Tag Archives: Photography

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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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

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.


Give Love Back

It should come as no surprise to those who have been following me for some time that I love love and my absolute favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. I have heard there are people out there that think Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday (I actually think you can make that argument for any major holiday) or that it’s a day in which taking an inventory of love is forced upon us. Luckily, for me, I don’t know any of those people! 🙂 We love the excuse to celebrate love. As soon as February 1st arrives all I see is pink and red and we often eat heart-shaped food- it doesn’t hurt that my husband totally plays along for me.

All this talk about love definitely reminds me of the love I give and receive from my garden. My garden is a source of love in many ways. It gives love to me by always providing me with something new to appreciate. It produces a physical gift in the abundance of itself as way for me to give love to others. And it gives those recipients a way to share love back with me when they tell me how the plants I’ve given them have grown, multiplied, and have been given to others they love.

I feel so grateful that nature always gives me something new to see and love always gives me a new reason to write. In the spirit of my favorite holiday I’m partnering up with General Pumice Products for a giveaway to my readers and Instagram followers! We will be giving away a 15 lb. bag of pumice and succulent cuttings from my garden (see entry details at the end of this post or on Instagram.) Pumice is a volcanic rock made of hundreds of microscopic pores. When added to your favorite potting soil, there are many useful benefits for your garden. The tiny pores on the surface of the pumice act as microscopic reservoirs storing nutrient-rich water, vitamins and minerals. Pumice not only releases stored water quickly which brings oxygen to the root zone (very important for succulents!) but it also allows carbon dioxide to escape and enables air circulation. This process saves on water costs and improves water conservation by absorbing water quickly and slowly releasing it back into the soil when needed. Talk about giving love back to your plants! I have been adding General Pumice Products pumice to my garden (stay tuned for a post about my garden overhaul with pumice) and it has been so beneficial as Southern California experiences an increase in precipitation due to El Nino. I’m very excited to help you give love back to your garden too with one of my favorite products!


Valentine’s Day Projects with General Pumice ProductsGiveaway details:

  1. Must be following @rootedinmoss and @sexysucculents_(the account for General Pumice Products) on Instagram
  2. Must tag three friends on the photo announcing the giveaway
  3. One entry per Instagram account
  4. Must be a Continental U.S. resident (sorry no AK or HI entries)
  5. The prize for this giveaway is a 15 lb. bag of 1/8″ pumice and a variety of succulent cuttings from my garden. Both items will be shipped separately.

Check out generalpumiceproducts.com for more information about their products.