a time for everything

we focused on this well known passage during our sunday sermon and my mind has been fixated on it! i love fresh reminders and i always appreciate fresh encouragement. i wanted to share a few key elements that were impactful to me. i hope they are meaningful to you as well:

SEASONS

honestly, the concept of seasons has always seemed slightly cliche to me... you know, "oh, there's a season for everything...this is just a season!" hearing that from well-meaning friends a family members can seem trite or tone-deaf, at times. but in truth, it is a beautiful thing. a freeing thing. understanding that EVERYTHING is a season. it begins. it ends. there's a stopping point. there's a turning point. AND there's a point to all of it. good or bad or whatever, each chunk of time has been designated. it serves a purpose. and then, it ends. and we are ushered into a fresh season. that really does help you to be mindful and enjoy what is in front of you because, there's a expiration date. and you don't know what's going to be in front of you in the next day or season so eat, drink, and be merry!

furthermore, when a season is coming to a close, you need to leave those goals and dreams for that season behind and adopt new goals and dreams that are appropriaet for the season at hand. sure, some things carry forward but a lot of things don't AND THAT'S OKAY! it is good and appropriate to leave things in their own season and take on new things. it's good to freshen up. it doesn't mean you are a quitter. it means you are wise. you don't get caught up in what happened before. you don't allow yourself to get stuck. you don't live in the past. the only thing you need to carry into a new season is the wisdom harvested from the prior seasons. you don't take baggage with you. you don't all prior hopes and dreams and actions and accomplishments to taint or cloud or create bitterness. you adjust. so what is wisdom? the ability to identify which season you are in. wisdom is recognizing what time it is. knowing that okay, i am in this season and it is wrapping up or okay, this is a new season that is starting or okay, i am in the thick of this season and need to keep my eyes fixed and stay faithful until it is complete. 

BEAUTY IN ITS TIME

"He has made everything beautiful in its time"

AMEN. this really stuck out to me too. it is so easy to dissect and get fixated on elements of life or particular hardships or life. OR to glamorize seemingly beautiful seasons of life. BUT, life is not about the parts. there is beauty in the whole. it is like a beautiful woman. she is beautiful because of the composition of various parts. if you were to cut off her toe or arm or ear and view it in isolation, it might not look so hot. but, when you put it all together, it is a thing of beauty. that's life. so even if you are going through something that looks like a severed toe, there's more to the story. so don't let a severed toe kill your mojo! (i am thinking about putting that on a sampler) life is about the way that God assembles the parts and moments and elements and seasons to create the beautiful thing. and it is HIS JOB to put it together and create the thing of beauty. HE HAS MADE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL. we just need to live life well in each season and let him to the beautifying.

SHALLOT

"eat and drink and take pleasure in toil"

the hebrew for that is SHALLOT which means: the ability to enjoy a gift that is given. we are all given gifts but the beauty is in the shallot. the illustration was: if you have all of your teeth pulled and in response, someone decides that they want to treat you to a big, juicy, buttery steak...you will have a problem. the gift of the steak is amazing! but you need the teeth to enjoy the gift. you need the shallot. without the shallot, the gift is a curse. i'm sure you know people who seem to have it all. they have ALL THE GIFTS. but, they might be miserable. why? no shallot. on the other hand, you might know people who have a few gifts. seemingly meager earthly pleasures. but they have an ample supply of shallot. so their enjoyment and joy is off the charts. why? the beauty and power is in the shallot. the ability to enjoy a gift is a gift in itself. life is about seeing the gift in front of you and asking God to allow you the ability to shallot. eat and drink and be merry! enjoy what has been given. 

COMPARISON and CONTENTMENT

this was another KEY piece of the puzzle. comparison and being content with what you have and what's in front of you because God has given that to you and he knows what you need. this life is a journey. we don't know the roadmap. but God does. and because he knows what we will encounter on our journey, he packs our bags for us. he packs our bags accordingly. and he gives to each person according to what he knows he/she will need on his/her journey. he packs our bags. but our tendency is to stick our noses in other people's bags. and we are like why does that person get that? why do they have so much of that? why don't i have that? their bag looks pretty great...i wish i could get a bag of that! but we need to keep our noses in our own bags. we need to trust that what we have is what we need for our journey. we need to enjoy these gifts, enjoy what he has given for our moments, purpose, journey, season.

there's nothing better than to be joyful and to do good as long as we live.

nourriture

weekly menu planning scene

weekly menu planning scene

hey there! happy tuesday! over the years, on various platforms, you all have asked quite a few questions re: food. from ingredient questions to recipe requests to philosophical queries, i have gotten them all! more recently, i have been asked about meal planning. to be clear: we don't do weekly meal prep. but we do meal plan. part of our saturday morning routine includes sitting down for a few minutes (usually over a cup of coffee or breakfast) and plan out our week. and not just food. we plan it all. we bust out the calendar/planner/phone and get things penciled in. once the various activities are listed out, we plan our meals. 

i try to keep things simple and structured during the week. we have our list of daily staples and go-to foods. lots of fruits (the kids eat a pint of berries at breakfast so, there's that) and greens and nuts for snacking. a stash of protein food bars for grab-and-go. booch and teas and bulletproof coffee and essential oil water. once we list out the staples, we add in the extra items that vary based on our tastes and preferences (and life demands) for that particular week. 

when it comes to dinners, we go for what i call "themed eating". each week, we plan around four themes: power bowl night, taco (mexican) night, pasta/noodle night, plant protein night, pick up night, ben's bread night, family night. this provides some structure for us so we aren't starting from scratch each week. i find that a framework helps to keep us on track and on budget through the busy week. AND it also gives us wiggle room to be creative and flexible with our dishes. and within each "theme" there's a ton of space to mix it up each week.

here's an example of a typical week:

M / power bowl with rice + beans + veggies

T / veggie tacos

W / ramen with edamame and peas and carrots

T / plant burger with dry baked potatoes OR tofu with sides

F / pick up or go out

S / ben's bread: sandwiches or cheese night or pizza

S / dinner with family and/or friends

this is what works for us because it gives us a plan so we know what to expect each week. it is also created based on out life and preferences. we love tacos and mexican dishes. we also have ben the baker with his homemade sourdough so...of course we will have a bread night each week.

if you have any questions or need a guide, drop me a line and we'll chat.

bon appétit!

xo. madame

recent rectangles

car selfies are the best selfies. there's just something about that lighting, i suppose. of course, it does mean that the rockstar selfie is photobombed by car seats. ALSO! taking hair recommendations. thinking about some chunky rose gold additions? HELP! i am in the mood for change. send inspo.

afternoon light + mother's day roses. ben has been bringing home / buying pretty flowers just because and i LOVE it. isn't everything better with pretty blooms? i think flowers are my thing. house plants are definitely not my thing. i might be a flowers gal. buy a bouquet. feed and water for a week. enjoy the ride. then, onto the next. and the beautiful thing is...that's the point! that's the expectation! no one expects bouquets to last for forever. a week, tops. and if you can manage to make them stretch longer than that, you're a hero! that's my tempo. that's my style. flower bouquets.

new favorite weekend activity alert! goodies from uprooted kitchen + breakfast wine. we have been grabbing some baked goods and breakfast dishes from uprooted and pairing them with scrumptious and seasonally perfect breakfast wine. BREAKFAST WINE! a fabulous spin on a mimosa. local white wine (or rosé) from garage east meets agritopia farm fresh fruit like peaches and grapefruit. it's delightful. 

vintage specs. feeling all the gucci girl feels right now.

adding to my lip stash in a #betterbeauty way. you know i am all about a pop of color on the pout. and i am crushing on these lip sheers. great for everyday wear and buildable for more of a statement lip. a girl can never have too many lip colors!

and let's just close on this note, shall we? these two. just being adorable. so much attitude. so much personality. so much of all my favorite things. they are such buds and they crack me up daily. what a fun and busy and beautiful season.

happy thursday, friends!

xo. madame

school's out for summer

on monday, we celebrated elinor's last day of preschool, complete with a "very hungry caterpillar" party. she's not sure how she feels about all this summer break business, though.

on one hand:

mama, i am really going to miss all my classmates. summer is a long time! will i get to see ms. stacey?

and on the other hand:

ugh, i am really glad i get a summer break from school. i do some really hard stuff at school. (me: really hard stuff? what kind of really hard stuff?) oh, you know...hard stuff...stuff that’s tricky. (me: hard stuff that’s tricky liiiiiiike?) tricky stuff, mama. like cutting paper.

so, there you have it. summer break. the best of times and the worst of times. bittersweet for sure. i am looking forward to getting more time with elinor over the next few months. and i know ridley is excited about it. he misses his playmate during the day. i hope we can enjoy a nice mix of memory-making events and quiet days around the house just savoring the simple stuff like coloring and reading and splashing and swinging and cooking (elinor really wants to help cook everything, at the moment). here's to longer days ahead. sunshine and all the sunshine-y things that summertime brings.

p.s. still can't get over the fact that i have a child on "summer break". 

p.p.s. here's a post from elinor's first day of preschool. please note the expressions.

xo. madame

life lately, with the (not so) little ones

*snap*

elinor is four and a half

elinor's last day of preschool is monday. then, summer break. that's right. summer break. i have a child who is old enough for summer break. she has a little crew of friends (such a social life!) and brought home her first official progress report for the year. practically a teenager. she surprises and delights me DAILY with the things she is picking up and the concepts that she is intentionally working to learn and master. it's amazing to be a witness and participant and guide. 

*blink*

ridley is two next month

what happened there? RIGHT?! our little prince is turning two and let me tell you...he is coming into his own. he's such a blast. so intense and determined yet sweet and snuggly and loving. he runs around like a wild man and loves cars and trains and building things and digging in the dirt and splashing in water. he is go-go-go and then crashes into my lap for a little recharge and snuggle fix. popping up within five minutes to take on the world afresh. and what a ham! an endless source of silly sound effects and gestures, especially at mealtime.

#elinorandridley

these two are quite the pair. i love watching them together and seeing their relationship grow. elinor is so proud of her little brother and shows him off every chance she gets. she gives him such earnest hugs and daily squishes his cheeks while reminding him that he is such a handsome boy. ridley shrugs it off with a "nooooooooo, el-in-ahs" but you can tell that he loves it. ridley LOVES his big sister. he mimics her and messes with her and genuinely enjoys her company. he's a total trooper as elinor dresses him up in crazy ensembles and parades him around the house. and they totally have each other's backs. they share their toys (most of the time...) and make sure that the other one has his/her blanket or water whenever we leave the house. they are so attentive. so kind. so loyal. so hilarious.

i am looking forward to our summer adventures. lots of sunshine and cooking and picnic-ing and swimming and music and all around delight.

happy friYAY, friends!

xo. madame

#word

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
— PSALM 16

I SHALL NOT BE SHAKEN. set the Lord always before you and because he is at your right hand, YOU SHALL NOT BE SHAKEN. amen to that. no matter what your day or week throws at you, courage, dear heart! you shall not be shaken. shake it off and persevere. in his presence there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.

on my agenda today? resting in him + hustling hard after holiness.

xo. madame

and just like that...six months have flown by!

* just a few of the most recent squares of life that i have shared on social. feel free to go down the rabbit hole by clicking on the instagram button below.


well, well, well.

where to begin? a half of a year can really fly by, eh? and speaking of "eh"... i think i have to drop that now that i am officially a US citizen! that's right. my last post on this blog was about citizenship and fast forward six months...i'm in! 

i feel like i owe you an apology for the inexplicable silence. what can i say? life, man. we have been living a lot of life. and life has been living a lot of us. i hope that you have been following along on instagram for some visuals of our le quotidien. but i know that some of you are true readers. and there has been a major word void. for that, i apologize. and honestly, i have missed this space. this outlet. this soapbox. this community. 

i know that the blogosphere is changing. readers are being replaced by viewers. the written word being replaced by videos. and some of that is exciting. some of that is also a bit of a bummer. i do not think that i am destined for youtube stardom. nor do i have plans to switch to vlogging. i have never come to the blog to make money or simply "create content" so fortuately, i don't have to go the way of the "industry". i don't have to keep up. this space is mine, ours, yours. and i am grateful for that. i am honored to share with you and serve you in this space. this space has always been my online journal. truly, snaps and snippets and blurbs of my life - of our life. and while social sharing on platforms other than blogs has become "the thing", i know there is value in this space. for thought sharing and encouragement. for chronicaling our everyday. 

while the format and frequency of sharing might evolve with life (isn't that kind of the point?), this dear, sweet blog (and you all! my dear, sweet friends and loyal and persistent and encouraging consumers of written/typed words) will continue to grow and change and expand and adapt and learn. thanks for sharing this space and this journey with me. thanks for your emails and messages and comments on instagram. thanks for your calls and sweet nudges. i am hoping that this unintended stepping away will result in a refreshed approach. a different perspective. a renewed excitement. 

here's to finding magic in the mundane. to choosing joy. to finding and creating beauty.

i have some ideas swirling in my head. i am feeling inspired and excited. i am ready for new things. and i would love to hear from you! what would you like to see and read? i hope to get the mister to write more pieces here. i hope to collaborate and feature more from the awesome community of women that i am blessed to know. and of course, i have some giveaways and meet-ups in the works. i might even do some beauty tutorials or healthy life education pieces...heck, many of you have asked for a recipe e-book. the sky's the limit!

here's to a new season...even if it's summer in AZ. eek! but hey, our box of french rosé just arrived so we are summer ready! 

xo. madame

on citizenship

i wrote this mini essay on C I T I Z E N S H I P 🇺🇸 and shared it on my instagram on election day.

with the votes tallied and the new president elected, more than ever, now is the time to LOVE. to stand in the gap. to shine brightly. to come alongside. to fight the good fight. no country is perfect. no government is perfect. no leader is perfect. we pray for our leadership and we pray that the PEOPLE will come together, that the people will unite and serve their fellow man IN LOVE.

most of you may not know that i am currently going through the naturalization process to obtain my US citizenship. so this election season has been interesting to watch. and especially on this election day, i have been considering this idea of citizenship. as US citizens, it is your right, privilege, and duty to VOTE. but regardless of passport, ultimately, i am a citizen of heaven. as such, it is my right, privilege, and duty to LOVE. i may not have a ballot - i may not be able to cast my vote - but i can always love. and especially on this day, at the culmination of this divisive election - let us love. let us love our neighbor. as votes are cast and polled and broadcast and counted. as representatives are chosen, let us choose love. let us be passionate but peaceful. love your neighbor. whether you vote based on rhetoric or policy. character or party. issues or history. promises or record. right or left. man or woman. blue or red. be considerate. be thoughtful. be kind. LOVE. consider your neighbor as you engage in this democratic process. it may not be perfect, but it’s a honor to be a participant - to have a voice. so today especially, use your voice. cast your vote. speak in love. consider those who are desperate to see that eagle and stars and stripes emblazoned on their passport. consider the present state of the union. consider the future of america. your children. your children’s children. your votes matter. for your city, for your state, for the country. for your family. brothers and sisters in blue. black or white. rainbow. immigrants. the unborn. the women. the men. the veterans. the public servants. the private sector. home and abroad. church and state. vote for you. vote for me. vote for them. vote for us. and above all, let us LOVE.

IN GOD WE TRUST.