The Baby Name Consultants You’ve Been Looking For

Introducing a brand we love:
Future Perfect, a modern baby naming service that gives back to infants in need with every purchase

Future Perfect isn’t just another baby naming site. Born out of a love of namestorming, the site’s unique, in-depth, and uber personalized process is designed to help you determine your naming priorities and point you toward a name for your child that’s thoughtfully crafted and deeply personal. In other words, they’ll lead you straight to The One without any of that friend/parent/in-law noise.

(Did we mention it’s also super fun?)

Check it out.

The Move

It’s been quiet around here.

Almost two months ago, we left Chicago and moved to the northern suburbs. Last July, on a whim, we made an offer on a midcentury house that we couldn’t get over. We had toyed around with the idea of leaving the city, but we thought it was a few years away still. When we saw this house we made the offer a few days later and it turned out to be one of the best decisions for our family. Space, nature, room to play and grow.

The plant babies survived the move!

The move meant a lot of change for not only us, but for Half Pint Shop. I had to close our storefront. There was no possibility of me managing it being an hour out of the city. On August 31st, after two years at Grace & Ashland, I handed the keys over to our friends at Good Manner Co. They have amazing plans for the space and I couldn’t be happier for them and the neighborhood. Half Pint Shop is still online – just like it was when I launched the store in 2014 – and it is still a part of my daily life.

Closing the storefront.

After I closed the store I had a few weeks to pack. I managed to squeeze in a quick birthday trip to Mill Valley, California to visit two of my favorite people. It was surreal to spend a weekend out and about and not sitting in the shop. It’s still strange to wake up and not have to rush out to open the store, but it’s a good feeling to be able to take things slow and make my family a priority.

Mill Valley, CA.

So this is where I’ve been. Managing the shop online, unpacking and decorating our home, getting the kids settled and working on Webinaide projects. I’m in a good groove and the family is too.

Watch out for upcoming posts about my beloved plant babies, our first Thanksgiving hosting and how I learned to cut back on social media (!) and am better for it soon. xx

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Essentials + Mimosas Workshop

Modern Essentials & Mimosas Event at Half Pint Shop

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Calling all modern mamas – Half Pint Shop is hosting a chill morning just for you!

Join Lady Berman Jewelry, Clean Beauty with Annie Murray and Mothercraft Essentials for a morning full of shopping, discussion and DIY. Each guest will blend their very own personalized fragrance with essential oils. You can also shop Lady Berman’s newest jewelry line, including her lava rock essential oil jewelry, and test clean beauty from Beauty Counter with Annie Murray.

Of course, there will be mimosa punch and light snacks!

Check it out —-> Modern Essentials & Mimosas Event.

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Rylee & Cru Spring/Summer 18 – Seaside Collection

Get a sneak peek at Rylee & Cru’s new Spring/Summer collection!

The Spring/Summer collection from Rylee & Cru launches February 27th at 11am CST at Half Pint Shop! Below are some sneak peeks of the collection, “Seaside.”

Here is what Half Pint Shop will be carrying:

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You can see more sneaks here and shop here on February 27th!

SEO Workshop!

Besides running the store and Mothercraft Essentials, I also consult with small businesses on building clean, easy to navigate and SEO driven websites. Why? I do it because I love it. SEO and website building are some of my favorite topics and I enjoy doing the behind the scenes nitty-gritty work.

SEO can be a scary topic for many, because there are so many elements involved and it changes quite frequently. I know this was true for me when I first started years ago!

My friend Nikki from Feminist is an amazing business coach for creative women-owned businesses. We’re combining our experience and knowledge to bring you a webinar all about SEO for small businesses on February 8th at 8pm CST titled “Get Your SEO On!” We’re going to cover the basics and you’ll leave with a clear path of how to get your website set up for success.

For a limited time, use the code “MACAIRE10” to save $10!

Reserve your spot here.

Hope to see you there! xo

No Sew DIY Dog Sweater

When we had our kids our first child – our dog – defintely lost some of our attention. We try to spoil him now and then to make up for it, with nice treats and toys.

Our friends at Rover asked us to share a DIY for pets so our gift this year was easy: a no sew sweater made from an old holiday sweater! Learn more below:

The holidays are a time for family, inspiration, and creativity. If you’re anything like the Dog People at Rover.com, involving the family pet in festivities is a given. We’ve worked with 12 DIY bloggers to bring you a different daily craft for 12 days, for you to try at home. So deck the paws and count down to a furry Christmas with us!

On the Fifth Day of DIY, your fur love did receive: DIY Healthy Dog Treats.

On the Sixth Day of DIY, your fur love will receive: DIY No Sew Dog Sweater.

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  1. Measure your pup around the chest, neck and from the neck to the base of the tail.

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2. Find a sweater that has a sleeve wide enough to fit around your dog’s chest.

3. Cut the sleeve off of the sweater.

4. Measure down from the cuff and cut the sleeve so that the top is longer than the bottom. Hint: If your pup is a boy cut the underside short!

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5. Now you just need to cut leg holes! You don’t need to cut large holes because the sweater material will stretch. Measure your pup from the bottom side of the neck to where their legs are. Measure how far the pup’s legs are apart. For a small dog this is usually about 5” down the and 3-4 inches apart. Cut the holes out of the bottom layer of the sweater only!

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6. Try the sweater on your pup and make adjustments if necessary!

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Keep your pup warm this winter!

 

Managing the Holiday Rush

The holidays are upon us and is anyone else feeling overwhelmed and unorganized? Each fall I make a spreadsheet for projects and gifts and find some way for our family to give back to our community. But by the second week in December I am always in a bit of a panic wondering what I have done or not done. To make matters worse we have been sick! Anyone else?

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At times like these I try to remember that the only things that really matter are that my family is clothed and fed and that we do a few basic things to celebrate the holiday and give back. It doesn’t matter if the gifts are color coordinated and that the house is in order.

I have my oils out in full force and calming music on all day long as I hope that both boys will be well enough to be back in school very soon.

So just a reminder to be gentle with yourself this holiday season and to let those big expectations go. xo

Introducing Mothercraft Essentials

For years I’ve used essential oils with my family. I use it to lift our moods, help us focus and soothe at night. It’s something I really enjoy and see wonderful results from, so it’s time I share my favorites with you all. *Drumroll please*….introducing Mothercraft Essentials blends! Continue reading “Introducing Mothercraft Essentials”

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

I love to hear ghost stories and Halloween is my favorite holiday season. I always dressed up as a witch and even traveled to Salem, MA a few years ago to geek out over the history and Hocus Pocus film sites.

While in Las Vegas last week, we visited the newly opened Zak’s Haunted Mansion. I don’t want to give too much away, but we saw some pretty spooky things during our two hour tour. It’s reported that some guests have become overwhelmed with sadness and they warn that spirits may travel home with visitors.

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As much as I love Halloween and a good spook, I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything otherworldly myself. Sure, there’s the relative who had a photo with a floating head and other strange stories, but I’m not convinced bumps in the night really exist.

I asked around for some real life ghost stories, partly because I was curious and also because I wanted to share a good scare. Read below, if you dare…

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Jessica Pritchett Shepard:

“When my husband and I first got married we lived in a condo downtown. It was an area for young couples with no kids, but our condo itself suggested otherwise.

The bathtub had a handicap bar in it. All the light switches/outlets were not at code, outlets were up like 18″ from the baseboard. Lights were a little above waist length. Then all the cabinets & sinks were super low, like hit me at my hip bone & I’m 5’3.

Anyways, it seemed obvious someone disabled lived there. But the condos weren’t old, ours only had one previous owner who was not disabled.  I always got the sense someone was watching me. The air was heavy. I can’t explain it but it felt like inside the house was just like dense. Every time we would take a shower, (shower was in separate room than bathroom vanity) you would hear another person slamming cabinets, turning water on and off, it was super loud. After one super loud shower I asked hubby how hard do you slam these cabinets. He asked what I meant, I explained it, he said, I’ve been in the kitchen (downstairs). He had been hearing it too when he took a shower, but thought it was me.

Then one morning, I saw an apparition on the stairs. She was smokey white, she looked little and old, like she was wearing a floor length dress, pajamas or robe. I wasn’t scared of her, that’s kind of what I felt like was there; someone older or disabled just lingering in their old home. But, because of my prior investigation, I knew no one lived there that was disabled or really old.

I knew someone loosely that claimed to be some ghost reader, she said she’d moved them from one place to another, like to cross over. I told her what I saw, what was going on; she investigated the history of the home and found nothing. She came over and decided to see if she could get the lady to pass over. I took her up to the bathroom and she started breathing super heavy, shaking, just being super weird. I think she even cried. She said I had a black thing over my shoulder that was drawn to me and was trying to drain me. She said it wasn’t evil but it wasn’t good. I freaked of course.

Luckily, we moved shortly after and nothing happened again. However, after I moved, a mutual friend of the ghost reader said that she told them that the entity she saw could be evil, it was very heavy and oppressive. She said she could hardly breath around it and it was for sure a male presence – she just didn’t want to scare me so she never told me that.

I don’t know, thankfully nothing followed me when we moved. I’ve had some other things happen, but I’ve not felt anything heavy like that again.”

Carly Dagostino:

“I went to a really old catholic school that was also a convent. My friend and I were moving boxes for our school play from the back stage to the cafeteria. There was a long hallway backstage that led to the main building. The hallway was connected to a storage room with a bunch of old stuff and furniture from the convent because they were remodeling and stored it there. We were carrying a heavy box (my friend and I each holding one side) and we looked over to the storage area and saw on the old green love seat with an old woman wearing a long black dress with scraggly white hair sitting on it. She then disappeared. We both did not even say a word to eachother this entire engagement but we both dropped the box at the same time and started sprinting out of the hallway. We got out to the cafeteria area and she said “did you just see” and at the same time we said “that old lady in the black dress who disappeared” and then we freaked out because we both saw the exact same thing without even saying a word when it happened. Two years later a different friend and I were doing service work there for school. I told her the story and we started to pretend ghost hunt. We walk down the little hallway (it was pitch black) and I took a picture with my handheld camera to make sure there weren’t boxes that we could trip on. We go on the stage for only a few minutes walk back down the hallway and it is FREEEZINGGG like we both got the chills and I turn back around to take another picture to see if it was still empty in the hall (because no lights were on) and got a picture of an entirely foggy bluefish/whitish color covering the whole hall. And we booked it the hell out of there.”

Hallway before & after, while Carly felt the chills.

Aymie Odell:

“My very first condo, I think I was 21 at the time. It was always little small things, I’d turn a light off and it would turn back on. I left a couple dishes in the sink one day before work and came home to a butcher knife perfectly placed on the floor pointing at the door, I was the only one there and obviously didn’t put it there. I always felt like I was being watched; one night I was laying in bed and everything on the book shelf fell over. Another night I woke up to a white fog over me and couldn’t get up. I started getting crazy bruises all over my legs and wouldn’t go home anymore unless someone else was there. I moved after 6 months, the only thing I know that happened there was the owners wife passing of old age so I have no clue what it was.”

Jesly Reyes:

“When I was 8 the apartment we used to live in was definitely creepy. Out of nowhere we started having activity. A number of things happened but there is one time I remember specifically. One morning my mom, brother and I were in the kitchen table getting ready to eat our breakfast when we started hearing drumming coming from our bathroom. My younger sister at the time was potty training and she had a toilet with a lid. When you beat on the toilet it made the exact same noise. The drumming went on for about a minute or two non-stop. It was definitely weird but we tried to brush it off. All of a sudden this toy in our playroom started going off. That’s when my brother started freaking out and covered his ears. My mom and I started walking towards the room to see if it was just acting weird. Once we got to the room, the toy stopped. So we decided to go back to the table and the toy started going off again and we went back to check. The same thing happened and the toy stopped once we got into the bedroom. By the third time my mom decided to take out the batteries. When we went back to sit down, a different toy turned on. We decided to let it play but it only lasted 30 seconds and then it never turned on again.”

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Scared yet? If not, you may want to see this this creepy video.

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How I reconnect with my kids

Being a working mom, weeks can speed by and I feel the guilt creeping in about missing out on quality time with my kids. A few months ago I told myself I needed to do something about this, so I came up with a plan.

Every Sunday, I sit down and plan activities for the kids and I at least twice a week. These aren’t grand plans but rather simple ways we can turn the mundane into an adventure and reconnect. My three year old loves a trip to the post office, where we point out the mural of the Chicago fire on the wall and point out the landmarks and trains. For my six year old, this means letting him plan a dinner once a week (including writing a grocery list!) and then we cook it as a family. This meal was a hit and breakfast for dinner is always a win.