your sunday night black and white edition

Guys. We had a fantastic weekend. We co-hosted Pks holiday party for work and had such a wonderful time. It was also our first night away from Lucy overnight (gulp!) Lucy and her grandma had a successful sleepover and Pk and I got to spend a great evening out with his coworkers and stay in a hotel. It was so. much. fun. to get out after a long week home alone with my baby girl. We woke up early to get home to our peanut and, needless to say, I’m a bit fuzzy today. Here’s some pics from this weekend for your viewing pleasure.

dressLucy and DaddyMayaBath party!Lucymother's helper


I hope you had a great weekend!


ps. I finally joined Instagram. I’ve been using Hipstamatic for a while, but I thought I ought to spread the love. My user name is helenhandmaid (truly I have no idea how instagram works, can anyone give me any tips? Can I follow you? I want to see your beautifully filtered lives!)

more holiday decor…

I had leftovers from making our outdoor planters so I found a few places that needed a little holiday cheer.

I added pine boughs and a some candle light  to our little buffet area. It’s where we keep all our fruit and veggies that don’t need to be refrigerated.

The tealights and candles are flameless versions that I picked up at World Market. I figured that since this area is immediately behind where a certain wiggly inquisitive almost two year old sits, I had better play it safe. Using flameslees candles also means there is no danger of someone singing themselves when they reach for a clementine. They flicker pretty realistically even if the glow is a bit on the orange side. My bananas look so glamorous!!!

Our dining table got a pretty spray of winterberry. I like the little burst of color. My dad bought me that vase from Crate&Barrel a million years ago and I use it all the time.

Our powder room got the last of the greens and a mercury candle pot. I like a scented (real)candle for the bathroom, especially since its right off the dining room. If you know what I’m sayin’. Moving on…

It’s nice to jazz up an everyday space a little bit and, frankly, I needed a little cheering up  today. Lucy has been waking up A LOT at night and then feeling overtired and cranky during the day. It’s mostly because I’m trying to wean her and she’s not happy about it. I’m feeling a little guilty about it since I always figured I would do child led weaning, but I’m also starting to feel a little frustrated with her constant desire to nurse. So, we’re working on it; but man. I’m pooped. We co-sleep half the night – Lucy goes to bed in her own bed and then comes into our bed when she wakes up – but I wonder if her proximity to me at night is making the weaning harder. I would hate to stop co-sleeping though. I love snuggling with my little peanut.

These are her pretty please puppy eyes. Pretty irresistible, huh?

Hope you all are well. and sleeping more than me.


Thankful indeed.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving weekend is almost over. It’s been wonderful to have Pk home (and not at work!) since Tuesday. We have had multiple gatherings, but Thanksgiving day was with Pk’s family. They sure know how to host! The food was amazing and as always, the house was beautiful.

Lucy had her own place at the table (though she only sat for about 3 minutes) It was so fun to watch her excitement grow as our family gathered. She greeted everyone who came in with “happy Fanksgibing!!!”

Yesterday we ventured downtown so Pete could stop by his office before his next trip. He has such an amazing view of Millennium  Park and Lake Michigan from his office.

Downtown is definitely getting its glitter on. Lucy was a bit sketched out by the music coming from the planter boxes on State street but she got used to it. By the time we dragged her through Macy’s she was squealing with glee every time she saw a Christmas ornament. We did a little shopping and then we headed home to pick out a Christmas tree. It was basically a perfect holiday weekend and I’m so thankful that my hardworking husband was able to relax a little bit before he heads off to a new country tonight. Lucy and I will be decorating for Christmas, planning for her 2nd birthday party (any ideas on where to get a disco ball?) and generally holding down the fort while he’s away. I hope you all had a fantastic and relaxing holiday weekend!!!

xo- H

quiet afternoon…

Lucy napping on the couch. You can see the new slipcover(!) more on that later…

My mom sent Lucy this easel. It fits perfectly in the corner of the office/playroom. I promise I’ll share the rest of that room soon! Just a few more details to pull together…

Maya gets the other side of the couch. It’s hard work guarding the house when Pk is out of town…

Hermione resents having her photo taken.

I just picked up this vanilla/peppermint candle from Whole Foods. It smells unbelievably good, and was not expensive.

My new favorite boots from Urban Outfitter. Click the pic for a link.

Late lunch/snack – fresh baguette, goat cheese, and figs drizzled with a little fig-balsamic vinaigrette.

I love these peaceful moments. We had a fantastic playdate this morning and Lucy Faye tuckered herself out. I should be painting the porch, or covering buttons so I can reupholster our ottoman, but instead I’m drinking in the quiet. I know in a few moments she’ll wake up and the never ending pile of laundry will need putting away; but gosh. I’m so lucky to have this amazing family and home. I feel like the luckiest girl on earth sometimes.

Happy Friday


thrifty thursday

My thrift store finds from this week… (AKA things I’ve been doing to avoid painting)

This stunning crystal plug in sconce – $8. I hung it in the living room near the bar. It needs a new shade and bottom finial, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. It glams this place up a bit.


Speaking of glamorous, I found these amazing Loeffler Randall Flats for, get this- $5!!! (originally $295 – they clearly didn’t know what they were practically giving away!)


My favorite of the bunch – a treasure trove of books for Lucy, just $8.75

Not a bad haul! It’s much more fun to poke around thrift stores than work on the porch. Here’s a sneak peak of another project I started to avoid painting.


Making a zillion self covered buttons is much more fun if you do it while watching a recap of an interesting blog talk chat. Here’s a link to Joy (from Oh Joy!) Cho’s chat with Naomi from rockstar diaries about the business of blogging. Interesting to hear to different perspectives on blogging and now I want to check out Joy’s book, Blog, Inc.

Here’s what Lucy has been doing to keep busy.

She LOVES watching videos of herself, especially dancing. If I need a minute, all I have to do is turn the Ipad camera on so she can use it like a mirror. We also started a tradition of listening to top 40 while we do the dishes, which is honestly the highlight of my night. We record her sometimes so she can watch it later and it never fails to make her smile ( even when she watches them a million times!) It was a little disarming to hear her sing along to Taylor Swift though…

Hope you are having a splendid week.


I hope you had a super halloween.

My Super Girl sure did.

pssst – did you notice the unpainted door way to the kitchen? Maybe we’ll finish it by Christmas…

– Our hearts go out to those of you suffering in Sandy’s wake. The images on the news are so heartbreaking. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours and we’re hoping the recovery goes as quickly as possible. Hxx-

Hogeye Festival – AKA BBQ Heaven

On Saturday we went to the Hogeye Festival in Elgin, Texas (near Austin.) Elgin is a picturesque small town where my Great Grandparents lived and where my Grandmom grew up. My dad has fond memories of spending his summers there. It was so fun to visit during the Hogeye festival which is basically a street fair with a hefty dose of unbelievably delicious competitive BBQing.

That’s the face Lucy made while she gnawed on a piece of slow cooked pork. That’s my girl. The food was ah-mazing.

There were tons of cool cars on display, both antique and crazy souped up new ones. Can you see the longhorns mounted on the orange car?

The Ferris wheel was charming.

Eventually the kiddos got a little overwhelmed; that’s my half-brother Calvin sitting on my Dad’s shoulders. We wrapped it up pretty early, but I would have gladly stayed and continued to stuff my face.

We had a blast!


my baby you’ll be.

Be warned, mommy rant ahead.

So lately I’ve been struck by how big my little girl is or maybe looks? Sometimes she seems so grown up that it makes my heart squeeze in my chest. I mean, for real. Look at that outfit. Chevron puffy vest? check. Sassy Minnetonka’s that I just saw in the new Crewcuts catalogue? check. Extra chic haircut? check.

In fact, today she announced that she was a “big girl”. and I laughed and said “you sure are!” but in my head I was thinking “you are my baby and always will be. PLEASE STOP GROWING SO FAST.”

Sometimes, especially when Pk is out of town, I find myself losing patience with my little gremlin especially since she’s avoiding naps like the plague and has taken to shrieking all her desires in a pitch that makes even the dog cringe. Some times I want to say OH MY GOD PLEASE GO TO SLEEP DON”T YOU KNOW THERE IS A NEW EPISODE OF REVENGE ON?!?! When I find myself getting steamed up and frustrated I try to remember that this time is so brief and that she might be the most precocious 22 month old on the planet but for goodness sake she’s still a baby. When I have yet another conversation with someone that thinks that nursing a toddler is crazy or fielding questions about where she’ll go to preschool I sometimes want to scream SLOW DOWN PEOPLE SHE”S NOT EVEN TWO YET. I’m not sure why everyone is so eager to have babies grow up fast. I figure it’s going to happen no matter what so I might as well revel in the baby-ness while I can. Maybe because our journey to parenthood was so crazily difficult and long and she’s our only baby (for now) but I want to preserve Lucy’s baby/toddler hood as long as possible. I want to remember all of her crazy opposite talk (up instead of “down”, saying “help” when she wants to do it herself), counting “1,2, free go!” on the swing, and calling every dog she sees “Maya! ”

There hasn’t been a single stage of Lucy’s development that I haven’t enjoyed, and I know that I’ll love her terrible two’s, threes and beyond; but right now I’m letting my baby be a baby and savoring every sweet fresh from the bath cuddle and tender milky kiss.

Whew. It felt good to get that out.

Hope you’re having a great week.


Updates in Lucy’s room

A while ago I posted that we had found a big girl bed for Lucy. She’s been in it for a few months so I figured it was time to update with what her room looks like now. You can see pictures of her room before here.

We ended up using a mattress and foundation from Ikea and only used the headboard of the vintage bed we found. The Ikea foundation has storage built it in, which is actually holding her disassembled crib and some extra bedding. I finally got around to painting her closet doors with chalkboard paint and added a pretty knob from Urban Outfitter. I changed out the artwork over  her bed to a poster of a vintage map (also from UO). I chose not to frame it because she kicked down the old frames during some wild diaper changes. I also ditched the bright orange rug in favor of the sheepskin that used to be on the chair. I like seeing a bit more of the wood floor anyway since it makes her tiny room feel a bit bigger. The lamps are just an old pair of cheap Ikea bases that I added chrome dipped chandelier bulbs to to give a more modern feel. The duvet cover is from Urban Outfitter and was on clearance at my local store (i think it was from a display).

I really like the feeling of Lucy’s room. It’s bright and warm, and girly without being too sweet. We do have a bed rail on her bed (it’s the kind that tucks under the mattress when not in use.) She’s pretty good about not falling out of her bed, but she only spends about half the night in her own bed anyway. I’m thinking about putting the rocking chair in storage since we mostly just cuddle on the bed during story time and that way she would have more space to play. I love how her room keeps evolving.

Hope you like it!


p.s. in case you are wondering about the location of her bed, there is a child safety lock on the window.








1. A before and after – my shaggy haired girl got her hairs cut. She looks so chic! Sometimes I feel like she’s about to start reciting Le Petit Prince in perfect french at any moment. She reminds me of this girl.

2. Today was the first day that we really needed a coat outside. I picked up Lucy’s jacket at the thrift store for$5 bucks!

3. There is something special about sunny fall days and leaves scattered on the ground that makes me so happy. I’m also excited that Lucy gets to wear her new boots. I’m considering getting a pair for me too.

Pk has been gone all week but should be home tonight  after a week away and I’m so anxious to see him (Lucy too!)

Have a fantastic weekend.


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