Friday, June 26, 2015

This year I planted geraniums. One planter of hot pink geraniums and one tiny pot of basil. My entire garden in two containers. The weeds in our front yard need attention. Outside my kitchen window I see the spot in our backyard slotted for a vegetable garden. Then I remind myself this is not the season for planting. Nor is it the time for a garden. In past seasons the time and attention I devoted to a garden are currently consumed by a ten-month-old. She is my wake-up call. She calls the shots around here and has recently decided that only her mom can put her to bed at night. I won't lie, working 14 hour days is exhausting. Saturday morning I get a break, but otherwise it's a 24-hour job. The longest-shortest time.

We spent a lot of time outside this week. We went to the pool and went for walks. Amelia is always up for an adventure, unless she's tired. Just a few months ago I was the subject of her curiosity. She'd explore my face and hair for what seemed like hours. Now her attention has shifted and the outside world fascinates her. Luckily geraniums and basil are edible.

This last image is out of focus but I suppose that's how life is sometimes. Out of focus, perfect in its imperfection.
A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Five Tricks for Traveling with a Baby

Monday, June 22, 2015

Over the weekend Amelia and I took a short flight to visit family in Georgia. It was our third time flying together and my second time taking her on my own. While the short flight felt like a luxury here are five extra things I did to make our trip a little easier.

1. Check bags curbside. In addition to our giant rolling suitcase this time I also needed to take a carseat and playard for Amelia to sleep in. Just as we pulled into the airport I had an aha moment where I realized I could simply drop all three items at the curbside check-in counter. Done and done. Not only did it save us wrangling the luggage and waiting in line it was so easy! (Just remember to have cash, around $3 per bag, to tip the baggage handler.)

2. Wear slip on shoes. This is pretty self explanatory, but I'm telling you it makes the security line process much smoother. In fact I think TSA is working on making slip on shoes mandatory for ALL travelers.
3. Pack a backpack. Handsfree is the name of the game when traveling with a baby. Also, it's tough to sling a messenger bag while wearing a baby carrier. Even if your go-to diaper bag isn't a backpack try packing one just for travel.

4. Pocket your ID. Try wearing pants (or any outfit with a pocket) to and from the airport. This will let you store your ID in an easily accessible location and save you the hassle of rummaging through your bag or purse for your wallet. Once you've passed security and reached the gate simply put your ID back in your wallet. This trick is great for domestic flights. Although I haven't traveled internationally with a baby, I would similarly wear a money belt at the airport for easy access to passports.
5. Board Early. Because traveling with a baby requires extra gear, extra time, and extra patience I think airlines give parents a bit of a break by saying Hey, we know this is tough, feel free to settle in early and make yourself comfortable. 

And there you have it. Five easy tricks for flying with a baby! Have you traveled with a baby? Anything you would add to this list?

More tips on traveling with a baby. 


Friday, June 19, 2015

A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015.


Friday, June 12, 2015

A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Homemade: Mango Quinoa Salad

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer is here and with it comes any reason to eat outdoors. Picnics, outdoor concerts, and BBQs are my favorite summer staple. This flavorful salad is my go-to side dish for just such gatherings. I love that it's fresh and flexible, easy to put together, and packed with colorful ingredients. Sometimes I'll throw in a handful of chopped cucumbers for crunch or diced avocados for flavor. You can even swap out the mango for nectarines or peaches. Whatever suits your fancy. And it's always a hit. Happy alfresco eating!

Mango Quinoa Salad
(serves 6)

2 cups cooked quinoa at room temperature
1-14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 medium mangoes peeled and diced
One red pepper diced
Six green onions, thinly sliced
One handful chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
Combine all ingredients in large bowl.

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Mix together and pour over salad.

Add to taste:
Kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Chill for 1-2 hours.

Click here for more recipes.

Automating Monday

Monday, June 8, 2015

Since becoming a stay-at-home-mom I've become keenly aware of the role routine plays in my day. My schedule, dictated largely by an almost ten-month-old, is filled not just with photo sessions, but with fairly mundane household tasks. These chores—though essential to running our home—could, if I am not careful, easily consume my entire day. About two months ago I decided to devote specific days of the week to individual tasks. Rather than rushing around and trying to keep the house clean every day or worrying about when I would have time to go grocery shopping I divided my weekly chores to specific days of the week. Now I know that every Monday is laundry (and grocery) day. By allowing an entire day to complete one (sometimes two or three) things I can focus my energy on that and forget about the rest. And know what? It helps. Automating basic tasks gives me the freedom to forget about the outfit I spilled lunch on or the bathtub that needs a good scrub. Not only am I learning to live with a more lived-in space, I feel happier when I use uninterrupted alone time (read: nap time) to do something creative, read a book, call my sisters, or just relax. Have you ever tried automating anything?

Image via.


Friday, June 5, 2015

A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Special thanks to Erin for taking these pictures.

Currently | 6.3.2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

READING: Just picked up this funny lady's book. Also, the above mural reminds me of this novel I read in high school and absolutely hated. Anyone else have that experience? Maybe I should try reading it again.

WATCHING: This heartwarming family film (available on Netflix) and this touching music video.

EATING: Rhubarb anything!

ENJOYING: Taking monthly pictures of Amelia in front of our giant Stendig calendar.

MAKING: An outdoor herb and strawberry garden in the pioneer-style handcart the previous owner left behind.

LISTENING: This fascinating podcast.

SAVING FOR: This gorgeous summer essential.

THINKING ABOUT: Hosting a backyard movie party! Wouldn't that be A BLAST?

REMEMBERING: The wonderful photo session and perfect weather we had for my mom's 60th birthday last month.

EXCITED FOR: A trip to see family in Georgia that I haven't seen in three years.

Mural by Peat Wollaeger, located in South St. Louis, MO. 

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