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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Quest for Simple Living; Part 1 of a Million

"The cause for most of man's unhappiness is sacrificing what he wants most for what he wants now." - Gordon B. Hinckley

Read that again. Make sure it sinks in and you understand it. This quote wandered across the pages of the book "Notes from a Blue Bike; The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World". The book is written by Tsh Oxenreider. If you have had any desire to live a more simple life. An intentional life. Read this book. This post isn't about a book report but this book found me at the most appropriate time in my life. If you've read this blog enough you know that living simply is something I crave for us as a family. But it's hard. Really hard. And I am seeing some of what is missing here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alone time

I've had a lot of time to myself lately. You'd think I'd spend it blogging but frankly I've been consumed by baby #2...full disclosure! Ha! I haven't had this much alone time since I was single and living in Chicago and it has been a little trippy. My former mentioned self would be spending this time dining out every night, mixing cocktails and popping bottles of good rose followed up by sleeping in until 10a (minimum) and then watching a Sex and the City marathon. But the reality is that I'm 35 weeks pregnant so much of those plans get squashed. Wah wah. Despite my efforts the pregnancy is catching up with me physically and I don't have quite that much energy nor could I stay up past 10pm if I wanted to. So what have I been doing?  Besides a good heaping of 'nesting' (baby laundry and organization of my home) I have been reading some amazing books, contemplating, taking long walks with the dog and thinking some more...oh and I got an amazing prenatal massage yesterday that was insane!

How did you come across this alone time you wonder? Well, the little guy has had the opportunity to spend a week with each set of grandparents and the timing couldn't be better. I miss him so much but I love that he's been getting spoiled by his grandparents. I know that in a few weeks his world is about to get rocked so this is just what he needed. My husband travels so this week he finds himself off in another city just making things happen for us although I know he'd rather be here with me.

The thing is...the idea of being alone for a week sounded pretty sweet to be honest. I had grand plans. I'd sleep in, take naps, go shopping downtown, get manis/pedis, write a gazillion blog posts and so much more. All of those things you think you'd get done if everyone wasn't around right? But the truth is it's Wednesday and while I love that I'm writing this in silence and peace with a cup of coffee I miss my family. No longer do I long for solitude. I think I actually enjoy the noise, answering little man's 500 questions about anything from what we're doing today to why chameleons can change color. I love our routine, our morning rituals, our nighttime rituals and everything in between.

If anything, this week has given me a chance to evaluate our life which needed to be done. Where are we? Where do we want to go? What do we want our life to look like? What are my career goals? How am I going to make them work with two children? Things are about to change for us with baby girl joining the crew so I know that this time of reflection and the time to make lists is now. I think I'll follow up on where I am with my thoughts about how we're living our life. I just know I feel energized and motivated to make the most of our lives.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Preoccupation with Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Aiden we spent an obscene amount of time looking at, researching and plotting what stroller and car seat system we were going to buy. We tossed and turned over which one to buy, went to this same over priced baby store in Los Angeles and looked and played with the models we were considering until finally like little bunny foo foo we were bopped on the head and realized that spending over $1,000 on a stroller/car seat contraption was bordering insanity. I'll pat myself on the back for that one. Close call. Instead, we opted for a Snap n' Go (which is brilliant by the way and costs a mere $60 or so) until almost about 9 months after the baby was born we purchased a B.O.B stroller (which I still have and still love and will use again..and it didn't cost over $1k).

This is but ONE example of the craziness that can happen when you're pregnant.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Obsessions!

I love summer! Last summer we were so lucky to get to spend a couple of solid weeks beaching it and I daydream of that again. But this summer we'll stay closer to home prepping for baby girl. However, just because we're not AT the beach doesn't mean I can't be beach ready at say...my pool or the lake right? I figure if I'm going to continue to decorate as if I have a beach house why should my wardrobe and goodies be any different?

While I love the hottest trends as much as the next gal I try to find a way to buy them on what I consider a reasonable budget. Also, I'm trying not to spend so much on myself so I can spend on my 'baby want' list (coming soon). The summer season works in my favor though because I can get a few key items and make it work all summer long. This summer with the belly I am all about hats, bags and beachy wear. Here is my Summer Essentials List! Some of these items I have in some form or another, some I plan to buy, and some I'll continue to admire from my screen.  What's on your list?

Cutest little crossbody from Target! Would be perfect for walks on the beach or festival season
Confession: I've seen similar bags that cost way more...but you can get this adorable version at Nordstrom's in the Jr. Section for a sliver of that cost. And since we're all about the weekend getaway this would be a great addition!
Oh I love this chair so much! This belongs in my 'future beach house' arsenal stat!
I'm ready for an upgrade in beach towels and this fouta beach towel from Serena & Lily needs to be mine.

I'm a hat girl! I wear a hat 5 days out of the week because they are fun, stylish and conceal a bad hair day! I have no problem investing in a great hat. This panama hat from Madewell belongs in my collection.
I think I want a Kimono just to wear around the house. If I had all the money in the world I'd buy this and everything else from Nena & Co.
However, this Kimono from Billabong is way more in my price range and just as cute!

COMFORT! You need a pair of these for any beach vacation or just to lounge at home. This pregnant momma is living in the pair below folks! AMAZING!
Hey! You gotta have SPF for the summer. I suggest trying Sun Bum. Discovered it in Clearwater, bought it in Ocean City and I'm HOOKED! It smells INSANE and it's in such a cute bottle. They also have Baby SPF too :)

What's on your summer 'want' list!? Whether it be hats or bathing suits I hope you're having a great summer so far!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Motherhood Musings

"Motherhood is a journey. My body was meant to do this. I honor the life inside of me." I listened to these words being spoken by one of my favorite yoga teachers this weekend during Shavasana in my prenatal yoga class. Truth be told I've been so excited to start this series (since I learned I was pregnant) as I've been unable to do my normal yoga routine lately and I knew I'd have an amazing teacher. Starting my Saturday with this yoga practice gave me such a renewed energy that I wish desperately I could do this every morning. I walked out of class practically clicking my heels. Yea...I like yoga by the way! Swooped into my life about 2 years ago and I'm a big believer.

Back to the words though.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Have the Best Beach Vacation Ever!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday we headed to Ocean City, Maryland over Memorial Day Weekend. My husband grew up going to this beach so it's become a part of our family tradition which I quite enjoy given my love of the beach. Ocean City is really a great beach for your family with loads of fun things to do!
Here are my Top 10 ways to have the best beach vacation ever!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

When a Hotel gets me...

Maybe it's just me in my hypersensitive state these days but customer service at many places these days is lacking. You don't get that warm and fuzzy feeling from too many businesses anymore. Not too many businesses go out of the way to make you feel like they want you or appreciate you as customers. Everyone just wants something from you all of the time. At least that is how I feel LATELY.

So it's super refreshing to visit a place where you feel the exact opposite. I have blogged about the Aloft Hotel in Asheville before but allow me to make sure you know that this is where you need to stay next time you visit Asheville.