don’t know why i never thought to share kids birthday parties until now, BUT GET READY FOR KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTIES!!!! i’m obsessed with cute parties so i’m so excited to share them to inspire you too, starting today with my friend jaymee who threw the sweetest camp themed birthday for her daughter noa’s 1st birthday!!
now that it’s summer and we’re socializing again, i keep noticing how much more fun arlo has in his friends backyards than our own haha. a lot of that is probably because it’s someone elses house, but i have sort of wished we had more fun stuff to do back there (especially when we were stuck at home).
we have our playhouse (above) and an ugly water table, some bubbles and we’ve put our cars back there as well, but i’ve just always wished we had a pretty swing set thing even though they don’t really exist.
finding stylish backyard jungle gyms and fun play things for kids is as challenging as you’d think, but i did my best! i rounded up a bunch of fun things below. Read More
a new monthly post — i thought it would be fun to share what i’m ordering every month, i’m always updating my storefront so i thought i should start sharing more of the everyday essentials and cute finds here on the blog.
ps these are all my honest opinions and things i ordered with my own money:
i had to stock up on more of these brush markers i use for addressing my baby on board magnets. i love them!
our favorite nespresso pods. we’ve tried nespresso brand and small shop brands and we like these the best.
one step closer to arlo in his big boy bed, we turned his day bed around and added this bumper to keep him from falling. it’s a good size for his twin mattress
the cutest striped pajamas for arlo, he’s growing out of all his old pairs and now i only want the striped ones, they are so soft! i always size up because i’d prefer for arlo to grow into them (but they always last a few years)
been having major cracking heels issues so ordered this natural pumice stone to try to remedy. my friend suggested it over the light grey kind i already had, and while my heels aren’t perfect all of a sudden, they are SO MUCH BETTER. it’s actually pretty crazy.
is it just me or is there is always a struggle with dad gifts? they’re always so predictable. like suprise! here is yet another wallet! BUT some men love wallets so i included one hahah. i tried to keep this gift guide all ages, but i would say it did kind of turn out kind of geared towards a cool dad. so hopefully the dad you’re shopping for is cool, or will be cool after you shop for him here!
so excited to share this home with you today! brit founded roen candles and they just are finishing their house they fixed up throughout the pandemic. i am obsessed with so. many. details. you will be too!
i wrote about my miscarriage back in december, but since it’s been sadly a fairly long road now, i thought it would be cathartic for me and hopefully helpful for you to write about our journey of wanting a second baby. so i’ll start from the beginning. sorry it’s long winded but so is my experience.
i was content before we starting trying
pre-pandemic, i was actually pretty happy just the three of us. when arlo was almost 2 i wanted to try for a second, but at the time we weren’t in the right place to try yet. so i let go of that. then for a long time i debated if we wanted a second one at all.
arlo was sleeping so well, he was in school and i felt like i had some independence again. i was exercising and finally feeling good about my body and enjoying my free time socializing and we had a date night sitter and were going out a few times a month for dates. things were really good and i was in a really good place.
then the pandemic happened, and obviously our life came to a halt. it was pretty immediate that i realized how different our time at home would have been had we had another kid already. harder in so many ways, obviously, but maybe easier in a lot too. arlo would have had someone to play with, and having an only child (who had been thriving at school with friends) was rough for me. and for him.
everyone said young kids are so adaptable, they’ll be fine, but it was freaking hard. he changed a lot over the year– we had tons of fun and made so many memories, but he became pretty socially anxious, and really forgot what it was like to be with anyone but us.
(and luckily once he started back in school, it only took a few weeks before he started changing back and now loves being around friends and family constantly. he went from saying he only wanted it to be the three of us to complaining why no one is coming over for dinner most nights hahah)
so since i wasn’t out and about and i no longer had my independence or a life, i wanted a second baby now very suddenly. gid was not on board because we had no idea what the future was going to look like. remember how bleak and scary those early days were? i don’t blame him, but i spent quite a few months just trying to convince him we should try.
i was getting scared because arlo was getting older and older and so was i. i had waited so long that now i felt like we really had to hurry suddenly and wasn’t expecting a pandemic to happen to change my entire planned out life timeline. Read More
its been years since i’ve shared the updates we’ve made to our backyard on here and everything has grown in so much, and it feels so lush and private compared to how it began! i can’t believe how much fuller everything looks just a couple years later. you can see the original reveal here!
apologies in advance for the photo overload, i just wanted to show everything since it’s been so long! and you can find sources for everything at the bottom of this post.
gas fire pit
we just recently swapped our regular fire pit for a gas one and i’m not sure why we didn’t do that years ago! i originally chose a manual fire pit because i didn’t want to spend the money on a gas one but immediately regretted it because when do we not only want to want to build an actual fire, when do we want to smell like campfire?!
because i didn’t do a gas fire pit back when we added the ground covering i thought it was too late, so when i realized i could just have the hose out and bury it later on– i was like oh what am i waiting for?? for us, it’s so much better to have gas. turning on a switch is much more our style than building a real fire.
our podocarpus hedges
when we planted these guys (25 podocarpus plants) they were like 3 feet tall! after just a few years they grew so large, we cut them back every so often so they grow in fuller (versus leggier as my stepdad would say), and it’s worked because they are so full and make the backyard feel sooo lush. we also feed them which has definitely contributed to their growth. i highly recommend these if you’re looking for a privacy plant, they are beautiful and pretty low maintenance compared to mostly everything else in our backyard (ie they don’t drop leaves like we have everywhere most of the time)
we also planted the little pampas grass plant in the corner there, which i know is not a good idea because it’s invasive, so it’s also sprouted pretty huge. we have to trim it back and the leaves are scratchy and painful, but every year in september we get a whole bunch of new feathery plumes and it’s so pretty.
our ground covering
we covered the entire yard in decomposed granite. after living with it for a few years, i have mixed feelings about it! i do think it’s beautiful, but it requires a lot of upkeep to look good and i wish we had one section of grass for arlo to play on. we did consider it but i wasn’t a parent yet and i guess i just didn’t see the need, oops. the DG isn’t soft, and i don’t really walk around barefoot on it, but because we have concrete in between the DG and the doors, we don’t really track it a lot inside at least.
new table and benches
i’ve always wanted a table with benches because it just feels like it fits the casual vibe out here, i am loving this set! we eat dinner here almost every night and it fits my whole family.
i regret not sharing more back when we built this pergola because i get questions about it so often and now that it’s been years we sort of forget the details. but i’m going to have my stepdad help me write a post about how we built it at some point soon!! in terms of how it’s held up, it also requires maintenance. because it’s made of wood, every year it starts cracking and needs to be patched and repaired in spots. annual upkeep is not a huge deal but it’s worth telling you! we haven’t done it for a while so you’ll be able to see some imperfections in these photos probably. i do love it so much though.
our outdoor couch
i get asked often if our outdoor sofa is comfortable, it is– but it’s much deeper and larger than you expect. because it has individual cushions (6 of them), they do slide out of place pretty regularly, i do like the way it looks and it is comfy but i’m not sure i would buy it again. because we have an outdoor white sofa, i keep it covered in a canvas drop cloth at all times– i considered removing it for these photos but it’s much more authentic to how it looks everyday this way haha.
our vintage dining set
i always dreamed of having a spun fiberglass set in our backyard and was so stoked to find this one on craigslist. i gotta say though, it’s sooo splintery if you run your fingers across it. so if anyone knows how to fix that please let me know :)
just finished my two night hotel stay ALL by myself and man i am so glad i did it! having zero agenda and nothing to do besides relax is something i guess i haven’t experienced since becoming a mom. not having to worry about feeding anyone, bedtimes, schedules, emails, anything– it was REJUVENATING!
what i looked for in the hotel
i actually was planning on staying in a cute boutique hotel two hours away where i had my own little backyard, but realized right before the trip that they didn’t have a restaurant and i was worried about being able to order food, so i cancelled and booked a hotel on the beach in santa monica instead.
i just wanted a hotel where i could :
see the ocean, sit on a balcony, order room service, watch tv, have a mini fridge, get a massage and not spend $800 a night. i opted for those amenities over a more stylish boutique hotel, but everyone is different! the hotel i chose was perfect. i stayed at the fairmont miramar.
what i did for my staycation
NOTHING. i brought books i didn’t read, i sat and spaced out looking at the ocean for a good portion of my time. i ate lots of delicious food. i drank rosé. i binge watched two tv shows i loved. i got a massage. i ate chips in my bed. i walked down to the ocean and collected some seashells and drank a latte. i made a list of things i’m grateful for and goals of mine. i stayed in bed in the mornings. i sat on my balcony and ate some more.
i made a big point to stay mostly off my phone. here and there i’d post an update or read a couple DMs but i find myself endlessly scrolling once i start and i just thought it was way more important to be thinking of nothing staring at the beach versus my phone. stay off them!!
staying one night versus two
gid advised me to do two nights so that i could actually unwind and have one full day and i absolutely agree now. waking up in the hotel, and having no agenda for an entire day was so chill. the problem with one is that if you check in at 3pm and then out at 11am, you’re really in and out– but if you can only do one, by all means — still do it.
going alone versus with a friend
while i think it would be so fun to go away with my bff (and we plan to), thats a different trip in my opinion. i spend all day talking, this trip was special because i was quiet, finally. i spent most of my time there just delightfully silent and alone, and i think thats a big part of why it felt so relaxing (versus fun).
what i watched
i bought two books, neither of which i opened. i actually thought i didn’t want to watch any shows because then time would go so much faster but it didn’t and i had a blast.
i watched “never have i ever” and “dash and lily” and i loved them both! they were perfect solo shows i didn’t think gid would be nearly as invested in as i was. i’d already seen it but “ginny and georgia” would have been a good show to watch too.
what i packed (because i didn’t need anymore than this!)
two books i didn’t read and a magazine (as we know)
our roku (CLUTCH, will never travel without it)
some people may have enjoyed going and having a meal out of the room or sit by the pool, i did neither of those and was blissfully isolated most of the trip! and i stupidly forgot to bring some sheet masks which would have been ideal. put together a few items for you :)
normalizing taking breaks
i got a few DMs thanking me for normalizing this kind of thing– which is so sad! why do we face judgement at all times for anything we do when it comes to being a mom? of course we need breaks. of course it’s ok to leave our kids and worry about ourselves. of course we need to prioritize our mental health!!!!! if you are freaking exhausted after a year of being home with your kids, then you’re the normal ones.
anyway, i heard from a lot of moms who were inspired or had been wanting to do something like this, so i hope that i helped push you to just book it already. promise you’ll be glad you did.