another b l o o m release + a GIVEAWAY

I'm realizing I'm sandwiching my last post about sleepy time with pillows cases and blankets. I can assure you it wasn't planned this way, but I can't think of a better way to welcome both.

I am so happy to release these beauties into the wild today. This beautiful set of pillow cases is as lovely as they come. The floral print is simple and the fabric is so smooth and soft. The color is neutral which can easily be paired with many things. I think it might be my favorite print thus far.

Our heirloom blanket is a lovely earthy mint green color and is made with high quality triple gauze. I love LOVE this blanket and I guarantee your little ones will love it too.

You can shop our two newest collections here!

As a special offering for this release, leave a comment here telling me what your favorite spring BLOOM flower is and why. I will pick one lucky someone and send a set of pillow cases from our new collection on me!


one mama's guide for sleepy time

a few weeks ago our littlest bird, klo viola, decided that her crib was too cool for sleep. at just sixteen months, she discovered that all the climbing skills she has acquired since she was nine months old could get her out of the crib. yep. you read that right. our sweet bird has officially fled the nest.

at first i was surprised. but knowing her, like we do, i had to chuckle because of course she would figure this out. i mean she is, in fact, the queen at climbing. and she is, in fact, the queen of growing up beyond her years. she is sixteen months going on three years old and while i wish i could hit the pause button on time reality is, babies don't keep.

despite this change and the fact that she has grown out of her 'nest', her sleepy time routine has and will remain the same until there is a need to switch things up. aaron and i have been doing this sleepy time routine with her since she was just a wee bub, give or take a couple changes along the way. we have found that this routine is what works best for her. and ultimately for us. i have outlined what we do below.

one mama's guide for sleepy time : 

we try our best to set the tone about 10 minutes before we start the routine. we do this by eliminating any extra stimulation. we start by putting away toys, making sure if music is playing that is is calming and soothing. during this time we also make sure to replace a wet diaper with a fresh one. no one likes to fall asleep with wet pants!

- pick out a book to be read: now that klo is a old enough to understand simple direction, i ask that she pick out a book for sleepy time. she usually goes for her one of the books she is favoring at the moment or if not, i simply pick something from something that is not too long, but not too short either.

- spray linens + tickle feet with a calming blend of essential oil: while klo gets cozy in her spot with her book in hand, i will lightly spray her blanket and pillow with a calming blend of essential oil. lavender, orange, cedar wood, gentle baby, bergamot, roman chamomile to name a few, are all good and safe choices for little ones. i love how klo participates in this process too by using the roller bottle on her feet and toes.

story time: after the linens have been sprayed and her feet and toes have been tickled with calming oils, we read one short story together.

- listen to soft music + turn on white noise + rock or dance or hold until sleep: following story time, we set the final tone with white noise and music by bon iver. we have been playing this album for klo since the day she was born. in fact, we play bon iver anytime she is upset and she instantly melts and becomes calm. we usually hold or lay next to her until she is asleep, which usually takes five minutes maybe. once she is asleep we gently lay her down, turn off the music but keep the white noise on to fill the space for the remainder of sleep.

aaron and i are fully aware that some may say we are doing wrong by not letting her fall asleep on her own by having a routine such as this, but this is what works best for her. and if it works for her, it works for us. we have tried a variety of methods and routines along the way and have come to find that she sleeps best this way.

what about you, what special rituals do you share with your little ones during sleepy time?


b l o o m

"a family heirloom is a thread that connects us to our past, and a piece of history in the making" 

we are a few weeks away from bloom handmade making it's full debut. what has literally been months and months of planning and designing and sourcing and sewing, bloom will officially launch oh so soon!

in just a few weeks, bloom will have a new website, logo, and be stocked with quality heirloom pieces for your family to cherish and love for years to come. bloom will feature a small collection of children's wear in addition to household pieces for you + your family to love for always. 

while i anxiously await to release everything to you, i thought i would offer a few items for preorder only. to shop these specific items of our spring + summer collection you can visit our shop here. i cannot wait to share the rest of this collection with you!


spring blooms + a new playlist

the ranunculus is known as the 'flower of spring'. i love how wildly beautiful they are and how these too resemble so much of what this season brings.  

this morning we woke up to white covered grasses and tree branches clothed snow. SNOW! i know some of our friends in other parts of the country experienced the same thing over the weekend. spring has it's way with us, doesn't it? i find spring to be the season that teaches me most about patience and solidarity. we are so eager this time of year to get things started and growing. i know i wish to see all things bloom so that i don't have to see all the dirt and garbage that winter left behind. i keep telling myself, patience kari. all good + pretty things come in good time. i love spring for this reason alone….

anyway, i thought i would share a new playlist with you guys in case you needed to freshen things up. i know i tend to do a lot of 'freshening up' this time of year, including our playlist.

so here you are...

feel free to enjoy with us, here.


a string of gray days + then sunshine

after a string of gray days we welcomed the sunshine and warmer temperatures with a long walk around the lake near our home. aaron and i have clocked thousands of miles around this lake well before we even had children. in fact, it's the place where i said "YES" to him being my forever. this lake is not just any lake, it's a place filled with nostalgia no matter how routine it feels. coming here with our girls is easily one of our favorite spots to spend time at during the warmer months.

we to head out for long walks just after dinner. so the other evening after the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean and tidy, we packed the basket of our silver cross stroller -- which is amazing by the way--  with hats for the girls, water bottles, and bread for the ducks. this will be one of many walks this season, this will be one of many walks we'll venture on around the lake this season. i am looking forward to long stroller naps whilst sipping iced tea and feeling the warm sun on my back. i am looking forward to the girls catching their first fish and seeing their faces light up with excitement as they feed the ducks. i am looking forward to watching everything bloom and the girls walking home with bouquets of fresh wildflowers in their hands. i am looking forward to teaching kaia how to perfect her catch and release and kendi how to skip rocks and klo how to get those hands even more dirty. most importantly i'm looking forward to spending this season at home with them.

hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


a family's meal / BBQ mini turkey loaf with a twist + a side of slaw

in case you're looking for ideas of what to add to your meal plan for the week you may want to give these a try. my girls are LOVING these mini turkey loafs lately. in fact, they were on our menu twice last week per their request.

the mini turkey loafs can be paired with corn on the cob, garlic mashed potatoes or make it gluten free (and extra healthy) with mashed cauliflower. we serve the mini loafs over a BBQ + ranch slaw, it's pure happiness in your mouth! make things easy on yourself and buy a pre chopped slaw or feel free to chop everything yourself, whatever works is fine with this meal.

mini turkey loaf with a twist + a side of slaw : { makes 6-12 mini loafs depending on size preference }

I N G R E D I E N T S: 

- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pastrami
- 2 stalks of green onion finely chopped (add 1 1/2 tbsps. use the rest for your slaw or garnish on top when the loafs are ready to eat)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (we use yellow)
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots (could substitute for shredded broccoli + carrot blend too)
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp BBQ sauce (we use the Heniz Memphis sweet + tangy)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (add more or less depending on preference)
- 2-5 pinches kosher salt
- 2-5 pinches onion powder

- mix together in large mixing bowl

P R E P A R A T I O N: 

- set oven to 350 degrees
- oil muffin tin
- take prepared ingredients and place in muffin tin
- add a spoonful of BBQ sauce to top of meat-- press a hole in the middle of the meat. this helps with baking but is also key to keeping the meat moist and flavorful
- bake for 30-45 minutes or until meat is cooked

while loafs are in the oven you can prepare your slaw and other sides. if you're using a bag of pre-chopped slaw add green onion if so desire. add your BBQ + ranch to the slaw. Let sit until meat is ready. for our ranch dressing we either make it homemade if we have the ingredients on hand or we Newman's Organic Ranch Dressing. feel free to use whatever ranch you have for this. if you're anything like me, you have your favorite ranch options!

once the loafs are finished, it's time to eat, pray, and be happy. because that is exactly what will be going on in your mouth and tummy. a delicious dinner for all!


a trip to California's coast

it's been a whole month since our trip to Los Angeles. what was planned to be a business trip quickly became a random vacation for a family of ten. that's right, ten! my family plus my parents, brother, sister and niece decided to come along for the wild ride too. it was a late night wine sippin' type of decision and the next thing i knew we were all packing our bags for the California coast.

i attended my very first textile show and the girls got to see + feel the Pacific Ocean for the first time. we stayed at a beautiful place tucked away in Hollywood Hills, an Airbnb we called home for a week. it was indeed "our California home" as kendi would say. it was comfortable + cozy and the beds were AMAZING. so comfortable. i still can't get over how well we all slept while being away. it's usually quite the opposite but everyone slept great which was so nice. we decided to stay in the Hollywood Hills area because it was close to the textile show yet not too far from Santa Monica and Venice Beach where we wanted to visit. you can see more homes from the Airbnb we stayed at here.

we started most mornings on the patio sipping coffee and planning our day. we tried our best to schedule around LA's busy traffic hours to avoid any unnecessary long periods of time in the car. we were't always successful in doing so. but the times we weren't, we were blessed with a luxury car from Budget USA to keep us comfortable and happy if minutes turned to hours. which they usually did.

a few favorite places we visited:

the grove: the grove is a beautiful outdoor shopping center anchored in the heart of the city. it offers amazing places to eat and shop. the atmosphere is lovely too. what i love most about this place is the farmer's market that is part of the center but tucked away like a hidden gem. it's packed with authentic foods and super cute shops. a place you must visit if you should get the chance to do so.

- santa monica pier: is a local and tourist hot spot. it has amazing entertainment, awesome food and features the world's only solar power Ferris wheel. not without mention the beautiful view and sandy beach. it's a wonderful place to visit no matter the time of year.

- Venice beach: while a little less crowded and quiet this time of year, Venice beach is a place you want to be sure to add to your itinerary when in town. it's known as the hangout for the creative and artistic and that is exactly what it delivers. not only is the food enough to draw you in, muscle beach can keep you entertained for hours.

- Disneyland: not sure i need to say much about the magical world that is Disneyland other than, it is indeed magical. a slice of heaven for little ones and enough to do and see for days on end! if you have the time and you're budget allows, it's a fun (and maybe a bit overwhelming... just being honest) place for everyone no matter how big or small!

the highlight of the trip was being with family and seeing old friends. the textile show made it all worth it for my business and the timing of our stay happened to fall on the night of the Oscars. which was pretty neat knowing it was happening just blocks from where we were staying. a pitfall of the trip was the weather. they had a cold snap and it wasn't until the last day when the beautiful california sun + warm weather showed up. another pitfall was some of us got sick with the influenza which kept us bound to the house, aching for home something fierce. it was such a bummer in many ways, but we did our best to make do!

do you do a summer bucket list? we would love to hear what's on it if you do!

we have been planning our summer bucket list already and this year we've decided to block off two weeks for travel to some place within the US. do you have any recommendations of "must do" places to see and visit?

we would love to hear them!

* thank you Hollywood Luxury Rental + Budget USA for making our trip comfortable, convenient and memorable!