Any day now...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Description of PhotoLet the waiting game commence! Okay, it has been going.. for awhile. Her due date is literally around the corner (next week!) and she is as ready as she will ever be! With swollen feet and a lot of restless sleep Joanna is highly uncomfortable these days. But as uncomfortable as she is feeling right now, can we just marvel at what a beautiful pregnant woman she is?  Raising the bar that Joanna.  Our brilliant photographer buddy, Rylee Hitchner, photographed Joanna in her dreamy home. I love how real and comfy her maternity pictures turned out!  Great Job Rylee!Description of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of Photo
Come on little buddy. Your mom can only go on so many long walks! We are about to start pulling out all the spicy food we can get our hands on!  Have any of you tried any ole wives tales that naturally induce labor...and worked? Do tell!-mojo 

Buttered Coffee

Monday, August 18, 2014

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Have ya'll heard of this whole putting butter in your coffee thing?? We've had a lot of friends that have been adding this to their daily regimen. Mostly- they are friends who are involved in some sort of consistent work out but the health benefits seem to be worth sharing! 

These coffee drinkers claim to have an intense amount of focus after a cup of buttered coffee. This may be coming from the the MCT oil that is added- it is said that putting a tablespoon of this oil helps with extreme focus and productivity! (enough reason to make me want to try it!) Because you would be putting butter instead of cream and sugar, the drink leaves you feeling fuller longer. From our research, it seems to be a high calorie drink that has a lot of benefits so far. So we suggest it to those that are actively working out- or for those that don't mind the 200 calories or so :) 
Here is a quote from a dietitian: "Metabolism is about hormones, blood sugar balance, and the quality of food — NOT just the quantity, therefore the healthy fat found in butter is important for our brain and waistline, regardless of the number of calories." 

So what do you think? Have you tried it or thought about it? Were curious to see what some of you think! We asked Craig (who is a huge coffee lover) to show us how to make it! So here are a few things you'll need:

Preferably freshly roasted. Whole bean is always the best. Grind just before brewing and you will get the fullest amount of flavor and aroma possible. Try to buy local! My favorite is Seeds coffee in Homewood (AL). Klatch is probably my favorite non local roaster.
Coffee Brewer
We used a Hario V60, which we highly recommend. You can also use a french press, siphon, or automatic if it is preferable.
Coconut oil is also a good substitute. MCT oil is Coconut oil and Palm Kernel oil that has been concentrated.You don't have to have the oil if you don't like it. Buttery coffee is delicious in of itself. 
Unsalted Grass-Fed Cow Butter 
Kerrygold is the easiest brand to find that makes Grass-fed butter, and they're real good. 

Grind beans and Brew 2 cups (16oz.) Coffee
Add 2 Tablespoons of Grass-Fed butter to blender
Add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil to blender (You may need to use less the first time see if you like it)
Add freshly brewed coffee.
Blend in blender well.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Anybody have good experiences with this, or not your cup of tea coffee? 


The Baby Whisperer Series: Baby Wearing

Thursday, August 7, 2014

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This is Dorothy, she is from Kenya and is a baby whisperer. She has been helping mom's with their babies for 14 years! Her mother was a labor and delivery nurse in her village in Kenya, so Dorothy has been learning about babies since a young age! She now resides in Birmingham Alabama and works with children full time. She is available to consult with families and help train babies with things like: getting baby on a schedule, sleeping through the night, introducing foods, potty training, etc. She's amazing! I have watched first hand Dorothy transform our little baby model into an angel! She got him on a set schedule and this buddy is just...perfect. She is currently helping introduce him to solids (which we'll talk on that soon too :) We are so fortunate to have her do a little series on a few major baby subjects! We love the simple way she helps raise babies. So we are just honored to share her wisdom! We hope this helps some moms out there! 
Dorothy helps a close friend of ours with her baby so we get to see her in action a lot. Usually I spot her doing a little bit of house work with baby Pace on her back in the sling. It’s adorable! He is so peaceful, just hanging with her, watching his surroundings. Sometimes, she'll go outside and walk around with him, to look at the trees or just calm him down with some outside air. I found it interesting that she used a regular long scarf. Nothing fancy, just a simple tie. I kept asking her questions about her method and came to find it’s actually very beneficial! 

The way she puts him in: She starts by expanding the wrap getting it ready to make an easy grab. Then she places the baby on her back (still holding him) while putting the wrap over the baby as she is leaning down. Once she brings wrap toward the front she slowly leans back making the baby sit inside the wrap. During this, she is tying it on the front. (Dorothy is experienced and has done it this way since she was young- so if you're interested in this simplistic way, it'll probably take you a few times to get it right! But there are many wraps out there that make it easier for you- see below) 
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Why baby wearing? Its benefits and purposes:
Helps A Cranky Baby-  Studies have shown that carried babies tend to cry less! In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. (source

Helps One Continue Life- In Dorothy's village, the men go do whatever the men in their villages do during the day... leaving the women to tend to the home and children. There are no babysitters, mother's day out or daycare in her village so the women had to figure out a way to continue harvesting, getting water, house work, cook, ect while still managing their babies. This is where the slings came into play. Wearing your baby helps a mom continue life while keeping baby happy! 

Nurtures Babies- Premature babies and babies with special needs often enter the world with fragile nervous systems. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses. Research has even shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. (source

Good Bonding- Baby carriers are a great bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, adoptive parents, babysitters, and other caregivers. Imagine a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby isbecoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements, and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Baby carriers are beneficial for every adult in a baby’s life. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you (source)

What are the best positions for baby in a wrap?
Dorothy has noticed that placing baby Pace on her back has been the most beneficial to him. He loves to look around and seems to be at his most comfortable. She actually prefers this position the most because it encourages good posture for the baby, especially for their little hips. The back of the mama is straight and helps babies that are colic be up straight and not hunched. Which helps with digestion. 
When babies are in their infant stage she likes them up front, promoting bonding. Sometimes she'll slide Pace to her side or front when he starts to get fussy. 

What are the best ones?
Honestly, we can't really answer that question for you. It really depends on the person and their lifestyle. There are many many good slings and carriers out there that tend to different families. So our best advice can only come from one's Dorothy has tried...Which is a generic long scarf like the one's from her village. She does recommend when choosing one, to choose one that is preferably cotton and light weight. Something that is breathable for the baby. 

Obviously not all of us can fly to Africa and get one of these beautiful wraps, so I pulled together a few options that other mom's have tried and loved!
  • The Solly Baby Wrap is a very lightweight, breathable wrap (and beautifully designed) that a lot of mom's love to use for an everyday carrier.
  • Ergo Baby Performance has been a favorite for a while. Its great for active parents who need a lightweight carrier that can hold comfortably! Especially for taller bigger babies/toddlers. 
  • Another heavy duty carrier favorite is the Baby Bjorn Miracle Baby Carrier. The newest Bjorn carrier is made to fit a newborn without an infant insert or padding and can adjust all the way to a 15 month old! 
  • The Baby Ktan is another lightweight everyday wrap that is great because it doesn't require wrapping, buckling or straps! 
  • Another lightweight everyday wrap is the Sakura Bloom. Its probably the closest to how Dorothy wears hers. Simple over one shoulder wrap with a ring to secure it. 
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If you have any questions and are interested in getting more info from Dorothy herself, shoot us an email to get in touch with her- she has the sweetest heart and spirit. Such valuable wisdom this woman has! Can't wait to continue with this series!

Do any of you wear your baby? I'm planning on wearing mine a lot! Seems a bit easier than lugging that car seat around- but I wont know until he gets here :) As far as choosing a wrap for myself- I'm going to stop by world market to see if they have any good patterned, long lightweight scarves I can make into a wrap like Dorothy's!! But I am curious as to which wrap seems to be the favorite from experienced readers- lightweight everyday wrap? Or a carrier for the active parent??


Mango Banana Smoothie

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Smoothies are our thing right now...Usually its just frozen mango, strawberries, banana and water. But I thought we could get creative and start adding some supplements to make the snack go farther! I love using chia seeds to make my smoothies thicker, since I have them mostly in the morning I thought oats would be a great filler too, not to mention all the protein and nutrition this puppy brings! Will keep you full for hours! Try at it and let us know if you like- or if you adjust it and love it! 
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  • 1 Cup Frozen Mango
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Oats
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • Honey (to taste)
  1. Add chia seeds and oats to blender with milk. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soak.
  2. Then add frozen mango and banana.
  3.  Taste and see if honey is something you would like to add, add to taste.
  4.  Serve to immediately.
  5. NOTES: Milk measurements are approximate. Add more if smoothie is too thick and would like it to be thinner. Oats tend to dilute the sweetness of the fruit a little bit, so add some honey if its not sweet enough for you!

Diffusing Natural Curls

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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We have had a lot of ladies email us about curls and what to do with them. To help we thought we'd show our curl diffusing technique and ask someone with lots of natural curl some questions about her daily routine! The benefits of diffusing is having a more consistent curl and more (controlled) volume. So give it a try:
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  • Having hair wet apply your products. We used Bumble and Bumble Prep, Thickening Spray, and Texture (this one is perfect for diffusing!) All great products! If you are wanting to define your curls more you may use Bumble and Bumble Defining Creme. 
  • Next bring out your diffuser. Focus mainly on the roots being careful not to break up your curl. This will build the volume and keep it consistent. 
  • Now move on to your whole head. NEVER go in from the side of your head this will create frizz. You want to cradle the hair into the basket of the diffuser and almost bounce it. Keep your curls where they naturally want to fall.
  • Once your about 90% done let the rest dry naturally while you do your make up or fold some laundry! Then perfect the curls around your face with a curling iron taming the curls that tend to frizz. (This is a key move that will help with those pesky hairs around the face)
  • Rock your beautiful mane! 

Whitney, our beautiful model (and has a cute blog) was awesome enough to share some insight into the world of her curly hair:

How do you avoid frizz in these humid summer months? 
The two powerful B's. Buns & braids. Especially the days when summer thunderstorm humidity takes over the weather. I don't dare fight that type of humidity and just my hair off my neck! At other times I use a little hair spray and try to keep my hair healthy and conditioned. But I haven't found the magic cure to anti frizz quite yet!

Whats your favorite way to style your hair?
Messy. I've given up on trying to have my hair perfectly curled so I just let it do it's thing. I absolutely love a big ol' messy bun on top of my head with a bunch of wispy curls falling all around my head. And if the event is formal, my go-to is to wear it down and curly and then take a little clip and clip it half way to the side of my neck. It takes a few minutes and looks pretty fancy!

Have you always embraced your natural curl?
Like any girl with curly hair I had my moments where I absolutely hoped and prayed that God would send some kind of new hormone that would leave me with thick, luscious, straight, shiny hair. But once I learned how to take care of my hair, I learned to really love it. I used to fight it and try to straighten it which left me with really unhealthy hair. I'm now at a point where I definitely embrace it!

What products have been your favorite over the years?
Last summer, a girl I worked with suggested that I use 'Rusk Wired'. It has been my ALL time favorite. I usually use that with a tad bit of 'Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray' (such a long name) because I love the way it smells and it enhances my curls a lot. I also cannot live without a wide-toothed comb which I use in the shower once I've saturated my hair in some conditioner.

I'm to the point where I am trying to get comfortable with letting my hair just be naturally big. I always get uncomfortable with it completely down which is why I clip it or put it in a bun a lot but I definitely am working on just being okay with it big and down. Because that isn't fun to fight and who else has so much natural volume? Curly hair really does rock!

Thank you Whitney! We hope that helps answer a few questions to you that are blessed with those luscious locks! Also, as a side note- most of our updo tutorials will work for curly hair folk! In fact, you have a little bit of an advantage because your curls will hide any mistakes! So make sure to try the Messy French Twist or this Braided Fringe tutorial!


Nursery Inspiration

Friday, July 18, 2014

Description of PhotoHard to believe we're 7 weeks away! Its flying by and catching up to us. We're not quite ready... I'm mainly waiting for our showers to see what else we still need. As far as the nursery decor, were keeping the walls the sea shell white they are and really only adding a few things. A crib obviously- which we're planning on making. A changing "table" but mainly just a dresser or table with baskets underneath? Still looking out for options. A comfortable cozy rug that doesn't leave certain little paw prints and a cheap comfortable rocker.  We're keeping his room pretttttty simple so theres really not much to do right now (except build that crib...) I did find this mobile (pictured above) that I bought in a little market in D.C. It was hand made by this couple from kenya, its perfect and exactly the esthetic of the room i'm going for! Its really all we have as far as decor but its a good start! (I like to think) We'll get more soon :) But until then, i'm constantly on the look out for inspiration. Thought i'd share some of them: 


  • This hexagon jute rug is beautiful, but not sure how comfortable it will be on his little knees...
  • I'm kind of obsessed with this simple patterned rug! But too white? Also, a little pricey :/
  • We already have this textile rug and have contemplated putting it in his room. 
  • We're not british...but this is a fun one!
  • Love the detail on this woven rug.
  • This elephant rug might be my favorite and will try to convince the husband. So beautiful!

Changing Table:

  • We need a table/dresser that is low (since its going in front of the window and has legs (instead of flush against the floor so it doesn't block the air conditioner/heat) like this one. Great for adding baskets underneath too!
  • This is a perfect example of the shape i'm looking for. (minus the sink of course)
  • Here is another bathroom vanity that would work great for our changing table! (preferably longer and not taller)
  • We already have a changing pad- but If i can find a round pad and a large enough flat basket, we're totally doing this instead.


  • As far as storage we have this large dark armoire we will be making into his little closet. We'll add a rod for hanging and shelves. Like this guy.
  • Or maybe just shelves like this beautiful armoire.
  • This is the same color (and around the same size) of the one we have. I like the idea of taking the doors out and showing the inside like this one.
  • Laundry baskets? I just want this adorable one.
  • For toys? I found these wire baskets on sale for 5 bucks at Urban Outfitters! 

Every rocker/glider I found that was visually appealing was wayyyy too expensive. Plus some just looked good and not too comfortable. So we decided to find a comfy good looking regular chair and add rockers to it. 
  • This rocking chair is the most beautiful one I could find, also the most expensive! 
  • A less cheaper version of the Anthropologie one, DIY style.
  • Here is a good list of rockers via design sponge!
  • Are hammocks out of the question?
  • We found an office chair like this (but with cushioned arms and much more comfier) at the thrift store for 12 bucks! It is beige and very simple. We will remove the wheels and replace with rockers. Add a throw pillow and a blanket and we're set! This is very untraditional but practical and budget friendly!
For the crib we are keeping that a secret until built :) can't wait to show you! It'll be pretty simple, of course. We might also add a stenciled wall or ceiling but not 100% on that. What do you think? If we do add stencils I'll most likely make it and place on the ceiling so he has something to look at. I like the idea of these stars. I've also thought about random letters or numbers??? This pastel color would look great in his room- but the stripes might be a little too detail oriented for me. I'm also leaning towards just drawing on one of his walls like this cool work of art

Lots of options! After the end of this month we'll have more in his room and i'll share photos of the progress. Such exciting times! What about you? Do you already have your nursery done? or are you like me and are procrastinating at 33 weeks? :) 


Summer Break

Monday, July 14, 2014

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Irrelephant has had our mini-Summer break for the last two weeks. I (Molly) have been out of town on various trips and Joanna belly bubble is growing larger and larger! Baby Ballentine will be with us in approximately 7 weeks! Woooooh! All that to say we are gearing up for a fun end of summer. Many hair tutorials, home DIYs, baby prepping, and summer trend posts. 

We hope you all have been enjoying your summer and we thank you for your patience while we took some time to recover and spend time with our families! 

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