Archive for the ‘Favorite Things’ Category

It’s been a lovely weekend spent with Lil Z-Bear.  Here are the highlights:

I gave the cub a haircut!  His hair was getting a bit long in some areas, and I wanted to even it out.  He looks way too adorable for his own good…and he is sitting up all by himself!

I made some amazingly good banana bread (recipe from a fellow mommy blogger!) and nothing quite like starting the day with freshly baked banana bread and a nice, strong cup of coffee.

We spent Sunday in Philadelphia, having brunch at Day by Day with my sister for her birthday.  All I have to say is poached eggs over smoked salmon over potato latkes covered in hollandaise is definitely my new favorite brunch food!

Check out for (somewhat) matching hats!

Waiting at the entrance to be seated for brunch

After brunch we stopped over at the Flying Monkey Patisserie for some yummy goodies.  I can’t think of a better combination for cake than banana, chocolate chips, and peanut butter buttercream icing!

Thank you Z-Bear for being such a happy, well-behaved baby who loves to explore new things as much as we do!


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The cold winter air is no friend to dry skin.  This evening I bathed Lil Z-Bear and put extra lotion on him to make sure his super soft skin stays that way.  Then, after putting him to bed, I moisturized my hands and sat down on my computer, and had a sudden inspiration to write about the stuff I absolutely love to use on Lil Z-Bear’s skin, and the stuff I use on mine.

For baby

I am a big fan of the Weleda Baby Products.  In this earlier post I rave all about it.  And several months later, I love it even more and we keep it well stocked in our house.   However, I have also discovered something else that is a super powerful weapon against the cold weather.  And it is a multitasker – great for wind chapped cheeks, dry lips, and to keep the bottom well moisturized:

And the best part, Aquaphor is non-scented, cheap and available everywhere!


For Mama

Ever since having Lil Z-Bear, I notice my skin is drier than it used to be.  I am a long time user of Clinique, and I have continued to use the mild soap and Dramatically Different moisturizer.  But to give my skin some extra punch,  I’ve been using Bliss Fabulous Foaming wash (I love the gentle exfoliating action this everyday wash gives, and it is never over-drying on skin).  And I follow with L’Occitane Shea Butter Face Cream.  I am absolutely infatuated with all things L’Occitane, and their Shea Butter line is my favorite.  This is some serious moisture we are talking about here.  If you have dry skin, you will feel it almost sigh in relief as soon as you put this cream on.

Looking for a good eye cream  – I have two I love.  Clinique All About Eyes is a perennial fave of mine.  It works wonders to get rid of tired eyes, puffiness, and dark circles.  But I also love Bliss All Around Eye cream, it really moisturizes well to reduce the look of fine lines, and a tiny little tube of this goes a long, long way.

Need to slough away some flaky winter skin?  Then look no further than…..St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub.  I have been using this drugstore darling since I was fifteen!  And I loved it then and I love it now.  Once (sometimes twice) a week I scrub down face and body with this, and it never fails to leave skin soft and glowing.

Between changing diapers and washing hands, try any of L’Occitane hand creams.  I have tried a LOT of hand creams, but these are without peer.  It is uber moisturizing, and hands feel soft and supple, even after washing!

And finally, it’s hard to find time to do make-up some most days.  But these two products work wonders in giving you the flawless look in less than 2 minutes.

I am madly in love with Benefit.  Their stuff is sooo cute, and it works!  For time-pressed mornings, a quick dab of That Gal brightening primer followed by a swipe of Some kind-a gorgeous foundation faker, and you are good to go!

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1.  Mint flavored anything.  The flavor of mint instantly transports me into holiday season mood.  Pair chocolate and mint, and I am in a winter wonderland.  I can’t get enough of the stuff, and the trails of foil wrappers left around the house prove that.

2.  My kidskin leather gloves (made in a small glove shop in Florence, Italy).  I’ve had them for years, and every winter when it is time to take them out, they are buttery soft.

3.  The cold weather.  Yes, I love it.  The bare trees, the feeling that the air is so crisp it is made of glass, how amazing it feels when you hold a hot drink in your hand, or walk in a warm building after facing the blustery cold, and how even more amazing it feels to slip under the warm covers of the bed at night.

4.  Speaking of cold weather…I love how everyone looks like Eskimos around winter time…the hats, the gloves, the boots, the scarves, and the red noses.

5.  Eggnog.  When I first heard of eggnog, it sounded disgusting.  And the first time I tried it, I thought it tasted gross.   But now, I love the stuff with its creamy, sugary, nutmegy goodness.

6.  Homemade hot chocolate made with 1 heaping tablespoon of Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa, 1 cup warmed milk, 1/4 cup warmed cream, sugar to taste.  And topped with these mini marshmallows.  Not only are they delicious with a mild vanilla flavor, but they are made with fish gelatin (not bovine or porcine), which means I can eat them!

7.  Homemade fudge.  I love fudge anytime of the year, but especially in the winter.  Best fudge recipe: Heidi Swanson’s Fantasy-ish Fudge.  It has the sugary smooth texture of fudge that I prefer over the creamy kind, and it tastes yum!

8.  The anticipation of Z-Bear’s first snow!  Which means we get to bundle him up and take tons of cute pictures of him.  Let’s just hope the weather doesn’t disappoint.

9.  Creams, lotions and body washes that are scented like holiday baked treats. Especially the Philosophy holiday collection.

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This Thanksgiving weekend was chock full of firsts.  I was in such holiday weekend mode, it was near impossible rolling out of bed this morning, getting dressed, heading to work and leaving Lil Z-Bear home.

Z-Bear loved sitting in the warm kitchen and watching mama cook.  He was especially excited when we got ready to put the turkey in the oven.  But wait a second…that’s not the turkey!

Uh-oh, sorry Z-Bear, it got a little confusing since you are both the same size.  But he forgave us and was happy to see just how nice the turkey came out. 

And he digged in with us. Lil Z got his first vegetable that day: sweet potatoes…he was a fan!

The next day we went out and bought our little guy a highchair.  I was enjoying using the Bumbo chair for the past couple of weeks, but now that we have the highchair, it’s so easy for feedings, we absolutely love it.  He loved it too!

I spent the weekend preparing pureed organic veggies – sweet potatoes for now, and carrots and avocado to try out later in the week.  I always knew I wanted to feed Z-Bear homemade baby food, and this weekend I discovered making it is a cinch.  I simply roasted them in the oven until super tender, and mashed them until they were smooth.  I also put in a dash of pepper, because I am counting on Z-Bear to like spices just as much as I do.  I am in love with these freezer containers we found at Babies R Us for storing.

Saturday was the first night hubby and I went out without the baby.  We went to an engagement party for a family friend, and we had a good time.  And we got to come home to this fellow…notice that he is out of the swaddle!  Yes, that was another first this weekend, he has now moved on to the Halo Sleep Sack.

We wrapped up with a lazy Sunday, staying in, playing with Z-Bear, watching movies, and enjoying some quality family time.  The perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

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When work is dull and dreary…one whiff of this and I am instantly transported to a tropical island.  Bonus:  The organic coconut oil leaves hands amazingly soft.

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1. Midnight Delight leftover birthday icecream cake from Cold Stone Creamery:  I turned the big 3-0 this week, and hubby bought this incredibly delicious cake from Cold Stone for my birthday.  Chocolate cake, chocolate icecream, and covered in chocolate fudge ganache.  Yes, please! 

2.  The fact that I can no longer consider myself a twentysomething – not liking so much. 

3.  Narciso: Can you have more than one signature scent?  How about 5?  My go to for everyday at work is Chanel No. 5 (because seriously, who doesn’t LOVE the smell) but when the weather gets cooler, I love the warm embrace of the musky Narciso.  It is the sexiest perfume ever.  It reminds me of intimate parties, dark rooms, butter-soft leather couches you can sink into, the clink of glasses, the chatter of voices, black cocktail dresses, and the faint smell of cigars.

4.  Fire-engine red leaves on trees: I love the changing colors that autumn brings.  The light browns, the bright yellows, and the vivid orange hues.  But every now and then, a tree bursts onto the scene with stunning, vibrant red leaves.  Spotting these trees is one of the many joys of the season.

 5.  Singing lullabies to Lil Z-Bear:  I can’t sing.  I am not just bad at it, I am so bad that if I were singing, you’d rip your own arm just to have something to throw at me.  But when it is Lil Z’s bedtime, I turn off the lights, swaddle him tightly, close the door, and gently whisper songs to him.  It’s a very special moment between mama and her baby cub, and he is the only one who smiles and relaxes when I sing. 

 6.  The fact that soon, very soon, my beloved cashmere sweaters are going to come out of hiding and greet the cool, crisp air.

 7.  Like: My new Italian brown leather handbag with bright red silk lining.  Dislike: I already spilled coffee on the silk lining.

 8.  How ridiculously cute these thermal henleys look on Lil Z-Bear.  And how ridiculously cuter these thermal henleys look on hubby.  I’m one lucky gal.

 9.  Anything that smells or tastes like pumpkin spice or apple spice.

 10.  Cute names for dark nail polish colors for the fall.  Such as Mink Muffs.

 11.  Lavender & Orange Badger Lip Balm:  I am obsessed with lavender, and I am obsessed with lip balms.

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1.  My hubby.  YOU. ARE. AWESOME.  I know I probably don’t tell you enough between diaper changes and late night feedings, between telling you to wash the bottles and complaining about how much my boobs hurt. 

2. Lil Z-Bear rolling over for the first time yesterday…and I was there to witness it!  Of course, by the time I grabbed the camera to capture this precious moment, he refused to do it a second time.

3. Chocolate brown boots for fall.  Thank you hubby for letting me buy not one but two pairs this week, even though I already have 2 in the closet. (See # 1)

4. Chocolate.  Because does chocolate really need a reason.  To be more specific : Miniature Reese’s Cups that have been sitting in the fridge for close to 4 weeks in anticipation of the peanut butter cup brownies I promised hubby I’d make.  I’ve been grabbing a handful on my way to work all week, and they are almost gone.

5.  October!  My favorite month of the year.

6.  I turn 30 in less than two weeks. (Add to loving right now)

7.  I turn 30 in less than two weeks. (Add to not loving so much right now)

8.  My new Cuisinart coffee maker.

9.  My darling Lil Z-Bear who lets mama drink plenty of coffee and doesn’t fuss at all when drinking mama’s milk.

10. The rainy weather. (Add to loving right now)

11. The rainy weather.  (Add to not loving so much right now)

12.  My new Motorola DROID X!  Thank you hubby for getting it for me. (See # 1)

13.  The fact that it’s Friday!

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