BabyBeau

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When I found out I was pregnant with Adrienne, the first thing I bought myself was a diaper bag. I searched high and low for the perfect one, not wanting to settle on some el-cheapo plastic carrier. After all, I was creating a baby inside my uterus, I deserved a nice diaper bag. 

I really wanted one that transformed nicely from holding bottles and baby wipes to being a regular handbag. Why spend a good bit of money for a baby bag when it didn't convert? Lame. I ended up buying a Michael Kors black patent leather diaper bag. The thing was/is gorgeous. It even had the changing pad cover. Although, I was constantly worried about Adrienne pooping on it, because, well, who poops on Michael Kors? 

Anyidontmissblowouts, I have fallen completely in love with BabyBeau. This company just gets it. They offer gorgeous leather diaper bags that transform into luxury handbags after all the baby business is over. These diaper carriers don't even look like they should carry dirty nappies. They look effortlessly chic and classic, things every new mother wants. Because nighttime feedings and nipple butter aren't.  

My two favorite BabyBeau bags are the Ellie (pictured above) and the Eden (pictured below). I mean do these two guys look like traditional diaper bags? No way, José. The Ellie is made from cow leather and is perfect for modern moms on the go. The Eden's buffalo leather screams vintage for a more boho mommy feel. Both have enough room for days. So, go ahead and pack all twenty pacifiers. 


The best part about these bags are their removable organizer pouches. It's like a bag in a bag! You can keep all of your baby needs in it, and then easily take it out to convert to a regular handbag. Hello date night.

Each BabyBeau diaper bag includes a beautifully patterned organizer, changing pad, thermal bottle holder, zippered pouch, and a dust bag. ::swoon:: 


This post was sponsored by BabyBeau. Be sure to always take a quick minute and check out all of my wonderful sponsors. I only work with companies I'm compassionate about. BabyBeau is one of them.

Kia Soul Giveaway [OVER]

This giveaway is now over! Congrats Debnmike M.! You have won the iTunes gift card from Kia!

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors

Kia has launched it's brand new hamster video featuring the amazingballs Lady Gaga's new song "Applause". I mean, something about head-bobbing, pudgy, track-suit wearing, rodents gets me every time. Every. Time.

Oh, and the totally transformed and re-sculptured Soul proves to be one slick-looking ride. Hamsters or not.


Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors


After you watched Kia's new commercial, enter to win a $25 iTunes gift card! Sorry there isn't an actual Kia Soul to be won. Maybe next time.


For your chance to win, just log into the Rafflecopter below (or make a new Rafflecopter account), and follow the directions for each entry. Please make sure to actually do what's required for each entry. If you just click enter and not do what it's asking, I'll know. If you are unsure how to do one, skip it and contact me. I can't stress this enough. I go back and check to make sure the winner actually did what was required. I will not let cheaters win. DON'T CHEAT. Meh.


This giveaway is now over! Congrats Debnmike M.! You have won the iTunes gift card from Kia!

This giveaway will last until Wednesday, September 4th. One winner will be picked at random and will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. The winner will be announced on coffeeandcashmere.com and will also be notified via email. The winner will have ONE week to respond to the email to claim their prize. If the winner never responds, a second winner will be picked at random.


This post was sponsored by Kia Motors. Be sure to always take a quick minute and check out all of my wonderful sponsors. I only work with companies I'm compassionate about. Kia Motors is one of them. Check out my previous post on Kia, here!


Bitty Baby [American Girl]

Today is the day! American Girl has reveled their brand new Bitty Baby! Joy of joys. I know.


Last week, American Girl sent Adrienne a gorgeous brown (looks more like black) haired Bitty of her very own. If you have been reading my blog for a good bit now, which all of you should have and shame on you if you haven't, you'd know we love dolls. I probably love dolls a little more than Adrienne, but, well, who cares.


Anylivingvicariouslythroughmychild, American Girl has launched a brand new Bitty Baby, featuring 11 different dolls to choose from, trumping the previous 7. Bitty Baby also comes with a new pink and white sleeper, a hard-cover book, and a little plush star. Gone are the days of the Bitty Baby Bear and that makes me sad. But the new story book sort of makes up for the disappearing bear. These new books are gorgeous. They are actual story books for little girls instead of board books for Bitty.


In addition to all of the changes, American Girl also dropped a whole new line of accessories and furniture for the baby dolls. Like actual wooden furniture. Finally. We currently have the old plastic Bitty Baby canopy bed and highchair. I can't believe I spent what I did on those two pieces and they aren't even wooden. What you do for your kids never ceases to amaze. So, bravo American Girl, for making more high-end furniture. With more quality things, the prices have, of course, gone up. The furniture is pretty pricey and the new Bitty Baby currently retails for $80, whereas the previous Bitty retailed at $55.

Adrienne received her first blonde-haired Bitty Baby from the Easter Bunny when she was two. For a year and a half, that Bitty Baby has gone so many places with her and hasn't missed one night of sleep in her bed. They just are tight like that.

So, now this new Bitty Baby has been thrown into the mix. I was a little worried the old Bitty would suddenly loose an eyeball and start walking around trying to dump the new Bitty into the garbage. I mean, hello, Toy Story 3. Nothing has happened yet.


The old Bitty still sleeps in the princess's bed. The new Bitty sleeps in the Bitty Baby bed. All is well.

A Bitty Baby is well worth the money. These dolls withstand the test of time and last way past childhood, making them great to pass down to other generations. I've had my American Girl Kirsten since I was eight. And she still looks brand new. I applaud this great company for making so many little girl's lives magical.

Read my other posts on American Girl, here and here.

Yak Pak WINNER


Congrats Rebecca L.!! You have won your choice of item from Yak Pak! I will be contacting you soon! Thanks to everyone who entered this great giveaway!

Like always, I will have another giveaway this week!

P.S.- I put this together, because, well, same/same.


Alice BrightSky

My household thrives on music. From mini dance parties, to listening to funk while we clean the house, to even making up our own songs, we just enjoy music. Oh, and we can't forget how Adrienne brings out all her instruments. That usually means it's family band time. Well, subtract me. I'm not that musically inclined. Unless I can play the tambourine? I'm pretty sure I would be a beast at the tambourine. 

Anyfamilythatjamstogetherstaystogether, Alice BrightSky is guest posting for me today! She is a mom who rocks. No, figuratively and literally rocks. Her music brings me back to being twelve and idolizing Alanis Morrisette. 

Alice's sound weaves through the musical spectrum of funk, soul, rock, and folk, yet she has a raspy voice that gives her music a womanly grunge feel. Like, I just want to bust out my old Doc Martins, leggings, and over-sized flannels! 

Oh wait. I'm already wearing that today.


5 Ways Becoming a Mother Has Influenced My Art:
By Alice BrightSky

To be clear, I'm a new mother... my son, born this past May, is just approaching the 3 month mark so I am sure I am not in possession yet of all the ways this new journey will influence my music.  But a few things have become immediately apparent, which I thought I'd share:

1.  I'm now writing about being on the winning side of love.

My last album, "Box of Me", is all about love gone wrong and is replete with metaphors of longing and waiting for real love to arrive.  It's a sad album in that respect but there is definitely hope in those songs interspersed with the reality that I was trying to detangle myself and my life from all the wrong lovers.  My songwriting to date has been along this theme and, luckily for my art (while less luckily for my heart) I've had plenty of material to draw from...  When I finally met Mr. Right, got married and settled down, my songwriting kind of came to a grinding halt.  I had nothing bad to write about, quelle horreur!  With the birth my son, something amazing started happening, I started feeling inspired again. I'm not sure what's so different about the love I hold for my son vs. my husband but perhaps because it is so new and something I've really never experienced before.. the utter unconditionality.. that he doesn't have to earn my affections, nor I his.  I'd throw myself in front of a bus to keep him safe.  I would do that for my husband too but.. there was a bit of courtship to get there!  So, the first thing that has changed, are the themes.  I now find myself writing about being on the winning side of love, it's a nice place to be.

2.  I'm inspired to finish what I start.

I almost didn't finish my album.  I started recording it in 2006 and formally walked away from it in 2009 after hitting some artistic and logistical roadblocks.  But I decided to return to it soon after I got pregnant.  Even while the son I was to have remained an obscure concept to me, despite my growing belly, I felt this obligation to him to finish my album.  I thought about the example I wanted to make for him.  I believed in my music but the album process had just got too overwhelming for me.  I could have easily let the upcoming birth, and then the raising, of my baby be an even better excuse for not executing on my vision.  Who could blame me, right?  But, I didn't want to use my son as an excuse and I didn't want him to stumble across the recordings one day and have to tell him that, I just kind of gave up.  So while pregnancy might have been the perfect opportunity to let the album go.. I decided to embrace and finish it.

3.  I'm not so focused on me anymore.  

Songwriting has been a very cathartic and self-absorbed process for me.  It's been a way to deal with my emotions usually about something gone wrong with my love or my life.  Having a baby has had the almost immediate effect of breaking the bubble that surrounded me and my little world.   I am much more observant of the "outside" and that will surely lead to new directions in my writing that I welcome.  Frankly, I'm sick of me.

4.  I want to do everything myself 

I've always been DIY out of necessity but now, I see the greater learning I can pass on to my son if I really keep going down this path.  I never had a real interest in production, for example, but now I find myself eager to become an adept producer.  My husband and I have started planning a home studio where we'll advance our skills together and, if he's interested.. teach them to our son.  

5.  Children's songwriting is coming very naturally

So much so that it seems inevitable that I'll be writing a children's album.  And, now that I've started animating on my ipad (see my first attempt, the video for "I Am"), I can make homemade cartoons set to my music.  Maybe that's the next Art endeavor for 2014.


Words for Adrienne


Adrienne.

My littlest lover. You are beyond beautiful. And your spirit is leaps and bounds beyond exquisite.

I love how you are a nurturer. You're a tiny-human-sized mommy. You are so gentle towards others. If anyone falls down, or gets hurt, you are the first one to be by their side, dusting them off. I only hope I can be as accepting of others as you are. But I'm not even close.

You adore your baby dolls and stuffed animals, and know every one of their names. Your favorites are Bitty Baby, Punkin, Light Light, and Annaweese. Your all time favorites are Wittle Wamb and Pink Bankit. Those latter two go everywhere with you. It's basically like I have you and two others to keep up with at all times. And I always do.

Your are three-and-a-half. But your soul is so much older. I know we had to have known each other much longer than the short time you have graced us with.

When you run, you only swing your right arm, and it's hilarious.

You love being outside. Your imagination is at it's greatest when you are exploring nature. I swooned real hard when you saw a little group of tiny white mushrooms and asked, "Are deeze fairy tables?"

I love how your language of choice is dance. You can get down like no other child I know. You stick out your little tongue, close your eyes, and shake yourself silly. You can feel music. It's in your blood. I love how you can sing along with every song on Daft Punk's new album. Your favorite song is Lose Yourself to Dance and request it every single time we get into the car.

You love building. You will sit forever constructing the most creative castles, and then put every Little People you own inside of it.

You are so unbelievably smart for a three-and-a-half-year-old. Sometimes I don't know how you know the things you do. You told me, with such conviction, that "Herbivores eat plants and carnivores eat hot dawgs."

You also have super selective hearing, and will say "huh?" forty times a day.

You don't like authority. Especially the Police. A few weeks ago we were at a stop sign and a police car drove past us. You go, "There goes da holease. We better not go down dat path." You must have been riding dirty.

My child, you are also a mini artist. One of your older little friends couldn't get over how you could "stay in the lines" so perfectly. You beg to paint daily.

Each night, when I tuck you into bed, we have to "make up stories" while being bunny shadow puppets in the dark with only your night light shining. You will giggle and giggle when mommy bunny and baby bunny go on their nightly adventures. This fills my heart with such happiness.

I love how you love microwave popcorn, like me, over your daddy's homemade kind. It hurts his feelings, but we get a whole bowl to ourselves. You still say your daddy is your "best fwend" 99.9% of the time.

But not all days are glitter and unicorns. You do have your moments. When one of your people makes you mad, you stomp your feet and scream like a banshee. I look at you and laugh, which only makes you turn redder, and then you run to your bedroom, slamming your door. Did I mention you also slam the door? At three-and-a-half. I have a threenager. And it scares me. But then I have to remind myself that it IS hard being three-and-a-half. And four-and-a-half, and six-and-a-half, and thirteen, and sixteen, and even twenty-eight-and-a-half.

You are growing so fast. I beg and plead with time on the regular to please slow down, that I can't store all these magical moments into my memory bank at the rate we are going. Time isn't a very good listener.

But then I realize that I document our world here on this blog. I get to share the beautiful parts of our life in hopes that one day, hopefully really, really, really far off, we will get to read them together.

You are exactly three years and eight months young today.

I love you, Adrienne, more than you will ever know.

Black and White

For anyone wanting to do their Christmas shopping for me early this year, here are the jaunts I'd like. I will also be making this into a PDF. to send over to Santa himself. 

Just covering all my bases. 


Chili Egg Casserole

Stopping in real quick-like today, because it's absolutely gorgeous outside. It feels like we're on the verge of fall right now with this sun-shiny, cool weather. And we need to go enjoy it.

Anyiwishthisweatherwouldlastforeves, I love a good breakfast dish. Especially when you have company. William's grandmother makes the most delicious chili egg casserole when we visit, and there are never any leftovers. So, I thought I would share the wealth. 


Chili Egg Casserole
|| ingredients ||
10 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
14.5 oz. can of chopped Green Peppers
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 pt. Cottage Cheese
1 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Butter (you could also use 1/4 cup instead)

- Melt butter in 13x9 inch pan in oven. 

- Beat all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour in the pan and stir again.

- Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Disclaimer: I shot these photos with my point and click. There was a huge smudge on the lens that I didn't catch. Don't judge.


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