Thursday, September 29, 2011

SUCH A GREAT IDEA





How great of an idea is it to paint your hardwood floors white?  We have a bunch of hardwood
at our apartment, but I haven't been brave enough to paint over it yet.  After seeing these photos,
I almost can't help myself now... So, what do you guys think?  Worth it?  Something about white
has always been so appealing to me on floors.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THE MAYA WRAP - HOW WE GET AROUND



I love the Maya Wrap so much! It's really been the highlight of getting around with a new baby.  Sofia loves being close to me, whether we're washing the dishes, feeding, getting groceries, or walking around outside.  I would be absolutely lost without this, and I can't wait to try out some other baby-wearing methods.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW...




Wow, it's hard not to remember those days. ^^


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

THEY DESERVE SOME CREDIT

I just wanted to share with you the highlights of someone very near and dear to me, my sister, Rebecca Votta.  Together with another friend of ours, Justin Teichen they created a masterpiece of a video called Fifty People, One Question Chicago.  It's been making the internet rounds at popular places like:

- Gapersblock
- Huffington Post
- Chicagoist
- Storyful


... and now me and Abby's favorite of all time, DesignMom.

Seriously, congrats you guys.  It's so cool to be able to be related to a famous person.  Yep.  So cool.




cinematography/director of photography: justin teichen editor: rebecca votta directed by: galvea kelly


Monday, September 26, 2011

THE GLOOMY DAYS ARE BEAUTIFUL

images: one, two, three & four.

Nothing wrong with some good old fashioned gloom.  Bring it on, fall.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

WE HAVE SOMETHING COMING FOR YOU...





Sofia, Erick and I are in the process of putting together a video demo of the Maya Wrap  and I am so excited to show you all.  Sofia had three outfit changes in the middle of her first real video shoot, and let me tell you - we are so lucky this little girl loves to get naked.  Haha.  She absolutely loves getting changed!  We're not done with it yet, though so I figured during our editing process I would throw up a few stills to tide you over till then!  Can't wait.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FEELIN' PINK (FOR NO REASON!)

images: top and bottom


I am the farthest thing away from a glorified "girly pink" female, but I just couldn't resist these photos today.  Love the concept and damn, do I want that bike!


SO WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

Have you ever wondered where all of your time goes?  I was sitting around this morning wondering why I'm constantly playing a game of catch up, and this is what I found:


Well, looks like I'll have to adjust something, somewhere.  I spend around 80% of my time working, driving, and sleeping.  I'd love to have a more balanced schedule, but I guess we all would.  It's something I'm truly striving toward.  If your life had a chart, what would it look like?  I'm curious, because I feel like I can't be the only one who feels 'out-of-sorts' lately!

Monday, September 19, 2011

MY FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A MORNING

photo from here

Some of my favorite moments are the quiet ones I spend in the mornings of my days off.  I walk outside tippy-toed on the cold wood floor, grab my robe, put on a pot of my Dunkin Donuts coffee and sit and my desk and grab a little sun.  Nothing in particular, just silence with a warm cup of coffee in my hands.  It's my little break before I jump on the computer or even start to get ready for the day.  Something as simple as the sun spilling through the windows brings peace to the crazy week and gives me yet another day, another reason to be thankful I woke up to live.  Friends, what is your favorite way to spend a morning? 



Sunday, September 18, 2011

WHY I'M NOT A SUPERMOM


Let's face the facts- I have a lot going on.  It seems everyone these days forgets (or just doesn't really know) what it means to be a parent.  Both Erick and I make a lot of effort to make sure Sofia has the best life, love and affection, and necessities she needs to grow up in a happy home.  Both of us working full time jobs... on top of freelancing... on top of previously mentioned 3 month old... it adds up to be one big neverending whirlwind we call "life" now.

Our week is compiled with me waking up at 6:00AM every morning, changing the baby, feeding the baby, barely making the time crunch to get ready for work, sitting in rush hour traffic, working an 8 to 9 hour day, sitting in rush hour traffic AGAIN, maybe squeezing in a few miles of a run (if I'm lucky), make dinner or find another option, feed baby, change baby, play with baby, take a bath, swaddle her up and put her to bed, work on freelance projects until my eyes droop over, sleep, then repeat FOR THE NEXT FIVE DAYS.  I have a total of maybe 3 hours a night where I'm actually up after I get home from work to be able to spend with my family and then it's back to sleep to start it all over.

Needless to say, our weekends now as adults are a constant game of catch-up.  Fun and going out (for whatever reason) is nearly non-existant.  Hell, we're even lucky if we have beer in the house to drink at home!  I guess is what I'm trying to say is that I'm no supermom.  I tried to do it all, and I failed.  But I do what I can.  And I'm sure I take on a lot more than most people.  Regardless of how hard I try, things will always be sacrificed, dishes will always be in the sink, laundry will always be a few days late, and certain projects I had going will be put on pause so I can spend time with the people that I love.

I will always have morning hair.

There will always be those thoughts of if I'm a good enough mom, a good enough wife, a good enough friend.  I'll wonder if I'm always going to work in retail or if I'll have the time to establish myself as a creative professional.  One thing is for sure- I'll always have to say "no" to certain events and parties, I'll always forget to do something I was supposed to do, and I'll always miss out on certain opportunities in order to make a life and a living for the people I call my family.  The people who will have my heart for the rest of my life.  There are countless, absolutely breathless moments that I receive as gifts of my labor.  You can't put a price on something like that.








^^  Especially the moments I spend watching my daughter dream.  I hope she dreams happy thoughts.  Memories of this crazy, beautiful life we've made.  She is my everything.

MY WELLNESS JOURNEY - YOU'RE INVITED

from here

Probably against my better judgement, I've decided to share my post-baby weight loss journey with the internet.  It's kind of a weird thing to do, I guess... but what more motivation than having to post a photo every week?  I hope that by doing this I cannot only help myself, but the millions of other mama's that are trying to get as close as they can to their pre-preggo self.  Now, do yourselves a favor and make it easier for you in the long run- DON'T gain 50 pounds when you have your babies.  Haha.



PATCHOULI ZUM BAR



So I know I'm a Lush girl at heart, but I just can't get over indigo wild's zum bar patchouli soap.  It's all natural (really)  and the smell isn't super overpowering.  My skin always feels ridiculously soft when I'm done with my showers and it's great on your face, too!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

PAINT SWATCHES - ARIAN BEHZADI





So all I'm going to say about Arian is that he's a Neurobiology major at UC Davis and just so happens to do visual design work 'on the side'.  Holy crap, man!  Kids these days... I tell ya.  These are just a few of my many favorites of his.  Hope you enjoyed as much as I did!


FAMILY DAY - BRUNCH & SHOPPING

















Gosh I love family day.  I think if it weren't for our Saturdays all together I would completely go insane.  Today we enjoyed brunch at a new spot up in Edgewater called M.Henry.  Suuuper delish.  I recommend the key-lime tarts, bliss cakes, and the house-brewed lattes.  We spent the rest of our day walking around outside in the (beautiful) semi-fall Chicago weather.  After we got our fill of the Northside we headed to Whole Foods and spent the greater part of two hours in there.  I love that store. I really do.  Did you all have a great weekend?  What's your perfect Saturday?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CONFIDENT STATEMENTS

top and bottom

Red makes such a bold statement, doesn't it?  Definitely the color of confidence.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MARRIAGE: MOTIVATING EACH OTHER

I wanna talk about motivation. 

You're only doing your husband or wife a disservice when you let them just sit in their lives unchanging and stagnant.  This is the person you promised to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse... so kick their butt into shape, man!  Now just to be clear- motivation is always respectful, never spiteful.  It's never "hey fatass, lay off the chips ahoy," but "okay, monday- me and you have a date at the gym".  If  you're not constantly reevaluating not only your own goals, but your partner's as well, you're not helping each other become the best possible version of his/her self.  And (trust me) it's okay to fall into the trap of staleness or resting on your laurels sometimes, but you just have to know how to motivate each other to help get out of those slumps that we all fall in.

If I don't surround myself with people that are constantly just "doing" things I personally tend to get unmotivated.  I think it helps that I married a highly motivated man and have highly motivated friends.  If Erick isn't working at his job, he's making music, singlehandedly trying to start his design and production company, or working on cover art and logos for up-and-coming artists.  

He pushes me to do better.
To be better.

Erick and I have been separated by our work schedules a lot this week and it's been tough on us.  We need to make time for our marriage and family while still managing to grow as individuals.  I think that every second we get we are evaluating each other... seeing how we feel... what we can do to help one another out.  Even though we may not have all the time in the world, we have the right foot forward.  We're making lasting impacts and asking each other to give 110%.  He's kicking my ass.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HAVE CAKE, WILL TRAVEL


from here

Really... is this brunch overkill?  I cant help that I'm a fan of food and great photos.  These ones from Have Cake, Will Travel deserve a spotlight tonight.  Hellooo carbs.  Get in my belly!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

HONESTY - THE OTHER SIDE OF MOTHERHOOD


So as much as I love reading the blogs that are all happy-cheery-nothing ever goes wrong type of blogs, I also appreciate a little honesty when it comes to life.  Things aren't always perfect.  And as much as being a mother has, and always will be, the greatest thing that has ever happened to me-  sometimes things just aren't easy.  I had my first claustrophobic or trapped feeling the other day.  It pains me to even say that, but I think most of us go through something similar.  I hope we all do, anyway.  

For whatever reason, things, feelings and emotions in general seem to creep up to me at nighttime.  It's like, finally when I'm ready for bed and I'm warm and cozy under the covers, all I can do is think.  Why I don't reflect on the great things that happen in the day beats me... but I'll just lay there thinking of how I've 'lost myself' and my 'spontaneity is gone'.  Then the 'I'm a terrible person' talk starts.  The point is- having a baby takes up the majority of your time.  You have to learn to find new balance.  50% of my week is spent bouncing, singing, changing diapers, cleaning up puke, fishing out turds in the bathtub, having someone suck on my boob, dishing out kisses, biting cheeks, smelling freshly-shampooed hair and cuddling up to the greatest little girl in the world.  The other 50% is spent working.  There really is no in between.

The other day I thought, "Gee... what ever happened to doing things outside this summer?"  (It also doesn't help that summer is practically over)... and thus began the thoughts of how I felt stuck.  I wanted to be able to go take a walk outside, spend time listening to music or going to fests, getting the chance to hoop and learn new tricks or work on some new paintings and sketches.  But then, I realized it's okay to feel like this, especially when I'm only three months in to figuring out this whole mother-baby-family stuff.  I am by NO MEANS a pro yet.  I have a long way to go.  But the point that maybe I failed to understand these past three months is, that joy and happiness come in different forms.  All the missed opportunities I couldn't spend outside, I was inside making new memories, seeing smiles for the very first time and sleeping-in with a tiny person snuggling close to me.  The times I couldn't listen to live music at a festival I spent making up new songs to sing to my daughter.  Hearing her very first laughs.  Things are just different.  I have to adjust.  I love every moment I spend with my daughter, I only wish it were more.  

Someday we'll have a house in a neighborhood that is safe to walk around in.  And to make sure that happens, that alone is the reason I'm still working.  

To make sure we have that house.

The one where we'll make even more memories.







Everything I do, I do for you little girl.

LET'S BE GRATEFUL . . .

organization makes me happy.  found here.

Without further ado, I introduce to you 'weekend happiness round-up'.  I gladly encourage you to do the same!  Here's what made me happy this week:

[x]  Missing brunch on Saturday, but getting homemade huevos motuleƱos made for me instead.
[x]  Eating my first hotdog out of a box at Superdawg drive-in with coworkers.
[x]  Seeing the Jewel Osco commercial on TV with the new "fresh" jingle and dancing along.
[x]  Sofia shared with Grandma her first belly laugh.
[x]  Abby finds the whale.  Then, it goes viral.  (Thank you, the internet).
[x]  I went to the farmer's market and made a pie.
[x]  Erick tells the story of 'two souls becoming one soul'.  I'll remember that forever.  
[x]  Erick posted on the blog!
[x]  I actually broke my 160 lbs plateau.  Woo!
[x]  I found Tim Coulson and was changed for the better.

SIMPLE LIVING













I haven't taken much time to do anything other than put a pot of coffee on, today.  Sofia is getting bigger and more interested in the world around her, so that means more of my time is spent feeding her curiosity and huger for knowledge of the new things she sees.  She spends more time awake, less time asleep, and definitely more time eating.  (Hey, I'm growing Mom!)  We spend less time doing laundry and dishes on our days off and more time talking about life.  We walk around the apartment and I explain ordinary objects.  How sweet it is to learn about life all over again.