valentine's gift ideas

Valentine's Day is just a couple weeks away at this point. Many view Valentine's Day as a commercial holiday. And while I would tend to agree to a certain extent, I don't think it ever hurts to take advantage of an opportunity to treat those you love and remind them how special they are. That said, I believe no gift is necessary. Some well chosen words might be the best bet, or maybe a thoughtful card whether purchased or handmade.

I opt to buy gifts when I have a gift or gifts in mind that I know will be especially appreciated. It is in that spirit that I have rounded up a few Valentine's Day gift ideas ... items that are thoughtful, in many cases handmade or locally made, and items that the recipient is sure to treasure as a reminder of the warmth of the gift giver's love.

Banquet Workshop Fluoro Heart Print $50 + framing from Simply Framed $70 // Ritual Chocolate Fleur de Sel Dark Chocolate* $6.75 // Mirdinra Kitchen Tea Towel $20 // Finkelstein's Love Pig† $46 // Topo Designs Camp Blanket* $169 // Pigeon Toe Ceramics Tumbler / Coffee Mug† $30 // Bruder Tipping Container Truck $54.99

* indicates Denver-local product and † indicates handmade

I got Raffa and Asher each on of the Finkelstein's Love Pigs. I was tempted to get Raffa the Bruder truck, too but I will wait until another time. I got a little something for my mom, sister, and John but I can't spoil that here! Ha!

What will you do for or give to your Valentine(s) this year?

home tour in Crescent Park


This beautiful home in Palo Alto featuring no chemicals, no bright colors, and no clutter is absolutely gorgeous. Featured in Lonny Mag, you must check out the full tour of this house, which includes furniture sources.

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a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015

photo taken January 19, 2015 // Denver, Colorado

Raffa LOVES his tricyle. It better be hidden on the back porch when we leave the house, because if he sees it on our way to the car and sees that we are not going for a "bike" ride, tears will likely follow.

I am also loving that Raffa now likes to point himself out. He pats his chest and says "Rwaw-fwa", letting me know who he is.

See all photos in this series here.

my closet for sale


I have been selling on eBay for years ... since 2004, in fact. John and I have taken great care to list quality items with accurate descriptions, and we deliver when it comes to customer service. Over the years it has been a great outlet for selling things we no longer need or want; and over the course of the past decade we have built a solid feedback reputation on eBay.

I have been on a kick of wanting to declutter and rid my house of things that I don't need, things I don't wear, and things I don't use/enjoy on a regular basis. It is amazing, when you look at things through a very discerning lens, how much you actually could do without. My eyes look at all my stuff in a new way, and a lot of it could just go and I would not miss it. With that in mind and with that lens on, I have been listing things on eBay. I donate things that are of little value or not worth the effort of listing, but I have lots of very gently worn clothing items and other goods that are still in excellent (in some cases like new) condition. Those pieces are what I list on eBay and currently I have quite the assortment of women's designer jeans (skinny styles in sizes ranging from 24-26), some tops and sweaters, some outerwear (jackets and a vest), sunglasses, and a pair of booties. John is on-board with this material cleanse, too, so there are also some men's watches and shoes.

currently listed as shown above: Patagonia Women's Fleece Pullover (sold - sorry!), Nation Ltd tee, Leigh & Luca scarf (sold but similar), Steve Madden Freebird Malbec booties, 7 for All Mankind skinny jeans (seen worn in the later part of this post), Rifle Paper Co. notebooks

Some of my items move quickly, while others take a bit to sell, but you can be sure to find a pretty nice assortment (if I do say so myself). Check out everything I have for sale on eBay by visiting http://bit.ly/ccmebay . Just a heads-up - I will be listing more items on a regular basis. Specifically, in the next couple of weeks I will be listing some Tiffany & Co. necklaces and rings.

tricycling


A day of decent weather, which actually turned out cooler than we expected, was the perfect day for a tricycle ride. Raffa and Asher have the same tricycle, which they both love to ride. Raffa walks his; Asher pedals. And, they made quite the pair riding to the university near our house with my sister, my mom, and myself in tow.

The university campus has some good hills. These boys like the downhills.


And they like ANY shenanigans and adventures that involve one another.


After hitting a few downhills and making our way around the interior campus, we were all pretty thoroughly chilled so we headed back home. These are the days.

Photos by my sister, Jonna.

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a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015

photo taken January 15, 2015 // Denver, Colorado

For the last four weeks or so, Raffa has been obsessed with colors. He tells us the color of everything. And, he repeats it until you acknowledge the color his showing you. I love it. He knows yellow, blue, purple, pink, green, orange, black, white, brown, and elmo ... elmo being anything that is the color red, of course.

See all photos in this series here.

bookin' it // where'd you go, Bernadette


I love books and I love reading. Did you know that about me? Thinking about it, I feel like that is something that may not have been at all apparent here on andchloe. That is surprising, because when I say I love reading, I mean I LOVE reading. It is one of my favorite things to do. I specific love reading novels. I have loved reading since I learned how to read. Before Raffa, I was an avid reader, reading about a book a month, if not more. Since Raffa .... oh, that's a whole other story. I think I have read maybe three books since I had Raffa in May 2013. That's so sad, considering how much I love reading. I have not missed it, per say, as I have had plenty to fill my time. Certainly if I had more free time the past 20 months, I would have read more.

When I came across Where'd You Go, Bernadette somewhere in my Instagram feed, I was instantly intrigued when I read the synopsis. So, intrigued in fact that I decided to make it the fourth book I have read since becoming a mama.

My good friend, Jenny, was looking for a good book too; or so she happened to mention in an email exchange right after New Year's. I suggested Bernadette to her; she was hooked to. Upon further email discussion, she talked about a book club across the miles (she is in Bayfield, I am in Denver) and maybe even tying it in to her blog. With all that, a remote book club has been born ... members consisting of myself, Jenny, and our friend Emily ... and hopefully you. That's right, the schtick is that I am going to sincerely try to read a book a month and I want to discuss the books here on the blog. Jenny will be doing the same over on her blog. And, I hope when a title interests you, you will join in, read, and participate in the discussion in the comments.


I started Bernadette last week. I was hooked after just a few pages in. A month from now, I will finish up the book and post a discussion about it (shooting for Feb. 16ish - I say "ish" because I am getting a slower start than I had hoped!).



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