Mama and Me SunButter and Banana Sandwich

TGIF! With the return of the cold weather this week seemed to drag on a bit. I am looking forward to the weekend and some quality family time. Tonight Doug and I are going on a date night to Les Miserables on Broadway. I am such a theatre nerd! I have probably seen Les Mis a bagillion times between the original production when I was growing up, the last Broadway revival, and the recent (not so great IMHO) movie. Still I can’t wait! Neither can my inner 12 year old who liked to pretend she was Eponine ;)

Most weekends Doug and I try to take Hermione on various adventures around NYC. We visit new playgrounds, go to museums, go out for brunch, and take long walks. Hermione takes two naps a day (at 9:30 and again around 2) so we don’t have the longest window in which to be out of the house. In order to maximize our adventure time I usually pack her (and us) a lunch so we don’t have to come home to eat. While she still nurses several times a day she is at an age where she wants three solid meals as well.

One of Hermione’s favorite lunches is a SunButter and Banana Sandwich on sprouted grain toast. While I do not usually eat grains I will often share this with her as it is just so yummy! The sunflower seed butter gives her a good dose of the healthy fats a baby needs to grow and the sprouted grain bread is much easier to digest than other varieties. I use sprouted grain bread for her over gluten free bread as many of the gluten free brands available are not vegan, and contain not so ideal ingredients.

Here ‘s Hermione last weekend enjoying her favorite sandwich on a picnic!

Mama and Me SunButter and Banana Sandwich

  • 1 piece sprouted grain bread (Hermione and I like the Ezekiel bread)
  • 1 T organic creamy sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  1. Lightly toast the bread in your oven or toaster
  2. Spread sunflower seed butter on toasted bread
  3. Slice the banana into thin rounds and evenly distribute on bread
  4. Slice bread in half diagonally and place one half on top of other to form a sandwich ( you can also eat open face)
  5. Break off bite size pieces and give to baby!
Inside My Makeup Bag

My makeup habits have changed quite a bit over the years. I used to be the department store beauty counter type. I loved to go and have my makeup done and then buy the whole look the makeup artist put on me. Yup, I’m a sucker. Then, as Sephora got more popular I would make frequent trips, always stocking up on items I did not really need. Again, me = sucker.

Nowadays my makeup bag is much more stream lined and full of only clean, non-toxic products that I use everyday. I rarely spend more than 3-4 minutes putting on my makeup and much prefer a natural glowing look. When you spend your days exercising, at your desk, in the kitchen and at the playground there is really no need for a full face of makeup!

Recently, my favorite clean beauty blog, No More Dirty Looks (their book is amazing too!) asked me to divulge the contents of my makeup bag and I was happy to oblige. To find out my everyday makeup essentials click here!

Hermione’s Friends

Hermione’s first birthday is rapidly approaching. I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I met this miraculous little lady and my life was forever changed. As cliche as it may sound I honestly cannot remember my life before I was her mama. This past year has simultaneously been the most fun, most challenging, most joyous, most exhausting, longest and shortest year of my life. Anyone with children will understand what I am talking about. The days are very long ( I feel like I have lived a million lifetimes by 11am) but the weeks and months are so short!

Over the past year Hermione has collected quite a few stuffed friends who reside her new playroom (formerly our den). As I have mentioned before we have a strict no plastic, no batteries, no gizmos and no gadgets rule when it comes to Hermione’s toys. Most of her stuffed pals are handmade by small companies or individual designers. Recently, a few friends have asked me my favorite places to buy Hermione dolls and stuffed toys so I thought I would share her very best buddies!

Jess Brown Dolls

Jess Brown makes the MOST stunning handmade dolls. Each one is unique and she frequently does collaborations with other designers which makes her dolls even more collectible. I bought Hermione an Atsuyo et Akiko collaboration doll (second from left) before she was born and the lovely ladies of Sissy + Marley gave her the stunning Wovenplay one on the left as a “welcome to the world present.” Hermione MAY have a new Jess Brown doll coming as a Birthday present from Mama but don’t tell her!

BlablaKids Elephant

In keeping with the elephant theme of her nursery  Hermione loves this adorable knit elephant doll from Blah Blah Kids.  All Blah Blah dolls are hand knit in Peru by skilled artisans. We names Hermione’s elephant Chobe after the game reserve in Botswana known for it’s elephant herds.

Snuggly Ugly Argyle Mostrito 

Beverly, Hermione’s Snuggly Ugly doll is her very best pal. Handmade from up-cycled cashmere sweaters each Snuggly Ugly doll in incredibly squishy, soft and perfect for little hands. Beverly has gone everywhere with Hermione!

Oeuf Taxi

Every New York City kid needs a taxi now and then right? All of Oeuf’s knit toys are handmade in Bolivia out of 100% Baby Alpaca Wool. They are super soft, slightly kitchy and fun to play with.

Lieschen Müller Cat Doll

We found this little kitty at our favorite toyshop, Norman and Jules.  Made in Germany out of cotton and linen she is equally as pretty to look at as she is fun to play with.

Snuggly Ugly Rag Doll

Indira, the amazing designer behind Snuggly Ugly custom made this doll for Hermione. We named her Natasha because she just looked like a Russian ballerina to us! She has brown hair like Hermione and an adorbale purple tutu. Like Beverly, she is made from up-cycled cashmere and is both sustainable and soft! I have mommy fantasies about Hermione dancing around the house in a tutu playing with Natasha!

Maileg Mega Maxi Bunny

This giant Maileg bunny is another find from Norman and Jules. We named her Penelope and dressed her in a pink Atsuyo et Akiko tutu. Yes, most of Hermione’s friends wear tutus. She is currently bigger than Hermione but I know these two have lots of quality playtime in their future!




Mama and Me Freezer Cookies

A few months ago I began introducing Hermione to nut butters and nut milks. I have to admit the reasons were partially selfish. I use nuts so often that having Hermione enjoy them along with me has made cooking for the two of us much, much easier. She and I can now share green smoothies! Along with green smoothies Hermione has also been enjoying these Almond Butter Freezer Cookies. They are an easy way to get her the healthy fats and protein found in nuts, all in a form she can grasp in her tiny hands. The “Mama” version is a take on a dessert I enjoyed often while pregnant. I love to make a big batch of these and store then in the freezer so the are ready when either of us needs a little treat!


Mama and Me Freezer Cookies

  • 1 cup organic creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 T cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • liquid stevia
  • pinch of sea salt
For Baby
  1. Combine the almond butter coconut oil in a small bowl
  2. Drop half the mixture by small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Reserve the other half for Mama’s Cookies
  5. Store cookies in freezer
For Mama
  1. Combine the remaining almond butter/coconut oil mixture with the cacao nibs, vanilla extract, sea salt and stevia to taste
  2. Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Store cookies in freezer
DIY Baby Toys for the non DIY type

The weather in NYC today is glorious! It feels like spring is here after an incredibly long winter. I am told we are going to have one more round of snow on Thursday but for now I am soaking up the sunshine! I can’t wait to put away my puffy coat and Hermione’s little snowsuit for good!

The brutal winter kept us inside lots of days and I was forced to get creative, make that very creative with our playtime activities. Beyond cooking I am not at all a DIY type of gal so I was not about to come up with elaborate toys and games for Hermione. After all we like to keep it clean, pure and simple around here.

For all the details on the homemade toys and games Hermione and I enjoyed this winter head over to Elizabeth Street!



Well before Hermione was born I knew I wanted to nurse her for as long as possible. I am a strong believer that breast milk is the number one most important source of nutrition for a baby for the first year of life, and continues to be important in the second year. Breast milk has the perfect balance of fat, calories and protein to help a baby grow. Over the past ten months it has been amazing to watch Hermione grow from a 6 lb peanut to a chunky 20 plus pound baby on my milk. Yes, she eats three meals a day now but those are mostly to expose her to a variety of food and let her experiment with them. Milk is still her #1!

While it is the most natural and beneficial form of nutrition nursing is not always easy. Hermione and I personally got off to a very, very rough start ( I promise I will share all the details some day). With a lot of help and patience we were able to develop a wonderful nursing relationship by the time she was a month old. Now we are both addicted to it with no signs of slowing down!

I am so passionate about nursing and all of it’s benefits and am always happy to help new nursing mamas in need. For the second part of my guest blog series with Nine Naturals I shared some of my Milk Making Tips for Mamas. If you and your baby need help getting into a milk making groove check it out!

A Glam, not Gluttonous Oscar Party

The Oscar’s are this Sunday. Even though I have barely been to the movies since becoming a mom (somehow getting a sitter so Doug and I can sit in the dark and not talk does not seem worth it), I am still excited to watch! I love all of the Hollywood glamour! The gowns, the jewels, the slightly embarrassing speeches.

Are you throwing an Oscar party? Check out the recipes and party tips I shared with Elizabeth Street on how to throw a glam but not gluttonous party!

Foods to Love and Foods to Loathe During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Hermione I came across Nine Naturals, a wonderful line of clean, non-toxic skin and haircare for pregnancy and beyond. I used their yummy belly butter on my whole body for most of my pregnancy and am proud to report I came through the other side with zero stretch marks! I also love their travel gift set which I took with me to the hospital when Hermione was born. Labor and birth made me sweatier and dirtier than any SoulCycle class! It was incredibly refreshing to take a shower, and wash my hair with these wonderful products once she and I had settled into our hospital room for the night. I felt confident knowing nothing I put on myself  would be toxic to her delicate newborn skin. We could indulge in tons of skin to skin contact worry free!

Recently the folks over at Nine Naturals asked if I would share some nutrition and health tips on their blog for expectant and nursing mamas. Today they are featuring my Foods to Love and Foods to Loathe During Pregnancy. This is the first of a two part series so be sure to check back for my health tips for nursing mamas!


There is no doubt Hermione is my daughter. Like her mama she loves clothes, books, and vegetables! I have to admit I was scared when I first introduced her to my beloved kale. What if she did not love it? Luckily, my girl gobbles up all sorts of dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. She prefers them in a smoothie but has been known to eat a handful or two of sautéed spinach as well!

Here is the recipe for Hermione’s favorite green smoothie. This smoothie is great for her because it helps her get iron which is one thing not transferred breast milk. After month six when a babies iron stores from birth begin to deplete it is important they get their iron from food. Hermione likes her  smoothie with almond milk, but if you are not ready to give your baby nuts (check with your doctor first) water is just fine. I make this smoothie in large batches and freeze it in ice cubes trays. That way I can quickly defrost a smoothie cube for her when it’s mealtime!

H.A.M’s  Favorite Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • big handful of spinach
  • big handful of kale
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water or almond milk
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or Vitamix until thick and smooth adding more or less water to achieve spoonable consistency
  2. Serve to baby!
Hermione’s Adventures with Food

A few friends with babies have asked me how I introduced Hermione to solid food. At almost ten months old (eek) she has now been enjoying some real food for almost four months… so sorry I did not post about this sooner!

From birth to six months old Hermione was exclusively breast fed. Save the first four weeks of her life in which I had an incredibly hard and emotionally painful time teaching her to nurse ( I will write more on that another time) she has never had a bottle. I work from home and have had the luxury of being able to always be around to nurse her. Yes, it means I have to schedule my life accordingly and can never be away for more than three hours, but for us it has been beyond worth it. She is now so busy crawling and trying to walk that I truly cherish our quiet nursing moments.

When Hermione turned six months old I began to slowly introduce her to the world of solids. I am a firm believer that breast milk should be a baby’s main source of nutrition for the first year. Breast milk has all of the calories, fat, and protein a baby needs in the crucial first year of life. I plan to nurse well past her first birthday and will not stop until she wants to. We both love nursing and as long as it is working for us I do not have any plans to wean Hermione. Knowing that she gets  all of her nutrition from milk a lot of pressure was taken off her introduction to solids. I did not have to worry how many ounces of food she was eating per day. I could simply stand back and let her experiment with tastes and textures. From the beginning food and eating has been pleasurable for her. She has never been forced to eat.  I truly hope that the way I introduced her to solids helped set the foundation for a healthy relationship with food for the rest of her life.

I never spoon fed Hermione purees. I wanted her to be in control of what she ate and how much from the beginning. Instead of spooning her mush I let her start by gnawing on sticks of roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and other soft root vegetables. Here is my little peanut at six months old enjoying a roasted carrot stick:

I also gave her wedges of avocado and pieces of banana to try. These are great foods for a baby and require no prep time at all for mom!

When she seemed ready and her motor skills seemed up to the task I began to let her experiment with feeding herself from a spoon. I designated a small tea spoon to be her’s-the perfect size for both her hands and mouth. I started by making her extra thick green smoothies, kale pesto and butternut squash puree. Although it can be very messy business Hermione loves feeding herself from a spoon! I find naked mealtime is the easiest and cutest for a baby! When she is done I quickly rinse her off in the kitchen sink and she is good to go!

At almost ten months old Hermione now eats breakfast, lunch and dinner. She also enjoys snacking on raw apple slices from time to time. She has recently learned the pleasure of dropping her food from her highchair but that is another story all together! Again, since she is still nursing I am not worried about how much food is actually getting into her belly. She is learning how to eat and that is what matters. She eats a wide variety of food from avocados to figs, pesto to squash.

A few important notes about babies and solid food

  • Babies should never be given any added sugar or salt
  • Make sure all food is in a shape and size that does not present a choking hazard. Fry like shapes are great for vegetables.
  • Babies should always eat while sitting upright to eliminate the risk of choking. Do not let you baby eat while on their belly, reclined or laying down.
  • If you babies seems to be gagging do not place your fingers in their mouth to retrieve the food. This will only worsen the chance of choking, instead let them gag and work the food out themselves. Worst case they will throw up a little but they will not choke.
  • Do not introduce nuts and seeds until you have spoken to your doctor.

Check back tomorrow for Hermione’s favorite green smoothie recipe!