Five Friday Finds 10/9

Happy Friday! Just a handful of things/blogs/shops/articles that I found inspiring, encouraging, or entertaining: 

1. The Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey. Disclaimer: I’ve only listened to one episode so far. Disclaimer to my disclaimer: that’s all it took for me to know that this podcast is excellent. It really is like sitting with your best girlfriends for happy hour, except that in this case your girlfriends are all the authors, bloggers, artists, and creative women you admire from around the whole internet. So you should gather the real life girlfriends you admire, and tell them to listen to this podcast with you, during happy hour. 

2. 4 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes and 3 Easy DIY Princess Costumes from Merrick’s Art. The Elsa dress! You guys! And the modest Ariel outfit! And don’t even get me started on the Kate Middleton costume – I could wear that every day of the year, not just for Halloween. 

3. “Make Room” Advent Calendar and Devotional from Naptime Diaries. I love Advent. Well, I should say, I love the idea of Advent. Don’t we all want to slow down and savor the true meaning of the Christmas season? I’m just really bad at it. This advent calendar and devotional would provide that motivation and accountability. Plus, it’s just pretty.

4. Life Lived Beautifully Fashion Week with Gretchen. I so enjoyed Gretchen’s series last week on fashion from a Biblical perspective. This post especially, Fashion and Real Life, is chock full of practical advice. Gretchen has a four month old, and I have an almost three month old, so if she can get dressed every day, I can too! She introduced me to several new ethical fashion brands that I’m excited to check out.

5. New and improved Decor and Storage Ideas for Your Dorm Room (And Other Small Spaces) Part one and Part 2. Can you believe that Pinterest wasn’t even really a thing when I first wrote those posts?! I’m almost considered old in blogging years. So this week I took some time (actually, a TON of time, like, days) to fix all the broken links and images for things that no longer existed, and added brand new thrifty decorating and storage ideas that you can try out really anywhere you need to maximize your storage or add a little flair.

That’s what I found this week! What about you? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

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White to Bright: Office Makeover Inspiration

White is so hot right now. 
Sleek, modern, pure, and accented with gold and soft pastels. As much as I admire the Scandinavian look (and Bonnie’s office above is LOVELY) that workspace just doesn’t work for me. I’d feel like I’d always need my nails done, fresh peonies, and a latte in order to work. It’s just not sustainable.
Creativity is messy! However, there’s a big difference between a messy creative process and a messy, chaotic office. Outer calm creates inner calm. You want to be more productive? Clean off your desk. And your husband’s desk? Well, turn your chair so you can’t see it. 
Here’s what our office started with: a recipe for mediocrity. Beige walls – check. Bland shaggy carpet – check. Carpet infested with cat fur – also check. Dog won’t stop peeing on said carpet because of said cat fur – check. Tearing out the carpet first thing – CHECK.
Where to even begin? 

The balance of serenity and warmth is why I tore this photo out of Better Homes and Gardens years ago. I like the productivity boosting color scheme of blues and grays with natural textures – modern, but with warmth.

I’m inspired by this living room styled by Emily Henderson. The patterned chair, gold and brass accents, contrasting colors – it’s exciting, but not overwhelming. 
Apparently, I really like patterned chairs. For my office inspiration boards, I’m going to start there, with a vintage accent chair find from Chairish
I had a hard time choosing just one vintage chair to be the focal point – this one was a close second. With the centerpiece chosen, we can build outward and make it our own. I took my inspiration in two different ways – classic and wildcard.

Style #1: Classic

For this style board, I started with the BHG photo and added the navy gallery wall from HomeDit, but I also made it more bright and colorful with light blue and yellow. 
I like the contrast of the ornate gold frames on the navy background, and the sunny Stockholm rug from Ikea repeats the shape of the mirrors and adds warmth to the floor that’s missing in the inspiration photo. While the desk doesn’t have the weathered look of the metal one, you could always rough it up with sandpaper, if you really wanted. 
The magazine files, storage baskets, and light fixture add color, texture, and well, light, to illuminate your excellent organization. As for the print, my decor philosophy is to always add a little something French. You really can’t go wrong. 

Style #2: Wildcard

Party time! These colors feel so happy. Hot pink accents punch up the energy while the pool blue of the desk chair and curtains and white desk keep things simple. The light, pillow, and table add sparkle, but the patterned chair remains the focal point. In this room, I’d use the chair and side table to make a little reading nook.
I showed both style boards to Brian, and guess which one he liked best? He said the second one doesn’t feel like an office. But maybe that’s the point – if it feels cozy and fun, we’ll want to spend more time there. 
Although I can see the hot pink being a deterrent for one of us. 
I’ll try to post update on what we’ve done since ripping out the carpet soon. 
So, what do you think? Would you pick the classic navy, blue and yellow, or go for the wildcard hot pink? 
Let me know which is your favorite in the comments below, on Instagram, or Facebook. 

Letter to Edison


I wrote this letter to Edison about ten days before he was born. It’s hard to believe he’s eleven weeks old already! Our newborn photos were taken by Sophia Brown Photography.

Today I tried to imagine how you might look – I pictured you running through a forest with sandy blonde hair and freckles. Maybe your hair has a little curl to it. If it’s red and curly like your Aunt Evi’s, I’ll thank the Lord every day. 

Maybe your hair is stick straight and brown, and your eyes are just like your daddy’s – blue and green, ever changing color. It was those eyes that made me fall in love with your daddy, you know. It was love at first sight; the first time I looked into those blue-green eyes. They stole my heart. 

You’ll have a good sense of humor, probably a little on the cheesy side, like your dad. Maybe you’ll be introverted, like me, and love writing and reading. Or you’ll inherit your dad’s ability to make friends everywhere you go. 
Maybe you’ll be the life of the party on your baseball team. Or basketball, since we already know you’ll be tall. But you know your dad has his heart set on teaching you everything he knows about baseball. You’ll also have to be a Yankees fan. We all do. 
You’ll probably be prone to moods, like your parents, and have a sensitive heart. There’s no shame in crying during movies, or at the end of a good book. Trust us.
Maybe you’ll have a bit of mommy’s temper. Or, maybe you’ll take after your dad, and take everything in stride, long-suffering and patient. Except when driving. Oh, you’ll be driving before we know it! And then we’ll really know whose child you are.
I wonder if you’ll like math, or prefer art. Maybe you’ll be a scholar, or a philosopher, or an artist. Maybe you’ll be loud and athletic and vivacious. Maybe you’ll be some combination.

You’ll be like us, and yet in your own way. 
We’ll see ourselves in you, and yet you’ll be all you, Edison.

Life Lately: Savoring the Days

There will be a week when we don’t go to the doctor! But this is not that week.

I began the week with a sore throat, and since strep has been going around … I just didn’t want to take any chances. The doctor gave me antibiotics just in case, but with as stuffy as my head feels today, I’m pretty sure it’s just a common cold, thankfully!
So, I’ve been chugging tea with honey, and taking lots of Cold-Eeze. Brian says they work for him, so I’m giving it a try. I even ate raw garlic. I hate being sick that much. It’s not for the faint of heart.
But let’s back up. Last weekend, I met my good friend and mentor for coffee. I’d think about getting together with her, and then put off sending a text. Or I’d get a text from her, and say “We need to have coffee!” but then never set a date. I finally decided this weekend I would just make it work. I felt so refreshed and encouraged afterwards!
My sister-in-law spent last weekend with us. We went to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, and I made a great discovery. I’d been having such a hard time watching Brian scarf down M&Ms in front of me (ok, so I did put them on the grocery list for him as a thank you for all the early morning feedings he does, and just generally for being a great husband) knowing that the pain a little milk protein causes Edison is not worth even one tiny M&M. But seriously folks, after a long day of taking care of a fussy baby, I just wanted some smooth chocolaty goodness to make me feel better. 
So when I tasted Stonegrindz’ samples at the farmer’s market, you better believe I bought some! Dairy-free for the win!
And those cotton candy flavors – the peanut butter and jelly one was crazy good!
Per the doctors orders at his two month appointment, we worked with Edison on sleeping in his crib instead of just his swing a few times this week. Now he’s awake…
… and now he’s out. 

He fell asleep in the time it took me to text his mom and sister-in-laws a picture of him in those pj’s. They’re a little too big still, but they belonged to his daddy when he was a baby. They must be very cozy!
Edison has not wanted to stay asleep when taking naps this week. The photo is blurry since the swing was still in motion, but this is his “I’m not going back to sleep and you can’t make me” face. 

The only time he wants to sleep it seems is when mama is holding him. That means I haven’t done much else this week, but I have photographic proof of my excuse.

Who can resist that face? (Also, apparently I really like that striped shirt!)
I will admit that I start stressing out over how little I get done every day. Our floors haven’t been mopped in who knows how long, and the bathroom is starting to look like a research study of just how remarkably grimy a bathroom can become when only two people use it (it defies logic). Every time I walk by the sticky places on the floor or see the dust on the coffee table, I think: someone should probably clean that.
My mother-in-law has this beautiful poem hanging on her bedroom wall: 

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

I also visited a daycare on Monday, and it impressed on me how little time I have left to spend just holding him as much as I want to. So the cleaning can wait.

Sirius is taking his role as nanny more seriously lately. 
But he seems to think that entitles him to special privileges. 
Guess who is sleeping through the night now! ALL OF US! With the exception of last Saturday night, after a day of being out and about and off his schedule, he’s going on about two weeks of eating between 8-10 pm, and then sleeping until between 4-6 am. 
That means someone, aka me, is now getting up for that first early morning feeding so that Brian can go work out. His half Ironman triathlon (!!!) is coming up in a couple weeks, so every extra workout counts! I have never ever been a morning person, so this is taking some getting used to. 
Edison is back to taking his reflux medicine. We’ve found that that combination of medicine plus dairy-free diet works really well, and without one or the other, after a few days Edison will start being in pain after eating and having a difficult time sleeping. And it takes at least a week for any milk product to leave my system, which is very motivational as far as keeping me from eating those M&Ms. 
On Tuesday, I’d signed up for a group clinic with the lactation consultant and a pediatric chiropractor. It was really the only thing left that I hadn’t tried. Over the weekend, breastfeeding was as excruciating as always. Then of course, I got this cold. So on Monday night, I told Brian, “I just really don’t want to go.” 
“Then don’t go.” He said. “This means you’re done, then, right?”  
“Yes, I guess I’m done.”
“Ok.” 
And that was that. Not how I wanted this to end, but I’m ready. Yes, it’s time-consuming to have to feed Edison from a bottle and then pump afterwards. And I worried for a long time about missing out on the bonding experience, but I really think we’ve bonded just fine. I worried about how much we’d also spent on procedures and consultations and felt like if I just stuck it out a little longer, maybe it would work out. But I finally decided that enough was enough. Enough money, enough doctor appointments, and enough pain and frustration, on both my part and Edison’s. 
I know some people who stuck it out for four months, and others who’ve told me if they had half of the issues I’ve had, they would have quit a long time ago. Ultimately, I know that now is the right time to stop for us. I plan to try again with the next baby, should God give us one! 
Whew. That was really hard to share! I honestly didn’t think when I started sharing our post-baby troubles that this would be the conclusion, but it didn’t feel honest to not write it. 
On a lighter note, I had a post-baby first today. While I was pumping, the doorbell rang. I turned and saw the pest control guy standing there, and I remembered in a flash that they were coming to spray our house TODAY. I got unhooked from the machine in record time! 
And that’s life lately! Thanks for reading!