A Favorite Baby Book / On the Night You Were Born

February 10, 2016

baby books

I love that we can finally stock up on children’s books, even if some of them are far above Maya’s reading level or attention span yet. We’ve been gifted some really lovely books, though, including Counting Our Way to Maine and Blueberries for Sal. Yesterday, I opened One Morning in Maine to read to her and shut it shortly thereafter when I realized it was way too long for her attention span of three minutes.

But one of my favourites is called On the Night You Were BornMy professor and mentor from college and his amazing wife sent a stack of books when Maya was born and this one had me in puddles of tears when I read it the first time. I read it to Maya last night again and ended up in floods of tears. My brother gave us the companion baby book, The Wonder of You, for Christmas and that had me in tears, too.


It’s a really lovely book for any new baby, but it’s especially sweet for us because we weren’t able to be there on the night Maya was born. It will forever break my heart that we weren’t there for Maya’s first night or her first three days, but this book reminds me that she wasn’t alone. And forever she will know that she wasn’t and isn’t alone. It is the biggest tearjerker and I love it. One day I might be able to read it to her without crying.


Another book we love, that unfortunately you aren’t able to enjoy as well, is a little book my parents had made for Maya for Christmas. It’s called Maya Goes to Maine (which we are doing tomorrow!) and it’s approximately the sweetest little book about who lives in Maine and what Maya can do when she goes to visit my family there. It’s more seasonally appropriate for a February visit than Counting our Way to MaineThere’s snow in Maya Goes to Maine, which we will certainly be seeing when we visit tomorrow!

All about Interiors in the Irish Independent

February 8, 2016


I thought I’d give you a little update on my latest columns in the Irish Independent. I still write for them weekly and it has been so helpful in staying up to date with what my usual interiors people are doing back in our Irish home, which makes me a little less homesick for Dublin!

Since Christmas, I’ve written about how to put together the perfect bar cart, six ways to battle clutter in the new year, how to create a new bohemian look or a California cool vibe, and how to put start a great art collection.

If you’re in Ireland, you can pick up the paper on Saturdays to find my column, or you can wait for me to tell you about the links after the fact!

Happy Friday!

January 29, 2016


Happy Friday, everyone! First things first, thank you so much for your sweet comments on my last post about our little rescue babe. We had a great little chat over on Facebook, and I just wish we could sit around and have coffee!

How was your week? Ours was sunny, oh so sunny! But despite that, Maya and I seem to have come down with annoying little colds. Mine is nearly gone, but I seem to have passed it along to her, which I feel terrible about. It’s so hard to watch her trying to figure out how to cough and she keeps rubbing her nose and looking at me like Mom, what is this?! I’m finding it simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking. Here’s hoping sleep isn’t interrupted tonight!

Speaking of tonight, a friend of a friend (thanks, Anne!) invited me to go to an art talk at the Menil Collection. How fun! And fun to get out on a Friday night while Michael gets a little quality time with Maya! (And speaking of Maya, those are her little feet and yes those are little Aran booties with her initials on them! Our friends Rachael and Anthony sent them from Ireland, along with that gorgeous Aran blanket and even little Aran mittens! This kid, I tell ya, well loved from around the world!)

Tomorrow we have big plans – we’re going to try kolaches (we’re thinking the Kolache Shoppe – any Houstonites have better recommendations?) and then go paint a few slabs of wood for Patrick Renner’s latest installation downtown. There are four big art installations going in downtown next month and it’s so fun to think that we’ll get to have a part in one of them! Then we’re going to watch Michael’s brother play basketball in his Cup match online, while giving our snotty little girl extra snuggles!

What about you, any nice plans this weekend?

Now, a few interwebby things I enjoyed recently:

We watched all of Broadchurch on Netflix and loved it. The cinematography and acting were incredible. Just a shame there are only two seasons!

This thorough and helpful post from Rachael at Erstwhile Dear gave me the kick in the pants to get iCloud and I’m working on backing up all my photos.

According to this article in the New York Times, DHHS placed a dozen unaccompanied minor refugees with human traffickers. Ugh. It’s even harder to read after having gone through the ringer to get our foster and adoption licensing.

I’m working on a project with Etsy Ireland that involves a little virtual shopping. This Vermont shop full of pretty necklaces will be bookmarked for future birthdays! Also, this Galway-based baby blanket shop for future baby presents. So affordable! Ooh….just realized they have really pretty velvet pillows, too!

We’ve been getting grapefruit in our farmshare lately, so I made this grapefruit cake. Yummy, if a little spongey, but great grapefruit flavor. Any other things we can do with grapefruit? Don’t think we’re the biggest fan of it straight up!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Around Here Lately

January 28, 2016

two-babes I have about six posts in various forms of finished. Some need photos, some need words, but meh! We’ll just go with a little update for today instead. We’ve had a little extra excitement this past week.

We got a call a week ago from our agency asking if we could take in another baby for a few weeks while they arranged for a longer term foster family. Sure? Sure! Ack, are we sure? Whose idea was this anyway?! 

She arrived late at night, dehydrated, hungry and severely underweight for her age. Her eyes were swollen like a newborn, despite being over a month old, and she had a herniated belly button – both from excessive crying due to hunger. She reeked of cigarette smoke and for some odd reason had tiny, sticky red glitter in all her dirty creases.

The first night, she fed at 10:15, 11, 2, 4, and 7. Whew! When I crawled into bed at 4:30 after feeding Maya and this little baby bird, Michael mumbled, “Babe, you’re a rockstar“, grateful for his day job that gets him out of night duty during the week. And I’m pretty sure I replied, “No, I’m just a sucker!” Ha! But miraculously, both babies arranged their little schedules during the days so they slept at the same time, and Maya barely knew there was another little one around, except for the occasional squawking to be held. And held she was!

She ate voraciously and the swelling around her eyes slowly receded a bit. She started opening those bright little eyes and taking everything in, and on our last day with her she even smiled at Maya! Maya gave her the side eye, having mastered skepticism early. The baby bird left yesterday for the warmth and cosiness of her new foster home, having chunked on a whopping six ounces during her stay!

This was our first experience with a “rescue baby”, as our agency calls them, and I’m just buzzing with enthusiasm (despite a severe sleep-deprived eye twitch) that we got to be part of such an experience. We’re in a strange season of waiting at the moment, waiting for Maya’s adoption to be finalised so we can go back to Dublin, but working with our agency is such an incredible bonus. We not only have Maya, for whom we’ve never been more grateful, but now we’ve gotten to play a tiny role in another baby thriving instead of wasting away. We got to give snuggles and love and cuddles – and we got a huge reminder that we have extra to give. What an incredible privilege.

I had been worried about taking in extra babies for the last few months. I know from the number of phone calls we’ve received (seven since Maya and we’ve said yes to all, but this was the first one who arrived) that our agency has more demand than it has homes, and Michael and I both want with all our hearts to help. But I worried about dividing my time and attention away from Maya, and I worried about not having enough hands or energy or even room in our tiny apartment. But honestly, I needn’t have worried. We realized recently that while we may have a few minutes less one-on-one time with Maya in these instances, and our apartment may have dirty bottles in every room, we want to raise Maya to be the kind of child and human who will say to us later, how could you not have taken another? Of course you had to help.

But for the grace and mystery of God, that could have been our Maya, in desperate need of extra snuggles and bottles. It could so easily have been her, arriving after weeks of malnourishment and neglect. So we washed extra bottles and pulled out Maya’s old newborn pajamas, sang extra lullabies and made sure that baby bird knew she was oh-so-loved. Good for her? Yes. Even better for us? Pretty much.

So that, dear friends, is what’s going on around these parts. In between babies, we’ve been enjoying the balmy, walkable days in our neighborhood, trying to explore Houston as much as possible. I’ve been writing and being as productive as one can be on four hours sleep. And I’m warily weighing whether to join a mom’s group and possibly a baby swim class since Maya has decided she loves to splash in the bath. Big old questions, I tell ya!

I hope your week is on the downhill slide! Thanks, as always, for hanging out with me here!

A Sparkling Drive through Loveland Pass, Colorado

January 25, 2016

loveland-pass-colorado-view Michael and I spent last weekend visiting his middle brother and his wife and two kiddos in Denver for a few days. We took advantage of the long weekend and cheap Southwest flights (yay free bags and snacks!) and had such a nice time visiting with family. Michael and his brother skied for a few days while I stayed back with my sister-in-law, Summer, and the three kids. On our last day, we got out as a family of three for a quick drive around the Loveland Pass up in the Rockies. It was a spectacularly sunny day and the views were incredible. There’s no way we would have done it if there was an inkling of snow, and even on a clear day, Michael’s knuckles were white on the way down! But it was worth it, especially once we were down on flat ground. Maya, meanwhile, slept through the entire drive, waking only for a bottle when we stopped for lunch.  michael-driving-colorado pine-trees-colorado highlander-colorado We couldn’t get over all the backcountry skiers and snowboarders we saw dropping right over the guardrails. Michael explained that good skiers can avoid paying ski lift prices by just skiing the back country and getting picked up at the bottom. We found just a few terrifying reasons we could never do that. First, um, trees?! And second…. loveland-colorado-1 Avalanche blasting at any time using long range weaponry. What the what?! I think we’ll pay for the lift tickets! Seems just a bit too risky. back-country-sking-colorado backcountry-skier-loveland-summit view-colorado-loveland-summit loveland-summit-colorado michael-loveland-summit 12,000 feet up into the blue sky! I wish Maya had been awake to see her first mountains. loveland-pass-colorado-view-2 loveland-view-colorado loveland-colorad-view-2 loveland-pass-snowy-drive We were certainly grateful for our sunglasses!  loveland-pass-daytrip-snow loveland-pass-colorado

We were pretty glad to get down to the bottom and back on the safety of the highway I normally find pretty terrifying!

Giant thanks to my sister- and brother-in-law for lending us their comfy car with all wheel drive! It was pretty reassuring to know that was beneath us with Maya snoozing in the back seat. We’d absolutely recommend this sparkly Colorado drive to anyone, but go on a dry day and take a car that’s ready for the snow!

Houston Exploring: The James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University

January 19, 2016

skyspace-houston-texas A few weeks ago, Michael, Maya and I headed over to Rice University to check out the James Turrell “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace for their sunset light show. We should have bundled ourselves up more because by the time we got over there it was 46 degrees and really windy. We didn’t last through very many colors because we were frozen, but on a balmy day (like 95% of the other days here in Houston!) it would be so relaxing to gaze up at the lights as they change.

emily-skyspace-houston See? Very windy! Ha!  skyspace-rice-university The LED light sequence lasts 40 minutes and the colors change slowly and subtly in shade. This isn’t your typical neon light display, it’s really peaceful and sometimes you have to look closely to even watch it change.  skyspace-rice-university-houston james-tyrell-skyspace-rice-texas Michael had Maya in the wrap, so she was cosy and so was he! Even so, we left after a little while and headed straight to Common Bond for hot chocolate. It’s no Butler’s, but it was rich and hot and felt like the perfect warm-up treat. rice-university-sunset-light-show skyspace-houston The Skyspace light shows happen year round at sunrise and sunset. They’re free but you have to book a spot online. We weren’t asked to show our tickets, but it was relatively busy for such a chilly evening. I imagine the summer is even busier and maybe they ask for your tickets then. Sometimes they have musical performances, which I think would be lovely to experience in the pavillion.

The Simplest Newborn Baby Essentials

January 13, 2016

simple-baby-essentials There’s a much more zippy title for this post out there somewhere, I’m sure of it. Something more concise than what-we-found-useful-after-not-being-prepared-at-all-for-a-baby. See? Doesn’t really roll off the tongue. I really wanted to convey that we weren’t prepared in the least for Maya’s arrival, but in the end, that really did boil down to a collection of the simplest newborn baby essentials, so we’ll go with it.

I haven’t talked much about this before on FCV, but there’s a thing that happens when you try to have a baby for five years without success, or at least a thing that happened to me. Even when you’re on the path to making that baby happen, like moving to another country to adopt one, it’s still hard to believe it ever will. It’s not hopelessness, and it’s not quite unbelief, it’s more like disbelief. It’s hard to imagine it happening, because you spend so much time trying to be okay with it not happening. The closest I could get was imagining arriving at the hospital after getting a phone call that a baby was waiting for us. I could picture that, but I couldn’t picture a baby in our house (here or Dublin), and I couldn’t picture even holding it in my arms.

And even though I don’t believe in jinxing things, I didn’t feel comfortable preparing to have a baby until we knew for sure we would have a baby. When we moved into our Houston apartment (all 800 square feet of it!), we set up the living room and our bedroom, and stocked the kitchen with the essentials and hung photos on the walls, and then things sort of came to a standstill. Given, it wasn’t that long a standstill considering we were only in the place a month when Maya arrived, but still. Where the nursery is now, we essentially had a sleep out couch (the arrival of which nearly caused our divorce) and a little cabinet we thought might one day work as a changing table. When we bought the slightly-too-large-for-the-door-frame couch off Craigslist, the sellers were moving and offered us the cabinet for free, so that came to live in there, too.

Luckily, once we knew we were headed to the hospital to meet Maya, our friend Debs reached out to her incredible network of generous souls in the fostering world who lent us a car seat, a stroller, a changing pad, a bassinet, a bouncer and a baby bath, all in the space of a few days. And honestly, I’m not sure what we would have done if those things hadn’t arrived on our doorstep. I was being asked to make so many decisions I wasn’t prepared for in the NICU, like please choose a pediatrician for your new daughter and should she get the HEP-B vaccine before she’s discharged?, that I was overwhelmed and found it really hard to make any other basic decisions.

Also luckily, our friends and family were so generous and immediately Amazon-Primed us diapers and wipes, clothes and essentials they found helpful when they had babies. In fact, Maya is now three months and I haven’t had to buy diapers once! It’s a slightly unglamorous present, but jeepers, I appreciate it about six times a day!

All that to say, we kind of bootstrapped this baby thing and lived to tell the tale. And we don’t feel like we’re swimming in baby gear, which neither of us ever wanted pre-baby. So I thought it might be interesting (I always think these lists are fascinating on other blogs) to share what we found useful and helpful over the last three months.

The basics:

Bassinet: We borrowed a sweet little bassinet from another foster family and just moved Maya out of it and into a mini crib (which, hilariously, I found by the side of the road a block from our house! Ha!). The bassinet (similar to this one) is on wheels, but sits up at hip height. It’s not quite as tote-able as a Moses basket, but honestly, we don’t have far to go in this little apartment! We rolled it from our room to the nursery the first few days, but it ultimately landed in the nursery for good. Maya probably could have gotten another few months in it, but once I found that mini crib and got it all cleaned and set up, it didn’t really make sense to have both in the room taking up space.

Changing table: We have that little free cabinet with a changing pad on top, and all of Maya’s clothes, pajamas, diapers and blankets fit inside. As she grows, we may need a little more storage, but for now it’s great that I can see everything she has. Babies grow so fast and I’m finding I really I hate if she only wears something once because it’s buried!

Car seat: Friends bought our special baby the Britax B-Safe car seat and it’s like Maya’s little space ship. It clicks into a base in the car and then easily clicks in to our stroller base. It’s great for an infant as well; since she was so tiny at the beginning, and didn’t even need additional neck supports.

Stroller: The stroller was literally the only thing I cared about when it came to baby equipment. I wanted a simple, streamlined, light, smooth stroller. I spent a little while looking and my parents bought us the Britax Affinity. We love it and like to tell everyone we meet all about it. It folds down to nothing really easily, and it was one of the only strollers that wasn’t eight million dollars that also fits a bassinet attachment. The car seat also drops onto the base, but it doesn’t perch on top the whole stroller seat like some strollers, which is too precarious for me.

Wrap: This is the only piece of baby equipment I had before we had Maya. A friend gave it to me last summer and I actually left it at my parents because I couldn’t bear to bring it to Houston when we weren’t sure if we would have to wait months or years for a baby. My amazing mom mailed it (so heavy!) once we had Maya at home and for a while there it was the only reliable way I could get her to nap! We walked our neighborhood sidewalks for hours each day. We have the Moby because it was given to us, but I think the Solly is virtually the same although more expensive and possibly lighter. The Moby is quite heavy and can get quite hot. But I would wear only a tank top underneath when the weather was warmer and it was fine. You can always throw a sweater or jacket on over it, which is harder to do with an Ergo or bulkier carrier. Maya slept in it on our flights to and from Maine last month and it was comfortable for both of us.

Bottles: We use the Dr. Brown’s system, which we were recommended by the speech therapist in the hospital as Maya was learning how to suck, and we think they’re great, although we haven’t tried any alternatives. They do, however, have four parts per bottle, which I’m pretty sure is twice as many as other bottles. So we are darn thankful for the dishwasher! I bought an $8 bottle piece washing basket at Target and we run the dishwasher once each night. Friends also gave us this hilarious and awesome faux grass drying rack which sits on the counter and holds all the pieces while they dry after they’ve been washed. Finally, we have a formula dispenser for on-the-go that’s brilliant in the middle of the night. We fill it with what we need before we go to bed and then we don’t have to measure and make a mess when we’re half asleep.

Bouncer: Another amazing friend who isn’t planning on having more kids sent us her BabyBjorn bouncer (and a swing and Ergo, but more on those below) and we use it so much. It’s simple and adjusts to a few different heights, it’s a lovely, un-annoying light grey, and it’s not bulky at all.

Swaddle Blankets: Maya was a teeny little thing at the beginning, and we had a stack of flannel blankets that wrapped her up into a perfect little burrito. She grew out of those after about six weeks, and we moved to a set of Carter’s swaddles that I really like. Some of the Aiden+Anais ones are too soft to swaddle, and some are too scratchy to be right up next to her skin. At three months, we still swaddle her at night with one of the Carter’s and then one of the bigger Aiden+Anais swaddles to make sure she can’t escape. Her hands are still like the best toys, so if she finds them she’ll be awake for hours. We tried some of those one-piece velcro swaddles, but they’re almost too restrictive for her. And we have some sleep sacks at the ready for when she’s allowed to have her hands free!

Diapers: I mentioned we were sent a ton of diapers at the beginning, and in our experience Pampers Swaddlers or Luvs work the best. Luvs have a little more wiggle room, but they’re purple, which is kind of annoying because you can sometimes see them through her clothes. And Pampers are what the hospital uses. I would definitely say steer clear of the Huggies. The second Maya pees, the Huggies smell so strongly of pee! There’s no grace period whatsoever!

Thermometer pacifier: My sister-in-law sent this, along with a whole bunch of amazingly useful things she loved when she had my nephew. It’s positively genius as long as the baby is old enough/willing enough to keep it in for thirty seconds. We got great practice in the NICU at taking Maya’s temperature under her arm since the nurses do it with every bottle, but the pacifier thermometer is way easier.

Clothes: Baby clothes are baby clothes, and people will likely send you tons, so these are just a few things I found helpful.

Wash and dry everything you’re going to keep right away so you know what size it actually shrinks down to. I kept a few things unwashed thinking they were enormous, only to realize they barely fit Maya once they had been laundered.

It’s nearly impossible to predict if your baby is going to spend time in the NICU, but if you think he or she might, or if you’re wandering aimlessly around Target wondering what to buy your brand new adopted daughter who happens to be in the NICU, don’t worry about pants! Maya had several monitors on her foot, so the nurses never bothered with pants or pajamas. They did love putting her in her own little onesies every day, but we never used the pants until she came home.

Carter’s for Target or Walmart make the best newborn socks that actually stay on and feel really cosy. That said, Carter’s terry cloth pajamas are a little scratchy for my liking. And we’ve preferred the zip-up pajamas for ease of changing at night time, instead of the button up ones. But hey, mismatched buttons haven’t kept the kid from sleeping.

I stocked up on plain white onesies in a few sizes because I like layering them under things, even pajamas at night time. They make some with the little mittens built in, which is useful at the beginning unless you have expert NICU nurses to cut your little one’s fingernails!

I’ve decided I’m a hat mom. As in, if there’s the slightest draft, the baby should have a hat on. Poor Maya, she has a full head of hair and almost permanent hat head. It all started because she always had a hat on in the NICU and I wanted her to feel familiar when we brought her home. Now it seems to be a little compulsive. But Old Navy makes great packs of hats that are nice and soft. Come to think of it, Old Navy makes a lot of great, not hideous baby clothes in really nice colours and prints.

For the bath: 

We have a little lounger bath from Summer Infants that was hand-me-downed, and it works perfectly fine. I didn’t realize we were going to need baby towels until we went to give her a bath! We grabbed a set of three from Target along with little wash cloths. My parents added this rubber ducky to Maya’s stocking and it tells when the water is too hot! Cute and very clever.

Useful extras:

Swing: Once Maya hit the one month mark, she went from snoozy newborn to overstimulated infant. It was so hard to get her to shut off and nap. I was really hoping a swing would help her drift off to sleep, just while she grew out of that phase, but for whatever reason it didn’t. She’s fallen asleep in it about twice, and otherwise just likes to look around at the ceiling fan. My wonderful generous friend who sent the BabyBjorn bouncer also sent the 4Moms Mamaroo, and we do use it during the day for a little down time now. It has a fun little toy that hangs down, and it has built in white noise sounds, so it’s very calming. I bet other babies would knock right out in it!

Carrier: We have an Ergo and a BabyBjorn carrier, both hand-me-downs, and we have yet to use them very much, but Maya only recently got big enough for them. I imagine they’re going to get a lot of use once she breaks free of the Moby wrap!


And that, I think, rounds up the basics of what we’ve used to keep Maya happy and healthy over the last three months. I have a few baby book favorites I’ll share in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, what were your newborn essentials? Or what were the completely useless things you thought you needed and never did?

Names Jewellery by the Irish Design Shop

January 12, 2016

mary-b-earrings-names-collection The Irish Design Shop has long been one of my favourite places to shop in Dublin, especially for birthday and Christmas gifts. For my 30th birthday, I even asked Michael to go in and choose something for me and had Laura and Clare point him in the right direction (wink wink ;). It worked out perfectly, and I love the gift he chose. It will forever remind me of that milestone birthday.

Laura and Clare, who started and continue to run the Irish Design Shop, the studios above it and the workshops upstairs, are jewellery designers and makers by trade. I was so excited to see them launch their new Names jewellery collection a few months ago. Sixteen pieces named for and inspired by sixteen women in their lives. Meaningful and pretty, each piece description has a little information about the woman who inspired it.

These are a few of my favourites.

laura-necklace-names-collection Nearly all the pieces are made from brass, plated with either gold or rose gold. The matte finish on that bangle is pretty lovely!  anne-bangle-irish-design-shop mary-k-stud-earrings-names-collection A few of the pieces are sold out online after the holidays, but I’m sure they’ll be back in stock soon.

Irish Design Shop / 41 Drury Street / Dublin 2

Texas Exploring / Los Trompos in Discovery Green

January 11, 2016

michael-discovery-green-houston Before Christmas, Michael and I took Maya on a little Saturday afternoon adventure downtown for lunch and a stroll around Los Trompos, or the Spinning Tops, at Discovery Green. I really didn’t understand quite how big they would be, or that they would be covered in children spinning around and around! I thought they were more of an art installation than a temporary colorful playground!

Also, how handsome is my husband pushing that stroller? Photos like this remind me of how long I dreamed of photos like this.

Maya was obviously much too small to really enjoy Los Trompos, so we sat and fed her and people watched instead. And I tried to take a few photos without looking like a creeper. Ha!  spinning-tops-houston-texas spinning-tops-discovery-green-houston quincineara-houston-texas quincineara-spinning-tops While we were there, a girl celebrating her quinceanara wandered through with all her little dressed up friends. She looked like another spinning top!  discovery-green-houston discovery-green-houston-texas Discovery Green was teeming with kids and their families on a Saturday afternoon. It’s such a funny spot with big old trees, yet surrounded by giant sky rises.  climbing-wall-discovery-green If you go, maybe try on a Tuesday morning? It might be a little more peaceful!

Friday Finds

January 9, 2016

china lake sunshine China Lake in the sunshine last week.

Happy Friday, everyone! How was your first week back to reality after the holidays? I picked up our farm share for the first time since Christmas and managed to cook nearly all of the veggies into five actual real dinners this week! I was suffering from a serious case of dinner burnout, so it felt like a giant accomplishment and I hope I haven’t peaked too soon in this new year.

And as I write this, Maya is having a full on squeak-a-thon in her crib as she puts herself to sleep. Hopefully. We’re starting to wonder if Maya will be a chatterbox when she grows up, since she seems to have an awful lot to say to us already. It’s going to be so fun to watch and see.

This weekend, if the weather holds up, we’re going to go see the Skyspace light show at Rice University at sunset. Bring on the Houston exploring in this new year! What are you up to for the weekend? Any fun plans?

Here are a few things I enjoyed from around the internet this week. Mostly easy reading for the weekend.

Oh Joy has a new nursery line at Target and it’s pretty adorable.

The differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Behind the diverse faces of Houston.

Great tips for leaving less waste in 2016.

A sweet song for a Saturday morning.

A great plan of attack for dealing with the post-vacation blues.

Buy-me-once shopping is on the rise. I love this idea. Maybe we could apply it to cars one day!

Casseroles for cold evenings. For next week’s veggie influx!

Happy weekending, all!