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All The Things

2017 April 30
by Becky

I think Spring may just be the busiest time of year.

Everyone is drifting out of the winter fog, realizing summer is looming and school is ending too soon. Camps must be secured, sports played, fundraisers planned, and teacher gifts purchased. The weather gets nice again and people get motivated to do stuff and start calling in favors. At least for me, it’s been slammed.

So what have we been up to? Lots.  

I’m going to start with myself, not usual I know, what with all the cuteness the boys have to offer, but here goes.

I got a job! After months of looking for just the right gig, I landed a part-time spot with a fabulous local caterer and it’s exactly what I needed.


I work with the rest of the small kitchen crew to prepare and cook food for events and I’ve already learned so much. Every day is different and everything I do culminates in something delicious for people enjoy. Like those cheese cookies with tomato jam pictured above? I’ve made like 400 of those so far and they are so yum!! In addition to making the food, I’ve worked one event, plating beautiful food and seeing exactly how hard caterers work to present delicious four course meals for hundreds of people…it reminded me of my days waiting tables in college, but just ten times more stressful.

Ok, now on to the cute stuff. Easter was great!




In addition to our yearly traditions of a backyard egg hunt, easter baskets, and brunch at my uncle’s house, we helped organize a block party and egg hunt. Along with our neighbors, we hid hundreds of eggs in the median and closed down the street so the kids could go wild. The day was absolutely gorgeous, everyone was in a good mood because watching kids run around finding colorful eggs to put in their little baskets is pretty much one of the cutest traditions ever invented. It was really wonderful to see so many neighbors pot-lucking on the green space at the center of our homes, all of us emerging after too many chilly days spent indoors. It’s just another reason we LOVE where we live.



Sure Easter was beautiful but since then it’s been pretty rainy. The last two weekends have had us heading indoors again, so we figured it was high time Finn experienced City Museum. We’ve taken Ethan several times, but nothing ever prepares me for the amazingness of this place. Man on man coverage is vital for survival, but not always effective since our kids were completely out of sight within the first 15 minutes, lodged up in a hollow tree slide, before popping out in a totally hidden place in the floor a few minutes later. We left a couple hours later with two exhausted and overstimulated kids ready for lunch, which was had at the new downtown location of Sugarfire Smokehouse (omg yum), then naps.


Ethan and I hit the Fox Theater for The Lion King last week. We got there early to participate in activities, since it was Kids Night, and Ethan was SO PUMPED. He got a tattoo, watched a dance demo, took his time decorating a crown, and then sat riveted for the whole show. The musical is so beautifully done, perfect for kids and completely satisfying for adults. We couldn’t get over the stunning costumes and the performers were incredible!!! He’s been talking about it every day—he’ll tell you the giraffes were his favorite—and we listen to the Broadway soundtrack in the car on repeat.

I couldn’t be more excited about my kid loving musicals this much. Wondering if Finn will ever be into this like his big bro…


And I’m posting this picture for no other reason than that it’s adorable and I took a similar one of Ethan right around this same age. We had a miserable, rainy, cold field trip to the zoo on Friday (don’t ask…I could go on about this forever) and the whole trip was worth it to watch Finn tromp around with this huge umbrella, wearing this red rain coat.

I later had to wrestle that same umbrella out of his hands because it was becoming a weapon. Things went downhill from there…but at least I have this picture.

The best part about the rain? Toads.



Ethan has taught little bro the art of toad catching and it’s pretty cute to watch. There are plenty roaming around our yard, hiding in the mulch, often spotted by a foraging chicken. We’re very careful, even Finn keeps his squeezey hands at bay while handling these sweet little guys, and we laugh when they hop because, well, it’s hilarious. Finn’s just a lot more willing to put his back in the garden than Ethan ever was at that age (see footage of Ethan sobbing over a released toad in our 2015 family video…his life was ending on camera).

Even in the rain I can barely get these two in the house, they just want to be outside. Playing t-ball is the new obsession since we’ve been practicing for Ethan’s league games. If it ever stops raining, he may be able to play in one again!


I’m really proud of Ethan and his interest in this sport. We’ve never pushed him on sports, figuring he can try what he wants when he’s ready, and boy was he ready to join his buddies on the t-ball field. He came home from his first game elated, telling me about his performance and about the awesome things his friends did. As long as he enjoys it, I’m happy.

Finn wants to play t-ball with the big kids SO BAD. Anything to be like brother and anything that deals with sports—that’s Finn’s jam. He’s so physical it shocks us, especially since Ethan is just now becoming more daring and interested in sports. This month he decided to stop kidding himself and climbed out of his crib. He now insists on climbing in and out at nap and bed times so I guess we might as well upgrade to a read bed soon. He can hit a ball that’s pitched to him, catch a ball, run, jump, climb, and is really close to figuring out his balance bike…all while having constant conversations.

My friends have been loving my Finn videos lately, the ones proving his physical capabilities in the realm of climbing. My favorite shows a butt-naked kid doing a pull up to climb on to the fireplace mantel in Ethan’s room. Since that’s not appropriate for the web, I’ll share with you with this PG version…

He can basically get into anything in our house that isn’t protected by child safety locks or razor wire (which I’m strongly considering for the kitchen counter top). I’m sure it’s just a matter of weeks before he figures those out too.

I can’t help but wonder, what’s Finn going to be like at six?
What’s he going to be like at 3????

We’re so screwed.


Vintage Market Days St. Louis 2017

2017 April 16
by Becky


It’s Vintage Market Days in St. Louis!

Every year my friend Catrina and I head out to this amazing gathering of all things vintage and shabby and chic and old and made-to-look-old. I’ve been to my fair share of these markets in several states, the biggest being Lucketts in Virginia, but let me say the 2017 St. Louis Vintage Market Days was the most organized and well planned of all the years’ we’ve attended. Vendors from all over the country set up tents chock-full of things they find, make, and/or remake.


Each year we wander through the market, making sure to inspect every display carefully for treasures we can’t live without. Within minutes I had my heart set on a pretty blue teapot from Elderberry Place, fit with an adorable succulent plant, while Catrina snagged a beautiful sheep-adorned pillow for her new office space.

Most vendors pull out all the stops, building impressive displays in which you want to snuggle up with a cup of tea. A few made me want to say “wrap everything on this side up, I’ll take it. Yes, even the concrete cow.”




Those umbrellas were such a sweet touch! And those carved wooden bowls were everywhere this year.

Some displays were extra giant and incredible. Mix palettes, some burlap, and a pair of wings, and you’ve got yourself some vintage-y goodness on a grand scale.





This was my favorite grouping, I call it the “love” table. Something about a tipped metal bucket and an old suitcase just makes me happy.

The crowd is fairly mixed. Young, old, families, couples, moms with kids (the bravest of attendees), sisters pushing their babies in strollers. Groups of women spending the day together. The later is our style, it’s a way for us to shop and be creative with design all while catching up. I can’t imagine a better girls day!

Especially if it’s followed by a drink. And dinner. And karaoke. I digress…

Since I guess I am a ‘seasoned’ vintage market shopper, this is my fourth year? attending, I feel I should share a few tips:

  1. Take a cart or wagon. No seriously. We’ve gone so many years in a row and still haven’t wised up to this smart-shopper tactic. Next year, we won’t be killing our arms with heavy bags.
  2. If you don’t have a cart, ask vendors you shop with to keep your stuff for you. I found something heavy right inside the front gate and didn’t want to walk around with it for hours. The vendor was happy to take my money and keep my treasure safe while I shopped.
  3. Give yourself time! There’s a lot to see. Go with a plan of attack, walk down one side of the aisle, up the other. Walk into each booth for close inspection.
  4. Empty your car of car seats, strollers, any large boxes or things you may be carting around with you. If you find something large, you need to be able to take it home!
  5. Don’t worry about snacks, there are several food trucks with food and drinks ready and waiting. Mini donuts? Don’t mind if I do!
  6. Make a deal! It never hurts to give bargaining a shot, especially if you are buying multiple items from the same vendor.
  7. Wear layers and comfortable shoes. This year I went equipped with a hat after being blasted by the hot sun last year. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hair ties, hats…it can be treacherous shopping for cute stuff. An umbrella isn’t a bad idea either, the rain likes to make an appearance at these events just to mess with the vendors who have spent hours making their displays gorgeous.

Speaking of diverse crowd, how could any vintage fair be complete without a pet pig meandering through the shoppers? This is Opal, who was causing quite a stir with her polished hooves and adorable waggie tail.


I found the hardest things to resist buying were plants. There are plants EVERYWHERE at this market, coming out of every sort of vessel. My very black thumb keeps my urges a bay for the most part, but one or two (the teapot!) made their way in my shopping bag. The Wandering Sidecar had some lovely plants for sale from their sweet little horse trailer turned mobile bar. If only they’d been serving drinks…


I found my true treasure goal in the form of a large, rusty, metal milk pail courtesy of the ladies from the Rusted Pearls —they had some of my most favorite displays.



Another Vintage Market Days is behind us, but it can safely be said that the production gets better every single year. It was hard not to make another trip for more shopping!

Follow VMD on Facebook to stay tuned for their next event! Make a day of it, just clean out your car first.