Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration, Etc.'

on motherhood

Posted on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A few weeks months ago, we shot some family photos for our baby announcement and I also wanted to get some photos in this new mama bird tshirt. These photos were taken right around 14-15 weeks, so my regular jeans still fit and my stomach was still fairly “normal” size. Not the case anymore! This week marks 26 weeks into the pregnancy – we’re getting much closer to meeting our little babe!

Anyway, I really like how these turned out and wanted to share, along with some inspiring quotes I found about motherhood. Obviously I have NO idea what this whole parenting/motherhood journey will be like (aside from a very slim look at it from being a #puppymom 😉) but I am inspired by these beautiful words, and comforted knowing that everything will turn out alright, no matter what.

Photos by Lisha Wang // Mama Bird Tee via The Bee and the Fox 

“Years ago someone wrote [about me]: ‘She characterizes Molly Weasley as a mother who is only at home looking after the children.’ I was deeply offended, because I, until a year before that, had also been such a mother who was at home all the time taking care of her child. What has lesser status and is more difficult than raising a child? And what is more important?” – J.K. Rowling

“How you view yourself [changes]. I think that was the biggest change for me when I had my first son. I really kind of respected myself for the first time. I respected my time for the first time, and I respected the value of what that meant and what I was giving up when I spent it incorrectly or when I used it correctly. [My children have taught me] to not forget to be in wonder of all the things around you, as simple as they might be.” – Alicia Keys

“Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes over night. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost. And yet, there is no rulebook. No right or wrong. You just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can at times lead to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance. Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent. Pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It is right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s okay not to find it easy. And asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.” – Kate Middleton

“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner

“…now that I am a mother, I understand what Mother’s Day is about: it’s about looking through our lives and recognizing the act of mothering everywhere we see it, and more than that, recognizing that when any of us mother– when we listen, nurture, nourish, protect–we’re doing sacred work.” – Shauna Niequist

“For years I spent my life pressing pause on those things that are now my priority, like having a family. Now, I hit play. I formed a family, and it’s the most wonderful thing, the most important thing to me. And before, I used to be the center of my whole world and the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of my whole world, and now my kids and my family are that one priority.” – Shakira

book recommendations

Posted on: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

reading is one of my very favorite things to do to relax, but i often only end up picking up a book before bed. while on vacation, i pretty much spent several days just reading straight through each morning, afternoon and evening – on the boat in Greece, along the beach in Positano, on flights and trains and in cafes. i ended up getting through a bunch of books and wanted to share some of my favorite recent reads! i love sharing (and receiving) book recommendations, so if you’re into reading and feeling stuck on what to read next, hopefully this list helps. 🤗

recent favorite read (maybe ever):

a little life by hanya yanagihara // this book was ranked the top book of the year by like, every publication. truthfully, the book rocked me and it was hard to put it down once I started. the book is truly beautiful and so, so heartbreaking and sad, and the author did an excellent job developing each character, to a point where you felt close to each one. and, the book had that strange power of haunting me after reading, where I continued to think about the characters and story afterwards.

easy reads (quick to get through, engaging storyline, iconic ‘beach read’):

crazy rich asians by kevin kwan // funny and fascinating (although fictional), easy to get through — a perfect beach read!

the kind worth killing by peter swanson // if you were a fan of gone girl and/or like psychological thrillers, you definitely should read this one!

her every fear by peter swanson // after i finished swanson’s other book (above), i immediately downloaded and finished this one in two days.

memoirs/personal essays:

drink: the intimate relationship between women and alcohol by ann dowsett johnston // this book explores patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse in women, telling one woman’s personal story of recovery with in-depth, shocking research about binge drinking among women and girls.

the rules do not apply by ariel levy  // a lovely memoir from journalist ariel levy – lots of beautiful and heartbreaking parts, all woven into one book.

we are never meeting in real life by samatha irby // this was one of those laugh-out-loud books, filled with hilarious essays from samatha’s life. favorite chapter: an epic essay about her working out (in a prenatal yoga class while not pregnant and in an aerobics class for senior citizens when she’s only in her 30s)

important reads (with historical, cultural, sociological impact):

we gon’ be alright: notes on race and resegregation by jeff chang // important essays about the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement and the different tragedies and protests that have happened here in amerca.

just mercy by bryan stevenson // this book, authored by the founder of the equal justice initiative (helping the poor and wrongfully condemned prisoners on death row), discusses death row, our (very messed up) criminal justice system and the importance of mercy and justice going hand-in-hand

evicted by matthew desmond // really loved this book – it was a fascinating look into eight families’ lives in milwaukee as they struggle to pay rent. it was a great mix of storytelling and real, disturbing facts about those living in poverty or less-than-ideal housing conditions in america.

the hate u give by angie thomas // this is actually a book aimed for a younger teen audience, but touched on the topic of teen activism after the main character witnesses a police shooting. it was easy to read in terms of understandable language, but definitely an important and loaded topic so not an “easy read” in that sense

UPDATE: hillbilly elegy by j.d. vance // this is a book I read a few months back, but a few people commented mentioning this book so I wanted to add to this recommendation list, as I really enjoyed and learned from this book. hillbilly elegy could also fall under the memoirs section in this post, as the book tells the story of the author’s family, while discussing and analyzing Appalachian culture and the white, working class population.

what’s the best book you’ve read lately? please share! my good friend rob just finished autumn by ali smith so that’s one book next on my list.  // image via

on holding space

Posted on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Something I’ve been really thinking about lately is the idea and practice of holding space for others. I’ve been reading articles, talking with a few people about what it means and journaling to try to hash out how I can be better at practicing holding space. Some people’s actual job is to hold space – like counselors, yoga teachers, Hospice nurses, etc., but I can also hold space for others simply as a friend, wife, sister, and daughter. And so can you!

So what is ‘holding space’ exactly? What does that even mean? Coach Heather Plett describes it as “when we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” 

This can be REALLY hard for me – as I’m a natural problem solver, encourager, and “fixer.” I love being able to quickly and effectively help people fix a situation and move on. I can think of countless times my little sisters have came to me with problems or issues and my natural instinct is to get a to-do list together, figure out how to solve the problem and tackle the issue head-on for them. And I always try to be their #1 cheerleader, giving affirmations like YOU CAN DO IT! You’re awesome! This situation is no big deal!. 

But – what if, rather than fixing it for them, overwhelming them with info/affirmations or monopolizing their emotions, I just held space for them? Again, to quote Heather Plett: “to truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for). We have to be prepared to step to the side so that they can make their own choices, offer them unconditional love and support, give gentle guidance when it’s needed, and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.”

There are lots of situations where someone might need us to to hold space for them – death and moving and breakups and relationship issues and stressful work situations and disappointments and just every day, regular bad days. We don’t always need someone to problem solve or encourage us through these situations or days; sometimes, we just need someone to simply BE THERE. Holding space can be tricky when our inclination is to tangibly help or do something or create results because holding space implies a lack of doing, but just BEING. Your presence sometimes is enough and exactly what someone needs in that moment to facilitate their growth, transformation and healing. So that’s what I’m working on lately. 💗

This article that I’ve been re-reading over and over again shares some tips for helping you hold space for others, in case you want to learn more:

Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. 

Give people only as much information as they can handle.

Don’t take their power away – people need the autonomy to make their own choices. When we take decision-making power out of people’s hands, we leave them feeling useless and incompetent.

Keep your own ego out of it.

Make them feel safe enough to fail.

Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness. A wise space holder knows when to withhold guidance (ie. when it makes a person feel foolish and inadequate) and when to offer it gently (ie. when a person asks for it or is too lost to know what to ask for).

Create a container for complex emotions, fear, trauma, etc. When people feel that they are held in a deeper way than they are used to, they feel safe enough to allow complex emotions to surface that might normally remain hidden. It becomes the space where people feel safe enough to fall apart without fearing that this will leave them permanently broken or that they will be shamed by others in the room. Someone is always there to offer strength and courage.

Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would.

As always, thanks for reading! What does ‘holding space’ mean to you? When have you held space for someone else or had someone hold space for you?

Image via herehere and here

6 book recommendations

Posted on: Thursday, February 2, 2017

I loooove reading and asked for a ton of books for Christmas/my birthday and wanted to share some new-to-me favorite books! a perk of each book listed is that they are all BEAUTIFUL so they can have a permanent place on the coffee table or nightstand. 😉). right now, I have a pile of pretty books on my nightstand, on our coffee table, on the console under the TV, and then a few pretty favorite cookbooks out in the kitchen. I also like having some favorite books out in the apartment so guests can flip through them and soak up their inspiration as well! here’s my new books and why I love each!

52 lists for happiness: weekly journaling inspiration for positivity, balance, and joy by moorea seal
my sweet friend renee gave me this book (pictured above) for my birthday 💗 and it’s so pretty. the purpose of the book is make journaling easier and more meaningful. the author has 52 prompts asking you to write lists – what you’re grateful for, what your daily routines are, etc. and then asks you to reflect on what you wrote and take action in some way. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about starting each morning by drinking coffee and journaling, even for a few minutes, and this book makes it easy to get in the habit of journaling.

forest feast gatherings: simple vegetarian menus for hosting friends and family by erin gleeson
OMG I might just be the  #1 forest feast fan. I read her first book religiously and so many of her recipes are my tried-and-true weekly favorites that I make over and over. her corn and cauliflower tacos with feta, Greek yogurt and hot sauce are one of my very favorite (EASY!) meals to make. her latest book focuses on food and drinks for gatherings, organized by each season and different themes. the cover and illustrations in the book are stunning (example below!) and my favorite thing is that all of her vegetarian recipes are SO easy and usually under five ingredients. [image via @theforestfeast]


molly on the range: recipes and stories from an unlikely life on a farm by molly yeh
this book is laugh out loud funny and I feel like I’ve become friends with the author, Molly, just by reading. she shares her life and food adventures from living in NYC to now living on a farm in North Dakota with her husband. I haven’t had a chance to try a recipe YET, but her recipes look delicious and she makes things that may seem daunting (read: homemade pizza dough) seem very simple. her book also has fun “infographics” like a mac and cheese flowchart, which is amazing and hilarious. 🧀

urban jungle: living & styling with plants by igor josifovic
if you’re a plant lover like I am, you NEED this book! it’s insanely inspiring and truly incredible. the book shows different homes (i.e. “urban jungles”) and shares more about plant care, some DIYs, and general plant inspiration. I’ve wanted a hanging plant (or like, 5) for awhile but this book reinforced that I NEED.

nutrition stripped: 100 whole-food recipes made deliciously simple by mckel hill
this book is quite popular on Instagram right now and for good reason – @nutritionstripped‘s recipes are incredible. they all make me want to eat healthier and live better. her turmeric milk is the bomb and I can’t wait to dive into her other recipes! i bought this book for my mother-in-law and then my sister hope bought a copy for me for Christmas!

in the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs by grace bonney
I’m purposely reading this book extra slowly so I can soak up all the goodness and inspiration. women are INCREDIBLE (duh) and this book highlights 100+ insanely amazing female entrepreneurs and artists. the photography is stunning and the interviews and stuffed with inspiring nuggets. expect quotes like “prepare yourself for the long haul, the rise and fall, and let neither define your self of self” (designer karen young) and “the world could always use more people who are interested in lifting up others, not just themselves” (model/activist christy turlington burns) and “be nice to people. stay humble. give back” (designer/artist/author/bohemian queen justina blakeney) and to be completely refreshed by these rockstar women.

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