Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A well deserved gift for a Nursing Mama

**this is a sponsored post by ZonePerfect**
Our neighbor recently had a little girl.  She's nursing so I wanted to drop of some things that could help out.  I know it's easy to grab something cute to bring for the baby, but likely the parents already have all of that.  It's nice to think of the mother in those early days.  Dropping off some thoughtful goodies is one of those things that make us all feel good.  Giving an unexpected gift is just the best and always proves giving is way better than receiving. 
Here's what the little gift basket has:
smart water and vitacoco with pineapple - so she can stay as hydrated as possible.  Plus I hear pineapple is supposed to be wonderful for supply.  
yogi woman's nursing support - nice to brew before you pump or if you are having trouble with supply.  I add in a little fresh lemon juice because the taste is so-so.
Lactation boost by Honest - This helped tremendously with my supply the first few months.  
alba good & clean mini peel -  I know some people like to drop off nail polish in these sort of gift baskets, but that to me just seems like one more thing to do.  A face mask is one of those things that are nice to do for yourself but your hands are mostly free.  
Hello Hadley girl bow - she sent a few of these adorable bows for my goddaughter  plus a couple extra and I have been loving putting them into baby girl gifts.  
ZonePerfect Perfectly Simple bars - I used to be an addict for zone bars in college.  These new perfectly simple bars contain 10 grams of protein, are delicious, gluten free, and have real simple ingredients.  I have tried the oatmeal and chocolate chip and they are soo good.  I always want to bring a little something that's sweet but that also has some protein to a new mother - these fit the bill.  Long live the days of eating for your baby (:  Here is a coupon for $1 off.  I found mine at Target.
burts bees zinnia - a touch of color for those lips!
tic tacs - for any unexpected visitors when you haven't had a chance to brush your teeth
bath bomb - I am a big bath fan. I know not everyone loves baths but I do!  As soon as my doctor cleared me it was one of the few places I could really relax, read a book, while JB watched the boys.  

What other treats would you put in the gift bag?   Anything that particularly helped you when you were a new mom?

Friday, August 21, 2015

a summer salad + a leftover recipe

Since it's a rare quiet morning in our house - Tuck is sleeping in?  Wesley has already been up and is down for his first nap, I thought I'd share our dinner last night.  We had my mother in law's birthday dinner here yesterday.  I love that we use the formal dining room so much, whenever company or birthdays are being celebrated in our home.  Which thankfully is often lately.  She requested something light after a week in Mexico.  So a salad it was!  We topped the salad with chicken and salmon that JB grilled for some protein.  I am addicted to summer salads.  We have them at least a few times every week.  We pop into our farm stand almost everyday and I usually just pick up whatever looks good.  
Last nights salad consisted of:  three ears of corn - then after cooked -cut off the ear, 3 avocados, cranberry goat cheese, one and a half containers of mixed greens, a carton of cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds,  and a carton of fresh figs, halved.  hooray for fig season!  I just use olive oil, salt, and pepper as a dressing but have balsamic there in case anyone wants a little more flavor (me! always.  JB-never).  Of course I did a little short order cooking for Tuck... I roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper - asparagus and okra.  So weird but these are the two no fail veggies he'll eat.  Plus he had some chicken and salmon.  For dessert it was a scoop of vanilla ice cream, roasted figs (roasted at 350 for fifteen minutes with coconut oil), crushed pistachios, and some avocado blossom honey from santa barbara that sweet (and amazing cook) amanda sent me.  One thing I love at the end of nights like these is the mess.  I love seeing the table, napkins all crumpled, bottle of wine finished, a candle to blow out.  Of course there's a massive pile of dishes to be done but ... it warms my heart to the core to have people I get to love, celebrate and honor with some food.  The mornings after summer salad nights have been especially yummy.  Perfect for a frittatta.  I just take the cast iron, spray it with coconut oil, mix four eggs, and dump the leftover salad in.  Bake at 350 for about thirty minutes, and yum!
Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

family vacation: riviera nayarit, mexico

Last week we returned from six beautiful days in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico at the Grand Velas with my little family and in laws.  We feel so grateful they came along - it helped us out so much but it was also just a special time for all of us to be together .  Of course traveling with little people presents its own challenges, and if it ever looks easy on me - i assure you, it's not!  But having six extra hands on deck for almost a whole week, really helped me get into vacation mode.  We could have been anywhere!  Though if we had to be somewhere, mexico is a nice place to be.  We initially had two separate rooms but my father in law asked if we could switch to the presidential suite instead, and wouldn't you know... they actually said OK. We ended up with a three bathroom, two bedroom, four balcony,  private jacuzzi, big living and dining area suite... it was unreal.  it was almost bigger than our house.  Proof that the worst they can say is no or heck no, so might as well ask.  It's such a great family spot and I can definitely see us going back when the boys are older.  They have so much for kids to do.  Horse back rides, zip lining, rock climbing, seal shows, puppet shows... you name it.  I'd say you absolutely have to be okay with kids if you go to this resort as they are pretty much everywhere aside from one of the nice restaurants.  We met so many amazing families, those that were also there due to their spouses earning one of these, and those that were on their own.  By the end of the week Tuck knew everybody and everyone knew him.  I would just crack up over all these beautiful little girls lighting up when they saw him and saying "hiiiii tuck!".  Or when we'd leave to go to naptime after one of the shows, and all these random kids would be shouting "bye tuck!!"  My child has not a single shy bone in his body.  It is fun to watch (can also make things very interesting. ha).  I didn't want Wesley in the sun unless he was covered or during the high heat of the day, so either myself or my mother in law stayed in for his first nap.  Before we left I kept talking a big game of getting a babysitter for just an hour or two during that time, and then I didn't.  To be honest I've only ever had a mother's helper, one time, for like four hours.  I need to let go!  I was thinking about it!  baby steps. I also couldn't get over it was $25 per hour for one child.  So cheapness and also my inability to let people watch my baby made for a big no for us.  Though I did hear they were excellent if you are ever there with your littles.  So where to start? The beginning -the plane trip!  **also I'm sorry these are iphone shots.  My good camera is at the doctor, and I'm still waiting on if it can be repaired or not.  just stopped focusing.  I am sad about it!**
With Wesley I did little different than when I traveled to mexico when Tuck was little.  There's a whole post here.  Tuck sat with my in-laws during all of the legs- saint status.  We timed it during his naps so he slept for two legs, and snacked/watched a show, played with his cars magnetic tin, for the other two.  He was a great little traveler- even during our delay and during customs on the way back.
JB and I had a little day date courtesy of the grand parents.  We started the day with a massage, and then headed into downtown Puerto Vallarta.  It was so lovely getting this time together.  
While in Puerto Vallarta we did some shopping at the flea markets and stumbled upon the best spot.  Una Familia.  If you are ever in PV this is the spot for you.  No AC but everything is homemade from the chips (hand cut) to the tortillas.  It doesn't get more authentic.  Though if you are just looking to shop I would definitely head to Sayulita.  PV has a beautiful boardwalk right on the water but I couldn't find too many amazing things to bring back to my family like I did in Sayulita.  

Someone recently asked me why we travel with kids.  I definitely get it- it is almost never easy with little kids.  Right now a trip to the grocery store with these two feels a bit daunting.  These trips are something my husband earns through his work.  We could take cash instead but I'd rather have these memories with my childrens grandparents and as a family than any thing, ever.  There's something about being away from your home with your family (it doesn't have to be another country or extravagant) that is special and bonding.  So basically, that was my answer when I was asked.  (:
{what i wore:  this coral camilyn beth dress // this mint camilyn beth dress // this off the shoulder coral dress (but a bit too short for me in everyday life.  wore with jeans last night) // marysia suit in black (no longer available in the color I bought) scallop suits for less - here - here - here // this urban outfitters poncho //  two (blue tassel and all white) rompers that I loved from sheinside but a bit short for me unless I'm headed to the beach// my high heels are no longer available but are the dolce vita hexen heels - they do have flats!}  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

my compassionate two year old

The other day we were at the bounce house (it's so hot, and you have to get out all that energy somewhere.  I've even resorted to chuck-e-cheese lately) and Tuck saw a little girl crying in the corner.  He sat next to her, put his arm around her and told her it was okay.  The other mothers and I just melted.  He helped the little girl up and off they went to bounce.  He also asks every kid who falls at the bounce house (which happens roughly three thousand times in a day) if they are okay.  He makes me cry how concerned he is with his baby, all the kisses he lavishes on wes, and just generally being aware of him.  He's getting so much better at sharing with his friends.  Of course he's got his stuff, just like all of us.  But I have to smile when I think about that compassionate little heart.  It's such an answer to prayer.  I know it's easy to think you want your kid to be the fastest, cutest, smartest, best best best ... but I hope my sons grow up knowing that none of that matters so much.  Being the best is never better than having a kind heart.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

wannabe green thumb: our fiddle leaf fig trees

Most of the time when I post a photo of our home I usually get questions about our fiddle leaf fig trees.  Is it real?  yes.  
how do you keep them alive?  In short, I mostly ignore them.
But here's the long version ...
For the little one... that came from Ikea.  We were given this parrot flower over a year ago - it connects with an app on my phone that lets me know if it needs more sunlight, water, fertilizer.  My favorite feature is that a notification will pop up telling me my fiddle leaf is thirsty.  That little contraption definitely helped me with the smaller one we keep in our kitchen.  It's grown quite a bit.  You can see a picture of it in December in this post.  It kept wanting more sunlight but I didn't like to keep it there, as I moved Tucks table there.  But it's grown just fine without a ton of light. 
For the bigger two... 
In January my dad gave me two fiddle leaf figs he found at a private nursery near here.  They were $70 for two.
{If you are local, I can get you the contact if you email me}  
They've both grown about a foot since we've gotten them.  We don't have the parrot flower in either of these so I water them when the app tells us the little one needs water.   Which seems to be every 2 weeks or so.  Of course we live in Florida, and they are all on the side of the house that gets quite a bit of sunlight throughout the day, so as long as it's near a window they thrive.  I've experimented with both of them, moving them around the room.  If it's ever away from sunlight, forget it.  Leaves start browning within hours.  Once they find a spot they like I've discovered they really hate change.  
So from what I know - they love sunshine (but not direct), they don't need a ton of water, and they are pretty low maintenance.  
Do y'all have house plants?  What kind?  I need to add more in!