Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for June, 2010

June 30, 2010

Help for the skin

I am in love with my new face cream.

After Dashiell was born, my skin was seriously f*cked. SUPER dry and patchy and red and almost diseased looking. For reals. The only thing that kept it from peeling was to slather pure shea butter all over it and wash it as little as possible. Um, weird. The postpartum time is just strange all around.

I finally got a facial from Juliana at the Petite Spa and as a reward for using up every single drop of face cream I had around the house (sample’s included), I came home with new Epicuren products. And I swear my skin has never never been better. Which is probably a combo of an excellent facial and really great face cream. And hormones regulating, sleeping a TEENY bit more, etc.

I’ve used sooooo many lines in the past (including the entire Chanel skincare program, Jurlique, Dr. Hauschka, and Kiehl’s) and I swear this one is by far the best. And it’s natural and good for your skin and doesn’t smell like old lady perfume. The Brazilian Propolis Lotion is amazing.

And in most excellent news, Juliana started a blog! It’s called You are Super Pretty and it’s got great tips for your skin. She’s just getting started, but I’m certain she will be a great resource of the internet soon.

June 25, 2010

omfg this is the funniest thing I’ve ever read

Trust me on this one. You must read this blog. Probably every entry. Don’t worry there are only like 200. I’ve read the most recent post, on being an adult, like 6 times since yesterday, when my friend Jen sent it over. And every time I laugh.

Here are a few others for you to enjoy:

Boyfriend doesn’t have Ebola. Probably.
Emoticons for the advanced writer

At least it’s Friday and you can spend the day reading the internet, even if you do happen to be at work.

June 24, 2010

Simple ribbon garland

I think I’ve made it clear that I will love bunting and garlands forever and ever. But the same old same olds do get a bit tiresome when you see them every single day, decorating every single DIY wedding on in the blogosphere.

But isn’t this a cute, pared-down version?

Excellent way to use up little bits of ribbon, me thinks.

From Naturally Nina.

June 23, 2010

Saako

Also of sartorial interest last weekend…

Our bridesmaid gifts… Saako necklacey scarfy accessories:

They’re from Barcelona and you wear them over a tank top or tshirt for a bit of Spanish style. I’ve never seen anything like them. Each one is different and full of yummy colors. They also make excellent baby toys.

Check em: SaakoDesign.com

June 23, 2010

taking tomatoes seriously

Perhaps for the first time, I think I might try to grow tomatoes that are better than just those you can eat on a bagel with salt and pepper. I do grow them every year, but I don’t really pay them any attention, except for cutting back on the water once they start to seriously fruit. But as it turns out, when the plants get so huge and out of control (as they tend to in our yard) the tomatoes themselves are good for cooking and not much else.

What is the point of growing tomatoes if you can’t chop them up in a salad and love them to pieces?

So this year I’ve done a little research and it appears that one of the most important things is to be vigilant about suckering them from the start. For those of you who don’t know what suckering is, I shall explain both the process and why you do it. Now that I am an expert. Or you could just read one of the articles I read and you can be an expert too.

So the tomato plant has a main stalk, and at each leaf juncture, it has a tendency to want to create another main stalk by sending out a little shoot. This little shoot, if left alone, will go on to become a fruit producing part of your tomato plant’s team. Sounds good, right? The more tomatoes the better? Apparently no. In order to produce delicious tomatoes, you need to coax your plants into using all of their energy (the sugar they create from sunlight) into producing just one stalk, with a few key leaves and very sweet, very tasty tomatoes. If you allow the plant to produce as many stalks as it would like, you’ll have a dense thicket of tomato leaves, branches and fruit. But it will be prone to disease and rot and all sorts of other sub-optimal things. Not to mention, your tomatoes will have to compete with all those leaves and stalks for the sugar that makes them so tasty.

So the plan is this: go out to your plants, and if it’s not too late snap off each sucker at the root of the main stem. You’ll have a more spindly looking plant, but it will be healthier. And with a few other tricks will allegedly produce Caprese worthy tomatoes. The only other note is that above the first fruit clump, you are apparently allowed to let your plant grow one more main stalk. I accidentally had this happen to one of my plants but the rest I think I’m going to keep as barren as possible. It’s my summer gardening experiment. And part of my pledge to grow only what I actually want to eat. As opposed to 30 pounds of italian squash per week like last summer. That was disgusting.

This year I think the problem is going to be beans. We have A LOT of pole beans creeping skyward. I will be donating them to the first person who shows up on my doorstep when the time comes.

And as far as tying your tomatoes, staking is supposed to be better than cages. Which makes sense if you just have one stalk. But I already have all of the cages so I’m still using them this year.

And if I remember correctly, your should cut back on water significantly once your plants have started to really fruit. Too much water = mealy, flavorless tomatoes. And if there’s one thing I REALLY can’t stand it’s a mealy tomato. (Same goes for peaches and apples. Sick). I also read that you should fertilize them with kelp and bone meal, but I haven’t gone that far yet. Debating on whether I should order some though. I mean if I say I’m taking this seriously then don’t I have to go all the way?

June 22, 2010

vintage baby nikes

There were many fun things about the wedding weekend in SD, but quickly, I had to share one of the sartorial highlights:


Vintage baby Nikes Brock found at his dad’s house. I mean COME ON!

They’re still a bit too big, but I cannot wait to get them on Dashiell’s little feetsies. He has never worn shoes, but his collection is growing at an alarming rate. I’m setting him up to follow in my footsteps, in terms of square footage allotted to shoes in one’s closet. Sorry buddy.

June 18, 2010

berries

Are majorly in season in our backyard at the moment. I leave you for friday and this practically official first weekend of summer and longest of the year, with them. They would be so delicious with some vanilla ice cream, if I could eat vanilla ice cream.

We’re off today to San Diego for another wedding. This time of our good friend Allison. I’m a bridesmaid… though I think I’m now officially a bridesmatron? How does that work exactly?

Have a delicious summery weekend full of maybe pie and the accompanying dairy products. How I miss old fashioned dairy products.

June 17, 2010

We need a fort

Okay, Dashiell is probably a wee bit young to appreciate one. And if I remember correctly, the beauty of forts is that children make them on their own. But this had me dreaming of a few years from now when we have a bigger house, perhaps another child, and a family room in shambles with a proud fort of cushions and blankets and whispers and flashlights in the middle.

Tee pees are so contrived when compared to a good fort. Not that I don’t love the idea of a backyard tee pee one day.

via ohdeedoh

June 16, 2010

the cloth diapering report

Ahoy from the land of non-disposable diapers! A few of you asked how we were going with our diaper program, and I’m happy to report that we are doing most well indeed. They are so easy, you guys. So so easy. They are the same as disposable diapers, but you don’t have to throw them out! And you have to wash them. So as long as you’re up for doing extra wash, they are no big deal at all. And depending on how many diapers you have, you will wash more or less.

Here’s what we’ve been doing:

We have prefolds, but to be honest, we’ve been using them less and less. We’re pretty much 90% fuzzi bunz-ers and we love them. Now, I should also note that I am not a hardcore cloth diapering mom. Before Dashiell was born I mistakenly thought that you had to be either a die hard cloth diaper-er, or just give up and use disposables. Obviously not. We use disposables at night, (which is usually just one diaper), and I feel pretty okay with it. Anything to get the little love bug to sleep longer. “Through the night” is a phrase that we’ve stopped using around here because it seems sooooo far away. But longer. Longer is always good.

Also, when we go out of town (like last weekend), we bring disposables. We have taken cloth with us to my parents’ house for the weekend, but I can’t really deal with a bag full of poopy diapers at a nice resort for three nights. My rationale… I’m doing my part, people. And I think that’s pretty good.

We ordered all of our prefolds and covers and extra supplies from Green Mountain. They have everything and anything (except Fuzzi Bunz) that you could need in terms of cloth diapering. And they have detailed reviews of every product which is nice when you know nothing.

Our Fuzzi Bunz came from BabyEarth.com, but you can really order them anywhere. Last week I saw them on sale at Diapers.com, which is amazing because I feel like they are NEVER on sale.

For those of you just starting, here’s what we started with:

2 dozen newborn prefolds
3 covers (this, this, and this). The Imse Visme organic cotton being my favorite.
12 Small Fuzzi Bunz

Plus I bought 3 dozen cloth wipes, wool wash, 2 snappis, 2 diaper pail liners and a diaper sprayer toilet attachment thing.

The cloth wipes didn’t work for us. Dashiell’s butt is only happy with Seventh Generation wipes. I tried to go cloth, I did, but disposable worked better for us. Now we use them for other things around the changing table, like blocking mid-change pee from hitting the wall, etc.

Eucalan wool wash is great and super easy. Plus I have 2 sets of wool nursing pads that I wash with my wool covers. Highly recommend them! I wash them like once every 3 or 4 weeks, and they are nice and big, which is good because they look less obvious in clothes. Plus they’ll last your entire nursing career.

The toilet sprayer was good in the beginning, but now I’m too lazy to actually spray poopy diapers off. I just toss them into the bin and the “solids” (not that there’s anything solid about breastmilk poop), come off in the initial rinse cycle.

I’ve since added a few more Fuzzi Bunz and the next size prefolds. Not totally sure if we’ll keep buying prefolds actually, though they might be nice for summer since they breathe much better than the ‘Bunz, especially with a wool cover.

If anyone is curious about how we wash our diapers, here’s the drill:

Cold rinse
Hot wash with 1 scoop of Charlie’s soap
Cold rinse

So that’s 3 wash cycles per load, but I actually looked at our water bill and it’s only like $25 more per month. Which is much less than the number of disposables you’ll go through.

Hmm. Is there anything else you all want to know?

The main thing is, cloth diapering is so easy! It saves sooooooo much room in landfills and it’s so cute seeing your little baby in his big diaper and a T-shirt. There aren’t any eco-friendly diapers, as much as you want to believe there are. Even the “biodegradable” ones would only biodegrade if they were exposed to light and air in a huge diaper compost pile. But as well all know, they get wrapped up into air tight diaper genie bags and tossed into the dark recesses of a landfill, where they have about as much of a chance to biodegrade as your old laptop battery.

And ask Jora! It’s never to late to start. She started Little E on cloth when she was 5 months old.

One final note… if you do cloth diaper, keep in mind that bigger diapers = less room in clothes so don’t forget to pull out your cute stuff early so you don’t miss wearing it altogether. Dashiell has some 3-6 month things that barely fit with a Fuzzi Bunz, and he’s not even 4 months old yet. But actually, baby clothes sizing is a whole different post. It’s wildly unreliable. Dashiell can wear a 0-3 m sweatshirt from Gap and a 12 m onesie from Petit Bateau.

Okay, veering off topic. Please ask if you have any more questions!

June 15, 2010

note to self

It is not best to wear one’s fanciest shoes to a cocktail party in a barn:

But see if I don’t wear them to weddings, I will never wear them at all since I rarely leave the house for occasions that require me to put on clothes that do not contain at least 80% lycra… let alone high heels. So I had to just go for it.

Do not worry. They are clean and happy in their sleeper bag again.

Still in recovery from weekend away. The wedding was beautiful, Becky’s dress was amazing. Hoping the photos are as lovely as the event. It turns out it’s a wee bit less relaxing than it used to be to go away to a hotel. Not so much time lying by the pool and taking yoga classes at the spa. But they were serving one of my favorite chardonnays at the wedding so that was quite delicious.

More soon.