Month: August 2015

Transitioning From A Crib To A Big Kid Bed

 
We have BUNK BEDS!  Adam and Lake could not be more excited.  Alex put the bed together while we were away over the summer so when we got back from Minnesota this was officially their new room.  It used to be just Adam’s, but with his bed, rug and bookshelf gone I don’t think Lake even recognized it as his room.  Lake’s old room is now officially the baby room.  Well, it’s actually now the room that holds all the extra furniture and stuff that we haven’t quite figured out what to do with yet.  But Lake’s crib is gone, the teepee is gone, and she has never once gone in there wondering what happened to her things.  I think it was actually a nice transition for her, and when the baby comes she will never have the feeling that the baby is sleeping in HER bed or in HER room (we hope).  

So now she sleeps in a big bed, in a big new room.  It’s our first time really dealing with the challenges of a transition to a big kid bed.  When we switched Adam he was 2 1/2, and it was right before Lake was born.  At the end of my pregnancy she was breach, and we were pretty sure I would end up having a C-Section.  Since Adam was so big, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to lift him in and out of his crib during recovery, so we turned his crib into a toddler bed.  For the first couple of months he didn’t realize that he could get in and out himself, so he would call for us when he needed us or when he woke up in the morning.  He is so nice, that kid.  Lake is handling everything a little differently.  She sees that Adam gets in and out himself, so she knew right away that it was an option to do as she pleases.  For the first few nights it wasn’t so bad, we went in a couple times to help her back in bed, and after 15 or 20 minutes she was asleep.  Now it is a 30-45 minute fight for every nap and every bedtime.  We’ve tried waiting until she is super tired, we’ve tried putting her down super early (which seems to be the lesser of the two evils).  We’ve tried rewards, we’ve tried discipline.  We’ve tried sitting in there with her to make her feel comfortable, we’ve tried shouting that it’s bedtime until she lays down and stays in bed (I know, not my proudest moments).  We’ve tried songs, we’ve tried books.  It’s been about a month and it’s definitely starting to get exhausting!  Once she is in bed asleep we don’t see her until morning.  But she is so stubborn at bed time, and is just choosing to fight us.   It’s always, “I need to go peepee again, I need more water, I need daddy, I need another booboo (blanket).”  One day when I was painting their room I tried to have her nap in her pack n play in another room, and she ended up climbing out.  I know if I tried to put her back in a crib she would do the same thing, so at this point that’s not an option.  I think this is a phase of fighting bedtime more than an issue of switching to a big kid bed, it just happens to be happening at the same time.  Which is not awesome for us!  So we continue to fight the fight.  And tell ourselves that it’s just a phase and pretty soon she will go to bed the minute we say it’s bedtime.  Until then any suggestions are welcome!  
On a more fun note note this empty room has been a blast to work on, especially with this awesome Oeuf bunk bed as its centerpiece.  With a fresh coat of white paint (my new favorite is Benjamin Moore White Opulance) we are ready to fill this space with lots of love and personality!  Follow along this week here and on Instagram as we add more pieces to the room!  

A Fun Feature in Little Peanut Magazine With Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bags

So excited to share images from a fun project the kids and I did with Little Peanut Magazine and Petunia Pickle Bottom, shot by the amazingly talented Becky Kimball.  I have always been a fan of Petunia Pickle Bottom and their fresh modern designs that still manage to be fully functional diaper bags.  And their new fall line is beyond adorable.  How cute is this weekender bag?  So perfect for a quick overnight babymoon or your hospital stay.  Check out the latest Little Peanut Magazine to see more great fall PPB bags, worn by the cutest mamas and their minis all styled by Little Peanut’s founder and editor Megan Bailey.  Adam + Lake are wearing clothes from Marie Chantal and I sort of can’t handle all the cuteness!

 

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Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag

Petunia Pickle Bottom Weekender

Petunia Pickle Bottom Tuscan Twilight Weekender

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag

My Favorite Natural Pregnancy Products

all natural pregnancy products

When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the list of things that could potentially harm your baby.  Sushi, wine, jacuzzis , hot yoga, roller coasters, to name a few of my favorites.  Some of those luxuries are easy to put off for 9 months, but what about your daily skin care routine?  That can be harder to adjust.  Scientists have discovered a number of chemicals commonly found in our daily products could be potentially harmful.   Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know exactly how much of these dangerous ingredients are passed on to your tiny babe.  In my past pregnancies I’ve avoided the big ones, Retinol, Salicylic Acid, Beta Hydroxy, but this time around I’ve also been trying to eliminate Parabens, Phthalates and Sulfates as well.  Since pregnancy is often a time when your skin could use some extra help, this is not always easy.  I also needed products that were easily accessible (these are all found on Amazon, Target, or Sephora) and did not max out my credit cards.  Here is a list of some of my favorites that I’ve turned to throughout the past 30 weeks.  I am somewhat of a brand loyalist so you will notice some repeats from a few of my most trusted companies.

  1. Zoe Organics Belly Oil I can’t say enough about this amazing company that is so dedicated to giving moms natural, toxin free alternatives for their daily products.  I’m a firm believer in using a belly oil every day to make your skin feel softer as it grows and to help prevent and treat those dreaded stretch marks.  This oil is waterless and certified organic and also has ingredients to build elasticity in your skin after the baby is born to help put everything back together.
  2. Zoe Organics Belly Butter  This waterless organic shea butter is a thicker formula that moisturizes as you grow and promotes the collagen necessary for strong, elastic skin throughout your pregnancy.  I like to use this at night before bed, and use the lighter belly oil in the morning after I shower.  This belly deserves some love!
  3. Shea Moisture Intense Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner Finding a more natural shampoo and conditioner with no Parabens, Sulfates, or Mineral Oils was probably the most difficult.  Before I found Shea Moisture, all the other natural products I tried failed to make my hair feel ACTUALLY clean or the conditioner didn’t moisturize enough and left my hair in tangles feeling like straw.  I actually discovered the Shea Moisture line of products when a mama friend recommended the baby lotion for the kiddos.  I’ve since fallen in love with everything they sell.  It doesn’t hurt that they all smell amazing!
  4. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Mafura Oil Body Wash  With similar ingredients to their Shampoo and Conditioner, this body wash smells incredible and leaves your skin soft and glowing.  As an added bonus this you can grab this line at your local Target during any one of your weekly stops.
  5. Belli Anti Blemish Facial Wash Belli is another company that is solely dedicated to providing safe skincare to mamas and their tiny babes.  Their extensive scientific research into potentially harmful skincare ingredients has led them to a product line that is trustworthy yet effective.  Throughout my first trimester in all three of my pregnancies, I experienced some major skin breakouts.  It was not pretty.  This facial wash that uses lactic acid worked miracles every time.  Once my skin and hormones calmed down, this product left my face a little too dry (a common issue for me), but during the tough times it was a lifesaver.  Belli also makes an amazing acne spot treatment for specific problem areas.
  6. Koh Gen Do Spa Water Koh Gen Do is a Japanese skin care and makeup company that uses traditional Asian botanicals and homeopathy.  Formulated with mineral-rich water from the Yumura Hot Springs in Izumo, Japan, and a handful of natural extracts, this spa water is a miracle makeup remover.  At the end of a long day when all you want to do is get that belly into bed, the last thing you want to find time for is an extensive daily skin regimen.   This spa water does it all.   I love their makeup foundation and moisturizing gel as well.
  7. Koh Gen Do Soft Grommage Spa Gel  This spa exfoliating gel uses all natural ingredients to exfoliate your skin and promote cell rejuvenation.  I swear when I use this my skin feels as though I’ve just had a full service facial.  And although I love a good trip to the facialist, I often find it hard to justify the time and the expense, especially when I’m pregnant.  This gel from Koh Gen Do is Paraben, Sulfate, Phthalates and fragrance free so you can have bright, glowing skin whenever you want without the risks of harsh chemicals and abrasive ingredients.

Babymoon – Why You Should Absolutely Take One and What You Should Pack

“Babymoon.”  Even the word can sound silly.  And if you mention the concept to anyone from an older generation you will most likely be met with a smirk.  The idea behind the babymoon is to give expecting parents one last opportunity to get away before the baby is born, because it will most likely be a while before they have another chance to take a vacation.  Most OBs deem it safe for expecting mothers with healthy pregnancies to fly or travel up until their 3rd trimester and some even say it’s safe until 32 weeks.  

Being pregnant with #3, I have become a firm believer in the babymoon.  Your life is about to be sent into a tailspin and it’s nice to get away and catch your breath and get some chill time with your partner and with yourself.  I’m not advocating a bucket list trip to Europe.  If that’s in the cards for you by all means go for it, but if it’s not or you want to save that trip for when you can eat raw cheese and drink wine, choose an easier closer destination.  Even a “staycation” in town at a relaxing hotel for a couple days would do! You just want a break from laundry, decorating the nursery, organizing linen closets, and obsessing over your baby name choices.  Ok you might not be able to get away from that no matter how far you travel.  Bottom line, take some time for yourself, and for your relationship with your partner, and enjoy some last minutes of silence.  Sleep in, eat when you want and where you want, read a book, and get a prenatal massage (seriously, do it), and just chill.  

This pregnancy we are lucky enough to have a wedding for a dear friend in Ojai, just a couple hours drive from LA.  I am just entering my 31st week so it’s the perfect time for us to leave the kids for a quick, quiet weekend away at a lovely resort in the mountains.

 What to pack for your babymoon:

  

  

A book or magazine that doesn’t have anything to do with parenting or childbirth.  Leave your fully worn out “What to Expect” and all 5 of your guides on how to get your baby to sleep on your nightstand.  Find a good beach read or if you don’t have enough time away for a full novel stock up on trashy gossip magazines or fashion magazines so you can make plans for your post baby wardrobe.  Clear your head and enjoy a few minutes of non baby related thoughts!

Cute PJs.  Trust me, once that baby is born you will be reaching for those mesh hospital underwear or very large granny panties for much longer than you anticipate!  Find something cute and flattering that makes you feel pretty.  I did not choose the uncomfortable sexy lingerie option and instead turned to my favorite Plum Pretty Sugar for a gorgeous robe that I know will also be a staple in my daily wardrobe after the baby is born.

Swimsuit.  If you are lucky enough to get away during the summer or to a place with an indoor pool don’t miss out on swimming!  I know it seems that putting on a swimsuit in public when you are 8 months pregnant is parallel to your worst nightmare, but when you are nearing the end it feels really nice to float in water and let gravity help you hold up your belly (and your boobs!).  Just remember not to fully submerge into a hot tub or your body temperature could rise and be harmful to the baby.  

Your favorite belly oil.   I’m in love with Zoe Organics belly oil.  I swear it’s like liquid gold.  My skin is soft and smooth with no itching and no stretch marks in site.  And trust me, my belly (and hips and thighs) are already pretty stretched out!    

Comfortable shoes.  As your body grows so might your feet.  Those cute strappy heels you’ve been rocking earlier in your pregnancy may not feel so great after a couple days of traveling, especially if you are flying.  I’ve turned to my Birkenstocks many times over the last couple weeks and I don’t forsee going back anytime soon.  We will have a couple fancy outings during our weekend so a chose my favorite platform heels to try, but also included flat sandals with loose adjustable straps to account for any swelling or growing that could easily happen after a couple hours in the car.

Prenatal vitamins.  An easy item to overlook but important to bring!  Especially if you are traveling to another country, you may find it difficult to track down one you like that meets your needs.  

Medical records.  If you are traveling late in your third trimester it would be helpful to carry a copy of your medical records and a note from your Dr giving you clearance to fly.  This is obviously to prepare for worst case scenarios, but it’s always a nice to have on hand in case of emergency.  

Camera.  Or phone.  Something to document this part of your journey into motherhood.  Seriously, one day you will miss that giant belly!  

Frozen Cake Sugar Glass Shards DIY

Frozen Cake Sugar Icicles

This was such a fun and easy last minute cake decoration!  The “icicles” can be place on the top of any cake or cupcake or pressed into frosting around the side.  We made an angel food cake so our frosting was whipped cream, which looked really pretty with the ice.

To make the glass you just boil sugar, water, and clear corn syrup to a “hard crack” (300 degrees on a candy thermometer) and pour onto a greased cookie sheet to cool and harden.  It takes about 10-15 minutes to boil and about 30 minutes to harden depending on its thickness.

You will need:

a cookie sheet or jelly roll

cooking spray (I used wax paper instead per some bloggers’ instructions which I wouldn’t recommend, it ended up sticking to the glass and I had to peel it off)

1 3/4 cups of sugar

1 cup of water

1/4 cup of clear corn syrup

Get started:

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.  Make sure the sides are tall enough to contain the mixture once it starts to boil up.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat stirring often to make sure the sugar dissolves.  Reduce to medium.  Let the mixture boil away stirring occasionally.  It will eventually become a thicker, syrupy texture.  This is what you want.  The color is going to caramelize a bit, which is fine since you will add food coloring later.  If you have a candy thermometer, let it boil until it reaches 300 degrees.  If you don’t (since we were at the lake house for our Frozen birthday party I did not), you can test to see if it’s done in a cold water bath.  Have a clear bowl of ice water next to the stove, and when the mixture starts to thicken occasionally drizzle a strand into the water.  If the strand sinks to the bottom and is still mushy or sticky when you try to pick it up it’s not ready yet.  If you pick up the strand and it holds it’s shape and snaps and breaks when you squeeze it the mixture is ready.  Remove the pan from the heat.  At this point you can add food coloring and/or flavoring.  Since our kids are little and we wouldn’t be eating it, I just added 3 or 4 drops of blue food coloring.  Stir to combine and immediately pour out onto sprayed cookie sheet.  I poured my excess into a small cardboard box so I could throw it in the trash rather than risk dumping it down the drain.  Let the glass cool and harden on the cookie sheet.  When its ready, pick it up and break it into pieces.

Frozen Party Outfits

Frozen Cake Glass Shards