Thredup Review

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When we were preparing for baby (almost 3 years ago now!), my husband had read an article on a family that saved a ton of money by buying second hand clothes and lots of baby clothes from Craigslist. I was of the mind that it was not sanitary enough for a baby and kept her (in reader suggested) onesies for most of her infant life. She wasn’t crawling or walking and I wore her most of the time so I really didn’t need any cute frilly dresses or outfits at that stage. I am glad I didn’t give into temptation and just kept her wardrobe to the very, very basics.  As she got older, more active and started growing out of clothes at an alarming rate, I needed to think of a more budget friendly solution without sacrificing style. Read More

CLUTTER CONTROL | A SIMPLE TODDLER PLAY AREA

Clutter Control a Simple Toddler Play Area

Thank you Brooklyn Limestone readers for your visit today!

I am a minimalist, I always have been, I hope that I always will be. I like lots of open space, I like things orderly, I like white. Those former sentiments are not in line with having a baby/toddler. A baby adds a host of items that you never even would have dreamed you would own, and when they get to the toddler stage, it seems most of those items can usually be found tossed haphazardly across the room in a gust of chaos. Before E. was born we had been living in the country in a large house on 4 acres, we traded that in so we could indulge in the little things like being able to walk to the grocery store and non-well water showers, that move has also compromised our space. We have a much tinier living space now and I was at an impasse as to how to create an area for our daughter to play in that would seamlessly flow with our living area, I didn’t want to do anything permanent as we are renting. I looked into baby gates, all of which were pretty hideous. I then got the idea of using a couple of Ikea Kallax shelves on their sides to create a little play area, the shelves created an open ‘division’ and doubled as much needed toy storage with the added baskets on the bottom of the units. The upper shelves we rotate out toys, putting her current faves out for easy access. If in the evening I feel the desire to have an adult space to relax in, I can easily put all the toys in the storage baskets below (but truthfully I miss her when she goes to bed, so I love to see what she has left out for the day). The storage baskets which initially I thought were just a good idea, have become one of her favorite ‘toys’, it seems kids love to open and close drawers, put things in and take them out, and do it all over again. E. can spend hours just rearranging her toys in the different baskets, good times.Read More

PETIT PIPPIN

petit pippin collection

liam by petit pippin

I always have so much to be grateful for on a daily basis. When I was pregnant last year and near death, one of the only things that kept my spirits up was writing down my lists of gratitude. I couldn’t do it every day as there were days I could not even keep my head up, but just writing everything I could down and being able to go over it made me feel so much better and luckier than if I didn’t.  I unfortunately have not kept up the practice, but plan to start again today, any day is a good day to start, but of course this day our Thanksgiving is very apropos. I am always thankful for your visits and this community. I have met so many amazing, kind, warm and wildly creative people by having this space on the interwebs, one of them is Ez Pudewa. I have been a fan since day one of discovering her blog(she’s had a few under the Creature Comforts label), her writing was so honest and moving. With each new step in her life I was able to see her progression from a place that was less than ideal to a place filled with light + love, her daughter always being a driving force and motivation. I got the pleasure to meet Ez and her daughter Kaia in February of last year, it was on the heels of my deciding to finally give up trying to get pregnant (after years of disappointment), I was wistful that I would never be able to experience what was obviously an extremely close and loving mother/daughter bond that they shared. I don’t know if Ez & Kaia had sprinkled magical fairy dust on me that day but when I came home from my trip I found out that I was pregnant!  Grateful, yes indeed.

Ez & her daughter Kaia are continuing to spread fairy dust in their newest endeavor-Petit Pippin.  They of course explain it best:

“Petit Pippin is a reflection of our passion for beautifully crafted goods and our belief in embracing the everyday moments of childhood. The messy and the fun, the scraped knees and wind-tousled hair, whispered stories and boisterous laughter…every moment is precious and we love it all!”

Their collection of soft toys and art prints have already sold out twice since launching a few short weeks ago (upon this writing). I knew there would be a huge demand for their offerings, how could there not be? E. was gifted both an heirloom quality bear (Isabelle) and an art print (Firefly wishes) for her birthday and as unbelievable as this may seem (since Ez’s photographs and styling are aces) the products are a million times better in person! Every detail is attended to from the receipt of your Petit Pippin parcel, they are lovingly wrapped, almost too pretty to open, the art print is signed by the artist and looks as though it was a watercolor original, it is that good a quality of print. Isabelle the bear was an instant hit. E. hadn’t taken to any of her other soft toys, even though I have tried relentlessly to get her to, but the minute Isabelle was removed from the box, E.’s little fingers wrapped around Isabelle’s sinewy arms and she spent hours examining and taking in all her details. To be honest with you I hadn’t planned on actually allowing her to play with Isabelle, but I could not deny her and it looks as if their friendship will be a long and lasting one.

I am hoping that the future holds a series of books for Petit Pippin (E. as I know they would be filled with magic). I am really looking forward to following Ez and Kaia’s journey and celebrating their inevitable huge success.  I hope that years from now our kids will remember their Petit Pippin filled childhood memories and that they pass on their Petit Pippin friends to their own children, but for now this Tom Robbin’s quote keeps playing in my head-

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”. Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

I think Petit Pippin is for everyone that wants to capture and hold onto a little childhood magic. May your day be filled to the brim with magic, joy and reasons to be grateful. I know I am so thankful for you!

P.S. Of course all the soft toys are sold out (why would they not be? They are so flippin’ delightful!) you can still get the art prints, use the coupon code besotted10 to get 10% off until November 28, 2014! Happy Thanksgiving my US friends and the happiest of Thursday’s to everyone else!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

A Year | A milestone

 

pooh quote besotted blog photo by michelle p.

My daughter E. turned one on 11-12. One?!  How did that happen? I am not exaggerating when I say it feels like I gave birth to her a week ago. Being a mom has been infinitely more challenging than I could have ever imagined. I have doubted my skills pretty much every second for the past 365 days.  I cried like I never cried prior the day we checked out of the hospital fearing that I would not know what I was doing (I didn’t), but the nurse comforted me by saying, ‘It’s the mom’s that cry when they are leaving that I know will be good mother’s.’  I am sure she says the opposite to those that don’t cry but it comforted me and it got me out of the hospital and here I am a year later.

I was hoping that I could do a sort of recap of my year, but it’s been kind of a blur, my once elephant like memory seems to have evaporated. Highlights though I may be able to do–hearing her call my name for the first time was pretty much like winning the Lotto, she calls me ‘mom or mum’ depending on how she’s enunciating that day. Yes, I think it’s weird too that she doesn’t call me ‘mama’, but she calls her dad ‘bah’, so I’ll take mom/mum. She isn’t walking yet, but she does have a wagon that she pushes around like a pro, sometimes our 5 lb pup George will even join her for a jaunt around the living room. She just started dancing and I think my heart will explode from the cuteness of that.  E. spends most of her waking hours trying to make everyone laugh, if I didn’t witness it myself I would say that it was hogwash, but if she does something once that will illicit a laugh she will file it in her arsenal to bring out at a later date. She has the best belly laugh ever. I have learned so much about being a mom and about myself this year. I have been pushed to my limits both physically and mentally (sleep deprivation is serious business), but at the end of the day when all she wants is to cuddle and have me hold her one last time before going to bed I feel complete. Motherhood is definitely not for everyone, if someone would have laid out everything for me, I may have opted out, it is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I foolishly (and maybe arrogantly) assumed I would be good at it, but there is so much more to it that I could have never fathomed. Both my husband and I were woefully unprepared with how much love we would have for her, it almost hurts it’s so overwhelmingly huge. It has made me re-evaluate everything in my life, my relationships, especially with my parents. I have so much more empathy for them, but I also have been secretly a little judgmental, I can’t help it. I feel inadequate a lot of the time and also selfish (I’m older and we have very little family), but around E. I try to just be present, she’s my little Buddha, I find myself uncharacteristically savoring the moment.

For her first birthday she gave my husband and I a most appreciated and unforgettable gift–she slept through the night!  After nearly 12 months of fragmented sleep, a 12 hour stretch was the most unexpected, appreciated and thoughtful gift I have ever received (besides my 5 lb. pup George). Thank you all for your support and kind words during this turbulent (and exciting) time in my life, your visits here, your kind notes, bon mots, and wisdom helped me in ways I can not find words to express. I am humbled by all the mom’s that have come before me. I have the utmost gratitude for everyone that has visited this last year, I needed you more than you could have ever known as I transitioned into this new identity.  It wasn’t seamless, I faltered, stopped and started but thank you for sticking with me (and now us),  Michelle and I can not wait to move forward with some grand plans and I am finally feeling a little more confident in my role as mom/mum, (but I am still open to advice/feedback). We both hope that this next chapter will be as exciting as we have imagined in our heads (one never knows) and that you find us worthy to continue following our adventures as we plan to continue to take you along with us!

photo by michelle p.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Conquering tummy time

conquering tummy time besotted blog

Becoming a mother has not been the smoothest transition for me. uh-uh. I have all the love, affection and basic needs down (besides sleep, but I’ll write about that when I get some), but there’s so much more that I was never expecting or ever knew existed that I have been slowly slogging (is that even a word?) through. Not until the day I was to leave the hospital with my bundle of joy did the words ‘tummy time’ ever mean anything to me, nor did I know the concept, but in the weeks and months to follow I would become intimately familiar with it and learn to dread it with all my heart. So would my daughter. For those of you not ‘in the know’, tummy time is when you put your baby on their tummy to help them strengthen the muscles in their neck and back (via them lifting their tiny noggins, or large noggins, baby head to body ratio…).  Whenever I would try, my normally happy daughter would go ballistic.  I would stop tummy time and then spend hours and days, okay months worrying that she would never hit her milestones like rolling over, or worse having a neck that was too weak to hold up her head.  Then my childhood best friend who is as granola as they get sent me a text that read, ‘have you heard of Magda Gerber?’. I answered, ‘like the baby food?’ and she said ‘No. Look up RIE.’ So, I did.  I read and read and read some more and you know what?  I liked what I discovered, mainly because the philosophy did not include the dreaded tummy time.

I have been utilizing many of their tenets since E. was 3 months, allowing her to naturally find her way and I am happy to share that as soon as I stopped trying to put her on her tummy she started to try on her own to get there and now spends a great deal of time there without a fuss!  She’s become very coordinated (well, as coordinated as a seventh month old can be), she had even developed enough strength in her arms by 5 months that she could scoot herself around on her belly across the room! At six months she was basically crawling. I did not see that coming at all and really expected to have many months before I had to worry about mobility!

I am not following any one philosophy on baby/child rearing, instead I am truly learning as I go (and hoping all the while that I don’t do anything that messes her up for life, I think I am doing pretty good so far). I do like a lot of the RIE tenets (and if you are interested I can get into more detail) and maybe answer some of the ridiculous misconceptions about it.  Like I said, I don’t follow anything rigidly/verbatim (I still do a  ton of baby wearing), as my granola friend said when she mentioned it, ‘use whatever resonates with you.’ A lot of it seemed very common sense based. I am just happy to have found a happy alternative to putting E. on her belly and not have her screech so loud the windows threatened to burst.  When I mentioned this problem on Instagram a lovely mom chimed in, “my children didn’t like tummy time either, never did it and I am happy to report as adults they can hold their heads up just fine thank you.”

Additional resources:

Janet Lansbury

Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident Resourceful Child the RIE Way

A good post that discusses her RIE experience  (heads up the mother is very granola so if that’s not your thing you have been warned…)

How about you?  Have you ever heard of Magda Gerber/RIE before? Do you have questions about it?  Did you find another successful way to conquer tummy time? Did you eschew it as well? I am always interested to hear what other moms that have come before me have done, since there is no longer a ‘village’ to raise your children, the internet will have to do;)