Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday


When I decided to "remodel" my blog, I knew I wanted to include a "What I Ate Wednesday" post. I have wanted to make a blog post like this for over a year now but I was always hesitant because I thought it could potentially be too boring. However, when I'm bored, I love watching "What I Ate Wednesday" videos on Youtube.  I don't know why, but I just love them. I am always interested to see what other mamas make their families for lunch and dinner because I am always looking for new ideas. Since I eat with my toddler, I thought it would be fun to include what make for Noah, as well!    
 
 
Breakfast: So, since I have two kids under age 2, it took me a little bit of time to establish a routine for breakfast that works for everyone.  I usually make coffee first and then I fix Noah's breakfast. Today, I made him 2 pieces of whole wheat French toast with a little bit of syrup and powdered sugar with half of a banana.  He doesn't always get meals like this (sugary breakfasts, I mean), but he has been sick this week and hasn't been eating like his usual self so I wanted to make him something special.  Then, once he is set up, I fix myself something that I can eat while breastfeeding Meadow.  Today, it was cereal with organic whole milk, strawberries, and coffee in my favorite Anthro mug! I also polished off the other half of Noah's banana.
 
 
Lunch- We decided to pick up some Chipotle! Every time I order from Chipotle, I debate if I want the salad or the burrito bowl and I always end up ordering the burrito bowl because I love rice too much to miss out on it.  We brought it home and I ate mine while Noah took his nap and then he ate his when he woke up. (He always eats his "munch" after he wakes up from his nap.) When we eat at Chipotle, I usually give him some of my burrito bowl because it is usually too much for me but today we got him two chicken tacos.
 

Snacks- I try to make sure Noah and I eat a yogurt every day.  I don't usually eat Yoplait yogurt anymore because it has a lot of sugar in it, but I tried a sample of their whipped Greek yogurt at Sam's Club and ended up buying a bunch of these in bulk. They are so delicious! As for Noah, he eats Trader Joe's yogurt cups (they are pretty much always in our fridge). In the past, I bought YoToddler yogurt cups but these are way better (I've been known to eat them, too) and cheaper. Also, anyone who knows Mr. Noah knows he is the number 1 fan of "fishies" so he usually has some in his snack catcher cup by Munchkin.
 
Dinner- Yesterday, I felt like making beef stew. I usually get the urge to make something like this on a cold winter day, but Noah and I have had a bit of a cold this week and I had a craving for it. I made a big batch of it in our dutch oven full of potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, whole peeled tomatoes, and organic beef. It was so amazing and tonight, we had the stew that was left over with some yummy crusty bread.  Noah had the same exact thing, so I figured that it would be overkill to share a photo of what he ate!
 
 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meadow's 3 Month Update


 
Meadow was officially 3 months old this past Thursday so I thought I would do an update on her. I've noticed that babies really calm down around 3 months and get into a routine that they follow every day. They seem to be a bit more adjusted to the world by this point. It's a really sweet time because they show more of their personality, too.
 
One of the big things that M is doing right now is smiling intentionally at people. Sometimes we even hear her chat and coo. She has one of the brightest smile I've ever seen. Noah's first smiles were some of my most cherished memories as a mother and somehow they both have very different smiles. Noah had a more relaxed and pleasant smile (oozing with charm) as an infant, whereas Meadow has more of a light-up-the-whole-room smile (oozing with sheer happiness). Some of the best moments of my entire life have been looking down at my two babies and seeing them smile at me like I'm the only person in the world. It's the best.

She had a little bit of colic when she was around a month old but it has all cleared up now. It definitely wasn't a horror story case of colic by any means, but every evening when we would put Noah to bed, she would begin crying uncontrollably and it would last for a few hours. Around 2 months old, however, it magically disappeared. According to her pediatrician, colic tends to do that. Now, she has established a bedtime and wakes up one time throughout the night to nurse.
 
The best thing about her hitting 3 months has been to hear her laughing for the first time. Of course, she was laughing at her big bro when they were in the bathtub together and he was playing with his bath toys. She just began to laugh at him uncontrollably and then Noah and I laughed because it was contagious. At first, it scared me a little because I had never heard her laugh before, especially an uncontrollable laugh!

Overall, she has always been an efficient baby. She does what she needs to do and then relaxes and takes it all in. She nurses like a pro (I will do a breastfeeding post soon about nursing the second time around), does tummy time like a pro, and loves to observe everyone's behavior. She has a calm demeanor but knows when to speak up when she needs something. With a toddler brother, she seems to know that she needs to speak up.
 
P.S. With your second baby, everything goes by so fast. Everything is just as amazing and just as special, it just flies by. I feel like I was pregnant just yesterday and now my sweet girl is 3 months!
 
 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Best of Mindy Mae's Market


I've recently fallen in love with an online shop I follow on Instagram: Mindy Mae's Market. It seems as though there aren't many pieces offered, but the ones that are have been carefully selected. As I will be turning 30 at the end of the year, I have been taking steps to be more mindful of everything I purchase, whether it be food or clothing. Here are a few items from MMM I just adore and will hopefully incorporate into my wardrobe:
 
 
Image Credit: Mindy Mae's Market
 
1. Navy Double Hooded Sweatshirt- This is item that introduced me to MMM--so comfy. I was informed by a friend that this sweatshirt goes on sale every once in a while and it does. It is so comfy. I love how the site offers styling tips in their blog, which is linked to the photo above, and I just love how they have styled this hoodie with a pair of Birkenstocks.  
 
2. Cutest Stripe Comfs- I desperately need want these comfy pants! I picture myself staying at home, doing laundry, chasing after my babies with these pants on a cool Fall day.  
 
3. Lace Topped Tee- I am waiting to buy this because this is currently sold out, but I just love how simple this tee is. It reminds me of something a chic French woman would wear (even though I've never been to France.)
 
(Please note: I am not working with Mindy Mae's Market or being compensated in any way to write this post. As I said above, I am making an effort in every aspect of life to be more mindful of what I choose to purchase, eat, and write about.)
 
 
 












 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Johanna Basford's Adult Coloring Books

by Sarah


 
I might not have much spare time these days with two babies under two years old, but I've managed to pick up a truly addictive hobby. When N & M both happen to both take a nap at the same time, I get my colored pencils out, make a cup of coffee, and get lost in Johanna Basford's coloring books.  It is relaxing to get lost in something that stimulates your creativity while letting your brain rest and I find that it reduces stress because the designs are so intricate.  I am currently working through Secret Garden and it will probably take me a while to get through it since it is so time consuming, but I plan on buying Basford's Enchanted Forest coloring book next.
 
I had originally planned on taking this to the hospital to keep myself busy during labor, but the books are so popular that there was a 7 week waiting list on Amazon at the time. I think it's safe to say that other people are obsessed with these coloring books, too. 
 
 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Meadow Rose: Labor & Delivery Story


by Sarah

If you read the birth story about my son, Noah, about a year and a half ago, you know that I went through a long labor and gave birth to a healthy baby boy who was 9 pounds, 8 ounces. Because he was a larger baby and because I would be giving birth for the second time, everyone warned me that my labor & delivery could be very quick. So quick, that I might not have time for an epidural, or even make it to the hospital in time to give birth.
 
Our baby girl, Meadow, came in the blink of an eye, but that isn't to say she didn't bring with her a little bit of hospital drama. I lucked out in many ways; however, one thing I learned is that if I have more any more babies I will most definitely be delivering in a birthing center rather than in a hospital.

Meadow Rose Temple was born at 7:17 am on Thursday, April 23, 2015 and we love her ineffably.
 
**
 
My due date was on Monday April 20th, 2015. When the date arrived I had no signs of labor. I went to a doctor's appointment with Noah and while I felt a tinge of disappointment because nothing was happening, she assured me that Meadow would most likely arrive before 41 weeks. But, If I did reach 41 weeks, she suggested we schedule an induction.
 
Admittedly, I was nervous to give birth again, since the first time left me with a still salient postpartum recovery--emotionally and physically--so I wasn't really in any hurry to induce labor.
 
On Tuesday, I began noticing irregular contractions and by Wednesday afternoon, they were happening every 10-15 minutes.  I could tell that I was beginning to enter early labor, but since I was overdue already, I worried that the birth could be days away.  Dan left work early to come home, thinking that the birth was imminent. However, I had a visceral sense that it wouldn't happen any time soon, because the contractions were still so far apart. 

The evening came and my mom offered to watch Noah so that I could take it easy and be able to go to the hospital if necessary.  I was happy to be able to rest, but I worried that if I went to the hospital too early they would just send me home. So, Dan & I went to Target to walk around.  During this pregnancy, walking around Target became a comforting routine so we thought, what better place for a soothing walk. Then we went to pick up some dinner because I was starving, and again, this made me think I that wasn't in real labor. When I was in labor with Noah, I couldn't think about food at all. But I couldn't deny how much the contractions hurt.  

Around 8pm, we headed home to meet my mom, as she brought Noah home to get ready for bed. My sister also came over so she could stay the night with Noah if we went to the hospital, which is what everyone thought would end up happening. 
 
After Noah got settled into bed, we ended up hanging out for a few hours and then, with plenty of deliberation, Dan and I decided to head to the hospital around 10:30pm.

**

When we got into the Triage unit, we checked in and the receptionist informed us that we were coming in at the end of a long, busy day. Once we were in a Triage room we met our nurse who was visibly exhausted and annoyed by any questions out of the ordinary. , She behaved as though she'd done this same thing thousand times already that day: she attached two monitors to my belly and took my blood pressure without saying a word.

The doctor was older, he had a slightly condescending and know-it-all air to him but had no idea or worries that others saw him in that light, just who every woman wants a vaginal exam from. He entered shortly after the nurse was done with my blood pressure to check my cervix. My cervix was only at a 4.  (To be in active labor and to be admitted into a LDR suite, you have to be 5 cm dilated). I thought surely he would send me home.
 
However, he immediately suggests that we get on "active path" to getting our baby delivered since I am over 40 weeks (by two days...) and that I begin a dose of Pitocin and order an epidural (at just 4cm dilated...). I mentioned earlier that I am very nervous to induce labor with Pitocin because the literature demonstrates it increases the likelihood of a C-section without added benefit. It seems that doctors offer it up so easily because they want to get you in and out...like a baby factory would.
 
Naturally, I tell him I would just like to wait a little bit before immediately receiving augmentation.  He responded with a anecdote about how he was around in the 70's when all the (presumably) hippies wanted to "go natural", and he knows about natural birth. Then he explained how in the 1800's, when women were giving birth in the back of horse-drawn wagons, the health of children born of truly natural child birth were horrendous.   He was actually comparing my wanting to delay Pitocin to giving birth on the back of a wagon in the 1800's.  At this point I knew I just needed to be away from this man.

"What if we just want to wait a few hours before making any decisions?" "Can we leave and come back in a few hours?" You would think these would be normal questions for someone who wasn't yet in active labor and showed up to the hospital a tad too early.
 
Our nurse chimes in with, "Regardless of whatever decision you make, there aren't any LDR rooms open anyway, so you will have to stay in this room. You can take your time and wait it out and we'll check on you in two hours."

My head was about to explode from the sound of the doctor and the nurse talking at me. I asked them if I could have a minute alone and finally they left. Before I knew it, we were in the car and heading back home. We were literally at the point where we called a few of the other hospitals in Pittsburgh to see if they had any rooms open and what it would take to deliver somewhere different. But, every hospital had the same answer: Magee was my hospital-- it had all of my medical records and my OB group practiced there.
 
When we got back home, I crawled into bed. I was overwhelmed with anxiety because my contractions were getting so strong that my whole body began to shake while they reached their peak and then eased away.  I knew that things were picking up quickly now, but the fact that the hospital I had prepared to give birth in didn't have any rooms open for me made me anxious about going back.  However, at that moment I knew that I had made the right decision to leave the discomforting Triage room where I was trapped in a tiny bed, strapped to machines, and being pressured at every turn.  Meanwhile back at home I was in my own bed, free to move as necessary; consequentially, my body was more relaxed and free to do what it needed.   This was the sphincter law in action.
 
Eventually, I got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore.
 
"C'mon, we're going back to the hospital," I said with certainty to Dan. "I don't understand why these ones hurt so much more than the last time." I was curled up in a mangled ball underneath our down comforter and I knew that if I got to the hospital, I could at least get the epidural and take a little nap.
 
**
 
When we arrived back to Magee for Round 2 at around 2:30 am, we were surprisingly greeted by a nurse who had a much better attitude.  She took us to a different Triage room, a room that seemed much brighter and much cleaner. As she was handing me a drab hospital gown to change into she said, "We thought you went to a different hospital. Someone called here and asked us about a patient that might be coming there."
 
We did call around, but we never gave any personal information when we did. It never got to that point because everywhere we called told us that they didn't advise switching hospitals while in labor.
 
I was honest with her and told her that I called around to see if anyone had an open room, since they didn't. In a refreshed tone, she told us that they always have rooms open for patients in labor...
 
A few minutes later, a new nurse and a resident doctor--a down to earth female probably a little older than us--came in to check my cervix. I can't even begin to tell you how relieved I was to see a female doctor.
 
"You're at a 7. No wonder your contractions hurt so bad. You got through the hard part already. It's almost time to have this baby." (Now if you remember, the ancient asshole doctor advised me to get Pitocin just two hours before to speed labor up. I went from a 4 to a 7 in two hours on my own.)
 
The nurse in the room immediately jammed an IV into my wrist and I was whisked away to a LDR suite. I ordered an epidural as soon as I was settled into my new hospital bed because I didn't want to have to be stitched up without it. And, it's amazing to go from extreme pain to a level of comfort where you can take a nap.
 
In my last birth story, I wrote that I was terrified to receive an epidural, but that when I got it I was so surprised by how much it didn't hurt. For some reason, when I learned I was pregnant again, the fear of the epidural returned and every day I would spend a few minutes dreading it. This time around, it was the same exact thing as the first time-- it didn't hurt. It is uncomfortable, for sure, and it takes a long time to do, but it isn't as painful as contractions.
 
After the epidural kicked in at about 4am, we turned on the lights and tried to take a nap. I couldn't get a wink of sleep, but it was still nice to lay there and watch an episode of Secrets and Lies and enjoy having no pain. Dan slept on the couch next to me.
 
After about an hour, I worried that the epidural slowed down my labor. I couldn't feel my stomach tightening, so I constantly asked the nurse every time she came in to check on me if any more contractions were happening. Every time I asked, she looked at the monitor and said, "nothing appears to be happening."
 
A midwife eventually came in to check my cervix before the end of her shift around 6:30am and told me I was still at a 7. She offered to either give me Pitocin (again) or break my water.
 
"Break my water," I said. This was familiar territory because I had my water broken towards the end of my labor with Noah, and I remember my body knew it had to push a baby out shortly after.
 
So, after she left, I turned Secrets and Lies back on and wondered how I was going to push a baby out. Getting the epidural was one of the things I was most nervous about, but now I realized I still had to push. As I began to get lost in my own thoughts and Ryan Phillippe's voice on my iPad I began to have an intense back pain, but only in one tiny spot.
 
Huh? Was my epidural not working?
 
I switched from side to side and hit the epidural button. I asked my nurse when she came in and she told me to keep switching sides.  I asked her if I was having any contractions now that my water had been broken. She told me I wasn't having any contractions because she didn't see any on the monitor and that I should just continue to switch what side I was laying on and hit my epidural button every 8 minutes.
 
I did what she suggested, but the tiny pain kept getting more intense. It was only in one spot-- a spot as tiny as a needle prick but it grew and grew until I began to get a little vicious. I was beginning to feel a little pressure, but since the monitors weren't picking up my contractions, I didn't believe it was the pressure that you feel when it is time to push. I just thought my epidural was failing me.
 
The nurse came back in to check on my belly monitors and I told her I needed a better epidural. She looked at the monitor, confused since no contractions appeared to be happening and finally after I pestered her enough, she told me she would go find a doctor to check me (because a doctor has to check you before you get another dose of an epidural).
 
About a minute after she left, the pressure began to pick up and I yelled at Dan to wake up. "GO GET A DOCTOR," I yelled. He went outside in the hall and I could hear him say, with skepticism and as though he was still half asleep, "Um, she needs a doctor."
 
Even while he was just outside in the hall, the pressure grew worse and worse. FAST. I began yelling and crying from the discomfort and I realized it wasn't anything I could control. I knew people could hear me and it made me wonder why I was doing it.
 
All of the sudden, my doctor comes running in. It was 7am and a new shift had begun, which meant that the doctor changed. I cannot even begin to describe how happy I was to see the doctor who I scheduled my appointments with in the office. She has the best bedside manner and she has made a special bond with Noah over the course of this pregnancy. She jumped into action, checked my cervix and didn't even bother saying anything other than, "It's time."

About 10 minutes later, and less than two sets of pushes later (you do 3 pushes every set), Meadow Rose Temple was here. She arrived at 7:17am and weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces. I didn't even need one stitch! We left the hospital a day early because all I wanted to do was be in my own bed and at home with Noah. 

**

Almost two weeks later, it's hard to remember what life was like without her. My second pregnancy was much different than my first because I worried that Noah wouldn't understand having a new baby around and that he would feel replaced. But, he has adjusted so well. During the first week, I would catch him staring at her in amazement. **He has had his moments (we certainly aren't a perfect family) where he tosses one of his toys at her or does something wild, but it has been very rare and usually happens before a nap.

My recovery, compared to last time, has been a dream.  Even though the hospital let us down a lot this time around, I couldn't ask for an easier labor and delivery.

If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to email me or leave a comment below!
xo,
Sarah

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Week Before Meadow Came...(and a Mini Maternity Photo Shoot!)

by Sarah


 
 
 
 
(Note: I wrote this blog when I was exactly 40 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to little Meadow last Thursday and she is so precious! I will be posting my Labor & Delivery story shortly.)
 
Today, I am 40 weeks pregnant with you. I never made it to the 40th week of pregnancy with your brother. He came two days before his due date. You, you are giving me no signs that you'll be here soon. Truthfully, since this is my second time giving birth, I am in no hurry to go through it again, but of course this is not to say that I am not thrilled to meet you.

This past week was the first week I took off from work for my maternity leave and I did all of the things:
 
I went out and got a pedicure.
I cleaned and cleaned and organized closets.
I have my hospital bag packed.
I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies bought everything to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies but opted to lay on the couch instead.
Cried about how everything was about to change and cried about how excited I am to meet you.
We went on several necessary Target shopping trips where we fell into the typical Target trap of going in for one thing and ending up blowing more money then we intended to (even Dan).

I am so exhausted, but these are the first days that I have given in and just relaxed. I spent almost the entire day laying in bed, watching Netflix movies I've already seen. The only time I really felt productive was when I ate lunch--a sub from Subway or "Subby"(as your big brother calls it). Somehow, I managed to clean the kitchen up and do one load of laundry. But, I promised myself it would be the only cleaning I would do. 

My entire pregnancy with you, I have not sat down once. I almost feel guilty that I didn't get to daydream about you as much as I did with your brother but in a way, I know you are the second baby for a reason. You have been so calm in the womb and my pregnancy has just flown by. At times it has scared me because you are very different than your wild brother, who I could see jumping around in my belly. I just know that you are calm, collected, smart and sweet.

I can't wait to meet you, sweet girl.
 
The real star of the show at Mellon Park, where we managed to take a few maternity
photos before it started pouring.  
 

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!

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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

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