The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Columbus, Ohio

Functional & Fashionable Travel

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As you know, I’ve been doing some traveling this year (California and Florida) and am so in love with some of my new travel accessories that I just have to share! My last luggage was on it’s last legs.. I truly think if I would have used my 10-year old suitcase for one more trip it would have fallen apart in transit! So, I invested in a beautiful set from Away (the Bigger Carry On and the Medium) in navy, of course. Seriously could not be happier with them. They are durable, spacious, and such high quality. Definitely live up to the hype!

I also am loving the clear accessory bags from Truffle. I use the small, rectangular case for headphones, sunglasses, gum, etc. It’s so nice that it’s clear and easy to see, and keeps things from floating around (and falling out of) my purse. I love the bigger, flat clear case to put my papers/boarding pass/etc. in. That way they don’t get bent or ruined or lost!

The Freshly Picked diaper backpack is also a total necessity with traveling with kids. It’s adorable and functional, and if you ask me, backpacks are the way to go so then you can travel hands free if you have to pick up a kid (or two!)

The rest are just cute accessories I added to the mix!

 
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Here are click-through links to the products:

Away Travel the Bigger Carry-on in Navy

Away Travel the Bigger Carry-on in Navy

Tory Burch Gemini Link Canvas Tote

Tory Burch Gemini Link Canvas Tote

Truffle Clarity Jetset Case

Truffle Clarity Jetset Case

Michael Kors Leather Tassel Key Chain in Optic White

Michael Kors Leather Tassel Key Chain in Optic White

Estella Barlett Passport Cover

Estella Barlett Passport Cover

Truffle Clarity Clutch

Truffle Clarity Clutch

Freshly Picked Stone Classic Diaper Bag

Freshly Picked Stone Classic Diaper Bag

I’m excited for the trips my future will bring - both big and small :)

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My California Getaway!

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My birthday present from my parents is that they would watch the boys while I took five days to go to southern California to visit my sister to relax, recharge, and soak up the sun! While I missed the boys and it is definitely hard to be so far away from them, I knew they were in the best of hands and a getaway on my own was exactly what I needed!

Here are some snippets of my trip- from putting my feet in the sand to exploring Newport Beach, shopping at Lido Village, writing by the ocean, going for walks with the most beautiful views and stunning houses, treating myself to some delicious food, and overall just enjoying each moment!

There is nothing like a getaway to bring peace, clarify, and a refreshed appreciation of home. So thankful for my parents, my sister, and my nanny who all helped make this trip happen for me! Makes me feel so incredibly blessed <3

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Until next time California!

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Strength, Sensitivity, & Self-Care

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I know it’s a huge buzz word these days, but truly, self-care has become a major theme in my life lately.

Having to juggle raising three young kids, working full-time in a professional career, managing a household on my own, battling constant and unrelenting daycare germs, and navigating myself through a great deal of shock/grief – it’s more than I ever imagined I’d be responsible for.

Everyone keeps telling me that I am so strong, but in reality, I do not feel strong at all. In fact, I feel extremely sensitive to EVERYTHING! I have realized over the last year that things around me impact me on a mental and physical level significantly more than they used to. On a good day, I’m sensitive. On my bad days, I’m downright fragile.  My therapist has taught me that this is very common for people who have dealt with trauma and extended periods of extremely escalated adrenaline and cortisol levels. Essentially, my body needs to recover and heal. My nerves are shot.  All of that being said, I’ve become acutely aware of what makes me feel good and what doesn’t. Below is my short list.

Things that significantly impact me in a negative way:

  • Fast food.

  • Watching negative or scary things on TV.

  • Lack of sleep.

  • Lack of alone time.

  • Dark, dreary environments.

  • Noise.

  • Clutter.

  • Gossip.

  • Multi-Tasking.

  • Too much sugar.

  • Hearing arguing or swear words.

Things that significantly impact me in a positive way:

  • Quality time with my boys (playing, cuddling, reading to them, & caring for them in general).

  • Deep sleep.

  • Daily time for reflection/inspiration/prayer.

  • Fresh air & being in nature.

  • Positive, lighthearted, inspirational messages.

  • Bright, organized, uplifting environments.

  • Quiet.

  • Fresh, floral, & citrusy smells.

  • Afternoon walks.

  • Tea.

  • Writing.

  • Yoga or stretching before bed.

  • Hot baths.

  • Drinking lots of water.

  • Fresh fruits & vegetables.

  • Traveling & experiencing a change of scenery.

  • Sharing how I’m feeling.

  • The feeling that I’m learning and growing.

Overall, I’m leaning into how sensitive I currently am. I’m really focused on self-care and curating my life with things that lift me up and put me in a mental and physical state of wellness. Right now, I do this because I can’t NOT this! I need to feel better and I need to heal. My body and mind CRAVE the positive things I’ve listed above. I need this for myself and for the three little boys who are counting on me every day, and so I can manage all that is on my plate. All that being said,  I’m learning and trying new things in order to bring more and more and more of the positive into my life. An absolutely necessity - but also proving to be an interesting and rewarding adventure!

Over time, with lots of nurturing and care, I hope to build up my resilience and be “strong” once again. In the meantime, I’m soaking up the blessings of being sensitive and the healthy, peaceful path its guiding me down. I’m learning so much and its all for the good!

I’m looking forward to sharing more about the specifics! Lots of blog posts in the works :)

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Lately

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I have had a lot of wonderful people reach out and ask how I’m doing lately, so I thought I’d post a little update.

WELL, January and February were hard. Mostly because we were sick THE ENTIRE TIME! We could not catch a break. We constantly passed around colds, strep throat, and stomach bugs. Oh, and Graham teething on top of it all was also fun (four molars.. yikes!) I was up at least twice a night with one kid or another and it definitely tested my humanity. At one point, I seriously considered the day a win if I wasn’t cleaning up someone’s puke. It’s one thing to tackle illness and sleep deprivation for a week or two, but after two months I was seriously wearing down. I fell behind on basically everything and dropped many of the balls I was juggling. Unopened mail, unanswered texts, unwritten baby/birthday/thank you cards. Too much caffeine, too much fast food. Work was crazy and the house was turned upside down. Did I mention grief hits SIGNIFICANTLY harder when your exhausted? It was a very trying time, especially given all I wanted to do is move forward with my goals and focus on happiness and growth. Thankfully I had a lot of amazing people reach out to help me and help lift my spirits during this time!

Photo:  Brooke Hocker

Anyway, my trip to Florida could not have come at a better time. It took me a couple of days to unwind once we got there, but oh how the sunshine, warm weather, time to breathe, ocean views, and quality time with family just recharged my batteries! The sunshine killed off all the germs, everyone slept well, and we all left Florida feeling loved and happy. It was just what the doctor ordered, truly.

Since being home, I’ve been excited to dive back into my goals/dreams/decorating projects that were put on pause at the beginning of the year. The last month I’ve been soaking up time with the boys, reading non-stop, journaling daily, working on my office and mudroom makeovers, binging on incredibly inspirational podcasts, trying out some new skincare products, making some tweaks to my habits/routines/diet, and more than anything- taking LOTS of time to rest. We’ve still been hit with a few bugs and challenges (that’s life I suppose!) but I’ve been putting our health above everything else. Day in day out, I’m doing what I have to do to fight off burn out and illness- hence the reason blogging and social media kind of fell off of my plate for awhile! BUT, I’m happy to say we’re feeling well, sleeping better, and doing much better overall. I’m very thankful for some fresh air and sunshine finally making an appearance here in Ohio, too! I swear it makes all the difference!

Anyway! Even though I think most people come here for my home decor projects, I’m really excited to share what I’m learning about self-care, wellness, personal growth, and rebuilding my life! (And a few of the beautiful things that have been inspiring me as well!) Stay tuned :)

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