Life

Motherhood Welcomes Change

I just came across this post I wrote a over 6 months ago as I was in the midst of another career shift in trying to secure a new job, which I have now happily been in for 3 months. I re-read it and realized how relevant it still...Read More »


Happy 5th Birthday Luke

Today Luke turns five years old! It’s been a very different feeling leading up this milestone birthday this year for me as his mom, but I’ll save the sappiness for the slideshow =) There are a few things I want Luke to always remember about his five-year-old self...Read More »


Leo the Lion Turns One!

Our sweet-pea Leo turned one last Saturday and we celebrated with family and friends at our home for a birthday brunch. I am a second child but I like to believe that I don’t carry the second child chip on my shoulder ;0) Despite that, I did make...Read More »


Unremarkably Remarkable - Leo's Birth Story

Leo,
I hope you enjoy the story of the day you were born. From the outside looking in, it may seem unremarkable, but to us, you made October 24, 2014 so very remarkable!

One of my last pregnancy photos from September 2014...Read More »

Da Na Na Na na na Na Na ... Batman!

Time keeps moving and we’re keeping up as best as we can. No, we cannot believe that our little baby boy just turned 4 years old on May 16th! Yes, that’s right, 4! Like the past three years, this age is more fun than we ever knew. His...Read More »


Finding My Focus

Lately, I have been simultaneously energized and paralyzed. True, this is an oxymoron, but strangely it is how I have felt for the past few weeks. In the realm of creativity outside of my 9-5, I have been struck with spurts of excitement about certain ideas, which if...Read More »


Remembering Pia

Some know by now that the Sciandri family experienced a tragic and unexpected loss this week, still feeling like it hasn’t really all sunk in yet. Pia Sciandri was Gino’s Godmother and Gino grew up with their family (Dave, Pia, Dino, Julie, and Tony) across the street from...Read More »


I Don't Want to Forget

Half way through the work week and I am surviving! Going back to work full time immediately after maternity leave is much more of a mental shift and adjustment for me than a physical one. I know I need a few weeks to adjust and I also know...Read More »


Leo's Little Lion's Den

Not finding out the gender of our second child was pretty easy because we lived in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house with no space for a second child’s bedroom AND life was very busy because we were planning on moving throughout my whole pregnancy. That meant that most of the nursery...Read More »


Leo 12 Weeks

I’m back after 3 months filled with baby snuggles and lots of house remodel work. Our little sweet pea starts daycare 4 days a week next Monday so I plan on holding him and staring into his beautiful little eyes all week, along with getting mentally prepared to be back...Read More »


Ponzo Turns 5!

Our big boy, Ponzo, turned 5 today! Ponzo has been such an integral part of our family and we can hardly remember what our life was like without him. In honor if his 5th birthday, I thought I would put together a Top 10 list of some of our favorite things about...Read More »


Letters to Little One - 29 Weeks

Hi Little One,
Can you believe it, we just clear the second trimester and are move into the third and final stretch! I keep saying that this pregnancy feels like it is taking so much longer than the first one. In the last few days I have really started to...Read More »


To Find Out or Not to Find Out, That is Not the Question

Photo courtesy of The Krazy LIfe

This conversation probably sounds pretty common for expecting mothers weather it’s your first child or second, am I right!?

People: “You’re pregnant, congratulations!….”

Me: “Thank you! We are excited and Luke’s ready to be a big brother!

People: “When are you due?”

Me: “The end...Read More »


Letters to Little One

I wrote this to our Little One 3 weeks ago but in the midst of transferring my blog to WordPress, I am just now getting around to posting it. This picture is from last week and I am at 19 weeks today, definitely sporting a bigger bump than the last time!

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Life with a 2.5 Year Old

Can it really be true, we actually have a 2.5 year old!? Lately we hit a few milestones with Luke that really highlight how much of a big boy he is! In all honesty, I have gotten just a little bit sad to watch him become so independent...Read More »


A Day in Napa

Well, I haven’t blogged in a while, so how about some photos! We took a day trip to Ron and Roberta Sciandri’s and I just love it there at their place in Napa. Their home is surrounded by natural beauty, grapes, a small lake for the...Read More »


34 Forever: A Tribute to Christina

As I sit down to write this post I feel at a loss for words, but at the same time, I am filled with thoughts and words floating through my mind and heart. Today I simply went through the motions, fighting back the...Read More »


Feel Better Soon

Tonight is going on four nights of quarantine for the Sciandri household! I am going a little stir crazy, thus a long overdue blog post.

Luke has been sick with a really nasty bug since Wednesday night. Here’s the rundown of our past 4...Read More »

Luke 11 Months

Luke turned 11 months on April 16th. What an 11 months it has been! I mentioned in my last post that it is hard to realize it has already almost been a year, WOW.

Luke is doing great! He is standing on his own and has taken some unofficial...Read More »


Luke 9 and 10 Months

Big sigh…. Luke turned 11 months yesterday. I think it hit us like a ton of bricks that our baby is almost no longer a baby! I love watching him grow and change but can’t believe how fast time goes by.

Sorry, I am a bit behind on the...Read More »


Cha... Cha... Cha... Changes!

Goodbye Network for a Healthy California (Network) and the Department of Public Health, it has been a great 6.5 years! Over the years I would occasionally think about what it would be like to not work at the Network and soon I will know what...Read More »


Happy Valentines Day!


Happy Valentines Day to you all! I got a very pleasant surprise from Gino yesterday, a sewing machine! Now that I have a sewing machine, I need to learn how to use it and I just know I will add 50 more projects to my “want...Read More »

Why Charcoal + Chocolate?

So, why Charcoal + Chocolate you ask? Well, there are a few reasons for the new name of my blog. When I started this blog for Sarah Fina Designs I created it to share some of the design work and projects I was working on. Over time, the...Read More »


Introducing Charcoal + Chocolate

I have been wanting to re-design my blog for a while now and just started to get around to it! It’s still a work in progress, but come check it out. I am still adding posts to the menu bar tabs and working on a few other things,...Read More »


Luke 8 Months

Luke turned 8 months old on January 16th. He is getting so big that I had to switch the onesie in the photo to a bigger long sleeve onesie! Here are a few updates.
Eating
We have been trying all kinds of different foods along with rice cereal...Read More »


Luke 7 Months

Gosh how time fly’s when you are having fun! Our little boy is almost 8 months old. The photo is from 7 months, it has just taken me a while to post it. He is really developing his personality now and is becoming so sweet, smiley, and fun....Read More »


Merry Christmas

I’ve missed you all and my sweet little blog. Sorry for the lack of attention lately, just dealing with the busy holiday season as usual. The Sciandris are looking forward to a busy and family-filled weekend this Christmas and are especially excited for Luke’s first Christmas. He has...Read More »


Luke - 6 Months

Can you believe it?! Our little baby is six months old tomorrow, the 16th. Time has gone by so fast and I hear from a lot of other parents to cherish these times because they are so short. No kidding! We have enjoyed every ounce of our little...Read More »


Apple Hill

We spent a lovely day at Apple Hill last weekend with our good friends Alli & Levi. I left the Apple Farm planning up to Alli and we hit up the spots best know for apple donuts, apple pies, and beer! We had a great time and Luke...Read More »


Memorable Moments

Dear Luke,
                These are just 2 pictures of some of our most favorite moments so far in your nearly 6 months of life. We cherish each and every hug, snuggle, and relaxing nap with you. These...Read More »

Luke - 24 Weeks

24 weeks (almost 6 months) and changing so much!

...Read More »

Luke - 22 Weeks

Our baby boy is getting so big. He’s almost 6 months old!

...Read More »

Bright and Cheerful Nursery

I finally got around to taking some photos of Luke’s nursery. We originally had that room painted blue and were going to keep it blue regardless of if we had a girl or a boy. I wanted his room to be bright, cheerful, and fun. Gino had a...Read More »


Smiles

Smiles are contagious aren’t they? They work on babies; we smile at Luke and he smiles back. They work on dogs (ok, well sort of); I like to think Ponzo smiles when he is excited and we are smiling at him. They work in email; I admit I...Read More »


Luke - 20 Weeks

Previous Photos

Two weeks ago we attended the Second Annual Grass Valley Italian Festa. It was a beautiful warm day and we enjoyed listening to live music for a few hours. Luke was great all day and we had a nice time visiting with Bob & Nancy. The festival itself...Read More »


Luke - 18 Weeks

Previous Photos
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Luke - 16 Weeks

Previous Photos

Luke - 14 Weeks

Previous Photos
Luke, you were born in the last hour of a Monday night on May 16, 2011. The days leading up to your birth were filled with excitement and most of all anticipation.  You were due on...Read More »

Luke - 12 Weeks

Previous Photos

Well, this is it! A whole year of pictures. I started this project a year ago on my birthday and tried to take a photo each day to document the year. Some photos were exciting, some were a little boring, some were pretty, some were entertaining but I...Read More »


Luke - 10 Weeks

Previous Photos

Day 332 – Wednesday, June 29th
I hope this lady comes to pick up her cart, too funny. The sign says “reserved for the asian lady who asked me about this cart”.


Day 333 – Thursday, June 30th
Getting back on the...Read More »

Project 365:1

I am excited to announce a new blog project, Project 365! I have seen many creative blog posts that feature a photo a day for one year. What better time to start a project like this than on my 29th Birthday. Yes, I turned 29 today, the last...Read More »


On Our Walks

Gino, Ponzo, and I adore walking through our neighborhood in Land Park. Our home was built in 1930 and a lot of the homes around us are so unique and fun to look at. When we are out on our walks we find some of the most random,...Read More »


Happy Father's Day!

I had the pleasure of celebrating Father’s Day all weekend long with both sides of our families! I hope everyone had an opportunity to spend time with loved ones this weekend and to tell their Dads just how special they are. Love you Dad and Happy Father’s Day...Read More »


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