Tuesday, July 30, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: Far away, atop a hill and feeling free.
Alba: Close up, wind in her hair and snuggled on her quilt.

As always, joining in with the lovely Jodi.


Friday, July 26, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: Shopping around in the driveway, you told me you were going to Target.
Alba: You are no longer my newborn. We meet again, bittersweet moment.

As always, joining in with the lovely Jodi.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

moments in july

Hello, dear friends in blog land.  How are you?  We've been quietly enjoying each other's company and taking it slow and easy.  I recently returned to work, so all of my days off have been divided between editing photos, freelance work, or caring for these two delicious bundles of mine.

(I'm happiest when it's the latter).

My journal has been getting more and more attention lately, it seems my mind is busy with things and plans I've made but just simply haven't had the time to act out yet.  I believe it helps to write it all down, especially when time is scarce.  I know that eventually I will get a break in the action to start acting on the projects and columns and yoga and healthiness that have all been slipping between my fingers.  I'm smiling because I know there's just not time in the day for everything and I'm slowly learning to just ahhhh - breathe - accept it.   Not an easy thing for me to do!

How have your summer/winter months been going?

What's been on your to-do list?


Thursday, July 18, 2013

noeuf + a summer child's play givewaway

Summer, a time for imagination, sun-kissed cheeks, running wild with the wind in your hair and spending those quiet moments too, creativity blossoming. To make imaginative play even more fun, we have partnered with the brilliant and generous Noeuf,  'le concept baby store.'

Two winners will receive the toy of their choice for the special little one in their lives:

1. The ever popular Theo the Cat from Blabla Kids. A perfectly cuddly companion made from natural fibers of exceptional quality, grown in Peru and knitted by Peruvian artisans. Valued at $54.99

2. The perfect beginnings for your little fisherman, the Sevi Fisherman's Set is perfect for indoor play or summertime adventures outside by the lake.  Grab the rod and catch as many magnetic fish as you can, but be careful you don't catch an old boot instead! Valued at $49.80

3. Selecta's Saw Playset is made from 100% natural wood materials and "cuts" apart with velcro. This adorable forest looks perfect perched on display in your child's room when playtime is over. Valued at $31.45

4. This sweet and classic dino push toy from DwellStudio is a favorite among children's interior decorators. A vibrant blue beauty, sure to be hours of fun. Valued at $26.19

5. Omy Geometric Magic Sticker Decals can endlessly be applied anywhere (walls, paper, furniture, windows and more!) and used over and over again. These hip geometric shapes are valued at $24.88

6. Friend to Theo, Colette the Cat doll is a Blabla Kids favorite. Made from natural fibers of exceptional quality, grown in Peru and knitted by Peruvian artisans. Valued at $54.99

- - - - - - - - 

Two winners have a chance to enter the giveaway a total of three times:

• Entry one - leaving a comment here on the blog with the toy you'd love most.
• Entry two - heading to Facebook and giving Noeuf a "like!"
• Entry three - supporting D&SJ by "liking" on Facebook or sharing this giveaway via social media.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. This giveaway ends on Thursday, July 25th and winners will be announced on this post, so make sure to check back! Your prize will be shipped via the supplier, Noeuf, and we are opening it up to all of our international readers as well.  Good luck!


This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to our winners, comment number nine: Irene, and comment number forty-four: Emily

I will be contacting you soon x


Sunday, July 14, 2013

the big reveal

Over the weekend, Erick's brother and sister-in-law threw an amazing "reveal" party to announce the sex of their new baby due in October - it's a girl!  We couldn't be more excited for them! I have to say I'm feeling a bit chuffed since I did guess correctly and knew from the minute I took a look at that first ultrasound photo ;)

Balloons were thrown high in the air, cake was shared among family and friends, and ice cream was supplied by the neighborhood truck. For as much as we want to move out of the south side of the city, it's little backyard get-togethers like these that will always hold a special place in my heart.

Naturally, I felt the need to document the day in it's entirety.

I am so glad I did.

Hector and Illiana, we cannot WAIT to spoil this little girl!


Saturday, July 13, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: I'm beginning to fear what will happen once you realize the ice-cream truck doesn't stop in the winter.
Alba: That serious, soulful gaze. I could look into those eyes all day. And smooch those lips. And...

As always, joining in with the lovely Jodi.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

first hair cut

Sitting poolside getting her first trim

For many years of my life, through my childhood, adolescence, college years and more, my father has been the only person to cut my hair. Since moving to the city and over an hour's drive from my parent's house, I've had to find a salon. Quite frankly, I'm bummed about it. Nothing compares to being able to have haircuts at home! The thought of trimming Sofia's hair has been something we struggled with for two whole years - in fact, it's taken us this long to even consider it. I loved (and still love!) her unruly curls, the long locks in the back... it's just the wisps that were constantly dipping into her food and sticking with sweat in her eyes that I just couldn't bear to let her endure any longer.

Armed with lollys in each of her hands and her feet splashing into the side of the pool, my dad, Sofia's "tampa", snipped a tiny asymmetrical baby fringe onto our firstborn. It's amazing seeing things like this come full circle, remembering myself as a little one thinking how awesome it was that I had a dad that did something as cool as hairdressing for a living. Now my daughter is thinking the same thing, no doubt. While Sofia sure didn't make the experience easy, it was hilarious, and it was fun.

Sofia, I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Dad, you still amaze me.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sofia: Over the weekend we celebrated your second birthday over at your Grandma's house. You're an absolute water bug, very excited that your Gram hosted the party at her house with her big blue pool. All your friends splashed the day away with you. You're quick to tell us when something is not going the way you planned it to - just like any two year old should do. Getting you out of the pool at any given time was definitely not in said plan.

Alba: My sweet girl with the big lips and poof of strawberry blonde hair; not surprisingly, your hair has magically changed over the months from the dark brown set you were given at birth. You had no problems being passed along to all of our extended family members that haven't had the chance to meet you yet. You slept most of the day, like you usually do, but managed to give me one squishy stare before I put my camera down for the night.


Monday, July 08, 2013

three / 52

Three Favorites from the 52 Project

Sofia - 18/52 communion cake outside - 9/52 fun in the shower - 17/52 little flower fairy
Alba - 19/52 her first appearance in the series -  26/52 the sweetest stare -  22/52 sling naps

My girls, we are already halfway through this year and of course, I'm sitting here in disbelief at the speed of time. Watching your growth over the past six months has been as magical as ever. Sofia, you've blossomed into a little lady, a protective and playful big sister, an independent adventurer. Alba, I've watched you change before my eyes from a squishy newborn to a bright-eyed chunky monkey flashing me smiles that melt my heart to puddles. I'm honored to be the mother of these two amazing little girls. The lights of my life.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

urban garden : raised bed DIY

One of my goals for this summer was to build a raised bed garden; not much tastes better than freshly picked vegetables and fruit. The opportunity to facilitate learning around wholesome, homegrown food right here at home was one I have dreamt about teaching my children ever since I became a mom. It seemed like such a distant memory in the depths of winter, but now that our rainy season has taken a break we have headed into gardening with full force (and muddy toes!)

I wish I had taken more pictures during the construction of the bed itself, but we used this as a resource.

The bed contains a mixture of organic garden soil, mushroom compost, and a peat-moss topsoil enhancer.

This is our first year attempting to have green thumbs and I know I'll be happy even if we don't yield much. We have a variety of peppers planted, along with tomatoes, squash, and cucumber. I'm hoping to eventually add strawberries, lettuce and the carrots that we picked up from Silver Owl Moon Farm. I'll be updating as things progress, and regardless, it has been entirely too much fun getting outside as a family and getting dirt underneath our fingernails.

Digging in the earth is good for the soul.


Monday, July 01, 2013

in the city : parson's chicken and fish

Nestled in a tiny, inconspicuous cove up in the north side Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago, Parson's Chicken and Fish is a delicious spot that is suitable for the whole family, and definitely not short on trendiness or flair. Erick and I knew this would be the perfect place to welcome his brother and sister-in-law home from their cross country move back to Chicago. Parson's is known for their delicious fried chicken, best use of a slushy machine, and the ever tempting funnel cake if you're up for dessert. You can relax in the summer sun in their extensive outdoor patio, play a round of ping-pong, or take photos near the gorgeous, lushly vined brick walls. As a brand new establishment opening up just recently this past June, I'd say they're off to a great start.

( Thank you to all of you that wished a little sunshine our way - it finally came out to play! )

What were you up to this weekend?

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