August, 2015

#realclothesproject

sonnetjames3I never quite understood how seemingly fashionable women could have children and completely abandon their stylish past. Then I had my son and realized that it has nothing to do with style and everything to do with expectations and insecurities and sheer exhaustion. On top of all of the self-imposed worry about how to act now that you’re a mom, you feel like you are expected to dress differently too. I don’t know why. But all of the sudden I felt… I don’t know, judged?? I felt like I had something to prove. Why?! Again, I don’t know.

I never cared what people thought of me, but after Mohawk was born, suddenly I was filled with doubt about every choice I made, big or small. Perhaps it’s a lot of change all at once… Perhaps it’s raging hormones… Perhaps it’s entirely in my head… I got my first giant tattoo and I love it. It’s unique, it’s moody, it’s pretty, and it’s filled with meaning. But literally, from the moment I got it I was seeking out photos of other moms with large, visible tattoos that still had a chic fashion sense and looked… respectable!?!? I was, and sometime still am, completely and utterly paralyzed with doubt. I fear judgement from moms. I feel like I have justify my choices, fashion or otherwise. Isn’t raising the tiny human enough work?! sonnetjames1

Back to the style part. I’m not suggesting we find our worth in clothes, but I do believe that a solid wardrobe has the ability to really amp up confidence! At least, I know it does for me! So I’m starting a movement of sorts… I’m calling it the real clothes project. Cute, right!? I am trying to return to the fun loving, stylish person of my past, but I am realistic, I know things have changed and that’s okay. Lately, I’ve longed more simple fashion than before I had my son… Not basic, but minimalist. I have the craziest urge to just toss 90% of my clothes because they simply aren’t me anymore… I have been doing quite a bit of research on capsule wardrobes and I’m fascinated. I’m not quite sure that I’m ready to make the jump to a 39 piece wardrobe, but I do think that I need something to help me focus my style wants. This is a work in progress, I’ll report back if/when I decide to downsize!

I actually only know one person who actually utilizes Pinterest for their daily fashion inspiration, but I am going to start a board, Daily Fashion, dedicated to not just ritzy supermodels and fancy-pants bloggers, but realistic daily fashion for chic, bad ass, stylish mommies. So please follow! Send me pins of things you think I’d like! I’m hoping it will be an inspiration for all of us!! And if you are on Instagram and you changed out of sweats, share the love and #realclothesproject!!DSC_0933

photos via kelsey erin photography | [dress] Sonnet James If you have never heard of SJ, it’s a brilliant company started by a mom, of course, and their play dresses are comfortable, stylish, and easy to take care of. They sell out fast, but are totally worth the $$ if you can snag one. Easy fashion, fast. [chambray] Banana, old but love this one [shoes] Converse

Our Favorite Products

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1 The Safe Sippy | 2 Tommee Tippy Bibs | 3 Homedics Sound Machine | 4 Happy Baby Teethers | 5 Tobbles Neo | 6 My First Stacking Cups | 7 NurseryWorks Sleepytime Rocker | 8 Zipadee-Zip | 9 Exersaucer | 10 North Star Industries Super Gate | 11 The Very Hungry Caterpillar | 12 Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair | 13 Honest Products [diaper cream, powder, diapers, and everything else] | 14 Baby Einstien Take Along Tunes

I would like to tell you that I have kept up my minimalist baby purchasing… but alas, I have entered full on TONS OF BABY CRAP territory. Such is my life and I’m okay with that. Rocco [and from what I can tell from my Mommy friends, most babies are the same] likes change. He likes his toys to rotate. He wants to play with anything and everything. So not only have I collected a plethora of new toys, my living room is covered with Tubberware, Amazon boxes, Patrón boxes, dvd boxes… all boxes!! Over the course of my nearly 11 months as a mother a few things have stood out as absolutely imperative, some I didn’t even think were necessary. Learn from my mistakes!! Here is a list of my must have baby stuff from 5-6ish months onward.

the safe sippy[1] I have purchased so many sippy cups and they have all been pretty unsuccessful. The Safe Sippy is the first cup that Mohawk has [a] held by himself and [b] actually drank from. It’s amazing. It comes with 2 different sucking options, we love the straw! Don’t waste your money, I swear this is the only cup you need!

[2] These bibs are literally the greatest thing ever. You can loose up to a 1/4 cup of food, easy, when your nugget is learning to eat, this saves food and definitely helps you keep a somewhat cleaner floor… Unless your dogs eat up everything the kiddo drops… but still it saves food, so there’s that.

[3] This sound machine is still our favorite thing! Nap time and bed time wouldn’t be complete without the soothing sound of rainfall! This is a MUST HAVE.

happy baby teethers, tomee tippy bibs[4] We love these “crackers” they have very clean and minimal ingredients and are great for learning how to finger feed and keeping a grumpy baby happy in the car!

[5] The Captain read about Tobbles on a “smart kids toys” website and a lovely friend owns them and Mohawk seemed to like them. They are a complete win!! Every kid we’ve seen with them has been a fan. It helps them learn balance and stacking. Plus, they look like a piece of abstract art.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset[6] These stacking cups for the win!!! He LOVES them and mixed with his Tobbles neo he is a stacking pro!

[7] I was one of those people that couldn’t even see the need for a rocking chair. I’m not “rocker” kind of person. BS. A good, comfy rocking chair is absolutely a must! I love, love our chair. It’s modern, but so comfy! The awesome pretty plastic white Eames rocker, while beautiful, would be such a disappointing purchase. That’s not the chair you want to nurse in at 4am when your nugget is going through a growth spurt.

FullSizeRender copy[8] The squirrel suit!!! This thing has saved our life since Rocco has started rolling. We were/still are obsessed with his Ollie Swaddle, but once he started flipping and needing his hands to flip over we had to figure something out. Wellll insert Shark Tank. My sis-in-law informed of the Zipadee-Zip people and praise The Lord. The suit limits their fast twitch movements while allowing them the freedom to roll and move around. It’s also a safe zip up blanket. This thing is amazing.

[9] We tried this at a friends house when he was around 6 months and it’s magic. He loves it. This thing provided me many moments to do dishes, make dinner, write this blog… This thing wasn’t cheap, but for 3 good months it was the greatest thing ever… He still leans on it and plays with it even now.

[10] Ohhhh baby gates. How I love thee!? Despite nearly breaking my toe on one, they are amazing to keep the nugget out of danger and the dog’s water bowl… These are super sturdy and can withstand babies weight as they desperately try to kill themselves… Kids are dumb.

[11] We have a few favorite books, Red Truck and Dada, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a must have for any baby! Mohawk adores this book!!! And I think most kids do, hence why it’s still on every babies book shelf.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[12] This one has a hefty price tag, but it’s by far my favorite baby purchase thus far. The Tripp Trapp highchair is ergonomically designed by those clever Swedes. It can go from 6 months to 300 pounds! That’s right, you can use it as a chair for adults! The design is so simple, it’s easy to clean and Mohawk LOVES it. I am huge fan of this product, despite making fun of it BB [before baby] It’s magic and it’s good design. Win-win.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[13] I am an Honest Co fan. We really use all of their products. I could go on and on, but that’s worthy of a separate post. I have literally re-purschased everything I’ve ever bought from them, except the dishwasher pellets – I didn’t care for those… We have the diaper and essentials bundle and while you might say it’s pricy, it saves me so much money from, my now, unnecessary trips to Target, gosh things escalate so quickly in that place. Try not to judge my poor self control. Between Honest and Amazon Prime, I NEVER have to go out for wipes or a new sippy cup.

[14] This music machine is a big hit with the munchkin. We’ve been loving this for months! Mohawk would stare at it when he was only a few months old and, now, he loves to press the buttons and dance to the music! And it’s not even annoying that annoying.

So that’s the short list of things that we love and use just about every day!! Raising kids is hard, deciding what to buy them shouldn’t be!!! What’s your favorite baby toy? gadget? piece of furniture!? Share with us!!!!

¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

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I’ll start by saying I had a wonderful and hilarious post completely finished when WordPress screwed me over and deleted it forever. Now I am rushing to rewrite everything with the same humor and detail in the 6 minutes I have before Mohawk wakes up. I hate you WordPress, go eff yourself.

I am not an entertainer. Every time we move I find myself uttering the words, “oh this is a great space to entertain.” Why?! I have no idea. I am never going to throw a party. I like small gatherings 3-5 people. I can cook a really nice meal, get a few bottles of really nice wine… I love cooking lunch for friends. I just think small, I suppose. So I’m not entirely sure what enticed me to throw a “yay we aren’t homeless/surprise The Captain birthday” party. But alas, we did it and I’m pretty sure it was a success.

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The Food. Let me start by saying I am not a meat eater. Like, I’m the opposite of a meat eater. Now I’m not an ethical vegan or at least I didn’t start out that way, so I don’t refuse meat in my house or berate a waiter if my falafel is fried in the same oil as something meaty… I’d rather not have my food in contact with meat, but I try to remain reasonable. I would rather take the hit and leave someone with a positive memory of a vegan than some cray person who made them feel like crap. I like to keep an open dialogue about the way I eat. Anywho, I’ve lingered too long here. You get it. Well, I decided on a taco party and scoured Pinterest for the easiest taco recipes and moseyed over to the grocery store. I sailed through the veggies, beans, salsa. I didn’t even bat an eyelash at the cheese and sour cream. But then… The meat counter. Oh. MY. VOM. Beef!? Yikes. I literally haven’t purchased raw beef in over 13 years… I was pacing back and forth for at least 15 minutes. I googled “does brisket have another name?” I had to finally ask a stranger to help me find brisket. He looked at me like I asked him to help me find Narnia. He did, however, eventually point me to a brisket. A 7+ pound brisket. Ew. I tossed it in my cart wrapped in plastic away from anything I would be eating… I moved on to the chicken, which wasn’t as foreign, I ate chicken up until about 6 years ago… I quickly eyed what I wanted and picked it up only to find it was covered in chicken juice. CHICKEN JUICE ALL OVER MY HANDS. I started looking around desperately for a paper towel or hand soap, then I started dancing about like I was going to pee myself. I eventually calmed down and double bagged that shit like a boss. As I was walking away I heard a women say to me, “chicken is so gross, isn’t it?” as she hauled a few cartons into her cart. You have no idea lady. NO. IDEA. Now luckily The Captain put the meat in the crock pot for me and shredded it, so all I had to do was fill the crockpots with veggies, veggie stock, and whatever else they called for that was veggie friendly. Everyone said the food was amazing and I am inclined to believe them because it was almost entirely gone at the end of the night. I made this chicken, this beef, this rice, and this bean recipe as my staple items!

FullSizeRender_2 copy FullSizeRender_1 copy FullSizeRender copyThe Booze. Since I had requested that people surprise The Captain with a boozy delight and an entertaining note, I knew we weren’t going to need as much liquor, so we opted to keep our drink list small yet plentiful. We made this delicious sangria via my food spirt animal the Minimalist Baker. We had Mexican beer, Mexican coke, and bottled water all in galvanized tubs along with cups of sliced limes. I would have photos, but all of our guests were ridiculously on time and I was barely able to snap shots of the food before it was destroyed.

The Fun. We rented a few lawn games which everyone seemed to enjoy! We have a huge yard so it was perfect! Oh and the piñata… that’s right I bought a monster truck piñata and filled it with mini bottles of booze… because I love my husband and this is ‘merica where you can do whatever the hell you want!!  We also had a cake. An ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins!?!? Who the hell am I!?!?

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The Drunks. Well the party started at 4, people were pleasantly buzzed and The Captain had completely succumbed to the dark side around or before 8:30. I was surprised to find the next day that even the “pleasantly buzzed” were actually closer to the black out/vom the night away drunk than I had thought. They just hide it better than old man river, I suppose. I think it was an exciting evening, even sober people were locking themselves in our guest bathroom. Par-TAY!!!! We put The Captain down for bed around 9 and people started filing out around 10, I had the intention of kicking everyone out around 10:30. What?! I was gonna be up by 6 the next morning. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.FullSizeRender copy 2

The Hostest with the Mostest. I will say, it’s not easy to entertain for a large number of people. Cooking, cleaning, introducing, and trying to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves is hard!!! I didn’t have one drink all night long, but I really did have fun. It’s absolutely exhausting, but so gratifying to see people talking and laughing and having a good time!!! I finished all the dishes and cleaning before 11 and I definitely ate 4 or more gluten free/vegan chocolate chip cookies, in bed, while looking back at photos of the party. And I’m happy to report that Mohawk went down around 7 around stayed asleep through drunkards slamming the bathroom door, yelling over FaceTime, and Mariachi music blasting. That’s my boy. But I think we will pass on that massive first birthday party… Momma’s partied out.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset