Hello and welcome!

Thanks for stoping by! That's me, and my super cute and spunky 1 year old, Nora. When we're not laying on the floor taking selfies, we also like to bake, take lots of pretty photos, and practice yoga. Aside from posting way too many pictures of Nora on instagram, I also take pretty wedding picures and make pretty baby items. So browse around, and keep up with all the latest.
More about me...
Dec
02
2014

Christmas is coming, and cookies are abundant! Here are some favorite cookies I’ve made over the years, along with a recipe for my absolute favorite Christmas cookie: Linzer tarts! Yummmmm

christmas cookies

christmas cookies

christmas cookies

christmas cookies

christmas cookies

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Leave a comment
Jun
19
2014

So this post is going to be long. And personal, definitely deeply personal. And honest. There will be no sugar coating things. I wont leave out details just because they don’t fit the perfect picture of the perfect life that I might want you to believe we all live in (because come on, who doesn’t want everyone to believe we all have it figured out, we all have it all under control). It’s real.

If you browse through my Instagram feed, or my Facebook photos (same thing), you’ll see a beautiful little baby girl who smiles and laughs, and is learning how to crawl. Every now and again you’ll see a picture with me in it, or maybe Greg. But it’s mostly Nora. And she’s mostly smiling. And this is a pretty accurate portrayal of my life with Nora. She’s a smiley, giggly little almost 8 month old. She was a pretty easy newborn. She wasn’t colicky, she didn’t have that “witching hour” of fussiness every evening like I read was common for newborns. Sure, she cried, she fussed, she wouldn’t settle sometimes, but in hind sight, she was pretty easy.

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

Around 4 months she got difficult, and I think so far, that has been my least favorite time of raising a baby. But we got through it, and life resumes.

But let me tell you a little something about being a mom (first time mom). It’s weird. For me, anyway. Maybe it was peaches and roses for you from day 1. That’s cool. It wasn’t really that way for me. And in talking with other awesome mommies, it wasn’t really that way for some of them, too.

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

I’m part of a really great mommy group. We all found each other through our town’s prenatal yoga program offered at Parks and Rec. We would chat before, during, and a bit after class, and a wonderful friendship blossomed between us all. We would commiserate about our bulging bellies, our painful hips, and our constant search for a bathroom as our due dates approached. We kept in touch after the classes ended, and started to get together after the babies were born, who are all very close in age. And it has been an amazing resource to have these ladies in my life. To be able to talk freely, and openly about the struggles and difficulties of being a first time mom, without fear of judgement, has been nothing short of a miracle.

I can tell them that breastfeeding my baby was NOT natural or easy for me. I can tell them that at times, I absolutely hated something that the world portrays as a beautiful, natural, amazing experience. It WASN’T for me. Not at first. And sometimes, not even today. But being able to vent about my hardships with nursing is probably something that helped me stick with it. And now it’s easier, it’s enjoyable, and I’m happy about it.

There is something shameful about feeling anything other than elation, joy, and absolute confidence in being a mom. But lots of mommies feel scared, overwhelmed, stressed, and even regretful when they become moms. It’s a huge change. Yet, nobody talks about that side of motherhood. Everything is all, “oh baby snuggles are just the best” “There’s nothing better than the smell of a newborn” “Your heart will just melt the first time you see your baby” “You’ll never be the same woman, you’ll be better because of your baby”

Yes, that’s all true. That’s all good. That’s the positive side of becoming a mommy. But what about the sleepless nights? What about the pressure of figuring out how to care for another human who is 100% completely dependent on you not fucking it all up? What about the goddam spit up covering every single piece of clothing, bedding, and furniture surface you own!?!

That’s what I want to talk about. How it’s hard. How you feel like you aren’t you anymore. How, at 3 in the morning, when you’re feeding baby (from bottle or boob), and changing yet ANOTHER diaper because the kid just shit like Mount Rushmore, you just feel like a robot; a milk machine if you’re nursing. Feed, change, get baby to sleep. Repeat.

I have to take pause to mention that the very first person I turn to when I am having a tough day is my amazing sister. She is my rock. My stability. And with 2 kids age 4 and almost 2 years old, she is my best resource because she has been there, she has done that, twice. Love you Melis!

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

But back to these babies. I think women have this tremendous amount of pressure to just take mommyhood in stride. To do it. To love it. To be all that and a bag of chips. And that’s the reason for my post today. I want to let other mommies know that if you feel like you are sad, or anxious, or overwhelmed… that’s OK! It’s okay to not love the hard stuff. It’s okay to miss your old life. It’s okay to cry because you’re tired and you just don’t know how you are going to get out of bed and survive the day on 3 hours of sleep. Spoiler alert: you will, somehow!

In the beginning, I had moments where I felt like a hollow mold of my former self. Like everything that made me ME was sucked out. I no longer slept. I no longer had time to read a book for more than 10 minutes. I no longer had the energy to sew a button on my hubby’s pants, let alone make a quilt or any other fun project. I was different. Everything that made up who I was as an individual was gone. And that was weird. I was this new person, and I wasn’t quite sure what made me ME anymore.

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

As the months have (quickly) ticked by, and as Nora grows, I have realized that this new version of me is different, but it’s actually really amazing. First: things slowly start returning to “normal” and I put “normal” in quotation marks because obviously, things will never be the same after you have a kid. But now? I can spend an hour sewing when Nora naps. I can read at 8pm before bed because Nora is usually asleep by 7:30 (usually). I can sleep for more than an hour at a time at night! OH SLEEP. I HAVE MISSED YOU SO. I never knew how much I loved to sleep until it was taken away from me. ;)

And all those hollow places I felt deep inside of me have started to fill up with things that make up every day life. Some of these things are familiar, like sitting on the couch with Greg and watching TV on Sunday afternoon. And some of these hollow spaces are filling up with something totally new. Like making batches of food for Nora (OH how she loves her peas and green beans!), washing her cloth diapers every few days and then stuffing them, and jiggling and squeezing Sophie the giraffe 1000 times because it makes Nora giggle. And something else is filling my hollow spaces. A love I never knew existed for a tiny human being that I didn’t quite know how to love at first.

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

on mommyhood the good the bad the ugly

I didn’t think I’d write such a cliche sentence about how I feel about being a mom today. Seeing people write crap like that when their baby was 2 weeks old made me kind of want to vomit all over my phone while I scrolled through my news feed. But hey, everyone is different, and everyone handles and reacts to things differently, so like I said at the beginning of this post. If it was all peaches and roses for you from day 1, I’m so happy for you! If it wasn’t, hang in there, because it has slowly gotten better for me, and I think you’ll get there, too.

Leave a comment
Jun
06
2013

Today I’m 21 weeks pregnant with our little girl Nora, and sometimes, I can’t believe how fast this time has gone. We’re now into the 2nd half of this pregnancy, and October is coming fast!! :) I’ve been documenting, in a notebook, all of the milestones, feelings, symptoms, and up’s and down’s of this pregnancy so far, and I plan to go back and create a journal of sorts (when I have some free time… ha!) to remember it all. For now, I’ve been snapping pictures where I can, and keeping my notes in a little pink (how appropriate!) notebook that I keep in my bag, so that if something huge happens (like, feeling her kick/move around for the first time on Wednesday, May 1st), I can write it down and make sure not to miss a single amazing experience!

21 Weeks

As I sit here and think about the last 20 weeks, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with just how blessed Greg and I are. I mean, we’ve created this life, its growing and thriving, and in another 20 or so weeks (theoretically) we’ll meet this little peanut. It’s amazing. It’s also amazing how right and perfect this all feels. I wont lie, before we decided to start a family, both Greg and I had serious thoughts about becoming parents, and what that would mean for us. We’ve been together for 8 years now, and it’s been just the two of us for most of that time.

When we adopted Vespa & Leo, sure, our lives changed a bit. We were now responsible for keeping two cats alive, but that’s easy. A baby represents a whole new and challenging set of responsibilities. And we were questioning if that was something we were ever going to be ready for.

Making the decision to go ahead and start our family was scary at first, because that meant making a lot of changes in our life to make sure our kids have the best that they possibly can. We know how we want to raise our kids, what we want to do to be the best parents we can be, and what we have to change about our lifestyle in order to achieve that. And it’s a big change. But we feel so ready, so excited, and so right about it all. And that is an amazing thing!

In other fun news, I thought it would be neat to journal out how my first half (and specifically first trimester) was. Lot’s of women write down their experiences by answering fun questions about their pregnancy, and I think it’s cool to see how different and unique each pregnancy is. Mine has been so different from how I thought it would have been, which just goes to show you, you really can’t base your future experiences on what other people have experienced when it comes to pregnancy. It’s just SO variable! Check out how my experience has been so far:

*When is your due date?
– October 17th, 2013

*What week are you in?
– Started my 21st week today

*How much have you gained so far?
– About 14 lbs

*What was your first symptom?
– Bigger boobs. lol

*Weirdest pregnancy symptom so far?
– I’ve had an increase of saliva production since about the 8th week. Like, I seriously spit into a sink anytime I can because there’s so much there. It’s so gross and I had no idea this was even a possibility in pregnancy! It makes the nausea worse too :(

*Have you had an ultrasound?
– 3 so far, maybe 1 more before delivery!

*Are you in maternity clothes yet?
– Yes, I was quite surprised to find out that my pants and shorts stopped fitting very early on. I haven’t worn pants since February.

*Is it a boy or a girl?
– Team pink!

*Do you have a name picked out? What?
– Nora [something]

*Is the child being named after someone?
– Yes. A cat we saw 4 years ago when we were adopting Vespa & Leo… don’t laugh.

*How are you sleeping through night still?
– Not anymore, due to my sore hip :(

*Any aches/pains yet?
– See above

*Do you have stretch marks?
– I’ve always had stretch marks on my hips and boobs. lol. But they aren’t getting worse because my awesome hubby got me Burt’s Bees Belly Butter cream and I put it on every day (most likely it isn’t doing anything, but I like to pretend)

*Belly button in or out?
– In, and I hope it stays that way…

*Are your hands and feet swelling at all?
– Only the usual amount for this time of year

*Any food cravings?
– I’ve had cravings for buffalo chicken, and mustard. Like, from out of the yellow squeeze bottle. Don’t judge me.

*Anything you loved before that you absolutely cannot eat anymore?
– In the first trimester, dairy made me so nauseous! But I can thankfully eat it in small quantities again, now that the nausea has subsided a bit :) I can’t eat wheat (gluten probably) because it makes me really sick… kind of like an intolerance. Boo :(

*Have you felt any movement yet?
– Yes, I felt it for the first time on Wednesday, May 1st, when I was just 15w6d! It honestly felt like my uterus twitched… much like your eye would… but I just knew it was her!

*Sum up your experience so far
– When you haven’t experienced something before, you really don’t know what to expect. Earlier in this post, I talked about all the wonderful feelings I’ve felt since becoming pregnant, but let’s face it, pregnancy isn’t always sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Getting through the first trimester nausea and exhaustion was, at times, unbearable – never mind the extreme bloating, the food aversions, and breaking out in pretty bad acne. There were weeks in February and March where I would wake up, go to work, come home and lie on the couch like a helpless child (Greg was amazing at taking care of me, making sure I ate at least a little bit of dinner, and got me water when I was too tired and sick to get up and get it myself) because I was just so tired and felt awful. Although I never threw up ::knock on wood::, my nausea was really bad, and it started pretty early, at 5w3d, and really hasn’t fully gone away, even at 21 weeks. I was surprised by that because almost everyone says that the nausea went away once they hit their second trimester, and that has not been the case for me. But I will say that it’s a lot better than it was, and I think I’ve also learned how to manage and handle the uncomfort of nausea a lot better as the weeks went on.

The biggest thing I learned when dealing with the less glorious side of pregnancy is that you have to stop waiting for this or that to happen and just live your life. I got caught up in the “once I reach the second trimester, I’ll [fill in the blank]…” and I basically stopped living. I didn’t cook, I didn’t clean… my laundry situation was, let’s just say, out of control… The only thing I focused on was making it into the 2nd trimester, where I thought magically everything would just be perfect and I’d feel so magical and 10000x better. And you know what? I do feel better, but I still feel tired sometimes, I still feel nauseous or just generally kind of yucky. But you have to push through that stuff and enjoy what is going on around you. That has been my biggest struggle and my biggest ah-hah! moment.

I’m now excited for the next half of this pregnancy, to get the nursery ready, to make her cloth diapers, to make a quilt for her to sit on and play on and even puke on. And even if I feel nauseous while doing all that, so what? It’ll all be worth it in the end.

3 Comments
Apr
21
2013

I know I have not blogged in a long long time, but today I had to share some very exciting news. We have a little secret we’ve been keeping for the last 14 weeks :)

BabyCucAnnouncement

We’re expecting a baby this fall, and we couldn’t be more excited for his or her arrival!! More pics and updates to come along the way as we await the arrival of our sweet baby Cuc in October! :)

2 Comments
Aug
06
2012

A couple of weeks ago, my niece, Julia, turned 1!! I can’t believe how quick their first year flies by. I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was visiting them at the hospital on the day she was born, and visiting them at home in her first few weeks of life.

I was looking forward to her birthday party like a giddy little kid on Christmas eve! And how can you not with a Pizza Truck with all you can eat gelato!? As always with the Cucinelli’s and parties (especially ones at the beach house), there was an abundance of great food, and even better desserts! It was a huge, beautifully decorated party, and I think everyone had a really great time! I know I did. Check out this little cuttie-pie and all of the fun she had at her butterfly-themed first birthday party. She even had her own cake to smash and eat, which she did a wonderful job on!

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

These gorgeous cupcakes and her special cake topper were made by the super talented ladies over at Sugar Bakery

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography

Julias First Birthday Party | CT Childrens Photography
3 Comments
Feb
14
2012

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Valentine's Day Paper Heart
Leave a comment
Jan
12
2012

Add another tick to my ever growing list of hobbies… I’ve recently fallen in love with knitting! Seriously, I know this makes me sound like such a little old lady, but there is just something about knitting that is serene, relaxing, and fun.

Ok, so I cheat, and knit on a loom… maybe one day I’ll graduate to real needles. One day.

My MIL got me a whole awesome set of looms of all sizes, and I’m making socks…. pink fuzzy socks. Don’t judge me.

I’ll post some pics when I finish them, right now I’ve knitted the leg and heel of the sock, and am working towards the toes… and then I have to make a second one… ya know, so I have a pair. :)

What is your new fun hobby or craft that you’ve recently started up? And, are there any other knitters out there??

1 Comment
Jan
10
2012

This post is difficult to write because I have to admit to a pretty big failure. It is also why its January 10th, and I’m finally posting my first post of the new year. I don’t know what happened between Halloween and Christmas, but I got into a funk and I just couldn’t get out. It started at Thanksgiving, when I just stopped my yoga and running workouts… and I tried to get back into it, but I just didn’t. And Christmas? pffffshhh, forget about it. I don’t think my yoga mat has seen the soles of my feet in 3 weeks.

Something got me way side tracked. Something got me in a funk, and I really want to come out of it because I felt so great when I was on my routine. Between Christmas and New Years I was off from my full time job; a glorious 1.5 weeks of paid time-off. One of the few perks of working at Yale. And it was surely glorious. So glorious, in fact, that I spent the majority of my time-off sitting on my couch watching TV or playing flight control on my iPhone. I could have done SO much that week, and I didn’t do a damn thing. Not even a load of laundry. I really couldn’t tell you why I was so lazy, but I just was. There wasn’t a thing I wanted to do more then just be lazy and do nothing.

But you know, sometimes, you just need to recoup. Sometimes, you have to allow yourself to do nothing. I guess I needed it. And you know what, when you fall off the horse, you just get right back on again, and keep going. Its easy to just give up on things, but that’s not what I want to do.

So, Workout Challenge, you may have won a few rounds there, keeping my butt firmly on the couch and causing me to come dangerously close to being labeled as a “couch potato”, but I’ll kick your ass even harder. Week 6, 7, and 8 were just abysmal. I wont even bore you with what little I did. Instead, I’m just going to do what I did with week 4… I’m going to redo them. So, this 10 week challenge is really turning into a 20 week challenge… well, that’s okay. I’m ready for the fight.

This week, January 9-15th, is my “new” week 6. I will pick up my recaps from here and finish this challenge come hell or high water, and no amount of Christmas cookies or cheese cake will stop me!!!

Wish me luck!!

Leave a comment
Dec
29
2011

I can’t believe its December 29th. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas! I sure did. I’m off from my full time job until the 3rd and I’ve been taking full advantage of my time off… and that of course means my days have been spent in my pj’s cuddled on the couch with Vespa and Leo… obviously.

I’ve got a ton of posts to throw on here, as well as a couple of weeks in my 10 week workout challenge to update you all on (I’ve been a bad blogger, and haven’t posted a week 6 or week 7 recap yet, but don’t worry, it’s coming!). But for now I’m taking full advantage of my time off and am taking a much needed break from all things social media. So, this will be my last post of 2011!! Geez, I kinda feel like I should leave you all with something so much more then just this. Well, since pictures make a post a 1000 times better, I’ll leave you with some pictures from the last few weeks. This has, in a nut shell, been my wonderful life. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa (and anything else I forgot!) to everyone and I’ll see you in the new year!!!


A Christmas photo shoot of my adorable niece, Julia Grace! (more pics of her to come!)

Christmas 2011


Leo and Vespa in their Santa hats

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011


I baked a bunch of sugar cookies for Christmas, and spent something like 5 hours decorating them with royal icing. I’m a freak, I know! But they came out super cute!!!

Christmas 2011


Christmas Eve at my parents house, where we decorated the table with home made tissue paper poinsettias…

Christmas 2011

laid out said sugar cookies + a glass of milk + a letter for Santa with my nephew…

Christmas 2011

And then, after showing him that the tree was bare, and that Santa was on his way, threw all of the presents under the tree after he went to bed. My sister and little bro helped me capture this beautiful picture of my parents tree by running back and forth in front of my camera and popping my flash + shinning a flashlight along the bottom of the tree to illuminate the presents! This was shot at: f/22, 15sec, iso100 on my 35mm lens.

Christmas 2011

Happy Holidays everyone! Here’s to an amazing 2012 :)

1 Comment
Dec
14
2011

I curse you winter, and all of your bittery coldness. Its finally gotten to be too cold around here to run outside, and so I’m left exercising on my elliptical. Which actually isn’t terrible. A few weeks ago I decided to start watching a tv series I haven’t seen before to help the time on the elliptical go by quicker, and so now, every Wednesday morning I put on the next episode of Scrubs. I’m starting all the way at the beginning since I’ve only ever seen a handful of episodes from this series. It really helps the workout go by so quickly!

Well, week 5 was great in terms of my Yoga, which I am loving more and more everyday, but really crappy in terms of my cardio. I just can’t seem to get back into the habit of doing cardio. I think its the fact that I can’t really run outside. AND, this time of year is so incredibly busy! Christmas shopping, cleaning the house up from Thanksgiving (which was 3 weeks ago!), baking for Christmas, finding the perfect Christmas tree. And the fact that it now gets dark at 4:30pm everyday really puts a damper on my cardio efforts. I just have to try that much harder in Week 6!

Here’s my breakdown from Week 5:
*Monday: Rest day
*Tuesday: Yoga 36 minutes,DVD – Crunch Perfect Yoga Workout.
*Wednesday: Elliptical 21 minutes. .66 miles, 156 avg. heart rate, 235 cals burned.
*Thursday: Yoga 36 minutes, DVD – Crunch Perfect Yoga Workout.
*Friday: Yoga 36 minutes, DVD – Crunch Perfect Yoga Workout.
*Saturday: Spent the day cleaning the house in the morning and then looking for our perfect Christmas tree… needless to say we didn’t go running, and it was bittery cold out!
*Sunday: Covered a wedding and didn’t get a chance run or elliptical. Instead, we decorated our tree <3 (pics to come!) I'm going to focus on getting at least two days of cardio in Week 6. If I can at least get into that groove, I'll be in good shape to get back to my 3 days of cardio a week. Here's to hoping! If you're curious how Week's 1-4 went, you can check them out here! Intro
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4a
Week 4b

Leave a comment