Home Sweet Home: Bedroom by Kate Brightbill


I've shown bits and pieces of home throughout my time writing on this space, but never given any full visual of our home sweet home.

I love home designs, home blogs, home magazines. Because of all the gorgeous visuals I've seen of other homes, I find it difficult to share bits of my own home- why? Because I know it's imperfect. I am not Emily Henderson! ;) That said, I love our home!!! We have invested a ton of time and energy making our home "us," and I've decided it's going to be a regular thing to share it here. I get so excited to see the inside of friends' homes, so I will share the inside of our home more often-- so come on in-- to our bedroom!  

I think bedrooms always gets most neglected. It's the easy room to say "aaaa, there's company coming! Shove all the unfolded laundry in my room and shut that door, quick!" ....Just me? I think not. It took us the longest time to really invest any energy into creating a lovely space for us, because it's the least seen. It's in the back of our home, so unless guests make a conscious effort to get back there, it's the easiest to dismiss. 

The re-vamp of the bedroom started with a terrible, free "makeover" we received that had to be undone asap. While we were thankful for effort of a team to renovate our bedroom for the purpose of promoting their work, we were most thankful to donate every piece when they were done. Before the makeover, we had a cracked headboard from a bed we had purchased through Craigslist, and a broken dresser. We were not interested in setting either back in our room. The time was now- carpe diem! Our first ever grown-up (non hand-me-down or second-hand) beautiful new bed and dresser were purchased during a West Elm flash sale (be on the lookout when you're in the market for furniture! The deals make all the difference!!), and both made me positively giddy. We've had them for almost a year, and I'm still thrilled every time I go into my room and snuggle in cozy blankets, or open the drawers to place folded laundry. 

Everything else progressed slowly but surely. Only recently have I actually gotten FOCUSED on completing the room though (nesting will do that! I'm telling you-- having a new baby coming has been essential in getting this home in order ;)... We recently got- dun dun duuuuuun: ART

A room with nice furniture is great and all, but the things that really make a room homey are walls covered with beautiful images, and greenery to feed off of it all. Almost every piece in our bedroom is from Minted, and we could not be happier with it. 


Minted has endless options. Neutral colors, soft colors, and my personal preference: bolder colors. I'm SO in love with the gold foil U.S. map, and their frames are SIMPLE to hang (ohhh a complex or poorly frame is a nightmare... I'm looking at you- ikea Ribba frames!). I'm not a photographer, so I'm not quite sure how to fit the room properly into the camera frames, but for your reference, the bed is facing the dresser with the new Minted gallery wall. I have tweeked the objects on the dresser about 100x and will do so probably about 100 more times, because that's how I am, but I'm happy with the fullness and homey-ness we have in there for the time being. It's really become my favorite room to get some peaceful "me time." We love being able to have an area to enjoy our own grown-up space, sans toys and trinkets (though I love the toys and trinkets too!;)


On my wall: Pineapple Print, Twinkling Lights Print, & Bricks Print, US. Foil Map, Yellow Bricks


Framed prints were provided for review. All opinions are our own! We love Minted!

Summer Camp at Bay Clubs! by Kate Brightbill


This week has been amazing. You know how sometimes you are hesitant to do something that makes you nervous (or in this case, sign your child up to do something), and then you do, and it's better than you ever could have expected it to be?

Brian and I are huge fans of me spending summer breaks being with the kids, having field trips around the city, and doing a little traveling. I generally avoid drop-off summer activities, because school gets Sophie August through May, and well- frankly- it's my turn to hang with her in the summer! ;) 

BUT. This is a big "but" for me to admit: if I'm honest, school kids need a bit more interaction, structure, and activity than I can give them. This is particularly true for this summer while I'm super pregnant and low on energy.

So we did it- we registered Sophie for SQUASH CAMP at the SF Bay Club. I was a bundle of nerves on Monday. The hours were long and the sport was brand new for her-- she had never even seen it played!!

I'm now a believer: summer day camps are brilliant!


Today my Sophie girl just blew me away with her new skills and the confidence that comes with this class. She has made friends with the other little girls her size, AND has had the chance to interact with kids bigger than her who all have supported the little ones and also taught them little tips that they've learned in camps.

Sometimes going outside the box is the best for everyone. Can't wait to share the rest of the week with you!! I've been compiling tips, tidbits, and VIDEOS... S loves watching herself play. ;)

We are thrilled with the Bay Club Camps- they have several locations, and are offering camps all summer!! Be sure to sign your kiddos up HERE. ;)


*Post 1 of 2 in collaboration with The Bay Club. We received complimentary camp and services from the Bay Club in exchange for a writing about our experience. Post is NOT sponsored. ALL opinions are my own. The Bay Club is amazing, and I am recommending it to friends in real life as well as to you! 

Weekending + Sun Safety by Kate Brightbill

StyleSmaller || LandsEnd

This weekend we hit some seriously high temperatures in San Francisco. Saturday was what I would call "weather perfection," with 70's low 80's... Sunday was basically unbearable for this pregnant girl, and I spent most of the day inside with windows open, dividing my day between crunching cups of ice and eating popsicles. SF doesn't really know about that thing called air-conditioning, because frankly- we don't need it most of the year, but those few days of sun rays beating on us and we all wonder if we should have invested in AC regardless of the fact that 360 days of the year we do not need it. 

We beached it up on Saturday for a couple hours. We were over by the bridge at sports basement on a hunt for the perfect backpack for my husband, and it only made sense to take ourselves to the beach if were were going to be out there anyway. My girls are beach bums... particularly Sophie. She would go all the way in the cold water if we let her, even on the chilly 50 degree days... she is a total fish! I love it. 


*(though maybe not if I showed her the insane shark + surfer video from the weekend- did you see that??? SO glad he was safe!!! And another side-note: we debated at length whether the SF bay has sharks, and researched the answer- yes, small harmless bay sharks, not legit terrifying ones, phew) 

We packed a bag of only the essentials. Water- (because the girls love to chant 2-4-6-8 everybody hydrate!), my favorite beach towel ever (monogrammed with my initials because it seems every mom should be allowed to take ownership of at least a few little things in their life that little hands can't claim, yes?), sundresses, shades, hats (SUN SAFETY), and got ourselves cooled and sandy until we were all losing our charm.... then we headed home for some nice afternoon naps. Ahh, perfect. 

I'm going to be terribly honest and tell you that- though I'm super cautious with my girls and their hats and sunscreen, I can be a bit lax with my own application and other sun precautions. I don't burn (thank you, 50% Mexican blood for that!), so it doesn't seem quite so urgent to re-apply as often as I do for my family. I have, however, been humbled this pregnancy in more ways than simply adding numbers rapidly to the scale.... To my mortification, my skin has been getting some dark sun spots near the freckles on my cheeks. Aghhh! I know some of this will go away after the pregnancy, but it is SUCH an essential reminder to me: none of us are immune to skin damage and melanoma!! 


Shortly after I noticed my new skin imperfections, LandsEnd reached out to me about spreading the word about MRA (Melanoma Research Alliance), and their summer sun safety awareness campaign... It was meant to be. I received the prettiest, extra-soft lightweight swim tee to protect my body- it can cover any swimsuit and be worn in-water or out. I love a good tan, but I love the idea of preventing splotchy skin spots and - for goodness sakes- melanoma- far more! The LandsEnd swim tees are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV protectant- they are a UPF 50 sun protectant. 

I don't know if it's because I'm in my 30's now and thinking more responsibly, but this REALLY matters to me these days. I do not want to become a statistic- are you aware that skin cancer has increased 30% this year? YES. I know. 

SO, what can you do? 

  • First of all- cover up! Slather that sunscreen on your children AND yourselves! And USE SWIM TEES (right now is the best time to buy because they're all on sale!!).
  • Grab some sun UPF products for yourselves... I will literally be wearing mine all the hot days of the year.
  • Share pics of you being sun savvy in your swim tees and tag @LandsEnd on Instagram and Facebook... for every picture tagged with the hashtag #LandsEndSunSavvy, LandsEnd will be making a donation to the MRA! 

Sun safety is kind of a big deal. Weekend away, vacation away, but be summer safe!!

Ps. LandsEnd swim tees are perfectly stretchy, so I recommend ordering exactly your size- no bigger, and if you're between sizes, size down! They're priced as low as $12.99. so it's seriously a no-brainer. :) 


This post is sponsored by LandsEnd. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support us! xx

Throwback to Maui by Kate Brightbill


No travel for me this year, but I DID write a little post on The Chirping Moms blog about our trip to Maui last summer. It's a quick blurb on our favorite child-friendly activities in the rainbow state! Can't wait to get back there, but in the meantime- feel free to take a look at the fun we had using THIS LINK


Tech Trend: wRipple App by Kate Brightbill


I think if I didn't have a lifestyle blog about life with kids, I would want to write about food. I literally take pictures food daily. Ahh, I bought fresh food and veggies at the farmer's market! Definitely photographing this. Oooh, I made tacos and fresh mango salsa-- you can be certain I'm grabbing my camera and snapping the evidence. ;) 

Then there's eating out. All the restaurants, all the foodie flavors! San Francisco is still that gold mine from '49- only now it's a foodie mine. I want to try it all, and blog it all. Who doesn't love eating great food? 

So. We want to eat well, we want a good deal, and we want to know what our friends are having too. What to do? 

There's an app for that (you knew that line was coming, yes?). 

It's the wRipple effect! SF- this beautiful city- has launched an app to share WHERE we are eating + a fabulous deal for that spot at the same time. I don't know about you, but I'm on my phone googling deals whenever I retail shop... but there's never really been any streamlined discount app for FOOD. wRipple is an app to keep the discounts accessible on my phone- no need for cutting and carrying our dollar savings anymore! 

Let me tell you how it works:

I'm always craving something in my current very-pregnant state, so let's say today I'm craving Burmese food. I go to SOMA StrEat Food Park and that beautiful LilBurma truck is just sitting there calling my name. Samosas and noodles, YES please.


I whip out my phone and open my wRipple app-- ooh! A deal... right there for me! 


I shared the deal with all my Facebook friends (who also LOVE GOOD FOOD), got a barcode on my app that was scanned by the LilBurma employee, and voila! What's that you say? I can have that Pellegrino just sitting there calling my name in the San Francisco sun for free? OH, and $1 off? Well, if you're going to insist...


Obviously sharing is caring, so my darlings got to partake in the meal too. I love their affinity for ethnic food. :)


To download wRipple, just follow this link.

Be sure to follow wRipple on social media for all the info and deals at your fingertips! // Twitter . Instagram . Facebook


This post was sponsored by wRipple. All opinions are my own. If you like good deals, this is a fantastic app for you!! Thanks for supporting the companies that support us! xx

State of the Pregnancy: 30 Weeks by Kate Brightbill


I adore babies. I adore my own babies, I adore other people's babies. I do not adore pregnancy.

Pregnancy for me is a means to an end... I do not relate to those who manage to sail through pregnancy with beaming smiles and vibrant attitudes, though goodness knows- I wish I did! My body is prone to nausea, even as deep as 30 weeks into the pregnancy (I'm still having to be extra careful about what I eat to prevent getting ill, and yes I was sick this weekend). My heartburn arrives around week 22, and brings me down for the count from about noon until bedtime well into the third trimester. I'm actually anemic this time around, and was getting bouts of dizziness leading to increased nausea, until I found out and began iron supplements. Add these factors to the higher risk factors of an xl hematoma, polyp, and placenta previa issues that have now ALL resolved (praise the LORD, so thankful!), and you have yourself one physically/emotionally drained pregnant girl! 

BUT hey, there's GOOD NEWS. I'm 30 weeks pregnant. 30! In seven short weeks, I will have safely reached full term. This sweet baby is kicking his little heart out, and I am adhering to a summer break schedule: I.E. do whatever we want whenever we want. I work better under this non-restraining-schedule. ;) It's looking like we're out of the woods, and now we can nest and enjoy the last ten weeks of sleeping through the night and getting out on dates consistently.

Speaking of nesting, it's been the theme of this pregnancy. I love cleaning. Literally love it. I scrub my surfaces with multipurpose spray until they sparkle. I've been going through every nook of my home and purging every unnecessary. I've taken apart my closet and re-organized, and have been making trip after trip to goodwill to donate. It feels amazing to have less. I have used vacuum bags to store all of my pre-pregnancy clothing, and I have to be honest: I'm not really missing all the extra options! Granted, if you have seen me in the last four months, you can pretty much predict what I'm wearing... I'm really just cycling through four outfits (It's been so much better to have less-is-more strategy this time around than the "buy a lot of cheap" strategy I used the other two pregnancies!). 

In the craving department: wow, I'm the weirdo that you've read about on the internet. I mean, I'm not thankfully wanting to eat dirt (pica), but I am only a tiny step above on strange cravings: My favorite thing in the world right now is the moment I get to start the dishwasher with the scent of the soap filling the pantry. I have to resist smelling all cleaning supplies, actually... it's a seriously difficult feat. (Brian is like, Kate you shouldn't be telling people this! You're so nuts, haha) BUT I've read about it, and it's attributed to iron deficiency, which I mentioned I have, so it all makes sense now, and I feel far less weird, and totally okay with admitting it. 

So the grand totals in numbers: 

  • Ten ultrasounds (during which my emotional state took some incredibly high highs and low lows!),
  • 30 or so days on bedrest (weeks 15.5-19.5 give or take).
  • About 100 doctor appointments, (exaggerating, but it sure has felt like it!)
  • About 1,000 random cravings (the girls did NOT do this to me!), and
  • Fewer than 68 days until my due date! PHEW!!

All in all, the state of the pregnancy is good, but ahh, it's still pregnancy. ;) Speaking of... have you ever read this? It's the best writing about pregnancy ever. I was laughing so hard at the airplane analogy because it's spot-on.

PS. Here was my first / only other pregnancy update, in case you like reading about pregnancy.