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!

Mountains, camping & a car battery.

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

camping maggie whitley

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

bauer maggie whitley

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

We’ve had “go camping” on the calendar for months, but last week was so tiring and so hard, and I wasn’t sure if going would be a good idea. Maxwell had some sort of teething thing going on, so his afternoon nap was kinda non-existent (a pregnant moms worst nightmare). Zack worked late most nights. And for myself, I was plain exhausted and a bit crabby. But we pressed on, packed up the Jeep super early on Saturday morning, and arrived to Cachuma Lake Campground in Santa Barbara before lunchtime.

We joined our friends (and their kiddos) and for two full days we stared at the mountains. It was glorious. The days were hot but the nights were cool. Everyone was dirty from nature; I wore the same shirt & shorts for two days in a row. We were up early in the mornings, had campfires once the littles were tucked in bed, and I even went swimming twice. Glory hallelujah, swimming is my favorite.

I think the best part of tent camping last weekend was how it seemed to reset all of us. The fresh air relaxed us and being away from modern technologies was so refreshing. We live in a small space, and even though I love how tiny it is — how intentional we’ve become with our possessions and time, it made me even more grateful for a home with hardwood floors, a nearby bathroom & shower ;)

Also noteworthy is how amazing my husband is! On Monday, as we’re packing up the Jeep to drive back to Los Angeles, our car battery dies. The nearest auto parts store was about 18 miles away, but Zack kept the car from stalling as we drove down the mountain. We were all so dirty and tired, but I felt so grateful for Zack’s knowledge. He makes me so proud.

A few more updates (because lists are fun!):

* Happy 32 weeks today to my baby bump! I’ve been so, so warm these last few weeks, no one wants to see the outfits I’ve thrown together while at home, ha! But I’m hoping for a bump update to appear on the blog soon.

* In anticipation of Baby Whitley #2 we’re hosting a Baby Bundle giveaway on October 6th. We’re also preparing for our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide (October 1 – December 15) and are offering a special pre-book rate now through September 8th. If you’re a small business owner and are interested in sharing your products with the MWD community, click the above links. We’d love to hear from you.

* Lastly, I feel so very content with life right now. I have been praying over a few things and feel so much peace from these prayers, it’s wonderful. Things certainly aren’t easy for us but I feel way less overwhelmed and so I’m giving myself a thumbs up for happily navigating adulthood.

August giveaways: cozy fall essentials & back-to-school

As we wrap up the Summer season and prepare for the change Fall brings along, I felt it would be just too fun to host TWO giveaway bundles this time around: Cozy Fall Essentials & Back-to-School. We have prizes totaling over $700 from 17 ultra creative handmade shops/businesses:

cozy fall giveaway bundle maggie whitley
COZY FALL ESSENTIALS BUNDLE: 1. $50 gift card to Be Still Clothing Company, $50 value// 2. Limited Edition Moccasins (winner chooses color & size) from Freshly Picked, $60 value // 3. Hand Knit Poppy Cowl from Saffron and Nutmeg, $35 value// 4. Modern Embroidery Kit from Lovely Messes, $22 value // 5. Crochet Boot Cuffs (winner chooses color) from Craftee McGee, $20 value // 6. “Happy Fall” Chalkboard Banner from The Burlap Bungalow, $27 value // 7. Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce from The Caramel Jar, $14 value// 8. Lacy Bow Ear Warmer from Love City Crochet, $16.50 value // 9. Turquoise + Wood + Natural Stones Bracelet Stacking Set from Pineapple Bling, $100 value.

* * *

back to school giveaway bundle maggie whitley
BACK-TO-SCHOOL BUNDLE: 10. Allison Butterscotch Camera Bag from Jo Totes, $89 value // 11. Personalized Lunchbox – Deluxe (winner chooses style) from Bugaboo Announcements, $43 value // 12. Fox and Friends Mini Art Caddy from Kiki B Omi Designs, $15 value // 13. Leather Shoulder Bag from A Great & Many Things, $105 value // 14. Coffee Cozy from The Love, Mich Collection, $21 value // 15. Preppy Plaid Bow Tie from adventuresNnonsense, $50 value // 16. Handpainted Burlap Wristlet from Lily Patch Boutique, $25 value // 17.  Tablet Sleeve from So Sew Organized, $18 value.

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter entries below. None of the entry options are required so please keep an eye out for all entry options that don’t require social media, there are many :) One winner for each bundle will be selected at random and notified via email. Please note: both giveaways are open to US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for supporting the shops that help support me and my family.

PS. We’ll be hosting a baby shower themed giveaway in early October in anticipation of Baby Whitley #2. If you’d like your handmade shop to be included in our next bundle please send Jenn an email: jenn AT maggiewhitley DOT com.

When your big brother plans a suprise visit…

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

venice beach umbrella maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

My brother visited me for my birthday in July — a surprise visit! — and I just have to say, having a solid relationship with your sibling as adults is pretty rad. We’re only two years apart in age, but now that we have children of our own we have a totally different, awesome relationship from when we were younger.

Last year Matt surprised me by flying to Los Angeles for a week. It was his first time meeting Maxwell and it was amazing to see them interact as uncle and nephew. This year was more of a reunion for them. It was like we stepped back in time (minus my new baby bump) and the flow of his visit didn’t miss a beat. My brother has two boys of his own, so our parents are very curious if our second Whitley baby will be a boy or girl ;)

airplane bank maggie whitley

airplane bank maggie whitley

image

Uncle Matt and Maxwell (about 5 months old), Summer 2013

We visited the Santa Monica Promenade soon after Matt and his girlfriend Kim arrived in LA. While we were window shopping, and reminiscing about Matt’s visit last year, we stopped into a baby boutique where Matt bought a red airplane piggy bank for Maxwell.

Once we were back at home they sat at the table and Matt taught Max how to put the coins in the thin slot on top. There’s a special message written on the bottom… and reading it makes me feel so many emotions. I’m incredibly blessed to have him as a big brother, and how much he loves my family.

I’m grateful that the miles between us are like a strong, woven rope. They don’t take away from our relationship, instead they give us something to cling to.