Simone Massoni synchronized swimmer illustrations

Simone Massoni synchronized swimmer illustrations

I’ve always been kind of charmed by the idea of synchronized swimming. When I was young, I would spend some time with my grandma in South Carolina every summer. I was allowed to bring a friend with me, and Grandma would spoil us with homemade pies, late night movies and downtown Charleston shopping trips. My friend and I always spent a lot of time in her pool during our stay, and we usually prepared an amatuer synchroinized swimming routine to share with Grandma and her old lady friends on the last day of our trip. We weren’t the least bit good, but those happy childhood memories instilled a fondness and appreciation for the sport.

I love the patterns that Simone Massoni has created using this synchronized swimmer theme. Her illustrative ladies are so fun and playful! I adore their swimwear styles and color palette. Check out her website, and more swimming ladies after the jump!

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3 years of marriage, 5 years of eva & so much to celebrate

so much to celebrate

This time of year is always a special one in my house. It starts with my birthday on the 4th, our wedding anniversary on the 9th (3 years yesterday), and then Eva’s birthday on the 10th (my baby girl is 5 today!). We’ve got a lot to celebrate in early June. I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones, the trauma Eva and I suffered a few months back, or a combination of the two, but I am feeling especially lucky and grateful for my life and the people in it this year. Plenty of things in life come and go, but I think the people you share it with matter most of all.

I’m very grateful for my incredible husband who supports me in career and life, works so hard to take care of Eva and I, makes me laugh and feel cherished every single day. He makes me coffee every morning with just the right amount of splenda, holds my hand at scary doctors appointments, and is my loudest cheerleader when I land a dream client. He’s treated me this way for the entire 11.5 years we’ve been together, not just our three years of marriage.

I am also grateful for the incredible little person we call our daughter. In some ways it feels like she has always been a part of our lives, but it’s also pretty astounding to reflect on just how quickly the past five years have flown by. From the 7 lb screaming peanut I met five years ago today, to the chubbiest happiest baby, to the toddler at our wedding, to the bright, articulate, imaginative, funny kid she is today, Eva has brought an unfathomable amount of joy to our lives and our family. I love her more that I ever knew I could, and I can’t wait to see her in her new role as big sister.

Speaking of baby, he makes up that last piece of gratitude pie: we’ve wanted to add to our family for quite a while, and there were times when I thought it might not ever happen. But, here we are, 10 weeks from welcoming our son into the world. The three of us couldn’t be more excited him!

That’s all for today. Go hug the people you love!

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the great girl clothes purge

girls fashion instagram sale
It now seems a bit ridiculous, but for the past 5 years I have been saving almost all of Eva’s clothes. We knew we wanted another child someday, and I wasn’t about the get rid of all that baby fashion until we knew that #2 was a dude baby. I’m finally prepared to part with some of Eva’s cutest clothes, but it does make me a little sad! Everything I’m selling online is brand new or gently work designer kids clothing. The sizes range from Newborn to 5. Brands include (a lot of) tea collection, catmini, egg baby, little marc jacobs, baby gap, and more.

I’m doing this as an instagram sale and I’ve created a special account just for the purpose of selling these items, @shopcleanline. To make a purchase just leave your email address in the comments.  I will send you a paypal invoice, which needs to be paid within 48 hours to secure the sale. Shipping is $4 for the first item, free for additional items! If you’re local (in Philadelphia) and interested in anything in the shop, leave a comment here and we can arrange pick up minus the shipping costs. I will be adding more items throughout the week, so please follow me and check back often. And, if you know any mamas of little girls on the hunt for cute/cheap designer clothes, please send her my way! Happy Shopping!

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Our sweet family vacation on chincoteague island, VA

Chincoteague Island, VA

Last week we took advantage of the three day weekend, and went on vacation! We knew this would be the last getaway as a family of three, and wanted to do something that would be fun for all of us. We decided on Chincoteague Island, VA. This Island’s main claim to fame would have to be the wild ponies, but it has a lot of other things going for it! It’s just 3.5 hours from Philadelphia and offers quite a variety of outdoorsy activities; kayaking, crabbing, fishing, biking, boating, and ice cream eating just to name a few. We had a really lovely time! You’ll find a lot more photographic evidence after the jump!

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the new babe’s nursery

modern galaxy nursery design
In 11.5 short weeks, a tiny dude will be coming to live with us forever (YAY!). Recently I’ve been realizing just how quickly the past 12 weeks have gone by, and how soon our new babe will be in my arms. When Eva was a newborn, we were subletting our second of three houses, waiting for the one we live in now to finally be ready for us. She didn’t have a proper nursery until she was about 7 months old, and I’m hoping to bring this newbie home to a space that’s completely ready for him.

Because space is tight in our little home, we’ll be turning what is now the playroom into our little boy’s nursery. It’s a bigger room than Eva’s, so I am planning to keep enough open space that both Eva and her little brother can still use it as somewhat of a play room. One of the walls is exposed brick, while the others are a lovely teal color that I think compliments the brick perfectly. I’m planning to keep the wall color as is, and add touches of grey (and maybe a little neon) throughout. I’ve already purchased bedding from dwell studio’s galaxy nursery collection, the flensted mobile, and a few other things.

In general I want the space to feel clean, modern, fun, and practical (kind of like everything I get my little designer fingers on). I don’t want to be too stuck on any one “theme,” as I think that approach tends to get kind of matchy and boring. So, what do you guys think? Are there any other decor items my little dude just has to have for his space? Fill a pregnant sister in! And have a nice weekend!

PS: If you’re interested, you can follow me on pinterest and check out the whole bebe nursery board right here!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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Swimming with wild ponies

Swimming with wild ponies

Happy Friday, y’all! I’m just popping in quickly, basically to brag about my vacation. This morning Sean, Eva and I are headed off to Chincoteague Island for our first (and last) vacation as a family of three! It’s not that we haven’t taken time off, but this is our first vacation together not spent visiting family, or ditching the kid with grandparents. I’m really looking forward to some time away with my two favorite people, soaking up some sun, and getting a peek at the island’s wild pony population! I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend as much as I plan to enjoy mine. I’ll be back soon, ta ta!

PS: This image was actually taken at the Camargue in Arles, France. I’ve been there too, it’s pretty incredible!

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jenny odell: digital collage with google maps

jenny odell digital collage with google maps These images have been making their way around the internets for a while, but I still really like them and wanted to share! Jenny Odell uses primarily google maps to create collages of imagery. It could be anything from sports stadiums to salt ponds, even swimming pools (pictured below). These collages remind me of a certain crazy sculpture professor I had in college. He had a ridiculous Louisiana Creole accent and used bizarre catchphrases like “makes me wanna slap my mama,” but when it came to sculpture, the man knew his stuff. He suggested that when it came to sculptural pieces featuring repetition, you should just keep going until several people told you that you were crazy. In his opinion, the part that makes it so amazing is the scope, volume, and how it all fits together. I think that same idea applies here. Click through to see more examples of Jenny’s work!

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exploring philadelphia: longwood gardens

longwood gardens philadelphia Hi guys, I’m back(ish). It’s been a pretty intense and emotional couple of weeks as Eva and I begin to deal with what happened to us (see post below if you have no idea what I’m talking about). We’ve gotten a ton of love and support which really means more to me than I can say. A big plus is the dramatic change in the weather we’ve had lately. We were out of town for official Mother’s Day, so we took my mom on a little adventure to Longwood Gardens the previous Sunday. I would describe it as Disneyland for plant nerds (hello, this guy right here). Longwood is about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia proper, and boy is it magical. They are open year-round, and from what I hear, they have a pretty awesome Christmas display. If you are in the Philadelphia Area or passing through, I highly recommend a visit!

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The world is mostly good, even after this

ks-175g Pretty dramatic title, eh? I’ve been waffling about whether or not I wanted to share this ever since it happened last week. This post is likely to be much more personal than I usually get on here, and definitely much more horrifying than a typical Monday post. But, it just feels disingenuous to share the color palette and baby nursery inspiration I had planned for this week when that stuff is just so far off from how I’m actually feeling. So, here it goes…

Last Wednesday, I picked Eva up from school in the afternoon and we were running errands, much like a any other weekday. We’d been grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, and had one more stop to buy little girl toothpaste at the pharmacy by our house. It was 3:30 PM when we pulled into the first non-handicapped parking spot at our neighborhood CVS. I was talking to Eva in the back seat, somewhat distracted as I began to open my car door. The rest happened so quickly. A man approached our car, and my first reaction was that he was homeless and asking for money. As I began to shake my head and tell him I didn’t have any cash, his body because uncomfortably close to mine. In a split second, it became clear that this was not the interaction I had expected. He looked me dead in the eyes, told me that he had a gun, and to get in the passenger’s seat.

Eva was still strapped in her booster seat in the back.  He hadn’t shown me a gun, his hands were visible, and I saw an unfamiliar (possibly drug induced) crazy look in his eyes. in a split-second, I reacted. Friends and family have been telling me how brave I am for what happened in the next few seconds, but in that moment, all I could think about was keeping my daughter and unborn son safe, and ending that moment as quickly as possible. I reacted with sheer, primal, survival instinct. I kicked the man in his guts with every bit of strength in my body, and screamed the loudest scream imaginable. By now, adrenaline had set in. The man punched at my pregnant stomach and face, put his hands around my neck, and grabbed me by the ankles in an attempt to physically remove me from the vehicle. I didn’t feel any of it and I managed to block him pretty effectively, thankful it was over in just a few seconds.

A second man approach my car and pulled the attacked off of me. I learned later that he was actually a firefighter who just happened to be on break. He was bigger, stronger, and exceedingly more capable than the attacker. Our firefighter hero stepped in, and completely took control of the situation. I was able to close and lock my car door, and call 911. The police were there in about 5 minutes, maybe less. During that time, the attacker tried to flee in another car and on foot, which was prevented by our firefighter hero. A large crowd heard my screams, and gathered around the edges of the CVS parking lot. Many people pulled out their phones and took video. The entire attack was caught on the CVS security cameras. Both the firefighter hero and I were able to positively identify the attacker. Later, I learned that the attacker had stolen the car he tried to flee in earlier in the day, and had attempted to rob a dollar store down the street just before he tried to carjack me (AND MY CHILDREN). He is in jail, and will likely stay there for a very very long time.

I feel so deeply grateful that in the moment, I was able to make my body react the right way. I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers who stuck around to give statements to the police, and bring water and juice to the car for Eva and I. Most of all I’m grateful for Steven, the firefighter who was responsible for the capture of the attacker, and also quite possibly for saving the lives of my children and I. In the moment, he reacted without hesitation. He put his own life at risk to save mine. It wasn’t until later that he learned I was pregnant and had my four year old daughter in the back seat. He just did it, because it was the right thing to do. I’m quite sure he would have done the same for you.

I’d be lying if I said this event hasn’t affected me deeply. I feel a bit scared in my own skin, and so angry at this man for putting my children and my own life in danger. It’s hard to think about much else…how if anything had happened a little differently, this story could have a much worse ending. Eva was understandably scared when it happened, but seems to be coping quite well. We are watching her like a hawk for any signs of emotional trauma, but so far, so good.

You might think it hard to find a positive takeaway in this situation, but I don’t think so. We have our lives! So many friends and family members have called since it happened. We’ve received so much support, and so many I love yous. On Thursday afternoon, Eva was eating raspberry sorbet with the biggest grin on her face. I started crying, because I just couldn’t possibly love her sticky, freckled little face any more. Every baby kick in my belly feels like such a precious gift. When Sean gets home from work and we can all be in the garden or reading books together, it just feels like heaven. I’ve never felt more in love with my life or my family. It’s going to take some time to feel normal again, and until then, I’m going to take a break from blogging. I need to hold the people I love extra close, and take care of myself too. Thanks for your support.

image by kitty sabatier

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Finally back in the garden, with Rodales!

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Happy Earth Day, my friends! I am so delighted that the weather has finally warmed up enough to enjoy my garden! It is my absolute favorite place. It’s where I go when I’m feeling stressed, or just have a few minutes of free time. The garden is part of my home that my whole family enjoys immensely, and I’m so grateful to have.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Rodales recently sent me some goodies to use in the garden, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to use them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Rodales, it’s the relatively new e-commerce site from the publishing giant, Rodale. They sell products for the whole family, home, and garden with an emphasis on quality and concern for the environment. As a total garden geek, that’s the section of their site that I’m particularly drawn to at the moment.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales This past weekend, Sean, Eva and I got serious about some garden planting. When I say serious, consider what that means for a four year old…lots of giggling, excitement, and barefoot dancing in the fresh-cut grass. Eva just about burst with excitement when we opened up her very own secret garden kit, and she discovered that it came with a key! Super exciting! We planted all the seeds and are expecting a nice variety of flowers for her own little corner of the garden.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales The thing I was most excited about has to be the milkweed seeds! Milkweed is just as described, a weed, but a very important weed! Milkweed sap contains a mild poison and tastes bitter, so most animals leave it alone. Monarch butterflies aren’t affected by the poison and for this reason, they actually seek out the plant to lay their eggs. The larvae eat the milkweed plant, and then form their chrysalises on them. When they emerge as the beautiful butterflies we know and love, their bodies are toxic to predators from all the milkweed consumption. So, if you care about monarch butterflies, the best thing you can do is plant some milkweed! The beautifully packaged kit from Rodale’s actually contains 4 packets of seeds. If you want one, mention it in the comments below! I’ll send them out to the first three people, and contact you privately for your address. Unfortunately, I’m going to limit my offer to the US only as policies about international seeds vary from country to country. I think earth day seems like an appropriate day to do our part in a little butterfly saving!

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Here’s one last outtake of the quickly growing belly bump. Several of you have asked, and I didn’t want to disappoint!  I hope you enjoy the rest of the week and are able to spend some time outside appreciating nature!

This post was written in partnership with Rodales in exchange for product. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going!

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