29 Month Old Obsessions


29-Month-Obesessions

Ok, let me start off this post by saying that I really do not count Olive’s age in months anymore. After 2 years old, it kind of becomes…..really….difficult to keep track! I actually had to do some calendar math before putting this post together!

On that note, here are the toys that Olive has been obsessed with at 29 months of age: Olive’s attention span has vastly improved over the last few months, and she can sit there and work on a toy for 30 minutes to an hour. I’m going to chalk this development up to age, versus her starting school, since we’ve only been doing that for a couple of weeks (more on that later!). Olive is getting really interested in building things and putting things together, and these are her current favorites:

Disney’s Enchanted Cupcake Party Set – Olive will play with this thing 4 times a day! And each time, she sits down with it and doesn’t move for a while. The set of 10 cupcakes come apart and you can build them to the “princess specifications” which are printed on a card, or she can use her imagination to create her own. She’s more into building them as the card says, referring to them as a guide as she goes along. If only she always took instruction so well, hah! Maybe I have to be a princess.

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This Jar of Beads is a new thing – but for a few months, Olive has really liked to “wear her creations”, and these are mostly construction paper crowns or hats. This takes it a little farther, this is a bead necklace making kit, but I need to help her string the beads together since the string and holes are so tiny. Even I have trouble…but that might be old age.

This puzzle set was given to Olive on her 2nd birthday, but she only has now started to develop the patience and attention span to sit down and do them. How accurate is she in putting them together? Pretty accurate, actually – especially since there isn’t a “guide board” with the main picture for her to match at the bottom. After we’ve finished constructing the picture, I always ask her to describe what’s going on in the picture – it’s a great way to develop additional language skills, as well.

 

 

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Truth Or Drink – Pass the Tequila!


The other day, my cousin Matthew sent me this video of a new game that is going viral on YouTube – it’s kind of like truth or dare but between grown kids and their parents. They have to answer a bunch of crazy, totally inappropriate pre scripted questions, and you can either answer it, or take a shot. Here, take a look for yourself:

I don’t know about you, I know it’s funny now…..but can you imagine doing this with your little one, 20 years down the line? All I can say is PASS THE TEQUILA, PLEASE.

 

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On Appreciation and Marriage


APPRECIATION

Over the weekend I had a chat with my girlfriends about how having kids has affected their marriages. No surprise there, we all had the similar things to say: there is no time for each other, there is no energy for each other. And one underlying commonality that we all had was that sometimes, we feel under appreciated at home.

I know I feel it too – as a person with a Type-A personality, I (unfortunately) really thrive off accolades; and unlike being in school or working in an office,  you rarely ever get a report card for doing a great job as a mom or wife. So I understand when women tell me that they sometimes feel….invisible. And then the resentment starts: why doesn’t my partner say thank you? Does he not see that I work hard to keep a home and raise a child?

Here is the thing though – I’m not sure how often I’ve actually come out and said that I appreciate my husband for what he does for our family, either. For as much as I might gripe that I feel unseen, I have to admit that I don’t always acknowledge the work he does for us, either. I am asking to be told that I am appreciated, and yet, I haven’t made efforts to do the same for him.

Doesn’t seem fair, now, does it?

So lets try this – lets be nicer to each other, and to tell each other why we love each other more often. After all, aren’t we both on the same team, here?

Hope you’re having a great day, everyone.

Photo Credit: Sadaf Murad Photo

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The 100 Day Project & Photoshop Brush Download


Hello-Blog

A few weeks ago, I came across The 100 Day Project by The Great Discontent – it was a movement for creatives to commit to 100 days of creation. It wasn’t about a finished product, it was more about the goal, the process of trying to improve on something within yourself, or for us moms, committing to spending a little time outside of the family, the baby, and the workday to just focus on yourself and what you desire.

Because I’ve been super into lettering and calligraphy, I committed myself to 100 days of lettering. I’m not going to lie – it’s been challenging to want to sit down to do this, everyday (and it’s only day 5 today, you guys. DAY 5, there are 95 more to go). Between the home renovation, the preschool transition and actual project workload, it’s been hard. But on the bright side, it’s really pushed me to figure out (more) time management, and different ways of exploring different sides of my lettering.

LIKE THIS – you guys, I just made my very first downloadable photoshop brush! The brush is of my handlettering “hello” (see image above!) – and you can download it right here to try. You can just double click on the file when it’s done downloading and it should install right into your photoshop (for Mac users).To find the brush in photoshop, load your brushes and it should be right there as the last brush. You can use it for your own blogposts or posters…or…you know, the sky is the limit!

So – what do you think? Do you think you’re going to try and commit yourself to 100 days of “yourself”? Maybe it’s time to pick up that hobby you put aside. If you’re not into creative things, how about 100 days of self improvement, like meditation, or being more patient (really, these are things I need to do, too…)

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Let me know if you’ve decided to participate in this 100 Day challenge – and if you do, start today, and tag me on Instagram so I can root you on. To follow my progress, check my Instagram account…I hope to be able to keep this up!

And if you use the Hello Photoshop brush (which I hope you will!), I hope you love it and please share some images with me, too! It’ll make me so happy!

Illustration by Elle Luna from The Crossroads of Should and Must; learn more

Happy Friday, You guys.

 

 

 

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Non-Mom Mom Flats


Non-Mom-Mom-Flats

 

Everyone who knew me B.B. (Before Baby) knew that never, ever wore flats. Ever. I actually once wore high heeled knee high boots (the non-hooker kind, ok?) on a day out to Disneyland. I’m not sure what I was thinking at that point in my life.

As you can imagine, running around in heels is pretty difficult with a toddler. I mean, you could try, but heels just don’t go well with wood chips at the park. Since then, I’ve struggled with straddling the good-looking/functional flats – so I’ve kind of just settled for TOMS. And you know, they’re great. They are comfortable, washable, and affordable – so you know, I own like 3 pairs. Only once, my husband looked at them on me and asked what was up with my “Chinese Kung Fu Shoes”.

So you guys, it’s time for a change.

Here are a few flats that are cute enough to pull an outfit together, and you won’t break your ankle trying to run after your kid, either. So it’s kind of a win-win, right?

Matt Bernson | Madewell | Loeffler Randall | Koolaburra Fallon | Rebecca Minkoff 

 

PS – For a few shoes listed on here through Shopbop.com – they are having a 25% off sale now through Thursday - so get these shoes, now!

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The Working SAHM – A Series On Balance, Episode 3


So thrilled to bring you the third installment of The Working SAHM – A Series on Balance.

I met Loriann on a playdate a few years back and was so taken by her magnetic personality – and in the past few months, I’ve watched as her business has grown into a powerhouse events planning business. She recently made that transition into being a full time Working SAHM, and I wanted to check out how she handled it all.  My photographer and I headed over to her home to interview her one early Saturday morning we were shocked to find that her house was already in full swing – she was hosting an Easter photoshoot event in her home, complete with photobooths, blasting music, florals, and of course, her family helping out, right by her side. (You’ll get a glimpse of her husband filling in as the Easter Bunny, too!)  You’ll see what I mean from the pictures we took that day! I’m so proud to introduce Episode Three – Introducing Loriann Serna of That Can Happen.

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Loriann, tell me about your family:

I am married to my best friend and business partner, Herick. We have three beautiful girls ages 20 (Jez), 15 (Natalia) and 2 (Frankie Beau). He has a gorgeous head of silver hair. I wonder why?

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What you do, career wise, and how did you get started?

I am a creator of all things inspiring and delicious. At one time we had a bakery called Ah, How Sweet and when I became pregnant with Frankie I knew that had to end, at least temporarily. I found a way to incorporate my husband’s wedding and music services, baking, party planning and creativity by starting Wife Of The Party. Up until February of last year I worked in corporate during the week and with Herick all weekend. I dreamt of the day where I only worked at home, growing a family business.

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Why did you decide to become a SAHM?

My husband actually made this choice for me. He reminded me over and over when I would complain how exhausted I was that I needed to put my fears aside and believe a little more. The idea of not having profit sharing, a 401k…it terrified me. As I watched Frankie grow and only shared 1 hour lunches with them during the week I became more and more unhappy. One day, he just chose. And I listened. My fears fueled me and here we are! Now, I celebrate people full time all day every day.

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What is the most difficult thing about being a SAHM and working from home at the same time? When do you find the time to work or create?

For me the most difficult thing about working at home is getting up and getting ready. Staying committed to some sort of routine. Previously I would get up, do my makeup, throw on a cute outfit and head out the door as I hand off the baby. Now I am lucky if I shower before 11! I work every morning on the computer from 7am­ to 10am and intermittently throughout the day. I take every phone call as it comes and turn into a beast when she goes down for a nap ­ creating, sketching and planning. We also schedule most of our meetings at home three days out of the week, evenings.

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Have your career objectives changed since becoming a SAHM?

No, the only thing that changes is the fire inside me burns hotter and I am more excited every day. I can tell you that checking my emails is no longer a chore, it feels like opening a birthday present every time we have a new potential client.

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Do you have any childcare help?

I have my husband that helps with the baby, he’s very hands on. From breakfast to diapers to emergency park runs during a mini meltdown he is always right next to me to help. Our daughter Natalia helps often too but I try not to leave her with her when we work events. The baby is our responsibility and it’s important to me that Natalia enjoys being a sister, not a second mom and understands the difference between family responsibility and mommy responsibility. People often say I’m lucky because “I have a built in babysitter” but that isn’t complimentary, I am quick to correct them.

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What are some tips you have on balancing those two roles, or keeping yourself sane? What have you found the most helpful in maintaining this balance?

The best tips I have for all of the above is a good cup of coffee in the morning, lots of water and mommies on speed dial when you need to hear the occasional friendly adult. Happy hour works too every now and then. One struggle I haven’t mastered yet is how to stay organized with customer relationships. In corporate we had wonderful, expensive software to ping me when I needed to call someone or send an email by a deadline. I am right now the only CRM our company has but I’m in search of any small business programs and welcome any feedback or suggestions!

LoriannFinal

Give me a brief rundown of your typical day at home with your baby, and working.

6:30am wake up call with “I want boobies” in my ear (I just stopped nursing last month). 7:00am coffee is ready and I have a couple hours to dedicate to efficient email follow up (SO IMPORTANT). Everything after that we make up as the day goes by. Most often times by 11 Frankie is in tow as we head out to do scheduled wedding walkthroughs, sneak in lunch and a nap on the way home. 80% of our business is done behind the scenes so that the 20% you see online, in photos and in your hearts is beautifully executed and part of the soundtrack of your lives. Thank you for having me, Jody and team!

Be sure to check out this lady’s website, and follow her beautiful instagram to get a glimpse into her seriously hectic, but seriously beautiful life.

Thank you to the incredible RLH Photo for the pictures, thank you for being such a huge part of this.

Check out the previous installments of The Working SAHM, click here for Episode 1, and here for Episode Two.

 

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New In The Shop: Temporary Tattoos!


Calligtatts

Something new has hit the shop! Super excited to launch these Calligraphy Temporary Tattoos – which are safe for your littles skin, too!

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This set of motivational tattoos comes in a sheet with 6 sayings: Warrior, Lover, Powerful, Hustle, Be Brave and Always Choose Love. I used “Be Brave” on Olive a few days ago for her first few days in school! And here she is below…giving you her best “warrior” face.

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Hope you love them as much as we do!

 

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Pretty Techy


DON'T-QUIT-YOUR-DAYDREAM-TEASER

Sometimes, we work so we can have the means to pursue our dreams – bur a lot of that time, it gets really hard to balance a day job, familial responsibilities, and have enough energy or drive to follow your passion.

Just a little reminder this Monday morning to keep on, keeping on.

It’s worth it – Don’t Quit Your Day Dream.

Download the Free Desktop Wallpaper over here.

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Making Our House A Home


In the past few months, we’ve been going back and forth about our house and if we should move into a bigger one with more space, to accommodate our growing needs. With my business growing and my clutter taking over the house and Olive being a full blown grown kid, we all agreed that we could use a little more…breathing room.

But because I’m so adverse to change, I really, really didn’t want to move – which left us with one option – to remodel! I want to make our house a home – a place that will be able to grow with us. Somewhere that Olive can be safe, but something that is also aesthetically pleasing to the adult eye. A meeting of family life and style.

We’ve been working with the talented Melissa Hon Tsai on this huge undertaking and we’re smack in the middle of the design process. I’ve been trawling Pinterest like a crazy person trying to put together inspiration for this rare chance to re-design our home.

Dining-Area-Inspiration Bathroom-Inspiration Kitchen-InspirationOutdoor-Living-Inspiration

I always thought that I would gravitate towards bright colors in the home, but instead, I’ve found myself attracted to light neutrals with brass fixtures, instead. I’m super into natural textures like wood and marble, too. What a surprise!

I’m so excited about this process, but am extremely daunted by it too. I don’t know the first thing about hardware…or landscaping…or renovations…. so I’m worried that we’ll be hemorrhaging money. But on the other hand, my brain is so ready to learn from this process – 2015 is going to be a crazy year!

Have you guys gone through a major remodel on your home? Are there any tips you can give me about this process? How would you design a child friendly home that ensures that it isn’t overrun with kid stuff? I’d love to hear any and all advice!

 

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Currently Totally Obsessed With…


Last weekend, we sat down to watch this animated film together as a family – and while I usually am not the kind to emotionally connect with a cartoon, this one really took my breath away.

It was stunningly animated with watercolor washes and great color, and it follows the story of a young boy as he learns how to be a better older brother to his unique (and magical!) younger sister. The music in the film was also so well chosen and beautiful – I’m kind of totally obsessed.

Have you guys seen it? What did you think? And will you watch it after seeing the trailer above?

I hope you’re having a great day, you guys.

 

 

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