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Friday, March 29, 2013

the wonder years edition

You know the funny thing about pictures? They often tell the story the way you want to remember it.  Like, if you take them from just the right angle, and maybe put just the right filter or edit to them that gives you that 'wonder years' feeling. That dreamy feeling that you will look back on one day and think, now those were the days.
 When really, those days were damn stressful with the purchase of new house and pending move and husbands night classes, but you slowed down and took that day.
 You captured those images
Those memories.
 Memories like today, when we realized that all this work leading up to the big house move had left us with actual free time, because for once our hands are tied and we find ourselves in limbo before our closing date. So we did Jumpology, we drove by our new house and through our new neighborhood, we grabbed smoothies, we had pizza, we played tea party, we got around to coloring some Easter eggs, we blew bubbles in the yard, and we ended with 101 Dalmations in bed. 
 I should have named this blog the wonder years but honestly I hope and pray it's not just a few years...
 but a lifetime of this

Happy Easter Weekend Friends!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Style Series: Spring Trends '13 {Sherbert}

In anticipation of warmer weather I'm sharing my favorite spring trends today. The fact that these outfits resemble sherbert ice cream just makes it all the more better in my opinion. I'm in love. I'm also craving some sunshine and perhaps some sherbert now.
Happy Shopping Friends!
Spring Trends '13

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kitchen Lately 3.27.13.

Our kitchen lately has looked something like this.
Crockpot Braised Beef Shanks via with Sweet Potato and Lemon Garlic Green Beans via.
Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes via.
Ham and Cheese Sliders via.
Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa via.
Fig Preserve Glazed Port Roast with Pears and Onions via.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins, recipe was on the spot mix by husband ;)
Honey Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs with Wild Rice and Honey Glazed Carrots via.
Fried Flounder with Asparagus, Quinoa, and Salad. 
What's been cooking in your kitchen?
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Paint for the New House: Blue & Gray

Let's talk paint. It's a wonder that I'm not bleeding from my eyes at the moment after the amount of paint samples, pictures, and web searches I've done this past week looking at paint for our new living and dining rooms. I'm not even sure I've gotten any further with it. So I leave it to you to judge. 

Our formal living room in the new house is going to be set up as our actual main living room and the color, right now is a peachy orange that extends not only into the nearby hall, but up the stairs and throughout the upstairs hall. So it all needs paint, not just the living room. My goal was a gentle blue that would look great in every season and make the Christmas tree pop during the holiday. That's where I got stuck. Blue with a pinch of green? or Blue with a pinch of gray? Then I made the mistake of reading a HouseBeautiful magazine and falling in love with Farrow & Ball paint. However, I'm not down for the possible 4 gallons of paint we need costing $400 and not even including their recommended under coat! I understand their formulas are not easy to match either. 
So I leave you with the colors I'm currently staring at. Thoughts?
Sherwin Williams- Tradewind
Farrow & Ball- Borrowed Light
Benjamin Moore- Pale Smoke
Benjamin Moore-Woodlawn Blue
Benjamin Moore- Wedgewood Gray
Also, thinking about the blue living room wall having some sort of Taupe Greige ceiling to warm it up.
Something like this.

The two gray choices I have (as of right now) for the neighboring dining room. 
These options will need to go well beside the blue.
Benjamin Moore- Coventry Gray
Benjamin Moore- Revere Pewter
The room beside these two that would usually be our living room is going to be used as a his & hers office that will be painted antique white like our bedroom now. The kitchen jury is still out since every aspect of it will have to go in the future and I'm not sure it's worth it to even paint right now when I want to redo everything anyway.

Thoughts? Anyone else made the jump to a gray room and loved it?

Image Sources
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Monday, March 25, 2013

a goodbye snow on Ellwood

 Mother nature cares not that the calendar marked the first official day of spring this past week. I don't know that anybody expected the snow fall we got yesterday afternoon but the blanket of white, while not on the radar brought with it a peace and stillness that covered the city. The facebook messages of school closings started trickling in and even though I don't yet have excited school aged children to benefit from natures day off they still enjoyed their first substantial snow of the year. 
The snow turned our street into a winter wonderland for a few hours and it seemed fitting that in the final few weeks of our living on Ellwood Avenue, we would say goodbye like this. Endings and bittersweet goodbyes often tie up our emotions for a time, not allowing us to see how truly remarkable the beginnings are that come out of them. I've bottled up my emotions over saying goodbye to the house we started our family in and I'm ready to shove the cork in and toss it out to sea. 
As I plan to write a post regarding my formal goodbye to Ellwood later this week I won't travel down that road of emotions tied to a first home. Memories of the first years of a marriage and two pregnancies that marked the beginning of a most beautiful life. Memories that will forever linger in rooms that we will no longer inhabit.
The excitement has started to build about the new house we will soon call home. The reality that it is a far nicer place we are heading and that we will no longer fret over foundation problems and all the other complications that come with a hundred year old home.
I am looking forward to going through these images with my girls one day. Telling stories about this first home and all that we accomplished here.
And I'm even more looking forward to all the memories we're about to make on Ramsgate Lane.

Happy Snow-filled Monday to all my Central Va Friends!

Our last week in Instagrams.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lemon Waffles w/ Ricotta Cheese, Raspberry & Blackberry Syrup

Lemon Waffles w/ Ricotta Cheese, Raspberry & Blackberry Syrup
by The Breakfast Club

4 large eggs - separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
grated peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup melted butter
1 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
ricotta cheese
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with the sugar and salt. Blend in the milk, lemon juice, lemon peel, and butter, beating well. Add the flour and baking powder. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter.  Bake in a preheated waffle iron until golden brown. Top with scoop of Ricotta cheese. Cook raspberries and blackberries in maple syrup in saucepan until thickened, about 5 minutes, then top waffles and serve. Recipe serves 4.

That's a wrap for our first official breakfast club post!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Eggs & Date Night

Last night hubby and I had a date night. Dinner and well.....  a trip to Target. Oh, we know how to keep a date night real huh? But the big kicker, it was glorious! An entire trip, through a store, without a child having a meltdown, needing food, wanting to touch, or in general wanting to take the entire store home with us. It also helped we had a few drinks before our Target venture. 
So what did we buy?
What do you buy when you are sans kids? Easter stuff. For your kids, of course. One little trip without them and we spent money on them, picked out things they'd have fun with, talked about how they would have wanted this or that on each aisle, and in general made fools of ourselves in the candy aisle talking about what absolutely has to be in their Easter baskets (this year will be our first with real baskets!).

Holy reality check, we are parents.

In the spirit of Easter and springtime cheer, I've added all my favorite pinterest creations above. I've been planning on an awesome Easter egg creation for two years now and every spring something comes up to prevent me from making Easter decor... last year it was a pending baby arrival draining my energy, the year before I had a newborn, and this year I'm moving into a new house! So again, I'll gawk at beautiful images and plan on going all out next year. 

But that bunny wreath is super cute right?!
It's gotta be on a list for the future...

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Friday, March 22, 2013

This week-

Our blog got a major overhaul and makeover thanks to, ME! That's right, I did it all myself!

I just about finished Scarlett's 1st year photo album to print next month.

I've filled out more mortgage paperwork than I ever care to again.. did I mention we will never sell this house?

We loaded up our toddler last night with chocolate pie then let her run through Toys R Us buying whatever she pleased. #nofucksweregiven #loadedmyselfupwithwine

I woke up at 6:30am to a toddler repeatedly pushing the theme song button on her new pirate ship.

I came home to one Yorkie who ate through a diaper trashbag.

I broke up more than a few fights over toys.
Now who's ready for the weekend? And perhaps the reality that it's time to start packing our lives up?

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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Ellwood Avenue Chronicles turns Breakfast Club, Follow us!

Have you all heard the news about Google Reader?! They are officially shutting down July 1st. Which means if you follow blogs like I do through this site then you are gonna need to make the jump to Bloglovin or some other reader. I'm all for a fresh start and weeding out some blogs I follow but I certainly hope that if you follow our little ole' blog, that you will continue to over at Bloglovin. To make things even more interesting for any readers we may have acquired over the years, we are also changing our name! 

You read that right.

You didn't think we'd move from Ellwood Avenue and keep chronicling our little story from this old name? 
Oh, no.
We're going in a new direction!
Goodbye Chronicles...
Say Hello to..

(drum roll please)

The Breakfast Club
Same blog, new name, and a new bi-monthly breakfast post!

All those pinterest recipes you come across and never try? Well, we figured since we go all out Sunday mornings and usually try these recipes that we would share our tried and true favorites! There's nothing we love more than breakfast in this house, and when my husband threw out this new name I'll confess I may have gotten all starry eyed and Simple Minds, Don't You Forget About Me may have played in my head as I envisioned some 80's Molly Ringwald awesomeness. 

That being said, I hope you all stick around.
I sincerely hope you continue to follow the new RSS feed.

Follow The Breakfast Club @

 and keep up with all our posts on Bloglovin....
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

We had to add the RVA (Richmond, Va) since apparently our new name is popular.
Pops trench collar and walks off.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013


Thinking about: Everything that has to be done in the next month to get us into our new house. Addendum's to the contract getting worked out this week and hopefully signed by all parties, working out our mortgage, getting a house appraisal, securing moving plans, and obsessing over renovation ideas already. Our home inspection went well this weekend and nothing major looks to tie us up or stop us from buying. I did manage to make a huge list of things that we'll need done to get setup in the new house and it's scaring the hell out of me right now. Minor roof repairs, a leaky pipe under the house, buying a washer/dryer, putting in a fence for the dogs, installing a dog door, replacing a kitchen oven, putting in a gas line, removing carpet in the girls bedrooms, and painting the downstairs. I'm overwhelmed to say the least and the contractors for the Ellwood house that need to fix the drunk driver damage, came back this week and told me they wanted us out for them to start NEXT week! Obviously not happening but we're basically in a hurry now to get out by the end of April. I haven't even started thinking about address changes and other logistics. I am concerned about doing all of this with two babies that don't give me a break to even breath now days. This is why you ideally establish a home before having kids. Because now I get to do it all while entertaining them. 

Looking forward to: Being all set up in the new house, buying some new furniture, moving on from Ellwood and having a fresh start. Once a decisions been made there is nothing worse than a time lag and lingering... I'm ready to move now!

Working on: Getting Hadley to sleep in her big girl bed. It's been rough to say the least. She absolutely loves the bed but is scared at night now. Someone has to sit at the foot of the bed until she falls asleep and then sneak out. She's waking sometime in the middle of the night, most nights and coming into our bed. Coming in half way through the night doesn't bother me, it's the game of getting her to sleep at bed time that's wearing me out.

Wishing for: A kitchen renovation. It's a big enough deal to buy your first house so I won't push it (with hubby) but he knows, Mama is gonna need a new kitchen at some point! Crossing fingers for next year.

Stressing about: Huge life changes. I've started my family in the house we're in now and it's hard to move on. It's scary to think we'll be starting all over again with decorating a home and making it what we want. It's scary to accept that hubby won't be 3 blocks away at work and able to come home every day for lunch. We are planning on making some new schedules and meeting him in town for lunch twice a week. I have to keep reminding myself we're only 18 min (max!) away. We're lucky to be that close and in such a wonderful neighborhood away from scary drunks!

Thankful for: Healthy children, buying our first home, being super happy with our first home and neighborhood, Colin's job promotion this year, the new opportunities I've had to photograph newborns and hopes to get more sessions when things slow down a bit.

Feeling: Overwhelmed, excited, exhausted, and eager.

Learning: To handle Hadley's terrible 2's. It's gotten pretty bad in the last month my friends. Her insane tantrums and lack of words to express herself are driving me mad. I went ahead and registered her for preschool again next year (2 mornings a week) because after all that talk about keeping her at home I realized we need a major break from each other sometimes. It's healthy for us both. Plus it will be good for Scarlett to go to Little Gym during Hadley's school and for her and I to have one on one time.

Planning: Paint choices. I've stared at a ton of colors this weekend but I think I've narrowed it down for our living and dining rooms. Look out for some interior design posts in the future! I've got tons of ideas! I'm also trying to figure out plans for Scarlett's birthday knowing we will have just moved and may not be ready yet at our house for it. 

Making me happy: Knowing that by Christmas all of this will be worked out and we'll have moved on past the initial routine upset and hard work involved with setting up a new house. I dislike change like most only children and I really just want to blink my eyes and have everything done and in it's rightful place at the new house. 

Craving: A return of our normal routine. I'm so eager to get into this new house and back on a schedule that gets our family back in line. That way we can focus again on fun family weekends and not paperwork and lists of to-do's. I'm ready for a boring week!

Our last couple weeks in instagrams.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Light: We Bought a House

We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Three months of bizarre happenings and stressful life events/decisions to make and it all came together in one week. On Tuesday we got Hadley's stitches out and got the news that her mole pathology came back all clear. No signs of abnormal cells and one happy Mama later, we were viewing another house that evening. On to the next thing, because we never seem to get time to celebrate the successes around here before there's something else that needs immediate attention. And so, began the story of us buying a house.

You read that right.

We bought a house.

Like, as in, saw it on Tuesday night and had an offer in within a matter of hours.

And guess what? 
We got it! 
And it was on the market less than a week!
Only 18 minutes outside of the city and from our current home, we're actually going to be living in a real neighborhood. It's been a difficult, albeit brief, house shopping experience for us. Hubby wanted to live in the city, I wanted to move out towards the country, neither of us wanted to live in suburbia. However, this house was the perfect mix. With it's close location to the city and layout not resembling any of the qualities we disliked about super planned communities, it's perfect. I'm even gonna be a whopping 8 minutes closer to my parents (they'll be 22 minutes from us). It couldn't have been more perfect in location. The schools? I'm not so sure on. I've heard mixed reviews and the school is ranked a 7 out of 10. However this was not a selling point for us because we're thinking about private anyway.

 The real kicker? The community is super nice. I'm not gonna lie here, we bought a house yesterday without knowing the community had a lake in it. You might think I'm joking but I kid you not. Only we would buy a home and not know this right? Right after buying the house I found this website and almost fell out of my chair. Then my parents called to tell me they drove through the neighborhood and what do you know? It has a lake. Well I'll be damned. Clearly we were looking to buy a house quickly and missed some things. Let's hope we didn't miss anything too serious.

I leave you with pictures. You'll notice they aren't mine, nor is the furniture. These are just a few they had online so I hijacked them for your viewing pleasure. Now, the house is a Cape, Colonial style so I'll admit the most important selling point (for me anyway) was that it's the perfect Christmas home!! 
Images of Colonial Williamsburg danced in my head and I was sold
Now on to making renovation and decor lists... I see some painting in our future.
I may have also been sold on 4 working fireplaces...
Fingers crossed all goes well at the home inspection tomorrow, and we close April 10th!
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Monday, March 11, 2013

......To be Continued.....

To say that my life hasn't been anything to write home about lately would be an understatement. The reality is that my life in the past weeks has not been something I would want to blog about. However, this morning I woke up searching for a new and brighter perspective. I need to think this out. I needed to blog it I guess. So here goes.

Remember that drunk driver who flipped his car last month and in the process hit mine? Well I got my car back. All was returning to normal around here. Then last weekend came along. The third drunk driving incident to happen to us since living in this house. A drunk driver actually went the wrong way down the one way street beside our house and into our chimney. Causing severe damage and a great deal of fear about what this area is becoming that we're raising our children in. 
So you have the beginning. 
Allow me to fill you in on the last months.

In the last months we have been in small talks to buy the Ellwood house. The house we've renovated and lived in for almost 5 years now currently belongs to my father in law. We were searching for answers on how we would go about this, what kind of loan to get, what kind of structural work would need to be done since it has structural damage, and in general making plans to remain here. In the meantime drunk drivers descended on us like Charlie's up in the trees, packages continued to be stolen from our porch, and one teenage punk spray painted the side of our house. Do I believe in signs? Absolutely. The question is how many do you need?! 

This past week we started looking around to see what options we had. We actually found a house 15 minutes from this one that met all of our criteria and like kids in a candy shop we snatched up a real-estate agent, got approved for a loan, and put an offer in before you could get a wrapper off a candy bar. 

It didn't happen.

The offer was declined this weekend and to say I cried is an understatement. The realtor already thought we were offering too much and the owner was unrealistic about what his house could sell for. Turns out, the owner is completely delusional. So being the relentless person I am, and after waking up with a severe stomach bug yesterday, I pushed onward and we went out to 6 houses. Only one seems like a maybe.

Now for the real kicker. 

Wait for it.

As if the universe wasn't giving me enough signs to leave this house...

We have an attempted break in this weekend, while we're at home, asleep.
Oh yes friends.

It all went down like something off of COPS and you would have never thought we could be so gangsta but I'll give you a little preview. 

I hear the front door moving at 3am and jump up all ninja style before the dogs even move.
Hit husband to grab weapon (un-named here because I get the debate on these in the home).
Husband descends staircase faster than lighting in some boxer briefs and with said weapon.
I call 911.

If only I had a recording of this phone call.

Me: gives address
Operator: What's happening?
Me: There is someone trying to kick in our front door. My husband is armed (full disclosure here people cause I don't want some shit to go down when the cops come to the door).
Operator: Proceeds some jabbering to keep me on the line
Background noise: Baby screaming, dogs barking, husband yelling, me ranting

I kid you not. I couldn't make this up!
My husband actually opened the front door in boxer briefs and an oversized white T-shirt to find the cops with said intruder, only to be told he was "just drunk".

Are you all judging me yet?
That's right, The Ellwood Avenue Chronicles went straight thug this weekend.
I'm not ashamed.
But I am moving.
To live in prime real estate heaven and have bar after bar open to give us this, it's no longer cool.
VCU has taken over this area and so we will gladly retreat.

The heart of Richmond city has officially done me in. 
I fold.

And my husband is officially going to kill me for the boxer briefs part...
But honestly it made the story right?

Now on to the house search...

This story, 
To be Continued.....

And a little perspective for you...
She has no idea how nervous I am for the Dr. office to call about the mole she had removed last week. She was a total angel in the office and played on the iphone with Mr. Potato Head the entire time the doctor removed it. This little angel is also having a rough time sleeping in her new big girl bed. Please send thoughts and prayers our way this week because we really need good news and some sleep!
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scarlett is 10 Months Old

This little lady is 10 months old! Not even gonna guess on stats this month cause I'm thinking she's around the same as last. She has a whopping 6 teeth now and she's able to stand unassisted for about 5 seconds before sitting down. She's cruising along holding furniture but I don't see any signs of her letting go and walking any time soon. She's babbling up a storm, clapping her hands, and sometimes waving. She now says Mama and Dada when asked to repeat us which is way earlier than Hadley did but then Hadley was walking in the 10th month and I don't think Scarlett will. It's amazing to see their differences, especially since they are so close in age, making it easy to remember. We're back to our schedule of one nightly waking for a bottle and she's eating just about everything Hadley eats now. 
How did we get to 10 months so soon?!!
Can you tell from these pictures that she won't hold still for this anymore?

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