Floral Limon Top

Sewing for Plum has been so much fun. When I was pregnant with her, almost overnight my sewing changed from being almost exclusively for myself to almost exclusively for her. I was thrilled to be asked by Willow and Co. Patterns to sew up one of their new patterns as part of their pattern tour. I love pin tucks, and this little Limon Top Pattern immediately jumped out at me. It was a fun sew, I learned some great new techniques, and Plum looks totally adorable in it. Win all around!
Floral Limon Top-One Little Minute Blog-2 Floral Limon Top-One Little Minute Blog-12 I’ve had this little floral print in my stash for a couple years and it seemed like the perfect match for a lightweight summer top. Because I sewed a size 2T, the “top” is more like a dress, but that’s perfect because she’ll be able to wear it with bloomers now and with shorts and leggings later (always with Freshly Picked moccs, of course).  The pin tucks give the Limon Top a cute, full shape at the bottom, and I love the simple details. Read More »

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3 Ways to Simplify Your Summer

Summer unofficially begins today! Even though Kindergarten doesn’t get out for two more weeks, I’ve been feeling a little bit anxious about the months of free time ahead. I guess once we got into the schedule of two of my three being away at school most of the week, I started to forget what it’s like to have all of them home all the time. All of the sudden the popularity of summer camps and long vacations seems to make more sense in the context of parenthood (rather than from the child perspective that I’ve had up to this point!) Luckily, in all of my planning and worrying about how to stay entertained has helped me to gain some perspective, (this article helped, too.) Today I’ve partnered with Joovy to share Three Ways to Simplify Your Summer!
3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-1 1) Play Close to Home

Although summer vacations can take you all around the globe, regular summer days can and should keep you exploring in your own neighborhood! Right outside our door we have miles of sidewalk to cruise. It’s such a beautiful thing to go somewhere without getting in the car. To walk right down the street and enjoy being together, and being outside. While I know a lot of things have changed since I was young, I loved knowing my neighbors and getting to discover secret spots within walking and biking distance of my driveway. Near my parent’s house there was a place where the sidewalk ended before an undeveloped lot. I thought it was such a magical place where another world began! I want my kids to feel that same excitement about where we live, and we won’t be able to until we get out there and explore. Not to mention how much safer I’ll feel letting them go play on their own in a few years when I know the neighborhood as well as they do.  3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-2 Milo learned to ride his bike without training wheels earlier this year, but Eliot is well on his way with this Joovy Bicycoo balance bike. It’s built like a bicycle with a metal frame, hand brakes, and air tires. He feels like he’s as big as his brother pushing along as he gains the balance he’ll need to get going on a real bike soon. We didn’t have a balance bike with Milo, and can already see how learning to balance before learning to pedal will be such an advantage. Plum and I join the gang with the grow-with-you Joovy Tricycoo. From sitting and riding, safely contained within the surround arms, to learning to hold on and pedal on her own, she’ll gets to experience the fun of biking with the family starting now! I love that I can push her in the Tricycoo until she knows how to power it herself, because we can keep up with the boys as we go out exploring. Her cute little Noodle helmet fits her tiny baby head perfectly, too, and of course she loves wearing one just like big brothers. We can all get out together, just rolling down the street, as we stay close to home for some summer fun. 3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-8 2) Stock Up on Old Favorites

I’m guilty of overdoing things while trying to create fun moments with my kids. I sometimes overlook or dismiss the simple old favorites because they’re too simple or too obvious. There’s a reason things like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, hula hoops, and water balloons have been around forever. They’re fun! I actually love drawing with sidewalk chalk, and I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. You can make game boards, hopscotch, or trace an outline of each of the kids’ bodies and let them color in the details. A driveway or patio offers the perfect spot for some old fashioned summer fun. 
3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-4 3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-5 3) Pack A Lunch Daily

This might not sound like simplifying, but let me explain. While I’m already in the habit of packing lunches, I thought it would make the day so much easier to just have a lunch packed and ready to eat wherever we end up each day. These aren’t gourmet meals, we’re talking sandwiches, fruit and veggies, and simple snacks. I used to do this when we lived in DC and my boys were babies, and I loved the freedom of having lunch with me wherever we were. Whether on the front lawn on our picnic blanket, or down the street at the neighborhood park. Rather than having to rush home to pull something together, or grab meals out every few days, if you have a packed lunch you’re set for the day and can enjoy whatever adventures you happen upon. Somehow taking that element out of the middle of the day just helps keep things rolling smoothly, no one gets too hangry, and we’re able to continue enjoying the afternoons.  3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-7 I’m sure our summer will also have lots of days by the pool (ours is close enough we can ride our bikes!), some weekends camping or visiting friends, and some trips to local zoo and museums. It’s the many, many in-between days that will be easier and more fun by keeping them simple. I scheduled a babysitter a couple days a week to separate some work time and recharge time from the together time that I get to spend playing with the kids, so that I can feel free to play and explore right along side them. It’s summer for me, too, after all! The anxiety is becoming replaced by enthusiasm, and (as soon as the rain stops) we’ll be ready for the summer to begin!
3 Tips For Outside Family Fun at Home-One Little Minute Blog-3

This post was created in collaboration with Joovy. All ideas and opinions are genuine and authentic, of course. Thank you for supporting the brands that make my blogging possible!

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Energy is Everything // Recharge Yourself!

  I’m sitting in Lake Powell, spending a couple short days away with my family. While going to the lake with kids isn’t a total break, it definitely provides some much-needed family time, relaxation, and a chance to read books (I finished one today and have another packed for tomorrow!) It has already been an energy recharge for the busy weeks ahead. 

I want to share a little bit today about giving yourself the time you need to recharge on a regular basis. Just as a flashlight starts to go dim as the batteries get low, so do we start to perform under our highest level as our energy depletes. This can happen every day, multiple times a day, or maybe your battery stays charged for weeks on end but when you crash you crash hard. 

Do you have any triggers for when your energy starts to get low? For me, when I am getting worn out I tend to sigh a lot, and my ability to problem solve deteriorates quickly. I find myself dismissing my children rather than engaging with them. Rather than feeling enthusiastic about plans I’ve made or projects I’m working on, everything starts to feel a bit heavy.

A few months ago I noticed these triggers happening more often and decided to schedule regular energy recharge into my weekly routine in order to make it happen. Before then I tried to get some “me time” every so often, but the creative, emotional recharge that I need wasn’t always happening. I set aside two hours, two days a week to deliberately care for my inner-battery. Usually for me that means sewing, crafting, or making something. But sometimes it means sitting on the couch and reading a book, or listening to loud music and dancing around the kitchen while I bake a cake. They are golden energy hours for me, time when I can be alert, excited, and creative. (With the summer coming, I’ve scheduled a regular babysitter two days a week so that I can still have this time for myself.) 

During my recharge hours, I leave everything else alone. I put my phone in a different room, ignore the toys scattered throughout the house, and forget the emails sitting in my inbox. My dishes are already scheduled for the evening along with my laundry in it’s place on Mondays and Fridays, so those things don’t take as much work to let go of. 

It’s amazing how difficult it can be to give ourselves time to do the things that we love. Sometimes I still fight myself about using my recharge time because I think of all of the other stuff that I could be getting done!! I have to recognize that if I don’t charge my battery it will go out. So many times we continue giving when we have no more to give, or pushing and trying when we’re past the point of exhaustion, usually to care for and help others. But when we run ourselves too low, we start to become useless to ourselves and everybody else. Recently, after a week where I used all of my recharge time to catch up on work, I finished the week feeling so spent. I was totally drained emotionally, physically, and mentally. It was a good reminder of how true my need for some energy recharge is, and gave me the confidence I needed to stay on schedule for my own happiness and sanity.

You know what’s really funny? When my cell phone hits that 20% battery mark and I fumble to find a charger so that I can keep power on this most important device. I’ve even stopped at a convenience store on the side of the freeway to grab a charger when I didn’t have one and was planning to be out all day. It’s incredible how responsive I am to that indication of low energy! 

Wouldn’t it be awesome if our bodies had a 20% alarm? If when we started to get that low on energy we had a reminder that we needed to plug ourselves into the things that we love in order to recharge. My regular recharge helps keep me on track to having a baseline of energy reserved. 

Of course there are times when we need a quick boost to get through the day (think a walk around the block, or buying an inexpensive bouquet of fresh flowers.) I also think that a few days outside of routine every so often, whether a staycation, vacation, or full-on sabbatical help keep our energy and happiness high. The important take away is that we do need to recharge, and it won’t necessarily happen automatically. We have to choose to charge ourselves. And we–along with those around us– are so much better off when we do. 

What is it that you absolutely love to do? Or maybe what do you love the idea of doing that you haven’t ever tried? These are some the things that will recharge your energy. Other things might be exercising, or spending time outside.

Now I’ll get back to my books, kids, and daily walks for ice cream at the Marina Store, and you plan yourself some recharge time. And have a great weekend!

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Mexican Style for Stylo Magazine 04

Stylo Magazine, Issue 04 released yesterday, and with it this Mexican Style Inspired editorial shoot I created entitled Color Me Fiesta. The magazine is basically a children’s fashion sewing magazine, published only online with clickable links to all of the patterns, fabrics, and accessories used in every spread so that the looks can be recreated by the readers! It’s such an amazing collaboration between the editors, Jessica and Celina, and the many talented contributors they pull together for each edition. I was thrilled to be invited to submit a spread, and am so happy with the way mine turned out. The full magazine is available here, and I’m excited to share a few (okay, a lot!) of my favorite shots.
South of the Border-One Little Minute Blog-108 South of the Border-One Little Minute Blog-104 This issue had the theme “High Fructose” and the first thing that popped into my mind was a sweet-filled piñata! Since I’m becoming Texan, and have always been inspired and excited by desert landscape as well as Mexican culture, I decided to create a South of the Border feel for my outfits and my shoot. Read on to see the full looks and the candy falling! Read More »

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Buying a House, Building a Home


When Dave and I decided to move to Texas two years ago, one of the most exciting ideas was that we would be able to afford to buy our first house. Up until then we had lived in small rental apartments in Utah, New Hampshire, and Virginia. All of our living situations had been temporary while we finished up our schooling, and it never made sense financially to buy. One big draw of Austin was the lower cost of living compared to everywhere we had lived. That combined with the tacos and sunshine made us feel pretty thrilled.
Andersons Build A House-One Little Minute Blog (90 of 9) Even though we had planned a move to Texas, it actually happened a lot more quickly than we imagined. In February we were hoping to move by the end of the year, but Dave got a job really fast and we were out of our apartment three weeks later! Luckily, we had been saving money for over a year to buy a minivan with cash, so we had inadvertently prepared ourselves with most of a down-payment. We had to educate ourselves quickly about home buying so we could feel confident taking advantage of the opportunity when it came. Andersons Build A House-One Little Minute Blog (92 of 9) We were surprised by a few things when we started the process of looking for a house. First, the market was so hot in Austin people were paying much more for homes than they had just a couple years ago, which challenged our ideas about what was affordable. Second, buying an already existing home wasn’t the only option, we could also choose to build. That was something that hadn’t really crossed our mind before! I wish I would have known then about this free online resource full of easy-to-understand videos, information and answers to common questions provided by Capital One Home Loans. It would have helped make everything even more clear. At a glance this week I learned a few things (like a good rule of thumb for what you can afford is 2.5 your annual salary) that I had never heard before! We tried to educate ourselves with the help of a realtor, and when we stumbled upon a lot in the corner of a great neighborhood and fell in love with it, that was the nudge we needed to jump. We signed on the lot, and settled in to save as much extra money as possible over the next six months while our home was built because we wouldn’t close until it was finished. Andersons Build A House-One Little Minute Blog (93 of 9) We loved the building process! We chose a smaller single story floor plan, that still more than doubled any of our previous living spaces, and set out to make it feel simple, open, and filled with light. Settling into an apartment nearby allowed us to visit the home site every day, checking out the progress. We had a picnic as they poured the foundation, took photos of the boys in their hard hats, and luckily even caught a few mistakes before they were too hard to fix (like when they almost lay the hardwood the wrong direction!) If you have a budget to stick to, there are either-or decisions happening all the time and I learned a lot about the elements of a house that are most important to me– like the kitchen, and ones I don’t care a lot about–like the bathrooms. We daydreamed about moving in with our new baby–who ended up coming 11 days late, and 5 days after we signed the hundred pages of our loan documents to close. Andersons Build A House-One Little Minute Blog (94 of 9) Even now, two years later, I am continually learning about home buying, our mortgage, and everything home ownership involves. The process is very much an emotional one because we are invested in our lives and the concept of a home. I’ve already attached all sorts of meaning to our house that it doesn’t necessarily deserve, and in situations like buying a house, which is a huge financial decision, it is important to be as knowledgeable and informed as possible to be able to think clearly. It can hard to make good decisions under the stress of excitement and expectation. Which is why Capital One is invested in helping first-time home buyers like us understand how the loan process works and figure things out all along the way. Andersons Build A House-One Little Minute Blog (98 of 9) I tell myself every day how lucky I am to live in a house I love. I know that not everyone has the opportunity, and I sure don’t take it for granted.

Compared to the six-months of building the house, the process of settling in, collecting things we love, and decorating it into a home is slow and steady. I’m excited to start sharing little pieces of our new space with you as I get them pulled together over the next few months (or years!)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thank you for supporting these sponsored posts that make it possible for me to share here on my blog!!

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