Friday, September 30, 2016

#MIMmindfulliving: A project on Sustainability

I've been thinking a lot about waste and sustainability lately. How much are we wasting as a family? How sustainable are we? Where do the products that we buy come from? Who makes my clothes? Are they being given fair wages? Or are the clothes that I'm buying being made by small children? How ethical are the products that we buy? How far did my food travel to get to me? I know these are some hard-hitting questions and if you're anything like me it can be so daunting to think about them. It can also be really hard to convey them without sounding like I'm on a soapbox or I'm on some sort of high-horse! The truth is that I've had these questions for quite some time now.  But wasn't until recently that I began to wonder if there was anything more I could do about it. Moreover, I knew that I could do more.

I tend to feel overwhelmed when I think about everything that we do that isn't sustainable. I fall short in so many ways and that leads me to feeling discouraged. The other day as I watched the boys play in their DIY cardboard sandbox, it hit like a ton of bricks: if I don't start now I won't ever. It's tempting for me to want to overhaul my entire life haha! However, that isn't feasible or realistic for our family. But I want to begin by taking small steps in the right direction.That makes sense to me right now. As I've started brainstorming ideas I decided that the place to start is in my closet.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sorting through my closet and asking myself what needs to stay and what has to go. I'm so embarrassed to say that so many of the clothes that I own have only been worn once. I have them in my closet because I keep holding on to the idea that I might wear them again. Truthfully, they're only taking up space. I've decided to donate several and I will be opening up a closet on Instagram and auctioning them off for those that would like to purchase. I'll be sure to update you guys on here and on my Instagram of those details. In all honesty, I was really hesitant in sharing this with you all. I know it's because it might open me up to criticism and perhaps have my future choices viewed under a magnifying glass.

This project is not a commentary on how any of you choose to live your lives. It's an introspective journey that's been a long-time coming for me. I'm moving forward because I know that I'm not perfect and that I will make mistakes in the process of figuring things out. I've come to realize that I have to be okay with that in order to grow. 

Thank you for being a part of my journey and I cannot wait to share more of my little sustainability project! My sincere hope is that you find some ideas as I share the process and if I can inspire even only one of  you to do the same then it would be completely worth it to put it all out there.

p.s. if you'd like to stay updated with our blog you can sign-up in via email in the sidebar or Bloglovin'!I also love reading your comments and emails so please feel free to reach out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peck &Bushel apple orchard

This weekend we decided it was the perfect time to squeeze in a visit to the apple orchard. Going to the apple orchard has become one of my very favorite yearly traditions. It's definitely worth all of the work to head out there now with the five of us. And it's still so wild to say, the five of us! We decided to change it up a little bit and visit a different orchard this year. I heard about  Peck and Bushel Organic Fruit Co. via Miltown Mom's. Do you guys follow/read Miltown Mom's?! If you don't you should because they're an amazing resource for local mother's and provide all sorts of info on free family-friendly events and activities in and around Milwaukee! The other day I was catching up on my Instagram and saw that the only organic apple farm in Wisconsin is only about a 30 mn drive outside of the city where we are. I thought why not head over and check it out in person. I love being able to buy local and organic as much as I can and this was the perfect time to support a local and organic orchard first-hand!
It's always so amazing to see how the boys experience apple picking every year as they grow. This year Cristian was all about finding and picking as much fruit as he could from the ground. Right where he could reach! I love that they don't care about getting dirty or messy and just have so much fun. He ate abound 2 whole apples while we picked and I don't know how many more once we got home haha! Pretty sure he'll be okay with his fiber intake for the next few days! 
You all know how much I love to babywear but I ended up forgetting my baby carrier and ended up having to hold Lucia the entire time. But it all worked out because she is such a huge fan of facing outward. She loves looking around and see what's going on. And when we talk to her we have to face her because she really likes to see our faces and know that we're close. I just love watching her grow. She's getting so strong now.
Year's from now when we look back at these pictures I know I won't remember how tired I was or how much work it was to head out here. But instead we'll see how little they were, their mouths full of apples, and be so thankful for these little moments and that we did it all anyway.
He really is the best papi and this has got to be my favorite capture of him and Lucia so far.
I think next year we'll head out here sooner in the season because I had a sample of the Riverbelle and was so sad when I found out they were all out. However, we fell in love with the taste and quality of the Honeycrisp. I say this in all honesty, you can taste the difference of these apples. They're so fresh, crisp and it's always great to know that they're not covered in chemicals.
A boy and his apples.
Gabriel was so helpful and excited about apple picking. Three can be such a challenging age so far but it can also be just as endearing. Now that he's learning how to be polite and remembers saying thank you's and you're welcome's he often goes, "thank you so much for making this for me, Mami!" Or, "I'm having so much fun-thank you!" And I'm over here like who are you?! My heart just about explodes and I often ask myself, how'd I get so lucky? He also freaked out a few times because, "the ladybugs are biting me!" Right now lady bugs are bees and any other insect hehe! We're working on that ;)
If you want an orchard with the hayrides and trains this isn't the spot for you. But if you want a more quiet experience walking, picking, and eating apples then this is the perfect spot for you and your family. We really enjoyed eating our own little lunch, and snacking on their caramel apples on their picnic tables before walking up to the orchard. It's a beautifully wooded area and I'm so bummed I forgot to snap a picture. But I guess that means you'll have to visit to experience it yourself ;)

I can't wait to visit again and can't make more time for all  the Autumn goodness before the season is over.

For those wondering you can get my sweater here, and my boots are from here.

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Monday, September 19, 2016

living room gallery wall

It 's slowly starting to feel like Fall around here but I'm not trying to rush it because I'm soaking up the rest of summer that we have left! Something about it still snowing in May really puts things into perspective for me and pushes me to enjoy this season even more. I've been meaning to write this post for a while now but it wasn't until recently that we finished up our gallery wall project. It was a true labor of love because there were specific pieces that I wanted but it took a little while for me to find all of the prints and frames. Before I dive into the gallery wall let's talk a little bit about the color of my living room walls. For starters, I didn't paint them. They were recently painted before we moved in and my first thought was it has to go! However, they were in really great condition and I was in love with every other detail. Now I really can't imagine this room any other color for now anyway ;)

Will someone please remind me to wipe the TV down better next time I decide to photograph this room [ insert grimace emoji here]? Oh, and if someone knows of a trick to hide all of those ugly wire's from under the television console- I'm all ears! Speaking of  my television console it has to be one of my favorite purchases ever for this space. I love the mid-century style and how it grounds this wall. Most of the pieces of my gallery wall were thrifted. The large painting on the bottom right was from a local thrift shop and the top painting my sister made. It's really special for me to have her work as a part of my gallery wall. The rattan mirror I got on major clearance at Target but here's a more expensive  almost identical one and a really similar more affordable set here.

I am so grateful for how much natural light we have in our new home. At our apartment we had very little natural light and only one large living room window where most of the sunlight came through. It was borderline impossible to keep plants alive even though B's  medicinal plants miraculously made it even though our room windows were covered by trees all around. We now have large windows facing every direction and in every room. I can now have several plants and I love how they brighten up this space plus add some life to every corner.

I love the quote from this print and it's from one of my favorite lettering shops Brimpapery

One of my biggest suggestions to making a gallery wall is to have fun! I initially pinned a ton of mid-century gallery walls and went from there. I then looked at prints that I already had. I have this LIFE: The Classic Collection book  that came with 20 really great prints of vintage photographs from the magazine. I have them sprinkled around our home. The photograph of JFK and Robert Kennedy praying is from the book and so is 'Winnie' the dog. It's really an inexpensive way to add depth and character to a wall. All of my basic black and white frames are from IKEA you can get them here. The prices are really affordable and they're pretty sturdy too. B made this calligraphy poster when he was in graduate school and it's really special to both of us. It reads (and I'm pretty sure I might be missing something but he isn't here for me to clarify ...) "It's only in winter that the pine and cypress are known to be evergreens. ~Confucius" I thought this was the perfect corner for it. The large downtown Milwaukee building was a photograph I snapped a few years ago. I enlarged and printed it off at Costco for less than 10 bucks. 

I also need to sweep a little better next time haha! Lucia joined me while I was taking pics and we waited for the boys to arrive from Costco. I couldn't help but snap some pics of our 3-month-old bella. Her favorite thing right now is to roll over and gnaw on her fist!

In a perfect world I would have a very brighter couch like this one or this one. It's definitely on my wishlist but for now we're thankful for our hand-me-down brown couch our friends gave us a couple of years ago :)

I always like to have our little's toys and books  be a part of the living room because this is their space also. The market basket is from Design Dua, the quality of these baskets are unmatched in my opinion. I always have a basket or two at their level where they can grab their books or toys whenever they want to play. It's a great way to make this space their own while also keeping it looking tidy once they're done.

I love how these shelves turned out. I wanted two shelves to display a few books and things plus have a plant stand up on top. We bought these shelves at Home Depot with these brackets. They were inexpensive and fairly easy to install. I love the finished look!

I keep moving this lavender candle from Milwaukee Candle Co. all around our home because it smells so good!

I'd been looking for a set of gold bookends and I was so excited when I found these.

I love a good pathos and they're really easy to keep alive! That and snake plants are virtually indestructible haha! 

That about wraps up my living room gallery wall tour. I love our little home and it's been so fun to continue to make it our own. I know I've mentioned that it isn't our forever home but in the meantime it makes a huge difference to take the time to add our own touch! I didn't photograph all of the living room because we still have the window ac unit that will be coming down in the next few days or the mudroom area that I'm still putting together. I'll share them here once they're complete!

I hope you all have a great rest of your week!