Succulent Cornucopia 2.0

Back to break the internet with this beauty! Ha! But seriously, last year’s cornucopia has been the most visited post on my site and I was getting offers to buy it all the way in February! I put together this year’s cornucopia centerpiece between the baby napping…things are a little different these days but we’re still all about holiday crafting! To see the full tutorial for the succulent cornucopia, visit last year’s post here. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday in part because it’s the gateway to the Christmas season and because it’s totally centered around cooking. Even though a lot has changed after having Leighton, I’m so happy to be hosting the holidays and this cornucopia will be the centerpiece on my Thanksgiving table.


Succulent Cornucopia 2.0

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5 weeks old. So lovey and squeezy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xo, rootedinmoss

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Forever Changed: A Rooted In Moss Birth Story

The morning of October 7th, my date to be induced at 40 weeks and 5 days, I woke up feeling like I was headed to the airport to make a flight in which I had no idea where it was destined to land. Nervous, curious, excited, scared… We ate a light breakfast, said bye to the puppies and headed to the hospital. My doctor, Samantha Stein (best doctor ever!), recommended that since I was still only 2 centimeters dilated that we induce by taking Cytotec orally which would provide me with the freedom to walk around, use the restroom and eat, unlike an induction with Pitocin which is administered by IV. My husband and I spent October 7th taking walks around the hospital campus in my own clothes (not a hospital gown), having much needed alone time and I had my “food bachelorette party” wherein I ate a deep dish pizza by myself with a fork and knife, chicken and vegetables with a mint lemonade, a lot of fruit, birthday cake and red velvet cake from my favorite bakery, and several blueberry muffins from Starbucks. It was really fun to indulge. After 24 hours and 4 doses of Cytotec, there wasn’t much progress beyond 2 centimeters. As much as I thought I wanted to show up at the hospital and have the baby several hours later, I really needed that 24 hours. Up to this point in my life, I had never had an IV, never spent the night in a hospital, I had never even sat on a hospital bed before! The experience of the slow induction allowed me to calm my nerves and become a witness to this process amongst the greatest nursing staff, giving me the ability to really be in the moment.

On October 8th, around hour 28 of my stay I got my first dose of Pitocin. Up to now, I had been feeling contractions but they were still somewhat irregular. At this point, the topic of an epidural was presented to me. My plan going into this was that I didn’t have a plan but I knew I wanted to feel the “pain” that everyone describes for myself as long as I could take it, maybe all the way through delivery. With the IV in, I was now committed to the hospital bed with my husband by my side. I have to say, I was never so excited to watch the Dodgers in postseason baseball. It was a welcomed distraction to my nerves and the unknown…I really looked forward to the game that day although I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what the outcome of the game was. After I began Pitocin I had regular contractions about two minutes apart. I was told that they wouldn’t get any closer together but they would intensify. The contractions definitely intensified around hour 33. I wouldn’t use the word pain for contractions but it was definitely an intense discomfort, for me in my hips and legs. My doctor had described it as period cramping times 100 and I would say that’s a good description. The worst part of contractions are not knowing when the wave of discomfort will be over. When my night nurse came on she asked me if I wanted an epidural and I began to cry. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t any identifiable emotion, it’s just a big deal and crying felt right. She non-judgmentally asked me why I was considering not getting an epidural and I didn’t really have an answer. She kindly reminded me that there wasn’t a “Wall of Martyrs” that my picture would be on where others could come to visit and give me recognition. She and I connected right then and there! She was so right, what was I trying to prove? So at hour 38, and somewhere between 5 and 6 centimeters dilated I decided to get the epidural. This was a major decision for me, remember the whole I had never sat in a hospital bed thing?? Well I surely had never had a needle in my back! However, being in the midst of intense discomfort every two minutes will make you make brave decisions. The epidural is really not that bad. The build up to getting the epidural, calling the anesthesiologist, explaining the process, making your husband leave the room, prepping your back is all way more dramatic than actually getting it. I was definitely not completely numb from the epidural but I’m happy I got it when I did because I was able to relax and rest.  A few hours later, I called the nurse and told her I was feeling a little different and she told me it was time to push!

Throughout my hospital stay, the nurses had asked me what I would want during delivery to make myself more comfortable. All I requested was that the room had low lighting and calm voices and my requests were kindly granted. The doctor came in and explained to me what it really means to push. My amazing nurse, Michala, whom I feel I had bonded with told me not to by shy or wimpy about it. I’m always up for a good challenge! I closed my eyes each time and I pushed four times over the course of about twenty minutes. After the fourth push I opened my eyes and she entered the world into a completely calm and quiet room, she wasn’t even crying! The entire delivery was so quiet and calm, I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly! When they laid her on me she made little squeaking noises and rubbed her hand back and forth on my face, it was so, so precious. After 45 hours, at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday, October 9th Leighton Everly Moss was born 7 pounds, 4.25 ounces, 20.5 inches with a lot of little dark blond hair. During my pregnancy I kept thinking that I just wanted to get the delivery over with and behind me but I actually find myself wishing I wasn’t getting further and further away from that moment. The delivery itself was hands down the best experience of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat…seriously! The only time I have cried since giving birth was thinking back at how wonderful the whole experience was. Much of that I attribute to the amazing labor and delivery doctors, nurses and midwives at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills. The level of care we received exceeded anything I could have possibly hoped for. They made me feel proud of every choice I made and milestone I made it through during my delivery. Steve and I left the hospital feeling cared for and encouraged to begin our new adventure with our baby. As I write this, I am 28 days postpartum. I have been kind to myself during my recovery and I have spent the last month relaxing and reflecting from my bedroom. Between feedings and snuggles I have laid on my bed and enjoyed the view of the outdoors from my big bedroom window knowing that the seasons are changing out there without feeling them for myself. I definitely have not been outdoors as much as I normally would during my favorite time of year. I have been watching day after day the sun setting a little earlier each night. A sentimental heart like mine never wishes for a moment to pass by too quickly. Undoubtedly, when autumn returns next year, I will feel the familiarities of the season again. The cool, dry air of late October, the autumn winds of early November and everything else that I love about this time of year. But for now, my heart is indoors, patient and still, as I am happily separated from what has always been familiar in my world. Enjoying that my season of life is forever changed.My Leighton girl is one month old today! Thank you to everyone for their sweet and encouraging comments throughout my pregnancy and since my delivery. We read all of them and appreciate everyone who takes the time to reach out.

xo, rootedinmoss

A Rooted In Moss Baby Shower

I have life-event denial. When I was getting ready for the shower on the morning of July 10th I kept thinking I was attending someone else’s event not my baby shower! My husband and I decided to throw the shower ourselves with the help of some very special and talented people (more about them below). The thought of sitting on a throne and having guests watch me open gifts turned me off completely to the thought of having a shower altogether. So, I decided to throw tradition out the window and host a co-ed party for a woman and a man having a baby (not a baby party). The theme was “A Delivery for the Garden”. There were no baby games (like melted candy bars in diapers) but rather guests were invited to take part in a make-your-own bouquet bar and treat themselves to custom-made jewelry. We snacked on delicious brunch bites made by bestie Nicole and enjoyed the beautiful views provided by the La Casita Del Arroyo in Pasadena, California. Guests left with eco-friendly planters from Urbana Sacs, planted with succulents which were, of course, rooted in moss.


Invitations from minted.unnamed Vintage china and flatware from Otis and Pearl Vintage Rentals. I cannot give enough complements about this company and Gretchen, its owner. Otis and Pearl has been one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. She and I have been following each other for years and I am so happy I finally had a reason to browse and select from her amazing gallery of rentals. unnamedunnamedFloral arrangements and bouquet bar by good friend Dawn Holland- sorry she’s not for hire!
Bracelet bar by An Old Soul Jewelry. Genius idea by my bestie Nicole, owner and operator of An Old Soul Jewelry. Guests treated themselves to custom-made bracelets using semi-precious stones and crystals. A big thank you to Amy, one of Nicole’s artisans, who made all the jewelry on the spot for guests to take home after the shower. Eco-friendly planters from Urbana Sacs. Another company that was such a pleasure to learn more about. Carolina, founder of Urbana Sacs, approached me a while back interested in collaborating with the blog. We both agreed that the shower would be a perfect opportunity to work together. Her products are right up my alley and I’ve never see anything like her “sacs”. The sacs are made out of washable paper (how cool is that!?) and can be reused again and again. There are infinite uses for these sacs which range in size from x-small to large (products also include grocery totes, lunch sacks, yoga mat carriers and more) but for the purpose of planting you can plant and water directly into the sac itself. This is how I style my personal Urbana Sacs at home. ↓ It delighted me to have guests come up to me as they were exiting and say they felt like they were leaving the shower with more than they arrived with. Exactly what I wanted to hear!


In lieu of a card, we asked guests to bring their favorite new or used children’s book with a message to Baby Moss inside. Hands down our favorite part of the shower. Not only did we not receive a single duplicate but our baby now has an amazing library! We are so excited to read these to her in bed each night just as our parents did with us. Keeping what seems like an old past time alive- reading a physical book that you actually hold in your hand without a screen– excites me. We loved reading each and every message written to Baby Moss. It’s been a particularly inspiring experience for me to connect with people on a level I never have before. We appreciate all of the love already given to our daughter and we hope you will continue to encourage her to root herself in whatever inspires her soul. 


Invitations- Minted, www.minted.com, Delivery in the Garden by Susan Moyal

China and Flatware- Otis and Pearl Vintage Rentals, OtisandPearl.com, Vintage China: Golden Floral Collection, Flatware: Vintage Gold Flatware, Instagram: @otisandpearl

Bracelet Bar- An Old Soul Jewelry, ShopAnOldSoul.com, Rootedinmoss favorite products: here, here, and here, Instagram: @anoldsouljewelry

Eco-friendly favors- Urbana Sacs, UrbanaSacs.com, Planters from shower: Creative Sac XSmall, in White and Sand, (Silver sac featured in my home in the color Shine), Instagram: @urbanasacs

Custom water bottle labels- Evermine, www.evermine.com

Dress- Parker, Tesoro Dress


Window Watching

In Charleston, South Carolina, the quaint streets of South of Broad are lined with picturesque antebellum homes, all possessing stories of the founding fathers and their families who lived there long ago. On the day we visited it was pouring rain with periods of thunderstorms but the absence of cars on the road gave us the opportunity to zig zag back and forth in the streets. I’ve never been to an American city with so much history in one concentrated area. Reading the descriptions on the homes of their former occupants including George Washington during his stay as the “Guest of the Citizens” and imagining the streets without any sign of modernity was really enchanting. My husband said, “we’re definitely doing this walk for Terry” which I thought was so cute. I hadn’t thought about it but my dad loved American history and architecture and I love that he was there with us that day through my husband’s eyes.

For a girl who loves a container garden, Charleston is a dream city. Walking through the streets I kept stopping to admire the window boxes, most of which were eye level, beautifully cascading onto the sidewalks. I was amazed at how lush these window boxes were considering the heat South Carolina experiences. I noticed that many of the window boxes had irrigation systems attached since a window box could easily dry out in a day. Very different watering requirements from a succulent container garden! Below are some of my favorite window boxes overflowing with ivy, bromeliads, ferns, geraniums, nettle and so much more. Due to the pouring rain, I didn’t take my DSLR camera with me so all of these photos were taken on my iPhone 6.


^^ My favorite!

Have you been to Charleston and fallen in love with the window boxes like me? I’d love to hear about your visit on Instagram. For those who have recently asked, I’m 29 weeks and one day in these photos.

xo, rootedinmoss 

Red, White and Blue Redo

Sometimes, I kill plants too. The cause of death typically has to do with the intense Southern California heat. Despite all of the precipitation from the recent El Nino pattern there were a few slight heat waves in February and March of this year. I typically check the weather before I go out of town so that I can move vulnerable plants into the shade but I guess I missed the forecast once. My red, white and blue pot from last year’s Fourth of July project suffered terribly. You can read about the succulent pot that’s the subject of this redo here. I’m ashamed to share this photo but what’s a confession without truly coming clean. So there you have it. Sun-stressed, burnt, sparse, a mere shadow of itself and the obvious reason for this redo. The day I chose to plant and repot the temperature reached around 117 degrees. Since there was no way I was planting outside, I decided to move the entire project indoors (hence the partially overexposed photos from the light of a large window). These days, no planting project begins without adding pumice to my soil from General Pumice ProductsYou can’t see it from this photo but I hit a little issue that was basically an indoor project nightmare. I didn’t realize that my bag of soil, which had probably gotten wet, was absolutely overrun with fruit flies/gnats. When I looked closely at the pot it looked like the soil was moving from all of the tiny bugs walking around in it (insert big eye emoji). At this point it was so hot outside and I had made a million trips upstairs to set everything up, I was just finishing the project bugs and all. On a side note, after finishing the project and living with A LOT of gnats in the house for a few days and seriously considering calling an exterminator, I found an organic solution to my problem. In a small bowl, I mixed apple cider vinegar with a small amount of dish soap (I used grapefruit scented Dawn) then left it out on the kitchen counter where they began to congregate. I checked back a few hours later to a bowl filled with dead gnats! Life changing. My goal for this project was to salvage as many of the plants from the original pot to mix in with the new ones. Sempervivum ‘Red Beauty’ served as the red in my red, white and blue this time around. The sun-stressed plants from the original pot, when mixed against the other plants, were perfect for giving the appearance of white that I needed for this theme. The red, white and blue redo- a refresh success! Patriotic plants at their finest. Happy Independence Day!

xo, rootedinmoss

Endless Desert

The thought of life passing by too quickly leaves me feeling uneasy. I’m always trying to slow down and listen to others more genuinely or enjoy more thoroughly. However, being pregnant can force your mind to think about milestones whether you’re trying to or not. Let me start by saying, that all pregnancies are unique and every woman has to find what works for her and her body. For me, I’ve found that pushing myself physically has helped me live each step of pregnancy rather than living inside a number (16 weeks, 6 months, third trimester…). What I mean is, by safely pushing myself to new physical limits whether its not passing up a 5 am workout, or trying something that’s outside my athletic comfort zone or by simply telling myself one…more…minute, has helped me connect with myself physically in the here and now as I slip further and further away from my former physical self. Pregnancy has taught me that there’s no stopping time, no matter how uneasy that may make me feel. But focusing on the “cans” instead of the “can’ts” has me focused on something other than the numbers and that’s something I like. Things may not go back to the way they were but what’s ahead is a new limit for me to push.

On my recent trip to Joshua Tree, I was on my usual hunt for an amazing sunset. This time was fun because my sister was with us and she got to see the behind-the-scenes madness, that is capturing a sunset out in the middle of the wilderness of a national park. We arrived about 90 minutes before sunset to a completely overcast sky but determined, nonetheless, to find the spot where I shot an awesome sunset almost exactly a year ago. Although there are many faces to the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, it can also feel confusing and repetitious when you’re out there in the fading light. A few times we thought we were on the right path only to realize there was another mountain or hill blocking the horizon so we’d turn around, sprint back to the main road, laughing and screaming out into the expanse. With about 20 minutes to spare, it became evident the skies were going to open to an incredible sunset and that we were in the general area I wanted to be in. It was then a mad dash up a sandy hill dodging rocks and spiky bushes. All in all, our step-tracking apps logged each of us in around 2 miles and 10 floors in less than an hour (and six months pregnant for me!). The steps and sweat were more than worth it when the skies displayed three breathtaking phases to that evening’s sunset. I surely didn’t go into this trip thinking I’d be participating in a cardio and booty blast but I take pride in my determination to not put limits on what I allow to be possible for myself. Hey, I never knew I could make a human, so as I see it, the possibilities for myself are as limitless as the desert is endless.


A Dream For My Future

There’s something new blooming in our garden! I’m 24 weeks pregnant today with Baby Girl Moss! I had intended to write this post, um, maybe 8 or 9 weeks ago. I was thinking and brainstorming of all the ways I could tie this announcement into plants and nature, but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and write the real story that I had inside.

If you’ve followed the blog for any period of time you know that a life changing moment for me was the sudden passing of my father, coincidentally, on the night of my first wedding anniversary. At that time, the thought of having a child and not having my father’s influence on it’s life was too difficult to imagine. I knew I may want children in the future but his passing was the perfect excuse to put it off for another day, another year. But as the old adage professes, time heals all wounds, I too began to heal. Fewer of my life’s decisions began with what I didn’t have but with what I could make for myself. Soon I began to think seriously about becoming a mom. Around our sixth wedding anniversary last year, also marking a decade of being together (10 years!?!) we decided to make 2016 the year of Baby Moss. In January, I had a series of dreams about my dad over three nights. I typically never remember what I dream about and I hadn’t had a dream about my dad in years. The dream reoccurring during these three January nights was the same dream I had shortly after his passing. Wherein I would pass him as he was seated out in public somewhere and exclaim to him, “Where have you been!? I have so much to tell you!!”, and as soon as I would hug him he would be gone.  After the third night of that dream I knew something was different, but I kept it to myself for a few more days out of the fear of sounding like I was losing it! Now I know that I was only a few weeks pregnant when I was having those dreams. In looking back, I see them as a transition that my mind was going through and needed to go through. He came back into my mind, after being gone for some time, to allow me to dream clearly for my future and I haven’t looked back since. It was the perfect proof for me that enjoying each of life’s chapters as they slowly unveil themselves can be a beautiful process for the progression of life.

In true rootedinmoss fashion, my husband and I hit the greenhouses in search of the perfect pink succulents. Below is the potting of the pink succulent pot and a fun little shoot we took to announce Baby Girl Moss.

Due October 2nd! Stay tuned for my upcoming garden-themed baby shower in July.

xo, rootedinmoss