Bridal Showers

In honor of all the wonderful wedding festivities beginning in two weeks (!!!!!) I wanted to share some photos from the two beautiful bridal showers I was spoiled at last month. The women I am blessed to know and who came are incredible. I felt such a sweet amount of love and support over this weekend. It warmed my heart to be in a space surrounded by women I love, admire, and cherish their friendship and mentorship. 

The first shower was thrown by my best friend Haley with the help of her sweet mama and my sisters. It was feminine with great attention to detail. They went above and beyond from a delicious lunch to cute macaroons! One of my favorite parts was the sweet advice book they made...I love reading through that with Nick! 

The shower on Sunday was hosted by my mama's bible study at Mindy's beautiful home with a mediocre view ;) It was equally lovely and meant so much to get prayed over by this group of women. Nick and I are blessed to have people consistently praying for us, our marriage and our baby. I appreciated this piece of advice- put Nick before the baby even when that's hard or feels unnatural. This baby is because of Nick and I and our marriage and relationship just us two always has to come first and stay strong so we can be at our best with each other and to be better parents to our babe. 

I would say the common theme running through all the marriage advice we received was: be kind and patient towards one another, don't sweat the small stuff, and laugh a lot. Love it all. 

And, why yes, I am QUITE excited to use our new white Kitchen-aid mixer !!! Maybe I should just always keep a bouquet of flowers inside when we're not using it?? :) 

Transitions

This past Wednesday was my last day of work at Mt. Spokane High School... such a bittersweet time! It feels like we made the decision to quit our jobs and move back to the west side just a minute ago, and now the reality of work being over is here. 

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Inevitably with yearbook and the school year coming to a close I've begun doing some reflection on my past three years at MSHS. I started with student teaching and was blessed to get hired after graduating Whitworth, and now have two years of teaching experience under my belt. Not long at all, but the lessons I've learned in that time are invaluable and I am grateful.  

Ultimately, I've learned much more about myself... I learned what kind of person I want to continue pouring work and energy into becoming. How I care most about listening to people and making them feel heard and valued with where they're at in the moment. I learned to stop caring what others think of me. I learned what kind of parent I want to be when my kid is older (I experienced A LOT of examples of how I don't want to be haha) and how I'm not going to be that parent who just complains so their kid can get their way. Teaching Yearbook showed me I still procrastinate just as much as I did in high school and college, and deadlines are not my friend. Yearbook brought out the worst in me- a lot of tears, swearing, panic attacks, late nights dreading work and feeling all sorts of anger and resentment... not good stuff. Becoming pregnant helped force me to step back and not let the stress affect me. I am still learning how to handle stress better, but yeah, I don't think teaching Yearbook will be in my future again ;) 

I recognized the days I was proud of the teacher I was and other days I left work disappointed and discouraged in myself feeling like I could never get it right. I'm sure it's normal and will always be a game of trying to get it right without totally losing your marbles in the teaching world. 

I just remember back in November feeling like I was so ready for June and it felt like a lifetime away. Now it's here, the school year is over, I somehow survived, my wedding is about 20 days away, and I am just beyond ready for this next season of life to begin. I'm embracing all the current transitions. I shared earlier that this baby was not planned, but man, I am so grateful for this timing! Transitioning into becoming a full time mama is the best job I could ask for. I always had this picture perfect vision of the type of woman I would be before having a baby... but life isn't perfect, I'm only 24 and have plenty of time to figure it out... but also giving myself grace as I know I'll never fully "figure it out". Ready to enjoy these last 4 1/2 months of pregnancy and time just Nick and I before our world shifts and we're probably insanely sleep deprived :) 

Well, time to go pack more and do another Goodwill drop off. Thanks for stopping by! 

 

Why Not?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I got to be home on the west side with family to attend my bridal showers- it was so fun! My sisters and my mom's sisters came, plus I got to get some Mitch and Amy time as they popped over from LA for a wedding. My aunts flew in from Indiana to join in the shower fun since they, unfortunately, cannot make it to our wedding. I love a weekend filled with family crowded in the house altogether. It can be loud, mom is constantly talking about the next meal plan, dad is always playing music or a game on TV, lots of chatter and laughter... but I wouldn't want it any other way. It's home. It's so good! 

Speaking of HOME... Nick and I are dropping another bomb and have recently decided to move back to the west side (Gig Harbor) at the end of June!! Lots of changes coming our way and we are both feeling like, why not? The west side feels like home and makes more sense for us to begin raising our family where our parents and more friends and mentors are. We want to enter this new season of marriage and parenthood feeling confident and prepared, so we are taking a plunge! I'm excited to be closer to the water! Ah, my soul is ready for that beauty. Just can't beat it, especially in the summer time.

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Of course, there are a lot of unknowns with making this decision, but we're already feeling a strong sense of peace and support since we've decided on the move. Both our parents are happy to have us be closer. Especially mine considering we are moving into the downstairs area at their house until this winter, ha! We are incredibly grateful for their generous offer. Parents are just the best. 

Nick and I will be doing a fun-employment month for July to go on top of our wedding and honeymoon. We are looking forward to sweet time together just us two as newlyweds and before our little babe enters the picture. It will be a cherished time. During our fun-employment month we'll also be doing some job hunting and continuing to figure all those good life things out. But you know what? I truly feel no stress about all of this. It is a lot at once, but it's all good and positive so why be stressed? I experienced enough stress this past school year to last me a lifetime so I am done with the stress and negative reactions.

Life lately...

Aside from finalizing this big move, I've gotten to pop over to the west side several times the past month, Nick and I have treating ourselves to dinners out often (we are currently loving Anthony's!), and talking to our sweet baby more and more. I am 16 weeks along now! My little avocado inside can now hear us and begin to recognize our voices. So special. 

Nick has one more month of work left and I have less than two weeks of work left and am going through my little end of the year to do list. There is a lot of packing (in our home and my classroom) that has commenced already.  I seriously LOVE to declutter so I am just living it up over here. We are going to be purging through ALL of our things and only keeping the essentials- the functional and beautiful items used most often. Moving is such a wonderful time and excuse to go through everything and take a step closer to embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle. 

We will only have 3 cars total to make this move (including one truck- thank goodness!) and I am eager to embrace the challenge of fitting everything we need and want to keep with just that. I'll keep ya posted on how it goes ;) 

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With a lot going on I am so very thankful for Nick, my almost-husband. We were chatting last night at dinner about how we're thankful and often unsurprised by how we're practically always on the same page. Big life changes like these (marriage, a baby, and moving) can be stressful or a lot all at once, but we're just continuing to praise God for ALL the good going on. Because again... why not? Life is an adventure and I'm blessed to have Nick's sweet and supportive soul by my side experiencing all the highs and lows. 

XO, S

 

 

BABE ON THE WAY!

It's been quite some time since I hopped on my blog. I've missed it!!!

So last night Nick and I publicly shared some pretty big news... we are expecting a sweet little baby!

We are over the moon excited!!! It's shocking news because we didn't plan this timing, but we couldn't be more grateful to begin this incredible adventure. We've both felt in our hearts how much we wanted to be a mom and dad, we talked about it all the time... I am excited to see each other grow in this new light of parenting together. We are ready to ride this wave! 

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I just feel so thankful. I've been brought to tears, especially more and more recently, by just how good God is. I've always wanted to be a mama and for some reason I had built up negative thoughts that because I wanted it so bad I wouldn't be able to get pregnant someday. Super negative I know, but now I just feel blessed! I GET TO BE A MAMA! 

I am brought to tears holding baby's first onesie, sitting in our now office that we're going to transform into a nursery, thinking about it growing inside me, and soon getting to hold it and have it rock my whole world. I want God to wreck me with this little miracle growing inside!

Nick and I keep talking about all of the things we're so excited for. Baby's first smile, first laugh, first steps, going swimming with it next summer, having it be surrounded with love by our families, going to the fair someday, hearing it's little voice develop and learn to talk... Ah! All the things. we have so much to look forward to! Life is just going to keep getting better and better. 

Lately...

I am 11 weeks and 6 days today! Almost through the first trimester!! We are continuing to pray for a healthy growing babe and a smooth pregnancy. I have definitely been struggling with nausea, morning/anytime sickness, and super low energy. I have been passing out before 8 most nights. Building bones and organs is pretty exhausting! 
Although throwing up is never fun, I'm still thankful for all the symptoms... It reminds me my little babe is in there and it will all be worth it. I would spend all day head over the toilet to get to hold this sweet baby soon! BUT, haha I am hopeful as my 2nd trimester begins some of the nausea will calm down a bit. 

Yesterday we had our first ultrasound and it was amazing to get to experience together. We got to see our little one (it's only 2 inches big right now !!!) move and jump around, and see the little heartbeat working away. It has a healthy heartbeat and everything looks great so far, yay! Nick was just smiling, jaw-dropped while we were in there. It's such an incredible thing to witness. I love our doctors, we are going to be working with three midwives and we already just feel so supported.

Supported by the doctors, but also by our families and friends. Man we have been receiving so much love we are incredibly humbled by all the encouragement and sweet words. Babies are such a blessing and bring hope. I can't wait for our little babe to positively affect all of our people! I know it will be so loved!! We get to turn our parents into grandparents, our siblings into aunts and uncles and our best friends into more aunties and uncles :) 

We should be able to find out if it's a boy or girl right before our wedding!!! I have no expectations or preference. I just can't wait to not have to call it, it! Whatever it will be is already perfect and predetermined. Boy or girl will be completely wonderful. 

There's so much more, but that's a good place to stop for now. Thank you for all of the love and we are so excited to keep sharing this beautiful story with you! 

xoxo Sarah + Nick 

 

 

 

 

Oils // DIY Floral Winter Roller

Happy Sunday! Nick and I are in Portland area with our friends Jesse and Olivia and woke up to beautiful snow! Yesterday we did our engagement photos and I got to see a little sneak peek and totally teared up! These photos mean so much to me... Nick and I have never had nice photos of us before so this is such a special time. Can't wait to share them! 

Olivia and I both love our essential oils and desperately wish we could afford ALL of them ! I mean who doesn't... so in the spirit of being financially conscious, here's a DIY with items we already have at home. 

DIY Floral Winter Roller 

I love a good and simple DIY. I think that's why I'm so attracted to essential oils in general. They can replace gross, chemical-filled products by creating your own natural ones with a few simple ingredients!

Rollers and sprays are my favorite things to make. I made this roller a few weeks back but never shared it, so here it is now! Adding some baby florals, leaves, greenery can just add some prettiness and add even more natural scents. I mean, how cute?!

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I ended up using this roller as a perfume for pretty much all of December and January. I mixed in:

  • 5-8 drops lemon
  • 5-8 drops grapefruit
  • 5-8 drops melrose 
  • 1-2 drops citrus fresh
  • Filled the rest with carrier oil (I use organic grape seed oil)

It became a really lovely floral + citrusy scent- I am obsessed! Especially living in Spokane where it stays cold for a solid 3-4 months, smelling this heavenly scent on me everyday just made me feel a little brighter on the inside. 

Aside from this roller...

Lately I've been spraying my face with a Eucalyptus Lemon spray (mixed with water) before I moisturize. Then I add a drop of Melrose mixed in with the face moisturizer, and I just feel clean, relaxed, and fresh! 

If YOU are an essential oil lover as well, what are some of your faves as of lately? Leave in comments! xoxo 

+ or - // Happy V Day

Happy Valentine's Day friends! I am sick at home from work with the world outside covered in a fresh blanket of snow... I bought so much medicine at the store this morning my head feels foggy. I'm having Dayquil, so much water my stomach hurts, essential oils, tea, and some zicam...hopefully that will do the trick! Ugh, I hate getting sick...anyone else?! 

Anyway... VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!! I love Valentine's Day! I'm bummed to be sick today, but it will still be a great day filled with love and affection. This year Nick is planning our night and I'm excited to see what it entails :) Last year I made him an at-home picnic with some of his favorite take out and champagne. I always make Nick cards and get real cheesy, but hey, that's just who I am ;) I'm thankful he let's me be cheesy, emotional, and overly OCD at times... what a guy. lol. 

 The card I made for Nick this year <3 and of course his favorites, Reese's. 

The card I made for Nick this year <3 and of course his favorites, Reese's. 

I already got to chat with my OG Valentine, aka my dad, on the phone this morning. He's the best. Earlier this week he shared with my siblings and I what his plan is for Lent this year and encouraged us to take some time to think about what we might want to do...and I did! 

I haven't participated in lent in a while, but this year  I'm going to hop on board with my dad and we're both working to lose 15 pounds by Easter. In order to do that I'm going to go back to the Whole 30 diet, but do things a little different. Especially seeing as this is a time of transitioning into a lifestyle change I am going to eat hummus because hummus is LIFE, and the occasional glass of wine (like tonight..uh duh I'm going to have wine and something sweet because it's Valentine's Day!!). Aside from eliminating bad foods (dairy, gluten, soy, corn, added sugar and processed foods) for Lent I'm also going to take away TV. I know this one is going to be hard at times!!

Nick and I love to just relax and watch a few episodes of The Office together at night..but there are times where I get frustrated with myself because I know there are so many other productive things I could be doing. Not to say there is anything wrong with relaxing and watching some TV, just for now I am going to cut it out so I can get re-inspired and spend more time blogging, reading, painting, and just doing more creative things in my free time. I have a huge reading list for 2018 so it's time to get excited and tackle it! 

So LENT... to my understanding Lent is about recognizing Jesus' sacrifice for us and taking intentional time out of your life to give something up (or add something positive in). If Jesus could manage 40 days and nights in the desert getting tempted by Satan, I think I can handle no TV or sugar...

What about you? Do you participate in Lent? if so, what are you adding or taking away? I'd love to know and we can hold each other accountable :) 

Hope everyone has a lovely Valentines day surrounded by people or animals or food or other things you LOVE. xo Sarah 

 

 

Mindfulness Monday // Self Care

Happy Monday!! In case you missed my post yesterday, I announced my website's rebranding! You can check out the new home page here and will see a section for recent blog posts :) 

Anyway, it's been a great day and a little bit of cold brew coffee this afternoon helped kick my butt into productive mode! I ended up decluttering more of our kitchen, hall closets, and did a mountain of laundry...always feels good to have a productive Monday! Aligning with our Mindfulness Monday I wanted to share about self care. When I take time to clean, declutter, organize random stuff...it just makes me happy. I know I'm weird lol. So this afternoon felt like my own version of self care and it was lovely. 

Self care has ALWAYS been so important. It's wonderful to empower each other to create time for yourself just doing things that you love or make you feel good.

It will look different for everyone and that's the best part. There isn't one perfect way to master 'self-care'. 

I believe investing in yourself is one of the best decisions you can make. Lately as I've been learning and reading more about mindfulness, there is a natural overlap for self care. Even simple things like shaving your legs while listening to music, or washing your face with a drop of lemon essential oil because it smells heavenly and helps to brighten your skin... little things like this, which are ultimately healthy for us (taking care of our body and skin etc.), but creating them to be more of an experience rather than just crap we have to do.

How many times have you laid your head on the pillow at the end of the day and felt almost frustrated by how exhausted you are and you didn't even get any time to yourself? You feel like the day just zoomed on by with busyness that you didn't have time to cook good food or get that workout in. This happens to me way more than I would like! I genuinely notice a difference in myself if I let the day run me instead of me running the day.  I feel like when I truly take care of myself that day, I fall asleep easier and happier. 

 Self care example: this was me yesterday... wrapped up in my robe with the space heater blasting me with some snacks and a good book. It was so lovely and so simple to create that atmosphere.&nbsp;

Self care example: this was me yesterday... wrapped up in my robe with the space heater blasting me with some snacks and a good book. It was so lovely and so simple to create that atmosphere. 

My favorite ways to practice self care:

  • Listen to a podcast and go on a long walk outside  
  • Do yoga (either by myself or following along to a video- I LOVE 'Yoga with Adrienne')...or just stretching in general
  • Decluttering 
  • Shave my legs with a face mask on 
  • Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and candles lit 
  • Treating myself to a healthy smoothie or juice 
  • Reading a book
  • Writing in a journal 
  • Even right now, as I finish typing this post I'm listening to music and have my diffuser going with Orange and Grapefruit and it's just lovely :)
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What are some of your favorite self care routines? I'd love to know!!

xo Sarah

 

Cultivate Simplicity

Happy Sunday!! I'm currently cuddled on the couch with endless amounts of tea and essential oils diffusing (RC + Lemon) because I am fighting to not get any sicker! I woke up Friday with a weird bug... lots of rest for me this past weekend. I've got to get better ASAP because this coming week is busy with a lot to look forward to! For work we have another yearbook deadline so it will entail late nights for me... meh. On the bright side- Nick and I are going to the Portland area next weekend to finally do our engagement shoot! I'm so excited !!!!!! One of my best friends who also happens to be an amazing photographer is doing them, and we get to stay at their new house- can't wait! 

The benefit towards being a bit under the weather this weekend meant that I finally got around to spend intentional time rebranding my website! I've been planning and brainstorming how I wanted to transform this space and I finally captured it. I'm very excited to introduce: Cultivate Simplicity. 

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In order to determine the aesthetic of everything, and a new logo, I knew I wanted it to feel simple, light, and flowy. I wanted the font to be a bit abstract and to feel like rolling waves. Much of my website's aesthetic includes various shades of blues because I am so inspired by and in love with the ocean. I'm also really drawn to circular shapes because it reminds me how in life there will never come a time where we just stop growing, exploring, loving, or bettering ourselves...we're always moving forward. I like that. 

so... why the change?

I've been thinking about rebranding for a while now and thought a lot about this space, how I want it to feel + look, my hopes for the future, and what the overall purpose is. 

I thought about simple joys and how that was the initial inspiration for my blog...how I really do crave and desire a simple, slow, meaningfully beautiful life where I relish in the little things that bring me joy. I thought about how I crave growth, Jesus, and self-love...I crave to not be hindered by debt, constant stress, dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, or just feeling like I don't have the time to really get the things I care about done...

SO it's 2018, a new year with endless amounts of possibilities, positive changes, and magical moments to experience. I knew I wanted to keep the focus of my blog very positive, real, and about sharing this simple and mindful life I am working hard to create. 

BOOM. Cultivate Simplicity was born. 

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Cultivate Simplicity is born out of the desire to create a space for women to come be inspired, share real life, and grow in community and self-love. Simple as that. 

To cultivate is a verb meaning to either; prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening, OR to try to acquire or develop a quality, sentiment, or skill. (Side note: I love that the meaning also translates to gardening terms. It is SUCH a dream of mine to someday have a little white house with a beautiful garden full of blooming flowers, herbs, veggies, and lemon trees. I know someday I'll make it a reality and it will be hard, slow work with very rewarding results.)

Anyway... To cultivate also means to better, refine or elevate. I relate to that so much! I am working on myself and hope to inspire other people who might be on a similar journey seeking self-love, simplicity, and overall balance in their mind, body, and spirit.

My hope for this space is to be an inspiring and comfortable place to grow in community, friendship, and knowledge for how to live and cultivate a very FULL but SIMPLE life. A life where you aren't constantly feeling hindered by stress or the never-ending to do list. Instead, a life where you carefully decide what you say yes to. One where you have time to just BE. One where your work and personal life are never colliding in a negative or obstrusive way. One where you can be present in a moment without judgement or worry. 

With ALL of this in mind... leaping forward, what can you expect from Cultivate Simplicity?

  • Honesty + real life from me
  • Blog posts focused on topics such as: minimalist concepts, mindfulness, adventures, relationships + love, health and wellness journey, and more
  • Photography focused on inspiring aesthetics and unique portraits 
  • Artwork focused on simplicity, color, and form (and some cuteness just because)

If you click HERE you will be taken back to my new home page where you get a clear first look at everything Cultivate Simplicity has to offer. Take a peek! 

There is so much to look forward to and lots of positive changes still to come. Thank you for encouragement, support, and being apart of this journey!!

xo Sarah 


This Week on the Blog...

Coming up this week on the blog will be a recap post about finishing Whole30 last month, an essential oil DIY, and a wellness post focused on self-care (a bit late, but better than never!). If you're interested in all of that and want to keep up, feel free to subscribe to my blog :) You can do that by clicking here.