I thought I might try a little something new on the blog today and share five things that have piqued my interest (a previous version that I have since retired was Friday Finds) or things that have been on my mind / going on in my life recently.
Obviously, Ukraine is at the forefront of everyone’s mind lately. I know that for me it feels so bizarre to go on living our daily lives as if a senseless war isn’t being waged in Eastern Europe. I think about the Ukrainian people and their bravery & resilience throughout each day and have made some donations where I can because I feel so helpless in this situation. I’m sure that by now you have been provided with many options to donate to, but I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t offer a few more to you from my little corner of the internet.
There are Amazon wishlists created by Ukrainian people who live in the States and have family / friends that they can send the supplies to for distribution — I bought a few items from this one (*be sure to select the “Meest Karpaty’s Gift Registry Address” at checkout!) and this one (*be sure to select the “Anna Naumenko’s Gift Registry Address” at checkout!); Save the Children provides humanitarian aid for children around the world, especially those who are separated from one, maybe both parents; Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds will match donations to UNHCR up to $1,000,000; and there are even more organization suggestions to send donations to via the Washington Post here.
If you are in a position to donate, I urge you to do what you can for these people. No matter what you can spare, every little bit helps.
I don’t really know how to segue from that topic to other things that feel extremely frivolous by comparison, but in an effort to keep on living life, here are the remaining four things I wanted to share:
On a personal note, our family has a fairly busy couple of weeks coming up. Sophie has the second half of her flu shot being administered this week (poor thing! her pained scream when she gets injections just breaks my heart) and we have some friends coming into town to visit for the weekend! Our first non-family visitors since the pandemic began and I’m so excited to spend time with my childhood friend and her boyfriend and show them Seattle! My husband and I also have an upcoming interview to get Sophie a passport! I don’t know if we’ll actually get to use it any time soon, but it will be good to have on hand just in case an opportunity arises for international travel (or we just want to drive up to Vancouver, BC for a weekend!).
My favorite casual daily shoe brand recently launched a line of bags and I’m loving the neutral colors in the newest collection. I need another bag like I need a hole in my head, but I’m sooo tempted. These bags would be great for anyone, but I think they’d be especially perfect for moms as the material of the bags (and their shoes!) are made out of recycled plastic and can be machine washed. Such a gamechanger, right!? If you’re using your regular tote as a diaper bag like I am, this style and this style would definitely fit a ToteSavvy insert (which you can read more about here).
I’m proud to say that I have completed over 550 consecutive days of learning French via DuoLingo! I started in 2020 toward the last third of the year as part of a social media challenge to accomplish 100 days of something and I’ve just continued since. This was when we were all feeling so lost as the lives that we had always known were thrown into complete chaos (which I think there’s still an element of, even now in 2022). It felt good to be working toward a goal — for me, it was learning French so that I could read more of the signs, plaques and menus when I am finally able to visit France again. If you’ve been on the fence about trying DuoLingo, I highly recommend it. I think their teaching methods are super effective and the app is very user-friendly. Add me as a friend if you join! @nataliexmaria
If you’ve been here for a while, you may know that I love to regularly shop at Diptyque for my candles, but I discovered this summery collection from Nest where the candles are wrapped in rattan and I just couldn’t resist ordering the grapefruit scented candle! If you’re on the hunt for a deliciously-scented candle in a glass that can be repurposed after the wax burns out, this is a great option! I can’t wait to re-use the rattan-wrapped glass as a little bud vase or as a holder for makeup brushes / matches / bobby-pins / etc.!
I hope that you have a great week, friends!
Sending hugs —