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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

Just a Matter of Days Now…

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Dress: ASOS, similar here and non-maternity here // Julain’s Shirt: Gap, Shorts: Zara sold out

It’s just a matter of days now before we get to meet our sweet baby girl. I have been feeling excited and anxious all at the same time. I cannot wait to meet our baby and hold her in my arms. I imagine her to look like Julian, who at birth looked just like Jeff. I must say, part of me is a little nervous about having a one year old and a newborn! Any advice from you two-under-two mamas? I need all the tips I can get! Here are some fun tidbits about my pregnancy that I’ve never shared before!

How I discovered I was pregnant: It was just a week before Christmas and I went to Seattle to meet one of my best friend’s for a fun girls day. Jesse and I grew up together and now both have babies the same age. We started talking about how we were both feeling so bloated and sluggish after way too many holiday treats. Then we started talking about when we may try for baby number 2. After saying goodbye to Jess I walked back to the ferry boat thinking about our conversations. On a whim I bought a pregnancy test before hopping on the ferry. I took the test on the ferry ride home (so glam) and sure enough, it was POSITIVE! The best part is that Jesse took a test the very next day (not knowing about mine yet) and hers was positive too!

Who knew first: I called my sister that day to tell her the news! I wanted to surprise Jeff in a fun way, so I need my sis by my side to help craft a plan! Jesse knew right away, as well as our dear friend Ashley, who also discovered she was pregnant just days later! We could not have planned that if we tried!

How I told Jeff: On the morning of Christmas Eve I had Jeff open a very special Christmas present. I wrapped up 4 beautiful red Christmas ornaments with hand painted gold calligraphy reading; Jeff, Heidi, Jules and Baby. Jeff was so excited and shocked and over the moon all at the same time! We told the rest of our families then next day. Best Christmas ever.

How I felt: For the majority of the pregnancy I felt miserable. I’ve spoken candidly about that here and here. But as the end nears I feel healthy and excited. Albeit very tired and enormous.

What I craved: Carbs! Pizza, mac & cheese, lasagna! Also, fresh fruits like watermelon and strawberries. Any vegetable I saw would make me nauseous. If I could eat Molly Moon’s Salted Caramel ice cream daily, I would.

Greatest fear: This may sound silly, but I am just uncertain about what it will be like to have a baby that is not Julian. Jules and I get along like two peas in a pod. He’s truly my buddy. So I have a hard time imaging what it will be like to parent a baby that isn’t Jules. I keep saying things like “oh I hope she’s like her brother!” But of course she will have her own unique personality to bring to our family. One that deep down I know I will love. Even if she’s the exact opposite of her brother! I remember having the same fear of the unknown before delivering my Julian, and now he has my whole heart.

Greatest joy: Few things compare to that initial ultrasound when you fear baby’s heartbeat for the first time! But I will say, that as she’s grown, I have come to love her powerful kicks inside my belly. She throws me some zingers that can take my breath away! I am growing a strong girly in this belly of mine.

I am still on cloud nine over these maternity photos by the incredible Taylor Catherine Photography. We shot just before the sun went down on beautiful Vashon Island. The scent of this lavender field was out of this world!

Jeff and I both feel so blessed to be our baby girl’s parents. And she is the luckiest girl in the world to have Julian as her big brother. Just a matter of days now girly.

xx,

Heidi

Continue Reading

Life Lately via Instagram

Maternity fashion in body con dress with casual ball cap and white nike sneakers

Hat: Nordstrom / Sunnies: BP / Dress: Ingrid & Isabel / Bag: BP under $25! / Shoes: Nike

^Finally got out of sweat pants and got myself dressed.

Maternity style

Dress: Free People / Slides: Steve Madden only $25!

^Fav summer slides…as long as my feet aren’t too swollen!

All pink maternity style

Sunnies: Diff / Dress: TopShop / Purse: SheIn only $30! / Slides: Steve Madden

^I had three maternity appointments this day! So much driving, so many US Weeklys

Baby girl's nursery

Swaddles: Little Unicorn and Nordstrom / Candle: Woodwick / Book: Amazon / Shoes: Freshly Picked (under $40!) / Bows: Baby Bling Bows / Unicorn: Jellycat, mine is from Barna & Co

^Getting baby girl’s nursery together. It’s about time!

Morning light and morning muffins in my white kitchen with open shelving

^Morning light and morning muffins!

9 months pregnant, lounge robe and house slippers from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Robe: Honeydew / Slippers: Ugg (on-sale!)

^Pretty early to bed these days! Jeff refers to these as my “house wife slippers” lol.

Touch-a-truck event on Bainbridge Island at Summer Fest in Washington State

Hat: Barna and Co / Shirt: Splendid (major sale!) / Shorts: Target / Shoes: Native

^My little truck lover at SummerFest on Bainbridge Island!

9 month pregnant belly with Zella leggings and pink Nikes from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Shirt: TopShop / Leggings: Zella (only $35! Still need to hem these) Nikes: Zappos, love them in blue!

As I near the end of my pregnancy my energy level is plummeting! Which is a bummer because I still have a zillion things to do to get ready to meet our baby girl! You know, like decorate her room! I had intended on sharing with you all this amazing lemon bar recipe I made recently. I made it for a BBQ we hosted and it was a hit! Julian had more then I’d like to confess. But I’m just too tired to recreate the dish and photograph it. So, I’m just going to build a mountain of suspense over lemon bars. And instead, share with you a little behind the scenes from last week on my Instagram, including a few fun outfits that I wore!

I’ve mentioned this before on my Instagram account, but I think it’s worth mentioning here. I have found maternity fashion to be very challenging for me. A lot of the items I would try on would leave me feeling HUGE and not so excited about being pregnant. Over time, I found that wear more bump hugging outfits was actually really flattering. I’m normally not one for a curve hugging, body-con dress. But I found that they suit me in pregnancy, so I’ve been running with it!

Also, a ton of the items I’m wearing are on sale now through the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! The sale lasts until August 6th, and I’ve already missed out on a few items that I was lusting over. So, hop on it and snag your favorites. Hope you enjoyed these looks that I wore last week! Follow along for more on instagram: @heidi.stephens.

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

xx,

Heidi

Continue Reading

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: My Favorite Finds

The early access Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has officially begun! The most wonderful time of the year for shopping! My mother raised me on Nordstrom, and this is my absolute favorite sale of the year. I stock up on lots of basics that I buy year after year, and I grab a few pieces to wear throughout the autumn and winter months. I usually pick up some new boots, a versatile bag, and some cozy sweaters. But I have to tell you, being so big and pregnant has not exactly put me in the mood to shop.  Woe is me, I know. But then I realized, I have just a few more weeks of maternity life! And having some new, stylish pieces to wear may be a nice way to transition out of maternity wear. Above are some of my favorites from the NSALE!

Early access for Nordstrom credit and debit card holders runs from July 13th-20th, regular access begins July 21st-Aug 6th. Shop the full sale here!

Are you a diehard Nordies fan too? What pieces are you eyeing?! Let me know!

xx,
Heid

 

Continue Reading

That Vashon Life

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

(Dress: Ingrid & Isabel, bag: Petunia Picklebottom, Slides: REVOLVE, Hat: Nordstrom.

Julian; Shirt: Nordstrom- similar, Joggers: Tucker & Tate, Shoes: Native from Barna & Co.)

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

(Purse: She In only $30! Slides: REVOLVE)

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNWA peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW

A peaceful and tranquil stay on beautiful Vashon Island. A Seattle area must see attraction! The contemporary oasis that is The Lodges on Vashon, and what to do on Vashon Island, WA in the Pacific Northwest PNW
Let’s go mama!

 (Gold slides: Nordstrom, Jeans: Ingrid & Isabel, Purse: She In. Julian: Sweater: Hand-me-down, Jeans: Levis, Shoes: Native from Barna and Co)

Last week we had the most relaxing stay at The Lodges on Vashon on beautiful Vashon Island. As you can probably imagine, I love island life! But Vashon is very different from Bainbridge. One of the more obvious reasons is that Vashon can only be accessed by ferry, where as Bainbridge Island also has a bridge leading on and off the island. So, even though it is just a short ferry ride, you feel like you have stepped back in time. Vashon is quiet, picturesque and perfectly tranquil. We were on the island for a very special photo shoot, and I can’t wait to show you more from that shoot soon! Here’s a sneak peek of the location!

Our stay at The Lodges on Vashon was exactly what this tired mama needed. Each lodge is a contemporary oasis. The clean, minimalist aesthetic of each lodge adds to the feeling of tranquility. And personally, made me want to redecorate my house! Marie Kondo would have approved. The outdoor common areas harbor the sense of community that one craves on a small island. Oh, and the outdoor swings! If these don’t make your Instagram then you’re doing it wrong. Boomerang dream come true! Case in point!

We dined at The Hardware Store just a few blocks from The Lodges, then took a scenic drive to Point Robinson Lighthouse. Julian loves being on the beach, and I get such a relaxing feeling being on the water. Vashon is a stunning island, and feels like a throwback in time. It had me wanting to drive around aimlessly all day. If I wasn’t so enormously pregnant I would have loved to have rented a bike and toured more of the island on 2 wheels!

We didn’t end up bringing Jet because of the photoshoot we were doing. However, pups are welcome at The Lodges! I think this is such a wonderful aspect of this venue, since it can be challenging to find accommodations that allow pets! Sorry Jet Pup, next time!

I am so thrilled to be teaming up with The Lodges to offer you guys 20% off for stays from July 3rd– July 13th! Just enter code BOHEME at checkout for your discounted rate. The Lodges are a must if you’re in need a some island time! And who isn’t in need of some island time?

xx,

Heidi

Continue Reading

Sundae Fundae!

Take a look at how I’m creating delicious family memories with tasty treats! Thank you to Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertisers for sponsoring this post. And thank you all for supporting companies that support this blog! All opinions are mine alone. #SummerSundaes #CollectiveBias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias Blue Bunny® PB 'N Cones™,Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping, and Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping SUNDAE! A delicious take on the classic sundae with fresh fruit and nuts. Create a lasting family memory by sharing a sundae with someone you love. #ad #SummerSundaes #collectivebias

I am so thrilled it’s June already! Holy cow, that was a rough Winter and early Spring. Warmer weather and sunnier days means ICE CREAM! And I have had some serious ice cream cravings this pregnancy. I have been frequenting our local ice cream parlor a bit too much lately. And dang, that adds up. I decided it was time that I create my own tasty concoction at home.

Sharing an ice cream sundae with a loved one creates a lasting memory. I can still remember making sundaes with my mom in the summer when I was a little girl! I want Julian and our baby girl to have those same memories. I think I’m on the right track with this recipe, because Julian was in heaven! And baby girl was kicking up a storm!

You guys, these sundaes turned out to be out of the world delicious! And so easy! I stopped into our local Walmart to grab all of my ingredients and decided to make a fun twist out of the classic sundae. Instead of using plain vanilla ice cream, I decided to try Blue Bunny® PB ‘N Cones™! It has peanut butter swirls and bits of cone already mixed into the ice cream, so no need for an additional cone! Such a scrumptious twist on the traditional vanilla flavor. Smucker’s has a wide variety of ice cream toppings, but I opted for the classic Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping to complement my PB ‘N Cones ice cream selection. And how can you have a sundae without Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping? You just can’t. For fun embellishments I grabbed some delicious fresh fruit and tasty pecans. I finished the sundae with a fresh, homemade waffle as a fun garnish. Delicious! See the full recipe below!

Tag me in your sundae fundae family memories and let me know if you try this recipe at home! I always love seeing a Bainbridge Boheme creation come from someone else’s kitchen! Tag me on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (@BainbridgeBoheme).

Ingredients:

  • Blue Bunny® PB ‘N Cones™
  • Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping
  • Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 pint of strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • Chopped pecans
  • Cherries
  • Fresh waffles, quartered for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Assemble sundae. Scoop two heaping scoops of PB ‘N Cones ice cream into dish
  2. Prepare Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping by microwaving with lid off for 30-45 seconds as label directs
  3. Top ice cream with generous amount of Smucker’s Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream Topping
  4. Dress your sundae with desired amount of fresh fruits and nuts
  5. Top with a heaping dollop of Reddi-Wip® original whipped topping 
  6. Garnish with a slice of fresh waffle if desired
  7. Complete sundae with a cherry on top of your whipped cream
  8. Enjoy with someone you love!

xx,

Heidi

Thank you again to Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertisers for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone. Here is the social hub for this campaign! #SummerSundaes #CollectiveBias

Continue Reading

The Unique Ways I Keep Harsh Ingredients Out of Our Home

Take a peek at how I keep harsh ingredients out of our home! Thank you to Collective Bias for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone, and I take pride in showcasing the best products for you all! #FreeOfSulfates #CollectiveBias

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

Keeping harsh chemicals out of our home, using sulfate free products for our family. Sulfate free leads to a natural shine!

When I was in nursing school I remember learning about the dirty dozen for the first time. It is a list of the 12 types of produce that have the highest pesticide residues. I was fascinated with the idea of how chemicals were coming into our homes. Especially from something as seemingly harmless as a piece of fruit!

Fast forward to becoming a mom, and I am even more contentious about the food and products that I buy for our family. That’s why I was so excited to try out some new sulfate free products in our household. I stopped in at our local Walmart to pick up all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® and AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner. I want the best products for my family and for myself. And I believe that means using more natural products. I’m excited to share with you all a few unique ways that I keep harsh chemicals out of our home!

  1. Buy organic when possible: Like I mentioned before, I am particular about buying organic produce for our family. I understand that buying organic is not always possible, depending on your budget. That’s why I like to stick to the dirty dozen list and avoid the produce that carries the most pesticides! It’s one little way that I can ensure my family is eating whole, chemical free foods.
  2. Use sulfate free hair products: Using sulfate free hair products create a natural shine all their own. I couldn’t believe how shiny my hair looked after using the AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner! That’s every gal’s dream, right? Plus, the scent is out of this world, I felt like I was in a spa! If you’re like me, you’re already taking the time to keep chemicals out of your body with the foods you eat. Why not take that extra step and keep those harsh chemicals off of your body as well? AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner contains naturally derived cleansers and a sulfate free formula to gently cleanse your hair and scalp. Look for it in the Hair Care aisle at your local Walmart, and here is a coupon for $1 off one AVEENO® product!
  3. Keep harsh ingredients off your clothes: As a mom, I’m always looking for more natural ways to perform my daily tasks. It was a breath of fresh air to see that all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® now includes its ingredients on the back of the bottle. You know with certainty what is going into your laundry, and in turn what is ending up on your family! New sulfate free all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® delivers a powerful clean with harshness. The sulfate-free formula provides effective ingredients for a deep cleaning and stain lifting that any can get behind. Look for it on the top shelf in the laundry aisle at your local Walmart. Bonus! Here is a coupon for $0.50 off one all® product, while supplies last. It all makes a difference in my book!

I’d love to hear how you keep harsh chemicals out of your homes! Let me know in the comments!

Thank you to Collective Bias for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone. Here is the social hub for this campaign! #FreeOfSulfates #CollectiveBias

 

Continue Reading

Easy as Lemon Pie

Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie

Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie

Don’t ask me where the term “easy as pie” came from. Speaking as someone who loves to bake pies, and has been doing it for years, pie is not the simplest dessert to pull off. I find that every pie is a learning experience, and I still have plenty of pie fails. Well, this my friends, this recipe makes for a truly easy pie.

You can whip this delectable lemon pie up in just a matter of minutes (yes, seriously) and still be the hero of the dinner table. Now that my time is more limited (hello there, working mother to a toddler with a baby on the way here!) I am feeling inspired to create more simple recipes. Recipes that can still be showstoppers, but don’t take hours out of your day.

Just recently Jeff and Julian and I were walking around out in our backyard. Jules was running around barefoot, the sun was bright and warm, and I was getting all the springtime feels. When we went inside to put Jules down for a nap, I had the urge to bake something that would keep that springtime, sunshiney feeling alive all day. Enter this lemon pie creation. I’m on a lemon baking kick lately it seems. 

The filling is rich, but the bursts of lemon make it feel light. The simple addition of a whipped cream topping adds to the lightness that exemplifies a spring pie. Typically, I can eat decadent pies all day long. But there is something about the change in the season that calls for a lighter fare.

If this recipe inspires you to bake a lemon pie of your own, be sure to tag me on Instagram (heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (Bainbridge Boheme) so I can see your beautiful creations!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 3 large lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of lemon zest (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium sized bowl, mixed together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt until well combined. Press the mixture into a greased pie pan, packing firmly. Bake for 7 minutes.

In a standing mixer on medium speed, beat together egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice, zest and salt until creamy, approximately 5 minutes. Add filling to baked pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, then finish cooling in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.

Prepare whipped cream topping by beating heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and zest on high until fluffy. Top the pie with whipped cream and serve chilled. Enjoy!

xx,

Heidi

 

 

Continue Reading

Mother’s Day Brunch and 5 Tricks to Hosting a Flawless Event for Your Mom

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

^Maternity dress from ASOS, under $50!

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already May, let alone that Mother’s Day is just around the corner! My mom and I are both nurses with odd and hectic work schedules, so we decided to celebrate Mother’s Day early this year. I hosted a brunch at our home and had a little too much fun planning it all! I decided to go all out to show my mom how much she is loved and appreciated. You can never say it enough! A color palette of soft blush pinks, whites and creams created a feminine look and to emphasis that the brunch really was all about mom! Sticking to a color palette can help an event look cohesive and more put together.

I love having the opportunity to celebrate my loved ones and this brunch ended up being a huge hit! Here’s a peek at last year’s event. Instead of just sharing the recipes with you all (although I will do that too) I thought it would be fun to highlight how I pulled off the event while being a working mama with a toddler! It is my hope that you can use some of these tips and tricks for your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend! And some of the delicious recipes too! Motherhood truly is the best and most important “job” in the world. Mamas deserve to be celebrated!

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

  1. Plan ahead. Brainstorm your color palette, theme or general ideas early on. This will help when making decisions on the event. Sometimes I would get a little overzealous while planning, but my original idea of a simple and feminine brunch would reground me. I love Pinterest for this purpose. I had been working on a Mother’s Day Pinterest board for a few weeks prior to the brunch. Have a menu in place a few days to a week before your event. This helps with delegation, and grocery shopping. People often ask me how I have time to bake, and one of my secrets is I always do my shopping and prep work the day before! Baking then becomes a breeze.
  2. Cater to your mama. Seems pretty obvious, right? But I’ve found that making the extra effort to tailor an event towards your guest of honor can make a world of difference. For example, my mom doesn’t drink alcohol. So instead of just sticking her with water while everyone else drank mimosas, I crafted a delicious raspberry lemonade spritzer for her to enjoy. I also was sure to make a playlist of her favorite music. Even something as simple as incorporating their favorite foods into the menu is a special touch. It sets the tone that the event is in her honor!
  3. Use seasonal blooms. Flowers can make your event! I decided to use the gorgeous tulips in our front yard to set the scene for our tablescape. Luckily for me we had lots of pretty pink blooms to choose from. Fresh florals really can transform your space.
  4. Incorporate a sentimental touch. Since this Mother’s Day brunch was in honor of my wonderful mom, I wanted to add a heartfelt touch to the event. I opted to use my Grandmother’s china teacups for each table setting. It was a big surprise to my mom, and she was so grateful to see her mother’s china being put to good use. I also love the idea of incorporating old photos into each place setting too. Again, my Pinterest board has some great inspiration!
  5. Keep food simple and seasonal. When developing the menu for our Mother’s Day brunch I kept things simple and fresh. This meant incorporating springtime fruits and veggies to pay homage to our changing seasons. A light orange bundt cake with a simple orange glaze (I just mixed 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp orange juice for the glaze) was a huge hit. We ate fresh waffles topped with a homemade whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla whipped together). We then rounded out the menu with a roasted pepper frittata topped with heirloom tomatoes and we had plenty of Hempler’s bacon to enjoy! Simple menus always speak for themselves.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

If you try any of these tips, tricks or recipes at your Mother’s Day soiree I would love to hear about it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (@BainbridgeBoheme) and let me know! Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day in advance!

xx,

Heidi

Continue Reading