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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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.

A Day in the Life, the Rhythm of Our Day


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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.

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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.”

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

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!

Cool Like a Fox

I can’t tell you how flattering it is to hear how well dressed my little guy is. I must admit, Ronin has a better, trendier wardrobe that I do! With the weather being as crazy as it’s been, even down here in Florida, it’s important to make sure your little one is dressed appropriately. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Baby trends may seem a little crazy – tiny humans dressed in adult clothing, but I have to say I’m a fan of the comfort and durability of the items I dress Ronin in. Many parents say that babes don’t need to have “real people” clothing, that it’s too expensive, or that they’ll just grow out of it next week. While growth will happen, you don’t need to spend a fortune on baby clothes and hello, they are real humans! Here’s a head to toe run down if Ronin’s outfit.

The aviator hat. I’m a sucker for baby hats. This one from Curly Q’s Counter has been personalized with ‘RONIN’ on one side and ‘PILOT’ on the other. With its soft lining and adorable goggles, it’s the perfect hat for bringing fun, play and warmth into any outfit.

The onesie. Baby Gap is, for lack of a better word, genius. This particular style of onesie features a long sleeve shirt attached to a onesie base. This marvelous creation ensures minimal riding up with an extra layer of warmth. And the graphics? Adorable.

The bottoms. It is true, I dress Ronin in jeggings. With how soft and sensitive baby skin is, it seems unfair to dress a little one in true denim material. Jeggings allow for stretch, comfort, and are perfect for the skinny jean look. Carter’s, Osh Kosh, Circo, and Old Navy all sell these magnificent bottoms without girly embellishments and sparkly buttons for $10 or less!

The mocc boots. If you have a child between the ages 0-6, you’re probably privy to the moccasin trend. Well here’s a slightly modified version of the handmade moccs. These are Minnetonka Moccasin Boots from Nordstrom, and get this, only $20!! With the way these cute kicks run, you can easily get six months of wear out of them.

There you have it!


Original post on January 30, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Tiff Delancy

I have such a deep love for babywearing for many reasons! First of all, keeping my babe close is the biggest perk, of course! I have been able to successfully breastfeed for over two years now and I can definitely say I owe it to baby wearing!  The ease of being able to nurse whenever and wherever is just beyond amazing! Also, the luxury of being on the go with a napping babe snuggled close makes travel – and just life in general – so much easier! I truly can’t imagine how I would get through motherhood without that advantage!

Babywearing has a very special place in my mothering world. I can’t imagine how I could have gotten through traveling, teething, and just day to day life with out it. I feel it plays a huge role in the success we have had nursing for over two years. It makes breastfeeding so accessible anywhere and everywhere, no matter what you’re doing! It’s a luxury and advantage I am so thankful to have!

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Babywearing has also made it possible for me to do yoga more regularly by simply wearing her during my practice! I struggle (still) will finding time away from my little one, (as I am sure many mamas do) so its nice to keep her close while incorporating her into something very special to me. And from that, I have seen a love for yoga of her very own grow and it makes my heart smile!

I am always thrilled to share my love for babywearing and I am so happy to see so many mamas and daddys embracing it as well! We have shared so many cherished moments this way and I will hold them close to my heart, always!

Tiff DeLancy

@namastetiff


Orignal post on Febrauary 22, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Mary Hayes

Before Claire was even born, I knew I would want to wear her most of the time.  Although I’m one of the first of my friends to have a child, I was fortunate enough to be part of a community of bloggers who are also mothers, and after seeing them carry their children this way I couldn’t imagine any other way.  Having her be so close to my body at all times has really enhanced that feeling that she’s an extension of myself, as all babies really are to their mothers.  

My favorite thing about baby wearing has been how much I’ve been able to share with Claire.  Rather than having her set down on a play mat while I do simple tasks like the dishes, cooking dinner, putting on makeup, she observes all these things and takes them in.  She gets the same view I do when we’re on a walk in the park, rather than just seeing her feet in the stroller.

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Also, I think that babies can FEEL the difference between being worn and being held.  Worn babies are just provided a closeness – there’s no stress, just warmth and connection.  Held babies may be in someone’s arms, but it’s work for the person holding them and there’s just no getting around that.  Babies are so sensitive and so intuitive, I just have no doubt that when I’m holding Claire she can tell that I’m getting tired or stressed at my inability to pick up my phone or eat my snack.  She is not calmed by someone’s arms the way she is when I pop her into our sling.  For me, being a sling mama has just made all the difference in how I mother Claire, because it’s taken all that “work” of holding a baby and turned it into joy.

Follow along with my on Instagram – @mmargarethayes

and my blog http://www.lightsleeperheavydreamer.com/


Original post on February 20, 2015 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Vienna Springs Sling Giveaway

1415985756047I’m so excited to annouce (for those of you who don’t have instagram) that we have a wonderful giveaway currently going on with Vienna Springs! One lucky winner will win a sling of their choice from VS. Since I’ve received quite a few messages concerning participants who would like to enter but are not on Instagram, here’s one more way! Leave a blog post comment here and tell me what you love about baby wearing!

Winner will be chosen randomly at 11:59pm on Monday 11/17.

I want to thank Krystal Tanner and her sweet little for letting us use this darling photo and to Christine Tanner for the amazing photograph! To see more of Christine’s amazing talent, click here to visit her website or here to visit her on Facebook!

Good luck!


Original Post November 14, 2014 on http://www.altanticdaydreams.com

Meet Laura Criscione of Vienna Springs

With baby wearing becoming a main stay in modern day parenting, we’re often overwhelmed with the various carriers on the market. Through my search for the perfect way to wear Ronin, I’ve stumbled happily into the lovely and talented lady behind Vienna Springs ring slings, Laura Criscione. From linens to silks, her slings are made with the same love and passion that she shares with wearing her little lady Leah. Learn more about this amazing woman and her company below!

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AD: Tell us a little about yourself!

LC: My name is Laura. I recently just moved to San Diego from New York. I got married a few days before we moved here. We have one daughter (Leah) and two small dogs (Henry and Annie)

AD: What was your reason for choosing the name Vienna Springs?

LC: I chose the name Vienna Springs because I wanted something that had meaning and that sounded like a fresh start. Vienna is my daughters middle name and springs just sounds refreshing

AD: What prompted you to start making ring slings?

LC: I started sewing when I was little. My mother taught me because I was so tiny I had to tailor all my clothes to fit me. So after moving to Cali and waiting for my cosmetology license to transfer I decided to start making slings for my friends who were all pregnant. None of them have seen a ring sling until they saw mine but couldn’t really afford them. So I decided to make a more affordable option for everyone.

AD: What sling would you recommend for parents just starting out? And what type ofsling is you’re favorite?

LC: I like to make different options to give everyone a great experience with the ring slings. For people very new to slings I recommend a single layer linen. It’s very easy to learn with. For toddlers, I recommend a double layer linen or silk. Although I personally love silk for everyone. It can be the sling that you use from birth into toddler years without having to upgrade for more support.

AD: What would you recommend for first time wearers? Any advice?

LC: For parents who want to try I recommend watching YouTube videos before you purchase so you can get an idea how to use the sling. It does take some practice but don’t give up. Once you get the hang of it, it’s so rewarding.

AD: What do you love about baby wearing?

LC: I started baby wearing just around my house to get things done. When I realized how calm it made my daughter and how much she loved it I started wearing it everywhere. Leah loves it. We have a special bonding time when I wear her and she gets to experience the world from my point of view. Baby wearing has given me the freedom to continue to do the things I love without feeling overwhelmed. It really has made things so much easier and I wish to share this feeling with everyone.

To see more slings and to keep up to date with Vienna Springs, click here and follow along on instagram!


Original post on November 13, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com

Heather Edwards

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Babywearing for me means I’m a successful mom – I’m a super mom!

1415723667807My husband is deployed so I need extra hands! And since that’s not happening I need my hands free! Doing the dishes, sorting and putting away laundry, groceries, cooking, walking the dog, yoga-  the sky is the limit while wearing Jax.

Babywearing has magic powers. Fussy? Up, up (that’s what we say) Tired? Up, up Overstimulated? Up, up  Not feeling good? Up, up  Jax settles in and nuzzles his face either into my breast or snuggles into my back and relaxes.  He loves to tuck his hands in between his belly and my lower back. It’s like a secret pocket made just for him.

There’s nothing I love more then slinging Jax up 1415723412375on my back and out the door we go for an adventure. He’s always babbling and pointing say ‘that, that!”  He’ll try over and over to repeat the word and we move on to another new sight, new word, new adventure.

I will carry Jax as long as he lets me. I choke up just thinking about not wearing him. The bond that has happened while babywearing makes my heart want to explode. I look down at him or feel his little heart on my back and my body is filled with love. I soak up every second having my son close.

Heather Edwards
IG -@heather1211


Original Post November 11, 2014 on http://www.atlanticdaydreams.com