Memorial Day

memorial day

This space has been deserted as of late. Much of my life feels deserted as of late. If I’m being honest, I feel like I’m doing a thousand different things but not doing any one thing with 100%. Time passing like sheets of paper in the wind. Forget finding the time to write; lately I can’t even clear space in my head enough to formulate thoughts. All that to say I have a lot I’m behind on posting here; trips to the desert, to Arizona, a slew of recent client sessions, a goodbye to breastfeeding post I need to finish before I’m actually done breastfeeding because then it’ll only be sad, sappy shit no one wants to hear and I don’t want to remember, and so on and so forth. Life… it just keeps on rollin’. I can’t imagine it moving at any faster of a rate.

Sending love on this Memorial Day to all of those who have sacrificed for our wonderful country. Hope everyone enjoys the extra day off. We’ll be spending it at my sister’s, poolside, and I need it.

People Who Knew Me

No matter the size of the audience, I think anyone that posts anything these days does a second peek back to see how it was perceived; to see how it was accepted or liked or if it proved relevant in the lives of others. And that’s just social media. Imagine publishing a novel. I suppose others aren’t privy to the process; the time, dedication, push and pull that is the publishing world. My own knowledge, limited, even as a sister to a published author. But witness, I have. The highs, the lows, the triumphs, the defeats. It’s such a ruthless industry. In any event, I mentioned it here before that my sister is now a published author. Her book has been out for coming up on a year and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. You can read the reviews and purchase it here.

A friend in need…

The house I grew up in backed up to several hills. I remember the FBI was there once because they found some ‘women’s articles’ down one of the trails. I also remember there being an obvious camping spot someone was using down the same trail, at the creek bed, where there was hardly ever any running water because, well, California drought. Up above our house, on another trail, was the foundation of a house that once was; the kind of abandoned land that raised more questions than answers, starting with the fact there was no road that led to it. We had cats, outdoor cats at that, and I’m not quite sure how they survived given the amount of coyotes. At least once there was a bobcat sighting. And I distinctly remember driving home late after a party in high school only to see a bear in the middle of the road. To this day my parents presume I was seeing things and after all these years, maybe they were right.

But the biggest threat of all was the Santa Susana winds. Kinda like the way grey skies from afar paint an ominous scene those winds, on those hot days, brought with them a certain degree of dread, of fear. Because we all knew that with the winds came the threat of fire. We’ve packed up the cars several times. I remember bringing fire fighters powdered donuts. I also remember looking out the window and watching my dad hose things down with water as if a little water here and there would do the trick, lessen the risk. We were kind of in the boonies and for a long time, with not many homes around us, we weren’t really a priority of the fire department. Especially when neighboring hills were so much more populated. In any event, I can still remember the fear of losing our home; the fear of having to reevaluate our lives in the absence of the stuff we’ve collected and built and saved.

All this to say that when my sweet friend Kate shared the story of her friend Sunny (@buffaloargosy), a fellow airstream renovator, my heart sunk. A week or so ago, while Sunny and her sweet boy were away from their home, Sunny’s parents’ home caught fire and it spread to their airstream. Her folks and Sunny’s nieces and nephews barely made it out of the house and a beloved pet was lost. A GoFundMe has been set up by Sunny’s sister and while the goal has been met to fix the actual house, the left over money is being given to Sunny to repair her home, the airstream. Every little bit helps, even the love and prayers. If you feel inclined to donate, you can so by clicking here.

TGIF

 

vivianI would say I’m thankful it’s Friday, though really I have a work-filled weekend and with the first day of school on Monday – for both Hooper (hello, Kindergarten) and Van (another round of preschool) – I kinda wish this week would slow. It’s been quiet here all week for the first week in a long time and while my heart is here, I just haven’t been able to find the time to blog. Hoping with the older boys in school a few days I’ll be able to sit and complete a few posts I’ve been working on. In any event, I wish everyone a good weekend and for those who start school next week as well, can we all mourn together? Long live summer.

Raven & Lily | Giveaway

ravenandlily

The folks over at Raven & Lily were kind enough to send me a piece of clothing of my choosing. I chose this beautiful Azzah Duster and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and was even more beautiful than I had initially imagined. I’ve worn it several times. I’m hosting a giveaway over on instagram if you’re interested in entering to win one. Entering is as easy as tagging a friend and following @ravenandlily. Can’t wait to give one of these away, whoever wins is sure to fall in love. And if giveaways aren’t you’re thing but you’re still interested in making a purchase, the folks over at Raven & Lily have been kind enough to provide me with coupon code Stork30 to receive 30% off.

A Disclaimer

Souther California Photographer-9066Sometimes I feel things go without saying, but other times I feel like things need to be stated. For the sake of clarity.
I write this blog for myself. In no way is anything presented here intended to be delivered in the form of advice. Nor am I intending to participate in the my-way-of-parenting-is-better-than-your-way-of-parenting nonsense.
Rather, I share what’s important to me and what resonates with me; Ah-ha moments of motherhood, if you will. The process of evolution and change has always meant something to me, on a deeper level, and I enjoy documenting here so I can remain humble about my journey.
If you happen to read a post where it sounds like I’m speaking to you, please be reminded that I’m only speaking to myself. I don’t write or share with any sort of audience in mind.
On the flip side, if you find yourself coming back here because something I’ve shared has resonated with you, then that’s just the icing on the cake; because we all like to know we’re not alone.
Okay, I feel better now.

Smoothies & Resqueeze

resqueezeWhen Hooper was a baby, I was all about the purees. It’d give me great pleasure to see what I could get away with in terms of sneaking vegetables and other healthy foods into his purees. Willy and I giggle now when reminiscing about my salmon and strawberry concoction. Poor kid.
I eventually gave up on the purees and succumbed to doing all sorts of the ridiculous tricks parents do to try to get their kids to eat vegetables. And overtime, I’ve simply accepted the fact that the only vegetables my kids will eat are corn, peas, and carrots. Van is a slightly more adventurous, but not by much in the veggie department.
I hate veggies, so it’s hard for me to bitch about how my kids eat. I started making myself smoothies recently which consist of the same ingredients every time: vanilla yogurt, lots of spinach, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ground flax seed, and chia seeds.
That’s when it dawned on me that I can reintroduce purees as smoothies. And so, I did.
There have been more hits than misses, though it’s still frustrating when one day they eat the entire thing and then the next they don’t touch it at all. The other issue, for us, was finding a proper way to serve it. A simple cup proved messy and a cup with a straw required me to water it down to make it smooth enough to flow through the straw.
Both boys love the applesauce and puree mixtures that come in the squeeze pouches, so when Resqueeze reached out to me I was so thankful that someone has come up with a solution. 338A5404-8
Things we love about Resqueeze:
-the pouches are dishwater safe
-they come in two sizes (the larger is perfect for my kids)
-my kids like them
-the clear fill line allows you to see how much you’re pouring in
-the bottom ziplock closure is super durable
Resqueeze has been kind enough to offer a 4-pack to one lucky winner. Entering is as easy as doing any of the following and leaving an extra entry for each to increase your chance of winning:
-Visit Resqueeze’s recipe page and tell me which recipe you would like to try
-Follow Resqueeze on Facebook
-Follow Resqueeze on Instagram
Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Good luck. 338A5419-14

The Ma Books

*This post contains nudity*
…All of us women are affected somehow by the much-talked-about societal pressure to look a certain way. In search of some elusive feeling of beauty, some of us get hair extensions, some of us get fake boobs, some of us buy $700 high heels, and some of us get tummy tucks. I can’t judge any woman for what she thinks will make her feel better, but I think we should all ask ourselves why we aren’t just fine the way we are…
I’m over on The Ma Books talking about body perception in conjunction with The Nu Project. You can check out my post by clicking here. Have you guys been following The Ma Books? What do you think? I’m really enjoying it.

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A Sponsored Giveaway

Today we have an awesome giveaway from Sugarboo Designs. I was familiar with Sugarboo Designs prior to them contacting me, but did not know they had a kids line of t-shirts. That’s because they didn’t, they’re brand spankin’ new and super cool. I’ve always been a fan of their prints and I love their jute plant hangers. Today they are offering one lucky reader a t-shirt (winner can pick design and size). 
I chose the “It’s a wonderful life” and “lucky duck” shirts. The shirts are printed on American Apparel tee’s, so remember to size up. Hooper is wearing a size 6 and Van is in a size 4 and both have plenty of room to grow. Here are my favorite designs:
This giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry) and there are numerous ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be chosen via random.org and announced here in two weeks.
-Visit Sugarboo Designs and tell me what design you would choose.
-Become a fan of Sugarboo Designs on Facebook.
-Follow Sugarboo & Co. on Instagram, @sugarbooandco.
-Follow Sugarboo Designs on Instagram, @sugarboodesigns.
-Become a fan of The Stork & The Beanstalk on facebook.
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin‘.
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on pineterst and/or instagram.
Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Best of luck and thank you for supporting my sponsors. Remember to check back here in two weeks to see if you won. Winner will also be contacted via email, so make sure your email address is valid.
There is still time to enter the giveaway to Urban Baby Bonnets too. Click here to enter. 

Photography

Live in the Southern California area? Want to have an evening on the beach captured so that the memory of the warm sun and the salty sea can be remembered forever? Let me capture it for you. Here’s the details:
-One hour of shooting, from 7 to 8pm
-Approximently 50 edited high resolution images
-Can be used for anything you’d like, including family photos or Holiday cards
-Weekdays preferred
Email me: ashleyjennett @ gmail.com for pricing information

A Sponsored Giveaway

Today we have a wonderful giveaway from the kind mamas over at Urban Baby Bonnets, aka UB2. At UB2 you get an honest product – mom designed, kid tested – that is handmade right here in the good ol’ U S of A. 
The bonnets are reversible, offering the best bang for your buck. They also snap under your child’s chin so wish your I-don’t-want-to-wear-a-hat little tykes good luck. This also means that you can conveniently breastfeed with the bonnet on, not to mention that your child can sit comfortably against the back of the car seat without the cap causing any discomfort. And perhaps the cherry on top is that they come in loads of different prints and sizes, all made from organic fabrics. 
The bonnet pictured is size 2-3T and fits both of my boys (age 2 and 3) perfectly. A hat they can both wear? Two thumbs up.

You can read more about the company and the product here.
In addition to bonnets, UB2 offers dresses and accessories. I love this dress, which is on sale, paired with some Saltwater sandals. 
UB2 is offering one lucky winner a $36 credit to their store. This giveaway is open internationally and there are numerous ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be chosen via random.org and announced here in two weeks.
-Visit Urban Baby Bonnets and tell me what you would purchase with the $36 credit.
-Become a fan of Urban Baby Bonnets on facebook.
-Follow Urban Baby Bonnets on Twitter.
-Become a fan of The Stork & The Beanstalk on facebook.
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin‘.
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on pineterst and/or instagram.
Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. Best of luck and thank you for supporting my sponsors. Remember to check back here in two weeks to see if you won. Winner will also be contacted via email, so make sure your email address is valid.
Interested in making a purchase? Use promo code thestork for 15% off your purchase (code expires in one month).
You can enter my other giveaway for a t-shirt from Sugarboo Designs by clicking here.

The Ma Books

The Ma Books: A collective effort of women sharing pieces of their stories, simple craft ideas, respected product picks, favorite recipes, personal advice and honest trials on a weekly basis. Overall, embracing the highlights, the downfalls, the humor and humility involved in raising children. 
Have you had a chance to check it out? If not, you should. It’s best to start at the beginning. You can check out a post I wrote here.

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Settling In

Technically speaking, we’ve been in our new place for a few months. Did I really just say that? Where does the time go? It still looks more or less like a disaster zone and it will still be sometime before we can actually fit a car in the garage. But mentally, we’ve settled. 
We have yet to purchase any blinds so while the boys reap the benefits of black trash bags over their windows, Willy and I are awaken each day by a soft morning light that gently fills the room. The sun slowly moves over our house and come late afternoon, the most beautiful light falls through the window, the outline of the window frames lie softly on the wall moving slowly with the setting sun until both the shadows and the sun disappear completely.  
Life feels fuller. Change is good.
I’m getting stronger everyday and the promise of a new day and a new adventure is just enough to invite in that early morning light and put off buying blinds for another day.

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Ladida Kids

Rebecca, from La-di-da, was kind enough to send us these matching trunks and rash guards just in time for our trip to Hawaii. They are fantastically made and super cute. I had not heard of Ladida prior to Rebecca contacting me, but was so pleasantly surprised with all of their cute inventory. Here’s some of my top picks: these cut-off shorts, these adorable sandals, and this screw-little-girls-I-wish-it-were-in-my-size embroidered chambray dress. I asked Rebecca if she’d be kind enough to offer a discount for anyone interested in making a purchase. She was kind enough to oblige. Use promo code STORK30 to receive 30% off plus free shipping when you spend over $49.  
Many thanks to Rebecca and to Ladida Kids.

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The New Digs

Our new home was built in the 1970’s and given the fact that it’s a condo, with shared walls and a homeowner’s association, we have some limitations and restrictions. What
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we had in our first home wouldn’t fit, style-wise, with our new home. So, as they say, out with the old and in with the new.

I’ll share some of the renovations we’re doing here and there but given the fact that the boys and I have not been staying in the house during the renovations, I’m not able to see much of it myself.
Above are some glimpses of inspiration, via my pinterest. From top to bottom, left to right: one | two | three (would you believe that I thrifted an awesome hanging plant macrame nearly identical to the one pictured?! All I need to do is find a glass or mirror base for it) | four | five| six | seven
Here’s a little glimpse I shared on instagram of a little corner in our bedroom that I snapped on the first night I slept here. Can’t wait to dive right in to making this house a home.

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It's so hard to say goodbye

Our first home was built in the 1950’s and we did all we could to keep it to that era. We put in parquet floors, hunted down an authentic eichler door handle, painted our front door bright orange, ordered vintage concrete blocks for the fence we put up in the side yard, and filled our home with as much mid-century furniture as we could. 
Having put so much of our blood, sweat, tears, and style into it makes leaving it hard. Not to mention that I can’t return to the place without Sarah’s accident invading my every thought; a horror movie that just won’t quit.  
But alas, we’re moving on; pouring more blood, sweat, and tears into a new place we will soon call home.
I’ll share what I can of the renovations and, if you’re interested, some style inspiration as well.

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A Sponsored Giveaway, from Little Pim

I’ve always said that if I had ten wishes, I would want to be fluent in every single language and dialect in the world. I’d also want to be able to walk perfectly, without any discomfort, in super high heels. But, I digress. My best friend, Janet, is of Cuban and Guatemalan decent. In fact, it just dawned on me that y’all probably think her name is Janet. In reality, it’s pronounced Jeanette. That’s because English is her family’s second language and, when she went to school, she pronounced her name like her parents pronounced it: ya-net and, just like that, she became Jeanette.
I digress again, but not entirely.
There was a once a time we went shoe shopping in Van Nuys and there was a group of guys that were clearly saying something mean (in Spanish) about the “little white girls” in the store. I remember the pride taking over every crevice in my body as Janet turned around and – in perfect Spanish – told them off. The look on their faces was to-die for.
There’s a lot of parents out there that have Spanish speaking nannies and brag to other moms about how their kids are growing up bilingual and therefore better than yours. That’s not me. Instead, I want my kids to learn Spanish so they can tell off that group of guys in the shoe store.
And so, I’ve started teaching them via Little Pim.Little Pim is a little panda that teaches children a second language. Geared toward children aged 0-6, when the brain is wired to learn up to three different languages, Little Pim offers DVDs in eleven different languages. The benefits of doing such are vast. Learning a second language contributes to cognitive development, prepares your child for what has become a global marketplace, and improves analytical and social skills. I also feel that if my kids are going to be sitting in front of the TV or computer, why not engage them in something educational? Two birds, one stone is my style o’ parenting. 
To my surprise, Little Pim held both of my boys attention. And, since starting the CD series, both have asked to watch it and have chosen to do so over Curious George or other cartoon favorites. It feels good to be cooking dinner knowing they are being entertained by something educational. It’s also been fun to dust off my own Spanish speaking skills (I studied Spanish in high school and have traveled to over six Spanish speaking countries, not to mention communicating with Spanish speaking patients in the hospital). You can read more about the benefits to introducing young children to a second language by clicking here. They also have apps available, which you can check out here
The lovely folks over at Little Pim have been so kind as to offer one lucky reader a 3-pak in the language of the winner’s choosing.
Entering is easy. You can enter any of the following ways, but please leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be announced here in two weeks (March 11th) and will be contacted via email, so make sure your email address is valid.
-Visit Little Pim and let me know what language you would select.
-Follow Little Pim on Facebook.
-Follow Little Pim on Twitter.
 Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Facebook
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Bloglovin’
-Follow The Stork & The Beanstalk on Instagram and/or Pinterest
Thank you for entering and good luck!

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Around the Table

Hooper: gets out of his seat a thousand times, won’t try new things, often prefers to be spoonfed, requires a lot of effort (on our part) to finish a meal.
Van: starts trying to climb into his high chair as soon as he sees food being made, feeds himself, often requires seconds, will try anything, puts food in his mouth by the fistfull. 
Sarah: does not require a rag or sponge, thinks the food in her bowl is overrated, loves having babies and toddlers around, hates blueberries.
What’s it like around your table?

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