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there was shopping and holding hands and ducking into little stores as we filled my crave of the city life.

the city was alive in the late afternoon and it was the best kind of day. bar doors were propped open with music and chatter spilling out onto the street. a life-size chess game was going on in one of the squares. people were out and about.

there was breakfast on the front porch. trips to the grocery store. the first pickings from our cilantro plant that we made into fresh salsa for our tacos. and there was a movie date-night in.

other than missing my girl like crazy, it was good. things were so, so good.


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trike riding is a big thing these days.

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looking all too grown up.

a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.

find more from this project here.


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as the sun was setting over a cheesy tourist spot nestled between our state and the next, we dropped L off with my mom and sister. she was more than excited to go to grandma's house and as much as i miss her already, i am excited for a little down time.
this parenting bit is strange at times. i am looking forward to some true me-time. i am excited about the fact that i'll have long stretches of time to edit photos and work on all the changes i want for the blog. i've got plans of finding all of our local thrift shops and maybe heading down to the beach one evening with M. but while i am happy about the possibilities this week holds, i'm still craving my girl. i found the tears hitting my pillow the night before last. does letting her go ever hurt less? it's just a week, this time. but one day, i have to let her go and find her way. will it ever get easier?
so little girl, live your heart out at grandma's house. run around with the dogs, play in the dirt. go shopping with your aunts and let them spoil you beyond belief. soak up all the attention and love. and when you are done, i'll be waiting for you. hopefully a bit more patient and refreshed, but i'll always be here for you.

new look, new name.

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my girl is leaving for her grandparents house later today so i've got laundry and packing to tackle this morning.
but i wanted to pop in and let you all know that i am changing up the blog a little. i wanted to go with something a little less used, a fresh new look and i wanted it to be something that represented the things that i write about. 

the everyday is what i write about. sometimes i post a recipe we love or a funny clip i came across. i'll post about things around the web that i am loving. i write about what inspires me. but mostly, i write about our daily life. the comings and goings of my little family. because this blog is for me. and its for them. and i want to look back and remember the little details of our life together. 

so the blog will now be called the everyday. same url, different name. 

i hope you'll keep on keepin' on with us! 

and since google friend connect is on it's way out, you can find us on bloglovin'.

stay tuned for some fresh new content, DIYs and more pictures of my terribly cute kiddo.

ps. the picture was taken at pearl harbor in march. and i promise to blog more about our hawaii trip soon!


by nature, i'm not a nature girl. i've always chosen books and cozy spots over dirt and bugs. but i have to admit, the idea of bringing the indoors to the outdoors lately is making me change my ways.

lia, on the other hand, loves nature. dirt, flowers, water, rainbows, mr sunshine. those are some of her favorite things. and however long we stay in this house, i want her to have delicious memories of it. i want her to remember the parties we held in the backyard and the mornings we ate breakfast on the porch. i want to instill her her the importance of our earth and how fun it is to plant things and watch them grow.

a warm breeze, crunchy grass between my toes, watching airplanes "scratch" the sky with my girl. they are becoming some of my favorite things. they block out the hustle and bustle of every day life. deadlines, unfinished projects, messy kitchens, tantrums and bad days. they are becoming such a part of the ebb and flow of daily life for us.

and lately i've been leaving the doors and windows open as much as i can. savoring the way the sun streams in across the hardwood floors. i've got plans of neon-dipping some pots, planting a small succulent garden and this week we're making something special just for L in the backyard. there just may be strawberries, pink flowers and her own space.

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but this weekend, we tackled the front yard. ironically, i didn't realize it was earth day until we were mid-way into our project. when we first moved in, we had okay landscaping. i didn't hate it, but i didn't love it. and all we knew for sure was that we loved the tree but the pine straw had to go. and color, we needed color!

we dug up everything, raked it clean, transplanted some bushes to other parts of the yard and made the flower bed smaller. i am impatiently waiting for the new plants to mature so i can know if i LOVE love it. it looks and feels much simpler and cleaner now. i still wish we had found some bigger greener bushes i liked but i am really happy with the finished project. now we are just waiting on sod for the side of the porch and the project is done.

m and i are not green thumbers. we're closer to black thumbers. i've killed about 3ish plants in the past month. it's a learning process and we decided to dive in and DIY it.

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other than being chilly and windy, our earth day was good. i'm sunburned and all of my bones ache but we pulled off a major DIY project and thats pretty awesome. how was your earth day?


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nap times are kind of rare these past few weeks so seeing her sleep on the sofa in the afternoon is a treat. 

 a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.

find more from this project here.


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we ate breakfast on the porch this morning, me and my girl. eggs, turkey sausage and fresh air. M and i have been trying to learn about tending to our yard and how to plant things and dreaming of a garden. it's been making me crave nature. i think starting the day outside instead of cooped up in our house is a good start to any day.

and the rest of today was full of laundry and cleaning up and taking a little girl to the potty a lot. she's really getting the hang of it, except for the #2 part.

some happy moments from our day:
baking minnie mouse cookies.
no potty accidents!
the handsome husband coming home from work just a little early.
it's friday, yay!
the shortest rain shower. just enough to water the grass.
finding time to read a few pages from this book.
and picking up some new plants for the front porch.

i think this weekend will be quiet and low-key. we need to finish cleaning the garage and stain & put together the adirondack chairs. and i am hoping for a quiet movie night in with my love.

happy weekending!

potty training | how we're doing it.

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so we're almost exactly a week into potty training again and i don't want to curl up in a ball and disappear. it's actually going really well.

this isn't our first attempt. we've tried quite a few times and quit after the first day or two. L is stubborn. and she is very cautious of new situations. AND she wants things her way. she does things on her terms. we struggle with this every day but i never put it together with potty training.

our girl wanted nothing to do with potty training a few weeks ago when we tried. she would sit on the potty for half an hour and then pee the minute she got off of it. we tried rewards, candy, sticker charts - nothing worked. it was frustrating to deal with. i was ready to let her wear diapers forever.

but she's three and we want to do fun things like ballet class and soccer and you need to be potty-trained for those. so i decided last week we were gonna do it. our week was mostly empty so we could stay home all day and work on it.

now she is wearing big-girl undies all day and diapers at bed time. we kind of quit napping during the process because i didn't want her to wear diapers twice a day but we'll figure that out later. we've run a few errands with her in undies and albeit it gets a little crazy running to the restroom - we haven't had an accident in a store yet! and we've only had three accidents in the house. she'll even tell us she has to pee and wait to get to a toilet if she's in diapers in the mornings.

i am no expert but i thought i would share what worked for us. these bloggers did here and here and it helped us!

what worked for us:
- even though i had stocked up on what i thought were L's favorite character undies - i ended up letting her pick out a minnie mouse package and those are what she wears the most. so, i say let them choose.
- my girl loves candy but she seems to think she should have a handful of m&ms vs one and i wanted to stay away from chewy stuff. so i filled up a mason jar with rolls of smarties and they are a big hit. she only gets them when she uses the potty to make them special.
- we LOVE this toilet seat. we tried a couple different toddler potties but we never had success. and i love that this seat helped her get use to a regular toilet so we have no problem in public places. we've got a gray one upstairs and a blue one downstairs.
- BIG rewards. like she gets to take ballet classes so she can twirl like a princess. and she gets to visit grandma's house all by herself.
- we stayed home in undies and t-shirts almost all week long to get the hang of things. we just started adding light and easy layers.
- we don't ask her a billion times a day if she needs to go potty. she doesn't like it and she just tells us no. i had to get over my fear of pee being everywhere and relax. i give her space and she comes to me when she needs to go. the only accidents we've had are poo ones - we're working on that. we had one small pee incident but it was really mine and M's fault - there was a tantrum and we didn't understand her asking to go while she was screaming at us.
- we've braved a few stores with big-girl undies and once she asks to go then we bee-line for a restroom. i hold her on the potty and always bring a few rolls of smarties with me just in case.
- i kept pretty quiet about it on social networks and we didn't even call family. i didn't want to jinx us or overwhelm L.
- we've only had one success with #2 but to encourage her more she gets to pick out a small toy from the "toy drawer" in the kitchen every time she poos in the potty. we stocked up on little things from the $1 section at target to keep it simple.

i realized she needed time to get used to the idea of no more diapers. she needed to be ready all on her own. it's just the way she works and i should have put that together a long time ago. every kid is different with potty training and we had to be patient until we found what worked for us.

we still need to work on going #2 in the potty. we still need to figure out the nap time situation. and work on overnights with no diapers. but i think we're gonna be good.

these tips may work for you or they may not. but i hope they at least inspire you (and me, if i ever need to again!) to trek down this tough stage.


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my brown-eyed girl in awe of something at the zoo.

a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.

 find more from this project here.


hello fresh new week. let's do some hello's instead of a weekending post, inspired by this blog. photos were taken over the weekend on our day trip to the zoo.

hello fever that finally broke! lia got sick over the weekend but thankfully she's back to dragging toys everywhere and being bossy this morning.

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hello potty training that is still going strong. we've had lots of successes and very few accidents! but i'll post more about that later this week.

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hello house that needs to be picked up. after a trip to the zoo and a sick babe, things got a little messy.

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hello neato robot. waking up to clean floors makes me swoon.

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hello handsome husband who celebrated a birthday this weekend. i didn't get a chance to make his birthday dinner or a cake but i'll make up for it today!

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hello grocery list that needs to be made. we're stocked up on some meats but we've got nothing to make meals with them.
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hello tired body and achy shoulder. lia slept in our bed all weekend and this mama never sleeps good when we're sharing the bed with her. i think some cuddles on the sofa are a must today.

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hello spring! the weather is warming up, the sun is shining, we stocked up at home depot this weekend and we're ready to learn a little something about sprucing up our lawn. a little cilantro plant even made it's way home with us!

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hello to all the happy things waiting for us this week!


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i'm finding a few moments in my day to blog while L works on an art project. i am trying to find a balance between doing everything i feel i should be doing as a wife and a mom while still finding the elusive me-time and doing things i love.

feeling: pretty successful the past couple days. my girl who was SO difficult on the potty-front a few weeks ago is finally ready for this big-girl status. it took us both awhile to figure out how to approach the issue and we did a lot of wrong things first but my girl has been wearing big-girl undies and asking to use the potty with almost no accidents since tuesday afternoon. and oddly, she's started calling me ma'am too..

watching: lately i have been craving life to feel the way it did last year. i am crazy, this i know. but i think with a new year and a new dog and a new house, i'm just feeling a little lost. i crave comfort. what i know that i love and what i know makes me happy and feel good. during nap time or after L is in bed, i'll watch reruns of one tree hill. it's good for the soul.

reading: a homemade life. honestly? the recipes in the book aren't anything i am dying to try out but i am eating up the stories behind the recipes. this, this and this are next on my list.

thinking about: lots of projects! things to do around the house and how to spruce up the yard. also: i think i want to write a children's book. i have a love affair with classic children's books and i've got some piece of some story floating around in my head. but could i really be an author?

eating: i finally did some kind of grocery shopping so i've been cooking a bit lately. there's been an easter ham, homemade strawberry cake, pepper steak with arroz con gandules and of course things like pb sammies and cheese sandwiches which is just about all Lia will eat.

looking forward to: a quick trip to florida for the zoo this weekend. and making my guy a strawberry cake for his birthday on sunday.

making me happy: the neato vacuum, teeny little minnie mouse undies in the wash, fresh strawberries, Manny, a clean house, the sun finally peeking out and adirondack chairs on the back patio.

 ps. if you are still following us with google friend connect, don't forget they are going away this summer. the good news is that you can find us on bloglovin' here!


when we lived in new york, we were lucky enough to meet some friends who we consider family now. in the military, it's normal to make friendships quickly because you only get so much time in one place. its also pretty normal to make these amazing friendships but never see each other again. 

lucky for us, our friends are SO amazing they hosted us while we vacationed in hawaii. being around them and their kids felt like the days when we were always at each others houses. when we left new york, their youngest daughter was just a baby and lia was just a year old.

now look at the two of them, at two and three respectively. 

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these pictures were taken the night after we got there. obviously the girls know they were meant to be best friends!


 a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.

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it was one of those days where we just needed to get outside. so she donned pajamas, a coat that's getting a bit too small and a hat that is definitely too small. but we got outside and she was happy so i'd call it a success.

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we call this one the teenage look. it makes my heart ache that she is growing up so fast.

 find more from this project here.

our easter.

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easter came and went and short of buying some glittery shoes and glittery egg dye (because our little one has rightfully deemed herself princess), we kept it all simple. her dress was something she already had, pictures were last minute 'lets run outside before it rains and the sun completely goes away' and lunch was the only thing i put a ton of effort in.

the strawberry cake is my sisters famous recipe. it was a trial run for m's birthday this weekend. the girls in my family love to bake but we all have different styles & my sister's style is to wing it. the cake turned out to be so good that it kind of took on a life all it's own and was half gone by the morning. and by the end of easter, only crumbs were left.

eggs were dyed, chocolate was eaten, baskets were given, the rain held off all day and all things were good.

i hope you had a happy easter too! we're settling into potty training routines, tackling dishes and laundry and planning a zoo trip this week. how about you?