Things are looking different here at Swish and Swoon these days! First of all, I have two toddlers who I think are pretty adorable.
Secondly, Swish and Swoon is finally its own store! Here’s how it went down. I basically kept hearing from readers that the deals I was blogging about were sold out within minutes. It was pretty discouraging, because a lot of time and effort went into each post, but the post was only relevant for a short amount of time. I took a break from blogging and realized my passion for finding deals hadn’t fizzled out; I just needed a new outlet for it.
I began getting connected to the fashion industry. I learned that in traditional retail, a designer shirt is marked up 8x by the time it reaches the customer. All the brands I carry are at luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave. By being online only, I eliminate brick-and-mortar expenses. And because of my connections within the fashion industry, I’m able to pass the savings on to you.
My shop is stocked full of classic, comfortable, low maintenance and practical pieces. You’ll find lots of easy to wear, great to travel with, go-to pieces you’ll wear over and over again. What I’m especially excited about are the current season items that you won’t find on sale anywhere else.
I want to give a huge thank you to all my readers who have encouraged and supported me through this process! My store launch went amazingly well.
As a thank you, I’m offering free shipping with code ‘swishandswoonshop’ now until October 16th. Offer is store-wide and includes fall/winter 2014 items.
A few weeks ago our sweet friends casually invited us to spend the day with them in Laguna Beach. They had rented John Wayne’s beach house for the week.
Umm…let me think about that.
And I’m so glad we did! Our first official family daycation. This quaint little cottage was nestled in the sand right below the bluff.
I told Travis I would rather live in a small cottage by the sea than the big houses on the bluff.
Oh how modest I am, right?
Selah had a blast even though she preferred the kiddie pool to the ocean. And Duke even fell asleep on me a few times. Success! Can you believe I forgot my camera? All images were captured on my iPhone.
I stopped reading how to be a better mom books right after I had my first child, Selah.
Before having children I imagined myself an endless supplier of love. I imagined what it would feel like cuddle my baby to sleep, breathing in her baby scent and nuzzling her peach fuzzy head against my chest. I determined I would speak to her tenderly, and discipline her in love always. I daydreamed about the day she would be old enough to go on planned adventures. We were going to have so.much.fun.
And then she was born. And then my romanticized view on motherhood came toppling down around me.
Since having my second child, my perspective on motherhood is a bit more realistic. I DO believe motherhood is a skill that can be learned and developed, which made me rethink my ban on being a better mom books. So I made it a goal to set some time aside to read up on the topic again.
But I didn’t feel like a good mother at all. A good mother doesn’t wake up with a feeling of dread or anxiety about being left alone all day with her baby and toddler. A good mother doesn’t go to bed with the house in shambles, let her children watch TV so she can have a minute to herself, serve frozen pizza for dinner, or any of the other myriad offenses I committed on more than one occasion. And I admit it: I didn’t always like being the mom. I mean, I loved my children, but I didn’t always like the work associated with being their mother. And don’t good mothers love what they do? //Allyson Reynolds, Deliberate Motherhood
Okay. There is a ton of helpful, practical advice from over 60 mothers in this book, Deliberate Motherhood. I especially enjoyed the sections on how to foster individuality, waking up with intention for each day, finding balance, organization, and cultivating optimism. I was super encouraged and I plan on implementing some of these things in my life. But you know what? I found myself drawn to stories like the one above. Because it confirms that:
1. I’m not crazy for feeling like this sometimes, and
2. I’m not the only one who feels this way. I mean, there is at LEAST one other person who feels this way and she decided to put it in a book.
I’m always careful about the stories I post on my blog. I never want my children one day read a post about them and walk away feeling anything but loved and cherished. That is truly how I feel about them and I hope they feel it every single day. That being said, I feel I would be doing them a disservice if I wasn’t honest about my struggles. (I mean, I’ll share with them when they are older and have families of their own.)
So Selah and Duke if you ever happen to read this down the road, please know that Mama loves you with all her heart. But man on man, there are days when I feel I’m treading water. There are days when I don’t have joy or fulfillment in motherhood. But Honeylamb, Duke-boy, I love you more than I can adequately express! I’m honored I was chosen to be your mama.
How was your long weekend? We were just trying to keep it cool over here in the 100+ degree weather. And nothing says cool like a vintage sailor outfit that matches your sister’s dress. Nothing.
He makes my heart go pitter patter.
Oh, and in case you missed it on Instagram, I have a crazy story about this outfit! Some sweet woman was admiring Duke. Her son who is now 25 used to have the same sailor suit. She had just cleaned out some boxes of old clothes to donate to the Goodwill. Well wouldn’t ya know, I just happened to pick this up at the…you guessed it….Goodwill! This used to be her sons! I don’t really believe in coincidences. I think for some reason this was some sort of divine appointment. She was pretty delighted and blown away seeing Duke in that outfit, I tell ya what. I would have stuck around to engage her a bit more, but I had just broken my toe. Literally broke my toe, people. And Duke was recovering from a meltdown. And we were all starving because of Duke’s meltdown. Turns out we get pretty self conscious when it comes to screaming babies and restaurants.
Aaand moving on to other news on the home front. This is a more realistic picture of what OUR weekend looked like. One sickie girl and one naked baby boy. I admit I love the extra cuddles and the way she lets me run my fingers through her hair when she’s under the weather. She slept in our bed for the first time since she was an infant. My independent girl likes her own room and crib, so it was a special treat to have her reach across the bed and touch my hand before we both drifted off the sleep.
Headband a gift from Oh Tiny Gifts. Moriah from Oh Tiny Gifts has offered Swish and Swoon readers a 10% off discount code “JESSICAROCKS” which is good for 1 week.
This girl has been such a trooper these past few weeks as I have fumbled my way towards getting to know this new boy of mine. It’s been one heck of a week. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that my “laid back” baby isn’t quite so laid back. I went a few days thinking he had colic, but upon further examination I feel like the boy was just overtired. He doesn’t fall asleep in the car. Or in the stroller. Or anywhere but home as a matter of fact. I’ve also learned that it only takes about 45 minutes after he wakes up for his eyes to turn as wide as saucers. Which means it’s time for a nap. But boy or boy, those 30 minutes of between naps when he is happy and smiling? Pure bliss I tell you. He’s such a talker already, making the sweetest coos. We’ve had some pretty sweet conversations, me and my boy.
Basically Selah and I are hunkered down here at home for the time being. So we try to make due. We explore in the backyard. We chase imaginary mice down the hallway, and then put them to sleep. We put on aprons and make pancakes in the morning. We dress up and wear cute headbands even when no one else will see them but Daddy when he gets home from work. Yes, that’s what we’ve been up to.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make me so happy. I yearn for a life made up of bare feet running through tall grass, sheets drying in the breeze, twinkle lights in the backyard, lovely music without any words, hearty conversation and a lot of giggling. And I got to thinking about how my life feels pretty ordinary. I have my fair share of days where I feel busy but bored, tired but restless. And an ordinary life can sometimes feel like I’m living a life without significance.
Any other mamas out there that can relate?
But can I just say that is a lie? A lie that we tell ourselves.
So often we miss what’s truly important because we’re on the quest for the extraordinary. Not understanding the ordinary moments of our lives is really where we can find the most joy and purpose, beauty and meaning. Because this is where life happens.
Lately I’ve had to dig deep to see beautiful things.
The other day I was sitting in my living room and noticed a perfectly placed tiny hand print on my white wall. And I promptly took a picture and put it on Instagram. Because it was so symbolic of my life right now. And it was strangely beautiful to me because it was reminder of my little girl who was sleeping upstairs. I started thinking about my life in terms of this hand print. I began wondering: Are these “hand prints” everywhere? Am I missing them?Or maybe I see them but fail to see the beauty in them?
I’ve begun to view life through this “hidden beauty” lens. Since spending time thinking about this hand print, I can tell you – they are everywhere! (Literally, haha!) I’ve made it my mission to see these beautiful moments that no one else notices. And can I just say it has been a lot of fun!? It just takes a little change of perspective. And hey, if you have a camera or an iphone laying around then bonus! Snap a picture or two and share it with the world.
We went to the county fair on Saturday morning. Selah was fascinated by everything and amused by the animals. Especially the goats. One of them tried to eat her dress.
It was the highlight of the trip.
And of course, the food was to die for. We took it easy and only got a side order of those glorious onion rings. Oh man those onion rings. We get them every year. A regular family tradition.
Because I’m only a few weeks postpartum, we mainly just stuck to the garden and farm area. Aaaand we may have broken a few rules by actually touching the produce.
Our conversations went like this:
Me: Babe, just put her in the corn. The picture will be awesome!
Travis: Um, okay but only because your from the Midwest.
Me: Yeah, what are they going to do, kick us out!?
Selah: Says nothing but is listening. She’s always listening! Not my finest moment as her mother.
A worker (they have people there who’s job is to protect the produce from people like us!) half heartily told us to please get out of the corn. I think he couldn’t deny us this photo opp so he let Travis snap one before we jumped down, capturing this priceless look on Selah’s face of, I don’t know who’s mother that is.
Where was Duke during this whole escapade, you ask? Sleeping like a baby the entire time. My kinda Saturday morning.