We got a contract on our house last night! For our asking price minus some closing costs. I’m thankful. Relieved. And honestly, sad. It’s been an exhausting week (wait, it’s only Tuesday?) so maybe I’m a little extra emotional. I really do love this house. As I was looking for a picture to put with this post, I saw so many projects we’ve done here…our master bathroom, Jason’s studio, landscaping, the fireplace. And there are thousands of memories here from the last 5 years, especially from last year as our family grew from two to three to two and back to three. It’s bittersweet. Even more so than I expected.

Our new house will be nice and most importantly, it’ll have room for more kids we can reach as foster parents. I’m looking forward to the whole process of designing and building a home. But I feel like it’s extra hard to say goodbye to one house when we don’t have another house to move into. I love the character and quirks of our old house and “new” scares me a little bit. I don’t know anything about the buyer except that she seems to really like the house. I hope she appreciates it as much as we do. I hope she likes to garden and is happy with the updates we did.

We’ll be staying with my parents during the transition period—several of you have asked. They also live in our neighborhood so we’ll be close to the new house as it’s being constructed. We’ll be gradually packing up and moving out in February. I know I’ll be so consumed with the next season that soon I’ll detach from this one, but for today I just want to savor this old house a little longer.


The Best Time to Buy a Winter Coat


…is probably the end of the winter, right? Much to my mom’s dismay, we’ve managed to get through the winter thus far without a winter coat for Precious. She has a giant snowsuit that my mom bought her but we’re tired of wrestling with it to get her into the car seat, especially since the majority of her van rides are under 10 minutes. Next year, however, Precious will be a toddler, a year a half old, the age/size of Ladybug (hard to believe!)…and she’ll need a proper winter coat. Since she’s growing an inch a week (it seems), I decided to hunt down a unisex, warm, hooded coat that Precious can wear next year and we can reuse for our future kids. It was surprisingly difficult to find a unisex (ie. boys) coat that was all one gender-neutral color…yellow, red, black, green, gray, brown. After a small bit of research, I decided on London Fog. I was pleased to find this artichoke green jacket on sale for just $18 and free shipping. Score! (Extra bonus: It came the NEXT day!)

It’s 2T size so it should be perfect next winter. And, she can even wear it for the last month of winter this year, too. Happy, Mom?

As someone who lives in an artichoke colored house and loves artichokes on pizza and pasta, I do with this “artichoke” was a little more yellowish green like the website images and a little less hunter green. I’ll just have to dress it up with a girly hat and mittens next year.

Phone Photo Friday


Precious: Monthly Portrait 6


Little girl, it’s hard to believe you are already half a year old! Happy 6 Months, Choongie. You still seem like a tiny baby until I look back at your pictures from September when you joined our family. You’ve changed so much. And my arms and back can verify that you’re getting heavier. In fact, you’ve already grown out of most of your 6-month size clothes—especially the pants and sleepers. Shortly after Christmas (and your 5 month birthday) you started sitting up on your own. Now your balance has improved so much that you’ve started rolling from your back to belly and back more frequently. The same week you started saying Dada for real. We’re not sure if you know what it means yet, but you get a positive response when you say it, especially from your Daddy. When he kisses your cheeks you still get a speckled red rash from his prickly face and everyone can tell he’s been kissing on you. Now that you’re 6 months old, we have the go-ahead from your doctor to start you on solid foods. We’ve shelved the bland rice cereal and moved on to avocado and carrots. There are sweet potatoes and bananas waiting in the wings. It’s fun to watch your reaction to new tastes. You’re still sleeping like a champ through the night, even though teething pain wakes you up from time to time. You’re great at putting yourself back to sleep sucking your thumb. You’ve been napping less, sometimes just two naps a day now for an hour or two a piece. It’s getting harder to get anything done when you’re awake because you’re so much fun to play with!

Bathroom Vanity Inspiration


I was over on House*Tweaking the other day and I got some inspiration for bathroom vanities in our new house. Floating is nice but I’m a sucker for storage. I like these options, as long as their is enough counter space built around the sink. I think they’re both from IKEA.

Source: via Martina on Pinterest

I’m generally not a fan of double sinks in master bathrooms but this might be good in a kids/guest bathroom where people aren’t as good at sharing.

Source: via Martina on Pinterest

Homemade Baby Food


It sounds really complicated but really Homemade Baby Food is just fancy words for softened (steamed, baked, mashed), blended food frozen into small portions. It’s easy and it’s inexpensive. For Christmas, Precious got this wonderful Baby Bjorn bib that my friend recommended. It’s made from a stiff silicon-ish material so the food catching lip doesn’t collapse. Also, the neck is adjustable so it will fit for a while. Perfect for Precious’ reintroduction to solid foods. (We started on rice cereal at 4 months old but neither of us was really ready yet. Now, at 6 months she’s ready. And I am, too.)

She also got some great Oxo Tot baby food freezing containers for Christmas. Oxo is my all-time favorite kitchen gadget brand. This Oxo Tot freezer tray pretty much just looks like any old ice cube tray but it has a lid—a pretty green lid—with a special function. It’s curved at the ends so you can dump just one ice cube out at a time. Smart, huh? It makes 1 oz. portions. Perfect for introducing new foods. Once the cubes are all frozen, I’ve been popping them into freezer bags so I can label and date them.

The Oxo Tot baby blocks six pack tray and 2 oz. containers are handy for taking larger portions on the go. I haven’t seen these in action yet but the first batch of pureed carrots is freezing right now. So far I have made avocado, carrots and bananas for Precious. Next on my list are sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, apples and pears. I’m curious to hear from you: What were the first foods you fed your kids? What foods were their favorites? Did you make baby food at home, blend up whatever you were eating or buy baby food pre-made?

Things I Love About This House – Wood Paneling


One bedroom in our house—the kids room—has wood paneling. Thankfully, it was already painted when we moved in. I wouldn’t choose it for my new house but I have thoroughly enjoyed the texture it creates on the walls, the striped effect. Also, it’s solid wood which makes hanging art and shelving super easy—hooray for no hollow wall anchors!

Phone Photo Friday


House Plans – Round 2


Our house plans are developing and our excitement is increasing. I think we’re almost there with the floor plan! Again, I’m purposely obscuring this photo so our architect’s intellectual property can’t swiped (as easily). We figured out how to incorporate a fourth bedroom that we’re calling the den. It’ll probably be more of a playroom, creative space for Precious and other kids to hang out in by the time we move into the house. It’s crazy to think that our little 6 month old baby will be walking by the time we’re in our new home. Also, the laundry room grew into an office/craft room for me. Yay! Now the trick will be finding a GC (general contractor) who will build this house for $100/square foot or less.

I like the philosophy of Rachel Peters, interviewed on Design Mom, about her custom built dream home—she intentionally had their architect make the bedrooms and closets small to encourage the kids to go outside and to make it harder to hoard junk. We’ve had a similar philosophy for our new house: keep the bedrooms small and the common areas big and open to promote togetherness. The minimalist in me likes the small closets idea but the thrifty part of me wants to organize and store anything we might use in the future.

Beautiful Cereal Box


I know it’s silly but for the past 36 hours, since I first saw it at Kroger, I’ve been in love with Mom’s Best Naturals cereal. Now I’m not typically a cereal lover. Lucky Charms was the only cereal I would eat growing up. My breakfast of choice in high school was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I’m a graphic designer by trade and what-can-I-say, I was sold by the packaging. I walked 3 steps past the end cap in Kroger, pulled out my camera and went back to take a picture. As I walked away, posting it on Instagram, I decided I should buy a box and try it. Back at the display for the third time, I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $1.50 a box. I  found raisin bran to try. I’m happy to report that it tastes as good as any raisin bran I’ve ever had, though I’m admittedly not a cereal connoisseur.