Elements of Calm, Elements of Home

Mamacation: Why every mom needs a vacation at home, alone.


This past weekend, my amazing husband packed up our two toddlers and a week’s worth of clothing and diapers, 2 pack and plays, 2 life jackets, 2 sleep sheeps, 10 pacifiers, SPF 70, 10 apple sauce pouches for the car ride and left me at behind at our house so that I could have 2 glorious days to myself.

You see, as a stay at home mama, I was starting to unravel a bit. 2.5 years of never sleeping in, not being able to shower when I want, never finishing a cup of coffee before it went cold, never getting to watch any morning television programming that wasn’t brought to you by a letter and a number, pretty much not having a whole lot of me time. Don’t get me wrong. I completely willingly and lovingly spend my day with my two children. I love being able to spend all day with them, watching them grow up before my eyes, I’m pretty lucky. But, I’m human, and I, like everyone else, have limits. It wasn’t just me who needed this, the kids did too. With summer activities on a break for the rest of the summer, my 2.5 year old was majorly acting up. Like, Oscar wining drama daily. I couldn’t entertain her enough while also trying to take care of our 1 year old. She needed some one on one time with dad, her aunt and uncle and her Gigi and Papa up at the cabin. 5 adults and 2 kids…she was going to have a blast. And she deserved it.

We have been in our new house for a little over a year and I have never woken up in our house naturally…it has always been by the sounds of two very awake babies through the monitor ready for mom and dad to come get them out of bed. The morning rush of getting two kids changed, fed and entertained, before the coffee even starts brewing…then you no longer pour that cup of coffee and someone needs your attention.

I just needed some time to regroup. Slow down. Rejuvenate. I wanted some time to enjoy the house I spend so much time cleaning, fixing and decorating. For the first time, I woke up, made my coffee, brought it outside and read a book with real pages in our tree swing while enjoying the sounds of birds and admiring the blooming Hydrangeas in front of me. I looked at the gardens I had worked so hard at planting. I watched the neighborhood walk by with their dogs and kiddos.

I took a shower longer than 3.5 minutes. I did a few projects around the house that have been taking me weeks due to constant interruptions, and finished them. I deep cleaned the kid’s bedrooms, which is otherwise difficult when someone is always sleeping.

Why on earth did I want to do chores on my vacation you ask? Because I’m one of those types who loves an organized home. I love checking things off my list, and I got to do that this weekend. Don’t worry, I had my fair share of relaxation, Bravo TV and wine. But it truly energizes me to get things done.

It brought me so much joy to Face Time the kids and see what a blast they were having. Swimming, boating, playing at the beach, eating Gigi’s homemade waffles…they were getting exactly what they needed too. Everyone was happy.

It was definitely a little strange to go to sleep alone in our house…and I of course flipped through iPhone photos of the kids before drifting off 🙂

And now as I await their arrival home any minute now, I can’t wait to see them. I can’t wait to kiss those cheeks, have a chaotic dinner with them, and be the one to put them to bed tonight. We will all wake up refreshed tomorrow morning, and ready to go.

If you can figure out how to have a weekend to yourself in your own home, do it. Parents, especially those who stay at home all day, need to find time for themselves. More than just a yoga class or dinner out with friends, you need a couple days to regroup…take it and do what you love to do. Go to Target by yourself and peruse the home decor aisles. Go for a run without the stroller. Weed the garden. Whatever you love to do, do it.

Thank you to my loving husband for giving me this time 🙂

Elements of Calm, Elements of Home, Elements of Style, Favorite Places, Favorite Things

Spaces: Mommy HQ

Every mom needs a space to call her own. A place that’s off limits to little hands and even husbands 🙂 A little bit of calm and organization in what is otherwise a chaotic household run by a toddler. I call this place Mommy Headquarters, or Mommy HQ. We moved into our new house about a week ago, and I have to say one of my most favorite places in the whole house is the kitchen. Not because of my love of cooking (well, that’s part of it) But also because it contains MY area. An area where my computer can sit without being harassed by a 1 year old, where my iPhone can stay docked and not hidden in a couch cushion or tucked behind a pillow, where I can always find my Burt’s Bees, keys and post it notes. I have always loved having a desk. When I was a child, I always had a desk in my room that had fully organized drawers full of markers in rainbow order, stationary, notepads and of course my diary (with the little key that locks it) When I worked in advertising, I’m pretty sure I had the most organized desk out of the whole company. It’s rare to find a creative mind that is also organized…Also rare to find a adult who still keeps a pack of markers at her desk as well as the full color assortment of Sharpies 🙂 For color coding of course!

In our old house, my husband and I shared a desk and it was a complete disaster. A CEO and a stay at home mom need their own spaces to stay organized and sane. In our new house, my husband has his own office, with an actual door, where Marielle can’t pull out all of his important documents, pull his keyboard off the desk and hide his mouse. Ahhhh…luxury. I grew up with a built in desk in our kitchen and I loved it. I have great memories of my mom sitting there with her sewing machine, or calculator and work she brought home. It was where the family computer was…back in the day when there was just one computer in a house. It was a home to school pictures, the family calendar, office supplies and the money cubby that was always full of $20s that me and my siblings would “borrow” and somehow never return with change…weird?!  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when we first toured this house because it had one as well. According to my parent’s interior decorator, people are starting to get away from putting the desk in the kitchen, because they simply use their laptops in the living room, bedroom, dining room, etc. I think that’s a problem. We take our technology everywhere. Laptops do not belong in our bedroom. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and I love being in the center of that. I find that with my own workspace, that technology stays in it’s own place, and my focus is Marielle throughout the day…not the dings and rings that my computer and phone provide. I love coming to sit here during her naps, catch up on my blog, email, Google the occasional toddler problem, enjoy my espresso and of course every stay at home mom’s guilty pleasure…Pinterest and Facebook. Once baby boy McCarthy arrives, I know I’m going to appreciate this little piece of calm and quiet time even more…even if I only have 5 minutes of free time a day 🙂


Elements of Calm, Elements of Love, Introductions

The Simple Elements…

The Simple Elements…to making a house a home, your life a state of calm and your relationships blissful.

Hello everyone and welcome to my new Blog. If you have followed me previously, you may be familiar with my food and entertaining blog, the 20 Something’s Guide to Eating and Entertaining. It’s about time for me to leave that blog and move on to the new stages in my life. Considering I’m not going to be in my 20’s forever…I figured it was time to develop a blog that speaks to where I am in my life currently.

I’m recently engaged and planning a wedding this summer to the love of my life, who actually gave me the idea to start a new blog after I complained that I was getting tired and bored of just posting recipes and restaurant reviews. We bought a house last summer and instead of spending tons of time in the kitchen, we’re spending the majority of our free time fixing up our 1911 bungalow. I spend my time watching HGTV, reading design magazines and perusing thisoldhouse.com. My focus has gone from finding the latest and greatest recipes and entertaining ideas to figuring out ways to decorate my home and stay sane while doing it.

What can you expect from my new blog? Lots of DIY design tips, quick and easy meals, my journey to finding calm through yoga and other outlets and my new life as a homeowner and future wife to an entrepreneur.