Thursday, December 29, 2011

the best resolution

be kinder to others. be kinder to myself. tell the truth. hug my family more. and stop making excuses. the list could go on but that's all i'm going to put on it.
































some great resolutions. seems like i'm not the only one who is human out there who needs to remind themselves of these things from time to time...

happy new year everyone! i'm heading out to the desert to spend time with my friends and family. may you be restored over the holidays and get all that your soul needs...2012 is going to bring a beautiful awakening. let's start the year off right!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

happier than the morning sun

this year marks the tenth anniversary of meeting my husband michael. ten years together. we have experienced so much on this journey and now, the love of our little girl, wow. i had every intention of recounting my favorite christmas eve, six years ago, when you proposed. but i need to pack for our family trip to palm springs! happy anniversary, my love for you expands each day.

you and i one month before elodie was born!

eight years earlier...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

love and joy come to you

to my family. truly there is nothing in this life without your love. merry christmas everyone! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

traditions i hold dear


































growing up, the banks closed at 5 pm on friday and didn't reopen until monday. i remember running to the bank with my sisters and mother to get money to last us the weekend. businesses often closed on sundays. by the time i was in my twenties, everything was open all the time. i moved to france and returned to a tradition of a quiet sunday where all the storefronts shut down. this seemed lonely to me at first, i like hustle and bustle more than i care to admit. in time, i created my own rituals around this day that gave me a chance to relax into it's rhythm. the things i love the most about the holidays remind me of the time before we had access to everything twenty-four/seven. they are the moments when we return to our families and friends and step out of daily life.

i also really love the traditions that the holidays bring. caroling, drinking egg nog, trimming the tree, gathering with friends. christmas is in four days!! i want to stay up every single minute and fill it with cookie making, egg nog drinking, christmas music and lots and lots of time with my family.

there are two holiday traditions that we have involving presents that i would love to share.

the first, we have always, since time immemorial opened a new set of christmas pajamas on new year's eve. it's so fun to sit by the fire listening to music and open this one little gift. it takes me right back to my childhood. i hope elodie loves this tradition as much as i do.

the second was introduced by my older sister andrea many years ago. for our immediate family we give
something you want,
something you need,
one little something,
and something to read!

i think because she has such a large family (five children) this is a great way to keep order in the house and also make sure the list doesn't get too out of control. but really, what more do you need than this? is this even too much? this is really my first holiday not working on a retail project and the run up to christmas this year seems absurd. my inbox fills up with offers, the latest from the gap says, "joy alert! save 25% off sale" and i can't help but picture someone with a gleeful expression submitting their order. joy alert? is that really compelling to people? all the books i've been reading this year just taken the wind out of buying and getting and consuming. sure i love to give and receive but how much do we need? my natural instinct in life is one of an editor. keep pairing away the frivolous and unnecessary and you are left with something pure. this is true in fashion (jackie o anyone?), this is true in writing, this is true in meditation, i'd say it's pretty much always true.

i'm wishing a peaceful run up to the big day (and hannukah!) to everyone. focus on the things that matter and let everything else fall away.

Monday, December 19, 2011

ornamental










































we had the fixings left over from last year to make these cute ornaments. simple glass balls from michaels. sequins. done. the best part? elodie spent twenty minutes fastidiously separating out the blue, turquoise and pink sequins from the rest of the colors.

you can also paint the outside with glue and dust with glitter. or stick a piece of mistletoe and holly inside. i prefer the sequins though. less mess and it's a really quick and easy activity for a toddler!

idea originally from you are my fave

Friday, December 16, 2011

a birthday party fit for a three year old.

a cake, a wish, a song and blessings from friends. that was all we needed for a perfect day. i couldn't have hoped for a better party for elodie. 

extras: 
- a face painter was great for this age group.
the smilebooth is always fun although i abandoned my backdrop idea after 36 hours without electricity.  see windstorm.
- we decided to take these cute little polaroids with the fuji instax instead of using our digital camera. 
- next week i'll share the playlist we gave away in the goodie bags!

p.s. i made her a birthday crown but she insisted on wearing her ban.do which she also wore when she turned two. i love it!!









Wednesday, December 14, 2011

good morning three

this morning we woke you up with three kisses and then walked with you down your "fairy path" (we hung streamers from the doors and down the hallway) to breakfast. you were so excited to see the house semi-transformed with streamers, balloons and candles. i love these little rituals we are creating together.

































































you know our phone numbers and address. you can spell your name. everytime you see a lady wearing a long dress you say "there's a princess mama." you will ask us a question and then tell us to ask you the same question. you are fascinated by all the cars driving around with christmas trees on them. when we drove by a dealership with cars inside you couldn't stop talking about how their were ribbons on the car.

you only want to wear tights and dresses. you would prefer if i let you wear just tights and nothing else out of the house. you crack me up a million times a day. you crack yourself up to. we love you madly. you are still close to the source and teach us so much everyday. i can't say it enough, thank you for choosing us to be your parents.

favorite songs:
jingle bells
rudolph the red nose reindeer ("from the giginning and from the top" you say)
twelve days of christmas (why did i teach you this, the longest song ever!)

favorite activities:
coloring
baking bread and cleaning up
making ornaments

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

good night two...

hard to believe that this time three years ago i was heading into labor and some of the best moments of my life. you have been such a blessing to us sweet girl and we cherish every day with you.































tonight before bed we said this rhyme together.

“when i have said my evening prayer,
and my clothes are folded on my chair,
mama and papa switch off the light,
i'll still be two years old tonight.

but from the very break of day,
before the children rise and play,
before the darkness turns to gold,
tomorrow i'll be three years old…
three kisses when i wake,
three candles on my cake.

a goodnight kiss for the two year old
to send her to sleep and to dreaming.
and blessings to the three year old
who'll climb out of bed in the morning.”

from the birthday book.

sweet dreams elodie. tomorrow you'll be three!

Monday, December 12, 2011

this time last year...

dreaming of this mexico trip. ocean, naps, family, good food, no cell phones, tranquilo.








































and this was us releasing turtles into the ocean...

Friday, December 9, 2011

a holiday giveaway (from me! just because!)


i am in the process of putting together gift packages for my family members and thought it would be fun to offer a little trader joe's holiday care package for one lucky reader who doesn't have a trader joe's near them. for those of you who might not know, trader joe's is a small grocery store that started in los angeles known for having the most delicious holiday treats! leave a comment with your happiest memory from the holidays (and where you live) to be entered to win. you can also like the littlest on facebook and follow me on twitter and/or tweet about it for extra candy cane trader jo-jo points. that makes it sound official! (right?) i'll pick a winner on friday december 16th. happy holidays!

*my husband thinks i'm so bizarre for doing this but he obviously doesn't have the christmas spirit!

update: kathleen by lakeland, fl you are the lucky winner! thanks everyone for sharing your great holiday memories with me. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

littlest ladies

shhhhh! don't tell elodie but i got her one of the fantastic birthday dollies from cromanticamente. i am in love with every one of these whimsical little creatures handmade in italy.








































































image here and here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

celebrating saint lucia

when i was 20 years old living in aix-en-provence, france, i lived next to the 12th century cathédrale saint saveur and even shared a large garden in my backyard with the clergy. around november, all of my swedish girlfriends started talking about the saint lucia procession that was coming up at the cathedral and invited me to attend. the catholic saint lucia is a symbol of light and marks the return of longer days. i am not catholic so had no knowledge of the ceremony or the beauty i was to witness. we sat in the rows of the dark, candlelit church in complete silence. suddenly huge shadows were being thrown onto the walls ahead of me as the sweet sound of 40 girls singing filled the cathedral. they walked slowly down the aisle, each holding a flickering candle, led by a chosen lucia who was wearing a crown of candles. i get goosebumps to this day thinking of that special night. here is an example of the procession.

this past weekend my friend amanda (who is part norwegian) invited elodie, michael and i to the swea christmas fair in downtown los angeles. there was a saint lucia procession, gløgg, swedish pancakes and lots of cute crafts. elodie and her little friend malena had such a fun time folk dancing and we all settled down to watch the procession after lunch. it was amazing how strongly the memory of france came back as the girls filed past us one by one. elodie was enthralled by the 'princesses' and has been asking me to sing the song to her all week. i definitely want to make going to this event a tradition for us. scandinavian or not!
























































































Tuesday, December 6, 2011

we interrupt the holidays to bring you...

halloween photos! i just realized i didn't post any pictures from the flashdance halloween party at the ace hotel in palm springs! i was going to go as yoko to the flashdance's john but decided to be a russian spy instead. see more photos here!





















































top image by jennifer emerling
bottom image by smilebooth

Monday, December 5, 2011

less creates more


































over thanksgiving we stayed with my family in the town where i was born. we walked along the beach everyday, twice a day, listening to the tide rise and fall. the ocean is so restorative. it is the only thing that comes close to erasing the ceaseless chatter from my mind. with it's rhythm, i start editing needless things from my life. when i saw this trailer for the goodwin project my heart surged with excitement. all that is beautiful is at our fingertips. we choose how strong we are, how educated we are, how caring we are. being truly aware is such a commitment. seeing this video made me want to be more present, be more humble, listen better. i have so much work to do but every day is a choice.

i particularly love one of the lines from the about page on their website.
“they step into the current faithfully, inquisitively, boldly and with good will.”

what a beautiful way to approach life. namaste to the goodwin family.



also, as an avid traveler, i really love seeing some of the favorite places i've been through different eyes. live vicariously is right!

image here

Friday, December 2, 2011

december is here!

so far, december has brought a crazy wind storm that knocked our power out for 2 days. because papa was out of town, i reluctantly packed elodie up and headed to a hotel. we had a fun pajama party which included jumping on the bed, reading books and drinking hot cocoa. in fact, she was so happy playing in the hotel room that she didn't want to go to bed (see below).





























we take so much for granted and i am thankful that we live in a place where we can expect power each and every day. now (hopefully) back to our regular schedule of holiday events which should include a warm house filled with the smell of pine trees and baked goods, christmas music, holiday parties, time with friends and family, caroling and elodie's birthday.

i hope the days go slow for all of you to be able to enjoy!*

*if you hate the holidays, sorry if my wish made the days go slower.