Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

to baby bear, at sixteen months

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August 31st, 2015 · Print Print


Sixteen months.

That’s how old you are today. 

When our friends mention your name, they call you “Baby Bear,” and then smile sheepishly, because you’re not really a baby anymore.  Or you are, but only to me.  (And you’ll never get big enough to outgrow that!)

Because suddenly, in the last few months, our little baby became a kid!  It’s the craziest thing — it feels like a moment ago that you couldn’t even hold your head up by yourself, and now you’re running, dancing, throwing a basketball (I kid you not.  A full size basketball!) and asking for bubbles and Rambo by name. 

What!  How did that happen so fast?

Parenting a toddler is totally different than parenting a baby, and I have to say — I think it’s a lot more fun.  Sure, newborn snuggles were wonderful (I miss them sometimes when you won’t sit still in my lap anymore!) but it’s so much more exciting to watch your personality grow and take form.  To actually communicate with you, even if your vocabulary is still limited.  (‘Yes’ and ‘No’ were life-changing developments!) To make faces and watch you laugh, or see you bop your head to the songs that we sing. 

There are a million little things I’d like to remember about the last month, but my favorites, by far, were these…

… how you call both me and Chad “Mama.”  Sure, this breaks my heart a little bit (I’m your one and only Mama, kid!) but it’s also so darling.  We’ve started explaining to you that I’m the Mama-Mama and Chad is the Dad-Mama.  And we also regularly explain to our families and babysitters that Bear thinks he has two mamas.  Funny kiddo!

… dancing with you to Let It Go!  Ok, ok, sometimes you get cranky at the end of the day.  But one day, after dinner, when we were playing in the kitchen, Let It Go came on my phone and I decided to teach you some goofy ballerina moves.  For the next three minutes, we twirled and leaped around the kitchen together, and you thought it was hilarious to mimic every move I showed you.  If only I’d caught it on video — this would be excellent blackmail material for your teenage years!

… Hi Mama!  Every morning these days, you greet me standing up in your crib with an excited “Hi!”  I love it!  I’m not a morning person and your 7 a.m. wake-ups are pretty tough for me, but opening the door and hearing a big “Hi!” and a smile makes it all worth it.  (Sort of.  It would also be worth it at 8 a.m., just in case you were wondering…)

… Banana.  Ok, so, this one was my bad.  Again, at the end of the day last week, we were done with dinner and playing in the kitchen.  And I took out a banana and told you what it was, and you repeated back to me “ba-nweh” or whatever toddler approximation sounded a tiny bit like the word I’d just said. 

And I freaked out.  I was so excited (a three-syllable word! you’re heading straight to Harvard!) that I kept repeating it to you, over and over: “Banana!  Banana!  Banana!”

And then I realized that you had a banana graphic on your shirt.  Yes — on your little tee shirt was a picture of a banana.  So I picked you up and we ran over to a mirror, and I pointed at your shirt and tried to show you the banana picture, which was basically me just pointing at your chest and saying “Banana!” again and again. 

And then we went back to the original banana and I decided it would be funny to pretend the banana was a phone, so I picked it up and held it to my ear and said, “hello?”

And then you took the banana and did the same thing, held it up to your ear like it was a telephone… and then looked at me with a very perplexed expression. 

And suddenly I realized that I had just confused you beyond any possible understanding of what the word “banana” actually meant.

First, it was pretty clear.  This is a banana. 

And then I grabbed you and pointed at your chest in the mirror and basically said “You’re a banana.”

And then we got back down on the ground and I told you that we use them as telephones

This is a banana.  You’re a banana.  And we have conversations, using bananas. 

Yes, our son calls his dad ‘Mama.’

And he will probably call just about everything else he lays eyes on: ‘Banana.’ 

Happy Sixteen Months, Baby Bear.  I love you so.


→ CommentsTags: baby · life

Try a Cheese Dip!

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August 24th, 2015 · Print Print


With two working parents and a mere twenty-four hours in the day, it probably doesn’t shock you one bit that I’m all about easy entertaining.  I love having friends over and planning get-togethers, but unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to find the time to prepare dishes from scratch every time you want to have guests.  Here are three tips I rely on to make me look like an effortless hostess (even when I’m really not)!

Dress Up Pre-Prepared Dishes
My favorite entertaining trick is to outsource in the easiest way possible!  That means that I’m best friends with the prepared foods section at our local gourmet market. Yes — it’s expensive.  But when you’re strapped for time, it’s a luxury that’s well worth the investment!  I’m never try to hide the fact that anything I serve is store bought — why bother?  I think it’s nicer to share your go-to spots for delicious take-out than to pretend that you spent all day in the kitchen whipping up snacks!  However, even when I’m buying prepared food, I go the extra mile to remove it from its containers and put in our own servingware.  The difference in presentation makes it a little more special and personal.

Take Advantage of Pin-spiration
Pinterest is insanely addictive (I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent looking at wedding inspiration… and I’m already married)!  But it’s also a great resource.  One of my favorite tricks is to search for “make ahead” appetizers — and it’s a trip when I find my own recipes that others have pinned!  Just this week, I realized that The Today Show had pinned my recipe for Parmesan Cones, which could easily be filled with a store-bought dip!  Or this salad-on-a-stick recipe is an easy, beautiful snack.

In Lieu of a Cheese Platter, Try a Spread!
Last, I have a new secret that I just discovered – Alouette Le Bon Dip!  It’s a soft cheese blend with chunky veggies.  It’s also made with a touch of yogurt so it still tastes rich and delish but is actually healthy.  (No artificial flavors or colors either!) It’s perfect to serve to kids (Bear loves it!) or grown-up guests.  Pair it with some fresh-cut veggies or cheese straws, like I did!

What are your favorite tips for easy entertaining?

Disclosure: I partnered with Alouette to bring you this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photo Credit: Kate Robinson


→ CommentsTags: food · sponsored

Summer (Skin)Care!

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August 18th, 2015 · Print Print


This post was sponsored by Dove but all opinions are my own.

I grew up in New England, so I’ve gone through my fair share of freezing winters!  But truthfully, I’m a summer girl at heart.  Give me a sunny day and a spot on the beach, and I’ll happily stay put for as long as I possibly can!

But sunny summer days can take a toll on your skin, even more than in the chilly winter months. During the winter, I’m always careful to be sure that I moisturize and keep my skin hydrated, but during the summer when I’m running around outdoors, it can be harder to remember.

So I was incredibly excited to try new Dove Limited Edition Summer Care Beauty Bar and Body Wash!  These new products are specifically formulated for summer skin care needs, with gentle exfoliating beads that leave skin smooth and naturally glowing. It’s important to reevaluate your beauty routine every season to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can to keep your skin healthy and gorgeous. After all, you’re probably showing it off more in the summer, so it’s extra important to make sure it’s smooth and glowing!

I’ve been a big fan of Dove products for a long time, and one of the biggest reasons is their NutriumMoisture technology. It sounds like a mouthful, but I’ve found that Dove Body Washes and Beauty Bars really leave my skin smooth and refreshed without feeling heavy or greasy. That’s especially important during the summer when hot days call for crisp, clean products, but it’s also important year-round, no matter what climate you’re in!

Dove Summer Care Body Wash features a rejuvenating fragrance combination of energizing citrus, a rich floral bouquet and voluptuous vanilla and amber, which is perfect for starting a summer day fresh and clean.  I love the scent so much that I actually use it as bubble bath, in addition to body wash!

Aside from switching up my skincare routine for the summer months, I make it a point to take extra special care of my skin all summer long!  I also load up on SPF (SPF40 is my minimum when I’m spending time outdoors!) and I try to always carry a water bottle to keep hydrated during the day.  Also, during the summer, I often set an earlier alarm to take advantage of the longer daylight hours!

What are your favorite summer skincare tips?  And if you give Dove Summer Care a try, I’d love to know what you think!


→ CommentsTags: sponsored