Month: June 2014

Monday Memoirs: Mama Letters

Hello All!

This week I wanted to share with you what got me started with Monday Memoirs in the first place: my sister’s Mama Letters series at Two Happy Lambs.

I know I have mentioned this before, but I just want to holla at my sis’s blog because she has been doing it for so long and has taught me so much. Her Mama Letters series is also extra special because they are letters to my niece and nephew that they can read when they are older. It is always nice to have as much information as you can about your parents and your childhood. Things that we can’t remember, but are valuable to us, can still be looked back on. I love when parents do this kind of thing for their kids!

Here is the latest post of Mama Letters, but you can check them all out here. Be sure to wander around in Mary’s blog – she is basically me but older (and wiser) and with SUPER CUTE kids. :)


Did your mother or father make you anything while you were still in the womb or just a baby? Did you or your spouse make anything for your child? What is your child’s most favorite toy to cuddle and where did it come from? What was yours when you were a child?

Dear Ben and Alina,

When Ben hurls a block across the room at lightning speeds, he has to chant one of the family rules, “We only throw balls and cozy things”, which really is his translation of the “don’t throw things in the house”. I used to have mountains of stuffed animals as a child, and from what I remember, I never played with them or cuddled with them, I just refused to let my mom give them away. It felt like kicking my pets out to find another owner. So, my Dad got a long rod made for a closet- you know, for hanging clothes? He found one at the hardware store or wherever and stuck it into an old Christmas tree stand and fitted it with little gold hooks (also can be found at the hardware store). He then put rubber bands around all the necks of the cozy things that did not have ribbons or bows and hung them all. They filled up the whole thing, to the ceiling. It was extremely creative. And there they lived until I let someone put them in a box when I was fourteen.

2013_10_25-151838a thl My mother sewed me a really sweet mobile  when she was pregnant with me. She said it was her first real sewing project. It was a satin cloud, with ribbons hanging from it, a tree, a star with bells at the points, and a sun. It was seriously so darling. My aunt made me a quilt and I remember having a brown teddy bear, probably the best looking teddy bear ever. I have a photo of me, maybe one year old, with those two things and I remember them well. I had a bean stuffed frog that I adored as a baby named (probably by my parents) “Froggo”. Oh I loved Froggo, forever and always. He was the perfect size and handy for chewing. I also had a zebra that I passed down to you guys named (again, by my parents) ZZTop. They were a famous band in the 70s. My parents were nothing if not clever.

My uncle built me a wooden rocker in the shape of an elephant with my name carved into the bottom, we have that, too. I kept that through high school. It was a Barbie house, and then became guest seating and on it’s side, a decent table top. It’s incredible how much you appreciate these efforts as you get older and realize what was truly involved. It does make me feel so loved to think about my mom rocking and sewing over the curve of her belly.

So, I continued the tradition and picked up a pattern and a sewing machine and sewed Ben a bear. I also sewed our good friends a bear for their baby, who was born within weeks of Ben. Ben’s bear is a pale blue with small white polka dots and a white nose. He is called Blue Bear and has been King of the toy kingdom ever since. I took monthly pictures of Ben with his bear and the dear handmade quilt made by my sweet friend Karen. When he was old enough, first Blue Bear and then the quilt went into the crib with him and they have been there ever since. He sleeps on top and wrapped around a very squished Blue Bear and I wonder sometimes why we even bother with a pillow.

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It was this love I had in mind when I learned how to make a quilt so that I could sew one for Alina. It was one of the hardest projects I had ever done but it turned out better than I could have hoped. “Dottie” her beautiful subtle greige bear with big white polka dots and purple ears and feet, uses the same materials. Sure enough, she is now fiercely attached to them and Dottie is one of the first names she could say. She often reads to Dottie at bedtime. 20131227-224717.jpg

Every time we go on a trip, in goes Blue Bear & Dottie. They have other matching attachments, too- a glow worm and a glowing, er, seahorse. A turtle and a ladybug that shine star constellations onto the ceilings and make handy battery operated night lights. Two incredibly soft micro-fleece blankets embroidered with their names and dates of birth. Ben had a fishy mobile that played white noise and music and he was so in love with it. Alina has the mobile I made her while I was pregnant- birds that I sewed (yes, with matching material from her quilt and bear) on top of branches from the yard. It doesn’t make any noise but she loves it just the same. 2012_12_05-154509 2012_12_09-135221

How do these items transfer my love and protection so easily into the hearts of my children? It is a power not to be underestimated, and I am so grateful to have it. 2013_06_28-162916c thl

Sweet dreams my darlings,



Oh man, I totally remember ZZ Top and Froggo. My parents are hilarious.

Hope you all have a great week!


Sorry Not Sorry for Posting This!

I stumbled upon this video when a friend posted it on Facebook earlier today and I absolutely loved it. Awhile back Stephanie, our friend Alesha, and I all realized how much we said “sorry” for NO REASON. We would say “sorry” when we had done nothing wrong and when it made absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. Things like: “I’m sorry you guys, but I just really want some ice cream right now” or “I’m sorry, do you mind if I go change? I’m really hot right now.” Like, what? Why? Totally not necessary.

I’m infamous for being overly polite and apologetic for no reason. On our wedding day I kept saying to our sweet photographer, “I’m so sorry, would you be willing to get a picture of me with my friend?” ALL DAY LONG. Finally she laughed and said “This is my job, you don’t have to apologize or ask, just tell me what you want and I’ll gladly do it.” Good point.

We eventually started joking that instead of saying “sorry”, we should switch it to “you’re welcome”. It made for some pretty funny moments. Like instead of what I mentioned above we would say, “You guys I just feel like getting some ice cream. You’re welcome.” It helped us to remember not to apologize for our every move (cue our very own sociologist, Stephanie, to come in and explain why exactly women do this in our culture) and just be confident and own what we are doing/saying.

I hope you like this video! You’re welcome.


{How To}: Manage Your Wardrobe with Pinterest

pinterest Do you ever wake up in the morning and just hate all of your clothes? Like there is no outfit to ever be salvaged from your closet?

I feel that way too often. I forget I own things, forget why I have that top and what I ever matched it with, and hate everything I have to wear on my body.

A year or so ago I tried to fix this issue by creating an Outfit Archive on Pinterest. There are days (although they are hard to remember sometimes) when I’m super impressed with myself and an outfit I put together, so why not remember that combination for a time when you have zero inspiration?

Enter the selfie.

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Gotta love Anthony’s creeper cameo


I created a board where I would store all my outfit selfies for future use. It’s really great to be able to scroll through it real quick while I’m laying in bed, thinking of what to wear tomorrow.


You can also make notes about what you can’t see very well in the photo – jewelry, another option for shoes you didn’t go with that day, etc.

I’ve also used it to store nail polish triumphs, outfits that I saw others pin where I have all the pieces they have… whatever works to give yourself some inspiration.

The great thing about this is, you know it is all doable. Everything you see on that board you can wear. I’ve had plenty of times where I just went into the Women’s Fashion category of Pinterest and got frustrated because I didn’t have any of those expensive clothes!

You can also set the board to private if you aren’t as shameless as me. That way you can post awful bathroom selfies that are totally blurry and not worry about other people seeing them. I have no such worries, for some reason.

Another board that I have come up with is the Wardrobe Wishlist. I use this when I’m shopping to remind myself of the holes in my wardrobe that need to be filled. Why do I have zero blue things? Why do I have a million pairs of jeans but no shorts? This way I’m not buying 8 purple tops or the first thing that looks pretty in the window. Purposeful shopping! A little more guilt-free, if you ask me.

It also helps me remember what I need to replace in my closet. My yellow flats and red wedges are so dear to me, but they are looking a little bit… too loved. I can keep track of the things I need to replace on my Pinterest board, so if I give them away I won’t forget how awesome of a staple they were, and that I need to buy another pair.

photo (1) I love using Pinterest this way because it really feels a little more productive then just browsing and wishing I had those clothes, or aimlessly shopping. You can follow me on Pinterest here if you want to check out my boards.

Happy pinning!

Links I Love

Links I Love Hello! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Tuesday! I just got back from an awesome morning with the hubbs of paddle boarding and having breakfast at Néktar Juice Bar in La Jolla. Not every morning starts off like that, but I wish it would! Soo nice :) I also woke up to a wonderful surprise; Ronda from The Refurbished Life gave us a shout out and featured my Oat-less Oatmeal! Thank you so much, Ronda! You guys should definitely check out her blog. She does tons of adorable projects and posts delicious gluten-free recipes. If you’re visiting from The Refurbished Life, thank you so much for stopping by! We’re so happy to have you :) Now for the links:

1.) I’ve been loving the idea lately of getting some temporary tattoos for summer. Aren’t these gorgeous??  Find beautiful options here and here Floral Tat floral Tat Set tattoo large arm tattoo tattoo neck   2.) I thought this was a totally adorable way of explaining wine etiquette. I love me some Cup of Jo :) wine tips   3.) Okay so this totally blew my mind. This is a photograph of a single drop of sea water magnified 25 times. I seriously can’t get over it. Get more of a detailed description of what you’re seeing here. sea water   4.) Okay how adorable are these? I need them asap. The day I’m willing to spend $158 on a pillow is the day I will buy one of these… (i.e. it’s never gonna happen) CALIFORNIA__96606_zoom Eiffel Tower Pillow   5.) I need to make this fig cake immediately. It’s made with figs, caramel, walnuts and goat cheese. I mean, come on. It’s definitely not gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make my own version! Isn’t it just the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen? The recipe is in German, but Google Translate will gladly help you with that :) figgy fig cake cut I hope you all have a good day! Hopefully these links will help distract you for a minute when you’re bored at work ;) xo, Emily

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