second birthday at the beach

Layla’s Second Birthday on the Beach

Please don’t hold it against me when you’re older, Layla! Ok, so you didn’t get a big blow out birthday like your sister did when she turned two… but you did get to celebrate your second birthday on the beach – and that’s your favorite place ever. And with cake. And with Uncle Chris documenting it for all of us.

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kids birthday invitations

Easy Invitations with Basic Invite

Layla’s birthday is around the corner so Chris keeps giving me the side-eye. He’s wondering if I’m gonna get crazy with the coordinating and DIY like we did for both Ellie’s first two birthdays. He thinks I’m nuts, like who would really WANT to spend so much time and energy (and money) on a kid’s birthday party? And one they won’t even remember. I get it. It’s not everyone’s idea of fun. But it is mine.

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maasai mara safari

Africa: Kenya Safari and Maasai Tribe Visit

“I think I’m going to Africa,” my younger sister declared to me a year ago. “Well wait, I wanna go to Africa too!” was my whiny big sister response. And that’s how it started. I turned to Chris with my eyebrows raised and he shrugged, “sure, go!” A week or two later it was confirmed. It’s been years since I traveled just to travel and I knew this trip would feed my soul. And Kenya did just that.

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affordable bedding

Frills, Thrills and Affordable Bedding (under $35.00)

Lucy (the dog) spent the weekend with us last weekend and Ellie couldn’t help but want to dress her up every chance she got. So I returned the favor and dressed the girls up similarly. I’m not sure, can you tell who had the most fun with this? 😉 I don’t know how I ended up with such a girly-girl but to see her smile is worth all the tutus and frill.

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the art of slowing down

Learning the Art of Slowing Down

It’s been quiet over here on the blogging-front. I’m not exactly sure why other than I’ve been trying to slow down. In general, in life. This constant nagging, pulling feeling of “I have to do this right away! I must get this done now!” is exhausting. I mean, I have two kids for that (half joking). I don’t need to add more pressure and unnecessary stress to my life. Not that blogging is always stressful, but it can be. It can also be a cathartic, supportive experience. As I write this now, like I’m writing in my journal, I feel grateful to have this space. I’m writing as I feel inspired, and not because of some imaginary rule or deadline I set for myself. That’s not how I want to operate anymore. I’m instead working on the art of slowing down.

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cranberry mule fall cocktail

Thanksgiving Table Decor, Holiday Cocktail

San Diego isn’t known for its changing seasons but we were still surprised to wake up to 85 degree weather on Thanksgiving Day. A quick poll of our guests and we unanimously decided to eat our feast outside. Luckily our thanksgiving table decor translated well to our backyard picnic table.

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anniversary family photos

6 years married – Family Photos

Chris and I started this yearly (and yes, cheesy) tradition of taking a photo with the number of years we’ve been married. Last month we celebrated 6 years married. According to google:

6th Anniversary: Candy – which obviously represents sweetness – and iron – indicative of strength — are the traditional materials of the sixth anniversary.

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wedding anniversary celebration

Anniversary in Palm Springs

We take our wedding anniversary pretty seriously. And by seriously I mean that we make it a priority to get away (just the two of us) for some fun. With kids and busy lives, sometimes it’s easier to brush off special occasions and keep it super simple. It’s not that we NEED more, its just that it feels really good to make together-time a priority and an anniversary is a perfect excuse for that.

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Birthday Trip to Valle de Guadalupe – Mexico’s Wine Country

You know how it is when you keep hearing about a certain place over and over and finally decide you can’t ignore it anymore, right? Well that was Valle de Guadalupe for me. For the past two years, I have been hearing about this GORGEOUS wine country just south of the border and it was time to see it for myself. My birthday was coming up so what better excuse?

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baby progression photos first year

Monthly Baby Photos: Layla’s first 12 months

Reaching the first year milestone is a BIG one, and I think every parent would agree. I describe it like a deep breath. We made it, we survived (mostly) unscathed, and we’re left with the confidence that “ok, we can do this.” The joke that the first birthday party is for the parents isn’t too far from reality. We deserve the celebration as much as anyone, am I right?

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