Baby Outing: A Colorful Universe

Rookie Mom Challenge #10 : Paint Your Baby’s Feet onto Pottery

I had been wanting to try the Rookie Mom’s Activity #6 (Painting your baby’s feet onto Pottery) for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to complete this fun activity. While I was driving in San Elijo one day, a storefront sign caught my eye: A Colorful Universe. When I got home I looked it up online and lo and behold, this was just the place to complete this challenge!  I was so impressed with the little shop that I even turned this Rookie Mom outing into a group affair and invited my mommy group members and their babes to join in on the fun.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe was so accommodating from the start. I would assume that any business that hears “Yes, it will be 15 moms and 15 babies (all under 5 months) in our party” is a little hesitant to take on such a group, but A Colorful Universe couldn’t wait to host us. When you first walk in the little shop, you immediately notice the fun, bright atmosphere and shelves and shelves of pottery options available for your choosing (coffee mugs, piggy banks, plates, tiles, dinosaur figurines and much, much more.) I loved this because they were all different price points, so you could choose something based on your budget.

A Colorful Universe

A Colorful Universe

I chose two coffee cups, one that said, “I love Mom” and the other that said “I love Dad”. My tiny assistant helped me paint the base coat (holding a squirming infant while painting pottery is sort of like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time – extremely difficult – but we managed!)

Baby Activity San Diego

Baby Activity San Diego

By the time we were ready to paint her little foot and place it on the back of the mug, Blake was fast asleep – which actually worked to my advantage and made the foot print step quite easy! One of the store managers, Desirae, was so wonderful and helped each mom with the foot print, making sure it did, in fact, look like a foot print, and not some oval blob.

Baby Activity San Diego

All in all it was a very successful Rookie Mom Challenge and I’m also adding it to my running list of fun things to do with babies in San Diego!

More Details about A Colorful Universe in San Elijo:

  • Studio Fees: $6 (this includes paints and paint supplies, glazing and firing)
  • Pottery Pieces Range from $7 – $40
  • Hours: 10AM – 6PM, 7 days a week
  • Walk Ins Welcome
  • Paints are non-toxic and dishwasher safe (brilliant!)
  • Pieces are usually ready 1 week after you paint them in the studio (after they glaze and fire them)
  • They love hosting parties: kids parties, adult parties or big groups (like my mommy group)
  • They offer fun Kids Camps!
  • They offer Ladies Night Out (bring your own wine and food and get ready to paint!) – yes, please!
  • Address: 1523 San Elijo Rd. Ste. 106, San Marcos, CA 92078
  • Contact: 760.761.0476 or info@acolorfuluniverse.com or visit their website

 

Monday Mashup

I’ve decided to start a new series called Monday Mashup because I’m constantly coming across great blogs or articles that I think are interesting or entertaining and I’d love to start sharing these with you all, every Monday. Sharing is caring, amiright? So, without further ado, here are my top 5 mashups this week:

1. ‘This is How I Feel’ series on Oakland Avenue: I love Laura Wifler’s blog, Oakland Avenue, especially her series called ‘This is How I Feel’ – moms and dads alike will get a kick out of these very accurate GIFs – it’s seriously laugh-out-loud funny. Mike and I scrolled through every single one and were both DYING laughing. Oh, parenting.

2. Confessions of  a New Mom: While you’re over at Oakland Avenue, check out my guest blog post spilling the beans about my Confessions as a New Mom. Yes, I like cleaning lint out of Blake’s toes and I don’t care who knows it!

3. Moms’ Night Out, the movie: Did you hear about the new movie coming out called ‘Moms’ Night Out’? I can’t wait to see this comedy as I’m sure it’ll be quite amusing to all of us mothers! San Diego Mom’s Night Out is hosting a fun event at AMC Mission Valley theater where moms throughout San Diego will be able to mix and mingle with some light bites, desserts and cocktails and then sit down and watch this new flick. I can’t wait and I hope to see all of you San Diego mamas there! Click here for details and tickets.

4. VIPink at Westfield Malls: Have you purchased your VIPink card yet?  This coming weekend, May 3-4, Westfield shopping centers nationwide, in partnership with Bright Pink, will join in a celebration of women. With the VIPink card, you will receive 20% off premiere retailers and weekend entertainment and treats. All proceeds from the $10 VIPink card go to Bright Pink, the only national nonprofit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Each Westfield mall will also hold a weekend of fun activities to participate in. Here in San Diego:

  • Westfield UTC is celebrating with a fun Photo Booth Bus, Dessert Bar, 20% off at participating premiere retailers and DJ Layla spinning. For more details and to buy your VIPink card, click here.
  • Westfield North County is celebrating with a ‘Mommy and Me’ event including mini-manicures, hand print ceramic tiles for your little ones, photo booth fun, sweet treats and of course the 20% off at participating premiere retailers. For more details and to buy your VIPink card, click here.
  • Also, don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN a $50 giftcard to Westfield North County here!

5. Bikini Series from Tone It Up: Summer is upon us and, lets be honest, I haven’t worked out since FitFabFeb (wow, that was 3 months ago!) That’s why I was very interested when my friend (who blogs over at the cutest site, Little Better Halves – check it out!) told me about this Bikini Series from Tone It Up. They provide weekly workouts, recipes, daily motivation, prizes, and the best lifestyle and fitness challenges to get you ready for summer! And the best part? It’s FREE! I’m all signed up and ready to TONE.IT.UP, son!

Have a great week!

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Westfield North County’s VIPink ‘Mommy & Me’ Weekend + Giveaway

Mommy & Me Weekend Event at Westfield North County

Enjoy some extra-special mom and daughter time as you primp and shop for a cause at Westfield North County’s VIPink ‘Mommy and Me’ Weekend.

When: May 3rd and 4th from 11AM-5PM.
Where: Westfield North County, 272 E Via Rancho Pkwy. Escondido, CA 92025. The event will be on Level 2 near Nordstrom.
What: Event offers a festive afternoon of interactive activities including:

  • Mini-manicure services
  • Braid bar
  • Photo booth
  • Keepsake handprint ceramic tiles
  • Candy bar and sweet treats
  • Look-a-like contest
  • A chance to win a $1,000 Westfield shopping spree

Receive FREE entry to the VIPink Mommy & Me Weekend with your purchase of the VIPink Card ($10), benefitting Bright Pink, a national non-profit that offers education and support programs to empower young women to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health. The VIPink Card offers an exclusive 20% discount from many of Westfield North County’s premier retailers, valid on May 3rd and 4th.

VIPink Card, benefitting Bright Pink, can be purchased by CLICKING HERE or enter to win below!

VIPink Westfield North County

VIPink Westfield North County Giveaway – Enter to Win!

Givaway is open now through April 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM. Winner will receive:

  • $50 Westfield North County gift card.
  • $20 donation in their honor to Bright Pink.
  • Entry for two to the VIPink ‘Mommy & Me’ weekend event on May 3rd/4th.
  • VIPink Card with 20% discount from premier Westfield North County retailers.

How to Enter:

Enter for a chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Please see the terms and conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

San Diego Mom’s Night Out

I’m so excited to have joined the team over at San Diego Mom’s Night Out. SDMNO is a site dedicated to connecting mothers through an online network and in-person events throughout Southern California. As moms, we wear so many hats and give so much of ourselves day in and day out, this site encourages us to take a break every now and then and enjoy a Mom’s Night Out! I’ll cheers to that!

As a monthly Contributing Editor, I’ll be scouring San Diego for the best venues, restaurants, spas, activities, wineries, breweries, etc. to recommend to moms who are looking for a fun night out. (Suggestions are always welcome, please email: MommyProjectSD@gmail.com) 

Be sure to follow along over at San Diego Mom’s Night Out and on The Mommy Project, San Diego’s Instagram to find out about our city’s best places to unwind and have some fun. And check out the two restaurants I’ve visited so far (both amazing!):

Lucky Liu’s Review (Gaslamp Quarter)
Solterra Winery & Kitchen Review (Leucadia)

Cheers!

mom's night out

Mental Snapshots, Vol. 1

I’m the first one to admit that I take way too many photos of my daughter. When I start to think that I should print them all out and make some sort of photo album, I begin to hyperventilate because there are just SO.MANY.PHOTOS! For now, I have them safely stored on my computer. But even with all of the photos, I miss capturing most of the good stuff…the stuff that melts you to your core and happens when you least expect it. It’s these moments that are the most dear to my heart, so I’ve started taking “mental snapshots” – hoping I can call on these memories after Blake is grown.

Here are 10 of my favorite “Mental Snapshots” so far:

  1. The moment the doctor put Blake on my chest after she was born. I have one image in my mind where she turned her little cone-head upwards and looked right into my eyes. At that moment, the last 19 hours of labor were forgotten, everyone else in the room faded away and I just saw her perfect little face. The first thought that ran through my mind when she looked at me? Worth it.
  2. The moment I picked Blake up from her crib and I felt like she really saw me  – the newborn “fog” had lifted and she just studied my face.
  3. The time I walked into our family room and saw Mike fast asleep with his mouth wide open, with Blake sleeping on his chest and her mouth wide open too – they had never looked more alike.
  4. The first time Blake smiled at me because she thought I was funny (not because of gas or an accidental smile) and that moment when I realized, I can make her smile! Oh, the triumph I felt.
  5. The first time Blake giggled which was really the first time I heard her little voice – precious and surprisingly loud! At this moment I began to look at Blake in a new light – she wasn’t really a newborn anymore – she was a bouncing, laughing baby girl!
  6. The moment when Blake was crying in her monkey bouncer and Tucker beat me to her, licked her face then laid down right beside her – the first time I realized he loves her.
  7. The first time Blake watched Tucker walk into the room and smiled so big – the first time I realized she loves him.
  8. The moment Blake discovered her hands – she stared at them so intensely, opening and shutting her little fists, that her eyes turned cross-eyed.
  9. The first time Blake rolled over – she scared me, her Auntie Jaclyn (who was also in the room), and herself – it was hilarious.
  10. The moment when Blake began her jibber-jabber. I was changing her diaper when all of a sudden, she just couldn’t hold it in any longer – she had things to say! We must have had a 30 minute conversation back and forth that first time on the changing table.

What mental snapshots do you have stored away? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

mother daughter

Rookie Mom Challenge #9: Baby Rhyme Time at the Library

Baby Activity: Rhyme/Story Time at Your Local Library

When I saw the email invitation from my Mommy Group to attend the next Baby Rhyme Time at the Carlsbad Library,  I thought to myself, Woohoo – another Rookie Moms Challenge to check off the list and a fun baby activity for Blake and me! 

I’ve always thought that libraries offering story time for children/babies was a great idea, but also such a contradiction. When I think of a library, I think of peace and quiet and an old librarian shushing me into silence. Then I think of a story time with a bunch of babies and toddlers and I imagine complete (and loud) chaos. Nonetheless, I was eager to try it out and see for myself how this combo would work out. If anything, it would be an experience to remember!

Baby Rhyme Time

Of course we were running 5 minutes late (pretty much our M.O. these days) even though the Rookie Mom instructional post clearly told us to be on time – we tried, really we did!

When we first walked through the private doors of the Baby Rhyme Time class (aha! they keep the chaos in its own separate room – it all makes sense now) at the Carlsbad Library, the instructor finished the song she was in the middle of singing and then very warmly welcomed us and asked for Blake’s name. A couple of other moms and babies trickled in behind us and she would ask for each baby’s name as they entered. I had my doubts about her remembering every single baby’s name but lo and behold as we were leaving she said, “Great to meet you Blake” – wow, this woman is good.

Baby Rhyme Time

The room had a big play mat in the middle and all of the moms/dads/babies sat around the play mat facing the instructor and singing along to the nursery rhymes – some old familiar ones and some new fun ones. The babies loved it – including Blake who let out a big loud giggle during the “Popcorn” song (a new one for me).

Baby activity

It was such a fun and welcoming environment and the instructor was so sweet and good with all of the babies. After the 30 minute Rhyme Time class, she brought out a bunch of toys and all of the toddlers and babies played on the big mat for another 15 minutes or so. All in all a very fun, interactive class to attend with your baby.

Carlsbad Library

The Carlsbad Library offers the following class times:

  • Baby Rhyme Time (Birth – 18 months) Tuesdays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Toddler Time (18-36 months) Mondays at 10AM & 11AM
  • Movers & Shakers (18 months and up) Fridays at 10AM
  • Preschool Story time (3 – 5 years) Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:30AM
  • Saturday Stories (all ages) Saturdays at 11AM

All classes are free!

Learn more here.

Whine & Dine: Notorious Burgers

There’s not too many things in this world that beat a good burger and a craft brew on a Friday night. My husband and I had been wanting to try Notorious Burgers in Carlsbad for a while, so when Friday night rolled around and we wanted to go out somewhere casual with good food and local beers on tap, Notorious Burgers it was!

The Lowdown

  • This restaurant gives off the old neighborhood speakeasy feel and I love this line, straight from their website: “…this old city speakeasy reminiscent of the Rat Pack’s glory days will transport you back to a time when made men made history, prohibition proved pointless and bootlegging was boss.”
  • The menu is made up of a selection of Appetizers, Gangster Greens, Notorious Burgers (obviously) and Speakeasy Sandwiches.
  • I have three words for you: Mobster Lobster Fries – just order them.

Notorious Burgers

  • You can either build your own burger or order from their house burgers like the Big Poppa Bacon BBQ Burger with all natural beef, bacon, cave-aged cheddar, hand-battered onion rings and bbq sauce or the Lucky Luciano’s Truffle Burger with all-natural beef, Stilton bleu cheese, bacon, micro arugula, and wild truffle mushroom demi – wowza!

Notorious Burgers

  • They proudly serve all-natural grass-fed beef.
  • They have a phenomenal local draft beer selection – I love that they support local brewers.
  • The service was fast and pleasant and very accommodating for our car seat and little Miss Blake.

Notorious Burgers

My Favorite Part

I fell in love with this place when I saw that they actually have a burger called the Notorious B.I.G. – I love me some Biggy Smalls (may he R.I.P.)! And OF COURSE I had to order it while “Hypnotize” played in my mind. Note: It was incredible!

Notorious Burgers

10 Things I Would Tell My Pre-Baby Self

Dear Pre-Baby Kristin:

  1. You know how you think that labor is going to be really hard? Well, it’s going to be even harder than you can ever imagine, so BUCKLE UP, sister.
  2. SLEEP. Forget whatever you think you have to do that is more important than sleep…it’s not. Just go to bed and enjoy a solid 9 hours of uninterrupted shut-eye.
  3. Do more exercises to strengthen your back and arm muscles. You’re going to have an ever-growing little weight in your arms 24/7.
  4. Breastfeeding is harder than you think and will be a constant worry of yours when the babe is here – prepare yourself and go into it with the right mindset.
  5. Appreciate the simplicity of your life right now – like going to the grocery store, going to get coffee or even just taking a walk. Things are about to get a whole lot more complicated with strollers, diaper bags and a tiny little human.
  6. I know you have big plans for your career after the baby is born, but be prepared to pump the brakes a little bit in the beginning.  You’ll come to realize, raising a baby is a full time job.
  7. When I say raising a baby is a full time job, I really mean it’s a 24/7 job – and it will be your hardest one yet. But don’t worry, it’s also the most rewarding.
  8. Right now you’re the most selfish you’ll ever be – enjoy it! Do what you want to do whenever you want to do it. Soon your daughter will be your number one priority.
  9. I know you think that having a dog is good practice for having a baby,  but it doesn’t even come close, sister. Sure, it’s a step in the right direction but, nope – not even close.
  10. I know you think that you will love your baby a lot, but the truth is – you can’t yet comprehend this type of love. This love gets you out of bed every 2 hours to take care of your baby, without any hesitation. This love keeps you up at night worrying that you’re doing enough for your baby. This love makes you blind to all of the things that you previously considered “gross” – poopy diapers, snot and baby spit-up. This love will send you on an emotional roller coaster – creating so much joy that you think your heart will burst,  creating doubt and feeling more lost than you’ve ever felt and feeling the most complete in your entire life. Embrace each emotion – this is all a part of the journey called motherhood.

What would you tell your pre-baby self? Let me know in the comments below!

pre-baby self

These are a Few of Blake’s Favorite Things (4 months)

Favorite Toys for a 4 Month Old

About a month ago, I wrote a post about a few of Blake’s favorite things (at 3 months old). Now that she’s one month older (and wiser) I thought I’d share her new list of favorite toys for a 4 month old. So, in no particular order:

1. Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper: Bake loves this new jumper to play at during the day. Her little feet barely touch the ground but she loves being able to “stand” on her own. And this jumper has plenty for her to play with. I love how the little seat swivels 360 degrees, so when she’s tired of one station I can swivel her to the next station and its like a whole new toy.

Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper

2. Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Love to Play Puppy: Blake just recently became much more interested in this talking/singing puppy. I love that  if she hits his arms/feet/stomach/ears – pretty much anywhere – the puppy will start talking or singing. And it’s really sensitive to touch so small babies can make it sing or talk (I learned this the hard way when I accidentally stepped on it while trying to carry Blake to  her crib when she was sleeping. The pup started singing  “Patty Cakes” so loud that I jumped 3 feet in the air! Don’t worry, I didn’t drop the baby – but it did wake her up! grrr).

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Love to Play Puppy

3. Bumbo Floor Seat: Is it just me or when you say the word “Bumbo” do you immediately want to bust out into the song, “Hey Mambo!  Mambo Italiano, Hey Mambo…” but replace the word Mambo with Bumbo. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Moving on… Blake loves her new Bumbo. She looks like a little student studying at her “desk” – so cute!

Bumbo

4. Bumpy Ball by Sassy: Blake loves to kick this ball, hold it and stare at it while we shake it – it’s soft, has fun beads inside, and is easy for her to hold.

Bumpy Ball

5. Oball Clickity Twist: This is such an appropriate name for this toy because it literally makes a clickity noise when you twist it. Blake loves it and it’s easy for her to grab with both hands. She just started  putting it to her mouth to chew on, too. I’m predicting teething toys featured in our 5 month list!

photo 3 (6)

10 Signs You Are a First Time Mom

Do you ever catch yourself doing something and think, wow – I’m going to look  back at this moment later down the road and laugh about it. I find myself thinking this a  lot as a first time mom (we are a crazy bunch), so I’ve compiled a list of 10 tell-tale signs that you are truly a first time mom.

 You Know You’re a First Time Mom When…

  1. You stick your finger under your baby’s nose while she’s napping to make sure she’s still breathing…on the regular.
  2. You’re an absolute freak about other people washing their hands before they even think twice about holding your baby. And I’m not talking about a “quick rinse” – I better see soap suds while you sing the alphabet to ensure there is not one single germ left.
  3. You have to download all of your photos (all of the baby) off of your phone and onto your computer at least once per month because you keep exceeding your phone’s storage limit. That moment when the “No more storage” message appears on your iPhone and you freak out because what if your baby does something cute between now and the download process? HOW WILL I CAPTURE THE MEMORIES???
  4. You cry with happiness the first time your baby laughs. OK, maybe this was just me…but it was just so darn cute!
  5. You document the most obscure milestones (i.e. She raised her right eyebrow for the first time on February 2, 2014 at 5:34PM)
  6. You Google every possible symptom your baby has and either feel relieved or even more terrified after reading the experiences from other moms with babies with the same symptoms in the Babcenter forum.
  7. You call the Pediatrician every other day with a new question, “just to be sure”. Nurse on the line: Oh hi, Blake’s mom…nice to talk to you AGAIN!
  8. On a Baby App or in a journal, you record every feeding, poop and pee, religiously!
  9. You celebrate her birthday every month by conducting your own photo shoot and then posting it to Instagram or Facebook where all of your friends and family wish her a “Happy x month birthday”! Thank you to everyone who wishes Blake a happy birthday every.single.month. You all are gems!
  10. You get together with friends (who also have children), and it’s like a study session – comparing notes on the latest baby developments, product must-haves and whose doctor told them what at the last check-up.

What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below! :)

first time mom

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