Friday, December 13, 2013

9 weeks.

Happy 9 weeks of life to our little girl! 

There are more and more smiles everyday! 

Some of her favorite things this week include sleeping in ridiculous positions...

{...really kid?}
 {Her feet were in the air for about 5 minutes here...}

She also loves looking at her reflection in the mirror, touching the hair on her head that is coming in thicker and thicker everyday, (though I still have no idea what color it is), trying to wave at mama and papa when they wave at her, and having dance parties while listening to"Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears" (it's our jam right now). 

Oh, she also loves to use mama as a jungle gym to facilitate her favorite game: roll off mama's belly onto the bed. Left side, right side, it doesn't matter. My girl is an ambi-roller. Keeps you on your toes she does!

Happy Friday! What are your plans for the weekend? 

A la prochaine friends...


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide for the New Mama

Have any new mamas in your life? Need to get them a present for the holidays? Well, as a new mama myself, I thought I'd share a few of my current favorite things that I wouldn't mind finding under our Chrismukkah tree! Some are practical, some are not, all are just lovely!

Pic via here.
A forgiving and stylish sweater. This pretty sweater from Hush would be great for staying cozy and hiding a little "fourth trimester" extra around the middle, as well as being easy access for nursing mamas. Since I've been living in leggings and forgiving tops for the last nine weeks, I'd love to add this beautiful piece to my postpartum wardrobe...

Pic via here.
Instant coffee and a pretty new mug to drink it in. Ugh, I kind of hate myself for this one, but yes, instant coffee has been my savior the last few weeks. If Oswin is actually down for a nap, I don't want to risk waking her up by grinding coffee, and if she is awake she wants to be held, so I'm making coffee one handed. Instant it is then. I'll get back to being a coffee snob who grinds her own coffee every morning soon enough, but for now I'll take the ease of the Starbucks Via Instant coffees as long as I have them. (Thanks Mom...) I imagine I'm not the only new mama with this problem, so picking an assortment of Via coffees to put in a pretty mug like this one from Anthropologie could help to make her morning all the more easily caffeinated, which I imagine she'd be pretty happy about.

Pic via here. 
I've learned that with a new baby, you sometimes do a lot of sitting. Like, a lot. I'd love to have this pillow from PencilMeInStationery to make me smile when I'm in hour three of sitting around with our little miss only-will-nap-on-your-chest.
Pic via here.
A subscription to Netflix. And since she may be doing a lot of sitting around with the babe, especially now that the temperatures have dropped, how about a subscription to Netflix for that new mama? If there's one thing I've learned in my first 9 weeks of parenthood, it's that an hour long nursing marathon goes really well with the start of a Netflix marathon. Just sayin... 

Pic via here.
Cute lounging threads. Sometimes, with a new baby you have difficult decisions to make: like having to choose between using the bathroom or getting dressed. It also means sometimes not remembering when the last time you brushed your hair was. Enter this adorbs little sweatshirt from greythread! Wouldn't this look cute with leggings and boots? Boom! Looking cute while still being comfy! What new mama wouldn't want that? 

Pic via here.

A Sakura bloom sling. If you read my post from yesterday, you know that I'm I love with our single layer Sakura Bloom sling in maple. I wouldn't mind one in silk, or another linen one like the plum color above. Being hands free while still getting to keep your little one close to you? Perfection.

Pic via here.
Some new boots for pram pushing. Because when nothing else
Pic via here.
Fancy new sheets. She may not go to bed feeling luxurious (or, at all), but why not at least help her try? We recently purchased this sheet set from Nine Space and love them. Nothing says luxurious to me like new fancy sheets and...
Pic via here.
...a fancy robe! I'm in love with this robe from Emerson Fry. Navy, satin, and monogrammed? Yes please. I've been amazed at how much my current robe has come in handy since Oswin was born, but adding this chic and timeless robe to the repetoire wouldn't be so bad either. I bet the new mama in your life would agree too.
Pic via here.

A pretty serving tray. Because it's nice to pretend you're being luxurious and drinking coffee and breakfast in bed, when really your baby has been nursing for an hour and you're only just eating breakfast at 2 PM. A beautiful tray like this means you can hopefully avoid any nasty accidents, other than, ya know, those of the diaper changing variety. This one from Jonathan Adler would do nicely.
Pic via here.
A pretty smelling candle. There's something very alluring about Diptyque candles, isn't there? Maybe it's because they're French, maybe it's because they're so coveted, or maybe it's because they smell so good, but either way, a Diptyque candle would help that new mama to feel a wee bit fancy when she has the 37 seconds of relaxation time to light it.
Pic via here.
Speaking of embracing messy hair, how about a new cute hat? LoveandKnit has some great stuff in their etsy shop, and so much of it would be perfect for a new mama looking to cover up some messy hair in a stylin' way. I'm also digging this one from their shop as well.

Pic via here.

Or how about one of the gorgeous turbans from Robin Hoods? (Because you can still embrace messy hair while covering it up...)

A live Christmas tree the size of her babe. How about a little live Christmas tree to celebrate the babe's first Christmas? The tree could be put in a pretty pot or planted outside, depending on the climate. How fun would it be to see the babe grow alongside the tree each year? This one is a dwarf picea glauca conica, and is a slow grower, so the mama wouldn't have to worry about having a full grown evergreen in her house. Hint to keeping it small: re-pot it in a small pot. These little trees can be found anywhere from garden centers to IKEA, and cost about $10.
Macarons. (Duh.) I'll take mine from Laduree. Don't forget the gift box SVP. And maybe a glass of champagne. Because what the hell, it's Christmas.
Happy shopping!
A la prochaine friends...
P.S. This is a non-sponsored post. All of the above are things I'm really digging right now, and think other new mamas may as well.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Recipe: Warm Paprika Chickpea Salad

As a new mama, I'm learning so much, every single day. And not just about how to care for this little human in our life, but about myself. I know that probably sounds pretty cliche, but it's true. 

I'm learning to treasure the little victories. The load of laundry I finished. The warm cup of coffee I was able to consume. The short run I was able to get in on the mountain. Being present enough to catch the one big toothless laugh of the day. But one thing has been weighing on me for awhile now, since before Oswin was born actually, and that's the fact that I went from cooking every single day, to just, not. 

In my defense, Doc and I decided that with the limited energy I had while pregnant, that I should focus my energies on staying fit, and that he would take over the cooking. I'm thankful for that, and I think it made a HUGE difference during labor. But now that I'm no longer pregnant, I've been wanting to jump back into the kitchen and get reacquainted with my pots and spices. It's been more difficult than I thought. 

In the beginning I was tired and recovering, so we continued on status quo from when I was pregnant. But now that I'm feeling good, and feeling ready to cook, I've got another factor to figure out - an adorable little baby girl who wants to be held by mama all. the. time. I LOVE how snugly she is, but sometimes I could  use 20 minutes to make myself a quick, healthy lunch, so that I could give the granola bars a rest. 

Well, like I said, we're constantly learning.  I've been using our Sakura bloom sling more and more around the house, and have found that I'm able to get more little things done when babywearing. Also, Oswin falls asleep almost immediately upon getting in there, so she at least gets a little bit of a nap. All this while still getting to snuggle with her? It's a win-win! 

Today I decided to test out making myself lunch while babywearing. I didn't want to make anything too involved, or anything that would cause hot oil to possibly splatter all over and hit the babe, so I decided on warm paprika chickpea salad. This recipe is super simple and super healthy, and got me ready for an afternoon of trying to make this little dragon laugh and smile (spoiler alert: totally did). You can also change up the veggies in it based on what you've got in the fridge, so you can't go wrong. 

PS: I also read that chickpeas are good for nursing mamas...just saying.

Warm Paprika Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas 
1 diced tomato
1 diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
5 artichoke hearts, halved
10 black olives 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika 


1. Simmer chickpeas on the stove on low-medium heat. Once chickpeas begin to simmer, turn off heat and drain out the liquid. 

2. Put chickpeas back in pot, turn heat on low, and add olive oil. 

3. Add diced onions and paprika to chickpeas. Allow to cook for a few minutes until the onions are tender.

4. Add artichoke hearts and black olives. Stir for a minute or so until warmed. Finish off by adding garlic, stirring for a minute, and turn off heat. Salt and pepper to taste. 

This dish is perfect for those who think they're too busy to cook, from the new mama to the grad student to the overworked. Customize it as you like, and enjoy this super healthy dish! 

A la prochaine friends... 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Hanukkah to me (and Future Oswin).


If buying yourself a little Hanukkah present is wrong, I don't wanna be right. 

The other day, on a trip into Geneva, we made a stop into one of my favorite stationary shops: Ordning & Reda. 

I've been wanting what I've been calling "the Tardis blue journal" (I know it's not actually the real Tardis blue color, the BBC-approved Tardis blue is Pantone 2955C) for some time. I haven't filled up my last journal yet, so I really couldn't justify purchasing another one at this juncture...
...that is, until I figured out the perfect use for it.

I thought to myself, how cool would it be to write a book to Oswin, as she's growing up, about her, about her mama and her papa, and giving it to her when she goes off to college?

Truth is, you can talk and talk all you want to a newborn, but they're obviously not going to remember it. It helps them to develop their language skills, but as far as the stories and memories, pretty much in one ear and out the other, right? Well, I decided, this journal is how I can still tell her the things I want her to know, about her papa and I, about her birth, about her life in SwitzerFrance (because we won't be living here forever), about the ups and downs of motherhood...everything and anything. This way, I can continue to tell her stories, tell her things about the people that love her and the silly things she does (like trying to sleep upside down), but I can also write them down so that one day, as an adult, she'll know about the early times in her life. Because let's face it, if I don't take a picture of it or write about it, I forget it, plain and simple. I feel a little sci-fi-ish excitement with this project, because it's Past Mama talking to Future Oswin.  
I hope Future Oswin loves this idea as much as I do.
Do you have any special ways to catalog your memories and thoughts? Are you a journal writer? An object collector? Scrapbooking videographing blogging storyteller?
A la prochaine friends...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

8 weeks.

Really? This isn't possible. How on earth can this little dragon be 8 weeks old?! Was October 7th really that long ago?
It's amazing to see the changes in her from week to week. Her cheeks get a little chubbier, her eyes grasp onto more and more of what's around her, and her innate need for independence is already shining through. And that 'tude! Yes indeed, she is her mother's daughter. 

Some of her favorite things this week include standing on one foot (when supported under her arms), a little bit of laughing and smiling, sitting up while supported, and somehow moving from one end of her crib to the other (and often facing the complete opposite direction in the process) when she is put down. She also starting putting her hands behind her head when she is lying down, which I just think is adorable. Above all else I'd still say snuggling is at the top of her list though.  
What doesn't she like? Napping during the day. She's over it. But so long as she keeps sleeping through the night I'm ok with that.
I can't wait to see what changes she has in store for us in week 9...
A la prochaine friends...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oswin's First Chrismukkah Tree.

On Sunday, we ventured out to find some serious holiday spirit, by way of Chrismukkah tree shopping and our town's annual Christmas market! I've married into a family that takes their trees very seriously, so this is always a big day for us. 

I also couldn't resist picking up this guy, because he's Oswin sized! It's a live tree in soil that I'm hoping will grow year to year with her. (Well, at least until we eventually move back to the states and plant it on the mountain...) 

Our town's Christmas market is small, but cute. A lot of the people in the town have tables with handmade goods, and the others work at the food stand serving up Vin chaud, frites and good conversation. We always pick up some of our favorite honey from the local honey guy, marshmallows from a local patisserie guy, and this year picked up a beautiful handmade candlestick made out of cut wine bottles from a friend. 

With a car full of holiday cheer we headed home for a cozy Sunday of cooking and football, which is really our favorite way to spend a Sunday. 

We haven't been able to decorate the tree just yet, and that may have to wait until this weekend since our Little Miss has decided that daytime napping is no longer for her. This protest against the tyranny of naps began 3 days ago, and she's been holding her position strong since then. But really, if she doesn't stand up against these injustices, who will? 

Yes, she's a very political 8 week old.

A la prochaine friends...


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oswin takes Annecy.


Today has me going through pictures of the last few weeks with some serious nostalgia. My parents trip went by so fast, and now all of a sudden we're just a few weeks away from Christmas? How did this happen?!

And furthermore, how is this cute little dragon 8 weeks old?!

{On Lac Annecy}
When my parents come out to visit, we typically stick pretty close to home, as all my parents want to do is go for walks around our house, spend time with us, and perhaps do a day in Geneva. This trip however, we finally convinced them that we should take a day trip to one of our favorite French cities, Annecy.

Annecy is known as the "Venice of France," and is about a 45 minute to an hour drive from where we live in SwitzerFrance. It's one of those places that always makes us wonder "why don't we come here every weekend?"

{Three Generations}
I was pleasantly surprised to see how much fun my parents had strolling around the canal filled town, and walking along the lake. We checked out a few clothing stores and made a few purchases at my favorite ceramics store (which my mom LOVED). It was nice to show them a part of France that is different from the rural village that we live in.

Yep, that's my mom with her face literally pressed up against the boulangerie window. The only other time you'll see this from her is when walking past a Louis Vuitton store... 

We stopped for cinnamon hot chocolate (!!!) and treats at a boulangerie called "Le Péché Mignon," and I can't wait to go back. Not only was the hot chocolate delicious, the treats tasty, and the candies that we took home to die for, but this CEILING! Are you serious?! In other news I'm now lusting after chandeliers like whoa, and need one for our bedroom and Oswin's room. Because not only should all little girls (and their mama's) have fresh flowers in their bedrooms, but a chandelier wouldn't hurt either. Let the flea market chandelier search begin I say!   

And what, I ask, is it with France and little mouse shaped treats? I really don't get it, but would like to. Anyone care to weigh in?

My dad is hard to read in these situations, but I think he enjoyed walking around the old streets of Annecy as well. Honestly, he'd be happy walking to Migros twice a day for each day of their trip (because that's essentially what he did), but after three trips to visit us in SwitzerFrance, we really wanted to show him something new. In true Big Mitch fashion however, his reaction to Annecy?
"This ain't no different than Philly..."
{Face palm.}
Oh well. Looks like the wanderlust bug still hasn't bitten him yet.

Oswin was a total rockstar for the 3 or 4 hours that we were in Annecy, as it was cold and crowded. She didn't get fussy until we were getting ready to leave, which prompted our first side of the road diaper change. (In her defense, we probably should have done that before leaving Annecy. We're still learning...) I think I should get a girl scout badge for that one though.
Once we got home, we settled in for the night in really the only way we know how after a cold day out and about: cheese. We decided on fondue to warm up from our day out in the cold, and simultaneously give my parents their first real French fondue experience. College football was just starting, which is actually one of the perks of living abroad - you can have a full day of activities before sitting your tush on the couch for football. Dan got to prepping the fondue, I poured us some Bugey white wine, and Oswin spent the rest of the night snuggling with Bubbee and Poppy. Not a bad way to spend your first day road tripping in France, for both Oswin and my parents, if I do say so myself.
Have you ever been to Annecy? Any favorite spots we should hit up on our next visit?
A la prochaine friends...