Last year, after doing a bunch of fun stuff with our son that many people discouraged us from doing, I decided to start a series called “Take Your Baby” that debunks commonly held misconceptions about what activities parents shouldn't do and places parents shouldn’t go with their babies. I firmly believe that parents shouldn't feel forced to relinquish their interests and passions when have babies, because giving up parts of your identity can only lead to resentment. Instead, parents should try to find ways to introduce their baby to their world as much as possible.
My last article, Take Your Baby: European Dining, focused on Michelin-starred restaurants, afternoon tea in London and the Parisian Grand Tasting. This time, I want to talk about music festivals, like Coachella and Bottlerock Napa.
With many of these music festivals rescheduled for the fall, there is still time for parents with tickets to decide whether or not to take their little ones.
I've been obsessed with polenta lately. It takes just minutes to make and comes out so creamy and delicious. Plus, it's fun to experiment with sweet and savory toppings, like this breakfast version with parmesan, crispy bacon crumble and a fried egg.
For me, rice pudding has always been one of the most comforting foods. My mom used to make a huge pot of it growing up when our milk was on the verge of spoiling. Since we've been at home and the weather has been cold, I've been turning to more comforting dishes. That was my inspiration for this custardy oatmeal pudding that's creamy, perfectly sweet and has way more protein than regular oatmeal, making it a more filling option for breakfast than regular rice pudding or a bowl of oatmeal.
With cases of coronavirus on the rise in Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti issued a "safer at home" mandate this week that non-essential businesses will be closed, events cancelled and restaurants will switch to takeout and delivery only.
Many small businesses and event workers (wedding planners, photographers, etc.) are taking a huge hit financially from events being cancelled and postponed.
Here's how to support Los Angeles' local businesses:
As an extrovert who feels tortured being at home, the last couple of weeks have been almost unbearable emotionally and mentally. The things that normally fill my cup--being around my friends and family, going out to events or other activities with people and having a fulfilling, productive day at work--have all been taken away. When birthday parties, weddings and music festivals are cancelled, how can we find happiness? It's so hard to focus on the good when all that seems to be left right now is fear, anxiety, sickness and death. These are the things that are making me feel even a little happy right now in the midst of all the terribleness going on in the world.
It's been about two years that I've committed to curating a completely slow fashion wardrobe and I'm really proud of the progress I've made. This year alone, I only bought three new clothing items, two of them being non-maternity underwear from Kohl's and the other being pajamas for Griffin from Target because we took him there to pick out pajamas and new sheets to help with the transition into our new house.
Other than that, almost everything we've bought has been secondhand. From books and toys to furniture and clothes, these are the best websites I've found for secondhand shopping.
*that have nothing to do with saving money.
Growing up, there was a huge stigma in my family and culture about shopping at the thrift store and buying anything secondhand. If you didn't buy something new, it was because you couldn't afford it and people from my culture (and I'm sure others, as well) take great pride in demonstrating their financial prosperity.
When I went away to college in Santa Cruz, I was introduced to the "hippie" lifestyle and had a plethora of secondhand and vintage stores to choose from. At the time, I was not yet educated about the harms of the fashion industry to the environment and human lives--shopping at the thrift stores was just the cool thing to do and helped me fit in with my classmates.
Over the last decade, the detrimental impact of the fashion industry has become clearer, especially with documentaries like The True Cost and the rise of the slow fashion movement. As Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better." There really is no excuse nowadays to continue feeding the fast fashion machine and causing irrevocable damage to the earth and our fellow human beings. Here are the 7 reasons why I shop secondhand that have nothing to do with saving money.
Every January, millions of people vow to make weight loss, exercise or health a priority for the upcoming year. Gym membership rates soar, diet talk fills the break room. Until last year, I was one of those people who obsessed over my weight or what new diet I was on. My past New Year’s Resolutions usually involved some sort of weight loss goal.
Since discovered Intuitive Eating and the Health at Every Size movement (and the freedom and joy associated with it), I’ve been able to spend the time and energy previously devoted to losing weight on endeavors that truly fulfill me.
For 2019, my goals were to heal my relationship with food and my body, reduce my single-use plastic waste, find a weekly activity to do with my son, only buy clothing from conscious clothing brands or secondhand shops, apply to a master’s program, finish the Marketing Certification on HubSpot Academy and start planning a trip to Machu Picchu. I was able to accomplish all but two of those items plus we added another member to our family and bought a house (one of my 40 Before 40 Goals).
To celebrate this amazing year, I wanted to share 10 of my favorite non-weight loss related New Year’s Resolutions. They’re all SMART goals, meaning they’re Specific, Actionable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. Most resolutions fail because they are too vague, too overwhelming or too impersonal. When you set a goal to, for example, plan your dream trip, make sure you decide beforehand what your dream trip is. You should have also saved up enough funds to be able to start booking a flight and hotel rooms. If this isn’t attainable just yet, pick a different resolution!
Hopefully this list will inspire you appreciate your body for all it enables you to do rather than trying to change it.
Lessons I learned from labor and delivery the second time around: Women are warriors. Our intuition is magic. If we can learn to listen and trust ourselves, incredible things can happen.
People say that every pregnancy, labor and delivery is different and I wasn’t sure I believed them until I experienced it myself. With my first, I only had nausea and food aversions from weeks 7 to 9, an easy, breezy pregnancy overall and a long 30-hour labor that started spontaneously at 39 weeks and 3 days. With my second, I had nausea until 15 weeks, was in so much pain with symphysis pubis dysfunction (a common condition in subsequent pregnancies) that I had to go to a prenatal chiropractor twice a week starting at 20 weeks and physical therapy, and I made it to 40 weeks and 5 days gestation with no baby.
On Wednesday, December 4 at 9:30 a.m. (at 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant), I went to my weekly check up with my midwife. When my nurse took my blood pressure, like she does at every appointment, she discovered that it was high (146/102) and it wouldn’t go down even after rest. My nurse pointed out that my belly was very low, that the high blood pressure meant that my body was reaching the end of being able to carry the baby and that I would probably be delivering today. After that, I saw my midwife and we decided that she would do a cervical exam and, if I was dilated at all, she would perform a membrane sweep. When she did the cervical exam, she discovered I was already 3 cm dilated so she did the sweep to help move things along. At that point, it was 10:30 a.m. She said that cramping and bleeding is normal and, if my body and baby are ready, that labor would start within 48 hours. She also wanted me to go to the labor and delivery ward at the hospital to monitor my blood pressure in case I needed to be induced for preeclampsia.
I left the office, called my husband to come home from work and headed home to finish packing my hospital bag. Today was finally the day!
My first of three miscarriages was in January 2017 after an unexpected positive pregnancy test. We hadn't been trying to get pregnant but we also hadn't been preventing since coming home from our honeymoon in October 2016. I didn't even think or know I was ready to have a baby until the positive test was staring back at me. And in that short week, between finding out that I might be a mom to miscarrying, my life had already changed--I had already dreamed a lifetime of dreams and hoped a lifetime of hopes, all of which came crashing down.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I wrote the following list of reasons why I didn't want a baby yet (based on preconceived notions of what I thought motherhood would be like). I was scared that becoming a parent meant leaving everything I loved about my pre-baby days behind. Since our first baby joined us, I’ve discovered that it's a lot easier--and way more fun--than I had expected to introduce him to the activities we enjoyed together before he came along or having grandparents babysit him for us to go out and do things that he can’t do yet.
Before I share my misconceptions of motherhood (and my present-day rebuttals to pre-baby me), I want to preface the list to say that I am completely aware of my privilege and I know that many of these things would not be possible if I did not live close to family and did not have their support and a very hands-on partner in my husband. On the other hand, I'm a firm believer that we can design the exact life we want for ourselves through commitment, hard work and planning.