SLIDER

Hello!

My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.

NEWSLETTER

Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Hot!


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Happy Friday! I just love this painting by Zelda Fitzgerald- it's a  painting of a French fairy tale which I just adore anything French but there is something about this painting that makes me happy almost like a teaspoon of joy. It's supposed to be really hot here this weekend but I think we are keeping it simple these weekend liker perhaps some well needed thrifting and popcycle eating. 

What are you up to these weekend?
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby Bubbles

I could not help but share these photos of Nora playing with bubbles.  She has seen bubbles before but this was the first time she really got the bubbles.  We were visiting my parents and my mom took out a huge container of bubbles with one of those huge crazy bubble wands.  I think one of the best things about being a mommy is seeing your baby understand something.  She was reaching for them, clapping and trying to pop them.   I just love how she smiles and laughs with all of her happiness and joy.  She was so excited to play with the bubbles she was bouncing up and down and squealing with delight for more.

Today we are headed to the park for a picnic and Nora crawling around the grass.  She has been wanting to practice lots of walking lately but with my help.

What are you up to today?


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Monday, June 24, 2013

What I Wore: A Case of the Stripes

Dress: Forever21
Belt: From another Dress
Tights: Target
Necklace: Tiffany's 

Happy Monday! I have been eyeing this dress for quite some time and finally just gave in and said I needed to have it. and what I love most is that it was comfortable! I just got these shoes and they called the Edie shoe which reminds me of Gray Gardens.  I've seen the play, movie and the documentary (a teeny bit obsessed) Gray Gardens is about a mother and daughter who live in this grand house and eventually it turned into a hoarder house filled with cats. Little Edie is the daughter who performed off Broadway when her mom passed away but was forever glamourous and extremely dramatic.  Now I want to watch the movie all over again.

What are you up to this Monday?

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Around the Studio

Here are a few peaks of inside my studio.  I have grown to love my little work space- it's has little things that inspire me like photos, thrifting treasures, old love notes from Tim, lots of postcards of paintings that I have visited and just lots of momentos of memories I love to revisit.  Even though it's not the most organized or perfect place- it's all mine- a place where I can make ideas.   It's a small space but special and my very own.

I forgot that once summer starts- the art season starts with shows, auctions, and different things that start happening! It's exciting but terribly busy. 

What are you up to this Thursday?
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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Instalife


I am still loving instagram- it seems like a cell phone is sooo much easier then carrying around a DSLR especially with a busy little 11 month old. What I love most is that I have met so many friends with it, it's great seeing daily snapshots in someones life.

Are you on instagram? 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Father's Day Gift Guide



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This year is Tim's very first father's day.  You only have the first one time and I have been thinking about trying to find him a special gift and make the day a memorable one.  Growing up my dad would always take us fishing on father's day and wake us up at the crack off dawn. He would pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a big thermos of hot chocolate. I love being able to make new little memories and warms my heart just seeing how much she lights up for her daddy.  AND! Everyone needs a salami notepad right?

What are you up to this weekend?

This post is part of a promotion with FamilySearch.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rainy Day Flowers

It's been gray and rainy here the past couple of days but these are some bright beautiful flowers I noticed on my walk. Here is a peak at some of my favorites.  I have tried to grow flowers in my own yard but sadly nothing is sprouting yet-.  I have two pugs that have already eaten a few of the plants but hopefully there is still hope for the rest!  Have a wonderful Thursday.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Baby Sleep

I had a few friends tell to me at how easy Nora was to put to sleep and then they would quietly ask me what my secret was.  I didn't realize what the big secret was but what I have learned about being a new mommy is that there is a lot of strong opinions about anything you do for your children. Before I talk about my baby's sleep story- I just want to say that this just worked for us and I know every baby is different and the best solution is whatever is the best for you and your family.  Nora has been sleeping through the night since she was about 3 months old.  Yes should would wake up in the middle of the night for feedings until around 4-5 months but didn't have much trouble going back to sleep. 

When Nora was first born, I didn't get much sleep at all.  When I was pregnant people would say "Get your sleep while you can." I was also convinced that if the baby co-sleeps with me I would roll on the baby or squish the baby or the baby would love co-sleeping so much that she would never leave my bed.  So I convinced myself that I had to be fully awake in order to nurse her or change her diapers- which meant that I was up all night.  Well that worked for awhile but then I finally fell asleep at the 3 am feeding and I got the best 5 hours of sleep in a row that I had in a long time.  So she would sleep in the swing for her first chunk of sleep and then sleep the rest of the night with me.  I would wake up and she would be all cuddled up and I could tell she was getting and I was getting good rest.  Ok I know people have mixed reviews about the baby sleeping in the swing but it worked for us at the beginning and I also knew that it's a short term solution.  She hated her crib.. hated the bassinet, but she liked the swing.  
    
I wouldn't call what we did co-sleeping because we never fully committed to it. We had her out of the swing at around 1.5-2 months and she was night sleeping in her bassinet but would still end up in bed with us by morning.  After a few weeks of Nora sleeping with us part of the night she started kicking me in her sleep or keep me all night by nursing.  I know it's important to feed her when she needs or wants it but nursing for 15 minutes then sleeping for 10 minutes then nursing again and sleeping again over and over and over- it's pretty exhausting! It turned into this cycle of no one sleeping.  It was time for her to sleep in her own room and with a monitor of course!  No more tip toeing around our bedroom.  No more whispering.  I would be able to get a real 4-5 hours of sleep with out waking up and feeling panicked because I should be feeding.. changing a diaper or doing something.

The best piece of advice that I received when my baby was first born was when they wake up in the night. Do whatever it takes to keep them sleep.  Don't turn on the light in the room they are in- try the hallway light.  If they need a diaper change warm up the wipes with a little warm water since cold water can wake up the baby even more.  If the baby is hungry- feed the baby where they are sleeping.  If she needs something- diaper change/feeding/binkie- do it quick and then get out of the room before she wakes up.  Most of the time if she wakes up beyond sleep crying because of me making too much noise.  I love cuddling with Nora and she gets as much cuddles, hugs and kisses as she wants but when it's time for sleeping she gets her nightly cuddle before bedtime but during the night it's meant for sleeping and she had to learn how to put herself to sleep. I don't pick her up unless it's necessary. Which was and is HARD! Typically once she got what she needed, she would go back to sleep.

The other best thing we did was have a night time routine. I am not a routine person but my baby is and I just paid attention to her signals. I didn't do this but her sleep cycle was sleeping from 7-12, 12-3, 3-7.  Give or take 30 minutes or so this was her sleep cycle for the first 3 months and slowing the midnight feeding dropped off at around 3 months and then it took some time but around 5 months the 3 am feeding dropped.  Our routine is and still is - we start bath time at around 6:45/7:00- and we do a bath every night.  Not because we have to but Nora loves her bath time.  A bath would calm her down and she loved the warm water. Then she gets a bottle and says goodnight to the pugs and daddy. Until recently we have incorporated story time while she finishes her bottle but we lay her down and she is fast asleep with in 5-10 minutes.  What does that mean for us? We are home by 6:30 every single night.  Even though it might not be convient with making plans but by making Nora's sleep a priority it has created her to have a good nights rest every single night.  Which means Momma getting a good nights rest and I have been able to get back in the studio.  We also have date nights at home which include yummy take out and a movie. 

Our secret to our baby sleeping? We created a firm sleep routine, paid attention to her sleep schedule and don't wake the baby! :) 

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Monday, June 10, 2013

What I Wore: Poppies

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Salt Water Sandals
Belt: Thrift
Necklace: Tiffany's


Lately one of our new traditions it taking a drive and going for a walk in the sleepy towns just outside of Portland.  What I love most about taking a drive is there are a lot of antiquing, old fashion ice cream and taffy.  I think the taffy thing might be a NW thing because every small town you go to there is always fresh taffy! yum!  Summer is already getting busy and these little quiet drives create some well needed family time and time away from work.  Tim and I both love to work, but between being a mommy and working- its wonderful carving out little bits of quality family time.  Nora has been loving our tiny adventures and I didn't realize how much babies love to laugh and loud!  As we took these photos she was bursting with giggles and clapping her hands.  A Ham.. I know!

I bought this dress on a whim, and love how comfortable and light it is.  It's the perfect summer time length- not to short and not too long.  I seem to have been living in salt water sandals this summer- I think I got my first pair when I was maybe 6 and still  love them.  Can you believe we are in summer? Summer! I have been waiting for summer to happen for months and it's here :)

Happy Monday! What are you up to this Monday?

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Frida on Friday



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Happy Friday! I can't believe the we made it to Friday.  This weekend Tim is working on a hackathon which means other than mommy duties, I can watch artsy documentaries and make art! Yah! What is a hackathon? A hackathon is where a group of computer nerds get together and make something and they only have the weekend to make a working prototype. It's pretty intense but it's amazing to make something out of nothing.   

I am totally obsessed with this style of dress from Anthro and it reminds me of this gorgeous painting by Frida.  Even though Frida was a little rough around the edges- her play on androgyny makes me think of summer time. 

What are you up to this weekend?
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Waffle Window

I don't know about you, but I love waffles.  This is one of Portland's special places- The Waffle Window.  The made a little window on the side of a building and serve lots of fancy waffles.  There is always a big long line but trust me it's worth every minute.   Now I am thinking.. dreaming about a light fluffy amazing waffle with fresh thick whip cream and then topped with fresh strawberries.  Sounds amazing doesn't it?  The waffles served here are a Leige Sugar Waffles (it basically is a fancy name for a Belgium waffle).  I remember when I visited Belgium and I could smell the waffles from a block away.

Now I need a waffle! Do you like waffles?

The Waffle Window- 8X10 oil on wood.
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Goals

I can't believe it's already June and one of the best habits I have gotten into the last few months is posting my monthly goals.  By writing down my monthly goals it makes me feel accountable and gives me some structure in making my goals manageable.

Paint a portrait one time a week.  I am really excited about this goal because I love painting portraits and want to start painting them again.  I think I could totally do this once a week in my sketch book and not feel overwhelmed by this goal.  Since being a new momma it feels like I am starting and restarting so many new things and it's exciting! 
Attend an art show. I haven't been to an art show or an art walk in a really long time.  When I was pregnant I didn't want to go anywhere or do much of anything and now I feel like I'm ready to get out there again.  The best thing about going to art shows is seeing beautiful work and getting inspired to make things. and the art shows in Portland in the summer time are simple the best because there is lots of people showing their art on the street while the galleries have their openings.
Clean out my garage. I know this is not a fun goal, but it is a serious hoarder den.  I cleaned it out once when I was pregnant and now it's full of junk again! I'm a little unsure on how to tackle it since there is a lot of baby stuff that Nora has since outgrown and I'm not ready to let it go.  I also would love a garage that is more functional and has more space- it's a single car.
Get a haircut.  I realized this week that I hadn't had a haircut in almost a year.. so that I means I really need one. Sounds easy right? but I have canceled my hair appointment about 3 times, because things come up.. but no it's happening this month.
Hit the gym 3 x per week.  I have been doing a pretty good job with working out since after I had the baby and really want to keep it up.  One thing I didn't realize after I had the baby would be the healing process and how much I need to take care of myself.  I am not much of an exercise person but I have more energy than I have had in a long time.  I also want to work on my complaining while I work out and maybe stop cracking as many jokes and take it a tiny bit more seriously.

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© Erika Lee Sears