Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I've recently found two great recipes that I've been using non-stop! I highly recommend that you give 'em a try!


Vanilla Cake aka The 1-2-3-4 Cake. It's the recipe I used for Emma's 2nd Birthday cake.
As you can see, it was a big hit!


I also can't stop making these... White Wedding Cupcakes (I also like the Chocolate version)


...also approved :)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Little Helper

I'm not sure if most Moms out there would agree but I find it next to impossible to do stuff around the house (on my own) when the little one is about. I attended a mommy group last week at Emma's preschool and one of the moms was telling the group about how her 3 year old son "helps" her with laundry, cleaning the house, prepping dinner etc. It was the only way she could get things done!

Preparing Supper

I thought I'd give it a shot this week. I have to say, prepping dinner last night went swimmingly well. Yes it was a little messier than usual, the kitchen floor was a little wet from all the splashing (and so was her t-shirt) but dinner got done semi-peacefully! It was a win win for all.

Cut n Peel

I knew she would enjoy helping me prepare the Cottage Pie because she loves chopping up veggies with her Kidoozie Garden Fresh Fruits & Veggies - Pretend Cut and Peel set (cutting board is from IKEA). Unfortunately she couldn't help with the cutting part for obvious reasons, but she did wash the potatoes & carrots and helped transfer the cut vegetables into the pot. She also loves turning the faucet on and off. It was so cute seeing how happy and proud she felt after preparing dinner - she even told Daddy all about it during dinner!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Photoshoot time!

It was a rare moment so I had to keep shooting!
Emma is starting to get coy and it's getting harder and harder to take photos of her.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

1st day of Preschool


We survived the first week of Preschool (early 2s program).
Emma was a champ! I dropped her off and there was no looking back.


When it was time to pick her up... the other kids came leaping out of the classroom to give their moms hugs and she remained seated on the floor (not even a head turn) playing with all of the new toys. (Ouch!) I know, I know. It's a good thing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lucy: 2 months

(This post originally said 3 months - can you tell I'm still not getting quite enough sleep!!!!)

She's turned a corner this month, Lucy is finally cracking some smiles and giving us a few more ZZZzzzs.

Lucy: 2 months old

(Don't) Spill the beans

I introduced our first "game" to Emma last week. Transferring beans from one container to another, using a spoon. She seemed to really like this one!


For those of you interested, have a look at other similar activities you could do with your kiddies at www.infomontessori.com.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Activities! Activities!


So far I think the hardest part about having two kiddies (a little less than two years apart) is making sure that the older one (Emma) is getting the most attention that I can possibly give her. I know (too well) how easy it is to use the television as a crutch, believe me I've seen more than my share of Poppy Cat, Super Why, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Angelina Ballerina and Sesame Street - so I've been trying to arm myself with activities that we'll both enjoy when going outdoors isn't an option or when I just can't get myself to leave the house (aka I haven't washed my hair in a week, my slimming black outfit is covered in spit-up, oh and let's not forget the grimy I forgot to brush my teeth thing!)

I have no plans to homeschool my kids but I've recently been obsessed with the idea of incorporating some pre-school homeschoolesque action up in here. The Montessori method came highly recommended by a friend, so I've been doing a lot of research online and at our local library. I'm excited to see how Emma will respond to it all. I don't plan on having a rigid schedule but I will definitely have some sort of structure that we can realistically stick to. My plan is to see how it goes and take it from there. She's starting preschool (early 2's program) next week - two days a week for two hours a day (it aint much but it's enough time to chug down a glass of something hard if push comes to shove - I kid). I'll definitely be sharing my favorite sources as soon as I sift through all of my notes.

I also signed up for an hour music class once a week. Unfortunately the place where we've been going decided to close its doors, so we'll be trying out a new Music and More with Kelly class this Fall (I hope she enjoys it as much as she enjoyed her Kindermusik classes - Miss Susan, we'll miss you!). Plus our local library offers a free story telling/sing-songy thing once a week that she also enjoys. It's only a 20 minute session but it motivates me to go to the library and we end up either going early or staying afterwards - she loves it there. Of course all of these activities will now be done with little Lucy in tow so I'm not sure how it will all go down but I'm pretty sure it won't be as organized as it sounds :)

Life is certainly a little daunting at the moment but I'm sure everything will fall into place, balance will be restored and one day J and I may even get more than 4.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Fingers crossed.

PS. Days 1 and 2 of just me and the girls went pretty well! I think I can definitely do this.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Coming up for air

Hello everybody! Anyone still out there :)
The last three months have flown by and I can't believe that this Summer is nearly over.


About 8 Weeks ago...
- My awesome in-laws arrived from the UK to help us out (they left on Saturday)
- Lucy joined our family on July 11th (exactly when she was due!)
- Emma celebrated her 2nd birthday a month after (I prepped everything for the party before I gave birth and my dear friend Ez helped with all of the pretty details)

- Marks the first day of me learning how to be Super Mom
- I'm really hoping I can get this blog going again (I dream of the girls reading it one day when they get older)

Hope to be back with more details! xo

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grilled Pizza

grilled pizza

Hillsy and I are currently obsessed with making Grilled Pizza (we even ordered a wooden pizza paddle a couple of days ago). So far my favorite topping combo has been Berkshire Bacon + Prosciutto + Mozzarella + Arugula!

Definitely give this a try!

*Video shot using my iPhone and edited using iMovie App

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Day at Terrain

I've been wanting to go to Terrain for the longest time... couldn't think of a better person to go with than my dear friends Ez (who has been RAVING and RAVING about this shop). It was a fun-food-shopping-filled day! The only thing missing was another dear friend who I'm sure would've enjoyed it just as much as I did! We missed you Melis!!

The 2+ hour drive was definitely worth it! My favorite part? Styer's Garden Café of course!! I had the Soft Shell Crab sandwich, washed down with a Honey & Mint Tea Au Lait. Yum.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Baking Day

Feeling brave. Attempting to bake mother-in-law's famous cake later today.

Cool down


I think she'd be proud.

I don't often bake because unlike cooking, I find it VERY frustrating. The fact that there is no room for error intimidates the crap out of me. But today I attempted to bake my mother-in-law's Victoria Sponge Cake... I'm sure it pales in comparison to hers but I think I may have done her proud.

Images were all taken via Instagram (follow me: marichellehills)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bedroom Update

new dresser

I've been keeping myself busy with a couple of home improvement projects lately - nothing that involves tearing down walls or anything, just switching out rooms and buying new pieces of furniture type of thing.

Let's start with our bedroom. As you can see, this room has been a work in progress for the past two years! I've been waiting for the right (vintage) dresser to come along but it just hasn't happened so with a baby on the way and less refinishing time/desires on my hands I decided to go down the IKEA route. I initially planned to buy the 8-drawer Hemnes Dresser but spotted this lovely grey goodness (Edland 6-drawer dresser). I can't resist anything grey, so it was almost love at first site. Although I have to confess, this thing took me three days (on & off) to assemble. It comes in two boxes with a HUGE, I mean monstrous, bag of tiny parts - it took me a while just to get all the parts organized on the floor. Would I do it again? Probably, coz I love the end product so much. I didn't get a chance to photograph it, but the drawers come lined with the prettiest white/grey pattern (little things like that make me happy). That mirror used to be downstairs, a favorite I scored at an antique market in Pennsylvania. Two years ago it probably would've been a victim of the ol' antique white spray can, but little by little I've come to appreciate the look of old wood and mixing it in with my existing stuff! The lamp is from Target and the lovely garland was crocheted by my Mom.

Thank you so much for all of your nice comments from my previous post. We're so excited and can't wait to welcome the pea into our family! Oh and a few have asked about the reading nook - the awesome dollhouse bookshelves was a used purchase. I saw an ad in our local community site and emailed the woman immediately! It was originally from Potter Barn, unfortunately they no longer sell it. The garland is something I made. The blackboard was another find from an antique market, pillows are from Fern Living and the beautiful blanket was a gift (I just folded it over a cot mattress). You can't see it in full but I have a couple of hanging lanterns that used to be in this room back in 2009 then I got sick of them and they ended up hanging out in the attic for a couple of years, but I finally came around and dusted them off this month!

Next up I'll show you our new Dining and Living Room set ups. I decided to switch the rooms around!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No. 2

Emma's Reading Corner

Well hello there!

This may have been the longest blogging break I've taken to date... it's been really hard for me to get back into the routine of taking photos and sharing little tidbits of my life after the holidays. PLUS I was suffering from a really tough first trimester... uh-huh that's right! We're expecting our number two (woohoo!!). Another little lady to be exact, our little miss Emma is going to have a little sister. I'm about five months now, we're due early July and couldn't be more happier (minus the fact that this pregnancy has been kicking my ass big time).

By the way, if you have an iPhone, I highly recommend the Instagram App. You can find me there (marichellehills) - it's my new shortcut to blogging! It's basically a feed of pics that I share with captions, like the ones above. That's our little cutie pie testing out her new reading nook - she's growing into quite the little lady - 1½ years old now! Can you believe it?? We still can't believe how quickly it's all going. Sometimes I look at her in the morning and I'm convinced that she's grown two inches overnight. She's walking, talking (words only) and making us laugh on a daily basis.

So that's my big excuse for bailing out on you. It's a pretty good one right? I have a feeling that I won't be back to posting regularly anytime soon, but I just wanted to pop in, say hello and share our exciting news!