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

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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

Family BBQ

Our first weekend in California happened to coincide with Petra’s 9 months so a celebration was definitely in order.  When I was younger, my house was the party house and when I say party, I mean BBQ and that usually meant some kind of tacos.  So naturally, I expected no less than that and my parents delivered.  Saturday was a huge celebration for our baby girl where some of my side of the family would meet her for the first time.  My parents even got a taco guy because when in Southern California, if you’re not eating tacos then you’re doing it wrong. Petra and I wore matching shoes.  I picked out a sweater for Lukasz.  My family is basically adorable.

But let’s talk about the little lady of the hour…  Petra is actually 10 months old now so I’m really late on this but I feel like I still needed to post this and talk about it so I never forget how tiny Petra once was and every little milestone that happened and how much I love her right now, right this minute.  Petra is officially nine months old.  A week before turning nine months, she got her first bottom tooth.  It was a couple of bad teething days where all she wanted was just to be held by me at all times and maybe chew on something cold a few times. She would get her second bottom tooth a couple of weeks later.  Little P has the best appetite.  She eats three actual meals a day with a few purses mixed in as a snack.  She is literally game to try anything, I love it so much.  She used to hate sweet foods but now her favorite foods are probably blueberries and oranges (carefully peeled, of course).  She smiles and laughs while she eats, its too cute to handle. She smiles and shows me her teeth right before she stuffs food into her mouth.  She LOVES her papa.  SO. MUCH.  Those two melt my heart, the way they play, the way he speaks Polish to her all day, everyday.  Lukasz once texted me and told me that Petra answered him back in Polish by saying “tak”.  He was so excited!  Petra is also becoming good friends with Pierrot.  She loves chasing him even though he’s always faster because shes crawling. Sometimes when Pierrot gets into his silly moods and begins chasing his tail, she stares at him and starts cracking up.  It’s the sweetest thing.  In addition to crawling, she stands herself to standing position and cruises the furniture which means she cant be left alone, not even for a minute.  She’s always on the go!  Petra loves being outside more than anything, but that’s the beauty of New York.  The whole city is a playground for us and I love being outside with her.  It’s been a bit of a rough winter but I see Spring and summer on the horizon and time spent on the swings for Little P.

As you can see, there was much to celebrate in California… ❤

The picture below is one of my favorites of Petra and her grandpa!  This was also Petra’s first time playing with balloons and she loved every second of it!  I’m already in the process of brainstorming for her first birthday and balloons are definitely on the list.  They make her so happy!

Gosh, what a pretty family!

Xo,

Karen

Venice Beach

On our first week, we also visited Venice Beach close to Los Angeles County.  For some reason, I always get super nostalgic for Venice Beach when I’m in New York. I watch Californication and begin to idealize what California and LA are to me even though, it’s really nothing like that. It also reminds me of the Doors because, Jim Morrison and all of that fun stuff.  It really just takes me back to my teenage years when I fell in love with Classic Rock and thought I would be a hippie forever, haha.

Things definitely didn’t turn out the way I thought they would, they turned out better! We happened to make our way to Venice on one of the few gloomy days that happened during our trip.  It was also a random suggestion in the middle of the day but when someone says they want to go, we gotta go. Lukasz had only visited Venice once about a year before we met.  It was one of the few places in California he happened to make a pit stop and one of the few places he found actually interesting during his travels out West. Venice is like a mini New York in that people just aren’t afraid to be themselves. It was really nice to get to come here with our daughter (although the weather could have been better). It did make for some interestingly gloomy pictures, despite our high spirits.

On our way back to the car, as the real rain began, we stopped at this little Peruvian restaurant that was as literally a hole on the wall.  I can be a little picky about Peruvian food.  My parents always seem to know the spots when we’re in California and I get my fair share of it when we go visit.  I’m always wary of trying new Peruvian restaurants in New York because they always make the food so kitschy. The true mark of a good semi-authentic place is always the portion of their ceviche. It has to be a nice hearty bowl of fish. Otherwise, what’s the point?  This place in Venice, whose name escapes me, really hit the spot. It was all weirdly served in “to-go” containers despite us eating in but everything was great from the ceviche to the Lomo Saltado. 

It was one of those days that left you tired at the end, with all the driving, Petra fell asleep in the car after eating so many French fries. My favorite thing ever is showing her these new places and getting even more excited to come back when she’s older as well.  It’s so amazing to show everything to a new little human being.  I feel like, with Petra and Lukasz, I have travel partners for life.

Xo,

Karen

California: Another Day of Sun!

We’ve been back from California for a couple of weeks now but I just finished sorting through all of our photos!  I think I got shutter-happy because I ended up with over 1000 pictures.  The camera never left my side but I felt like I never wanted to miss a moment of Petra and Lukasz and I soaking in the California sunshine.

This mini vacation was definitely long overdue for us.  It’s so great to live in a city like New York but I think it’s so necessary to take a break from the hustle and bustle every once in a while.  Having the plane land in California was like literally a breath of fresh air. Even the plane ride TO California was calm and collected, with Petra sleeping a decent amount of time but not being overly rowdy when she was awake.  We flew JetBlue and the staff was super supportive and accommodating of us having a little one.

Though the weather during our stay was up in the air, we lucked out and it was sunny during a majority of our time there with a couple of rainy days thrown in.  It was different from our past trips to California, we usually make this trip in February and be weather is usually super sunny and high 70’s. After all, isn’t that what California is known for? 

Petra got a chance to meet all of our California family and friends, including Eric, one of my best friends since middle school. These are the moments I looked forward to the most, introducing everyone to my little family. So much love going around, I felt so lucky.

We took it easy the first couple of days but went to the park and a few local hikes in the Irvine Park area. Petra rode a swing for the first time! Oh my goodness, the happiness on her face has me looking forward to Spring and Summer so we can go out to the park and have so much fun.  Her happy face makes me melt! It almost makes me feel anxious thinking that these moments are fleeting, I just love her so much! Stay little forever, baby girl!

If anyone plans on going in a hike with littles anytime soon, I highly recommend getting a Tula carrier.  It’s amazing and it let us be hands free.  Lukasz loves baby wearing and Petra loves being worn by her papa. She even fell asleep on our little hike, she was so comfy! We got our as a hand me down from Lukasz’ sister who previously used hers for her two little ones. They’re really durable! I love it. 

I have a few more posts for California coming up, I just really love the pictures and had to post for my own excitement if not for your reading pleasure.  Thanks for following along!

Xo,

Karen

Visitors!

My parents and younger brother were in town for a couple of weeks to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year with us! I was really intrigued by how things would go.  My parents are true Southern Californians, meaning they don’t do well in the cold weather.  Who can blame them? I like to escape to California in late winter/ early spring because I can’t take the New York cold anymore.  For their trip, I tried to get them to be prepared as much as they possibly could and I think they did great.  The weather actually wasn’t too bad while they were here so we got super lucky.  

It’s always fun to have people from out of town visit because we get to be tourists for a day.  We did so much in two weeks! Some highlights include:

1. Just enjoying the food: I feel like the main thing about New York and anyplace I visit is really all about the food.  We ate out so many times and Łukasz and I even discovered a new AMAZING Peruvian restaurant called Chimu pretty close to where we live.  We’ll definitely be going back.

2. WTC: In the four years I had been here, I had not gone to ground zero or visited the surrounding area.  I feel like there’s something so sacred about those grounds.  I don’t feel like it’s made for my consumption as a tourist so I never wanted to venture myself but I did go to the museum while my parents were in town. It’s all so heartbreaking. On a different day, Łukasz, Petra and my family took a trip to the top of the tower. The view was spectacular.

3. Chinatown on Christmas: With my parents and brother squeezing into our one bedroom apartment, there was no way I was about to cook Christmas dinner.  In the past, when Łukasz and I celebrated just the two of us, we went with a few friends to Chinatown for Dim Sum.  It’s always delicious and full of people.  I definitely had to have my parents experience that themselves.  My mom also loved the area because she was able to find some crystals and rocks for good prices.  She loves her crystals. 

In addition to the above, we also went to the museum of Natural History and my parents did some exploring on their own: Central Park, Times Square and more of the upper west side.  I know my dad was a natural by the end of he trip. He totally understood the subway system that actually took me months to get used to. But I think their highlight was being able to spend time with Petra.  It’s such a bummer that we live on two different coasts but hopefully we can travel back and forth more often. Hope they can come visit again soon! Maybe during the summer when it’s a little warmer. 😉

Xo,

Karen

Happy New Years!


Happy New Years! It’s 2017! We celebrated with an early bed time around these parts (#MomLife) but I felt great when I woke up on the first of the year.  To be honest, the year went out on a negative note for me, personally.  I SOMEHOW ended up catching the Stomach Flu and it was one of the worst weeks of the year that I’ve experienced.  It’s really difficult to take care of a seven month old when you have to throw up every 10 seconds. And so, I will give a special thank you to my parents who have been in town these last two weeks, and to Łukasz, who left work early one day to take care of me and Petra when I felt completely awful.  

Petra celebrated her first Christmas! She got a few presents that she was excited about for, like, 2 seconds, ha.  It was really awesome to watch her celebrate her first Christmas.  It’s rather difficult to impress a seven month old baby but Petra seemed pretty happy.  We all did an unconventional Christmas dinner and celebrated with Dim Sum in Chinatown, an area that my parents loved. The next day we headed to New Jersey to spend Christmas with Łukasz’ extended family. It was all so sweet and cozy and my parents got along with his extended family really well.  I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday!

And now that the New Year is here, I’ve spent the entire week that I was sick thinking about New Years resolutions. I personally love the idea of resolutions because, while I don’t need an excuse to make major changes in my life, it’s nice to just have that idea of a fresh start.  I love wondering how I can do things differently this time around. I definitely want to treat my body better by eating healthier and exercising more. I’m sure that’s a common one! But on a more personal note, 2016 was a difficult year for me as I got my bearings as a first-time mama. I questioned myself often and I worried a lot about what other people were thinking.  

I had a conversation with my coworker recently about how I hate having hangovers and I don’t drink often because of this reason and then he said “plus you have a baby” which took me by surprise. I almost felt the need to defend myself and say that havinga baby really had nothing to do with having a drink. That having a drink or a hangover didn’t make me a bad mother. That maybe sometimes it’s nice to get a babysitter and go out and have some fun. But I didn’t. I didn’t defend myself because I wanted to try this thing out where I just stop caring what people think.

It’s surprising, the amount of advice people will give you when you’re pregnant and when you have a baby. It’s also surprising the amount of judgement they will pass when you forget a baby’s socks and people wonder if her feet are cold OUT LOUD to you or if you have a glass of wine with dinner and people ask if you’re breastfeeding…

So my New Years resolution is to stop caring what others think and to also be easier on myself. And if Petra is happy and Łukasz is happy and I’m happy then I think things are going right. Oh, and also to travel more, but that’s a pretty common one too!

I hope everyone has a great year! I’m too excited for words just imagining what’s to come. ❤️

Xo,

Karen

O Christmas Tree!

This past weekend, Lukasz, Petra and I finally set out to get our little family a Christmas tree.  Ideally we wanted to visit a farm upstate but we didn’t really have the time as our days off are now spent preparing for my parents visit.  Nevertheless, walking through our neighborhood, there are plenty of cozy little Christmas tree lots to be found so we walked around until we were able to find one that also sold cute wreaths to put in the middle of our apartment.  

Even when I was little, I would always think about Christmas and the traditions I would begin with my family someday.  I feel that Lukasz and I already do things differently than my parents since we get a fresh Christmas tree every year where my parents are believers of the fake trees which also has some positives to it such as no needles on the floor.  Even so, nothing really beats that fresh tree smell. 

While we put up ornaments, it was so adorable to play Christmas music (that She & Him Christmas Album is absolute magic) and to watch Petra play with some of the ornaments we’ve stored for the last couple of years.  Her favorite happens to be a cute little reindeer Lukasz and I bought in a little store near 14th street when we first started dating.  Who knew two years later that our little girl would playing with it and hanging it on the tree? Gosh so hard to believe!  I loved watching her little face light up with happiness and curiosity when showed her the tree all lit up.  Even now, she loves crawling over and hanging out underneath the Christmas tree.  I’m so excited for her first Christmas! Later this week, I also plan to make some salt dough ornaments and paint them gold.  An easy DIY, plus I can also make an ornament out of Petra’s hand print. An easy keepsake!

Please note the drool in all of these pictures from this little teether! Too adorable for words.

Xo,

Karen