Did you know that the number of bookshelves in your home can predict your kid’s success at school?

A study by a team of Stanford and University of Munich researchers shows that parents who own two bookshelves raise kids who do better in school. Whoa.

And with that, here’s why you should absolutely read books out loud to babies.


Do you still read paperbacks and hardcovers or do you rely on tablets and e-readers?




The Only Toy a Baby Needs

Dear anyone buying gifts for a baby:
Skip the classic wooden toys, plush animals, developmental skill builders, animated machines, and all the other fancy toys…the only toy your baby wants is a tv remote.  Proof (notice discarded toy pile in back):


Take out the batteries, wrap that sucker up and gift it to one of your girlfriends for her baby shower.  Her baby will love it. Trust me.  Oh, and just for giggles, remove the mute button. Those don’t work on babies.

You’re welcome.


P.S. Smart phones may also be used in place of television remotes. (Isn’t it a bit sad that our babes already understand how important these devices are in our lives? Eek.)



What I’m Reading: When You Are Tightly Wound

In my opinion, stories like this from other moms in the trenches, sisters in “there’s spit up on your shirt” solidarity are not shared nearly often enough.  In some moments, they’re pretty much the only thing keeping me sane, reminding me that whatever it is I’m struggling with as a mom, “it’s okay” because out there are other women also staring down a house project to-do list that started a year ago and never gets a darn thing checked off. Or maybe it does but I just keep adding more that progress seems a mirage.  It’s super overwhelming.

“Isn’t it funny how parenting works out? It’s just so loud, even when they are asleep. You can never turn parenting off. It’s a good thing it’s what we always wanted, isn’t it?” – the 42-year-old mother at the library who has finally had that baby after 12 years of trying but still feels tightly wound at the end of the day

Last weekend I was in such a funk.  Trying to be a good wife, I even kept warning Mumbles about my mood, throwing him daring glances over my shoulder as I furiously washed another sinkload of dishes.  I cursed.  A lot.  And then I silently scolded myself for being short with him. In the next breath I was pissed at myself because what if I’m cursing too much and Declan is aware of my negative aura and his first words are the kind you have to bleep out?

And in a snap I was back to cussing and not caring because my fingers were turning to prunes, my manicure was chipping (said manicure was hurriedly performed on myself just one hour prior to my friend’s wedding a few days earlier…needed to clarify that point because what mom has the leisure time to patiently paint her nails?), and I was taking too long to do the damn dishes and I’m probably the one responsible for the drought in California.  Sorry. If it’s not my never-ending dish doing, it’s surely my 20 minute showers.  The showers hide the tears, folks. (Kidding! KIDDING.)

Just like the author, Kate, says: it all feels very tragic.  And it is.  Especially when I read that she hasn’t unpacked from a month ago – because neither have I, which means I’ll probably just not unpack and take the same bag with me next time we go to Havasu, and then I can rid myself of that guilt, call it time management and efficiency, and pat myself on the back.  But thinking of all those dirty clothes in that bag reminded me that I forgot to move the baby clothes from the washer to the dryer the night before so now they’re probably all mildew-y and I’ll have to rewash them. More bad words.

And that’s how it goes.  But then your baby giggles or cocks his head to the side with a smile, or does some other ridiculous thing that is so cute it breaks your heart and all the little pieces melt back together so you don’t even care that you don’t have time to put on makeup or do your hair or get out of your workout clothes (because – high five! – I totally made it to the gym!).



Read the full article.


P.S. What no one tells you about having a baby.


Baby Moccasin Roundup

Have you noticed the obsession with baby moccasins lately? (again, I fear I’m a little late to the party…I’m saying that a lot lately…) Freshly Picked got a lot of media attention after appearing on Shark Tank and her moccs are absolutely gorgeous. We don’t have a pair (yet) but I do think they’d be fun for Declan once he’s actually trying to walk. Anyway, if you are trolling Instagram for gently used baby items, perhaps you’ve also seen that there are plenty of other brands selling moccs for the babes.

faas design lofaas moccasins for baby

Here are favorites I’ve come across:

This red pair from Minnetonka has velcro ($21.95) which sounds genius but also a nightmare because I’d imagine Declan would think it was so hilarious to keep pulling them off!

I also adore this braid bootie from Minnetonka plus it’s an added bonus that they offer men’s and women’s styles too…so if it’s not too Brady Bunch of you, everyone in the fam can be sporting fabulous footwear together. Total bonus.

And this pair from Robeez ($25) just looks plain comfy.

If you’re looking for an affordable option, the camo pair from Max Moccs are pretty rad looking and only $33 shipped.

FAAS Design Distressed Butterscotch Lofaas (see what they did there? clever!) are perhaps my very favorite. I like that (similar to the Max Moccs version) there’s no fringe on them so they seem a little more modern and loafer like.  Buuut, they’re just as pricey as the Freshly Picked ones at sixty buckaroos. Ouch. Seriously, though, how sweet are the ballet-style or mary jane flats for little ladies?

I also see ones from Happy and The Hectic and Potato Feet on Instagram often, both of which range from $30-50.


Does your kiddo wear moccs? What’s your favorite brand?

P.S. This white pair of Minnetonka moccs is so gorgeous – I’d never be able to keep them clean but I must have them anyway!

[image via Faas Design]

Yay for Anniversaries!

This May marks four years of wedded bliss for Mumbles and me, and earlier this month we also went to a super fancy dinner (sans kiddo) to celebrate our 10 year dating anniversary. Whoa, you guys, that’s like one-third of my life that I’ve been with this guy!  I can’t believe it’s been that long but it makes me so excited to see what else is in store for us in the next 10 years together.

I wish I would’ve found this card earlier to present to him – it’s perfect, right?

ashkahn half the things you say card

What are you celebrating lately? If you’re married, do you still celebrate dating anniversaries?