Monday, November 24, 2014

Project 333: Fall/Winter 2014 Wardrobe

As promised many weeks ago, here are my selections for PROJECT 333. I was able to narrow my fall/winter wardrobe down to 30 items. If you'll recall the rules of the challenge require you to have no more than 33 items for 3 months, so I've done a pretty good job of narrowing things down. I like that I have  room to purchase a few new (to me) items should the occasion arise. At first, I felt daunted by the task, but in the end it turned out to be not too hard. Plus, I can't tell you how absolutely great it feels to have a manageable wardrobe. I can easily fit all my clothes into two drawers and a small amount of closet space.....yay! From time to time I may update you on how I'm mixing and matching things to keep myself on track. What about you? Have you ever taken on simplifying your wardrobe?

This camel Ralph Lauren shirt is great. I thrifted it for only $6 (original price $295!). They are well made from very high-end cotton, and come in a variety of colors. If you want one you can find them heavily discounted on Ebay HERE.

This Talbots blazer is another $6 thrift find. I like it because it's a very versatile piece.

Anthropologie skirt $12 Ebay.

The two black purses were also great thrift finds at just a few bucks each.

I normally am not a hat person, but I'm trying to dress a little outside my comfort zone. For $3 a hat I figure I can afford to experiment.

I think this cashmere scarf is very pretty, plus it's super warm ($5).

New (to me) leather gloves $2.

"Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” ~Yves Saint Laurent

Friday, November 14, 2014

Around Town: The Book Thing (FREE!)

One of my favorite Baltimore institutions hands down is THE BOOK THING. It's a wonderful concept that grew out of the hearts and minds of residents seeking to encourage more reading. The Book Thing is a non-profit that offers free books to all. You read that right, free books to all! It's sort of like a library with no due date. The store runs on the kindness of volunteers and donations made by the public.

Over the past year I've been a frequent patron and donator. I've used it to build an awesome free home library for the baby. Every time I visit I find at least one book or magazine that peeks my interest.

It would be an absolute shame to not check this place out. Be sure to bring your kiddos, they'll love it.

“Books are what you step on to take you to a higher shelf. The higher your stack of books, the higher the shelf you can reach. Want to reach higher? Stack some more books under your feet! Reading is what brings us to new knowledge. It opens new doors. It helps us understand mysteries. It lets us hear from successful people. Reading is what takes us down the road in our journey. Everything you need for a better future and success has already been written.”  ― Jim Rohn

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What I Learned in October

1. Almond milk is a great sleep aide

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers GAM, I decided to try some almond milk recently. I drank it warm and it was very tasty. Not only that, but I learned it's a great natural sleep aide. I slept like a baby after one cup.

2. New babies are a LOT of work

It really helps to have an active and supportive partner. I don't know what I would do without the hubs, or as I now call him these days  "Mr. Changes Poopy Diapers". Teamwork is a must!

3. Rasberry Leaf Tea and Prenatal Yoga work wonders

Both worked in tandem to prepare me for a quick and successful labor. I had my daughter in 2 hours and 14 mins. Rasberry leaf tea also helps to supply mothers with milk post-partum.

4. Sometimes it's OK to take it easy

Things have been so very hectic in my life this month. I have been attempting to do it all....keep a clean home, run errands, be there for the baby, cook, play hostess, and snap back to my old self among other things. All of this has back fired, and really shown me that sometimes you have to take it easy, and right after birth is one of those times. It's OK to delay doing dishes, sweeping, combing your hair, etc. I've learned the importance of just resting right now, when possible. And after much trepidation, I decided to hire a cleaning service the other day. I must say, it feels sooooo good to have things tidy now and have more time for the baby. I might keep them around for a few months :-)

5. Kindness abounds

Over the past month our new little family has been shown so much kindness, from family and friends who've cooked and brought us meals, to loved ones who've generously showered us with unexpected baby gifts. We were even given the gift of a handmade baby hat from a stranger. I've been truly floored by the extent to which kindness exists in our lives, we are very lucky.

What did you learn last month?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Baby Z and I wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween! Enjoy yourselves :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

In the Kitchen: Apple Parmesan Salad

These days almost all my time is spent caring for Baby Z and sleeping. This means I have no time for intricate meals, but that doesn't mean my food shouldn't be tasty. In comes this delicious recipe partially concocted by my mom. It's healthy and soooooo good. Here's what you'll need to create it:
  • Spinach
  • Diced granny apple marinated in red wine vinaigrette dressing for at least 2 hours
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Red wine vinaigrette dressing (if this is a little tart add a little extra sugar and some grenadine syrup to it)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sale Alert & Free Stuff!

Hello fellow Baltimoreans. I thought I'd share a few sales and upcoming free things with you. This weekend TOTSWAP a children's consignment pop-up shop is in Timonium at the state fair grounds. They have good deals on baby and kids clothing, as well as baby equipment. Also, This month BGE is hosting FREE FALL BALTIMORE. A month long event featuring FREE entertainment for both adults and kids (I'm kinda late posting about this sorry). Lastly, next weekend with be the first annual VEGAN SOUL FESTIVAL, sponsored by local restaurant LAND OF KUSH. The event will feature free food and admission, as well as healthy eating cooking classes. Have a lovely weekend folks!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Around Town: David's on the Avenue

DAVID'S ON THE AVENUE is a consignment shop that represents quintessential Baltimore. It's charming, a little quirky, affordable, and filled with several hidden gems. The furniture selection ranges in era greatly. They have everything from Victorian to Mid-century Modern. I think they're a great place to look if you're hunting for a strong statement piece that won't break the budget. Don't let the shabby outside of the building fool you. This place is definitely worth going into......again and again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Letter to Baby Z (#1)

Dear Baby Z,

Thank you for putting up with us while we forced you to play dress up and take a million pictures the other day. We know you are a person and not a doll, and that you probably had better things to do that day, like lay on mommy's chest. From the looks of a few of your pictures you did not have the greatest time during our little photo shoot. We apologize for putting you through it, it's just that grandparents and other loved ones are suckers for this sort of thing and we hope to appease them from time to time. We promise we won't let it happen too often. We love you, even if you may have felt like we didn't as we forced your little body into this outfit. Please forgive us.

Mum and Dad

Monday, October 13, 2014

Craftsman Bungalows

If you can't already tell I'm a huge fan of craftsman style bungalows. Craftsman homes were primarily built from 1905 to 1930, making many of today's bungalows at least 100 years old. This style of house grew out of the broader Arts and Crafts Movement, an attempt by artisans to bring simplicity and design integrity back into the mainstream. The movement rejected prevailing trends of the day that centered around heavy ornateness and mass produced cheaply made homes. It emphasized the importance of structural integrity, beauty, function, and making things by hand.

Here in Baltimore there are multiple neighborhoods that feature craftsman homes, Lake Walker of course being one of them.

Across the nation we are seeing a resurgence in the popularity of these homes amongst many buyers who value quality over quantity. Though typically much smaller than newly built suburban homes, craftsman bungalows offer a level of workmanship uncommon in the new homes of today. Because of this, many homeowners and developers are purchasing and restoring these older homes.

Figuring out how to improve a historic property, while keeping its integrity and character can sometimes be difficult. So I’ve decided to write a series about how to best do this, and where you can find helpful resources. For those of you who have an interest in restoring bungalows, stay tuned for more!

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort." ~John Ruskin

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Greatest Push Gift in the World!

Introducing.......Baby Z. Isn't she lovely :-)

"I thank you for choosin' me to come through unto life to be, a beautiful reflection of his grace. See I know that a gift so great is only one God could create and I'm reminded every time I see your face, that the joy of my world is in Zion." ~Lauryn Hill