Thursday, December 7

Putting ourselves first when we need it most


     Hey there fam. Before I get into it I just want to clarify that these photos were taken by my dear friend Xan way before I started showing, but in thinking about what I wanted to touch on tonight they seemed appropriate to use anyways:)

     I wrote a post on instagram about how whenever I feel extra stressed or anxious or overwhelmed how I go into 'hermit mode' and just hide out until it passes, and of course (as with most things I mention struggling with) there were tons of you that said you do the same thing when those feelings hit you. Not a big surprise there:) This last week was one of those times. Everything I'm behind on and dealing with started to pile up in my brain and started a spiral of my not being able to keep up, not being equipt to handle the house and the kids and work and laundry and bills etc while making a baby and working carefully with all the emotions of the holidays. Now that I'm on my way back out a bit I just wanted to talk about how I try to handle those tough days a bit better. :)

     Self-care and self-love are things that I've only really discovered existed this last year, let alone started to try to learn or practice, and the couple of times I've talked about them here there are always so many of you that express similar feelings of having never really thought about those as important things. It's been hard to write posts on this topic though, because I feel like I have SO much to say and so many ideas to share that I get overwhelmed with it all and just decide not to write anything if I can't make it perfect. You guys do that too right? haha

     Anyways, here are a few simple ways to practice self-care on those days when you need it most:

This is the time to do something for yourself that helps you put yourself first. The default is to always put our needs and desires last, but not when we're struggling. Whatever it might be, pick something that you've been putting off that is just for your benefit. Personally I really love a quiet errand run (yes I'm a mom.haha) or the classic bath in a dim bathroom can really do the trick. Just something that reminds you to take a few deep breaths and relax.

It might sound crazy cliche, but really sitting back and going over all the ways that your life really is beautiful will do wonders for your attitude. Think about all the ways your life could be so much worse, and reminding yourself of the positive things. Having a long-term perspective helps you focus on what really matters in the grand scheme of things instead of everything that feels so wrong or messed up or overwhelming right at this moment.

Oftentimes we take on many issues and problems that aren't responsibility, and it becomes way too much. So many of us are 'fixers' and we want to help others or solve issues that aren't really ours to solve, and the added stress and pressure we put on ourselves is just not necessary. It's important to look at what really is weighing us down and decide to put ourselves first. We need to be better at saying no, and we need to be better at setting boundaries and sticking to them.

Oftentimes when we feel stressed out the first instinct is to feel guilty for not being grateful for what we do have, and yes while it's a good mindset focus on the good and to stay out of those pits of overwhelm, those feelings are perfectly natural and normal. Don't let yourself feel worse about everything by telling yourself that you shouldn't feel that way, just tell yourself that you're in a tunnel not a hole, and that if you take it one step at a time that you'll see the opening at the other end soon.

     Well like I said I have tons more that I want to keep going on about, but I really need to work harder at just sharing some thoughts and wrapping it up before I write a whole novel.haha In closing though I'd really love for you to share if you've been working on self-care or self-love more lately, and if you've found any specific things that really help you take a step back and breath:)


Friday, December 1

Holiday Decor Inspiration

     Hey friends, thanks for visiting! I've been sharing little clips of the house on my IG stories as we've been slowly pulling out and putting up our decorations, and I've been getting so many questions about where I get things and my inspiration, so I thought I'd share a few photos from my December Pinterest board that I've been using for ideas:)

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     December is such a beautiful month! There's a fire crackling in the next room and I'm perched on the couch facing our newly lit tree in the corner, shaking my head thinking about what a circus it was to just get the lights on it.haha The last few years have been a bit of a struggle getting into a routine, but as the kids have been so young it hasn't really mattered. At any rate, they're all at such fun ages now and things feel more official and magical around here with the tree up! Ellie said this morning that every day lately feels like a holiday because of the decorations and the treats and the traditions, etc, and she's right. It really is the most wonderful time of the year:) 
     Anyways, I've clearly been inspired by rustic simplicity and all things sweet and soft (have you Seen the holiday collection by Chip and Joanna Gaines?!) so come follow along if you're on Pinterest too, and if you feel like leaving a link to your favorite holiday pin or board in the comments I'd love to check them out!

I look forward to sharing inspirations with each other:)

Monday, November 20

Holiday Fashion - Jane For A Day

I am partnering with for this post. I was provided with product and compensation but as always, all words and opinions are my own.
   Hello loves. It's the start of Thanksgiving week and I hope this post finds you all well and keeping as calm as possible with the impending holiday! I've tried my best lately (but this month especially) to keep gratitude as a constant theme in our home and in our family activities, and it's certainly worked its way into my to-do lists and onto my social media and blog as well. So here today, I'm happy to share a little info about a great company with wonderful people that I'm very thankful for:
I've been close with the people at Jane since my very first blog conference ages ago, and I've used and included products I've purchased in giveaways and posts here on my blog for many years because I just love what they do and how they do it. Also, I have to add that right after my husband Martin passed away, the sweet people at Jane hosted a fundraiser at their headquarters to help the kids and I with expenses.  Their generosity and kindness meant so much to us.

    I say this all the time (because it's extremely important to me as a trusted source and as a person), but out of the hundreds of products that we all use in a day and all the businesses that contact me, I only choose companies and brands to partner with that either 1) I’ve personally used and loved for years, 2) have a great mission statement or way of giving back, 3) are run by people that I know and trust, or 4) are providing something that makes lives easier and more enjoyable that will bring my family and others closer together. meets all of those criteria for me!

    Basically, I think of them as a big online marketplace with hundreds of sales going on from other companies that range from fashion and accessories to furniture and decor to children's' clothing and on and on. The most exciting part though is that they're constantly adding new items from new online sellers as well as brick and mortar shops every 72 hours (and with prices that are just too great to pass up!). Just about every day, I find myself scrolling through the sneak peeks and saving items that I'd love for myself or for Richard or as gifts for others, and pretty much every order ends up including items for the whole family. :)

    One of the best things about in my opinion, is that because it's set up as a platform for smaller businesses to showcase their products to a massive audience, they're constantly helping to empower women by giving these passionate entrepreneurs some excellent visibility for their brand to a large audience. As a work-at-home-mom myself, I love seeing all the friends and family on my social media that are promoting a product they love while also hustling in so many other areas of their lives, and truly is an amazing vehicle for so many women (mostly:)) to encourage them and their brands to grow and flourish.


       It's really rewarding to scroll through the items on or on their app and think that each product comes from a different seller that has a passion for what they do (and probably a family to help support), and to know that every purchase made is going to ‘real’ people like me and my tribe.haha On my last purchase, I bought this beautiful lace dress for the holidays (not originally maternity:)) as well as the comfiest body pillow for my growing bump, a new pair of Bluetooth headphones (since mine broke recently), some shorts for my girls, a beautiful custom necklace with little peanut added to the family, a beard shaping tool for Richard, the best Friends shirt ever, a beautiful gift for the kids teachers, and a few other favorites!
Product photos courtesy of

Ok, so this is exciting too!  I’m honored that is featuring me and some of my favorite picks on their site this week along with the items chosen by from Classy Clutter, my girl Simply Sadie Jane and J’s Everyday Fashion. Now you can look through items I've chosen as well as others that I've been saving to my favorites.  (Don’t forget, these are only available for 72-96 hours depending on the item so, if you see something you like, carpe diem!)

    Oh, and one more fun thing -- you won’t want to miss out on joining in a big giveaway from They're giving away $3000 in shop credit (just in time for those holiday orders) to one grand prize winner and 25 runner ups.  Check out all of the details for the giveaway here.

    Alrighty I think that’s it for today? Haha Thanks so much for visiting and for reading, and be sure to check back in again tomorrow because I’m on a roll here lately! It feels great hanging out more regularly with you guys and to be able to answer more of your questions, etc. I love the feeling of things slowing down and getting quieter, and as this little lady and I enter our third trimester, I can’t think of a better way to do it than to commit to spending more time reclined back with my laptop propped on my lap, typing away:)

    Have a great rest of your week gang!

Friday, November 17

The start of a quiet Winter

     Oh gang, this is such an exciting and peaceful time. This is the week our quiet winter officially begins! I woke up this morning to falling snow outside with today being the last day of school before Thanksgiving, and once the older kids get home there will be a big deep breath and inner sigh of relief. 
     Our Summer was full and sweet, with just the right amount of traveling and exploring as a family, seeing new sights and old friends, slowing paddling down rivers, and sleeping under the stars. It was just enough that when the first chilly weather hit I wasn't sad, even though I love the warmth and freedom of Summertime. I felt satisfied and happy and ready for the next season ahead. 

     Fall seemed busier and a bit more stressful with a couple big trips and more deadlines to meet, etc, but it also brought many happy moments that are are happy memories now, and as I look forward to tonight I'm thinking of all the ways we will fill up this new season with rest and peace, investing more than ever in our family and our little life, and taking all the time we need to get things done.

     I know that many of you share my excitement for what's ahead, even if the chilly wind and dangerous roads, etc, can make Winter intimidating. But this season is really a period of time to slow down and shift our mindset to what's really important, and what we really want out of the upcoming year. We can take extra care of ourselves and our people, we can rest and recover and refocus on our personal well-being; mind, body, and spirit.
     Those are some of my plans and I hope you'll make some of your own:) Look forward to making this next season about building yourself up mentally, physically, and spiritually. Make less commitments, put the most important people in your life absolutely first. Read more, stretch every day, drink more water and make better food choices. Say no more often, it'll be fine I promise:) Stop making excuses. Think about December of 2018, instead of the coming January. Don't think about how you want to start out your year with unrealistic expectations of yourself, but think instead about how you want to end it. Plan to take it easier on yourself. Buy less and save more. Do more yoga this Winter. Listen to calming music. Take lots of deep breaths throughout the day, and just slow down. 

     Slow down.

     I plan on sharing how all of this goes for me. How I fit it all in, what my schedule is like, where I like to shop to save on groceries, and what traditions we're passing onto the kids through this time of gratitude and giving. I also want to share books on my reading list, what songs are stuck in my head, what words I tell myself in the early light of day to help me stay positive, how I'm working at staying active, and how I'm finally learning to love myself. I want to share more about pain and grief, and about mental illness, and I want to make typing a much bigger priority moving forward.

     So, join me in stepping quietly into this next season, and start moving your life towards what you dream it could be, one little step at a time. Investing time into self-love is telling yourself that you're worth it, and that you have more to give than you might have otherwise thought, and we all need that I think.

      Thanks so much for visiting friends,