Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Baby Blues

sitting on boat

This whole dressing while pregnant thing isn't easy. Especially when there are no maternity stores on island. The idea of buying a size up sounds good in theory, but then everything just feels oversized. I'm all about showing off this little lady as she grows. This BCBG skirt still loves me, but it's one of the few things from my old wardrobe that does. 

I'm learning the keys to not feeling like a large slob are exercise (thank you Physique 57 pregnancy modifications!), a good diet, accessories, heels, and refusing to give up my personal style. Hopefully those will carry me through to October and then the fabled fourth trimester (where you're no longer pregnant but according to your body you might as well be). For a brunch date with Seth and friends I tried to feel like myself by combining stripes with my snakeskin bag. I love mixing patterns. This is pretty tame but I have to work with what I've got. Most of my maternity tops are pretty bleh basic so far.

Look at that well-loved bag! It looks a lot more well-loved (read: worn out) in person. This poor puppy needs to be replaced something terrible, but I also need shorts that zip up all the way, so a new bag will have to wait.

snakes and stripes 2
BCBG stripes and bag; maternity top, from friend; shoes, Nine West (old); belt, street fair in London; baby girl starting to creep outward in the stomach region, my own creation;
Seth and I have been trying to take more time together: joint trips grocery shopping, work day lunches, weekend coffee runs. This was a Sunday Brunch with friends at Hook, Line, & Sinker in Frenchtown. These days when I go there all I want is eggs benedict, which is off limit because supposedly the runny eggs can kill baby girl. No bueno. So I've been going for their burgers, which I'd never gotten at brunch but they're fantastic. Of course I have to ask for them well done (for the same reason as the runny eggs) and I feel like a total pansy. Growing up, my Syrian family often offered raw lamb dishes at family gatherings. Straight up raw. Like no one even pretended to try and cook it. So I have a thing for raw meat. But well done it is. And I always mention that I'm pregnant when I ask for my well done burger, lest anyone think I'm a wuss.

hook line & sinker

docked boats


tied boats

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

My Pregnancy Parfait (with Homemade Granola Cereal Recipe)


What is this treat, you ask? Why, it's my pregnancy parfait. Organic full fat yogurt, a delicious rhubarb that Seth whipped up a while back, and homemade cereal.  I eat one nearly every afternoon for a snack. (I'm a total creature of habit when it comes to food, really.) Usually I dump everything into a bowl and stir it up but today I made it all pretty just for you guys. My thought was that a bowl of mush wouldn't photograph so well.

Not only do I use our homemade cereal for my afternoon snacks, but I eat it basically every morning with almond milk too. (Creature. Habit. Bam.) The original recipe can be found here and you might try making that one first. I've tweaked mine a bit to add in some more things that are good for this little creature hanging out in my womb (like adding blackstrap molasses for iron, and walnuts for the omega-3 fats). It results in a slightly heavier taste, but it's still really good. Like I said, I devour it twice a day. 

Don't plan on pouring yourself a big ole' cereal bowl full of this cereal! Or if you do, don't plan on finishing it. Going from store bought cereal to something so full of whole grains, nuts, and seeds will put you in your place. You don't need nearly as much to fill you up. It took Seth a few days to remember this and by the end of his bowl he was always complaining about how full he was and how he couldn't eat anymore. I'm usually full for a few hours after 1/2 to 3/4 cup of this in the morning. 

And if you want to make the parfait, don't cry and wail about not having access to Seth's rhubarb sauce. I have no idea how he makes it, but we're almost out and I plan on following it with a simple homemade jam or some pumpkin butter that needs to be used up. Or maybe just mushed up frozen berries. 

Easy Homemade Cereal 
(adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

3 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
6 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted 
3/8 cup honey
1/8 cup blackstrap molasses
2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oven to 250F. Stir dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Combine coconut oil or melted butter, honey, molasses, and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spread out of a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 75 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. 

A few extra thoughts: for those who know me well, you might be all like "What? Yogurt? You don't eat dairy!" I know. 'Tis true. But I'll admit that little way into my first trimester I suddenly got grossed out by the Earth Balance in our fridge and just stopped eating it. Then at the store a couple weeks later I saw the Kerrygold butter (from grassfed cows) and about fell all over myself trying to get it in my cart. I eat a little bit of the Kerrygold cheese (again, grassfed) every day too. Organic whole fat plain yogurt and organic whole fat cream cheese have also made it into my diet. I'm trying to stick as closely to real foods (whole, not processed) as possible during my pregnancy and whole fat is what I'm going with. If you're wondering, I'm actually putting on weight rather slow (a healthy slow, not a scary slow) so the added fat hasn't caused me to blow up and gain weight like crazy. I'm also exercising 2-4 times a week so far throughout the pregnancy (with approval from my doctor) so I feel like it balances out. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Once upon a time I was blogging 2-3 times a week. And it was fun. Then I found out I was pregnant!  (Pregnant!) And nothing was fun anymore. I mean, having a baby is fun. It was the weeks upon weeks of nausea, throwing up at inconvenient times, lack of appetite, needing naps at 8:30am because I was THAT TIRED. Not fun at all. Not only was I not doing anything worth writing about but the idea of sitting in front on my computer and thinking when I could be laying on the couch doing nothing was just so unappealing. But thanks for all the Facebook and text messages along the way telling me that you missed me and were wondering when I would start writing again. It was actually supposed to be yesterday evening, with a photo update of everything I've been up to the past few months. But then we accidentally broke a five gallon jug of water in the middle of the living room and the aftermath ate up all my free time.

Today is more somber, so a photo montage of all the fun things I've been up to doesn't quite feel right. We love Boston and someone hurt them. I first visited Boston as a junior from the University of Georgia to look at a potential grad school. The Big Dig was still in full swing and there was dirty snow piled up eight feet high on the sides of the roads. Some guy I met at lunch at the school asked if I wanted to hang one night. I thought it was a group thing and said sure. But no, he picked me up all alone. It was a date. But fortunately this guy I'd known for all of half an hour didn't drag me into a dark alley to kill me. He took me to a small concert in the Harvard Chapel. Then we snuck into the back of a music hall to listen to a symphony practicing. After we got caught we wandering around Cambridge all lit up at night and drank tea. And I started to fall in love with Boston, deeming it one of the few US cities I could see myself making a life in. But alas, the timing was off and I chose to take a job after school that would move me even further south to the Bahamas.

In Portland, Oregon at a training event for my new job I met another guy from Boston who was preparing for a move to Europe. A few years later we began dating across an ocean and a little while after that we found ourselves married. Seth loves Boston. So much. To the point that we have a rule about how much he's allowed to talk about how great Boston is. Because sometimes he talks about it so much I think all our friends will stop wanting to hang out with us. But I love it to. I love that we get to visit once or twice every year. When Seth (thinking of family who will want more time with this new little baby once it's born) said we might need to start doing more individual family visits with the baby, I called foul. He does not get to use our unborn child as an excuse to visit Boston twice as much without me. No fair. Not happening. I'm already excited that we'll be there this summer and again in November.

So we love you Boston. And I can't wait to see you again. And to teach our baby to love you too.

green space

beacon street

roxy's food truck


the charles


swan boat

sowa market

willow tree

Monday, 25 February 2013

Things People Do With Horses

I did it. This Christmas I entered the modern age of smartphones. Personally, I miss the time when I could exist with a phone that only made phone calls. Living on an island helped me exist in that world a little bit longer than I think I could in the regular universe. But at some point in the last year the regular universe found me and group texts sent from certain smartphones began being sent as data. And suddenly my PTWJAP (phone-that-was-just-a-phone) couldn't receive them. This meant I was regularly having to text my boss with super professional requests like, "Can you resend that. It didn't come through for some reason." Which is professional-ish when it happens once in a while perhaps. But sending it every two out of three texts? Okay, fine. I'll get a grownup phone with a grownup data plan. But I get a phone case that glows in the dark. That's the deal. Take it or leave it.

Here's the good news that comes with my new smartphone. Pictures. All the time. Pictures of the cheese I'm eating. Pictures of my dog doing things way cuter than other people's dogs do. Pictures of my baby nephew stolen from my sister's Facebook page. And, here's the one you'll like (unless I lost you at PTWJAP), pictures of bizarre island happenings. Previously I could only photograph them when I happened to have my camera with me and handy.

Here are three moments with horses that I could have captured for you if I'd upgraded to a smartphone earlier. Because at the time I only owned a PTWJAP, you get to experience my hand drawn illustrations of the events instead.

Click HERE to keep reading...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Once is Nice, Twice is Better!

twice logo

This label has become one of my absolute favorite surprises to find waiting for me in my mailbox. If you've been paying attention to the links on my posts sourcing my outfits, you'll have notices a lot of links to Twice. Twice is an online consignment store I discovered some many months ago. And I'm completely in love with it. Twice furthers my dollars by allowing me to purchasing well made, higher end clothing than my budget normally allows. Clothes that last longer, fit better, and give me the opportunity to stay away from lower quality brands that often won't even last through the year without fading, pilling, or unraveling. Two pairs of Current/Elliott jeans and my Free People skinny cargos have come to me from Twice. Two out of the three pairs even came with the tags still on them. Twice only buys/sells "like new" items. If I didn't know any better I would have never guessed any of them were previously owned before they came to live with me.

Jeans and cargo skinnies, all from Twice:

free people cargos

current:elliott tie dye

current:elliott jean

Increasing my love even more, Twice only resells brand name items which means I'm not falling in love with a mystery brand skirt and finding out later that it fits my body shape terribly. I already know which stores make clothes that flatter me and which don't. Twice allows me the option to only search those brands. The website also posts accurate measurements of each item. Measuring myself before I order gives me a good idea of whether or not it will fit. And if I turn out to be wrong when it finally arrives? Well, they offer free return shipping. How can you go wrong?

This pretty little J.Crew lady is on her way to my mailbox right now. I actually had some credits so she wound up being under $20. I reallllly hope she fits and I can give her a forever home!

jcrew skirt

Also on it's way to me is a resell bag. After my normal January closet purge, I pulled a few of the lesser worn items and they will be packaged up and shipped to Twice, hopefully for store credit. (The other items that aren't on their accepted brand list will be sent to La Luna's upcoming clothing swap! I went last year and it was a great event.)

So please, check out Twice! In full disclosure if you use the link I give you to sign up, I'll get a $10 credit for referring you with your first purchase. (A deal offered to all their customers.) If you hate that idea and you think I'm self promoting and a terrible friend then you can just sign up at: like twice dot com. Either way, promote them. Use them. Send them your fabulous for someone, just not fabulous for you, clothing! Make some money off that dress you thought you liked (but sadly, you don't) and get something in your closet that won't make you sad every time you look at it.

And let me know what you get! I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In a Smart Closet - Lace Tees


I'm a big fan of lace t-shirts. This one is from Urban Outfitters a few years back. To keep them from looking to precious or pretty I usually try to wear them with something more casual. (Unless I want to look precious and pretty of course.)

lace close-up

The graphic diamond-y flower-y detail on this one is what drew me to it in the first place. I also tried to talk Seth into buying a red leather belt that day.  I thought it looked like his style and would be more fun to wear with his jeans and t-shirts than a regular brown belt. He said no. Now two years later he wishes he had said yes. So we're on the hunt for another one.

shoes close-up

I'm pretty sure these shoes are going to leave me soon for shoe heaven. It will be a very sad day in my house. I'll probably read some poetry and maybe a Bible verse or two before I send them to their watery grave and flush them down the toilet. (Living on the side of a mountain, our yard is at an 87 degree angle so it would be hard to dig a hole and bury them in a shoe box.)

lace and cargos
lace tee, Urban Outfitters (old, similar here); cargo skinnies, Free People (via Twice); bag, BCBG (old);
shoes,  Nine West (ancient); necklace, vintage; sunglasses, RayBan;

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Kitchen Curtain Re-Do

close up

A few weeks ago I spent half a Saturday making some DIY roman shades for the kitchen. Our originally thrown up curtains (still in existence an embarrassing three years later) were from Kmart. You know how the island is. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. They were awful. They blended into the wall, were always dirty from rubbing up against the screen, had an amazing ability to knock over that utensil holder whenever a strong gust of wind blew in, and I'm pretty sure were going to eventually burn the house down. The right side refused to stay in the bracket. Seth eventually "fixed" it using an old ponytail holder. I know I'm not the only one to let stuff like that go on far too long but it's still embarrassing.


I've made Jenny Komenda's DIY roman shade three times now (she is a DIY genius!). While somewhat time consuming, they're very simple. 

You start with simple venetian blinds. On St Thomas you can get them in the $5-10 range at Home Depot.


With scissors you carefully remove most of the plastic slats.


Add the fabric and use fabric glue to create a side hem and attach it to the remaining slats. I get all my project fabric at that little fabric and craft store down near Lionel Roberts Stadium. Do you know the one? It's on that one-way road with the bright green house with red railings on the corner (across from Jarvis School annex and the Rasta that sits there and knits all day). They have a little parking lot which is part a large part of why I love it.


While you've been doing this, hopefully you found someone handy and helpful lounging around your household willing to put up the hanging hardware during halftime. If not, do that yourself now.

hanging hardware

And viola! (Well, let the glue dry a bit and then voila.)


I don't know what it is but I cannot get a decently lit picture in my kitchen at any time of the day. Don't know what to do to remedy that. You get the idea though. They look far better than that mess that preceded them. And I was able to make three of them (there's one more window) for around $35 dollars.

If you're interested in making these for yourself here are the full instructions on Little Green Notebook.