July 30, 2015

Sentimental Summer

Lately, I have been a big ball of emotions. Blame it on the post pregnancy hormones, sleep deprivation or reading too much stuff online that creates many internal dialogs. Whatever the reason, I'm sharing my thoughts on how I'm choosing to cherish my sentimental summer.
  1. Be present.
    This is my most challenging task. I'm often the one grabbing the camera to film or snap a photo. I want to "remember" the moment through a photo or video. Ironically, I end up missing the point of being in the moment. Recently, Baby B started socially smiling. The first time it happened, I became obsessed with making sure my camera was nearby. Like his father, Baby B didn't want to be in front of the camera. He would sense the camera, and perhaps my obsession, and stop being the adorable, smiley baby. When I reminded myself to just let things be, I appreciated all the smiles that came soon after. Maybe I don't have the "perfect" photo to share/post, but my heart is full and my memories remain.
  2. Cease comparing.
    Why do we do this to ourselves? Whether I'm on Instagram, Snapchat or other form of social media, I fall victim to the comparison game. It's horrible isn't it? This isn't the first time I've made mention of this wretched game, but somehow the game always creeps back. Now, with a baby, I end up comparing milestones. My thoughts generally go like this: "why isn't my baby doing that?...shoudn't Baby B be doing that by now?...how come this isn't happening for my family?" As my husband always says, everyone and every baby is different. So why am I should-ing all over myself?
  3. Be kind...to myself.
    I'm my worst critic. While I'm the first to remind my friends how wonderful they are, I'm somehow cruel when it comes to myself. I can list a whole bunch of reasons of why I think I'm terrible at something, but I stumble over words to describe myself in a positive light. With motherhood especially, I can be especially harsh with myself. Since I have no previous experience to compare myself to, I automatically assume that if something doesn't happen as I read it to be for others online then the reason it's not happening is because of me. That needs to stop. This coincides with my #2 above and how I should stop should-ing all over myself.
  4. Unplug.
    With so many people plugged into the online world, somehow unplugging seems revolutionary. Stepping away from the computer, my phone, the TV and tablets is wonderfully refreshing. There was a time when so much of this technology was not available and all of those people survived.
  5. Go with the flow.
    Although I don't care to admit this, I am definitely a person who likes a routine and knowing what will happen next. I used to think of myself as a carefree type but as I've gotten older, I realize I stress over the lack of control I may have over situations I'll encounter. There are certain occasions where this doesn't apply (hello, vacations and weekends with no plans), but when it comes to big decisions and life moments, I could be considered Type A. Yet again, having a baby means I can't rely on knowing what will happen next. Because there is no such thing. Things can change instantly and whatever I thought should be, won't be. Learning to go with the flow means I can enjoy the process more and stress less. I can appreciate surprises and the joy of discovering unexpected results. 
With this thought in mind, how are you all choosing to cherish your sentimental summer?

July 29, 2015

Wednesday Whim - Un Dixieme Printemps

Although I've never been to France I have always envisioned it to be a romantic and ethereal destination. Naturally, when I came across this recent installation set inside the courtyard of the Hotel de Griffy I felt it was my France romanticism come to reality.

As a result of the Lively Architecture Festival in Montpellier, France, hundreds of pink and white balloons hang above and below on the grass for an engaging urban art installation called "Un Dixieme Printemps." The courtyard at the Hotel de Griffy is transformed into a whimsical whirlpool of delight. 

The design team (consisting of Margaux Rodot, Michael Martin and Benoit Tastet) drew inspiration from a traditional Japanese custom called ohanami where people admire the beauty of cherry blossoms. The intent of this installation allows viewers to engage with the idea of petals dropping in the wind and allow them "to meditate on the inviolability of passing time, on the delicate balance of life but especially on its perpetual renewal" that comes with the changing of the seasons.

July 27, 2015

Road Trippin'

somewhere on the I5

A road trip to Los Angeles, CA isn't unusual for the husband and me. But, a road trip to LA with a baby on board? That's news to us.

We made the trek to visit family two weekends ago. Baby B cried, slept, cried, slept and cried some more on the way to LA. By the time we reached our destination, we were more than ready to settle in for the day.

Thankfully, the Residence Inn by Marriott near LAX provided the kind of relaxation that worked perfectly for my newly expanded family. It's the first new hotel in the LAX area in the last 24 years and it showed. The accommodations were spot on. A welcoming lobby, a spacious room complete with kitchen and a LG TV (the husband appreciated that), and a friendly staff. Traveling with a baby means bringing lots of STUFF so to have a room filled with gear yet still feel comfortable AND spacious is saying somethin'. 

 Spacious welcome - this family loved it

Baby B loved the bed

No bed hogging here

Barefoot in the kitchen

 Plenty of space to do our own thang - husband working away // me + baby

 This mama loves a (decaf) iced latte as big as her baby
 Jersey Mike's inside the hotel? YES.

Mother Nature said there shall be thunderstorms and there were. So we didn't get to enjoy much pool time, but when the sun shined on our last day we managed to lounge a little bit before checking out. 

First road trip DONE

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. I seriously could not have asked for anything better. With my expanded family, I appreciated having the convenience and accommodations that suited everyone. There's nothing like having a group of friendly people who can accommodate your needs while you're traveling - especially with a baby. 

As for Baby B, he not only survived this trip but he seemed to thrive in it. He loved meeting the family. And surprisingly, Baby B never slept better than while we were in LA at the hotel. And as for the drive home - he was like a different baby. He slept for most of the trip coming back home. What a champ! Can we do it all again, please? 

*This post is in collaboration with Residence Inn by Marriott - LAX. All opinions and photos are my own. Thanks for reading!

Sharing a Secret

Although designed for a pregnant woman, I knew I could get wear out of this dress post pregnancy. (How this dress looks on me while pregnant.) There's no elastic ruching on the side or bow ties in the back that are so often the case in maternity wear so I can sneakily add this to my wardrobe rotation without feeling awkward about it. 

This will just stay our little secret, yea?


July 15, 2015

Wednesday Whim - #100daysofrainbows

all images via Julie Seabrook Ream via Design Taxi

In my continued love for things organized neatly, I introduce you to the amazing photos from artist, Julie Seabrook Ream. She began a #100daysofrainbows project that features everyday items on a rainbow spectrum. The photos are visually stunning and delightful. As you scroll through her Instagram feed, you can't help but feel happy with each photo you come across.

To see more, click here.


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