We survived the polar vortex! It literally went from -15 degrees to 45 degrees in 4 days. Thankfully the 40 degree weather was here for the weekend so we were actually able to get outside for some adventures and fresh air! We had a great weekend and it was so nice to not be cooped up in the house. On Saturday, I went to my little cousin's baby shower and it was such a beautiful time! Her little girl is due in a couple of weeks and I'm just so excited for her! Yay for more babies! Yesterday we headed up to Milwaukee to have brunch (I think we found our new favorite brunch spot!) and walked around the Historic Third Ward. It was a much needed day of being out of the house. Oh! and we also started renovating our home office! We painted the walls on Friday and it already looks a thousand times better but there is so much more to come!
So as you all know, Kai turned 1 on Jan 24th aka 12 months. This will be our very last Little Kai Bear date and I just can't believe I have a 1 year old!
Weight: 20.4 lbs
Height: 28.5 in
Kai, you are such a great eater! You are so silly during meal times and always eat soooo much! I wonder how that belly can hold so much food sometimes, but it makes me so happy that you're a good eater. You've tried it all and you like most foods but there are some you aren't so sure about. You definitely don't like plain eggs so Dad has to spice them up with some chorizo, ha! You've transitioned to cow's milk but we've decided to keep nursing for your morning milk. We're both not ready to be done with our breastfeeding journey, so onwards we go! You really like butter and jam and one of your favorite things for breakfast now is croissants! Puffs are probably still your favorite food ever though, ha!
We celebrated your first Christmas in 2018! It was the most special day filled with love and family. Grandma and Papa Joe stayed here with us and we all enjoyed Christmas morning together opening presents and drinking eggnog. You had so many presents that we actually had to take a break so you could take a nap, ha! You must have been a real good boy last year because Santa brought you so many fun things! A few of your favorites are your remote control, legos, and bath toys! We wore our matching Christmas jammies all day long, played with your toys, and watched A Christmas Story. We had a yummy prime rib dinner to celebrate the day and you are definitely a fan of steak. Thanks Papa Joe for making the best Christmas dinner ever!
We went on some fun adventures last month, too! At the start of the year our cousin Chris got married, so we took a road trip out to Toledo for the wedding! It was a short and sweet visit for a beautiful day. We also went to the Garfield Park Conservatory and took your one year old photos! We had so much fun walking around the conservatory and looking at all the fun plants. It was also a great break from the cold winter we've been having. Other than that, we've just tased snuggled up at home playing and having lots of movie nights. But you don't mind one bit!
We've been trying to get outside every day to play in the snow. You're a little indifferent to it but you at least enjoy the fresh air. You're almost walking too! You scale the furniture with ease and walk so well with your little walker toys. You're getting more confident with walking while holding Mom and Dad's hands, too. You adore taking baths and play with all your bath toys that you got for Christmas. You splash around the water and instantly always find your Mickey toy in the water. It's of course your favorite! One of your top teeth came in too and you have the other one on the way now. You look so cute with your big front teeth! It makes your smile that much cuter.
You have brought more joy in to my life these past 12 months than I thought possible in an entire lifetime. I love you with all my heart and soul. I'm still amazed at the fact that I am your mama and you are mine forever and ever. Happy Birthday my handsome little boy! Here's to many many more!
One whole year. I’m not sure how, but we’re here. I’m so in love with this last year because of you. I’ve never loved someone so deeply in my whole life.
The moment you came out of me 365 days ago my whole world changed. They placed you on my chest and your cries were the greatest song I’ve ever heard. I was so scared of the journey ahead but you grabbed my finger and said “let’s go mama.”
I’ve sustained you for a whole year. That first month was so hard. I was so tired and didn’t know what I was doing. But then we were on the verge of giving up our breastfeeding journey and in your own way you told me no and that you wanted me. Only me. It was the biggest turning point in my motherhood journey. Even at 1 month old, you showed me how much you loved ME. From that point, nursing you began to be the biggest honor of my life.
One random morning you were swinging and we were singing Disney songs. I sang the words “when you meet the one you’ve been waiting for and he’s everything that you want and more. You look at him and you finally start to live for someone else” and I looked at you and you were smiling at me. My heart grew by the millions. Another turning point in motherhood for me. You became my best friend.
Your laugh is the greatest thing my ears have ever heard. Your smile is the greatest thing my eyes have ever seen. Your scent is the greatest thing my nose has ever smelled. Your love pats are the greatest thing to have touched me. Your love is the greatest thing my heart has ever felt.
You quite literally complete my life. I look at you a million times a day and can’t believe I have this life. I marvel and wonder how you are mine and I am yours.
I love you, Kai. Happy 1st Birthday my handsome darling boy. & cheers to many more snuggles and adventures ?
Welcome to the first Tiny Talk of 2019! Woo sorry it's been awhile friends. I've honestly been kind of lost in this fraction of the blog. I have so many topics I want to discuss with all of you but there's something missing in the Instagram Live aspect of it and I've been trying to put my finger on it but just can't. I can't seem to find a good time to host them that works for everyone. I know plenty of you watch it later because I get so many awesome messages from you! Do I start a podcast? Do I try Facebook Live instead? I'm not entirely sure where to go with the live chat part of our Tiny Talks, so for now, I will just be writing up some posts and sharing them with you here + putting up a post in The Tiny Tribe to go along with the topic. We can work on adding the chat back in later, but I need you all to send me your ideas!
Alright so let's talk about Marie Kondo today. I absolutely adore her. I think she is so fantastic and I have been straight up Konmari-ing my house for the last 3 weeks. It feels amazing. However, I do have some reservations about all of it and I know some of you do, too. Just the other day I had my best friend say to me..."but I like my stuff" and my cousin sent me an amazing article about her philosophy not working the best for books, and I couldn't agree more with them. I think it's all about balance. So I wanted to weigh in on some pros and cons of Konmari here and see if you all can answer my dilemmas or if you think they are completely warranted...
PRO: You feel refreshed, lighter, happier
I certainly feel refreshed and lighter with less crap cluttering our home. I actually started clearing out our home before the new year because I had the last week of 2018 off of work. Then Tidying Up was released on Netflix on Jan 2nd! It was the perfect timing and gave me the motivation to keep going and taught me how to properly store things. It definitely works and I walk around our home now and smile at how organized it is and truly feel happy with the work Caleb and I have done.
CON: What about the middle ground?
I know I'm probably just making it up in my head but it feels like there's only two options with Konmari...get rid of if it doesn't spark joy or keep it if it does spark joy. My heart pulls a little at this because there are some things that "spark joy" and they aren't technically sentimental making it a situation like where do I keep these things and when am I going to use it but I'm not ready to let go yet kind of thing. Woo...know what I mean? Then I feel guilty! But why? That's dumb...like my best friend says...I like my stuff!
PRO: Organization makes me giddy
When things are properly organized in our home I actually feel giddy. I look at our closets and my heart flutters, ha! I've always been that way but our home has definitely lost a lot of it's organization since having a baby. I've really learned to let go of living in a way that everything needs to be in it's proper place but at the same time, if you let things stray too far from it's proper place it just gets out of hand. Then it takes forever to tidy back up. So I really like Marie's method of just putting everything back where it's supposed to be in bins, baskets, trays, etc, so that it stays easy.
CON: Will it stay this nice forever?
Ok so I wouldn't exactly call this a con but more of a question that can lead to. con depending on the answer. Will our closets and drawers and cabinets stay this nice forever? I have a hard time believing they will and then what? We have to go buy a whole new organization system? How many times do I need to Konmari our home in a year? No joke, it took me 45 minutes to fold and put laundry away the other day with her folding method. All I could think of is how that is all I am ever going to be doing during nap time. Today's load of laundry I think took me 20 min? So a little better but I feel like I was folding faster and maybe a little more sloppy? Which in turn if I keep doing it faster, will the folding not look as nice or will I just get better at it? I'm probably just overthinking it but with how much time and energy we've put in to this process I want our home to stay all beautifully organized! Am I alone in this thought cycle!?
PRO: Money + Donations
With the amount of stuff we're getting rid of we're going to have a pretty great garage sale this summer and hopefully make some good cash! I'm planning on selling a lot of my clothes on Poshmark, too, and all this money will be helping us pay off debt, woohoo! Anything we don't sell we will of course be donating, which always makes us feel great at the end of the day.
CON: But I like my stuff...especially my books!
So my cousin sent me this article from The Guardian and it dives in to how Marie's method about sparking joy with books doesn't make sense and I kind of have to agree. I'm kind of the middle zone where I think some people might be taking the "sparks joy" thing too literally but anyways, with books, I believe a home library is essential. I read every day. I read to Kai every day. We read with Kai every day. Books are very important to us. Some of them I've had for years and haven't read yet. Some I've read 10 times. To me though, none of that matters. The books I've read 10 times spark joy but so do the ones I haven't read yet. Heck, even the books I don't like or I'm not interested in still matter to me because what if they spark joy for someone else in my family? What if Kai eventually wants to read one of them? The books are staying...for us at least.
I've had a lot of moments of smiles and tears with this process. I've come across a lot of important things to me that I haven't seen in awhile that make my heart happy. I always save cards that people give me. No matter what it's for, I save it. Well I did decide to finally throw some away but there were some that really sparked joy that I couldn't toss in the trash. Like every card that had my dad's handwriting in it. Who would have thought I would never get another birthday card with that handwriting in it anymore? Old photos. Man I love looking at baby Caleb ha! We finally took apart the photo collages I made for my dad's memorial service, too. I honestly couldn't do it, so Caleb did it. He asked me to help in the end and it was honestly a gut wrenching experience. So I want you to know that you're not alone if you're struggling with going through your life because there were definitely moments that I wanted to just give up and not face it at all. Take breaks but also be so grateful for all the love, wisdom, and memories your home has. And definitely remember to say thank you!
Leave me a comment with how you've chosen to tidy up (or not!) these last few weeks. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me a comment letting me know how you'd like me to proceed with our chat portion of Tiny Talks!
Happy Monday and MLK Day everyone! I have the day off of work today and am just embracing my time at home with Kai. We didn't do a whole lot this weekend because we got hit with a huge blizzard on Friday/Saturday, so we've pretty much just been cozied up at home all weekend. We ventured out for a little bit yesterday to go to the Garfield Park Conservatory in the city to do Kai's 1 year old photos! I seriously can't wait to get them back, I just know they are going to be the most gorgeous set of photos. We did make a lot of progress on organizing our office though and it finally feels like a place I can work and be inspired in. In fact, I'm actually typing this at our desk in our office right now and it feels so good! I can't wait to show you all the full transformation of it soon!
Today I want to share with you all my most used travel apps I use on my phone. Using resources like books and apps are some of my best ways for planning and having a great time on our trips. I keep a little EXPLORE folder on my phone with all of my travel apps in it to keep them organized in a place where I can easily find them. And as an FYI, all these apps are free. Alright, so here we go!
I prefer Google Maps to Apple Maps (I have an iPhone), especially when we are traveling. Reason being is that I like to favorite all of the places we are planning on going when we are traveling and they show up as little yellow stars on my map when I open the app. This makes it so easy to find everything and map out routes on how to get from place to place, especially if you're walking. I can also just tap the star and the place will pop up for me to click for directions, too.
I do most of my hotel bookings through Expedia. I personally like the layout of the app the most compared to all the other ones out there like Kayak of Booking.com. I also just feel like I get the best deals through Expedia.
This app is Chicago specific. In order to get around Chicago via public transport, you need to have a Ventra card. This app allows me to refill my account and look up train schedules for all of the lines on the CTA. If you don't live in Chicago and are visiting, I highly suggest this one!
This app is a lifesaver and probably my favorite travel app ever. We use this app all the time to finding parking spots everywhere. We use it every time we drive in to Chicago or Milwaukee, we've used it in Portland and Seattle, etc. The way it works is you type in your destination and it finds you all the available parking lots or garages near your destination and gives you pricing for the time slot you've filled in. We've saved so much money using this app with parking in Chicago. They always have discounted rates for garages in Chicago...I'm talking like we pay $18 for a spot that would normally be $40! Best app ever.
This app is a little specific to us because we always fly Southwest. We personally feel like we always get the best rates through Southwest and like that there are no baggage fees or change of flight fees. I like having their app on my phone especially for checking in for our flights since we have to do it 24 hours in advance to get a good seat (well we don't HAVE to now thanks to family boarding). I also like it just simply for looking up flights for upcoming trips. However, whatever airline you prefer the most, I suggest downloading their app and having it in your travel folder on your phone so you can easily look up flights and check in for your flights on your phone, too.
Skyscanner is another cool one. This app helps you find the cheapest possible flights out there (including Southwest flights!) Apps like Expedia never include Southwest which is always a bummer since that's who we fly with the most! A lot of times though if I'm traveling alone I like to just look up the cheapest airfare and will deal with flying something else besides Southwest since they only fly out of Midway and we live a lot closer to O'Hare. But anyways, you can find some insane deals on this app. Another cool feature of it too is you can pick a date range or a month and "fly anywhere" and it will show you the cheapest rates to everywhere in the US. So if you're in the mood for a little getaway but you don't know where to go, this is a fun little feature to try out! It might spark an idea for a place you didn't even have on your radar.
We're more of a rent a car or take public transit people but if you need to hire a car, Lyft is great. We use Lyft over Uber because you have to go through Lyft for the Minnie vans at Disney World. (A Minnie van is those cute red with polk dot cars at Disney that take you from resort to resort or to the parks so you don't have to use the bus system). This is a great option to save time at Disney because their bus system doesn't take you from resort to resort.
Disney World (My Experience App)
Speaking of Disney...I always have the Disney World My Experience App on my phone. This app shows you everything for your Disney World trips from your hotel reservation, FastPasses, photos from your trip, and dining reservations. You can update all your trip info on the app, too, and make FastPass selections on it. One of the coolest things about the app too is you can see ride wait times! Plus there is a great map of all the parks on the app for easy navigating.
This app is a great one for making dining reservations. They have a huge network of restaurants all over! You can easily search for a specific restaurant or you can search in the area you're in and a whole list of restaurants will pop up. They have reviews and information on all restaurants and you can see most menus on the app, too. They give you all available times for reservations and ask if you need any special accommodations. The best part though is with each reservation you make and honor you rack up points, which eventually turns back in to money!
What is your all time favorite travel app that you have on your phone? Share with me below in the comments!
Woo! It's been a minute friends, huh? Sorry I've been MIA lately...time has just gotten away from me. From planning Kai's 1st birthday party to cleaning out our house Marie Kondo style, I've just been really busy. I hope you all are having a wonderful start to 2019 though!
I finally have another book club post for you all today! About time, right? Well to be fair, I was reading David Copperfield and it's about 1200 pages long. I'm pretty proud of myself for this one especially because I tried once before and gave up real quick back in my college days...
So let's talk about Charles Dickens and David Copperfield. It was really good, I don't know why I gave up on it back in the day. It took me awhile to read but that's because of its length + being a mom + work + life...etc. Basically the story goes along the life of a boy named David Copperfield. It starts out from when he was born till he is middle aged. He goes through so many trials in life and I'm not going to lie, it actually resonated with me a lot from things that were going on within my own life. It's also one of those books that in the end, everything is exactly how it should be and what my heart longed for to happen for this character. So thank you for that, Mr. Dickens! The story goes all through his childhood, teen years in school, marriage, career, just everything that encompasses life. I don't want to give too much away so just trust on it having many exciting ups and downs that are real life problems.
If you love the classics and have the time + mind power to read this one, do it. It honestly taught me so much about life and the importance of persevering. Man did that kid have perseverance. When you didn't think it could get any worse for him, it does, but he was still a kind and loving young man. David Copperfield is honestly a source of inspiration for me! He goes through a lot of loss...I mean A LOT. He was always there for those who depended on him though even in his darkest of times, which I really needed reminding of this past fall when I had a lot of personal trials going on in my own life. It's funny that I chose to read this book during this phase of my life...the universe works in mysterious ways, huh? So anyways, read it, I know you'll love it ;)
You can purchase David Copperfield on Amazon.
UP NEXT: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero + Body Love by Kelly LeVeque
Follow me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
Follow on Instagram