Friday, April 30, 2010

Pretty Pink Pedi

I got a pedi at lunch today (I'm treating myself to a pedicure every two or three weeks this summer since already I can't reach my toes!!!) and stepped out of my polish comfort zone to try OPI's Elephantastic Pink. All my toes have seen for the last two years is OPI's Over the Taupe, so this is really a radical departure. But I'm loving it!

It's bright, but not too bright, and it's the prettiest corally-pink. It would look amazing with a tan, but alas a girl can't have it all.

Have a lovely weekend, ladies! xo

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Scary or Cool?

I'm definitely leaning towards cool, but it's probably too bizarre/scary for the nursery, huh?

(via utilitarianfranchise)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I like this haircut/wig...

I have a confession to make: Sometimes when I'm really, really, really bored I read celebrity gossip blogs. I do. I'm not proud if it, mind you, but I do it nonetheless. It's mindless. And sometimes mindless is just what you need.

Anyway, I recently came across this picture of Jessica Simpson with short hair (it's a wig!), and I really like that cut. I've sworn I'm not going to do the "oh my gosh I'm a mom now I better cut my hair short!" thing, but honestly, I was thinking about going back to short before I even got pregnant. What do you think?

p.s. I saved this picture without noting the credit. If anyone knows please send it a long (and then I will know that you, too, share my dirty little secret of celebrity blog reading!!! wink...wink...).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ithaca Farmer's Market

Saturday morning was absolutely gorgeous here, and we were up and out of the house before 9 a.m., going to our favorite nursery to buy tomato and pepper plants, stopping at our local Tractor Supply Co. to see the baby chicks and ducklings (it was hard to leave there without one!), running bathroom renovation errands, and hitting the Ithaca Farmer's Market. It was a great morning. I picked up two gorgeous bags of baby salad mix, French breakfast radishes (my favorite!!!), and--most importantly--we ate.

I had my favorite sampler platter from Macro Mamas, which is a different mish-mash each week of a hearty grain, beans, and various cooked and raw veg all topped with a salad and this amazing poppyseed dressing they make (I'd kill for that recipe...that's how good it is!). It's a ridiculous amount of food (and this is the SMALL!!!). Seth always ends up getting at least half, but while he waits...

...he scarfs down one of the most incredible egg rolls ever: crispy, but not greasy, with a filling that's tender-crisp, incredible homemade duck sauce and Chinese mustard to dip in, HUGE, and only $2.

Come visit me...we'll go to the market!

p.s. Note to self: new camera + unshowered, make-up free Saturday morning errands = a scary combo! HA!

Oh Happy Day!

I came home from work last Wednesday evening to find Seth excitedly snapping photos of his favorite subject, Zelda, with our NEW SLR!!! YAY!!! Finally we can take some decent pix again... this action shot of Zelda doing her favorite thing, which consists of simultaneously rubbing around on the living room carpet and growling at nothing (does anyone else's dog do this?)...

...or this portrait shot, entitled "Tibetan Terrier in Profile"...

...or this extreme close-up of the sweetest nose ever.

Stay tuned for a much higher quality photo documentation of the comings and goings of the Brahlers! xo

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bea Arthur Haunts McDonald's

Have you seen this ad? Isn't it awesome?! Chicken is probably the meat with which I take biggest issue. Commercial farming practices for chicken are beyond nightmarish. So yay! for PETA's clever use of this bequest from Bea Arthur.

p.s. I want those earrings!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MidWeek MidCentury: Retro Patio Furniture at Lowe's

We were at Lowe's last night making a few final purchases for our bathroom renovation that starts in just two weeks (!!!), and the cutest vintage-inspired aluminum chairs, side tables and gliders caught my eye. We've been on the lookout for a real set of this furniture for years, but when you find it around here, which is rare, it's gotten very expensive. So although I'd love an old set, I'm kind of tempted, you know?

The best part was that they have the same set in miniature!!! Three little chairs and a table! Don't you think the twins need it?!

Can I register at Lowe's?!?!

The Innocence Mission

Does anyone else remember the band The Innocence Mission? I guess they are still around, but I only have one of their albums, Glow, that I bought my freshman year in college. It's a great album, but it seems like I only want to listen to it in spring. I think it's because the song Bright as Yellow reminds me of forsythia!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nursery Art

Nautical Print

Just did a big Etsy order today for art for the nursery. Can you guess what our theme is?

(via BeatUpCreations, petitemoufette and AfricanGrey)

Blue Monday: Mental Images

Tonight is our first birthing class, and despite the fact that I have a wicked cold, I'm still really, really excited about it. The birthing technique we are learning is called Hypnobirthing. Have you heard of it? I cannot say enough positive things about it. Calling it a technique is really inaccurate because it's really more of a birthing philosophy. Once you read the book and learn the history and the benefits of having a hypnobirth you are a complete convert. You're like, "Yes! That's right! My body was designed to do this! Why am I scared? I should be excited!"

I learned about Hypnobirthing a number of years ago because bff Molly is a midwife and Hypnobirthing coach (actually she's a full-time mom now, but she is still a crusader for natural labor and women's health in general). She gave me all the Hypno materials two years ago, and last fall as the date for our in vitro got closer and closer, I decided to read the book and start listening to the meditation cd to help lower my stress level and prepare me--both mentally and physically--for the two procedures.

I found the Hypno techniques came in particularly handy the day of our embryo transfer. Although the doctors had prescribed Valium because I was really jumpy during our trial transfer (as you can imagine, it's super important that you remain really relaxed and still as they are injecting the microscopic embryos into your uterus), I really didn't want to take it. So instead, I spent the entire car ride from Ithaca to Rochester listening to the Hypno cd and focusing all my energy on relaxing my abdomenal muscles--in particularly my cervix, and centering my thoughts on having an easy, successful transfer (which we did...x2!).

Anyway...all of that is a very round-about way to get to saying that I've been trying to come up with a few mental images to focus on during labor. Since there is absolutely no place I am happier or more relaxed than the beach, I figure that is where I should focus my attention. In particular, I always have this image of Nauset Beach, on Cape Cod, that I just love....walking up the sandy path through the dunes to get out to the beach, you get almost to the top of the dune and can see a sliver of the Atlantic that is all gold and shimmery like this:

Sigh...I can totally hear the waves crashing, the rustle of the wind through the dune grass, feel the hot sun on my back, and smell the onion rings cooking at Liam's. If that doesn't get me through labor, I don't know what will!

Friday, April 16, 2010

These are the things my husband likes for gifts...

Seth and I are essentially the same person in male/female form, but there are a few extreme variations in our personalities. For example, when it comes time for birthday, anniversary or Christmas gifts he wants things that are practical, usable, sensible; whereas I come up with a list of at least ten things I want for each holiday, and they are hardly ever things I need--just pure, unadulterated wants (it's the Taurus in me).

Yesterday was Seth's 33rd birthday and although he repeatedly told me not to get him anything, I'm all about buying gifts, so I just couldn't let that happen. But I knew, now more than ever, if I got him something impractical, he never would have enjoyed it. And since he's all about putting up as much veg from our garden and CSA share as possible, I got him a FoodSaver. I have to admit that I'm skeptical about this device, but we'll see how it works once we start freezing fresh veg again in a few months.

As a totally gratuitous birthday celebration, I did convince Seth to go for side-by-side massages last evening at our lovely local spa, August Moon. We then ate Chinese food on the couch and watched some crappy TV. Isn't our life glamourous?

p.s. In an odd role reversal, my birthday is next month and I have asked for a new utility sink (our old one is terrifying...seriously...I'll post some pix and feel confident you'll agree!). Since very soon I'll be spending a lot of time hosing out dirty diapers, etc., I figure it's only fitting to have a sink that won't give me the heebie-geebies every time I look at it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sneak Peak of What We Did Last Sunday...

Last Sunday we met our friend, Bryan, in Jersey City, to have some "pregnancy pictures" taken. Bryan shot our engagement and wedding photos (I'll post some soon), and he's so fun to work with. I am really, really not good at being photographed, and as much as I wish I dared to have some nudie, "glamour shot" pregnancy pix done, that's just soooooo not me; but I wanted us to document this time because I knew I'd regret it later if we didn't. So doing some cute shots of the two of us together seemed ideal and being able to have Bryan take the pictures seemed perfect (I told him he's now the official "Brahler Family Photographer"). We took a few shots in his studio, then headed to Liberty State Park to do the rest. I'm just wading through the files now to narrow down the selection so Bryan can start to retouch, convert to b&w, etc., but I wanted to share a few of my faves so far.

Incidentally, isn't Zelda just the cutest?! That first pic brought the biggest smile to my face because she is so clearly on a mission to sniff, sniff, sniff! It was her first time in the big city, and she took complete advantage of it!

Best. OJ. Ever.

Keep your eye out for orange juice from Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company. It's 100% fresh squeezed o.j. That's it. Nothing else. It's not even pasteurized.

I previously thought the Odwalla o.j. was good, but honestly I have never tasted anything like this juice. It's sweet--but not too sweet. It's tangy--but not too tangy. It's got just the perfect amount of pulp. If it weren't a wee bit on the pricey-side, I could easily drink gallons of it every day (I have a bit of an orange juice problem, can you tell?).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The redbuds are blooming! The redbuds are blooming!

There are two things I eagerly anticipate every spring: the blooming of both the forsythias and the redbuds. The forsythias all popped out two weekends ago when we had three or four days of 80 degree weather, but yesterday was the first I noticed the redbuds just starting to peek through. They are such a sweet, delicate tree, and the vibrant magenta blossoms make a striking contrast to all that chartreuse spring growth exploding everywhere.

Several people in our neighborhood have redbuds, and I conspicuously slow down when I drive by to oogle their lovely foliage. Since that always makes me feel a bit stalker-ish, over the weekend I gave my boys--and their dad--a big hint that next year, for my first Mother's Day (how crazy is that???), a redbud sapling would make a wonderful gift!

(via BillCPhotos)

'70s-ish Tiered Layers

I've been completely in love with long, layered '70s-inspired dresses for years, so naturally I think it rocks that they are "in" right now. It's probably the one spring look that I'm really sorry I'm missing out on (layers + pregnant belly = a VERY bad idea). Something about them just feels so breezy, yet something Jacqueline Bisset's character would wear to dinner in Bermuda in the movie The Deep.

Chloe just continues to kill me season after season, and this dress is no exception. I swear when I win the lottery I will wear only Chloe...

...but then check out how cute Kendra from LookBook and the blog If You Want a Piece of Me looks in this vintage number. Her ensemble reminds me once again that there's very little that comes down the runway that we can't find vintage--so why spend a fortune on our wardrobes?

Here I am in the one-and-only tiered frock I own. I wish I had a better, full-length picture of this dress. It's been a fave for 4 or 5 years now, and it's from H&M. It's got a wide tiered ruffle at the top, then a belted waist with a tiered just-below-the-knee length skirt--all done in accordion-pleated nude jersey. AND it ties at the shoulders, which is one of my favorite dress accoutrements ever. I WILL fit back into by next summer...I swear!!!

p.s. Isn't my bff so pretty?

p.p.s. Doesn't that champagne look soooooo delicious? I WILL be drinking that again by next summer, too! ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Belly Update and Other News

I'm having trouble believing that tomorrow I will already be 21 weeks pregnant. Time seems to be rapidly picking up speed! I feel like my belly is getting bigger by the minute, I'm finally feeling hungry (YAY!), and the twins are moving so, so much now. In fact, for the last week I've actually been able to see them move, which is just the coolest thing ever. They seem to be particularly busy in the evening when I'm in the tub (I think this is a sign that they are going to like the water as much as their mama does!); the funny thing is that they'll be movin' and groovin' and as soon as Seth comes in to see it, they stop! He's starting to think I'm making it up, even though I swear to him my whole belly was jumping just a few seconds before!

Dress - LaRedoute...back when they sold in the U.S.
Jersey cardi - forget the brand, but it was bought at the BonTon
Tights - Target
Black suede studded flats - Sigerson Morrison for Target
Gilda Links necklace and earrings - Stella & Dot

Here I am during my 18th week, in my favorite non-maternity maternity outfit. This silk sundress is one of my summer favorites, bought about 6 or 7 years ago. It's nice and tenty and worked great for early maternity-wear (I even put a black turtleneck under it a few times and wore it like a jumper!). I bought the jersey cardigan last summer in preparation for getting pregnant, and it's been a constant staple.

T-shirt - Old Navy Maternity
Jeans - H&M Maternity
Turquoise and red coral jewelry - Mexico and Passion for Pearls, an awesome jewelry vendor at the National Association of REALTORS' conventions

I can't believe I'm putting this shot up, but it's the only one we got during week 19. I like to call it my "Moby Dick" picture, since I essentially look like big, white whale! This was taken on Easter Sunday, which is miraculous because Easter here is ALWAYS cold and rainy. But since this year it was hot and sunny, I decided the boys and I should work on getting some color! I sat out all afternoon with my parents while Seth putzed around in the garden, weeding and planting lettuce and radishes. It was a wonderful way to spend Easter!

In other news, last week I told my Board of Directors that I won't be coming back to work once the twins arrive. Deciding to stay at home was such a hard decision--for a variety of reasons (finances, I like my job, FINANCES)--but daycare costs are so high here that I essentially would have been working to only bring home a couple of hundred dollars a month. Plus Seth and I both had moms who stayed home when we were little, and it was always our dream to be able to do the same thing when we started a family.'s really scary, and we're taking a HUGE leap of faith, but now that the decision is final I'm feeling a real sense of peace about it and am excited to say that as of July 30 I will be a full-time mom!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bea Arthur + Pizza = My newest Tumblr Love

Just when I think I can't find anything more random and fabulous on the Internet--or Tumblr in particular--I stumbled upon Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza, a site that describes itself as "the definitive collection of pictures featuring Bea Arthur, mountains, and pizza." Now, I believe my feelings for Bea Arthur are well-documented, and God knows I love pizza and don't dislike mountains in the slightest, so this discovery really feels like a coup for me! Check it out...seriously.

Sorry for the lack of posting last week--time really got away from me. Work is so, so crazy right now, and things are busy, busy at home gearing up for two big projects: a bathroom renovation and the nursery (more on both to come!). I promise more posts this week!


(via bea arthur mountains pizza)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sandal Shopping

It's so sunny and gorgeous here today!!! I actually have my fave open-toe booties on and am loveloveloving it! I typically ban socks around March 15, but that can sometimes be an imprudent decision when it's April and still only in the 30s (sadly, often the case in Upstate New York). But with tomorrow and Saturday predicted to be in the low 80s (YES!!!), I'm now itching to pull out all my spring and summer shoes and add a few new lovelies to the collection.

Top on my list are these adorable espadrilles. I've been searching for the perfect espadrilles for at least three years, but every pair I've found has been either sky-high or really stiff and uncomfortable--or both. But last month I did some searching online and found the site Espadrilles, Etc. This site sells the real thing--every style and color combo you could imagine, all made in Spain. I love the bright stripes in this pair and can imagine wearing them with just about everything in my summer wardrobe, but for this year, I think they'll work nicely on swollen, hot pregnant feet!

I bought my first pair of Corso Como sandals last summer, and it was an instant love affair. They were unquestionably the most comfortable sandals I've ever owned. So this year I want to add this taupey-grey and silver pair to the mix. I love the over-sized buckles, and I'm still majorly in love with the sliver wedge.

Words cannot express how much I love this cutie from Kelsi Dagger. The grey snakeskin t-strap would have been adorable enough on its own, but when you pair it with a band of ruched salmon leather, I just can't resist!

And last but not least--the workhorse of the bunch--the flip flop. I have to tell you that three years ago I bought a pair of rubber Tory Burch flip flops, and I thought at $45 it was a completely stupid purchase considering I'd previously spent the same amount on my Eliza B. flip flops that are handmade and super, super sturdy (I bought my first pair 7 or 8 years ago and they still look like new!). Three years later I am amazed at how awesomely the TB's have held up, so I'm going back for another pair. Now that I'm finally daring to wear animal prints, I think I'll go with this black leopard print.

What shoes are on your shopping list for spring/summer?
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