Wild Sunshine Threads: Brands We Love

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It’s been ages since I’ve had Ronin be my model for a post, but a great mood and sunshine after a storm seemed to be the perfect formula. When he was little, bibdanas saved us on numerous occasions from spit, food, and whatever else seemed to dribble down his sweet chin. These days, we love to use them as not only bibs, but as additions to outfits too!

Through the wonderful world of social media, we happened upon the lovely shop, Wild Sunshine Threads. This sweet company, headed by one heck of a maker mama, Emily, makes not only amazing quality bibdanas, but turbans, slouchy hats, and mommy + me sets. Emily takes the time and care needed to create great pieces that work with your little ones and offers them for a great price. Believe me, we’ve spent an arm and a leg on baby accessories, but it’s always the brands with the best customer service we stick with. Wild Sunshine Thread has not only shown great love in their quality, but also customer satisfaction as well.

One of the few that Ronin will keep on all day, this particular bibdana features a soft grey flannel for its backing, keeping his little neck comfy and clean. The print itself is beyond beautiful… I love anything geometric, triangles most of all! The colors are neutral and work with so many outfits, it’s hard to not want to have him wear it everyday!

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To pick up some of these amazing products, check out Wild Sunshine Threads! With how much we love her products, we know you will too. Use code WILD15 for 15% off your purchase – offer expires August 13, 2015 at 5pm PST.


Follow along with Wild Sunshine Threads on Instagram for some of the cutest customer and shop photos. Believe me, every photo you see will make your ovaries ache for more squishy babes of your own!

Sakura Bloom Styelathon + A Minimalist Mama

For those of you who know me or follow along with my ramblings and snapshots, you know I love wearing Ronin. Not only is it convenient, but its the closest thing to wearing sunshine I can get. I was beyond excited when Sakura Bloom, a lovely ring sling company whose love and quality shine through each sling made, asked me to take part in bringing back their Styleathon feature.

Now I by no means consider myself on the cutting edge of fashion, nor do I spend the time I use to getting ready in the mornings. The days of showering alone are long gone, as are the primping hours that use to make my life seem all the more glamorous. These days I take solice in my capsule wardrobe and the power of facial moisturizer. Minimizing my choices when it comes to the apparel I grab and the shoes I slip on not only cuts down on my getting ready time, but also my stress level throughout the day.

Like any day that involves chasing around my little guy, I go for comfort and class. I relish in lightweight cottons, stretchable jeans, and my favorite shoes to add that little extra oomph. Today we headed out for a day in Cocoa Village, a lovely little historic town nestled just off the coast of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Not only is it one of our favorite parks, but our favorite cafe lays just on a corner of sweet shops and a bustle of locals and tourists alike.

Florida in the summer, let’s be honest, it’s hotter than the underside of a blogger’s laptop. My buttery soft tee can be found just about anywhere, goes with everything, and has been through hell. Paired with my medium wash Bullhead skinny jeans (the perfect daytime wash), I’m halfway to looking like I didn’t chase a nearly two year old around the house cleaning up Cheerios that mysteriously look like they’re dropping from his pant leg. The finishing touch, my Lotta from Stockholm clogs. Holy smokes folks, these shoes are not only tractor heeled perfection, they’re more comfortable then my sneakers and flip flops. My Nectar Chambray sling from Sakura Bloom gives my outfit the perfect pop of color, a beautiful combination of sunshine yellow and a floral orange. Last, but not least, a simple cross body purse from R.Riveter (If you haven’t checked them out, go now – they’re mission and quality are beautiful, as are the lovely folks behind the handcrafted brand).
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I wish you the happiest of day trips, be it with tiny humans or your favorite giants. For more information on Sakura Bloom, check out their site, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook and see the wonderful community they have helped create.

To learn more about starting a capsule wardrobe, check out Project Capsule Wardrobe on the blog or #projectcapsulewardrobe on Instagram!

xo Mary

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A Capsule Wardrobe + A Sakura Bloom Sling

When asked to do share some of my favorite looks in the Sakura Bloom Styleathon segment, my mind started spinning. I wanted to showcase my style at it’s best; outfits that would secure me as a fashion force to be reckoned with. But the more I thought about it, the more it sank in. I’m not a fashionista. I’m not a mom who keeps up with every trend. I love simple, classic, and versatile pieces. So why not share outfits created from items I have, items from my capsule wardrobe?

DSC00271Florida is hot. It’s a given. When you move here, grow up in, or visit the Sunshine State, you know shorts will be a frequently utilized staple in your wardrobe. My outfit may seem plain, I can’t tell you how often I wear these pieces. At the core, a simple grey tee and a pair of high waisted shorts from TJMaxx. I default to high rise bottoms on the off chance my stomach may show – stretch marks fit so perfectly beneath the trend!

Next, my favorite Madewell shirt, a light wash of the softest fabric that makes for the perfect overshirt. I wear this thing everywhere… out to dinner, the beach, grocery shopping, everywhere. I bring it in my tote, wear it over dresses, with jeans. This is my anytime, anywhere shirt.

For lazy days, I prefer not to carry around a giant bag. Totes are such an easy accessory that allow room for everything I need, is washable, and a light enough fabric that it doesn’t make me even hotter to carry it. My darling friend Tracy, an incredible designer and artist from LA, owns Yay for Friends. This tote is just one of her adorable designs, all available in neural colors to match perfectly with my capsule wardrobe. I love the words and images printed on the bag, “Eat Well, Travel Often.” I’ve lived my whole life by that motto, and this tote bag is helping me continue on.

Last and probably my oldest go-to, Vans. I may still wear kid sizes, but I rock the hell out of them. I’ve had countless pairs in tons of different colors, but my black Authentics will always be my favorite. Gone are the days of trekking around Warped Tour in checkered slip-ons, hello to chasing toddlers on hot summer days.

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And of course, my sling is Nectar Chambray by Sakura Bloom. Out of the box it is the softest linen perfection in the color of sunshine and floral orange. I’ve gone through so many slings, searching for the perfect one… single layer linen, silks, artisans, but chambray has won my heart. Double layer support is a dream for wearing my toddler and the linen is light and breezy for summer wear.


These photos were taken in Cocoa Beach, Florida, by my stepdaughter… she’s pretty amazing!

Kindred Wrap

Babywearing has become so much more than a functional way to keep our little ones close as we battle our daily lives. It has become an art form, a thing of beauty. Wraps, slings, SSC, all have become a part of our style, our identity, our image.
Through the evergrowing babywearing community, I was able to meet Halli, the majestic and talented woman behind Kindred Wraps. Not only has she created a line that is sure to warm your heart and complete your ensemble, but her mission and dedication to her brand is unwavering. I got the chance to pick her brain on what inspired her to create Kindred and what drives her to share her love of babywearing with all.

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What prompted you to start Kindred Wrap?

I was first introduced to babywearing during a trip to a small village in Vietnam called Sapa. As a textile designer and lover, I was instantly captivated by the traditional dress of the local women; colorful, vibrant and intricate. Over our short stay, I loved learning about these women and their culture, which included an incredible work ethic; hands stained from indigo dying, piles of quilts to be stitched, and fields of rice to be tended. All this while keeping their little ones close, wrapped up on their hip or back; I was in awe.

When I returned home from the trip, my best friend had just welcomed her first little one and had fallen in love with woven wraps. I was so excited to see her using this same beautiful method of babywearing that I had first seen in such a distant part of the world. As I learned more about woven wraps, and watched her and her little one bond through their daily wrap adventures, I knew it was a product I would love to work with and eventually create. As a textile designer I found woven wraps to be a beautifully pure product in their aesthetic qualities and even more so in their function. I dove into researching weaving techniques and qualities, carrier styles and methods. I felt that I had a unique design perspective to offer the market and so Kindred was born.


Kindred is a word that encompasses so much; what is the meaning behind the name for you?

The name came about as I thought of the brand’s mission, which is to provide customers with a quality product that serves to promote bonding with their little ones as they go about the responsibilities of their day. The definition of Kindred is: similar in kind; family; a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one’s own. From the outset I hoped that our wraps would become a part of the lives of those who use them. It is about serving and celebrating the unique connections within each family.The name Kindred Wrap embodies the brand philosophy of cherishing the moments you have with your family, your tribe, your kindred ones.


What do you love about wrapping and/or babywearing?

Babywearing in all forms is extremely functional. It allows parents and caregivers the ability to nurture their little ones while going about their day. It is the ultimate tool for multitasking and inherently invokes nurturing. Simply put, it keeps loved ones close to experience and share moments together. Wrapping, I find it particularly beautiful for its moldability, its heirloom quality and for its simplicity. Wovens require no hardware, no buckles, snaps or inserts. You simply wrap your loved one close to connect and bond throughout even the most bustling of days.


What is your favorite wrap currently?

KindredWrap_Halli_Pic3My favorite wrap is Tiburon in Honey. It was the first design I created and was inspired by one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music. To me the design is a modern take on a vintage style and the color, Honey, is so cheery and warm, I just love it.  Also there’s no wrong side which is always a plus!

 


What is your inspiration behind color, design, and style?

As a textile designer, I envision Kindred as a pattern/print brand first and foremost. Every individual design has its own story and inspiration with the first consideration being the modern woman and what might accentuate her wardrobe. I try to offer a variety of moods for our customers from classic stripes to cheerful florals that lend themselves to mixing and matching. I’ve loved creating the Spring ‘15 line, but I cannot wait to share what is coming! I think it’s going to be really exciting. All I can say is it’s less focused on motifs and more focused on mixing textures.


Do you have any words of wisdom for those who find wrapping intimidating or maybe haven’t taken the plunge to try yet?

Honestly, there are so many babywearing products out there, I think it is important to find what works best for you. For those interested in wovens specifically, a great way to begin the process is to visit your local babywearing group to gain firsthand experience and face-to-face mentoring from the very knowledgeable members. It is a great helpline, not to mention an excellent way to test-drive a variety of wraps and fibers before purchasing. Otherwise, there are many excellent youtube tutorials out there to help you develop wrapping confidence. And as always, we are here to offer support and answer any questions with a simple email to info@kindredwrap.com .


KindredWrap_Halli_Pic4Check out more of the artistry & beauty shared by Halli and the Kindred community at the social media sites below and order a wrap of your own at kindredwrap.com.

Minimalist at the Beach

What to do when your fella heads to work and it’s breathtakingly gorgeous outside? Beach day, that’s what. With the salt water and sand just minutes from our house, we popped our teepee and a cooler full of watermelon in the car and started our day.

I normally love sneakily getting a photo of us splashing through the waves or building the most epic of sand castles, but it just wasn’t in the cards today. However, Ronin had on what I can only describe as the most wonderful swim trunks ever and I had to document it. Boden, a company for the whole family, was recommended to me by a friend for their amazing swimwear for little gents. I stocked up on a striped pair and adorable sharks to last Ronin through the summer. They stay on amazingly, with or without a swim diaper  (disposable or not, we use the iPlay reusables from Target).

Besides his O’Neil swim top, sun hat, and towel, that’s all we bring for Ronin. I’m sure slowly that our stock will grow as we add more water toys and sand construction tools, but for now, sticks and shells capture his attention.

As for me, I’m just as simple. A swimsuit, my chambray shirt from Madewell, sunnies, towel, hat and flip flops round out my necessities. I’ve always hated the bulky journey from car to sand and have found most items we use to carry just stay in the beach bag.

For the last few items, I won’t be caught without. Babyganics sunscreen, which we love with a passion for its ability to stay on and save tiny human skin, our Land of Nod teepee, a blanket, cooler for snacks, and one of my Sakura Bloom slings. Nectar was my sling of choice today and let me just say, it was made to be in the sun. It was the perfect brightness to end our trip with as the clouds rolled in over the darkening sea.

That’s it – one trip.

This was just the start of our beach day adventures, the beginning of this year’s fun in the sun. I hope to see you in the waves soon sweet folks!

Olivia Hayes

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Things have changed a lot since I had my first child, Abbigail, almost six years ago now. Back then I did own two carriers, one infantino brand that I was given for my shower and one pocket type sling that I paid an arm and a leg for. The infantino one was just ugly and I felt like my baby was just dangling and flailing all over the place. So, I bought the pocket sling. Sized, unadjustable, scary. I attempted to use it a few times, with my daughter in cradle hold and having a death grip on it because there was a serious chance of her falling out. It didn’t take me long to give up and get out the stroller.

This tiunnamed-5me around, social media introduced me to the wonderful world of baby wearing before I was even inpregnated for the second time. I would see all of the babies on Instagram wrapped up in wovens, buckled in their colourful Tula’s & overcome by some of that famous Sakura bloom sleepy dust. My heart fluttered. The mothers and their squishes just looked so connected, so in love. I just knew that baby wearing would be a big part of my next child’s life. So when I got pregnant, I stocked up. I got myself a woven, a ring sling, a buckle carrier, a mei tai. All of the options. And once he was born I couldn’t wait to put them to use.

In the beginning I was determined and although there was a big learning curve I began using my carriers daily. More than I want to admit we ended up in a hot frustrated mess with me giving up and walking away but it finally happened. We got comfortable. We began wearing properlly, in confidence, easily and efficiently.
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Now it is our go to soother.  Whenever Atticus is cranky or teething or just down right miserable we grab a carrier and his eyes light up. He quiets down. Gets curious and watches me carefully as I meticulously arrange and adjust to fit his little body tightly next to mine. I slip him in and he sinks down, curls up and gets comfortable. I can feeling his breathing get softer. He rests his head on my chest, his eyes get heavy.

So close, so comfortable. There is nothing better. We feel as one as we stroll around our house and Atticus softly slips into a deep slumber. The world goes quiet, at least for us.

I am so truly thankful for the opportunity to fully appreciate and explore the world of baby wearing this time around. Not only is it so convenient, it really creates a beautiful, unbreakable bond between a mother and child. Opening up and introducing babies to all aspects of the world but remaining close and calm, curled up next to their mothers, hearing their heart beats but also being allowed to participate in the activities going on around them. Such a beautiful community has been created by baby wearing and I just hope that this trend continues to spread ❤️

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Follow Olivia on Instagram here!

What Ronin Wore

Florida in the summer and Florida in autumn have very few differences… Sure the rain subsides in the afternoon, but as for cooler weather, forget it! Sometimes it’s a bummer to think of all the snow days we miss, hot cocoa around a fireplace, ya know, wintery things! On this hot September day, Ronin is cool and comfy in some of our favorite brands. You’ve seen them here before and you’ll continue to see the heck out of these three brands because of their durability, style, and overall amazingness.

& Apparel is a great go to brand for mamas and little ones. Whether you need a tee, statement necklace, or skirt for you or a comfortable and stylish outfit for your babe, you really can’t go wrong. The tee Ronin is wearing only gets softer with every wash and the embroidered ampersand is so soft and delicately placed that Ronin doesn’t even know it’s there!

You know we love Hoonana, makers of the finest little boy shorts and pants ever! Offering style, durability, and buttery soft material, you’ll be stocking up on their bottoms for years! Based in LA, Hoonana consistently puts out trendy colors and style for the little men in your life. Check out my interview with them here!

Oh Toms, how we love you. While they may seem as though they’re on the pricey side, they’re no more than your average pair of moccs and much less than designer kicks. Velcro or lace up, these shoes are perfect for new walkers and lifesavers when you need to get out the door quickly. While I don’t advise hard soles when your little one is starting to walk, these are great for toddlers on the move!

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Original post September 15, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Brave Little Cub

I know I’ve been so sentimental this week; seems that having your first babe turn one does that to you. Ronin has become such a little boy, not just a tiny baby. After a ten minute conversation between him and his dada last night, mostly him babbling and Galen coming up with answers, it was apparent how bright and beautiful his personality is. A day of exploring our front yard and learning just how much fun you can have with a stick, I can’t imagine my life without him. I truly love being his mama. For those of you who read this blog for the style and single lady material, excuse my gushing over this little guy. I promise there will be some wonderful fashion and outfit posts along with some great brand features coming soon! But for right now, I leave you with these…

   

Ronin’s Outfit Details:

Tee – Dear Cub

Jeans – Carters

Moccasins – Potatofeet


Original post on August 2, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Brand We Love: Hoonana

image.jpgIt’s amazing how many people are connected through social media these days. I’m constantly on the hunt for the best quality and greatest styles for not just myself, but for Ronin too! Through Instagram in particular, I was able to connect with the amazing kid’s clothing company, Hoonana.

I’m so picky when it comes to bottoms for Ronin – some jeans are too rough, some are just too wide in the waist, others are just atrocious. Luckily, Hoonana bottoms are made of the softest fabric and have perfectly sized waist bands that allow your little one and the bottoms to grow together. Not only do they carry shorts and jeans, they also carry a variety of colors to fit every outfit!

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After getting to know the innovative and lovely owners, I wanted to share more than just an outfit with all you lovely readers. I wanted to share their mission, their drive behind creating such a kid-friendly brand. Below is an interview giving you a bit more insight into the ingenuity that is Hoonana.

AD: What was your mission in creating your clothing line for kids?

H: We started Hoonana with the mission of designing high-quality, everyday luxe clothing for kids at affordable prices.

AD: Okay, I absolutely love the name, so I must know, what is the story behind “Hoonana?”

H: The “Hoo” is derived from our son’s Korean name while “Nana” comes from banana, his favorite fruit. We went with the concept of the banana because of its colorful exterior that protects and nurtures the fruit inside, which we thought was fitting for a children’s clothing company.

AD: I love that all your items are made in your hometown of LA. What prompted you to have Hoonana be such a close to home operation?

image.jpgWe take great pride in our products and feel it’s important to oversee our supply chain and manufacturing processes so we can successfully create the products we envisioned from the design stage. We’ve shuffled through various manufacturing partners until we found people who shared our passion for producing the best possible product for our customers. This means when we go through files and files of fabric swatches, trims, and colors for a single style, our partners are right there with invaluable insight from years of experience. We quickly realized from the beginning that this form of collaboration would not be possible if we produced overseas, which prompted us to keep things local.

AD: Through your son’s grandparents, I understand they sent back wonderful clothes from around the world. What makes Hoonana different from other children’s clothing brands based in the US?

H: We noticed that a lot of clothes they sent from around the world have fabrics that are higher in quality, have a better fit, and have comparable price points to everyday brands (eg. Gap Kids) in the US. We wanted to replicate the quality with affordable prices and push the envelope in terms of style with fit and details. Although our pants are slimmer, we use fabrics that provide stretch so that children stay comfortable. Everything we produce, we would put on our son, Isaac, which to us is the ultimate test.

AD: As a parent, you always want to make sure your child has the best of the best. Not only are your products trendy and oh so cute, they’re also made from great materials. How do you go about creating and putting together the perfect items for little guys?

H: We started our journey by going through a painstaking trial and error process to find the great partners we have today. We realized that if we wanted to succeed in making great products, it would take a whole manufacturing team who took pride in their work as much as we do. We also love hearing back from customers and put their happiness and satisfaction first. This drives us to create great products and continuously make improvements to existing ones.

AD: What is your favorite piece from your collection?

image.jpgOur favorite piece is the twill shorts, which we see as a year round essential for a warm geography like Los Angeles. Kids (and moms!) love the elastic waistband because of the comfort it provides and we chose the Peached Twill fabric so it can be worn year round. The feedback has been fantastic thus far and a mom even told us “My son loves these shorts and even wants to wear them to bed!”

AD: With an online store and availability in multiple states, are you planning on expanding internationally?

H: We are relatively new, so at the moment our priority is to introduce our brand to as many people as possible in the US. International expansion is a few years away, but it is something we talk about. We’re expecting a baby girl in September, which will probably motivate us to launch a girl’s collection before we expand internationally.

AD: What does the future hold for Hoonana?

H: We hope the future holds the same thing as it does for us today – to make children and parents happy with our clothes. We really enjoy connecting with our customers and are really taking a customer-first approach to our brand. We’d love to connect with anyone and hope they join the conversation on our Facebook page –facebook.com/hoonanakids and @hoonanakids on Instagram and Twitter.

And there you have it! What a wonderful vision for such an inspiring company. We will definitely continue to get Ronin’s bottoms from Hoonana and showing you our favorite outfits and styles. image.jpg

Pick up some sweet duds for your little one here!

Ronin’s Outfit Details:

Tee – Little Boogaweezin

Cardigan – H&M Kids

Shorts – Hoonana

Shoes – TOMS


Original Post on July 31, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Hashtag Ronin Riot

Every once in a while, our little boy throws me through a loop. I can’t believe that he’s one or that he’s become such a little human. He walks, talks (in his own way) and genuinely feels emotions. With all the hobbies and interests his dad and I are into, I love that Ronin mimics our likes. Be it photography or chewing on cameras, strumming a ukelele or banging on a piano, my goal is to give him every opportunity to be the best and happiest he can be. This morning, I caught a glimpse of the future. Sitting outside, I sadly came to the realization that my trusty Canon, that I’ve had since graduation from high school, is on the fritz. I set it down for a moment to grab Galen’s and came back to this. Ronin had taken it upon himself to sit with it, play with it, and even attempt to hold the screen to his face. It was a beautiful sight and I am so amazed with him every day.

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Ronin’s wearing the Hashtag shirt from & Apparel! Click here to get one for your little one.