Friday, December 13, 2013

Introducing...Our Newest Little Prince!

With gratitude to Hashem, D and I are overjoyed to announce the birth of our son, 
Naftali Zechariah (Zachary Samuel)!

Born December 3, 2013 at 2:02 AM. 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 19 3/4 inches.

Thank G-d, we are all doing well and getting adjusted to being a family of 5 :) 

I know that having kiddos so close in age is going to be hard in the short term, but I am so excited to watch Yishai and Nafi grow up as best friends.

Big sis Keppie is already a pro (having done this once before) and always wants to be close to her new baby brother.

Our wish for both of our sons is a lifetime of health and happiness and for them to know that their mommy and tati love them always and forever, no matter what.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What I Wish I Was Wearing #2

What I Wish I Was Wearing #2


I was shopping with my friend, S, a couple weeks ago and while lusting after all the fall and winter options in their warm, cozy luxe materials - faux fur, leather, suede, cashmere - I asked her how long it took her to get over 'cold-weather clothing envy'. My heart sank a little when she immediately responded that even after a few years of living in South Florida, she's still envious. Pregnancy has spared me from a lot of that clothing envy this season, however, I'm pretty sure this will be the case for me as well in the years to come.

At least my wallet's happy, right?

Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Copycat - "Hello" Art

I absolutely love when personal style bloggers I follow give inside looks of their homes, but it can often leave me with a feeling of 'the blahs' about my own home decor. It's never really made sense for us to invest in 'nice' furniture and decor in the apartments we've lived in - I'd rather save the energy (read: money) and wait until we own a home and things feel more permanent. That being said, going into our 5th year of renting, I was getting tired of holding out on nice things and decided that while it's still impractical to invest for the most part, art and 'home decor' are things that I can have some fun with DIY-style for a fraction of the cost of purchasing.

One of my favorite style bloggers Gal Meets Glam recently previewed her San Francisco home, and as soon as I began reading this post I found myself pinning her images like crazy! Gallery walls are extremely popular right now, and I love the fun prints Julia decorated her office space with. One in particular had me at, well, 'hello'! I couldn't get that cute black-and-white heart-shaped print out of my mind... 


Sure, ordering it for $15 wasn't going to break the bank, but in keeping with my philosophy I asked myself "why buy when I can DIY?"

12x12 Picture Frame: Michaels (40% coupons, people!)
12x12 White Scrapbooking Paper (it's difficult to see, but it's textured with little raised dots): Michaels
8.5x11 Scrapbook Paper (also textured with the same raised dots): Michaels
Adhesive pearl embellishments: Michaels
E6000 Spray Adhesive: Michaels

I was such a bad 'DIY blogger' with this project and I forgot to photograph my steps...woops! But it's really easy - I promise!

Step 1: Print out a heart-shaped template on your printer. Trace onto back of black paper and cut out the black heart.

Step 2: Measure how tall you want your letters and write them (lightly!) in pencil.

Step 3: Apply your adhesive pearl embellishments over the pencil-drawn 'hello'. (I used tweezers to help remove them from their backing and place them correctly). Don't press down super hard as you go in case you have to make adjustments. Once you finish each letter, go back and press down to reinforce them.

Step 4: Measure where the black heart will be affixed to the white paper, spray the back of the heart with E6000 spray adhesive and press firmly to apply the heart to the white paper. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 5: Frame and hang! Admire your handiwork :)

I haven't figured out where I want to hang mine yet :) I'll post an update once this has a place on the wall.

If you make this, make sure to link up in the comments!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The adventures of a toddler, one park at a time...and some random mommy musings

{On me: Shirt: Destination Maternity (old) - sim, sim / Scarf: J.Crew Factory (old) - savespend, splurge}

{On Yishai: Shirt: BabyGAP outlet (old) - sim / Shorts: BabyGAP outlet (old) - sim / Shoes}

A couple Sundays ago, D took a break from studying and we all went to check out Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (yes, that's really the name!). We didn't get to spend as much time there as we wanted (pushing off naptime wasn't the best idea) so we will definitely be going back soon.

Yishai loved watching the fish, sharks and stingrays swimming in their tanks, made friends with a crab and a giant lobster, but the turtles...oh those turtles...they were something else. As part of their Sea Turtle Conservation efforts they have a rehabilitation program that not only rescues injured turtles, but provides on-site care and treatment including surgeries to remove cancerous tumors. The ultimate goal is to release them after they recover, but those with more extensive injuries remain there in order to receive necessary care. We were sad to miss the turtle feeding this time around but we know we have something exciting to look forward to next time.

Warning - random mommy musings ahead:

I definitely have enjoyed every stage of Yishai's babyhood, and as they happened they were all 'the best age', but this toddler stage has got to be my favorite of the favorites! It seems like every day is a 'first' for something -a new word, skill, mannerism, and this fierce sense of independence (where did it come from??) - and I find myself asking him, often outloud, "Who are you and what did you do with my newborn baby?!" Time really does fly by so fast and I feel such mixed emotions for the baby stages left behind and the new stages yet to come. But right now is pretty awesome as I feel like I'm rediscovering the world around me through toddler eyes and those eyes see everything. This kid sees dogs before they even come around a really, that's happened. 

As we sit in his nursery together before bedtime, we talk about his day while he drinks his milk. He likes to rub and kiss my growing belly and recently he's started to 'share' his milk with the baby by sticking his sippy cup in my belly button and making drinking makes my heart want to burst!

He is obsessed with Keppie, constantly giving her kisses and shrieking with laughter when she licks him back, not wanting to go up or down the stairs without her, bringing us her water bowl any time it's empty saying, "more more more", and sometimes refusing to eat his dinner until she has food in her bowl as well. The amount of empathy he has for her astounds me - if she cries because a toy is under the couch he drops what he's doing to try to get it for her and then comes running; yelling for us to help her if he can't get it. If the baby gate is closed and she's stuck upstairs - same thing!  She's the first one he greets, running to find her if she didn't meet him at the door and as of a few days ago he absolutely must give her a kiss goodbye before we leave (no matter how late we're running). I often find myself a bit envious that he gets to grow up with a 'big sis like Keppie (I was 9 when we got our first dog) - and I know it's one of the best decisions that D and I made. The lessons he's learning from such an early age like kindness, empathy, sharing, unconditional love of/for an animal - are so incredibly invaluable, some of which can only come from the experience, not from teaching. This hormonal mommy probably cries daily watching the sweet interactions between my fur baby and (as I jokingly refer to Yishai) my 'first-born-second-child'.

So yeah, definitely a random group of thoughts tonight - but I guess that's what happens at midnight these days :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What I Wish I Was Wearing...

What I Wish I Was Wearing...

Ya know, if I weren't 33 weeks pregnant AND it wasn't 90 degrees every day!

Hope everyone with seasons is enjoying their fall!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hitting the Reset Button

{Sweater: J.Crew Factory (old) - sim, cardi, Skirt, Shoes: J.Crew (old) - sim, Bag: H&M (old) - sim, love, in my dreams!, Sunnies, Bracelet: gift - sim, Necklace: thrifted - sim, love, Lips: Nars Damage}

I know I'm lucky. Having the opportunity to be a stay-at-home-mom, being able to raise my son (and future baby, G-d willing) myself is not something that I take for granted. So many of my friends, I know, would give anything to be able to do so, but just aren't in a position where it's possible. However sometimes, and now with D in school at night - more so than ever before, I felt like I was burning the candle at both ends. Being pregnant with an active toddler, while easier than I thought it would be (ba"h), has been challenging at times and with all of the Jewish holidays over the past three weeks, my life felt like a revolving door of cooking, dishes, and laundry. Not to mention picking up any extra slack physically possible so that D could focus on school and catch up on everything that had to be put on hold over the holidays.

I desperately needed to hit my reset button, and today my wonderful husband made that possible beyond my expectations! I got to sleep until 9:45 which itself made me feel like a new woman and then at 10am D took both Yishai and Keppie to the dog park to play. Just being able to sit and savor my coffee and eat my breakfast in peace is such a rare occurrence these days, but I also got to catch up on Grey's Anatomy uninterrupted...pure bliss! After coming home, eating lunch and playing nicely with Keppie and by himself for an hour, Yishai took a two hour nap and I did some light cleaning and then relaxed in bed with a book. If my time alone had ended after that, it would've been enough, but that husband of mine not only just bought me a new computer, but encouraged me to set up a training session at the Apple store in the afternoon while he took Yishai to the petting zoo and carnival at shul. D even made dinner - chicken and veggies on the grill (his new 'man toy' which has been awesome for both of us!) and it was delicious. I haven't felt this relaxed and ready to take on the weeks ahead in longer than I can remember, so thank you, D!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Anchors Away

 {Shirt: GAP (old) - sim, Cardigan: J.Crew (old), Skirt: Meme - sim, Belt, Sunnies, Bracelet, Watch, Clutch: gift - sim, necklaces: Banana Republic (old) - splurge, budget-friendly, Francescas (old) - splurge, sim, Shoes}

This past Sunday we helped my Grandpa celebrate a BIG birthday - Happy 80th, Grandpa! 

It was an extra special weekend since my younger brother and sister-in-law were finally visiting from Israel. We haven't seen them since we went there for their wedding last December and it has been waayyy too long! It's crazy for me to think that the last time Yishai saw his Dod (uncle) Micah and Doda (aunt) Sapir he wasn't even crawling yet. They came and spent a couple nights with us and Yishai was obsessed with them. My heart just melted watching my son play ball with his uncle and hear him answer everything his aunt said to him (in Hebrew!) with a tiny "yeah", despite the fact that he had no idea what she was saying...that kid is too cute! We miss them already and we know that even though we aren't able to see them as much as we would like, that we are always thinking about them!

But back to the party...I was a little nervous having serious anxiety about taking a toddler to a home with an abundance of fragile decor and meant to bring some toys to distract him...but pregnancy brain reared its' ugly head and I totally forgot! I thought for sure I'd be running around the whole time pulling things out of his hands and catching things mid-fall (man, those 'mommy reflexes', I tell you. what would I do without them? no wait, I don't want to know!) Before we walked into the house, I gave myself a pep talk complete with a little prayer for patience and a mini-miracle of nothing ending up broken. Who would've thought the answer to my prayers came in the form of two mylar balloons?! Those things are seriously awesome and Y was beyond enamored so we tied them to his shorts and they kept him occupied for hours. Added bonus that in a house full of seniors we always knew where he was without having to look down :)

It was such a fun family-filled afternoon celebrating with my Grandpa! Here's to many more birthdays!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Currently Craving No. 4

Currently Craving No. 4

{For the Home: ONE (sim - on sale) / TWO / THREE / FOUR (love this one too!)}
{Wardrobe Wishlist: ONE / TWO (budget-friendly) / THREE}
{Shoes: ONE / TWO / THREE (budget-friendly)}
{Beauty Updates: ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR}

It's been a while since I've done a 'Currently Craving' post! Here's what's on the top of my fall wishlist...because it's fall somewhere, right?!

I'll just file most of these under 'if-I-win-the-lottery-someday-or-fall-into-a-huge-inheritance' purchases. Add a few to the 'I-now-live-in-florida-so-goodbye-boots-and-sweaters' file. But a handful of these items might just be coming home with me soon :) I guess it's not really a wishlist if you can actually have everything on it, right?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nursery DIY - Sunburst Mirror Trio

I love a good sunburst mirror...I mean, c'mon, who doesn't? But man, those things can be expensive! When I first started planning the decor of the nursery, I had some idea of what types of things I wanted and their placement and I figured that the creative process would evolve organically. One thing that didn't occur to me though, was that there would be a huge area of negative space on the wall behind the dresser/changing table. Once we had all of the major furniture arranged, it became obvious that something big needed to hang on that wall. At first I thought I might do an art print series on canvas, but I couldn't commit to one idea for more than a few days and figured that might continue once I actually had them up there. Deciding it was best to abandon that idea, I was now back to the drawing board.

Walking through Target one day, I spotted these beauties hanging in their home decor area. Instantly I knew that they were the perfect item and that a trio of mirrors would pack the big punch I was looking for - but seriously, at $50 a pop I just couldn't bring myself to buy them. But stalking them, lusting after them from afar - that I could do!

This past June we lived with my parents in FL while we were between leases. The stars must've been aligned that day I went to Target for diapers (and several other items that jumped in my cart, cause ya' know, it's Target), because two of these beauties were on clearance for $15. Now that, that I can do :) But, it was only two and I really had envisioned three. But I bought them and figured that maybe, juuust maybe, the stars might align again for me and I'd stumble upon a third. Fast forward to our first couple of weeks in our new home and maaany trips to Target later...I found one!!! Some kind soul must've known how desperate I was and returned theirs. I had my third and I was ready to DIY my little heart out:

Sunburst Mirrors (Target)
Valspar White Satin Finish spray paint (Lowe's)
Paper plates
Drop Cloth (Lowe's)

1. Place boxes with flaps open upside-down on drop cloth and set mirrors on top. This will be to stabilize them and so you can rotate by the flaps to ensure good paint coverage in all the little nooks. Cut paper plates to fit super snugly over the mirror so that you don't have to mess with painter's tape at all.

2. Follow the instructions on the spray paint and begin painting. Try to get the coverage as even as possible, but you can always go back with a lighter second coat and/or touch up any uneven spots later.

3. Don't forget about the edges!

4. Let them dry. I always double or triple the recommended drying time just to be safe.

5. Measure and hang (D did this part - and hung them on large nails).

Finished product :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

White, Denim & Cobalt

{Shirt, Skirt: GAP Maternity (old) - sim, Scarf: J.Crew Factory (old) - sim, Bag (past season color), Shoes: J.Crew (old) - loving these, Necklace: Francescas, Bracelet, EarringsSunnies, Lips: Damned}

Simple basics like a white long sleeve T-shirt and a denim skirt get dressed up with some chunky gold jewelry, a fun printed scarf and a bright bag.

A tired momma makes for a short post always, thanks for reading!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nursery DIY - Ombre Chevron Curtains

Oh man, I am actually a little embarrassed that it took me so long to do a post Yishai's nursery curtains! 

Here is a perfect example of my 'champagne-taste-beer-budget' curse: I reeeally wanted beautiful curtains for Yishai's nursery, but my search for the perfect ones kept me coming up empty handed. The ones I loved were waayyy out of my budget and I didn't want to spend the money on curtains I didn't really love.

My mom, who has sewn professionally in several different iterations over the years, at one point was making window treatments. Needless to say, our homes (we moved a lot) always had beautiful custom window treatments. It was not lost on me, even as a young girl, how great curtains pulled a room together, or that the lack thereof made it feel empty or incomplete.

Unfortunately, I didn't inherit the sewing gene (my lucky-duck sister did!) so I had to get creative. After a little time (ok fine, hours) on Pinterest, I found an amazing tutorial for ombre chevron curtains - and the best part - no sewing required! These babies were painted - and painting I can do :)

I'm not gonna reinvent the wheel - Nancy of Owen's Olivia has a stellar tutorial (I, for sure, could not have explained it better) and I followed the steps exactly: full tutorial here. Don't be scared by the amount of steps - it's really a pretty easy DIY that just takes some time and a bit of arm muscle :)


Set of 2 plain white curtains (sim)
Valspar Paint Samples (I chose a paint chip and used all three colors - conveniently coordinated!)
Sea Breath, Crystal Aqua, & Bay Mist (paint chip 5006-7)
Painter's Tape (Lowe's)
Paint Roller and extra sponges (Lowe's)
Speed Square (Lowe's)
Sharpie pen

The finished product!
I am so happy with how these came out! It's a bit hard in the picture to see the difference between the middle color and the darkest bottom color - so just trust me on it :) I made these when we were living in NJ and they transitioned perfectly to our new FL home. Every time I walk into the nursery they make me smile and the pride in knowing I made them makes them extra special.