a whimsical fort for little ones

over the weekend we took down the crib. after seven years of having one stand in our home, being a home for sleep for all three of our babies, was slowly taken down piece by piece and packed away in our attic. the crib stood in this little nook in my and aaron's bedroom for a little over a year. where we used to greet our smily babe each morning, has now been replaced with a whimsical peaceful fort for all three of my girls to share and enjoy.

drenched in ambiance lighting, clothed in cozy blankets, draped with my grandmother's old lace and croqueted table cloths and stacked high with plush pillows, this is a new magical spot in our home. i mentioned to the girls that this would be temporary as mama had plans to make this a "working space" for herself… little did i know how much i, too, would fall hard in love with this whimsy little nook. it just may stay up for awhile.

how to create a whimsical peaceful tent/fort for little ones 

this could easily be done in anyone's place of living. it took me about all about a half hour to put together.

what you need: 
lace or croquet table cloths. lace tend to be better because they don't weigh as much as the croquet cloths do. you can also use light weighted sheets for this.
- a string of white ambiance lights
- stapler or small nails. i used a stapler because they leave behind tiny holes compared to nails.
- painters tape or any kind of safe tape to put on walls
* i crafted a banner with scraps of fabric a while back for a photo shoot and hung it on the wall to add a little more whimsy. you can certainly craft one up but it's certainly not necessary.

once you have your supplies gathered and the corner or nook you have picked out to build your tent/fort, simply start draping those beautiful lace cloths. you really can't do wrong with this. i hung the lights first by using tape and a few staples. just be sure to be very careful when using staples with your string of lights. we don't want anyone to get hurt or your string of lights to get wrecked in the process. once your lights are hung the way you want them, start hanging your lace table cloths or fabric or sheets until it looks the way you like.

final steps: 
- add pillows and cozy blankets and a basket of good books to read with your little ones
- climb in, get cozy, relax and enjoy!


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 newest collection here!

As a special offering for this release, leave a comment here telling me what your favorite spring BLOOM flower is and why. One lucky winner will be able to pick a set of pillow cases from our new collection!


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!