Friday, March 27, 2015

What's In My 18 Month Old's Easter Basket?



 
While I am still on the hunt for the perfect Easter basket, I thought I'd share a few of the things we are putting in Noah's Easter basket this year. He is still too young for a basket full of candy, so we are mixing up limited sweets with toys and books. We bought him a few pairs of shorts, a few t-shirts, polos, and a new pair of shoes for spring/summer intended for his basket, but since the weather has been so nice, we tapped into everything early. 

1. Goldfish Vanilla Cupcake Grahams-- Noah loves having Goldfish for an afternoon snack and when I saw these at the grocery store last week, I knew I had to put them in his Easter basket. 

2. Frog cup with lid and straw-- I found this at Target in the dollar aisle and it's perfect for Noah.  He loves "fwoggs" right now and I have a cup like this that he is always trying to get his little hands on.

3. Fruit snacks-- I found these "springtime" fruit snacks at Target and I liked the idea of fruit snacks because they don't seem as unhealthy as something like jelly beans.

4. Baby Touch and Feel book-- Noah loves books, but he is also an extremely active toddler, which means he can't still through some of the more advanced children's books we have for him yet. We already have a few other books from Baby Touch and Feel and they are perfect because they are interactive and short. He loves to read them in the car.

5. Reeses Eggs-- I can't pass up seasonal Reese's candy, especially when pregnant. So, I stocked Noah's basket up with them. They will most likely end up being for Dan & I. There are many other staple Easter candies like this, but I wanted to not include them in the basket since they will end up probably being less for Noah and more for Dan & I. While I'm a big fan of dessert after dinner, I try not to keep actual candy in the house. 
 
6. Toys-- We have a bunny that Noah's aunt got him last year that we are going to put in for decoration. Since he is still so young, we can get away with reusing items like this and it offers a cute touch to the basket. Also, we plan to get a few more Hot Wheels cars to add to Noah's growing collection. As I mentioned above, the basket isn't finished, so another trip to Target is in order!
 
7. Easter eggs-- I haven't decided what I am going to put in these and I might end up buying another color of plastic eggs (most likely green) to fill his basket up with. I might keep them empty and let him play with them, as toddlers get a kick out of pretty much anything.
 
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the finished basket!
 
What is in your little one's Easter basket? Comment below :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Danger of a Successful Routine

...and why it is so important to keep things fresh.


 
 
They say that if you do what you love to do for a living, you'll never work a day in your life.  But, I have found that doing what you love to do for a living can be a fickle thing. It can be easy to become burned out when you have to mass produce creative projects every day to either make money or be successful in some way (i.e. seek fame for what you are doing.)
 
I'll admit I haven't blogged in months and many people have asked me if it is because I had a baby. While motherhood has been easily the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me (and I do love to let it consume me), it didn't make me stop writing. I just needed a break. And, I'm totally comfortable with taking a break because I was getting to be burned out with the subjects I was choosing to write about.
 
Anyone who knows anything about being an artist knows that it can be a rollercoaster.  People notice you, they forget about you, they steal your ideas, they criticize you, they say you suck, they put you on the cover of magazines, they pay you, they praise you, they forget about you again....and the list goes on. You just have to keep going because while you want them to notice you, it isn't about them. They need to be drawn to you because you are doing something original or something worthy of them essentially wasting time on. You can't cater to them because they look up to you for inspiration. 
 
At the same time, however, it is so easy to cater to them. Because we want to get paid for what we love to do. And if no one knows who you are, you're screwed.
 
My initial main goal for starting a blog was to get noticed.  I had written a book and sent off query letters to publishers and I got a few people notice me (usually they don't even give you the time of day) but they would all say that since no one knew who I was, they wouldn't take the risk. 
 
I had so much fun with finding subjects to write about on this blog for so long and it became addicting that other people loved it, too.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and interviewed many amazing people. I also, in turn, interviewed quite a few assholes who I knew would bring in a lot of new readers and it just led me to get burned out. The last interview that I did was with Holly Madison, who I don't dislike, but her publicist would only allow me to interview her if I asked her about her line of dog toys in the interview. Her publicist went on to scratch off questions I planned to ask her that she didn't feel "appropriate" for Holly. 
 
It was truly the final straw. Every interview you read, see, or hear with celebrities is calculated, planned, and executed in a way to become an advertisement (except if you're Oprah).
 
As a struggling writer trying to get noticed, I saw what people wanted to read and I went with it. I became addicted to something that I found to be successful.
 
After I had a baby, I felt embarrassed all of the sudden by some of the things I was choosing to write about. I believe that as parents, the best way we can teach our kids about life is to live the way we would want them to live. Whatever my son and daughter (!) choose to do with their life, I want them to always have passion for what they are doing, to be authentic, and I want them to give everything their all.
 
Writing, for me, had always been about telling the truth. I feel as though every real writer out there would say that this is the case: it's about exposing the things everyone else brushes under the carpet. It's about dissecting emotions in a way we are scared to in every day life and even scared to do in other forms of art. Even if we have to create fiction to tell the truth, we still have some duty (I don't know where it came from) to change the world with what we are writing about.
 
It isn't about interviewing reality stars.  It isn't about getting paid to write a review about skin cream.
 
(Don't get me wrong, I love sharing good beauty finds and I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to interview someone who I really respected.)
 
There was something magical about the days when I didn't try to impress anyone because I knew that no one was reading anyway. I just kept grinding out the best articles I could hoping to get noticed. I would stay up all night trying to perfect my writing just because I enjoyed it and I was too involved to fall asleep.
 
Talent usually isn't enough. It needs to be accompanied by drive and passion so we can work on it every day and find ways to improve. Talent is raw, free, and usually full of errors. It's free from criticism and the limits we, as artists, place on ourselves after we hear what other people say about our work. It's free from the pressure we, as artists, put on ourselves when we know we're noticed. Talent is also something that can be put on a back burner if we choose to put it there. When we put it into action for work, it becomes work. When we have gotten to the point where we don't even want to do anything anymore, it's because we are burned out.
 
It is important to remember that we are the only person responsible for when we feel burned out. It's no one else's fault and it it's actually a great thing to allow yourself to be burned out when you feel like you need to be. Passion is like your overall health, if you're burned out, you need to rest and recharge.
 
What keeps art alive isn't success. It's change. It's pushing yourself, even when you're successful. It's pulling those all nighters, it's daring to make something that other people might say is garbage because you believe in that piece of garbage. It's being true to who you were when you started, even if that means you lose your successful routine...for the time being. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

BabyLit Board Books


Reading with N is one of our favorite activities. He loves books so much that sometimes I will find him sitting alone, reading a book "aloud." The book will usually be upside down and he will be babbling things I can't understand but his determination melts my heart.

We were sent a few board books from BabyLit and I don't know who loves them more: me or him. All of the BabyLit books, written by Jennifer Adams, turn classic literature into easy to read baby books. Alison Oliver joins Adams to bring beautiful illustrations to every page and they are simple enough to hold the attention span of my one year old.  As a mama, I find them to be so charming.

We just love them!

 Find Style + Wisdom on: Twitter // Instagram //Pinterest //Facebook

Image Credit: Gibbs Smith

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Prenatal Vitamin Routine For Pregnancy #2!


by Sarah

 
As of today, I can happily announce that I am sixteen weeks pregnant with my second baby. To kick off more pregnancy blog posts, I thought I would start with which vitamins I am taking!
 
Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin--When I was pregnant with N (seems like it was literally just yesterday), I swore by Garden of Life's Vitamin Code Prenatal Vitamins. This time, I stuck with the same company but I switched to a prenatal vitamin they have recently come out with that is made entirely from real, whole foods. So far, I am noticing that my nails are stronger than they have ever been and my hair is more lustrous than usual, which is always a perk of taking prenatal vitamins!
 
Garden of Life Kind Organics Plant Calcium--During my last pregnancy, I noticed my teeth seemed to weaken and I'm assuming it was because I needed a little more calcium than usual. When you're growing a baby inside of you, baby's growing bones will always be able to grow because they will take all of the calcium out of your bones, so it's important to make sure you have plenty of calcium for the two of you. This is just as important when you're breastfeeding, because you're making special milk for your baby with your body so stock up on tons of calcium. I have only been taking this brand for a few weeks now, so I will report back if I continue to like it. I try to get a good majority of my calcium from real food because it is more easily absorbed, but unfortunately, I'm not a major milk fanatic, so I eat yogurt every day. (Raise your hand if you eat your toddler's YoBaby yogurts!)

Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA-- DHA is really important for brain development so I make sure to take this every day. I bought this at Whole Foods on sale, but I will most likely be purchasing off of Amazon  to restock (click the link above) because it is way cheaper.
 
I'd love to know- what prenatal vitamins do you take when you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
 
xo,
Sarah

Find Style + Wisdom on: Twitter // Instagram //Pinterest //Facebook

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's "The Sleeping Beauty"--This Weekend at the Benedum


by Sarah & Rose
Alexandra Kochis & Alejandro Diaz in PBT's The Sleeping Beauty //  Photo Credit: Aimee DiAndrea
 
Last night, we saw Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's The Sleeping Beauty at the Benedum Center and thought it was fabulous! We made a girls night out of it and dined at Six Penn beforehand.
 
It was the first ballet of the 2014-2015 season and the entire production was spectacular. The costumes were absolutely beautiful and reminded me of a sparkling confection. The dancing was energetic and fun, even a little quirky, but still maintained the elegance and grace found within ballet. The set design was beautiful, as well.
 
In Act Two, there is a stunning scene where the Lilac Fairy shows Princess Aurora (who has been asleep for one hundred years) to Prince Desire in a vision by a lake. Afterward, he is so enchanted that they both travel to her by boat. When the boat moves across the stage, it's magical. It is truly one of the most beautiful scenes I've seen yet from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
 
Please visit PBT's website for show times and to purchase tickets for The Sleeping Beauty.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Best of Me Giveway, In Theaters October 17


The Best of Me, starring James Marsden & Michelle Monaghan, hits theaters October 17. Enter below to win an exclusive movie giveaway!
Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.
To prepare you for the perfect movie date night, you can win a $25 gift card for Sephora, the official movie soundtrack, and a copy of the book.  
To enter, simply like us on Facebook and leave a comment below with your contact info.
Good luck! xo


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

American Horror Story: Freak Show Releases New Extended Trailer


Good news, AHS fans! A just released extended trailer offers more insight on the newest season, which is due to premiere on October 8. Much of the plot and it's characters have been kept under wraps, but now, we finally get to see the personalities of some of the main characters. We see why conjoined twins Bette & Dot (played by Sarah Paulson) join the 'Freak Show' to begin with--an abusive home life. We're also introduced to Twisty the Clown, this season's villain...frightening!
 
You know October is upon us when a new season of American Horror Story is almost out!
 

 
Find us on: Twitter // Instagram //Pinterest //Facebook

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Style & Wisdom Mama: How To Avoid Picky Eating


by Sarah 


I know I'm only a mama to a 12 month old (and kids don't tend to get picky until they are older) but I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up from our pediatrician and other moms of older kids on avoiding picky eating. I must admit that my baby eats just about anything I put in front of him, but at his 12 month check-up the other day, the doctor gave me some tips on how to avoid picky eating in the upcoming months.

--Don't make "separate meals" for your kids. I always let Noah eat whatever meal we are having as a family. When you make a separate meal for your baby, it may make them think that they don't need to be eating what the rest of the family is eating. This could become a routine that gets hard to break once the picky eating stage comes about. 

It's important to never introduce junk to them, especially for dinner. Sometimes we think our kids will like "classic" kids foods (which are the things we see on kids menus at restaurants) like pizza, chicken nuggets, or mac & cheese, but they should have a balanced diet just like the rest of us should be striving to get--fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc.

--Setting an example. One of the best things you can do for your little ones is make an effort to grow stronger every day, just like they are.  A healthy mama is a mama who her child can look up to for inspiration, for advice, and as a person who they can always feel safe and "at home" with. You can't be this person unless you strive to be this person.  Show your kids what a healthy lifestyle instead of just encouraging them to do it. 

I try to show N that I am eating the same healthy things as him. If he's having yogurt, I will usually have yogurt, too. If he has a banana, I'll have a banana, etc. I know this one is hard because I have a niece who is a picky eater and even if she sees the adults around her eating healthy food, it doesn't do anything to persuade her.  But, if you have an older picky eater on your hands (and lord knows, it may happen to me, I just am trying to avoid it at all costs) it's a good idea to still have real foods around and continue to make meals so kids still see the routine and can at least try new foods. Which brings me to my next point... 

--They don't have to like it, but they do have to try it. If you have a picky eater on your hands already, make it a rule that they don't have to eat things they don't like, but they do have to try it.  I actually got this tip from Meg from the WhatsUpMoms Youtube channel, and I think it's great advice. You never know, your kiddo might just like something you forced them to at least try. Another good practice might be to have them explain why they don't like it and "it's gross" or "I just don't want it."

--Don't be afraid to be a parent. One of the things that I found the most difficult about becoming a mother is how guilty I felt about everything. I went back to work six weeks after giving birth and I felt guilty about that. I feel guilty every time N gets shots. Let's just say I feel guilty every time N cries or needs to be disciplined.  But, kids need structure and they need rules.  The reason why I bring this up is because sometimes food becomes a way to entertain, reward, or calm a toddler down.  The first time I gave N ice cream, he went crazy because he loved it so much and I had to cut him off. He cried, but ice cream is a "once in a while" food. Now, he only gets ice cream after doctor's appointments. But it's okay to take junk food away from a kid no matter how much they cry.


--Get sneaky. Smoothies seem to be the way to trick your toddlers & kids into eating just about anything. We have green smoothies every other day in our house and N drinks more than I do because he loves it so much. It tastes like a dessert because of the fruit we put in it, but really, it's full of kale, dandelion greens, spinach, and cucumbers.  

Another good "trick" is to give your kiddo buckwheat pancakes instead of regular pancakes for breakfast.  If you start them young, they'll never even know what hit them by the time they reach the stage of understanding what they are eating! 

--If they really hate something, don't beat yourself up--there are plenty of other healthy foods. Since the beginning of weaning off of breastmilk and starting solids, N has LOATHED peas.  I mean, he hates 'em with a passion.  I tried every brand. I even tried to give him real peas once he began eating table foods and he threw every last one of them onto the floor. So, I stopped giving him peas. I didn't keep trying to offer them to him.  I offered him different green vegetables.  

Image Credit: Today's Parent

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Posh Mama, Zen Baby": Baby's First Birthday!


by Sarah


Over the weekend, we celebrated Noah's first birthday with a little family gathering in our new home. His actual birthday was on Sunday, but I think I will always make Noah's birthday a two day event. I went into labor on September 6 last year, but didn't have Noah until 9am the next day, September 7. 

In an effort to truly celebrate a special day, I decided to take a more relaxed approach to this party. When I first began entertaining people in my home (mostly family), I would stress myself out about the food and the appearance of my house that I would end up forgetting to enjoy myself. 

Since what I was doing last year was way more challenging--as in a 24 hour labor--, I decided not to stress myself out with planning his first birthday party. We kept everything simple. I made a sandwich ring, a bowl of potato salad, and did the rest of the food on the grill. I ordered a cake from Whole Foods and ordered a special smash cake.  And, I tried to remember that even though it was a big milestone, it was also about Noah having fun. 

It has truly been a magical year, not to say without challenges, but just amazing. At one year old, Noah is able to walk, say select words (including his own name, "Na-na"), eat regular food, drink whole milk, laugh, dance, and sit in a forward facing carseat! So much has changed since the day we brought him home from the hospital and I thought I would never get a break from breastfeeding! 

Image belongs to Style & Wisdom 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

'Pretty Little Liars' Says Goodbye To A Major Character in Fatal Finale-- Contains Spoilers


Let's talk about that Pretty Little Liars fatal finale, the appropriately titled, "Taking This One To The Grave" (one of the lines in the show's theme song.)

Mona was murdered. And Spencer goes to jail.

PLL has been warning us of the death of a major character all season. In fact, Executive Producer Marlene King told Hollywood Reporter that "fans would be left speechless", while Lucy Hale said in an interview that this would be "the most shocking and heartbreaking episode yet."

While we all sort of suspected it would/could be Mona, it was still shocking to see the liars find Mona's house covered in blood.  Then... Mona's pale and lifeless body in the trunk of A's car. The "A" who broke into Mona's house had identical hair to Allison, but the show cleverly never revealed if actually was her or not. Fans are left assuming that Allison has been "A" all along. It would make sense since it also appears that Allison has set Spencer up to take the fall for the murder of Bethany Young.

Pretty Little Liars is coming back later this year for a Christmas special (skipping its usual Halloween special), with an episode titled "How The A Stole Christmas." We're guessing this is why Emily went on a crazed Christmas decorating spree during the middle of a crisis.  

Image Credit: ABC Family 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...