i like dots, the polka kind

photo #1 // cream blouse: thrifted // brown ploka dot calf skirt: forever 21 // stella's sweater: target
photo #2 // chevron head scarf: forever 21 // blouse: forever 21
 photo #3 // skinny pink pants: h&m // shoes: madwell // tote: ikea

whether they're on on skirts, blouses, totes, or bebe sweaters, i am a huge fan of polka dots.  big or small, wide or tall, white or black, i like them all!  

...perhaps i have been reading baby girl too many dr. seuss books lately, no???  

what's your favorite polka dotted item from your closet?  


a low-key weekend and a baby that's finally feeling better

what a low-key weekend this has been...and for the best. 

baby girl has been sick, and i mean, really, truly, break-mah-heart, sick over the past few days.  on friday night, she had fever that eventually shot up to 102.5 degrees.  you could just tell that she felt miserable; she told us with her sad, swollen eyes, her warm, little body clinging to ours, her soft wimpers, and the silent tears that streamed down her cheeks throughout the day.  we felt so bad for her, and many times, hopeless.  watching your baby hurt is one of the worst things.  ever.  

all she wanted to do was be held and cuddled 24/7, where then she would drift off to sleep for about 20 minutes at a time, crying out of exhaustion in between getting some much needed shut eye.  

andrew and i tried everything to make her feel better.  watching elmo helped a lot, and so did playing with leon's kennel door, but nothing seemed to last or make her feel "back to normal."  so we snuggled, and snuggled, and snuggled.  sweet dada gave her a calming bath and a new fancy hair-do.  i just about fell over when i saw it.  :)  

today stella finally started to feel better, thank goodness, and seemed to start acting like her playful self.  after making a substantial grocery/baby-items-we-are-out-of list, we ventured to costco, and then for brunch.  the rain started to pour on our drive back home to westport, so we decided that french comfort food would do just the trick on this dreary day. 

sidebar:  have i told you how much i love the rain?  
...or brunch, for that matter?

one of our favorite places for brunch in kansas city is westport cafe & bar.  this casual and charming little parisian-style bistro utilizes simple, quality ingredients, and whips up one hell of an eggs benedict and complimentary cocktail!  andrew got their biscuits and gravy and was equally satisfied.  baby girl ate some puffs dipped in sausage gravy and flashed us a few cheeky grins to tell us she was happy and wanted some more.    

with our tummies full, and calm dispositions, we headed back home, looking forward to family nap time and a chance to get back into our jammies, and i, myself, eager to crawl back into our warm bed to read my new book with the covers pulled up to my chin, listening as the rain gently paints our bedroom windows, making this cozy home of ours feel like heaven. 


motherhood // my lunch date with stella

today i got the wonderful opportunity, also my very first opportunity, to go visit baby girl over my lunch hour.  it was take your child to work day at school, so naturally there were many students absent.  thankfully, a coworker and i teamed up and so we each got a longer break for lunch.  yippie!

like a bird let out of it's cage, i eagerly flew over to our sitter's home {about three minutes away} and found my little turkey sitting there like a big girl with her lady friends, in a semi-circle might i add, sucking down green beans and discussing how to solve the world's problems.  well, not really, but their adorably confident babble and self-assured head nods indicated that they knew perfectly well what the other was saying.  if only you could have been there!  they might as well have been 80 year old grannys sitting around playing a game of bridge.   

*be still my beating heart*

seeing miss stella sit there so calm and patient with the other little ones made me bubble over with happiness.  being the smallest one in the group, she observed the others very carefully, mimicking their eating habits and being very polite.  i could tell she was thinking, "mama, i a big girl now, too."  i sat there on the floor in a heap with teary eyes thinking to myself, "yes...yes, baby girl.  you are growing up so fast sitting there eating big girl food.  so, yes, i suppose you are a big girl now, too."  

together she and i sat while she finished her lunch.  afterwards we headed outdoors and played on a blanket in the grass.  she picked a few blades, i snuck a few smooches, and then as fast as i had gotten there, my time was up.  

a big part of me pouted on the inside, arms folded and all, for i was dreading going back for fear of missing out.  i anxiously thought to myself, what if she does this...or...what if she says that...and i am not there to see it?  this is a fear i have to combat daily as a working mama.  over time i have realized it's a pointless fear because it causes me more distress than good.  

knowing she is in wonderful hands, i put my big girl pants on and took a giant deep breath.  and you know what?  this fear started to slip away and new feelings took it's place.  i started to feel excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead in just a few short weeks: summer!  

the end of may will not only bring baby girl's 1st birthday, but also a long string of lunch dates i get to have with my little lady.  

...for that thought alone is what gets me through. 


we're ready to get lost. together.

we're ready to get lost.  together.  

...to dig our toes in the powdery, white sand. 
... to go on another exploration, a new pin in our map.

we're ready to get lost.  together.

...to soak in the smells of the sea-salt breeze.
...to bathe in water bluer than you thought blue can be. 

we're ready to get lost.  together.

...to walk underneath a blanket of twinkling stars.
...to gently sway to the rhythmic beat of the crashing waves.  

we're so, unbelievably ready to get lost.  together. 

...but wherever should we go?


i'm linkin up with the paper mama for a little
photo challenge for the week.

i adore this photo of our baby girl, stella vivienne, so much because it totally captures her fun-loving spirit.  last weekend at the rose garden she was being her silly self and wanted to try on her mama's fedora.  we had fun playing peek-a-boo with it whilst giggling in the grass. her contagious smile says it all. :)

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge


rose garden wonderland

“no, no! the adventures first, 

here is a lovely photo dairy of our rose garden wonderland 
from this weekend...no explanation needed, 
except that it was pure magic. 

oh you silly little hipster baby!

weekends are wonderful

i am happy to say that this little family is most definitely having a refreshing and relaxing weekend.  it's crazy what a few days of chill and not showering until the afternoon can do for a person.  it is one of those weekends where i am confident that our batteries will pretty much be re-charged for the week ahead, instead of feeling out of breath and exhausted come monday.  man, we needed this.  

and i can't forget to give our wee one a shout out...

happy 11th months to our dear, sweet stella vivienne!  in thirty short days, we will be singing to you, eating your birthday cake, and clapping along {following your cue}.  oh, sweetie pie, we love you so much, and can hardly believe you are almost one year's old.  we love being your mama & dada, xoxo

after work on friday we started off our weekend the right way by hopping over to la bodega for some spanish tapas with my mama before she had to head back to iowa.  holy cow did we sure indulge in some happy hour treats!  i could eat the baked goat cheese and spicy tomatoes all day long.  and guess what?  baby girl tried balsamic vinegar with bread for the first time!  i am so proud of her for trying new things and not throwing a fuss.  you can judge based on the photo above if she liked it or not ;) she also felt like sharing so she fed dada some of her balsamic bread, and she had water out of a straw {also another first for this little nugget}.  check out those puffy cheeks...hehe.  i could just squeeze em and squeeze em!  thanks again, mama, for helping us out this week.  you are awesome and we love you.
after dinner, we went home and snuggled in for a flick and some dessert.  we decided on girl with the dragon tattoo {american version} and some of this goodness teasing you above.  angel food wine + double dark chocolate gelato = heaven {no pun intended}  taaaalk dirty!

the rest of our weekend has been filled with snuggles after bath time, playing in baby girl's nursery, eating yummy fruit throughout the day, and sunday plans to spend a lovely afternoon in one of our favorite places on the plaza, loose park's famous rose garden.  stay tuned for a photo diary of our flower-filled adventure!  

we hope you are having a chill weekend with your loves, too.    


baby girl's nursery tour!

welcome to miss stella's little nursery!  i am happy to say that we have finally put the finishing touches on her special space and just love how it has turned out.  when i was pregnant i could not decide on a "theme" for her room, per se, so i decided to collect things i love throughout the first year of her life and build her room as she grew.  it was a work in progress, but i think it is safe to say it was worth the wait!  

overall, her nursery has a warm whimsical feel with an eclectic mixture of vintage and modern items.  it's fun, practical, and very colorful; just the way we like the rest of our home to feel.  

we went vintage with some items such as her great, great grandma's oval mirror.  to give it an updated feel, we painted it carnival orange.  this makes her space feel larger and gives us a giggle in the morning when we take a peak at our reflections and laugh at our bed head hair :)  a few other vintage items include my old thrifted piggy bank, stella's wooden toys, and our instagram photo holder.  we went in the opposite direction and went modern with her platform crib and the diy decor i made a few weeks back.  as you can see, this is easily everyone's favorite room in our home.  thanks for dropping by! 


a recipe // avocado salad

this photo is from the lovely eatsleepcuddle blog

if you’re like me, you could eat an avocado at every meal.  even two, perhaps :)  i usually put a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice on the sucker and have at it.  with summer approaching, and since these fruit are at the peak of their flavor, i have been thinking of fun and easy ways to incorporate them into healthy dishes.  last week i made an avocado salad and it was so refreshing, tasty, and pretty effortless, given i was in a rush.  here’s the recipe, you’ll have to try it out:

avocado salad

-1 large or 2 small avocados cubed  
-½ cup of cherry tomatoes halved
-½ cup of diced cucumber
-½ cup of black beans
-1 small garlic clove minced
-½ cup of basil and mint finely chopped
-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice
-salt + pepper
-eat & enjoy!
to prepare, mix all of these ingredients together very carefully as not to mash the avocado.  otherwise, your salad will taste more like a new twist on guacamole.  i have been eating this plain with a giant spoon, but i’m sure it would be really good on some toast or as a topping to some butter lettuce. 
tell me fellow avocado lovers out there, what other yummy and creative uses do you have for this awesome fruit???


the recent realities of date night as new parents


date night: a special evening on any given night of the week, where just the two of you, sans kiddos, eat an overpriced but equally delicious meal you did not have to make, nor will you have to clean up.  worth it?  always. 
before having our little lady, this thing called ‘date night’ was pretty easy to manage.  heck, every night might as well have be date night; that’s how carefree and spontaneous we were {and could be} when it was the two of us.  to be honest, we have really not been too fond of the fact that we now have to plan and carve out ‘us time’ to go on said date.   we often talk about how we dislike an evening that feels too forced.  i mean, let’s face it, sometimes planning can take the fun out of things {said by a person who usually craves spur-of-the-moment activities!}.
we have talked about our feelings regarding date night, have came to some understandings, and now know what we need to do, which is: put our optimistic pants on and accept the fact that life can’t always be impulsive when you have a wee one.  so we took on a 'plan and carve we must and most definitely will do' attitude!
with my mama being in town, we decided to take advantage of this rare opportunity for a sitter and go out on a date!  we headed to our favorite food areas in kansas city called westport.  lucky for us, this eclectic and always charming neighborhood is a only a few cobblestone blocks away.  while making our way to the boot, a quaint italian café, we spotted our dear friends.  what a wonderful surprise!  we joined them for a cocktail before heading down the street to pot pie for dinner.  pot pie is an enchanting little gem of a restaurant offering unique drinks and always satisfying entrées, and their famous pot pie, of course.  i adore how this little bistro is set up, with its tiny wooden tables side by side, vintage apothecary vases, fresh flowers, and whimsical chalkboard menu.  if you are from kc, try it, you must!
after we ordered and ate the mussles, which in my opinion are the best in kansas city, an uneasy feeling started to settle in my tummy and the brick walls...started...to...shift.  as the server placed my meal in front of me, i recall seeing about 10 fuzzy scallops instead of 4.  ...then I remembered taking my cold medicine at work around 3...  crap.  crap.  crap.  long story short, my husband was amazingly understanding and we got our dinners to go.  i could not help but feel i was the cause of this weighted disappointment resting on our shoulders, seeing as we did not get to eat our meals at the restaurant {one of the main concepts of date night}, nor did we get to go to the baseball game we had tickets for after dinner. 
so the reality was, we needed to go home, get into our jammies, and be that couple that goes to bed before 9 pm.  was this really happening?  i could not help but think that a part of me, maybe just a tiny part, just wanted to be home under the same roof as our daughter.  the cold medicine + one cocktail was an awful and uncomfortable combination initiating my feelings of discomfort, but was there some 'parent anxiety' behind these feelings that impatiently nagged at me to get home?  hmmmm?    
our finally planned date night was good while it lasted, which was not very long.  i just hope it will get easier for us over time.  tell me, what do you guys do for date night?  and, have you ever felt these difficult 'date night realities' as new parents?