Jul 22, 2014
We are taking today off to catch up on day to day stuff, to rest and to just hug on each other a lot. Call it Sunday on a Tuesday. We will be back tomorrow refreshed and reenergized.
Duq, Morgan and Tennessee
Jul 21, 2014
We have had one of the busiest weeks in a long, long time. It may be a Monday, but for us today is finally a Saturday. We spent the past several days working on a music video for The Green Seed, a badass hip hop group. We had the honor of working with director Petro Papahajapolous, who has done videos for everyone from TV on the Radio to Foo Fighters, AVICII and more. He's brilliant and was amazing to work with. So Duquette produced the shoot and I got to do the wardrobe, creating costumes for superheros and cops and some amazing street looks. It's the first creative work I've done out and about since having Tennessee, and man, I needed that!!
Look, as amazing as motherhood is (I mean, amazing)...it can be pretty boring sometimes, too. Especially in those early months. I needed to do something creative, collaborative, away from my home and work space. And as hard as it was, I think the time away from my baby was really good for me, too. We don't have help with Tennessee, so it's usually me and/or Duq and the baby. We were able to get a sitter to stay with TWJ while we pulled 17 hour days working on this video, but we always made it a point to pop in at some time through the day to kiss his head. I can't imagine either or us having to leave him right after he wakes up and not seeing him again until bedtime. I'm so thankful for the craziness that is our life, because it means we get to be a family nearly 100% of the time. That's rare and maybe not for everyone, but it what God has going for us and I will take it! I am so grateful for the way we get to live our life.
This is such a rambling post because I am so utterly exhausted. But that's motherhood sometimes, right? And we had our first play date today. Coffee with old girlfriends of mine (who we are all now mamas) and then a walk to the park with all of our babies. It felt cosmopolitan and gave me this illusion of being a NYC mama in the park with her girls. Here are photos from the shoot.
Y'all have a great day. And thank you for bearing with my insane exhaustion and lack of focus today.
Jul 17, 2014
The fine folks over at Eidé magazine sent me a copy of their latest issue to check out since I have recently gotten back into printed magazines. I was particularly excited to check out Eidé as they're based in Atlanta and their motto is "World Culture, Southern Style." That's something that immediately grabs my attention. Aaaaaaand this issue is all about Adventure, so it's practically singing to my heart. With a stunning cover that had me immediately transported somewhere tropical, hidden, lush and luxe, diving in was pretty easy.
The front portion of the issue is food. With stunning photography, perfect styling and easy recipes, it felt like a more real and accessible Kinfolk. Not knocking the beloved Kinfolk, y'all, it's just that it can seem a bit, um, lofty sometimes. I lingered over many of these pages, dreaming of summer tartines that remind me of living in the French Riviera, feeling bold reading about foraging the Southern U.S.
The fashion spreads are so strong. This particular "Roman Holiday" story nestled in between stories about scavenger hunting in Panama, yurt glamping and the importance of sacred spaces through the lives of designer/artists/entrepreneurs Alisa Barry and Smith Hanes. You know, those power houses behind Bella Cucina and the interiors of culinary heavy weights like The Optimist. There was one line in that article that has really stuck with me:
Before leaving, Barry gave me a set of contemplation cards that are part of her latest work with inspirational, creative words and ensos (in Zen Buddhism, hand-drawn circles expressing a moment when the mind is enlightened and free to create). Near the top of the deck was one that simply states, "Find your sacred space."
It's important to me that the content be beautiful visually and have a sense of something that just sticks with you. Another piece, "Cup by Cup," a talk with Oliver Strand was more about clinging to a more pure life and tradition than it was about coffee.
This invisible thread of adventure twists and winds effortlessly through the entire issue. I closed the back cover wishing there was another 130 pages of beautiful and exotic images, stories, morsels of wanderlust and wisdom. It's a tome that you keep on your coffee table or beside the guest room bed because it just needs to be shared and enjoyed. If life is about simple pleasures, Eidé certainly has it going on.
Jul 16, 2014
Wednesday feels pretty good. Here's some cool stuff around the Internet that you shouldn't miss out on.
2. Photographer Mieke Verbiljen captures spaces like no one I've ever seen. It's interior photography but strange portraits with or without people. Love it. Via Need Supply.
3. The Alhambra. I want to go right now. Via Oui We.
4. PLEASE VISIT THIS ONE. It's amazing. Someone's Grandpa had to be put in a nursing home with dementia. The family went through his things and found a stack of beautiful unseen photographs of Grandpa around the world. Sadly, he can't remember any of them. So the family has created this site so strangers around the world might be able to tell the story for him. Grandpa's Photos.
Have a great day y'all. xo Morgan
Jul 15, 2014
So as many of you know, I have a lot of dietary restrictions. After having Tennessee in February, I became really sick with an intestinal superbug that pretty much decimated my immune system and my gut health (which pretty much governs all of your health). Additionally, it turned out my liver was in really bad shape and my thyroid was INSANELY unhealthy. We started seeing a nutritionist who really has given me a total wellness makeover, entirely based in whole foods and vitamins. It's miraculous, and I really mean that. The turnaround in my health, well being, attitude, overall quality of life and ability to care for my family has been miraculous and totally comes as a product of the changes I have made in my lifestyle.
The following list of eliminated foods is what we have determined is necessary for my personal health journey, recuperating from a difficult birth (C-section), a really bad case of C.diff (the intestinal weapon of mass destruction that has kind of obliterated my once iron stomach) and a messed up thyroid and liver. I am not saying that this is a health regimen for everyone. It's just what I do.
Wheat, Corn, Soy, Sugar (including fruit), Dairy, Black Beans, Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)
Okay, so now you're asking 'So what does she eat???'
Y'all, I eat well. I eat better than ever before honestly. The sugar was probably the hardest to give up for me (man, I loved something sweet), but after a month I was pretty much over it. Sugar breaks down your proteins, and proteins feed your brain. Kind of important for me. The following meals are really easy. I mean it. As a wife, mama, business owner easiness and speed is pretty high priority around here.
This was super easy pan seared and oven roasted chicken thighs with only salt, pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary thrown in. The veggies are organic frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots seasoned with salt, pepper, lime and grated fresh ginger. If you need something a little starchy, put it on a bed of organic jasmine rice seasoned with saffron.
Saturday night we went to a cookout with our dearest friends. I know it's in these moments with friends and parties that it can seem hard to stick to your nutrition. We knew the plan was to grill burgers and dogs, so I just planned on modifying mine a bit. Burgers with fresh goat cheese (I'm fine with goat milk, hallelujah) on a bed of arugula with some hummus, a couple Beanitos chips (made of white beans) and organic mustard I brought from home. My cocktail to the side is my famous Tequila Summer.
This is straight up comfort food and one of my favorite, fastest dishes. I don't use it often, but rice pasta is the jam. I can't even tell the difference! (Be sure to get one without corn ingredients.) Cook your noodles and in a skillet heat up a lot of chopped garlic, add frozen peas, then diced ham (the organic sandwich sliced variety), season with salt and pepper and a little thyme as you go. Then add this to pasta, then add goat cheese and stir. It melts down to this beautiful creamy sauce. This is such a treat around here. We make extra to have leftovers.
This was breakfast this morning. Soft boiled eggs with salt and pepper, plain arugula and two slices of preservative free organic ham. These healthy sliced deli meats are a staple around here. I can roll it up with arugula and mustard or goat cheese. Or dip it in hummus. Or more, I'm sure. I eat this for breakfast and/or lunch. Other breakfasts include egg scrambles with garlic, shallots, chopped up leftover steak or chicken or pork that we ate the night before and cilantro! Yum. Oh, and coffee black or sometimes with a little honey. (See, I can have something sweet! Honey is a-okay).
So this was a really informal guide to how I eat. Yes, there are a few occasions that I get bummed I can't have birthday cake or a fresh baked cookie in the evening. BUT...my health is so much more important and it took a real life scare to fully embrace this lifestyle and commit to the change. That's the best advice I could offer anyone interested in switching things up. It's changing your lifestyle. It's creating a new way of living for yourself. It will change your life. It could save your life.
That puts it in perspective, right?
Jul 14, 2014
I've always loved Instagram. As a very visual person, it has given me a forum to communicate my world and my life through images that I really love. I've met so many amazing people via Instagram, too. Whether it's other creatives with mutual admiration (some of whom we have connected with and collaborated with in real life), people on the other side of the world and especially since becoming a mama, I've connected with other mothers who I admire or with whom I share in this crazy experience.
There are a whole lot of conversations right now about Instagram and its effect it has on reality, the perception of reality, privacy, bullying and more. But today I want to talk about the recent phenomenon of hundreds of mothers' Instagram accounts being disabled by Instagram (disappearing, "User Not Found" status). Why is it happening? Because people are reporting the users' images of breastfeeding as inappropriate content.
(Let me preface this with a couple things: 1. I am not a reporter or news source, so I'm simply observing and commenting on something I see affecting people I have come to love and have friendships with. 2. I myself have never posted photos of myself breastfeeding. 3.I'll get real honest here, I couldn't breastfeed for more than a couple weeks because of complications. )
Last week, I got a text message from my friend Julie Garcés, formerly @julsgarces, devastated that suddenly and with no notice, her Instagram account had been deleted by Instagram. Juls is a NYC mama, super stylish and funny and real. Apparently some women on a crusade to shut down breastfeeding photos and the women posting them had gone back through her hundreds and hundreds of photos to report two images of Juls feeding her son when he was an infant. Her son is now two years old. And she's devastated. You may roll your eyes and sigh that it's JUST Instagram. But think about it, it's a portrait over many years of your life that feels like it's YOURS. It's your memories and your relationships and your life...right?
And what is up with all these women reporting breastfeeding as inappropriate? I've read some insane comments accusing the breastfeeding women of sexualizing their children, inviting predators to partake in sick perversions, poor victimized children, etc. I can understand why someone might really think these things (though I absolutely disagree), but the bottom line is that at its most basic level breastfeeding is the original source of food. These women are not flaunting their breasts, which are often obstructed from view by a baby's big noggin.
It is a significant part of motherhood, the struggles of breastfeeding. The National Pediatric Association pushes breastfeeding as a national mission, sending lactation consultants into your hospital room thirty seconds after your bring that baby into the world, our country handing out free breast pumps willy nilly. Everyone REALLY wants you breastfeeding...but you can't do it openly?
My own issue with all of this is that if you search around Instagram or Facebook or anywhere else, there are actual pornographic images of sexualized women or women sexualizing themselves. You know, those images of a liquid latex bikini clad woman with her hands covering only her nipples. Oh, and inappropriate content? What about guys clutching their giant boners covered only by a piece of fabric? (Yeah, that's a whole thing). Or what about teenagers posting photos of underage drinking and illicit drug use (sometimes even posting their phone numbers to sell drugs via Instagram)? I'm sure some of that content is being deleted as well, but my point is that breastfeeding is not the same as these things. It should not be treated as something illicit.
This woman shaming has to stop. Y'all, motherhood is the hardest thing EVER. Every single part of it. They say it takes a village to raise a child and one's Instagram community is sometimes that village. I know I have found such tremendous support and encouragement from people like Juls. We should be lifting each other up and not tearing each other down. There are enough really awful things out there that we have to stand up against. We shouldn't be having to fight this fight.
And now I am off to take care of my little one that sometimes makes focus and clear thinking very difficult. If you want to do something about this there's a petition here calling for Facebook and Instagram to stop censoring motherhood via Change.org. And to support my friend Juls, use the hashtag #bringbackjulsgarces and offer support at @julesgarces.
Jul 10, 2014
Duquette is out of town this week working on a commercial for Mercedes Benz and Billboard Magazine. The baby and I are at my parents' house up on a mountain. Man, I miss my husband. We get to Facetime which is SO AMAZING and takes the pain of missing each other away a little bit. Last night he sent me a link to NPR's First Listen of Luluc's 'Passerby' that comes out July 15th. It's beautiful and haunting and the music you listen to late at night on top of a mountain when you're missing your love something fierce.
Y'all have a great day. Spend some time loving someone.
Morgan, Duquette and Tennessee
Jul 9, 2014
1. I have recently discovered and fallen mad hard in love with travel blog World of Wanderlust. Here are seven signs you haven't traveled enough. And here are fifteen web site that make your life easier. I have this permanently bookmarked.
2. Is good design the most minimal design? Should something exist if it has no purpose? Cool design questions posed by 99U.
3. So obsessed with The Distillerist. Here are several products I am dying to try, funnily enough in an article called "The Minimalist's Guide to Bath Time Luxury."
4. How the locals do it in Hawaii. Take me away, Calgon. Via Into the Gloss.
5. The dreamy 1920s Spanish home of Bradley William Duncan, via NEST.
-I kind of reeeeeallllllly want to go to the new Harry Potter "Diagon Alley" at Universal Studios. So serious. Via The Daily South.
-940 Saturdays, a book so you can write about and do stuff every Saturday with your child from birth to eighteen years. So sweet. I really want to get this! Via Mother Mag.
-I obviously want to get out of dodge. Here are the "Colors of Instanbul." Let's go. Via The Transcontinental Affair.
Jul 8, 2014
There's something really entrancing about holographic prints/patterns/colors. And it's totally nostalgic for me, too. I was in grade school in the early nineties and it was ALL about those holographic folders (silver and fuchsia please). Oh, and in my mind the worlds of Jem and Lady Lovelilocks were totally hologramtastic.
Jul 7, 2014
I spent a lot of time writing a really personal Mother Monday post...and I decided to sit on it a minute and mull it over. So here's a picture of my sweet mother in law holding my beautiful baby as he discovered flowers for the first time. It was such a beautiful moment of glimpsing at the wonder of new personhood. Can you believe we all started out so small and curious by nature?
Simple pleasures. Simple miracles. Simple fascination.
Have a great Monday, y'all.