Things I’m Loving

How is it already July? Beats me. Summer has been full of things to love. I have gotten to spend tons of time with my charges and my daughter. I have been able to enjoy a few glasses of wine on the deck, coffee at outdoor cafes and countless cannon balls into the pool. Here is a peak of some of the little things in life…

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My mom’s charge (“R” age 8) made this little fairy house. Its a shoe box wrapped in gift wrap. She cut a “door” and made a pathway out of buttons. Notice the “swimming pool” to the right. Any fairy would be happy here! She placed it on her patio behind a large planter. I spotted it when we had a play date there and she explained that it is for the garden fairies to enjoy while they are in her yard. I always admire her creativity and charisma… I miss being 8.
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O loves visiting Kiki and Papa K (my parents). On this visit we explored their deck and terrace admiring flowers. Unfortunately O just couldn’t resist picking a few. Papa K wasn’t as amused but he forgave her after a snuggle and kiss.

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I snapped this in the foyer of Moerlein Lager House on a girls night out. I love the shape, varying sizes and hanging heights. The amber colored round glass reminds me of the bottom on a beer bottle. Coincidence? And check out the patterns they reflect onto the ceiling!

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Girls night out also yielded some savory treats. I ordered this caprese flatbread with pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and balsamic reduction drizzle. To. Die. For. My mouth is watering as I type. I’ll be visiting again soon.

 

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For Christmas my dad got paper lanterns from my mom. Well, I hunted them down on Amazon for her but I promise it was worth the trouble. What a cool gift! They are nearly 3 feet tall and came in all sorts of colors. Each one has a wax “fuel cell” that you light after unfolding the lantern. Even though they take a few minutes to assemble and a few more to get lift, they are really neat to send off. We watched this one go for quite a while. Some people light them as a wish, or in celebration or memoriam. We chose yellow this time in honor of my late grandfather. He loved yellow. He’s been gone one year this month. We thought it was fitting to send something to heaven for him.
20130701-212241.jpgEvery Sunday we attend the Hyde Park Farmer’s Market. One of our favorite booths is Jean Paul’s Paradiso. They specialize in flatbreads, pies, danish, pretzels and so much more. Hubby likes the apple turnover and I love the cinnamon rolls. No surprise: O loves both. How picture perfect are these pies? They look fake!

 

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Oh, and I got my run on too. I’m so not a runner… but Molly (right) talked me into doing the Color Palooza 5k last week. I’m so glad she did. It was a great experience and tons of fun! My scalp was stained yellow, my armpit was blue and purple and even my toes were stained through my (mesh) running shoes. I soaked in the tub for an hour that afternoon and turned it so green that I couldn’t see the drain. I still showered three times before the color left every inch of my body.

 

20130701-212216.jpgHubby and I got out for some grown up time with friends for the Hyde Park Blast. Best block party in town that includes several runs, cycling races and live music all for a good cause (The Cure Starts Now)!

20130701-212145.jpgO got her first pedicure from Aunt Lala (Molly). She was extremely cooperative and excited. I keep catching her looking at her toes while she walks saying “Woo woo!”

 

 

 

Things I’m Loving

Ah, April. I’m so happy to see you. And thanks for bringing our old pal Sun. I’ve missed you both. March was a “lion” in so many ways. We bounced between snow storms and 60 degree days and back again. And my migraines followed. Oy. O started talking even more… I’d say she has about 20 clear words. No walking yet but she constantly babbles to her toys and in her carseat. Pretty much everywhere. Even in her sleep. Yes, my 16 month old talks about cookies, the dog and her friend Z in her sleep. Cute, except for that if she’s talking then I’m not sleeping. In addition, I had an entire week off of work. While the kids frolicked in the sand I was busy at home with projects for Hilda. I did a bunch of little things and a few larger projects and they will all be posted as I write them. For now I have a handful of things that I’m just loving. They made my day, sometimes even my week. Here are a few of my little treasures.

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Shoes. What girl doesn’t love shoes? Even O is into them. She finds shoes all over the house or in the mudroom and brings them to me saying “Schlooes!”… She’s totally my kid. These are a recent Target find (Surprise, surprise). I am always looking for work shoes that aren’t flip flops, Nikes or Uggs. Most of spring and fall I live in flats. They just slip on when my hands are busy with baby, bags, dog, keys and door. I also love that I can toss them on with just about anything: jeans (skinny or otherwise), crops, skirts etc. So easy. I need easy in my life anywhere I can put it. These babies are a pewter tone with a black toe covered in rose gold studs and some bad-ass spikes. I’ve been asked by the 7 year old not to wear these when we play kickball.

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This is the gorgeous St. Xavier Catholic Church in Cincinnati. Although I’ve attended many masses here as well as weddings, I’ve now also watched the St. Patrick’s day Parade from it’s front steps. I couldn’t help but admire all of this architecture from my seat on the steps. Incredible.

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I’m not embarrassed to admit that this was rescued from the curb only a couple blocks from my house. In a heavy downpour of snow. Molly and I saw it, stopped in the middle of the road and reversed to grab it. Even through the snow we saw that it was a solid piece (dovetail joints!) and had beautiful shape and character. We carefully tossed it on top of my beloved stroller (cringe!) and brought it to the garage. This was one of my vacation week projects. And just you wait… the facelift is pretty awesome.

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One of my favorite things is to catch O totally off guard. Her face is always hilarious. The other day at work, I watched from the other side of the kitchen as she examined the open dishwasher. She played with the racks and looked under the door and after much exploration I watched as she climbed on in. I whipped (I think that’s where the blur effect is from… the whipping action) out my iPhone and snapped a pic. Then I took her off and told her she can’t do that anymore. I don’t want to buy a dishwasher… especially for someone else’s house.

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I shouldn’t have to remind you that I’m a big kid. Last week I was playing with Z and he was meticulously lining up all the lego action heroes. He very particular and takes it pretty seriously. These guys are like 2 inches tall. Batman and Robin are always side by side. And they both look so serious. And look at that Gotham City behind them!

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Oh Em Gee. This is a spectacular creation I made as a snack (you know, to go with a glass of wine of course). I used Blue Oven Bakery’s Potato Rosemary Squares to make a grilled apple and goat cheese sandwich. It was beyond delish. Too bad it was my last square, but I plan on buying them again and creating a few more culinary delights. If you haven’t made it to any of their market locations (Findley, Clark Montessori and such) then you are missing out. I order you to go get a loaf of Bad Girl or Sourdough. Like, now.

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A sure sign of spring is always in fashion. I found some great peach, deep mint and berry jeans on a run to Target and TJMaxx. They are often my first stops when trying a new trend I’m not sure about. Then I only spend half to see if I can swing the colored jean look. And by the way, I’m in love and I now believe that anyone can swing it. And if you’re scared just try a colored jean with a black top and a statement necklace. You’ll believe in yourself in no time.

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On a quick run for coffee at Caribou I decided to stay and enjoy my cup near their fireplace. These little guys were on the mantle. How adorable! I want some for myself! No worries, I didn’t smuggle them home with me. I will, however, keep an eye out for something similar to use as winter decor next year. Maybe even add a red nose to one? He he.

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In an alleyway between Hyde Park Square and the pay lot I noticed these colored bricks. They are clearly remnants of an old painted building billboard from when the building next to it (that makes the other wall of the alley) didn’t yet exist. I’m thinking more than 80 years ago? I’ve walked through this alley countless times over the last 10 years and I’m shocked I’ve never noticed them before. How awesome is that old typography! Pretty cool.

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Well I am Hilda Gotrocks. While I was working on a project bracelet I fumbled through some tumbled crystals. I forgot how much I love these. They are cool, dense and heavy in my hand. I just love the light they reflect and how much they resemble ice. An old favorite for me.

Indigo Date Night

When it comes to date nights Hubby and I are the first too admit they are far too sparce for us. We need more of them. Not that we don’t go out. We do… but O is a pretty easy baby to take along most anywhere. Babyless date nights are hard to come by. When we decided on a date night this weekend it was what I would call “flexible” … as in, we scheduled a sitter and didn’t get any further than that in the planning.

We had errands to run so we started the date at 4pm with a shopping spree for Hubby at Banana Republic, Gap and Target. No lie- the dog keeps eating the armpits of his shirts. Just the armpits. Leaving clothes on the bathroom floor or forgetting to close the laundry room door are getting to be expensive mistakes. Its driving me bonkers and his wardrobe is dwindling. Poor dude was down to just a few work appropriate shirts and hoodies.

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After shopping we were looking for a casual dinner. For us “casual” means jean-friendly, reasonably priced, no reservations needed and chill atmosphere. Boom: Indigo in Hyde Park Square (Cincinnati) was our answer. Its a favorite of ours in the summer because of its inviting brick patio and I love the neon sign and cozy vibe. The menu is creative but familiar. No bar food here. Also, we are always pleasantly surprised to find a restaurant that is vegetarian friendly but doesn’t force Hubby to sacrifice his favorites since I am a veteran vegetarian and he is on the complete opposite end of the food spectrum. What can I say? Opposites attract.

We split the amazing Stuffed Focaccia as an appetizer. Its a little messy to handle and eat but so worth it. The pesto is to die for and I just can’t get over the balsamic reduction that is drizzled over top!  I’m no expert but it was perfect pairing with my white wine if you ask me. And it went quick. Guess we were hungry?

We enjoyed each other’s uninterrupted company over the soft jazz music and cozy dim lighting. The service was good: timely but not rushing, friendly and confident. There were families dining along side empty nesters and twenty-something first dates. Anyone could be comfortable here. For dinner Hubby got the Blackened Chicken Wrap. He loved the flavor and nearly couldn’t finish it. I had the Spinach Bake which was a fantastic penne, spinach and cream tomato sauce bake topped with Cajun seasoning. Oh emmmm gee. YUM. We were both so stuffed we decided it would just be too much on our happy little tummies if we had dessert.

A few pretty moments I caught:

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Copper table tops with rustic glass rings.

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Hubby looking over the menu.

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Candle light.