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January 2013

Dear Finley: 2/52


Dear Finley James:
We hit the 3 week mark over the weekend and to be honest I keep waiting/looking for something to go wrong. I don’t know why. I just keep thinking it can’t be this easy. You can’t be this good. You are such a little angel. I know we are still in the newborn, sleep a lot stage but you are so easy going. Every one keeps telling me to stop worrying when there is nothing to worry about. I know they are right. This week I am trying to focus on just how wonderful you are, instead of waiting anxiously for something to go wrong.

This weekend we got to drop your sister off with your Meme and Papa for an overnight visit. On our drive out to meet them, both you and your sister fell asleep in the back seat. It will be a moment I always remember. The sun was warm and shining on me. The catskills were off in the distance and your dad and I were holding hands and listening to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis- first time in forever we actually got to listen to something that wasn’t Dora or Yo Gabba Gabba. For some reason in that moment I felt overwhelmed with gratefulness. Gratefulness for our family. I don’t know what it is, but driving around with both of you girls in the back of the car makes me feel like such a parent. In that car there was so much love. I sat in the car- soaking up the sun and day dreaming of adventures all of us could take. I am just so excited to watch you grow up. To see who you become. I know you will be one in a million just like your sister.

We have been trying to get back to a pretty regular schedule around here. You sat through your second gymnastics class today. You slept through the whole thing like a champ while I helped Rowan tumble and climb around the gym. You are also nursing and sleeping great! You slept almost 8 hours straight through the night 2 twice last week! Boom! You love having baths- your hair gets so fuzzy and soft afterwards. You don’t cry all that much, but boy do you like grunting! I like to think it’s your way of talking to us at the moment. You hate being changed. I’m pretty sure it makes you feel too vulnerable because you do that baby reflex that looks like Frankenstein arms like whoa when we are changing you (and yes I just said “like whoa”). It’s always sad when babies grow out of that reflex because it’s my favorite. It’s like the funniest thing ever to me. I know you do it because you are slightly scared but it cracks me up every time.

Here comes the embarrassing part… So you aren’t much of a pooper. You know you are a parent when your kid finally does poop (we waited 10 days!!) and you pretty much have a little party upstairs in their bedroom as you change them. I am all for not having to change dirty diapers every day, but that was a little too long for me to not start freaking out (and yes, I had talked to our midwife in those 10 days and was reassured you were fine). Well, I better wrap up this week’s letter. I can hear you upstairs starting to fuss. I love you sweet girl.





A few last photos from our photoshoot with Aimee.

Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Face Mask

Fresh Fruit Face Mask

I ran out of face wash last week and as I was walking up and down the aisles at Target trying to pick a replacement, it dawned on me that I should try to make my own. I have seen tons of diy facial scrubs & masks on Whole Living before and thought I would look for a recipe to try. I decided on this fruit and yogurt one because I already had all the ingredients in my fridge. Rowan was a little confused when I was making it- she thought she was getting a smoothie and then saw me rubbing it all over my face in the bathroom. I did end up making her a smoothie right after so I wouldn’t seem like a complete loon to her.

Kev may have mad a Save By The Bell reference (The zit cream episode) when I was walking around the house with it on, but I had no bright red face reaction like Bayside did. It was cool and tingly on my face when I put it on. It felt great. After I washed it off my skin felt super, super smooth. Pretty sure I will try this one again, and again and again.


diy fruit face mask

Diy Fresh Fruit Face Mask

diy face mask

1. In a blender add 2 Tbsp of honey and 2 Tbsp of yogurt. Blend together.
2. Add 1/4 cup of berries. Blend.
3. Add 1 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Blend.
4. Cover face with mixture. Wear around house for 10-15 mins.
5. Wash off with warm water.

Honey: Did you know honey is a mild antiseptic and will gently exfoliate your skin? Also, seals in moisture.

Lemon Juice: Is full of vitamin C and natural enzymes which help brighten the skin.

Berries: Blackberries are full of antioxidants (more so than blueberries and raspberries) and will keep skin looking young and fresh.

First Family Photos…


Our lovely and talented friend Aimee came out from Boston last week to take some adorable newborn photos of Finley. While she was here, we asked if we could take some family photos as well. All the pictures came out beyond amazing. They make my heart swell up just looking at them. This is my family. I really can’t get over that we have 2 beautiful children. How did I get so lucky?

We took the photos up in our bedroom. We literally just finished painting it white the week before Finley was born. I had every intention of giving birth to Finley up there, so I wanted it to be finished. Her birth just happened too fast and we never even made it up there. Whoops. At least we have a peaceful, calm place to head to bed every night now. I worked really hard on the “Be Thou My Vision” hymn on the wall. I hand drew them out and then projected it up on the wall. I used paint makers to color it in and give the letters some dimension. I really love how it came out. They are the perfect words to carry with us as we start each new day.







Sorry. I just couldn’t narrow them down.

If you live in Massachusetts or even around New England make sure you check out Aimee’s photography website and think of her when you need some photos taken!

and yes, the top line of the mural is not finished. Whoops.

Labor + Birth Playlist…


Music has always been important to me. I’ve never been someone who has been good at verbally expressing themselves. Maybe that is why I like blogging so much? I have a much easier time writing out feelings. Music has always been something I relate to on a very emotional level. It’s what got me through the last part of high school and college. It was my life (haha so lame!). It was the first thing I would use to identify myself. It’s also what first brought Kev and I together. Our very first date was to see one of our favorite bands. When Rowan was born we listened to Cat Power on repeat as I labored. It was calm, serene and set the mood for what I will always remember as one of my proudest moments. When I was getting ready for Finley to arrive, I really wanted to make a playlist that we could have playing at home. I filled it with favorite songs and songs that have special meaning between Kev and I.

When everything started, it was so quick and intense I almost forgot to put it on. Kev asked me at one point and in the midst of it all I told him “I didn’t care”. He knew I would want it on so he put it on anyway. Boy, am I glad he did! It was really the only thing that carried me through at a few points of the labor. It always amazes me how certain songs come on right at the right moment. Like your life has the most perfect soundtrack planned for it. It always feels so surreal to me when that happens. It make moments that I will remember forever.

p.s. Have you heard of Rdio? Kev and I pay for a subscription and its the best thing ever!

My Everyday Style vol.1

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Here we go! The first real outfit picture after having Finley. I am going to rename these posts from “Style Files” to “My Everyday Style”- it just seems more fitting. I wrote last week that my goal is to refocus my outfit posts. I want them to be more about what really works as a busy Mom. Sometimes that means skirts, but most times that means jeans and easy to wear shoes.

I am pretty much in love with these studded sneakers! Have you jumped on the wedge sneaker trend? I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing, but add some studs to sneakers and I am all over that! Plus, these shoes zip up the side so I don’t even have to tie them. Yes. I am that lazy. I wear a lot of loose layers these days since I pretty much feel like a milking machine everyday. My daily uniform seems to be a fitted tank and a loose top that is easy to pull up and nurse under. I hate those nursing capes so if I don’t have to use one than that’s a win in my book.





Blazer: Target/clearance (Similar)
Striped Top: J.Crew/old (Similar)
Jeans: Madewell/old (Similar)
Sneakers: Target

Dear Finley: 1/52


I didn’t get around to writing letters to Finley while I was pregnant like I did with Rowan, so I decided to start a little 52 week series now for her…

Dear Finley James,
Hi sweet girl! I can’t believe that you are 2 weeks old already. The moment you entered into our family, it was as if you were always suppose to be here. All of a sudden we can’t imagine our lives without you. You filled a spot that we didnt even realize we had open waiting for you to take. You are a perfect little angel. We go back and forth deciding whether you are just a super chill little girl or if it’s just perspective the second time around. Your Dad and I were crazy when Rowan was born. We had no idea what we were doing and it really took us a long time to get use to having her around. We loved her to pieces, but it took us time to figure it all out. You on the other hand have blended into our family in a blink of an eye. You eat well, you sleep well and this time your Dad and I aren’t so scared to have a little newborn around. In fact we are embracing every part of it. The late night feedings we have down to a science. We are a tag teaming, super hero duo of nursing, diaper changing, swaddling, and burping. Your Dad is so hands on! As you grow up you will learn just how lucky you are to have him as your Dad.

The hardest thing about having number 2 is balancing time between your sister and you. I want to give each of you my full attention, but sometimes I just can’t. From time to time one of you needs it more and that means the other has to wait. It makes me feel so bad, but I promise to always make each of you feel special and loved in your own special way. You my sweet Finley are my little mini me. You have the softest, fluffiest brown hair. It’s not a ton, but you have way more hair then Rowan ever did. I can’t help but rub my cheeks agains’t it when I hold you. With each pass I breath in deep to smell your sweet little baby smell. These newborn days pass way too quickly. It always bums me out that as the Mom, you spend these precious first weeks after birth so uncomfortable from your postpartum recovery. All you want to do is focus on your sweet little baby and not worry about anything else. This weekend was the turning point for me though. It took 2 weeks but I can finally say I am starting to really feel healed and sort of back to myself. Nursing is still a struggle but that is a story for another blog post.

Well my little Lovey, we welcome you with open arms and are so glad you finally made your way out to join us. I am looking forward to writing you these weekly letters over the next year.
With all my love,
Your Mommy





Headband from Little Hip Squeaks

What Rowan Wore | 01.15.13


Well, It’s my first day home alone with my girls. Kev went back to work this morning (thankfully only for a half day!). So far, so good. I am sitting here at the kitchen table with Finley sleeping in the Solly Baby Wrap and Rowan sitting next to me eating some waffles with peanut butter. Of course with a little side of Yo Gabba Gabba. I think we can do this! Feeling pretty optimistic. Then again we haven’t left the house just the 3 of us yet…

Anyway, I really feel like the hardest thing about adding a new baby to your family has been taking care of the kiddo that you already had. The baby is the easy one. Rowan has been a champ, but you can tell she is all out of sorts. She is so affectionate and loving to the baby, but else where there have been lots tantrums over the silliest things. We had like 5 potty accidents last week when she hasn’t had an accident in months. She also didnt really want to leave the house or get out of her pjs last week. I think they where what was normal, what was familiar to her. She is in pretty good spirits today. We took her to soccer class for the first time over the weekend, and to gymnastics which she loves. Also, with the nice weather yesterday she got to spend lots of time outside playing with Kev. We are trying our best to make her feel special and not neglected. I know only time with make her feel like things are normal again and the new normal just includes a new little sister. She really is being so sweet to Finley though. Kev and I are both so excited for her to have a sister to grow up with.

Goodness she is cute!






Plaid Button Up: Target (boys section)
Tutu: Target-old (similar)
Tights: Target
Minnetonka Boots: Zappos

Style File: New Mom


Over the past nine months I feel like my style has really changed. It’s funny to stay it changed when I wasn’t able to wear any of the stuff I wanted to wear in the first place. I guess it gave me time to think and dream about what I would “really” want to wear. I even considered being done with the whole fashion part of this blog. In all honesty, I don’t wear heels very often any more, I don’t change handbags everyday to match my outfits, I don’t even feel all that dressed up or put together everyday. I wondered if what I really wanted to wear even had a place here. The truth is I still really like getting dressed though. I love putting together outfits, picking color combinations and using it as a creative outlet. I decided I wanted to take a new approach to style files around here. I want to spend this new year redefining my personal style and showcase what really works as a Mom of 2. I think you can find the perfect balance of casual, practical and fabulous and I intend to find it!

I’ve spent the last 6 days in pjs. How can you not after you just gave birth? I did actually put on pants yesterday for the first time, but it only lasted a trip to the museum and then I was back in leggings at home. I love being comfy, but I really don’t like pjs that don’t make me feel put together. We have had lots of guests over to visit and these J.Crew weekend leggings and Gap sweater have been the perfect outfit to feel presentable, cute and cozy. The leggings are thick, super soft and one of my most treasured items in my closet at the moment. I am not a fan of nursing tops, for me it is easier to just wear a loose tank over and nursing bra and then wear a layer that is easy to pull up. Unbuttoning shirts shows way more boob than just pulling up a layer. The tank under the swearter makes sure your stomach and side are still covered. Loving this simple new mom outfit.






Leggings: J.Crew (similar)
Boat Neck Sweater: Gap

Our Newest Addition…

new baby 2

I am a pretty proud Momma today to be able to introduce you to the newest addition to our family. She entered the world at lightening speed and has captured our hearts just as quick. As I like to think of her, Finley James is our little powerhouse peanut. Weighing in at 9lbs 8oz, but still looking oh so tiny. Finley was a name Kev and I decided on together from the very beginning. We never had another name picked for her, she was always Finley to us. James is a family name and also a name I’ve wanted to use for a girl since I was little. I guess we really like gender neutral, Gaelic names in our household.

I just want to say a big, HUGE thank you to everyone for the kind words, tweets, emails, etc… we are truly blessed by all your kindness and support. I am so excited to share this new journey we are about to take as a family of 4. Our hearts are exploding with love and we couldn’t be happier!

p.s. she has dark hair!!!! I was hoping for a little mini me since Kev’s genes won the first round…

new baby7
new baby 3
new baby4
new baby6
new baby

Slowly going crazy…


Ever listen to Sharon, Lois and Bram? Was that a Canadian thing? I don’t even know. Anyway, we use to love it in our household growing up. Remember that song “I am slowing going crazy…” I feel like it is on repeat in my head these days. Life feels like it is on stand still around here as we wait for this baby (yep, I said it again. There should be a count… How many blog posts does it take till this baby comes out?). I also can’t seem to stop thinking and laughing about the Arrested Development clip where they talk about Buster “Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus”. Oh man I love that show.

Well, since this post is going to be random, here are some random pictures to go along with it. What else do you do when it’s -10 outside and you’re 4 days pasted your due date with a bored toddler? I’ll tell you. You take funny pictures of each other in the mirror while looking like a homeless, very pregnant gnome. Sounds about right to me.

The End.





A Big Hello to 2013!


Happy New Year!! We rang in the New Year pretty low key this year. We ate dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant (I ordered the spiciest thing on the menu-didnt work). Then a trip to Target to let Rowan pick out a special toy to give to the new baby. There was a decent bedtime for Rowan and then Kev and I pushed our chaise lounge chairs together to make what we have termed “couch bed”. We sat in front of our fireplace, drinking sparkling red grape juice and talking about 2012 and goals for 2013. It was quite lovely if you ask me.


We decided on more general goals for this year instead of specific resolutions. Here are some things that made my list…

ADVENTURE: Kev and I both have an adventurous spirit. We don’t sit still for long. I am looking forward to welcoming this new little baby into our family and figuring out how to still satisfy those adventurous desires. Rowan is at such a fun age to bring places and let her experience new things. She is just like her Dad, she gets so, so excited. I hope we can quickly settle in as a family of 4 and let the family adventurers begin. Nothing brings more joy than getting out there and doing things all together as a family. I’ve already got some ideas and things up my sleeve for 2013!

JOY: I love the idea of trying to find joy in every situation no matter what the circumstances are. There was such an awesome message at our church during the Advent season on Joy. It really struck a cord with Kev and I.

INSPIRATION: I wrote on twitter a few weeks back how I was cleaning house in my google reader and was only keeping blogs that uplift and inspire. I went from 250+ blogs to about 80. Same for twitter, instagram, etc… I really want this year to be filled with true inspiration. Not comparison. I don’t need to be bogged down with negativity. I love being inspired by people who are uplifting, honest, and truly awesome. I feel like it is so easy to see a persons true intention through blogging. Not just with blogging either, this is one that carries through to life in general with people and things we surround ourselves with.

FAMILY: With such a big change about to happen to our family dynamic, it’s going to be super important to keep our priorities focused on what’s most important. Life can get real busy, real fast around here. I want to make sure we are always very intentional about our family time. I would also love to spend more time visiting family that are far away. I miss my sisters and extended family so much. I want to carve out time to visit more often.

LAUGHTER: I want to make sure we are spontaneous and leave time and room for silliness and fun. I know sometimes when Kev gets home, I turn into task lady. I try to get everything done I wasn’t able to do during the day. I hear them goofing around and think it’s more important to put the laundry away. I want to make sure all of us remember that sometimes the things that seem the most important to worry about really aren’t. We are pretty silly already in our family, but I want to make sure it’s something we always have in our relationships with our kids.

Case in point…







Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev