throwback thursday… halloween edition

LEO-HALLOWEEN-2011

Halloween 2011. Baby sushi!

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mood board monday… newborn essentials

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I had a great weekend myself attending Blogshop in LA, which is essentially a photoshop bootcamp.   The class was so so fun but it was a rough weekend because Lucy is on a bottle strike and I have a pretty bad cold so we were suffering together, separately…  Despite that, the time flew by as there was so much great info packed into the two day workshop! I hope to show off some of my new skills right here on the blog starting with my first Mood Board Monday post!

With a lot of friends having their first babies and setting up baby registries, I keep getting asked what items they will “need” for their babies.  There are so many baby products from wipe warmers to swaddle sleep sacks and sound machines and night-vision monitors the stuff can get crazy overwhelming!  With Leo, I think we bought one of everything.  The fact of the matter is, you don’t need special baby towels, you can use your bath towels.  Although, the baby versions are pretty cute. They make special pillows for nursing, soap for washing bottles, and bathtubs for babies…  some of these things are nice to have; but really, you can give a baby a bath in the kitchen sink. These are a few things that I just can’t live without.

Moodboard--Baby-Stuff

1. Diapers! Seems obvious doesn’t it?  Well specifically, Honest Diapers.  We love these diapers around here.  Not just because they come in cute patterns but because they are free of diaper-rash inducing chemicals and fragrances.

2. Boba Wrap.  I just got this when Lucy was born and I don’t know how I lived without it with Leo.  We have an Ergo carrier but he was really about 5 or 6 months old before he could sit in there comfortably.  This wrap is so snuggly and warm for baby that Lucy always falls asleep in it which allows me to have two hands free for grocery shopping, picking up Leo from school and even meals out.

3. Stain Spray. With babies come stains; I won’t go into details and gross you out but you will need this for their clothes and yours.  We love this version from Honest because it works great and it’s biodegradable and non-toxic.

4. Carters Swaddle Blankets. I use these for everything but swaddling. We throw these down on the couch or bed before we put Lucy down (supervised of course) to hang out or have tummy time, we use them to keep her warm, to create shade when she is in her stroller . These come in a ton of cute patterns for girls and boys and wash up super-soft.

5. Carters Flannel Lap Pads. OK, so these don’t come in a bunch of cute patterns but we like them anyways!  We always have one of these on the changing pad and a clean one right next to it so we can quickly swap it out instead of changing and washing the big bulky changing pad every time there is a mess on it.  Keep one in your diaper bag and use it as a barrier if there is a mess in the car seat.  Trust me, you will use these things a ton.

6.BABYBJORN BabySitter. OK, if you have little babies like us you will probably have to wait a few weeks to start using this (they say 8 pounds). You need a place to put your baby down while you get s!@t done! We found that this works well with Leo and Lucy.  I think it’s because it bounces with their little movement.  As a bonus, it comes in organic cotton and doesn’t have baby animals all over it.

I know I am leaving out a few big items like a car seat and something for the baby to sleep in but overall, you really don’t need a lot of “baby stuff.” Did I forget something major??? What are you must-have baby items?

my grandma’s pumpkin bread…

pumpkin-muffins

It’s been kind of hard to get in the Halloween spirit around here.  It’s about 85 degrees today in Los Angeles.  We wore shorts and flip flops while putting up Halloween decorations in our yard.  I’m starting to worry that Leo is going to boil in his dinosaur costume while trick or treating… I know, these are not bad problems to have.

In trying to get in the spirit of Fall over here, I decided some seasonal baking was in order.  I immediately thought of my Grandma Virginia’s amazing pumpkin bread.  When we went to visit her for the holidays,  I ate this stuff for breakfast, lunch and dessert.  It’s totally addictive.

Grandma always makes this in loaf form but I decided to make muffins this time around because Leo prefers things in “cupcake” form.  Who can blame him.  It also shortens the baking time for impatient people like me who can’t wait to devour a muffin or two.

It may sound a bit odd to put chocolate chips in pumpkin bread but TRUST ME, they are soooo good.

MY GRANDMA’S PUMPKIN BREAD

2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin.

Combine the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer or whisk (I would go with the electric mixer if you have one). In a separate bowl, combine all of the other ingredients except for the chocolate chips and mix well with a dry whisk or fork. Add your dry ingredients to the bowl with your wet ingredients until everything is combined and you have a smooth batter. Stir in the chocolate chips and portion your batter into the muffin tin.

I made mine on the smaller side and I actually got 15 muffins out of this batch.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cool (this is the hard part) and enjoy!

pumpkin-muffins

how to use toys and candy to get your child to sleep…

So it only took 3 years and a few months, but Leo is finally sleeping through the night in his own bed.  If you know me, you know that I am not a well-rested individual. We have failed at “sleep training” multiple times with Leo and most mornings over the past three years, Lenny and I have woken up with him between us with only a vague recollection of the early-morning logic that led us to let him sleep there.  I was honestly starting to worry that I would be waking up with his smelly foot in my face when he was fifteen.  Not that I don’t love a good Leo cuddle, but at some point, it’s time to cut the cord.

I had heard on a mommy message board about clocks that teach children to sleep through the night so in a moment of desperation I purchased the Kid’Sleep Classic. The basic idea is that there is light that illuminates when it’s time to sleep (a little bunny sleeping) and a light for when it’s time to wake up (a little bunny playing with the sun in the background). You tell your toddler, “DO NOT GET OUT OF BED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNTIL YOU SEE THE SUN.” And they will magically do just as they are told.

Well, as you all might have figured, the clock does not have magical powers.  After a few morning mishaps with the clock (otherwise known as parental error) we had it working. Around 5:30AM I would hear Leo shouting in his room, “Mommy, the sun is not up.”  So we had to adjust our game plan. This time it was, “If you stay in your bed until the sun comes up you will get a present.”  It worked the first morning.  A present a day turned into a sticker a day, five stickers could be cashed in for a present or treat, then 8 stickers, then ten… and now it’s just part of our routine. No rewards needed!

So maybe the clock is magical…or maybe presents and candy are magical.  Who am I to say?

Although I do miss our family slumber parties a little bit…

IMG_1915If only bribery worked on infants.

 

welcome lucy joy… part II

Having a little boy is pretty fun. You get to play pirates and climb trees and do lots of other things that adults generally shouldn’t do. When I found out that we were pregnant with our second child, I sort of assumed that I was having another boy.  That’s what I knew.  When they told me that we were having a girl, I was a little surprised.

I went immediately from surprised to Pinterest. Having a girl is a different kind of fun. I mean, the world of baby girl clothing and decor endless. Lucy must prepare for a lifetime of playing dress-up with me… I will probably still be buying her outfits when she’s thirty.

I knew that I wanted to do something super-girly for her newborn photos. Even before she was born I was emailing inspiration photos with our photographer Miranda Corbell,  she was super-excited and on board with my idea. With help from the lovely ladies at Clementine Floral Works we brought it all to fruition. We are so happy with Lucy’s newborn photos!

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And of course she did some lovely naked baby and sibling photos too!

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Photos by Miranda Corbell Photography

Have a lovely weekend everyone! xoxo, Lisa