Friday goodies

07/30/2010 at 3:46 pm | Posted in just plain fun | Leave a comment

It’s Friday!


Small Fry are in the mountains today, hanging on the farm with Nana and Bobby. We’ve had quite an adventure already, pulling off the side of the road to dip our toes into the New River!

Also, much to Small Fry’s delight: lots of cow and horse spotting. And to mommy’s delight: homemade biscuits for breakfast. Mmmm.

Taking inspiration from some of my favorite blogs like this one and this one, I thought I’d share a few fun things I came across on the interwebs this week.

Some goodies for you!

Here goes:

– Reason #562 why I love Twitter: discoveries like this one. Check out this breathtaking art created by a mama with an incredible imagination:

– I love this idea of edible finger-painting

– How about a bacon-tini this weekend? Because “meat gives a cocktail a certain unique flavor that nothing else can give.” (thanks, Merranie, for the link)

– Clinton Kelly would approve this funky site, all about how to be fabulous on a budget

– I’m still catching up on videos from the brilliant Old Spice guy YouTube campaign

– And this rebuttal? HILARIOUS.

– I hung out over at adventuroo yesterday, sharing the story of wee little baby Small Fry’s first trip to the beach. It was MAGIC.

I’m hoping to spend the better part of my weekend getting ready for BlogHer and my big trip to NYC. You know, shaving my legs and figuring out how to cram 160 outfit choices into one carry-on bag. I am SO excited/nervous/jittery/spazzy that I can hardly sleep. Poor Marc.

Hope you have a super swell weekend!


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You Capture: play

07/29/2010 at 11:09 am | Posted in About town, Small Fry, snap happy | 12 Comments
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It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the You Capture photo challenge. I’ve missed it!

This week’s theme is: play.

Which I thought would be so fun, given that I live with a toddler who LOVES to play. Inside, outside, in her crib.

Easy peasy, right?

Not so much.

The last week in North Carolina has been H-O-T. Like, 100-degree temps for several days in a row. Our cold front? Down to 90. Brrrrrr.

Needless to say, we’ve slowed down. Even when we’re inside basking in the air conditioning, life just moves slower when the heat is this thick.

So we decided to get out of the house for a Saturday night Durham Bulls baseball game. Since it’s too hot for us to play, why not watch others do it?

I love going to these games. Mostly for the food. And the beer. And the strolling around the lovely American Tobacco Campus.

Here is Small Fry getting a good laugh out of her grandmother. I can’t tell you how much I love this shot, from Bebe’s guffaw to Small Fry’s knowing look (as in “I know how dang cute and funny I am”).

And here she is peering out over the “river” that flows through the middle of all that concrete. Love how the camera caught her eyes.

This one’s a little dark, but that’s a good thing because it means we were sitting in the shade. Thank goodness. Temps reached 101 degrees that day.

I think it’s neat how Small Fry’s program is folded to reveal “play ball.”

We all took turns fanning Small Fry. The heat sapped her energy, and I got a little nervous about it. Lethargy is a scary word, especially when it involves your child. I was ready to pack us up and head home after just two innings. But after a brief respite on her dad’s lap, lots of fanning (thanks, Ann) and LOTS of lemonade, she totally perked up.

Also, taking off her shirt really helped.

How I wished I was two years old that evening, so that I could peel off my top and bra-turned-tourniquet!

To see more interpretations of “play” through different lenses, check out I Should Be Folding Laundry today!


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Happiness is: a journal for my baby

07/28/2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Happiness is, Small Fry | 10 Comments
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The day we brought Small Fry home from the hospital, I started writing stuff down. It was part coping mechanism, but mostly I wanted to capture every single thing about her.

The best way I know how is to write.

I’ve kept a journal on and off since I was about 10. I still have that very first diary, with it’s purple striped pages and faux gold lock. With entries like, “Mommy cleaned my ears today.” and “Hot dogs at school – yeah!” written in my big bubble handwriting, I will always treasure that book.

Keeping a journal for newborn Small Fry was a no-brainer. Sometimes I only wrote two sentences a week. Or in my anxiety-ridden state, I’d document every single thing I ate for five straight days in an attempt to figure out WHY WON’T SHE STOP CRYING? That little book also holds the good stuff, like her first smile. And the time I discovered her sleeping on her belly for the first time.

I tore through that little 3-inch-by-5-inch baby book in no time, so I bought a bigger one. With polka dots, of course.

I fill it with letters to my daughter, little notes about the funny things she says, when her first teeth appeared. It also has some of her scribblings, from lazy mornings when we’re lying in bed together. And also a couple of desperate letters of apology written frantically as I sat outside her door listening to her cry herself to sleep.

This book means the world to me. And I hope someday it will mean the world to Small Fry.

Big-girl bike

07/27/2010 at 2:25 pm | Posted in just plain fun, Small Fry, snap happy | 13 Comments
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Look who’s big enough for her very own bike!

Well, it’s technically a tricycle. But we won’t tell her that.

Small Fry was sooooo excited about her new big-girl bike that she insisted on helping Marc put it together. It was one of those awesome moments that I never want to forget, so I took twenty bajillion pictures. And I’m going to post them all here! Lucky you.

No really. I wouldn’t do that to you guys. But I will post enough to cross the line over into obnoxious mommy territory. I just can’t resist.

My little baby is all grows up!


She especially loved these little black plastic thingies and held them tight until her daddy needed them. Which he never did. But he assures me that the bike will not fall apart.

So Small Fry keeps them in her little bike trunk, and they roll with her around the cul-de-sac.

FINALLY after about 600 pictures of the bike-building process (and mommy getting in the way a few times — just a little bit), the time had arrived to wheel the shiny new big-girl bike outside for a test ride.

Small Fry felt very big and important strapping on her new helmet. I just kept thinking, it will save her head if she falls … it will save her head if she falls … deep breaths … do we have any wine? …

At last the big moment!

TA-TAAAA! (as Small Fry says)

Marc and I took turns trying to show her how her feet work on the pedals. In other words, trying to convince our kid that no, you can’t just sit and expect the bike to move. You gotta work for it, girlfriend.

She was ecstatic! Just look at that grin.

I think her favorite part of the whole thing was the little bell on the handlebars. This is one of the all-time BEST things about having a child: seeing how simple things really do bring so much JOY. She reminds me of this every single day, whether it’s a bicycle bell or a grilled-cheese sandwich. There’s a lot of happiness around. You just have to open your eyes.

Alas, the black plastic thingies in the trunk needed some attention. So she parked on the curb and rescued her “toys” from the back of the bike.

Then she spent the rest of our afternoon outside together pushing the bike like mommy and daddy.

She’s a BIG GIRL, after all.




::really, where’s the wine?::


07/26/2010 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 4 Comments

I take so many photos, it’s easy for me to forget what I’ve saved to the computer. Really, it’s easy for me to forget pretty much EVERYTHING. I think my short-term memory is on vacation somewhere far, far away. If I don’t write a thought down the very moment it sprints across my brain, I can all but guarantee that it will disappear forever. Or until, you know, three in the morning when I fumble for my bedside notepad and scribble it down in the dark. Which inevitably wakes the hubs and the dog. So I figured I should share this photo of Small Fry right now so that everyone can sleep tonight.

Swell Stuff {uff da! designs}

07/26/2010 at 11:33 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | 9 Comments
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Meet Poppy!

Isn’t she a cutie?

Poppy is the lovely daughter of my bloggy pal Emily Bilbrey. Emily writes last train to pooksville and just started her very own Etsy shop, Uff Da! Designs.

Poppy also happens to be modeling the jumper that we just gave baby O for her first birthday.

I also couldn’t help ordering this little number, too:

Because every dress needs an adorable matching hair clip, right?

I had just begun my Etsy search for the perfect gift for baby O when Emily announced her shop opening. Serendipity! Before I knew it, these lovelies had arrived in the mail, with a sweet hand-written note and cute Uff Da! sticker.

The hard part was waiting until O’s birthday to give this gift. I almost caved twice.

Something you should know about me: I love giving gifts more than receiving them. Serious! You can’t beat the feeling.

Emily’s work is fantastic. The dress is well constructed and lined in a super-soft material. What I love best (besides the funky vintage fabric) is that the dress is designed to grow into. So baby O can wear it by itself during the summer, then later with sleeves over jeans or leggings when the weather turns cool.

The gift that keeps on giving!

Hope you get a chance to check out Emily’s darling shop, where the adorable Poppy presides. And her blog might inspire you to create your own mini-duds, with posts like this cool sweater upcycle project. She makes it seem easy for even the un-craftiest of us (ME).


You know what would make this Monday more bearable? A vote from you! Thanks, friends!
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In love with the new NCMA

07/23/2010 at 10:26 pm | Posted in About town, snap happy | 8 Comments
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I can’t believe it’s taken me three months to check out the new North Carolina Museum of Art.

It’s stunning.

And a little weird. In a good way.

When you drive up, it looks like a futuristic cluster of giant metal boxes. But what you can’t tell from the outside is that most of the walls are actually windows. The place is flooded with natural light from just about every possible angle, and it’s really beautiful.

I also can’t believe that I forgot to bring my camera.

It’s the one thing (besides my child) that usually comes with me everywhere, and I leave it at home. So these collages are brought to you by my phone. And picnik. I heart picnik.

My favorite part of the museum is the Rodin sculpture garden. Small Fry loved the reflecting pool and got a kick out of watching dragonflies hover over the lily pads.

But since it was about eleventy bajillion degrees here today, and we had a sleepy toddler and hungry infant in tow, we didn’t stay long.

On our way out we caught our reflections overhead, and I snapped off a quick shot. Small Fry was enthralled and kept waving “hi” to everyone, neck craned, as if we weren’t standing right there beside her. And check out baby O’s face in that stroller shot. Looks a little skeptical of her cousin behind the wheel. Love it.

And new Museum of Art, I love you. Can’t wait to go back.


07/22/2010 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | Leave a comment
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Sometimes all a girl wants to do is get into her little red car and drive a couple of laps around the cul-de-sac, Fred Flintstone style.

With a refreshing beverage in the trunk, of course.

The feeling of summer

07/22/2010 at 3:22 pm | Posted in PPD | 2 Comments
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I’m on break in a conference right now, about to give my THIRD hour-and-a-half long workshop of  the day (brain = fried). We have 30 minutes, so of course I hopped on Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world.

Boy am I glad I did.

Katherine over at Postpartum Progress and Beth Anne from The Heir to Blair both tweeted about a wonderful, painful, BEAUTIFUL essay about postpartum depression written by the actress Bryce Dallas Howard on GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s site.

I finished it a few minutes ago and still have goosebumps on my arms.

I’m sharing it here in case there is anyone reading this blog who might be suffering in silence. And because even if you’ve never experienced PPD or given birth, you will love this essay.



07/21/2010 at 11:34 am | Posted in family, just plain fun, Love, snap happy | 10 Comments
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Dear Baby O,

Happy birthday! We can’t believe you are one whole year old.

It seems like just yesterday that your crazy aunt was flying down the beltline at 4 in the morning to meet my brand-new and very first niece. I will never forget the first time I saw your face. Such beauty!

I fell in love instantly. Especially with your little squished nose.

We had big fun at your birthday party over the weekend! Especially Small Fry. She is still talking about the yummy lemon cupcakes that Nonna made.

You are SO loved, sweet girl.

Kisses and big hugs!

Aunt Suzanne, Uncle Marc and Small Fry

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