Springtime in Seattle

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

(Sweater: Free People, similar, Dress: c/o Magnolia Shoes (so soft!),  Purse: c/o SheIn (only $30!), Wedges: Nordstrom, Lips: MAC Crosswires // Julian’s sweater: hand-me-down, Overalls: Gap, similar, Shoes: Nordstrom)

If you caught my Spring To-Do List a few weeks back, then you know that visiting the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington was number 1 on my list! I still remember the amazement I would feel every year after returning to UW following spring break. The quad would be filled with these stunning blooms and you could feel the magic in the air. It also meant that summer was just one quarter away!

Every year the UW announces an estimated time when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom. You can even watch it on live stream! This year we visited in the first week of April. My friend and photographer Whitney, who took these amazing photos just before the sun set and the rain began to fall.

I was so excited to be able to share this beautiful sight with Julian this year. Since we live on Bainbridge Island, we caught the ferry boat over to the Emerald City. We strolled through campus, and I swear it must have looked like Disneyland to my one year old! You could see the amazement in his eyes! He ran around and played in the fallen petals and jumped in every mud puddle. It was nostalgic to visit UW again, and these beautiful blooms were exactly as I remembered. 

Wherever you may be in the world, the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington are a site you must see with your own eyes. Living in Washington state, spring has always felt like a season of renewal and new energy for me. Fresh blooms, bluer skies, and lighter rainfall are all welcomed warmly after the winter months. The frogs and ducks return to their ponds and all of your friends come out of hibernation. Hey guys! Springtime in Seattle is pure magic, and I hope that you get a chance to see the cherry blossoms for yourself sometime soon! The blooms never last long, so be sure to time it right! 

Also, if you’re on or near Bainbridge Island, you must check out Magnolia Shoes where this dress is from! I am obsessed with how soft this fabric is, I could sleep in these dress!

Huge thank you to Whitney Coudray Photography for the photos. I cherish these and so many more that I didn’t post 🙂

xx,

Heidi

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The Magnolia Story

2017 book recommendation, The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Amazing book for parents and entrepreneurs!

Hello again and happy Wednesday! Since I have been managing my pregnancy illness: hyperemesis gravidarum, a lot better lately, I have been doing some catch up with my reading list! I wasn’t able to read for about 3 months because it worsened my nausea. Besides feeling miserable that whole time, I was also pretty bored! We don’t have a TV, so books play a big role in my source of entertainment. Alright, without further ado, here is what I read and loved this past month!

Like most of America, I have a admiration and certain level intrigue for Chip and Joanna Gaines. In case you live under a rock, they are the lovable married couple and stars of HGTV’s hit show, Fixer Upper. The couple flips older houses in the small town of Waco, TX, and creates their clients dream home. It really is miraculous to see what they can create together. Like I said above, I don’t even have a TV and I’ve caught a few episodes here and there. This book was recommended to me by several close friends, including the lovely Whitney Coudray, so I knew I had to pick it up.

The Magnolia Story reads like a diary straight from Joanna herself, with Chip’s hilarious voice interspersed throughout. You would be hard-pressed to find a more gracious, and down to earth pair of reality stars out there. Which it’s a large part of their appeal, and the main reason I decided to read. How is it possible that two TV stars could be so grounded and morally driven in today’s world? That’s the question that has so many of us hooked!

The Magnolia Story is a beautiful telling of Chip and Joanna’s lives and how they run their businesses. I found myself most intrigued by the way Joanna discussed motherhood. She goes into intimate detail on how she began designing a home for her family to thrive in, not just reside in. I mean, check out my favorite quotes below! I highly recommend this book to any parent, and certainly to any entrepreneur.  

Have you read Chip and Joanna’s book? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to tag me on Instagram (heidi.stephens) if this inspires you to pick up The Magnolia Story!

Favorite quotes: “I always thought that the ‘thriving’ would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.”Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story

“I worked hard to try to do it all, to try to live up to the Pinterest perfection that only leaves you discontent. I finally realized that life isn’t found on the pages of a magazine-life is found in the glass of spilled milk and in the long, narrow hallway filled with socks and soccer balls.”Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story

xx,

Heidi

Be sure to check out last month’s book recommendation from Bainbridge Boheme!

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Months of Showers Bring April Flowers

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

Visiting the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. One of the most beautiful sites in Washington state! Tulip Town with a Toddler!

(Trench coat: Calvin Klein // Dress: ASOS Maternity // Boots: Nordstrom // Nails: OPI Sweet Heart // Lips: Hip and Happy & Snob both by MAC. Julian’s Sweater: Cat & Jack // Jeans: Levis // Boots: Nordstrom)

Earlier this week we had the chance to visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon. It is a sight to be seen! Our beautiful Evergreen State never ceases to amaze me. After what felt like the dreariest winter, these tulips were a breath of fresh air. Speaking of fresh air, the wind was so strong when we first got there that it made for some pretty funny blooper photos. Julian is not a fan of the wind and the poor guy had a full on toddler meltdown when we first arrived. Mom life you guys, mom life. Luckily, the day turned around with a little help from some cheddar bunnies (thus the snack cup in every photo) and we all got to enjoy the majestic fields. They are even more gorgeous in person! If you have never been, or even if you have, it is a MUST!

They don’t allow pets into the gardens so we had to leave Jet Pup while we wandered around. But we were able to stop at a field off the road and let him explore a bit. Driving around “Tulip Town,” as it’s called, is such a pretty and scenic way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend stopping at Roozengaarde so you are able to walk around and see the tulips up close. Be sure to wear boots though! It gets really muddy as you can see from these photos! We were doing some major off-roading with Julian’s stroller. Also, if your schedule allows, weekdays are much less crowded, but still plenty busy.

It was fun to look back at our visit from last year’s festival and see how much my little man has grown. And also fun to see how much the blog has grown! It is crazy to think that I was just at those same fields with my baby last year, and now this year with my toddler and another baby on the way. Never would I have imagined that! But I am feeling so grateful for my family, and grateful to live in such a beautiful state. Okay, I think we’ve heard enough from the pregnancy hormones.

Have you been to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

xx,

Heidi

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Happy Easter!

A fun family day and our toddler boy's very first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!

Toddler boy on his first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!

Toddler boy on his first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!

Toddler boy on his first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!

A fun family day and our toddler boy's very first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!

A fun family day and our toddler boy's very first Easter egg hunt on Bainbridge Island, WA!
Excuse all the sunbeams! We were loving it though!

(Sweater: Free People-similar, Shirt: Motherhood, Jeans: Motherhood, Boots: Nordstrom Purse: SheIn,
Sunnies: RayBan // Julian’s Sweater: Hand-me-down, Jeans: Levis, Boots: Nordstrom)

Wanted to pop onto the blog really quick to wish everyone a very Happy Easter! We had the best morning yesterday at Julian’s very first Easter egg hunt. He got to see all of his baby friends and made quite the egg haul with the help of his cousins! Jules would pick up an egg and immediately open it to inspect it’s contents before putting it in his basket. It was so stinking cute! The sun was bright all day, and it made for the perfect Saturday on Bainbridge Island.

I have been anxiously waiting to give Jules his Easter basket for weeks now! Per usual, I was just a tad early in prepping for the holiday. In case you missed it, I posted about his Easter basket here. So excited to see his face when he sets eyes on all of his new goodies! I will be whipping up my lemon ricotta pancakes this morning, and enjoying some family time with my guys. I hope you are doing the same! Wishing you all a Happy Easter and lots of love.

xx,

Heidi

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Perfect Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good!

Oh dear! These are the fluffiest, most flavorful pancakes in the history of pancakes. My family simply could not get enough of these lemon ricotta shortstacks. They are so light and airy, but packed with a powerful lemony punch. My dad, who is not a pancake eater, was hooked! And I can’t even recall how many baby Julian had. Whoops.

The zest of a lemon makes these pancakes the perfect springtime breakfast. They are ideal for making a special occasion feel even more special. Easter and Mother’s Day come to mind for me! You may remember that I vowed to work on my lemon ricotta pancake recipe in my Spring To-Do List post. Well I’m pretty darn excited about how this one turned out, and so happy to share it with you! We will definitely be devouring these come Easter morning. And I hope you will be too!

Keep in mind, these are not a 2 minute pancake. There are a few additional steps here that you won’t run into if you’re using Krusteaz. But I assure you, if you follow the recipe and make these from scratch, you will notice and appreciate the difference! As will anyone that is lucky enough to devour these bad boys!

As always, let me know if you try out this recipe! Be sure to tag me in your creations. I simply love seeing my recipes in other people’s kitchens! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, separated

Instructions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in your dry ingredient mixture, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and egg yolks. In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Add the milk mixture to your dry ingredients well, stir until combined. Gently fold in the egg whites. Preheat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Pour about ⅓ cup of batter onto buttered skillet and cook until bubbles begin to form, and bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on opposite side. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!

xx,

Heidi

 

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Gender Reveal: It’s A…

Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for partyGender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party Gender reveal cupcakes, gender reveal party, gender reveal ideas, gender reveal ideas for party

(Sweater: Kenzo, Jeans: DL 1961, lipstick: MAC //Julian’s shirt: Nordstrom, Pants: Splendid from Barna & Co)

In case that beautiful pink frosting didn’t give it away already, we are having a GIRL!!! Jeff and I have always said we didn’t care either way, boy or girl, as long as the baby was healthy. But we had both talked at length at how wonderful it would be to have a sweet little girl. And I must say, I am pretty excited that we will have a son and a daughter. I can already imagine taking her to ballet class and braiding her hair. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m excited about the little girl clothes! This is the first baby girl on my mom’s side of the family since I was born; we have 7 busy boys! And Jeff is one of three sons! Needless to say, our parents are pretty excited about the news of a girl!

Knowing the gender always makes pregnancy feel more real for me. I could never wait to be surprised at delivery! I hate surprises! Something shifted for me that day we found out the gender, and this pregnancy became more exciting than ever. Because of all of the hardships of my pregnancy, knowing that we are having a healthy baby girl has been the boost I needed to conquer the second half of this journey.

I am looking forward to meeting our sweet little girl more than I can say. And there is a certain excitement about seeing my husband become a father to a baby girl that I can’t even explain! I know that Julian will be an amazing big brother because I see the way he treats other babies and animals with such kindness. Our sweet baby girl is so loved already. And so many of you guessed right that we would be having a girl! You guys are good! Thank you for stopping by to read about our exciting news! Much love to you all.

xx,

Heidi

Thank you to Crumbs Cakery for creating these beautiful custom cupcakes that helped us share our news! And thank you to Jesse Crockett for the gorgeous photography and cupcake eating assistance! 

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