Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help for the skin

I am in love with my new face cream.

After Dashiell was born, my skin was seriously f*cked. SUPER dry and patchy and red and almost diseased looking. For reals. The only thing that kept it from peeling was to slather pure shea butter all over it and wash it as little as possible. Um, weird. The postpartum time is just strange all around.

I finally got a facial from Juliana at the Petite Spa and as a reward for using up every single drop of face cream I had around the house (sample's included), I came home with new Epicuren products. And I swear my skin has never never been better. Which is probably a combo of an excellent facial and really great face cream. And hormones regulating, sleeping a TEENY bit more, etc.

I've used sooooo many lines in the past (including the entire Chanel skincare program, Jurlique, Dr. Hauschka, and Kiehl's) and I swear this one is by far the best. And it's natural and good for your skin and doesn't smell like old lady perfume. The Brazilian Propolis Lotion is amazing.

And in most excellent news, Juliana started a blog! It's called You are Super Pretty and it's got great tips for your skin. She's just getting started, but I'm certain she will be a great resource of the internet soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

omfg this is the funniest thing I've ever read

Trust me on this one. You must read this blog. Probably every entry. Don't worry there are only like 200. I've read the most recent post, on being an adult, like 6 times since yesterday, when my friend Jen sent it over. And every time I laugh.

Here are a few others for you to enjoy:

Boyfriend doesn't have Ebola. Probably.
Emoticons for the advanced writer

At least it's Friday and you can spend the day reading the internet, even if you do happen to be at work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Simple ribbon garland

I think I've made it clear that I will love bunting and garlands forever and ever. But the same old same olds do get a bit tiresome when you see them every single day, decorating every single DIY wedding on in the blogosphere.

But isn't this a cute, pared-down version?

Excellent way to use up little bits of ribbon, me thinks.

From Naturally Nina.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Also of sartorial interest last weekend...

Our bridesmaid gifts... Saako necklacey scarfy accessories:

They're from Barcelona and you wear them over a tank top or tshirt for a bit of Spanish style. I've never seen anything like them. Each one is different and full of yummy colors. They also make excellent baby toys.

Check em:

taking tomatoes seriously

Perhaps for the first time, I think I might try to grow tomatoes that are better than just those you can eat on a bagel with salt and pepper. I do grow them every year, but I don't really pay them any attention, except for cutting back on the water once they start to seriously fruit. But as it turns out, when the plants get so huge and out of control (as they tend to in our yard) the tomatoes themselves are good for cooking and not much else.

What is the point of growing tomatoes if you can't chop them up in a salad and love them to pieces?

So this year I've done a little research and it appears that one of the most important things is to be vigilant about suckering them from the start. For those of you who don't know what suckering is, I shall explain both the process and why you do it. Now that I am an expert. Or you could just read one of the articles I read and you can be an expert too.

So the tomato plant has a main stalk, and at each leaf juncture, it has a tendency to want to create another main stalk by sending out a little shoot. This little shoot, if left alone, will go on to become a fruit producing part of your tomato plant's team. Sounds good, right? The more tomatoes the better? Apparently no. In order to produce delicious tomatoes, you need to coax your plants into using all of their energy (the sugar they create from sunlight) into producing just one stalk, with a few key leaves and very sweet, very tasty tomatoes. If you allow the plant to produce as many stalks as it would like, you'll have a dense thicket of tomato leaves, branches and fruit. But it will be prone to disease and rot and all sorts of other sub-optimal things. Not to mention, your tomatoes will have to compete with all those leaves and stalks for the sugar that makes them so tasty.

So the plan is this: go out to your plants, and if it's not too late snap off each sucker at the root of the main stem. You'll have a more spindly looking plant, but it will be healthier. And with a few other tricks will allegedly produce Caprese worthy tomatoes. The only other note is that above the first fruit clump, you are apparently allowed to let your plant grow one more main stalk. I accidentally had this happen to one of my plants but the rest I think I'm going to keep as barren as possible. It's my summer gardening experiment. And part of my pledge to grow only what I actually want to eat. As opposed to 30 pounds of italian squash per week like last summer. That was disgusting.

This year I think the problem is going to be beans. We have A LOT of pole beans creeping skyward. I will be donating them to the first person who shows up on my doorstep when the time comes.

And as far as tying your tomatoes, staking is supposed to be better than cages. Which makes sense if you just have one stalk. But I already have all of the cages so I'm still using them this year.

And if I remember correctly, your should cut back on water significantly once your plants have started to really fruit. Too much water = mealy, flavorless tomatoes. And if there's one thing I REALLY can't stand it's a mealy tomato. (Same goes for peaches and apples. Sick). I also read that you should fertilize them with kelp and bone meal, but I haven't gone that far yet. Debating on whether I should order some though. I mean if I say I'm taking this seriously then don't I have to go all the way?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

vintage baby nikes

There were many fun things about the wedding weekend in SD, but quickly, I had to share one of the sartorial highlights:

Vintage baby Nikes Brock found at his dad's house. I mean COME ON!

They're still a bit too big, but I cannot wait to get them on Dashiell's little feetsies. He has never worn shoes, but his collection is growing at an alarming rate. I'm setting him up to follow in my footsteps, in terms of square footage allotted to shoes in one's closet. Sorry buddy.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Are majorly in season in our backyard at the moment. I leave you for friday and this practically official first weekend of summer and longest of the year, with them. They would be so delicious with some vanilla ice cream, if I could eat vanilla ice cream.

We're off today to San Diego for another wedding. This time of our good friend Allison. I'm a bridesmaid... though I think I'm now officially a bridesmatron? How does that work exactly?

Have a delicious summery weekend full of maybe pie and the accompanying dairy products. How I miss old fashioned dairy products.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We need a fort

Okay, Dashiell is probably a wee bit young to appreciate one. And if I remember correctly, the beauty of forts is that children make them on their own. But this had me dreaming of a few years from now when we have a bigger house, perhaps another child, and a family room in shambles with a proud fort of cushions and blankets and whispers and flashlights in the middle.

Tee pees are so contrived when compared to a good fort. Not that I don't love the idea of a backyard tee pee one day.

via ohdeedoh

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the cloth diapering report

Ahoy from the land of non-disposable diapers! A few of you asked how we were going with our diaper program, and I'm happy to report that we are doing most well indeed. They are so easy, you guys. So so easy. They are the same as disposable diapers, but you don't have to throw them out! And you have to wash them. So as long as you're up for doing extra wash, they are no big deal at all. And depending on how many diapers you have, you will wash more or less.

Here's what we've been doing:

We have prefolds, but to be honest, we've been using them less and less. We're pretty much 90% fuzzi bunz-ers and we love them. Now, I should also note that I am not a hardcore cloth diapering mom. Before Dashiell was born I mistakenly thought that you had to be either a die hard cloth diaper-er, or just give up and use disposables. Obviously not. We use disposables at night, (which is usually just one diaper), and I feel pretty okay with it. Anything to get the little love bug to sleep longer. "Through the night" is a phrase that we've stopped using around here because it seems sooooo far away. But longer. Longer is always good.

Also, when we go out of town (like last weekend), we bring disposables. We have taken cloth with us to my parents' house for the weekend, but I can't really deal with a bag full of poopy diapers at a nice resort for three nights. My rationale... I'm doing my part, people. And I think that's pretty good.

We ordered all of our prefolds and covers and extra supplies from Green Mountain. They have everything and anything (except Fuzzi Bunz) that you could need in terms of cloth diapering. And they have detailed reviews of every product which is nice when you know nothing.

Our Fuzzi Bunz came from, but you can really order them anywhere. Last week I saw them on sale at, which is amazing because I feel like they are NEVER on sale.

For those of you just starting, here's what we started with:

2 dozen newborn prefolds
3 covers (this, this, and this). The Imse Visme organic cotton being my favorite.
12 Small Fuzzi Bunz

Plus I bought 3 dozen cloth wipes, wool wash, 2 snappis, 2 diaper pail liners and a diaper sprayer toilet attachment thing.

The cloth wipes didn't work for us. Dashiell's butt is only happy with Seventh Generation wipes. I tried to go cloth, I did, but disposable worked better for us. Now we use them for other things around the changing table, like blocking mid-change pee from hitting the wall, etc.

Eucalan wool wash is great and super easy. Plus I have 2 sets of wool nursing pads that I wash with my wool covers. Highly recommend them! I wash them like once every 3 or 4 weeks, and they are nice and big, which is good because they look less obvious in clothes. Plus they'll last your entire nursing career.

The toilet sprayer was good in the beginning, but now I'm too lazy to actually spray poopy diapers off. I just toss them into the bin and the "solids" (not that there's anything solid about breastmilk poop), come off in the initial rinse cycle.

I've since added a few more Fuzzi Bunz and the next size prefolds. Not totally sure if we'll keep buying prefolds actually, though they might be nice for summer since they breathe much better than the 'Bunz, especially with a wool cover.

If anyone is curious about how we wash our diapers, here's the drill:

Cold rinse
Hot wash with 1 scoop of Charlie's soap
Cold rinse

So that's 3 wash cycles per load, but I actually looked at our water bill and it's only like $25 more per month. Which is much less than the number of disposables you'll go through.

Hmm. Is there anything else you all want to know?

The main thing is, cloth diapering is so easy! It saves sooooooo much room in landfills and it's so cute seeing your little baby in his big diaper and a T-shirt. There aren't any eco-friendly diapers, as much as you want to believe there are. Even the "biodegradable" ones would only biodegrade if they were exposed to light and air in a huge diaper compost pile. But as well all know, they get wrapped up into air tight diaper genie bags and tossed into the dark recesses of a landfill, where they have about as much of a chance to biodegrade as your old laptop battery.

And ask Jora! It's never to late to start. She started Little E on cloth when she was 5 months old.

One final note... if you do cloth diaper, keep in mind that bigger diapers = less room in clothes so don't forget to pull out your cute stuff early so you don't miss wearing it altogether. Dashiell has some 3-6 month things that barely fit with a Fuzzi Bunz, and he's not even 4 months old yet. But actually, baby clothes sizing is a whole different post. It's wildly unreliable. Dashiell can wear a 0-3 m sweatshirt from Gap and a 12 m onesie from Petit Bateau.

Okay, veering off topic. Please ask if you have any more questions!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

note to self

It is not best to wear one's fanciest shoes to a cocktail party in a barn:

But see if I don't wear them to weddings, I will never wear them at all since I rarely leave the house for occasions that require me to put on clothes that do not contain at least 80% lycra... let alone high heels. So I had to just go for it.

Do not worry. They are clean and happy in their sleeper bag again.

Still in recovery from weekend away. The wedding was beautiful, Becky's dress was amazing. Hoping the photos are as lovely as the event. It turns out it's a wee bit less relaxing than it used to be to go away to a hotel. Not so much time lying by the pool and taking yoga classes at the spa. But they were serving one of my favorite chardonnays at the wedding so that was quite delicious.

More soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Ojai

We're leaving this afternoon for a long weekend here:

For the wedding of our good friends Becky and Shane, in this amazing barn:

(photo by Joy Marie)

To which I am wearing a DVF bubble dress my mom bought me while I was pregnant. But this time I'm belting it so I don't look like I'm expecting my second. Good times.

I can't wait to have breakfast here:

And take Dashiell swimming for the first time. Any last minutes recs for Ojai? My parents are coming with us to watch the little guy while we're at the wedding. So excited for vacation.

PS. We got a crazy deal on a fancy room through Jetsetter. Less than the wedding rate for a huge room with patio, etc. If you guys don't know Jetsetter, you must check it out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

consignment store gems

Kay so since I haven't been shopping for myself in like a YEAR (minus a few purchases here and there), I've taken to shopping for my baby. He always fits into everything perfectly and does not have to lose pregnancy weight like some of us. Which by the way, I'm indecisive about at best. Some days I'm desperate to fit into my old things and others I'm like, "Oh who gives a shit anyway?" Mostly it's somewhere in between. But I did get new jeans and I almost cried I was so happy I found a pair that fit.

I digress. Shopping for baby clothes is much more fun than I anticipated. But it's also kind of silly I've learned, to buy things new. Unless you are in love and cannot go on breathing for another moment if you don't see your baby in that item immediately. Which is where the consignment store comes in. I almost wish I didn't know about them, to be honest. My neighbor Ruth gave me a list of all the good ones in our neighborhood, and now I'm starting to feel like I need to go constantly so I don't miss out on something extra good.

Yesterday I went in for a swim diaper for our trip to Ojai this weekend, and left with an entire bag full of unbearably cute things. See:

2 Petit Bateau striped rompers - I'm becoming a baby brand whore. But their things are so cute.

I don't know anyone who could resist a perfect pair of Osh Kosh overalls, for all of $8.

And some little plaid shorts. Aren't they the cutest? Dashiell will be wearing those all weekend, me thinks.

I did find a brand new swim diaper, btw. And about 7 other things that I didn't photograph. I am in love with baby resale. In love. It's like curated thrift store shopping. Totally worth the tiny premium.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

on being a mother

I don't really think of myself as a mother. I mean I AM in every sense of the word, but when I think "oh I'm not feeling like a very together person today," it's just that. Person, not mother (though it's usually the result of having a baby). But I had this little epiphany last week in the yoga class I like to go with Dashiell on Thursdays. So if you would humor me for a moment, I'm going to actually write something not related to any particular picture or event or project.

(Dashiell does happy baby on his changing table. He is already an advanced baby yogi.)

This yoga class is a pre and post-natal class and I started going to it towards the end of my pregnancy, once I'd finished working. And it's great. There's a nice mix of pregnant mamas and women with their babies and especially towards the end of pregnancy it's so inspiring to see the little people rolling around before your little person comes to greet you.

Class always starts with everyone saying their name, how far along they are or how old their baby is, and generally answering a question posed by a member of the class or asked by the teacher. Thursday's question was simple... birth class: where, when, and whether you liked it. So we all went around and one of the last women to speak was Marie, who was officially due the following day.

She started to tear up a bit and I thought it might just be that her emotions were getting the better of her as she hit her due date. I remember getting a little teary at the same point. Saying "I'm due today!" and being a bit overwhelmed by what that really meant. But she starting talking, choking on her words as her tears started streaming, and she started to tell us about her birth class that she took at the hospital a few months ago and how supportive and positive all the nurses were. But that in the last two months with only her OB to consult with, she hadn't heard anything positive. Just scary things, like she might need to be induced, that her baby was getting too big and that he was now getting too skinny and that generally things were not looking as good as they could be.

And she was so scared. And we were all scared for her. And everyone started to cry. And I realized that only now that I have my baby and I've been through those last few weeks when you're so darn close to meeting him or her, but still a little freaked out that something might go wrong and uncertain about the birth, can I really understand her tears. And how terrible it must be to have your doctor telling you anything but that things are looking perfect and beautiful and that everything is going to be great. And the thing is she knows that there's a 95% chance that everything is FINE. That her baby will come out when he's supposed to and that she will be great and that he will be perfect and healthy. But then she has this doctor who has 40 years of experience telling her "worst case scenario" and she's freaking out, but trying to remember that things are going to be okay.

And I was sitting there thinking what an asshole this doctor is, on one hand, but then remembering that when you're so so close and your baby is fully cooked and ready to come, what if there is something wrong and what if he does need some help to come sooner than later? And that's where you're stuck, in that limbo place of wanting to make the right decision but not having any idea how to do it or what it is.

And see even though I don't know Marie at all, I know her.

I know her because it's in situations like this that you know all mothers and all mothers-to-be. I've learned that it's a connection that is truly unlike any other. And in some way it becomes almost harder to relate to people who aren't yet mothers. (Friends that aren't mamas yet, I still love you to pieces I swear!).

There is nothing in this world or this life that has altered the way I think and act and feel in such a profound way. And so I came to see that I'm a mother in a most real way. That I now experience my life in a way that will never be the same as it was before my son was born. And I wouldn't ever want to go back to the me before now. It's truly who I've been waiting to become, but I couldn't have realized it until I was already here. It changes you into someone who while trying to go on about normal life, (the life you had before when things were easy and you only thought about yourself), into someone who is now fundamentally different. Because there is always always a part of you that is with your child, thinking about your child and knowing that above all else, your child is your priority. That the little stresses and obligations you once felt are so small, so infinitely unimportant when compared to your baby. And everything is compared to your baby because it's now all you know.

So when Marie finished talking, we all got up with our bellies and our babies and we joined in a little huddle around Marie. And as we came together, Sienna, one of the babies, reached out and put her hand on Marie's shoulder and left if there while we gave her a few heartbeats of support. And it was really a beautiful communal moment. That all these women, all these mothers, were there together and connected and moved in a way that none of us would have been before our children were here or one their way. Totally connected. And so that is motherhood for me. A deep deep connection to life, to its frailty and its strength and its beauty and uncertainty all at once; and more importantly to all the women who are on the same beautiful path by your side. We know each other, we do. And of course there's your child, and that is something that a more seasoned, more eloquent writer would have to explain.

It's an extraordinary experience, this motherhood. Highly recommend it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

green things and the baby

All weekends should be three days long, that much we've established as fact. I of course have 3 day weekends whenever I want them at this point, but it's not really a weekend if Brock isn't home too. Which made this weekend way too short.

We did finally get our crib! The one we wanted was sold out everywhere until August or September, which just wouldn't do. But Brock found a floor model at Giggle in Pasadena and we got it for 30% off. Which we were well happy about.

Still waiting on the mattress however. I only ordered it three weeks ago. Is this not 2010? Don't things come in three days or less no matter what?? Apparently they make these mattresses to order or something. Supposed to be here this week. Baby is literally spilling out of his bassinet/stroller.


Okay maybe not quite. But he's just discovered his feet and also that he can decide not to nap, but instead play with them.

Radish sprouts are coming up everywhere. I love radishes straight out of the dirt.

And for dinner, baby turnips and their greens. Yumm.

And I desperately wanted to make it to Lily's show in Silverlake, but alas, the non-napping but very talkative baby had other plans.

Oh, and. Biggest news of the year.

He giggled for the first time last night. Like a real giggle. Ms. Lamott was right (as always); it sounded like bells.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

air plants and umbrellas

Did anyone else see this insanely amazing wedding from Feather Love? Not sure exactly where I stumbled on it yesterday but the air plants got me. It's creative in a way that only Flora Grubb could be (the groom is Flora's brother). I'm thinking air plants might be the new succulent? Which would be nice because while I love love love succulents to death and used them for my own wedding, I'm starting to feel that they are becoming a wee bit tiresome when it comes to wedding decor.

Don't get me wrong, I will love them for always in the same way that I love mason jars. But I want to see something new and inspired from time to time too.

Just look here and then go see the entire 4 day event including a HUGE party at Flora Grubb Gardens after the actual wedding in Carmel on Feather Love's blog.

How amazing is the huge Tillandsia bouquet? Gorgeouso. The bride is beautiful too, which always helps. Sometimes I want dark thick indie model hair with bangs too. But it would look real weird with my freckles I think.

Final thought: if your name was Flora Grubb, could you do anything EXCEPT open a beautiful garden shop? No. No you couldn't.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

sunscreen for the babes

Now that it's getting warmer and sunnier out, we realized that we probably need to be slathering sunscreen into every bit of exposed skin when we take Dashiell outside. Even when he's riding in the stroller his little hands and cankles usually stick out past the sunshade and we can't have him getting sunburned this young. Wouldn't that make you like the worst parents ever? If you let your infant get a sunburn? Close anyway.

Dr. Robin is a friend of our neighbors Ruth and David and they passed us a little stash of sample packs over the fence shortly after D was born. We tried it out this weekend and it's excellent. Plus the logo is cute. And I think I've mentioned many times how much I appreciate cuteness in packaging. It's paraben, phthalate free, and fragrance free and made with titanium and zinc oxide for super natural sun protection. Plus it has green tea extract and quinoa protein. I'm also quick to love things with quinoa. I sound like a salesperson.

Not a salesperson. Just passing on a wee tip for you mamas out there. I wouldn't have any idea which baby sunscreen to buy without a little help.

long weekend around the house

Shockingly we did nothing exciting for our long weekend. But I took some pictures of the nothing to share:

Cooking from the computer... which is always how I do it these days. Don't I need an iPad? I do. I could get a nifty stand (or the cheap version) and prop it up on the counter. It would be so modern and lovely.

That's Sprouted Kitchen I'm using for a variation on her peanut sauce.

We had stir fry

With kind of a Thai-ish peanut sauce. Which was DEEEE-licious. I never make a real sauce, but now I will. Gone are the simple days of soy, white wine, garlic and ginger.

We're on our second batch of peonies. GAAAAAHHH they are insane. They are way more beautiful when they're open. Have you seen peonies truly open? They are like 10 inches across and they fade to a pretty cream.

And while I was out back planting our veggies, Brock and Dashiell took a tour of the yard. They were so cute, I had to stage a dirty-handed photoshoot. I mean come on with the little camo hat. It's from Gap in case you need one.