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 the ‘baby + kids’ Category

November 18, 2013

A fall mobile

I love mobiles. We have one in the kids’ room and one in our bedroom, and I love that they add just a teensy bit of whimsy to a space. The guys and I collected a bunch of things around the neighborhood during a few morning walks and Dash and I finally assembled our little project last week. By assembled, I mean Dash cut bits of thread and leftover leaves with his scissors at the table (his current favorite activity), and I assembled the mobile. But the point was that in the end we made the project together.

The only supplies we used were an embroidery hoop, thread, and baker’s twine. Plus the spoils from our walks.

I love that it hangs over the play space. I like to think it makes Dash feel accomplished that he made something for our home, with his little fingers. I know it reminds me that it’s not *that* hard to make just a few minutes of time to create something meaningful with my kids. Instead of always spending my free time doing dishes and sweeping the floors and catching up on emails. Eew. Making things is so much better, for all of us.

January 30, 2013

100 Layer Cakelet

Oh, also THIS has been happening. We launched a mom/baby/family blog on 100 Layer Cake! It’s called 100 Layer Cakelet and (obviously) I’m thrilled to have a new project. Exactly what I need – a new project. But this one is really really fun.

We want 100 Layer Cakelet to be a beautiful, inspiring, and practical place for all you mamas out there. We keep thinking, you obsess about your wedding for one year… but you obsess about your family for the rest of your life. Shouldn’t there be a pretty place to share all the great celebrations and projects and moments that revolve around family? Yes!

I’d love any suggestions you guys have too! Pop over and check it out.

And while you’re over there, you might consider visiting the the Pop-Up Shop where you can book a family shoot with Max Wanger. He took pictures of our family a few summers ago and I absolutely treasure the photos he took. I know there must be a few of you out there who wouldn’t mind a set of photos by Max & Friends.

Don’t be strangers over there, kay?

(And thank you all for your suggestions about family dinners!)

August 13, 2012

Currently love for baby and mama

Some things I’m finding useful this time around… the baby swing in my office is pretty great, while it lasts! Action shot below.

The Miracle Blanket. OMG! Trust me on this one, you don’t need another swaddling blanket. For actual swaddling, that is. The Aden + Anais are beautiful for decorative purposes (I bought these before Forrest was born as a treat to self) – over the stroller, as a light blanket, I even use them for nursing covers when we’re out and about. But they’ve got nothing on The Miracle Blanket when it comes to keeping baby wrapped up tight. No folding, no velcro, just an ingenious design that makes it easy breezy.

These Gap Pure tank tops. They are super long and stretchy, which makes it easy to pull the neck down for nursing. And since they’re so stretchy they don’t seem to get ruined as quickly as others I’ve worn in the past. In truth they’re all I’ve worn for the last 6 weeks.

A white noise app. Brock used this all the time with Dashiell, but I resisted. No! We do not need technology for our baby! Yes, in fact we do. We have an old iPhone with no cell service that we carry around in the stroller and the Ergo and the car. I swear it helps him sleep better. Big fan of tools thing time around. Big fan.

The baby swing. You guys, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ready? Baby swings are FOR SLEEPING. Oh, you already knew that? Yeah, well. I didn’t. I totally thought they were for hanging out in whilst baby is awake (which they hate because it probably makes them sick or something). I’m a little slow on the uptake, apparently. Now, we’ve only used it for a few naps so far, but it seems to be amazing. I have it set up in my office and I’m hoping it allows me a few hours of quiet work time every day. At least for a few weeks until he outgrows it. Even better, we’re borrowing Luciana’s. I love passing baby stuff around!

Belgo from New Belgium Brewing. It’s my go-to right now. A Belgian IPA that’s a little sweet and a little bitter. The perfect combination at this very moment for me. Every night. Around 8 pm. Err, sometimes 6. Or 5.

There’s probably more, but the sleep deprivation is setting in and I forget things as soon as I think of them. But it’s temporary, remember? That’s what I’m telling myself.

May 4, 2012

Spring purchases

I’ve been feeling VERY shoppy as of late. I’m just going to admit it. Part of it is probably the fact that I can’t in fact buy myself any cute clothes because I am huge and about to have a baby and then be fat for 8 months (yay!). But I’ve made do with non-apparel purchases. Can you spot a theme?

I’m thinking coral might be the color of the season. I’m not going to feel bad about buying everything I find that I love in that shade.

Finally treated myself to the Clare Vivier bando bag that I’ve had my eye on for approximately two years. In Poppy, of course! (It’s available on Shop Pretty Mommy, but I couldn’t wait so I picked it up at Vivier & Bentley in Silverlake.)

Melanie and I made a trip to Heath and bought everything we could in their new summer collection, including the cute cork-topped canisters. And the ramekins, and a bud vase, and I want everything else too. I posted an Instagram of their summer tablescape. Is to die for.

Coral peonies, natch.

These adorable bracelets from Voz, available in the Pop-Up Shop until tonight at 6 PM. There are sooo many cute ones.

And a teeny Gap treat for new bebe. Their spring things are adorbs.

Shall I list all the things I still want? That might be a little overboard. Maybe I will save for another post… there are some good ones lined up.

March 21, 2012

Fave organic baby clothes

I put together a little round up of my favorite organic baby clothes for The Chalkboard Mag, and I figured since so many of you have wee ones and/or are expecting wee ones, you might like to see my top picks.

Since we don’t know the sex of bebé number two, there’s really no point in buying a bunch of clothes ahead of time this time around. EXCEPT of course when something I love is on super sale. Then I get a free pass. Plus there will be plenty of time for online shopping after the baby has made his/her arrival.

If she’s a she, I’ve got so many cute things bookmarked. I mean, obviously.

March 14, 2012

Dashiell turns two

I was tempted to skip the birthday part altogether this year, I admit. We’ve had so much going on in the last week that it just seemed like one more not totally necessary thing to add to our list. BUT, I’m so glad we decided to have a little party after all. Dashie had fun, the bagels were delicious, the day was warm. And I made my first ever cake. Success all around!

Of course, it ended in mountains of new trucks. But what are you going to do? (Give the old ones to Goodwill, if you’re me. Ooops.)

His party last year included far more preparation and decorations, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time around.

And the cake recipe? Oh, um, yeah. Divine. Rave reviews from party goers. Shall I post it? I think so. Stay tuned.

February 7, 2012

A birth

Pretty amazing, attending a birth. And laboring through the night with someone else. I’m going to resist telling my version of Jen’s birth story, since you know, it’s her’s to tell if she chooses. But a few bits of story to make sense of the photos…

The poor dear had to be induced on Thursday night after her non-stress test revealed that she had very seriously low amniotic fluid. She was 6 days overdue anyway, but induction means machines and monitors and lots of pitocin, which wasn’t the birth she was hoping for. But do you know what? She was a rockstar anyway. The woman had contractions that were one minute apart from 7pm until her baby was born at 9 the next morning. That’s a whole different kind of resilience, as those of you who have given birth know.

But it was a beautiful birth anyway, as they always are.

Awww, such a happy ending. Our friend Laura was there too and she’s a midwife, which was awesome. She’s the lady laboring with Jen in most of the photos. A pro is always nice to have on hand. By the time Jen had reached her limit and the anesthesiologist was giving her an epidural, she was 10 cm and ready to push (we found out after the fact). She dilated 5 cm in 1 hour. It was wild, but she did it. And her baby boy is perfect and all is right in the world.

I tell you, in the middle of the night, watching her contractions come one after the other, I had a long period where I was really kind of dreading going into labor again. It’s long, and slow, and unknown. But then once things picked up and she was really working, really laboring, and Laura and I were helping her through each wave, I realized that I CAN do it again. She completely inspired me. It’s amazing the kind of energy a birth brings. And the part I really can’t get over is that all night we were just watching a belly, and then in one second the belly turns into a baby. A baby! Who has been in there all this time! Words can’t really describe that transition.

I also realized that um, if you think you might want to have a natural birth, it’s pretty vital that you hire a doula or have some kind of labor support with you. You will probably reach a point when you are quite literally crawling the walls, and if you’ve never been there before it’s hard to understand that what you’re feeling is right and good.

Now I can’t wait to get down to their house to visit the new family at home. That’s where the magic really happens.

January 18, 2012

Ostheimer wooden figures

Oh I love these little guys. Erin of Bird and Banner posted about Ostheimer wooden figures years ago, and I’ve saved the link to Wooden Wagon diligently in my bookmarks since then. I came across them again the other day while I was searching for another old link, and realized it’s time! I can buy them! I have an almost two year old who loves animals and figurines! (Almost as much as trucks.)

Erin (who btw just welcomed her third child – a sweet little boy! – into the world) told me that she actually bought most of her Ostheimer before she actually had kids. This is a brilliant idea. Because when you don’t have children, it’s very easy to rationalize buying a tiny $15 wooden figurine from time to time. So smart, Erin!

So for those of you who love these, and want them for your eventual children… maybe get started now. I just started our teeny collection and I tell you, I wish I had all of them all at this moment. But I think it’s going to be a process. As Erin also said (this is the post where I essentially quote Erin’s email), the hope is that my children can eventually pass them on to their children. So if it takes a while, that’s okay.

The Wooden Wagon also has all sorts of other great natural fiber and wooden toys. Definitely worth a visit.

November 9, 2011

Our fave books as of late

We’re big readers around these parts. And Dashiell definitely has his favorites… most of which involve trucks, naturally! Here are a few that we’ve been reading non-stop and are loved equally by parent and child.

Everything Goes on Land, by Brian Biggs. Brian actually sent this one to us when he read here that Dashiell was a big fan of Richard Scarry. His hope was to “combine the sensibility of Richard Scarry with the Where’s Waldo and I Spy books” to give kiddos something to spend hours pouring over. Such fantastic inspiration and I’m so glad he found us! Dashiell loves the bright colors and modern illustration. And for a boy who loves anything that “goes”, this book is perfect. An entire page of trains! A whole spread of motorcycles! Plus there’s cats and birds and people and all sorts of city life. It’s almost too exciting.

A House is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman. Oh how I love this book. My friend Staci gave it to us for Dashiell’s first birthday and we’re finally to a point where he will sit still to actually hear the words. It so clever and creative and the illustrations are intricate and fabulous and I love reading long rhyming stories out loud. It’s like the perfect 70′s children’s book, that coincidentally was first published the year I was born. Awwww.

Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker. So as I’ve mentioned, we are very into trucks these days. You think, my son will not be into trucks because we do not have many trucks around the house. And we are not into trucks, after all. But listen, mamas, you cannot stop a little boy from loving trucks. Garbage trucks, UPS trucks, FedEx trucks, Arrowhead Water trucks, buses, moving vans, pick up trucks… they are EVERYWHERE. And I swear little boys have a special radar for them. My mom brought this book up for her number one grandson last time my parents came to visit and it’s been a wild success around here. It’s super sweet and rhymes, of course, and we love reading it over and over.

Where the Wild Things Are by, well, YOU KNOW. We’ve also just gotten into this book (finally making the transition away from board books!) and it really is one of the best. Dashiell has learned to stomp and howl and “rumpus” with the best of them. We like to start the wild rumpus around here at least a few times a day.

Do you guys have any fave books right now? We’re always on the lookout for good recommendations.

(Side note: On the non-children reading list, just finished Boys Adrift. It’s sooooo fascinating. Kind of in the Freakonomics or Nurture Shock way, (two other faves). Parents of boys, I would definitely recommend giving it a read!)

November 8, 2011

What to do with a toddler on a rainy day in LA

We entered our first rainy season with a toddler over the weekend. It coincided nicely with daylight savings time, which meant that by 9 am we’d already been up for hours and hours and had virtually exhausted our minimal resources for entertainment in the living room. But it actually ended up being a fantastic day.

We decided to pay visit to Noah’s Ark at the Skirball. You guys, if you’re in or near LA, you need to check it out. It’s really amazing.

The entire exhibit is full of animals made from found objects. They are amazing! And lots of them are interactive and can be powered by little hands. (See more photos on the Skirball site here.)

The lighting is all very soft and moody, which is sooo much nicer than bright and fluorescent. (Pay no attention to the fact that my child is wearing long underwear in public. It was a rain day!)

Loading the animals into the Ark!

Lots of small wood toys to play with, in addition to the big installations. And there’s tons of pretend play too! You can cook a meal and eat it at the table and even sweep up the camel poop. I’m telling you, it’s fantastic for little explorers.

Plus they have story time and musicians that stroll the galleries and and arts and crafts room. It’s really really fantastic.

If you’re planning to go, you should know that entry is timed and subject to availability. But you can reserve your slot online ahead of time! Definitely recommend it for a weekend. Especially a rainy day. See admission policies and tips here.

So much fun for little ones.