Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekend Links

Hello and happy Friday! Here are some links to start you weekend off with some fun things to read and click.


Isn't that photo up there beautiful? It's from the Whipstone Farm IG feed.

I LOVE this post- it's bringing me so much happiness!

How zoos and aquariums handle hurricanes.

#1 on my current wishlist: these boots! They're so cute.

A metaphor for Summer 2017.

What were you wearing?

Loving: this top, this dress, and any of these cute pieces!

"Does it spark joy?" is the wrong decluttering question.

Do you transition your makeup with the seasons?

96 things to do when you're bored.

Hollywood's private school mama dress codes. Interesting.

How to plan your week like a go-getter.

And what to plan it in. These are a must for this new year and I've already got mine!

An obsessive guide to music played at Gap in the 90s.

And finally, bucket list travel experiences. I want to do all of these!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Places

I think we all have a happy place, right? It's different for everyone. For my Mom, it's the beach. And more specifically, the Jersey shore- right down by Island Beach State Park. I think if she could be anywhere in the whole world, that's where she would be. For me, it's the forest. I'm not sure if it's from growing up in the woods, surrounded by trees and a million trails to get lost on or just because I crave the sound and smell of it, but that's my place. So now whenever I find myself in the forest, be it Flagstaff or Switzerland, Portland or Vermont, I am the happiest. In fact our big goal is to build a home in the forest here in Prescott, so all five of us can always feel that way.

For Labor Day we decided to head up north to the cool pines of Flagstaff to hike one of our favorite kid-friendly trails, Kachina Trail. Beautiful in any season, it was interesting to be up there now to see the first signs of Fall begin to pop up. Brown ferns, a few very early orange leaves, a slight chill in the air. We're getting closer, and it was exciting to feel that settling over everything.

The boys are great hikers, but we never have huge expectations. Henry can definitely hang, but Charlie at barely four years old can get a little more tired. So we consider any hike with the kids to be a slow hike, and I always remind myself it's not about the destination, it's about the journey! An especially helpful reminder when you cover about a mile an hour sometimes! haha.

I wanted to share some photos from our fun day. I highly recommend you check out Kachina Trail if you find yourself in Northern Arizona, with kids or not. It's beautiful, and gives you a little of everything- Aspens, pines, some good incline, shady spots with lots of moss, big rocks to climb, beautiful views. You'll love it.


My hiking boots (similar)
Baby carrier
Hank's Arizona tee
Kids' packs

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Learning with Leapfrog

When I was a kid I lived for computer games. Oregon Trail days were the best, and I remember making birthday banners in Print Shop on my Dad's old Apple desktop, ripping off the sides of the paper after it came out of that noisy printer. I've talked about it in previous posts, but raising our kids in a low-tech home has always been important to us. But, now that the boys are getting bigger I realize the need to strike a balance and find ways to integrate it into our world. They work with learning applications on iPads and computers in school, and it's important for me to raise our kids to feel comfortable with all types of learning, especially via technology. 

When LeapFrog reached out to us about partnering up to try out their new LeapFrog Academy learning program, it was pretty perfect timing. Hank and I had just been talking about trying out something like this with Henry and Charlie (see my post here), and when I learned about the program I was excited to give it a whirl. The age range falls perfectly for both boys as it works for kids ages 3-6. It covers all the core subjects, but goes beyond and makes it fun for the boys with learning games and activities, suitable for preschool through first grade. 

Set up was simple and it was easy to use, even the first time checking it out. The boys got to choose avatars, and within seconds they were off. Now, I don't have a ton of experience with current kids' computer programs, but from what I do know, in-app purchases are the worst. So I was happy to hear that not only does LeapFrog not have any, but they also don't show any ads. All learning, all the time. Another cool plus is the "favorites" section, which allows users to select up to 24 of their favorite LeapFrog Academy games available to play offline anytime. This is a feature I'll be using on some upcoming air travel with the boys. 

It's been a couple weeks now, and Henry, Charlie and I are really enjoying using the program a few times a week. I love that our time on the computer is piggybacking on what they're already learning in school, and I'm looking forward to seeing their progress as we go along! We are all about enriching the educational experience with books, trips and anything possible, and I'm very into the fact that this is hitting on the technology side. Very cool. 

I'll keep you updated, but come join me over on LeapFrog Academy – you can even get a month of free access via that link. I'd love to hear what you and your kiddos think, so please keep me posted! Happy learning...and LeapFrogging!

This post was shared in partnership with LeapFrog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

10 Year Anniversaries and Travel Wishlists

Our 10-year wedding anniversary is coming up in 2018, and Hank and I have been discussing what we want to do for it. We're not huge on gifts, and although there is a particular watch and bracelet I've been eyeing for years, when it comes down to it I know we will choose to do a special trip together over anything and everything else.

I grew up traveling a lot, but never out of the country besides Canada and Mexico. Until Hank and I honeymooned in Moorea, it always felt very out of reach. When we decided to do Switzerland, even then the idea was a little crazy to me. Us, go there? All the way there without the kids? Really?! And then we just decided to do it. It was life-changing in so many ways, even outside of the fact that that's where little Olive was conceived. It opened me up and reminded me that we are the ones writing this story of our lives. We choose where we go. We get to save our money and spend it as we please, and focus it where we want. I know these are obvious things, but I think I was just so stuck in this mentality of feeling safe and really living inside some stories I had written for myself.

Our big family goal is to see as much of the world as we can, both with the kids and also on our own. So for our special anniversary we have a list of possibilities of where we are considering going, and I'd love any input! There are very broad ideas- we will just have a week or so the two of us, so as much as we would LOVE to go to some places like Thailand or even New Zealand, the travel time is too much. Also Japan is one of Henry's dream spots so we can't go without him! ;)

A couple things about our travel style- we are not lay on the beach and relax kind of people. We always try and always fail! Active vacations are the best for us, and one of the major reasons we chose to hike inn-to-inn through the Alps for the entirety of our Swiss vacation. We love to stay busy with just a little bit of downtime.

So here's our list, very un-narrowed down. We know we will need to obviously pick regions and smaller area within these countries, but this is a starting place-


How about you? If you were choosing to go anywhere in the world, where would your first choice be? And if you have any input on those spots up there, I'd love to hear.

I'm including some favorite photos from last summer. While I was pulling these I realized I have THREE Switzerland posts that never went up! I'm so excited to share them in the upcoming weeks- there are so many great photos. I can't believe I forgot, but I did find out I was pregnant when we got home so I'm just going to blame it on that! ;)


Monday, August 28, 2017

An End of Summer Playlist

First, the end of summer? It's crazy to think that it really is almost over. I'm going to be the annoying blogger that is extra excited about Fall though, just warning you. I've already starting decorating just a tiny bit- one white pumpkin on the sideboard in the dining room, and I'll continue to sneak bits in as it gets colder. I love it. And secondly, is anyone else obsessed with Spotify? I've been using it to listen to music for years and it really is the best. So easy to use that it actually makes creating playlists and organizing them fun! And no this isn't sponsored in any way, I'm just a huge fan. ;)

I used to share a playlist on Mondays back in the day and it was always so much fun to see what you guys thought. So I'm bringing it back for today! Below you'll find some of my current favorite songs, super random and perfect for the end of summer. Let me know if you guys like this and I can do them more often. I'm thinking some workout mixes, chill songs, etc. For now though, here's one to enjoy.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Weekend Links

Can you believe it's almost September? We're headed straight into my favorite season and I'm so excited. And how good do these veggies look? We attended our town's Farmer's Market Farm to Table Dinner this evening and I snapped this before we dug in. Delicious. See more in my Stories for the next 24 hours.

Here are some links to end your weekend on a fun note --

Excited about this: the 2017 Fall movie guide.

Have you entered? Seriously, go go go!

Aziz Ansari on quitting the internet.

Wishlist: this dress, these shoes, and these pillows (in pink).

5 ways I'm changing how I think about my body.

Interesting article about marketing and millennials.

25 famous women and their guilty pleasures.

Off-limits places.

In the event of a nuclear blast, don't condition your hair.

What's your vote for this summer's song?

How to look great in 5 minutes.

I really love Kesha.

100 greatest comedies of all time.

A Black man went undercover online as a white supremacist. This is what he learned.

And finally, 20 ways to make your workday more simple.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

More Questions and Answers

The photo works better with the IG caption- "One of us is about to go to sleep, one of us is about to go meet
their girlfriends at a drag show. One of us is more excited than the other." ;)

I thought I would put together another Q&A of frequently asked questions on IG. See the previous ones here. I get a lot of direct messages asking similar things, and I think it's always nice to have the answers in one place where they can live forever, instead of disappear after 24 hours or getting lost in the shuffle. So! Here are some of the more recent repeat questions that have been coming up in comments or DMs.


1. Where are your overalls from (pictured above)?

These Free People overalls you guys! They are my new favorite and everyone needs them. I love them so much. See them here. I am very, very into wide leg, bell bottom, flare jeans right now and these are just perfect. I hope you get them and love them, too.

2. How do you count your macros and what are you doing for workouts?

I really, really need to do a whole post on this topic, but in summary- I've been doing it for 8 weeks and it's really the best thing that has ever happened to my diet. I am eating so much more, I feel so much better, and no foods are off limits. I love that. I use My Fitness Pal, along with the macro numbers given to me by my coach Amy. She also provides me with workouts, and I check in with her weekly, sending in my macros counts from each day, measurements, and progress photos. I can't say enough good things about working with Amy- she's a great friend and a great coach, and I literally follow EVERYTHING she says to the letter. And it really does work! I won't share my before/after pics until I feel like I'm further along to my goal, but we are already seeing such amazing results. Because I'm breastfeeding, we also watch my milk supply closely, and I haven't had any issues. That's another common question I get a lot. As far as workouts, right now I'm doing four days of lifting (very specific workouts that Amy gives me), 4 days of HIIT cardio (20 min sessions), and 3-4 days of abs.

3. What is your skin regime?

Another topic I need to make a whole post about, but I use face wash, lotion, and sunscreen from my aesthetician Hailey (website here)- she makes and sells her own line, and then I also use Josh Rosebrook products. I particularly love this exfoliator- it's the best. I keep it very simple both for skin care and makeup. The only makeup I use for everyday is this primer, this foundation, and this on my brows.

4. Can you recommend any good baby/kid-friendly hikes or lakes in Prescott?

Yes- check out Goldwater Lake, Lynx Lake, Aspen Trail, and good old Thumb Butte. The actual trail there may be too steep for little walkers, but the area is gorgeous. Enjoy!

5. What is your favorite Ergobaby carrier? Which one should I get?

Okay so this is ever-changing as new things come out, but my current favorite is the Omni 360. Have you seen it? You can use it from week one with NO infant insert, and you can also face baby out later on. So it's a combination of the Adapt and the 360- it really does it all. We have the Olive Green color and I am really loving it. I would recommend the Omni to any new parent with an infant, but if you have a bigger baby the Cool Air 360 is amazing also. And check out this limited edition Linen 360 as well. It's gorgeous.

That's it for today! Be back tomorrow with some Weekend Links.