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    Mornings At Home + JORD watch giveaway!

    In the most wonderful way, life has been a bit chaotic at the Hollar house for the past week! We are finally getting boxes into the dumpster rather than in our living room and things are beginning to feel a bit more like home. Instead of relying of door dash we actually made dinner at home today for the first time since we moved in and now it reaaaaally feels like we actually live here!

    With all that has been going on I have been thankful more than ever for the mornings Julian gets to go to work a bit later and is able to help out. As I am sitting here writing this blog post wearing the very same thing I have on in these photos (because I wear the same thing to bed several nights in a row..does anyone else do that? No judgements) I feel like I want to share that our mornings do not always look quite as beautiful and most definitely are not always as orderly – but you might as well give it all you’ve got if you’re going to document a certain morning right?!

    I just figure: As time is flying by, I want to remember the everyday moments with Margot, not just the parties and holidays.

    We usually start off with our Margot-alarm waking us up around 7:30. Most days I try to wake up at 7 to get a few minutes of “me-time” before she wakes up. A lot of mornings my “me-time” ends up being spent looking at the back of my eyelids, but I suppose that’s good for me too. Probably my favorite part of the day happens next, groggy cuddle time in bed and Margot aaaalways asks for a book. “I Am a Bunny” is one of our very favorites and she loves to point out all the items on each page. Usually one and a half times into the book she realizes she’s hungry and wants a “manny” (banana – no one knows why she calls it a manny) and she’ll try to crawl away coaxing her non-morning type parents out of bed.

    Jules loves to be in the kitchen so he will often cook breakfast when he’s home. Margs loves eggs so usually thats what we will do with a big ol’ glass of milk. Eating with M is usually quite an event. I’d estimate that about 1/3 of hers ends up on the floor…which is better than the 9/10ths we were dealing with 6 months ago, so I’ll take it! She has been boycotting sippy cups lately picking at the top with her fingers yelling “Off! Off! I want off!” So the past two mornings I have tried a regular cup. Biiiiiggggg mistake BOTH mornings she hit it with her elbow and milk ended up everywhere. No crying over spilled milk? Needless to say, we are back to the sippy cups.

    But that smile though, everything is ok when she flashes that toothy smile.

    Now is when mom gets to take a little time to prepare for the day while dad changes diapers, dresses baby girl, and does his very best to make order out of those unruly curls on her head.

    Over the past several months Julian has really made an effort to separate himself from his phone while he is at home. As a personal business owner with 80 employees his phone is always lighting up. He has found that one of the best ways to avoid looking at his phone when it’s unnecessary is by always wearing a wrist watch! I guess it’s not rocket science, but it was a really revolutionary thing! Even if he just doesn’t feel the need to have his phone in his pocket to keep time. About 45 minutes before he needs to leave he will start getting ready for work and his outfit usually involves some variety of the Stance Star Wars socks…

    I’m a bit partial but I think he looks like a total stud.

    One of his (our) favorite watches lately is by JORD. He has the Frankie in ebony & gold. All of their timepieces have a wood band and this one is so light weight you easily forget it is even on. Until you want to know the time, that is. It is sleek & minimal and I love the black face with those gold accents. Just manly enough without being over the top and just beautiful enough that he better watch out or its going to end up on my wrist soon!

    (See what I did there? With the watch out…?)

    He also loves that it can be a “go-to” watch because it coordinates just as well with casual attire as it does a sport coat. He has yet to find an outfit it doesn’t go with!

    Then comes the time to reluctantly say bye to dad. I love this little daddy-daughter relationship, sometimes Margot runs to the front window and repeats combinations of  “bye-da-da-bye-bye-da-da” waving her little hand until he actually drives away. I could almost cry every time!

    I am partnering with JORD to bring you guys a really exciting giveaway. Not only will a winner be picked to get a $100 gift code but every person who enters will get $25 off of a watch! How amazing and generous of them is that?! They also have some pretty great looking ladies watches too 🙂 Click the link below to enter the giveaway!

    I’m so thankful that this partnership with Jord gave me the idea to document our morning routine. It’s sweet times like this that I all too often take for granted and I know I will miss when she’s older and we’re running off to school 5 days a week.

    But wait… I’m never going to let her get that old. So maybe I’m in the clear.

    The giveaway will run until May 7 and at that time all prize codes will be sent to your inbox 🙂

    Luxury Wooden Watch



    We Bought A House!

    IT’S HAPPENING! Today is moving day and we are finally moving into our very own home! We went to college in the south and  over there buying a home is almost the immediate next step to graduating college and getting a steady job. Home first, kids second. Early in our marriage I really struggled with bucking this system that I had grown so accustomed too. Here in the City of Angels buying a home typically comes after a steady job, marriage, children and many years of diligent saving. Julian and I have been dreaaaaaming of a home, a back yard and a DISHWASHER for years. It’s true, a dishwasher, I have lived the last 3 years of my life without a dishwasher OR my own washer and dryer *moment of silence*.  It’s pretty normal around here but doesn’t make it any easier! So, to say I am over the moon doesn’t even accurately portray my current excitement level. TBH, I am over Pluto or maybe even  the whole galaxy, busting at the seams.

    The home search began back in September. It was a slow season at the time with the election, which then overflowed into holiday season – no one moves during the holidays. We were getting really antsy and had so much hope for every home we saw. It became quickly evident that finding a home in the location we wanted might look more like a fixer-upper than the perfectly dazzling home I had imagined (#realitycheck). Some of which were MAJOR fixer-uppers – like 8-12 month renovations. I love projects but we were ready to MOVE not demo walls and build new kitchens.

    Between November and February we had put down offers on two homes. The first one ended up being taken off the market. *crying emoji* The second one, we ended up being outbid by a cash buyer who offered an absurd amount over asking price that no normal human could compete with….sooo…*laughing emoji* we didn’t get it.

    We let the holidays come and go and slowly new homes came on the market. Every home we saw though just wasn’t “IT”. I felt like Goldie Locks. Too small, too expensive, too many renovations needed… where was the “just right”?!


    February 16th I went to look at a house on a great street. It was uh-mazing. Near the park, walking distance to the beach, more than enough space, a bigger kitchen than I ever dreamed we would have and a backyard built for entertaining. It even had things that I only prayed for in my deep heart prayers. A space I could dedicate to my art and a play area for Margot.

    I was immediately obsessed with it and arranged for Julian (who had been out of town) to see it the next day right when he got in. After that second visit we put an offer down within hours. We were told we wouldn’t hear much until monday and we began packing for a weekend trip to Santa Barbara with some friends.

    This is where things get crazy…

    It had been an unusually wet season for us southern Californians and this particular day it was down pouring – raining cats & dogs, as they say. Shortly after heading out we were informed that ALL northbound highways had been SHUT DOWN because of a MUDSLIDE.

    Sorry… what?!

    A mudslide?

    We tried to go a bit further but ended up turning around and coming home canceling our whole trip. Blessing in disguise.

    Side note: I had been reading this book called “The Circle Maker”, it’s about the power of persistence in prayer, praying boldly & specifically, and drawing circles around your prayers. Sometimes these circles are more symbolic and other times the mean literally walking/driving around something praying over it. I’m obsessed with this book and you should go buy it even before you finish reading this.

    K back to the story, sitting on our couch Friday night when we should have been in Santa Barbara I asked Julian if he would want to bike some circles around the house the next day. He loved the idea so the next day we got our bikes out, strapped Margot into her bike seat and petled over to the house. We started without a clear plan and after 2 circles I asked “So, how many times should we go around?!” I was already winded due to some unforeseen hills and we all know I’m not what most would describe as “athletic”. We discussed going around 3 times but I was really feeling a tug for 7, a tug that I knew was not from myself because why would I ever want to do these hills 5 more times? We settled on 7. Each time we would pass the house we had a different prayer for it. Somewhere around lap 5 I just started walking my bike up the hills and Julian suggested that we did the last circle inside the home.

    OH, did I mention it was an open house that day? We didn’t even know it was going to be open until we got there!

    We parked our bikes in the driveway and went on in. The realtor greeted us and said “This is the first time its been empty all day! You’ve got it all to yourself.” This is sort of an important part of the story because had there been a lot of other people in the house we probably would not have spoken to the realtor much. It was our 3rd time in the house, we didn’t have any questions, and most likely her conversations would have been with other potential buyers that day. As we were walking around she said, ” I really like you guys! Are you still planning on putting an offer in?”

    **immediate confusion for me and Julian**

    I say,”Oh…well…we thought we put an offer in yesterday. Did you not get it?”

    “I never got it!” she says.

    SHE NEVER GOT IT! We quickly followed up with our realtors to have them resend it because somehow (at absolutely no fault of theirs) it got lost in cyber space. The offer was resent and we were still the first offer in!

    You guys – had we been in Santa Barbara, had we not been circling the house, had it not been an open house, had there been several other people in the house…WE NEVER WOULD HAVE KNOWN OUR OFFER DIDN’T MAKE IT! I was flipping out. What a miracle!

    We continued to pray and pray and come Monday found out there were 2 other offers, one  of which was all cash – noooooo- the worst!! Based off of our previous experience I wasn’t feeling very hopeful and didn’t feel like we could compete with that sort of thing. I was trying my hardest not to get my hopes up, it had only been 72 hours since we put our offer down but anyone who has been house hunting knows the struggle. Once that offer goes down something happens and you completely fall in love with the house – start imagining your furniture in it and how you will decorate it..some may even go as far as imagining the party you would throw in the backyard for your daughters second birthday..*cough cough*

    GUESS WHAT – they liked us and at the end of some negotiating THEY PICKED US!!

    I was laying on the couch when I got the call from Julian that our offer had been accepted and honestly, I’m not sure I have ever moved so quickly in my life. I popped up onto my feet shouting for joy. “Really?! They did?! Are you sure?!”

    It was the next day that I remembered: February 3rd, after months of house searching and being let down I prayed that we would find a house and be in escrow by the end of February. Do you even believe that?! We entered escrow on February 21st!!

    You know when you’re about to give someone a gift and you know they are just going to freak out over it? That feeling you have?! I think God totally had that feeling while we were waiting to hear if we got the house. I was down here on earth panicking trying not to get my hopes up and he was just up there squirming with excitement for us. I remember after we found out I was picturing God looking down at us with a huge God-sized grin on His face, belly laughing and throwing is hands up in there air saying something like, “Do you love it?!,” high-fiving me and celebrating this home he provided for us.

    I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that we actually OWN this place, it’s not another rental, we can invest in it, I can change and add things and I’m just still freaking out about it!

    Cheer’s to the first night in our new home!

    Family, Lifestyle

    A Morning at the Beach

    In most recent history southern California has been uncharacteristically wet and cloudy (high-five for getting past the drought!!) but last week the sun finally made a cameo appearance. While I actually love a good ol’ moody cloud filled day, I’ve been aching for some sun. We planned a morning at the beach to celebrate and took advantage of the pretty weather. On the way down we got a little picnic breakfast and for the first time since, what feels like October, we actually got to wear our bathing suits again. Margot spent her time eating my croissant, sucking down my juice and running around pointing out all of the bugs she could find. She pronounces them “buh-ee” and gets so jazzed when she spots them – you’d think she found a diamond in the sand, “MA-MA, BUH-EE!!!”. We ate breakfast and splashed around in the water at ankle depth for a few hours and then headed home for nap time. Nothing especially exciting happened but the air was warm, I was with my people, and there wasn’t a toddler melt down in sight. All-in-all, I’d say it was pretty perfect. Here’s to hoping the sun graces us once again sometime soon.  (I write as a thick marine layer currently coats my view…)

    I got such a tastey juice on the way down to the beach –  watermelon, lime, cucumber and mint – if you have a juicer give it a shot! Doesn’t that sound like summer in a glass?

    Margot kept wanting us to fill her bucket up with water, she would bring it to me or Julian and say “wa-wa!” So, we would walk with her down to the water, fill up the bucket and walk back to our chairs. Within a couple minutes she’d have turned the bucket upside down giggling at us with her 6 teeth, presenting the empty bucket, “Dada! wa-wa!” and we’d do it all again….I think she just liked the journey.

    As you can tell, Margs has also been suuuuuper generous with the kisses lately.

    Which I definitely don’t hate.

    With rosey cheeks smelling like sunscreen and salt we went home. M hasn’t been napping well lately (teething x4).  So, after a failed attempt at getting her to nap on her own I decided to forego my to-do list and lay down with her instead. We both dosed off  about an hour. I woke up before she did and I layed there looking at her little face. Why do I ever think I have anything more important to do than watch her sleep?! …..Okay, I’m kidding, that would be ridiculous. Things need to get done around here, right?! But I always have thoughts like that in the moment…so maybe theres some validity to it. Maybe I just shouldn’t take my to-do list so seriously and cuddle up with her for nap time more often, because when I do, it’s my favorite part day.