a gifting guide // bring on Christmas cheer!

Headed Somewhere Gifting GuideMadness is happening at my house. We are still surrounded by boxes, our mattress is on the floor and we have been spending our evenings sitting on the rug in the living room because we are still without a sofa. Christmas is nowhere to be found except for the one sad reindeer candle holder obscurely placed on the mantle that managed to make its way out of the Christmas box somehow. It’s not even holding any candles, poor thing. Random knick-knacks and do-dads are scattered around the house without any place to go… (that’s what you get when there is no organization in your packing procedures.)

ANYWAY, with the season fast approaching sans Christmas-like feelings; I have decided that I needed to lift my Christmas spirits by creating a gift guide for him, her, and the little one in your life. Because hey, there’s nothing that makes it feel more like Christmas than swiping that credit card, right?! Just kidding, that’s terrible. Trying again: Because there’s nothing that makes it feel more like Christmas than finding that perfect gift for that special someone.  That’s a little better.

So this is for all you procrastinators and dawdlers. I’ve got the solution to your gift-giving stupor. Yes, there are only 9 days until Christmas, but 9 days is just enough to put in that last minute order online and get your gifts here on time! I’ve put together the ultimate list of go-to gifts for the special lady, main man and the little one in your life. So you’re welcome.Headed Somewhere Gift Guide

For Her

Vrai&Oro Ring // Zara Ethnic Short Coat // Agate Bookends // Humble Hilo Weekender // Gardening Tools // Cheese of the month Club // Daniel Wellington Watch // Real Simple Subscription

Headed Somewhere Gift Guide

For Him

Brookstone Pocket Projector // Patagonia Arbor Backpack // Pendleton Camp Blanket // The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell // Coin Counter (this sounds silly, but this is one of Clay’s favorite gifts I’ve given him. We’ve accumulated almost $80 dollars the past year! haha) // Event Tickets: favorite sports team, concert or the ballet perhaps?! American Buffalo Print // Baxter Shaving Kit

christmas1For your Little

Plush Panda // Land of Nod Teepee // Rocking Lamb // Gap DUDE Beanie // Wildbird Sling // Young One Apparel Sweater // Tickets to the animal park, theme park, or museum // Wooden Ride-On


Wear That Bebe!! // Wildbird

WildbirdAs a new mama it can be so overwhelming to know which baby products are ABSOLUTELY necessary and which are the “fluff”. For example: I thought we absolutely needed a portable changing pad. Nope. I usually end up changing him wherever is convenient, my lap, the seat of the car, trunk … you get creative. I was sure I would need about a million baby seats, one for every room in the house. This one vibrates! That one bounces! We have one that sways side to side! Now my home is scattered with so many baby chairs I’m not quite sure what to do with them. A bottle warmer, baby wipe warmer, baby bath… the list goes on and on.

My Wildbird ring sling, on the other hand, is something I didn’t think I needed from the get-go. Boy was I wrong! I honestly couldn’t live without it. It’s my go-to when Ezra is fussy or tired while we’re out n’ about or even at home. He will be content or even asleep right away. I have used it to nurse him while on the go. The extra “tail” left over is a perfect nursing cover.

I have been using my Wildbird sling since he was just tiny, and now that he’s older he loves being able to sit on my hip to see what I’m doing! Not to mention he is the most cuddly little guy! (I hope he stays this way forever!)

WildbirdNow let’s back it up with some cold hard facts:

Carried babies cry less. In a study published by the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours*. Babies thrive through touch!

Proper babywearing helps promote optimal brain, hip, spine, eye, social and emotional development. When a baby is worn in the sling he/she becomes aware of the wearer’s movements. This stimulation helps baby to regulate his/her own physical responses and exercises baby’s vestibular system, which controls balance.

Research has also shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not**. Babywearing has so many benefits for not only baby but the wearer as well. Wearing your baby has shown to reduce stress hormones in new mamas which help fight postpartum depression. The wearer has two hands free which enables the wearer to get chores done, shop, or play with other children.

WildbirdQ: Why should I use a sling ring?

A: Ring slings are the easiest way to wear your baby (no wrapping or buckling). After a few times of practice, getting your baby in and out of the sling will become second nature. See our tutorials.

Q: Why is the sling made out of linen?

A: Linen is made from flax. Flax is one of the strongest natural fibers. It is three times stronger than cotton. Linen is a woven fabric that never loses it shape. It is also highly recommended for children and adults due to a non-allergic feature which makes it a great microclimate for skin. In addition, linen is the most suitable fabric for hot summer climates because of it’s cooling and refreshing effect. On the other hand it has a warming effect in winter. How? Flax absorbs sudden temperature changes and has outstanding moisture absorbency. Linen also protects skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Q: Are ring slings safe?

A: Yes! Our greatest concern is you and your baby’s safety. Wildbird slings are made from the highest quality aluminum rings available. Each tested to ensure your child’s safety. Use the sling properly and please study and practice the tips on the safety page.

Q: Are your rings certified?

A: Yes, our rings and manufacturing process are RoHS compliant. The rings are made from seamless aluminum which is heavy metal and toxin free. General certification of compliance with the CPSC/CPSIA can be made able by request.

Q: What do I do with the tail end of the sling?

A : You can simply leave the tail hanging or wrap it around the rings to get it out of the way. The tail can also be used as a nursing cover or sunshade.

Q: Is the sling portable?

A : Yes, it can easily fit inside a diaper bag or purse.

Q. Where are your slings made?

A : They are made in Salt Lake City, Utah.

So cuddle up close to that little babe!! It’s good for your baby and good for your soul. :)



** FAQ’s and research data taken from Wildbird website.

the one that didn’t get away.

Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetSo it FINALLY FINALLY happened. After being broken hearted 5-6 times, “the one” finally came along.  At times we felt we were going through a bad breakup, we thought it was love, “why didn’t anyone want us!?” We even wrote notes to sellers BEGGING to pick us. I felt like a desperate girlfriend begging to be taken back. Depressing, I know. After much defeat, true love came along and swept us off our feet. It’s a little tiny bungalow amongst raspberry bushes and tall, tall trees. It’s got a huge deck and tons of lawn to run around on. A little swing hanging from a branch and a dilapidated play house that needs a little TLC. It has 3 raised garden beds and 3 egg laying chickens. We have lots of plans for this little home, it needs some work… but we are willing to put in the effort to make it ours.Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

We were put through the ringer in this house hunt, but in hindsight, I am SO glad we didn’t get any of the houses we had put offers on. I believe in fate. This little house was meant for us.

This weekend we’re pulling up carpet, prepping for hardwood floors and fixing some windows. We are NOT handy people. Wish us luck.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetP.S. On a side note: Ezra started CRAWLING this week!!! So exciting! He’s really on the go, wants to play with and touch everything! Crazy how time flies.

P.S.S. How do you guys feel about WHITE hardwood? Do any of you have really light hardwood in your home? This is what I’m leaning toward… a little hesitant.


announcing a new venture!

Lush Photography San DiegoWoohoo!!! The day is finally here! I am so excited to finally announce LUSH Photography, a new business venture I have been working on with my sister for about a year now! If you are an avid follower of my blog, you may have noticed that a lot of the photos of big events in my life are taken by my wildly talented sister, Erin. We have partnered up in this adventure: Erin taking the role as the amazing photographer and I’ll play the executive role, (everything business and marketing). Sounds great, right?!

Lush Photography San Diego

Our approach is simplicity in every aspect. We know how difficult and tedious planning a wedding can be, your photography doesn’t need to add to the stress! We strive to create photos that are a pure representation of the love story that has brought the couple together and we stay true to the basics of what makes a photo timeless.

Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San DiegoIMG_2144Lush Photography San DiegoLush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San Diego Lush Photography San DiegoLush Photography San Diego

We’d love to hear from you!



gratitude // a letter to ezra

You have filled me with gratitude lately.

ezzy and bear

I took you on a walk in your new stroller the other day. You looked so big sitting up the way you were, holding on the crossbar tightly with both hands. You kept leaning your head over the side looking at everything we passed, then looking up at me to make sure I saw it too. I was laughing out loud at your excitement. You are filled with so much curiosity and wonder; and at only 6 months. I swear if you could talk, you would teach me everything there is to know about the world. Every tiny thing catches your attention. You are so aware, so alert, and it makes me stop to see the little things as well.

We were walking down the hill and I had such an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude. My eyes welled up with tears and you just stared at me with your slow blinks, until you fell asleep. In that moment, I realized that I am one of the lucky ones. So lucky to live where we live, to love so deeply, and to have the freedoms we have. We are able to take walks outside and not have a worry in the world.

It is hard for me to remember these things sometimes. Hard to realize how lucky we really are. I get caught up in the grind and the tedious things in life. Sometimes they overwhelm me to no end and I start to feel like a hamster in a wheel. But I hope you will be different. I hope someday you will be able to see your life in a positive and grandiose perspective, and I hope you have a deep knowledge that you are loved  by so many.



scenes from the weekend // la jolla, ca

la jolla

la jollala jollacolors of summer

la jolla

la jollaRunning on only 3 hours of sleep on Friday, I was bound and determined to sleep in on Saturday morning. And that we did! We slept until 8:30. haha — Not too long ago, sleeping in for me meant being in bed until 11:30 in the (almost) afternoon. Those were the days. — We woke up with Ezra cooing and squealing between us… I would venture to say it is the best way to wake up. We made our way to Starbucks before heading south to La Jolla for the afternoon. And let me just first say, if you have not tried the sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, paired with a vanilla bean frap., I highly recommend it. HIGHLY.

A summer afternoon in La Jolla is always a good idea. Before heading to the beach we wandered around the neighborhood and talked real estate, (we are really good at that lately). We dreamed of one day living in one of the beautiful homes by the shore. We pretended the red doored cottage was ours… “K, I’m going to go run inside and grab some lemonade for us and we’ll just sit here on our perfect front lawn on our perfect little street in this perfect little neighborhood!” :) It was just that perfect. WHO LIVES THERE ANYWAY?! I need to know, and go to lunch with them. I am sure we would be friends.

We stumbled upon a little hole in the wall shop brimming with STACKS upon STACKS of persian rugs. I fell in love. Especially in love with one sitting on the bottom of the pile. I think it is the 7th rug from the bottom. But like I was going to ask the man working there to unfold 30 rugs, just so I could gaze at it longingly, realize it is one million dollars, only to have him add it back to the pile. So we left.

Accomplishment of the weekend: finally got into the water. Bare back. That means no wet suit. I was told the water was over 70 degrees… I beg to differ. Anyway, I caught a couple waves, (on a boogie board), hit the surf, (on a boogie board), and showed Clay what I was made of, (on a boogie board.) *note: boogie boarding is not as cool as surfing… again, so I am told. I beg to differ.

I hope all of you had a fabulous fun-filled weekend. Summer is almost over! I can’t believe it! We’ve got to make these last days count!


rants about mommyhood and other stuff…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This housing search has engulfed every conversation Clay and I have lately. Between that a baby stuff, I don’t think we talk about much else. Life seems to be moving right along… at a steady pace… I need a shake up. I need some adventure, a new hobby, or maybe I just need to get Ezra on a good schedule so I can free up some time and get some sleep! Whatever it is, something has GOT to change.

Anyone else feel this way? Maybe post baby?  Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. I am obsessed with my little peanut and the joy he bring to me. I just feel like the ME part of me is drifting away somewhere in “Working Mommy Who Hasn’t Had Time To Grocery Shop In Weeks” Land.

Back to the housing sitch. We have put offers on 3 houses, all of which we were not the lucky ones. It seems our only hope of getting into a house is to choose one that NOBODY ELSE COULD POSSIBLY WANT, otherwise, they all have multiple offers and we never win! It’s a game. A game that I hate. A game that has broken my heart several times and I’m sure plans to break it a few more before we’re finished.

For now, I am reminding myself to enjoy the little moments. The other day, after I had just given Ezra a bath and made the bed with clean sheets, we snuggled and played until our hearts content. He would grab my face and plant a slobbery one on me, and I’d tickle his chubby legs because that makes him giggle the hardest. This went on for until for a good while, next thing I know, he just sound asleep next to me.  OH MY GOODNESS I just love being a mama.

the ULTIMATE list of baby must haves

ultimate baby listI have noticed that so many of you are mothers, or mothers to be! I also know how daunting it can be to gather all the necessities for a newborn. Especially while pregnant! So this list was made for you. Great for your last minute shopping or for a baby registry.

I am pretty lucky to have 3 older sisters who literally know everything there is to know about… well everything. Especially babies. Between the three of them they have 10 kids. I would say that warrants for some pretty legit baby cred. Before Ezra was born, my sisters helped me gather everything I could possibly need under the sun for this little guy. I also added a few things recommended by my midwife and Bradley Method teacher. Who knew a person so tiny could need so many things! Goodness!

So there ya go! For the over-prepared, overly cautious mothers out there, you’re welcome. :) Everything on this list is not absolutely NECESSARY, but it makes your new crazy life that much easier having everything on hand, avoiding any last minute trips to the store at 2 a.m. Don’t see something on the list that you loved and absolutely had to have? I’d love to know!


currently obsessing // BRIKA

FIRST OF ALL… Let me clear the air. Sheesh. I want to apologize for the title of my last post: “You win, You win!”. I guess it wasn’t the best title. I’ll admit that. Some people got upset because they thought they had actually won the giveaway, not that it was just the title of my post. Please don’t send me hate mail. It sucks. And it makes me sad. I have feelings too ya know!

Okay, so we are off to a great start.

brikaI want to share a website I recently found that I am so excited about! And let me just say, this is NOT a sponsored post. I seriously just love this site! It’s called BRIKA. And it’s pretty awesome! It is a site designed with the savvy handmade loving consumer in mind. Hey! That’s me!

dipped bowls

pendleton pillow


cutting board

just for you


From Pendleton pillows to Moniker leather goods, BRIKA hand picks the best of the best handcrafted shops, and forges a one stop shop for all things handmade and wonderful. It’s a little bit like Etsy, but the difference is they focus a great deal on the designer’s story: how and why they make their craft so every piece you buy will come with a connection to its origin. I swear you are going to love everything. I do.

Check em out HERE!


marriage after baby // keepin’ the knot tied tight


I received an infinite amount of baby advice before Ezra arrived. So much, I didn’t know what to do with it all. I felt as if I needed to carry around a pen and paper so I didn’t miss out on pertinent information that would save me down the road from a major crisis. But I have found that the most important piece of advice is often left out. That is, keeping your partner your top priority. I ran across this article and it really spoke to me. As I was going through the self test questions I found me answering, “no…no… no… I am NOT easy to love!” Ok, step one – recognizing the problem, complete. As terrible as it sounds, sometimes I have to stop and think,
“this is your companion, your best friend, the person you vowed to be there for through thick and thin! Now WHY ARE YOU SO UPSET??!!” And this is the thick ladies and gents. Whether you just had a baby and things seem to be coming loose at the seams, (laundry, sanity, maybe even literal loose seams with the extra lbs we tend to put on during those difficult times), or you are going through something else, or hey, maybe your marriage is great, but could always use some improvement! I believe these tips can be used in any sitch…

Found this article on familyshare.com. It spoke to me. It made so much sense. I have placed these little questions in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now, practicing being an easier spouse to love, and I truly believe it has made a difference. Maybe Clay hasn’t even noticed, but just for me, and my crazy psyche, it has been a lifesaver. I couldn’t remember the last time I initiated the “i love you.” Clay says it every day! And I say “I love you too”. Telling Clay I love him, as silly as it sounds, made a huge difference for me. Hope you find this article as helpful as I did! Let me know what you think!


Let’s face it: Sometimes marriage is just hard. There will be days when you and your spouse can’tagree on anything, there’s a mountain of laundry to be done, the dishes are piled high in the sink, there are unpaid bills scattered across the counter, and a baby is crying in the background. At these times, it’s very hard to feel love toward one another. I’m ashamed to say that, at these times, I find myself taking my frustrations out on my patient, long-suffering husband. As if things weren’t already hard enough for him, he’s now got a shrew of a wife blaming him for everything that’s gone wrong.

Are you a wife who is easy to love? Do you give your husband reasons to sing your praises and brag about you to his buddies? Honestly, I know I’m not always that kind of wife, and I’m betting there are others like me out there. You can test yourself on your own loveable-ness by answering the following questions based on your experiences and actions. Consider the possible answers as being Always, Often, Sometimes, or Never.

1. Do you give your husband credit for things he does to help around the house?

Everyone likes recognition and men are no exception. Make sure you notice what he does to help out — running a load of laundry, vacuuming a room, playing with a child so you can have a few minutes to yourself — and thank him for it. He’ll be more likely to do it again.

2. Do you tell your husband you love him?

I’m not talking about the knee jerk, “Love you, too,” you say when he tells you he loves you or a sleepy, “Love you,” as you lie in bed at night. I’m talking about an intentional moment when you give him a hug or a kiss, lock eyes with him and tell him in all sincerity, “I love you, sweetheart.” Men like to hear the words as much as women.

3. Do you perform acts of service for him?

Men have tough days, worries and frustrations just as frequently as women, but they’re not always as vocal about it. Any little act of service you can do to show your husband how you appreciate him can make his day a little brighter and his burden a little easier. Give him a back rub, make him his favorite meal, run the car through the wash without his asking you or do some other thing you know he loves but doesn’t get to experience very often. There’s nothing more gratifying than the look of surprise and gratification in a man’s eye when you surprise him with something he loves.

4. Do you have open lines of communication?

Don’t suffer in silence when something is bothering you. One of two things will probably happen: either you’ll end up shutting your husband out, making him wonder what he did wrong, or you’ll make the problem worse because you’re not addressing it. Make sure your husband knows what’s going on in your life. That way he can work on changing the offending behavior or help you deal with whatever is causing you to stress.

5. Do you accept his compliments?

Women have a hard time accepting compliments because they often feel they don’t deserve them or the person complimenting them is “just saying that.” Chances are your husband really means it when he tells you your hair looks nice or your dress is sexy. He doesn’t analyze statements or motivations like you might do, men just don’t think that way. But if you don’t accept his compliments or you laugh them off and not take him seriously, he’ll be less likely to compliment you in the future.

6. Do you ask for his help?

Men like to feel needed. One way they can demonstrate their love for you is by helping you when you need it. If he’s not busy or sick or stressed himself, don’t be afraid to ask for his assistance with the kids or dinner or the cleaning. It’s another way he can show you how much he cares.

How did you do on those questions? You can easily score yourself. If you answered Always or Often on most of the questions, you can be reasonably assured you’re a wife your husband can easily love. Those questions you answered Sometimes or Never might give you ideas of how to better show your husband love and allow him to do the same. Implementing those ideas will bless your family and your marriage.

Article Written by Katie Nielsen for FamilyShare.com

One piece of advice I have to constantly remind myself is to KEEP IT LIGHT! Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Jam out in the car together. That seems to do it for us. :)


  • email-64      pinterest-64      instagram-64

  • enter your email address and LET'S BE FRIENDS!

  • i n s t a g r a m / / @ m a r y l a u r e n

  • Categories

  • aww, thanks guys...

    • 2,983,032 views and counting

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,455 other followers