Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Baby's Bedroom Routine Tips


Ahh the bedroom routine...otherwise known as the song + dance leading up to happy hour(s) for most of us!  Bedtime with two kids is no joke...and we still do it in two phases.  Wyatt goes down between 7-7:30pm, which for the record, is about an hour earlier than we ever put Ethan down.  Ethan goes to bed between 8-8:30pm, so it is about a two hour routine every night!

After dinner, we usually try to give the boys a bath...though, lately, Ethan prefers to shower with us.


It's kind of hard to see here, but both our boys have suffered from bouts of eczema that flares up at bath time.  We try to give a bath every other night--but you know how it goes with boys!  More on our solution below.

After bath time, I get Wyatt dressed in his jammies and then we have some quiet time in his room...


Soft, cozy pajamas are super important and we were recently introduced to Softsie, an amazing brand of pajamas that is incredibly soft and they're infused with aloe, jojoba oil and vitamin E to soothe baby's skin.  This has been a life savor for Wyatt...his eczema has definitely cleared up since he started wearing these.  Definitely check them out if your baby has had similar issues.  They are two patterns, the mint and black + white pendant...adorable!


Wyatt loves to read before bedtime {normally it's me reading to him!}.  He loves all the touch and feel books...his favorite is Pat the Bunny.

Afterwards, he'll drink a bottle and then we brush his teeth...


And then right as we're about to go down for bed...


He'll usually want to rough house with his brother and dad...typical!

A couple additional tips for bedtime...

+ We use a white sound machine {pictured above}
+ He still sleeps in a sleep sack
+ He LOVES his blankies

Even though it's quite the song and dance to get him to bed, we are really lucky that he sleeps through the night and typically wakes up after 7am.  Can't complain about that!

What are your tips and tricks for getting baby to sleep at night?

xo natasha

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lately


First, thank you for all the kind, supportive and heartfelt comments from my post last week.  It means so much to me and gives me courage to keep an open dialogue.  I am beyond appreciative of this community for allowing me to share.

The past week has been a whirlwind with family in town and nicer weather.  Here's what we've been up to lately!

We're loving the outdoors {great for your mental health too!} and Wyatt is just discovering the jungle gym at the park!


My dad and step-mom like to stay at a place on the lake...and of course the boys love running around on the beach!


We decided to go for a family hike out to Cascade Falls.  If you're visiting the area, I highly recommend it.  It's a pretty easy walk and it's the trailhead is located behind the lookout to Emerald Bay.  This time of the year, the waterfall is flowing big time!


In other news...I have been craving a charcuterie plate so we had that for dinner the last couple nights!


Ethan got his pre-school photos back!  Dying over that hair...


I found a vest that I love...


And Wyatt just gets cuter by the day!


Oh and The Bachelorette starts tonight!!  So excited!

xo natasha

Friday, May 20, 2016

Talking about Suicide


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the topic hits very close to my heart.  I've had the fortunate opportunity to step into a career--where I am supported in talking openly about mental health and work towards making a difference.

Some of you know, but many of you may not know that my family has dealt directly with mental health and illness.  For us, it lead to suicide, and I'm hoping you'll oblige me today to read more about my journey, struggle and hope regarding this topic.


Suicide is an ugly, misunderstood word. The mere fact that we use the phrase "commit suicide" is worse.  My brother committed to many things, but suicide was not one of them. I would argue that suicide, or rather--mental illness--committed to him.  I challenge myself regularly to change this language and reinstate the integrity behind the real problem: mental health.  No one "commits suicide", but plenty die from it...

Let me back up and tell you more about my brother.  Grant was a smart, confident, athletic, strong-willed, passionate, and yet stubborn individual.  He made friends easily and could pick up any sport with ease.  He was much more of a leader than a follower--and had two younger brothers that would easily attest to that fact.  As his older sister, I was both impressed and dismayed with him--or rather his outlook on life.  Grant could always find the short cut to success, whereas I would follow the rules, hoping it would bring about the same result.   He was very much my polar opposite in a lot of ways and yet I knew he would drop anything for me. His charisma carried him through many challenges in life.  Simply put, Grant was an enigma--people loved to be around him and most would agree that he had big things ahead in life.

Which is why I was beyond shocked to learn he died and in the manner that he did, and at such a young age...only 21.  Sure, he was stubborn and would have a bad temper, but nothing that we found unusual.  He just seemed like a typical, young twenty-something guy.  I will forever replay our interactions and playful banter for the rest of my life--and dream of the relationship we were meant to have.  But all of that is gone now.  My boys will never know their uncle--and yet I see so much of him in them. 

Perhaps the worst part about his passing was the shame--the sheer misunderstanding--that we had around the circumstances.  Ten years ago I did not talk about how he died or why he died.  There was stigma, fear, doubt, guilt and judgement around suicide. And I would say that it is still there today.  There are a lot of "what ifs" and "should haves".  There is a lot of misunderstanding.

So I am here today to talk about it.  To talk about him.  Grant.  My wonderful brother that I would give anything to have back.  I would not hesitate to take part in another one of his debates...or indulge him in his latest, greatest idea.  He was a smart, dynamic human being and I hope that by talking about this topic today, he will be honored and remembered.

If you want to join me, I humbly urge you to take part in the national movement.  Research.  Talk.  Take action.

We talk so openly about our physical health--sharing on social media without a second thought.  But why don't we talk about our mental health--something that is equally, if not more important?  

I challenge you to tag a photo on social media with #eachmindmatters and let's work together to reduce stigma and raise awareness.

Thank you for listening today.

xo natasha

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New York Outfit Details


I can't believe it's been a week since we've gotten back from New York!  You can catch up on our trip here and here.  I thought I would recap on the outfits I wore.  My number one tip is to really wear comfortable shoes...for as much walking as we did, it was absolutely necessary!








Jeans + Top

Pant-SimilarPumps


Shoes


Dress + Jean Jacket + Necklace + Flats

Also, a little secret of mine for wearing dresses all day long is to wear a pair of slimming shorts underneath.  It's a huge lifesaver for me!

Did I miss anything?  Let me know!

I hope you're having a great week so far!

xo natasha

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Steals


I hope you are having a great weekend!  Just stopping by quickly to share some recent steals I've found...everything is under $100!





J.Crew V-Neck One-Piece + 25% off with code: SHOPNOW





Old Navy Peep Toe Flats + 40% off with code: ENJOY

Happy Shopping!

xo natasha

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Weekend in New York {Part 2}


Catch Part 1 here!


We started every morning with Stumptown Coffee from the Ace Hotel...it was beyond dreamy!

Day 2 was a Sunday, which also happened to be Mother's Day!  I was looking forward to hitting up a cute neighborhood spot in the West Village called Hudson Clearwater and getting my Mother's Day mimosa!


**Tip** New York does not sell booze before noon on Sunday...good to know, especially when it's Mother's Day!  

We got to the restaurant early because they didn't take reservations, and duh, it was Mother's Day!  But it was surprisingly quiet.  Well...that was 100% because of this silly alcohol rule.  *Sigh* 

 Naturally, we made the most of it and requested to sit outside on their quaint little patio.  It was super charming and the food was excellent!  The restaurant is a couple blocks from the Hudson River, so we strolled down there to check it out before returning promptly at noon for our drinks!  You can also get a nice view of the World Trade Center from the river too.


After brunch, we headed to the Highline to walk it all off.  If you're not familiar, it's a converted train track from the 1930s, made into a public park and walkway.  They integrated the traintrack into the design, which makes it super unique.  They also have little food trucks, lounging chairs and art along the way.  I definitely recommend checking it out--it's a gorgeous spot and a nice reprieve!


Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to change and freshen up to see Wicked on Broadway!  It was such a theatrical show and super fun to see!  Bonus, the dad from GIRLS was the Wizard, which was a nice surprise!


After the show, we walked over to Time Square for an obligatory picture!


Since it was our last night, we decided to really splurge on food!  

First stop was Buddakan for their edamame dumplings...which were OUT OF THIS WORLD!  We also got the tuna tartare spring roll and rock chili shrimp {which was also amazing!}.  You might remember this restaurant from Sex and the City!


After, we stopped by Milk for some cereal flavored soft serve...delish!


And then we had dinner at Upland, which was super swanky, modern, but not too stuffy!  We loved the little gem salad and their bucatini cacio e pepe.  It was all delicious!  Not pictured but worth noting, we stopped by a whiskey bar, Maysville, around the corner from our hotel for a night cap and the bartender, Gabriella was the best!  The food menu also looks pretty spectacular!


Sigh...our last day!  We really wanted to make the most of it, so we got up early and walked back down to the West Village for brunch at Bluestone Lane.  We loved sitting outside and eating something semi-healthy!  ;)


Our next stop was at Central Park.  We really lucked out with the weather...it was sunny and in the low 70s.  I can't even imagine it being any hotter...the humidity is no joke!


For lunch, we decided it was worth waiting in line at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square.  This was probably the benefit of staying until Monday because the tourists were not as prevalent!  **Hint** The chicken sandwiches are the way to go!


Our last and final stop was at the rooftop bar over Eately.  They've changed their concept so that it's a new pop-up restaurant every season.  They just changed it over for the summer to Sabbia, which had a fun coastal vibe.  We would definitely go back for some appetizers next time!


One last tip I will leave you with is to bring a portable charger!  If you're anything like me, I was Instagramming and Snapchatting up a storm, which meant my battery was d.e.a.d. half way through the day.  The portable charger was a lifesaver!

So there you have it...how to do two and a half days in New York!  It was such a spectacular trip and we felt super fortunate to escape for the weekend.  We are already planning our trip back {which probably won't be for a while...but, hey, we can dream!} and can't wait to create new memories.  If anything, our trip really reinstated the importance of taking time out for "just us" and traveling...something we never really made a priority before kids.  Word of advice...travel more!  Memories really do last a lifetime.  ;)

xo natasha
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