A sweet reminder of home…

leaf Maxwell maggie whitley

leaf maggie whitley

coffee lipstick maggie whitley

One of the things I really miss about living in the Midwest is the change of seasons. ;) They’re just not the same out here in California (at least not in Los Angeles). Whenever we’re outside my eyes hunt for the burst of yellow and orange leaves, it’s a natural habit — one I don’t think I could kick if I tried. So imagine how happy I was when we found an orange leaf while walking our neighborhood! Max instantly started reaching for it and I thought to myself, “yes child, this is what Fall is made of.”

Also, so random, but last Fall I distinctly remember walking our old neighborhood and stepping on a pile of crunchy, red, fall-infused leaves on the sidewalk. It was a sweet reminder of home.

It feels good to have the seasons change. It’s like a natural prompting to change things up, try something new, implement a new routine. Fall also reminds me of wearing our moccasins, enjoying the feeling of hot coffee in the morning, a cool(er) breeze in the evening, turning on the oven to make dinner (something we avoid like the plague right now!), caramel apple suckers, snuggling up to read books, and of course spiced apple cider.

If you live in the Midwest will you please say hello to Fall for me? I hear it’s cooled off quite a bit, and honestly I’m really jealous. It’s supposed to be near 100* most of next week, so naturally the main thing on my radar is scoping out a few places to play where the A/C is running on high. Ha!

Enjoy your weekend, friends! I’m off to finish my “baby prep checklist”: size 1 diapers, a larger diaper pail and a couple of fun drawer knobs are on my to-buy list. I can’t wait :) xoxo

PS. Handmade makers: there are a few spots left in our October Baby Bundle giveaway and 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

Appointment: booked!

caramel hair maggie whitley

So, I did it — I booked a hair appointment for Friday morning. My goal is to become a lot less bleached and a lot more caramelized and I’m inspired by this look. I hope I love the results, because one thing’s for sure: I’m not loving how often (and costly) I need to be highlighted. Besides, Fall is the perfect season to go a little darker. And with a newborn joining our family in just a handful of weeks, the last thing I want is to be sitting in a hair salon ;) Newborns are the best and I’m so so so so grateful to become a mama again.

Related: I’m giving myself a couple bonus points for knowing in advance how important it is to take care of my mama self. It can feel selfish to set time aside just for me, but I know that time benefits the whole family. Can I get an Amen?

Life around here…

baby bump maggie whitley

play food maggie whitley

reading maxwell maggie whitley

maxwell maggie whitley

Life around here has meant…

* wearing pink lipstick to a trip to the mall with my friend Joanna and our three (almost four) children

* staying up way too late, soaking up extra hangout time with my hubby

* putting together our heirloom baby cradle. Eleven grandchildren and almost five great-grandchildren have slept in the cradle, I’m so grateful my grandfather built this for us. Here are photos of the cradle in our first nursery for Maxwell

* rearranging furniture in the nursery & living room. With Baby #2 arriving later next month (fingers crossed for an on-time delivery) we needed to make a little more room in our small space

* feeling extra, extra warm lately. I can’t tell if it’s the Los Angeles weather, the pregnancy, or a combination of both. But uhhhh, I’ve been feeling way hot these days #thumbsdown

* weekly trips to the library. Maxwell L O V E S to read and it’s definitely one of my favorite shared activities with him

* booking a few blog-related upcoming opportunities for handmade shop owners. Today is the last day to pre-book for our Holiday Gift Guide ($99 verses $125), click that link for more information on the HGG or our October Baby Bundle giveaway :)

* thinking about my hair. You guys, it grows so so fast these days. My roots are a mess and so I’ve been searching Pinterest for a good mix of lowlights & highlights so my regrowth isn’t so intense. Maybe once this baby comes out things will settle down? In the meantime the hormones are getting the best of me and I admit, I’ve been crying over my hair lately. I’m really loving the caramel look here. Thoughts?

* I’ve ordered new fabric so I can totally re-make the seat back & cushion of our rocking chair. It’s going to be in our living room for a couple of months, which will be perfect since we’ll have family staying with us for 5 weeks once Baby #2 is born (hello, extra seating). And I’m getting SO excited to work on a personal sewing project.

* embroidering once again. Think pink fern meets charcoal gray felt ;)

How have you been? How was your weekend? I chatted with my girlfriends over the weekend for some new easy but healthy dinner recipes and it was so helpful! I’m ready to conquer this week, which is such a great feeling. xoxo

Before you sign off for a long weekend…

palm trees maggie whitley

Can you believe Labor Day is almost here? Sheesh, I’ll be holding our newborn babe in about nine weeks! Before we head out for another weekend in the mountains with friends, I wanted to share a few things with you…

* Have you heard of Hope*ologie? It’s an inspiring site with fresh content every month, including exclusive articles, podcasts, printables & video (the videos are my favorite), and I tell you the truth: it’s been super refreshing to log-in each month. It’s a member-based site, but I promise the $12.99/month rate is worth it. I’m a member and yes, the two sisters are my real-life friends, but I promise (again) it’s something you should be investing in each month :)

* Tuesday was a R O U G H day for me. Naptime was cut short for Max, I didn’t have a chance to rest myself, and dinner time wasn’t as easy as it normally is. I knew deep down I was exhausted (31 weeks pregnant and I’ve been doing too much) and that’s why things were falling apart. So we turned out the lights at 10:30pm and I tell you, getting 9 hours of sleep that night was glorious. I often forget how important rest is, not just during the daytime, but at nighttime too. We aren’t built to “do it all”, I must continue to live out this motto.

* My friend Hayley and her husband Mike recently launched an ethically-made clothing company for kiddos called Wildly Co. and they’re so close to finishing up their Kickstarter campaign. If you like supporting small businesses and feel inclined to help in any way, here’s a direct link to their fundraiser. (We’re cheering for you, H+M!)

* I’m on the lookout for a large-ish living room rug. Any favorites or recommendations?

* Even though I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, with family and work life, sometimes it’s hard. The past six years running a couple handmade businesses were wonderful, but to be honest I’m definitely missing having a large studio to work in creatively. Will you pray for me? I’m kinda feeling blue and I don’t want to miss out on the now because I’m too busy A.) feeling sorry for myself (wah, wah), or B.) wishing things were a little different. I know these years at home are precious and short. Often He has bigger, better, funner plans and I want to make sure my eyes are focused on Him.

* If you haven’t yet, click over to enter to win one of our August giveaway bundles: back-to-school or cozy fall essentials.

Enjoy your long weekend, and I’ll see you in September! :)