Archives for category: Providence

August and I indulged last weekend and made hot cocoa with the works: whipped cream and cinnamon.  So we pulled out all of the supplies.  August loves being my helper in the kitchen.

He poured the hot cocoa mix in the cups.

I did the hot water and whipped cream.  I put some whipped cream in his mouth, and he promptly spit it out.  Weirdo.  That stuff is the BEST.

He sprinkled the cinnamon on the whipped cream.

So excited to finally have hot cocoa!

Too hot to drink so we blew and blew.



Getting ready at Aunt Sarah’s new house with monkey, Jude, too!

Two serious trick-or-treaters.

And some videos, of course!

Trick or treating with two toddlers was crazy awesome.  I can’t wait to do it again NEXT year!

The very first room I set up was August’s.  I’m pretty sure it was complete by the end of the third day, which is mostly because I already had all of the things I needed from his last room.

The room was already painted this muted olive color, which totally worked with all of his stuff.  August loves the little tent, which was my Christmas present to him last year (It was the “want” of my “want, need, wear, read” gift standard for my kid).  He keeps most of his stuffed animals in there, and he usually runs in there to “hide” if he’s in trouble.  🙂

On the tent side of the room, he also has two small bookcases overflowing with books (most of which have been picked up at thrift stores over the years), instruments (accordian!!), instruments and non-staining art supplies (I have the paints and oil pastels somewhere else just in case he decides to become an artist in the middle of the night).  Next to that is his little art table.  It used to be red, but I painted it with chalkboard paint when we moved.  Above his table is a map where we’re keeping track of the places he’s been.  His passport has some pretty nifty stamps in it already!

On the bed side of the room is his gallery wall, which includes photos of him, his footprint from the hospital on the day he was born, my BELOVED Muppet Show album cover, mementos of places he’s lived (a vintage postcard from Jesus College in Cambridge and an “A” subway mosaic from Atlantic Avenue in NYC, a lock of his baby hair, a pic of August and his dad and a couple August originals.  My fav is the big white square one.  When we used to ride the subway together in NYC, August sometimes drew on a page of the little notebook I take with me EVERYWHERE.  I took one of the 5×8 inch pages to Staples and had them blow it up to poster size for $3.  Instant art.  It used to hang above MY bed in my old bedroom.  I can’t wait to fill in the wall more–it will be an ever-growing exhibition.  There is also some other handmade art from family and friends scattered about in other spots in the room.

And now for my ubiquitous video tour, here’s a 360 of his room, with a special guest star appearance at the end!

While driving around Provy over the past year, I’ve noticed a giant mural downtown:

I drive through downtown much more frequently now that I’ve moved adjacent to it.  On one of my more recent drives, I noticed this image in the bottom left quadrant of that giant mural:

That’s when I realized Providence has its own Shepard Fairey!  This summer, I saw the documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, with someone who is way cooler/smarter/edgier/more responsible than I will ever be, and Shepard Fairey was featured in it.  I was already familiar with him because of this beauty:

(No matter what your politics may be, you can appreciate the artistry of it!)  A quick “Shepard Fairey Providence” Google search confirmed my suspicion.



Over two months ago, I moved into a lovely apartment with August.  Y’all know I loved my bungalow, but the maintenance and mortgage were just too much for me.  So late last spring, I signed the lease on a two bedroom, historic charmer on Provy’s hip west side.  My ceilings are ten feet high, I have a gorgeous bay window, a huge walk-in closet, large kitchen and free laundry.  All for under $1000/month.  SWEET.

One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to post (besides workin’ and mommin’) is because I had to furnish my new pad.  See, I had a lot of random things in my bungalow because I had borrowed and stole (shhh…) furnishings from friends and family.  It was finally time to get some more permanent fixtures.  But I’m a girl on a budget with more than a mild obsession with thrift stores.  And thrifting takes time, but after two months, my pad is more or less furnished.  Today, I’ll share my living room.



This bookcase, specifically the baskets, have saved our lives.  Each basket has a theme: cars, trains, Leggos and miscellaneous (that counts as a theme, right?).  Only one basket out at a time, and we clean up to the Austin Powers theme at the end of every day.  Teaching organization and responsibility while not being surrounded by toys.  Sounds good to me.  Like my painting above my criminally small TV?   I whipped that up one day during nap time.  Not too shabby for thirty minutes of color-mixing.


The lighting in this photo is crazy bad (I need some photography lessons), but you can generally get the feel for the whole room and my gorgeous windows!  They are south-facing, so we get lovely sunshine all day.  The door on the left goes out to our main entrance.  Our car is parked out back so we only use that door when we walk to our nearby park and playground.

Quick note about the two navy club chairs in the photo above.  You can see them a little more clearly here.



Well, they used to be pink.  I don’t mind pink, but the shade was not quite right for me.  So I decided to make them navy.  Reupholstered?  Are you kidding?!  $$$$!  Slipcovered?  My sewing skills are nowhere near adequate for the job.  So I spray painted them with FABRIC spray paint.  Here they are mid-project.  They turned out awesome!  Way better than the electric peach they were before.


I also updated the $9 thrift store coffee table.  It was a honey color when I got it (after borrowing my friend’s larger car while she was at work because it wouldn’t fit in my Volvo), but I thought it would look pretty sexy if it was dark.  And I just happened to have a can of dark stain in my old basement.  So dark it went.  And yes, my projects took over parts of our communal driveway for many, many days.  Luckily, the other tenants in my building ride cycles everywhere.  Hipsters.

Here’s the general cost breakdown:

  • sofa-thrift store, $30
  • pillows-my old ones and ones I stole from my parents’ house, free
  • white lamp (lamp shade will be painted soon)-thrift store, $8
  • bookcase next to sofa-Target, $12
  • bookcase and baskets under TV-Ikea, gift
  • coffee table-thrift store, $9
  • table under lamp (going to be painted soon)- thrift store, $14
  • rug-Overstock, birthday present
  • curtains-thrift store, $3
  • Mossimo throw-Target, $35
  • TOTAL= $101
I love a good deal.  Next, it’ll be the room I finished within the first week of moving in: August’s room!






This past weekend, August and I had some yardwork to do.  My little man was VERY helpful–he has an eagle eye for sticks, so he collected them all and threw them in the back of our yard (until I figure out what I’m going to do with a tree’s worth of sticks).

While we were outside in the morning, we started hearing a lot of music: marching bands, bagpipes and even army-style chanting.  We decided to investigate.

Good thing we did because we discovered a St. Patrick’s Day parade basically in our backyard!  To my knowledge, August has never been to a proper parade.  I don’t know if it’s really his scene based on this scrunched up face:

Some of the parade acts were hanging out on side streets.  August was ENTHRALLED by these green monsters.

Local celebrity “Buddy,” the former (crooked) mayor of Providence.  He’s credited with revitalizing Providence from Mafia-run town to what it is now (which is something of a slightly less Mafia-run town).  He did this by using his Mafia connections, which meant jail time for Buddy.  But he’s out now, had his own car in the parade and received the most applause and cheers of any act we saw.

August waved to the horses.

The Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee.  Note the absence of car and applauding onlookers.

August kept asking, “Where monsters go?”  We lost track of them, and it looked like an endless parade of bagpipers so we headed home for lunch and a nap.

It was a lovely morning on Smith Street.

FINALLY got a new camera.  We’ll be back in full force….if this %$@&*! snow ever goes away!

Today, August and I collected melting icicles (it was the warmest it’s bee since before Christmas: 39 degrees!).  He liked sucking on them.

This is his “I’m chomping on an icicle” face.

My unbelievably helpful, generous, firefighter neighbor bought August a kid size snow shovel, and he enjoyed shoveling an area that totally didn’t need to be shoveled…

But he took it very seriously so I let him do his thing.  😉

I’m really hoping the storm heading our way this week doesn’t bury us again.  Three snow days to make up in June might just kill me–that’s when I actually LIKE living in Providence.  🙂

Last week, I had dinner with the Schwartz family.  These people are amazing.  For realz… During dinner, Janine told me that President Obama would be at a fundraiser at the house two doors down from her place this week.  I told her that August and I would DEF come back that night, to try and catch a glimpse of the President. We spent most of our time hanging out outside watching the fancy pants guests arrive and the Secret Service agents walking around looking important (and cute!).  August was his usual monkey self and climbed around the Schwartz’s front porch…

…or went up and down the steep hill in the neighbor’s front yard.  The brick building in the background is where Obama was set to arrive.

It’s getting dark earlier and earlier here in New England.  But it was unseasonably warm, so it was the PERFECT night to stalk the President…

…or hide in the bushes.

We had to be wanded by a metal detector since we were hanging out.  I asked if August could be wanded just for kicks.  He didn’t dig it so much.

He just wanted to stare at the helicopter that circled the block for half and hour.

Finally, we saw signs that he was coming.

After his limo pulled into the driveway, Harry, Janine, Emet, August, the two neighbors and I RAN into the neighbor’s house (did you hear someone say “Come on guys!” at the end of the first video?) and out onto their back porch so we could see this:

[Sorry it’s so dark.  But the VOICE is undeniable!]

HOLY CROW!!!! After that thrill, we went back to Janine’s to eat dinner and gloat to friends and family.  A little while later, the neighbor called to say that Obama was leaving soon.  We dashed out the door, and waited a short while to see him leave the fundraiser.  I totally chickened out on asking the President to congratulate my little school for earning the highest scores on Massachusetts’s standardized test in the STATE!!!  Dammit.

What a night!!!  Gobama!!!

Today, my dear friends Sarah, Matt and Baby Jude invited us to join them at a Pumpkin Patch.  So we drove to the Island on this beautifully crisp fall day.  August and Jude ruled the back seat.

It was a beautiful day.  One thing that I’m noticing about being a single mom is that I no longer have someone around that is obligated to take photos of August and me.  Luckily, Matt is not only super nice, but also a FANTASTIC photographer (how’s THAT reassuring endorsement, Matt?).  He’s taken some of my fav photos of August in the past two and a half years.

August enjoyed rearranging the pumpkins on display.

And running gleefully in a wide open space.

And lookin’ super fly.

And devouring a melting ice cream cone that we were supposed to share (and how RAD are those boots I’m sporting?  They’re collateral for my fav book that I’ve loaned to a great friend who just moved to San Francisco.  I think I got the sweeter deal.)

Just a little taste of fall in New England.  Rhode Island has some REALLY beautiful parts!

This weekend, I am moving back into my beloved house in Providence.  I have mixed feelings about it, but mostly, I’m looking forward to getting settled and building positive, productive routines for August and me.  I’ll be making lots of changes to the house to make it more my own, and I look forward to sharing them with you here.  But, as I’m sure you’re already aware, my posting frequency will be much different than when I was a stay-at-home-with-no-old-friends-and-living-in-a-foreign-country mom.  Things have been atypical for the past month since I’ve been staying with friends and adjusting to being a single working mom.  I’m definitely figuring it out, so just be patient.

One blog that I AM updating on the reg is my class website.  You can keep tabs on my third graders and me there if you’re desperate!

But since there are no pics of August there, here’s a dose of my two year old.