10 THINGS Vol. 6

It’s time for another “ten things” post. I stole this idea from my friend Kelly– but it’s basically just an old school blog post where I share the first ten things that come to mind… Ready, set, go!

KINDLE // I started my last “10 Things” post inquiring about the Kindle and I’ve since purchased it and become obsessed with it. I did a more in-depth review about it, but I just want to reiterate just how much I love it!! I am reading so much more… or at least as much I can. I’ve been so tired; I usually read until I can’t keep my eyes open, which isn’t that long. But I’m in a reading groove. Thank you THANK YOU to everyone who convinced me to get it! We are heading to Mike’s family’s lake house at the end of the week and I am crossing my fingers I can peel away and get some extra reading time in with so much family around to play with Jack 😉

PLAYPEN // Speaking of Amazon buys…. I bought a playpen situation for Mr. Jack. Kid is on the move and our house isn’t really able to be baby proofed in a traditional sense. The closest thing I’ve been able to do is just close the door to his nursery. Originally I bought the playpen to put in our basement… and now we’re on the fence (no pun intended) about maybe setting it up in our living room instead. I don’t really mind the look of this playpen but I don’t really want his toys out in the open all the time. It would be nice to have a dedicated space in the basement and it would be nice to have a safe place for him to play on the first floor, too. What to do, what to do.

BASEMENT CLEAN OUT // Speaking of our basement, I did a DEEP clean out of our basement. Holy. It was in need. Let’s just say, cleaning it out has been on my list of things to do since I was pregnant. And it’s just gotten worse and worse. I’ve done a little sprucing every few months, but this summer things took a turn. I wasn’t even planning on doing it, and then all of a sudden one area turned into two and then I couldn’t stop until it was done. So many items to donate. A few things to sell. A BUNCH of trash. So many cardboard boxes (which I can’t figure out how/when they ended up there to begin with.) It is a glorious sight now!!! I’ve been sitting on the basement stairs just to admire my work in peace– yesterday I had my afternoon coffee on the steps.

FIRST BIRTHDAY PRESENT??? // Jack’s birthday is coming up (!!!) and I am trying to figure out what to get him. I have three options in my head. I’ve always thought I’d get him a little wagon for his first birthday, but I’m totally overwhelmed by the options. Do I go for the classic like the Red Flyer? Something more rugged? But then I got it in my head that maybe I should do the Doona Trike…. And then I saw this indoor jungle gym and thought it could be a lifesaver during cold winters and would be perfect for our basement (and solve our basement play conundrum). I want to get him something big that will be a staple for years to come, you know.

INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECT // This is really exciting! I hired an interior designer and I’m so excited. We’ve been working together for a few months and, oh, it’s going to be good. I met Jennifer when I went to a conference in Nashville in 2019 and I love her work. (Funny enough, Mike and I fell in love with a house this spring and ended up losing the bidding war, but I kept saying how I buy it furnished… then we found out it was her house!) Anyway, the plan right now is to do our living room, dining room, Jack’s bathroom, and our primary room.

NEEDLEPOINT // I’ve been back on my needlepoint game. I have very little to show for it right now, because I’ve been slowly (verrrrrry slowly) doing the white stitches for the background of a stocking. It’s very boring, but in a good way. Right now it feels methodical and I think I need that. I do feel a little FOMO when I scroll through my Stitch account‘s IG feed because I just don’t have the time– or energy– to stitch a ton of fun projects. Maybe choosing a stocking was a bad decision– I probably should have chosen a few small projects to work on this year. Solely for the more instant satisfaction.

SUMMER DAYS // Wow. I always love summer and I always think summer flies by. This year though? I love it even more and it’s flying by even faster. I’m trying so hard to stay in the moment, but I have to admit that I’m getting a little sad already knowing summer won’t last forever. Jack is a summer baby through and through and we are just having a blast. Between playing in our backyard, going to our pond club, strolling around our neighborhood. I told Mike the other day that it was so hard to conceptualize having a 10/11 month old/one year old this summer when I was pregnant and now that it’s here, it’s been even more magical than I ever could have imagined.

FACEBOOK GROUP // My blog’s Facebook group has always been one of my favorites. I’m biased, but I think you guys are the best. (Truly I feel like most groups end up spinning off into drama city, and ours is just so positive and supportive!) I wanted to share it here again because I figured out how to create “channels” within the group. I set up a parenting channel and one for books, you can join both or neither, but it’s just a cool way to keep the conversation and advice going!

ICED COFFEE // When we were on Nantucket, I started craving iced coffee. I drink iced espresso drinks and I’ve recently gotten into iced matcha lattes, but I haven’t had iced coffee in years! And then all of a sudden, it’s all I wanted every afternoon. I was getting one for our afternoon beach trip and now that we’re back home, I’m still craving it. I need to figure out how to brew it home so I have it on hand, but I’m also worried about having too much of it here and not being able to stop!

MOTHERING // I was listening to a podcast recently and one of the guests was talking about how we should “mother” ourselves. It kind of blew my mind when I heard that. I’ve been trying to keep this in mind throughout the day and I swear it’s working? It’s a little ~woo woo~ and I have absolutely nothing concrete to share besides the actual word as a verb. That is, I have no idea if it’s a real thing, I have no idea if there’s a “right” way to do it, but I’m just carving out extra space to really take care of myself in a mothering kind of way. The first day I made myself two luxuriously buttered pieces of toast. I took extra care to launder our sheets with the good detergent and made the bed extra tight. I forced myself to make a healthy lunch at home instead of eating a bag of chips (my normal go to 🤪). I don’t know if this will resonate with anyone else– thought I’d share just in case it could help!

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My dream is to hire an interior designer when I get my own house, it’s quite frustrating to rent a house in that sense. But I can’t wait to see the result as I love your style so much. And please, keep doing the 10 things posts, they are my faves!


I’d get the wagon and gift yourself anything that will be a lifesaver this winter! Ha 😫🤣 I’m dreading the end of summer as well!

Kelli Johnson

Hi Carly, I’ve always loved your blog posts, especially the more personal ones. You have such a genuine voice that it feels like you’re a friend sharing your life with us.

To your first birthday decision, the indoor jungle gym looks like it would have the most longevity. My son is 3.5 and he has always loved exploring playgrounds and really anything he can pull up to or climb on. It’s so fun to watch him explore and and then take pride in a new skill.

I know it wasn’t mentioned in this post but I wanted to thank you for sharing the podcast you did recently with Vivian Nunez. It was really cool to hear you talk about what it’s been like to live and work these last 10 years both online and off. Sometimes the keyboard creates distance but I love how you can connect with each of us who read your blog or follow you on other platforms. Thank you!


Hi Carly – I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and absolutely love it! My daughters are pre-teen/teens now, but when they were little I bought a bounce house for them to use in our basement on rainy days and the long, cold, dark days of winter. It was one of the best purchases our family ever made, we still have it for little guests who come visit. The wonderful thing about it is it fits in a bag to tuck away when not in use! We got one that could accommodate 2 kids from Blastzone.

Carly Day

Our son got a cozy coupe car for his first birthday and it is our most played with toy to date (he’s 3.5 now). It helped him learn to walk, push with his feet.. just fabulous!! You could drive it around the basement too!

Kelsey F.

Hi Carly! Re: first birthday gift – I had bought an inflatable pool for the summer months and for my daughters first birthday I got 200 ball pit balls to fill the pool with. We keep the now ball pit in our basement and I recently bought the little tikes first slide for her to climb and slide into the ball pit! It’s definitely a hit.


Also make sure to get some foam Mats for under that jungle gym! Lifesaver if Jack is anything like my Theo! A dare devil and no fear 😂😂 but Jack will love it and it will keep him occupied!!


Another suggestion similar to the indoor jungle gym is a Wiwiurka climbing triangle & rock climbing ramp! We have had ours for almost 2 years now, & it is still fun for my almost 5 year old & 2.5 year old to play with – especially in the cold winter months or on bad weather days. I love that you can fold it up & store elsewhere when you don’t want it out all the time too!

Also I’m now on my fourth & final stocking & totally understand what you mean about the slow progress. This stocking in particular has been hard to motivate myself to finish stitching but I’m constantly trying to remind myself how much it will be worth it once I’m done! 😅


I agree with others- I think the jungle gym is the best bet for longevity! And then maybe grandparents can do a nugget to go along with it.


Indoor jungle gym for sure! You’ll use it for YEARS (and for future kids if that’s in your plans). Maybe find on that’s smaller for now but can buy add-on pieces to expand it – bonus of always having a go-to gift.

For iced coffee, I just ordered from Javy which is iced coffee concentrates. Hasn’t arrived yet so I don’t know if I’m actually recommending it but it came recommended to me.

Sydney Paulsen

These are my favorite posts of yours!! And having grown up with an small indoor jungle gym in my basement, I can fully say that it was the BEST decision my parents ever made. My brother and I spent ours down there, even after we “outgrew” it.


I use the Bodum BEAN SET Cold Coffee Brewer for iced coffee and I love it. Super easy.


The jungle gym for longevity! I have a 3 and a 1 year old and they love to climb. I suggest something like yay! mats underneath it to catch/brace any falls 🤪


I can’t wait to see the room reveals!

Would you consider making the room where you peloton is a playroom? You could add French doors or a baby gate to keep it enclosed. We have a similar room in our house that we converted from a home office to a home office when the toys got to be too much in the family room around 2 years old.

If you don’t go the big wagon route, the radio flyer push wagon was a big hit for my 1 year old and he (3yo) still uses it.


Ooh that’s a good idea. It’s become mike’s office but maybe it makes more sense as a playroom 🧐


Excited to see the changes to your house! Are you doing any renovations, or just redecorating? Either way, I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful!


We got the LLBean beach wagon for my son’s first birthday and it has been a great purchase! We use it all the time and he loves riding in it.

Jennifer Record

A thought/idea/suggestion for birthday gifts: if you have a party, ask family and friends to bring an item (that your child chooses when he is older) to kids have donated to several children’s charities, or teddy bears for police dept to bring with them on emergency runs involving children..and perhaps your family could make a donation to a local charity in honor of your child’s birthday.. I do this each Christmas and birthday for my niece and’s a small amount of money, but by the time they are 18 years old, I hope the amount will make a difference… <3


I’m looking forward to seeing your interior design projects. I saw that designer’s work at Mansion in May a few years ago, fell in love with her style and started following her on IG. Then I realized we were neighbors!

A Reader

If you’re looking for longevity, there are a few things they received as toddlers that my 6- and 7-year-olds still play with: balance bike, Nugget-type couch, and especially a “kitchen helper” tower or stool. The tower moves back and forth between the front window and the kitchen counter!


I love these posts! So much fun to read. Can’t wait for you to share more about your interior design experience – love your style!

Could you share the podcast that you mentioned about “mothering yourself” ? I’m a new mom & would love to listen to it! 💙