Why I Can’t Let Chores Wait

Clean white kitchen with open shelves, full spring blooms! Talking keeping a clean house when you have babies and toddlers on the blog today. Outer order, inner calm! Keeping a clean home with little kids helps my sanity and postpartum anxiety. You don't have to let the chores wait!
Blooms by Leah Erickson Floral after Inez’s baby shower

One of the most popular pieces of advice for postpartum moms is to let their house go. We’ve all heard it. That you should be snuggling your baby, not doing the dishes! Well, I can’t let it go, I’ve tried and I can’t. Also, I don’t know who they think is going to come do your dishes, but okay. Recently, we did a newborn photoshoot in our home. The wonderful photographer, Chelsea Macor, blogged about our session, asking how it was possible that our home was so spotless. Afterall, we have a one month old and a not yet two year old! It made me realize that I get that question a lot. A lot, a lot. So I thought I’d explain here.

One of my favorite sayings by the happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin is “outer order, inner calm.”  This is me in a nutshell. I clean a little bit all day long as messes occur, and finish up once the babies are in bed for the night. I just can’t let things go at my house. I mean, I can on a rare occasion. Like when my husband promises me he’ll do it and asks me to quit driving him nuts with all my tidying. Poor guy can never find his water glass because I already put it in the dishwasher.

Every morning I am jolted awake by a crying baby. And if the first thing I see as I’m walking through the kitchen is smelly dishes and toy dump trucks, it makes me even more stressed. I wish it didn’t you guys, but it does. I’m not neglecting my kids to go clean baseboards, but I do like for my house to be tidy. In this chaotic state of having two kids under two years old, I need to have a little order in my life. And this is how I find it.

We don’t have a house cleaner, never have. So if you see a photo that I posted of our clean home, that’s because I cleaned it, and it made me happy. I do it because it is a priority to me to have my environment be peaceful. Having a newborn and a toddler can put any mom into a bit of an anxious state. Now, I’m not saying I need a xanax prescription just yet, but this is one of the ways that I keep my anxiety in check. (Side note, another way I keep from feeling anxious is by turning off all of my phone notifications. Yes, even text messages.)

Every mom is different of course, and this is simply what works for me. Also, my kids are still young, so perhaps I’ll be eating my words in a few years. I just wanted to give a different perspective on that age-old piece of advice. And I also wanted to clarify that my house is not spotless because I am some supermom. It’s clean because I am a neat freak who is trying to find a little slice of calm in her day with two little ones.

What about you? Can you let the chores wait?

xx,

Heidi

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How We Named Our Inez Marie

How we named our daughter, Inez Marie

I hadn’t planned on writing about how we named Inez, however, I have had so many questions on her name! I thought I would answer them here and share her naming story. First off, I want to clarify the pronunciation of her name. Which, I will say, I never thought I would have to do! It seemed obvious to both Jeff and I, but I suppose you never know until you announce. Our Inez’s name is pronounced “In-ez.” We’ve heard some pretty creative variations, but it’s simply, Inez. Just like it looks. Her name means “pure” and has Spanish origins, but that’s not why we chose it.

Years ago, when Jeff and I were dating, his father’s mother passed away. We traveled to Chehalis to attend her celebration of life. During the service, we both noticed the most beautiful name on the program book. Jeff’s Grandmother’s middle name was Inez. We both mentioned the name several times that day and on our way home. I can’t recall if we said it out loud then, or if it was just an unspoken agreement. But we knew that someday, if we were lucky enough to have a daughter, she would be named Inez.

We loved that it paid homage to Jeff’s family. We loved how unique, yet timeless the name felt. Settling on Marie as a middle name was simple, as we wanted to include a family name from my side as well. My Great Grandmother Winnifred’s middle name was Marie given to her by her Father in honor of her Mother Marie. My mom, and I both have Marie as a middle name. In fact, my dad often calls my mom Marie as her first name.

Our Julian Koki also has a family name. Named after his Japanese Grandfather, Koki. I love the idea that both of our children are watched over by family members before them.

Our Inez Marie is such a dream. I am currently working on writing her birth story, and cannot wait to show you all photos from the magical day she was born.

xx,

Heidi

Photo by Chelsea Macor Photography

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Blueberry Oat Muffins

A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple! A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!I have made a batch of these muffins about once or twice a week for the last month. They are such a simple and nutritious snack for my on-the-go toddler and for myself as a ravenous nursing mom. But I especially love them as an easy addition to breakfast. I’m all about simplifying breakfast lately, since I’m so sleep deprived with a newborn! A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!“Muffin” just may be Julian’s new favorite word as of late. Hooray for healthy toddler snacks! This recipe is super simple, but really packs a punch when it comes to a nutritious treat. I adapted the recipe from a Martha Stewart segment in her latest magazine. I can’t find it anywhere online yet! I substituted a lot of the ingredients that didn’t suit my taste, or that required an extra trip to the store. I’m talking to you spelt flour. Who has time for another store run anyway?!A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple! I know you’ll love this recipe as much as my family does right now. I’m soaking in the last blueberry days before it’s pumpkin spice everything. If this recipe inspires you to bake some tasty muffins of your own, be sure to tag me on Instagram (heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (Bainbridge Boheme) so I can see your beautiful creations! Enjoy!A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together milk, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla until well incorporated.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly to muffins cups.
  7. Bake for 222-24 minutes. Until tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

xx,

Heidi

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Jeff + Heidi: September 6, 2014

DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites.

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DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites.

DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites.

DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. DIY Backyard wedding at our home on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Whimsical, boho, summer wedding. Merchant Mariner wedding in dress whites. Today marks three years of marriage to my Captain Jeff. So much has happened in these last three years, that I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and revisit our wedding day photos. Our wedding day is still one of the best days of my life. Specifically the ceremony. We each wrote our own vows, and that exchange will forever be one of the most meaningful moments of my life.

We got married in our backyard, here on beautiful Bainbridge Island. It made our home even more special to us. As if that was even possible! We were in the midst of remodeling our home at the time of our wedding. Although we had lofty ideas that it would be done before! Our concrete floors were poured just days before our nuptials. Everyone danced and celebrated on what would later be our new living room.

These past three years have brought us two precious babies. One sweetheart of a rescue puppy. And home that we have built together.

We have grown together in incredible ways, and I am forever grateful for our friendship and love. Happy Anniversary my Captain.

xx,

Heidi

Photography: Morgan Hass / Makeup: Blush by Brenna / Hair: Rogue Styling / Wedding Gown: La Belle Elaine’s / Reception Dress: Free People / Robe: Stone Cold Fox

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Double Strolling

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park

Double strolling with two under two! On beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington at Battlepoint Park. Post partum style.

It just occurred to me that I never announced on the blog that our newest addition has arrived! Our beautiful Inez Marie was born on August 15th and I promise to post her birth story soon! She is the spitting image of her brother, and has the sweetest disposition already. I announced her arrival on my 5 different social media channels, but never the blog, whoops. Bainbridge Boheme has definitely taken a back seat lately. Still figuring out how to juggle two kiddos under two years old!

We had our first big outing as a family the other day with a fun little walk around a local park. My postpartum recovery has been slow and surprisingly harder then the first time around. Thus me taking 2 weeks for a big walk like this! I am hoping for smooth sailing from here on out though. Inez has been a dream and Julian makes me proud everyday by being such an amazing big brother. I am so grateful for our little family of four, and can’t wait for more double strollin’ with my babes!

Happy Monday everyone!

xx,

Heidi

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