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 February, 2011

February 24, 2011

Happy birthday to my baby

1 year ago today, our tiny 7.5 pound bundle came to meet us:

Happy birthday my sweet sweet boy. I can’t remember what life was like without you.

It’s extraordinary, this parenthood. Just extraordinary.

And we are having a party, btw. Couldn’t get out of it and I think it’s going to be fun after all! Invitations coming soon.

PO.P stripey shirt.
Rowdy Sprout tee, Gap skinny cords (on sale, natch!), crocs.

February 23, 2011

Making beans

A few of you asked me to post the recipe for the beans we had on our nachos a few weeks ago. So happy to!

Beans are a major staple in our house. I make a huge pot and we eat them all throughout the week. Dashiell thinks they’re delicious and he can pick them up one by one and feed himself, which is great fun. I don’t really have a recipe per se, but I do have a method. And some favorite flavors that I like to add.

I’m going to post my recipe for pinto beans, because they’re our favorite. But there are variations for other types at the bottom of the post.

Pinto beans in the pot

3-4 cups dry pinto beans, soaked overnight in filtered water.
3 bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons dry tarragon leaves
3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of your knife
salt
pepper

Fill a large stock pot with filtered water. Add the prepped beans, bay leaves, tarragon, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Turn town the heat and simmer until the beans are nice and soft. About 1 1/2 – 2 hours? Make sure you stir regularly so they don’t stick to the bottom. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and as many grinds of pepper as you like. Simmer on low for another 1/2 hour so until the flavor is perfect and the beans start to (possibly) fall apart. You may have to add a bit more salt, depending on your taste. But know that the next day they’ll probably taste saltier than they do at first.

And, um. That’s it. You can also skip the soaking step if you need them for dinner tonight. Or do a quick soak (bring water and beans to a boil, turn off the heat and leave covered on the stove for a few hours) if you have time. If you don’t soak, expect the cooking time to be a bit longer.

Here are some fave variations (measurements are loose):

Black beans w/ 1 large chopped onion, 3-4 cloves garlic, 3 bay leaves, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.
Cannellini beans w/ 3-4 cloves garlic, a few sprigs of rosemary, handful of chopped sage, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper.

February 22, 2011

On losing the prego weight

Because I’m spending this week in my swim suit on the beach (ack!), I thought I’d do a little post on the dreaded post-pregnancy weight loss. Mostly just to give the rest of you who are still struggling with it a little moral support. It can be rough on the old ego, that’s for sure.

So before and even shortly after Dashiell was born, I was just CERTAIN that I’d be back to my normal size four months after he was born. Pre-pregnancy I wore a size 4 dress. So in planning for my bridesmaid dress last June (4 months postpartum), I figured I’d be easily into a size 6. After all, I like to exercise, and I’d be deep in breastfeeding! Yes! Breastfeeding! The miracle weight loss tactic!

(What I’d love to be wearing this spring, now that I’m almost back to normal and can begin to dream that I might wear fashionable clothes again. Vanessa Jackman, via Pretty Mommy)

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I’m convinced they tell you that breastfeeding helps you lose weight as part of secret plan to get more women to breastfeed. Which btw, I’m completely fine with. But magic cure-all for the extra LBs I was toting around – um, no. For that wedding I had to order a size 10 dress. It sucked. Not because of the size itself so much. More because of how many sizes UP it was from what I considered my “normal” size to be.

At 6 months we went on family vaycay to Yosemite, and looking at pictures when we got home was yet another depressing moment. I was still hideously fat (IMO). I gave up Stacy’s pita chips, which I think helped a little. But I also just tried to remind myself that it took me 10 months to gain 28 pounds and it would probably take about that long to lose them all again.

At 8 months, same. To be fair I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight. I was running a few days a week. Maybe going to a core class twice a month. Mostly just doing what moms do: hanging with their baby, trying to keep the house from looking like a hovel, and fitting in work here and there. And I kept telling myself that it wasn’t my job to be skinny! It was my job to take care of my baby and finally start to catch up on 6 months without sleep. In fact I looked at skinny people and thought, god, they have nothing better to do than fit into their skinny jeans! HOW SELFISH AND SHALLOW. (We tell ourselves what we can to get by, you know?)

By 9 months Dashiell was eating more food and nursing less and things actually started to change. My postpartum clothes were finally too big. My pre-baby clothes started to almost fit again. By 10 months I was feeling pretty good actually. And now, exactly one year later I’m miraculously and by no real effort on my part, 5 pounds under my pre-prego weight.

So the moral? Give yourself a break. If you’re not a Hollywood personality with a celebrity trainer and nutritionist, and especially if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, it’s going to take some time to get back to your old bod. Your body might insist on hanging on to the extra 5 pounds because it needs insurance while you continue to nurse full time. And even when you hit the number you’re looking for, your body is just going to be different. But remember to celebrate that! It was you baby’s home for almost 10 months, it supported him/her through the first year of life, and it’s a pretty amazing little temple when you think about it like that.

And while I wouldn’t recommend intermittent exercise and little attention to calorie intake as a reliable weight loss plan, it eventually worked for me. But it took 12 f-ing months. Most importantly, the entire experience has given me such a better perspective on food and exercise and just generally being more conscious of what’s important in my life right now. ie. NOT my jeans size.

So you pretty ladies out there who’ve recently had babies, set reasonable expectations for yourself! My friend Becca wrote a great, very real post about this same thing. Growing and birthing and raising a child takes a toll on your body, and in time you’ll be able to focus on yourself again.

At least a little. Maybe.

In the meantime, treat yourself to a cookie after you put the baby to bed. And if you have to choose between getting an extra hour of sleep and going on a run, sometimes the extra sleep for you is going to be far more beneficial to the entire family than burning a few hundred calories.

I still want to give away all of my clothes btw. Even though I fit into them, I do not want to wear them. I am a different person, after all! I am satisfying myself with online window shopping and reckless cart abandonment for now. You know what I’m saying.

February 18, 2011

Mother denim

We’re on the way to Costa Rica! Actually we’re probably already there. Hopefully the flight went well and we’re on our way to St. Teresa already.

Now, if I hadn’t gone hardcore minimal on the packing, I would have loved a few items from the new Mother denim collection for my trip. But they are clearly not practical in any way.

At least not for Costa Rica. I’m thinking they might be very practical for spring in LA though, no?

Have a cozy long weekend. My birthday is on Sunday. I’m planning to do nothing, in a bathing suit, on the beach.

See you next week with some posts I prepared before we left. Muuah!

February 17, 2011

the most beautiful patterns

From Peter Fasano. Fabric and wallpaper. One day I’m going to make use of one of these patterns in my house.

via Katy Elliot.

February 16, 2011

Packing for Costa Rica

This trip I am DETERMINED to only bring the bare essentials. Like, for serious. I am a compulsive over-packer. As in, I bring 12 tank tops for a 3 day trip to Palm Springs. And I usually wear two of them. But this trip, since we have so much baby crap that we can’t leave behind (crib, diapers, stroller, carseat, etc etc etc), I’m really trying to whittle my gear down to what I’ll actually use.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

1) My new Salt Swimwear suit 2) the perfect wrinkly button down 3) a handful of favorite tanks 4) AG slouchy jean shorts I’ve had for a few years and FINALLY fit into again 5) Linen wrap for cooler nights and nursing on the airplane/airport/ferry/anywhere 6) Lululemon undies that fit like a dream and will be easy to wash in the sink 7) a big, neutral beach hat 8) and of course Rainbows.

Plus a pair of yoga pants, a change of running clothes, a few tees, a maxi dress or two and a sweatshirt. And of course my bridesmaid dress! Now, the real question is, can I resist throwing in 30 extra things at the last minute?

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

A pretty heart cookie from Valerie Confections to get us all in the spirit. It’s positively outstanding to have them at the Saturday Santa Monica farmer’s market.

Admittedly, I considered reposting the cork heart I made a few years ago because I really loved it. But thankfully something else popped up just in time. Hope you all have something sweet planned for today. Even if it’s just an extra smooch for you love on the way out the door this morn.

I’ll be wearing this pin around town, just because I can. This year my heart is fuller than it’s ever been, that’s for sure.

February 11, 2011

Cute Valentine’s downloads from the Nimbus Factory

So, wow. Valentine’s day is in 3 days. Where did that come from? If you are as ill-prepared as some of us might be, these downloads (found here, here, and here) from the cute new company The Nimbus Factory are perfect.

Or even if you’re super prepared, they’d still be a sweet addition to whatever else you have planned.

February 10, 2011

Planning the 1st birthday party

So there’s no way I can skip Dashiell’s first birthday party altogether. Our family wants to celebrate and who am I to deny them? I started by ordering some supplies from Shop Sweet Lulu. I figure if all else fails, we’ll have cute straws. Forrrrrr…. the beer? Hmm. Didn’t think that one through!

I am really trying to be realistic about the party. It’s not going to be perfect, but it will be fun. And our families will all be together, which is really the most important part. Plus I’ll have an entire arsenal of cute party supplies, since I obviously ordered way more than we need.

February 9, 2011

Tips for an overnight flight, with a 1 year old

I’m calling in a favor, experienced mamas out there. In a week, we’re heading to Costa Rica. It will be our first flight with Dashiell and it’s a red eye, that departs at 1:30 am. We chose this particular flight because it’s the only direct flight from LAX to San Jose, and I figured shorter would be better.

So now comes the favor. HELP! We need tips on getting through this with as little drama as possible. The way I see it, we have two options.

1. Put Dashiell to bed at home at his normal time (7pm) then wake him to get in the cab at 10/10:30 and proceed to the airport, security, etc. Once we’re through security, put him in his carseat (attached to the stroller) and hopefully lull him back to sleep before we board. Then hopefully transfer him in his carseat to his airplane seat and hope that he sleeps for the entire flight.

2. Stretch his bed time til, if at all possible, 8. Get him all ready and then get in the cab, check in, go through security, etc (with an over-tired baby) and then settle him into his carseat/stroller set up and proceed as mentioned above. This option will get us to the airport approx FIVE HOURS before our flight is scheduled to leave. But is it worth it to have him fall asleep once, instead of waking him in the middle of the night and jostling him around at the airport?

Or if there’s a third option, we’d love to hear it.

Need advice. Bad.