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! 


a peaceful weekend of rest

spring really hasn't sprung in the upper midwest just yet. we're still trying to stay cozy while we're craving for longer stroller rides with the warm breeze in our hair and flower picking. this weekend we slowed things down and stayed close to home. i nested a lot and we visited one of our favorite places in the city. the Como Conservatory is near our home. it's a super quick drive or half a mile walk which is so great and a beautiful place to escape to when we're needing a change in scenery.

it's this time of year where i tend to feel the most overwhelmed for some reason. i love the change this season brings the most in particular but i often find that i want to pile on too much too soon. my brain starts thinking home projects and coming up with plans for a good spring purge and deep home cleanse. i find it so hard to be patient and often find myself fighting this great eagerness that builds up inside. i want to be preparing our garden, planting more seeds and make our flower pots pretty again. i want to do it all, like right now... but i know that all good things come in time and a garden is certainly one of them.

our trip to this beautiful place was exactly what my heart needed, I think. seeing all the green + living plants and flowers in bloom, it felt good and calmed my soul a bit. the girls enjoyed themselves too which made it that much more enjoyable.

i hope you had a nice week of peace + rest too!

happy new week to you!

photos by Kadi Tiede Photography 


clean + safe beauty care

i posted a homemade face scrub on my instagram stories the other day and received a lot of questions and requests for the recipe along with what i use when it comes to beauty products. i thought i would share a quick guide of what i use and how it has helped my skin.

i feel i'm low maintenance when it comes to using products of any kind. i'm a less is more kind of gal when it comes to putting anything on my body product wise but i'm sure NOT to skip on the quality of the products i use. i have noticed as i've gotten older that taking care of my skin and body is more important than ever. aging is no joke, dears!

okay… so moving right along. most of you know that i'm an essential oil gal and love to use them in and with anything that we do. i came up with a lovely face scrub that includes four ingredients! that's right FOUR and all of them are clean and safe. in fact, you could lick your fingers clean after using this scrub. it's that safe. the simple recipe below!

homemade  f a c i a l  s c u b : 

- one cup sugar
- 1/2 organic coconut oil
- 8 drops frankincense
- 4 drops patchouli
( you can simply add whatever oil(s) you want really. the sky is the limit. but for my face i chose these two for the simple fact that they are good for your skin and those fine lines. can you hear my cry dears, ANTI-AGING!!)

i use the scrub 2-3 times a week. i use it to rid of any dryness. it's a beautiful natural exfoliator. if my skin is feeling really dry for some reason i will i follow up with Beauty Counter's rejuvenating day cream but honestly the coconut oil is such a lovely moisturizer so little is ever really needed on the days i use the scrub.

everyday-- and the days in between my scrub treatments i use the skin care line from Beauty Counter. i absolutely love LOVE their products. not only do they work and keep my skin aglow, they are clean + safe and i don't have to worry about what I'm putting on my body because everything they use safe and clean for our bodies. i also a use facial oil blend that i made combining natural oils like apricot, rose, sweet almond combined with essential oils from Young Living. if making your own oil blends isn't your thing though, Beauty Counter has you covered with three amazing oils to add to any one of their moisturizers. they also have amazing kits to cover everything that you need. again, i'm all for simplicity so go for what is easy and what works.

i outlined my routine below for the curious. i have found a routine helps to keep me accountable to make sure that i am caring for my skin the way i need to.

s u n d a y: facial scrub. moisturize around around my eyes, smile, and neck. rejuvenating night + eye cream. facial oil around eyes, smile, and neck.

m o n d a y: gentle wash with warm water. apply rejuvenating radiance serum and day + eye cream. add facial oil if needed. at night wash with rejuvenating facial wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil on sensitive areas.

t u e s d a y: gentle wash with warm water. apply rejuvenating radiance serum and day + eye cream. add facial oil if needed. at night wash with rejuvenating facial wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil on sensitive areas.

w e d n e s d a y: start the day with facial scrub. follow up with day cream if needed. eye cream. at night cleanse with rejuvenating wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil the sensitive areas.

t h u r s d a y : gentle wash with warm water. apply rejuvenating radiance serum and day + eye cream. add facial oil if needed. at night wash with rejuvenating facial wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil on sensitive areas.

f r i d a y : gentle wash with warm water. apply rejuvenating radiance serum and day + eye cream. add facial oil if needed. at night wash with rejuvenating facial wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil on sensitive areas.

s a t u r d a y : gentle wash with warm water. apply rejuvenating radiance serum and day + eye cream. add facial oil if needed. at night wash with rejuvenating facial wash and/or cleansing balm. night + eye cream. facial oil on sensitive areas.

of course this is subject to change depending on what is going on but generally this is what my routine looks like. if for some reason my skin is feeling extra dry, i may work in another scrub. or if those blemishes are showing up, i may add another treatment or switch things up and use the balancing kit from Beauty Counter.

hope this helps to answer those questions or anyone that may be looking for a routine using clean and safe products. also feel free to email me if you would like a free sample of either the Beauty Counter skin care line or my homemade facial oil blend. it would be an honor to share more with you and send clean and safe products your way!


a little note to say...

hello, it's been awhile. i thought i would take a few moments of your time to explain a bit of where i've been and why i haven't visited here for sometime.

for those that follow along on instagram probably know by now that my family suffered a significant loss early february. my sister's husband passed away unexpectedly during the late night on super bowl sunday. there were no warning signs. there were zero complaints of him not feeling well. in fact, he was gearing up for a trip to Nepal just days before his passing and had just found out that he would be a father of two girls come july. everything seemed normal. everything was good. it was great actually. it's no surprise that this has been nothing short of devastating for my sister and family and everyone that crossed paths with the extraordinary person that he was.

loss no matter how young or old or unexpected or expected is difficult to bear. it's the kind of pain we don't give much thought about until we're in it. living it. breathing it. feeling it. it's one of those things that we can't prepare for until it happens. it's something that takes time and even time may never heal or fill the void that is deeply felt. i have witnessed my sister's strength and see the strong woman that she is. still, this is something that even someone who is very strong is hard to feel and experience. i know in my heart that she will march onward in love and learn to dance with this great loss. she will find her way again.

another reason why i have been away is my family has suffered from a season of bad sickness. it's been an obnoxious five weeks of one illness that then has opened the door to another. we've had the stomach flu four times, strep throat twice, double ear infections and now just getting over the influenza. it's been painful to watch my little ones so sick. it's been painful to be on the receiving end of the sickness too. parenting when not feeling well is not fun, as you know. it's extremely hard actually and literally wipes you out. i feel so bad that we have been so sick this season. BUT if anything it gave us good reason to slow things way down and pay attention to one thing and one thing only, F A M I L Y. and that my friends is exactly what we did.

i am happy to report that we are all feeling better again! WHOO! and that i have found some energy to come here and write again. i have a few fun posts in the works for you and hope to share them with you soon!

BUT first I want to thank all of you again for your prayers, emails, messages, and texts sent our way these past few weeks. they have been felt and we appreciate all your love and for taking the time to think of us.

continue to be rays of light, dear ones!

xx hugs!