10 Things I Love Sunday

We’ve had quite a few fun family weeks in a row with my parents stopping through town on their way to and from visiting my sister (and her new baby!) in Atlanta and my brother and sister-in-law coming through town right after that. It’s such a delight to have my family spend time with Lola and watch her grow as she learns new things and gets bigger with every visit. If you have kids and live hours away from your family, then you know how precious those times can be. Here are a few other things that I’m loving right now:

1. Can I just say right off the bat that the thing I love most this week is that it’s finally daylight saving so we get an extra hour of light at the end of the day—YAY!!! The time change thing definitely messes with baby sleep schedules for a bit, but it’s worth it if it’s going to be lighter longer …

2. AGGGHHH! That unicorn basket is perfect for toy storage—definitely something I would love to look at everyday, so I think I’ll actually keep it in the den to hold our nightly toy cleanup. It’s always a big win for me when I can find functional baby things that are also beautiful to look at and this guy is adorable!

3. Todd made this brownie mix last weekend, and while I’m not even that much of a brownie person, it was delicious!! It’s also egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, so it’s a good option if you are having a party where people have some food restrictions or if you avoid those things yourself.

4. This phone may be enough incentive to get a landline again at the house (or would at least be a perfect office/dorm phone for places that still need an old school connection).

5. Can I get a YES/NO poll on “flatforms”? I feel that seems like a good way to get a little height without a heel, but are they clumsy to walk in or just like a flat shoe? I’ve had my eye on these but I’ve been hesitant to try them.

6. I’ve been switching up my coffee routine to try out my stovetop espresso maker, and I have to say it’s now my favorite way to make coffee! I steam and warm some almond milk while it’s brewing to make more of a latte with it and I love the thick rich flavor that this brewing method creates. It took me a few tries of experimenting with the heat level and amount of coffee in the coffee basket to find what I like, but medium-high heat for six minutes (I have a glasstop stove) with two full scoops (I think it’s a 10 gram scoop like this) seems to be just right for me. I’ve found best results with buying pre-ground espresso power that they sell in tins at the grocery store with the coffee, but I want to try it with a better quality organic espresso and see how the taste compares.

7. I’ve been pinning a bunch of art lately because I’d like to switch out some prints in the house and simple but graphic prints like this always catch my eye.

8. This sandwich is my current lunch obsession. It’s healthy and easy to make but also soooo delicious. Sometimes eating healthy (and mostly plant-based for us) can feel a bit “less fun” than the junk food versions, so I’m trying to store up a collection of recipes that we genuinely love and really look forward to.

9. I’ve been dreaming of a bedroom refresh and I love a new set of sheets every so often to mix it up. I really like pattern mixing with a printed duvet, so these could be really fun!

10. Can’t wait to hang this from a tree in our backyard this summer! I’m already sure it’s going to be a big hit!

I’m currently debating whether or not to have a small or bigger first birthday party for Lola in May. First birthdays are so special in a lot of ways, but it’s also the season in her life when she has no idea what a birthday is so maybe I should save myself extra work where I can? The decorating part of me wants to go big with a fun theme (rainbow maybe?) and invite a bunch of people over, buuuut I’ve done that stuff enough to know what a big job it all really is, so I can’t decide which is best. What would you do?? xo. Laura

  • Oh, that baby made me stop in my tracks.
    Enjoy, enjoy. That period of life goes by so fast.
    Wishing you all the best as I go back to reading your posts quietly.

  • Fun links! In our family, first birthdays are a casual close-family-only affair – that way everyone gets to have fun with no stressing out! Save the fun themes for elementary age when they will really love/remember/appreciate it!
    PS. You can always set up fun photo-ops!

  • So the shoes: I had a pair a lot like these years ago (okay, it was the 70s) and I loved them. Mine had a suede wedge and the front straps crisscrossed, but the proportions were the same. I was thinking, yesterday in fact, about those shoes and how much I loved them, so it was fun to see them again. Were they comfortable? I can only say that I wore them a lot and I don’t usually tolerate uncomfortable clothing. Now I’m looking at these seriously myself.

  • Flatforms all the way! I’ve lived in mine over the Australian summer. They are a little strange to walk in at first but after a while you won’t notice at all! Xxx

  • First…flatforms are soooo comfy. I love mine! Super versital.
    We did a big first birthday and now we do a special outing with just family. Eventually we might have her invite one or two friends but our focus is to provide some good family bonding and memory making opportunities. As our little ones get older we’ll let them have a say in picking where we go, right now since they’re too little we pick a place that fits with there current interests. 😀

  • I LOVE flatforms! They can definitely get a bit “stompy”, but are very comfortable. I have a really tall pair where the front platform tip is rounded, and they are so much fun to walk in. It feels like walking in roller skates…but without the slipping.

  • We had a huge party for our daughter (also Lola!) when she turned one in December – and I was 8 months pregnant with our second. Just do it! She only has one first birthday and you never get to change your mind after the fact. First birthdays are for the parents anyway!

    • Yes, lots of times! Lola was actually Nova’s first American friend since we saw her their first day back. They are so cute together!


  • “Not that much of a brownie person” … my brain can’t compute that. It’s as impossible as the square root of negative one to me.

  • We have to have a landline for our internet connection to be set up, so I went out and bought myself a retro red lips phone! We never use it and never will, but I probably would have bought it even if we didn’t have to! Retro phones make pretty cute decor pieces.

  • Hey Laura,

    Smaller is better, you can still decorate and do all the cute things!
    You’ll be able to enjoy yourself more and take lots of pics!

  • I’ve never worn flatforms. Platform “running shoes” were the rage when I was a grade school kid in the 90s (Hello Spice Girls) and I do have a couple platform sandals in my summer closet but I’m more of a classic look for work and flip-flops for casual wear (if I could live barefoot all my life I would). They look nice though. As for the first birthday, it’s really up to what you want to do really. She won’t remember and if you like making extravagant parties, you now have an excuse. But obviously having the family over is always a good priority. We have two little-ish ones. The oldest will be 7 this summer and the youngest is turning 5 in two weeks. First birthdays were close family oriented. Now the oldest seems to have crazy birthday parties every weekend for friends in his class. They always go to “party” places like play structure centers, laser tag and bowling alleys with pizza and cakes at 3 in the afternoon which makes them too full for dinner when they get home but starving when it’s time for bed. Home parties are just not the norm anymore it seems. We refuse to pay hundreds of dollars to have 30 kids playing at “funhaven” in germ infested ball pits (worst part is we have one of the highest household income compared to most of the other parents of the school and they all seem to be willing to dish out 300 bucks for their kid’s birthday party and the kids always come home with a “goodie” bag of crap that just accumulates at our home!!!). All this to say, we prefer doing “family” birthdays in our home and the kids are still young enough to enjoy it anyway. We have their favourite meal on hand (pizza) and they get stuff they actually want or need from family members. No silly trinket bag necessary, no ridiculous sums of money spent, just fun deco at home with people we love and who love them. I mean, the oldest doesn’t even remember the “crazy fun” birthday party he’s attended last week. He comes home begging to have the same thing for his birthday but give him two days and he doesn’t recall a thing. Feels more like parents are trying to outdo each other in that school of ours.

  • First birthdays are so fun! I did a party but kept the group somewhat small so it didn’t overwhelm my little one, and kept a short timing to still fit nicely between naps. I loved it being at home so he could sleep the minute he needed to, or we could step into his room if he needed a break. I was at a 1st birthday where they didn’t do an audience to open gifts- they’d grab the guest & his/her gift for the guest of honor & parents could open & chat. It felt like a little 1:1 time. It was cute and meant they weren’t trying to keep a rooms attention span!

  • We did a big, but casual, party for his first birthday. It takes a village and that was a small way to thank our village. We did a birthday brunch in our backyard to beat the heat and it worked out great, the birthday kid was in a great mood and everyone was gone by naptime.

    Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be perfect. <3

  • We have a Christmas Eve baby so birthdays are a bit difficult to get our heads around. We live far away from family and move often due to the military so birthdays so far have been intimate family affairs (the family who will be around for Christmas anyway). For the 1 year birthday we kept it super casual, because really, it’s more about celebrating the accomplishment of being parents for a whole year! You can kick back and celebrate all you’ve been through and all the growing you’ve done! Littles are so happy with simple things like balloons and cupcakes at this stage anyway. Plus, our little lady wasn’t used to big gatherings or crowds so it was nice to keep things relaxed for her too so she didn’t stress out and have any meltdowns from too many people, presents, excitement etc. Anyway, this is just our experience so if a big party and decorations feel right for you and your family totally go for it! I look forward to finding creative ways to celebrate as she gets older, but have enjoyed two intimate and casual birthdays so far and like having less to stress about (especially when the next day is Christmas for us).

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