pint-sized mid-century modern awesomeness

I can’t believe these Eames-inspired chairs actually exist for little ones . . . and that I don’t have them in my home already!

Pint-size furniture has come a long way since the days of Holly Hobbie upholstered rockers (yes, I totally dated myself).

I found these little gems on Zulily: Mid-Century Rocking Chairs for tots in white and blue.

One word: obsessed.

 

 

“happiness just happened . . . and you missed it.”

I read that in a book recently and it smacked me like a sheet of cold water across my face. I was struck by the reality that with my multitasking bad habits, my obsession with documenting everything with photos and videos, my propensity to get caught up with work and to-do lists and whatever’s three steps ahead  . . .”living in the moment” has completely escaped me.

Here’s what I’d add to that line in the book: Happiness just happened . . . and you missed it. And guess what? It’s your fault.

After all, it’s my time, it’s my life and it’s my grubby little fingers that type it all in to my calendar, that write it all down on scraps of papers with check boxes and run-on lists . . . the same fingers that scroll through my phone at every free second like I’ve lost the winning Lotto numbers and they’re somewhere in my phone.


At the end of the day, I’m usually the one that creates the totally over-planned, over-committed chaos that has become my day-to-day existence. The choices I make to be behind the camera versus in the action, to juggle a conference call in the few precious moments I’m totally alone with my baby, to check email during my toddler’s swim lesson– they’re all robing minutes away from each experience. And I’m letting them. But not any more.

While I haven’t completely finished it (guess who’s “too busy”?), this book (The Happiest Mom) has me thinking of all the ways I need to change my approach to life. Starting with . . .

  • When I feed my baby, that’s all I’m doing. You don’t want to know how many times I did that juggling my crackberry, texting, tweeting, wondering if that last tweet made me loose followers (telling myself how lame that sounds, even if it’s in my own head), worrying if I finished that email. Wait. Let me look at my phone and check. ENOUGH. Just feed the baby. Me and him. That’s it.
  • Giving my toddler Momma time. Uninterrupted. TV off, phone away, real time. At the park, on our couch, anywhere. I’m talking eye contact, real conversations (you know, of the 2-year-old kind), just me and him. It’s sad to think about how many conversations we have with our kids that all revolve around “Sure” and “Uh huh” and if they’re lucky, an occasional “Ohhh…really??” all the while texting, reading, web surfing, watching reality TV, wondering if it’s too early for a cocktail, etc., etc.
  • Getting in the action instead of always having my face behind a camera or video recorder. I might have kick-ass pictures, but I’m not in any of them. And I’m not fully experiencing what’s happening when I’m too busy staging shots like I’m running a red carpet.
  • Giving my husband my phone when we sit down to eat, so he can hold it hostage. I don’t want to be that couple . . . huddled around their phones reading Twitter, checking into Foursquare, playing video games. Let’s take it back circa 1970s where we actually had to talk to each other. Or, stare at each other. Anything but ignoring each other for our phones. This would also be a good time to have heart-to-heart with my 2 year old, so he’ll stop crashing his crayons together like the restaurant is his personal rally race.
  • Banning talking about my clients or my work when I’m not actually working.
  • Forgetting about everything else when I walk into the gym, besides how awesome it feels to be out of my house and at the gym.
  • Not worrying about things that will have no bearing on my life five years from now. If no one will get hurt and/or I won’t care about it five years from now . . . it’s not worth distracting from the hundreds of things I could be doing with that time instead (see above).

I could go on for days.

If you took a good, honest, look at the things that prevent you from really soaking in the moments as they happen– what would you change?

operation birthday cake

It’s that time of year again. The one where my inner event planner meets my son’s birthday . . . meets my obsession with birthday cakes.  So far, each birthday has been inspired by the cake. I always start there– it ‘s a great visual and it ties the theme together.

 

His first birthday was a tiny smash cake (made with no dairy, since he was allergic at the time). Options were limited sans dairy…but we had this adorable little elephant made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then momma had to up the ante.  Birthday number two was so much fun to plan since he was able to communicate what he wanted by then. He was all about Yo Gabba Gabba . . . and momma was all about a big, bold over-the-top cake four-layer cake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year, we’re leaning toward Toy Story (his latest obsession). But in my search for cakes I’m seeing a never-ending supply of ideas….from Legos to cars, to Sesame Street. I’m learning toward this bad boy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some other boy birthday cakes I thought were adorable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re also obsessed with kids’ birthdays, follow me on Pinterest.

I’ve done the legwork on some inspiration boards for themes, invites, cakes . . . and odds are I won’t be stopping any time soon because my other little man turns 6 mos in a few days. Let the 1st birthday party planning games begin!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

forever young

photo courtesy: http://www.johnfuzek.com/Forever_Young_Band_Bios.html

I’ll warn you: I tend to get really sappy before I have to leave my kids. I always have those “what if something happens to me” moments that brings surges of emotions, makes me want to spend every waking second with them before I go, and usually leads to “just in case” letters.  The last one I wrote was right before I had my last c-section. I wrote a love letter to my son, and baby on the way. It’s tucked away in my scrapbook box.

o.m.g. I have a scrapbook box.

It still floors me sometimes that I’m a mom. And when I say things like scrapbook, sometimes it floors me that I’m that mom. But I am. I’m a sappy, sentimental mom who wants to document everything for her kids (sometimes to the point of slight obsession). I’m a mom who’d often rather be surrounded by the chaos that is a 2 yo and a newborn then out with friends. I’m a mom that’d rather be home with my boys doing absolutely nothing then be paid to go to one of my favorite cities in the world- New York- to do a job that I absolutely love.

But I’m going. Duty calls, and in a few very short days I’ll pack my bags and kiss, hug, cry and repeat…up until the security at the airport gives my husband the stink-eye for being parked in front of the terminal too long. Couple that with postpartum  hormones and it’s a recipe for an emotional tidal wave.

That brings me to this– last month I took my mom to see Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks. It wouldn’t shock you if I said when Stevie Nicks sang Landslide, and opened it by saying that parents need to hold their kids tighter, and kids need to hold their parents because we never know how long we have each other . . . I lost it. I held my mom. We sang, we cried. I thought of the hundreds of times I sang that song to both of my boys when they were in my belly. It was a beautiful moment.

What I didn’t expect was to completely lose it when Rod Stewart sang Forever Young. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad song, but since it came out when I was in high school and I was, ironically, way too young to get it, I just never related to it. But on this night, standing next to my mom, having just given birth to my new baby weeks earlier, I finally heard the words. It’s a brilliant song.

And as I sit here sappy, thinking of leaving my baby for the first time, the lyrics are so perfect for a note to leave behind to my boys:

May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you’re far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you’d have done to you

Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you’ll always stay
Forever young

May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong

May you never love in vain
and in my heart you will remain
Forever Young.

And when you finally fly away
I’ll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I’m right behind you, win or lose
Forever Young.

Momma loves you, forever…

design + nursery = trouble

Somehow in the middle of all my extreme nesting when I was pregnant with lil L, my husband convinced me to hold off on a full-blown nursery. After all, the baby will be in our room the first six months. Last time I obsessed over our first son’s room, it sat there (unused) until he was one.

Here’s the downside my husband didn’t consider: I’ve now had months to obsess over it. And it’s going to cost him!

These are just a few of the things I’m obsessing over that fall in the style/color palate I’m going after. I’m loving bright whites, deep charcoals and punches of super-poppy blue!

this mom (modgblog.com) is getting tons of love on her son's room. i'm obsessed with the white branches against the deep charcoal walls. i have to have charcoal walls. http://tinyurl.com/6yx6a5a

clean. modern. awesome. olio studio double cylinder light from dwell. http://tinyurl.com/63s4g49

i haven't decided if this goes better with my toddler's room. music is such a major part of our lives and this is just downright adorable. http://tinyurl.com/6kbblje

DIY art.

 

 

ok. this one's going to hurt a little . . . like $1,000 hurts coming out of your wallet. but it's amazing. dwell studio thompson glider, charcoal. momma loves... http://tinyurl.com/63rbvk4

dear mom:

i love this woman

Thank you for sharing invaluable wisdom like choosing friends wisely and being a good judge of character.

Thank you for sharing practical advice that’s guided me throughout my career on being good for my word, following through and mentoring the people I manage.

Thank you for showing me how important it is to be reliable.

Thank you for always being the one person in my life who holds me on a pedestal but never makes me feel stressed about living up to any pre-set expectations.

Thank you for reminding me that life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.

Thank you for having an infectious laugh, a beautiful smile, sparkling eyes and an easygoing love for life that I hope to inherit.

Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on, arms to cry in and for the thousands of times you made me laugh to remind me not to take things too seriously and not to take things too personally.

Thank you for telling me, as far back as I could remember, that I was smart, that I was talented and that I could do anything in the world I set my mind to.  I’m smart enough to know that I got this far in life because I always had a mom who believed in me.

Most importantly, thank you for being an amazing grandma to my boys.  I’m so grateful you’re here so they can grow up to adore their Grandma Mimi as much as I loved my Mimi.

I love you infinity.

she's always supporting my work

easter with the all-boys club

There I was, surrounded by aisles of pink peeps and lavender wicker baskets (that looked no different from the ones I rocked on Easter circa 1979) . . . then it hit me: I’m lost here.

A husband and two sons later, I’m now in the all-boys club. Ultra-pastel and tea party-esque Easter decor just won’t work in my home.

While I have had to make some adjustments to my girly-girl tendencies, I haven’t lost my modern sensibilities. After some serious searching, I’ve found some clean, modern, fun ways to make our home feel festive.

Chalkboard Paint Easter Eggs (Pic: VIA Home Made Simple). These chalkboard painted eggs are sleek, black (my fave), and perfectly paired with white serving dishes for centerpieces, or add a name and use it instead of a place card for Easter dinner.

I'm in love with the genius paint chip Easter garland. This photo is via a great how-to at Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Clean, modern, adorable custom eggs on Etsy (store: letsplaytag). Super cute chalkboard-painted over-sized egg shapes. If you have a big extended family (like we do), I love the idea of making one for all the kids, tying them to tree branches & they can "hunt out" their eggs.

Last but not least, these custom placemats (VIA Name Your Design) are fun and functional--- your kids can capture their Easter memories right on the back!


I’m sick, and I’m bitter about it

Normally, I could deal with it. I’m a glass half full person. Really. I can shake things off, work through it and move on with my life. But this time I have a newborn to think of, and in all of my germaphobe glory I’m basically staying away from him until I’m better. I thought that would be 2 days. It’s 4, looking like 6. Who knows.

I keep telling myself to get over it, at least he’s not sick, at least I can see him . . . I could be dealing with 1000 unthinkable things that could be 1000 times worse, so I just need to get over myself and be grateful he’s healthy and what I have is curable.

But I want more than anything in life right now to go hold my little man and snuggle with him (and remind him over and over that I’m his momma, not daddy, because in my sick twisted mom-guilt mind, part of me wonders if he’s going to confuse us).

Not sure if it’s the hormones, or if I’m just becoming needy in my old age, but if I can’t get better soon and go snuggle with my new baby, I’m not sure there’s enough tissue in the world to sop up all this sappiness.

A C-Section Mom’s BFF

My journey to a C-Section is a whole other Oprah that I plan to tackle later, but I couldn’t pass up sharing these little saviors.

As I was contemplating my likely C-Section (my second one), HipMamaB (@hipmamab) recommend that I check out C-Panty. Desperate for anything with the word “slimming” and “comfort” after major abdominal surgery, I grabbed a couple online.

I didn’t try them until two weeks later (I’m a chicken and the idea of rolling anything up over my tummy terrified me), but when I finally tried them I wish I’d worn them from the get-go. They’re comfy, they hold you in (can’t stress how important that is), and the little silicon section actually feels good on your scar. And let’s face it, while they do come up to your bra, they’re about as sexy as you can get post C-Section especially when giant net hospital panties are the alternative!

The style I used was “TummyCut Incision Care” (Sounds sexy, right?). They’re $47.50 per pair and IMHO, worth every penny.

Rude Awakening at South Coast Plaza

Growing up in L.A. and Orange County, South Coast Plaza was always a staple. Whether it was for quick runs for a going-out outfit or some serious shopping, the Bloomingdale’s- Louis- and Chanel-lined corridors were my go-to. I made my first trip back post baby this weekend and it hit me . . . my whole world has changed.

For the past 10 months, I traded skinny jeans for maternity tops, hooker shoes for flats and Nordstrom for the Target baby aisle. Everything I was once familiar with and that seemed completely the norm (like being greeted with champagne at Dior, window shopping dressed like it was a fashion show), seemed completely foreign. There I was in yoga pants and a hoodie, the most comfortable shoes I could find, blowing through the mall from point A to B as fast as I could before my boobs sprung a leak . . . but not before I grabbed my coveted post-baby Spanx. I had no fabulous handbag to speak of, just a wallet, because everything else was shoved in the diaper bag in the trunk of my car.

Everything I saw along the way amused me. Women in full hair and make up and six-inch heels swung their Saks bags leisurely, snacked on tray passed hors d’ oeuvres in boutiques and looked like the only thing that could rush them was a pending mani-pedi appointment. A year ago I probably would have been too busy putting on my own lip gloss to notice these women. But now, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I felt like a tourist in my own backyard.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating. I adore South Coast Plaza and I say do your thing, you shopping divas. I’m just realizing that with a toddler, a newborn and a year of working out before I could even say the words “skinny jeans,” it’ll be a long time before I’ll be hitting the mall in heels. I might work my way back up to lip gloss. Eventually.

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