Mamahood: This is Two

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May is a special (and very busy!) month for us: Mother’s day, my birthday, it’s the end of the school year (if you’re a teacher you know how crazy it gets this time of year!) and of course — Nolan’s birthday! Last week, my little guy turned two- and as cliche as it sounds, I cannot believe how fast the past two years have flown by! Some wise pieces of advice/ words of wisdom that have really proved true: you’re never “ready” for changes- so just go with them; and that every “stage” of parenthood is special and fun in its own way- while presenting its own set of challenges! If you’re curious about what Nolan is up to at two, READ ON:

1. Overall behavior: I mean, he was a really good baby. We lucked out. So as two started approaching, I started thinking oh crap is this when he’ll inevitably turn into a head spinning demon child?! Has he been laying in wait, secretly fooling us and plotting our demise?! The answer turns out to be … not really, for he most part. Again, we’re only two weeks into two years old (lol) so the sh*t still has plenty of time to hit the fan- but overall, he’s still a pretty easygoing, chill, good tempered little guy- I’d say 80% if the time. Of course the other 20% includes a meltdown every now and again (today, for example- we went to the beach and I attempted to shower him at the outdoor shower before we left and he SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER and people looked at us like I was hurting him or something!) His personal preferences are obviously stronger and more apparent now- “I don’t want it/ I don’t want to” are regular statements we deal with- but I try and just chalk it up to the fact that he’s A LITTLE HUMAN and as a human myself who at times “doesn’t want it/ doesn’t want to” (get up for work, wait in line at the post office, make dinner, do laundry).  We try and let him “choose” or give him the allusion of “power” in making some decisions (what toy to bring, what snack to eat, if he wants to come with one of us or stay home)… but some non-negotiables are saying hello and goodbye to people, cleaning up after yourself, and obvi safety directions like holding hands when crossing the street.

2. Eating: I’ve been saying to my mama friends- if Nolan being a picky eater is the one “problem” I have to deal with, then I’m pretty lucky. At times, I totally envy parents who say “my toddler eats ANYTHING!” Or “he or she eats whatever we eat!”- I wish it were that easy for us, but alas, we have a picky eater on our hands. Things Nolan LOVES  and will definitely eat and give no pushback are:

perdue chicken nuggets (he’s skeptical of other nuggets eye roll eye roll)

chicken meatballs (fave brand is Aidelis from the supermarket)

sausage patties (so healthy, I know!)

baked beans

corn

whole wheat pita bread

cinnamon raisin bread/ bagels

french toast/ pancakes/ pretty much any bread

peas (sometimes)

berries (strawberries, black and blue)

banana

quesadilla (cheese, won’t eat it them if there’s stuff in there!)

french onion soup

peanut butter/ sandwiches/ crackers

cheese/ yogurt

various snackfoods/ cookies

(we also still give him those squeezable veggie pouches which he loves- his faves are “green” veggie ones like the kale/spinach/broccoli variety… some say those delay real veggie eating but I don’t care bc at least he’s getting the National value!)

So it’s not like he eats NOTHING, he just doesn’t have a huge appetite and pretty much cycles through the items on this list, even though we try and introduce new foods all the time.

Another thing with the eating: does anyone else’s kid eat better when being read to or distracted in some way? We hardly ever let him eat meals in front of a screen (tv or iPad)- bc we don’t want to encourage mindless eating and want mealtimes to be social- so since he was a baby, we always read books/ mags while feeding him… now it’s getting hard to break that habit! He’ll pretty much always request a book with dinner.. which I know isn’t the worst   Thing in the world, but sometimes I want to eat with him without reading  Thomas the freakin tank Engine!!!

3. Sleep- I’ll keep this one short, bc Nolan’s sleep patterns have always been solid- he hasn’t woke up in the night since maybe 2 months old lol… and I count my lucky stars every night! Bedtime is anywhere between 745 and 815, depending if we’re out or not. He wakes up around 730-830 in the morning, again depending on what we did yesterday and if he napped or not. Nap time is usually around 130-330 or 230 to 430 (I can hear him singing “twinkle twinkle “ to himself up there as I type this!)… he LOVES to sleep and usually will request a nap or to go to bed at night. He still takes a night time bottle of milk- which every doctor currently advises against – but I don’t really care! He loves it, it gives him comfort- and we honestly treat him like a bigger kid so much of the time and expect so much of him already (in terms of behavior etc bc he was always “ready” for more”- that I figure let him be a baby his one way a little longer!

4. Potty: we’ve successfully had three poops in the trainer potty – and that’s about it. We try and ask him around the times when we think he normally goes, if he has to go potty- it’s really hit or miss. Especially bc I work ful tome and I’m not home with him during the day-it’s been hard to get a consistent routine for potty training. This summer, while we’re off- that’s the next thing on the list to tackle!

5. Social skills/ clingyness: not sure what to call this area… but you guys know what I mean! Currently, Nolan is full time with Tim’s mom during the week while we work… he’s the only kid there, so he’s not around other kids THAT much, although we do our best to take him to kids classes (gym , art etc)… honestly, he’s around adults mostly… let’s just say he’s an expert at brunch already!! Next fall, he’ll be at “school” two or three days a week, so I’m looking forward to him being there for social reasons.  Other than that, he’s really not very shy or clingy … he’ll pretty much talk to anyone, give hugs or high fives to anyone— acclimates to new situations very quickly… sometimes I wish he was more of a “mamas boy!” Sometimes he’ll just walk away from me and not look back when we get to a new place (which breaks my heart!) , but I’m also proud of his confident little self as well!

so that’s it for now!

hope this was interesting and maybe helpful to other parents out there- I know I always find it interesting to see what other kids the same age are up to!

xo, ❤

Christine (and Nolan)

Fave NYC Hotels for Stay-or-Vacations

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For Mother’s Day this past weekend, Tim, Nolan and I decided to do one of our favorite things- treat ourselves to a staycation in Manhattan.  Tim works in the city, and we live just a short train ride away, so we’re in Manhattan and Brooklyn a lot- but nothing beats being able to spend the night in a fresh, crisp hotel bed… where you can throw your towel in the tub when you’re done, not have to make the bed, and have room service (with no dishes to clean!) delivered right to your door! As a working mom, a mini staycation at a hotel beats pretty much any “gift” I could wish for!

Anyway… whether you live in NYC, Long Island, or the surrounding area and just want a night away, OR you’re from out of town visiting the city for work or play (or both!), here are some of our FAVE places to stay in NYC:

1. The Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa

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We’ve stayed at The Roxy a few times, for fashion week and most recently for mother’s day. We love that it has a vintage jazz feel, a movie theatre on the lowest floor, and an overall “resort” feel- in that there’s lots to explore on the property- a few different places to eat and drink. You’re greeted with glasses of Rosé upon check in as well. Lastly, you can’t beat the location- right on the border of Tribeca and soho- near all of the best restaurants and bars!

2. The Soho Grand

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The Soho Grand is also located in a super convenient area— right in the heart of some of our fave places to eat and shop. You can rent vintage bikes to cruise around the city, and the decor is just gorgeous. Their outdoor dining and drinking space, Gilligan’s has the chillest island vibes.

3. The Standard Highline Hotel

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If if you’re staying in the Meatpacking district (awesome shopping and dining!), then The Standard is at the top of the list- it’s super chic, with minimalist decor and retro modern vibes- but what I personally come for : the views and the food! The top of the Standard, Le Bain, is one of my fave rooftop drinking spots in the city. The views are incredible and the drinks and vibe are even better (get the cucumber lemonade- thank me later!). The Standard Grill remains one of our fave family brunch spots- more baby friendly than you might think! The hotel also offers the Biergarten as well- so you can get your day drinking on while playing ping pong and foosball. To top it off, it’s right in the heart of the Meatpacking district and adjecent to the Highline- one of my fave outdoor parks/walking spots in the city.

4. The Dream Downtown

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The Dream, also in the Meatpacking district is super fun as well- I’ve stayed here a few times for various bachelorette festivities! The rooms are super modern, almost “spacey” in feel. But the best part has to be the Beach- the Dream’s rooftop pool area that hosts a pool party on Sundays in the summer- so stay Saturday night, dance the night away at Ph.D, the rooftop club with amazing city views, then sleep in and head to the pool Sunday morning!

5. Public- Lower East Side/ Soho

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Just this past NYFW we stayed at Public- and it’s on my list to immediately go back for more! The service was incredible- some of the nicest staff I’ve ever met- and the amenities were awesome! They have a few different in house food options, a coffee bar, a regular bar, and a lounge area with old school board games and luxurious pillows and blankets. There’s plenty of workspace if that’s what you need, and the rooms boast the coolest interior design- minimalist and chic- lots of white and wood. It’s on the lower east side, right off of West Houston- so Soho is just around the corner.

So that’s it! Guys, I really encourage you (especially you mamas out there!) to do more small staycation! They’re the best way to recharge and relax… and if you haven’t been to NYC yet, hopefully this guide gives you some fun options!

Xo, ❤

Christine

 

 

Mix Musts: My Top Ten Wardrobe Essentials

In the world of blogging and Instagram, I know it can definitely feel like bloggers wear an outfit ONCE and then you never see it again… and readers are left thinking “how unrealistic is that?!” The truth is, bloggers DO get lots of gifted items, and are sometimes sponsored by brands to promote certain items- meaning yeah, sometime we (they? We?) only wear some looks once or twice. There’s also a ton of pressure in this industry (coupled with the increasingly “disposable” nature of just about everything in society these days!) to constantly and consistently produce “new” content featuring new outfits- and while I’m def not immune to these pressures, I do pride myself (and my husband and bank account are very grateful I’m sure!) in “remixing” favorite pieces and looks. After all, it’s part of why I named my blog “TheLittleGoldMix”! I truly believe that if you buy the right closet staples (for YOU and your lifestyle), it’s so much easier to MIX in fresh pieces- and way more economical too! So I figured I’d share with you guys what my top 10 closet staples are- my “hero” pieces that you guys have seen me where time and time again- the essential building blocks of my wardrobe:

  1. Denim overalls : I actually own multiple pairs, but these Madewell classics are the ones I go back to constantly- the fit is impeccable and there’s just the right amount of stretch and structure.

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2. Black skinny jeans: my favorites are also by Madewell- I wore my original pair of these so many times I’ve had to buy two back up pairs- pricey, but SO worth every penny! 

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3. A (faux) leather mini skirt: one of my absolute fave pieces; I worn multiple colors but a black one can be dressed up or down, (down, preferably) and gives all my outfits just the right edgy tomboy feel that I love.

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4. Classic ripped knee jeans: my current faves are these high waisted Levi’s. If you’ve been hesitant about jumping on the 90s mom-ish jeans bandwagon, but have found the fit difficult- TRY THESE! The small percentage of elastase keeps the fit on point and comfort than some 100% cotton ones.

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5. A leather Moto jacket: A MUST! I wear mine year round; in the winter layered over sweaters and even on cooler summer nights with shorts. Usually I’m ok w faux leather, but in the case of moto jackets, I say splurge a little- there’s nothing better than the buttery feel of real leather- plus faux jackets I find to be too hot. I’ve had this particular one for at least 6 years, and it’s still going strong!

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6. Classic white sneakers: my current faves are these Golden Goose Deluxe Superstars… def a splurge, but remember, my whole point in this post is that these ten items are the basics that I build my entire wardrobe around- so $300 sneakers may seem pricey, but I pair them with cheapie tees and jeans year round, at least 3x a week! My affordable faves are def these classic Stan Smiths.

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7. Leather loafer mules: you guys KNOW by now how obsessed I am with this shoe style. I’ve owned all kinds- from $16 forever 21 faux leather ones, to mid range Sam Edelman pairs, to my current sole mates, my gold Gucci princetown slippers. The good news is that there are SO many styles of these available now, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get good ones- below find my favorite affordable pair.

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8. A special blazer: this plaid blazer was def one of my most worn pieces these past few seasons. Find a blazer that you love- striped, patterns, plaid, or even solid color- I promise you’ll reach for it over and over again to feel pulled together. A super chic affordable version here.

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9. A floral or other patterned mini dress: I have a few that are always in heavy rotation: get one with a casual vibe that you can wear with tights in the cooler temps with booties , and barelegged in warmer months with sneaks, sandals or slides.

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10. A casual button down top: I wear these all the time, year round- my fave long sleeved one is an army green; my fave short sleeved is a plaid. Tuck ‘em into skirts or denim, or pair under overalls. 

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Hopefully j this post helps you rethink your closet in terms of mixing and remixing pieces- and editing what you own down to pieces you really LOVE and reach for again and again!

xo,<3

Christine

Six Picks: Sandals for Spring

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It’s that time of year again guys— we’ve gotta stop hiding our unpedicured toes under booties and in sneaks— time to bust out our sandals! I’ve rounded up my current fave styles, all under $100– and all cool enough to update all of your spring and summer looks!

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1. Raffia and suede ankle tie sandals: perfect with denim shorts and a flowy floral top, a little sundress or a denim mini and fun tee!

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2. Leather braided flat sandal: simple and chic, with a cool braided detail that will pair well with everything in your summer wardrobe.

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3. Suede knotted sandal: this slide also comes in a Tahoe/ tan color that I also love… just the right amount feminine and vintagey- love the vibe of these with a pretty summer dress- maybe something polka dotted…

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4. Canvas rainbow stripe sandal: guys if you haven’t gotten the memo yet, ALL RAINBOW EVERYTHING is everywhere this spring and summer! Are these not a fiesta for your feet?! I’d pair them with a vintage graphic tee and denim cutoffs.

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5. Striped knot sandal: these are a perf mix of preppy and fashion forward- if you’re summer style leans more toward nautical/ classic, these hit the mark.

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6. Lucite jeweled sandals: these babies hit two major summer trends- lucite/ clear accessories and multi colored jewels- these add a glam touch to an otherwise simple look- think jeans and a white tee, or a simple grey or black t shirt dress- I wore a similar pair in Miami for a pool day with a red one piece as a bodysuit and black cutoff shorts!

Happy sandal weather!

xo,<3

Christine