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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jona at 15 Months

If I had to choose one word to describe Jona right now, it would be hilarious. He is making us laugh constantly with his goofy expressions and sayings. Here are a few things he's been up to this month.

Growing: Jona had his 15 month check-up last week, and he weighed in at almost 22 pounds and measured just over 30 inches tall. Growing, but not quite as quickly as those baby days. Thankfully, he's gotten a lot of mileage out of the last round of clothes that I bought. I feel like he hardly wore so many of the things he had as a baby, he grew out of everything so fast! He's stayed pretty consistent with sizing; at 6 months he wore 6 month size, at 9 months, 9, etc. Now he's wearing 12 month or 12-18 month size; I hope he stays this predictable! (Does that give me permission to buy him a bunch of 18-24 month clothes knowing he'll likely wear them for a good 6 months? I think it does...) 

Eating: It's still a struggle lately. Unless it's peanut butter toast, squeezy yogurt pouches (so he can do it himself of course), macaroni and cheese, or fruit, he's pretty suspicious about it. Sometimes I can get him to try a bite of something by telling him to "take a bite" or "put it in your mouth (he just learned 'mouth')" and often when he tries it, he likes it. Case in point: asparagus. But his favorite thing is definitely still fruit; he can't shovel it in fast enough. 

Moving: He's still not taking any strides on his own, but he's getting a lot faster and more confident with his walker, and he's holding on to everything (walls, chairs, bookshelves) and cruising his way around the house. He still prefers crawling (with a little scooting mixed in) as his quickest means of getting somewhere. 

Playtime: Jona still loves some old favorites (stacking blocks, anything in our recycling basket, balls--which now he loves to say "ball") but he has a few new faves as well. He has nesting wooden blocks he loves to take apart and stack back together, and he also likes playing with cars. It's especially amusing to roll them across the coffee table and watch them crash to the floor. He also still loves music and singing, and we've added some Christmas music into the mix. 

Jona Funnies: Here are a few little things I want to remember about Jona at this age.
  • He learned to "roar" like a dinosaur, and now he roars when he sees his dinosaur shirt or a picture of a dinosaur. Naturally, the book Dinosaur vs. Bedtime has become a favorite. 
  • He loves to give people things. He has a little play phone and he'll hand it to us, saying "Here-go". He especially likes to hand us stuff that's frustrating him. (Can't fit the puzzle piece in? Here-go. Can't get the blocks to nest? Here-go.) He'll sometimes say thank you when you give it back. 
  • He's gotten to be quite an imitator. Once, I was getting a little weary of him putting every piece of food on his head before he put it in his mouth (where does he come up with this stuff?) and I loudly sighed and said Jona. Then he sighed and said "wuhwah". It was hard to stay frustrated after that! 
  • Similar to stuffed animals, chicken really horrifies him. When chicken is on his tray and he discovers it (sometimes after taking a bite, the horror!) he sets it down and picks it up, moving it further and further away on his tray. 
  • He loves hiding (behind his hands, a blanket, or even his hat) and if we don't notice right away and ask "Where's Jona?" he'll ask, in a muffled-hand-covered voice, "Wa-wha-wha?" and then uncover himself. Of course, he finds this hilarious (and no surprise, so do we). 
Thanks for reading! I've been doing a terrible job keeping up with Jona's baby book, so this has been a fun way for me to keep track of the things I want to remember about my sweet little boy. 

I'm taking the rest of the week off to enjoy time with my family. If you're in the US I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Capsule Roundup

It's hard to believe it's already nearing the end of the third month of having a capsule wardrobe. When I started this, I wondered if by now I'd be ready to return to a closet full of clothes or if a capsule is something I'd want to continue. Echoing what I've said the last two months, it's something I'd like to stick with, at least for now. Like I mentioned last month, I'm not going to start my winter capsule in December. Instead, I'll use next month as a time to transition my current wardrobe and also narrow down the things I'll need for January through March. I'll be using a lot of what I already have, but I'd also like to add a few more pieces, because you know how much I love a good post-Christmas sale!

Here are a few favorite looks from November, each one showcasing an element or two I love right now. Be sure to check out some more capsule wardrobe looks at In Residence and Just Jacq

Look 1: Pop of Bright Color

Look 2: Boots and Button-ups

Look 3: Cozy Layered Dresses

Look 4: Neutral Mixed Prints

 What are your favorite combinations right now? 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Leopard Accents 2 Ways

This weekend treated me pretty well. On Friday Jona had his first sleepover at my dad and step-mom's house, and Aaron and I had date night and a morning to sleep in! Of course, I woke up every hour starting at 6am...wouldn't you know it? Oh well, it was still nice to lay in bed and be lazy. More laziness ensued on Saturday, we all spent the afternoon napping. It was a rainy, dreary day; naps were pretty much required.

Instead of remixing a specific item today, I'm remixing one of my favorite prints, leopard. Surprisingly, I wore both of these looks this weekend; it was cool enough for a coat on Friday night yet warm enough for short-sleeves Saturday, go figure. What's your favorite way to style leopard print? 

For Saturday's surprise warm-up, I kept my look comfortable and casual with a graphic tee and boyfriend jeans, and I added a leopard belt for some interest. 

Graphic tee: J.Crew Factory (similar) / boyfriend jeans: Loft (similar) / leopard belt: Gap Outlet (similar) / nude flats: Target

For our date night Friday, I dressed up skinny jeans and a navy blue sweater with my favorite sparkly necklace and leopard flats. Those are two of my favorite ways to add a little glam to any look. 

Red coat: Ellen Tracy via Nordstrom / navy sweater: J.Crew Factory / skinny jeans: Gap / sparkly necklace: Bauble Bar (similar) / leopard flats: Dr. Scholl's

Linking up for Inspiration Monday and Mix it Mondays

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Eats: Classics

This week's menu was all about the classics. We had a classic pot roast, a spin-off of classic lasagna, a modern version of a classic chicken dish, and a new classic: BBQ chicken pizza. 

Clockwise from top left: 

1. BBQ Chicken Pizza. This is one of those dinners that's perfect for when you don't feel like cooking dinner. Store bought pizza crusts + bottled BBQ sauce + cooked chicken + cheese = easy dinner. It's a nice shift from the usual pizza as well. 

2. "Not-sagna" Pasta Toss from Rachael Ray. You know I love a good lasagna spin-off. I actually made this a long time ago and really liked it, but for some reason it fell into my black hole of forgotten recipes. I'm glad I gave it a rescue this week, it was delicious, hearty and comforting! I also think this would be fantastic topped with some mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven (what isn't, right?)... I may have to try that next time. 

3. Crunchy Topped Swiss Chicken Bake from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. This is a modernized version of an old-fashioned chicken casserole made with canned cream of chicken soup. However, the "cream of chicken" is remade as a homemade sauce, and therefore tastier and healthier! It's also topped with buttered panko breadcrumbs and Swiss cheese, so it has that going for it as well. Yum! 

4. Perfect Pot Roast from The Pioneer Woman with mashed potatoes. In cooking any sort of roast beef, my goal is always to make it taste like my mom's. This came the closest to anything I've tried yet, so I'm considering it a victory! Browning the roast first gives the beef wonderful color and flavor, and I like that it's cooked with carrots and onions, but not potatoes. I believe potatoes are heaven-sent, I really do, but I don't love them cooked with pot roast. So to me, a side of steaming hot mashed potatoes is a pot roast's perfect accompaniment. 

What's your favorite "classic" dish? 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Old Clothes, New Layers

The cold weather, combined with my paltry selection of pants, led me to finally break out my tights. I'd been neglecting my skirts and dresses, so it's nice to wear them again (without freezing my legs off). With tights and lots of layers, I'm even able to cozy up this summery striped dress. 

I love how layering can give your closet so many more  possibilities. On their own, I've worn these pieces dozens of times or more, but until now I never thought to combine them all quite like this. It's refreshing to still be able to give new life to things I feel like I've worn a million times. 

What are your favorite layering combos? 

Orange blazer: Target (similar) / gray gingham shirt: J.Crew Factory (similar in navy) / navy stripe dress: Land's End Canvas (similar) / tights: Target / brown riding boots: Mia (similar)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Midweek Pick-Me-Ups: November

This cold weather makes me want to stay inside, bundled up under the covers all day. Even my new coat isn't enough to motivate me to want to get out of bed in the morning. (That would be some coat, right?) Unfortunately, the alarm clock still beckons, and I still venture out every day. So to keep my cold-weather grumbling at bay, I'll focus on some happy things. Here are a few things making me smile lately. 

Wing Night In. Aaron and I love trying new foods and new restaurants, but sometimes it's nice to just head to a casual bar and eat chicken wings! We both had a wing-craving over the weekend, but after some errand-running on Saturday we didn't want to take Jona (or ourselves) back out into the cold. So we had a wing night in instead. We decided to go the somewhat healthier route and oven-bake them, and we tried both a classic and a honey chipotle recipe. Both turned out delicious! I must note that the cooking temperatures are very different, and I thought I'd be able to broil both wing varieties, as in the classic recipe. One small fire in the oven later, I realized that was not the case. After nearly burning the honey chipotle wings, we removed them from the foil-lined sheet, and the remaining glaze on the foil got a little too cozy with the broiler. Lesson learned.

2. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just like every weekend lately, all I want to do is stay inside and bake yummy treats. This weekend I tried this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Half Baked Harvest. It seemed like a strange cookie recipe to me; there's no butter, instead, it calls for canola oil. Weird, but they turned out oh-so-good! These cookies also turned out to be my failed attempt at a good deed this week. My plan was to take a plate of freshly baked cookies over to our neighbors. However, by the time I got them out of the oven on Sunday, it was already after 8pm. They have a baby younger than Jona, so I wasn't about to go knocking on their door that late in the evening. So I tried to deliver them Monday afternoon, but no one was home. I can't leave them on the doorstep, because I failed to plan ahead and get a critter-proof container to put them in. (I have a feeling the aluminum foil-covered plate is no match for the neighborhood squirrels who can carve pumpkins with their teeth.) They say it's the thought that counts, but I'm afraid thought cookies just aren't as good as the real thing. 

3. In-house Entertainment. Jona has been hilarious lately, and providing us with lots of entertainment. He's full of energy, and he sings and talks nonstop. He loves to shout in a language that's all his own, and he's very enthusiastic about it. And if we start laughing, he has to join in too. I love this kid. 

4. Cozy Winter Gear. In addition to my cozy red coat, I added a few things to my winter arsenal this month. Although they're not my usual style, I couldn't pass up these sparkly sequin slippers (in silver) from Target. While I was there, I also picked up a new hat, scarf (yep, I jumped on the plaid blanket scarf train), and gloves. Other than the scarf, these were all much-needed buys. I swear. 

5. Hot Chocolate Season. It's that time of year. I'm trading in my bowl of ice cream for a steaming mug of hot cocoa. (Okay, I'll probably still have ice cream from time to time pretty often.) I usually just go with an easy just-add-water mix, but maybe this year I'll try something new. Any good hot chocolate recipes that you recommend? It would taste even better out of one of these mugs from Anthropologie too, don't you think? 

What's making you happy this week?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cozy New Coat

Coat season has officially arrived here in Kansas City. I finally turned my new coat dreams into a reality during Nordstrom's big clearance event a couple of weeks ago. Really, it was the email I received from Twice that sealed the deal. I sold a bunch of clothes to Twice when I did my big closet cleanout, and they emailed me with an offer that beat the pants off of anything I've ever made selling my clothes in the past. That money was added to my "new coat fund" and I pulled the trigger on this red Ellen Tracy beauty

I love how it stands out against the sea of neutrals in my closet, and I love the detachable hood too. I paired it with lots of denim over the weekend for its debut, and it kept me nice and toasty warm. I've got my coat and a good stash of hot cocoa; all I need is a big stack of books to read and I'll be ready for winter! 

Do you like a bold coat or a neutral coat? Or do you like to have multiple coats to choose from?

Red Toggle Coat: Ellen Tracy via Nordstrom / chambray shirt: Madewell (similar) / white tee: J.Crew Factory  (similar) / skinny jeans: Gap / leopard belt: Gap Outlet (similar) / taupe ankle boots: Target (similar

I'm linking up to The Creative Closet today for the Cute + Cozy themed linkup