Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the Gerber team and learn all about their Gerber Babies campaign and how they bring their food from farm to high chair. I was absolutely blown away. As parents it is our responsibility to learn and research what we our putting into our little ones bodies and make sure that they are eating the very best (with some exceptions of course – my Lillie Sol loves herself a yummy donut every now and then ;).
The experience was interactive and they walked us through every step of their baby food process. I think by far my very favorite part was being able to meet and talk with actual Gerber growers from Michigan. We learned about their orchards and even got to “pick” apples straight from their farm. What struck me the most was hearing how they have been growing Golden Delicious apples for generations for Gerber. Their kids and now their grandkids grew up on this well-known baby food brand and their sincerity and trust touched me as a mother. The relationship between Gerber and these farmers is truly remarkable.
We also got to taste a variety of their new flavors in their taste kitchen – and they were delicious! Seriously! An interesting fact is that they use a unique to them process called the Flash Cooked step that takes just minutes. They begin by blending their fruits and veggies and finish by cooking the purees with indirect steam heat – just one of the ways that helps ensure that Gerber fruits and veggies are as healthy as fresh.
At the end, we got to see a real Gerber tiny taste tester trying out some Gerber purees. While she was tasting, we learned Gerber foods aren’t just safe, nutritious and tasty – they are also specially designed to help make the transition to table foods more enjoyable and successful for your little one.
I’m a busy mama of two and knowing that I can trust in Gerber to provide a nutritional meal for my little one, especially when we are on the go, is invaluable. A big thank you to Gerber for inviting me to learn more and share with all of you!
We visited this very orchard exactly 2 years ago with Lucas – one month before I became pregnant with Lillie. We decided to skip out last year because Lillie was only a few weeks old and we thought it might be a bit much driving 2 hours upstate with a newborn and a toddler in tow. Lucas had off from school last Monday and my mom and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take the drive and go apple picking with kids.
It was honestly such a surreal and magical day. Seeing both my kids playing and walking and running through the orchard when just two years ago we were a family of three and about to embark on our journey as a family of four. I’ve said it before but time is such a crazy thing. Next on our Fall to do list: pumpkin picking!
I first posted about Apple Park back when Lillie Sol was just a few months old. Now that Lucas just started kindergarten (WHAT?!) I was thrilled to work with this amazing company once again. They recently came out with a line of adorable backpacks and lunchpacks for kids and they are perfect for our kiddos who are in school. I let Lucas choose the design he wanted and he chose the raccoon which I think is so so cute! Ok. So what I really love about these new products…
+ the material is water resistant. last year Lucas would come home with spills in his backpack from his water bottle and eventually his backpack became a disgusting mess.
+ padded shoulder straps on the backpack
+ pockets on the inside of the backpack for storing pencils, erasers, etc.
+ they are washing machine safe!
I seriously still can’t believe my baby is in K (all the sappy thoughts will be in another post ;). But I mean, how cute does he look rocking his new backpack and lunchpack? You can shop the entire collection here (I also really love the owl!). Apple Park is giving my readers the chance to purchase anything you like for 20% off for one week with the code LL20. Enjoy and happy shopping!
This post is in collaboration with Apple Park. Thank you for supporting the brands I love and trust!
A few weeks ago I started the daunting task of a pre-Fall clean up. I dove in head first and basically created what I can only describe as a tornado in our home. We cleaned. We cleaned some more. We went through every closet, every draw, every basket. We threw away, donated, and gave away to friends. I thought we would never finish but alas, there’s a light at the end of every tunnel. We also decide to switch up the living room and trade rooms with the kids while all of this was going on. What can I say? Either go big or go home.
The biggest changes we made in the living room were adding in extra seating, switching the main wall back to white, and a new rug. We don’t have a lot of space to work with and have to be so careful about what we decide to bring into our home. The rule is only what we truly LOVE.
I wanted a beautiful but functional chair for when guests come over or when all get tired of snuggling together on the couch ;). Furniture Maison has such an awesome collection of beautiful mid-century and Scandinavian furniture and I fell in love with their Aloha Chair. The natural rattan goes perfectly with our other rattan accent pieces and just feels light and airy – it doesn’t eat up our tiny space. Lucas loves sitting in his “man chair” and it’s also become the new hang out spot for all his Ninja Turtles. It’s safe to say the whole family loves it. You can check out Furniture Maison’s best sellers and new additions for more shopping inspo (I’ve been eyeing this fab mirror!).
My love for kilim rugs runs deep. I had been on the hunt for the perfect one and kept coming up empty. I found Kaya Kilims via Instagram (which is a must follow for incredible rug/design inspiration) and as soon as I went to her shop I knew I had found the one. Yep, my rug is the one. Nez, who runs the shop, is a gem and such a pleasure to speak with. Her personal Instagram is also incredible. I can’t recommend her shop enough if you are searching for a new rug!
Jessica Kollar is an illustrator and painter based in NYC and a few weeks ago she came over to basically make all my bedroom wall dreams come true (post to come soon). While she was here I mentioned that I was thinking about painting our living room wall white and she came up with the most incredible idea. She came back a week later and created a linen like texture on the wall using a paste (Kreos by Oikos) and a special brush. After it dried she painted it in decorators white in an eggshell finish. It looks like wallpaper and it adds such a beautiful touch to the room! You can follow her on Instagram here.
I’m so incredibly happy with our small changes – I also moved the kids desk, switched up our baskets, edited the pillows, added and moved plants – they make a huge impact on the room and I suddenly feel so ready for Fall. A clean house, that cool breeze, and my happy little fam…nothing better! Another big thank you to Furniture Maison and Kaya Kilims on helping me update our little space.
You know when you fall in love with a brand online only to become even more obsessed and in love when you see and feel the goods in person? That is Seek Collective for me. I originally swooned over every piece in their shop but when I received my items in the mail I couldn’t get over how truly exquisite they were. It also doesn’t hurt that each piece is lovingly created by artisans using hand block printing and weaving as well as natural dying processes. You can see the details and beautiful craftsmanship in each piece – the love and time taken to create them truly shows. The fabrics they use are organic and all of their stitching is done in India in a training center that provides work to the local women in a safe facility with fair wages and overtime. You can learn more about their process here.
What a beautiful afternoon spent celebrating our Sol. I remember Lucas’s baptism like it was yesterday – the memories, our friends and family – truly amazing. Both Lillie and Lucas were both baptized in Ivan’s childhood church (his mother still attends mass there). We chose Ivan’s sister and one of our dear friends to be the godparents. Two of the most incredible people we know and that are sure to be an inspiration and role model to Lillie as she grows. I just adore these photos and I hope Sol will look back on these when she’s older and feel the love from this very special day.
Two weeks ago Lucas and I headed back to Mexico for a special mama and son getaway. It was just what we needed – it’s been so long since I’ve had this much one on one time with my boy. With the hustle of every day, taking care of kids and tending to everyones needs, you can forget how important it is to nurture the individual relationships you have with your children. I was craving alone time with Lucas and when the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort invited us to experience their ‘Just the Two of Us‘ package I was thrilled! The weeks leading up to the trip Lucas couldn’t stop talking about the pools (I had shown him photos of the resort) and how excited he was to be on the beach.
Happy birthday my sweet Sol! I can’t believe a year has passed. I remember the night my water broke like it was yesterday – it was a full moon and our girl was ready to meet the world. Some days I sit and stare at her perfect, round face and I whisper to myself..“my daughter”. She came into our lives at the perfect time. We asked for her. We prayed for her. She completes our family in a way that is utterly divine and magical. Because of her we are complete. My beautiful Vargas clan.
We celebrated this milestone with a party in Central Park with all of our loved ones and family. I couldn’t have asked for anything better – everyone who loves and cares for our girl was there and I truly felt like the luckiest mama in the world. How amazing is it to be surrounded by a group of people that truly love your children?
While we were in Mexico I completely switched gears on my original party plans (I was going for a rainbows and unicorns theme which I still think is adorable!) and decided a Frida inspired fiesta was more fit for my princesa. I am so glad I did because I was thrilled with how everything turned out! My dear friend Chloe is the most amazing chef and baker and has been doing Lucas’s birthday cakes for the past 4 years. I spoke to her about my vision for Sol and what she created was more than I could have ever imagined. Inspired by Frida Kahlo’s floral crowns, the cake consisted of two tiers. The rose layer was a traditional tres leches cake with cinnamon buttercream. The teal layer layer was a chile spiced chocolate cake with Mexican dark chocolate ganache. She recently launched an indie food publication, Technique, which reads like a cookbook and is focussed on ingredient integrity and sustainability. It’s available now on the app store..it’s free and amazing!!! The decor (balloons, place settings, banners, goodie bags..) are all from Little Lulubel. It’s my go to party site and has everything you could ever need or dream of for every party theme under the sun!
I was a little weepy putting this post together. It feels like time is flying by and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it but alas I guess that is part of the parenting gig. We made it! One year raising two miraculous kiddos. There’s been lots of bumps and tears along the way but truly when I look back at the past twelve months all I can do is smile. You tend to forget the nights you thought would never end and what sticks around in our core memory are the cuddles, the kisses, and all the love. So much love. Happy first year around the Sun my Sol.
You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The love in you. – r.m. drake
A few shots of my loves that I snapped on a Sunday morning. There is nothing extraordinary happening. Nothing posed or staged. This is what a typical morning looks like in our home on any given weekend and on this particular Sunday I had the urge to pick up my camera and take these photos. Just to remember. Remember when our queen size bed was packed with little legs and arms, drool, squealing, giggles, and so much love. Te amo. Te amo. Te amo.