Have Baby... Will Travel.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All you long-time readers out there know that there is little more I fear than taking a baby on a plane ride. After some not so fun trips with the little man, three continents during his first 6 months of life to be exact, I swore that with baby number #2 we would remain more "grounded" during his first year. This meant that he and I would have to sit out the Summer trip to Costa Rica, a trip back to California to visit my parents, and even Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving. Even though I was sad to be left behind, I knew that we err he, was better off sleeping in his own surroundings until his routine {read sleeping through the night} was fully established. Short of some minor setbacks in the sleeping department, we pretty much reached our goal of 6 months at home, so when my hubby suggested that we visit his 90 year old grandmother for a few days, I knew it was time to dip our toes in the "traveling with two kids" water. You know what? It was TOTALLY fine. So fine that even with a cold, 3 teeth coming in, AND a double ear infection, the kid (almost) slept and ate the same as he did here. I'm not gonna lie, we did as much as we could to re-create his home environment, and listening to him beep and squeak at the foot of my bed was less than ideal, but overall the trip was awesome and I would absolutely do it again. Yes, it looks like the family is again going mobile. All of us. You better watch out, we might some be coming to a town near you ;).

Here are some pictures from the journey.

 Baby's first plan ride. Yeah, he dug it big time.

On the return fight...hanging with the boys. 

I can't imagine traveling with a car seat without this. Sadly after 4 years and a dozen trips it broke on the way back. My MacGyver husband had the brilliant idea to push him on the LM's skateboard. 

Which made for a great way to keep him busy while waiting for the bags. 

Was it all worth it? Um, for your first "tractor" ride? Hell ya!

Now it's just time to decide where to go next....

Geek Is The New Chic.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I don't know what has come over me, but all of a sudden I am obsessed with all things "geek." As in, for me geek is the new chic. Just take a look at my most recent purchases for Spring.

These shoes. Are they not the coolest? I plan on wearing them all year long with my skinny jeans, red cords, leather pants, distressed boyfriend jeans, tan leather shorts, this dress...you name it. I'm just going to say it.... oxfords are so the new ballet flat. They just are. (Psst... these ones are on sale, with an additional 20% off, with free shipping, don't say I never hook you up :))

This is my new "everyday" bag. I heart it big time. It's gray waxed canvas, with a turquoise waterproof liner. It can be used as a cross body bag... clutch...and it's the ultimate geek accessory, claiming it can fit an iPad (instead I fill it with diapers and wipes!) Yeah, too cool for school.

This last item is what I'm MOST excited about. I am a big time eyeglasses wearer, I probably jab my eyes with spikes err contacts 5x year, so for me they are the ultimate accessory. I already have a pair of oversized tortoise shell glasses (totally geeky) but right now I am coveting a pair of ombre specks like the ones below. Last week, I found the perfect pair (at See) and I am totally psyched to pick them up next week. Pictures to follow!

From Boho mama to geek all in a year.... looks like I graduated ;).

Favorite New Beauty Buys.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Every time I try to get back here, to the blog, I feel like something always pulls me away. This week it's February vacation, life with two kids, and getting ready for a mini vacation to Grandma's house...Yada, yada, yada. So, I haven't been the best blogger, but since you all are just so damn awesome, I had to make sure I shared with you my favorite new beauty buys. This is the stuff that has been rocking my world for the past few weeks, and what has been helping me to {try} and keep it together during these cold(ish) winter months. 

Okay, so this purchase is technically for Spring, but since it's going to be like 60 degrees this week, why not usher in the sunshine a little early. As much as I love me some red/orange lips in the Winter... for the next 6 months I feeling pink. HOT PINK. This matte lipstick is where it's at to rock this look. (love)

The other day my blowdryer finally gave out. I say finally because I've had the thing since high school. Not to date myself, but that was some 15 years ago. Considering the initial cost 15 dollars, I'm pretty sure I got my money's worth. That being said, I was still hesitant to spend $$$$ on a new blow dryer. Yes, I know some people swear by those expensive, uber hot, fancy blow dryers.... and I have no doubt that they are awesome. The thing is, I probably blow out my hair one every two weeks, at best... let's be honest, since Gray was born it's more like once every two months, so I didn't want to blow the bank. My hairdresser suggested/uses this one. It doesn't cost as much as a handbag, and still gets hot/ is ceramic/ fancy.... etc. 

If I blow out my hair once a month... I curl it about once a decade. It's not because I don't love the way it looks, it's just that my super pin straight hair hates to bend... and so far the only curling iron that has done the trick cost about 300 buckaroos. Again, I ran the problem by my hair guy and not only did he prove to me that I can curl my hair, but he did it with this 30 dollar iron. Yes please!!!!!

I used the 1 1/2 inch barrel to create these waves.... ON MY OWN! (P.S. if you didn't already know this ((I didn't)) the key to getting the perfect curl is to start in the middle, wrap hair around ((never clamp)) and then let the wave fall into your hand, still hot and coiled, and hit it with a touch of spray... then drop it when it cools completely. So easy, even I could do it!

I don't even know what to say about this item. Some people love it... some finds that it irritates their skin. I am 100% in the first category. It cleared up 90% of my pregnancy acne and my skin feels like buttttteeeeerrrrrrrr. I even notice less lines the more I use it, it really is like a daily facial. The key is not to use it too much. Dry skin 2x a week. Oily, more.... and NEVER more than 1 minute, once a day.

This last product is probably my new favorite thing in the world. (sorry baby Gray) The world. It all started the other day when I was looking around the gym during my core class and I realized that I was by far the whitest girl in the room. BY FAR. I kept thinking, "there is no way that all these people just got back from the Bahamas. Some of them have to be faking it." So began my mission to "fake" being tan. Initially, I considered going to a booth (I know CANCER!) and quickly reconsidered. A trip to Fiji was out, so I went to Sephora, and asked what my next best option was. I HATE the smell of self tanner, so after sniffing every bottle in the place, I found this smelled the best. Little did I know it was also the GREATEST PRODUCT EVER INVENTED. Seriously, it's a foam that goes on (with a mitt you buy) that is tinted, so you can see where it is, and isn't, not missing a spot. It dries in 60 seconds, and after a shower, a few hours later you are left with beautiful golden glow. A second coat the next day makes for the perfect, natural looking tan. I'm pretty sure I going to use this every week for the rest of my life. Yeah, buy your stock now. All the color that comes with a trip to St. Tropez without any of the wrinkles!!!

There you have it, my current favs. What are you all loving? Please share!!!

The Roly Poly.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Since so many of you are having some of the same rolling baby issues that we were/are I figured I would give a little update on BG's progress. I am very appreciative for all your advice, and you'll be happy to know I took it, and I {think} it might have worked. (Said while crossing both fingers.) Here is where we are currently at.

So, after 3 days and three long nights of rolling to his stomach and then immediately freaking out, I finally broke down, called the Pedi to get the permission I needed to begin to ignore baby boy as long as I could tolerate to do so. You all were right, (duh) and she confirmed, that if they are strong enough to get to their stomach, than they are strong enough to tilt their head to the side to breathe. Once I was assured that he wasn't going to die (why is this always my first thought?) I decided to think of the whole thing as extended tummy time; something he clearly needs.

Armed with the resolve I needed, I went to bed determined to ignore any cries for flipping, and swearing that I would not (under any circumstances) look at the monitor to watch him flail around so helplessly begging for someone to save him from himself (can you tell I'm a total wimp when it comes to these kind of things?) Needless to say, I was ready...

Of course, you know what happened?


Absolutely nothing.

Around 4am, I turned him on only to find him sleeping soundly on his BACK...

At 6, I did the same, and saw him awake on his side, teetering just to the edge of rolling over, at which point he would plop back down again on his back. He did this about 10 times. You could just envision the dialog that was going on inside that little brain of his:

"really, really want to roll over."
"okay, I'm going to do it."
"just have to flip...."
"don't do it... if I do it that bitch is just going to leave me here."
"then I will be screaming and spitting, and squirming, and NO ONE will come get me."
"screw that, I'm just gonna lay back down on my back and chew on my toes."

And so on....

That lasted for a few days, until this morning, when the unthinkable happened. I woke up in a panic at 6:45 because I didn't hear him at all during the night. When I looked at him on the monitor, I had the hardest time seeing his face. At first I thought it was just the lighting, but then I realized it was because I was looking at the back of his head. The kid was sleeping on his stomach!!!!

Of course, at first I thought he was dead, and immediately ran into his room to see if he was breathing... he was, and continued to hang out on his stomach while I made his bottle. Sweet baby Jesus.... it's a miracle!

If only to show off, earlier this morning, not only did he roll onto his stomach to play, but the freaky little genius then rolled back onto his back err the hardwood floor.... oops. Looks like my baby flipping days may have come to an end.

May the force be with all of you still night flipping... if my lazy baby can do it... anyone can!

P.S. How is it that kids can sleep almost anywhere, anyway? The picture above of that baby sleeping just cracks me up. I wonder what age it is that you lose that ability? Must be some kind of baby superpower!

Paris: The Itinerary.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I have received so many requests from family, friends, and readers for our awesome Paris itinerary that I figured I should start off the week (of what I hope to be all about love and my love for this city) with the details of our trip. This was carefully crafted with the input many, and reviewed by someone who lives in the city... so you know it's the real deal! We were able to cover about 90% of the things on this list, and when I go back, I plan on doing all of them again!!! I hope this is something that you will be able to bookmark, just in case you find yourself stuck for 5 days in the most beautiful city on the planet!

- This itinerary starts on a Saturday for a reason. Most things except the Marais are closed on Sundays, and almost all the museums were closed on Monday. If you are visiting on different days, you will have to move things around.
- A lot of the food choices are not very "French" but when we went, we were the only foreigners there. Most of these places will not be in your typical guide book.
- As soon as you book your hotel, have the concierge call and book your lunch/dinner reservations. It's hard to eat anywhere without them.
- The Metro system is AMAZING. We rarely took taxi's unless 1) we were very dressed up and freezing, or 2) we were very lost.
- I'm sure there are some misspellings here, definitely check the street names with your concierge.
- I take no responsibility if you are halfway through your trip and you decide to sell all your possessions and never return. The thought crossed my mind a number of times during our visit!.

Without further ado. My Paris journey.

Check in/ breakfast
-rue du Bac
-rue de l'Universite
Comparable to Soho, West Village, Chelsea part of the city. Definitely a must!
       -get cheese at barthelemy
      - go to deyrolle for home goods (amazing taxidermy)
      - Boutique 7 rue se montalembers (good clothes)
Hermes flagship in left bank. (bottom of a converted pool) -> very near the Bon Marche.
Visit Bon Marche's grocery to stock up on goodies for the week. 
Dinner at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (reservations can only be made for 6:30 and must be confirmed the day prior) $$$$ but well worth it!
Drinks after at next door Hotel or cab it to this young/ hip place like we did Le Paino Vache in the Latin Quarter.

Sun Walk The Marais (my favorite part of the city)
Breakfast- Rose Bakery (rue Debelleyne) - tiny place, nice but perhaps not very French (it's like for French going to Balthazar in NYC) So amazing and worth the wait!!! Get pastries for later!
Walk around Marais. Le Marais is made of tiny narrow streets, very charming, typical of the old Paris. It hosts both the gay and jewish quarters. 
The Marias is a great area for shopping and walking around. Right by the Place des Vosges there are a ton of great stores that will keep you busy and a stop at the Musee Picasso or Musee Carnavalet is always nice.A specific walk that we took was starting on Rue Charlot and Rue de Bretagne or further up by Rue de Normandie. Walk straight down Rue Charlot heading towards Rue de Poitou and along the way there is an adorable hidden market called the Marche des Rouges Enfants (something like that) it is really cute to walk through and stop for a bite to eat. When you reach rue de Poitou on Rue Charlot make a left and walk to Rue Vielille du Temple and make a right down that to Rue des Francs Bourgeois and turn left and walk towards Place des Vosges (the most beautiful square in Paris).
You’ll hit a ton of great stores including an everyday sample sale on Rue de Poitou right off of Rue Charlot. There is also a store called Shine on that block that I love.  You'll hit a lot of the French designers on that walk such as Vanessa Bruno, Tara Jamon, etc.
 If you go the other way on Rue de Poitou towards Blvd Beaumarchais and make a right on Blvd Beaumarchais you’ll hit this new concept store Merci. It is absolutely adorable and they have a tea salon that you can enter from the street on the right hand side or you can walk through the courtyard to the main store and they have a little food area downstairs. It’s a really cool store that opened last Spring by the owners of Bon Point the baby store. This is store has everything!
Lunch L'As du Falafalle here- it will blow your mind!
Musee D'Orsay (closes at 6). Another one you could try is Jacquemart André which used to be a home and is the most charming place in Paris if you want to understand how people lived in Paris in the 19th century (fantastic ballroom). The tea room is great too. 
Dinner at Derrière (8pm rue de gravilliers)- Small funky restaurant hidden behind a door and in a garden. Very funky and modern, food is excellent! Get the caramel macaroon for dessert. Actually get three, one for you appetizer/ dinner/ and desert ;).

George V triangle
On the right bank by the Arc de Triomphe, there is the George V shopping triangle:  Avenue George V , Ave Montaigne, Rue Francios:  Celine, Christian Dior, Lacroix, Erex, Gucci, Bulgari, Prada, Marni, et Balenciaga, etc).  There is also the George V and Plaza Athenee for a cocktail.  The new bar at the Plaza Athenee is amazing.  Champagne cocktails!  -> avoid the Champs Elysées, touristy, crowded, lots of pickpockets, go to the avenue Montaigne where all the nice shops are. 
Stop for coffee/lunch at L'Avenue.
Taxi to Centre Pompidou
Lunch/ at 1 at George's at the Centre Pompidou -> amazing view (better than Eiffel Tower), good chocolate cake. 
Walk Pompidou- where the Warhol's and modern art are on exhibition.
Dinner at 8pm Mama Shelter (quite a hike... 25 min train/10 min walk 109 rue de bagnolet) Very modern/ funky. Super cool vibe. Kind of a seedy part of town, we didn't mind.  Or,instead you could try a nice brasserie. A great one the Brasserie Lipp in Saint Germain, in front of the Cafe de Flore. Try the ty
pical French dishes (lots of carbs but  delicious), some tourists go there but it's better on that front than the Grand Colbert which is FULL of American Tourists.

Train to Versailles - Wear good, comfy and warm shoes, the gardens of versailles are almost as pretty as the castle itself. The Trianon Palace is a must for a 'gouter' (4pm French snack/high tea)
I'd recommend grabbing a sandwich from a patisserie on the way. The train is about 1 hour each way from the center of the city. Beautiful views on the way.
Open 8:30am-8:30pm
Dinner at Verjus 8pm (rue de Richelieu). Amazing restaurant by the owners of the former Hidden Kitchen (google it, I'm sure it was amazing!)

Lunch at 1 at Le Fumoir  or in front of the pyramide du Louvre you have the Cafe Marly which is pretty good for lunch too.
Walk behind Louvre and down st. Honore... Look for Colette
Drinks experimental cocktail
Dinner Frenchie at 7:30pm or 9:30... only 2 seatings per night.
Hemingway Bar at Ritz

Fly Home :(

Near hotel in St. Germain
Pierre Herme Macarons
72 rue bonparte near st. Supliee (nice stores on street)
Mariage freres (sp) tea - also in the Marais
24 rue serves Get Marco Polo tea bags

Also recommended by friends.
Eat lunch at Aux Nuits des Tres on the rue de beaune
Steak frites at L'Entrecote- multiple locations.
Tea Room at Laduree.

The only thing I wish I would have added was a visit to Jim Morrison's grave. I guess now I have a reason to go back!!!

Paris Interrupted.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I had planned on blogging this week about all things Paris... the fashion, the food, the shopping.... and still intend on doing so, but I have to interrupt talking about Parisdise with a cry for help err advice. Like please come to my house and fix this for me, kind of advice. Any takers????

Okay, so for the past few weeks months, I have been waiting for baby boy to roll over. When he was 4 months he went from back to front a whopping 3 times, and then he did a whole lot of nothing until we went on our trip. (Of course, we missed not only this milestone, but also seeing his two front teeth coming in, actually I'm kind of happy about the latter because he was not a happy camper while that was happening ;)) Prior to the roll heard around the world (seriously, it happened right after a Skype session) I was starting to think (like I always do) that something might be wrong. The LM was a rolling fool at 6 months, so of course, I though that there was some dramatic reason why at 6 1/2 months, baby Gray refused to even try.

The reason, of course, was he was lazy, and I was crazy, and he plans on proving to me over and over again that HE IS NOT HIS BROTHER. Okay, okay, I get it... geesh kid... feel free to go on developing at your own pace. 

I digress.

Anyway, for the past week the little guy has perfected the art of rolling from back to front. One would think that mastering this task, would make rolling the reverse way a given, because the first is so much harder. As always, that "one" would be wrong.

How do I know?

Because my kid just can't seem to put the two together. As in, anytime you lay him anywhere (including the crib) he immediately rolls to his stomach. Where he happily plays for all of two minutes. Then he gets tired. The panic sets in. He starts to cry. Then scream. Then face plant. Then cry some more. Followed by more face planting.

You get the idea.

This goes on until someone, usually the LM, is nice enough to go over and give him a (gentle) nudge, flipping him onto his back. During the day this isn't a problem. At night? Well, I learned last night that there is only one baby flipper in this house, and as luck would have it, it turns out that person is me. (Lucky right?) So now, my kid who was FINALLY sleeping from 6:30pm- 6:30am, who no longer needed me to feed him in the middle of the night, now needs me to get up, not once.... not twice.... but THREE yes, three!!!  times to flip him back over. By the time the 3rd flip was necessary, he was also hungry. Apparently mom = food after 4am.


I really don't know what to do. I've tried all day to get him to roll back the other way, and he refuses to even try. I've tried leaving him on his stomach, thinking that eventually he will give up the fight and/ or flip to his back, but after 5 painful minutes I had to step in and help him.

Here is where you all come in and save the day? Right? So far, the only thing I can come up with is that tonight I should put him right up against the bars of the crib, this way he won't have any space to roll onto. Either that or he will grab onto the bars and use those for leverage. We will see.

Short of duck tape or sewing his sleep sack to the sheet does anyone have any suggestions? I actually considered the second... so you know I'm desperate.

I'm sure that this is another one of those funny little things that will soon pass, but for now... I'm not laughing.

Until then, here is the Valentine I'm sending to baby boy.

And that is exactly what I am about to do.... 

(Photo via A Cup of Jo)

J'adore Paris!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Okay, clearly the above is not me, but let me tell you, this is exactly how I felt during our marvelous 6 days in Paris (or as I now call it Parisdise!) I've been back 4 days and I am still unable to put into words just how amazing our trip was. People keep asking me what was my favorite part of our visit, and I feel like a fool because I just stammer on about every little detail, because I can't possibly pick just ONE thing that was better than the other. If I had to say what I will always remember, it was our last night there. The Hubs and I were all fancied up, and we were in the back of a car, having just left the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz. We were both a little buzzed from the giant martini we had just consumed, and I was staring out the window babbling on about how amazing everything was. It was at that exact moment, that the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle, and soon after our driver took a turn under a bridge and we were speeding past the Louvre. Everything was so quiet and so beautiful, and I swear I had to ask my husband to pinch me, because I couldn't believe we were actually there. The whole evening couldn't have been more picturesque, and it was the perfect end to an already perfect trip. Soon we were back in our hotel, Skyping with our boys, who were also having the time of their lives. I  really couldn't have asked for anything more! In fact, the next day, when we surprised the LM after karate, he turned to us and said, "I wasn't bad when you guys were gone, I was fine, I had fun." The baby, of course, just looked at me, smiled like I had been gone for two hours, and went on playing away." Talk about a dream homecoming! 

If any of you are planning a trip over there 1) I am so jealous, and 2) feel free to email me and I'll send you our itinerary with links. For those of you who emailed me tips, I can't thank you enough! A special thanks goes out to Coralie, a lovely reader, living in Paris, who combed through my notes to make sure I wasn't missing anything!

I am so happy to be back, but I have to admit, in my head I am already planning our next trip.... where else but back to the land of wine, cheese, chocolate croissants, steak frites, and fashion! I'm thinking next time, maybe a girls trip ;)?

Oh, how I J'adore Paris! 

P.S. Have you all seen this book? It comes out today, and after our trip, you know I had to pick up a copy! I have to admit, the kids I saw over there were VERY well behaved (and equally as beautifully dressed) I'll let you know if I pick up any tips!