Monday, June 6, 2011


Hello, friends.
How has your week been?

Around here, we're already in the mid-90's, and our Summer has officially begun.

Memorial Weekend was a relaxing treat with a little road trip out of town. This weekend is also proving to be just as relaxing - with a patio night with some good friends, some yard work, and a concert in the park.

We have been busy fixing up the backyard, and enjoying these early hot days before the temperatures (and mosquitoes) get too unbearable.
It took a couple years of my persistent pestering (and maybe begging, at times), and finally, finally, my dear husband has built me a beautiful hammock.

My break has included lots of time spent in this very spot. Elodie loves it, and falls fast asleep swinging with us in the hammock. I think we will be spending lots of days and nights out here, enjoying a little peace and calm.

Baby Elle has officially found her hands. Along with constantly staring at them and trying to eat them, she favors opening her palm and pushing it against my mouth, where it is met with a thousand kisses. This child is so precious, and I feel so lucky that she is part of our family. Watching her learn, grow, and become her own little person has been a beautiful process, and we're only 2 months into the rest of our lives, watching and learning from our sweet daughter.

A lot of you have been asking about similar things, lately, and I thought I would answer a few FAQ's around the blog.

El said...

Aura Joon,

If you don't mind me asking, I'm curious- are you planning to teach Elodie Farsi? If so, how?

Love your posts.


Salam, Elham Joon.

We will of course be teaching Elodie how to speak Farsi. Knowledge is such a beautiful gift, and I especially feel that way about language.
I speak to Elodie in Farsi, and English. Normally I will say a phrase to her in English, then repeat it in Farsi. I have a little diaper change song that I sing to her, and it goes:

Elodie, you are Mommy's little bumble bee.
Elodie, zamboor-eh cucheloo hastee.

(you are a little bee)

I've also asked my Mom to only speak to her in Farsi, and Grandma doesn't speak English at all, so I'm sure she'll pick up plenty from her.

Petals&Twigs said...

thanks for sharing all these stories. i have recently discovered your blog and enjoy every bit of it. what type of carrier are you using?

I'm a huge fan of baby-wearing. Huge. There are so many benefits to wearing your baby, and I knew my favorite baby-gear purchase would be carriers. I wanted her to be able to go everywhere with us, and to see things the way we see them.

The first carrier we bought was a Moby Wrap, and I wasn't a fan of it. It was about ten miles of fabric, and it was so inconvenient to wrap myself up in it when I was running errands. We bought an Ergo carrier next, and I love it. It's sturdy and secure, it has a sun shade, and pockets for wash cloths, your phone, pacis, and anything else you need. I love our Ergo for walks, hikes, and vacuuming :)

The carrier I've been wearing in the last few posts is a ring sling, and it's a Sakura Bloom. It's from their Essential Linen line.
It has been the freedom I have been looking for, while still being pretty. I cannot say enough good things about this sling, and wearing your baby in general. I love to see an interest in something that other cultures have been practicing for years.
I'd suggest looking into the differences between all the different kinds of carriers, and choosing what is best for you.

Here is a chart on some basic comparisons of different carriers.

Anonymous said...

my ex husband took my son from me when we split up. he won full custody when my son was a baby. i was seeing him every other weekend now every saturday. i thought seeing him every week would be good but he is almost 8 and it's like we aren't close anymore. i don't know what happened. but he will say things to me like he didn't want to come that day and stuff. it breaks my heart. i don't know if his dad is telling him things or what. but i only see him a few hours on saturdays.. sometimes i get to go to his games. he lives an hour and a half away. any tips for something like this? his dad has a lot of money had had a great lawyer when he won and i didnt have anything. my son used to cry when he was younger and had to leave but now he don't mind. and he always has smart things to say to me. it's like i am not good enough or have enough. what do i do??

Anonymous, I am flattered that you think I would have a solution for this, but honestly, I have never been in this type of situation and don't have an answer for you.
I hope that you can keep communication open with your son, and express to him how you feel. Even though he is young, children still understand and comprehend a lot of what goes on around them, and it can't hurt to let him know how you are feeling.

Anonymous said...

Curious as to what you and your husband have planned as far as moving out of state, now that Ms Elodie is here? I'm sure it will be a gut-wrenching decision either way. Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with the world. - Miss J

Miss J- We're just taking it one step at a time, and still searching for home. That might mean that we stay here until we're old and gray, or it might mean that we'll leave when Michael is done with school. Either way, our first priority is baby E. And right now, taking her away from her little village is not really an option. And I think every one knows that I couldn't possibly function without my family :)

Anonymous said...

What happened to your dream of starting your business so you could stay at home with your baby? Why are you making the choice to let someone else raise your kid?

Oh my. Okay, here goes.

I don't think I ever specifically said that I would become a stay-at-home-Mom when I started my business. I wanted to do it so I could spend more time with her, and not be away from home 5 days a week. It's not in my nature to be home, and I get really terrible cabin fever and crave the adult interaction I get from my job. I really respect women who make the choice to quit their jobs and run their home like a well-oiled machine, but that is not for me. When I decided to start my business, it was with the intention that I would always still work behind the chair at the salon, part-time. And that I am doing.
Now that I'm back at work, I am only working 24 hours a week. I have 3 days home with Elodie, and she is with my Mom & Grandma the days I am at work.

As far as letting "someone else raise my kid," I hardly consider leaving my kid with the women that raised me as anything but wonderful. I made the best decision for my family, and I'd suggest you maybe not criticize someone's parenting choices :) Mamas tend to get a little defensive when they think a complete stranger that knows nothing about them is over-stepping their boundaries.

I put my shop on hold because I had a baby. It takes a lot of work to open an online boutique, and the hours and hours I need to invest in it come second to spending time with my child, right now. Hopefully it will be up and running over the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

i expect my second baby in 2 months. we all have 12 months long maternity here in Slovenia, Europe. How long is it in the USA? do you have "special" kindergarten for little babies? :-)

I think we get 8 weeks here, on average. But that didn't apply for me. I am self-employed, so I actually got zero days of paid leave. Not only that, but I still had to pay for my booth at the salon while I was gone. Ouch.
Our special kindergarten is just daycare, and there are lot of tiny, tiny babies there. My sister had to leave my nephew at 6 weeks. It's so sad, because I know that we are really behind a lot of other countries as far as maternity leave goes. Hopefully the future will be better for new Moms in the US.

Cheryl McCormick said...

Okay, so, I thought of asking you for some help, since I've been spending some long hot and hard days in my backyard! Yesterday, I pulled weeds around the concrete slabs in my backyard, it was probably the hardest thing ever!!! I pulled them all by hand too, no weed eater, and with that, came lots of scary little critters, from these weeds!! Question, how to keep the weeds away without killing grass? And how often or fast will they grow back, or how often should i make sure to trim them back? I know lots of info. But I needed to ask you, considering you are amazing at this! Thanks love!

My husband is in charge of those kinds of weeds! I just pull weeds from my garden, and they're never that bad. I am outside every single day, watering and working in the yard. So if you pull them while they're still manageable, they don't get out of hand.
One suggestion I have is to water first. I've watched him pull the big clumps of weeds from the yard, and if the soil is wet, they come up easier without ripping up the roots, which leave room for them to grow back.

Jack said...

Where are you getting these cute striped maxi dresses?!? Love it :)

Forever21! I got so many questions about these dresses. I mostly just wear them around the house. They were $14 and I live in dresses in the Summer, so they're my go-to. I've been gardening, sleeping, and laying around in them, and they are just about the closest thing to feeling naked because of how comfortable they are. They're perfect for nursing, and I thought they were pretty cute in the process. I just bought them right after E was born (pretty forgiving on those extra baby pounds) so they're probably still in stores. I looked on their website and they're just down to the mustard/cream and the black/white stripe. Here is a link if you're interested. I must warn you, they are pretty close to see-through. Which makes them great for comfort, as a beach/pool coverup, or at a cookout. But maybe not so much for work or school.

Anonymous said...

Can you write everyday?

That's sweet, thank you. I don't think I could do the every-day blogging thing. I feel like what I would have to say would lose it's importance. So many bloggers seem to force out a post every day just for the visits and sake of having content. It's not really my style.
When I write, it's usually a product of something I scribbled on the weekends. "It Takes a Village" was hand-written (with one hand) in my backyard on the swing with Elodie the night before I went back to work. I really prefer writing whenever I feel inspired to do so.
In the cold months, I tend to write for myself a lot more. My mind is busy and I am trapped inside, feeling a bit tinged with anxiety and ready to spread my wings. When it gets warmer, I tend to post more photos, and my minutes are scarce because I can't tie myself down to the computer when the weather is beautiful. So I tell my stories the best way I know how in the smallest amount of time - through my lens.

Anonymous said...

hello aura! i have tried looking up but i dont think you have answered it. sorry if you have but i wanted to know which camera tripod do you use?

A friend is actually borrowing my tripod right now, and I can't remember the brand! I'm sorry. It's from Best Buy, and a friend bought it for me (the one who is borrowing it). I can't imagine that there is much difference between them all, but I could be terribly wrong. I use mine for photographing things around the house, items for the shop, etc. Oh, and all the photos in Dressing the Bump :) I know it's not a top of the line tripod but it has been great and done everything I needed it to for those instances.

Anonymous said...

will you please share some recipes for that yummy looking persian food?? it looks so simple but so tasty. i am trying to cook more healthy things at home and i LOVE chickpeas but have never made them at home. please share!!

If you are interested in cooking real Persian food, I have only one book to recommend for you. You will never, ever need anything else.
Growing up, my family always cooked from their hearts. In Yazd, there were no recipes written down for the meals that had been passed down for generations. One day while I was in a Mediterranean grocery store, I saw a book called Food of Life. I'm normally not a cookbook purchaser, but when I flipped through the pages, I thought my heart would surely leap out of my chest. Reading the first few pages of the book actually made me emotional, to hear the author's account of what food meant to their family, and to see the beautiful photos that I had seen before, in our own home. In our culture, cooking and providing meals for your family is a huge part of who we are. And so much love and thought is put into each little detail.
Even the title gives me a lump in my throat, translated from the Farsi phrase "nush-e jan," a sweet wish that you will enjoy the meal, and something I heard my family say as a child.

Some of the recipes in this book are 4,000 years old. When I brought it home to show my family, they sat around the book for an hour, excitedly squealing and pointing out recipes for meals they had enjoyed as children, themselves. I imagine seeing something like these recipes written down was incredibly nostalgic.

So if you're interested in Persian food, please consider this book. It has so many sweet stories, poetry, and beautiful photos entwined into the pages, that it almost feels more like a peek into the culture than an actual cookbook.

Betsy said...

Is that diaper bag the Scout, by Petunia Pickle Bottom???

Good eye, Betsy :) When we started talking about a diaper bag, we knew we wanted something we could both carry, without one of us (Michael) looking a bit silly carrying a pink purse. I'm not overly girlie myself, and also wanted something neutral that we could use later as luggage. We looked a lot at Fossil leather bags, but didn't quite find anything we really liked. For our baby shower, my sister gave us this diaper bag. We. Love. It. It has separate inserts for the inside, so you can even use it as a laptop bag. And how cute is this? It makes the perfect bag for any photographer.

C'est Moi said...

Hey girl,

Quick question about your baby tent; it's the Peapod, right? What model and why did you choose it? I'm so confused because they offer so many models and I'm not sure what the difference is between them?

Aren't these tiny tents just precious? Ours was a baby shower gift from a friend, so we didn't have to make any decisions on the model. It's the Peapod Lite - P001.

erin d. said...

Dear Aura,

I'm due for my first baby this August and I'm starting to panic. As a new mom, what baby items do you feel you couldn't live without, and how do you know what to do?

Honestly, I think the only 5 things I religiously use are washcloths, a carrier, diapers, swaddle blankets, and my boobs. Pretty simple.

I put off our registry until a week before our baby shower, after much hounding from my sister. She even made me a 3 page list of all the things she thought I needed. What it came down to was that Michael and I decided we didn't want a lot of "stuff" for Elodie. The baby industry is booming for a reason - they make you think you need these things, and you buy them. Just as simple as that. Our registry was very small. Mostly things like pajamas, wash cloths, diapers, and bath items. And even then, half the bath stuff went back to the store because I just wash Elodie with a bar of my own natural oatmeal soap. We got a giant box of baby wipes, and I used about five before we decided to just use a warm, wet washcloth. We never bought little mittens to keep her from scratching her face, I laughed at the thought of a diaper pail, and I just file her tiny fingernails with my own nail file.

Babies don't need much. Children don't even need much. The constant desire to provide our kids with everything new and exciting out there is just creating an un closeable gap for them in their search of wanting more and more as they get older. Just provide them with the basic needs, food, shelter, love. I promise that in 30 years your child will not be mad at you or screwed up for not buying every little thing that Target and Babies R Us tells you you need to make your baby happy.

As far as what we actually use: A swing. Ours is the Lil'Lamb, and it was a hand-me-down from my sister. It's a savior when I want to put her down to eat, clean, or even work in the yard. I turn on the mobile and set her next to the open window facing the backyard so I can hear her. I turn on a cd because the music honestly annoys me :) One setting is just crickets, and I love that for her naps. But otherwise I only play her our music because I'm a music snob.

Our carseat is the Keyfit30. I also love it. I hung one tiny hand-made wool bird from the handle and she talks to it all day. I was not surprised to see that she didn't need something loud, obnoxious, and overly colorful to keep her entertained.

Our stroller is the Kolcraft Countours. Michael and I both love this thing. I carry her a lot of the time, but we are always so excited to bust it out and push her around in it. Since she's still young, we just pop our carseat into it (the seat it comes with is removable) and go.

We use a bassinet, also a hand-me-down from my sister. It's in our room next to my side of the bed, and Elodie has been sleeping there since day one. When she's not in bed with us :) She'll be in it for a couple more weeks and then she's off to her own room, to sleep in her crib.

Everything else that you need, you will realize with time. I didn't even use our baby bathtub for almost 2 months because I either washed her in the sink, or with me in the tub. I'd really suggest just buying the basic things, and getting everything else as you come across the need for them.

Victoria said...

I know you get so many questions about your photos, but I would so love to know how you photograph your family with that sunflare. Do you use a tripod or ask someone to shoot it for you? What setting do you use? Congratulations on a beautiful new chapter of life... I gave birth to my first (a son, Henry) on March 31, so I can relate to your every word.

I don't use the tripod for any photos of us, other than the maternity photos we took in the Fall. It's too hard to carry around, plus I'd feel kind of silly around a bunch of people setting up the tripod for a quick photo of us :) And I certainly never ask for help. Any time I have done that, people stare at my camera like it's an alien, so I gave up.

In the last 10 years that I've spent taking photos, I've had to come up with some pretty creative places to set it.

Like on the ground, tilted upwards with my purse.

Hanging from a tree branch by it's strap (seriously, that's why it's tilted) or on a rock.
I've balanced it on the hood of the car, on steps, and the backyard grill.

This one was taken on top of our stroller.
Anything can be a make-shift tripod, if you just look.

As far as flare goes, it's kind of the same thing. You can get flare from a 1 megapixel camera phone. There isn't a setting that produces it, it is from the source of light coming into your photo and where you position it that gives it flare. When you look through your lens, you can see it there. If you see it, it will be in the photo. My favorite element to work with is natural light, and I'd like to think that the flare is a little bit representative of my own personal style. So I've spent years trying to perfect it in photos.

(taken in the evening)

The best time of day to shoot it is either early morning, or evening. When the sun is closer to the horizon line, it's easier to get it in your shot and produce flare.

How do you make the moving photos?

I bought a program called Ulead Gif Animator last year, and I make them in that.

Will there be more posts on Backyard Farming?

Yes, eventually. With a new addition to the family, I have had to balance the time I have differently. And that means that she comes first, then working outside, and blogging about it last. I have quite a few posts on how to get your garden started at the top of my blog in the Backyard Farming section.

Will you share Elodie's birth story?

Hopefully, someday. I wrote it in a letter to her a few days after she was born, but that one is personal. I had a truly amazing experience, and feel so lucky that everything went well. I do hope to share it, so I can explain my experience with natural birth, and hopefully encourage other women to know that they can do the same. Right now I just need more than a few minutes to sit down and write something that important, and the time can't seem to find me. I will say that I will for sure share it, I just don't know when.

Did you have her at home?

For the first 22 weeks, we planned on having a home birth. But financially, we couldn't afford it, or the bill if we had to transfer to a hospital in case of an emergency. Insurance doesn't exactly support having a baby at home in your bath tub :) There is only one hospital in the state of Oklahoma - OU Medical Center - that allows midwife births. I was hesitant, because like most women that have seen it, The Business of Being Born scared the hospital birth out of me. But I had the most wonderful, downright amazing birth experience possible. I wore my own clothes, had the lights off, listened to my music, and labored in the tub. I ate, walked around, and made my own decisions. I wasn't hooked up to one machine, there was no unecessary intervention, and I was able to deliver naturally. In the end, I came home with a healthy baby and I was healthy myself - which is the most important thing. If you live in the Oklahoma City Metro, I'd really recommend looking into the midwives at OU Medical.

What does her name mean?

Elodie is a French name, meaning "riches."
We went back and forth on using a Persian name as her first or middle name, and ultimately decided that since we loved "Elodie" so much, that we wanted it to be her first name. French and Farsi are spoken from the same parts of the mouth, and the language rolls off the tongue in a strangely similar way. When I was pregnant, I asked Grandma and Grandpa what they thought of the name, and both of them could pronounce it like a word they'd known all along. Even though they even have trouble pronouncing my nephew's name - Brady. So we knew it was the name for us.

It is pronounced el-oh-DEE. When people stare at me in confusion, I say it's just Melody without the M, but that's not absolutely true. To hear my family say it is like music to my ears, because there are certain inflections that are lost when just taking the "M" away from Melody. I have a client that moved here from France and now teaches it at the University. I get lost in our conversation, not only because of how wonderful she is as a person, but her voice is like music itself. She has a heavy French accent, and I had her pronounce the name for me many times to make sure I was hearing it correctly. When Elodie met her for the first time, Bernadette held her and whispered sweet French words into her ears.

Her middle name - Neda, is Persian. I'm not quite ready to share it's meaning yet, because it makes me a bit weepy. And anything that makes me weepy calls for a long, wordy, emotional post that will come some day soon.

Will you be sharing photos of the nursery?

I am feeling a bit bad saying "some day" so many times, but I really will :) Here are a couple, for now.

Thank you all for your sweet words, and the support you leave here for me. The response I got on It Takes a Village was wonderful, and I loved reading all of your personal stories and accounts on the subject.
Sometimes family around is not always an option, but in those cases, you can always create your own village. Whether it is through friends, family, or any sort of child care that you can provide for your little one. As long as they know they have someone to go to when life gets hard, things will be just a little bit easier through those difficult times.

In the month of May, 95,305 of you visited this blog. 59,504 of you were new, and every month that number is climbing by the thousands. I am so happy to have all of you here, following this story. Please do say hello, anytime.

Our most exciting news this month came from a reader who let me know that Lauren Conrad had used a picture of my feet on her beauty blog.
Can you believe it? My friends have all gotten such a kick out of it, and are teasing me about my famous feet.
I took that photo with a 5 megapixel point and shoot camera, 6 years ago, on a trip to Destin, Florida.
Who knew that it would go places, some day.

I am also excited to share with you guys a project I will be working on the next couple months. I was so flattered when Leigh from Marvelous Kiddo asked me to be a part of a project for Sakura Bloom. Starting this week, myself and some pretty amazing Mama's with blogs will be taking part in the first-ever Sakura Bloom Styleathon. I absolutely adore this company and what they stand for, and can't wait to see what projects Leigh has for us.

Happy Monday, friends.


Anonymous said...

As always, such a lovely post and Elodie is one beautiful little girl. Can't wait to see more pictures of her room---the bedding your chose is gorgeous.

Also, congrats on your famous feet. :)

Kalei's Best Friend said...

She has such a personality!. Wow, see how fast they grow?! I enjoyed reading your answers... I love how u have decorated her room and those old editions are priceless!. I wish it were summer here in Calif.... dreary June gloom

a little white mouse said...

Your blog is wonderful. It brings me absolute joy to read it. Thank you so much for sharing all of your loveliness :)

scsd said...

Such beautiful photos and an even more beautiful baby :)

blair @ scsd

superhappyjohi said...

Aura, Thank you so much for this long and beautiful post! Elodie is so beautiful! I am so happy to hear that you had a great natural birth experience! Your new hammock is amazing! Have a lovely summer! Can´t wait the Sakura Bloom Stylathlon with you!

kate said...

I love this little peek into your life as always. It takes me to another place. Thanks for sharing.

AJD ∞ said...

My friend introduced me to your blog last week and I've been reading through your posts ever since. You seem so at peace and happy and you've inspired to me to really find the beauty in everything [especially when looking through my camera lens]. Thank you so much for sharing your life with the blogisphere. [A new devoted follower.]

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Elodie is looking lovely- I'm so happy to hear that you all are well.

Angie said...

Hi Aura, I've been following you for awhile but have never commented. This is me stopping by to say HI :)

I love your blog. The pictures and stories are so genuine. Your maternity photos were amazing and I love, love, LOVE Elodie's nursery! Beautiful!!

I second the comment on sharing your birth story! I have three littles (Isaac 6, Gabe 4, and Selah 20 months)here and I've written out each of their stories. I read it to them each year on their birthday. I would love to hear all about how Elodie made her debut :)

I think you are a great mama. Confident in your decisions and knowing what is best for your family. Keep it up :)

Angie from Ohio

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

What an amazing post. You are *so gracious* to answer all these reader questions in SUCH depth! I can only imagine how long it took you to do it!

I started blogging a couple years ago and although I post twice a day, and do answer ?'s, it's not to the level of detail you went into (and with a new baby no less)! so massive thank you to you!

And 5 things you need with a new baby? Boobs on the list...I laughed and yes, so true!

And I can relate to your story about carriers, your home birth, and so much more.

Love the pic of you, with your hubs holding baby in his lap. So beautiful and lovely!

katy {of} katy loves. said...

She's so beautiful. I love your emphasis on minimalism with babies. They say babies need so much stuff, but most of this stuff wasn't around even twenty years ago. Babies are so happy with just getting love and the necessities. They will be better for it. Thanks for sharing some incite into your photography as well. Your images and words inspire me with every blog post, so thank you!

Alex Byer said...

There's something about your words, your photos, the way you string them all into stories that enchants me to no end. I often find myself coming back to your blog and just rereading the words, almost to the point of knowing them by heart. There's just something so beautiful about the written word, and you bring it to life. You breathe life into letters. You make me excited to be a mom one day :)

Unknown said...

Ohhh what a cutie! She's getting so big! :)

Megan said...

Your blog is so refreshing and I love looking at all of your photos. You make life seem so wonderful and sweet. (which is the way it should be) thank you for choosing to share your life with all of us!

Kelly said...

This may be the first time I've have commented on your blog, but I read consistently. Your blog is lovely...the words, the people, the stories, the love, oh and of course the photos, are all so lovely.

Blessings to you!

Taylor C said...

beautiful post Aura. Thank you for all the FAQ :) I bet it is time consuming to put together your posts but your readers sure do appreciate it!

I would love to know where you purchased the "all I can do is be me..." print and the one of the two birds.

take care and thank you for sharing your stories with us.

Melissa Blake said...

OMG, Elodie is getting so big!! She's beautiful! xoxo

kristyn ellen said...

Famous feet -- that's so funny! Your baby is getting more and more beautiful, good grief! She is such a gorgeous sight! Appreciate all you share. :)

Marie said...

Oh my goodness, Elodie is such a beautiful little one!!!! She has so much personality in her little expressions, already. I remember when my son (now 15 months) first started making little faces at me and smiling when he saw his family's faces.... it just melts your heart down to a little puddle, doesn't it?

It is wonderful to see you enjoying motherhood so. And good job on handling the anonymous judgmental criticizer!!

Jaime said...

awesome post with beautiful words and gorgeous pictures!

Unknown said...

I seriously cannot agree more with the baby industry, amount of things babies need vs. what they make you think you need. Diapers, carrier, washcloth, boobs, and something good to chew on --- you'll need that soon :)

I've been meaning to ask you, how do i contact you personally? I want to send your little love something :)


amber lynn said...

baby e is getting so big! she is gorgeous and her hair is amazing. i love the hammock, maybe i need to drop some more hints to my hubby ;)

and the nursery is so pretty!!

Anonymous said...

First, she is just so adorable. I love her. <3

I always mean to comment on ALL your posts. I say to myself, I'll do it later, and then forget. One thing I have truly learned from you and take with me everyday is to not get so caught up in doing things that I forget to live life. Nothing is more important than spending time with my husband, but especially my son who will one day leave. So I am always happy to read, but I want to put as much thought in a comment as you do into your posts!

It is amazing the success you have encountered and yet still choose to not make money directly from your blog. And, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN re: the Lauren Conrad thing. That is too funny!!!!!

Lastly, I'll be honest--I did not want to ask how you made the moving picture thing because the OTHER important thing I have learned from you is to be yourself; not just copy anything you see someone else doing. I am glad someone else asked! ;)

Much love,

Nikole Taylor said...

Oh Aura! Your blog is a delight. I could easily spent 2 hours reading and admiring your photos!
I found your blog a year ago this July, when I was going through an extremely rough time. Your posts seriously brought a little bit of joy into my day. I must thank you!

Hope that wasn't too creepy :)

Ashley said...

Your writing is beautiful and always warms my heart. Baby Elle is absolutely breathtaking. I love that you're passing along Farsi to her. I think there is something beautiful about parents passing along their culture and history to their children.

stacy said...

love this post seeing little elodie change each week! your blog is always a breath of fresh air in my day...xx

El said...

Salaam Aura joon,
My husband is American so I always hope that we can pull of teaching our future children Farsi- which sparked my curiousity...thanks for answering! I like your idea of repeating things in Farsi :)

Mama Mash said...

Hello Aura,

your garden is coming along nicely. Out of curiosity what is the tree behind the hammock? I should know as I work in a nursery, but it's hard to see from the picture.


pretty odd wonders. said...

hi aura,
I've recently started following your blog and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate it. your photos, words and the mood you set in your posts. there is something so calm, comforting and beautiful in all of them. and you have given me wonderful ideas for photos!
thank you for a lovely blog, you have a devoted new follower!

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful <3

::The Beetle Shack:: said...

You are amazing. no questions.

xo em

susanne @ tall pine nest said...

I like that you don't "blog" like all the others. Thanks for being real. It's inspiring.

Anna said...

Oh that is what those light spots are called, flare. I feel that I must capture some now :) Thank you for continuing to write and share your knowledge with us. Elodie is so beautiful. Whenever I say her name in my head I pronounce it the way it should be.

M. Eileen said...

love this blog! congrats on your famous feet! We have the same ukulele that you have in Elodie's nursery! I'm looking forward to the day that my husband and I can use it to sing songs to our wee one.

If you don't mind me asking. What type of organic soap do you use? I have sensitive skin and am trying to switch it up and find something that doesn't irritate my skin! Thanks :)

Lee said...

beautiful photos and words! would you be willing to share where you got the print with the bob dylan quote and the bird cages that's in elodie's room?

Stephanie Precourt said...

Beautiful beautiful! All of it.


Bella said...

Is her middle name in honor of Neda Soltan?

Kiersten said...

Aura, Elodie looks gorgeous - as always, I love your photos of her!
And I'm completely jealous of your hammock - we had one at the house I grew up in, but when we moved we left it for the new owners.
It sounds like you're all enjoying your summer!
<3 Kiersten

withoutizy said...

You're such a beautiful mumma! I hope one day I can be as in love with life as you are = ) it's so beautiful to read! Love your pics, and I'm quite jealous of that hammock! xx

Jodi said...

swaying with baby elodie in a hammock - what bliss for you gorgeous muma! So excited to see you announced as a stylish blogging babywearing muma - can't wait to see what you come up with. I'm about to buy a sakura bloom sling this week...can't wait to wear my own bundle in it.

love to you and happy gardening x

Jessica said...

This was such a wonderful post :)!
When the first picture loaded, my first thought was, "look at that precious angel!" She's wonderful! Oh how I miss that age...(mama sigh).

The hammock! Oh my goodness the hammock! love. love. love! I wish we had one so my almost 2 year old could swing like a little monkey in it (she's obsessed with swinging right now).

I can't wait to hear about your natural birth story. I know it is something very personal and special, and I appreciate that you would share it with us. I hope to have a natural birth with my next child (whenever that may be down the road), so I would love to hear any words of encouragement you have lol! :) My first birth was medicated, except my epidural wore off completely on the left side of my body, so needless to say it was interesting...:)

I hope you have a wonderful week and will be checking back very frequently for another peek into your precious life!

Love to you and your family!

Maria said...

I'm hoping to have a baby in a year or two and I love that I can use your blog to navigate my way through it. Thank you for these wonderful posts, they are all so open and so complete.

Melanie said...

Firstly, It's so amazing the vast inspiration that your blog now provides for so many people. You really can't call it your "little" corner of the internet anymore.. because it's really become so much more than that now. :D Congrats to you on that!

Also, I can only count on one hand the amount of people that I follow intently over the internet, and you are one of them. :)
I have finally discovered the elements of what keeps me coming back to these people's lives and stories...

1- Creativity/originality. Whether it be art, music, photography or writing, I come back to inspired.

2- Honesty. I've noticed this is something that fascinates me in a world where it's so easy to "fake" an image. Honesty is beautiful and refreshing.

3- Love. Nothing negative ever comes from love. Love of family, love of art, love of what you do, and mostly just a love of life.

For those reasons, I will probably always come back for more. :)


siniann said...

Love that hammock, Michael did do great work! I absolutely want a hammock when we have a garden. Can't wait what the new project of Sakura Bloom will be, even I'm not mom, I'm still into the baby stuff more and more (whaat, am I getting old?)

happy week, Aura!

umi said...

hi aura-j,

thanks again for your honesty.

i am so proud of you for doing what feels right for you as an individual, not just as a mum. Elodie will certainly have great respect for you for your integrity of actions. The impact of a happy, fulfilled mum on a little one, on the ambience of a family and on a home cannot be understated.

i admire the grace with which you have handled this topic.

there is no doubt that the way you have chosen to balance your work/family time is the same as how many, many generations of ethnic (and ethnic-blended) families have done. what a lucky girl she is to be getting so much love from so many people who have her best interests at heart. as a childcare worker i see all too often the impact of the nuclear family on both parents and children and i am so happy for you all that you are all getting to share this precious task of mothering/grandmothering/great-grandmothering! Elodie's life will be rich indeed!

blessings and much love,


Charity P. said...

Hi, Aura- I always so look forward to your posts. I often get online just to see if you've posted anything new yet! :) There is something about reading your blog that always makes me feel inspired and at peace, all at once.


Cait said...

Aura - what a lovely post. I always love to see your beautiful pictures and read your inspiring words. Thank you for sharing!

Jacki said...

I love the hammock! wish my husband will build me one too!

Bethany Susan said...

i love your blog, your stories, your insights, your photos.. and your way of putting real life and your family first. keep inspiring!

Learning said...

Thanks so much for taking time to answer our questions!! I so appreciate the beauty that you share.

- Angela

Country Girl said...

Hello Aura!

Good response to the question about "letting someone else raise your kid". I think some people forget that we were individuals BEFORE we were mothers (some of us for longer than others). As much as each child is a miracle and we love them each endlessly, our individual is still inside. If we suffocate it, we die a little. I'm speaking from the position of a mother who has just gone back to work part time as a health care professional 8 years after the birth of my first daughter. I am still homeschooling my girls, but I feel like I actually have MORE to give them now that am feeding my indivual self. It is a personal decision, as you said, and no one should question that.
Blessings to you!

Lindsey said...

i'm not exactly sure how i stumbled upon your blog, but i'm sure glad i have. what incredible photos, and beautiful words. really and truly.

The littlest said...

hi aura,

so happy to have found your sweet blog through leigh at marvelous kiddo - my little 2 1/2 year old is elodie too (and my husband is michael!) just stopping by to say hi - how beautiful that you honor your family so. your little elodie is blessed that she gets to have them in her life!

have a wonderful week.

xo elizabeth

Mel said...

I come to read your blog for a break. Your voice, even in your writing, is soothing and your stories are a wonderful reminder that we have control over our world.

Thank you for sharing.

Heather A. said...

Aura, every time you post it's exactly what I needed to hear! I'm due for my 1st in September. I don't want a lot of "stuff" for her, so thank you for your run down of what you use.

I have another question for you though... How's Hunter? We haven't seen any mention of him lately. Did he take well to Elodie? Is he being a good big brother? I have 3 dogs that mean the world to me. I can't wait to share our daughter with them.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post once again. Thank you for sharing so much and taking the time to answer all the questions. I am always inspired by your words, photos and outlook on life. Looking forward to your next post.

-Miss J

Shea said...

Aura, Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I look forward to your posts, and I think the fact that I don't see a new one daily makes them that much more special. Elodie is the sweetest little peanut and I am happy that you seem to be leading with your heart in all things that you do, including parenting. I am extremely jealous of that beautiful hammock and I now have an itch to make one myself ( I even pinned the picture).

Enjoy these wonderful, beautiful , fleeting moments.
Love, Shea

Shea said...

p.s. I never, ever think it's a good idea to tell another mother how to raise her baby and I think you handled that question much more graciously that I ever could have. Well done-as always. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Your daughter is stunning!

Leslie said...

Hi Aura!

I'm relatively new to your blog, but I just wanted to take a quick moment to share with you how much you have inspired me. You have inspired me to take more time to be creative and artistic and thoughtful on my blog (and in life in general). You have sparked more of an interest in photography. You have encouraged me to continue having adventures with my husband. You have made me want to be outside more, and go on hikes and walks. You have reminded me that it's ok to wait to start my family a couple more years, and that when we do start our family, life won't be "over" (as so many cynics say) but will be different and new. I can't wait to show my own baby the world some day, and continue seeking life and all it has to offer as a family. Lastly, you have inspired me to notice the little things in life in a richer, fuller way.

I didn't know it was possible for a blog or a person I've never met to have such an affect on me, but you truly have! Thank you so much for sharing your life on here. Reading through your posts is a breath of fresh air.

Nolita said...

Lovely hammock and Elodie's room is so sumptuous! She's a lucky little girl! Thanks for being such inspiration to so many people! Blissings!

amynicole said...

I'm a new reader to your blog and I love all the advice you give, your creativity, and your outlook on things. Your garden and baby girl are stunning! I have a question for you and was wondering if you could email me back whenever you get a chance--I didn't see an email to contact you or anything, so I figure comments are best :) I thought I remember seeing you mention it, but couldn't find it again. Did you wear a belly band, if so, what did you use? I'm looking for one and am not sure what brands or styles are best. Also, did you use a body pillow for sleeping? I'm trying to figure that out too, I've seen so many different styles, but don't know where to begin. I'm new to this pregnancy world and since you just lived it, I thought you might have an answer or two from your experiences :) I really appreciate it! My email is

. said...

Hi Aura,

I recently found your blog and enjoy reading it so much! I have a 17 week old daughter named Aura :)

I agree on baby 'stuff'. So many unnecessary things. I'm looking forward to the Sakura Bloom project, I'd absolutely love one of those slings too but I will have to wait until we have enough money :)

For now, enjoy your days with Elodie, she is adorable!

Anna said...

I am having such a hard time finding bedding for our crib that both my husband and I can agree on. Luckily (for me!) I showed him a picture of your beautiful bedding and he loved it! May I ask where you got it from?

Betsy said...

Nice! I love Petunia Pickle Bottom. We have the Wistful Weekender (it's basically like a big carpet bag). Not as practical as I would have liked, but sooo beautiful.

And you're so right about all the baby paraphernalia nonsense. There's so much crap out there just so people will stick it on their registries and think they need it.

I've learned in these 3.5 months that if you need any piece of baby gear (a sunhat, a swing, a bouncy chair, a Bumbo, you name it!) someone right around the corner is ready to get rid of theirs.

Elodie looks like she is from another time. Like, you can't tell from any of your photos that it's 2011. Love it.

Betsy said...

P.s. I know who you look like now!


Zamora Desert Vintage said...

Aura, YOU ROCK! Thanks for putting in your time to answer these questions, and of course mine. I will be working on my yard tomorrow, and I will get back to you on your ideas! Beautiful pictures, and loving the sweet baby girl. She's growing!!! I love it. Xo

Tairalyn said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE Her Bedroom! My Goodness!

Just in the midst of designing my Daughters Bedroom - slowly but surely it will get done before her arrival in September.

I take great inspiration from this post - THANK YOU!

Your newest FOllower and Fan! Such a gorgeous mother you are!
Would love for you to pop by Little Miss Mama - I always make sure a fresh pot of Tea is on :)


Anonymous said...

I, too, would love to know where you got √Člodie's bed linen. Love this blog, it's my very favourite!

Unknown said...

I liked this post. So much of you in there (which, I suppose, is nothing new). I'm so happy that you are getting so very many visitors to your blog.

Deja said...

Hi Aura,
Thank you for posting these wonderful photos. I always come to read your blog for inspiration and to motivate me to get out in my yard. One question, where did you get the hammock? I've been begging my husband to build a frame for me, but I haven't found a hammock like yours that looks really comfortable.

Miya said...

Hello Aura,

I'm new to your blog (thelittestblog led me here!) and I must say it is one of THE MOST inspiration and truely beautiful blogs I've ever read. I find the way you write about your life, and all the little things that inspire you, are inspiring to EVERYONE. I've never read a blog where I felt so calm and refreshed after each entry. Your life seems so balanced and you have a good sense of the directions you want to go in- I can only hope that one day I find the same balance between my personal goals and my family life. There is SO much more I could say about how wonderful you and your blog are, but I think that most of your readers have already shared the same thoughts I have with you :) Thank you so much for sharing your life with us - you've become an instant favorite read of mine, and a role-model/inspiration to me. I look forward to all your future posts!

Alexandra said...

Aura. The words you write never fail to be inspiring and beautiful. I have no doubt I must sound like everyone else, so I'll spare you the redundancy as best I can. Thank you for sharing these small pieces of your life with Elodie. You capture a very pure sense of what love is in your photos, and especially your words. Not only in this post but in your blog as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Randomest question! How tall are you?

Julie said...

This is a really wonderful post. Elodie is really beautiful, it's so nice to hear how organically you talk about her and the type of life you want to give her. I think it's really beautiful. Wishing you a fun weekend, Aura. xo

Jhope said...

So nice to see miss e's growth through your always gorgeous photography, which I often show to my little girl. Thanks for still taking the time to share w us! I cried (and commented) when I first read the announcement that she was born, and saw her middle name....touching tribute.

♡Shayla♡ said...

I love this! so beautiful!
My favorite thing is finding fellow Okie bloggers, especially blogs with so much beauty of our great state! <3 wonderful wonderful miss Aura. keep it up! <3 you've won me over.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

elodie is gorgeous! love the moving photos, especially.


amber said...

aura~ i love your cool laid back vibe here.. so inspirational and talented and gorgeous - but so obviously not into yourself. seems a rare quality among women these days - both real life & blogging world. wish we could sit and chat over a cup of tea..

so glad i found your site, don't even remember how exactly, but glad. :)

from a fellow tired mama soaking in these wonder days~


Devon said...

It's interesting how different words strike chords with different folks. I love your blog but especially respected your answer to the 'leaving your child' and not being a stay at home mom. As a working mom of 2, I feel unbelievably thankful that we have such a small village of people around us (family and non-family) willing to pitch in and help raise our boys while I work. Being a mom is my number one priority, but I also like to work. Thank goodness for strong men and women that support us in not only understanding that working is okay but actually encouraging us to do so. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to quit my job because I'm overwhelmed or feel guilty--only to have my mom say 'suck it up' or 'your boys are doing just great.' Funny words, I'm sure, but they are always what I need to hear. Bravo for family support--and bravo to you. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog today and am completely smitten. Thank you for sharing as you do!

I was wondering if you could tell me where you found the "All I can do is be me..." print that I see pictured in this post, in Elodie's nursery? Thanks so much!

Karen Beth
msred5 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I love your blog. My husband and I are embarking on putting in our back yard and I would love to know where you got your hammock? We have high winds here so the wood to hold the hammock up is the perfect idea. any ideas to the perfect hammock is welcome. If you have time please email me at

slc, utah

Under Her Charm said...

Hello - thanks so much for sharing how you make the animated gifs! I got Ulead, and have been playing with it on my blog. I added some credits for your inspiration and ideas. I hope this is ok with you. I am really having fun with the program, and now my kids are always asking me to make "moving pictures" of them!!

An other Elodie said...

I wish you all the best for you familly :)

From what I heard (my parents), Elodies are very strong minded but also very sensitive girls.

I always liked the fact that my name have a bit of poesy in it: the pronounciation of Elodie, sounds just like "Et l'eau dit..."
(and the water says...).

An other Elodie said...

I wish you all the best for you familly :)

From what I heard (my parents), Elodies are very strong minded but also very sensitive girls.

I always liked the fact that my name have a bit of poesy in it: the pronounciation of Elodie, sounds just like "Et l'eau dit..."
(and the water says...).