Masthead header
The White Peach Blog bio picture
  • {Welcome}

    Here you'll find a little glimpse of my personal life behind the lens.

    Grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and get to know a little more about what makes me happy. You'll find a smidge of everything here, from photography to failed cooking attempts, my ventures into crafting, and plenty of stories about my family.

    Whatever your reason for stopping by, I hope you find yourself inspired to make your own corner of the world exactly what you want it to be.

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram

Seasons

There was a time where I actually enjoyed sitting down to write my stories, share my photos, and give a little piece of my heart to strangers.

Now with two very mobile, and incredibly naughty little girls, I find that sitting in front of the computer to pour out my random thoughts and daily life is something that has hit the back burner. Okay, let’s be honest… I’m not even talking about the back burner, but the little space between the last burner and the backsplash… where all of the little spots of splattered grease and burnt crumbs reside until I get into a cleaning frenzy and Clorox the entire kitchen from top to bottom.

It’s not that the stories aren’t in my heart; they’re fluttering around the tips of my fingers just waiting to be let out. But lately? Lately it’s been so much easier to share everything in tiny little bursts. A Facebook status here, a Tweet there, and the never ending flow of Instagram photos.

But here’s my confession: I’m ready for this season to pass. I want nothing more than for life to settle down just a tiny little bit, I want to finish a hot cup of coffee every morning, and I would grasp onto just an itty little bit of grace from my girls with fierceness.

So there it is. I’m ready for this little space of mine to brighten up and become whole again. Because you know what? There’s no sense in calling yourself a blogger if you haven’t written for months…

 
FACEBOOK BACK TO TOP TWEET TWEET
Kate - September 13, 2013 - 7:42 am

I do miss your words here, but even without the two little girls to focus on, I struggle to get out the words and posts I want to create, so I can imagine your difficulty.

The season will pass. They all do.

creole wisdom - September 12, 2013 - 10:22 am

You’re such a lovely writer, Mary. Your moment to sit down and blog more will come. I hope you’re going to LN tonight… can’t wait to see you and catch up :)

It’s Always About the Experience…

Earlier tonight, a two minute conversation that took place on my front steps got me thinking about the companies that I feel fiercely loyal to, and I realized that it’s all about the experiences that I’ve had with them. Throw everything else out the window… price, product, quality… if you want to make me into a life long customer, give me an amazing experience that I’m willing to stand on my front steps in my grubby t-shirt and sweats to argue about.

Let me back up just a little bit and set the stage…

At just about 7:30 this evening I was standing awkwardly in the middle of my shelving unit in my living room bay window to shoot my ProjectLife photo for the day, when I looked up to see two young guys wearing neon vests and carrying clipboards walking up my front steps. After they knocked on the door, blatantly ignoring our “No Solicitations” sign next to the doorbell, I contemplated my options. I could duck down and pretend that no one was home (which really I knew was silly since there was no way they had missed me 30 seconds before), or I could open the door and stop them mid-pitch and tell them I wasn’t interested.

I contemplated pretending no one was home for a moment, but eventually opted for the latter.

I opened the door, took note of their Waste Management polos, and stopped the poor kid mid-sentance with a “no thank you”, fully expecting the conversation to end, to shut my front door, and go back to my daily photo.

But rather than give up and say something like “Thanks for your time…” this guy decided to press on. I’ll give you the truncated version of our conversation…

“Who’s your current garbage company?”

“Burt’s, and I’m incredibly happy with them and have no interest in switching over to a large corporation.”

“…Well last time I checked, Burt’s cost over $260 for a year of service, we…”

“That doesn’t matter to me.”

“Well can I ask why?”

“Because they have great customer service, among other things.”

 ”Can you give me an example?”

Let me just butt in here and say, there’s nothing that will press my buttons faster than challenging me. This barely-out-of-high-school kid had not only shown up and rudely ignored our request for no sales, interrupted my creative process, and pushed my buttons… but he didn’t realize that he had walked into the end of a very ugly bedtime with an incredibly pissed off three year old. There wasn’t going to be a free pass for him this time.

“How about when we’ve been late getting our cans out on pickup day? It’s been as simple as a phone call to Burt’s, after which they’ve been more than happy to send a truck out the next day to pick up for us. Will WM do that? And if so, what’s the surcharge? How about when we have extra bags or boxes outside of our cans? We don’t get charged for them to get out of the truck to pick them up. Isn’t that an extra fee for WM?”

“Well… thanks for your time.”

End. Of. Conversation.

After I shut the door, I puffed out my chest and did the peacock walk through the living room. Matt just shook his head at me and said, “I’m glad you thought of an example; I would have just shut the door in his face.”

I hopped onto social media to share my immediate disgust with the interaction. That tweet led me to browsing through Burt’s Facebook page, which got me thinking about what it really is that makes me loyal to a particular company.

Experiences.

It’s the Apple effect.

One of the first things you’re taught as an Apple employee is that the customer’s experience trumps everything else. It doesn’t matter how much money your customer spends, or even if they buy anything the first ten times they come into the store… what matters is that they have an amazing experience that will blow them away so much that they wouldn’t consider going anywhere else to buy their computer/phone/iPod/accessories.

For the three years that I put on my lanyard and stepped out onto the cool grey granite, I brought that mindset to work with me. I was the lowest man on the totem pole, but I felt a sense of pride for the company I was representing. I didn’t feel like I was just earning a paycheck; I felt like I was actually making a difference in how people received technology and put it to use in their everyday.

That very mindset has carried with me ever since; and now that’s how I judge every single employee I interact with at every single company I do business with. It doesn’t matter if it’s over the phone, in an online chat, via email, or in person. How you talk to me is going to shape how I feel about your entire company.

I was shopping around for a new foundation, and had heard spectacular things about Bare Minerals. Matt and I were walking around the mall one evening when we walked past Sephora and I decided to stop in and see if they were able to help me out. After an awful and rude interaction with one of their salespeople, I walked out and vowed never to set foot in one of their stores again. That was three years ago…

A month ago, Bridget and I popped into a small local restaurant in Minneapolis for a quick Saturday morning brunch before heading out of town for Jess + Michael’s wedding. We walked in to a surprisingly empty dining room and expected a great meal. Instead we were super disappointed. The service was beyond slow; so slow that the couple next to us got up and left after sitting at their table for 10+ minutes without so much as a hello from the staff. And then our server screwed up our bills… twice. Which really is a shame, because the food was quite tasty!

This past weekend after being rained out of our campsite and Myre-Big Island State Park we decided to drive into Albert Lea for a hot (and dry) breakfast. We drove past McDonalds and Perkins, and settled on a small local place. The food was less than amazing, but the customer service was over the top. The server was attentive and friendly, taking note of when our coffee cups dipped below the half-full point and stopped by to top us off. When I walked to the cash register to get change for a newspaper, the hostess waved me away and handed me the house copy of the paper instead. It may not seem like much, but those little things were greatly appreciated in ways that we couldn’t express. Needless to say, we left an $8 tip on our $20 breakfast.

Some of my absolute favorite companies are the ones that I’ve had some really incredible conversations and/or interactions with:

Kiss Books. Zappos. Chobani. Totally Rad. John Fluevog. FitBit. Just to name a few…

And in just the same way, I can list off the companies that I’ve felt wronged by over the last ten years. Guess what? Chances are REALLY good that if I have a different option with similar services, I won’t be a returning customer.

Is that blowing things out of proportion? I don’t seem to think so.

You could argue that the one person I interacted with at Sephora shouldn’t shape my perception of the entire 10,000+ employee company, but then again, why shouldn’t it?

Maybe it’s my sleep-deprived brain talking over here. But really…

And to the poor kid that got an earful of my soapbox tonight: Thank you for reminding me that sometimes it’s just not worth saving an extra $50 a year. No matter how many Starbucks Lattes I could buy…

 

 

 
FACEBOOK BACK TO TOP TWEET TWEET
Love only - August 7, 2013 - 3:56 pm

Hi Vblagtvn blog is wonderful i check thanks

Vicki - July 17, 2013 - 12:26 pm

It’s amazing how one interaction can have that much impact I have similar feelings as you. Way back when I was (much) younger I needed some professional clothes for a new job I was starting. My mom and I went to Ann Taylor, but since I wasn’t already dressed the part I was completely ignored. It was too bad because I liked the clothes, but I’ve never been back and won’t ever go back.

creole wisdom - July 15, 2013 - 10:50 pm

Loved this!

I think the one thing that kind of hurts me is how different sales people can treat you based on how “attractive of a customer” you appear to be. I’ve experienced it my entire life while spending time with my mom versus dad. People rarely give my dad (a chubby black guy) the time of day, but he often will spend big $$$ especially if he likes a specific product. He is crazy about Russell + Hazel, buys all his office supplies there, and the regular staff know and appreciate him. I went in there with him and a new high school age girl was at the register and gave him a snotty attitude. I was appalled. It broke my heart.

For the record, he has always had excellent experiences at the Apple store (as have I!) ;)

I haven’t even heard of Burts! I wondered why your cans were such a festive color. I have heard that Sephora can have terrible service, I get my BE from BE store.

I’ll stop rambling now…

bridget - July 15, 2013 - 9:42 pm

I really like this post, thanks so much for sharing :)

I didn’t know you had Fluevogs, I must hear more about this.

Pancakes and Pajamas Party

Can we pretend that my child is not 14 months old, and that this party didn’t happen almost two months ago??

I’m pretty sure I’m one of the worst bloggers out there in terms of how frequently I update this little place. At least some of you are still hanging around to read my sporadic posts!

I wanted to share some of the photos that I’ve been hanging on to since June’s first birthday party this past March. It’s too cute to keep to myself!

When I was thinking about a theme for her party, I knew two things for certain: I wanted to keep it to close friends and family (she is only one, after all) and I wanted something that would keep the budget low.

This is what I ended up with. And honestly, I thought it was a pretty clever {and unique} idea until I started perusing Pinterest for decoration ideas…

But seriously, who doesn’t love breakfast and comfy jammies? And on a Saturday morning…? You don’t even have to get dressed before you leave the house to come celebrate!

I kept the decorations incredibly simple.

A bunch of ranunculus from Trader Joes went into my favorite vase, Sam and Jason helped create the handmade tassel garland hung over the big window in our living room, and Jessica and I spent an afternoon making a quadruple batch of cake batter puppy chow to put in individual glassine bags. Adorned with a little twine, some washi tape, and handwritten tags, they made some super cute and delicious favors for our guests to take home!

An assortment of our coffee cup collection paired with some pretty little plastic milk bottles made for a simple beverage station in the corner of the room.

Then I set up a buffet for breakfast. Fresh cut fruit, sausage + bacon, and of course pancakes with a variety of toppings and syrups. Yum!

My sweet friend Courtney lovingly made June’s “pancake” cake as well as a miniature smash cupcake. Oh my goodness… how adorable is that mini stack of pancakes?! Love!!

And of course we can’t forget the guest of honor in her pink cow jammies. That squishy little cow bottom kills me!

One of my favorite parties yet!

Now… do you think I can get away with planning every party from now as a pajama party? Fourth of July BBQ and Pajama Party, anyone? Oh come on… you know you want to!

For those interested:

Square milk bottles, party straws, twine, and favor bags from TomKat Studio

Striped melamine dinner plates from Target

Syrup bottles from The Container Store

{All other decorations + serving ware were already owned or obtained by the beg + borrow method}

Tassel garland instructions

Cake Batter Puppy Chow recipe

 

 
FACEBOOK BACK TO TOP TWEET TWEET
Abigail Mae Presott - November 12, 2013 - 6:46 am

Wonderful blog and awesome pictures! Pyjamas really are very comfortable and I would love to also wear them all day. I like PJs like these: http://www.thepyjamastore.com/pyjamas

mary - August 9, 2013 - 2:47 pm

Thanks, Kelly! I created these from scratch. :)

Kelly - August 8, 2013 - 8:39 am

Love the invite! Did you make it or use a template?

Jen - May 21, 2013 - 12:23 pm

I love this idea for a party! Any excuse to stay in my jammies all day is good to me!

Courtney - May 21, 2013 - 11:58 am

You are such a great hostess! I loved how beautiful yet laid back her party was :-)

creole wisdom - May 21, 2013 - 11:27 am

So, so cute and very well done. You are awesome, Mary!

Project Life 365 {Weeks 15-18}

Time to play a little Project Life 365 catch-up. Take a peek at the last month {or so} of photos from this year’s photo a day project.

If you’d like to see each photo in more detail, head over to my Project Life 365 Flickr set!

{Column One} April 9th: #Retrospect | April 10th: #Upside_Down | April 11th: #Home | April 12th: #Connection | April 13th: #Unconditional_Love | April 14th: #Inspiration | April 15th: #Redemption | April 16th: #Dangerous | April 17th: #Symmetry

{Column Two} April 18th: #Hello | April 19th: #Dedicated | April 20th: #Satisfying | April 21st: #HAHAHA | April 22nd: #Eyes | April 23rd: #Hands | April 24th: #Heart | April 25th: #Homemade | April 26th: #Eco | April 27th: #Looking_In

{Column Three} April 28th: #Looking_Out | April 29th: #Type | April 30th: #Yellow | May 1st: #You_Today | May 2nd: #Nature | May 3rd: #Quirky | May 4th: #Sport | May 5th: #Sign_of_the_Times | May 6th: #Excess

You can find my Project Life 365 photos here:

White Peach Blog Facebook Page

White Peach Photo on Flickr

@Whitepeachphoto on Instagram

 

 

 
FACEBOOK BACK TO TOP TWEET TWEET

On My Heart

This morning I wanted to share photos of what, from the outside, appears to be just another happy + shiny week, but instead I needed to share a little of my heart.

This week I needed more out of life. More out of friends. More out of myself.

I needed someone to reach out and tell me that everything is going to be okay. I needed a good swift kick in the butt and the reminder that even when today seems to be a little darker than most days, that the sun will eventually come out again. Maybe even tomorrow.

But here’s the thing. I don’t know how to ask for help. Or maybe it’s that I know how, but don’t like to.

So unless there’s a psychic out there reading my mind and sharing my innermost thoughts with others, I shouldn’t expect that help to come, right?

Honestly, I’ve been staring at this blank page for an entire episode of Grey’s. That’s 40-some minutes that I’ve been unable to formulate what it is that I wanted to say. I have this week’s Instagram photos all queued up and ready to post, but I can’t put words to them. And that’s because the words don’t match the photos.

That’s the wonderful thing about photos. You, the photographer, get to control what you show. What you don’t see are the sweatpants that I’ve been all but living in for the last three days. You don’t see that it’s 11:00 in the morning and my kids are still in their pajamas. You don’t see the pile of dirty dishes that have been collecting in my sink since dinner last night.

Those photos would match how I feel.

It’s been a crummy week.

Wait.

It’s been a craptastic week.

I keep asking, begging, for a teeny tiny little break, but it just hasn’t come. Instead it feels like the weights are just being stacked on top of one another.

I wanted to write happy + shiny posts about our trip to Utah, June’s birthday party, my weekly Instagram photos, the last month of Project Life photos.

But the happy + shiny part is missing.

Last week at our little ladies night group we were talking about fears, and someone asked me if I thought I was so afraid of things because I’ve never had anything bad happen in my life. My answer was no, I haven’t lived any true tragedies. But the more I think about it, I shouldn’t have been so quick to answer. Because I most definitely know what it feels like to struggle. Both in the past and in the now.

I’m at a point where I feel like I should have a good portion of day to day life “figured out” and  instead I’m learning that I’ve just barely grazed the surface.

In the last week we had some big unexpected expenses come up that drained our bank account. Literally. We have nothing. No cash, no savings… oh, and because we’re credit card free, there’s no safety net.

On top of that I realized that the tabs on our Jeep expired on the 1st, one of the hard drives in our backup system has failed, and our dryer stopped working. All of which I can’t afford to replace or fix anytime soon.

The worst part? We ran out of formula, milk, and diapers… all at once.

How does that even happen?

I went to Target with a minimal list of what we needed, spent $40, and used my Target debit card knowing that it would be approved even without the funds in our account. I’m praying that my husband’s expense check comes today before that little charge hits our bank account and we overdraft.

That sucks. That really sucks. And you feel like a terrible, horrible person for needing to do it.

And that feeling doesn’t go away.

That would be the mess of crappy feelings that have been pulling on my heart all week.

I should be thankful that I have my family, my home, and my health. I have been blessed in so many ways… more than I can count.

But I’m still ready for that little break, wherever or whatever it may be.

I’m not asking for help. Like Matt and I have been saying for years: We’ll figure it out. We always do.

And it’s true. We always manage to make it work, no matter how far down that rabbit hole we seem to be.

But in the meantime, if you have any to spare, I’ll take a virtual {or a real} hug from you.

It would mean more than you’ll ever know.

 
FACEBOOK BACK TO TOP TWEET TWEET
Kate - May 13, 2013 - 9:02 pm

I’m just seeing this now and I can so, so, SO relate as we’ve had literally years of being just one disaster short of bankruptcy. We pray and pray and somehow it all works itself out but there have been many, many months where there is no safety net and nothing in the bank account. And the expenses never stop.

I SO get it. I know the fear and the sense of failure and anxiety. I know what it feels like to think ‘Why am I not GETTING IT?!?!?’ and there are so many times that I think ‘We’re far too old to be living like this.’

I wish I could give you a big huge warm hug right now. Because I would. In a heartbeat.

Jen - May 3, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Sending the biggest of hugs your way. I can completely relate. We have a list of Needs Fixing, Put Off, Someday. The lists keep growing. My Hubby and I have the same motto. We will figure it out. We always do. {{hug}}

Elle - May 3, 2013 - 3:06 pm

Oh, honey – sending you so much love! And hugs, though I’m most glad to be able to give you a real one tonight (and a piña colada). xoxo.

Kristi - May 3, 2013 - 12:05 pm

If I could, I would give you as many hugs as you can handle. I am sorry you’re not having a good week. I know how it feels to be in your situation, we’ve been there and are there still. I hope it gets better soon and you find your happy again. I will say an extra prayer for you guys. Hang in there. <3

Ashley - May 3, 2013 - 11:47 am

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Why does everything seem to happen at once? I had a situation like this last year when I had a hard drive fail and after the fact realized 2 hours of an event hadn’t transferred to my backup. $2000 later I was able to recover the images… But wouldn’t you know my car then needed $1200 in repairs to pass inspection at the same time. Luckily things worked out and I’m sure in a few weeks you’ll be feeling much better, too.

creole wisdom - May 3, 2013 - 11:35 am

I’m sending you so much love. Life is crappy sometimes, but it doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it. I commend your authenticity and I am here for you.

S t a y   C o n n e c t e d
I n s t a g r a m
B l o g   B u t t o n s