DIY Ombre Easter Basket

Easter is practically upon us and yesterday I decided it was high-time to take care of Hayden's Easter basket. I had seen a lot of cute options at Target, Etsy, and Pottery Barn Kids but nothing I loved enough to commit to for the rest of Hayden's life. (I still have my first Easter basket and every year my parents the Easter Bunny fills it with treats). Anyway, while at Michael's yesterday, I hatched a plan to paint a ombre basket for Mr. H. Ombre is such a big trend;  we've been seeing it in clothes, hair, cake...I picked up a plain natural looking basket for $4 and 3 tubes of craft paint in various shades of blue.
 I mentally divided the basket into 3 sections and used painter's tape to tape off the middle section so that I could paint the tom and bottom at the same time. 
 I love craft paint because it dries so quickly. I was able to take of the tape and finish painting the whole basket in less than an hour. 
 I left the top and handle natural so that the basket wasn't "too blue". I like how the natural wood balances out the fun colors.


hawaii #2

Apologies for the radio silence as of late... We were spring-breaking it in Hawaii! Yes, my almost-8-month-old son has been to Hawaii twice in his short little life. We tied this trip into another work trip for Nick. This time, however, he took vacation time with us at the beginning of the week and then stayed on after we left (yesterday) to work the rest of the week. We met my sister, Emily and her friend Katie in Oahu and had a great time. We stayed at a condo on Makaha Beach and had the most relaxing vacation. I have many more pictures to share another day. Today is all about stocking our empty fridge, adjusting to the time difference, and giving Lucy lots of attention since we missed her so much! 


a new blue friend

Nick and I purchased a new chair for our living room a couple of weekends ago. I had my eye on this chair since World Market released it and as luck would have it, it went on super sale right when purchased it so we paid only $199 for it. (Now it's back up to the original price of $279 but I know World Market tends to have big sales often). It's called the Ravenna Chair and for the first time we're straying away from our safe neutral furniture and adding some color to the living room. (I guess that navy blue is my go-to shade when deciding to add some color to a space!) Previously, we have our 2 leather chairs in the room along with our linen couch. The leather chairs look nice together but are big chairs and were making the space feel a bit heavy. Plus Nick has been asking for a chair in our office (aka his new man-cave) so it made sense to move one of our comfortable leather chairs up there. 
I love this new little chair. It's definitely not a curl-up-and-watch-TV type chair (since it is armless...) but it is comfortable for sitting and chatting with friends and it adds some  more interest to our living room. We have other plans to liven this space up and make it a bit for child-friendly for our soon-to-be-mobile baby.  


rainbow in a jar

This post is a few days too late, but this little project turned out to be so fun and cute that I wanted to share anyway! I found this link on Pinterest a long time ago and kept it in my mind for St. Patrick's Day. Because we are completely missing Easter at Hayden's preschool (due to Spring Break and vacations), I wanted to whip up a little St. Patrick's Day treat for Hayden's teachers. 
I had a few jars that I originally bought for Christmas crafts lying around. I bought 3 big bags of skittles in various flavors (to make sure I covered all those ROY G BIV colors). I also couldn't find any chocolate gold coins at my local Target so I just picked up some Hershey's kisses wrapped in gold foil.  First, I layered the bottom of the jar with kisses. Then I dumped all my skittles into a big bowl to sort out. I started with a red layer and worked my way up to purple. In hindsight, perhaps purple should have been at the bottom...
I had tons of pink skittles left over so I decided to add some pink on top just for fun... 
After I finished, I tied a little bow and a note onto each jar for both of Hayden's teachers (one of which happens to be my Aunt!).
Now I know St. Patty's Day is over, but who wouldn't love to receive a jar of full of rainbow skittles any day of the year?! I know I would! 


7 months

 This little cutie is 7 months (well 7 and a half now that I'm finally posting this picture!). This month has been the most fun with little Hayden. He is sitting up, rolling over, chatting, giggling, and eating.  Like I mentioned in this post, he is an adventurous eater and has really enjoyed joining in our meal times. This kid loves to move around; he always rolling and scooting all over the place. He doesn't stay still for long and we find him across the room from where we put him down. Hayden's finally become a good sleeper (again!). Who knows how long it will last, but he sleeps through the night most nights (around 11- 12 hours) or wakes up just once. He's developing quite the little personality and is so much fun to hang out with! We love you, Little Bubby!


our story

After our little jaunt to Hawaii, I felt like I should share the story of how Nick and I met, since it actually happened in Hawaii- almost 10 years ago (whew!). We really have my cousin Brendan to thank for introducing us... The week I graduated high school, Brendan came out to Kentucky to see me graduate and join in the festivities. A few weeks later, after his own graduation, our families were meeting in Hawaii for a joint family vacation. Brendan was bringing along his best friend, Nick.
While Brendan was out visiting me in KY, he kept telling me about Nick and how we should "you know hang out" in Hawaii. He went so far as to send Nick my AOL (haha!) screen name so that we could chat beforehand. Well, chat we did- every night leading up to vacation! Tahoe07 and Jessiek311 logged many hours IMing on the old dial Internet. We even talked on the phone a couple of times before the trip. We were both a little flirty but I don't think either of had expectations of a relationship...
I remember being is nervous on our flight to Hawaii. I had planned my outfit out days prior to the trip (a blue striped halter top and jean Capri pants) and stopped in the bathroom on the way to baggage claim to make sure I looked okay. When we got to the baggage claim in Maui, I saw my cousin's family waiting for us + Nick. He was wearing a blue button down shirt and khakis- a bit formal, but cute nonetheless.
Brendan formally introduced us and I got super shy all of a sudden. Nick, however stepped forward and said "I think I know you well enough to do this," and he gave me a hug.
The rest of the vacation, I spent time with Nick and my cousins everyday. We accidently-on-purpose kept bumping hands when we walked so that it was "just easier to hold hands". Then I pretended to dislike guacamole and bananas since Nick didn't like them; while he ate ketchup at Cheeseburgers in Paradise for me. He was quick to rub sunscreen on my back since I couldn't reach and always offered to sit in the backseat of the car with me.
Then a couple nights before the end of the vacation, Nick and I took a walk on the beach after dark. We brought a couple of beach towels with us so we could sit on the beach. We sat down and looked out at the ocean, at some ships in the distance, and talked and talked. Then it started to rain, just a little and so I threw the second towel over our heads to keep us from getting wet. Then, the romantic-comedy-moment of my life occurred, and Nick said, "I better do this before I lose my nerve..." And he leaned over and gave me a kiss. The rest is history! From that moment forward, both of us decided to figure out a way to be together, despite the odds... Several thousand miles between colleges, two years apart, crazy jobs, and everything else couldn't stand in our way. So that is the story of how he and I came to be. How lucky I am to have found the love of my life at 17! Here is a picture from that first vacation to Hawaii (back before digital was en vogue...)
PS: Nick still has that bathing suit... It may or may not have come on our last Hawaiian vacation too..

feeding da bebe

Ever since Hayden's 6 month birthday in February, he started eating "real" food with Mommy and Daddy. We decided to skip the whole baby-food, puree, rice-cereal thing and jump straight into real food with Hayden. I read the book, Baby-Led Weaning that explained the process of transitioning baby from only milk to table food. I know that this approach isn't for everyone, but a month and a half in, it's really working well for us.
The basic concept of the Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) approach is to let the baby decide what and how much to eat. It doesn't involve spoon-feeding or pureeing anything. Rather, you give baby portions of your (healthy!!) meal and let them feed themselves. We give Hayden baby-friendly pieces of food that he can pick up and eat himself. Part of the approach acknowledges that babies are extra-curious and will take time to explore food without really eating it. Since the table food meals are meant to accompany milk feedings, rather than replace it in the beginning, baby isn't missing any calories by not eating a whole jar of baby food. Of course, before beginning to feed Hayden, we checked with our doctor and got his approval. 
Ever since then, Hayden's been enjoying breakfast and dinner with us (and lunch on the weekends).  He is quite adventurous and pretty willing to try anything we put in front of him. He's had broccoli, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, pancakes, bananas, oatmeal, spaghetti, naan, hummus, apples, pears, kiwi, cheese, edamame, chicken, quesadillas, cottage cheese, yogurt, and toast, to name a few things. Like any person, he has food preferences and tends to eat more of some things and less of other. This kid loves his broccoli and also hummus! 
Meal time has been really fun! Hayden gets excited about each new meal item. Lucy get's excited about the possibility of food dropping to the ground... Last weekend we went out to breakfast and Hayden commandeered my fork and gave himself a healthy helping of scrambled eggs.  Again, I know this approach isn't for everyone but it's been a great for our family and it actually makes things easier than always having baby food on hand or making our own!  
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