The Finches

Charlotte and Ella: Two moms who met on the Internet and love design, simplicity, and sustainability.

 

 

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Saturday
Oct272012

Go, Diego, Go! | DIY Halloween Costume

The Beast is ready for Halloween - are you? 

Unlike last year (which he had no say in) It took him weeks to decide on his costume, we poured over pictures of different ideas and the only thing he would settle on? 

Diego, of Go, Diego, Go! Fame.


A cheap costume that we already had most of? Deal. In case you are unfamiliar with Diego - he is an animal rescuer who travels around....well, rescuing animals. Long story short - Diego is good people, and thankfully he isn't too snappy of a dresser.  Blue shorts, a blue shirt, a khaki vest (which was $3 at a thrift store, that Gray refashioned into a toddler sized explorer vest), and a backpack.


Gray made the backpack out of felt, and, as always, he did an amazing job.  Gray always seems to have the patience for the projects that would leave me cursing. Straight lines? Those are my specality. Rouge sewing projects, ignoring all of the "sewing rules"? Gray does it, and knocks it out of the park. 

One of the best things about the costume? How much he gets into the character. We went the extra mile and bought The Beast a Baby Jaguar - THE Baby Jaguar.  Diego's sidekick. If you put Baby Jaguar at the top of his rock wall, and say "Help Me! Help Me!"  The Beast will run around looking for his vest and backpack, put them on, then climb to the top of the wall to save Baby Jaguar. Like a true animal rescuer. 

The difference a year makes - right?

Tuesday
Oct162012

A Place Of His Own | DIY Toddler Bed 

Hey!  Remember me?  No.....I don't blame you. It has been awhile, and a whirlwind summer of adventure, but more on that later (but seriously). 

Gray and I have spent the past few weeks building a space for The Beast and his imagination to grow. Some would call it a bed, The Beast calls it his "club house".  

(Oh look at me taking pictures while there is still saw dust all over the floor. Just fantastic Ella)

The good:

 

  • It is awesome. 
  • It was cost effective
  • The Beast loves it
  • It is a monstrosity, but we can live with it.  It gives The Beast more floor space in our tiny house to construct, roll, play, jump and just all around be a kid. 
  • Dude, an in house rock wall? Alright! 

 

The bad:

 

  • The Beast loves the bed so much, he refuses to come to our bed in the morning and cuddle with us while we all wake up.  Instead of him waking up, calling for us, us going in to his room, grabbing him and then bringing him to our room...he wakes up, calls us, we go into his room and he says "Dada (because let's be honest, Gray is the less lazy one of us) come here Dada. Hold me. Come up here Dada" and then they fall back asleep and wake up sometime later. While I lay all alone in bed....sobbing because I am lonely....or some version of that. I really didn't anticipate this issue. I am not sure how much I like it.

 

The Details:

 

  • We used this Ana White design as inspiration and tailored it for our space and to be a bit more toddler friendly by doing a series of smaller steps and platforms as well as making the railing much higher (the blind cord is usually rolled up - I am noticing that I should have taken less realistic photos and tidied up a bit). 
  • The rock holds are from Rocky Mountain Climbing Gear, and they are fantastic.  Heavy duty, high quality, come with the hardware and super easy to install. You will need an allen wrench, so don't forget that


The Beast seems to loves his space - from rescuing animals "on top of the mountain" to snuggling up and reading on a cold rainy day, I personally feel like his room is turning into a fun, magical space that grows with him - and I am glad that he seemingly shares these views. 

And just for fun....how cute is this Ghost that my Mother In La, Sue, did with him? 

 

 

Thursday
Aug232012

Gearing Up | Camping With A Toddler

Hey there! 

The Beasts battery died in his camera, and we are really lazy have yet to buy new ones, so I figured that I would write a little post about our upcoming adventure.  

Check out what Charlotte and her family are up to while they do their shake down cruise

In a few days we are leaving for an epic week of camping.  Every year we head up to Sequoia National Forest over the labor day weekend, however, this year, Charlotte and her family have made our trip a bit more exciting and have invited us out to Two Harbors Catalina to camp for several days, then, we when we return Catalina, we will hop off the boat, head to our car and drive directly up to meet my Dad in the Sequoias.


As adults, Gray and I are excited. As a toddler who knows what a boat is, the beast can't wait for our "boat trip" and "camping". Dude loves camping. He loves camping so much that he has been crying daily because he thinks every time we hop in the car, we are going on the "boat trip".......which means we have been doing a lot of ordering online (Thanks Amazon Prime!) instead of buying in person

We do a lot of camping as a family, but all of our camping gear up to this point has been a hodge podge of thrown together stuff in some shoddy Tupperware contain. So, since we will be carrying all of our gear on to the Catalina Express, and none of our bags can be bigger than 36" and we will have to wrangle a toddler who is excited about the boat. I didn't want to deal with 6 bags, loose ends and chaos. We also needed to streamline our gear because we will have to leave some of it in the car is an organized way. 

So what changes have we made to our gear?

Rio Grande Backpack (45L) from Army Surpluss World

Our first change was how we carried stuff. We snagged a duffle bag and backpack from an Army Surplus store. I know our backpack is not actual surplus, just designed to mimic it, but the price was right, the zippers are sturdy and so is the stitching. Works for us. It isn't beautiful, but it gets the job done. 


Top Load Canvas Duffle Bag (21" x 36") from Amazon

We also snagged a duffle bag for items like sleeping bags, pillows and clothes. I am really excited about the bags because this also means storing of camping items will be easier, and less spread out. Making our camping trips more pleasant. 

Backpacking Pinnacle Dualist by GSI

This is quite possibly what I am most excited about. Our cooking items for camping have taken up so much space. An old pan, some huge plastic plates, random cups. However, no more! Not for us. This nesting mess kit includes a 1.8L pot, a lid that can act as a strainer, a bag that acts as a sink, two cups, two insulated bowls and two spoons. Perfect for our family of three (we picked up an extra spork for The Beast). This is exciting. Be excited. I am excited. 

Everything else we picked up was pretty mundane, reusable dish cloths from the 99 cent store instead of paper towels, Freeze Dried Fruits and Vegetables Sample Pack so we can avoid dealing with a cooler on the island and some canteens. 

We are set!

My next task that I need to tackle before Saturday, activates for the the car ride to the Catalina Island Express, and from the ferry terminal to Sequoia National Forest.

Bring it on! 

Monday
Aug062012

'Ra | From Home

Dear Cora,

It has been ages since we have hung out together.  I know you are leaving in a few days, and I figured that it was time that my mom and I took over this dead blog.

You will be headed around the world, while I pillage and conquer my own. Two totally different lifestyles, but that doesn't mean we will lose touch. I figured we will just show each other what we have been up to, and when you come home 16 years from now, it will be like you never left. 

Oh, and my mom got us these totally sweet cameras for kids, for our birthday's so we can show each other what our world is really like. 

Let's get this show on the road!

So, what have you been missing out on in my life?

My take:

Mom's take

I turned two!  Nothing too new to you, but let me blow your mind for a second. BabyCenter now considers us preschoolers!  Who knew? My mom had a slight panic attack over this, and I found her curled up in a closet weeping. Parents. Freaking shameful I tell you. I had to drag her out of the closet, rip the paperbag from her hand and give her a serious pep talk. Moms, AmIRight? You couldn't make it, but I bounced the afternoon away with friends and family. We had cake pops that looked like ice cream cones, sundaes, and somewhere in there, I melted into a blob of content.

My Take: 

Mom's Take

Living on a boat, you might not have noticed, but it is officially 800 degrees out, which has made my house 850 degrees inside. If someone would have warned me about this, I would have just stayed in my womb. My face didn't melt off in there. People wonder why I am always naked, well let me tell you! With no A/C, things can get pretty uncomfortable. So, au naturale is my preferred method - an acceptable alternative? We spend all day outside. I built a pretty sweet fort the other day, with fresh grapes from my Great Grandma's garden, and I find caterpillars like they are going out of style. Dude, have you pet one? It is hilarious! 

Are you kidding? I was off petting caterpillars - of course this is mom's take:

Oh! Wait, one more thing. My dad built me a cool swing. My mom was complaining about me "swinging" on everything, from the table to the freezer door handle and asked my dad to whip something up, and this is what he came up with. It is perfect. It took those losers long enough to catch on. Their solution was amusing, so I am going to keep them. For now.  

Mom's take....I was swinging naturally:

Alright, my mom says it is time to go to bed. Isn't she cute? I'll show her bedtime.................and a reason to drink. 

Tuesday
Jun262012

Change Will Do You Good | FinchFound is Changing!

Hey Friends!

Ella here, and it has been a little while since I had anything other than mundane musings about a kid who hates wearing pants to share.  So, I thought I would hop right in, break my silence, and share a little story.

Did we ever tell you how we came to start a blog?  I know we told you this story...but that isn't the real one.......and no, the real one doesn't involve tequila and strippers.

Today, today I share with you the epic story of how FinchFound got it's wings.

Are you ready?

Really?

Okay.....

So, one morning, I was driving to the coast sans my child, I had some things to get done and couldn't do them with a hellion demanding to see my boobs attached to my hip. There I was, on Highway 101, on a perfect weekday morning, warm coffee in hand, windows down. Look, it was epic, you just had to be there, alright?  

While soaking in the glory that is North County San Diego, I did what any rational woman would do. I called my friend and I told her about a hair-brained scheme I had cooked up - 78% of it was a joke.  I told her about my plans for us to open up a really awesome shop for kids. It was fantastic, we plotted for fun, we planned, and then Cora cried and Charlotte had to go. Damn kids.

However, a few weeks later she propositioned me with an idea. We already had an absurd number of emails going back and forth, and we decided to start a blog. Let's be honest, it saved us time, and moms love multitasking.

And that is that. What? Not epic enough? Fine. Whatever man.

Let me see if I can do one better.

Now we have this blog, and once again, our lives are changing. I work full time, Charlotte is departing the United States for a life of adventure, and, like all things, we have to make some changes. The best part though......

FinchFound is changing too!

Not how we expected, but we are excited for the future, excited for what is to come, and excited for change. The blog will still be a big part of what FinchFound is, but we wanted to put this out there as we thank you for overlooking our cobwebs, dust and dirt over the next week or two. Most importantly (and why I saved it for last) we want to thank you, our readers, for following us along on this journey.

More details coming soon. Promise!!