I’m three!

Lincoln had a big birthday a few weeks ago- three years old!
It’s hard to believe my “baby” is already 3.

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I have clearly done a terrible job of sharing any recent photos/stories…
I blame pregnancy :)

But, here are some pictures from the last few months.
(And soon, I will have pictures to share of baby #2!)

Going all the way back to Easter...

Going all the way back to Easter…

He was pretty excited to see Snoopy, the Easter Beagle

He was pretty excited to see Snoopy, the Easter Beagle

Another weekend, we took a tour of a local farm... where I fell in love with these baby pigs...

Another weekend, we took a tour of a local farm… where I fell in love with these baby pigs…

They were SO cute.

They were SO cute.

We visited a fire station, which Lincoln LOVED.

We visited a fire station, which Lincoln LOVED.

A random day, cooking with me at home...

A random day, cooking with me at home…

From the big birthday celebration!

From the big birthday celebration!

Lincoln and his cousins on a train ride at the party

Lincoln and his cousins on a train ride at the party

We also went to a Dodgers game and had amazing seats in a box... I loved how Lincoln just dove right in and helped himself to some snacks :)

We also went to a Dodgers game and had amazing seats in a box… I loved how Lincoln just dove right in and helped himself to some snacks :)

Watching the action...

Watching the pregame action…

Lincoln & Dad :)

Lincoln & Dad :)

Aloha!

I know it’s been awhile, but I wanted to share a few pictures from our recent trip to Hawaii!  We stayed at the beautiful Aulani hotel on Oahu. It was a short trip, but definitely a great little vacation.

Lincoln decked out in his Hawaiian shirt hanging out in Waikiki...

Lincoln decked out in his Hawaiian shirt hanging out in Waikiki…

The lovely view from our hotel room...

The lovely view from our hotel room…

Lincoln & Dad underneath a banyan tree...

Lincoln & Dad underneath a banyan tree…

The beach outside of our hotel...

The beach outside of our hotel…

Lincoln in his "cool shades"

Lincoln in his “cool shades”

Enjoying some shave ice on the north shore...

Enjoying some shave ice on the north shore…

Rhythm of our days…

Oh my… is it really the last week of January already?  I hope winter is going by as fast for all of you actually experiencing a “real” winter.

I realize I haven’t posted in ages.  I guess the whirlwind of the holidays and then recovering from the holidays left little time for blogging; but, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas.

With the new year here and Lincoln getting a bit older (he’ll be 3 in May, what?!?), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about rhythm in our home life. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been quite interested in the Waldorf education philosophy, and creating a predictable rhythm is a big focus.  Simplicity Parenting also definitely touches on it.

I’m not talking about a set schedule per se- certainly anyone with a toddler can attest to the fact that maintaining tight schedules becomes quite difficult.  But, more of a gentle flow that helps a child know what to expect throughout the day (mealtimes, play time, bed time, etc.).

Currently, we have pretty good daily habits, but I’d like to work on creating more seasonal and yearly rhythm too.  This can be accomplished through focusing on seasonal changes and special holiday and festival celebrations.  Obviously, we all know the traditional holidays (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc.), but delving into Waldorf, I’ve begun to discover all sorts of additional cultural festivals throughout the year- as well as ways to make those season changes (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, etc.) more special.

I have grand plans to start incorporating these events into our year- we will see how that all pans out ;) I will keep you posted.
First up is Valentine’s Day, so I am working on a few, small things we can do to make that day special at our home.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few family pictures we took just before the holidays.  The session was a lot of fun.  We were in the arts district in downtown LA and had an amazing photographer (Britney Moore Photography, for anyone local to LA… she was fantastic!)

Happy New Year everyone!

PS- Any tips on special things you do to celebrate throughout the year, please feel free to share :)

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Simplicity Parenting

I am by no means a parenting expert, but I may be an expert on parenting books simply based on the massive amount of reading I have done since Lincoln was born.  I have a nightstand overflowing with various books about early childhood education, respectful parenting and creative activities to do with children.

currently on my nightstand...

currently on my nightstand…

Anyway, one book that I just finished and thought was really great is called, “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne.  It had so much great, useable advice to “raise calmer, happier and more secure kids.”

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The book covers ways to simplify your child’s environment, create a predictable rhythm, maintain (somewhat) predictable schedules and filter out the adult world. I like that the author offers a lot of real stories of families he has helped and delivers the information in small, doable suggestions that you can actually implement in your life.

One piece of advice I have been focused on lately is simplifying the environment- in other words, reducing the amount of toys and “stuff” in our home.  Put simply, the author suggests, “the amount of toys your child sees, and has access to, should be dramatically reduced.”  I’m sure that every parent can attest to the way toys and things just seem to accumulate and multiply!  So, I have been sorting through Lincoln’s toys, donating quite a few and boxing up some others that we pull out only occasionally.

It is really amazing to see how Lincoln’s creativity comes alive with just a few toys available to him.  He literally plays with a big wooden train, a bunch of colorful wooden eggs and a handful of cars and trucks all day long.  (I mean, he does have a few more toys readily available, but Lincoln is truly content with the same few things day in and day out.)  I am also happy that our living area isn’t constantly overwhelmed with toys everywhere.

Anyway, if you are looking for a good parenting book, I highly recommend “Simplicity Parenting.”  There is a lot of good advice for mamas with toddlers, but even school age kiddos could definitely benefit from a lot of the tips.

Also, unrelated to parenting, and waaaaay late, I just read “Gone Girl” and it was amazing!!
Have you read any good books lately?

Happy Halloween!

Lincoln has requested to dress up as a buffalo for Halloween this year
(so random) and somehow I have pulled together a costume.
I promise to share some pictures of our creation next week.

Until then, here’s Lincoln checking out our jack o’lantern. He kept whispering to the pumpkin, “I wish you had a bed to sleep in, pumpkin.” My silly boy…

Lincoln's 1st carved pumpkin... created with some assistance by mama 😉

Lincoln’s 1st carved pumpkin… created with some assistance by mama 😉

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Happy Halloween!

 

Pumpkin Season

I’ve yet to indulge in a pumpkin spice latte this season (especially after reading that Food Babe article about some of the ingredients, yikes!), but we have been making some pumpkin treats at home.

One of my new favorite cookbooks is Against All Grain.  All recipes are dairy free and grain free, but absolutely delicious.
In the book, is a great recipe for some pumpkin spice muffins.  Here’s a batch I whipped up last week…

Yum!

Yum!

Today, I discovered another fab recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies on the Against All Grain blog that were equally delicious (and super easy to put together!).

Ingredients:
-2 1/2 cups almond flour
-2 TB coconut flour
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ginger
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp cardamom
-dash of sea salt
-1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla

All of these spices really give the cookies an amazing flavor...

All of these spices really give the cookies an amazing flavor…

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl
3. In a stand mixer or food processor (I used a food processor), combine the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, egg & vanilla
4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet
5. Scoop golf-ball size balls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet. Press down lightly to flatten them a bit.
6. Bake for 18 minutes

The original recipe can be found here and includes instructions for a vanilla cinnamon icing.  I didn’t make it today, but will definitely give it a try soon.

Have you been baking any fall favorites?  My next goal is to attempt baking a pie from scratch… wish me luck!

Yes, we are still here!

Oh, hello there!  So, the blog was unintentionally on a 3 month hiatus.  Nothing big and crazy has been happening here… I guess I just fell out of the habit of posting.

I’ve continued to share pictures and snippets of our life on Instagram.  It’s just so easy to snap a quick photo, write a few sentences and post.  But, I’ve been wanting to get back to writing here, maybe sharing some recipes and goodies I’ve been cooking up in the kitchen and more on our adventures around Los Angeles.

Over the weekend we went to the pumpkin patch.  It was fun being back again.  The pumpkin patch was one of our first excursions when we arrived here last fall.

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I did last time, but here are a few.
(side note: I mentioned last year that there was a paparazzi pen at this pumpkin patch- apparently it’s where all the celebs go.  Today, I stumbled upon this article- Only in L.A. Sadly, we did not spot J.Lo, Jessica Alba or any other noteworthy celebrities during our visit- although to be honest, I was too busy chasing around a 2 year old to do much people watching ;) )

This was Lincoln's face after waiting for about 30 minutes for a pony ride...

This was Lincoln’s face after waiting for about 30 minutes for a pony ride…

At last!  A ride on Tucker the pony!

At last! A ride on Tucker the pony.

Lincoln & Dad

Lincoln & Dad

And after the pumpkin patch, Lincoln ran around in a nearby park

And after the pumpkin patch, Lincoln ran around in a nearby park

a San Diego weekend

A few weeks ago husband and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary.
We were able to get away for a very quick weekend to San Diego, with Lincoln in tow.  Here are a few pictures from our trip…

silly boy, ready for our mini-road trip

silly boy, ready for our mini-road trip

Lincoln's favorite part of the trip... a model train museum!

Lincoln’s favorite part of the trip… a model train museum!

of course, we had to stop and check out the train table...

of course, we had to stop and check out the train table…

shoulder rides with Dad in Balboa Park

shoulder rides with Dad in Balboa Park

Lincoln & Mama

Lincoln & Mama

Blog 7

obviously, he had to wade in this giant fountain

Lincoln got his first taste of lemonade... I'm pretty sure he liked it...

Lincoln got his first taste of lemonade and I’m pretty sure he liked it…

Ocean!

Ocean!

so much fun getting wet and messy on the beach...

so much fun getting wet and messy on the beach…

sound asleep on the drive home... I think he had a good time :)

sound asleep on the drive home… I think he had a good time :)