Friday, July 10, 2015

Abundant Love ~ Katie m. Berggren paintings

I love this photo....

real life Katie m. Berggren painting mother and baby picture
Me and Ronan (about 2 weeks old)
To me, it captures the early bond between my son and me when he was only a few days old.  I had so much love for him instantly, and Ronan has always been such a sweet, snugly, little guy.  He still loves being held and cuddled, and I still can't get enough of my Ronan baby.  I still see him like I do in this photo, my little baby, even though he's walking (or running!), talking and getting so big.  Maybe I'm getting a little sentimental with his 2nd birthday just about a week away... 

I came across Katie m. Berggren's art online and it instantly spoke to me.  It beautifully shows the love between mother's and their babies (and dad's too).

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Couplet" - Katie m. Berggren painting
"Couplet" - Katie m. Berggren painting

Mandy's Painting - mother child print by Katie m. Berggren

Aren't they beautiful!?!

Disclaimer:  Katie m. Berggren did not give me any free paintings or other compensation and this is not a sponsered post, I'm just a fan. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ronan is 18 months old!

Ronan at 18 months

As of his 18 month check up
Weight:  24 lbs 11 oz (57th percentile)
Length: 33.5 inches- (87th percentile)
HC 19.5 in (94th percentile) 

Milestones:  Ronan has grown and changed so much in the last six months (my last post).  He has a lot to say now.  At his 18 month check up, his doctor asked me how many words he said and I guessed 20 because I didn't want to over guess. After that, I made a list with Logan and I came up with 32 words he says, and another 6 things that he says that mean something, but aren't exactly words.

Ronan's first words (no particular order):

dadayellowspoonuh oh
bye byecheeseeyesbanana

First "almost" words:

Ee ee oo oo - monkeynana - milk/breastfeedcat - meow
lala - elmoah ah - all donelalu - love you

Mood:  Ronan is a funny and energetic boy, who also loves to snuggle.  He wants to be the center of attention and sometimes gets a little jealous if one of the dogs is sitting on my lap. He can be a bit stubborn determined and throws a toddler tantrum when he's tired and not getting his way.  But he loves to help and usually has a big smile.

Loves:  Ronan loves watching videos on youtube and reading books.  He goes through phases on his favorite thing of the moment, which has included Elmo, Curious George, cars, babies and animals.  He also loves roughhousing with dad and dancing with mom.

Wearing:  He's been pretty true to size, so he's been wearing 18 month and is wearing some 2T stuff.  He is still in size 3 diapers.  He has very wide feet, so I had to cut off all his footie pajamas but they were too narrow.

Sleeping:  On January 1st, we decided that it was time to have Ronan start sleeping in his own bed again.  We had been co-sleeping on and off for months and it had turn into him needing us with him to be able to sleep.  I was nervous it would be hard and no one would get any sleep, but it was easier than I thought.

My husband and I don't believe in the "cry it out" philosophy, and I think Ronan would cry for hours and there is no way I could put him (or us) through that.  At first, he wanted to be held until he fell asleep, and would wake up once I set him in bed.  We started with singing and rubbing his back until he fell asleep on his own, and when he would wake up, we would try not to pick him up and only do the same thing.  Soon, we just needed to be in the room as he fell asleep and he was sleeping through the night.  This probably took about a month, but we would switch off who got up and it wasn't nearly as painful as I was worried it would be.

Lately, he's been waking up early in the morning, first around 5am and now around 4am, and we bring him in bed with us.  I love snuggling with my little guy, and other than that, haven't really had to get up in the night.  But we may have to put a stop to that if it keeps getting earlier and earlier.

Eating:  So far I'm thrilled with what a good little eater Ronan is - he loves his veggies and here he is enjoying tofu curry with pineapple and peppers.

tofu curry toddler healthy eating picture

And the icing on the cake is that he doesn't seem to like sweets!  We don't give him much of that, and the few times I have, he spits it out.  I am not naive to think this will last, but the longer the better I guess.  His recent favorite foods are peas with parmesan cheese/butter, peanut butter, and crackers (pretty much anything starchy and crunchy).


*Disclaimer - Ronan is 20 months old, I just got behind with publishing this

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hilarious commercial with judgy moms and a giant Baby Bjorn

Have you seen this commercial?! They one with the four mom's discussing parenting techniques and this huge boy still in a baby carrier. I thought it was hilarious and with how much Ronan's wants to be carried, it will probably be me in a few years (only kidding!). The boy's expression gets me the most...!

funny commercial baby bjorn that's a little extreme Sheila MWAH picture

Watch it here: TracFone TV Spot, 'Undercover 2014'


Monday, December 15, 2014

Breastfeeding on Sesame Street

Since getting pregnant and having a baby and now toddler, I've realized that I'm very pro-breastfeeding. I'm not one that will preach to non-breastfeeding moms, but I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself to breastfeed for the first year. Now my son is 16 months old and I'm still breastfeeding. It's probably time to ween, and I definitely wouldn't mind, but I'm not in too much of a hurry (obviously!). But I came across this Sesame Street clip about breastfeeding from the 70s that I thought was pretty neat! XOXO

Monday, November 10, 2014

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe

It snowed today - time for some delicious soup!

I searched the web for a vegetarian version of White Chicken Chili, but I couldn’t find anything that didn’t have chicken but was still white with creamy goodness.  The vegetarian recipes I found were pretty much bean soup and not as savory and rich as I wanted because the true white chicken chili is a winter-time comfort food. 

I decided to make my own using a few ideas from the chicken versions and my own imagination.  It turned out amazing so I had to share, I hope you enjoy!

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 90 min. MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces each) red kidney  beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (11 ounces) “mexicorn” – corn with red and green peppers
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) greek yogurt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup soy milk (or your favorite milk)
  • 2 cups grated gouda cheese

1.     In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until onions are soft and transparent.

2.     Add the carrots, broth, beans, corn, chilies and seasonings.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

3.     Transfer to crockpot; stir in yogurt, half and half, milk and cheese. Let sit for as long as you want for flavors to blend.  You can also skip the crockpot and cook for 10 more minutes for cheese to melt.



Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique

If I was stuck on a desert island and I could only bring one item from my make-up bag it would be mascara - it's my ultimate favorite. Having blonde eyelashes makes it a necessity. Without mascara, I look some where between a 12 year old and someone who is just really tired...

Part of me wishes I had the time to put on fake eyelashes everyday because they really make eyes pop, but even then I'm always scared one will fall off! And I have a friend who has eyelash extensions from a salon that look gorgeous, but that's out of my budget and also time consuming.

I feel like I've tried just about every mascara on the market because there is always a new marketing gimmicks, they all either curl, thicken, separate, lengthen, thicken, strengthen, multiply, some even claim to look like the fake eyelashes.  Some I liked better than others, but all seemed to fall short of their promises.

Lately, I've friends and beauty blogs post on fiber eyelash extensions and I had to try it.  I first tried L'OrĂ©al Voluminous False Fiber Lashes, but the fibers were mixed in with the mascara and I couldn't tell the fibers were even in there.  Then I tried Better Than False Lashes by Too Faced, which was better because the fibers were separate, but the fibers were white and sometimes my lashes looked gray even after I put black mascara over it.  And the fibers were more fuzzy than lengthening so I wasn't that impressed with the results.

I probably would have stopped there and went back to my old mascara routine, but I was given the opportunity to try Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique.  This mascara gave me beautiful, fluttery, dramatic eyelashes especially compared to my almost invisible, blonde, wispy lashes.

Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara Results:

I just got this mascara and I thought it was easy to apply without it looking spidery or clumpy at all, just nice and long lashes.  It also says on all day and didn't flake off.  And I feel like I get better at putting in each day.  And all of Younique's products are high-quality and naturally-based!

If you are ready for gorgeous eyelashes, get in touch with my lash guru, Shauna Buno Smith!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ronan turns 1!

Ronan's first birthday pictures photography with words picture

As of his 12 month check up
Weight:  22 lbs 3 oz (64th percentile)
Length: 31.0 inches- (88th percentile)
HC 18.8 in (90th percentile) 

Milestones:  Ronan is growing like a weed and he seems to be learning some new trick everyday. 

He started walking at 10 months and he's getting really good at this walking stuff, watch him walk here at 10.5 months old:

Mood:  Ronan is a total ham!  So he LOVED his birthday party.  He loves to clap, and when he would start clapping after openning a gift, everyone else would clap too.  Ronan thought this was just about the best thing ever:

Happy boy at his first birthday baby clapping excited picture
Happy boy at his first birthday
Loves:  He absolutely loves the dogs, it's the cutest thing ever.  He's not really saying mama or dada consistently, but he always points at Charlie and Sawyer and says his version of "dog."  He also loves giving Sawyer hugs and cuddles.  He comes from a family of animal lovers, so I'm glad to see he is already showing this quality.

Wearing:  He's wearing mostly 12 months and some 18 month and size 4 or 5 shoes.

Sleeping:  One misconception I had before this first year was that once a baby was sleeping through the night, you were in the clear.  SO. NOT. TRUE.  Ronan was sleeping on his own for 10 hours before I went back to work and I thought this sleep thing was a piece of cake.

It's been ups and downs, and I admit that most of it probably had more to do with our strategy and parenting style than anything else.  I have read a million times that you should put your baby to bed when they are sleepy but not asleep and I understand why.  But this doesn't work for me.  Why you ask?  Because holding my sleeping baby after I've been away from him for several hours (while at work) is what I need, and what I think my baby needs.  I craved that closeness and Ronan did too.  After a while, I would need to do something, so I'd pass Ronan off to daddy for more snuggling.

We go through phases of getting Ronan used to sleeping in his own bed, then something like a sickness or teething brings him back to sleeping in our bed.  But we are back to getting him to sleep on his own again, and so far it's going better than I expected.

I wouldn't have expected to be a semi-co-sleeping parent, but seriously, nothing in the world is better than being close to my baby.  But now he's a toddler and it's probably time to make a chance.  But I hope he stays snuggly!

Eating:  Ronan is a good little eater. Some of his favorite foods are black beans (whole or blended), guacamole, cheese and scrambled eggs.