My little baby is 100 days old!!   Sometimes I can’t believe that I gave birth to Skylar just 3 months ago!  Skye has only been in our lives for a short time but I can’t imagine life without her now.  I smile a little when I talk about my daughterS and my childREN, in disbelief that I have multiple kids now.  Now that we are juggling two, I look back and wonder “how did I ever think just ONE was hard?”  Two kids is no joke!   I recently just finished a stint of 5 days on my own with the kids without Jeff and I want to give props to all the single moms out there.  How you do it, I do not know.  You women are my heroes!

Now that Skylar is three months old, she has officially graduated from the “newborn” to “infant” stage.   This makes my heart a little sad.  Since Skylar is most likely my last baby, I’m cherishing everything about her at this young age.  Because of her chill personality and me being a little more experienced this time around, she’s been far easier than Zoey was at this age so I’m really enjoying her.  She’s generally a happy, sweet baby.  We call her our “Smiley Skylie” because when we smile at her, she rewards us with smiles and coos right back. How can you resist this little happy face?


Other updates:

- Stats: 12 lbs 12 oz, 22.5 inches tall

- Has slept through the night!!  This has only happened a handful of times but enough to tease me into thinking that it will happen again! Usually wakes up for one feeding around 4am.

- Started laughing and chuckling!

- Flew on her 3rd and 4th flight down and back from southern California at 12 weeks old

- Outgrown her newborn clothes already

- Rolls to her side

- Started self-soothing on her hands

- Loves her mobile, sitting on the bumbo, her playmat, being carried facing outward in the k’tan carrier

- Hates car rides, her swing, being swaddled


I love my girls!!   I still can’t believe that I get to be the mom of TWO of the most beautiful daughters.  Pinching myself and praising God for these incredible gifts!!



See the post I wrote  a few years back when Zoey was 100 days old!




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If you have little girls in your family, you probably lose hairbows, or “hair clippies” like we call them, on a daily basis like we do.  Zoey tears them out of her hair as fast as I can put them in.  Whenever she leaves the house with her daddy, she inevitably returns home hairbow-less and hair disheveled.  Now that we have two little girls, we just can’t kept track of all the hair accoutrements!  Something had to be done.  We needed something to hold our growing collection of hair clippies!  This hairbow display was super easy to make and one of the most useful things that I have made for my family.

I found this cork bulletin board from Pottery Barn kids and knew it would be the perfect size:


I wasn’t a fan of the tan colored frame so I painted over it with white paint.  Then I stapled strips of white grosgrain ribbon to the cork board:


I can clip a lot of hair bows to the ribbon strips and keep them organized.  I also wanted a way to hang up all our elastic headbands so I added a few of these command clothespins:


These little clothespins held a bunch of the headbands:


Since Jeff has a thing against making holes in the walls, I hung the bulletin board up with these command strips:


I hung the hair bow display above Zoey’s changing table and she loves to pick out which hair bow she wants to wear every morning while she gets dressed:


I wrote a blog post on how I made the ribbon hair bows here. She now has hair clippies in every color!  For the fancier hair clippies like the felt cupcakes and flowers, I found them pre-made at Michaels:


I just hot glued them onto alligator clips lined with ribbon:


I wrote a tutorial years ago on how to make the felt hair clips. Buying them pre-made is a cheap way to make a bunch of fancy hair clips quickly:


All hung up and organized for my girls!

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To My Mom

by ilene on May 9, 2015 · 1 comment

in parenting, Skylar's First Year


To my mom,

Thank you.  I finally get it. I’m finally beginning to understand the depth and breadth of your love for me and my siblings. It’s taken 35 years and 2 children of my own but I’m just now appreciating all that you have done for me and continue to do for my babies.  You are my hero.  Happy Mother’s Day to the most loving, self-sacrificing mom there ever was.


To my little ones, Zoey and Skylar,

My hope is to be the mother to you that your Ahma was to me.  You are my joy and my heart.  You have made my dreams come true.  Thank you for making me the happiest and proudest mommy there ever was.


To all moms,

Happy Mother’s Day!! Wishing you all pedicures, breakfasts in bed, homemade cards and time alone to shop!



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Bulletproof Coffee

by ilene on May 4, 2015 · 1 comment

in recipes


Have you heard of bulletproof coffee?  Bulletproof coffee is basically coffee that is blended with coconut oil and butter.  Coconut oil seemingly goes into everything these days, so why not coffee?  It tastes like a latte  but without any cream or sugar.  It’s developed a cult following this past year and those who swear by this concoction believe that it helps with weight loss, gives you extra energy and improves your overall health.  I have a hard time believing all this though since drinking one cup is consuming almost 500 calories(!!), but with long nights of feeding a newborn and a crazy early-rising 2 year old, I needed  a strong pick-me-up in the mornings so I gave it a shot.  With this stuff coursing through your veins, you will feel invicible!

The ingredients:  Your favorite coffee beans, coconut oil, butter:


First, brew your favorite cup of coffee. Like most San Franciscoans, we are big Philz devotees since we live just down the street from one. We chucked our 12 cup cuisinart coffee machine last year in favor of slow drip. We bought this ceramic slow dripper from Blue Bottle and we love it (the handle has broken off):


The slow dripper is so quick to use and easy to clean up and makes a great cup of strong coffee. The only downside is that it requires special filters that we have to buy at Blue Bottle or online.

After the coffee has brewed, I blended the coffee with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in my magic bullet, which is the perfect sized contraption for blending one cup.  The result is a creamy, buttery, somewhat tropical cup of coffee:


Since I like my coffee really sweet, I added two teaspoons of brown sugar to it, though most people don’t need the added sweetener.    The verdict? Not sure if I am a fan yet.  While it tastes alright and a good jumpstart to my morning, I can’t get past the fact that I was drinking oil and butter.  And that its almost 500 calories per cup!!!  Eek!!



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Oversized Paper Orchids

by ilene on April 27, 2015 · 1 comment

in party, stationary, tutorial


My friend Jackie was getting married in her native Hawaii last summer so I helped throw her bridal shower before her wedding in Oahu.  I was in charge of decorations and since she was going to have beautiful orchids all through out her wedding so for her shower, I decided to make a bunch of white orchid decorations, including this massive oversized paper orchid centerpiece.   To get an idea of how big the orchids were, here is a photo of the radiant bride-to-be in front of it:


It was huge!!  The giant stem of orchids made a nice focal point for the party.  The biggest bloom at the bottom spanned about 3 feet across! (side note: isn’t my friend Jackie so pretty?  Thank you for having a wedding in Hawaii and giving us a reason to vacation there!)

For the paper flowers, I found a free orchid template online here. The template made orchids only a couple inches big, so I enlarged the flowers in photoshop and made the blooms in two sizes:  one extra-large bloom at the base and three smaller ones above it.  Each bloom had three pieces to it: the center piece and 2 petal pieces (I’m sure those are not the right botanical terms).  I printed the enlarged templates out on my printer on regular paper then I pieced them together with tape:


My local art supply store Flax in SF happened to be having their annual paper sale so I bought a bunch of HUGE pieces of crepe-like paper for $1 a piece. Normally the paper sells for $5 a piece so I got a great deal on them and they were about 4feet x 5feet big.  The paper was thinner than poster board with a slight texture. I traced the templates onto the paper and cut out the pieces. Here are all three pieces that make up each flower:


I decided to watercolor the center pieces of the blooms to make them look more realistic:orchid3

I did the old grade school trick of sprinkling salt on the paint while it was still wet to make it look more speckled:orchid4

Because the flowers were so big and the paper was thin, I was afraid they wouldn’t hold up, so I reinforced the backside of the petals with floral wire. I taped the wire to the petals and the wire kept the flowers from being too floppy:

Then because I wanted the petals to curl a bit to look more realistic, I curled the edges of the petals by rolling them up with my hands. The floral wire helped hold its shape:
Then I glued the three pieces of the flower together so that each bloom looked like this:


After I was done making all the flowers, I was trying to figure out how to put them together to create one stem of blooms. I needed a strong curved structure that could stand upright and just was I was telling my dilemma to Jeff, my eyes locked on our arc lamp across the room and I knew it was perfect for the job! We have this “big dipper arc lamp” from CB2 and it was exactly what I needed to create my orchid plant:



The arc is adjustable so I extended the arm as far out as it would go.  I took off the lightbulb and lamp shade and wrapped the metal arc with green paper.  Then I taped each bloom along the “stem”.  I also added a couple  small buds to the end of the arc and green leaves at the base:


One show stopping orchid plant all done! Perfect for the Hawaiian-themed bridal shower!

I ended up making a bunch more white orchids with yellow centers that we hung around the room. The bride was able to re-purpose the flowers and took a bunch with her back to Hawaii and used them as props for the photo booth at her wedding reception, too!


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