Gift Guide : For a one year old boy...

My little love bug is almost one.

I cannot even believe it! As any new mom knows the first year is so special in so many ways, his little life has already proven to bring loads of joy to so many people. This also means that many of his small friends are also celebrating their first birthdays around this time. Therefore, my desktop is the destination for an ever-growing collection of photos of items I found online that every little one year old needs ;) I try not to go crazy with toys, but there are a few things I have had my eye on for Knox...

1. We got this for my niece and nephew for Christmas last year and watched them spend hours running up and down the hallway pushing it and giggling. Knox is not walking just yet, but as soon as he gets the hang of it I cannot wait to watch him do the same.

2. Oh. My. Goodness. Have you ever seen such cute backpacks? I spent a good chunk of time scouring the internet for little backpacks and found these... the problem now is picking out which one to get!

3. Knox loves music. He especially loves the guitar and is so interested in figuring out how to strum with his little fingers. So, at some point I am hoping to start a little collection for him and our future kiddos. We can have our own little band!

4. Not much explanation needed here. This is the toy version of the car that Stone has (just sold) and loves so very much. Same color and everything!

5. Every little babe needs a secret hideaway and I am loving these teepees! Such a great place to tuck away.

6. Even before Knox was born these dolls were on my radar... Knox still does not have a specific animal or blanket that he is necessarily attached to, but I feel certain if he had Hercule he would choose him as his loveie!

7. BOOKS. I love giving books to Knox's babe friends. Unfortunately my wild man has not learned the technique of sitting still to listen to a story (or let alone a page) but, I am really hoping to instill the importance of reading in him. I just love what children's authors are coming up with these days... I think I have more fun picking out books than I probably should!



Birthmother's day.

This past Sunday was both my birthday and Mother's day. Double whammy.

Stone really went above and beyond... the entire day I felt so special and enjoyed every second of hanging with my little fam. Sunday morning I was greeted with breakfast in bed (VGs doughnuts), flowers, and a sweet card from Knox (yes, he is already writing... genius baby). Stone coined the day 'birthmother's day' which is a combo of birthday and mother's day that is also true in and of itself.. ha.

After naps we headed to Coronado to test out our new bikes. Knox was in h-e-a-v-e-n! Every couple of minutes he would raise both his hands in the air as if he was on a roller coaster... it was so dang cute :) I love riding around the neighborhoods in Coronado, the houses are just my all time favorite. 

We ended up in a traffic jam on the bike path for a while and stopped to watch the sailboats and hydrate (it was a toasty one!). One of the best parts of being a mom is getting to watch your babe experience and see new things. It makes me so excited to think of whats to come... we still have never been to the zoo, Seaworld, or most exciting will be Disneyland... oh I just can't wait!

I just feel so blessed by these two ^^ Cannot believe I get to spend life with them!

Hope all you mamas had a fantastic day as well... you deserve it :)



Enjoy this...

Husband does this thing where he falls in love with a song and then it plays on repeat in our house for days and days. Well currently, this is the song. Good thing we share similar taste in music :) Hope you enjoy it too. xo.


Three things...

If you know me, or have even read this blog for a while, you know that I love my birthday :) In fact, if I had it my way we would be celebrating all month long... which means, today we need to start! My birthday is May 12 and you may also know that this is Mother's day. I could look at it one of two ways... First, how wonderful to share my birthday with all of you mamas out there and get to doubly enjoy the day! But, unfortunately, this also means that instead of getting two celebrations a year, I now am grouped to one... I have already warned Stone that it does not mean he can skimp on either event ;)

The truth, and I have said this recently, is that lately life for me is a bit more simple. The things before that I desperately needed or wanted don't seem to matter as much anymore. I would never turn my  nose up to a shopping trip to Anthro, but my desire to spend money that way has lessened for sure.  So for my birthday my desires are few...

Something I really would like to get is a great pair of nude flats like these. Simple. Easy.

Spa day! Okay, so this is a little extravagant I know. But, I will preface this with the fact that I don't spend money throughout the year on haircuts (only go once a  year), waxing, nails (on the rare occasion), facials, etc. A girl needs to be pampered now and again and a massage, to me, is the best way to relax! When I have gone to the spa I usually just go for a massage then spend a couple hours after enjoying all of the free amenities like the pool, sauna, and hot tub!

I have been telling Stone for quite sometime that I really want us to get bikes with gears and a seat for Knox so we can cruise around by the beach or take them to Coronado. I love riding bikes. We have two rusty old cruisers that served their purpose well when we lived a block from the beach and could ride around just about anywhere. Our neighborhood now has lots of hills so I don't think I would make it without gears. Either way, Stone did his research and found these bikes from a company called CriticalCycles that are affordable and so cute! I got the cream version of the one above and Stone got that green one! Cannot wait to get them (hopefully this week) and go on a celebratory ride for my bday!

Not pictured.
I would love some time with my main man to go on special date where I can dress fancy :)

Happy May! xo.


This weekend...

... was absolutely wild.

I had the joy of being a bridesmaid in one of my best friends' weddings in Dallas this past weekend. It is so fun to get to know the men that your friends marry and the families that they marry into. Jenna has found her perfect match, and her new family is absolutely wonderful, I am just so excited for her. Of course, while I was in Dallas I got to see my family :) We made good use of our time by getting take out from one of my fav places with my mom, picnicing at the new Klyde Warren Park, wondering through the Nasher with my dad,  and of course eating at another fav of mine Cafe Express. So fun and yummy. Getting to see my sweet twin niece and nephew is definitely the highlight. They are the best!

The morning (I am not sure you can call 3am morning) after Jenna's wedding I woke up bright and early and headed to the airport to catch a plane for Palm Springs where I met Stone to shoot a wedding! It was crazy, exhausting, fun, and I am sick as a dog as a result, but so happy that I was able to make it happen! I missed Knox so, so much. This was the longest I had been away from him ever, but the distance was alleviated by the constant stream of photos and videos from Stone and then from our friends who watched him while we were in Palm Springs. 

We don't know what we would do without our sweet friends who offer to watch Knox while we shoot, it is the biggest gift to have people like them in life.

Happy Monday. xo.


Food to love...

One of my 'go to' recipes lately has been veggies (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, etc) over rice with either grilled chicken or tofu. Then add a happy helping of peanut sauce and a drizzle of sriracha and viola! So delicious, and you can feel good about all of those veggies. Husband is a hard one to convince to eat his greens, but if I mask them behind a sauce this yummy he devours them. Problem solved. This recipe is so delicious and easy...

1/2 c. crunch pb
3/4 c. oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tbs. honey
pinch of pepper
a bit of crushed garlic

Mix together in a mason jar and shake! Enjoy!

This weekend...

Whoops! Monday got away from me and I did not make it around to blogging.

This weekend was a mixture of awesome and not so awesome...

Awesome because we were able to celebrate our good friends Jenni and Keiran who are expecting their first little babe in a couple of months with a shower at our place (no the boys were not attendees, they showed up later to eat cake!). I prepared all of the food for the shower the morning of and I have to say I was pretty proud of myself! We had goat cheese and broccoli quiche, chicken salad sandwiches, strawberry spinach salad, and a flourless chocolate cake! Yum! Cannot wait for baby girl to join us so soon :)

Not so awesome because the Knoxman is teething like crazy. With a messy combination of snot and drool on top of his sad whimpering it is bound to be the hardest thing he has been through in the last 10 months. Poor guy, cannot wait for those things to finally finish breaking through!

Awesome because the weather here was exceptionally amazing this last weekend. We spent both Friday and Saturday night at the beach with friends and that I cannot complain about. Still can't believe we get to live here.

Not so awesome because I did not run this weekend :( But, I was back to it yesterday! I actually have really enjoyed it... Okay, that is a lie... I have really enjoyed being outside and the way I feel after I have finished running!

Awesome because we got to shoot the sweetest engaged couple in a really rad location (cannot wait to share the photos)!

Happy Tuesday. xo.


Losing the baby weight!

First thing is first... I don't work out... false advertising :)

But, I would like to (need to) get with the program! The game changer actually just happened yesterday. I am in a wedding next weekend and took my bridesmaid dress to the alterations to have the hem taken up a bit. The dress fits great, that is not the problem, the problem was when I stepped out of the dressing room and looked in the full length mirror while the woman began pinning my hem I wanted to break into tears. Yes, this sounds dramatic, but I was having a dramatic moment! Seconds later I looked into my son's face and realized that less than a year ago I was carrying this little being inside me and that is a beautiful thing to have created, so I love my body for that. I do.

This does not excuse my lack of exercise. I need to exercise to be a good mama, so that years down the road I can still keep up with this little guy. I also need to exercise for my husband, he thinks I am beautiful regardless, and I appreciate that, but I don't want to get comfortable with that. As lame as it sounds I want to have a smokin' hot body for him! (Sorry dad, I know you are reading this!) Lastly, and most importantly, I need to be in shape for myself! As much as I hate the process of working out, I love the feeling afterward, the feeling of accomplishment :)

Here is the plan and equipment:

Lululemon is pricey, but you can't beat it for workout clothes. So comfy and cute!

The BOB stroller is a great running companion, Stone usually pushes, but when I have it is light and easy.

Make a goal, my goal is to lose 10 lbs (slowly) and to be able to run further as time goes by.

6 days a week I will run the loop around my neighborhood (roughly a mile).

100 sit ups.

50 arm dips using stairs.

100 squats.

Breakfast will be either steel cut oats with nuts or a smoothie. 

Lunch will be carrots, apple, crackers with cheese, cucumber and hummus, pretzels and pb... things like that.

Dinner will be my normal recipes, I will just eat smaller portions than I usually do!

Dessert only 3-4 days a week... this is my non-negotiable :)

Lastly, in order to stick to this, I needed someone to not let me get lazy... who better to do this than my husband! He is my accountability partner in this and while it is not that difficult of a routine, for someone who really does not work out, it is going to be perfect for me! Excited for change... 10 lbs to go.



Our home : Backyard

^^ Before

Our little family has officially lived in our home for a year now. It is crazy how fast that time went! When we purchased this home it was one of 4 that we could afford in Encinitas, so there was not a lot of options to be choosey. Plus, we had heard about this neighborhood and the community that lives here and knew it would be a perfect place for our growing family. All that to say the house needed and still needs work! I think I underestimated the amount of time and money it would take for us to complete all of the little renovations I had planned for our house when we moved in. As our realtor walked us through this home I saw countertop updates, new paint, a small backyard renovation, and updated flooring and thought no big deal! Nothing major like breaking down walls and gutting rooms. 

Well of all of those dreams I had hoped for, we have completed only a couple, but one major was our total backyard overhaul.

^^ During

We learned a lot in the process. Stone and I sat down and decided just how much we were willing and able to spend on our backyard when all was said and done. There is not too much square footage back there and we were not wanting anything crazy either. Stone and I got multiple quotes around $10,000 for the entire project (not pictured is a wooden pergola and patio that was also built). This was definitely more than we were ready to spend... We actually wanted to spend half of that! Then, the final kicker was getting a quote for $20,000 (!). By this time we had enough and were just going to do it on our own. As a latch ditch effort we went back to each company and told them exactly what we were willing to spend and asked what they could do for that amount of money (probably should have done that at the beginning)... and you know what? We got everything we were hoping for and stayed within our budget, the only thing not included were the plants! Easy enough.

Stone has been in charge of the plants back there, my only requirement was that everything is low maintenance and my husband just wanted everything to be fragrant. So we have a beautiful yard now full of sweet smelling flowers, drought resistant plants, and a super delicious orange tree! My favorites are the asparagus fern, the freesia, and the french lavender! It may be a small space, but in California we spend so much time outdoors that it needed to be like a second room and I am so happy to say that we have achieved that! On to the next project...



Becoming a butterfly.

May grey just might have decided to come a bit early this year, as our weekend was quite cold and gloomy. We spent most of it hunkered down indoors watching movies, baking banana bread, and catching up on magazines (my Real Simple, and his Surfing)

Let's be honest though, when you have a little one it is impossible to stay indoors all day... so we did venture out for some sushi with neighbors, a county fair where Knox got to meet all sorts of animals, and to church. This was our first Sunday to be called out of service to go pick up our crying child in the nursery! Such a bummer. We spent the entire service in the 'family room' watching a small screen. I am hoping this is not a new phase and that he was just fussy because there were no other babies to play with that morning, fingers crossed!  

I was glad we made it to church though because the sermon was something I needed to hear. In the simplest of terms our pastor was calling upon us to be nicer people, love each other better, and serve. He talked about being a butterfly. Something gentle and sweet. It sounds so elementary to write out, but I think it is a very rare quality to find in people including myself. Someone who genuinely is just kind and selfless, putting others before them with no promise of personal gain. The sermon made me take a look at myself and it made me feel ugly inside. I need to be better for the people that are choosing to live their lives alongside me, they deserve more from me. Sunday was a good reminder and this morning is a new day, I am so thankful for that.

Happy Monday. xo.


Camp Crandall

Last week we were so lucky to have Stone's parents come and visit us! I cannot imagine how amazing it would be to have grandparents that live close, that is one of the saddest things to me about living in California. But, alas, because we do live here (and because it is one of the coolest places ever) that means we get lots of fun visitors. It is the best having people visit, we almost get to play tourist in our own town and do things that we would not normally be doing on a weekday.

Truthfully our weekdays are spent at home, working, and then when Knox is awake you can usually find he and I at one of the many parks around swinging or hanging with friends. It is what we do best these days :)

So,  of the many fun things we got to do last week, my favorite was visiting grandma and grandpa's campsite at Carlsbad! A couple months ago they became proud owners of this really awesome teardrop camper... seriously these things are so cool! So they decided to try it out for the first time on their trip out to see us. The campgrounds had incredible views of the ocean and it was so fun to picnic, build a fire, and play down on the beach. 

 ^^ This photo kills me... so handsome!

We will miss having them here. Knox is going through a terrible 'stranger danger' phase and it takes a little while for him to warm up to new people, especially men for some reason. It makes me so bummed because he has seriously had massive crying fits around some of our closest friends who just want to hold him and play with him. Hoping he grows out of it soon (if you have any advice on this topic, please let me know)! All that to say it took a day or so for Knox to feel comfortable with grandma and grandpa, but, thankfully, I even saw him go in for a few kisses with them, which melts my heart! 

Love you grandma and grandpa come visit again soon!


Food to love : Breakfast sweets!

I posted a photo of these homemade doughnuts a while back to my Instagram and I got a few comments like 'super mom!' and 'where do you find the time to do that?'... while I will let you believe all day long that I am a modern day June Cleaver... the truth is that these are so easy to whip up, and the dirty dishes sat in my sink for at least a full day after making them, I just chose not to Instagram a photo of that :)

Sunday Morning Doughnuts

2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. oil
2/3 c. water

Mix all ingredients together until dough is formed. Kneed for about 30 seconds then roll out on cookie sheet with flour to 1/2 inch thick. Using a juice glass cut out doughnuts, then using a smaller punch (I use the top of a Sigg bottle)  cut a small circle out in the middle of each doughnut. 

Prepare two bowls, one with a scoop powdered sugar and another with cinnamon sugar. Using a small saucepan, heat 1 and 1/2 c. of oil on low. With tongs grab the doughnut and lay into the oil, let sit for about 30 seconds then flip. This part is totally trial and error... my first doughnut rarely turns out. Just make sure you are cooking the doughnuts through before removing from oil without burning the outside. As soon as you take each doughnut out place in bowl of sugar and coat! Easy and so yum!

Enjoy. xo.

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