Friday, July 25, 2014

Fabulous Friday: July Loves

I thought I'd share a few things that have been among my favorite odds and ends this summer. This is a varied grouping of goodies, but I'm loving all of them.

J.CREW ENSEMBLE: J.Crew is KILLING IT with their new fall pieces, and I am totally enamored of this outfit and this shirt in particular. Must. Have. It. Stat.

CUTE AS A BUTTON: This is my favorite pedicure color in the summer. It is a beautiful coral shade and goes with lots of things. In the eternal battle of red v. pink nails, Cute as a Button is the best compromise. (Yeah, I know you are all familiar with that battle...).

CIMENT THERMIQUE: Recently my hair has been breaking like crazy. I find little pieces of it everywhere. I am not sure if this is the result of a post pregnancy thing or whether the fact that my baby pulls my hair every chance she gets has resulted in this particular problem, but my hairdresser recommended this product specifically for hair prone to breakage. It is triggered by heat...which I definitely use a lot of to to get my mane to cooperate. I am hoping it helps!

INITIAL PENDANT NECKLACE: My sweet, sweet husband did buy me the beautiful Maya Brenner "N" necklace after our baby was born. I adore it and wear it every day, but when I saw this  little pendant at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, I had to snag it. On the back it says "One In A Million." How true.

BANGLE: If you read regularly, you know I love Margaret Elizabeth jewelry, and this new bracelet that she just started selling is at the top of my wish list! Meg, the designer, also just had a baby. Congrats to her!

EAU MOHELI: This is my new favorite fragrance. I love Diptique. My mom and I visted the store in Paris, and I love the sophistication and subtlty of their scents.

HARMONY THE MERMAID: Blabla Kids honestly has the sweetest little dolls, and my mom bought this one for N. as a reminder of her summer in Cape Cod.

CHEWBEADS: Okay, these necklaces are genius. Chewbeads makes adorable silicon necklaces that are meant to be gnawed on by little baby mouths! So, you can actually wear cute, colorful jewelry and let you baby put it in her mouth. Win win.

BARE SKIN: I know that I've written about loads of beauty products, but this Bare Skin by BareMinerals is amazing. I can't believe how glowly and lovely it makes my skin look. And, while I don't generally think you need a particular brush for this sort of thing, this brush helps the product go on evenly. As far as foundation goes, Bare Skin is reasonably priced, and if it were twice as expensive, I'd still want to buy it.

WUBBANUB: I bought one of these little guys a few months ago, but it wasn't until recently that N. started loving her. Now we cannot go anywhere without lamby. And, because she is rolling like a champ, she can't be swaddled any more and being about to hold her little lamby while she sleeps helps keep her hands off her face.

STYLO YEUX EYELINER: My sister was wearing blue eyeliner a lot, and I tried it out a few days ago, and I love it. I have blue-ish eyes, and this color liner makes them pop a bit more than usual. I think I might be a convert.

Feels good to get back in the groove!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life Lately: The Update

Here I am again! Boy, I have not been true to my word, but the blissful summer days of playing with the babe are starting to dwindle, and I am thinking of what life will be like when I return to work in the fall (albeit part time). She will be in day care (for at least part of the day), and with that comes some uninterrupted work time. I was so ambitious, and I truly thought that I would get back to blogging in about two weeks after her birth. No problem, I thought. What else am I going to be doing? Boy, was I wrong. I would say mine is a relatively easy and good-natured baby, but babies are a lot of work, and there is no way around that. Now I have a much better sense of what I actually have time for and what I want to prioritize in my "free" moments. I think that the fall will bring with it some time to get back to the things that I've (rightfully and happily) neglected during the last five months. I have been talking to my good friend about what I might want to do with the blog, and our wheels are turning. This is to say that perhaps instead of less...maybe what's coming down the pike is actually much better! Stay tuned as I figure out just where we are going with this little bloggie baby. And, to those of you who have checked in on my sporadic posting and sent your comments, I am so appreciative. To the others of you who keep asking me what's happened and where I am, I'm here, and I'm not going away just yet!

This is what's been happening lately. I have been in Cape Cod for almost two weeks again, and it is just truly my happy place, and, beautifully, it is also baby's happy place (seemingly). When we walked through the door this last time, she was gleeful, and she learned to roll over here, and went swimming in the Atlantic here, and had a little non-christening christening here last weekend. I wanted to share about that. I knew I wanted to have something to celebrate her birth, but I am not religious at this point in my life. The ritual of a baptism seemed like a nice thing, but more for the opportunity to have family come together, to officially name her godparents, and to celebrate her entrance into our family. So, we planned a small ceremony on the beach with only our immediate family. I asked a friend who is a minister and chaplain to perform the ceremony, and we all gathered at the Cape to welcome N. The day was absolutely beautiful, she behaved like a total champ, and she looked like a million bucks in her totally Cape-ified Lily Pulitzer ensemble with her flower crown. One of the best things we did was ask each family member present to write N. a note with a promise or hope for her future. Many of the sentiments brought me to tears, and I can't wait for her to open them someday and know how deeply she has always been loved. That weekend was a really beautiful moment in my life, and I will look back on that day with great fondess for many years to come.

This past weekend, we spent with friends who have a baby two months younger than N. What a wonderful time we had with another couple who is in the same boat we are! No need to apologize for screaming, explosive pooping, spit up stained clothes, or the fact that it sometimes takes two hours to leave the house. It was totally relaxing, and we plan to make it a tradition!

This week brings us back to CT and my parents' house. This summer has been a tricky one because of J's work and having the new baby, and being with my family has been a total joy. While I know that San Francisco is beckoning me back soon, I am planning to soak up the love (and HELP) in CT for a little while longer.

Oh, and requisite blogger question...who has hit up the Nordstrom sale? Love this time of year!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Musings: Currently...

I thought that a "currently" post (even though I used to do them on Thursdays) was in order to catch you up on what's been happening in baby town my life. 

THANKFUL FOR: I am so thankful that I have summers off. This one was an extended summer as my maternity leave bled into the summer months with the exception of two weeks during which time I was back at work at the end of May. Having five and a half months to bond, figure out how to be a mom, get my bearings, enjoy my growing girl, and spend time with my family is absolutely priceless. This time away from so many things in my life has been precious beyond measure, and I am endlessly thankful that I have the luxury of having this time. I know many people don't.

FEELING: This is a total cliche, but I am feeling I did not give birth to a good sleeper. She is getting better, and she has good nights, but, no, we are not sleeping through the night. I actually hate when people ask me how she sleeps because it is as though she should be sleeping through the night at this point. Honestly, I think lots of babies don't sleep through the night at four months, but when people ask, I start to wonder if there is something more I should be doing. I never could have imagined that five uninterruprted hours would feel like a luxury, or that a human being could survive on so little rest. (Note to pregnant mamas out there: invest in a good under eye concealer. It will become your saving grace.) The worst thing that has happened recently is that I've developed some intermittent insomnia. There is nothing more tormenting than knowing my beautiful babe is sleeping soundly while I lie there staring at the ceiling. Has this ever happened to any of you?

THINKING ABOUT: I am starting to think about what it will be like to go back to work. I'm only returning part time for the next year, and I think that this is a great compromise that will allow me to still keep a foot in my career and to spend lots of time with the baby during this incredibly formative time. I do want to go back to work, but I wonder what it will be like to leave my baby with someone else. She is going to go to a daycare in our neighborhood, and I have no idea what that adventure will be like. I don't know how it will feel to know that someone else will get to cuddle her and perhaps even see her have certain "firsts" while I'm not  there. On the other hand, I do truly believe that for me, personally, I will be a better mother to her if I continue to work; I am not sure that I could stay at home full-time. In this set up, I feel like I can truly capitalize on the wonderful time I will have with her while maintaining a little grown up sanity!

EATING: There is nothing like a swirl of chocolate and vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles to say "summer." I've probably had one too many of these, but damn are they good. Mmmm mmm mmm.

WATCHING: This summer my go to shows have been The Real Housewives of the OC and New York. (And The Bachelorette, of course...STOP. (Inside joke for those of you watching...)) This is shameful, and if I must watch TV, I should be watching something more high brow, I know, but I do love this trash. I have also been watching the new season of Orange is the New Black. The great thing is that watching trash means I can just sort of pay attention and not actually miss anything, which definitely works for me.

READING: Oh my lord, it took me about four months to finish one book! Unbelievable! I read Bringing up Bebe, which is about the wisdom of French parenting. Again, it did not tax the intellect any, but it helped during those nights of insomnia in the last few weeks! I have finally started Wild, which I meant to read a long time ago and never did. I can honestly say that at this point in the book, I am not seeing the allure of hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. Perhaps I will figure it out as I get further along...

LOVING: One of the most fun experiences I've had this summer was taking Baby N. to the beach. She absolutely loved the water. Over the weekend, we went in my aunt and uncle's pool, and again, she was thrilled to splash around and recline while I pulled her around on a float. I am so excited that she is a water baby, and I love watching her laugh and giggle. I can't is so darn cute.

BUMMED OUT ABOUT: I am really bummed out that I don't live in a commune. Weird, I know. But, this summer has shown me that raising a child with lots of other adults around is so much better, easier, and more fun than doing it alone. This summer, my sister has been with me almost every day, and that has been an absolute game changer. She couldn't love N. more if she were her own, and the thoughtfulness, care, enthusiasm, and energy she brings to Auntie-hood have blown me away. Also, when I am in my parents' house and my siblings are around like they were this past weekend, it is such a joy to watch everyone play with the baby, and I don't feel harried, stressed, and at the end of my rope. Aside from the fact that we don't sleep at night, each day feels filled with fun and amusement. San Francisco is a relatively isolating place for me to live with no real help around. While it has been hard to be away from my home there for the summer because you are never quite as settled when you aren't in your own space, I know it would have been exceptionally hard to be at home, alone with the baby all day without any family or many friends around to break up the time. I am bummed that I can't do this great communal living all the time! I know I've mentioned this in the past, but I am definitely pushing my bros and sis to think about the family compound for our future!! (Only half kidding...)

LOOKING FORWARD TO: The crazy thing about having a little one is that you never really know what tomorrow will bring. She might master something new that she's never done before. She might laugh at something she suddenly finds funny. She might make a sound that turns a room full of heads. And that is really unbelieveavle. Every day, you learn a little more about this person who is a part of you, but is becoming more and more herself each moment. I am looking forward to all the tomorrows during which I get to know my sweet girl and watch her learn about each and every thing in this wide world.

Sheesh-I know this was a lot of baby, but I warned you! Is there still fashion to be had? Decors to make one swoon? I'll have to look into that... Hope you had a great July 4th weekend!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Musings: I'm Still Alive

Hello, world. I'm still here. I know I checked out for a bit...okay, much longer than intended, but I am still alive and kicking. I have been thinking about this blog a lot during my leave, and I have often wanted to come, and sit, and say something, but my life and everything in it has changed rather dramatically. I just haven't found the time to surf the net, discover new cool things, and make collages. I am in absolute awe of those bloggers who have a baby and can still do outfit posts and scour the interwebs for all things beautiful. I don't know how they do it. Bless their hearts.

Not only is it a time thing, but it is kind of priority thing too. I still love clothes, and baubles, and beauty, but that love feels a lot more peripheral. Now find me a Baby Gap, and I'll drive 50 miles to check their sale rack (honestly--best bargains ever and cutest clothes) because baby clothes are my new jam. That being said, when I have thirty minutes, I don't really scan for content for grown ups the way I used to.

And, I think that's okay. I think maybe I can still blog. But, like me, this blog might have to change with the changing times. Maybe there will need to be less posts and maybe there will need to be some mommy stories. Maybe I'll write more. Maybe people will stop reading, and maybe different people will be interested in what I have to say now. Because my main squeeze, Miss Nevie, takes a heck of a lot of time and energy...but, look at that face!! Geez. Such a peach.

Let me tell you a few things about this gal. First, she is high energy. She loves to be entertained, to meet new people, to flirt, to play with her bug toy (she just loves that thing), and she has newly discovered her love of water. She giggles when you dance with her. She thinks it's the bees knees when her dad carries her on his shoulder. She is a fan of Eric Carle and Goodnight Moon. She lets me dress her up and coo over her...most of the time. And she only takes good naps when someone is holding her (hence the limited time for computer use!).

And I've become one of those know the ones who bombard social media with pictures of their child because they think their child is the cutest thing the world has ever known? Yeah, I'm that person. I've wanted to block those people from my Facebook/Instagram feeds, and now I'm probably getting blocked by my friends. Sorry, guys. I can't help it.

So, it feels good to sit down and check in. The long and short of it? I am going to come back to blogging, and we will see what happens. Posting won't be as consistent as it used to be, but it sure will be better than it has been recently! At the very least, I can always entertain you with pictures of my cute baby. Please don't block me. :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday

I thought I would reemerge to celebrate Fabulous Friday! This radio silence was not planned, but, as my friend said to me yesterday when I had to keep changing the time we were set to meet for breakfast, babies are the universe's way of reminding you that you ultimately have no control over your own life! So, sometimes the best laid plans fall by the wayside. I thought I'd give you a little peek at what's been happening in my life lately (while Neve sleeps in her carrier...on me...the only way she will ever sleep.)

A little over seven weeks ago, I was putting the finishing touches on this room:

And I was imagining a little person wearing things like this:

And then suddenly I had that little girl in my arms, and she was so tiny (relatively speaking).

But she started to grow so quickly!  (You might also notice that she no longer has jaundice! At first I just thought she was really tan!)

Now she is almost two months old, and we know our lives are forever changed for the better. (Excuse the bib that doesn't match, but she goes through outfits like nobody's business, so I was trying to eek a little more time out of this one!)

And she is one hearty little babe! In these weeks I have also learned that spit up doesn't stain, so no need to change that shirt, sometimes you might eat and only later realize that you have poop on your hands, that nothing makes your heart ache like hearing your baby cry, and nothing makes it worthwhile like seeing her first smile, and yes, you can run out of room for photos on your iphone. I can't believe I've only know this little person for seven weeks and two days, and at the same time, I almost cannot remember what life was like without her. Ultimately, life with a newborn is tough and beautiful every day.

That being said, I have truly missed filling my blog with things I love and interacting with all of you. While I am now truly aware that I have no control over my life and time, I hope that the cosmos allow me to check in with you all a little more frequently! It's been too long! So, the most fabulous part of this Friday? I actually had time to write this post! Woo hoo!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Musings: A New Year, A New Life

I know that I said I wanted to post two or three times a week. Yeah. About that... I actually had a few half written and edited posts in my cue. But, every time I sit down to finalize something, this happens:

And, of course, she is so cute I don't really mind. But, today is my thirty first birthday, so I thought I owed it to myself to try to do a tiny bit of reflecting in between snuggles, feeding, and diapers.

While I was pregnant, I would often think, "Am I really old enough to be a parent?" Obviously, the answer is yes. At thirty one, I am not even a terribly young mother. Thirty one just seems so much older than thirty to me. When you are turning thirty, it is this major milestone, and then thirty one just puts you in your early thirties. That sounds so...old. Yikes. How did that happen?

I am such a freak about birthdays. I love them so much and always like to celebrate mine for the month of March week leading up to the big day! I talk about presents, and what I'll eat on my special day (invariably donuts), and how I want to celebrate. But this year, I didn't really do any of that. In fact, I almost forgot my birthday was coming. I've been preoccupied...

I thought I was coping pretty well with minimal sleep. I mean I am coping pretty well, but it isn't until I actually try to write something coherent that I realize that performing daily tasks necessary for life and actually using the brain to compose something thoughtful are two entirely different things! When I think about what I'd most like this year for my birthday, it is probably four to six hours of uninterrupted sleep. A girl can dream, right? My goal for this birthday? Sometime this week--publish the two posts I have been trying to finish for two weeks. I'm starting small...

Hope this Monday you are feeling rested and refreshed. I plan to retain some semblance of my former self by celebrating with a breakfast of one (or maybe a few) donuts. That sounds like all the celebration I need.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday Musings: Living With Baby

I can't believe I've been away for two weeks! Among many of the changes I've experienced in the interim is my new relationship to time--I have no idea what day it is, what month it is, and what time it is. I started writing this post days ago, but couldn't finish it until last night. I have watched the sun come up more times in the last two weeks than I have in the last (almost-gasp) 31 years. And--in case you hadn't heard-- I have a child! Wowzah!!

I wanted to write a post about what motherhood has been like thus far, but I am realizing that I don't really have the mental energy to compose my thoughts. So many things are swirling around in my brain about how my life has changed, and how I've changed, about what I've learned, and how much more I don't know (and wish I did), but I think that if I try to write about all that right now, it will just be a jumble of non sequiturs, so suffice it to say that having a child is, as everyone says, the most life changing thing that can happen to a person, and I plan to share more about that when I'm running on more than three hours of sleep!

I have been thinking about the blog during this time that I've been away and missing this space, so I would like to get back to trying to blog at least a few times a week going forward. I am going to try to post 2-3 times a week utnil things settle into a bit more of a routine. I hope you'll check back often to see what's up!

The picture above is from an impromptu trip to the beach with Neve, Jeff, and my sister who is visiting us (and basically helping me to maintain my sanity). It was really a perfect day, and little Neve was so peaceful. I can't wait to do that again.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Musings: She's Here!

I am so pleased to announce the birth of my beautiful daughter, Neve (with a short E--have to qualify that!) Gabrielle! You may have suspected something when I went radio silent last week. I thought I still had a bit more time to go, but on Wednesday morning, my water broke, and off we went! By that evening, I was holding this amazing little girl in my arms. The last few days have been a blur of things, but my entire family surprised me and showed up to meet the new addition to the family. My parents, who I did know were coming, managed to find flights and arrive just an hour after Neve did! Then my sister arrived unexpectedly at the hospital the following day, and then the first night we were home, my two brothers and sister-in-law came through the door just as I was about to try to get a few minutes sleep (I almost wrote "before I went to bed," but that doesn't actually happen any more, so I've learned). Things are quieting down tonight as people need to return to work and their real lives while I still can't quite believe she's here. She is really the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

I suppose my blog maternity leave starts now--I'll check in as often as I can! 

Happy Monday.