Observer Fabric Tour

I was so excited when April asked me to be part of her Observer blog tour! I am a HUGE fan of April’s. In fact, a good majority of the fabrics I use (and definitely most of my best sellers) have been designed by her. She is kind of my fabric spirit animal.

I actually had a totally different project in mind when April initially asked me. I immediately thought of another pattern I had been wanting to do but it took me a while to get started and in that time the wheels started turning. I had been wanting to make a pineapple quilt but something about the classic colors didn’t do it for me creatively. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the classic colored pineapple quilts floating around the internet but I wanted a bit of a challenge. I had an image in my head of how I hoped it’d turn out but wasn’t really sure if it would be totally rad or a disaster. I went for it anyway and I ended up loving how it turned out! When it started coming together I had to powerhouse my way through to see the final product and I’m so glad I decided to change projects last minute.

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I had to grab my husband to hold up the quilt top for me this morning before he left for work and got minimal eye rolls! That’s huge, guys.

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I had to order more fabric for the backing. I decided to use the goooorgeous Indigo Window Crystal print because it’s maybe my favorite from the new line. I said maybe! The splatter fabric is the perfect neutral background fabric and I love the depth it adds to the quilt.

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You can find the whole tour on April’s blog here and I highly recommend going to check out the projects! I love to see how everyone was given the same fabric to work with but everyone came up with something so unique. Totally in awe of everyone’s creativity and talent! I’ll share the final project on instagram once I have it quilted + bound so make sure to follow me there!

-LWPH

Frame those photos!

We take so many pictures with our phones always within reach — I’m talking 9,000 photos on my phone right now! Not all of them are gems, of course, but some of them I definitely do not want to get sucked into the cloud abyss. You know what I’m talking about? They go to up into the cloud (whatever that means!) and then I never really look at them again. I’ve been dying to print a few of my favorites and was so excited to try out Framebridge. Their service was SO easy and for a visual person like me, it made the process painless. I could upload my photo or art, pick different frames and it would show me what each one would look like immediately. The printing quality was so good and it came with everything ready to hang! I know this is silly but even the nail was pretty!

For those of us that use Instagram a lot, you can even log into your account and easily select which photos you want printed + framed for around $40! That’s what we did for our kitchen and I love how they turned out. I’m a little addicted now and want to frame all the things.

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I had recently purchased these two large prints and was worried about finding the right frame for them. I don’t have a lot of free time so going from store to store printing and looking for frames I loved was just not going to work. Hallelujah for Framebridge coming in and saving the day on this one! Seriously, if it wasn’t for them these would still be sitting in my inbox, I promise. I just uploaded the artwork, picked a frame, and bam! I’m all about convenience these days and when it doesn’t break the bank? Even better.

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Framebridge is offering all of my readers 15% off their first purchase with code LITTLEWIFE15 and I highly recommend trying them out! I definitely want to get a few more of my Instagram pictures framed for another room in our house. We’ve been in our rental house for a little over three years and adding pictures of our family just makes it feel a little more like home to us.

This post was sponsored by Framebridge but all words and opinions are 100% mine!

-LWPH

Day Trip to San Francisco

We live about 45 minutes south of San Francisco and we love going into the city every chance we get (although with three kids it’s equal parts fun and exhausting). Living in a tourist destination means that family comes and visits often, which is so great since we live so far. We got to play tour guide to my BIL + his girlfriend for the last week and our first outing was the city!

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One thing that’s super important in taking day trips/vacations with kids is making sure you bring the right gear. I’m talking about gear that will make your life easier so before you pack up the car, make sure to think about what you’ll be doing and bring what will be the most helpful. For this trip we brought our new G-LINK stroller from UppaBaby + our Ergo 360 as a backup for Sawyer. Three kids means three places to sit if they’re all exhausted at once so the G-LINK with two seats was perfect! A diaper bag that helps you be hands free (and looks gorgeous) is always a huge plus and this Fawn Design in black is the perfect one to do just that.

My biggest tip for traveling with little ones is to be flexible. There will be meltdowns, more rigid lunch/dinner times, nap times to work around, and unexpected things that come up. We always try to set a loose schedule by planning a few things we want to do that day then do them in whatever order works out the best with the kids’ schedule. Try not to let it ruin your day if things don’t go as planned (any other Type A’s out there?!) because half the fun is just being together, no matter what you’re doing.

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We always stop at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market first. It’s a gorgeous building right on the water with the best donuts inside, fresh fruit + veggies everywhere, and the atmosphere is just really fun.

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You’d think going almost anywhere in the US in July or August would mean pretty warm temperatures but with the San Francisco fog, you have to be prepared with layers. It ended up being warmer so we all peeled off our jackets and put them in the basket below. Thank goodness for the extra space because there were seven jackets under there plus a blanket!

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If you’re ever in San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts is definitely a must-see. You feel like you’re in Europe and it’s right in the heart of the city. It’s also really convenient location-wise, a quick stop on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The beauty here is jaw dropping and the pictures don’t even do it justice!

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We walked around quite a bit so it was nice having the G-LINK where the older two could jump in and out as they wanted and Sawyer was comfy strapped to me.

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I mean, come on!

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Everyone who comes to San Francisco has to at least drive across the Golden Gate Bridge! You might think that it’s just a bridge but it really is beautiful. The fog had rolled in, covering the top of the towers but it added to the beauty. I highly recommend walking across part the bridge if you have time. Driving across just isn’t the same!

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I get a little freaked out walking on the bridge so I didn’t go as far as everyone else. I made it farther than I did last time so I’m still patting myself on the back! We opted for just taking the Ergo on the bridge because it’s a bit of a hike from where we park to the bridge. I’m so glad we grabbed the Ergo because carrying Sawyer all the way up and all the way down would have been a nightmare! Like I said, make sure you have the right gear and even if you think you may not use it, BRING IT.

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We will be taking basically the exact same baby gear on our trip to Ireland later this year so I feel like this was a good test run. We chose the G-LINK by UppaBaby because we wanted a stroller that folded up into once piece, was easy to fold and carry up stairs, had two seats, extended shades, space below, and a rain cover. A rain cover is a MUST in Ireland, I hear, so I’m relieved we were able to find a stroller that checked off so many of our must-haves for traveling with little ones.

-LWPH

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

traveling with little ones

We have traveled with our little ones quite a bit. Sawyer is barely 8 months old and he’s already been on four flights! We really have tried to make traveling part of our lives as parents even though it can be more challenging with kids. A lot more challenging! I always think of something Jordan of Oh Happy Day said when thinking about taking our kids on a trip. The gist of it was that traveling with kids is not as fun as traveling with all adults BUT it sure beats staying at home all the time! A-men, Jordan.

I feel like every trip we take we downgrade what we bring. Our first couple of trips back home to Texas we’d be schlepping a million things through the airport! Car seats, a pack n play, large luggage, carry ons, a big stroller, along with our kids. It was SUCH a production just getting to the airport! My husband is somewhat of a bag aficionado so he’s been looking at Tom Bihn bags for a while. I started watching videos on their website and was blown away by how much they could fit in their different bags. The type A in me was all googly eyed over the organizational aspect! It totally changed the way I thought about packing!

For our trip to Texas we brought more than we will on our Ireland trip but we still only checked one bag (along with our car seats). I’ll tell more about our international packing/car seat/traveling in a future post — some tips will be the same, some will be different.

  1. Bring luggage that helps you be as hands free as possible. When you have little kids, it makes traveling so much harder when don’t have hands to help kid A with this, kid B with her backpack, or wipe kid C’s spit off off his mouth without putting everything down and picking it back up. It’s seriously exhausting! We both carried an Aeronaut 45 on our backs and just look at how much I was able to fit in mine! I love the organizational cubes. Honestly, I could’ve fit even more than this! 
  2. If your kids are old enough, get each a backpack to carry on the plane full of snacks and activities. In the past we’ve used whatever backpack we had around the house but this time we got a Sprout pack for each of the older kids and they are amazing! We filled them with tons of activities, iPads, snacks, “babies” and there was still room for more, they were just getting too heavy. When they get older they’ll be able to carry even more!
  1. This goes along with #2 but pack their bags with their favorite activities, snacks, candies they don’t usually get to eat. For us, most rules at home go out the window while traveling. We are in survival mode! We pack iPads for each of them, temporary tattoos (with a rag in a plastic bag), stickers, a notepad for each, a dry erase board, and a small game. When Holden was younger we brought little boxes of nerds because he would eat them one by one and it would take FOREVER for him to eat them, it was fantastic.
  2. For babies, pack more than you think you’ll need for the plane. One time I was heading home and before we even made it half way to Texas, Sawyer had pooped through one outfit and peed on his extra outfit so boyfriend had to hang in an outfit he had peed on for the rest of the trip. Have backups for your backup! If you’re nursing, bring your favorite nursing cover (Covered Goods!!) so you can nurse on take off + landing. We’ve been using our Parental Unit from Tom Bihn (sensing a pattern?! All of their stuff is so so good!) and it’s crazy how much stuff you can fit in the bag and still zip it up and it doesn’t feel heavy or bulky. My husband has LOVED this diaper bag because it just feels like a bag he would carry everyday but with all of the organization a good diaper bag needs.
  3. If you have access to a washer + dryer, try packing less and doing laundry on your trip. For our 10 day trip to Ireland, we plan on bringing a small thing of detergent and doing some laundry in our sink or bath. I have a feeling a tide to go pen will be our best friends too with spills and splatters.
  4. Buy diapers when you get to your destination. We always bring enough for the plane ride and for a day or two once we get there (if we have the space in our bags) because sometimes you just don’t want to go to the store as soon as you step off the plane.
  5. Pack an empty sippy cup or straw cup for the plane ride. We just buy a water once we get through security and pour it into each kid’s cups. It’s a lot easier than dealing with screw tops and it helps the kids be more independent on the plane. We love the ones that have a straw but close so they don’t spill in their bags.
  6. Check your stroller at the gate or bring a baby carrier (like an ergo or solly wrap). We love to check our stroller at the gate because it helps us be as hands free as possible while walking around the airport. Bonus: our kids ride on the skateboards of our orbit so it keeps them close to us!
  7. Kids get restless so if the seatbelt sign is off, get some wiggles out by walking up and down the aisles a few times! This is especially important on a long flight. We’ll do this and also sometimes hang out in the back with the flight attendants for a bit if our youngest is feeling grumpy. They usually love to see a cute baby so they’re happy to share the space for a few minutes (I think at least hah!)

I hope those were some helpful tips for packing/traveling with little ones! As I’ve done it more and added more kids to the bunch my motto is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

-LWPH

our living room tour

We’ve lived in this house for just over three years. We are renting (and feel so lucky to have scored such a great house in Silicon Valley) but have been constantly frustrated at the housing market here. We’ve put some work into decorating our rental but not a ton of work.

We’ve been toying with the idea of buying a house out here and even looked at a few but something was telling us it just wasn’t the right time for us so we’ve put it on hold. Once we put the house hunting on hold I told myself to just enjoy this rental we have and really make it our own!

I knew I wanted a long picture ledge along the back of the couch. We have so many wonderful pictures + prints framed and the ledge makes it so we can swap out as often as we want! We bought two of these ledges from Ikea and hung them next to each other on the wall. I love how it turned out!

Oh, if we owned this house that fireplace would be the first thing to go! The stonework matches the outside of the house but it definitely needs some updating. I’m not really sure if the actual fireplace works but that could use an update, too. It’s from the 60’s, I believe!

There was a NIGHTMARE of a mess of cords hanging allllll along the wall. We had all of the game consoles and internet/cable boxes on the mantle and it just looked terrible. I wish I would have taken a before picture — it was THAT BAD. Now full disclosure: a tiny bit of the gathered wires really do show a tiny bit around those white flowers that I didn’t have time to fully figure out how to cover up so that was photoshopped out. You can totally hide the wires behind the wall though following this tutorial, we just didn’t want to drill into the wall anymore than we have to.

I love this diffuser from Magnolia Market. Everything Chip + Joanna do turns to gold. I want to be BFFs with them (a sentiment felt by most of America, I’m sure!) The diffuser smells DIVINE. The perfectly fresh scent.

It took me a really long time to figure out what to do with the top shelf! Like a really long time. I finally was like DUH, put some great books up there and steal that cool ball thing from Sawyer’s room and voila! The difference between past decorating endeavors and this one was I didn’t want a bunch of little things that maybe looked cute but served no purpose. I don’t need anymore junk around my house! I used the shelves of our Walker Edison media tower to host some of our favorite books, a plant for some green next to a box for all of our Amiibos, our game consoles and cable boxes (which I still want to hide somehow) and a speaker for our nightly dance parties!

I LOVE our coffee table from Walker Edison! It has a glass top which you’d think would be super annoying to keep clean with three little kids but it honestly hasn’t been bad and the fact that you can see through the top actually helps me to keep the bottom shelf clean. I need all the motivation I can get to not let clutter take over our lives!

Sawyer was, of course, hamming it up for the camera. He just radiates sunshine!

Now this is technically a TV stand of sorts but after I saw how Whippy Cake made it such a functional piece for her family I was like THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEEEED. Now, this post is already getting suuuuper lengthy and I have so much to say about how we use this in our every day lives so I’m going to have to make a totally separate blog post for it. It’s been that life changing in organizing our day to day! Thank youuuuu, Walker Edison, thank youuuuu!

We needed a LARGE piece of art to put above our life organizing, wonderful piece of furniture and Minted definitely saved the day. They have the most beautiful selection of art and you can either buy the art separately or have it framed and shipped. We opted for the framed and shipped option because convenience is everything in my life right now! They have SO many options guys, take a while and browse their selection! I want it all.

We were going to put two large pieces just leaning against the wall there but decided to move one of the framed pieces to the game room. I love how it looks on our buffet and that copper frame is just gorgeous!

Here are a few more shots from around the room and then I’ll try to put some sources below but if there’s something specific you’re wanting to know about, just put it in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

I love having the quilts I’ve made for our family out on display. They are such a labor of love and mean so much to me, there’s no way I could hide them all away in a closet somewhere! We love snuggling under quilts watching tv, movies, or playing a video game so it’s perfect having them so easily accessible.

That Rad Revolution romper on Charlotte…obsessed! I don’t think she sells that floral print anymore but has TONS of other adorable romper choices! And really, it would be terrible of me not to turn you guys onto Loyal Hana if you’re nursing. All of their clothing is cute, well-made, and HAS HIDDEN ZIPPERS for breastfeeding! I have quite a few pieces from them and pretty much rotate them out and maybe throw a t-shirt or two in the mix but mostly I’m like, why would I not want zippers in everything I’m wearing right now?! I told you, convenience.

Like I said, if you have a question about a specific piece let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you! Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’ll post next later this week or next week about the console and how we use it!

All photos by Rachael Bradley.

-LWPH

Castle Rock Hike

One of our favorite family activities is going on a hike with the kiddos! We usually do a pretty low key hike but we were feeling adventurous..or at least Allan was feeling adventurous and it was his Father’s Day hike after all. Carrying Sawyer up and down the mountain, Charlotte peeing her pants half way down and nursing Sawyer to sleep while hiking down the mountain made for a super interesting time but there were just so many good moments along the way.

We always stop at this creek to throw a few rocks + leaves.

Sawyer is loving the Ergo Baby 360 these days. It was great because he could be facing out for as long as he wanted and then when he got tired and needed to nurse I could switch him around very easily.

-LWPH

BabyList Small Shop Pick 2016

 

We are so excited to have been chosen as one of Baby List’s Small Shop Picks for 2016! This is actually our second time being included in their Small Shop Picks and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be included with such a wonderful group of small businesses who work so hard every.single.day.

We have an exclusive promotional code with BabyList so make sure to sign up for their mailing list and get discount codes for the other businesses involved! We’ve also made it SUPER easy for you to add Little Wife Power House directly to your BabyList registry by following this link. Not only can you add anything from our website for your loved ones to bring to your rockin’ baby shower, you can add anything from around the internet… even meals, house cleaning, etc! It’s truly an amazing service and I loved using it with my little ones!

-LWPH

Cake Maternity

I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with Cake Maternity and try out a few of their nursing bras. I chose the Nude Rock Candy Seamless BraDark Chocolate Underwire Nursing Bra, and the Maple Mousse Plunge Bra. One to relax in, one maybe for a night out [ha! a night out?! Well, a girl can dream!] and one for everyday use.

The Nude Rock Seamless Bra was super comfortable and I actually birthed Sawyer in it! It’s stretchy and perfect for sleeping and lounging, especially in those early weeks. The Dark Chocolate Underwire Nursing Bra has been a fun alternative and great to wear under darker clothes on those hot date nights. And by hot date nights I mean the occasional dinner out WITH our youngest. Anyone relate? The bra I’ve worn the most by far has been the Maple Mousse Plunge Bra. It’s the perfect neutral and still makes you feel super cute. A fellow nursing mama saw it and commented on how cute it was! I sized down to the size just below the one I was previously using and there seems to be a huge size disparity between the two but I could have missed something and ordered wrong! Just make sure to measure yourself and get the right size!

You can see their whole line of goods here. They have everything from bras to tanks to nursing pads so make sure to browse around to see what all they have to offer!

-LWPH

the big kids’ room tour

I’m so excited to finally share the makeover of my kids’ shared room! Decorating a room that has both genders can be a challenge but I found I tend to lean towards gender neutral colors in general so it kind of worked out! I love greys, white, teal and did I say grey?!

I know you guys want to know all the details about our bunk beds so head here to read all about them! We’ve loved these bunk beds and adding a little DIY to them made them SO much better!

I made both quilts for their bunk beds. Quilts are such a labor of love and I really hope they keep + use them for their whole lives…and then pass them onto their kids. That’s why I totally believe quilts are such a great heirloom investment. They become part of some of your most cherished memories. I’ll always remember tucking my babies into bed at night snuggled in their cozy quilts. Cuddling with them as they both beg to all lay in the same bed for a few minutes at night. Reading their favorite books over and over again. My sweet babes are what make the memories but our quilts are part of them. Charlotte’s quilt also helped add a little fun color to the room which I love!

Our teepee from Tnee’s is one of my favorite parts of their room! It’s such a show stopper and the quality is unmatched. The grey stripe is the perfect neutral and if we ever change up their room I know I’d be able to put their teepee in our front room and it would fit in the decor seamlessly. The kids love reading in it, playing peek-a-boo, and turning it into a time machine to search for dinosaurs!

Linking to sources below but leave any questions you have for me here!

All photos by Corinne McCombs.

Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad

I am constantly blown away by the amazing baby products people are coming out with to take away as much worry from us mamas as possible. We have enough to worry about, don’t we?! I was so excited when Hatch Baby reached out to introduce their new product, the revolutionary smart changing pad that connects to a free app on your smart phone to track your baby’s weight, feedings, and even sleep!

I don’t know about you but being that I’m exclusively breastfeeding, I’m constantly worried that Sawyer is getting enough to eat — especially in those early days. The guessing can leave you seriously stressing! The Hatch Baby changing pad has a scale, guys! I was able to weigh him before and after feedings to make sure he was getting plenty of milk, can you believe it? What a blessing of peace of mind! I immediately thought how wonderful it would be for mamas who bring home premature babies to closely track their weight gain and diaper output! In fact, my mama friend who gave birth at 32 weeks was wishing she had had a Hatch Baby pad in her home back in her most worrisome weeks. The pad also wirelessly sends Sawyer’s weight to the app and charts it all! I love taking babies to doctor’s appointments just so I can hear how much they weigh. Nothing better than knowing your babe is thriving. Friends are always asking how much Sawyer weighs so now I can say [down to the ounce]!

We put so much thought and love into every detail of our little one’s nurseries, don’t we?  Sometimes techie baby products can look clunky and the design can be lacking. The Hatch Baby changing pad is sleek and the top pad is even interchangeable so it can be washed or changed out if you decide you want a slightly different look. We went with Ash but it also comes in Rose, Sand, and Sky. Doesn’t it fit into the decor seamlessly? It was my last item to put in so I’m pretty sure one of their four colors would fit into most color schemes!

The app is a great partner to the changing pad. I love that I can enter information as I’m nursing [bravo efficiency!] I’m also reeeeeeally grateful that all of Sawyer’s information is right at my finger tips for those moments when his pediatrician is asking me about his sleep/feeding schedules and I’m all wide eyed because I can’t even remember my name on the three hours of sleep I got the night before. It has saved me from looking like a super spaced out mom more than once! Even if you don’t have their changing pad right now, I recommend getting their free app to keep track of their stats although I’m sure you never have space cadet mom moments like me, right? Never ;)!

…and one photo of my three little loves just for fun because I can’t believe how lucky I am to mother my sweet red head, blonde, and brunette babes.

This blog post is in partnership with Hatch Baby and all photos by Corinne McCombs Photography.

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