my weekend in pictures.

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{At breakfast on Saturday morning Eloise figured out a new way to eat bagels: with one finger thru the hole!}

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{After Aaron & Ben moved the fence up, it left this little tree right in the middle of the yard, so Aaron moved it up to the otherside of the fence. Slowly but surely we are prepping this new space for raised beds!}

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{Saturday night we were able to get out for an early birthday date night! Musashi’s in Wallingford was just what we needed! Thanks to Jess & Cale for watching Eloise! You can see some of their shenanigans here.}

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{And conveniently Molly Moon’s ice cream was right down the street from dinner, so even though it was cold & a little rainy, ice cream cones were in order!}

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{And we couldn’t have the Andersons over without playing a round of Catan! Jess pulled out a pretty big win!}

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{Date night attire means heels & jewelry. A nice change from my normal toddler-friendly wardrobe.}

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{This afternoon we celebrated little Nora’s first birthday party! Eloise loved the balloons.}

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{And while Eloise & I were out, we just so happened to be in West Seattle to hit up Bakery Nouveau for some French deliciousness. Arguably some of the best French pastries in the city! Breakfast tomorrow is going to be awesome.}

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{Aaron & Ben being goofy on FaceTime tonight. That is Aaron’s face but Ben’s mouth. Eloise thought it was pretty hilarious.}

We had a really fun weekend seeing friends & playing lots of Catan on both Friday & Saturday nights! It was a little colder & rainier than we would have liked, but we got some good work done in the yard & are looking forward to celebrating Aaron’s birthday all week long (his real birthday is on Tuesday!). I am having trouble believing we are approaching the end of May, but am excited about the kick-off of summer. How was your weekend?

M

friday I’m in love.

Welcome back Friday! Did this week fly by for anyone else?! I swear it was just Monday…

{one} UW Research Studies.

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Shortly after Eloise was born, we received an email from a research group at the UW asking if we would want to add Eloise to a pool of babies for future research studies. Of course, we said yes, and she has done like five or six studies! Ranging from hearing tests to robots, it has been really fun to have her be a part of these studies & learn all about what types of theories and studies they are up to down the street at the U. If you are local to Seattle & want to lend your child to a study or two, they are always looking for new participants! Eloise has always seemed interested in the study (or else we wouldn’t keep taking her) & she always gets a toy & $10 (which we put into her savings account) at the end. Plus, such a small world that I ran into a blog follower & local mama with her daughter just this week at a study – hello Maggie & Elizabeth!

{two} Easy Tomato and Tortellini Soup.

Creamy Parmesan Tomato and Spinach Tortellini Soup:

{via Closet Cooking blog}

We have been really good the past year or so about eating dinners at home & probably eat out just once a week (including weekends!) which means that meal planning can be serious business. Since I refuse to make Eloise a separate meal (though she isn’t too picky) I do have to keep in mind that our meals have to work for all of us. I also try to keep at least half of our meals meatless. I try to keep meals simple and often will rotate in a repeat meal each week (I am keeping track of recipes we have liked over on Pinterest) & this Tomato & Tortellini Soup has been in the rotation a few times over the past month. It is SO good & SO simple, especially considering it is a soup from scratch. I serve it with cheesy bread & a side salad (with fruit for Eloise). Plus, it is really good as leftovers. Enough said.

{three} Summer!

'cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year's all about...:

{via Long Distance Loving blog}

We are experiencing some definite spring gloom here in Seattle, but that doesn’t mean summer isn’t right around the corner! Hello Memorial Day weekend (soon)! I have been working hard on the Summer Collection for The Petite Flag Shop so stay tuned. (And there may or may not be a giveaway involved, so check in with the Shop’s Instagram or Facebook late next week. Wink wink.) And, be sure to place your order for Charlotte’s flag and get free shipping!

What are you loving this week?

M

Be sure to check out this month’s Linky Party!

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my weekend in pictures.

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{Up until this weekend we have had absolutely gorgeous sunny weather (like summer in May!) so we have been spending a lot of time outside. Eloise is discovering sidewalk chalk & is a pretty big fan.}

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{On Saturday morning after a quick morning playdate, Aaron & Ben worked on moving our side fence up to the front of the house. We want to protect that front window – which is currently our office – from the street as well as give ourselves some good space for raised beds. I had to run out and rent a jackhammer to help get the fence posts out of the old concrete, & Aaron & Ben seemed to have a pretty good time with it!}

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{Meanwhile Eloise & I hit up Whole Foods to get some sandwiches for lunch. Eloise is super into stickers lately, especially when she is in a shopping cart – thanks Target! – so she was pretty impressed with these huge stickers we got at the deli so we could check out before our sandwiches were ready.}

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{Thin Mints, Scandal, & a sleeping toddler = a great Saturday night!}

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{I have been hitting up Trader Joe’s right after my Sunday afternoon barre class, mostly because it is peony season! Oh those blooms!}

We had a pretty mellow weekend with no real plans except for Aaron to move the fence, which ended up being a success! It was grey, rainy, & a little cold, so any other outdoor plans were foiled, but we managed to keep busy & get a lot of things done inside the house. I have been attempting to do a big spring clean these past few weeks & feel like I am finally making some progress! And we are gearing up for a busy but fun week!

How was your weekend?

M

friday I’m in love.

Welcome back Friday!

{one} Miir’s One Year Anniversary.

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As some of you probably saw over on Facebook and Instagram, Eloise got a new balance bike this week! We are really excited about it since we were already going to buy her one for her birthday. Now we just have to get her a helmet & wait for her to grow a few more inches, since, as you can see, both feet don’t quite touch yet!

And, I also want to give a shout-out to Miir whose one year anniversary party we were at. The company was started by an old friend of mine from home & it has the most amazing mission about philanthropy. Each product that is sold helps fund a project around the world, whether it be digging water wells, or giving children bikes. If you are in need of a new waterbottle, bike, growler, or bag, go check them out!

{two} Eloise & the Tugboat.

Earlier this week Eloise and I headed over to Bellevue to hit up Bellevue Square which houses my very favorite Nordstrom on the planet. I had a few errands to run & I thought we could make a morning of it! Because so much of the time we were out Eloise was stuck in her stroller, we made a special trip to the children’s play area which has it’s own floor in the mall. There are all of these big boat playtoys which Eloise LOVED!

The best part of this story is that I played on the same (or a very similar) tugboat when I was just a little older than she was! Back then, the tugboat was down on the main floor of the mall. Seeing Eloise play on that boat was the coolest! And now, of course, there is an entire fleet of boats to play on, including that ferry boat (the Meydenbauer) which she seemed to like the best!

{three} Love, Peace, and Charlotte Reece.

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{via The Petite Flag Shop}

Our niece Charlotte had a successful surgery to remove the new tumor that was growing on her liver earlier this week. She is still in recovery and has 6 more rounds of chemo to go, but she is doing so well! Earlier this week I launched a special flag for Charlotte in the Shop; 50% of the proceeds will be donated to her Go Fund Me account and each flag will ship for free! Follow along with updates here.

What are you loving this week?

M

Be sure to check out this month’s Linky Party!

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our trip to maui!

three weeks ago, we packed up our bags, boarded a plane, & landed in Maui! it was so, so fun to be there & my mama came along which was so tremendously helpful with Eloise & helped it feel like we were (at times) on an actual vacation! {because, let’s be honest, when you travel with kids, it is a family trip, NOT a vacation}!

this was Aaron’s first trip to Maui, & my mama & I haven’t been since I was 5 or 6, so it was basically new to all of us. we had heard that West Maui as a good location & decided to stay just north of Lahaina town. this was an excellent choice! while we didn’t visit much outside of West Maui, it was perfect for this trip & gave us a really good taste of what Maui had to offer.

before the trip, I did some due diligence & checked out the guidebook Maui Revealed. I am usually not one for guidebooks, but this one came highly recommended by more than one person, so we gave it a shot. it was really comprehensive & helpful with tons of tips. I took a lot of notes & we ended up using quite a few of the tips, so I would recommend it for anyone who is thinking about traveling to Maui. we also got lots of tips from our friends & family about things to do or places to see/eat/visit – thanks everyone!

we have really quickly learned that it is SO much easier to be away from home with Eloise if we have a house, meaning a separate bedroom for her & a kitchen. so we found this pretty great condo on Airbnb which had amazing ocean views, a great lanai, was super quiet, & was within a short driving distance to town.

okay, enough words. here are some lots of pictures from the trip, & then below I have some of our favorite spots!

{we took the light rail to the airport from Husky Stadium & that is Aaron with the car seat on his back!* // WA is insanely beautiful from the air // Eloise had a backpack full of new travel toys & we even got lucky enough to have the middle seat empty so she had her own seat! // but bedtime did not go as planned as Eloise did not want to sleep… two hours later Aaron finally got her to sleep}

*we rented all of the “baby gear” except for the car seat & I would highly recommend that if you are traveling with little ones. we used the Ergo for the airport which allowed us more hands to pull/carry our luggage, & then rented a Pack N Play, an umbrella stroller, a booster seat, & a beach tent. see below for more info on the rentals!

{the biggest banyan tree in the US is in Lahaina & it is awesome! // the ocean views from our condo were breathtaking // there were nice amenities on-site at our condo including a shuffleboard court. Eloise loved it!}

{our condo was just up the hill from Kaanapali Beach so we ventured down there one afternoon // Eloise mostly loved all of the fresh (& expensive!) fruit // ahh, those sunsets!}

{we hit up Kapalua Beach which was just north of our condo a few minutes & it was perfect! it was a pretty small beach, but we were able to set up our little tent & enjoy the beach in the shade. my mama & aaron went snorkeling, & saw some fish & a turtle, though it was a great snorkeling beach. Eloise had only ever been to the beach on the Oregon coast & was obsessed with it! she loved the sand & the waves & kept saying “more more” whenever a wave went out.}

{we had lots of food recommendations, but tried to eat out either just lunch or dinner each day. Local Boys Shave Ice in Lahaina (down by the banyan tree) was super good the first time we had it, & okay the second time. it’s actual shave ice (the ice, not the flavoring) was my favorite! // we also tried Ululani’s Shave Ice which was amazing. the syrups are all handmade from scratch & the mocha add-on on top was terrific! there are a few locations around the island, but the one in Lahaina was super convenient for us, though super packed! // and finally, Star Noodle came highly recommended & it did not disappoint! we went for lunch & ordered family style & everything was delish! we even got our malasada fix (which is a Portuguese donut) with caramel & chocolate dipping sauces.}

{Aaron & I were able to get out early one morning & go on a surfing date. it was SO fun! it was Aaron’s first time, & I hadn’t been surfing in years, so we took a lesson. the breaks were perfect on the south end of Lahaina town (Break Wall, I believe) for us rookies. we were SUPER sore for the next few days though!}

{one day we took a day trip east // we visited Baldwin Beach, had lunch in Paia, & drove thru Makawao (it was super cute, but Eloise had fallen asleep!)}

{Eloise & I got to wear our matching dresses & Salt Water sandals! // we had lots of shave ice on the trip. I had this genius idea on the trip: we still don’t let Eloise have any sugar, sweets, or juice, so whenever we ordered shave ice, we would also order the smallest size for Eloise with just the ice (no flavoring) & a spoon & she LOVED it! it was nice to feel like she was still a part of it without feeling like we were breaking our own rule. // there was this super low chair out on the lanai that Eloise liked to read in & play on. she loves being outside!}

{we did one short hike to the Nakalele Blowhole & it was pretty cool. the terrain down to the ocean was this crazy lava rock that looked like it was hit with acid. and the ocean was so beautiful!}

{we hit up Kapalua Beach for a second time & even though it was raining, we couldn’t complain! there was a gorgeous rainbow that appeared when we first got there, & it was warm rain that came in very short showers. plus, our awesome rental beach tent kept us dry & was the envy of the other beachgoers!}

{we hit up the swimming pool at the condo one afternoon & Eloise is pretty much a fan of the pool. she likes to sit on the steps & splash, & also spin around in the water & play “motor boat, motor boat” which she learned in swim lessons last year // Eloise had a great time with lots of the non-toys at the condo, including this wine box! // we had a few rough nights of sleeping where Eloise would just not go back to sleep & while we don’t ever bring her into our bed during the night at home, we make an exception on vacation. she spent a lot of time tossing & turning around, but finally would go to sleep with us, usually laying right on me!}

{on one of our last days we ventured to the Maui Ocean Center which is the local aquarium & it also did not disappoint! the exhibits were pretty good, especially the big shark tank & tube. we were able to catch the information show with the local diver in the tank with the sharks & the fish which was really, really cool!}

we had the absolute BEST time & it was so lovely to be on Maui. we tried not to be too “scheduled” & found a good balance between relaxing & hanging out, & playing tourist. Eloise really loved the time we were there & was a super good little traveler, despite the difficult plane ride over. she was up super early (4:30 AM) the first morning, but considering the three hour time change, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. the rest of the time she was up slightly earlier than her normal wake-up time, but she napped really well & slept decently at night. the biggest headache about being in a warm, tropical, & sunny place was making sure she was covered in enough sunscreen (yep, first world problems!) but she is pretty good about letting me smear white sunscreen all over her every two hours!

if you are planning on visiting Maui, this is what we LOVED (slash would recommend):

  • Lahaina town
  • Goofy Foot Surf School: even though it was just the two of us surfing, we opted not to do a private lesson. it was cheaper that way, plus we ended up being the only two in the lesson anyways!
  • Nakalele Blowhole hike: do the hike in from mile marker 38 and wear good shoes!
  • shave ice (yep, SHAVE ice – no “d”!): Local Boys Shave Ice (better ice) & Ululani’s Shave Ice (better flavorings)
  • Star Noodle: super good food, order family style, make a reservation, try the malasadas (hot!)!
  • baby rental gear: there are lots of rental companies on the island, but we used Nokaoi Baby Rentals and were really pleased. I would highly recommend getting the big family beach tent!
  • Kapalua Beach: a pretty small, family friendly beach. go early to get parking & avoid the crowd, or plan on parking on the side of the road & walking in.
  • Coconuts Fish Café in Kihei: we lunched here after the Aquarium and it was super delish!
  • Maui Ocean Center
  • drive to Paia and Makawao
  • Baldwin Beach
  • if you need a good pair of rubber flip-flops (called slippahs in Hawaii), go to Long’s Drugs (or Walgreen’s) and get a pair of Locals for less than $5
  • food is incredibly expensive on Maui (even in comparison to the other islands). eating in can sometimes cost as much as eating out, so keep that in mind, and we had trouble finding much organic produce. there is a Costco near the airport, but it’s still expensive and a lot of food! I would recommend packing snacks from home for the kids, & plan on spending $10 for a half gallon of organic whole milk!

Aloha Maui & a hui hou!

M

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eloise {month twenty-one}

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{lion: jellycat via Nordstrom // tank: babyGap // overalls: Zara (old)}

{month twenty-one} so I just instagrammed this picture of Eloise today before lunch & added the usual #twentymonths hashtag, but it wasn’t until I got a reminder on my phone to do her monthly photoshoot that I even realized it was the 10th! short version of the story: where did the month go?

as we have continued to suspect for the past few months, we still think Eloise is working on those two-year molars. though her dentist told us it wasn’t really common for toddlers to get these early, she was pretty early with all of her other teeth so it wouldn’t surprise me at all. there isn’t any sign of the teeth yet in her gums, but she has been sucking & chewing on her fingers like mad recently (so much so that I am sort of amazed I got this month’s picture without her hand in her mouth!). also, the past three or four nights, Eloise has been waking up crying & just wanting to cuddle (which is really unusual), & one of my mama friends just told me her daughter did the same thing right before her molars started cutting. poor kiddo! hopefully we will get thru these molars & be done with teething for a while!

while Eloise hasn’t seemed to grow much based on her wardrobe, she is definitely getting heavier (as you can see from her weight below she is probably 2 or 3 pounds heavier this month!). I don’t notice it much during the day when I am picking her up, but I do notice it when I have to get her up from her crib! it makes me miss those days when her mattress was up high & she was so little…

we are still using cloth diapers full-time & really liking it (as much as you can like diapers). we recently added Grovia Hybrid diapers (see the links below) to our stash after a recommendation from a few friends & starting to dislike the BumGenius Freetimes (the one with the two flap liners sewn in). I was really cautious about trying other types of cloth diapers at first since it was already pretty overwhelming, but at this point, I have a really good system down & I understand so much more about cloth, so I have been happily trying other diapers. with Grovia, the shell is reusable (if it doesn’t get wet or soiled) and the liners snap in & out; plus, it works as a swim diaper without the liner! and the awesome thing about Grovia is that we added an extra booster liner the other night & there was no leaking! we usually do a disposable at night since we could never get the BumGenius to not leak, so I am pretty excited! we aren’t planning on getting any more diapers for the stash until we have another baby (and we only got two new Grovia diapers), but even a few less disposables every week makes a difference.

Eloise is still such a chatterbox and is blowing us away with how much she says. she is really mimicking these days though, so we have to be careful what we say around her! she is much more into communicating verbally than with signs these days, but gets so frustrated if she doesn’t know a word for something or we don’t understand what she is saying. sometimes she will say something to me (and I have NO idea what it is) and then she will nod like she wants me to do the same because I understand, but I really don’t… it is frustrating and endearing at the same time!

singing is still a favorite thing as well as music. after being in Maui with Grammie & having lots of singing time in the back seat of the car, Eloise often requests “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” which she does with an “oooo” (like a monkey sound) or shaking her finger & saying “no no no” (like “no more monkeys!) or pretending to hit her head (like “one fell off and bumped his head!). so cute! but if you start to sing a song that she doesn’t like, she will totally cut you off!

the past few months we have been really working on animal sounds (like I mentioned last month) but now I am switching gears to counting & colors. Eloise’s favorite number is two & she constantly repeats it! she seems to understand numbers but I think is a ways away from being able to recite them. when we say “can you say one?” she will say “two!” and then repeat any number except for one… good thing she is turning two soon! with colors, her favorites are blue, purple, and black, and if you ask her what color something is, 99% of the time she will tell you it is blue. on the other hand, if you ask her to pick out a specific colored object, she is usually right!

since it has been so nice & sunny & dry here the past few weeks, we have started using the dog door again for Sadie, much to Eloise’s delight! I think she was too young to remember it from last spring & summer since we had it closed all winter. and even though it is in the stairwell, Eloise doesn’t try to go look at it when she isn’t supposed to. but every time we go up and down the stairs, she yells “Sadie!” because she loves to see her go in & out the door. also, Eloise is obsessed with Sadie’s leash & taking Sadie on a walk or in the car with us. she loves to look over when she’s in her carseat & see Sadie sitting in the backseat with her. and just last night we gave Eloise the leash on our family walk before bedtime. she handled the leash so well & was so proud of herself for walking Sadie! it was the sweetest thing ever.

here’s a video from last night. part-way thru I say “Sadie whoa!” in which Sadie is supposed to stop walking, but instead she keeps walking forward & Eloise just starts saying “whoa whoa whoa!”

and finally this month, I wanted to share a funny little thing that Eloise has started doing. on the weekends we usually sleep in a bit, but Aaron almost always gets up with Eloise and heads upstairs to start breakfast so that I get to stay in bed a bit longer & take my time getting up. lately though as soon as they are upstairs, Eloise will yell “Mama!” down the stairs to see if she can get me to yell something back. it is pretty funny. except when she keeps yelling “MAMA!” until I come up the stairs… oh toddlers!

{weight} 29 pounds.

{hair} dark (reddish) brown.

{teeth} 12 teeth plus four molars.

{eyes} dark brown.

{clothes}  18 month (growing out of), 18 to 24 months, 2T, and some 3T (though it’s really big still).

{diapers} full-time cloth {bum genius pocket, & elemental and most recently grovia hybrid with organic soaker pads} & honest company size 5 diapers at night with a bum genius diaper cover.

{feeding} during the day, three meals, morning snack, & afternoon snack. sippy cup of milk with every meal.

{likes} buckles, jumping, watching out the front window (dogs, kids, trucks), books, mama & papa’s cell phone, toys that squeak or rattle, singing & music, dancing, Sadie, standing, FaceTime, bathtime, her snack cup, shoes, mama’s (diaper) bag, clapping, putting things inside a bag or box, taking lids off of things, talking (Mama, Papa, quack quack), coloring, helping with anything & everything, when Papa comes home from work.

{dislikes} having something taken away from her, diaper changes, not eating when someone else is, being hungry, getting into the carseat, getting out of the carseat.

{nicknames} Bug{s}, Love Bug, Baby Bug, E, Wheezy, Kiddo, Love, Bugaboo, Ellie or Elle.

Happy twenty-one months Eloise!

M

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my weekend in pictures.

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{On Friday it was so sunny and beautiful that after we ran a few errands, we hit up the playground! Eloise enjoyed a snack and some kid-watching beforehand.}

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{Our weekend Greenlake walk was Saturday morning this week and it was lovely! We are so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful part of the city.}

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{Aaron hung our new curtains in the guest bedroom. Swoon!}

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{We had a friend and his sweet dog Winnie over on Saturday for dinner and Eloise was obsessed with Winnie! See the first time these two met here (scroll down to almost the bottom of the post!) But Sadie was not so much a fan of Winnie…}

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{Mother’s Day brunch at Toulouse Petite in Queen Anne with the Andersons. It was so yummy!}

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{The crew all dressed up for brunch! Love these two.}

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{I resumed my Sunday afternoon Pure Barre class after a very long hiatus and it was so great! I love starting the week with a great workout.}

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{And after dinner we hit up Molly Moon’s ice cream for a Mother’s Day treat! It was amazing and I am so glad I worked out before Aaron and I ate all of this!}

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{And guess what TJ’s had when I venture in there late this afternoon – peonies! YES! And now I will hit up TJ’s every week of peony season.}

This weekend was wonderful and we had such a good time! My Mother’s Day was so perfect thanks to Aaron and Eloise; we dressed up, brunched (with mimosas and amazing friends!), played Settlers of Catan, got ice cream, and Aaron did laundry, nap time, diaper changes and watched Eloise while I went to barre. A perfect day!

And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mamas out there, especially my own mama (Grammie) and Aaron’s step-momma (Nana)!

How was your weekend?

M