Thoughts on cribs

With Babies and a small, simple lifestyle, there are no one-size fits all approach. 

Everyone's space is different, and so are their needs and ideas of living smaller. What works for us may not work for you, but just in case you are wondering, here is a little strategy of what has happened over here in the past almost four years. Mental insert - my how fast they grow, wasn't I just pregnant with e!?!

Moving on, thank you very much, and focusing back on our sleep. Or rather, sleeping spaces and patterns. 

Bebe number one - knock on wood - slept ... well ... like a Baby as an infant. Not sure how this happened, if we had her in our room long enough or short enough or just right enough. At five months old, after being more used to each other and used to our swing of things, I learned that our little baby would sleep better on her own mattress in her own room. Thus, we transitioned her over to her very own bed in her very own room. 

But before we got to this point, like most new parents, I did my research on cribs both in stores and online. For me, as with most first time parents, there was a lot to consider. The square footage available, the style, personal preferences and finances, waiting time if purchased in a store, shipping costs if online, toxicity level, etcetera. I knew if I bought a new crib, I wanted a model without toxic paint or varnish with a feel of "home" {read:  feel of Europe}. My top choice was Ikea's Sniglar - I'm a lover of most things Ikea and this was a no-brainer choice for me. 
Its design is straightforward and simple, with clean lines all around and lots of breathing room on all four sides of the crib. To say I was slightly concerned about SIDS after reading oodles and oodles of posts on it is an understatement. I was worried, to say the least. So breathing room really was huge for me. Also, this crib converts into a toddler bed, which technically gives you more bang for the buck, but more on that in a different post. So, after lots of reading and considering . . . 

. . . we finally settled on this hand-me-down from my in-Loves. It was not a clean and simple design I had been looking for and it does not convert to a toddler bed either. Its vintage and detailed design, however, together with its price ($0 to us) was very appealing. That being said, I'm not sure where it stands on green-liness, but it is made of solid wood (stained, unfortunately) and it looks like it has existed for a few years - or rather decades - before my babies came along and by now all the bad stuff has hopefully had a chance to evaporate. I'm not claiming it is the best choice out there, but all things considered, this was the best choice for us at the time and so far I'm pretty convinced this has been a safe spot for both e and j to drift off into the land of nod. 

And how this bebe is sleeping like this is beyond me. Just sayin' . . . What are your thought's on cribs?


Simple Moments

This shot of my son . . .
. . . because you know, a Baby on the fireplace. Also his cute little face.

This bowl of watermelon . . .
 . . . because it may just be the last watermelon of the season [not]

This cup of tea . . .
. . . because my kids were playing together and I had a moment to enjoy it.


Cabin Fever: Bryson City

It has been a great summer here at the house, with lots of long days playing outside in the sun. But last night, I was going through our pictures from our trip to the mountains in July, and I began thinking back to our stay in the old Inn as well as the train ride. We spent two wonderful days in the neighboring town to Bryson City up in the mountains. I have spend a little bit of time in the mountains, mainly when my in-Loves lived up in the Virginia Mountains or during short camping trips with my family growing up. 

The mountains have a way about them, their crisp early morning mountain air, with the way the sun comes up behind the mountains, warming up the day slowly. The colors seem brighter in the mountains, the sky bluer and the trees greener. Even now looking back, I can hardly describe the vibrant and lively colors of the mountainous nature. 

The Inn:

We stayed at the Jarrett House, which is so full of history! This home was originally built in 1884 to accommodate traveling railway passengers and was known then as it is now, for its comfortable rooms and home-cooked meals.  On each of the triple-tiered porches of this charming three-story home, you can find Rocker chairs to sit and relax in anytime of the day. And by any, I mean anytime of the day, as I have sat on the bottom porch at five o'clock in the morning, consoling my screaming baby boy. 

The town

Staying at the Inn and sitting on the front porch watching traffic go by would have probably sufficed for entertainment the two nights we stayed, but downtown Dillsboro was such an adorable little town we just had to walk around and explore it. Restaurants, gift shops and at least one church were all within walking distance of the Jarrett House. A cute little town, surrounded by the Mountains.

Eating out

The Inn serves a home-cooked breakfast for its guests, which was delicious to say the least. Friday night, however, after walking around for a little bit, the kids were hungry and so we found this little spot with its bright front porch lights. Apparently it is one of two locations.

Riding the Train

My wonderful Mother-in-Love had made reservations for us with the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad. We spent pretty much all day Saturday doing just that, riding the train, with a picnic lunch at noon. It was such a special time, especially for the kids. I highly recommend taking a day and experiencing the historic train (and museum) - and I'm not just saying this because we received free drinks all day. But it was a nice plus to have. 
All in all, it was a great experience and my daughter still talks about it. 


Simple Food: Sourdough Bread

I purchased some Sourdough Bread from the store two weeks ago and I'll admit I fell in love all over again.

The loaf of bread didn't last too long - no bread does in our house as we are bread and butter fans over here.

So being stranded at home with the {hashtag hippie} van down, I found this recipe, got into the kitchen and began baking some bread. A hand kneading, muscle toning, mind calming sourdough bread.

Sourdough Bread

2 loaves

1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 cups sourdough starter
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS kosher salt


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water for a few minutes.
Stir in sourdough starter.

Add 4 cups of flour and salt. 
With the dough attachment of your stand mixer, knead dough about 8 minutes until it comes together to a smooth ball.

Lightly oil a clean bowl, and place dough in it. Turn to cover with oil from all sides. 
Cover with a clean towel and let rest 1.5 hours at room temperature or until double in size.

After it has risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in two.
Shape each half into a ball, let rest for 20 minutes. (I covered mine with the towel again to keep them from drying out). 

While they are resting, grease two loaf pans.

Now, shape each half into a loaf and place into the pans. 
Cover loosely and let rise until they are about to puff over the rim of the pans, about 1.5 hours

As they begin to reach the rim of the pans, preheat oven to 450 degrees (my prehistoric oven takes forever, just sayin') 

When done preheating the oven, slash the top of the loaves with a knife and place them into the oven promptly. 
Bake 10 Minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown.

Remove loaves from their pans and let cool completely.


Simple Moments

My daughter chasing bubbles... 

... in the backyard of her great-grandmother's.

This simple wooden game I picked up at a consignment sale this week...
... because it's not only made of wood and other recycled materials, but mainly because my daughter and I can play together with it.

This piece of cake...
... because it is left over from a family gathering yesterday.


August Resolution - on Repeat

This whole year I have been focusing on what seems like bi-monthly resolutions to improve my heart and habits around here. We began with a teabag suggestion of Every Smile a Direct Achievement {literally from a tea bag} and moved to Calm, Still, and Gentle, during a not so calm, still and gentle time in our lives. 

Since June I have been focusing on Rhythm, and what a huge impact rhythm {and sometimes the lack thereof} has made in our family. Some families do well with it, others without. To each their own,. But what I do know is that rhythm has been a lifesaver for us many a time. 

Rhythm was followed by July's Boundaries, another great one I still tend to neglect on occasion. 

The plain truth is that I'm not perfect. Things happen, situations come along that have me make comments and do things that are less than gracious. Habit shifts are just that - a shift in habits. They require work and mindfulness. And sometimes they take longer than desired. 

Since I don't have a resolution for August in place, frankly, I'm going to revisit the previous ones. It doesn't matter if I previously stumbled and failed or not. What counts is making the effort to change, to shift my heart and habits to soften my rough edges. And with that I am reminding myself of the goodness that I am striving for. 


Simple Weekend

This shot of the kids. . .

Because I'm so grateful for this big yard and Saturday Morning swims.

Ice cream.

Because unfortunately for my bum, we have been eating one almost every day this month. Summers are for ice cream, ya know? 


Simple Food: Brownies from scratch

E and I have a sweet spot for chocolate, especially in cookies and brownies. It's no secret that we love to share a cookie or two first thing in the morning.

After we used up all the boxed brownie mixes - as convenient as they are I'm glad to be rid of them - I riffed off my latest obsession of online recipes. And boy am I glad I did because these babies are a hundred times better than their boxed counterparts. 

While they still are what they are - a delicious, sugar laden dessert - I like to think of them as slightly better than their store bought opponents (but only slightly). Made from scratch they are perfect for snacking on during the afternoon (Mommy) hangry moment.


  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
3 eggs
¼ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven 350 degrees (cook time about 35 minutes)

Lightly grease a pan and set aside

Combine the dry ingredients (take a picture ha ha) in a large bowl. 

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Carefully mix the batter with a wooden spoon. This part was super easy, as the dough was on the moist side and required hardly any effort to stir. 

Pour into the prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes (ovens will vary - with a heating element going out, mine is on the cooler side)

I baked my brownies in a rectangular pan slightly smaller than the normal 9x13. This made for thicker brownies, which I don't mind at all.  

E sure enjoyed the spoon. What's your favorite dessert? 


Simple Kids: World Breastfeeding Week

In lieu of world breastfeeding week last week, I felt it is time for me to finally write about my experience with nursing. J is 10 months old now and there have been so many times where I wanted to write about breastfeeding. So many posts that I started and then deleted or written in my head, but never typed out.

He is Baby number two that I nursed. With e I always felt that I was too "new" at this, couldn't and shouldn't write about it. And this time I kept feeling that no one would want to read another story about another mom feeding her wee little babe. And what about the ones that don't want to or can't nurse their babies. Wouldn't it be insensitive to write about the benefits of breastfeeding? I could hear the "here we go again" sigh in my mind, every time I actually sat down and started writing this post. 

There are so many great posts and articles out there, we don't need another one, do we? There are also so many wonderful articles about motherhood, discipline, and child rearing out there as well. I'm not here to tell you what you are or aren't doing is anything but fine. 
What I do know is that I want to capture this moment in time, wrap it up and store it for later. When the kids are grown and have flown our nest, I want to come back here and remember those days. 

Because these days pass too quickly. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, the moments I feel overwhelmed with exhaustion, I want to remember that they are only short lived. 

Some days I feel that breastfeeding is the greatest thing since before sliced bread. My body is sustaining and feeding another tiny human being. First by God's grace this little human is formed inside of me and grows over months until one day, he is ready to come out. And from then on, for the first six months of his life, by God's grace I produce enough food to nourish this tiny little baby. It is quite mind boggling if you think about it. 

Then on other days I can't wait to be done nursing. And as soon as I think these words, I regret that I do, because I know my babies are only small for a short time. But on some days nursing feels more like a burden than a gift. I choose my wardrobe based on nursing. Some of my clothes I have not worn in I don't know how long. During the first few months I often times sprayed milk during nighttime feedings. I have returned from work with a soaked ( fortunately black) shirt before. And anytime someone else would watch my baby, I still have to pump for relief. 

During the first months of nursing, I have felt my emotions going wild. I have cried because I couldn't produce enough milk, especially during growth spurts. I have cried because I felt inadequate and worried. My body was supposed to produce enough milk to sustain my baby. I have cried when my babies would begin to wean, because it meant that their dependence on me would lessen. 

I have sat up at night with my babies, trying to stay awake while they are nursing back to sleep. Their hands softly rubbing my skin. We give each other comfort, when nursing. We understand each other, without words, when nursing. My son gazing up at me, searching for my eyes, his fingers reaching up to my lips. These are the moments I always want to remember, with both of my children. The good moments as well as the bad moments. Because these are the moments through which I learn to love myself. These are the moments that remind me I'm only human. 

Simple Weekend

These Eggs. Because they are fresh eggs from our friends at church . . .

. . . and I never noticed them being left on our back steps, until JC said something. Thank you, dear Friends!

This cloth diaper. And all the other ones I have, because this week they will go up for sale on ebay. Another season coming to an end in our lives.

Last night's dinner. Because I didn't know hot dogs had to be completely submerged in water when they cook. . .

. . . but they were still tasty. 


Simple Weekends -- Dragon Boat Race

Saturday was a hot and humid day here, though nothing unusual for a July in this area. In case the last week didn't convince us yet, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, this one definitely did.

Living in the south it practically asks us to spend our summers outside in or around water. My husband and I joined what felt like most of our county at the lake, where a Dragon Boat Race was held. (But it was mostly only the teams and their supporters, as well as some vendors that were present).

The event started early Saturday Morning, the sun had already began heating up the air temperature unrelentingly. I wanted to jump into the water as soon as I got there.
But I didn't. It was ok.

Here are a few snapshots of our day out there. I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures of the boats and racing teams, which I will spare you.
I enjoyed our day out there, it was very relaxing and we did what we like to do - be outdoors enjoying the company of others. It felt like a small vacation. 

Vibram Five Fingers - the best minimalist sport shoes. (I think)

Morning sun and toes. I did let my legs dangle in the water a bit later that day. Very refreshing.

Hanging out in between races. 

Dragon Boat waiting to race again.

This log resting on the sandy beach at the lake.

The drums to keep the rowers on the boat in line with each other.