morning musings: seeking balance amidst the chaos of motherhood and life

Raise your hand if you feel like you’re making it up everyday. I know I do. I feel like an Imposter Adult, like I’m just pretending as hard as I can, and hoping no one will notice me trying to blend in. In my head everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing, and I’m the only phony in the crowd. It’s hard to stay positive with a mentality like this, where you’re constantly fighting to suppress an inner voice telling you you’re a loser.

But occasionally the clouds in my mind part and I get a glimpse of someone else struggling with the same things I do.

I see another mom scrap her plans for the day because the baby is fussy and the older kids are belligerent.

Maybe it’s one of those days where you have so many things to get done, like taking care of the house, making tedious but important phone calls, running errands, whatever. And for once you wake up with plenty of energy or maybe you just had the right amount of coffee. Then it turns out somebody has a fever, or someone throws up. And all your mojo is gone, just like that.

Or maybe you didn’t wake up ready to kill it, maybe you got up on the wrong side of the bed. And you can’t quite seem to quit being short with everybody. You’re crabby and irritable, and spending the day taking care of your babies only exacerbates it. And you know you should do better — you know you have to do better — but some days you don’t have it in you.

Or maybe it’s just that dull part of the afternoon where it’s not quite dinnertime but all of your people (and you as well, or maybe you most of all) are just done. And you make some popcorn and park everybody in front of the tv for a bit just to catch your breath before the next wave hits.

When I’m being more honest and rational, I recognize it’s not just me. I believe most of us struggle with these kinds of days, some of us more than others. Being a parent is straight up exhausting. As rewarding as it is, it does sap you of a certain kind of energy. I think the wiser women and men among us remain aware of that, but we would all do well to remember it.

For me personally, I have found in the nine years since I embarked on this parenting journey that I need to make time to be alone. I’m deeply introverted, and being with people, especially my kids — even though they’re my favorite people — drains me; physically, mentally, emotionally most of all maybe. My husband is super helpful and I love that he looks out for me, and never minds hanging out with the kids while I go out. But that said, my favorite way to recharge is when they leave, and I get to be by myself in my house. It almost never happens, and I find myself often teetering on the edge of burnout.

via geologo

I put a lot of pressure on myself to live in a way that is (at least relatively) balanced. And rarely do I feel as though I’ve achieved that. I feel a sense of failure haunting me pretty much all of the time. I can remember my mom telling me years ago that ever since she became a mother she felt like guilt was always with her — she had a mental image of a giant ‘G’ for guilt just hanging out over her head, sometimes shrinking, sometimes growing, but always there. I can relate. I don’t think that’s a great way to live, but it probably is unavoidable to a certain degree. I wonder if maybe a healthier path is to try to make peace with the fact that we will never be exactly balanced. It might be inevitable to feel sometimes like you’re giving more than you even have to your people, and other times worry that you’re neglecting them by doing something that nourishes yourself.

There are seasons in life, and I feel like I would do well if I could internalize an acceptance of the ebb and flow of life, instead of trying to be everything to everyone always.

If you’re like me, and you constantly struggle with balancing and prioritizing your life, I want you to know you’re not alone! Chime in below in the comments and share some of the ways you look for balance in your life. Take care of yourselves out there fellow mamas. Until next time.




step aside, rustic barn door: 5 sliding doors for the modern home


via housesevendesign

If you are as tired as I am of seeing the terms ‘distressed’ and ‘reclaimed’ slung around on Pinterest, this post is for you. The husband and I decided that we would like sliding doors attached to our media center in the new house to hide our TV when it’s not being used (I say “hide,”…if we’re being completely accurate I’d also have to add “protect from the children”). Casual searches turn up plenty of rustic, barn door-inspired variations. But, as our decor style is less vintage farmhouse and more modern bohemian, we have had to look a little harder to find ideas that we both feel like we like.


via interiores minimalistas

This glass-paneled number is so sleek, but probably a little too stark to match up with our style.


via decor de provence

I love this one. The color and design are great. I’d probably add a large dramatic pull, either gold or brass.


via einteriors

Also very pretty. Again, I’d go for larger pulls on the doors.


via popsugar

And this one might be my favorite of them all. I’m completely smitten with natural-colored wood these days. I love how clean this design is while still being interesting. But, at the risk of becoming predictable…I’d still put a much bigger pull on this door to add drama. Probably a bar pull…something black, and sleek. What do you think? Chime in below in the comments!


setting up house: the dining room

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via Homepolish

Let’s talk about ideas for the dining room.

I haven’t been able to get the picture above out of my mind. It clicked for me so immediately that I decided I’m going to use it as the basis for my dining room decor. The table is gorgeous is it not? The whole photo makes me think of California beaches. It feels breezy and light to me in a decidedly West Coast way. The table is really the lynchpin of the decor here. It’s a live edge table from Los Angeles-based retailer HD Buttercup. I think it’s perfect (that exact one, and not one similar to it — here’s looking at you Husband), but as it is probably out of my budget at the moment I’ve been asking myself if it’s necessary in order to achieve the feel of this photo. And as much as I love it (and it pains me to say this), after a small period of grieving, I am finding inspiration for other looks that I could one day deem acceptable.


via Nordic Design


via Inspired by This


via pretty nice


via boho deco chic


via style and sugar

And I know, you’re right, of course you’re right — I have a problem with the Eames style chairs. But no worries, that’s easily solved. They’re happening.

Here’s my board based on my dining room needs: bright, natural-wood colored table, a little color, some live greenery, a pretty but simple buffet, and of course, the white Eames chairs:


sources: urbanmod eames side chairs / hdbuttercup live edge dining table / 2xhome eames armchairs / zgallerie print / westelm audrey dining buffet / lulu & georgia hudson jute rug

Share your thoughts in the comments!


morning musing: on setting down roots

IMG_3099I found a quiet moment this morning to sit and jot down a few design-related thoughts for the new house. As I may or may not have mentioned here before, we will be taking very little that we already own with us when we move. The truth is, over 14 years of marriage and five different addresses, we haven’t accumulated much. We’ve never truly set up house in any real sense. We always felt like wherever we lived was temporary, and we were thinking about where we were going next. That feeling of impermanence (and its friend, instability) has gotten old. This time we’re setting up shop.

IMG_3100For a brief time we were nomads. We decided we would get rid of (nearly) everything we owned and just travel. We were going to cross the country, taking our time as we went, and figure out where we belonged. I think it was a combination of having watched Fight Club and Away We Go too many times. Or leftover fevered brains from having had our second baby within the last year. Whatever the case, we tried.


Over the last few years the sense of Not Belonging Anywhere has gotten to us. After giving up our short-lived vagabond phase, we returned not home but to the town we grew up in, near family. We accidentally had another baby. (Happy) oops. Making friends (and getting to keep them) sounds great. It feels like a good time to settle down for awhile.


And that’s going to take some furniture. (These are the lengths I’m willing to go to to justify shopping).


Happy Monday everyone 🙂


roundup: 5 dreamy blue velvet sofas (and 2 bonus selections)

I have sofas on the mind these days. In my head, our living room sofa is the axis around which the rest of our home decor spins. I feel like once we decide on a sofa, the rest will fall into place — and, alternatively, I feel like I can’t commit to other design decisions until that one is made.

Our current couch is a strange orange color that has faded into a scary salmon shade. The shape it is in might be described as “awful,” or, “horrifying.” It’s been something we have overlooked for several years now, while trying to decide whether we were moving or not. Needless to say, it’s time for a new sofa.

When I started the search I was sure I wanted something extremely different from our previous pumpkin-colored number. I was thinking gray, or possibly blue…thoughts which eventually introduced me to the beautiful world of the blue velvet sofa.

That was a couple of months ago. Since then I’ve decided velvet (of any color) is probably not in our immediate future, given the young ages of our children and our (possibly insane) decision to add a dog to the mix later this year. In the meantime, I’ll keep admiring. Here are seven different options I would consider any day of the week (for my fantasy clean house that is):


From the top:

Joybird Theo in Bella Navy

Interior Define Caitlin in Oxford Blue

Article Sven in Cascadia Blue

West Elm Monroe in Celestial Blue

West Elm Antwerp in Ink Blue


Honorable mentions go to:


  • the Samara Sofa in Blue Ink from World Market for being budget-friendly:


Got a favorite blue velvet sofa of your own? Chime in below in the comments!


setting up house: the café area

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In the new house there is a small breakfast nook/café spot behind the family room area. This was probably the first area where I had the design pretty nailed down in my head. I knew I wanted it to feel crisp, and clean. When I saw these pics I knew I was pretty much done looking.

via Casa Haus

via The Everygirl

via Homepolish

In the past for whatever reason I had not been a big fan of the Saarinen tulip table, but in this context it just worked for me. I especially liked it paired with the lucite chairs. I’ve already ordered this set of four from Poly + Bark. I’ll update here with a review once I’ve set them up and tried them out.

As far as art work, I knew I wanted something big on the wall behind the table. I loved this pic from Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, and immediately wanted the photo print behind her sofa.

This is my mock-up of this spot so far:

Sources: Poly and Bark Victoria Ghost Style Side Chair (Set of 4), Clear / Urban Outfitters Dreamy Houses Print / West Elm Sphere & Stem Pendant / West Elm Watermark Rug / Modway Tulip Table

What are your thoughts? What would you add or take away? Chime in in the comments below.

design + music: hotel california


Do you ever notice that you gravitate to different kinds of music in different seasons? Every summer I seem to find myself drawn to music that reminds me of the desert. Lately the song I keep coming back to again and again is Hotel California by The Eagles. As I continue to plan out my approach to decorating the new house, I can see the influence of what I’m listening to in my design choices. I’m feeling the camel-colored beat up leather sofas, white walls filled with oversized landscape photos, macrame wall hangings, neutral-colored poufs and/or floor cushions, concrete elements to add more organic texture, and of course greenery everywhere (I’d love a giant saguaro cactus, but I have children whose fingers I value, so apparently that’s not in the cards).

My Hotel California-inspo board:IMG_2881

Article Sven Left Sectional in Charme Tan Leather / West Elm Kasbah Wool Rug / Design Within Reach Sheepskin Throw / Joybird Fran Pillow / DIY Macrame Hanging Planters / Urban Outfitters Michael O’Neal American Bison Print / West Elm Modern Planter / Article Hira Ottoman / Urban Outfitters Fallon Macrame Wall Hanging / Artificial Cactus Plant 

What do you think? What would you add (or take away)?