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).
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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

image

image

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.

KindredWrap_Photo5
KindredWrap_Halli_Photo2
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!

A Day in the Life, the Rhythm of Our Day


Mary.Ronin.Kiss

Every day brings a new life to lead, an adventure unseen, a story to write. The love shared between mother and child is beyond compare. My day begins with the most beautiful sound of rustling sheets and the clutch of a tiny hand on my shirt.

Out we wander into the living room, dancing sunlight through the window panes invites us to join in. While the rest of the house sleeps, the coffee begins to drip into a bottomless cup. After a moment of savoring the sweet aroma wafting from the kitchen, we wake up the girls with a happy, “Hi!” then they’re ready for school and out the door.

Mary.Ronin.Gun

A pile of books line the side of the couch, so many stories to read I can’t even count. But this little man of ours is sidetracked by the simple dock in our backyard. Carefully we take our seats on weathered wood as we watch the fish fly and the manatees hug the shore. All the while, Ronin holding my hand and whispering “wow.” I sip my coffee, the warmth of the sun complimented by the love I have for this life we created.

Once daddy is up, breakfast is served and daily plans are made. Is it to the beach today, to blanket our toes in the sand? Or to Amma and Bopa’s house to share in smiles and Spaghetti-os? Our days are filled with endless possibility, but always the water calls and we    answer with resounding love.

After apples and oranges, now scattered artfully chaotic on the floor, our dock once more becomes our resting place. With the warmer weather and the salty seas, the manatees once again show their sweet noses. We watch with wonder, with an uninhibited sense of whimsy as these gray hued mermaids play gently at our feet. As noon passes, his eyes begin to sag. With a hug of my neck, he settles in the sling. I hold him close in a linen embrace, reading my book and smelling the sweet little head nestled under my chin.

The brightness of day is hugged by the soft embrace of night, and the setting sun slips slowly beneath a technicolor blanket. With a belly full of a home cooked meal, a bath becomes a an adventure to an underwater kingdom. I scoop out a squirming toddler, towel him off and on go pajamas. Our night wraps up with kisses good night, more books with pages skipped clutter the floor below.

Our day together is finally through, as I sing a lullaby passed down through motherhood. Twice I sing and with a brush of my lips on his forehead, the sleepiest eyes close with the sweetest of dreams. All the while I hum to myself, as I turn out the lights, that lullaby I hold so close to my heart. The first song he heard, when he entered this world, the last song I’ll sing when I leave this earth…

“I see the moon, and the moon sees me.

Down through the leaves of the old oak tree.

Love let the moon that shines on me,

Shine on the one I love.”

Mary.Ronin.Hug

And with that ends today, but on to tomorrow, where I’ll shower him with more love, more kisses, more snuggles.

Olivia Hayes

unnamed-4
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.
unnamed-6
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 ❤️

unnamed-7

Follow Olivia on Instagram here!