10+ Things 2/13

Rug on Sale! / Girls’ Silhouettes / Leather Sofa (not shown) on Sale! / Oval Picture Frames / Pine Chest / Linen Curtains / Brass Lamp / Chair / Faux Fur Throw / Scalloped Frames / Neutral Coffee Table Books / Brass Frame / Trailing Plant (It’s faux!) / Planter / Candle Holders / Picture Frame Light / Frame TV / Brass Dachshunds / Wallpaper

It’s been a while since I wrote a “10 Things” post, so here’s a little check-in. :)

  • We survived another round of the stomach virus. Most of the country is battling it. Ugh. Well, I’ll say that it wasn’t as bad as Ocean City. And poor Mitch was the one most affected this time… but we’re all on the mend. You know that feeling when you come out of being sick—much like a bear coming out of hibernation—and you just LOVE LIFE? Yesterday, a recovered Mitch was like, “Man. I missed my life. This is great!” And I loved that. Though don’t wish the stomach virus on anyone. Bear feeling: not worth it. 😆
  • We’re headed to Rosemary Beach, FL on Saturday to see my parents! It’s going to be so nice. Life has been so busy lately, and I think we could all stand to hit pause for a while. Mitch and I are also going to take a little “us time,” and drive to New Orleans to visit my brothers. So looking forward to everything.
  • What our weekend looked like: Gymnastics, four birthday parties (#nailedit), a downtown bike ride, seeing our friends Eric and Theresa to celebrate their adorable daughter Ruthie, and a Super Bowl get-together with Gretchen and James. It was a busy but good one!
  • I learned how to use the Selphy 1300 Photo Printer and reflected on why I’m so resistant when it comes to new technology. Technology is overwhelming to me. Sometimes I think it’s because I’m part of the last generation to grow up without a ton of it. Of course, we had some. But we didn’t have a computer in our house until I was in the third or fourth grade—and we needed to use the phone line to get on AOL, so we didn’t do it often. I did eventually get a cell phone my senior year of high school, but it was only so my parents could better coordinate sports practice pickups, haha. (And it was a BRICK. No texting; it could only place and receive calls.) That said, I’m glad I grew up in that time. I really can’t imagine being a teen right now, for obvious (?) reasons. Anyway, I’ve wanted a photo printer for at least a decade. So in January, during all the sales, I finally purchased one. And sure! It took me about 15 minutes to get the hang of it. But I did it. And now I print out photos all the time. I change out the photos in the frames in our homes, and give framed photos as gifts. It makes me really happy, and it’s inspired me to keep learning.
  • Which leads me to: I also learned how to use the Cricut Joy. Yay! I worked with Cricut a couple of years ago, and Mitch helped me get started with the Joy. (Their most compact machine.) Then I set it aside, swearing that I’d eventually truly master it… but never did, because it felt daunting. The interesting thing here is that several of you guys have told me the same thing! That you got one, only to put it on your shelf or never even unbox it because the learning curve felt so steep. I am here to tell you, however, that even this 38-year-old can do it. (Huzzah!) And it’s FUN. And Emma loves it. Basically, a Cricut machine is a cutting machine—meaning that it can cut all types of materials for crafting. The ones you see the most are adhesive vinyl. (Here’s an example!) But it can do a lot more. Right now, for example, Emma and I are making Valentine’s Day bookmarks for her class. And last week, we made personalized gift tags for the goody bags she brought into school for her half birthday. We even made personalized Valentine’s for family members! While I do feel that I still have a lot to learn, I’m honestly loving it.
  • My last “creativity” goal of the year is to learn how to spray paint, but to be honest, I’m having second thoughts. 😆 It sounds like a huge mess. Ideally, it’s done in a grassy backyard, where one wouldn’t have to worry about paint getting everywhere. But we don’t have one of those. And while I suppose I could get one of those spray tents and use it in the garage, that seems like quite the ordeal, haha. So I’m re-thinking the whole thing, and may focus my efforts elsewhere. Perhaps on mastering the gimbal. (Bringing it to Florida next week so I’m forced to learn!)
  • My cousin Sammy and her new husband Charls were here for the entire week, and we had the best time with them. It was seriously wonderful. They are just such good people, and we laugh so much when we’re all together. They stayed with us for a weekend and then had a little Airbnb a few blocks away for the workweek. We spent a lot of time in front of the fire catching up, playing with the girls, and eating at our favorite restaurants. Can’t wait for them to come back. Feels like someone is missing from our family!
  • Mitch and I went to Girl and the Goat for the first time, and then saw Adam Sandler. Girl and the Goat: Amazing. Adam Sandler: Meh, haha. I knew it would be raunchy. I mean, it’s Adam Sandler. But I guess I wasn’t prepared for just how raunchy. Yikes! There were parts that we definitely enjoyed—and we did laugh. But we also left early. 😆
  • We took the girls to this old school diner after gymnastics, and it was incredible. Highly recommend giving this one a try if you’re in or near Chicago. Super busy, amazing food, and ridiculously friendly staff. They even made Mickey Mouse pancakes for the girls. So down-to-earth and a great place to bring kids.
  • We had Jess and Neal over recently! It was the best night. Both families schedules are insane, and we’re constantly trying to find a free night to hang. It’s kind of a running joke how difficult it is to find one that works for both the Larkin and the Loftus families! But we did it. And as always, it was like no time had past. The best part is that our girls can now run around and play and giggle together. I teared up watching them! See some of the magic here.
  • We’re officially out of the diapers/pull-ups stage with Lucy, and we’re celebrating. After 6.5 years, it’s a pretty wild concept, but we threw out the last of the pull-ups and it feels so good. Freedom! Lucy is also wildly proud of her accomplishment. She’s a big kid now, just like her sister. It’s all she’s ever wanted. Besides a diamond ring. ;)
  • I’m reading Lauren Leiss every night, and it’s been very relaxing. After Emma and I finish her school reading, we settle down on her big chair in her room and read quietly together. It’s one of our favorite times of the day. She always ends up with her head and my lap, and I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have my girls. (Lucy and I also read together at night, but she can never keep her eyes open long enough for this part! She tries—and oh my gosh, it’s so cute—but we have our mommy-and-me reading sessions in the secret hideout, which are just as special. ♥️
  • Emma and I did the high ropes course at ClimbZone and I’m very proud of us. We were there for a birthday party, and the two of us initially took one look at it, and were like, “NO WAY.” But then Emma mustered up the courage, and I needed to accompany her since she didn’t meet the height requirement to go solo. (Also I would have lost my mind to watch her go alone!) So we did it. And let me tell you: It was fun! We had such a good time together and laughed a lot. Emma usually doesn’t like to do things out of her comfort zone, and I’m kind of afraid of heights—so go us! We can’t wait to go back. (Like maybe next year. 😆)
  • Deal of the Week: My favorite jeans are 40 percent off if you’re a J.Crew Passport Member. They’re the BEST. If you’ve been wanting to try another cut besides skinny but haven’t taken the plunge yet, I highly recommend this pair. The buttons really pull you in and are very form-fitting up top (in a great way), but the kick-out at the bottom gives the jeans a trendier look. I’ll never not love my skinnies—this is the newer version of my favorite pair—but my Demi-boot jeans get worn almost as much!
  • Amazon Finds:
  • One Home Project Every Day:
    • I finally ordered Emma’s customizable peel-and-stick wallpaper. It’s going to be in sage green, since the theme of the room is going to be forest/plants/garden/things that are alive. Ha. Love it!
    • I went to TOWN on the girls’ bedroom closets, moved around their shelves, and organized everything so it makes sense. We now have “uniform stations,” which makes getting ready in the morning so much easier.
    • Using this conversion kit, we replaced four can lights in our upstairs hallway with these flush mounts for a softer feel.
    • I got a very small TV for my office (which Mitch found on Facebook Marketplace for a ridiculous price).
    • We had a reading light hardwired in the secret hideout.
    • Emma and Lucy’s “big girl desk” arrived, and they’re thrilled.
    • “No Switches for Mitches” has apparently ended. The man is obsessed with smart light switches, and is constantly replacing them and making huge holes in our walls. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
    • We scrapped the plans for the second hidden closet. Smells a little musty in there and there isn’t great airflow, so I’m just going to take our all the shelving and make it a nice space to house the gymnastics mats and bean bags. :) Also, who needs two secret hideouts?! I was was far too invested in that silly (but very fun) project. 😉