one year // anaïs

oneOh my, how this girl has changed all our lives! Her surge into this world was surely forthcoming of our first year together as a family of four. Anaïs is a force, her determination is fierce, her voice-strong and her sense of humor is something I didn’t know babies were made of. She has made a baby fan out of me and parts of me will truly miss this stage but the other parts of me are happy to welcome the more independent stages to come. Being a mother of two is no easy feat and the fact that we have all made it through happy, sane and more in love than we were as three is a giant accomplishment in my book.

Today we celebrate this sweet soul who was so wanted and waited patiently to make her way into our family. Anaïs has showed us the beauty in sisterhood and the power of that bond. She has brought us a side of Lucy that we never saw before. She has given us the spark that our family lacked before her, she is on fire and has the capacity to make things happen. She loves music and sings or (tries) whistle nearly every day, she is easy to smile and laugh. There is a joy and light inside of her that you can see in her eyes. She is a risk taker and isn’t afraid of adventure. Anaïs is slow to welcome people but when she does she picks the solid folks. She has a great palate for food, although bananas should only be eating when smashed or in smoothies. Her favorite word is “Hi” and “Dad” is a very close 2nd; every morning she wakes up and wants to call him first thing.  She has pushed me in ways I didn’t see coming and for that I am better- more patient,  calmer and more fluid, not to mention I now have deeper empathy for parents with screaming babies. She surprises us everyday and teases us with the promise of kisses only to turn her head away in laughter. Today celebrate our family- complete, whole and full of life. Because of this little bird we are all better people with a greater understanding for the desire to be heard, understood and that one’s needs are just as important as another’s even if they take you a while to figure out.

Happy First Birthday, Birdie! We love you past the stars and back. May our lives continue on the path of love, gratitude and light.  xo


collection no. 3 // first birthday

first birthday | workhouse

one / two / three / four / five / six 

Thankful this week to be preparing for Anaïs’ first birthday, my gratitude list will also coincide with this collection of goods. We try our best to stick with ‘something to wear, something to read, something you want and something you need’ when it comes to buying gifts- I always like to add a little handmade something too. And being that it is her first birthday it is tradition that she is gifted a jade bracelet (the link is a shop selling very similar bangles to ours). I want to make note of our ‘something to read’, Micheal Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, an absolute gem! His chocolate cake video is one of our faves!!

Grateful for:
-my little brother meeting his niece for the first time this week
-grandparents who love love babies staying with us
-a big Filipino celebration
-beautiful weather
-the means of not having to go without
-celebrating surviving the first year as a mother of two
-filling our home with traditions, blessings and love
-feeling blessed that we have two special young ladies to share this life with

Do you have any favorite birthday rituals? I would love to hear what some of your favorite traditions are, birthdays are my favorite celebration!



bean16/52 | workhouseblog bird 16/52 | workhouseblog

|a portrait | once a week | every week | in 2014. |

LUCY / with the biggest chocolate bunny she has ever met, his eyes were the first to go.

ANAïS / exploring the stem of a pear she found in her spring basket wearing her Sunday’s best. 

linking with practising simplicity


motherhood // sleep

babe | workhouseblogThere are moments as a mother that bring me down to a place of reason, a grasp on what’s attainable and a call for living slowly. I am learning that the biggest teaching moments are in the spaces between the transitions. This cute sweet chubby foot belongs to a little human who prefers to remain unnamed, she also chooses to not sleep through the night anymore, making life a bit more unpredictable and a little less desirable. My focus shifts. My perspective changes. The ideas I have of what I wish she would do changes to what it is I need to do, to adjust, to make space and room. For the growth. For the change. Letting the end of one phase flow into the beginning of another. Its funny how I always seem to forget this every time there is a new “new”.  I never recognize it at first and fight it until the light falls on its newness; we sit together (usually over a cup of tea), I welcome it in and figure out how to make friends with this adjustment. We then again find our rhythm until its time to befriend yet another change.

How do you deal with transitions? I’d love love love to hear how you’ve create healthy patterns for your family, especially those involving sleep and babyhood.



gratitude no. 18

white sage | workhouseblogThis weekend was beautiful, there is a lovely bubblegum colored flowering tree in our backyard that we somehow didn’t notice last year when we moved here or have since forgotten because Anaïs was born soon there after. Anyways, it is a beautiful backdrop to our backyard and made working back there this weekend feel like a fairytale.

A simple list of thanks:
-lots of time outside in the sun and fresh air
-I had time to sew a few things for myself
-dinner with my brother’s family and the best tacos in the whole state of WA
-watching the baby on the tire swing
-listening to Lucy and her dad build our garden beds
-buying new plants
-listening to the birds
-watching Lucy ride from point A to point B with her tongue hanging out the entire ride (its a new thing here)
-planning a first birthday
-ending the weekend with a bottle of wine and trashy tv



bean 15/52 |workhouseblogbird 15/52 |workhouseblog|a portrait| once a week| every week| in 2014.|

LUCY / sometimes daydreaming is frustratingly interrupted by me trying to catch a moment of perfection. I am assuming the two of us are the only ones who can see the attitude in her gesture.

ANAïS / her 3am wakings wanting to play are surely catching up with her as she takes a 2 hour nap at 9 in the morning. She is either a party animal or cutting another tooth, we have yet to determine which.

linking up with practising simplicity




make / window stars

window stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogwindow stars | workhouseblogWe welcomed Spring Equinox by making some colorful window stars. We said goodbye to winter’s dark skies and welcomed the bounty of color and life that is about to bloom. A simple star can be made by folding 8 squares of kite paper into simple cone shapes (like the reds ones shown above) and then attaching each point with either tape or glue. You’ll work clockwise overlapping the one side of the bottom edge of each point with another- this makes sense once you have all your points made and you can arrange them on a flat surface. There are many tutorial online but we keep referring back to these instructions and just try our best to translate the images.

They catch sun the sun perfectly, add some color to our landscape and change with the light throughout the day. Plus its a pretty simple mess free craft which I always gladly welcome with open arms.


nourish // customized brown rice bowls

rice bowls | workhouseblogrice bowls | workhouseblogrice bowls | workhouseblog

What goes over well here for dinner is the make your own (fill in the blank), be it burritos, fresh spring rolls or brown rice bowls. Giving our children the independence to pick and choose their own creation has created an adventurous eating in our eldest, I can see that the little one is not far behind. For our meals I am really big on keeping whatever I can raw when it comes to our vegetables, we are also a condiment family so anything with a sauce is always a hit, this recipe has both! There is not a lot of prep which helps with the witching hour and the leftovers become the components to an Asian style salad for my lunch the next day.   This peanut sauce is our usual go to for this meal and its good on any and everything including fresh spring rolls but we needed a change. This yummy ginger dressing was passed onto me by a friend and gave our dinner the revamp it needed. I made a simple slaw and dressed it with a bit of sesame oil, a dash of rice vinegar and a touch of maple syrup, seasoned with a little pepper- all to taste. Everything else is just whatever you have on hand.

Make enough brown rice to allow at least 1/2-1 cup of rice per family member

1/4C honey
1/4C soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbs rice vinegar
A large chunk of ginger, peeled & grated (a 2″ piece or to taste)
1 large clove of garlic
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

Mix all ingredients, except olive oil, then whisk olive oil in at the end or shake in a sealed mason jar.

Shred 1/2 cabbage and 2 carrots, I simply do this with a knife. Dress lightly with sesame oil, rice vinegar and maple syrup; toss to coat.

ALL THE OTHER STUFF (everything in this category is optional or whatever you have on hand…or need to rid your fridge of)
seasoned nori
red bell pepper slices
sesame seeds
kim chi
a runny yolk egg
sesame oil

Place a 1/2-1 cup of rice in a bowl, topped generously with slaw, drizzle on dressing and top with assorted toppings. We usually ask that there is a  bit of every color in our daughter’s bowl but it doesn’t always happen that way.


ritual // smudge 101

smudging 101 | workhouseblogSpring is upon us here in the PNW, we are slowly cleaning the house trying to take on one major chore at a time. My favorite being rearranging and organizing our goods according to necessity for the season. The woolen basket is now filled with gauzy scarfs, sun hats and small containers to take on nature walks. The mantel now has fresh flowers and has been cleared of all the treasures we gathered during winter. Our nature table has its book turned to April and is surrounded by moss, colorful fairies and flowers. Things are starting to feel lighter and brighter around here. The windows are opened first thing in the morning and if the sun is out so are we- for school, lunch, dinner and evening play. A drastic change to that of our winter, something that we give thanks for and gladly welcome.

Every Spring and Fall I make of point of smudging our home. It is a Native ritual for clearing the energy in a space, an object or a person. Some believe that the smoke signifies the Holy Spirit bringing in purification and blessings as well as removing any negative energies or influences. And in a day and  age where things are tried on, thrifted and passed down there are thoughts that objects can hold energy too, so it is good idea to cleanse goods as needed. I also do a clearing when someone has been sick or after any situation in our home that doesn’t hold our intention or values.

To smudge a space, hold an intention or prayer clearly in your mind and heart. Light your sage or herb; blow out the flames so that your herbs smolder rather than burn; walk around your space being mindful of places behind doors and corners (places were energy can be stagnant). Smudging should be done in reverence and in love. Offer thanks and gratitude. Open windows and doors to let the smoke dissipate and to allow the cleanse to happen.

Here are some suggested herbs you can use and their significance although sage and sweetgrass are the most common. I like to always have a bit of palo santo on hand too and keep some in our car.

Sage: drives out bad spriits, influences or feelings
Cedar: good for prayer
Sweetgrass: one of the most sacred of plants, brings in good energy and influences
Palo Santo: a holy wood, energetically cleansing + healing; good for meditation or prayer
Sandalwood: clears stress form the nervous system, awakens intelligence + lifts depression
Lavender: symbol for magic, love and protection
Mugwort: good for clearing the mind, great for purification and sanctification



gratitude // no. 17

workhouseblogLittle hands helping make sure that our newly transferred plants are kept company. Entering the week with a full heart bursting with love for our family and yet a bit sadden that the mister has to return to work after having him home for almost 2 weeks. When I was younger I used to dream of living in a big architectural home with lots of room and space but I know now that we, as a family, wouldn’t utilize most of it. We are always together and if we’re not in the same room we are always asking where someone else is. Our place now is by no means large or a place where you could lose someone but the absence of one is noticed by all and we just enjoy each other’s company- maybe even too much for some. The baby has now caught on and repeats, “Dad!” until he returns to whatever room she is in or sometimes even if he’s in the room and a bit too far away for her liking. The mister is quiet fond of it.

We had a wonderful time on this little staycation being mindful of not packing our days too full and allowing for moments of deep exhalation. We traveled to Bainbridge to visit good friends of ours at their farmhouse. We played outside. We cooked meals that were time consuming but worth it. We spring cleaned. We stayed in our pjs all day. We watched movies, cuddled and just connected with each other like you do when there is no schedule or agenda. And I went out one night with friends and didn’t get home till 1:30(!), reliving the days before bedtime rituals and night waking.

A little list of thanks:
watching a tv show with 200 other people (so fun, really)
spending time with my BFF
watching Lucy run free in the wild
Anaïs is warming up to friends in shorter amounts of time
teaching Lucy to make lumpia
lazy lazy days
butterscotch floats!
realizing I am half a cuff away from finishing my first sweater which, embarrassingly, has been on my needles for over a year and a half