6/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

5/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

4/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

3/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

2/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

1/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Field Trip

Eleanor's class went on a field trip to Benton Family Farms and I was able to go with them. The kids got to learn about bees, brush goats, and shear a sheep. They took a tractor ride to pick out pumpkins, and played in a hay bale maze. I loved being able to watch Eleanor interact with her friends and teachers as she confidently led me through her world. 

first day of school 2015

eleanor woke up this morning and ran into our room with the biggest smile on her face. it's back to school! her first day of the second year of pre-k and this year her best friend goes there with her!

first day of school '15
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i'm so proud of my big girl.

Eleanor Faye turns 4

For Eleanor's 4th birthday we mailed August and Luna, her cousin in Belgium, princess pajamas and an invitation to a royal sleepover. The morning of her birthday she had a virtual party with Luna, both of them wearing their nightgowns while giggling at each other over Skype. We had our traditional birthday pancakes and a dance party in the living room before Eleanor and August got dressed up for a tea party at the Bonbonerie. It was the perfect day for my little lady.

St. Augustine 2015

we had only just arrived back in cincinnati from hawaii before i decided to make the solo drive down for our annual trip to florida. it was worth it!

first day

first day of pre-k

first day of pre-k

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first day of pre-k

today was the beginning of something big. today was eleanor's first day of half day preschool. it is such a huge milestone for her and us. it's the beginning of her creating her own life and adventures in the world outside of what we control.

we dropped her off this morning and she didn't even turn around. she was basically like, "I got this mama." meanwhile I drove away crying. she was ready for school, I am sure of that, and I know that she will thrive in the montessori environment that we chose for her.

almost as soon as we pulled away, felix said, "where's eleanor?" this transition may be the most difficult for him. all morning I thought about what she may be doing, who she was meeting, and what she was thinking about it all.

when we picked her up her teacher came out to say that she was so sweet and had a great day. she said that it was as if eleanor had always been there. my heart is so full and proud. when eleanor saw me she smiled and waved and climbed into the car immediately speaking of a new friend. she then asked if felix missed her and if he cried. he told her, "yeah." and then as we drove home she said, "so, what did you guys talk about while I was at school?"

I love you eleanor faye and am so very proud and honored to be your mama. here is to the next chapter buttercup.

scoot

we bought e a scooter for her birthday, pink of course. she took it out for a test in the driveway the other night and she's a natural.

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a third birthday party

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our little eleanor turned three yesterday and we had a fiesta to celebrate complete with a taco bar and diy pinatas. it was so nice to see her and so many other little people playing in our backyard (just what we envisioned when we chose our house). it was a wonderful day with family and friends! at the end when i was laying with her in bed i asked her if she had a good day and what her favorite part was. eleanor answered, "it was great. my favorite was playing with all of my friends." then mama cried.

the e and diamond pinantas were made from this diy. eleanor's flower crown was made from this tutorial. eleanor's dress is from here. the papel picado flags were found here.

highfield discovery garden

highfield discovery garden

highfield discovery garden

highfield discovery garden

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highfield discovery garden

highfield discovery garden

highfield discovery garden

sunday's are our family day and this past one we decided to try something new and headed to the highfield discovery garden. ten years ago i used to meet my old roommate at the park where the discovery garden is located to hike its beautiful paths but i never knew this amazing place existed. there was a fairy garden, a treehouse, a frog and toad pond, a butterfly garden, a vegetable garden, a scent garden, and a train. the kids had so much fun, pumping water into buckets, using collected rain water to "make it rain" on the plants, and eleanor even experienced her first tea party complete with costumes. at the end of our time there we were able to pick some of the veggies from the vegetable garden. eleanor pulled a carrot and beet straight from the ground, picked green beans, and cut a bunch of swiss chard. we definitely need to put in some raised beds at the house since she's been asking ever since if she can eat the vegetables. i can't wait to take them back!

roasted strawberry frozen yogurt pops

frozen yogurt pops

last year on a, "we don't have a kitchen and i am desperate to cook something", whim i bought these mini popsicle molds. they sat on a shelf somewhere in their box until one day in the depth of winter while in a cleaning fit i rediscovered them. we opened the box and eleanor was so excited. i told her that it was way too cold for popsicles but that we would make them all summer long. i made good on that promise yesterday with homemade roasted strawberry frozen yogurt pops. besides the fact that making ice cream with kids is adorable and fun this was the best damn frozen yogurt i've had and eleanor couldn't have been happier because they were pink and, "pink is my favorite color!" (which by the way totally freaks me out but is said with the best 3 year old voice inflection)

frozen yogurt pops

frozen yogurt pops

frozen yogurt pops

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frozen yogurt pops

roasted strawberry frozen yogurt pops

the night before making set 1 quart of plain whole milk yogurt over a sieve lined with cheesecloth inside of a bowl. cover and refrigerate overnight.

roasted strawberries
-container of strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
-1/3 c. sugar
-3 tbsp. lemon juice

preheat the oven to 375 degrees. mix the berries with the sugar and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. puree in a blender or food processor. add the lemon juice and stir. cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

frozen yogurt base
-1 1/2 c. whole milkmilk
-2 tbsp. cornstarch
-4 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 c. heavy cream
-2/3 c. sugar
-1/4 c. brown rice syrup
-1 1/4 c. strained yogurt

mix 3 tbsp. of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and make a slurry. whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. fill a large bowl with ice and water.

combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and brown rice syrup in a 4 quart saucepan. bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. return the mixture to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. remove from the heat.

gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. add the yogurt and blend well. stir in the roasted strawberry puree. pour the mixture into a ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag into the ice bath. let stand until cold, about 30 minutes.

pour the frozen yogurt base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker (i use the ice cream attachment for my kitchenaid) and use according to machine directions.

use a spatula to fill popsicle cups with frozen yogurt and lick the spatula often! freeze for at least 4 hours. enjoy! (no judgement if you eat more than 1...i sure did)

in the garden

my mom took eleanor to the nursery a few weeks ago and together they picked out plants for our garden. before the rain came today we planted them. a couple of tomato plants, eggplant, peppers, a few herbs, and a couple flowers are now all in pots on our patio and eleanor couldn't be happier. she especially loves watering them and felix especially loves the dirt.

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couldn't resist the pic of her in her underwear gazing proudly at her garden.

little style: zara

brothers+sisters

brothers+sisters

brothers+sisters

brothers+sisters

the brothers + sisters collaboration between zara and mokkasin, pinksugarland, and oh joy blogs is so lovely and inspiring. zara is one of my favorite places to find clothes for the kids and these pics of beautiful children in cute, hip clothes is over the top. living in europe i walked there weekly to pick up something for either eleanor or myself so when they launched the u.s. website a few years ago i was ecstatic. their spring lookbook has loads of cute stuff for the littles and felix received quite the box of goodies for his birthday from his belgian family. the warmer temperatures a few days ago were such a tease and gave me such hope for spring and seeing my babes running around without coats and bare legs. i've got my eye on a few things for each of them and it's making it easier to deal with the fact that a day after 75 degrees it was snowing.

for eleanor: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

for felix: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

a first birthday

our little man is officially one year old today but we celebrated him yesterday with a little brunch with family and close friends. there were bloody mary's, rosemary mimosas, a sausage and swiss chard strata (attempted to remind us all of better days when fork heart knife was open and all our sunday breakfast dreams came true), coffee rubbed bacon, cheesy grits, and a new york crumb cake. there was of course, coffee and a banana cake for a banana loving one year old. we ate and celebrated the life of a boy who has helped make this last year my very favorite yet.

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

a first birthday

1st birthday inspiration

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i can't even believe that we are here already. in just three weeks my little man is going to be one year old! i was thinking this morning about the month of february 2013. i spent that month anxiously awaiting the arrival of this handsome fellow and now here we are one year into our life together. i am so grateful for him and his beautiful easy going spirit.

we are going to celebrate him with a small gathering of our close friends and family in a few weeks and here is some of my inspiration for his little party.