Hey yall! After many tears of frustration, my technical issues have been resolved!!!
Thank you Lord!!
Please head over to The New Shell and Olive page and make sure to subscribe!!
Hey yall! After many tears of frustration, my technical issues have been resolved!!!
Thank you Lord!!
Please head over to The New Shell and Olive page and make sure to subscribe!!
For those of you that have read my About me page, you know how Shell and Olive got its name. For those that haven’t – read it and catch up!
Ok, now that we’re all on the same page…
When EM and I met we were polar opposites. We both had our deeply held beliefs and we respected that about each other. He an atheist and I a practicing Catholic.
Nothing either of us could’ve said or done would’ve changed that. Until something did.
We started dating (after being friends for years). We got engaged 4 months later. Got married 6 months after that and had our first son just over 9 months later. Like 2 weeks over. Needless to say, our conflicting faith was not an issue. We got married in the Church and though we didn’t hold the same beliefs, he supported me and understood that we would one day raise our kids in the faith.
It wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of tears, hurt feelings, and anxiety on both sides. I was worried that if we never fully agreed on things, that it would make certain life lessons our kids would have to learn even more difficult since mommy and daddy didn’t even hold the same views. Would one of us just stay silent and let the other take the lead? Even if we believed to be in the right, neither of us wanted the other to merely concede. We were and are a team and make decisions together – not being able to come to a mutual agreement on things was not easy. Once he said he wished he could believe, just so that it would make things less complicated. But the fact was he didn’t.
As spouses, we are called to help lead each other to heaven. It was better understanding this fact that flipped the switch. I no longer cared if he converted, I cared that he would get to those pearly white gates! I started to see conversion as just the icing on the cake, not the meat of it. After all, God is not only just but merciful. I planned to do all I could to make that happen. That meant silently and ferventely praying my little butt off. Then to get as many other people as I could to pray theirs off too! I knew the power of prayer could move mountains and I needed to move Everest.
I didn’t make him attend mass with me, I didn’t make him do anything. I only invited him to attend and invited him to pray with me. If he wanted to sit there silently, fine by me. His physical presence was support enough. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into years and he still told me that he would never convert. Id simply tell him – fine by me, but I’m still praying.
Over time and little by little, I started to notice small changes. I started to see a different side of him, one I knew was there all along but one he himself might not have known existed. He began to let God in. I found out that not only had he started saying prayers out loud – like the Rosary – but he started saying silent prayers I wasn’t even aware of. He started getting answers to those prayers and some pretty incredible signs. Signs most Catholics pray for and never receive, he had handed to him on a silver platter. You know when they say – God knows what you need before you do…God KNEW he needed those big signs, and he got them.
Now, this Easter he will be confirmed in the Catholic Church. It will be a day MANY MANY people rejoice – all the men and women I had recruited to pray for him will be celebrating from afar. Some say there is no power in prayer … I say – you’re wrong friend!
Our marriage will always have its ups and downs – because that’s life. We sacrifice together and we succeed together. I was prepared to pick up my cross and carry it. However, being on the same page in ALL aspects of our lives has brought about an amazing peace to our hearts. Peace neither of us fully understood was missing.
*photography credit: The amazing Elizabeth and Patrick Mahon of Elizabeth M Photography
Shopping at IKEA may be one of my favorite pastimes. Chasing children around IKEA might be a level of purgatory! The amount of things available for them to touch – and break – is just astounding! Yet like any
fool mom I still VOLUNTARILY chose to put myself through that small amount of torture for the ultimate reward!
It was Saturday morning and it was raining at the beach, so EM and I decided to pack the boys into the van and road trip our butts up to Northern Virginia to get baby girl a dresser – and maybe a few, other things.
*Definition: FEW. What one says when you go to IKEA and come out with bags full of things.
Now let’s use that in a sentence. “I went to IKEA and only bought a FEW things, that filled 3 bags.” Few.
Boys buckled, sippy cups filled – with chocolate milk, because why not hype them up for the day – and off we went!
We ended up having the perfect morning! Sunny and in the 60’s! Something we didn’t expect when the weather man called for rainy in the 40’s and 50’s, but alas it is Virginia and I’m pretty sure they just guess the weather here.
*Let’s call this the before shot.*
EM got to wear his Star Wars shirt and nerd out and mama got to sit and enjoy the Moana Soundtrack over, and over, and over!
Now any smart shopper knows two things! Don’t shop on an empty stomach, ESPECIALLY if you have kids, and make sure you load your iPhone with MOVIES! LOTS. OF. MOVIES!
After that failed trip, across the street to IKEA we went! Like a big blue and yellow beacon of budget design hope! It was a glorious sight!
This pretty much sums up the day!
Sebastian running. Sebastian wanting things. Sebastian rejoicing he gets things!
He carried those popsicle molds around the entire time. Stopping to ask me “mama, take my picture.” To which I said, “say cheese,” the following face was expressed! EM was a total gem and let me enjoy the small little things I normally miss out on as I run down isles saying, “No Bastian! Get back here Bastian! You need to wait for mama Bastian! Bastian are you listening?!” In the end he was mostly good – good enough that mama got him cookies to keep quiet while in the checkout line, because this mama is not above bribery. His brother on the other hand, was more of a screeching pterodactyl.
Now let’s call this the after shot. Can you see the slight eye twitch?
All in all we left with the dresser and both of our kids, and that made it a win! Oh and a few other things…
We can’t leave any IKEA trip without our favorite jams and marmalade! All the boys eat for lunch are jam sandwiches, made with the Lingonberry Jam! To make it even better – they’re all organic! Hollar at me crunchy mamas!
How stinking cute are these pillows? Bastian has the matching bedding for the sun and cloud – so this was a must! Sadly not available online, so get to a store!
HEMNES 8 – Drawer Dresser
Sadly none of these other items are online either – step up your game Big Blue Store!!! The straw hat, which is perfect for summer, was $2.99!! S called it my cowboy hat! We got two of these baskets and are now using them as the boys laundry baskets. They’re not too big, so they’re easy for them to help carry to the wash. Start them young I say! And who can’t use a throw… or three?! We figured they’d make great in-car blankets for the kiddos.
So to recap!
Martina’s 3 Step Guide to Surviving IKEA
1. MOVIES! Load your phones, ipads, what have you, with movies you know your kids will love. It will successfully calm down a meltdown and keep the tots quiet, for at least a little while!
2. FOOD! Never shop on an empty stomach. Mama gets cranky when she’s hangry and you know toddlers do too! Difference is, we can TRY to act normal – little ones, go buck wild. So to avoid the “I’m hungry” “When are we leaving” whine fest… FEED. THOSE. TUMMIES!
3. BUY ALL THE THINGS! You may not even know that you need it, but you probably do! Like the awesome PRODUCT Milk-frother I forgot to post, because yes there are things I didn’t even show you, $2.79 – you just can’t beat that!
I know that we are supposed to HATE Monday’s – it’s part of being human isn’t it? I mean, who really wants the weekend to end…? Not this girl! Daddy goes back to work and I go back into survival mode for 5 straight days.
BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES BOYS!!
But, for the first time I am excited it’s Monday! Why? Because as Ryan Gosling already said, it’s Mom Friend Monday!
Mom Friend Monday is a weekly post where, you guessed it, we meet a new mom and make a new friend.
Being a mom is hard. Making friends as a mom, is well, harder than dating. Because it all feels like a game! And I don’t know about you but I don’t have time for that.
That’s why I got married. *ok not really*
But we give so much of ourselves to our husbands, to our kids, to our homes, our jobs, our careers, whatever we do, and at the end of the day, finding time to make a mom friend and having to impress a new mom – is hard work. I don’t personally like hard work. Not when it comes to friendships. They should be organic and just flourish!
My hopes for Shell and Olive, is that it not only be a place where I can share my thoughts, BUT also a place where we can truly grow to be a community. A community of moms that support each other and understand that our lives are crazy. That understand that what you see is what you get – because aint NOBODY got time for foolishness!
So – today I am beyond excited to introduce you all to Marie Heimann, wife, mama, and creative genius behind Fawnly Prints! Amazing watercolors, mugs and totes! All incorporating beautiful florals and greenery!
MB: Hey Marie, so happy to have you at Shell and Olive for our first ever Mom Friend Monday! Part of my starting MFM was to help build a community of moms – to get to know each other and support each other in this journey we call momming, because lets face it, making mom friends is hard! I was just telling everyone about Fawnly and how amazing your artwork is! I’d love for you to tell us a bit more about yourself! You have three of the most adorable little boys! What’s it like to balance a business and being a mom?
Marie: I’m not sure I have it balanced quite yet but I’m learning a lot! From the beginning I’ve said I don’t want it to take away from my time with my kids and so far I have held to that with the exception of Saturday mornings, but that ends up being a nice break away and quality time for kids and dad! I only work during naptimes and after they are in bed. My workspace is right in our main living space which has its pros and cons. It’s convenient if a child wakes up or I need to work on something real quick while kids are playing happily together. I will say having an app for managing my shop, my finances, my social media outlets, etc makes running a small business more feasible with a young family.
MB: How did you decide to go into watercolors? Was art always your passion?
Marie: I’ve always been intrigued by watercolors. I’m very close to my grandma and lived with her for a short bit when I was in middle school. She had an artist friend who gave her a bunch of her watercolors and I would just stand in front of them studying them mesmerized by the strokes of color and the serene colors. When I was pregnant with my third in 2015 I developed a condition where I itched my palms and feet incessantly. It created a lot of anxiety in me. I decided to take up watercolor, so I bought a book and my supplies and after reading the book I began painting. I found painting with watercolors to be therapeutic because of the way the water swirls with the paint to create different shades of the same color. Amazingly, when I would paint, I no longer itched. I have never considered myself an artist, but always creative. However, since I’ve found this passion, I feel I have a whole new lens to view the world from.
MB: Who is your creative inspiration?
Marie: Well, it sounds super cliché but honestly the original Creator and His own creation is my biggest inspiration because most of what I paint is flowers and greenery and I’m constantly finding myself in awe of different plants or flowers I find in nature. As far as a more tangible inspiration, my husband is also an artist and he inspires me daily. He is a video producer and did graphic design for a while and he has an eye for beautiful things. He is constantly pushing me to think outside the box and challenge myself.
MB: If you could plan your ultimate mom friend getaway where would you go and what would you do?
Marie: Oh man, I have thought a lot about this, as I think having three kids back to back makes you long for a dream getaway from time to time. I’m not much of a beach girl although I am in awe of the beauty of the sand and the ocean but I feel most alive in the woods, on a mountain or staying in a cabin with a gorgeous view of the Smokies or something! I probably would want to just drink wine, eat great cheese and bread and just talk all night though! Give me a long deep girlfriend convo any day.
MB: Lastly, if you could impart some mom wisdom to our readers, what would it be?
Marie: You are enough. I feel like a lot of times (maybe most of the time) we moms are constantly questioning if what we’re doing is enough. Am I home enough? Do I take enough breaks? Do I socialize enough? Do I clean enough? Cook enough? And I don’t know about you, but for me this constant self evaluating only ever leads me to exhaustion and feeling as though I’m never going to be enough. I’m learning that we are enough simply by being and God loves and desires us just as we are. Almost every mom I know is doing her very best and sacrifices immensely for her family, it’s when we see someone excel in one area we may be lacking in when we start to doubt ourselves. To me this is why I can not go long without a consistent prayer life. I need to hear God tell me I am enough so I can breathe, relax my shoulders, drink a cup of coffee and just be.
If only we could all remember that! You are enough! Maybe we should all get matching tattoos!
This piece was custom-made by Marie for EM – it was a quote of his from when he was a little boy. It now sits on his night stand and holds a special place in our hearts.
Marie has a so many beautiful pieces! Not only is her artwork amazing, but the messages she chooses to incorporate always speak right to the soul!
Recently, she came out with COFFEE MUGS! What mom doesn’t love collecting those?! I might be obsessed with this one!
As I mentioned above Marie does custom work and she is a joy to work with! I’m sure you all have noticed my incredible new logo up above! That was all thanks to Marie! She never fails to capture exactly what is in my head, in better ways than I think I originally imagined!
I’m pretty sure that if I could, I’d buy ALL THE THINGS from her shop! Make my own Fawnly collection! Marie has been generous enough to share a special promo code for 10% off anything in her shop for Shell and Olive readers! Just use code: OLIVE10 at checkout!! The code is good until the 15th – so get yee booties over there and snatch those pieces up!
Then, if you just need more, which, we all do, she is having an Easter promo of 20% off – using promo code RISEN. From the 16th to the 23rd!
I’m so thankful to Marie for allowing us to share this Monday with her, her Mom Friend Monday Mom Wisdom was exactly what I needed to hear. We ARE enough mamas! Let’s make that our mantra today. When things get tough. When the toddler loses their toddler shit, just remind yourself that you are enough! When the house doesn’t get as clean as you hoped, when your boss makes you feel less than valued – remember, you are enough!
*follow Marie and Fawnly on INSTA!! @fawnlyprints! As always don’t forget to FOLLOW Shell and Olive!
So I’m not normally on top of my holiday crafting – I try. I fail. But I love St. Patrick’s Day – that whole 1/16th Irish in me comes out in all its green splendor! So what better craft for a hotmess mama than a printable coloring page!? None I tell you! None is better or easier for that matter!
So of to google I went and found the cutest printable from Land of Nod! Here’s the link to download! Just print and enjoy!! St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Printable
The boys had fun, but I’m thinking we might have to have a little talk about what colors are St. Patrick’s favorite – not sure I’ve seen purple and black clovers before, but Bastian is quite the modern artist! T, on the other hand took a minimalistic approach – a swipe of pale green (which you cant even see) and a bite mark for good measure!
Kiss the Blarney Stone, bite the coloring page! Totally the same thing!
It’s friday and we are Catholic – so no meat for us! I do however have a nice juicy brisket brining for my corned beef and cabbage, which we will likely have this weekend! Keep the festivities up I say! Why have a day when you can have a weekend!?
Here’s the recipe I used! Natasha Lawler’s Corned Beef from Camille Styles
What do yall do the keep the holiday alive? Any family traditions? We are always looking to start new ones as our family grows, so I’d love to hear what y’all do to make the day special!
I’m so excited to be launching this new blog – yes new, as in I’ve had many. You’ve guessed it, I’m one of those moms. In all honesty none of those blogs ever went the way I had hoped, they had turned into things that felt forced and rehearsed. The labor of love turned into labor and not so much love.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have a fresh start and to begin building a community here on Shell and Olive. One that grows organically out of love. Love for writing, love for mamahood, and meeting new friends. I hope to share my thoughts, maybe inspire a few along the way, but most of all stay real. Motherhood is messy and this mama is a mess, so no pretending to be perfect. Just unfiltered, unedited (ok maybe a little – girl needs her spell check), me!
So follow along, subscribe on the side and enjoy the ride!
What better way to start an endeavor but with everyone’s favorite – ICEBREAKERS!!!
I normally hate them with a fiery burning passion – my introvert side of my ambivert self comes charging through when icebreakers are brought up – but I figured it could be a fun way to let y’all know a bit about what makes me tick.
So here we go with a 20 Questions version of break that ice!
1: What is your full name: Martina Maria Bohnslav. Try saying that last name correctly!
I always wanted a “cool” last name as mine growing up was so plain jane. I dreamed of the day I’d get married and get one that would make my name POP! Well, be careful what you wish for. I love my husband so much and I love that we will all share his name, but Bohnslav was certainly not what I had imagined when envisioning my future married self. Granted, not too sure what I did envision, but I know this wasn’t it.
2: What is your birthday: August 19th! Fun little fact – EM was born a month to the day before me. Now neither of us are EVER allowed to forget a birthday. I always wanted to marry an older man!
3: What was your childhood like: Grew up in Florida before moving to Virginia as a freshly turned teen. Spent summers and many holidays in Italy. My mom is from Firenze and all of her family is still there. Italy is my second home. I have 4 younger brothers, though they’re all much taller than I am and two pretty cool parents. Just don’t tell them. Was a competitive Irish dancer and am SO stoked that we will now have a little girl to HOPEFULLY follow in mamas dance steps!
4: What languages do you speak: English – sort of. Sometimes. Momish takes over most of the time and then you’re lucky if what I say makes any sense at all. And Italian, being my first language. EM got Rosetta Stone for Christmas, so hopefully he can learn it as well. I really want our kids to grow up bilingually. Though let me tell you, it is not as easy when the other adults you need to speak to don’t speak the language, consistency tends to be an issue.
5: What is your favorite color: Make that colors! Gold, blush, a light coral, and shades of blue and green.
6: What do you currently drive: A pimpin’ minivan named Natasha! I can’t believe that I just said that, but I do. I drive a minivan. I always swore it would NEVER happen. One of those over my dead body type things. So I’m guessing I’m writing this from the other side, but man when we test drove the 2017 Pacifica – it was love! We traded in our beloved Explorer and joined the mom mobile gang! Oddly enough, we have people stop us and ask us how much we love this car. True story, it’s that cool!
7: What is your current in-car soundtrack: Moana, specifically You’re Welcome, or as S calls it “Maui Time”.
8: What is your favorite flower: Almost anything white. Even carnations if they’re white I enjoy. Might explain why when I had my wedding bouquet made, I just said make it white! White roses, peonies, margarita daisies, tulips, hydrangeas, ranunculus – even simple baby’s breath. I love them all!
9: What is your favorite ice-cream: Hazelnut Gelato, from anywhere in Italy. Haagen-Dazs used to make a hazelnut flavored ice-cream and it was DELICIOUS, but the no longer make it. Bring it back Haagen-Dazs bring. it. back! Or send me any hidden tubs you have lying around. One or the other. I’m flexible.
10: What is your favorite music to workout to: Dance party mixes or gangster rap! Those beats just get you moving! Not that this sack of pregnant potatoes has done all too many workouts recently. I did start PiYo yesterday, so feeling pretty darn proud of myself!
11: You’re expecting baby number 3, are you done: Ha! No! I’ve always hope for 4-5 kids and EM has always said 3. 3 was what I considered my “minimum” (God willing) and from now on I think we will just see where our road takes us. At the moment I’d say I’d still want another one or two, but God has always had plans for us that we didn’t imagine – so we shall see!
Now side note mini rant! For any of you mamas that can relate, or anyone that has pregnant friends or friends with kids, here’s a little FYI, it’s really annoying when people hear you have 3 kids or at least one of each gender and assume you’re done having kids. Like you hit some sort of magical kid quota. Back off buddy! Some people WANT a big family. It really blows my mind how such a personal decision between a husband and wife is somehow everyone’s business. If you have more than 3, you get the “do you know how that happens?” I want to say “Nope, still haven’t figured that one out, guess we will have to have a few more, we are slow learners.” Or the, “was it planned?” well to be honest, surprise or not, not too sure how that’s ANY of your business. If a couple wants to have one kid or go full on Duggar, that is NO ones business but their own! Each family is uniquely beautiful and has its own unique story. Stop being a busybody and back that nose out of other people’s baby making or not making! On that note – it’s just as rude to ask “are you going to have anymore kids?” “don’t you WANT more?” Unless you’re super close with that person, probably NOT the best thing to ask. You don’t know their reasons as to why they do or don’t have a certain number of kids and again, it’s none of your business.
Ok. End mini rant.
12: What is your favorite clothing stores: Loft, Banana Republic , Gap, J. Crew, and Nordstrom. Could I be anymore of a basic white girl? *Hold please as I sip my Starbucks*
I just love the effortless looks with classic style. I don’t really have a lot of time to try things on when shopping with two rambunctious boys. Adding a third to the mix, I’m sure will only make things more difficult, so I love knowing that I can walk into those stores and find things I’ll love and that will make me feel confident, no matter what stage of postpartum I’m in. I’m starting to expand into online boutique shopping – not as brave in that category as sizes can vary, but Thistle & Finn is one I LOVE! Their customer service is amazing and their clothes are downright the fabulous! Love adding in a bit of boho flare into this classic girls wardrobe. Keeps me hip and cool! Exactly what my kids want in a mom!
13: What are your go to shoes: As a prego, TOMS and Birkenstocks! Not only are they cute but woah baby are they comfortable! Exactly what I need. My feet and hands don’t swell all too much when I’m pregnant, but they become as flat as pancakes and wider than a truck! So comfort and style is a must! Currently heart eye emoji-ing all over these copper birks! Might need to snag pair!
14: Where did you and EM honeymoon: Italy! Spent two weeks there. One week in Firenze, in a family owned apartment and one week at a hotel in Forte Dei Marmi (small beach town in Tuscany). Probably two of my favorite places on earth! EM had been to Rome but he had never been to either of these two cities and being able to share them with the man I love was extra special! Though throw in family visits during your honeymoon and you make for one PATIENT husband. We will have to have a family free honeymoon part deux in the future. You know with all that free time we have raising kids!
15: What is one thing EM does that drives you insane: He is surprisingly VERY organized (minus losing his wallet, phone, and keys, ALMOST daily) and loves to clean, but Lord help that man if he puts a wet towel or shoes on our bed again. I’m really not that big of a neat freak, he probably wishes I was, but I grew up with four brothers, I quickly learned to get used to the boyness of it all. Though a wet towel and dirty shoes on our bed might be the death of me, or him. It would ultimately come down to an American Gladiator style battle. I know he cannot possibly be the only man who does this and I cannot possibly be the only wife who wants to scream! Right? It’s just SO gross. I’m fully aware that I have had baby poop smeared all over my sheets and toddler vomit on my pillow, but you SEE those things! You wash those things! Immediately! With very VERY hot water and LOTS of bleach! But shoe germs…especially when I might not have known the shoes were put on the bed to begin with, are invisible – they hide waiting to pounce on me as I sleep hoping I get sick. Which as any parent knows is more like getting the plague! When one family member gets sick, you ALL get sick, and mama is the only one that doesn’t get a chance to sleep it off. So TAKE THE NASTY SHOES OFF MY BED! Oh, and the wet towels, really? Must I explain? I don’t want to have to play the game of “wet towel or pee?” Sniff and see! No thanks, I’ll pass!
16: What is your favorite home scent: Currently digging this candle we got at Home Goods by DW Home – Coconut Milk Honey (there’s the Amazon link incase your Home Goods store doesn’t carry it…though we definitely saved mula buying it in store). It just smells so good! I’m not a fan of overly sweet scents or anything that smells to coconuty, don’t want our place smelling like a bottle of sunblock, and this just finds that perfect balance! Might have to go back and see if they have more and stock up. They had two sizes but we got the bigger one because it’s THAT good!
17: What is you must have accessory: A go to pair of earrings, preferably pearls as they go with EVERYTHING. Now what my favorite momcessory is, is another story. It’s a hat. Why? Because when you don’t have time to shower or do your hair and you need to get kids dressed, fed, and out the door and less than an hour – a hat is your BEST friend! Wear some workout gear, throw on some mascara and hide that greasy knotty mess up under that hat mama, then walk out that door and OWN it!
18: What is your guilty pleasure: Buying ESSIE nail polish. I own so many, so so many. I just can’t help it! It’s like art supplies! You want to own it all even if you don’t always use them all! You never know when you could be in the mood for purple! EM doesn’t understand how I have multiple shades of each color. To him pink is pink and red is red, but listen gents a ladies nails are like adult mood rings! They go with how you’re feeling so you better be prepared for when you’re in a light shade of green kinda mood! Speaking of, I just got the most amazing shade of green at Target the other day! It’s called On the Roadie and sadly seems to be sold out online, but STALK your Targets, CVS’s etc and get this color! It’s perfect for St Patrick’s day and great for spring!
19: What is your current obsession: Binge watching different tv series on Netflix! Just finished the Great British Bake Off and I’ve been making desserts non stop! To the point where EM had to ask me to stop. Hey if I’m gonna get plump so will you buddy! Not to mention I’m planning on doing Whole 30 once our daughter is born this summer and need to get my sweets in now while I still can!
20: What is one embarrassing fact about you: I like to belt out Torn by Natalie Imbruglia while I’m in the shower. The shower has the BEST acoustics, so I can at least pretend to sound good, as the sound of the rushing water drowns me out. I hope!
BOOM! DONE! ICE BROKEN! Ok, so that wasn’t so bad. Kinda fun actually. If you think of any fun questions or your just downright nosey – feel free to leave a comment or contact me and who knows, maybe I’ll do a 20 questions part 2 in the future!