Nursery Design with Lavender’s Blue Store

If you read my blog regularly, you know I’m a huge supporter of women-owned businesses – especially “mompreneurs” (I like to refer to them as Fab Moms) because raising children and running a business is not for the faint of heart! I always love hearing about moms who are branching out on their own, following their passion and starting their own business. That’s why I was excited to connect with Olga and Maria – two stay-at-home moms who have just turned their passion for creating beautiful crafts into an adorable Etsy shop, Lavender’s Blue Store, based right here in Oceanside.

Lavender’s Blue Store 

Lavender’s Blue specializes in handmade and hand-painted wooden letters – perfect for nursery or home decor. I love their etsy shop because each design is created specifically for you and your vision. You can choose your son or daughter’s name in block letters with his or her favorite colors or animals, or choose his initial with his name spelled out on the wooden letter.
nursery design
nursery design
Lavender’s Blue is also perfect for home decor, spelling out words like “home”, “love” or “joy” in a design of your choice.
home decor
Not to mention, the perfect gift for Father’s Day, which is quickly approaching!  You can spell, “Dad” in your husband’s favorite sport’s team’s colors or design – the possibilities are endless!
Father's Day Gift
With the excitement building around the arrival of our little man, I wanted to get two wooden letters – one for Blake and one for our little boy on the way, with both of their first name initials. I worked with Olga and Maria on the design and color scheme for each. Blake’s nursery is light pink and gray with butterflies. And while I’m still brainstorming the theme for our little boy’s room – I knew my husband would be happy with this design and it was a much better alternative to naming our son Tony Romo! 😉  (go Cowboys!)
Nursery design
I’m so happy with the way these both turned out and can’t wait to add them to their nursery designs. So cute!
Check out Lavender’s Blue Store on etsy and happy decorating!
Disclaimer: Lavender’s Blue Store did provide complimentary product to review their shop. However, all opinions are my own and I only feature businesses I can truly stand behind. 

Date Night with Babysitter Tonight

I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say it’s hard to schedule date nights for you and your significant other when you have babies at home. Time passes too quickly, and remembering to plan a date night often falls at the bottom of your to-do list. Then there’s the whole fiasco of booking a babysitter for the night; finding someone who’s available and most importantly, qualified to look after your precious kiddos. I recall too many nights when my sisters weren’t available to babysit so my husband and I just decided to stay home instead of making the extra effort to find a sitter outside of the family.

But, keeping your relationship afloat amongst the chaos of being parents is so important! That’s why I was thrilled to hear about a new service in San Diego called, Babysitter Tonight.

Babysitter Tonight

Babysitter Tonight offers busy parents an easy way to make Date Night happen. They currently have seven amazing kid-tested/mom-approved sitters to book for your date night needs in the Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley, Cardiff, Encinitas, Carlsbad, 4S Ranch, and La Jolla neighborhoods.

How it Works:

Visit Babysitter Tonight and fill out a request form online or give them a call at 619-354-1063 and schedule your date night on any Friday or Saturday evening. Once scheduled, you will receive a detailed email confirming your address, date/time of babysitting requested, the sitter that has been assigned to you on that particular night and any other logistics you clarified in your request form.

Quality Sitters:

All of Babysitter Tonight’s sitters are personally interviewed by their team, references are verified, background checks are conducted and each of them are tested by one of their “member families“.

After speaking with Kerily, the founder of BabysitterTonight, and reading her sitters’ bio’s on the website, I felt so at-ease scheduling our next date night, knowing our daughter would be in great hands. 

Pricing:

After the babysitting service is complete, you will be sent an invoice via Square that you can pay with your Visa or MasterCard debit card. There is no credit card required for deposit in advance.

  • 1-2 children is $15/hour + booking fee
  • 3-5 children is $16/hour + booking fee
  • 6+ children, call for pricing
  • Standard booking fee is $10
  • Last minute booking fee (less than 4 hours notice) is $20
  • Their sitters don’t accept tips so no need to worry about that.

My Personal Experience:

I opted to fill out the request form online. Within 24 hours I was sent a confirmation email with all of the details of my babysitting date along with an introduction to my babysitter for the night.

When our date night arrived, our sitter arrived 10 minutes early (loved that!) and we immediately hit it off with her. She was extremely caring, thorough and didn’t mind our huge 80 lb. dog jumping on her, so I knew she would fit right in. Before Mike and I left, we went over some simple instructions with her and she walked us through a “pre-game” sheet where she asked us emergency numbers and other important specifics. I was very impressed by the thorough process!

My husband and I left feeling reassured that our daughter was in great hands and were able to enjoy our dinner and ice cream date out on the town!

date night San Diego

The next day I received an invoice via email for the amount I owed for the services and I easily paid with my debit card online. Easy-peasy!

My husband and I are honestly so excited to have found such a wonderful and trustworthy babysitting service here in San Diego and we will happily book our future date nights through Babysitter Tonight!

Mommy Project, San Diego readers enjoy a 10% discount when you schedule a  babysitter through Babysitter Tonight. Use code: MPSANDIEGO for 10% off.

 

Disclaimer: The Mommy Project, San Diego did receive a complimentary babysitter from Babysitters Tonight. All opinions are my own and I only recommends businesses that I can truly stand behind.

9 Signs Your Baby is Now a Toddler

I know this sounds cliché, but I’ve really enjoyed every stage of my daughter’s life so far. The newborn stage was so cute and cuddly – exhausting because of the no sleep part, yes – but the cute, silent cuddles were precious! Then the crawling, babbling stage was so fun – watching her take the lead on where she wanted to go and discovering her surroundings on her own. Now, we’re in the toddler stage at 18 months old and I think it’s a riot! Walking, running, talking – her little personality shining through in everything she does. I also understand her preferences now – for example, I’m pretty sure her favorite color is purple because she will only write with the purple sidewalk chalk and she usually picks out stickers or toys that are primarily purple. It’s a fun age but it’s also a messy, mini tornado type of stage – in a hilarious way of course. Here are 9 signs that your baby is now a toddler:

1. You can never find your keys, your lip gloss or your credit card because your toddler goes through your purse, daily, and hides all of its contents around the house.

2. You find strange things in your purse (mostly everything you don’t need), like sea shells from your beach walk last week, a doll’s hairbrush, and a toilet paper cardboard roll  – all strategically placed there by your toddler.

3. You are constantly restocking your first aid kit with band aids and ointments because your toddler has bruises, scrapes and cuts all over her knees and legs from falling at least 5 times per day.

4. You’ve considered, or have already executed, hiding a certain book from your toddler, because you might have to check-in to the loony bin if you have to read it just ONE…MORE…TIME.

5. You’re at the weird in-between stage at the park where you’re not quite comfortable letting your new toddler crawl up to the top of the jungle gym and go down the slide by herself, but that’s all she wants to do in life – so you climb up there with her and find yourself in a sea of kids – trying to fit through the small doorways and bumping your head around every corner because, well, this contraption was not made for adults!

6. You have no less than 25 pieces of Tupperware in your fridge all filled with different meals for your toddler because on Monday she LOVES Mac ‘n Cheese and turns her nose up at green beans, but on Tuesday she MUST have green beans and looks at you like, “are you kidding me?” when you try to give her Mac ‘n Cheese. It’s an uphill battle.

7. Your toddler has a newfound obsession with shoes – her shoes, your shoes, your husband’s shoes – she does not discriminate. And you know it’s going to be good when you hear a “clomp, clomp, clomp” coming down the hall.

baby is now a toddler

8. You have to be on guard around your toddler, because at any moment she could poke you right in the eye and say, “eyes!” Or jam a finger up your nose and exclaim, “nose!”. Learning the human anatomy is so fun!

9. You must be careful what you say around your toddler because they will now repeat anything and E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G – including 4 letter words that rhyme with “fit” and are oh-so easy to pronounce. 😉

I love being a mom to a toddler because it is a new adventure every day! New toddler moms, what would you add to this list?

Political Plastic: How Hillary’s Wrinkles Are Fueling a Cosmetic Debate

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.

No sooner had Hillary Clinton made it official that she wants to be the next face of the White House than the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed on how wrinkled that face would be.

“Following in the venerable tradition of so many aging male politicians, Clinton is vying for the most powerful post in the free world with jowls, face creases and a less-than-Pilates-toned physique,” wrote columnist Meghan Daum, much to the chagrin of many readers, who quickly took to social media. The top comment on the newspaper’s Facebook post about the story summed much of the response up nicely: “Would this even be an article if she was a man???”

And with that, we’ve stoked the fires of feminism, what it means to age as a woman in the U.S., and the stigma around plastic surgery. None of these are new issues, but with Clinton at the top of the docket, things may be a bit different this time around.

Hillary Clinton

Photo Credit: Flickr

The Changing Face of History

Women in positions of power have used cosmetic surgery as a tool to continue looking as youthful and vibrant as possible for decades, although few have been outspoken about it until recent years. A cultural shift that encourages a healthier female body image has spurred a number of famous women, such as Nicole Kidman and Jane Fonda, to open up about the work they’ve had done.

Coinciding with these cultural changes has been a wave of medical advances in the cosmetic enhancement field, leading to more effective “minimally invasive procedures.” These treatments, such as laser skin rejuvenation and BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, don’t require surgery and are hugely popular, increasing 508% since 1997, according to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

According to the website of San Diego dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart, “Innovations in cosmetic skin treatments are rapidly changing how we address various types of skin damage, aging, and loss of volume. Injectable treatments and soft tissue fillers have created a new class of injectable cosmetic therapies that create a noticeable, lasting improvement for patients who aren’t yet ready for surgery.” They’ve enabled women to refresh their faces in a discreet, natural-looking way that they also seem more comfortable talking about.

La Jolla Skin

A Conversation Opening Up

None of these trends, though, seem to have seeped into politics until now — at least not in a way that anyone is being open about. Any female politicians who have had work done lately have kept it conservative and hush-hush. Since Betty Ford’s much-criticized ’70s facelift, no one has dared tread onto that territory.

With Clinton stepping into the role of presumptive Democratic nominee, the issues of cosmetic enhancement and politics are intertwining in a changed landscape. The social media backlash was swift when the Los Angeles Times brought up the topic, with many readers questioning why the paper would let a columnist write on such an inherently sexist issue (i.e., “I have never seen an article about a man getting plastic surgery in his bid for the White House”).

However, Daum, the column’s writer, long respected for her published views on what it’s like to live and age as a woman in the U.S., took the position that it was empowering and impressively feminist for Clinton to head into an election with her real face forward.

“All of us who were taking bets on whether she’d get a whole face-lift or simply Botox herself into generic acceptability can eat our words,” Daum wrote. “While we’re at it, we should kiss Clinton’s feet. By unapologetically looking her age, she’s giving all women a license to stay in the spotlight even as they mature past their younger, dewier years. And with any luck, she just might put the whole concept of a female expiration date out to pasture.”

That this debate is happening at all is an important step for wide demographics of U.S. women, from the millions who choose cosmetic enhancement each year to the aging women in positions of power and the younger counterparts who want to be them someday. Expect to see more on these issues as campaign season revs up.

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by San Diego-area dermatologist Dr. Susan M. Stuart, MD.

Mom’s Night Out in San Diego with Aall In Limo & Party Bus

With a fun holiday like Cinco de Mayo upon us, and Mother’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better time to organize a little “Mom’s Night Out” on the town to give me and my mom friends a much needed break and some quality girl time. Cinco de Mayo also happens to be one of my favorite holidays because who doesn’t have fun with chips and salsa, margaritas, and maracas in the mix? Spoiler alert: no one.

mom's night out in San Diego

To make this Mom’s Night Out extra special, we decided to rent a limo from Aall In Limo & Party Bus and head down to Old Town to celebrate our night of freedom, complete with mini sombreros!

mom's night out in San Diego

Aall In Limo & Party Bus

Aall In Limo & Party Bus was started by Mike Reifeiss, after he went “Aall in” during  a poker tournament and won! He bought his first limo with his winnings and has continued to grow his business in San Diego and Temecula ever since. Aall In Limo & Party Bus offers town cars, stretch limos, Hummers and a Party Bus as part of its fleet. They specialize in Temecula winery tours, San Diego brewery tours, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties or a night out just because!

The thing that truly sets Aall in Limo & Party Bus apart from other limo transportation options in San Diego, is their service. I’ve personally experienced a few other local limo companies and nothing compared to the attention to detail, courtesy and overall service that Aall in Limo provided our group. I also thought the name was just so fitting after I wrote my “All in” Mother’s Day article! It was meant to be.

Mom’s Night Out in San Diego

With good intentions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican food and margaritas, the seven of us headed to Old Town, San Diego. Tragically there were huge lines out the door  of almost every Mexican restaurant, so we made a game-time decision to head to Little Italy’s Kettner Exchange instead (afterall, there were some hungry pregnant women in the limo who needed to eat A.S.A.P.! 😉 ) Our limo driver, Joe, was so accomodating with the change of plans and got us safely to our new destination.

mom's night out in San Diego

Kettner Exchange provided the perfect atmosphere for a girls night out. Even with no reservation, the seven of us were able to claim a long community table in their lounge and instantly found ourselves with cocktails, mocktails and appetizers circulating.

mom's night out in San Diego

Although we tried many delicious tapas, I highly recommend the Fried Chicken (I’ll seriously dream of this dish), Kale Salad, and Cauliflower Tempura.  For my main course I had to order the Double Double Burger, because…well, have  you seen this thing? Yes, please. 

mom's night out in San Diego

Our driver, Joe, politely texted me when we were getting close to our departure time (I LOVED the courtesy text – so helpful), so with that we paid the bill and headed back to north county.

Despite the change of dinner plans, the night ended up being a huge success and a much-deserved night out for these mamas!

mom's night out in San Diego

Thank you Aall In Limo & Party Bus for perfecting our “Cinco de Mayo / Pre-Mother’s Day Mom’s Night Out” – no doubt we will be using your services again!

Book Aall In Limo & Party Bus for Mother’s Day this Sunday and receive $100 off your reservation! Find out more here.

 

Disclaimer: Aall In Limo & Party Bus provided complimentary transportation for the Mommy Project, San Diego. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

“All In” – a Reflection for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been doing some reflecting on what it really means to be a mother.

I’ve been on the recipient end of Mother’s Day for three years now. The first year, I was newly pregnant with my first baby and beaming with excitement and anticipation, not knowing what it would truly mean to hold the title, “mom”. I remember celebrating with my husband at brunch and talking about what we thought it was going to be like having a little one running around “this time next year”. We were bright-eyed, still selfish and probably a little nervous.  The second year celebrating Mother’s Day, I would classify myself as a “new mom” with a 6 month old daughter – my first true Mother’s Day because I then knew what it was like to hold this title. I knew what it was like to carry a baby for 9 months and then give birth to that baby and love that baby unconditionally. And I knew what sacrifice truly meant – giving up sleep, personal hygiene and maybe even a little bit of sanity, to care and nurture this tiny human. Now, here I am on my third Mother’s Day, with a daughter who is now almost 18 months old (seriously, where did my baby go?) and a new little bundle of joy ready to make his appearance, come October.

As I reflect back on the past year and a half and what it has truly meant for me to be “Mom”, I decided that being a mom means being all in. Just stop and think about the weight of these two words for a second: ALL. IN. There’s not much else in life you can say that about. You’re not all in with your career – even the most dedicated employees take a sick day or a vacation day and can mentally unplug. You’re not all in with your healthy eating and exercise routine – guaranteed you take a cheat day to eat a California burrito or you skip the gym on Sunday mornings so you can sleep in. But being a mom means committing and encompassing this role 100% of the time – even when you’re away from your child, you never “unplug” from being a mother. I don’t care if you work every day, work part-time, are a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom – you are Mom. And you’re all in.

pre-baby self

You’re all in from the moment you see the plus sign on a pregnancy test. You are carrying a baby and it’s time to start eating healthy, giving up certain indulgences (like glasses of wine, raw fish and unpasteurized cheese).

You’re all in when it’s time for your baby to make her appearance and you go through the most intense experience of your life: labor.

You’re all in when your newborn baby wakes up every three hours and you rock her back to sleep each time.

Mother's Day

You’re all in when you feed your baby milk, purees, solid foods – making sure to provide the best nutrition for your baby all day, every day.

You’re all in when you read and play with your baby – teaching her new skills and watching her grow.

You’re all in when making decisions for  your baby. You will research topics until you’re blue in the face, discuss in length with your pediatrician, take a quick survey with your mom friends and then decide what is right for your baby. You provide the care your baby needs, always, because she depends on you and you know what’s right for her.

And as your baby grows and goes through new developments and life stages, and as you add to your family with new babies, you’ll continue to be all in, forever. Why? Because you’re Mom.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mother’s out there! And give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re amazing all day, every day! xo

 

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