It's been a few weeks since Gigi and I went to San Diego to welcome baby Lucia into the world. Over the years, pregnancy and newborn sessions have become my favorite to shoot. They always feel so precious and fleeting. After becoming a mom and experiencing the miracle of it all (I know that sounds cheesy but it is an absolute miracle) I find it even more fulfilling. When Steph asked me to come down and capture Lucia's fist days I was thrilled! Really, if you think about it, you are being invited into a home during a few very special days. Over the few years of photographing this family, I have developed a really nice friendship with them but being in there home, sharing this experience with them has truly made me fall in love with this family. Steph and Andy are inspiring parents, Harrison is an incredibly fun boy and Lucia is as sweet as can be. I am really proud of these photos and wanted to share them with you. These photographs capture days three, four, and five of Lucia's life.
- September 02, 2011
Ok... the day has arrived. Kyle's Dad is here and we are prepping to tear out the kitchen and tear up the flooring. Holy crap. I'm very excited and very nervous. We are not going to have a kitchen for a whole month! The plan is to chip away at the flooring over the next couple of weeks but the kitchen will be done the last week of the month. Normally I associate the start of fall with the return of cozy cooking and lots-o-eating but it will have to wait until next month for us. Cooking is my stress relief too so it should prove to be a slightly challenging month. That being said, I feel so fortunate that we have the opportunity (and the in-laws) to help us fund and do this project. It really comes down to making our house a home. I love to cook (obviously) and having a open, functional, inviting kitchen will make me beyond happy! Over the next few weeks I will share our plans, the inspiration, the work-in-progress and the ups and downs as we take on our first remodel! Here's a few photos of the kitchen before to get you started...
The issues we've had with the kitchen are:
1) The upper cabinets stick out really far and were mounted low so there's very little counter-space to work.
2) No extraction fan which makes the kitchen smoky and grimy.
3) The range is really cheap and doesn't work well, has poor temperature control and the broiler is in the bottom drawer.
4) Speaking of drawers... this kitchen has one normal drawer and a few squat/small ones. Must add drawers.
5) The "fridge cave" serves no purpose, closes up the room and takes up lots of floor space.
6) The cabinet that juts out is just in the way! The counter is the only usable countertop but it's too high to use easily.
See how closed up it all is? Danelle came over on Tuesday and helped me pack everything up! Kyle's Dad is now starting to cap off outlets and unmount the cabinets! We are taking everything to a rebuild center so hopefully it will find a new home!
Okay, I've got to go help now! We are also working on finishing the patio. Wish us luck!
Oh and on a side note, I'm not going to be posting September Menus. I'll have a really good one for you in October but I'm not going to be cooking much this month! If you need some ideas look at the past menus!
- September 05, 2011
On Friday Kyle's Dad got to work taking out all the cabinets. Kyle had to work through the night on Thursday so when he got home on Friday he tried to get some sleep while Dave worked and I took care of Gigi and moved our kitchen into the coat closet!
Then we took out the fridge cave. THAT was fun. Even Gigi helped...
The wrecking crew.
On Saturday Kyle was totally rested and ready to work with his Pops. I loaded G up and went somewhere baby-safe since there were going to be tearing up all the flooring. They moved out the debris and tore up all the carpeting and tile and took out the rest of the "fridge cave".
The rebuild began. The boys had to move the electrical around a bit and move the water pipe that was connected to the fridge. They also cut out the rest of the wood and framed in where the new wall was going to go! At the end of the day it looked like this!
Now it's Monday (Happy Labor Day) and Kyle is back at work. Dave is spending the morning putting up the new drywall before he heads home. Over the next couple of weeks Kyle and I will be cleaning, painting and putting together our cabinets! My main project for the day is getting the house in order. Right now it looks pretty scary.
There is so much to clean up and organize. We will get the stove put back in place so we have somewhere to cook and I want to get everything in functioning order so we can go about our days and work in a somewhat "normal" fashion. I'd also like to go get some paint for the living room and dining room, lots of painters tape and wall cleaner so we can start prepping to paint! Oh, and order our appliances! There's plenty of work to be done. For the next few weeks I'll post an update on the kitchen and our work each Monday so you can see the progress! This is so much fun! It's amazing to see how much can get accomplished with two handy-men.
- September 07, 2011
A couple weeks back Poppy and I decided to make Gigi some Tag Blankies since her favorite thing about her favorite toys had become the tags on them. We used my Simple Sewing for Baby book and it couldn't have been any easier! If you are an avid (or even mediocre) sewer you probably don't even need this book although I totally recommend it! Also, I'm sure there are easy patterns online. It was such a great project to do with Poppy and it only took a couple of hours. The pattern in the book makes one but I made two. One for the diaper bag and one for home.
We picked out our ribbon and cut it into the right lengths.
Cut out the (washed and dried) fabric.
Pinned everything in place and sewed it together.
Presented it to Gigi! She loves it!
- September 08, 2011
Olympic Provisions is an amazing restaurant, charcuterie and wine bar in Portland, OR. As a charcuterie they cure their own meats and, let me tell you, there meats are amazing! The serve up delicate european style lunch and dinner plates. It's definitely a bit of a splurge to eat here but it's so worth it! Their plates are always unique and delicious and their menu has been a bit different every time I've been. Apart from having amazing food, Olympic Provisions is also a big part of my kitchen inspiration. We are doing an Ikea kitchen but I want to dress it up with old, industrial, Euro style accents and that's where Olympic Provisions comes in.
I just have to convice Kyle the that kitchen "accessories" are just as important as the rest of it!
- September 09, 2011
Signs that you are getting older. First of all, having to get my eyes checked in the first place was a sign. Then, when I got to the eye doctor's office, I couldn't remember how old I was. I actually had to get out my phone and use the calculator to do the math. 2011-1983... oh duh. I'm 28. So the result of my exam is that I need glasses. All my long hours on the computer and behind the camera are adding up and I've been getting really bad headaches in the evening (after editing for hours). But, if I have to get glasses, they better be cute! I'm thinking I might need these...
And with that, I'm signing off for the weekend. I'll be back on Monday with updates on the kitchen remodel! Although I'm not sure how much will get done. I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow and an event on Sunday evening and Gigi is moments away from crawling! She has figured out how to wiggle and spin across the room. With no flooring in place that means a lot of "baby relocation" happening. In the time it took me to write up this little post, G has put my eyeglass prescription, my gladiator sandals, Kyle's mouse, my CF card reader, my slipper and the corner of my laptop in her mouth. Oops and she doesn't have a diaper on. Guess it is time to go! Have a great weekend!
- September 11, 2011
I remember so many little details of September 11th, 2001. I had just left home for college. I had only been at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for maybe 10 days and classes had just started. I was living in the small wing of a hotel off campus that served as a makeshift dorm for LMU students. I remember our phone ringing in our hotel room over and over again. Finally I threw off the covers and picked up. It was my Mom and she told me to turn on the television. Being a sheltered young girl I didn't really understand what I was seeing. World Trade Center? Terrorists? It was incredibly overwhelming. My mom had told me that everyone of a certain age can very clearly answer the question, "Where were you when JFK was assassinated?" and I remember thinking, this is our generations JFK moment. I couldn't really grasp what was happening but I was sad and terrified. I decided to walk from the hotel to campus and to go to the gym since all of our classes were cancelled and I needed to move. It was during that walk that I began to grasp the scope of the attacks. From the hotel where I lived you could see LAX and there were constantly planes zooming low overhead but that morning it was completely silent. The Manchester Recreation Center was between the hotel and campus and it was filled, bumper to bumper with police cars. Twenty two acres of police cars and, next to each car, two policemen stood facing the airport. Both of the flights that struck the towers were on their way to LAX and they were on high alert. When I got to the gym I stood on a treadmill for an hour, along with about fifty others, just watching the televisions. No one was moving. I eventually walked back to the hotel. When I arrived I learned that two of the students that lived on my floor lost family members on those two flights. The young man lost his father and the young woman lost her grandmother. I had just met them. I can't remember their names but I remember their faces very clearly and remember watching them be escorted out of the hotel. I remember thinking, this is just my floor in my dorm and that's when I understood the effect of the terrorist attacks. The ripple effect of those attacks is still so clear ten years later. Kyle and woke up and turned on the television this morning. We were watching the ceremony for ten minutes and the whole time they were reading the names of victims whose last names started with the letter G. After ten minutes they were still on the letter G. I felt my eyes sting and tears start to roll down my cheeks. So many people, so many families and children and loved ones and lives were, and still are, affected by those attacks ten years ago. So many heroes. My heart goes out to those families and they will be in my thoughts and prayers today and always.
- September 12, 2011
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! As predicted we hardly got any work done on the house this weekend because I was shooting a wedding and an event. This morning the kitchen looks like this...
I'm going to do my best today to get things picked up and organized so we have a clean space to work in. Let me tell you, it is not easy editing photos, doing shoots, taking care of a baby, trying to keep up on doing dishes (by hand), laundry and everything else in this place! I am determined that today is the day! I'm going to get it all picked up (fingers crossed). In an attempt to convey what I hope this place will look like in a couple of weeks, here is the kitchen inspiration we used when planning the remodel.
We toyed around with all kinds of ideas and although we loved the dark kitchens, we decided that keeping it light and open would be ideal for our home and long winters! We also loved open shelving, apron sinks, lots of space, subway tile, great islands, little silly details and an all-over rustic, French country chic look. Later this week I'll share with you our exact kitchen layout!
- September 14, 2011
Lauren is a blogger, food lover, preschool teacher and stylish mama to be. She lives in Portland and I totally love her blog. After a few months of following her blog it was obvious that we had way too much in common not to meet up for a little date. It took a while to coordinate but yesterday we finally made it happen and I'm so glad we did. Lauren is completely lovely and I highly recommend that you check out her blog The Little Things We Do and her posts over on Babble on her pregnancy experience. I promise you'll find her charming, warm and super sweet. We definitely hit it off and I am happy to have her as a new friend. Here's some photos from our little date (that lasted longer than some celebrity marriages).
Grabbing coffee at Heart. Amazingly delicious coffee and I loved the style of the coffee house (I snapped the photo below to add to my kitchen inspiration folder)!
I went back on my way to the car and impulse purchased a couple of these mugs to decorate the new kitchen.
We took our coffee and headed down the block to Alder Pastry. We both got ham and gruyere croissants and shared an amazing caramel and sea salt pastry... and some macaroons. We also sampled their gelato. They have odd but amazing flavors like sesame, muscavado (raw sugar) and cardamon. Both of these spots were Lauren's recommendation and they were awesome!
Lauren holding G (above) and me and her (below). Lauren's baby girl is due just after Gigi's first birthday!
- September 15, 2011
Without further ado, here is a shot (thanks to IKEA's kitchen planning system) of exactly what our kitchen will look like when it's all finished! It's going to be so open and clean and usable! Against the wall on the right we will have three open shelves and the wall on the lefts isn't really there since that opens into our entryway. I love that the first thing you'll see when you walk into our house is the kitchen. We opted for simple, white cabinets, and wood countertops. The wood tops were so inexpensive! I couldn't imagine forking over thousands of dollars for granite and I love the way the wood looks. Warm, rustic, classic. We are going to get stainless steel appliances (except for the dishwasher which is new and is white). The fridge is white too but I think I might paint it with chalkboard paint. Has anyone tried this? We are going to white subway tile as the backsplash too. At first Kyle was reluctant to my white/black/stainless/wood kitchen but I think it's going to look elegant! Once our awesome apron sink is full of pots 'n' pans and the counters covered in cookbooks and Playdoh it will have plenty of color! I use the kitchen everyday, several times a day and I am excited to have it be the heart and center of our home. I'm compiling a collection of kitchen "accessories" to share with you tomorrow!
My goal today is to get the walls cleaned and get everything taped off and ready to paint. We are painting the main wall in our living Benjamin Moore Providence Olive:
And the rest of the walls, including the kitchen and hallway Richmond Gray:
Both of these colors look really drab and brown but they are actually quite green. I tried scanning the swatches too but they came up brown also. So you'll just have to trust me that they are really green... or I'm color blind on top of needing glasses. That's definitely a possibility too.
p.s. Anyone who wants to come over this weekend and help us paint and put cabinets together will get free beer! Seriously, we need help. Painting PAR-TAY! You know you want to spend your weekend helping us!
- September 16, 2011
Throughout the process of our kitchen remodel, which has been many months now, while we have both been working on the function and design aspects, I have also been dreaming about decor. I explained it to Kyle as, we are getting a (relatively) inexpensive kitchen but we can make it look fancier by getting quality accessories! It's the same concept that I apply to building a wardrobe. You can wear your Target tank top with some Repettos and no one will be able to tell, or care, that your tank top cost $9. As money is quite tight and we are nearing the end of our kitchen remodel budget, it looks like all of these kitchen accessories will have to wait but I can still dream and plan! Eventually the whole kitchen will come together with the help of these...
I found the wallpaper in this photo. I'm sure it's astronomically expensive so I'm going to try to create something inspired by this myself by photographing and manipulating a fork from my Grandmother's silver. Then I plan to print it and mount it onto the front of the refrigerator!
I love these oversized letters from Anthropologie. I love the idea of incorporating words into our kitchen. Perhaps "YUM" or "EAT" or something silly. These will also help pull the metal from the stove into the rest of the kitchen since all of our appliances don't match.
More words. These plates are yet another way to bring words into the kitchen. They were designed by Diane Keaton for Bed Bath and Beyond and they're only $5 each! I grabbed these mugs earlier in the week when I met up with Lauren at Heart Coffee in Portland.
This is what our hardware from Ikea looks like. Most of the options they had were super modern and bulky. These ones were sleek and a little rustic and still inexpensive.
I love anything Le Crueset and I have couple small pieces in their Caribbean color. Someday I'd love to have the whole cooking set! How amazing would that be?! These hand towels are lively and colorful and also from Anthropologie. I think adding bright, colorful pieces that get everyday use is a great way to make sure the kitchen doesn't look too sterile.
So that's it for now. I'd love your thoughts and opinions!
*Click on images for original source.
- September 19, 2011
I have to admit I was kind of dreading this weekend. Everyone always complains about what a pain painting is but it was so easy and fun and transformative! All you need is a few good friends and a few good brushes.
The Crew... (Me, Danelle, Teunis, Kyle and Gigi)
Here's how our weekend went...
Ready to paint!
On Friday morning Kyle continued drywalling and mudding and I taped off all the windows and doors throughout the house. Because of where our old wall were and our new walls are, we had to paint the whole house! Well, the hallway and the kitchen, living and dining room. After Gigi was in bed, I spent Friday evening cutting in and rolling out the first coat of paint on the front wall. Kyle got home from work a bit late and did a bit more work on the drywall before we called it quits around midnight. We got up pretty early on Saturday and got to work. I started by cutting in all the other walls while Kyle followed behind me with the roller. Before noon we were nearly done with half of the walls!
Our wonderful friends came over around 1:00 and helped us finish up the first coat! We had some snacks and a couple of beers out back on the patio while we waited for the first coat to dry. Then we headed in and rolled out the second coat. We were totally done painting by about 4:00!
Gigi doing the final inspection. Oui! C'est bon!
With our hard work done we took Danelle and Teunis out to Mexian food to thanks them.
G experiencing her first guacamole induced food coma.
It was so great to cozy up in our freshly painted room on Saturday night. We had been expecting to be painting all weekend long and we got it done in just a few hours. We celebrated by...
Making Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies...
soaking our tired dogs, sipping wine and watching The Apartment!
Sunday (now referred to as Football Day the day Kacie and G get super annoyed with these guys)...
"You guys sound so dumb! Seriously! What level of education do you have?"
...was spent cuddling, putting together cabinets and cooking. I somehow managed to make a delicious roasted chicken and potatoes despite barely having a kitchen! It felt so great to cook! Then we watched the last five minutes of the Emmy's, the last thirty minutes of The Apartment and the first hour of Coco Chanel. Apparently it was a Shirley MacLaine kinda weekend. (Kyle has to put up with my movie choices because I had to put up with these dudes).
Hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing/productive weekend! Kyle folks are coming down on Thursday or Friday and the rebuild really begins. We have our appliances ordered, the house painted, the cabinets frames assembled. Things are looking good! I can't wait for this next week. We still have a lot of work to do between now and then but it's really coming together!
- September 20, 2011
It's officially feeling like fall around here. It's crisp and cool and the evenings are perfect for making a pot of soup, curling up on the couch and watching a movie with the ones you love. Last night I made my first batch of Chicken Noodle Soup for the year. This recipe is ridiculously easy and the measurements are all in 1's. One onion, one teaspoon... I could call it #1 Chicken Soup but that would be L.A.M.E. The trick, in my opinion, is adding the celery, carrots and pasta at the right times so you don't end up with soggy soup. I also like to add the seasoning really early on so it has a chance to blend with the veggies. So, without further ado, here is my recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup
leftovers from 1 whole roasted chicken (or one whole roasted chicken breast*), cooled and shredded (skin and bones discarded)
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 quart low sodium veggie broth
1 large yellow onion
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of the following dried herbs: oregano, parsley, thyme, onion powder and garlic powder
1 pinch of the following dried herbs: nutmeg, paprika, red chili flakes
1 bag of your favorite pasta
1 teaspoon salt
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, add the onion and all of the herbs. Saute for about 7 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add in the garlic, carrots and celery. Saute for another few minutes before adding the broth and chicken. I love Trader Joe's Organic Low Sodium Broths. They are much richer than any of the other organic (or non-organic) brands. If you use a different kind you may end up needing to adjust the seasoning a bit. Bring the soup up to a nice simmer. If you are serving a lot of people, or want to make it really easy simply add about half the bag of pasta to the soup. I like to add it a bit at a time and decide how much pasta I want in my soup. When it's just for Kyle and I, I cook the pasta separately and add it to our bowls. About one handful per person is perfect. I hate when the pasta gets soggy in the soup but if you don't care you can just add it in while it's cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it up and enjoy. When you reheat the soup for leftovers you may need to add a bit more broth because the pasta absorbs a lot of it.
*If you are roasting your chicken breast for the soup. Buy a bone in, skin on breast. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub the chicken down with olive oil, salt and pepper and place it on a cookie sheet. Roast it for about 30 minutes or until the temperature in the center of the breast reaches 165 degrees. Allow is to cool before discarding the skin and bones and shredding it.
Downloadable Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup
- September 21, 2011
A few weeks ago, I photographed Gigi in my Grandma's little dress, hat and slippers. My Grandmother, Mary Jo, passed away one year ago and we all miss her so much. I was pregnant with Gigi when my Grandma passed away so getting to take her photos in this little gown was so special.
- September 23, 2011
The week of the rebuild is upon us. As I write this, Kyle's parents are on their way to our house with a van full of levels, saws and the like. We can't wait to get this house whipped back into shape. There's a lot of work to be done but we are ready and excited to get down to business. We have all of our flooring acclimating to house temp, all of our cabinets built, our walls painted (thanks again Danelle and Teunis) and we are ready to rebuild! I'll try and pop in next week for an update but in case I'm totally missing in action I have a couple of lovely guest bloggers who will be doing posts for me! With that, I'm off, into the construction zone. Hope you have a great weekend!
- September 27, 2011
I fell in love with Ana's blog, Live and Enliven, a few months back and I am always excited when I see her posts pop up in my Bloglovin' feed. She has wonderful stuff over on her site. She offers up inspiration in the form of stylish ensembles, recipes, gorgeous photos, music recommendations and DIY's. She's a woman after my own heart!
When my daughter - Emma was just a little blob of a girl I used to chose all my clothes and accessories around the facts that there was a 99% chance that I'd get baby puke on my clothes and that she would probably get distracted with my earrings and try to rip them off my ears.
I used to sit on my desk for hours doing everything a stay at home/work at home mom should do. I'd blog, design, take feeding breaks, work some more, play breaks, tummy breaks and so on... Having colorful, interesting and safe toys was a must and so was wearing things that could be licked and bitten by a toothless creature who was suffering from itching gums.
Mandy Besek's creations are equal parts artful and fun. My Emma would have loved to play around with these beauties and I would have adore wearing them.
Gywneth is now nearly nine months old and I was just telling my mother-in-law that we are in a "no jewelry phase" right now. She is grabbing and putting everything in her mouth and the idea of wearing earrings is terrifying! This post from Ana is perfectly timed! Thanks so much Ana for the guest post and for the jewelry suggestions! Please take a minute to check out Live and Enliven!
- September 28, 2011
The construction is going really well! We've hit a few little issues here and there but things are cruising along and we are pretty hopeful that we'll have it all done in a few days! Stay tuned for the big reveal.
It is Kyle's 30th birthday today! I'm so very lucky to be married to him. He is such a loving, caring father and husband. He works hard to support us in every way imaginable. He is the best. How do you wish the best husband and father on earth a happy 30th birthday? You buy the man a grill! Kyle's parents went in on it with me and Poppy and I had a blast setting up a little "hunt" for him. We wove yarn all throughout the house and yard leading into the garage where his present was waiting for him!
Poppy could barely contian her excitement.
Poor Calypso thought the yarn was for her.
Kyle got stuck carrying this hanger around since all the yarn was knotted up through it.
Happy Birthday Boy!
Happy Birthday my love.
- September 29, 2011
I have been following Lauren's blog, The Little Things We Do, for some time now but just recently got to meet this wonderful gal in person. I am counting the days until we get to get toghether again (this time for some shopping)! I hope you have had a chance to check out this fabulous, stylish, mama-to-be's blogs! She is truly awesome.
It's a complete time such and a black hole of frivolity, but I sure do love it.
Because of this, I decided to do a round up of some of the things I've pinned on Pinterest that are totally frivolous, but that I still totally love/want nonetheless. Don't judge :).
This coat from Top Shop
This incredible custom snowboarding trail map made into a quilt by Haptic Lab
This ring made of chunky gold amazingness by Fox & Squirrel x Imogen Belfield
This Ralph Lauren Collection bag from net-a-porter
These baby llamas. So cute.
A little frivolity in life is necessary I think!
P.S. Find me here:
My blog: The Little Things We Do....
My pregnancy blog: Babble's Being Pregnant
AND...of course Pinterest!
I totally love Pinterest, Lauren, that perfume bottle and tiny animals (although I'm more drawn to micro piglets)! Thanks so much to Lauren for doing a guest post for me. If anyone would like/needs an invite to Pinterest, I have a few left. Just let me know in your comment and I'll do my best to invite you! It's very addicting and way to much fun.
- September 30, 2011
Katie's Pencil Box is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite blogs. Katie's style of photography and writing is beautifully refreshing. Her adventures with her handsome man and her adorable son are so incredibly lovely. Every time I read her blog I'm inspired to throw a party, go for a walk in the rain, go fishing, get creative or just have some quiet time. I was beyond thrilled when Katie said she'd love to come by for a guest post. So here it is!
hi friends! thank you so so much to kacie for inviting me over!
i thought i would share with you one of my most favorite places to be this time of year. autumn in ohio is one of the wonders of the world, i swear it! there is color and warmth and breeze and good smells bursting out of every inch. it's really something to see.
one place that makes fall complete for me is a trip to the apple farm. we've been going every year, even before i became a mama. it makes me the happiest...anywhere where tradition meets pot belly pig petting has me all squeely! inevitably one of us leaves with a stomach ache from too many eaten apples but, let me tell you, it is absolutely worth it every single time!
It's almost harvest time here and I feel inspired to go over-do it on apples, apple cider and maybe even a little caramel. Thanks so much Katie for the lovely guest post.