Thursday, May 25, 2017

Five Things I've Loving For Summer


Summer is almost here and I've been "window shopping" online a bit more than usual. I think it has something to do with getting back to my normal self after having a baby...or at least beginning to. It's taken me at least a year with each boy to really feel like "me" again, and even then it's a new version of myself! But in the meantime it's fun to pick out some new cute things to spruce up my wardrobe with a new season. I'm still practicing the new thing in, old thing out rule, so *usually* whenever I add something I really love to my closet I'll give away or sell something old that no longer serves me! This keeps me in a check a bit and helps me avoid my previous issues of keeping EVERYTHING and having an extremely overgrown closet. You can read more about that here and here. When I do sell my clothing though I do it here, so follow along if you're interested.

Anyway, here are the five things I'm loving for this summer! Enjoy, and I hope you find at least one new thing to love too!

1. A good pair of slides.

The ones pictured above are my go to, and you can find them here (30% off too!). These are the easiest way to make an outfit a little cuter and a little more comfortable too. I always wear these when I'm just running around (or camping, post-hike, post-workout, etc!) but for a dressier look there are so many cute ones out right now to choose from. Try these or these (on sale!) and check these out too. And these are a more affordable version of my faves.

2. Non-skinny jeans.

Think boot cut, relaxed with a step hem, you name it. My most favorite pair come from Madewell, but I also love this pair, and these also- both 40% off right now.

3. A pretty white dress.

White dresses are my favorite and there are so many to choose from. It's funny, when I was in college and an active Pi Phi, we always had to wear white dresses for Preference Night each year during rush. That was 2000-2004 and it was very difficult to find cute white dresses. Now, they're all over the place! Some of my favorites: one, two, and three. Or get a jumpsuit version here!

4. A pair of statement sunglasses.

I've been wearing the same pair of sunglasses for years- either these cheapies or these nicer ones, but a few months ago I switched over to a different shape and I'm really happy. Valley Eyewear makes some of my favorites- the DB version is the best. Other options- here and here.

5. Jumpers!

I have always loved a good jumper but this year it's all I want to wear. They're so comfortable and easy for nursing- I just look for those that can slip easily off the shoulder or unbutton. I have SO many favorites but here are my top five: one, two, three, four, and five.

Happy shopping!

xoxo

Monday, May 22, 2017

Video: Family Camping at Gold Bar Ranch


It's Monday and we're back on the grid after camping this past weekend. We headed out not too far from our house- about an hour's drive- to Gold Bar Ranch. It was our first time there and it was the cutest place. They have a campground that backs up to a Hassayampa River-fed pond/lake complete with a rope swing and dock. It's the ideal place for a big group and that's exactly what we had- 9 families, 18 adults and 25 kids! There are places for RVs, tents, and even a bunk house right on site that's perfect if you don't want to rough it, if you have a newborn like us, or just feel like "glamping" rather than camping!

One of my best buds Veronica's family owns the best restaurant in Prescott and brought along their catering gear so we were super spoiled with food the entire weekend. Two families split each meal, so we didn't have to worry about bringing food for every meal ourselves, which was the best. We brought paddleboards and kayaks, and a ton of float toys! The water was cold but so refreshing in the 80+ degree sunshine. During the day we swam, rode quads and the razors, the kids dug in the dirt and worked on creating moats, and we all just kicked back and soaked it up. At night we roasted marshmallows and drank wine by the fire while the kids ran around with glowsticks, and on the second night we brought out the projector and did a movie and popcorn evening for them. Even though camping is not always the easiest with super small kids, this was such a successful trip and I think it was made even easier having such a big group. All of the little ones were kept busy with each other so the adults could relax, even if only for little moments at time! ;) And my best advice, babywear! There really is no other way with such a tiny baby (at least for me), and it made it a lot easier than having her in a pack 'n play and always worrying if was dusty near her, bugs, whatever. I used the Ergobaby Adapt (you don't need an infant insert with this one) and it was fantastic.

Last night I put together a fun little video with GoPro footage for our friends, and I thought I would share it here too. You can also check out the camera I used here- I highly recommend it! I love doing videos like this- it always looks like a lot of work in retrospect, but takes less than an hour to quickly put together all of the little clips...and it's so nice having the fun memories to look back on.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekend Links


Happy Sunday! We spent the weekend off the grid camping and it was SO nice. I started these links on Friday before we left and wanted to pop in and finish them quickly before I head to bed. I'll be back tomorrow with a ton of photos and a video from our adventure though, so stay tuned!

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I've received quite a few questions on my jumper up there- you can find it here!

You can also grab Olive's bow here, her pants here, and the rug here.

6 steps to set boundaries between your work and personal life.

Words that breathe life into the little girls around you.

I love these mini mottos.

The safest age to give kids a cell phone, via Bill Gates.

16 reads for summer.

And one delicious drink for summer.

Loving this post from Chelsea- I think I may do this for my birthday next week!

Wishlist: this jumpsuit, these easy pants, and this dress.

And just look at this dream of a gorgeous dress! Love.

Also on the topic of wishlists, I am really loving all of Madewell's new totes.

10 ways children seem to be acting "bad" but aren't.

To stay married, embrace change.

A very interesting read about Emmanual Macron and his wife.

This book is next on my reading list.

Loving this line of cute bikinis. And every single one of these suits are so cute.

Skin care tweaks to try now.

Some foodie books to add to your list.

Need a new hat for summer? These are all so good. And how about any of these straw bags? All prices, all kinds! I'll take one of each. ;)

Did you catch my recent hiking post? If you're in Arizona you need to check out that trail.

7 life-changing truths.

I've been pinning a little more than usual lately- see them all here.

And finally, read this article about minimalism.

xoxo

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Lesson from my Mom


Beauty is a funny thing. My idea of what is beautiful has changed so many times over the years, at least when we're talking about what's on the outside. This past weekend I was talking with my friend Morgan, who actually took the photo above, about cancer. About how it's relevant to my family again, and about how much I hate it, and about how I will never ever understand the whys of such a terrible thing. We got on the subject of breast cancer, because both of our mothers are survivors. And we talked about beauty, and about the BRCA test, and what we would do if we were to test positive.

As a woman, and I'm speaking to my own experience here, our ideas of beauty are often tied to how we look, how we feel. Growing up I can remember carrying around a CoverGirl compact in the back pocket of my Levis. I was in 7th grade and pulling that out and powdering my nose made me feel beautiful. Later in college we would all get dressed up in our flouncy little skirts, tank tops and wedges, and spend hours putting on makeup. MAC eyeshadow and lip gloss, Victoria's Secret glitter body lotion and perfume. This was what we did to feel beautiful. Then at 22 I started getting tattooed because owning my body, putting things on it, that made me happy, that was beautiful to me...and it still is.

In my early twenties my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came in like a tornado, quick and fast, and overnight it felt as if she was suddenly in the operating room, getting a double mastectomy. At the time this seemed so crazy to me- breasts were everything right? Somewhere along the line I had been taught that breasts meant femininity, they meant sexy, they meant beauty. And now my Mom's were gone. The cancer was in one breast, and my Mom elected to have both removed, as a precautionary measure. And she was one of the lucky ones. She had the surgery, she recovered, and then she called me one afternoon, asking- "Do you want my bras? I won't need them again." She had decided against reconstruction.

As parents we're always teaching our children, even when we don't realize we are. I don't think my Mom's decision to forgo breast reconstruction was a conscious teachable moment in her mind then, but now as a Mom myself, that's all I see. In that decision she taught me that beauty is not our breasts. Or our stomachs. Or our legs, arms, or faces. Truly. And it's beyond all of the clich├ęs about beauty being skin deep, it's far past all of that. My Mom told me in that moment, "I don't give a fuck. I am a woman. I am beautiful. And I get to make my own definition of what that means." That's powerful. What that said to me, especially as a twenty-something who was still figuring out who I even was, was that I have the power to create my own idea of femininity and beauty, and then allow myself to accept that as my own truth. And what that says to me now, as a thirty-something still on the path to self-acceptance, is that it's okay to be exactly who I am, because that authenticity, that truth, that is beauty.
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This post was originally shared in this space, a year ago. Today I am sharing it again in collaboration with a group of amazing bloggers that I love and admire. It's a project called Together We Mother. You can see the previous posts here! Also be sure to check out all of the women's blogs below.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mother's Day Hiking with Crocs


Post sponsored by Zappos:

This past weekend was Mother's Day and the biggest thing on my list was to spend the day outside with my family. Forget the fancy brunch, flowers, whatever...give me all the homemade cards and kid-made jewelry, and take me on a hike. And that's exactly what we did.

One of my favorite places to hike in Sedona is West Fork. It's beautiful in every season, but spring is especially pretty with all of the green! This time around we brought the boys' new Crocs Swiftwaters. Believe it or not we have never owned a pair, so I was a little skeptical about how these would hold up from land to water and back out again. Because of this the boys actually hiked in wearing their regular shoes. Once we got to the water they slipped on the Crocs (so easy to get on themselves) and got to playing. And much to my surprise they worked perfectly well both in the water, gripping to the sometimes slippery rocks, and then back out, hiking all the way back to the car. I'm a new Crocs believer and the boys were SO excited about these shoes.

I've worked with Zappos many times before in this space and absolutely love them. They have the best customer service, super fast shipping, and easy returns. The boys and I had such a good time picking out the exact shoes they wanted, and as a mama, I'm SO happy with them too. Like I mentioned above the Crocs Swiftwaters are easy for them to put on themselves, comfy, lightweight...and they held up beautifully on our 2 hour hike out through numerous creek crossings, dirt, mud, you name it. 

Parents, you NEED these shoes for you and your little ones' summer adventures. They come in adult sizes too, and I would choose this pair for myself. And Hank has these Crocs on his list too. You can see all of Zappos Crocs (seriously, such a huge selection) here as well.

**note: in the review for the boys' Crocs Swiftwaters on the Zappos site the one review mentioned having issues with sizing. For us, these were very true to size and worked right out of the box.

Happy almost-summer and here's to a ton of fun adventures!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Olive's Nursery



I've shared quite a few peeks in Olive's room over the past few months, but I wanted to get together a post that included all sources in one place! I've absolutely loved putting together this room- I started it before she arrived and the whole time I kept thinking about how exciting it was to be able to choose pink things for a girl's space! Who knows if Olive will like pink once she's older, but for now I definitely wanted to include a few pink things that felt girly to me. The overall vibe I was going for is open, airy, and warm. The room still has a bit to go- it needs some shelving over to the left of the dresser to hold some keepsakes- her first tiny shoes she will soon outgrow, some photos, and a special little woven Olive rattle given to us by a friend- but I wanted to share now because if I kept waiting until it was "finished" I wouldn't ever get this up.

My goal was to create a space for our baby girl that she could grow into. She's not even sleeping in her room now, so I know once we do it will change again. More toys, more things in general, and little bits added in as her personality and likes develop. But I think this is a great canvas for her to make her own. It feels like a baby's room, but also not like a nursery at the same time. When I walk into her space I feel like it's very calming and warm, which makes me happy, and I hope it's a place she really loves once she's old enough to notice. Clutter-free and pretty simple, this might be my favorite room in the house.

Below the photos I've included all sources- let me know if there's anything I missed!








Sources:

Crib- c/o Fisher Price- I LOVE this crib. It's VERY affordable at under $200 and looks like some other cribs that sell for $1000+. Hank and I were both blown away by this crib when we put it together. It's very sturdy and solid, and easy to assemble also. Two thumbs way up on this one!
Crib Mattress- c/o Brentwood Home- see my post on it here.
African Juju Hat (white piece above crib)- c/o Zeal Living- mine is a size large.
Rug- Anthropologie
Crib sheet- Little Unicorn, c/o The Baby Cubby. I really, really love The Baby Cubby and all of the items they have on their site. It's a really well curated baby shop where you can get necessities but also really fun items to spruce up your little one's room.
Baskets next to crib- c/o Land of Nod
Blankets- there are a bunch in the basket but honestly the only ones you need are from Bebe au Lait (the cactus, polka dot, floral, etc are all from them). They are truly the best blankets ever- so soft and they only get softer with use and washing!
Rainbow- c/o Shop Little Clementine- I LOVE this shop- so many amazing items!
Bunny stuffed animal- c/o Cuddle & Kind- a purchase of one of these dolls provides 10 meals to families in need!
Book ledges- Amazon (I will list out and link the books in a post later this week!)
Window covering- Blinds.com
Ceiling Fan- Amazon
Glider- c/o Land of Nod- this comes with an ottoman too, which I love- but for the sake of these photos I didn't include it because it takes up so much space. I'll post a nursery update once I get the shelves up, and include it then! This chair is very, very comfortable and I'm looking forward to using it a lot with Olive.
Gold lamp- Target
Table- c/o Wayfair (linked a very similar one)
Books- c/o The Baby Cubby (will include in the books post mentioned above)
Rainbow stacking toy- c/o The Baby Cubby- we really love this stacker and highly recommend it. Baby safe, eco-friendy, and so pretty!
Dresser- Living Spaces- this looks identical to the West Elm version...we didn't want to spend a fortune on a kid's dresser so we went with this much cheaper option and are very, very happy!
Mirror- CB2
Changing pad- c/o Brentwood Home
Changing pad cover- Burt's Bees
Diaper basket- c/o Land of Nod
Small gold basket- Anthropologie
Laundry hamper- c/o Land of Nod
Basket in closet- c/o Land of Nod
Moses Basket- c/o Plum & Sparrow
Baby Gym- c/o Finn and Emma

Let me know if you have any questions! 
xo 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

9:30pm

It's 9:30pm and I'm in between feeling like I should go to bed, and also feeling like I want to share something here. I've been having all of these thoughts about this space- and lately I've had this pull where I just want to write more and post more right here. What would be really awesome is to somehow gain two more hours in the day. That's all I really need to be able to come back to this space on a regular basis. But everyday my time gets divided pretty much the same way and there is often just a little tiny sliver to do things like this. However! I'm here, and I love it as always. It's so fun for me to have an outlet and a space to share whatever I feel like sharing. And I'm going to figure out a way to do that more.

Right now I feel really busy- I went back to working a couple weeks ago and it is a bit of a juggle to do everything that needs doing, but I also kind of like being insanely busy. Not in an "I'm so busy!" glorified way, but in my day feeling full of things that make me happy. That's the key for me, to feel like everything is welcome. It's still a shock though, to take a step back and think about where we are right now in life. Three kids! I was reading back in this blog before having any kids and then before Charlie, and it's funny to imagine that version of myself seeing this version of myself. We often have these ideas of what our lives should be or will be, and then when you get to the actual present day and look back at those ideas it's always a little weird. The word that comes to mind is thankful though- so so so thankful for every bit of this.

Mother's Day is coming up and of course it's all over the internet, including my own feed. I love Mother's Day like I love my birthday, maybe just because I think it's fun to celebrate your life with people you love, just like I love friends' birthdays too. They're just the best. But I got to thinking about being a Mom, and what kind of Mom I am, and how now with three I sometimes feel like I fall short. Not today though, today I had super human patience as Charlie took maybe six minutes to put on one sock and Henry wouldn't listen to me until I asked about four times to leave when I picked him up from school. Go, me! But on any other day I would maybe not have patience and feel totally frustrated like I'm not cut out for this at all. Does anyone feel like a great mother all of the time? I know I AM a great Mom, but I feel like somedays I feel like I'm not giving each of the boys the attention they need, and I go to bed thinking about all of it, a little rerun film playing back in my head of the mini fails throughout the day. I hate that.

But you know what the coolest thing is? Even when I feel like I stretched myself too thin, or my patience wore out, or I made them chicken nuggets for dinner (again!), I wake up the next morning to these sweet boys and their arms around me, the Iloveyous and "you're the best mama ever!" and we get to start over. And I love that. We get another chance to be the best us. I tell the boys that every single day. And maybe that's what matters you know? Them seeing me mess up, they mess up, and we all give each other the grace and room to make mistakes. And then we start again, always.

I have so much more to say but it's 10pm on the dot and I should go to sleep. Tomorrow I plan on waking up before everyone else and getting in some cardio, then after the kids leave for school and Hank goes to work, it's baby Olive and me hanging out. For now though, I'm off to bed. Hope you had a good night too...and if you made it all the way to the end of this rambling, thank you. ;)

xoxo

photo by Meghan of Debora Consult.