Friday, August 28, 2015

B.P. Before Pinterest

Before Pinterest there were binders. I know I'm not alone when I say that I had a neatly organized binder with tabs for organizing all the things that inspired me. I loved this binder. It was so cherished. 

I remember the first time I moved into my own apartment and hosted a party. That binder was my go to for what to do and I felt so grown-up implementing such a put together soirĂ©e. 

Since the move that binder has come out into a more attainable spot in my house. Sure some of what I liked 7 years ago has changed but a lot of it still the same. And glossy magazine page tear outs are so much better computer screens. (I'm not saying I'm going back to buying tons of magazine and using this Stone Age binder). But what I do like is the pages with dinner ideas from Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living. Food is a foreign language to me and it feels easier to learn if I can touch the page and see the picture. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trudging through this season

I'm in a season of doing less. Of enjoying the simpler, smaller things in life. And this is the perfect season for me. It's quieter. It's more intentional. It's thoughtful. At times it'd downright dreadful. :)

Morgan is a dreamboat baby that is awfully hard to complain about. She sleeps all the time only waking once or twice in the night to eat. She has a rather pleasant dispostion throughout the day. But sometimes I still feel the weight of the chains that come with having a new baby. I remind myself I'm in a season. A season of having small children.

At times this season is a wonderful excuse to do nothing.

It's a season I know will be looked back at fondly.

These are the seasons that have taught me so much about seasons in the first place. That have taught me so much about being in process and learning to enjoy it. Or at least surrender to it. It's a reminder that life will not always be as it is no matter how great or how challenging it may be.

Surrendering to the process is the most difficult of tasks. Allowing yourself to just be present where you are at is a tall order in today's day. I'll remind myself that these are the hard years. The years that produce perseverance, character and hope.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The missing furniture

We recently moved and our new apartment is quite different than our beloved basement apartment. The ceiling is no longer within arms reach and we have at least 200 square feet more space. Yay! The only downfall, I hesitate to even say downfall, is that we have less storage space here. Below are a few missing pieces of furniture that we need to finally settle in. I've got Craigslist email search alerts set up for these pieces. I know I could easily go to the store and buy brand new but I hate to be wasteful when there are so many just like new used furniture items to be had. On top of that I don't like buying brand new furniture items when living in a rental makes everything feel so temporary anyway. The furniture may not work for whatever place we end up in after this.

Living room cabinet:
I love this display cabinet from IKEA. It matches the other bookshelf we have in the living area but the drawers make it so we can hide the not so pretty things and really make the room more livable. I plan on putting some of Jack's art supplies in one of the drawers so that arts + craft time can happen easily and more often.

Kid's room bookshelf:
This is the exact bookcase we have in the living room. We already have one in the kid's room with all of Jack's toys and books and I'd like to get another one for Morgan's items as well. I particularly like the height because it is pleasing on the eyes to have furniture and decor at differing heights in a room. I can also put less used items towards the top. For those wondering, I have never had a problem with Jack trying to climb up the actual shelves (fingers crossed that doesn't happen in the future).

Bedroom wardrobe:
The building is a walk-up so my favorite wardrobe, which couldn't make it up the stairs, had to go. I'm still living out of boxes when trying to get dressed each day. This is a bit of a problem since I will be returning to work from my maternity leave in a few short weeks. I need somewhere to put my clothes! I haven't found the exact piece - and I'm not too picky - so I've got some options. I like the size of the one below from IKEA. My only qualifications are that it is a different color than our main dresser which is a pine and that it's not too wide so that it can fit up the stairs. I would like some shelves in it if possible as well.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My top 5 East Coast Instagram accounts

I have a tiny obsession with the charm of East Coast living. The draw of classic American living is so alluring that I simply cannot avert my eyes when it comes to any good New England Instagram account. For a tried and true loving individual like myself, my top five IG accounts are completely on point. They represent what my West Coast imagination sees as true East Coasters.

#1: KJP
Let's face it, his tagline says it best: "designing the american dream". The line between real life and designed life is so blurred I absolutely love it. While the creative marketing concepts are exactly that, marketing, the group is actually really living the life as well. Designing the life you want to live is the American dream.

#2: Jackie Greaney
Lives in New York and loves coastal living. This summer she stayed in the cutest little town of Bellport documenting her adventures along the way. Her boyfriend and her have a stylized approach to capturing life that is too cute to pass up.

#3: Amy Stone
I was first drawn to Amy's account because of the way she uses color. Her feed seems to shift from color to color perfectly so that you feel like your floating through a rainbow. Mostly hues of blue and purple. The relaxing colors. The photos are perfectly real-life styled. You know, the styled look with hints of humanity. (I don't know if that makes sense or not but it's not just a white lifeless background).

I can't remember when I first learned of Fred. His style is reminiscent of a good Wes Anderson movie. One of his passions is photography which, as an amateur photographer myself, was the initial draw but I have grown to love the playfulness of his work.

#5: Howie Guja
I've only recently began following Howie. His account will literally transport you into true coastal living. From the cars, to the houses to the little towns. It feels quaint and relaxing where life is a little slower paced.

While I'm settled in the beautiful north of the West Coast, I have dreams of making the Olympic Peninsula and surrounding San Juan Islands my version of these accounts. I love the energy and inspiration of living in the city but my heart swoons over a slower life. Of adventures with friends in your own backyard. And bottles of soda shared over late night dinner parties.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In the land of dahlias

Dahlias were my first favorite flower. It was the flower that taught me just how deeply beautiful flowers were. For a girl who once thought I didn't care about flowers I certainly have surprised myself. The beauty of these is undeniable. I'm seriously drooling over these pictures.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Have more time to do what you love

Intentional life tip #1:


In whatever fashion you can, outsource. Don't reinvent the wheel. You don't have to have money to do this. I may not be able to outsource my household chores to a cleaning service but I can outsource life experience. 


Take meal planning, for example. I'm not a kitchen girl. I don't cook but I want to have more of an active role in the kitchen at home. Food is like a foreign language to me. My brain just doesn't think of amazing dinner plans. But I know people who cook a lot. (I don't cook so much so that my phone autocorrected the word 'cook' to 'cool' three times)! So my amazing cooking sister was at my house the other weekend and I had her help me with simple meal plans. That takes the thinking right out of it. I had to spend exactly zero amount of brain time thinking of meals. Bonus: she even wrote it all down for me!

Here's another thing I outsource. Research. Living intentionally requires making informed decisions but there are so many options + choices that it can become very overwhelming very quickly. Now, I've done enough research to know of a few people out on the Internet who I can consider trustworthy experts on certain subjects. Bloggers whose blogs I would visit if I needed to reference something or look something up. 

This saves me SO much time. I don't have to bounce around Google wondering what all these different people say. I can go straight to where I already know I'm going to find good information that I can trust enough to make decisions for my life and family. 

My advice for having it all is to outsource what you can. I want to be able to focus on the things that matter most. 

Things I would like to outsource if I could:
1) household chores
2) dentist appointments
3) grocery shopping

What would you outsource?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Oats + Milk

Gluten free oats bought bulk from Bob's Red Mill. 

Grass fed cow butter. 

Raw honey. 

Raw milk. 

And then 5 minutes later I still hear "I'm still hungry, mom."