Violet's One Year Photos

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A couple weeks ago, we had Violet's one year photos taken. I'm not usually into the whole princess-y look, but we wanted them to be very celebratory and fun. You only turn one once! I absolutely love how they turned out, the photographer was so good at making her laugh and getting great photos despite how much she was moving all around. Here are a few of my favorites, and I'll be posting some of our family photos soon too!

Autumn Wish List

Friday, October 14, 2016

a pretty backpack that can double as a diaper bag // some festive measuring spoons to make baking even more fun // a cozy hat // this pretty nail color, and all the other colors in this collection // a yummy smelling candle // blankets to snuggle under while watching Halloween movies // a cute, comfy sweatshirt

What's on your Autumn wish list this year?

Safe Memories

Friday, October 7, 2016

A few months ago, my Grandma gave me a ton of old photos of myself from when I was a newborn to a kid. That's a lot of photos! I completely loved looking through them, seeing photos I didn't even know existed and remembering amazing times. I was so excited and will always treasure these photographs. But I started to think about how crazy it was that these photos taken on film were originals and the only copies, and that made me nervous! I would hate for these memories to ever be destroyed from water or bugs or anything that can so easily ruin paper. I gathered all of the photos she gave me along with a ton I already had and sorted through them. I have almost 500 prints! I thought my only option was to scan each one individually into my computer, but after thinking about how incredibly tedious that would be, I Googled other possible options. 

I came across a website called Vista Pix Media, they digitalize all of your old photos and movies for you! I wrapped up my photos and sent them in right away. A couple weeks later I had a drive full of my pictures! They're now safe on my computer and extra safe backed up on Google Photos! That makes me feel so relieved and secure. I can even look through them way easier on my computer than having to sort through physical copies. 

The originals are now wrapped up in a plastic tub, and I'm so happy that I have so many childhood memories kept so secure. If you have a ton of old photos, I really suggest using this service!

Here are a few silly photos of myself as a baby, gotta love the 90's!

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. I had never been very far east before, 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

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