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link love.


there's been some really, really beautiful writing going on -- posts that have really stuck with me. i've found myself talking about them with ryan or friends for days & going back to read them again. i'm so grateful to stumble on pieces that are so beautifully written -- that challenge me or surprise me or inspire me, or all three at once. happy reading!

a beautiful, poignant piece on marriage.

a brave, vulnerable post on a space to heal & how significant that can be.

this is a wonderful playlist -- i'm gonna listen to it right into fall.

my sweet friend claudia's wonderful thoughts on her son brayden. (& a photo of him that will make you weak in the knees!!)

also, e in a ponytail gets me every time. remember when she was this little?!



for favors for this baby shower, i did spray painted gold mason jars with hydrangeas from our garden. our three hydrangea bushes were ridiculously in bloom the weekend of this shower & i was so excited to be able to have guests take home some blossoms. i simply spray painted the jars, which was kinda fun!

one word of advice: use spray paint, not house paint. i ran out of spray paint for the last few jars and decided i'd just dip them in some extra house paint i had (that this would be "neat!") yeah, not so much. it was going to be about a week before those suckers dried (& of course i was doing this the night before the shower...). they made a huge mess & resulted in a lot of cursing on my part. luckily, my saint of a neighbor came over & offered some extra spray paint, so i actually went over the house paint, which made it dry a lot faster. any color of spray paint will work -- i'm excited to try this again with a new color! neon would be really fun.

what's your favorite favor to give? i also love these ideas for giving flowers in simple butcher paper or ice cream & pickles! also, a guide to the best gold spray paint -- i love design master 24 kt!


a simple baby shower.


a simple project.

if you're anything like me, your pinterest boards are full of projects you are slowly realizing you'll likely never do -- when will that time exist? where would you even find those gorgeous materials? you've figured out what is "so easy" to others meets your lack of craftiness/engineering/handiness and becomes a disaster quite quick.

& maybe also you're looking to have natural products in your house -- for your baby's bath, to clean your floors, to cook with.

and finally, when you do actually make something or create something, you sit there wondering why there isn't more space in your life for this -- few things ground you more. this is what you want your life to be full of.

last week, i'd tried a single batch of coconut oil + sugar scrub & loved it. then i saw these vintage style ball blue jars on sale at the commissary (translation: military grocery store :) please know i was jumping up and down in the aisle -- ellie was totally embarrassed! i simply combined roughly equal parts organic sugar & coconut oil from trader joe's -- you can adjust to the consistency you like. i made one for our house & two to share with sweet friends. as we approach fall & winter, this seems especially comforting.

here are the facts: this took me 15 minutes from start to finish. all you need are coconut oil & sugar -- you can use any container you have on hand. in fact, i was thinking when i get to a quarter of the coconut oil jar, i might just add sugar to that, it's a great container! the only qualification you need is stirring!

happy september, sweet readers!


care & keep: the beginning & method.

i've so loved your response to this series -- how many of you are also longing to simplify your lives & i'm eager to swap ideas. i thought i might share the way i began & the method i've tried to follow

i wrote this in the initial post: my aim here is simple -- to use this year to figure out how to really care for our house -- to ensure what's here are things we use & love, and to know how to take good care of them. i gave myself the whole year intentionally -- that was the only way i knew i might actually do this. i'm the type of person who loves the idea of doing this whole thing in a weekend, but that wasn't going to happen -- this year didn't have a weekend like that. & i knew the thought required meant it'd be better done over time.

Click to read more ...


giveaway: oh my love!

my sweet friend, tanya, just released a new album: oh my love.

this amazes me on so many levels -- i can't imagine the amount of work she's poured into creating this; how incredible it is to share your voice like this; and well, i can't carry a tune in the shower. ellie used to love my singing (mostly cause the poor thing only heard my voice), but now that she's a wise 20 month old (& we've been listening to tanya's music while we drive around this summer with the windows down, road trip style), she asked me to stop singing the other day! so, i'm just all around in awe.

here's the really exciting thing: tanya sent me two extra copies to give away! so, if you'd like a copy, i'd love to send a little note your way with this cd! to enter, just leave a comment with your favorite place to listen to music -- on the porch over dinner with friends, while you're on a long run, dancing in the living room with your favorite person -- i'm excited to hear! i can't wait for you to "meet" this sweet friend through her music -- you're going to love her!


simple card organizing.


trader joe's staples.

i could really wax poetic about my love for trader joe's -- it is a true hike from our house, but one i gladly take because what i bring home for our little family is just the best. in addition to loving their produce, their breads (& whole wheat donut holes!), there are a few items that seem to wind up in my cart each time. many of them i learned about from friends, so i thought i'd share a few with you in case you haven't discovered them yet! as my mom would say, "this is information i can use!"

coconut oil -- i use this for my sore throat remedy, baking, etc.

inner peas -- holy moly, we got through bags of these! e loves them which makes me so happy because i'm terrible at cooking peas & it's hard to find an easier way to eat veggies. we often open a bag en route home, then enjoy them with hummus or as a "snackie" as she says.

fleur de sel caramels -- fair warning, these things are HIGHLY addictive. 

organic yogurt squishers -- the first time i got these i noticed on the box it said refrigerate OR freeze & a light bulb went off -- these will be SO much less messy if they're frozen! the best part is, ellie thinks they're a treat, so as i'm finishing up some gardening before dinner, i'll bring her one on the step -- it buys me time to finish up & tides her over while i fix dinner.

organic animal crackers -- brings out your inner kid every time.

bolognese pasta sauce -- we use this on pasta and pizza in our house & i can't tell you how many people think it's gourmet or homemade pasta sauce -- it's just that good. sometimes i add to it (ground meat, fresh basil), sometimes i don't! i also use it as the tomato base for our favorite chili.

organic pop corn -- we're devoted to stove top popcorn & this is just the best. it's surprisingly hard to find organic kernels & these are incredibly well priced and oh so good.

alright, your turn, what are your favs?!