You guys…..we bought a house!Now you know what I’ve been doing these past few weeks – along with working tirelessly on planning another round of 24 Merry Days. I still can’t believe we are home owners…..sounds pretty grown-up, doesn’t it? :)

Back to the house shopping the Berkeley housing market is not joke – so tough to get into! There are too many people wanting to live here and not enough houses coming on the market, so guess what…..bidding wars for every home! And we’re not talking $10 or $20 over asking…way more! And making making all cash offers on top of it. It’s insane!

But that’s all behind us now…..and we’re starting a brand new chapter :) I wanted to wait until we closed to share the news with you all – I am so superstitious! But we  got the keys yesterday and I wanted to share some pictures…not a full tour because I haven’t snapped too many pictures yet, but a little preview :)

The home is older, built in 1920 but has been well loved and cared for over the years, so we don’t have to do too much before we move in – which is perfect since we want to be in there before the holidays :) But oh, do we have dreams for this home, so many things we want to do! It’s so weird, thinking that this is all ours and we don’t have to ask anyone to change things! It has four bedroom, and an in-law unit so that our family from Europe can come and stay with us as much as they’d like!

So you’ll ask, what’s the one thing that made us fall in love with this home? The backyard. Hands down. It is a big lot filled with redwood trees, and we’re still in the middle of Berkeley, It’s like living in a cabin, but in the city. It’s magical. And there is a creek that runs through the lot also, so guess what, to access our backyard we have to cross a bridge :) I can’t wait for us to start making memories there. 

I will share more about our dreams for this home soon…but for now, friends. I shall go to bed. It’s been a looong, exciting, tiring week!



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Hola friend! Is your tech feeling a little down, sad that winter is on it’s way? Well, Jessica from Coco + Mingo and I have a little something to make your tech happy :) This is our third post in this happy tech series – and it’s been so much fun working with someone as amazingly talented as Jessica. And well, she’s pretty awesome all around, to be honest 😉

Living the life I imagined….I think it’s an ongoing battle for me! Battle with what? Well, that good old self-esteem, that “but can I really do those things?”, “am I cut out for it?”…the doubts always creep in somehow. But in the end the minute I decide to stop worrying and stop doing, I realize that really it’s not that bad at all. And in fact, starting to live your dreams is pretty damn awesome :) It’s all about jumping in and reaching out for those stars with your two pretty little hands.

Anyway, hope these free wallpapers for your computer and phone make you happy when you look at them :)

Click here to download:
1280x1024 feather wallpaper (PC)
2560x1600 feather wallpaper (13 inch mac)
2880x1800 feather wallpaper (15 inch mac)
Feather phone wallpaper.jpg

Lettering by Jessica from Coco + Mingo, artwork by me. For personal use only. Not for sale or distribution. If shared, please link back to original post – thank you :)

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Me:Madeline, what do you want to be for halloween?”
Madeline, day 1: ” I wanna be Cruella”
M, day 2: “No, actually, I will be the dog and daddy will be Cruella.”
M, day 3: “No, actually, I want to be a lunch box.” (?!?!?!)
M, day 4: “No, actually, I want to be a pumpkin patch.” (?!?!?!?!?!)
M, final call: “Ok, I’ll be the dog and daddy can be Cruella.”

Man, we cut it close….I mean….a lunchbox costume?! Instead, now I get to see my dear hubby dressed up as Cruella de Vil. Best. Halloween. Ever. Also, Olivia wanted to be a pineapple this year and she requested that her baby sister be a strawberry. AND she convinced her good friend at school to dress up as an orange. So it looks like we’ll have a whole fruit bowl, friends :) Happy halloween!

Images: 1. |2. |3. |4. |5.

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Hubby keeps joking that I am turning into a hippie since we moved to Berkeley…and he might be a tad right :) But hey, nothing wrong with wearing flowers in your hair and trying to live in peace with the environment, right? :) Jokes aside, I’ve been increasingly thinking a lot about chemicals over the past few years, especially since having the girls. What we eat what we put on our skin. I have a mile-long list of things I want to make myself, and on that list was laundry detergent… I gave it a try.

And I guess, more than a try because that’s what I now use for all of my laundry! What do I love about it? Well, I LOVE that it’s easy to make and eco-friendly, that is is WAY cheaper than the laundry detergent you buy in a regular store, and that it cleans the girls’ “i-just-rolled-myself-in-the-dirt” clothes super well!

I am sharing my recipe on the West Elm blog today, so make sure to check it out here :)

Credits: Photography by This Little Street and Jacqueline Knapp. This post was conceived in partnership with West Elm. No compensation was received. All thoughts and opinion are my own.

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Last weekend we went on our annual trip to Little Basin with friends. It was heaven in a campground, lost in a sea of redwood trees. I wanted some fall and it delivered. The crisp air. The smell of the trees. I am not sure what it is about these big old trees, these wise souls. You look up, and you just feel so small and all of the suddenly, it’s like everything is put in perspective. It also helped that we had no cell reception at the campground, so all we did was to enjoy the company of our friends. Nowadays, it’s not so common, you know? I mean, how often do you spend an entire day with friends without checking your text messages or emails at least once?! We made memories for life, and that my friends, is much better than checking out my facebook page :)

The entire weekend was all guitar playing around the camp fire, making s’mores, climbing trees, telling stories.  Aaaaand we may or may not have been drinking this fall sangria all weekend :) I made a big container of it before we left, it was so easy to make and everybody loved it – soooooooo delicious! So I figured I’d share the recipe with you all – see it at the end of the post. I also made a box of these vanilla bean bourbon marshmallows for the adults (I am OBSESSED with this flavor combination right now) and they were a hit even with my friends who don’t like marshmallows. We gulped them down :)

Now all I want is to go on another camping trip, I could live in this redwood forest I swear :) Happy Tuesday, friends, and let me know what you think of the sangria if you try it!

Fall sangria recipe

1 bag of cranberries
2 red apples
2 green apples
2 pears
2 bottles of white wine (pinot griogio etc)
2 liters of hard cider
rosemary and raw sugar for garnish

Cut your apples and pears in cub, and place them with the cranberries at the bottle of your containers. Pour the wine and cider over the fruit, mix and let sit over night in a cool place. Serve cold with rosemary dipped in raw sugar – don’t skip this, it makes a BIG difference :) To get the sugar to stick to the rosemary, quickly dip the rosemary branches in water, get rid of excess water and roll in the sugar. Please enjoy moderately – you can easily cut the ingredients in half if you need less :)

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Victory! Freia slept through the night the past two nights, which she had not done in almost two months….I feel like I am getting my brain back! Haha. Don’t ask my friends how many times I’ve *lost* my keys in the past month. Thank goodness for friends willing to take the girls to school while I turn the house upside down to find said keys. Gaaah. But hey – I see the light at the end of the tunnel now, it feels like things are finally falling into place. Crazy what good this little thing called sleep will do to you 😉 Only hoping I am not jinxing myself my screaming victory too fast 😉

Fall finally arrived here (it was still 90 degrees last week!), and all I want to do is to get time to stop spinning so that I can enjoy my favorite season. Good news is that we’re going camping friends this weekend in the redwoods (same place we went to last year), so you’ll find me rolling myself in leaves and stuffing my face with s’mores all weekend :) I can’t wait for music by the camp fire! 

On that note, a few perfect fall projects: 1. Customized enamel mugs! 2. Wax-dipped leaves |3. Pumpkin tartlets | 4. DIY dream catcher | 5. Squirrel neck pillow – not a DIY, but should be easy to make!|6. Almost like s’mores in a jar 😉

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L: Swedish home via Hus o Hem|R: pumpkin cake apple turbans by Lemon Fire Brigade.

Guys, this house hunting stuff is crazy! Last week we put our very first offer on a mid-century home that we LOVED – we put in a very strong offer….but  our offer still got outbid by $75K. And worst, it was an ALL CASH offer!! Gaaaaah. I mean, who has that kind of money? We were so sad to not get the house, we didn’t realize how emotional this whole process was until we got into it…oh well. Hopefully we find our dream home soon!

Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking at pretty houses that are on the other side of the world while stuffing my face with chocolate….yeah, I feel a whole lot better already 😀 I love this pretty Swedish house – all that wood and the warm hues make me feel of fall and a good old pumpkin spice latte :) And my, can we talk about that super bold wallpaper they used in their daughter’s room? You know I go bananas for a good bold wallpaper!

And with that, how do these pumpkin cake apple turbans sound? Pretty amazing, right? I’ll take a dozen thankyouverymuch. You can find the recipe here on the Lemon Fire Brigade :)

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Our happy tech series is back (Check out #1 here), and well, I couldn’t be happier about it – no pun intended :) Jessica from Coco & Mingo and I worked on a little wallpaper for your computer and phone, and it’s all free – so download away, you’ll find the download links at the bottom of this post!

I simply love this quote.  As a blogger, it is so easy to comparing yourself to others, to look at what everybody is working, and well…you end up going to the kitchen to bake yourself a chocolate cake and eating the whole damn thing the second it cools off. Feel better?! Really, constantly comparing yourself to others is just down right depressing. This quote is the perfect reminder we need to stop comparing ourselves all the time – as women, as a professionals in your field, as mothers… who cares what others are doing and thinking. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be making my way on my own little purple road :)

Click to download:

1280x1024 black (PC)
1280x1024 white (PC)
2560x1600 black (13 inch Mac)
2560x1600 white (13 inch Mac)
2880x1800 black (15 inch Mac)
2880x1800 white (15 inch Mac)
phone black
phone white

Lettering by Jessica from Coco + MingoFloral wreath design by me.

For personal use only. Not for sale or distribution. If shared, please link back to original post.

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…that’s what I wish I was doing right now. But hey, the alternative isn’t so bad, is it? I mean, look at these cute little girls :) If only the little one slept at night… It’s been crazy, and I am exhausted. I mean, it took me an hour to find my keys this morning because I just couldn’t remember where I put them. Freia was crying in her car seat ready to take her big sisters to school, Madeline used the time to get in my closet and try every single pair of shoes that I own, and Olivia was like “mmm mama, when are you taking us to school?!” every two minutes. And I, well, I was just trying not to loose it.

But hey, deep breaths. I know I am so blessed. My eyes say that I am tired, but my mouth shows I am happy. It’s a weird thing, being a mama. It takes away all of the energy you have, taste your patience beyond limit….yet, it is the most incredible thing and worth every sleepless night.

Nothing comes easy, although I thought that by now I’d already be firing posts left and right on this blog. I haven’t found my balance yet, and really, that’s ok – I am not in a rush to do so. My littles are little, and they will only be little once. They need their mama a whole lot, and so I am here for them. I am learning to be selfless. In time I know that I’ll find my rhythm again, I know that in time the tiredness will fade away and I’ll have my energy back. So bear with me while the blog runs on slow motion!

In other news…we’ve started looking at houses to buy – because you know, adding a baby and changing job wasn’t enough hecticness 😉 We’re actually putting our first offer in tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed for us – we’re very nervous about it and so excited at the same time! Chances are slim that we’ll get the house, the market out here is crazy…it’s been a learning process, but hey, it’s so good to dream regardless :)

Happy Tuesday, friends!

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September in the Bay Area might actually be the hottest month of the year – but nothing will stop me from getting ready for my favorite season of all. Damn you 90 degree weather, I will wear my leather boots if I want to. Hubby shakes his head when he sees me get out of the door – stubborn much? :) That being said, we’re putting together a little camping trip with friends in the redwood forest this together (similar to what we did last year), and I just can’t wait to pack all of our camping gear, cosy sweaters, drink hot cocoa by the fire. It will be our first camping trip with a baby too!

I’ve been gathered little DIYs that are just perfect for fall:

1. Wooden polaroid gift set: Love this DIY by my friend Ashley at Sugar & Cloth. I think it would make the sweetest wedding present using pictures of the couples together, or for first time parents with pictures of their baby.

2. Basic weaving tutorial: Do you guys know how to weave? My hands are itching to…another thing to add to the list I guess. But when I do get to it, I’ll be coming back to this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess

3. Cross-stitch stool: by yours truly :) I have actually just been asked to make another fall/winter version of this stool for a magazine…it will be fun to make another 3 years later!

4. Leather catch-all wall pockets: I just about died when I saw those on Justina’s blog. They are simply perfect!

5. Hot water bottle cosy: If you know how to crochet, then this is the perfect fall/winter project! hot water bottle make me nostalgic – my grand-ma always had a hot water bottle to warm up our beds whenever we had a sleepover at her house – she was old school, no heat in the house.

6. Headbands: Love this idea of cutting up old shirts to turn into pretty little headbands

Also, I wouldn’t mind making waffles and trying out these guys on our camping trip – talk about awesome s’mores! :) Happy weekend, friends!

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