mommy + me school // a is for apple

Remember how much I loved doing the little mommy + me classes before all my kiddos were in school?!

Man, I miss those days!

(And still wonder . . . did I miss my calling in life by not becoming a kindergarten teacher...?!!)

So if you are still in that stage of life--with little preschoolers scampering about, making mischief and making you laugh all the day long--you may want to try doing a weekly mommy + me class with them.

We have so many happy memories about these times we had together. The kids still talk about how much they loved "mommy school."

I put together a little "a is for apple" class for the oilo blog, so if you'd like to see the outline & the details, head over there. And let me know if you have any questions!

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hello september!

this september i am looking forward to:

a morning of peach picking, followed by an afternoon of fresh peach cobbler
walking by those quaint white picket fences as i am picking ava carmel up from school
a few more beautiful beach days with perfect water temps
watching death cab for cutie play "i took the 405"
planting some autumn window boxes
a few hours of writing + planning in the public garden

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writing about what i love.

Behold! Ashlyn's pretty little attic bedroom here in New England. After I finish posting the pictures of our Harvard house, I'll start posting the before and afters of our home here on the East Coast.

This room was a pretty good makeover. We started with maroon floors and mauve and blue walls. And look at it now! I've said it before and I'll say it again: white paint is like magic in a can!

Over the last couple months, I have started writing a few posts for Oilo, one of my favorite textile companies. A few weeks ago I shared some fresh looks for girls' bedrooms and this was one of them; all white + a piece of brightly painted furniture.

Writing for Oilo has reminded me how much I love writing about design, about projects, and about fun things to do with my kids--basically I love writing about the things that make life feel beautiful and happy to me. It is so fulfilling to me to be creative in this way.

I have been slowly working on creating a new site where I will write, and hopefully one day, I will offer on-line classes for summer workshops & adventures, and mommy and me classes, birthday party ideas, and maybe even sell some of the party supplies I love to design.  :)

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closing the chapter on harvard avenue: lower level family room tour

photo by carin davis

It's been a little over a year that we've been here in New England. And oh what a year. One day we will write a book entitled 'Our Year In New Hampshire' and next time we see each other, ask us to tell you a story and you better believe, we will have a good one for you!  There are just so many to choose from!

We have had so many adventures, both good and bad. But we are adjusting to a new place, new people and beginning to find our place here on the East Coast.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Before I really get started here on this current chapter, I want to finish that chapter.

Yes that one.

On our dearly loved Harvard Avenue.

The last few months of living there were rough, with James commuting back east and the kids and I  at home trying to finish up the remodel...the remodel that was a couple days from full completion when Piper (the dog) used the water supply line in the upstairs bathroom as a chew toy and flooded the main level and the freshly completed basement while we were away for the day.

It is never a good thing when you open the front door, and it sounds like it is raining in your house.

Yes Harvard house remodel, you nearly did me in.  And then to have to leave you three months after completion, nearly broke my wee designer heart. I've started this post, several times over the last year, but the tears would start flowing every time I looked through these pictures. Not because of the remodel process(!) but because I've never lived in a place that so truly felt like home.

I loved living here, with our home being filled with friends and family. I loved the park up the street, Immigration Market, the Clayton Musical, breakfast at Eggs in the City, every child's school within a short walk, tree-lined streets in the fall, neighborhood carnivals. It was our little slice of heaven.

So I thought I would document this home with a little home tour before I get started documenting our new home. We'll start with the level that had the most drastic change. The lower level. There was not one inch that was not touched on this level. And it got really bad before it got better!

what we began with...warped slanted hardwood & yellow linoleum stairs and hallway

  knocking out walls, adding new plumbing lines, and pouring level concrete floors

 new open layout, new drywall, new duct work, new lighting & new concrete floors

 we didn't mind the weird wall/duct work since we knew we could hide it by building a media center cabinet here

the original hearth was so cracked and damaged when we bought the home that we knew we would need to end up redoing it. We did the floors in a durable, high end laminate (Mannington) & painted the walls in Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore (yes, along with the rest of the blogging world!)


photo by carin davis

Can you believe the difference?! I hardly can. It was a beast to live through, but this became our perfect little hangout/playroom for all of us. Just down the hall we added two bedrooms, one for Andrew & one for Cam, and a beautiful, albeit pint-sized, bathroom too. Those rooms are coming up next!

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happy august!

this august i am looking forward to:

backyard movies played on the back of our barn
lots of boogie boarding (the water is now over 65 degrees!)
finally launching our brand new gillar girl website!!
getting started on my training schedule for the Cape Cod half marathon
whale watching off the coast of Maine (i hope we see one!)

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happy july!

this july i am looking forward to:

a morning of strawberry picking followed right up with an afternoon of strawberry jam making
flying over those amazingly massive mountains into salt lake city
taking a bath in my brand spankin new bathroom
backyard campouts 
(just kidding. nope this one isn't going to be happening this year. there are BATS here people. lots of em. it is supah freaky)
and of course, 
celebrating this beautiful country with a
firework show in the charming little town of portsmouth

i'm pretty sure there's no better place to celebrate independence day than here in new england!

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hello 2015.

A new year is here. . . and we couldn't be happier about it!

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