Let’s Get Alyssa’s Classroom Stocked!

*EDIT*  Update!  Alyssa’s entire list was purchased within 24 hours.  BECAUSE THE WORLD IS FULL OF GENEROUS, KIND, WONDERFUL PEOPLE LOOKING FOR EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO HELP!!!!  I cried happy tears, Alyssa cried happy tears.  Most importantly, her students will have what they need, thanks to all of the amazing people who helped out.  Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Hi friends!  I’m here today with a personal favor to ask, but before I get into it…. you see those smiling faces?!  That’s my brother Evan, his girlfriend Alyssa and our baby boy of course!  Evan and Alyssa have been with us visiting from the east coast for the past week and we’ve been soaking up every bit of fun family time with them and tourist-ing like our lives depend on it.  It’s been pure wonderful!

Alyssa just graduated with her Masters in Special Education and is about to start her first year of teaching – FIRST GRADERS!  I couldn’t be more excited for her, or more grateful to her and the thousands of other teachers around the country who work tirelessly (and often thanklessly) to educate our children.  Alyssa will be teaching in a school where she will likely have some students who have been in the foster care system, who eat their only meals at school, who are suffering from trauma/neglect/abuse/poverty.  As she was describing the challenges she knows are ahead (the tears she will shed,  knowing that she will give all that she has and will still feel like it will never be enough, having to use her own salary to buy school supplies and stock her classroom) I knew that I had to find a way to help.

Alyssa is going into a classroom that has almost nothing- no pencil sharpener, no chalk, no library of age appropriate books.  She will need to supply everything (not easy when you have student loans and a salary that doesn’t reflect your value nor the years of education you’ve received).  She has a heart of gold and will give everything she has to her classroom, and the beautiful children in it.  I asked her to prepare an Amazon wishlist of items that she needs for her students and her classroom.  I’m asking that if you are able and are so inclined you will contribute a little something to help get her going, share with others you think may want to help, or leave a little note of support for her below.  Here is the link : Alyssa’s Classroom Wishlist.

Every book, every pencil, every single bit of love would mean the world to her and those kids.  And to me, to be honest.  Few things get me more emotional than the reminder that there is so much good in the world, that the true nature of humanity is actually generosity and kindness in spite of what the media may lead us to believe.

I’ve always felt that we need to support our teachers and our schools so much more and I am not sure how to do it.  So in addition to helping Alyssa, if you know of a teacher with a wishlist, please feel free to share in the comments!  And if you know a reliable charity that is helping get supplies to teachers I would love to know about them!  Alyssa is not alone is her challenge, sadly.  I will continue my efforts to help her and any others I can, so please feel free to email me if you have any other ideas of how I may be of service.  With love,   Sarah

Piña Coco Popsicles

If you want the best treat of Summer than you’re in the right place!  I know, that’s a bold statement but SERIOUSLY!!!  These are divine- creamy, sweet, fruity, perfectly refreshing and get this- I dare say they’re healthy!!  What?!!!   With just four ingredients – coconut cream, pineapple, shredded coconut and a tiny bit of honey they have nothing in them that won’t do your body good.  What they’ll do for your spirit can’t be measured but if you are at all like me, they’ll bring you so much Summer joy you kind of won’t know what to do with yourself.  It’s a good problem to have.  Have at them my friends!  xx- Sarah

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An Open Letter to Mamas Going Back to Work

Lou was setting up lighting for a project he’s doing the other day and asked me to come stand in for some test shots.  I threw on a little lip gloss (cause I’m vain like that) and Teo and I headed out to his sweltering studio for a couple of snaps.  Here we are!  Sweaty, tired, and at least one of us is probably hungry starving and desperate for coffee.  {More after the jump}

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Mahi Mahi Tacos with Mango Salsa

Hi friends!  If you’re living through Summer the way I am (air conditioning blasting, feet in the sand every chance you get and as many cool foods as possible), this recipe is for you!  Light, easy to prep, delicious with a tangy sweetness- it’s all that I want in a Summer dinner these days!  Bonus points if you fire up the grill and eat outside where everything tastes better.    Double bonus points if you have ice cream for dessert.  TRIPLE BONUS POINTS if you follow it up with a night swim- doesn’t matter where: pool, ocean, creek, I’m not picky.  What can you use these point for you wonder?  I DON’T KNOW.  But you’ll have them.  You figure out the rest.  Happy Summer’ing everyone!  xx- Sarah

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Polished Concrete VS. Maple Floors, Make up My Mind for Me Please

I spotted this house tour on Sight Unseen and was immediately taken with it’s clean modern design, and functional simplicity.  The neutral palette makes my heart sing.  And I couldn’t love the dining room chairs more- natural leather is one of my most favorite materials and it pairs so well with the concrete floors!  Which brings me to what this post is reallly about.  Concrete floors.   I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect maple floors for our new home and in my research found out that engineered hardwood floors are made with all kinds of nasty chemicals that off-gas and are a health hazard.  WHAT?!  Not all of them are so toxic, but the green products that I’ve found are twice as expensive as a comparable non-green option I had my eyes on.  I had my heart set on hardwood but now that I’m looking at this house I’m revisiting the idea of concrete.  We had concrete floors in our Palm Springs house and it was so nice- cool during the hot summer months and easy to keep clean.  Plus they’re pretty much indestructible- which is a big deal when there’s a toddler hurricane residing in your home.  It’s a completely different look than the light maple I was planning on but it’s verrrry tempting!  What do you think?  Should we splurge for the green engineered hardwood or save our budget for the million other things we could spend on in the house and go with beautiful polished concrete?  Anyone with kids have concrete floors and love or hate them?  I do have a fear about Teo bonking his head on the concrete.  Ughhhh.  Would love to hear your thoughts!  xx- Sarah  {photos by Pippa Drummond}

Date Nights Are Happening!

You guys!  Lou’s mom is visiting us on a one-way ticket from Florida and it has been a GAME CHANGER!  We’ve been to the movies (the first in over 2 years), dinners out, and there are plans in the works for even more alone time!  It’s the best thing ever!  I definitely undervalue date nights.  Normally, we’ve not been the best at making alone time together a priority.  I’m nervous about baby sitters we don’t know, and while we’ve had friends offer (and have taken them up on it a couple times), it’s not the kind of thing we can do regularly.  But date nights are SO GOOD!  On top of remembering who we were as a couple before Teo joined us I get to wear normal pretty clothes that are light colored and not practical for toddler chasing!  That time together is so much fun, it feels a bit like time traveling to our life pre-baby.  I don’t want to live in that pre-baby time land but I do reallly enjoy a visit there!

Having Teo’s abuelita here is just the best thing ever.  He loves her so much, she loves him so much, and we love having help soooo much!  Everyone is winning!  I understand now why people move across the country to be closer to family.  We can’t do it, for a multitude of reasons, but it’s damn tempting.  For now we’ll just soak up every minute that we have Nani here!  Seeing Teo bond to her makes my heart just burst.  Family is just the best.  Have any of you made a major move to be closer to family while you raise your kiddos? xx- Sarah {shirt, skirt, shoes (on sale!!!)}

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