February 28, 2011

Bell-Bottom Blues

So I loved the skinny jeans trend, but you know what I love way more than skinny jeans? Big-ass bellbottoms. I'm not talking boot cut jeans. But hugely exaggerated wide leg pants. I've picked up a couple of pairs this season at Free People that I wear constantly, but I'm on the hunt for an authentic pair of vintage denim bellbottoms.

I am really inspired by Style Pantry blogger Folake Kuye Huntoon. I just discovered her blog this last week, but I think she way well have my favorite style of any other blogger. Then again, that massive fro could just make any outfit look cool. First off, the woman has THREE children. She lives in Los Angeles and all of her outfit pictures are streaked through with sunlight. She's a fashion designer and stylist and I love the way she mixes color and texture and piles on accessories. It's also sort of unexpected that she wears pants so often, since so many fashiony people are always in skirts and dresses.

Here are some of her most recent wide-legged ensembles:

All photos from Style Pantry

February 26, 2011

Stuff I Wore: A Girls' Night Out.

Vintage velvet blazer - The Hip Zipper
Romper - Free People
Tights - J. Crew
Ballet flats - Alfani
Compass necklace - a gift
Ring - Vintage (my great grandmother's)
Earrings - Pangea 

I got this romper last summer to wear to Bonnaroo (see pics at the very bottom), but I enjoyed winterizing it for a cold night out. I actually like the romper a lot better with tights and a blazer because I feel less naked. It's super short but since it's basically shorts it doesn't matter! I've lost 7 lbs. in the last three weeks, and it's bizarre how just that small amount can make me feel so much more confident. 

Nekos kept Tessa last night (thank you!) while I went out for a couple of hours with my friend Joy (is it weird that most of my friends have blogs and so I can just link to them when I talk about them?), who also has a baby. Both of us needed a break after stressful weeks with the babies. It was fab. 

My handsome photographer
Romping around Bonnaroo with my best gal pal Brooke

Lily Aldridge and me!

I think this romper will always remind me of meeting Lily Aldridge at Bonnaroo. She's one of the Victoria's Secret angels (I know, it's lame that I even know that) and she's Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill's fiance. They are my favorite modern rock band to see live so I totally dorked it up and asked for a picture with her. 

Hope you guys are all having great weekends so far! We're gonna strap Tessa into that thingy that you pull behind a bicycle and go on a family bike ride. It is SUNNY OUT! 

February 25, 2011

Like Peas & Carrots.

Thanks to those who commented on my blog yesterday about Tess' eating preferences. I got lots of ideas from you guys -- namely to keep it simple and to offer her things that she can feed herself -- and things went loads better today. I steamed some carrots and green beans and cut them up and she went to town feeding herself for both lunch and dinner. (And then, of course, she was rewarded with a piece of American cheese.) I think she is just over having mama feed her stuff. She wants to do it All By Herself. Plus, she just thought beets were gross.

There will doubtless be plenty of food challenges ahead but today felt like a small victory. I can be pretty hard on myself when it comes to mothering. And I don't really like asking other mothers for help because I sometimes feel criticized by all the well-meaning advice. Also, I tend to want to figure it out All By Myself. But if I just listen to others and tell the voices in my head to take a smoke break -- and realize this isn't all about me, but it's about Tess, too -- then I can learn a lot.

The Happy List

Joni Mitchell. One of my all-time favorite musicians. These days that cheshire grin of hers has been ravaged by too many cigarettes, but I love looking at pictures of her from the '60s and '70s. She is the Laurel Canyon free spirit that I am in my fantasy life.

Etsy shop dreams. I've been dreaming of opening an etsy shop that would sell mostly reconstructed vintage clothes and handmade leather accessories. Of all the things I've been making lately, I like working with leather best. I feel bad for the cows, but I like their hide. Maybe I could use thrift store leather instead of buying new stuff? I want to give myself plenty of time to figure out what I want the shop to be, but it's fun to think about.
My leather tassel earrings 

Keiko Lynn's makeup tutorials. I started following blogger Keiko Lynn a few months ago because seems like a sweetheart and I like her style, but I've also really been digging on her makeup tutorials. Makeup can be so daunting and so fleeting -- as in, it only looks good for the 30 minutes after I've done it. But she seems to know how to make it look good and stay put and she conquers some classic looks like cat eyes and crimson lips.
Source: Keiko Lynn

All-white bedroom. This is the opposite of my house, which is painted every color in the crayon box, but I am really loving the idea of a white bedroom that's accented with colorful accessories.
Source: Haus Maus
Source: Apartment Therapy

Curtain made out of vintage scarfs! This picture is woefully tiny, but isn't this idea genius? I love vintage scarfs but I'm not going to go around with one tied around my neck anytime soon. But how about clipping them all together to make a breezy boho curtain?
Source: Wish

This DIY playhouse. My friend Emily sent me a link to this handmade playhouse, and I love it! Lately, when I can't locate Tessa, I check first under the twin bed in her room. She likes to play under there so I betcha she would like one of these. Maybe for her birthday?
Source: The Artful Parent

And finally, my Wellies. With all this rain, they have been the perfect thing to put on. I especially love them with tights. I have a pair of hunter green ones but I really want a pair of red.

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February 24, 2011

Baby Food Fail

Lately I've been feeling guilty about what Tessa is eating. Breakfast is normally pretty healthy -- yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, that sort of thing -- but lunch and dinner can tend to involve American cheese, cold cuts, pieces of bread, and raisins. Once a day I try to shovel in a jar of pureed vegetables but I have to wait until she's really hungry before she'll dig on it.

She still only has those two bottom teeth, but she seems to slowly be getting better about eating things that she actually has to chew. So I decided to revisit making my own baby food. I started off doing this in the very beginning but eventually stopped because I got pissed off that she spat so much of this time-consuming homemade stuff right in my face. Yesterday I opened up this beautiful cookbook that we bought with the best of intentions when I was pregnant.

Source: Williams-Sonoma
I picked out a pretty little recipe. Looked like something she would eat. Looked like something I would eat. And fit the bill between pureed-to-all-hell and just-a-little-chewy.

Turns out, this book is just a pretty little lie.

I went shopping yesterday. Bought the quinoa, the beets, the butternut squash. Put Tessa down for her nap this morning and peeled the squash and the beets. The whole time I was thinking, I Am Such A Good Mother. Damn, I am really something. I put the healthy vegetables into the oven and baked them, with love and best wishes, for an hour. Then I rinsed and cooked the quinoa. Fluffed it and dolled it up with a little olive oil, a little butter, a little salt. I went ahead and pureed the butternut squash. Scraped that out of the food processor and then pureed the beets, dyeing my hands blood red in the process. I waited for it all to cool down, and then I put Tessa optimistically into her highchair. Put on her bib. And spooned that first glorious bite into her mouth.

I might as well have fed her a dog turd. She was disgusted. I spent five frustrating minutes trying to convince her that she was wrong, that this really was a great meal, while she rubbed beets all into her hair, her shirt, her highchair, and her bib and spit out kernels of quinoa all over me. I got pretty ticked off and walked away to do a little deep breathing in the kitchen.

But in the kitchen all I saw was a sink full of dirty dishes and a bunch of worthless baby food that she won't eat.

In the end I gave her a piece of her precious American cheese. And a piece of ham. And a piece of bread torn up into bits. And she made nom-nom-nom sounds and crossed her little feet at the ankles and was so very happy.

Her shirt and bib are permanently stained with beets and she had to have a bath right after lunch.

I know this is just the beginning. Nekos and I both really like fruits and vegetables though so I guess I will just keep trying with her. There are lots of frustrating things about motherhood, but I find cooking a meal for someone who spits it back in your face to be one of the most frustrating.

Any thoughts about how to get this stubborn little girl to eat vegetables?

February 23, 2011

11 Months Old.

This was me almost exactly 11 months ago. It's hard to believe now.  I was soooo ready to have this baby. Now I see what all the fuss was about; Tessa Jean is THE BEST.

On Monday night after Nekos got home from work, he put on a Stevie Wonder record and was sort of stomping his feet to the beat. I was in the kitchen making dinner, and he called me into the dining room because Tessa had just stood up all by herself. We think she wanted to stomp her feet too. She'd already stood up on her own a few times over the last month, but we were still getting excited about it because it's surreal to see her on two feet. It just doesn't compute in our brains; it's like if one of our dogs suddenly started talking.

Then, with both of us watching her, she staggered forward on foot, then another and another -- taking three steps before she plopped back on her booty (the world's cutest booty). I scooped her up in my arms and squealed and may have gotten teary eyed. I was so glad that Nekos and I had both been there to see her take those first steps, and she was so excited that she'd pleased us so much.

Today she's 11 months old. My absolute favorite new thing about her is that she's started bringing me her board books to read to her. Then she gets herself situated in my lap and helps me turn the pages. It's one of the few times I can get the wiggle worm to sit still.

Here are some new pictures of our big girl:

And she's up!