Guys, it's been almost two years.
Almost TWO years since I started Too Rah Loo... almost two years since Sam was this little... and CHUBBY!
And we've come a heck of a long way considering that the company was founded semi-accidentally on some old recycled t-shirt bandana bibs... not kidding.
Sam was insanely drooly and the poor baby kept getting a rash on those amazingly chubby cheeks and neck of his.
I went looking for bandana bibs and could only find rough cotton ones, so I just borrowed my mom's sewing machine and made some out of old T-Shirts.
Then friends wanted some. So I got some fabric, and made a few sets, applying snaps with a little hand clamp.
I quickly found that the bandana style worked way better than any others to keep the drool away from sensitive baby skin. The snaps didn't wear out in the wash or snag little hairs like velcro did... not to mention that they look darn cute.
One day hubs says, "You should start an Instagram or something... you never know, somebody might buy them."
Which sent me reeling into the most amazing handmade/mama-made community imaginable!
Today, in addition to Snap Scarves, hair accessories, pants/shorts & screen print Ts, we still carry super comfy and drool absorbing knit Bandana Bibs, though they're now more durably made with a serger, tabletop snap press, and finished off with our handmade logo tags.
And I seriously feel all sorts of sentimental now that I'm using them on a daily basis for my second drooly babe.
Headband - Hello Cedar Co.
Bunny Stylish Milk Magazine
Shirt - Dream Big Little Co.
Tutu - Tin & Ella
Bracelet - Little Saylor Shoppe
RUN MOM & RUN DAD Ts from Too Rah Loo
Need some awesome throwback inspired Ts & tanks for your kiddo this Summer? These Small Shop designs have you covered!
Who else can sing this whole song word-for-word, show of hands?!
Does it get any better than a hand painted Biggie T?! No... no it does not.
And because you can never have enough Biggie in your life...
A throwback set just wouldn't be complete without a Full House reference.
... and a little extra Fresh Prince love!
Get ready to Rock a Rhyme with this Tricky T!
Stop! Snag a pair of hammer pants and snuggle time!
Last, but definitely not least, for the little dancer in your life!
After the response I got from Saturday's post, I decided I needed to take a bit of a leap... and force myself to do one of those "hard things" that I've let intimidate me for a long time.
I'm not a cook.
I have a few things I do pretty well and stick to.
I don't particularly enjoy cooking, and really, the idea of cooking multiple meals at one time has always intimidated me...
But seriously... this really wasn't that bad!!
It took me about 2 hours to make enough food for 20 meals!
On the menu for this week:
1. Eggs + egg whites scrambled with tomatoes and green chili & Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes (Pamela's mix, + 1 extra egg, add half a can of organic pumpkin)
2. Ground turkey, sweet potato fries and sautéed veggies (mushrooms, peppers & onions)
3. Chicken Sausage, sautéed veggies & spaghetti squash
It's a start!!
I can do hard things <3
Alright guys, Saturday morning sappy post to all my mamas...
being mom is hard.
We know this, nothing novel here.
Seeing your body do the miraculous accordion effect that happens with having babies... is absolutely beautiful.. but hard.
And it isn't like we're playing with a full deck here either.
Post partum depression hit me like a ton of bricks after having Mags.
Her early hospitalization, on top of the "normal" sleep deprivation, re-balancing hormones, adjusting to a whole new balance of day-to-day crazy... all road blocks to feeling like a somewhat well-adjusted human being. And I hit a really dark, yucky, non-functioning place.
Now, feeling like I don't recognize the woman in the mirror?
That's the one I still battle with the most.
But, I have a daughter now...
And she's lit a fire under my butt to figure out this whole self-esteem thing.
Cause I'll be damned if my daughter grows up with anything less than a strong, confident, healthy woman as an example.
So here's my two cents on rebuilding that confidence and reacquainting yourself with your post-baby mind and body, for what it's worth:
You're going to get a lot of advice; take it all with a grain of salt. Just like when you were pregnant, lots of people will weigh in. You'll hear everything from "You'll lose the weight if you breastfeed" to "it's not safe to lose weight while breastfeeding." Yeah, not that simple on either end. Just smile, nod and keep on truckin'.
Babies are not an excuse to be unhealthy. Guys, I don't mean that having babies should in no way influence your capacity for some elusive, diligent exercise and meal planning. Let's be real here. But being pregnant and/or having little ones is NOT an excuse to shrug off self-care and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. These babies need you at your best, healthiest and most energized. If it isn't motivation enough to do it for yourself right now, remember they're watching and absorbing.
Be your best example. Society, in some ways, tells us our job as parents is to make sure kids have unforgettable, magical childhoods. I'd argue that my main purpose as a parent is to help shape my children into compassionate, healthy, hard-working, well-adjusted adults... and that starts with me learning to be a more compassionate, healthy, hard-working, and well-adjusted adult. This will look different for each of us. It will be far from a perfect picture. It may even seem exhausting and burdensome sometimes, but this is your role as a parent, so ya know... put on your big girl panties and suck it up buttercup.
Be self-protective, but not selfish. I think our generation spends a little too much time thinking about how to preserve their cozy self-bubble rather than enveloping those they love into it. This stage of life is fleeting. Don't lose yourself in it and do the things you need to keep yourself centered, but learn to find joy and fulfillment in becoming a little more selfless as a parent.
Find YOUR balance. My nature is the complete opposite of balanced. I like to work at all hours of the night, I obsess over projects and ideas until I have them perfectly how I'd like, and I am really, really hard on myself. But I'm slowly developing more balanced routines... because it's important. Consistency, balance, dependability are crucial to relationships. If you're like me and absolutely suck at those things? Work a little harder at them.
Love yourself. No matter your motivation to improve or continue a healthy lifestyle, there are things about yourself that just aren't the same after kids. No matter how fit I was after my son, the constant swelling in my ankles hung around and only worsened after my daughter. Things will change, embrace it, own it, rock it. But don't let it deter you from influencing what you can control.
Be your own best coach. All those road blocks I talked about at the beginning of this post can make it really difficult to do all the other things we're talking about here. I'm not discounting that. Nor have I mastered any kind of easy solution. Overcoming PPD/Anxiety means finding a way to break a vicious cycle of physical and emotional depression. That's gonna be a little different for everybody.
For me, I realized that it wasn't going to get any easier. I had to convince myself to just do it anyway, to start anyway, in spite of how hard it was. The cool thing? I realized I was a hell of a lot stronger than I knew.
Getting to the gym with a baby is hard. Don't wait for it to be easy. You can do hard things.
Getting to the gym with two babies... is hard. Don't wait for it to be easy. You can do hard things.
Making good choices about food... is hard. Don't wait for it to be easy. You can do hard things.
Making healthy decisions after a week, month, or year of unhealthy ones, is hard.
But really, the hardest part is starting. Don't wait for it to be easy. You can do hard things.
Sam & Maggie helping mama lift <3
So excited to finally get around to sharing Maggie's space with you all!
We plan on co-sleeping/bed-sharing with Maggie, as we have with Sam for the better part of his life, so her "nursery" space is actually an area in our room.
Poor Sam... first kid... we barely had a changing station and a Rock N Play ready for him when we brought him home! Maggie's space is quite a bit better planned out haha!
As with Sam, I made all of Maggie's bedding, burp cloths, blankets, cloth diaper hamper, and we'll be using cloth diapers from gDiapers and our Grovia cloth wipes again!
But I also really wanted to make sure we included a number of our favorite handmade shops!
The dresser and shelf are the same that Daddy refinished for Sam, and the end table was a favorite yard sale find.
A few random decor items, a repurposed frame with ribbon hot glued to the back & some basic IKEA wall shelves finished off our nursing corner.
And now for the "Small Shop Shelf"...
Bracelets & Necklace from Little Saylor Shoppe
Top it off with some custom hand-painted bodysuits from our most favorite Mama-Shop Honey Bee True Co and I'd say Maggie is all set!
Oh hi there Too Rah Loo blog! It's been a while! We knew we had to get back on the blogging bandwagon somehow, and what better way to make that happen than with a fun Halloween craft you can do with your little.
We have a few new faces here at Too Rah Loo headquarters, Miss Rischelle, our new "utility player" and awesome do-er of all things, and her sweet baby girl, Haylee. Miss Rischelle also just so happens to be a crafting queen, so we asked her to help us come up with some fun projects to share with you all!
Today, we're decorating plates for Halloween using adorable toddler hands and feet!
What you'll need:
- A couple of ceramic plates to decorate
- Different colors of Enamel Paint
- A few paint pens, a paint brush & some sponge brushes
Our supplies cost about $15 total at dollar/craft stores if you don't already have any of the items on hand!
Step 1: Make sure you're helpers are awake and ready to go!
Sam just loves his "Baby Hays"... and tickling her belly <3
Step 2: Get your supplies ready! We put an old table cloth upside down on the kitchen table to catch any spills (though oddly none even happened!)
Step 3: Paint your toddler!
We didn't get quite as many shots of our last plate, because a sweet lil babe was hungry, but it was super fun to add to our collection!
Step 4: Distract toddler while you bake the plates in the over at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes! We gave Sam some Crayola Kids Washable Paint, Creativity Street Paint Brush,rolled some paper out on the table and let him go to town!
Step 5: Remove, let cool, and then either use to serve your favorite Halloween goodies or put on display!
Next week: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes!
For more Halloween and Fall craft ideas, check out our Pinterest board!
First of all... how absolutely amazing is this digital sketch by Art By Brandis of my stylish little guy?! Sam's wearing some of our favorite brands in these outfits and I'm really looking forward to sharing a bunch of them with you in coming weeks! But let's start with something that I've come to see as a staple -- moccasins or "moccs" -- one of my all-time favorite products for littles.
Moccasins allow your child to reap the fantastic developmental benefits of walking around barefoot, while keeping their feet warm and protected... Not to mention that watching your little one patter around in sweet leather shoes will make your heart melt... And you can get them in practically any color/design!
Now, not all moccs are created equal! There are a ton of mocc brands out there, with price-points varying from $20 a pair to $60 a pair. Yes, you can find them on Zulily for quite cheap, but in that case you're going to get what you pay for.
I've found the $30-$45 range to be sufficient for finding great quality moccasins. Much lower than that and you're likely getting a product that is thinner, harsher, imported from China, or not all real leather.
Initially, $40 sounded like a lot for a pair of baby shoes. Heck I don't spend that much on shoes for myself. But then I started researching shoe brands that I would actually feel comfortable putting on my child... Robeez, Pediped, etc... and the prices are all relatively comparable.
For the record, I also love the soft-soled shoes we've had in both those brands... but not as much as our moccs. We do throw converse on Sam when he's being particularly destructive or, yes, sometimes just 'cause they're cute.
Okay, so there are a number of great mocc brands that are all made in the USA by small businesses -- hand-crafted, all leather moccasins that are wonderful and natural for little ones' itty bitty feet. We've tried a handful of them and so far have been most impressed with Stitches & Soles and Hello Moccs:
Stitches and Soles has been our top choice for moccs. Reasonable turnaround time and price-point, superior quality, wide selection, and any time I've had a question they've been very quick to respond. Sam has worn these more than any other pair of shoes and they barely look used.
OUTFIT DETAILS: BEANIE BY NOXXAZ, T BY TOO RAH LOO, LEGGINGS BY HAUTE TOT THREADS, MOCCS BY STITCHES & SOLES
We've also loved our pair from Hello Moccs! Top-notch quality, a bit of a longer turnaround time so you need to plan a little farther ahead (about 4-5 weeks I believe), but worth the wait! Not to mention that the mama behind this brand is a fantastic woman and this business supports her family!
OUTFIT DETAILS: BEANIE BY NOXXAZ, SCARF BY TOO RAH LOO, T BY WEST OF WONDERLAND, JOGGERS BY RIVER BABE THREADS, MOCCS BY HELLO MOCCS
Sam has put his moccs through some serious product testing and both our Stitches and Soles and Hello Moccs have held up extremely well. I love that I don't have to put socks on him with them, just throw them on and they're breathable, comfortable and safe.
I love that when I watch him walk in moccs, I can see how natural an experience it becomes for him -- he'll sit in a squat, shift his weight perfectly, never trip or stumble -- because he can feel the ground underneath him exactly the way his feet are designed for.
I love that the shoes my child wears are made with pride by other small business owners. I kinda wish I could find some for myself.