Friday, August 30, 2013

To New Moms, From a New Mom

(How I looked most days of the week in the beginning. Yoga pants... no make up... wet hair... you know...)

Being a mom is HARD
Anyone who tells you it's easy either has a nanny or is delusional
Don't get me wrong, there are easy days... but there are also hard days
There really isn't anything that can prepare you for being thrown into parenthood
Trust me my friend, I know... 
I know you cry
I know because I still cry some days
I know that sometimes it's a miracle that you make it through the day
I know because I have days like that too
I know you are wondering if you will ever look the same again
I know because I wonder that myself
I know you are overwhelmed at the responsibility that was heaped on you all at once
And that if you are breastfeeding you feel like THAT'S ALL YOU DO
I also know that when people tell you "it gets better!" that it doesn't help
OR make you feel any better...
And that sometimes you just want your mom
I know that sometimes you don't know HOW you are going to survive motherhood
But please just remember (and I consistently remind myself of this)...
When you think you can't do this... Remind yourself that YOU ALREADY ARE!
You are doing it! You are a mommy! And you have survived this long. 
Keep going.
You can do it.
I can do it. 
Hang in there and just KEEP BEING!
And I promise... it DOES get better
Not exactly easier... but better
Even though me saying that doesn't help.
But trust me on this one... You can do it- I know it! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

DIY Carseat Canopy and Baby Blanket

I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at sewing. I am definitely a "fake it 'til I make it" sewer. Despite me having an amazing sewing teacher who taught me the right way to do things- I still fake it. But I LOVE fabric. I LOVE creating things. So when I went to Joann's and I saw this modified chevron fabric, I totally fell in love with it. I obsessed over it for DAYS before going back and getting it. I really wanted it I just didn't know what I would DO with it once I had it. I had to have a plan for it before purchasing. And to be honest, I wanted to make something for Charlotte but it just seems more boyish ya know? Luckily for me, my sister is pregnant and due ANY DAY with a new little nephew for me. So I decided that she needed to have a carseat canopy and matching blanket. 

For the carseat canopy:
1 yard main fabric
1 yard coordinating fabric

For the blanket:
1 yard main fabric
1 yard soft coordinating fabric 
(I wanted to use minky but my sister lives in Mexico and minky gets warm very fast so I ended up picking a nice soft felty material so it would keep baby boy cozy without making him too hot)

(please excuse Charlotte's pinkness- this is just to show what it looks like "open")

These were both sewed the same way basically. For the blanket: Be sure to WASH THE FABRIC FIRST- this drives me nuts when people don't do this so please wash the fabric first. Place right sides of the fabric together, true up the ends (you can use a rotary cutter if you have one. I sure wish I had one!), pin- leave about a 6 inch hole to pull through, sew all around except the hole. Trim up the edges (don't forget to cut the corners at an angle to get a nice edge!) and pull through. Sew again using a small seam allowance and voila. Easy Peasy. I made a few modifications for the carseat canopy: I sewed a straight seam one inch from the center of the "blanket like" canopy to make one side longer (this will be the side that covers the front of the carseat)- this just helps the fabric stay together and not fall in baby's face. This seam will go the width of the carseat on top once it's completed. The only other thing I did was sew the ribbons on about 10 inches from the ends and about 6 inches apart from one another. There are TONS of carseat canopy tutorials out there so if you want something fancier or someone who explains it better just use google! It's what I did :-) 

P.S. Um how cute is this contrasting fabric!? I love it so stinkin' much. My sister is a huge traveler so it's just perfect. I really hope she loves it! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

About me

Here are a few things about me that you probably didn't want to know but I am going to tell you anyway...

#1. There are a few words that people say that make me cringe. Don't ask me why they just do. For example, "stoked": I think it sounds like a major medical condition. And "stud": I even hate it when Devin is looking for "studs" when he hangs stuff on the walls. Also, "frugal": I would rather use the word "thrifty".
#2. Devin thinks I should be an auctioneer. I have tried to duplicate their fast talk a few times... Is there such thing as auctioneer school?
#3. I hate coconut. I love the smell... can't stand the taste. 
#4. I LOVE tortilla chips. I don't really like potato chips but tortilla chips are a vice of mine.
#5. I am a huge sucker for office supplies. I love post-it notes! I love pens! I am such a sucker for a good pen and nice clean new notebook that doesn't have any writing in it. 
#6. I am obsessed with Downton Abbey. I have watched all the seasons twice. Just waiting for January!
#7. My dream would be to own my own bakery. But I wouldn't have fancy cakes... because I sucked at art. 
#8. Devin and I have this thing where if we see a shade of green we try and name it... don't ask me why... its just green. For example, "Honey, what would you say that shade of green would be?" Ninja Turtle green. I think we need to be hired as crayon color namers.
#9. I'm totally convinced that I should be in a movie someday
#10. Not that this is a secret or anything... but my girl crush is Kate Middleton. Can you blame me? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Bars

You know by now that I love to bake. I love seeing someone take a bite of something that I made that is truly delicious. My husband is usually an amazing participant in the "enjoying and consuming" part. My friend Sarah K used to make these back when we lived in California and they are ridiculously naughty. I craved them while I was pregnant- even texting Sarah K that I wanted some of her Toffee Bars! I had totally forgotten that she had given me the recipe until I was going through my cook book the other day and BAM! There it was. I knew I had to make them. The perfect opportunity arose when Devin and I went on a date and a sweet family watched Charlotte for us and didn't charge us (!!!) So, I went to work. Devin, of course, had to do a taste test... and he said they were "more gooey" than he remembered but turns out we just needed to let them set... so... note to self... don't let husband bust into these until the chocolate has COMPLETELY set. 

You'll need:
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
1 bag ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
1 bag heath toffee bits

To make:
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and four. Press crust into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Heat milk and butter in a sauce pan on the stove until thickened (mine took about 10 minutes). Spread this over the crust and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Spread chocolate chips evenly over the caramel and bake for another 2 mintues until chocolate is melted. Spread melted chocolate over caramel evenly with a spatula. Top with toffee bits (press toffee bits into the chocolate so they stay!). LET COOL COMPLETELY then cut into bars and ENJOY! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Charlotte

Oh my sweet baby girl. Right now you are napping and it's taking all that I have not to go and kiss your sweet chipmunk cheeks. You have THE BEST cheeks. And the sweetest smile. Daddy and I just melt when we see that smirk and hear you giggle. There are just a few things I was thinking about and that I wanted you to know...
I want you to know my little love, that I ALWAYS wanted a daughter. Always. I remember naming my future children in middle school (thank heavens my taste has changed) and hoping that I would be blessed with a little girl. Grandma would tell me, "You're such a girly girl you just watch, you will have all boys!" The day we had our appointment to find out if you were a boy or a girl I was so excited and nervous! Daddy got off of work especially. I remember the ultrasound tech asking us if we wanted to find out and we both said "YES!" I was so worried you weren't going to cooperate but you did. I remember the tech saying, "I think we're looking at a little girl here." Daddy and I looked at each other and smiled. "Yeah we've got a little girl here." So I asked, "How SURE are you?" 99%. Even though that is a great percentage I check another 3 times just to be absolutely sure. (Grandma was at the mall with boy clothes picked out and girl clothes picked out when I called her to tell her). As soon as you were born I checked to REALLY make sure (haha!) because how could I be so lucky to be blessed with a baby girl? Just like I always dreamed of having. But here you are. And you are so beautiful and sweet I just can't believe that I made you and that you are entrusted to me. Another thing I want you to know is that although daddy and I weren't planning on getting pregnant when we did, you were ALWAYS in our plans. And we are both so so so happy that you are here NOW and that you didn't wait any longer to come to us. You have blessed our lives so much and brought so much love into our home. You are truly our little blessing and we can't imagine our lives without you. You are so loved my Charlotte. I hope you always know that. And I hope you love Disneyland as much as I do.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY script pillows

Pinterest is my vice. All of my good ideas come from there. So when I saw these super cute pillows on pinterest I thought, "Awesome! Hopefully there is a tutorial so I can make them!" Well, there wasn't one. It lead to a shop where someone was selling them for $54. Sorry, but I don't have $54 to blow on 2 pillows. So I set out to make my own! I learned this technique from my friend Sarah A. when we made onesies for our baby girls. And I definitely didn't spend $54 to make these. It was so ridiculously easy but my husband was impressed ;-)

What you'll need (that you might not already have):
1 yard fabric
Freezer paper
Exacto knife
Fabric paint
Paint brush
Fluff for stuffing your pillow

I used cheap cotton muslin from Joann's. It was $1.99 per yard but I had a 40% off coupon (haha). The first thing you need to do after you gather all of your supplies is print out what you want to say from your computer (I was sure to pick a font I knew would be easier for me to cut out). Once you do that, cut your freezer paper to the size you want and lay it over your saying WAXY side DOWN. Use your exacto knife to cut out your words. I put my plastic cutting board underneath so I wouldn't cut up my table. Then place your cut freezer paper on your fabric and iron on. Make sure you iron it on really well! It makes a difference once you paint it. Next, use your paint and brush to stipple on the paint (I found this gave better results than actually using painting strokes). Be sure to put something behind your fabric so that it doesn't get all over the place. Let dry! Remove the freezer paper and behold your awesome painted fabric! All that's left is to sew... stuff... and enjoy! I hindsight I should have done better at lining up my words but I kind of like it's wonky imperfect look. I seriously love these. I love the sayings sand I think it was just what my breakfast nook needed to be finished! What do you think? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3 months!

My baby girl! How in the world did you get to be so BIG!? Where have I been??? I have been RIGHT HERE with you everyday and I feel like I missed it? How did that happen? 
You are seriously the cutest. THE. CUTEST. And I know I am biased but I'm allowed to be because I'm your mama and I made you (so there). 
You are so much more lively these days and LOVE to play on your play mats still.
You think its sooooo funny when we sing to you. 
You love to take your naps on your belly.
THANK YOU for sleeping through the night! You are amazing. 
And by golly if you aren't a thumb sucker just like we knew you would be when we caught you doing it on ultrasound when I was 13 weeks pregnant (you little stinker!)
And I keep trying to put shoes on you but your feet are still super tiny!
Happy 3 months baby girl. Mommy and daddy are so happy you were sent to us. XO
(P.S. My mom called this outfit her "Chaquita Banana" outfit. HAHAHAHA it totally is)

***Sorry for being absent this last week+ our internet has been down*** 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The thing about my husband being a daddy

Becoming a parent is the most amazing thing I have ever done with my husband
From truly seeing how loving and supportive he was through labor
To watching him with our tiny girl- it really is the best
But there are some things I have learned about my husband as a dad.
He doesn't want my help unless he asks for it. 
Daddy's need to be able to do things on their own. They need to be able to figure things out. We need to trust that they can do it!

He is just as tired as I am.
Just because I am the one who gets up with Charlotte the majority of the time doesn't mean he goes right back to sleep. Plus he gets up early and goes in to work for 10+ hours while I can nap (haha like that happens).

He misses us while he is at work
Every day when he gets home Devin tell us that he missed us. He snuggles Charlotte, kisses me, gives Lucy pets and we all relish in the glow of daddy being home.

He wishes he could help more
Too many morning he has woken up to me not being in bed with him. That's how he knows it was a "bad night" and every time he asks what I need, how can he help, and that he wishes that he could help me more.

My kid would rather hang out with him anyway.
Charlotte sees me all day so when Devin comes home it's a whole new ball game. She gets tired of looking at my face and hearing my voice (or so it seems).

He loves us.
Everything he does is for us. He works so hard so I can stay home with Charlotte. He takes the night shift on weekends when he is home. He has his "projects" that make our house a home. He cooks dinner on nights when I just don't want to. He watches Charlotte so I can take a break.

He is my partner in crime. We laugh at the faces Charlotte makes, how loud her farts are, and about how we are going to be the cool parents (ha... right). He loves me even on the days where it's just too much effort to do much else but survive the day.
The thing about my baby's daddy is... he is so incredibly loved and appreciated. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

If you know me, then you know I love any excuse to bake and make treats. Anytime there is a church function or ANYTHING I sign up to bring dessert. Ask any of my "old" Sunday school kids... treats every week! And sometimes even treat parties... because I'm obsessed apparently with making treats.
So when our church Relief Society was having an activity with "dessert only" potluck... I knew we were in the right place. My kind of people ya know? I bought stuff to make my CRACK COOKIES (because it's pretty much my signature-go-to-dessert) But there was no way I was turning on my oven!
So what's easy (that I can whip up during nap time), requires no oven, and is delicious? Truffles. I was going to just do the same ol' oreo ones but then I remembered seeing cirucus animal cookie ones on pinterest... bingo. Besides I couldn't pass up the chance to use pink food coloring.

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

-1 bag Circus Animal Cookies
-1 can cream cheese frosting
-1 package almond bark
-pink food coloring
-rainbow sprinkles 

Use food processor to chop the cookies really fine. Add can of cream cheese frosting and pulse until mixture is smooth (original recipe called for only 1/2 can of frosting but my mixture was too dry). Form into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze for an hour+. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip half of the truffles into the white bark, then mix in the pink food coloring to finish the remaining truffles. Finish with sprinkles (try to do this before they dry! I would dip 4 truffles and then add the sprinkles). I threw mine into the fridge to help them set faster. Voila! In hindsight... If I make these again I will probably just use normal cream cheese and not frosting... I think it made these too sweet (YES there is such a thing!). But try them- you'll love them I promise! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's OK...

As much as I don't like Monday's, I have been waiting for this week for... um... 3 weeks. You see, my poor baby girl has a specialist appointment tomorrow. And I am both dreading it and also relieved that the day is finally here. She has been having bloody stool since about 4 weeks old and it hasn't gotten any better. I have eliminated pretty much all the normal allergy foods from my diet to no avail. It comes a goes and is so sporadic I can't target what it is. Her doctor said that if she didn't have the bleeding she would be perfect. She is growing and developing wonderfully- she just has this little hiccup. If you are religious- please pray for my sweet babe... that this isn't anything serious and that it will go away... I will keep you guys posted. And now, for It's OK Monday.

(Pants: Express (pre Charlotte pants!). Top and Cardi: J Crew. Sunglasses: Fendi. Sandals: Saltwater)

It's OK...
-To need girl time
-To be sooo tempted to paint Charlotte's toes... I'm just afraid I will get nail polish everywhere
-That I spent more time in my PJ's last week than I did out of them
-To be counting down the days until we leave for CA (22!)
-That I can't remember what it was like to have a full nights rest (aka going to sleep and not having anything or anyone waking me up)
-That I also can't really remember what it was like being pregnant...???
-To need to talk to my sisters and my mom... pretty much daily
-That making sandwiches counted as "cooking dinner" this week
-To wear what you love, even if no one else does
-That while Devin is convinced Charlotte has enough clothes- I am not
-That my instagram feed is allllll baby
-That I have been watching Secret Life of the American Teenager...
-To leave the dishes until tomorrow
-That I do miss going to work... but not nearly as much as I would miss spending my days with my girl
-To not have watched any of this season's "The Bachelorette" except last weeks episode but now I am totally invested in what happens tonight!
-To never have enough shoes

What's OK with you today?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Our first date... Kind of

^^^family photo before the big date!

We went on our very first post baby date this week
And it was amazing
We had been planning on going to see this Cirque du Soleil performance before Charlotte was born
This date was much anticipated to say the least.

^^^Playing around before the big show

We asked a friend from church to watch baby
Her, her daughter, AND her niece ended up watching Charlotte
I was extremely nervous about leaving her
I wrote down every phone number they would need
And probably went over every little insignificant detail they would need to know about her.
Needless to say... Charlotte was fine and was sound asleep when we got home
I wondered if she even knew we were gone but her big smile when she saw me in the morning made me feel better.
^^^not going to lie it was super fun seeing it in a tent!

Devin and I had a blast!
Despite having to eat at the venue- hot dogs, popcorn, nachos.... are we at a baseball game?
(In our defense the last Cirque performance we went to had really awesome food) 
And having to venture around downtown looking for an ATM for parking
We really enjoyed our night out just the two of us.
^^^I checked my phone at least 4 times before the show started... just in case

There were some pretty amazing acts
Teeter board! It's like a teeter totter which they launch people off of
And this chick did this crazy balancing thing with a bunch of wood pieces
We held our breath the entire time during that one... 
We oooo'd and ahhhh'd and held hands and were all kinds of lovey dovey

I sure do love this man of mine
He is so good to me and to Charlotte
And I am thankful for parenting breaks
And dates with my cutest man

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I follow a lot of mommy blogs
Trendy mommy blogs
Moms who live in NYC and DC
And they all have bugaboo strollers
And saltwater sandals
And adorable kids who always look awesome
AND THEY look awesome
They are skinny... like really really skinny
They also have amazing hair 
And they do all kinds of fun cool stuff with their kids
I'm just sure their babies were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old
The way it seems you would think they never fight with their husbands
and their children never have meltdowns
I know that is not really their reality
I'm sure there are days when they call their moms because they are overwhelmed
And that they argue with their husbands
And that their kids have meltdowns
And that their houses aren't always clean
AND that is OK
It's OK for all of us to have days like that
My reality is... I'm lucky most days if I get out of the house
Because I'm so exhausted
I'm lucky if I do my hair
Actually doing my hair usually only happens on Sundays
And I'm lucky if I can find something to wear that fits
Because although I have lost weight since Charlotte
I feel like I still have a giant mountain to climb before I am back where I was
Most of the time I am running on 6ish hours of sleep
And Charlotte and I don't go out and do "cool" things
We are lucky if we get to hangout with our friends during the week
There are days when I feel like I am just trying to keep my head above water
Where my biggest accomplishment of the day is showering and keeping another human alive
I'm not going to lie and say that everything is always peachy and perfect
And that motherhood isn't so much harder than I imagined
But my life is beautiful
My husband is loving and kind and amazing
And so ridiculously perfect for me
I really can't believe I got so lucky- and that I get to keep him for forever
My daughter is gorgeous
I really can't believe I made something so beautiful
She is healthy and happy
Our house is a home- and a refuge from the world
It might be a mess but to me it's lovely
It's filled with love and light and the sounds of a new little one
And so is our life
... And I have saltwater sandals too.