Posts in the ‘Mommy Moments’ Category

Zappos Box Costume

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

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I was naive to think that my son was going to be excited about his new $50 furry snow boots, or maybe that Spyder ski jacket he wanted so badly because of the super cool spider and spiderweb on the back. Nope. The Zappos.com box was undoubtedly the best thing the UPS man delivered….



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St. Barth Linen Espadrilles

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Women's Calypso St. Barth For Target Linen Espadrille Wedge Sandals

I went to Target to get some laundry detergent and Q-tips and $350 dollars and an hour and a half later I was loading up the trunk of my car with all of my fabulous new purchases and of course at that moment I realized the impossible – NO laundry detergent or Q-tips! Ackckck…. Miraculously my son was sound asleep in the shopping cart so I think I felt the need to take advantage of this very rare moment of my very own free time in Target. I am sure I am not the only mom to go a little overboard in Target…

Of course I tried on nearly every item from the new St. Barth’s for Target line. I filled my cart with all sorts of clothes and cover-ups and swimsuits and workout clothes. In addition to all of my new resort wear I managed to convince myself (rather easily) that I needed new Dwell Studio bedding. It was all so cute and such great colors and it is just so inexpensive. I was so giddy with all of my great deals.

My best purchase has to be my new shoes. I have been on the lookout for some neutral heels and I think these fit the bill. I love the subtle gold sparkle of these linen espadrilles and of course the pink that pops right out under your toes adds just a hint of cheer. Top it off they are actually incredibly comfortable and only $30! When I showed them to my son tonight he said, “Mom, those are really cool!” Before they are all sold out, buy a pair of these very chic Calypso St. Barth For Target Linen Wedge Sandals today. They will be your goto shoes for summer. I know mine will be. And while you are at it – there was this very cute Straw Tote With Sequins too.

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Take Great Photos

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

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I have always loved photography and of course my favorite subject matter in the last few years has been my son. I have enlisted the help of Kristina from Moms Who Click to share some helpful hints so we can all capture priceless photos we will cherish forever.

Kristina’s 10 Tips for Taking Great Photos of Your Kids

We all know that taking photographs of little ones can be a bit of a challenge. Kids move quickly, become easily distracted and are just plain impatient. However nothing is more rewarding than obtaining that “great” shot. Here are a few tips to help you capture memories that will last a lifetime:

1. Take LOTS of Photos. The great thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many pictures as you want and delete any images that didn’t work out. Just keep your finger on the button and keep clicking. For really quick kiddies, we recommend trying out your burst mode or sport mode. Kids can move fast and these modes let you snap multiple pictures in seconds.

2. Get Down on Your Child’s Level: Getting down on your knees or belly will allow you to take photos that look more proportional. It will also allow you to capture images from your child’s perspective.

3. Prepare to Be Silly: Asking kids to “say cheese” often results in, well, a cheesy smile. It is important to capture your child’s natural expression and the best way to do this is through laughter. Playing peek-a-boo and for whatever reason, bathroom humor always seems to be a great way to get an ear to ear grin.

4. Fill the Frame: Remember the focus of your photos is your child. So be sure to capture the main attraction by focusing on his or her cute face. Try the macro setting on your camera to be sure the close-up shots are in focus.

5. Focus on Details: A close up image of bare feet in the sand, hands painting a picture or a pursed mouth blowing bubbles can make for an interesting picture that tells a story and preserves these memories for a lifetime.

6. Try New Angles: It is amazing how simply turning your camera in a new angle, shooting from above or below can result in interesting, unique photos. Think outside the box and get creative!

7. Use Natural Light: To avoid red eyes or shiny skin use natural light whenever possible. While taking photos outside is ideal, you can still take advantage of natural light by shooting indoors near a window. Be sure to turn off your flash setting.

8. Work with Your Child’s Schedule: Keep in mind your child’s schedule when taking photos. Interfering with nap and meal times can result in cranky kids before you even start shooting.

9. Know When to Say “When”: Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, that “perfect” shot might not happen. When you see your child getting cranky and you feel your nerves starting to fray, it is time to put the camera away. Who knows, when you go back to edit the photos, you may find a diamond in the rough.

10. Play with Color: You don’t have to have Photoshop to edit the color of your photos. There are great online editing tools like Picnik or Flickr that allow you to turn photos to black and white, sepia and play with saturation, brightness and contrast levels. These little adjustments can help your photos “pop” and create a whole new look and feel.

Remember, the key to capturing great photos is taking your camera out of its bag and having it at the ready to click, click, click. Ultimately, what’s most important is to capture these precious childhood moments before they are gone in the blink of an eye.

Kristina is an avid photographer. She co-owns as family photography business, Case Rust Photography and can also be found blogging about her business at Moms Who Click. She and her business partner also love interacting with photographers of all levels at www.facebook.com/momswhoclick.

Clementine Art

Monday, March 21st, 2011

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This weekend I was at Whole Foods Market with my family. In an effort to keep my son from touching every last olive and cheese wedge and lemon and cookie and loaf of bread…(and yes to stop licking the glass between him and the rainbow cupcakes too!) I took him over to the little toy department and let my husband shop for our groceries. That is where I fell in love with Clementine Art. Yes – I am a total sucker for fabulous packaging and their boxes are sheer, simple perfection.

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I came home and  immediately read all about Clementine Art and just fell in love even more. These healthy, green, responsibly sourced, all natural art supplies will encourage creativity in every little budding Rothko. What could be better? Everything is made from natural, wholesome ingredients and they use recycled and reusable products wherever they can. You can buy their products online right from their website or from Amazon too.

 

Linda Benenati Paintings

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

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A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with my husband and son to a new restaurant in our little town of Saratoga, California. As soon as I walked in I immediately noticed a handful of paintings in the entryway that caught my eye. I was hungry and focused on my yummy panini and keeping my son from pouring salt all over the table for the next 40 minutes, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the enchanting paintings in the other room. And then there was the near meltdown because my son could not get You Tube to work on “his” iPad. It was a long dinner….

On the way out I convinced my husband to take my son outside so I could go back and enjoy these enchanting pictures again. I almost bought all 5 – but figured that would make for one very expensive panini! Instead I opted to email the artist. Long story short, and lots of schedule juggling later, we went to visit Linda Benenati at her home yesterday and had such a wonderful time in her magical abode. She was such a joy and such a wonderful hostess to me, my husband and our very curious 4 year old. We saw her studio and she explained how she creates her encaustic paintings. I knew nothing about the process and found her workspace quite a joy and a reminder that if you do what you love, you can make anything work.

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As a mom, she shared so many words of wisdom with me to prepare me for the life I have ahead of me with my son. She was such a dear. I love her artwork and I hope you do too. Here are two of her encaustic paintings and you can see many more on her website. Why don’t you pick out one for yourself so I don’t buy all of them! You can support a mom who is following her dreams and passions and making the world a little more colorful along the way….

 

Heidi Klum New Balance

Monday, February 7th, 2011

heidi-klum-new-balance-ruffle-jacket

Have you checked out the HKNB Heidi Klum for New Balance line of stylish active wear? I haven’t bought anything yet but I have been very tempted by this asymmetrical ruffle jacket. It seems like it would be one of those pieces that you could throw over anything and feel so much more put together. I need to be comfortable and I think it is time for me not to wear the same (very old) pair of navy blue velour sweat pants every day of the week. Okay, I don’t really wear them every day, but when I am not wearing them I am wearing jeans – and they are not super cool jeans – they are just jeans. If I am feeling stylish, I put on my cute grey skinny (but stretchy) jeans. When I wake up in the morning and I don’t have to be at an office or meeting someone in person, I just can’t seem to get motivated these days to get dollied up. I need to find new cute casual everyday clothes for working at home and running around. Hopefully this weekend I can check out the Heidi Klum line more (because Heidi is so so so fabulous!!) and then I will see what’s new at Lululemon and J. Crew. It is definitely time for this mom to upgrade her everyday mommy wardrobe – wish me luck!


Happy New Year

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

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Happy New Year!  The last few weeks have been absolutely miserable for me, so I am completely thrilled that it is 1-1-11. I am 100% ready for a new year to begin. In mid December I went to the emergency room with excruciating stomach pains.  I eventually had surgery and a very difficult recovery. Two days before my surgery I went to the Kate Spade website to pick up a little something that would be waiting for me when I got home from the hospital. I picked out this adorable Frosted Felt Magazine Tote. If I had just waited a bit I could have bought it on sale – oh well… It was nice to have a little treat waiting bedside.  I always love starting off a new year with a new handbag and I think this frosted felt will be a nice change from the Louis Vuitton Neverfull I have been using for the last year (and loving by the way).

The one thing that my illness taught me was how to be a better caregiver. It is interesting when the tables turn and you are so dependent on the help of others. I also was reminded at how lucky I am to have the family and friends that I do. A huge thank you to Susan, Rocio, Erin and Liz for sending food for the family; to Srinija and Gene for stopping by; for Fatima and Mac for taking care of my son; and of course to my parents, my husband and my in-laws for all of their help and support too.

Today I am starting to feel good. I am not 100% yet, but today has been a very good day. I am looking forward to a healthy, happy and productive 2011. I want to thank you so much for supporting Sweet Peas & Stilettos. I am looking forward to spending my time making Sweet Peas & Stilettos a fabulous resource for all of us. Best wishes to you for a healthy 2011.

Gingerbread House

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

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Did you make a gingerbread house this year? I think this is the first time I actually decorated one and I loved it. My son and I made this house together at a preschool event and we had so much fun. I will be the first to admit that I ate more of the candy than he did. One piece on the house – one in mommy’s mouth – one on the house – one in my mouth… I know I am probably the last person I know to ever decorate a gingerbread house, but I am already looking forward to making this a family tradition for years to come. If you are looking for something fun to do with your family over the holidays – pick up a kit or make one from scratch and go for it. It is a simple fun way to bring family and friends together.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

carls-cupcakes

Today my son celebrated his birthday at preschool. He looked so handsome in his glitter crown, standing there as his classmates sang to him. I still can’t believe he is already 4.  His school does not allow sweets so I made these pumpkin muffins (thank you Trader Joe’s for your yummy and super easy pumpkin bread mix!) for the kids.  They are just as good as real cupcakes (okay almost as good, but you feel better knowing you aren’t eating an entire stick of butter). I figured the teachers couldn’t complain about the teeny tiny dollops of frosting either. I even got to use my new Ikea tray that I just love.  I thought they turned out pretty cute so I had to take a picture to share.

If you are shopping for last minute Christmas gifts for a fellow cupcake lover, here are a few cute ideas

Table Manners for Teens

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

tiffany's-table-manners-for-teenagers

With the holiday season in full swing, undoubtedly most of you will have dinner parties with your extended family and social gatherings galore filling up your calendar. If you are like me, when you go to an event with your child you just hold your breathe hoping that you will be spared one evening of being the mom to “that child” who unfortunately causes all of the other moms in the room to crane their necks and shiver. Dinner parties are the trickiest of all. You have to keep your little ones on their chairs and hope they are able to spare your mother-in-law’s antique Persian rug any of their leftovers. Last year my son’s friend jumped out of his chair on Christmas Eve and decided to wipe his gravy covered hands on his grandmother’s new silk drapes. That made for a lovely evening…

Needless to say, it is never too early to start teaching our kids about manners. We all begin with the basics of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but there is so much more for our kids to learn. My mother gave me a copy of Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers many years ago (long after I was a teenager) and I have to admit I still take a peek at it now and then when I am setting the table for guests and I can’t remember where the darn fork is supposed to go. I have found many more books on manners and etiquette for modern families that you might find useful too. Good luck!


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