All the Lovely Things: Breakfast boards

Have you started planning for your weekend yet?

I’m having brunch with two great friends on Saturday morning. I’m planning on making a breakfast board, a somewhat variation of charcuterie, with crusty breads, hard boiled eggs, berries, cheese, and jams. The past month I’ve also been collecting (*cough* hoarding) chocolates and wines given to me as birthday gifts, all of which I hope will create a delicious morning feast.

Cup of Jo breakfast board

Cup of Jo: Breakfast Board

Of course I will be serving my favorite coffee in addition to all the boozy delightfulness.

I recently received this rose gold initial necklace as a birthday gift. It’s so sweet and I love having Jackson’s initial with me wherever I go.

Nashelle initial necklace

Nashelle Rose Gold Initial Disc Necklace

Not a gift, but something I’ve been staring at dreamily for months now. Can’t you imagine this in the living room of a beach house with the waves tumbling outside?

Ballard Whale

Whale Diptych Art

Finally, in the spirit of wedding season, this is a post I’ve revisited probably fifty times in the past three years. Read it and remember, it will make your marriage that much easier.

Lydia Netzer

15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years

A Desert Weekend

This past weekend, we spent four relaxing days with my cousin and her husband at their new home in Nevada. Having traveled with Jackson before, I think both my husband and I were approaching the trip with a little trepidation. Lucky for us, my cousin is one of those hosts who manages to make everything easy and fun.

The road there is 100% desert, so there were only so many landscape pictures I could take from the car (especially since it went up to 113F the first day, making me almost completely unwilling to roll down the window.)

Despite the high heat, the looming mountains in the distance were stunning.

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Once we arrived, we hugged and chatted for a bit before finding our way to their backyard oasis. Shaded by the patio and outlined in paths of rock and desert plants, the clear blue pool took center stage. Beyond the walls and over the horizon was another gorgeous view of mountains in the distance.

The pool was perfect for hot, summer days. We spent hours in the water, splashing around with Jackson and lazily floating back and forth.

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That night (and every meal thereafter), we were fed like kings. I am still dreaming about this shortcake with tequila-soaked pineapple (yes, it was as amazing as it sounds!)

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Jackson even got a little extra special treat!

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We spent the weekend sleeping in, wine tasting, bowling, eating, and just hanging out and talking. It was definitely one of the most relaxing and comfortable weekends I’ve ever spent at someone’s house.

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We left Monday morning, and despite a wrong turn that led us to the gates of Las Vegas (so close, yet so far away!), we were rewarded with even more gorgeous mountain views. We arrived home a few hours later well rested and thoroughly content.

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All pictures, unless otherwise indicated, are taken by me.

Happily Ever After- The Invitations

Love you then, Love you still. Always have, Always will.

My oldest and dearest friend is getting married to one amazing guy this fall. Ever since their engagement earlier this year, I’ve been buzzing with excitement.

I love weddings. I love the heartfelt words and watery eyes and butterflies. I love seeing family and friends traveling distances near and far to celebrate the happiness of two people they love dearly. I love the glittering decorations, decadent cakes, and celebratory bubbles. I love being out of breath from dancing and celebrating, and I love the quiet moments of watching the bride and her father on the dance floor.

I love it all.

Thankfully, my friend is more than willing to share this beautiful time in her life with me. In the next few months, I’ll be soaking it all in- first as I plan her bridal shower and bachelorette party and then as she and her new husband take their vows.

Which brings me to last night.

Tootsie called me a few weeks ago to ask whether I’d be up for an invitation stuffing party. Yes, she actually asked. Like she didn’t know all she had to do was say the words wine and wedding and I’d already be there.

So last night we all met up in her cozy condo. We poured wine and her talented fiancé cooked up an amazing dinner. We chatted for hours as we worked, taking sips of chilled rosé here and there and laughing constantly.

It was a gorgeous night, full of camaraderie and excitement for the future.

7-21 a                   7-21 b

 

All the lovely things: Coffee

I can only be so introspective before taking a break.

In the daily chaos of life, I find a bit of refreshment in finding things that are lovely. Little pieces of sunshine in my day.

These are a few from this week:

I’m currently smitten with pictures of flowers and coffee. I’m not quite sure what the attraction is, but it’s pretty dreamy isn’t it?

Wildflowers and coffee

http://www.whitepick.de/

Also breakfast in bed (which I have accepted will never happen and I’m not even sure I would like eating in bed, but it’s still nice to daydream, right?)

Breakfasthttp://bippityboppityboo.tumblr.com/

Okay- so a lot of my happiness seems to come from coffee.

So. Much. Happiness.

You know what, we’re just going to stick with coffee as the theme for this week’s pretty things. Because I’m the author and I can do that.

Lion Coffee

http://www.hawaiicoffeecompany.com

I first got this when I was on maternity leave. My boss is originally from Hawaii, and he sent this over as a congratulations gift. It was, hands down, the best maternity gift ever. Not only because you pretty much live off caffeine at that point, but it’s just really that good.

Well he got it for me again for my birthday, because he’s awesome. So this in particular has been making my mornings totally worth waking up for (because, as we know, I certainly haven’t been having breakfast in bed.)

Also, Ina Garten is making new episodes of The Barefoot Contessa! SO excited!

Ina

https://www.instagram.com/inagarten/

Finally, don’t forget…

Sparkle

http://indulgy.com/

Lean in

I recently became aware of the MyIntent project, a foundation created to promote conversations and community through jewelry inscribed with the wearer’s “intent”. The words range greatly (compassion, why, freedom, purpose, etc.), much like the people wearing them, but all mean something significant to the wearer.

One piece had the words “lean in” written across its surface. These words caught my attention and haven’t let go.

I have a habit of shying away from things that scare me. This is especially true with my writing. Ever since I graduated in 2011 and began my career (as an editor of all things), I have become increasingly fearful that my writing is not adequate enough. As a result, I’ve written less and less in both my personal and profession life.

This is silly. Not only was I distancing myself from something I truly enjoyed, I was also distancing myself from the very practice that could help me become better. Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand (which is not a real thing, thanks Wiki!)

Just over a week ago, I clicked on an article which discussed how one might enter a technical writing position, a career move I’ve entertained for a few years but haven’t actually taken the steps to engage. After a few paragraphs, I began to get that familiar antsy feeling in my chest- fearing that I wasn’t good enough- and I moved to close out the window. But just as I was about to, I leaned forward instead. Instead of succumbing to my irrational fear, I just accepted it as a fear and continued on. And, surprise surprise, by the end of the article I felt more than confident that this was something I could do with some preparation and training.

Then I leaned in some more. If I was going to take this new path, I would have to take a few other steps.

Voila*, this blog was born. This may never go past myself, my husband, and a few friends (it may not even get to my friends), but it is one step I’m taking to take control of my fear and one more step in practicing my skill. It will definitely not be perfect, and I will definitely make mistakes, but I’m just going to lean in and accept all that comes as a result.

 

*Italic means a fancy and much exaggerated French accent, obviously

Finding your passions (again)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been an all or nothing person. I’m either completely in to something, or I can’t make myself interested. This is something that’s proven a challenge from time to time.

Until I find that something.

Then the heavens open up and the stars align and I am IN MY ZONE. During these seemingly magical moments, I feel a complete peace within myself.

Reading and I are old friends. We have been synonymous with one another since I first put sentences together. Journaling gives me a profound sense of recording my past, and in a way allows me to revisit it at any time. Over my early twenties, kayaking, cooking, and travelling all became an innate part of my identity.

Then I became a mother and suddenly I didn’t have the time for these things anymore.

(Let me pause with the obvious disclaimer that my little boy is much more important than whatever I’ve given up. Because, for lack of a better term, duh.)

It was interesting going through that first year not quite understanding who I was anymore. For so long, so many of these activities shaped who I perceived myself to be: how I spent my time, how I defined myself. I had gone through this slightly when I got married, when I spent more time with my husband and less by myself. But there is a big difference between watching a show together after work and being a full time parent.

In the past year I have read approximately one book and started three others before losing interest because they weren’t worth my limited spare time. Cooking is less of a relaxing pace and more of a race to get dinner on the table before bedtime. While I have travelled, it is far different to go on vacation with an infant than when you can decide to go to Las Vegas and be out the door within an hour. I haven’t even touched my kayak.

I have been able to get creative in several of my friends’ and families’ celebrations, and I pinterested the crap out of Jackson’s first birthday. But these projects were much less a daily (or even biweekly) relaxing time and more of a rush to finish while Glenn took care of Jack. It’s not the same when you’re feeling guilty for spending time on something frivolous when you could be spending time with your child.

That’s the other thing. While everyone says that you need to take time for yourself, it’s awfully hard to do it when your baby wants to spend time with you. (And, of course, laundry. We can’t forget laundry.) So, as a result, you do less.

And that’s where I am, I guess. I suppose I just haven’t decided what is so important to me that I take that precious time to enjoy it for myself. Frankly, I know that I also waste a lot of my day doing things that occupy my time but don’t bring me much joy. While an easy target, Facebook certainly is a good mind suck.

I still miss that all-encompassing passion. The will to stay up all night, losing yourself in a story where you forget who you are and take on the life of the main character. The moments when you can forget all your responsibilities (even the ones you love dearly), even for just an hour or two, and completely focus on something that thrills you.

I wonder if this is something we regain in time, when our babies come to rely on us less. Or is this a rite of passage? Do we lose that ability to completely separate ourselves forever, even if just for a short period?

I don’t think so.

Why you are here

Hell, I don’t know. Maybe you got here through a web search, maybe I linked it somewhere, or maybe you’re a friend or family member I made come and read. I’m very persuasive. You know who you are, but who am I?

I’m a new mother who’s just out of the first year of parenting. Yes, the nights of sleeping only 3 hours total, blown out diapers, and constant breastfeeding. So much time for introspection on how life has completely changed and what that means for you as a person. Not.

That’s why I’m here. Because that sweet, gorgeous little boy of mine is definitely my reason for living- but while I’m living, it’s nice to be a little self aware as well.

So this is a mommy blog, but not one focused on children. This is a reminder to remember me every now and then.

You know, whenever I find time in my day.