Vermont June 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It was June when Joe, Violet and I visited Vermont for a week, but I really wanted to go back and post photos from our trip since it was so special.

Vermont is where Joe grew up. Ever since I met him five years ago (here in Arizona) he's raved about Vermont. He'll talk about the trees and the buildings and the leaves. It's his home, where he grew up, and you can really tell how in love with it he is! Me, on the other hand; I grew up in the same town I live in now. And until now, the only states I've seen are Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii. So I've never been very far East at all, and since knowing Joe, I've been dying to see that side of the country. 

We actually had plans to visit Vermont in the fall of 2015, but since that ended up being the time of Vi's arrival, it wasn't exactly possible. Then a couple of friends of Joe's got engaged and their wedding was going to be in June in Vermont, and they wanted to Joe to be a groomsman. It seemed like the perfect excuse to finally go! Violet seemed old enough (almost 7 months old) to handle a plane ride and a few nights away from home, so we figured it would be good to get her used to traveling early.

I was a little bit nervous for the trip since it would be Violet's first time in an airplane, being out of the state, staying in a hotel, and dealing with a (3 hour) time change. That's a lot for a little person to handle! But she did amazingly and it seemed like she really enjoyed herself!

The flight there was pretty easy as Vi loved looking out the window and "talking" to people. Everyone sitting near us was really sweet to her and talked and waved back, which was nice. We arrived at about midnight and went straight to our hotel to sleep. The next day we walked all around Burlington and Joe showed us his favorite restaurants and places to hang out. I loved finally being about to see where he grew up and went to school. I especially loved Church Street, and the Pier.

We stayed in Burlington for 5 days before we headed over to Ferrisburgh, a town about 45 minutes away where his house was. What's so cool is that his sister and her family now live in the house that he grew up in, so I was able to see it and stay there for a few nights. We had so much fun hanging out with his family and Violet had so much fun playing with her little cousin, who is only 4 days older than her! I loved seeing her interact with someone her exact age, they were adorable together!

The entire trip was a huge success and so much fun! We saw gorgeous sunsets over Lake Champlain, ate so much amazing food, went to our friends wedding, saw the Ben & Jerry's Factory, the Teddy Bear Factory, Echo Science Museum, and had so much fun the whole time. I can't wait to go back now that I know Violet is a great little traveler, and that Joe was right about how wonderful Vermont is!

I'm Back!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


As you can see, I've been absent from my blog for almost four months now. I hate that I just left without saying anything, but I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I love having this space where I can share photos and stories to look back at, and I love the friends I've made blogging. But with any form of sharing comes risks. I was starting to wonder if I wanted to continue having my daughter's face on such an easily-accessible website. And after receiving some strange Instagram comments, I decided to make my blog private and delete almost 1000 Instagram followers, keeping only those I knew. I really love blogging, but my child's wellbeing always comes first.

It's kind of one of those things that I'm sure comes up a lot in parenting; you want to keep your child safe, but know you also can't protect them from everything. Social media is just part of life now. It's not at all uncommon for people to post photos and stories of their children. And 99% of the time, it's a great thing! I love seeing photos of my friends and family and their little ones. I love sharing photos of Violet and my family. But sometimes that 1% of the ugly side of social media creeps in. People feel like it's okay to state any opinion they want, and it's almost opened up a whole new door to bullies.

But that made me think more, I would never want Violet to stop doing something she loves because of rude people or fear. Why let complete strangers decide for me? So instead of completely walking away, I've decided I'm going to keep my Instagram more of a private platform to share photos with people I know personally, and my blog can be more of an open space. It makes more sense to me to go about it with a bit more caution than to stop completely.

So I'm back! I can't promise I'll be posting every day or even every week (mom life is a busy one!) but I'm going to do my best to dedicate some time to Desert Darling. It's something I've put a lot of time and effort into and want to keep that going. So as long as it's a positive place for me to be creative and have some "me time," then I say why not!

So what have I missed in the blogging world? What's new with you all?

My Must-Haves for the First Six Months

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I survived the first 6 months of motherhood! Even though it went by crazy fast, it was completely packed with learning experiences, tears (from me and Vi), being scared, and the kind of love you don't think could be any stronger, until the next day when it always is. One thing I've learned is that majority of being a parent relies on instinct, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have a few handy items to help you out along the way. So far, these are mine. 

Covered Goods Nursing Cover. I already talked about this a bit in my Favorites post from February, but it really belongs in this list. This cover has made the first six months of nursing in public such a breeze. It's so much more subtle and less bulky than the apron-style ones, and it's so breathable and soft for baby to be under. It also can be used as a stroller cover, shopping cart cover, blanket, and scarf! Such a great buy, I'm so happy I have this!

Simple toys like this colorful links are Vi's favorites. She loves to just sit and look at these, shake them, feel the different textures, chew on them, and pull them apart. I've really noticed that the simple, versatile toys like this are the best. As she gets older she's really discovering different ways to play with them and they encourage her to use her imagination instead of the toy doing it all for her. She also loves the ring stacker and rattles.

These baby feeders are so cool! Before she was eating actual food, we would put chunks of frozen breastmilk in these and she loved chewing on it, probably felt great on her sore gums. Now we do the same thing but with frozen fruit and vegetables, and she loves it. It turns eating into a little treat that she can feed herself.

This Baby K'tan Carrier has been so handy, literally! I've been wearing Vi in it since she was weeks old, and will be able to until she's 30 pounds! I've worn her in it on walks, while grocery shopping, while cleaning the house, and even out at dinner. It's so comfortable and has been amazing to be able to hold her while still having two hands. She really enjoys facing out and being able to look around while I do things.

These Indestructible Baby Books are the coolest! They literally cannot be ripped, chewed, or ruined by wetness. Vi loves being able to hold books on her own, and it's nice to be able to let her hold and play with these without her ruining or eating them. These are the ultimate entertainment for her and we always have one in the diaper bag!

The Honest Company has been a huge necessity for us. We use their diapers, wipes, soap, diaper rash cream, baby powder, sunblock, lotion, even cleaning products for the house! If Honest has it, we buy it! I love how safe it all is, and has always been gentle enough for Vi's very sensitive skin. I feel really confident that they're safe to use around Vi and the dogs, and feel so good about only using natural, clean products.

I've raved about this Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag before, but I feel like I just can't say enough good things about it. It's so amazing. It's cute, can be a bag or backpack, has so much room for everything you could ever need, is spill-proof, it's really everything you could want in a diaper bag. I love it so much and recommend it to everyone in need of a diaper bag.

Finally, this Joovy walker has been really great to have. She doesn't even use it as a walker yet, her little legs don't reach even the floor, but it's still been awesome. We keep it in the kitchen with some measuring spoons on the tray and just stick her in it while cooking. She loves sitting in it and playing or just watching me cook. It's also really light and easy to roll from room to room, it's the perfect little entertainer that she can safely sit in on her own.


There have been so, so many amazing products that I've loved using the first six months of motherhood, these are just a few of the things that I've discovered and now feel like I couldn't live without! Have you ever tried any of these things, what did you think?

Summer Staples from Tobi Part Two

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The second thing I got from Tobi is this gray bodysuit. I absolutely love bodysuits because they make tucking shirts into high waisted jeans or skirts so easy. It stays nice and smooth all day, and you don't have to worry about parts coming untucked or wrinkled. This simple gray one is going to get a ton of use for me this summer. I can wear it with literally every pair of jeans or skirts that I own. I personally think a bodysuit is a staple for everyone as it can be worn so many different ways.

ps. Right now you can get this bodysuit for half off (!!) with the code SPARK50!  

On Base Raglan Bodysuit c/o Tobi
Jeans

Some other Tobi favorites: Bralette, Shorts, Denim, Tank Tops, Casual Dresses, Long Sleeve Dresses 

Summer Staples from Tobi Part One

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A few things I always look for when I shop are comfort, ease, and of course, style. Tobi is completely perfect for that, they have so many options that fit all of those things, as well as being affordable! One of my favorite pieces from Tobi right now is this jumpsuit. I absolutely love it! The possibilities are endless when it comes to styling it, you can wear sandals and a bralette for an easy daytime outfit, or add heels and a jacket for a night out. It's just so versatile! Plus, I'm obsessed with this green color right now. It worked perfectly for walking around downtown with my family, then I just threw a black leather jacket over it for dinner. I know I'm going to be wearing this a ton throughout summer and probably into the fall!

I have two more styles from Tobi I can't wait to also share with you!


This Is It Tie Dolman Jumpsuit: c/o Tobi 
Bralette
Bag
Sandals
Sunglasses


Some other Tobi favorites: Bralette, Shorts, Denim, Tank Tops, Casual Dresses, Long Sleeve Dresses 


Violet at Six Months

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I am in complete disbelief that Violet has been around for 6 months. How on earth did that happen so fast?! She has grown and changed so much and so quickly, without me even noticing. Looking back at her monthly photos from the past 6 months makes me just want to go hold her and squeeze her forever. I'll never feel like I had enough time with Violet as a tiny squishy little baby, I want to savor every moment!

This month, Violet:
Can sit up completely on her own. 
Wears clothing size 3-6 month and size 2 diapers.
Eats solid foods once a day.
Has eaten avocado, sweet potato, green beans, oatmeal, apple sauce, and carrots.
Goes to sleep at 7, wakes up at 5 to eat, then goes back to sleep until 7.
Has started to notice the dogs and loves to pet them.
Is always so happy unless she's tired and it's past her bedtime.
Just got her very first cold. Just a stuffy nose and slight cough.
Can turn the pages of board books.

I hope so much that the second half of Vi's first year goes by slower than the first half did. I don't know how I'm going to handle seeing her turn a year old! 


Elli's Fairy Special Birthday

My sweet niece Elli turned 5 over the weekend, and her fairy-themed party was just too adorable not too share. There was flowers and glitter everywhere, and everyone got their very own flower crown and set of fairy wings, a 5-year-old girl's fantasy! Elli is the sweetest, spunkiest little girl you'll ever meet, and Violet already loves her so much! We had so much fun celebrating, it makes me so excited to have birthday parties for Violet soon!