life lately.

It's been a few months since my last life lately post, so I hope you might indulge me ;) I figured I would hit you all with one post, chock full of random bits of news -- rather than drag it out across ten posts. Quality over quantity, right? Without further ado, here goes...

-In my free time (aka the time after {jv} falls asleep before I fall asleep myself), I have been working on an exciting project with a Rhode Island-based jewelry company. The final product? A labor of love by the name of alexys ryan. While I did not design the jewelry, I did give the pieces a voice. The words and taglines which go with each piece were the product of late night, ice cream-fueled brainstorm sessions. The pieces are fantastic for everyday wear, but they also work beautifully for special occasions. It is pretty surreal to see something you've put your heart into available for sale at Nordstrom! I'm just honored to be one small part of this project -- and I love that it's designed here in Rhode Island. You can see all the goodies available by clicking here:

-I have become a huge fan of saving links on the go in Facebook. I see articles all the time which float around that I may not have time to read on the fly, but I go back to reference later -- when I'm not at work or tending to a hungry 13-month old. Here are a few which caught my eye:
---I've had a love affair with Paris for as long as I can remember. I was 7 or 8 when I first visited and was entranced from the minute we stepped into the city. I stumbled across this post, sharing color photos of Paris from 1914. As a history buff and a lover of photography, I can't get enough.
---When I was an undergrad at Georgetown (way back in 2007), the 'sleep when you're dead' mentality was in full force. I appreciated this look by a current undergrad at campus culture... and how not much has changed since I was there. I must have been a robot when I was in college because I. was. always. going. (Speaking of going to college in the 2000s, this Buzzfeed list had me cracking up. I'll never forget the day the star of the Georgetown basketball team held my Motorola Razr.)
---How crazy is this fact? The typical American lives only 18 miles from their mother. I loved this look from the New York Times about the phenomenon. Even more striking, only 20% of the population lives more than two hours from their parents. When {cv} convinced me to move to New England, it put me more than 15 hours away from my parents' house by car -- but thankfully, the distance doesn't seem so great with the help of things like FaceTime.
---Since I feel like I can never beat the growing pile of laundry we produce, I figure I might as well do it right. I loved this graphic to help decode those funny codes on the tags of your clothes.

-It only took 14 months, but this house of ours really feels like home these days. When we had {jv}'s first birthday party back in November, it was also a housewarming of sorts. The house had never been cleaner! There are a few rooms still to tackle, but we have made tremendous progress. We will need to outfit the new baby's room in a few months (waiting on the gender delays this process a bit) and we need to round out the furniture for our master bedroom. All the rooms which needed window coverings now have them (woohoo!) and I'm done with hanging about 80% of what will go up on the walls. I don't think it will ever feel done, but I'm very happy and content with how it has all come together.
-One place we haven't tackled at all is our basement. We have an unfinished basement (something I dreamed of having growing up in tornado alley!) that we would eventually love to turn into a play zone / man cave / exercise room / extra guest space. If you've tackled this project, I would love any advice in this department. Did you do it piecemeal or just do it one fell swoop? I'm hoping we can make that happen before the toys pile up to the ceiling in {jv}'s room.

-I don't know if I can get away with the baby header for much longer, if the picture above is any evidence. {jv} is an active little guy, who refuses to sit still for more than ten seconds. (I try, let me tell you, to snuggle that kid. Snuggling is not in his repertoire these days.) At 13 months old, our biggest triumphs are the new words he's starting to spit out (the makings of book, ball, dog -- which is what he now calls the cats, block) and the new skills he keeps attempting (climbing on EVERYTHING, doing his shape sorter, etc.). In the sleep department, we are adjusting to his jarring new morning routine. He falls asleep well and stays asleep, but when he wakes up, he lets us know -- and will not rest until he's been rescued from his crib. After taking him to the pediatrician's walk-in hours last week because I was convinced he had an ear infection (he's had a few), they just told us it could be new teeth or his skill development... but that there wasn't much else we could do. Each new phase brings its own set of challenges, so this (and the transition away from the bottle) seem to be his most pressing issues for now. We will survive!
-What they say is true: a baby bump appears much more quickly after you've already had one child. Now that my bump is starting to make itself known, I'm excited to rock some maternity clothes again. (I did these posts about building a maternity wardrobe and workout maternity wardrobe last time around -- and still refer friends to them.) I'm happy in most of the clothes I purchased when I was pregnant with {jv}, though my seasons are off slightly. I got away with more dresses last time for work because the weather was warmer. This time around, I invested in a few pairs of work appropriate pants, including these leather trimmed leggings and these ponté pants. I make it work (as Tim Gunn says) by pairing them with a big sweater or long tunic and cute flats.
-Speaking of links I save from Facebook, I would say 90% of them are parenting related. I won't bore you with them all, but here are a few of my favorites (some which brought me comfort, others which brought me laughs):
---I know some people have mixed feelings on Chick-Fil-A, but I am personally a huge fan. (I love it so much that we even had them cater {jv}'s first birthday...) The folks at CFA always seem to be so on top of things, from their handy "table toppers" (which can be found in their high chairs to place on the tables to keep things clean) to this new valet service they're planning to roll out. It's GENIUS.
---Even as we are joyful about this latest addition to our family, I know the journey isn't always so easy. I loved this perspective from a woman who has valiantly battled infertility. It's a reminder to think about the women in our lives who may be quietly fighting this uphill battle.
---A new study shows that self-esteem is established much earlier than they previously imagined. It makes me that much more aware of the day-to-day interactions {jv} has with others and what we're doing to set him up for success in the future.
---Here's a fun one to round out the post: a video on how two brown-eyed parents have a blue-eyed child. {cv} has brown eyes and I have green eyes, but we never thought we would have a child with blue eyes in a million years. Turns out we were wrong! {jv} has two great grandparents (one on each side) with blue eyes... that's all it takes ;)

Phew! To those of you still reading to this point, I applaud you. I told you it would be a long one! As always, I'm an open book if there's anything you'd like to see more of on the blog. Have a great week! More soon... xoxo {av}

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  1. First off, congrats on the jewelry line! That is so exciting. I already have a few pieces that have caught my eye.

    Those pictures of Paris are amazing! I want to go back so bad!

    I saw the valet service article about Chic Fil A last week and sent it to ten people. That is seriously so helpful.

    Hope pregnancy is treating you well!

  2. Loved that article about Georgetown! Life was the same at Columbia, all work and play and little to no sleep! Coming from a big sister, tell James having a little brother or sister will be amazing :)

  3. so many wonderful things! way to go on the jewelry line :) i hope you are feeling well. miss you. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. Did you have to pick up the catering? We tried to get them to deliver to Portsmouth for a party in September and they didn't come this far.

  5. This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give NYC venues some slight edge.

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  7. Jewellery line is actually refreshing! Like will never be boring with a cute baby around the household. Just make sure to be prepared to be a super mom, a lot of things will change when the baby is around. Make sure to read other thoughts and tips at GrabMyEssay reviews.

  8. :) I'm glad and congrat for the jewelry line :) It's so great to do something like that :)
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