Guys!  Hope this reaches you at a happy time in your week, I know Thursdays are one step closer to the weekend so hey good news right there! Anyways, Rosie just went down for her nap and Wyatt is at preschool so I’m ignoring my sink of dishes to meet you right here, right now!

SO many things to write about and likely a limited amount of time so here we go!

F A R M H O U S E– Great news, we finally have a step forward, fora minute there we were stuck in neutral and it wasn’t fun. If you didn’t know we got red tagged July 18th so we basically had to stop all work we were doing and resubmit for permits ect.. long sticky process but after a few back and forth meetings with the city we are basically ready to start working, and somehow we got the better end of the deal when all was said and done! First order on the agenda is our guest unit which we are turning into a little one bedroom house to someday rent or maybe do a little bed and breakfast! We will also be shoring up the little barn on the property which Gavin has clearly claimed for his Bronco. As we start working on those we will begin plans for our main farmhouse. If you didn’t know we have to tear it down completely and build a new house which at first I was really sad about but now I’m thrilled. As we get going on working with our architect ill be sure to let you in on the details of that! Below are some inspiration photos I have for the guest unit, I’m way over modern farmhouse and more into warm cottage farmhouse so hopefully these photos will give you the list!

 

W R A P P I N G  P A R T Y – I haven’t  really followed up since our holiday partnership with Stand Strong launched a few weeks ago, but holy cow I still feel like I’m floating over it. To be totally honest, before we launched the partnership and everything we had all these lists and toys to get and I had a legit conversation with my mom like I’m not even sure this will be a huge hit and if it isn’t I am going to need your help buying all these gifts haha! Thankfully she agreed and was on board and I’m so humbled and happy to say she never even had to buy a gift! This entire partnership and engagement from you all is such a highlight of life, it was like this platform I’ve used to grow and build gave back to me what I have been giving to you guys! It didn’t even end with the gifts, I’ve had numerous donations of wrapping paper, bows and now we are including anyone else that wants to bring a gift card we will have stockings for the moms! I’m just so excited and thankful to everyone who helped, so if that was you, thank you! Our wrapping party is December 13th 6:30pm at Cafe Andreini’s in Arroyo Grande and would love to have you come and help! We have SO many gifts to wrap and I suck at wrapping so please come help me!

C H R I S T M A S – I love Christmas time, and I love being in a community where so many people put value in this season. I begged Gavin to get a tree as early as possible and we made a compromise to get it after Thanksgiving. WE go as a little family and this year we went with my brother and his wife who are expecting a little baby and had the best time. Gavin and Wyatt ran through the Christmas trees and we played tag. I was telling someone, we could have the hugest best game of sardines or something at Halloways Christmas Tree farm because it is literally a few acres of fresh trees. If you saw on my Instagram Wyatt is eating up this Christmas tradition as well as many others. He loves the decorations and Elf on the Shelf which hasn’t moved for about a week now.

 

L I G H T S – I’ve found new hobby which is to turn up the Christmas music and drive around aimlessly looking for christmas lights. It is so nice having the kids all strapped in while I listen to Christmas music and drink my coffee haha! We stopped by one on Starlight Drive in Arroyo Grande and are going to Shell Beach next because we heard there is an amazing one there too! It’s my new favorite thing to do and the kids love and usually fall asleep after a while so win, win!

I N T E R M I T T E N T  F A S T I N G – Guys, i’m obsessed. I will actually be wiring about this in more detail but over the past month or so I’ve started this fasting which has completely helped me lose weight and changed the way I eat. I have freakin tried everything under the sun and I love this. Anyone tried it? Direct message me questions if you have them but I wanted to share briefly today how much I am loving it.

The Holidays are not the holidays unless you think about helping someone else out, simple as that. Its the foundation of why this season is so wonderful, in fact kindness is the soul of this season.

A few months back I got to thinking about the purpose of my blog, the why, the reason I even sit down at the coffee shop and spend time away from my kids and family. I do it because I want to genuinely help and impact people’s lives, by sharing the genuine and real life I live. I want to live my best day and help you live yours, and honestly there is nothing that makes me better than helping someone else. I want you to do the same, duh!

This year I wanted to find something that we all have in common, and find a charity that is close to my heart. I value family, I care for children and I’m sure you do too. This year I chose to partner with Stand Strong which is formally known as the women’s shelter of San Luis Obispo. I met with the team at Stand Strong and together we created a special campaign that I cross my fingers and hope hope hope you will join me in!

Here’s the breakdown.

Who we are Helping They help families escape bad situations and give housing and the means needed to continue to live a normal life. In the midst of crisis, there is no doubt that children are the ones who are the victims, its horrible and sometimes when I think too long about it my stomach actually hurts. These little lives have no choice but to live in these conditions, and I want to do something for them. Something special, and I hope you do it with me.

How we are helping:  We are adopting families whose children I have the names and wish lists from, with those lists we will together grant their wishes for toys, clothes, and items that will light up their little faces. It is my hope that together we can give these children a reason to smile!

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

  1. I received all the individual lists (seen below) from the Stand Strong foundation and from there I created a huge list on amazon where the items are located. The reason I did this list is because there are so many of you that i don’t know, which is awesome, i need to be able to keep track of what gifts have been purchased.
  2. What you are going to do is scroll down and look at all the wish lists. When you see something you want to get, click on the amazon registry link and scroll down until you see the item. Once you purchase the item, i will know on my end that the gift is covered, and so will the next person because when they go to buy the same soccer ball, it will say purchased. This is the reason why i need you to buy from Amazon, its the only way i can keep track of what has/needs to be purchased. Also, I do not receive any commission or profit from this whatsoever, just need a single place where I can keep track of all the items.
  3. You have TWO options after you purchase your items. You can have them shipped to your house from Amazon and then bring them to the wrapping party on December 13th OR if you are not able to make the wrapping party and just want to donate you can have them shipped to the address listed and I will receive those gifts and bring them to the wrapping party!
  4. WRAPPING PARTY This is a big deal and I really hope you can make it because this will really bring us all together and to be honest,  I need your help wrapping these gifts! After contacting Cafe Andreini and securing the date DECEMBER 13TH 7PM they called and said they wanted to sponsor the event. So amazing, so they will be hosting all of us there! You can come, wrap a few gifts and buy some wine and drinks and celebrate the awesome job you did!

Okay have I babbled enough? haha just want to make sure we are clear on everything!

  1. Scroll below and look at the lists
  2. Choose which item you want to get
  3. Click on Amazon registry and find your gift
  4. Send the gift to yourself OR to me if you can’t make the wrapping party
  5. Go to my latest Instagram post and in my comments tell me what present you got.
  6. Wrapping party December 13th 7pm Cafe Andreini Arroyo Grande – special thanks again to them for hosting us!

 

 

AMAZON REGISTRY LINK – CLICK HERE

Here are the lists that they filled out, i thought it was better to take a picture of the lists so you can really see how real this all is, just how much of an impact you are going to make on a real life.

Happy Tuesday, hope you guys have had a good start to this week, im happy you’re here! Im here writing to you today because I went through a minute where I allowed myself to rest. A lull. A reset if you will.I didn’t think it was going to be very transformative and I didn’t want to post anything about it because one thing I wish I was better at was less chatter, more action. I write you to on the other side with my little mental reset behind me and thought I would share. I feel there is value in things that actually work, help, and make me a better person and I hope you take something away from this today!

In a society obsessed with bettering yourself ( which i love most of the time), its impossible not to be inspired and uplifted everywhere you turn. Positive quotes fill my Instagram stories and my audible book Girl, Wash your face has been anxiously waiting for me to hit play and start listening. However, I felt like I was in a season of life where I just want to curl up and hang with Gavin and the kids, stay away from my blog and anything that pushes me to do the “extra”.

I felt like I was tricked into thinking that busy-ness and progression are the only ways to live positively.

I wouldn’t call it a funk as much as much as a rest or a mindful reset, not because of any specific reason but just because I honestly just wanted to feel less inspired  by what society wanted me to feel was positive and more what I felt in my heart.

So  I listened to myself, and I gave myself some time. Without talking about it to anyone, except Gavin of course.

I didn’t fall into a trap of sadness, in fact I was totally happy and enjoying it. I think there is this weird idea that if we aren’t bettering ourselves than we must be struggling with anxiety and headed for a deep dark depression. I couldn’t disagree more, sometimes we can take a few weeks to just relax and reset  and in the end be better for it, not worse. Having good communication with Gavin also was vital because i truly believe even the smallest things need to be shared with each other. He totally got it, and laughed as I logged onto Netflix and watched “My Three Wives”.

 My time wasn’t spent sitting on the couch with a cereal box and a gallon of ice cream, I was resting a little more, going on a bunch of dates with Gavin, staying home with my kids, and taking a break from my working out regime of 5-6 times a week. Blogging took a little backseat and I actually finished a Netflix series which if you know me I never watch tv or movies so that was big. It was something new for me and it reminded me how much I loved the way I live but that sometimes I need a little reset.

See the things is, society has shaped us to believe that lull periods are bad. I’ve learned the opposite. Taking a minute to listen to yourself, be able to put jobs and things on hold in order to re-evaulate and reaffirm that where we are is where we want to be.

 It allowed me to refresh and restart my mindset without falling into a pity party, because honestly nothing was bad. A few good weeks of listening to myself and my body made me more aware of my families needs and my own, changing my routine and the things I was thinking about helped me jump into where I am now.

lulls are okay, as long as you propel out of it.

After a few weeks of just relaxing and letting go of expectations I had of myself as a mom to get this and that all done, I was ready. I guess a little more than ready, I was excited, energized and looking forward to getting back to our normal lifestyle. What I learned differently was in my day to day life which can get so busy and productive, its important for me to take the time and rest. Not just physically rest but mentally rest. With social media and the news, life never turns off, and there is a ton of power in learning how to do that ourselves.

I guess i feel a little rambly at this point but take this advice as if  we were sitting at a coffee shop talking, there is nothing more powerful than listenign to yourself. As a mother we are programmed to listen to the needs of others, and fix them and often times we forget that the person doing all the fixing might need a little water break. Take your water break, take it while youre not dying of thirst. Take it so you can rejuvinate with the ones that love you most and jump back in the game.

Here are five steps that helped me take a reset!

  1. Set a determined amount of time: mine was 3 weeks

  2. Set your goals: ” At the end of this i want to feel ____ , _____, and _____.  ( rejuvinated, more organized, clear minded)

  3. Write down what you are adding and subtracting to your life that will help you reach the goals

  4. Tell your accountability person.

  5. Read or have your goals somewhere you can see them and visit them daily.

Be the best you!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Happy Friday everyone!  I am writing to you today about a topic I get asked quite a bit about and its probably the one topic I shy away from talking about the most. Blogging. It’s almost as if I feel incredibly unqualified because I am so far from my goal, however doing this now for two years has taught me quite a bit, mostly from trial and error. By mostly I mean almost entirely from error, so you’re getting the good and raw advice here today.  I have gone through ups and downs, moments of thrill and disappointment and at the end of the day I still this because I love it. I love writing, meeting people who follow my blog, and I love creating something that my children and husband will be proud of.  An idea brought me here and passion is the reason i’ve stayed. Today I’m going to share my top 10 pieces of advice to anyone blogging or looking to blog.

Find Your Passion

When someone tells a story they are passionate about, you can feel it. Whether you feel that same passion or not, you’re still hooked. Starting your blog and writing about things you are passionate about is a must. By passion I don’t mean what you think is cool, what Instagram tells you is cool, I’m talking what you think about when you’re at a red light, sitting with your nails in the dryer at the salon. Choosing a topic that fuels you, that you can talk about for hours and truly enjoy is key in starting a blog. The best blogs and people I follow own their passion, and its real. I’ve seen it happen numerous times where people start a blog or an Instagram page and they have not found their passion because they are Helter Skelter covering so many random topics you can’t keep track, trying to post about what they think everyone else wants to hear. Recipe for disaster, seen it happen. Find what fuels you, sit and take time by writing down a list of the things you love the most. For me, it was motherhood and my family and writing and posting about my life with them is a piece of cake, its my passion and maybe its yours too!

Consistency is Key

Gavin told me right when I decided to blog that he was reading how important consistency is in Blogging. I have never held onto a piece of advice more, and its something that keeps me in-line with my goal. Consistency is important when you are talking to a group of people, creating your brand and asking people to trust you.  This is something I have to work on often and still fail at a lot these days. Consistency is creating a relationship with your followers by continuing to deliver. Sure, consistency can be slow or fast thats up to you, but there is a lot of power in being consistent.

 

Remember Why You Started.

The Blogging and Instagram world have a way of influencing you. Again. The Blogging and Instagram world have a way of influencing you. If I wasn’t going to be annoying by typing that again I would but I couldn’t stress this enough. SO many people have this awesome idea or Blog and overtime get sucked into changing their ways, their writing voice, their ideas because of how much they see “out there.” Before you start your blog or your journey, write a mission statement. What are you trying to accomplish, who are you at your core?  Best and easiest way is to focus on your about me section, write it out. Why are you writing? What inspires you? What is your goal? What are the values you cherish? There is power in knowing your foundation and there is nothing wrong with tweaking it overtime but I promise you it will continually remind you of why you started and keep you on a good path

 

Keep your Blinders on

New Flash, someone will always be “better” than you at something, maybe its writing, body shape, networking ability, the list goes on an on but in Blogging you have to remember the power you have that nobody else does. You are the only you. Keep your blinders on at first, don’t read other blogs or spend countless hours on Instagram under the #blogger. Work and put your energy into your own brand, build it up before you look outwards. This will help you solidify your writing voice, and your style that way when you do venture out it will often inspire rather than change you.

 

Stay Genuine and Personal

I remember one time I looked at my Direct Messages on Instagram and I had 51  message requests from people. Most of them were asking little questions or just saying a sweet comment and I hadn’t taken the time to respond. To this day I still hate that I got to that point. When you are building your brand or your Blog no matter how big or small there is serious value in creating personal and genuine relationships. Ignoring the very people who are reaching out to you is essentially ignoring the core of your following, the most engaged ones. Take the time and have a conversation, get to know your followers and readers.

Set Goals

I actually feel funny writing about this because its a topic I am trying to work on myself. With blogging I haven’t really set goals, I’ve literally just done this for fun for so long I’ve created a “whatever happens happens” attitude. However, I’m learning that setting goals doesn’t mean you have to change your ways, instead it helps create a clear path of the direction you are trying to go. Maybe your goal is a sponsored post, a Blog post comment, or a certain number of followers. Whatever your goal is, write it down and write three things you need to do in order to get there. Whether those three ways work or not, you will learn something new.

 

Don’t sell your authenticity for approval

Don’t fall into the trap of approval. This is by far the hardest when most of how we get sponsored posts and such are based on the “approval” rate of others. At the end of your day, when your computer is closed and your phone is off be sure you still care most about the opinions of those that are with you. I can guarantee you there is nothing on the internet that holds more value and satisfaction than having a loyal relationship with someone who loves you for you.

 

Hope you guys have an amazing weekend! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment below or get in contact with me on my Instagram!

 

xo,

Stephanie

Happy Monday everyone! Hope this post reaches you well. Currently sitting on the couch listening to Wyatt read Rosie play in the other room while I see the most fall morning ever outside! I love this time of year! Here on the central coast, the weather dips below 70 and I instantly get out our puffy Patagonia jackets and boots. We’ve officially hit fall and the rest of the year is MY FAVORITE, I actually just saw a Christmas advertisement and I about died. I would like to say the best days of 2018 are just ahead and fall is the opener.

The other day we went to U Pick Apples and I snapped a couple of these photos, they were seriously so cute and the place was awesome! Someone had told me about it and I went for the first time! It was so fun because we were Able to take a basket and head out into the Orchard and pick and eat apples. They said for as long as you’re out there you can taste apples so we probably ate more apples than we bought to be honest! Kids loved running up and down and Wyatt brought his tractor and loaded all of his apples in there!

I love getting Wyatt and Rosie out to do fun things during this time of year because its all so festive and beautiful. Today I am sharing with you guys my fall musts for the Central Coast of California! Just a little list of goodies and memorable spots to create traditions, make memories, and enjoy life with the ones you love!

Feel free to drag this image to your desktop or go to my Instagram and screenshot it in my stories today!