This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

Lots of ongoing lessons on how to rebuke, receive rebuke, forgiveness, and love from my children.

Blessed by this article “Difficult Friendships are Good for You” by my friend Frances.

Want this gorgeous mural in my home.

My dream chair? A Warren Platner.

We need more space for our books, so I told Ben I want one similar to this.

Such lovely vintage gold hoops that want to be dangling on someone’s ears.

Hey size 6ers (in shoes), these crochet mule/slides are perfect for spring!

Thankful we finally resumed our Friday night family night last night after 3 weeks off hanging out with friends.

I’ve been using this retinol moisturizer by Body Merry and love it.

This week I did not wake up early at all. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been having a hard time getting out of bed lately. Still working on the wake up early for Bible reading time first thing goal. Bad things happen when my soul is running low.

I appreciate the forced vacation from laundry this week (it broke and our new one just came in) and I’m breaking in our new washer as we speak.

The house, front porch, and backyard is mostly clean, so it makes me want to do a happy dance. It’s been a few months since all three have been clean at the same time.

How was your week last week?



my mom uniform

My go-to mom uniform is some sort of denim (dress, skirt, jeans), basket, and clogs. I’m not one to do errands in workout gear. My workout gear is just a sports bra and short shorts, so I hope I don’t go out like that. When we go thrifting, my girls know I beeline to all the denim sticking out in the racks. I saw this dress (vintage label and made in the USA), but I debated about it a little. It has some stains and was a tad too big. After doing some serious stain attacking, most of it came out, and my sewing skills came to the rescue again, and now it’s perfect! I’m so glad I brought it home. It’s lightweight too, so I know this will be one of my go-tos this summer.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was working on a special project. Well, I will be opening an online shop that specializes in baskets. My love for these woven beauties needed a place, so I have a nice collection to share with you soon. I have been sourcing vintage baskets and plan to stock different handmade ones from around the world. With all the busyness of family life, I’m a bit behind schedule in getting it up and running, but I will share more details soon. I hope you love baskets because I have lots of pretty ones coming for you!

on me: dress, vintage (almost exactly here, new there). tank, thrifted (similar here). athena clogs, c/o lotta from stockholm (love this color!). earrings, annie costello brown.



family adventure to the broad museum

We went on a family adventure to The Broad a couple weekends ago. We started viewing all the art downstairs first, and we are glad we did that first because the art was more serious and political downstairs. Once upstairs, everything felt more lighthearted and surreal. As we walked around downstairs, some of the art freaked out the girls and it led to good discussions on how artist use their art to send a message and bring out feelings. They were like, “I can’t just make something because I like it?!” True and Brave are slowly going into the logic and analytical way of thinking, but they’re also very much in the give me all the facts stage. It was interesting to look at the art and have they try to decipher the messages and feelings the artist was trying to convey. Downstairs was filled with a lot of heaviness, and some parts we had them look down as they walked by, but it was good for them to experience art that really produced a strong reaction in them.

Once we went upstairs, everything was definitely more lighthearted and playful. Of course, the girls all loved Jeff Koons’ artwork, and Ben and I loved Jean-Michel Basquiat. The girls enjoyed looking at the art upstairs, and in their words, “There was nothing freaky.” We saved the Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room for last. All of us were excitedly anticipating our turn to go in. I went in first with the two middles, and Ben took the bookends. As small as the room was, it did kind of feel like we were in a galaxy far, far away. There’s something quite mesmerizing (and peaceful) about those hanging lights in a small room of mirrors.

In total, we spent a little over 3 hours at the museum, but we definitely could have spent more time. If you’re in LA, you should definitely stop by for a visit, especially since it’s free. Just be sure to book your tickets ahead of time; tickets are released online on the first of every month. We all loved it so much, so we will most certainly find time to go back again.



cool and stylish household fans

In the middle of last summer, our AC decided to quit, so it set us back about $1500 to fix. #ohthejoysofhomeownership Ben took a look at how high our electrical bill was, so he decided to keep the AC at a higher temp (84), and we mainly relied on oscillating fans to keep us cool. Ben is a researcher, so he researched lots of reviews for many fans, and so he settled on getting us this Vornado. We went with white and it worked well in getting us through our hot summer. Our electric bill stayed under a hundred during the hottest months of the year, which helped take a small bite of the cost to fix our AC. Don’t you love the irony though? We pay to get it fixed, only to no longer use it. I did complain many times during the heat because my fingers and feet would swell, so it wasn’t the most comfortable, but sometimes you have to sacrifice to save.

Now, I’m not a fan of how bulky fans look (pun intended), and I’m not really into the modern ones (like this) either. When Ben was researching, he was trying to find one that had solid reviews, but also looked decent and would blend with our style. I think the Vornado does a decent job at checking off all our boxes. Then, as I was going through my IG feed last summer, I spotted a good looking fan in this picture by @hidinginhere. I asked her about it, but she was staying in an Airbnb, and didn’t know where the fan was from. I did a lot snooping online to see if I could find it, but wasn’t sure if it was the one, so I contacted the Airbnb owner to find out. She was kind enough to answer my question and shared that she bought it several years ago from Restoration Hardware. After finding that out, Ben and I went to the site, and lo and behold, they had an updated version of the fan. Bad news though… it’s an online-only item and was almost $4o0 not including shipping, so we said, “No bueno.” Once we knew what brand the fan was, we started looking up ratings and reviews on it, and all of them said good things about the Allaire fans, but we definitely didn’t want to pay that price.

If you’ve been following here awhile, you know we can be patient and tend to internet stalk things we like until they go on super sale. Later in the fall, the fan price finally went down, but not nearly significant enough to what we were willing to pay. Then, the price went lower after that, but still not low enough. That happened a couple more times (ironically, with holidays having zero impact on when the discounts occurred), until earlier this month, where it finally dropped to a price that was closer to our budget. Ben still debated holding out to see if it would go lower, but customer service did let him know that if at any point it did go lower within 3o days of our purchase, they would do a price adjustment. We finally bit the bullet, and ordered a floor and table fan, and after using it for a few weeks now, we are very happy with our purchase. They are heavy duty fans (emphasis on heavy) made to last and the lowest speed on the 16″ is still higher than the highest on our Vornado. It definitely cools a room down and it’s not bad to look at either.

We started to look at the possibility of getting solar, but we aren’t quite ready to make the leap yet as we still have much research to do on it. For now though, we will be getting through the coming warmer temperatures with our Vornado on my side of the room and the Allaire on his. Even in the winter, we have a fan on for white noise. I wish we could sleep with the windows open to take advantage of the cool air, but Ben is very sensitive when he sleeps, so the outdoor noise (dogs barking all around) would hinder a good night’s rest for him.

Ben did his research and read plenty of reviews of fans last summer, so I’m glad to share our choices and our thoughts about it here, so in case you’re looking for a good fan for when the temps heat up, I think you’ll like the ones we chose. Get our Vornado fan here, and our Allaire floor fan here (we have the 16″) and the table fan here. We also purchased this small one for one of the girls’ room (had great reviews) and it indeed works well too. We also considered this Vornado, but decided it looked too retro for our home. Ben has always liked ceiling fans, but since I’d rather have vintage or modern light fixtures, there is no space on our ceilings for fans!









a little foodie date

The girls were off at their grandparents this weekend, so Ben and I had some time to ourselves. We had a memorial to go to Saturday morning, after which, we went on a little foodie date. One of my favorite Instagram food accounts is @HungryHugh and I drool over most of his food posts.

Our first stop was to Project Poke. Ben ordered a bowl and I got the sushi donut; we loved both and the spicy ponzu sauce was the perfect amount of spice. We were impressed with the sushi donut because it’s not a bad value for the price. It’s $5.25 for the donut, and besides the toppings you see in the photo above, it’s also stuffed with spicy tuna inside. I’m definitely going to make my own version of this at home. I will gladly take a sushi donut over a regular donut any day.

I love seafood, so when I saw the lobster fries from Dos Chinos pop up on @Hungryhugh’s feed awhile back, I knew I had to try that sometime. I knew Ben wouldn’t be much of a fan because 1) he doesn’t eat fries, and 2) he doesn’t eat fried food, but like all smart fellas, he wanted to make his wife happy, so he was up to try it. After Project Poke (he got a bowl because he knew he wouldn’t eat much lobster fries), we made our way to downtown Santa Ana. We paid meter and thought 24 minutes was enough to get our lobster fries, eat a little, and take it on the road to go, but 24 minutes was definitely not enough.

It wasn’t a sit down restaurant (more food court style), so we were a bit surprised how long it took to get our lobster. I think we waited for about 35 minutes. Also, prior to that, I had been telling Ben it costs about $20 for the lobster fries, so we had a bit of sticker shock when we got up to order and pay, and found out market value was $37.45 (or $35.47, can’t remember). Of course, we ordered any way since we were already there. After the long wait, and shelling out some pretty pennies, we finally received our lobster fries in all its fried goodness (badness to the dietitian, or he’d correct me and say “low nutrition-ess”). I immediately dove right into it and loved the lobster meat; it was absolutely delicious. The fries were good too, but nothing extraordinary. All the deliciousness was in the lobster meat. Ben was not impressed, but he doesn’t eat fried food, so he’s kind of biased. If you love fried food, fries, and lobster, I think you should definitely try this place. Just call before you head over to find out what market value is. My parents went a month or so ago and the price was in the $20s, so I think that’s why $20 got stuck in my head.

Since the lobster took so long to cook (and then eat), the rest of our plans for the day kind of got ruined. We had planned to go further south to a plant nursery, but it would have been closed by the time we got there. We had a little tiff (he was crankier than me, maybe cause I was high on lobster and oil). Thankfully (a little later), he came to his senses and lovingly apologized, I happily accepted, then all was well again in Bratcher Loveland. That’s marriage for you… sometimes love abounds, and then sometimes bad attitudes get thrown in for good measure and we grow from it. We spent the rest of the day with him working on things in the garden and I was able to do some cleaning while the girls were gone. I loved our little foodie Saturday date, even though we had some cranky hearts involved.



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