Luciana’s 1st Valentines!

Luciana’s made some beautiful Valentines for her friends with a little help from Mommy and Daddy! We used a foam brush to coat her hand with red, non-toxic, acrylic paint. We kept a tight grip on her hand so it didn’t find its way into her mouth. We let her smear the paint on the heart-shaped cards and let them dry. We added fun little hearts (punched with a small heart punch) with an Elmer’s glue pen and wrote a short note to each of her friends on them.

IMG_0631IMG_3243IMG_3246We will be mailing them out as soon as we get all of the envelopes written out….

It’s not too late!! Go out, grab the supplies, and make some of your own!

Friday Fun-day!

In between homework and chores, Mommy and Luchi have been having tons of fun in the kitchen! Luchi had some homemade sweet potato mash and Mommy had a fruity salad and roasted chick peas for lunch! Girls gotta eat! This amazing new popcorn I found has been in a bowl by my computer screen for some of the morning as well! What an awesome snack! Eat whole foods and feel amazing!

I just piled anything fresh I had into a bowl to create this masterpiece. Apples, raspberries, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, feta, and spring mix topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

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These are just organic garbanzo beans from a can, rinsed, dried, tossed in 1 tbsp of olive oil, baked for 25 mins at 400 degrees and then sprinkled with spices of your choice! (I used 1/2 tsp of each, salt, coriander, paprika, and garlic powder) They are crunchy and delicious! 4 points plus for 1/2 cup.

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Look at those little teeth!! I love this baby!!

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We are going to finish our Valentine’s this evening…stay tuned for that post!

Chase the Sunset

I was cozy in my bedroom with a book and the baby on this lazy Saturday afternoon when I glanced out the window to see the glow of the pink sunset on the snowy roofs of the neighbor’s homes. Inspired, I put the baby in a snowsuit, bundled myself up, grabbed my camera and ran out the door to get my shot!

I got a few right out front of my house but was not done! I packed the baby up to drive down to the bay. We got a few more to satisfy us! So much beauty so close to home!

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An Update…

As if I needed another hat to wear, last week I added a new role to my list, student. I started back at school to get my BSN. I didn’t particularly want to take any more nursing classes but getting my bachelor’s degree is a personal goal. I want to show my daughter that her mom can finish what she starts. It is a financial burden and eats up a lot of precious time but I think it was all be worth it in the end.

My sister moved to North Jersey and I went to visit her new house for the first time yesterday. She is only 21 and she bought her first home on her own, is taking care of her 2 dogs, and working as an accountant! I am so happy for her and proud of her! Her new home is perfect for her at this time of her life and her town is adorable. We had so much fun! We went to a restaurant called Toast, wandered around Whole Foods choosing some really fun chocolate bars, tea, and goodies, and went to a place called Eagle Rock Reservation to see the skyline of NYC. Luciana had a blast visiting her aunt “Mo Mo”.

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Luciana is getting really big and more beautiful every day. She is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we couldn’t be happier. She is a really good baby and is a ton of responsibility but is worth every second of it. It has been awful going back to work because I LOVE being at home but I am doing my part to contribute to my community and make some money to take care of my daughter; my dad takes care of her most days while I work, we are so blessed! She sits up on her own now and plays so nicely on her own with her toys. It is fun to make her different foods. She loves sweet potatoes and pears. I am enjoying every day. Watching her grow is the most bittersweet experience ever; I love that she is healthy and learning new things but seeing her slip away from earlier stages hurts so badly. Here are some of our favorite photos from the last month, playing outside at the beach…

IMG_3023in the snow…IMG_2867in the custom Christmas pajamas I designed and sewed for her with her name in the fabric…IMG_2646and on Christmas Eve with Mommy and Daddy…IMG_2579Stay tuned for more inspiration, recipes, and much more!

Thanks for reading…come back soon!

10: Baby Products, so far….(1st 3 months)

Baby Products

So before I was a mom, I asked all my “mom friends”  what their favorite baby items were!

I received many items at my baby shower and I purchased some on my own. My daughter is 3 months old now and so I wanted to share our top 10 baby items…so far.

1. Fisher-Price, My Little Snugabunny Bouncer: This chair sits in our living room and whenever I need to get anything done, there she sits. It bounces with her movements but doesn’t move on it’s own like a swing. Necessity!

2. Prefolded Cloth Diapers as Burp Cloths: We can not live without these. We use them as burp cloths. In our experience they are best for absorption. We need one of these within a 3 foot radius of Luciana at all times.

3. Boogie Wipes: These wipes are unlike any other. They smell awesome and they are created to break down mucus. My daughter had a blocked tear duct for the first month of her life and these were our “go to” to wipe away the mucus. The scent called “fresh” is our favorite.

4. Medela manual breast pump: This pump is convenient and quiet. It is less work to clean when you only need to relieve engorgement. Disregard this one if you don’t plan to breast feed. I didn’t use mine right at first but am so happy I eventually opened and used it.

5. Chicco Keyfit 30: This car seat has been great. We have not had a problems with it. We bring our daughter everywhere we go. Best part is that it fits in to this frame, our number 6 top product…

6. Chicco Keyfit Caddy: This makes errands so easy! I am obsessed. I feel like my daughter is safe in this. We use it ALL the time.

7. Butt Paste: This butt paste is great when there is a little bit of redness. Clears it right up! Have not had a diaper rash yet (knock on wood).

8. Pampers Swaddlers: These are the only diapers we will use! We love them! They have a line on the front that tells you if it is wet or not. I don’t like the “baby dry” just the “swaddlers”. Also, there are always coupons for them, just keep an eye out!

9. Huggies Natural Care Wipes: We prefer the Huggies brand wipes. We have tried several but these are somewhat textured and come apart from each other with ease.

10. Summer Infant Bath: This is not the exact bath we have but its very similar and by the same brand. It has been perfect for us. We give our daughter a bath every night before bed.

 

In my opinion, don’t bother with these :

Wipes warmer

Rock ‘n play (unless you have a baby with reflux, I hear they are great for refluxing babies but we found ours unnecessary)

My best tip:

My daughter sleeps through the night, every single night. I am talking 8, 9, even 10 hours. I don’t know why but I personally think that it has to do with a few things…1. We always give her a bath at night. I believe it helps her understand the time of day it is. 2. I always nurse her after her bath for comfort even if she recently ate. Just for a few minutes if doesn’t need a full feeding. 3. I lay her in her bed while drowsy. She soothes herself to sleep. 4. I only ever place her in bed when it is bedtime. She does not nap or play in her bed. *You will learn the different cries. When I hear a “pain cry” I don’t hesitate to give gas drops. They help my daughter a lot.

I hope this is helpful! Comments welcome.

 

A Morning Boardwalk Stroll

It has been a month since my little Luci was born. Below is her 1 month picture:

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We have been healing from the birth and learning about one another; we are ready to venture out into the world again! We have made it to the supermarket, to my parent’s house, and to a few restaurants so far and she is doing great!! We decided to meet our friend on the boardwalk this morning for a walk and to run some errands today.  969103_10151527845475981_1853644265_n

Deirdre met us on the boardwalk and took this pretty picture (above)!

Lucy was snug in her stroller and was wearing a pretty bow that I made for her! So cute!!

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We walked and talked until we reached our first destination, Bashful Banana. I have probably blogged about the Bashful Banana before but it is a favorite of mine so I like to promote their business! Today I got the kiddie size banana whip with granola and chocolate chips. It tastes like ice cream but its 100% frozen banana. Delicious.

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We then moved on to the Ocean City Coffee Company where Deirdre bought an Iced Coffee and we chatted with a friend who works there. They designed the inside of that store with bags of imported coffee on the walls. They sell loose teas there too which I like (I don’t like coffee).

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We sat on a bench, enjoyed our whips and coffee and made our way back to our cars. When we split with Deirdre we moved on to our next stop, Bennie’s Bread. We got the best freshly baked rolls in town and pulled pork to make sandwiches for lunch.

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I sliced up a home grown (by my Pop Pop) Jersey tomato and made pulled pork and provolone sandwiches for lunch. It was delicious alongside some local blueberries.

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Good people, nature, exercise, and great food are the components of healthy and happy memories for me and my daughter!

If you visit the area check out these small businesses!

Happy Mother’s Day

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To the Mom’s who always put their children before themselves…

To the Mom’s who are cheerleaders for their children and who encourage their little ideas…

To the Mom’s who celebrate their children’s biggest accomplishments with them and make them feel confident & proud…

To the Mom’s who exhaust themselves to do favors for their children which they didn’t ask for but that move mountains…

To the Mom’s who just sit on the phone and listen when their children cry/complain for 20 minutes straight…

To the Mom’s whose children respect and love them so much that they would be satisfied raising their own children even half as well as they were raised…

And to all the other moms, besides mine, who mean so much to their children….

Happy Mother’s Day!

And a very happy first mother-to-be day to me! I am already obsessed with my little girl; I can’t wait to be the best Mom in the world!

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My Baby Shower

Today was a big day! I celebrated by baby girl’s upcoming arrival with my favorite family and friends at my baby shower; I had a blast and am so blessed!! I was “showered” with gifts, love, and well wishes for a beautiful future with my baby girl! DSCN1864

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My mom planned the whole thing with help from my sister! We had pink lemonade, fresh fruit, waffles with homemade strawberry sauce, eggs, bacon, and more! We even had homemade ice cream cake, cake pops, whoopie pies, and rice krispie treats for dessert!

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Most creative gift: Sushi made out of onesies, wash cloths, socks, etc., from Deirdre (see below)

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Most personal gift: Super soft blanket with silky edges (because her daughter loved her blanket just like this one) and some beautiful advice that made my mom and me cry, from Dari

Most beautiful gift: Entire box full of Vera Bradley baby stuff from towels to little booties, from my mom, of course!

Most healthy gift: Baby bullet and baby food recipe book! Cant wait to make my own baby food for my little peanut, from my sister, Morgan.

Each guest brought a book instead of a card too! They wrote special notes in the inside cover! So special! The baby already has the most beautiful library!

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Thank you so much, especially those who traveled!! Can’t wait to welcome this baby into such an incredible family of people!!

Baby birds

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Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

As I was scrolling through my Facebook this afternoon, I stumbled upon this amazing photo!

These little birds are so perfect and new! Their mother’s nest is beautifully sculpted just for them; nature is so inspiring! They made me smile so I wanted to share; thank you mother nature!

*Photo was taken by my friend, Kim Angelo,who photographed my wedding!

She also did the photo for the blog’s banner!

My hubby and I love her work! Website here.

March Morning

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On the corner of a blue bench, I sit.
Deep breath in, smell the salt, a gust of wind on my cheeks.
Exhale.
Runners and bikers pass, shaking the boards under my seat.
Two birds fly from behind me and land on a bush in the sand. A few chirp, a few flutters and they fly away.
Another gust of wind; It whips through my jeans.
Two older men come my way and pass me on my bench. I hear seconds of their conversation.
I close my eyes and feel safe.
The sun is warm on my nose and forehead.
Baby moves inside of me.
I think this is what happy feels like.
Another deep breath. I get up and go.

I went for a lovely walk early this morning. I walk by the water for the first part of my walk and on the way back I walk on the boards. I took a few minutes to sit and write this poem on my way back.

Here are some more photos from my peaceful beach walk this morning.

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