family

He's (been) here!

As most of you know, Logan and I were expecting our first child in early February. Well, as I'm sure you can imagine - with it being almost mid April - he's here! In fact, he's been here.. for a little over 2 months already (which is crazy). Anyway, our little baby boy was born on February 5th, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19.75" long, and time has already flown by so quick! I have been wanting to post a little announcement on our blog to share with you the arrival of our baby boy, but clearly I've been a bit busy adjusting to life as a new mommy. But, today, I finally grabbed a few minutes to write this post.. so, here he is.. Welcome Baby Hayes!

First photo.

I've obviously got a couple months to catch you up on, so here are just a few more of the many photos we've snapped of him over the past two months! We, of course, think he is the cutest thing.. but we'll let you decide!

Cute bug.

While he was still only a couple weeks old, a good friend of ours (who is a professional photographer) offered to come shoot a few newborn photos of Hayes. While we haven't gotten those photos back just yet, this next photo is a quick snapshot of him in his hat and bowtie that we used for the shoot!

Hat and bowtie.

Since he was born in early February, it was pretty much too cold to head outside while he was still a newborn. But, when we had one of our first warmer days, Logan and I jumped at the chance to take our little guy for his first walk around the city! In the photo below, Daddy is babywearing Hayes in his Baby K'tan wrap - he loves that thing!

Walk photo.

Here he is all snuggled in his car seat with his adorable little knot hat! In this photo, you can really start to see his little cheeks filling out! He is definitely a good eater. =)

In car seat.

As I'm sure you know, newborns don't do too much besides sleep, eat and, well, poop. But in this next photo we caught one of his first little smiles. These are the moments we now live for!

Smile photo

And, in this one last photo, we'll leave you with a sneak peek at little Hayes' nursery! I will definitely be posting more photos and details on the design of his stylish nursery, but for now, this is all you get. =)

Crib photo.

Well, thanks for letting us share the arrival of our precious little boy!

Our Exciting Apology

Ok, before you read any further, let me apologize! I know we've been pretty absent from the blog for quite a while now - you know, only posting every so often! And, I'm sure we may have let some of you down. Whomp whomp. So, we would like to say "we're sorry". But, there has been good reason for this and unfortunately we haven't been able to share that with our readers... until today! So, in lieu of a long drawn out teaser and long paragraph hyping it up, I'll just share with you a sweet little image that we've recently shared with our family and friends!

Pregnancy Announcement

Yep, after trying for many months, Logan and I are expecting our first child! Yay! And, as of today, I'm actually 19 weeks along (that's a little over 4 months), so the past several months have been full of excitement, joy, nervousness, morning sickness, and of course all kinds of initial baby planning! So, I hope you'll understand our little hiatus from blog posting! But, with settling into the swing of pregnancy and tackling some of the huge to-dos that come along with planning for a new baby, we hope to resume more regular blog posts.

You're probably thinking that, like many first time parents, we'll be consumed by all things baby, and that we will end up posting about baby stuff more often than not. Well, you are only slightly right! We may post details on the progress of our pregnancy, the design of our nursery, and stylish baby items, but don't worry, our main focus for our blog has always been "all things design" with a little bit of our everyday life mixed in - and that's what it will continue to be!

So, just for fun - here are a few close-ups of the photos from our pregnancy announcement shown above.

Logan with funny face!

13 week baby bump photo

Due date photo

Oh, and congrats to those of you who have good instincts - yes, last weeks Wordless Wednesday was a tiny little hint and precursor to today's news! We've been in the early stages of planning to convert our never-really-used spare bedroom into a nursery, so I've of course been browsing the web for lots of design inspiration!

Anyway, I'll leave you today with a more recent photo of me with my baby bump! Only in the past couple weeks has it made its first real appearance - which totally makes things more real! I'm enjoying watching it grow, and knowing that our baby is developing and growing healthy and strong. This photo is from a collection of weekly photos that I have been taking to chronicle this incredible journey.

18 week baby bump photo

Well, there you have it - that is our exciting news and that's the reason we haven't been blogging much! We are finally happy to be able to share it with you! We've already gotten so many sweet and kind words of congratulations and well wishes, and we want to thank everyone for that! We feel so loved!

Celebrating a New Addition!

I've got some exciting news with today's post (perhaps only exciting to me and my immediate family, but I thought I'd share anyway). My sister-in-law welcomed a new bundle of joy to the family last week - a beautiful baby girl, Sophia. She's super cute, happy and healthy! But, before I show you a photo of the beautiful newborn, let's go back a week or so. Today's blog topic was actually planned to be posted last week, before the baby arrived, but, as you can see, it didn't! So, even though the baby is already here, I wanted to share some of the fun that occurred before she arrived!

Logan and I had decided to throw his sister (and her husband and daughter) a little surprise baby party. Ok, so it was pretty much a baby shower, but since it is their second child (and showers aren't customary for a second child) we had been calling it a baby party! And, since they already have a lot of what they need for the newborn, we didn't intend to shower them with gifts, but instead just celebrate the new life that we would all be welcoming into the family very soon. And, because they had been trying for a second child for quite sometime, this new baby is such a blessing and worth celebrating!

So, a couple Saturdays ago, we hosted the little get together, and I thought I'd share some of the details from the event. As usual, we planned out everything from the menu, to the DIY decorations, to the games that we would play. Nonetheless, we kept it simple and inexpensive. Luckily, we have connections with the Country Club of Harrisburg, so we got to use the venue and furnishings for free - good deal! And no, the slip-covered chairs are not necessarily my style, but the atmosphere in person was quite nice - light and airy with a sense of formality! But, to bring in a little fun, we decided to DIY some cute tissue paper pom pom flowers for the centerpieces in gender neutral colors (since they didn't want to know the gender of the baby)!

Centerpieces

Other than the centerpieces, we didn't do too much in the way of decorations. The only other decoration was the sweet little DIY bunting flags hung on the fireplace.

Bunting on the fireplace.

A close-up on the bunting.

What's a baby party without games? Boring, haha. So, we, of course, planned a few fun little games for the guests to enjoy! Here's a peak at some of them.

What's your Prediction game.

Guess the Gerber game.

Measure of Love game.

Guess Who game.

An even more important part of any party is the food, right? We decided on a theme of small, or baby-sized, sweets and eats with cute baby names, of course. So, here are just a few of the goodies we had!

Baby sandwiches.

Deviled Eggs

She's ready to pop-corn.

Baby Muffins.

Sugar Cookies

Mini Whoopie Pies.

And, a party isn't a party without the guests! So, here are few snapshots of guests enjoying their time.

Guests playing games.

Guests mingling.

In lieu of gifts, we asked each guest to provide an anecdote, story, memory, advice, etc. regarding parenting or siblings. Then, we compiled each sentiment into a scrapbook for the parents-to-be.

[caption id="attachment_3698" align="aligncenter" width="324" caption="Here's a guest perusing the scrapbook.. and you can also see that, despite our request, lots of guests also brought gifts. How sweet!"]

Overall shot of the party.

And, here's a pic of the glowing mom-to-be with her mom, Grammy.

Mom-to-be and her mom, Grammy.

Maternity Photo.

It seemed that everyone had a great time! Congrats again to the family of little Sophia! And, here's the cute newborn photo I promised you.

Baby Sophia

I'm Dreaming of a..

decorated Christmas! With being so busy, I'm embarrassed to admit that we've been slacking on spreading the Christmas cheer around our house. We haven't even decorated our Christmas tree yet! It's horrible, I know. But, the good news is that we finally have it, in the stand, watered and ready to go - that, in and of itself, was a big step. We have been saying, "Let's go get our Christmas tree tonight" everyday for the past few weeks, and we finally did so last night! So, now, the plan for tonight is to get out the ornaments, decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and baking yummy cookies, since we only have 10 short days to go!

So, without any photos to show you of our holiday decorations, I thought I'd post some creative, unique Christmas decor ideas from our Pinterest pin boards not only to inspire others, but to get inspired myself. Let's face it, everybody needs a little inspiration sometimes. Hope it works!

Enjoy!

Green and silver decor.

Hot chocolate.

Simple, neutral decor.

Scrap wood christmas tree.

Simple wrapping!

White christmas decor.

Burlap stockings!

Bold graphic gift wrapping!

Simple vintage wood deer!

Reindeer cookies

Christmas tree decal!

Well, I'm inspired! Happy Holidays to everyone!

Two Years Ago Today..

I lost my best friend.. my mom. My mother passed away unexpectedly on this day two short years ago, and let me just say, it doesn't get any easier as the years pass by. Whether it's a song, a smell, a photo or a place, I am reminded oh so often of her and the memories we'd made. Though I started this post by saying I 'lost' her, I don't feel that way entirely. She is still very much a part of me and with me everyday; and I believe she always will be. Nonetheless, I miss her incredibly! I can't help but long for just one more moment where I can see her face again, hear her voice again and hug her tight again. My wish that she (and we) would have had more time will never fade. My mom was such an amazing person, and of her many gifts, the greatest was her love! In the relatively short time we got to spend together on this earth, she gave me enough love to last a lifetime, and for that I am so thankful.

While this is not the type of content I normally post on this blog, I hope you'll understand that I felt that this post could be cathartic for me; and maybe, in turn, serve as a sense of peace and comfort for those who also have a broken heart from a similar loss. I suppose I'm also using this platform as just a little way that I can say 'I love you' to my mom today.

In honor of her, here are a few snapshots of my mom throughout her life.

Mom at age 6ish

Mom at age 10ish

Mom with cute face.

Mom graduation photo, I think.

Mom with wind in her hair.

Mom with us two kids

Mom smiling at the beach

Mom and I together

Mom in front of the coastline.

Mom, I love you and miss you!

It's Still Fall!

I'm sure, like me, you've noticed that when November arrived stores, homes, and even design blogs have traded their pumpkins in for snowmen, and their warm rich earthy color palettes to cool crisp icy colors. Well, wait just a second! With the mildly chilly weather only now in full swing, beautifully colored leaves still floating to the ground and Thanksgiving just around the corner yet, fall is still here! Right? In fact, I am only now finally getting excited about all things fall. As you probably know, I'm not a huge fan of cold weather, but I do have to say the shift from summer to fall does give me a good feeling. It means it's time for cute sweaters, hot chocolate, warm earthy colors, yummy food, time with family, beautiful nature and scenery, etc. And, I've recently gotten to enjoy most of these.

Pumpkin roll!

So, before my warm fuzzy fall feelings turn into winter blues, I thought I'd browse a few of my favorite sites for some fall inspired finds, decor ideas, and the other lovely joys of fall.

Leaf pillow.

Paper mache pumpkins.

Yarn wreath.

Leaf and Gourd decor.

Cupcake toppers.

Pinecone wreath

Table centerpiece.

Leaf garland.

Fall scarf.

Pottery Barn fall decor.

Wishbone servewear.

Candy apples.

My front door.

Side Note: This last photo is actually from last year - fortunately we kept the mums and they came back this year.. unfortunately they came back about 1/3 as big and beautiful and do not look like this!

So, while most people may already be moving on to the Christmas season, I don't like to jump the gun. I'd rather enjoy the fall and the Thanksgiving holiday first. After all, I am very thankful for not-frigid weather (along with many other things, of course).

I hope today's post reminded you of the many joys of fall, and also hopefully reminded you to slow down sometimes. Christmas will be here soon enough. In the meantime, be thankful (hehe) for the fall!

The lovely images from today's post came from Etsy, Pinterest, BHG, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and, of course, my camera!

Eating Local!

DISCLAIMER: Today's post has pretty much nothing to do with design, but I wanted to share it anyway =) View of the farm fields.

So, although we have known about the idea for quite awhile, this is our first year as a member of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) thanks to my sister-in-law who asked us to become members and split a full share with their family. We are already about half way through the harvest season, but every time we get a new delivery (which is every week) it just makes me happy and that's why I wanted to blog about it today!

View of the Spiral Path Farm sign

So, first, I guess I should mention (specifically for any local readers) that the CSA we chose is Spiral Path Farm, a 255 acre family farm located in central PA. Spiral Path offers a "wide variety of certified organic vegetables, herbs and annual fruits", as they say on their website. And it's true, already this season we've gotten strawberries, sugar snap peas, radishes, spinach, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, yellow squash, and tons of lettuce and greens!

The neat thing about it is that you don't know exactly what you'll be getting that week, so it's always a fun surprise! And, even more awesome is that you get foods you may not typically eat or, if you are like us, possibly something you've never had. Which does present the issues of "well, how do I cook this?" or "what am I gonna make with this?" - but I think that's really the joy of it! One example of that for us was getting swiss chard. While I have seen and heard of swiss chard, I had never tried it or attempted to cook it. But Logan gave cooking it a whirl, and it was really pretty yummy!

Oh, and Spiral Path also includes several recipes for the specific food we get each week. Bonus!

Overall it's really a great opportunity to support a local family farm while getting extremely fresh organic produce delivered to you each week, and for a reasonable cost. How can you beat that? Plus, it shortens my time at the grocery store, which if you know me at all, is a huge plus!

A hand written strawberries sign.

The awesome thing about it too, is that they have Open Farm Days, which are, just as they sound, days when they open the farm up to their CSA members to come and have fun - you can pick your own fresh fruit, veggies and herbs straight from the plant, have the opportunity to see the fields where your organic produce is grown, buy other goodies from other local vendors (like meats, cheeses and breads), and of course experience a little taste of farm life. Not to mention, they also make it fun for the kids!

We, of course, went to an Open Farm day several weeks back with my sister and brother-in-law and our niece. Here's a bunch of photos from our day at the farm!

Isabella planting herbs.

Valerie and Isabella picking strawberries.

Ann Marie and Isabella with a full basket of strawberries!

Logan and Valerie with our basket of strawberries.

View of us walking by the sugar snap pea plants.

Close-up of the sugar snap peas.

Shot of the bread vendor.

Well, thanks for letting me share! And, if you aren't already, I would totally suggest becoming a CSA member! For a local CSA in your area check out www.localharvest.org!

Our Big Purchase!

We took a little break from publishing blog posts while we were out of town visiting family in Boston for a few days. Anyway, now that we are back, we’d like to get back in the swing of keeping you up to date on the happenings around here with us, our home and our design studio. We have quite of bit of news to catch you up on, but we'll do so over the next few posts. Today, we wanted to share with you just one new thing (but it's a big thing) - our recent big purchase! While it isn’t a new design find for our home, it was definitely a similar hunt and ultimately a design meets function decision.

It was actually very helpful for our recent trip to Boston. Can you guess what it is?

Well, after living in New York City without a vehicle, when we moved to our new little city, we needed wheels to get around and we needed them quick! So, as luck would have it, Logan’s cousin was selling his car and, for a great price and instant mobility, we made a deal and bought a several year old 4-door Saturn.

Although this car may not have been our first choice, or even our style, it did the trick and served us well over the last year or so. But, it was definitely time to let that car go, and look into getting something newer and more ‘us’.

So, car shopping we went. We had a checklist of what we were looking for which narrowed our search right off the bat. Here’s a snippet of our wish list.

  • A compact SUV – to be able to haul our good finds home (or to clients homes), instead of always borrowing someone else’s bigger vehicle or having things delivered.
  • With these standards – 4 door, automatic, 4WD, moon roof, etc.
  • With exceptional quality – drives well, holds value, great safety features, etc.
  • With these features – AUX input for rocking out to our iPod tunes, fold down seats to make plenty of room to haul stuff, a roof rack to haul even more stuff (for road trips, etc.), and lots of well-designed storage.
  • That is in some way environmentally friendly – low emissions, good gas mileage, etc.
  • In a neutral, yet stylish color – this is the vehicle we use for work, as well as personal, so it’s got to be in keeping with StudioVB’s brand.
  • So, after looking at several different makes and models, we ended up deciding on the Honda CR-V. It covered everything on our wish list, and we are big fans of Honda’s (we had a sad goodbye to our stylish and trusty Honda Civic when we moved to NYC), so we are glad to have one back in the family!

    Here’s a pic of the new ride!

    Photo of a 2011 Honda CR-V

    Yep, that’s a pic from the manufacturer – I wanted to take snapshots of our actual car, but this weather put a damper on that idea. So, as soon as we get a sunny dry day, I’ll take a few shots to show off our new beauty and the cool features she has! And yes, it's a she - but we're still deciding on her name. =) Any name ideas, feel free to shoot them our way. Then, we'll introduce you to her personally in an upcoming post!

Versatile Veggies

Like many of you, I’m sure, Valerie and I attended a Super Bowl get together on Sunday. We went to my mom and stepdad’s house where we enjoyed good food and good company, emphasis on the food, of course.. haha : ) As with most of our family shindigs we all pitch in and bring something to share. This time, Valerie and I were assigned veggies. So, instead of just bringing your normal veggie tray (which we did for those who don’t like change), we also stole a delicious idea from one of our friends and made this:

Football shaped dinner rolls with dip and vegetables on top.


You might recall seeing something similar from our previous post about our potluck just before the holidays. We used the same recipe (available at pillsbury.com) as our friends did, however, we just changed the shape of the rolls to look like a football. It was as delicious as I remember it and quite a crowd pleaser!

See our process below:

Chopped vegetables on cutting board.

Baked dinner rolls in the shape of a football.

Mixing bowl of spreadable vegetable dip.

Dinner rolls with vegetable dip on top.

Vegetables placed on dinner rolls to look like a football.

Football shaped dinner rolls with vegetables on top.

Football shaped dinner rolls with dip and vegetables on top.

Close up of veggies.

So, as you can see, this is an easy and fun way to mix things up, and can be created for any event by simply changing the shape. For example, with Valentine’s Day coming up, you lovebirds who want to show your sweetie how you really feel, try making this in the shape of a heart!

Let’s hear about some of the tasty foods you shared at your Super Bowl parties!

And, for those Packers fans out there, congrats! For the Steelers fans, good try and good game! And, for the fans of any other teams, well, better luck next year : )

Ahh, the little things!

Hey! So, this is my first post. Valerie has been so diligent with posting (and having a great time doing it) that it has allowed for me to focus on a few other things while she types away. However, it’s time I get involved! Right now, Valerie is knee deep in an new design project, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to get my feet wet in the world of blogging and say hello. We are really excited about this blog and sharing our thoughts, feelings, ideas, inspirations, projects, and so on.

One of the many things that Valerie excels at, but I’m finding I have a hard time with, is knowing what, and what not, to blog about. In everything we do, she sees a blog opportunity. But, on the other hand, I'm not so sure you would want to hear about the turkey sandwich and diet coke I had for lunch. Therefore, I think I’ve been waiting for something huge to come along to share with the world : )

However, through this mini-struggle, and more specifically, throughout our everyday lives, I’ve learned that it’s not about the large seemingly profound things, but actually more about the little things.

So, something I’m going to be focusing on is remembering how important the little details are and how amazing it is to find beauty and inspiration in the smaller, or less world-changing and earth-shattering, things. Given this, I came across something small, (actually two small things) this week worthy of sharing in this blog post.

Our two cats silhouetted in the window.

So, I’m curious. What inspires you? What tiny thing, object, etc. made you smile today?