Mornings Are My Special Time

Random Thoughts: Mornings | PepperDesignBlog.com

Some mornings are hectic and wild and crazy, and they hardly feel like special or sacred time. I am also a night owl – not a morning person. But I have found that the hour just before I drop Liv off at preschool when the three of us girls are together making breakfast or playing in the bath, that’s the time that I love. We are fresh from sleep, smily and happy, full of energy for a new day.

Our morning routine is something like this: girls wake up around 8am and I try to have toasted waffles or oatmeal started so that as Liv pads her feet down the hall she can already sense breakfast. I love that Taylor calls out to me from her crib and when I put on a big goofy grin to round the corner and scoop her up, she squeals in delight. It’s as if she’s seeing me for the first time after ages of time apart. The girls eat and then they share a bath. When you have curly-haired kiddies a morning bath is always awesome to avoid tangles and such, and it’s a soothing way to start the day all around. Everyone gets dressed and we walk hand-in-hand down to preschool for 9am class.

I was reflecting on how valuable of a stretch of time morning is for me when I was hiring a new Tuesday nanny for Taylor earlier last month. I thought I might get a head of myself on Tuesdays and have the nanny come early at 8, but then I realized that that means I would miss out on one-on-one time with my girls before the real rush of the day begins, and I changed back the start time to 9.

I know what you’re thinking – an 8am wake up is late, and most mommas would be so lucky to have fifteen minutes of morning together time verses my one hour. If there is one thing that I am MOST grateful for when it comes to my current work schedule, it might be that flexibility right there.

Random Thoughts: Mornings | PepperDesignBlog.com

For the past two months or so though, my morning routine has been putting me in an uncomfortable position.

I’ll preface by saying that, despite the awesome flexibility I’m allowed, children are mentioned so infrequently in my workplace that I’m not even sure if my boss of three years has kids (if he does, they’d be long grown. Grandkids? Maybe. I honestly have no idea.) Because of the new 9am school schedule this fall, I was having trouble getting back home to a regular 9am group office conference call after dropping Liv off (and running back to my desk). I was finding myself making up odd excuses when I called in a few minutes late and I hated the feeling. One thing was for certain though, I was not, could not mention that being a good mom was my reason for doing so.

The obvious fix would be to have Taylor’s nanny walk Liv to school. Easy peasy. But I dig, so much, that hand-in-hand stroll that us girls have as we talk about the exciting day up ahead (and stop to stare at a fallen leaf or let T run barefoot down the sidewalk yelling ‘walk! walk!). I also love that I get to connect with Liv’s preschool teachers personally AND that I get to give and receive big Liv hugs and kisses at the door.

I was agonizing over that fine line of responsible team member vs good mom. I did not want to make being a mom an excuse as to why I couldn’t be a good employee (I am the younger by many years to boot). That’s so hush hush in my work environment and I’m sure most everywhere.

I couldn’t handle the consecutive lateness though. Finally, I pulled one of the VPs of the company with whom I get along very well aside and mentioned the adjustment in school schedule and my new challenge. He immediately shared a story about a similar situation from when his daughter was in grade school and, without making any big note of it, bumped the group meeting back 30 minutes. No one even questioned.

Who knew that this big-to-me issue would be resolved with the right ask to the right person?

Many, many professional women go through life balancing both their home, their job and the big divider between the two so carefully. That’s a bummer. That ought to change because we women are valuable thinkers and doers in this world, AND beautiful children are a worthy excuse for rescheduling now and again.

For now, at this moment though, I am personally grateful that I get to embrace my mornings all over again.

Random Thoughts: Mornings | PepperDesignBlog.com

Is it possible to be a full-time working, full-time mom? Big voices are challenging businesses to make that a reality, in some capacity, for any woman who wants it. Plus, the real pros and cons of working from home.

Wardrobe Style Board: Feeling Green

Wardrobe Style Board: Fall Finds | Transitioning Seasons | Suede Oxfords, Gold Necklaces, Felt Hats, Hunter Green Cardigans | PepperDesignBlog.com

safari green v-neck cardigan | women’s dove oxfords | arrowstack necklace
Jo Malone amber & lavender cologne wool hat | boxy jersey dress

There is a fall color that I have become most smitten with over the past few weeks as we transition into cooler weather and I think it might best be described as hunter green (though J Crew is calling it safari in that first sweater there). Such a nice accent color, right? That arrowstack necklace is a piece that I have become especially charmed by, same with those oxfords :). I read about the above Jo Malone amber & lavender cologne and have it on my wish list, and recently ordered this loose, dolman-style dress to pair with leggings and boots. Perfect for the growing belly, I think.

Oh fall (and long sweaters, felt hats and roomy tunics), you’re the best. Now back to orange and black as we bring on Halloween here in a couple of days! I can’t wait to get Liv back into that flower pot costume again.

PS more falling for fall and plenty more wardrobe inspiration. 25% off at J Crew using STYLETREAT and 25% off at Old Navy using SAVE. That Old Navy dolman dress just arrived! And I love it, I think I might scoop it up in another color before it’s gone. 

My Flower Girl

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

We finished up Liv’s costume just in time for her little school carnival last Friday. When she told me that she wanted to be a flower ballerina princess, I took the idea and ran with it before she could change her mind.

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

Eventually ‘flower princess’ became ‘flower pot’ (sorry, love) but because a pot is not so easy to wear around town, the ballerina alternative is an easy one :-).

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

leotardballet tights | homemade felt leaves and petals | tutu | flower pot from a recently planted bush :-)

She’s showing off her camera moves!

Liv and I made the entire costume together so that she felt as much love for all of the little details (which there really aren’t too many of) and might feel less inclined to change her mind (as preschoolers are ALL about doing). My goal was to stick with this sweet little flower costume through and through, despite the tempting Elsa’s and Tinkerbells that we might pass in the aisles of a store the day before Halloween.

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

The costume was so simple to put together and we relied on a lot of spray glue (this is one of my favorites! That stuff is strong) for the petals and leaves. For the handmade portion of this project, I needed about a yard of kelly green felt and a half of a yard of pink felt from the fabric store, as well as 4 packets of dark green embroidery thread for the leaf detail.

The leaves I measured to the size of Liv’s outstretched arms, the petals started off as cylinders (picture the below not folded) and then I used my spray adhesive to glue all but the bottom (which would receive a stringing of ribbon) together.

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

Can you tell I made the petals on the same day that I marbled the pumpkins?

We glued the two pieces of leaf felt (two for each arm for four sides total) except where the arm hole would be. Then Liv and I used the embroidery thread to sew/reinforce the edges of the leaves together. A slit was cut on the inside of each leaf to allow her hands to come through.

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

The headpiece is made up of petals threaded through with ribbon, the ribbon ultimately ties under her chin and is tucked back into one of the petals. Pins keep the flower in her hair but I’m glad she only has to wear it for short spurts of time :).

A 'Flower' Girl for Halloween | Felt Flower, Flower Pot, Ballerina | PepperDesignBlog.com

Oh man I love this girl, and how the costume turned out!!

I planned on making a similar version for Taylor but by using a sweatshirt (and the hoodie) as a base for my petals (inspired by this talented Etsy artist who is a friend of mine), but then found a sweet little bumble bee costume at a seconds shop and gave into e-a-s-y just a day ago. Poor second children.

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