Friday, October 24, 2014

The National Gallery of Art: Degas's Little Dancer (or I See Puppies!)

So yesterday was Cam's annual school field trip to the pumpkin patch, a trip I'm sure many of you are making right around this time as well. It's a great idea, but given that I've been spending so much time on the road in the car, I thought we'd have a more local field trip of our own. Cameron has been intermittently obsessed with ballet and even though she's not currently taking any classes, I thought a trip to see Degas's Little Dancer at the National Gallery would be a perfect girls' morning.

We got down to The Mall early and spent some chilly time playing "I Spy," counting all the steps of the museum repeatedly (there are 43), and skipping stones as we waited for the Gallery to open. I thought there might be some crowds, so we headed straight to the Degas exhibit upon opening. Where Cam spent all of 5 seconds humoring me to pose with Little Dancer and then telling me she'd rather go back outside to play "I Spy." She was not at all interested in any of the ballet artwork. Fail.

Never one to quit, I suggested we take our own "I Spy" tour of the Gallery (a favorite way of mine to encourage the kids to stay in museums and actually look around instead of whining) and I asked her what she'd like to look for. "Puppies. Only puppies." She's been having a hard time with the death of our family dog and her good bud, Vegas, this past summer and for some reason has been bringing it up a lot lately. It half makes me want to get another puppy. And then I snap right out of that. In any event, puppies she wanted. No problem. I knew the British and French galleries would have lots of them (those people loved to paint themselves with their animals), so we headed that way.

I spent the next hour wandering after her as she called from various rooms "More puppies!" and catching glimpses of her through looming doorways. And it dawned on me that I hadn't actually taken her by herself to an art museum in quite some time and I finally didn't really have to pay any attention to making sure she was behaving -- looking, but not trying to touch; keeping her voice down; politely indulging foreign tourists' requests for photos with her (seriously. I don't know who they think she is, but this happens every. damn. time. we are at the National Gallery). She is so grown up all of a sudden. And it made me really glad I let her skip the school trip for a little time on our own. I first started the blog as a way to chronicle my attempts to fill the long days home with them and now it seems like they're hardly home (despite the numerous, numerous days off of school).

We spent the rest of the morning noshing salads and tattooing each other with her new tattoo pens in front of the lovely fountain downstairs. I even got to have an extra cappuccino while she inked herself. The perfect way to spend the day playing hooky.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beeswax Crayon Fall Leaves


Yay for fall! One of my all time favorite art projects growing up was making fall leaves with crayons and wax paper. Our kids are finally old enough to use the iron (with supervision!), so we recently made a gorgeous set using The Land of Nod's Beeswax Crayons. Head over to Honest to Nod today to check them out!

Disclosure: The Land of Nod provided us with the Beeswax Crayons in exchange for this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kids Desk Chairs

When I blogged over at A Feteful Life, we occasionally had people send in questions for us -- generally about seasonal handbags for some reason -- and we'd do some faux shopping and provide our favorite picks. A friend recently told me that they'd purchased a desk for their Kindergarten-aged daughter, C, but were having a hard time finding a desk chair that wasn't outrageously priced. And she asked whether I had any ideas of where to look. As we haven't purchased desks for our kids yet, I hadn't given it much thought. But she's right -- so, so many desk chairs "for kids" are obnoxiously expensive, especially given that they are sized smaller and certainly won't last until the kids go off to college.

Annoyed and determined, I did some faux shopping for a chair that would go with C's new desk -- the  Pottery Barn Kids Catalina. I'd generally describe Pottery Barn's style as slightly modern classic/country, but I like to balance those pieces out with something more streamlined. I'm not really into matchy matchy. I decided to look for chairs under $125 (for the most part) and while a lot of my picks are not necessarily "kid sized," they would still work well for kids, in my opinion. Your best bet is to stick to accent or dining chairs, which seem to be more reasonably priced than desk chairs and would work just as well, especially with a little pillow for a cushion. So, K, here you go -- hope one works out and that desk gets used for a little school work instead of just a fort!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Kane's Favorite Fall Looks

I'm going to guess that it was super evident from my post on Cam's favorite fall looks that I've got a little shopper on my hands. But you might be surprised to hear that Kane's a decent shopping buddy as well. He's not quite as particular about what he wears as Cameron, but he definitely knows what he likes. And, much to his chagrin, one of his most long-standing unsuccessful negotiations has been his quest for a three-piece suit. He has tried every which way to get me to get him a suit, including trying to persuade a J.Crew saleswoman to give him a soon-to-be out of season suit on sale. I have a feeling it's somewhat more about getting his way than the actual suit, but he really does like to dress up. So here's what he's rockin' right now.

Everyday Brights -- Kane loves bright colors and stripes. So he basically has some variation of this on for school every day. Green is still his most favorite color, so he likes to work that in wherever he can (socks and shoes are a particularly fun spot to do that). And he has a similar jacket, which he will wear all day long (including inside or in 80 degree weather) in an attempt to prove to me he will wear a suit jacket if I buy it for him. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Tailgate Time!

Fall is football season in our house and our kids LOVE it. It's really sweet to hear them ask Joel "is it football time, yet?" and to hear the Eagles fight song belted out over and over again. I also happen to love the game -- watching it, playing it, and partying with it. We love to take our kids to live sports games and the pre-game tailgating events, but we haven't yet felt comfortable that they are old enough for the not-always-family-friendly event that is live NFL football (although I've taken the kids to high school games and they loved it). So I'd love to bring some of that same spirit and goodies into our home for game time watching. Here's what I'm loving for a kid-friendly tailgate at home!

1 / my kids can eat their weight in peanuts. I'm still working on a less messy way to eat them at home, but when I do, I think these DIY bags would be so cute.

2 / gold foam fingers!?! Cam would be all over these.

3 / as they've inherited my love to decorate for any occasion, I think our kids would love to make these cute football lanterns.

4 / this football bingo was made especially for the Super Bowl, but I love the idea of using pictures and numbers for a kid-friendly game.

5 / I'd use these free football sheets from The Celebration Shoppe to make fun placemats for the kids, who love to nosh while watching the game.

6 / Frito Pie. It's a must.

7 / An edible pennant garland. Love.

8 / I think these DIY duct tape football mason jars would be super fun. Plus, I love a flagged striped straw.

9 / after peanuts, popcorn is the kids' next favorite game time snack. These football themed popcorn boxes make it even better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Day in the Life (October 2014)

Sunday was the day after Kane's big birthday party, so we were all recovering a bit. We hung around most of the morning, reading new books, playing with new toys, and having brunch with family. But we saw sunshine starting to come out and, given the never-ending rain the previous day, we knew a good leg stretching was in order. Fortunately the Maryland Renaissance Festival was still in town, so we donned our best costumes and headed out to the forest. Awesome.

Don't forget to see what No Monsters in My Bed did with their sunny Sunday!

7.45 am -- Kane's new Egyptian Playmobil sets awaits playing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Gelato Parfaits


You all know how obsessed we were with gelato this past summer. Well, we weren't ready to give it up just yet. Head over to Honest to Nod today to checkout our super yummy Pumpkin Pie Gelato Parfaits!