our best sleep | Askr & Embla

Our ambition is to make the best baby essentials possible. To us that means thoughtfully designed everyday items that are functional, eco friendly, and 100% free from harmful toxins.
Gentle on babies—kind to our planet.

Easy to use and lightweight, the versatile design is likely to make the Sleepod your go-to item for months to come. Whether it is for co-sleeping, baby lounging, day time napping, supervised tummy time, as a travel cot or the perfect supportive backrest for marathon feedings.
Our Sleepods are manufactured in Los Angeles, CA. We use the best organic, natural materials to create a safe, hypoallergenic, and soothing environment for babies and their parents.
— Askr & Embla

I'm the kind of person who searches for hours and hours looking for the "perfect" pieces that fit our aesthetic. And im always excited to share when I discover something new -- well actually my mother discovered it...mothers know everything, right??

Our apartment is small, so any pieces that we bring in have to be pleasing to the eye or it will seriously drive me crazy. Just because something is functional doesn't mean you have to settle for something that doesn't meet your standards of design or quality. The Askr & Embla sleep pod does just that. Its beauty is in its simplicity -- it quietly blends into your everyday life and offers a secure and cozy spot for your babe to rest. It fits perfectly in a moses basket, on the couch or in a bed and has been an absolute favorite of mine and Ophelia's. So if youre looking for a beautifully crafted sleep pod -- check them out!!

Ophelia Bloom | a birth story

Ophelia Bloom -- born at home on the most perfect July afternoon.

On the days leading up to her birth, I was starting to lose my cool. I just wanted her here with us already. I was sick of being pregnant and was doing everything I could to coax her out, but nothing seemed to work. She already had a mind of her own -- and she picked the perfect day to come. 

The day before she was born, we spent what was to be our last day as a family of three. We wandered the upper east side,  got lunch at one of our favorite places, afterwards we had ice cream and visited with Michael's grandparents. The perfect summer day.

I was going to walk all the way home in hopes that it would trigger something, but decided against it. I was already tired and didn't feel like exerting tons of energy to only be disappointed. Instead, when we got home Michael and I had a corona and listened to Dr Dre's, The Chronic. We danced and joked and I bounced up and down while eating hot cheetos.

A few hours later, at around 12:30am, my water broke. I was excited - overjoyed and full of so many nerves I felt like I was going to burst! THE BABIES COMING! 

I called my mom right away.

I wasn't having contractions yet so I took a shower and started setting things up just waiting to feel the first one. They did not start. My mom arrived at the apartment and we all went back to bed. Throughout the rest of the night they started coming slowly -- I slept. Only waking up as they came and went.

By 7am they were coming regularly. We filled up the pool. Had coffee and breakfast and waited it out.

By 10:30am I called the midwife.

Olive was wide-eyed and curious with excitement. 

Olive really wanted to get in the pool with me. She couldnt believe it -- a pool! In the living room! As things started getting a bit more intense -- she decided to take a bath. 

When she was ready, she came back out.

Right before the baby came out -- she went into our room and just stood in front of the mirror, looking at herself. I wonder what she was thinking --

Everything's a blur, but I remember her presence -- everyone's presence. Olive was kind and gentle -- pouring water on my arm, wetting a cold wash cloth to drape over my head. My husband was my strength and comfort -- the feel of his skin on my cheek and the strength of his embrace. My mother was my reassurance -- talking calmly and soft. And my midwife was there to guide me. She never interrupted the flow and gave me space so that my body could guide me. 

 I remember my mother giving birth. I remember sitting and waiting. I wasn't afraid. And neither was Olive. I hope that I have given her a respect for birth - respect for the strength of women - and the power of bringing life into this world. Birth is intense, messy and loud but there is so much beauty and power within it. As my sister said "you are moving the earth" The most incredible gift. Life.

Ophelia was born on July 16th at 12:23pm. The homebirth of my dreams.

7 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches long.

All of these photos were taken by my husband and my mother. I am ever so grateful to be able to have these to look back on. Thank you all for sharing in our joy. We are so happy to have our Ophelia here with us.

If you are looking for an incredible midwife and live in New York City, Cara Muhlhahn is amazing. If you are curious about natural birth and home birth, check out this documentary: The Business of Being Born.

A Family Bed

We live in a tiny little two bedroom apartment in Manhattan. So getting ready for the baby looks a little different for us. We don't have a nursery, instead we have a family room with a family bed and our other small bedroom is more a playroom/dressing room for the kids. OMG kids!! I haven't said that yet. Anyway...instead of getting a crib for the new babe, we upgraded our queen to a king, and got a small little moses basket with a stand for when the babe is new and tiny. So now that we have the king size mattress, our room is basically just a bed. But it is SO COZY! I tend to gravitate towards smaller spaces. Especially for sleep. There is something really soothing about being in a simple quite nook...Anyway I have been nesting like crazy. I took all of Olives baby stuff out of storage including her baby hammock and gave it a good wash. I hung it up and pictured the babe resting in it. THINGS ARE HAPPENING!! 

I've been trying to picture how it will be to have a baby in the bed again. We never planned on having a family bed, but when Olive came home we couldn't part from her, and still can't. I remember the first night so vividly. She was so small and I was so nervous. I remember just staring at her to make sure she was breathing. Soon we will have two! So up-sizing was kind of a must. After the new bed arrived, I realized that we had to get all new linens and pillows --I had no idea that anything in King size is like double the price!!  ...even at target! So I started looking all over. In my search I discovered Linens and Hutch where I was able to get down pillows and cotton sheets, their prices are pretty much unbeatable for the quality! Our bed is ready -- just waiting on this baby!!

Babymoon | W hoboken

Babymoons...Its like, you don't feel like you need it, but once you're there, relaxing and enjoying the end of pregnancy, you realize that...yeah I NEEDED THIS!! We decided we wanted to stay close by the city so that it was an easy trip there and back. We thought about a few different options like going to the beach, Bear Mountain or Cold Spring, but now that Im in my final weeks, everything just seemed so hard. So we went with the W hoboken! Ultimate relaxation!! The rooms are so cozy, the views of the city are amazing, its a 1 minute walk to the water and playground and 5 minute walk to the main street where there are tons of restaurants. Or if you're feeling like you don't want to walk at all to get some food...there's always room service =)

The best part of our short stay was the prenatal massage I got at Bliss, which is  a spa that is attached to the hotel. It was by far the most amazing prenatal I received during both pregnancies! When I thought it was over, the masseuse told me it was time to turn over for the second part of the massage. I nearly died of happiness!

Celebrating Olive | 4!

Our girl will be 4 in a week -- feels like time has taken off and left me in a tail spin. My first born. I try to picture her as a big sister -- i know she will be gentle and kind. I try and picture how life will feel in September when she starts pre k. I try and imagine what kind of girl she'll grow up to be like...what do i want her to be? I can't picture specifics. I just want her to be happy, kind, intelligent, thoughtful and full of grace. It's like this summer is a celebration of how life is with just the 3 of us. I am excited to welcome to new babe into our family, but I think i will soak up every last day of just us three. Here's to you my girl!! 4! I love you!! 

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday — many many happy returns! Happy birthday, Happy Birthday — sun and moon and stars rejoice upon your birthday! Upon your birthday, while we join hands in a ring and sing!
— a birthday song

Santa Monica

Anytime we visit somewhere new, we always fall so deeply in love with it. Santa Monica is up there at the top of my list. We were out in California for just a short trip, and while most of the time we were working, we still found time to soak in all the beauty. The sun is warm and there is a cool ocean breeze when you are in Santa Monica. Olive kept telling me how much she loved it. But seriously, what's not to love? On the boardwalk, there are these amazing outside gyms set up on the beach and you can watch people practicing tightrope walking, high bar and more. There is also a beautiful classic carousel at the end of the boardwalk which Olive really enjoyed.

I am in that stage of pregnancy where everything is a little harder and takes a little longer. The 3rd trimester. I find myself getting frustrated that I cant move as fast as I did pre pregnancy especially during a shoot -- but I have to constantly remind myself to SLOW DOWN. Take it all in. Relax. Magic is happening and I don't want to let it pass by without embracing it. I just have to figure out a balance...Ill keep you posted (throws up hands, where's the freaken emojis on this keyboard??)

Easter | DIY real easter grass

Holidays in general are just so much fun with kids. There are so many ways to help build the excitement during the days leading up to them. I grew up planting my own Easter grass every year and was so excited to pass the tradition down to Olive. This year we made an extra basket for the baby, I wanted her to get used to the idea that she will be sharing her holidays with someone else very soon.

Scroll down for a "how to" plant your own grass!

DIY Easter Grass

You'll need:

-Wheat Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries, you can find them at a healthfood store or online here

-A basket, pail, terracotta planting pot or even a watering can, you can really use anything! If you choose to use a basket, you will need to line it. We used a plastic bag and just trimmed off the excess plastic so it didn't show.

-Potting soil

-And about 7-9 days of growing time

-A spray bottle for misting the seeds

Step 1

After you have selected your container, fill it with potting soil to 1/2 inch below the rim.

Step 2

Sprinkle a generous amount of seeds on top of the soil

Step 3

After you have made a nice even layer of seeds, mist very generously with spray bottle and find a bright window to place your potted seeds.

Step 4

The seeds need to be kept moist until they sprout, so mist them generously with water about 3-4 times a day! Once they have all sprouted, you can reduce the amount of watering to 1-2 times a day. 

What's in the baskets

Maileg baby bunnies, Micro Pram,  Bessie Bunny, The Flower Festival, Micro Crib by Maileg

What Olive Wore

Blue Checked Dress, Bow