Monday, December 17, 2012

Here's to touching hearts.

Today I received a Christmas card from Mary Lou who was our neighbor in 2005 in La Jolla, California. When we met, she was little sweet woman in her early 90s who had a coveted 2 bedroom apartment next to ours insisted we spend our last night in - before we made our big move to Seattle in 2006. The morning we left she made us breakfast which included the strongest chicory coffee. We still laugh out loud about the drive, long drive after that morning.

When I sent our holiday card to Mary Lou this year, I wondered if she would still be around to receive it. To my happy surprise,  tonight in our mailbox her annual Christmas card arrived. It reads:

"...Now launched into my 99th year, I'm thinking it may be my last. Getting to know the likes of you has made it a great run.

Love, Mary Lou" 

I am inspired by this woman for so many reasons. The few stories she shared with me about having a family, moving across the country, being married to a red head too ;), and more.

She has touched my life and I hope I will be the happy old woman she is today one day.

Over the years, I've had moments with people that I can't forget that have molded me - continue to mold me, into the Woman I am today. These little moments with people I barely knew, but know, make me smile deeply within.

Thank you each and every one of you for touching my heart even if only for a brief moment in my

Happy Holidays. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Goodbye 2012...hello 2013

What a year! For those who tell you that 2 is different, I'm on the borderline of 3 and it seems crazy. I wonder what will 3 will truly bring AND what's ahead.

This year has been amazing and quick. I can't believe I'm sitting here again wondering what will come ahead and where we will be. I'm adjusting (well!) to preschool along with our daughter (yay!) and starting to think about who I want to be in '13. 

Wishing you happy holidays and a prosperous new year!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Recently a friend on FB posted an article about unplugging and listening to your kid(s). The article basically told the reader to STOP and BE with our children who are begging for attention. Who need us to be present.

At first I got angry. I always feel like the one time in public if I pick up my phone while pushing my daughter on a swing, someone in Seattle gives me the ?>_?!*! look - which means, "Gawed, you're an awful parent who ignores her child."

But honestly, I feel like I give a lot to our child and sometimes, I just need my old self back. You know the "all about me!" self, where I check my own email, browse some useless site, and just numb out for 5 minutes and you know what, that 5 minutes might be to her back while she's swinging. This btw does not mean I'm not an engaged parent.

But today, I tried a different approach since this article was on my mind. Did I put down my iPhone 100% today? Nope. But instead of checking my email and text messages with no purpose, I focused my time with my daughter and made sure when I checked email/text - I did it consciously. When our daughter talked to me throughout the day, I gave her eye attention even if I was washing dishes.  When we were doing something together like getting dressed, playing, making art, I concentrated and focused on what we did do, vs. what I/we weren't doing.

Did we do anything out of the ordinary today? No! We did our Monday ballet class in the morning - then lunch with friends, M napped (and yes, I folded laundry and checked my email/text messages, uploaded video to FB and sent it to my husband), then we did some play and ventured to Target to pick up the exciting stuff like paper towels.

Nothing out of the ordinary, and it wasn't crazy hard, it was just more connected to each other and the moment vs FB and Pinterest. ;-)

Image Credit: Rue Photography

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I'm going to a grown-up, industry type of event tonight to celebrate an amazing friend's agency - Plexi Pixel, Inc. I haven't done anything like this in awhile...November 2009. I just looked at the online invite to get the address and noticed that at the door, I should drop my business card.

WHAT? Business card? My toddler is asleep. Been asleep for 1.5 hrs, so the nap is soon done. The babysitter arrives in 2 hours. I'm not dressed. I really don't even know what to wear, and now I need to have a business card?

Of course my printer ink is running low.
Card stock? Um, found some in the garage.
Cutting board is too dull to even try to use.
Sigh, I guess these 6 self printed, lamely laid out, uneven cards might do. I mean, I don't plan on really using them right? It's just to drop at the door....geez.

Gosh, has it really been this long?!

Oooh, toddler is waking up. This will have to do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Last night on Alaska Air flying home solo with our 2 1/2 year old, I was judged. It was assumed I never fly. It was explained that I was a poor parent with bad parenting skills. It was said that my daughter's behavior was awful.

All this from a large, woman in seat 6A. She was sitting in front of our toddler in 7A who hadn't squealed once. Who was happy as a clam with her play dough, markers, stickers, or iPad. Whichever did the trick at the time. Usually 15 minute increments.

As soon as we took off, I was asked by this woman " please stop my child from kicking her seat."
"of course. I'm so sorry." was my reply.

Later as the toddler (NO, not my daughter) behind me screamed, sung the abc's at the top of his lungs, or threw his snack box at my head, all I thought was how smooth we were doing.

About an hour into the flight, the woman turned around and said "please make her stop." Now mind you, my daughter is tall. She's 40" these days with her long legs. (We're not quite sure where these come from...) Of course I wasn't allowing her to kick endlessly, I was trying to occupy her to keep still and as quiet as a 2 1/2 year old can be on a 2 1/2+ hr flight.

Then 20 minutes to landing, the woman went off on me. 

"Could you please control your child?!?" she rudely said.
 "Excuse me?" I replied.
"You heard me. Tell her to stop!" She said.
Shocked, I replied "Um, I'm doing the best I can. She's 2 years old. We're almost in Seattle."
"I travel ALL the time. I'm coming from 2 days of straight travel. If you can't control her, move her. Put her in your lap. WHATEVER." she snipped.

"Please stop yelling at me. She's TWO. I'm doing the best I can. Give me a break." Was my last somewhat calm reply.

After a few more nonsense comments, I pushed the flight attendant button. The flight attendant would put her in her place I thought.

Instead I was told to move seats with my daughter. I wasn't supported. The woman wasn't told to stop acting more like a 2 year old than my daughter.

I'm disappointed with the lack of support from my flight "audience." At the very least, I was hoping the 2 parents behind me with the crazy toddler would pull me aside to see if I was okay.

I'm sad that a woman doesn't see that we all need to stick together as women, no matter what. I mean, COME ON!

I'm sad that I got so sad and angry next to my girl.

I'm ticked off at Alaska Air and not sure we're going to fly again on the airline - regardless of our (insert cough) MVP status due to frequent flights. (My husband has flown 39 times this year. 35 on Alaska Air.)

Honestly the whole situation upset me. How dare she judge MY parenting skills, MY amazing daughter, or assume I didn't know how to fly? This whole thing is a big JOKE.

Maybe Alaska Air just isn't into Toddlers/kids flying these days even though they too have purchased a ticket. Toddler kicked off Alaska Air - just this year. 

As our little amazing girl summed it up later, "Momma, I didn't like that mean old man in front of us. He wasn't very nice."

"No hon. She wasn't."

Monday, September 3, 2012


I have 823 pins and 27 boards as of today. I am pinning everything from how to decorate our home to girl birthday party inspiration to things I just adore called "just right". I was thinking one could say I have 24 boards that are pretty personal and 3 boards that are keeping my marketing/artistic brain working. But then, I looked at all my boards and realized they're all marketing for me. They help me organize my inspirations-- the things I love like I used to blog pre baby (now toddler) days..., but now I can just pin it in my limited time available life and possibly blog about, do it, use it one day. 

So here's to simplifying life a bit and to the creators of new ideas. Here's to a little inspiration.

3 of my 27 boards....

Photo by Umbrella Prints, via Etsy. 

    Sunday, August 5, 2012


    Vision board coming to life.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012


    Our 2 1/2 year old eats well. At least that\'s what other parents tell me while their little one refuses to eat something. But I always wonder if I\'m giving her too much sugar, not enough protein, too many carbs.

    I recently learned from our amazing sitter, Mom of 2 young boys, about the nibble tray. It is pretty sweet idea. Basically a simply dish with a few "nibbles" in a dish with 6 or more separate food areas (ie ice cube tray.). Your toddler can nibble at it all day. You put colorful snacks for the child to choose all day on his/her own. Pretty good idea for the "I\'ll do it myself!" stage toddler.

    Thinking that we never seem to be home anymore, maybe a small tackle or bead box would work for us. Yeah, she might be an better eater than some, but I think there\'s always a little room for healthy improvement for all of us. ;)

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    So I don't forget

    For the last 2 years and 5 months, I've created some songs for Miss M... Each one makes her smile so big, I never want to forget... Hey, my name is Maya I like papaya I don't like turkey But I'll eat beef jerkey ------ Maya bean, Maya bean Cutest little baby I've ever seen She likes to dance in the afternoon She likes to dance in the living room Maya bean, Maya bean ------ I love you, You love me We're a part of the family With an oops-itsy-biddy-give -a-dog-a-bone This old man came rolling home ******* YES, definitely some plagiarism here that I totally blame still on Mommy brain.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Just another night at the movies...

    When did movie tickets go up to $11? AND When did I turn into the Mom at the theater?

    Okay, I haven't been to a movie for a long time - say 6 months, but come on! Is that long enough to raise ticket prices and a group of 15 year old girls say something stupid about boys- and me giving them "the look" - you know, the one that says "WHAT?! YOU'RE WAY TO YOUNG TO THINK ABOUT THAT!"

    And then, me think "WAIT, When did I cross over to be old enough to be a 15 year old girl's mother?"

    All I wanted was a quiet date night at the movies...At the least it was nice to get out with the husband, the $6 popcorn was yummy, and the movie based off a teenage book series was enjoyable.

    Guess, I should have guessed this all would've happened when I picked the movie. God knows, I'm old enough to know better. ;)

    Thursday, March 1, 2012


    I used to shop for clothes all the time before baby. If I was having "one of those days" at the office, a trip to one of my favorite shops would make it all seem to disappear. I would walk into the office the next day in a new pair of shoes, or sweater, or new accessories with a smile. All was good again.

    Hmm, that's not my life anymore. I'm lucky if I grab something off the rack at Target while I'm getting diapers. It never fits. It looks like crap, and well, doesn't have the same effect.

    Granted, I don't have those days much anymore. I mean, my client is a 2 year old. Even if it's a trying day, I still smile 80% of the time. But I'm feeling it in my wardrobe. I went on a trip recently (pictured above) to Whidbey Island wearing a hand me down raincoat from my Brother-in-Law, an Anthropologie beanie I've bought 3+ years ago...I scarf I got as a gift years ago, and the same jeans and sweater I had worn all weekend.

    Now I get why my Mom always wore the same item - many, many times... Maybe Mom can come for a visit and the 2 of us can go shopping?!

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    What I learned from working at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia....

    me running through Starrett Lehigh
    I worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia from 1999-2003. I learned a lot from that experience, good, bad, awesome, and funny things, but what I remember most is the following:

    *You can make a snack (or lunch or dinner!) out of tomato juice and pretzel rods - and dessert out of many packets of instant oatmeal (Maple brown sugar was the all time favorite.)  Also, a nice, refreshing beverage is seltzer plus a touch of cranberry juice. (When I worked at Starrett Lehigh building we didn't have much around us to shop, eat, etc - let alone a rooftop gathering..)

    *Everything appears much nicer in set of 3 (vs 2 or 4) for decorating. I've carried this on throughout my personal decorating life and It really does make a difference.

    party with the team at Gael's
    *Wear MORE COLOR! In 1999, I walked into the office in black, black and more black. I mean, HELLO - I lived in NYC! But seeing and working with New Yorkers who were creative and wore color was inspiring. Yes, I still wear a lot of gray and black, but a pair of pink Hunter rain boots make Seattle rain feel much more manageable on any day....

    *Ramekins are amazing.  I registered for 12 of these from Crate in Barrel in 2007 for us and use them ALL the time. Especially great for reheating toddler food, projects, and more.

    First MSO Holiday party at Starrett Lehigh
    So yes, Martha, It's been awhile and I've made a lot of changes since those days in NYC, but I'm thinking of you today and all those amazing people you have on staff old and new ;) -- all while admiring my new entry way bench with 3 cubbies brought to us via Home Depot - the MSO brand, of course.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    In my spare time I could...

    *refurnish a dresser
    *paint all the walls in our home fun, unique colors
    *start on handmade gifts for christmas 2012
    *finish our daughter's 2 year old birthday thank you cards
    *make one of those recipes I've collected for the last 10 years
    *clean the garage
    *organize the garage
    *go find the perfect item at goodwill and fix it up so the $7 I spent on it makes it look like I spent $250 on it

    Okay, where the he___ do people find the time to do all this stuff?!

    Thursday, January 12, 2012


    As I sit at our local coffee shop - Irwins, I witness a Nanny dressed well who comes in with two girls for a treat. Looks like they are all getting a piece of pie after school. Maybe the girls are 7 and 5 - probably about right since there is an elementary school up the street. I can't help but over hear the girls talking to the Nanny. Typical sister stuff, "She got the piece with more sugar" - but I also over hear comments like "My Mommy lets me ---blah blah" and "You are my Mommy" - but the Nanny says, "Nope I'm not." and "No, you can not look in my wallet."

    I get it. Of course the 7 year old can't look in her wallet. Boundaries are important. Heck, I'm not sure I'd let our daughter look in mine at 2, 3...7+ years old. But the tone of the person who isn't the Mom made me think, do I want this? I'm always day dreaming about more time for me, but I'm not sure I want someone else watching my child after school, etc. What is this fear all about? It would be good for our little girl to get more familiar with other care givers (she's at home with a dear one now...)

    Making me think while I'm supposedly focusing only on ME during ME time in a cafe....

    Love & Hate Relationship

    What I love about living in the Northwest in January:

    1. Even though it's colder outside, there is still plenty of green outside. Green plants, green trees, green blooms. 
    2. It feels totally, 100% acceptable to drink coffee all day, just the way I like it. 
    3. It does get cold, but never so cold that I can't feel my face. 
    4. Layers look cool and are very effective in an ever-changing climate. 
    5. Our daughters love of rain boots, comes in very handy and looks adorable. 
    6. My newish pink Hunter boots work well too.
    What I hate about living in the Northwest in January: 
    1. Gray, gray, and more gray.
    2. Did I mention gray?
    3. All I want to do is drink coffee and eat carbs....and butter...and sugar..more carbs.....
    4. Getting OUTside with a Toddler seems harder and harder to do. 
    5. I miss the sun, the surf, the sun, the surf, the sun, the surf that we used to have in southern California.

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    Throwing a themed 2 year old birthday party....

    Our little girl is now officially a 2-year-old. Seriously, I cannot believe it!

    For her birthday, we decided to have it at our beloved, local children's bookstore, Mockingbird Books - for a couple of reasons....

    1) Support local business
    2) have SPACE for the kids (our home is tiny)
    3) Do it some where - where the toddlers could be entertained (they have a train table, art table, books, piano, and more) 

    So I thought, well, since it is as a book store, I needed a book theme, and since our girl's favorite book these days is Ladybug Girl, we'd go that route.... And of course that would be easy right? I mean, there must be Ladybug Girl themed party stuff, right?

    Um, nope.

    So I had to rethink this - you know, in my 'spare' time (insert all Mom's out there laughing...)

    I knew I could do this. Even with family in town, the holidays around the corner, no presents wrapped...I could do this. Happily, I pulled it off. I couldn't have done it without the help of my family - so thanks to all who helped! Here how it panned out...
    We made "antennas" with pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and headbands! a HIT!
    Handmade LBG cupcake toppers
    Black & Red balloons

    Thanks To Gammy & Auntie Nini, our girl was truly LBG!

    Fun Ladybug chocolates found at World Market

    We also had a color table with free printable color sheets from LBG's website and Katy Webber from Musikal Magik came and sung Ladybug Picnic for a special treat. Also, Sue from the bookstore read the latest book from the Ladybug Girl series.

    All-in-all, a pretty fun day.  It was pretty fun to get creative for our little girl.

    One two three 
    Four five six  
    Seven eight nine  
    Ten eleven twelve
    Ladybugs Came to the ladybugs' picnic....

    Special thanks to Mockingbird Books, Musikal Magik, Gammy & Nini, All of our girls friends and family, and of course Our Families!

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    2012 Possibilities

    My side of the family just left Seattle after a 2 and 1/2 week visit for Christmas, our daughter's 2nd birthday, and NYE 2012 (babysitting, of course.)

    This visit was another bittersweet trip. My husband and I counted down till their visit, excited for the possibilities!  ...But like every holiday - it had it's up and downs. Just like the "holiday movies we love" Mom kept saying (our favorite family movie is from the 1995 movie, Home for the Holidays) during this trip. "That's why we love that movie so much...." Ah, family.

    Quote from Home for the Holidays, so you get what I'm saying here....
    "Nobody means what they say on Thanksgiving, Mom. You know that. That's what the day's supposed to be all about, right? Torture."

    But here's the thing, we forgot about all that the last night of the visit. Mom had an idea to do a Vision Board for 2012, so we did.  Taking old magazines and putting out there what we want for the year ahead. It got me excited about what's in store and focus a bit on what IS important.

    So maybe this will help me for the next remember why we get together and what we love about those holiday movies, good and bad.

    Love you guys.