Beauty Secrets 07: Ilana Kohn

Ilana Kohn

Photo by Dustin Fenstermacher

 I’m pinching myself over this next beauty secret’s post. Ilana Kohn is one of my favorite textile and clothing designers. The jumpsuit I’m wearing in the picture on the right on my website is by her. It was one of my favorite, go-t0 pieces up until real winter cold hit and I got pregnant. I love her colorful, bold prints and how clean and relaxed the structure of her pieces are. Everything she creates is not only beautiful but totally wearable. I love the nod to the 60’s you see in all her amazing patterns, and how easy and un-fussy her clothes are.  I have a feeling I’ll be shamelessly living in her new spring collection all spring and summer.

Needless to say when I (on a complete whim) reached out to her and asked if she’d be a part of this series and she said yes, I was floored. I feel so humbled and excited to bring you Ilana’s down-to-earth beauty secrets and a peek at a few of my favorite pieces from her gorgeous new spring collection…

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4 Pretty Little Things to Brighten Your Winter

Winter Cheer

Winter has become increasingly hard for me as I’ve gotten older….Or maybe as I’ve become a parent to a toddler? Either way, it’s easy for me to feel a little down and out of sorts during the winter months. So, I’m always on the lookout for various ways I can lift my mood when it’s cold, rainy, and dark out.

Things like exercise always, always helps me. Even a run in the rain, I’ll do it just for that endorphin release and high I feel all day afterward. Yummy, warm dinners to make and look forward to. My husband wants to try this to see if it helps. He struggles with the winter months more than I do even. But, sometimes all it takes is a bright pop of color on my nails or a pretty new plant to get me through another dark winter day. From left to right here are the links to these four lovely pick-me-ups that I’ve been eyeing to cure some of my winter blues…

Kathleen Whitaker Staple Studs / Ace & Jig Infinity Scarf (on deep discount right now too!) / Essie “Meet Me At Sunset” nail polish / A pretty plant to remind you of brighter, warmer days.

What do you do to lift your spirits through these long winter months?? I would love more ideas!

P.S. Only 8 more weeks until Spring!!!

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How I Battle Morning Sickness

Morning Sickness

I have struggled with morning sickness in both of my pregnancies. With Eleanor I was kinda sick the whole 9 months, to be honest. Yuck. Needless to say, I’ve learned a few tricks that have really helped me manage the nausea. From what I’ve read and understand, morning sickness is usually caused by the flood of hormones that pregnant women experience, low blood sugar, and dehydration. For me, that middle one is especially true. I have a tendency toward hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which just intensifies when I’m pregnant. So when I’m staying on top of eating something every hour and a half to two hours, I notice I feel much better. As well as eating frequently, I’ve learned some other simple, healthy, helpful tips that have kept the nausea to a minimum…

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We Finally Bit The Bullet

Baby #2

Baby #2

We are all very excited to finally let the secret out! I’ll be 14 weeks this week with our second child who will be joining our family come July :) Though I can’t believe I’m almost in the second trimester (!), the first trimester seemed so loooong. I think mostly because this pregnancy has been very similar to my pregnancy with Eleanor so far: lots of nausea, smells, exhaustion, etc. Good times. Which is partly why it has been kind of quiet over here on the blog. Nausea + exhaustion = sapped motivation. Thankfully, I learned a thing or two the first time around and have been able to manage the sickness a bit better this time (blog post soon to come).

Eleanor has been the sweetest about everything. She keeps asking questions like, “Is it summer yet so the baby can come out?” and “Mama, you having belly squeezes?” (referring to contractions). I think someone is excited to be a big sister :)

We told her about a week and a half ago after we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat (yay!) We gave her a special cupcake and book about being a big sister. Her response, “Really?! You have a baby in your tummy? Can I see it?” She seems excited, which I’m hoping sticks ;)

It’s hard to believe we’re going to have a tiny baby all over again and though we’re plenty anxious and nervous about having 2 kiddos, we are so excited. I think waiting a little longer before jumping in for round two was necessary for us to wrap our minds around the idea and feel really ready and excited about adding to our family (we aren’t “rip the bandaid off” kind of people if you know what I mean, haha). I am looking forward to seeing Eleanor as a big sister, witnessing how having a sibling will shape and change her, and am so happy she will have a built-in, life-long playmate and companion.

Another thing I’m excited about and thankful for is being able to have the lead midwife I had with Eleanor on my team again this time and, if all goes well, having another home birth. Hopefully a bit shorter of a labor this time though! *fingers crossed*

Below is a recording of the heartbeat if you care to take a listen. This was the second time we heard it and Eleanor’s first time hearing it!

Personally, I can’t think of a better sound in the whole world.

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How To Get Your Picky Toddler To Eat

Picky Toddler Eater Cookie Monster

I swear sometimes my toddler doesn’t eat. I feel lucky if Eleanor eats a bite or two at a meal. But, amazingly enough, she’s growing just fine. I know that it is super common for young kids to be erratic eaters. Somedays she eats a decent amount, but most days she eats so minimally I go head first into an anxiety-ridden state about her health. It has been driving me crazy. Any other mamas out there feelin’ me?

I also know that I don’t want her to have any issues surrounding food and I know that the “quest for attention” — of any kind — is very real. So I’ve been trying out different tricks to help get those greens and protein in her while not making a huge fuss and biting my tongue when she chooses not to eat, and praising her lots when she does. Read on for the tricks…

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Onward and Upward: 2015

Christmas breakChristmas Break

I can’t believe a new year is here. 2014 was a good one. I played hard and worked hard, especially, here, on this blog. Eleanor transformed from a baby to a real kid (good, but terribly bitter-sweet). It’s been an exciting but exhausting year overall and I decided to end it with a real holiday break. Hence, why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. My husband had nearly two weeks off for the holidays (go Upworthy!) so I decided to take the break with him. No emails. No real plans. No strings. It was glorious.

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Heart & Craft / Sarah Wizemann

Lille Boutique

Lille Boutique

For this month’s Heart & Craft interview, the spotlight is on Sarah Wizemann, proprietress of the beautiful, one-of-a-kind lingerie shop,  Lille boutique.  I have loved Lille for years. I’ve gotten everything from my wedding lingerie, to my everyday garments, and even my nursing bras from Lille. Sarah has the most on-point taste and eye. Everything she sells is classy, comfortable, quality, and so lovely. All of the pieces I’ve tried on and purchased from Lille fit so well and make me feel truly comfortable and pretty in my skin. I can’t sing Sarah’s praises enough.

I’m so pleased to introduce you to her, her darling daughter Loïe, and even her husband, Alan, who made it into a few of the pictures! Her gorgeous home, beautiful family, and passion for women and the lingerie world is incredibly inspiring to me and I hope it is to you as well…

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Friday Treat Day: Rum Balls!

Rum Balls

Sorry for the crickets over here! I’ve been busy working on a few personal and blog projects that have been taking up quite a bit of my time. I will be hopefully be posting more frequently again soon.

I didn’t want to miss another Friday Treat Day though, especially since its that time of year for one of my favorite treats of all time: Rum balls!  My mom used to make them for all her grown up holiday parties. I remember sneaking a bite or two and loving them. I envied all those grown ups so much!

Finally, I grew up, and can have all the rum balls I want now! So every Christmas I make them. I make them for holiday parties, I wrap them up in a pretty box and deliver them to the neighbors as gifts, and we eat our fair share just my husband and I too :)

Continue reading for the full recipe. There are various ways you can make these balls of goodness and I’ve kind of adapted and combined recipes to make them how I like…

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The Long Journey

Whidbey Island

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”

-Cheryl Strayed

Just had to share this quote as it moved me and made me thankful today for the growth and lessons I’ve experienced and learned from the long journey of healing.

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DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Even though I’m 4 days late, I was determined to make an Advent calendar this year for Eleanor. It was a tradition we sadly didn’t do consistently growing up but when we did I loved it. I showed Eleanor the calendar this morning. I took down bag #4 and gave it to her, her whole face lit up as she reached her hand in the bag, before she even discovered the chocolate kiss and little candy cane waiting for her. She gets it, and is already anxious to open another bag :) It was the sweetest thing to watch and made me so glad I made it happen this year.

I ended up making one because I couldn’t find any that I especially liked. I saw this bag idea floating around Pinterest and knew it would be so simple to make anyway. I decided to get cloth muslin bags instead of paper bags in case I’m not up for making a new one next year and just want to reuse this one. Each bag is filled with either a few Christmas treats, a small toy (little bracelets, wooden tops, etc.), or a Christmas related activity that we can do together as a family (get hot chocolate and take a trip to Peacock Lane to look at the Christmas lights, have a big Christmas Eve feast and then read the Christmas story together, etc. A few more of the activities are pictured below). I also got a few wooden nativity Christmas ornaments that are in a few of the bags for Eleanor to put on the tree. Fun for her to do and an opportunity for us talk about the story of Christ that my family celebrates this time of year.

My advent calendar isn’t anything incredibly fancy or elaborate but I love how it turned out. The simplicity of it reflects what I’d like our advent to be. I especially love the bags filled with notes of meaningful, fun activities we can do together as a family to make this Christmas season extra special, create warm, fond memories for Eleanor, and slow us down to think about how blessed we are and the hope that surrounds this time of year.

Continue reading for the details of the materials and how I made it, if you’re interested…

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