our fall mantle

I've been slowly decorating for fall this year. I usually love going all out, but with a handsy toddler, I have to be a little more thoughtful about where I throw my Fall. Our mantle is definitely out of reach for Hayden, so it's a logical place for me to start our fall decorations. This year, I went for a gold + white theme. I ended up never taking down the mirrors that I hung last Christmas, because I really liked the arrangement. So, I wanted a Fall display that was simple with the backdrop of all the mirrors.  
Most everything is shopped from around my house. I did get a few new things, the fall leaves from Crate and Barrel.
...and the gold planter from Anthro.
I'm hoping to add some real little white pumpkins when they start showing up here in the Bay Area. For now, I like the collection of random ceramic objects in the middle. 
I'm currently looking for more (high up) places to add touches of the season around my house. Fall is my most favorite, after all. 

{Linking to Thrifty Decor Chick.}


Keeping it Clean

I'm definitely one of those people that feels better about her entire life when her house is clean. Silly, but it makes me feel good when things are neat. However, since having Hayden over a year ago, Nick and I struggled to get into an easy and consistent cleaning pattern. In our pre-baby days we would usually do a marathon cleaning session on the weekend for a few hours and then not worry about it during the week. Things would get messy and we'd clean again the next weekend. Now, I usually don't have 3 hours at a time to devote to cleaning and with an active toddler and both of us home all day, our house was getting messy in about 2 hours. I've heard of  a lot of people that said they just cleaned on a daily basis, but it wasn't until I saw a schedule that it made it seem like a manageable way to keep the house clean. 
I found this cleaning schedule from Jenny @ Little Green Notebook. Nick and I followed it for about a month and then I came up with my own version to fit our cleaning needs a little better.

The thing about having a schedule is that my cleaning is broken down into little 15-20 minute chunks, which is so much better for me now.  In the mornings I make the bed as soon as Nick gets up and after we're both ready for the day, I wipe down the bathroom sink. It's easy to unload the dishwasher when Hayden is eating his breakfast. I do a lot of picking up throughout the day; when Hayden finishes one activity and moves on to the next, I pick up all the toys instead of leaving them on the ground. This way, there's not a huge mess by the end of the day. Having one daily chore is great because I can do it while he's napping, when I need a break from work, or right after he goes down for the night. 
At night, Nick has been the one who does the final bedtime routine most nights, now that I'm no longer nursing. This gives me 20 minutes to clean while he's giving H a bottle and then I'm usually done and ready to hang out by the time Hayden's down. If I have a crazy day and don't get to the chore of the day before H's bedtime, Nick is also good about jumping in and helping.
Finally, laundry is usually our downfall. We are good about washing clothes but not so much folding and putting them away. I've found that if I do a load every day instead of saving it all for a "Laundry Day", then everything gets done and put away instead of piling up.
My last cleaning tip is to store supplies where you use them. For example, we have 3 bathrooms, so I have a set of bathroom cleaning supplies for upstairs and downstairs.  I also stash a tube of cleaning wipes (good for wiping down counters) under each sink, including the kitchen sink.  This way I'm not trying to remember where I left the supplies and things are always on hand for a quick clean. We streamlined our cleaning products so rather than having 10 different containers of different products, we use 3 different products the majority of the time (Ms. Meyers Clean Day Spray, Seventh Generation Cleaning Wipes, and Murphy's Oil to clean the floors and wood furniture).
I feel like having this schedule and devoting a little time each day to cleaning makes it so much more manageable and has really resulted in keeping out house mostly clean and neat.
Plus, by doing all the cleaning tasks during the week, our weekends are free for other things! 


13 month favorites

Hayden is becoming more and more of a toddler every day and, his tastes preferences are starting to emerge.  I wanted to share some his (and our) favorite things at this current age. 
  1. Safety First Magnetic Locks: Oh my gosh, these have been a must ever since Hayden started crawling, pulling up, and getting into everything. His favorite activity is opening cabinets and drawers and these locks have helped us keep anything potentially hazardous locked away. They are a little pricier than other door locks, but we love that they can open easily with the magnet and stay securely locked. We didn't take away all his fun- we left one cabinet and a few drawers with things that he can play with, like tupperware. It's definitely a favorite activity for him to pull everything out of the drawer and carry it around the house. 
  2. Baby Swing: Hayden is very lucky and received this swing and a hand-built swing set from his Pops for his birthday. He swings everyday and loves it! The other morning, he crawled right across the wet grass to the swing looked up at it and waited for me to put him in. Loves it! 
  3. Green Toys Trucks: Hayden got a couple of the Green Toys vehicles for his birthday and he loves them. He plays with them in his sandbox and on the lawn. They are sturdy and cute and made from 100% recycled materials. 
  4. Angel Dear Blankie: We got Hayden an Angel Dear Owl Blankie around 6- 7 months and he slept with it every night and all naps. In the last few months he's gotten pretty attached to it and snuggles up with it every night when we put him in his crib. It's so soft, even after multiple washings and the perfect size for a little guy. I couldn't find his owl on the website, but I think this raccoon one is pretty adorable too!
  5. Lollacup: Hayden received a Lollacup as a gift and we put it away for awhile because he wasn't using straws yet. Now, he prefers drinking his milk and water out of straw cups instead of sippy cups. The Lollacups are really cute, safe, and don't leak. We have 3 now and they are our go to cups for everyday use. 
  6. Radioflyer Walker: We also got this as a gift (sensing a theme?!) and Hayden loves throwing things in it and walking around the house with it. The other day we met Daddy outside with the walker and I think it made Daddy's night to see Hayden walking toward him!
  7. Noise Machine: We've been using this one from the start but it is still a lifesaver. It drowns out any other noise, so that Hayden can sleep through his parents ripping out the flooring downstairs or any other background noise. When we put it on now, he knows it's time for nap or bed. We took it with us on several vacations recently and we really think the continuity of the same noise from place to place contributed to his sleeping soundly. 
  8. Gap pants: Love love love these gap pants for baby boys. They are much more stylish than loose sweats but allow Hayden to move around easily, unlike when he's wearing jeans. He has 4 different pairs of these pants and crawls everywhere in them and we have yet to see any holes in the knees. They are super cute and Gap seems to come out with new colors every season. Also so much more affordable than other baby leggings that I've come across! 


love for layered rugs

When we laid our cork floors in July, we both decided that it was necessary to have some rugs to warm up the space and create a little more definition in our ope floor plan. I really love the look of layered rugs and wanted to do the same for our living room. Here's two examples that I pinned of this exact look.
For our own take on this, we purchased a big jute rug from Pottery Barn. We got it for $299, which is a great deal for such a big rug. Then I searched around for an over-dyed kilim type rug for a good price. RugsUSA came through for me. I loved a lot of their colors but most of them were out of stock. Since I was impatient, I ended up picking one of the few that was actually in stock at the time, a rug with purply pinkish tones. It was a fortunate choice, since it really complements our new chairs. 


13 months

Mr. H is 13 months old and more and more of a toddler every day. He is amazing us with all his new skills and words and seems like he's always trying to figure something new out. He has amassed a few new words this month including, "buh bye", "baby" "hey ya" (hi), "Emma" (my sister, Emily). He also says "zzzzz" when we show him a Zebra picture and "buh" when we show him a Bee. 
At 13 months, this kid is on the move, climbing everywhere, and trying to move everything around. His favorite place is in our backyard. Whenever the door is open, he beelines for the great outdoors and loves to explore the yard. He also enjoys rearranging deck furniture and throwing Lucy her ball. He loves to go to the park and slide, swing, and climb. We went on vacation two weeks ago and he loved the beach. He built sandcastles with Daddy, climbed in his tent, played on the beach chairs, and enjoyed the never-ending supply of snacks. 
Hayden's appetite has grown so much this month. He eats pretty much everything and we've started ordering him his own small meal when we go out to eat because he likes it so much more than eating off of our plates. We went out to breakfast for my birthday last week and he ate 1 and half pancakes, a scrambled egg, and a cup of fruit!  He can also  feed himself with a fork and a spoon, but still definitely prefers using his hands to eat. 
My sweet little boy has developed a little bit of a shy streak in the last month. Lots of time when we leave the house and see someone besides Daddy, he puts his head on my shoulder and holds on tight. He's such a sweet cuddly guy and I love watching him grow into a little kid! 



my best friend moved away...

But she gave me these chairs...
It's a consolation prize, I suppose... Between you and me, I'd rather have my BFF then her chairs. She moved to NYC and these chairs would cost more to ship than to buy new, so I got them. We rearranged a few things in the living room so that they could have a spot. I think they work so much better in our space then the old leather chairs did. They leather chairs were a pre-married purchase and they served their purpose well but just weren't fitting into our new smaller living space. 
These two chairs take up much less room, yet provide more seating than the one leather chair that we used to have in here. I'm really liking the purply-grey color of the chairs too. Our living room was heading in a very neutral direction and now with the addition of these two (plus my blue chair) we have a nice color palate going on in here. I like that these chairs make the living room feel a little more feminine without being overly girly. In a house where I'm outnumbered, it's nice to have little doses of femininity, wouldn't you say?  
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