The Absence of Creativity

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and social media recently, and more specifically, where my place is in the middle of it all. I have found myself yearning to further connect with other women and mothers and to learn from all of you. I want to share more of myself and my passions, and to encourage, inspire, and teach others in the things that I have learned and experienced through motherhood. I also want to help Holden pursue his passions and let this be a place that he can do that, alongside me.

2015 was a whirlwind year. After the birth of Gray, I felt as though I was in a fog, my creativity lost somewhere amongst the late night and early morning feedings. The brain power to focus and cultivate my passions was non existent. Where words once flowed freely, exiting out the tips of my fingers and onto my keyboard, my thoughts were suddenly silent.  I didn't worry though. I knew that one day, most likely when I started to get more sleep, the haze would clear and I would find my voice again.

The end of 2015 is when I started to find myself again and it truly all began with Holden's request to put on a local event. From there, my creativity started slowly seeping back in...I just had to brush off the layer of dust or two. Today, my mind is bursting with ideas and my heart exploding with possibilities and excitement. It feels good to be in this space right now.

So what prompted this sudden burst of clarity? Well, over the holiday season, we did something we have never done and put together and hosted an event here in San Diego when Holden decided he wanted to put on a toy drive to give to kids in need. We loved getting to meet some of you in person and work with a large number of our favorite small businesses and brands to give back to our community.

I shared this event over on 100 Layer Cakelet at the end of last year, but I wanted to also share the images here. This event was so refreshing, motivating, and uplifting for both Holden and myself and I look forward to following our passions and doing even more this year.


^^^The entrance to Ollie & Me, the cutest baby boutique in town





^^^All of the goodies in the swag bags we gave away to our guests





^^^Sweet Treats by Hey There Cupcake. Seriously the best treats you will ever taste. People could not stop talking about these and they were gone in a matter of seconds. Glad I snagged one before the event started ;)


^^^Absolutely stunning florals by L&S Design Co.



^^^Party madness




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^^^Crafting by Hello Maypole


^^^Hullabaloo Steve rocking out






^^^Photobooth fun by Box Booth Collective


^^^Photobooth backdrop by The Shift Creative



^^^Giveaways for all of the people that donated a toy at the event








^^^All of the donated toys!!!

Background on the event....

When Christmas decor starting popping up everywhere at the end of December, Holden could not stop talking about Christmas…specifically what he wanted for Christmas…about twenty times a day. I knew I needed to change the conversation because two months of hearing “I want” on daily basis was going to drive me crazy. We started discussing the true meaning of Christmas which led to Holden expressing interest in helping other children that weren’t as fortunate as he, specifically bringing them toys.

So together, with friends Kelli Murray and her daughter Rylee, we came up with the idea to host a holiday party and toy drive, which we called Holiplay Holiday, for parents and children to party, sing, dance, craft, and give back. We hoped that by inviting kids to our fun event, that we could encourage other children to get involved in giving back this holiday season.

Cheri from Ollie & Me (the cutest baby and children's boutique you have ever stepped foot in) was kind enough to let us use her boutique for the event. Located on State Street in downtown Carlsbad, it was the perfect location for gathering a group of local moms and kiddos.

We collaborated with some amazing vendors, brands and businesses to create this wonderful event and when it was all said and done, we had hundreds of donated toys. The day before the event, we heard that the Salvation Army in San Diego had a shortage of toys, so we decided that was where we wanted to donate the toys from the event and we were able to donate two huge carloads of toys to the Salvation Army.

To encourage people to come out to the event and donate to our toy drive, we partnered with some amazing brands and businesses to giveaway some great products for both the children and mothers in attendance.

The first 25 guests to arrive at the event received a Petunia Pickle Bottom Shopping Tote stuffed with fun goodies from some of our favorite brands, including Steam Train, Dream Train from Chronicle Books, a reindeer from Build-A-Bear, a puzzle from BabyLit, sunglasses from Roshombo Baby, a pair of socks from Pals Socks, a hat from Grom Squad, skin products from Babyganics, and free lashes from Ciao Bella.

Throughout the event, we ran giveaways for those that donated a toy including

We had live music by Hullabaloo, a crafting station where moms and kids could make a snowman ornament by Hello Maypole, a photobooth by Mobile Photo Booth, and

We had live music by the ever so popular kids band, Hullabaloo Steve, for singing and dancing, ornament crafting by Hello Maypole taught by Jeadore Blogger, a photo booth by Mobile Photo Booth with a fun wintery backdrop created by The Shift Creative, and the Micro Truck parked out front to demo Micro Kickboard scooters for all of the little ones.

It was all very last minute and I couldn't have been happier that it all came together so perfectly.

Music:  / Snowman ornament craft: Hello Maypole, taught by Nikki from Jeadore Blogger/ Sweet Treats: Hey There, Cupcake! / Baby and Toddler Meal Pouches: Once Upon a Farm / Scooter Fun: the Micro Truck / Photo Backdrop: Alexis from The Shift Creative / Photo booth: Mobile Photo Booth/ Florals: L&S Design Co. / Event Signage: Twinkle & Toast / Table and benches: Folklore Vintage Rentals

Mom + Me Halloween Costumes with Pottery Barn Kids


Photography: Chrissy PowersHair/Makeup: 1011 Makeup

The boys and I were asked by our friends Cassidy and Riley to share some Mom + Me Halloween costume ideas in collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids because really is there anything cuter than a coordinating family costume concept for Halloween?

I mean, as parents we obviously can't participate in the trick-or-treating, so why not be one of the fun parents and dress up with your little one. After four years of coordinating costumes (super heroes, pumpkins, Curious George characters, Mickey Mouse and friends), I would consider us to be almost pros at family-coordinating Halloween costumes by now, but I think this year might just take the cake since it's not only a kid concept, but something adults can totally get as well.

Mother of Dragons and Dragon Entourage...



So in all honesty, when Cassidy told me what she wanted me to be, my first thought was "oh cute"  a mom and baby dragons. My mind did not immediately go to the Emmy-winning television show Game of Thrones (gasp! I know...let's blame it on the sleepless nights or mommy brain or something like that). And then, I realized that I was Khaleesi with my own little entourage of dragons and I decided it was the coolest "mommy" costume for the moment because it's relevant for the adults, but a concept kids love as well for an entirely different reason.








If you can't tell from the images, Holden LOVES his dragon costume. Since this photoshoot Holden has basically lived in it, wearing it the grocery store, the playground, museums...everywhere....despite the heat wave we have been experiencing in Southern California. He even won a costume contest with it!  And it's not even Halloween yet.

 Mother of Dragons Costume: A Little Bundle t-shirt (you can also find a bunch of options here) // Bel & Beau skirt 

Toddler Dragon Costume // Baby Dragon Costume


3 Easy DIY Valentines to make with your sweet little valentine!

  With this little baby of mine's due date being on Valentine's Day, my thoughts have been completely revolved around prepping for baby and birth and I honestly haven't given much thought to the holiday. I woke up this morning (still pregnant) and felt bad that I hadn't done any Valentine's activities with Holden. So I hopped on Pinterest and found myself completely overwhelmed and under supplied for the majority of Valentine's activities out there. Thankfully, Mom's Best Network came to my rescue and shared these three easy DIY Valentine's that you can make with your little one.  So if you're like me and looking for some last minute activities, check out these easy V-day activities below.   you-rock-my-world-valentine-2

You Rock My World!

Supplies: Rock Candy Twine Tag Clear Bag

Directions: Place rock candy into clear bags, tie the bags safely shut, add the printable tag (download at the bottom of post) to the treat bag! Easy-Peasy!


You're The Milk To My Cookies!

Supplies: Milk Bottles Straw Twine Clear Bag Cookies

Directions: Pick up some milk bottles, you local target has them 2 for $3 or you can recycle an cleaned simply orange-orange juice container! Add cookies, homemade or store bought, depending on your time, bag them, add the tag! That's all, quick and easy!


You Donut Know? You're my Valentine!

Supplies: Cake Donuts (store bought) Frosting Sprinkles Clear Bag Cup + Straw

Directions: Pick up some cake donuts from your local bakery, un-frosted. Make your favorite flavored frosting, add frosting to donuts, shake sprinkles. Bag the donuts, seal with twin + poor some milk in a cup, add some frosting + sprinkles to the rim. Voila, fun after school treat for the kiddos, complete!

"You're the milk to my cookies!" DOWNLOAD the Milk tags HERE

"You Rock My World!" DOWNLOAD the You ROCK tags HERE

"You Donut know? You're my Valentine!" DOWNLOAD the TAGS HERE from Paper and Pleats.



Black Plates from Ikea // Gold Metallic Sharpie // West Elm Shanna Murray Plates

Around the holidays, it seems that I become even more addicted to Pinterest than usual (if that could be possible) and it's hard not to get wrapped up in the DIY frenzy with all of the fun projects that people are pinning for the holidays. Although my DIY list is always filled with projects that are a little above my DIY skill level, I thought that this year I would start with a simple DIY project before attempting any of the more difficult projects. So if you're looking for a fun and easy way to personalize your holiday table, this project is for you.

I came across these Shanna Murray Plates at West Elm, but was bummed to find that they were already sold out. I had remembered seeing some DIY sharpie projects involving plates a few months ago on Pinterest and although my handwriting probably won't end up looking as cute as the Shanna Murray ones, I thought it would be a fun way to add personality to a holiday dinner.  It's something that your little ones can get involved with (I know Holden would love to make his own plate) and you could even host a party with a make-your-own-plate crafting station.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  After decorating your plate, put it in the oven for 30 minutes.  Turn off the oven after a half hour and let the plates cool completely before removing them.  



Get the Look :: 

Inspiration Images

Pheasant Wing Feathers // Guinea Fowl Feathers // mismatched candelabras // Chocolate Cosmos Plant // Purple Viola Flowers // Fern Leaves // White Vase // Gold Wishbone // Reindeer Moss // White and Gold China // Gold Flatware // Gold Hurricane Candle Holder // Lace Table Runner //Gold Table Runner

I fell in love with this Jose Villa rustic glam wedding and felt like it would make a stunning and chic Thanksgiving tablescape.  We spend Thanksgiving with our large extended families so I won't have the opportunity to create a Thanksgiving table setting, but if I did, this is exactly what it would look like.












everywhere outside of the city was over 100 degrees, but the city itself was a perfect 75 degrees with a cool ocean breeze that whipped under the golden gate bridge and across the coastline.  we had a picnic dinner at chrissy field, threw rocks into the ocean, and anxiously awaited holden's first fireworks experience.  chrissy field was the perfect spot to watch the fireworks with a first-timer, they were far enough away that the it wasn't too loud, but closer enough so that we still had a perfect view.  holden loved the fireworks, but  i think the sparklers were his favorite part of the afternoon.