Category Archives: GRATITUDE

gratitude // no. 19

There has been a pesky creature digging in our garden, I tied up our garden with with twine earlier last week but whatever it is it some how managed to force its way through this weekend trampling and digging up our freshly sprouted starts. Total bum deal. Sunday the mister walked up to the hardware store to buy some supplies to eradicate the issue, I on the other hand was ready to give up and eat my feelings with donuts, the former was the proper way to deal. Here’s to hoping that the problem has been solved, our growing season is short here in the PNW and if we don’t get things up and growing soon we will be out of luck.

We had a lovely low key weekend: yard work, basking in the sun while the girls played with the hose and random plastic containers filled with water and bubbles, grass and whatever else springtime potions are made of. I was also able to pass along a long standing tradition of gifting my niece with [black] pearl earrings for graduation, something my father started with my older sisters, my sister did for me and now  I was able to do for her. Traditions like that are my favorite. We then ate our weight in Korean BBQ and came home to make bubble tea.

Overall a pretty perfect weekend including the fact that me and the mister made this to go along with an evening of binge watching the new season of ‘Orange is the New Black’. Aye aye aye.

the gratitude list:
-this is the last week of school
-a summer of endless possibilities is awaiting
-the yard looks amazing
-blessed for a shared intention for partnership
-a daughter who is incredibly creative and quick witted
-a daughter who has a giant smile, wants to cuddle endlessly and is
learning her animal sounds, cats say ‘hi’ fyi
-sunday morning huddled in bed, two sleeping, one reading and one pinning the
morning away
-cups of earl grey with milk
-homemade Vietnamese iced coffee
-cool ocean breezes
-filling our home with houseplants. another fiddle leaf fig acquired and then some
-receiving a large order of books

What are you starting your week grateful for? Big or small. Things that fill your soul
and make life as an adult that much more doable.


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!


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


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


gratitude // no.16

gratitude | workhouseblogThe earth on our hands and the sun in our hearts filled us this weekend, so did friends and family. We tilled the ground in the very back of our yard in preparation for our raised beds that we are hoping to build this week. I am so excited to be able to grow food again especially with both the girls by my side, we are mapping things out and talking of seeds and starts. Lucy has requested we grow lavender too. We are definitely enjoying this little staycation with dad, some much needed and desired time with him. Things will be a little quiet here this week but you can surely follow a bit of our adventure on Instagram, if you’d like.

a few other to make the gratitude list:
-watching lucy dive off a diving board for the first time
-having everyone home when the baby took her first steps
-the look on lucy’s face and the hug she gave Anaïs when she took her first steps
-hanging out with my brother over donuts (one of our dad’s favorite traditions)
-spending time with good friends
-spring cleaning
-having our bff family over for dinner
-open heart talks
-cousins who scream and laugh together and run wild in the grass
-authentic conversations

/ photo cred: miss beans /


gratitude // no. 15

gratitude no. 15 // workhouseblog

/ The gratitude list is a simple collection of things that I am thankful for from the past week. Its a lovely way to start the new week off with a sense of gratitude and an appreciation of things big and small and random./

Thankful for spring’s pleasant return, the bright blues skies have replaced the grey wet ones for now. It is remarkable how being able to go outside every. single. day. can change the my attitude and the dynamic within the girls. The fresh air, taking the time to literally stop to smell the roses and gathering as many nature finds as one can muster does good for the soul. The natural source of vitamin D doesn’t hurt either. Now that spring has finally arrived its time to tidy things up a bit. We spent our weekend working in the yard and started the task of spring cleaning and organizing. I always enjoy a good house purge this time of year.

I also want to acknowledge all of my new visitors, thanks to Jodi. Welcome! Thank you for being here, please hang out for a bit and make yourself home. If introducing yourself is your thing, it would be lovely to meet you.

Here are a few more things that made the list:
-planning a backyard garden
-having a cocktail with a good friend (via video) to mark a tremendous personal feat
-getting another friend in a float tank
-the smell of a sweaty baby sleeping on my chest
-an open hearted talk about intimacy and marriage with the mister
-letting this time of transition be one of growth and rejuvenation
-after watching lucy do about 1000 cartwheels this week I think she finally nailed it
-an extra hot matcha latte


gratitude // no.14

workhouseblog | instagram My attitude this past weekend wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. Ugh, I wasted most of it being in a terrible mood, chalk it up to an extreme lack of sleep, fighting with the mister, feeling like I’m burning the candle at both ends yet still not doing enough. I ended up just disconnecting with everyone and everything. I might have used the word ‘hate’ silently a few times. Thankfully I had a float, a massage and a chocolate malt to turn things around. Saturday evening, things started to change but the weight of it all on my heart had left an impression. Sunday things settled and I started to feel a bit more normal, I skyped with a good friend, edited photos and felt like I gained a bit of myself back, the self that isn’t a mom or partner, the part that is just me. I find that holding that space and time for myself is important, being a mom and a partner is a full time whole heart experience but taking a break to be the person that came before all of it is necessary for me. It gives me the ability to nurture the things that make me special and gives me a sense of self. Sometimes its a easy as having a cup of coffee and working through a card of images to get me back into feeling like I belong and that I’m worthy or sometimes its browsing the entire internet in bed that does the trick!

Ever have those moments in life when you lose sense of yourself and end up disconnecting with everything? What do you do to get back on track?

Here are some more positive lovelies to make this week’s list:
-the mister baking homemade soft pretzels
-spotting 2 bald eagles
-an amazing float experience- before/after shots here
-a family slumber party
-brown rice bowl dinner, a family fave
-a clean house
-slow rainy sunday
-hot cups of coffee and warm cups of tea
-bad moods that teach you a bit more about yourself
-a space to write about it all
-a little extra time with the mister on this monday morning


gratitude // list no. 14

juThis weekend we were given ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz‘ audiobook by a good friend, Lucy and I spent the better half of our rainy Saturday working on paintings and listening to the story.  We sat next to each other cramped on my small desk working, completely enthralled in the story (Miss Beans has yet to see the movie). It was so lovely to spend that much time with her, even in silence. On Sunday we each hung up our paintings in her room, the fruits of our labour. I soon realized that it won’t be the elaborate crafts planned, the small birthday party details, the carefully executed outings that my children will look back and cherish. It will be in the ordinary, rainy days painting next to mom on her little desk listening to one of the most magical stories ever that will make an impression, all the other things are just bells and whistles.

In honor of this, I will try to lower my expectations as a parent and take in the most modest of moments: the requests for cuddles, playing on the floor, helping me cook and the sure fire “one more book” as giant feats and be happy in knowing that my time is the biggest gift I can give my children, that and frequent giggling…and random dance parties in the kitchen. That I can do.

This week allow yourself to lower your expectations you have about being the ideal parent and just let them be little and take their lead. Breathe in the freedom.

A couple acknowledgments from the past week-
-Lucy received her official NOLA King Cake, shared it with cousins, found the baby and was designated King for the day
-working on our winter neglected yard in preparation for a garden
-a partner willing to do the weekly grocery shopping with the baby in tow
-getting lots of blog love from fellow bloggers
-setting a few big picture goals
-that there is still light out after dinner
-waking up to a few treats from my favorite bakery, accompanied with coffee in bed.
-learning to settle my feelings of angst; letting go of my dreaded, imaginary life timeline of accomplishments (you feel me?)
-satisfied with our simple life and the beauty in knowing that we just love the heck out of each other

Its funny that once I take a moment to acknowledge the abundance in our lives do I really notice its value and my heart feels full.  I’d love to hear what kind of things you’re thankful this Monday, share what adds value to your life and makes your heart burst.


gratitude // list no. 13

glittered hands | workhouseblog

A delightfully, boring but fruitful weekend. I have wanted to return to my weekly gratitude lists but have been finding it challenging to come up with pleasentries when I feel like my resources are tapped out, I’m tired and the commitment of the 52 project has taken the usual Monday spot. Most likely this is the best time to do so, to recognize the goodness around me especially when life too full and so silly to think that it can’t happen on any other day. So here is it a (semi) commitment to try and get a lovely list up every week of things that I am thankful for; no matter how big or small, how personal or not, however hard or easy it may come to me. I will start today and I hope that you will join me in taking a moment before the start of the week to reflect on the past week and find little treasures that fill your heart.

-celebrating my niece’s 5th birthday
-being super productive while unplugged
-inspired to take a leap and wish for the best
-excited to share a new blog series later this week
-having a sleepover with a friend
-getting 2(!) milkshakes in one weekend. Hello, miso butterscotch!
-spending some much needed alone time with Miss Beans, we went to a gigantic used bookstore and she mentioned it smelled of marshmallows, shows you her sweet spot for books.
-the baby finally slept 7 hours straight, for one night only but that’s a start, right?!?

What would make it onto your list this week?


gratitude // unplugging

workhouseblogTaking a bit of a sabbatical from the outside world for the next few days, using this much needed time to focus on this blog, a new project and to just to enjoy my family. On Wednesday I set up an away message for my email account, changed my voicemail message: I directed people to Dave incase of emergencies and set up a text message for incoming calls if needed. I logged out of EVERY social site (with the exception of Instagram, cause photography is a lifeline for me) and am refraining from reading anything non-essenstinal to my focus. I can tell you, now a few days in, its like a breath of fresh air, my mind is clearer, less cluttered and I am being productive…along with catching up on all my favorite shows at night with the mister.

Its amazing how so much of the outside world is right at our finger tips all the time, our phones give us so much information about the lives of strangers, what’s going on without us, what others’ are pursuing and making happen that I somehow forget to do those things for myself. Unplugging is my way of connecting. Its surprising how taking a bit of time to slow down and maybe even scraping the to-do list for a day can actually make me more productive when its time to work. I am also taken aback to see how quickly the dynamic of my family changes when we have more time together to just be,  there’s more of an ease in our daily routines.

So this weekend, we will take it in slow (the rest of my family is recovering from the flu), I will take Lucy on a date for hot cocoa and a trip to a favorite book store. We’ll draw, read books, cook together, laugh and play with no status updates, no tweets, no pins, no calls to distract us or emails to tie us down but there will be the occasional photo and hopefully you’ll sense our undying love and euphoria.

Have a wonderful weekend. What do you to do to slow down? How do let go of all the mind clutter and engage with the life? I’d love to hear your tips and gain some new tools.  (The beautiful crystal grid pictured above was a recent anniversary gift and was handmade by Lauren over at Stone and Violet)