The Battle With Food

So remember how my food posts back in the day were all about my battle with Olive and solid food?

Oh, you don’t? It’s here, here, hereherehere.

Well, I just wanted to give you a little food update. Olive is now 22 months old, and she’s become a champ at eating. She’s handling the fork and spoon pretty well, and she has a great appetite. Yes, we still have difficult days where food goes flying, but I’d say that 99% of the time, she eats without complaints. We all eat the same food now too, which is great since I can cook ONE MEAL for the whole family, and not 2891846 other tiny things to please a picky eater.

The road was long, and it wasn’t easy, but we’ve hit a nice cruising speed of “good eater” right now.

For Moms who are currently embroiled in a food battle, I want to say that this too, shall pass. Here are a couple of things that helped me tremendously:

1. Staying Positive: This means that even if your baby is driving you absolutely livid, don’t yell at her or scold her for not eating. Make mealtime a pleasant experience, and not something both of you dread. If you need to, take a break – step back and breathe. Then try again, or call it a day. Making mealtime a tense place isn’t what you want; do not give your kid a negative association with food. Keep it light, keep it happy.

2. Family Mealtimes: I think eating together as a family everyday has helped Olive master using her utensils quickly. Yes, this means that I eat lunch everyday at 1130am, and that dinner for my family is at 6pm. There are a couple of benefits here: One, this is a time where we gather as a family without distractions and connect with each other. Two, Olive watches how we eat – and how we use our own utensils, and tries to emulate. And Mom, if your kid is trying to learn how to use utensils, it’s going to be a messy time for a while. Just let it go. They are trying to pick up a new skill. Embrace the mess! It pays off.

3. A Supportive Group of Mamas: When I was having “food anxiety” or “food issues” with Olive, I happened to find this amazing group of Mamas on Facebook called Feeding The Littles. This group helps moms with questions about baby and toddler food, shares family friendly recipes, placates worries and celebrates food successes. This group has been so valuable to my sanity, and I couldn’t have gotten here without them.

Here is a quick video of Olive eating at Ikea just last week. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come.

Have a beautiful Monday, everyone.



Olive is Currently Totally Obsessed With…



We’re in month 22 – wow, Olive is almost two years old! Here is what she’s totally into this month:

01: Elmo’s First Babysitter : I found this book in the $1 section at our local Target. I mean, what a steal, right? Olive really likes Elmo (I’m not really sure why, we don’t even watch Sesame Street) and makes me read this book over and over again. In the Elmo voice. I’m getting really good at doing the Elmo voice, you guys. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

02: Camelbak Kids Bottle : Ever since Olive started to drink out of sippys, I have been on the hunt for a bottle that is easy to drink from and doesn’t leak. I have had so many things in my purse completely ruined because these “no-leak” bottles are lying to me. This Camelbak bottle hasn’t let me down yet, and Olive seems to drink a lot more water from this than any other sippy we’ve used. It is designed to have you bite down on the straw to get it to open before drinking, and she mastered it in no time at all.

03: Duktig Play Kitchen, Ikea : I’ve mentioned that Olive was really into fake food a few months back, but this month, Olive has taken a newfound interest in the concept of cooking. I think it’s probably because she watches me cook all the time – and loves to help me wash vegetables for dinner. Well, she’s starting to cook for her toys too: turning the stove on and off to heat fake food up. So cute.

04: Tempera Paints : I was always kind of reluctant to give Olive paints because of the mess that would ensue. But you know what – I needed to get over that – kids need an outlet to be creative, and I’m not going to let a (little) mess get in her way. We got a few paintbrushes and foam stampers too, and she’s been asking to paint every day. We use washable tempera paints because they are non toxic, and let’s face it, I want the paint to wash out eventually.

05: Mailing Letters : I have a thing about sending out thank you cards, and I’ve always asked Olive to help me put the stamps on the envelopes, and pop them into our mailbox. She has since taken to drawing on her own cards, stuffing them into envelopes, using stickers as stamps and asking me to take her to the mailbox. We do this at least once a day. My mailman must be pretty confused.



Work Around the Web

Happy Monday!

As you guys might know, I contribute regularly to both the Beth Helmstetter Wedding Blog, as well as the Big City Moms blog….and in case you missed it, this is what I’ve been doing around the web, lately.

Wedding Flowers for Dogs:



A Blog Series I started on Beth Helmstetter’s Blog called “Everyday | Wedding Day”, takes elements from beautiful weddings and applies them to your everyday. This month’s focus was on Pillows & Throws:



On Big City Moms, I wrote an article about The Beauty In the Tantrums…(really, there is beauty in them!)

BCM(Photo Credit – RLH Photo)

Have a great week ahead!


The Obsession With Sharing – Why It Isn’t Always Right

I think the thing I hear the most amongst Moms at playdates is “Hey, My-Kid, you need to share! Share your toys with Other-Kid!” This happens a lot, and it usually happens to prevent fights between children and to prevent meltdowns. In fact, I think I have heard that phrase out of almost every parents mouth.

I’ve even said these words myself – but I have to tell you, I almost never mean it.

It’s not that I do not want Olive to learn how to share – I do – but more than that,  I want her to learn how to stand up for herself. Olive has always been really, really timid. She takes a while to warm up to people, and never dares to approach new situations without hand holding. So she never snatches toys, nor does she fight back when toys are snatched away from her, either.

This means that things are almost always being taken away from her by other kids, and she looks to me for help. I know she still wants that toy. And you know what, of course she still wants that toy….she was just playing with it, and she had it first! And even though I know she has a right to be upset, you know what words come out of my mouth? “Olive, it’s okay, you have to share – here, play with this other toy instead.”

I know why I say it too – because it’s the default, ‘right’ thing to say. But I’m going to make a change – instead of telling her that she has to share a toy that has been taken away from her…I’m going to tell her that it’s okay to be upset. I’m going to tell her that if she wants that toy back, to ask for back, nicely. I’m going to try and teach her to stand up for what she wants – and to go get it.

I am not trying to teach my daughter to be like everyone else – my job as her mom is to help her overcome the challenges she might face. And right now, it seems like she might get bullied or have things taken from her because she’s soft spoken.  I want to give her the tools to stand up for herself in the future, if she needs to.

So, if you are a mom who has a timid child like mine, I want to let you know that it’s okay to tell your kid that she doesn’t need to share.  And if you’re the parent of “that other kid” – I promise I’m not trying to start a fight. I hope we can both understand that we are all just trying to be good parents to our children, here. So mamas…. don’t be peer pressured into saying the ‘right’ thing…because what’s most important is doing the right thing for my own child.


Currently Totally Obsessed With…


Stumbled upon these amazing “Mom” Cards from Sapling Press – I love them.

Here are the “Classic Mom“, “Mother Nature Mom“, “Martha Stewart Mom” and “Forever Young Mom” cards – and they are all so damn funny.

Which one are you? I am totally the Classic Mom:

“1a. Brought you into this world, b. Can take you out, C. Is the master of Family Scheduling. 2a. Owns mom jeans in various shades of denim b. “Because I said so, that’s why!” see also mantra c. Always knows best.”

Aren’t these just the best cards to give to your friends? Oh, and there are dad versions too (Check out Hipster Dad, Outdoors Dad, and Sports Dad) . So cute.


The Most Important Work


I’ve been pretty busy this past month – the husband was out of town for almost 3 weeks, and amazing new projects have been crossing my path. This means that the amount of work I’ve been having to manage has been piling on – and in addition to being a full time SAHM to Olive, well, needless to say, it has been both an exhausting yet exciting time.

I really try to take care of all the stuff that needs attention while Olive is sleeping – but sometimes an email will need an urgent response, or phone calls will come in while we’re in the middle of playtime. And I take them. Usually, Olive doesn’t really care and she plays well on her own, but last week she looked at me and started to cry. She sobbed, “Mama, no phone! No more phone!”

Guilt Trip to Shame City.

Do I really use the phone that much in her presence?

In this age where technology gives you everything at your finger tips, we often take full advantage of that by being glued to our devices. It makes getting work done more efficient; it makes multitasking ever possible. But I have to admit that sometimes I’m not giving Olive the attention I know she deserves, because I’m ‘doing other things’ on my device. I’m not fully present to experience things with my daughter.

I need to keep that in check.

So…just a little reminder to myself – and to those others who need it:

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”

- CS Lewis


Pregnancy Symptoms, whaa…?

No guys, calm down, not mine.

It’s the cutest little ad starring real life couple Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard…all about pregnancy symptoms….oh right, and the Galaxy S Tablet. But whatever, I was focusing on the cute pregnancy symptoms.

Hope you’re having a great day!


Motherhood Lately…


If you scroll through the blog posts from the days of my early-motherhood, you might get the distinct feeling that I was fraying at the seams.

And you know, you aren’t entirely wrong about that.

For a long time, I thought motherhood was really, really tough. Perhaps I just wasn’t used to the idea of it – and let’s be honest, caring for a wee baby is one of the most tiring things you can do, and it is relatively thankless for a long time. And all that pumping, bottle washing, puree making nonsense was just really tedious, too. Going from only taking care of yourself, to being fully responsible for another human was too much for me to handle, and there were times that my husband worried I would never go back to being the happy, bubbly person that I once was.

And there were times I thought he might be right.

I’m not sure when things started to turn a corner, but I recently realized that I don’t gripe about the things I used to before. Motherhood has gotten…smoother, easier. Yes, there still are really tough parts every now and then, but overall, it’s kind of awesome. She is so interested in everything and is so keen to learn, and she really is super fun to be around. Olive walks really well now, but she also doesn’t mind the stroller when she needs to be in it. She can also feed herself for the most part, and she eats what we eat, so I don’t need to cook a separate meal for her. She also thinks that helping me with the laundry and cooking is fun. She’s not much of a real help, really – but it allows me to get chores done while she’s awake.

And here is the kicker – last night as we were sitting down for dinner, she turns to me and says, “Mama, Thank you, cooking.” (Mama, thank you for cooking).

Yup, totally started bawling.

So to the moms out there who have tiny babies, and are feeling like this motherhood thing really sucks right now – it gets better. It gets so much fun, and so much better.

And until then…..there is always wine. (Just kidding! Not really.)

And for moms with older babies – was 22 months great for you, as well? I hear as we approach the 2s, it gets harder…and the 3s are even worse!

Hang in there everyone, you can do it!


Contributor: Big City Moms


I am so stoked to share that I am now a contributor for the Big City Moms blog!

I feel really lucky to be able to share my opinions amongst other great mamas who work so hard on this network! I will primarily be focusing on all-things-parenting and fashion, so please click on over to check out my very first post right here! It was so different getting to pick outfits for little boys….but I’m guess I’ll be doing a lot more of that over there!

Thanks for the support you guys – you have no idea how much it means to me. (A lot. A whole, whole lot.)



Art At Home: A How-To

I recently did this post below for the Beth Helmstetter Blog, and I love it so much that I had to share here!


I’ve always been a fan of wall art. It almost makes me feel like my room is ‘unfinished’ if I have too many blank walls. The problem is, I have such a hard time choosing the right art piece for my space – the whole process just seems so daunting.

Thanks goodness for my friend, Talenia Phua Gajardo – Founder and Director of The Artling: she has put together a few things to consider for choosing that perfect piece for your home.

1. It’s Emotional:

Go for what makes you feel good. You’ll have to look at the same piece for a while within your living environment, so it has to be something that grows on you with time.


2. Research:

Look up the artist, find out where they’ve shown, who else collects them, which galleries they’ve worked with, and what they are trying to say with their work. It’s not just about the decoration, you’re also supporting an artists’ career!


3. Budget:

It helps to have a set budget to narrow down the options – there is so much amazing work out there.


4. Planning for Space & Lighting:

Figure out where the work is going and how the lighting in that area is, so that once the piece arrives, it can go straight up and be installed.


5. Be decisive:

While impulsiveness is never a good thing, don’t wait too long if you feel strongly about a piece… otherwise someone else may beat you to it!


6. Be bold:

Explore Sculpture and Media. There are many options besides flat works that could be fantastic additions to your collection. Case in point, This is Kohei Nawa’s ‘Pix-cell Deer’ – one of my favorite wall pieces.


To learn more about The Artling, click here.
Artwork found here:
01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 
Have a great week ahead you guys!