Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It's been several months since I sent my boy off to Kindergarten with darth vader lunchbox in hand...and a little nervousness in my heart.

Would he be ready?
Would people be nice to him?
Would anyone sit with him at the lunch table?

It was a great year.  A few 'bumps' along the way.

Last week was his open house where we got to see where all the magic takes place.  His teacher, young & artistic, really surprised me with her innovative methods & use of everyday objects as learning tools.

We took a tour of the first grade class rooms.  I watched Jude's little face as he saw how much bigger the desks were and how there was less play space and more learning space.  I think I heard him gulp when he entered the room and shook hands with a few of the teachers.  I just wanted to go through it for him...but I know i can't. 

There will never be another year like Kindergarten....I just can't believe there are only 8 days left....

cucumber & pea plants in starbucks cups - I can respect that!

this guy almost got kicked out of kindergarten!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

children's art

We are doing lots of touching up to our home & aesthetic.

As a young couple, you start out getting what you can for less....as we get older, we see that the 'style' that creates is very hodge podge.  We've started choosing with intention the type of home we'd like.  It's a tad old world...yet warm & cozy. 

The boys room(s) are fun but Jude's we have yet to touch.  We plan to stick Leland in there once he's not such a caveman child.  So I'm trying to find ways to give them distinct style while making the room seem like it goes together.

The art available at 20x200.com is so easy, affordable & inspiring.  We might just have to make a decision on some pieces and then let them guide us towards new linens & window coverings as we go.  I think the boys will have fun with it all.

Here are a few that caught my eye for Leland's side of the room:

For Jude, I want him to have his own style and thought since he's got such a bright personality - going with some bright paint near his section of the room....and some more muted prints - perhaps one that have an educational value - which he will totally appreciate!

Friday, May 27, 2011


after days and days of rain....I am thrilled that Joel and I will be sprucing up the outdoor spaces of our home & property with some touches of modern flair....a new fence to keep our little guy from traffic & from going home with every dog that walks by...

These pieces from the beautiful Modern Outdoor inspired me today....

Nothing like a night under soft lights & a warm fire with friends to remember what is really most important....hoping for another great summer of this.  Just with better outdoor furniture.  ;-) 

Have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, loves....

Thursday, May 26, 2011


that word has always taken its toll.

what looks good?  what doesn't?

who can wear it?
who can't?

I have to say that regardless of the answers to those questions, I have definitely found a designer who pushes the envelope on whether those questions even need to be asked.  Back in the BRAVO days of Project Runway, I used to have a group of gals come by for dessert...laughter...and to talk endlessly about how each designer 'should have done this or that' as if we had ANY clue about the matter.

One of my friends invited a new friend to come, she was worn out from school and even came with homework to do at my house.  She could only stay for a bit.  She was loud & funny & artistic.  I liked her.

Little did any of us know, she herself would be on season 8 of Project Runway just 3 years later...

Valerie Mayen of Yellowcake was that quirky student & just a few weeks back, I got to do makeup for a shoot to show off her new spring line.  I used to have words to distinctly describe her aesthetic but this new line took it to a whole new level.  She is wild.  She is discrete.  She is futuristic.  She is a little retro.  Her designs are fun yet can be taken seriously.

Gosh, the girl even designs Oscar gowns now. 

This shoot is tied for first place with another little video shoot I got to makeup for which was followed by a complimentary 'all you can eat' at our favorite restaurant.

Take a look at the beautiful model Suzy Rowe...the magician-like hairstylist Katie B....beautiful photography by Dan & April O'Keefe....makeup by moi....and see yourself in a little Yellowcake

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

8 years

                           May 24th  2003

We were wed.

2 kids in their early 20's hoping to survive on love.

The excitement of being one after a long-distance relationship & engagement. 

Recalling all we would encounter...it's a miracle to see how we've only grown closer. 

The pain of family drama. 

The pain of a brother's death.

The joy of a new son.

The joy of a new city & way of life.




We stand certain that if we can get through year 1 thru 3, than 8-16 should be a relative breeze. 

Confident in love but also in faithfulness & trust.  The basis for which this relationship can thrive.

Our gifts & miracles: Jude & Leland (aka Jude & Lebe)  - the art we're most proud of.

Let's keep up what we're doing & just do it better each day because each day is better because we still are one.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


My Jude is 6.
I feel like it can't be true.

We are so proud of this child and admire the person he is becoming day in and day out.
While he is still 6....and 6 has its ups and downs, we completely adore his passion, his kindness, and crazy ability to observe life & process.

Happy Birthday to my boy, my friend.  Thank you for being such a great example to your brother, Leland....who wants to be just like you. 
Hope you will always remember this special birthday....the beautiful weather...the bonfire, the homemade cake, and all the love you received.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jude is 6! (almost)

This was the phrase I decided to stamp onto his classmates' treat bags to take to school today.

It was wierd to see that number: 6
It wasn't toddlerish.
It wasn't teeny little playhouse disney-watching boy.
It is the age of my almost first grader.

Leland had a blast while I stamped.  He was all up into the stamps & trying to put the ink pad on his face.  He made the process take twice the time but with 100% more laughter and silly-ness.

I kind of enjoyed making these and realized since I have a summer birthday, I never got to send in treats for friends...Jude is thrilled with how they turned out & cannot wait to give out to his 17 classmates today.

Sweet little mini paper bags filled with individual play-doh containers, alphabet tie-dye silly bands, & toy story stickers. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

vegan cobbler

A few weeks back, I had some girlfriends over to join me in saying goodbye to a friend as she 'temporarily' moves out of state.

I made mostly non-vegan things but decided to try something new with my kabillion ramekins I got on impulse at World Market a few weeks back.

A simple pineapple & blueberry individual cobbler using a soy based butter to give it the crumbly top.

This was not only a crowd pleaser but a real craving-satisfier too!  I plan to do an apple one in the fall with some delicious honeycrisp apples...
spray ramekins, layer crushed pineapple, blueberries & yellow cake mix...top with butter slices

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes...would be delicious with coconut non-dairy ice cream atop

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the big to-do list

So, we are thinking of selling our home in the next year or so....the possibilities of where to move are endless but we have a certain community in mind.

One of the MANY to-do's on our list was to replace our 20+ year old dishwasher.

First off, I can hardly describe to you the terror this dishwasher brought to us.  It not only left our dishes with a wierd film on them...but it would sometimes just NOT close all the way...make noises that would scare our children...and was just a plain old eye sore.

I am pleased to say we checked one thing off our list by adding (what feels like a new child) to our household...
the horrifying scary dishwasher

our newbie princess dishwasher

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

vegan day 53

One of the questions I am getting from you all is this:

"So does your husband do the vegan lifestyle along with you?"

I thought that question was best answered in the form of a photograph of our dinner last night.

Can you tell which quarter of this pizza is the vegan quarter?

Let's just say Joel's support is more emotional & verbal....than nutritional!  I am OK with that.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Joel and I had a pep in our step as his 'duck' alarm on his phone woke us up at 4:30am yesterday morning.  The CLE Rite Aid Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K run bringing in a record breaking 19,000 runners & walkers by 6:00AM this morning into downtown Cleveland.

We drove with lattes in hand while watching the fog hover over the city.

We ate our bananas, drank our electrolyte-filled water & stretched.  We laughed at some of the funny hard core runners who walked around like they owned the universe.

After getting in line, the gun was fired & off we went.  Up to this point, I had only run about 4.5 miles EVER...today: 6.2miles was my plan.
My biggest fear:...stopping.  My goal:  to just keep running.

Music playing & adrenaline pumping we were off.  I thought back to junior high....to a former track coach who told me I probably would never run long-distance and only let me do sprints & shot put.  I thought of her and wished she could see how her words affected me.  How they motivated me to work hard & accomplish a goal.

Perhaps 'she' is the reason I have never considered myself one who would ever be a runner. 

Today changed all that.

We ran down St. Clair and seeing the fog lift over each building completely inspired me.  So many negative connotations have come with this city - yet, it's the people who completely redeem it. It's the people who work hard to come back at the trash talk or the 'mistake on the lake' labels its received.  It's those who took a risk on a city that make its beauty so obvious & so intriguing.  I was proud to run on her streets.  I was thrilled to share her space with so many.

I finished my race.  I met my goal.  I just kept running.

My husband's hug at the finish line will be one I'll remember forever.  To hear his words say, 'I'm so proud of you baby....' made all those weeks of training worth it.

The girl who 'wasn't cut out for longer distance running' ran 6 miles today and plans to run 13.1 next year.

BIG thanks to all of you for your calls...texts...hugs...this was a BIG deal for me.  Your encouragement helped such a great deal.


Friday, May 13, 2011

his & hers

Joel and I discovered this line of shoes just before the holidays....I had already gotten him shoes for Christmas but haven't been able to get this company out of my mind since...

their history:

"The first prototype to emerge from the 2005 workshop of musician/designer Michael McCaleb was the simple slip-on shoe they named Ake. The Ake featured basic colors, a sturdy, flexible canvas upper and a purple vulcanized rubber sole. The idea came from McCaleb’s desire to “deal with a collection of issues” he saw with older canvas shoes. He liked the comfort level but found the design too clunky and heavy for fitted jeans."

I see us rocking these while galavanting through Dublin in a few months....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

second born

Jude was my compliant child.

He wore a bandaid for the first time sometime before his 4th birthday and maybe only 2 or 3 since.

His obedience was unparalleled. His little ears heard every word I said.

Perhaps this is a funny little trick God enjoys playing....perhaps it is the only way to get us to procreate again.

Then the 2nd one comes along.

Leland bit it hard yesterday.  After getting frustrated about having to get dressed, he tried coming up the stairs (running away from me), missed a step & BAM his forehead hit the floor.  A goose egg appeared.

I noticed streaks of red, almost like the skin was punctured but not all the way.  In moments, my adrenaline was pumping as my child screamed in pain.

"Do I go to the ER?"
"Do I let him cry it out"
"Will he even let me ice it?"
"What if his skull is cracked?"
"What kind of Mom am I that I let this happen?"

Jude's bus would soon be rolling in front of the house - it was 45 minutes away from pulling up.

I called the school and secretary offered to keep Jude with her until we sorted through the seriousness of Lee's injury.

I called my Pediatrician and had an appt in 5 minutes....was seen 2 minutes after arriving...and was back in the car in 10 minutes.  I love my child's doctor.  They made me feel like he was simply a boy and I was not a bad Mom.

All was well.  No major harm done.  No bleeding in his ears.  Skull nice and un-fractured.


Leland is going to be our child we parent differently.  The thing that worked for Jude will not necessarily work for Lee.  I am betting on it.

For now, we're just trying to keep him safe....keep him alive...keep him happy. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Leland is beginning a stage that is both tough & beautiful.
It's the 18 month stage.

Tough part: He is into everything.  He is mischievous.  He is sneaky.  He is quiet as a mouse when he is naughty. 

For instance, just last week....I caught him climbing up onto a dining room chair....then I went to the bathroom to wash my hands....came back out and he was ON TOP of the dining room table with the glass vase of flowers in his hands as he gulped down the water. 

The beautiful part: The play.  The interaction.  The reciprocating of love back to us all. He even said "Thank you" for the first time on Mother's Day....good timing for what a naughty little guy he can be.  

I enjoy watching his hands as he pushes a truck or car along our window sill.  I love the sound of him making his first 'vroom vroom' noise.  It takes me right back to my Jude....and my heart is grateful to do this again with another golden-haired boy.  I still love to remember the chubby little hands Jude used to have as he pushed a train on his train set....or how his feet looked all squished in sandals going down the slide...

Do you take photos of your children as they play?