We have a new deck!

When we purchased our new home we knew that deck will have to be replaced at some point. The wood was not in good shape and the size was just not what we wanted it to be. So five years later, here we are a brand new deck! Doesn't it look great? 


Sun & sand/ Memorial Day at the beach

searching for treasures

first of many (both self made pedis and sand under my feet)

my boys

my favorite picture from the trip

this dude

flying kites ( we lost this one because of the strong winds) there was crying involved

me and my boys
We took a short trip this Memorial Day Weekend to the Cape Cod. We love traveling and hope that in the future we can have many more trips together with our children. Trips like these make the every day grind worth while for sure! Our friends invited us to spend some time at their families vacation home in West Yarmouth. We played at the beach, ate fresh seafood and enjoy the sunshine. It was quite windy so we only spent a couple of hours at the beach on Saturday. Sunday was spent relaxing while the kids played and explored. We even collected some "ocean artifacts" so Hamza could share them with his preschool class which happens to be learning all about the ocean this month.

We came back home late Sunday night and spent Monday working on some projects around the house. We even had some time to take a RowVT class in the morning and have a mini date with bagels and coffee at Myer's Bagel Bakery.

This was a wonderful Memorial Day.


Memories of my grandfather...

I was his first grandchild. He married my grandmother at seventeen and brought her home with him.  He drove a white fiat. He enjoyed spending time in his flower garden and grew many plum trees. He loved when my grandmother wore high heels ( he was shorter than her). Crossword puzzles were stacked up in the middle of the dining room table with a pen nearby. Because of him I started running at the age of ten. He loved good company and good food.  Polenta with freshly chopped onion on top and a dollop of sour cream, was one of his favorites in the morning. You had to be silent when he watched the news. He owned encyclopedias on different mushroom species. We always went walnut picking together in the fall. I inherited his camera...


Our first family trip

 I was not a blogger last year so I never got the chance to document our amazing trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia last June. 
Before every trip I get the case of travel anxiety. I love to travel but the weeks leading up to the trip are always filled with part extreme excitement and part worry about the craziest little things. This trip was a gigantic undertaking: two toddlers (one nursing), flying out of Boston ( three to four hour drive form here) and making our tight connections in London. We also had a driver picking us up from Zagreb to bring us to our first destination which was a two and a half hour car ride. All this is sure to give anyone some doubt if we have lost all of our marbles. So we said to each other that no matter what happened we'll keep a positive outlook and keep moving. So when the day came, all stars aligned and the kids were extremely calm. They slept for most of the trip!!!! All 12+ hours there and back. We even had a security officer at Heathrow pad down our sleeping toddler in the stroller while fast asleep. Anyways, the trip was amazing. Our Family welcomed us with open arms and our time there was spent enjoying the weather and reminiscing about our childhood. 
We spent four days with both of my grandmothers in my hometown Prijedor, after that we went to the beautiful Sarajevo and from there we took a road trip through the Southern parts of Herzegovina finishing our trip with a ten day beach vacation on the Croatian coast. The trip was filled with Nutella ice cream ( yes!), great seafood and air smelling like rosemary, evergreens and seawater. Oh and figs, oh glorious purple figs.  
I have many pictures from this trip and it's so hard to choose which once to use since they're all so great. Here are just a few of them that show the beauty of this reagion. 

***The entire Balkan region especially Bosnia and Herzegovina was heavily hit with extreme flooding and landslides this past week. Thousands of families have been misplaced and there is a shortage of clean water and basic necessities. If you would like to help, please see my Instagram profile @atinygrowinghouse, I've posted a link where to safely donate to the people of Bosnia.   


Takeout please!

Meals in our home have to be quick easy and healthy. I usually have about a half hour or so to put a meal on the table after a long day. I've developed some quick and easy meals that are my go to's when I'm pressed for time and when my kids seem like they will have a meltdown any moment now!

I love making a quick vegetable stir fry (pictured above), kale pesto pasta (kale pesto recipe from mama Smith) , smashed new potatoes and cherry tomatoes with some local free range chicken, veggie pizza with homemade dough ( I make ahead and freeze), Beans and rice with shredded chicken and avocado slices and always some form of salad!

...and sometimes I just wing it :)

If I do feel a meltdown coming on before the meal is finished, I usually serve the boys some fruit or light crackers before dinner.

P.S. Bad pictures above, I know! I take most of them in the evening with my poor little IPhone. I'm saving up for a camera, I promise pictures will eventually be better :)


On Motherhood....

My husband works on Sundays so it was just my four year old and myself on the sofa early in the morning waiting for the sleepy toddler to get up so we can start our day. He kept leaning in to give me quick little hugs and at one point looked at me and said "Mama, I could hug you forever." 
Later that day while at a bagel shop he finished a sip of milk and said: "This was the best day ever."  

Indeed little man, it was the best day ever! 


All the books in the world...

I guess we have a lot of books over here?! Yikes! Here is one more project we did at about the same time as our mellow yellow book box. 

We purchased this antique vacuum cleaner box at Barge Canal Market one of our local antique spots. We thought the size was perfect for the large amount of books our boys have collected over the years. 
I won't bore you with a step by step instruction manual on how to do this project because it is pretty simple and self-explanatory. We just cleaned the box well since it smelled like it sat in a barn for a long, long time. I used a damp cloth and some soap and scrubbed it inside and out. We purchased a couple of pairs of wheels at the local hardware store, probably an inch and a half in diameter or so,  drilled them into all four bottom corners and voila a place to store some books. Simple, right? This box sits in our "unfinished" playroom ( I keep changing it around all the time) but it could easily be housed in the living room since it has a great antique look. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and to all of my mama's  Happy Mother's Day! 


kids in the kitchen

Cooking with my boys comes naturally. Hamza is always happy to chop veggies and roll out pizza dough. Faris is still very young so he helps by cheering us on, clapping and just being the entertainer he is. Having them help has made a difference in what they will eat or new things that they are willing to taste. (just today Hamza tasted arugula and liked it!)
For the most part I do it because I want them to get the full experience from planting a seed and watching it grow to harvesting vegetables and finally preparing them for a meal.  Food should grow in a garden it should not come in a microwavable bag, its how I grew up and that is my wish for my boys too.


Spring in Vermont

 Fruit bowls everywhere
 Eucalyptus and other essential oils. Boy squeeze. 
 Out tiny living room
 Some thoughtful gifts.
 Yard work all day long...
 A little pink goes a long way.
Almost five...

Our weekend was filled with yard work, playdates and family gatherings. I love weekends like these but it makes me panic just a little when I think that most of our weekends are already planned out for the next month and a half. We have a ton of birthday parties coming up, big and small, a Memorial Day trip to the Cape and somewhere in there a new deck is being built and the garden put to life again. My plan is to enjoy the quite moments and celebrate the busy once.


a mellow yellow book box

I recently purchased this, what I think is, milk crate. I needed a box for library books that I could keep in our living room. I am not sure how old the crate is but there was a significant amount of rust on it when I brought it home. I sanded down as much as I could and cleaned the wires with a damp towel and some dr. bronner's soap before I placed the books inside. My intention was to paint it right away but three months passed and it still didn't get done (go figure). Anyways, I finally got to it and made this my project today with the intention to start and finish TODAY. So here it is pretty simple, I think it took me two hours (while Faris napped, he napped for almost four!!!) to paint and dry. I used Rust-oleum mellow yellow and spray painted the first coat on. After it dried ( about an hour or so) I did one more coat and placed it in a sunny spot on our porch. I love the way it came out, no more rusty wires, yay!