Monday, January 31, 2011

Table for 1, please

On Saturday I snuck away for a few hours on my own. 
 Here's how I spent it....
Treasure hunting at my favorite local antique mall. 
My last purchase there was this sweet little etching of Ann Hathaway's Cottage.
(I wanted to dig up a picture of my brother and
I standing outside when we were younger,
but I'm trying to make this post a fast one)

This time nothing was calling my name.
So, I headed to my favorite bookstore.
Bought an armful of shelter mags and went to
the neighboring cafe for a solo lunch.
Avocado BLT with a side of spring greens
and a small cup of onion soup topped with
homemade croutons and shavings of parmesan,
and a Coke...
In case you were wondering :)

I'm inspired to start my own craft night after reading this article in BHG.
I'm not crafty in the traditional sense -
never scrapbook, don't own a single rubber stamp (crafty people have stamps, right??!!).
But I wouldn't mind a night sipping wine with a few girlfriends
making cute flower pins and book page wreaths
ala the Jones Design tutorials.

After a LONG lunch
I made my way over to the mall
to get a couple pillows monogrammed.

(I used the slightly tacky Express Embroidery kiosk.
But I think they turned out super cute regardless)

I shopped a bit while I waited for them to finish.
Found a cute red wool, ruffle scarf on clearance at H&M.
And this tray for our FR ottoman at PB.
I am kind of finicky with items like this.
New made to look old.
Normally, I hold out for the real thing.
But I figured chances were slim I was going to find a tray made from old wine crates.
As you can see Charlie has accessorized it beautifully.

I went to grab a cappuccino but the line was about 20 deep,
so I settled for an original Yagoot with strawberries, banana and coconut.
Picked up my pillows and headed back home.

Just enough time to myself to start missing my babes.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Thoughts & Pretty Rooms

warmington north traditional kitchen
(via Houzz)

Well aren't you all the most supportive bunch?!!
Thanks for getting me yesterday and not thinking I'd fallen off the deep end.

(via Canadian House & Home)
Today my heart is lighter. 
So we have a tougher day here and there. I know I'm not alone.
No matter, there is no replacing the joy my boys bring me EVERYDAY.

Like...
Charlie's new song "ho, ho, ho, pirate ship me" he sings it over & over.
Today in gym class he picked up a cone, turned megaphone, and performed it for an audience.
This child used to be shy.

(via Costal Living)

Andrew telling me today, "Mama you know just how to make everything better."
Really? How did you know I needed that?  Boys. They love their Mamas.


(via Cote de Texas)
Charlie's mispronunciation of "fork", "fix" and the placement of the letter F in "firetruck". 
All used with great frequency, all sounding like a far less desirable 4 letter word starting with F. 
 I only laugh to myself.


(via Pinecone)

Watching my boys together. The way Charlie runs to Andrew's room first thing every morning. 
The way C imitates his older brother (not always good, but always cute),
the way Andrew affectionately calls him "Stinky Pete" .

(via Canadian House & Home)

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend! 
I've got a busy day tomorrow, I'll be back next week.

PS. If you are straining trying to figure out how these pics are in anyway related to my post.  Stop. 
They aren't.  Just felt like adding something pretty along with happy thoughts!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hanging On


I am not complaining.
I am not looking for a pick me up.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.
I am loved.
I am happy.
Yet there are times when I just feel a bit overwhelmed....
By the day to day routine...
 By the unpredictability of children...
 Because parenting two children shouldn't take this much energy....
I shouldn't be this tired.
I look at mothers of 3,4,5,6 children and marvel at how they keep it all together.
Doubt creeps in.  I second guess myself.
Am I doing something wrong? I judge.  I criticize.
Did I handle this or that situation right?
Could I have done more, 
should I have been more patient?
Are my expectations too high, not high enough?


Am I modeling the behaviors and values I want them to copy?
There are some days I tuck my boys into bed and think, ok,
we are alright we made it through another day.
We are hanging on...
Don't misunderstand.
There are PLENTY of good days. 
In fact, MOST are, even if just for their simple normalcy. 
We have AMAZING days too...
Filled with these perfect, golden moments.
And then there are the in between days.
or the days when it feels like everything is falling apart.  
But then I hear a song like this (click to hear)
And I am reminded I am not in this alone.
I am reminded that yes, there are going to be days when I get by with God's grace alone.
And that is ok.
It is my nature to desire harmony all the time, as unrealistic as that is.
I need to get better at not blaming myself for things that are out of my control.
When I feel like I am sweeping up crumbs for the 100th time in a day,
I give thanks my children are growing and have plenty to eat.
When the noise level in the house reaches a high that makes the walls shake,
I give thanks that I have 2 active boys and that they have room to run and play.
(then I ask them to keep it down. :))
When I can't seem to get a thing done between temper tantrum and tears,
I give thanks that I am needed. That there is still much mothering to be done.
And when I find myself questioning how I measure up in the motherhood department,
I too give thanks.  Thanks that I am am still growing, learning, changing. 
That there is room for me, for all of us, to be better versions of ourselves.
And I give thanks that when I look and listen long enough,
even those days when I feel I'm just hanging on, 
there is understanding, love, and support in abundance.
Thanks for letting me share a glimpse of my heart.
 xo,
Tess

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stylish?

Last week, Amy R. from Plain & Fancy Living awarded me a Stylish Blogger Award.
Really? Moi? Stylish?
Have you seen this girl's house?

Thank you, Amy!
I appreciate the kind words.
I am very grateful for ALL of you that take time to read my blog.
I'm always a bit surprised that anyone besides my Mum does.
But getting to know you through your comments and your blogs makes
this whole online journaling experience so much more fun!

As part of "accepting" the award I am supposed to share 7
random facts about myself.
Ready?

1. I have worn the same perfume since I was 15.

2. I'd choose a night at home with my hubs enjoying a good bottle of wine,
great take-out, and a movie over going to a party any time. 

 

3. I rarely wear jeans - though I like how they look.
I am a dress, skirt, tights, leggings wearing kinda of girl.
  

4. My wedding flowers were sweet peas, peonies and roses. 
I almost named this blog Sweet Peas & Peonies.


5. I like rainy days.  Maybe this is related to #2 and could be summarized as
I AM HAPPIEST AT HOME, a nicer way of saying homebody.



6. I am not a big fan of apparel and accessories that are smattered with logos.
(though I love Coach bags, just without all the Cs)



7. I am completely infatuated with homes built in the 1920s.

Now I am supposed to tag other "stylish bloggers."
ALL of you are in my opinion.
Whether you are amazing designers, fabulous mothers,
great cooks, incredible photographers, inspirational writers,
funny gals or some combination of these things.
So all of you consider yourselves tagged!!
Random Fact #8 - I stink at keeping chain letteresque things going...
Have a great weekend!! And thanks, Amy R.!!


images: Dress - Anthro, Inspiration Board - Post Cards & Pretties (that is not my wedding), House- Martha

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In the Kitchen

I am on a blogging ROLL this week. Whew!
I keep meaning to post recipes and weekly meal plans.
It's not happening.
You see, I LOVE to cook,
but these days I gotta work FAST,
since a certain 2 year old finds the need to assist me
the moment I set foot in the kitchen.
So...if I try to take pictures too it just makes the whole process
a little hectic and not so enjoyable.
And really, a blog post without pictures isn't much fun.
BUT...I get a lot of food inspiration and ideas from all of you,
so I'm going to post recipes anyway,
and borrow pics from the internet instead.
OK? OK...   

Here's what I've been making this week...
Spring Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Potatoes with Thyme

Parmesan Toasts

Chicken & Apple Sausage
(I omit the mushrooms in this recipe)

Triple Chocolate Biscotti
(Carrye N. if you are reading...Jackson LOVES these)

Bloggers whose recipes are in my queue:
Jo, Stephanie, Smitten Kitchen, and Tara
 Happy cooking!  Even happier eating!
pictures: pretty kitchen (sadly not mine) from Southern Accents via Seagrass Interiors,
food pics from Google search

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sidetracked...

My day -- it was going so well...
one of those rare days when I've got it all together..
up and dressed before the kids woke PLUS
a load of laundry folded and another in the wash...
good breakfast, no one rushed...
nothing forgotten for school...
storytime (on time) at the library with C...
followed by lunch and a nap (for Charlie, not me) ...
dinner prep underway in the afternoon...
and then BAM...I had the urge to go looking
for more pictures from the designer of a room 
in my previous post and all productivity went right out the window.
MY HEART STARTED BEATING FASTER...
Take a look...



Seriously?!!!!  How could I not have heard of Linda Banks??!!
Maybe because I really couldn't tell you the name of a single designer.
(Unless I read their blogs of course.)


Her work is PERFECT. 


Of course she is in Maine.
This is quintessential New England style. 
(my year of living in Boston made me an expert. wink!:))
Traditional but not stuffy, a little country but not too cutesy.
Gooood stuff, RIGHT?!?!!


I. CAN'T. GET. ENOUGH.

Why have I not seen these on any other blogs before? 
 I am certain SOMEONE must have blogged about them.
If you want to see more click here


My apologies in advance for any interruption in your productivity!
xo
Tessa

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beautiful Millwork

Traditional spaces
with beautiful millwork...
Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional living room

Dark hardwood floors
Old gilt frames
Incredible lighting
Beautiful fabrics
Classic
Charming
Timeless
1
Kind of makes me want to paint all my gray trimwork white.
Maybe if I didn't have 5000 other things I want to do first!
Linda Banks traditional living room
sources: images 1, 4, 5 from houzz,  image 2 turquoise, tulips & bliss , image 3 house beautiful

Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting Out Of Town


Hi all!  We've just returned from a little trip to the Windy City. We took Andrew and his best friend, Payton and left Charlie behind with my parents.  Who I thank tremendously because from what I hear he wasn't exactly a piece of cake.  Boys at age 2 - unless you've had one you can't possible comprehend. Adorable? Yes.  Lovable?  Uh-huh.  Can melt your heart into a complete puddle with one look?  Easily. 
Can also act like complete neanderthals at the drop of a dime?  You bet. 

WE, however, had a blast!


Once again Jimmy planned the whole trip.  There are perks to having a well traveled husband I tell ya! 
We stayed downtown and navigated our way around on foot. 
 Cold weather and chilly winds ain't got nothin' on us! 


A few highlights...
Friday night.... Cocktails for four at the Signature Room on top of the Hancock Tower.
The view of the city all lit up at night was spectacular!

A ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel - we were the only crazy ones on board, also amazing!
This was my favorite part of the trip!


And some Chicago style deep dish pizza for dinner. (of which the kids were not the biggest fans.)

Saturday started with breakfast in bed (I heard more than once "this is the BEST breakfast ever".)


A trip to the American Girl Doll store for Payton, Katrina (her doll), and I.
I had a glimpse of how the otherside lives (mothers of girls that is) and wowza  I don't even think I'm girlie enough for all that pink pandemonium!! 

While we were there, the boys hit the massive Lego store down the street...

Then we all met back up for lunch at the American Girl Cafe.
This was Payton's favorite part of the trip!

 
Sunday we made our way to the Field Museum...
Our country children continued to marvel at things like public transportation & revolving doors.
The museum was empty thanks to the Bears playoff game.
We all marveled at the Ancient Egypt exhibit!

On to more sightseeing and finished up the day Ed Debevics...

The 5 hour car ride without a 2 year old - bliss.  
Though we did see a lot of this...
Adjoining rooms for the children - highly recommended!! 
  Occationally, we even stole a few minutes to ourselves, like a quick drink in the lobby bar while they built Lego upstairs.  (don't worry, it was just one drink)
  Once they went to bed, it was almost, almost, like we were away for a weekend together without little ones in tow. Now back to reality tomorrow.  Looking forward to catching up on your blogs too!!