Big Girl Bath

Friendly reminder: There’s most likely going to be a lot of posts on here about not being able to handle how quickly Quinn is growing so hold on tight for me please.

A couple of nights ago I decided it was time to graduate her from bath time in the kitchen sink to upstairs in a proper tub. I didn’t want to; if I could keep her small forever so she could take a bath in the sink I would. But when her legs are dangling out of the sides and she’s trying to crawl into the other half, or even worse out of the sink, the move had to be made.

We were given an infant tub as a gift that I would just put on the counter in our master bath which was great when Q was fresh out of the womb itty bitty and her bath time didnt consist of a lot of water. But as she got older and wanted to stay in longer, we transitioned to the kitchen because I found that the water in the infant tub would get cold too quickly, and as someone who towel dries in the shower and huddles in front of the heater to get warm, I wasn’t about to be the one to let her freeze while I washed her. I was also still pretty sore from my cesarean and it hurt to bend over for long periods of time so it made sense on more than one level to hold off on the bathtub.

The transition happened around the same time that we traveled to Pittsburgh for a friends wedding at the end of last summer, and I didn’t want to lug her tub with me and impose on our friends whom we were staying with, so I went ahead and bought a Blooming Bath flower (depending on where you prefer to shop, you can find it here, here and here or here) and declared it the best. thing. ever. Thank you Pinterest!!

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For those of you wondering what it was like to drive 9+ hours with a 2 month old…Q was a better champ than we were.

Heres why I love the flower: its super soft and was big enough to protect Q from bashing her head against the sides of the sink, because you know, she’s totally in the head bashing phase right now.

Im not joking. She came down on my face so hard one day I was convinced she broke my nose.

The flower also wrings out really nicely and can be hung to dry without it smelling like mildew. I usually wash it every two uses on a gentle cycle then throw it in the dryer on low heat. It holds up to a lot and Im pleasantly surprised that a petal hasn’t ripped off yet. Definitely worth the forty bucks.

The flower obviously made the journey upstairs with Quinn and made a great mat for her to sit on in the tub so she wouldn’t slip. I think it also helped her transition because it was something she’s so familiar with, which I was thankful for because the first time I set her down into the tub her beautiful huge eyes got even bigger and she freaked a little. Don’t even ask what she did when I turned the faucet on to fill the tub a little more.

Guys, this is madness! How is my baby big enough for a tub?!

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Guess Im going to have to invest in some bath toys now. I won’t admit how excited I really am about that part.

At least she thinks the bubbles are delicious!

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Country French Omelette

One of my favorite things to make for breakfast stems from an episode of Barefoot Contessa I watched a while back about Country French Omelettes. Let me just go off on a short tangent by saying that Food Network rocks.

This isn’t a recipe for your traditional old folded omelette; it calls for a little baking action. While Ina Garten has pretty much dubbed the name and recipe as her own (if you google it, her name pops up everywhere), there are so many ways you can make it your own recipe as long as you have the basics down and its super easy.


 Ingredients:

1-2 small potatoes, diced

2 cups of fresh baby spinach

1 cup of shredded cheese

4 large eggs

1 garlic clove

1 small shallot

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of black pepper

1/2 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of parsley

1/4 cup of milk

1 tbs of olive oil


Im the kind of girl who likes to get everything I need before I start prepping and cooking, and then clean as I go, because who wants to clean a kitchen during a food coma? So I chopped all of my veggies first: shallot, garlic, potatoes. Then I mixed my eggs, milk and a 1/2 cup of the cheese and cleaned everything up.

Sprinkle an oven safe skillet or pan with some olive oil and let it heat up for a minute. I used my beloved crepe pan from Crate and Barrel (here) that Ive had longer than I can remember, but any pan is good as long as you can throw it in the oven without the risk of any parts burning or melting off. When the pan is good and hot, throw in the diced potatoes and cook until brown. They don’t have to be completely soft because they’ll finish cooking in the oven. Throw in the shallots, garlic and spinach.

You can use any vegetable you want (broccoli or leeks are a great option too!) but Im a little obsessed with spinach and eat it almost every day so I obviously had to make an omelette with it. And you’re probably wondering why theres no bacon. Well. There would be bacon, but we spaced at the store the other day and came home without it. You tend to forget a lot of things when you’re new parents. A lot of very important things. Like bacon.

Once the spinach is just cooked, pour in the egg mixture evenly over all of the veggies and cook until the edges start pulling away from the sides of the pan, then spread the top of the mixture with the other 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, sprinkle with the paprika, parsley, salt and pepper and throw the pan uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.

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Jason teases me that half of the omelette will probably end up in the trash because most of the time I eat like a bird, but I can tell you that this is one thing I can easily devour on my own. I usually eat half of it in one sitting its so good!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Jail Break

The past month or so Q has been hitting me with some major whammy’s in the “Baby’s First’s” department:

First crawl — backwards. But who cares, a crawl is a crawl!

First voluntary bite from a spoon — short lived, but this is monumental in our house. She’s got major beef with utensils for reasons I’ll never know.

First wave goodbye — its extra adorable because she’s actually waving at herself.

First teeth — yes, that is plural for holy shit. She sprouted two pearls of perfection after a solid five months of drool, teething rings and oil, tylenol (for those endless nights of screaming) and bib after bib after bib. And my goodness they’re tiny weapons of mass destruction. Im convinced she sharpens them at night while we’re sleeping.

All of these are the tiniest of things that reduce me to tears on more than one occasion; things of which my friends who haven’t been blessed with their own littles yet won’t completely understand until it happens to them. I know, because I was once one of them. Im pretty cool with her growing up as a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal; I think its a pretty great character trait in a world full of all too serious phonies. But Im not cool with the whole growing part.

Not yet.

And then a couple of nights ago when I was playing around with my in-laws DSLR camera (Sony a55) in the nursery, THIS happened.

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….what?

To be honest, I didn’t even know what to do or say, so I yelled (well, okay, I screamed) downstairs to Jason and kept snapping pictures while Q tried to escape her crib. He walked in and busted out laughing while I tried to hold back yet another set of dramatic mom tears. To all of you wonderful first time momma-to-be’s: if you think for a second that your emotional roller coaster comes to a halt once your baby is born, you are off your pretty little rockers. Newsflash, it gets worse so you might as well invest in a lifetime supply of waterproof mascara.

The determination this child had to stand up and support herself was unreal. You can literally see the strain in those darling little fingers!

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She managed to pull herself up again and last a couple of minutes chatting away at nothing special. And then she fell backward and thought everything in the world was so downright hysterical that she laughed about it for a solid five minutes. I hope that never changes because the world needs more laughter.

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Its become common for Jason and I to talk about how insane and terrifying it is that she is growing so quickly. Theres something new about her daily, and I sit more often than not staring at photos of her and her first days with us.

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Jason says I torture myself by doing it, mostly because I almost always end up shedding a tear (shocker). Its amazing how you can grow a tiny human (or alien invader, depending on your mood) inside you within a 10 month span and then in that same amount of time they morph at lightning speed into a babbling, mobile, full of personality and LIFE little being.

Ive been putting off going through her drawers and closet for a while now to organize and pull out clothes she’s grown out of, but thats only because Im avoiding a complete meltdown. Last time I thought it would be fun to compare her newborn sizes with her fresh new six month sizes. It was not fun. It was stupid. I ended up huddled on the floor in a ball a babbling mess. Now she’s rapidly growing into nine month sizes. What is this madness?!

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I won’t lie, these photos give me baby fever again. Like fresh, snuggly newborn (without the bleeding boobs part) kind of fever. But, one of the best pieces of advice we’ve been given by dear close friends is to wait until Q is potty trained before we think about another one. Thats such a brilliant point that I never thought of because diapers aren’t cheap, and when you sit there with your husband throwing Rock Paper Scissors to see who gets to clean up the next major up-to-the-chin blowout (yes, that happened and no I don’t wanna talk about it), the last thing you want is to be juggling TWO blowouts. So for now I’ll just torture myself some more with the photographic timeline of Quinn’s growth, deal with a couple more years of baby fever and go through the painful process of lowering her crib again.

Should be pretty easy, right?

Sweet Tooth – Part 1

I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest. Here’s why:

We use it at the beginning of every week to put together our food shopping list. With all of the downright craziness in our lives, it’s hard to sit and figure out what we really want for dinner the nights that Jason is home. For that, I love.

Then theres all the other free hours, minutes and seconds of the week when I get completely sucked into the world of dream closets, DIY’s and super adorable must-have baby products and before I know it, I’m whipping out my credit card and burning yet another hole in my bank account. I love and hate that.

Okay, so the spending isn’t that bad, but it sometimes feels like it is. I suppose I should wait to feel bad when Jason starts saying something about it. Ha.

This time, I’ve been paying particular attention to the food boards and fueling my inner cookie monster. I find it totally weird that I’m more hungry with more bizarre cravings than ever now than when I was pregnant. So when I stumbled upon a pin for homemade pop tarts, I may or may not have pinned it more than once. Check out this recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Pop tarts always make me chuckle a little for the sole reason that when we were younger, for whatever reason, my brother used to pronounce them as “parp tart”. Come to think of it, I think he still does. And you don’t have to make him say it five times fast!

Anyway, I usually stick straight to the recipe when Im making things for the first time, then if it comes out as nothing special, I’ll tweak it to my liking. However, I did tweak this one a smidge. For example, a tablespoon of sugar turned into a heaping tablespoon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract just makes everything better. As a girl who orders a white mocha with 2 pumps of caramel, 2 raw sugars and a huge handful of vanilla powder on the regular, Im no stranger to sweet. I like sweet.

I made two batches; one with nutella filling and the second with chocolate. See? SAAA-WEET. I always opt for the Ghirardelli baking bars when I make anything chocolate and these I melted in a double boiler with a little butter. IMG_4467

The dough is the usual song and dance…flour, sugar, salt and extra cold butter. I stash sticks of unsalted butter in my fridge like theres no tomorrow, but I threw a couple of sticks in the freezer to make them easier to dice. And into the food processor everything went. Of course, I could have just hand mixed this myself, but theres a high I get when I pulse food with a super sharp, super fast blade. I find myself fishing for excuses to use it for everything. It makes food prep so easy!

In the spirit of the impending spring season (come onnnnnnnn Spring!) I whipped out my flower cookie cutter because you know, I thought flower shaped pop tarts would be AWESOME.

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Awesome they were not.

The flowers were hard to assemble and ended up falling apart or looking like a big mound of yuck, so I settled for the traditional rectangular tarts and they came out adorable!

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These are about half the size of the store bought Pop Tarts so with that comes half the guilt of eating one! The glaze is super simple to make too. I mixed 2 parts powdered sugar to 1 part water and added the tiniest drop of red food coloring. They can be enjoyed at room temperature, but I prefer popping (get it?) them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Ive already had three.

Im obviously not sleeping tonight so I may as well cruise the pin boards for some more yummy recipes. Or baby stuff.

Whatever.

Im going to start this post off by stating the obvious: Home Goods is a-mazing. I don’t think Ive ever walked out of that place without something and tonight, for the second time in a row proved that I cannot go in there and leave with just what I was looking for. A few weeks ago, we were out running errands and HG was on the list of stops because I needed a basket to keep Quinn’s toys in for the living room. We had officially gotten to that stage in parenthood where you step on a toy in the most random part of the house and yell out a slew of four letter expletives and cursing the asshole who ever invented something as stupid as wooden blocks.

Im only kidding, wooden blocks are pretty awesome.

So here’s what happened: I was in mission mode that day and was doing a pretty good job of getting what I needed and moving on to the next stop. If you know me, you know this is monumental. We walked into Home Goods and like the clever little merchandisers that they are, had a small collection of eye-catching, amazing pieces right at the front. I know how it works, I worked retail for a long, long time. That day there were a couple of console tables, a slipper chair in a pretty delicious, colorful fabric and a sofa. Jason knows the deal too as he works retail, so it usually takes something pretty good to catch his eye, and like me, the sofa sucked him right in. We both noted that it was a nice sofa and Jason being Jason goes, “Yeah, for a thousand bucks.”

So like the idiot sucker of a consumer that I am, I checked the price tag.

$499 it read.

It was a mistake. Surely it had to be a mistake. Some new kid two days into his new job had to have put the wrong price tag on it.

Nope.

You know you have to have something when you just.cant.get.it.out.of.your.head.

Long, hilarious story short: twenty minutes of browsing, lunch, and a haircut later we were back at Home Goods for a second time. I went in for a basket for Q’s toys, and indeed left with a basket…and the sofa.

Fast forward to today. We were out running errands again, and Jason had to stop at one of his fellow company stores to pick up something that he needed for his overnight resets, then we hopped over to Carters and dropped a load of moolah for Quinn’s spring wardrobe and ya di da. Usual errand stuff. I recently reupholstered our coffee table into an ottoman, because why the hell not, and noted that I wanted to run into Home Goods to see what they had for trays to put on top. We split up in the store like we always do (we cover more ground that way) and then met up in another 15 minutes or so. Jason found this gem and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

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I should send him out more often when I need decor. BAM, mission accomplished. Got what I needed so we left, right? Uh no.

Somehow we ended up in the kitchen section because that is another weakness of mine (I won’t even admit how many times I wander into the Home/Kitchen section at Anthropologie and walk out with stuff that I really don’t need). Jason (again) found these AWESOME drinking glasses for $7.99. What the WHAT?!

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We love finding cool things like this that tie so easily into the style of our home and get so excited when a company as huge and recognized as Home Goods carries unique items that you can’t find as easily in other major chains.

Another thing that I’ve been itching to get for a while now is a bigger jar to store Quinn’s hair bows in. As this blog progresses, those who don’t know me or my daughter will learn pretty quickly that 99% of the time that girl always has a hair bow, wrap or headband in her hair. I have always loved the idea of an apothecary jar to house fun things in and I found this super cute piece hiding in the back of a top shelf in the corner of the store. For $10 I obviously grabbed it.

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So at this point, Jason is juggling the drinking glasses and coffee table tray, while Im pushing the stroller, hugging onto the apothecary jar and swinging (which I forgot to mention) this adorable robe/slipper set for Quinn.

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Then Jason starts joking how our self control goes out the door once we cross the threshold to this store every. single. time and that we should leave as soon as possible before our wallets catch fire. The whole time, one of the store employees was cracking up while he was straightening up the shelves next to us. Glad we could make someones day a little better! 🙂

When we bought our house last spring, no exaggeration, we were at Lowes and Home Goods three times a week for a solid month and lets be honest here, it wasn’t exactly like I could disguise myself; I have flaming red hair and was ready to pop a baby out. It was pretty embarrassing!

I’m hoping to find a few things to spruce up my downstairs bathroom for my next mini project. Ive got bare, happy yellow walls (Sherwin Williams Jersey Cream) against bright white wainscoting that I’m itching to add a little more oomph to. Lets just see if I can leave HG this time with no more than I need.

Ha! Yeah, right.

Liquid Gold

For the past few years I’ve been a BB Cream user through and through. I’ve never been able to find a foundation that sits well with or rather, on, my skin. A few hours in they tend to get really cakey (if thats not a word, it is now!) and it highlights all of the imperfections that Im trying to hide. I touch my face a lot too out of terrible habit, and the foundation seemed to just completely disappear the second my hands came in contact with my skin.

I first really discovered BB Creams when I got a pretty generous sample of Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Beauty Balm in my Birchbox and LOVED how it felt and even more how it lasted on my skin. It didn’t feel heavy, and it covered my redness and blemishes just enough without looking like I dumped ten pounds of makeup on my face. I eventually switched to the Black Label Detox which was equally as good, but I felt like it left a purple-like tint on my face sometimes. Could have been the lighting in my house but its always easier to blame the product.

Then I was introduced by a dear friend to the Skintone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream at Kiehl’s when I became pregnant with Q and my skin went from tolerable to downright wild. I couldn’t say better things about that product, especially since it was formulated with Vitamin C and SPF 50. The second I got an inkling that I was running low I would be back in Kiehl’s in a flash to replenish. But since I’ve become a stay at home mom, I haven’t been able to restock it as easily as I’d like since the closest Kiehl’s counter is 40 minutes away at Nordstrom.   I could just as easily order it, but for this odd reason I hate buying makeup online.

One day, I was scrolling through Instagram while Q was slumbering away and I came across a post from a lifestyle blogger who I follow about Bare Minerals’ new Complexion Rescue cream. I figured since I had pretty much run out of anything remotely tinted to put on my face a month ago, I would give something different a try. My face was longing for an even complexion, even if I spend most of my days hanging just with Q. Jason noted the other day that my makeup looked nice but why put it on if I wasn’t going anywhere, and I simply responded, “Because it makes me feel more put together”, which is true. I hate schlepping around in my pajamas all day. I was also headed out the door the next day to see a movie at Patriot Place with Jason (American Sniper is a must see by the way), so it was a great opportunity to stop by Ulta and check it out.

I prefer buying my makeup at places like Ulta or Sephora so that I can test it first, but something like a BB Cream or Foundation is a bit hard to really tell how good it is just by swatching it on the back of your hand. I obviously liked how it felt, and the price was certainly considerably less than my usual Kiehl’s cream, so I bought it.

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I don’t really know why I never used Bare Minerals before and I’m not even sure what I should classify this product as. Is it a BB Cream? Tinted Moisturizer? Foundation? Who cares, its AWESOME. The bonus is that it comes in 10 shades and is formulated with SPF 30.

The brush is actually really helpful too. Ive always been a finger-application kind of gal when it comes to any liquid form of makeup; sponges are huge black holes for wasted product and garner TONS of bacteria. I found that when I applied this liquid gold to my face and blended it with the brush, it covered everything evenly with the lightest layer possible. Im a believer of foundation brushes now!

Some might ask, you’re a mom now, how do you even find the time to do your makeup? Two things: Q goes down for a 45 minute nap about two hours after she wakes up in the morning so I take that as my opportunity to pull myself together for the day, get pretty and stuff some food down my throat. And I’ve proudly mastered hauling ass when it comes to hair and makeup. I’ve left most of my shame within the four walls of the hospital that I labored Quinn in, so most of the time I don’t even give a crap what other people think of my appearance.

Im pretty sure I went an entire day running errands last week with sweet potatoes in my ear and only realized it when I was taking my earrings out before I went to bed that night. Whoops.

With that, I’ve cut down on my usual beautifying routine. I still religiously wash and care for my skin twice a day (6-step skincare system, WHAT?!) and I think I have that to thank for being able to use such limited products now and look decent as a result. Now I only wear this beautiful blend of awesomeness, a little concealer (MAC Studio Finish is my weapon of choice and lasts forever), and some mascara (Mally is my current fav). Of course every now and then I’ll brush on some bronzer (ever so lightly since lets be honest, Red Heads look RIDICULOUS with a fake tan) or cream blush.

These products are just the tiniest dent in my arsenal which is scattered all over my house; just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I still can’t be a product junkie!

The baskets in the little nook in this previous post? Those are both full of product too. 🙂


Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

Bare Minerals Smoothing Face Brush

Mom Friends

Today Q and I decided to tag along with Jason to his dentist appointment. He’s been working overnights lately and after he gets home around 8am and sleeps until 1 or so, it leaves little room for us to all spend time together before he has to head back in.

Damn you retail.

Not that us kickin it in the waiting room while he gets poked and prodded in another room is exactly spending quality time together but its the little things. Like the drive down and back. Or slowly circling the block like a couple of creepers looking for a parking spot because there is snow EVERYWHERE. Seriously, its #$%&@*! ridiculous how much there is.

(sidenote: Ive discovered today that the snow on my property is now officially up to my boobs. It was a total WTF moment.)

ANYWAY, back to the dentist, who is also Jason’s uncle, so a regular visit also doubles as a bi-annual fam reunion. At this point everyone in the office knows who we are and because Quinn is beyond cute she sort of steals the show. She knows it too and totally uses it to her advantage. I was feeding her on one of the comfy sofas in the waiting room and every time someone walked in or looked her way, she’d toss her bottle, perk up and start “chatting”. Haha I can’t even get mad at her either because its so CUTE!

About 40 minutes in, this really nice woman walked in and sat down next to me. She was so personable and fun to talk to and I was sad that we only chatted for a few minutes because Jason’s appointment was over. After stroking Q’s ego for a few minutes (ha!) we got to chatting about the challenges of being a stay at home mom. Don’t get me wrong, there are far more rewards than challenges and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But sometimes it feels so good to talk and vent to someone who isn’t judging or shaming (Mom Shaming is totally a real thing folks and its evil) every move or decision you make. Its really shitty when you think you’ve got a new mom friend and then BAM she slams you with a below the knee “Oh, you formula feed?”

“Why, yes I do because my boobs are assholes.”

Seriously?

I would totally note the woman’s name in the waiting room today if I didn’t absolutely suck at remembering simple stuff like that, but I knew I liked her when she said, “You know what? As beautiful and natural as it is most of the time, sometimes breastfeeding sucks and it completely changes you and THATS what they don’t tell you”

HALLELUJAH! Someone GETS IT!

And its true. Sometimes it fucking blows. On Q’s two day birthday she drew blood. I’ll never forget it. When she was finally done with her 40 MINUTE MEAL, I burped her and she spit up. I freaked when I saw blood so I called in the nurse and she took one look at it, then my boob, laughed and said, “Oh hunny, she split you real good!”

What the fuck. THAT CAN HAPPEN?!

The things you learn…

Then four months later, four long, excruciating, exhausting months later, she did it again. I felt like I was dipping my boobs into a tank of piranhas every time she latched on and each time I was on the verge of just saying fuck it, someone get me a god damn bottle before these things fall off. But I was also adamant about continuing because I wanted to. I lasted six months before I switched, and it took another month or two to get over the guilt of not being able to breastfeed. Someone once told me, “If you feed your baby with love, thats all that matters”. That person deserves a medal.

Waiting room woman and I also talked about things other than BF obviously, like how many times a day I just want to hide in my basement with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Or how many times Ive literally been reduced to tears by how quickly Quinn grows out of outfits that we just bought her a week or two prior. Pre-baby, I used to always wonder why women would get sooooo dramatic over little things like the first hair cut or first tooth, and then once I had her it all made sense. I almost lost my shit at CVS the other night when I saw Q laughing at the guy behind me in line and I realized she had finally cut her first two teeth.

As much as I appreciate getting out of the house and being able to talk to people my own size (I say that with as much humor as possible because lets me honest, Ive got talking to babies and cats down to a science), I’m even more thankful to be able to talk to women much like today and actually relate and not feel shamed in any way. Its so refreshing!

When we finally left, she told me to keep doing me because I rock at it and to claim a room in my house with the most sunlight and make it MY own space, because I deserve to escape every now and then dammit.

I’m thinking my sunroom will be my next project… 😉