Our new happy normal

December 24, 2015

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To our Solly Baby Family,

When I look back on 2015, I will fondly remember it as the year we finally embraced not having it all together. We spent half the summer on the road in our pop-up camper and then the following four months fighting tooth and nail for a fixer-upper farm we fell in love with along the way. Once we finally got the keys, we celebrated by immediately starting massive renovations with all our belongings stacked in boxes in the barn.

From cool beachside office to taking conference calls in the henhouse and responding to emails amidst piles of sawdust, we chose to embrace our new “normal.” Both Jared and I logged many last-minute travels from coast to coast, never quite knowing where to call home base.

We didn’t get holiday cards out or a “real” family photo taken (thanks for this one, Mom!), we are all sleeping on mattresses on the floor, and we are laying the new hardwoods ourselves- a project I’m still not even sure how we got ourselves into. And, yet, despite all of the chaos and the lack of “normalcy,” we have found peace in each other and happiness in change and growth. Our children have been my examples as they have played and laughed and found new daily adventures throughout it all!

As we have stripped down so much of what I used to see as necessities, I have found four things that I want to carry with me into 2016:

1 — Home is where they are
2 — There is beauty in simplicity
3 — A business can thrive just about anywhere if heartened by hard work, kindness, and a desire to add value to people’s lives
4 — When all else fails, make popcorn (see recipe below) and turn on Netflix

I hope this holiday season brings you and your family together. Whether it was your year to do it all right or the year that everything seemed to fall apart, I hope you are able to embrace what is, find peace in the crazy, and feel good about the work you are doing.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays from our family to yours!

Warmly,
Elle

For delicious (healthy) caramel popcorn recipe, see below the jump.

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Tags : Home + Family

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Contributor: Kristen Mittler

When I was a little girl, my mother would put elvis presley christmas in the cassette player and we would sing along as we decorated our tree. So much love and joy would fill our home. Nostalgia at its finest. I remember sitting on a stool in the kitchen and watching my mom bake cookies with my aunts. My job was to icing the sugar cookies and I would sneak licks from my spoon. They would talk and laugh so much and I would look at them, thinking, nothing is greater than this.

Nowadays, I find find myself doing the very same things my mother did during this time of year. Singing along to holiday music and making sugary messes in the kitchen … keeping rufus close to me in my wrap and letting my older kiddos lick the frosting off of my spatula after im all done baking…

I loved christmas time as a child, but I love it even more as a mommy.

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Every Mother Counts

November 23, 2015

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We have an entire season to reflect on the gratitude we feel in our lives, and at the top of that list is our parenthood– the feelings we feel and the lessons we learn and the plain joy we get to live are all so much to be thankful for. Which is why Every Mother Counts is a cause we passionately stand behind. Together, we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. We can all be part of this solution (and this joy) this giving season.

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James Kicinski-McCoy is mom to Julian, Milla Plum, Birdie and Sailor, lives her days surrounded by her family, working from her Nashville home office and creating and editing beautiful content on Bleubird (@bleubird) and Mother (mothermag.com). She lives by the mantra “it will all work out” and is the kind of friend we (and thousands of readers) turn to for beauty fixes and real parenting advice…and lots of in-between. James sits down to answer all of our questions and now we’re loving her even more.

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How do you start your day? Will you share your morning routine?
I typically wake up around 8 am. My husband, Aubrey, brings me coffee in bed (I love almond milk lattes). We get the kids ready for school and see them off. Most days I like to go for a 30 minute run before starting work. This isn’t always in the cards, but it definitely helps jump start my day. I work from home most days with my team, juggling several businesses and being a mom of four. I usually have a late breakfast around 11, and spend the rest of my workday in meetings, answering emails, and on set at photo shoots.

Do you live by a favorite mantra?
“It will all work out.”

Where do you go for your best inspiration?
Honestly some of my best ideas have been while in the shower. Haha. Music is also extremely inspiring.

Please share your favorite beauty fix. Describe your everyday look/outfit?
Most days I throw on my favorite jeans and vintage t-shirt or sweater when it’s cold. As for my beauty routine, I keep it simple most days with Dr. Jart’s BB Beauty Cream, the Anastasia Brow Wiz, Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir, Elizabeth Mott Volumizing Mascara, Tata Harper Cheek Tint, and the Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm.

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What does a typical mother/child outing look like for you?
My big kids and I eat at our favorite Korean restaurant once a week, just the three of us. On the weekends, the whole family tries to get outside for some fresh air. We usually grab brunch and hit up the farmers’ market, flea market, or park.

How do you pamper yourself (when you’re lucky)?
90 minute massages at Escape day spa.

Do you have a favorite family meal?
My house is full of picky eaters, but everyone loves Mexican food so we usually settle on tacos.

What family traditions have carried over from your own childhood?
I don’t really have any from my own childhood, but I’ve enjoyed creating my own family traditions. For example, every Friday after school we take our kids to get a “Friday treat”, whether it is donuts or ice cream, to celebrate the weekend.

What part of motherhood brings you the most joy?
Watching my children grow and become their own strong individuals.

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Which part of the life/motherhood/work balance do you do best? Which part do you “let go”?
I am really good at unplugging at nighttime and on the weekends to spend uninterrupted time with my husband and kids.

Do you have favorite parenting advice/helps for new mom friends?
Speak to your children, as you would like to be spoken to.

What, more than anything, do you want to pass on to [your child]?
I want them to know that they create their own happiness, and nothing or no one else can do that for them.

What’s your favorite parenting phase? Which is the most challenging?
Definitely the teenage phase. Luckily I have two incredible young adults who make my role as their mother easy. Don’t be scared! The most challenging is ages 3-6, when kids test limits, tell you no, and develop selective hearing.

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Tell us your “must have” parenting product.
Definitely a sound machine (white noise) in the little kids’ room so they can sleep through the night undisturbed.

What is your biggest life accomplishment so far?
Other than raising four incredible little humans, I am most proud of Mother (mothermag.com), a hip parenting site I co-founded and edit.

I can’t start my day without…
Coffee

My happy place is…
At home

I am most proud of…
My smart, funny, and self-determined kids

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Tags : Style

Happy Sollyween!

October 26, 2015

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Creative Halloween costumes while babywearing are so much fun! Last year, Frances and I dressed up as Little Bo Peep and her precious little sheep, which was a last minute costume that I pulled together from random things around my house but this year I really wanted to make sure I planned ahead so I bought this adorable bambi hoodie from Oeuf so she could keep warm while we celebrated with the older kids and still dress up. But the best part, is that she can continue to wear this even after Halloween.

Check out our favorite Oeuf + Solly Baby wrap combinations!

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Ayesha Curry is married to 2015 NBA Championship Winner, mom to Riley and Ryan, founder of Little Lights of Mine and a Solly Baby fan! In this recent feature on the Rachael Ray show, she talks about mom life, her daily struggles and some of the things that matter most to her.

Ayesha is beautiful inside and out and her down-to-Earth mama style really shines in the interview. Our favorite part was when she said, “At the end of the day, I am just a mom trying to keep everything together.”

To see more of Ayesha in her Solly Baby wrap keep on reading….

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Bringing Home Baby

October 6, 2015

The feeling of a new baby in your home is almost impossible to describe. Time seems to stand still for a moment and, even amidst crying and gas and sleeplessness, the beauty of the whole thing is almost intoxicating. Somehow Shelby Osmond captures it perfectly in this video. Like, I-should-probably-have-ten-more-babies-perfect. Check out more heavenly baby moments on her blog, Brandon and Shelby.

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Tags : Baby