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What Marlowe Eats

I've been working on a post for the past two days. Just when I finally got into a good writing flow, my mom face-timed me and I thought, "we'll just chat for a minute and 'll get back to writing" the thing is, my mom and I rarely ever chat for a minute-- she's a great talker and I'm a great listener. We're a good match. We'll straight up face-time for two hours+. After our conversation, I went back to my blog post where I was mid sentence and thought, "what was I even going to say in this sentence? I'm so lost!" I was lost.

Moments come and go where I've written out the whole post--- but only in my head and never on the actual computer. It's just one of those types of posts. In short, I feel a big huge shift coming on and I'm trying to piece it together to write it all down. In hopes that you guys aren't completely confused and thinking, "did we miss something?" I don't know--- if I ever go missing from the blog for more than a day you can either assume 1. I'm writing something I really give a crap about and got lost somewhere. 2. I'm not feeling well. 3. my mom has face-timed me. So, while I write my longer post--I'll leave you with what Marlowe eats. You guys like these posts anyway, right?! (Love you mom! Face-time me anytime.)

Well Hello

Hi friends, how is your weekend going? It's saturday night and I'm curled up (I should be sitting up straighter) in yoga pants and a shirt covered in holes with a sleeping (and talking in her sleep) Marlowe snuggled next to me. ---- I sat up straight since finishing that last sentence, if anyone wants to know ;) Are you slouching? Maybe you should sit up straighter too ;) Or not, it's a pain to break the slouch habit, I know. (pun intended) In 5th grade, the school nurse (or whoever does the checking), told me I have a minor case of scoliosis--- and that's minor-ly freaked me out ever since. But not enough to work on my posture apparently. I also weighed 83 to 85 pounds in 5th grade and started my acne filled tween years. My memory is abnormally clear from that time, but my face wasnt.

ANYWAY. It's pouring out. We've had A LOT of rain this winter which is very abnormal for us. We were thinking about heading down to miami tomorrow to visit one of our favorite farms and one of our favorite gardens, but as of right now, I have the feeling that weather and laziness will keep us home. We'll see. Our trip to Asheville was short but great! It was nice to explore a bit and even better to see our friends. I'm still procrastinating going through all my pictures, but I can't wait to share them with you. My friend Claudia's house (all four of them that I've visited, haha) is (have been) wonderful. You guys will love it. I also have a few yoga posts coming up and more vacation photos from last year (I'm really on top of things). Just lots of fun, bright, lovely stuff. (I think so anyway.)

It sort of bummed me out this week when I realized that it's been almost a year since I got sick. Alex tells me, "but look how far you've come". And he's right. And at the end of the day, I am SUPER freaking grateful to feel as I do now. But that part of me that is always striving for more thinks, *I'm no where yet where I'd like to be*. I've also been trying to put bits and pieces together of some sort of mental timeline--- and I've realized that a few of problems really did start after having a good amount of (less than wonderful) dental work (right before Alex and I got married). Thats when the migraines started, the carpal tunnel, just a whole slew of vague symptoms. Then I started taking ibuprofen everyday, by recommendation of the doctor of course. I remember specifically asking "are you sure it's okay for me to take this everyday?" and the response I got was, "yes, lots of people take it every day." Womp. I guess I really just numbed myself out from it and slowly started the destruction of my stomach for about 6 months prior to my health really falling apart. Only one day after finally stopping the ibuprofen, the ringing in my ears started. And it has continued, without stoping ever since--- for 10 months now. Everyday I live in a world of hissing, clicking, and ringing. I guess the doctor failed to mention that irreversible tinnitus is a side effect of ibuprofen use. And I guess I failed to be my own health advocate and learn more about what ibuprofen really does in my/your body. For the most part I've learned to deal with it over the last ten months-- but there are days and weeks (like this one) where I can hardly hear out of my left ear because the ringing is so loud. I guess the alarming part for me is that researchers still don't really understand tinnitus in its entirety. The only thing they seem to know for certain is that a good portion of those who develop chronic tinnitus end up losing hearing, yet people are being prescribed and recommended these drugs that cause it, daily. There seems to be a big gap in concern for real health, yeah? On the upside, I guess it's helpful that I have this platform to mention this stuff. I guess if anyone is going to be a cautionary tale, I don't mind it being me. So the lesson for everyone today is that ibuprofen/NSAID's seem relatively harmless and yes, they numb pain, but they are also likely to cause tinnitus and destroy your gut lining too. Tinnitus is untreatable. And destroying your gut lining is like opening our front door and asking allergies and autoimmune disorders to come inside. So proceed with caution, yeah?

On some brighter notes, Marlowe got student of the month last month. We didn't even know her school did the whole "student of the month" thing-- but apparently they do and she got it! The picture of her on the award is pretty much the sweetest thing ever. It's funny how I wanted a rough and dirty boy,  but I got the sweetest most sensitive little girl ever. Just the other day I tried to put 101 Dalmatians (the one with real actors in it) and she made me shut it off because Cruelela was just "too mean and scary". My heart melted a little. She's been extra full of "I love you's" and "thank you's" lately. She's just been so happy, it's been nice. And as I'm typing this she just looked at me and smiled in her sleep--- so she approves ;)

The reviews on my cookbook have all been really great. It's so incredibly nerve wracking to put out a cookbook (I definitely learned this), but you guys have been beyond supportive and up-lifting. I have no idea who left the "dopest cookbook I've ever read" review on Amazon, but it seriously cracks me up. I've had friends and family ask me how many copies I've sold of the book, but I don't know! And to be honest, I refuse to ask. I know it's done well though! The publishers told me they already had to issues a second printing. And I'm happy to know just that. I really don't like counting numbers, so I prefer not to focus on it at all. I'm just happy that I have this space for all the positive people, energy, outlet, and intangible things it gives me--- and while I don't like to focus on numbers, it means a lot that it really does support my family and I am so incredibly forever grateful for that. I really don't know how we would have gotten through all the medical bills and everything else last year without it. And I certainly don't know how I would have emotionally gotten through it without all the extra support.

I do have a bit of a harder time sharing this past year. I feel like I did pour out my heart through a few moments and fears, but the reality is, I think I physically suffered much more than I let on--- even with Alex and the other people nearest to me. But thats typical me with my *strong face*. But I'm just making my way each day. Trying to physically, emotionally, spiritually, (and in whatever other ways) be a better person. I told Alex yesterday, my only goal is really to die knowing that each day I tried to be better than the day before. I see too many people (young and old) assume that this is it, that they are here and gliding through with no real motivation for change or growth--- and to be honest, that's fine if they're happy. But for me? I want to always push myself forward into a better self.

I don't know what this upcoming week will be like, but I hope it's a good one. And I hope that it's better than the week before--- for every one of you guys. I hope you are surrounding yourself with warm and positive people, uplighting and happy things, nourishing and building foods, and whatever else is important for your growth and happiness :) Have a wonderful week, friends. Thanks for being here and adding to my life.

ps. I had to remind myself 10+ times to sit up straighter while writing this. baby steps.

Stand For Play

We're pretty strict with Marlowe on a lot of things. We want her to be polite, kind, disciplined, and thoughtful--- to name a few traits. We try to use a lot of time to educate her on things she should know and things we find really important. We expect her to know a good bit about the world around her and the world as a whole. I think a lot of parents hope for those things for their kids though, right? The other HUGE thing that is super important to us (which will come as a surprise to no one) is creativity. She naturally has that creative spark in her whether it's with making art, thinking of new ideas, or creative play. Nature and nurture are both on her side for this one. We want her to imagine and create without limitations. I love when she can use her time to learn, yes, but I love it just as much (if not more) that she can use her time for some good ole' fashion creative play.

Marlowe was beyond excited when I told her I was writing a post for Toca Boca-- she squealed loudly! It's already one of her absolute favorite apps-- and we're asking parents and families to join us  in taking a Stand For Play! We're 100% behind that. The state of play is in danger! We want our kids to learn learn learn (important), but what about nurturing that creative side that is in so much of us? Imagination is equally important in building a solid ground for a happy life :) And I for one think it's pretty rad to have Toca Boca pushing for more playtime in kids--- no puzzles or challenges or required steps to take-- just open-ended play to explore and learn through play.

The first 2,000 parents who visit the Toca Boca Stand For Play site will have the chance to receive their own Stand For Play posters for their littles ones to have at it-- where kids can color, decorate, paint or do anything they want to the poster (front, back, or both!).

Will you Stand For Play with us? You should! 

Sign up HERE and receive your free Stand For Play poster! Share the word, spread the love, and create the play--- by creating meaningful play time with your kids and then be sure to share and tag your kiddos poster with #standforplay for a chance to be featured :) 

I hope you guys have a colorful, adventurous, and imaginative Thursday :) 


So I've been writing a lot about the lady things lately. I mean, as women, our bodies are pretty complicated (and awesome)--- so I feel like we could chat endlessly about these things together. Since writing about lady contraptions for the time of the month I've got a lot of feed back from you guys and friends and family too. Different things work for different people. I learned that those prone to UTI's should maybe avoid cups. I've also researched and asked a lot more about tampons and other things. For me personally, I know that if I couldn't use a cup (like, if my body hated it, or if I worked outside my home without a private bathroom) my only real option would be tampons. Right now, as mentioned, I use a combo of different things depending on my flow, what I'm doing, and how I'm feeling. I think it's about 50/50 cup and tampons-- but again, my body lets me and my job lets me too. #periodblessed. That's not a thing, right? That should be a thing.

Shortly after writing my round up of lady contraptions, I learned about LOLA. So, the FDA definitely doesn't require tampon brands to disclose the list of ingredients in their tampons. Which means that a lot of companies simply won't list their entire ingredient list. I've read A LOT about this lately (though theres always more to read). There's a been a few activist doctors out there that have been pushing to get more of the ingredients tested. No surprise that the FDA is in no rush to do so. (womp). LOLA chooses to list their ingredients: they're 100% cotton, no additives within the tampons AT ALL--- which also means there are no synthetic materials like rayon or polyester. Most tampons are heavily treated post production--- which I've also talked about--- things like fragrance? Gross. There are no harsh chemicals sprayed on the tampons--- no cleansing agents, bleach, dyes, or chemical filled perfumes to stick up your lady parts. Also, they use a BPA-free plastic applicator. And because I like to double check everything-- I asked about the cotton used and pre-processing stage. LOLA's cotton is completely NON-GMO. And for those who are concerned about glyphosate--- I totally asked and their (european grown) cotton crops are completely glyphosate free. I figured (and hoped) for that much when I learned the cotton was grown in Europe and the tampons were made here. But I wanted to be sure (duh). Yes, GMO crap is primarily an issue here in the states-- but the reality is that it's problem almost everywhere. So I doubled checked. This is the response I received in email:

"The regulations are definitely much tighter in Europe regarding both pesticide use and GMO crops (our cotton is totally GMO free). Recently, there has been a lot of news about tampons containing glyphosate which is a byproduct of the pesticide Roundup, which is frequently used in the culturing of domestic cotton. No roundup is used on our cotton, we've verified with our growers and also through 3rd party tests.

Once picked, our cotton goes through a non-bleach based cleansing process that uses oxygen instead of chlorine."

win. You can read a bit more about GMO's and other crop dangers HERE if you're interested. Short easy, sort of non related read. 

Yeah, I mean, in a perfect and modern world, we wouldn't bleed all over the place and need anything to protect our clothes and our rugs and the eyes of friends and family during our time of the month--- but that's not how mother nature works. We bleed. Once a month (typically anyway) and need to use things. Are tampons the perfect solution? Debatable. But they are a realistic one of so many people (myself included). LOLA is also pretty cool in that it's a completely customizable subscription service, making your lady monthly time just a tad bit easier (chocolate helps too). You can choose exactly how many tampons of what variety you want sent to you. So like, for me, loads of super industrial strength and just a couple light ones. But maybe for someone else, mostly lights and a few regular ones does the trick. You can also skip, cancel, or charge your plan anytime--- cause life is already filled with too many commitments, and your lady time should be easy, flexible, and uncomplicated. Or as easy, flexible, and uncomplicated as you can make it....

Wanna try LOLA out? The first 100 readers to use the code OHDEARDREA get 50% off their order* :)

*new customers only. continental US only. (sorry Hawaii and Alaksa).

Yellow Hutch Love

Happy sunday/monday friends! I'm currently sitting at my friend's house in Asheville, surrounded by people I love. It's pretty rad. We've had a really good short weekend. Well, a longer weekend, but short vacation. Tonight is our last night and we're joined together with Alex making pizza, the girls are playing, and we're randomly talking about placenta encapsulation--- who knows. Good times. We head out tomorrow afternoon-- back to the land of lush green things and coconuts. But for now: pizza and friends! Oh and I even drank a bit too again! This was a special occasion after all ;) Anyway....

Sometimes it's super hard for me to turn down perfectly good furniture-- even when we don't need it. We removed the bench we had along our little corridor (if you can even call it that) because it sat there unused and unnecessary. It was cute with the makeover it had, but I was happy to send it off with a moving friend. Alex and I discussed creating a rotating art piece of sorts or buying an imported Indian cabinet--- we even drooled over a few online and in person. But we could never pull the trigger, because well, we never really needed one--- just wanted one. I'm sure you know how that goes. We like to stay on the practical side (usually). But like I said, sometimes it's hard for me to turn down perfectly good furniture-- especially when I can see a re-model asking to happen. (One of my favorite re-models is still Marlowe's little cabinet).

Well, my dad + step mom recently re-did their (practically entire) entire house-- and with that re-do they said good bye to a few pieces. This hutch included-- a piece I watched sit there for years and years... and years. And right away, I could see a bright and sunny little piece to add to our home. I didn't know what I would necessarily put in it-- and to be honest, most of it is still empty, but I took it in, gave it some love (marlowe too) and now it's the cutest little up-cycle sitting in our home.

Since it's sitting directly across from our bar, we decided it would be best to add our barware glasses to the cabinet--- and a thrifted picnic wine tote too. The blue votive holders will probably move, but for now their a nice pop of color. This is good because I couldn't reach the glasses in the kitchen before haha.

Cute touch to our home, right? Speaking of which--- we're always slightly tweaking things around here. Hoping to do an updated home tour on a few spaces soon :)

Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend and have an even better week ahead! <3<3