Wednesday, August 28, 2013

what i'm loving lately

Our first family picture framed in our hallway... obsessed!

h&m is offering online shopping again!

Walking down the ailes of Target I came across Archer Farms Buttery Caramel coffee. Talk about amazing! And yes, it really does taste like buttery caramel!

Munchkin stroller hooks are seriously awesome!

This tiny bump back in February was the beginning sign of Trace... to think I thought I was showing!

And just like that, I'm back to work an event here and there this fall, starting with this one...

Monday, August 26, 2013

trace's birth announcement & newborn photos

last name blurred out

We had a great 'at home' photo session with Kalyn Mann Photography 2.5 weeks after Trace's birth. She instantly put us at ease and assured us that our pictures would turn out beautifully. Obsessed doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about Trace's birth announcement and newborn photos. Everything could not have turned out more perfect! 

If you live in or around Cleveland, OH please consider reaching out to Kalyn to photograph your next  major event. Kalyn is also looking for clientele in Charlotte, NC, so if you you live in the area, she's your girl! And don't forget to mention Set This Circus Down!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


So thankful to have such helpful, loving parents to spend these 1st several months of mommyhood with. They left their lives in California back in late May, drove across the country and rented an apartment 2 miles from our house in North Carolina. They've helped to make this transition into parenthood much easier for Bryan and I than it could have been. My mom and dad insist on babysitting so that we can go out on dates, run errands and spend time together. They change diapers, give baths, rock to sleep, help feed and snuggle with Trace every time they see him. They've kept me sane by providing me with constant socialization, many laughs, great homemade meals and an endless amount of wine. Bryan, Trace and I are so lucky that we still have 1 more month with them out here... and that they'll be back for at least 5 weeks this fall!

Monday, August 19, 2013

tuna and fresh vegetable salad

This salad is not only easy to make, but it's packed with protein, raw vegetables and a lowfat homemade dressing. It is perfect to serve on a hot summer night!

You'll need:

4 tbsp lowfat mayonnaise
4 tbsp lowfat plain yogurt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar (can use white wine vinegar)
salt and pepper
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 cups whole green beans (can cut into 1 inch)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 12 oz cans of tuna, drained and flaked
chopped parsley to garnish (not necessary)
salad greens

Step 1
To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, yogurt and vinegar in a bowl. Stir together. Add salt and pepper as desired. Make sure ingredients are well blended.

Step 2
Put the tomatoes, beans and zucchini in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and marinate for about 1 hour.

Step 3
Arrange salad greens in a serving bowl and drain and flake tuna.

Step 4
To serve, add vegetables and tuna to salad greens and mix. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Although it may appear that there is a lot of dressing, rest assured that the dressing is properly proportionate and not overpowering.

Serves 4

Consider adding:
hardboiled egg


Friday, August 16, 2013

whiskey lover in training

See him eyeing the glass....
Front porch sittin'
Naked baby
Whiskey drinkin'
Yep, that's bliss.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

you know you're from (south) orange county when...

Being totally honest here -- 90% of these are so dead on it's scary! I relate to so much of everything below that it makes me laugh. I miss home so much sometimes and when I come across things like this I miss it even more. As Kenny Chesney once said "Baaack where I come from. I'm an old Caalifooornian..." Oh wait, is that not how the song goes?

watching dolphins migrate in Laguna Beach
lunching with my mom in Irvine

I italicized the points I really relate to!

1. Your high school’s campus also served as the setting for a reality show.

2. Your mom (and/or dad) has had “work done.” (Maybe just a simple eye lift or quick tummy tuck, but chances are something has been “done.”)
3. You invite your friend from out of town to go shopping at Fashion Island and then have to explain to her that you guys are not, in fact, going to sail to an actual island of fashion.
4. You never refer to Orange County as “The OC,” nor do you call PCH “The PCH.” (These alternate terms are reserved for tourists and/or people who watch too much reality television.)
5. You recognize the jeans the guy sitting next to you in the Edwards movie theater is wearing because you have the exact same pair. (And that’s because they are women’s jeans. Jeans for WOMEN.)
6. You’re unsure of where “north Orange County” begins and ends, and you sure as hell don’t want to find out.
7.Your family took their Christmas card photo on the beach, while wearing coordinating white tops and medium-dark-wash jeans. (You guys alternate between white and black coordinating tops each year to keep the neighbors on their toes).
8. You had at least one high school crush with bleach blonde hair and/or who was on the surf team.
9. You get spray tans during the “winter” months.
10. Your family shops at Gelson’s because their sliced turkey tastes way better and also because they can.
11. Your idea of roughin’ it is going “camping” on Catalina island.
12. Your high school had a gang. (And by gang, you mean a bunch of well-dressed wealthy kids who drove BMWs to school and took somas in front of your AP US History teacher at senior picnic day.)
13. Your last family vacation was to Maui because you guys wanted to mix things up from your last two vacations, Kauai and the Big Island.
14. Your best friend’s parents bought her a brand new Mercedes-Benz before she even passed her driver’s test.
15. Your cleaning lady has an iPhone.
16. You know what cotillion is/ your parents made you attend during your formative and most awkward years (and you have the white gloves to prove it).
17. Your mom drives a Prius and your dad drives an Escalade XL.
18. Your family likes to go to the beach on Christmas Day because it’s rarely not 75 degrees outside.
19. You’re studying to be a massage therapist.
20. You still see Bush/Cheney stickers on cars around town like they’re relevant.
21. You used to get dollars instead of candy when you went trick-or-treating as a kid.
22. You remember when the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” were just the “Anaheim Angels” and life made a lot more sense.
23. You’re not even that alarmed when the 40-something mom sporting a bright pink Juicy Couture velour jumpsuit and giant fake boobs orders her venti skinny vanilla latte while texting on her Swarovski crystal-covered phone and then proceeds to let her three daughters run wild in Starbucks, destroying the holiday mug display as they repeatedly slam their little bodies into your lower leg/thigh region.
24. Your friend’s dog wears a collar that is worth more than all of your college tuition.
25. You can count your Jewish friends on one hand.
26. Your family keeps the phone numbers to the orthodontist, the plastic surgeon, and the cleaning lady on the fridge, for easy access.
27. Your friend’s dad has Ryan Seacrest highlights and he’s pushing 50.
28. You’ve babysat for a family who dresses their kids in baby True Religions and/or owns a stroller for their dog.

29. Your five year old little sister has hair extensions.
dinner at our favorite restaurant in Syracuse, NY... wearing my hometown sweatshirt and Bry in his Angels hat :)
You can take us out of Orange County, but you can't take the Orange County out of us!

Monday, August 12, 2013

6 week old stud muffin

Family picture before we headed out on a double date to Dresslers and Galway Hooker...

Friday, August 9, 2013

practical newborn essentials

Adding Efficiency & Ease to Your New Role as a Parent
Practical. Efficient. Ease = 3 words that really matter when becoming a 1st time parent!

This monitor provides us mama's with the peace of mind that we need in knowing that if something happens to our childs breathing (while awake or sleeping) we will immediately be notified. Whether Trace is sleeping in his napper, in his swing or in my arms, I know that his breathing is always being monitored.

The name of this product says it all. Trace was sleeping 5 hours/night the 2nd night we brought him home from the hospital. This was a good and bad thing, as I wasn't waking up for his (every 2-3 hour) feedings like I should have been... But a newborn who sleeps is priceless! He's down to sleeping 4 hours at a time...

I have this exact sleep sack and love it. Being that it has a zipper, this is so easy to take on and off during middle of the night diaper changes. Trace is a tiny little guy and he was able to wiggle his arms out of other sleep sacks, but this one keeps his arms tucked away for a great nights sleep. And when I say great, I mean great. Trace sleeps 4 hours at a time, waking up at around 3:00am, and he's only 2 weeks old. If you do the math, that means we only have 1 middle of the night feeding. I credit my super easy going baby combined with the Miracle Blanket and HALO SleepSack.

I love being able to jot down a quick sentance about how the day went, what minor or major milestone Trace hit, etc. in this book. 

I can't say enough great things about this pack n play! Bryan and I actually rush ordered it after Trace was born when we realized that the bassinet we had intended on him sleeping in was just too big for him. He would scream and cry in it and I'd be up all night trying to calm an out-of-control baby... just too much empty space for such a little munchkin. Trace sleeps in the napper nightly and will be able to until he's 10 lbs. I love it because it's the same height as my bed, so I can constantly pop open my eyes, give him a quick once-over, realize he's fine and fall back to sleep without even having to lift my head from my pillow. We have yet to use the changing table, but I think it'll be a great feature. The green fabric portion will be great to use once Trace hits that 10 lb limit, as it'll be the perfect way to prepare him to sleep in his crib. 

This does exactly what it's designed to do -- it keeps you organized and keeps your changing table organized. I'm all about being organized and this gets the job done!
When Trace isn't in someones arms throughout the day he lives in his swing. If he's sleeping we just simply place him in it and cover him with a blanket. When he's alert we turn on the swing and sometimes add in a little music. Personally, I love the water feature... so soothing, but trace seems to really like the music.
We have one of these downstairs and one in our master bedroom. There is no reason to be running all over the house when your little one has 12 dirty diapers/day.
I keep a chaning pad liner on Trace's changing table in his nursery so that I am not doing laundry (his changing table cover) every other day. If he soils one of these, I just wip it off and replace it with a different one. Easy and efficient!

If you have a 2 story house, buy 2 of these... 1 for each floor. Trust me on this!

Both of these work well for Trace. Maybe other brands would too, but I'm not willing to try. As far as the diapers go, I fold into the diaper the little white top of it so that when Trace pee's, his pee will be secure in his diaper and not run. That probably doesn't make sense unless you have a little boy...

I use these as burp cloths because they are the perfect size, ridiculously afforable and considering how they're meant to soak up pee/poop, they're extremely absorbent. Also, I cut one into several tiny pieces and use it in my bras to catch nipple leakage. Tmi? Whatever. Because they're cotton, they're breathable, and take my word for it... your boobies will appreciate it!

This is the best burp cloth you'll find and is worth every penny. The way that it's cut, with curvature to it, ensures that all spit-up will be caught on it and not on your skin/shirt. It has a button on it so that you can wrap it around your babies neck and use it as a bib also. 2 uses in 1 item? More bang for your buck!

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets
I have 8 of these blankets and I feel like that is the perfect amount. We use them for swaddling and as a light blanket. They're nice and lightweight for summertime, but I can imagine how cozy they'd be in the cooler months also.

Dr. Browns Standard Neck Bottle and Medela Freezer Bottles
Whether you are pumping and/or formula feeding, these bottles will get you through the newborn phase with no trouble. Both fit on a Medela pump. The Dr. Brown bottles can contain up to 4 oz. of milk, which is nice for us being that although newborns are supposed to eat 2 oz, my little guy likes 3 oz/feeding. My lactation consultant sent me home with these bottle nipples to use with the Medela bottles. They are slow flow, very affordable and Trace took to them immediately.

Gerber Newborn zip front sleep n' play
This 3 pack is only $12.99. The arms and legs are wide, so they're easy to slide onto a flagile newborns tiny body. I found the zip front to be so much better when compared to button up sleep n' plays... especially in the middle of the night! The material has been perfect for a summer baby.

Nursing Tank
If you are nursing or pumping, this is the most practical and flattering tank on the market. It totally conceals your post baby jello-belly and could even be worn while pregnant. I have 4 of them and wear one every night to sleep in. Highly recommend!