...


check in, ask, talk 
Be in clear communication with the new mama. Check in with her and see how she is doing, feeling, sleeping, eating. This is show you how to can best help her. Let her know that you would love to visit when the family is ready to have you. You'll be invited when she's ready. If you have kids of your own, ask her if she would like you to leave them at home with dad or if she minds you bringing along. If she says she'd rather you come alone, don't be offended. After 40 weeks of love, care, attention to detail, and growth, followed by labor and delivery she will (and should) feel that her only care in the world is protecting her littlest love.    

be the host even in their home
Even though they didn't come into your place, act the host. Come to visit with all the offerings you would give someone in your own home. Keep things clean, cozy, and quiet. Offer food, flowers, and drink (even alcoholic). Let her eat, drink, and be without any assumption that she will be let to cook, clean, etc.

know when you aren't welcome
I cannot stress this one enough. (And really, it doesn't just go for new babies.) Sickness of ANY kind should give you pause and cause you to stay put. I am not just talking if you are sick. I'm talking if you, your kids, your husband, your child's caregivers...ANY ONE near you. Sometimes you can be the "carrier" even if you don't show any symptoms. Think along the lines of, if someone close to you has been sick, wait to visit the new little life. 

bring food
When you are settling into life as a new family it is often hard to imagine caring for anyone besides the teeniest little member. Sometimes this means food is an after thought. Huge problem for a mommy who needs to stay fed herself and an even bigger problem for a nursing mommy who is using up lots of precious calories producing nourishment for her baby. Long story short...bring all kinds of food. Bring food to share together on your visit (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks), bring any groceries they might need (ask her to text you a list), and you can also bring prepared food for the family to toss in the oven for dinner to enjoy together rather than have to motivate to make it or order something in.  All in all, everyone has got to eat so help the mama out. (If you have a group of people wanting to bring the new family food, try out an organizing app like Meal Train.) 

be her extra hands
Do everything you might do in your own home; do the dishes, wipe down the counters, do the laundry, take out the trash and recyclables, fluff the pillows, make the bed. Anything you can possibly think off to bring order and peace to their home and also doesn't cross any boundaries in your relationship. A pretty good way to check the boundaries are to ask yourself, "would I be comfortable if she did this for me?" Also, not everyone makes their bed, et cetera, everyday. Do the orderly things that you remember being done when you came over before the baby. If making the bed isn't her thing, leave it ready to jump back into instead. 
   
listen closely
If you listen intently to what she is saying you will hear just what she needs. (This goes for texts, emails, phone calls, however you have communicated before your visit.) If she says, "I am SO exhausted!", offer to hold the baby while she takes a little nap. If she says, "I can't get anything done!", see be her hands above and get going. If she says, "I feel trapped inside all day", bring a little picnic for the backyard and/or see if she is up for a little walk to get some fresh air. If she says, "I haven't bathed in days...", offer to give the little love cuddles while she takes a shower. If she says, "I can't even feed myself, I'm so consumed with taking care of her/him.", see bring food above.

watch your words and keep the peaceful silence 
Rather than saying just anything, be slow to talk. Let the calm, peace, slow fill the air and don't feel that the silence needs to be filled. A new baby has a special way of stopping time and making nothing else matter in the world. Soak it up while visiting. Even when you mean well, everything is sensitive during the days after bringing a new baby home so be cautious in offer up suggestions. A good rule of thumb is to wait to be asked for advice before you offer it. Be full of compliments and exclamations like, "wow, you've done really well", "you look like a natural mommy", "you're adapting well to this new role", but, as always don't say anything you don't mean. 

love on mom...not just the babe
Of course the new little love is the reason for visiting but babies get LOTS of attention and though there's no doubt they feel the love, we know they won't remember it.  A new mommy however, will remember the love and care you show to her in those early days after she brings her baby home. Bring her a little something, tell her amazing compliments, give her a massage. She will forever be a mommy, forever putting someone else's everything in front of her anything. Give what you can to her, she deserves it. And the love you fill her up with, she will fill her babe up with. 

don't overstay
Some of the first days and weeks after having a baby, just existing can be such work. Just talking can feel like entertaining and being social can be exhausting. Once you've given what you came to share (food, flowers, gifts, etc), listened to mom vent any stories she feels she needs to and ask any questions she has, and loved on them both you should feel ready to go. Although you don't need to run in and rush out don't stay so long that the mommy will feel spent once you leave. The early days when a family has become brand new by adding a new little member are precious. They are sacred and there is nothing like the love in those days.  Allow them to relish in that. 

. . .



what to use:
1/2 lemon
one tablespoon raw organic honey
one tablespoon organic coconut oil
one tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

how to use it:
- fill kettle with water and heat until just before a boil
- while you wait, squeeze 1/2 a lemon and leave in the mug
- pour in the apple cider vinegar
- pour in the water
- scoop your coconut oil and let it melt off into the mug of hot water
- scoop your honey and let it melt off into the mug of hot water
- keep the spoon in the mug so that you can stir melted coconut oil around while drinking since it will float to the top

why you use it (the good stuff): This amazing combination is an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal that is good for your digestion, blood sugar regulation, heart health, brain health, skin and hair. 


apple cider vinegar

An incredibly beneficial tonic, apple cider vinegar is an acetic acid with amino acids, vitamins and mineral salts. The pectin helps to stabilize stomach issues and indigestion. It also helps with post nasal dip and clears sinus congestion. It works to stave off germs since most of them cannot live in the acidic environment. The anti-glycemic effects improve insulin's sensitivity while stabilizing blood sugar and it also speeds up your metabolism and lowers cholesterol. When buying ACV look for an organic brand that also "includes the mother" to glean the full benefits. 

raw organic honey
Full of active phytonutrients honey has the properties of an antibacterial, antiviral, as well as an anti fugal. It is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and overall health including eliminating allergies. Honey also helps to balance blood sugar, blood pressure while calming nerves and relieving pain. No honey is safe for children under a year however because of its unpasteurized quality, raw honey should definitely be avoided. 

lemon
Not only are lemons packed with vitamin C (good for the immune system), B-complex (good for energy), calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium (good for your heart, brain, and nerves), fiber (good for digestion) but they have many more benefits. Lemons boost your immune system by replenishing vitamin C that is depleted as you get stressed out, which most of us feel these days and also fights off viruses. The citric acid naturally freshens your breath as the antioxidants restore your skin's radiance. Lemons aid in digestion by cleansing toxins in your digestive tract and by stimulating your liver, the pectin fiber (a powerful antibacterial) can subdue hunger, and it can even reduce the symptoms of indigestion...somewhat counter intuitive since it is an acid. They help to remove the uric acid in your joints which gives an anti-inflammatory effect. Your energy levels increase and your stress and anxiety decrease even with the smell of the lemon alone. Refrain from brushing your teeth for 30 minutes to prevent the thinning of enamel. 

coconut oil
I could go on and on about all the things we use coconut oil for in our house. Coconut oil is a heart healthy fat which helps increase the good HDL cholesterol. It helps our bodies fight off bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and candida. It works wonders to stabilize hormones, blood sugar (by making the use of insulin in the body more effective), and thyroid issues, helping increase metabolism. It is full of antioxidant vitamin E and is amazing for your hair and skin. Due to the triglycerides, coconut oil has be shown to have fantastic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer's. To reap the best benefits, choose organic virgin coconut oil. 


If you had any doubts before reading this post, hopefully now you see the potential for some awesome healing benefits. Even if you don't fully "buy" it, it can't hurt to try it. I've tried worse in the name of feeling good and this is natural, easy to make at home, and even tasty. Now that you know why I include these four ingredients, go try it for yourself...I got a feeling you're going to like it and your body is going to thank you. Cheers!

to begin again

[artwork by Simon Page]

So much has changed since I first started writing this blog. I was living in Santa Monica with my husband in a house we were struggling to make feel like home. I was still in my twenties and my mind would wander into the years to come and wonder where I'd find myself. I was running my business as an academic manager working alongside families of children with disabilities like autism, dyslexia, ADD and ADHD, auditory processing, and even hearing impaired. I would travel around the world often with my husband and around the country to visit my girlfriends. I was living a dreamy life amidst the hustle and excitement of a city that never seemed to sleep. I came to this place to write about all of my adventures. To write about everything I did; food I cooked, things I bought, magazines and books I was reading, projects I made at home.

Fast forward almost three years and I am living in the South Bay, with my husband AND our baby boy. We love our home and it is our perfect place to anchor ourselves each night. It is our safe harbor. I am in my thirties now and I am living the life I also dreamed about; I'm a wife and I'm a mommy. My mind still wanders and dreams and draws up vision after vision for our life and the things I want to enrich it. I realize now that day dreaming isn't about hoping for something other than what you have but rather gathering up the images in your mind you want to create in your life. I get to stay with my baby boy most days. While pregnant with him, I completed a certification program to become a Pilates instructor. We still travel often but it is simply not as easy as it was before our little guy was born.

I am now at a place where I still want to share but my heart holds more than it used to. My thoughts are deeper, more vulnerable. I want this to be a place that women and mommies can go to be inspired by, and connected to, each other and that others (outside the circle of this sisterhood) can go to understand them better. I want this to be a place that people draw from to create the life they want. I plan to share: about movement and the its importance in your life and for your full health, food that nourishes both your body and your soul, stories of love, parenthood and connection. You'll also find companies and sites that I love, beautiful words that pull me along, and mini tours around the towns I love.

Cheers to beginning again! If you've been here before, welcome back!

bring home your baby...



As I think back to my little man being a small baby, I remember the things that I couldn't have lived without during his first couple of months and I thought I'd share some of them with you. Whether you have a baby now, are planning on having one, or have friends who are having babies, I hope this list can be of help. Over the last couple of months I've had three women stop me in the baby section of Target and ask me questions about what things I've needed/wanted/would give a friend. Here is my little list:

Dr. Browns glass bottles
We loved using these glass bottles so that my husband could give our little one 1 feeding a night. It made me feel amazing to have that one longer (ahem...4 hours if you're lucky) stint of sleep and was a good bonding opportunity for them. With the glass bottles you don't have to worry about many of the things you have to with plastic. We never used them in the microwave but you can since they are glass.

This little guy was a sleep saver for me! The first ten weeks my son slept in his moses basket, parallel to us, near the foot of our bed. (Thank goodness for a king size bed!) We loved having him close. Bringing home a baby for the first time, wanting rest, not being 100% sure what the heck you are doing...it's all hard. It's even harder when you aren't sleeping. When your new little precious life is breathing in the same room as you it's almost impossible not to overanalyze each little sound they make. Having the sleep sheep going helped me not to focus on every sound he was making and be able to fall asleep. (Running a load of laundry and we were falling asleep helped too.)

Five year daily journal (not pictured)
Truth be told, I found this journal at Madewell years ago and saved it for just these days. I knew I'd want to keep track of little details but wouldn't have time or the focus to write them all down. The journal has small spaces for just a few lines or words for each day of the year. Each day has divisions for 5 years worth. It has allowed me to keep track of mini milestones but also precious moments, like watching the clouds pass over the full moon during a 3 am feeding when my son was 4 weeks old.

sleeping gowns
Boy or girl...there is no baby that shouldn't sleep in a gown for their parent's sanity. With a little babe who is in constant need of feeding and changing and sleeping, having no snaps, buttons, or zippers to work around is a lifesaver. Plus, in the beginning days there is no real day and night so you can just keep them in these twenty four hours a day.

aden + anais swaddles
These blankets do it all! We used them as traditional swaddles (our little couldn't sleep without being swaddled for months), to drap cover the carseat to block him from the sun and more, as a burp cloth and just about anything else you can imagine. They are lightweight, easy to wash, easy to pack, and come in the cutest prints.

moses basket
Our moses basket was given to us by a dear friend and I'm so grateful for it. I mentioned above that we used it to cosleep in the beginning. Once we were ready, we put it in his crib so that he would get used to sleeping in a new room while still in a place he was comfortable with. It is easy to move from place to place, our son would nuzzle his face into the cozy fabric on the side as he fell asleep, and the lining comes out easy for the wash.

puppy training pads (not pictured)
As silly as it may sound, we loved the confidence these gave us while diaper changing. We used them on the changing table so that little accidents didn't become HUGE headaches. We only used them for a few months because we didn't want to create excess waste but while we had them, there were plenty of times that were so glad to have them down. 

mother's day 2013

Mother's Day is always an important day for me. I find it entirely important to acknowledge the legacy of mothers who were given to me and set an example of what mothering means. In the years past I have loved celebrating my grandma and mom with my sister. We have gone to some extremely yummy restaurants, wandered through gardens full of blooms, watched movies about both babies and babies of the wild and so much more. 

This year, I got to celebrate them (even though my grandma is no longer with us), my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law, as well celebrate being a mommy myself. We gathered, sixteen of us, perfectly fitting into our backyard for a brunch. We ate mixed berry bread pudding, baked eggs in ham, roasted potatoes in bacon and dates, chocolate, almond and plain croissants, and much more while sipping champagne from the mimosa bar. We sat amongst the freshly planted garden and newly decorated patio under the glowing bistro lights, all along one long table filled with blossoming peonies. BUT, most importantly, we celebrated and enjoyed each other. My husband gave a beautiful toast to us mommies and we were able to relish in all that being a mommy means...surrounded by beauty and decadence, baby cuddles and giggles, and love, love, love.   

Just few a snaps from our day:





this amazing man...


our teeny tiny family... one, two, three of us!