I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Let’s just say it was a good year for mama. I’ve been waiting to make Forrest’s costume for three years, since Brock first sent me a link to something similar (as a joke), and then forbade me from making it for baby Dashiell.

Which is clearly why you have a second baby.

I’d say this chicken costume does deserve just a little bit more play, don’t you think?

I could eat him alive.

In case you’re now convinced, like I was, that this is actually the most adorable costume ever invented for a baby, here’s what you need to make it:

Long sleeve white onesie. (I actually used two and sewed them together so he’d be warm enough without a sweater).
Yellow tights
Yellow crocs (obviously!)
White pilot cap
Red fabric or felt
Loose white duck feathers
Glue gun

Gluing the feathers to the onesie takes no more than an hour. Though one word of caution… babies do not like things like feathers touching their faces. Oops! Didn’t think that through until Forrest tried on the onesie for the first time. I ended up having to rip off all the feathers near his neck and shoulders, and he still cried for a solid 10 minutes when I first put the final costume on. But then he learned to love it, naturally, and wore it for the next 4.5 hours.

The most time consuming part was making the comb from red cotton jersey and sewing it onto the pilot cap. But you could totally use felt or something easier to work with too.

So easy and such a crowd pleaser. Every single person he passed by on Halloween (especially the ladies) had to stop and stare and talk and tell him what a darling little girl he was. Kidding! Nearly half the people thought he was a rooster. Good enough for me.

And Dash… he wanted to be a kitty. A scary kitty. But let’s be honest, could this guy ever *really* be scary?

Amazing how much they grow each year. In case you’re curious: Halloween 2010 / 2011 / 2012. Somehow that’s one thing I’ve managed to post every year.

November 1, 2013

Welcome, fall.

I love fall. I mean, I know *everybody* loves fall. But seriously, I think it’s my spirit season. We certainly have plenty of warm days ahead of us here in Southern California, yet I can’t help feeling slightly desperate to put away the sunscreen and popsicles (okay, probably not the popsicles) to enjoy sweaters, chilly bright mornings, tea in the afternoon, soups, holidays, whiskey cocktails, and the like.

Though full disclosure, I’m always excited about the next season, no matter which is coming up.

I love the opening line of Peter Rabbit and the Pumpkin Patch, a book we’ve been reading very often over the last few weeks:

“After suffering through the stifling heat of summertime, the cool, crisp air of autumn always makes one feel more lively.”

Doesn’t that sum things up so nicely? Fall is so much about being inspired for me. I’ve been feeling that so much lately, but also a bit disappointed with how little time I really have to cook and grow and create like I used to do. Then I remind myself of how I’m growing little boys now, which is a project that is so mind-blowingly rewarding (also incredibly challenging) that I am mostly okay with not being able to do it all.

Doing it all… hmm. There’s been a lot of talk about that recently, hasn’t there? I know I find myself assuming that everyone else IS while I am not. This brilliant opinion piece in the New York Times that my dear friend Laura passed on to me is a pretty perfect analysis of how I feel about this issue. Frankly I’m just bored hearing about it. We have what we have. I like to try to remember that it’s more than enough.

In the same vein, this even more brilliant article on Instagram and self esteem is a poignant reminder to me of how best to approach your relationship with social media. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Thanks to the always insightful Lily for sharing it on her blog.

(Clearly these things have been on my mind a lot of late.)

Brock and I have been married for 5 years this month. FIVE YEARS! Wow. When I look back at our wedding, no matter how much fun I know we were having then, I would never not for one second want to trade those days for what we have now. But that sure was a good night.

I made these outstanding slow roasted, oil poached tomatoes from the most perfect late season San Marzanos. We still have some in the fridge and I’ve been nibbling on them for treats. They are like candy.

Also made some essential toy investments recently. After sorting through our current collection, of course. I do love purging toys. Play food, where have you been all my life? And because my boys are obsessed with our broom and mop, I got them one of each in their size. Of course I really need two of each because they will forever want what the other has, it seems.

This cuff is pretty perfect.

I heart this family newborn shoot we featured on 100 Layer Cakelet. Baby. Want. WAIT! Have. Hormones are crazy things, aren’t they?

Also some of my favorite books for parents and favorite books for fall are over on the 100 Layer Cake family blog too.

Which as you might have guessed is generally where I spend my blogging time right now. But the thing is? I really miss it here. Sharing parties and costumes and family photography is fun and all, but I miss my teeny tiny corner of the internet. I think, with the arrival of fall, I will make a more more earnest effort to be here more often. At Crafting Community I met two sweet ladies (Hey Melissa, hey Adrienne!) who stopped and said hi because they’d been reading this blog since BEFORE I WAS MARRIED. (Did I mention it’s been five years?) I was 1) shocked and 2) completely flattered and humbled that anyone still knew that my blog existed. I hope I can pick up where I left off soon. I hope some of you will still be out there.

If you are,


(Photos from our annual trip to the best pumpkin patch ever on the way out to Palm Springs.)

November 1, 2012

Dress up

Pretty scary around these parts last night, as you can tell. Melanie and I were in tears laughing about how ridiculous it is to try to get little people to wear costumes. Forrest was the most open to the whole thing. He makes a pretty good bear, don’t you think?

Luciana and Dashie were on board for approximately 10 minutes.

We even made it to a few houses for tricks and treats, which made me feel better since Dashie had to miss the Halloween festivities at school. Still has a nasty cold. Poor guy.

Look at me posting two days in a row!

October 30, 2012

Oh, hello.

Wow so the entire summer passed with barely a word on this poor blog. Things have been…


But things are also kind of settling down finally. And I keep having ideas for posts, but then I can’t find the time to write them. If I could stay up past 9 I would probably get more done, but I cannot stay up later than that yet. Nearly, but not yet. Sleep deprivation is so consuming and I think it takes a while to make up for all those lost hours in bed.

But somehow things do seem to be getting a wee bit better. And I miss it here, even though I’m not sure there’s anyone left to read. Maybe you will come back if I actually post again? Let’s try and see how it goes.

Here’s a general update…

Dashiell started preschool in September and it’s been amazing. His language exploded again and he seems even happier now that he can express what he’s thinking all the time. And I mean, ALL. THE. TIME. He’s the king of self-narrated play. We naturally find it adorable. However with the greatness of preschool has come the onslaught of colds. They are knocking us on our butts, I have to say. Dashie is in the middle of his third cold in 5 weeks. And I’m talking real colds, not just a sniffle for a few days. And Forrest has had a string of mini colds that have resulted in a secret ear infection only discovered because we had his four month appointment this week. Feeling pretty good about that one! He hates his antibiotics and I feel like I’m torturing him twice a day as he gags down the dose. The poor poor dear.

We went to Seattle a few weeks before preschool started for my friend Jen’s wedding. It was fantastic. Despite my fears of traveling with both of them, and I’m not going to say it was a walk in the park, it was really great for our family morale. We can go places! We can do things! We are not actually stuck at home from here on out! Brock and I even snuck out one evening for an hour or so to grab dinner at How to Cook A Wolf, which was conveniently right around the corner from our rental house. The wedding was beautiful and the venue, Bella Luna Farms, truly one of a kind. Like if the Sundance Catalog and Anthropologie got together and styled an entire farm. Unfortunately 10 weeks of broken sleep caught up with me that evening and I literally hit a wall during the party. But we survived and I’m so glad we went. Also, Seattle is gorgeous and special and we’re hoping to go back sometime when we can really explore and enjoy.

We’ve actually been to three weddings since Forrest was born, most importantly… um, hello! Amanda’s! Which will be making it’s media debut in Martha Stewart Weddings in March. It was beautiful and fun and the cocktails were delicious and thanks to Brock’s mom making a huge effort for us, we were able to enjoy a bit of the party.

I still feel like there is never ever enough time in the day (see: going to bed at 9pm every night), but I know that will change too. I did manage to make Dashiell a little halloween costume, though it remains to be seen if he’ll actually wear it. I’m sure you’ll find out on Instagram tomorrow.

We managed to carve pumpkins and roast seeds. I’ve actually made dinner a few times, which makes me feel somewhat normal again.

I gave Dashie his first “boy” haircut and now he looks even more like a girl. Oh well. At least he can see.

I desperately need a haircut myself. And I mean desperately. My hair is the longest it’s ever been, well below the bra strap, which I think is a pretty standard measure for having really long hair. Now I think I could actually sneak out to get it cut, but I’m waffling back and forth between keeping it long and going for a big cut. I reeeealllly want to chop 10 inches so I can donate to Locks of Love, but I know I’ll want it back the second it’s gone. What do you guys think? See how long my hair is in these pictures?!!

I still have posts brewing about welcoming the second baby, about sleep, and about how to get your bottle-resistant baby to take one. Who wants to hear them? Maybe if I start posting again I will find the time.

Forrest did his first full night last night (only two months behind average French babies but who’s counting??!!), so I feel like we might be headed towards normalcy. Sleep is after all the most coveted of all things that are lost when a new baby arrives. At least for me.

Photos by Michèle, while we were up in Seattle. She shot my friend’s wedding too!

November 1, 2011


My little farmer last night. His first trip around the neighborhood, eating his loot as he goes.

The most genius thing: houses that have little kid appropriate treat options! So thankful for those people. Goldfish were dinner last night, I’m a little ashamed to say. But we had lots of fun seeing all the other people dressed up, so totally worth it.

Look how much he’s grown in a year.

October 29, 2010

Saving the season

Yesterday while Dashiell and I were at Surfas, I saw an announcement for a class on holiday canning. Which of course made me look twice, because as we all know, I love canning things. The instructor, it turns out, has a lovely blog on preserving and canning called Saving the Season. What a perfect sentiment.

He has all sorts of nice recipes (like pear jam, yum!!) and ideas about the process. Plus a whole list of canning resources for anyone who wants to get into the spirit of putting up your own preserves and pickles and the like.

Perfect for a little weekend project, don’t you think? I’m desperate to make pickled jalapenos from my overfull pepper plant. Perhaps I’ll make a bunch and add them to my little stash of holiday gifts.

This weekend we’ll be enjoying the sparkly fall weather, dressing up our little dude in his first Halloween costume, and someone will be packing and preparing for a short (but very sweet) trip to Berkeley on Monday all by herself.