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eight months pregnant.

Oh how I wish I had these updates for each month of my pregnancy! I remember being ten weeks along and feeling huge…things have certainly changed in twenty weeks.fullsizerender-20

(at my 32 week appt this week)

How far along… 32 weeks – eight months pregnant today!

Feeling…quite large, thank you! I have a ton of energy (maybe more than I did in the second trimester?) but I definitely am feeling the pregnancy insomnia – I’m usually up from 2-3 a.m., which is really unlike me. All of the normal things apply – tired in the afternoons, sometimes get headaches, winded more easily – but in general, I just feel really awesome and I’m insanely grateful for that.

Craving…a clean house. I use our vacuum cleaner more than is recommended for a 1400 square foot house. PS If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner, we received the Bissell for Christmas and I am OBSESSED. I talk about it at social events kind of obsessed. GUYS IT WASHES AND VACUUMS YOUR FLOORS AT THE SAME TIME.

The baby likes…the sound and motion of the vacuum. Maybe that’s not good for him?! Actually? But he really likes it. He digs the Coffee House channel on Sirius XM, I learned this week. Give him an acoustic solo and he’ll dance those little feet. Always moves for James Taylor and rice cakes with peanut butter. Hey, we all have our things right?

The baby does not like…pop music or anything with a heavy beat (seriously – you sure you are my child?). I actually think the baby may dislike it when I sleep, based on his pattern of movement. That may be a resounding theme in the next few months…

How the rest of the house is adjusting…Grace is terrified of his stroller, car seat, bassinet, and artwork in his room. Harley may know I’m pregnant but I’m pretty sure that makes him dislike me more. Christopher is doing tons of research on pregnancy and newborn care, as evidenced by this exchange on Valentine’s Day:

Me: “Hold on, I need to look up Braxton Hicks before we go.”

Chris: “Is Braxton Hicks your new celebrity crush?”

And me? I’m out of my mind with anticipation. It still feels like so far away. Our baby shower last weekend (more on that when we get pictures next week!) made me feel crazy prepared – there is nothing this child needs! – but it still feels like I’m going to be waiting f-o-r-e-v-e-r to meet him.

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In reality, it’s just 55 days until our due date…but who is counting?!

8 months down, two to go!

preparing for you.

Me: “I think I should make a list of people you’ll need to contact when I go into labor.”

Christopher: “You? Make a list? That doesn’t sound like you, honey.”

Thanks, Dall’au.

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(Our house has been turned inside out from construction and preparing for this little bean…but this was last night, sending a photo to my friend. He’s getting hard to hide at 7 1/2 months!)

hi, remember me?

I set the blog to private last April and have used it as a personal recipe index ever since. After hunting for a photo of our bathroom pre-renovation, I went through the archives and got so sad that I hadn’t documented this time in our lives. I got a little freaked out by how much access I was giving strangers to our lives, and still am (to be honest), but at the end of the day…the majority of people reading are people who I talk to regularly, and writing here forces me to document. And I kind of missed it. I’m sad that I don’t have anything for the past seven months of pregnancy, I can’t really remember how I was feeling in month 4, say, but I think I’d like to get back into it. More for me than for anyone else.

Anyway, here we go!

I’m not 100% sure, but I think these are like, the six or seven photos I have from my pregnancy. I don’t know how this happened – I feel like we’ve tried to document this pregnancy but maybe it’s just been on Snapchat and quick bump pictures from my work bathroom?

But here we are at almost 30 weeks pregnant and this is what I have to show for myself. The first photo was from before I even knew I was pregnant – two days before. I may have enjoyed a margarita. img_0944Immediately after I took this picture of Grace, Chris said that he thought I was pregnant and I should go take a test. I hemmed and hawed but eventually got caught up in his magical thinking. Which was, by the way, 100% correct. img_0972We took a trip to Newport over Labor Day weekend – I was still so sick and couldn’t really eat anything (note to self: seafood vacation and first trimester do not mix). It was also weirdly windy and cold because of a hurricane, but we were in such a new baby haze that we walked around dumfounded that we were going to be parents. I think I was about 8 weeks in these photos – we got a little ornament from the Black Dog store to commemorate Baby’s first Newport. img_1294img_1299img_1297We finally started telling people after we hit the 12 week mark – we are on the ferry to Long Island to tell my family, who already knew since I scheduled a lunch eight weeks in advance (#rookie). img_1411And then MAGICALLY, I’m six months pregnant. I think in the flurry of the holidays and our 20 week appointment and New Years, I just didn’t take any photos. Because these three are the only ones I could find. img_2360img_2391img_2408

So, sweet baby boy, I promise to start documenting your impending arrival on something other than Snapchat. We’re so excited to meet you that we haven’t even touched your nursery yet. Just kidding – we have about 1 1/2 coats up of a color we’re 50% sure about.

I think I just love being pregnant so much that the idea of actually having the baby hasn’t set in yet – I got a little teary yesterday thinking of how it’s coming to a close. And no – I promise those weren’t the hormones. Well maybe just a bit.

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:

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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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one room challenge: week 2

Lots of exciting stuff happening over here! We broke ground on the deck and things are looking like a HOT mess.

deck 5We’ve poured the footings (see all of the fancy new terms I’m learning!) and we have a general idea of how big the deck is going to be – it is so cool to walk it and really see how much space we’ll have to work with! Also, you’ll notice that Grace is in EVERY single one of these photos – she is OBSESSED with the construction zone. So much so that Chris installed temporary fencing last night to keep her out of the debris. So. much. debris.

So our dining table (similar to this) is apparently huge and is going to take up most of the deck. That’s ok! My one requirement was seating for fourteen. And I’m gonna get it!

Deck1
I spent some time drawing it all up tonight (Chris thought I was still working and peeked onto my computer and saw me playing in Paint and I think he laughed so hard he cried). Anyway – please don’t laugh at my ridiculous mock-ups. Seriously – they are ridiculous.
This is how big the deck will be (please note Grace):Deck2
The doors to the basement will have a raised door over them – we won’t be losing that.

Here’s the view from the door from the kitchen – we’re removing the bush that’s there, adding a firepit, and getting rid of the stump.Deck3
And then along the fence, I’m doing a curved bed of hydrangeas. We’ll have six, maybe seven in all, but I couldn’t fit that many on my drawing.Hydrangeas
I’m especially proud of my detail work on those hydrangeas. Although it does really look like the hydrangeas are eating Grace.

So that’s where we are – a big pile of dirt and nine footings!

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be framing her out. I’m so excited!

Thanks for checking in. xo

 

To learn more about the One Room Challenge, click here.

IMG_0385Tonight I went to Target to pick up essential items (earbuds and a collar for G) and only walked out with non-essential items (chair cushion and shirt in my beloved colorway, above).

I was in the housewares aisle alongside a mom and her two daughters, who were picking out a rug for under the sink. Their conversation felt so familiar, and made my solo trip feel, well, really solo.

“Watching you together makes me miss my family!” I told them, surprised that my throat had caught and my eyes were welling up.

The mom ran over to me and said, without missing a beat, “Do you want me to criticize the stuff in your shopping cart? Would that make you feel better?”

Have a great Thursday night. xo

we are so close to wednesday!

FullSizeRender (10).jpgWhich brings us so close to Friday! A few things that I’m reading/eating/listening to this week:

Modern Love “Mom/Not Mom/Aunt”: All of the Modern Love podcasts are really strong, but this one made me stop in my tracks. It’s read by Jesse Tyler Ferguson (from Modern Family) – it’s about a couple who couldn’t have a baby the “old fashioned way” and the beautiful way their family came together. It’s been six years since the story was published in the Times and the author comes on at the end to give an update about their terrific kids. I may have cried (a few times).

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Planning our meals: Chris and I did some quick back-of-the-napkin Amex analysis this week and realized we spend FIVE TIMES the national average for a family of two at the grocery store. FIVE TIMES. FIVE. TIMES. So we are reigning in our bananas way of grocery shopping and starting to plan our meals. This is what we’re having this week:

Monday: Salmon (Chris also made a delish broccoli/cauliflower situation that I’m still dreaming about)

Tuesday: Roast Chicken

Wednesday: Turkey Burgers

Thursday: Sausage and Pasta

We haven’t figured out Friday yet but this is one small step for dinner, one giant leap for Dall’au kind.

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And a few other things:

  • Sometimes I forget what life was like before I worked in quarters. Q1 is ending this week and it seems pretty crazy – I can’t believe Q2 starts on Friday and we’ll already be in April.
  • Our deck project starts tomorrow, and I’m so very excited. Spring is just so close.

Happy almost Wednesday! xo

 

 

easter week 2016.

Hoppy Easter! I’ve been trying to make that phrase work all day but Christopher doesn’t think it’s catching on.

We had such a great day in Connecticut – brunch with my family at Valencia in Norwalk and a beautiful dinner with friends in Fairfield. We missed our families in Florida (they had pool parties!!!) but it was such a sweet day out here.

I’ll go backwards – this was this afternoon, our first Easter in our house!IMG_0171Chris won Easter this year – my dad and stepmom gave him outdoor speakers for our new deck! He was so pumped. IMG_0170Oh! So this was our dinner challenge. We both challenged each other with one ingredient (Chris challenged me with beets, I challenged him with cannellini beans) and we went to different grocery stores to come up with two surprise meals. Chris made this AMAZING cannellini bean, bacon and spinach side – we’re going to have to recreate this one. IMG_0169I wasn’t nuts about mine but will share in the name of the challenge! Mustard salmon on top of spinach salad with beets, oranges, walnuts and feta. It was ok, not great.IMG_0168More than ok: THE GINGER ROSEMARY MARGARITAS. THIS WAS LIFE CHANGING.IMG_0167Um we went to the beach but it was so cold. A little too cold for bare feet, but we managed. Donut Inn coffee = so good.IMG_0166WE ARE SO CLOSE TO PORCH SEASON!! The fabric samples come in this week and then we’ll really be in business!IMG_0165Took approximately 30 tries to get this girl to look at the camera.IMG_0164Best part: tush in the reflection.IMG_0163My hair is SO LONG it is in dangerous territory. Hair cut is on the agenda this week.IMG_0162This was Monday morning – and today was in the 50’s! The weather has been flip flopping for the past few weeks but I think we’re finally in the clear. IMG_0160I hope you had a great Easter with your family! xo

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rosemary ginger margaritas.

Chris and I are doing a DINNER CHALLENGE tonight where we give each other one ingredient to make a meal around. My challenge to him was cannellini beans and he challenged me with beets. Game. On. I’ll post about our creations tomorrow!

But for tonight…this is what we’re sipping on while we cook. Chris just made these up and they are my new favorite drink in the world.

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Rosemary Ginger Margaritas

For six servings:

  • 1 cup agave
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 springs rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons ginger paste (but we really like us some ginger)
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Tequila

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Boil the ingredients, aside from tequila, lemon, and lime, together for 15 minutes.
  • Cool for two hours.
  • Strain out the rosemary.
  • For each drink, you want two parts tequila, one part syrup. Add lemon, lime, plenty of ice, and a spring of rosemary.

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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 😉

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