Monday, August 25, 2014

can't live without... 12 - 15 months old

I sent a few of my previous "can't live without" posts to a soon-to-be mama friend today and thought I had better get a new list up here! Little S is now 15 months old. OMG. She's hilarious, precious and becomes the unofficial greeter ANYWHERE we go. This. Child. So social. It's amazing. The cutest thing ever.

Here she is in some snail pants I made this weekend.

She's my buddy now and so so much fun. I realize when I have a break from her, like right now, how much I enjoy her company! She's the best.

Ok, enough gushing over my kid. On to the list! Here and here are my two previous lists, for ages 0-6 months (and new mamas!) and 7-10 months. This list will cover 12-15 months and is very focused on eating. My little one is such an eater! We also like to eat out, so these things help make that possible.

First up, the Oxo bib. We use this almost everyday. That tells you how much we have been eating out this summer ;) I keep it in the diaper bag/backpack (more on that later) and use it mostly when we eat out or are away from home. The bottom trough catches so much food! We wind up wasting less and making quite a bit less of a mess at the restaurant. Highly recommend it. It comes in blue and pink, too.

Next up, while we are on the Oxo brand kick, the snack cup. This thing is brilliant. We put puffs or other cereal in here and Sienna can snack without making a huge mess. She carries it around herself now and it provides WHOLE MINUTES of peace in the car, at the dinner table while we are waiting for our food to come, at the grocery store. It's wonderful. I've realized the most important thing I can do as a parent right now is to always remember snacks. Seriously. It saves all of us. Get this. (It comes with a lid not pictured here, but that makes it even more spill proof when you throw it into your purse).

Speaking of your purse, this is mine now. I adore this. It's the Kanken Laptop backpack. This is our new diaper bag. I realized how annoying a shoulder bag became when my little one kept getting heavier and heavier. This thing is brilliant and not only frees up my arms to carry Sienna, but has a top snap-handle that can clip to the stroller AND has a back padded pocket where I can put my laptop. It is my new favorite way to travel through the airport. Laptop and all of little one's essentials all together. It's a heavy duty waxed canvas that will last forever, too. They make 3 different sizes to accomodate different laptops. They also make regular and mini-backpacks for kiddos. I will be getting Sienna one when she gets older. Leave it to the Swedes to make the perfect product.

Next up, the Boon Catch Plate. This plate is wonderful. It sticks really well to the highchair and the little spill catcher rolls quite a bit of food back onto the plate. It's pretty much Sienna's only dish right now. Wash and repeat. Every meal. Love this.

This is the Green Sprouts Aqua Bottle. This is a great bottle for water, fits very nicely in the side pocket of the Kanken backpack and is easy for little S to use. She was able to drink from this before any other cup, so we've loved it. The top flips over to enclose the straw, when not in use and we haven't had any spill problems with this one. 

My last item is not a product, but rather a class. We started Music Together classes in the spring semester and I wouldn't know what to do without them! They are weekly 45 min music classes you attend with your child(ren) and they couldn't be more fabulous. They invite ages 0-5 to participate with a parent or guardian attending as well. They are SO fun and educational. The focus is music for the whole 45 minutes. You get a CD of songs along with your learn the songs and sing and dance along during the classes. The instructors lead class and encourage goofiness...parent participation in goofiness is a must! Sienna can sing and do hand motions to many of the songs already. It's amazing. BUT, the best part of this class is the magic of the songs. I can put these on any time that Sienna is fussy or unhappy and she immediately lights up. She claps and calms down. I can sing one of the songs she knows when she's trying to have a little fit and her focus switches. It's so wonderful. You can order some of the music on iTunes, but the classes are the real draw and are worth every penny. They offer them all around the country. It is priceless time with your little one.

Whew. I cannot believe I'm posting about my 15 month old. I know every parent is always amazed at how fast it goes, but wow. It does. I almost have a walker over here and I know life will change with that milestone quite a bit! Maybe our summer of eating out will be our last season of eating out for a while. Who knows, but I hope you find some of these things to be helpful for you and your kiddos or as gifts to a mama-to-be. (I just sent the bib, snack cup and plate to a preggo friend earlier this week!) If you have any items to share, please do! Happy end of summer friends. xo

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sienna Turns One

Yep. Can't believe it. Just like everyone else says. She is the light in my heart. I love her so.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

spring update

Good morning! Over here in the Pac. NW we've had some lovely Spring days, but now we're back to typical Portland rain. Regardless, the sandals have been pulled out and I'll do my best to find 'just warm enough' days to wear them.

Little S is over 11 months old now! Wow. I'll share her 10 month and 11 month pictures with you. Yes, I know you need to see those baby knee rolls. Here ya go:

10 months old

11 months old on Easter

Here are a couple of new favorite moments that happened over the last 2 months:

S fell in love with swinging!

And she ordered her first kids' meal, at Hopworks. No beer yet though, don't worry.

We have had a pretty fun Spring so far. We head to Nashville soon to introduce S to our dear friends there. We're also planning her First Birthday! Woah. This mama is finding that absolutely crazy. I am having fun planning the little get-together though and have decided on a gold/star theme. I've ordered super fun party-themed tattoos from Wee Gallery and a seriously adorable star headband from Chamomile and Roses on Etsy. (She's on vacation for the moment, but I'm sure the item will be re-listed soon). The cuteness!!!

As far as knitting goes, I've actually been a busy bee lately! I've finished up a couple of projects (or almost have) that have been lingering on the needles (or hook) and am planning to write up a little eared hat I made for S (crochet fans, it's FINALLY a new crochet pattern from me!)

I've also started this lovely Axil tank by Norah Gaughan. Instead of doing it out of the yarn the pattern calls for though, I'm using the beautifully draping Firefly by Classic Elite in color Linum (linen color). The construction is really interesting on this one. You begin by knitting the center lace panel, then you pick up all around it to knit the rest of the front. The back of the tank is identical to the front, but I'm thinking I may do a solid center panel for the back. After knitting front and back, you then pickup for the ribbing at the neck to finish it off. Ah, Norah. She's so crazy creative.

I'm hoping to be back soon to post Sienna's little crocheted hat and most likely some photos from our Nashville trip. We're also getting family pictures at the end of the month by the insanely talented Posy Quarterman. Oh my. I'm beside myself excited.

Hope you're enjoying the Spring and are having fun finding some lighter weight projects. Please share what you're working on...I always love to see! xo

Thursday, March 13, 2014

can't live without...7-10 months

Yay! Another 'need for baby' list. I, too, thought "Oh, I won't overload my house with baby things" when I was pregnant. I still subscribe to that sentiment, but some things just make life easier = more time to actually spend with your baby = win win. Here are some of those things for us.

Baby Brezza (or similar) Baby Food Maker

This. Thing. It's amazing. Babies, at least mine, start eating a ton of food around this time! Wow. Sienna started slowly around 6 months, but now, at almost 10 months old, she's quite the eater! It may seem a little spendy to buy this, but trust me, it's worth it. You can steam and pureè the food all in one setting. It's very easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and doesn't take up much counter space. I do have a regular sized food processor, but it's SO overkill for baby food. I leave this out and use it daily to cook sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, and a bunch of other fruits and veggies. I even made myself some quick cilantro pesto today for lunch! LOVE. Note: I purchased mine gently used on eBay. Through a mishap, they forgot my order and sent a new one to make up for it! Check out eBay!

Amazon Prime (for diapers, formula, dog food, etc.)
I do love buying local, but now is not the time to worry about killing myself to get to every mom and pop shop for all of our every day items. I'm sure most of you already have Prime, or at least order from Amazon, but 2-day shipping is WORTH IT. We get diapers, dog food, formula and many of my really good quality supplements/vitamins from Amazon. They come right to your door. It's given me so much more time to focus on cooking for Sienna, cleaning the house a bit better, writing a blog...Taking babies in and out of car seats to go to 5 different stores on a regular basis is just not worth it to me right now. Be sure to buy local produce though and support your farmers, then it balances out ;)

Boon Silicone Feeder

I mentioned the Munchkin Mesh Feeder in my previous post, what to get moms and babies 0-6 months postpartum.  I still love that thing, mostly now for putting frozen fruit in for Sienna to chew on when she's teething. The mesh feeder is pretty annoying to clean, though. We got this Boon feeder recently in our Citrus Lane box and I love it. It's so easy to clean and Sienna loves eating any kind of food from it: avocados, applesauce, blended fruits and veggies, etc. Fabulous.

Play Yard/ Foam Tiles/Safe Play Area 

So. I really wanted to be the Montessori mom, letting my child roam freely throughout our house exploring, learning and developing. All very fine and good...until you have to go to the bathroom, change the laundry in the icky-floored basement, have 2 seconds to yourself...imagine that! I love having a little setup in our living room where I know Sienna is safe to play when I'm out of the room for a minute. The foam tiles add a nice floor to her area, since we have wood floors. This gives her quite a bit more room to crawl than the traditional play pen. Judge if you will. Mama's happy and baby's safe.

I can't find them on Costco's website, but we got our 2' gray foam floor tiles for $12.99 in the store, half the price of some I ordered from

Portable High Chair

We love our Inglesina. It travels well and is great for restaurants. We also took ours on vacation and it was wonderful to have. It takes up SO much less space than other high chairs and folds away into it's own little attached bag. Sienna is quite petite and fits so much better in this than the giant wooden chairs at most restaurants. The cover is washable and the seat is padded, making it more comfortable for her to sit in a for (a bit) longer. I also got this gently used on eBay. 2 thumbs up.

Someone to keep your baby!

We have been traveling a lot for the past 3 months, but now that the holidays are long past and we are back from our latest trip, I'm SO glad we found a sweet gal who is going to do some nannying for us. It's time, mamas. I'm ready to start doing more design work again and it's almost impossible to squeeze that plus housework plus cooking ALL into a couple of nap times...doable, definitely, but not easy.

What's also not easy at this point is taking Sienna to ANY appointments anymore. She's crawling these days, super social and does NOT want to hang out in that baby carrier while I'm seeing the doctor, chiropractor, etc. Rachel is only going to come here and there to stay with her, but I cannot tell you how freeing it is to think I might actually have time next week to go work at a coffee shop for a bit! Holy! I'm so excited. I know it's not always affordable, but even if you do it once a month, give yourself some time! Seriously. It's amazing. She was referred by a friend, so ask around to your friends who have kids just starting preschool. They may have just let go of a fabulous nanny!

Have any things to add to the list? I'd love to hear them! I can't believe little S is almost 10 months old. 1 year will be here in a flash. xo

Monday, March 10, 2014

oops! 9 months old!

My Little Bit is actually almost 10 months now. Wow. We were on family vacation when she turned 9 months. Here are a couple photos to capture the day. What a lovely February we had.

Aunt Shayla taught her to raise her hands when we say 'yay!' PRECIOUS. This little one makes all of my days fun and bright. And check out those knee dimples...nom nom nom.

Friday, February 7, 2014

snow day and a little knitting

Sienna's first real snow day...and we've had fun tossing her in the air in her little green suit. We totally coordinated our snow gear :) Precious little bit.

Look at this one with her daddy. Oh my, sweetness. We've had such a fun day: played in the snow, ventured out for lunch and beers and got a lovely 2nd story view of the snow falling (again), dropped off homemade cookies at our friends' house, and snuggled up at home for naps, coffee and knitting. Chicken masala in the crockpot and wine chilling in the fridge for dinner tonight. I love you, snow days! (Only because we only have like 1 or 2 every year here!)

As for the knitting, I'm currently working on a Lacy Baktus scarf (finally!) using beautiful Freia Ombre yarn held with Malabrigo Lace weight in a browny gray. I'm having to adjust and cut the yarn so all of the ombre colors are represented, but it's turning out lovely so far. I will post more when it's done to show the effect of the color change.

Next up on the needles...Baby Surprise Jackets! Lots of babies are being born around here this year. Yay! They need knitting. I have at least 4 babies to knit for! I gotta get cracking. 

Gonna go for a snowy walk this weekend with a friend and her cute little gal, June. Should be fun! Knitting is also extra-fun when it's snowing outside. I'm looking forward to a snuggly couple of days! xo

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

great morning smoothie for a non-smoothie gal

I know a lot of people LOVE smoothies these days, but I just don't crave them. I rarely want to drink my breakfast and I rarely want fruit or something fruity sweet. 

BUT, what I do love, is second breakfast. :) 

While I was pregnant last year, I could indulge a bit in second breakfast. Now, I have to be a little more mindful of what I consume. Solution: a rich, healthy, FAST smoothie. 

Great Morning Smoothie

2 handfuls of organic kale, rinsed and chopped (I buy it pre-chopped at Trader Joe's sometimes-so fast)
1/2 cup organic frozen mango chunks
1/3 cup organic frozen blueberries
2 TBSP chia seeds, ground
1 TBSP flax oil
1/2 c. + organic almond milk, unsweetened

Optional: daily fish oil serving and daily probiotics serving. *I take liquid fish oil and powdered probiotics, recommended by my naturopath. I LOVE that I can just throw these in my smoothie now.

Put all of the above in the blender and blend until smooth, adding more almond milk (and shaking the heck out of your blender) as needed. We don't have a fancy blender (yet).

I think it's the flax oil and the almond milk that make this smoothie so rich. It's not too sweet/fruity, but, in my opinion, it doesn't taste too green either. Yum! Plus, you're getting a great serving of superfood kale, healthy oils, seeds and antioxidants from the berries. Mmmm. I've had this at least 5 times over the last week and a half. They keep me from eating that (second) bagel or bowl of cereal.

Bonus: Sienna loves mangos now! You can see her here mastering the art of the mesh feeder. We're still learning how not to paint the table top with it (why we switched from blueberries to mango).

I hope you enjoy one of these as much as I do! You can add in any powdered vitamins/supplements you may take. Some days I will add some hemp protein or other powdered protein. Wow. I sound way more healthy than I probably am, but this is a start, no?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


What?! Surprised to be on my favorite blog today. Shana inspired me a while ago to try out these overalls (which I now adore). I returned the favor by sending her a couple of pics of the outfit I put together using some of her suggestions. What a great, fun opportunity to be on her wonderful blog. Thank you!! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

8 months old!

Sienna Wren is 8 months old today. OH MY. She's waving, sitting up, and testing out that voice. Also, making a weird old man face that I can't seem to capture on camera. I couldn't decide on just one photo from today's shoot, so here are a few favorites :)

Btw, this IS supposed to be a knitting blog, so the hat pattern can be found here. I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted, doubled ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

weekly roundup

Here's a roundup from our week:

Sienna tried blueberries for the first time. I spared you and captured it in b&w.

I patched some jeans using this tutorial.

Got a haircut from the fabulous Tamara at Oranj Studio.

My daughter continued to be the cutest of all time.

We joined our friends Lida and Lilu downtown today for a little city walking.

The sun finally decided to show itself here at the end of the week.

This weekend we are heading to a wine dinner in Willamette Valley so Pinky can round up some business. We're also watching the playoffs on Sunday, of course. We might even try braving a restaurant this evening with Little Bit. Big plans, big plans. Happy weekend!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

hearts banner and precious doll, next up

We've had a cozy Saturday at home. I've gotten a little organizing done (OVER RUN with baby clothes here) and I'm currently working on this adorable heart banner for Sienna's room, using some Garnstudio Drops Alpaca yarn. It's coming along quite quickly. I think I'll do 5 hearts and see how long that turns out. I like odd numbers. Check out the pattern here

Next up, I'm considering making this adorable doll for her. Oh. my. I mean, it's so so cute. And I'm not a big doll fan. I think it's the giant head and tiny legs, plus the super precious sweater/hoodie she's wearing. And the scarf. Seriously.

Off to make cheesy chicken enchiladas for dinner now. Happy weekend knitting! This is the best, coziest time of year to enjoy our hobby, no?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Iberis Hat finished...what to knit next?

Just finished this hat, Iberis. It was such a fun knit, made out of Madeline Tosh Merino DK. There are a variety of options to choose from in the pattern - size, stitch combo, length. I chose the large size and the men's stitch pattern. I wanted it to be slouchy, but found the directions called for a REALLY slouchy hat. I knit mine to be about 23cm long and then did the decreases. I LOVE it. It turned out great and the stripe of diagonal mock cables is so striking. I never say this, but I'll probably make this hat again. I might even make it for Pinky, if he's lucky :)

Hmmm. I, of course, have plenty of things already on the needles that I need to finish, but I want to start something fun soon. I bought some neon yellow Manos del Uruguay to make another hat and hope to find some fur-like yarn in  mink color to make a pom pom for it. I will probably work on that first, but am looking at some options for projects after that:

This cowl is gorgeous. It would make a nice gift.

I'm in love with these. No pattern, but I think I can figure it out from the photos. SO lovely.

I still love this, too. Wondering if I would wear it much...

I've also been love loving this for a while now. So pretty. And not the full commitment of a whole sweater. 

And then, there's this star pillow. Oh my. Love. I may have to make it for S.

So many pretty choices. Maybe I'll just keep looking at patterns instead of actually getting started on something. :) Seems to be my favorite part of knitting, after all!