Toddlerista: cuckoo for mah tutu!

04/30/2010 at 4:14 pm | Posted in I take too many pictures, Toddlerista | 12 Comments

Welcome to the land of the blue tutu.

Small Fry ADORES it. Here’s our new morning ritual: wake, dress, scuttle downstairs in search of the tutu. Put it on BY HERSELF thank you very much. I’m not allowed to help unless absolutely necessary. Like today, when she couldn’t quite get it over her butt.

Today, we met up with pals at mommy’s favorite mall, which also happens to be the land of fountains. Small Fry loves fountains more than it seems is humanly possible.

Oh my gosh, I am NEVER cutting that hair. Really. But that’s for another post.

A kind soul came over and offered to take our picture, which I couldn’t resist because I hardly have any of the two of us together. Small Fry’s no-smiling phase continues.

Besides being just plain cute, the tutu is quite versatile. It never seems to get in Small Fry’s way, even when she hit up my wallet for coins to toss into the fountain.

Small Fry turned lots of heads (you know you’ve scored a good outfit when other chicks check you out, right?) and was oblivious to the attention until one woman said, “I love your princess dress!”

My child replied, “Not princess. Tutu!”

YES! I let out a silent squee, but I know it’s only a matter of time before everything she owns is tricked out with Disney princesses.

I love this next shot, because this is EXACTLY what I want to do every time I see the Anthropologie window. Also, I think it’s kinda neat how I’m in the photo too:

Small Fry put together a killer outfit today. Nothing matched (sans tutu). And, you know, I’m beginning to see just how awesome that is.

The deets:
Old Navy, birthday gift from the Deputy
Pedal-pushers: Gymboree, hand-me-down
TUTU!: Carter outlet
Kicks: Stride Rite outlet
Butterfly hair clip: Gymboree

Happiness is: the spigot on a warm spring day

04/30/2010 at 9:28 am | Posted in Happiness is | 2 Comments

Swell Stuff {who WOODn’t love these?}

04/29/2010 at 11:52 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | 3 Comments
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Doesn’t this just make you happy?

Reminds me of my 80s childhood, when everything was rainbows, care bears and glittery unicorns. Oh, how I loved my sticker books.

So when I spotted Imagination Kids on the Etsy homepage, I clicked the link faster than you can say pink puffy heart. TELL ME, how irresistible are these hedgehogs?

All of their toys are made from sustainably harvested wood, non-toxic paint and a natural homemade wood polish, so you won’t have to worry if they end up in baby’s mouth.

Safe, affordable and too adorable for words.


Loves Target almost as much as mommy

04/28/2010 at 8:27 pm | Posted in About town, I take too many pictures | 2 Comments

O says “moo”

04/28/2010 at 9:38 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 1 Comment

(This is part of Belly to Butterfly, by my sis Laura).

I think I’ve come up with a money-maker. You know how they have therapy dogs where they’ll take these sweet pooches into nursing homes and brighten up an elderly person’s day?

What about therapy babies?

O and I visited her dad at work yesterday, as they’ve been wanting to see her. I think they needed proof of her existence since they got us some really nice baby shower gifts.

She did not disappoint! O smiled, she crawled, she laughed, she sucked her thumb and best of all, she happily let everybody (and I mean everybody…virtual strangers…mental note!) hold her. We had hordes of polo shirted men, panty-hose clad women, assistants on up to the VP following us around every cubicle corner wanting a glimpse and perhaps a toe tickle with baby O.

Two words. Cash cow.

Happiness is: azaleas

04/27/2010 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 1 Comment

Every spring, our yard explodes with color. We are so lucky that someone who lived in this house before us landscaped so beautifully. And equally lucky that I haven’t managed to kill everything. Yet.

The azaleas are a little overgrown (or a lot overgrown, if you ask M), but I like them that way.

Free. And a bit wild.

Just me

04/26/2010 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Bloggy, Thinking | 24 Comments

This post has been brewing in my head for a LONG time. I need to write it. Bear with me.

I’ve been having a bit of a blog-dentity crisis. The more amazing blogs I discover, the more inadequate I feel. And confused. It’s really hard for me to find my voice in a vast sea of other mommybloggers. And not just find it, but hold onto it.

It’s incredibly easy to convince yourself you need to be like someone else.

When I started this blog eight months ago, I wrote loooong entries and posted daily photos. Then I fell in love with Etsy and unleashed a crusade for all things handmade. I posted daily, multiple times a day, and because I write for a living, I found myself creating little editorial calendars and regimented series, like “Mangia!” every Friday and “Swell Stuff” every Tuesday.

It got exhausting, you guys.

So I’ve taken a big step back. Slowed down a little bit. Decided that quantity most definitely does not equal quality.

And, I’m not writing this blog to please others or to meet an editor’s deadline, so why stress over it? (I’m a virgo, that’s why. But more on that later.)

The blogs I most enjoy reading are just plain real. I admire their honesty, their down-to-earth-ness. Whether these bloggers are wacky, sarcastic, artistic, informative, gentle or loud, they seem to have a firm grasp on who they are and what they’re passionate about.

I want that.

Tonight as I rocked Small Fry to sleep, I had this wonderful burst of clarity. It’s often in those moments of peace that I actually listen to myself.

What am I doing with this blog? How can I make it what I want it to be?

Be me. Just me.

So, here I am, y’all, superfluous commas and all. I’m a grammar geek, and I try to be funny but cannot tell a joke to save my life. I’m 5′ 10″ and I have an extensive collection of flats. I love fashion, but need a shot of courage (or vodka) to wear some of the stuff I’ve bought over the years. I’m a really good friend. Loyal to the core. And I laugh at pretty much everything. It’s like a reflex. It still blows my mind that I’m a mother, especially when I try to discipline Small Fry. I hate that I’m too afraid to publish her real name because it’s really beautiful and unique.

I want pretty*swell to be more ME, not who I think I SHOULD be.

Writing this down is the best way I know how to make it real. I already feel a little liberated! Which may in part be due to the fact that I’m not wearing a bra, but hey, it feels good.

Hitting “publish” is another matter entirely. Here goes …

Swell Stuff {falling for Red Velvet Art}

04/26/2010 at 10:51 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | Leave a comment
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I’m in love with Red Velvet Art. And not just because they have hot dog earrings. The shop also carries TONS of other cute, creative, irresistable things like these:

and this:

and this:

And, oh my gosh, the blogs (RVA :: Elsie :: Rachel) are amazing.

Hooked yet?

Me too.

(I can’t for the life of me remember how I discovered this shop. Some wonderful Twitter friend, no doubt. Whoever you are, I owe you my second-born.)


04/25/2010 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Everything else, Good eats | 8 Comments

We did a little of this:

a little of that:

and squeezed in a visit to one of my favorite places to eat bacon*:

Hope your weekend was swell!

*Yes, I love the Cracker Barrel, even though it’s one of the most un-local, un-sustainable and un-organic places to eat EVER. But they bake a mean biscuit, and the bacon is always crispy. Finally. I’m out of the closet! Let the shit-giving begin.

Toddlerista: polka dots!

04/23/2010 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Toddlerista | 6 Comments
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When Small Fry was born, her closet exploded with cuter than cute dresses, sleepers and onesies. Eighty percent of which she NEVER WORE. I had to hold back the tears packing that stuff up … much of it with the tags still on.

It’s crazy how fast this baby-child is growing. I can barely keep up.

Even at age 2, she has clothes that don’t get worn. Of course we’ve pared down her closet, and the avalanche of newborn gifts has long been depleted. But there are always a few lingering items that I sadly pack (or give) away before they’re worn.

When I found this adorable coat at Old Navy at the end of what’s been nothing short of an abysmal winter, I vowed that Small Fry would wear the heck out of it. Then, true to form in North Carolina, winter morphed almost directly into summer. Without the blanket of electric yellow pollen, you’d hardly know it’s spring around here. It can be 50 degrees one day and 90 the next. For real.

Got my keys and my teddy bear. Let's roll, yo.

So when it got hot and she hadn’t yet worn that coat, I started to panic. Over my dead body, weather!

The wardrobe gods must have been listening, because for the past couple of weeks we’ve been blessed with decidedly spring-like weather. Highs in the 60s and 70s, even the occasional rainfall.

I busted out that coat, held my breath, and showed it to Small Fry. Y’all know how VERY picky she is about what she wears. Once again the universe intervened, and she LOVES the coat.

The hot pink lining may have helped the cause. And maybe also the string cheese bribe.

Happy toddler brought to you by five pounds of string cheese and some animal crackers.

Back away slowly or I hide the keys.

Deets on Small Fry’s latest creation:

– Coat (mommy’s only contribution to the outfit): Old Navy
– Pink stripey pants: Gap outlet
– Yellow guitar tee (hidden): Nice Shirt Kid
– Kicks: Stride Rite
– Froggy hair clip: Gymboree outlet

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