Life around here.

kids swings maggie whitley

Work and play, that’s pretty much been our focus all week. Monday we played all day long as a family since Zack had the day off work #bonus. We had a great time at the beach Tuesday with friends. I always look forward to our weekly adventures to the ocean.

We switched things up this week and Wednesday was my designated work day. That was a crazy productive day, oh my goodness :) My stash of sewn handmade products is piled high, which is great since I’m nearly sold out of Caroline-made. (Did you see I sewed for the Gussy Sews shop this week? SO much fun.)

Yesterday I completed a 4.12 mile run in the morning. And, multiple times this week we went to the park to play. Like, multiple multiple times this week. Summer is the best time to have a full schedule doing the things we love best, I can think of nothing better as a child than feeling zapped of energy come bedtime. I hope my kids appreciate that feeling, too ;)

I’ve been stealing minutes here and there to put away the evidence of this week’s work and play. Sweeping and vacuuming and laundry and fabric de-stashing (I’ll have a bundle of scraps to list for sale) and eating family meals together and goal setting and packaging orders and material purchasing and sewing. Bubble baths and reading on the couch and morning coffee and making my grocery list. All of these things happen when we re-prioritize our time and wow, that’s a direct road to productivity.

TGIF, friends. It’s time to relax!

PS. I mentioned sharing a DIY project this week, but after I saw how full my posting schedule was I decided to save it for next week. (I promise it’s worth the save!)

caroline-made maggie whitley

PPS. this specific colorway of Hip Pouches is almost sold out. If you want one, better snag one now…

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Summer camping with an infant & a toddler.

summer camping maggie whitley

summer camping maggie whitley

Friday morning, after Natalie’s nap, we packed up the crew and headed a little north of Santa Barbara to camp for the weekend. This is the second year now we’ve joined our friends Lukasz and Joanna, and their littles Olivia and Tytus, for a weekend of camping. In fact, last year we went with them twice, and both times I was pregnant with Natalie (I was about 12 weeks along the first time (but hardly anyone knew ;)) and about 30 weeks the second time).

kids summer camping maggie whitley

Camping has sort of become “our thing”. Yeah, it takes a lot of prep work to camp. Yeah, it usually means Zack has a crazy schedule at work leading up to our weekend sans technology. Yeah, it is dirty and off-schedule and things are so different compared to life at home. But, IT IS SO MUCH FUN, that it’s totally worth it! Side note: if it wasn’t fun and wasn’t “worth it”, we wouldn’t go.

summer camping zack max maggie whitley

Our family is used to a smaller space while at home (our apartment in Los Angeles is about 600 square feet), and many things have a dual (or trio!) purpose. Living out of a tent while we camp is of course very different than home life, but our daily experience has made tent camping much less difficult for everyone in our family.

kids summer camping maggie whitley

We are used to spending a lot of time together in a smaller space and being creative with the resources around us (hello, daily trips to the park & neighborhood amusements).

max summer camping maggie whitley

max summer camping maggie whitley

My best advice for camping with infants/toddlers is two-part: 1.) give them the chance to adventure throughout the day (fresh air + nature = the best). They love nothing more than to explore what interests them. And 2.) feed them delicious, nutritious food. Both kids fell asleep fast once they snuggled up with their blankets. It was amazing to have a little quiet time at naptime with Zack while they rested, and kick our feet up for a solid 90 minutes.

natalie summer camping maggie whitley

It was a little bit of a challenge to pull Max away from his play to eat, but if all the littles were eating then it was definitely easier to declare, “meal time!” and wrangle their buns to the picnic table :)

Prior to leaving, I prepared a lot of food for easy meals. For dinner, I made spaghetti with meat sauce and carne asada tacos with pan seared corn & black beans. For lunch, we ate chicken salad, fruit, and cheese & crackers. And for breakfast we brewed lots of coffee, and Zack made eggs and sausage for the family. All super easy, but a little different than what we’ve made in the past while camping.

summer camping maggie whitley

I almost love the drive home the best. While the kids snoozed, Zack and I had hours of (mostly) uninterrupted time together to goal-set. During this trip we talked about our financial goals and a way to track our debt-pay off progress (so exciting!), along with a few potential trips to New York for Z.

summer camping maggie whitley

Life, you are so good to us! Pacific Coast, you are gorgeous! Thanks for such a great weekend!

Do you go camping as a family, or take seasonal trips together? Where do you go, and what are your best family travel tips with kids?

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Life around here.

natalie maggie whitley

It has been a great week! Monday greeted me with a fresh carafe of coffee brewed just for me (I think running is making my body reject non-decaf coffee; has this happened to you?), along with a custom message on my coffee cup thanks to Zack. We had a little hiccup a few days ago with Natalie not wanting to nurse, but I think I figured out the problem so we’re back on track! ;) And oddly, this little hiccup is (fingers crossed) helping her to now sleep through the night, so there’s the silver lining of that situation.

muffins maggie whitley

We are off on a camping adventure this weekend with friends! I’m so excited! I think we’re all ready for some time outdoors without any thoughts of work or TV or phone cords. Yesterday, Max helped me bake some banana muffins to take with us.

maxwell sink maggie whitley

As a reward for doing such a great job listening while we baked, I let him play with a bowl of soapy water in the kitchen sink. In all honesty, it’s his dream activity :)

natalie maggie whitley

And this girl, seriously, she melts us all. She is so generous with her smiles, she’s so happy, and so expressive with her feelings. Natalie, we adore you (and your great hair)!

maxwell maggie whitley

SQUINTY SMILES — give me all of them! Plus: elephants!, climbing stairs!, finding leaves!, and telling me everything he sees! Max is definitely our little blonde explorer.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

“Mama, pick up Bauer, put in here.”

Ummm, no.

hand-painted lyric art maggie whitley

Next week I’ll be sharing a handpainted DIY, one of my very favorite home projects to date! Next time we move across the country, you can bet I’ll find room in our Jeep for this piece of art. I love it. Have a great weekend, friends!

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A podcast on Simplicity.

31 days book maggie whitley

Last month I recorded a podcast on simplicity with Jenn Sprinkle from The {well} Studio. Our conversation was based off a book I contributed to called Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer. In the podcast I shared more about our decision to move to Los Angeles, which was spurred on from a trip to Tanzania, Africa just a few months prior. It was great to reflect on our family’s adventures and the details of how “life” has come together the last three years. I loved the reflection.

Jenn and I also talked about some personal stories on simplicity, our family’s transition to Los Angeles, how we keep our dreams in focus, and that CRAZY (wonderful) thing that happened once I finally launched Caroline-made in February 2014. (I’m not sure I had ever shared this prior to recording the podcast!) It was such a good chat.

Below is our podcast if you’d like to listen, and here is a link to the book.

By the way, it’s been a wonderful experience re-opening the shop! Thank you for being such a great community of supporters. It’s like a confetti of handmade happiness over here :) See ya Monday with another shop update.

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