A few weeks ago my sweet and crazy-talented friend, Alyssa, took pictures of my family. I wanted to have this special time as a family of three captured before we become a family of four. She, of course, delivered… and then some. I have looked through them so many times now and still can’t seem to get through them with dry eyes. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Alyssa, for the gift of these pictures. They are priceless, and I will treasure them forever.
We started the shoot in our home and then went to Sauvie Island for the rest of the shoot—two places we love so much and where we have shared some of our happiest, hardest, most intimate and life-changing times as a family.
I’m terrible at narrowing down favorites (especially when they’re this good!) so forgive the ridiculous amount of pictures you’re about to scroll through…
In February we started the work of remodeling our kitchen. We knew it would be a slow process as we are doing some of the work ourselves and still saving more funds as we go. But, as remodel’s usually go, we came across some major wrenches (aka, the dumb chimney taking up precious space in our teensy kitchen that needs to go) that are going to cost us more time and money than we originally thought…
We drove to the coast over the weekend since the weather was going to be so nice and because we were in need of a break from our everyday…dishes, laundry, chores, etc. And it did just the trick. It was revitalizing for our family and Eleanor was in H.E.A.V.E.N. I haven’t seen her so content in a long time (threenager). We feel so lucky to live just an hour and half away from this gorgeous place…
Over the past couple weeks my husband and I installed this arts and crafts wall, aka the wall of my dreams. I first saw the idea here and shamelessly stole it ASAP. Our arts and craft supply situation was driving me batty — a bottomless abyss of bins that were a complete mess and totally unusable. We could never find anything, didn’t ever know what we had or didn’t have and I would end up just leaving a mess of random supplies on our breakfast nook table for Eleanor. At least that way she could see some of what she had and would be inspired to make art and occupy herself happily. But the mess of supplies on the table I knew wasn’t sustainable. Between my neat-freak self and actually needing the space on the table to eat, etc., it was not a permanent solution. So when I saw this brilliant idea, it was like angels, choruses, all the stars aligning, the whole thing.
I feel like when you come across an idea this good, it must be shared. So, without further adieu, read on for my how-to process in putting together the wall…
We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed, and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
I first saw this quote on Courtney Adamo’s Instagram feed (her feed is stunning and so inspiring, one of my favs) and I can’t get it out of my head, so thought I’d share it with you. The quote is from the book “The Book of Awakening,” and I think it’s going on my long list of books to read next.
In our world of social media, perceptions, and public personas, I found this the most refreshing and challenging reminder to be more present and less quick to put up the walls and masks. To live more authentically and think about my response, post, picture, etc. before putting it out there. Am I layering, filtering, protecting myself too much? And for what? I crave the security and freedom that comes with living honestly and unafraid and deeply admire/envy the ones who pull it off.
My friend Kim generously gave me a bundle of these incredible products this past Christmas and I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to sharing them with you. They are miraculous. Ever since approaching thirty I’ve become more selective and careful about the skincare and makeup products I put on my skin. I’m always on the lookout for new products that are truly all natural, and organic. So when Kim showed me S.W. Basics and I saw the list of 4-5 ingredients front and center on the bottles, I was floored. Not only are the products completely natural, all ingredients I can recognize (coconut oil, rose water, tea tree oil, etc.), but they work! I have fairly sensitive skin and my skin has never felt or looked better since using these products.
And that’s what makes S.W. Basics stand out. They make all their products from scratch using only whole, high-potency ingredients. Here is an excerpt of their story…
For us, less isn’t just more; less is everything. We’ve found that if we stick with only absolutely essential ingredients and don’t add a bunch of extra stuff, we don’t need to put a hundred things into our products. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare. We don’t water it down with cheap synthetics or exotic fillers. It also means that our products are more likely to be safe even on the most sensitive skin. That’s why everything we sell only has 5 ingredients or less. And they still make you look amazing and smell pretty.
Above are a few of my favorites from their line of products. That moisturizing cream will knock your socks off. I’ve been using it on my face (morning and night before I go to bed) and even all over my belly and my skin feels so hydrated and my belly not so itchy! I’ve noticed less breakouts since using their products too! I can’t recommend enough. Next I want to try their oil serum, which sounds like a game-changer.
BONUS: I just learned that S.W. Basics are sold at Target now too!!
I came across a new favorite magazine, Darling, not too long ago and had to share. It is a magazine about and focused on women, in the most refreshing, honest way. It challenges cultural ideals of beauty, questions its exaggerated importance, and sees beauty in every type of woman. None of the women featured and pictured in this magazine are altered or photoshopped in any way. How amazing is that? It’s super inspiring. I’d highly recommend.
Though we’ve had amazing weather around here lately, this weekend was decidedly wet and blustery. But when you have a three year old, cabin fever gets real, real fast. So we didn’t let the rain stop us and ventured out to a new, lovely tea spot not too far from our house.
It is such a beautiful spot. Everything is clean and sparse and gorgeous. Not everyone finds a sparse aesthetic very inviting but oh how I do. Maybe even more so after having a kid. All those clean lines and no clutter puts me at ease instantly. They also have the best magazines like this one I’m currently obsessed with. I have a feeling I will be back there…maybe with just myself next time :)
Eleanor drew with Papa and watched him too (one of her favorite things to do), while I read a bit (toddler interrupted reading, mind you). And we all enjoyed some delicious tea of course. It was really wonderful to just rest and be together.
Daniel and I were also able to get out for a date night, which was much needed. We followed the best advice and went to a movie before going out to dinner. That way you’re not falling asleep during the movie and can talk about the movie afterward over dinner. We saw Birdman, which we really liked. Thought-provoking, incredibly well-acted, artistic, and the cinematography was super different, but interesting. We went out to eat at Kachka, a newish Russian restaurant that was delicious. If you go, make sure to get the borscht and sour cherry dumplings—to die for. Also, the vodka flights are a must too. Though I can’t really give a review, my husband really liked it and I watched enviously across the table. I will definitely be going back after this baby is born :)
And lastly, a few pictures of the most epic post-nap hair you’ll ever see and apple snacking/being a goof :)
Hope you’re weekend was lovely , and happy Monday! We can do this! xx
“I never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant, because it wasn’t about me. The whole purpose of my body was no longer to fit into a sample size. It was to nurture another being. So I always felt great, no matter what I was wearing.” –Amy Adams
Being pregnant can be both incredible and hard, in so many ways and on so many levels. One of which is the changes your body undergoes. There are moments when I marvel at my body, what it’s doing, and what it’s capable of. And other moments it’s…hard. I feel large and limited and not terribly pretty. I don’t like those times and am not proud of them. Because Amy Adams nailed it. The insecurities that creep up in me about my changing body are based on outright, mostly cultural, lies. Pregnancy is nothing short of miraculous and I want to see our society start to value women and mothers as givers and supporters of life. Think about how much would change for you and me and our daughters if we viewed women like that.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox. Just really needed to say all that.
In my daily attempt to value myself and see the truth about how I look right now, I have been making sure to get dressed (most days) and care for myself in that way. I decided to start up a maternity style series like I did when I was pregnant with Eleanor and hopefully inspire any other pregnant mamas out there to get dressed and be proud of yourself and the changes your body undergoes to make another human!
One of my favorite, go-to pieces in this pregnancy has been…
I saw this survey the other day and remembered how much fun my nerdy self loves filling them out and reading them. So I filled it out and decided to share it with you. What would really make my day is if you filled it out and left in the comments (pretty please!)….