things to watch, read, and listen to.

Because I’m a sucker for a good recommendation.

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SHOWS TO BINGE-WATCH

1. The Newsroom. You know when you binge watch a TV show and then it’s over and you want to cry a little bit? That’s how I feel about The Newsroom.

2. Army Wives. You know how sometimes you need something casual to play in the background while you fold laundry/do dishes/edit photos on the couch while the kids are napping? Army Wives is good for this. Other shows that are good for this: The Mindy Project, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, The Fosters.

MOVIES TO RENT ON THE WEEKEND 

1. Chef – Will make you hungry and secretly wish you had gone to culinary school.

2. This Is Where I Leave You – All star cast, including Tina Fey. Enough said.

3. Going Clear – Scientology documentary that will make you go whoa.

PODCASTS TO LISTEN TO

1. The Startup – A podcast about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground. They talk about the highs, the lows, fundraising, how to find investors, marital/relationship impact, etc. It’s….fascinating.

2. Beyond Your Blog – A podcast all about how to get your writing published! I first learned about this podcast after Susan asked to interview me about the Coffee + Crumbs submission process. You can listen to that episode right here. Other episodes worth a listen: The NY Times Motherlode, Huffington Post Parents, Verily Magazine.

BOOKS TO READ

1. If You Find This Letter – Hannah was one of the very first blogs I started reading. I fell in love with her writing, her relentless honesty, her ability to pour pure romance into perfectly imperfect sentences. When she got a book deal, it felt like it was happening to my best friend, even though Hannah and I have never met. And that’s how you’ll feel reading this book—like you’re listening to your very best friend tell all of her very best stories. All you need is a bowl of popcorn.

2. Savor – 365 short devotionals from my favorite writer on the planet. What more could you want?

Your turn! What are you watching, reading, and listening to?

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friday, I’m in love.

love-1 love-2 love-25love-4 love-5 love-26 love-7 love-8 love-10 love-11 love-27love-28love-13 love-15 love-17 love-18 love-19 love-20 love-21 love-22On Mother’s Day weekend, I came to the startling realization that the last time I took a picture with my two boys was on Valentine’s Day. With my iPhone.

Say whaaaaaaat?

Naturally, I threw on a skirt and staged an impromptu photo shoot and because it was Mother’s Day weekend, Brett wasn’t even allowed to complain.

True story: we drove all over town looking for the perfect location. Option A: closed for private event. Option B: swarming with 200 teenagers taking prom photos. 45 minutes later, Everett was whining because we forgot his fruit snacks and Carson was screaming his head off and I just gave up altogether.

“NEVER MIND LET’S GO HOME AND ORDER PIZZA!”

But my sweet husband was not going to let that happen. I had washed my hair! I had put on makeup! I was wearing a skirt!

He drove over to the river (which, might I add, is walking distance from our house), we trekked down to the trail, and boom. He took these pictures for me and saved the day.

And then we went home and ordered pizza and everyone lived happily ever after.

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p.s. My Madewell tank, Everett’s Ralph Lauren shirt, Everett’s Keen sandals, and Carson’s Gap romper are all from ThredUP. If you’re not shopping there, you’re missing out. Sling by Sakura Bloom.

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the capsule wardrobe: five benefits.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, the capsule wardrobe is changing my life.

I know, I know. That was dramatic. Sorry.

I am 1.5 months in to my nursing-friendly spring wardrobe, and here is everything you could possibly want to know about it:

1. Getting dressed is a breeze. I don’t even think about it. I grab an outfit based on the weather and outing and it takes 10 seconds. I don’t wonder if the clothes fit right, I don’t stare at my closet for ten minutes before making a decision, I just grab and go. THINK OF HOW MUCH TIME I COULD SAVE OVER A DECADE OF THIS! I could write my first novel with that kind of extra time. I have never been aware of how much time I waste every single day trying to decide what to wear. I have two kids now—ain’t nobody got time for that.

2. The less I have, the less I want. This has been the biggest (and most positive!) change for me with the capsule wardrobe. I haven’t had a desire to shop, or a desire to buy new clothes. I feel overwhelmingly content. I’m not online shopping, or pinning clothes I don’t need, or wandering the aisles of Target lusting over things. I have more than enough. If anything, I’m suddenly hyper-aware of how much pressure lies all around me to buy buy buy and have have have. Consumerism is alive and well in our culture and I am just so dang tired of being bombarded with messages about stuff stuff stuff. Let’s wear what makes us feel good. Let’s simplify the process. Let’s be grateful for what we have and chill out on the cycle of more more more.

3. I have a better idea of what I like to wear and what looks good on me. Even within such a small number of clothing, I find myself gravitating towards the same few looks and items. I love my high rise skinny jeans and my slouchy tees. The more I pick and choose within limited options, the more I develop and embrace my personal style for this specific season: the one that involves chasing a toddler all day and nursing a baby around the clock. I love to get dressed up once or twice a week but the rest of the time, I’m down on the floor with my kids and I’m dressed like it. And it feels good to just…..own that.

4. I can see what my wardrobe is missing. A few times I have thought to myself, “It would be really nice if I had ________ (a denim sleeveless blouse, a few more form-fitting layering pieces). I’m thinking about clothes more intentionally and more specifically. I’m not shopping “just because” or buying aimlessly. I’m starting to think about my summer capsule wardrobe and can pinpoint specific items I’d love to have the next time around. It feels good (and financially responsible!) to curate a short list based on what my closet is lacking, instead of just adding to the masses. I’m finding it’s a lot easier to assess your wardrobe as a whole when you can look at everything you own in one organized closet.

which brings me to….

5. I love having a clean closet. Let’s be real. I have two kids, and my house is a mess 98% of the time. All day long I am cleaning up messes and dishes and attempting to put laundry away before Everett jumps on stacks of neatly folded t-shirts. Our house is a public space, it belongs to all of us. We all contribute to the mess in some way. But my half of the closet? That is a private space, and it only belongs to me. I can keep it clean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And I do. Because it’s easy. Because there are hardly any clothes in there now!

Notes for next time…. 

It’s really important to LOVE every item in your capsule wardrobe. I’ve learned that I don’t really love 1/3 of my current capsule (oops). If I stare at the same top ten days in a row and think, “I don’t want to wear that,” it probably doesn’t belong in my closet.

It’s also really important to take the weather into consideration. I made my capsule wardrobe during an unseasonably hot week, and I mistakenly assumed the rest of spring would be 85 degrees. I did not account for much variation. We’ve had a few random cold days and I’ve been….well….cold. Oops.

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe? How’d it go?

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three years old never looked so fun.

BounceU-1 BounceU-2 BounceU-3 BounceU-8 BounceU-9 BounceU-10 BounceU-11 BounceU-12 BounceU-13 BounceU-14 BounceU-15 BounceU-16 BounceU-17 BounceU-18 BounceU-21 BounceU-22 BounceU-24 BounceU-25 BounceU-26 BounceU-28 BounceU-29 BounceU-30 BounceU-31 BounceU-32 BounceU-33 BounceU-34We skipped the birthday party this year and took two friends to BounceU to slide the day away, followed by lunch at In-N-Out burger because we’re fancy like that. Everett went down the monster slide approximately 84 times and then took a 3.5 hour nap so yeeeeeah, the day was a giant success for everyone.

Until next year…..happy birthday, Ev!

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happy birthday, everett!

Everett-1 Everett-2Everett, I cannot even imagine my life without you.

This is the year you learned to share me with your brother, and you did so willingly, sweetly, generously. I continue to be amazed by your ability to adapt, to change, to go with the flow with a smile on your face. You welcomed Carson with open arms and open mouth kisses, and I couldn’t be prouder of the kind boy you are growing up to be. You are fiercely independent, wildly energetic, and full of joy, which continues to be your best attribute.

You make every room brighter and every day better. You will always be the one who made me a momma, and that makes you very special.

I love you forever, sweet boy.

Everett turns 3 from Ashlee Gadd on Vimeo.

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