Thursday, July 30, 2015

A David Kind Experience

I've worn either glasses or contacts since the 7th grade. I had a friend whom I always begged to wear her glasses, so maybe that's to blame. For the record,  she blames me for her bad handwriting because in second grade we would compete with who could finish our cursive writing assignments the fastest. That's neither here nor there, I suppose. 

I stuck with contacts for a long time, but it's just so dry here that I'm rarely comfortable in them. The past few years I've found my comfort level in fun frames, but buying online is a must ((because who has time for the whole eye doctor dance?)). I've bought a few pairs that have turned out hideous on me, and even though those websites had decent return policies, it was just a huge hassle.

Just before Owen was born, it was time for some new glasses and David Kind came to the rescue. Have you heard of David Kind? I love the timeless & elegant vibe this company gives and the home try on kit is my jam, as a busy mom running my own business. They sent me a box of frames to try on after I told the stylist some preferences. I picked a few (three) and she picked a few more based on my preferences and try-on frame choices. My stylist (hi, Laura!) is an optician herself, so I felt like I was in great hands. 

I love the quality of these glasses and that the shape is different from my other frames. ((truly, the quality difference is evident in these vs my other glasses)) I had a hard time deciding, but finally went with the Clover frames. All around, it was a great experience and I would definitely head to David Kind first for my next pair of frames. 

Here are some photos of my new frames in action.

Oh, and Knox likes them too ;)


Monday, July 27, 2015

I Know the Heart of Life is Good

What I want to remember in this season of life...

Not the extra baby weight that's hanging around my midsection, arms, face and thighs, but  that Owen is worth the chub and the look on Knox's face when we surprise him with going to get donuts after dinner is just too good to pass up.  

Not the stretch marks around my belly button, but that I embraced summer, wore my swimsuit and met friends at the pool to watch our kids laugh & splash around.

Not the dishes that pile up when I can't seem to find time (or get my priorities in line) to conquer the pile, but that I have a husband who will come home, serve me and make those dirty dishes disappear. 

Not that Chase and I are sometimes like ships passing in the night while we tag-team changing diapers, bedtime routines and household chores - but that we are serving each other and taking "shifts" and are working as a team ((and that it will get easier!)).

Not the endless bills from pregnancy and delivery and the weeks after, but that the Lord provides. 

Not the tantrums when Knox is acting out from all the recent change, but the way he adores his dad, the way he says "school buses (school bussies)" and his curious face when he asks, "oh, what's dat noiiiiiise?"

Not how loud Knox is when he wakes up Owen when I fiiiiiinally get him to sleep, but the way he sings/shouts "HEY! HO!" when the Lumineers play in the car. 

Not the weeds that seem to take over our yard, but the wildflowers that I grew from seed. 

Not how stressful trying to juggle my business and life can be, but that the Lord provided an awesome nanny to hang with Knox once a week so I can get all that work in (almost) uninterrupted. 

Not that we are far from family, but that we get to soak up the time and make the most of it when they do visit and when we get to go home. 

Not the sleepiness when I want to go back to sleep, but the rich taste of coffee in the mornings...and afternoons. ;) 

Not the waking up a million times in the night, dizzy from sleep-deprivation, but the sweet coos Owen makes as he nurses and the cuddles as he falls back asleep.

Not the low number in our bank account at the end of the month, but the memories made ((and the cotton candy consumed)) at a spontaneous trip into Denver to watch the Rockies play the Rangers. 

Not that life can be exhausting and hard, but that it is rich and that the Lord is good.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Oh, Sweet Joy! + Fresh Bib

Hey everyone!

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with one of my favorites from the internet, Brooke. She and her hubby run Fresh BiB, a fun spin on a subscription service + one stop baby gift shop. It's such a unique idea and I can vouch, first hand, that they are packaged adorably (and sustainably) and the bibs are incredible quality. They want moms to feel special and receive something that is exciting and fun. I love that. My favorite detail? The bibs are made with green thread and snaps to remind mamas that every day is a fresh new start - something that I need to be reminded of every second of every day. 

So, for our collaboration, I picked the cactus fabric ((HEART EYES)) and she picked the contrasting reverse fabric for the other side. It's unisex (holla) and just TOO cute to handle.  The July subscription box includes my go-to vanilla ice cream recipe and a fun bamboo spoon. 

I think that a Fresh BiB is THE perfect shower gift - it's unique, attractive and a nice change up from diapers or onesies (which are equally needed). Not to mention, it's obviously a fun little box to receive if you want to treat yo'self and yo'baby ;)

"Brooke and Adam are fully aware that a monthly bib subscriptiion can't solve sleep deprivation, take the 3 am feeding shift or change diapers - but, Fresh BiB can remove the need to spend countless hours searching for cool bibs online, provide a dose of fun every month and give you back a little of your day by protecting your child's clothes from stains and drool. Grab your Fresh BiB and get on with mommyhood. Adventure awaits."

Do you follow @ohsweetjoy on instagram? Stay tuned for a giveaway later this week where TWO winners will win a Fresh box. Grab your bibs, paci clips and more here or subscription box here

You can also read a little interview with yours truly riiiiight over here. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

shop update

It's been a while since I've blogged about a shop update, but we've had lots of fun things going on over in the Oh, Sweet Joy! shop!

There are some fun new "boutique" items including kimonos and (now sold out) layering tanks. I also made some really fun bolo tie inspired bohemian necklaces with leather cording and agate slices. They're all one of a kind and I am having a hard time not keeping them all! 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Fresh Summer Salad with Grilled Steak ((Recipe))

There is nothing more enjoyable to me in the summertime than a fresh salad and a good protein to top it off with. Grilling is crucial part of enjoying the longer days Summer has to offer and the meal is especially gratifying when there are multiple colors on the salad. This Summer salad with steak has greens, purple, red, yellow, and it's filling, to boot.

Chase and I picked up some fresh salad ingredients + sirloin tip steaks that were on sale at Whole Foods, as well as a delicious marinade ((and of course some flowers)).  The marinade was a basic steakhouse flavor in a jar that was by the meat counter. His brother, sister and their spouses were spending the night with us, so we were wanting to enjoy an outdoor dinner. This definitely hit the spot.

Here's the ingredient list, the "recipe" is self explanatory ;) ((served 6))
Mixed Greens or 2 heads of romaine 
Grilled Corn (2 cobs)
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup Cilantro
Avocado, sliced  (2)
1/4 Red Onion, chopped 
Queso Fresco 
Olive Oil 
Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper
2 lbs steak

For the dressing:
I just used olive oil and lime juice, along with salt & pepper. You can always add more, so use the olive oil sparingly and toss until you get the right amount without it getting soggy. 

Serving Suggestion:
Toss the cilantro with the lettuce and dressing...then let your guests add everything else in by having the toppings in individual bowls. More dishes, but that way it's customizable for preferences. 

After the fresh and delicious salads, we balanced out the health factor by heading into Boulder to our favorite gelato spot, Fior Di Latte. It's seriously the best. We recommend the affogato with mexican coffee gelato and the s'mores gelato. :)


Monday, May 18, 2015

((recipe)) cilantro-lime shrimp & quinoa bowls

This recipe has become a favorite in our household - Knox even finishes his bowl. Now, if that isn't a toddler win, I don't know what is! It's fresh and flavorful, perfect for warm summer nights and comes together quickly. One quick trip to Whole Foods for ingredients and typically under $20, depending on what you have on hand + the price you get your shrimp for, this is a go-to meal that you'll come back to time and time again.

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls
(serves 3-4)

1 lb deveined, peeled shrimp 
1 cups dry quinoa
1 clove garlic, chopped
avocado (2)
red onion
2 limes
1-2 tomatoes depending on size
((on hand basics))
chicken broth, water, olive oil, salt & pepper, chili powder, cumin
olive oil

1. Cook 1.5 cups of quinoa in 2.75 cups of water or chicken broth, according to package directions. I usually go half and half here. If you're making this for 1-2 people, just do a cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water or broth.
2. Chop half of the red onion and half of your jalepeno (or the whole pepper if you like it hot). Put in medium bowl and squeeze juice of one lime on top. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, tiny bit of salt and pepper, stir and let sit for at least five minutes (this will take some of the bite out of the red onion so it's not so potent).
3. Chop tomatoes, avocados, and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Set aside. You'll mix this with the onion/jalepeno mixture when it's been sitting long enough. 
4. Heat some olive oil in a pan and throw in a clove of chopped garlic. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with cumin + chili powder. Add some leftover lime juice and cilantro if you're feeling fancy. Cook a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. 
5. Mix all the "avocado salsa" ingredients together if you haven't already and season with salt as needed. 

Add quinoa to a bowl, top with the avocado salsa, and then a few pieces of shrimp. Serve with lime wedge. 

-cut up shrimp rather than serving whole ((which is obviously what I do for Knox))
-make cilantro-lime rice instead of serving with quinoa. I just like how much protein is in quinoa and I feel like it gives more flavor to the dish when cooked in partial chicken broth. 
-Grill the shrimp
-Omit the shrimp, chill in refrigerator and serve as a delicious quinoa salad for your Memorial Day party

If you have leftover quinoa & avocado salsa, mix it all together with a bit of olive oil if the quinoa is dry and it is AWESOME cold the next day for lunch. ((thumbs up emoji))


Sunday, May 10, 2015

grace & motherhood

It's no secret that I wear a lot of hats. I'm a wife, mom, daughter, friend, business owner, blogger, consultant, designer, dreamer, teacher, singer, cook, housekeeper and more. I'm a busy-bee to say the least.  But being a mom is the most refining, exhausting, and significant role I get to play. It's an umbrella for everything I wanted to be "when I grew up." It pushes me to the feet of the Father daily and although I make mistake after mistake, I'm grateful that I can experience endless grace and new mercies every single day. 

I pray that one day, Lord willing, when my boys are Fathers themselves that they can see that providing for their families and using their passions to serve their wife and their children will feel like an extravagant gift. 

I remember a moment growing up, standing on a chair in the kitchen next to my mom while we made brownies.  I was a talker (shocker) and I recall rambling on to my mom a few things I wanted to be when I grew up. While we stirred the batter and I impatiently waited to lick the spoon, I explained that I either wanted to be a singer, a cook (which is ironic since we were making brownies out of a box), or a teacher. She looked at me and said, "If you're a mom, you will likely be a cook. Actually, you can be all of those things when you're a wife and mom." 

And she was right. Just like she was right about not being able to beat brownies from a box. 

Now, I'm no gourmet chef, but I get to prepare three meals a day for Knox and when Baby brother comes along, my body will supply many meals a day for this tiny babe. Making delicious dinners to sit down at the table and enjoy with Chase (and Knox) is a joy, even if it gets redundant sometimes. So, I'm a cook. I can thank my mom for not making that seem like a chore, but a gift. 

I sing Knox to sleep daily/nightly, and in that first year it was multiple times a day. I must have hummed and/or sung "I've Got Peace Like a River" and "Be Thou My Vision" hundreds, if not thousands of times in the past two years. Sometimes repeating all verses two or three  times until I saw the eyes of my sleepy sleep-fighter flutter and finally close to get some rest. I had a chunk of time where I really wanted to pursue music in some capacity. I am so completely satisfied in just being able to use that gift for my boys. So, I'm a singer. I can thank my mom for allowing me to see that singing my babies to sleep is a gift and it's enough.

I spent the first year and a half at Texas A&M studying early childhood education. It wasn't until I spent a summer being a counselor at a summer camp that I realized I wanted to teach kids about Jesus, not necessarily about math and science or English. I didn't make the best grades those first two years (let's just say ECON and Political Science were NOT my jam) and I switched majors to Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences (RPTS). I remember being a little ashamed that I didn't quite cut it, grade-wise, and that I wasn't going to be a teacher like my mom, and most of the women in my family. My mom never ever said she was disappointed. I can thank her that she instilled in me that I'll be a teacher to my boys ((although home schooling will likely not be our path, ha!)). I can teach them about bugs and fun and heartache and the ABC's and counting and Jesus. And so, I'm a teacher. I can thank my mom that I know teaching Knox and Baby Brother about the insurmountable love and grace of Jesus is being a teacher - and that's a gift. 

My mom probably doesn't remember that conversation that took place over 20 years ago. But that's the beauty of motherhood isn't it? We hope, so deeply, that our children remember the tokens of wisdom, the patient conversations over the stern ones, the evidences of grace, the kindness, the fun,  and the brownie baking memories over anything negative...over the inevitable mistakes we make as humans and as mothers.

Grace and motherhood. Such extravagant gifts that go hand in hand. 

Happy Mother's day to my mom and all the nurturers out there.