Oops. I Meant to Do That.

I just got back from a weekend away in San Francisco with an inspiring group of fellow bloggers. While at dinner, a few of us were talking frankly about living with so much of our lives online. “Is it difficult to know where to draw the line?” someone asked us. “To know what’s suitable for sharing?”

The other women (whom I know and admire, and whose blogs I love reading) both answered immediately. Yes. It’s hard. There has to be a balance of being aspirational and approachable. They talked about consciously adding in a few ‘oops’ moments to some of their posts, to counter the possible air of perfection. And they get it — I get it. Nobody wants to read the blog that makes someone feel bad about themselves, and nobody wants to be the person causing those feelings.

“I probably include too many ‘oops’ moments,” I joked. “Maybe I’m not aspirational enough!” I mean, that rug? I don’t know about it. I’m having second thoughts, which is probably annoying to you guys. It’s annoying to myself. But I do something, I get excited, and I share. The layout of the library? It’s tricky. Incorporating all of our home’s oak and fir? I’m doing my best to do it justice. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going with the design of this house and sometimes I’m figuring it out along the way, and perhaps I share it too soon before I’ve got it all sorted. But that’s what’s fun about having this space. That’s what I love writing about, and that’s what keeps me happy day after day and excited about blogging here.

For a long time, I thought I was doing it wrong. I watched people grow their businesses by taking on contributors and assistants, by posting more frequently, by analyzing results. More. Bigger. Better. I thought I needed to follow suit, and I learned that it wasn’t for me. There are so many rules and tricks to blogging with the intent to grow, often as quickly as possible (it is literally my job to teach them). Remain relatable. Include photos of yourself X% of the time. Work Pinterest with tutorials and the right image formats. And you know, the formulas work! But they also lead to burnout (and I do include that caveat in class as well, lest I lead my twenty-year-olds astray). Other bloggers do what’s right for them and I love to watch and learn, but ultimately I need to do what works for me even if it isn’t ‘the right way’ to do things. This blog is dear to me and incredibly important to our family as it’s our income, but I want it to succeed in a way that feels true.

I think about spaces. I think about our home, and the fictional fifteen other homes I would decorate if time and money and locations were unlimited. I think about style and the easy reinvention of a wardrobe that comes with a great new pair of shoes or a killer dress. I think about turning out amazing meals and mixing the perfect drink and having children that will eat quinoa as easily as they will Coco Wheats. I have an idea of where I’m going but I make mistakes and I share as I go because that’s life, not a business strategy. I’m so appreciative of having people alongside me, even as I waffle, rethink, redo, and correct. That’s life, and that’s part of the fun.

Plants by Lila B. Design at Stable Café, San Francisco
Photo taken over the weekend at the beautiful Stable Café in San Francisco. Note the burned out light bulb. ‘Oops.’

Baby, You're a Firework

  • Why the flaunting of Katy Perry’s breasts can be a great thing for little girls.
    “Katy seems surprised and delighted by the body she has, and the things she can make it do. “Look at these breasts I have! Aren’t they fun and kind of crazy? I’m going to shoot fireworks out of them now.””

  • A creepy (you’ve been warned) but interesting account of a murder. One that was requested by its victim.

  • Yes, Gilbert was my first love.
    “It wasn’t exactly cool. It had no edge. You didn’t want to race into school and announce that you were obsessed with “Anne of Green Gables.” But, to your bosom friend, you could discuss its many joys to your heart’s content.”

  • Oh, that Alton Brown. He’s a good one.

  • We are so small.

Better Water

Our fridge doesn’t have an automatic ice/water dispenser and we don’t buy bottled water, so I bought a Soma water carafe a couple of years ago. The team at Soma recently debuted their newest pitcher and offered to send one over, since they knew that I’d already been using the carafe and was a fan. The plastic pitcher has the same filter and functionality, but it’s larger, with a new shape and a wooden handle.

I’m still nursing Calvin, so I drink a ton of water throughout the day. I keep a glass bottle on my desk and another next to the bed that I refill, and we’re trying to drink water as a family more often than not with our meals. The kids call me out if I have a pop with dinner, because they’re only allowed to have it on special occasions! Most of the time we drink our filtered water plain (there’s no funny taste and it’s nice and cold from being in the fridge), but sometimes it is nice to give it a little flavor for a change. I don’t follow a strict recipe; pretty much any combination of lemon, lime, mint, basil, and cucumber works.

Cucumber, Lemon, Lime, Mint, and Basil

Two varieties that I like a lot are lemon, lime, and mint, or lemon, cucumber, and basil. I slice everything up and add it to a pitcher, top it off with water, and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavors come together.

Cucumber, Basil, and Lemon

Making Lemon Water with the New Soma Water Filter

You can add simple syrup if you want to make it sweeter, or even mix in a little lemon-lime soda if you want some sweetness and fizz. We’re trying to drink less pop here, but I thought I’d mention it because it does taste really good — especially with the basil.

Lemon Water and Soma Water Filter

Soma makes their products here in the United States and they’re committed to good design, which is no small thing. I like that my Soma looks good on the table! That was a major deciding factor when I first bought my carafe, versus some of the other brands out there. I like the look of the new pitcher’s oak handle too, but it’s also nice because I’m usually holding the baby in one hand and refilling my glass or water bottle with the other, and a handle is easier to grab and hold onto. Plus, the larger size means I don’t have to refill the pitcher as often and it still fits on the fridge door. Beyond the good design, Soma’s filters are sustainable and plant-based (I have a new one delivered to replace the old every two months), and they do the job without leaving any black flecks behind. I also appreciate that Soma gives back through donations to charity: water, which I’ve donated directly to in the past, and it’s nice that I can support them through the brands I buy from too.

Target carries the entire Soma family, and they chose the brand as one of just sixteen Made to Matter companies, highlighting products devoted to wellness. And here’s some good news: the first 50 readers to use the code MIL1FREEFILTER at drinksoma.com will receive 1 free filter ($12.99 value) off their first Soma order!

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