Around Here

It’s been a touch and go kind of week around here. My twelve-month old is getting close to walking and therefore has decided she doesn’t like to nap or sleep at night and I think two new teeth are making their appearance which isn’t helping the sleep department either.



sand play


the library


the wagon


This tired mama has been making lots of quick and easy dinners (like these great black-bean chullupas, recipe courtesy of Ellie’s Great-Grandma). We’ve also been spending lots of time playing and exploring in Ellie’s new sandbox (thank you Nana and Papa!). I took Ellie to visit the local library for the first time (she loved it and continuously signed “books” while we were there). And there have been lots of evening walks in the wagon with “pink baby” and the doggies.

Tin Lights For A Summer Evening

We have this deck in our backyard that was probably previously used for a hot tub. I’ve been dreaming up ways to spiff it up ever since we moved to this house. Right before Ellie’s birthday party, with the help of my husband and father-in-law, we turned the space into a lovely summer time gathering area.

our patio


What really makes it fun though are the tin can lights. I wanted them as soon as I saw the inspiration on this blog. We did our’s a little differently but they turned out adorable and are so much fun when it’s dark out. I decided to put LED tea lights inside of them so I didn’t have to worry about the fire aspect and they work just as well, even flickering like the real thing.

tin can in day


with led lights


I took a sharpie and drew designs on each can (Jeff got fancy and looked up constellations for some of them and copied the design). After each can was sharpied-up, Jeff took a nail and a hammer and hammered holes where the sharpie dots were. My father-in-law helped get them all hung up on the bamboo rods and twine and we were all set.

more tin cans


high up


A cozy space to sip wine, watch the baby play in the grass and chat with friends into the night-time hours was created. I’m liking it so far!

the whole shebang!








mammal hall

bears oh my!

lookiin at spiders

through the screen



tinkertoy fun



in the garden

walking and idleing

playing in the creek


i found a rock!

on a log

goodbye museum!

We had a wonderful weekend and spent a very special Sunday down in Santa Barbara at the Museum of Natural History. We had never been and found a real treasure! It was very child-friendly and Ellie seemed to just devour every new room we brought her into. There were areas for her to crawl around within the museum and there were children’s books about certain subjects (like insects) in many of the rooms as well. We got to see mammals of North America, birds, giant squid, minerals, real live insects and Ellie explored their tinker-toy lab which she thoroughly enjoyed. There was an amazing outdoor area with rocks to climb on and sticks to build with and even a little stream with buckets for children to fill water and rocks with. It was a lovely place to visit and I’m certain we will return.

*joining Amanda for Weekending!

Portrait Project


beachy one year old

eloise: you are a one year old! Wow, did that go by quick! We had a lovely party to celebrate on sunday and then this picture was taken on your actual birthday, after dinner with your Nana and Papa, right before we headed home for the evening. You were quite happy scooping rocks up and digging into the chilly evening sand with your toes. You fell asleep on my chest that night, just as you had done a year ago, pink and brand new.  

-joining jodi for the 52 project!

Eloise’s Monthly Photo

“When the day that lies ahead of me, seems impossible to face, when someone else instead of me always seems to know the way. Then I look at you, and the world’s alright with me, Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be a lovely day…”

(this song was in my head a year ago today as I labored for 23 + hours and pushed my sweet baby girl Eloise into this world. The lyrics have stuck with me and every time I hear this song it reminds me of my beautiful girl. Happy Birthday Eloise Harper! Today truly is a “lovely day”).

ellie 12 months

Weekending: 1st Birthday Edition

We had a very Happy 1st Birthday this weekend! Ellie turned one (or actually will turn one officially tomorrow) and we celebrated with lots of friends and family at our house. Ellie seemed to have a wonderful time and just kept playing and socializing and going and going… Oh what a joy today was and what pure joy our little Eloise Harper has brought to our lives.

one wreath

oh happy day


banana muffins

close up balloon

butterflies in the sky

ribbon highschair

the dessert table

11 months




the birthday crawl

birthday gal plays

my pretty girl

daddy look!

mama fun

playing in the balls

banana cupcake muffin



the grandparents

lovely day

Credits to all the lovely people who helped make today wonderful:

Hot Air Balloons: handmade by my mom (I helped)

oh happy day and lovely day signs:  handmade by me

one wreath: handmade by me

Ellie’s dress: handmade by my mom

Ellie’s bib: handmade by Cory of Dreaming of Pastures

Ellie’s crown: etsy shop Dream Child

Ellie’s month by month cards were made: using these people

and thank you to Jeff’s wonderful family for all the set up help and to everyone that made it. It was so wonderful having my friends and their babies there, grandparents, great grandparents (one whom was here and the other was here in spirit through the beautiful painting she sent for Ellie), cousins, neighbors… so many loved ones! Thank you all for a very special day! 

*joining Amanda at The Habit for Weekending!

Portrait Project


grampas birthday

eloise: it’s getting harder to take your “portrait” these days because you are constantly moving, constantly doing and going and climbing and playing and exploring. I’m thinking my portraits will be taking a different turn from now on and I’m looking forward to capturing my almost one year old in more action shots. This shot was taken while at a park near your Gramma and Grandpa’s house. It was your Grandpa’s birthday this week and we spent a wonderful morning with him. You are enjoying all sorts of new things like the swings, climbing the climbers, swimming in a pool (for the first time this week) and sliding down a slide on your own. I’m so excited to celebrate your first birthday this weekend and see what new things you learn every day after!

-joining Jodi for the 52 project!