JOURNAL

EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHS OF MY FAMILY

My favorite things to photograph are the simple, everyday moments that take place. I know I have talked about this in a previous post here and here. With instagram and an iphone everything is so user friendly for capturing those fleeting moments on the go and sharing them. I do plenty of both.

My goal this year is to try and take so many more photos of all FIVE of us with my Nikon. A few things need to be done to tidy up some hard drive space for the amount that is sure to follow and fix my tripod for family shots. To start, here is a set of adorable shots of my 2 year old doing everyday activities in the "self care" category (Montessori friends!), ie in the bathroom. This is such a funny age to watch, because they really start to show their personalities and take a sense of pride in doing independent activities. They role model older siblings and parents, even down to the facial expressions while brushing their hair and teeth.

As a child I used to love to watch my Dad shave in the bathroom daily. It was a mundane part of his morning ritual, but something I found unique to watch. Do you have a memory like this? Something you remember sharing with a parent or sibling growing up, that was a simple everyday moment?

Speaking of the everyday moments of a two year old, you must watch this most ADORABLE episode of Olive Us, created by Gabrielle of Design Mom featuring HER two year old's day.

Terrible Two Who?

 

 

TRINKETS FROM DELHI

My sister was visiting this past weekend and brought the boys and I a few gifts from her recent trip to Italy & India. Aunt Amita (and cousins) brought the boys journals with embroidery stitched covers and handmade paper inside, elephant figures and a cute finger puppet/magnet trinket.

She was sweet enough to bring her sister (me) a few things like this beautiful kantha embroidered pillow form and pretty bangle. Kantha embroidery originates in West Bengal, where my father's family originates (Kolkata).

HANDMADE BABY GIFT

Lindsay and I met several years ago online through a mutual friend, while she was living in Brooklyn and I was living in Chicago. I immediately was drawn to her eco style, her interest in children's fashion and her love of Montessori (she is a Montessori teacher)! We would chat back and forth and at one point, she mentioned she was from Cincinnati, where we lived for 10 years prior to our move to Chicago. A small world indeed, as we both moved back to Cincinnati at different times in the last few years. So here we are, able to grab coffee in person and live 10 minutes from each other! Lindsay is expecting her first baby girl in the next few weeks. I decided to knit up a pair of gray wool booties as we also share a mutual love of the color gray and handmade. After knitting them, I used a beautiful embroidery yarn by brown paper packages in the colors curry and candlelight from Purl Soho and made up a little design. I stitched up a dot bag as a reusable gift bag and painted a card in watercolor that simply said "BABY". The card was a pretty little piece of art just by itself.  If you follow along in my journal here at Rajovilla, you may know by now I really enjoy handmade gift giving!

 

If you live in Cincinnati or plan to visit, check out the City Flea, that Lindsay co-founded with her husband. On Instagram, check out her architect/photographer husband's amazing iphone images, this one blew me away. I love that those images are from this Midwest city I call home. And lastly, read alongside her journey into motherhood on her blog, littleonelove.

A TODDLER SIZED TABLE & NEW ACTIVITIES

If you have been following along in my journal, I mentioned a few posts back that my mom has a wonderful basement full of treasures, especially for entertaining. Well, we were talking earlier this fall about me purchasing a table for my 2 year old to "work" at and "have snack" at near the kitchen -where I am always working myself. And I was all ready to hit Lakeshore Learning or similar for the preschool sized table, when she had an idea. Buried under some other small tables, was an enamel top table that was perfect in size, shape and look with the exception of the legs being too tall for my 2 year old. "Take my saw!" she exclaimed. See how resourceful your mother can be?

Once I took a look at the table, with it's white enamel top and antique drawer knob- I was sold! So much more my style (and price) and would fit in nicely with our other home decor. I feel this is especially important in an older home (built in the 19 century), with fewer rooms on the first floor. We don't have a family room on the first floor or any play room near the kitchen, but we have a large dining room and living room. Here you will find the vintage table, with my 2 year old's favorites. I like to keep the items out for him minimal, and more in line with the Montessori aesthetic, like we do for our Montessori learning space. Actually Montessori activities and materials are meant to be seamless within the home space, just sized for the child.

Every once in awhile I will flip through the Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids or Ikea catalog and think "Oh that all goes together so perfectly for a play room or activity space..." feeling slightly defeated. And then I stop and look around, realizing that my style is more natural, eclectic, and maybe slightly imperfect. We like the "less is more"  and "having objects with history" type of philosophy, just like this vintage table.

On the newly re-purposed table you will find my busy toddler with:

a mix of architectural blocks from two sets one by Haba &  another by Noblesse in a thrifted wooden tray |  new wooden camera sized so perfectly for his hands | cute book about a toddler boy getting big | a version of the Montessori metal insets in a thrifted wooden bowl

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE

 

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE  Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy free

I really was craving chocolate. To be honest, my "chocolate dessert" over the last 2 years of being on this allergy free diet has consisted of either a brownie or a handful of dairy free chocolate chips. I have been missing the other types of chocolate dessert. Enter my husband- he loves chocolate mousse.  He suggested we find something in the pudding or mousse category to whip up. So I scoured the internet looking for a recipe that was vegan, gluten free AND soy free. It is pretty difficult. But then I found this simple and OH SO Delicious recipe by Marly from Namely Marly. Coconut milk saves the day! And without an overly coconut taste. AMAZING.  I used the same pie crust recipe that I use for my apple pie. My pie crust recipe can be found here. The only thing I changed, was to add an extra 1 TBsp of Earth Balance, soy-free butter to the dough. The recipe for the chocolate pie filling can be found here. I would top this off with some coconut whipped cream, recipe here. Our entire family ate the same chocolate dessert. And that is also rare.