We're Having a Baby!

You guys! We’re creating another human!! We are so excited to finally share this news with you!! It feels like I’ve known forever and I am just so terrible at keeping secrets, so chances are if we had a personal conversation in the past month, I’ve probably told you this news!

I am about to answer all your questions, but before that, I just want to give a HUGE thank you to Alyssa McElheney for taking the most precious photos of our growing family!! She is amazing and if you are local to Grand Rapids you should hire her for any of your photography needs.

Pregnancy Announcement
Pregnancy Announcement

We had been trying for a few months, so it happened pretty quickly, but not nearly as quickly as it happened with Ollie. Speaking of Ollie, he is super excited to tickle the new little baby’s feet and has already been ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over how cute everything baby-related is. He has been hugging and kissing my belly unsolicited and telling me that he’s “giving the baby love.” He also talks about his big brother duties all the time. I know he is going to be amazing!!

Pregnancy Announcement
Pregnancy Announcement

I am 13 weeks along and due in September! Officially out of my first trimester, so this is going really fast!! Just as with Ollie, I am feeling good. I didn’t have any morning sickness, just some cramps, bloating and discomfort. I feel like I’m showing so much more, so much quicker this time. Before I took the test, right after the holidays, I was so bloated, my favorite high-waisted jeans were feeling so uncomfortable. Needless to say, I had to retire them two months ago! I have been trying to maintain my exercise regimen, however the weather and icy sidewalks has curbed much of my running, which has been really rough for me. So for now, I am riding our in-home exercise bike, doing Tone It Up videos and when I can make it, the classes at the gym.

We do plan on finding out what we are having and will do so mid-April.

Pregnancy Announcement

Anything I missed? Ask away!

I’m wearing: dress: Le Fluer Boutique / coat: Club Monaco / boots: Elliott Lucca

Baby balloon

Oliver's 4th Batman Birthday

Last weekend we hosted our first party in our new house, a Batman-themed 4th Birthday Party. We had some family and Ollie invited some of his new friends for a lovely afternoon celebration. As per usual, I went a little overboard, but tried my best to keep to a budget, so I did a lot of fun DIYs to decorate.

I saved boxes from the move, painted and made a mini Gotham City for the the tablescape. I hate all the junk that kids get in goody bags, so ours consisted of the candy they got from the piñata, a quality batman mask and I bought a few yards of felt to make capes for each little guest.

Batman Birthday Party

Found this adorable batman sweatshirt for the man of the hour on super sale at H&M.

Batman Birthday Party

Our local favorite, The Cakabakery, made the delicious cake.

Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party
DIY Batman Birthday Party
DIY Batman Birthday Party

the kiddos loved the props I downloaded here printed and photo booth backdrop I hand painted on a large piece of cardboard. If you’re not as ambitious as me, I found this super cute cityscape backdrop.

DIY Batman Party

We also had a piñata and a pin the logo on batman game.

Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party

Happy 4th birthday, Oliver! I hope your Batman party was awesome!!

Batman Birthday Party

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DIY Cut Out Kids Art

If you've been following along this summer, you know that Ollie and I have been hanging out and doing a lot more activities than usual. It has been so fun seeing his creative side come out, and watching him gain fine motor skills. Last DIY project I shared with you was a color block painting, this project was definitely less involved and less messy, we created art inspired by Henri Matisse's cut out art. 

During the last decade of his life Henri Matisse deployed two simple materials—white paper and gouache—to create works of wide-ranging color and complexity. An unorthodox implement, a pair of scissors, was the tool Matisse used to transform paint and paper into a world of plants, animals, figures, and shapes.

You can read more about Matisse's methods here

DIY Cut Out Kids Art

DIY Kids Art

SUPPLIES: 

  • colored paper
  • white paper
  • scissors
  • glue

Step 1: I did the prep work and cut out the shapes, in completely random sizes and colors. Do not cut white paper.

Matisse Inspired Kids Art Project
DIY Kids Art

Step 2. Lay out your shapes on white paper 

DIY Matisse-Inspired Kids Art

Step 3: Glue shapes on to paper. That's it!

DIY Matisse Inspired Kids Art

Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas

I've mentioned my shift in diet to eat a more inflammatory foods, I've also extended that goal to the rest of the family. Cutting sugar is no easy feat when mom and three year old both have a major sweet tooth. Instead of taking away dessert, I thought my best bet was to trick my little into eating a better option. I bought silicone molds and we adapted our favorite smoothies into kid-friendly, delicious summer popsicle treats. 

Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas
Healthy Peanut Butter Popsicle

HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER BANANA POPSICLE


This popsicle is a riff on our very favorite smoothie. It tastes so sweet and delicious, but it's actually good for you. For the adult version I like to add a tsp of instant coffee. 

  • 1 banana
  • heaping scoop of your favorite peanut butter
  • about two tbsp yogurt 
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)
  • coconut flakes (optional)

Blend all ingredients except the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. If desired, sprinkle with coconut flakes to the bottom of the popsicles. Freeze!


Blueberry Popsicle
Blueberry Popsicle Recipe

BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPSICLE 


  • about a cup of blueberries
  • about two tbsp yogurt
  • about two tbsp honey
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. Freeze!

    Summer Picnic

    Do you know about my love for picnics? It is one of my absolute favorite family activities. I love that we are outside, sharing and passing. Our entertainment is usually the people or the dogs walking by, not our screens or the TV in the restaurant bar. Picnics are generally much more budget friendly than going out to dinner, but you're still away from your everyday dining situation, which is probably our favorite part. 

    Summer Picnic

    Picnics can be as simple as filling your water bottle and making a few PB&Js, or one of our go-tos, stopping by the prepared food section in the grocery store on the way to "the spot." This particular picnic was a little more involved. We were at my family's "cottage," so we were able to utilize the grill, which you could also do at many parks, if you're okay with putting in a little leg work.

    Summer Picnic

    The menu I cooked up for the perfect summer picnic was a combo of pre-made and freshly grilled items, all kid-friendly, utilizing seasonal summer items and available at the tiny little town grocery store.

    PERFECT SUMMER PICNIC MENU

    • grilled peach and fresh mozzarella on prepared flatbread
    • Tortellini salad with pesto (pre-made)
    • grilled corn
    • watermelon
    • no-bake cheese cake topped with berries
    Summer Picnic
    Summer Picnic

    What's on your perfect summer picnic menu? 

    Color Blocked Kids Art Project

    I never quite understood what parents were talking about when they complained about finding activities for their kids to do during summer vacation, but now that I'm in transition and home with Oliver all day, I totally get it. I can't say I've been Martha Stewart mom, but I have done a few activities I'm proud of and I'm pretty excited to share this DIY color block art project with you. It was a team effort between my son and I, and a lovely way to spend a three afternoons.

    DIY Kids Color Block Art Project

    I am in love with this color block art trend I've been seeing around the internet. I am in no way claiming that our work of art is as good as Jesslyn Brooks or Ines Longevial, but I am very happy with the way it turned out. I may have inadvertently promised our son it would hang in house "forever." These are a inspiration pieces for this project.

    color block art

    art clockwise from top left: 1 / 23 / 4

    SUPPLIES: 

    • paint, I ised acrylic 
    • paint brushes
    • canvas
    • pencil

    NOTE: I chose the paint colors

    DIY Color Block Art

    STEP 1: Have your little draw shapes on the canvas

    Color Block art project with kids
    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 2: He picked the placement for the colors, then I painted the outline of the shapes.

    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 3: Ollie painted the inside of the shapes.

    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 4: I cleaned it up and painted the sides. 

    DIY COLOR BLOCK ART

    Rainbow Round-up

    I just love that rainbows are having a moment right now. When I was in second grade, my teacher played a song for us called, "The World is A Rainbow." Do you know it? It became kind of a classroom anthem, with a beautiful message about different kinds of people living together in harmony. That song sealed my life long love for the symbol. It makes me happy that for so many people the rainbow symbolizes love and acceptance of all people no matter who they choose to be or who they choose to love. This being my first post of pride month, it seemed like perfect time to do a round-up of my favorite rainbow decor from around the web. 

    Rainbow Print
    Rainbow decor
    Rainbow Wallhanging

    photos: 1 / 2 / 3 


    Rainbow Decor round-up

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    We're Moving!!

    I don't even know where to start with this post. I guess I'll start with the bomb, we are leaving our beautiful home outside New York City and moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan. New York, the city for 8 years and the Hudson Valley for the last four, have been my home. Friends, job, home, life it's all here. But our families are there. I am mourning the loss of my old life, but so excited about the future! 

    New York City

    I moved to New York City directly out of college. I didn't leave the door open to go anywhere else. I can still remember the morning I arrived. My parents drove me from Michigan, the car packed with only clothes, a computer and a few personal possessions. We stayed overnight in a hotel in Newark and the next morning they would leave 22 year old Lauren in the Financial District of Manhattan. A few days later I started an internship at The Sak, which later became my job. The job. The only job I had in my 12 years here.

    At 22 I had visions of meeting, dating and marrying a guy in this city. Maybe he would be from Connecticut or maybe Florida and New York would make sense, this would be my home forever. I didn't think I would marry my best guy friend from college. Kyle moved from Chicago in 2010 to New York to be with me. Kyle took me on a scavenger hunt around the city that ended in a proposal.  We got married and lived together on the Upper East Side, until we decided we wanted the American dream and went north in search of a house.

    Then Oliver came along. And we began to long to be closer to family. Every few months we would discuss moving "back home" to be closer, make things a little easier, people near by to help out if we were in a jam. I was always the one to shoot down the idea, citing the fashion industry and my love for New York City as my reasons we needed to stay. 

    Then my dad died. Next week will be a year when I sat on his bed in the hospital room and told him we were thinking of moving back to Michigan, the first person I confessed to that this was a real possibility. His response was, "Why would you do that, Lauren? Your job is there. There's nothing here for you." The sting of not being present or helping as my dad went though his illness was definitely a deciding factor for me, to tip the scales in favor of moving back to the Midwest. Then it became a question of when. Do I have another baby first? Or do we settle there and then try? The truth is there is never a good time, so we decided to pull the trigger and put our house on the market. 

    What will we do when we get there? We are moving in with Kyle's parents to transition us. I am staying on remotely with my job to finish up the season I'm working on and Kyle already works remotely so he will keep his job. I will be looking for a job in Grand Rapids, and my options are very open. There are a few fashion companies, I've been exploring interior design opportunities as well as event jobs. With extra hands to help out and a much shorter commute, I hope to devote more time to this space. I can't wait to share as I explore my new city, decorate a new home and settle into life as a Michigander once again. 

    photo: Clare Mullins Photography