Purim 2019: DIY Baby Shark Family Costume

This year was our first Purim as a family of 4. It is customary on this Jewish holiday to dress in costume. If you’ve been following me for a little while, you know I love to dress up in costume and when possible, have a matching theme with my family. Despite my attempts to shield my toddler from the Baby Shark pop song craze, it was unavoidable and she and drank the Baby Shark cool-aid. She was officially hooked and requested to play the song or music video nearly everyday for the past 3 months! The upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics were always in my head, no matter how much I tried not to think about the song! (Sorry in advance for getting it stuck in your head!) I figured, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and thus, my inspiration for our family Purim costume was born! Keep reading to see how I our matching shark family costumes came to life:

Read More

My Favorite Feminist Children's Books

Books are a huge part of Adina’s life! Before she was born, we asked guests at my baby shower to bring a book in place of a card and to write a special note inside. By the time she was born, we already had a full bookshelf full of books in her nursery! Fast forward 2 years and her collection has only grown bigger and bigger! We look forward to reading 3 stories before bed each night and Adina loves picking out her favorite books. In anticipation of special days on the calendar and holidays, we’ll read specific books to get excited. For example, before her birthday, we read lots of books about birthdays and leading up to Chanukah and Passover, we read books with those themes. In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to share some of our favorite feminist books that I’ve been reading with Adina.

Read More

Adina's 2nd Birthday!

Adina’s second birthday was on October 26, 2018, just 2 days before my due date with baby #2. I didn’t know if I would have had the baby by then, so we didn’t want to plan anything too extravagant. Birthdays are a big deal to me so I knew I still wanted to do something special for Adina. But since I was going to be 40 weeks pregnant, I didn’t want to risk planning anything too involved. (Although my friends joked that if I went into labor, at least the hospital was only a few blocks away!) Subsequently, I didn’t give birth for another 2 weeks, but since Adina was born at 39 weeks, I was prepared for it to happen at any moment. With this in mind, we wanted something fun and easy and planned a birthday celebration at the park near our house.

Read More

How to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby

One of the most frequently asked questions I have gotten since Noa’s birth, is how Adina has adjusted to being a big sister. Truthfully, I had a lot of concerns about how the transition would be for her. Not only is she our firstborn, but Adina is also the first grandchild on both sides of the family and was used to having all of the attention on her for the first two years of her life. So naturally, I was worried that once the new baby arrived, there could be some feelings of jealousy or even animosity directed towards her. Now that Noa is over two months old, I can say confidently that the transition for Adina (and really for our whole family) has been so smooth and better than I ever imagined!

Read More

Halloween 2018 Recap: Easy Matching Mother-Daughter Costumes

Over Halloween, I was 40 weeks pregnant (plus 3 days!) and Adina had just turned two years old a few days earlier. But my big belly wasn’t going to stop us from dressing up and if you know me, you know I couldn’t resist matching with my mini! I had to come up with costumes that would be easy for both of us and comfortable for me at the very end of my third trimester.

Read More

Welcome Noa Ella! Noa's Birth Story

It’s been 2 months since little Noa has been in our arms and I honestly don’t know how it’s been that long! The last couple of weeks before she was born felt like an eternity but these past couple of months have totally flown by! I started writing her birth story weeks ago, but my two girls have been keeping me busier than ever so I’m just getting around to publishing this post. This is probably the longest and most personal blog post I’ve ever shared, but it was such a huge moment in my life and I didn’t want to forget anything. Read on to hear about Noa Ella’s arrival to this world!

Read More

Babymoon Recap + Travel Guide to Montreal + Quebec City

When we were thinking about where he wanted to go on our babymoon, we kept a few factors in mind. Michael and I are pretty adventurous travelers, but we didn’t want to risk any unknowns when it came to food and safety so we were somewhat constrained in where we could go. We did not want to be gone for too long or have to get any vaccinations and we wanted to make sure there were quality medical facilities nearby (just in case!) Since I was already in my third trimester, we decided to limit our search to destinations that were within driving distance, rather than flying anywhere. We needed a place with great weather, a combination of exploring and relaxing, and not too far away. Canada fit the bill! Keep reading to hear all about our magical trip to Montreal and Quebec City, full of pictures and travel recommendations!

Read More

Chatbooks: A Photo Printing Service I Love!

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love photos! I love taking pictures both of special occasions and everyday moments. It is so much fun for me to look back at memories from over the years. With the accessibility and popularity of smart phones, taking photos has never been easier! Which is great for people like me - the only issue is where to put all of these images! I needed a solution to my picture problem.... Enter CHATBOOKS!

Read More

Toddler Learning + Fun with Playboxes!

Earlier this summer, my friend Dina sent me a package from Playboxes and I’m so excited to partner with them on this blog post. A Playbox is a curated box of toys based on your child’s age and developmental stage. Each of the toys is handpicked by child development experts and it comes with an explanation of each of the toys and ways your child can learn with them. Dina asked me about Adina’s age and interests ahead of time and a few days later, we got a box full of new toys that she couldn’t wait to play with!

Read More

Our Breastfeeding Journey

I have loved reading so many powerful stories this #worldbreastfeedingweek and since Adina and I weaned just a few weeks ago, I was inspired to get personal and share our breastfeeding journey. Nursing for us started off tough and was not always easy. Adina was taken to the NICU minutes after she was born and didn't get to do skin-to-skin or breastfeed right away. It took a little while for my milk to come in and in the early days, Adina would fall asleep as soon as she would latch on. There were many tears (from both of us.) She would cry and cry before and after feedings and for a long time I felt really defeated and guilty, like I couldn't feed my child. I thought this was supposed to be "so natural" but it was really, really hard.

Read More

Fire Island Independence Day Recap 2018

July 4th fell on a Wednesday this year, which made planning a getaway to celebrate a little tricky. Do you go away the weekend before into the beginning of the week? Or plan something for the end of the week? Last year we took Adina to Fire Island for her first 4th of July and had the best time! We decided to continue the tradition and spend a few days leading up to Independence Day in Fire Island this year. It was so different going out there with a 1.5 year old this time than with an 8 month old last year. Keep reading for a recap of our getaway and for photos of our festive looks!   

Read More

Baby #2 Announcement

So our little secret is finally out - we’re expecting baby #2 in the fall! It’s been fun to keep the news between Michael and our families up until now, but it also felt amazing to be able to share our excitement with my online family - YOU! Just wanted to say a special thank you to everyone for all of the sweet comments and DM's regarding our pregnancy announcement on Instagram last week! We are feeling so loved and we truly can't wait to meet this sweet babe! I got a whole bunch of questions so I thought I’d answer them in a blog post. 

Read More

Pom Pom Baby Sprinkle

I am so excited to finally share all of the details of the whimsical baby sprinkle we threw for my friend and beautiful second-time mama Yael a few weeks ago. My talented friend and DIY blogger Marisa of The Neon Tea Party and I got to collaborate on this special event together and it turned out better than I could have even imagined! We ate sprinkle-covered treats, shared our wishes for the baby, and made a one-of-a-kind pom pom mobile to hang in the nursery 👶🏻 Read on to see all of the sweet details of this sprinkle celebration!

Read More

Adina's Newborn Photos

While I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to have professional newborn photos taken once Adina was born. After researching different newborn photographers, I came across Faryl Loew Photography and instantly knew I wanted to work with her. I loved how her style combined natural, candid lifestyle shots and posed photos of baby. Since Adina’s 18 month birthday last week, I’ve been feeling sentimental about how much she’s grown. I took a look at some pictures when she was first born and wanted to share her professional newborn photos with you.  

Read More

Yes She Can: Celebrating 1 Year of Blogging!

Last week marked my one year anniversary of launching my blog Ariel Loves. Blogging was something I had thought about and wanted to do for a long time (I’m talking years!) but was too nervous to do. I didn’t fully believe in myself so I put it off for years. I finally took the plunge and launched Ariel Loves in April of last year. In honor of my one year “blogiversary,” Adina and I took some pictures together in our matching “Yes She Can” shirts. We have both grown so much in the last year and I wanted to celebrate the growth of this blog and my own growth as a mother.

Read More

3 Passover Desserts To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Passover starts tonight! What does that mean? Two back-to-back nights of late family dinners, retelling the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and a week of extra dietary restrictions. It is no secret that I have a major sweet tooth! I rarely go a day without some kind of sweet treat - be it a cookie, brownie, slice of banana bread, chocolate cake... you get the picture! With a week of no cookies or cake ahead of me, I started looking up some KFP sweet treats that would satisfy my sweet tooth and found 3 mouth-watering recipes that I can't wait to try!

Read More

How to Enjoy Vacation with a Toddler + Miami Recap

Here in NYC, it has felt like winter will never end! After months of enduring freezing temps and weekly forecasts with snow in them, Michael and I decided to plan a little getaway in sunny Miami! It was so nice to have a change of scenery and escape winter for a few days. It was our first flight with Adina in almost a year and our first beach trip with her since she can walk, so it was pretty different than traveling with a baby. I must admit, I was skeptical if Michael and I would be able to relax or enjoy our vacation since we were traveling with a 16-month-old. But we managed to pack a lot into a few days and had the best time. Keep reading to see pictures and highlights from the trip and to read my tips for enjoying yourself on vacation with a toddler!

Read More

Girl Power Purim + DIY Rosie the Riveter Costume

Ever since I was little, Purim has been one of my favorite Jewish holidays! Costumes, partying, food - what could be more fun? This year, I’ve been thinking about the deeper meaning of the holiday and about the two strong female characters of the Purim story. Although Adina is still too young to understand this story, I want to start building holiday memories together that I’ll be able to share with her as she grows older around the theme of powerful women. Today I am sharing three ways that I am celebrating girl power this Purim.

Read More