I Believe…

Inspired by this beautiful quote, a look into what I believe in.

I believe in love. I believe people come into your life for a reason and that doesn’t mean they were meant to stay. I believe in mistakes. I believe in second chances. I believe in happily ever after. I believe happily ever after is often different then you expect it to be. I believe in living in color. I believe black and white is timeless. I believe in tall skinny heels. I believe good food is best with good company. I believe in change. I believe beauty on the inside makes for beauty on the outside. I believe in bosom buddies. I believe movies are best watched on rainy days. I believe there is no reason why champagne is not absolutely necessary.  I believe in being chic even when you feel like being dull. I believe a smile can change someone’s entire day. I believe dancing when no one is watching is magical. I believe in Disney songs. I believe tomorrow is a new day, fresh with no mistakes. I believe in family being the center of our hearts. I believe we should make more decisions from our hearts.

What do you believe in?

(Image sourced from one of my favorite blogs, Oh So Pretty)

Weekly Distract: Fall Bandwagon

A break from Mommyhood to bring you some recent distractions from around the internet. With a theme!

Happy couple days into Fall. Is this a holiday? It should be. A paid day off kinda holiday. No? Well then…

I love fall. And I love, oh, about a month of Winter? Then I want Spring and maybe two months of Summer. Listen to me complain, living in California where our “seasons” usually consist of seeing the sun on a daily basis.

Anyways, with Fall now officially in the air, I thought I would take a break from playing baby catch up (only a few more posts to go!) and join in on all the festive Fall festivities fun. (Ran out of F’s way too soon!)

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| ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | BOOTS |

Here is my list of why I love this time of year and why I can’t wait for spring! Because I am a little bit of a Fall downer (ha!) like that. But, never fear, I added some helpful hints to keep the winter blue’s away!

Fall Clothing:

Sweaters, leggings and pretty much the most comfy clothes you can wear while still looking completely stylish and put together. Until you realize it also makes you look larger then you are, and you just want to wear something that lets your skin breathe and the sun shine on you.

Helpful Hint: Remember that rule: One Tight to every One Loose? This applies to Fall fashion as well. In other words, baggy sweater calls for leggings or skinny jeans.

Fall Boots:

The taller the better. Riding boots, rain boots, booties, super tall heels. Looks great with leggings, skirts, jeans, dresses. Until you are walking through the mall and realize it also makes you so ridiculously hot and all you want is a pair of flip flops.

Helpful Hint: Keep up the pedicures. Even though you may be the only person seeing your toes, doesn’t mean they can’t stay pretty.

Starbucks or espresso in general:

Nothing better then ordering your favorite drink, extra hot, and enjoying it indoors while watching the rain fall. Until you realize you have to go out into the rain to get it, stand in an extra long line, and become completely dependent every day on having one.

Helpful Hint: I have nothing for this one. Buy a coffee maker?! Oh, who I am kidding, it’s not the same. Why do they not deliver during down pours!?

Baking:

There are so many amazing recipes this time of year. Warm banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, butternut squash soup, soup in general. Yum. Until you realize you have gained an additional 5 pounds because you are eating more then just salad and fruit.

Helpful Hint: Your cookies may be packed full of sugar, but you my dear are not. Do not let the bad weather keep you from staying active. And when possible, sneak those healthy veggies into your foods and use substitutes such as greek yogurt and apple sauce when you can.

Holidays and Household Decorating:

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, My Birthday. Decorating the house, dressing up, presents, the smells lights and sounds of the season. I have nothing negative to say about any of this. Ever. I love it all and wish we could keep a tree up all year.

Helpful Hint: Start early and bask in the joy. Then keep it up way too long (yes, there are still Easter bunnies on my mantel, but they chic ones so it’s all good!)

Happy Fall everyone!

One(ish) Week One Year: First Year Favs

Brace yourself, this is going to be a long list with a whole lotta links. There are so many changes in the first year and it flies by. They start as blobs and turn into these little people. The one thing that doesn’t change: they have an opinion. Some babes (like my own) love the swing, others hate it. Some like board books (usually to chew on) others need lights and sounds. And…the kicker… you have no idea what they are going to like until you do a little trial and error. My motto: Zero expectation, just always be prepared.

Here are the items we loved!

Peg Perego Car Seat: This car seat just feels safe to me. I also love the easy to wipe down fabric!

Uppa Baby Vista Stroller: If I had to pick this is easily in my top 3 items. I can push this one-handed with my latte in the other. This baby turns on a dime. My only complaint is our car seat (see above) was a pain in the ass to snap in. But now they have their own car seat available (Modern Family fans will recognize it).

Travel Bag for Stroller: We took babe to Disneyland at 3 months old, which meant trying to fly with a shit load of baby gear. I ordered the travel bag so we could check our amazing stroller, and it comes with a guarantee. The airline messes up and they fix it.

Car Seat/Stroller Cover: Hands down my top 5. I once had a lady in Costco lift up the fabric cover I had (the one that attached to the handle and flies open anytime someone sneezes too close to you, gross) and ask why I kept her covered like that. Well let’s see: bright lights, she’s sleeping, oh and so germy people like you stay 10 feet back from my brand new baby. This is the must have alternative to the cover you will see most often out there. We did not have one for the car seat but we did get the stroller one and it was amazing. Hands down best accessory made. Doesn’t blow around in the wind, easy to use, and you are happy knowing those sickly people who want to breathe all over your baby will be deterred.

Pack N Play with Napper AND changer: I didn’t even want a Pack N Play. But babe spent the first 4 months in our room for a variety of different reasons. The first one we used had the napper and changer on one part that flipped back and forth. But yea that kind of sucks when you are trying to change an explosion and forgot to flip the thing which takes more than one hand. The second one (linked) was perfect. Soft and comfortable, vibrating

Board Books: We love board books. Love. Love. Love. The pages don’t rip out from grubby little hands. They are often times chew toys. But the perfect length to use as a settle down tool before nap time or bed time, and oh so adorable when your lil one goes to read. They are a must at all times in our play area. Here are our favorites: (And yes, I could recite these in my sleep!)

I’ll See You in the Morning | Time for Bed | Belly Button Book |

Swing: Second to the bouncer, this thing was a lifesaver. There were many nights she slept in it. Nap time for a long time was in it. And general “I need to set you somewhere so I can pee” moments. The one we had (and linked above) had beautiful lights that kept her totally entertained in the beginning. I have heard not all babies like swings, but I am sure glad ours did!

Bouncer: If I could only choose one item to get us through the first month this would be it. They can sleep in it (though I am sure somewhere out there, this is a safety risk, so I will add: Supervised of course), hang out in it, play in it. The vibration and sounds are soothing and peaceful. It was a sad day when she grew out of this thing. We knew we wanted to have a child that was used to being set down (not to say we didn’t do our fair share of cuddling) so this was the perfect solution for us.

Mama’s and Papa’s Chair: I found this chair to be better for thicker legs but I love that it has the ability to grow with baby. We didn’t use it long, so I wouldn’t say it is my favorite item in the house, but it was nice when while it lasted. Now a bear sits in it, or a back up place to eat when her BFF  comes over.

Activity Mats (x1000):  What I love most about the activity mat is watching the learning progression. The first time we laid her down, she laid there, kicked her legs, and that was about it. But it wasn’t long before she was reaching and grabbing and twisting and turning over to reach new areas and new toys. These mats  bought me enough time to get the dishes down AND drink my coffee.

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Fisher Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick & Play

Toys:  Variety is key. Babies/toddlers lose interest in each toy really quickly. They don’t all need to have flashing lights and make noise, but if there is some interaction, moving part then it will hold their attention longer. Oh yea, and they learn something. Win, win.

Baby Food: I made most of the kiddo’s food myself. But there is something about cooking meat and pureeing it that made my stomach turn. These are also great to throw into the diaper bag for trips and travel. I feel good knowing she is getting organic, pure ingredients that I can pronounce. Here are our favorite companies available just about anywhere i.e. Target and Whole Foods!

Plum Organics |  Earth’s Best | Ella’s Kitchen |

Gap Jean Leggings & Shirt Onsies:  Jeans look SO cute on babies. Until you realize how little they can actually move in them. These were the perfect option. And I love the look of wearing a shirt, with still having the additional layer and coverage of a onsie. Oh, and I am a true believer the “boy” and “girl” sections should just be called “the really cute baby section.” Our favorite looks for Fall:

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Red Shirt | Jean Leggings | Grey Shirt | Sweater Bear Hat |

Puffs: You would think this was gold in my house. She loves these little flavorless balls of air! They melt in your mouth so fast I dare you to try to choke on one. (Please don’t actually try to choke on one, you will just look silly.) When she falls or is pissy put these in front of this kid and it’s like someone handed her their American Express card and told her to go crazy in Neiman Marcus. (And if anyone wants to give me their American Express for this reason I will gladly exchange for some Puffs).

I think that about wraps up our favorite list for surviving year one. Of course there are about a billion other practical type items (breast pump, blankets, sleep sacks, disposable place mats, sippy cups, etc.) the list is never-ending.

Any favorites that helped you survive not listed above? Comment below!

One Week One Year: Mama Fail

Well, obviously my catch up in one week was a total flop. My logic was being off between jobs would give me ample time to play catch up with a week full of blog posts. Obviously that did not happen. Chasing around the babe and planning a party took much more time then I ever anticipated. But I do still have some posts up my sleeve of our favorite products, clothing options, and of course how our party theme came together. Today was my first day back to work, but I can already see how this new schedule will be a huge benefit to my family!

Stay tuned for posts to come this week, but for now a little party sneak peak!

Cupcake liners in the floral arrangement. Last minute stroke of genius. (Or dumb luck)

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One Week One Year: Nursery Inspiration and Preggers Book

Wow where has this week gone?! Being at total stay at home mom during my week in-between jobs has been WONDERFUL but busy! Today I bring you all things baby girl nursery!

It was SO. BEYOND. DIFFICULT. to narrow down a nursery theme. Color pallet? Done. I knew I wanted soft pink and gold. I love pink and gold together. Love. If my husband would let me decorate the entirefreakinghouse in pink and gold, I would.

But a THEME. I hate that word. Theme is so…. I don’t know. I picture “Under the Water Prom” when someone throws out the word theme. But alas, I needed a theme.

I made two boards on Pinterest: Enchanted Forest and Vintage Mermaid. Loved them both, still do. But we decided to go with something we felt would be a little more timeless and cozy. We wanted to give our unborn child a forest. Nothing says cozy up with a good book like a forest. (A pink and gold forest, duh.)

But if someone out there would PLEASE do Vintage Mermaid and send me pictures that would be much appreciated.

See Enchanted Forest Pinterest Inspiration HERE and Vintage Mermaid HERE.

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| Crib | Bedding | Decals |

I made the prints myself from inspiration around the internet. And added a lot of very not-baby-friendly items to the bookcase which I am now totally reworking.

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| Decal |

Favorite Items: The beautiful pink blanket gifted to us. The rocking chair. The wall decals. Preggers Book.

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| Glass Jar | Bird Statue from Downtown Disney | Motorola Monitor | Frame Home Goods |

My pregnancy journal is one of my favorite pieces in the entire house. The second I found out I was pregnant I started a private blog so I could write down everything I was feeling and thinking from anywhere. My thought going in to it was wanted to have something for me to look back on as she grows up (and turns into a super bratty fun teenager) and something to give her down the road when she is thinking of starting a family of her own. I kept the layout modern and clean to keep it as timeless as possible. I put all my weekly bump pictures, weekly stats, stories and letters. I still tear up over it. It is never to late to document this time in you life, get to it!

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For those wondering, I use Blurb.com to print all my books. Although it has less frills then others, I find the quality and customization amazing. Second favorite (will all the frills) is MyPublisher.com Always on the look out for a new printing service, any favorites out there?

One Week One Year: Registry Catch Up

With officially one week until the big one year, I have decided to dedicate a week of posts to all things little. Playing a little catch up over the last year, inspiration for nursery design, projects, and super cute clothes. (Mama matching as well, of course).

To start, here is my best advice for the do’s and don’ts for your baby registry:

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Do: Be prepared for it all. Have the Gripe Water, Tylenol, bottle of wine (kidding…sort of) all ready. We needed none of it, but you can bet if we did, it would have been in the middle of the night. Might as well have it in the medicine cabinet. One of the best gifts from my shower was from a new mom. She gave me all the random products that helped her in the first few weeks. Some we used, some we didn’t. And the wine we drank.

Don’t: Wipe Warmer. I don’t see the point. Some people swear by these. Others hate them. I just never saw the appeal. Diaper changing in all honesty isn’t fun for anyone, but everyone gets used to it. And unless you never leave the house, those little butts better get used to a normal non-warm wipe. (But seriously, what do I know. See below for a note regarding listening to other people…)

Do: Places to put them down. We went into this with the thought process that neither of us wanted to hold her all day long. Yep >> those parents. We loved to cuddle and snuggle, but I also like to brush my teeth. The swing and bouncer were our favorites. We could set her down and entertain her, let her be, let her sleep, etc. It was a sad day when she outgrew everything.

Don’t: Buy a million of one thing. We bought a few of one bottle to see if we liked them. When we did, we bought more. You don’t want to be stuck with 10 dozen of something you can’t return and won’t use. This is true for bottles, newborn diapers (we moved out of these within a week), swaddlers (never used them, not even once), etc. Buy a variety and try different things out. See what works best for you. Then buy out every store in town.

Do: Your research. When it came to a stroller I had a very good idea of what I wanted. Something stylish, easy to fold up, light weight, and easy to navigate. We settled on the UPPABaby after test driving a few others around the store. Read reviews, ask opinions, and see for yourself. (FYI this is still my favorite purchase!)

Don’t: Feel pressured by friends or family. Just because it worked for one family, or two or three, does not mean it will work for you. I have a brand I love. My friend has a different one. And guess what, we both are happy. There is nothing that you “have to have” or “will never use.” Listen to the advice given from experience knowing that you are having your own unique babe. See something you want to try or would rather pass on, that’s totally fine.

Stores can be overwhelming so I spent a lot of time online shopping and searching. Here are my top three favorite registry items that we actually use(d). Hope this helps all you future Mamas!

| UPPABaby Stroller | Bouncer | Swing |Motorola Monitor |

When is it okay to not have it all?

We are consumers. We are Kardashian watchers. We are Ryan Gosling lovers. We are Pinterest devoted. Tori Spelling competitors. We make our cake from scratch (with organic flour from Whole Foods) and eat it too. We refuse to settle for anything other then perfectly manicured nails and wine on the porch when the kids go to bed (and sleep through the night by one week old).  We are perfectionists and dreamers by our own rights.

Until everything crashes down and you realize you haven’t eaten a real meal in two days, there are no clean bottles, the ___ bill is late, and “the bags under your eyes are starting to look like Hugh Hefner’s ball sack.”

We want it all, wrapped up in a perfect little Tiffany blue bow. And when that doesn’t happen (which most of the time, it doesn’t) we panic.

So I pose this question: When is it okay to not have it all?

Hear me out on this one. We all have big dreams. I still truly believe Jacob and I from Crazy Stupid Love are soul mates. But seriously, I worked toward a degree in Fashion Merchandising to accidently fall into accounting. My dream is still there, to find a way to incorporate my love of business and fashion into a career, but other dreams have come along since. Like raising my lil babe. I am putting some things on hold to fulfill other dreams, because I have accepted that I cannot have it all…not all at once at least. But as long as I am satisfied and happy with what I am doing, then it needs to be okay. Correction: that needs to be more then okay, it needs to be enough. (When it isn’t enough is when it’s a problem that needs examining.)

In a world where we are driven by perfection, sometimes we forget that it is okay to fail. To take longer. To rearrange our wants. To accept that we are only human, and there are only so many hours in a day. When we sit back and let some things go, let go of the image in our head, shorten our To Do list’s, perhaps some peace will come from this?

I pose this as a question because like you, I am searching for the answers. I am working on my own personal balance, goals, structure, timing…

I will say it loud and say it proud “I am a work in progress.”

And I am coming to realize that sometimes that means I will not have it all figured out, I will not always be 100%, I will use the boxed cake mix and canned frosting, and I will enjoy every damn bite.

Cheers to only scratching off only one thing off of my (endless) To Do list over this long holiday weekend, and enjoying the family time (and the amazing sales!) instead.

Happy (sort of Monday) Tuesday!

Side note: If you haven’t started following Five Words on Pinterest, Instragam, etc. do it! Inspiration, motivation, laughter and relief can come in as few of words as five.