Fancy Easter + Ethan's Easter Basket


I honestly can't believe Easter is this seems like it came so fast!  I always think of Easter as a time to dress up, attend church and go to brunch.  This year, of course, things are a bit more lively!  Though Ethan won't be hunting for eggs quite yet, we still have his basket ready to go!  It's his last first "big" holiday, so you better believe that we're going ALL out!  ;)

Of course, if the Easter bunny still brought me a basket, I would go crazy over the J.Crew necklace!  Such a beauty!

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter Weekend!

xo natasha

Linked to: Friday Fancies

5 Things

 {av} tagged me in 5 here they are!

1. Ethan, Ryan and I are all "26" babies.  In fact..Ryan turns 30 this May 26th...and of course Ethan turns 1 on June 26th.  What's funny is that my dad, my father-in-law, my late brother, and late uncle are all June babies...and Gemini's {so is Ryan} and Ethan was due right on the cusp, but ended up being a Cancer.  Needless to say, June is a big month for men between our two families!  But just to tie me back in...Ethan is actually born on my half birthday!  Did you keep up with all of that??

2. I love 80's music and I'm nostalgic for the 90's.  They just don't make music like they did back in the 80's and they certainly don't make TV shows or movies like they did in the 90's.  I mean, hello Full House, Saved by the Bell, Family Matters...and any and all Nancy Meyers movies.

3. I was born the day after Christmas and my name means "Christmas Baby" in Russian, but no, I'm not Russian.  My middle name is Joy.

4. Cheese, carbs and chocolate are my vices...oh and wine too!  ;)

5. Both my MOH and sister in law are getting married this year {my sister in law in June...another reason to celebrate this June!}...cannot wait! 

You can find more about me here and here.

And I'm supposed to tag 5 people...but instead I tag...all of you!!

xo natasha

AND...the winner of the Mia Bossi diaper bag is Tian Ayubi!  Congratulations!!

Kale + Pumpkin Seed Salad


What are my thoughts on kale?  Well, I know it's good for you...a superfood actually!  I've read that kale is one of the healthiest vegetables out there and is rich in vitamin A, C, and K {the cancer fighting kind}.  It's no wonder it's becoming so popular!  But is it actually good?  After seeing an increased frequency of recipes and menu items involving kale, I decided it was high-time to broaden my taste buds and become more familiar with this type of leafy green.  

First of all...I didn't realize there were some many different types of kale.  There's the curly kind and the purple kind...there is even the dinosaur kind!  How do you know which one to choose?  Hmmm...I perused the supermarket aisle and just chose one blindly.  When I got home, I was super intimidated!  The leaves were dense and there was a thick {and I mean, really thick!} stem running right up the middle.  How do I prepare this?  And would it be edible in the end?  I ultimately de-stemmed each leaf and chopped the leaves up to small bite size pieces.  Chopped kale seems much more edible.  And really, once I got it down to a chopped status, the dense leaves didn't seem so bad.

In order to appreciate the kale, I prepared this simple salad.  I just added toasted pumpkin seeds and shredded parmesan.  I dressed the salad in a organic pomegranate dressing and it was perfection.  Apparently, the longer kale sits in dressing, the better.  And next time I think I'll add some pomegranate seeds or dried cranberry.

I'm surprised with how much I actually like kale and want to start using it in more.  While it is dense {and that might take some getting used to}, the sweet dressing actually compliments the bitter leaf and brought out the flavor.  Apparently kale can also be braised or roasted...and makes excellent chips.  Who knew?! 

Are you a fan of kale?  If so, what's your favorite way to prepare it?

xo natasha is the last day to enter to win a designer diaper bag!!

Happy 9 Months Ethan!

Dear Baby E,

I have to keep using the word "baby" because I swear you are becoming less and less of one every day.  NINE MONTHS!?  Where has the time gone?  How is it even possible that nine full months have blown by?  Time needs to seriously slow down.  

What have you been up to?  You are a moving and grooving machine!  Are you technically crawling yet?  Well no.  But that doesn't stop you in the least bit.  You scoot, roll, army crawl, and maneuver your way around.  It's amazing.  When you want to get somewhere, you get there.  And we can't make eye contact when you move because you instantly start to whine and want to be picked up.  But when we look go back to your business.  It's hilarious!  

You also like to stand more and more, though you haven't figured out how to pull up yet...and we're ok with that for the time being!  It's pretty cute, you sometimes only stand on your tippy toes.  I mean, that takes real balance my friend!

I keep saying that this is such a cool time because you totally interact with us and are so much fun, but you usually stay put {in the general area} where we set you down.  I know before long, you'll be crawling and getting into everything.  I'm trying to soak it all in now.

Speaking of being interactive, you love to fake laugh with us now.  I think it's your way of being social.  You fake laugh and sometimes fake cough...all to elicit a reaction.  Such a little ham.  

You finally starting sleeping through the night pretty consistently.  And when you take naps, you'll often wake up and just hang out in your crib.  I remember the first time this past month, we checked your video monitor and there you were, just sitting up in your crib, cool as cucumber.  You never cease to amaze us!

This past month has also been so much fun with regard to your growing palette.  You still eat pureed fruits and veggies {meat...not so much} and love eating puffs and mum mums with your fingers.  Other things that we've added to your tray...fresh fruit, bananas and pancakes.  Oh and turkey meat.  You like that better than the pureed stuff, but it's not your favorite.  You really love to eat.  And it's great to take you out to restaurants now because food will keep you entertained.  So we come fully loaded with tons of snacks and you look around, flirt with the table next to us, and eat.  You're turning into a mini Grandpa Higgins!  ;)

You are now taking baths in the big love sloshing around in there and playing with all of your toys.  I think it's your favorite time of day!  That...and going on walks.  Now that it's getting warmer our {and daylight savings hit}, you look around and take in the scenery.  Summer is going to be SO much fun!

You are becoming more and more of a mama's boy.  You like to keep your eyes on me at all time when I'm not holding just lock eyes with me and gaze and gaze {and of course, I love it!}.  You will sometimes fuss or cry when I pass you off, but Dad can usually distract you pretty quickly with his laugh.  You LOVE your dad's laugh.  A lot.

Last, you are really starting to babble...words are on your horizon.  I simply cannot wait and love hearing you make sounds and mimic us.  

You have such a sweet personality and light up a room when you enter it.  Everyone loves you and can't get enough of you.  We are so blessed to be your parents and love learning more about you every day.

Happy Nine Months Sweet Boy!

Love, Mom

PS...don't forget to enter to win a designer diaper bag here!!

Life Pre and Post Baby

A couple weeks ago, Katie asked me to talk about life pre and post baby.  It was great to sit back ad reflect on how my life has changed in the last 9 months and I thought I would share the post here with all of you today.

Remember when E was teeny tiny like the picture above?  Seeing how little and sweet he was reminds me of those early stages and how wonderful and yet overwhelming everything is all of a sudden.  I remember the weeks leading up to Ethan's birth and how ready and anxious I was to meet him!  I was nesting like crazy and had prepared for him as much as possible...I was ready to leave our life behind as a family of two and start our family of three!

Now that we've lived as a family of three for nine months...I have a little perspective.  Life is so much more full now...but let's be honest, it's also a whole lot more complicated!

Before baby, I could get a pedicure, catch a movie, or sleep in until noon.
Now, it's all about coordinating a babysitter if I want to escape and sleep...what's that?!  ;)

Before baby, we would take a short weekend trip to visit friends.
Now, we have friends come to visit's so much easier with baby!

Before baby, I wouldn't think twice about what I wore...neckline, material, you name it.
Now, my only concern is how easy it is to nurse in!

Before baby, I would lunch with friends.
Now, we get together for walks...I call it the stroller brigade!

Before baby, traveling was a breeze.
Now, we have to coordinate the pack 'n play, stroller, carseat, diapers, bottles, get the picture!

Before baby, bodily functions grossed me out.
Now, pee, poop, spitup, vomit, you name all seems so normal.

Before baby, I used to buy fun clothes for myself.
Now, all I want to do is shop for baby!

Before baby, the holidays were about following family tradition.
Now, they are SO much more fun as we develop new traditions with Ethan.

Before baby, life was so "easy".
Now, life is so worth it.

And last, before baby, I thought I knew what love was all about.
And now, I have a deeper love for this little being than I could ever imagine.  He is truly the light of our lives and I can't imagine life without him.

{photography via artyard}

How has your life changed pre and post baby?

xo natasha

PS...don't forget to enter a chance to win a fabulous designer diaper bag here!

Designer Diaper Bag Giveaway!

I'm bringing you a special Sunday post today to introduce you to a great website for moms and moms-to-be!  zulily is a daily deals website that boasts boutique brands and high-quality products for women and their kiddos.  

Today through the 27th, they're featuring Mia Bossi diaper bags.  I love a bag that doesn't scream "diaper bag" and this brand definitely accomplishes that look.  And it's no wonder, since Janet of Fashion-A-Holic is one of the talents behind the design.  They're sold at Nordstrom and Barney's and retail for $200 plus!  
I'm excited to announce that zulily and Mia Bossi have generously agreed to give away the Emma diaper bag to one lucky reader!  This bag retails for $210 and includes a washable faux fur changing pad, a zip-in and zip out interior lining to organize all your baby's items, two interior bottle holders, and more!  I love the design and how versatile it is...isn't it gorgeous?

I'm using Rafflecopter for the first time...enter to win below!

The winner will be announced on the 28th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo natasha

Seven + Eight Month Favorites

Now that Ethan is almost 9 months old, I thought I'd update you on his favorite items from the past two months.

Ethan loves his lion!  He sleeps with him every night.  I adore the Jelly Cat brand of stuffed animals and want to add more to E's collection.

Another favorite brand of mine is B. Toys.  They're available at Target and seem to be win every time we purchase something new.  These keys are particularly great because they have real metal teeth and make lots of sound.

We've had two teeth pop through in the last month and these teethers have been life savers.  Even though Ethan often bites on these from the wrong end {which make him gag!} he loves holding them and massaging his gums with the rubber end.

Now that Ethan has become stronger and more aware of his surroundings, he's absolutely loving his time out of the car seat.  This shopping cart cover is awesome!  Not only is it adorable, but super soft and functional for when we go shopping or out to eat.

I can't say enough great things about the BOB stroller.  It's such a smooth ride and does terrific in off roading situations {believe me, I've tested it!}.  It's easy to travel with as well, which I think is a real plus.

Last, Ethan is also loving the independence of getting around in a walker.  This one is great because it lights up and makes sound.

What are some of your favorites at 7 and 8 months?  Any items I should keep an eye out for as we enter the 9th month?

xo natasha   

Subdued Master Suite

If I had been able to talk to my newly married self 3+ years ago, I would have advised against browns in the master bedroom and gone for gray instead.  Gray is my favorite's so elegant and sophisticated to me.  My preference would be to have a big fluffy white duvet {which is crazy talk now that we have a baby and dog}, some interesting throw pillows and an awesome upholstered headboard.

I put together the above mood board just to give myself a glimpse of what could be.  Can't you imagine it with some deep gray paint on the walls and a twinkling chandelier hanging over the bed?  I just want to cozy up and spend all day in that bed.

What do you think of this color scheme?

xo natasha

Baby Ethan: Week 38

Weight: No idea...around 17-18 pounds

Health: Healthy as a horse!

Sleep: So pleased to say that he's still sleeping through the night.  He'll sometimes wake up and cry for a second but then go right back down.  He's also usually taking 2 naps a day.  And it's funny, when he wakes up...he'll just hang out for a while in his crib.  I think that since he's become more agile, he keeps himself pretty well entertained.

Social: One of my best friends, Kelly, was in town this past weekend and Ethan loved spending time with her.  She's one of his many special "aunties" in his life.  Ethan also got to spend time with his cuzzies and grandma and great-grandma this past weekend.  He's one loved boy!

Diet: Baby E is getting more and more into finger foods.  And he's such a well-behaved little restaurant patron.  He ate some mini pancakes at brunch the other day and also likes bananas and blueberries.  We tried pureed meat again, but he's still not a fan.

Clothes: His 9 month Carter's jammies are starting to get tight but otherwise, he's in 6-12 and 9 month jammies and some 6 months tops/pants still.  We're also moving him into size 3 diapers.  

Baby Gear Love: Little man is loving bath time and all his toys {bath toy post to come soon!} and is becoming more intrigued by his activity center.

Crying: Oy.  After I dropped my friend off at the airport, we had to drive an hour home back to Tahoe and E cried the entire ride him.  It was brutal!

Likes: Still loving the cat!  And music too.  Oh and books!  I think he really likes the rhythm of our voices when we read.

Postpartum: Teeth and nursing do not go hand in hand.  That's all I have to say about that!

Milestones: I know I keep saying this, but Ethan is SO close to crawling, gosh darn it.  He scoots and swivels and inches his way around.  He's become a pro at laying to sitting and can usually get just about anywhere he wants.  He also gets in crawling postion and rocks back and forth but then will go to his tummy.  We'll see what the next week brings!

And and baby's first St. Patrick's Day!  :)

xo natasha

Barbecue Chicken Salad

One of my favorite restaurant salads is the barbecue chicken salad from CPK.  The pizza is pretty good too!  We decided to recreate it several weeks ago and I still dream about it now.  It's light and zesty...a nice reprieve from the dreary winter months.  

As with most of my "true" recipes, since we made it on the fly, the amounts are guestiments.  Guess accordingly.


tomatoes, diced
avocados, diced
white corn {one can}
red onion, finely diced
black beans {one can, drained}
cilantro {washed and finely chopped}
BBQ sauce {I prefer mine more tangy than sweet}
light ranch dressing


Grilled chicken and then cube and dress in BBQ sauce.  Combine lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, corn, onion, and black beans {you can follow this recipe for a yummy salsa}.  Toss and coat salad with ranch dressing.  Add chicken and cilantro and drizzle  extra BBQ sauce on top.  You can serve with tortilla strips for an extra crunch.

Pretty simple, but amazingly delicious!

xo natasha

Little Easter Style

Girl: Jacket | Dress | Headband | Shoes
Boy: Bodysuit | Hat | Shoes | Pants

Now that St. Patrick's Day is out of the way, we're in full fledged Easter mode over here!  It's only two weeks away...can you believe it?  I can't wait to dress our little man up on Easter Sunday...and of course, I love the idea of dressing a little girl one day too!  Zara Baby has some realllly cute stuff right now...totally in love!

If you followed me on Instagram this weekend, you probably saw a couple other fun Easter goodies!  ;)

Oh and I am guest posting over at Katie's sweet blog today...talking about life before and after baby.  She just had her sweet son must head over to check him out!

xo natasha

Shoe Love: Glitter Sandal

More | Less

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, it's got me thinking of gold and glitter...and basically anything that you find shining at the end of a rainbow.  I spotted these look-alike glitter sandals at Target and thought they were a great steal.  They're similar to some of the Madewell sandals as well.

Of course, you'll have to pair it with a green tunic or skinnies so you won't be pinched!!  ;)

What are your plans this St. Patrick's Day?

xo natasha

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Baby Ethan: Week 37

Weight: 17 pounds?

Health: Healthy for the most part...just a little runny nose and he experienced a bout of diaper rash this past week.  Nothing too exciting!

Sleep: But something that IS super duper exciting is that Ethan is officially sleeping through the night.  Only took 37 weeks!  Hope I'm not jinxing it now!  But he goes down around 8 and wakes up to nurse around 7, then goes back down until 9:30'ish.  Sleeping through the night AND sleeping in?  We are in heaven!

Social: We had a pretty mellow visitors!  But he's a BIG waver now.  So I guess that's pretty social!

Diet: We're starting to introduce more and more solids.  He's loving his mum mums and I let him try some banana and bread crust.  He's got two bottom teeth now, and he's learning how to use them!

Clothes: 9 month jammies, 6-12 month outfits

Baby Gear Love: Still loving anything that lights up or makes music.  We just bought him the Baby Einstein Activity Center and he's mesmerized by it!

Crying: Ethan is a pretty mellow baby...only crying when he's tired {see photo above} and when he's hungry.  He really likes to be around people...especially me and Daddy, so he gets upset when separated or left on his own.

Likes: Bath always!

Postpartum: Nothing too new for me...just easing back into work again.

Milestones: So many fun things this past week!  Ethan can officially go from laying down to sitting up!  We saw him sitting up in his crib one day and were totally freaked out!  Now he's doing it more and more frequently.  He's also SO close to crawling.  He gets himself in position and rocks back and forth. Any day now...any day!

xo natasha