Friday, July 24, 2015

our boston summer 'bucket' list!

This is our last summer in the Boston area, and we aim to squeeze it dry of every last drop of goodness. I made a Boston "bucket list" (Chris hates that term, because ' we're not dying!', so it's not really a "bucket list", but whatever) and we've been hitting most of the items on the list at a pretty good rate. I thought I'd share it here for those of you who might be visiting, or who just need a few fresh ideas for this weekend. 

The Greenway Carousel

Play on the Esplanade Playspace- We pass this playground on the Charles River every week on our way to church, and we finally got a chance to explore a few weeks ago. With a zipline, several climbing structures, a two story tube slide, and other fun unexpected playground features, it was just as much fun for us as it was for Silas (uh, maybe more so?) There are lots of other playgrounds and parks along the Esplanade that we plan on hitting later this summer. 

Watch a Shakespeare on the Common play- We did this a few years ago before we lived here, and it was so fun. Of course, that was pre-kids, and we haven't braved it with kids yet, but I think we're ready this summer. It just started up this week, so we may go this weekend! 

Watch a Free Friday Flicks kids movie at the Hatchshell- Haven't done this yet either. None of the movies really look interesting enough for us to keep the kids out hours past bedtime, so we'll see about this one. 

Splash in the Rose Kennedy Greenway splash parks- I think we've hit most of them this summer, and our favorite is Rings Fountain and North Canal. Silas jumps right in and I think it's his favorite part of the city. In fact, the whole Greenway is pretty amazing-- beautiful gardens, plenty of adirondack chairs to lounge in, food trucks galore, and even a handful of really gorgeous hammocks. 

Ride the Greenway Carousel- This carousel is like none I've ever seen. It's absolutely beautiful, featuring creatures native to Massachusetts, and plays really fun music. Silas' favorite animals to ride are the bunny rabbits and the blue whale. 

Take a ferry out to the Boston Harbor Islands- We've done this many times since we moved here two years ago. You can read more about our experiences in this post here. Definitely a great thing to do with kids. Our favorite island is George's Island, where there is an old Civil War era fort and lots of space to explore. There's also a decent restaurant and plenty of picnic tables for bringing your own lunch. 

Take a Boston Duck Tour (again)- We did this the first summer we lived here, and it was totally worth it. So much good info about Boston, and super fun (I was SURE it was gonna be majorly cheesy, but it wasn't at all.). We hope to do it again now that Silas is older and he gets excited every time he sees a Duck boat around town. 

Picnic at Copley Square Farmer's Market- We did this with some friends recently. There is a stand with awesome sandwiches (I got a prosciutto, mozzarella and pesto on ciabatta), and definitely snag a jar of the maple mint tea! 

Date night at Empire- Located in the Seaport District, this is one of our very favorite restaurants in Boston, and I crave it constantly. It's a hip spot with an aaaah-mazing menu. The Thai scallop soup is to DIE for, as is pretty much everything else they offer. 

Hike in the Blue Hills Reservation-- We hike here often and it's a great spot for easy, family-friendly hikes. Great views of the city and easy to get to from 93 South. 

Get lunch from Dino's in the North End-- Our friends recommended this little family-owned deli to us recently and we hit them up when my sister visited recently. Amazing sandwiches, fabulous pasta-- perfect for grabbing and sitting at the North Canal splash park while your littles play! 

Get breakfast from Bagelsaurus in Porter Square-- I've heard this place is amazing, but we haven't had a chance to eat there yet! I mean, they have a peanut butter and bacon sandwich, so yeah, I'm sold. 

So that's our "bucket" list, or summer list, or whatever you want to call it. I realized as I typed it up that we really don't have much left to check off. We still haven't made it to many museums, but I think we'll save those for cooler weather. 

Copley Square Farmer's Market

Exploring on George's Island

Cheesing on the Greenway Carousel
Hiking at the Blue Hills Reservation with Boston in the background

Thursday, July 23, 2015

delia's nursery tour!

Back in January, I got an email from an editor at Pregnancy and Newborn magazine. She told me that she had found me via Instagram and that she'd love to feature Delia's nursery in the upcoming July issue. I just about burst from excitement after reading her email, and shot her a note back right away saying , "YES! We'd love that!" The next thing I did was to text my friend, Ruth, and ask her if she'd be willing to take some pictures of the nursery for me. She agreed, and came over the next week to snap some pictures. 

The pictures she took are so bright and airy- I just love Ruth's shooting style. And if you grab a July issue of Pregnancy and Newborn, you can see her photos and Delia's nursery in print! 

You can see the original inspiration board for D's room in this post here, and I think it turned out pretty close to the inspiration! I didn't want a room that was so girly or babyish that it couldn't transition into other uses. I also am not a big fan of nurseries that are so crowded with art, toys and decor that your mind can't rest. My goal was to keep it simple, colorful and playful. 

We did a few DIYs for her room-- a few paintings, the fabric garland behind her bed, and the IKEA rocker. We used this tutorial to change the IKEA wingback chair into a rocker. Chris actually put it together while I was still in the hospital after Delia's birth, and created a pretty little nursing nook for us in our bedroom. It was a sweet moment coming home to find he had been working behind the scenes to create that for us. 

One of my favorite parts of the room is the abstract painting I created before Delia was born. It was one of my first attempts at abstract, and I was so surprised that it turn out the way it did. There was something so sacred, almost, about painting for that sweet unborn babe. I hope she loves it for years to come-- I can see it hanging above her toddler bed, or even in her dorm room in college. 

A few people have asked me about the rug in her room. It's the same one that is in our back screened-in porch--I bought it again for her room because I love it so much. Not only is it gorgeously vibrant, but it's soft enough to play on without having a high pile that attracts all kinds of dust and dirt. Also, it's completely affordable, which is hard to find with a great rug! 

These pictures are from back in February, so obviously Delia has grown quite a bit, and the room has changed just slightly. I moved that teal mirror over to the wall behind the chair, and added a few Instagram prints from Artifact Uprising of Delia and her daddy and brother. You can see that set up on Instagram here. Other than that, it's all stayed pretty much the same, and we love how bright and happy her space is. 

Photography by: Ruth Eileen Photography

Sources: wingback chair:: IKEA // round pillow:: Urban Outfitters // patterned pillow:: Ash + Anchor // quilt :: Kirtley Michelle // white table:: Target // painting:: me // "delia" hoop:: Merriweather Council // kraft "d" (painted gold by me):: Land of Nod // "Let Your Light Shine" print:: Linen + Ink// "Amen" print:: Lara Casey // "I love you more" painting:: me // wire basket (painted gold by me) :: TJ Maxx // headband hanger:: IKEA // various headbands from ElliaMay Designs, Vivie + Ash, Lemons + Lace // pink + gold polka dot dress:: SallySarah Design // changing pad cover:: Land of Nod //dresser:: IKEA// knobs:: Anthropologie// rug:: RugsUSA // ottoman:: Target // sheepskin:: IKEA // striped basket:: HomeGoods// blanket:: Luck and Lollie:: teal mirror:: HomeGoods

Monday, July 6, 2015

shop's open!

Just popping in real quick to let you know that my pop-up shop is now open for business! Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

for the chronically indecisive and almost legally blind: a david kind review

I donned my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade. I still remember picking out that first pair-a lovely shade of lavender. They're tucked away in storage somewhere-- well worn and a little bit bent from many days on the playground, reading stacks and stacks of books, and falling asleep in them occasionally. I've owned countless pairs of glasses over the years, as my prescription and style have both changed. So, me and glasses have a pretty long history together.

My prescription is pretty severe and if I'm not wearing glasses or contacts, I can't see anything more than three feet from my face. Glasses aren't just a hipster fashion statement over here. They are ridiculously necessary for me not to spend my days bumping into walls and tripping down stairs. Or kissing strange men. I dream of the day when I can get laser surgery and be rid of glasses and contacts altogether. But until then, I'm so thankful for the modern innovations we have at our hands (er, eyes?) these days.

 So that's why I was super stoked when David Kind reached out to ask if I'd be interested in a review. They're a company that has been on my radar for awhile, and I'm sure you've seen them too.

 For a chronically indecisive person such as myself, their free home try-on kit is a genius idea. They have some really gorgeous frames to choose from-- unique and colorful, to classic and neutral. I got to choose a few frames that I thought I'd like to try, and my David Kind stylist, Laura chose a few. They arrived in a beautiful box, and I spent six days wearing them around the house, consulting my in-home stylists (Silas and Chris), and debating which pairs worked best for my lifestyle and face. No hemming and hawing in front of walls and walls of frames. Plenty of time to poll Instagram and change my mind a dozen times.

 I was really impressed with the quality of frames, and especially blown away by the attention by the David Kind team. I just got an email saying that the frames I chose shipped last night with my prescription lenses, and I can't wait to show you which ones made the cut.

PS. How hilarious is Silas in those frames? He was hamming it up that day and cracking me up!

Monday, June 29, 2015

hello hue pop-up shop!

This past winter, I decided to close my Etsy shop for the foreseeable future. After some time adjusting to life with two littles, it was time to let some things go in order to focus better on Silas and Delia. Keeping the shop open was making me more anxious than anything--I constantly felt obligated to update the shop with fresh listings, come up with new product ideas, and of course, get ordered packaged and shipped in time. I was only getting a few orders a week, so all that stress and work wasn't really worth it for me. The artwork part of it ceased being fun for me, and so, I closed up shop.

I haven't regretted it once, and all the extra time I've gained from closing the shop has allowed me the freedom to get into my studio just to paint and play around. I got to experiment with different things I've always wanted to try, and in the meantime I discovered a style that felt more like "me" than anything I've ever painted before. Bright, colorful, free abstracts.

But as much as I've enjoyed painting just for painting's sake, I have missed sending my art out to live on your walls. So, I'm trying something new.

On July 6th (one week from today!), I'll be opening up a new shop on BigCartel, which will be open for five days only. There will be a limited number of original works-- all acrylic on canvas.  I'll also have a small number of hand-painted necklaces on mahogany pendants in the same style. There will also be two custom spots-- where you can choose your colors and canvas size, and I'll create a piece just for you.

I'm so excited for this, and I hope it's successful. If it is, I plan to do another shop in a few months. Keep an eye out for the shop link in the next few days, and be sure to follow on Instagram for sneak peeks all through the week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

delia's newborn session with Ruth Eileen Photography

When Delia was about six weeks old, my dear friend, Ruth, came to take some photos of our family. I've never gotten around to sharing them here, but I figure while I'm on a blogging roll, I might as well share some of my favorites. I love all the tiny in-between moments that Ruth caught. It's unbelievable how tiny D was-- her itty-bitty chicken legs, and little button nose! She just turned 9 months yesterday and it seems like the past half-year has gone by in a blur. How are we almost to her first birthday?!

photos by Ruth Eileen Photography

Friday, June 19, 2015

leather and braids.

I don't know who this crazy girl is who is now posting her third blog post for the week, but I think I like her. I guess when the blogging bug bites, it bites hard.

Yesterday, I shared about how I simplified my wardrobe, and that means that I'm getting a lot more use out of my wardrobe basics. Sometimes that can mean a pretty plain outfit unless I take the time to add some fun details. Today I want to chat about two ways that I am adding interest to my style this summer.

Braids are 'having a moment', if you will, and if you search Pinterest, you can find all kinds of ridiculously detailed hairstyles. For a long time, I was convinced that this trend wouldn't work for me because of my short hair. But, this summer, I made it my goal to learn to braid and incorporate it into my hairstyles more often. I just did a few Pinterest searches and found tutorials and ideas that worked for my hair. It's a little tricky with my short layers, but bobby pins save the day. I love how this style keeps my hair out of my face (ideal for diaper changes and toddler wrangling), but looks pulled together at the same time.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've witnessed my love for Nickel + Suede.  I got my first pair of these lightweight leather earrings as a Christmas gift from Chris this past year and I've been hooked ever since. I find myself wearing them around the house during the day, and forgetting that I'm even wearing them. As I'm more drawn to basics in my wardrobe this season, it's been fun to add a little glamour with Nickel + Suede's jewelry. This summer, I'm excited to be their very first brand ambassador!

Today, Nickel + Suede is celebrating their one year birthday! To celebrate, Kilee is releasing a brand new earring design- the Accent Leather earring! They're available in gold and silver leather (I'm wearing gold!). Head over to my Instagram for a chance to win two pairs of earrings of your choice. Pretty much the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

what i'm wearing:: top:: madewell // denim:: american eagle // earrings:: c/o nickel and suede // leather fringe cuff:: c/o nickel and suede // shoes:: target