Zoo Trip

posted by harlie in day-to-day, family, fun

We thought we’d get in one more zoo visit before the weather gets too chilly (and possibly rainy).


Happy Halloween, y’all!

posted by harlie in home

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!

Our little cowboy enjoyed his first trick-or-treating experience. That people will give you chocolate for dressing up was a revelation for him.

He also enjoyed mixing and matching with his bestie. Yeah, they’re adorable.


Baby, I’ll take you Around the World

posted by harlie in family, home

Four months seems like a good long while, but I know that time will just fly by. So…it feels like it’s time to start dreaming up a nursery for our baby-to-be.

Well, we found our recently that we’re having a little girl. Whoo! Not being a particularly girly girl myself, I never expected that I’d want to style a girly nursery, but I’m oddly excited about it! That said, I’m definitely not an advocate of the deluge of pink and purple that seems to dominate everything girl these days. However, I have had this vintage poster for a while that I love and that I’ve wanted to hang in a kid’s playroom/library for a while:

It never felt quite right for Lil’Man’s room (which had a circus vibe with a different color palette), but I still love it. It does feel right for a jumping off point for this new nursery. I really love the minty teal with the warm colors. But I didn’t want a full-on nursery rhyme theme for my little girl. As much as I love nursery rhymes and fairy tales, I wasn’t feeling inspired by the idea. So, prompted by the poster’s reading theme, I thought of what books might be a fun jumping off point and Jules Verne’s 80 Days Around The World just grabbed me. I thought this could direct me to a “theme” without getting too “themey”. I could take ideas from as many different cultures as I wanted and match them with the feel of the book: photos of foreign cities, exotic textiles, maps, Victorian details… and hot air balloons. Can’t leave out the hot air balloons — that’s the most whimsical part of the book!

So, when I saw this map on Apartment Therapy I had to look deeper. At first, I was disappointed with the mostly brown and sienna colorway, but then I looked at the designer’s website and ‘lo! A map that perfectly coordinated with my Miss Muffet print. In English (as opposed to French). It was kismet! I knew that this nursery was on its way.

So far, this is what I’ve come up with. It’s definitely not pink, but it does, unequivocally, say girl (in, I hope, a very elegant way). And while I took elements of the book to direct my choices, I don’t think it screams “LOOK AT MY OH-SO CLEVER THEME!” This isn’t an exact plan for the room (lots of details to fill in!), but it certainly has helped me hammer out some ideas. Plus, I’ve been able to show it to the Mr and get his stamp of approval.

We have the framed art and the crib, but everything else is up in the air. For some items, I’m considering some DIY. For other items I’m really hoping I can find less expensive alternatives.

| Art: Around the World, Paris is a Feeling, Miss Muffet WPA print, Hot Air Balloons | Chandelier:Vertigo Gold Leaf Chandelier | Curtains:Anthropologie Marrakech Curtains | Crib:Da Vinci Jenny Lind | Chair: Nurseryworks Empire Rocker | Pillow: Hand-Painted Balloon Pillow | Lamp: Urban Oufitters Stella Floor Lamp | Rug: Vintage Overdyed Turkish Rug | Nightlight: J Schatz Egg Lamp | Dresser: Abigail Double Dresser |


Family and Festival Fun

posted by harlie in family, fun

We just spent a whirlwind weekend in Texas, visiting family and becoming godparents to one of our totally adorable nephews. We flew in Friday evening and left Sunday afternoon, so we didn’t get a ton of time with everyone, but we tried to make the most of it.

While the big deal for the grown-ups was the baptism and I personally loved watching the kids all play in my mom’s garden (slowly becoming overrun with gnomes, ceramic animals and other various knickknacks…so great!), I think it’s fair to say that the highlight for the kids this weekend (other than getting to play with all their cousins, which is a rarity) was the Pumpkin Hallows Fall Festival.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect and I was a bit wary. The only website info I could find about it was on Craigslist. Now, I have had perfectly fine experiences with Craigslist, but it’s also an attractor for a lot of sketchiness. Still, we decided it was worth checking out. The event happened to be right down the road from my parents’ house so we didn’t have far to go (and come back) if it wasn’t quite legit and it’s a pretty nice area which generally doesn’t attract a ton of sketch. Plus, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a big family holiday outing.

We got there and it wasn’t just fine — it was great! No sketchiness to be found anywhere. It wasn’t the largest festival I’ve seen, but it was a great size for our group. The admission was very reasonable, plus kids 3 and under got in free. That meant almost all our munchkins got in gratis! A nice bonus. Everyone got a mini pumpkin for free (there were other, larger pumpkins for purchase if you wanted) and there was face painting and pumpkin carving. We all shared drinks, funnel cakes and caramel corn. There was even a petting zoo, but the rides were the big winners. There were pony rides (oh, man, did our kiddo love that!), twirly tea cups, slides, carousel swings and bouncy houses.

Lil’Man had never, ever been in a bouncy house — usually there are just too many big kids going crazy and even purposely crashing into each other, so I never felt safe letting him try one. However, there were several bouncy houses at this festival and most of the kids were playing in the biggest two. The smallest one was completely deserted! Lil’Man had it all to himself and he LOVED it.

I love that beautiful, beaming face radiating pure joy. He did really well jumping around considering he’s never been in one. He spent a good long time in there before I could coax him out with promises of a carousel ride. And funnel cake. I knew he’d love it — the kid’s a jumper.

The older kids liked all those rides, but it was the GIGANTIC slides they homed in on. When you hand over your ticket, you get a sack cloth to sit on so you’ll slide really fast on the way down (also prevents slide burn, because slide burn sucks). I totally would have gone up there if I weren’t pregnant. Seriously, carnival rides are awesome, but they are not a pregnant woman’s friend. However, I did go on one ride despite my mom’s loving, cautionary disapproval — the carousel swings that go round and round and round… They make the Mr queasy, but I could ride on those all day long. And it seems as if Lil’Man inherited that from me. He made his dad ride with him four times! I’d have gone with him instead (and totally wanted to!) but he kept asking his papa for the ride while I was getting food or a drink or taking photos of my nieces and nephew as they conquered the giant slides and, apparently, my boys could not wait for me. Lil’Man loved those swings more than the pony rides, which says a lot.

Anyhow, I took tons more photos and I’d love to share them, but…I didn’t take them with my camera. That was left at home because I didn’t want to deal with it on the plane. Hopefully my dad will kindly send us some of the photos I took of all the fun. Otherwise, I’ll have to raid his computer next time he visits (Love you, Dad!). Until then, enjoy the few iPhone photos above.

‡ On my side of the family, Lil’Man has about 6 cousins so far, all between the ages of 5 years and 8 months. It’s a good spread of ages, especially for Lil’Man who is pretty much right in the middle of the age range. He’s little enough to still relate some to the baby and the 1 year old, he’s old enough to play nicely with the 3 year olds and he is totally in awe of his 5 year old cousins. Especially his cousin Gabe (who, in return, is pretty happy to have another boy around since we apparently are overrun with girls at a ratio of just less than 2:1).

Oh, and there was a new puppy, Glory. Not a cousin, of course, put a significant addition to my brother’s family which was a huge deal to the kids. Lil’Man ranged from cautiously curious to wary to downright scared of Glory, but no matter. Since coming home, he has been dropping hints that we need to get a puppy, too. Hints like, “I want Papa to take me and our puppy fishing,” and, “I want to take our puppy to the zoo!” I’m so not ready for this.


Oh, hello again.

posted by harlie in home

Dear Domino,

Back in late 2008, I decided to sign up for my first ever magazine subscription. Before then, I never felt that settling down with a magazine made any sense…I would just pick up whatever looked good at the newsstand. I wasn’t the commitment type. But you inspired me. Yes, you, Domino. Ifelt that I’d finally found a mag worthy of my commitment. With your gorgeous photo spreads of beautiful, yet homey living rooms and bedrooms, you made me feel like anything was possible. I was hooked.

And then, not three or so issues later, you disappeared. Just left me in the lurch. You broke my heart. Condé decided to hook me up with Glamour to help ease the pain of losing you, but it just never felt right. It just wasn’t a good match…not like you and me. Since you left, I’ve taken up with HGTV and I dally with Martha during the holidays and Real Simple if it’s convenient. While I’m happy with my new relationships, I still think of you frequently. The past four years hasn’t dampened my love of you.

Now, I hear you’re back. Forget that I had to find out through mutual friends and random on-line rumours. I’d have loved to find out from you…a letter, an email…but I’m thrilled regardless! It’s so nice to see you again. But…you’re different…I’m different…and I’m not sure that we can pick up where we left off. Still, I’m hoping we can rekindle a little of the old magic. You, with your lovely home tours and makeovers. Me, with a new place to transform into a lovely, family-friendly home. You couldn’t have shown back up at a better time.

Please never leave me again.


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