My Birth Story

Those of you who follow me on instagram are probably already aware that my husband and I welcomed our sweet, baby girl, Ingrid Madeline Smith, into the world 3 months ago today. I have been meaning to share her birth story here for awhile, but it has taken me some time to come around to it, partly because even though it was one of the best days of my life it was also really intense and there were parts of it I kind of wanted to block out. So, I needed a little time and distance to be able to revisit it.



I also want to mention that I am usually pretty private and don’t often share super personal aspects of my life here on the blog. But, I found reading other bloggers’ birth stories during my pregnancy very encouraging so, I knew I wanted to do the same.

*warning for those who may be uncomfortable hearing about some of the intimate details of childbirth, if you think that may bother you, you probably want to skip this post.



Oakland Guide with Abe's Market

I was recently asked by Abe's Market to create an Oakland guide for their Summer Roadtrip series on their blog. I always love sharing my favorite local haunts and being a huge fan of the all natural retailer, I was more than happy to oblige. You can check out the entire guide here. They have also put together an awesome sweepstakes in honor of their Summer Roadtrip series, and a special selection of products all by local Bay Area sellers. You can also find products from the other cities across the country, which is a great way to find out local artisans in your area. Enjoy!




Teal Duncan Beaches

Teal Duncan is a talented painter from Charleston SC who's work I've admired for some time. I am lucky enough to be the proud owner of a Teal Duncan figure nude, which I absolutely love. But lately I've been obsessed with her beautiful Beaches series of paintings. I just wish I could have snagged one before they almost all sold out!






New Rue | Outdoor Living & Entertaining Issue

The new June issue of Rue Magazine dropped today and it's a beauty! One of my all time favorites I think. The entire Rue team deserves a special shout-out for this issue because even with me on "maternity leave" and Crystal half way around the world, we pulled off one of our best issues yet! It's also a special issue because it was my first with my new little assistant, baby Ingrid. Below is just a taste of all the amazing features this month, head over to ruemag.com for the full issue.








Tea Time with Mazama

I recently became aware of the new Portland based company Mazama and instantly fell in love. Started by a talented group of designers and crafters, they make the most beautifully hand-crafted ceramic drinking vessels. So when they asked if I wanted to put together a little post on their blog sharing how I would use their mugs I immediately obliged. Because I'm pregnant I was a little limited in my drinking options but decided on a lovely tea time with cookies. So simple and special, recipe below.

Tea:
I bought a delicious loose leaf tea from a favorite fair trade brand of mine called Marble and Milkweed. But you can also easily buy and mix your own bulk loose leaf tea.

Cookies:
Old Fashioned Lemon Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened
2 large eggs
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside.

Put sugars and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 30 seconds. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and then the lemon juice. Reduce speed; gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

Scoop dough using a 1-inch ice cream scoop; space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten cookies slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar.







My Baby Shower

I know it's been forever since my last post. This pregnancy has really thrown me, it's ended up being a lot harder than I ever expected, so the blog ended up being a last priority. I'm almost done now, only a few more weeks to go which is both super exciting and terrifying, but I'll be happy to not be pregnant anymore and finally be able to meet this little girl.

Until then I thought I would share a few photos from my baby shower. Crystal, my dear friend and boss at Rue Magazine threw it for me and it was the most beautiful baby shower I've ever been to, I couldn't believe it was mine. To see more images and get Crystal's tips for hosting such an amazing event check out the full post at Rue Daily. (photos by Edyta Szyszlo)






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