Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grocery Chic

Grocery shopping with a baby is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

First, I got over the initial hump of figuring out how to actually transport the child and carry groceries (I used the Bjorn in Pittsburgh when I had a car, but in New York when I have to carry the bags all the way home, I use the stroller).

Now that I'm used to that part of it, there is still limited amount of time I can spend in the store before Reese starts to wig out and cause a scene.  So my shopping trips end up resembling an episode of that old show "Supermarket Sweep," where I run around frantically trying to remember everything I needed and throw it in the cart and check out before the screaming begins.

Inevitably, I get home and smack my head since I forgot at least three key food items and send my husband an email asking him to stop on the way home.

Last week, I saw a woman I recognized at Fairway.  She is in our swim class with her younger son and always seems to be able to get the baby and herself changed after class with minimal freak outs and leaves with good hair.  She has probably sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for such skills, and I would do the same.

So, she was calmly strolling around the store and looked impossibly chic.  Nothing revolutionary: black skinny jeans, button down, long black cardigan, flats, her son's backpack.  But she looked great.

Grocery Chic

She probably got everything on her list too.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Wonderful World, Redux

I'm going to start this post with a denial. 

I am emphatically NOT pregnant. 

But I do think this dress is cute.

I just know a lot of people are, were just, or are probably going to be really soon.  So, I thought I would revisit some of my earlier posts on maternity fashion.

Back when the baby was in the inside and I could balance a cup of coffee on my belly, I wrote about my frustrations with maternity shopping, plus some of my solutions over on my old blog, Capitol Hill Barbie.

For easy access:

The Wonderful World of Maternity: Part 1

The Wonderful World of Maternity: Part 3

I still stand behind everything, but I have a few updates.

First, I would like to heartily recommend Asos' maternity section.  It's vast and trendy, plus with free shipping and free returns, you can avoid the dressing room and make your decisions in the comfort of your own home.

Second, for those looking for new labels and a seasoned eye, I recommend The Pregnant Fashionista and Ain't No Mom Jeans.  All of these ladies have been through multiple pregnancies and know what works and what doesn't.  While their recommendations are on the pricier side, I agree with their philosophy of "cost per wear."  When you are growing and your closet options are shrinking, you get a lot of wear out of each item.  It makes sense to invest in the best when you can.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's On Me

I have given this bib as a gift no fewer than three times this month.

True story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Out Like A Light

It's pretty rare that I get out by myself during the week.  Just me.  No Baby Bjorn.  No stroller.  No diaper bag with enough stuff to keep a small person entertained-fed-amused-dry for at least 4 hours.

Just me.

But tonight, I'm taking advantage of the fact that this November seems to be chock-full of sample sales and hitting the two I deem the best of the bunch.

Rebecca Minkoff's sale is allegedly super-spectacular and sweet.  I'm hoping to scoop up an iPad case, a new pair of flats and maybe one of her amazeballs purses.

Hanky Panky makes some of the best underwear you'll ever put your legs through.  Pretty, soft, easy and the only underwear that fit the entire ten months of pregnancy (who told you it was nine?  it's not.)  Last year, my mom went and gave me a bunch of their classic thongs about 6 weeks after I gave birth.  I think I might have actually cried, I was so excited to have new underwear.  True story.

That, combined with a nice girls-only dinner?  Worth the weeks of schlepping around a 4 ton diaper bag.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ain't No Party Like a One Year Old's Party

First birthdays are hard.  Except in the ways that they are easy.

They are hard because there isn't really a whole lot for the birthday girl/boy to do to participate and appreciate, but they are also easy because there is no one sobbing hysterically because you screwed up the Dora the Explorer theme.

In essence, the first party is more for you, the parent, than for the child.

We chose to have Reese's party on the patio of our apartment building and we had a sunny, albeit chilly, afternoon for the party.  There were picnic tables for eating and lots of room for milling around.  

We ordered the most awesome sandwiches from Torrisi Italian Specialties and had a variety of the baby's favorite foods, like hummus, bananas, blueberries, whole wheat pitas and puffs of all kinds.

For decor, I worked with Carol from fox+paper to design the invitations and the banner below with a girly monkey theme.

She did a pretty awesome job.

A note about the food.  I am one of those people who like to make everything from scratch.  I once made my own hamburger buns for a barbeque, I give away homemade marshmallows at the holidays, and I even fried up some jelly doughnuts for Hanukah one year.  And then I had a baby.  It was kind of hard for me to let go of my inner Becky-Home-Ec-y, but I decided to focus on just making one thing for the party...the cake.

I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe for the Best Birthday Cake and Cook's Illustrated's Foolproof Chocolate Frosting.  The sock monkey cake toppers came from the very talented Two Sugar Babies (located in Pittsburgh, a nice sentimental nod to our recent past).  They were able to make one large topper for the grown up cake and a little cupcake one for the smash cake.

How cool are these cups with the chalkboard labels?

Reese also received an obscene number of presents.  And a Justin Bieber balloon.

One party tip?  Have adult beverages for the adults.  And you have one too.  You kept a tiny human alive for a year, you deserve a beer.  And diamonds.  But start with the beer.

We swapped out the cake topper for a big ol' ONE candle and let her loose on her very own cake.  Some people (grandparents...cough...cough) were worried she might not understand what to do with the cake.

Not exactly a problem.
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