anchored in light

anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Stollen Fashion | Dwell and Slumber Dresses


I've been wearing Dwell and Slumber dresses for over a year now, so I think it's fair to say that I know how well I like them.

I love them.






Honestly, I first wanted one when I saw that it was a trendy thing. (I am all about trends... generally when they are on their way out 😂 ) I did like that they were nursing friendly, and bump friendly. Basically all of my fashion decisions for the last few years have been based around those things. Also, they seemed right up my alley since I am a more casual dresser, but still like to look nice.

These dresses live up to their name. I dwell AND slumber in them. In fact, for quite awhile I forgot what it felt like to wear pants because I just wore these dresses on repeat. I have spilled just about everything you can name on them. Chocolate on my white dress more than once and they have stood the test of time. My only complaint about these dresses is that the fabric is pretty warm, which means that if you are trying to rock them in the summer, it can get a little toasty. That said, I have taken them on trips, and still worn them most days of the summer. It's really nice for traveling because they pack small and you can use them both for an every day outfit as well as for church or temple trips. I've even used them as a swim cover. I love that they have pockets. It has spoiled me. I kind of expect my dresses to have pockets now, and when they don't I have no idea what to do with myself.

I currently have two dresses, and I would say that is just about perfect if you're a minimalist. You can wear one while the other is in the wash. Perfect for me would be just one more dress, but two works really well. I have worn them through my nursing/pumping journey with Everly and through this pregnancy, and you can bet I'll be wearing them pretty much 24/7 once this little man comes along. They're my go to outfit. Now all I need is a Gigipip hat and I can be really trendy 😉

I linked my white stripe dress (and honestly I like it more than my maroon one. It shows less of the everyday things I get on it), but they don't currently have my maroon one!


Where is your favorite dress from and why do you love it?
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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Stollen Recipes | Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 Dozen

Ingredients:

1 C. Shortening
3 C. Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 Eggs
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 (12 oz.) Package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
4 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Nutmeg
2 C. Canned Pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350℉
2. Cream together Sugar, Shortening, and Vanilla.
3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
4. Scoop into balls using ice cream scoop or spoon and bake for 12-14 minutes.

As stated above, this makes a ton of cookies. While it really is very possible to eat all of them in one sitting, alternatively you can scoop them into balls and place on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Then place the frozen balls into a freezer safe bag and have them ready to pop into the oven whenever you get the craving!


I love Fall and ever since I learned about the solstices and equinoxes I've wanted to celebrate them. Honestly, I don't usually have my life together enough that it actually happens, but it is something that I want to make a tradition with my kids. What a better way to welcome Fall than some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? I'm planning to make some of these this year with Everly. I have no doubt she'll like eating them, but probably not making them so much 😂 Actually, I take that back, she'll love making them, my arms won't though. 

Anyway, how do you welcome Fall? What are some of your favorite Fall recipes?
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | April 2019







4/3/2019

A new Poppy
Blooming in my belly




4/6/2019

You looked back
to see if I was following you
caught my eye
then quickened your pace
I teased you
caught you up in fits of giggles

4/7/2019

I love watching you and Daddy
the way you choose him
feel safe with him
wave goodbye when he steps into the next room



4/8/2019

Those huffy breaths you take through your nose
I have no idea where your thousands of idiosyncrasies came from
but I love them
my snowflake girl

4/10/2019

I've grown comfortable
with silence
just the sound of you
banging blocks together
yelling "MOM" when something isn't quite right
the silence of motherhood




4/11/2019

"Yes"
"Yesh"
you're trying to speak
you say it for the joy of it
for the way it forms in your mouth
I hope you remember that joy
when you read these poems

4/13/2019

I love that it's me you reach for
when you're sad or hurt
that in these moments
you love me
as fiercely
as I love you




4/20/2019

You didn't really understand the point
eggs
buckets
wandering the grass in a new dress that you'd normally only wear on Sunday
but the wonder was back for me
watching your newness in the grass this morning

4/23/2019

You woke up from your nap
sat in my arms while I stroked your hair away from your face
you leaned your head into my hand
it was such a small moment
but it meant a lot to me

4/27/2019

You cried
for apparently no reason
it broke my Mama heart
I held you
prayed for you
Daddy and I both did
until you felt better

4/28/2019

I started patting your tummy
to distract you from your least favorite part of bedtime
when we change you
you laughed
patted your tummy every time I stopped
until we laid you down to sleep

4/29/2019

You walked around
with a stack of rubber banded business cards to your ear
for half an hour


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed them :) Motherhood really has been so wonderful for me in so many ways, but these poems are one of the best ways I think. 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Monthly Moments | August



Hey there! Is it just me, or has August both flown by and lasted forever? I was really looking forward to August because it's my birthday month. Since my birthday is at the very beginning of the month I kind of use it as a "New Year" situation and look over my life and what I want to do. This last year has honestly been one of the hardest ones of my life, but also, one of the best ones. We have faced some serious challenges and I was looking forward to being 29 and kind of starting over. 

Life likes to laugh at plans like that 😂

My birthday was pretty good and I threw myself a dinner party the day after that went pretty well (minus the fact that I made way less pasta than I needed and had to make more in the middle). I even got presents at my party, which was a wonderful surprise. Honestly, I have thrown myself birthday parties many a time hoping for presents, but not getting any. I swear, as a child, presents are fun because you get fun things and you don't really have the funds to get anything for yourself yet. As an adult, I wish for presents because if I thought I didn't have the funds before, I really don't now. Anyway, I expected nothing and even got my guests party favors (which I never do) and was pleasantly surprised that they brought me gifts! 

After that, I ended up needing my first root canal and spent more than a week in pain (I would have been in pain a whole week longer than that but went to see a specialist so that I could get it taken care of sooner.)

This month has not gone as I expected, but it has had some good times too. 




We found out not long before my birthday that we are having a baby BOY. I honestly was both very surprised and not surprised at all when the ultrasound technician told us. I was hoping for another girl so that Everly would have a sister close in age and also so that we would already have everything that we needed. I started refering to the baby as "Holly" in my mind (the only name that seemed to ring true in my heart). I thought of what it would be like to put my new baby in Everly's old clothes and put bows in her hair. So when we found out that we were having a boy, I wasn't sure what to do. I have no idea how to be a boy mom and we have very little in the way of clothing that we can reuse for a boy. But now I'm excited about the new adventure that a boy will bring and wonder what my little man will look like. I had fun looking at little boy clothes and bowties and making a registry for this baby. He has been a bright spot this last month, almost as much as Everly has been. 


Sometimes I think that we were blessed with Everly (who is really one of the best babies in the world), because of all the other rough stuff that we've been through. I'm mentally preparing myself for this little guy to be rougher than his sister. While Everly still has her quirks, she is just kind of an angel child, which I attribute mostly to her and in small part to the number of podcasts and books that I've read to try and be a good mom. We'll see how this new little one does. I really can't imagine myself with two babies. Yesterday I was cooking dinner with Everly. She was being especially clingy and crying inconsolably if I had to set her down to do things like drain the pasta or grate the cheese. It all started weighing down on me that in the not too distant future I'd have two babies that want to be held and "SEE" what I'm doing when I'm cooking dinner. That Brian will still be working and hopefully we'll be in our own place. I'll have more to do and less hands to do it with. I almost lost it there while making dinner. I'm sure that I'll find my groove eventually. 

Anyway, this has been a rambling life update. I kind of enjoy doing these from time to time. I hope you're all having a great end of Summer. I'm looking forward to fall and fall clothes, although currently I feel like none of my clothes are designed for my pregnant body type (imagine that, non-maternity clothes not necessarily looking great on a maternity body!). I'm hoping to do something fun to celebrate fall like make apple crisp or spice cake. We'll see :) 


Books I've loved this month:

Furies of Calderon By Jim Butcher
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss


Podcast Episodes I have loved this month:

Optimizing Productivity and Avoiding Procrastination -What We Said Podcast
Kali Gray on body positivity, mindful eating and living counter-culturally -Slow Home Podcast
Modesty -Q More
French Kids Eat Everything (and so can YOURS!) -Find the Magic
Alain De Botton-- The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships -On Being (technically listened to this last month but it has been on my mind ever since)

I've been working on setting a good morning routine, waking up at 5-5:30 AM to exercise and read my scriptures and write in my journal. The only problem is that if I wake up that early I ALWAYS need a nap while Everly is napping. So I lose that break between to sleep. However, if I don't wake up early, I don't usually get a shower in, and I definitely don't exercise. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you all for reading! If you have any comments, book recommendations, or podcasts you love, please leave them below!



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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fawn Design Diaper Bag



So a couple of things to start out. Yes, I still kind of want to be a fashion blogger, but that always wars with my lack of funds to be buying new clothes and also the fact that I'm more and more of a hippie as the days go on... so fast fashion probably shouldn't be something I'm trying to get into. That said, I do think it's fun to share things that you love. 

I have always been a bag girl, from the little burgundy velvet purse I took to church with me as a child and the Pocahontas purse that I vowed to fill with quarters (and was very upset when my mother refused to take my $20 bill to the bank and turn into quarters), to now. I remember almost always spending my $20 allowance on bags as a teenager. I always thought that I would someday find the perfect bag. The one that would go with everything, fit everything that I needed in it, and would magically make me into the "cool Rachael" that I saw in my head. I've come to terms with the fact that I am never going to find a bag that I'm completely satisfied with for the rest of my life, but I have found some pretty great ones. 

This bag is one that I have carried almost exclusively since I had Everly. Which, if you know me, is kind of saying something. I don't stick to bags for very long usually because I'm looking for the next one, the better one, all the time. I stood in line for an hour for this bag because there was a warehouse sale and that was the only way that I was going to be able to afford it. I remember taking it home and leaving it in its packaging, just waiting for the day when I could use it. For me, a bag has to be like the clothing I wear, it has to look good, but it also has to be functional. I am not the kind of person that is willing to make personal comfort sacrifices for fashion. Splurging on this bag felt worth it to me because it was something that I knew that I was going to be using for a long time (although, somehow I really thought that you only carried a diaper bag while the baby was tiny. I don't know how I got that into my head, but here we are 18 months in and I still carry one almost everywhere I go). 



Here are the things I love about this bag:

-Big enough to haul around pretty much everything I need
There have been a few rare occasions where I wanted it just a bit bigger, but for the most part, I'd give it an A in that area.

-Inside is completely wipeable
Having spilled a ton of formula in the bag on one occasion it was so nice to just be able to flip the inside out and shake out most of it and wipe out the rest.

-Interior pockets to stay organized
The inside has one pocket on each side and two pockets in the front, plus a zippered pocket in the back and another pocket behind that. The back pocket is particularly useful for keeping Everly's vaccine records and my wallet and keys.

-Durability.
I have stuffed this thing full so many times and dragged it everywhere with me for a year and a half. Its been on planes, thrown in the car, carried almost every place that I've gone and it still looks basically the same. Honestly, there's like one scuff on it and other than that it is in the same condition as when I bought it. I'm seriously impressed.

-Looks good
As a bag girl, it was important to me that my diaper bag look nice and not just be functional. Plus, I love that even though it IS a diaper bag unless you are a fellow mom, it doesn't LOOK like a diaper bag. 


Things I don't love about this bag:

-It's kind of heavy. 
If you empty the bag completely out and just hold it... there's still some weight to it. Which, when you're hauling around a bunch of supplies for the baby and yourself is not always great.

-There aren't any insulated pockets. 
The number of times I wished that I had an insulated pocket for formula or breastmilk, or even whole milk... so many times. I've put bottles in an insulated pack inside the bag, but it would have been so nice to just have that already built into the bag.

-No grab handle. 
This is basically a non-issue because the newer versions of this bag all have one, but it has made me realize how nice they are to have and to prioritize that in my diaper bags.




Overall I have loved using this bag. I even bought the mini version for myself when it went on sale so that Everly and I could match someday, and use as a smaller diaper bag when we didn't need as many things. I am planning on buying a new bag for this next baby, mainly because I REALLY want some insulated pockets. I'll let you guys know how I like the next bag 😉. I've been trying to be more of a minimalist and so I've debated about whether or not I want to keep my Fawn Design bag when I get a new bag, but I think I'll probably still use it even if I have a new bag. We'll see. 

Anyway, thanks for reading! If you have a favorite diaper bag (or really any bag), let me know what it is and why you love it in the comments! If you also have a Fawn Design bag, what do you think of it?

Have a great week!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stollen Recipes | Spaghetti Pie



I'm going to do everyone a favor and put the recipe right at the top :)

Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs, well beaten
1 C. cottage cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
6 oz. spaghetti
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. oregano
2 C. tomato sauce

Directions:

Cook spaghetti; stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Pour into 9x13 inch pan (sprayed with non-stick spray). Spread cottage cheese over noodles. Cook ground beef; drain. Add tomato sauce and oregano to drained meat. Turn the mixture over spaghetti crust. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.


This recipe came to me from my Mother in law and is part of a recipe book that I meant to make for last Christmas and haven't finished yet. I often would text her for a recipe from Brian's childhood and finally decided that we should just make our own cookbook for the family of all their favorite go-to recipes. In my opinion, every family should have one of these that they can send out the door with their kids when they move out. And the child should know how to make all the recipes in the book. Since finding out that we're having a boy, I'm more determined than ever that he will know how to cook. I was already planning on that, but my resolve has definitely been renewed. Not that Brian doesn't know how to cook, but he definitely hasn't had as much practice at it as I have and I want my sons to be just as competent, if not more competent, in the kitchen as their female counterparts. 

This is actually one of the meals that were brought to the hospital for us when we were there for Everly in the NICU after she was born. One of the best parts about this recipe is that it freezes really well! I highly recommend just doubling the recipe and freezing half of it for another day (building up my freezer meals is also something that I plan on working into my regular routine because 5/10 days I have no desire or time to make dinner or come up with something to make). 

This recipe is also super easy to make gluten-free, just make sure that your tomato sauce is gluten-free (we sometimes use spaghetti sauce instead, but just know that if you choose that route it can end up a little soupy! Still tastes great though ☺️) and substitute gluten-free spaghetti noodles.

I hope that you love it! Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you!
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | March




3/1/19

I pucker my lips
you smile
laugh
walk close enough to me so I can kiss you
then tease me and walk away
when daddy tries to film it



3/2/19

the way you reached for me
til daddy handed you over
leaned against me
cheek to lips
while I kissed you over and over
I hope that those kisses soak deep
so you always know you're loved



3/7/19

I saw the picture of Pharoah's daughter
finding Moses
and thought of my empty womb
hers was empty too
but her arms were filled anyway



3/11/19

we went to the dog park
you were wrapped in our duckling sling
the dogs were interested in you
but mostly you leaned against my chest
listened to me breathe
took it all in


3/13/19

I pucker my lips
you get a hint of a smile
open your tiny mouth wide
lean forward
I let you put your whole mouth over my lips
touch the drool left on my chin
because tomorrow
you won't kiss me



3/18/19

you fell in the dry brown grass
a normal fall
but the feeling of the grass sent you toddling to me
afraid of the grass you loved last summer



3/25/19

after your bath
I rubbed you down
went through the usual struggle to get you dressed
I was snapping your snaps
you climbed onto me
held your tiny arms
around my neck



3/27/19

you clamp your mouth tight
scrunch up your nose
breathe in and out
fast
you think it's funny
I hope you never stop



3/29/19

I just want to remember
walking
with you leaned against my chest



3/31/19

14 months
today
I didn't even remember
until now


Thanks for reading! :) 

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