An adventure to the pumpkin patch!

pumpkin patch west hollywood

I love when our weekends are filled with so much HAPPY! It all starts on Friday — there’s usually tons of anticipation over Zack wrapping up his work/heading home. We usually stay up a bit too late on Fridays, which means the morning always comes too soon ;) You can usually find us in our jammies as we talk about our day while playing with Maxwell and Bauer. We have wooden cars and puzzles surrounding us, the books are scattered and we slowly sip our coffee (which Max calls “hot”). Suddenly it’s lunch time and sometimes we haven’t even left the apartment yet. Oops! This past weekend we knew we wanted to finish up some things around our home and after naptime on Saturday we wanted to visit a local pumpkin patch.

pumpkin patch west hollywood

In Los Angeles it’s not uncommon for a seasonal site, like pumpkin patches or Christmas tree farms or ice-skating rinks, to rent out a lot in the middle of a neighborhood. We’ve done all three now that we’ve been here for two years, and it’s kinda fun to see palm trees amongst pine trees or bales of hay ;) Besides, it’s a huge time saver having these seasonal sites set up in a neighborhood. Driving to the other side of the mountains, where there’s more space/nature, is definitely fun but it can take foreverrrrrrrrrr with traffic.

This was Maxwell’s first visit to the pumpkin patch but I think I had just as much fun as him. We love “stepping back” a bit and watching him take it all in. Seeing what he takes interest in (pony rides! face painting! bounce house!) and watching him pick up pumpkins — it’s adorable.

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We found a neighborhood pumpkin patch in West Hollywood to visit on Saturday afternoon. There was a small per-person admission but the total cost went towards any pumpkin purchase. We picked out a super cute lil punkin’ and two smaller gourds for our living room, and I love how vibrant the orange and yellow colors look against our brown accent wall. Kinda makes me want to make some sort of fall garland to really cozy things up ;)

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

Speaking of adventures, Zack begins a new chapter today in his film/commercial/visual effects career and I’m so excited for him. This is a huge blessing/answered prayer for our family and I’m super grateful. And pinch me, but word around the water cooler is he’ll be home at dinner time, regularly. Yes!

I think we’ll all be reminiscing about all the family time we had this past weekend as today carries on… mixed with anticipation on when exactly Baby #2 will be making his or her debut into our family. WE ARE READY FOR YOU, BABY! ♥

We had such a lovely weekend and I hope you did, too. And if you live in a city where the leaves change colors then I’m a little envious of you!

Introducing our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

Well hello, October! I’m so happy it’s the first of the month. The weather is finally cooling off a bit here in Los Angeles and the holiday-themed family/kiddo activity emails are appearing in my personal inbox. It’s so exciting :) And not to mention, October is the month our second baby is due!!! We’ll see though when baby actually makes his or her debut…

Our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide launches today and runs through December 15th. I’m really excited to share with you the 17 shops that are participating this year as they feature some really fun items! Most of them are offering a unique discount code to the MWD community, which is so generous of them! I wanted to give you a tease of what’s inside our Holiday Gift Guide so below are photos of my favorite items with a direct link to each shop.

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Baby Bjorn:

A Swedish family-owned business started in 1961. Our concept is to make day-to-day life easier for parents of small children by developing safe & innovative products of the highest quality for children up to three years old.

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Baby Mama Sew Shop:

Purses, bags, clutches and zipper pouches, as well as clothing items such as skirts and aprons for women and kids.

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Delva B. Tree:

Stylish and fun handmade baby bibs, burp cloths, blankets, children’s crayon wallets and other accessories.

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Drawstring Studio:

Modern home decor items to fit everyone’s needs and budget.

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Fountain Top Creations:

A shop full of cozy crocheted and knitted hats, scarves, cowls, ear-warmers, and more!

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Gingiber:

An illustrative paper goods and homeware store filled with prints, pillows, tea towels, cards, tote bags, and more.

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LilyAlyssa Boutique:

Sweet women’s accessories crocheted and sewn: headbands, scarves, hats, ear warmers, etc.

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 Love Forward:

Handmade accessories, home goods, and gifts; inspired by love.

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Oh So Antsy:

Hand cut custom state and country shaped jewelry.

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Paper + Spark:

Fresh, fun, and functional everyday essentials for your desktop, workspace, and home.

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Pink Poppy Party Shoppe:

An array of handcrafted personalized party decorations.

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Purpose Jewelry:

Handcrafted jewelry made by survivors of sexual slavery. 100% of the proceeds go to International Sanctuary, a non-profit that provides holistic care, and empowers rescued women & girls to obtain true freedom.

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Saffron and Nutmeg:

Hand knit and sewn items made for mamas and kiddos.

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Shared Joy:

Boutique quality headbands for the fashionable joys in your life!

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 Silly Mama Quilts:

Fresh and fun handmade gift and home décor items. Original designed pieces make some of the best gifts for a wedding, new baby, holiday or treat for yourself.

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Simple and Trendy:

Modern style with classical appeal. Mason jar tumblers, monogrammed wine glasses, iPhone charger decals and stickers.

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The Vintage Honey Shop:

Specializing in handmade necklaces that mamas wear, but is safe for babies to chomp on while teething!

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We’re so excited about this years Holiday Gift Guide and for all of the participating shops! Offering a unique discount code to our community so we can start our holiday shopping is incredibly generous of them, so thank you sponsors!

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.