6 Months!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Well our little man is six and a half months old. Almost seven to be exact, but I am in denial.  Just when I think he couldn't be any more amazing I fall in love with him even more. Declan loves eating real food now, he smiles all day long and bath time is his favorite time of day (let's just say he is not afraid of water). Pat and I had out first date night going to a wedding for half of a day. It was the longest amount of time I have been away from Declan, but I think it was good for both of us. I am still juggling motherhood, work, friends and family, but I wouldn't trade my time home with the little peanut for anything.

Speaking of juggling...I have decided to take some time off from the blog. I absolutely love writing this blog, but I think I have lost my focus and I'm not sure who I am writing for anymore or who is following along.  I need to press the reset button and start with a clear head. I don't know how long the break will be, but I hope to come back better than ever. Thank you for all of your support along the way and for following along.

August Budget Beauty

Friday, August 15, 2014

I am so excited to share my second Budget Beauty with you! My intensions are to get one Budget Beauty post out every month, but last month was a little crazy. So, moving onto August Budget Beauty! I am excited to share these three amazing and affordable products below. Check out my June Budget Beauty here.

Yes to Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer is my go-to everyday moisturizer. I love how light weight, yet moisturizing this is on my dry skin. The moisturizer also contains SPF 15 which is essential in my daily moisturizer. For the more ingredient savvy, you will be happy to know it is free of Parabens, Petroleum and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate $14.99

Essie Nail Polish in Topless and Barefoot is the perfect nude shade for your mani and pedi! I am obsessed with this color and the best part is you can wear it all year round. $8.50

Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow is not just one, but FOUR shades in the classic bronzy nude family (They carry 3 other color palettes as well). I was very happily surprised at how well these shadows wear. I recommend wearing an eyeshadow primer underneath for all day wear, but I really must say I am impressed with this steal of a deal! $4.99

Family Adventure Day: Muir Beach

Monday, August 11, 2014

This summer we moved up to Northern California from Los Angeles. It was hard to leave our wonderful beachy lifestyle and great friends, but we knew it would be important to live close to family now that we have Declan.  Needless to say we have gone through some major life changes these past few months (new baby, moving, new jobs, new home, new friends) so in order to keep looking on the bright side of things we make sure to have a family adventure day every weekend. Last weekend we took a day trip to Muir Beach. It was a delightfully overcast day which was a lovely change from the extreme heat we have been having. We packed a picnic, spent a little time on the beach and then went on a coastal hike that we just happened to stumble upon.  On our way home we stopped off at the Larkspur Farmers Market in the Marin Country Mart and grabbed a green juice for me and coffee for the hubby. We loved the country mart and I foresee many future trips to Muir Woods and the Marin Country Mart. All in all a great start to our family adventure days!

The Foundation I Can't Stop Talking About

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

After a few years of being faithful to my NARS Tinted Moisturizer I decided to take the plunge and try new complexion products.  We all get bored of our regular everyday beauty routine and I felt that it was time to change things up. I believe the trick to a beautiful complexion is beautiful skin, but it's nice to have a little extra help every once in awhile. I like a light to medium coverage with a subtle glow and I had been hearing rave reviews of BareMinerals new BareSkin Foundation. I am so glad I tried it, because it is fantastic! It doesn't even look like I am wearing anything and a little goes a very long way. I wouldn't bother if you don't plan on purchasing the BRUSH as well because I honestly believe that's what makes it go on so flawlessly... I am kind of obsessed with the the brush.

Why it's so good:
First of all I was never into the swirl and tap mineral powder phase. I found that it got everywhere and I inhaled half of what I was putting on my face. I also like the luminosity of a liquid.  This foundation is extremely lightweight yet evens out your skin tone and has a built in brightening serum. Not to mention it is formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance. Enough said!

I also purchased the Correcting Concealer and I am a big fan of that too. The shade I bought matches my skin tone better than any concealer I have ever had. It looks beautiful under my eye's and works great at concealing any redness. I do find it on the creamy side so make sure you set it with a powder.

Prenatal Fitness

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I believe one of the most important things you can do for you and your baby during pregnancy is to stay healthy and fit. It's especially important to strengthen your core and back muscles, which in turn can help push out that baby faster and easier (yes, please!). With the help of my pilates mentor Jill Cassady we created a personal pre-natal pilates workout that was safe, gentle and effective throughout my pregnancy.  I felt so fantastic during my pregnancy and I truly believe it was all due to my daily workouts.  Even just a long walk can help.

A few more reasons a daily workout can benefit you during pregnancy... better mood, less weight gain,  more energy, better body image, less leg swelling and a quicker recovery post childbirth...and the list goes on.

It's important to listen to your body and if it's telling you something doesn't feel right stop right away. You know your body best and you need to listen to it. I highly encourage you to train with a professional whether you are in a pilates class, yoga class or just working out at the gym. A little guidance can make all the difference as your body goes through this miraculous transformation. And if you don't have time for a class throw on your sneakers and take a walk. The fresh air and a walk around the block will do both you and the baby good.

I haven't shared my delivery story on the blog, but it relates to this post so I'll give you the cliff notes version. These photos were actually taken the day before I went into labor (3 weeks early) with this pre-natal fitness post in mind. The following morning my regular pilates clients checked in to see if I was up for teaching and although I felt something was "different" I still felt great so I said, "let's do it."  I headed to the pilates studio and halfway through my 2nd hour of teaching I excused myself to the bathroom and realized that either I peed my pants or my water broke. Fast forward a couple of hours and we checked into the hospital.  We checked in at around 2 pm and by 6pm I was already 7cm dilated.  At 7 pm I was fully dilated and my doctor calmly said "Lets, let the nurses change shifts and then we can start pushing." At 8:55 pm Declan popped out at 5 lbs 13 oz. Baby and momma were both perfectly healthy and happy. I fully credit my pilates workouts to my quick and easy (although, still incredibly painful) delivery.

*Images by Lux

Baby Registry For First Time Moms

Friday, July 11, 2014

I've been taking mental notes of my favorite baby products, but knew I didn't want to write a post on it until we were a few months in. I was waiting to see what actually worked and what we really loved. The baby business is a booming industry and as a new parent you are made to think you need EVERYTHING. I'm not going to lie, I was overwhelmed when we went to go register. We went prepared with a list we had compiled from several friends, but after two hours and only getting halfway through the store we decided we would make a couple trips to complete our registry. The truth is, less is more. I think we did a pretty good job at keeping it minimal, but I'm sure there are other items out there we would love too. 

That being said I put together my list of must-have baby products for the first time mom. Can you live without any of these? Yes, I'm sure you can, but if you ask me, these are all great to have on hand. 

Every Day Must Haves :
·       Stroller: My advice is to go try them all and get what works best for your lifestyle. We have the Uppa Baby Vista and plan to buy a jogger 2nd hand.
·       Fisher Price Rock and Play: BEST $60 we spent for the first 3 months. Declan wouldn’t nap or sleep unless he was being held. That all changed when we got the Rock and Play.  He slept through the night the first time the very first night he was in it.
·       Chicco keyfit 30 car seat. We have this one and love it. 
·       Monitor: We received a hand me down so just do a little research
·       Bottles: I am breast feeding, but also use the Dr. Brown bottles. After getting lactation support I was told to use the newborn nipple on the bottle (it's a slow flow) as long as I continued to breast feed and bottle feed.  It's worked like a charm and he has no problem going between the two. 
·       Baby carrier: Most popular Beco, BabyBjorn and ErgoBaby- We have a hand me down Baby Bjorn and Declan LOVES it. I've heard wonderful things about the Beco.
·       Solly Baby Wrap: I really loved using this the first 3 months. It was one of the only times he would nap. I plan to start using it more again. 
·       4 Moms Rockaroo swing: I greatly dislike how bulky and ugly baby swings are, so I was thrilled when 4 Moms launched this new swing in January! It's compact and extremely light weight so you can move it from room to room. We still love it 5 months in. 

·       Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer- This is a life savor when I am trying to get ready. Pop him in the bouncer and he is entertained for a good 15-20 minutes. 
·       Playmat- this is great for tummy time and also laying them on their back to play 
·       Diaper Bag- My advice is to go try out a bunch at your local baby store. Buy what fits your every day lifestyle. I went for one that I could wear everyday with any outfit. It doesn't look like a diaper bag which I love. 

·       Swaddle Blankets- For us these were trial and error, first we used swaddle blankets, but they
    weren't staying tight enough, so we tried the Summer Infant SwaddleMe with velcro to swaddle  arms. LOVED these. 
·       Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit: Hands down one of my top picks. We found it about 4 months in and it was the perfect transition from swaddling. 
·       Sound Machine: A must when rocking the baby to sleep.
·      Plush Blankets: You use these all of the time and it's important that they are soft and snuggly. My favorites are from Pottery Barn Kids
·       Burp Clothes These are my favorite. They absorb everything and are so soft.
·       Boppy Waterproof Changing Pad Liners cotton pads to put under tushy when on the changing table to catch tinkle or poop. It saves washing the pad cover every day. 
·       Changing pad and soft cover (buy at least 2 covers)
·       Honest Company Diapers and Wipes or Pampers Swaddlers Diapers and Sensitive Wipes. We get the Honest diapers and wipes bundle delievered every month and are very happy with the service. The prints are adorable and so fun to pick out each season. 
·       Diaper Pail: We have the Ubbi and love it.  It's compact yet holds a ton of diapers. It's sleek and you can use regular trash bags (one less thing to buy). Best part is NO stinky smells.
·       Glider: We LOVE our Glider so much and it's such an important item for your nursery. You use it everyday, several times a day so it's important it's comfortable.
·       Music Mobile: My Mother-in-law insisted that we had a music mobile and I am so glad that she did. Laying in his crib under his music mobile is one of Declan's favorite places to be. He watches the little elephants go round and round and giggles away.

·       Zoe Organics Baby Oil, Bath Wash, Diaper Cream and Everything Balm The gift set is the way to go! I love everything about this brand. 
·       2 hooded towels (love Pottery Barn Kids) and 4-6 washcloths.
·       Baby tub We kept it simple and did not get a fancy expensive tub and wouldn't you know he loves it. 

Summer Asparagus Salad

Monday, July 7, 2014

A few weeks ago, my good friends invited my husband and I over for a beautiful summer dinner. It was one of the first extremely warm summer nights in Nor Cal and they had prepared a beautiful Italian meal. Our hosts, Fran and Brett, had an amazing opportunity to live with family in Italy last summer with their two beautiful baby girls Gianna and Noelle. Their favorite part of the trip was their daily trips to the markets where they picked up fresh ingredients to prepare their daily meals. They have continued this tradition at home by visiting their local farmers' market every weekend.  They plan out their weekly meals according to which fresh ingredients they purchase. I wish I was this organized, but I am making it my summer goal to do the same. Thanks for an amazing dinner, great company and the vino!

Fran made this incredibly light and fresh salad to go along side our pasta and I can't get enough of it. It's extremely simple, but I thought I would share it regardless. Less is more these days with a busy five month old.

Cherry Tomatoes
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven on roast at 375
Place asparagus in a glass baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil 
Sprinkle asparagus with a dash of salt and pepper
Roast asparagus at 375 for 15 minutes 
Let cool and dice up with cherry tomatoes and avocado
Dress with balsamic

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