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    THE LEDGER: AUGUST

    Location: in the heat of summer

    If I could use two words to describe this summer, I’d say coffee + wine. I am such a minimal drinker–as in one glass of red when out to dinner, mayyyybe…I drink coffee on the daily, but summer has me downing two cups–one for each kiddo, just kidding, but not really…I’m exhausted! Harlow sleeps from 8:30 at night to about 4:00 a.m. and then he’s up pretty much every half hour from there on. It’s been a struggle. I used the Ferber sleep training method to get him to sleep in his crib, and it has surprisingly worked really well, but if you could solve the 4 a.m. thing for me, that would be the absolute best!

    Anyway, all these 4 a.m. wake up calls and a full schedule has had me drinking way more wine than usual, but I’m not complaining. I’m actually thinking of it like a vacation, since I can’t  go on a real one right now. Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to come up with a ledger of all the things I’m thinking of doing in August, one thing for each day.

    Well, here goes a whole lotta nothin’…

    AUG 01   Sign up for a wine club. I love the branding of Winc, but the concept of Dry Farm Wines. Have you tried either of the two?

    AUG 02   Find a good dress to get me through to October. I really love the chambray options of this one shoulder dressthis belle sleeved dress.

    AUG 03   Have yourself a spoonful of organic peanut butter or almond butter in lieu of dessert.

    AUG 04    Schedule our yearly physicals, eye exams, and bi-annual dental exams before school starts back up again. Read more

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    A LITTLE KITCHEN UPDATE WITH SMART TILES!

    As I previously stated, we were going to be moving, and it all happened!!! Most of my absence here can be attributed to the move (which was so stressful) and all the growing pains that come along with big life change. We were able to secure the place we really wanted and spent an entire month moving so, so slowly. I have moved 8 times in the past 6 years. It has been a rollercoaster to say the least, and I am completely ready to stay somewhere for a good while. So cheers to being home sweet home, and I can’t wait to show you more photos!

    We are currently renting, and therefore have restrictions on how much we are able to really “modify.” The place is a bit outdated, so I knew I would have to renovate a few fixable things. The kitchen was painted a horrible color with pink undertones and with all of the curves and appliances in such a tiny space, I wasn’t up for painting it (we painted nearly everything else, which is a whole other post in itself!). I knew something had to be done, and so in a frantic search online, I came across Smart Tiles. Smart Tiles are adhesive faux tiles that are durable, yet removable–every renter/serial renovator’s dream. I looked all over the web for different options, including wallpaper, but this seemed to be the easiest, functional, and most cost effective option. I was able to finish the application process within three hours. I used this Hexago style and it took exactly 40 tiles to complete my project (Tip: Always order a few extra tiles than you calculate you will need to leave room for error!). The also have a really handy calculator to figure out how many panels you might need for your project. I really also love this vintage gaudi model, and was so torn in choosing, but my kitchen is so small and I didn’t want it to look too busy!

    Every part of this project was so easy, and anytime I was doubting or questioning what I was doing, I’d just refer to their installation videos on their website which are extremely helpful. All I needed, aside from the Smart Tiles themselves, was a self-healing cutting mat, an x-acto knife, and a straight acrylic ruler.

    ^^^Here is a before photo. Can you see the pink in the paint I told you about?! ^^^

    And for the after pics!
    I was able to get most of the “eye-level” pink out with the tiles, and it has made me way less annoyed with it. Who knows, I may just go in and take the hexago tiles all the way up to the ceiling, either that or wallpaper above the back splash, what do you think would look better?

    Overall, I’m really happy with this solution, and I’m glad I can still make my rental a bit more “me” and my style. What are some of your favorite rental upgrades and renovations? I wanna know what I should tackle next!

    We are so excited to have partnered with Smart Tiles for this post! Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this place going. As always, all words and opinions are my own.
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    HARLOW’S FIRST BIRTHDAY PUPPY PARTY

    Location: Lido Isle, Newport Beach

    A puppy party was thrown for our puppy babe. We have said since he was born, if Harlow has lived other lives he was definitely a dog at some point! Don’t take it the wrong way, I say this very lovingly! It’s just so adorable to watch him. I’ll hold snacks out in my hand for him to come grab, and instead he’ll just go right in with this mouth until my hand is licked clean, he’s very territorial, and loves laying on his back being smothered with love & belly rubs. I don’t really know how to explain it, other than you’d have to see it to believe me! Anyhow, we decided on a puppy theme, and after having a ginormous party for Luca’s first birthday, I learned to adhere to what feels good and right for our family, and big parties just aren’t that. We’re all about the intimate vibes and small gatherings–so much less stress, and so fewer details to worry about. Read more

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    EATING CLEAN WITH RAISED REAL

    Location: the kitchen

    A few months ago I was venting to Miles about how I wished there was a deliverable “homemade” baby food service. I have home made all of my babies’ food from scratch since they started on solids. The primary reason for making all my own baby food was in trying to fill a big void in the industry for healthy, nutritious, affordable baby food options, especially for vegetarians like ourselves. I was only able to find one company that didn’t use preservatives, but literally cost so much money, it wasn’t ever an option for us.  So when Raised Real reached out to us a while back and asked if we’d like to partner together, it made perfect sense!

    Raised Real is a service that equips parents with everything they need to home-make organically sourced, PhD developed, nutritionally dense meals in under 20 minutes. One of the reasons we’ve especially loved using Raised Real is because it has so widely expanded our knowledge of compatible ingredients, and furthermore has pushed us to use ingredients we would have never thought to have chosen for our babies on our own. I of course also love the ease of being able to have perfectly portioned meals at my fingertips, yet not having to compromise quality or hours of slaving away in the kitchen.

    I can appreciate the thought and effort that is put into good branding, especially since becoming a parent. The simplicity and organization of each box is extremely appreciated and helpful, not to mention, such a confidence booster! It’s literally mindless to make the food, but you’ll feel like a gourmet chef. Raised Real puts such care into each and every box, it really goes to show just how much care is put into their recipes and even more so an extension of that, our babies’ health & well-being. And there is simply nothing more important than that.
    Not only does Raised Real provide the food, but they have a meal maker specific to their foods! It steams and blends each meal, and, my favorite part, is the extremely easy clean up! Here is Harlow waiting for his next meal. He knows when the timer dings, it’s time to eat!
    Each pre-portioned food package has a corresponding card that gives you all the details and necessary instruction in regards to that particular blend. You’ll find all the nutritional facts and specifics as to how each ingredient is working together to strengthen different parts of your baby’s anatomical development. 

    Another perk in subscribing to Raised Real are the adult friendly emails that accompany each box! For example, in this past box, they sent me an email on how to spruce up the sweet potato blend to make fluffy potato pancakes! Eek! It’s like a Pixar film, throwing in a little bit of love to humor the adults involved, and I really love that!

    It has truly amazed me just how versatile the service is. When I first started reading up on it, I wasn’t sure how friendly it would be for us long term since Harlow had already started eating foods that were less pureed and more textured, but then after receiving my first shipment I realized, not only could I feed it to Harlow, it would be functional for Luca too. The foods can be prepared three different ways: completely pureed, partially pureed, or completely unblended, and you don’t have to prepare any of the foods differently to get the consistency you need. I will usually put two of the same packs in the steamer, scoop out half for Lu, and then partially puree the remaining half for Harlow. One quick steam, two kids fed!

    And you guys, here’s the bananas in the cereal (pun intended) Raised Real includes a baby hotline that comes with your subscription. They provide you with a 24-hour number you can text whenever you need help, have questions, or just need a little encouragement on the parenting front! I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little bit of that.

    Raised Real is offering our readers an exclusive 15% off your first order for any of you who want to try it! Sign up here and enter FOREST15 at check out for 15% off! There is also no commitment so you are free to skip weeks during the month or cancel at anytime so you can remain flexible with you and your lifestyle. Parenting can be really hard, but being able to feed your little ones shouldn’t be. Also, side note, Raised Real is currently offering a free meal maker when you subscribe today, so definitely don’t miss out on that!

    Head on over to my instagram to learn about how you can enter for a chance to win a box of meals & a meal maker! You can also follow Raised Real on Instagram to follow along in all the goodness they are cooking up and spreading around!

    this post was created in partnership with Raised Real, as always, all words and opinions are my own.
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    LIFE UPDATE

    Location: BY THE SEA

    I haven’t been on here for a while because, well, LIFE! I had to replace my tires, get some work done on my car, drive out to Riverside for a few days, and so on and so forth. Our lease is coming to an end and we knew we would have to move because the price of rent in our current home is beginning to weigh on our income. It’s just so expensive. We’ve found a new spot, a bit further north, although still coastal. We’re waiting on our application to go through, so fingers crossed! We’re in a bit of a limbo as we need time to really hunt for a more permanent home, but we don’t want to rush into anything or get trapped in another year long lease, so we’re going to settle somewhere for six months or so, and then go month to month until the right place comes along!Harlow is teething…still. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s been a completely different experience than Luca’s. He’s on the verge of walking, but we’ve been saying that for weeks. He’s so stubborn, I swear he’s just holding out for when we aren’t looking. He’s taken two baby steps so far and that is the extent of it all! Hard to believe, but Harlow turned 11 months on the 8th of April, and I’m still trying to contain my tears as his first birthday approaches. I still don’t have this mom gig figured out in the slightest. I think it’s all just continual progress, lessons learned, and being flexible. I’m definitely trying to give myself more grace during this stage of growing up.Speaking of which, Luca is growing like never before. I blinked and the toddler phase was just gone. He’s totally his own person, with opinions, questions, preferences, and so on. I can’t believe he’ll be turning FOUR!! (in July….)What??? Time really is a thief, here one second, gone the next. Lately his favorite things to do include soccer, going to preschool, playing at the park, night swimming with dad, and practicing his easter egg hunt and find skills.Speaking of growing older, this old blog here will be 4 years old on the 2oth this month! I am so proud if it, mainly because, it’s my journal I’ve continuously kept for the past four years, and those four years have been some of the best times I’ve ever known. I hope to keep holding on to that and continue contributing to this place. You can go back and read my very first post HERE –I do warn, the picture quality is awful! But you blog and you learn! haha. Thank you for reading along whether you’ve just joined the party or have been here all along. I appreciate your company here more than you could ever know! Hope to be back here more often very soon! Until then…

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    MY FAVORITE SHOWS (LATELY).

    So you may be thinking…wait, I thought you didn’t have cable? If you remember this post here I talk all about how we nixed our cable when we moved to San Diego. No new news here, we still don’t have cable. And, I will say, the longer we go on without it, the less I long to ever have it again. If I could subscribe to Viceland, separate from having cable, I’d be set as that is the only channel I really even miss. I suppose it’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” concept. I won’t go into too much detail on how I am able to watch the shows I talk about below, but you can snatch up all the information in the blog post I linked above! Read more

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