Entries in Home (18)


You Guessed it!

We are expecting! Yup, that's the big Riley family news. I'm 18 weeks and feeling great! Due October 22. We have been sitting on the news for a while because we had a misscarriage this last October (another blog post entirely) but things seem to be going really well and baby is healthy and kicking! We have been trying to tell Henry about the new baby but so far he is just really interested in belly buttons and not babies. I can't wait to see him interact with a sibling. He is going to make this very interesting for sure! We are over the moon excited to be a family of four!  


Odd Fellows

This last Saturday was such a treat. Just a simple day spent with my family eating out, exploring our city, cleaning up our little house and meeting friends at the park. It's been quiet on the blog lately because the last month has not been such a treat. Well, not that it hasn't been sweet - it's just been chaotic and busy...

After accepting the art director position at Verily I quickly realized I had a lot to learn! and there is a lot more that goes in to directing a magazine than I previously thought! I've had to learn so much about communication. Working on a team with 5 other women forces you to learn everyone else's communication styles in order to work harmoniously together. It also forces you to be way more direct than you ever (EVER) wanted to be. I find myself writing 2 sentence emails with no punctuation and pushing send with out thinking twice about it. Before, in my freelance career, I used to vacillate over every word, every use of punctuation.. wondering if the recipient would get the wrong idea, wondering if they would think I was angry or not understand that I actually was angry but trying to be polite! ha! Now? I just write the damn thing and push send! No time for second guessing!

I've also had to learn how to manage people. I have a graphic designer who helps me layout the magazine and I just recently hired an intern to help me run the visual content on the Verily website (the website I've been re-designing for the past month, you'll see it soon!) I've never been anyone's boss or mentor before so this is a totally new ball game for me. I'm finding that I enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. The girls I work with are incredible! But this is not to say that learning how to MANAGE has not been CA-RAZY!

Aside from my busy new job - Conor recently quit his job which moved us to Texas in the first place and accepted a new position at a new company. We are staying in Dallas which is good but him changing jobs was scary and hectic. In the end it turns out it is so much better for our family. Conor is so much happier at his new job and it makes all the difference in our home. We now have a nanny working for us 5 mornings a week (who by the way is the reason I can wake up in the morning, god bless her!) And all of this is why we are now able to spend Saturdays lazily brunching at places like Odd Fellows and exploring Dallas - a city that we have lived in for 6 months and until this past week I saw very little of. We weren't spending much time together because Conor's job forced him to work 24/7 and any free time he had to watch Henry I spent working on my freelance projects. I think we are glad those days are behind us.

I hope to be blogging more moving forward but I am finding that a lot of my energy is going in to staying organized for work and taking care of my two boys. I mean just take a look at that tired daddy (up above) and that happy lime munching baby and tell me you wouldn't want to skip everything else in life to hang out with them too!?  And then there is this gem of a photo (below) that I somehow snapped accidentally. I know it is blurry but it reminds me of something I would pull out of an old Polaroid land camera... the colors, the sun spots... that tiny little face peeking over his daddy's shoulder! It's everything. 


Going Camping

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So I have a confession - I am a huge nerd and made a secret pin board on Pinterest for what I want my life to look like. HA! I guess I am so immersed in visual inspiration all day and a lot of it is so beautiful and glamorous that sometimes I forget what my personal style is, or what really matters to me. I wanted to see if any pattern or personal style emerged if I made a board of only the things that I wanted MY life to look like. I ended up with a lot of pictures of girls with messy hair and houses minimally decorated in mid century furniture and bright rugs (and here I was thinking I wanted my house all black and white? what?! because that is a popular trend right now and I got distracted by it) And then, of course, there are a lot of pictures of the great outdoors and people enjoying it. SO! We are going camping this weekend. Because, I need a break and I've got to get away from the computer and just be me. Messy and silly.

PS My birthday is coming up this week and I plan on taking a whole lot of me time to enjoy the outdoors and not wash my hair and maybe buy a new bright rug or two (or three). 

PSS this post totally reminded me of one of a favorite blog series called THIS GIRL by The house that lars built. If you have'nt seen it before go check it out. It's a fun one. 


Home Office

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So you all know we recently moved, across the Pacific ocean and then halfway across the country, leaving us with very little furniture (or much of anything besides clothing). We have been hanging out on our bed or at the kitchen table for months and months now because we haven't had a couch. But this week we are so excited because we will finally have a couch! Not only are we going to get the couch we ordered back in November for our living room but we are also getting that little sofa from Urban Outfitters (No. 3) that we ordered for our office. We debated about that sofa for a long time because the reviews weren't that great but when the charcoal version went on sale for $249 we jumped on it! It is going to be perfect in our office - right next to the mid-century record console Conor just happened to run in to at the thrift store and purchase for $30! He cleaned and repaired all of the broken peices and put a new finish on it and I swear it looks like it's worth a thousand bucks now! I also found a chair similar to #1 up there for $5, recovered the seat in black leather and it also looks great! Who knew Dallas was so abuntantly full of unwanted treasure?!?


Short bread with Ganache and sea salt

SHORT BREAD: 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl whisk together flour and salt. In another bowl beat together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Fold flour mixture in gently. Roll dough out to about 1/4 an inch thick. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Cut out shapes. Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 7 minutes or until golden. 

GANACHE: In large sauce pan melt half bag of semi sweet chocolate chip cookies. Add 2 tbs butter and 3/4 tsp corn syrup. Stirg until smooth. Drizzle or dip your cookies and then sprinkle with sea salt. 

I had a lot of fun making these cookies with Henry before the holidays and giving them to our neighbors. He loved it, way more than I thought he could or would. He now loves making cookies with me. It is one of our new favorite things to do. This weekend we had the flu so we are still taking it easy today. Hope everyone has a great week planned! 


New Year / New Goals

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For the last few years I have been visually mapping out my new year goals like this. There used to be a rhyme and reason to the placement, color and categories but now I just make it how I think it will inspire me the most. View 2012 here.  


1. Finish our house. We finally finished painting all of the rooms just before Christmas and now is the fun part! Decorating! Since we moved from Hawaii to California to Texas our house is pretty empty. We don't have a lot of stuff which is nice but also sorta sad. I miss having little collections of things here and there - those little things that make a house feel more like a home.

2. First, check out more of these amazing animal photos here. They are so beautiful! So Conor and I have been talking and we want to get a pig. Or Chickens. Or a goat. We can't decide. Maybe all three? I think we might start with chickens but DAMN that pig is cute!

3. As some of you might know I have been working on a letterpress line with a friend called Fox and Anchor Paper. My goal for that is to create a few more items for our line, get a shop up and running and get some customizable stuff in the mix too. We are excited to get our etsy shop up and running before Valentines day! 

4. Write more. I want to write a book. I want to write, design and publish a cookbook. HAHA! Now, I don't know if I will be able to do that any time soon but I want to write more! 

5. Be a good mom. I have not decided on something specific I can work on for this one yet. I know I just want to be more patient, more loving, more attentive and more devoted. Sometimes I think I couldn't be any of those things ANY MORE than I already am! But I know there is room for improvement and I just want to be the best mom I can be. 

6. Get bikes and ride them together. Conor and I want to get some bikes and go on rides in the morning together. I feel funny even posting a picture of a bike on my blog because I am so not a bike person. I want to be but I'm just not. It will be fun to get in to a new hobby (and with my husband - something we can do together).

7. Meal Planning. Eat Better. Eat less meat. I am all about meal planning! I started this last month making meal plans and sticking to them and only buying the things on my list that I need for that week. It has been amazing how much less we waste and how much money we save. I want to get better at this and also learn how to make really good, HEALTHY meals on a budget.

8. When my mom was young apparently she was entered into a contest called "make it yourself with wool". I don't know what she made or if she won but whenever we are sewing wool she always talks about the "make it yourself with wool" contest. I have this little idea that has been burning a hole in my brain for the last month and I want to give it a try. It requires lots and lots of wool felt - a textile that I am pretty obsessed with right now. So my goal is to order a bunch of it, try to make this little creation I have in my head and then... I don't know. Give them away? Sell them? Not sure yet. 

9. Be a better wife. I have a few goals set for this category but they are a little personal ;). Maybe I'll let you know how it goes. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We are headed to Portland for Christmas to enjoy family and friends. We seriously can't wait to get up there. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful new year. I probably won't be blogging for the next week while we are gone but I just wanted to say that I have been writing in my journal like a mad woman - planning all of my New Year goals and exactly how I am going to execute them. It feels liberating to make plans... is that crazy? I love when the new year comes because I feel like it is a chance to start all over again. I like to think that I can completely re-invent myself if I want to. I can do and be anything I want! What you are goals? Plans? Who are you going to be this year? 

PS -Have you checked out the Hey! It's Christmas! play list yet? Do it now! I have been listening to #10 on repeat while gazing into my boys' eyes and thinking about how I am the luckiest girl on earth. Hint - Wake up early, put on your most festive pajamas, make pancakes, play this song loud and tell your family you love them. IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!


A Family Christmas Wish List

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So, like I said before these wish lists are not our reality. We will be getting one or two of the things on our wish lists. We (and by we I really mean me) just really like to daydream and put together visual wish lists like this for fun. So Henry really is getting the cow this year. I took him to the toy store and let him play around with a few different "walkers" and this was by far his favorite, plus I guess the horns taste pretty good or something because he kept going back to have a little lick. :) I also recently discovered that my baby boy LOVES making cookies. He is proficient at mixing and excellent at taste testing. Since we last made cookies together he has been dragging my hand mixer around behind him by the cord everywhere he goes like he is walking a dog.

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This year I want more things for my home than ever before. Probably because this is the first year that we have actually had a real home of our own. I want to decorate! I want to clutter the place with my little collections and make tons of food in this house. I want a million plants and a million art projects. I want Henry's toys to have a home in every room. I can't wait to wake up one day and look around and feel like I can say to myself, "Yes! We really made this house our own!" It helps that as I type this Conor is painting the office. Behind me over the ugly blue/teal walls in fresh crisp white letters he has painted, "I love you!"1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

And then there is Conor. He is really simple. Just get him some pistachios and Dr. Pepper and this guy could be happy all year! God bless him! I'm excited for him to get that American Flag and frame it and hang it in our office. It is going to look really good. Oh, and for the record Conor did not tell me he wanted a hose. I told me he wanted a hose and then proceeded to pick out the perfect color. I also can't wait to see him watering our plants! :)


Family Christmas Card

Here's a little sneak peek at our family christmas card photo session. Yes, with everything being so crazy around here we just got around to taking our family pictures yesterday. We did them ourselves in our living room. Every year that Conor and I have been married we have built a fort in our living room for Christmas and on Christmas eve we sleep in the fort. Well this year (because we still don't have a couch) the fort went up a little early and we have been sleeping in it quite a bit. I'm not sure our cards are going to make it on time to be merry Christmas cards so they might just have to be happy new year cards instead. But how appropriate? because this year as been a doozy! and I am so ready to bring on 2013!  


A Christmas Tradition

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Growing up every year my mom would get me and my sister an ornament for the tree. It was always something that would remind of us what we had been doing that year. The year I started culinary school (I never finished) my mom got me a blender ornament. The year we took a road trip across Germany together my mom got us little stars from Berlin. We always opened them on Christmas Eve (along with our matching pajamas) and hung them on the tree before we went to bed. We never really went to sleep. We always stayed in the same bed on Christmas Eve. We would stay up giggling and talking about the next morning. My mom would always come in and in a very thick southern Idaho accent and pointing in two different directions yell,"Yerda face that wall and yerda face that wall!" ...Yerda? Who is Yerda? We would laugh hysterically and roll away from each other only to be eye to eye, giggling and talking the second she shut the door. Those are some of my favorite memories. We are carrying on the tradition in our house. Trying to find the most perfect ornament for my two boyfriends is the highlight of my season. I already bought the best ornament for Conor but I am still in search of the most perfect ornament for Henry. It's gotta be really special because that's what he is. So sweet and so cuh-razzzzy!!