Weekly Findings

Bass Harbor Head Light #2

It has been a whirlwind of a week that started with my parents leaving and Lukasz and I returning to work after a much needed week off.  And yet, I’m still finding myself staring at the photos like the one above, wishing I was vacationing somewhere in Maine and feeling the waves crashing at my feet or maybe kayaking or canoeing on the calm waters of Acadia National Park.  I don’t know what it is but I’m feeling a little tired of the hustle and bustle of the city life and I think I’m ready and long overdue for some calm.  I don’t know if this feeling is permanent though so I’m gonna wait it out for a bit because there are times where I feel like there is no city like New York.  But still… something about Maine calls to me.  I was last there when we had just found out we were pregnant and I’m dying to return with Little P on a family vacation.   Anyways, besides my wistfulness, life has been pretty steady and I’ve been pouring over photos from Petra’s party.  It was a good day!  I can’t wait to share. 🙂 Here are some interesting links I found on the web this past week.

My Family’s Slave:  What a heart wrenching article this was!  I need everyone to read it.  I stumbled upon it on Facebook and it is so well written and so heart breaking and so moving.  It’s been on my mind for days.

How many avocado toasts does it cost to buy a house:  I don’t know how many people saw the interview of the millionaire giving millennial some hearty advice about how millennials can’t buy a home eating $14 avocado toasts and $4 coffee but I guess The Kitchn did the math!

Chris Cornell passed away at 52:  Man, this really sucks.  I obviously wasn’t his biggest fan or anything but I did love his music and he was such an important voice for grunge music.  And it made me miss the 90’s.  Remember Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Mudhoney??  I think the nostalgia bug has bit me hard today…

How to protect your skin from pollution:  This article from Into The Gloss made me realize that so many of us worry about the sun but, living in a big city, we have more to worry about like pollution.  Glossier’s new sunscreen is my shield of choice against sun AND pollution.  Any other recommendations to try?

10 fashionable and functional backpacks:  Yessss, how long have I been telling moms to ditch the diaper bag?  The backpack is literally the best handbag when carrying around a little.  I use the Kanken myself and its the best!

The last moment of the last great rock band:  I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS BOOK!  The Strokes are one of my FAVORITE bands.  I am dead reading this excerpt. I need more!  Who else here loves the Strokes?

Have a good weekend!

xo,

Karen

Shu Uemura Thermo BB Cream Review


Hey gang,  I know I promised a review of the Shu Uemura Thermo BB Cream and I havent been timely on it but I finally gave it a shot!  I’m definitely impressed by the BB Cream.  I’m definitely the kind of person that tried not to use too many hair products.  My routine is usually like this:  wash hair at night, style the next morning (usually with a flat iron), and dry shampoo for the next two days.  That’s right, when it comes to products, I like to keep it minimal and easy to do which fits my lifestyle best since I am usually running to work or running after Little P.

Since I don’t have time to try a million different products to see why one works best for certain things like frizz and volume, I was super excited to try the Shu Uemura BB Cream because it was supposed to target frizz, protect from heat and make my hair soft, all while adding volume through blow drying. To use the product, you just squeeze a small amount into your hands and run it/comb it through your hair to make sure every strand is covered lightly.  I did this on damp hair and then I used a brush and low dryer to give myself the best blow out that I could, which, I have to admit, I’m not the best at.

I’ve always been reluctant to use a blow dryer because it leaves my hair super frizzy but the BB cream worked its magic!  What’s more, my hair still looked soft, clean and styled the next day which great;y minimized how much dry shampoo I had to load into my hair to look put together.  A mom’s dream!  I definitely recommend purchasing this if your style is low maintenance like mine and don’t want to pile the products in your hair.  It’s what keeps my hair from having so much damage.

Xo,

Karen

*This product was sent to me free through Influenster for testing purposes.  All reviews and comments and opinions are my own.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the mother’s out there.  I’m lucky enough to have my mother in town this year.  Petra’s birthday and Mother’s Day are just days apart so that’s just how the cookie crumbled!  We’ll probably be going out to brunch but the weather isn’t being very nice this year which is a bummer.  Anyways, I wanted to thank my mom and all the mother’s out there for all that you do.  It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I realized it’s a job that comes with many sacrifices but is also incredibly fulfilling to create a little human being and send them out into the world.  I can only hope that I can continue to be a strong woman and be a role model to my little lady and I hope to continue to surround myself with strong women so I am never without inspiration.

Xo,

Karen

Weekly Findings


1. Vans Toddler Mono Canvas Old Skool V:  I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with the color “Millenial Pink” which is the most ridiculous name so maybe I’ll just call it baby pink?  Speaking of baby, I just ordered these for Petra.  I’m obsessed.  I’m literally about to order a pair for myself.  Have to take advantage of her being too little to complain about matching Mommy and Me outfits! (Which is what my wishlist is mostly made of.)

2. Invisible Shield Sunscreen coming soon!: The cat’s out of the bag, guys!  Glossier has made their very own sunscreen and it’s going to be launching SOON.  I, for one, am super excited to try it considering these guys are all about skincare and bare-faced beauty.  I even heard the sunscreen is a serum consistency made to sink right into your skin so no more white streaks!  Don’t forget that I’m a rep for the brand so if you’re looking to grab some before it inevitably sells out, bookmark my rep page.  (You also get 20% off your first order!)

3. The best beauty tips from Mom: If you’re going to get makeup advice from anyone, get it from the moms.  They’re the ones that are going to know the short cuts and tips and tricks on how to look presentable with little time on your hands or with a little one tugging at the arms.  Personally, my favorite time of the day is putting on makeup in front of my mirror while Petra sits next to me, happily playing with my little makeup tubes.

4. Wow in the World:  Podcasts are pretty big right now and everyone has their own preference.  I personally love interviews and short stories while my friend, Tatiana, loves murder mysteries.  Now NPR is releasing a podcast made just for kids that covers topics like science and technology.  Petra is too young for it at the moment (it’s geared for kids ages 5-12) but I’m pretty excited to have a listen because why not?  It’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy for your ears.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Karen

Happy birthday, sweet baby girl


Dear Petra,

You are one year old today. One whole year. You have truly been the one to teach me that so much can happen in a year. I’ve watched you go from a tiny little bundle of joy to a crazy little one year old. You have so much life in you, it’s sometimes scary but I know I’m lucky. I know I got something pretty amazing when I had you. It has been a year of growing for both of us. You learned to eat, sometimes with your hands, play with toys, wave hi and bye, nod your head yes and no, take a big girl bath, play with toys, grow teeth, chew with those teeth, roll over, sit up on your own, stand and balance on your own, play nicely with the dog, up until last week when you took your first EXCITING steps. And I learned how to have patience.  I’ll be honest when I say that it wasn’t easy.  This has truly been the hardest year of my life but you have also made it the happiest.  You were worth every second of crying and trying to figure you out.  You were worth every sacrifice I could have made.  You were worth the sleepless nights and long days.  You taught me how to be an adult and you forced me to grow up.  And even now, as you become more interactive every day and learn so much more, you’re reminding that life is still fun and it’s not worth being serious all the time.


We’re both still figuring it out.  Like how I’m trying to figure out how to teach you to not bite me without raising my voice and you’re still getting a hang of the walking thing but that’s what has me so excited right now.  That this is only year one and we have so much ahead of us and there’s so much we need to do together!  But I’m going to need time to slow down because I haven’t stopped crying thinking about how fast time is going now and I need you to be my little girl forever.  And I’m going to need you to need me and even when you don’t, maybe you can pretend to or something.  Because this is who you’re always going to be to me, and even someday when you’re 28, I’ll look at you and still remember the moment you were born and I held you in my arms and I thought about the person you would someday grow up to be.  And I looked at your confused little newborn face and I felt like my heart was going to explode with all the love I had for such a new little human being.


Lately I’ve been thinking about the beginning, about when I met your dad and we made plans for our life together and we talked about having a baby.  It’s funny to think back in those moments now because I feel like you were always there waiting for us and waiting to be a part of our life.  There was nothing before.  First your father and I had each other and then we had you and then we had everything.  Happy birthday, my beautiful little girl. I love you, I love you, I love you. 

Xo,

Karen

Running a Half

This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do: I ran a half marathon.  I know that a few posts back I explained how I would train pretty consistently but that didn’t happen. I got sick halfway through the month of April with a pretty bad cold that turned into a sinus infection. Then Petra got sick and most of my time running was taken up by taking care of my baby girl.  I spent the week leading up to the race running but also not trying to overly exhaust myself because I knew I’d need the energy for Saturday. My long run was 6 miles easy. Like super easy. I told myself 13 miles would be fine.

My diet was a little bit healthier and I focused on eliminating carbs, despite everyone telling me I’d need them for energy.  I’ve just always felt bloated when I eat pasta and I didn’t want to chance it on race day. Someone mentioned that I might have a gluten intolerance and I’ll definitely look into it at some point. I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and chicken breast and veggies and it has honestly helped me feed Petra a healthy diet too knowing we’re basically eating the same healthy food. 

On Saturday, I was pretty nervous and I only had a banana for breakfast but I felt pretty energized.  When I got to the race, I ate one of those energy gels (which are terrible) because I started to have doubts about the fact that I probably didn’t consume enough calories to sustain my energy for thirteen miles. I packed a few gels at 100 calories each on my belt so I could quickly reach for them during my run if I needed them, which I did in the end.

The actual race itself wasn’t terrible. It’s funny because I felt like my body just went into auto pilot after a while and I feel like if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to start running again so I just ran. It was my most Forrest Gump moment. I ate a gel pack at around mile 6 and my knees started to hurt around mile 9 which wasn’t a great sign. I did start feeling a little tired but I tried to fill my body with empty calories at the water station and I chugged Gatorade instead of water. I’m not one to run with music but during that last mile, my only thought was seeing Lukasz and Petra at the finish line. It really helped me run faster to get home. My time was 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

I will admit, I thought I’d do better but who am I kidding? I wasnt fully prepared for this so I feel like I did decently, trying to maintain a 10 minute mile pace.  Overall, Id do it again. It was fun challenging my body this way. I went out for food and a glass of wine after with my family and Tatiana and Todd but honestly, I think next time, I need to stay home. My body needed all of Saturday to recover and the next day, my legs and muscles were surprisingly okay but my abs were killing me (six pack trying to peek through?). Lukasz and I said we’d run another half in the fall so we’ll see! 

Xo,

Karen

Glossier

It’s not surprise that I’ve always been a fan of Glossier. They make things super simple and easy when it comes to skin care and makeup which is such a necessity when you’re a mom. To me, less has always been more.  Skin first, makeup second!

I usually start my mornings by using Milky Jelly Cleanser.  It makes my skin feel so smooth and hydrated and clean even if I went to bed with a face full of makeup. Then I use Priming Moisturizer which leaves my skin feeling babysoft. I like to think of this winter as the winter I discovered moisturizer and how essential it is to keeping your skin healthy.  My make up is super simple with some Nars Blush in Orgasm, Burts Bees BB Cream (whatever has spf in it) and making sure my brows are brushed up and out.

Glossier recently reached out to me to become a rep for their products and I’m so excited to be joining their community.  Feel free to check out my page and shop around! You get 20% off your first order and free shipping on anything over $30.  If you have any questions, let me know. As a rep, I’m more than happy to answer anything and give recommendations. This is such an awesome next step and I’m so excited to be a part of the growing beauty community at Glossier! Happy shopping!

Xo,

Karen

Birthday Planning

Petras birthday is a little over a month away and I’m really trying to finalize some plans that I want to get together for her first birthday! It’s sort of tricky because on the one hand, Petra won’t remember this so it seems like it’ll be mostly a party for the adults. On the other hand, you only turn ONE year old once so we’re pretty excited (and, like, a little sad) at how fast our baby girl is growing up. 

I’m really teetering between just having pizza and drinks at the park next to some swings or maybe like doing a really nice dinner someplace fun and kid friendly.  I’ve even considered brunch because it’s my favorite meal and when it comes to kid foods, there’s nothing more kid friendly than breakfast foods. Plus it’s in the afternoon so we’ll be done by the evening. But I don’t know! It’s all up in the air right now. 

One thing I do have my heart set on, though, is getting her a cake from Milk Bar. Their birthday cake is amazing. Lukasz got me one for my birthday a few years back and I’ve been dreaming of having an excuse to get another one for a while. Because I guess I can’t eat a whole one by myself…  oh well! Any other birthday ideas?

Xo,

Karen

Running


So… I’ve decided to run a half marathon. This decision actually happened at the beginning of February when my coworkers were up for a good fitness challenge. On a whim, I signed up hoping this decision would force me into actually working out and eating healthy.  It didn’t and now I’m about a month away from this race and it’s crunch time.

I’m not actually worried because I’ve always been something of a runner.  I ran before I moved to New York. I ran after I moved because I had nothing to do and no one to hang out with. And before Petra was born, I had been signed up to do a charity run for cancer until I found out I was pregnant. But it’s been longer than a year since I put a good effort into this hobby of mine and my schedule has been so crazy that I didn’t even feel like I had time for to run. 

Well, I just joined a gym and this gym has childcare so my excuses (weather and having a baby) have been whittled down to zero and I’m on my first week of actually running consistently and it feels really great.  It’s something I’ve definitely missed.  Running made me feel really good about myself and I had forgotten that feeling until now.

With about a month to go, I’m really focused on running and breathing for a long period of time.  Since I haven’t had much working out for over a year, I’m not too concerned with time or trying to set some kind of PR… I just want to do a half marathon because I know I can do this. I’m gonna be posting more about this on my instagram account if you want to see. Im pretty nervous… but so excited!

On growing up

I feel like I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a while but it has taken me time to really form my thoughts on this subject.  I recently watched an episode of Girls where Hannah has to deal with the decision about having a baby or not and she happens to meet a version of herself on a stoop.  This version of Hannah is an actress and has two babies and she gives Hannah some unexpected advice “Kids are super easy.  It’s being an adult that’s hard”.  While I hate to be that person that comes to some sort of realization while watching a dumb show, this dumb quote really resonated with me.  Being an adult is hard.

I’m not going to get super specific about how I came to be pregnant and whether it was planned or not but, I will say that Lukasz and I were two semi-adults when everything happened.  And even the most prepared person will be caught off guard when that pregnancy test comes up positive.  Up until that point, my free time was spent lounging around, wasting money on crap and alcohol and probably watching TV during my free time.  Free time… remember that?  It’s really funny how having to raise a baby really, sort of, throws you into just being an adult and making adult decisions… or “Adulting” as the kids are calling it these days.  Now I have to think about how I spend money a little bit more and having a baby girl really affects every decision I make, right down to my eating habits.  How can I expect my daughter to eat healthy when I’m eating burgers all the time?  Lukasz and I have been thinking lately about how to advance in our careers and making a five year plan about what property to buy in the future, something with an extra bedroom in case we have another baby and a yard for our dog.

While it all seems pretty understandable, it’s just all so new to me. Also!  Kids are not easy.  But I’m going to really blame Petra on this one.  I’ve met other 10 month old babies and Petra has a crazy amount of energy that it’s hard to keep up with her sometimes.  But ok, all of that aside, I remember when Lukasz and I were thinking about getting a dog and we really wanted to wait for the right time because a dog was a “big responsibility” and we had to walk it twice a day and feed it.  In hindsight, I laugh at us back then and how silly we were.  Now if someone tells me “I can’t get a dog, I just don’t have the time for it.”  I roll my eyes and shake my head and juts walk away before this rage boils up inside of me and manifests itself in word vomit.  A dog is a piece of cake and babies are hard.  BUT they’re worth it.  My daughter is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life and even if I’m exhausted every single day, I go to sleep grateful and happy to be her mother.  And I’d do it all again a million times over.

xo,

Karen