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Native Union: Simple Technology for the Home

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I’m excited to continue week three on the blog with you of Making A Home. For those of you who have been following along, you know what a special process it has been for Jase and me to renovate our home and take extra care in filling it with clean, safe, and simple items that we love. Though it has been a longer journey than expected, many of you have been asking, and I’m excited to finally share! Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing all things home, before and afters, and brands we’ve come to love along the way.

Jase and I were shopping one day in Malibu, and we walked in the coolest store. I came across the most high-quality wireless chargers, and the rest is history. Nothing takes the coziness out of a room more than technology cords, and I always have the hardest time finding USB chargers, cases, and wireless chargers that actually look nice in a home.

It was like a whole new world opened up when I discovered Native Union. It is our go-to brand for all technology needs, and the quality is an A++. My most favorite thing we use are the drop wireless chargers we put in our room and the guest rooms. It is such a nice feeling when you don’t have to find a place to charge your phone. First world problem by far, but I am so thankful for these inventions that add a classic twist to something we use every day.

guest room

Here are the pieces we love:

I hope you’re enjoying following along with our home process – And, more to come over the next few weeks on my Instagram and right here on the blog. Xo 

Tiles of Ezra: Texture on the Walls

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We’ve been so grateful to be able to take extra time in creating our home. Though it’s taken longer than expected, the process of getting to put care and intention into every area has been so special. As it’s finally coming together, I wanted to take time on the blog to share this exciting project. So many of you have been asking for before and after pictures – coming soon, I promise! In the meantime, over the next few weeks, I wanted to feature a few areas of my home and brands that I have come to love so much, in a series we’re launching on the blog: Making A Home.

One of my most grateful finds has been Tiles of Ezra because their sustainable and handmade tiles completely inspire me. In the aim to make our home-renovation free of toxicity, discovering this company that cares just as much about a healthy homemade my heart explode! In the process of creating a new home, Georgia Ezra was at the top of my list to gather imagination and inspiration.

I am such a person of minimalism, and I remember fearing that tiling the entire wall in the powder bath would create too much materiality in that space. I was DM-ing Georgia (praise hands to small businesses!), and she was the one who showed me how amazing it would be – And she was right!! Now it might be my most favorite room in the house, and the bonus of all bonuses, the tiles make me feel like we brought nature in. It makes it extra peaceful, serene, and meaningful! It is such a gift when a company aligns so well with organic and non-toxic lifestyle values, and Georgia is now such a sweet friend, and that is the biggest blessing of it all!

Hope you’re enjoying tagging along with my house updates – More to come as we’re launching our Making A Home series here on the blog.  What are some design risks you have taken that turned out to be the best decision?

Taking A Pause, Here To Listen

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Taking a break from the blog, to stop and listen. My heart is so heavy and I feel at a loss for words this week. I want to do more than voice my thoughts and post what I stand for. I will never understand what it’s like to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin, and I want to intentionally learn and act and pray.

I was so encouraged by these prayers that Chelsea Smith encouraged us to get on our knees and pray:

1) That the broken systems of our country and world will be rebuilt to actually provide “liberty and justice” for ALL.

2) Pray for hearts to truly be changed and all racism, prejudice, and stereotypes to be removed. Have the courage to ask God to show you any areas of your own hearts that need adjusting and for the strength to change.

3) Pray for church leaders to have the wisdom and the courage to boldly declare Jesus as the answer for racism and the only ones that can truly transform hearts.

Let’s love each other well, let’s listen, let’s learn, let’s stand for change.

Now more than ever I believe health starts at home, I wanted to do something for my family to help us learn and grow together. I bought these books for my niece to help her learn and understand why what’s going on is so important, and thought I would share. x

Here is a great anti-racism resource, include articles and books to read, videos to watch, podcasts to subscribe to, movies to see, and so much more.

And, here are some great organizations to donate to at this time as well:

Artwork from @sacree_frangine – Who’s openly sharing her art to help spread awareness.

In The Kitchen: Where and How to Shop

682 1024 Libby Absten

I love how much time have been able to spend in the kitchen lately! I have mentioned this before, but being able to take extra time planning meals and cooking has become a new routine in this season that I have come to love so much. Eating healthy and knowing what I an consuming has always been a big part of my life, but now more than ever I feel like it’s a passion of mine that has really developed with more time to practice it! 

On the blog, I have started a new series called In The Kitchen, and over the last few weeks I have talked about adding new purpose to your cooking routine and have given some practical tips on ways to maximize the life of your fresh groceries. This week I thought it would be helpful to talk about where I shop for my groceries and a few tips on how to shop – Things that I think can so often be overlooked in the day to day of a week spent at home or the craziness and potential fear of grocery environments lately. 

WHERE TO SHOP

One of my very favorite things about this time has been the discovery of our local farm. While Jase and I are so lucky to have one close enough for us to go to, the idea of shopping local and supporting small businesses has been a value instilled in me during this time that I will not leave behind! 

While many of us may have the first thought that shopping small comes at a greater expense, many things like produce, especially fruit and veggies, can actually be cheaper or often on sale and at a better quality, ultimately lasting you longer than your nearby chain grocer. 

Shopping small or local is also a great way to cut out on the stress of the grocery store during this time! When you relieve yourself of the many negative emotions that can so often be identified with a stop at the store, this activity can actually become a cherished part of your routine. I know for me, I love showing up to my local spot and taking time to see what fresh picks are available – wandering up and down the rows (while practicing safe distancing, of course) and taking it all in! This care that I have developed in my routine for where I shop and what I buy has caused me to have even greater care and excitement in what I prepare. I cook based on my inspiration from the ingredients purchased. It has been a game-changer for me!

Another great place to shop, that isn’t so small, can be Whole Foods. While this was often considered not within budget for many families, the new deals and offers that have been extended to Amazon Prime Members (which so many of us are!) makes it practical once again. It’s also a great option for those pantry items that can be more expensive at your local spot. Things like nut butters, canned goods, healthy snacks and treats, or alternative milks are actually similarly priced (or on sale / specially priced) to your opposing chain grocer and oftentimes made with more quality or organic ingredients! Such a win.

HOW TO SHOP

Now that the stress has been relieved from dreaded trips to the grocery store, the need for a detailed list of things to get in and get out as fast as possible has also gone out the window. While I have my routine items I always get – protein options, potatoes, pastured eggs, leafy greens, and nuts – I also make room in my trip to look at what’s freshly available and think of meals I can create using what’s right in front of me! 

A great way to start doing this is to shop for more universal items that can be created or added to anything. Items like sweet or regular potatoes can be chopped into quarters for a tray of roasted veggies with broccoli, zucchini, onion, and asparagus – or cut vertically and baked into fries! Proteins like pastured chicken or ground grass-fed beef can be added on top of fresh greens and healthy grains with roasted veggies to make into a warm bowl or served on top of a crisp salad. Your pantry items like noodles, canned foods, or nuts can be cooked or chopped and mixed into any meal to add a different texture or a more filling variety. And fresh herbs and spices can take any meal to the next level!

There are just so many options, but the goal when first starting is to shop for a variety of versatile fresh foods that can work together and then let your creativity work as you go throughout your week! 

A FEW OF MY GROCERY STAPLES 

  • Pastured eggs
  • Organic almond butter
  • Organic raw nuts for making home-made nut milk
  • Organic spring onions
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Raw butter
  • Siete tortillas and chips
  • Siete hot sauce
  • Organic dinosaur kale
  • Organic lettuces
  • Organic red peppers
  • Organic green beans
  • Organic garlic
  • Organic white rice
  • Organic potatoes – purple, red, sweet
  • Organic tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Organic fresh spices – cilantro, basil, dill, mint, oregano, sage (we grow these in our garden but are a must!)
  • Organic beets

Where are you shopping in this season, and what healthy recipes are you making in your kitchen? I’d love to hear from you! Follow along with my kitchen routine here on the blog or at my Instagram where I often post meals I’m making or grocery items I’m grabbing. xo

Thinking Bigger: New Rhythms and Routines

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What an interesting time it has been! I know we have touched so much on this on the blog, but it’s so true. This time has been unlike any other. I recently launched a new series on the blog called Thinking Bigger, and this week I wanted to touch on the idea of new routines and rhythms. 

I think one of the reasons we keep talking about this time is because it has caused us to pause – We’ve paused from our everyday life, from our routines, our appointments, our errands, our offices, classes, and schedules. And that pause has caused us to think. And we’ve been thinking a lot! 

Although some of that thinking can cause fear, much of it has been an assessment of what we used to do every day in comparison to what we’re doing now. Things I used to view as such a chore have now become cherished routines. Activities I used to never have time for are now new staples in my schedule – like planning evening meals and eating dinner with Jase, planting a garden, reading a book, or taking joy and excitement in grocery shopping at the local farm. 

With all this new that has come about in this season, and in light of many of us on the brink of communities opening up again, I’ve caught myself almost sad that “a return to normalcy” would mean potentially losing those routines and rhythms I’ve come to love so much in this time. What will life look like when we are able to be busy again? When those appointments, and errands, and classes, and work will fill our schedules once more?

I think rather than being sad, it’s okay to ask this question, and I think it can be a positive in return. We’ve been talking about this time so much on the blog because I think we’re excited about the opportunity that all this pause has given us to become better. Better at being more present at home, better at implementing routines that are healthy and creating healthy environments, better at being intentional about our activities, thoughts, and how we fill our time

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave my new cherished routines behind when all this is over. I want to use whatever I have left of this pause to continue to practice them, and instill them in the rhythms of my every day so that, when I have the opportunity to fill my schedule a bit more, I will still make time for those things I came to appreciate so greatly when my schedule was less full. 

What new routines and rhythms have you begun or been practicing in this season that have made you better? What rhythms can you start now that you can carry with you when this time is over? 

My hope for you all is that you have found practices and activities that you have come to cherish during this time, those that have made you feel whole and healthy. And for those of you who haven’t yet, I hope that you take whatever time we have left in this pause to find what fills you up in that way – So that all of us can leave this time feeling and being better than when we went in. x

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