I've gotten quite a few requests for a braid tutorial, so I finally decided to do one! Most of the braids I do on my hair, I learned from other tutorials, but this one I kind of just made up on my own. Its my very first (and probably last) tutorial video and its awkward and weird, so bear with me!!
When I (Zach) was at the EntreLeader Summit conference in Dallas I was challenged by Seth Godin to write every single day. So I have set a goal for myself to write a blog post every single day and here are the first two posts: (I normally post them on zacheway.tumblr.com)
"Have you ever felt like you have no idea what is happening in your life or what direction you should head or where you are going? Maybe that’s a good thing. You wouldn’t want to mindlessly wander to your destination without ever questioning if that was where you intended to head. Maybe that feeling is a reminder to check your priorities, maybe it’s a warning that you have been distracted for too long. I don’t think people get that feeling when they are too wrapped up in the little things, I don’t think they really think that far in advance. I would rather have this occasional feeling than be numbed to it by continual distractions. Whenever we face trials we should consider ourselves blessed. Trials promote perseverance, and perseverance when it has finished its work produces character and maturity and hope."
"Consumerism culture has changed us. I’m talking about produced and marketed peer pressure. The new gizmo came out and what did we need? It has a better camera and a better processor, it’s faster and will make coffee for you instantly, it protects your home and makes you more productive, it helps you keep an eye on your baby and it gets better gas mileage. It’s a brilliant product and it will make you happy. We have been trained to think we need the newest and the biggest. Holidays have lost their meaning and sales begin months in advance to help us prepare for the comparison battle. Cheap tricks, cheap thrills. There was once a holiday where we sat around the table and talked about what we were thankful for. Now we stare at our screens tapping our way to happiness, scoring sweet deals for stuff we don’t need. We think it’s going to make our lives less complicated or better in some way, but we’ve skipped family breakfast to grab a coffee and a microwaved sandwich at the drive through in order to make it to the store before everyone else buys stuff they don’t want- but hey! it’s on sale, man! Somewhere along the line, want replaced need.
Yes, we can complain about consumerism all day, typing out our woes on our brand new handheld computer (that also doubles as a phone if we ever need to take a call). But complaining doesn’t fix anything. Complaining is something babies do when they want grown ups to do something for them.
No one is changing it for you. You are the grown up. You can subscribe to consumerist culture and complain about it or you can put your big boy pants on and do something about it. I’m not asking you to change the world, I’m asking for you to change your mindset. Start with you, because the only thing you can control is you. You can’t change your neighbor and you can’t change Walmart. You can change you, and your change might inspire other people to change- but you can’t force them to. They have to wake up for themselves, and you should never wake a sleeping baby, anyways.
Your time is limited and it’s the most valuable resource you have; spend it wisely, and live so that your values line up with how you spend your time and your money. Happiness can be bought, but it’s a fleeting feeling. Happiness is just an emotion, it comes and it goes, but joy comes with contentment, and contentment is hard work.
Consumerist culture won’t change overnight, but you can decide to wake up tomorrow and change yourself, and next week you might have to wake up again and change yourself. But it is progress. Small continual changes. Focus on the little things. Progress. One step at a time. It’s up to you."
I love flowers. I mean, I really love flowers. especially fields with flowers as far as the eye can see. these fields are within a half hour from us!!!!! we got coffee and a cake pop and made the drive, and it was well worth it! Forest had fun collecting dirt clods and waving at the tractor man, and I had fun smelling the blooms and taking in the beautiful colors. so so incredible.
fun fact: he loves flowers, and had a hard time not picking any here. he loves to pick flowers for me ("mama, FOW." as he hands me a handful of squished flowers), which is something Zach taught him, and might be the very sweetest thing I could imagine. (PS: he had just came upon up his second clod of dirt when this photo was taken.)
fun fact: the reason I always take selfies with Forest is because later on in life, I want to have photos of me with him, and I never really get photos with him unless they're selfies! I'm totally cool with that though! (PS: close-up of the dirt clods)
fun fact: he took those dirt clods home with him and crumbled them in the car. and also ate a couple bites.
thank the Lord for beautiful blooms.
The time has come.
My closet is messy and overwhelming, getting dressed has become such a chore, and I'm always looking to buy more clothes. I can fully admit that I am an emotional shopper -- I shop when I've had a bad day or when I feel bad about myself or when I'm stressed or when I think I "deserve" new clothes. Not because I am in need of new clothes, or even really want new clothes, but because its an emotional response to stress or sadness or boredom. I do not need any more clothes. but now my closet is full of clothes that really aren't my style, they are what I want to love and wear all the time, but just aren't me. The clothes I do love are the same three or four outfits on repeat -- they are comfy, I love how I look in them, and they are totally me.
Our society is stuck in such a consumerist mindset -- always trying to convince us we need this dress or that bag or this pair of shoes. We get emails from companies daily, telling us that once we have this item, we will be set. Life is not complete without this perf blouse. We see photos on Instagram or blogs of people with perfect style and tell ourselves, "hey, I need what she has, in order to be happy/cute/trendy/etc!"
But YOU DON'T. A new shirt will not bring you actual joy. More shoes will not complete your life. that perf dress that would make the best Instagram post is not going to add real value to your life. spending more money on things does nothing for you but drain your bank account. and who needs that?!
All that to say, I really like my own style, but I have too many clothes, and I spend money I shouldn't, to shop for things I don't need (or even want).
So for all of those reasons, I am simplifying and committing myself to a summer capsule wardrobe! (If you are unfamiliar with what a capsule wardrobe is, check out Un-fancy and Be More With Less! both have some really good info and resources for starting a capsule! ) Starting June 1st, I will live off a 37-piece closet, including shoes. The rest of my clothes are either winter clothes and will be going in a container in the garage, or are being sold through my Poshmark. and let me just say, it feels so good to get rid of clothes I don't wear! such a freeing feeling! plus, my closet is more tidy,
anyways, without further ado, here are (some low-quality photos of) my picks for my summer capsule wardrobe!
SIX SHIRTS // grey tee, striped tee, sage embroidered tee, blush swing tee, black long-sleeved swing shirt, striped swing shirt, red button tee
SEVEN TANKS // black tank, plaid button tank, sage tank, grey tank, mustard tank, blush drop-waist tank, and (not pictured) stripe tank.
SIX DRESSES // blush lace slip, black midi dress, lace white dress, floral slip, embroidered sage dress, lace slip
THREE PANTS, ONE SHORTS, TWO SKIRTS // black skinny jeans, dark high-waisted jeans, light high-waisted jeans, denim cutoffs, mustard midi skirt, floral skirt
EIGHT OUTERWEAR // denim vest, white dusters, mint pullover, slate cape cardigan, tan cardigan, red flannel, mauve pullover, army jacket
FOUR PAIRS OF SHOES // clogs, Birks, Saltwaters, huaraches
I will be documenting my capsule throughout the summer, sharing advice + outfits, and talking about what works and doesn't work for me! We will also be talking about it on the podcast!
PS: If you'd like to see my previous capsule experience (which didn't actually go very well), here you go!
this is a late post, in honor of motherhood and journaling and realness and honesty -- some of my favorite things.
I used to be an avid journaler -- one of my best friends, Stephie, got me into it and it became a regular part of my every day routine. Before bed, I'd write about my day, and usually a prayer or a pro/con list or set of goals. I was good at it and I loved it, and it was fun to have all that written down to look back on. Fast forward to now: life is so busy (which I really dislike sometimes!!!!!) and I'm always on the go, chasing after Forest, running errands, hanging out with peeps -- and journaling hasn't been an everyday thing for me since before my kid was born, maybe even before we got married! So I recently made a goal to write something down every day in my journal, either a full entry or a sentence or quick list or little prayer -- just so I have something to look back on to remember these days that are moving way too quickly. Its really important to me to remember the little things, the things that aren't in photos or snapchat. I love those little things the most.
Anyways, I'd like to share my journal entry from Mother's Day this year, because motherhood is such a crazy ride and because I am a firm believer in sharing stuff, especially the hard stuff, if only to encourage other moms, and remind them that they aren't alone!
all that to say: if you are loving, you are doing a good job. learning, trying, loving, fighting through the discouragement and exhaustion. you can do it. you are strong and you are capable and you are not alone! #momlife!!
its a mountain on the central coast that is known for its crazy beautiful fields of blooms in the spring -- poppies, lupine, little fluffy white ones, whimsical yellow ones, etc etc. ITS INCREDIBLE. we have taken a few trips up there this spring, cause it truly is a magical thing to see, and I have a low-key flower obsession. plus, mountains. anyways, here are some photos from our sunset adventure up Fig Mountain!
PS be sure to check out the video Zach made of our adventures this month, in the post below!
So I (Zach) have decided to start taking more video. These are three of my Instagram videos from April. I think I will start doing this more often because I like it and I think it's easier to take a couple video shots and then edit them later so I don't miss out on what is actually happening right in front of me. It allows me to be present with my family and I like that.
man oh man, like always, life has been crazy! we recently moved, and as anyone with a toddler knows, basically everything takes at least twice as long as it normally would, when there is a sweet little angel running around. so that was a very busy time for us. plus its definitely springtime on the central coast and flowers are blooming and we gotta see all the flower fields before we lose them to the inevitable California drought! so we've been doing lots of hiking and exploring as well! anyways, here are some photos of life lately for us! [you could also check out our podcast, via the tab at the top of the page, for another idea of what life is like for us these days!]
Shell Creek Road in Santa Margarita -- fields upon fields of flowers!
I got to go to Point Reyes with my sister and some of her friends and it was INCREDIBLE. definitely one of my favorite spots in CA!
Easter photos, of course!
he walked most of the way and then asked to be carried and then fell asleep in the Ergo! i felt very accomplished!
I took my boy up to Figueroa Mountain last week to see the flowers and mountains and trees! it was so incredible, we had to take Zach there -- saving those photos for another post!
we LOVE our new neighborhood. we are within walking distance to two different parks and go on walks every day, sometimes multiple times! Forest has recently been very interested in picking flowers and excitedly bringing them to me, saying "mama, fow!!" Zach has been teaching him to do that and it absolutely melts my heart!
more to come soon! thanks for bearing with us! check out the podcast!
Lower Yosemite Falls!!
we were joined by our good friends, and two of Forest's honorary uncles, Titus (far left) and Miah (far right), and Max, who is Miah's friend from Germany!
Upper Pines campground in the Valley is a pretty rad place to camp! the sites are really close together, and I'm told they fill up really fast in the summertime, but we had a pretty good-sized section to ourselves!
we get asked a lot about why we take a baby camping and the answer is cause we love camping and the great outdoors and want to teach Forest to love it too! we've definitely had to adapt a lot, and it is not easy, that's for sure. but this time camping with Forest was actually really great! he was such a trooper and went along with anything and everything, including snow and rain and loud neighbors! for all the difficult things there are involved in camping with a baby, the rewarding things are far greater. this little person has seen what I consider to be the most beautiful place on earth, at age 1! anyways, we plan to do a podcast and separate blog post specifically on camping with a baby/toddler, so stay tuned for that!
THIS HIKE WAS SO MAGICAL. we had planned for snow, since the forecast said snow all three days, but we were not prepared for how incredible it was being surrounded by giant fluffy snowflakes on our hike up to Vernal Falls!! We didnt even care that we were basically soaked through to our base layers. It was Forest's first time experiencing snow, so it was really cool to see him watching it all.
the next morning, we cooked breakfast here with this view -- partially because its beautiful, but mostly because the wind through the pine trees surrounding our campsite was causing a lot of snow and ice to be dropped on our heads!
Forest's favorite part about snow: you can eat it
I could get used to having my morning coffee with this view!
I know we've talked about this a lot but it truly is incredible getting to show Forest the world. getting to teach him new things and watch him see things for the first time and take him to our favorite places -- there's nothing like it! he obviously doesn't completely get it yet, but he will grow up knowing how to camp and how to respect and appreciate and love this earth, the incredible creation that fills it, and hopefully, our wonderful Creator.
and that concludes our first Yosemite trip as a family of three! hopefully the first of many!
PS: here is the best photo of the trip. our lil sour patch kid. xoxo
Zach and I celebrated two years of marriage last month! We got to take a weekend trip, away from Forest, for the first time since he was born! My parents graciously offered to watch him for the two days, and we headed to the coast! we ate delicious food, drank delicious coffee, saw beautiful sunsets, hiked in the redwoods, hiked by the beach, saw the Golden Gate bridge from above, had great conversations, got our wedding rings tattooed, and had so much fun together. it was the best weekend away!
we stayed in the most perf AirBnb ever! it was an Airstream parked behind a rad coffee shop, two miles from the beach in Pescadero!
Downtown Local, the coffee shop that was right next to our AirBnb, was incredible. We got lattes there at least once a day, and the baristas were so great, and really helpful!
lots of driving down Highway 1!
it was the best time with my best friend, and I am truly thankful to be married to such an incredible person. so glad I married you, babe!
FOREST IS ALMOST ONE! how can that be!? today is November 10, aka what was his forecasted due date, and tomorrow he will be one, and I am feeling so many emotions! I will save them for another day, though, and show you all some bits and pieces from his birthday party!
His cake was made by my beautiful and talented sister, Kirsten! He was sort of confused on what to do with it, and was also excited by all the people that were watching him, so he had a little taste, knocked it over, and proceeded to stomp on it and applaud himself! His favorite moment of the day may have been all the people laughing and clapping for him after that, he's such a ham!
We had homemade poptarts -- the flavors were pumpkin pie, caramel apple pie, and banana-nutella -- made by my mama and sister, along with iced coffee and cider!
He got a light saber from Uncle Patrick and (soon-to-be) Aunt Michelle and loved chasing his cousins around with daddy!
it was such a fun day celebrating our boy with family and friends!! plus Forest had a smile on his face most of the day. WE LOVE YOU, Forest Way!!
OH HI, I realize that there have been zero blog updates for the past month, and its cause we were busy with life! here are some photos of life for us lately!
if you don't know yet, I re-opened my Etsy shop! check out hanmadecrochetwear.etsy.com for cozy scarfs and headwear for babies + adults!
FOREST IS ALMOST ONE. I can hardly believe it???? we had his birthday party yesterday and it was SO much fun (more on that later). but basically he claps and dances and pretends to be on the phone and fake laughs (when he thinks you're trying to be funny. so its more of a pity laugh?) and allllllll sorts of wonderful and charming and hilarious things.
family sunset date at Pirate's cove, one of our favorite spots
we don't always get to have date nights, but when we do, its the best. so refreshing and sooo much fun.
I'M OBSESSED WITH BAGEL SANDWICHES. ever since Forest and I drove an hour down to Santa Barbara to visit my good friend Maggie and her family (who now live in the same town as us!!) and she made me a deeelicious bagel sandwich on a pretzel bagel, I have been obsessed. trying all sorts of combinations and bagels and spreads, its been great. my favorite is a classic BLT + sharp cheddar + thinly sliced apples, on a sprouted wheat bagel.
Forest got real sick a few weeks ago, throwing up everything he ate and had a super high fever. aka terrifying for me, since it was his very first time being that sick. we figured that it was most likely because of his molars, poor kid! but I definitely savored every bit of those baby snugs!
we got to go on a little hike at another one of our favorite spots, Montaña de Oro!
we don't have a yard so its safe to say we spend a lot of time at the park. Forest gets to run around and explore and sometimes play with other kids (and by "play with" I mean "hug/tackle") AND get some energy out. its a lot of fun.
FALL IS THE BEST. it might be my favorite season. the coziness and pumpkin spice and layers and beanies and SQUASHES. I don't know about you but we are taking full advantage of squash season around here -- spaghetti squash and acorn squash and especially butternut squash! I've been in the mood for butternut squash all week so on Sunday, I made Bon Appetit's butternut squash carbonara with bacon and crispy sage and it was deeeeelicious! I incorporated a few of their techniques in with this Fall Butternut Squash salad with Maple-Bacon vinaigrette!
- one butternut squash (you will probably only use half of it)
- 4 piece of bacon
- 6-8 leaves of fresh sage
- one apple
- one handful nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)
- cheese of your choice (I used pecorino)
- greens of your choice
- balsamic vinegar
- maple syrup
- salt + pepper
First things first: cook your squash. there are many different ways to do it but the easiest that I've found is to cut the squash length-wise (its reeeallly hard to cut so be careful!), place face down on a tin-foil-covered baking sheet, and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes (or until soft).
while your squash is in the oven, slice your bacon up into real tiny pieces and start cooking em in a pan. finely chop fresh sage and when the bacon is just barely crispy, throw the sage in the frying pan and stir around to coat it with the bacon grease. you really don't need to leave the sage in there for very long, probably less than a minute! turn the burner off and, with a slotted spoon (thats the spoon with the holes in it), scoop the bacon and sage onto a paper towel. you're going to use the leftover bacon grease for the vinaigrette so just hold tight with that!
next, get your toppings ready. I used a crunchy Pink Lady apple, walnuts, and pecorino cheese (which is like a mild-flavored parmesan). you could also add things like craisins, golden raisins, goat cheese, almonds, green onions, etc. its a pretty basic salad and would be good with many different toppings!
next, make the vinaigrette! anytime I'm making a dressing, I put all the ingredients into a mason jar and shake it up, rather than getting a bowl and whisk dirty -- easy mixing, easy storage! for the vinaigrette, mix together the leftover bacon grease, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper (as needed) into the jar. [sorry, I don't have exact measurements! I never really measure ingredients (unless I'm baking) and just add stuff til I like the way it tastes! ] put the cover on the jar and shake it real good! I like to toss the dressing with the greens before adding toppings, but do it however you like!
once your squash is done baking, cube it up and add it, along with the rest of your toppings, to your salad, and enjoy! a healthy taste of fall! (maybe it cancels out the pumpkin spice iced coffee with half + half I had earlier?!)
let me know if you try the recipe and what other toppings you add!
lately, family sunset dates at the beach have been our favorite thing. its simple and easy and so nice to spend quality time together, get some fresh air, and take a break from the busyness of our lives lately! snacks + drinks, a little hike, relaxing on a blanket, beautiful creation, hanging with my favorite people. these are just simple things but I'm finding that the little things are my favorite things in life. we have the ability to walk and eat and laugh and see sunsets and undistractedly (thats a word right?) be with our favorite people, so why don't we do it more?! I dare ya to try something like that this week. take a break, get outside, admire the sunset, and bring someone you love. [here are some photos from our last couple sunset dates]
this is late, again! and by late, I mean he is about to be ten months in less than a week! whoops.
at nine/ten months, Forest:
- has dark blonde hair and brown eyes
- walks, runs, and climbs! he actually took his first steps just after eight months and is a full-blown walking human now! its so so fun to see. but then the climbing started and now I basically follow him around all day, moving him out of danger and taking him off chairs and coffee tables that he's climbed upon. thats probably why this blog post is so late!
- eats like a football player. seriously, this kid is always eatin! his current faves are string cheese, grapes, bananas, polenta, beans, cheese puffs, and pasta. he has also gotten very honest and sticks his tongue out after spitting out food he doesn't like! and he throws chicken whenever we give it to him, so thats fun.
- says mama and dada (and it is heartbreakingly sweet)
- loooves crunching food in his front teeth
- has quite the fascination with dogs and the ocean and ceiling fans
- loves to play with balls and water bottles and books
- loves shutting doors ?
- loves to run down the hall with his arms up and mouth open
- has figured out how to take off his diaper and is always naked when I go to get him from his naps! its only been disastrous twice (haha)
- loves to play bite and chase us around pretending to bite us
- has (sort of) learned what the word "gentle" means (and that he needs to stop flailing his arms or scratching our faces or dogs or other kids) and is learning to say "please" in sign language when he wants food!
- went to the nursery for the first time ever and did great! I cried though, it was rough.
- is so much fun! I'm serious, the amount of personality this kid has astounds me! he is so funny and sweet and feisty and curious and energetic and determined. it makes me so proud to be his mom. and I've always heard people say that -- "I'm so blessed to be his mama!" and I was like yeah ok, but I really truly honestly understand that now. I am SO proud of the little person he is becoming and so so glad that he's a part of our family.
we love ya so much, kid!!
we have been so crazy busy lately and I hate/love it! between me planning/stocking up for the relaunch of my business (at the end of September! more on that soon!), our trip to Oregon to bring Zach's sister Zailey up to college, and just regular life stuff, time has flown by! Forest is walking (read: running) and I am busy crocheting and Zach is rocking the youth pastor thing. plus summer is over and it is the first of September! if only the weather would cooperate with my desire for layers and boots and hats!
I've got a few things planned for this month but here are some bits and pieces of life for us lately!
my baby sister turned 21 last month and I got to take Forest up for her party! it was a beautiful backyard party with drinks and good food and good conversations!
something i'm really learning as a mama is that alone time is very important and very hard to come by, especially with Zach working as much as he does! when he gets home, I want to hang out with him and eat kettle corn and drink beer and watch Friends, not go off on my own. usually when I do get time to myself, I'm not really sure what to do? go to Target and walk around aimlessly? go to the yarn store? sit in the car listening to music? so a few weeks ago, we were planning to go see the sunset together as a family and for whatever reason, Zach and Forest decided to stay home. I went to my favorite spot, Pirate's Cove, and got to walk around on the trails and pick flowers and think thoughts and take some photos and breath the salty air and see the sunset all alone, and it was heavenly. peaceful and beautiful and so refreshing.
he had his first taste of in-n-out! it was a grilled cheese and he loved it!
I got to take baby bear on an adventure last week, just him and me! we used to go on these little day hikes all the time but have been SO busy lately with traveling and the reopening of the shop. so we needed a break and we headed up to Montaña de Oro and hiked around on the cliffs!
I tried to take my classic #placesandflowers photo, he had other plans....
here is a tiny sneak peek of the new Han-Made line, coming September 25th! for more updates, follow @han_made on instagram!
we had a perfect sunset dinner date by the sea a few weeks ago! it was one of those dates where afterwards, we were like, "ohhh yeah, thats why I married you. you're the funnest person ever and easy to talk to and super cute." we don't get many of these date nights but when we do, they are good. oh yeah, and the sunset was incredible. highlighter colors. the photo doesn't do it justice.
I'm hosting a giveaway with my friend Kristin to celebrate fall and the opening of her Etsy shop! head on over to my instagram (@hannaoliviaway) for details on how to enter!
waffles have forever been one of my favorite foods. this is true for my sister-in-law, Zarissa. so a few years ago, every time we were together, we made waffles. we just googled "waffles", found a recipe, printed it out and kept it on their parents' fridge. we changed and added to this recipe over time. we made variations and added delicious toppings. but when they moved, the recipe was gone forever! and so we had to re-write it and test it out, using trial and error, and this is what we came up with!
2 cups flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
Splash of vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
Mix dry ingredients, slowly add butter and milk and vanilla. cook regularly in a waffle iron! Top with berries or bananas or syrup or whipped cream or powdered sugar or anything you ever could want!
My favorite thing about this recipe is, obviously, that it is delicious. And easy. However, it is also very versatile, making it super easy to change up your waffles into whatever your heart desires. I usually smash up bananas and mix em in with this recipe to make perfectly delicious banana waffles! I’ve done chocolate chip waffles, Nutella swirled waffles, peanut butter chocolate waffles, blueberry waffles – I’ve even turned it into a savory waffle by adding bacon bits and shredded cheese and leaving out the cinnamon and brown sugar! (Top that one with green onions and plain Greek yogurt = delicious)
Its also really easy to change this classic recipe to be grain-free, just by replacing the flour with coconut flour or almond flour, or a combination of the two (make sure you sift all of the flour -- it makes for a way fluffier waffle)! For dairy-free, replace the butter with olive oil or melted coconut oil, and the milk with coconut or almond milk of your choice (my fav is plain almond milk!). If you wanted to go sugar-free, you could substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar!
Happy waffle-making! I'd love to hear what waffle creations you guys come up with!