My last big Weston post was when he was three months old (!!), and so much has changed since then. I wish new parents could see into the future and know that the baby will grow, will mature, and will become...well, more human. Those first three months are killer, man! But, we got through those, and the next three, and now my little man is eight months old. That's four months until one! Holy moly.

Weston, simply put, is the nicest person I know. He's funny, charming, sweet, and happy. Yes, it is hard to be a full time working mom (and blogger!), and keep a household clean, fed, and happy...but watching him learn and grow is all worth it.

Some new things:

  • We changed bottles to the Evenflo glass ones, and he can actually hold these on his own! That was a life changing moment for me. Now, I can cook dinner, and he lies down and will drink a bottle and watch Sesame Street, listen to music, or "chat" with me. Often, he plays with his toys and drinks slowly at the same time.
  • Speaking of toys, his favorites are this amazingly fun piano, crinkle monkey (whom we call Munkle), crinkle book, his soft blocks, his own remote control (though, he still steals the real ones any chance he gets), and his Green Sprouts stacking cups (he loves to pretend to drink!).
  • He is most certainly an outdoor kid; even in the coldest winter months, he was happy to be outside and look around. 
  • He loves being upside down and thrown in the air! 
  • Mirrors. The kid loves to look at himself. All day, every day. 
  • We invested in this travel crib, and use it as a playpen. I love that it has mesh sides, so he can see us and we can see him! 

He's just the friendliest kid, and no matter what we're doing, he is so happy to take in the scene and enjoy the moment. 

This warm weather has been so much fun for us both and I cannot wait until Summertime. This kid is going to love, love, love swimming (by the by, baby boys' swimming trunks: way too cute), and the beach. Anyone have any suggestions for fun outdoor toys? Let me know!   

Driving sans bambino!
As a new mom, and a working mom, as well, I have very little time no time to myself. The only time I have to myself is twice a day: the car ride after I drop Weston at my mom's, and the car ride after school to pick him up. Therefore, I never take this time for granted, and always make the most of it. How do I make the most of my precious commute? By listening to Podcasts! There have been some Podcasts I've been listening to lately which I absolutely love; I've obviously been a fan of Podcasts about parenting, but, because I have no time to read anymore (and we know how much I used to read!), by keeping up with my Podcasts, I feel like my brain is still growing and learning. These are some of my favorite ones to listen to; I rotate through them, depending on topic, time, etc.

The Longest Shortest Time: I don't remember how I came across TLST, but I'm not exaggerating when I say that it saved my heart many a nights. The whole premise behind Hillary Frank's amazing Podcast is that it is for new parents, up at not feel so alone! And, it worked. I used to rock Weston, while I had headphones in, listening to show after show, and felt like I had a friend who understood what I was going through. I am a huge fan of Ms. Frank and feel like she is single handedly changing the rules and regulations about what new parents are "allowed" to discuss. Any parent, or soon-to-be-parent should most definitely tune in to TLST!

Parenting Unplugged Radio: If you need a good laugh, or need a fast-paced, witty, and yet, educational Podcast, I highly recommend tuning in to Todd and Laura Mansfield's conversations about raising children, marriage, and life. I love the banter, the raw, gritty discussions, and the topics which totally make you think! Sometimes it is a little out there, but there is always a lesson to be learned, an interesting interview to ponder, or some great questions to bring back to your home.

Stuff Mom Never Told You: You know those girls in school who were super friendly and seemed to know everything about everything? That is Caroline and Cristen. They cover amazingly interesting topics, and they cover every single detail! It's like a history-sociology-best friend lesson in one. I love the topics they discuss, and I always learn something new without even realizing it. They're fun, quick, and witty to listen to.

The Paleo View: As a paleo-lover, I am a big fan of Stacy and Sarah's discussions about life, parenthood, marriage, working parenthood, and...yes, cooking. Not every single topic is about leading a paleo lifestyle, but I love how they interject a paleo lifestyle into their topics. They're friendly, fun to listen to, and educational without being preachy!

Other Podcasts I Love:

On the foot-tails of Jenny's post on why she hates the wedding industry yesterday, we had yet another adventure into the wedding world today. See, my lovely friend Melissa is getting married, and I am honored to be standing up as her bridesmaid at her wedding. Melissa chose Amsale dresses for the ladies, so today, Weston, Jenny and I took a ride to the Wedding Salon of Manhasset (almost an hour drive for me!) to try some dresses and see which one looked best on me. Let's back up here: last week, after checking the Amsale website, I called the bridesmaid division of the Wedding Salon of Manhasset and made an appointment to come try dresses. Bridesmaid department, as per the Amsale website, clearly is at 1468 Northern Boulevard, right? So, we show up there, take the baby out of the car, into the stroller, up in the elevator, and we end up in this gorgeous bridal salon.

Now, here is the funny part: they do not know why we are there. For all we know, we could be a bride coming to look for a wedding gown! Yes, I have a ring on it, but Ms. Jenny doesn't. Also, we were dressed nicely, we showed up on time. And yet, no one came to help us. Finally a woman came over, I told her why I was there and she's all: you're in the wrong spot. I explained, nicely, that their website said this was the location of the bridesmaid dresses, and she went into some fable about how they are moving stores, and eventually all of the dresses will be at once place...and I explained again how their website clearly was wrong. So, she wrote down on a piece of paper the new address: 1681 Northern Boulevard.

So, we do the whole routine in rewind, Weston is being a total trooper, and we end up at this shopping center. It says 1681, however, there's a Pure Barre store there, no sign of anything bridal...we loop around. I get out with the stroller and babe, Jenny parks, and she goes into Pure Barre to see what is up! The very nice girl in there says how they get that question of, "um, bridal salon?" all the time...because uh, the other bridal salon keeps telling people to go to 1681, when it is clearly, clearly not a bridal salon? Yeah, that's it. She tells us to go up the stairs to find the bridal salon. Mind you, the bridal salon, which ended up being upstairs, isn't even OVER 1681. Where they got that address from is totally beyond me.

We couldn't obviously go all the way up with the stroller, so we wheel all the way around, go up two big steps and into...what looked like someone's walk in closet. The woman at the desk looked so happy to see us extremely annoyed to be disturbed. I told her why I was there, nicely, and she barked at me, "What company?" "Amsale." "OVER THERE!" There was gesticulation and a head turn away. I knew what style I wanted to see, Jenny and I started through the dresses. She asked who my bride was and I said she wasn't getting her dress there. Then, she actually did offer to get the dresses for us, because you know, it is her job to know where they are...I went back into the dressing room, but was hesitant to take my shoes off due to the copious amount of staples and open safety pins on the floor. I tried the dresses on, and came out, Jenny asked her for clips to hold the dress up.

As the lady put the clips on me, she started barking angrily at everyone in the room, which mind you, included an extremely well behaved 7.5 month old (and us, that was all...). "Who sent you here!?" she angrily exclaimed. "Was it Bella Bridal?! They have been sending brides here all week!" I explained, calmly, that "my bride" wasn't from here, and I was just instructed to try on a dress. I had no clue (I really don't!) where she is getting her dress from. She kept going about wanting to know who "sent us," and finished with a very loud, "I will find out! I will! I will call Amsale myself!" Um, ok? I changed out of my dress and we got out of there as fast as possible.

So, why am I telling you all of this? For one thing, when I have a bad experience someplace, I want to warn people! I cannot for the life of me understand how in this day and age, when anyone can go Yelp, Blog, Tweet, etc. their experience why a customer service person, in the bridal industry, nonetheless, would be so rude. We were not rude once. Not once! We came in friendly, grateful, and ready to go. It isn't our fault that Bella Bridal was sending people there, so guess what, don't take it out on us! Because you know what? Jenny knows a lot of brides, as do I, and we sure as anything won't be sending our brides to the Wedding Salon of Manhasset. Their behavior was uncalled for, and left a really bad taste in our mouth. And lastly, don't you dare act any which way you please to me and my sister, and then try to be all friendly to the baby--it's not appreciated. Wedding Salon of Manhasset, get off your high horse: you are a wedding salon on Long Island. It's a big, big world. Readjust your attitude, because I can tell you: a smile goes a long, long way. I am sure that there are nice people who work there, but unfortunately we didn't encounter any of them today, and we didn't receive any apology or understanding that their addresses on the Amsale website are not correct. In an industry based on one special happy day, the wedding industry sure knows how to make every day leading up to it pretty miserable, eh?

What's your bad experience in the wedding industry complex? Do share! 

For a person that is not engaged I spend a lot of time at weddings, after all my job is to marry people. Most of the time I get to float around the fringes of the wedding industrial complex. I don't have to deal with rude venue concierges, florists, wedding planners- I get to meet a great couple at the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge and walk with them to the center where we promptly get them married. When I DO see and meet other wedding vendors it's usually at events like Toasted BK, where exactly ALL of the vendors were smiling, happy and friendlier than you can even imagine. So when I come up against the traditional wedding venue, older vendor set and they are unsmiling, grumpy and rude- I am shocked and appalled. For a number of reasons. Today I ventured to a number of venues to drop off business cards and make introductions. I then got a call from a man who runs wedding expos. And I capped it off with a trip to the Bridal Salon to try on dresses for Melanie's wedding. A lot of wedding related stuff for a non-engaged person.

  • I am a future bride, as far as they know I am a current bride. So when I walk into a venue or a bridal salon LOOK UP. SAY HELLO. IN SOME WAY RECOGNIZE I AM A HUMAN. WITH A CREDIT CARD. I went into two places today where the women were on the phone when I walked in- that is beyond okay- what's NOT okay is not even smiling in my direction. Put up one finger to show me you see me there. Give me the "go shop" hand wave. Literally anything. Instead both women acted like they didn't see me. In a third place the man was with a customer and flat out ignored me. I thought I had entered the wrong way and was interrupting. Well done, you made a potential client feel foolish and embarrassed. Might I add all this happened before any of them knew that I am not a bride and was not about to drop anywhere between two and twenty thousand dollars at their business. I told the woman at Crest Hollow Country Club (so lovely, her and the space) that all the difficult people were making it really, really easy for me to edit out places for when I am compiling my own lists. Thanks, haters!
  • Planning a wedding is really stressful. I know from every angle. Know what doesn't help stress? Dealing with miserable people. Will it alleviate all your agita to deal with happy, smiling vendors? No- but it will make the whole planning process a little nicer, a little brighter. Listen, I know we vendors do this all the time- bride's anxieties can seem silly and dull to us. I get it, I am one of you [vendors]. But hopefully this is the bride or grooms only wedding. So would it hurt you to smile and act like you're actually excited for them? Who cares if you don't know them or they don't hire you? They're excited, it doesn't cost you anything to share in that. 

  • Crest Hollow looked so cozy and warm on this yucky rainy day!

So I just finished my third Whole 30, I say that because I decided it was over at exactly 9:30 PM this evening. I celebrated with a bowl of cereal. Because I love cereal. Love, love, love it. And I missed it for a long time when I wasn't eating milk and also couldn't locate a carrageenan free milk alternative (three cheers for Silk PureAlmond Original No Sugar Added!). So I celebrated with a bowl of cocoa puffs because it's all we had.

This Whole 30 was by far my most difficult- for two reasons: 1, I had a lot of events and times where I had to plan and pack. 2, The more Whole 30s I do the more I find out I cannot tolerate and the more obsessed/needy I get over the few non-compliant foods I CAN tolerate (bread and non-sugary cereal).

During this Whole 30- between March 17 and April 14 I remained compliant during:

  • My cousins sweet sixteen at my Italian family's favorite Italian restaurant. While everyone else was eating delicious pasta and chicken parmesan I had a salad and calamari cooked in tomato sauce (could be worse! Also, most of the normal food options were drenched in delicious looking cheese which I can never eat anyway). 
  • 2 days of a television shoot where they had tons of soda, pasta, Chinese food and every snack you could ever imagine. I pre-packed tostones with chicken and avocado and tomato on top and ended up meeting my dad at a steak house for one of the meals. What I ate was delicious and compliant- but it's so hard to see snacks you love FOR FREE and unable to participate.
  • Dinner and drinks out with friends. I ate olives and was happy to be the designated driver. But really did wish I could have a sip of Andrey's hard cider.
  • Multiple weddings scheduled right around meal times. I had to pack food for the train in order to get my compliant meal in. 
  • Buying Andrey a white chocolate matcha matsu bar from David's tea. And then Andrey insisting he not eat it until we can both try it. So it's been staring at me for weeks. 
  • Spent all day on day 29 at a wedding expo, Toasted BK. Pre packed steak, zucchini and plantains. Ate that while Andrey had cakes, burgers, pulled pork, etc. None of that bothered me until the wonderful women who ran the show brought around Cava AND hard Cider. And I couldn't have either. And I have literally never, ever wanted a drink more in my life. But I resisted. Because, Whole 30. 
All that is to say it was a real challenge at times. On top of all of this it became clear during this Whole 30 that I am allergic to grapes. Which is really terrible because I love grapes more than most things.. like Andrey. No.. just kidding, love Andrey more than grapes. But it IS close. 

Am I glad I did it? Heck yes! After eating like a true maniac in London (everything! Including lots and lots of stuff I am allergic to.) I was so pleased to feel like I was making really good, conscious food decisions. It's good to be challenged- even if that means you cry on the way home form Manhattan one night to your boyfriend about how badly you just want to eat cereal because you are so tired, and so hungry and have to be back in the city in 8 hours and you don't know what you'll eat for dinner when you get home. It was worth it, I feel healthy, I feel like I'm burning clean. And most of all, I feel like I really, really enjoyed that bowl of cocoa puffs.

One of the things people constantly say to Eric and I is, "Wow, Weston looks like an adult!" It's funny me, he never really seemed "baby-like." From three months on I put sneakers on him, he's always worn blue-jeans, and we, well, dress him like a grown up man! I never thought I'd have so much fun dressing a little guy, but I have to admit: it's more fun than I ever thought, and I take much more pleasure and joy in planning his seasonal wardrobe than in planning my own! Weston is growing like a weed, and has super long legs, so summertime was a little tricky to plan for--do I buy swim shorts in 6-9 months or 12-18? In June, when we swim he will be 9 months old, but wearing probably 9-12 month (he's in 6-9/9-12 now!). BUT, in August when we swim, he'll be a year old! Needless to say, since the swim shorts were on sale (I only buy Baby Gap on sale!), I bought them in two sizes. Unlike with baby girls, I can't put my little man in short-shorts, so I have to be aware of the length and size of his shorts. As for shirts and onesies, I always go to old faithful: H&M. These are soft, cotton, and totally adorable. The shorts are from Baby Gap and Old Navy. The shoes are Old Navy, and the cap is H&M (and um, insanely cute on him, see: below). I'm planning on spending lots and lots of time outside with him this summer, so I wanted to get easy to wash and wear, and easy to pack clothing. I'll probably keep a bag for the beach/pool in the car at all times!

PS. I can't say enough good things about the H&M baby clothing. It's so, so soft, washes so well, and is incredibly well priced.

PPS. Other clothing he wears!

Do you ever have those days when you wonder why your wallet is so heavy, and then you open it up, and fifty-seven unused gift cards fall out? You look at them and think, "I will never use this one!" Or, maybe you're gearing up for a new shopping spree, but don't have a ton of cash-money to spend on yourself?

We're so excited to be part of a new campaign with's Well, only the solution to these problems! Simply put, "Raise is an awesome new marketplace to buy and sell gift cards on the web! With the extra money you can save on discount gift cards to your favorite brands, you can spend more on the things you love." Raise is simple to use (just upload your unused gift cards, chose the selling price, and when someone buys the card, you send it...and you make money!). Shopping instead? Browse their marketplace for discounted gift cards to your favorite places

Their new campaign focuses on the idea of indulgence! With that extra money you have from saving on gift cards, or selling your gift cards, you can spend a little more on making your life...more lovely. Who knows more about indulging yourself than a new momma? So, today I'm sharing with you my little indulgences. Where do I spend the money that I save by buying and selling gift cards? 

It's funny, when I sat down to write this piece I went through my recent purchases in my head and it turns out...there's a pattern to them! I have certain indulgences, just for me, that I tend to always spend money on. I don't really deviate from this list! (and by the way: the best two free indulgences? Sleep and showers!) 

1. Sometimes after I drop my son in the morning, if the time, traffic, and day is right, I turn on that right blinker, veer my car over, park on the street and head to Starbucks for a large, large coffee. Black. Now, I get coffee at school everyday, free...but, there's something amazing about being part of the world, standing in line, and sipping my coffee (while listening to NPR), while driving to school! This simple little $2.44 indulgence makes me feel human again!

2. H&M shoes. Flats, in particular. I have a problem with them!  I have two pairs in black, a pair in brown, a pair in beige, and I just bought the nautical ones (above--wore and love them!). They're a small indulgence ($12.95 a pair, and they're often on sale!) but they are practical and cute--I just can't pass up on them! They make me feel pulled together, in style, and able to carry around a 7 month old! 

3. Almond Butter! Yes, I know...boring! But! This almond butter is my favorite and is $12 a jar! I have a spoon of it every night after putting Weston to bed, and it's like my little meditative moment of the day. 

These three indulgences may seem small, but make me feel And, as we know, there's little time for momma when there's jobs to go to, houses to clean, dishes to do, bottles to wash, and a baby to giggle with. 

So, Raise a glass and share: what are the small indulgences which make you happy? 

I won't get into my relationship with my sister because I'm going for a run later and I don't want to be all snotty. But suffice it to say she is my best friend, my mom idol and my favorite working partner. Today she is 29 and I could not be more proud of the amazing working mama she's become. In honor of her birthday here are her three most popular posts.. shockingly they're about three things: being a mama, clean eating (Whole30) and reading.