Who say’s a date night in means you can’t get dressed up? Get dressed up, make yourselves a cocktail and cuddle on the couch and have a Mad men Marathon.
What you’ll need:
One. A copy of Mad Men; whatever season tickles your fancy.
Two. A Mad Men inspired cocktail – you can get a complete list here.
Three. A Mad Men inspired appetizer or dessert – checkout this vegan tapioca pudding.
Four. A cute Mad Men inspired dress- check out your local vintage store or online at Mod Cloth.
We hadn’t planned to be around for Thanksgiving, we had hotel reservations to go to Seattle, a Thanksgiving dinner invite by Seattle friends and a weekend full of exploring to do but that all changed when Neil spent two weeks working 10-12 hour days and weekends. Instead of traveling for the holiday we decided to stay local and have a mini stay-cation. While planning our weekend at home I entered a giveaway to win VIP seating tickets for the Portland Macy’s Day Parade and lucky us we won!
This morning after a particularly early wake-up we headed downtown to take our seats and watch the parade. Neil and I were both curious and anxious to see how Edith would react to the parade- would it be too loud? Would she be overwhelmed? Would she have any reaction at all? While we would have liked to stay until the end E’s early wake-up meant she was ready for a nap by 9:30am and by 9:45am we were packing up and making our way out. Although we didn’t make it to the end this year hopefully next year we will!
Well the parade started and Edith climbed into my lap and stood up so she could get a good look. She loved the bands, the floats and the horses. She would point and get so excited as each float/band/ect. passed by. Neither of us could have wished for a better response.
> She also loved munching on a peanut butter cookie while we waited for the parade to start.
Did you attend a holiday parade this year? Did you watch the NYC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? I used to watch it every year but since we haven’t had cable the past few years we have missed it.
When we were planning for Edith a birth photographer and a newborn photographer were never in the budget. Honestly, I didn’t even know why we would want some random person taking photos of E’s birth. As for newborn photos all I could picture were babies in baskets wearing weird hats and well that’s just not us. The one thing I did know I wanted to have done were family photos in time for the holidays. The thing is a new baby, one main income, the holidays coming and potential move in the works hiring a photographer was just not in our budget. However, we made it work and were able to get family photos done for FREE last year and this year we got them done for a small fee. How did we do it?
How we did it (and other tips):
- The First Time Around: Neil had a friend who really into photography and was interested in expanding his portfolio so he offered to take our family photos. He took our picture, edited them and sent us digital copies all for FREE (although I think we may have paid in dinner or whiskey). Tip One: find an amateur photographer looking to expand their portfolio.
- The Second Time Around: This time around I ended up coming across a really great photographer via my Facebook feed. A number of friends of mine had brought their babies to a Messy Madness event (babies in diapers + paint + huge piece of paper on the floor) and a photographer was hired to take photos during the event. Anyways I saw the photos and immediately contacted the photographer, Wendy of Paperfish Studios, regarding her rates for a family photo session. Come to find out she was just getting into professional photography and was looking to expand her portfolio so we ended up getting a free family session. The digital files were not free but for a free one hour session we were fine with that. We ended up buying all of the photos because it was the best deal and received over 50 digital files for $175 (note her rates have probably increased now due to her increase in popularity). Tip Two: If you can’t find an amateur photographer find a newly professional photographer who is looking to increase their portfolio and will do a session for free and give you the digital files at a reduced rate.
- Tip Three: Keep an eye out for photographers who are doing mini-sessions (especially around the holidays). Usually these sessions cost around $75-150, are 15-30 minutes long and often your session will include 1-5 digital files and possibly an 8 x 10 print. The cost, length and what you receive is dependent upon the photographer but it is a really great way to get a family photo done without costing you an arm and a leg.
- Tip Four: If none of the tips above are in your budget then ask friends or family! Find your most capable friend or family member to take photos for you. Although the photos are not professional they will be free and you will have family photos for you to cherish.
- Tip Five: Use the self timer on your camera (if you don’t have a camera borrow one) or purchase a remote for your camera and take your own photos. Free. Free. Free.
Where to look photographers:
- Word of mouth
- Bulletin Boards at your local market, library, community center, ect.
- Colleges & Universities, especially ones with art programs.
Once you have the photos taken:
So you have the digital files now what do you do? You could print them from your own printer but you most likely don’t have a laser printer so the quality won’t be great. Instead why don’t you…
- Keep your eye out for online deals. I always keep my eyes peeled for coupon codes for sites such as Shutterfly (favorite), Walgreens, Costco, ect. Many times you can get free (you pay for shipping) or discounted prints and other things.
Have you had family photos done? Any other tips you’d like to share?
Why not take your date night in out, outside that is. Who says you have to go any further than the comfort of your own front or backyard. While you could do this in the summer it’s just as much fun in the late fall or winter!
What you’ll need:
Three. You’ll need a cute fluffy warm hat to keep your ears warm.
Of course you will need some mini marshmallows
to munch on and add to your cocoa.
We have officially hit winter in Portland which means rain, lots of rain. While I still try to get us out and about I am also working on coming up with fun indoor play activities. A few weeks ago I picked up painting supplies from Ikea and yesterday we took them for a spin. Edith and I spent a good half hour just painting away, however I think for Edith the best part of painting is the post painting bath!
What’s your favorite rainy day activity?
A fun and playful date night in. Who says Harry Potter is just for your children?
What you’ll need:
One. Your favorite Harry Potter* movie (Mine is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban).
Two. Harry Potter inspired cocktails (I’m partial to the Neville Longbottom).
Three. A comfy robe to wrap yourself up in; I like this navy one because I can pretend it’s a Hogwarts robe.
Four. Chocolate frogs or some other Harry Potter inspired treat.
Five. Gryffindor knee socks to keep your toes warm (or any fun tube socks).
Six. A beautiful candle to set the mood and add some romance (this candle is ridiculously expensive but a girl can dream, right?).
can you believe that the holidays are almost here? I saw my Instagram explode this weekend with holiday mugs, decorations, movies and so much more. I figured since so many others were already in the spirit that I might share a little bit of Christmas cheer as well. We actually kick off the holiday season next week with an ugly sweater 5k but no holiday decorations see our home until after Thanksgiving. Holiday shopping on the other hand has already started. Check out Edith’s Christmas list.
This post was inspired by Writing Chapter Three.
Something Edith Wants:
Something To Wear:
Fisher-Price Travel Doodler Pro*
Glob All Natural Paint Kits*
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad – Animals*
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Paint Brushes*
Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad*
This past weekend we ended up having an impromtu staycation. After weeks of moving, conferences and other commitments it was nice to actually spend the entire weekend as a family. On Saturday visited one of the many museums we have a membership to, did a little window shopping, went out to lunch and spent the night relaxing. Sunday we started our day just like we always do with a nice walk to our favorite local coffee shop.
> Americanos for the adults and a special hemp milk hot chocolate (light on the chocolate) for the little one.
> Then we walked home which took forever because two little legs wanted to walk ALL the way home as well. We also had to make a few “coffee” break stops and of course had to pick up ever leaf on the ground.
> After our morning coffee date we headed to the farmers market to pick up some goodies for the week. Edith was in heaven because she could sample just about every item of produce that was being sold all while riding in the wagon.
> After the market we stopped over to Sasquatch Brewery for a beer tasting and light lunch.
> Our busy morning out and about left E exhausted so of course she fell asleep in the car on the ride home so while Neil put away our groceries I sat in the car and played Pet Rescue Saga while E slept. *side note I am unfortunately addicted to this game and all out of lives- who wants to send me some?
> The remainder of our day was spent drawing, reading books and eventually putting E to bed so that Neil and I could catch up on a show and cuddle on the couch.
What did you do this weekend?
Before Edith arrived I stocked up on breast pads, natural nipple butter, a manual breastpump, breast pump sterilize bags, milk storage bags, bottles, boppy and a nursing cover. I was prepared for it all. I had taken a course, done my reading and was ready to start nursing as soon as Edith arrived. What I didn’t prepare for was low milk production.
Edith arrived into the world ready to eat and she latched easily and spent the first day nursing constantly. She was determined to get my milk flowing and into her belly. My milk came in within 48-72 hours after Edith’s arrival into the world. At first I felt pretty full but I never experienced much engorgement and I only found myself leaking about a handful of times in the early days when Edith had a few long sleep stretches.
I envied women who had more than enough milk. I longed to be one of those women that constantly had to wear breast pads or one of those women who could still pump a full bottle even after just nursing. I wanted to have an overabundance of milk for my baby but that never happened.
So I have turned to other natural methods to try increase my milk supply. I have used:
I can count myself lucky however because Edith has always stayed on her growth curve, has had plenty of soiled diapers and met her milestones. She also loves nursing and even at 16 months she still nursing 6-8 times per day. I know part of that is because she needs to nurse more frequently because my milk production is low but now at 16 months I would say it’s mostly for comfort; what can I say this girl loves nursing!
Although it has been a challenge and nursing constantly is exhausting at times it has been worth it. I should note that some things work better than others for increasing supply and for me it has been the Mother Love More Milk Plus, co-sleeping, and nursing on demand. How has your nursing experience been? Have you had to deal with a low milk supply?