Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy Birthday to the #1 Virgo of All Time

Can you believe he would've been 55? I'm still sad I never saw him in concert (my parents did), but I met Tito when I was 3 so I guess that's close, right?

Check out Lil Lovebird paying tribute to MJ here and my favorite MJ song of all time here.


A Young House Love Inspired Office Makeover

Yesterday I shared my experience meeting YHL, and today I'm sharing my office makeover inspired by their book. While our current apartment is by far my favorite apartment of the five I've lived in during my six years in metro-NYC (crazy, right?!), our last apartment with a 3rd bedroom still holds a special place in my heart because I was able to use it as an office. It had great light and kept me motivated knowing I had a dedicated space to work. Unfortunately, I didn't get my act together to straighten up the room until nearly one year living there, but once it was put together it was such an inspirational space for me.

Take a look at the transformation . . .


In Progress:


The roller shade was leftover from our last Harlem apartment, and we've since replaced the bookshelf
For that empty wall above the desk I was thinking of doing a postcard collage from the postcard guestbook we had at our wedding. There was an example of the collage in YHL's book and a different version that used ledges here. This was the original plan for the postcards, but I kinda don't like the idea of framing the whole thing because I'd want to be able to see the messages on the back of the postcards (a few guests wrote on the front too).

This was the wall opposite the bookcase that we used for Nia's preschool prep lessons:

Our new apartment is a loft style, and I'd like to makeover this long space outside the laundry closet (first door on the left) and my walk-in closet (straight ahead) as a workspace; would it be too tight? And of course the boxes and drying rack wouldn't be there!:

I LOVE the sunlight this space gets!

Mr. Lovebird is concerned that Lil Lovebird would climb a future desk and launch herself over the half-wall which overlooks the first floor (she hasn't tried this yet on the shelving unit already there). I could possibly put up an extra long gate from the banister to the wall or just upgrade the make-shift corner office we have in our bedroom for now using our existing corner desk perhaps like this. Only issue there is I really dislike having a dual office/bedroom space especially if one of us needs to sleep (I mostly use the desk anyway). Decisions, decisions . . .

Do you have a dedicated home office space? What are your thoughts on having the office in the bedroom?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eons Ago I Met Young House Love

I can't even remember what month it was, but I met Young House Love earlier this year - I guess I should go look it up to be sure it was actually this year, but I'm writing this while my Lil Lovebird is napping, and I really want to get it down and will forget to check later before publishing . . .

Anyway, yes, I met YHL at their NYC book signing! I've been following them for a few years now especially inspired by how they used to live in NYC and left for VA, a state we were eyeing at one point, and they have a daughter about the same age as Nia. Also, being into cloth diapers I basically used their how-to post as my own get-started guide, annnnd it turns out we see eye-to-eye on a few other household topics

So back to the book signing...

It was at FLOR in Soho - they make stylish carpet tiles. En route all the way from Jersey City I was heading there at a fast pace and was a bit oblivious to who was in front of me until it was too late to say anything:

Yeah - when I'm on-task pounding NYC pavement I'm quite focused! Enough words, here's what went down . . .

I had hoped John and Sherry would've held a Q&A or spoke like they did at some of their other book signings, but I have to say it was great just to meet them (and the other fans in line!). They were very personable and warm just as they come across on the blog. Hooray for meeting fellow bloggers in IRL!

I'll be back later this week with an YHL-inspired office makeover post . . .

Are you into DIY/interior design blogs? Which are your favorites? 

P.S. I ended up winning the raffle for FLOR tiles which I couldn't use in our last apartment but was hoping to use in our new one (the previous tenants ripped up the wood floors in the bedrooms and installed tile ughhh), but they were such a distinct pattern that they didn't match anything whatsoever and were unusable so I gave them away when I found out I'd have to pay shipping to exchange them (they're crazy HEAVY!) =(

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lovebirds' 4th Year at the Jazz Age Lawn Party

After last year's Jazz Age Lawn Party which had the craziest lines I've ever seen I vowed I'd get in line super early and this year my sister Ariane, Nia and I were on the first boat out to the party - in fact, there was a 30-minute delay to get in and we were chomping at the bit ready to go especially as it was a gorgeous day (last year it rained on Saturday but they honored our tickets the following day)! We even came prepared with a packed picnic basket of goodies (thank you Ariane!) and blankets. All looked good until I realized I forgot the battery for my DSLR camera charging on my nightstand. I was SO mad at myself but thankful for my Galaxy S3 to come through in a pinch . . .

And of course I can't finish without first sharing a little video of my Lil Lovebird and her dance pals . . .

Feeling nostalgic? Revisit our 2011 and 2012 Jazz Age Lawn Party experience!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Lovebirds' Maryland Mini-Family Reunion

Another weekend I didn't want to end . . .

Congratulations to my dear friend Veronica!

A special thank you to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law James and Jana for hosting such a fun (and tasty!) weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013

On Continuing Down the Path of Motherhood

I've shared before what a resource my local moms Meetup group is for me and one of the reasons is because of the education sessions they provide for us. A couple weeks ago I went to an Early Childhood session and along with this thoughts on having more children have popped into my head especially now that Lil Lovebird's starting school in a couple weeks and other projects are starting to fall into place.

This post has been rumbling around in my brain for a few months and while in Ohio visiting my BFF Julie I shared it with her, she gave me her thoughts (thank you Julie!) and I'm finally getting it down here so here we go . . . 

There are 3 factors that I see as critical to continuing down the path of motherhood:

1) Support

2) Security

3) Temperament of previous child(ren)

Here's what I mean . . .

Support - this is relational support such as a spouse, partner, family member or friend that helps you not feel so alone and overwhelmed by your duties as a mother. Thinking back the first 8 weeks with Nia were brutal; Mr. Lovebird was working two jobs and my mother missed her time staying with me as she had to leave the morning Nia was born to get my younger sister to college. When my BFF Julie was able to come stay with me for a few days it was a ray of sunshine in that bleak period! It's what I want to be for new moms in my circle. Next go around I know I'm the type of mom who's going to need a LOT of support in the beginning like how it was back in The Red Tent days - I'm serious! When the time for #2 comes I'm definitely considering hiring an in-home nurse. 

Security - not just financial security, this is geographical and emotional security as well and stability goes hand-in-hand with security. It's been debated whether having children really does cost copious amounts of money, and I know a lot depends on lifestyle choices, not just income (we decided to cloth diaper and breastfeed until almost 2 which helped save a lot of $!), but honestly having Nia did not break the bank. As time progresses and she gets older and involved in more activities I know costs will increase but from my experience geographical security has been more of an issue for me. I've been very transient in my time here in the NYC-metro area having moved 5 times in 6 years due to various circumstances. Our last neighborhood was a dangerous place that I would not have felt comfortable bringing a newborn home to.  

Temperament of previous child(ren) - I never thought motherhood would be a piece of cake, but I do think the temperament of the first child influences a mom's decision to have more kids. While engaged I remember arguing with Mr. Lovebird about wanting lots of kids and him taking the "wait and see" approach (which in hindsight was the better viewpoint!). Nia has been a very spirited child from the beginning not needing a lot of sleep yet having tremendous amounts of energy. A few months into motherhood as I've shared in a previous post, I exclaimed to my mom, "I can't believe our planet is so populated!" and yes, I still feel this way! Being a mom is hard work and while you won't hear me complain, I do say I'm one to learn and make educated decisions about moving forward. Motherhood kicks my butt, but it's a rewarding kick, make sense? And of course with the temperament of the child, the mother's temperament also comes into play and I definitely have a temperament fit for having one child at the moment! What really drives me batty? Hearing moms complain about their kids and life conditions related to having kids (like sleep deprivation) especially those with more than one as though someone forced them to continue having kids. BIGGEST PET PEEVE EVER!

Obviously this isn't all that goes into consideration for moving from one child to more, but in my past three years of experience as a mom of one struggling to even consider becoming a mom to two, this is how it's appeared to me. 

What about your experience? If you're a mom or not a mom yet, what are your influencing factors on continuing or not continuing or even starting on the path of motherhood?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fashion Preview: Nanette Lepore's 2014 Resort Collection

Earlier this summer I had the privilege of previewing Nanette Lepore's 2014 Resort Collection. Although it's just under a year away, her bold patterns, rich textures and flattering cuts makes me anxious for my 5 year vow renewal in Puerto Rico next summer as well as makes me long to plan another cruise!

These pieces which accentuate the waist make my heart sing!
Four of my favorite items from the collection especially the asymmetrical zippered jacket - I NEED it!
What's your resort style?



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