THE PERFECT PLAYROOM RUG

LORENA CANALS RUG

When I make any sort of room update in our home, my first step is usually changing where we step foot, literally - the rug. We have gone through a few rugs in the nursery (also considered our playroom) since Faire was born, starting with this and then this natural rug from IKEA, both of which I loved but weren't the most ideal for playtime where you want the upmost softness and comfort for your babies to roll around.

Earlier this year, I discovered Lorena Canals, a brand that hand makes rugs specifically designed to be machine washable. Talk about a total game changer for your messy kids. Each rug is eco-friendly and non-toxic, and handmade by artisans using 100% natural cotton and natural dyes with non-toxic chemicals. So you know your children are not only playing on an incredibly soft surface, but one that is also extremely safe and friendly to the environment.

We've had our Bereber rug for a few months now and are very pleased with the quality, tough durability, and super soft texture. Their rugs come in many styles and sizes, but this version is the perfect size for our space. And if we're being honest, I am surprised it lasted around three months before it even showed enough signs of dirt to finally throw it in the washing machine - that is a lot to be said for a rug that has a toddler trampling over it daily! Given its beige, natural color, it hides the everyday dirt much better than a bright white would. Perfect for those who want a light, neutral aesthetic for any room in your home.

Go check out Lorena Canals here and give them a follow on Instagram. Their brand now offers machine washable cushions, baskets, and blankets all under the same eco-friendly and artisanal guidelines as their rugs. A few other styles I am loving are this tribal version, the Bereber in black, and the Leaf basket in natural.

Photography by Peyton Curry

This post was shared in partnership with Lorena Canals. All content and opinions are my own.
Thanks for supporting the brands that support this little blog and my family.

WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS!

PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

We are beyond thrilled to announce this little family is growing, with our newest addition expected to arrive early January 2018. Our sweet babe has been prayed for, and is already so, so loved. After an unfortunate miscarriage earlier this year - my first one, which was a total shock and left us completely heartbroken - we are extremely overjoyed to continue this journey with another happy & healthy blessing to love.

Turns out the second go round in pregnancy does not go nearly as smooth as the first. The morning sickness and fatigue are no joke while juggling freelance work & entertaining a very busy and very dependent almost-two-year-old. And indeed, the bump shows its face way sooner than the first time which has made this little secret of ours harder and harder to keep each week. I'm thankful time is moving slow, allowing me to soak up every single minute of growing this baby and giving Faire all the attention before life with a newborn starts over again.

So many thoughts are flooding our minds these days. All the 'whats' and 'ifs,' but surprisingly, I don't have any ounce of nerve bringing another baby into the world. Just a whole lot of anxiousness & excitement! Other than the gender predictions (I would be excited for either, seriously!) we are so anxious to see Faire in 'big sis' mode. She's already become a little mama taking care of her play babies, so I can only hope she will continue the same enthusiasm come January. Fingers tightly crossed for a fully-potty-trained, big-girl-bed-sleeping, enthusiastic big sis! :)

A huge thanks to our sweet friend Kaytee Lauren, for capturing yet another milestone in our ever-changing seasons. Stay tuned for more posts to come on all the maternity things. Thanks for following us on this journey!

WEARING//

On Me: Jumper: Free People; Clogs: Lotta From Stockholm

On Faire: Dress: Gap; Sandals: Salt Water Sandals

TODDLER BEACH TIPS & ESSENTIALS

We just got back from our week spent in Charleston and already looking forward to another beach trip next weekend - every year my side of the family rents a house in the Outer Banks. From devouring daily donuts to watching Faire and her cousins play in the pool, it's every bit of relaxing, family fun & we can't wait!

Last week, we got our first taste in how different beach dates go with a toddler. When Faire was more immobile, there was actually an opportunity to bring a beach chair for mama to sit and watch baby play at my feet. Now, Faire charges the water at full speed (so thankful for a kid who loves the water) and she's in constant motion. We enjoy spending our time at the beach during early mornings or late afternoons/early evenings, when the sun isn't at peak heat and there's more ample shade. And usually the beach is less crowded during these times, which is a win. But the best part, I've quickly realized I don't need to pack as many things to enjoy our beach days as I once thought.

Here's a few of our favorite tips and essentials for spending beach days with a toddler:

TODDLER BEACH ESSENTIALS

SUN SAFE CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES:

A coverup is a great addition to a swimsuit, and bonus if it's cute and terrycloth material to help with water absporption. This striped coverup by Cat & Jack is a winner - quick to throw on and has a hood for added protection. 

For shoes, we either bring our Native slip-ons or Salt Waters, both easy options to take on and off. Of course, Faire typically goes barefoot once we get down by the water, but both are super water-friendly, too. The Natives are so great for rocky beaches or when the shore is overpopulated with seashells.

This sun bonnet is a new style by one of our favorite small label brands, Petite Soul. It is a well-structured hat with the perfect amount of coverage. The linen fabric is lightweight and I love how the front brim can be folded up, without falling down. We are loving all of their warm, neutral shades.

TODDLER BEACH ESSENTIALS

KID-SAFE SUNSCREEN

Our whole family has fallen in love with the Supergoop brand for sunscreen protection. I was an avid fan of their sunscreen oil years ago, but now we are using their mousse version on repeat. I can honestly say my 22-month-old LOVES putting on this sunscreen given its fun, whipped texture. I also love their skin soothing mineral version, 2-in-1 lip shield, and their basic everyday sunscreen.

TIP: Apply sunscreen before putting on your child's swimsuit. I've found it is so much easier to do indoors or before your little one takes off running in the sand.

BEACH-FRIENDLY MAT

We've been tagging along our Gathre maxi to the beach these days, due to the large size for maximum seating. It's no secret, this leather bonded mat holds up great against dry sand, but even on wet sand it was still a breeze for cleaning.

TIP: Spray the mat off with water when you get home from the beach and let dry outside in the sun (which helps get rid of the wrinkles).

TODDLER SWIMWEAR

CUTE SUITS

Surprisingly, I didn't go too overboard with stocking up on swimwear for Faire. From splurge to save options, here's our brand picks for the season.

From left to right:
Minnow Swim rash guard & bikini. We love the rash guard option for those days where extra protection from the sun might be necessary. Also, each suit ships in these cute reusable bag - perfect for throwing in a wet suit when you leave, or for storing your phone, keys and wallet.

Rylee & Cru. Another small label fave. We found this suit when they launched their SS17 line and the circus print & ruffles give mama all the heart eyes. Darling Clementine is currently running 40% off Rylee & Cru (including some swimwear!) with no code necessary.

H&M. I love all the swim options at H&M, and this rash guard option was under $15! It is the easiest suit to slip on and off, great for quick trips. (This style not available online, but tons of cute options here.)

TIP: Rash guards are perfect for days where the sun might be extra strong. Also, they help save time with reapplying sunscreen.

TODDLER BEACH ESSENTIALS

SWIM DIAPERS

Swim diapers are a necessity for your water babies. We're in our second year of using the reusable swim diaper by i play and have nothing but amazing things to say. It provides a great snug fit ensuring no leaks and the reusable factor makes it easy for those back to back beach days. For a disposable option, we really like the color-changing swim pants by Babyganics. These are great for keeping extras in the diaper bag or car for those spontaneous beach or splash pad trips. They provide extra UPF protection and don't puff up when wet.

WATER BOTTLES

Don't forget to pack water for the family - of course to stay hydrated in the heat, but also for washing sand off those little bums when you change them out of their wet diapers. I always bring my Swell bottle and bring this one for Faire, both of which allow water to stay cool for hours.

TOYS

The beach is the ultimate playground for a toddler, so you really don't need much to entertain your littles. This 4-piece sand play set by Green Toys is lightweight and the only thing Faire needed for fun.

Mamas of toddlers, would love to hear any additional tips for beach days with littles?