5.19.2020

LIFE LATELY

How's life treating you? Life has been looking different these past couple of months for everyone, thankfully my husband has an essential job (he works for the USPS) but I know that sadly so many are out of work and facing financial hardships. If you are one of those, my heart goes out to you and prayers have been going up for every single person affected by this pandemic, as well those who are forced to stay in bad situations day after day due to this and those who have lost someone.


Life has stayed pretty much the same in our home, with the exception of staying home a lot more. We used to enjoy going to the grocery store as a family, the kids would always get to pick some little something out, Bella would help put things into the cart and then load groceries into our reusable bags afterwards, I'd baby wear Bodhi in our Wildbird ring slings while he'd try and reach for everything haha. I sure miss that, and I'm hoping we can go back to normal life sooner than later. I do miss going some places even though as a stay at home mom with two little ones I did't go that many places (but there were a few places I enjoyed going haha, leisurely strolls through Target namely lol), Bella misses going into restaurants the most, but thankfully there is still take out at most places when we want something different to eat. We got Chinese takeout this past weekend and it was amazing, beef lo mein and chicken and broccoli for the kids and I, and shrimp fried rice for Frank. We already home school so we haven't had to deal with sudden crisis schooling thankfully, Bella is doing so good with reading and art!


We've snuggled lots, watched some good movies (Unstoppable about Bethany Hamilton, Fish People, and The Lighthouse of the Orcas, all on Netflix, were 3 of my favorites) done some baking and tried some new recipes, I've taken up jogging, Bella has taken up skateboarding (I've been attempting to learn as well), day dreamed about a beach vacation, slowed way down to enjoy every single moment, and recently now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, been spending lots of time outdoors. We went to the lake this past weekend (a decent amount of people at the state park but everyone was great about being mindful of social distancing) and it was just what our souls needed. The sun and air were warm (hot even) but the water was still COLD, the kids didn't care though, they were just happy to be there and be around water and sand and had the best day splashing in the lake, building sand castles, wearing their swimsuits and soaking in the sunshine. I ended up getting a bit of a sun burn and let me tell you, I've never been happier to be a little red, it totally meant we had been able to be outdoors, that the sun was out and that I had spent an afternoon making sweet memories with my favorites.


I got tired of looking at the same things day after day during this extra time at home, so I've updated a few things... new rugs in the living room, entry way, kitchen and bathroom, replaced the dining room rug with the one that used to be in the living room, got a new shower curtain, a new wall tapestry and print in the kids room, and some new houseplants! It's amazing what changing a few things around and doing a little home refresh can do for you! I still have a few more things I want to switch up and refresh but it might be awhile before I do those.


Currently Bodhi is napping, Bella just finished up school for the day and will be doing her art jam soon, the windows are open letting in the most amazing spring breeze, I have lemon in the diffuser in the kitchen (one of my favorites to diffuse in there) and on the menu tonight are tacos. Its one of our little family's absolute favorite meals and Bella always gets so excited for "Taco Tuesday". We'll be finishing up the last of our last jar of the salsa I canned last summer, it's pretty much the saddest day ever when all the salsa is gone (haha) and I'm already planning on canning twice (maybe even three times) as much this year. How is your day going? What's for dinner in your house today? Feel free to leave a comment down below or send me a DM on instagram and say hi!


5.18.2020

BRAVE GIRLS CLUB | BELLA GETS A SKATEBOARD

This is the face of a girl who has been asking for a skateboard for 4 years. Look at that pure joy.


She saw a movie about skateboarding back in 2016 that we were watching and I guess it made quite an impression on her (obviously haha). She's had other interests over time but she'd always come back around to asking for a skateboard again.

A couple of months ago we started doing the daily free live online art jams that Peace of Wood in Ocean City NJ has been doing and she has just blossomed. Her art, her personality; this whole quarantine/stay at home thing has seemed to make her grow up so much, which normally would make me sad, but I absolutely adore the little lady she's growing into. Anyway, back to art jams... they were doing a contest where you could win a skate deck or 10 free in person skate jams (when they open back up) and she came to me and asked if she could enter, I'm like sure! She told me "maybe I can finally get a skateboard this way" (cue the mom guilt lol). She entered the contest, and when she didn't win, instead of being sad, she was happy for the kid who won and said "maybe I'll win next time", and then asked if she could sell her dollhouse (since she hadn't played with it much for the past year) to save up for a skateboard. I said why not and she ended up selling it and made $45!


She was on her way to getting that skateboard and was so excited. We ended up taking care of the rest (so it wouldn't take her 5 billion years to get it haha) and here she is now... the happiest little skateboarder. We waited so long to let her get one because we were honestly kind of worried about her getting hurt, but it's been her dream to skateboard for years and I think the wait just made it that much sweeter for her and made her appreciate it even more.

I shared a video last week in my Instagram stories of her unboxing it (it's now saved to my highlights on there in case you need a dose of cuteness) and it's pretty much the sweetest thing ever. She had originally wanted a mint Penny skateboard with pink wheels, but then decided last year that she wanted this beautiful sage green penny board (good choice if you ask me because that color is absolute perfection). She spent her first day with it indoors getting the hang of it, falling a lot and getting right back up to try again, even finally doing some actual skateboarding! So proud of her!


She has since gotten her helmet and other protective gear (knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards) and ventured outdoors. She's fallen a few times, gotten right back up and kept going (thankfully the protective equipment kept her from getting scraped up so far). She is doing so great and having the absolute best time learning. She gets on and goes cruising across the parking lot while yelling "woohooo" and is just the raddest kid ever.


I keep telling her that she's joined the "brave girls club", because she's been so fearless trying new things and putting herself out there these past few months, picking herself back up and trying again when she falls, and for doing things even when she is nervous.


Wanna hear something super awesome? A few days after she got her skateboard in the mail, she entered another contest that Peace of Wood was having, she's been entering every week for 6 weeks, and she finally wonnnn! So she has another skateboard on the way. What's better than 1 skateboard? 2 of course! I love, love, love that she was so persistent and determined and that it paid off. She wanted the Penny board to learn on and then had already been talking about maybe getting another (wooden deck) skateboard sometime in the future, because it her words she "needed one to learn and cruise on", and then she "needed one to learn tricks on" haha, cutest girl ever. She is beyond stoked, she totally screamed from happiness when Kristina (from Peace of Wood) called her name as the winner and has been walking, er skating, on clouds ever since.


My girl, with a sparkle in her eye, joy in her heart, determined and full of kindness, ready to take on the world. Here's to living slow and skating fast!

3.06.2020

PHIPPS CONSERVATORY ADVENTURES

If you know me very well at all, you know how much I love all things botanical and nature. Botanical gardens are one of my most favorite places in the world to go to, and one of my favorite places that my parents used to take us when we were growing up, was Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis! It was the best, so of course I missed visiting there after I had I grown up, married and moved across country. Thankfully I done a quick google search for botanical gardens near Pittsburgh one day a few years ago and a place called Phipps Conservatory popped up! I immediately wanted to go of course!


Flash forward a few years and we've now been to Phipps Conservatory quite a few times now, it's become quite a family favorite in fact! We usually go during the cold months, because let's face it, when you've been cooped up for months and the only green things you laid eyes on since summer are the vegetables you bought for dinner, those salads you love so much and of course your plant babies (house plants), there's nothing like a small taste of summer and alllll the greenery in the middle of winter.


While I love every single bit of Phipps Conservatory, the fruit tree and spice room is by far my favorite, if only I could install a scratch and sniff in this post, just so you could smell the heavenly aroma that you catch a hint of long before you even reach the room. As soon as you smell it you know you can't wait to get to that room to bask on the delight of orange and lemon trees, banana trees, coffee trees, starfruit trees, mango trees... I could go on, but the scent of citrus trees blossoming is like no other scent on earth.


My other favorite room is the cactus room, it's so pretty and immediately makes me want to take a road trip to somewhere like Arizona. Some of the cactus tower above you and other are the smallest of things, the agave plants are always a highlight because I'm low-key obsessed with agave plants (definitely dream of owning one and having a huge one in our front yard someday), I also noticed some interesting looking "wooden sticks" in the cactus room this time, and upon closer inspection I noticed the little sign that said they were cactus skeletons! Super cool, I had no idea what old dried cactus looked like and it had a super cool weathered look to it (I'd definitely use them in the corner as decor haha).


Frank's favorite room is the orchid room, he loves all of the interesting and intricate flowers and I don't blame him, they're absolutely stunning! Plus they smell pretty amazing!

Bella's favorite room of course is the room that has the child's play area and pretend market. It's super adorable and the perfect place to stop if your kiddos need a little bit of a break from all of the plant looking. She of course loves looking at flowers, trees and plants, she's a little nature girl, but nothing beats playing, especially with toys that aren't your own haha!


It was Bodhi's first time at Phipps, and I'm pretty sure he was in awe that summer basically appeared out of thin air in the middle of winter haha. He'a an outdoors boy through and through, has been since he was born, he was pretty much the chillest kid ever when we were at Phipps, he sat in the stroller and just stared so mesmerized at all of the plant life surrounding him. When I finally let him run around for a few minutes and stretch his little legs, he took off running, trying to explore all the things in as little time as possible, it was pretty cute if I do say so myself.


If you're looking for a great (and educational) way to spend a little more time with your family or just need some green in your life after this never ending winter, Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh is definitely your best bet. We already can't wait to visit again, we're hoping maybe sometime over the summer so we can explore the outdoor gardens. Who knows, maybe we'll even see you there!