ROSY CHEEKS & TAN LINES

by christine victoria alexander

Image via Williams Sonoma 

Passover is coming! Passover is coming! Our home is bursting with excitement as we spring clean everything, toss the baking powder, and stock up on boxes of gluten free matzah! About a year ago we had just welcomed our sweet little Madeline and celebrated Passover with a simple seder at home with the girls. This year, while the world spins out of control around us, I am so very grateful for our unwavering faith in God's goodness and the long-lasting traditions we have established as a family. Passover begins Wednesday evening, April 8th, and while it may be another simple seder, you can be sure it will be a night different from all other nights! 😉

MY SEDER TABLE
I always try to make our seder table kid-friendly and fun, without distracting from the reason we are sitting there: to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt and teach our children how God rescued us from sin and bondage.
Since a huge part of the Exodus story is the 10 plagues, I like to put colorful bugs or rubber frogs around the kids plates. Passover coloring pages are fun too!

The seder can be as fancy or as casual as you want. There are a lot of items that go on the table so I start with those and then fill in around them with flowers, bugs, water and wine glasses, maybe a small snack plate since dinner is on the later side. A couple years ago I made coasters for each guest with the 10 plagues on them - here's a link if you want to use them on your table too! (10 Plagues Passover Coasters)


MY MENU
We eat beef maybe 3 times in the whole year, and this is one of them. Isaac loves a brisket for Passover and I made sure to order a big one so he'd have leftovers to eat for days after! Here's what I'll be cooking up next week:

Maxine's Spicy Beef Brisket

Dairy free mashed potatoes (my secret is stirring in a couple big spoonfuls of Kite Hill chive cream cheese!)

Roasted Garlic Asparagus

Simple green salad with Tyler Florence's Ultimate Vinaigrette

Charoset (last year I made this recipe with chopped figs and orange zest, so good!)

My sister is making a dessert for us this year, but if you need an idea you can't go wrong with Hippie Chocolate Bark or this Vegan Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake!

And a whole lotta matzo and horseradish, too!

Wishing you all health and happiness as we head into this festive season together! Happy prepping! xx


Image via @summerwind41490



Hope you all are staying safe and having fun at home! Since we started homeschooling Olive a little last fall, and we are naturally homebodies, things have honestly not looked very different over here. I am grateful for the pretty weather we've had lately and a grassy backyard to play in. This morning I put together a Quarantine Bucket List! Calling it a bucket list and not a to-do list makes it sound more fun, don't you think? Here is what I want I have planned...

Clean out my closet.
My master closet needs some major TLC! The last time I tried to clean it out I ended up with a 3 day allergy attack. I'm working up the courage to get back in there and figure out some better storage solutions. 

Write a book. 
I actually did this with Olive last year and it was a fun activity that resulted in the most precious little story about a girl with an apple tree baking an apple cake to share with her friends. It is something that I will cherish forever! I'd like to help her write another story now that she's a little bigger. 

Paint something.
Itching to get my paints out. Creativity comes in waves for me. I can feel it building up inside and I need to sit down and paint for a few days and let it all out. I have a stack of watercolors from my last painting spree that I either need to frame or sell. Or both! Should I start a little shop here on my blog? 

Bake gluten free sourdough. 
Eek. This is something I've wanted to do for a while but it's a little intimidating to me! I'm going to follow the recipe in Aran Goyoaga's book for making a sourdough starter. Wouldn't it be so fun to have fresh baked gluten free bread every week? Yum. 

Build a birdhouse. 
We crossed this one off last weekend! Isaac and I helped the girls build two bluebird houses to hang in the backyard. Cannot wait to sit on our new deck and watch all the bluebirds come to our yard. Kind of loved working with wood and want to try my hand at woodworking now! What should I make next?

Plant something.
Now that the deck is pretty much done I want to plant flowers around it everywhere and fill my window box too! I basically want to live in a flower garden. I hinted to Isaac that I would love a fig tree for Mother's Day and I'm hoping we have enough sun to put in a butterfly bush too! Wondering if I'm up for roses if I should stick to hydrangeas and herbs...

What have you been up to lately? I would love to hear! Sending hugs to each of you until we can be face to face again! xx



Image via Floret Farm

Currently Craving: Spring! The weather has been teasing us this week with 70+ degree days! I'm craving blissful, sunny days watching the flowers and trees wake up from their long winter nap. I can't wait for all the birds and butterflies to start visiting our yard. Indoors I'm swapping thick, cozy textures for light, airy pieces. Here are a some springy finds that caught my eye this month...

For your home...


Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden 
This book has been around for a few years now, has remarkable ratings on Amazon and is fulfilling all my flower garden fantasies while I wait to build a big country house and plant my own flower garden!


Penelope Table Lamp
Swooning over this beautiful painted lamp! A refreshing take on a traditional design. Isn't the blue so pretty paired with the antique brass base? Using this as major inspiration for the girl's room.


Seagrass Serving Tray
Trays are incredibly helpful for entertaining or even corralling a few items on your coffee table. While most trays are wood, I love the extra textural element the seagrass adds to this one. And while we're talking about trays, can I share this incredible 38" rattan tray I found, too? My goodness, that would be so much fun to fill for a party!


Beachcomber Baskets
Speaking of seagrass... these baskets will never go out of style! While seagrass used to be associated with coastal decor, it's being used more and more in traditional and farmhouse style interiors now and I am thrilled!

Art by Jennifer Allevato
I love so many of Jennifer's pieces. This one titled From a Table in Bethesda is one of my favorites! Take a look at her other prints - she is so talented!



Botanical Garden Spatula
A simple way to bring a little bit of spring into your home. Hoping this makes it's way into my kitchen around Mother's Day... 😉


For your closet...


Violet Ruffled Utility Jumpsuit 
To be honest, I'm on the fence with the whole jumpsuit trend. But this one stopped me in my tracks and I haven't stopped thinking about it since! It doesn't have that weird baggy shape in the back like a lot of jumpsuits and I think for something 'utilitarian' it still comes across as flattering and feminine. Love!


Mali Beach Bag 
An item I would love to add to my closet for spring and summer: this beautiful straw tote from Monika Hibbs' new home store. I can see myself packing it up for weekly pool dates, beach trips, a picnic lunch, basically anywhere!


Persephone Beaded Mini Skirt
It only takes a handful of fun statement pieces like this to give a closet full of basics a little pick me up! I love the beading detail. This would be pretty paired with a simple white blouse and sandals.


Place Nationale Le Gayan Dress
I understand at $400 this dress is probably not at the most reasonable price point for most of my readers, but I'm including it in my round up of springy style this month because I am very much inspired by it! I love that girly bow detail in the back!


Pointed Toe Mules
Dainty and feminine in every way! I would wear these with cropped jeans in the spring or a little white dress in the summer.

Thanks for reading! xx



We took advantage of the sunny weather this weekend and took the girls to visit an alpaca farm! Good Karma Ranch is a short 40 minute drive from Charlotte and run by the sweetest family. Shelly gave us a tour of the farm, taught us all about these gentle creatures, and even let us take selfies with the alpacas before we left! I learned so much and almost wish we had room for one of these real life teddy bears in our own backyard.

The alpacas were so friendly! I had never met an alpaca before so I didn't know they make the most adorable humming noise! It sounded so much like a child humming I thought it was Rosie at first. Shelly warned us that the girl alpacas were all pregnant and grumpy when we visited but I thought they were so sweet and gentle! We got to meet a couple of the babies too and they were so soft and playful and especially attentive to the children in our group.

It was not love at first site for the girls. 😂 They haven't had a ton of experience around pets/animals and got a little nervous when their personal space was invaded! Rosie warmed up eventually and was brave enough to pet baby Tessa. Olive's favorite part of our day trip was the tailgate picnic we had after the tour. We might have to come back when Madeline is a little bigger to see what she thinks of the alpacas.










Nothing can replace a good night's sleep! When we sleep well we wake more refreshed and have more energy throughout the day. Here are 3 simple hacks if you're struggling in the snooze department!
*I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice, it is my opinion. 

Magnesium
If you're not taking magnesium already, go ahead and start. It's an all around superhero supplement. Magnesium fights depression, prevents migraines, ramps up exercise performance, lowers blood pressure, combats asthma, protects against diabetes, supports bone health AND fights insomnia! Yowza! What I didn't know until I started researching is that insomnia is a common symptom of a magnesium deficiency! Magnesium helps our bodies relax (scientifically speaking, it increases GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep), which leads to deeper, more restful nights. Magnesium is found in lots of foods, but especially in dark leafy greens like spinach, collards, kale and Swiss chard. Taking a soak in an epsom salt bath is another way to increase your magnesium. I just found this cool magnesium spray with a ridiculous amount of good reviews on Amazon and now I want to try it!

Blue Light Glasses
I think everyone knows by now that screens aren't a good idea before bed. But why? Screens emit blue light which causes eye strain and can suppress melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep). If you can't give up your favorite show or nightly scroll through the 'gram, try blue light glasses. They'll block enough blue light to give your melatonin level a little boost before bed!

Lavender
Ah, lavender. I really couldn't write a sleep post without mentioning lavender. It is one of my favorite essential oils and one I love to incorporate whenever I need to relax. Lavender increases slow-wave sleep which is key for slowing our heartbeat and relaxing our muscles.  There are so many ways to incorporate a little lavender before bed: roll lavender essential oil on your wrists and temples before bed, take a hot bath with a lavender bath bomb (my favorite!), diffuse lavender while you sleep, spritz your pillow with a lavender pillow spray or just tuck a sachet of dried lavender under your pillow for a better night's sleep.

Hope these help you get your beauty sleep! Happy snoozing! xx


Hope your week is off to a great start! I'm typing this sitting on my deck under the most beautiful Carolina blue sky! Spring is around the corner and we've started collecting quotes for rebuilding our deck. All I can think about is all the evenings we are going to spend out here in the summer with the girls playing and singing and eating and laughing - eeeek I am so excited!

We had Isaac's mom, who the girls call Bubbe, over for a little early birthday brunch last weekend. The girls absolutely adore their Bubbe! They colored the cutest cards for her and Olive picked a big bunch of daffodils from our front yard as a surprise.

I planned a simple menu: frittata, scones, and a big platter of fruit. Brunch isn't fussy, you know? I think that might be why I love it so much. Pick an egg dish, a baked good, and cut up some fruit. It's really as simple as that. Tulips have arrived in the stores and I am so happy about it! I picked up a bouquet a few days beforehand so they would be in full bloom for the weekend.

Here are a few more photos from our little morning together. Thanks for sticking around! xx







This project is taking a bit longer than I was expecting! As with most home projects we have had a couple surprises that have effected our timeline. Here's a little update on how things are going:


We painted the walls, installed a shiny new light fixture, then realized the patch job we (I) had done was no good. Everything looked fine in daylight but when we turned on the light in the evening it showed every ding, dent and rough patch where the old fixtures had hung. Isaac spent a weekend sanding and repairing the walls for me and they look brand spanking new again. Too bad he doesn't enjoy that kind of thing, it would be so fun to fix up a little airbnb together! I'm pretty sure we will fix up a little beach house one day, he just doesn't know it yet. But back to the bath, we repainted after repairing the walls and reinstalled the light fixture. I love the polished nickel!

We hit another little snag when we went to swap out the faucet. The one I ordered didn't fit so I ordered a new one and it will be here next week! In the meantime, we have a busted pipe to repair because pipes from the 80's don't last forever. Another project for Isaac...

I sanded down the vanity and gave it a fresh coat of paint in the same color as the walls. The previous owner had painted over the original brass knobs so I stripped the paint and put them back on. Hinges and doors will go back on this weekend.
I'm ordering a big, brass mirror to go over the vanity that will tie in the knobs, the shower rod and the shelf over the toilet. I'm so excited seeing it all come together!

We installed a fixed shower rod (the last one was a tension rod that fell down every other week), hung a new curtain, bought a fresh bath mat and mounted three shiny new towel hooks which just feel a little more casual and kid-friendly than a towel bar.





So what's left?
- Installing the mirror
- Plumbing repair & installing the new faucet
- Mounting the toilet paper holder
- Updating the tub spout & handle
- Updating the ceiling light
- Artwork

We've made some great progress but I'm still kind of bummed it's taking so long! I wish I knew how to do more of the electrical / plumbing things so I didn't always have to wait for Isaac to do it on the weekend. Adding that to my list of things to learn...
I have been really careful to do this whole project without going over my allotted "home allowance" each month, so while it feels like we're moving at a snail's pace, I am really proud of myself for staying on budget!

I'm hoping we'll have everything finished up in the next couple of weeks and will post the before/afters and all the sources then! Thanks for following along!

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