Traditions

As our little family has grown from just the two of us to a crew of four, each year we have picked up traditions we look forward to every Christmas. Here are a few of them:

FUN

Christmas Tree Hunting / After years of getting our tree at Home Depot, last year we found the sweetest little family-run tree lot in Pacific Beach, and we are hooked. They serve hot chocolate and give you a free tree stand if you promise to come back the next year.

Christmas Lights / There is a street block in our neighborhood where every single house is decked to the max with lights and decorations. What began as one of our very first dates years ago, has become a tradition every single December. We get a hot drink to sip and enjoy all the spectacular displays.

FOOD

Saltine Toffee / Our go-to holiday treat I make for friends, family, and neighbors.

Green Chili Sausage Bake / The Mr requests this family dish for Christmas morning every year (here’s a recipe similar to the one we follow).

Nutella Bread Pudding / I found this recipe last year, and it is AMAZING. Just like the dish above, it can be assembled the day before and popped in the oven on Christmas morning. We fry up some bacon on the side, add mimosas and coffee, and we’re sufficiently stuffed!

MEANING

Advent Calendar / Now that we have little ones who can start to grasp the meaning behind why we’re celebrating, we’re on the lookout for a meaningful Advent activity (apart from our typical chocolate calendar, which we love).

Devotional / We just got this Christmas devotional and it’s been a wonderful way to start each day, remembering to stay grounded and present in this season’s purpose.

Do you have any favorite traditions?

 

 

Advertisements

A Few Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are a few favorites from the last few weeks –

Just got these new sheets (shown in the photo above, with a favorite morning read) and have really enjoyed them!

Overnight oats have been our quick breakfast go-to lately, and I really want to try this version next.

I’m not a huge DIY girl, but this pretty fall wreath looks simple enough that I might give it a try!

If you’re a mom/homemaker and are looking for a new podcast to dive into, I recently found this one and love it!

An old favorite book I picked up from our shelf the other day. Do you re-read old books over and over?

20 easy things you can do to improve your life (numbers 11 and 18 are two of my go-tos, and I need to get better at 14). Which will you try?

Have a great weekend!

Fall Bucket List

In southern California, “fall” is a very loose term. A few trees turn golden in our neighborhood (including one the Mr planted in our back yard last year), and the air takes on a barely perceptible crisp feeling… and that’s enough to get me excited about enjoying the new “season.” :) To make the most of it, here are a few things we are looking forward to this fall:

Baking. I’ve never been much of a baker, but there’s something about this time of year that makes me want to put something warm and heavenly-smelling (and easy) in the oven. A couple of my favorites are Trader Joe’s beer bread and coffee cake.

Apple picking. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and now that we have little ones who would enjoy it it’s the perfect time. Julian is famous for it’s apple picking (and apple pie!), so we’re planning a day trip soon.

Decorating. My favorite, simple go-to for fall decorating is mini white pumpkins. We don’t have a mantel or a lot of shelves in our main living space, so the round tray on the dining table is my fall decorating spot. I throw in a pumpkin candle, and I’m done!

Beach bonfires. These are fun year-round, but much more cozy when it’s actually cool out!

Visit the library. Since the boys are only 2 and 3, we have yet to experience back-to-school season. But the older they get the more they seem to enjoy reading, so I’m excited to take them and check out their first round of library books.

Cozy drinks (of course). We make most of our coffee at home, so buying coffee out is a treat for us. I’ve been dreaming of a PSL (half the flavor shots – anyone else think they’re wayyy too sweet?) and can’t wait to indulge in one (and this cocktail).

Happy Fall! How will you be enjoying the season?

Working from home

Kathryn_1

As long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to stay home with my children, if at all possible. When I got pregnant with our oldest son Augie, I could feel a shift in my heart that pulled me toward home life. I loved my job as a video editor, but also felt burnt out from a few years of intense work seasons. The Mr and I overhauled our spending so that we could get by on one income, and decided I would stay home full-time with the baby. I loved being able to watch him grow everyday, and spending our simple and quiet days together.

Once Augie was about 10 months old (and finding I was pregnant with our second), I felt a pull back into the professional and creative world. Since then, I’ve worked some hours here and there – mostly video editing and a little writing – which (very thankfully) I can do from home. It allows me to structure my days around my kids, while also staying connected to people I love working with and projects I feel passionate about.

As of now, 80% of what I accomplish is done while the boys are sleeping. I do my best not to work while they are awake so I can stay present with them (which can be challenging, but so worth it). On the days I do work, once the boys are napping, I typically eat a quick lunch and head up to my workspace in our bedroom. I like going to a designated “working” spot, as opposed to my laptop that lives on our dining room table. It helps me feel a bit more removed from daily life, and more creative and focused. It also helps if I’m showered and dressed in “real” clothes (as opposed to my sweaty athleisure ensemble from the morning)!

I typically don’t work in the evening hours, since the Mr and I really treasure our time together once the flurry of bedtime is over and the kids are in bed around 8pm. We get to talk, check in with each other over a glass of wine or a cup of tea, and catch up on any shows we might be watching. I also function and feel my personal best when I close the screens at the end of the day, and take time to unwind physically and mentally.

I’m very thankful for this season in life – that I can watch my little ones grow everyday, while also having a little time to engage my creativity and collaborate with other adult-type people. :) And I’ve found that my limited work schedule has actually forced me to manage my time more effectively over the years. These days, I can get way more done in 2 hours than I ever did when I worked a full day in an actual office.

If you work from home, how do you get the most out of your day?

Photo above c. 2013 from my pre-motherhood days. 

A Few Favorites

afternoon_coffee.jpg

Last week I wrote about my love for early mornings. I’m also really fascinated by other people’s morning routines, and recently found this site – it’s so interesting!

Another great post about building a morning routine.

If you love coffee (like me), here’s the healthiest way to drink it.

This shirt + cutoffs have been my uniform this summer.

I’ve been dying to try this ice cream; have you tried it?

I loved this post about motherhood.

The Mr is currently traveling for work, so I took the opportunity to take the boys on a last-minute trip to visit my family on the east coast (a month before our littlest turns two and needs his own seat!).

Until next week! xo

Morning Routine

balcony2The view from our bedroom balcony.

A few years ago, I wrote about my great love of quiet mornings to start my day. Now that we have two little ones who are early risers, having some time to myself before they wake up has become even more important to me.

Most mornings I wake up around 5:30am, go downstairs to pour a cup of coffee (programmed to brew before I get up – it gives me more incentive to get out of bed!), and head back upstairs to read and wrap my head around the day. Sometimes if I bring a cup for my hubby and put it on his nightstand he will get up to join me, which is always welcomed company. By 6:30 the boys are up and at ’em, so we’ll play and have breakfast before we begin our day.

That stillness in the quiet and cool of the morning has become essential for my wellbeing, especially since I spend my days with two toddlers, who are anything but still and quiet! :)

What’s your morning routine? Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Hello There

7:26:17_workspaceIt’s so nice to be back! I took a bit of time off from the blog (enough time to have two (2!) babies). Although my sweet boys are a full-time job, I’ve been craving the creative outlet of blogging and missing the community around it.

I’m very excited to spend some time here again, connecting with you, writing about things I love, and curating beautiful things I find. And I hope you enjoy the new layout!

Thank you for reading. :)

Dreaming of Fall

white-pumpkinI always enjoy summer and all the fun it brings (ie, beach days, margaritas made with fresh grapefruit juice, and falling asleep to the sound of Sea World fireworks to name a few). But hands down, fall is my favorite time of year. For several weeks I’ve been itching for cooler weather, cozy fall clothes, and that sweet crispness in the air (of which we get very little here in San Diego).

Here are a few things I’ve found that are getting me even more excited for the next season…

Above: white pumpkins are one of my favorite ways to decorate for fall (image via).

cable-knit-headband

A warm cable knit headband for warm ears and easy hair days.pumpkin-whoopie-pies

Pumpkin whoopie pies with chai-spiked ice cream filling (or let’s face it, anything pumpkin will do).

cider-caramels

Apple cider caramels (these sound like HEAVEN).

kimono-sleeve-cardigan

An oversized sweater is a must to make every day cozy.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Summer

DSC_0101Even though it’s been a busy season for me at work, summer manages to live on without me. I’ve still been blessed with a few bits of the season these last few weeks. Here’s a peek…

Above: birthday flowers from dear friends.

summer-fruit

Farmer’s market finds (Little Italy’s is the best in San Diego).

summer-hat

The perfect hat for lazy summer days.

summer-peaches

First round of peaches picked right off our own tree in the back yard.

Thanks for stopping by, and for being patient with me while I’m posting less frequently! I’ll be back soon.  Happy summer! :)

Work / Life Balance

work-life-balanceI have always believed strongly in finding balance between work and life outside of work. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that I am a much more creative, efficient person when I take the time to rest my mind and body and spend time with those I love.

Especially now since the Mr’s schedule requires us to make the most of our time together, balancing life and work has never been more important. I feel very blessed that I can, for the most part, leave work at work and be present when I’m at home or doing other things I love (like spending time with you here!).

work-life-balance

That being said, there are those brief seasons that work takes priority over everything else, especially when there is an important goal or deadline on the horizon. Things are currently super busy at my day job, so my posts will be a little less frequent for the next three weeks. It’s all part of the balance. But don’t worry, I’ll still be around! xo

What are your thoughts? Do you have trouble leaving work at work? Have you found a good work / life balance? I’d love to hear!

Photos courtesy of Chadwick.