful–and my body seemed to welcome the change of pace other than sitting at my desk for 8 + hours a day.

Biking is hands down our favorite activity to do when we travel–but Florence was a little tricky with a toddler in a childseat because you are literally riding in the middle of the streets of Florence (which was amazing on one hand), but then dodging out of the way for the occasional car or bus as they would go by (except for the buses and a few cars, there is no traffic allowed in the city).  On future trips to Florence, we may just stick to the carousels.

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flor7We tried to push our dinners as late as possible every night to savor the night views on the water and sit outside listening to the musicians playing on the steps of the ancient, open-air pavillions.

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Addio per l'Italia, grazie per i ricordi!

xx

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September 13, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Janet - Loved the photos! Great sounding trip. A must for the future.

September 16, 2014 - 5:03 am

10 Things to do in Florence - […] Italy (Part II): Dievole, Florence […]