On Needing a Purse, Again + Autumn

August 30, 2016

autumn apple orchard //

When Roman was born, I had a shiny new diaper bag, chock full of “necessities.” There were diapers and rash creams; changing pads, blankets; bottles, bottle coolers; pacifiers, toys, several changes of clothes; and so on. Basically, whatever I could dream of needing was in that bag. My personal necessities were in there, too–keys, wallet, phone, lip gloss. It was new, important, and I wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without it.

Fast-forward to becoming a mother of two, and I swear to goodness, I haven’t even seen a diaper bag since before she was born. What do I do now? Throw everything in a good old plastic shopping bag moments before we head out. And by everything, I mean three diapers, a pack of wipes, and a change of clothes (if we’re going to be gone for awhile).

Ha! Yup. That’s it. It’s a little embarrassing to admit and it’s probably the biggest fashion faux-pas that I’ve ever committed; but it’s the truth. I wanted to write it down here for memory’s sake, because it’s about to change.

Since I had my first baby, nearly three-and-half (WTF?) years ago, I stopped carrying a purse. Whether it was a real diaper bag or a plastic shopping bag, I always threw whatever I needed in the baby’s bag and I was good to go. However, yesterday I went to a bridal shower. When I sat down at the beautifully set table, I realized that my hands were precariously filled by my cell phone, wallet, lip gloss, and sunglasses. And I had absolutely nowhere to put the damned things. That’s when I realized that it was time–time to start carrying a purse once again.

In part, it breaks my heart, the end of an era. It reminds me that my babies really aren’t babies anymore. Roman is starting preschool in a few days and Marina is no longer a baby, but now a full-blown toddler. My mama heart can hardly stand it.

Aside from the emotions of it, I have to say, it’s been a good run. I’ve enjoyed not carrying a purse. It’s been liberating. When people asked me to carry things for them, or to take something that I didn’t want to take, I could honestly say, “No, I can’t.” It was nice not heaving that extra appendage to carry around– full of crumbs, old receipts, and random pieces of gum that had escaped their wrappers. Hallelujah.

But, alas, it is time. This time around I’ve opted for a simple, easy-to-carry purse. I’m making it a high priority to keep it clean and full of only the bare essentials this time around. I plan to continue saying no when I do not want to carry or take something. I’ll let you know how it all works out.

On another note, how is it going to be September on Thursday!? I. Can’t. Even. Deal.

‘Til next time… xo

baby girl style + simplicity //

February 5, 2015

baby girl style //

baby girl style //

baby girl style //

While I was pregnant with Roman, a friend & I were browsing in a baby store for baby clothes. We were drooling over the adorable baby boy things. I distinctly remember saying that I was grateful to be having a boy because I would just lose it over all of the sweet, pink, girlie things.

Truth is, I’m still losing it over all of the girlie sweetness. However, I am grateful that baby #2 is the girl, rather than baby #1, because I now know just how little you really need to outfit a baby. And of course, I also know just how quickly they will outgrow all of that tiny sweetness, too.

I’ve purchased about ten pieces for her and I am cutting myself off here. I may yet pick up a few “necessaries” like onesies, socks, and a couple of swaddles — but her closet will not look anything like Roman’s did before he was born.

Our family is at a point where simplicity is absolutely critical to our happiness. The timing aligns perfectly with baby girl’s arrival. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the crazy world of “must-haves for baby” and I’m so glad that we are not caught up in that whirlwind.

dress one – a local boutique // dress two – j. crew // cardigan – old navy

P.S.: I purchased the above pieces during Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales.

P.P.S.: We intentionally planned for another Spring baby. I don’t know what I would do with an infant in winter!

sustainable living // reusable snack bags

July 10, 2014 | toddler snack time

Recently, I’ve been taking a closer look at everything that comes into and goes out of our home. Sadly, I am realizing just how much waste my little family of three creates. It’s alarming really. I learn about things like the Great Pacific garbage patch and the North Atlantic garbage patch and my heart breaks. These are two examples, among millions, that speak to the ways that we are destroying our planet.

The damage that each of us (in this particular society) does on a daily basis is incomprehensible. When I think about the scale of the issue, I am overwhelmed and often do nothing. I adopt the ignorant mindset of — Why should I bother? My small changes will not make a difference. But I quickly see the dangerous fault in that line of thinking. The truth is that change has to start somewhere, and just because I cannot fix the problem single-handedly, does not mean that I shouldn’t take small steps in the right direction. | toddler snack time | toddler snack time | toddler snack time | toddler snack time | toddler snack time

Regardless of where we stand on major issues, like climate change and fossil fuels, I think that we can all agree on some basic things. Pollution is real and our environment is suffering. If there are simple, affordable ways to create positive change — why not?

One of the changes that I’ve implemented recently is a switch from plastic snack & storage bags to reusable fabric ones, like the one Roman is holding above. We use snack bags a lot. I use them for Matthew’s lunches, on outings with Roman, and in the kitchen to store chopped veggies and such.

Plastic baggies seem like a little thing, but when I think about the long-term impact, it’s a big deal. In the past, we’ve gone through hundreds of baggies each year. It adds up financially. After each use I would occasionally wash and re-use them, but most of the time I’d toss them in the bin. The scariest part about it is that it takes at least 500 years for each plastic bag to biodegrade.

I set out to find a couple of small business owners that make high-quality, reusable snack bags. I wanted the bags to be well-made so that they would last awhile. I was also looking for bags that would be fun to use for Roman’s snacks but also some more neutral/masculine ones that I could use for Matthew’s lunches. I found two Etsy shops that offered exactly what I was looking for.

First up is Crafty Crafty Cathy. The shop owner, Cathy, is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home mom. Cathy is always working on creative projects that make her feel excited and inspired. She takes great care in everything she creates — with special attention to detail.

Cathy’s snack and sandwich bags are incredibly well-made. I love her selection of both fun and mature patterns & styles. The bags can easily be cleaned with a wet cloth, or you can pull the liner outward, wash them on cold, and hang dry. The zipper closures allow little fingers to open & close the bags easily. We’ve been using them for a few weeks now and they are perfect.

reusable snack bags |

reusable snack bags |

reusable snack bags |

I wanted to try a few different styles of baggies, so I’ve also been using a few from Mandy Mae’s Mercantile. They are equally amazing. Mandy Mae’s is the Etsy shop of Amanda (Mandy) Passmore and Jeanni (Mae) Clinton. Jeanni has always loved sewing and giving homemade gifts. When Amanda became pregnant, she ventured into creating an all-natural home. When she decided to quit teaching to be a stay-at-home mom, the two decided to create Mandy Mae’s to help others conserve the environment.

I just love our reusable bags from Mandy Mae’s. Each bag is made with a layer of cotton and an easy-to-clean layer of PUL. They also have a fun and beautiful selection of fabric to choose from. Their baggies have tight-sealing velcro closures to keep snacks tucked safely inside.

reusable snack bags |

reusable snack bags |

reusable snack bags |

reusable snack bags |

I am very happy with my decision to switch away from disposable baggies. It’s a baby step, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve implemented several changes like this one and look forward to sharing them soon.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I personally reached out and asked to partner with these shops because I feel strongly about their missions. I highly recommend checking them out if you are looking to make a similar change in your home. Visit Crafty Crafty Cathy and Mandy Mae’s Mercantile on Etsy.

Homemaking: The Bar

March 24, 2014

The bar in our living room is one of my favourite spots in the house. Because our home is small, I don’t have many areas where I can display things. We try to be minimalist and not accumulate a lot of “stuff.” Almost all of our spaces are functional. Still, the bar in our living area is one of the few spots where I can decorate. I change up the “display” every few months and include little things that bring joy to our home.

My cousin’s wife made me a gorgeous coaster set at Christmastime. I’ve been moving the set around the house for awhile, trying to locate its perfect home. I think I’ve found it at the center of the bar. The beautiful tiles in shades of green fit perfectly in the room. I love to keep fresh flowers about and this mason jar filled with early spring blooms is right at home on top of the leaf-themed coasters.

Happy Monday, friends. Here’s hoping for a blessed week.

All rights reserved © Live, Love, Simple. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie