Tag Archives: Lifestyle

One Year Later

I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a burden that with the change of the season from summer to fall that my baby also turns a year older. Today, in came the Santa Ana winds (for those of you not in Southern California- Santa Anas are very strong, hot, dry winds typically in the beginning of fall) and out went my first year as a mom. You can read all about my birth story here. I have so much to say, yet so little ability to express it today. Ugh, so many emotions! Moms, I know you know what I mean. Since I’m a little tongue-tied about how I feel today, one year later, here’s what I would tell myself a year ago if I knew the words to say.

Go with your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.

Sleepless nights will be nothing but a fleeting memory one day.

There is joy to be found in every single stage, even the difficult ones.

Wherever she falls asleep in your arms, stay there and rock her- everything else can wait.

Be grateful, even when it’s tough. She’s perfect.

Kiss her cheeks a million times.

Remember that toothless smile.

Reach out to others, they’re dying to help.

Read to her, sing to her, talk to her- everything wonderful she becomes is because of you.

Be kind to yourself, especially in the beginning.

Remember what those little eyelashes look like every night when she closes her eyes to sleep.

Hold those tiny hands.

Every memory will be special to you one day.

Give, give and give more even when you think you have nothing left to give.

And most importantly, if you’re trying your hardest there’s no such thing as messing up. You’re doing an amazing job.


We celebrated Leighton’s birthday on October 8th with family and friends at Underwood Family Farms. We had some of her favorite foods: mommy’s bolognese with gluten free penne, strawberries and melon and cucumber salad. There was feed for the animals and kids had access to all of activities that the farm normally offers like baby goat feeding, and train and tractor rides plus there was a harvest festival and heirloom pumpkin picking. We had picnic-themed decor and our favorite red velvet cake from Susie Cakes (same as our wedding cake). All around it was a perfect day!

Last year on my due date, October 2nd we went to Underwood as kind of an unbirthday celebration for the baby. Walking around seeing all of the families with babies and children and talking about what it would be like to bring the baby here the following October. I took the photo on the top that day and yesterday we went back to the passion fruit arches on the farm to take a photo one year later. 


Leighton’s First Birthday at Underwood Family Farms

xo, rootedinmoss

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Faraway Hills

I often get asked how I stay in shape or how I have so much energy. My husband calls it Crazy Mom Energy, thanks babe. So I thought I’d share a little bit about my eating habits, workout routine and most importantly how I keep a positive mentality.

Eating: This is a very “to each their own” topic. I don’t have any food allergies and I don’t follow any particular diet. I do make all (most) of our meals at home. I don’t count calories or macros. I eat real food. I like to make meals that are comprised of the least amount of ingredients possible per dish. Think, brussels sprouts (one ingredient), burrito (who knows what’s going into that). We do eat carbs like brown rice or white rice and whole wheat tortillas because I am not in the business of deprivation or starvation. I cook the majority of our meals to be about 80% plant based. Lately, I have been testing out non-dairy options like almond milk yogurt (I love Kite Hill) and grain-free options like making my own grain-free granola and it has done wonders for my digestive system. There are so many amazing real food companies out there now that have great chips and snacks made with very few and REAL FOOD ingredients. Also, I have pretty much cut sweets like cakes, cookies and pastries out of my diet. I absolutely do not refuse myself a treat if I’m offered one but I will tell you the honest truth, I don’t miss it. When you wake up full of energy you will thank yourself for that self-control. Which brings me to my next topic…

Exercise: There is no shortcut. Period. You have to get all of the excuses out of your system. I’ll be missing out on so much while I’m at the gym… It takes 20 mins to get there and 20 mins to get home and I have to be there for an hour and then shower!?!… I don’t want to mess up my hair…Ok, done? Your best self is waiting on the other side of those excuses. Now I won’t say that it’s so easy for me but I truly do enjoy exercising because I’ve been on the other side of those excuses for years.

They say it takes a village to raise a baby but it also takes a village to raise up and encourage a new mama. I am so grateful to my sister, my husband’s mom and brother-in-law who will drive out of their way to push Leighton around in the stroller for 40 minutes while I’m at my Pilates class. Most importantly, to my husband and my mom. If I get the idea in my head that I want to be active they either join in or work it out to help me make it happen. Having a supportive spouse is key. Investing in each other’s health is the best investment you can make for your children.

I used to hate schedules and group exercise. Since having a baby, I have tried to let go of self-manifested mental barriers. Now, I like schedules and group exercise- trust me those weren’t easy for me to give in to. I do Pilates MegaFormer classes three times a week at Pilates Plus Porter Ranch. It’s the absolute best full body workout. According to my Apple Watch, I typically burn about 350 active calories in 40 minutes. I don’t really know what that means in the scheme of things because I don’t count calories but I use that as sort of a model for my workouts and when I’m around 350 active calories I know I’m on track. Once or twice a week, I walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes followed by high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is perfect for mamas with small babies because you can hit your cardiovascular goals as well as strength goals in a short period of time while baby is napping. I usually spend no longer than 20 minutes on HIIT with no breaks because I know my nap clock is running. Google HIIT for inspo, or you can always message me for specific moves I like.

Postpartum, as well as during my pregnancy, when I thought laying around sounded way better than being active I would weigh my options and tell myself, “You’re better for it.” I totally may have ripped that off from Nike but it’s true! You are BETTER FOR IT. You will never leave a workout thinking that you would have been better off organizing your spice cabinet. Like I said, my husband always remarks about my “mom energy”, well isn’t that an oxymoron? He is right though. Being forced to push myself through to seek out energy that just wouldn’t be there otherwise has caused me to be in a better place physically and mentally than before I had the baby. Which brings me to my next topic…

Positive Mentality: I have a six month old. I work five days a week, three in my office in Santa Monica and two from home. I have a give-or-take hour commute on both ends of my day. Truthfully, driving in traffic is more exhausting than taking care of a teething baby. But I use that time to catch up with friends and family on the phone, jot down blog and project ideas and drink my coffee! It was my “me time” even before I had the baby. You have to look at each part of your day as a way to get closer to your happiness and health goals.

We recently baptized Leighton (pics coming this week!) and before the baptism my husband and I had some lovely meetings with Father David at our parish. The conversations didn’t set out to be about any particular topic but they flowed so beautifully as though he knew exactly what our hearts needed to hear. While Father was sharing a story about a friend of his, he said a quote that has stuck with me ever since our last meeting that I wanted to share. He said, “Faraway hills always seem green until you get up close and see they’re filled with weeds.” That may sound a bit pessimistic but it was actually what inspired me to write this post. It had me thinking about body image and social media. Instagram and Pinterest can be great sources of inspiration for workouts and health goals but it can also create a terrible spiral of body comparing and shaming. Even worse, body comparing to photos that may be edited, cropped and filtered to not represent a real body goal at all. I am a real person. I am a mom and a wife. I don’t have a professional photographer following me around every day or a personal trainer keeping me on my fitness goals. I wake up everyday with a goal to say “Yes I can” to as much as possible and lay my head down at night proud of what I did and letting go of what I didn’t and committed to always being a work in progress. If I can do it, so can you. 🙂


On the days I’m not participating in group or gym exercise I love to be outdoors getting in my 10,000 steps and taking in nature. Last weekend, we took the baby to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve to check out the wildflower bloom occurring in the desert right now. We had rain the night before. As is typical with Southern California: after the rain, comes the wind. There were sustained 40 mph winds with 50+ mph gusts. Needless to say, the poppies closed up protecting themselves from the wind and cold- gotta love nature. But nonetheless, we had a nice day walking around.

Be kind to yourself and your journey.

xo, rootedinmoss

When The Days Are Long

I’m sitting here, sipping on some kombucha, listening to the rain. My life has changed in a lot of ways but I’ll be the first to say I haven’t forgotten what it was like before I had a baby. Quiet moments definitely have more importance than they ever have. Have you ever tried putting pen to paper with Twinkle Twinkle playing on loop in the background? No? Well, you’re probably not a mom then. 🙂 As I sit here enjoying my quiet moment, which was short lived as she’s currently sitting in my lap, I’ve been trying to sum up the update about motherhood that I’ve been asked about… Something that has definitely fascinated me about being a mom is that my already full and eventful life has been able to stretch and expand to accommodate another person, who is completely dependent on me, without being able to clone myself or find the missing 25th hour of the day. It’s quite amazing and I like to think I do it with a smile. What has most fondly been added to my newly expanded life are the little loves I give and receive on a daily basis. My new activities include: cheek kissing, chunky book reading, soft arm scratching, paci locating, jammie changing, silly song singing, tear drying, tiny hand holding and lovey giving. But for all that I give I get way more in return. She falls asleep in my arms every night no matter who or what wants my attention. After she falls asleep, sometimes I hold her for an hour. Because I know that when the days are long, the years are inevitably oh so short and that’s something I never want to forget.


Succulent Easter Basket

I love finding new ways to temporarily bring succulents indoors as part of my holiday decor. Before the baby, I didn’t really decorate the house for Easter. This year we’re decked out with carrot garland, baby chicks and bunnies on the mantle and this Easter basket filled with succulents! The baby loves doing tummy time these days so we hung out together in her room while I put the basket together and this is how I did it. Every good project starts with an even better trip to the greenhouse. What I used:

  • Basket- I had one in my craft closet but I also like these here and here.
  • Succulents- The dimensions of the opening of my basket were approximately 12 in x 8 in. For that size basket I used about 30 small (2 in. pot) succulents in a variety of pastel colors. See photos below for size in relation to my hand.
  • Wet foam- I used this one here. I bought two of the “half balls” which are each 8 inches in diameter. This foam adds great structure while easy to cut and manipulate and if you desire to keep your project in tact longer than a week or so you can add water right to the foam.
  • Floral wire- I used 22 gauge and 24 gauge wire depending strength and size of the succulent stem. I used the thicker wire to keep larger succulents in place and the thinner wire to bend and manipulate the positioning of the plant.
  • Scissors
  • Butter knife to cut the foam

First, I stripped the succulents of all of their soil. I set the soil aside to use in the garden at another time. I like to pull some of the long roots off and expose the stem as much as possible. I started by cutting one of the half balls in half and wedging the two pieces to fit the majority of the empty space in the basket. There may be a more concise way of cutting and fitting the wet foam into projects but I have yet to discover it. All of the wet foam will be covered when the project is finished so I don’t worry about making the base look presentable, as seen below. And there it is. Not gorgeous but completely functional. I cut the second half ball and wedged pieces where there were gaps. I used the butter knife to shave down areas to create height in the middle and lower, sloping sides. This will give the effect that the basket is brimming with Easter eggs.I started with a larger succulents to be the focal point in the middle of the basket. I pre-cut about a two inch pieces of floral wire to be ready when I need them. Then inserted one piece of wire per succulent into the stem leaving about one inch of the wire exposed. If you are using large succulents, 4 inch or larger, you may need more than one piece of wire for stability. Then place the wire into the wet foam. The wet foam is easily manipulated as it has a sort of crumbly texture. If the succulent isn’t sitting exactly how I want it to I just apply a little pressure into the foam and wiggle it into place. From the first succulent, I worked out alternating colors and textures with attention to placing smaller succulents around the edges. For filler in this basket I used Sedum dasyphyllum. This variety comes in beautiful rainbow varieties from green to purple to pink all in one 4 inch pot. I broke off tiny pieces and used the 22 gauge wire to place them into vacant areas. There’s the finished product! It took me about 30 minutes to complete with Leighton playing next to me. The basket will stay in the house until Easter. Then I think I’m going to plant some of the succulents into the current flower bed redo (post to come once completed) and use some to fill in vacant spots in a few pots. Happy Spring! Lots of fun stuff coming up for rootedinmoss! Stay in touch by subscribing to the blog or following along on Instagram @rootedinmoss. All images from the blog are now enabled for pinning, follow rootedinmoss on Pinterest for inspiration for your DIYs and to see what inspires me!

xo, rootedinmoss

Winter Project with JuicyKits.com

I know it’s my favorite time of year when a big box containing a DIY terrarium kit from JuicyKits.com arrives at my doorstep! You can see my terrarium from last year’s holiday season here. This year I chose The Arrowhead from their DIY kit collection. I really love The Arrowhead because of the unique arrow-shaped glass container and the beachy, California vibe of the plants and accessories it comes with. This kit includes three air plants: Tillandsia Brachycaulos, Tillandsia Tricolor Melanocrater and Tillandsia Ionantha. The kit also includes preserved reindeer moss and a pink sea urchin. I wanted this terrarium for the baby’s nursery so I chose the white crushed glass for the base which compliments the room perfectly!


The Arrowheadimg_6089img_6090img_6092img_6091img_6093img_6095img_6094img_6096img_6083img_6097img_6098


I love my terrarium kit so much that I want you to have one too! JuicyKits and I are spreading the holiday spirit by offering all of my followers 15% off your entire order through January 31, 2017 by using the code ROOTEDINMOSS at checkout. That’s 15% off DIY kits, succulent packs (they have an amazing selection!), accessories and more! The DIY kits are perfect projects to do with children and to teach them how care for the plants and watch them grow. They also make the perfect holiday gift whether you put the terrarium together yourself to gift away or you give the gift of DIY to someone else!

Rootedinmoss Holiday Gift Guide with JuicyKits.com

JuicyKits.com is the perfect one stop shop for the plant lovers in your life. Below are some of my favorite gift ideas for this holiday season.

The Amethyst Votive is perfect for the low-maintenance, interior design loving person in your life. Each amethyst has been drilled to fit a candle or perfect to fit an air plant or two. You can choose from the large selection of air plants to complete your gift. amethyst-votive-main-plant

The Stella is a gift for the trendy plant lover. This rhombus-shaped hanging terrarium is perfect for home (cute idea for the kitchen) or office. This kit comes with an air plant, moss and black or white crushed glass. the-stella-white-mainThe Big Ol’ Egg the ultimate succulent terrarium gift! This DIY kit is fully loaded with everything you will need for your project. You can choose your plants from JuicyKits’s amazing succulent selection on their Succulents Menu. Speaking of their Succulents Menu, you can always purchase plants without a kit as a gift or for yourself! big-ol-egg-1

Don’t forget to use the code ROOTEDINMOSS at checkout to enjoy 15% through January 31, 2017! I want to see pics of your terrarium projects, don’t forget to tag me @rootedinmoss. Happy shopping!


Seven weeks old. Being a good girl while mommy did projects.

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