My Birthday Week

I just love celebrating special days surrounded by little kids. All week, there has been whispering and planning and little scurrying feet running around gathering supplies for secret projects. The girls and John made my birthday so special. Ginger was sad that it was a school day on my birthday, but kindergarten is a pretty fun place to be on a birthday.

IMG_3876John asked Ginger what she wanted to give me for my birthday and she said a book, since I love books. He asked her what kind of a book and she suggested a craft book. How thoughtful! She got me a soap making book and train stickers (that she insisted I share with her). Ruby made me a fabric covered book that she and John bound together. She included a sweet dedication that is so touching. She worked really hard on this. John bought me the most awesome bag from Irenes’ made by Appetite. I just love it.

I got to chaperone with Ruby’s class on their field trip to the pumpkin patch.  The next day, I took my own class to a different pumpkin patch where I got to drive the hayride tractor out to the field! On the bus with Ruby, we sat with one of her new friends. They whispered and giggled the whole way there, it was too cute.

IMG_3698It was an amazingly beautiful week full of sweet small moments. I am a lucky girl.

Pumpkin Patch!

IMG_3625This has been the most incredible fall! We are in peak leaf season right now. Every view, even in a parking lot, is breathtaking. It makes me so giddy! I love fall and feel so lucky to live in a place with fall color.

IMG_3615This weekend we visited “our” farm, Gathering Together, for a CSA member pumpkin harvest celebration. It was sunny, about 60 and I was so excited. They welcomed us with freshly made potato donuts, hot apple cider (from a friend’s farm – La Mancha – the best!), chips and house made salsa, coffee, and house-made wine! We saw a bunch of friends, including one of my students. 🙂 Then we gave ourselves a little farm tour (we didn’t wait for the farmer to give us the hayride), walked out to the huge pumpkin patch and hunted around for just the right ones.

IMG_3618It was the perfect day.

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Shop Update

I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently if I’m keeping La Petite Vie open. Yes! I’m attempting to juggle teaching kindergarten, being a patient and mindful Mama, AND making soap. I know this sounds crazy, but I really love what I’ve created with La Petite Vie and want to continue. Plus, it helps me take care of myself – I’m surrounded by bath products. 🙂 Keeping all that in mind, I would shop early for the holidays. If its as busy as it was last year, I won’t be able to rush orders.

New scents in the shop:

IMG_3568The fresh scent of ginger is balanced in an original blend of essential oils to create a woody, sweet, spicy scent that men and women love.

IMG_2718Gravity was so named for it’s sweet heady rose scent that is grounded by woody vetivers and cedarwood oils. Just when you start to lose yourself in the floralness of this soap, the earthy base notes bring you back to reality. And, it’s on sale right now!

IMG_3549After making the Little Bee Balm, one of the shop owners I work with suggested I make the balm in her favorite scent (and one of my best selling soaps): lemongrass rosemary. Applying these balms is a daily ritual I love and I can’t get enough of this one. The lemongrass rosemary balm will be popular, I’m sure.

Enjoy!

 

 

bookworms

As I type, Ruby is reading a chapter book to herself in bed, Ginger is picture reading (with lots of memorized phrases from the book) in her bed, John is flipping through a magazine on the couch and I am willing myself to finish this post before I check out the new books I brought home from the library today. We are definitely a family of readers and I couldn’t be prouder!

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Lounging at the library

Creating a cozy book nook while I unpack my classroom

Creating a cozy book nook while I unpack my classroom

Snuggling up to read with Richard Scarry

Snuggling up to read with Richard Scarry

We have consciously made reading and books of all kinds accessible to the girls from a very young age and built reading into all kinds of routines in our days. It calms, it connects, it makes us laugh. I’m so grateful we can all share it together.

Etsy Shop Love: Alice Nightingale

Vintage-inspired Alice Nightengale’s shop is full of gorgeous clothes that I would love to own. The shop photography is inspiring as well. Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade (70’s? Really? So not my style) and shopping in Alice Nightingale confirms it.

il_570xN.319741174The Maude Dress is the first item I saw, through twitter, and I was quickly smitten with the shop. This photo reminds me of Funny Face, so of course, I love it.

il_570xN.399338230_n4kaThis adorable watercolor purse is so cheery! Just perfect for the fall, yes?

il_570xN.436945950_ere8I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a winter coat you love. You practically live in it and its so nice to get compliments on something that is covering up the rest of your clothes. The silhouette of the Nancy Winter coat is flattering and the Peter Pan collar is so sweet.

il_570xN.390371473_meg0The June blouse is paired perfectly with the Belle skirt in this photo. I’m not sure if I could pull off quite so glamorous a look in a rowboat, but maybe for a summer date night?

Be sure to check out their swimwear – the watercolor apple print appears again! What do you think? Could you pull off these vintage looks in your everyday life?

All photos by Alice Nightingale – click to visit.

Portland (kid-free!)

John and I recently celebrated our 1o year anniversary and traveled for the first time by ourselves since having babies. Portland is one of my absolute favorite U.S. cities. If you have not been, hop on a plane right now and go! This is the perfect time to visit.

Food

One of the things John and I were most excited about was eating. Portland has some incredible restaurants and while most of them are kid-friendly, we could be a little more adventurous, wait in longer lines, and order whatever we wanted because we didn’t have to share with little people who can be picky. 🙂

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Our first stop for dinner was the recently-opened Grassa, because our friend, Ian, is the chef there! And also, because he hand-makes pasta and makes amazing food. Grassa lived up to the hype and was delicious. We loved watching the pasta being made while listening to records.

Broder for breakfast has been on our list of places to go for a long time. We tried once before, but had the girls with us and couldn’t wait in line (there almost always is a long one on the weekend). Yum!

Several friends highly recommended tapa restaurant Toro Bravo (another restaurant with a usually-lengthy wait) where the shrimp was incredible.

Luce was insanely good. This tiny restaurant was absolutely adorable and the food was divine. I felt like I was in Italy again.

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Of course, you must visit Salt and Straw – the famous ice cream shop. It was as delicious as we had heard; so good in fact that we went twice.

Coffee/Drinks

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Albina Press is a friendly grungy coffee shop that we have loved for years.

John recently went to a conference in Portland and visited Secret Society, where he couldn’t wait to take me back to on this trip.

I found a little champagne bar called Ambonnay with a friendly owner and warm space, conveniently located next to Olympic Provisions that I loved.

Fun

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We wandered the Portland Art Museum, leisurely, for hours. We were lucky enough to catch the Cyclepedia exhibit (John was so excited). I was entertained by the preschool class on field trip there (and even more so by the parent chaperones attempting to keep the preschoolers’ hands off the bikes). We also caught the Gaston Lachaise exhibit, (a French sculptor – we had the best timing!)

Of course, we wandered Powell’s for ages and found some adorable drawing books we bought the girls.

We strolled for a bit around Mt. Tabor Park (an ancient volcano right in Portland) until I got blistered too badly and had to go back to the car and change shoes for our antiquing trip through Sellwood.

 

Just a sampling of our favorites from our trip to get you started on yours! Bon Voyage!

Big Changes

Summer is in full-swing here. Ruby is out of school (a first-grader now!). We’ve had lots of sunny warm days and we’re all gearing up for big things to come this fall.

First day of kindergarten

First day of kindergarten

Last day of K - I think she's grown up a bit, yes?

Last day of K – I think she’s grown up a bit, yes?

This kid will be going to preschool.

IMG_2901(hopefully she won’t break too many hearts)

AND, I will be going back to teaching! A half-time kindergarten teaching position opened up in our school district, so I applied, went through an intense interview process including teaching a lesson to kindergarteners I’d never met before while the hiring committee of seven people observed (yikes!), and got the job! I’m so excited and proud.

It’s going to be a biiiig adjustment for all of us this fall and I’m a little nervous about that (moms, any advice on balancing working outside the home, taking care of your own little ones, the house, and yourself???) but in the meantime, I’m going to soak up as much of this as possible:

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Happy Summer!