for the mommas who make stuff.

Coffee + Crumbs Calendar-1

Before I had kids, I wasn’t sure how motherhood would affect my art. The realist side of me wondered if I would still have time for art. The pessimist side of me thought I might have to give up my art altogether. The optimistic side of me thought I would seamlessly integrate motherhood into my art, and my art into motherhood.

3.5 years later, I think we all can agree that nothing about motherhood is seamless.

But the good news is: I am still a mom, and I still make art. The two do not coexist perfectly, but they coexist and that’s enough. There is tension there; sometimes it pulls lightly and sometimes it’s a full blown tug-of-war. I am only one person with two hands and there are only 24 hours in the day. I wear all my hats as best I can, sometimes layering a few on top of each other and sometimes swapping one for another as I run out the door, trading a loose diaper in my purse for a computer charger.

Today is the last day of a long weekend filled with shopping discounts. Maybe you’re on top of things this year and have already finished Christmas shopping. Maybe you’re like me and just getting started. Maybe you haven’t thought about it at all.

Can I ask you something?

Are you buying anything from your fellow mommas this holiday season?

You know the ones I’m talking about. The mommas making coffee mugs and art prints and t-shirts and jewelry. The ones with dining room tables full of shipping supplies. The ones who sit down after the kids are in bed to design and dream and create things with their hands and run full blown shops from their beds.

Just look around. We’re everywhere.

We have this thing in common, us momma makers, because our go-to mode is hustle. We know how to hammer out eight e-mails over breakfast and how to type a blog post into our phones while we nurse our baby to sleep. We know how to brainstorm under pressure and how to dream in the shower. We know how to make the most of every minute, every hour, every second that our hands are free. We know creating is our gift to each other, to our kids, and to the world.

We also know the uneven balance of creating art while caring for our children; it’s a constant see-saw, that tension between honoring our family and honoring our talent and allowing both to coexist and breathe.

We know the perseverance and dedication it requires to open our laptops night after night after the kids are in bed instead of falling on the couch with a Netflix binge. (But damn, it feels so good to do that sometimes, amen?)

We know the guilt, the stress, the tiredness, the overwhelming nature of being moms and wives and makers and shop owners.

Can I ask you again….?

Are you buying anything from your fellow mommas this holiday season?

Maybe this year we could do more of that, and less of Target (and you know I love me some Target). Maybe this year we can cheer each other on and pin each other’s creations. Maybe this year we can support each other with both our words and our dollars.

Join me, won’t you?


A few mommas to support this holiday…..

June & January

Chewable Charm

The Caramel Jar

Dear Mushka

Get To Work Book

Brim Papery

Gold Press Paper

Max & Moose

Rainy Day Colors 

Riley + Co

The Bee & The Fox

Bubby & Bean


Highsmith Lettering

Lindbergh Candle Co

Oh Sweet Joy!

The Wild Kids Apparel

and of course, yours truly,

Coffee + Crumbs (our calendar launches tomorrow!!)


*These are just a few shops I follow on Instagram. If you’d like to recommend any momma makers for this list, leave a comment and I’ll keep this post updated throughout the day.

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taking a leap.

a leap-2Once upon a time, I sat down at my computer and started a blog.

I had no idea what I was doing.

Over the years, writing here became exhilarating, calming, necessary for my mental health. If I felt stressed out, I blogged. If I felt confused, I blogged. If I felt sad/happy/depressed/anxious/torn, I sat down at my computer, poured my heart into the keyboard, and hit publish.

This blog became home for me, in a lot of ways.

It’s been a wild journey, this writing-on-the-Internet thing. I have been exposed in front of strangers and that has been both terrifying and wonderful. At times it has felt brave. At times it has felt stupid.

But make no mistake at all: it has elicited feelings.

I have grown here. I have grown up here. Undoubtedly, I have learned more about myself through this blog than any other professional endeavor I have pursued up until this point.


I am writing this post quickly. At the coffee shop, I am sitting at the same table where I always sit, drinking the same coffee that I always order and yet, it is different. Because for the past six months or so, I have forgotten how to do this. I have forgotten how to spill, how to allow myself to be free here, how to dump words and not obsess over them. For the past six months I have been a perfectionist. I have agonized over every comma and every word and it has suffocated me.


Two years ago, I had a book idea.

The book was called “Twenty-Something” and it was going to be a collection of essays—things I’ve learned in my twenties, lessons on marriage and motherhood and friendship and faith. I typed a bunch of words and printed a bunch of papers and stuck them in a white binder and put that binder in my closet.

The binder stayed there for two years. It was in the closet when I got pregnant, and it was in the closet when I launched Coffee + Crumbs. It was actually transferred from one closet to another closet when we moved last summer.

Over the past couple of months, I started thinking about that book idea more and more. I blame my 30th birthday around the corner. Turning 30 feels Big. Saying goodbye to my twenties feels Bigger—worthy of a celebration, a tribute, a book perhaps.

So I decided, one day at 3:27am while I nursed the baby in the rocking chair. I am just going to write this book. Why the hell not? Who is stopping me? I decided I would write the book, and I would self-publish it. And I would launch this book on my 30th birthday, to be released into the world as I bid farewell to one decade and welcomed another.

It was going to be a birthday present to myself.


A lot of my friends are writing books. They have finished manuscripts and book proposals and sample chapters. They know how to write query letters and have lists of dream agents. They know all the proper steps to take and they know all about the process. It’s impressive. Really impressive.

I never went down that rabbit hole. Self-publishing has always appealed to me, in the same way that starting a blog has always appealed to me. I love indie artists, I love grassroots, I love organic growth. I love the thrill of starting something from nothing. I love being in complete control of the creative process.

Also? At the risk of sounding self-deprecating (which I do not find to be an attractive attribute), I never thought I could write a book through traditional publishing. Because I never thought I was that good of a writer.

Sure, I was pretty good at writing on the Internet. I can admit that. But writing a book—a real book that you hold in your hands, with an actual cover and dedication page and acknowledgments, a book that is sold in bookstores—that was Too Big. Too far-fetched. That was crazy, outrageous, too difficult, too much work, too impossible for someone like me.

I am one of the biggest dreamers I know, but that dream was off the table.

“No, no,” I said, “If I ever write a book, I will self-publish.”

Self-publishing is safe. I can sell my own words on my own blog and probably the only people who would read it would be my husband and my parents and my friends and the loyal blog readers who have been here from the beginning. They would probably like it. They would probably think it was worth something.

I hoped.


Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a publisher.

It said, “Have you ever thought about writing a book?”



A few days ago, a literary agent asked to sign me (and Coffee + Crumbs). We spoke for one hour on the phone and everything just…..clicked. I laid out my entire vision for myself and for Coffee + Crumbs and she said, “I get it.”

And suddenly, that dream that felt Too Big wasn’t too big anymore. Suddenly, it was on the table, right in front of my face. Maybe this isn’t outrageous after all.

Maybe this will happen for me, for us.

Maybe starting this blog was the first leap. And maybe launching Coffee + Crumbs was the second leap. And maybe this? Well. What do they say about the third time being the charm?

Maybe this is the biggest leap of all.


If you’ve made it to the bottom of this, thank you for being here. There are a lot of people in my life who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and you might very well be one of those people. If that is you, there are no words to express my truest gratitude.

I should warn you: This is only the beginning. There is a good chance I could fall flat on my face, but I think I’d rather leap and fall than never take the leap.

Here’s to writing, to dreaming, to every leap of faith.

May your biggest dream find its way to your table. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you.

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re-use the pan: a simple tip from blue apron.

Blue Apron-1

I am the furthest thing from a professional chef. Really, truly, deeply. I consider spaghetti and chicken tacos to be Very Good Meals. I don’t know how to chop things the “right” way. I stick everything in the food processor and hope for the best.

Don’t tell Shauna Niequist, okay?

One thing I’ve really enjoyed from using Blue Apron is learning new, simple tricks for cooking. The simplest tip I’ve learned to date? Wipe the pan.

Almost every meal I’ve cooked from Blue Apron has required cooking multiple items in the same pan, but instead of telling you to get a new pan, or–even worse–to wash the current pan, these are the instructions: wipe the pan.

Cook the kale, wipe the pan, cook the next thing. Cook the onions and garlic, wipe the pan, cook the next thing.

Did you know that if you need to cook different items at different times you can simply WIPE THE PAN in between uses? So brilliant! So easy!

Truth: it never occurred to me.

Blue Apron-3

Knowledge is power. Go forth, and wipe the pan.

Blue Apron-4

These Southern-Style burgers were delicious, even though we accidentally made them extra crispy on the outside.

Feeling inspired? Check out all of Blue Apron’s recipes online. I’m adding the turkey sloppy joes and quinoa fried rice to my eat & drink board.

Ready to give Blue Apron a try? The first 20 readers to sign up will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Sign up here.

*This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help pay for the babysitters and coffee it takes to run this blog. 
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happy birthday, Carson!

Carson-1 Carson-4 Carson-5 Carson-6Carson-5Carson-6Carson-7Carson-8Carson-9In keeping with the “second baby” cliche, I am one whole month late on blogging anything for Carson’s birthday. We had a sweet, small party, complete with Chipotle and margaritas and no less than 100 tears shed from the birthday boy. Between major separation anxiety and a tooth cutting through, it was not his finest hour. I staged more photos a few days after his birthday because HELLO CUTE BANNER. Turns out, he was willing to oblige with an audience of one. Naturally.

Here’s a little tribute to the first year…..we love you Carson!

p.s. Everett’s first birthday / Artifact Uprising Square PrintsThat Gold Balloon

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when you say your dreams out loud.



November 8, 2013

I am in the shower, daydreaming as usual, taking full advantage of eight quiet minutes standing under hot water. Somewhere between combing minty conditioner through the ends of my hair and drizzling body wash all over my yellow loofa, I start thinking of writing ideas, book ideas, essay ideas, all kinds of ideas. And then my mind wanders to a concept I have toyed with for months, a nudge in my heart, a thought I cannot—for the life of me—get out of my head.

The idea starts taking shape a little more clearly, like a handful of playdoh forming into a ball.

This idea feels pressing, important, imperative to act on. I rinse the conditioner out, turn off the water, and step onto the bathmat. After twisting my sopping wet hair into a towel, I throw on a bathrobe and speak the dream out loud to my husband, who is sitting at the corner desk in our bedroom working on his computer.

“I want to make a website about motherhood,” I say confidently.


I want to make a website about motherhood. Like a blog or something. I want it to be pretty, but I want it to be about the writing. Real stories about motherhood.”

He smiles and says, “Cool, babe” before returning to his screen. I grab my laptop, sit down on the bed with a towel on my head, and send an e-mail to a handful of women who I know like to write.

A week later, I am sitting in my living room on the floor with two friends, three babies, and a dozen toys scattered around us. I say the dream out loud for the second time and ask, “What do you think about the name Coffee + Crumbs?”

They shrug.

“You know, it describes our days,” I continue, “It represents the dichotomy of calm and chaos.”

They both say they like it.

(Note: I had a few other ideas for names that I can barely remember now, but I think they were mostly terrible.)

A few days later, I e-mail the woman who owns and ask if I can buy the domain from her since she isn’t using it. She says she will consider selling it to me. I offer to pay her $100, but she never e-mails me back.


I want you to know something.

That thing you are reading right now, those words, those posts, that shop, those Facebook shares, that Instagram account, those writers, those readers, those feelings…..all of that was born during five uninterrupted minutes in the shower, followed by thousands of hours of hard work.

But I want to get back to the shower, because the shower is a really big part of the story. You see, I had the inspiration for Coffee + Crumbs before that day in the shower, but I never gave myself thirty seconds to form it into anything substantial. The idea had just been a lump of playdoh in my heart until that point, anxious for me to slow down and spend one minute holding it in my hand.

Before that day in the shower, I had never spoken the dream out loud.

I’ve had a lot of dreams that have died over time because I never gave them one full minute to develop. I simply let them fester, and stir, and then I piled laundry and dishes on top of them, and had two kids, and they were simply…..forgotten about.

Is this a cycle? Do you do this, too? Do women do this often? Do mothers do this the most? Do we keep dreams in our hearts like lumps of playdoh, never giving them a fair shot to be formed into anything substantial? Never showing them to anyone? Never speaking of these dreams out loud?

I understand the tension here. Our days are full to the brim with babies and diapers and goldfish crackers and trips to Costco and maybe a full-time job or a part-time job or a volunteer commitment or a community group. When we think about the fringe hours of our day, we can barely identify those hours because they are gone as soon as they come and we can’t even remember how we spent them. We wrapped a birthday present? We ate lunch over the sink? We scrolled Instagram and half-napped through an episode of Scandal? I don’t know where the time goes from Monday to Friday.

Pretty soon the weeks are turning into months and those months are turning into years and our dreams are slipping down the garbage disposal along with Tuesday’s moldy leftovers.


I want to encourage you today, from someone who is still in the process of turning her playdoh into something. Sometimes I wonder…..what if I had made a to-do list in the shower that day, as I often do? What if I had thought about all the ways I was failing as a mom? As a wife? As a friend? What if I had never sent that e-mail to those writers? What if this whole thing never happened? No site, no writers, no stories, no Huffington Post, no comments, anything? What if none of this ever got started? What if it was all just a literal dream?

Do you have a dream burning a hole in your heart?

Maybe you want to be a writer, maybe you want to start a blog, maybe you want to learn to paint. Maybe you want to open a bakery or maybe you want to sell jewelry or maybe you want to go back to school. Maybe you want to adopt, maybe you want to travel to India, maybe you want to start a nonprofit to serve a need in your community. Maybe you want to be a teacher, or a nurse, or a life coach, or maybe you want to start your own business and be a #girlboss. Maybe you want to write a book or record a song or start a podcast.

Do you think about these things in the shower? Do you wake up at 3am to a busy mind that can’t stop? Do you ever say your dreams out loud? Or do you cower and shrink behind those piles of laundry and watch other people chase their dreams with envy?

Here’s the thing: nobody is going to give you the quiet you need to form your playdoh. You need to give that to yourself. And you need to do it in prayer. And you need to do it now. Because the crazy thing is: when you silence your to-do list and pray for the Holy Spirit to form your playdoh, He Does. I believe this with my whole heart.

Your homework assignment for the week:

Pray for your playdoh.
Take a shower. Listen.
Leave a comment below with Your Dream.
Pray for the comment above you.

I am praying for every single one.


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10

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