Straight Out Of: The Secret Garden

If you’re a long time reader of the blog, you know I love to put together a good “Straight out of…” post. (You can see them all here!) One of the best parts of reading a great book or getting lost in a movie or TV show is letting it transport you to another place and time, and I love gathering modern inspiration from some of my favorite literary and cinematic escapes.

PicMonkey Collage

Did you read or watch The Secret Garden when you were a kid? It captured my imagination from start to finish, from the closed off rooms with hidden keys and silver backed hair brushes, to the locked door to a whole blossoming world.

I still dream of a wild English garden of my own, but until that day comes, here are a few little things to bring you to your wild garden in the moors, even if just for a little while.

White garden dress, key pendant, beautiful vanity setup, lemon lavender loaf cake, flower headband

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Distressed zinc pot with pleated saucer, wine barrel swinglayered chiffon skirt, Origins rose clay mask, Secret Garden coloring book

Currently: June

Recently Collage

1. Erin Boyle writes a gorgeous piece on evenings on her Brooklyn rooftop after the kids are in bed.

2.  Some aspirational mudrooms over here.

3. What happens inside men as they balance life and work and what society expects them to value most.

4. Hanan is killing it with her casual style, something much more difficult to achieve than fantastic formal style.

5. Is there anything more appetizing than rose gold birks?

6. This is the drugstore concealer I’m loving these days! The sponge applicator is super gentle on the fragile skin under the eyes and the coverage is great.

7. Such a fresh, springy print.

 

Motherhood

Jacket photo via Ingrid and Isabel

Some things about new motherhood surprised me. I was not prepared for those first shell shocked weeks, for the sense of suspended time, or how fragile I felt without my big belly anchoring me to solid ground. I somehow didn’t expect the hours of sifting through the Internet, a search history revolving around sleep habits, ounces of breast milk, and—guiltily—postpartum wardrobes.

Before the baby arrived, I loved him, in that hypothetical way that you love someone you have never met but whose kicks you count diligently each day. I wasn’t prepared for the warm, wet body they placed in my arms, for that primal connection: “Oh, it’s you”.  Before the birth, I wanted to beg my husband, “Even when the baby comes, still love me first”. But as soon as I knew him, that small face and bright eyes, I knew that we are nothing more than in his service, at least for this moment.  This is an unfathomable love.

Before the birth I thought this would be easier. I thought the baby would be a lovely plus one in our solid life. Now nothing is solid and a primal love overcomes any “me” who came before. I don’t always recognize myself, and it doesn’t bother me. I’m too busy running to keep up with my little boy, three months old and demanding every ounce of me, every drop of milk, every tender hug, every smile and song I can provide. I have never been this needed, this strung out, this elated, this delicate. I’ve never been this strong, this emotional, this unsure, this instinctual. Nothing I am or have seems to hold much value in the face of this little person entrusted to our care. I cannot remember ever being this fulfilled.

But I worry all the time. I worry how we will rediscover ourselves, how we’ll find balance in this whirling new world. Where do I find time for my marriage, my creativity, my silent thoughts, when all I can think of is the next gummy smile, the next weight milestone. When just keeping this baby thriving takes every ounce of my vitality. I sit awake after a 2am feeding, scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, trying to find in the quiet apartment a trace of what was before and what should be next.

I am surprised at my capacity for single minded, fierce love. I am surprised that I can keep up. I am afraid to fall behind, to miss a vital signal in my baby’s face, to lose myself irrevocably in this holy, ecstatic calling. I am suddenly everything but also nothing at all.

Somehow I get us out of the house. Somehow I wear makeup. Somehow my voice and touch bring a sweet smile to his tiny mouth. Sometime soon I’ll figure all of this out, or I won’t , but my days right now are too full and this child too precious to give it more than a passing thought.

Back Again: Denim Dresses

If you grew up in the 90s, you remember all the denim. Jean skirts, denim overalls, jumpers and vests. It was on TV, it was in your closet, and it was on your third grade teacher. And we loved every minute of it.

And now it’s back! From throwback styles to voluminous minimalist silhouettes, denim accessorizes beautifully. Here are some modest styles that layer like a dream. Keep scrolling for ideas for accessories, too !

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A, B, C

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A, B, C

striped top, nail cuff, textured scarf

oversized watch, ditsy print scarf, saddle bag

suede boots, leather sneakers, rose gold sneakers

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One Little Word: 2017

abundance

Ali Edwards trademarked the amazing “One Little Word” idea/movement about ten years back, and it has only gained traction with scrapbookers and other creative types since then. Ali says:

In 2006 I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life. My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open, thrive, give, and whole. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They’ve been embedded into who I am and into who I’m becoming. They’ve been what I’ve needed most (and didn’t know I needed). They’ve helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.

Have you every chosen one word as a way of setting your intentions for the year ahead? In the past I have chosen a phrase to focus on, a personal sacred reminder for myself. Last year, I discovered the image below. I was wrestling with decisions about change, consumed by fear and anxiety, and I found it so freeing to be given permission to not let fear stop me. So fear came along for the ride that year.

do-it-afraid

For the past few months, my focus has been on a new word, one that is guiding me through my everyday life, my personal goals, and my preparation for the birth of my baby in February. “Abundance” embodies everything I am aspiring to this year. Here are a few of the ideas and affirmations that this word summons for me.

  • Abundance: I have more than enough. I am blessed with a life brimming with love, support and grace. I have a beautiful home and space to welcome others into my life. I am surrounded by things I value and lack for nothing.
  • Abundance: There is more than enough in this world for all of us. There are very few real urgencies. There are resources and time enough for everyone.
  • Abundance: My body holds so much more strength and power than I know. I have more than enough within me already for everything I want to do.
  • Abundance: We each have endless reserves of kindness within us. We can choose to express that kindness in the way we speak and how we give to our community. It is well within our power to put down bitterness and resentment and move forward lighter for it.

Have you chosen a one little word this year? Would you consider trying it?

Freebie time! Here are four downloadable digital wallpapers for you to use and share!

Abundance Digital Wallpaper 1.jpg  abundance-digital-wallpaper-2

abundance-digital-wallpaper-4 Abundance Digital Wallpaper 5.jpg

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Currently: December

Reading this fantastic article, “The Postpartum Shopaholic” about finding yourself (sometimes for the first time in a while) and wondering what that person should wear.

Tempted to make a set of these fleece ponchos for my three nieces. Ok, and maybe this one for me.

Can’t wait to bake my annual Chanukah cookies using this great recipe from the Spice and Spirit Cookbook.

Basic Cookie Dough
3 eggs
1 cup margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups flour
2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
3 tsp. baking powder
Yields 7 to 8 dozen (if dough rolled thin, 4-6 dozen if kids are making them:)
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add margarine and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder and mix well.
Roll out dough on a floured board to 1/4″ thickness and cut into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet.
Press sprinkles or colored food glitter onto cookies.
Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly browned.
Remove from cookie sheet to cool.
(Recipe credits: Spice and Spirit The Complete Kosher Cookbook)

 

Imagining what it would be like to join this five day creative retreat in a French chateau.

Wondering if women-only gatherings are gaining speed. How many girl gang Whatsapp group chats are you a part of?

Watching previews of La LaLand! Are you as excited as I am?

Lounging in these.

Filling up my Fall/Winter Pinterest board with lots of great outfits for the season.

Donating to help those suffering in Syria. Reference this list of legitimate organizations. It’s a little late to be on the right side of history in this conflict, but it isn’t too late to make a difference to individuals affected.

Chanukah Gift Guide 7: For Crafty Friends

Hi, friends! We’re almost at the end of Chanukah Gift Guide 2016, but I couldn’t wrap it up without a few specialty gift guides for specific people on your list. Today we’re shopping for artsy, crafty, maker friends who love to make beautiful things with their hands. Hope you enjoy!

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  • Watercolor print supply pouch. Lately I’m loving the combination of natural linen and a fantastic cotton print. This handmade pouch will help any creative person organize the supplies they keep with them on the go, whether that’s a tiny embroidery hoop or micron pens and a Moleskine.
  • Iron Utility Scissors. A nice, weighty pair of scissors to sit on the desk, ready for whatever cutting needs present themselves.
  • Wood mini chest with ceramic drawers. Crafters and artsy people love little compartments. Perfect for needles, thread, fabric scraps, paper ephemera, buttons, or beads.
  • Le Creueset batter bowl. Maybe your artsy friend doesn’t paint or stitch- maybe they bake delicious treats for family and friends. This batter bowl with a handle and pouring spout will be useful for so many recipes, but is probably not something they would purchase for themselves. The signature Le Creueset design and glazing will give them a thrill every time they use it.
  • Daily planner notepad. Creative minds need to get their goals down on paper just like the rest of us. This planner pad offers 50 days of scaffolded goal setting, scheduling, and prioritizing for even the busiest day.
  • iLive Bluetooth speaker. This portable speaker can go wherever you go, offering great wireless sound quality at craft nights or just late nights in your own studio.
  • Cross stitch pincushion. This beautiful linen pincushion is almost too fancy to use, but who can resist its plump figure and gorgeous embroidery? Such a great gift with a little box of new pins or by itself.
  • Printable wall art. This instant download is designed to be printed at home or at your local copy shop for inexpensive and inspiring art that captures their passion.
  • Ceramic charms. Crafty types love supporting other makers, and these ceramic charms are made by hand with 18k gold accents in Birmingham, Alabama.