Thursday, March 12, 2015

spring cleaning with murchison-hume

elodie has actual chores now and it's important to me that she can clean without me worrying about getting harsh chemicals on her hands. her favorite job is cleaning our refrigerator (little hands are always hanging out here with magnets and such) and dusting. i've been experimenting for a couple of years now with the different eco-friendly cleaners that are on the market and have also made my own cleaning concoctions. apart from a few essential oil cleaning sprays i like that i gleaned from here, i've been mostly disappointed trying to go completely natural with my cleaning supplies. murchison-hume has been such a great discovery for me. it's sometimes hard to navigate which chemicals are bad for you and to figure out how to implement a change for the better in your home. their ingredients are front and center and mirror everything that i have researched on trying to clean up under my kitchen sink. i also found this and this helpful on how to dispose of the last of the bad products that i had lying around.

this post is sponsored but all opinions are my own. i would never review something that i didn't believe in or wouldn't gladly purchase myself. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

when to wean (and a medela pump + accessories giveaway)

francesca is a bit over two and i am starting to wonder when we will wean. she likes to nurse in the morning and evening and i still love these quiet moments together. however, i am aware that this time is fleeting and i will likely wean soon as she ventures out into the world a bit more each day. tonight, when i put her down, i sang her "stay awake" and she pat pat patted my chest while being slowly lulled to sleep. i closed my eyes and tried to trace the moment so that i could etch it in my heart. i feel like i've grown so much as a mother over these past six years and it's interesting to think back on this breastfeeding journey. i love thinking about the cocoon of the newborn days and the sleepy naps on my chest. the sweet smell of milk and baby coos. i am also reminded of harder moments which i am also grateful for and would like to share with you.

when elodie was four months old i went back to work full time at a job i really, really disliked. if i quit then i would be responsible for paying the company i worked for thousands of dollars as they had moved my husband and i across country from new york city to los angeles. our plan was for me to work there for the two year contract and hopefully have a baby sometime after. of course, babies come when they are ready and i found myself pregnant a full year earlier than anticipated. i had four months with elodie and then headed back to work. i packed up my medela pump, a little photo of elodie, and headed to the office. every day was emotional, especially when it came time to sit in the tiny room within the bathroom that was the only private place to pump. i would get worried if i didn't get enough ounces or if i forgot to pump and became engorged. but pump i did. i was committed to breastfeeding elodie exclusively until she was at least one year old and was happy when i made that goal. there were hard times along the way with both girls. i was prone to mastitis and engorgement. i remember receiving comments from family members who couldn't believe i was still breastfeeding after a year. the connection that elodie and i had was so beautiful and i thankfully ignored any voice other than my own. i don't really know why i felt so strongly about breastfeeding elodie (i weaned her when she was a little over 2 1/2 years old) but i did. it saddens me that in this day and age there are so many conflicting voices over a mother's choice whether it is to breastfeed or not. a woman is the only person who should decide what is best for her and her baby.

in honor of international women's day (which was this past sunday but, really, every day should be women's day!) i am giving away a Medela care package which includes:

A Medela Freestyle Breast Pump 

Medela Accessories:
Medela Quick Clean Soap
Medela Quick Clean Bags
Medela Quick Clean Wipes
Medela Pump & Save Bags 20ct
Medela Lanolin
Medela Disposable Bra Pads 30ct
Medela Shoulder Bag (Medela double pump kit, cooler and ice pack)
Medela Breastfeeding University Card

to enter, leave post a comment on my instagram Medela post with a nursing or pumping moment (funny, sweet, hard, whatever) that you remember and tag/follow @Medela_US.

alternatively, please post a comment below with a nursing or pumping moment (funny, sweet, hard, whatever) that you remember and follow Medela on Facebook. if you are commenting here, please make sure you leave your email address as well. this giveaway is open to US residents only. i will be announcing a winner on friday march 13th.

Medela has recently launched Medela Recycles. the recycled pumps (moms can ship their old pumps back to Medela) support the initative which donates new, hospital-grade multi-use breastpump and supplies to Ronald McDonald House charities, to provide moms with the same high quality equipment they use during their hospital stays. With nearly 40% of the families served by RMHC caring for babies in the NICU, this offering supports breastfeeding mothers. more info on how to recycle your pump here.

Medela gifted me similar products and i will be donating them to a local mama in need. i wanted to do this post because i am a whole hearted advocate of nursing and think that breast pumps can help in so many situations. please support women in your sphere of influence with whatever choice they make. we are all in this together.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

dolphin mania

the girls have been obsessed with dolphins lately (especially after our trip to see the dolphins) so i'm thinking this one over at fawn shoppe is going to be the swimsuit of the season + it's organic!

image fawn shoppe

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

little minis

my sweet friend kelly started a beautiful line of girl rompers called little minis. they are designed and made right here in los angeles using vintage dead-stock fabric. i am a sucker for a romper and was so sad when elodie would no longer wear them. i'm going to squeeze francesca into them as long as she will allow!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

island time

i realize how lazy i have been lately mainly posting on my instagram account and writing in my journal rather than on here as well. in an effort to unplug a little, i ended up unplugging a lot. it officially feels like spring here in los angeles and it's been fun to spend more time taking photos and writing outdoors.

i just returned from a few days on the island north of seattle where my mother lives. it was so lovely to spend time with her and the rest of my family and to take in the pacific northwest. this place has such a big part of my heart and i hope to return soon. here are some of my favorite moments in this beautiful place surrounded by water.

and more photos on instagram!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

annie's + bernie's farm: real food is fun

ever since we started our first garden in earnest, elodie and francesca have loved everything to do with growing food and watching the first shoots appear in the garden beds. they harvest our kale, sweet peas, broccoli, carrots, and beets and help me make kale chips and big salads with the ingredients.
on a recent thursday afternoon, we sat down with a big farmer's market box that annie's sent us that was filled with healthy snacks and meals from their new bernie's farm line, as well as fun activities, a kit to grow some of our own fruits and vegetables, and a little gardening tool set. the girls opened the seed kit, filled the little pots with soil, and marveled at the different shapes and sizes of the seeds. it's so great that annie's is working to make snacking a little more meaningful by teaching children where food comes from.
i always try to pack the girls lunches with fruit and veggies from our garden and local farmer's market and will sometimes pack annie's snacks as well. i love their commitment to organic ingredients and the fact that they use no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. the shapes and colors of bernie's farms snacks are super fun and feature little tractors, farm animals, and carrots.

since it was thursday, after we planted and had a snack, we made our list and headed out for our weekly trip to the farmer's market. it has been such a great place to introduce the girls to a variety of fruits and veggies that change throughout the season. they are way more likely to try new foods if they have selected it themselves and they get to actually meet the people who grow what we are buying. 

another great learning tool that really helps reinforce where our food comes from is a book called "how does my garden grow" by gerda muller. it is the story of a little girl who lives in the city and gets her vegetables from the supermarket. it then follows her to her grandparents' farm and shows what goes in to growing fruits and vegetables. it has such lovely illustrations and it is fun hearing elodie tell people about her favorite parts of the book. knowing that we are connected to the food cycle is one of the greatest bits of knowledge that she could have. real food IS fun. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

the guest house

this being human is a guest house.
every morning a new arrival.
a joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

welcome and entertain them all!

even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it's furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
he may be clearing you out for 
some new delight. 

the dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in. 
be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent as a
guide from beyond.

- jelaluddin rumi