Reach out

To the Woman Behind Me in Line at the Pharmacy

Dear Woman Behind Me in Line at the Pharmacy, Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for seeing my thinly veiled desperation and stepping in, in the gentlest of ways….

Reach out

Dear Woman Behind Me in Line at the Pharmacy,

Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for seeing my thinly veiled desperation and stepping in, in the gentlest of ways. Thank you for knowing that probably the best way to comfort my sick, exhausted, crying little boy (who wouldn’t stop wailing “I want Daddy” ), was to encourage your little boy to talk to him. Because all Henry needed was one tiny distraction, and somehow your boy knew what it should be: a penny that he found on the ground.

After he chatted about the shiny penny, he somehow knew that we needed more. So he was game to talk about the toy he got from his Oma’s house, the Paw Patrol guy that he likes the best, and how he’s gonna be Spiderman when he grows up. And while Henry wasn’t totally sure what to make of such a chatty kid, it bought us enough time to get to the counter and grab our medicine with no more tears.

So thank you for teaching your boy to reach out when he sees someone struggling. The smallest acts of kindness are sometimes the ones most acutely felt. I left the pharmacy near tears, not because I was upset about my sick boy but because I was overwhelmed by the simple kindness of a compassionate young stranger. And please know that I’ll be teaching my son the same compassion, and encouraging him to reach out too.

xoxo

Baby Maggie Four Months

Maggie // Four Months

Our little Baby Love is four months old today! It’s kind of hard to believe, because we’ve been pretty much battling illness with her since the three month mark. I’ll…

Baby Maggie Four Months

Baby Maggie Four Months

Our little Baby Love is four months old today! It’s kind of hard to believe, because we’ve been pretty much battling illness with her since the three month mark. I’ll fill you in on that a bit more later, but suffice it to say she fought a nasty case of RSV and is finally getting back to herself. I have a feeling we’ll be dealing with the after-effects for a few weeks, but for now I’m just so glad to have our little sunshine back.

In the meantime, she rolled over from back to front for the first time the other day! She hasn’t had too much time for any other milestones because she’s been so sick. But she is professional at using a baby inhaler for her wheezing, and is the bravest little nugget when it comes to getting through a coughing attack. At the three month mark she was sleeping through the night but has regressed a bit since being so sick, so we are working back toward that goal. I think we’ll get there.

Take a peek at her month photos down below — I feel like she grew so much this month! xoxo

P.S. Henry at four months.

Baby Maggie Months 1-4

Bright, Colorful, Happy Studio Office

Married Life // Our Work-From-Home Schedule

When we tell people we both work from home, it’s usually met with a healthy amount of curiosity. What do you guys do? Who works when? Which one watches the kids? And…

Bright, Colorful, Happy Studio Office

When we tell people we both work from home, it’s usually met with a healthy amount of curiosity. What do you guys do? Who works when? Which one watches the kids? And I totally get it. It’s taken us a good few years to get to a place where our work-from-home schedule feels effective and like it blends well with our family life. And especially in the last few months, with adding a newborn to the mix, it’s become even more important for us to hammer out a schedule.

When Henry was born and we were working from home, we kind of winged it. And for a while, it worked. We would just kind of pass the kid back and forth, and whoever didn’t have him would grab some time to get work done. When Henry got a little older and needed more from us (hello, toddlerhood!), that stopped working. We realized we needed some help, and we found a wonderful little daycare school for him for three mornings a week. He loves it and it has helped him thrive. A little time away from us has been great for him (and for us too!).

After Maggie was born, we decided to set ourselves a work schedule. I was feeling overwhelmed because no matter what I was doing, I felt like I was shortchanging something. Kids, work, the house, Ryan. So we sat down and wrote out a schedule of which one of us was in charge of the kids. Seriously, this one little paper has organized our lives.

Work-From-Home Childcare Schedule

I know that sometimes I speak in superlatives, but I’m being completely serious when I say that this simple schedule is organizing our lives. Before we tried it, I would just feel guilty all day long. If I was with the kids, I would feel guilty that I wasn’t working. If I was working, I would feel guilty that I wasn’t with the kids. And everything always got only half of my attention. But this way, I know that I can be 100% wherever I am (which was another goal for the year), because I can see what time I have and where.

We each get one full work day, and the other days are split in half – one of us works until lunch and the other works after lunch. And whoever is working is treated like they’re away at work. If Ryan is in the studio and I have the kids, we just function as though he’s not home. On the flip side, whoever has the kids is fully focused on them, so that they’re not being shortchanged with parents who are always checking their phones or slipping away to write an email. On the days that I have the kids, I can plan playdates or outings. And on my big workday I usually plan larger projects, with more writing or editing on my half days.

I know that this schedule is still limiting. I know that I’ll never be one of those creatives who is working 24/7 and pumping out huge photo shoots or crazy content. But I also know how INSANELY lucky we are to be able to work, be with our kids, be in our own home, and support our family. It’s such a blessing during this season with our family, having such young and tender kiddos. So no matter how busy or jam-packed a day gets, I’m always grateful for that.

But I digress! Do you work from home? Do you work and also watch the kids? I would love to know how you organize your time, or if you are in the winging-it club. Let me know! xoxo

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

DIY Valentine Photo Backdrop

We haven’t done a photo backdrop in forever! I was pumped to put together a quick and easy little Valentine photo backdrop for some family photos. (Please note the absence…

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

We haven’t done a photo backdrop in forever! I was pumped to put together a quick and easy little Valentine photo backdrop for some family photos. (Please note the absence of good ol’ Hank in these “family photos” — he was particularly opinionated on this particular day and couldn’t be persuaded to come take pictures. Sigh.) Anyway! This is a perfect photo backdrop if you’re on a money and/or time budget. There are only two materials and it took me about 10 minutes to put together. Let’s do it!

Materials

  • 6″ x 6″ cardstock squares (we got a pack of assorted shades of pink at Michaels)
  • removable glue dots
  • scissors

Make Time: 10 Minutes

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

Step 1: Start with a blank wall. Decide where the upper right and lower left corners of your backdrop will be. Place a glue dot on the back of two squares of cardstock and stick them to these corners to outline your backdrop.

Step 2: Start filling in the wall. You can work in an ombre pattern like we did, or mix colors all together. We just placed the colors in a pixelated formation, leaving an empty space at random.

Step 3: Once you’ve filled it in, step back to assess and check for any spots that may need adjusting.

Then just snap away! This one is fun because it looks great both up close and a little farther away. It would be perfect for a Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day party  — you could snap photos of your guests or let them do their own thing with their smartphones. So cute! xoxo

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

DIY Valentine's Day Photo Backdrop

Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright

Drawn to You // 1

Hey dolls! Welcome to our new series, Drawn To You! The premise is simple — we wanted to give you something cool every month. Because we love you and think you’re…

Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright

Hey dolls! Welcome to our new series, Drawn To You! The premise is simple — we wanted to give you something cool every month. Because we love you and think you’re the greatest, truly. And since we can’t show up on every one of your doorsteps with flowers and candy, we decided that some original hand-drawn art could be just as good. So we teamed with artist Isabela Humphrey on our very first Drawn To You collaboration!

Isa is so talented, and I thought her style would be just perfect to tackle this phrase. I’ve been needing a little encouragement lately, and if you have too then this one’s for you. It’s available as printable wall art, a phone wallpaper, and computer wallpaper. Choose your favorite (or all of them!) and download away. Or if you just want to save it for a rainy day, pin it to your Pinterest boards and spread the love around. The printable art is sized at 11 x 14″, so you can either resize to print at home or take it to a print shop and have it printed. I think it looks pretty great at full size!

DOWNLOAD TO PRINT
DOWNLOAD FOR PHONE
DOWNLOAD FOR DESKTOP

Free Desktop + iPhone Wallpaper - Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright

And after you download, go check out more of Isabela’s work! Her illustrations are adorable and her hand lettering is so, so fun. Hoping you’ll get to see lots more of her around these parts! You can find her Etsy shop here and her Instagram here.

So, from us to you, enjoy! And if you have any requests for your next hand-drawn gift, we’re all ears. Mwah! xoxo

Galentine Gifts Under $20

Gifts for Your Galentines (Under $20!)

Hey girl! You got some Galentines? I have gal pals near and far and I love celebrating them in little ways whenever I can, but Leslie Knope was totally speaking…

Hey girl! You got some Galentines? I have gal pals near and far and I love celebrating them in little ways whenever I can, but Leslie Knope was totally speaking my language when she came up with Galentine’s Day. A whole day to celebrate your ladies? Yes, please. If you want to celebrate Galentine’s Day and get your gal pals a little something, here are a few ideas to get you going. And no, this post isn’t sponsored but every single one of these items is under $20 and just so happens to come from my favorite place: Target. I know you feel me.

Galentine Gifts Under $20

Makeup Bag. Flamingo CarpetTo-Go Mug. Heart Tumbler. Shower Curtain. Brushes. Wall Art.

Don’tcha just wanna traipse up and down the aisles at Target, tossing things in your basket to give to all your girls (aside from the fact that right about now a solo trip to Target sounds like a vacation)? Happy shopping, and Happy Galentine’s Day! xoxo

P.S. I just had to add that every single time I typed Galentine’s, my computer autocorrected to Valentine’s. I’m thinking autocorrect needs to join us in the 21st century. Get it together, technology!

Purple Sky

Happy Friday + A Rough Week

In the spirit of transparency, I’m gonna tell ya it’s been a rough week. Some weeks aren’t all gold leaf and photos of palms trees and throwing confetti. Some weeks…

Purple Sky

In the spirit of transparency, I’m gonna tell ya it’s been a rough week. Some weeks aren’t all gold leaf and photos of palms trees and throwing confetti. Some weeks are trips to the ER, sitting up all night with a sleeping kid on your chest, and completely losing your voice. That was this week.

I don’t need to bum out your Friday with all of the details but let’s just say we’ve had two sick babes over here for a while now! It’s been like boot camp for my mama heart, taking one step at a time to get stronger and deal with scary situations. I’m praying praying praying that they’re on the mend and I’d be grateful if you would too. And while we’re at it, can I pray on anything for you?

Shout out to my champ of a husband for tag teaming this crappy week! Parenting is scary enough, so I’m grateful daily that I have such a gem of a partner.

Here’s to a happy Friday and a healthy weekend! Have a good one! xoxo

How to Make a Gold Foil Iron Transfer Shirt for Valentine's Day

My Guilty Pleasures

I hereby present to you, without fear of judgement (because I know some of these are on your list too) and with zero reservation, my current guilty pleasures. Watching Real…

How to Make a Gold Foil Iron Transfer Shirt for Valentine's Day

I hereby present to you, without fear of judgement (because I know some of these are on your list too) and with zero reservation, my current guilty pleasures.

Watching Real Housewives. Mostly Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. But I’ll take Orange County in a pinch. I used to be wayyyy into Atlanta but it got to be too intense for me. That being said, I once had a phone conversation with Nene Leakes and it is still one of my weirdest and most fascinating moments. Ask me the story sometime and I’ll tell you.

Wearing fake glasses. I don’t remember when I started doing it, but I think it dates way back to high school, if I remember correctly. I’ve always thought glasses were so cute and secretly wanted to wear them but I have great eyesight (which I know is a blessing). So I wear fake glasses, mostly as a distraction on days when I don’t do my makeup.

Candy. Ohhhhhhh my gosh, I have a candy problem. Truly, if there’s candy in front of me I won’t stop eating it until it’s gone. I have too many favorites, but among them are Lemonheads, Trader Joe’s gummy bears, and Red Vines (but only if they’re a little bit stale).

Sitting directly in front of a fire. Or near/on anything that produces heat. In the winter I get so cold inside my body and have a hard time warming up. So I’ll sit next to the fire until my skin turns red. I used to sleep on top of a heating pad until I realized that it was spectacularly unsafe and moved on to an electric blanket. And I actually just realized that this dates way back to my childhood! My Grandma had heater vents in the floor of her house and whenever the heater would turn on I would curl up right on top of a vent like a cat. Woah.

Falling asleep with the television on. I know, everyone says this is a terrible way to go to sleep (something about not letting your brain shut down?) but sometimes the noise is just comforting.

Going places by myself. This one isn’t so much a guilty pleasure as a luxury these days. Between married life and parenthood, you’re pretty much always with somebody. But I think back to the old days when I used to go to the movies by myself or out to a meal by myself, both of which I loved to do, and I just wish I could do it again. The other day I went to Target by myself without any kids and I felt like skipping up and down the aisles. My, how things have changed!

Now don’t leave me hanging here, I know you have guilty pleasures too! What are yours? Do we have any of the same? xoxo

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Print

Hey gang! Here’s another fun use for your gold leaf supplies. We still have a few blank spots on our walls and I wanted to DIY something simple but cool,…

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

Hey gang! Here’s another fun use for your gold leaf supplies. We still have a few blank spots on our walls and I wanted to DIY something simple but cool, so this is what we came up with. We had all of the supplies, so it didn’t cost a cent! If you’ve got your gold leaf materials and some old frames laying around, you can do it too.

Materials

Make Time: 5 Minutes per Frame

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

Step 1: Use a paintbrush to splatter or drip gold leaf adhesive on a piece of cardstock.

Step 2: Allow the adhesive to dry for a minute or so, until the adhesive is tacky but not wet. If you have lots of adhesive pooling, gently dab it with a tissue to soak up a little excess. Be careful not to smudge the glue. Place gold leaf over all of the adhesive and smooth it down with a soft, dry paintbrush to be sure it adheres.

Step 3: Use a stiff paintbrush to buff off the excess gold leaf.

Step 4: Place the finished product in a frame and hang it up!

Love how these look all hung up together. I feel like this technique would be SUPER cool on a large-scale canvas, hanging over a mantle or something. Would you try it?  xoxo

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

DIY Gold Leaf Splatter Art

How to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night by Three Months

Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Let me start this post by just saying that we are by no means sleep wizards over here. One of the heaviest challenges of parenthood, in my opinion, is sleep…

How to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night by Three Months

Let me start this post by just saying that we are by no means sleep wizards over here. One of the heaviest challenges of parenthood, in my opinion, is sleep and all of the drama that comes along with it. And we are not without those challenges, to be sure! But somehow, we figured out more or less what worked for our kids and got baby sleeping through the night by three months old. We’ve had so many questions about how we did it (and I spent many wee hours googling about baby sleep patterns in the kids’ early weeks), so I thought I’d break it down in a detailed way.

So probably this isn’t for you, 20-or-30-something-gal-with-no-kids-in-sight. But trust me when I say that if kids are anywhere in your future, you’re gonna want to bookmark this. Because there is no more desperate time than 3 in the morning when the kid won’t sleep and all you want are a few consecutive hours of z’s for yourself. Now let’s get down to business. Click to read the breakdown of how we got our kids to sleep through the night!

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

DIY Photo Album with Instax Film

There’s this thing that happens to parents — I like to call it the Documentation Fail. You have a kid and you totally mean to take photos all the time and…

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

There’s this thing that happens to parents — I like to call it the Documentation Fail. You have a kid and you totally mean to take photos all the time and print them out and put them in a baby book for the kid to enjoy for years to come. And then you have a baby and thanks to your smartphone maybe you realize to snap some photos, but they pretty much just sit there in your camera roll collecting dust, never to be seen again. I can’t tell you how many adorable photos I have of my babes that have never seen the light of day. I don’t even really remember I have them. BUT! I just fixed the Fail. I discovered that Fujifilm has a printer that will print instax film using any photo you’ve got in your phone. So like any mother obsessed with her adorable kids, I decided to finally get a book together of Henry’s monthly photos from his first couple of years.

Materials

  • smartphone with photos
  • Instax SHARE Printer SP-2
  • FUJIFILM Instax Mini instant film
  • spiral bound book or album
  • patterned paper
  • washi tape
  • double stick tape
  • scissors

The printer is super easy to use (I didn’t even need Ryan to show me how to set it up, ha!) and I had Henry’s prints in my hands in about 10 minutes. You just download the app that connects with the printer, jump on the printer’s wifi, and select the photos you want to print. You can even edit them, make them into collages, or add little templates for holidays. So because I had all of these photos on my phone, I was able to just choose and print one from each month. They print on FUJIFILM Instax Mini instant film, which is so fun!

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Once you’ve got your photos all printed, find a blank spiral bound notebook. Grab some washi tape and fun paper to decorate your book. We added a background paper to each page with double stick tape and taped the images onto the background with patterned washi tape. If you like, label each month.

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

I love that I finally have a really simple way to get our daily snapshots off of my camera and into my life! We’ve already got these plastered all over our fridge, too. Even though we take posed monthly photos of both of the kids, this is a chance to print some of the photos that we take while we’re just doing our normal day-to-day stuff. I will always love holding a photo in my hands better than looking at it on my phone, especially the little moments we catch that aren’t part of some photo shoot. And by the way, you could make a book like this for anyone! It would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart or your bestie, a fun birthday gift, or a great idea for a teacher gift from the whole class.

I showed Henry his album and he wants to flip through it every day and have me tell him where we took each photo. That kid loves a story. He also wants us to make one for Maggie (hello, melt my heart), so I’ve been letting him pick photos and press the Print button which totally floats his boat. I’m thinking we’re gonna need to get some more film. 😉 xoxo

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

This post is sponsored by Fujifilm. All ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!