The Big T-W-O!

Oh my goodness – when did it happen?! When was I suddenly the mother of a full-fledged toddler?!

This past Valentine’s Day we crossed the milestone. August turned the big T-W-O! My little bundle, my baby boy, is now a floor stomping, bug poking, soil slinging mini man. He’s independent, fiery, curious, and addicted to routines. Thankfully, his tantrums are few, and his appetite is still big, so I’m clinging on to those two baby hold overs for as long as possible. His vocabulary is expanding in an exponential rate as are his physical capabilities. I’m telling you – mini man. Mini man.

To celebrate his passage into this new phase of life I hosted a small shin dig in his honor. As I’m quickly learning with this stage, less is more. Instead of busting out all stops for a big hoopla of a party, I planned an intimate breakfast bash with family, friends, and some of his toddler buddies. “Keep it simple sweetie” – definitely the way to go.

For the decorations I stayed away from a true theme and instead pulled together some basics in a variety of colors and textures. I also fell in love with a gold “Yay” Mylar balloon I found at Target – so threw in a few more metallic elements to bring it all together. Add a few bright floral bouquets and a smattering of wooden animal figurines and wallah! My apartment was birthday party ready!

For the food spread I, again, kept things simple. I filled up a cutting board with a variety of cheeses, including the standard brie and blue, both of which August promptly took whopping bites from. See my Instagram for video proof. I filled several bowls with berries, yogurts and granola, and set out jams and other condiments for spicing things up. Putting my collection of cake stands to work, I piled up mini omelettes, freshly baked mini croissants as well as towers of silver dollar pancakes skewered with berry kabobs. Do you see a pattern yet? Mini, mini, mini. One thing that was full sized was August’s birthday cake: A delightful chocolate ganache that we purchased from Whole Foods which I then topped with fresh cut flowers, a wooden animal figurine, a sparkler, and of course, two candles. For drinks I also kept things minimal and served orange juice, french pressed coffee, and organic milk boxes for the kiddos. The food was definitely a huge hit!

As seems customary at kid parties, I had an activity planned, but in the hub-bub of guests, food, and toddler antics, there was no opportunity to introduce it. Aka, I totally forgot. Oops! I had bought the supplies to have the kids make their very own seed bombs which they could “plant” somewhere in their neighborhood. Since I have the wildflower seeds and peat rarin to go – I may host a spring themed play date to give the littles a chance to get their hands dirty while teaching them some horticulture basics. But I digress.

730 days old. Quite the milestone and so glad we had a chance to properly celebrate. Now to start plans for Easter!

 

Advertisements

August Year One

augustine year one

It’s been twelve months since the birth of Augustine.

Twelve months since we learned to swaddle, sway, and sweet talk. Twelve months of changing diapers, sorting toys, and counting sheep. Twelve months of learning the ropes, building up confidence, and settling into parenthood. Twelve months of prayers, patience, giggles, and dreams. Twelve months of learning to love deeper, higher, and without limits.

It’s been twelve months since our lives changed forever, and for the better, which is why we’re celebrating our first twelve months as the mom and dad of Augustine.

Happy birthday to our little jelly bean!

Maggie Daley Park

Our little jelly belly turned eight months earlier this month. Crazy how time flies, right?! Besides hitting a new age, our little man sprouted his first two teeth, said da-da, and started to crawl. And all in just a week! These  developmental leaps were a sudden wake up call that his infant days are fleeting.

image

After this realization a rush of sentimentalism washed over me, prompting me to schedule some time off for a staycation with the boys. I wanted a handful of days where I could slow down, spend time with August and his dad, and soak up the season.

One of the highlights of our recent stint of hometown tourism was a visit to the new Maggie Daley park. Continue reading

Introducing August!

August birth announcement crpped

This past Valentine’s Day was life-changing.

At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning David and I welcomed our son Augustine Krupinski Downs into the world. Born six days after his due date, we were thrilled that the anticipation of meeting this little man was finally over. Here’s the story of how he came to be a Valentine’s babe. Continue reading

We’re Expecting!

little human 1

We have some big, exciting, huge news here at the Pierogi Picnic family. We’re expecting! A little human to be exact! David and I broke the official news to friends and family last week – and we couldn’t be more enthused at the prospect of growing and grooming a little person.

With the coming of the little man/gal we’ll experience a dramatic shift in lifestyle as we add baby to our daily activities and endeavors. So what does that mean for Pierogi Picnic?

little human 2

Pierogi Picnic has blossomed and evolved in incredible ways since I launched my handmade business in the fall of 2008. Since then I have grown as a person, creator and business owner in ways I could have never imagined. And that will continue as we anticipate the arrival of our bundle of joy.

The little human will make their debut in February of 2015 and we’ve already begun planning. For Pierogi Picnic that will mean some ebbs and flows in product creation between now and the winter. Instead of pushing my already limited energy reserves on custom orders, I’ll be focusing on hawking items that I’ve already created, as well as vintage pieces. There will definitely be some sewing going on here and there – but much of my productivity will depend on how my body is feeling. David and I have chosen to take as easy-going an approach to the pregnancy as possible, so keeping deadlines and mad-crunches at the machine at bay will be key.

little human 3

So starting this weekend, you’ll find that the “Custom Made” category of the Pierogi Picnic Etsy shop offline. Is this a permanent shift? Absolutely not! Being able to create tailored clothing for people of all shapes and sizes is key to what I do! So come Spring 2015 expect lots of new design choices within the made to order category. But for now, as my body settles into baby growing and all the fun adventures that go with it, I’ll be sticking to ready-made orders only.

So excited as we enter this new chapter of our lives! And who knows – maybe a Mini Pierogi Picnic line is in the not-so-distant future!

little human 4

A DIY Wedding

Katie & Philip's DIY Wedding 2013

When it was announced that my baby brother was getting hitched – I could barely contain my excitement! Not only was I a mega-fan of the bride to-be, I also knew that this wedding would be different. Between the creativity imparted on Phil by our family, and the uber-crafty cunning of Katie, I had no doubt that this would be a DIY wedding to remember!

The Plan:

First things first, the bride made her own handy-dandy wedding planner in which she would list all the elements that would need to come together for this rustic, meets shabby chic, affair. Delegating out tasks across the familial pool, we each had an important part to play. The Krupinski side of the family was in charge of flowers, bridal party accessories, favors, and a portion of the food and centerpieces.

By inviting family and friends to take the lead in the preparations for their special day, Katie and Philip ensured that their wedding would hold sentiment for them, and all the guests who attended. 

diy wedding

Wedding Favors: With a little elbow grease and some heavy duty diamond tip blades, my father made over eighty drinking glasses for the guests using old soda bottles. Talk about being green! Each one was then scripted with the event date and initials of the bride and groom making them an elegant and functional wedding favor.

Centerpiece Stands: My brother and dad also gathered used wooden candlesticks and wood from a recently fallen tree trunk, and assembled the most ingenious centerpiece bases (which I plan to steal for use in my own home – shhhhh). White washing each candlestick and gluing the top to a cross-cut of the tree trunk, these homemade cake stands were used for elevating the light and whimsical baby’s breath table bouquets.

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Continue reading

Artful Appalachia

North Carolina 2013

Needing a breath of fresh air and a temporary escape from city living – my hub and I embarked on a one week adventure to Appalachia.

Spending several days in the Pisgah National Forest in a beautifully renovated antique cabin at Brown Mountain Beach Resort, we enjoyed leisurely hikes, canoeing and fresh locally made foods. The couple who recently acquired the stretch of historical cabins imparted their  enthusiasm for all things green and homegrown. Not only is this treasure of a resort striving for true sustainability, both financially and ecologically, they’re also pet-friendly. Talk about hitting up the right demographic! David and I will be sure to swing through again in the future with our mini goblins in tow.

After a few days of R&R in the park, we embarked on a visit to Asheville, the self-proclaimed “foodtopia” of the East. With a penchant for the arts and slow processes, both with foods and products, this tiny city nestled in the smoky mountains was refreshingly low key. With live folk music pouring from the bars, an abundance of local handmade crafts, direct-from-farmer restaurants and a thriving arts scene, this town of 50,000 was a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed gallery hopping in the River Arts District and leisurely strolls between the many boutiques. A true gem with much more to be discovered – I foresee us swinging through Asheville again in the near future – to do some more in depth exploring.

Is there a close vacation destination near your home that offers sustainable and local foods? If so – share your suggestions for regional trips in the comments! We’d love to know where you go to escape!

North Carolina 2013 (6)

North Carolina Asheville (18)

DSCN0860 DSCN0921Curve Art Studios: Ceramic Designs Continue reading