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I'm Steffy, and I live in my favorite place on earth, Long Beach NY with my two loves & our dachshund. In this space we share our adventures around NY, cozy days at home and tons of outfits! Grab a cup of coffee and lets get to know each other!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Joshua Tree Photo Diary + Guide


So, I'm definitely not a Joshua Tree expert AT ALL, but I figured I would share with you our personal itinerary while we were there, just for some ideas for your own trip! Thanks to Robert & Christina for some of these places - they passed along a great list to us of things to do in the closest town to the national park, which made our life MUCH easier! Here's some of our favorite spots / things we did!





HIKES/ CAMPING: 
1. Ryan Mountain: (pictured above) - We hiked this mountain on our first day! It took us a few hours, and we made sure to wear tons of sunscreen, but the view was incredible!! Definitely worth the hike. 
2. Skull Rock: The skull rock hike was pretty mild, but perfect for us, as we had Hudson in the carrier. The rocks are beautiful, and it took about 2 hours!
3. Ryan Campground: Joshua Tree makes it really hard to find camping, because it's first come first serve. We got lucky and found a spot at Ryan Campground, it's a bit smaller than the other campgrounds but felt really private, which we loved! (some images pictured below!)








PLACES TO EAT/SHOP IN TOWN: 
1. The End Vintage: (pictures below) This vintage shop had amazing pieces! If I didn't have Matt and Hudson with me, I could have spent hours. I walked away with the cutest velvet dress!
2. Crossroads Cafe: We went here for brunch and it was delicious - I had the yummiest eggs and biscuits!
3. Joshua Tree Coffee Company: We never leave a town without trying the coffee! This place had some yummy cold brew, and the barista was super nice too!







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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tips For Flying/ Traveling With A Baby


A bunch of you asked for tips on how we traveled with Hudson while he's only 4.5 months old! To be honest, it is much easier than I expected. I was super nervous about how he would be on the plane, and also a bit anxious about having so much extra stuff, but it all worked out. Here's a few tips, and a list of the things we brought along to make our trip easier. 

1. GATE CHECK THE STROLLER AND CAR SEAT - All airlines allow you to check your stroller and car seat FOR FREE at the gate. This means you can push the baby in the stroller all the way until you board! Then, when you deplane, your stroller is right there waiting for you. It makes it so much easier to walk through the airport. 

2.  ASK FOR A BASSINET ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS - Our plane didn't have one, but a lot of them do! Make sure to ask!

3. FEED YOUR BABY AT TAKEOFF AND LANDING - This helps with their popped ears, and also helps to distract them so they don't get nervous or upset from the pressure. I made sure to have some formula ready in case Hudson got upset at both takeoff and landing. 

4. TRY TO SCHEDULE A FLIGHT AROUND A TIME THEY SLEEP, OR PLAN THEIR NAPS AROUND THE FLIGHT - On our flight to California, it was super early in the morning so Hudson took his 1st and 2nd nap during the flight. The flight on our way home was trickier, because it was in the evening. He ended up sleeping the entire time, and then it was hard to put him down when we got home.

5. PURCHASE DIAPERS/ WIPES / FORMULA IN THE CITY YOU'RE TRAVELING TO - Depending on where you're going of course. We knew California had a baby store, so in order to save room in our suitcases, we just bought the necessities for the week when we arrived. 

6. PLANE BATHROOMS ACTUALLY HAVE GOOD CHANGING TABLES - Yup, I was so nervous about this one, but it's true. 


WHAT DID WE BRING FOR THE WEEK?



1. Burp Cloths: We always need these after feedings, so we brought a few for the week! 
2. Maxi-Cosi carseat + base: Some travelers opt to not bring their carseat base, but we found it to be much easier than having to worry about properly seat belting the seat in by itself. We gate checked it, so it was super easy!
3. A sun hat: Love this one from Boden! A must in the desert sun!
4. Sunscreen: We were pretty OCD about making sure Hudson had sunscreen on, because it was so so hot! 
5. Two bottles: Yup, we only brought two Medela bottles. We kept washing and reusing the same ones to save space.
6. Ergobaby 360 carrier: This was perfect for hikes! 
7. Bugaboo stroller (we only brought the base, and used the carseat as the seat for the week)
8. Portable sound machine: There wasn't a plug in the van, so this was a life saver in getting Hudson to bed! 
9. Changing station: Used this every day to change our little guy! 

In California we bought diapers, wipes and formula to last us for the week. I hope this helps ease the stress for any of you moms out there with upcoming trips! 



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Friday, March 24, 2017

Renting a VW Westfalia Van / Photo Diary Part 1



I've received tons of questions during our trip to California about how we rented this beautiful 1979 VW Westfalia van! It's a dream that a lot of us little free-spirited hippies have had, and I am going to share with you how to make it your reality (even if only for a week!)

... Then I'll be back to share some of our favorite spots from our trip, as well as some outfits along the way!

We rented this beauty, also known as Honu Liu or "slow turtle" from Vintage Surfari Wagons. (No, this isn't sponsored, we found the company years ago and used them once before, and loved the trip!). Bill, the owner, is just a really nice guy who bought some VW vans to rent out years back, and now he has about a dozen of them. His garage is my HEAVEN.

How much did the trip cost? It cost us $1220 for the entire week + our flights to California. We lived in the van for the week, so we didn't have any other fees other than gas, the cost of some campgrounds that charge a nightly rate and food, but we cooked most meals in the VW! It's of course not as cheap as a roadtrip with an Airbnb near home, but it's also not as expensive as a trip abroad with different hotel fees each night.




What did we pack for the trip? We tried to back suuuper light this time around - we brought 2 sleeping bags (30 degree weather for cold desert nights), a flashlight, some camera gear, gear to charge our equipment and phones in the car and some easy to throw on outfits. Bill provided pillows, a heater, blankets, a cooler and some other necessities.)

What did we pack for Hudson? Traveling with a baby definitely adds more things to the list, and I will go into way more detail about this in a separate post, but for Hudson we brought his carseat + base, stroller (the carseat hooks into the base), ergobaby 360 carrier, Wildbird carrier, sunscreen, portable sound machine, 2 bottles and pronto changing pad. When we arrived, we stopped by a Babies R' Us and picked up a sunhat, formula, diaper and wipes (it was way easier to not bring all of these on the plane, and to just buy them when we arrived).

Sleeping in a van isn't for everyone, but if it is something you've dreamed about doing, than do it!!! This trip is SO worth every cent, and while it comes with it's annoyances, like having to shift things around in the van each night to sleep or cook, or not showering quite as much as you'd like, it's SO worth the experience of seeing and doing as much as you can all trip! More to come soon!










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Monday, March 13, 2017

My 3 Favorite Baby Carriers + A VIDEO!


pros:
- I felt extremely comfortable and secure carrying Hudson around in this when he was a newborn, because it has incredible head support
- He won't outgrow it for a while
- It never hurts my back / good back support
- Stylish!!
- Easy to toss into a bag or the stroller basket because of how light it is!

cons: 
- Even after you know how to wrap it, it's still time consuming and complicated to throw on on-the-go
- He can't face out in it
- Sometimes I think I still look pregnant wearing it, especially if it's with a coat, because his body is entirely in front of mine

when i use it most: 
- This wrap was my favorite when Hudson was 0-3 months, and I used it mostly to calm him on colicky evenings around the house, or on long walks right out the door, when I didn't need to take the wrap on and off. 


pros:
- SO easy to thread the sling, and so easy to put on and take off
- Fits easily into any bag, and great to take along for the ride
- He can sit facing inward or on my hip, which is amazing for use while I am cooking dinner and need to see in front of me
- The fabric is beautiful, and looks cute/ almost seems like part of my outfits!

cons:
- The only con is I find the ring sometimes sits too close to his face and he sucks on it. I know I can probably re-adjust so this won't happen, but once he is in, it makes him upset to start readjusting. 

when i use it most: 
- This wrap is my absolute favorite wrap. I wish I found it earlier! I use it for everything - while I cook, if I don't feel like getting the stroller out when I am running into a store, on road trips, etc. It easily pops on and off, and is really great!!


pros:
- The inward facing is perfect for him to get cozy and take a nap, while the outward facing is great for when he wants to see the world!
- It is so easy to take on and off, and my go-to in a time crunch
- It's ergonomic
- My husband uses it as well (he thinks the other 2 are a bit feminine)

cons: 
- It's bulky, and doesn't fit in my bag. It's hard to get a winter coat over it.
- Not as stylish as the other two
- Needs an infant insert when they're younger

when i use it most:
- This is my go-to carrier for quick convenience, like taking the dog for a walk. It's also great for hikes, since it is sturdier. If we are out at night, and we know Hudson is going to fall asleep, we use this carrier as well, because it offers great support while he naps. 

A Video tutorial of how to put them on & how they look on:



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Friday, March 10, 2017

SNOW-VERALLS


We woke up to this short-lived but magical snow, and I had to capture it, of course! I've been a bit quiet on the blog front, because we've had some visitors (our best friends from college) here meeting Hudson, and then my in-laws and my dad came this weekend! Aside from that, I've felt a little bit creatively stunted in the fashion department. I'm a mom now, so of course my wardrobe has to reflect that, but I am stilling figuring out how to dress more laid back, but still stay stylish!

We're also getting ready to head to Palm Springs & Joshua Tree in a VW Van next week! We rented the van for the week to stay in, and we are SO excited!! We're of course going to share the journey here! Have a great weekend guys!








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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hudson's 4 Month Update + Unpublished Pictures From the Month!


Guys, I'm starting to get really sad. My maternity leave is ending in 3 weeks, and this may be the last time ever that I am at home with my baby, just the two of us, without a care in the world. I know that work + having a sense of self is important, I know that in the long-run I will be happy with my decision to go back to my (awesome) job, but right now it just feels so hard and so wrong. 

This past month was incredible. Even though Hudson and I were so bonded when he was teeny tiny and sleeping 1 foot from my head, I feel like now we're connected on an even deeper level. He understands me, and trusts me, and he knows that if he cries or needs anything I will always be there. It was hard to get to this point, and it took a lot of him crying and me showing up by his cribside, but I finally feel like he doesn't feel alone in the world, even if he is alone in his big giant blanket-less crib in the dark, and that is beautiful because my baby should never ever feel alone. He'll always have me to count on. If you were wondering, yes I broke down crying while writing this and yes I am a softy. 

BABY UPDATE: This month, I feel like physically Hudson changed less than from month 2-3, but mentally he changed way more. He flipped over for the first time from tummy to back, but only once and then he hasn't been too intent on making it happen again. He can hold his head up strong enough to face out in a carrier, and he seems like any day he will be sitting up. He still isn't a fan of tummy time, but he LOVES bath time, and I make sure to bathe him every night because it is his absolute favorite. 

He also started to coo SO much, and he laughs which is the cutest thing in the entire world. I work so hard to try to make him laugh, and if I can't do it some days I get really sad, like does this guy already not think I'm funny - geez. I also sleep trained him this month using this book/method, and weened him. He was naturally eating in larger stretches, like every 4 hours, so it started to make it really complicated to breastfeed & my supply was dropping. He actually didn't even notice that he was weaned, because I pumped and offered him the bottle a lot prior to weening him. It's made life a ton easier ever since. He sleeps from 7:30PM - 7AM now, and only wakes some nights to eat a little around 4-5AM. 




MAMA UPDATE: Like I mentioned above, I am just savoring every single second with this guy. He is my favorite, and now that he cries less and plays more, I just cannot get enough of him. I watch videos of him from that day after he goes to bed - the obsession is real. After I weened him, I started to truly feel like myself again. My boobs are TINY, like a -A, and they are much flatter/lower than before, but I honestly don't really care. I never minded having a small chest.

I just feel much less pressure now, not having to wonder if I'll make enough milk for him to fall asleep full. I've been working out about 4 times per week, and doing my best to eat as healthy as I can (but of course that includes way too many sweets). I feel like me, but with way more emotions and a heart that was totally opened up in an entirely new way.



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