Last week Weston and I had some time to kill between activities, so I decided to plug a new address into my iPhone and head to Lewis Oliver Farm in Northport. I'd heard it was a great little farm, and free, so I figured why not? It was a cool summer day, and I hoped the animals would be out! 

Lewis Oliver Farm is in the middle of the total suburbs of Northport, but once you park and step on the grounds, you feel transported to an old barn chock full of animals and history. We paid our $2 donation (which isn't necessary to get in!), and got celery to feed the animals in return. It was Weston's first time seeing live animals, and he loved it! 

Lewis Oliver also has a whole little field of children's toys and climb/ride-ons, so Weston tottered around and wore himself out (just kidding, that never happens). It was such a lovely place to stop and enjoy a few quiet moments of our day! I loved watching Weston "feed" the goats, and see cows, chickens, and alpacas! I highly recommend for children as young as one years old. 

Jen is back for another review of Stitch Fix! We are delighted to have her (and her adorable pup!). Stitch Fix intrigues me, especially after this article came out about their markups on clothing! Wowza. 

I wrote about my second Stitch Fix in July for Lovely At Your Side. You can read it here!

If you don’t know about Stitch Fix yet, it’s a pretty neat service. You fill out a Stitch Fix Style Profile and a personal stylist hand picks a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste and budget. You’re able to buy what you like and return the rest. The initial styling fee is $20, which can then be applied as a credit towards anything you keep from that shipment.

Like I said in my first review, I’m not a fashionista and I don’t always have time to make it to the mall so I initially loved the idea. I signed up for Stitch Fix because I thought it would be a fun way to add color and style to my wardrobe in a convenient way! Who doesn’t love a box of clothes delivered to your doorstep every month? For me, that's way better than lugging an armful of dresses into the unforgiving dressing room light at TJ Maxx.

However, my third Stitch Fix left me wondering if I should continue my membership. (note: I plan on sticking it out for at least 6 months to further develop my style profile and sizing issues)

To be fair, the Stitch Fix stylist listened to my feedback and sent me three dresses -- double thumbs up to that!  I think she may have even looked at my Pinterest Style Board because the styles are mostly spot on, it’s just the quality, price and fit that didn’t work this fix.

Here are the items I received in my August 2014 Stitch Fix:

1. Deena Abstract Print Belted Wrap Dress by Tart, $118; I generally love wrap dresses and already have a couple in my closet, however, this didn’t fit well and seems to be made poorly. The top was overflowing and large with sleeves that felt like wings and the bottom was too short. I really like the print, but I’m disappointed with the fit. However, even if it did fit and looked fabulous on me, I wouldn’t pay $118 for a wrap dress.

2. Ronald Striped Maxi Dress by Renee C, $68; When I pulled this dress out of the box, I loved it! I love the simple black and white striped print, the v-neck and the tie in the back. I already have something very similar to this in my wardrobe. However, when I tried it on it lost all of its luster. When it comes to striped clothes a big pet peeve of mine is when the stripes don’t match up on the seam.  And this dress does just that -- the stripes don’t line up and create an awkward illusion around the waist area. Additionally, the style card shows the dress with heels, jewelry and a nice purse but the actual fabric and quality would not cut it for a nice evening out.

3. Abi Colorblock Maxi Dress by Market and Spruce, $88; This is the only dress in my fix that has any color in it, and I like it! I love the color block on the bottom and I really enjoy the color scheme. Unfortunately, the bottom half of the dress is too small and the ruched waist is too big. Due to fit, I can’t keep it.

4. Kahlo Embroidered Solid Tank by Le Sample, $38; I would keep this shirt if I didn’t already receive THE SAME EXACT SHIRT last fix for $10 more. Last fix the stylist sent me this shirt with stripes and I kept it. I gave feedback and told the stylist that I liked it, but I didn’t say anything about liking it so much that I wanted a second.

5. Izzie Pineapple Print Scarf by Look by M, $28; Sherene, my stylist, told me that she chose “great dresses” that can be “accessorized with a pop of color by adding the Look By M tan and coral scarf.” My scarf is tan and burnt orange -- the colors are pretty muted in my opinion with no pop. While this scarf would be a keeper for many, it doesn’t fit my style profile.

So where does this leave me? While I’m not a huge fan of any of the items, I always feel it necessary to pick something to keep so as not to lose the $20 styling fee. I’m debating between the Look by M scarf because it could be a great Christmas gift for a friend or the Le Sample embroidered tank since I like the simple black and white design.

What should I keep from my August Fix?

Let me know what you think! And if you’re interested in receiving a Stitch Fix, sign up and start a profile. I’d love to hear what you think about your future fixes!

Thanks for reading!

When I was just three months pregnant Eric and I went out to see a Rosanne Cash concert. I remember feeling so giddy about the whole event because it was the baby's first show, albeit, with some sound barriers. We absolutely loved the show, but one song in particular struck a chord in my heart: September When It Comes. Weston was due September 14th, so the lyrics just rang out to me, "So when the shadows lengthen into an evening sun, well first there's summer, then I'll let you in, September when it comes." I started to cry when I heard those lines and thought about how my child would be coming home to us in September; I started to truly comprehend why my parents gave me the middle name of March, September sounded so romantic and glorious, there was never a more beautiful month spoken of.

If you've been following our journey at all this past year, you'd know that Weston didn't actually come in September at all. On the night of August 25th, I had a serious hankering for a cup of hot tea, despite the fact that it was wickedly hot and humid outside. I seem to recollect that I brewed the tea in a pot, and took it upstairs with my nightly gestational diabetes pill and snack of rice crackers and cheese. That night, I was more uncomfortable than normal, so Eric decided to give me some space and sleep on the couch. I remember I fell asleep splayed across the bed, and woke up hazy at around 4am. I got out of bed and wham, bam, thank water broke! I was in some serious denial, so I texted my mother, who happened to be up, and didn't wake up Eric. After he heard me on the phone with my mom, he came upstairs, and though I was floating up that river in Egypt, he finished packing the bag and packing the car. 

The drive to the hospital was the most exciting and nerve wracking event of my life! I just remember thinking how we were leaving the house as two people and would be coming home as three. We listened to The Kruger Brothers, and barely spoke. Long Island is steamy and exotic at night, and I couldn't help but think about how many times I had driven these roads, from the time I was born (at the same hospital), to now, at this turning point in my life. 

About 15 hours, and one magical epidural later, a little tiny, almost six pound boy was placed on my chest. I wasn't as emotional as I thought I would be; he was just, there. He smiled up at me, his gigantic guitar playing hands on my chest. We just hung out together as the doctors finished up. My mother, who had been getting coffee and didn't know why we weren't texting back (she had been there the whole time, and kept coming in to check on me...once I was fully ready to go, we went fast!), came up to the delivery ward and heard Weston's cry before she saw him. I will never forget her coming into the room, stopping herself to wipe her tears, and then reaching out for him. Jenny, who had been camping in Vermont, drove all night to get to us! It was very Kardashian of her.

I was deathly afraid of giving birth, but I had a truly good experience with it! I was up and around the next day; the nurses called me feisty. I refused to sit. I held court in the hospital room and downed tons of Au Bon Pain (which was in the hospital), and Chinese food my dad brought in. It felt like Weston had always been there; in a way, he was. 

The next few days were such a blur. Since he was born at the end of summer, it all felt, in an odd way, like a vacation. Jenny brought over muffins and iced coffee every morning; we ran out for special treats; we napped; we hung out in pajamas; Eric grew a beard. It was so relaxed, precious, and blissful. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it was stressful, like figuring out how to feed him, or my incredibly swollen legs and feet, but...those days were unlike any other, and out of normal place and time. 

I was unsure of having a son when we found out he was a boy; I didn't know how I would relate to him. However, this past year has taught me that my son is so much a part of me, and so much himself. He's my constant companion, and my best bud. He's my audience for my one woman rendition of Fiddler on the Roof, and my watermelon eating buddy. He's quite simply the best person I know, and I am still shocked that we created him. 

And, he's truly my inspiration. Without Weston, I never would have lived out my dream of being a writer. He's my guide, my muse, and my joy. 

This past year hasn't been easy, but it's been truly miraculous. Watching someone, who you first met as a bean on a screen, start to walk, sing, clap, and hug...there's nothing like it. My son is my proudest achievement, my best piece of work, and my constant reminder that dreams can come true, and life never ceases to amaze. 

August 8th was National Happiness Happens Day, and Happy Family Organic Superfoods have started an incredibly fun campaign asking us all, "what makes you happy?" Bloggers from all over were asked to share what makes them happy and for the duration of August, Happy Family Brands will be tweeting these stories, as well as sharing them on their Facebook and Pinterest. (PS. Don't forget to enter your happiness happens moment in their giveaway, to win one of three wonderful prizes!)

I'll be sharing my little moments of happiness today, but I would love to know: what has made you happy lately? What little tiny thing has brought a smile to your face? I'd love to know! Tweet at me, and Happy Family Brands with hashtag #happinesshappens and let us know what makes you happy!

For me, recently, happiness happens in the quiet moments. Life with a very active almost one year old boy is busy, busy, busy! We rarely sit down; we're always singing, dancing, walking, crawling, climbing, and jumping. I love those moments. I relish them, I adore them. I soak up every moment with my little boy that I can, because I know someday he'll be taller than his mama, and have his own family. But, when the sun goes down, after dinner, after bath, and after bedtime (whenever that is!), the house starts to quiet down. The musical toys go to bed, my husband and I quietly chat, the kitchen gets cleaned, the clanging of pots and pans simmers down, and the hum of the world starts to ease.

It is at these moments that I take a deep breath, and let all the activities and craziness of the day seep into my soul. It is at these moments I take mental photographs of my son, my husband, my delicious coffee, my grandmother, my sister, my new books...whatever made me smile that day. I file these images away, and they fill my heart with such happiness. It is at these quiet moments which my happiness happens. The happiness of the day seeps down into my bones, filling them with memories I will never forget. From the mundane, of singing Twinkle Twinkle to my son, to the wonderful, like watching my son take his first steps. I let my eyes tear up with life, with joy, and with happiness.

Happiness happens for me, when the sun goes down, when my house is quiet, and when I can really feel it all, let it soak into my heart and soul. Happiness happens as I write my articles, listen to my music, and watch my incredibly adored and wonderful partner and smushy, funny baby boy cuddle up in bed, while they wait for me to finish up my dream job (writing about being a mama to that funny boy!), and come up to our warm and soft bed. Happiness happens in the silent moments, when I can close my eyes and let the scenes of my happy life dance before the darks of my eyes. Happiness happens when I can stand in a quiet room and hear my son's laughter and my husband's voice in my head.

Happiness happens in the still of the night.

This was a sponsored post on behalf of Happy Family Brands, but all opinions are mine!

Lovelies, this weekend Eric, Weston, and I are getting together with the wonderfully talented Molly Leon for a little family photoshoot. I loved my photoshoot with Molly in May so much that I hired her again to do a little first birthday shoot for Weston and his parents! We're going out to Sagamore Hill, home of Teddy Roosevelt, and shooting the photos on a trail down to a creek.

I decided to keep things simple and wear a black maxi dress, paired with that green sweater from the Loft (which was $10!), and my Troopa Boots. Yes, it's summer, but I didn't want to wear sandals for the photos, as we may use them for holiday cards. I'm so excited and can't wait to share the photos!

What do you wear for family photos? I have no clue what Weston will be wearing yet! 

Photo by Molly Leon Photography 

My paternal grandfather, David, in 1937-8, and Weston, in 2014
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have all of my grandparents around me. I was even luckier, because due to the rampant divorce rates in my family, I had extra grandparents, people whom loved me from before I was born, despite the fact that we don't share blood. On my mother's side, I was the 5th grandchild born, and the first baby of the baby of the family. My grandfather lived in Manhattan, so many of my early memories of him are of his big car driving up to my mother's house on Long Island; we had probably spent the whole day cleaning the house, and I have lovely memories of the sun shining through our opened dining room windows, lunch spread out on the table, and my sister tottering around. He had Parkinson's, and had trouble seeing as well, but he knew our voices and touch. We would sing and dance for him, or tell him what we were learning in school. It was hard to be physically close to him, but he adored us, and even as young children, we felt and knew it. Years went by, and we ended up seeing my mother's father every other weekend; our visits would coincide with visiting my father in Manhattan, as my mother and step father would come to pick us up, and we would all meet at my grandfather's apartment for dinner and then go home to Long Island. I loved going to my grandfather's apartment on the Upper East Side; we felt fancy. Celebrities lived in his building (okay, if we're counting Al Roker as a celeb?), and the doormen knew us by name. I always felt so grown up walking in, right to the elevator, and to the 19th floor.

As the years went on, my grandfather's health grew worse, and he could barely speak, but he held on strong. His shaking never bothered us, as we never knew him any other way. Even as a grumpy teen, I loved walking into his apartment, which always smelled like clean laundry, and yet like fried chicken. The last summer he was alive, my then-boyfriend was living and working in Manhattan, so I spent a lot of time hanging around the city. With nothing else to do on incredibly hot days, I would find myself on the subway uptown. I would walk into the cool apartment building and find myself pressing the button for the 19th floor. His nurse would answer the door, and I would drop my bag, and just go sit by his side. Like a confessional, I would just talk: about my worries, about my college classes, about life. I knew he was listening. After an hour or so, I would kiss his cheek, say goodbye and be on my way. Refreshed, and full of love and life. I always am so thankful for that last summer; I had never spent so much time alone with him, and I will be forever grateful for that.

He passed away right before Thanksgiving, my senior year of college. While I was sad, I knew it was his time to go. He was a Marine, a boxer, and a prosecutor, so he had certainly fought his battles! His funeral was small, and touching; I read an excerpt from Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey. It was respectful, quiet, and a family-oriented gathering, just the way he would have wanted it.

On the other side, I was the first grandchild to very young grandparents; my grandfather wasn't yet 50 when I was born, and while I know (from what I am told!) that he was excited, I am sure it was a shock! My Poppop was my buddy, and in many ways, my best friend. From an early age we were comrades, and jokesters. He knew exactly how to press my buttons and I knew exactly how to press his. We spent hours together. He became like a second father; we went to the grocery, Broadway shows, out to many dinners. When my parents got divorced, my father lived with his father, and therefore, we lived there too. There was never a more secure feeling than hearing my grandfather's footsteps on the basement stairs, coming up to the house, because I knew he was home for the night, and would be there for us. Poppop was the most devoted doctor I have ever met. His patients loved and adored him. Just the other day, my next door neighbor was chatting with us, and it came about that he saw my grandfather as his doctor; he was thrilled and delighted, for he exclaimed how much he loved Dr. D! Poppop was the life of the party, and a family man. Summers were spent at his house, splashing in the pool, hanging out with my aunts and uncles. It was the prime of life. He loved nothing more than having every single person he knew at his house, serving food, and complaining that the dishes weren't clean. He was my safe place, my rock. I adored him to bits.

Poppop passed away suddenly, most likely from heart failure, April of my senior year of high school. My world came crashing down. I didn't know what life was without him in it! I'm still in shock to this day. I think I push it out of my head and just pretend it's been a few weeks since I saw him.

When I look at my son, it truly amazes me how much of both my grandfathers I see in him. Sometimes I literally lose my breath thinking about nature, and genetics and how crazy it is that Weston has genetics from these two men whom I not only came from, but adored. Just like my mother's father, Weston puts his hands on his head, and looks perplexed; he can't stand to be wrong, and he's also a little...bossy (where does he get that from? Me?!). And like my father's father, he is the ultimate life of the party and adores being out and meeting people. Oh, and he's a little bit obsessed with the ladies too! He's also a prankster and jokester, which reminds me of my Poppop, who used to carry around his fake thumb so he would always have a magic trick on him. I know I'm stating the obvious here, but it still blows my mind: my grandfathers' legacies live on in my son. It's such a beautiful thought to me. While I mourn and miss my grandfathers every single day, I have a blessing of a son who continues their blood and traits. I'm so eager to see what else Weston gets from them, even without knowing them.

We've been listening to the Okee Dokee Brothers a lot in the car (they are awesome kid's music!), and there's one song which I play over and over again, "Roll On River." There's a line in the song which just resonates with me, "When I come to my final ocean, I know this thought will keep me warm: all the water in this whole world never dies, it just changes form." I couldn't have said it better myself.

I've been reading Chaunie's blog Tiny Blue Lines since before I even had a blog. I loved her honest, raw, and hilarious accounts of being a young mother. Before I ever thought about having kids, I loved her posts, and then when I was pregnant and had a baby, her writing became so important to me, as she covered the real life topics which many other mom writers steer clear from. When she announced she was writing a book I was thrilled for her, and lucky for me, she sent me a preview copy to read! Even though I had an infant at the time, I plowed through the book and loved it to pieces.

First of all, there is no other book on the market like Tiny Blue Lines. Chaunie addresses a group of young women who aren't normally considered when discussing pregnancy: college-age, college-educated young women who aren't "teen moms," but, have a life plan, goals, dreams, and just happen to be young and have gotten pregnant. I really respect that aspect of her writing: she doesn't beat around the bush, she wanted a family, just not at that moment. Tiny Blue Lines is the journey of a scared young woman, in college, as she finds out she is pregnant, and is determined to continue on with her life, albeit, wearing maternity clothes.

When discussing book reviews, you could not have chosen someone further from Chaunie's background to review this book, which is another reason I really enjoyed reading it: it opened my eyes! I'm a Jew-ish, Unitarian-ish, college educated woman from the Northeast who uber-planned my pregnancy. She was a college aged, Catholic woman who had an accidental pregnancy. However, Chaunie is warm, welcoming, and engaging in her writing. It doesn't matter how old or young you are: pregnancy can be scary and isolating, and Chaunie does her best to make all young women feel not-so-alone, normal, and loved.

Tiny Blue Lines is truly an inspiring book, full of life, love, and hilarity. I can honestly see this book as a life-changing tool for many young and scared pregnant women. She takes us through all her stories, from finding out she was pregnant, to deciding to finish school, to telling her parents, and more. These stories, and her tips for figuring it all out are invaluable to all women. Not only does Chaunie make the journey a little less bumpy (ha), but she also reminds us that pregnancy is a wonderful blessing, even if it isn't at the exact moment you thought it would be. It is en empowering book for women who want to both be a great mama and live out their own dreams (and live out her dreams, she did! Chaunie is now an accomplished writer, and preparing for her fourth baby!). Chaunie takes young women by the hand and says, "We can do this, together," as she helps them navigate pregnancy, childbirth, school, family, faith, and life. I highly recommend Tiny Blue Lines for any pregnant women, new mama, or anyone thinking about starting a family and also...continuing on with their own dreams.

Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book, but all opinions are mine!