Dec 3rd addition to Christmas Advent Calendar

Another teething day for my sweet baby, poor baby hasn’t been getting much sleep he didn’t mind posing for mommy though 🙂 see the rest of baby Amir’s Christmas Advent Calendar here

Just started a new project …

… and I’ll give you a hint … its inspired by the holidays and featuring my precious baby. It’s an Advent Calendar! and I’m sharing it with you, I will update it daily until Christmas day and will add those pictures to Amir’s first Christmas photo book … take a look  here

I Got Mail: customized stickers and cards from MOO

Never thought I would be so excited at the sight of mail!! It could be just an empty box or a small note from a friend but just the idea of receiving mail from overseas makes my day!

I’m sure I mentioned before that due to my hubby’s work we are in Liberia (Africa), shopping here is limited to 3 grocery stores and one over priced gift shop! in other words its HELL for people like me who are addicted to retail therapy! so what’s a girl to do? I shop online for anything and everything! my most recent purchase was a bunch of stickers, postcards and a multi picture frame I ordered from MOO.com and boy did it make my day to see that huge box with their colorful logo!

Sure we got several items in the mail, mainly for baby Amir which I have waited for but I’ve been looking forward to get my hands on  these stickers to complete a project of mine! I don’t get to do many projects while taking care of the baby but this one I’ve been anxious to finish! so now I’m happy that the Patchi chocolate favors box is checked off my to-do-list …. now on to my next project …

But until then here’s a few pictures of what I received from Moo today:

The stickers: (check out what I used them for here)

The Frame for Shaun’s desk at work. He wanted pictures of me and Amir and couldn’t pick his favorites so I surprised him with this frame from MOO. He absolutely loved it!

Personalized holiday cards for friends and family (Yes that’s my baby in the picture isn’t he adorable!)

DIY Patchi Chocolate Favors Box

For those of you who don’t know Patchi you are definitely missing out! back in Lebanon no occasion goes by whether it’s a new baby, wedding, holiday, etc ….  without the need for a Patchi chocolate tray to give out for visitors offering their congrats. When I gave birth to baby Amir in Lebanon earlier than expected, the first thing I said to my mom after returning from the delivery room was “OMG I didn’t order the Patchi tray yet”. She calmly smiled and informed me that my sister is already there picking it up. I remember how happy I was when she walked in with two huge trays (one from my parents and the other from hubby) like I said no occasion should go by without a Patchi tray and definitely not the birth of my pride and joy!

Of course when travelling to Liberia carrying a baby and 4 suitcases the last thing on my mind was the chocolate favors I should give out to our friends!  So as I always do I researched chocolate squares  recipes ambitiously thinking that I can make the favors from scratch  and then it hit me what if Patchi went global?? I type in the words and there it is a Patchi online store in the U.S.! ( we can receive  mail to an address in the U.S. which eventually gets to us but it takes time) I couldn’t find the ones I liked in Lebanon so I ordered the chocolate squares with the plain blue and white wrapping  and went ahead and ordered some personalized stickers from MOO and now I have my Patchi tray! yay! an actual successful DIY project!

A year full of blessings

June 3rd marked the beginning of a series of thankful events and blessings… It was the day my bundle of joy Amir was born.  Having a blessing like him in my life is sufficient enough to be thankful every moment of everyday and being with him and there for him in the good and the bad gives me the greatest satisfaction of all. Below is my list of what I am thankful for today:

I’m thankful for my hubby for being there for me during those difficult early days of pregnancy when I was hooked to an IV and he would come home from work exhausted but always ready to take care of me.

I’m thankful that I had the chance to go home and spend some time with my family due to my difficult pregnancy, even on bad days when I missed Shaun too much I reminded myself that this will probably be the last time I will get the chance to stay home for this long.

I’m thankful for my mom for being by my side throughout my pregnancy, during my delivery, and after Amir’s birth. Not to mention that little stunt that saved my life and Amir’s when my blood pressure spiked… we owe our happiness to you

I’m thankful my dad got to whisper his blessings in Amir’s ear when he was first born and actually is proud to be called jedo

I’m thankful Amir has people who love him and miss him in two different continents

I’m thankful I was able to be present for planning and attending my beloved sister’s engagement party

I’m thankful for our friends in Monrovia who stayed by hubby’s side all night celebrating and drinking champagne when I gave birth to our son thousands of miles away

I’m thankful for Shaun’s short visit when Amir was readmitted to the hospital when he was three weeks old. I truly believe I would not have been able to hold it together without him

I’m thankful for those colicky nights and days, even though I never want to see my baby in pain again but it was on those long nights when it was just me and him that I learned to be his mommy and earned his trust.

I’m thankful for that long dreaded flight from Lebanon to Monrovia because I got to hold my baby close to my heart for 12 hours straight!

I’m thankful for today, for spending Thanksgiving with Shaun and our Amir even if we missed the Embassy’s holiday feast for a couple of smoked turkey sandwiches after our poor teething baby finally went to sleep.

I’m thankful for my ability to realize how lucky I am every moment of everyday, happy Thanksgiving!

Ladies (and interested gentlemen) we have a winner: the best baby carrier

Its true what they say that you try everything on your first child and with the 2nd one u get it right because of the lessons you’ve learned. Amir is only 5 months old and I had to go through 2 pumps (more on that later) and 3 carriers to find the perfect fit.
Today I received my balboa baby carrier in the mail. All I can say is that I wish I heard about it earlier! I had to go through two carriers until I found this one. The first was a gift and it was just too stiff with too many hard to undo plasticy buckles that I just couldn’t imagine traveling with him in it and the 2nd was the bayblonia carrier which is not bad, soft, breathable was great for securing him in when I was flying from Lebanon to Monrovia with all the tying on my back and behind his knees but it was only good for carrying him facing me and not facing out and he really couldn’t move at all. Like I said I had to tie right behind his knees and his head was on my chest the whole time so I couldn’t keep him in that position for too long.
But this gem I’m wearing as I write this post is so perfect to walk in and to wear around the house for a long time … Ladies allow me to introduce my balboa baby carrier! This beauty allows me to carry my baby cradle and cuddle style, it also enables front and hip carrying its super comfortable for him. He fell asleep within seconds I kid you not! Ok it could be because I took two extra minutes chatting with my sister about her wedding dress and as a result giving him more play time with daddy which wore him out. Not to mention that warm bath and massage afterwards but it still worked! He was asleep as soon as I placed him in it! The best feature is that it allows baby to be close to mommy and I think that’s the main reason I love it so much! Can’t wait to venture out with him in it!

By the way I’m still doing well with my  post-pregnancy diet plan follow my progress here

Wonderful relaxing day

Not much to report today just had a wonderful blissful Saturday with hubby and baby, still on track with my diet check out my progress here….. actually I have to confess that I did sneak in two oatmeal cookies oops! just a little set back that I promise to make up for. As for baby Amir I can tell he is settling in his routine his teeth didn’t hurt as much and we had a long nice nap together in the afternoon. All in all very relaxed and thankful! Oh and I started working on a little project at Shutterfly to be revealed soon.

looking forward to another relaxing day with the family tomorrow … until then… here is a super cute picture of baby Amir and daddy playing around with the webcam earlier today

Today’s obsession: cooking from scratch

 

   I love cooking and just recently I’ve been into cooking from scratch. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that a few   items that we tend to take for granted in our daily life such as cake mix, liquid broth, frosting and any kind of bread other than white bread are not consistently available in Monrovia. And if you are lucky enough to find any they might be expired or worse – like the time when we found bugs in our rice bags and pasta (hence the rule of buying only see through rice and pasta bags). I have a checklist already and I’m checking them one recipe at a time, today I made  homemade chicken broth  try it out.

Psst ….  I’m still on track with my post-pregnancy diet plan, check out my progress here

Post-pregnancy diet plan and workout

I know its only been five months and three weeks since my C-Section and that I should give my body a chance until its been nine months to start seeing real weight loss results but the fact of the matter is I can’t afford to wait that long … my sister’s wedding – which is expected to be THE wedding of the season (Enshallah)- is coming up and I need to look my best! Its bad enough that when she had her engagement party one week after my delivery I still looked very pregnant! (Somehow the belly isn’t so cute when there is no baby inside anymore).

So back to the plan … While back home I went to this amazing nutritionist who gave me a personalized post-pregnancy diet plan … It actually worked well, I lost 20 pounds in two months but with my travel and taking care of baby Amir I somehow lost my way. I want to get back on track and lose my remaining 20 lbs it should be easy enough all I have to do is monitor what I eat especially when those hunger pangs kick in between pumping, play time, bath time and rocking baby to sleep. So I will post everything I eat everyday under my health and fitness page (an idea I borrowed from Relaxed Focus) to motivate myself and to refrain from eating unhealthy snacks (it’s so easy to rip open that bag of chocolate chips when no one is looking!)
I also researched some baby and mommy workouts and I stumbled upon this great exercise plan at Mama Moderne  that I really want to try … I spend most of my time rocking and walking around the house trying to put baby to sleep anyways might as well kick it up a notch wish me luck and look out for my daily progress. Here’s to no cheating!

Fast beauty tips for busy new mommies

 

Here I am again sitting in my baby blue rocking chair holding my sleeping beautiful muse as I write this post … Being a busy new mom the last thing on my mind was whether I looked presentable enough!
With a Lebanese background and a super stylish mother this is a big no no! Especially that every time I see a pale, frizzy haired, uncoordinated reflection in the mirror I heard my mother’s voice ” habibti always make time to brush your hair and put makeup no matter what” so I have learned some fast tricks to help me look decent if someone drops by and still be comfortable enough to easily tend to my baby throughout the day and to squeeze in those snuggling naps with him when I need an energy booster:

– use your hair conditioner instead of a shaving cream to shave in the shower it will leave your skin extra moist so u can skip the lotion application step (some people say expressed breast milk is good for dry skin but I’m not trying that!)

– pull hair in a bun or a braid right after a shower and you won’t have to worry about it all day. Apply some leave in conditioner to those stray hairs.

– Apply Vaseline or baby oil on your nails and cuticles, it will make them look shiny and healthy.

– If u don’t have time to put makeup on just apply some concealer on those dark circles and u would look much more refreshed.

– Use lip stain instead of lipstick it will last up to 12 hours. I use the body shop lip stain it looks very natural. The last time I checked they were out. I hope they don’t drop this product.

– clothing: a few clothing items I invested in were perfect to keep up my Lebanese standards and accommodate my much-needed relaxed American look. I wear bra tops for support and easy access when its feeding or pumping time, yoga pants and those pachmina cardigans (they look like pachminas with sleeves) this is my signature look nowadays!

– Shoes: instead of normal flip-flops I walk around with my FIT flops, they are perfect for toning your thighs! So when I’m walking around rocking my teething baby I keep on reminding myself that I’m getting a hell of a workout! The idea of burning calories adds a little spring in my step making baby drift off faster!

Any mothers out there with fast and easy beauty tips? Please share!