April 1, 2014

a community garden

I'm very excited to start working this week at the Waters School Community Garden. I'm thankful to have found a way to combine my background in education, Earth science and environmental studies, and also get to spend time working outside with kids in my neighborhood. I couldn't be more thrilled about this! I will be doing some restoration work on the Chicago river this summer, too. I feel a connection to the river considering my husband and I canoed it on our very first date, and have done so many times since then. I know there will be some long hot summer days ahead, but this is exactly how I want to be spending my time if I'm not spending it with my family and friends. My goal is to learn enough from this experience so that I can help start a community garden at another school. It would be amazing if that happened at whatever school Ruby ends up going to. 

March 31, 2014

april fools mix

check out what we've been listening to around here a lot lately

somebody-hannah georges
wide eyes-local natives
lament-mount morah
thunder clatter-wild cub
book of revelation-the drums
how dare you-thao & mirah
better watch your back-hall & oates
money on my mind-sam smith
you're not good enough-blood orange
live in dreams-wild nothing
placid acid-tourist
thinkin bout you-frank ocean
tessellate-ellie goulding

March 24, 2014

girl crush: Leandra Medine

While I have been reading and enjoying her blog for a while, it wasn't until reading her book that I developed a girl crush on her. It's been a long time since I've had a girl crush, but you know I've been busy. And I've been crushing pretty hard on my baby for the last 9 months and twenty days. 
Leandra's book is exactly what I was hoping it would be, she never let me down. That makes her reliable. She's also very attractive, with her dark bed head hairstyle, those thick eyebrows and just an overall cuteness about her. She's smart and hilarious, obviously. I mean she's in her mid-twenties and has already written and published a book, and made herself famous by writing a hilarious fashion blog (it's called the man repeller, in case you didn't know). Smart and hilarious are two qualities that are an absolute must for me when crushing on someone. She's also been very helpful for me. Reading her book and then looking at images of her style has really helped me figure out my own current style. This has been something I've struggled with since becoming pregnant and seeing my body drastically change. I think she's helped me put the fun back into getting dressed. I would love to go shopping with her and then go to her apartment and look through her closet. Yes that sounds like a lot of fun.

March 19, 2014

more swinging

We got to go to the park as a family for the first time this week! Ryan got to see how much Ruby loves the swings. It was so much fun! I will try not to let my blog turn into just photos of my baby swinging, but swinging photos are just so cute!

*On a side note, I would love to find out who made this little gif of Ruby. I love it! Thanks!

March 14, 2014

swinging in spring

The spring weather is finally hitting Chicago. The snow is slowly melting, and you can actually feel the warmth of the sun when you're outside. I was able to take Ruby to the park earlier this week and put her in a swing for the first time ever. She loved it! There was lots of squealing, big smiles, laughter and leg kicking (so much that her boots flew off)! I'm so proud of my fearless little girl and look forward to all the new things we get to experience together this spring.

March 13, 2014

bad habits

I can very clearly remember a period not so long ago when I was going through some deep internal struggles. It wasn't the first time and most likely won't be the last. My life had just been turned upside down and it all was my doing. I was in a happy relationship, but the rest of my life seemed to be taking a nosedive. 

I recently chose to pass up an amazing career opportunity for the chance to love someone. I found myself in those tricky beginning stages of a relationship after knowing the comforts of a very serious long term one. This struggle was during a time when I was working a horribly unfulfilling and physically demanding job for a woman who had no problem making it clear she didn't like me. I was broke, insanely busy, back in school but not sure exactly why. My life was not where I thought it should be and my mental state was suffering for it. I felt like I was stuck and forever moving in circles instead of moving forward.

This period came directly after a wonderful time when I was incredibly happy and independent. I worked multiple jobs that I loved and made enough money to live on my own in a beautiful apartment in a great neighborhood. I ate well, could afford to go shopping and travel all while creating a comfy savings account for my future. 

I have never been one to blame my problems on other people or things. I choose to look inward and examine myself when I notice that something is seriously wrong or needs to change. It's the only way. In times like these people often look for a sign. Not me. 

Then one day I received what was to me a very clear sign. I stepped out of the shower, walked through my dressing room (yes I had a dressing room) and noticed on the tops of my two stacks of magazines were the magazines bitch and dwell. I stared at those two words laying side by side for a while. At first I thought it was just a really funny coincidence, but then I began thinking about the alternate meanings of those two magazine titles. It was right then that I became conscious of my bad habits of complaining and fixating (bitching and dwelling) on the things in my life that made me unhappy. I started to realize that in doing this I was actually wasting the moments when I could be happy. I would still have to go to my crumby job and figure out what I was doing with my life, but the bitching and dwelling were something I could now control. I had an awareness of my own negative behavior and thought patterns.

I still catch myself falling into these bad habits from time to time. But now I am better able to realize when that starts to happen. It is because of this awareness that I have a much easier time moving past difficult situations. I now know I can either just let it go or directly confront and change the situation. These are not always easy things to do. But by letting go of and/or confronting negativity I have found I have been able to live a much more honest, happy and healthy life. 

March 10, 2014


I'm dying for this Free People dress featured in the March catalogue. It's just my style, could be dressed up to wear to a wedding or dressed down with a hoodie or jean jacket, and my motorcycle boots or chucks for an every day casual look. I wanted it the second I saw it. Just to top it off this dress is named the Ruby Tuesday, which is my daughter's name and the day she was born. I love it!

9 months and counting

My little sweetheart turned nine months old earlier this month. Nine months feels like a really big deal, and it may be because that's how long human gestation is. My baby has already changed so much in such a short time. She's got quite a sweet and flirtatious little personality coming out. She is also just such an easy and relaxed baby. I think she gets that from me. I'm pretty laid back, and from what I hear I was also a really easy baby. 

She is eating solid foods now. She loves to eat and has a huge appetite. It's very surprising since she's a pretty petite little baby. Her favorite foods so far are bananas, sweet potatoes, beans of all sorts, yogurt, apple sauce with chia seeds, avocado and carrots. Sometimes she gets so excited to eat that she bounces up and down in her highchair with a big smile on her face as I bring her food out. She still nurses every day. Now that it is far less often, it feels so much more sweet and special to me. It has become less of a demand and pressure on me and much more of a bonding time for the two of us.

 Ruby loves books and being read to. Her favorite books are Busy Baby which was picked out and given to her by her 2nd cousin Josie. She also loves Global Babies, Owl Babies, Gossie and the Peek-a-Boo book. She likes to help me turn the pages as I read to her. She has a great attention span, too. I usually read her at least 5 or 6 books before she's ready for another activity. 

Her favorite toys are her mom and dad's old troll dolls, a green slinky, an Oball, her foam blocks and my old hand made cabbage patch doll. She also really loves playing with my fashion magazines by tearing them apart and bending the pages, and she loves playing with our orange peels. I think it's the color, texture and smell of them that fascinate her. She spends a lot of time happily bouncing around in her jumper, which is my favorite toy of hers. She has shown no interest in crawling and does not like being on her tummy. I'm OK with her not crawling around on our floors and eventually just going straight to walking. 

 She's a very snugly baby, which I love! She and I just lay on the couch hugging each other for long periods of time. It's really the best thing ever, as far as I'm concerned. She's also getting to know the kitties much better. She's learning how to pet them gently instead of trying to grab them and pull out fistfuls of their fur. They have both been very patient and sweet with her. 

Now that it's getting a little warmer outside I'm so excited to take her to the park and put her in a swing for the the first time. I can't wait to hold her on my lap and go down slides with her. I look forward to having little picnics together outside as a family, and taking her to the beach. She's the love of my life, and she's growing up so beautifully.

March 1, 2014

march mix

Here's a little mix of some of the music that we've been listening around here lately. 

varsity-smith westerns
limits of desire-small black
is this how you feel?-the preatures
sweet talk-jessie ware
the mother we share-chvrches
try-sidsel endresen
please stay-the cryin shames
carmensita-devendra banhart
the way we move-langhorne slim
trying to be cool-phoenix
quarry hymns-land of talk

take a listen to it right HERE

February 27, 2014

short bangs are back

They're back on my head at least. It's been well over a decade since I've worn bangs. I had bangs of all styles all through my childhood, well into my teens and in my early twenties. In the late 90s they were short, very short. That was a look back then. My hair was basically identical to the actress Shannyn Sossamon pictured above. 

It's been a while since since those ultra short wispy bangs have made an appearance on the foreheads of stylish women. I think the fashion rule is something like if you wore it the last time it was in style you're not supposed to wear it again. I broke that rule late last night when I decided to give them another try. It was honestly just an attempt to remedy the awkward wispy fringe that was growing in after postpartum hair loss. I think they'll do. I also think they may even be making a comeback since both Suri Cruise and Zoe Kravitz are wearing them short.