Bump Style Breakdown – Summer Whites

May 14, 2015

I always love white in the summer months, but secretly dread it when I am pregnant. Especially hitting the third trimester. This time around, something changed about my perspective on the process of pregnancy and I really just decided to wear whatever is comfortable and fun to style. I am more patient with this time in maternity style, and am trying to just enjoy it….maternity pants and all! 😉

White and Blush | In Honor of Design Summer whitesSummer pregnancy stylesummer whites | IHOD

I was a little daring with the white on white, but if you break it up with a blush or nude tone, you can come up with a less daunting, more versatile look. Wore this out for a date with Gabe. It is always nice to have a jacket option to throw on when the evenings get cooler! So here is the breakdown of styling white during pregnancy… VIEW FULL POST

Beachy Waves Tutorial

May 13, 2015

Beach Waves - In Honor of Designbest Dry Shampoo

I have one curling iron. It is a super inexpensive con-air, and it has been a loyal friend over the years. I use it to make different kinds of waves or curls in a time efficient way. EHow asked me to share a beachy waves tutorial for any length hair, so sharing the easy how-to here.
This style lasts me up to three days with the help of a good dry shampoo.

Let me know if you give it a try! Hope it’s helpful!
x, Anna

P.S. More hair tutorials here.

Customizable Essential Oil Body Butter Gifts

May 12, 2015

Essential oil body butters | In Honor of DesignLetter Cakes via In Honor of Design

Last weekend I spent the morning at Anthropologie sharing an easy way to make customized essential oil body butter gifts for Mother’s Day. You may remember the way to make your own body butter DIY, but for this project, I just used the following:

Ingredients:
Shea Body Butter (unscented – you can buy in bulk)
Essential oils – Orange, lemon, lavender, or peppermint
Dried Florals – Hibiscus, marigold, or lavender (also found on amazon)

My dear friend Lesley Graham graciously joined me to share some fun essential oil combinations and the benefits of each. You can use orange, lemon, lavender, or peppermint. A few drops per small jar full of body butter is all you need. Top the body butter with your favorite dried florals (do not mix in since they are mainly for presentation), and you have an easy gift for teachers, co-workers, friends, or family!

Anthropologie

Thank you so much to Anthropologie for having me as a guest, and especially the West Side Urban Market location here in Atlanta for creating such a beautiful set up. You can catch the re-cap photos on facebook. Now I just need to get all those printed bowls…;)

*P.S. Wearing these incredibly comfortable Pilcro linen pants + lace top over a Blanqi bodystyler.

Cabana Life – Protecting Your Skin.

May 11, 2015

Poolside via IHODSplashPool lifeCabana Life Swim Shirt via IHODSwim wear via IHODLittle swimmerSwim sledding Swim sledding | In Honor of DesignCabana Life rashguardCabana Life via IHOD

We have been counting down the days until our local pool would open, and luckily it was ready just in time for the heat that settled in here in Atlanta. I have a feeling I will be parking it by the water to get through the last trimester of summer. Give me all the popsicles and watermelon please!

Growing up, I admitedly would go for the tanning oil over the SPF 50 in high school. I opted for the quick tan! This lasted through college ( I have many freckles to show for it) without much thought to it, until we had a loved one diagnosed with skin cancer. My aunt, who my family loved dearly lost her battle with melanoma cancer when I was pregnant with Veronica. I still get an ache in my throat when I think of her, and I have resolved since to bring more awareness not only to the brevity of life, but an awareness of the causes of skin cancer. Generations ago there was not much information on the damage of UV rays, but we now have the research that directly links the damage of UVA and UVB rays to unprotected skin. I have no excuses, and I am choosing to be more proactive with my family about skin health.

I was really happy to discover Cabana Life which has an entire line of really fun swimwear and rashguards designed to protect you and your little ones over the summer. Since sunscreen is not always enough to prevent bad sunburn, I was thankful for swim options that protect 90% of UVA and UVB rays. I can’t get over Max in his striped number. So much cuteness. Veronica thinks she got a new dress, Gabriel didn’t even question the extra coverage, and my husband thought the men’s rashguard was really well made (he’s a tough critic!). So far, I’m winning. (Wink wink.)

You can see the full Cabana Life line here, and learn more about their efforts for skin cancer awareness. They are offering IHOD readers 20% off through the end of the month with code: MAYBL256. Hope you enjoy!
x, Anna

*Gabe’s rashguard // Anna’s Coverup // Gabriel’s swimset / Veronica’s rashguard // Max’s rashguard

A real Mother’s Day.

May 11, 2015

Little hugs | In Honor of Design

This weekend May in the south skipped right to summer with some hot and sunny weather. Per my request, we didn’t plan a thing for Mother’s Day. I was hoping for the wide open day with my family with nowhere to be. When life is busy, it’s the unplanned days I look forward to the most.

It was like most Sundays with an early rise time of 6:30AM to get 3 little early birds and myself dressed and fed in time to get to 9AM mass. Gabe hadn’t stirred yet after our late night date to see a movie the night before, and it was his only day of the week to get a little more sleep. I had already dissolved several squabbles, picked up a couple spills off the floor, and franticly searched the laundry basket for a pair of clean underwear for Veronica. Forget my hair, it would have to settle for the frizzy mess it was, because I had two curly little manes to detangle instead.

However, I did wake up to two voices downstairs whispering to each other….
I got to open two packaged cards with crooked tape across the top, some skewed letters on the front and little surprises inside. Gabriel wrapped up a sharpie marker he found around the house because he said he knew I liked them. His name was written out proudly on the back of the card (a new skill he learned in Kindergarten this year). Veronica had spent a while coloring a flower garden and wrapping up a picture of me and my sister she had found on the fridge. In another envelope she had packaged up a few of her favorite purse trinkets. They couldn’t wait to give them to me and I got a few more squeezes around the neck than usual. I teared up because I couldn’t believe they were mine to raise.

Gabe stumbled downstairs close to 8AM with a new cappuccino maker wrapped in Christmas paper. He had snuck out with Max the day before on a “secret mission.” His thoughtfulness and dedication to our marriage is what I really see underneath the wrapping. I look at him with prayers of gratitude that he is the one I get to raise our children with. After church (to which we were late to just like every other Sunday..), Gabe made us all a big brunch. My brother came over, and we spent the day at the pool, took some long deliciously deep naps, and finished the evening with an ice cream run.

brunch

Just like every other day my patience grew short by with a crabby 4 year old, my back was sore from lifting my clingy toddler, and I was weary by the end of the day from settling fights about sharing toys. After the kids fell asleep I cleaned a messy kitchen and made sure things were in order for the last school week of the year. 

Motherhood never takes a break. You receive it with open arms the moment your first child enters your life, and you continue to keep those arms open until death. And as you spend your time, energy, emotion every waking moment on their well being, your whole being changes. These every day moments stacked into days and years is what produces an instrument capable of giving and receiving love in depths you never thought you were humanly capable of. Your limits are pushed, bent, and broken, and you become an instrument with a great ability to receive and distribute love. With the grace of God you become a constant source of life for your children. You are now the receiver and the giver. 

Just like every other mother, I will never be able to find the words in the human language to describe the receiving part. The part where you experience unearthly joy and happiness only received when you give over a part of yourself to another. 

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend! As always, thanks for being a reader and accompanying me on this wild adventure of motherhood:)

This one’s for you…

May 8, 2015

Peonies in paper via In Honor of DesignFlower Bundle Gifts via IHOD

As we were wrapping up some peonies in paper for some mama friends this morning, I couldn’t help but whisper a prayer for those who have a difficult weekend ahead. 

There are wombs in waiting.
There are arms aching for the children they have lost.
There are sons and daughters with fresh wounds from the loss of the person who raised them. 

It is easy for me to be overwhelmed with tears these days.
I tear up when I notice my child is growing.
I straight up weep when I think of their birth.
But today I can’t help but shed some tears for those mothers in waiting, those who mourn, and those who are trying to muster through the weekend.

A prayer for you today and through the weekend that God brings you peace, comfort, and HOPE that life still holds so much goodness for you, and is not too far in the distance. Know you are not forgotten, and that big bouquet right there^^…that one is for you.

And for each of you new and long time mothers, cheers to the life you give to your children tirelessly. I hope you are celebrated this weekend, and throughout the whole year!
x, Anna

Black and White and Audrey all over.

May 6, 2015

Bump style via IHODvia IHODBlack and White - IHOD

{Top – J.O.A. // Skirt – Wang // Bodystyler Tank – Blanqi // Shoes – Schutz (sold out) // Necklaces  – Acute Designs  (Psst* I’m giving away a set of these druzy necklaces from Acute Designs on facebook! // Sunnies – ASOS //  Shopbop pieces are c/o}

I wear tennis shoes more than I wear heels, but once a week (usually Sundays), I like to dress my best. The heels will start to see less and less wear as the bump grows and my feet just crave the comfort soles, but I am not afraid to put on a 4 inch heel and bold lip for the right occasion. It is my nod to femininity at its finest, and a salute to Audrey Hepburn, which speaking of, would have been 86 this week!…

Audrey and her FawnAudrey in PinkAudrey as a mother

I’ve taken notes from what made Audrey the grace filled style setter that she was, and I have come to conclude it only partly had to do with the pieces she actually wore, but her ability to connect her interior strengths with her outward appearance. Her confidence, positivity, poise, and natural beauty were projected through the way she addressed her life, even down to the art form of her wardrobe. The clothing reflected her inner sass and class, which as a result always garnered a jaw dropping reception from all who filmed, photographed, or knew her personally. There was no denying she had an acute awareness of the connection between style and dignity, which is why she will always be on the top of my list of women who embodied true femininity.

Anyways, that was a tangent I hadn’t intended to ride, but I will hit publish anyways. And maybe leave you with a few images you haven’t seen before?… (Source 1, 2, 3)

Cheers to the legend!

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