Newborn Survival Guide

Happy 4 Month Birthday Baby William!



Does being a mom of two make me a veteran mom?

Well let’s pretend it does for a moment. ūüôā

It is easier the second time around?

Yes! In some ways it is easier! I did a ton of research when Alexander was born: dozens and dozens of books, hours spent on the internet, endless conversations with other moms I trusted. ¬†The second time around there was no endless deliberation when it comes to what diapers to use, which bottles, what books made sense to me. (Next post¬†I’ll go through my list in detail!) And while the second baby may be different (hello colic –¬†not my favorite part) I saved a lot of time and effort and research the second time around because I know what works for me.

Super Survival Mode:

Remember to be kind to yourself. Sleep deprivation and hormone crashes call for super survival mode. For me personally, super survival mode means lots of chocolate, a five minute non-negotiable shower each day, and only the essential chores.

Essential Chores Only:

My goal is to keep our house safe and sanitary. What does this mean? I do laundry because we need clean clothes, I do the dishes because we need clean dishes to cook and eat, and I¬†take¬†out the trash so the house doesn’t stink. I also try to vacuum and sweep the floors before they get crunchy.

Accepting Help:

My biggest lesson (again) has been give yourself permission to ask for and accept help. As much as I like doing things myself, my answer has had to be “Yes thank you!” when someone offers to run to the grocery store, pick up extra diapers, bring you dinner and (wow if you’re lucky) even clean your house. No room in the budget for a housekeeper? How about just for three months? One month? Do you have a friend who’s willing to trade favors, maybe a clean house for a day of child care? Be creative. You can figure this out.

It takes a village, especially at the beginning. We new moms deserve the opportunity to rest and heal and enjoy our sweet new baby.

Peace of Mind:

Once I was feeling up to it, I made a point of getting out of the house every day. Go to the park. Go to the grocery store. Go visit friends or family. Go to Target and look at magazines. I had an excuse to take a shower and put on something besides pajamas. I felt better, and when I felt better, I was a better mom.

Music, Books on Audible and Podcasts:

Spending days by yourself at home with young kids can be stressful and sometimes a little boring. Keep your spirits up with your favorite music on Pandora. Have a dance party in the living room before lunch! It will make the meal and transition to nap time that much easier.

Keep yourself entertained and your mind engaged with your favorite podcasts and books on Audible. For nonfiction I love Malcolm Gladwell. For fiction, I adore Jhumpa Lahiri and Paulo Coelho.

Amazon Prime and Target Red Card:

Two day shipping on Amazon- need I say more? And since our¬†diapers¬†come from¬†Target, it was free shipping with no minimums¬†with our Red Card. Having things arrive on my doorstep was a huge blessing when I really didn’t feel like running another errand.

So dear friends, as always¬†I hope that¬†sharing what works for me will help you decide what works for you, whether it’s the same or not. You have my blessing to do what works best for your¬†family.

What strategies work well for your family?


Thanksgiving Prep Part 1: Williams Sonoma


Williams Sonoma‘s October catalog came in this mail this week. (Copper pots are always on my wish list…) It’s time to invest¬†in more white dishes. When cooking something visually complex, a simple backdrop is the perfect frame, according to Serious Eats.¬†More wine glasses too, although I’ll have to wait until the spring to indulge. ūüôā

Last year’s celebration was a home run. So we’re hosting again this year with even more guests. No pressure, right?

After a¬†decade’s worth of epic Thanksgivings at my late in-laws’ house, I learned you can’t start too early! Preparation is the key to success. So getting a head start on the biggest feast of the year is another small meaningful way to celebrate¬†their memory.

One thing I absolutely love about WS is their amazing collection of kitchen gadgets. Just when I think I’ve got every tool¬†a girl could possibly need, they come up with a Kale and Greens Stripper. Designed to take the tough center ribs out of greens and herbs in one swift motion, all that’s left are the tender leaves. Time-saving genius.

And while we’re here, might as well throw in another¬†programmable slow cooker.

Their featured dishes are works of art in themselves (recipes found on their website, not in the catalog). While many Thanksgiving foods are various shades of brown and beige, they suggest adding kale to stuffing for a pop of vibrant green. We eat first with our eyes, of course. Spiced pecan and pumpkin quick bread mix, butternut squash bisque starter and vanilla caramels are must haves.

And have you ever brined your turkey? I’m considering it this year. I’d love to know what you think.

Anything else not to be missed from Williams Sonoma this season?


Hello! Welcome!

I’m Diane. I’ve always been inspired by creative design, classic style, simple elegant food, and the love of family.

I work full time at a French immersion school where I get to practice my French all day while surrounded by adorable kids. It’s a privilege to work with an amazing international (and local!) staff and to serve students from all walks of life.

Here’s where I get to share things that inspire me. The¬†more beauty, kindness and joy we bring into¬†our own lives, the more it overflows to¬†our family, friends and community.

So join the conversation! I love reading your comments.

Thanks for visiting!