Searching for the Perfect Diaper Bag

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Finding the perfect diaper bag has been so frustrating.  First, I got this one from Skip Hop, the Dash Deluxe in charcoal:

I got it because it seemed like BabyDaddy and I could both use it without him complaining about it looking too frilly.  In the end, I feel like I’m carrying a man-bag when I use it.  Also, messenger bag styling doesn’t work so well with babywearing, which I mostly do when we go out – the strap has nowhere to go. meh…

Then I picked up this 3-in-1 bag at the Gap, thinking I could use it in backpack mode while baby-wearing, and in messenger- or handbag mode when not, and that it’s a bit more stylish (I have it in metallic grey. The black is admittedly pretty boring looking.) than the Skip Hop.

Boo.  Hiss. Boo.  A one-strap backpack? dumb.  It falls off the shoulder.  Plus, the drawstring is hard to get into.  Fail.

And I keep looking around at others, but they’re all disappointing in some way — too-obviously babyish (please, people.  I’m the one carrying the bag, not the baby.  It should not have tacky cartoons on it), too expensive (although I’m beginning to think having THE RIGHT bag might be worth it), to frou-frou-posh-looking for my taste, too big (why do most mothers I see carry around so much STUFF?  What do they have in there?), too floral (even for me, a lover of florals). 

In the end, I went for tried-and-true.

This is my trusty backpack that I bought a million years ago in Costa Rica.  She has been everywhere with me, held everything, and never complained. She has been book-bag, laptop-bag, airplane carry-on, overnight bag, over-sized purse, even yoga bag. She’s sturdy, comfy-to-carry, and has all the right pockets. And, while she may not be the pretties of gals, she has lots of character and she’s enjoying her newest role as diaper bag.

She does an excellent job carrying a few diapers, a light blanket, a baby sling, some wipes and a changing pad, a change of clothes (for Baby, not me.  hehe.), hand sanitizer, a pacifier, a chico bag, a burp cloth; my phone, wallet, and keys; and a tube of lip gloss.  What more could I ask of her?

Have you had a hard time finding a diaper bag you love?  What did you settle on?

-Fran

February 28, 2011 12:00 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby | Tags: , ,

Sweet Saturday

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It’s been a sweet, sweet Saturday in my house today. I can’t tell you how much it absolutely FRILLS me to bake. And today I had such fun making lovely things and sharing them with lovely people. Check it out:

My husband was FRILLED to have banana nut bread and blueberries waiting for him for breakfast this morning. 

Recently, my neighbor opened my eyes to the THRILLS of Angel Food Cake with pineapple baked in. It was such a sweet Saturday, you see. I just HAD to try it.

I even went all out and whipped up a traditional yellow cake with chocolate icing for a birthday party. I didn’t get to try it, but I’m hoping it was deliciously FRILLING.

What made your Saturday sweet? 

- Aurelia

February 26, 2011 9:52 PM | Comments | Categories: Food, Sweet Saturday | Tags: , , ,

28 Days of Cardigans

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Link: 28 Days of Cardigans

February 26, 2011 11:30 AM | Comments | Categories: Fashion | No Tags

Frilling Friday

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Happy Friday! It’s been a rainy, chilly week here in SF, and they’re forecasting a chance of snow for tomorrow morning! I’ll be hitting the SF Quilter’s Guild quilt and fabric arts show tomorrow, rain or shine. Hopefully I’ll have some fabulous images to share with you next week. Meanwhile, aren’t these wool beads lovely?

via flickr

Here are some FRILLING things I found this week:

Can you do it – wear your long cardigan as a dress?
I cast-on these babies this week in a soft, variegated merino wool.
I want to host one of these.
Up-cycled clothing – sooo stylish, wish I had the sewing skills and patience for it.
I registered for a digital photo class at the JCC in San Francisco! Hopefully that will mean better blog photos…
This week I read Amanda Blake Soule’s (aka SouleMama) book The Creative Family – so inspiring!
Have you used Pinterest? I’m going to use it to collect inspiring images for the design of my next home.
These look yum.

Have a FRILLING weekend!

-Fran

February 25, 2011 7:47 PM | Comments | Categories: Frilling Friday | Tags: ,

On the not-so-pretty days..

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Ya know, not every day feels pretty. Some days, it takes a conscious decision to find the pretty. Some days, it’s just HARD. On not-so-pretty days it’s very important to work extra hard at cheering yourself up. After all, there’s bound to be SOMETHING pretty about not-so-pretty days. Even if it’s a tiny thing. Even if it’s hard to find.

I had one of those days today so on I went to the supermarket. I needed to console myself, and I decided a specialty cheese would do the trick. What an occasion! I picked a Havarti with Jalapeños. What a treat!

Look at all the fun ways to use cheese in ONE meal:

Cubes of cheese and olives provided a very hungry Husband with a before dinner treat.

Havarti Cheese melts so perfectly and tastes delicious on Ciabatta bread.

Crumble your cheese on top of a lovely salad. Use Zea’s Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette dressing. It’s the best. EVER.

Top your tomato soup with a thin slice, too. Laugh when your husband begins dropping cubes from the olive assortment into his. 

I found the pretty in my not-so-pretty day. Now I just hope I can poop tomorrow! (I figure since it’s my blog, I can say “poop” if I want.)

- Aurelia

February 23, 2011 8:49 PM | Comments | Categories: Food, For the Home | Tags: , ,

Home Happies

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Count yourself a lucky girl (or guy) if you have plenty of Home Happies. A Home Happy is something that brings you joy just cause it lives in your home. They normally present themselves in the form of pretty things. Sometimes they are lovely; sometimes they are fabulous. Sometimes they are absolutely delicious. I personally love Home Happies cause I don’t have to BUY them. And I don’t have to WISH they were already mine. All I have to do is ENJOY them. Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of your Home Happies, just in case you forgot.

I LOVE that there is Cocoa Hazel sitting in my pantry.

I ADORE my pretty measuring cups my sweet mom-in-law gave me.

My cabinets set aside JUST for cake-baking make me SO HAPPY.

Love love LOVE my yellow candelabra accenting my grey kitchen.

White rustic Picture holding devices don’t necessarily HAVE to hold pictures. They could always just make your dainty room daintier. Dainty things make me HAPPY.

I simply ADORE remembering. And I adore white picture frames that don’t match. 

What are your Home Happies?

- Aurelia

February 22, 2011 8:18 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby Fashion | Tags: ,

I’m an Addict

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You see, my kitchen window has no view.  Well, actually the view is of the neighbor’s kitchen window, and is at a downward angle so when someone’s there, you don’t see their head, and they don’t necessarily see me. (I try not to look, really. I mostly hope her boyfriend doesn’t appear at the kitchen sink in his skivvies because those are frills I do not want to see.) In any case, mostly my view is into her sink.

So you see, I really must have something nice to look at while I’m standing at my own sink. Thus my addiction (and no, it isn’t peeping into my neighbor’s window):

I’m addicted to the natural Frills of fresh flowers. They are PRETTY.  They make me HAPPY. 

Fortunately, in California, fresh flowers are pretty cheap.  At first, I didn’t know if I could justify the cost of always having fresh flowers in the window (roughly $6-$7 a week).  But then I thought: wait, I’m probably the only twenty-something in this town who doesn’t spend that much every day at Blue Bottle Coffee. 

I’d much rather peep at fresh blooms than into someone’s kitchen sink. Plus, I’m of the opinion that it’s the little frills that go the farthest.

February 22, 2011 12:25 PM | Comments | Categories: For the Home | Tags:

Frilling Finds: Nursing-Friendly Dresses

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Did you know that nursing requires a special wardrobe?  Well it does, unless you don’t mind showing off your post-baby pooch every time you have to feed your kid.  Personally, I mind that part more than the occasional nip-slip.  (hunh. I don’t wanna know what that says about me.) So, in order to keep things-you-wish-weren’t-there under close surveillance, you have to get creative.  Button-up tops become your golden go-to’s.  Scarves become strategic hooter-hiders. Nursing camis become workhorse peices: they can make any top more nursing-friendly, and take the place of a nursing bra, and can also be worn solo under a cardigan.  If you’re lucky enough to find a truly cute nursing top, as in, a top made especially for nursing moms, that doesn’t LOOK like a nursing top, then you’ve really scored. 

Over the three months since my little one was born I have assembled a serviceable nursing wardrobe: a few nice nursing tops, a couple of neutral button-downs, and an arsenal of nursing camis and bras.  But I love wearing dresses, and have missed them. Do you know how hard it is to find a nursing-friendly dress that doesn’t look like a frump-fest?  Difficult, my friends. 

However, in the last couple of weeks I managed to find TWO.  And, drum roll please, here they are:

The Nectar dress from Athleta

I’ve been loving Athleta for swimsuits and workout clothes for years, and was excited to find that they’ve opened their San Francisco store just a few blocks from my house.  When I poked my head in, my eye immediately landed on this dress, due to its wrap styling and stretchy fabric which make for excellent nursing access.  A bit of rouching on the side helps camouflage the post-baby poochiness.  So far I’ve styled it with richly-colored cardigans and tall boots, but once the weather is warmer it will be cute with sandals as well.  It comes in a variety of colors, although I came home with this neutral print.  Super comfy, easy-to-wear, put it on and you’re done.

The Anna Dressy Denim Dress from J Crew

This one I scored on sale! It unsnaps halfway down the front for just the right amount of boob-access.  What I especially like about it is its versatility: it is, at least for San Francisco climate, multi-seasonal, so I can wear it now with tights and a cardigan or jacket, and later in the year with bare legs; and it can be dressed up or down.  A perfect transition piece.  Incidentally, it’s also good at hiding my friend The Pooch because of the slight gather in the front.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link for this one online, so I guess I’ll be the only one who gets to have it…

I’m so Frilled about these finds.  I feel like a real girl again.

-Fran

February 21, 2011 8:53 PM | Comments | Categories: Baby, Fashion | Tags: , , ,

Pink Things are Pretty.

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For a long time I held a special animosity toward the color pink. I wouldn’t choose it for things I owned, and I definitely would not wear it. But over the last year I have found myself fighting a losing battle. I mean, really. What’s not to like? Pink things are pretty. And while I still tend to prefer things in shades of greens and yellows, I have begun to embrace the color pink with fervency. 

I started out small. The saleswoman at Dillard’s convinced me that a pink bandeau bra would be the perfect accent to the stunning black, blue, and purple sheer Kensie top I was purchasing. Cha-ching. I love it. 

(Image available at Amazon)

I even went as far as selecting a pink dress complete with RUFFLES. And I got a lot of Ooh-Cute-Dress’s and That-Color-is-SO-pretty-on-you’s as a result. 

(Image via Blue Fly)

After that there was no stopping me. I mean, having a pink dress with RUFFLES should count as some sort of rite of passage into the world of pretty pink things. I’m so positively FRILLED by pink that I’ve found myself getting pink accessories almost accidentally. 

(From left to right: Chi available at Amazon. Coach Swing Pack available at Amazon. Tote available at Vera Bradley. Nook sleeve available at Barnes and Noble.)

Isn’t pink just SO classic and girly? Sometimes its nice to be classic and girly. Sometimes, I kinda like it.

- Aurelia

February 19, 2011 3:07 PM | Comments | Categories: Fashion | Tags: , ,

Spring is Bold

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We’ve had a glimpse of spring this week with highs in the mid 70s. Hoorah! To celebrate, I entered Old Navy for the first time in years. I bought bold, bright accessories because bold is SO in this Spring.

I bought this in yellow. I shall have this one, too I think.Bold Bright Red

 Next on my list: Bold, bright, super-fun nail color. 

-Aurelia

February 18, 2011 5:07 PM | Comments | Categories: Fashion | Tags: ,
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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.

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