Palm Springs Getaway

Last week my husband I took a wonderful mini-vacation to Palm Springs for 2 nights.  Although it’s only a 2 hour drive from LA, you feel like you are worlds away. When we left LA it was cold and rainy, but the weather in Palm Springs was perfect!  We stayed at an adorable boutique hotel called the Colony Palms, which is right downtown.

The setting of the hotel was beautiful, with great views of the mountains (and yes, that’s snow at the very top!):

Our room was really nice and the bed was super comfy – even for this very preggo gal!

We had the most wonderful meal at the hotel’s restaurant, called The Purple Palm.  And spent time in the evenings enjoying each other’s company by the fireplace near the pool:

During the day we enjoyed relaxing by the pool and even though the temperatures were only around 70 each day, it felt much hotter in the desert sun.

And don’t feel too bad for Cali getting left behind in LA…she had a wonderful stay with her grandparents, which of course included lots of pool time.  The cold, rainy weather in LA didn’t phase her:

We truly enjoyed our getaway to Palm Springs and look forward to returning before too long.  Although, next time we visit, we will have a little one in tow!

Nursery Pics

My husband and I have been busy preparing the nursery for our little one’s arrival and I’m excited to finally share some pictures of the final product – especially since many friends back east may not get to see it in person!  Although, you know we are always open to visitors – and even have a guest room waiting for you! ;)

Once we found out we were having a boy, I immediately began thinking about how I wanted to decorate the nursery.  I knew I didn’t want it too “babyish”, and I chose not to go with a theme either.  I wanted to create a warm and inviting space for our baby that was more on the modern side and fit in with the rest of the decor in our home.  The vision for the nursery began with the colors I knew I wanted to use – navy blue and white.  Those are the two main colors throughout the room, but we’ve also added some other shades of blue to break up the dark navy.

We began working on setting up the nursery in early January – and I’m definitely glad we started that early!  Between furniture being back-ordered and not liking the first paint color choice, it took us over 2 months to reach the final product.  I’m thrilled with the way it turned out and I can’t wait to bring our little one home to it.  It is definitely a relaxing and calming space and I look forward to many hours in there spent cuddling and reading to our baby boy.  Hopefully he will love it as much as we do!

We have decided to wait and share his name until his arrival, but as you can see from the pictures, his first initial is clearly not a secret!  So, let the name guessing begin!  So far, no one has been able to guess correctly.  ;)

Here is the view from the door upon entering (FYI: the curtains and accent wall are navy blue, although they look black in the pictures because of the lighting):

The blocks on top of the bookshelf spell out his name, but I’ve blurred them a bit for secrecy sake:

I decided to go with very simple bedding, to match the look of the room:

Cali is a big fan of the nursery.  Every morning when she wakes up she goes directly in there and walks around checking things out.  We think she is checking to see if her baby brother has arrived yet – it’s very cute. :)

She also goes right over to the bookshelf and has a staring contest with the beautiful stuffed Golden Retriever that my in-laws brought back from Germany.  She would love to get her paws on it, but she knows it’s off limits:

The furniture for the nursery came from Pottery Barn Kids and USA Baby, while many of the accessories (lamps, rugs, curtains, etc.) are from Ikea.  I also found a few things on Etsy that I just couldn’t resist – including the tissue pom poms hanging above the bookshelf.  If only I had known that my good friend Carly is a tissue pom expert ;)  I’m always amazed by her crafting abilities (check out her blog!) – considering I can barely cut in a straight line (it’s a lefty thing, I promise).

We tried to make the nursery as “green” as possible, which is difficult considering all reasonably priced furniture is made in China.  We did use a no-VOC paint for the wall and also got an organic crib mattress and mattress cover.  The bedding for the crib is organic cotton and we are planning to purchase an organic changing pad for the changing table.  We’ve also ordered an air purifier to set-up in the room to helpfully remove any toxins from the air.

So, there you have it – the nursery we’ve been spending so much time preparing.  I have to say a huge thank you to my wonderful husband who did all the manual labor and even let me change the paint color when I didn’t like the first one we chose.  He was busy with furniture assembly and artwork hanging, while I got to be in charge of the decorating!  I also have to give credit to my super amazing brother who made an emergency trip to IKEA because the curtains we had been looking everywhere for, were only available at the IKEA near him, and there was only one pair left.  He definitely wins the brother of the year award. :)

If you have any questions about specific items in the nursery, please just ask!

So, for the next 4 weeks, Cali will continue her morning rounds in the room, while we anxiously await the arrival of our baby boy!

Cloth Diapers

Sorry to keep you waiting so long for the much anticipated post about cloth diapers ;)  I know reading about diapers does not interest everyone, so please ignore if this does not appeal to you!

I’ve been excited to share more about our decision to use cloth diapers – it was a much debated and researched decision, but now that our little one is close to arriving, I’m really excited about it!  (I know some of you are shaking your heads and laughing about how I could possibly be excited about diapers – but I am!)

When I first heard about cloth diapers I envisioned the big, bulky, white cotton diapers that required huge safety pins to hold them together.  Much to my surprise, there is a whole new world of cloth diapers out there – so many to choose from!  And they are nothing like the cloth diapers of my parents’ generation  – and definitely don’t require diaper pins. :)

After hearing about this alternative option to diapering, I immediately began researching as much as I could about cloth diapers.  Through my research, I was shocked to find out about the potentially harmful chemicals that most disposable diapers contain.  Considering the fact that I try to eliminate chemicals from our home (organic food; all natural cleaning products; organic and natural beauty products; organic bedding; etc.), the thought of putting chemical filled diapers against my baby’s bum just didn’t seem right!  In addition, most people who use cloth diapers report far fewer (if any!) diaper rashes, and fewer diaper blowouts (gross, I know!).  Also, by using cloth diapers, we could be saving up to $1200 a year by not having to purchase disposables!  And finally, there is the environmental impact of throwing away so many diapers.  Arguments against cloth diapers report that washing and drying them also harm the environment, but we do have an Energy Star washing machine, and I plan to hang the diapers outside in the warm California sunshine to dry.  So, after much research and consideration, we decided cloth diapers were worth a try.  It definitely helps that I have a husband who is 100% on board with it.

After making the decision to go the cloth route, there was the even tougher decision of which ones to try.  In the end, we decided on the Bum Genius Elemental One-Size All-in-One:

There are several features of these diapers that really appealed to me:

1. The inner lining is made from organic cotton.

2. They are one size – and fit babies from 8-35 pounds.  They have easy to use snaps that help you adjust the size of the diaper as the baby grows :

3. They are considered “all-in-one”, meaning there is no liner to be inserted/removed each time you use them.

Many people cringe at the thought of washing a cloth diaper, but that aspect really doesn’t bother us.  We have a sprayer attachment that we plan to use to “hose” off the diaper mess into the toilet, and then the diaper will go directly into the wet/dry bag I purchased from Planet Wise:

All of the reviews I read for this bag say that it does an excellent job of keeping any stinky smells in the bag.  The bag can easily be machine washed right along with the diapers.

We have 18 diapers right now, which means I anticipate washing a load of them every other day.  Luckily, our “laundry room” (really just the hall between our bedroom and the nursery) is just steps outside the nursery door, so it really doesn’t take much effort at all to do the laundry.  And for me, the worst part about laundry is folding and putting it away, which with these diapers, I really just have to throw them into the basket where I plan to keep them.

As of right now, we plan to use Seventh Generation disposable diapers for the first couple of weeks that we are home, as we adjust to life with a newborn.  But, once we are feeling settled, I can’t wait to try out the cloth diapers!  And of course, there will be times when we are traveling and it just won’t make sense to use the cloth ones, and I’m fine with that.

So, there you have it – far more information than you’d probably ever like to know about cloth diapers!

I’m excited about having made the decision to cloth diaper, and it’s definitely something I’m committed to, but I also know it will be a learning process along the way.  I will definitely keep the blog updated with my thoughts on this whole adventure once it is under way!

Stay tuned for pictures of the nursery!  It’s finally complete and ready for our little one’s arrival!

A Good Laugh

My best friend sent me this comic, and I laughed so hard when I saw it, because that is definitely going to be me when I attempt to run again in a few months!

*Stay tuned this week for a post all about why we are choosing to use cloth diapers – I know what you’re thinking, but just hear me out on this one!

Ready to Run

When I found out this past summer that I was pregnant, I decided to put my love of running on hold for a while.  It was a fairly easy decision to make, because truthfully, those first 3 months I didn’t feel like doing much!  Once I was feeling better (and my belly started growing!), it just didn’t feel right to me to run – I much preferred walking and doing yoga.  I’ve been fortunate to have a good friend going through pregnancy at the same time, and we have enjoyed many walks and yoga classes together.  When a new yoga studio opened in our neighborhood last summer, I immediately joined and have loved going to the classes ever since.  Although, with only 6 weeks left until this little one arrives, the Vinyasa class I’ve been taking is starting to get quite tough – I much prefer the relaxing prenatal class these days!

Even though I’ve been enjoying my new, slower paced exercises over the past 8 months, I have definitely started getting the itch to run again.  Every time I’m out walking and see runners going by, I get a little jealous.  I know it’s not going to be an easy transition back into my running routine, but I’m really looking forward to it.  I’ve started looking into races in the fall, in hopes that by signing up for one, I will give myself a goal to meet.

The Santa Barbara Half-Marathon is in early-November and I’m thinking that might be a fun race to try.  Anyone want to join me?  However, I have a feeling a 10-K might be a more realistic goal.

I still have a while before I will be doing any running – 6 more weeks until baby arrives + recovery time – but I’m definitely ready to get back into it.  Hopefully my legs will remember what it feels like to run after all this time!  And hopefully my running buddy, Cali, will ready for the challenge as well :)

Back to Blogging

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I last blogged!  After noticing I had a recent subscriber to my blog, I decided maybe now is the time to get back to blogging.  A lot has happened since my last blog post – and for those of you who were worried that I never made it out alive from the half-marathon, I did, and I had a a lot of fun running it with my best friend.  Even without much training.  But there hasn’t been much running going on since.  And this has a lot to do with that:

I’m currently about 8 months pregnant – a baby boy due in April!  I haven’t felt much like running since I’ve been pregnant, but I’ve been doing plenty of walking and yoga.

And, because I know you are curious, Cali has been doing a lot of this:

And this:

I’m excited to get back to my blog, which I neglected so long ago.  I’m not sure what the future of this blog will look like, but you can expect posts about many of the same topics I enjoyed writing about previously: running (because after this baby arrives, I can’t wait to pick it back up!), cooking, baking, green living, etc.  I also plan to incorporate baby related posts when the time comes.  And don’t worry, Cali will continue to be featured plenty :)

I’m looking forward to re-connecting with the blog world  – more to come soon!  I promise ;)

1/2 Marathon Training (or not)

Sometime shortly after my marathon in November, my best friend and I decided to sign-up for the Surf City Half-Marathon in Huntington Beach.  It sounded like a great idea at the time – I’d just completed a full marathon, so a half sounded easy!  Well, now that the race is just a little over a week away, I’m wondering what I was thinking.  Since the marathon, I have had no desire to go for a long run.  3 miles – no problem!  Longer than that – no thanks!  I did manage to go for a 5 mile run a couple of weeks ago.  Now, you are probably thinking I shouldn’t run the race next weekend (and any experts would probably advise against it), but my best friend and I have decided just to go out there and have fun.  I’m planning to take it really slow and easy and walk if I need to.  The last half-marathon we ran together was after 48 sleepless hours in Vegas, and we finished, so I’m thinking we will be ok.  I have been consistently running and doing cardio since the marathon, so hopefully that will be enough to get me through 13 miles!  To be honest, I really want to run this race because you get a cool surfboard medal if you finish. :)  (I am not suggesting that anyone should attempt to run a half-marathon without training.)

Clean Eating

My wonderful sister-in-law gave me a subscription to the Clean Eating magazine for Christmas.  I got the first two issues in the mail recently and I must say that I love the magazine!  The magazine’s “motto” states: “The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible.  It is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.”

The magazine is filled with TONS of great recipes.  Earlier in the week, I tried their recipe on the cover for Minestrone Soup with Quinoa.  It was yummy and super healthy – loaded with fresh veggies, beans, and protein packed quinoa.  It is seasoned with a lot of fresh herbs and uses water instead of high-sodium broths.  I will definitely be making it again!

I hope everyone had a great week – I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend!

I leave you with a picture of a tired dog (sleeping on my husband’s pillow :) )