Just Can't Wait!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

We will be launching our brand new Petal and Thorn site in just a few weeks.  I will be saying adieu, auf wiedersehen, and peace out! to etsy for the time being.  Why?  Etsy was a fun and safe place to start my handmade business, but I want my own little territory where I can arrange and display my products exactly the way I want to.  I want to make it super easy for my beloved customers to peruse and find exactly what they need.  I want to streamline the purchasing process (because we all know searching and ordering from etsy isn't the most efficient process.)  I feel so ready to be on my own, and I feel stoked!

I just couldn't wait to show you a few more favorite images from our photoshoot with Jessie of Juneberry Photography.  I mean, how fierce are these models?

  And there's lots more fierceness where that came from, all on the new site.  I'll update you soon!


Costa Rica 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We stayed 10 glorious days in Punta Uva, a tiny town on the Caribbean side of the country.  Our home away from home was a cozy bungalow at Korrigan Lodge which was tucked into the jungle, a short walk away from one of the loveliest beaches I've ever been to.  It felt like we were"glamping" (glam camping)- the perfect mix of being out of your comfort zone, but also being verrrry comfortable.  We were not "roughing it" by any means, as the bungalow was quite luxurious, but we did feel one with nature as we biked the rocky roads from beach to beach, fell asleep to jungle noises, and awoke to the howls of monkeys.

Some of the highlights of our trip: 

  • The vine-drenched Tarzan-esque trees (which Joe insisted on climbing despite the hotel owner's warnings about bullet ants and poisonous snakes)
  • White sand and black sand beaches with warm (but not too warm) water
  • The cool mix of Costa Rican and Jamaican culture in this region
  • Fresh coconut juice right out of the shell
  • Frequent sightings of howler monkeys and spider monkeys, sloths, toucans, and incredible butterflies.
  • Mellow surfable waves (great for beginners like me) but also some pretty gnarly waves for advanced surfers.  
  • Good coffee (although we found out that most of the best Costa Rican coffee gets exported elsewhere)
  • Barefoot muddy hikes
  • Friendly locals who pinched Sisi's cheeks and  made us feel like we have the world's most adorable toddler (but don't we though?)
  • We lucked out with great weather, humid but not too hot, just some sprinkles of rain here and there.
  • No cell phones, no laptop (my broke on the airplane), no TV.  Just books and conversation.  I actually read 4 books on this trip, thanks to Sisi's nice long naps.  
Some of the bummers:
  • Mosquitoes galore!  I counted 21 bites on Sisi's legs alone.
  • The food did not impress me.  But I'm paleo, and Costa Rica seems to be a pretty carb-happy nation, so perhaps it just wasn't going to work out. It was a struggle to eat paleo meals in Costa Rica, but we were in a fairly remote area.  I've heard the Pacific side has totally different food. 
  • The food was also pricey (even compared to the US).  We were so spoiled in Thailand with amazing 1.00 meals.  Luckily, lodging and airfare was very reasonable in Costa Rica, so it all evened out. 
  • Toddler tantrums.  Sisi was such a trooper most of the time, but tantrums still happen in paradise (they are just more embarrassing).


And I'm cheating with this last picture- it was actually taken in California the day after we got back.  I was a little sad to leave Costa Rica, but I can't deny that where I live is a little bit like Paradise, too.  I mean bikinis in January?  Come on!

I've definitely been bit by the travel bug.  As soon as we got home, I started researching our next trip to Brazil.  Then I realized we are hoping to have another kiddo sometime in the near future, so when on Earth will I be able to squeeze a surf trip in?  Sigh.  I guess we'll have to wait a few years.  


Happy Birthday, Sisi!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We flew back from Costa Rica the day before Sisi's 2nd birthday (so as not to have to pay for her seat on the plane, obviously!) She turned 2 years old on the way home from the airport, in the super shuttle of all places.  We were so tired from our trip we didn't have anything planned for her, but we managed to bake a paleo cake with chocolate ganache frosting together.  We couldn't even find a candle to light, but we did sing Happy Birthday and made her wear a festive party hat from Joyful Joyful. She was quite amused by all the fuss.   Her only birthday present was turning her carseat around so she could see more than the backseat upholstery, and she was thrilled.  They are so easy to please at this age!

I can't believe my little baby is doing so many "big girl" things now- speaking in sentences, trying to ride a tricycle, making up the silliest ditties (that often sound like bjork songs), and traveling across the world like it's no big deal.  

She is such a treasure to me.  
      I adore it when she says "Held, please mommy!"  when she wants to be picked up, or "wear baby soup" when she wants to put on her bathing suit and go to the beach.  
      I love my little tomboy, who would much rather play with cars, trucks and trains than baby dolls or princesses.  
     Who hides from strangers but secretly smiles at the attention she's receiving (and she does get a lot of attention).  
     Who had to hug every car in the parking lot on the way to the post office today.
Who still thinks if she's closing her eyes, nobody can see her.
     Who gladly eats the fish skin I leave on my plate.  
My sweet blue-eyed big-bellied beach-bum toddler who is growing up so fast it makes my head spin.  
     All her old favorite board books are too simple for her now, and she's gravitating toward longer books with more complicated stories like Babar, On the Night You Were Born, and Bernstein Bears.  
     She said "I love you" to Joe for the first time recently, and I think I saw his heart melt right on the spot.  I'm still waiting to hear those magic words.  
     Oh, and she is completely weaned off of bottles and milk, too!  We could only get powdered goat's milk in Costa Rica, and  she didn't like it so she just drank water instead. She still asks for her "ba ba" sometimes, but I just tell her we don't have any milk, and she is ok. It was almost too easy.  

drunk on cake, or just jet-lagged??

And let's see what a difference a year makes.  Here is Sisi one year ago:

Photo by Trista Lerit Photography

And one year before that:

Photo by Trista Lerit Photography

I love you bundles and bundles, my dear Siena!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


Packing for Costa Rica!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Our trip to Costa Rica (see above) is just around the corner.  Eeeek!  I'm trying to pack wisely.  Packing wisely utilizes traits that I wasn't blessed with- organization, common sense, simplicity, neatness.  In the past I've been an sloppy overpacker (who has time to fold?  Just shove shove shove!)  But it's a new year, and one of my resolutions is to be more neat and organized. My personal challenge is to fit all my and Sisi's belongings into one small carryon suitcase and backpack because we'll be staying in small quarters (see below.)

our bungalow
So far, my suitcase looks like this:

It's a hot mess, but I have some time to simplify and reorganize.  Luckily, we mostly need swimsuits, light skimpy clothes, and flip flops.  However, we'll be sweating buckets in tropical heat, so it will be hard to re-wear outfits without washing them. I'm trying to find that perfect balance between under and over-packing. I packed several tank tops/tees, shorts, undies, bikinis, sundresses, one lounge outfit (which will only be worn when I'm freshly showered or sleeping) and one hiking outfit.  I purposely chose outfits that don't require bras (just one less thing to worry about).  For Sisi, I packed lots of white cotton pants and long sleeved onesies in case the mosquitos find her as delicious as they do me. Also, a few swimsuits, shorts, tees, and 2 pairs of pajamas for the munchkin. In regards to that mountain of diapers...we would totally buy diapers in CR, but Sisi's butt is quite accustomed to her seventh generation diapers (and I like the amazon price better than the CR price.)  Makes me wonder how Taza and her family dressed as stylishly as they did in Italy (with scarves, accessories, peacoats, hats, etc.) and just took two backpacks? Seems darn near impossible!

These neoprene lunch sacks by Built are wonderful!  They fit a ton, are insulated and super sleek.  We have one for snacks and one for beverages. Thanks to baby, we're allowed to bring "a reasonable amount" of food and beverages for her onto the plane.What is reasonable exactly?  No consensus on that.  Hope the TSA people have mercy on us!
Some of the healthy munchies we packed for the plane: 
  • paleo cookies
  • nuts
  • dried peaches
  • dried coconut flakes
  • applesauce pouches
  • powdered goat milk 
  • beef jerky
  • bison Tanka bars 
  • scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast in the air
  • powdered goat milk
  • sardines (before you boo and hiss at me, know that we will refrain from eating these on the actual plane.  I will already have a 2 year old on the flight and don't want to make anymore enemies.)

I'm using this cute zebra backpack by Vera Bradley as my diaper bag. It's soft quilted cotton and will make a great pillow in a pinch. I'm keeping the diaper essentials (wipes, wet ones, powder, tissues, extra onesie) in a little pouch to make room for all Sisi's toys (cheapo party favors from the craft store) and favorite books.  I will strategically offer her one new toy every 1/2 hour or so on the plane.  Luckily, it's only a 6 hour flight, so I'm not too worried about keeping her occupied.
 I'm an avid reader, although I usually stick to self-help books.  Hmm, what does that say about me?  I'm challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and just bring pleasure reading on the trip.  My childhood best friend got me Truth and Beauty for Christmas, I took my friend Rachel's recommendation of Housekeeping.  Below Stairs is just something that caught my eye at the library.  Since Sisi goes to bed early, we'll be doing a lot of reading in the hammock at the hotel.

 I'm extremely proud of how few toiletries I'm bringing. I've grown a lot in this area. Sisi and I are sharing her California Baby Sensitive shampoo and body wash.  We'll also share the jojoba and coconut oil in lieu of moisturizer and lotion.  I'm skipping the conditioner, shaving cream, and makeup.  One thing I can't live without is my sonicare toothbrush, so I'll be lugging that and the charger with us.

We're also bringing the ergo carrier for hikes, an umbrella stroller, and Joe's camera.  We were thinking of taking the point and shoot instead, but Joe will need a telephoto lens to capture the wildlife and surfing wife. 

I have butterflies, I'm just so excited to get away and explore the beauty of Costa Rica with my two favorite people.  We'll see you soon!  Sorry doggy, no room for you in my suitcase.