January | 2015

A beautiful beginning to the new year! Milo is getting cuter by the day and Alice is adventuring into the world of pretend and independence. Parenting a toddler is both joyous and maddening, and simultaneously taking care of a baby is both fulfilling and exhausting. I wouldn't trade it for anything :)

Here's a recap of our January...


Milo on his new quilt made by Great Gramma Alice!
(this little man's smiles make my heart burst, like,767 times a day)




I love this little girl/adventurer/independent person.
And I can't get over how proud I am of her - how fearlessly she explores our backyard, unabashedly asks for seconds, clumsily twirls like the loveliest, accident-prone ballerina, and insists on doing it herself - I love it all. She's just so Alice.

For those of you who know colorworks, I just learned that she is ORANGE-GREEN! Of course. How could I miss it? In fact, this picture sums it pretty well:


Saturday morning Busytown on the hearth, bowl of Cheerios safely stowed away in the pocket of the Marty blanket...creative and totally makes sense to her. Orange-green indeed. Welcome to the Orange Club, Alice! Poor Daddy has no one but orange ladies in the house.


Studio Makeover preview - the Before
Can't wait to share the big reveal! It's been in the works for over a month.



handmade baby shower gift for my cousin
light peach-pink watercolor on Arche's cold press water color paper with silver lettering
Congratulations, Megan & Jesse!



wool & salmon skin baby shoes
from Kaufmann Mercantile - love this site!
(for Milo, love Aunt Lynnie)


who's high maintenance?

Heather: Venti Decaf Salted Caramel Mocha
v.
JD: Decaf Triple Breve Latte with Whipped Cream


Scotland Tree
Finally sent one of my favorite photos off to Shutterfly.
I've had so much fun re-doing most of the art in our house over the course of the last month. Feels unbelievably good to look at new things around the house.


This handsome little man sure loves looking at the quirky animals hanging from his playgym! 


another gift from Aunt Lynnie

Before Christmas, I discovered this little espresso cup and thought it would be the perfect thing for Alice's hot chocolate, but when I went to buy one, they were sold out! Like, every single Starbucks location - I checked - and on their website. We don't buy her much for Christmas, so I was pretty bummed that one of the few things we wanted to get her was gone, but unbeknownst to me, Lyn finally tracked one down on Amazon and got it.
Thanks for making our hot chocolate afternoons more festive, Aunt Lynnie!

p.s. we really like our hot chocolate/merienda time here at la Casa de Hall.


"I'm not tired..."


my new favorite lip balm

I love this stuff! After dealing with a cold sore on my lip around Thanksgiving time, the treatment for it really dried out my lips and no amount of chapstick was doing the job to help. Finally, after seeing it pop up on multiple blogs I follow, I ordered this from Amazon and the day and by the day after I used it my lips were totally healed. No flaking. No dry spots. It is wonderful. I use it once or twice a day and my lips stay so lovely. It's not heavy like a gloss but gives the prettiest sheen and the loveliest scent of light roses. I will use this for the rest of my life.


light hitting my ribbon jar
I love seeing the way the light hits things around my home in the afternoon. During the winter time it comes at a strong angle from the south and since all of the windows on that side are old, the light dances around, throwing watery light ripples, illuminating my treasures, and casting the most lovely shadows.


Everyday there is a new gem to find.

Speaking of gems...


...Milo got new diapers!!! Love the emerald and sapphire hues. So saturated.

When we were still pregnant with Milo, my mom asked if there was anything big we needed. I couldn't think of anything at the time, but then she asked if we wanted some new cloth diapers for Milo. Yes! Perfect!! We can still use 12 of Alice's for him (that aren't pink, purple, or floral), so mom got us 10 new "boy-colored" ones. And since we bought them at Baby Junk in Omaha, for every 10 you buy you get a free one. 

Colors from top to bottom: Hummingbird, Moonbeam, Stellar, & Armadillo

We're a big fan of cloth diapers. I wrote this post on them a couple of  years ago if you're interested in trying them.


Breakfast with these cutie-pies - so glad Milo can join us now!

p.s. Alice never attached herself to a little "lovey" when she was a baby, but that zebra blanket has become her All Time Favorite Thing Ever in the History of Things now that she's a toddler. She takes it all over the house, wears it most of the day (insists on wearing it under her bib while dining - see above), and cries for it if it's gone missing. Aunt Sarah, thank you for giving Alice her second persona and us unlimited amusement. Can't wait to see what you make for Milo!



hutch makeover
The back of our hutch was still that dreaded khaki and my book collection didn't offer much help in the color department - too many colors - so I decided to freshen things up...



I'd love to wallpaper it someday, but for now I lightened it up with a few coats of white and then migrated all of my pretties down from the linen closet to a location where I actually need them. I use my cake stands, cups, and silver all the time so it will be nice to have it ready at my fingertips without needing to make a trip to another level of the house.


bathroom sink faucet makeover
(I call every home improvement "a makeover" ;D Sounds so celebratory)


before


after

It had been leaking like crazy this winter and our trusty, local plumber (Terry Ray | 402.426.5541) recommended that we buy a new one instead of putting money into spare parts. I love the cast iron sink, so we kept it and just got an old-fashioned looking faucet (and relatively inexpensive, too!).

Below is a sneak peak at some changes in the playroom... 




The Reading Room

Since we moved a new piece of furniture into my studio, the black desk my mother in law gave us slid perfectly into the playroom-turned-reading-room. Doesn't it fit the frames above it?! I wanted to move all of (well, this is more accurately 2/3 of) Alice's books down to the main level of the house since we spend most of our day here, and they weren't working in the three big piles on her dresser upstairs because every time you wanted one you'd have to lift half the pile - not conducive to easy reading. So, JD and I fashioned a sort of bookshelf/bookend system by cutting some spare wood and screwing 2 heavy duty L brackets on each end to create a stable unit. Pretty sweet, huh?! Not to mention we read so much more now.

We also put different toys in all of the drawers so Alice can pull out one at a time and then when she's done playing can throw it all back in and put the drawer back in the desk. We just started this rule - read: The Most Wonderful Rule in the World - where she is allowed one toy at a time. Oh my goodness is this magic. All of a sudden she can make quicker decisions about what she wants to play with, she plays with it much longer and in more creative ways, and she actually picks up. Before, she was so daunted by the mess that she mentally couldn't problem solve how to pick up. Now, she is more content and I'm not constantly plagued by seeing random stray kid belongings all over the house (seeing stuff everywhere really does raise my anxiety levels subconsciously). Win win win for everyone!


Gallup the Beautiful

Gallup the Rocking Horse was the beneficiary of Alice's dress-up imagination during our sacred Quiet Time the other day. I've been collecting scarves, blankets, and other odds and ends in a picnic basket I found at a garage sale in Ogallala a couple of years ago and Alice discovered it recently. She told me Gallup needed to look nice for school that day, and insisted Gallup wear the special hat Aunt Tarah made her for Christmas. This girl.


a girl and her horse

Thanks for letting us borrow Gallup for the winter, Grandma Linda!


One of my favorite photos from a recent Smash the Cake shoot - I'd say it was pretty successful :D

 


Sneak peak at a few things for my sister's new Etsy shop, Pistachio - launching soon!


Milos
:D