Monday Mashup

I’m back with a Monday Mashup this week! There are just so many good things to share! Hope everyone had a nice weekend! Here are the things I’m loving this week:

  1. Family Fun Day at the Del Mar Races: Did you know that the Del Mar Racetrack is holding Family Fun Days every Saturday and Sunday for the duration of the race season? Rumor has it! Stay tuned for my post tomorrow about all things Del Mar Races including all of the information on the Family Fun Days! And while Blake may not be old enough yet to participate in some of the activities, she sure does love her adorable little plush horse (thank you Del Mar Races!)Del Mar Racetrack
  2. Sand Cloud Beach Towel: I don’t know about you but every time I lay out on a beach towel at the beach, I stuff my clothes under my head to create a make-shift pillow. Those days are now OVER because Sand Cloud has conveniently built a pillow into their beach towels for you! Brilliant! And the towels are so soft and stylish, offering cool colors to choose from. I also love this start-up company because it’s the brainchild of 3 best friends local to San Diego and they’re all about good vibes, good people and good energy! Help spread the word about their kickstarter video that launched on July 21st!sand cloud beach towel
  3. Chatbooks: If you’re like me and post way too many photos on Instagram (sorry, friends), Chatbooks will take your photos and print them in a 6″ x 6″ photo book (perfect for your purse or coffee table). And the best part? 60 pages for only $6 plus free shipping! I’m ordering my first volume when they come out with the Android version on September 15th!
  4. Green Toy Stacker: I had to give a shout out to this AMAZING baby toy. Blake easily grows tired of toys so I usually have to rotate them for her weekly. That is, until I bought her this green toy stacker. She’s obsessed! When I stack up the pieces she loves knocking them down, then she throws each one across the room and crawls over to get it. It’s like her own personal game of fetch and it provides hours of entertainment. Eventually we’ll get to the stacking part, but for now, Blake’s perfectly happy chasing all of the pieces around the family room. (No BPA, PVC, phthalates, or external coatings.) green toy stacker
  5. Reverie. a print shop.: I’m happy to share that I’ve opened up my own print shop on etsy – something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but just never had the time. Now, as a stay-at-home-mom, it’s such a fun creative outlet for me while Blake naps and I can’t wait to officially launch the shop in mid-August (celebrations to follow). You can expect digital prints, framed prints and much more coming soon! Straight from my site, here’s what REVERIE is all about, in a nutshell: Reverie Print Shop

    My name is Kristin and this shop is my creative outlet, allowing me to escape into a state of dreamy meditation full of fanciful musings that feed the soul. I love anything that sparkles, words that encourage, and phrases that empower. I believe your office/work space should be a showstopper: motivational, creative and pretty, because you’re a go-getter, darling. So DO.WORK. Like a boss. Welcome to my REVERIE and I hope you enjoy.

Reverie Print ShopReverie Print Shop

Fab Moms: Nicole Gomez of Hiring Done Right

I’m excited to introduce you to my next guest blogger, Nicole Gomez of Hiring Done Right. Nicole and I actually go way back, having attended the same Elementary and Middle School in Sacramento and playing in the same softball league growing up. We’ve recently reconnected as we’re on similar life paths, both as new mothers and starting our own consulting businesses. Nicole is the ultimate Fab Mom because she’s the mother to two beautiful TWIN girls (they’re absolutely gorgeous!) Nicole also recently launched her own HR Consulting Business: Hiring Done Right.

Here is Nicole’s Fab Mom Spotlight:

Hiring Done Right

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    Layla Rossi Golfieri, 13 months (June 1st) and Emelia Grace Golfieri, 13 months (June 1st).
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    Business Owner – When I became pregnant with my twins I knew that corporate america was no longer going to fit into the lifestyle I wanted for my family. 3 amazing things came from 4 months of bed rest: Layla, Emelia and the launch of my business, Hiring Done Right.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    In addition to building a business I am also planning my wedding. Of course, losing the baby weight to get into my wedding dress has proven to be a big challenge. Before the family wakes up I try to run to the gym or a spin class. I get the coffee brewing and straighten up the house from the disaster it was the night before, return emails and of course, check social media. The twins and their daddy wake up around 7. We play for a bit, have breakfast, get dressed and ready for our day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the nanny comes to the house, and I work from my home office or go out and meet with clients. Mon, Wed and Fri I am home with my sweet girls. After their morning nap, we usually try to do 1 fun activity outside the house everyday. From swinging on the swings at the park, to spending time at the beach or going on a play date with our friends, it’s always a great time. By the time afternoon nap time rolls around, I usually try to get some work done. When the girls wake up from their naps, we play and wait patiently for daddy to come home from work. My fiancé and I usually cook dinner together while the girls sit in their high chairs and eat “appetizers”. After we all eat dinner together at the table, the girls take a bath, we read some books and cuddle up until bed time – which is about 8:30.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    I certainly don’t have it all figure out but I must say communication with my partner is key. It took some time, but we have learned how to be excellent communicators. From our daily schedules, to our daughters eating habits, to how many more pounds I need to lose before I can fit in my wedding dress, we talk about everything . Because we are so open about what we want and need, I feel like we are willing to make sacrifices to make sure our each others needs are being met. We are more of a team than ever before. There is no way I could do any of this without my fiance, he is willing to bend over backwards to accommodate my needs and the needs of our girls. If your husband, wife, baby daddy or life partner knows what you need help with, they just may surprise you and step it up to support you in ways you never imagined. All mommies are super stars, but we cannot always do it alone.
    The other way I have learned to “juggle it all” is to put one of the “balls” down. Less to juggle makes life a lot easier. For example, I have learned to lower my standards when it comes to keeping up the house. There are toys everywhere, the dirty laundry has overflown out of the hamper and onto to the bathroom floor, there are tiny handprints and lick marks all over my mirrors and windows. To learn to let go of what used to be an immaculate and adorable house took some time, but I have learned that it’s just not as important in the grand scheme of things. My kids are never going to look back and say, “Mom, those chipped walls from us banging the stroller around the living room has had a huge impact on who we’ve become as adults”.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    A lot of women say they feel like a mother the moment they find out they’re pregnant. That wasn’t the case for me. I didn’t even feel like a mother when I held my babies in my arms for the first time. The first time I felt like a mother was when my own mother (who stayed with us for the first two weeks) flew home to Northern California and my fiancé went back to work for the very first time. The girls were two weeks old and we were laying in bed, alone for the very first time since they were brought into this world. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with emotion, I felt a deep and unexplainable love that I never could have imagined and I just cried. I was theirs and they were mine.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    I constantly worry about making the right decisions for my girls. I worry about society, the community, and keeping them safe. I stay up at night and worry about the “mean girls” in middle school. For me, that is by far the hardest part of being a mother. I want the absolute best for them and I second guess myself and the decisions I make at least a dozen times a day.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The most rewarding thing for me as a mother is seeing how happy my girls are. When I see their genuine smiles and hearing their laughter give me a sense of security in knowing I must be doing something right. The girls have also started showing affection. They are now giving me big hugs and kisses, it melts my heart. Those little actions of love my girls show make up for the sleepless nights 100 times over.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    I can’t remember the single “funniest” moment that has happened since I’ve become a mom, there are just so many. I can tell you that I am the most shocked by how unaffected I have become by bodily fluids. I used to gag when people would spit in front of me, now I go out in public with throw up in my hair and pee-pee on my yoga pants.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    My favorite mental snapshot is when my girls were just about 6 months old, they were in their high chairs looking at each other smiling and laughing. All of a sudden, they both reached out for each other and held hands. They sat there quietly smiling at each other holding hands for about 15 seconds. I literally cried watching that beautiful moment. I LOVE how much they love each other.
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    Dr. Browns Natural Flow Bottles – they have been a life saver. The girls have had the same bottles since they were born and absolutely LOVE them – we just switch out the nipples for faster flow as they get older. (newborn – present day).
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    Since becoming a mother I am more confident with who I am and what my priorities are. I’m not consumed with what other people think about me, my outfit, my hair or my car, my whatever. My family is my number 1 priority and I will do what is best for them 100% of the time. I like this strong and secure version of myself. Also, I have such limited time, I have really been able to evaluate relationships in my life, the people who are important in my life are still there, while I’ve learned to let go of others.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I love being able to workout in the morning, it gets my day started on the right foot. Once a month I like to schedule a night with girlfriends. After the babies go to bed, I have dinner and cocktails with some of the fabulous women in my life. On the occasional Saturday morning, I love to sneak away for a massage.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    My most favorite outing was a recent trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My brother and sister-in-law recently had a baby boy, Colton. We took our girls up to visit our family and meet Colton for the first time. I absolutely loved sitting in the back yard with my fiance, daughters, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and watching all the kids play. It was a magical day seeing the whole family together for the 1st time.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Pitfire Pizza in Marina del Rey is incredible. The staff is warm and inviting, the food is delicious and they have the best sangria. There are always a ton of kids around so I don’t get dirty looks thrown my way if one of my girls has a melt down.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    Follow your gut. There are so many different opinions and ideas out there about how to raise children. You have to ignore all of it, listen to what your gut is telling you and do what is best for your family.

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com – we’d love to feature you!

 

A Look Behind the Rose Colored Posts: Motherhood is hard

I wrote this post about a month ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch with Blake not sleeping through the night and not taking naps and I was really feeling like I was at the end of my rope. I’m happy to share that things have completely turned around since I first wrote this – more sleep for baby (and mom) does wonders for quality of life - mostly sanity! I still want to share this post though, because I think it’s very honest in showing that motherhood is not always butterflies and rainbows over here – as I know it may appear that way sometimes on this blog, other blogs or on social media. 

I write a lot about the joys of being a first time mom, because honestly, 99.9% of the time – it’s all joy – of course trying at times, but still all joy. Some days, I even feel like I’m ON FIRE – juggling all of life’s pieces with a baby in tow as if it aint-no-thang. Those are glory days! Then, there are the doomsdays – the 0.1% of the time where things just fall apart and you realize, this is hard. Today, I’m getting a little more personal than I usually do and sharing one of those days because – honestly – it wouldn’t be fair to always only show the bright side of being a first time mom. Plus, I think it’s therapeutic to say it out loud and share.

How are we going to make it through today?

This morning I just stared at myself in the mirror: dark bags under my eyes, a dazed look on my face and lifeless eyes staring back at me. How are we going to make it through today?

Blake woke up three times last night, once to eat and twice just to remind me that she was still there and that she knows how to roll over. I swear the second she learned how to roll from tummy to back to tummy – the child will not stop rolling. This includes rolling in her sleep, which means she’s waking herself up several times per night, which means I’m waking up several times per night helping her get back into a sleeping position. This has been going on for 8 weeks now and, to put it simply, I’m tired. Really.Freaking.Tired.

The Predicament

So after Blake woke up nice and early after a horrible night sleep, we all (Tucker, Blake and I) go downstairs and I let Tucker out in the backyard to go to the bathroom. Tucker, still being the pup at heart that he is, decides to dig a hole around some of our plants in our backyard and then proceeds to re-enter the house and prance around in triumph – tracking mud everywhere.  I finally chase Tucker back outside, shut the door and try to put Blake down in her bouncer so I can go clean the mud off of Tucker’s feet. But Blake begins wailing because she doesn’t like when I put her down during the day. You see, she’s going through a “stage 5 clinger” stage where she only wants Mama right now. I leave Tucker outside so I can pick Blake back up, but Tucker is barking and barking and  jumping on our glass door, smearing mud everywhere. I just sit there baffled because I’m not sure what to do at this point. There is a puzzle game in front of me: muddy dog, muddy house, crying baby – and at this moment, I don’t know how to make the pieces fit back together so we can go about our life.

I feel the urge to flee the scene and when I realize that Blake and I need to head to the grocery store because there’s no food (or coffee – yikes!) in the house and I’m starting to get hungry, I give myself a mental high-five, “Brilliant! Let’s get the hell out of here so we can deal with this mud fiasco later.” I’m also kicking myself for not going to the grocery store over the weekend when Mike was home to watch Blake. I need to remember to do that next Sunday so I don’t run into these “no coffee in the house” predicaments anymore!

The Incident

Blake and I complete our grocery store trip and on the way out of the parking lot, I sideswiped a parked car. A PARKED car. Are you kidding me? I get out and assess the damage which was quite minimal since we were going 2 mph, but still – ughh, why today? As I’m leaving a note for the owner of the car with my insurance information, she appears in a frenetic state and I immediately understand that this conversation is going to be much more dramatic than I had anticipated. I was right. Over the woman yelling at me and carrying on over her scratched bumper that was all my fault (she reminded me several times), I hear Blake crying from her car seat and I quickly end our conversation and tend to my daughter.

As we get back in the car to leave, I feel myself wanting to go anywhere but home because I know Tucker is waiting for me with muddy paws and our house is a disaster zone from his stunt this morning. I try to think to myself how I’m going to unload all of these groceries, while keeping Blake happy and having to listen to Tucker bark at me from the backyard. I shake my head at myself because these are all such simple tasks: unloaded the groceries, clean Tucker’s feet, vaccuume the house – but at this moment you might as well tell me that I need to find a way to fix this country’s current debt catastrophe – it just seems impossible.

Hi, it’s Kristin…I’m incapable of small life tasks at the moment

Blake is in a mood when we get home because she’s about 20 minutes past her usual nap time, thanks to the incident in the parking lot. I put her down in her crib and then run to the car to grab the groceries. She begins screaming bloody murder as Tucker is barking and jumping on the back window. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5. I count in my head really slowly to calm myself. After running up the stairs and putting Blake’s pacifier in her mouth several times, she continues to scream bloody murder even though her eyes look so tired, poor thing. I decide to let her cry it out for 5 minutes. I never let her cry, but I’m feeling desperate. I lay down on my bed, watching the baby monitor and note the time so I know when the 5 minutes is up. 2 minutes pass and you would think the child is getting tortured in there with her high-pitched screaming. I also hear Tucker barking downstairs and realize that I NEED to go and put at least the cold groceries in the fridge before food starts to go bad. I feel tears starting to flood. Why is this so hard?  I’d like to “dial a friend” and ask for help – “Hi, it’s Kristin – can you come unload my groceries? I’m incapable of small life tasks at the moment. Thanks.” or “Hi, it’s Kristin – are you looking to adopt a 70 lb. golden retriever dog? I have just the one for you.”

Don’t Call it a Comeback

After some deep yoga breaths (oh yea, that fun relaxing thing I use to have time to do), I somehow collect my thoughts and “return” from my frantic mental state. I walk into Blake’s room, rock her for a minute or two and give her the pacifier. She goes right to sleep! I feel like I just scored the winning goal in the World Cup. GOOOAAAAALLLLL! A small victory dance ensues in my head.

I run down stairs, unload all of my groceries in record time (seriously, Guinness Book of World Records: Hi, I have a new one for you) and head outside to clean Tucker up. I finish my whirlwind of accomplishments with vacuuming the downstairs dirt and scrubbing the mud out of the carpets. BOOM. Success!

Sometimes You Just Need a Minute

Bottom line, motherhood is hard, and sometimes you just need a minute (or several). Simple tasks become a matter of moving mountains, and if one thing goes wrong, you feel incapacitated. I find myself questioning my old life, pre-baby: did I really juggle all those work projects at once and then come home and cook dinner like it was no big deal? Am I that same person? Where is that gal when I need her?

Raising Tiny Humans

Sometimes I underestimate what goes into raising a human. Just think about that for 5 seconds though… we’re raising tiny humans aren’t we? It’s kinda crazy when you think about it. This is the hardest job – especially on the 0.1% days where all seems lost and you have no idea how to get it together.

But don’t fret, I remind myself – 99.9% of the time, you’re doing OK, mama – you have it together, even if you’re just barely hanging on to sanity and any sort of “life order” – you’re rasing  your daughter, a tiny human, and that’s impressive.

The Mommy Project

Whine and Dine: Ignite Bistro

After recently reading many rave reviews and receiving stellar recommendations from friends about Ignite Bistro, I had to try this San Diego restaurant for myself! So, off Mike, Blake and I went to experience another Whine and Dine for the books!

Upon entering this venue, you immediately feel like you’ve left the real world at the door and entered into a tropical vacation. Welcoming you to Ignite, lush plants and a stone outdoor fireplace and patio confirm that you’ve now officially checked-in to a hidden oasis tucked away from every day life. You suddenly get the urge to order a fun cocktail, share some appetizers and mix and mingle with the other patrons on the big open patio – this is Ignite, and everyone is in a good mood!

We opted to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the beautiful ambiance next to the stone outdoor fireplace – it just felt right when dining at a place called Ignite!

Ignite Bistro

The Low Down

  • Knowledgable Service: The service couldn’t have been better as our waitress was extremely attentive, efficient and knowledgable about menu items – recommending great food and drink options.
  • “Pretty” Craft Cocktails: Like I mentioned before, I was feeling very “vacation-like” dining al fresco at Ignite, so I journeyed beyond my usual wine order with dinner and opted for a craft cocktail from their amazing craft cocktail happy hour menu. It was extremely difficult to choose just one because everything sounded inredible, so I ended up just asking our waitress which one was the prettiest. (Because you know if I’m going to drink a craft cocktail, I’m immediately uploading it to instagram). She steered me to the “Hipster” made with tin cup whiskey, St. Germain, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh grated ginger and mint. Delicious and pretty – sold.
  • Calling all Bacon Lovers: Two words: Man Candy. Forget everything you know about your favorite bacon appetizer – this is way better than anything else. Trust me. A sweet and spicy homemade bacon appetizer. (Ignite: 1, any other bacon appetizer: 0).
    20140622_162157_20140709190341742
  • Calamari with a Kick: If you like Calamari, you must try this unique dish: the Thai Firecracker Calamari. I’m definitely a calamari kind of girl and I’ve never tried anything like it - bold flavors burst through (I guess you could say, like firecrackers) in this tasty dish.
    Ignite Bistro
  • Harris Ranch Beef & Fresh Fish: Mike and I split two entrees: the Gorgonzola Steak with Harris Ranch natural twin filet mignon medallions, mushrooms, sweet onions, steak sauce, and mashed potatoes (wow) and the Wood Roasted Salmon with wilted spinach, wild rice and lemon-caper butter sauce. Confirmation: this place has a great ambiance and the food to back it up – everything was incredible.
    Ignite Bistro Ignite Bistro
  • Fun for the Kiddos: Although Blake is not quite old enough to partake in ordering from the kids menu, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ignite is very kid-friendly. Children can make their own pizzas that are then cooked in the stone fire grill, followed by fun s’mores for dessert!
    Ignite Bistro
  • …In a Mason Jar: We almost made the horrible mistake of NOT ordering dessert, but somehow found the room to order the Banana Cream Pie…in a mason jar. Just let that soak in for a second and take a look at the photo below (disclaimer: yes, it was just as good as it looks – probably better).
    Ignite Bistro

My Favorite Part

I can’ t choose just one so I’m going to list all of my favorites for you: the Man Candy, Craft Cocktail list, Wood Roasted Salmon and Banana Cream Pie in the Mason Jar…oh and the overall oasis-like ambience of this San Diego restaurant. I also really appreciated Chef Alex coming out to say hello at the end of our meal - a very nice and personal touch.
Ignite Bistro

So, if you’re keeping close tabs, then yes, I just listed most everything I experienced at Ignite Bistro. This place gets all tens in my book.

Visit Ignite Bistro:
6996 El Camino Real,
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760.438.7800
Also, follow Ignite on Facebook as they’re heavily involved in the community and always have fun events and specials happening weekly!

 

Disclaimer: I received complimentary food and beverage to review this venue. All opinions are my own and The Mommy Project, San Diego only shares businesses that we can honestly recommend.

Fab Moms: Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms

I’m so incredibly excited to introduce you to my next Fab Mom – Heather Gibbs Flett of Rookie Moms. If you’re not familiar with Rookie Moms, please allow me to digress for a moment about how this site has changed my life as a new mom.

If it wasn’t for Heather and her business partner, Whitney, Blake and I would probably still be hiding in our house, too scared to go out and face the real world! Ok, I know, dramatic – but seriously, finding the Rookie Moms 52 weeks of challenges was the best thing I could have stumbled across as a new mom. It gave me small little goals to accomplish with my little one and the gentle push I needed to get out of the house. Without Rookie Moms, I wouldn’t have joined a Mom’s Group, which has led to so many wonderful memories and friendships, and I wouldn’t have planned a mom’s night out, which led to me now writing for the local site, San Diego Mom’s Night Out. Plus, there have been so many other fun moments as Blake and I completed, and continue to complete, exciting adventures together.

If you are a new mom and looking for fun activities to do with (and without) your new bambino - GO CHECK OUT ROOKIEMOMS.COM immediately. It’s a life changer. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, they run 510 Families for all of the Bay Area mamas.

Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, here is Heather’s Fab Moms spotlight:

Heather Flett

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    I have three sons: Holden (9), Milo (7), and Sawyer (2 ½)
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I’m a WAHM as a full-time blogger these days
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a school-day, I wake up at 6:00 to shower and get dressed before waking the boys up at 6:30. We all eat breakfast and do our morning jobs before the “shoe time music” goes off at 7:35 to tell us to get out the door. My husband usually walks the older two to elementary school and I drive the littleone off to preschool. I’m home by 8:30 to begin work of writing, social media amplification, and dodging my emails. Around 4:20, I sign off everything to begin my rounds of picking up children. We’re usually back home around 5:45 to watch a show (them, based on a schedule of who gets to pick on which day) and make dinner (me!). Bedtime for the kids is around 7:30, at which time my husband and I collapse in front of the television.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Lots of deep breaths.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    Of all the memories that flash through my mind when you ask that question, various medical emergencies all fight for attention. Being responsible for taking care of my oldest son during little and big medical events made me feel very parental like, “OMG, I’m really in charge here.”
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    It can feel very thankless at times.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The snuggles and giggles… and I love looking at them when they are peacefully asleep.
  8. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    I love the morning pile-on when the little ones wake up not-too-early and climb into our bed. The moment right before the kicking and poking gets to be too much is just precious.
  9. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    I think the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is fantastic. It works for ages 6 months to 16 years because it is fully adjustable as a chair. I sit in ours sometimes, too.
  10. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I see all of my anxiety and self-doubt reflected back in my children’s personalities and behavior. It makes me want to be a better person… or at least accept myself for the person I am. Not easy!
  11. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    I run, watch movies, eat dark chocolate, have meals out with friends.
  12. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    I love to visit the children’s museum with a curious toddler. In Berkeley, we have Habitot and Studio Grow. In Sausalito, The Bay Area Discovery Museum is paradise.
  13. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Picante in Berkeley is terrific. The food is excellent for all ages AND they offer curbside pickup so it is also a busy mom’s saving grace.
  14. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I love how you say “assuming she is willing to hear it” because I no longer make that assumption! I would suggest that she say, “yes, thank you” to all offers of help!

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Bodycare at Whole Foods Markets in San Diego + 25% Off

I recently attended a media event at Whole Foods Market, highlighting their amazing bodycare products. I was truly blown away at the thought they put into choosing the purest, best products to offer their shoppers and the way they are helping streamline better ingredients when it comes to bodycare. You really can’t go wrong when buying any bodycare at Whole Foods Markets because of their strict guidelines and quality standards. whole foods market bodycare

Whole Body Quality Standards:

I was very impressed with the standards that Whole Foods Market holds true for all of the bodycare products you see on their shelves. Whole Foods Market Quality Standards include the following:

  • We  carefully  evaluate  each  and  every  product  we  sell.
  • We  are  passionate  about  aromatic,  luxurious,  effective  personal  care   products  and  the  pleasure  of  sharing  them  with  others.
  • We  encourage  our  vendor  partners  to  use  plant-­‐based  and  naturally-­‐derived   ingredients,  pure  essential  oil  fragrances,  gentle  preservatives  and  non-­‐ petroleum  ingredients.
  • We  are  committed  to  high-­‐quality  body  care  products  that  have  a  proven   track  record.
  • We  only  sell  personal  care  products  that  have  not  been  tested  on  animals.
  • We  provide  personal  care  products  that  support  health  and  well-­‐being.
  • No  Animal  Testing

They also have baseline standards that don’t allow aluminum compounds commonly found in deodorant and some of the “nasties” that are found in conventional skin and hair products like Ammonia,  Ammonium  xylene  sulfonate,  BHT  and  BHA   (preservatives),  and more! Read more here on their premium body care standards -very impressive!

By the way, this is the list of ingredients that Whole Foods Market DOES NOT allow on their shelves, and it’s a long one: whole food market

Picky, picky – and I LOVE it! It feels good to know that when shopping at Whole Foods, they’ve already done the research on which products offer the healthiest ingredients and they’re extremely particular about what they put up on their shelves. In other words, you really can’t go wrong when looking for premium bodycare products while shopping at Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market One-Day 25% Off on all Bodycare Products

Head on down to your local San Diego Whole Foods Market on Friday, June 27, 2014 and receive 25% Off ALL BODYCARE PRODUCTS! (Coupon below required). I’ll be there stocking up myself! Whole Foods Market

Product Spotlights

While you’re there, check out these recommendations I have based on some of the fantastic products I was able to test out at the media event, or take home with me and begin using regularly. Here are some of my favorites, just in time for summer:

  1. Evanhealy Skincare: I had the pleasure of meeting Evan Healy in person and learn the history behind her skin care line. Evan started Evanhealy skincare based on the concept that “less is more” and the less you interfere with the skin’s own ability to achieve balance, the better the results you’ll receive. She has taken her love of plants and past experience as an esthetician and created a simple, plant-based skin care line that draws amazing results. I chose the Blue Sensitive Face Care Kit (up to 14 days of treatment including a cleanser, serum, moisturizer and clay mask) and am only on day 3 but am truly loving it so far! evanheay
  2. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps: This was my first stint with the acclaimed Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, which is shocking because they’ve been around for 150 years! And I love that their philosophy is simple: Quality soap making consists in great part of choosing the right proportions of the right oils. Coconut oil is very high lathering, but can be drying. Olive oil gives a really soft and luxuriant lather, but in small amounts. By using both coconut and olive oils in the right ratio, Dr. Bronner’s unsurpassed soaps offer the best of both worlds: high lather with superb softness on the skin. dr. bronners
  3. Aura Cacia Chakra Balancing: Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oils is the aromatherapy leader providing 100% authentic, pure and organic products. I LOVE the chakra balancing aromatherapy roll-on. You just apply it to your pulse points and behind the ear and inhale to nurture your crown chakra. Very calming and smells divine! aura cacia
  4. Mineral Fusion Lip Tint: This is a vegan, gluten and cruelty-free makeup line with amazing mineral makeup, nail polish and this lovely lip tint. I love the color I chose, sparkle, a soft pink. It smooths lips and provides lasting color throughout the day. Consider me hooked and Blake is stunned by the results! ;) minera fusion
  5. Burt’s Bees Dark Spot Corrector: I have a couple of dark spots after pregnancy, that’s why I am super excited to try this new product. Burt’s Bees uses daisy extracts that have been shown to be a natural skin brightening agent, helping reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. When this extract is combined with a multi-fruit complex, the mixture can be used to diminish dark spots and provide a brightened, more even looking tone. Sign me up!
  6. Makana Artisinal Pure Soy Candle: These smell incredible and I love the card that came with the candle: “Life is a Makana (gift). Treasure it.” These Makana Aritisnal Candles are hand-poured in small batches with 100% soy wax, phthalate-free fragrance and essential oils with natural cotton wicking. They’re also made with no paraffin, lead, colorants, or chemical additives and are vegan and cruelty-free. Love!

Visit your closest Whole Foods Market in San Diego and take advantage of this awesome one-day sale on products that you can truly trust. Find a Whole Foods Market near you:

  • Whole Foods Market La Jolla
    8825 Villa La Jolla Dr
    La JollaCA 92037-9994
    Phone: 858.642.6700
    Facebook: La Jolla
  • Whole Foods Market Del Mar
    2600 Via De La Valle, Suite 100
    Del MarCA 92014
    Phone: 858.436.9800
    Facebook: Del Mar
  • Whole Foods Market Encinitas
    687 S. Coast Highway 101
    EncinitasCA 92024
    Phone: 760.274.1580
    Facebook: Encinitas 
  • Whole Foods Market Hillcrest
    711 University Ave
    San DiegoCA 92103
    Phone: 619.294.2800
    Facebook: Hillscrest

Disclaimer:  This  is  a  sponsored  post  for  Whole  Foods  Market  La  Jolla.  All opinions are my own.

Monday Mashup

The bad news is, it’s Monday. But the good news is that it’s the first Monday of the summer (cue Kenny Chesney’s Summertime) and I have an all new Monday Mashup for you!

I first want to congratuate Tiffany Gramajo who won 2 tickets to SD Mom’s Night Out Relax in Style event on July 10 from my sweepstake that ended last night! Congratulations Tiffany and I can’t wait to see you there! (You may still purchase tickets with a $5 discount when you enter code: MPSD5 at this link: http://bit.ly/sdmno-relax-in-style

Now here’s this week’s Monday Mashup!

  1. Make Your Own Family Cookbook: How cute is this idea from the Clover Lane blog? Make your own family cookbook with family recipes and photos and then give it to your children when they move out of the house or get married one day. I love this because Mike and I are always asking our parents to send us certain recipes from our childhood.
  2. $30 to Zenni Optical: If you’re in the market for new eyeglasses, I’m giving away a $30 gift card for any eyeglass frame purchase on Zenni Optical’s website. The gift card will go to the first person who contacts me at: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com (Terms and Conditions: Must “like” Mommy Project, San Diego on Facebook and follow MommyProjectSD on Instagram). 
  3. Playtex Baby Giveaway: I saw on Rookie Moms that Playtex Baby is offering custom hand-illustrated pictures and stories for your little one. Enter for a chance to win a hand-illustrated tale or a $5,000 scholarship from Playtex Baby here.
    Playtex Baby
  4. Summer Cocktails: Check out this amazing summer cocktails list from Kelli Flores the blog - everything looks so refreshing and pretty. She had me at the Champagne Grapefruit Mojito - mind blown! Can’t wait to make this at our next backyard BBQ.
  5. San Diego Fireworks Shows: Making plans for the 4th of July in San Diego? With so many different firework shows happening in San Diego, it’s hard to keep them all straight! Check out So Cal Savvy Mom’s extensive list of firework shows happening all over the county - so helpful! I can’t wait to celebrate my favorite holiday!
    San Diego fireworks

Have a great week!

Fab Moms: Joelle Khannakhjavani of Mother Earth Brew Co.

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to my next Fabulous Mom in the series, FabMoms! Meet Joelle Khannakhjavani, one of the owners of Mother Earth Brew Co. here in San Diego, California! Mother Earth Brew Co. is an awesome brewery with a tap house located in Vista. Their tasting room is family friendly and offers some of the best San Diego beers on tap. Joelle also happens to be one of my good friends who I met in college and an all-around great person and rad new mama! You can follow Mother Earth Brew Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!

Mother Earth Brew Co.

  1. Who calls you mom and what’s his/her/their age?
    My little Valentine, Zane, born 2/14/14.
  2. What do you do? (SAHM, business owner, blogger, full-time/part-time employee, etc.)
    I work part-time for our family business, a MicroBrewery in Vista, Ca called Mother Earth Brew Co.  I do a little bit of everything; right now I mostly manage our Homebrew Store but soon I will be working closer with our sales team.
  3. What does a typical day look like for you? (And the word typical should be taken with a grain of salt – I know they’re hardly ever typical)
    On a day off, I like to meet up with a mommy group or other friends around the area, hit the park, the pool or go for a walk.  If my husband is home we do an outing to the store or maybe even the driving range.  On a work day, fortunately I am blessed with lots of family that lives close by so Zane is watched by my Mom twice a week and either his GiGi (my mother in law) or my aunt the other day.
  4. Any advice on how to “juggle it all”?
    Take help when it’s offered! Whether it’s a friend bringing dinner, your brother offering to babysit or your mom coming over to vacuum, take it.  Also, a little bit of normalcy goes a long way.  Have a glass of wine or a pint once the little one goes to bed, or go out on a date with the hubby as much as you can.  A glimpse back at the “pre-baby” you can re-set you after a long week, and that can do wonders.
  5. When was the first time you really felt like a mother?
    When I overheard my husband asking Zane “Are you ready for Mommy to give you breakfast?” after Zane was a few days old.  Hearing someone else refer to me as “Mommy” made it hit home.
  6. What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
    Finding time for me, my husband and me, AND my son, my husband and me.  It’s all a balancing/juggling/scheduling act that is endless but exciting and necessary too.
  7. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
    The first time I heard Zane laugh, it felt like I was actually doing a good job.  It meant he was happy, and I was the one keeping him that way.
  8. What’s the funniest/most shocking thing that has happened to you since you’ve become a mom?
    My husband was changing Zane’s diaper early in the morning.  The way the room was situated, Zane was pointed directly at the head of our bed.  We happen to have a Temperpedic Ergo and I was raising the head of the bed to nurse him.  Right when the bed was at the right height, Zane EXPLODED and poo shot out exactly in the spot my head would have been had I not raised the bed.  We about died laughing, and quickly cleaned up the mess.
  9. I wrote a post about “mental snapshots” that I’ll always remember, even without a photo. I know it’s hard to choose one, but what is your favorite moment, or “mental snapshot”, with your little one(s) so far?
    Again, that first laugh.  I’m not a super emotional person but I about broke into tears the first time I heard that raspy belly laugh.  I was sitting on my brother’s couch, and I was holding Zane so he was sitting up facing me.  I would lean toward him and say “HIIIIiiiiiIII” and he just broke out into his first ever giggle.  It was so amazing.  My husband wasn’t there but luckily my mom, brother and sister-in-law got to hear it too!
  10. What has been your best baby product purchase so far and why? What age is it appropriate for?
    Oh my there are soooo many life savers, but I have to go with the Baby Einstein Neptune Play Gym.  Not only is it a great distraction so I can get some dishes and laundry done, but you are actually able to watch a lot of their developmental stages.  From newborn and just trying to focus on the objects, to seeing themselves in the mirror, to grabbing the toys, now pulling and chewing on the hanging objects.  It’s also great for Tummy Time and has a portable music player that lights up that you can move to the car or crib.
  11. What’s something new you have learned about yourself after becoming a mother?
    I’m a lot more patient now.  I used to always feel like I was in a rush so things could be done, but now I’ve learned to relax a little more, not fully, but more than before ;-) Mostly because there are just some days you can’t do it all, and that is OK.
  12. What do you do to unwind/relax when you have some rare time to yourself?
    Mani/pedi or drinks with my Hubby or the girls. Resets the soul.
  13. What is your favorite outing, to date, with your little one?
    Well, there have been many since I was never one to stay at home, but one of my favorites had to be the beach.  We were staying with my mom in San Clemente and went to the Pier for a few hours.  We took sandwiches and laid out on a big quilt under an umbrella.  Then I dunked his feet in the water and took the stroller to the end of the Pier.  It was a beautiful day and he was all smiles the whole time.
  14. I have a running list of Whine & Dine Restaurants that are family friendly in San Diego. What’s your favorite restaurant that you frequent with your baby/kids/family and in what city? Why do you dine out there?
    Well this might come off a bit biased but of course our top place is Mother Earth Brew Co.  We are family (and pet) friendly and have lots of space for strollers or carriers.  I’m one of the lucky ones and Zane LOVES background noise so he usually passes out when we get there.  We don’t serve food but usually order a pizza or Mexican food from the neighboring restaurants, and relax for an hour or two while the little one either sleeps, or gets passed around by friends.  It’s great for big groups or just the three of you.
  15. Pretend your best friend is pregnant and about to have a baby. What’s the most important piece of advice you would share about “motherhood” (and assuming she is willing to hear it :))?
    I would have to say it goes back to #4.  Take help when it’s offered, in any form, and find any normalcy that helps you get through those tough days.  EVERYONE has a bad day, or 16, but it always gets better.  That, and anything that vibrates will help with naps ;-) (that’s not supposed to sound dirty haha).

If you know a #FabMom who would be perfect to spotlight in this series (or if you are a Fab Mom yourself) please email: mommyprojectsd@gmail.com 

Giveaway: San Diego Mom’s Night Out Relax in Style Event Tickets

I’m so excited to give away 2 Tickets to the San Diego Mom’s Night Out Relax in Style event!

San Diego Mom's Night Out Relax in Style

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014

Time: 7-9pm

WhereBoConcept Modern Furniture Store in San Diego 
1550 Front St. San Diego, CA 92101

Parking: Street parking (free), multiple lots available.

Attire: Casual Chic

Cost: $25 Early bird registration through Wednesday June 27
$30 online through midnight on Thursday, July 10
$35 at the door

Click here to register and purchase your ticket. (Enter Code: MPSD5 for $5 off your ticket price!)

Ticket includes:

  • Entrance to Relax in Style event at BoConcept San Diego
  • Personal shopping with M Boutique, fine clothing and accessories
  • Complimentary sparkling wine provided by Bon Affair
  • Fantastic appetizers by Isola Pizza Bar and Monello
  • Dessert Bites from Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Hand and chair massages and polilsh changes with Sè Spa
  • Exclusive preview of BoConcept San Diego’s summer furniture line
  • BoConcept swag bag filled with goodies
  • Opportunity to win amazing prizes, including this ottoman for your nap time

Enter to Win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Checklist for Baby’s First Beach Day

Heading to the beach with Baby? Things have changed from the days of putting on your swim suit and flip-flops, grabbing a towel and a magazine and heading for the coast. Now, you have a tiny little human who requires much more thought into the  beach packing process. But don’t worry, I’ve done some extensive research on which items you’ll need to make your day full of fun under the sun the best one yet with your little bambino in tow! Here is the ultimate Checklist for Baby’s first beach day:

Baby's first beach day

  1. Sun Tent: preferably a large UV protected sun tent like the Pacific Play Tents Baby Suite I Deluxe Lil Nursery Tent With Pad to keep harmful rays away from your baby.
  2. Sun Hat: Choose a sun hat that has wide flaps, a chin strap and UV protection, like this Baby Girl’s Splashy Bucket Hat from Coolibar with UVF 50.
  3. Beach Blanket: A waterproof beach blanket like the JJ Cole Large Outdoor Blanket is perfect for a wet and sandy day at the beach.
  4. Sun Screen: If your baby is 6 months or older, check out this list from Lucie’s List of recommended sunblocks - gentle enough for baby, but strong enough to keep harmful UV rays off the skin.
  5. Sunscreen Bands: How cool are these Sunscreen Bands? You apply sunscreen to you skin and the band, and then it will change color when it’s time to reapply or to remind you that you’ve had too much sun for the day.
  6. Rash Guard/Bathing Suits: I think it goes without saying that your little one will need a cute little swim suit for the beach. I’d also recommend packing a couple juuuuust in case. I love the swim zip line because it’s a bathing sut and rash guard in one – and it’s adorable – like this baby girl’s sassy surfer look.
  7. Portable Crib: Think something light weight with mesh sides and easy setup, like phil&teds Traveller Crib (only 7 pounds) that fits nicely under a large tent and gives your little one the perfect place to take a break from the sand and get some shut eye or play time.
  8. Lightweight Blankets: Chances are you little bambino will tucker out while you’re still at the beach. Pack some light weight blankets like the Aiden and Anais Snuggle Bug organic dream blanket to keep them covered while napping.
  9. Portable High Chair: For longer stints at the beach, a portable high chair like this Ciao! Baby High Chair can come in handy to keep sand at bay while feeding your bambino.
  10. Snacks: If your babe has begun eating solid purees, I highly recommend packing these convenient and organic puree pouches from Plum. Easy to pack, easy to store (room temperature until opened) and BPA free packaging.
  11. Mini Blow-Up Pool: If your baby is too young to splash around in the actual ocean, consider bringing an easy-to-inflate mini blow up pool to keep your baby entertained and to double as a place to rinse sand off of baby. Choose something with a sun shade and UV protection like this Sunsmart Baby Hideaway.
  12. Diaper Backpack: Don’t make the same mistake I did and haul your every day, designer diaper bag to the beach – no matter how hard you try, you will get sand inside. And, as recommended from a mom in my playgroup, a Diaper Backpack allows you two free hands perfect for beach set-up - like this Eddie Bauer Broadmoor Diaper Bag.
  13. Wet/Dry Bag: Don’t forget to keep wet clothes/bathing suits away from clean/dry clothes in your beach bag, with a wet bag handy. And how cute is this Fairfax Navy Striped Wet/Dry bag from Pottery Barn Kids?
  14. Disposable Swim Diapers: I just recently found out that there was even such a thing! Try these Huggies Little Swimmers and soggy, wet diapers will be a thing of the past as your baby plays in the water!
  15. Baby Sunglasses: Not only will these make for adorable pictures, but they’ll also help protect baby’s eyes against UV rays. Check out my list of baby sunglasses I’m loving for summer 2014.
  16. Hooded Beach Towels: How cute is this personalized Cape Cod Whale Nursery Wrap from Pottery Barn Kids?
  17. Beach Toys: Something appropriate for water time fun, like this Lanco Natural Rubber Bath Time Ocean Set that is 100% natural rubber, PVC, BPA, and Phthalates Free (appropriate for 0+ months).
  18. Baby Powder: During my research for this list I came across several suggestions that recommended bringing baby powder that supposedly helps get rid of unwanted sand by rubbing a little onto the skin. The powder absorbs moisture, acting as a magic eraser for all stubborn sand. Try Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder. The 100% natural, talc-free powder is non-irritating and hypoallergenic.
  19. Sanitizing Wipes: I use these on the reg, but I’m sure they’re especially useful at the beach! I like these from CleanWell - alcohol-free, cruelty-free, and safe for sensitive skin.
  20. Comfy Outfit for Ride Home: It will be a good idea to change your little one out of the wet, sandy beach clothes and into a soft snuggly outfit for the drive home – something like this Button Footy in Pink Twinkle by Feather Baby - so soft!

What else woud you add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

We’ll see you on the beach! Surf’s up!

 

 

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