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Wednesday, June 14

Life Lately: Spring to Summer


For Mother's Day, we tried a new restaurant in Downtown Mesa that's become a new favorite - Worth Takeaway. It's going to be a new favorite brunch and lunch spot! 


My Mother's Day present from Brian and Edison was new plants! So far, they're all still alive a month later, so this is good. 

Not pictured above is my fiddle leaf fig, which we named Newt. Short for Fig Newton, and also, Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That gives him basically pet status, and keeps the Harry Potter pet name theme going. Newt is the only plant I'm concerned about - some of his leaves have started turning brown and many have brown spots. I've done a lot of googling on the subject, but it seems like it could be over-watering, under-watering, a bacteria, too much light, too little light ... it seems that no one really knows what causes fiddle leaf figs distress. Any tips would be great, if someone out there has experience with them!


Poor Edison. He LOVES helping us get ready for work or church in the morning by bringing us our shoes - unfortunately in this case, Brian really didn't need his shoes while he was in the shower, which Edison could not understand. It's also heartbreaking when he wants me to wear my tennis shoes with my dresses and skirts to work, and just doesn't understand why I pick other shoes. I have once worn the tennis shoes to the grocery store, just to make him happy!


One evening, I'd decided to take Edison on a quick walk, more for me than for him, to clear my head a bit in hopes of not tossing and turning all night. He was fascinated by the water flowing through the gutter, and I picked up a few pebbles and tossed them in. He was delighted, and I realized I'd made a terrible mistake - now we were going to be here all night, and we'd barely walked a few feet from the house! As I was trying to hurry him along without success, a lady came jogging past. "I miss those days when they were so small and so content to play with rocks!" She said.

I took a deep breath. The days are long, but the years are short.


I planned a Memorial Day Stay-cation exploring our city of Mesa, specifically, downtown. First up, we discovered a coffee shop that has lavender syrup! I've only ever had a lavender latte in Cannon Beach, Oregon, several years ago, so I was beyond excited to discover this a few miles away from my house, all this time! Second stop was a "Sculpture Tour," a loosely structured scavenger hunt of the 38 some statues downtown.


Also, cool murals. 


We closed out the weekend with swimming, some shopping, and taking Edison to a splash pad. He was quite content to watch the other kids, the water, and throw rocks in the puddles. 

I see so much of myself in him in social situations like this. While the other kids are running around screaming, making fast friends, I relate so much to his desire to just watch the unfamiliar people from the sideline, observe, talk to the kids that come by and initiate conversation, but for the most part, just do his own thing. 


I took a few photos and a video of Edison in the tub, being entertained by his Aunt Andrea playing peekaboo around the doorway. His giggle is just the best.


And now we're halfway through June! Brian and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this month with a weekend trip to San Diego - can you believe we've been married seven years? And Edison's second birthday is just around the corner! 

I hope, friends, that you're making summer bucket lists and finding fun ways to relax and enjoy the days. The days are long, especially in summer, but the years are short! 

Friday, June 9

4 #FridayFinds: And A Poll for a Rug!

1. My "Harper" Better Life Bag


All through the last two years, I've struggled with my diaper bag. Don't get me wrong - it was navy with anchors and was very cute. But, am I supposed to carry the diaper bag AND my already large purse, which I also love? I tried many times to fit the diaper essentials into my purse, and it was just a little too small. So I usually moved my essentials from my purse to the diaper bag, and just carried that. But sometimes/many times I'd forget an essential, like ... my wallet. Plus, I didn't love the look of carrying a bag everywhere that was clearly a diaper bag. 

So for Mother's Day, my gift was a Better Life Bag. These bags are fair trade, and making these bags gives women in Detroit a second chance at life, and an opportunity to support themselves and their families. 


You can purchase from the ready-to-ship selections, but I chose to design my own! I got to pick the fabric, leather color, hardware color, pocket fabric, lining, and pockets. I'm SO pleased with how it turned out! Plus, I ordered the "Harper" bag, so it's actually a backpack. I can fit an astonishing amount of stuff inside, and it's so much more comfortable to carry on my back than my shoulder!

I actually like it so much, it's become my work bag too. I can fit my Surface and notebooks inside for work, and then once I'm home, I can switch them out for the diaper essentials, and I'm ready for our weekend adventures! 

I recently took it as my carry on bag on a work trip. I could fit my Surface, magazines, books, and all my clothes and toiletries inside for my overnight trip.

I can't recommend this bag enough - and they're not paying me to say that. It's an incredible value, and for a great cause! 

2. Holy Yoga YouTube Videos



I'm starting to figure out that I actually need to invest in taking care of myself, otherwise, I'm not going to be able to take care of others. I'm not about to join Brian with the whole triathalon thing - so I've decided yoga is more my thing. I took a yoga class at the YMCA years ago and loved it. There's a yoga studio downtown, but I've been looking for a "Holy Yoga" class. If you haven't heard of Holy yoga - it's yoga, but with Christian music and meditating on scripture. I thought it would be fun to try, but I haven't found a class yet, so I started following along with some Youtube videos. I've really enjoyed these ones, especially the morning routines.

3. Breathe Devotional. 


This devotional book follows yoga so well! It's by Life Lived Beautifully, and it's about praying the Psalms. 

4. Rugs under $100. 

This blog post with boho chic rugs under $100 has made my life better. I've been looking for a vintagey-boho rug for the office for forever, and most rugs in that style are freaking expensive. But this blog post has so many good options!  From these options, I've found others in the depths of Amazon and Target. Now I just have to decide which one I like best. These are my three favorites, all for different reasons. Which would you vote for? 






Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, May 1

4 Steps to Up-cyle a Trader Joe's Bag to a Trendy Paper Storage Bag

For a #FridayFinds post a few weeks ago, I mentioned the new paper bag trend. Initially, I was confused. Why are white paper bags cool? Why are they all over Pinterest? And why are they selling all over Etsy? 


If I had to guess, I'd say these are the new fabric cubes and bins. Maybe the reason they're becoming popular is that storage solutions can be pricey, and this is a way to reuse what you already have. I'm still not sure why someone would buy one, but with some paint, I'm planning to DIY some Trader Joe's bags and use them for storage in my closets. They do have a cool texture, and you can customize them easily. 


You will need: 

  • Trader Joe's bags
  • Paint - I used white, gold, copper, and black to decorate mine
  • Foam brushes

Step 1: Paint your bag white. I think the white paint on the craft paper texture almost looks like canvas when it's dry.

 


Step 2: Decorate your bag. This is the fun part! I looked at paper storage bags on Pinterest, like the ones I included in this post above, for my inspiration. For my first one, I painted copper metallic crosses.



Step 3: Fold down the top of the bag. This is by far the hardest part - I couldn't seem to do it without tearing the top of the bag a bit. My only advice is to roll slowly, giving it a good crease now and then, and use some tape if it tears too noticeably. 


Step 4: Fill and display!


I had so many ideas for more bag designs - I made three more from Trader Joe's bags, and then painted a few other smaller paper bags as well. I love how the metallic ones turned out!


The metallic ones are my favorite. 

What am I going to use these for? What WON'T I use them for? Currently, I'm using two in the linen closet to hold washcloths and extra toiletries, and one to hold craft supplies. I might use some of the smaller ones for some plants. I'll post it on Instagram when I find them all a home :) 

So, what do you think of the paper storage bag trend? Are you in?