Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Conversation: Part II

 This is the continued conversation between two Mamas with a whole lot in common.
Please welcome, again, Amanda from It's The Little Things
(If you didn't read the first part of our conversation, you can do that HERE.)
Amanda & Stella (left)  /   Lauren & Scarlett (right)

Lauren:  Isn't it crazy how much we rely on technology now days? I actually have to tell myself to leave it all behind at times. It's easy to get wrapped up in. But like you, I just want to capture all the moments and document them. How cool would it have been if our mothers could have done blogs or made little videos for us?! By the way, I love your newest iMovie video! 

Wow, 10 years! I love stories of people who have been together for a long time. It's rare these days. Same as you, I want more children. But we have some other things that we need to take care of first, like getting married next year! I have only been with Ty for 2 1/2 years. We met jogging and I finally understood what people mean when they say, "When you meet the perfect one, you just know it." I was in a previous relationship for over 10 years and never felt the way I do about Ty.
 As for traveling, I have never been off the east coast and it is on my bucket list to see a few places. I used to be intimidated by traveling. I don't know if that was because I am from a small town? Maybe. But now that we have been brought here to New York, my perception on that has changed a whole lot. I am more open to that now. In fact, I don't want to go back! Ty's job offers us potential to travel if we like, so that is a possibility in the future. 
I really hope that someday, we get a chance to meet. Here's some questions that I'm curious about: Where is your favorite place to shop for Stella? Where is your favorite place to shop for yourself? What is your favorite movie? And What is your favorite hobby/activity?

Amanda: The love you have described between you and Ty is so wonderful.  A love like that is one of those things in life where mere words are not good enough to describe it's beauty.  And congratulations bride-to-be!  Wedding planning is so much fun.  Are you just loving it?  OK.  Tell me, what are your colors, have you found the dress...I need details, girl!  Maybe for your honeymoon you will get the chance to hit up a beach somewhere exotic with your hubby.  If you ever need any recommendations, let me know! 

And if Ty gets an opportunity through work to go somewhere new, grab the chance and go!  For me at least, travel has helped me better appreciate and understand where I came from by redefining the word "home."  By getting to know other cultures and by seeing other people I think I have figured out more of who I am and what I enjoy.  Andrew and I went backpacking a few years ago throughout Europe and I fell completely, head-over-heels, in love with Paris.  I think I left a part of my heart there, as sappy and cliched as that sounds.  But it's true.  So now I tend to gravitate towards things that remind me of our travels there.  It gives me a hint of that amazingly inspired feeling.  Watching movies like Two Days in Paris and Amelie {my all-time favorites} cannot but help put a big ol' giddy smile on my face.  

Certain activities, like picnicking and drive-in-movies have the same nostalgic effect.  But let's get onto shopping.  I really only shop at a few places but my wardrobe go-to's would be anthropology {especially the sale rack}, j. crew, and modcloth.  For miss Stella I adore H&M and baby gap.  Over the past few years I have found that it's better to have a few quality items rather than a whole bunch of trendy items.  It is a hard concept to grasp on a teacher's salary, but over time it just makes so much more sense.  I've used this philosophy with everything: Stella's toys, our furniture, kitchen essentials, everything really.  Except for books, we have a ton of those lying everywhere on a daily basis.  That is baby girl's favorite game: empty the bookshelf.  Stores we shop at for home goods would be a combination of west elm for classic comfort, cb2 for modern and colorful, and anthropologie for a vintage vibe.  We have a clean and simple yet eclectic and colorful thing going on over here and it feels like home.  It's been so much fun creating this little haven of ours.  What shops are you crazy about and what how would you describe your style?  And I'm curious, what roles do you play in your marriage and in parenting.  For example, does your hubby like to cook?   Who puts the wee one to bed?  

Lauren: Thank you, thank you! I am very excited about our wedding. The wedding is actually going to be very simple. I don't want to put a ton of pressure on myself or put expectations on the wedding itself. In the beginning, I really started to get frazzled over where it was going to be, who would be able to come, yadda yadda. Ty was in the midst of job location switches and we didn't know if we were going to be here in New York, Massachusetts, Arizona or in California. It became stressful and I started to dread doing anything with wedding plans. That was when I decided that I wanted it to be a simple affair. It's not about all the hoopla that people make it about. It's about me marrying the love of my life. It is me telling him, that he is my soul mate. I want that to be the focus. So I'm actually keeping a lot of the details to myself but I will tell you that it is an outdoor wedding in New England with a very vintage/classic feel to it. I haven't picked any colors yet but I need to get on the ball as it is a year away!! Yikes! I would love for it to be a small, intimate wedding but I'm not sure how small it will be as Ty's family is quite large. 

 I am a little jealous that you have travelled to these wonderful places! I feel that I should have squeezed some trips in before I had my daughter. But I'm sure she would love to do some sight seeing with us, too. Paris, oh my! What a wonderful opportunity. I agree with you, if we get the chance to up and leave again, we will probably take it. We love the eye opening perceptions that it has given us. 

 This is too funny though. Your store picks, are my favorites also. Almost down to the T! I adore Anthropologie, J Crew and Modcloth!! (But who doesn't) My last 3 purchases were from those stores. I don't always like spending the money so sometimes I find great treasures at places like Old Navy, Delia's , H&M or even vintage items from Thrift shops. And I seriously just bought Scarlett some H&M clothes last night when I forced my fianc√© to the mall for new clothes. He is rather stubborn about buying himself new clothes. Ha. 
I'm pretty frugal, although I agree with you about having a few quality items. House items are a different story. We have 2 homes that are scattered with our belongings. I buy a few things here or there. I am waiting until we are permanently settled in one place to do any major decorating. Our current home, in New York, is already furnished anyway. But if I could start decorating my house now, I would definitely go with an eclectic vibe. It would match my clothing style. I love everything from a hippie look to a polished dressy look.  If you were to look on my Pinterest, you would see that I love bright colors and bright whites for home decorating. I have a crush on retro and vintage mixed with modern and a dash of bohemian. To sum up my clothing and house style= eclectic through and through. 

What toys can you recommend? I always want to buy Scarlett some good quality toys but have a hard time finding them. She has a baby grand piano that my mother found somewhere for her. She is over the moon about it. Scarlett is such a book baby, too. She spends hours flipping through them. Wow, even our babies have a lot in common! 
So, here's the deal with roles. I hate cooking. Not only do I hate it, I'm not very good at it. I grew up vegetarian so I have no clue about meat cooking. Ty tries to teach me but it's a losing battle. I do try to cook since after all, I do stay home all day with the baby while he works long hours. On the other hand, Ty loves to cook so that works out good. I do all the cleaning and laundry. (Ty flooded our washing machine for the last time!) And we share the parenting role 50/50. I know that I am the one who spends the most time with Scarlett, but he sucks up as much time with her as he can. He comes home from a long day at work, plays with her, watches her so I can do some things for myself, and feeds her supper. He does this everyday, whiteout a doubt in his mind that this is how it should be. Every morning, he gets up early so he can change her before putting her back to sleep for a bit longer. I pretend to be sleeping while he kisses her good bye and tells her that he'll miss her at work today. It melts my heart every time. I do bath time since I'm just better at playing with bath puppets, and we both put her to bed while we recite prayer, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep". Like you said about you and your love, Ty and I compliment each other in every aspect of life, including parenting. It's remarkable that I found him!  And what about your roles? That was a great question. 

Amanda: Girl, you are so smart.  We had such a big {and beautiful} wedding, but if I could do it all over again I think the word "simple" would be my motto.  We both have large families so I know what you mean when you say you are not quite sure how small it will be.  I know big families do love themselves a good ol' wedding, that's for sure!  A mix of vintage and classic sounds absolutely dreamy!  If your wedding is anything like Scarlett's 1st birthday, it will be stunning.  :) 

Aren't those stores just the best!  We literally live a skip and a hop away from Anthropologie and I find myself taking Stella for walks there to just smell their candles.  I adore the smell of that place.  The first time I walked in to one of their stores I think I muttered out loud, ", THIS is what I want our home to look and feel like."  Everything in that store just speaks to me.  Now Andrew on the other hand, is into the super clean look with hardware exposed and very simple/efficient decor, so we met somewhere in the middle where eclectic meets minimalism.  Goodness, decorating is so much fun!  Too bad it can be quite pricy.  We, too, are quite careful with how much we spend and try to not make impulsive purchases.  But it never hurts to look!

Speaking of saving some money, let't talk toys, shall we?  All of Stella's favorite toys currently come from IKEA and they saved us a lot of pretty pennies.  IKEA makes gorgeous, classic toys that are both colorful, wooden, and timeless.  Baby girl has fun stacking rings and building things with her blocks.  Scarlett's mini grand piano sounds like a blast!  I can just picture her jamming away and bopping to the beat.  You should get some video of that.  
(Stella's Toys)
Ty sounds like one heck of a dada.  He reminds me of my husband in that he plays a very active role in his little gal's life.  He seems so gentle and kind, just what a baby girl needs.  Our roles seem very similar to what you and Ty have.  Andrew and I do everything together, really.  He likes to vacuum and clean the floors, strange I know, so that's his main "job," if you will.  And as for me, I love to cook and am always tinkering around in the kitchen.  So mealtime is my thing.  When it comes to the little things, like laundry and dusting, we split that 50/50 on the weekends to get it done as quickly as possible.  As for taking care of miss Stella, we switch off doing everything, except for when it's time for her to go to bed.  That's pretty much all Andrew.  She prefers him to rock her and he loves that time to bond before putting her to bed.  We are both so blessed to have a relationship where we both help one another out.
Dada's & Their little girls
Lauren: Awww, that is so sweet that Andrew puts her to bed every night. Isn't it funny how they have preferences and interests at such a small age? I find it so amazing. Thank you for the toy tips. I don't know if we have an IKEA around here but I'm going to do some researching on the nearest location! Can you believe I've never been to one?! Speaking of Anthropologie,  I was completely in love when I found a shop that sells their items for a discounted rate! Sheer bliss! I love a sale. 

Well Amanda, I am so happy that I got the chance to chat with you. It was so much fun to get to know you, and have a little adult convo. I don't know about you, but I definitely want to chat with you again in the future. You seem like a lovely person with such a sweet family. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Can't wait to talk again!!

Amanda: I totally agree, Lauren.  This conversation was wonderful and much appreciated.  And I would take that chance to chat anytime with you, mama!  I hope you and your beautiful family have a great rest of your summer and have fun splashing around in the pool! 

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Thank you for all your comments & kind words!! I reply in the comments section so check back if you have a question :) xo