For Bailey / Lately

 

     Hi there! February's short, so that means it's already time for another Bailey, Lately update!

Bailey, Lately:

- is basically not napping anymore. She'll have the random late afternoon one once or twice a week, but other than that, it is nonstop toddler time from dawn til dusk!

- can draw smiley faces. Like an actual smiley face! She draws them over and over again, saying who each one is.

- has also been coloring within lines fairly well. She obviously can't get marker perfectly inside a shape, but she definitely will fill each shape and not just scribble all over a page now.

- is starting to count on her fingers. We've been teaching her that she's two and holding up two fingers, which she just mastered. She can do three easily, but holding down that extra finger to make two took her awhile to get the hang of.

- speaking of two, Bailey will be three in about two weeks. Don't even get me started on how fast time flies, and all of that jazz.

- is a big fan of Horizon Organic Honey Graham Crackers. As is my duty as mom, I've tried them out myself and can understand the obsession. They are mighty tasty!

- is about to finish up her winter activity of gymnastics. We will continue it in the fall, when it's time to head indoors again, but now that spring is basically here, we want to get her involved in outdoor activities! Most likely, it will be soccer (her Dad is a skilled player).

- can't get enough of the aforementioned warm weather. It's meant parks mostly for her, and that is her happy place. Any place that has a slide and she's there!

     That's all, folks! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! 

To Adventure / Winter Park Time

 

     Hi there! A couple of weekends back, it was 60 degrees in the dead of winter (and we've had and are due for more days like this since!), and we couldn't not take advantage of this rarity. We bolted to the park with Bailey, had a picnic, and just enjoyed getting outside when everyone is usually hunkered down in their homes. I snapped some pics, of course, and wanted to share those today!

     Bailey had a blast, as per usual, and loved soaking in some sun. Slides are her favorite, although we are constantly working on the fact that you can't go up the slide, only down.

     See what I mean? LOL

      The park wasn't too packed, as it's kind of an off the radar one, compared to the other well-known and trafficked parks around town. Bailey doesn't seem to mind when it's busy though, as she's always interested in what other people are doing. 

     She always tries this rock-wall, and has finally semi-grasped the concept of it. She doesn't quite have the fine motor skills yet to get very high, but she just loves trying!

     Since it's supposed to be even warmer this upcoming weekend, you can bet we will head out at least once to a park. Letting Bailey scramble around for an hour is the best break from doing laps around our house.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Do / Decorate with Nature

 
IMG_8869.jpg

      Hi there! A fun way to decorate seasonally is to bring the outside in, and it's super simple to do in an organic way. I couldn't resist bringing home some pine tree trimmings when we chopped our Christmas tree down! They add the perfect touch of wintery greenery to our backdoor (shown above).

      Another thing you can do is use the textured twigs from your front yard! As you know, we used one in this wall hanging, and it looks just rustic enough. 

      Then, you can always gather some dried foliage and greenery. I love the muted green color, and can't be happy with a room without it!  

       My favorite bundle is in a recycled glass milk jug, which also adds to the natural look.  

      I hope these tips inspire you to decorate with nature! It's brought a breath of fresh air to not-so-dreary season. Have a great weekend everyone! 

To Do / Fika

 

      Hi there! This winter, I decided to look into how the people in the far north (i.e. the Nordic countries, Canada, Alaska) endure long and frigid winters. I figured, if they can be happy during that tough of a season, then surely I could implement the same principles in our much more mild and insignificant winters. Last month we talked about the Danish concept hygge, and today I want to introduce the Swedish Fika. 

      Fika isn't purely a winter concept, as the Swedes do this year round. However, it's a great self care technique, and promotes mindfulness, which I think are essential to dredging through winter. Fika is basically an afternoon stop. Typically, people will get a coffee and a yummy treat, and then sit down and enjoy it, just to take a break from their day. As if I need another excuse to drink coffee, right? I'll take any opportunity to sit back and relax with a cup of joe, and now that I can put a name to it, it's carries a little more weight. Take some time this afternoon, and have yourself a Fika! It is Friday, after all. Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! 

For Reading / February

 

      Good morning! Have you all ever heard of the Slavic performance artist Marina Abramovic? She's considered the "grandmother" (she's currently 70) of performance art, gaining notoriety in the 60's + 70's for her avant garde approach to the art form. Her fame subsided a bit in the 90's and early 2000's, until 2010, the year she introduced the wildly popular MoMA exhibit in New York titled "The Artist is Present". The exhibit consisted of Marina sitting in a chair at a table, with an empty chair placed directly across from her. She sat for 750 hours total, over the course of just under two full months in the museum. The performance was interactive, Abramovic having instructed patrons to form a line and one by one come sit across from her at the table, wherein she would then look up at each person and stare into their eyes. Some cried, some got angry, and some were overjoyed, but the exercise was employed in complete silence.

       Thousands upon thousands of fans and museum-goers visited the exhibit, which also included a retrospective of her most famous pieces from 40 years before, including celebrities and personal friends of Abramovic. Then, the making and duration of this show was made into a documentary aptly titled "The Artist is Present". This is when I discovered her work, as Columbia hosts an annual film festival, and one of my assignments for an art class was to go see my choice of a film at the festival and then write a report on it. I loved the documentary, and the insight into one of the most daring artists in recent history was fascinating, because artists are typically so aloof, as they prefer for their art to speak for them. I re-watched the documentary again when it came out on Netflix (I think it's still on there), and still found it just as interesting. 

     Finally, a few months back, I found out that Marina was publishing an auto-biography. I had to have it. It immediately went on my Christmas list (thanks mom and dad!), and this month, it's our book of choice! Fair warning: Abramovic's pieces almost always included nudity and some form of violence, and even reading about some of the performances is hard. They were extreme, and intentionally so, as she liked to push the audiences out of their comfort zones. The only other performance artist I can compare her to is Yoko Ono when she presented her "Cut Piece" in the same era.

     That being said, I'm already one hundred pages in, and I'm hooked. If you can get past the telling of uncomfortable situations, then the book is humorous and enjoyable, letting Marina's personality shine through. Let's have an awesome, book-filled February!

To Get Cozy

 

     Good morning! I thought it'd be nice to share a few tips on getting cozy today, in the name of hygge. Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is the Danish concept of coziness. It has no literal English translation, it's just the word they have for getting comfortable + cozy indoors during the winter. When it's dark and cold most of the winter, they find a way to enjoy it through hygge. Most ways of infusing hygge into your winter experience include a lot of blankets and sweaters, some glogg (Scandinavian mulled wine, recipe coming soon!), and enjoying time with friends and family around a fire. Idyllic, no? For me, my hygge includes all of those things, but also a couple more!

     I find that a pallet of pillows to go along with the massive amounts of blankets is extra comforting. Also, you can take it further and make a blanket fort! This isn't a super rare occurrence in our toddler-occupied household. It's a fun way to bring children into the hygge concept.

       Another addition you can make is good scents. I like essential oils and candles, but incense is always welcome as well! There's nothing like a comforting scent to bring you into the hygge mood.

      Lastly, BOOKS. There's not a time where getting cozy isn't improved by a good book. They go together like bread and butter! Give me all of the books!

     Thanks for reading, and have a cozy Wednesday!

To Observe / Bailey, Lately

 

     Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent a lot of ours indoors, waiting for an ice storm that never came. Bailey does surprisingly well during the winter, having not yet accessed the infallible energy that unlocks around age four. She's slowly building said energy up, but it's not too much to where she goes insane when confined to l'intérieur. However, this doesn't mean she isn't up to something at almost all times. Look below for what Bailey's been getting into, lately. 

Bailey, Lately:

- is officially a little gymnast! We've been to two classes so far, and its visible that she is slowly coming out of her shell.

- just keeps expanding her inner dictionary, further and further. One of her favorite things to ask is "what's this?". This question was posed yesterday, in reference to a piece of red fuzz. It surprisingly wasn't the easiest thing to explain to a two year old, as they don't realize that small fibers make up materials, yet. I did my best though!

- has also improved on her diction and grammar. She's started to form actual sentences, and speaks much more concisely than in the past couple of months. My job as interpreter isn't as in demand as before!

- is really starting to take more to drawing and coloring, thanks to the addition of her easel from my parents for Christmas! (Thanks mom and dad, she's really loving it!) The dry erase markers are especially her favorite.

- eats and eats and eats. She was one of those toddlers who seemed to have mostly no interest in food, because she was just too busy to care. Now, though, she's realized that food is delicious, and eats regularly. Her favorites at the moment are these sneaky chicken nuggets that (shh!) contain pureed veggies in addition to chicken. I tried some myself and they are better than most regular chicken nuggets, which makes both of us happy.

- just gets sweeter and sweeter. She openly gives kisses and hugs, and has been cuddling more once she's sleepy. I also taught her "I love you" and she hasn't quite gotten the pronunciations right, but it's close and just melts my heart when I can get her to say it.

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

 

To Find Something Natural / January

 

     Good morning! This month's natural product is a necessity. Shampoo can be an iffy subject for people, mostly because they never really do what the bottle says. Typically promising volume, curl enhancement, dandruff relief, etc., a shampoo will usually work once (the first time you use it) and then your texture will go back to what it was before. This is because hair shafts literally get used to the product, much like skincare products and different workouts will stop having an effect once the body adapts and adjusts. It's the shock that you need! That being said, shampoos are also sometimes the most chemical filled, and it's just plain unnecessary.

     Enter: this organic herbal shampoo from Avalon Organics. I typically am after a clarifying shampoo, one that will keep my hair clean and simple. I'm also partial to rosemary, so this volumizing edition is perfect!

     It has somehow thickened my hair quite a bit, especially at the roots. I think people forget that before the invention of modern day chemical filled products, people miraculously used natural things to stay clean (by those days standards, of course). Herbs have always been effective for bodily use, and I see no reason to divert from that. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

For Reading / January

 

     Good morning! January's book of the month is Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole. It is a collection of essays ranging on various topics such as art, people, and historical moments. I've been a fan of short stories and essays for awhile now, and have already dove in to this tome. So far, so good!

      It's hard to call this collection "short stories", because they are mainly non-fictional observations made by Cole. I much prefer the term essays. I also love that this is a new book, having been written in 2016. Cole got his start as a blogger, and published his first chapters in a serial on said blog. It's interesting to see how he weaves in modern day influences, such as Twitter and how he still doesn't grasp what Snapchat is, into his observations.

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday! Now, go crack open a book!

For a Weekend Recap

 

     Hi there! This weekend was a fun one, comprised of projects and friends. First though, there was, as always, lots of reading. Look out for January's book of the month this week!

     Then, there was baking. I made bread, and it was one of my better decisions this weekend. After the bread, there was New Years. I don't particularly put a lot of stock in resolutions, but I never can resist a goal list opportunity! I just don't rely on a new year to make those goals. Anyways, New Years was fun and we ate way too much Mexican food, and stayed up way too late!

     Lastly, we had a peaceful Sunday of rest. I did try something new on the first day of the year though, and that was making Beeswax candles, which you guessed it, are coming to the blog soon! I can't wait to share all of the fun projects I've been working on for this season Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

For Pinning / December

 

      Hi there! This month's pins all seem to have a common thread of light tones. During the winter, and the darkness it brings, I guess it makes sense to pine for lightness. Ironically, the washed out color of a constantly overcast sky is what creates the clear but dramatic light in most of these pins. It's a light that's soft, compared to direct sunlight, and it's one of those silver linings that are a constant companion in the winter months. In the months ahead, I hope to put that soft light to good use in creating images for this space. Read on to see my favorite pins from the month of December!

408072f0033855e711b2159c9476edd1.jpg

      I specifically pinned this outfit because I asked for a black floral maxi dress for Christmas (and received one, thanks mom and dad!), and have been pinning ways to style it. As long as I end up looking half as cool as this in mine, I'm good.

294f79bb52e69b703be4e177b487d3bd.jpg

       Like I said above, I've been very drawn to light tones lately, and the allure of bringing that into decor is no exception. This bedroom is #goals.

     This packaging, and it's simplicity, is my new inspiration for homemade products. Amber glass everything!

     I'm still just hoping for enough snow to go frolic in, rationality and hatred of cold be damned!

     Just so everyone knows, I am on the side of people who leave their indoor lights up year round. I just can't bear to put them away when they make our living room so magical in the evenings throughout the year!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

Over the Weekend

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to share a few snaps from our holiday weekend, today. We ventured south to Arkansas on Friday to see my parents, and it was just the nicest treat to get to go home, even if only for an evening.

      This is one of the gifts my parents got me! It's basically my dream bag, from Forever 21. Thanks mom and dad!!

      Bailey always loves going to my parents house, as my parents are pretty fun to be with, and the splendors of my childhood play room don't hurt either!

      After getting back to Columbia just in time for Christmas Eve, we visited the "Magic Tree". A local Columbia resident decorates this tree every year with thousands of lights, and it's one of the biggest holiday attractions in town. Bailey was mesmerized and didn't want to leave!

       For the main event of Christmas Morning, we decided to stay at home, just us three. Bailey started to understand, just a little bit, that this weekend was special and that some guy named Santa exists. We figured now is as good a time as any to take on that role, and set up a tower with her new blocks, placed a Spongebob nonchalantly under the tree (he looked very relaxed there), and brought out the easel my parents gifted her so that Santa could leave her a Merry Christmas message.

     All in all, it was a busy, but significant weekend, and it couldn't have been more special. Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday!

To Welcome Winter!

 
IMG_8249.JPG

     Good morning! It's the first day of the winter solstice! I know it's not as exciting as the start of the summer solstice, but sometimes in life you have to make things fun just to get through them, and winter falls under that category. Today, I wanted to share a few ideas to ring in winter and get people (+ toddlers!) excited for the months to come.

Tips for Welcoming Winter:

- make a ton of hot cocoa and curl up with a classic winter-ish book (i.e. anything Dickens, Little Women, Wuthering Heights)

- have a craft session, focusing on a seasonal craft, with your little one. Bailey and I made something last weekend, coming to the blog soon!

- if you've gotten some snow, get out and enjoy it! Make a snowman and go tobogganing! Trust me it's fun. 

- drive around and look at Christmas Lights. We do this on Christmas Eve, but it's a great way to add some sparkle to winter.

- make some soup! There's nothing like a warm batch of soup when it's frigid out. Look out for a yummy Cauliflower edition soon!

- take a moment and reflect on what the start of winter means for you. For me, it means the start of a new year, and I'm a sucker for new and fresh opportunities. You could say I'm excited for this season!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For a Gift Guide / Her

 

      Hi there! For the last gift guide, I have some amazing options for your s/o, bff, mom, or any female in your life! I personally have asked for a few of these things myself, but all of them are good choices and should be received well. Check out the products below!

1. Face masks are still all the rage, and this one with calendula + turmeric is the best organic option for all skin types.

2. For the frequent farmer's market shopper, this fair trade handmade basket is a dream come true!

3. This book is basically the bible for all things seasonal and natural. It's at the top of my wishlist for the new year!

4. For something luxurious, look no further than Everlane's beautiful Spanish made pouches. The gold option is my personal favorite, but any of the colors would be a winner!

http://www.shoppigment.com/collections/sweet/products/mast-chocolate-bar-master-vanilla

http://www.shoppigment.com/collections/sweet/products/mast-chocolate-bar-master-vanilla

5. You all know how I feel about Mast Brothers design, but the actual chocolate is so quality that anyone would appreciate a bar.

https://society6.com/product/a-wes-anderson-collection_print#s6-2513189p4a1v45

https://society6.com/product/a-wes-anderson-collection_print#s6-2513189p4a1v45

6. Anything Wes Anderson is always a good choice, but this art print takes the cake!

To Have Traditions

 

     Good morning! I just wanted to share a few of our Christmas traditions today, from both my family and Bretts. We are kind of combining them this year, to do Christams morning at our house for the first time, just us 3. Bailey actually recognizes Santa now, so we figured this year is a good year to start the whole Santa shindig. Check out how we celebrate Christmas below! 

Traditions: 

1. As you all know, we go Christmas tree shopping every year, at a tree farm. Bretts family has done this forever, and so have I with my dad growing up. It was the most comforting thing to continue ot of all the traditions!

2. Columbia has a Magic Tree that's covered in lights, which all Columbians flock to this time of year. We go on Christmas Eve every year, and it's the most gorgeous thing. Expect some photos of it after Christmas! 

3. My family and I always made cookies for Santa, and set them out along with carrots for the reindeer. I want to start that up this year with Bailey, with one caveat: chocolate sugar cookies instead of regular. Sugar cookies are not Santas cup of tea around here, but Santa sure does love anything chocolate! 

4. Lastly, my dad always read us 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, animatedly so, every Christmas Eve before we went to bed. I plan to hunt down a copy ASAP, and attempt a reading like my dads. Our book won't be antique from the 60's (am I close on that mom?) with all of it's pretty illustrations, but it's the ambiance that counts!  

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Friday! 

For an Adventure / Christmas Tree Shopping

 

      Good morning! Just wanted to share our photos from picking out the Christmas tree today! Kristen took a few of these, like the one above, and I just love them. We didn't send out a Christmas Card this year, but if we did, the one above would be perfect!

     The tree farm is always so pretty. Sometimes, I wish it would snow when we go, because there's nothing prettier than a tree farm blanketed in snow. However, I'm aware of the driving difficulties of snow, so I'm only half sad it didn't happen.

      Bailey's quite the little rascal when we go to places like this. I think she gets the sense that it's a fairly safe place for her to run around, so she tries, but there are tree stumps everywhere. She gets wary of those darn things pretty quickly!

     The barn here is just too cool! If I had to live in a barn or on a farm with one, this would be ideal.

     Seeing stacks of logs everywhere during the winter is the best. It reminds me of ours at my home in Arkansas, where my sisters and I used to spot frogs, lizards, and even a baby bunny one rare time.

      This is probably my favorite picture. Bailey only sat here for about five seconds, but it was long enough for Kristen to snap Mommy and Me photo gold.

     I may or may not have taken a few souvenirs from the farm. Small pine branches make the cutest decorations around the house, and happen to smell amazing too!

     Brett's parents picked out a huge 8ft. tree for their house, and Bailey was pretty entertained watching her grandpa and dada cut it down and haul it to the truck.

      It's their tradition to have Brett do a lot of the work, but at this point, I don't think he minds so much. He's always the person who likes having a job to do.

     That's all folks! I'm so happy I get to continue this tradition that my dad passed down to me with Bailey. She really loves it, hopefully just as much as I do. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For a Gift Guide / Him

 

     Good morning! Today, I'm sharing my second gift guide, which features products for the gents. I've had my eye on a couple of these for Brett, but all of them would most likely be received well! Check out the guide below!

1. This book from the folks at Kaufmann Mercantile covers how to do anything random you could think of. I plan to steal this from Brett ASAP!

2. Brett is a big fan of Mancala, and I figured it's high time we have a set of our own that isn't on the iPad. Maybe I'll figure out how to play the darn game better in person instead of on the screen!

3. I've never met a guy that doesn't like slippers, and the print on this pair from American Eagle is very cool.

4. I'm so glad they finally made one of these for guys, and it basically has all of the same items, just not in scary girly packaging (fake horror face). Like men don't also have mini emergencies all of the time? Uh ya, every guy needs this just as much as every girl does, myself included!

5. Harry's Razors are top of the line, and the design is on par with the razors themselves. Classic, cool, and essential. Need I say more?

6. If you are going big or going home, this is the perfect speaker for the dude in your life. Bose always makes quality products, and this sleek but fun bluetooth speaker is no exception!

To Find Something Natural / Herbal Facial Steam

 

     Hi there! This months natural product is this organic facial steam from No Tox Life. It consists of dried herbs and flowers that you immerse in hot water to create a floral steam. 

      All you do is hold your face over it with a towel creating a tent for the steam. It cleanses and opens your pores to nourish your skin with the herbs and flowers! 

     When I first did it, it was a little hard for someone so impatient to hold my face there for a full five minutes, but it was worth it! Afterwords, my skin felt fresh and clean. The amazing smell from the florals didn't hurt either! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Sunday! 

For a Bucket List / Winter

 

      Good morning! I'm sharing my winter bucket list with you all today, so here goes!  

Bucket List / Winter: 

1. Go sledding (if the snow we've been getting would stick!). 

2. Make soup. I have a cauliflower version planned that will be on the blog next month! 

3. Explore in the snow! If the roads permit, I want to tek over to one of Columbus's nature spots and explore it blanketed in snow.

4. Bake Christmas cookies. We are doing Christmas morning at our own house this year, with just us three, so I want to start my own family traditions, like baking cookies for Santa, with Bailey this year! 

5. Pick out a Christmas tree. We already accomplished this! Woo!

6. Purchase a Christmas record. Also already accomplished! You can bet it's been spinning constantly since said purchasing. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend!