Honesty

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.

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

Thinking Bigger: Serving Others and Supporting Small Businesses

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Although this time is full of struggle, re-adjusting, loss, learning to homeschool, and bits of frustration or maybe even fear, there are positive ways we can support each other! This time has reinstalled a sense of camaraderie and community. Do y’all agree? Many are serving more than they ever have. It’s a beautiful silver lining to this pandemic. When loneliness sets in, I encourage you to check in on someone else or send a thoughtful note or gift to a loved one; I guarantee it will bring you joy and will only bring comfort to others!

Here on the blog, we’ve implemented a new series of talks on Thinking Bigger. Last week we touched on How Simplicity Changes Everything, and this week I wanted to talk about serving others and supporting small businesses – A topic that has really been on my heart and surprisingly, has also helped me process during this time.

My family lives in Dallas; we are so close, and it was really tough to cancel the trips we had planned to see each other, not knowing when the safe next time will be. One way that has helped me feel so connected is by sending them presents that remind me of them or fun little things for my sweet nieces! And all the while, I order the items from small businesses. You bring a company joy while sending joy to someone you love, and it doesn’t have to be big!

Another long-winded, yet rewarding project we have been diving into is all things home and finishing the furnishing process! With the intension of supporting small businesses, I feel like I have entered an entirely new world of discovering some incredible companies! It makes the purchase that was on the to-do feel much more purposeful.

Fun Ideas

  • Create your neighbor a bouquet of flowers from the backyard.
  • Write a note to someone you are grateful for.
  • Call your grandma.
  • Give to a charity that provides meals to others during this time.
  • Cook a meal or cookies and deliver it to someone it would help.

Gift Ideas

  • Send a bottle of wine from here (it’s organic and biodynamic and delicious!)
  • A toy for your friend’s puppy from here, here, or here.
  • Send something cute from here.
  • This Box of Sunshine that gives 100% of proceeds to Baby2Baby.
  • The cutest organic clothes for kids.
  • For new mamas.
  • Healthy products from here.

For the Home

To follow along with items I’m getting my hands on, or to see how I’m constantly learning and processing throughout this time, stay up to date on my Instagram. x

How can you serve and support others during this time? Jot down a few ideas and try to implement one this week!

 

Shop My Look Here: Shorts, Top, Sunnies, and Shoes

 

Thinking Bigger: How Simplicity Changes Everything

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I have been reflecting on this time a lot, and as I am sure most of us are, thinking about new routines and positive habits that we have developed during this stay at home order that we want to bring with us as we enter back into “normalcy,” which I assume will never be the same. Although this time has so much heaviness and devastation that surrounds it, I continually think about how wonderful it has been to be forced to stop, to pause, and to be where we are.

These reflections have led me to start a collection on the blog focusing on Thinking Bigger – Over the next few weeks, my hope is to cover topics that have been developed in this time like the power of simplicity, serving others, new rhythms and routines, and digging into new passions.

Before this pandemic, the general answer from the majority of us when asked how we were doing would be, “we are so busy.”

Even though our days still remain full since Jase and I’s work has shifted and continued, our days look so incredibly different. We are able to start our day in a more restful way, we have been spending hours in the fresh air and sunshine every day, we have been extra present and available for little Bennett doodle (our 5-month-old puppy), and we are more intentional with who we connect with virtually + having time and space to think about others more, to help small businesses, and the list goes on. Not to mention, shows such as The Today Show (the majority being filmed from their homes) and even my husband’s show (currently transitioned to interviews on IG Live) have all felt so personal and so genuine, which I think we have all craved without even knowing it.

I didn’t realize how much mental space was taken from coordinating and deciding on social plans, organizing travel schedules, unpacking just to repack, going to appointment after appointment, and driving to and from everything. This realization has given me a little hint as to why I feel like we are doing things so differently during this time. I really had to sit and think about why we didn’t spend our evenings outside before this since the time in the evenings have stayed quite similar from then to now, why cooking felt more like a chore then and is a joy now, why FaceTiming with family and friends felt distracted then and is longer and so focused now. As I have realized in the past through my own experience is that traumatic times seem to show us immediately what is important. It filters out the fluff and hones in on necessities to live – the simplicities that keep our joy kindled.

The things that this time has brought that I feel so grateful for: hearing the birds outside, noticing things in nature that I have never had the time to enjoy before, listening to music all day, buying our groceries from a local farm, starting a masterclass that has taught me so much about cooking, planting a garden, going for long neighborhood walks while getting to know the neighbors from a distance, and reaching out more to friends and family to check-in.

One last thought: isn’t it so interesting to think that this is so similar to how our parents and grandparents grew up? Neighbors knew each other, people borrowed an egg from the person next door, so many gardened and enjoyed the simple things, cooking and dishes were day to day tasks…

Questions to leave with:

What has changed in your routine that you feel thankful for? What is one thing you want to continue when the world starts opening up again?

Shop the tank here.

A Time of Waiting & Trusting

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What a time this has been for humanity; the necessary call to pause, to trust, to delay, to slow down, to be still. So many people are experiencing a halt in their life, a time of transitioning to a new normal, or a more hectic time of serving and caring for others, or a mix of it all. We are also without luxuries that we probably all took for granted without realizing it until now: facials, mani/pedis, getting our hair done, events, dinners with friends, stopping by the grocery store without a worry in the world, massages, work out classes, running a small business, our morning coffee at the local bakery, a walk on the beach, going to church, giving someone a hug! It makes my heart hurt to think of the weddings that are delayed, those who are healing alone in hospitals, and mamas having babies without the experience they may have envisioned. I want to encourage us all to know that it is okay to accept that this is hard. I wanted to share three things that have been a test of trust, patience, and realizing that the time that something is meant for is going to be better than the time I think is best. There are ultimately true blessings in the waiting.

Fertility

Jase and I have been trying to get pregnant for a few years now. I know so many people are on a similar journey. In this time, we may be a tad too relaxed as we truly believe God’s timing is perfect, but at the same time, we are doing our part and being productive. We have met with two fertility doctors, did two IUIs, imaging tests, and have altered our diets and added in fertility-encouraging herbs and supplements. In the Fall of last year, my close friend happened to tell me about this amazing fertility doctor in Dallas. He is extremely thorough and is only one of the few physicians in reproductive medicine with quadruple board certification in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology-Metabolism, Andrology and Embryology. He is a mad scientist! I was in tears talking to the girl who saw him as she was telling me about her experience. The Fall was a crazy time of transition in our life, so I took the information in and stored it away for the time being. A few months ago, I had an epiphany that this was the best next step. We had an appointment scheduled in March, and the quarantine started a few days before this time. It was such a clear God moment when I realized we needed to schedule a visit with this doctor + had several confirmations, and it was interesting to see another delay. In fact, each month during ovulation, something almost always seems to cause a delay (sorry if that’s too much info). Jase and I were discussing this yesterday and were just saying that it reveals it’s not time yet. We have so much trust and faith in that even if on a human level it doesn’t make sense. But God is so big and knows! There is so much hope in that. Also, I listened to a sermon that touched on fertility, and it said that often we think it’s  the perfect time for US but God has this whole baby’s life planned, including the time he/she enters this world. I love this change of perspective!

Nontoxic surface wipes

You may know that my husband and I and the Stranded team have been working endlessly on our nontoxic surface wipes for the last year. Each product development of ours takes way longer than expected because we are a grass roots company (all with full time jobs), and we are doing extensive research on how to create the purest wipe. We are doing it in an entirely different way, making them completely biodegradable + are using the purest ingredients (that benefit your health) to wipe away germs and simultaneously nourish your hands. Also, we are using plant based preservatives that have yet to be used on a wipe, so they have had to go through stability testing. The entire team was so bummed when everyone was in need of wipes and ours were not yet out to help the nation. We are also delayed on the launch because some of our key people are out of the office. We have had to change our perspective, realize this is all for the better, and we are learning so much even during this time on transitions to the formula that may make the wipes even better. We have realized there is always good in a pause if you aim to see it.

Our home

Oh what a process this has been! We purchased the house we are currently living in in November of 2018, and after months of renovation, nightmare experiences with our designer, living in a hotel and then an apartment with another couple friend, and being way over budget because of uncontrollable and unstated rise in labor costs after the Woolsey fire, we find ourselves here and full of a new kind of patience and gratefulness. We are currently working with such a wonderful designer and started ordering furniture in December. Now most shipments are delayed, Kirsten’s styling trip is on pause, and we are again, in waiting. BUT there is so much we are cherishing during this time! We are working on the things we can and realizing what matters the most is a safe place to live, time with each other, health, and essentials.

Are you in a period of waiting? How do you stay hopeful?

The Gift of Giving & Receiving

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Right now is an extra important time to love extra on your friends and family. We all need it! After acknowledging and processing my emotions, my dad would always encourage me to serve someone when I was struggling, and it was some of the best wisdom I have received. We should all pitch in to help each other not feel alone in these unknown times + it takes the focus off of ourselves when we doing something special for someone else. Also, with Easter coming up, it is the sweetest time to send thoughtful little things that will make someone smile. Also, this is the best way to support small businesses!

The Magnolia Cookbook is the perfect present to give someone right now, especially because we all have no choice but to cook! I made the cilantro lime rice and roasted carrots as part of our meal last night, and it got me out of my cooking rut + they both were so easy to make, flavorful and tasty!

A candle sets such a peaceful tone in the house + these beeswax candles clean the air! What gets better than that at this time?

These Jaymes Paper cards are always stocked in my home. You can buy a pack for yourself to write loved ones handwritten notes and send a set to your friend too!

I am sending bright flowers to my parents and Jase’s parents this weekend for Easter to help make this season feel extra hopeful!

Gift an at-home spa night for your bestie or send some nontoxic cleaning products because everyone is cleaning extra right now.

For my sweet nieces, I got Kate (who is three), this tee, these pants, and this nontoxic tie dye set to create a fun memory during this time at home. (thank you to Lauren Gores for this idea).

This book is so precious for a little one too!

Puzzles have been my go to activity during these last few weeks. It is so rewarding, good for your mind, and it keeps you off your phone! These are so fun and they are framable; in my mind, it is a memento to remember all we are learning during this time.

Get a cozy pair of jammies. These get extra comfy with time, too, and you and your friend could have matching ones!

xo Lo.

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