Coffee, self portraits, and a mom confession

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Today I needed a mommy timeout.

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Aspen woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She was fussy and clingy, and very irritable (not sick). I would look at her the wrong way and she would start screaming and crying. I would try to brush my teeth, and she would be pulling on my shirt telling me, “NO” while hitting me. If I wasn’t holding her in my arms, she was mad.

Aspen’s love language during her early years is clearly Physical Touch. I have acknowledged this for a while now (If you haven’t read The Five Love Languages, I highly suggest you do! It helps all relationships, not just marriages). She needs to be touching, skin to skin, in order to do nearly anything. When she wakes up in the morning, she requests to cuddle for the first ten minutes of her day. Throughout the day her hands are always close to mine, and in the evenings she will not close her eyes without me keeping near. As for me, physical touch is not my forte. I actually can’t stand it. I have never been a hugger (unless hugs from my mom?), and I like to keep my distance from people. I don’t like it, and I never have. BUT, motherhood is calling me to learn how to like it.

Long story short, I raised my voice several times throughout the day. Actually, no, I YELLED several times throughout the day. Finally, towards the end, I had to sit back and think about how I was handling this situation. She is a toddler, I am an adult. I have known for a while that physical touch helps her relax. I also see that yelling has done nothing except make her more upset. Eventually, after a quick little mommy timeout, I changed my attitude and went to love and cuddle my emotionally vulnerable toddler. We are all entitled to a few bad days. And it definitely helps to have a mom who can *eventually* be self aware and help you get through your emotions.

Moms, fathers, grandparents, siblings, wife, and husbands, I encourage you all to pick up The Five Love Languages and find out how you can love your dear ones better today.


As for self portraits- I think it is something so wonderful to be able to document your daily life. It’s something no one in the past has been able to do to this extent before. As technology evolves, history does too. Each physical photograph is a documentation of our lives that someone will someday find. In a selfie, and narcissistic perceived world, take time to document your emotions and your actions, not just your looks.


This is one of my favorite button down blouses that I’ve owned. It is soft, light weight, and fits so well! Shop it here

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MOMMY AND ME SESSION with Mandie Medeiros Photography + weaning

Warning: if you’re sensitive to moms nursing past age 1, redirect now to Mandie’s website here 

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Mommy and Me sessions hold such a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I used to be the one behind the lens, maybe it’s because it captures such a beautiful essence of motherhood, or maybe because it’s just a lovely time to get updates photos of mommy and baby while they look put together. No matter the reason though, mommy and me pictures are incredibly valuable and the perfect gifts for moms on Mothers Day.

Aspen and I had such a great experience with Mandie Medeiros Photography. She was easy to talk to, great at communicating, funny, knows her shit, and is a hybrid photographer (which is freaking awesome and rare around here). If you’re looking for a local photographer, I highly recommend her. Her website is here

*Also, I never intended to breast feed this long. Three years ago, I said 6 months was my goal. Then it went to a year. THEN it went to 18 months. Now, we just hit two years and honestly, I loved each and every second of it, but I feel like we are both ready to let go of this time together. Breast feeding is such a cool, nutritional, empowering, and incredibly humbling experience, and I have zero regrets of holding out this long. I know some find it odd that she’s two and just now weaning, but honestly, it worked really well for our family. It was convenient, and Aspen and I loved that special time together where I was able to provide for her from my own body. Anyway, long story short, we are now beginning the weaning process, and although it makes me so sad (that’s the last thing that links her to infancy and giving it up hurts my heart), but part of me also wants to rejoice and say, “HELL YES, FINALLLYYYY!”.*

Park walks and a recap on Easter

Friends in the north, I’m apologizing in advance for the warm pictures. If it’s any consolation, the humidity has hit and there is no hiding the sweat.

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WHAT A WEEK! Am I right, or am I right? I hope you all had a lovely Easter spent with loved ones, good food, and long lasting memories.

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We spent the holiday hunting for eggs, going to a memorable church service (those in the area- if you haven’t gone to a service at Momentum, contact me so we can go together!), feasting with great friends, going to the beach while the littles had their first real swim on the season, and later on had an impromptu moms night out (nope, definitely not sharing pictures from that (; )

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Overall, we had such a fun Easter. It is a complete game changer when you spend the holidays with an awesome and absolutely adorable toddler, good friends, delicious food, and nice weather. We are so fortunate to have met the people we have met, and to be where we are now. In other news, Aspen and I are finally settling into a routine since Scott’s departure. This is helping so much with mine and Aspen’s sanity.

We spend our days literally working or playing. When we’re not at mamas work, we are at the beach, at a friends house, or at home playing with blocks and coloring. We wake up around 6am, eat a healthy breakfast, spend a few hours at work, go home to cuddle and/or take a nap, clean up the house, run errands, spend time outside, then come home to dinner and a movie before getting ready for bed. These are the good days, and i’m trying to soak them in. We won’t be here forever. We will move (eventually, hopefully), Aspen will grow, our friends will continue on, and our current will become past, and our adventures will become memories. This is a reminder to myself, as well as all who may read this- love your moments. Even the unbearable ones. Someday they will only be pictures in our heads of what life used to be like. So cherish them, hold them for another moment longer, and release them with a smile of content on your face.

THANK YOU again to Pink Blush Maternity for collaborating on this post. Guys, If you have not checked out their motherhood line, you are missing out. This dress can be found here .

As a side note, that hat was gifted by my grandma after she decided it wasn’t to her linking anymore. It’s now one of my favorite accessories. Somehow handed down “vintage” items are always my favorites. 

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Surviving Tourist Season on the Emerald Coast

There are so many wonderful things about living in a Spring Break town. One of them being, you don’t have to leave when Spring Break ends… #Ilivewhereyouvacation BUT… there are also some negative aspects to this, like you know, Spring Break itself. With our Spring and Summer holidays approaching, we will be expecting a lot of out-of-towners and vacationers, making traffic on our beloved 98 unbearable, beaches over crowded, as well as a lot of trash left behind.

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After living on the emerald coast for five years now, I have come to find out that there are a few things that could help keep the locals and transits from losing their minds with all of the tourists vacationing to our gorgeous beaches.

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Dress- sold out, similar here // shoes 

  1. MORNINGS WILL SAVE YOUR SOUL. Set those alarms and get that coffee ready to brew first thing, because this is the most helpful tip I have under my sleeve. Why? Because let’s face it, most vacationers are vacationing. That means ignoring their alarms, and getting some extra rest in the AM. So, while they sleep, we play. Anytime I need to run errands to Destin or Pensacola, I leave bright and early and get there when the shops open, otherwise I am stuck in traffic for hours (literally). It’s hard to do, but it is worth it. This tip doesn’t just work for traffic though, it is also helpful to get to the beach early. Typically, the only people at the beach before 10AM are older couples and beach runners getting in an early run before it gets too hot. Either way, getting out before the tourists do will be a life saver this season.
  2. Fill up on gas, incase you get stuck in traffic on a shopping trip to the mall (No, I’m not kidding..)
  3. Keep snack in your car in case you get stuck in traffic and get hungry.
  4. A friend mentioned that getting groceries via Publix Delivery or Walmart pick up is very convenient on the days it’s too difficult to get out and about early.
  5. Save your travels for the weekdays. The weekend traffic will be unbearable.
  6. Noted by a few local realtors: Saturdays are the #1 condo turnover day, which basically means that everyone is leaving town then. So this will be the worst day to drive, but best day to go to the beach because, well, everyone is driving back home.
  7. Ask for local pricing. I have heard through the grape vine that some businesses will raise their prices during tourist season, and that asking if they have a local price is never a bad idea.
  8. More than likely, our lovely tourists will not take as good of care of our beaches as we do. It is such a great idea to bring an extra trash bag on your beach outing just incase you see a few pieces of trash near by.
  9. Join in the fun. Seriously though, the amount of fun things that the Emerald Coast has for entertainment during vacation season is absolutely crazy! There are concerts, movies at the beach, community BBQ’s, fun runs, and so much more! So although the crowds might not be your favorite, acknowledging that once the crowds leave, so does all of the outdoor entertainment might help make the glass look half full.

I hope these tips help you this Summer, and hang in there. The rest of the year these gorgeous beaches are ours!

PS- This time of year is also the perfect time to go on a mountain getaway. We typically go to Northern Idaho to escape the crowds and heat. More on that soon!

 

Feminine LWD + Easter basket ideas

Everyone knows the LBD (little black dress) is something fierce. But this feminine loving mama is quite fond of the less poular LWD (little white dress) as well.

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This gorgeous dress is PERFECT to wear to Spring events like Easter, baby showers, and garden parties.

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And as a side note, taking pictures with my little minion is my absolute favorite. I promise the excitement and love in our eyes is NOT posed. This is how we feel/look/react to eachother 90% of the time (unless she’s in trouble or I’ve spent too much time editing pictures and she’s irritated with me)

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EASTER. Easter is coming up, and I will be the first to admit it is my favorite holiday. Christmas had always been the winner for me, but the past few years Easter (and it’s true meaning) has grown more and more on my heart. I love the spring time weather, the florals, the “everything is new” feeling, the femininity of it all, and the concept that we are all reborn through the resurrection of Christ. It’s such a beautiful and true concept that has touched my soul so much since becoming a mother that I cannot help but celebrate the spirit of Easter all year round. And let’s face it, the chocolates and light dresses are an added bonus.


This year, Easter will be a little different for our family. We will still be doing a community easter egg hunt, church service, and an eater basket filled with swim suits and beach towels, but unfortunately, we wont be celebrating it with Scott. It’s always hard on our hearts when we have to go a holiday without our dad and husband, but we know that there is a reason for each season in our life, and that we need to embrace this one, as well as all others in the future. I’m a firm believe that a positive mentality will always outshine a negative circumstance. So that is what we will do. We will embrace the seperation and use technology to our advantage, as well as look forward to the day we are together for an easter celebration.

ALSO, because I know people struggle with coming up with things to put in Easter baskets other than chocolate, I wanted to make a few suggestions:

I personally do a beach/ Summer themed basket. It typically includes a swim suit, beach towel, sunscreen, and beach or pool toys. Another idea is a garden themed basket. It would include seeds, soil, spring based books, and mini shovels and maybe rain boots. I also love the idea of an exploration basket. This one would have a magnifying glass, ant farm, books on bugs, animals, and plants. It would also have a sun hat and hiking boots.

Whatever you choose to pack in your childs basket, have fun with it and remember to include the true reason behind the holiday.


This year I am wearing Pink Blush for several ocassions. It’s hard not to when their dresses are catered to motherhood and femininity. One of the several ocassions is Easter and my good friend Shelby’s baby shower. This one in particular is such a light weight and detailed dress, and really ties into this years victorian revival trend.

*What are some things you all have planned for Easter?*

coastal vacation look with Pink Blush

Plan on taking your family on a coastal vacation without leaving the states this year? Down bellow I have a list of beach side towns along the emerald coast that are worth your visit.

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Shop My look: Dress // Sandals // hat


I’ve lived on the emerald coast for five years now. In the past five years I have done my fair share of venturing to near by towns and exploring what they have to offer. Today I’ll be writing about the few I think are worth the visit.

The three larger and more touristy cities along the emerald coast are: Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City. But between these cities are numerous smaller towns that are equally worth the travels. Among these are: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Okaloosa Island, Miramar Beach, and the 30A towns. The cheaper of these would probably be the first three: Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and Okaloosa Island. These destinations might not have the ziplines and shopping malls of the bigger cities, but they are only a short drive away. These towns instead, offer a much more laid back and slow paced feel, allowing you to have a truly relaxing vacation.

Some hotels worthy of your stay:

Portofino Island Resort on Pensacola Beach

SpringHill Suites by Marriot on Navarre Beach

Palms of Destin Resort in Destin

The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach

Grand Panama Beach Resort on Panama Beach


Thank you to Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post

 

Family time in Seaside

Guys, I freaking love my life.

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My life is far from perfect. I have really bad days, I get frustrated with my daughter, mad at my husband, make a terrible meal, cry myself to sleep, and ocassionally feel like I’m falling into a black hole like any other normal person out there. But I also feel on top of the world and in total bliss while raising such an easy going child, a hubsnad that goes out of his way to please, cooking bomb ass meals, and frolicking in the grass in a coastal town. Life is rough, and life is great. We all go through so many emotions just on a day to day basis, but please, even on the Black Hole days, remember how much you really love life, and how much life really loves you.


This dress was thrifted (for $8!) but you can find a similar here and here. My sandals can also be found here.

Wine not Wednesday

Happy hump day, friends! I’m so glad you’re here to join me.

Today’s WNW topic: Life changing Podcasts

Today I’m sipping on Columbia Winery’s Red Blend

I’m one of those odd people that need noise on at all times. Even when I go to bed I have to listen to white noise. Instead of using the TV or music (although I do love having dance parties with the fam before bedtime…), I try to use this time to learn something new. So every day, during the quiet hours, I turn on one of these life changing podcasts:

  1. Risen Motherhood– My goodness this is the most motivational motherhood podcasts I have ever listened to. Not only is it motivational in your average daily motherhood, but it also dives into scripture and informs you of ways to bring in the gospel into your child’s every day life as well as how to be a more biblical mom, wife, provider, and friend. I highly suggest you give these ladies a listen to.
  2. Super Soul Sunday’s with Oprah– I mean, come on. You may disagree with some of her politics, but the lady is smart. She is the ultimate #girlboss and anything she puts out on podcast is sure to inspire you in numerous ways.
  3. Wellness Mama– Ever have questions on your kiddos holistic health? What to feed them? Why to do this, versus that? This mama podcast goes over all that good stuff while interviewing leaders in the health and wellness world.
  4. Marie Forleo– Recognized by Oprah herself, Marie Forleo is a business mentor, author, and motivational speaker. If there is anything you are trying to accomplish in the career/entreprenurial world, Marie Forleo will give you the tips and motivation to achieve it!
  5. Stuff you Missed in History Class– Even if you loved history class and feel like you know it all, this podcast will teach you otherwise!

If any of these interest you, go to the podcast app on your cell phone and download them onto your feed.

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Spring in 30A with Pink Blush

30A is my favorite place along the Emerald Coast. Between the shops, the food, the pretty southern homes, the plenty of parks, and the beach near by, it is undoubtedly the most perfect southern town in my mind. 30A is the type of place that makes me want to live here forever.

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We spent the weekend in Seaside, which is a small coastal town along Florida’s highway 30A. It is one of the sweetest and most quaint little towns I have ever been to. There are numerous food trucks, pizzarias, coffee shops, gelato shops, and local restaurants. In Seaside, everyone has come to the realization that cars are for losers. Instead, nearly everyone there rides beach cruisers to get to their destination. I have never been so in love with a town in my life (well, I mean, Sandpoint Idaho is also a personal favorite).

Because I was traveling for Valentines day, Scott and I decided to delay our date to Seaside until the weekend. We woke up early, Scott made a large breakfast filled with bacon, sausage, eggs, and fruit, and we packed our bags to spend the day on 30A. We first went to one of the many green grass parks and sat by the water fountain while playing tag with Aspen. Afterwards we walked further into town and ate some gelato, and eventually made our way to the historical and locally famous church. We let Aspen let loose and play in the grass before we started our trek back home.

For me personally, dates do not have to be elaborate or expensive. I much more appreciate some quality time with family in a gorgeous area, taking in the views and good weather with my two favorite people in the world.


Shop my dress here


Thank you so much Pink Blush Maternity for influencing this post. 

Sunday Coffee Chats vol.3

Today’s Coffee Chat is about why I love waking up early, and why you should too!

Waking up early is one of my favorite things about my routine. Aspen typically wakes up aroung 7-8am, but I find it incredibly beneficial to my mental health to start my day an hour or two ahead of hers. So each night, as I set my alarm, I think about what time I want her to wake up and what events we have planned for the day ahead. Depending on the day, I will wake up 1-2 hours ahead of her. Why? So I can have some much needed alone time before waking her up. Here are some of the things I do before getting Aspen out of bed:

  1. Get ready (aka- brush teeth, do hair, and put on clothes) before the child/anyone wakes up! This is so important, because the moment Aspen wakes up I am resorted to cuddling for the next half an hour.
  2. Drink a cup of coffee in silence. Oh friends, this is probably my favorite thing in the world. Sipping a cup of joe in silence with no toddler pulling at my clothes, screaming “mommy!” is the most magical part of my morning.
  3. Listen to podcasts or YouTube videos. I am a sucker for a good webinar or podcast on a subject that I’m interested in. The only time I ever feel that I have for these things are either first thing in the morning or during nap time. So I try to squeeze them in the first part of my day. Next week I will be going over some of my favorite podcasts, so stay tuned!
  4. Go outdoors! I have a few flowers and herbs in our front yard. There are few things that bring me as much peace as going outside, coffee in hand, as I water or harvest them while the birds chirp. If you have a porch, I suggest you take your breakfast and drink your coffee/OJ while breathing in the fresh air. And if you have not started a small floral or herbal garden yet, I HIGHLY recommend you do so.

I know it is hard waking up earlier than need be, but I promise once you get into the routine it will be well worth it. Just imagine how much more you can get done in your day and how much more you will be motivated it you spent the first hour or two to yourself in peace. I used to wake up right before I was needed at my job or school, but once I started this habit I have felt so much more accomplished and so much happier at the end of the day. And you know what? My family notices too. I find it so important as a mom to have a few hours of silence and a bit to learn or work on projects before our little love wakes up. So tonight, set your alarm for a little bit earlier, and try to stick with it.