our town // kansas city

we love our home.  but to be fair, i wasn't quite smitten at first.  it was scary moving to this seemingly large city from the homey "everyone-knows-everyone town" of cedar falls, iowa.  

from pastures to pavement.  from cows to cars.  ok, that was a slight exaggeration.  but still, i had many "yikes" moments upon moving here to this concrete jungle, or so it seemed.  

it was daunting and unfamiliar and i felt lonely.  felt being the operative word.  it took me a good year to let my guard down and allow myself to really enjoy this city and to leap beyond the three mile radius i had subconsciously built for myself.  and once i opened my eyes and lifted the veil of discomfort, i was able to see beauty all around me.  in all of the little things.  like colorful frescos that grace our downtown buildings, and eccentric little signs that greet strangers in quaint, unknown neighborhoods.  

change has the tendency to put up walls and turn even the best of possibilities into cloudy frustrations.  but once that change is recognized as being a good thing, that change can do wonders.  you can't push someone into feeling comfortable, they just have to find that balance on their own in able to appreciate it more and to cultivate its presence.  change is one tricky animal. 

it feels so good to fully embrace our home here in kansas city.  
just so...wonderfully good. 

1 || le fou frog in the river market

2 || the glam room salon in the river market

3 || blue bird bistro in the crossroads art district 

4 || the bridge over the canal on the plaza

5 || the main street running through the plaza 

6 || beer kitchen in westport

7 || walking from tannin wine bar in the crossroads art district 


guest post: meet ashley!

i am super happy to have ashley taking over my blog today!  you guys will just love her.  she's one heck of a mama and has the most adorable little family.  her photos are so lovely because they capture the true essence of love as she documents life with her two boys.  i think she's the bees knees.  take it away ash!

// // // 

i’m so excited to be guest blogging today over here at it’s the little things. it’s the little things is at the top of my reading list, and stella is one of the sweetest baby girls ever. i’m thinking cruz may have a shot with her someday ;) 

amanda and i share a lot in common. we are both english teachers, lovers of cooking good cuisine, and DIY’ers in training. most of all, we adore our babies and strive to balance our many hats of selfhood while staying present in the simple pleasures and blessings of everyday life. 

one of the best ways to do this is to document the everyday ‘favorites’ of this life. i love amanda’s ‘five of my faves’ posts, and thought i would share a few of cruz and i’s current favorites. 

oh, by the way, this little man is cruz.

he’s dang near 20 months old, and is the light of this girl’s life. he’s my brown-eyed, dark skinned toe-head, who keeps us busy and shows us what love is all about every single day. we are beyond blessed to be his mama and dad and are amazed everyday with how much he knows and how much he grows. 

ma famille...

here are some of our summertime favorites as of late.  i'd love for you to swing on over to my blog, Jorgensen Better Together, and tell me some of your faves.

1.  my new pillows and lamp from tar-jay (for you, Amanda ;).  i decided to repaint my living room gray months ago, and am slowly adding some fun yellow accents.  i found this lamp a couple of months ago, and scored the three pillows shortly after.  when in doubt, go to target, right?

2.  these organic Gerber packets 'ghost veggies' are such a score for us right now.  cruz won't eat veggies for us at home right now, but he'll suck down two or three of these babies in a sitting.  we call 'em ghost veggies because they are all mixed with fruit, and fulfill a daily serving of fruit AND veggie.  most importantly, they are GREAT on the go, no mess, and super fun for the littles to squeeze. 

3.  izze soda.  so many flavors and all natural!  my favorite is the sparkling pomegranate and peach.  

4.  another target deal!  i snagged four of these plates and matching bowls in the dollar bins at target yesterday.  cruz eats better when he gets a little smorgasbord to choose from, and i'm completely inspired by bleubird vintage's 'Bird Food' posts.

last night, cruz had homemade macaroni and cheese, banana, ants on a log, and mini animal crackers with hazelnut peanut butter, courtesy of Sweet Basil Market, a fun food specialty store here in cedar falls.  the fun thing is that they actually crack the peanuts and make the butter there, right before your eyes!   

5.  post-supper picnics, complete with the essentials: quilt (pb kids), Skip-Hop Lunchies (thee perfect size lunch-mate for toddlers), strawberry pretzels sweet basil market), and capri sun waters (also perfect for thirsty toddlers). 

there you have it!  thanks, amanda, for sharing your space with me today, and don't forget to swing on over and check out some of amanda's favorites at my blog.   


stella's 1st birthday weekend

this memorial day weekend we celebrated baby girl's 1st birthday with lots of family and friends.  we had a simple cupcake party with our little family for four on her real birthday, but this one included so much more.  and lots of pictures to prove it!  

her special day went off without a hitch as she proudly displayed her giddy grin for all the world to see.  this "i am going to try and show you all of my new teeth" grin is chock full of cuteness with a smidgen of cheese.  you know, just the way a baby girl's smile should be on her big day as a one year old.     

as the day went on we nibbled on fruity flavored macarons from natasha's pastry shop, devoured oklahoma joe's pulled pork sandwiches {which are always a winner}, and slurped down endless glasses of refreshing white peach sangria.  as if this wasn't already a recipe for party success, there was much more in store for our little stella bella.  

like presents!  baby girl got loads of new books, elmo toys to curb her latest obsession, interesting art supplies, summer clothes, a new wooden walker with a music station, a memory book of her first year, and then, from dada, the jackpot mother load of all gifts: a plush elephant rocker.  that roars.  

"seriously, they make those?" you ask.  yes, indeed they do.  leave it to dada to find it, too.  mr. elephant, who has yet to be named, takes the cake for best gift. ever.  we just adore elephants over here. 

do you remember when andrew and i each decided to get our little miss something for her birthday?  remember that awesome idea?  well, i went the literary route with these beautiful books, and her dada went the route of awesomeness and got the best present of all presents.  she loved sitting on it and even made a "raaawwwrr" sound imitating her new furry friend.  what a priceless moment we all had sitting on the floor watching stella rock back and forth, cheese grin and all.    

and then for the grand finale, le cake!  but not just any cake.  confetti angel food cake my mom and dad brought with them from iowa made so lovingly by the amish.  for real.  it was so, so  good.  not really to our surprise, this tiny lady ate her cake without an ounce of hesitation and just dug in, no shame.  she couldn't even wait for us to slice it so we let her grab a fist full of frosting to satisfy her obvious sweet tooth.  after getting her her own slice, she wasted no time licking those fingers and getting that white, fluffy goodness on that tongue of hers.  after filling that tiny belly up, she decided to be a dear and share her leftovers by graciously offering everyone watching her a bite.  dada got some serious pre-licked frosting as his bite.  thee best kind of frosting, right?

after cake we all went out on our patio and put up our feet.  embarrassing stories were told by all and of many present.  all in the name of family.  :)

so.  here we are.  baby girl is one.  yep, i said it without crying this time.  one.  year.  old.

we all have that "day after" feel going on as colorful balloons are floating around half mast in the humid air, and new toys are dispersed in our apartment in every which way.  there was indeed a special gathering here, and one heck of a day was had by all.  a day we shall never forget. a day meant for documenting.  

today however, promises lots of relaxation with leftovers looming on the horizon.  pulled pork for one week straight?  cool beans i gotta say.  and a big thank you and hug to all who came and made her day so special!  we loved having you and sharing these beautiful memories.

and so begins our adventure aptly named: summer :) 


handmade // birthday balloon tunnel


hi guys!  stella here!  this is my excited face.  i know  you can't hear me, but i'm over here in my nursery saying something like, "ooooohhhh i love ballooooons!"  and did you know i am one year old??  well, i suppose if you saw this post you know all about it.  my mama and dada  were pretty excited about me turning one year so they made me a birthday balloon tunnel, took me chipotle where i ate lots of corn, and then gave me my very first cupcake...

...wait...what's that ma??!!??  


sorry for that, my mama says my cupcake posts will be up soon, 
so stay tuned!  

anyways, you might be wondering why i am writing this DIY post and not my mama.  well, since she is finishing up her teacher stuff tonight i decided to step in and give her a hand.  i know, i'm pretty sweet.  ;)  now i suppose it's time to show you how she and my dada made my this balloon tunnel for my birthday!


birthday balloon tunnel DIY:

step 1: gather your materials.  you will need three things from the craft store: yarn, balloons, and tape.  

step 2: blow up the balloons reeeaaal big and tie them.

step 3: tie the ends of the balloons to long strings of yarn.

step 4: tie the end of the piece of yarn that is not tied to the balloon to the ceiling in the doorway of the birthday boy or girl

step 5: make sure the balloons are at different heights to make the tunnel more fun to crawl through {this is my suggestion as an expert crawler}.

that's it!  check out these photos my mama took of my birthday balloon tunnel.  as you are about to see, it was wicked fun!  thanks mama and dada for such a fantastic birthday treat.


xo, stella