Category Archives: Personal Posts

posts about me

Motherhood – On Making Decisions

January 29, 2016



Most of you know I wear several hats—wife, mother, scientist, baker, photographer, calligrapher, budding entrepreneur, with motherhood sitting at the top of the list. That’s not to say I don’t give all the other roles the attention they deserve. I do (that’s another story), but my job as a mother is my number one priority. And from the moment I found out I was pregnant, it’s been all about decision-making. Some decisions are easy ones and some are much, much harder. But I lead and follow with my heart. I’ll always use reason, but I rely on my heart and what my intuition as a mother knows best and let that guide me.

The other week, a terrible accident happened to Laina at daycare and it went unnoticed and I wasn’t notified. I picked her up at the end of the day and her two front teeth were cracked off! And we don’t have any answers as to what happened. It wasn’t so much the accident that happened, but the fact that it went unnoticed and we weren’t notified. It called into question the quality of care our daughter was actually getting, compared to what we were expecting. And the fact that we don’t know how her teeth became cracked, we only think the worst. Was it preventable? Did a teacher hurt her? Did a student hurt her? We can only hope it was an innocent mistake, but without answers, it’s just a terrible feeling to have as a parent.  I mean…my daughter got hurt and no one was there to comfort her. I get that things are going to happen to Laina that are completely out of my control and she’s vulnerable to the world and will get hurt and I won’t be there. I know this. But there are expectations of daycare that weren’t met.

So we had to make the choice to pull her and change daycares. Seems like an easy choice, right? Not so much. I mean, she’s just making a linear switch to a new daycare.  Who’s to say something like this won’t happen and go unnoticed again? I highly doubt something like this would ever happen again, but I feel like we’ve lost confidence in this type of childcare setting. It’s a love-hate feeling, really.  I love that Laina has a little time away from home where she’s busy with learning activities, art and playing with her peers. But I also find that environment to be ran by young and inexperienced women and are often too “rowdy”. The fact that Laina is only part time gives me some feeling of relief and that she really does have the best of both worlds.

But to be brutally honest, I’m not excited at all to take her to the new daycare. I was and wasn’t excited to leave the previous daycare. There were some things I really loved about it, and things I would have liked to see different, but not everything in life (and daycare) is perfect. Ultimately, I DO think Laina is at an advantage being in daycare part time. She loves being around kids and I love that she’s social. I love that she’s sings songs, plays music, learns new things and makes adorable art every day.

I’m constantly weighing pros and cons and doing what I think is the best thing for her. Out of sheer principle, we couldn’t bring her back to her original daycare. Not to mention all trust was tossed out the window. Motherhood in general, will always throw crazy things your way and sometimes it’s easy and other times it’s really hard and you can only pray you’ve made the right choice. If not, accept the pitfall, learn from it and move forward.

This week with Laina home, we got pummeled with about 30 inches of snow! Too much snow to truly enjoy, especially with Laina refusing to wear her snowsuit. I did manage to bundle her up for some walks in the sunshine and she absolutely loved walking down the corridors of snow!  motherhood motherhood motherhood motherhood


Laina’s Second Birthday Party

January 19, 2016

Laina's Birthday Party 01

Laina and her buds, “JakiePaul”

Well friends, as promised, here are details on Laina’s little brunchy party we threw her over the weekend. I had way too much fun planning this party and putting all the little details together. The fun is in the details, right?!

At first, Laina was a little overwhelmed by all the people. She must’ve been thinking: “Woah, Mom wasn’t kidding when she said all my friends were coming over!” She was super clingy for a while, but definitely eased up and was running around, bouncing off the walls like everyone else!

This year I went with a brunch party, mostly for the timing part. The party ends right at nap time! And, who doesn’t love brunch?


  • Bagel Bar (with every topping you could want!)
  • Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche
  • Prosciutto and Onion Quiche
  • Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche
  • Raspberry and Blueberry Muffins
  • The Perfect Protein Salad
  • Maple Sausage French Toast Bake
  • Chicken Tortellini Salad
  • Mimosa Bar
  • Coffee Station (with Bailey’s if that’s how ya wanted to roll!)
  • Cake and Cupcakes AKA “happy cakes”

party flowers Lainas brunch set up Lainas Brunch 03 Lainas Brunch 02 Laina Brunch Flowers Lainas Party

Cake Laina Laina Happy CakeLainas Birthday Party 02

I thought about doing a theme, Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star and I bought little star confetti for the table, but realized that’s ALL I did related to the theme! So in the end, I didn’t exactly pull it off as I hoped in my mind. But the party evolved in it’s own way. Kids played and tuckered themselves out and us grownups enjoyed some seriously good food and drink!

For the party favors, I had to take advantage of my calligraphy skills and hand wrote thank you signs for each child on brown Kraft bags. In each bag I put Laina’s favorite snacks: An applesauce squeeze pack and a bag of goldfish or shortbread cookies! Then a little washi tape decor and they were done! party Favors

For those of you wondering where that incredible cake came from….Amy’s Sweet Bake Shop in West Chester, PA! Amy is so easy to work with and I kid you not, everyone will go bonkers over the cake/cupcakes!  I love how she “paints” on the cake. And that gold color is beautiful!

The quiches came from Nomadic Pies in Kennett Square and the Chicken Tortellini Salad was from Carlino’s in West Chester. Everything else by Yours Truly!

Liddy Bug Jess and Mark and Gi Ava_Lainas Party Giannajoe and amberBilly HeatherAmy Curt

Thanks for checking out Laina’s party! I should have been a party planner, right??

Laina Turns Two!!

January 14, 2016

Laina Two Years

Laina just hours after birth and again at TWO years old

I mean, WOW! At 8;45 PM tonight, our little “goose” turns two years old! Remember her birth story? Or when she turned ONE? It’s crazy how much she no longer looks like a baby but a full-on toddler. Bitter sweet for sure.  She’s full of life and happiness and blows me away every single day. This weekend we are celebrating with a Birthday Brunch Party and I’ll be sure to have all her party details up on the blog next week! It’s been quite a treat watching this girl grow up and see her amazing and fun personality manifest itself. My Mom says Laina is me all over again (Aw!) and that completely warms my heart, even though at times she is quite the handful!

Laina has had a fun year making new friends, playing outside (water play was a HUGE hit during the summer) and is getting better and better at communicating as she learns more words. Of course we have to remind her to use  her words as she sometimes just goes the route of throwing herself on the floor in a crying fit when all she wants is me to pick her up.  And not all words sounds like they should! For example, Laina has started saying “fork”. And at times it doesn’t sound anything like fork, haha!!  It’s definitely time to be careful with what I say around her!!


  • cooking in her kitchen
  • coloring
  • all things Mickey Mouse
  • chatting it up….my personal fave these days is when she wants me to sing. She says (in the cutest little voice and pronouncing the “g’s” very well: “Mommy, sing a song”….or….”No sing a song, Mommy”. But usually EVERY time I start singing about the Wheels on the Bus and how they go round, she smiles and does all the moves!
  • goldfish snack crackers, veggie sticks and PASTA
  • Her Daddy….! Like, when he’s around I basically don’t exist.
  • Same with her “Finny”.
  • playing outside



IMG_0340 IMG_0375(1)Daddy LainaIMG_0450

As you can see, our little sweetie had quite the fun year. We can’t wait to see what this new year brings. You amaze us, Laina Rose!

Hello 2016 – One Word Intention

January 6, 2016


Well hello there 2016! You crept up on me so fast, I almost forgot to place an intention here on the blog. I just took some much-needed time off for the holiday but man, I’m exhausted! I need a week off from my week off. Christmas morning was really awesome. Laina TOTALLY gets opening presents and tears right through them and is on to the next. My little sweetie made it a point to sit in my lap as she opened her presents. So, so adorable!  Holidays with a toddler is a whole new ball of wax.  We were really busy and had a ton of fun, but some of it was just too much. Sending her off to daycare after a week and half with her was really difficult, even though I’m happy to get back to our usual routine. Lots of food and excitement for her weighed on all of us! But she’s also going through a growth spurt….not kidding, she slept 12-14 hours EVERY night, plus 2-3 hour naps each day. It was kind of incredible.

So 2015 was challenging, especially regarding my health and my journey with Lyme’s Disease.  But aside from that, there were some really fantastic moments, new friendships, new relationships and of course, lots of learning and laughter! And I think 2016 has some cool things in store for our family. Laina turns two in about a week (yippeee!), Phil started a new job, I’m working on beginning my calligraphy business (stay tuned for the launch in a couple weeks!), plus I’m continuing my digital photography development. And if that’s not enough, we’ve got some other goals and new things in the mix so keep your eyes and ears open my friends!

So it’s the time of New Year’s resolutions, right? Not here! No resolutions, just goals! I never stick to resolutions anyways. I mean, yea, I’d love to hit the gym more and eat healthier, but I’m setting my self up for failure! So, instead, I’d like to set an intention for the year. A simple word that I can come back to as a reminder and something to focus on throughout the year to guide me. For 2016, I choose GROWTH. In every sense of the word. I’d like this year to be one full of personal, professional, creative, and family growth.  This isn’t a bucket list type of thing, but a way to connect better with my life in a positive way. Every little thing, achievements or failures are opportunities for growth. Who knows what this year will bring but I look forward to it all. Cheers to you and 2016!

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