Get Inspired: The Bloom Workshop Comes to CA!

Many of you may be familiar with my talented friend Michaela of Michaela Noelle Designs.  She and her friend, Ashley have put together an inspiring workshop called, The Bloom and it's coming soon to California!  Here's a little more detail:

The Bloom Workshop was designed for creative women who are eager to learn about blogging, social media, photography, interior design and styling. Our goal is to share our knowledge on how each of these topics work together to help take blogs or businesses to the next level. 

Bloom's mission is to help fuel women's creative passions, establish authentic community, and help each attendee feel confident in their small business or blog.

With special sessions on the specifics of blogging, social media best practices, design, styling and photography, a styled photo shoot to practice the skills guests just learned, and a Q&A session with a panel of experts, Ashley and Michaela created this workshop as a hands-on and genuine place to learn or hone creative skills.

The California workshop will be held on April 10th, 2015 is in Los Gatos, CA. Click here to register and get more info.  Receive 15% off on your ticket purchase for the California workshop, use the code BLOOM15 at checkout!

Not in California, no problem! To find a workshop in a city near you, check out the register page.

If you've just started a blog, want to hone in on your photography, or just meet a group of like-minded women, then you should definitely check this out!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend...Happy Monday!

xo natasha

Postpartum Favorites

With a week and a half under my belt, I feel pretty settled into the postpartum life.  I vividly remember how difficult the transition was into motherhood with Ethan.  This time, I knew what we were getting into and I feel much more in control of my body.  That being said, going from being pregnant one day, to not, is a big change.  These are the things I've looked to, to help with that transition:

Barefoot Dreams Robe: Delivering in the middle of winter calls for a big, cozy bathrobe and I can't say enough great things about this Barefoot Dreams version.  It would make a great & practical "push present" for those that are looking.  I also love their blankets and just purchased this one for Wyatt.

Blanqi Postpartum Leggings: The thought of wearing maternity clothes postpartum, is slightly depressing to me.  Which is why I really love these postpartum leggings.  They are thick and really suck you in, but feel like butter.  Definitely worth the investment!

Cambelbak Water Bottle: If you're breastfeeding, then you know how important it is to stay hydrated.  I love the Camelbak because I can drink from it with one hand...the other hand is usually holding baby!

Lansinoh Lanolin: Lanolin is a huge lifesaver when you're breastfeeding.  I especially like this brand and feel like it really helped me "adjust" to nursing full-time.

Tucks Cooling Pads: My hospital gave these to me, but you can find them at your local drugstore.  Though their intent would suggest that these pads be used for other "issues", they are GREAT for postpartum healing.

Mother's Milk Tea: Speaking of staying hydrated, if you're craving something warm, may as well opt for this tea...kill two birds with one stone!

Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Bras: Love this whole line from Target...I have their underwear for postpartum too.  Tip on the undies: buy at least two sizes bigger than your normal will thank me later.

Belly Bandit: Last but not least, the dreaded Belly Band.  I know it's expensive and I really didn't think it was necessary the first time around, but I was wrong!  This thing is amazing.  It support my back, sucks me in and makes me feel more put together.  Not to mention, I really do think it helps shrink your belly down.  I have the Bamboo version, which I understand is much more comfortable.  I usually wear my Belly Band underneath, for extra comfort.

Other things that are helpful, are chapstick and the Itzbeen Timer...I talked about that before, but it really is better than any app out there.

Do you have any other "must-have" items that you love?  Please share in the comments!

xo natasha

Wyatt's First Week

Whew!  What a week!  I still can't believe that Wyatt was born one week ago and that he's been in our lives ever since.  It's been a whirlwind, to say the least!  I wanted to write a little recap of everything we've been up to this last week, though I am going to limit baby updates to a monthly basis from here on out.

We left off with me at 39 weeks this past Monday, the 12th.  When I took this picture I already knew the baby was coming soon since my water broke that morning {I plan to write Wyatt's birth story separately}.  I had NO idea that little Wyatt was planning to make an early appearance...I was still working full-time, I was planning to work all last week and I didn't have any signs of labor looming.  Since Ethan was late, I was figured this guy would be late too!

Trust me, I am thrilled that Wyatt decided to make an early appearance but it was definitely a little jarring at first.  I miss being pregnant {which is crazy because I was in so much discomfort towards the end...damn hormones!} and still have projects that need to be completed.  Being a type-A personality, I'm a planner, not the spontaneous type!  Wyatt is teaching me new lessons each day about going with the flow.  ;)

I am completely biased, but he is totally worth it!  He is such a good baby so far...he latched on right away and is pretty easy going--which is awesome, especially with a rambunctious toddler on our hands.

Speaking of Ethan, he is adjusting waaaaay better than I could have anticipated.  He was so sweet the morning I went into labor.  It was almost like he knew...this was his last morning with his mama as an only child.  We read stories together and took some sweet photos {here and here}.  He met Wyatt later that night and just loves kissing his head, petting him, and holding him.  He is definitely aware that the dynamics have shifted...sometimes, I'll catch Ryan and I fussing over the baby and Ethan will just be standing there, kind of lost, like...wait, why is this baby getting all the attention?  We try to keep him on his same routine and have been making sure to include him in as much baby related activities as we can.  He loves helping with the baby and is always asking questions.  Oh!  And if you're looking for a good book for an older sibling, check out "Don't Eat the Baby".  My grandma got it for Ethan and he LOVES it.  We changed the names in the stories to fit our family and he insists we read it to him every night.  Overall, I think he's really excited to be a big brother and I just know that will be good buddies soon enough.

Even though Ethan is two and a half years old, he'll always be our first baby.  But comparing him to Wyatt, he sure does look like a big boy!  That's his hand with Wyatt's above.  We plan to move Ethan in to his big boy room soon, which he is very excited about.  Now, just to find the time!  

Ryan's been an amazing dad this past week...I would have not survived without him.  He's been taking the first night shift so I can get a couple hours in without worrying about the baby.  It's been a lifesaver.  We joke about how we forgot about the sleepless nights and how challenging the first week is.  He's also been amazing with Ethan...playing with him and making him feel special since I'm so preoccupied at the moment.  We're basically walking zombies, but we love having this little man in our lives.

Today, we had an in-home nurse visit and Wyatt is up to 7 pounds .5 ounces, which is just music to my ears!  That means he's put on almost 10 ounces since his first pediatrician appointment on Thursday...yay!  We also learned at our pedi appointment that Wyatt has a slight tongue tie that they're going to snip this coming Thursday...gulp!  Makes me sad, but I know it's for the best.

All in all, week one has exceeded our expectations.  Life with two children is already proving to be so much fun {I know...ask me again in a couple months!}.  I love that our family is growing and it all seems so right for us.

I hope to be back soon with postpartum favorites and Wyatt's birth story, so be sure to check back in!

xo natasha

He's Here!!!

We are so pleased to announce the arrival of our son

:: Wyatt John ::

Wyatt decided to make an early arrival this past Monday, January 12th...39 weeks on the dot!  He weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19.25 inches long.

We are so grateful for a smooth and relatively easy delivery.  I plan to share more details later, but in the meantime, someone is hungry!!  ;)

xo natasha

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

If you're on the hunt for a delicious take on pancakes, then look no further than this lemon ricotta version.  They are SO fluffy and flavorful, you may never want your pancakes any other way after trying these.

Recipe from Jillian Harris

3 tbsp. melted butter
2 c. flour
¼ c. sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. ricotta cheese

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave and cool.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and add the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon, ricotta and cooled melted butter.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed: do not over mix! It will still look lumpy.
5. Heat a griddle or pan with a small amount of vegetable oil on medium heat, pour into pancake shapes of your choice, and flip when the bubbles appear on the top and the bottom is golden brown.
6. Enjoy with whatever you like to dress your pancakes with {which in our case is boysenberry syrup!}

Hope you enjoy!

xo natasha

New Year Neutrals

With a new year, comes a chance to start fresh--pack away all the red & green from the holidays and create a serene space.  I always love when all the Christmas decorations are cleared out and my house is able to breathe a little bit more.  

If you're like me, then you're drawn to neutrals throughout the year.  I love all the wood-tones out in stores right now...especially paired with brass, cream and black details.  Feel free to shop the post below:

Have a great weekend!

xo natasha

Recent Purchases + $550 West Elm Giveaway!

Happy Hump Day!

One of the fun parts about the holidays {and my birthday!} are the fun gift cards...and naturally, the fun shopping spree that follows!  ;)  I made some fun purchases and wanted to share...

Thanks to my grandmother-in-law, I was able to splurge on this super cuuute spring fling puffy windbreaker from lululemon.  I just love the subtle animal print, the ruffle detail at the bottom and the tie at the back.  It fits really well and will be a great motivation for me to get back to it once the baby makes his arrival.  

Ryan's birthday gift to me was the new iPhone 6, which of course meant that I needed to get a cute new case.  This Rifle Paper Co. case is just the ticket.  I especially love that you can still see the gold through the back.

Ok, and how cute is this Southwestern-Patterned sweater...from Forever21 of all places?!  I plan to post my next bump update with this baby, so you can see it on.  The quality and material is amazing, especially considering that it was only $38.  Score!

I've been on the hunt for a cream sweater that would go well over leggings or jeans and I think this Chelsea28 sweater could be the one.  Looks super cozy and long enough to cover my bum.  Plus I've got some Nordstrom gift cards burning a hole in my wallet!  ;)

Last, did you see that Kate Spade Saturday and West Elm collaborated on a fun new collection?  There are some super cute pieces, including this lamp.  

And I've got a fun surprise for you today...I've teamed up with a great group of bloggers to give away $550 to West Elm!  The giveaway starts today at 10am PST and you can enter for a chance to win on my Instagram page!  Check it out for details!  ;)

What would you get your hands on with $550??

xo natasha

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 Weeks {first 38 week update}
Baby Size: The size of a leek?
Total weight gain: 30ish pounds...somewhere in that ballpark.
Maternity clothes? Just scooped up this top from Target...basically lots of sweaters and leggings.
Stretch marks? Looks like I'm still in the clear...from what I can see!  
Sleep: Ugh, this last week has been rough!  Ethan has had the flu which has kept us up and we're in the process of painting Ethan's new room, which was previously the kitty's she is disheveled, and taking it out on us.  And I'm just over the shifting from side to side and feeling like a turtle on its back every time I get out of bed.  Fun times!
Best moment this week: Finally getting Ethan's big boy room started and of course, celebrating the new year...2015 is going to be a great one!  ;)
Miss Anything? There's a lot that I miss, but there is also a lot that I love right now.  I love the rolls and the kicks and know I will miss it once he's out.  I'm also trying to cherish every moment with Ethan and I know I'm going to miss that once this new baby comes along.  All in all...everything that I miss doesn't compare to everything that I love about being pregnant right now.
Movement: Keeping a close eye on the movement every day!
Food cravings: Eh, kind of over food at the moment...
Gender: BOY!
Looking forward to: Meeting our little guy THIS month and finally getting prepared for his in washing clothes, buying diapers and getting his nursery set up...finally!
Differences this time? Well this time last pregnancy, I was on maternity leave by this point.  It was also summer!  This time, I'll likely work closer to my due that should be interesting!

xo natasha

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

Happy New Year!  Our first weekend of the year has been pretty mellow as Ethan is battling some sort of flu, but Ryan did get started on painting Ethan's room, which is HUGE progress.  I'll see about sharing some pictures later this week.

In the meantime, I'm kicking off 2015 with a healthy snack:

I've showcased many Ina Garten recipes, and this one is another hit.  It's taken from her latest cookbook, Make it Ahead.  You'll love the smell that fills your kitchen once the peppers start to roast and the smokey flavor definitely intensifies the overall taste.  

1 (29-ounce) can chickpeas, drained (3 cups)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/3 cup sesame tahini
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 roasted red bell peppers (method)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Serve with pita chips and fresh veggies

Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, Sriracha, roasted red bell peppers, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process until the mixture is coarsely pureed.  Taste for seasonings, and transfer into a serving bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and serve cold or at room temperature with pita chips and vegetables.

This makes for a healthy snack or a crowd-pleasing appetizer at your next get-together.

And can I just say how HAPPY I am that there is finally some good TV back on...Downton Abbey and Bachelor to name a few...our DVR was getting pretty pathetic looking.  And the timing couldn't be better with me going out on maternity leave soon.  

Happy Monday!

xo natasha