Monday, November 30, 2015

Edie Meets Santa

Hello! Hope you had a wonderful holiday. We just got back from a relaxing visit with family. The only thing we really did, aside from eating, was take Edie to meet Santa for the first time. And by that I mean we traumatized her briefly for the sake of tradition. I was a little traumatized, too, because Santa called my daughter "It." Twice.

Me: "Hi, Santa."

Edie starts crying as soon as she sees him.

Me: "Sorry she's crying. She's a little tired and..."

Santa: "Oh, it's pretty standard. What's its name?"

Me: "Her name is Edie."

Santa: "Edie. How old is it? About 10 months?"

Daniel hands Edie to Santa.

Daniel: "She's about 13 months."

I snap photos, pass camera off to my brother for quick family photo, take "it" from Santa and get the heck out of there.

Tis the season, right?

^Not. A. Fan.

But isn't the crying Santa experience kind of a pivotal part of childhood? Ha, even so, we got in and out of the little cottage quickly and enjoyed the rest of Utica Square, which was pretty much dead for Black Friday due to the yucky weather.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Small Business Saturday Sale

Still in need of Christmas card photos? Or maybe a sweet gift idea for your boo? I'd love to meet you! In the spirit of supporting small businesses today let's talk about setting up a little photo session. Book by December 1st and get the promo price! Email me at :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall Dinner Party Table Cloth

Throwing a cutesy little Friendsgiving this weekend and feeling a little worn out by all of the pumpkin decor that's been hanging around since Labor Day? Why not decorate with pretty red apples instead? I stamped the tablecloth the day before Edie's October birthday party, and for the low cost and little effort, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

All you need is an apple, a knife, a light colored sheet and some red paint.

Lay your sheet on a flat surface, slice your apple in half and stamp away!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eden Faye, 13 Months

Hi, friends! I'm 13 months old today!
Here's what I'm up to lately:

-I weigh 18.5 pounds and am 29.5 inches tall!
-I'm in the 21% for weight, 40% for height, and 80% for head circumference.
-I got my first two teeth this month! The middle bottom two. Two on top are about to pop through, too.
-I'm pretty much running now, which means I'm falling a lot more again. I had my first egg on my head, bloody nose, and fat lip this month. All three different incidents. 
-My favorite word is "Yeah!" I also say "yay," "hi," "Mama," "Dada," "this (dis)," "that (tad)," and "go!" I point and Penny and yell "go!" like Mama does.
-And last night when Dada changed my diaper I said, "No no no no no no no no no."
-I make monkey noises when I see a monkey in a book!
-I imitate Mama's laugh.
-I love playing peekaboo, chasing Mama and Dada around the island in the kitchen, and hide and seek. They hide in the laundry room and leave the door cracked and I come open it and get really excited when I see them!
-I also get super excited when Mama opens my car door to take me out of my carseat.
-Reading is still my favorite thing. I bring a book to Mama and hit her in the face with it until she reads it. Then I hit her in the face with it again when it's over so we read it again.
-I've learned to throw things!
-I found a new doctor this month Mama and Dada really like! Yay!
-I still nurse a couple of times throughout the night and several times a day!
-I eat three meals a day. Meat is still my favorite!
-I take one long nap in the middle of the day most days.
-I go to bed between 7 and 8 and wake up between 7 and 8.
-I am really good at sharing! Anytime I pick up something cool I immediately bring it to Mama or Dada to hand it to them.
-I'm a little too good at sharing sometimes--on playdates I let all the other kids take everything from me and then just follow them around all sweetly for a bit. Breaks Mama's heart a little.
-I also share my food. I am constantly trying to feed to to Mama and Dada.
-I experiment with my voice a lot--I yell to get attention.
-Dada and I play this game with our voices where we yell the same thing with the same inflection, "Bah bah bah YEAHHHHH!" over and over.
-Sometimes I walk circles around a toy on the floor before I pick it up.
-I'm very cuddly and when Mama asks for a hug I lay my head on her chest.
-I love puzzles and my baby doll.
-I love people! Mama took me to a new playplace a couple of weeks ago and I walked around to all of the other mamas and put my hand on their knees and just talked away to them as they were talking to their mama friends.
-I'm super attached to Mama right now though if anyone tries to take me away from her, including Dada.
-Penny is still SO STINKING FUNNY!


Edie babe, you are just the sweetest girl. Your personality is already so loving and giving! And you love to laugh more every day--I love playing all of our games and watching you figure things out and get surprised by new experiences. You're learning so quickly and I'm so proud of the kindhearted little girl you're becoming. I love you I love you I love you.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rainy Day Giveaway!

We woke up to the most beautiful heavy storms over here this morning. Edie and I took our time nursing in bed before running downstairs to grab bananas and make coffee before heading back up to lounge again. She's sitting on the bed next to me with a puzzle, there's a lovely gray light coming through the windows, and I think we'll stay right here until lunchtime. 

In the spirit of a rainy day inside, I think it's the perfect time to give away a copy of Moorea Seal's The 52 Lists Project. This little book is beautiful and perfect for list makers and journalers for the days we just need a little creative prompting. 

All you have to do is comment on this post with a question for my next Q and A--I need a little prompting, too! Please leave your name and email so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. central time Friday, November 20 :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Five Ways to Detox Your Home (You've Maybe Never Heard)

This year I've been on a slow and steady journey toward a cleaner, safer home. I've replaced harsh chemical cleaning products with green options like vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. We took the full leap and stopped eating GMOs altogether. I felt pretty good after making the switch, but after finding out how seriously yucky the products I had been wiping my counters with were, I was curious what else I could be unintentionally doing to risk my family's health. I've learned so much, so I thought I'd share!

Five Ways to Detox Your Home
(You've Maybe Never Heard)

1. Non-stick Cookware
This stuff is BAD for our health, friends. We switched from nonstick aluminum pots and pans to stainless steel earlier this year after learning about the dangers of Teflon (the coating). Read more from the EWG HERE.

2. Candles
This one was a pretty big shock to me, since I've been a candle addict for as long as I can remember and it had never crossed my mind that all those amazing scents in the Yankee Candle store and Bath and Bodyworks could be super terrible for my health. I switched to soy candles during pregnancy but I have since learned that they aren't always a safer option--the fragrance can still be toxic.

Luckily there is one option that smells delightful and can still make a room feel cozy: beeswax! Pure beeswax has a sweet, light honey scent and big bonus--it purifies the air! THESE are my current favorites. And if I'm dying for a different scent, I just diffuse essential oils.

3. Mattresses
This one is our most recent change due to the cost, but we've been researching and anticipating this purchase for a while. Did you know conventional mattresses are full of nasty chemicals and flame retardants? And that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, therefore breathing them in? By the time I learned this, both Daniel and I had already been complaining about our mattress for several months and were hoping to buy something more comfortable soon. So I started researching comfy, nontoxic mattresses, and last week we took the plunge!

We purchased a My Green Mattress on Amazon and it came in earlier this week. I plan to dedicate an entire post to reviewing it soon! I will say it's made of organic cotton and wool, and we got a king so I feel like we're on vacation every night :) And I feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed now that I know we're getting safe, sweet sleep.

4. Beauty/Hygiene Products
I'm planning a full post on this, too, but I thought I'd go ahead and make the general statement--lots of makeup has formaldehyde in it, and antibacterial soaps are disturb the delicate balance of your immune system. There's a really cool website called Skin Deep that will rate the safety of your products for you--check it out! I've switched out everything we use to bathe, wash our hands, moisturize, and overhauled my whole makeup bag. Ladies, let me know if you have any specific questions makeup/haircare wise for my upcoming post!

5. Shower Curtains
Just say no to vinyl. You know the overwhelming smell of opening a new shower curtain and hanging it? Yeah, that stink is dangerous. Vinyl off gasses some pretty nasty stuff and showers are usually in bathrooms right off the bedroom, so between bathroom time and sleep time, we spend a lot of our lives breathing that air. Go with cloth shower curtains if you can!


This might sound like I kind of lost my mind this year (and maybe I did, but having a babe will do that to you), but now that I'm responsible for another person's health, I only want the very best and safest products used in my home. I can't control what she is exposed to outside of our house, but since we spend most of our time here, I can try to be smart about what we surround ourselves with regularly!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Q & A

Q. Where were you born?
Tulsa! Lived there until I was 22. I still don't consider myself an Arkansan.
Q. Aren't you nervous about blogging your personal life?
Well, yes, but I think the biggest rewards often come from the biggest risks. My hope from the beginning has been to make at least one of you feel less alone in the messy stuff.

Q. Do you have a job?
I'm a mom! It's a full time job. I also take photos every once in a while.

Q. What's your favorite book?
Oh wow. Matilda and The BFG were my best friends in elementary school. Judy Blume held my hand through puberty. To Kill a Mockingbird changed my world in high school. I mostly read poetry for pleasure in college. But this year I've been really into light non-fiction--I've enjoyed Melanie Shankle, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Jen Hatmaker, Anne Lamott, Lena Dunham in the past few months. I did discover a new (to me) novelist, Liane Moriarty, over the summer and read all four of her books in a week and then got all depressed she didn't have anything else out. I love to read.

Q. T.V. show?
Of all time? The Office, no contest. I know every word to every episode. Is that embarrassing?
But currently I'm really loving Jane the Virgin--it's somehow both super ridiculous and super real.

Q. Do you believe in God?
I do, yes!

Q.  Why are you so obsessed with breastfeeding?
Oh goodness. Because I've realized how little support the average woman in our country gets in her breastfeeding journey, how pressured we are to compromise the goals we have in fulfilling our babies' needs, and how much inaccurate information is floating around. And mostly because I believe I would have truly lost my mind if I hadn't found a tribe of other moms who had struggled before me. 

Q. You have really nice skin--what do you do for skincare?
Thank you! I've been talking about finding an eye cream I like for a while now but haven't done so yet. I've never really washed with actual facial cleansers (and when I did in middle school--Neutrogena something or other--I broke out horribly). I just use a bar of soap. Dr. Bronner's is good stuff! And now that it's getting a little cooler and my face is drying out, I've been putting a tiny bit of Edie's Shea Moisture ultra sensitive baby lotion on my face. Ha, bit of a low maintenance routine.
I also just recently overhauled my makeup bag and switched to the cleanest products I could find. I'm really loving Honest Beauty foundation and ZuZu Luxe pressed powder. But I very rarely wear makeup at all--like MAYBE once a week.

Q. How did you and Daniel meet?
We met through church, kind of. We were in the same youth group but had never really talked until we ran into each other at a concert. We "went out" in late middle school (and by that I mean we saw each other at church) but dated different people in high school. We remained close friends and decided to date again in early college, even though we were three hours apart. He proposed during his senior year. 

Q. Will you have more children?
We aren't sure at this point. Not planning on having that conversation for a while, probably!

Q. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Online! Haha I don't go shopping much. But most of my clothes are from Gap and are years old. If I'm looking for a cute dress for something, I usually stalk Asos and ShopRuche.

Q. Do you drink? If so, what is your favorite drink?
I've never been much of a drinker, but lately I will enjoy a hard cider here and there. I love Samuel Smith's Organic Cider. As far as beer and hard alcohol go--yuck. Not for me.

Q. How old are you?
26, and I have no idea how that happened. Forever 22 in my mind.

Q. What is your dream job?
Stay at home mama--I'm living my dream :) I would like to write a book or two, though, too.

Q. How tall are you?
Not very tall. I am just under 5 foot 2.

Q. What camera do you use?
I shoot with a Canon 6D and love it! We also own a Canon 60D, which we use for filming baby girl.

Q. Mountains or beach?
Cabin in the mountains, no question.

Q. Your birth story was long and horrible. Would you do it naturally again?

Absolutely. Working to get my daughter into my arms and trusting my body/her timing was the most empowering experience I've ever had and will probably ever have.

Q. You claim to be gluten intolerant. Isn't that whole thing a scam?
No. I get very sick when I eat anything with gluten, even trace amounts. My life is SO different since I cut it out a few years ago!

Q. What do you eat?
Real food! Grass fed meat, eggs, bone broth, good veggies, lots of green apples and nut butters. Currently obsessed with sauerkraut on EVERYTHING and hot wings. We buy the BEST wings from a local chicken farmer and Daniel makes them like twice a week. And the coolest part is that Edie eats what we eat (minus the hot sauce) and because it's good food, I feel comfortable feeding it to her. She has an excellent appetite and gets PUMPED for meat and veggies.

Q. Are you latina?
I am not. But I've been asked that my whole life.

Q. Do you love writing or photography more?
Yes. My answer is yes. I love telling stories, and I've found that's possible through both mediums.

Q. How is your marriage? 
We are pushing forward, working on ourselves and our relationship both. And things have definitely been improving! I'm sure there will be a full post on this soon.


That was fun--thanks for playing! Let me know if you have any more questions :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Breaking My Own Rules

I've always followed a strict NO CHRISTMASING UNTIL AFTER THANKSGIVING policy, but last night I took my first bath alone since Edie was born and the solitude must have gotten to my head, because I found myself choosing Christmas radio on Pandora. Bing Crosby started singing to me, and suddenly I was all in to this whole idea I've been so totally against my whole life. 

For most of my life I've enjoyed the anticipation of something exciting just as much or more than the actual exciting event, even down to silly things like saving my favorite thing on my plate until I've eaten everything else. I've never understood why everyone wants to rush from one Christmas to the next, why it seems like stores put out their holiday stuff earlier every year, but this year I get it. Sure, the decorations and the warm food and the lights and the gifts are fun, but it's the hope they represent we're all yearning for. Everyone seems a little nicer during Christmas--everything seems a little more magical. And since this year has been particularly tough for me, I'm feeling the need for that hope earlier than I usually do. Life is hard, you guys.

So I'm dreaming of all kinds of things for the holiday season and new year, including changes to this space. Is there anything in particular you'd like to read/see? Your feelings mean so much to me!