Sunday, June 26, 2016

It Happened to Me

Everyone is always so quick to judge, especially parents. It's so easy these days, with 24-hour news feeds, apps, and the internet to read or hear a story pertaining to the misfortune of a child and assume the parents were negligent in some way. We obliterate them within seconds of hearing a child was hurt -or worse- and without any facts, criticize their parenting skills and ask how they could have let that happen?!

Well, of course, I have made rash remarks about other parents before getting the facts because it makes me feel better as a mom. It's easy to say that you would never let your child do something that would put them in danger, only to realize that you have but been lucky enough to have had nothing happen to them. It's actually a typical day for me with my youngest, who, by all other accounts, is the most daring and adventurous little man. He's fearless, which is terrifying for me and makes my days filled with worry, extra precautions, and the anticipation that a trip to the ER is on the verge.

So was the case about three weeks ago. It finally happened. It didn't make national news and my son is fine, but it happened. I took my eyes off of him for too long and my worst nightmare happened. My bold two year old let himself in the pool while I went to get his floaties.

He was right there.

Then he wasn't.

When I realized where he had gone, I ran over to where he struggled beneath the surface of the water and I pulled him out. LET ME JUST SAY, the fear on his face while he tried desperately to swim under the water, will haunt me forever. Once he was out, he coughed up all the water he had swallowed. I was with some friends and we did everything we knew to make sure he was comfortable and safe.

Here's the thing, I'm a trained water safety instructor and lifeguard. This shouldn't have happened to me. I've been a mom for nearly a decade and I would never call myself neglectful. I was getting his damn floaties when he walked away from me so quickly. He didn't jump in, he got in slowly and quietly. I know I'm not a bad parent, the kind the media would have painted of me had he drowned or had some serious condition from secondary drowning. Oh yeah, let's not forget the overwhelming fear of secondary drowning that accompanies a near drowning experience; again, something I've been educated on for nearly 15 years. Because I wasn't quite sure how long he was under for, we made an evening trip to the emergency room to have some chest x-rays done and to rule out secondary drowning.

Thank God he was fine.

But it was a close one. I'm not sharing this to warn people about the crazy shit that can happen to our kids, but to let other moms know that you can be a damn near helicopter parent and still, bad thing will happen. Scary, near death experiences can still happen to non-neglectful parents. It happened to me, and it changed me forever.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Basement Inspo!

Oh boy, can you say basement?! I love, love, LOVE having a basement. Ok, so we've not even been in our new home for a week but I'm already in love with my basement. Coming from California, I've only ever dreamed of having this huge space to decorate, and now that I live in the mid-west, I'm as happy as a pig in mud!

Currently, my basement is housing all of our mattresses, as we've all been sleeping down there while I get our bedrooms put together and unpacked. Plus, it's sooooo much cooler down there, sleeping has been way better on these warm Summer nights. But I have plans, too many plans for this basement. I know it will take me some time to really figure out just how to configure the furnature layout. There is a full bedroom, full bathroom, two large walk-in closets, a regular closet, and a workshop, all off a large rec room. It's wonderful! Plus, it's been newly painted and has new carpet, a great neutral starting point. 

Here are some basement ideas I found on Pinterest... If you have anything to share, leave it in the comments or tag me on Pinterest (@ashasi)


We definitely want to add some sort of breakfast bar or kitchen for guests.


I want to turn one of the closets into a nook! 


And the kids will need some space too! 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's Moving Day!

The day has finally arrived! Today is the day, the day all my stuff arrives from California and we move into our new home here in the northern suburbs if Chicago. Let me just say, since my hubs accepted the position in Chicago back on February 26th, the last 4 months have been wild! Not only have I've been going a little bananas with all the moving shenanigans, my hubs was still working and living in the Netherlands, leaving me to do the bulk of the move prep. Thankfully, his company helped out loads.

Airport selfie at it's finest. Look out Chicago! 

Thomas started his new position nearly two months ago, but the kids and I only just arrived in Illinois this past Wednesday. I already really love it here! It's so different than anywhere else I've ever lived. I know this might sound weird but the aspect of the mid-west that keeps surprising me is how flat it is. After living in California for so long, you get used to being surrounded by hills and mountains. When I've traveled to different parts of Europe, I've had the same feeling. I guess that makes me a true Cali girl.

My kids are so excited to be starting school here in August and making new friends. We bought a home in a very family friendly community, on a lake. It's something different for us. I was a bit heartbroken to sell our family home in California (memoriessssss), the home we rented out when we lived in Switzerland, but happy to have found such a wonderful new family home... with a basement! I can't wait to start sharing my DIY, craft and home tours of the interior as I go along!

Anywho, have a wonderful week... I can't believe this week my sweet boy will be 6! and Saturday marks the half way point to Christmas!! Heck, why is time flying by?! x

This was the 5 blissful minutes before shit hit the fan and all three had mini-meltdowns, for whatever reason. Seriously, for kids that travel so much, you would have thought it was their first time.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

We're moving to Chicago today!! +Wednesday Linky!

Oh my gosh, today is moving day!! I can't believe that the last three and a half months have flown by and we are here. Leaving California is bittersweet but the excitement of a new adventure in the Mid-West is nice. We get our keys for our new home on Friday and our stuff is getting delivered on Monday, so we'll be staying in a hotel until then, which is always fun with the kids (a mini vacay, I guess). Anyways, we are flying out to Chicago today and saying goodbye to very hot California. More to come on the new house, our trips into the city and all the newness that awaits us in North Chicago!! Have a very happy Wednesday!! xx 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Balconies & Windows Around Paris

There is something really special about the details and history in old cities. Every city I have ever had the privilege in traveling to and experiencing is such a joy because of the historical and architectural details I find so beautiful. Paris is no joke when it comes to perfection in historical architecture and the little characteristics found around the city. I've shared my favorite doors, flowers, locks, and street signs from the city of lights, and now I'm sharing some amazing windows and balconies. I know, I know, one doesn't go to Paris (or any tourist destination) for the windows and seemingly boring details, but how can you not give attention where attention is due for these beauties?! Can you imagine sipping your morning tea or reading the latest bestseller from one of these balconies, while the hustle and bustle of Parisian life moves down below? Tres bien...

Here are some more from Paris...

More from the Palace of Versailles later this week!! 
Happy Tuesday! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nights in Paris

Happy Friday! Boy, has this week has flown by or what?! With our move to Chicago just 5 days away, I find my mind wandering and drifting off into space, while I should be doing other tasks. I know this is how I cope when there's change in my life, so what better things to daydream about than travel?? With a bucket list of destinations I can't wait to visit, and reminiscing about past vacations, there's always an endless amount to get lost in. 

Since I have nearly 500 photos from my mom's recent trip to Paris, some of which you can find HERE and HERE, I thought I'd lump another batch together and share the beauty that is Paris at night. They don't call it the City of Lights for nothing! Even in the rain the city turns to a bright, magical place. I can't wait to be back in Europe again, walking along cobblestone roads and eating baguettes. Oh, one can dream, am I right? Have you been to Paris or do you have dreams of one day going?? 

Have a wonderful weekend!