Tuesday, November 25, 2014

3-in-1 Holiday Cards-- a genius idea, and a giveaway from Artifact Uprising!



Tell me if you can relate to this scenario-- March comes around, the Christmas tree is long gone, along with the holiday wreath and colorful lights. But your fridge is still covered in Christmas cards from friends and family, with happy faces beaming out and greetings in bright red, green, and gold. Where do these cards end up? Mine usually get slipped into the trash or recycling, while I grimace with guilt as the cute faces gets covered with banana peels, coffee grinds and junk mail. 

I think I may have sent Christmas cards once in our five years of marriage. There's already so much going on in the season, and realizing that they'll likely end up in the trash bin makes me just a bit sad.

Here's where this genius idea from Artifact Uprising comes in. (Don't you love discovering product ideas that make you go, "YES! That's so smart!"?) Perforated edges allow their new 3-in-1 holiday cards to convert from a holiday card, to a gift tag and a photo print. So your friends and fam can reuse the holiday greeting on an outgoing gift, and a photo of your gorgeous kids can sit on their fridge or bulletin board year-round without looking out of place.

I created ours a few weeks ago on their website, but you can also make them right on your phone with the AU app. I used one of my favorite images from our family photo session with Ruth Allen (more of those pictures to come soon-- they make me swoon!)



So, no need for me to gab anymore-- wanna win a pack of holiday cards? Use the form below to enter! One winner will receive a 25 pack of holiday cards. The holiday deadline for cards is December 7th!




Friday, November 21, 2014

delia at two months...and a giveaway from fawn and clover!


I'm well aware that monthly baby updates aren't the most riveting thing happening in the blog world. I also know that second children often get overlooked in the upkeep of traditions and recording memories. So, as an incentive for me to keep writing these posts (since I love looking back at Silas' and have yet to write in a baby book for either kiddo), and as a thank-you to you for stopping by, I've lined up some fun giveaways each month for Delia's monthly posts. Skip down to the bottom of this post for a sweet giveaway from Fawn and Clover (the creator behind D's sweet hoodie and leggings in today's post).

Delia has been on the earth for two sweet months now. As cliché as it may be to say, she has fit seamlessly into our family, and it feels like she was always meant to be here.




 At two months old, D is gracing us with sweet smiles (and even some coos and squeaks) daily. She loves following Si around the room with her eyes, and gets pretty sad when we are in the other room, and she's all alone. Since birth, she has held her thumb between her pointer and middle finger when she's making a fist. I think it's an adorable quirk. Her eyes look like they are going to be light-- maybe even green like her daddy and Silas (which shocks me, since I have the dominant brown eye gene!). I call her Delia, baby D, Dee Bee, Cheeks McGee, and just plain 'ol D. Silas has called her "Ah-la" since before she was born, and insists that her name starts with an "A", instead of "D".

She eats and sleeps pretty great, except in the evenings, when she's a major fuss-bucket. That's when I usually end up wearing her in our Happy Baby Wrap or Sakura Bloom ring sling. It's a pretty common sight for Chris to come home to-- Delia in the sling, me in sweats and messy hair, prepping dinner, while Si sits quietly on the couch watching Little Bear. I lasted until 5pm last night before I sat him in front of the TV, which I saw as a major victory. Mommy-ing these two is all kinds of exhausting, frustrating, rewarding, tiring, humbling and sweet.

Big brother wanted to get in on his little sister's two month pictures. Too bad he has such a boring personality.



Don't you love that hot air balloon hoodie and those gold polka dot leggings that Delia is wearing above? Kayla is the creator behind the shop Fawn and Clover, and she also makes adorable baby hats, bibs, teething rings, and dresses.  She's offering a $30 shop credit to Hello Hue readers today! Read a little bit more about Kayla below, and use the Rafflecopter widget to enter. Giveaway ends next Friday, and winner will be announced on this post.

From Kayla:

My name is Kayla, owner of Fawn & Clover.  I have a passion for Jesus, my family, coffee and sewing.  I am married to Rob and we have to little ones - Eliana & Brayden.  When my kids sleep, I sew. Lots and lots of baby clothes.  I am thankful to be able to meet new people and have been blessed so much by my little business.










a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 13, 2014

hi there.

Every time I've sat down to write a blog post over the past few weeks, I stare at the computer screen, searching for the right words. Eventually, I realize that I don't possess the right ones, and so I close the lid to my laptop and curl up on the couch next to Silas instead.

But the kids have been sleeping for about 3 hours now, and I've cleaned the kitchen, prepped dinner, cleaned the kitchen again, finished custom orders, and now my hands are fidgety for lack of something to do. (Who am I kidding? There's ALWAYS something to do, but the laundry will wait until another day...)

So, a blog post it is. Just a few tidbits about the state of the Wilkins' home.

Si and Delia are getting used to each other, and sometimes even love each other. Si is curious, sweet and only a teeny bit jealous (yesterday, while he was throwing a fit, she chimed in with her own screaming, and he said, "No! NO! Delia, me crying!!" Ha. ). Delia is curious about this loud little being who stomps around while she's trying to snooze.

Lately, Si's favorite things to do are hop around like a frog "WOO-but! WOO-but!", make forts out of blankets, and play hide-n-seek. He's finally mastered the fine art of staying in his hiding spot, and it's awfully adorable to see his little pajama'ed feet sticking out from underneath the curtains. He's hilarious and maddening, all wrapped up into one adorable two-year-old sized package.

D is working hard at fattening up her cheeks lately, and doing a good job at it. Her smiles are bright enough to light the block, and she is definitely a mama's girl-- following my every move with her eyes and instantly calming (sometimes) when I start in on Too-Ra-Loo-Ra. I think she and Chris both love their nightly snuggle on the couch, while we catch up on Black List, and I use my "no longer pregnant" excuse to eat all the sugar in the house.

This is starting to read like a Christmas newsletter, isn't it? I'll be honest-- it's been refreshing to step back from the computer a little bit in the past few months. When every event, outing, and outfit has to be a blog post-- life gets a little bit crazy. I'll be back soon though-- I've got some fun things lined up over the next few weeks-- an awesome diaper bag company, some gorgeous family pictures by the talented Ruth Eileen Photography, and a sweet holiday card giveaway.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

maternity pictures with ioana bentum

Earlier this summer, a sweet girl from Romania started following me on Instagram. After a few friendly exchanges, and checking out each others' feeds, we realized that we basically lived in the same neighborhood. Ioana has a great eye for photography, and a flair for the dramatic. Her images (both in her Instagram feed, and her professional work) are striking, and her style distinct.

Anyway, back in August, I got to hang out with Ioana in a beautiful location just outside of Boston, and get some maternity pictures taken. I coerced the boys into coming along, and we snuck in a few family pictures too. Here are some of my favorite images. 


 

Monday, October 13, 2014

weekend outfit:: a new normal

 If you would have told me two months ago, that I'd be editing an outfit post three weeks after Delia's arrival, I would scrunched up my nose and scoffed. But this time around, the post-baby body with all its flabby skin and leaky boobs, the newborn stage with its exhaustion and worries  -- it's all a little less scary and overwhelming than the first time, and I'm feeling more like myself with each day. And I'll say, "Hallelujah" to that because boy, was I anxious.

Finding nursing-friendly outfits can take a little more time and effort, and there's no use getting attached to favorite tops, because they'll be spotted in breast milk and spit-up within a few minutes of wearing them.  I will never have a flat tummy again, and as Silas pointed out to me this week, my belly button is "broken".  After Silas was born, these things overwhelmed me and even crushed me at times. Getting dressed was something I often dreaded. But this second time around, I'm heaping on the grace, and embracing the wrinkles, lumps and tears a little bit more.

We said goodbye to the last of our family yesterday afternoon, which means no more extra help, but instead, the opportunity to settle in to our new normal. Tomorrow marks the beginning of my first full week alone with the kids, so I know there are still plenty of hard days ahead. But surviving the first three weeks feels like a small victory.

what i'm wearing:: cardigan:: {target} // blouse:: {anthropologie} // leggings:: {c/o agnes and dora} // boots:: {c/o lulu's}



Friday, September 26, 2014

introducing delia bea.




Our sweet girl arrived at 8:08 on Sunday evening, weighing in at a teeny 6lbs 4oz, 18.5 inches long. (She's a peanut compared to her big brother's birth weight!) Delia is an angel baby-- sleeping great for us here at home, and eating like a champ. Right now, she's lying wide awake on my chest, looking around with bright eyes, hiccuping like crazy.

More to come on our first week with two kiddos, and how Delia arrived. For now, I'm off to sniff my baby's head...




Friday, September 12, 2014

friday links. (alternate title: I should be napping...)

My hair is unwashed (two days isn't awful... right?!), the living room floor is littered with puzzle pieces and plastic trucks, and there are dishes to be done. But Silas is finally napping for the first time this week, and so it makes the most sense to me to plop down on my sunny, warm bed and...write a quick blog post.



I haven't done a Friday links post in a little while, and since it's Friday, well, here ya go. 

This blog post written by Chelsea about seeking approval on social media resonated with me. 

Mary from Happy Baby Wrap sent a bamboo wrap my way this week, and I'm pretty stoked to try it out with Delia. 

This post by Carissa about living with less and the struggles of being content was a good read. 

I picked out a new pair of glasses frames from Firmoo this week-- going with a fun pop of electric blue! 

How gorgeous are Anna Rifle Bond's illustrated book covers for these classics? I should start a collection for Delia. 

I always love Sydney's maternity style. This dress from earlier this summer is so lovely.

These new jogger pants from Aerie are so perfect for this fall. I bought a pair of the skinny joggers in "beet" and have barely taken them off all week.


Ok, dishes can wait, but this hair needs some tending to. This weekend is looking to be perfectly crisp, and we're going apple picking in the morning! Three cheers for fall's arrival! Got any fun plans for the next few days?





Thursday, September 11, 2014

38 weeks.


I'm not sure I really have words for the feelings that have been washing over me the last few days. While I'm so ready to meet this little girl face-to-face, I am quite a bit terrified to be a mom of two. The past few days, Si has been skipping his nap, and it's left me feeling exhausted (even more than usual) and low on patience. I can only imagine what these kinds of days will look like when I have a toddler bouncing off the walls, bags under my eyes, and a tiny newborn to care for as well. So, I'm doing my best to soak up the quiet times I have left (even if it means stuffing my head under a pillow while Si chatters in his room), and praying my way through the days. 

I think that the next few months will be filled with lessons on how I can't rely on my own strength, but instead, on God's strength through me. Those kinds of lessons scare me. Because they are hard learned, and often come only after many tears for me. 

So, besides being a little terrified and a little exhausted, we are pretty ready for the arrival of miss Delia Bea. Ready to kiss those sweet toes, hold her tiny hands and introduce her to her big brother. 

Her drawers are stocked with the frilliest, sweetest little clothes imaginable. 

The guest bedroom is made up and awaiting my mom's arrival. 

Silas is practically bursting from waiting for his little sister (not sure he actually believes us that she's really coming soon...)

The freezer is filled with meals-- both homemade and our favorites from Trader Joe's. 

My hospital bag is packed and ready to be snagged at a moment's notice. 

I bought a few fun lounge clothes, fully remembering the frumpy feeling of being a new mom. And hoping new sweatpants and tees will alleviate that just a bit. 

We've toured the hospital, met with the other midwives that may help deliver Delia, and I'm downing several cups of raspberry leaf tea each day. 

Not much left to do but wait... and get one last pregnancy pedicure, of course. 




Monday, September 8, 2014

creating our laundry nook.


For the first year we lived in this house, the laundry was in the basement. The stairs leading down to the basement are narrow and it's unfinished and dreary down there. Dirty and clean laundry often ended up piled in our foyer, on the couch, or on the stairs. There were dozens of times when we'd have to run a load of wash over again after it sat wet and forgotten in the washing machine for several days. It was far from convenient to have the laundry down there. So as soon as we moved in, moving the laundry upstairs was at the top of our projects list. 



This week, we finally put the finishing touches on the laundry nook on our second floor, and it's glorious. Laundry has never been easier, and Silas even does half of my job by loading and unloading the machines for me. I've even gotten around to washing things like rugs and duvets because it's just so much easier. 

The second floor is where all of our bedrooms are located, and there was a small linen closet at one end. We hired a contractor, a plumber, and an electrician (all friends of ours) to create a larger space/closet for the laundry, and run gas and water lines. As much as I love a good DIY, Chris and I know nothing about plumbing or electricity, so it was worth it to hire out for that stage. The process of rebuilding the larger space (we took a little bit of space from the hallway and the bedroom behind it), running the proper lines and installing the machines took about five weeks. 

After the professional work was finished, we painted the inside of the nook a bold teal (Thermal Spring by Behr), and then it sat semi-finished all summer. Functional, with the machines hooked up, but without doors or shelving. 



Last weekend, it was time to finish up, so Chris installed the bi-fold doors (and some spunky knobs I found on clearance at Anthro) and created some shelving. He bought pine boards from Home Depot, cut them to size, sanded and poly-ed them. They were the perfect simple solution to hold our linens and laundry essentials. 

We'd still like to add in a countertop over the machines, and install a fold-down ironing board, but for now, we'll call it finished. 

Because of the location of the laundry nook right at the top of the stairs, it's a little difficult to get great pictures, but here are a few shots to give you an idea of how it turned out. And in an ideal world, I'd have the shelves beautifully accessorized, but at 9 months pregnant, I'm just about out of steam, so I'm working with what we've got and I'm perfectly happy with it. 






PS. Sherry and John from Young House Love are creating their own laundry nook, and have been writing pretty detailed posts about each stage-- check their blog out for more on the nitty gritty aspects of creating a laundry room, and the gorgeous details they've included. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

bump style: 35 weeks



Sheesh, I haven't posted a bump style post since 28 weeks. Sometimes it's just easier to have Chris snap a picture on my phone and post it to Instagram than to take pictures, edit them, and write out a blog post. So, if you want to see some of the ways I dressed my bump in the last seven weeks, hop over and follow my Instagram account.

As I type, I'm almost 36 weeks, and I'm sitting on a yoga ball. Last week, my midwife said to me, "Let's get this show on the road!" Sweet words to hear. So, she gave me all kinds of homework to get my body ready and starting to progress. 

When I had Silas, my labor lasted 30 hours, he was almost 10 lbs, and I had a C-section. (read more about his birth story here). This time around, we're shooting for a VBAC, and thankfully, I've got a great midwife who is totally on board with that. I'm not trying in any way to redeem Silas' birth story, and in fact, it doesn't bother me at all that his arrival came via C-section. What I would love to do is avoid another surgery, and the awful recovery that comes with it-- especially in a three-story house and with a toddler! 

Just like with Si's arrival, my expectations are pretty much out the window. I'm not writing a birth plan, and even though I have some thoughts on how I'd like to see things go (I'd love to labor in the tub, we'll see how long I can go natural, and yeah, a VBAC would be fabulous), I'm perfectly content with whatever happens, as long as we are both healthy at the end. 

I'm tired, but not miserable. There's a lot of waddling going on, and hearing Si grunt and "oof!" as he gets off the couch makes me laugh as I realize he is mimicing his mama. Even through the discomforts, aches, pains and exhaustion, pregnancy is still pretty amazing to me, and feeling her arms and legs slide across my belly still makes me stop and savor. But I'm definitely ready to get this show on the road already, and meet this babe already...

what i'm wearing:: denim vest:: {gap} //  tank:: {asos maternity} // skirt:: {she inside} // necklace:: {c/o nspottery} // sandals :: {these from asos} // see my 35 week bump with Silas


Thursday, August 21, 2014

nursery details.

While Chris was on a business trip in South Africa last week, all I could think about was getting ready for this baby (and okay, maybe a little bit about sleep, and chocolate chip cookies-- which my midwife has banned for the remainder of this pregnancy). The day after he touched down in Boston, we set to work moving Si into his new room (Chris' old office, which got stripped of its' ugly wallpaper and got a new coat of white paint earlier this month). We rolled out new rugs in both their rooms,  moved some furniture around, and built her crib (the same version that Silas has, but in white instead of gray). 

I spent the week before working on little projects for her room, like painting her kraft letter "d" metallic gold, and creating an abstract painting with peaches, pinks, fuchsia and gold. Just yesterday, a package came in the mail with fabrics I'd chosen to make a fabric garland above her crib. I'll be using this tutorial to make it. 

While on a day date in the city yesterday, Chris helped me pick out some sweet knobs from Anthropologie to add a bit of personality to our IKEA Koppang dresser. Even though I've seen a lot of nurseries use the Hemnes dresser, the Koppang was just the right small size for this space-- just enough table top space for a changing pad (once we get one).





There's something that feels almost sacred about creating a nursery for a new little being. I felt it with Si, and it's there again with Delia. I walk in her room, with all the little details still waiting to be pulled together, and the anticipation is palpable. We've had some incredibly cool almost fall-like mornings this week, and sitting in that big gray chair in the corner of her room, with the morning breeze blowing in is a bit heavenly. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

two.

We celebrated Silas' second birthday on Sunday. Poor guy has his two year molars coming in, but that didn't stop him from totally reveling in all the birthday fun. We had my brother, sister-in-law, and their brood of four in for the week, so it was an automatic party right from the get-go.

We repeated our 'tradition' from last year of laying low and celebrating the day without any frills or attempts at being Pinterest-y. The night before felt almost like Christmas, as Chris and I assembled his new basketball hoop, wrapped new books and PJs, and baked a cake. I have a feeling that my kids' birthdays are going to become my favorite holidays of the year. 

We started the day with a big breakfast of waffles, eggs, breakfast sausage and fruit, and ended it with a lobster feast. None of the adults were very bothered that the kids couldn't be convinced to try the lobster-- they were perfectly happy with their hotdogs and corn-on-the-cob. 




Last year, on his first birthday, I was overwhelmed by the emotions that came from reflecting back on my first year as a mama. This year, I was just happy to soak up my sweet boy in all his two-year-oldness. He's changing constantly, and even came down from his birthday nap saying "Yeah" instead of his usual affirmative "Uh-huh". His floppy hair is bleached blonde from the summer sun, and I think his eyes might be heading a little more towards a blue hue than the bright green of his daddy's. And in just six weeks or so, he's bound to seem even older and bigger when he becomes a big brother for the first time. 




Monday, July 28, 2014

questions.



Is there anything more cozy than a morning thunderstorm with candles lit and cuddly toddler doing puzzles by your side?
I can't think of much else. 


do I really have two more months left for this belly to grow?!
I got my first 'twins?' comment this weekend. 

anyone wanna come help with the million and one projects we have on our 'before baby comes' list?
laundry nook shelves, delia's room, organizing the heck out of our life...

how adorable are these tiny handmade baby girl dresses?!
that pink and gold polka dot one is headed my way!

will Delia have my dark complexion, or Chris and Silas' fair complexion?
I can't imagine a blonde girl in my family, but I can't wait to see! 

how did I just now buy my first pair of Saltwater sandals?! 
I'm in looove. First pair of sandals I've ever had that are absolutely comfy from day 1. 

what are your favorite toys for toddlers? 
Silas' birthday is in two weeks, and I'm pretty excited about the bike we're getting him. 

is there a comfier dress than this one from Asos
Answer: no. 

how many times is Si gonna drive his truck around the coffee table today?
We're currently at lap #46.  

what's for lunch?!
the real question of the day. 











Tuesday, July 22, 2014

her name.

Her name is Delia Bea, and we can't wait to meet her!





The name Delia is one that has had a special place in my heart for a very long time. My dad's father's family moved to the US from a tiny town in Sicily, called Delia, many years ago. In college, I got to visit Sicily, and I still count the three days spent there among my most treasured. My cousin and I stayed in a tiny house overlooking the Sicilian countryside, and ate meals at tables full of distant family that counted us as some of their own, even despite language barriers. Even before my visit, I dreamt of naming my first daughter, Delia. This is our way of remembering my stubborn, sweet, grandfather-- his strong hands, tough demeanor, crinkly-eyed smile, and tight bear hugs.  

Even though you'd say the name of the town "DEH-lee-ah", we'll call her "DEEL-ya". You can read more about my time in Delia, Sicily here. 

Chris' maternal grandmother is named Beatrice, and Delia's middle name is a tribute to her. She's a sweet, feisty woman with a sharp mind and a love for Christ. When she pulls you in close to speak with you, you feel like she's spilling all kinds of juicy secrets. We share a common joy in painting (though her talent far exceeds my own) , and her beautiful artwork fills Chris' parents' home. I am so thankful that we have been able to take Silas to see her (and her amazing husband, Al) almost every visit to Maryland since he was tiny. This last visit is especially engrained in his head after he got to eat ice cream while sitting on their laps. We hope that Delia has the chance to visit with her sweet great-grand parents too. 

Silas has already nicknamed her Delia Bumblebee (though it comes out more like "LaLa Mum-o-bee") and I kind of hope he calls her that for the rest of his life.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

wednesday night dates.

As the summer was just beginning, Chris and I sat down to look at our calendar, and we realized just how quickly the end of September (and the arrival of baby #2 ) would be here. At this point, we have no more than 10 weeks before a tiny baby girl joins the family, sending our schedules into disarray. So, we decided to make the most of this summer before things get crazy this fall.

Our neighbor's college-age daughter is home for the summer and we asked her to block off Wednesdays each week so we could sneak in some dates. Can I just tell you how old it makes me feel old to be paying a college girl to watch our toddler? Makes me feel even older when we get home by 9pm, and we're both beat. And then she says that she is going out with friends after that... yeah, just pass me the walking cane. 

So far, we haven't done anything wildly exciting, but the chance to get out on the town for just a few hours, do my hair and make-up, and chat with Chris sans interruptions has been priceless. For our first date, we scoped out a nearby marina and ate a casual Italian dinner on the docks. We watched the sunset reflect off the Prudential Center, and talked about everything under the sun. 


Last week, we ended up by the water again (surprise!), but this time we took the subway into town and ate in the Seaport district. On our anniversary weekend, we discovered a fabulous Asian fusion restaurant called Empire, and their spicy coconut thai scallop soup was calling my name, so I coerced Chris into eating there again. If you are around Boston, and haven't made it down to Fan Pier yet, you're definitely missing out on some beautiful views. 



Tonight, the weather looks a bit stormy, so we might just catch a movie, but either way, I'm already planning my outfit and looking forward to smooching Chris in between handfuls of popcorn. Plus, date nights are my sugar "cheat" nights, so I might even toss in some gummy bears while I'm at it. Wild, I know. 

Here's a list of some things we'd love to do on date nights future. Some ideas from our own 'bucket' list, and some snagged from my awesome IG followers' heads. 

Relax on the beach for a few hours with some good books and a picnic | see the Blue Man Group | explore around Castle Island | watch a movie at a luxury movie theater | Shakespeare in the Common | Fro-Yo | walk around IKEA | borrow a friend's boat | see Phantom of the Opera | grab some take-out and picnic in the Common | visit the North End (mostly for cannolis) | meet up with friends for a group date... 

Got any other great date night ideas? Have you done anything in Boston lately that we should definitely put on our list?