Baby Category Archives

Winter basics, with Fawn Design

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

Stephany Bowman, Editor of Stephany's Choice, wearing a Fawn Design light grey diaper bag, ZARA booties, coat from Nordstrom and Hat from PRIMARK. Angelina Bowman wearing a Little White Company cashmere sweater, silver shoes from Target and bunny hat from Zulily

 

 

Stephany’s Choice: Coat : Similar here \\ hat: Similar here \\ Boots: Similar here\\ Bag: FAWN DESIGN

Angelina’s Choice: Sweater: Similar here \\ Shoes: TARGET \\ Pajamas: Similar here

These Winter basics are on total repeat over here, and I’ve just added this non-momsy diaper bag to the top of my list. I’ve seen it around on other moms but never knew if it was a backpack, messenger bag,or briefcase. 

Now that I’ve had mine for almost a week I have not taken it off. Really. I’ve moved in, and cannot see myself moving out. I haven’t used it for diapers-per say but it’s really been practical for everything else.

My favorite attributes are:

pockets –lots, both inside and out.

+

Two easy ways to wear it- backpack and messenger bag. I constantly go back and forth all day between the two. When I’m in a hurry I throw the messenger strap over my shoulder and run out the door. When I have a second and I need too hands, and no immediate need for wallet/ i phone access I put both stripes on for the backpack. 

Zippers are chunky and gold (LOVE!) + easy to slide open and closed (yay)

Bag is not precious and already has popcorn inside and is holding up beautifully. 

I love carrying it around, it looks expensive and modern. Not like a baby bag at all. By the way, the packaging was flawless, very high quality… this would be a lovely gift for a friend, sister, anyone you know that has kids or a baby on the way. 

It comes in 3 or four colors, all pretty. I’m very happy with my light grey one– although there is a blush option that JUST came on the market, what I may have considered if it were available at the time. 

Other basics on repeat include my cream knit hat that I bought in London years ago, shop a similar cashmere version here

My trusted ZARA boots, that match everything, and will go into Spring perfectly are sadly sold out but I like these just the same– they feel so Mod and there’s something really cool about that! 

Sweet Angelina is wearing the same Little White Company cashmere sweater that I bought for Annabelle when we lived in London. Alexander wore it when we were in Toronto and now it’s Angelina’s turn. I love a good heirloom piece. Angelina hasn’t worn it as much as the others because, to tell you the truth we’ve only had to dig out these Winter layers a tiny handful of times this year! 

Thank you to the FAWN DESIGN family for my gorgeous bag, I only feature things that I love, and this is right at the top of my list 

Photography: The Retro penguin 

Winter Days, ColoredOrganics

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics Vest and shirt

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics vest and shirt. Stephany Bowman in a lace Nordstrom dress and Angelina Bowman GAP

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman in a hair bow from Claire's accessories and outfit from Gap baby

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

 

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: NORDSTROM \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE 

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Skirt: COLORED ORGANICS 

Alexander’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Vest: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Pants: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: BABY GAP \\ Tights: BABY GAP \\ Shoes: BABY GAP

Just a couple more days till Christmas and I’m starting to panic slightly because 90% of my gifts this year were purchased online. Only a handful of those items have arrived. I guess I had a late start ordering my gifts. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was even sure about who the final guest list would include.

The reason the gifts are taking so long is because each one is custom made. When ever I order something that is personalized like this it takes me forever to create it. I chose every single detail and want it to be just perfect. 

There have been so many wonderful memories and moments shared that I wanted to bring my favorites to light. One gift that I have ready and under the tree (thankfully) is a huge piece of fabric that I ordered for my mom with a photograph of a beautiful building in San Remo that my father took. 

She is very crafty and I can’t wait to see what she does with the fabric. If she loves it I will go ahead and order more items with the same image. Hope she loves it!

I ordered Michael a large picture of Angelina for his office because he doesn’t have a picture of her there yet(third child problems). He only has one of Annabelle and Alexander. Angelina just turned one, so I think he will be appreciative to have the missing image!

For my Grandparent’s I ordered them each a personalized coffee mug with their names and a picture of a red bird on them. They love to have a cup of coffee in the morning and my Grandfather is an expert bird watcher so I hope they feel like I put a lot of thought into their gifts.

My only regret this year is that I wasn’t able to personalize the Christmas stockings in time for the holidays so we may have to skip out on that tradition this year. 

All I want for Christmas is a cozy morning in my pajamas with Christmas music playing in the background. A huge cup of boiling hot chocolate and all of my gifts wrapped under the tree. I want to make sure the kids are totally surprised and excited about the presents. I’m a little worried that Annabelle’s gift isn’t as “big” as Alexander’s and that she will be upset about this. There has been so much pressure mounting for Christmas. Every time they want something from target or a new toy my excuse has always been,” you have to wait for Santa”.haha. If they have been acting naughty I say,” Santa’s watching!” This is probably not your best parenting technique but until I find something more effective I’m going with it! -at least for two more days…

Thank you so much Colored Organics for the softest outfits!! 

Thank you for reading along, what are you excited to give under the tree this year?! 

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Barefoot + Breastfed, ColoredOrganics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ZARA ( sold out- similar here) \\ Cape: ZARA \\ Socks: FREE PEOPLE (sold out-Similar here) \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE \\ Hat: TARGET

Angelina’s Choice: Onesie: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Beanie: COLORED ORGANICS 

I can’t believe we are less than two weeks away from Christmas?! I don’t think I’m even half way through my shopping list and I feel like I’m really being stretched pretty thin right now. This week Michael was traveling for work and I was home alone with all the kiddies. Let me add, I was battling a cold and home alone with all three kiddies!

Yikes. I guess all those holiday parities really caught up with me. Buzzing around all day and all night is something that I cannot continuously pull off.

Not to forget that I still haven’t had one uninterrupted night of sleep in almost two years. Yes, that is my way of implying that the reason I look so tiered, am so forgetful, continuously overwhelmed and frazzled is because I am up all night breastfeeding.

Every time I am pregnant I set “realistic” nursing goals for myself. When pregnant with Annabelle, for example, I wanted to make sure I breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months. I managed to achieve this target with a lot of struggle and a ton of hit and miss guesses.

With Alexander, I set a lower goal for myself because I remembered how difficult breastfeeding was with Annabelle and so I thought that breastfeeding a second baby with a toddler was going to be virtually impossible.

Instead, the opposite happened! It was all smooth sailing (pretty much) . I had learned so much from breastfeeding Annabelle that breastfeeding Alexander was less painful and I was way more experienced. I knew what I was doing this time. I was also a lot more confidant, and less shy about breastfeeding. I actually really enjoyed the bonding and loved being so close to my baby. So I surprised myself and breastfed him for almost a year.

I stopped only because Michael and I were going on an anniversary trip to The Bahamas and so I had to have Alexander weaned before we left him with my sister-in-law.

When I came back from holidays I missed nursing him and knew that if I had the opportunity again, I wouldn’t rush it along.

Well here we are, a few years later, and you can certainly say that I kept true to my promise.

Angelina will be 14 months old on January 1st and we are still breastfeeding. I have tried to introduce the bottle to her but she hasn’t taken to it. When Michael gives her the bottle he has better luck. I wonder if it’s because she knows that that might be the best she’s going to get from him. haha. 

She still wakes up in the night for a feed-or several. I’m torn between enjoying it and dreading it. One on side I dread it, for obvious sleep deprived reasons. On the other side, it’s the sweetest most cozy spot in the world.

Tummy to tummy. Her little feet still fit in my hand.  I stroke her peach fuzz, soft, little head. Hold her little warm body close to mine. She’s like my very own hot water bottle. My little doll. 

Last night we moved her crib out of our room (deep breath). I think this is the next big step. Our big move. Let’s see how the week goes. Maybe 2017 will be the year of sleep? 

Thank you Colored Organics for this super soft onesie and hat. Use the code: STEPHANY25 and receive 25% off your purchase!!

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Family fun in OshKosh B’gosh!

Angelina Bowman in an OshKosh B'gosh Fur coat

Annabelle Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Faux fur coat and Croc Rainboots

Alexander Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

OshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

Annabelle Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Faux fur coat and Croc Rainboots

OshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

Alexander, Annabelle, and Angelina Bowman of Stephany's Choice wearing OshKosh B'gosh Kids

 

Annabelle’s Choice: Coat: Oshkosh || Boots: Crocs || Bow: Libby Lou Bowtique || Tights: Similar here

Alexander’s Choice: Sweatshirt: Oshkosh || Sweatpants: Oshkosh|| Polo: Oshkosh || Shoes: Similiar here

Angelina’s Choice: Coat: Oshkosh || Tights: Oshkosh || Hat: Similar here

I am so excited to be teaming up with one of the most iconic brands, OshKosh B’gosh!!! This is such a “pinch me” moment as I grew up with this brand, and now dress my own children in their adorable and wholesome clothes.

A lot things I’m drawn to are things that I grew up doing and loving. There is definitely an element of nostalgia there. I have to admit that I am a very sentimental person. Haha. Especially around this time of the year. Something about the holidays, the music the decorations, remind me of days past. 

I’ve picked out a couple of my favorite staples from Oshkosh’s winter collection. I love the bright colors, mix and matching everything. Occasionally, when I dress up the kiddos I don’t end up putting them in what I originally envisioned. Either they aren’t feeling the look, or something is in the wash!! Yup, totally unintentional. Most of the time, however, it all comes together wonderfully. Honestly though, kids can make anything look cute- especially when they are happy and having fun.

Afternoons with nothing on the the schedule is one of our favorite things in the world. We love to go to the park as often as we can. This spot is right by the school and sometimes I try to pack a little picnic to bring along. I’ve even stopped by our local Krispy Kreme donut shop, and pick out half a dozen fresh goodies 🙂 Of course, I try to grab a coffee for myself from “StarBUGS” too,  and a magazine if I’m feeling ambitious- which I never end up reading! I’m always terrified one of the kids is going to end up falling into the water. Probably Alexander…ekk..

There are also lots of ducks and geese here and the kids love to feed them. Sometimes the birds can get a little aggressive and competitive fighting for the bread and I panic slightly:) The kids don’t seem to notice at all and love every minute of it. Honestly, when the kids are happy I am happy. Sometimes I think it’s easier to take them out, rather than just keeping them at home all afternoon. Sure some days they need to come home and relax, but for the most part a little fresh air and a walk in nature is probably not a bad thing. Or are they just in it for the donuts?!! 

This is also the best time of the year, not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect.

Now that Angelina’s starting to walk around I hope she doesn’t get too intimidated by the birds. I think they are probably about her size or taller. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching her out there. Alexander is great a throwing the bread into the water. The only problem is a lot of the time he eats up all the bread before even throwing one crumb to the birds. haha. Love that cheeky boy so much 🙂 ♥

Thanks for reading along, did you wear OshKosh as a kid? What was your favorite item?

Photography: BeckleyPhoto.com 

 

Thankful

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: GAP || Bag: GAP || Shoes : SIMILAR HERE

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: SIMILAR HERE || Skirt: TARGET || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE || Bow: LIBBY LOU BOWTIQUE 

Alexander’s Choice: Top: GAP || Pants: SIMILAR HERE || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Chioce: Top: GAP || Pants: GAP || Bow: NORDSTROM

Thankful. One powerful word that I don’t use nearly as much as a should. Today I’m pinching myself. I am typing these words as the warm sweet smell of turkey baking in my oven fills the house. The Thanksgiving Parade is on channel 5 and the children are playing dominos with Michael. I can hear them laughing. Everyone is in Pajamas and is relaxed. There is nothing on the schedule for today or the next few days but togetherness (and lots of delicious homemade food). 

This year we have kept our canned items to a minimum. Cheating only with gravy, apple pie, and vanilla ice-cream. Everything is homemade. Um, OK as I write this I immidiatly realize that Michael’s the one that made pretty much everything this year. Let’s see : Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. Yup. I think we should include Michael at the top of my thankful list this year.

Family, Family, Family

My husband Michael. He’s there during the good, the bad and the meltdowns. He’s my best friend. 

Speaking of best friends, I wouldn’t be able to put together any kind of thankful list without my mom. I basically count on her for everything. She has high standards and is really picky. She also has a really playful and free side to her that is daring. I’m really inspired by her fearlessness and her generosity. Pretty safe to say she’s the best Glamma ever. 

Right behind every great woman is a wonderful man. My dad. The sweetest and most thoughtful person. I never have to ask my dad for anything twice. He’s always looking to help and improve on any situation. I know he’s always just a phone call or text away. An expert on everything from camera lenses to minivans. My dad is someone I know I can always count on.

Last and certainly not least, my children. Yes, the three little people that stole my heart. I am so thankful to know them ,to love them, to laugh with them. They come to me when they are happy and when they are sad.

I am so proud to be their mama. I am thankful to them for making me a better and happier person. I want to be the best Stephany I can be for them. I never want to forget their huge toothy smiles. Singing along to songs on the radio in their car seats. Pointing to things out the window,” LOOK AN AIRPLANE!” and even the bad days. Losing a friend on the playground. Falling off the scooter. Or frustrations with not being able to nail the perfect cart wheel. 

 New friends and devoted readers

I want to give a personal thank you to all of you who have supported me and encouraged my work. This is such a personal platform for me to share and express my ideas and life. It’s so intimate as I try to be as honest and forth coming as possible. I am so grateful for everyone that has been on this journey with me. I have met so many gracious and beautiful people. I am inspired daily by your kindness and warmth. I hope I can let you know how much your love and support has kept me driven to do my best to produce truthful material every week here on www.stephanyschoice.com.

“Today, I am grateful for family who are friends & the friends who become family”.

Thank you, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography

 

A Fall Family Recipe, with Whole Foods Market

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Stephany’s Choice: Top: ANTHROPOLOGIE || Shorts: SIMILAR HERE || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE || Cuff : SIMILAR HERE || Bag : SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: SIMILAR HERE || Tights: SIMILAR HERE || Headband : NORDSTROM

It’s a drizzly Fall evening and I can hear the rain outside my office window. The night is dark and the house is warm, calm and smells so delicious. It finally feels like Fall. I took the kids to the dentist to get their teeth checked today and it seems like Annabelle may have a cavity in her back tooth. I’m so bummed about this news and feel like a total failure. I’m responsible for every single tooth in her head and I feel terrible that we have a follow up appointment and need put her through the motions of this uncomfortable procedure just because I dropped the ball.

Then we got home too late.  It was raining cats and dogs and there is always a ton of traffic on rainy days. Or is it just rush hour?! Who knows, Angelina was totally over the whole thing and I was too!

So let’s turn this afternoon around! What’s cooking in the oven?!! Oh yes! Just a couple of fresh Acorn Squash I picked up from our favorite local Whole Foods Market. Okay, I’m totally showing off a little here. But it’s true!! The house smells warm, spicey, cozy, and just like Fall. You won’t believe how easy  this dish is to make, and it tastes even better!!

So, cooking isn’t exactly one of my strong suits. Although I love to be in the kitchen, around people cooking and at grocery stores (pretty, organic, clean ones of course 🙂 )Plus, let’s be honest, it’s a big part of my job. I love the idea of having something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven. Preferably something fresh and seasonal. 

Last year, when my mom came to stay over Thanksgiving I was kind of baffled when she showed up with this huge Acorn Squash in her grocery basket. I’m thinking, “is this a decorative thing, or are we going to cook this when Grandma comes?!”- My Grandma is the best and I’m not sure how she does it, but she always includes a whole variety of healthy food options in every meal she puts together. She would be the one to incorporate a Fall vegetable like Acorn Squash, know exactly what to do with it, make it look so easy, and have it taste totally delicious. 

For me, as a Mom, I tend to stick to easy simple recipes that are in my comfort zone. It doesn’t even stop with food, in general I tend to choose parks, libraries, coffee shops and basically everything that serves the purpose and doesn’t take a PHD to figure out 🙂 My time is limited and I want to be as efficient as I can be. So when my Mom baked this wonderful meal in less than an hour and it was tasty and easy?!! I had to know how to do it myself.

Now, if you are anything like me, limited kitchen skills, Mama on the go, but wanting to make something yummy, simple and healthy, this is for you!! Impress your family, guests or treat yourself with this fool proof nutritional dish. The best part is all you need is 3 ingredients and most of them will probably already be sitting right there in your pantry 😉

Grandma Erickson’s Simple and Sweet Acorn Squash recipe

Ingredients:

1 Acorn Squash (Choose one with the smoothest surface)

1 Table Spoon of Butter

 1 Table Spoon of Brown Sugar

Wax paper

Non Stick baking sheet

Prepare:

First, Preheat your oven to 350 F. Next, wash off the Acorn Squash. Now, (This is an awesome tip) place your Acorn Squash in the microwave for 5 mins to soften it up. When complete, take out the Squash carefully, it will be very hot. Allow to cool down for a few minutes. Once you can handle it safely cut it right down the middle to make two halves. Scoop out all the seeds and discard them.

 Place the two halves upside down with a little water on a backing sheet. Then into the oven for 30 mins.

Acorn Sqush makes a quick, healthy and easy snack too! To save time, instead of placing the squash in the oven, put it back into the microwave. Simply cover each half with wax paper and turn on the timer for another 5 mins!

Finally once your squash has been warmed, scoop out a table spoon of soft butter and place it right into the heart of the squash. Add brown sugar and mix around for a sweet and delicious Fall treat, or Salt for a savory hearty option

Tadddaaaa!! That’s it!! So quick, simple and easy!!

This can be a complete meal (that’s what my mom and I did) or serve with Turkey breast, salad and a little rice. Whatever you do, your kids will love it. We just took a big spoon and scooped out every bite! Angelina is going to love it too, it’s soft and easy to eat like a mashed potato. Last year I ate this until April. Acorn Squash keep for a long time, so I had something available to eat if I didn’t have any fresh groceries that day.

Whole Foods Market is offering YOU a discount to get fresh food delivered right to your door!! Instacart is a great new tool to save time, and never compromise on your health. You can use the code: stephany25 and receive $25 off your first purchase of $50!! Okay even though strolling through Whole Foods Market is something the whole family just loves to do (Bella loves the pepperoni pizzas!!) busy Moms know that fresh food, right to your door is ahhhhmazzzzing!!!

See the below coupon for more!

instacart-coupon

I hope you love this easy and simple family recipe as much as we do. Don’t be afraid to try it, it’s basic and filling and nutritious for the whole family .

Thank you so much to our wonderful local Whole Foods Market the warm welcome and inviting us to your lovely store

Don’t forget to let me know what you think when you try this at home, and if you’d like to see more recipes on StephanysChoice ♥

Photography : TheRetropenguin

 

Mad about Plaid

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: GAP || Scarf: GAP || Tote bag : GAP || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: TARGET || Bow: LIBBY LOU BOUTIQUE

Alexander’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: GAP

Angelina’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: GAP || Headband: Similar here

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall here in Texas, and I’m loving every moment of it. It’s a relief to be able to jump out the door and not be sweating beads by the time you’ve buckled your kids into their car seats! I love all the things that Fall represents like being cozy, layering up, and spending more time indoors. I’m thinking family games, trips to the library, baking, crafting, funny movies, and long Autumn walks. I’ve also signed the kids up for some fun after school activities this semester and I really hope they love them.

Skating was something that I loved doing so much when I was growing up in Switzerland. Yes!! You may be surprised to learn that I grew up in Zug, Swizerland!! We moved there when I was about 4 years old and stayed until I was 12 (6th grade). Often people ask me if I speak fluent German, but actually we went to a private English school with other kids who came from an international background. We grew up loving Winter sports (naturally). A lot of our filed trips where to ski villages in the mountains or our local public ice skating rink on Fridays. We also skated on the weekends, skied on holidays and with the family. The mountains were huge and vast, with bright white powdery snow. The local ski villages were quaint and cozy, small and private. We would ski for hours and then stop for lunch at the top of the mountain peak. Usually, a packed lunch provided by the camp, a sandwich, apple and candy bar. The sun would be shining and we would lay in the snow, sing songs, and get ready for the final round of ski.

At the end of a great day we would walk down the village to our cabins with our skis over our shoulders. After warm showers and getting into cozy clean clothes we would write in our journals, and catch up with our roommates (about 4- 6 kids in a room). Then finally the cafeteria for dinner. One of the best nights was fondue night where we would sit boy, girl, boy, girl around a big pot of fondue. Everyone would have a long fondue fork with a piece of bread for dipping on the end. If your piece of bread fell into the fondue then you would have to kiss the person (boy sitting to your left). It was a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Of course on other nights, bonfires, scavenger hunts (not one of my strengths) and fashion shows.

I love these precious memories I have from growing up in Switzerland and I will cherish them forever. 

 I haven’t hit the slopes in years and I miss it so much. I think the last time I put on my skis was before I had Alexander (can that be right?!!) I really want to plan something for Michael and I in February somewhere, maybe Colorado??

So, I’ve gone ahead and signed the kids up for some ice skating lessons this season. I hope Annabelle and Alexander can learn a few skills and have as much fun on the ice as I remember having. Last week was their first time and they did such an awesome job! What I was the most proud of was that they never quit. They fell a few times but just got right back up and kept on trying. They had such a great attitude and never gave up. My little mama heart was just bursting with pride. Of course I want my children to have success in any and many things that they strive to achieve but the grace and character they demonstrate when it doesn’t always go their way is just as, if not more important. I hope we can continue to achieve both. In any case, I’m not sure there was ever a day where they didn’t make me so proud. 

What sports did you grow up loving? Thank you for following along! Please feel free to ask me any question in the comments below.

Photographer : Beckleyphoto.com 

Happy First Birthday Angelina!

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: Free People || Shoes : Topshop

Michael’s Choice: Suit : Similar here || Shirt: Similar here || Shoes: Similar here || Black tie: Similar here

Annabelle’s Choice: Jacket : H&M || Dress : Similar here || Pink shoes: TARGET

Alexander’s Choice: Blazer : Similar here || Shirt: GAP || Pants: Similar here || Shoes: GAP

Angelina’s Choice: Crown: ETSY || Outfit : ETSY || Boots: Similar here

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Angel, Angelina Luella Bowman! I cannot believe how quickly this year went by. Two nights ago we went Trick-or-Treating and it brought so many memories back from last year. I was heavily pregnant (obviously) and had such a busy day. My mom was in town to help with the baby preparations and we were buzzing around town trying to get everything perfect for Halloween night. We thought we had 5 more days since I was signed up for a scheduled C-section. What we didn’t plan for was later that night I would have terrible pain. Shooting cramps. We called the hospital several times but all they said was “take a bath” or “it’s just cramps”. Finally at around 9 am after a terrible night of pain and stress, and a lot of lost blood: Panic starts to set in. I’m thinking the worst. My mom threw a bathrobe on me and basically pushed Michael and me out the door. I’m so lucky she was able to stay with Bella and Xander so we could rush to the hospital’s emergency room.

It was Sunday morning post Halloween night and the streets were sober and empty. I remember being terrified and just sobbing the whole car ride. Had we waited too long? What were we thinking? Why didn’t we just go to the hospital for a check-up instead of just waiting and waiting at home. I mean, I was 9 months pregnant and scheduled for birth days later?! I’m really happy that everything went smoothly because there was a moment in that car where I questioned everything. Time froze and all I could do was pray and hope. When we arrived to the ER moments later and I was an absolute mess. In tears, exhausted (bloody?!) and in full hysterical panic mode. All I wanted to hear was my baby’s heartbeat and all I wanted to see was my babies face.

Thankfully, the nurse did a quick ultrasound and we could hear the heartbeat, strong, steady. Beautiful. Michael had a flight to Canada that afternoon and so he was on the phone trying to cancel all his reservations. I can’t believe how nonchalant we were. Playing around with nature’s time lines. We weren’t ready for baby but baby was ready for us. So, just like that, they pushed us to the top of the emergency C-section list. We would be the first ones to have a baby in the surgery room that morning. 

Before you know it, I am being wheeled into the the sterile, cold room where my child will be born. Shots, tubes, epidural, lights, masks, gowns, gloves… Curtain goes up, husband by my side, hand squeezes, tears of joy, tears of humbleness. And then, the most beautiful sound in the world. Her. Her little, tiny, precious, strong, little voice. The anesthesiologist whispers under his breath, “it’s a girl”, and the nurse announces “It’s a beautiful little girl of a strawberry blonde complexion”. Weight. Height. Then finally in my arms.

She was beautiful, she was perfect, here she is, and she was mine, and I was hers. She had her daddy’s nose, and my eyes. She was small but strong. She had a little crease at the top of her nose and little ears. Wispy hair, and long fingers. Soft buttery skin. I fell in love at first sight. 

After we arrived to our room she nursed like a dream. Then for hours and days, nurse, water, sleep. Repeat. Michael sent a message to my mom at home, she must have been so worried!! “We have a beautiful little girl!!” It was such a wonderful surprise, we thought that it was going to be a boy the whole time. Not that we knew for sure, we decided to keep it a surprise this time and it sure was. The kids arrived a little later that day, Annabelle seemed concerned that it was a girl at first. Possibly a little worried about the competition( you should see how much they adore each other now!!). Alexander loved her right away. He told my mom on the way home that “Angelina is my best friend”!! So sweet.

We didn’t have any baby girl names picked out. We did have a short list of boy names that we had to throw out the window! We didn’t want to choose an “A” name just so it could match. We wanted to choose something we loved. We did feel, however, that it had to have the same weight and feeling of the other two. So we went back to the list of names that we could remember that we liked when we were picking out Annabelle’s name. Suddenly out of the blue Michael says, ” what about Angelina?” And it was perfect. Mom rushed out to the store with Annabelle to find some girly baby clothes, and show Michael which stroller and carseat we had been looking at. After a couple of days I was strong enough to take a shower and move around the room a little. Angelina never left my side, not for one single moment. She was a great feeder and loved to be tucked into my arms. I slept with her on my chest and she was my only focus. The kids came to visit after school for a couple of hours each time.

At the end of my hospital stay I was back on my feet and ready to come home again. We strapped her in her car seat, and brought her home. I can’t imagine my life without her. She wakes up with a huge smile every single day. She gives big hugs and laughs easily. She can walk a few steps and reaches her little arms out like she wants to give you a hug!! She walks with a look of pure concentration and determination on her face, ending up with a giant smile. She can say “mama”, high five with her daddy, eat popcorn, play blocks with her big brother, and dolls with her sissy. She still has no hair but her head feels like a warm fuzzy little peach. I love you so much my sweet baby, I am so blessed that I get to be your mom on this amazing adventure together. 

Photography: theretropenguin.com

Cozy in Cream

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: Anthropologie || Boots: Steve Madden || Poncho : Similar here

Angelina’s Choice: Sweater : Similar here || Tights: GAP || Shoes : Similar here || Headband : NORDSTROM

Just a couple more weeks till Angel’s first birthday and all I can think about is this time last year. Being pregnant with my third child was very different from my other pregnancies. First of all, it flew by a lot quicker than the first two. I’m not quite sure why that is, probably the obvious reason is that I was so pre-occupied with the older two so I had less time to count down the days. Second of all, I had a lot more fun when I was pregnant with Angelina. I wasn’t as worried about my changing body, trying to eat perfectly, or over planning what nursery items and baby products I may need. I was a lot more relaxed and just enjoyed it for what it was. I totally celebrated my bump. When I was carrying Annabelle I was almost shy and embarrassed about my new body. A lot of the time I was wearing over sized baggy clothes, and sort of keeping the whole thing low key. With my second child, Alexander, I do remember having a ball of a time eating and eating pretty much whatever I wanted all the time..haha, yes I think I may have taken it way too far putting on above 25 pounds I’m pretty sure. I’m not 100% sure because towards the end of all my pregnancies I sort of refuse to weigh myself. In the end, I feel like the due date is fast approaching and I don’t really want to know what my weight is. There is little you can do to manage your weight at that time anyway, so I feel like it’s sort of pointless to monitor the change in the last week. 

I certainly have the most maternity pictures with Angelina in my belly than the other two combined. I think this is a combination of what I had mentioned earlier about celebrating my body a lot more, and posting constant updates on social media. Seeing a whole new community of other mothers showing off their precious bumps inspired me to also open up about happiness to show off my own bump. Also when I was pregnant with Angelina, my final child, I felt a tiny sense of “oh my goodness, I will never carry a baby again in my womb”, and that reminded me how fleeting the moment was and when it’s over (and it does certainly come to an end) it’s so final. Seeing this process come full circle a few times, made me really hold on to the beauty of that journey. Ironically, the most important part of all is when it comes to a wondrous end…or rather, a beautiful beginning 

Photography: Ashley Amerman

A day in Nice

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Stephany’s Choice : Dress : ZARA 

We had such a great time walking around Nice that minutes turned to hours and before you know it we were having dinner there. We walked through the Antique Market, and the Flower Market. Stopped at our favorite Gelato shop along the way! The kids love to go on the merry-go-ride, and Angelina enjoyed the busy walks around the city. After having been to Nice several times, sometimes with one baby, then with two and now with three, we’ve learned a few good lessons along the way. First, I would always advise to bring one stroller per child, umbrella strollers are best for traveling. Always pack snacks. Kleenex is King!! Use the bathroom before leaving the house and most importantly NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOUR KIDS. Not to sound bossy, but this is something that I always have to remember. With the new and exciting world around you, the traffic and the unknown, it is so easy to loose track of your belongings. Most importantly our kids. You don’t have to be paranoid to the point of not having any fun, but it’s just something to keep in mind. Lastly, just have fun. Sometimes we forget to enjoy ourselves because we are so busy trying to tick something off the list, or we are overwhelmed by the challenge of a language or a bad traffic situation. Remember that even the low lights of a trip are sometimes the ones you look back on and laugh about the most.