It’s officially fall!

I know that it’s been fall for a good amount of time but I feel like we’ve just started to feel those effects on my part of town. The leaves are finally starting to change colors and most days you can feel a chilly breeze that makes you break out the warm jackets and cozy sweaters. But my ultimate bucket wish list? Apple picking. From day one, I’ve told Łukasz that I’ve been on the east coast for such a long time and I’ve yet to experience a real east coast fall: you know, going to see the leaves change, pumpkin patching, apple picking, all the good stuff. Maybe finish the night with a big old mug of apple cider or mulled wine. Now that Petra’s 17 months, there’s nothing she loves more than having the space to explore without worrying about where she could be going. This was obviously a no-brainer of a weekend.

When at the apple orchards, eat lots of apple cider donuts! Petra gobbled these up. We went to Barton Orchards in Poughkeepsie, NY which is about two hours away from NYC. It was an amazing scenic drive. Honestly those changing leaves is what made me fall in love with the east coast and what makes me hesitate when we even think about leaving.

Petra fell in love with this wagon. She immediately wanted to help and pull our cargo but of course she instantly regretted it. It’s not light! I think she ended up enjoying the ride more so she could sit and eat apples and donuts. Łukasz and I would hand her apples and she would put them in our half bushel bag. So helpful!

And of course, sneak bites. It was a day full of apple snacking which I’m definitely not mad about. Healthy snacking is a plus.

On our way back we stopped by the petting zoo and Petra pet all the donkeys. They’re so sweet! Like big puppies, they just wanted to be scratched behind the ears.

I definitely recommend these Orchards. We happened to visit on a Monday so the grounds were rather empty and the cool attractions and restaurants were closed but I’m ok with it if we are able to avoid these crowds! The Orchards full up on the weekends, people get there at 9am. Aside from Orchards they grow their own veggies and fruits and they even have a tap room on site for some refreshing adult beverages. I literally can’t wait to come back here with Petra and Łukasz next year!

Xo,

Karen

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Up Yonda Farms

On our way back from camping, I knew we had to stop somewhere to sightsee. The drive is, like, four hours! Soon after we left Rogers Rock and had lunch at Bolton Landing, we decided to explore and stumbled upon this beautiful outdoor conservancy. It was called a farm but it was mostly a few close and easy hikes with an indoor butterfly garden. I was mostly excited about the butterfly garden because I wanted Petra to see these Monarch beauties up close. They did not disappoint. Even though I believe Spring is the time butterflies are abundant, on this summer day, we had a fun with a few gorgeous butterflies. Łukasz managed to catch one on his hands and after Petra saw how it was done, she had to grab one for herself too! We held her back though and taught her hold to gently hold them so as not to squash these delicate creatures. Petra learns so quickly by watching us. It's constantly reminding me to watch what I say and do to set the right example for her. Kids really do learn by example!

The hikes in the surrounding areas provides some of the most beautiful views of the lake that I had ever seen. While I got Petra ready to go hiking by slathering her with sunscreen, Łukasz checked in and found out that the property belonged to a rich family who donated it sometime around the 1920's and they turned it into a conservancy to help preserve the natural forest that surrounds it. It's gorgeous! So many lovely wildflowers. I will admit, I wasn't properly dressed for this and I showed up wearing Saltwater Sandals but luckily the forest floors weren't too thick and the hike didn't require any crazy climbing. Petra loved the view as she was strapped to Łukasz' back. It got a little hot so we let her walk around a little at the top of the hill but she was more than content walking on grass and playing with her water bottle.

Such a beautiful day! I'm really glad we got to stop by this space. We had come to Rogers's Rock so much, who knew that this beautiful space was only a few miles away! Adventuring with these two is my favorite!

Xo,
Karen

Petra Goes Camping

Around the time Petra was thee months old, we wanted to take her camping. Three months! The trip didn't end up happening because it rain and rain plus breastfeeding seemed like I would be confined to a tent the whole time. Well, I'm glad we waited a year because a few weeks ago, we finally took Petra on her first camping trip to Lake George in Upstate New York. Camping had always been one of our favorite pastimes before our little lady was born so we were really excited to see how Petra would like it. Knowing her exploratory nature at 14 months, it was like she had been living in the woods the entire time. She even went to bed in the tent easier and faster than she normally would at home. Isn't it amazing? Sometimes it seems like we're all innately animals who just need to escape to our natural habitat of living in the woods from time to time.

We spent two nights, which is literally NOTHING, to Lukasz' disappointment but we had a great time playing on the lake. Petra was all about the beach and the water at our campsite. We bought her this swimsuit filled with floaties. I'm pretty sure she hated it but it was better to be safe than sorry! It has decent reviews on Amazon. Food happened to be my main concern especially when we have such a picky eater with a few little teeth but it ended up being pretty simple. We had purchased a camping stove a year ago for the trip that never happened and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to quickly sautée some chicken or salmon, both of which Petra loves. I cooked up some veggies as well but she wasn't as keen on those as I was. When traveling with a little one, I would highly recommend a camping stove. It's not exactly "roughing it" but it really took the guesswork out of meal times. For snacks, we packed plenty of fresh fruit and clif bars.

For bedtime, we brought along a few thermal sleeping pads to put outside of the sleeping bags but we also wrapped Petra up in a vintage LL Bean onesie that really kept her incredibly warm throughout the night. Especially with Petra, who loves to toss and turn in her sleep, I was very concerned that eventually she would wiggle out of our sleeping bag but she actually slept quite soundly. It was actually me who probably woke up every hour to make sure she was completely covered and warm but isn't that every mom's story? I really underestimate how chilly the ground can get even if you're going camping when it's 90 degrees throughout the day. The temperature changes so quickly, it always catches my by surprise.

On a side note, Pierrot, our fur ball was all about being outdoors. This guy would probably spend his life camping in the woods if we allowed it but he also needs someone there to feed him and give him clean water or else he will starve. He's quite the mix of outdoorsy high maintenance. He's generally a good calm dog at home in Brooklyn (some would say a CatDog… me, I call him that) but he's actually the best when he's able to run free off leash. He never wanders far and all he really expects is that maybe we toss him a ball every now and again.

And so, I leave you with this cute picture of Petra drinking out of her camping mug and look at her tiny Keens! Overall, it was great miniature vacation with the family. Babies love camping! And we definitely plan to do a lot more camping as Petra grows older. I love that we can really introduce her to a love for the outdoors. It only makes me excited to see her grow up wanting to hopefully do things like be outside kayaking than playing with a smartphone. What a sweet little babe ❤

Xo,
Karen

Birthday Stuff

For my birthday, I didn’t have plans until Friday when I realized I hadn’t been to a baseball game in three years. What. How. I immediately texted Łukasz, Tatiana and Jinnette and by the end of the day, it was all set. And Petra would be going to her first baseball game.

I was curious because, you know, I wondered how easy was this going to be with a suuuuper curious one year old.   Petra can hardly sit still, she needs to be wandering and exploring at all times. I was also excited to check out the play area that they built for kids this year.  It was perfect. The play area was fun and full of kiddos and they even had a couple of private nursing rooms.  We got two buckets of chicken tenders and french fries and spent a small fortune on beer but it was great. The weather was perfect with hardly any humidity.

We ended the game by getting Petra and Jackson their certificates for their first game. And tatiana too! It was her first game and she loved it. We’re all definitely going to another one before the summer is over. I forgot how much I loved going to games.  What a treat to spend this day with the people I love. ❤️

Quick Update

It seems we fell off the map for the last two weeks.  To be honest, its been a busy couple of months.  We have a few changes coming out way in the future but we will talk about them as soon as we get there.  Change isn’t bad though!  It’s all so very good and positive.  For now, let me tell you about little Petra, something that I can talk about forever and ever.  She hit the big ONE and I’m sorry that I didn’t post any pictures. It was a low key little shindig but it was so intimate and nice.  Since that lovely party, Petra has been strutting around like she owns this apartment.  No but seriously, shes just such an avid walker and little explorer, even deciding that today would be the day she learned to climb the couch.  That’s right, she can never be left alone again, or at least until shes old enough for the rock climbing gym!  Then she can climb all she wants!  She eats basically everything.  Seriously!  But here’s the catch: she has to be in the mood for it.  I swear one day shes in love with zucchini noodles and she hates them the next.  She’s lucky I love food though. I’m more than happy to change up the menu as long as she tries everything once.  She has also taken up to talking every second of every day.  It’s the cutest thing, shes like a little boss lady walking around talking about whatever has caught her attention.  I’ve never wished I spoke “baby” more than when I’ve had this little lady yelling nonsense to my face.  She’s like a little puzzle piece that I’m going to spend my life trying to figure out.  Lukasz and I have been lucky enough to be spending more and more time together.  It makes my heart so happy to see us exploring new areas of NYC as a family.  It’s not always easy so I go all out when it happens.  We’ve gone into areas of brooklyn and manhattan that we’ve never been.  The picture above was during one of our outings on the Upper West Side, which we had spent a lot of time in yet never dined at El Mitote.  (Delicious margaritas) And this weekend we’re going to a Yankees game for my birthday!  We’ve never been and its Petra’s first game so you better believe I’m gonna be stopping by customer service for her certificate for her first game, haha. I think I’ve been rewatching to much Mad Men lately, but I’ve just felt so in love with this city recently.  I want Petra to grow up experiencing the same but I’m constantly torn between a bigger space in a smaller city or a tiny apartment in a big city.   Who knows what’s best… I just want Petra to be happy.  I think a lot of people have a misconception that raising a child in the city is a bad idea but its filled with so much culture and so much to do, I feel like I could live here a lifetime and never get bored.  I think East Coast living is the life for us right now.  For my tiny cute family.  I’ll try to post more often and more pictures soon.  I’ve tried to stay away from other social media except Twitter or Instagram so you can find me there.  

Xo,

Karen

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