Back to my Calligraphy Workshops in San Jose!

Aaaand, I’m back!

Last Sunday I hosted my Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Workshop at A Work Of Heart in San Jose again after a short break for my maternity leave.

We had a few last minute additions plus I messed up with the alarm at the shop when I got there so my whole morning before the workshop got a little chaotic! Yes, as crazy as it sounds I made the alarm went on and even some neighbors came to see what was happening but everything was ok! Thank Goodness Andrea -owner of the studio- arrived just then and solved the crazy situation! I was imagining myself trying to explain everything to the cops, that would have been some even crazier anecdote to share!

Anyway, I had to set up and organized everything faster than expected so I run out of time and I couldn’t do live videos or take more pictures of the behind the scenes.

But I tell you a little bit about it now and you’ll just have to believe me and imagine some things because… not many pictures!

Since it’s almost July, I thought about doing a “summery” theme and what says more summer than the sea, right? So I got some turquoise pen holders, I wrote the name of the students on shells and I brought a decor fishing net and even more shells to decorate the table. F or snacks, this time I brought some pastries as usual plus watermelon… THE fruit for the summer, right? And even though I never recommend to drink caffeinated beverages before doing calligraphy, I went against my own advice and brought some cold frapuccinos for my students. Guys, it was like a great addition for this “summer Sunday morning” theme.

I also gave them some map paper, which is also in the summer/travel theme and I found these little glass bottles with cork stoppers for the ink that was like a “message in a bottle” kind of thing. Super cute!

Next workshop date? July 22nd at 10am

Where? A Work Of Heart Studio in San Jose, CA.

How can I register? Click here!

Hope to see you on the next one!

Artists Moms Meet Up in San Jose – Update!

Hi friends!

This week we had the first Artists Moms Meet Up in San Jose, CA and I wanted to share with you a little bit about it.

We were three moms with babies less than a year old and each one of us, somehow, got to create a little something! I had a great time, enjoying a conversation with fellow moms plus being able to do some lettering for this post.

I’ve received a few messages of moms in WA state and another mom in Canada asking me if I knew of a group like this in their cities. So you can see, there’s an interest out there! I’d love to know if there’s an artist/creative mom’s group in your city and how are their meetings!

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there’s another meeting coming soon and you can register for it here.

‘Til next week folks!

Baby wipes and a matcha latte, bare necessities for this mom ūüėõ

 

About life lately and another favorite project for beginners

Folks, I can’t believe Summer is here already!

This school year went by so fast for me that everything kind of took me for surprise, like, last day of school!

I waited too long to get a present for the teachers and then I had to magically arrange something kind of last minute gift… the day before!

So I thought, what would I want to do if I were a teacher and classes are ending? RELAX I guess! So I decided to get them some bath salts and a body cream all with chamomile (relaxing effect) and luckily I found some chamomile flowers at my local Whole Foods so I added this as a little detail.

I did a little lettering on vellum paper and used it to wrap the flowers. Since I was in a rush, I used one of my Tombow markers and not an actual pointed pen and nib, but after doing this I thought how cool of a project to make this when you’re just starting doing calligraphy! You could also re-use practice paper but it makes it more special writing the name of the person that will receive this gift and maybe even a message, in this case I wrote “Thank you Mrs Laura” all over.

For all the wrapping I added a little beauty to plain IKEA rolling paper with some lettering using also a Tombow marker.

I thought of sharing these since they can be fun projects where you can use your calligraphy skills. I hope you like these ideas and let me know if you try it!

Introducing: FREE SHIPPING!

In the times of Amazon, paying for shipping has become a “problem”.

Specially on Etsy, customers would have to do all the math if they want either priority or first class, and besides, what is all of that? Why do we need to know all of that as customers? I just want to buy something and I want to have it deliver asap but not paying an extraordinary amount for it, right? It’s kind of simple.

Well, I took the decision of offering FREE SHIPPING on my Etsy store and avoid you all the hustle, the decision taking of what option choose, the math of how much you’ll end up paying, etc.

So whenever you’re buying one of my products on my shop, you’ll have free shipping. Simple.

Bar Area creative moms meet-up

Hi everyone! 

You can imagine that having a brand new little one makes time for ourselves practically non-existant. 

Some days, just being able of completing daily grooming habits and eat an actual meal (not just leftovers or snacks) for unless once a day feels like winning the first place in a marathon. 

On the other hand, I love to connect with others, specially with fellow creatives at heart. 

So I thought. I want to meet other artists moms! There should be some around the Bay Area, right?¬†ūüėú

So I reached out to Andrea from my favorite studio in San Jose -A Work Of Heart- and told her my idea: I want to host a meet up for creative moms with babies in your studio. Is this doable? 

And the answer was… yes!¬†

So, this is a calling for all those moms in the Bay Area with their babies (0-12months). A calling for all those Moms who love painting, drawing, crafting… moms who find joy in a creative life (even if that means coloring books!).¬†

We’re going to meet -bring your baby,  they are included in this plan- and spend an hour together, enjoying a nice conversation while attempting to create something. 

And the best part is, we just pay the studio hour and we can use also the materials available there! That means we don’t need to bring art supplies, and thank goodness because to be honest, the ones we have are already occupied carrying a baby, diaper bag, car seat, stroller, etc etc. Ah! And cellphones of course!

So fellow creative moms, let’s meet at A Work Of Heart with our babies on Tuesday June 19th at 10 am. Remember: We are moms who share a creative interest. We won’t freak out if a baby cries or if you, like me, have a messy bun and the last t-shirt you had in the closet. Life with a baby is hard and we know it!

Are you coming? I want to meet you and your little one!

***Registration is required. Register here:  https://www.aworkofheart.com/studio/component/registrationpro/event/1384/Mom-s-Open-Studio-Time?Itemid=

***Parking in front of the store is a bike lane now so you want to use the parking lot in the back of the store. Otherwise, parking is ok  on the streets Yosemite, Mariposa st, etc

Calligraphy classes in the Bay Area are back!

Hi folks!

So it’s set. I’m coming back to teach my Introduction to Modern Calligraphy at A Work Of Heart in San Jose in June 24th.

I’m super happy about this. I’ve been thinking, I’d even say “day-dreaming”, for the theme and colors for the next one and now I’m starting to buy all the supplies. It’s going to be so beautiful!

You know, I want to make every class a special moment for you, not only to learn to create thin and thick lines with a pointed pen, but also to have an enjoyable moment to remember.

That’s why I put so much energy and love to prepare each workshop. Folks, I love doing this. What can I say?!

So, are you ready to give Modern Calligraphy a try? This is the real-thing, it’s learning to write with a straight pen-holder, using professional calligraphy ink. But nothing to worry, because I’ll guide you through this adventure and you know what else? Your Beginner’s Calligraphy Kit is included and it’s yours to keep. Cool, right? Now, don’t miss it and grab your spot here.

If you cannot make it in June, there’s another opportunity in July. Read more about it and register for here.

Picture by By Lorena Photography

Have a happy long weekend!

Luca is here!

Hello folks! Luca Francisco is here! He was born on a rainy spring night, on April 7th at 1:32am. Weight: 8.15 lbs Height: 20.5 inches || 4.055kg / 52 cm.

It was a the night of the ‚ÄúPineapple Express‚ÄĚ -a storm coming from Hawaii- and after 3hs of labor at home, we arrived at Labor and Delivery at 1:10am.
Our own little Pineapple Express arrived just 22 minutes and about 6 pushes later! (I even had to be admitted at the hospital after given birth since everything went so fast we couldn’t do it before!).
We were surrounded by so much love and care and we’re so thankful that such special, kind, lovely people like my mother in law and Katie Heredia my doula were there with us during this extraordinary moment of our lives.

My baby and I are doing great and this now family of 4 is happy, healthy and thankful to God for all the joys and blessings that He has given us.

As you may all know, I’m still on my maternity leave but I wanted to pop here and say hi and share a little pic of my newest addition.
Here’s Luca 1 day old on a blanket that I created specially for him.

This project started with a pointed pen, paper an ink and after digitizing it on Photoshop, I printed it on a soft blanket made in the USA.

marco 5 days old – pic by quianna marie photography

Isn’t it amazing how many things we can create from words on a paper? I’m still fascinated by this beautiful art folks, I cannot lie!

See you soon!

 

Sheets available on Roostery

You might remember the sheets that I created for Luca some weeks ago.

Well, after receiving some requests, I created a fabric pattern with just the “Buenos d√≠as/Buenas Noches” (that’s good morning/good night -without the Luca name part). That fabric is available on my shop at Spoonflower. I have to be honest, I don’t love Spoonflower. Yes, the quality of the fabric is great; the shipping and customer service is very good too and those are the reasons why I keep my fabric design shop there. But it only pays 10% to us artists… But if it is the way that I can offer my designs to the world, I’ll take it for now.

There were two people that asked me for sheets already sewn. That’s how I got to create a shop on Roostery.

So this week I wanted to share with you that you can get sheets with the hand-lettered “Buenos D√≠as Buenas Noches” at Roostery. Just follow this link.

I think Roostery is still kind of expensive (especially if you compare what they charge to the customer and what they pay the artist; again sorry for the rant!) but for now is the only option I have to offer this product.

Anyway. I love the pattern

Waiting for Luca

Hi folks!
So here we’re, still waiting for Luca but patiently. I think the fact that this will be my last pregnancy makes it a less anxious waiting. Also it helps a lot that I’ve been feeling very good -specially considering that I’m over 40 weeks pregnant now!- so that has been a huge relief.

In the meantime, since I’m mostly at home waiting and handling all my home-related tasks, I took some time to play on Procreate with the few “bump¬†pics” that I took during this pregnancy.

I did some lettering using different styles and brushes and thought of sharing these with you this week.

What do you think? I hope you like them!

picture by Quianna Marie Photography

From week 4 that I found out that I was pregnant until week 22, my pregnancy was a super tough ride, as you might already know. I lost a lot of weight and couldn’t do anything besides laying on the couch or running to the toilet. So… I wasn’t in the mood for any pictures. This one is the first one I have and it was on week 18!

Slowly starting to feel a little better. This is one day working in my studio at 19 weeks.

By week 26 I was feeling much much better! And you can notice on my smile ūüėÄ

Getting bigger ūüôā

And here’s the last one from last weekend!

My due date was April 1st… We’ll see when this little one decides to come to this world! Will I have news next week?

Remember you can follow my most updated posts on Instagram and Facebook.

See you soon!

Marco’s 5th birthday party

This week I decided to blog about Marco’s 5th birthday so I can finally be up to date with his celebrations and all the DIY that I created for his parties.

This time was all about Legos. Well, kinda. Because like 4 days before he started saying that he wanted an ‚Äúarmy theme‚ÄĚ for his birthday. And I was like ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no way we‚Äôre changing your birthday party theme‚ÄĚ. But this is how I resolved that: with a one dollar ‚Äúlego‚ÄĚ tank that I found on the dollar tree store and I used on top of his mini cake (the one that we have at home).

The celebration at home was very simple this time. I just added some balloons, the mini cake and some party hats. It was a weekday and he had to be at school by 7:30am so… Not a lot of time!

My sweet BIRTHDAY boy

But we celebrated with a little party with his friends the day after, and it was so much fun!

First, let me share with you the invitations that I created using some Modern Calligraphy with actual pen and ink and then digitized with Photoshop and some single line lego bricks illustrations.

Now let’s talk about the most important part of any birthday celebration. The cake. Of course ūüėõ

I used this recipe again but this time I filled my cake using an Argentinean dulce de leche. Simple but oh oh oh, out of this world.

If you’re using Dulce de Leche to fill to a cake, be sure to get a “repostero” one which is thicker and won’t melt in your cake. It’s a special Dulce de Leche for patisserie.

I covered it with this chocolate ganache¬†and some chocolate sprinkles that I got at a Brazilian place where I bought everything to do brigadeiros… But that’s another story.

Since it was all lego themed, I played with some old duplos that we didn’t use and built some stuff for decor.

Then of course, my little kid has an Argentiniean mom so… Chipas and Empanadas were part of the menu! Get my chipa recipe here.

Some fast, almost last-minute signs for the food with brush lettering.

I used the same colors all the time, red, green and blue.

I found some lego figurines on Amazon that I added for his party favors and used a free template of a lego background, then used the same digitized calligraphy on top and that was the “card” for the party favors on paper bags.

Finally, I created a chalkboard sign (the night before!) for his cake table.

It was such a special moment for all of us! He had a great time with his buddies and I was as happy as I could be watching my kid grow to be 5 years old and enjoying so much his special day!

That’s it for this week folks! See you next week with no more birthday reviews for a while! Haha! Have fun!

a long time ago, marco turned 4 years old

Hi there!

For those of you who have been following the different facets of this blog, you know that I’ve posted in the past a lot of my cooking recipes and some of my motherhood experiences and all the things I create for my kid’s birthdays besides all my calligraphy adventures.

So today, I decided to do a #TBT to Marco’s 4th bday party which I hadn’t shared here.

First. let’s talk about the theme. My kid wants to be a Race Car Driver and he’s a totally fan of anything with a motor and wheels. So, there we went. A Hot Wheels celebration!¬†

I made him two cakes, one mini cake for home and one bigger to bring to his preschool. This time I tried an amazing chocolate cake that I found¬†here. What I like the most ¬†about this one is that it doesn’t have any coffee on it and -truth to be told- I think it’s a little bit easier than the most amazing chocolate cake I did the year before that.

It’s a very thin batter but no worries, it comes out so moist and soft… delicious! I filled the bigger cake with slices of organic strawberries and organic heavy whipping cream that I previously mixed with some organic powdered sugar (kind of a Chantilly cream) and a green food colorant.

For the decoration, I covered it with the same heavy whipping cream and I used a piece of black fondant to create kind of a route and the rocks where made out of chocolate! I got these here.

The smaller cake, I filled it with organic raspberries and this chocolate ganache. Out of this world. Love this combination!

I covered it with the black fondant, added some of the chocolate rocks and a Grave Digger Monster Truck (this is a Hot wheels party, remember, cars and monster trucks are allowed!)

I got some hot wheels cups and plates for the school party so we used three of those in our intimate celebration. I found this piece of black “chalkboard paper” at Target and it was a great addition to the decor! I used it as a route on our table.

I got to play with a simple hand-lettering using a chalk-board marker on the paper (this was June 2016, amazing how much my lettering has improved!).

I also did some small tags for the goody bags for his school. For these, I did use a straight pen-holder and nib.

Here’s how everything looked in the morning!

Black and white paper straws and the race flags picks were cute ideas to add and of course… balloons! I did the tassel garland with black crepe paper for a big white balloon that doesn’t appear in the pic!

Someone was super happy when he woke up to see this surprise!

Well, that’s it for this week. Next week, I’ll be sharing more about his 5th birthday! Stay tuned!

PS: You can also check when he turned 3 years for another kind of cars and trucks celebration and the 2 years bday party, when everything was about trains.

Baby announcement!

After a long time wishing for this baby to come, he/she will be finally coming to our lives April 1st, 2018!

We’re so happy and tremendously thankful for this blessing!

Or course, being a lettering nerd I wanted to incorporate something of my art to make his announcement and since it is Fall, the best way to do for me was lettering on pumpkins!

For this project I bought real pumpkins at my local grocery store, wipe them clean with a wet cloth and then I dried them with a paper towel.

I tried lettering first with my favorite Molotow marker but the texture didn’t make it very opaque. Same thing happened with the Sharpies Acrylic Water based.. They just didn’t stick plus they created like a rough coat in some patches (you can still see those in the “beb√©” littlest pumpkin).

So at the end, the best marker for this project for me was the Chalk Ink Chalk Marker. It sticked, it was opaque and it didn’t create layers of ink leaving a rough look. So, Chalk Ink Marker… Approved!

Also, little detail but the chisel tip is always great to create the thin and thick lines and give it more of a faux calligraphy look.

Enjoy the fall season friends!

I love you more than milkshakes

Today I want to share something a lot more personal ūüôā

For those of you who have followed me for the last 10 years or more on my blog (I’ve started blogging in 2005!) you might already know how deeply my life has changed since I became a mom.

Not only because of the obvious… Became a mom, but also, I quit my job, moved countries and 2 years later also moved coasts (from NY to SF) and in the middle of that whirlpool, I had to learn and apply a lot of strategies during the first months and I didn’t have a lot of help considering we had no family around or many friends and besides all of that I went through postpartum depression.

Oh boy, it wasn’t easy but I had an amazing support from my husband which helped infinitely. And I’ll continue to go on because in my present life, there are much more wonderful moments that fill my life with purpose and happiness than there are times of sadness.

This June, Marco turned 5 years old and I feel like he’s, of course, a big boy now. And before he starts Kindergarten this year and suddenly goes to college a few moments later (the days are long but the years go fast you know haha) so before all of that happens…¬†I want to have something to remember this time in my life forever.

I always have in my mind this quote from Mary Poppins¬†“a piece of beauty is a joy forever” and that’s how I thought that having some great photos would be an amazing way to capture these memories.

So I reached out to my favorite South Bay Photographer Quianna Marie Photography¬†and I told her this idea that I wanted to have this photo shoot in an old fashioned diner that I’ve seen in Los Gatos, CA.¬†

For those who know me, the fact that I LOVE diners AND also milkshakes is not a surprise ūüėÄ

So today I want to share some of those pictures with you, my friends who have been always coming back to my blog to read some of my ideas; with those of you who have also shared with me the last 6 years of this crazy ride!

 

Marco, 5 years old

When you’re mom is a hand-lettering artist… She brings a prop

We were so lucky we found an old pick up truck just a block from the Diner! A great detail for this photo shoot!

Marco, My piece of beauty, my joy forever

<3

about last year and this week

Hi folks, weekly post here and today with more good news!

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to create some beautiful calligraphy pieces for the Styled Pop Up Series Workshop; by the way,¬†if¬†you’re a beginner lifestyle photographer or are curious about lifestyle photography, you need to check it out!

Welcome sign that I created for the workshop

 

Now this week, I have the joy to tell you that the Styled Pop Up Series has been PUBLISHED by Borrowed & Blue!

What an amazing opportunity that was!

modern calligraphy wedding invitation suite

 

I’m so happy that this¬†Romantic Winery Styled Shoot‚Äôs wedding will be featured front and center¬†on their¬†San Francisco home page!

In love with this beautiful state that I call now home: California

 

Click in the image below to see all the pictures from this Styled Series Pop Up with an amazing winery theme wedding inspiration!

See you next week, friends!

– – – – – –

List of Vendors:
Photography: www.quiannamarie.com
Wedding Planner: www.theblubookevents.com
Bride’s Gown:¬†www.bonny.com
Bridesmaid Dresses: www.trudysbrides.com
Bridal Garter: www.thegartergirl.com
Furniture Rentals: www.viewpointevents.com
Floral Design: www.bonjourbloom.com
Catering: www.organicopia.com

I’m back! are you still there?

Hi friends!

It’s been a while, I know. So many things happened since I’ve last wrote on this blog.

And everyday that goes by makes it¬†a little bit more difficult to write again because… it¬†feels that it’s been decades¬†since I last posted something on the blog!

Anyway, in order to put an end to this “never-ending blog neurosis”,¬†¬†I decided to just start by saying:

Hey, I’m back! Are you still there?

If so, I’m so happy that you’re reading this!

Also, since Valentine’s it’s just around the corner, I have a little something¬†for you <3

A free Happy Galentine’s printable card.

Download it here and send it to your bestie! Because we all need those girl-friends that make our life much better!

Have a lovely week everyone!

 

¬°mi primer ebook!

¬°Hola a todos!

Hoy estoy muy feliz  de compartir con ustedes ¡mi primer e-book!

Se trata de una Gu√≠a R√°pida para Expatriados en Estados Unidos completamente en espa√Īol.

Esta gu√≠a naci√≥ de las preguntas que me han hecho tantas veces amigos y¬†conocidos que estaban en proceso de mudanza a Estados Unidos y la idea de Victor¬†-¬°gracias Apito√ļ por todo el incentivo y hasta la ayuda con el dise√Īo!-¬†que me impuls√≥ a crearla como un libro electr√≥nico y as√≠ ayudar a mucha m√°s gente en el proceso de mudanza a un nuevo pa√≠s.

En la misma van a encontrar temas desde cómo saber en qué vecindario vivir hasta cómo hacer amigos en la nueva ciudad a la que te mudes. Contiene todos los enlaces (links) necesarios para conocer en profundidad cada tema.

Espero pueda ayudar a muchos más con esta guía completa y sencilla, como dice mi querida Aldana a quien también agradezco mucho por toda la ayuda con la edición y el prólogo tan bonito que escribió.

Amigos, por este mes celebrando y agradeciendo por este lindo proyecto, podrán descargar gratuitamente la guía aquí:

Guia Rapida Para Expatriados - Andrea Casa - Andrea Casals

 

Guía Rápida Para Expatriados РAndrea Casals

 

Enjoy it!

cute animals: baby fox

Today, I want to share some images of a little fox that I drew for a dear friend who is expecting a new baby.

baby fox final artprint copy

I used the illustration as an art-print but also on a onesie.

IMG_7592

Since I also enjoy sewing and creating things with my hands, I chose to use the same baby fox illustration as an embroidery.

IMG_7380

I drew this little fox thinking in this new baby that’s coming to a dear family of friends of mine and all¬†that love made it an extra special and enjoyable project!

<3

marco’s 3rd birthday party: cars & trucks || fiesta de cumplea√Īos de marco: autos y camiones

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

So my “baby” is 3 years old now!

Wow! I still feel that the 1st year went super slowly, from that moment to the 2nd birthday it went a little bit faster but let me tell you… From his 2nd to this 3rd birthday time flew!

We are still new to San Jose, CA so we didn’t throw a party this year but still we decorated the house and prepare a special cake for him.

The theme for this celebration was: Cars and Trucks.

IMG_6026

I prepared everything the night before so he could wake up and find the surprise (that’s why the picture has no natural light!).

IMG_6024

I designed some silly signs for the juices and the cars.

IMG_6025

In case you like this idea, I’m giving away¬†the free downloadable the Interstate 3 Sign¬†file¬†and also¬†the Yellow Sign¬†(this last one is in spanish).

IMG_6028

The wooden name-train from his 2nd birthday party¬†was still useful for the table but I didn’t¬†display the¬†main engine.

IMG_6029

This little guy was so surprised in the morning when he found his “birthday table”…! The picture¬†is terrible but that’s the best I could do at 6am!

The trucks candles from Wilton were great addition to the most amazing buttermilk “tire cake”.

 

IMG_6079

Happy birthday my sweet boy! <3


ESPA√ĎOL

¬°Mi “beb√©” tiene 3 a√Īos!

Yo a√ļn¬†siento que su primer a√Īo de vida fue s√ļper¬†despacio;¬†luego entre el primer a√Īo y los dos a√Īos fue un poquito m√°s r√°pido pero entre los dos y los tres… ¬°Guau! ¬°El tiempo pas√≥ volando!

Todav√≠a somos¬†nuevitos en San Jose, California como para hacer una fiesta de cumplea√Īos con invitados, as√≠ que decidimos celebrarlo entre nosotros solamente, decorar la casa y preparar una torta especial.

El tema de su cumplea√Īos fue: Autos y Camiones.

IMG_6026

Prepar√© toda la decoraci√≥n la noche anterior para que Marco despertara con una linda sorpresa de su “mesa de cumplea√Īos”.

IMG_6024

Dise√Ī√© estos cartelitos graciosos para pegarlos a los jugos y a los autos.

IMG_6025

Si les gust√≥ la idea, se los doy gratis para descargarlos e imprimirlos directamente. Los carteles amarillos en espa√Īol lo descargan en este link¬†Yellow Sign¬†y¬†los carteles de la Interestatal 3 gen√©ricos que cre√© lo descargan en este link¬†Interstate 3 Sign.

IMG_6028

El trencito de madera con su nombre de su fiesta de 2do cumplea√Īos¬†me sirvi√≥ tambi√©n para la mesa pero le quit√© la locomotora y el vag√≥n trasero.

IMG_6029

Mi peque√Īito estaba super feliz con su sorpresa! El cami√≥n de cart√≥n y los autos porta-cupcakes son de la colecci√≥n Construction Party¬†de Meri-Meri.

IMG_6047

Las velitas de camiones de Wilton fueron perfectas para la torta-cubierta ¬°m√°s deliciosa que jam√°s he hecho!

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¬°Feliz cumplea√Īos mi dulce y hermoso Tot√≥!

why routines are good for my whole family ‚ÄĘ por qu√© las rutinas son buenas para toda mi familia

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might already know how creating a routine helped me with Marco. Today I want to share a little more about this.

IMG_0407Heading to Barnes & Noble for story and play-time

When I used to work as a Children’s Psychologist at a¬†Psychiatric¬†Hospital in Buenos Aires, I had patients with very severe pathologies. During that experience, I¬†really¬†learned the extreme importance of¬†creating and keeping a routine and how this helped kids -families and professionals- to go through their days the best they could.

But then, in the private practice with adults patients (not severe pathologies as in the hospital), I also noticed that, at the end, we all benefit when we have a routine (even-though there were some important differences like the rigidity and exact repetition).

Since this blog is not about my Psychologist’s experience but my parenting’s, I’m not going to expand on the explanation, but just think about how routine affects us, i.e. how many times we say something¬†like “I don’t start my day until I have my coffee” or things¬†like that?!

IMG_0409“If you spend your entire work day mastering new tasks, you appreciate your regular coffee breaks” (Dr. Karp)

The issue is that when we have a new baby at home, the routine that we used to have…¬†is gone and we try to do all the tasks that we have to do whenever we can do them, even without a schedule.

But friends, routine can be our ally!

In my experience, routine was useful for:

  • having less meltdowns during the day
  • less drama when changing¬†from one activity to another (specially on that 1-2yr stage)
  • bedtime got¬†easier
  • soothing him when an unexpected situation was present (specially when moving, this is our 4th new place!)

Now, let’s be honest. We don’t have the same activities during the day, neither the same time and that’s fine.¬†Let’s embrace our differences ūüôā

Each family has its own rhythm but, we all can create routines according to our own rhythm! We can all organize our day so it’s easier to navigate thru and not ending the day stressful, tired.. exhausted. You might see it now, not having a routine affects everyone in the family ūüôā

That’s why, for me and in my experience, it’s important to create a routine, a schedule that fits our own time. Because at the end… Happy parents help to have¬†happy kids ūüôā

IMG_0424Crafts and free-play after nap-time

*There’re tons of books about the importance of routines, but my favorites¬†are¬†still Dr. Karp’s books (“The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block”)


ESPA√ĎOL

Si siguen mi blog, ya sabrán cómo el establecer una rutina en el día me ayudó en la crianza de Marco. Ahora quiero contarles un poquito más acerca de las rutinas.

Cuando trabajaba como Psic√≥loga con Ni√Īos con patolog√≠as severas en un Hospital de Buenos Aires, aprend√≠ la extrema importancia que ten√≠a¬†la rutina en la vida de esos pacientes¬†(incluso para sus familias y para los profesionales).¬†Pero despu√©s, trabajando con adultos en la pr√°ctica privada, me daba cuenta que a pesar de algunas diferencias -principalmente en la rigidez y repetici√≥n exacta- al final es a todos que nos hace bien tener una rutina.

IMG_0422Ayudando a mami a hacer la cena

No voy a explayarme aqu√≠ acerca del tema porque esto no es mi blog como psic√≥loga sino de mi etapa de mam√°, pero si quieren piensen en todas aquellas cosas que hacemos que ya est√°n casi “naturalizadas” y que nos hacen emprender nuestras actividades. Piensa en¬†las frases como¬†“hasta que no tome mi caf√©/mate no arranco¬†la ma√Īana”¬†por ejemplo.

El tema es que cuando nace un beb√©, la rutina que ten√≠amos… desaparece y empezamos a tratar de hacer las actividades que tenemos que hacer cuando podemos hacerlas, ya sin llevar un orden o ritmo a veces… “tapando agujeros“.

IMG_0438Pizza casera, la receta *aquí*

¡Pero la rutina puede ser una gran aliada! En mi caso y experienca, encontré que el hecho de tener una rutina nos ayudó a que:

  • hayan muchas menos rabietas/berrinches
  • la hora de ir a dormir sea m√°s f√°cil
  • pasar de una actividad a otra sea algo m√°s llevadero, con mayor fluidez y menos stress (sobretodo en la etapa¬†entre 1 y 2 a√Īos)
  • pueda estar tranquilo durante¬†una¬†situaci√≥n inesperada (por ejemplo en nuestro caso, mudanzas… √©ste es nuestro 4to hogar)

Ahora, es bueno que nos sinceremos. No todos tenemos las mismas actividades ni horarios y eso est√° bien¬†porque cada familia tiene su propio ritmo. Pero todas las familias tienen¬†un ritmo con el que puede¬†ordenarse… Sea que en mi casa se cene a las 6pm o en la tuya a las 9pm, todos podemos organizar nuestro d√≠a para que sea todo m√°s f√°cil de llevar y no terminemos exhaustos, cansados, agotados al final de la jornada. Tal vez puedas ver ahora c√≥mo no tener una rutina afecta a¬†todos¬† en la familia ūüôā

Por eso, para m√≠ y en mi experiencia, es importante crear una rutina, la que sea m√°s acorde a los tiempos de nuestra familia. Porque al final¬†de cuentas, padres felices… ayudan a que haya¬†ni√Īos felices ūüôā

IMG_0214Lleg√≥ la hora de leer cuentos y a dormir… ¬°Buenas noches!

*Hay much√≠sima bibliograf√≠a acerca de la importancia de las rutinas en el desarrollo de los ni√Īos, pero mis libros preferidos siguen siendo “The Happiest Baby on the Block (El beb√© m√°s feliz del barrio)” y “What To Expect: The Toddler Years

introducing: summer deliciousness

In the last weeks, I’ve been studying a little bit¬†about creating patterns and today¬†I want to share with you a new product that I have for sale: scarves! (a *must* for our Northern California weather!)

The illustration is a simple line drawing inspired in the summer deliciousness: cherries & strawberries.

It’s available for sale here.

Soon, it will also be available as a fabric, wall or gift paper here.

*I’d love to have your feedback on this! Feel free to leave your comment below!

We have a winner!

Congratulations

Thank you everyone for participating in this special giveaway! I deeply appreciate your support, it means a lot to me ūüôā

Congratulations to @diegosubovsky who won this cute art-print from a list of 201 participants! I’ll send you a PM to send you your prize.

Thanks everyone! Have a great week and a very happy Mother’s Day!

andreacomenta

 

more about soothing a baby ‚ÄĘ m√°s acerca de calmar a un beb√©

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

I learnt how to swaddle my newborn baby at the Brooklyn Hospital and I have to say that it was a very useful technique during Marco’s first months.

This technique helps them to soothe, not to be disturbed or interrup their sleep because of their reflex movements and even gets them the cozy and warm feeling that they used to have when they were in the womb.

There are a lot of videos and guides on how to do it properly.

I often recommend to my friends the book The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp -there are some videos available onlineРwhere you can learn a little bit about his amazing technique on how to soothe a fussy baby using swaddling, shh (white noise), side/stomach position, swinging and sucking.

I used to swaddle Marco until he was about 2 months but the truth is I should done it for more time!

Did you read¬†Dr. Karp’s book or used his technique? I’d love to know your experience!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Holding my newborn Marco @ The Brooklyn Hospital, NY


ESPA√ĎOL

Algo que me ense√Īaron en el Hospital de Brooklyn¬†y me fue muy¬†√ļtil durante las primeras semanas de vida de Marco, es la t√©cnica para envolver a un beb√©: swaddling.

El envolverlos de ese modo¬†con una manta ligera los ayuda a calmarse, a no despertar por sus propios movimientos reflejos e incluso les da una sensaci√≥n de seguridad similar a la que ten√≠an cuando estaban en el √ļtero.

Hay videos y guías de cómo hacerlo correctamente paso a paso.

Si a√ļn no lo conocen, les recomiendo leer el libro El Beb√© M√°s Feliz¬†del Dr. Harvey Karp -hay algunos videos online¬†pero con¬†subt√≠tulos en portugu√©s- donde pueden aprender de su t√©cnica que es casi¬†m√°gica¬†para¬†calmar a un beb√©: el cual incluye envolver al beb√©, el ruido blanco, la posici√≥n en la que ponerlo, el movimiento y, obviamente, la succi√≥n.

Yo solía envolver a Marco hasta que tuvo como 2 meses pero la verdad es que ¡debí haberla recordado y usado mucho más!

¬ŅHas le√≠do alguno de los libros del Dr. Karp?¬†

DIY gift wrapping paper

For this DIY gift-wrapping paper, you just need some markers -I use microns from Sakura and a calligraphy pen- and plain paper.

I had to prepare two very special gifts so for the first one, I chose a Beatles song lyric.

I started writing a phrase in the center of the paper and after that, I completed the empty spaces using different hand-styles and sizes of the lettering.

IMG_4270_2“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

Then, I just used it as a regular gift-wrapping paper.

IMG_4271

Another option that I like to create a special paper from a plain white paper is to draw botanicals on it.

IMG_4277

Finally, I added the name of the person who was going to receive the gift using a calligraphy pen.

IMG_4281_2Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers.

Calligraphy pens and markers are always a good idea. They add a special touch to your everyday lettering even when you don’t know much about calligraphy. I encourage you to try it!

Here’s another DIY gift wrapping paper idea.¬†

best advice on routines and kids ‚ÄĘ el mejor consejo acerca de las rutinas y los ni√Īos

Hello fellow moms! Today I want to share with you the best advice that our doctor in New York gave us about routines and kids.

‚ÄúThe routine can be broken by you, not by your kid”

The advice was great for us. Let me give you an example. Each time that we have family visiting us (most of them live abroad or in other cities around the US), we -as parents- decide that we can break the routine.

IMG_6429My mom and Marco around Brooklyn, NY

This means that Marco doesn’t go to sleep at 7pm as usual, naps are on “on the go” and¬†sometimes he even doesn’t attend preschool. But… In those days,¬†he gains an amazing time with his extended family, his life becomes richer with new experiences and lots of love¬†and fun.

IMG_1693Marco wearing pajamas and playing at Goofy’s House in Disneyland at 8.30pm. No routine while at Disneyland!

So, how do we¬†manage those days when Marco decides he doesn’t want to go to sleep at 7pm? ¬†We continue to take him to his bed, with love and patience, how many times as needed, because mommy says… It’s time to sleep.

See you on the next post!

ESPA√ĎOL

¡Hola amigas y mamás de la web! Hoy quiero compartir el mejor consejo que me dio una vez una doctora en Nueva York acerca de las rutinas.

“S√≥lo t√ļ puedes romper las rutinas, tu ni√Īo no”

Ese consejo fue muy bueno para nosotros. Les cuento un ejemplo. Cada vez que tenemos familiares de visita -nuestra familia vive en otras ciudades de USA, Argentina y Venezuela- nosotros como padres decidimos que podemos romper la rutina.

IMG_9883¬ŅQui√©n puede dormirse temprano cuando est√° nuestra querida Puli de visita?

Eso significa que Marco no se va a dormir a las 7pm como es habitual, las siestas son “donde sean y como sean” (cochecito, en el auto andando, etc.) e incluso hay veces que no va a su escuelita. Pero, en esos d√≠as √©l gana un tiempo incre√≠ble compartido con familia; su vida se enriquece con nuevas experiencias llenas de amor y diversi√≥n.

IMG_1294Marco dormido en los brazos de mi sobrino en el tren de regreso de San Francisco.

Yo como mamá, puedo romper la rutina y el hecho de que sólo nosotros los padres podamos hacerlo también hace más fácil el volver a adaptarnos cuando las visitas se van y tenemos que volver a la vida cotidiana.

IMG_1801¡Las vacaciones en Disneyland merecen romper la rutina y disfrutar todo lo que se pueda!

Entonces ¬Ņc√≥mo hacemos¬†cuando Marco en un d√≠a cualquiera decide que no quiere dormir a las 7pm aunque hayamos hecho toda la rutina para ir a dormir?

Lo seguimos llevando a su cama, con amor y paciencia, las veces que sea necesario, porque mami dice… Es hora de dormir.

¡Hasta la próxima! 

my favorite baby carrier ‚ÄĘ mi cargador de beb√© preferido

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

Each time a friend of mine is expecting a baby, they would ask me about which baby carrier I recommend.

Without hesitation, my answer is: in my experience, Ergo Baby Performance.

IMG_5793

It’s so comfortable and adaptable for different stages. We used it since Marco was about 3 months, you can use it with the infant carrier for younger babies,¬†until Marco was 2 yrs old.

It was super comfortable for the baby and gentle, specially, with my lower back. I mostly used it on the front until Marco was a toddler when we use it as a backpack for some hiking days in the parks of our beloved Northern California.

IMG_6969

Ergo has different models, visit their website to check them!


ESPA√ĎOL

Cada vez que una amiga está esperando un bebé, me preguntan qué cargador (o mochila como le dicen en Argentina, entre otros nombres) recomiendo.

Sin duda mi respuesta es: en mi experiencia, Ergo Baby Performance.

IMG_3369¬°Bebito durmiendo!

Este cargador se¬†adapta a distintas etapas. Nosotros lo usamos desde que Marco ten√≠a como 3 meses,¬†pero¬†se puede usar desde reci√©n nacido con el soporte para infantes, hasta que Marco tuvo 2 a√Īos.

IMG_7545¬°Para bajar de las colinas de San Francisco era m√°s seguro usar el cargador que el cochecito!

Era¬†muy c√≥modo para Marco¬†y muy suave, especialmente, con mi espalda y cintura. Lo us√© principalmente de frente hasta que Marco tuvo m√°s de un a√Īo, momento en que empezamos a llevarlo montado en la espalda en algunas caminatas por parques de nuestra querida California del Norte.

Ergo tiene muchos modelos, si quieren conocer m√°s de sus productos, pueden chequear su sitio web.

#nowreading

I always enjoy learning how other people¬†bears with their own life, since there’s not exclusively one way to live,¬†and that’s might be the main¬†reason why I love reading¬†autobiographic novels.

Last week, I finished reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.

I enjoyed Cheryl’s adventure through the Pacific Coast Trail, all those thoughts and feelings she unravels with the challenges of every mile in the PCT.

Cheryl Strayed is a talented writer because, even though her life story is far from my own, she made me relate to hers and even feel like walking in her shoes.

Illustration inspired by Wild

I enjoyed this book¬†and I’m certainly ready to watch the movie (huge fan of Reese Witherspoon here!).

Last, my #nowreading quote chosen from this book + design created for it:

wild

Other memorable quotes from this book:

“I could only be who it seemed I had to be”

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? (…)¬†What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?‚ÄĚ

Have you seen the movie or read this book? 

creating a sleep routine ‚ÄĘ construyendo una rutina del sue√Īo

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

I was about 17 years old when I read “The Nausea” by Jean Paul Sartre¬†and¬†who would have thought that I would find useful a phrase from that novel during my motherhood experience!

Those who know me, must have heard me saying it a lot of times. I always say it something like these: “Habits are like nurses, they wash me, dry me, dress me…” ¬†Read the complete quote here.

During Marco’s first 3 months, I was kind of a “hippie”,¬†I didn’t mind about schedules¬†but soon I found myself paying the consequences of not being creating the foundations of a routine.
It was about that time, when I started reading a lot about baby sleep and I found out that at 4 months Marco needed to sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and not 10 naps of 5 to 10 minutes .
IMG_2265-3Marco in his bassinet
How did I start creating a daytime sleep routine? After learning how many hours of sleep he needed to sleep, I helped him to get to sleep when he had to. Remember, this was three times (3 naps) during the day.
Resources? Everything that could be useful: using the stroller; walking around the house with him in the ergo carrier; rocking him in the bouncer or my legs; white noise… Whatever helped him to get to sleep (and again if he woke up too soon).
IMG_3416Fussy, sleepy baby
So after about a week we had a consistent daytime routine and Marco started to be sleepy around the time I have been helping him to sleep.
Which is the secret? The same that you use anytime you want to create a habit: repetition and consistency.
And this is when Sartre’s quote comes to the scene, because as you will see, once the habit is created, it’s like a nurse that carries you to repeat that action.
IMG_2594Sweet dreams!


ESPA√ĎOL

Ten√≠a entonces, 17 a√Īos. Le√≠a, durante una adormecedora siesta posade√Īa, “La N√°usea” de Jean Paul Sartre.

¬°Qui√©n imaginar√≠a que en una frase de aquella novela existencialista encontrar√≠a una ense√Īanza que me servir√≠a para mi experiencia como mam√°!

¬†Aquellos que me conocen, la habr√°n escuchado hasta el hartazgo. Siempre viene algo as√≠ como¬†“Los h√°bitos con como nodrizas. Me ba√Īan, me visten me peinan…”¬†Pueden leer la frase exacta y¬†mucho m√°s detallada aqu√≠.
Durante los primeros 3 meses de Marco, puedo decir que fui muy “hippie”, no ten√≠a ni una rutina diaria, sobretodo en relaci√≥n al sue√Īo, pero pronto… me encontr√© pagando las consecuencias de no estar construyendo dicha¬†rutina.
Fue entonces cuando le√≠ acerca de la cantidad de horas estimadas de sue√Īo que los beb√©s necesitaban y me enter√© que a¬†los 4 meses mi beb√© necesitaba dormir¬†2 o 3 siestas durante el d√≠a… No como hasta entonces, 10 siestas de 5 a 10 minutos,¬†sino 2 o 3 siestas de un sue√Īo consistente.
¬ŅC√≥mo hice para crear una rutina del sue√Īo durante el d√≠a? Despu√©s de saber cu√°ntas horas de sue√Īo necesitaba, lo ayud√© a que se durmiera cuando le tocaba. En este caso, tres veces al d√≠a (y m√°s si despertaba luego¬†de dormir muy poquito).
¬ŅRecursos? Todos los necesarios: mecerlo en el coche, caminarlo¬†rapidito¬†en el cargador (en Argentina mis amigas le dicen “mochila”); mecerlo¬†en el bouncer (sillita que se mece para beb√©s); ruido blanco y mecerlo en mis piernas… Cuando se trataba de ayudarlo a que se duerma, me val√≠ de todo lo que ten√≠a.
IMG_4839A veces cuando no se dormía y ya no sabía qué hacer, salíamos en el coche. El frío ayuda a dormir.
As√≠ despu√©s de aproximadamente una semana, Marco empez√≥ a tener sue√Īo en los horarios en los que hab√≠a estado ayud√°ndolo a que se durmiera durante el d√≠a.
¬ŅCu√°l es el secreto? El mismo que el de la construcci√≥n de cualquier h√°bito: la repetici√≥n y la constancia.
Y es aquí donde toma protagonismo la frase de Sartre porque, una vez que el hábito está instalado, es como una nodriza que te ayuda a repetir aquella acción.
IMG_5662
¬°Dulces sue√Īos!

#nowreading

During the lasts 2¬†months, I’ve been reading Sunset Park by Paul Auster.

It was my first book from this author. Unfortunately, this book¬†become tough and sometimes even a little boring for me ‚Äďsorry to disappoint you, definitely not a fan of Auster’s prose‚Äď but I liked that I could connect with the book through my dear Brooklyn.

The quote that I chose for this #nowreading is this one:

“It was the best thing that could have happened to him,¬†it was the worst thing that could have happened to him”

Paul Auster – Sunset Park

That’s how wishes work, right? When a wish comes true, it’s so amazing but then… you have to really deal with that! Sometimes we found ourservelves thinking that that was it…. The mere realization as a result but then we really discover that the wish that came true is only the beginning of a new path.

Best and worst… I liked that.

If you want to know about other quotes that I liked from this book, let’s be friends¬†on Goodreads!

See you soon, folks!

2015-03-18--now-reading-quote