Monthly Archives: April 2013

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outside: let’s live here for a bit

It’s Spring but not quiiiite “Spring” yet in Chicago. We’re close though! The hard edge of winter has finally softened and the sun has been SHINING. Mateo and I have been taking advantage. Lately you can find us at the park.

I can’t wait until we’re eating outside and opening the windows. It’s just around the corner.

auberge de soleil, napa valley

via: Auberge de Soleil, Napa Valley, CA |


How fun would it be if we rented this place for the weekend? Who’s in? Does anyone know how to play Spanish guitar? YOU are totally in. Throw open all the windows and doors and let’s just enjoy all of that fresh air.


Anyone else daydream themselves away? I have mucho practice. ;) I have a whole board called, “let’s live here for a bit” if you ever want to try on something life. And OH man, when the wanderlust really hits, I have a board, “let’s go everywhere“ that should tide you over. Going everywhere is my favorite thing. :)



                      . . .

spring craft

Before you go off and have that GREAT WEEKEND, check out this gorgeousness! Mateo started a Friday art class today. (We like art around here. He’s in a Wednesday art “class” as well). I helped direct a bit, but I think we can still call this a Mateo original.

I was afraid he’d be too young for an art class but I’m glad we signed up! At this age, it’s really art “exploration.” Of course, his favorite part is playing in the park before & after class, but I think he enjoyed the ART as well. :)

MY favorite part is that we are busy all morning and by the time we come home, he’s happy, exhausted and ready for his nap. I’m hoping that we can bring a picnic lunch to eat outside after class next week.

I don’t know that I’m the type of mom who’s going to save all of his masterpieces (at least until he asks) but I would like to remember these moments, and save them for him. So we’re saving it on the old blog.

Woulda been cuter if Mateo was holding his flower, but he’s napping. Sorry folks.


this one is for the grandparents: 19 months

baby suspendersBefore Mateo was born, I had big ideas of taking monthly (possibly weekly?) photos of the little bear and saving all of his milestones along with every photo. Then I realized that I didn’t know how to use my fancy camera, that babies don’t usually cooperate in “photo shoots,” and that I was mighty tired. (and a bit  unorganized). I did take photos (almost) every month but I barely edited any of them. I threw a few on facebook, but honestly most are lost somewhere on my giant hard drive. Shame, shame.

The IDEA was to create a fun photo book to remember that first crazy whirlwind of a year and print off copies for all of the grandparents as well.

For those of you who are awesome and have accomplished taking photos of your children *and* making them into photo books, you guys rock. I see you all over the internet. I wish I was that awesome. Mateo’s grandparents wish I was too. Sorry Noni, Papa, Baka, and Dida.

So Mateo is 19 months old. And hey, now we have the blog! As I said in my introductory post, “let’s document things!” (totally just quoted myself). It’s time to record a few things for the grandparents, and for Mateo to be able to look back one day.

I’ve learned a lot more about my camera since Mateo was born which helps since he’s still not huge fan of photo shoots most of the time. Paparazzi are annoying. I get that.

baby suspenders, 19 months

HERE’S WHAT’S UP @ 19 months (that’s a year & 1/2 + 1 month in normal time):

You flew to Florida to visit your cousins (highlights were being able to run around outside without a jacket and digging in every patch of sand you could find).

In FL you wore a sun hat, fedora, or sunglasses almost the entire time. Um, LOVE that. Last year we couldn’t get you to keep a hat on your head for more than 2 seconds. This year you realize that cute accessories are sometimes practical. You hate the sun glaring in your eyes, and whenever it does, you yell “EYES.”

You were amazing on the plane and I thank you very much. Please let that be a foreshadow to our trip to Europe this summer.

You’re starting to become a very affectionate boy. (at least with mama). You kiss and hug me all the time and I love it. I’ve been WAITING for this!

You LOVE being outside (“Ow-SIGH”) and try to break out of “inside” any chance you get.

You had your first Easter Egg hunt with your buddy, Lawrence. You RAN out there with your basket and I was so proud of what a big boy you were…haha, you were actually making a b-line for a pinecone. You kicked a few eggs, threw a few others, but mainly picked up pine cones. You crack me up. :)

You seriously hate coats, but you’re okay with mittens.

baby-suspenders-focusedYou LOVE playgrounds and especially slides. It’s your happy place.

You know how to eat with a fork and a spoon but you still make a ridiculous mess.

You love elephants, giraffes, and trains (choo choo). The Elmo obsession is still strong but “grouch” and “cookie” are sneaking up. (Oscar the grouch and Cookie Monster). side note: You call Big Bird “Apple” for some reason.

If you see me on Pinterest, you insist that I search for and show you photos of “booo” (making the noise of an elephant while lifting your arm as a trunk) or a “waff.” (giraffe). Apparently you don’t care about fashion, interior design or photography as much as I do. That’s okay, I’m glad you “get” Pinterest. ;)

You have taken to calling yourself “you” and like to point to “you” whenever you want something or feel that injustice has happened to “you.”

You’ve been taking the bus a lot with Tata (Aki) and me but you prefer the train a lot more. You love downtown because of all of the elevated trains. (Choo! Choo!!).

You really like pockets. Coat pockets, pants pockets, sweater pockets…

You have a step stool that you like to push around to give yourself a little height boost. I really have to watch you though because you really do push it around everywhere.

You and Tata (“Dad” in Croatian) are no longer on a first name basis. Phew, looks like that was just a phase. BUT, whenever we are having a serious conversation and not paying attention to you, you yell “AKIIIII” and it totally makes us stop, look at you and laugh. Clever boy!

It’s so funny how (without fail) whenever you see a squirrel, or truck, or a train, bus, or plane you always look at me and say, “more.” I don’t quite have the power you think I have. ;)


It should be mentioned that although I don’t really like Mateo watching TV or movies, in order to take these photos, I absolutely put on the movie, “Cars” so he wouldn’t run away. I admit it. And it Totally worked. Too bad I didn’t catch him smiling, or ever really figure out the right exposure for taking photos in front of a sunny window…but whatever, I’m glad I turned on the TV and captured him at 19 months. He looked mighty dapper in his handsome outfit.

Because it seems that quite a few people land on this page by googling “toddler suspenders” or “baby suspenders” I thought I should add that Mateo’s pants (and attached suspenders) are from Zara. I don’t know whether his particular trousers are in stock or not, but they always carry some adorable version of shorts or pants with suspenders. So go and put some suspenders on your baby!


let’s get dressed together

It’s the FIRST of the month and we have 30 fresh, new days ahead of us! I’m going to begin mine with a new styling series. Without further ado, let’s begin with a “Spring Look.” So did you know, it’s officially SPRING already? I kinda just found out. Why didn’t you guys tell me? I know…what rock do I live under? This is not the place to come for breaking news. I asked Aki the other day if it was 2013. :/ (it is). I think sometimes he wonders how I’ve made it this far in life without him. Whatever Aki, I made it just fine!anatomy of an outfitThis isn’t a “what to wear” or a “what to buy” post. It’s more a, “hey, I wore this” post. I’m going to be doing more of these. Because they’re fun.

This is pretty typical “me,” and a good representation of where I get clothes and how I put them together. Nothing special. I wore this to my (super cute/awesome) cousin’s fifth birthday party this weekend. As usual, getting dressed was the last thing I did before running out of the house. Sometimes the more rushed, the more creative. This was a new combo of frequently worn items.

Although I LOOOOVE clothes and fashion, these days I’m not pouring much money into my wardrobe. The moolah is going to the house, the baby, babysitters, and family vacations. And that’s okay. Lately I’d rather save up for camera lenses, a writing tablet for photoshop, more baby suspenders, stuff like that. ;)

Now if you want to see what I’d be wearing on an unlimited  budget, I’ve got a whole board dedicated to my personal style. It’s also how I see myself walking down the street in my make-believe world. <3. I’m so  awesome in that world. ;) I add new outfits and looks almost every day. Thank goodness it’s enough for me to just “pin” or I’d be in BIG trouble. Ughh, I do fantasize about a “buy it (ALL) now” button & having the entire board delivered to my house. sigh…

thrifting finds


1. Timex army green watch. So cheap, so cute with everything. The hands are red, love that.

2. Leather belt (just peeking in this look). Everyone needs a brown leather belt. I have one to cinch at my waist and another larger one to wear at my hips with pants. This one has a brass buckle which I love. I got it from a thrift store years ago (probably under $5) and it’s aged to perfection.

3. This is my sister’s sweater. I got it for her from Target. It’s an Oatmeal color, loose, and a great length. It’s better with pants, but it works here too. It’s loose and looks great with skinny jeans. I wish I’d bought one for myself!

4. The “dress” underneath is actually a SKIRT that I bought at a thrift store. It was a blouse/skirt set, probably $6 for both. As a set, it’s that out-of-date grandma pioneer look. So I separate them. ;) I LOVE the blouse, and wear it with pants. The skirt looks great as a dress with a belt to cinch at your waist. This day, I pulled some of the fabric above the belt to make the top “pouffier” which gave the bottom the “high/low” look. In the summer, you can just wear it with a slip underneath and throw on some sandals.

5. This is my favorite purse. I got it at a thrift store (again years ago, and again for probably $6 at absolute most). It’s leather and beautifully worn-in and the perfect size! It has two pockets inside and a back slot to put any extras or papers. It’s small and easy to throw cross body but it fits everything I need plus more. (phone, wallet, idea notebook, pens, lip glosses, junk). It also fits a child sippy cup. ;) This is the perfect travel bag, I always bring it with me.

6. These olive pants are my favorite. They are so comfortable and look great with everything. They’re as versatile as jeans, but give you a different look. I won’t give you the brand because I honestly don’t recommend whatever these are. I got them at Marshalls for $7.99 a year ago. I need to get a high quality pair somewhere. So worth it. Go get yourself a pair. Oh, I said it wasn’t going to be a “what to buy” post, didn’t I…

7. Simple slip on shoes from Target. I like to spend a little more on shoes typically. I think it’s worth it for comfort and quality but these were cute and cheap so I impulse bought them last year. I still think they’re very cute as long as you don’t look too close. ;)

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So there ya go! My first “Style” post and my first “Anatomy of an Outfit” post. On the first of the month! It ended up being quite a budget outfit as well. That’s always good!

Who else is proud of their thrifting finds? Anyone else rocking a skirt as a dress. Or a dress over pants? We live crazy lives, don’t we? ;)

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Wishing everyone a great April. Make it count! I know it’s cheesy, but I just love any new, fresh opportunity, even if it’s just turning the calendar page. It makes me hopeful.



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