Category Archives: our family

36 weeks pregnant update

Well, here we are! Last week I turned 9 months pregnant (spoiler alert – you are actually pregnant for 10 months).¬†I’m 36 1/2 weeks pregnant now and cruising right to the magical 37 weeks, which marks a full term bebe.

This was over the weekend:IMG_3202.JPG

I can’t believe that we are already so close to meeting this guy! Here are a few pictures from around our house over the past few weeks:IMG_3223.JPGIMG_3050.JPGIMG_3148.JPGIMG_3101.JPG

Gosh I look at these and think, “That is one big baby.” The doctors estimate that he is over six pounds now (great size! good job, baby!) – which was great news.

I’ve definitely had a shift these past few weeks – while I’m so, so excited for him to come and I can’t wait to meet him, I kind of feel like I need every single day until my due date. I’m not anxious for him to come early anymore…more just content for him to stay where he is so we can get some more stuff done ūüôā I think it may be easier to, ya know, demo our bathroom without a newborn. But obviously – it’s not up to me!

I was compiling a list of things that have made this final stretch a bit easier – if not to help anyone else, just to remind myself the next time around! Hopefully if you are pregnant now (which weirdly, a good portion of my friends are) or if you are Danielle in the future…this is somewhat helpful for you:

  • Frozen grapes – I got a lot of heartburn in the third trimester and these are wonderful. I was never really into them before, but now I have them every night.
  • A cocktail of moisturizers – I’ve been using Jergens Natural Glow, this Mama Mio butter, and this Honest Company Belly Balm. Unclear why I feel like I need to use all three, but I sure do.
  • Exercise – I try to do some cardio every day. It’s so hard while I’m doing it, but I think it’s made a huge difference in how I feel. I wish I could continue long walks outside, but now we basically live in Alaska and I’ll be bringing the baby home in a snowsuit.
  • A nightly ritual – Chris has been making a cup of this tea every night, which has been a really nice way to end the day. It’s caffeine free and great for nausea, if you are still riding those rides in your third trimester (I am! So fun!).

What I have heard has helped others but I haven’t gotten my act together to try: body pillow (this is sheer laziness on my part), maternity leggings (I’ve ordered like 6 pairs and none have worked so at this point…), actually laying down and resting (I’ve experienced an INSANE amount of “need to get this done right now even though it is 4 am” – but I do hear that rest actually helps in the third trimester).

If you’ve tried anything that has made you more comfortable – would love to hear it! xo

no sew faux roman shade

I just realized that I have 4+ house projects going on at the same time. We’re doing the deck, I’m planting our garden out back, refreshing our porch, and making a shade for our kitchen. No biggie.

Making this shade took me about 25 minutes and $30 (for the rod and fabric). It isn’t perfect, but at that price point, I’m okay with that. I could definitely see myself swapping the fabric out if I find something that strikes my fancy.

I polled some folks on Instagram for their favorite fabrics – these were my top three:

Fabric3

Overwhelmingly, everyone really liked the first one. I did too, but I thought it might be better on a pillow or on something that wasn’t folded. I chose the third fabric, which still has a pattern but in a much larger scale. In hindsight, I really like it – but I could do something solid with a border in the future to keep it a bit simpler. This is the fabric closer up:

fabric2

What I do really like is the weight of the fabric – it’s a thick cotton, which made it really easy to work with and starch for this purpose.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • An iron
  • Spray starch
  • Fabric
  • Curtain rod

Here’s what I did:

  1. I washed and dried the fabric, then starched with the spray starch and a super-hot iron.
  2. I created a “hem” for all of the edges with the iron, basically just pinning where I wanted the hem to be and ironing over it. SUPER high-tech over here.
  3. When that was done, I glued it with little beads of glue to create clean hems. My fabric was just wide enough for my window, but if yours isn’t, you’ll want to cut it to fit before you make your hem.
  4. Then I made a little pocket for the rod, about 6 inches (to keep it generous) and glued that.
  5. Once ¬†that dried (2 min), I measured how much of my window I wanted to cover ¬†up – I chose 13 inches since I didn’t want to lose a ton of natural light in my kitchen. Then I folded it up the way that I wanted it to look when dry, making sure it was no more than 13 inches long.
  6. I glued along the edge of each fabric fold. At first, I thought I could only do the edges and center, but it drooped when I raised it. If you choose a fabric that is thick, you’ll have no issue with that much glue – this is why I don’t think doing a thin fabric would really work here.
  7. Let it all dry for about five minutes, then loop in your rod and hang her up!

Next time, I’ll measure a bit more thoroughly and pin everything – that would have given me a super-exact look. I’m not really a stickler for that kind of thing and I’m still really happy with the way it turned out!

Here is the finished product:

IMG_0649I actually think it’s a little easier to see at night – excuse our mess! I glued everything while Chris was making turkey burgers last night.¬†IMG_0634I can’t wait to see where I can wield my hot glue gun next. Happy Friday! xo

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this week.

Or as this blog should more aptly be named, “Grace at the Beach and Other Things.”12670778_10102885295875786_5546992969725741574_nIMG_0058The beaches close for dogs on April 1st, so I’m trying to get in all the beach time that we can. I brought Harley down last night and figured it would be more manageable for him since the tide was so low. WRONG. He still hates it and would rather be curled up at home.

Grace, on the other hand…IMG_0061
…Is the Queen of the Beach. In my dream life, we live within walking distance. But four minutes in the car will do for now, I guess ūüėČ

We were all over the map this week, from NYC to CT to Long Island to NYC…
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I’m wearing this dress from Zara which I love – pulled off the shoulders for dinner in the city and definitely on the shoulders for my cousin’s birthday party! Thank you, Kate, for making me buy it!
IMG_0039And in closing…IMG_0006Grace has found her most comfortable place in the house. Have a great weekend! xo

lately.

It’s March!

I can’t believe that we made it through a Connecticut February – my least favorite month in this state. The winter this year was so mild (I think three big snows, total?) and I broke up the month with three big events: our trip to Jamaica, a trip to Michigan¬†to visit one of my best friends, and a visit from my father-in-law. February usually isn’t a whirlwind…but I’m thinking that’s the secret to getting through it!

Here’s a few snaps from our month:

Dinner in our dining room (after my father-in-law and CJ fixed our wobbly table – it has been wobbly for 8 months):IMG_0811I think we are growing a small tree on our kitchen table.IMG_0818IMG_0822This girl LOVES the beach. I’ve been trying to take her a few times a week and she just can’t get enough.IMG_0893IMG_0828IMG_0833Also she loves donuts.IMG_0866IMG_0891IMG_0697I had so much fun in Michigan and can’t wait to go back. Isn’t Amy’s kitchen to DIE FOR??IMG_0718And Greta…Greta is pretty delicious. IMG_0728

A few other things happening in our world:

  • Have A Ball will be at Elephant Trunk Flea Market, one of the largest flea markets in the country,¬†every¬†Sunday from April through December! This is HUGE news for us and finally merges two of my great loves: Christopher and ANTIQUING. Looking forward to making weekly trips!
  • My friend Kate just re-launched her web design business, Tatters & Dot. If you are in the market for a new website, she is your girl! (Looking at you, Mom)
  • If you have seen me in the last month I’ve been wearing this on repeat. I. Am. Obsessed. You need it! You need it!

I can’t believe that this time, last year, we had just signed the contract for our sweet house and were preparing to go through the whole mortgage application process.¬†It is so crazy to think that we’ve been here a year already – it all still feels so brand new!

Have a great day and Happy March!

 

Lately.

The summer is winding down over here, and I am just so looking forward to our first fall in our house and putting these past few months behind us. It’s just so silly, but I feel like packing up the shorts and the bathing suits will bring us farther away from what happened, farther from the summer, farther from June. But then again, boots and jeans and the leaves changing just¬†careens us closer to the holidays… which brings a bag of tricks that I’m not quite ready for.

I keep thinking that I am further away than I really am with each passing week, and maybe that by keeping my head down and swimming on that I’ll be farther from my grief. But when I poke my head up, I’m still only nine weeks, ten weeks, eleven weeks from it. It’s just so close still and for me, at least, I am flinging myself at all possible distractions: buying and selling furniture (side note: Chris is in the process of buying a pick up truck, which is 100% has to do with work and cannot in any way shape or form be interpreted as something for our personal life. To rationalize this purchase – which needs no rationalizing – he told me, “I mean, clearly a hobby¬†of yours is buying and selling furniture so this will just make everything so much easier.” AS IF I NEED A PICK UP TRUCK?!), a solo road trip in September, a trip back to the lake this week, de-vining our garden (which took a blissful eight hours on Saturday), obsessing over our hydrangea (best hydrangea on the block, yo! And I CHECKED), obsessing over our sprinkler, obsessing over Grace’s joints, obsessing in general, really nailing down the names of our children that we are YEARS AWAY FROM HAVING as if I was in my third trimester (but whew- that is DONE – just throw a big ol check mark on that one! Thank God I got THAT monkey off my back), reading three books at a time, cooking my way through just as many Giada cookbooks, and breaking ground on writing a book of my OWN, which will never leave my laptop but is the best distraction of all – it is a companion at two a.m., six a.m., every commute and every moment of missing. I have never been more grateful for Christopher, who calls me in the middle of the day with character epiphanies and “Now, what if it was THIS that inspired her to…”

So, aside from all of that, here is what has been happening lately in our little corner of the world:

Gracie and Harley, caught in a very important business meeting.
Grace is a terrific supervisor, if you are in the phone or just generally need anything supervised.

Just really cooking anything and everything these days. I think the last time we went out to dinner was for my birthday, which is a true record in the Dall’au house. We are addicted to dining out (or so our AmEx bill tells us).

¬†Grace had pretty significant leg problems when she was a wee petunia, and now that she is about grown, we had to go to her puppy surgeon to rule out any other developmental issues. Everyone was pretty sure our girl was going to develop early hip displasia¬†and need surgery….but we got a gold star –¬†it turns out Gracie and her tiny joints are just fine!

 My sister moved into Syracuse this week, which meant I had to whip these bad boys out:
Chris had an event close to my office this week, which gave me an opportunity to be a sneaky paparazzi wife. #1 fan right here. #dimples
  This girl had a huge weekend Рa big trip to the water while Harley got his hair cut. Water dog he is NOT.
  
  

So there you have it! A lot of work, cooking, puppies, and some house stuff. And my birthday was somewhere in the middle. We are so close to September!  One more day!

xo

recent developments.

Lots of new developments in the Dall’au household! Chairs! Dressers! Dresses! Oh my.

I trekked to Inwood to get another chair for our dining room – putting the count at five. I WILL FINISH THIS SET IF IT KILLS ME. The stains are not all the same, but the style is. I have decided to not let it bother me. It is also a LOT lighter in person than in this picture – still figuring out my Cannon two years after receiving it. Okay four years.IMG_3810¬†That silver dish – the Country Club Championship Tournament – and that sweet little blue and white dish both came home from tag sales this month. I think the silver tray was $4 and the little dish was $1.IMG_3820¬†Also from the same silver bonanza is this tray for the dining room – which I think I’d use to hold glasses or something fancy like that if we ever had an occasion where we aren’t eating Chipotle on our living room floor.
IMG_3826¬† A birthday gift from a friend that I am seriously in LOVE with. Don’t mind the streaks on the table…trying to find a cleaner that does not leave streaks here there and everywhere. But that BOWL! IMG_3829¬†Mom, can you believe it? I purchased an article of clothing and not something for the house! Snagged this Lilly Pulitzer cotton dress from this¬†A-M-A-Z-I-N-G consignment store. Planning to wear it, ¬†probably exclusively, on our anniversary trip this October.IMG_3852
And I FINALLY refurbished this dresser this weekend! Thank you JESUS. New pulls, new paint, the works. So naturally…the Craigslist listing is here¬†: )IMG_3891
And finally…a photo of a sleeping puppy, just¬†because it is WEDNESDAY!IMG_3870
Have a great one! xo

MONDAY.

Today has been cancelled. Get back into bed.IMG_3796

our first week in our house.

Otherwise known as, “I Hope You Like Seeing Photos Of Empty Rooms and Puppies”

In what may have been one of the BANANAS SANDWICH¬†times of my life, we moved into the house on Wednesday of last week. It’s been emotional and hard in all of the ways this step should be hard, and coupled with the fact that Christopher has needed to spend the past two weeks in Miami – well, it’s been a little nutty. Bananas sandwich, if you will.

Thank goodness for amazing friends and family who live nearby. And semi-nearby. Semi-nearby enough for them to halt their lives multiple times so I wouldn’t have to deal with Optimum Cable alone. I haven’t really eaten dinner by myself¬†since he’s left, which is unbelievable since I am really the farthest from anyone I know. It doesn’t not¬†feel like I live alone in a random town in New England, but I think we are on the way for it feeling more like¬†my random home in New England.

CJ left on a Monday when we were living in one city, and came back on a Thursday when we were living in another. It was not avoidable, it was completely necessary, and I would make the same decision, if there was even a decision to ¬†be made. I have really, really, really good friends – including one friend who literally FORCED HERSELF UPON ME for the duration of the week, so that I didn’t have to deal with the cleaning of behind the washer/dryer and walk throughs and mover negotiation alone. I could have absolutely done it by myself, but thankfully I didn’t have to. That was really nice.
IMG_0111 IMG_0112IMG_0144 So we made it, all safe and sound, the three of us Dall’aus and our chaperones, to our new city in our new house.IMG_0148I love it in ways I never expected to love it. I keep saying over and over, this is so good for my soul.¬†IMG_0113 IMG_0114 Obviously it is so good for Grace’s soul too.

The part she loves that she never expected to love are the twigs – she loves the twigs. She brings them onto her carpet on the porch and just relaxes with them. She’s doing it¬†right now as I type this.
IMG_0115 The night before CJ left we all piled into the empty house for the first time, ordered pizza and had a picnic in our living room. It was delicious.¬†IMG_0133IMG_0121In the car over to the house with my family.¬†IMG_0096Gosh little big house I love you so!IMG_0130As we knew it would, G’s personality has really mellowed out since we moved. She is still Grace “Monster Truck Rally” Dall’au, with a side of pleasant calm for a half hour every other day. I’ll take it!IMG_0116 IMG_0103 IMG_0104
And my little guy? Well he’s just the bravest homeowner that you ever did see. Grace will sit at the top of the stairs and cry when I go into the basement, but Harley has become full-on Man Of The House and comes with me into the basement, into the attic, everywhere. No fear for this little guy.

And now he has his favorite perch ever, where he can watch the world go by.IMG_0106Since Christopher left, Grace has liked to be carried around like a large toddler. She is scared by all of the noises and smells of the “country”. Basically she’s the biggest baby and Harley is the puppy equivalent of Bruce Wayne.

IMG_0413
There was a horrible instance of the box spring not fitting up our 1940 New England staircase so we had to put the mattress on the floor. And then there was another horrible instance of Grace’s crate being too small all of a sudden and Kait was sleeping in that room and it all snowballed and then Grace “slept” in bed with Kait and now she mourns her departure every day.¬†IMG_0108 My first big girl commute 24 minutes north.IMG_0117Getting used to the suburbia of it all!
IMG_0152IMG_0275My compatriots sitting in the living room one night. Don’t be fooled – both of them are chewing on something they aren’t supposed to be. I think you can see the slight hint of a TWIG coming out of Monster Truck’s mouth.
IMG_0381Sigh. Spring in this delicious house.¬†IMG_0389IMG_0390IMG_0395Our first week in the suburbs were a huge success. I am immensely proud of myself and our little family. And so, so grateful that we have the kind of friends and family who can rally around us in times like these. I feel rallied around. I sure do.IMG_0151It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

xo

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some house inspiration

Our sweet little house was completely redone about 10 years ago. It maintained all of the charm that it has had from the 1940’s (!), but with a lot of modern (and much appreciated) details. Mainly when I think about the details I’m thinking about the shiplap. Because I didn’t know there was a word for shiplap before, but now I know that it exists I can’t live without it.

Screenshot 2015-04-24 07.54.17If you are as confused as I was as to what shiplap might be…it’s the grooves in the walls above. And that’s our living room. Hip hip hooray! It is CHRISTMAS MORNING OVER HERE.

So here are a few inspiration photos that I’ve collected along the way (two months is such a long time to keep such a freaking big secret!). I’m leaning towards all cool blues to match the bright white moldings.

5cef640acae96ef81ac5cf72bc2debedThe house has a lot of grasscloth/bamboo shade situation already in it (fine by me), and I think a sisal rug + ginger jars + wooden pedestal table are going to be gorgeous in the dining room.
6fe1d983e41f8aa6618141b86544ce37 Dining room currently:

Screenshot 2015-04-24 07.57.43I do love a good pop of yellow as much as the next girl, but as this is the first room you see when you walk in (and how you get to the kitchen/office/laundry/bathroom), I think we’re going to go with something a bit more neutral.

THE PORCH THE PORCH THE PORCH THE PORCH THE PORCH.67cc04c79cf5c753d527b112a2dae540 This dream of dreams West Elm day bed was the first thing I wanted to buy for the house. I bid on it on Craigslist back at the beginning of March, won it, but had to back out because we weren’t moving when we had hoped. I got a call YESTERDAY that it was still available and we’re picking it up on Sunday!

top-10-west-elm-knock-offs-7img-thingWe live very close to an amazing fabric store, so I’ll probably just go there to get pillows made for the couch – since I can’t afford $100/pop gems like this:

70f0b2fb3d25e5b1c9ef4d506bb427d8And this? Well I just like it!
850b9afa0ebfc12bdfae06c7cd249fedWe do have so many things – a lot of furniture from college and from our New York apartment – but¬†there are some rooms that are just going to have to wait…a while. We don’t have a kitchen table or grill or any of that delightful stuff – we’ve never had a kitchen nook or the¬†space¬†for a grill before! So that just plain makes sense!

So we’re off to do our final walk through this morning. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures so we can have a good memory of what our sweet little house looked like without furniture. Or as I like to say, before the Dall’au Invasion of 2015.

Here. We. Go.

 

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we close on our house tomorrow.

IMG_9644

I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT.
We made an offer on the sweetest house we’d ever seen almost two months ago. The offer was low, but they negotiated with us until we came to a price that we both felt good about. And just like that, things started checking off of our lists: the inspection, the contracts, the appraisal. We found out on Tuesday night that we had cleared all of our mortgage contingencies and were cleared for closing.

Did you hear that, world? These two kids are cleared for closing!

Over the past two years, there have been SO MANY HOUSES that we have seen and walked through and loved parts of. But for us, there has never been anything like this house. When we were negotiating with the sellers, there was a moment where it really looked like we had lost it. That it would never come to a price that we could afford, let alone feel good about.

And this is so silly, but I heard a little voice inside my head say: “This is the one. This is the house. You get this house.”

There was no reason for us to get this. None, none, none. But we did, and it’s ours, and this is where I’ll raise my sweet little Grace Kellycakes and where Harley will terrorize the neighborhood children and where I’ll have a cocktail with my husband on the screened in porch. This is where we’ll spend our holidays and write “ship to/bill to”. This is our home, together.

There are things about it that are not perfect, of course, because it’s a house and nobody is perfect you know? But so much aligned for this to go right – there was even such DRAMA with our apartment and them not letting us out of the non-lease “statement of intent” to sign a lease that we’d thought we wouldn’t be able to sign the contract. But then, in a mysterious turn of events, the non-lease statement of intent was “lost”, never to be found again, and what magical date would be the best date for us to move?

So here’s how it’s going to go down:

We are having our final walk-through of the house tomorrow. Of our house. It’s the first time we’ll see it empty!!

We close tomorrow afternoon at our lawyer’s office in Greenwich (which is about 35 minutes from the house).

We’ll gradually move in over the weekend and into next week, before the movers come and take all of the big stuff on Wednesday morning. Our lease in Stamford is officially up that Saturday. So I don’t even call it moving, I call it migrating.

We had big plans to accomplish before we got in (let’s do this and this and this and THIS!) and now it looks like the big plan is to get a bottle of champagne, sit on the floor, and I guess wait for our parents to come home? Because there is no way we are allowed to be unsupervised in a whole HOUSE?

One of my very worst qualities is that when I am very excited or nervous or scared I focus on the smallest, most insignificant details – so instead of having measurements of ANY SINGLE ROOM IN THE HOUSE, I have approximately nine photos of the interiors of the kitchen spice cabinets. JUST IN CASE, YOU KNOW??

I also have a lot of photos of Chris’ office closet. I have zero photos of our OWN closet, but many, many photos of the office closet. Are these the strangest compilation of photos or what?

IMG_8825 IMG_8828 IMG_8829 IMG_8831 IMG_8832 IMG_8833 IMG_9055

So that’s what we’ve got.

We are so excited. And so nervous and scared and this is such a freakin big step.

But here we go!

 

 

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