Thursday, November 29, 2012

giveaway : a very merry christmas



I am so thrilled to be working with these amazing companies to offer two lucky Diapers & Skinny Jeans readers a chance at winning a Christmas package of handcrafted goodies for their little ones.  We have quite the collection of some of my favorite items from around the web lately - clothing, shoes, wooden cameras for budding "little" photographers, knitted toys, mobiles for baby's rooms, even nursing necklaces!

To enter you must:
• be a follower of Diapers & Skinny Jeans
• leave a comment telling me which package you'd like to win
• be of 18 years of age, or older
• earn an extra entry by liking Diapers & Skinny Jeans on Facebook
(please leave a separate comment stating you've "liked")
• winners will be randomly selected based on comment number, and drawn on Wednesday, December 5th to try to make the cutoff for deliveries by Christmas.  Announcements will be made back on this post, and also on Facebook.  If two winners selected the same package, the winner drawn first will get first choice.

Giveaway is open to all our international readers!  Hurrah!  Please, if you do one thing, make sure to take the time to visit each of our amazing sponsors and their talented handiwork.  None of this would be possible without each of their heartfelt donations and generosity.  Sometimes, I swear I am overwhelmed by the kindness that is out there in this world...

Gift Package One
1. Wooden camera for budding, little photographers (color shipped will be ivory) from Twig Creative $30 / 2. Nursing necklace, various colors from Freja Toys $25 / 3. Knitted Toy (gift shipped may vary from pictured) from Freja Toys $25-42 / 4. Happy Ram t-shirt by Grotto Madrid $18.95 / 5. Bertie Canvas Kick - (shown in new leopard style!) from Jonah and the Girl winner will choose size/color of their choice $40 --- total package is valued at $156

Gift Package Two 
1. Knitted Rattle Toys (actual knit rattle may vary from pictured) from Freja Toys $30 / 2. Tilted Stripes t-shirt by Grotto Madrid $18.95  / 3. Nursing necklace (colors may vary from pictured) from Freja Toys $25 / 4. Bertie Canvas Kick - (shown in new Brick Red style!) from Jonah and the Girl winner will choose size/color of their choice $40 / 5. Raindrop Cloud Mobile - (shown in black, yellow and gray) from The Butter Flying $30 --- total package is valued at $144 

Good luck to you all, and merry (early) Christmas  x

* *  UPDATE  * *

This giveaway is now closed.

Random number generator chose comments #51, and #5

Congratulations to our winners: Jessica from Room For Nine(+) and Justyna from Justyna + Tyler
Beautiful ladies, please make sure to email me straight away so we can chat details.

(If prizes go unclaimed for 48hrs, new numbers will be drawn.)

* * SECOND UPDATE * * 

Prizes have gone unclaimed, new winners were drawn tonight: #44 and #18

A re-congratulations is in order for Kirstin of Kalanag and Leah of Foxes and Kangaroos

Thank you all so much for playing along- more giveaways in store for 2013, so stay tuned! 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

you + me


We're a lovely pair just you and me.  We've accomplished a lot in this life of ours, yet we have even more to look forward to.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

giving thanks for family


The temperature outside warmed up just enough to be without jackets, the wind was wild and whipped our hair.

Our first stop was my grandmothers.  Her house will forever smell of the leather from their set of couches, and the ferns she grows will always be much larger and more vibrant than anything I've been able to grow on my own.  After our meal, we packed up and headed back up north to the city to spend time with Erick's side of the family.  Happy and exhausted, we spent the most precious time with loved ones near and far away -- and that's truly what means the most to me during the holidays.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

whole family : guilt free chocolate cake


Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  We are off to spend the whole day with both sides of our family and have a lot of driving ahead of us.

After seeing this post a few days ago, I just couldn't help myself and needed to satisfy my chocolate cake craving.  The recipe can be found over at Teresa's place.  Both are fantastic blogs to spend some time getting inspired in!  The recipe is high in protein, grain-free, gluten-free, heart healthy and dairy-free... just to name a few.  It's also jam packed with nutrients, so don't even begin to feel bad about eating that last piece.

We'll be back soon, but for now we're signing off to take a few days to be thankful with each other.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

travel : arrowhead lake


Another beautiful piece of nature hidden in this great state we live in.

Erick, Sofia and I all headed south to Arrowhead Lake to get started on a shoot for an upcoming project. We ended up cutting our time much too short because of an overtired toddler fighting a courageous battle with her brand-new set of molar teeth.  As soon as we saw the first sign of inconsolable tears, we both knew it was best if we just saved this session as "to be continued."

Such is the life of a parent sometimes, no?

We'll be back.

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what sofia eats : vol 2


//  Blueberry waffles, bananas, grapes, and wholegrain cheerios
//  Strawberries, zucchini bread, and organic banana rice puffs
//  Cheese filled mini-raviolis with homemade tomato sauce, crusty bread, and grapes
//  Homemade meatballs (shown in their preparation stage!) 1/2 grass-fed veal & 1/2 grass-fed beef
//  Fresh green beans simmered with shallots and a boiled egg
//  Banana oat pancakes from scratch with strawberries

A majority of the meals this week have been of breakfast, and you might have noticed a recurring theme here with fruits, the girl definitely has her favorites right now!  We have been trying some old staples like eggs in new ways (boiled) which besides the yolks, she seemed to really enjoy.  I never thought I would feel so great spending extra money, but when we buy grass-fed meats and organic produce, (though tougher on our wallets) I know our money is going toward the health of our family.

You'll be hearing me talk more about the importance of whole foods, good nutrition, and organic living in the coming weeks as I start to incorporate more family-related health posts... hurrah!

Do any of your little ones have their own "favorite" foods they're stuck on at the moment?

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Monday, November 19, 2012

found : a few vintage treasures


I've been extra careful about random buying this season, especially since we are saving most all of our money in preparation for holiday gift-giving.  When I saw this vintage romper from Little Neon Deer, I really couldn't pass it up.  I keep imagining Sofia running around in the summer, or even pairing it with tights and a cardigan to get a bit of use out if it this season... sigh.

I found the quilt for a steal of a price on the web somewhere, it's a piece I think will look nice as we begin to talk about converting the crib to a toddler bed.  We've made the decision to completely gut Sofia's current room and start over again to maximize space... the bright schoolbus-yellow walls will be no more, and we're switching over to something a bit more subdued and cohesive.  Erick and I both have been putting in lots of extra work to this little place of ours, and truly I think it's starting to come together.

All of these little projects around the home are tiring, but they make me so happy!

This place is lived in, loved, and just the way we like it.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

interview: maitland st. meals


Just browsing around Georgi's blog, I was instantly drawn to her hauntingly simple film scans, beautiful words and eloquent stories.  Weaved together with recipes and playlists, I knew right away that having Maitland St. Meals as one of Diapers & Skinny Jean's newest sponsors was instantly a perfect fit. The feeling you get just spending time over at G's space is enough to make you want to grab your cup of tea and stay for awhile.

I had the pleasure of getting to know this lovely lady a bit better, here were some questions asked...

- - -

K:  What is it about blogging that you love?

G:  I began blogging just for me, to catalogue some of my writing, after I lost two of my journals. What I discovered, in the subsequent years, is the extensive and encouraging community of bloggers from around the globe. With their encouragement, I became more confident in myself as a writer. That - the community and connecting with like-minded people from the other side of the globe - is what I love. 

K:  Cooking, friends and gathering seems like an integral part of your life. How have your flatmates, your cooking, and the moments shared at that space influenced your writing? 

G:  Just over a year ago, inspired by some vegetarian blogs I read, I watched some videos of factory farming, and I decided to become vegan. I ate a vegan diet for three months - it was difficult, yes, but a worthwhile challenge to cook food that was still interesting and delicious, but without animal products. I moved in with my current flatmate, J, at the beginning of this year. She is passionate about eating organic and minimising impact on the environment as much as possible. Her views woke me up a little and I realised that the question of "what to eat?" was a lot more complex than I had first realised. I started to read about the effects of herbicides and pesticides used in conventional farming on the land, to learn more about the effect of carbon emissions and the importance of reducing them. Even though I began eating organic because of my flatmate, I am now convinced it is the best way to eat - better for the planet and arguably better for you. We eat organic, local produce, which also means we eat seasonally. Our milk comes from a local farmer who has 20 cows, farms organically, and produces raw milk. For me, living with J has been such a fantastic learning experience. It helps when you live with people who are passionate about the same things as you.. especially this time of year, when the supermarket is filled with tomatoes and aubergines but our organic shop is not because local growers aren't producing them yet. I don't think I've ever waited for a tomato with such anticipation before! Writing about my own experience and recipes we use will hopefully help to convince or persuade others that it is easy to eat a healthy, minimal impact diet. 

Moments shared at Maitland St. are special to me - the end of the day is when we all gather to relax, unwind, and cook food. Sometimes it's just a simple frittata, other times it's a planned feast, but if we're all home, we do take the time to sit down to a meal - even if that means we're eating dinner at 10pm. I'm also passionate about sharing food and I'd rather invite friends over for dinner than go out together. There's something nice about cooking for your friends. 


I write about these moments, not just to inspire others, but to inspire myself. There are always those times when you don't feel like cooking when you get home after a long day, and when it's just J and me, sometimes we have been known to eat toast and tea for dinner. But it's not hard to make the effort, just to put some lentils on to boil and pick some salad greens from the garden - and it helps if you have recipes at your fingertips. I don't think I'll ever be not passionate about sharing a meal with people! 


K:  What inspires you?

G:  Passion and commitment, selflessness, community.

K:  Tell us a bit more about you - where are you from?

G:  I was born in the capital city of Aotearoa, Wellington. I'm the oldest child of four, all of whom still live in Wellington. I live in the less-populous South Island, in the university city of Dunedin. I moved out of home when I was 18 and now I'm 24 - so Dunedin has become my home although Wellington always holds a special place in my heart. During the day I work as a PhD student studying the genetic regulation systems of a bacteria that can infect immuno-compromised humans, such as those with cystic fibrosis. My creative side competes for my attention by keeping me up (sometimes until the early hours) writing poems and prose, which I share at a pastiche (http://a-pastiche.com) and writing recipes, which I share at winter meals & spring tunes (http://maitlandstmeals.blogspot.com). I feel better when there are flowers in the house, I've been to yoga this week, and there's milk for the morning coffee. I can get politically fired up at times and have been known to shout back at online videos of politicians when I don't agree with them. I hope there will be a Green government in NZ in my lifetime.

K:  Any projects or special new things you're working on?

G:  My food blog has only been up and running for the past six weeks, so I think that counts! In other writing projects, there are a couple of important deadlines I want to submit for next year - they are always in my mind. As far as photography goes, I have a long term goal of upgrading to a DSLR so I can continue my love affair with the 50mm lens.. but for now I'll settle for shooting on film.

K:  If told to only use three words to describe yourself, which would you choose?

G:  Loving, observant, stubborn.

(Lovely film scans provided by Georgi)


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

winter sessions chicago


Running out of time to get those family pictures taken?  You're in luck!

I'm teaming up with fellow photographer, Justina Olenick to offer a last chance for anyone in the greater Chicagoland area to sneak in some portraits at a really awesome price.  We'll be booking 20 minute mini-sessions on Saturday, the 24th of November from 8:30AM-3:00PM at the IDE Christmas Tree farm in Downers Grove-- a beautiful winter backdrop with miles upon miles of evergreen trees.  We will be offering multiple options for digital downloads, holiday cards, and much more, so don't wait!

Space is extremely limited. 

Download our info packet by giving us a quick shout below!

Request info & book now:
gowintersessions@gmail.com

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autumn: sights and sounds


The crunch of the dead leaves on the ground, late blooming flowers, a mid-conversation snap of the little one...

This is what our autumn looked like the past few days.

I loaded up the grocery basket with every single root vegetable imaginable, with my lofty plans for soups, pies, and even an impromptu purchase of eggnog.  It's silly, but no matter what type of mood I'm in, when I head to the market or our local Whole Foods I can instantly be cheered up... I sure do love food.

This was also such a wonderful week for budding, new friendships.  Katie, who I've known and loved from Off Switch Magazine, is such a delight in person.  I first "met" her at the Renegade craft fair, complete with an awkward hug on my side.  This time, though nervous, I think I held it together a bit better as we sipped on our tea and coffee.  After our meet up, I immediately went home and jotted down new ideas for the blog, and tried out some grain-free recipes on the family.  She is quite the inspirational lady!

We are most definitely ready for the weekend, though.  I know I planned on sleeping in a bit later today and spending more time cozied up on the couch with a cup of tea... it's been an interestingly busy week for both Erick and I.  We could use all the extra rest we can get!

(PS- the eggnog was good, though I don't see myself drinking humongous glasses of it anytime soon.)

Any fun weekend plans for you?  Do tell...

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

remembering now: november 15th, 2012






The remembering now project, 2012.

Catch the rest of the series here.

Papa painted us a chalkboard wall yesterday, right beside the entrance to the kitchen.  It's just big enough for mama to write her lists up top, but perfectly sized for little scribbles at the bottom.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

scenes from the morning




This morning, I woke before anyone in the house and made a simple batch of scones with jam.

With sticky fingers and a cup of warm coffee, it was the perfect start to the week.

Happy Monday to all of you!

(Thanks for giving me the tasty idea, Gaby!)

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

what sofia eats, v.1


      grape tomatoes, avocado, grilled veggie burger and annie's cheddar bunnies      


      green seedless grapes with pancakes      


      cheddar potato pierogis, tangerine slices, garlic pearled couscous with corn         

Diapers & Skinny Jeans will be slowly introducing more and more new, original content over the next coming weeks, and I'm excited to announce I'm bringing back the "What Sofia Eats" portion of the blog to you.  (Especially since it doesn't consist of rice cereal and mashed bananas anymore!) 

Since I started a bit late, I only have three meals to show you this week-- but, I'm hoping to catch every meal for the next seven days.  I know I've personally struggled at times with finding inspiration for kiddo meals, so I figure if anyone else out there has run into a similar problem, hopefully these meals can give you something new to try with your little one.  We've been pretty lucky that Sofia will try most anything once, though certain things like broccoli or peas are still a big "ick!"

PS- thank you for all of your great discussion on yesterday's seasonal post.  It is so wonderful when you all chime in and share your own personal stories.  I truly enjoyed reading every last one of them!

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

autumn, a time for harvest



"The beauty of life is to experience yourself" -- on my Yogi tea 

Realizing how each individual season impacts my day-to-day, I'm starting a recurring column based on this book and all of its lovely pieces of wisdom.  If you've never heard of it, I highly suggest picking up a copy.  It talks of happiness, not in the usual way of perfecting an "emotion", but rather explores the individual seasons and their deeper meanings, putting us back in sync with our own cycles.

On to autumn.

Each season carries it's own reminder, or meaning-- a lesson we must heed to accrue the greatest wisdom they bring.  Autumn, a time for harvest.  This is when I begin to inventory and plan, counting my blessings I've reaped over the summer and diligently preparing for the depths of winter.  Our family has slowly transitioned to staying indoors more, preparing our home for the holidays and deeply cleaning every last spot we can find.  It's rejuvenating, though tiring.  I keep reminding myself it will be worth it... my creativity always spikes when I'm in a clean and polished environment.

I admit, Erick and I have never been the best at being prepared.  This season has served as my reminder to inventory, to plan ahead: we may not get another chance as the snow falls to run out to the store for that extra carton of eggs, or gallon of milk.  We may not have another opportunity to purchase those last presents before Christmas.  And most importantly, I am reminded to count my blessings.  It seems simple enough, to say a little prayer before bed or remember to thank the ones that have impacted your life, but the feeling of gratitude is really much stronger than it's ever been.

Tell me, what does harvesting mean to you?

Do you find the seasons teaching you something new about yourself?

I'm curious.

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remembering now : november 8th, 2012










the remembering now project, 2012.

catch the rest of the series here.

little one, there's not too much that doesn't seem like the biggest adventure to you.  we were on top of a parking garage before a trip to get our groceries, but we pretended we were on top of the whole city.
 
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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

the barry family


The Chicago Botanical Garden has been a popular choice for families, especially during the fall-- and no wonder!  It's absolutely magical.  I met with the Barry family over the weekend for a very quick session before they headed off to a birthday party, and I'm so very glad that we were able to sneak some photos in.  Little Larry Barry is only a few months older than Sofia, so it has been so wonderful watching him grow up.  He's very quick, very bright, and especially unkeen on staying in one place for too long, as most children his age are-- mine included! ;)

Annie and her husband are phenomenal parents, and it's no surprise considering how wonderful their own parents are.  There's a long story behind why Sofia's middle name is Michele, and Annie has a lot to do with it.  Her mother, Michele, was one of the greatest ladies to ever grace this planet-- adventurous and brave with a strong will to live life to its fullest.  And live to the fullest she did; Michele, who is also my aunt, had a long courageous battle with multiple cancers, each time defying the odds.  We spent a lot of time with her before she passed, each of us trying to take in as many stories and pieces of wisdom she so willingly gave out.  One of my favorite things she said was how she lived her life with no regrets.  She did what she felt was right in her heart, and she always followed her dreams.  These words have stuck with me for years, and they're ones I hope to pass on to my daughter.

We miss her so.

I really had such a great time.  Next time, I'll definitely be giving them a call and seeing if I can stop by their home on a day we have more time. One of my favorite parts of photographing families is catching them in their own natural element, the way they live and love right this very moment.  Isn't it wonderful?

If you're around the Chicago area and would like to have me follow you around for the day, I would be delighted.  Don't hesitate to get in touch.

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