Category Archives: Baby

FX’s birth announcements.

I thought I’d interrupt the craziness of the holidays to show you Francis’s birth announcement.

It was designed by vellum and vogue for minted and is called arrow announcement. I really liked the arrow backer pattern.

I had the foresight to ask Meg from Moglea to address them BEFORE the baby was born… thank goodness! No time for that after. Plus she painted the addresses on which ended up looking a million times better than my own handwriting.

And we did cute skinny-wraps. I was really happy with how they turned out!

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Francis Xavier’s blue and yellow nursery.

It’s high-time I think that I showed you the lil man’s nursery.

I went with my wedding colors of yellow and blue. Lucky for me, our surprise ended up being a boy because in the end it was pretty masculine! Mother’s intuition?

The rocking chair and ottoman, which I adore, are Olli Ella purchased from Tiny Footprints. It is ridiculously comfortable and the micro-suede wipes clean really easily.

The crib and the changing table are from Dwell Studio. The linens are from Restoration Hardware.

And these!! My dear friend Kim handpainted these profiles. Sweetest shower gift ever. And don’t you love the ‘mommy loves you’ and ‘daddy loves you’ messages?

The wallpaper is one of my favorite parts of the nursery. It’s Clarke & Clarke’s Globetrotters. My mom and I made these paper stars to hang above the crib… I’ll have to show you how to make them in a separate post, but Francis does really like to look at him. The rug I custom ordered through Glory Rays in Wanchai (gloryrays_hmy@hotmail.com).

The wallpaper showcases so many places that are important to us! The Golden Gate Bridge of my hometown of San Francisco and where we met, the coliseum in Rome where we honeymooned, the Great Wall of China is Francis’s birthplace and home, Neuschwanstein is the most romantic place the Mr. and I have been together, and the Empire State Building gives a little love to the Big Apple where we’ve spent so much time working and hanging out with great friends.

I used little yogurt cups to organize all of Francis’s accessories.

The sheep mobile is from Bla Bla Kids. I wish I could say I knit it myself… maybe someday!

Isn’t he a little cutie?

The little elephant rocking horse is by Elmer and I purchased it on One Kings Lane. It was actually the first thing I bought for the little one!

The baskets are from Attic Lifestyle. We were so lucky to be given so many fun gifts on display on this bookshelf that I’ve actually had since I was in junior high if you can believe it. It’s lean profile is perfect. It’s nice to have a little iPod speaker in here for lullabies. A  few other detail shots for you…

I feel so thankful to have such a happy place for us to hang out together!

Most photographs by Becky Benians.

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Happy Halloween from Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee wishes you a very Happy Halloween!

He’s already a very good Kung Fu Fighter.

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12 Pregnancy must-haves.

I’ve been thinking on what I really needed and loved having during my pregnancy so thought I would share my list with you today. Please also share your pregnancy must haves in the comments below! I’d love to put together a reader’s edition.

1. Great with Child. You will likely read dozens of books about the monthly activities of your unborn child and the developmental milestones of a newborn and while all that information about what is happening to you and your baby physically is important, it doesn’t really address what being pregnant or a new mom is like emotionally. This sweet book is a collection of letters to an expectant mother and it is written in a really un-sentimental way, which I really appreciated as I wasn’t one of those pregnant women who was bursting with expectant joy. It is also filled with lots of little helpful tips of what to expect: the things and feelings everyone is afraid to mention aloud.

2. A couple of great preggo dresses. Dresses are so much easier and more comfortable than separates. The major secret to my preggo wardrobe was just buying regular dresses, especially maxi dresses, a size or two bigger. That being said, I loved this preggo $40 dress from Sono Vaso and wore it at least once a week… it was great for work, great for going out and great for lounging at home. 3. Fancy PJs. I was shocked by just how tired being pregnant made me and how much I needed to nap! And I always reached for my ugly, but super compfy high school track sweats which really are disgusting and make me feel highly un-attractive. Near the end, I invested in these elegant Elle MacPherson pajamas and they really brightened my mood. Bonus: the cami is also a nursing top and the pants are really magical. By going under your stomach, they accomodate my nine-month baby belly just as well as my three-month-post-baby tummy. 4. Bonds bumps underwear. Bonds is an Australian supermarket brand and apparently is ubiquitous there, but I think of it as the ultimate luxury. The cotton is really thick and soft and they wash up beautifully time and time again. Also, their nursing bras and camis are tops! Available in Hong Kong exclusively at Tiny Footprints, the only baby store I’m not terrified of walking into. Sadly, I don’t think they’ve yet come to the US, but ping me if you’re dying for some and need me to send it over to ya! It’s that good. 5. Old Navy yoga pants. These $22 pants are the best. They are really stretchy and yet do pull everything in. Although I was fine in my Lululemons for a long time, I did really appreciate these pants towards the end. They are also great for long-haul flying. The panel works from 4 months – 9+ months. Old Navy also has a great preggo swimsuit. Swimming really is the best exercise, especially at the end: it saved me at nine months in the middle of a Hong Kong summer.

6. Coobie bra. I cannot say enough good things about this one-size-fits-all bra. It is insanely awesome. It’s in-between a sports bra and a regular bra and somehow magically fits everyone all the time… I went up a bra size practically monthly when I was pregnant and this bra can accomodate epic changes, while still looking professional under your cloths. It’s also a good idea to get used to sleeping in a bra at night because you will want to do that post-baby if you’re nursing. Lastly, there are built-in pads that you can take out if you want that are basically built-in nursing pads, which you will see later is truly brilliant! It also comes in super, fun peppy colors and is affordable enough that you can buy a couple! 7. Nature baby rose stretch oil. Everyone has their favorite and this one is mine. Love the rose scent and the way it is absorbed super quickly by your skin.

8. Iron. I was beyond exhausted for much of my pregnancy and as it turned out I was insanely low on iron. If you’re struggling with fatigue, I highly recommend asking your Dr. to test your iron as well as just taking some liquid iron. Floradix is the best.


9. Hatch dress. If you have a lot of formal events lined up, a silk Hatch dress is a nice to have and you can also wear them after the baby.
10. Splendid maternity tees. I have one white Splendid maternity tee and one in navy and I honestly LIVED in them day and night. A white tee and jeans looks surprisingly fresh and pulled together when you have a belly as an accessory. They were such a great investment and I am still wearing them constantly. I think they’ve been washed about 200 times and are no worse for the wear. I don’t even really know why I always reach for them, but I do. 11. New Chapter Organics pre-natal vitamin. I’ll spare you the loads of data, but I did some research and I’m pretty sure this is the best pre-natal vitamin out there. Stock up in bulk to save some money, as you’ll be taking it for about a year as you’re supposed to take it while nursing as well. 12. AG stretch preggo jeans. I tried on a couple dozen pairs and I am firm believer in these. The stretch is just perfection. I really don’t want to leave you with the impression that you need a lot of clothes for your pregnancy… the items above really are  just about all I think you need to buy for a pregnancy. You will be much better served digging into your existing wardrobe and pulling out scarves, necklaces and belts and working those into the basics mentioned above. I didn’t always feel like being “belly-first” and a cardigan and scarf went a long way to making me feel like more than just a tummy! If you look at pregnant celebs by the way, they’re pretty much always in a scarf!

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HK bundle: 2 months.

Our little man is growing up so fast!!

He’s picked up a spare tire and is already outgrowing his clothes, which makes me ridiculously sad. Everyone tells you how tired you will be with a new baby, but they don’t tell you how much you will want to savor each second with your little one and how from day two you feel like they’re growing up too fast. I would definitely keep the sleepless nights in exchange for a few more days with his little self.

I feel like he has a hundred expressions a minute. And it is incredible how they can go from ecstatic to despondent in a mere instant.

Francis enjoyed a visit from his grandparents and he loved every second of it! And mom loved the company and ALL the help with the incessant diapers.

And also his Auntie Bridget, who is quite the baby whisperer!

How is that for a gangster scowl?

And I can’t help but leave you with a yawn. Baby yawns are seriously the cutest things in the world! All photos by Becky Beninans: beckybenians@yahoo.co.uk.

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