You may recognize this beauty on our lifestyle blog today – it’s Mara of M Loves M! The mama (who’s expecting baby #2!) is taking us on a tour of her classic beachy home in Orange County, California. Her and her family’s sunny digs are full of elegant, timeless pieces and serene coastal colors. Plus, a little whimsy where baby Augustine’s nursery is concerned (just wait until you see it!). You’ll also get a feel for a day in her life, as well as where she finds inspiration for her beautiful blog and home both.
How would you describe the style of your home?
I would say the style of our home is classic with a bit of a beachy vibe. I love traditional details like tufted furniture and French mirrors, but I also love rustic wooden tables, rattan accessories and lots of blue and white!
We love how clean and minimal your decor is. Where do you like to shop for furniture and accessories?
Thank you!! I feel like it’s minimal because we have a busy toddler running around and it’s only clean when I prep it for a shoot! But we have actually tried to minimize a bit since moving and it’s nice to only have the pieces we really love and connect with. For furniture I LOVE Restoration Hardware. Some of my favorite pieces from them include our French-style dining table and the black bistro chairs. I also got my desk from them, which I love too! Other places I love to shop at are Anthropologie, Lulu and Georgia, World Market, Serena and Lily and Caitlin Wilson.
Does that same aesthetic apply to your son’s room – and soon to be nursery for baby #2 (congrats!!)? How are you planning to decorate?
Yes! Augustine’s nursery is actually one of my favorite rooms. It’s very neutral since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. For baby #2 we are finding out the gender so I’m excited to plan for Augustine’s big boy room and a nursery with this new baby in mind.
Walk us through a typical day at home! Do you have a morning routine?
Yes I do! I feel like I have a morning routine that has definitely settled in a bit more since Augustine has become a little older. I usually wake up with him around 6:30/7, we read books in bed and then go downstairs and make breakfast together. I love to start the day with a big glass of water, ideally with some apple cider and cinnamon (you can get the recipe I use here). I make breakfast for us (usually avocado toast with eggs or oatmeal) and after we eat, Augustine plays with his toys while I make a big To-Do list for myself. This helps me stay focused and develop a solid plan for the day. Then, we’ll get dressed and try to go on a quick outing to the park or beach before heading back for lunch and naptime. Most days are the same for us around here because routine has been such a big help for Augustine sleeping well. Plus, it’s nice to know what to expect!
What are some of your best tips for staying focused when working from home- especially with a little one!
Ah it is so tough sometimes! I think having a big To Do list helps. I prioritize the 3 most important things and always start there. That keeps me focused and makes sure I’m using my best energy and brain power where it really matters. I also set timers for tasks so I don’t get side tracked, and I try to check my email at specific times, rather than throughout the day. I feel like email sometimes has a way of dictating our schedule but it really shouldn’t.
We know you’ve been busy making renovations/improvements at home… what’s the most recent project?
We’re finishing up our entryway, which I’m really excited about, and we’ve also been working on getting our backyard together. When we moved in, we didn’t have any grass, but as Augustine is getting older we realize how important it is for him to have an outdoor play space. Also, it got so hot without any grass back there that we wouldn’t step outside until after 4pm this summer! Besides finishing up the outside landscaping, Matthew is building an outdoor wood dining table with benches, and we’re also growing some veggies and herbs in our little garden. It’s been fun to have an outside project!
Do you have a favorite room?
I really love our bedroom! The lighting is so nice and bright in the morning and I loved playing that up with the white upholstered bed and the glass lamps. We just added a mirror above my bedside table and I think it was the missing piece to that room! I also love the little reading nook we have in that room. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a busy day with a book and a cup of tea!
What inspired you to start blogging, and how has M Loves M evolved in recent years?
I started my blog in 2009 as an online journal. I loved the idea that I could have this space to share about adventures I had with Matthew (my boyfriend at the time!). I was also navigating post-grad life and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I loved having a creative space to write, especially since I was an English major in college. The blog evolved to share my love of fashion, and I posted recipes since the beginning. I love sharing my motherhood journey now, and also my love of home décor and design. It’s been so fun to see it grow over the years and it’s amazing that I have readers who have followed me through so many big life stages (getting engaged, married, buying our first house, adopting Ginger, having Augustine, and moving last year). The community that has come from blogging was totally unexpected but it has been the most rewarding aspect. I feel like I have friends all over the world!
Be it your home, content, or style where do you look for inspiration?
I really love Instagram and Pinterest the most! It can be a rabbit hole of inspiration! With Instagram, I feel like I follow people all over the world, so I love to see how they live and the products they rely on. It makes this world seem a little smaller, and it keeps me inspired without leaving my house.
What are some of your current favorite accounts to follow on Instagram for home or style inspiration?
As we head into the holidays, how do you stay organized during busy seasons?
My calendar and planner are my two major work horses! I use my Google Calendar and also my planner to jot down EVERYTHING, set down reminders (like buy Halloween costumes Oct 1). I’m hoping that will keep me organized during the holiday season. And I’m thinking I’ll do all my holiday shopping on Black Friday, so hopefully that will make things easier too. The holidays are my favorite time of year so the last thing I want is to be too stressed to enjoy them!
Is there anything you’re working on this fall that you’re extra excited about?
Growing this baby!! I’m getting more and more excited to find out what we’re having, especially since it was a surprise the first time. I think once we know I’ll start to plan some other fun projects, like the nursery and Augustine’s big boy room. Those will definitely keep me busy!
What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to get into the blogging industry?
I would say start! I have so many people that email me saying they want to but they’re scared or nervous and I always say ‘just start!’ It doesn’t need to be perfect. No one’s is at the beginning. As soon as you sit down with your computer to write, you’ll know what you want to share. And maybe it will change in a week, or 2 weeks, or a month. You might think you want a fashion blog and realize you’re much more passionate about food and travel. Do what makes you happy and the readers will follow because they sense your passion and excitement!
Favorite thing about fall: Sweater weather, apple pie, soups!
Beauty Secret: Washing my face every single night and doing masks 2x a week!
Most Recent Read: I’m reading “the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and love it so far! I watched the movie and everyone said the book is even better!
Words to Live by: Follow your Heart and Trust in God!