Sunday, August 29, 2010


A few mornings ago we had to treck down to Glenview, about a 20 minute drive, to take Eden to her pulmonologist. I HEART Dr. Boas. Good thing is Eden has been in great health this summer!  Not so good news, the nurses and doctor put a little fear in me about the upcoming 8 weeks. Hopefully the year we've had Eden on a maintenance steroid will help this flu and cold season be better than the last. Prayer for good health as well as fast recoveries from any snivels are greatly appreciated!

Thanks to some show and tell with Mousical (the ever so cute ikea stuffed mouse), Eden was a much better patient. We treated her by eating lunch out and going to a local park. Our lunch spot was Chopped Up- a salad version of marble slab. You choose salad, toppings, dressing, it's thrown in a bowl and then onto a marble slab and chopped up. You can then get it wrapped in a tortilla if you want. Champagne vinaigrette anyone? Totally delicious!

The park is best described in pictures. We were shocked that not only was it free, but it wasn't busy at all!

The park was arranged in a circle grid. The center was a small open space surrounded by a wooden trellis (seen below) with lots of benches. Extending out from that were play stations:

 One was a hedge maze. It was so simple that Eden could do easily work her way through:

There was also a very toddler friendly castle playground:

A large sand pit with awesome statues:

And Eden's favorite- the water towers:

Here is some technical information for local mom's interested:
    The park is across the street from the Glen shops (just past Kohl Children's Museum) in Glenview.
    There are plenty of areas for picnics.
    There are ample and clean public restrooms.
    Lots of free, close parking.
    I am fairly certain that pets are not allowed.

Anyone want to plan an outing??

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blanket

I try to gift something handmade to every new baby I know. Sometimes I come across a project that is so perfect I want to go back and re-gift it to all previous babies. This happens to be one such project. Luckily, when I stumbled onto the project I already had a new baby in mind! Thomas' cousin Meredith is expecting a baby girl at the very end of the year. I'm a bit early with the gift, but I couldn't wait to start, and then I couldn't wait to give it away :).

I LOVE that it's called an Heirloom blanket. It  looks like it was made with painstaking love and should be passed down to future children. It has a great weight to it and is incredibly soft, with the promise that the more it is used, the softer it will become. Can't you just picture a little baby cuddled in those soft rows of chenille?

 In fact, it was quite simple! I also got to buy a new tool!! A tutorial can be found from Anneliese at the Aesthetic Nest. The fabric is from Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane collection, which is just lovely! It was so hard to decide which print to use.

In the on-line tutorial a machine attached binding is used. I prefer hand binding blankets, although it does take more time. I feel like re-stating just how simple this is. It is a GREAT beginners project for anyone who wants to learn to sew or quilt.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Craft Hope: ConKerr Cancer

I know I have a ton of blogging about our adventures to catch up on, but I wanted to slip in this post.

I LOVE Craft Hope. If you're a sewer/knitter and you wish you could find a charitable outlet for your talents, this is the place for you. Currently they are on Project 9: ConKerr Cancer. ConKerr Cancer is a 2 year old non-profit that delivers beautiful, handmade pillowcases to seriously ill children to brighten their hospital rooms.

This is their Regional Directory. There are participating hospitals all over the US so you can all join in if you have the time! You don't need to be a sewer to participate. You can decorate a NEW standard size pillow case with embroidery or other embellishment.

Craft Hope encourages donations for teenagers and boys. Donations typically lean towards little kids (girls especially), but ConKerr delivers to children of all ages- which means teens too! My sister sent me a remnant of gorgeous fabric a few months ago that I stashed away for just the right occasion. Hopefully it will fit the bill for a teenage girl. I used the Cottage Home's sleepover pillowcase tutorial. Easy and so cute!


Here are some other tutorials you can use:
ConKerr Cancer Pillowcase (EASY!!)
The Lazy Organizer Two Pillowcases (More difficult but would really be something special!)
Little Birdie Secrets Novelty Pillowcase
JCaroline Pillowcase

For more inspiration you can check at Craft Hope's Flickr Page. If you join in, make sure to send me a pick of your creations!

Monday, August 2, 2010

New digs

Hola (We've been watching a lot of Dora)! What else have we been doing? You're probably asking yourselves that because we fell of the face of the earth. We don't write, we don't call. We've been having ourselves a bit of a staycation. A list has been drafted of all the things we've been up to, but I'll save you the novel blog post and dole it out in bits and pieces.

For our first installment,  I would like to introduce you to our new place:

Not sure what we're going to call it yet. First there was the Spring House, that cute little ranch rental out in the country when we were newlyweds. Then there was the Winter House, our adorable 1930s cottage that had gorgeous flowering trees in the backyard that bloomed in the wintertime. Then there was the Launching Pad, our little 900 sq ft apartment in Deerfield. Three weeks ago we moved for the fourth time in our four year marriage.

We are renting the first floor and half of the basement of this neat little house. It's nestled in the middle of an old Italian neighborhood in the North Shore suburb of Highwood, IL.

For maximum wow factor (or because I don't want to clean right now to take more pics), I'm going to post pics of the house empty first.

Living Room:

Living Room looking into the Dining Room and out the front Window:

Dining Room looking down the Hallway and into Eden's Room:

Standing outside of Eden's Room looking back to Dining Room:
(door on the left goes into the living Room)



Eden's Room:

Master Bedroom:

(Not Pictured: Thomas' Dungeon)

We LOVE the fact that we're in a house, not an apartment. We love the hardwood floors, the big windows, and all the natural light. We love that there is a park across the street. Every week I meet a new family that lives in the neighborhood. It's so pleasant to walk 30 seconds and have acquaintances to chat with while the kids play. IDEAL.

View from Park to our House:
(our house is in the upper right corner of the photo)


The neighborhood couldn't be more adorable. The streets are tiny, the houses are cutesy with lots of gardening, the people are delightful, and it's quiet even though we are .3 miles to downtown. Downtown includes the Metra Station, Walgreens, a few small local groceries, a million restaurants (which deserve a post all their own), cute bakeries, and a gourmet farmer's market. We are also 1.5 miles from downtown Highland Park which has a lot more shopping and fun amenities (theaters, parks, art galleries, kids boutiques, art supply store, A GOOD COFFEE SHOP, etc). Oh and there's this:

Daily Ice Cream Truck:

Our neighbors rock. They blew the Northern stereotype out of the water and spoiled us the day we moved in (and pretty much continue to do so). On either side of us are families, one a bit younger than our parents, the other a bit older, that have lived in the neighborhood their whole lives. In fact, they live in the houses the grew up in. They have dogs for Eden to play with, share their sprinklers and their herbs, and are generally about for conversation and local advice all the time. Our upstairs neighbor is closer in age to us and works quite a bit so she is not around as much, but she is super sweet!

One brought us this delicious cake, complete with a doily!:

Our landlord GREW UP IN ITALY. I think he rented the place to us solely based on the fact that we had been to Cinque Terre. He's a retired roofer and has a few rental properties now. He planted a garden for us and our upstairs neighbor in our backyard.

Here's Eden with our first zucchini:

In great Thomas and Katie fashion we were unpacked in three days. We have a few lagging books to shelve and pictures to hang, but for the most part it feels like home.

Anyone want to come visit??!!